hankrules2011

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Posts Tagged ‘liberals’

Book Review: A Foreign Policy for the Left

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 12, 2020

A Foreign Policy for the LeftA Foreign Policy for the Left by Michael Walzer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Weak. I’ve been a progressive/”liberal” for most of my adult life but over the past five years have become really disgusted with the group. While I cannot stand (even believe) where the far right has gone, A) the left could look to them for some damn lessons, because B) the Dems eat their own, constantly bickering among themselves, constantly attacking their own while the right gets behind their candidates and fucking WIN while Berniebots hate their OWN leading candidates so much, they fucking voted Trump INTO office last time! It’s their damn fault that moron is president and so for the past four years, most of America, including nearly every liberal, has counted on seemingly ANYONE running against Trump to kick his ass and put some sanity back in the White House, … but it’s happening again, and it started at least two years ago. I’ve read some books by some disillusioned lifelong Republican strategists and advisers who are desperate to join with everyone in a centrist effort to vote Trump out, although they say they won’t vote for a Hillary or Bernie. I understand that. It’s called compromise and it used to be a big part of our government. These major players write that the Dems can be counted on to bicker with their pet projects and pet peeves so much that they lose sight of the election and lose the election as a result of infighting while the conservatives all rally around whatever asshole is their candidate, like him or not. And the Dems lose and they do this to themselves and they never learn. And these people are 100% right. Trump WILL win again because for the past two plus years the Berniebots have insisted that NO ONE except Bernie will be okay with them – Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, no one. Because he’s the “outsider.” HE’S BEEN IN FUCKING OFFICE LONGER THAN ANY OF THEM!!!!! You stupid dumbass hypocritical traitors! So because you hate people in your own *alleged* party so much (because obviously you’re Republicans as you’d rather have an autocratic insane Republican president than someone from a party you claim to be a part of who is not your favorite choice…), you’d rather have a treasonous Russian puppet in office. You’re the damn problem, not the conservatives! Idiots. And this book? Rewritten regurgitation with few new ideas. Neither party has a grasp on quality, successful, diplomatic-yet-cautious foreign policy and the leaders of both parties have taken the “winner” from the Cold War and they’ve fucked the country and world up with their idiot foreign policies, and we want these people recommending anything? The liberals are idealists with no concept of reality and the evangelical right wing nutjobs are fascist nationalists intent on getting behind an apocalyptic nationalist Mussolini wannabee. Awesome. And my wife won’t let us move to New Zealand… Both parties have proven to be failures at public policy and foreign policy over the past 25+ years. Please get the centrists together and form a real, actual third party to wipe these idiots out of office and start over with some sanity and reason. This book? About as good as current conservative books calling for “change” — bullshit.

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Why Obama Could Win Without a Majority And the Electoral College Fight That Would Ensue – ABC News

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 27, 2012

Why Obama Could Win Without a Majority And the Electoral College Fight That Would Ensue – ABC News.

 

Could we possibly see a repeat of the 2000 election when Gore won the popular vote only to have the Supreme Court give the election to Bush, who then went on to have the most disastrous presidency in history? Signs are pointing to Romney winning the popular vote, while Obama maintains a slim lead in the electoral voting polls. Hard to tell. Personally, I’m biased of course, but I don’t see how anyone who had a problem with Bush and his disaster would want to vote for Romney. I think it’s just a case of voting for anyone who will get the “liberal” black Democrat out of office. Which is frustrating. Obama has frustrated me at times, but Romney/Ryan scares the hell out of me, and if I were a woman, black, Latino, progressive — anything but a rich, white evangelical voter — I’d be running for the hills. Speaking of, if Romney actually does win, Toronto seems awfully appealing now. Although it’s a bit too cold. I never could have imagined a Romney victory, especially after Obama beat the hell out of him in those last two debates, but polls indicate otherwise. It’s truly depressing. I’m hoping that America will see that Romney has no plan, offers no numbers, his tax plan makes no mathematical sense, he’s anti-woman, anti-poor, pro-big business — he’s not good for the country, dammit! Please, America — come to your senses and give Obama four more years of continued, albeit slow, growth. Let the growth grow some more. Let’s not regress to the Bush years. Please….

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A Review of The Little Blue Book

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 5, 2012

The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking DemocraticThe Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finished this book and I’m not really satisfied with it, although I can’t quite place my finger on why. I had really looked forward to receiving this book, assuming it would teach Democrats how to go toe to toe with conservatives in rhetoric, debates, etc. To a very minor degree, the second half of this book provides some terms and examples one could use, but that’s not really the gist of the book. It’s subtitle is “The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic” and I guess it might be partially accurate, but it left me feeling pretty empty and hopeless. I think most of the terms suggested here to replace commonly used terms in public discourse border on ridiculous and won’t ever come into play.

