I’m rubber, you’re glue


This is the most remarkable case of projection yet. Fox News has been on a hate crusade against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for months — it’s stunning to see all these ignorant Fox News ideologues insulting her.

You’ve got to have steel-plated skin to deal with all that bullshit…although being right most of the time helps a lot.

Comments

  1. AstrySol says

    You know what? Besides the blatant sexism and ageism, almost everything else they said could have been used to describe one particular person for the last two and some years with orders-of-magnitude-better accuracy. But they won’t because said person have been relying on them to for misinformation, and the ratings.

  2. mastmaker says

    1 & 2 hit the nail on the head! Except to add to 1: They are not just frightened. They are scared s*#tless. They are running around like headless chicken.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    mastmaker @ 3

    Unfortunately, that’s when they’re the most dangerous.

  4. mastmaker says

    Also, they are trying to malign AOC as thoroughly as possible before her possible 2024 or 2028 presidential run. I maintained for years that Obama got elected in 2008 only because it was too late for Faux FUD machinery to malign him after they realized he is a serious presidential contender. They had just about 20 years to malign Hillary.

  5. whywhywhy says

    I don’t think it is fear that is motivating them as much as it is feeding their audience. Here is a female who is rising in power and success. And she has an Hispanic name. How can this be!?
    By Fox ‘putting her in her place’ they are showing their racist white audience that Fox is with them. It is not so much fear as virtue signaling for the odious and feeding their base. There is fear underlying all of this but I don’t see that fear coming from Fox but I see Fox trying to use the fear to make money.

    mastmaker
    Your point is also quite valid.

  6. mastmaker says

    @laurence, That’s the most crappatic comparison I have ever seen, unless you just mean it as a red rag in front of the bull.

    Both sides can WISH Dumpster was one tenth as articulate, as measured with words, as empathetic and as not-lying as AOC. Unlike

    Also Dumpster is not being attacked as much as he deserves, while AOC is being attacked a million times worse than she deserves. Can you point to ONE THING she did or said that goes against decency or norms (unless you are a RWNJ)? Dumpster on the other hand……

  7. Artor says

    LOL! She graduated at the top of her class with a degree in Economics and International Relations, yet they claim she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. There’s somebody deeply ignorant and dangerously stupid in this conversation, but it isn’t AOC.

  8. laurence1986 says

    @mastmaker I mean in terms of how much she is hated by the right. I’m not saying they have similar character or intelligence just that there seems to be a parallel in how much airtime and scornful punditry she is given by the other side. The left thinks Trump is dangerous and idiotic, the right thinks AOC is dangerous and idiotic.

  9. says

    Sadly, being right is not actually enough. If voters rejected politicians on the basis of having been wrong for years, there would be no Republican who served two terms, and the entire Clintonian wing of the Democrats would have been long gone by 2008.

  10. AstrySol says

    @11 laurence

    Yet one requires constant misrepresentation of what the subject said, quote mining, data manipulation and other dirty tricks, while the other just needs to show what exactly the subject said/did (sometimes dirty tricks were used, but definitely not constant). You did look like professing bothsideism with this caveat omitted.

  11. laurence1986 says

    @Astrysol that’s fair. To be honest I’m a bit of a bothsideist in that I follow politics like I follow sports, I don’t have a team I just enjoy watching it unfold. I do appreciate that it’s a very serious thing for a lot of people though

  12. Mobius says

    If they had replaced “AOC” with “Donald Trump”, they would have been telling the truth.

  13. laurence1986 says

    @chrislawson no, I don’t enjoy seeing toddlers put in cages, in my ideal world there’s be none of that. I enjoy the drama between different personalities on either side, witnessing the vitriol of each side certain that they are the righteous ones. I like watching opposing ideologies bump up against each other in this battle for dominance. Like I said before I do appreciate that for many it’s something that they take extremely seriously and are certain that they are right and the others are wrong. I respect that conviction

  14. AstrySol says

    @ 19 laurence

    I don’t enjoy seeing toddlers put in cages, in my ideal world there’s be none of that.

    Then you shouldn’t profess bothsideism when one side will drive your world farther from your “ideal world”. Otherwise you might as well say “I don’t care if there are such cases in my world, I just want to stick this ‘ideal’ label here for fun”.

    I enjoy the drama between different personalities on either side, witnessing the vitriol of each side certain that they are the righteous ones.

    Holy shit, even the sports fans I know, who “don’t have a team”, will not equalize both sides if one side conducts too much foul plays and the referees are not watching/enforcing the rules. What you said really says a lot about your moral compass. By the way, just claiming that you “don’t have a team” doesn’t make you not affected by the results of the “game” in any way.

  15. larpar says

    @Lawrence1987 #11
    “The left thinks Trump is dangerous and idiotic, the right thinks AOC is dangerous and idiotic.”

    The left is right. The right is 1/2 right.

  16. laurence1986 says

    @astrysol I appreciate the reply, you make good points.

    Theres an awful lot of things wrong in this world – some truly terrible things happening to kids the world over not just in America (of which I’m not a resident I should say) so yes in my ideal world everyone would live perfect lives but if we really stop and think about all the terrible things all the time we’d be constantly depressed. Ultimately I have to deal with what’s in my control and the immigration policies of another country is beyond my scope.

