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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I agree with all that. I just don't think sending troops in to parade the streets would be anything more than showmanship.

    But nevermind--I only heard it from Reid that there would be troops in the first place. Trump originally said 'feds', which I interpret as the FBI and other law enforcement--just what the mayor deemed as acceptable.
    You're right, he could have meant FBI, it's hard to tell what Trump really means half of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    If corporate media is responsible for anything, it's this. Dealing with both sides of every issue as though they have equal merit. Evolution vs creationism? Anthropogenic global warming? Abortion? They frame these issues like the sloppy, stupid side is equally valid, when they aren't. This, more than anything else, is what's made people proud to be stupid. And suddenly everybody is always right all of the time. Nobody's opinions have to be challenged anymore, and nobody's feelings need to get hurt. And it doesn't really matter that you've voted for an aliterate sociopath, because no matter what he does, he's always gonna be right!

    "All news is fake news."
    People should always be aware of what they're reading and what its political game is. NYT is not innocent, CNN is not innocent, Fox is not innocent, Wikileaks is not innocent. They all serve lies at times. However the Trump phenomenon has flipped the switch to now apparently everything every media source (has he attacked Fox?) says is a lie, which is absurd. However as well, the sorts of lies told and the effects of the lies, great or small, are different. NYT has helped propagate state dept lies about wars but generally is pretty good on domestic topics, Fox lies about just about everything.

  2. #242
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Hey, I didn't say which side is the sloppy, stupid side, did I? But apparently I didn't need to.
    And Mencken believed that such a side would always exist:

    Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.
    As Jon said, we don't have to name the political movements in history who have latched onto facile, spurious explanations to know they probably exist (especially when certain cable news channels bait them into doing so).

  3. #243
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    You're right, he could have meant FBI, it's hard to tell what Trump really means half of the time.



    People should always be aware of what they're reading and what its political game is. NYT is not innocent, CNN is not innocent, Fox is not innocent, Wikileaks is not innocent. They all serve lies at times. However the Trump phenomenon has flipped the switch to now apparently everything every media source (has he attacked Fox?) says is a lie, which is absurd. However as well, the sorts of lies told and the effects of the lies, great or small, are different. NYT has helped propagate state dept lies about wars but generally is pretty good on domestic topics, Fox lies about just about everything.
    And according to one high ranking former US diplomat whose name escapes me, to be truly informed, one ought to read the foreign press (citing the Financial Times and the Guardian).

  4. #244
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    yup. When your polices can't withstand debate, the only way forward is to shut down the debate.
    And when you do happen to corner a conservative partisan hack like Michelle Bachmann (I am recalling a particularly cacophonous but rather telling and also amusing CNN interview with Bachmann and Sanders side by side), they tend to repeat themselves and talk over you once they run out of things to say.

  5. #245
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    You are fooling yourself if you think the left doesn't do the exact same thing.

  6. #246
    Even had I said in categorical terms that I thought that it were entirely one sided, pointing out the hypocrisy of this macroscopic entity we are calling the left is sort of like snapping at your doctor for diagnosing a broken arm by protesting that surely she too has physical defects in her arm (say, arthritis).

  7. #247
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    Saying "well, the other guys do it too" is a shockingly poor defense.

  8. #248
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    But let's be honest here. Cut out all the bull****, and there are only three basic political beliefs:

    - Equal opportunities
    - Equal outcomes
    - Unequal opportunities

    Which one of these is the most difficult to defend honestly? Which one of these is traditionally associated with right-wing movements?

    Just a tiny hint about the scope of the problem on the mainstream right vs. among progressives. (N.B. the Democratic party is not progressive.)

  9. #249
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Saying "well, the other guys do it too" is a shockingly poor defense.
    It also happens to be a tactic shared by elementary school children and the KGB alike.

  10. #250
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Hey, I didn't say which side is the sloppy, stupid side, did I? But apparently I didn't need to.
    And I didn't pick a side. You just happened to pick one issue where the arguments are based on morality, one where the debate is over solutions, and one that doesn't really exist and then claimed there's only one correct side for each. I see what you did but most everyone else is probably sitting back like, "mm hmm."

