Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Previous Fields

  • Political Party:
    No Party/Other

Recent Profile Visitors

3,757 profile views
  1. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    You guys are doing a fine job and I don't want to interrupt, but one term is not clear to me. What is "absence of scarcity"? I'm thinking it must have some meaning other than the literal, since the literal makes no sense. There will always be scarcity.
  2. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    I think the reason flawed examples of socialism have tarnished the name (while flawed examples of democracy do not) is that there are so few 'good' examples of pure (or even semi-pure) socialism to counter the bad. Part of the defamation logic goes something like this: Socialism gives more power to the state and a more powerful state is more easily corrupted by the leaders, therefore too much socialism leads to a totalitarian regime. Then, they point to all the bad examples I'm sure you're familiar with. Lenin may and his contemporaries may have destroyed socialism in Russia as you say, but that's no defense against the arguments of those who are against it...it's too easily corrupted. For me, the critical point is: how much is too much? We just need to find the sweet spot, which I believe is a moving target depending on a nation's culture, economic development, education, morals, and other circumstances. It looks to me like its time for the USA to add to its social welfare programs.
  3. So, all we need to do is establish some minimum level of education and/or intelligence as a prerequisite for voting?
  4. I don't understand. When I read the article, statements like "But U.S. recyclers soon found new buyers and destinations for Americans’ garbage, particularly their plastic waste." made me think the Malaysians were buying our recyclable waste. It's not like we're forcing it on them or even paying them to take it. It sounds like they bought more than they have the capacity to recycle. Everything you said about Trump and his EPA is probably true, but I don't know what that has to do with this case. What should our new progressive government do? Not allow other countries to buy our recyclables? The article explains "...since sorting is such a labor-intensive exercise, it usually doesn’t make economic sense for many recyclers in the U.S. and other developed countries." If we don't allow them to buy the recyclable trash, then it stays here, and we would need to find people to do that 'labor intensive' work. Digging through trash to sort into piles...I'm sure those jobs would be even harder to fill than seasonal agriculture work.
  5. Renegade

    Good Job, AOC!

