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Pots and Kettless Options
NKM
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 12:19:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 5,234
Neurons: 310,353
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Tomorrow is Election Day in America, the culmination of a protracted array of campaigns of Mutually Assured Defamation. Much as we might wish that "honest politician" were not a universally recognized oxymoron, in most of the races we can only hope that we may choose the lesser evil.

Unfortunately, it's all Pots and Kettles.



The following is an excerpt from a poem entitled "Opinions", which I wrote several years ago. It's tongue-in-cheek, obviously, but after all this time it still rings true. "Plus ça change …"


The folks we send to Washington all seem to run amok;
  They don't know what they're doing, but they sure can spend a buck.
They pass some stupid law to tell us what we all should do,
   Then find it just won't work because they didn't think it through.
They'll set up some big study, wasting time and lots of dough,
   To teach us all about some stuff that we already know.
They don't remember who we are, or whom they represent,
   But we should not find fault with them, 'cause they're our government.
      (Though I may seem embittered, don't expect me to repent!)

I love my country, but I must admit it seems to me
   The way it's run is not at all the way it ought to be.
The politicians act as if they think it's all a game,
   Until you'd think they didn't have a brain cell to their name.
They'll pick a fight with some regime in some outlandish place,
   And try to keep it secret till it blows up in their face.
And we should never question how our money's being spent,
   'Cause we're the ones elected them, and they're our government.
      (At least for now, the Constitution still allows dissent!)

            (... but they're working on that....)


                                        Norm Mosher

philips daughter
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 1:52:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/2017
Posts: 233
Neurons: 43,646
😅😅 That’s really good and sounds true to me. I like your accent.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:26:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,429
Neurons: 57,718
Pots and kettles, true enough. But that's why it's called politics — it's all a matter of appearances, rather than substance; well, usually. Occasionally something of substance actually gets done, and its shocking.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 6:05:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,945
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Very good!
Light-hearted (sort of), tongue-in cheek, but to-the-point.
like it!

PS - not only the USA - it applies all over.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 4:11:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,945
Neurons: 204,246
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I saw this on "Quora", which is an American's idea of why politics seems to have developed into "attacking one's fellow politicians" rather than "promoting one's own policies".
It seems to me (from my reading of many American opinions on this forum) to be pretty true.

Quote:
We’re scared of our police and so we attack every misstep they make. We’re scared of our government, and so we choose a side and vehemently attack the opposition, regardless their stance on any issue.


The whole post is pretty interesting in its own way - it was answering the question "What do Americans think of the UK?". The above bit is a contrast. He gives actually both what an American living here sees, and what he knows of the British people's views of the USA.

Quote:
I’m an American who moved to the U.K. 9 months ago, and I think I can offer a unique perspective to this discussion.

I served in the U.S. military for 23 years, and during my career my family and I lived in 7 different states across the U.S. We immersed ourselves in the local communities and attempted to blend in with the local culture. We sent our kids to local schools, bought or rented houses in local neighborhoods, and sought entertainment and shopping in whatever the local area offered.

When I left the U.S. last year, I was absolutely pissed off.

I was angry that the country I’d spent nearly a quarter century defending was broadcasting its infantilism and its internal divisiveness to the world. I was angry that we’ve become so consumed with social media, and technology, and racism, and inequality of the sexes that we completely forgot how to treat our neighbor with respect. And mostly I was angry at the apathy.

Some weird twist of fate led to my family relocating to a small town in England last year, and I have absolutely loved every minute of this experience. We speak roughly the same language, making communication relatively easy, but beyond that, I wasn’t prepared for just how different the culture is here than what I knew in America.

The main difference, in my opinion, is the vastly different level of fear. Americans are scared shitless. We’re scared of our neighbors, and so we never speak to them. We’re scared in our local towns, and so we purchase firearms (I had several myself). We’re scared of other races and so we congregate with our own. We’re scared of our police and so we attack every misstep they make. We’re scared of our government, and so we choose a side and vehemently attack the opposition, regardless their stance on any issue. We’re scared of not being important, and so we flood social media and reality TV with our important faces so everyone else is aware of just how amazingly awesome each of us really is.