  11. #251
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    I'm not defending the "right". I think the right sucks. I think the left sucks. I think they're both sets of *******s and they're both controlled by big money. I'm tired of all-or-nothing political parties where if I don't agree with every single one of your positions I'm some dumbass loser right-winger with a brain the size of a peanut. The fact is that both parties have candidates/members that prepare and stick to these stupid talking points and can't do anything but parrot them. During any political cycle it may happen more on the right or more on the left. Pointing out one or two doesn't add anything meaningful to the conversation and I find it funny that if you point out that some republicans do this you get a pass but if you point out that democrats also do this you get jumped on like you just spilled a billion gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    And I didn't pick a side. You just happened to pick one issue where the arguments are based on morality,
    A lazy and sloppy morality that's based around finger-waving rather than offering a better alternative. Because *****ing and law-making is easy, but making the world a better place is hard.

    one where the debate is over solutions,
    No, the debate was over existence. If that point has ever been conceded, it's only because it's now too late to do anything about it.

    and one that doesn't really exist
    Kansas and Texas public schools would appear to contradict your claim.

    and then claimed there's only one correct side for each.
    No, I claimed that there is one wrong side for each. The lazy, stupid, slothful, sloppy side. And usually it's the same group of people on the wrong side of all of these issues, because they're lazy, stupid, slothful, sloppy people.

    I see what you did but most everyone else is probably sitting back like, "mm hmm."
    Great.

  13. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I'm not defending the "right". I think the right sucks. I think the left sucks. I think they're both sets of *******s and they're both controlled by big money. I'm tired of all-or-nothing political parties where if I don't agree with every single one of your positions I'm some dumbass loser right-winger with a brain the size of a peanut. The fact is that both parties have candidates/members that prepare and stick to these stupid talking points and can't do anything but parrot them. During any political cycle it may happen more on the right or more on the left. Pointing out one or two doesn't add anything meaningful to the conversation and I find it funny that if you point out that some republicans do this you get a pass but if you point out that democrats also do this you get jumped on like you just spilled a billion gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico.
    Despite their branding, the Republicans and Democrats are both very much right-wing parties.

    And if you weren't defending the "right" by saying the left does it to... what were you doing? Nobody here said the left was innocent of doing it.

  14. #254
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    Dear pro-life Massassians (and sad conservatives Wookie06 and Sarn talk to on Facebook):

    You're morally opposed to abortion. Okay, great! That's your choice. Abortion is a very sad thing, and I think everybody agrees that every young child deserves the opportunity to live.

    So, how many kids are you fostering? Raised any money to support orphaned and impoverished children? Done any lobbying recently to improve funding for social services and child protective services? You doing any community outreach to get poor inner city kids into church, tutoring them to get into good schools, or mentoring them to get good jobs?

    I'm guessing no. That would be a lot of work, right? Putting in the minimum effort to support your moral beliefs is totally reasonable. I'm sure Jesus understands.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 01-25-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  15. #255
    As for the Chicago question of whether or not the President meant the National Guard or the F.B.I., either guess is as good a guess as any, since his tweet was no more than a reaction to the segment of the O`Reilly Factor he happened to be plugged into that evening.

    In other news, the US drastically reduces its funding and engagement with the United Nations.

  16. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Dear pro-life Massassians (and sad conservatives Wookie06 and Sarn talk to on Facebook):

    You're morally opposed to abortion. Okay, great! That's your choice. Abortion is a very sad thing, and I think everybody agrees that every young child deserves the opportunity to live.

    So, how many kids are you fostering? Raised any money to support orphaned and impoverished children? Done any lobbying recently to improve funding for social services and child protective services? You doing any community outreach to get poor inner city kids into church, tutoring them to get into good schools, or mentoring them to get good jobs?

    I'm guessing no. That would be a lot of work, right? Putting in the minimum effort to support your moral beliefs is totally reasonable. I'm sure Jesus understands.
    Minorities, particularly black women, have the highest rate of abortion due to unwanted pregnancy. Right-wingers have the highest rate of being white and racist toward minorities. It only makes sense that right-wingers would have not only the highest rate of being pro-life, but also of not caring about the children after birth. That is not to say anyone in this discussion is racist, as I don't believe they are and it's not particularly a term I like to throw around. I'm talking in terms of general probability.
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  17. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Dear pro-life Massassians (and sad conservatives Wookie06 and Sarn talk to on Facebook):

    You're morally opposed to abortion. Okay, great! That's your choice. Abortion is a very sad thing, and I think everybody agrees that every young child deserves the opportunity to live.

    So, how many kids are you fostering? Raised any money to support orphaned and impoverished children? Done any lobbying recently to improve funding for social services and child protective services? You doing any community outreach to get poor inner city kids into church, tutoring them to get into good schools, or mentoring them to get good jobs?

    I'm guessing no. That would be a lot of work, right? Putting in the minimum effort to support your moral beliefs is totally reasonable. I'm sure Jesus understands.
    This has got to be the most asinine post I've read in this thread. I'm going to make some equivalent asinine comments.

    If you support equal access to education, are you spending all your extra money putting other people's kids through college? Are you giving your time away for free to teach people your trade, whatever it may be? Are you writing textbooks and giving them away for free?