    I know this is going to sound absolutely batshit crazy insane to you guys and im actually even a little nervous about typing this but… I don’t think Trump is actually that bad. Again in my ideal world he wouldn’t be president but I think his apparent malevolence has been a teeny weeny bit overblown if we look at all the world leaders there are worse ones out there.

    Perhaps it’s my moral failing to not be as upset as I should be or to not hate Trump or to be able to enjoy politics from a neutral perspective. I’m willing to accept that.

  17. microraptor says

    laurence1986 @22: Yeah, Trump’s cozying up to dictators, starting trade wars, killing people with his immigration policies, eroding LGBT rights, stacking the federal court system with ultra-conservatives, appointing lobbyists and industry insiders to regulatory positions… but it’s not that bad because none of that matters to you personally.

  18. rossthompson says

    I enjoy the drama between different personalities on either side, witnessing the vitriol of each side certain that they are the righteous ones. I like watching opposing ideologies bump up against each other in this battle for dominance.

    “I am a middle class, middle-aged straight white man so whoever gets elected, I’ll be fine. I can’t understand why so many women / muslims / LGBTQ people get worked up about politics.”

  19. laurence1986 says

    @microraptor thanks for the list, let me go through it:

    cozying up to dictators – this is not new to Trump and it depends how it’s done. Global diplomacy is an essential part of being a world leader and I haven’t seen any major catastrophes result from it.

    starting trade wars – There’s no question that there is a trade imbalance with China that needs to be addressed whether he’s doing it the best way remains to be seen. Again no catastrophes.

    killing people with his immigration policies – I’m not sure what this is referring to, as far as I’m aware he’s just continued much of the immigration policies initiated by Obama. I might be wrong

    eroding LGBT rights – didn’t he recently announce he wants to push for a global end to oppression of LGBT people, compared to many countries in the part of the world where I live it seems life isn’t anywhere near as bad for them in the US.

    stacking the federal court system with ultra-conservatives – I’m afraid I don’t know much about this but presumably every president will nominate justices that lean either conservative or liberal depending on their own bent.

    appointing lobbyists and industry insiders to regulatory positions – again I don’t know much about this I’m afraid.

    To sum up.. I’m not as informed about these matters as you it seems. But from what you’ve mentioned I don’t feel this justifies the rage. It’s almost like there’s something else going on, like he’s emblematic of a deeper issue – that’s what really intrigues me

  20. laurence1986 says

    Ok I’m just spitballing here and I may be way off. Many of those that despise Trump are unsuccessful in a traditional sense. From what I’ve seen of protests there’s a lot of angry (hate to say it quite ugly) feminists, beta males and unemployed socialists – people who are unable to successfully compete in a socio-sexual hierarchy. So instead rather than signalling with money or sex appeal they signal their worth with their intellect and their virtue – this is the grear leveller. It doesn’t matter how rich you are or how attractive you are when virtue and intellect are valued higher. Trump is successful but without virtue or intellect thus undermining their endeavour. So the animosity to Trump is indeed real but it’s backed up with signalling of their own virtue by how much they care about these affected groups more than him and signalling their intellect by mocking Trump for his boorishness.

    Just an idea, please feel free to tear it apart

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    I eagerly await laurence1986’s disinterested, uninformed opinions on a wide range of topics! Maybe they could change their ‘nym to IDontKnowMuchAboutThisBut.

  22. laurence1986 says

    @Rob Grigjanis haha I love chatting about anything, especially with people of different opinions. I like being challenged it’s the only way I get more informed and get closer to the truth. There’s a huge amount I don’t know about it, no doubt about that!

  23. DanDare says

    @Lawrence1987
    Where politics is unlik sport is that the winner has a big effect on weather you and those you care about get to live well or in missery or get to live at all.
    Breaking it down to very simple terms the right prefer a few people at the top, and everyone else at the bottom either serving them or going about dying. The left want as many as possible living well and use science to plot good trajectories and avoid pitfalls.
    You may think you are a detached observer but you are not.

  24. DanDare says

    To put it another way the proper comparison is between creationists and scientists. The science disagreements are interesting to watch, and fruitful because they expand knowledge and correct errors. Creation vs science is just stupid and there is little value in it other than the science side trying to vaccinate bystanders against the destructive memes of the idiot brigade.

  25. laurence1986 says

    @Dandare I know what you mean but I’m just one little voice I really don’t have any influence. Sure I’ll vote if I have the chance but beyond that I’ll just enjoy the ride. Now obviously if it gets really really bad like actual government oppression then I may one day be forced into action (hopefully that day never comes) but I don’t think that’s the case in any western country currently. Right = freedom with inevitable inequality, Left = equality with inevitable restrictions on freedom. Would you agree?

  26. raven says

    You enjoy watching things unfold…such as putting toddlers in cages?

    Oh c’mon the concentration camps for children is just a warmup act.
    Watching the destruction of a once great democracy like the USA is going to be great TV for shallow, mindless trolls like laurence.

