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Old 05-30-2017, 10:26 AM   #1
sundialsvcs
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[Politics] If you lived in interesting times, would you know it at the time?


Let's face it: "we do live in interesting times." And I'm not just talking about the Internet. I'm talking about the last two years.

I'm in my fifties now, and through much of my life I have watched the systematic unraveling of the "social contract" that governments have with their citizens. For instance, in my childhood we had "public hospitals" that anyone could go into without risking bankruptcy. Everyone who graduated from high school could actually read their diploma. (Even if it took them thirteen or even fourteen years to graduate. Back then, believe it or not, you could actually fail.). And, they could then find a way to go on from high school to college without becoming bankrupt in the process. "Made In Japan" was a term of ridicule. My American-made bike turned out to be indestructible. (I know. I tried. )

I watched, first in disbelief and then in horror, as all of this was systematically replaced by an entirely different (and, ruthlessly exploitative) social contract ... and it was declared to be "the new normal." Things that I had learned to take for granted became unobtainable. Exploitative international trade agreements became commonplace as domestic production – and, apparently, all interest in maintaining rigorous productive capacity – simply withered away. "The Peculiar Institution" made its reappearance in the form of indentured servitude, and another class of foreigner was victimized – this time, using (non-)immigration law and a legal status that had never before existed. All of Europe seemed determined to re-invent itself as "The United States of Europe." And, so on.

Then, about a year and a half to two years ago, I finally began to see the first clear signs of a "sea change" taking place. Britain was talking about "Brexit." And, after forty years of US Presidents who were more or less carbon-copies of the same thing, an entirely new kind of President was coming into view, and it very quickly became clear to me that he was going to be elected. (Why was I certain of this? Because every media outlet calmly insisted that nothing had changed, and that nothing was ever going to. Hillary was calmly making her cabinet picks, and the Press was equally-calmly talking about her new administration as though the election was perfunctory.)

Today, we see a scramble to return to "status quo" as quickly as possible: to dismiss (and maybe even to revoke) the election as a "hack," and to somehow say "Yer Fired!" to the very man who made that phrase a catch-phrase. The media drools over the thought of bouncing Trump out of the picture – by any means necessary – so that we can at last return to what is ... in their clouded vision ... the comfort zone: "another Old Predictable White Guy who is a Predictable Professional Politician." ("All right everybody, we've fixed it. Now, go back to sleep!")

But, are these not simply affirmations that something very dramatic and lasting has happened, right before our eyes? In our time?

Britain did withdraw from the EU Treaty. China(!) withdrew (first) from the TPP Treaty, declaring that "Asia should be for Asians." Meanwhile, Mexico(!!) is looking askance at the NAFTA Treaty. Here we have nations acting as they never did before, and repudiating a type of agreement that we were matter-of-factly told was "the new normal." And, although the American media is right now covering none of it (they're still in denial, I suppose ...), our ever-patient Librarians of Congress are letting us know that some very-different legislation is now percolating around the various committees ... and, getting some traction there.

"The times, they are a changin.'"

But, do we know it, in our time?

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 05-30-2017 at 10:41 AM.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 10:51 AM   #2
rokytnji
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Makes ya wonder how we survived?

Without seatbelts.
Without internet.
Without govt interfering with everything to car registration to free trade act.
Other side of the tracks did not have CIA crack yet.
No instant communication channels.

Water fountains for blacks and whites.
Womens rights were worse than now.

Vietnam and Korea and other things going on. You just did not get details is all - like you do now.

Cuban missle crisis and the end of the world was in sight.

I've been living in interesting times my whole life. My parents were raised in a interesting environment < Death Camps >

I see nothing new here. Just more control is all. With folks being informed while being buffaloed at the same time. By everyone.

Last edited by rokytnji; 05-30-2017 at 10:52 AM.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Cool A slightly different view - slightly

I think we have gone into a time without reason. Be you a Democrat or a Republican It is hard to believe we are reasonable. Today's tone is reminiscent of the watergate era. I no longer believe that things will return to an as you were status. I don't trust computers any more. Mine yours or someone else’s. Computers you and I have one but they I think are a tool of whatever government. I am against terrorism but we as a society are playing into their hands. Terror deaths in this country are approx as frequent as deaths from lightening. All types of media constantly cover terror incidents. The country is afraid and at wits end. They elected a strong leader. I think this was a knee jerk reaction to the way they feel and think. This is reminiscent of WW2 where Hitler drove home the premise that a scapegoat was responsible for their problems. If they could just eliminate this problem everything would return to normal(Good luck with that one). We have forgotten who we are any more. Remember Fahrenheit 451 where they burned books. The books and the wisdom this generation are looking for are I think no longer there. For the young(ah youth)
you're powers of observation should be sharper than any razor. Ask yourself when you walk in the library what isn't there and just as important why? And the newspaper of course. You are still a free person. What do they say free in your mind if you want to be. Another thing that I took to heart when I was young was that I wanted to be very good at all things I tried history, math, statistics, etc. This way paid off for me over time. Linux is one of those things. If you live brave and true without compromise you'll never regret your last breath.
 