    If you support a higher minimum wage, are you giving any money you make over some reasonable standard of living to those that make less? Are you protesting outside fast food joints every night, demanding that the owners pay their workers more?

    Since you're not doing that, you're a lazy ******* and you're not entitled to any opinion on the subject. You can't possibly have any valid input anyway, since there is no possible way this subject matter has ever impacted your life or the lives of those around you. You are dumb and I am smart.

    Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

    There are countless injustices going on in this world every day and just because one feels a certain way about a certain class of injustice doesn't mean they are somehow morally obligated to devote their lives to combating that class of injustice. We all do what we can, and we do it in our own way, and maybe it won't have the impact we might wish but at least it's something.

  18. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    This has got to be the most asinine post I've read in this thread. I'm going to make some equivalent asinine comments.
    Super.

    If you support equal access to education, are you spending all your extra money putting other people's kids through college?
    Yes. I'm a supporter of tuition subsidies, needs-based grants and scholarships, and operating budget grants for academic institutions. I vote for politicians that support these kinds of policies. My province and country currently have such policies due to this popular support, and I gladly pay the taxes that support a program I consider so socially and culturally important. I want to create a couple of scholarship funds, but I don't have enough money to establish them. Hopefully some day I will.

    Are you giving your time away for free to teach people your trade, whatever it may be?
    Not currently, but I have done this. I've tutored both mathematics and computer science. I've also volunteered time to work on learning aids for grade 9 science students, and I've designed and implemented software assistants to help high school students navigate post-secondary enrollment and retain them when life events disrupt their studies, both difficult hurdles for less privileged students.

    Are you writing textbooks and giving them away for free?
    No, but I don't think I'm qualified to write a decent monograph, so I probably wouldn't feel comfortable charging for it if I did.

    If you support a higher minimum wage, are you giving any money you make over some reasonable standard of living to those that make less?
    I don't support a higher (or any) minimum wage. Minimum wage increases are only effective in the short term, and in the long term cause inflation and increased low-skill employment. Why would you think I would support increasing the minimum wage?

    Are you protesting outside fast food joints every night, demanding that the owners pay their workers more?
    Fast food restaurants here do not merely underpay their workers. They use foreign workers under the TFW program. Workers under this program are routinely abused, gouged on rent for sub-standard housing, have their passports withheld, and numerous other harms beyond low pay and uncompensated overtime. They are functionally an underclass of slave labor. So yes, it is safe to assume that I am somewhat displeased with these companies.

    Since you're not doing that, you're a lazy ******* and you're not entitled to any opinion on the subject. You can't possibly have any valid input anyway, since there is no possible way this subject matter has ever impacted your life or the lives of those around you. You are dumb and I am smart.
    Okay, well, TL;DR you're asking me "are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what is morally right", and I think the answer to that question is "yes", whether it's a question of volunteering my own time, or supporting government policies that help make those outcomes happen.

    And the answer for most pro-life people is "no". No, they are not willing to sacrifice to do what is right. They never have and they never will. Maybe it's unfair to demand pro-life activists to volunteer their own time to help the disadvantaged and unwanted children they helped create, but what about the social programs those same people fight against? What about the welfare and advocacy programs that conservative governments work slavishly to dismantle? Not only are pro-life activists denying women the opportunity to terminate her unwanted pregnancy, but those same people are working tirelessly to deny her any means to raise her child into a productive member of society.

    Pro-life advocates could spend their energy making abortion unnecessary instead of merely illegal, but they don't want to do that because it is hard and requires compassion. Insisting that someone stop a behavior without offering them a possible alternative is not a moral act done out of goodness, it is torture, done out of cruelty and evil and an empty, godless soul. And that's exactly how most of these people comport themselves.

    Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

    There are countless injustices going on in this world every day and just because one feels a certain way about a certain class of injustice doesn't mean they are somehow morally obligated to devote their lives to combating that class of injustice. We all do what we can, and we do it in our own way, and maybe it won't have the impact we might wish but at least it's something.
    Right wing pseudo-christian prosperity gospel pro-life anti-welfare nutjobs don't help anybody or make the world a better place in any way at all. The only thing they do is push back a poor kids' death date from -0.5 years to +17 years when he gets shot by a cop, and you damn well know it.

    WONTFIX NOTABUG, am I rite???
    Last edited by Jon`C; 01-26-2017 at 12:48 AM.

  19. #259
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    I don't think the amount of time/effort/money you listed in your post in any way equates to the amount of time/effort/money it takes to raise a foster or adopted child. So you pay taxes and you vote. yay. It seems like you're holding those uncomfortable with abortion to a higher standard than yourself.

    I'm reading back in the thread, I can't find any psuedo-christian prosperity gospel pro-life anti-welfare nutjobs, do you see any?

