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Yeah, it becomes "them vs. us" too much and you have to "buy the whole package". Sometimes I've had the impression the Civil War has never ended - and that was on IMDB movie discussions!

On the other hand, our system is going south too. You have the impression ALL of them are liars or idiots or both. The rise of radical right/fascists is scary and that shows in the EU parliament as well. Don't know if it's true, but I've read about (mostly) Jewish people literally packing already and many more are considering emigration.

…which also crossed my mind, but well… actually there is nowhere to go.
 

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On 6/8/2024 at 9:06 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

From all the people in America, do you really only have these two guys?

Fo*r all practical purposes, yes, though I expect Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (who is running as an Independent) to get a substantial number of votes this time.  There are also several other parties (with the exact number depending on where you live), but people are hesitant to vote for them because one of the two major-party candidates will virtually always win.

On 6/8/2024 at 9:06 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

... most work places/institutions don't allow convict to join/hold important position . . . .

I'm gonna make the wild guess that you're talking about Trump.  That NYC case is very likely to be either blocked or overturned on appeal, due to the "creativity" of both the prosecutor and the judge.

On 6/8/2024 at 9:06 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

... please that the other retires already.

No argument!

On 6/8/2024 at 10:17 AM, besleybean said:

But really, why at the moment is it just between two white old men(and I am assuming both Christian)?

I assume they're both at least nominally Christian, yes.  But if Mr. Biden's running mate continues to be Kamala Harris, there's a woman in the mix who's both Asian and black.  And there's talk of Trump picking Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, or either of two female governors as his running mate.

4 hours ago, J.P. said:

On the other hand, our system is going south too. You have the impression ALL of them are liars or idiots or both. The rise of radical right/fascists is scary and that shows in the EU parliament as well. Don't know if it's true, but I've read about (mostly) Jewish people literally packing already and many more are considering emigration.

Sad but interesting.  Over here, Jews are being attacked (sometimes physically) by the radical *left*, who are cheering for Hamas.

 

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2 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Over here, Jews are being attacked (sometimes physically) by the radical *left*, who are cheering for Hamas.

It has nothing to do with the recent situation.

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It started long before the attack in Gaza. It's the old antisemitism that was never gone.
Things like this:
https://www-rbb24-de.translate.goog/panorama/beitrag/2023/10/berlin-davidstern-schmierereien-polizei-zunahme-israel-.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

Many people think about this development as being similar to 1933 when Hitler started his "career".
In the meantime, the far right openly talk about deporting non-Germans - and people supporting them, about bringing old order, showing women their place… etc, etc.
And they are winning, especially in the former East Germany. The same happens around Europe, in Italy, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia… it's unsettling.

In Poland, surprisingly, the conservatives lost by a close vote last year, so at least the religious indoctrination and their taking over media and education have been stopped - yet. Still, it's not a place I would like to go back to right now, esp. with the war over the border and ongoing Bielarussian provocations, reliving old national resentments and attempts to leave the EU.

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48 minutes ago, J.P. said:

It's the old antisemitism that was never gone.

No argument there -- but (at least in this country) it was not being openly expressed, and appeared to be mostly the opinion of the same extreme-right-wing people who hate just about everybody.  Now it's being *very* openly expressed, and by the extreme *left* wing.  My suspicion is that there's a relatively small group of people behind this, but they're able to fire up a bunch of impressionable college kids.

I've often thought that if they went far enough, the really extreme right and left wings would eventually merge.

48 minutes ago, J.P. said:

the far right openly talk about deporting non-Germans - and people supporting them, about bringing old order, showing women their place… etc, etc.
And they are winning, especially in the former East Germany.

That's sad and very worrisome.  Mercifully that attitude is not popular here.  There does seem to be broad support for enforcing the immigration laws that are currently being ignored, but I think that's just common sense.

 

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On 6/8/2024 at 10:17 AM, besleybean said:

I know...

speaking as a Brit anti-monarchist!-

I do like the U.S system.

I think the limit to 2 terms is silly and yes I know why they have it.

I think having to be born in the country is also silly.

But really, why at the moment is it just between two white old men(and I am assuming both Christian)?

Not saying that there is anything wrong with old white men, you understand...

Here in Scotland, our parliament system is better than the UK one but at least even they have had female PMs.

I mean we have had  many queens, but you know- they don't count!

Must be nice to get a vote on your head of state...

@VBS & Besley Bean…

if you are in disbelief that we seem to be trapped in a political “Groundhog Day” here in the U.S., imagine how we feel.

It’s deja vu all over again and it wasn’t pleasant the first time around.  Four years later, it’s even worse. The incumbent is an 80 year old man with obvious dementia who is a mere puppet of his party.  Forcing him to run for reelection is tantamount to elder abuse because if the man is not oriented or even continent, Should he really have the nuclear launch codes?