    We haven’t seen anything this entertaining since the Second Iraq war when 5,000 Americans died as well as at least 150,000 Iraqi civilians.
    I suppose Laurence has the collapse of the USSR on CD’s and watches it on holidays. Nothing like watching 180 million people have their lives turned upside down and watching everything they know change for pure entertainment.

    Laurence has set a short term record for the most shallow and thoughtless troll with an honorable mention for being a rather creepy, macabre Steven King sort of monster.

  27. laurence1986 says

    @raven I understand that in your mind Trump is evil and terrifying and will cause the destruction of your country. If I believed that too I’d be just worried and indignant with people that didn’t take your worries as seriously. I really just think it’s all been exaggerated a little. I think in a few years you’ll have a new president, and then one after that and after that and things will carry on. I think the 4th industrial revolution will certainly bring a lot of change but I can’t see trump having much of a long term impact on the country. Again I do understand that we have different opinions about this so my words sound callous to you

  28. raven says

    Laurence the right wingnut slime mold lying:

    Many of those that despise Trump are unsuccessful in a traditional sense. From what I’ve seen of protests there’s a lot of angry (hate to say it quite ugly) feminists, beta males and unemployed socialists – people who are unable to successfully compete in a socio-sexual hierarchy.

    .1. Laurence is simply lying here.
    He cares a whole lot about politics.
    Enough to show up here, enough to troll the thread, and enough to just flat out lie about it.
    No one uses right wingnut language about ugly feminists, beta males ,etc.. without belonging to the right wingnut cults.

    .2. Laurence is also rather stupid and uneducated.
    There is a whole lot he doesn’t care about because he is incapable of understanding simple reality.
    To take one example, the real losers of our current society are well known.
    The groups who are dying at younger ages from diseases of despair.

    They aren’t ugly feminists, beta males, or failed socialists (which BTW don’t exist, this is just something the creep made up)
    They are low education white males and rural older white females!!!
    Oddly enough, both of these groups are losers in our society and also largely…Trump supporters.
    Here is something you will never see from the creepy troll laurence. A documented fact.

    The Forces Driving Middle-Aged White People’s ‘Deaths Of Despair’
    4:51
    DOWNLOAD
    TRANSCRIPT
    March 23, 20175:00 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    JESSICA BODDY

    In 2015, when researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton discovered that death rates had been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans, they weren’t sure why people were dying younger, reversing decades of longer life expectancy.

    Now the husband-and-wife economists say they have a better understanding of what’s causing these “deaths of despair” by suicide, drugs and alcohol.

  29. laurence1986 says

    @raven why would.you call me.shallow and mindless. I clearly think a lot about these things, I don’t have all the answers so I speak to different people.with different perspectives, I put ideas forward and hear the response. I love changing my mind on things, I love learning to see things from a different perspective. But I have to put forward my own opinions and ideas first in order for them.to be rebutted by bright people such as the commenters on the free thoughts blogs

  30. John Morales says

    laurence1986:

    From what I’ve seen of protests there’s a lot of angry (hate to say it quite ugly) feminists, beta males and unemployed socialists – people who are unable to successfully compete in a socio-sexual hierarchy.

    Most informative about you.

    (Your unironic use of “beta males” would have sufficed, of course)

    I like being challenged it’s the only way I get more informed and get closer to the truth.

    Fine. Truth is, you’re signalling your intellect with your, um, “spitballing”.

    So, you think dislike for Trump is due to unsuccessful competitors in “a socio-sexual hierarchy” virtue-signalling.

    (‘Tis not even wrong, though it is very silly)

  31. laurence1986 says

    @raven I appreciate the takedown, masterfully done. Like I said I like to throw ideas out there for people to tear them down if they’re stupid which in this case it was.

  32. laurence1986 says

    @John Morales yes, Raven did a good job of going through it and I will concede.my spitballed idea was stupid

  33. raven says

    .1.Laurence doesn’t care about politics.
    .2. Laurence is going to spend several hours telling people who don’t care what he thinks, that he doesn’t care about politics.

    Points 1 and 2 contradict each other.
    This is really too creepy for me to spend any more time on.

  34. laurence1986 says

    @microraptor I’m not being insincere, Raven pointed out that based on my idea of those unsuccessfully competing on the socio-sexual hierarchy being more likely to despise trump, that the biggest “losers” are also those most likely to vote for Trump. Completely destroying my whole premise

  35. laurence1986 says

    @Raven I didn’t say I don’t care, I said I enjoy politics but I just don’t have a team. I also enjoy conversation with smart people and having my views challenged. No worries if it’s boring for you, feel free to check out. I appreciate the back and forth anyway. Be well

  36. raven says

    (Fuck off laurence. This isn’t meant for you. It’s meant for the real people on this thread.)

    I could easily find politics boring and pointless myself.
    I’ve even done so in the past.
    It didn’t work.
    The fact is, politics directly effects you whether you know it or care about it, or not.
    It’s a huge part of how we rule our society and divide up the resources of our society.

