What Liberals and Conservatives Need to Learn

Interesting New York Times article: Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears. I thought about it and write this:

We should not apologize for defending “absolutely unfettered freedom and diversity; acceptance and promotion of multiculturalism; allowing retention of separate identities; maintenance of separate communities, lifestyles and values; permitting open criticism of leaders, authorities and institutions; unrestrained free expression (of what many will consider offensive/outrageous/unacceptable ideas); strict prohibitions on government intervention in ‘private’ moral choices.”

Equal rights for everybody may be offensive to some, but we should not apologize for defending Constitutional guarantees. Red States may not realize it, but they comprise a large percentage of our neglected and scorned minorities, who live from generation to generation with no realistic opportunities for hope.

The DNC and we – its constituency – should not focus on civic harping. We need to show how the values we defend and promote apply to everyone, not “just” persecuted minorities and inner city poor. The problems faced by the “less densely populated” rural areas are very REAL, and they are not just a rural problem or a Red State problem, they are a national problem. Poverty and neglect are not defined by population density, they are defined by education, jobs, a living wage, a path to a better standard of living – and hope for all of those values.

The Right will get nowhere in trying to deny rights, and the Left will get nowhere trying to pretend that the poor and uneducated who voted Republican created their own problems. The current GOP, which bears little or no resemblance to the old Big Tent party, has no solution for either inner city or rural poor other than continued expansion of a permanent underclass. We need to provide those solutions – for all.

 

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Capitalism (2)

Edited from my 3/2 Facebook post

I was trained in econ, finance and business, and I lean towards economic conservatism. However: if there were no government regulation, we’d have to take every burglar to court for redress, every fraudulent business, every adulterated or dangerously mislabeled meds manufacturer, every cheat, crook and swindler … the courts would be swamped, but only with claimants able to pay for the mushrooming army of litigating attorneys.

The system we have now needs reform, but it’s still cheaper, more impartially administered, and accessible. Everybody supports the government, but few can afford redress through the courts every time we’re wronged or harmed. Think about that for a while.

I don’t understand how political “conservatives” rant and rail against “repressive government over-regulation” of corporations and businesses, as if you can’t just go and dig up the Grand Canyon looking for uranium and minerals, or manufacture a drug that kills people, — yet they press for more and more regulation controlling how you and I can pray, marry, make love, read a book, go to the movies, or vote.

Meanwhile, the 1% get richer, and the rest of us get poorer. I can certainly understand why the Swedes and Norwegians love their robust, healthy, happy “socialist” economies. I can understand how they’re happy with the economic, social and standard of health and living conditions for all. We can certainly understand how barbaric early laws sanctioned between business and worker gave rise to experiments with socialism. They became popular, and we’re starting to live in those  desperate times too..

I could successfully argue that the capitalist system of economics could work better, but we don’t have that now, and really never did. The notion that you and I need to live under one enforced system of common laws proscribing violations of the rights of others, but that businesses don’t, is truly insane.

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Convincing People They Were Duped By Fake News

Me, from a Facebook thread:

I’m not sure that’s possible. Like the flat-earthers, it’s not a question of fact, but what they want to believe. Look at the science deniers. It doesn’t matter what they hell we tell them or show them. It doesn’t even matter if sea levels are rising and their homes are being destroyed by freak hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal surges and earthquakes (fracking).

Speaking for myself, I’m about done with “convincing.” The time I’ve wasted on Facebook alone has demonstrated, once again, an old adage I hated when I was a kid: “Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still.” We are trying to communicate with other-world beings with the best logic, facts, reason and standard English available. It is like shouting at a stone.

Sarcasm and humor seem a little more effective sometimes. The stone rolls a little way down the hill until it hits a bigger obstacle and again comes to rest, but a few loose flakes of dead weight chip off in every dangerous brush with the law of gravity.

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Liar’s Poker

Barack Obama got us out of the Great Recession. He increased jobs, got the economy on track, defended civil rights for all Americans, and reportedly became the most admired President in US history.

Republicans didn’t like that; they wanted change. They voted in a candidate who ran on a platform of equal-opportunity hate for the full laundry list of target groups, promising to un-do all the achievements of the Obama administration.

That man won, and the world sees him now installing officials who are fiercely dedicated to do even more than the president-elect promised.

Most Republicans say they didn’t and still don’t believe he would actually do that, while Democrats took him at his word and treated his candidacy and platform accordingly.

So now we have the result that those who voted for the president-elect are the ones who believed he was a liar, and those “thin-skinned” others who voted against him are the ones who believed him.

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What Employee Attitudes Reveal About Shopping Experience

 

from my Facebook post March 31, 2016

I have worked, briefly, at establishments where morale is low, and you can see it in the faces, slow movements and attitudes of the employees. Once you work in the same conditions yourself, you’ll never denigrate the employee. I blame the workplace, and the buck stops at the employer. I worked retail for 11 years. By just walking into a store and observing, I can be prepared to get no better treatment than the employees I see by just looking around. We are not just getting what the marketplace supports with bare-subsistence wages, we are also getting the employer’s attitude toward running its shop. I take that as nature’s way of telling me to shop elsewhere.

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Bird Feeder

BIRD FEEDER: Heavy rains coming. Took the feeder off the top of the porch table and put it underneath, providing a “roof” to keep the feeder and seed dry. The little birds figured it out in a couple of hours. The big birds never figured out how to get seed out of the little feeder slots, but the little birds are messy eaters, so the big birds got fat on the spillage. Today, I watched a puzzled big bird, perched on the rim of the bottom tray that holds the spilled seed. He was staring right at the relocated feeder. He couldn’t figure out what had happened. “DUUHHH, where did the food go, George, where did it go?”

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DIY Health Examinations

My TV happened to be tuned to a medical discussion show. I caught a panelist who appeared to be arguing that women performing their own breast self-examination is over-rated. His reasoning seemed to be that if everything appears to be fine, it inspires overconfidence, so people won’t go to the doctor.

I took flying lessons in the 1970’s. Preparing for a short training hop in a twin-engine Cessna from Hayward, CA, local weather was lousy. My flight instructor and I phoned Oakland Air Traffic Control with our instrument flight plan, and we asked about Oakland field weather there. The controller replied that their airport was operating under Visual Flight Rules, visibility two miles, ceiling 1000 feet.

We asked if he’d looked out the window lately. “Just a minute,” he told us. On returning, he replied, “I’ll be damned. It’s raining!”

Looking at the night sky with binoculars is not the same thing as the Hubble Space Telescope. Self-examination is not the same thing as an MRI scan or a visit to Mayo or Johns Hopkins. But nobody argues you shouldn’t look out the window when you can just get the weather from Channel 5 meteorologists.

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