    I believe she's very smart, but AOC's "style" drives me crazy. She specializes in provocative, over-the-top, outrageous statements that will show up in sound bites. This style seems very similar to the techniques that allowed Trump to win the Republican nomination in 2016. When AOC is dominating media coverage, it makes things much more difficult for other Democrats to be heard. How long before the other national figures adopt this style? Trump started it, but now I expect it will become the norm...another step backward in American political discourse.
  6. I feel some small amount of pride for the Berlin Wall coming down, because I played an infinitesimally small part in that. I suppose I also feel some small amount of shame for the Iraq War since my opposition at the time was rather tepid. My pride or shame is inextricably bound to my responsibility and my role...my own personal action or inaction. Does your intelligent person feel this pride/shame only for the accomplishments they contributed to? Or is it for all accomplishments since the Revolutionary War? The first option makes sense to me. The second does not. Since this discussion started, I've done some reading on shame. Here's the clinical definition of shame: "a highly unpleasant self-conscious emotion arising from the sense of there being something dishonorable, immodest, or indecorous in one’s own conduct or circumstances" (emphasis added). American Psychological Association. I also learned that excessive shame is unhealthy. To continue with the APA's entry for shame... " It is typically characterized by withdrawal from social intercourse—for example, by hiding or distracting the attention of another from one’s shameful action—which can have a profound effect on psychological adjustment and interpersonal relationships. Shame may motivate not only avoidant behavior but also defensive, retaliative anger. Psychological research consistently reports a relationship between proneness to shame and a host of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, subclinical sociopathy, and low self-esteem." Is it possible you feel sadness (rather than shame) that your country makes has made mistakes? Isn't this emotion you feel for things beyond your control different from the emotion you feel when you personally do something shameful? I don't think we're that different at all. I think we're just using different words to describe the same emotions. A pet peeve of mine is when people use a word that doesn't mean what they think it does. I don't think the emotion you're feeling is properly called 'shame'. This whole disagreement was likely just a matter of semantics.
  7. I didn't intend to do that. I honestly don't understand the difference between saying 'they should feel shame' and 'blaming' them. If today's Germans not to blame, then why should they feel shame? Are you saying shame is genetic? Should all people of German descent feel this shame? Or, is shame geopolitical? Should a Turkish immigrant who earns German citizenship (and there are many) feel shame for what "their countrymen" did in WW II? If the answer is yes, please help me see why. How do you decide which screw ups to feel shame for? If I understand you correctly, I'm supposed to be ashamed because too many voters in Michigan went for Trump? But, I'm not required to feel shame if a priest in Michigan molests children? I don't understand the distinction. Which actions by people in Michigan bring me shame and which ones don't? Up until now, I thought it was simple: if I did it, I own it. If I didn't do it, it's not my fault and I feel no shame. I don't think that's the reason. I lived in Germany for 3 years and I've traveled to many other countries for work and pleasure. I have had people confront me about this or that US action. I have no problem explaining the ones I agree with or disowning the ones I don't. If I don't agree with something (Iraq War, for example), I tell them. I say "You're right. I don't agree with that action either. But, I'm just one person. Here's what the people who supported that were thinking..." Some accept it and some don't. But, in no case did I feel shame. It does get tiresome when ignorant people think all Americans support whatever action the country pursues. I also found that Germans were really tired of being blamed for WW II and WW I. At least you're consistent. If you're going to take the shame, you should take the pride too. But, I feel neither. I made no contribution to the moon landing. I was too young even to support it with my taxes, so I feel no pride for this. Perhaps. I didn't choose the USA. Now that you've chosen to become a US citizen, you feel shame for things that happened before? Just to be sure I understand correctly (please correct me where I'm wrong) here's what I hear your rules to be: I should feel shame if... 1) Someone did something wrong, and 2) A third person perceives that I'm associated with the wrongdoing person. So, if you are perceived as belonging to group X and a member of group X does something wrong, then you should feel shame. Examples: 1) I'm a member of the Chicago Police Department. A Chicago Police Department officer commits a heinous crime. I should feel shame. 2) I'm a Muslim (or Christian). Muslims blew up a school for girls (Christians conducted crusades). I should feel shame. 3) I'm white (or black). A white (or black) person commits a hate crime. I should feel shame. 4) I'm an American. Many Americans voted for Trump. I should feel shame. 5) I'm an American. Many Americans commit murder (pollute, steal, rape, discriminate, etc.). I should feel shame. To me, these examples look like they all meet your rules for feeling blame. But, I think there must be another rule that I'm missing? Please help me see where I've got it wrong. At this point, I'm only trying to understand. This 'shame for the actions of others' thing is new to me. I will try to take a step back from my earlier criticism and withhold judgement until I have a better understanding.
  8. I think people identify too closely with their group, whether it's a political party, religion, race, or country. Because of this close identification, they feel a need to defend that group in all circumstances, past, present, and future. They'll rationalize all manner of bad behavior because they see any criticism of the group as a criticism of them personally. This tribalism is part of our genetic makeup, but I still believe it's something we can overcome. I felt so much better once I stopped trying to be a member of some group. Once I didn't have to defend all those bad actions (and every group has them) I was able to give up all the mental gymnastics of trying to justify actions I didn't approve of. As member of no team I don't have to defend Republican hate or Democrat hypocrisy. I don't have to defend abusive Catholic priests or Muslim school bombers. I don't have to defend the oppression of Palestinians or the persecution of Jews. I don't have to justify Hiroshima or Pearl Harbor. As a member of a group, you either find some rationalization to justify the group's mistakes, or you accept the shame and guilt of supporting people that do bad things. As a man without a group, I get to call 'em as I see 'em without shame or convoluted illogical justifications. I'm sure I still have my blind spots, but there's no question that I'm in a better state of mind by being group-free. I try to be cautious when judging people of the past by today's moral and ethical standards. If you haven't lived their life, had their experiences, and dealt with their challenges, you might be misjudging. I'm sure that someday, we'll be judged against a standard that we can't even imagine today. That said, here are my thoughts on your 'if I had the power' topics. Abolish slavery before it starts? Absolutely! I wonder how it ever got started in the first place? Just hypothesizing, but I can imagine some poor, cold, desperate, hungry primitive begging a comparatively well-fed tribe to accept him. Some in the tribe would be against it. "He'll eat the food that my children need." Eventually the tribe agrees, but he has to be a 'slave'. The tribe finds that they can offload all the worst chores onto the slave. "Cool! Let's get another one." The tribe prospers and the practice spreads and millions of people suffer for it thousands of years later. What was the root cause? Tribalism. "He's not one of us. He belongs to some other group." Mistreatment of the Indians? You only want to minimize it? Why not completely avoid it as with slavery? Was it necessary for Europeans to settle in America? Perhaps they could have joined the culture they found instead of destroying it? Dropping a bomb in the ocean might not have even been noticed. Or, it might have created a tidal wave and killed even more than the Hiroshima bombing. I don't know the science of that. I wonder if they knew it in 1945? There had only been one nuclear explosion up to that point, so they had very little data. But, your point is well taken. I wonder how hard they tried to find other options than the one selected. There are books on that topic but I haven't read them. I'll try to add one to your list: Abraham Lincoln. So far as I know, every other nation in the world managed to abolish slavery without a war. Lincoln "screwed up big-time" and 750,000 people died (far more than Hiroshima). The shock waves of that war still echo. If I had the power, I'd help Lincoln find a peaceful resolution, even if it meant delaying emancipation by a few years.
  9. That sounds like some people who are wrong. If you're waiting for the last person in America to agree before we can say we have "come to terms with it", I can assure you it will never happen. Some people will always be wrong. You can still find flat-earth defenders. Has America not come to terms with the round planet? If you're blaming today's Germans for WW II (wanting them to feel shame), then I'd say you're the one who hasn't "come to terms". It's over. Those people are dead. Blaming great-grandchildren for what their ancestors did is wrong. This is something you control (your blame) and I think you should feel ashamed if you blame innocent people for things they had no part of. I believe this is a source of much hatred in the world...this blaming of innocent people for things they didn't do. Too many people are ready to lump a whole country or region or race or religion into one pile and say: these people did bad things. I won't do it. If that is your philosophy (accepting shame whenever anyone in the USA screws up), I don't know how you have room for any other emotions. There's not a tick of the clock that goes by without my countrymen screwing up "big-time". Whether it's corruption, pollution, murder, child abuse, or any number of other foul deeds, the wicked never rest. If you feel shame for all this, how do you bear the burden? The world may choose to blame me for Donald Trump. I can't control that. But, I don't have to accept shame. I've done nothing wrong, unless it's somehow wrong to draw breath in this country. If that's the standard for feeling shame, then I think 'feeling shame' loses any meaning or impact it might have.
  10. I don't understand. What does it mean to "come to terms with slavery or the civil war"? With regard to Trump, I don't know if I feel 'shame' or not. It definitely doesn't make me feel good that he's the President. But, to me, shame (or pride) should be based on what I did (or didn't do)...not what someone else did. When his actions cause others think less of America, that makes me unhappy. But, is that shame? I'm also unhappy with Venezuela's President and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't say that's shame. In my opinion, feelings of shame should only exist if accompanied by responsibility. I don't feel responsible for him being President and therefore no shame. I don't think I should feel shame for things that are beyond my control. Shame is defined as "a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior." My behavior has not been wrong or foolish with regard to any of topics you mentioned (Trump, slavery, Indian genocide, Hiroshima). I spoke/voted against Trump and the others happened before I was even born. Why should I feel shame from someone else's behavior?
  11. Would it be wrong for me to change my voter registration to Republican just so I could vote against him in the primaries too? I'm actually halfway serious. If the Republicans should somehow win Presidency again, I really don't want it to be this Republican.
  12. Renegade

