Jump to content
Carol the Dabbler

The Political Thread

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, besleybean said:

not sure how this works in the U.S.

But here in Scotland, this why we have a system of proportional representation for our parliament..

We don't have that.  Each Senator is elected by majority vote in their state, and each Representative is elected by majority vote in their district (which is a specific section of their state).  If Party A gets 51% of the vote and Party B gets 49% of the vote in each state and each district, then Party A gets 100% of Congress and Party B gets nothing (though of course nothing that extreme has ever actually happened).  This is probably one reason why we have a so-called "two-party system" -- which isn't in the Constitution, it's merely how things happen to have worked out so far.

3 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

What about people who don't want it to be a democracy at all though? And I don't mean that as a rhetorical question, it's something I honestly can't completely wrap my head around, how a system based on equality and a voice for everyone is supposed to handle those who want to use their rights to take away others' rights. 

I agree it can sometimes be a bit awkward, but the system seems to work fairly well overall.  Bear in mind that just because people are free to speak their minds doesn't mean they are free to actually do certain things.  What is the system in Germany?

3 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

Haven't the voter fraud claims been investigated though? Pardon my ignorance but I thought the Trump team filed over 80 lawsuits, are you telling me that the judges who handled them just dismissed them all out of hand?

Near as I understand it, those suits had been drafted in a hurry (due to lack of time) so many were dismissed due to technicalities such as lack of jurisdiction.  As far as I'm aware, there has been no official investigation.

3 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I always came out of that questionnaire as far left. But I ended up on a bus once with the majority of the members of the far left party in my state and let me just say that I never voted for any of them and don't intend to in the foreseeable future either.

People on the far end of anything can be a bit scary, can't they?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

We don't have that.  Each Senator is elected by majority vote in their state, and each Representative is elected by majority vote in their district (which is a specific section of their state).  If Party A gets 51% of the vote and Party B gets 49% of the vote in each state and each district, then Party A gets 100% of Congress and Party B gets nothing (though of course nothing that extreme has ever actually happened).  This is probably one reason why we have a so-called "two-party system" -- which isn't in the Constitution, it's merely how things happen to have worked out so far.

I agree it can sometimes be a bit awkward, but the system seems to work fairly well overall.  Bear in mind that just because people are free to speak their minds doesn't mean they are free to actually do certain things.  What is the system in Germany?

Near as I understand it, those suits had been drafted in a hurry (due to lack of time) so many were dismissed due to technicalities such as lack of jurisdiction.  As far as I'm aware, there has been no official investigation.

People on the far end of anything can be a bit scary, can't they?

😅 Not so much scary as, um, how do I say this politely... I didn't get the impression that any of them were very competent, if you get my drift. Also, I noticed that they talked an awful lot about spending money they didn't really seem to have a plan for acquiring. 

I don't think Germany knows what to do about the people who try to use our democracy to end democracy either. It's a bit of a lose / lose situation I guess. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

For heaven's sake, he's only been in office a month -- bit too soon to tell, isn't it?   :P   

I'm not holding my breath! :D 

9 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I hesitate to mention any specific examples, seeing as how any specific bit of evidence could have been faked (how can one possibly be sure, these days?).  But for one thing, there have been numerous reports of wholesale quantities of Biden ballots showing up just in the nick of time. 

Reports, yes. Evidence, no. Unless we are to believe over 60 courts across the country are also in on the fraud. Which, I guess, some people do.

10 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Even though, as you point out, very few Republicans are white supremacists, I'd guess that most white supremacists vote for Republicans, and I'd also guess that there's a similar relationship between Antifa types and Democrats.  How do you propose to determine which specific politicians have particular appeal to such groups?  And how do you propose to get rid of them?  I've always believed that if this isn't a democracy for everyone, it isn't a democracy for anyone.

I think you have it the wrong way round. It doesn't matter which politician a group prefers; it matters which groups are courted by politicians. I can't speak about the local level, but I can't think of any national Democratic figure who has embraced Antifa the way Trump embraced white supremacists. I don't give a flying fig who The Proud Boys supported for president; but I do care that the President of these Untied States allied himself with the Proud Boys. 