Old 05-30-2017, 05:07 PM   #4
sundialsvcs
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Kudsu, thankfully I believe that the USA did not "elect a Hitler." Trump has never suggested that a third-party scapegoat is responsible for any part of "the mess" that he willingly inherited. All of this is entirely a problem of this country's own making, and they did it to themselves with eyes wide open, over the course of many misguided decades.

I think that they now made an entirely unconventional choice – "neither a General nor a Politician," essentially for the first time in all of US history – but I believe that it was a genuine choice, a purposeful choice, and that the man they elected is sincere. I really do believe that the man means well, even though he is right now getting a "baptism by fire" with regards to how DC actually works (today).

But – this is how a sea-change happens. I believe that the public was also "shrewd" in the choice that they made. It is very noteworthy that this is really the only "radical change" they made ... this time. They returned most of the Congress, notably the House of Representatives, to their seats. But the one radical change that they did make is certainly radical enough for historians to one day declare that a transformation of American politics began on precisely that day.

For the very first time, the American people elected a chief executive to be their Government's Chief Executive. He is a shrewd man who is not cut from the same cloth as the politicians which he must deal with, and whom he can only seek to persuade. They don't work for him. He can't fire them. And yet, he is an open threat to them. They fear him. But most of all they fear change, and they know that they really can't stop it.

Myself, I hope that they will (soon) come to accept what the American people have chosen to do, and that they will begin to align themselves behind the mandate for change and be willing to implement it ... challenging the President, of course, every step of the way, as they are supposed to do. I don't ever want to hear these words again: "impeach, "indict," "hack," "Russian <whatever>," and especially, "assassinate(!)" or "death." The people made their choice, and now they expect everyone that they elected to get to work.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 05-30-2017 at 05:14 PM.
 
Old 05-31-2017, 09:10 AM   #5
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Question Friends don't take this seriously...

I heard the other day that an ASSSRAHNIM was someone who believes that computers and unceasing unrelenting coverage of terrorism will lead to a better society. I find this sad and a description of who we are as a society. There have been thorough studies that predict an environment like we are in. Will lead to tha unwinding of civilization as we know it.Remember 1984, Brave new world or Fahrenheit 451 the people were constantly at war. They wanted a leader. They got one and he told them he would defeat terrorism. Whether its the Jews under Hitler or terrorism under Trump when are we going to win against terrorism. I don't think its going to happen.
 
Old 05-31-2017, 09:49 AM   #6
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It is my regarded opinion that everyone alive today has always lived in "interesting times" because of the confluence of Economics and Technology. They feed off each other and have created a maelstrom of change that is ever accelerating. While Cindy Lauper's lyrics didn't explore the full depth of the concept, the title of her song, Money Changes Everything is spot on. Economics is the most fundamental force that shapes a person, a group of people, up through Nations, alliances and conflicting Nations, and ultimately The Global Community.

You may remember a fairly important book from the 1970 entitled Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, a visionary futurist and "ancestor" of Kurzweil, but his next book, Third Wave, although more specific and telling didn't get the notice that Future Shock did. I encourage any and everyone to read this book to get an overview on the historical evolution of mankind as it can be divided into stages - Hunter/Gatherer, Agrarian, Industrial, and Information/Technology. In each prior stage the transition from the previous to the next was as traumatic as any live birth. You always have the remnants of the older Power Elite hanging on to what they know and how they see the world and who emphatically and finally desperately, resist change conflicting with not only a new generation but a whole other way of viewing the World that doesn't include the Old Guard in it.

Evolution of any and everything has one basic underlying principle - Adapt, or Cease to Exist. It doesn't get any more fundamental than that. The chaos we all see and feel is a result of exactly such a clash of transition.

PS - many here being shaped by the bogus polarity imagined between Conservative and Liberal (things, especially people, are just not that simple) will skip the above books because of Tofler's apparent politics, but that will be truly unfortunate as well as a symptom of exactly what the book is about - extricating oneself from "the Trees" at least temporarily to be able to perceive "the Woods".

Last edited by enorbet; 05-31-2017 at 09:56 AM.
 
Old 05-31-2017, 04:40 PM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Actually, what particularly piques my interest about "these times" is the fact that ... perhaps, worldwide ... "we all seem to finally be waking-up from Ronald Reagan."