  20. #260
    I'm reading back in the thread, I can't find any psuedo-christian prosperity gospel pro-life anti-welfare nutjobs, do you see any?
    Well there's at least one member who failed to vote in a way which could possibly have stopped such a person from becoming vice president, on account of his political beliefs.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-26-2017 at 12:58 AM.

  21. #261
    The only thing they do is push back a poor kids' death date from -0.5 years to +17 years when he gets shot by a cop, and you damn well know it.
    Or even more likely, gets shot by someone in his own neighbourhood, because a bunch of conservatives who just happen to live far enough away from the city that they won't likely suffer the same fate thought that religious adherence to an 18th century document was more important than sensible gun laws.

    But, you know, it couldn't have been helped anyway because they're all just animals. Who cares if they shoot each other?

  22. #262
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I don't think the amount of time/effort/money you listed in your post in any way equates to the amount of time/effort/money it takes to raise a foster or adopted child. So you pay taxes and you vote. yay. It seems like you're holding those uncomfortable with abortion to a higher standard than yourself.
    The man already addressed this, re-read his post.

  23. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I don't think the amount of time/effort/money you listed in your post in any way equates to the amount of time/effort/money it takes to raise a foster or adopted child. So you pay taxes and you vote. yay. It seems like you're holding those uncomfortable with abortion to a higher standard than yourself.
    Yeah, but let's have some perspective here. I'm not the one telling poor girls that they deserve to have their lives ruined because they got raped.

    I'm reading back in the thread, I can't find any psuedo-christian prosperity gospel pro-life anti-welfare nutjobs, do you see any?
    Pro-life correlates with Christian evangelism, conservatism, and opposition to welfare and social programs. You know this. Don't be a butt.

  24. #264
    God intended for that rape to happen.

  25. #265
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    If that unwanted rape baby were a good person, God would have born him to a rich family.

  26. #266
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    You know, Brian, for the record, I would be perfectly happy if Christian conservatives paid their taxes and advocated for policies that paid down the social costs of their moral choices. You know, like what I do by "voting and paying taxes". I really would! Honest! But they... like,... don't? All they ever actually seem to do is impose their morality upon others without actually bearing the costs of those policies. I've given you my theory for why that is (i.e. they are evil), but you seem to disagree so I'd be very interested to hear why you think that is. I'd also be interested in hearing what you think is a tenable solution for this particular social problem.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 01-26-2017 at 01:14 AM.

  27. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Being anti-something isn't difficult either.
    Hey look I think we've found our theme

  28. #268
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    The problem with many, if not most, Conservative Christians, as the "New Atheists" have so often pointed out, is that they don't get their values from the bible, as they think they do. They instead seek justification for their biases after the fact. Hate fags? There's a scripture for that. Hate women? There's an entire book for that. The scripture doesn't precisely correlate with your bias? Stretch its meaning. The New Testament conflicts with the Old? Ignore the New. If you want to know whether or not someone is an ******* full of hatred, just ask them questions about the bible, & determine whether or not they swing more Old Testament or New. These sorts of folks, due to Trump's rhetoric, now think they have more than enough support to finally say all of the terrible things they've been thinking. I was raised in a hateful religious atmosphere like this & have heard the very **** that's now becoming more common, for my entire life. "Everyone is born knowing who Jesus is, & anyone, including infants, who doesn't accept him as their savior, will burn in hell for eternity." "African babies starving or dying of AIDS aren't actually real people, but instead just dumb animals created by God as examples for the rest of us." (Sins of the parents.) "People of "The World" are all going to hell, & if you befriend them, they'll sway you into joining them." "Men, you are responsible for keeping your woman in line, even if you have to get physical, & women, you're here to treat your husband like a king." Some of you may think that these sorts of statements are extreme, but I belonged to the Pentecostal church, that continues to grow, & has approximately 300 million followers as of 2014. They're also friendly with the Evangelical movement. This isn't even the worst case of Christianity. While the media dissects precisely what happened to permit Trump to be elected, & when they mention these flyover states, let's not overlook the fact that there's a lot of people in these areas that subscribe to this sort of thinking & these sorts of ideas & that they love to vote for someone that they think has their biases. They're willing to overlook Trump's shortcomings, not because they think he's born again or a good Christian, but because deep down they know (the few that are capable of introspection) that they share his biases & can use their holy text to justify them, which helps them sleep at night.
    Last edited by Mentat; 01-26-2017 at 08:56 AM.
    ? :)

  29. #269
    I spent years living in rural Nova Scotia (lol... as if there was part of Nova Scotia that isn't rural) and became quite intimate with a religious community there, albeit temporarily. It was new to me entirely, because I wasn't raised in a very religious home or hometown. I was raised in a big city, and didn't grow up with a very strong sense of community.