Are there fearful people in the U.K.? Sure there are.

But the average level of consciousness here is not the same as in the U.S. The British aren’t scared. They’re confident. They’re proud, without being boastful. They’re well-grounded in their history and culture, and ready and willing to share it with anyone who’s interested in learning. They can’t imagine getting pissed off about whether you stand, kneel, or masturbate during their national anthem…they know that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter one bit.

I can walk into a local park and engage in comfortable conversation with a Muslim, a Russian, a Canadian, a Christian, and people with every shade of skin imaginable, and nobody feels territorial or defensive. There’s a level of common acceptance I’m not used to.

Whether it’s in the local Tesco, or walking the halls of a local church or school, do you know what the British are scared of? They ask what I think about our President. They know he’s a destructive egotistical force that flies in the face of democratic ideals, and they’re as fearful as we are that he’s going to disrupt the progress our nations have made jointly over the past 4 or 5 decades. They wonder why we lost our goddamn minds and put a 3 year old child in charge. I don’t blame them.

I feel as welcome in the U.K. as I ever have been in any American town, and honored to be part of their community for a few years. While our nation’s leadership has no problem enacting a policy of fractured disrespect to our allies, my biggest hope is that my presence here, in some small part, can convince my British counterparts that not all Americans are egotistical shit biscuits.


I realise that (despite being ex-military) he's "liberal" and so, to half of the population in America, he's either insane or evil.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018 2:50:44 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,429
Neurons: 57,718
Drag0nspeaker,

I don't know if he is insane, but he certainly seems to be filled with fear, and that would, indeed, make him a good "liberal".

As I travel around the my state, from Houston, to Austin/San Antonio, my local area, and points in between, I never see what he describes. I'm sure it exists in some places, but my experience has been that people of all colors and backgrounds seem to get along just fine. I find respect, politeness, and consideration expressed everywhere I go, so it seems to me that if you look for fear, you will find it, if nowhere else, then in yourself.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018 5:32:34 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,414
Neurons: 87,603
Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
FounDit wrote:
Drag0nspeaker,

I don't know if he is insane, but he certainly seems to be filled with fear, and that would, indeed, make him a good "liberal".
Gee, FounDit, are you to trying to crawl into my mind, and tell me how I feel? I am surprised to note that I am apparently fearful. Think I have not found this true. Neither my liberal nor my conservative friends seem particularly fearful, nor do they seem to worry about my being fearful. I honestly doubt you know who I am or how I feel better than I do.

As I travel around the my state, from Houston, to Austin/San Antonio, my local area, and points in between, I never see what he describes. I'm sure it exists in some places, but my experience has been that people of all colors and backgrounds seem to get along just fine. I find respect, politeness, and consideration expressed everywhere I go, so it seems to me that if you look for fear, you will find it, if nowhere else, then in yourself.

I shall back up what you say: I have not experienced the fear this writer describes in my towns, cities, countryside, or further travels. The majority of my travel, both relatively local and less frequently long distance, tends to be by myself. Therefore if I am going to talk to someone, it is going to be someone I don't know / haven't met before. Despite that, and despite the fact that social signals vary from one area to another (we're a very big country; some other time, I have a story about this), I do not find fear or anxiousness on the part of people I approach.

I do find there is a fair amount of talk about fear, particularly on Internet fora. The fear under discussion seldom seems to be "I'm afraid of . . ." but rather "They're all afraid (of) . . ." I believe one should be quite skeptical of people claiming to know what other's are doing internally. (Not aimed at you, FounDit, as I don't really think you were aiming at me personally with your original statement--and I already got all the dig to which I could possibly be entitled in at the beginning. Anxious )