    I first saw politics up close when I saw people I knew killed in Vietnam while I was still a kid.
    That mattered a whole lot to a whole lot of people. One girl lost her father at the same time her mother was pregnant.
    Ultimately, the cost of that war was huge, 55,000 dead US, maybe a million dead Vietnamese, and trillions of (2019) dollars for nothing.
    We didn’t have to like it and we didn’t.
    Myself and a few million friends eventually managed to stop that war.

    Politics is going to effect you (plural) continuously, whether you like it or know it or not.
    There is a lot you can do to avoid the worst of the damage.
    There is a lot you can do to actually control the direction of the politics.

  37. unclefrogy says

    @42 (funny number that)
    I agree I do not believe any thing he says. he is being so “cool and calm” his seeming detachment is bogus!
    Ok laurence1986 you said you do not live in the US then please tell us what country do you currently live in and if you care about your local politics.
    uncle frogy

  38. laurence1986 says

    @unclefroggy hi, I live in UAE and we can’t vote here but I believe our ruler is doing an excellent job. I care about it to the degree of knowing what the laws are and specifically trade issues (obviously our situation with Qatar is not ideal) but not much beyond that

  39. says

    Laurence is full of shit in every possible way, and in fact sounds almost exactly like Scott Adams – smug yet profoundly dumb. Could be that Scott got bored and went on another trolling spree.

  40. nomdeplume says

    “I live in UAE and we can’t vote here but I believe our ruler is doing an excellent job” – ah, the sort of person that Trump would love to have making up the total population of the US!

    About Carlson – who do these fuckers think they are?

  41. Rob Grigjanis says

    laurence1986 @48:

    I believe our ruler is doing an excellent job

    Ah, UAE. Where women are jailed for reporting rape. Where amputation, death by stoning, and crucifixion are legal punishments. Where dissidents are jailed and tortured. Where migrant workers are essentially treated as slave labour. Excellent job!

    Well, at least we can see why you think Trump is not so bad.

  42. unclefrogy says

    I understand you are content to be ruled and owned by your king or Sultan or what ever the correct title is.
    I must be hard to understand what it takes for free people to govern themselves and to maintain the liberty. So you not being involved with any of the decisions that effect your own governing I can see that it could be merely an interesting something to observe as a spectator. Here in this country we fought a revolution to gain that right to govern ourselves and many came here to exercise that right, the problem posed by trump is primarily the lose of that right. He is just the latest iteration of the authoritarian inclination and the desire to be taken care of by some benevolent leader though they are very rare indeed and their benevolence survives past their own life span.
    uncle frogy

  43. nomdeplume says

    #52 What was the phrase Uncle Frogy _ you were given a Republic if you could keep it?

  44. unclefrogy says

    sorry I was in a rush to get out the door. I meant to say ” their benevolence seldom survives past their own life span.” and if you don’t like it what do you do. We have elections on a regular basis some democracies can have them more often when it becomes apparent that the government is not doing what the people want (looses the confidence of the people).
    It does take up a lot of time to self govern well, I am willing to take the time needed to understand issues and make an informed decisions as a participant I am not content to be a mere spectator to my life
    uncle frogy

  45. indianajones says

    Comparing politics to sport is a massive trivialisation. Who controls the nuclear weapons is much more important than which domestic sporting team wins the cup.

    Equivalentising (?) AOC with Trump because both their enemies hate ’em is wrong, even evil. For example, when talking about locking up kids. Trunmp is not merely continuing an Obama policy. There is a vast difference between looking after un-accompanied children vs forcibly separating families. Only someone who has never been affected by that could possibly say that. Rinse and repeat for dozens/scores/hundreds of examples.

    Finally, look at who and what you are defending @26. It is defending the current status quo. For instance ‘every president will appoint justices’;. Yes, but it fails to take into account just how broken and abused and weaponized this process has been forced to become by Republicans. Solely Republicans ever since Obama’s Supreme Court nomination was blocked by them, continuing through Gorsuch and Kavanusgh. This is what you are defending.

    Even if you are not a US citizen, and neither am I btw, a neutral, popcorn eating, wow isn’t this entertaining, type position is untenable. You, too, have skin in this game.

  46. laurence1986 says

    @unclefrogy I can see that you love your country very much and your anger at Trump is in the threat he poses to the Republic. I think this is admirable and I don’t mean to be flippant about it. I appreciate your thoughtful reply and will take on board the idea that not living in a republic myself it’s difficult for me to see it in the same way.

  47. laurence1986 says

    @Rob Grigjanis UAE is a Muslim country which means that the foundations of our legal system, governance and culture are markedly different to that of the United States. You cannot expect a sudden overhaul all of that to instantly fit into the current western ideal. Even so, under our leadership the UAE has become a shining example of freedom and tolerance among the Arab states and in our success is leading the way that our neighbours are following. I invite you to visit one day, you’ll find Emiratis are warm and welcoming people and I believe your judgement will change

  48. laurence1986 says

    @indianajones i do realise that politics and sport are not the same, I used that example to illustrate my own personal engagement i.e. Just as I don’t have a particular team that I support I also don’t have a particular political side that I support. I don’t mean to belittle those that do take a side they and care very much about that, it’s just to explain my own position when I was accused of bothsideism. My original point was indeed just that: that there seems to be a parallel in how the right views AOC to how the left views Trump, I wasn’t suggesting that they themselves or their actions are equivalent or making any commentary on the validity of criticism from either side. My subsequent point about Trump being not that bad, I’m willing to concede based on @unclefrogy’s analysis that perhaps I’m not able to see the threat he poses in the same way which is why to me the criticism seems overblown.