    I saw that there was (what seemed to me) near-draconian enforcement of certain beliefs, that, at least as a city-dweller. It seemed obtrusive to me -- herd mentality. It mattered much more that people believed a certain set of orthodox beliefs than where I grew up, where you could believe anything you want; there was some room for disagreement, as long as you signed on to some basic premises. People's religious convictions led them to an interesting mix of some very progressive views, with some very conservative views about things like gay marriage and abortion. But what I saw was that the theological commitments were quite sincere, and not merely a useful cover for seething resentment. As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    It seems completely cynical -- but also all too common amongst progressives -- to claim that if people disagree with the progressive agenda, it must be because of hatred rooted in some unresolved psychological or sociological issue. I'm sure in many cases, there are many people and even communities where unsavory feelings dominate, and illiberal beliefs are justification for them. But it's difficult for me to square with many of my own experiences. (And I shouldn't say that my own personal experiences were entirely positive. Even if in this fairly enlightened community, I was permanently an outsider, who would never be fully accepted as a member, because of my background.) And it's difficult for me to square with my conviction that people, in general, are good.

    Call it my Obamaian optimism?

  30. #270
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    Ok, so you guys are saying that since someone voted for Trump, they now support rape and forcing someone to have a child that was conceived by being raped. That's like saying someone who votes for Clinton supports big money and Wall Street. Or banning guns. Or any other of dozens or hundreds of her views that you may disagree with but voted for her anyway. You can turn this exact argument around and say that voting for Clinton means you agree that women should use abortion as a normal form of birth control (instead of, you know, a condom). You're picking the most extreme case, with which many "conservatives" will actually agree with you, and condemning an entire person, forever. It's ridiculous.

    As I've mentioned previously, the whole abortion issue is a very complex issue and just saying, "oh since you don't have a foster child you have no right to a view on the subject" is brushing all the complexity away. I don't think a vote for Trump was a vote for rape. It was a vote for "not Clinton." She's a scumbag, too; don't pretend otherwise.

    I'm also sort of appalled at the opinions here of "Christians" in general. I was raised Catholic and attended many Catholic and Protestant activities when I was a kid (bible school, church camp, sunday school, etc.), and I continued to go to church (not Catholic) into adulthood after I got married. In the past ~10 years we mostly don't go anymore but I've never been to any Christian church where they preached anything but love, tolerance, helpfulness towards each other, etc. They do ask for help with foster kids, exchange students, end-of-life care, donations for food bank or those in need, etc. The two most recent churches we went to were led by women and all of the churches we had been to spoke out against discrimination and hate (racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc.). I know some of these right-wing-nut-job-preachers you love to hate are all over the news sometimes, but that's why they are on the news -- because they're crazy nut jobs. They are not representative.

  31. #271
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Despite their branding, the Republicans and Democrats are both very much right-wing parties.
    This.

    I think -and I sincerely don't mean this in a disrespectful way, because we all have our cultural blind spots- a lot of Americans don't even realize exactly how very right wing American politics are, and how very widespread the prejudice and misconceptions of left wing politics are in the US.

    Being a western European, it's outright bizarre to see Americans discussing politics. Socialism is used as a dirty word. It's like the red scare was so successful in indoctrinating the people that the effects have never really ebbed away. It's like there's not even a realization that there's a lot of modern day varieties on social democracy. There's all kinds of models that balance the government regulated sector with the privatized sector in all sorts of degrees. But it seems like in the US any mention of the word social is equated to the ancient concept of communism. In the Netherlands we've had an age of privatizing government owned companies, and we're slowly starting to see the huge drawbacks of -for instance- privatizing health care. They wanted to leave things to the market with the idea that it would get better and cheaper, and guess what. It didn't get better and it's fast becoming unaffordable.

    What Americans call liberals, we call progressives. If we talk about liberals, we mean the right wing parties for the rich people that want to leave everything to the market. It has nothing to do with social issues at all, just economic issues.

    It's confusing sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    But let's be honest here. Cut out all the bull****, and there are only three basic political beliefs:

    - Equal opportunities
    - Equal outcomes
    - Unequal opportunities
    Yeah, one could also say it's basically altruism on one side and egoism on the other side, and everything in between.

    The right tends to think the left are pussies for having so much empathy. Not only that, the right tends to believe people can't be helped by actually helping them, and will only learn to fend for themselves by leaving them to their own devices. Which obviously is a convenient excuse to look only after yourself.

    The sad reality is when we actually apply that principle, most of the wealth and power will be distributed among a small, privileged minority taking advantage, and the masses are suffering for it.
    Last edited by ORJ_JoS; 01-26-2017 at 01:06 PM.

