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cosmicrat
Peace, freedom, equality, tolerance, and justice for all
05.12.2017 (46 days ago)
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WHY DO I BOTHER?
by cosmicrat ·
5-December-2017, 7:02 am

I don't give up easily, even when things seem to have gotten worse than I ever imagined they would. I haven't given up on my country, despite the Trumpian nightmare in which the honor and decency of our national leadership has taken a long sharp dive from better than average to less than nothing.
I don't believe the loss is permanent. Recovering won't be easy, but we've done it before. It's a big country, with several million more good, intelligent people than those who are otherwise.

I am becoming much less certain about the future of Schmoozezone. At one time there seemed to be a reasonably wide variety of viewpoints and interest in intelligent discussion. But lately it seems as if I'm trying to discuss social equality with the likes of David Duke or Steve Bannon, or religious freedom amidst the Spanish Inquisition.

Increasingly, there seems to be no common ground here at all. There is an alternate reality that does not correspond with the world outside. There seems to be an impenetratable wall against both rationality and empathy.

Perhaps I should just abandon this tiny portion of the universe, if no good can come of staying.

~~cosmicrat Dec 5 2017

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  •  cosmicrat: 
     

    This is a quote I'm sharing because I think it explains the concept of white privilege especially well.

    "Being a white, cis, straight male in this country gives you the easiest path. That’s NOT to say that there are no white, cishet men who suffer, or that no homeless people are white, cishet men, or that white, cishet men don’t also sometimes have problems. But, overall, if you are a white, cishet male, people are more likely to take you seriously, to offer you the job, accept you to the school, overlook bad behavior, give you the loan or grant, listen to you in meetings, value your opinion, and not harass you in the street or in a store or while driving. THAT is white privilege. White privilege is the assumption that being a white, cishet male is the norm. The voices of white men are always louder than the voices of POC and LGBTQIA folk, louder than women. And, jumping on the privilege train, the voices of white women are louder than the voices of WOC. Which is why I’m speaking up now.
    The problem we’re seeing these days is that these white, cishet men see POC, women, LGBTQIA folk, etc., asking for EQUAL treatment and think that they are being asked to GIVE UP their own freedoms, privileges, etc. In a way, they are. They’re being asked to treat everyone the same, instead of riding their privilege to the top of the pack. They’re being asked to recognize that others don’t have the same opportunities and benefits that they do and to work to correct that. They’re being asked to recognize their own bad behavior and stop fucking doing it.
    And they don’t like that. They want to keep their superiority. Which translates into even more racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so on from these white, cishet men who see leveling the playing field as oppression against them.

    The discussion lasted for over 60 comments, and I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere even before I started, but I persisted until the original poster begged us all to stop. The discussion was civilized if not fruitful. I tend to get into these things assuming the person I’m debating with isn’t going to change his mind, but maybe someone else is listening and will consider my words, which is why I bother at all.

    But all of this got me thinking in broader terms, about how important diversity in media is. Part of white privilege is knowing that everywhere we turn (in this country), we’ll see ourselves. We don’t have to get used to being different, or get comfortable with the “other,” or learn to live like the majority so we can blend in and get farther. We are the majority. So, not only is diversity in entertainment and literature important so that minorities and marginalized people can see themselves reflected in that media, but also to get the rest of us used to seeing people other than ourselves on the screen, in books, on stage, in music, etc."

     
     34 days ago 
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  •  cosmicrat: 
     

    To begin with, I would appreciate your not using made-up terminology as part of your derogatory tone toward whatever you disagree with.  There is no organization I have heard of that labels itself "alt-left." 

    The term "alt-right" was coined by some who wanted to loosely associate their own organizations in the realm of white nationalism, an "alternative" to the economic or fundamentalist religious focus of the traditional right wing.  It doesn't mean that some in the two branches of conservatism don't overlap, but that each has a different focus.

    Referring to "the left" doesn't define a specific ideology.  There is quite a wide range in both degree and style of "leftness", with a general desire to improve the well-being of the vast majority of human beings in common.

    The term "regressive left" is an oxymoron.  The left is progressive.  It seeks progress, whether gradual or immediate, economic or social.  You may not LIKE progress, or a particular kind of it, but that doesn't redefine it.  A regressive is a conservative who wants to undo or destroy progress, to go back to a past system or society.

    As I mentioned, I don't expect everyone to agree on everything.  Since that won't happen, to have a relatively peaceful and harmonious society, tolerance is the key, and in communicating, the words used matter.  Insults are counterproductive, whether overt or subtle.