  49. lochaber says

    “the UAE has become a shining example of freedom and tolerance ”

    So long as one isn’t part of the LGBTQ crowd, because they just don’t get to count as people, amirite?

  50. says

    I can’t see trump having much of a long term impact on the country

    Right. It’s not as if supreme court appointments are for life, or anything. Oh wait.

  51. rossthompson says

    @rossthompson projection?

    I mean, I am a middle class, middle-aged straight white man, but I actually have empathy for other human beings, and I care about what the government is doing to them in my name.

    Now obviously if it gets really really bad like actual government oppression then I may one day be forced into action (hopefully that day never comes) but I don’t think that’s the case in any western country currently.

    One in five African-American men will spend time in ail at some point in their life, often for crimes that warrant a stern talking-to when committed by whites.
    African-American women in America are two to six times more likely (depending on the state) to die from pregnancy and childbirth than white women.
    African-Americans are three times as likely to be shot by the police as white people.
    African-Americans earn, on average, 65% of what whites earn, and have just 5% of the wealth.
    Asylum seekers are being literally terrorized with the explicit, stated intention of convincing them that they’ll be safer staying in a fucking war zone than coming to America.
    Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water.

    What, exactly, counts as oppression to you? If you live in UAE, it kinda sounds like the slavery conditions that South Asian migrant workers experience don’t make the cut, but there has to be something out there that you’d consider bad if it were done to a class of people you don’t belong to, right?

  52. laurence1986 says

    @lochaber of course they count as people, every human is valuable. To impose western values of sexual morality on Muslim countries without giving them time to adapt is a form of cultural imperialism and if instituted would almost certainly lead to a backlash of extremism from people who believe their way of live is being attacked by foreign powers. I believe the approach of UAE leadership in gradually opening up the country, expanding ideas of tolerance and recognition of different ways of life is the only workable solution.

  53. laurence1986 says

    @rossthompson I believe the people of North Korea are oppressed, Muslims in western China are oppressed, those living under ISIS or the Taliban are oppressed. There are certainly degrees of oppression but I don’t believe it’s comparable with the conditions of South Asian workers in UAE (some are mistreated by their employers and this is a disgrace but they are free, it’s not like Qatar where you need an exit visa) or with the citizens of the US. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the condition of black people in the US but I’m sure they do suffer from racist discrimination (which is evil) but as far as I’m aware this is something that can only be fixed by curing the hearts of the evil-doers rather than through any specific policy changes.

  54. unclefrogy says

    under our leadership the UAE has become a shining example of freedom and tolerance among the Arab states

    Glad you qualified it as one of the Arab States that would not be a high rating world wide. I do appreciate that the Arab countries for the most part have a history (last 3-400 years) of despotic rule and that period of enlightened rule is far in the past. The “priests” , Imams and Mullahs have had too much control for far too long and have supported the “kings” as all religious I ever heard of do.
    your comment about leading the other countries forward brings to mind Marti Luther King’s comments about gradualism.
    I also see that there are other forces which would drive the whole world of a cliff into a new dark age if given half a chance. a world where nationalisms and religions and racisms fight each other for dominance while the world burns up.
    gradualism probably wont work to prevent “the fire next time”
    uncle frogy

  55. laurence1986 says

    @unclefrogy I was unfamiliar with that quote thanks for the reference. I know there is a utopian ideal that the middle East can suddenly become a liberal democracy but it’s not going to happen. If the various Royal families were suddenly deposed the region would not become a republic under the values of Voltaire and Thomas Paine, it would become a state of extremism and enforced religious conformity and all the developments in freedom and tolerance would be undone. It would truly be a catastrophe. I know the region is perhaps not as “enlightened” as the west but we are heading in the right direction. I realise this is again an argument for gradualism but in the Arab world I sincerely believe it’s the only practical way to progress.

  56. rossthompson says

    There are certainly degrees of oppression but I don’t believe it’s comparable with the conditions of South Asian workers in UAE (some are mistreated by their employers and this is a disgrace but they are free, it’s not like Qatar where you need an exit visa) or with the citizens of the US.

    So, some oppression is OK. If an employer holds back your wages, charges you more for your living expenses than you’re earning, or keeps hold of your passport (all things that are commonly documented for migrant workers in UAE) that’s fine, so long as you can point to someone else in some other county that has it worse?

    I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the condition of black people in the US but I’m sure they do suffer from racist discrimination (which is evil) but as far as I’m aware this is something that can only be fixed by curing the hearts of the evil-doers rather than through any specific policy changes.

