About democracy

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A few years ago when I was in France, a guy had a dig at me in reference to compulsory voting in Australia. He said it is an anomaly in a democracy. In Australia every citizen is supposed to vote and you can be fined if you fail to fulfil that obligation. However some of our kids simply neglect to register to vote. When they do that, they are being very stupid. We have compulsory voting, but we rarely ever conscript people to go and fight wars, nor do we ever shoot one in ten of our soldiers if they jack-up on the battlefield.
The only thing ever worth fighting for on this planet is democracy, whether if it is globally, nationally, domestically or industrial.
A 'just war' is usually a fight for democracy. Even WW1 has just - the rape of Belgium actually happened.

Americans have a love of freedom, but in regard to voting, they do themselves in when people such as Trump are elected because of apathy. If voting is compulsory, you must express a preference. You do that even when you vote informal.
 
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JimC - I like your style. I regret that when I was working, I was not more politically active. Unions are a legitimate expression of industrial democracy. In later life I have come to realise they are an absolute necessity. It is possible to change the system from within.
 
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I was a very young man when I saw the need for unions.

I worked in Thule, Greenland maintaining radars back in 1967-68. I was employed by RCA Service Co. At the time, the US had two almost identical radar sites, the other at Clear AFB, Alaska. By a quirk, I was probably the only technician that had actually worked at both sites. The techs at the Alaska site were employed by RCA, also. They were represented by a union, whereas the techs at Thule were nonunion. Even though the work was EXACTLY the same, the union techs at the Alaska site were paid almost twice what the techs at the Greenland site were paid. The Greenland site was a much harsher environment and socially deprived (no women). Once I saw this disparity in pay I got myself in a union and never looked back.


A non represented worker with ordinary skills negotiating with an employer is like playing 5 card draw with one card while the employer has five. Back in labor’s heyday the worker was holding six cards.
 
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In Australia, the Labor Party is supposed to be left wing. However within that party there is left wing, centre left and right wing. Most of use are completely unaware of these three factions. The right wing of the NSW Labor party used to be into branch stacking to get their own guys elected to oppose the other two factions. At normal union meetings, the attendance book was never signed, but at elections a local thug used to get all his mates to sign the attendance book then vote. The right of the Labor Party are mainly of one religion. They had judges in their pocket and the Minister of Corrective Services. So they could stymie inquiries and get early release from jail for the sorts of guys who used to sign the attendance books at elections. A lot was based upon gambling. When I read about it in a very interesting book from a journo of our national broadcaster, I thought it was hilarious. And the other side of politics are worse. Anybody who is to the right or left of the Labor Party's centre left, is probably a rat-bag, and that includes the Liberal and National parties' guys.
The power broker in the right wing of the Labor Party has created about four prime ministers. That is why our politicians all look the same in their ideologies. That powerbroker eventually outsmarted himself and now appears on Rupert Murdoch's TV channel in Australia.
 
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When you complain about the media, remember, the media can control perception but not reality.
 
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I don’t watch Fox, but I just heard the Fox clowns are saying this pandemic is almost over. WTF? Can’t they read a graph? 1,100 more dead today and the day is only half over. No wonder I hear such outlandish things from regular Fox disciples.

I swear, there are some who are Fox viewers if they hear on Fox that the sun sets in the East they’ll believe it and say anyone who claims otherwise is wrong.
 
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In most western countries, politicians do not need the media to help them win elections. But they cannot win if the media is against them. Murdoch has the power of veto.
 
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I watch Fox because 'some things are so bad that they are good. Also I like to watch idiocy at work. I simply cannot believe that anyone would believe that rubbish, so the situation is clinically interesting. If you watch Fox, then meet somebody who is a believer, it shapes your opinion of them and serves as a warning. One of my friends believes all the bullshit. He is a shooter so also reads the NRA magazines. The problem is, there is a very remote possibility that some of the conspiracy theories might be correct. But on a probability basis, that possibilty is almost zero
 

NPeteN

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The FOX NEWS viewers I have known tend to be insecure, often isolated individuals with unresolved anger issues. That said, I get along pretty well with the ones I know.

Just my experience. We would all get along much better without it, the "us" vs "them" mindset they promote is tearing our country apart.
 
