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PandoraAwakened

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Member since: Thu Oct 4, 2018, 12:57 PM
Number of posts: 866

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Revelations About the Parsing of Words

Got it. When you said teachers should get back to work because other essential workers are "somehow managing" in the face of repeated exposure to non-mask-wearers, you actually meant to say teachers should get back to work because other essential workers are "trying to manage" in the face of repeated exposure to non-mask-workers. I get it. You're saying the same thing, but a little more timidly the second time around, indicating you're open to trying to understand where your thinking on the matter may have gone awry.

Unfortunately, no amount of word parsing can overcome three unavoidable truths essential workers (yourself included?) are now facing with what is only the beginning stages of an already badly botched and mismanaged pandemic:

1.) Nearly 3.2 million Americans thus far, a sizable number of them being essential workers, did not "manage" to escape (whether by 'somehow' or by 'trying') from the devastating effects this virus forebodes for their own future health and the economic welfare of their families.

I will repeat again what I realize may be a difficult thing to initially grasp about the truth of the millions who have been infected but are not dead as of yet: COVID-19 has the rare ability to cross the "blood-brain barrier." If you do not understand what that means and what that portends for those you may be thinking have "managed" their situation, LOOK IT UP.

Over 3 million Americans, with millions more to come, who are infected with the initial strain of this coronavirus are now at risk for developing debilitating neurological diseases, which will cripple their ability to maintain their jobs and will put additional burdens on our crumbling healthcare systems. Brain damage is not to be taken lightly!

On top of this, untold millions of Americans who, having contracted the first strains of this virus, are either asymptomatic infected or have "recovered" from milder symptons without realizing the cause of their initial illness. These people are also now at risk for developing future neurological diseases if even one particle of this virus crossed over the blood-brain barrier. As an unknowingly asymptomatic essential worker who thinks they're dodging the bullet, this could very well be you.

2.) By this evening, 135,000 Americans will have been declared dead from this coronavirus. This is already 5,000 more souls than when this OP was written only a few days ago! Many of those who have died were essential workers. None of those now dead (nor the tens of thousands more to come) were in any conceivable way able to "manage" anything at all about their exposure to COVID-19. Dead is dead, and that's not "managing."

3.) Viruses multiply exponentially when allowed to run rampant. Both the infection count and its corresponding death toll are surging in the U.S., rising exponentially by the hour, and we are nowhere near the peak. Simple mathematics tells us that the exponential risk factor to our essential workers rises correspondingly every workday. If you don't have at least a layman's understanding of virology and exponential mathematics, then sure, the beginning always looks like "somehow we're managing."

These are the three irredeemable facts that no amount of vaguery about this or that particular group of essential workers is able to obfuscate.

In light of these facts, particularly the first one, do you not now see the absolute irony in insisting that teachers, whose very stock-in-trade is their brainpower, must now sacrifice their brains to neurological disease because...why is that again?

Oh yeah...because we live in a society of idiots who think it's a good idea to relegate teachers (or any other "essential" worker, for that matter) to the lower dregs of an arbitrary wage scale. Yep, got it.


"Essential" = "Expendable"

Apparently, Betsy DeVos forgot to send out her memo referring teachers to the edict set forth in "Math for Dummies During a Pandemic": "Low Wage = Essential Worker = Expendable. So get back to work, damn it!"

So many of the greatest follies in human history begin with a determinination about which groups are "expendable." Expendability in America is assigned based on wages. As a society, we prescribe the lowest wages to those seen as "servants" to the masses. This is, of course, an unfortunate hangover from (or some might say merely an extension of) our roots in slavery.

Few will actually acknowledge aloud the corporatist/political belief that low-wage workers are considered "expendable, renewable resources" because that would be just a tad bit too revealing about who we really are as a nation.

So, instead they label these service workers as "essential," which has such a nicer, feel-good ring to it, don't you think? (Funny how their paychecks don"t reflect the "absolutely necessary; extremely important" dictionary definition of the term. Shhh...just never you mind about that.) Note too the parsing of language and, importantly, the difference in pay scale between those deemed "critical workers" versus those labeled "essential workers." Hmm...

The most important thing to keep in mind about the term "essential worker" is that semantics are everything when it comes to manipulating behavior. Thus, "essential workers" is the perfect label to use when, at the height of a pandemic, corporations and their political puppets seek to convince large numbers of the lowest-paid workers that they must now become "heroes," laying down their lives if need be, in service to "the economy," i.e. the already wealthy.

Sardonic, isn't it, that the very same persons demanding such sacrifice cannot abide the thought of taking on too much inconvience themselves, let alone any actual suffering "for the good of the masses"?

Finally, the "essential worker" designation has the added corporate benefit of inciting those who aren't so pleased about their own "you have to risk your life to keep your job" situation into calling for other low-wage groups, like teachers for example, to have the same label slapped on them---"If I have to do it, you should have to do it too!" Neat little trick of pleb-on-pleb jiu-jitsu, huh? Corporations just love, love, love that... especially when there are back-to-school profits to be reaped!