     
     43 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 
     

    @CosmicRat

    I don't think you really know what is going on out there.  Therefore, I am going to post this short video; please watch these SJW college students acting like fools.  This is the mentality that the regressive left has been fostering over the last decade or so.

     
     44 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 
     

    I just noticed you mentioned Social Equality.  Are you referring to the alt-left idea of equality of outcomes?  We have equal opportunity and that is what is important.  What people do with that equal opportunity is up to them.

    I suggest reading Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron"

     
     45 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 
     

    Are you just wanting an echo chamber of your views ((()))?  Or do you want real discussions?  I don't believe in identity politics or group identity politics; they are bad.  If someone wants to get into a real discussion about real things, then let's go.  For example, this alt-left ideal of White Privilege and that Blacks are being oppressed when it is not true.  Actually, there are programmes out there just for Blacks to help them build businesses and to get in college even if their grades are not as good as some White person trying to get into the same school.  While I have not heard about it recently; I don't watch much television, there is a Black only scholarship fund.  More women and Blacks enroll in college now than White men.  There are some serious issues for Blacks, such as the high rate at which Black males kill other Black males.  We need to try and discuss the real issue for why it is and not some BS as it is oppression of Blacks by Whites.  I agree with many in the Black community that the problem is the high rate of Black women having multiple children with multiple partners and never being married.  A good stable family is important to raising good stable children that grow into responsible adults.  I have been out of university for a few years (remember I attended a Black university) and even back then there were seminars trying to get Black men to take responsibility for the children they fathered.  The reason that there are so many Blacks in prison is not because there is some system in place to put Blacks in prison but that Blacks are more likely to get involved in certain crimes.  Why?  We need to ask hard question about why and not pretend it is because of Whites.  Don't believe there are not a lot of Blacks that are asking the same questions and not crying it is the White man's fault.  Hunt on YouTube and you will see this is true.  If we; as a society, are going to help fix the Black issues, then we have to face the reality and not dish up political bullshit that is just intended to get votes on election day.  I really care, the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton don't.

    Trumpian nightmare?  If you want to talk about the real issues then fine but I don't want to get into the alt-left BS about trump being a fascist and a Nazi.  He is turning out to be a conservative republican and I will admit that is a disappointment.  The tax reform is just another thing to help the rich.  However, Obama was for the rich as well; did you forget he extended the Bush tax cuts?  The changes in net neutrality is another move for the rich.  We know what will happen, Comcast and Verizon will go back to the dirty dealings as they did before.  Trump is not going to work to get jobs back into the USA; he went along with the One China bullshit just as Obama and those before.  What I don't want to hear is how Trump talked about molesting women, he didn't.  Hate Trump if you like but be honest.  Trump said that you can grab them by the pussy and they will let you.  Well, he was correct.  We have certainly seen how women will let some celebrity grab their pussy just because they are famous.  Also, they don't mind whoring themselves out for a career.  The BS about I didn't have a choice..., yes, you did have a choice and you decided which was more important.

    I actually thought Trump would win because if you look at the current pattern, voters are switching parties in the White House every eight years.  I don't know if Trump will be reelected or not but there is a good chance he will be just because of statistics.

    I would like to discuss things as long as everyone is honest.  I won't go along with made up BS such as the gender wage gap or White privilege or that all Whites are inherently racist just because they were born White or that police are hunting down Blacks or cultural appropriation, and so forth. None of that stuff really helps us as a society and just the opposite, it is trying to move Western Civilisation into a Marxist state.  Do you really want to live in a society where thought and actions are controlled?  Where you are punished if you have the wrong thoughts?  Do you want a society where you can be thrown in prison for wearing a pig hat (this really happened in the UK)?

     
     45 days ago·2 replies2 replies 
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    •  Midianlord: 
       

      What means "((()))"?

       
       44 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        My apologies on that.  I forgot the regressive left hysteria that it was being used to as an anti-semitic indicator.

         
         44 days ago 
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    •  cosmicrat: 
       

      No, I don't expect people to agree on all issues.  There would no point in discussing anything if that were the case.  What I do expect is a rational acceptance of known reality, and some attempt at logical thought.

      You continue to deny that there is a problem with inequality of opportunity and justice for racial and ethnic minorities in this country.  Serious researchers using all reliable information have determined beyond a doubt that there is a problem.

      You keep claiming that I blame "all white people", and I have said the opposite several times- that most Americans are not racist, and do not discriminate.  Indeed there are many who are working in various ways to alleviate and compensate for the effects, and oppose and prevent discrimination.