  32. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Ok, so you guys are saying that since someone voted for Trump, they now support rape and forcing someone to have a child that was conceived by being raped. That's like saying someone who votes for Clinton supports big money and Wall Street. Or banning guns. Or any other of dozens or hundreds of her views that you may disagree with but voted for her anyway. You can turn this exact argument around and say that voting for Clinton means you agree that women should use abortion as a normal form of birth control (instead of, you know, a condom). You're picking the most extreme case, with which many "conservatives" will actually agree with you, and condemning an entire person, forever. It's ridiculous.
    I've been talking about people with a very specific political agenda, the outlawing of abortions. Nobody here has generalized this to all Trump supporters.

    As I've mentioned previously, the whole abortion issue is a very complex issue and just saying, "oh since you don't have a foster child you have no right to a view on the subject" is brushing all the complexity away.
    I'll repeat myself since you chose not to read this:

    The same voter bloc is also opposed to welfare and effective social services. It's not JUST that they don't volunteer their time or money, it's that they believe we shouldn't even have the social programs we have today. They demand an unbalanced portfolio to satisfy their morality, but don't recognize (and are not willing to pay) the costs of those decisions.

    I don't think a vote for Trump was a vote for rape. It was a vote for "not Clinton." She's a scumbag, too; don't pretend otherwise.
    Nobody here has ever said Clinton is not a scumbag. You are imagining things.

    I'm also sort of appalled at the opinions here of "Christians" in general. I was raised Catholic and attended many Catholic and Protestant activities when I was a kid (bible school, church camp, sunday school, etc.), and I continued to go to church (not Catholic) into adulthood after I got married. In the past ~10 years we mostly don't go anymore but I've never been to any Christian church where they preached anything but love, tolerance, helpfulness towards each other, etc. They do ask for help with foster kids, exchange students, end-of-life care, donations for food bank or those in need, etc. The two most recent churches we went to were led by women and all of the churches we had been to spoke out against discrimination and hate (racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc.). I know some of these right-wing-nut-job-preachers you love to hate are all over the news sometimes, but that's why they are on the news -- because they're crazy nut jobs. They are not representative.
    I'm a Christian, but I don't attend church because it's against my religion.

    The problem isn't Christianity. It's evangelism, it's the prosperity gospel. It's the honest belief that you have plenty IF AND ONLY IF you are blessed by God, that you have more than others because you are a good person, and that poor people deserve it because they're sinful. It's the belief that you can pray away financial problems. It's huge, multi-campus churches organized around one professional worshiper with a suspiciously nice car.

    I've attended services at an evangelical church, and they're nothing like anything else I've ever seen. I've seen them squander precious donations on vanity projects. I've spoken with and befriended lower-income evangelical true believers and I've seen how utterly trapped they are by the prosperity gospel, how humiliated they are at their own circumstances, but how much their beliefs drain their agency to fix the problem.

    Evangelical "christianity" isn't Christianity. It is a tremendous, unchristian monster. And I firmly believe that it is responsible for much of the evil that happens in the western world.

    "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

  33. #273
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    I'm going to just pick one thing out of what you said because I feel like we're just talking in circles and I can't make sense out of most of the rest.

    The same voter bloc is also opposed to welfare and effective social services.
    I disagree. I don't know anyone who is against effective social services. The problem is that we disagree about what works. Here in Seattle they are trying to set up government-sponsored places where druggies can shoot up "safely." And yet there are news stories about how some druggy high on something-or-other stole a car and ran over and killed someone. The "progressives" go way too far and need someone to reign them in. Ok, so the drug addict now doesn't get aids from shooting up using dirty needles. But he still goes out, steals a car, and kills someone with it. It doesn't matter how safe you make the needle! I don't know how much more money you want us to spend; the county I live in raises the sales tax every couple of years for health and social services. We just did it again. Every time the voters are asked for a tax increase for schools, welfare programs, mental health programs, drug programs, you name it, the voters around here approve it. I don't see any positive changes though; we still have drug addicts, we still have people camping on the nature trails, leaving needles and litter and feces and whatever else, we still have people begging for money on the side of the road (despite having gobs of low income housing, free job training, free abortions, free food, free child care, free everything). And all the progressives just want more money for more social programs. All the social programs do is pay for more ineffective social workers.