    Of course specific policy changes are effective. How about we make it a policy to charge police officers with murder if they kill unarmed people? Or make it a policy to actually punish employers who steal their employees wages? Or to fire doctors who base their treatment plans on the idea that black people don’t feel pain? Maybe we stop the policy of having police and the FBI infiltrate and surveil mosques and black civil rights movements and ignoring the far-right white nationalist groups that are actually the cause of 95% of domestic terrorism?

    There will always be racist people, and saying that government can do nothing to prevent racism other than wait for all the racists to die is to force the government to be complicit in racism. We can and should enact policies that minimize what damage the racists do to our society.

    If the various Royal families were suddenly deposed the region would not become a republic under the values of Voltaire and Thomas Paine, it would become a state of extremism and enforced religious conformity and all the developments in freedom and tolerance would be undone. It would truly be a catastrophe.

    I say we give it a go and find out. Maybe you’ll be surprised, and Arabs are more tolerant than you think (remember that the US vetoed the post-invasion Afghani constitution because it was too liberal). or maybe you won’t be. But either way, they’ll be living in a society that they chose, rather than one that was forced upon them by a single billionaire family.

  57. rossthompson says

    Ah, I also meant to point out that America is currently rapidly heading towards a state of extremism and enforced religious conformity and undoing all the developments in freedom and tolerance so I’m not sure that the Middle East will be any worse at democracy than we are. Why shouldn’t they have the chance?

  58. laurence1986 says

    @rossthompson I believe your utopian vision of how the world should be and your indignation about how it’s not that way right now is clouding your reason. How do you propose that the Gulf becomes democratic? Through Western military intervention? Through a domestic coup? There is no demand for that, we are doing well, we are making progress, people’s lives are being improved and we are learning to love and treat one another with dignity and respect. There will always be injustices in the world and I admire your passion for the improvement of humanity worldwide but you must be practical and consider factors specifically pertaining to each country rather than merely asserting your own western ideals on how a country should be.

  59. rossthompson says

    How do you propose that the Gulf becomes democratic? Through Western military intervention?

    How about through not Western military intervention? How about we stop giving dictators weapons to use on their populace, and see what happens? How about when Middle-Eastern countries hold elections (like Egypt did a couple of years ago, after close personal friend of America Mubarak was ousted), we don’t arm the military to stage a coup, just because we don’t like the people they elected?

    asserting your own western ideals on how a country should be

    People should live under a system that benefits them and is rooted in their culture, not one that is imposed on them. If that looks nothing like a liberal western society, fine. They’re free to make that choice. But you’re the one claiming that Middle-Easterners shouldn’t be allowed to choose their own system of government, not me.

  60. laurence1986 says

    @rossthompson I don’t know why you would bring up Egypt, it’s neither a gulf country nor a monarchy and is culturally and geographically distant from UAE. We agree that neither of us want American military intervention, there isn’t going to be an uprising in the UAE nor in any other Gulf country (at least not for the foreseeable future) we like our monarchy, our economy is doing well and people’s lives are improving. Why do you want to interfere with that?

  61. rossthompson says

    Once again, I want us to stop interfering. If UAE’s monarchy can survive without US money and weapons, great. If they can’t, they don’t deserve to.

    If people like the monarchy, they should keep it. But not being able to protest is not the same as not wanting to protest, and with the US’s interference, it’s really hard to tell the difference.

  62. laurence1986 says

    @rossthompson OK I think we agree on this. My apologies for getting frustrated, I believe I misunderstood you

  63. laurence1986 says

    If its not too much bother I’d really like to ask about your opinions on the democratic candidates (obviously it’s still very early days) but I’m curious who:
    A) is the candidate you most want to win the nomination
    B) is the candidate you least want to win the nomination
    C) is the candidate you believe has the best chance of defeating Trump (this answer of course might be the same as A or B)

    Thanks so much

  64. rossthompson says

    A) Elizabeth Warren. Though I think I’d rather see her on the Supreme Court than in the White House.
    B) Joe Biden.
    C) Any of them. Democrats shouldn’t care about who’s “electable” any more than Republicans did. Noone was sitting around demanding that no-one vote for Trump because Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz was more likely to beat Clinton. Pick the person you most want to win, and send them into battle unencumbered by second-guesses about who your opponents want you to run.

  65. indianajones says

    Laurence, why do you refuse to draw a moral/ethical/logical distinction between sides of US politics? I mean I can understand that you don;t have any influence here (no vote). But suppose you did. What then and why?

  66. laurence1986 says

    @indianajones good question. I think for a few reasons 1) It really doesn’t affect me much at all so that does impact my emotional engagement (I know that probably makes me sound selfish and heartless but I do want America to succeed and for people to live happy lives but that applies to all peoples not just US citizens) 2) I think for a democracy to run well you need both the left and the right just like the brain needs both hemispheres if it swings too far one way then it needs to go back the other 3) I’m just not a naturally tribal person so it keeps me away from the sort of in-group out-group mentality.
    If I could vote, despite my earlier defence of Trump and saying I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s made out to be, he’s not the beacon of moral decency as a statesman in his position should be. But I don’t really know who I would choose instead, this is why I ask about the democratic candidates, I’m interested to find out more about them.