      It has nothing to do with guilt for our ancestors, or for being the same color as those who perpetrate prejudice.  It comes from wanting this to be a just and fair society.  Yes, we have made it better than it was a few decades ago, but the task is not over.

      Not everyone needs to be an activist, or advocate, but at least recognize the problem and don't attack those who are trying to do something.

      You seem to frequently insult the "left", and liberals.  I don't know what you thought Bernie Sanders was.  

      What is the worst I have seen recently is prejudice against ALL Muslims.  If you want to condemn terrorists, I agree, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Hindu.  At least recognize that only a small number of ANY of those are violent extremists.   

      It's pointless for me to keep arguing against bigotry and ignorance if you're going to insist on repeating it again and again.

       
       44 days ago·6 replies6 replies 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        I will say it once again, show me the proof, list it.

        Who is it that has the inequality of opportunity?  List them and how it is that they lack this opportunity. I have already said; without any data but if you want it I will get it, that more women and Blacks now attend university than While men.  So it is not in school where there is not an opportunity.

        Actually, I look forward to this.  One of the big talking points of the alt-left, and even Obama repeated this lie, is that there is a gender wage gap.  There isn't a gender wage gap; it was bad statistics.  What they did was to add up all the wages of men and all the wages of women.  However, you can not do it that way, that is bad stats.  If you want to see if there is a gender wage gap, you add up all the wages of say male electrical engineers and all female electrical engineers and you compare them.

         
         44 days ago 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        Because the left I use to be with is no more.  The left; pushed by Soros, have gone off the deep end.  They are pushing identity and group politics that is hurting people.  I don't like the right either; in case you are wondering.  I am standing in the middle and I can see the problems with both sides.  I think if you really read and studied you could see this as well.  The democratic party is no longer the party of the working class.  That ended when the Clintons gain control of the party; they destroyed the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy.

         
         44 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  cosmicrat: 
           

          The "left", as I mentioned, is not a homogeneous entity.  There are dozens of different viewpoints within it, varying both in their preferred solutions and in their strategy of moving toward them.  If you have positive views about what you think should be done, you should express them.  Simply rejecting everyone else's ideas doesn't contribute anything.

          There are some in every group who haven't learned and thought enough about what they are trying to do, and make mistakes.  They don't represent the majority of the movement of which they want to be a part.  It is not a fair argument to point to them as examples.  

          You seem to be more concerned with the personalities in politics than the principles and platforms.  Democrats are still working toward the kind of changes that FDR wanted to achieve.  Liberals still define ourselves as JFK eloquently proclaimed.

          “If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.”

          The Democratic party did change after 1964, but not for the worse.  It rid itself of the "Dixiecrats", the segregationist southern sector.  That made it more philosophically consistent, but weakened its numbers.

          LBJ achieved some great things, which should not be forgotten.  He also made a horrible mistake by plunging into the Vietnam war.  

          Since that time Democrats have had less of a popular advantage, less opportunity to make significant progress, more need to compromise.  Neither the leaders nor the people have given up, but we can only do what is possible.

          The party is not just those who run or are in office under its name, it is also the people who support it.  It is a body composed of the people who want to be a part of it, not a separate entity.  Some of the working class might abandon the party, disappointed that it can't do more for them, but that only makes it less able to do anything.

          Disunity among people with common interests makes that even worse. 

          The lottery ads say "You can't win if you don't play".  In politics, you can't "play" if you don't win.

           
           39 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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          •  SecretCorners: 
             

            Under the old I too am a liberal.  But not under the current definition of group identity; and sub group and sub group and sub group or identity politics.  They are harmful.  Democrats are not operating under the old definition of what it means to be a liberal.  The real damage with the Democratic party occurred when the Clintons and their cronies took over the party.  I know you want to believe that Democrats are still the same but they are not.

            I want to see an end to parties as they are the main cause of the corruption in our government system; that and the power lobbyists have to buy off politicians; and they buy as many Democrats as Republicans.

            As I have said many times; party affiliation turns into a cult mentality; I see this time and time again.  As I said in some earlier comment, I am unaffiliated and I tend to vote independent most of the time; although this presidential race saw for the first time that no one running was fit for the job.

            I actually hoped that Trump winning would wake up the Democrats.  However, in order for the Democratic party to change, it has to get rid of the current ones running it.  Look at the DNC; they doubled down even with all the evidence coming out on them.  Even the chairwoman that took over during the election has come clean and yet, the Democrats are not changing.  Proof that Clinton colluded with the Russians has just been pushed aside.