To my way of thinking, "1980" was approximately the moment when "the entire world, it would now seem," swallowed the Kool-Aid® which said that "what is good for a corporation must be good for a society."

And so, over the course of the next 35 years(!), we apparently steadfastly sought to implement this ideal, without once seriously questioning it.

Trouble is, "a corporation" is, by design, "an entirely synthetic thing." It literally exists in "an accountant's world of abstract 'widgets.'" Its sacrosanct goals "turn only and steadfastly inwards," to satisfy its shareholders Wall Street speculators. Any and every thing that exists "beyond its Balance Sheet" very-simply does not exist at all.

It probably took only a few-billion dollars, quietly shoveled beneath the Supreme Court's august robes, to persuade said Court to declare that "a corporation" is fully-equivalent to "a citizen," but I would very-candidly suggest that, by this time, "the Handwriting was already on the Wall." The fiction was already falling apart. The actual, human citizens of nations around the world were inexorably beginning to realize that so-called "Globalization" was ... not only "not(!) a 'foregone conclusion'" ... but, indeed, "an outright fraud."

"Yes, Virginia ... 'nations' still matter!"

China declared that "Asia should be for Asians." The UK declared that "the UK should be for the UK." America declared, "America First!" Mexico is likewise beginning to seriously reconsider what exactly happens to its citizens when they pass North of their nation's border ... with or without a wall.

To my way of thinking, then, "this(!) is the true Sea Change." Most-significantly, it is not confined to one nation. All across the planet, nations are reconsidering ... the proper role (and, influence) of: "corporations."

And, I think, they are also reconsidering the social contracts ... explicit, or implied ... that they necessarily hold with their own native citizens.

All of this seems to have ... finally(!) ... begun happening in the last two years. "And it is(!) '[much ...] bigger than America.'"
 
Old 05-31-2017, 10:29 PM   #8
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Around the 1900s was probly' right up there, but its modern communications that allow us to see so much and so far. Those of us who look.

So I'd say these are the most interesting days yet if only for our ability to watch. 'Course, depends who you are as well as where.

I'm particularly amazed at one item making almost no press yet is set to alienate an entire genetic pool or even several stateside. With the DARPA thing railroaded right over the tops of the only "right" Amerikan Indians ever had. That over their land which is essentially their land no more.
Took hundreds of years, but this age the robbery is complete. Slo-mo like Palestine.
And just to make sure eskimoes didn't start thinking they actually have any other choice but to bow before the dominant culture and cede any lands deemed too valuable to be wasted on them, recent robberies targetted lands their cultures rely on.
All indiginous cultures alienated? Check! Barely a media mention but all there if you look. They need to get their applications into Wallmart and forget all that non-majority mumbo jumbo. "Assimilate" is the new catchphrase for that.

See much the same of Europe. The "one way". Lotsa talk about "assimilation".

I'll stay in SE Asia thnx and watch from here.
 
Old 06-02-2017, 06:25 AM   #9
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Come somebody please roll all these sundialsvcs political threads into one mega-thread rather than having a new one ever few days?
 
Old 06-02-2017, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Actually, what particularly piques my interest about "these times" is the fact that ... perhaps, worldwide ... "we all seem to finally be waking-up from Ronald Reagan."
While it is possible, likely even inevitable, when the Old Guard mentality of the Industrial revolution breathes it's last gasp, that the US will "wake up from Ronald Reagan", given the election of The Donald that hardly seems imminent. It is however quite interesting that some of the many corporations that urged Trump to NOT withdraw from the Paris Accord were in fact Big Oil companies. I imagine that those boys are of the mindset to keep Oil on top and profitable as long as possible but be poised to jump on the bandwagon and in the driver's seat of whatever takes its place. That said, it seems that much of the masses think the Emperor's clothes are "to die for" beautiful and the below meme is still true.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:02 PM   #11
sundialsvcs
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Personally, I always felt that the Paris Agreements were "feel-good legislation" that would also penalize "geographically large areas that consist of single countries," without giving proper attention to Europe itself – a "geographically large area that consists of many smaller countries." Furthermore, I felt that the financial-involvement clauses were both unnecessary and "a number quite drawn out of a hat."

I personally think that countries are individually quite capable of dealing with their pollution problems – if they want to – without creating yet another international bureaucracy.

So, it really does not disturb me that someone who is by experience a non-politician is giving things like these a very hard bit of scrutiny. "Isn't a country's government supposed to be responsible for that country's pollution?"

Oil companies don't want the USA to withdraw from the treaty only(!) because a helluva lot of the money that was called-for by this treaty was being paid to them!

It's funny how different the actual texts of these things "that we read so much about," turn out to be so very different if we "actually read them!" (And, thanks to the Internet, anyone on Earth now can.)
 
  


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