As to how to get rid of them ... I'm not sure if you mean getting rid of the politicians who support racism, or if you mean getting rid of the racists. If the former ... investigate them, challenge them, vote against them whenever possible, impeach them if necessary. If the latter ... we can't. There will always be people for whom hate is their reason d'etre, and we can't do much about how people feel. But we can hold them accountable for their actions, which is why many of them are in jail right now. Hopefully more, as time goes on. Last I heard, rightly or wrongly, democracy stops at the prison door. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

As for the beliefs of the far left, here's a funny little story about my political coming of age: Here in Germany, we have an online tool that you can use before elections to check how much overlap your own positions on various issues have with those of the several political parties that you can vote for. It's mostly for fun imho but I do find it interesting and useful, especially since we have five big parties to chose from instead of just two and a myriad of obscure little ones. Anyway, I always came out of that questionnaire as far left. But I ended up on a bus once with the majority of the members of the far left party in my state and let me just say that I never voted for any of them and don't intend to in the foreseeable future either. 😅

I haven't ended up on a bus with them, but I agree ... when I look into the views of what I consider the Far Left, I don't intend to vote for any of them either. :D 

Despite the fact that there are only two major parties in this country, that doesn't mean only extremists are represented. The beauty of a two-party system is that people with disparate views have to compromise if they want to be a member of either. I know 'compromise' is a dirty word for some (many?) these days, but I'm old-fashioned enough to think it's the foundation upon which democracy is built. But it's undeniably hard to achieve sometimes. I suspect it's meant to be. But a lot of people I know only want easy answers to everything, and those are often the ones who worry me most.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People seemingly only too willing to give up hard fought for human rights, is what bothers me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, besleybean said:

People seemingly only too willing to give up hard fought for human rights, is what bothers me.

But that's a complicated one too ... one person's "rights" sometimes intrudes on another person's "rights", and at least one of them usually ends up feeling like theirs have been trampled on.

I'm often reminded of a story someone told me once ... a guy with property was dumping something toxic into his stream. People downstream felt their "right" to clean water was being abused, and sued. The government told the guy to stop dumping. He insisted it was his "right" to do what he wanted on his land.

Eventually the government "forced" him to stop, but he still insists his "rights" have been "taken away."

It's my belief that most laws exist for a reason, and the reason is often because someone was exercising his "rights" in a manner that was harmful to others. Hence the whole gun debate in this country. Gun-lovers insist it's their "right" to carry guns any place, any time they like. Other people insist it's their "right" to be free from the fear of being shot by a gun, since it is demonstrably true that the higher the rate of guns in an environment, the more likely it is that one will be used. I actually take pride in having voluntarily "given up" my "right" to own a gun!

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

But that's a complicated one too ... one person's "rights" sometimes intrudes on another person's "rights", and at least one of them usually ends up feeling like theirs have been trampled on.

I'm often reminded of a story someone told me once ... a guy with property was dumping something toxic into his stream. People downstream felt their "right" to clean water was being abused, and sued. The government told the guy to stop dumping. He insisted it was his "right" to do what he wanted on his land.

Eventually the government "forced" him to stop, but he still insists his "rights" have been "taken away."

It's my belief that most laws exist for a reason, and the reason is often because someone was exercising his "rights" in a manner that was harmful to others. Hence the whole gun debate in this country. Gun-lovers insist it's their "right" to carry guns any place, any time they like. Other people insist it's their "right" to be free from the fear of being shot by a gun, since it is demonstrably true that the higher the rate of guns in an environment, the more likely it is that one will be used. I actually take pride in having voluntarily "given up" my "right" to own a gun!

 

It seems to me that it's this which makes the pandemic so hard to deal with. Well, part of it, anyway. 

I don't know about any of you but I was very much raised in a culture of "live and let live". Each to their own, including risk assessment and management. You want to drink? Fine, as long as you're aware of addiction and liver failure, go ahead. You want to smoke? Sure, we'll print pictures of lung cancer on the packages and if that doesn't stop you, your problem. You refuse to get vaccinated? OK, whatever, you're an adult, it's your choice. Etc etc etc. I mean, I live in a country where we can't have speed limits on all highways because the free people of car land have the right to risk their own necks. 

But now, say you have a nursing home and one resident says he'd rather have his family visit him even if he could potentially die in the case that one of his relatives passes on The Virus. But another resident says I am not ok with that risk and I live here too and if you get sick you can infect me. And we need to decide, whose right is more important? Person A's right to see their family or person B's right to protect their health? 