As far as being evidence of "what Americans are like" or "what Americans think", I'll mention that this piece from Quora is an anecdote. It is a story, possibly true, by one person. As such, assuming no ulterior motive, this is what one person thinks s/he observed. This is what this person thinks s/he remembers s/he saw, and heard, and what other people did (and apparently why they did it). But interpretation of others' actions is slippery. And memory is slipperier yet. This might be a good opening for a conversation were one to meet this person, but I am unsure what to take away from reading it other than one person's memory of what s/he thinks s/he experienced. And that I find totally contrary to my experience. (Which is, of course, subject to the same "questionable memory" caveat--though I, of course, know my memory is perfect. Whistle )

"Quora" is a question-and-answer web site, where answers are provided by Quora members who believe they know the answer. It now also gives its members the ability to blog (i.e. make posts that are not in response to a question) on the site. It was founded (almost ten years ago) by two ex-Facebook employees. One is to register with Quora using one's real, legal name. Apparently the administrators can throw you off the site if someone complains you are using a pseudonym, but there is no checking upon registration. Neither is there any requirement that one have any expertise prior to answering. It appears to me that Quora is pretty much like most any other web site (like this one).

Personally I like this site. I like the people I've met on line here. While there are disagreements, and sometimes tempers get high (I've got a good--or should that be bad--one) in general, I find people listen to what others say, even when they disagree. Other sites, including some moderated sites and including some professional sites, get positively vituperative.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018 8:53:13 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,429
Neurons: 57,718
RuthP wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Drag0nspeaker,

I don't know if he is insane, but he certainly seems to be filled with fear, and that would, indeed, make him a good "liberal".
Gee, FounDit, are you to trying to crawl into my mind, and tell me how I feel? I am surprised to note that I am apparently fearful. Think I have not found this true. Neither my liberal nor my conservative friends seem particularly fearful, nor do they seem to worry about my being fearful. I honestly doubt you know who I am or how I feel better than I do.
You are correct in that I don’t know how you feel better than you do. And I wasn’t trying to crawl into your mind, I was evaluating what I saw in the mind of the person DragOnspeaker quoted – and what I saw was a fearful person.

Not all liberals are fearful; it just seems the majority of them are, especially so many on college campuses and on cable news shows. That’s why we who are mature and confident call them snowflakes. They are frightened by the President, they are frightened by what they believe is the end of the planet. They are frightened by so many silly things.

But those of us who aren’t frightened by those things don’t fall apart when we hear certain words, we don’t need ‘safe spaces’, and capital letters on college instructions don’t frighten us like they do the snowflakes in recent news. And we don’t look for opportunities to be offended (like the young man who took offense at a license plate because of the random lettering that spelled a word he didn’t like and demanded the state change all of them so as not to offend him).

I’ve not seen you display any of those traits, so, no, I don’t count you among that group. So far, we’ve always been able to agree on some things, and disagree on others without any rancor from either one of us. I find that very pleasant and satisfying arrangement and hope it can continue.





We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
progpen
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 12:42:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,046
Neurons: 369,910
Location: March, England, United Kingdom
We don't always have to read the minds of others to be able to read their actions as those of people who are afraid.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Romany
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 7:00:03 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,496
Neurons: 48,745
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

What I found completely astounding about the reaction to this one person's opinion, is that all that has been commented on is what was said about "fear".

Whereas to an onlooker at least, this seems to be the most unremarkable thing said. To us - and to many commentators from all over - fear seems to be expressed continually: fear that refugees will flood the country; fear that impells women and children to be repelled with gas; fear that women will continue to demand inclusion; fear that one - or a member of one's family - has an "existing condition"; or will have an accident or become ill and adequate treatment cannot be bought; fear of the Opposition party; fear of people who don't share one's ethnic background; fear of one's neighbours so that one must be armed at all times; fear of the direction in which they are being led by the current Admin; fear of losing one's job; fear of demanding better working conditions; fear of the police; fear of certain areas; fear of "Socialism"; and, in numbers far exceding those in other developed nations: - fear of punishment after death in a mythical place called 'hell'.

These are all fears that don't exist in the poster's current life, and to which we would imagine he is referring. He doesn't say it's better, he doesn't say he never wants to go back to America, he doesn't run America down; he doesn't say he want to change his nationality. He just marks the difference in attitudes from the area in which he once lived, to the area in which he currently lives...and how he feels as an expatriate in a foreign country.