You know who's the only bad-ass, take-no-prisoners teacher in America who also loves that idea? Miss 'Rona, that's who. Yep, she's ready to school us all with a lesson we'll never forget.


Logical Fallacies & Other Such Nonsense

I'm sincerely interested in what's behind the central premise you first postured whereby you're saying: These particular groups of low-wage workers (your examples being retail, restaurant, grocery, food processing, and casinos) have been deemed essential (i.e., expendable); therefore, that particular group of low-wage workers (teachers and school staff) should also be deemed expendable.

I clearly see this as your thesis statement, but I am genuinely curious as to the evidentiary support you might offer that would make this a persuasive argument. The only "reasoning" you offer in support of your premise is a false binary choice: "Would you prefer we all stay home and you could forage for food?"

In the field of logic, this type of false choice is called a "nullary logical connective"---or, in colloquial terms, an "absurd proposition"---for which either answer (yes or no) is necessarily false because the conjunction "and" is itself a false connective between the two parts of the question (i.e., one does not actually correlate to the other given the existence of alternative outcomes).

But, I do get how the mind can easily make that illogical jump. In any cursory examination of the fall of great civilizations, we see the sentiment that gives rise to such thinking; it is, in fact, an easy sentiment to come by when made from a point of privilege:

"It's either 'Die plebs, die!' or we're all going back to the days of nomadic barbarians!"

Fast forward to America, 2020:

"It's either 'Die essential workers, die!' or we're all going to be foraging our own food!"

Nothing new to see there. Anyone who has ever peered into the mirror of history has seen this choice presented to mankind over and over and over and over again, ad infinitum. Indeed, it's a false dichotomy that's toppled many a civilization---a downright philosophical conundrum, if you will.

You've heard the phrase echoed by some about men being "children of God," no? How is it that you suppose children learn? Any teacher will tell you that much of our learning is achieved through repetition. Both success and failure are rooted in repetition. It is no different for the individual than it is for entire civilizations across the arc of time. So, let's use this moment to examine how the repetition of bi-furcated fallacies always result in unnecessary death and human suffering:

You're saying essential workers have been exposed to 10s of thousands of people not wearing masks and because these workers have not ALL died yet (never mind the debilitating diseases to come for those who survive their initial infections), we should go right ahead and throw more low-wage workers into the mix, like for example, the teachers, right?

Okay, okay, maybe "all" is not a fair assessment. Only the psychopaths and a certain percent of sociopaths would actually subscribe to that. Let me revise:

You're saying essential workers have been exposed to 10s of thousands of people not wearing masks and because only a certain as yet unamed and unknown percentage of them will be condemned to die or suffer in service to the masses, we might as well go ahead and throw in another group of low-wage workers, like for example, the teachers. Better?

Ahhh, and therein is the rub, isn't it? It's that "certain percentage" whose very lives you will have to deem to be of zero value if you continue down this path of logical fallacy.

So, tell me, what percentage of death and/or health degradation amongst the low-wage "essential workers," a group highly skewed toward people of color, is acceptable to YOU personally in service to your needs? Go ahead, name your body count.

Is it 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%? Maybe your tipping point is actually much further down the scale. How about just over the halfway-mark? So, perhaps we should say 51% of the designated expendable workers should have to die and/or suffer future deadly diseases to fulfill everyone else's needs.

Does that work for you, 51%? In the name of serving the comforts and desires of the masses, is that your acceptable rate of death and suffering for essential workers? I wouldn't fault you for it. That's the number at which many throughout history finally cry uncle, because, after all, at that point the balance of profits begin to shift for those who've been reaping the benefits of such sacrifice.

A little too steep a price, you say? Fine, let's go backwards: 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%? Go ahead, name your death price. DO IT. If that's the hill you wish to die on (no pun intended), state your selling price with conviction and honesty, rather than hiding behind logical fallacies.

It's uncomfortable, even squeamish, to name your price in terms of body count, yes? But name it you must if you wish to actually persuade anyone to your side of an argument that is both logically and ethically flawed. Never fear though, history has proven that many men will gladly follow you down that rabbit hole if you but name your price.


About the "Food Supply"

Interesting that you name "casinos" as an "essential service" given that this pandemic has provided the 1%ers an opportunity to play a brand new game of chance called "You Bet Your Life" while comfortably laying wagers from the sidelines about who gets to die for the sake of another's haircut or the ability to wipe one's ass with two-ply instead of one-ply toilet paper.

Stop pretending that what's actually happening in our country with this runaway pandemic amidst both an ever-increasing wealth gap and a healthcare crisis that's been building to boiling point for the past three decades is somehow only about the "food supply."