And we aren't used to that. We also aren't used to making individual choices based on community benefits (or losses). Not my generation where I live anyway. We were all going to follow our dreams and go our own way, tolerating and not bothering each other. It wasn't discussed what happens when all our wants and dreams are incompatible. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the US has had a few clashing moments, in her history...

here in the UK , we may have a few similar moments to face:

well I guess we firstly joined and then left Europe...

but then we have the question of the whether the UK will remain intact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

It seems to me that it's this which makes the pandemic so hard to deal with. Well, part of it, anyway. 

I don't know about any of you but I was very much raised in a culture of "live and let live". Each to their own, including risk assessment and management. You want to drink? Fine, as long as you're aware of addiction and liver failure, go ahead. You want to smoke? Sure, we'll print pictures of lung cancer on the packages and if that doesn't stop you, your problem. You refuse to get vaccinated? OK, whatever, you're an adult, it's your choice. Etc etc etc. I mean, I live in a country where we can't have speed limits on all highways because the free people of car land have the right to risk their own necks. 

But now, say you have a nursing home and one resident says he'd rather have his family visit him even if he could potentially die in the case that one of his relatives passes on The Virus. But another resident says I am not ok with that risk and I live here too and if you get sick you can infect me. And we need to decide, whose right is more important? Person A's right to see their family or person B's right to protect their health? 

And we aren't used to that. We also aren't used to making individual choices based on community benefits (or losses). Not my generation where I live anyway. We were all going to follow our dreams and go our own way, tolerating and not bothering each other. It wasn't discussed what happens when all our wants and dreams are incompatible. 

Maybe the person who wants to see his family can see them in room that's separated in two by a plastic wall, problem solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Fantasy Lover said:

Maybe the person who wants to see his family can see them in room that's separated in two by a plastic wall, problem solved.

Tell that to the person in question! 

Imagine that was the only way you could meet your loved ones. And you don't know if you'll live long enough to see the end of the pandemic. Imagine you aren't allowed to hug your own husband / wife / children etc. Possibly for the rest of your existence. 

Consider also how many old people are vision and hearing impaired. 

I'm not saying my hypothetical person B is in the right Btw, just that I don't believe it's that simple. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then put said person in one of those hazard suits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Fantasy Lover said:

Then put said person in one of those hazard suits.

I like your solution-focused attitude! :D

Unfortunately, until very recently when the government made it mandatory, nursing homes here for the most part didn't even manage to provide N95 masks for their staff. Those suits are very expensive. 

During the first wave of the pandemic last year, the nursing homes weren't allowing any visitors for months. Then there were regulations like only one person, in a special room, with masks and physical distance etc. I had one lady complain to me that she had to have a nurse in the room now when her husband came to visit to make sure they didn't touch. ("It was like back when we were dating!") 

Now most places have access to antigen tests that they can do at the door so people are let in who test negative, basically, with some additional restrictions. 

I wasn't talking so much about this concrete situation though than the fact that the pandemic is forcing us as a society to agree on one level of risk that we're comfortable with and how that goes against the spirit of individual freedom that I at least was raised in. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2021 at 3:37 PM, T.o.b.y said:

And we aren't used to that. We also aren't used to making individual choices based on community benefits (or losses). Not my generation where I live anyway. We were all going to follow our dreams and go our own way, tolerating and not bothering each other. It wasn't discussed what happens when all our wants and dreams are incompatible. 

That's interesting. I don't know if I feel the same way or not, because when I read that, my mind immediately went to my parents. I've always thought of their generation as being one that would indeed make choices that benefit the community even if it meant some personal sacrifice. And I like to think that attitude has been passed on to me, although I don't remember it ever being specifically taught to me. More like, it was an example to follow. And I'm pretty sure I judge other people by that standard.

But I can't remember ever having to make that choice myself; at least, not in any significant way. Yes, I wear a mask these day, even though I hate it, but that seems more like good manners than anything else. Hmmm. Very interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wear a masks when I am legally required to...

hate it, can't wait to stop it.

Live in fear of being made to double mask.

I think at that point, I may actually consider insurrection!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, the masks bother me the least, by far. I would even consider continuing to wear them indefinitely in some situations to protect myself and others from the common cold etc. 