    I'm sorry, but I'm just getting sick of it. I'm sick of paying out the ass for **** that does not work. Did you know that in Washington State high school juniors and seniors can ditch high school their last two years and go to community college instead? The state (taxpayers) will pay the tuition. Thus, when you graduate high school, you will also get an associates degree from a community college. And all your family has to pay for is books! That is great! I love it! Except the community college system is designed to suck taxpayer money and it provides almost no value whatsoever. The education provided by local high schools is better and cheaper. Yet we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding the community colleges (which are all run by progressive liberals, by the way). When I graduated the local community college (technical program) and couldn't find a job, I talked to the others that graduated with me and guess what? None of them could find a job! Not one! So I went into the career placement office at the college and talked to them. It turns out that not only did they not actually help with career placement, they do not even attempt to track whether graduates of their programs ever get employed using the "skills" they learned. They have no idea if what they are "teaching" has any value whatsoever. Yet they suck up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. That technical program should be wiped off the map. It should receive no government funding whatsoever. "Progressives" are so focused on regulating industry that they never stop and think about regulating the government institutions themselves.

    So forgive me if I'm hesitant to vote yes on yet another social program that won't work. How about this? Make it a temporary program with clear goals, spending limits, a real plan, measurable results, and cancel the damn tax and shut down the program if it doesn't work. Show me the data. Prove that the program works. Prove that people are getting out of poverty and staying out of poverty. Stop sending people to school to get psychology degrees. Set people up for success, not failure.

  34. #274
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post

    The problem isn't Christianity. It's evangelism, it's the prosperity gospel. It's the honest belief that you have plenty IF AND ONLY IF you are blessed by God, that you have more than others because you are a good person, and that poor people deserve it because they're sinful. It's the belief that you can pray away financial problems. It's huge, multi-campus churches organized around one professional worshiper with a suspiciously nice car.

    Those are antithetical positions. Evangelicals by and large, STRONGLY oppose prosperity gospel as heresy. Prosperity gospel grew out of charismatic and Pentecostal movements, and while there are both mystical and self-help varieties, all of them tend toward watered down theological liberalism out of necessity. It isn't possible to read an even marginally coherent narrative of prosperity gospel into the Bible, so you basically are stuck either ignoring the Bible, or denying it. Mainstream liberal Christianity does the same thing, since they are essentially trying to reconcile popular cultural values with documents from thousands of years ago. Mainstream evangelicalism suffers from a lack of Biblical literacy, but it does makes an attempt to understand and follow Biblical values for what they are, rather than a platform for self-affirming prosperity, or a comfortable set of values that boil down to "being nice to everyone".

  35. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I'm going to just pick one thing out of what you said because I feel like we're just talking in circles and I can't make sense out of most of the rest.
    That's pretty sad, dude.

    I disagree. I don't know anyone who is against effective social services. The problem is that we disagree about what works. Here in Seattle they are trying to set up government-sponsored places where druggies can shoot up "safely." And yet there are news stories about how some druggy high on something-or-other stole a car and ran over and killed someone. The "progressives" go way too far and need someone to reign them in. Ok, so the drug addict now doesn't get aids from shooting up using dirty needles. But he still goes out, steals a car, and kills someone with it. It doesn't matter how safe you make the needle! I don't know how much more money you want us to spend; the county I live in raises the sales tax every couple of years for health and social services. We just did it again. Every time the voters are asked for a tax increase for schools, welfare programs, mental health programs, drug programs, you name it, the voters around here approve it. I don't see any positive changes though; we still have drug addicts, we still have people camping on the nature trails, leaving needles and litter and feces and whatever else, we still have people begging for money on the side of the road (despite having gobs of low income housing, free job training, free abortions, free food, free child care, free everything). And all the progressives just want more money for more social programs. All the social programs do is pay for more ineffective social workers.

    I'm sorry, but I'm just getting sick of it. I'm sick of paying out the ass for **** that does not work. Did you know that in Washington State high school juniors and seniors can ditch high school their last two years and go to community college instead? The state (taxpayers) will pay the tuition. Thus, when you graduate high school, you will also get an associates degree from a community college. And all your family has to pay for is books! That is great! I love it! Except the community college system is designed to suck taxpayer money and it provides almost no value whatsoever. The education provided by local high schools is better and cheaper. Yet we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding the community colleges (which are all run by progressive liberals, by the way). When I graduated the local community college (technical program) and couldn't find a job, I talked to the others that graduated with me and guess what? None of them could find a job! Not one! So I went into the career placement office at the college and talked to them. It turns out that not only did they not actually help with career placement, they do not even attempt to track whether graduates of their programs ever get employed using the "skills" they learned. They have no idea if what they are "teaching" has any value whatsoever. Yet they suck up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. That technical program should be wiped off the map. It should receive no government funding whatsoever. "Progressives" are so focused on regulating industry that they never stop and think about regulating the government institutions themselves.