I mean, come on, the whole "Yikes, you'll have to forage for your own food!!" is, after all, the very same fear-mongering excuse that certain men put forth as "reason" to not follow science, to not implement bold, new ideas, nor even to use old-fashioned common sense.

But, most of all, this particular excuse is used to great effect to most definitely NOT put into place adequate safety, testing, and healthcare measures for line workers within the food distribution chain. News flash: America's food supply industry is one whose front-end is almost wholly owned and directed by rich, old, white men safely quarantined in comfort within their gated-community mansions---NOT by the overly romanticized "small farmer" who the Monsanto and Tyson corporate execs of the world have run roughshod over to the point of near-extinction.

If you're going to carry the banner for "Big-Ag," a predatory industry that heavily propagandizes the notion that they can force you to forage for your own food at any moment if you don't let them continue profiting from human death, then at least be honest about who you condemn to die for the sake of assuaging your foraging fears.

I am, of course, talking about the actual essential workers who make it possible for you to not spend your days foraging (sorry, that's not the blackjack dealers and bartenders). No, that would be the hackers & packers in the large-conglomerate produce and meat processing plants and the pickers & sorters in the Big-Ag fields who are predominantly underpaid, low-wage immigrants and migrant workers performing grueling, tedious, and increasingly more dangerous tasks in the shadow of this deadly pandemic, all the while with their healthcare ranging from none-to-junk.

That is who gathers, chops up, and packages most of your food in America. They are considered by their employers and by the privileged class to be "expendable, renewable resources" who need not be invested in or cared for because they have no political power and are easily replaced.

Most importantly for the employers, and certainly not by accident, a large number of those "expendable" workers who save you from foraging your way through life are undocumented. This is by design on the employers' part who are fully aware of their employees' illegal status, and it has been this way in America for many, many generations. In this way, the frontline food workers, who are, of course, mostly persons of color, have no voice and can readily be manipulated into silence on threat of deportation, which for some is itself a death sentence.

Even these workers' U.S.-born children and grandchildren, upon reaching working age, are often pressed into underpaid service in the same factories and fields as their elders on threat of their parents or grandparents being deported---threats made by the employers. In this way, at least three generations of cheap labor can be squeezed out of each family.

Yes, it is indeed a very nasty business at the frontline of America's food chain where the real foragers dwell---one that has been made even uglier beyond belief by a mismanaged viral pandemic that forces these workers to play Russian roulette between death by virus, death by starvation, or death by deportation.

It is so easy for the soulless amongst us to insist these "expendable" workers must lay down their lives in deliverance of bounty to affluent dinner tables. It's easy to demand such sacrifice when those to be offered up to the altar of gluttony-on-demand are seen as "less than human" by those drowning in greed, egocentricity, and, yes, racism.

For the many Americans who only fool themselves into believing they're privileged (when an assessment of their cash-on-hand to debt ratios clearly indicate they are not), the "expendable" workers on the frontline of the food chain are simply not seen at all.

It really is so much easier to simply turn a blind eye to exactly who it is you're demanding should sacrifice their lives to fill your tummy, don't you think? Question: Are those who willfully blind themselves any less evil than the willfully greedy? Another philosophical conundrum...

So, if anyone feels compelled to continue yammering on about their foraging fears, let's at least do so in honest terms: How many of our immigrant foragers do YOU insist must die to maintain your current level of culinary desires?

Go ahead, name your price.


Conclusion

America is at an inflection point wherein many who come to the table lacking a basic understanding of the trajectory of human history (other than their own personal niche in that history) will be quick to whip out a sliding scale showing which "values" should be applied to which perceived "groupings" of human life.

Never mind that history has already taught us that such an approach only ever results in delaying the pursuit of more sensible, and certainly more worthy, alternatives to any given problem.

Never mind that history has also taught us that every single time we allow false dichotomies to turn human life into a price tag for something else, the inevitable result is unnecessary death and suffering. Indeed, it is this very notion that is at the heart of every war and every genocide that has ever occurred---including genocidal actions achieved under the cover of plagues and pandemics.

And now we are once again about to be schooled in the follies of the "slide-rule approach" to human life currently on display for all the world to see in how America has chosen to deal with COVID-19.

And to think, all it takes is a large enough number of persons willing to name a price as they leap down that rabbit hole of false choices. Who could have guessed it? OH, WAIT...history told us that, didn't it?

Maybe we better hold off on that whole rush to kill the teachers thing. Something tells me their services are going to be sorely needed to help pick up the shattered pieces.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sat Jul 11, 2020, 04:17 PM (0 replies)

Buckle up Florida...

The Orange Turd came here to Arizona about a half-hour away from me exactly two weeks ago today. Here's a taste of what you have to look forward to:

On June 23, about 1,500 unmasked tRump-humpers gathered outside a Maricopa County super-spreader church for hours, the whole day actually, before the doors opened.