             
             36 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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            •  SecretCorners: 
               

              The thing is that even if Sanders had been the Democratic candidate; if the the DNC had went into the back room and smoked cigars (remember that bit from the lawsuit or did you even follow the lawsuit against the DNC?) and picked Sanders; Trump probably would have won because the American public has a pattern of changing the sitting party in the WH every eight years.  I would not be surprised to see Trump reelected just because of the pattern.

               
               36 days ago 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        I am against anyone that buys into the ideology of Islam because Islam is a dangerous, evil ideology that actually practices genocide against certain classes of people.  At this time, there is only one form of Islam.  Granted, there are those trying to reform Islam but they are few and far between and no changes in Islam has been made.  I have a feeling that you are against White Supremacist because of their ideology.  It is no different than being against the ideology of Islam.  The alt-left is playing a dangerous game with Islam; Islam will eat them without a second thought.

         
         44 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  cosmicrat: 
           

          The point is not agreeing with anyone's religion.  I don't agree with Mormons or Baptists beliefs either, but they all have a right to them.  That shouldn't be either left or right, just plain American.

           
           39 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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          •  SecretCorners: 
             

            Yes, everyone has the right to think a certain way; even racist thoughts; you don't control thought, you control actions.  However, it depends on the danger to society.  Islam is a danger to Western Civilisation.  Those that believe in Islam don't join the culture they move to, they change it.  That is the ideology of Islam.  Europe will become Islamic because they are not doing anything about it; in fact, just the opposite; they are oppressing the rights of non Islamic people in favour of Islamic people.  Eventually, enough followers of Islam will gain control of the government and put Sharia law in place.  Homosexuality will be outlawed, gays will be killed, women will be forced to cover completely, and so on.  The UK is already allowing men to rape little girls if they bring them into the country as wives.

             
             36 days ago 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        OK, so if you agree that most Americans are not racist, then you have to also agree that there is not a serious racist problem in the US.  The two go hand in hand.  Yes, there are people and groups; White, Black, Hispanic, etc, that are racist but it is not a large percentage of the population and therefore there is not a serious racist problem in the US. 

         
         44 days ago 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        You misunderstood the statement.  No, I am not saying you personally.  I am talking about the alt-left talking heads that actually do say it is all whites.  What I wanted was not falling back on the same old stuff coming from the alt-left; such as whites having unconscious racism.

         
         44 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  cosmicrat: 
           

          It doesn't take anywhere near a majority of racists to create a problem.  You don't need a majority being criminals to create a crime problem, either.  

          The other thing to remember is that making discrimination illegal does not automatically stop the practice, no more than a law can eliminate all of any activity.

           
           38 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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          •  SecretCorners: 
             

            That is true, when the leader of the Black Panthers; a Black Supremacist hate group; stood in front of a polling station and prevented people from voting, he was a problem  What was strange was why he wasn't prosecuted when there was video of him doing so; why a Black AG under a Black president did not prosecute his arse?  Do you think there would have been outcry if a White AG under a White president failed to prosecute a White Supremacist preventing people from voting?

             
             36 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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            •  cosmicrat: 
               

              You have brought up that one incident multiple times.  Let a small bunch of black people do something wrong, and you never forget it.

              I don't hear you mentioning the dozens of reported times that a black boy or man has been murdered by police, or when black people in church were shot to death by a white racist, or the state governments devise ways to suppress the black vote.  You forget that black voters have been intimidated from even registering or entering polling places.  Yes, it's illegal now, but do you think that prevents it every time?  No, it doesn't.

              That group that called itself the "New Black Panthers" was nothing like the original Black Panthers, an honorable organization that would never have done that, and disavowed any connection.  No black activist organization I know of thought that behavior was acceptable.

              I suspect that the reason no one bothered to prosecute the incident was that there was no point.  They had already done themselves more damage than any police or FBI could have done.  No one wanted to copy that stupid stunt, not even for symbolic revenge for the decades of even worse treatment.

              The only effect of prosecuting them might have been to bring them a small amount of sympathy and more publicity than they deserved.

              So, you're willing to list everything you've heard of that black or brown people might have done wrong (yes, they're human, just like white people, and sometimes do bad things), and use that as "proof" that it's all their own fault.  But when it comes to the well-documented discrimination and its effects on minorities, you take the proverbial ostrich tactic.  If the vast volume of research, statistics, and sociological studies are not enough, nothing will be.  It's just as available to you as to me  Look it up, or don't.

               
               34 days ago 
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      •  SecretCorners: 
         

        Give me the proof.  Start listing and we will discuss them.

         
         44 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  SecretCorners: 
           

          I am serious.  You said that equality of opportunity did not exist.  So list them and let's discuss them.

           
           36 days ago 
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WHY DO I BOTHER?