    So forgive me if I'm hesitant to vote yes on yet another social program that won't work. How about this? Make it a temporary program with clear goals, spending limits, a real plan, measurable results, and cancel the damn tax and shut down the program if it doesn't work. Show me the data. Prove that the program works. Prove that people are getting out of poverty and staying out of poverty. Stop sending people to school to get psychology degrees. Set people up for success, not failure.
    Okay, that's nice. You've identified a government program that isn't working the way you would like it to work. Are you gonna suggest an alternative that DOES work? Edit: And no, suggesting how to generalize shutting down social programs is not proposing an effective alternative social program.

    This is exactly what talking about. Ban abortion, ban social programs because they're ineffective, and don't propose anything else to fill the gap. Because pointing out problems is easy, but thinking of solutions is hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    Those are antithetical positions. Evangelicals by and large, STRONGLY oppose prosperity gospel as heresy. Prosperity gospel grew out of charismatic and Pentecostal movements, and while there are both mystical and self-help varieties, all of them tend toward watered down theological liberalism out of necessity. It isn't possible to read an even marginally coherent narrative of prosperity gospel into the Bible, so you basically are stuck either ignoring the Bible, or denying it. Mainstream liberal Christianity does the same thing, since they are essentially trying to reconcile popular cultural values with documents from thousands of years ago. Mainstream evangelicalism suffers from a lack of Biblical literacy, but it does makes an attempt to understand and follow Biblical values for what they are, rather than a platform for self-affirming prosperity, or a comfortable set of values that boil down to "being nice to everyone".
    There's theological evangelicalism (which is basically ancient, and almost every protestant denomination follows it to a certain degree). Then you have charismatic evangelism/televangelism/megachurch-mcchurch evangelism, with their feel-good sermons, rich pastors, and gigantic trans- or non-denominational upper-middle class congregations. The prosperity gospel is inconsistent with evangelical theology (and any legitimate Christian theology) but these types of churches and congregations are a fertile breeding ground for the idea in practice.

    Don't talk to the adults about theology, talk to the youth about faith. That's how you learn what's really being taught. And I promise, out of a so-called mainstream evangelical church, you'll hear them talk about charismatic Pentecostal **** like speaking in tongues a hell of a lot more than you'd ever expect.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 01-26-2017 at 03:17 PM.

  36. #276
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    For one, I never said ban abortion. For two, you quoted where I suggested something different.

    The people who run the social programs need incentives to make sure they work, not just incentives to pad their own pockets. And I didn't only give one example of a single failed program, either. This conversation is just getting silly (as usual).

  37. #277
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    For one, I never said ban abortion. For two, you quoted where I suggested something different.
    I never said you did. But I did say it's the same reasoning: see a problem, ban the problem, ban the alternative because it's ineffective, don't present alternatives.

    The people who run the social programs need incentives to make sure they work, not just incentives to pad their own pockets.
    What incentives would you offer them? How would you measure and define success? Who is responsible for that evaluation? What percentage of program money are you willing to spend on evaluation and administration of the incentive program? Where is your evidence that the incentive program improves overall results enough to justify the cost of the extra bureaucracy of the incentive program?

    And I didn't only give one example of a single failed program, either. This conversation is just getting silly (as usual).
    I'll concede that: you gave several examples of social programs to curtail without suggesting better alternatives. Not sure that's better.

  38. #278
    My sneaking suspicion for the reason conservatives see the stinking conditions in which people live in as a glass half full, worthy of being grateful to the Lord for (rather than half empty and thus in need of refilling) is that they've been forced to piously accept such conditions for themselves (perhaps for reasons which correlate with their continuing inability to reason themselves out of conservative and / or corrupted religious ideology), hence their addiction to thinking in terms of scarcity and always harping on deficit spending, etc.

    "If I can't have it, then nobody can."
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 01-26-2017 at 04:18 PM.

  39. #279
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    Hang on, I have more questions:

    What is the recourse if the program fails to incentivize a school? How do you plan to compensate for the socioeconomic statuses and involvement of parents? What's your evidence that the program is failing because the administrators aren't trying hard enough vs. the unrealistic expectations of students in a market that is probably glutted with associates degrees, especially when trying to enter industries dominated by bachelor's degrees?

    I don't actually expect you have the answers to these questions. Policy issues are really frickin' hard. It's very very hard to get these things right. Teams of people probably spent years planning out these failing programs, trying to figure out how to achieve their social goals without a huge downside. They failed, but that doesn't mean they're dumb or that the right answer is easy, or that a program that fails in some ways can be safely abolished without horrible consequences in others. (PPACA comes to mind.)

    So like I said, it's easy to point a finger at a program that isn't working. It's easy to put pressure on these things, come up with ways that they can be systematically eliminated if they don't perform up to your standard. But it's hard to create real alternatives. And that's the work that desperately needs doing.

  40. #280
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    It doesn't help that churches have been a propaganda vector for the powerful elites for a while, now.

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