The kicker? The entire time these covidiots congregated outside sitting and standing mere inches apart throughout the day in 110-degree weather, GIANT MISTERS surrounded them, circulating & recirculating the virus amongst them on airborne water molecules---Miss Rona's favorite high-powered mode of transportation!

No nose, no mouth, no eye socket, no ear canal, & no open cuts on exposed hands, arms, and legs were left untouched by the continual, jet-sprayed mists breathed in and out by all and covering 1500 people to counteract the heat of our brutal sunshine.

For those of you who don't know what a commercial-size mister is, imagine a $2,500 circular fan about 3 and 1/2 feet in diameter that is actually an oversized humidifier whose high-velocity spray travels infinitely farther and wider than a mere cough or sneeze---giving the extra-added bonus of picking up the virus like a drunken tailgater from breathed spittle molecules and depositing it on the faces of others who are about 50 people away from where the virus first jumped onto the mister's "CoronaTrain."

Neat trick, huh? Now imagine several of these misters surrounding 1,500 unmasked dipshits hootin' and hollerin' Magat slogans all day.

And all this was before this same unmasked crowd willingly closed themselves off into the lower tiers of a mega-church (which can actually hold 3,000 in its entirety). Because they needed to make it look packed for the tee-vee cameras, sliding panels closed off the church's uppermost decks, leaving everyone sitting shoulder-to-shoulder breathing each other's infected spittle as they boisterously cheered on racism in a supposed "house of God."

So, here we are exactly 14 days later and, right on cue, just as our local medical experts predicted would eminate from this "misty-eyed event," we now have unprecedented spikes in both infection and death rates from Covid-19, and our hospitals are dangerously close to 100% capacity.

This is all happening predominantly in one single, very large county where half of Arizona's entire population resides---the very place where some stable genius decided it was a grand idea to surround a cult of gaping mouth-breathers with giant humidifiers for hours on end.

So, yes, you should be very concerned about tRump getting this close to you---especially in a high-humidity region of Florida where, misters or no misters, you already have additional airborne fluid to carry the viral spittle further.

Remember, it only takes a relatively small group of covidiots breathing on one another at one event to create within two weeks an additional 3,500 infections PER DAY and a current 24% infection rate (nearly 1 out of 4 persons), all increasing exponentially and unchecked with each passing hour.

That's where we are now at in Maricopa County, Arizona, America's 4th largest county by population in a state run by Rethuglicon "Governor" Douchebag Ducey whose only answer to combat Miss Rona is to set up death-panel scorecards to determine who will and will not receive life-saving care in our overrun hospitals. Hint: If you are over age 60, you are automatically assigned a high number, meaning you're pretty much out of luck (unless, of course, you are a high-ranking Rethuglicon with money and pull). If, according to your medical records, you are immunocompromised (asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV, heart problems, kidney disease, etc.), you get a few more points added to your "score," placing you further away from receiving emergency care.

My advice to anyone living within 100 miles of one of the pResident's KKK rallies:

Stock at least a month's worth of groceries and supplies prior to the rally and prepare to hunker down in your home for a minimum of 4 weeks after the Racist-Fest.

I realize this is not possible for everyone to do---for those of you who can't, I fervently pray for your deliverance from the tRump Coronavirus...coming soon to a town near you.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Jul 7, 2020, 04:35 PM (1 replies)

"Somehow they are managing"? Seriously?

Nearly 3 million U.S. citizens infected (and millions more to come) with a virus that scientists admit not only reduces lung capacity of its victims for the remainder of their lives, but is also now believed to be crossing the blood-brain barrier, portending dire neurological health outcomes over the next several decades for those infected (including for the millions of asymptomatic persons never tested)---outcomes that anyone who thinks the frontline workers are "managing" clearly has no cognitive awareness of.

EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE.

Oh, and on behalf of the now over 130,000 dead Americans who succumbed to this virus, I will say it for them since they clearly are unable to do so themselves: "No, WE DID NOT 'SOMEHOW MANAGE,' thank you very much."


Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Jul 7, 2020, 05:34 AM (1 replies)

Your premise is not inconsistent at all.

Here's a current example of your premise in action:

Prior to AOC's recent primary win, there was a lot of DU commentary from a small posse who professed support for a particular AOC primary challenger--- one who for the past ten years has been clearly and loudly calling for the abolishment of both Medicare and Social Security.

Never mind that these same persons who advocated for someone who's been drooling for years about taking a wrecking ball to Medicare and Social Security are likely themselves beneficiaries of both Medicare and Social Security.

Oh, and lest we forget---Never mind that both of these social programs have long been stalwart components of the Democratic Party platform.

But, hey, never mind all that. It could be Satan himself running against AOC and knuckleheads would support him because...because...ummm...uhh. Oh yeah, because Satan is anti-AOC! Yeah, that's it! So, vote for Satan!