On the other side, the Challenger is a former president whose party seems to have become his puppet.  He has openly admired Vladimir Putin, the sworn enemy of the United States. In addition, he is now a convicted felon on 34 counts of tampering with evidence to obfuscate his participation in an attempt to overthrow the results of an election that didn’t go his way.  This is probably the first time in American history that a candidate with 34 felony convictions will be eligible to run in a presidential election and has a very good shot at winning. You could say we are in completely uncharted territory.

This is a low point for the United States of America. There is another Civil War raging, and like the first one it is split along ideological lines.  The art of politics is the art of getting along with your opponent, even when you disagree, and finding common ground to build on.  It used to be possible to disagree with someone, even vehemently, without turning them into a personal enemy but we are so divided along party lines now, it’s scary.

I have often reflected on why it is that the selection of national leaders is so so weak.  I concluded long ago that the best individuals… The ones who are hard-working incorruptible and conciliatory do not pursue politics. They are too modest and on some level high-level politicians all have enough ego to think that they can do the job better than anyone else. Our two party system all but ensures that the people with personal wealth and an ability to raise millions of dollars in support of a campaign will be backed by their party for the nomination.  How many thousands of better candidates are overlooked because they don’t have an Ivy League degree and a big war chest?  

Replacing our head of state every four or eight years is expensive, frustrating and inefficient.  But the framers of our constitution wanted to ensure that the American leader would not get too comfortable in that role and overstay his welcome.  The continental congress was prepared to make George Washington Presiden for life; That smacked too much of a king for Mr. Washington’s taste and he declined, insisting that he would serve only two terms and then retire to his farm in Virginia.  Two terms was not law until 1945 but it was convention. FDR won a fifth term in 1945 shortly before he died and after that the limit was set at two consecutive terms. If Trump wins, he will only be the second man to serve two nonconsecutive terms as president…Grover Cleveland being the other.  Do you know things must be pretty bad if the electorate is considering returning someone to office that they had already fired.

The benefit to the American system of periodically every four or eight years going out with the old and in with the new is that no matter how bad a president is, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel as to how long we are going to have to tolerate this person as the chief executive. The system of monarchy works very well when you have a solid and dependable good person running the show.  Her late Majesty Elizabeth will never be replicated. The crown found the right head that time.  The United Kingdom would look vastly different if Elizabeth’s uncle had not abdicated for Mrs. Simpson.  Can you imagine what a right mess the UK would be in if Harry was the heir rather than William?

 

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

He has openly admired Vladimir Putin, the sworn enemy of the United States.

Trump has commended Putin's restraint (when he happens to show any), and has said he thinks Putin is smart, a good strategist, and so forth -- but I don't think that's the same thing as admiring him.  Isn't it possible to think that someone is both a brilliant strategist and a low-down despicable snake?  (Meaning no offense to actual snakes, mind you!)

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

he is now a convicted felon on 34 counts of tampering with evidence to obfuscate his participation in an attempt to overthrow the results of an election that didn’t go his way.

Technically he is not yet "convicted" -- it's the judge who convicts a person, when sentencing them.  The charges were related to the 2016 election (not the 2020 one), involved "hush money," and could well be overturned on appeal.  The 2020 election aftermath is a whole 'nother kettle of fish, about which we are sure to be hearing more from both sides.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

The art of politics is the art of getting along with your opponent, even when you disagree, and finding common ground to build on.  It used to be possible to disagree with someone, even vehemently, without turning them into a personal enemy but we are so divided along party lines now, it’s scary.

Ain't it the truth!  I've been noticing this polarization and demonization since the 2000 election, though it might have been growing under my radar well before that.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

 I concluded long ago that the best individuals… The ones who are hard-working incorruptible and conciliatory do not pursue politics. They are too modest and on some level high-level politicians all have enough ego to think that they can do the job better than anyone else.

I think you're quite right.  Competent, hard-working, modest individuals generally have quite enough to do just running their own lives (and perhaps the family business).  And yes, it probably does take a good chunk of chutzpah to even consider running for office, especially a major one.  So the personality presumably comes with the territory.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

FDR won a fifth term in 1945 shortly before he died and after that the limit was set at two consecutive terms.

Some offices do indeed have the "two consecutive terms" limit.  But -- though most people don't seem to be aware of this -- the limit for the presidency is actually ten years (regardless of whether they're consecutive).  That way, if President Jones dies in office and Vice President Smith serves out the remainder of that term, Smith could also serve two full terms after that, as long as the remainder of Jones's term was two years or less.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

 Do you know things must be pretty bad if the electorate is considering returning someone to office that they had already fired.

Well, it was basically the Democrats who "fired" Trump, and basically the Republicans who want him back.  As you said, a whole lotta division going on!

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

The system of monarchy works very well when you have a solid and dependable good person running the show.

It also helps that (at least in the UK) the monarch isn't exactly in charge.  I don't fully understand their system, but apparently the House of Commons makes most of the decisions.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Can you imagine what a right mess the UK would be in if Harry was the heir rather than William?