Maybe it's because I'm used to them? From working in the OR and such. 

Before N95/FFP masks became widely available, I was routinely wearing two masks in stores, on public transportation etc, a surgical mask underneath a home made cotton cloth mask. I found that combination very comfortable and the cloth mask, which I had made to fit my specific face, prevented air from coming through the top of the standard size surgical mask and fogging up my glasses. 

Now that you can get FFP2 masks at the drugstore though, I've switched to those in my private life as well. I'm used to them from work I like how they're stiff and don't get sucked onto the face when I inhale. 

Masks are no sacrifice for me at all! 😄

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I appeared to be the archetypical whinging Brit!

I assure you, I am not.

I have largely been in favour of our lockdown.

It became a bit of a pain, once I returned to work.

As one of my colleagues commentated: the worst of both worlds.

We will soon be returning to full time work(primary school) yet still won't be able to go anywhere or do anything, it wasn't so bad when we were off work!

I accept that if wearing a mask does allow you to do things, it is better.

But I still would feel more free not having to.

I tend to feel that once we have got to the critical mass of the population having had both(as effective as possible) vaccines, we should be able to get back to some kind of normality.

I fear for the Economy, but more so, I fear for peoples' health.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, besleybean said:

Sorry if I appeared to be the archetypical whinging Brit!

I assure you, I am not.

I have largely been in favour of our lockdown.

It became a bit of a pain, once I returned to work.

As one of my colleagues commentated: the worst of both worlds.

We will soon be returning to full time work(primary school) yet still won't be able to go anywhere or do anything, it wasn't so bad when we were off work!

I accept that if wearing a mask does allow you to do things, it is better.

But I still would feel more free not having to.

I tend to feel that once we have got to the critical mass of the population having had both(as effective as possible) vaccines, we should be able to get back to some kind of normality.

I fear for the Economy, but more so, I fear for peoples' health.

I feel you... I've been working the whole time and while I'm of course extremely glad to have work and love my job, whenever I heard or read something about the "boredom of staying at home" or similar, all I could muster was a tired laugh. 

You don't sound whiny to me at all. Just because I don't mind wearing a mask doesn't mean you can't have legitimate reasons for finding it horrible. There are other things atm that are hard for me which might be no big deal for you... 

My biggest problem is childcare. I cannot work from home, my three-year-old cannot stay by himself, his babysitter from last March isn't available to the extent that she was then and my husband neither, so I had to jump through all kinds of hoops and fill out lots of forms to get him into one of the emergency groups at daycare and that was pretty tiresome to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a legitimate health reason for not liking the masks...

but it does become tiresome having to wear them constantly for the full school day.

We are literally only allowed to remove them while we eat and drink on breaks,  in the staff room.

I mean I know medics have always had to do this, but to be fair- they opted for that!

I really feel for people and their childcare issues, as well as for our teaching staff who are also home schooling their own kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think about the masks & co in terms of what's allowed, but what's safe, because by far it's not the same. People often think following the rules will keep them from an infection, that's why they are more than willing to do everything that's allowed, and even some more.

I've been wearing a mask at the office when noone else did it - and mostly because they didn't, because it was a sign, they didn't  care much about themselves, and even less about others. This "it's only old and sick are in danger" works as a perfect excuse for young not to take it seriously.

And because nobody else cares for you, you have to take special care about yourself.
The British mutant can get you after few minutes without a mask in a closed room. If I were in your situation I would do everything to eat outside of the room, even if it meant doing it outside.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have strict limits as to how many people are allowed in any one room.  We are not allowed to eat anywhere but the staffroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My problem is I find the masks exceedingly uncomfortable, they make me want to touch my face (mostly due to itching) far more than I do normally.

A friend finally gave me one that I find comfortable ... but it's really sort of a gaiter, and it's thin material, and now everyone's telling me it's not safe enough, and I need to wear a "real" mask underneath it. Which I have done, and now I'm even more miserable than with the first, uncomfortable masks.

So I wear what I have to wear for my own safety and others, but boy oh boy am I looking forward to the day when I can set them all on fire. :D 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I keep imaging something akin to the bra burnings, of the old womens' libbers!

🙃

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll drink to that!   :cheers:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of UseWe have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.Privacy PolicyGuidelines.