Luckily for all of us...regardless of whether we live in AOC's district or not...lucky for us that her constituents were smart enough to trounce the anti-Medicare, anti-Social Security candidate with a severe ass-whooping by over 70% of their votes.

So, yes, lagomorph777, as evidenced right here in this thread, I'd say your premise about a certain percentage of the population not being ready to vote for ideas that would benefit themselves is entirely accurate.

The flip side of that very same coin, as seen by the anti-AOC posse example above, is the percentage of the population who fairly consistently advocate against their own best interests even when they themselves are already benefitting from and fully taking advantage of Democratic policies put into place to protect those interests.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sat Jun 27, 2020, 09:42 PM (0 replies)

Okaaay...

So, let's review, shall we?

1.) You are yelling at me to "wake up" and "see" the "Class War," implying that I am oblivious to and wholly unaware of class inequality and injustice, correct? That is what you are asserting, am I right? In educated circles, such an assertion would be defined as a baseless claim given that there is no evidence whatsoever presented by either your words or mine in support of such a claim.

Ironically, I have written extensively about class inequities and would be happy to share with you if I was convinced that was a conversation you actually wished to have. However, I suspect you might very well be disappointed to find that you and I are likely in alignment on most if not all of the elements of that topic, and, thus, it would not provide the seemingly desired proverbial bone to pick.

2.) The OP to which I responded here speaks to the future political power of our younger generations. There is no mention of nor even a hint of "class warfare" as the topic of the OP---hence, it would have been a bit strange to proffer commentary about a "Class War" that our kids had no part in creating---a topic you seem to be very upset at me for not having addressed in the context of the political savviness of today's youth.

Rather than screaming at me for not speaking of something you clearly want highlighted, I would humbly suggest that perhaps you can simply post your own well-thought out reply to the OP about the topic you wish to correlate to what they have written.

3.) If it would help you connect a few dots in that regard, I can quote to you some of the class-related sentiments I've seen expressed by American teens. Or, you could just look them up yourself in online sources like Teen Ink, Affinity Magazine, Seventeen, Rookie Magazine, Teen Vogue, etc., as I did when conducting research last year for a study examining teenage perceptions of America's wealth gap. Either way, I think if you did a little digging, you would likely be inspired and infused with hope by their thoughts on the matter.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has pondered it for half a minute that the kids raised in the shadow of the Great Recession---acutely aware of their parents' and other family members' financial struggles, with one out of every five experiencing malnutrition and hunger during their childhood---actually have some fairly honed positions as young adults about the inequities and hardships inflicted upon the majority by the 1%ers. Although they don't typically use the term "Class War," our youth are remarkably attuned to such issues as the "Wealth Gap," "Social Justice," and "Systemic Racism."

One reason the term "Class War" (the phrase itself, not the actual premises gathered over decades under this one umbrella label) doesn't resonate with younger generations as a battle cry around which to rally is that they largely see that war as having already been won---by the uber rich. Hence, from their perspective, time for new strategies and reframing of positions. Maybe, some suggest, it's time to quit framing every last living thing we do and think of in terms of "war."

Another reason "Class War" carries the taint of a losing slogan with younger folks is because of what has been allowed to happen to the "middle class." If you are completely flummoxed by "middle-class memes," then it means you grew up during or perhaps started a family yourself during a time when there actually was such a thing as a middle class.

Consider this: If the average household in America has only $400 in savings to draw upon in an emergency, i.e., one vet bill or car repair away from being overdrawn or one family member's health diagnosis away from total financial devastation, what percentage of the population would you say actually qualifies as "middle class"? Exactly. Hence, the eye-rolling and memes about that particular fallen soldier of the "Class War." As I heard said recently, "Dog, if you can't even afford to take care of a dog, you aren't middle class. That tail doesn't wag."

Now, consider this: The first modern generation to have been raised entirely within a timeframe in which there has been only this bizarre quasi-notion of a middle class, the loss of which they're none too happy about, only recently added their eldest Zoomers to the voting ranks of their Millennal brothers and sisters---this was after tRump was "elected." And the wave coming behind them is huge.

Another topic inexorably linked to discussions of "class" is that of racism. A while back, I came across a social survey taken of Millennial teenagers. In this survey, they were asked to pair specific words with others from a list. The aha factor within this survey was that the word "racism" was paired with the word "stupidity" by an overwhelming majority of the survey recipients, including by those who self-identified as white. I remember discussing with my colleagues at the time the implications this might have for a possible inflection point at long last. And now, over a decade later, this hypothesis is being borne out by the predominantly young, racially diverse citizens marching in the streets today demanding justice and equal rights for those who have been made to suffer the most.

Mentioned above are just a couple of the many issues that fall under the umbrella of class inequality. However, that should give you an idea of how an honest discussion about class issues as they relate to America's youth is so much more productive than simply bleating "Class War!"