    Corporate Personhood

    It sounds sort of like NHB, but only in the left ear.
  13. Renegade

    Jobs, with robotics, going forward

    These people are certainly in short supply, and it has nothing to do with robots or technology. It amazes me how little effort many people put into 'likeability'. They really don't care about their coworkers. They don't care if they're liked. They don't care about the customers. 'Just gimme a paycheck and leave me alone.' One workcenter had 4 of these out 15 people. It doesn't sound like a lot. But, when you've got 4 people who piss off customers, disrupt meetings, miss training, call in sick constantly, leave work without coordination and don't care to do any better...it affects everyone. Fire 'em you say? Oh, no. Not allowed. Every single one of them can claim protection of some sort (age, sex, religion, etc.)...even old white guys. One of my supervisors (an 50+ yr old white guy) filed an EEO complaint against his manager for age discrimination because we asked him to perform work that his employees could/should have done. He said it was beneath his position...not in his job description. We were picking on him. No. We had a growing backlog of customer orders not being filled. The section he supervised was supposed to fill those orders. We needed him to temporarily do some of the work that his employees did (they were short-handed and refused to work overtime) while we hired more staff. It wasn't punishment. We took some of his other work off to free up his time. He was still getting paid the supervisor rate for every single hour. Age discrimination, my ass. Sometimes, it's not about 'you'. Sometimes it's about the team. Team player is an over-used and under-appreciated term. Ask them what they think 'team player' means. Many seem to think it means 'I do my job and I go home'. No. A team player does what needs to be done for the team to succeed. Me too. When I was young, just entering the workforce, I remember how much I respected those who had the advanced expertise. Those who could solve the most challenging technical problems were my heroes. I wanted to be like them. Everyone did. Today? Not so much. Too many want to be like Wally in the Dilbert cartoons. You are correct...it is a culture problem. In order to learn, a person must first admit that they don't already know everything. Then, the student must trust that the teacher knows more and has the student's best interest at heart. All of that is counter to today's culture. Today's culture is screwed...no respect for knowledge, no respect for effort, no respect for accomplishment. Too few believe in merit. Too many believe we all deserve the best and we don't have to earn it. Remember telephone switchboard operators? There used to be hundreds of thousands across the nation. Today, they're almost extinct. Automation kills jobs. Tractors put millions of farmers out of work. Without a horde of unemployed farmers sitting around, desperate for any employment, could industrialization have happened? Who would Ford have hired? I don't know what comes next. Not everyone can be a database analyst, UNIX programmer, or genetic biologist. But, I suspect that some jobs we've never thought of will become commonplace in the future. Can you imagine trying to explain to people in 1960 what their grandchildren would be doing in 2020? Just to cheer us up a little, here's an article about 10 jobs that didn't exist 10 years ago. We have to take care of the 'left behinds', to a point, just not as well as the UNIX programmer. Tax the rich to take care of the 'left behinds' and we're all good, right? I think you've got the basic workings of a solution there. I'd add free broadband internet. And maybe free wine (my drug of choice which I'm enjoying at the moment and which is triggering my rant).
  14. Renegade


    You are misusing the term 'white trash'. white trash /ˈˌ(h)wīt ˈtraSH/ noun INFORMAL•DEROGATORY poor white people, especially those living in the southern US.