  67. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    laurence1986,
    We have a saying in America. If you aren’t upset, you haven’t been paying attention. You contend that US politics do not affect you. If this is true, could you tell me which planet you live on, because Darth Cheeto and his party are working very, very hard to make Earth uninhabitable.

    You say that you need both left and right for a democratic system to work. However, this is not about left and right. It is about one side that is somewhat well meaning, however clueless, and one that is pure evil.

    As to whether DJT is as bad as people say–he’s worse. This man is a complete imbecile. He has been a joke for decades and has only gotten worse with age. Please educate yourself.

  68. leerudolph says

    My goodness. I let my attention lapse for no more than 20 hours or so, and when I come back to this thread it’s been thoroughly troll-stricken.

  69. monad says

    AOC is to the right what Trump is to the left.

    You know, though, this is actually true. Not because they are at all similar, but because their differences are representative.

    Trump is a dishonest, racist con man using his massive privilege to enrich his family, make things easier for the rich and harder for the poor, to give public land up for drilling and leave people unaided in the face of hurricanes, to brutalize minorities just for the sake of brutalizing someone, and so on. He’s the physical incarnation of everything the left despises.

    AOC is a hard-working, well-educated non-white woman who would like to change the system to make things better for ordinary people and prevent the rich from destroying the world. She’s the epitome of everything the right despises.

  70. unclefrogy says

    I’m just not a naturally tribal person so it keeps me away from the sort of in-group out-group mentality.

    you know I think you actually believe that I how ever do not.
    If you really want to “liberalize” any of the many de-facto feudal states any where I would include North Korea as a feudal state one of the simplest and one of the most necessary thing for any societies stability would be to require all people to pay their fare share of taxes to support the government and all wages be at or above a minimum that would insure that they could live on, here that would be at the scraping by level of at least $15 per hour in addition full medical and retirement. That would include all labor including imported contract labor . If you want a stable prosperous country with some degree of liberty the f’n rich have just got to get off some of the f’n money and relinquish some of the power that they hold. Other wise why would any citizen ever support anything else except through violence and intimidation.
    One of the things that enabled the American revolution to succeed and the former colonies to prosper and become what it has is this we developed without being restricted by the old european class systems and the gentries patronage maybe more of an ideal than in practice but never the less.
    any thing less is just a game of thrones and just as pointless.
    uncle frogy

  71. rossthompson says

    I think for a democracy to run well you need both the left and the right just like the brain needs both hemispheres if it swings too far one way then it needs to go back the other

    Anodyne, meaningless word salad. The political “left” and “right” aren’t fixed positions, but need to be defined in terms of something. And, in the most reasonable context, America currently does not have a left wing party, but rather an extreme right and a center right, as the average voter’s position on most policies is to the left of the Democratic party. Saying “you need both the left and right” to justify the status-quo without actually critiquing the range of available, acceptable political options is lazy and vapid and only serves to insulate you from having an actual opinion.

    Taking the terms back to their origin, you might as well say that democracy needs both a monarchist and an anti-monarchist party. It’s just as meaningful and adds the same amount to the discourse.

  72. DanDare says

    This is why I dislike the labels Left and Right. They also make it seem like a society only has two positions. That is just not so. Self governance has to require consideration of a multi dimensional issue set.
    Laurance you categorisation of left and right earlier might fit within the democrats or between the democrats and the greens. The republicans at present are beyond simple authoritarian and make your definition of right seem mild.
    You live in the UAE that is going to be impacted by climate change, climate refugees, economic collapse and violence in a big way if the global community does not succeed in dealing with the situatuon at hand. Do you really think you are just an observer to these things?

  73. AstrySol says

    Wow, just wow. It appears that Dubai is not bordering any oceans on this earth, or the entirety of UAE does not exist in earth atmosphere and will not be affected by any extreme weather aggravated by climate change at all.

    Also,

    From what I’ve seen of protests there’s a lot of angry (hate to say it quite ugly) feminists, beta males and unemployed socialists – people who are unable to successfully compete in a socio-sexual hierarchy.

    That’s so many alt-right dog-whistles blown together that I thought the dogs may actually be deaf for a moment. Do all trolls have the superpower to distinguish those “feminists, beta males and unemployed socialists” just from the looks (especially the “beta” and “unemployed” part) or are they just mindlessly repeating what’s been fed to them instead of, you know, “learning”?

    By the way, this is not supposed to be a question and I’m not seeking answers. If you know enough to make borderline-sensible comparisons between AOC and Individual 1, you should have known about those dog-whistles and why they are not true, rather than deliberately use them here to make people take them down in the name of “learning”.

  74. unclefrogy says

    <

    blockquote>people who are unable to successfully compete in a socio-sexual hierarchy.
    that relies on the supposition the the said competition is fair like an egalitarian ideal.
    You should know even if you wont admit it that it is not in any way not slanted in favor of the rich and favored segment of society and those who deviate from that can not compete on anything like equal footing. You are offering nothing but bull shit in a calm manner bull shit none the less.
    uncle frogy

  75. microraptor says

    AstrySol @86: It’s so many dog whistles I’m wondering why anyone’s treating Laurence seriously after that post.