4.) My original comment to this OP first and foremost points out the demographic facts of the wave that's coming---information that is widely available to anyone who cares to look.

While there's a lot of information that has been compiled about the nuts and bolts of this demographic sea change, for those who are perhaps not immersed in daily life with either Millennials or Zoomers, I recommend Charlotte Alter's book, "The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America." It's a good primer to at least understanding the political and social justice mindset of America's soon-to-be largest voting bloc.

5.) I realize that my comment regarding the mess my own generation has made of things is what some will choose to get their panties all in a twist about. And I get that. There will always be shoot-the-messenger and deflection responses to uncomfortable truths.

For those of us of the Boomer and Silent Generations who are not so self-absorbed as to shy away from those truths, it does indeed positively suck to admit that so many of our own contemporaries were able to successfully wreak havoc for decades while so many others chose to remain blissfully apathetic---eventually landing us where we are today.

And, yes, it sucks to know that a large number of them, some of whom are our own friends and family, are so completely unapologetic about or totally oblivious to the damage they've caused that they have wholeheartedly given their lives over to a death cult with a giant Cheeto as their dear leader.

Meanwhile, some of us have been in a sustained fight for simple human decency for so very long---even gaining, against tremendous odds, some incremental successes along the way---that it is only natural to bristle at the thought that history will record how the opposition was largely successful in manipulating the sheer numbers of our generation to thwart and delay much of the progress our country needed at a critical juncture. Ultimately, those of us who held firm to progressive values---a minority position for much of our lives---have been yanked kicking and screaming to the brink of our current national nightmare.

Much has been written about the egocentricity of my own generation, and now we have reached a point in our timeline where sociologists and historians are tabulating the devastating results of that self-centeredness:

*The successful run of a long-con propaganda stunt labeled as "conservatism," resulting in the rise of the me-me Tea Party, transforming into the me-me-me "Freedom" Caucus, inevitably resulting in the near-complete degradation of the Republican Party, i.e. half of our two-party system dangerously corrupted and continuing to wield enough power to erode every aspect of civil society.

*An idiotic narcissist as president wreaking havoc and death across the nation. Nuff said.

*A severe, across-the-board weakening of our democratic institutions and our "rule of law" Constitutional framework---to the point that the U.S. no longer even ranks in the top 25 countries of the world as measured by common parameters defining a nation as a "democracy."

*A steady, unchecked, and unprecedented rise over the past 30 years of white supremacist domestic terrorists masquerading as "militias" and infiltrating every level of our police departments as well as much of our military.

And this is just the short list of what egocentricity in numbers has wrought. I'm sure you can add more examples, particularly when you start examining the injustices of our education, health care, and penal systems. However, allow me to place the cherry on the top:

*A petulant, uneducated attitude toward climate science that has brought us to the point where all of the above societal failures are likely to be the least of our worries ten years from now.

So yeah, all of that sucks. It's embarrassing to realize that a very sizable number of our own neighbors, and even our own friends and family members, were able to put all of us in such a dangerous position by combining malicious intent with large-scale apathy. For those of us who have rebelled against this through much of our lives, it is indeed a frustrating reality.

However, it is how one reacts to such truth that lays bare and confirms the degree to which any given individual has allowed the egocentricity with which they've been surrounded most of their lives to affect their thoughts and behaviors today.

So, for example, should someone point out how the majority opinions and attitudes of a given population has led to disaster, the egocentric reaction to such truth would be to personalize it down to just oneself. Never mind that you yourself as a member of that population have consistently argued most of your life against the positions, policies, or apathy of the majority of your peers. If you are yourself so acculturated into egocentricity, you will only ever see such a revelation as somehow an indictment of yourself rather than of those you fought against who caused the disaster.

As such, the typical reaction of an egocentric would be to deflect by claiming that their own good works and hard-fought battles are somehow being besmirched or ignored because the messenger acknowledges that within the same timeframe, the opposition was unfortunately able to inflict overwhelming and longer-lasting damage writ large.

Another common egocentric reaction to truth-in-context is to attempt to attribute alternative motives to the messenger so as to avoid honest reflection and intelligent discussion about actions and non-actions taken during specific periods of history. Thus, accusations about such silliness as "stoking a war of generations" are to be expected. (Again, dark and confounding notions of interpreting every little thing as a "war" has never proven to be particularly persuasive, let alone accurate).

Like I said, I get it that facing historical reality can be painful and even downright impossible for some. However, for those of us who do not fear transparency and examination of our own generations, the greatest thing we can do for our children's future is not just beat our chests about our own past efforts, but rather educate, educate, educate as to where we also ended up hitting giant brick walls from a sizable number of our own contemporaries.

In this way, hopefully, America's next largest generation will be better equipped to successfully bypass the obstacles we ourselves faced. That is, of course, pending Mother Nature gives them the chance.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Thu Jun 25, 2020, 01:59 PM (0 replies)

Thanks for posting!