It's been my impression that Harry doesn't even want to be an active prince -- so I can't imagine he'd want to be king.  If it ever came to that, he might well abdicate.

 

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I apologise in advance, if I sound crass.

But is the point being missed? 

Are we not talking about the same thing, from different angles?

The battle for the President of the U.S., should not just between two elderly white men...there does appear to some issue with candidature here.

But this side of The Pond, it should not be a matter of the best of the royals.

The whole concept of inherited monarchy is vile and smacks of God's chosen.

Those who feel they have something to offer, should be able to stand for election.

Dictatorships are inherently stable!

But yes, who can blame any decent person from wanting to stay out of it?

The 24/7 gossip drama mass media, is awful.

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5 minutes ago, besleybean said:

Dictatorships are inherently stable!

Quite so!

 

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On 6/13/2024 at 9:49 AM, Hikari said:

It’s deja vu all over again and it wasn’t pleasant the first time around.  Four years later, it’s even worse. The incumbent is an 80 year old man with obvious dementia who is a mere puppet of his party.  Forcing him to run for reelection is tantamount to elder abuse because if the man is not oriented or even continent, Should he really have the nuclear launch codes?

Exactly. It's a pity to see. I wouldn't want my grandpa to do that when he should have been at home enjoying his retirement.

To be honest, I know nothing about politic, and I try to stay away from it. To be really really honest, I don't actually know what you all mean as far right or left or any. It's just hard for me to believe there are no overlapping interests between sides or parties. How if I like one thing from this party and other thing from the other party? That is my biggest question mark actually, and surely, SURELY, there are other more suitable candidates out there. I mean, I barely survive attending any social function and standing up when I am not even fifty, and I remember my face almost stayed as forced-polite-grinning permanently when I had to shake hand with probably less than one hundred people during my high school graduation? How do they do that? Let them rest!

Having said that, although I can't even answer the names of my politicians at gun point now, because yes, I barely paid attention, as long as things are working, I followed the 2016 US's presidential debate and was so heartbroken when he was elected. It really affected me because it was terrifying to me that this kind of person could be elected. But then again, since that 2016, and Covid, I am not the same person. I had underestimated the absurdity and stupidity of everything. Many things still infuriate me, but I have an open mind now that things could get worse.

@J.P.  I read about what happened in the border with Belarus. It's ridiculous.

I also notice the increasing antisemitism. It's scary and we never learn, apparently.

'Never again', my ass. This is scary.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

... I don't actually know what you all mean as far right or left or any.

Here's how Wikipedia explains the origin of those terms:  "The terms "left" and "right" first appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the Ancien Régime to the president's right and supporters of the revolution to his left." 

As for the current-day difference, someone characterized it this way:  When there's a problem, the left wing says "How can the government fix this problem?" whereas the right wing says "How did the government cause this problem?"

8 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

It's just hard for me to believe there are no overlapping interests between sides or parties.

Here in the US, there did use to be a lot of overlap between the two major parties, but I've noticed an increasing amount of polarization since about 2000 (and it probably started before that).

 

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Yeah, there is the view that extreme Left and Right Wings bend so far around...that they eventually meet.

I don't think they necessarily are distinct camps anymore...and people can hold complex views.

Plus surely, it depends ON the sitting government, in any one nation.

The UK has quite a right wing government and most(but not all) of the oppostion to it, I would say is Left wing.

Scotland, where I am, is a more Left wing government, but most of the opposition is again generally from the Left. 

Possibly more so, with boundary changes.

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6 minutes ago, besleybean said:

... there is the view that extreme Left and Right Wings bend so far around...that they eventually meet.

They do currently seem to agree on antisemitism.   :(

 

 

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In the UK at the moment, we have both Muslims and Jews complaining of increased hatred against them.

That might need a bit of unpacking.

But I obviously hope there isn't an increase in violence against any group.

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On 6/18/2024 at 11:43 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

I had underestimated the absurdity and stupidity of everything.

This! Thousand time this! I never thought I would feel Mycroft's goldfish quote THAT MUCH.

 

On 6/18/2024 at 11:43 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

I read about what happened in the border with Belarus. It's ridiculous.

That's a longer story actually and it started with Putin's war. Belarus is his ally and AFAIK they have invited migrants, flown them in by planes, and then sent them to the Polish border on feet. Apart from this being a humanitarian catastrophe, it was an additional burden for Poland, especially as they were dealing with a flood of Ukrainian refugees at the beginning of the war already and they had never before dealt with immigrants on that scale. The former government has chosen the US way of dealing with it and built a fence. Which of course doesn't solve the problem of people being stuck in the woods and getting desperate.
I'm afraid I don't have a full picture of the situation, it's only things I catch on the radio and it's not that much.

Anyway, just going back "home" isn't too tempting right now, even if there is hardly anything keeping me here besides the job. (And of course, the prospect of the move itself I hardly have energy for, but that's another story)
The world became such an uninviting place. :(

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