  76. laurence1986 says

    OK one last spitball before I leave you in peace. I believe that the American left has become a religion and an Abrahamic religion in structure. I believe it’s doctrine is based on the following tenets:

    1) The status quo in America (and much of the world) is oppressive and unequal – Fallen World

    2) Destructive evil dwells in the hearts of many in the form of racism, homophobia etc – Sin

    3) All this evil has its roots in colonialism – Original Sin

    4) Donald Trump is the embodiment of this evil, anyone who believes otherwise is either evil themselves or uninformed – Satan (currently)

    5) Voting republican is completely unacceptable – The Unforgivable Sin

    6) Climate change will bring the end of the world as we know it – Armageddon

    You have thousands of years of Christianity forming the culture you’re in, it’s perfectly natural that it would leave behind some residue and I think this is where it is. I have enough experience dealing with dogmatic religious people to know when they have become blind to different perspectives so I will leave you all to continue affirming your beliefs.

    I hope you all get the chance to visit my country one day, be well.

  77. monad says

    Huh. And here I foolishly believed things like not listening to extremely competent scientists who say that climate change will be one of the worst disasters civilization has ever faced, letting thousands of people die in Puerto Rico, removing restrictions on pollution that is expected to cause thousands of excess deaths each year, building special prisons for thousands of Hispanic children, taking away rights from gay people and trans people and women, and so on, were things I disliked because of reason and empathy. I never realized it was all just some ridiculous Abrahamic-style religion I picked up!

    Guess I’ll need to carefully reconsider if those are actually bad things after all. Thanks for opening my eyes, laurence1986. Your ability to stay uncommitted to any tribe while masses of people are having their lives destroyed in front of you is an inspiration to us all.

  78. chigau (違う) says

    I, for one, hope that laurence1986 sticks the flounce.
    That was a bit tedious.

  79. says

    Jesus water-skiing Christ, I actually thought Laurence was going to make some sort of nuanced point, but by three posts in the suspicion started, and I stopped reading after about post #25. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

    Laurence, in case you’re here still, I have something for you: POLITICS IS NOT A FUCKING SPECTATOR SPORT. How goddamn privileged do you have to be to sit here and go “Oh I just watch it for the lulz?” Peoples’ lives and livelihoods are on the line here! I have had so many friends die of preventable causes and poverty and homelessness and just plain suicidal despair who might still be alive were it not for the direction “politics” has taken over the last 40+ years.

    In conclusion: go to Hell and tell ’em Marissa sent you.

  80. atheist666 says

    Green New Deal is good. These stupid republican thugs have no respect for science. Trump is sciencephobic. AOC can win if she removes the socialist tag from Green New Deal. Some people are skeptical of socialism and it’s not their fault also. People in socialist Venezuela are literally eating their pets!

  81. microraptor says

    Venezuala’s a dictatorship, not a democratic socialist country.

    Also,I don’t know how true the stories of people eating their pets are, but quite a bit of the situation in that country is due to our government’s blatant hostility and obstruction of aid.

  82. ck, the Irate Lump says

    atheist666 wrote:

    AOC can win if she removes the socialist tag from Green New Deal. Some people are skeptical of socialism and it’s not their fault also.

    The Democratic party has been running from being branded as “socialist” for decades, and regardless of what policies they actually put forth, the Republicans claim it’s all socialism and communism. The more you try to run from it, the harder they tar you with it. Case in point is Obama’s term. As Democratic economist Brad DeLong said:

    “Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney’s health care policy, with John McCain’s climate policy, with Bill Clinton’s tax policy, and George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy. […] And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No, they f–king did not.”

    The lesson of the Obama administration is that you can’t escape the “socialist” tag even by adopting Republican policy. The word has ceased meaning anything for vast portions of the population except as a shorthand for those I hate.

  83. KG says

    People in socialist Venezuela are literally eating their pets! – atheist666@94

    Maenwhile socialist China has been growing economically at a historically unprecedented rate over decades, has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and is on course to overtake the USA as the world’s largest economy.

    You can of course argue that China’s not really socialist since Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, but the “commanding heights” of the economy remain under state control, and it’s certainly much more so than Venezuela, where almost all production, apart from crude oil, has remained in private hands. Both the successes in the Chavez years – which saw huge falls in poverty, and improvements in health and literacy – and the current crisis, are very largely the result of the price of oil. Exacerbated in the case of the latter by the stupidity of Maduro, and deliberate sabotage from both within and without.

  84. AstrySol says

    @ 94

    AOC can win if she removes the socialist tag from Green New Deal.

    As if she can remove this scapegoating tag created from RWNJs.

    By the way, socialism == Venezuela == bad is another famous right wing dog whistle, because those people literally don’t know anything other than this force-fed equation (does “socialism” mean some state owned property in the economy, which lots of European nations, China, and many other thriving countries have? All economy has to be state owned, which no one is remotely proposing? Or just some progressive policies enacted by, say, northern Europe countries?). It’s like seeing Pavlov’s dog in action.

  85. says

    I hope you all get the chance to visit my country one day, be well.

    Difficult, since your ‘shining example of progress’ criminalizes my existence and would arrest me as soon as the plane touched down.

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