Systemic racism has been an ongoing conversation in our household, in terms of specific examples understandable to youngsters.

One of my kids has asked what current state laws the Black Codes and the Jim Crow Laws have morphed into that keep the systemic racism going. He gets it in terms of police culture, private prisons, voter suppression, etc., all of which we've talked about. His question has more to do with wanting to know specific written laws used today to perpetuate systemic racism.

I know there are a lot of smart DUers. Anybody have any examples in this regard that I can discuss with my son?
Thanks much!

NOTE: I apologize in advance if you end up seeing responses to my question that appear to be irrelevant and make no sense at all to the question posed. Apparently, I am now being stalked for pointing out stalker behavior against a certain young woman of color. Oh, the irony!
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Thu Jun 18, 2020, 02:24 AM (3 replies)

What You Need to Understand About AOC Bashers

You are, of course, correct jaxexpat. However, you're trying to apply a logical premise to answer an emotional bias held by certain posters here, a bias that clouds their judgment such that they cannot even understand the words you've written.

If you find the snarky attitude repeatedly exhibited here toward AOC a tad confounding---on a site that professes a policy of not bashing fellow Democrats---let me help cut through the fog of inconsistency. It's not terribly complex, really, because it comes down to one simple but sad human emotion: JEALOUSY---in this case, a nuanced version best described as "generational jealousy."

Yes, I said it. I went there. Cat's out of the bag now. It's nothing more than petty, generational jealousy. (Cue AOC haters clutching pearls in "righteous indignation"...gasp!)

Anyone who has read posts here for at least the past couple years knows that it's always the same small group of self-proclaimed "elders" who get on their hypocritical high horses whenever someone dares to speak of AOC...Oh, the horror, Bertha bolt the door!

For these folks, like a true zombie-eyed Fox auduence, you might as well replace "AOC" with "BOO!" However, what gives away the exact nature of their opposition to AOC as being nothing more than generational jealousy is that they inevitably proffer "age and wisdom" arguments as somehow dispositive.

If you're not sure what I mean by this, think back to the Vietnam War when "age" and "wisdom" were the most commonly cited arguments amongst the elderly against "those damn hippies" who were burning their draft cards and marching in the streets by the thousands. These arguments by older, supposedly "wiser" persons proved to NOT be dispositive in any way to the moral injustice of that illegally propagated war. In other words, that bucket held no water.

Now, reasonable people might ask why in the world old folks who are self-proclaimed Democrats would be so jealous of this person, a duly-elected Democratic member of Congress? Well, it's quite simple, really:

They're jealous that a young woman of color is able to speak to and influence HER OWN GENERATION, including young, white people, in a way that they themselves were personally never able to achieve.

They're jealous that she is able to do this with her generation much more effectively than any of these social justice warriors were ever able to do themselves in 40, 50, 60 years of trying to have an impact on their own Silent Generation.

To the elderly who feel compelled to focus their generational jealousy on AOC, I say the following:

Thank you for your service if you protested Nixon and the Vietnam War. In particular, thank you for not listening to the elders of that time with their bullshit "age and wisdom" arguments.

Thank you if you marched for Equal Rights---even if you ultimately dropped the ball by only mustering to the polls 30% to 40% of voters at any given time and thereby failing to consistently elect legislators and jurists that would actually UPHOLD the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1968, 1974, & 1988.

Thank you for this patchwork tapestry of legislation---even though you never quite finished the job by getting an Equal Rights Amendment enshrined in the Constitution---you know, an actual solution that wouldn't have left everyone constantly twisting in the wind at the whims of right-wing, nutjob politicians & judges with their systemic mysogyny, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia.

Thank you to the far fewer number of you who spoke out against the Reagan and Bush era atrocities---protestations that, unfortunately, weren't loud enough or effective enough to prevent millions of people from being murdered.

And finally, thank you to the teeny, weeny, tiny number of you who had the courage and the brains to speak up 30 years ago in the name of science about the climate change perils ahead---at a time when it was up to your generation, the ones in power, to implement mitigation measures...yet didn't...and now it is likely too late.

Thank you for all of this and more. We recognize it has been a sincere and heartfelt, albeit imperfect and often ineffective, effort on your part.

Now, it's your turn to recognize and accept that others younger than you have picked up the mantle where you dropped it. It is not your place to shit on those efforts, particularly when most plans center on either fixing what your generation broke or finishing what your generation was incapable of completing.

Time to give up the jealousy ghost. You know, I know, and everyone else knows that it has nothing to do with AOC herself. If not her, it would be some other young nail you'd pound that same old, tired hammer on. So, just let it go. You've given up on other causes many times...trust me, you can just as easily turn away from your jealous AOC bashing.