First, though, conservatives like to accuse Democrats of being “liberal elites,” which makes me wonder why Republicans want to be known as stupid dumb asses. Anyway, the first half of this book did nothing to make me think that the stereotype did not hold true for the book. It’s a scientific, linguistic explanation of morals, moral contexts, using “basic-level” words, neural logic and “cascades,” a “network of neurons that links many brain circuits…. the brain does not handle single ideas as separate entities: a bigger context, a logical construct within which the idea is defined, is evoked in order to grasp its meaning…. Language triggers cascades.” Confused? I bet Joe Six Pack would be if he picked this book up. This book is designed FOR liberal elites and feeds right into the stereotype so many of we Democrats fight to overcome.

The bulk of the book is taken up by Democratic ideas, such as those surrounding corporations, food regulation, public education, nature, and more, and it basically provides tiny chapters for each (like two to four pages) and gives alternative terms for words commonly used in political circles that the authors think have been hijacked by conservatives. This is where my big problem is. I’m right up there agreeing conservatives have hijacked public dialogue, but the alternative terms they advocate strike me as downright silly. Let me give you examples. On abortion and pro-choice terminology, they argue that conservatives make this a moral argument through their use of their own terminology, so instead of saying “pro choice,” we should instead say “pro-liberty.” Other options include “pro-family” and “family freedom.” They then go on to say, “the terms birth control and birth control pills are disastrous. The real issue is ‘pregnancy prevention’.” That’s right — we should talk about pregnancy prevention instead of birth control. Maybe that makes some sort of sense, but I can’t see society making that shift, no matter how many liberals start employing that term. So too, abortion is a dirty word. We need to replace it with — get this — “development prevention.” Yeah, that’s right. Development prevention. I’m not pro-abortion, nor am I anti-choice, but no one’s going to start saying development prevention. I’m sorry — it’s not going to happen. To sum it up, this is a book of ideas, and maybe it’s a decent conversation starter, but the terminology solutions suggested here seem ludicrous to me and probably to a whole bunch of other people too. I was really disappointed in this book, especially after looking forward to reading it so much. I don’t recommend it.

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Most and Least Religious States in America

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 28, 2012

Mississippi is the most religious U.S. state, and is one of eight states where Gallup classifies at least half of the residents as “very religious.” At the other end of the spectrum, Vermont and New Hampshire are the least religious states, and are two of the five states — along with Maine, Massachusetts, and Alaska — where less than 30% of all residents are very religious.

Gallup classifies 40 percent of Americans nationwide as very religious — based on their statement that religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week. Another 32% of Americans are nonreligious, based on their statement that religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services. The remaining 28 percent of Americans are moderately religious, because they say religion is important but that they do not attend services regularly or because they say religion is not important but still attend services.

Religiosity varies widely across U.S. states and regions, with Mississippi in the deep South and Vermont in New England providing the most extreme example of the disparity. Fifty-nine percent of Mississippians are very religious and 11% nonreligious, while 23 percent of Vermonters are very religious and 58 percent are nonreligious. Although New Hampshire ties Vermont with 23 percent of its residents classified as very religious, slightly fewer (52 percent) residents in the Granite State are classified as nonreligious.

More generally, eight of the 10 most religious states in 2011 are in the South (Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia), with one straddling the line between the South and the Midwest (Oklahoma), and one in the West (Utah). None of the most religious states are in the Middle Atlantic, New England, or West Coast regions.

By contrast, six of the least religious states in 2011 are in New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) and four are in the West (Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington), with the District of Columbia and New York rounding out the list.

These state-by-state patterns in religiousness have remained stable in recent years. Southern states have traditionally been the most religious, and states in New England and in the West have been the least religious.

via Most and Least Religious States in America.

I live in the Bible Belt. And it hurts. My state is the sixth most religious state in the country, according to this article. I’m surprised it’s not higher. Although I view myself as spiritual and even religious (I attend services irregularly), I HATE living in the Bible Belt, where if you’re not a Red State Bible thumper, you may as well be a leper. I think it’s appalling and I miss the diversity that Los Angeles provided me when I lived there. Oh well. I don’t think I could take Vermont’s winters, but Portland and Seattle are sounding attractive right now….

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Gary Hart: The New Conservatism

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 25, 2012

Congressional Democrats have mostly been in a defensive posture, and resisted persistent efforts to erode the social contract created in the 1930s and 60s, with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid-especially when those trying to “privatize” i.e., destroy this safety net want to continue to cut reasonable taxes on wealth at the same time. Are debt and deficits a problem? Of course. But an agenda of “cutting spending” while at the same time cutting taxes will never be accepted by the solid majority of Americans who support these programs and believe in tax justice. Democrats are not on the extreme left — equivalent to the Republicans’ new right — by seeking to protect this social contract and safety net. They are simply trying to protect a social bargain accepted by a large majority of Americans then and now against an attempt to return to the pre-New Deal era of law of the jungle, every man for himself, and devil take the hindmost.

via Gary Hart: The New Conservatism.

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