And, though mentioning it will be controversial to some, living in societies where people aren't armed has been one of the biggest changes to many people I know; and one which they only realised was a constant, underlying fear which had affected their attitudes to strangers or "the other" for most of their lives once that fear was removed. Once a society has no fear of strangers/racial/religious groups which differs from their own; inclusiveness melds the disparate groups into a shared cultural imperitive.

His talk of conversing freely with the discrete "Others" who make up the population of the UK was the main take-away I got from what the poster said. His reason for recounting his own impressions was, I assumed, a reassurance to those who - especially over the past two years - have been told (and firmly believe) that the UK and Europe are Socialist-bordering-on-communist countries - and to fear them!
FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2018 12:03:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,429
Neurons: 57,718
Romany wrote:

What I found completely astounding about the reaction to this one person's opinion, is that all that has been commented on is what was said about "fear".

Whereas to an onlooker at least, this seems to be the most unremarkable thing said. To us - and to many commentators from all over - fear seems to be expressed continually: fear that refugees will flood the country; fear that impells women and children to be repelled with gas; fear that women will continue to demand inclusion; fear that one - or a member of one's family - has an "existing condition"; or will have an accident or become ill and adequate treatment cannot be bought; fear of the Opposition party; fear of people who don't share one's ethnic background; fear of one's neighbours so that one must be armed at all times; fear of the direction in which they are being led by the current Admin; fear of losing one's job; fear of demanding better working conditions; fear of the police; fear of certain areas; fear of "Socialism"; and, in numbers far exceding those in other developed nations: - fear of punishment after death in a mythical place called 'hell'.
It seems to me that you contradict yourself here. You begin by saying you are astounded by the focus on fear, yet you go on to list all manner of fears you say you and others see continually, thereby reinforcing the idea that fear is an overriding factor in your thinking.

These are all fears that don't exist in the poster's current life, and to which we would imagine he is referring. He doesn't say it's better, he doesn't say he never wants to go back to America, he doesn't run America down; he doesn't say he want to change his nationality. He just marks the difference in attitudes from the area in which he once lived, to the area in which he currently lives...and how he feels as an expatriate in a foreign country.
You say he doesn't run America down, but that is exactly what he does when he says he sees fear everywhere here, and you concur.

Quote from him:

"Americans are scared shitless. We’re scared of our neighbors, and so we never speak to them. We’re scared in our local towns, and so we purchase firearms (I had several myself). We’re scared of other races and so we congregate with our own. We’re scared of our police and so we attack every misstep they make. We’re scared of our government, and so we choose a side and vehemently attack the opposition, regardless their stance on any issue. We’re scared of not being important, and so we flood social media and reality TV with our important faces so everyone else is aware of just how amazingly awesome each of us really is."

And, though mentioning it will be controversial to some, living in societies where people aren't armed has been one of the biggest changes to many people I know; and one which they only realised was a constant, underlying fear which had affected their attitudes to strangers or "the other" for most of their lives once that fear was removed. Once a society has no fear of strangers/racial/religious groups which differs from their own; inclusiveness melds the disparate groups into a shared cultural imperitive.
And this was exactly what America has always been about. People from every nation on the Earth came here to become Americans. No doubt many of us had the same ancestors. We had a unique culture formed from all of those who came here and contributed to the uniqueness that was created. But today, the political Left is attempting to divide us into disparate groups, setting one against another for political advantage. It's called "Identity politics".

His talk of conversing freely with the discrete "Others" who make up the population of the UK was the main take-away I got from what the poster said. His reason for recounting his own impressions was, I assumed, a reassurance to those who - especially over the past two years - have been told (and firmly believe) that the UK and Europe are Socialist-bordering-on-communist countries - and to fear them!
Well, of course, that is a silly idea. Who would ever believe that Socialists-cum-Communists would ever want to bring down the West, or even attempt [albeit in a minuscule fashion] to influence an election. What a foolish idea...Shhh



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
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