Once the green dust clears, you'll be amazed at all the things that make so much more sense to you...like why the cartoon of this OP is so hilarious and why jaxexpat's logical words ring so true. See? Simple.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Wed Jun 17, 2020, 02:22 AM (5 replies)

"CIRCUS-stantial Irony"

Carnival Barker & Circus Conman:
P.T. Barnum

Tulsa's Rethuglican Mayor:
G.T. Bynum

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Jun 16, 2020, 05:21 AM (0 replies)

Ditto that...a little background

I have a friend who recently told me how much she liked Nicole Wallace. Shocked, I asked her, "So, all those marches we had in opposition to the Village Idiot Bush KILLING OVER 1 MILLION PEOPLE just to fulfill Daddy Bush"s & Darth Cheney's oil pipeline wetdreams meant absolutely nothing to you?"

She was confused. So I persisted.
I next asked her, "Remember when you got so mad when we learned through whistleblowers that Fux Noise received its broadcast talking points directly from the Bush White House every morning---talking points that were pure propaganda bullshit and that got so many people killed? Remember when you noted that this checked off a critical step on the road to fascism by establishing our country's first true state-run media?"

"Yes, yes," she answered. "But what does that have to do with Nicole Wallace?"

As I reminded her that Wallace was Dipshit Dubya's Communications Director---you know, the head honcho writing the lies, the one coordinating with Fux Noise, the one helping to KILL PEOPLE in the name of fascism by lying over and over and over again---my friend could only say, "Oh shit, oh shit." Yeah...oh shit.

Now Wallace was just one in a string of Bush Communications Directors. If I remember correctly, she slung Bush's shit for a year or two and later went on to propagate McCain's continued war-mongering. However, I remember her as one of the ones who would spit out the batshit craziest of the Bush reign's lies.

Honestly, from my perspective, i.e., that of living memory, Wallace can tut-tut and turn her cackling laugh toward the Orange Turd all she wants. It's useful in the short term for us. But that's as far as it goes.

Wallace's animus to tRump comes from the same place as other "Never-Trumper" Rethuglicans: They're mad at the dolt squatting in the White House because he was too stupid to understand the wink-wink, nod-nod memo, instead blurting the quiet parts out loud. That is ALL they're mad about...period.

But, as they are so skilled at doing, they will wrap that animus under the cloak of the flag and pretend to be good little patriots while kicking tRump in the nuts for being such a dumbass...until such time as they can again seize power, resume scamming the Treasury for personal gain, and maybe, if they play their cards right, knock off two or three million people next time.

So, as the OP says, they're only useful to us up to November. After that, give them no quarter because they are very effective liars schooled in and long-practiced in both the art and science of propaganda. As proof of this, ask yourself one simple question: Did you fall for the Lincoln Project ads, believing the persons behind them must be some kind of "real patriots" or something? If you answered yes, then point proven.

Finally, never ever forget that nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, can ever wipe clean the blood-stained hands of Wallace and company.

Neither their current faked disdain for authoritarianism (which their own histories show them wallowing in with glee) nor their genuine disgust for tRump as a vulgarian will ever erase the callousness and reckless abandon they themselves exhibited when they helped to murder over a million people.




Posted by PandoraAwakened | Fri Jun 12, 2020, 05:31 AM (2 replies)

Perhaps even worse here in Arizona

WE ARE DYING FROM STUPIDITY HERE...LITERALLY.

Arizona has officially gone down the proverbial Rabbit Hole as our corona numbers spike crazily and Miss Rona gives a giant middle finger to my idiotic neighbors. However, nobody in MSM is talking about what is at the heart of WHY this is happening in Arizona...read on:

It is now DANGEROUS to go out WITH a mask on in Arizona, particularly in the predominantly white suburbs of Maricopa County outside of Phoenix, especially in the East Valley: Here you will be verbally ridiculed, spit upon, and even followed if you're wearing a mask. All of this has happened to me. My family and I are now adhering strictly to the buddy system for the very few occasions we've gone out since this madness started.

The non-mask-wearing majority here are of every age across the board---from toddlers holding the hands of their non-mask-wearing parents as they crowd the aisles of stores while touching everything they can to elderly people in walkers wheezing their way across the parking lots to repeatedly push the door-open buttons that no one cares to sterilize.

The self-appointed MPA (Mask Patrol Assholes) who feel compelled to publicly "shame" anyone wearing a mask are predominantly 40-65 years of age (my own educated guess based on appearance), 100% white, and fairly equally male and female.

Absolute stupidity. This is the inevitable result of Arizona consistently remaining second-to-last nationally in education.

And lest you jump to conclusions and assume that the animosity I receive for wearing a mask in public must have something to do with race---because these are, after all, white asswipes who feel privileged enough to accost total strangers with impunity---guess again. I am colorless and of their age range.

Ashamed to say it, but I look exactly like them...except for the mask thing, of course.


Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:07 PM (2 replies)
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