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I also get along well with my redneck shooter friend. I just recognise that he is a little person living within his own perspective. He used to run his own business, but never made a profit. So he thinks from that position. I am probably just as bad - during my working life, I only ever did what interested me and never thought about the money. If we were all thinking realistically, the world might be a better place - OR NOT ?
 

gortnipper

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The Republican war on voting, therefore, shouldn't be understood purely through the lens of electoral gamemanship. That allows both journalists and ordinary voters to treat voter suppression less seriously, as another form of politics as usual. Instead, it's important to understand that Republican politicians see fewer people voting as an important goal, in and of itself. They've largely focused on keeping Democrats from voting up till now, but it sure looks like they'd be just fine with a situation where barely anyone, of any party, voted at all.

https://www.salon.com/2020/04/07/wi...g-is-about-ending-democracy-not-just-winning/


One of Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states, according to an audio recording of a private event. The adviser said later that his remarks referred to frequent and false accusations that Republicans employ such tactics.

But the report emerged just days after news that a conservative group is forcing Wisconsin to purge upwards of 230,000 people from state voter rolls more than a year earlier than planned, a move that would disproportionately affect Democrats before the 2020 election.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/21/trump-adviser-republicans-voter-suppression

Shameful.
 
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DogT

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My uncle at 90 some years old bought into the right wing nut stuff about 5 years ago.He kept sending me stuff about Obama being a Muslim and sharia law taking over. I finally just had to block his emails, I could just not even talk to him, there's no reasoning with this though process, and he's been through WWII. There's plenty of these rubes around here in Virginia, but luckily the dems have taken over the state. I just happen to live in a very red county, they voted for the white supremacist overwhelmingly for House Representative. Luckily he lost. I find most of these nuts are wife beaters and dog kickers, lots of self loathing and self pity. They can be real friendly though if you don't mention the other stuff.
 
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Half of my family are Catholic. In the 1950s there were people such as B.A.Santamaria who hated communists and influenced the Catholics so much that there was a split in the Labor Party which kept Menzies in power for 16 years. Many older Catholics still vote conservative. However the Catholics are probably the people who have the strongest social consciences in our community. My old father-in-law was 93 and died recently - he always voted conservative. It was a matter of priorities - commie-phobia trumped social conscience. But the younger generation are different. About a third of the Australian population are Catholic. And coronavirus has highlighted many deficiencies in our social system.
 
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When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, everything changed. Communism is no longer a major threat and can no longer be successfully used to influence the vote. - We can probably thank the previous Pope for that. However change usually takes time - except when there is a pandemic.
 
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I have a very good friend who is a redneck. He is a shooter and reads all the bullshit. He loves big cities and concrete and always votes conservative. If he gets drunk when I am around, I simply shut my ears. He lives in a parallel universe and gets vey loud. However he is the guy who will always help you when you are making something. Another of my friends said about him 'I don't know why he votes conservative, the left would do much more for people like him'. - Delusional self-perception ?
My problem is I can see two ways of doing things - command from the top - or participation.
 
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brokeneagle

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My uncle at 90 some years old bought into the right wing nut stuff about 5 years ago.He kept sending me stuff about Obama being a Muslim and sharia law taking over. I finally just had to block his emails, I could just not even talk to him, there's no reasoning with this though process, and he's been through WWII. There's plenty of these rubes around here in Virginia, but luckily the dems have taken over the state. I just happen to live in a very red county, they voted for the white supremacist overwhelmingly for House Representative. Luckily he lost. I find most of these nuts are wife beaters and dog kickers, lots of self loathing and self pity. They can be real friendly though if you don't mention the other stuff.
The only time I was ever in Virginia was the Buena Vista Rally a few years ago. That area seemed to be really pro Trump. I'm politically independent but can not understand why so many poor whites are pro Trump. If there is something Trump is doing to enhance these folks lives, I just don't see it. The old couple across the street are barely getting by. But if they get a letter from one of the Trumps begging for money, they send a check. I recieved one of those letters with a check in for $400 from Mellonia to the Trump campaign wanting me to match it. I laughed as her signature style is exactly like Donald's. Also recieved a letter disguised as a census form. Turned out is was a questionnaire about what I thought about Trump.
 

DogT

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Get the book called, 'Deer Hunting with Jesus'. It's about a guy that grew up in Winchester in a fairly hard scrabble family, but was smart enough to get himself through college and out of the area, and then went back to try to figure out why these people vote against their own interests. It's an old issue, the Chamber of Commerce, the Repub. politicians have used gun control, abortion and Jesus and the usual tropes to brain wash the lower working class in the south. What do you thing Roger Ailes, Murdoch, R Stone and all those RW conspiracy theory guys are about other than lining their own pockets. they don't give a hoot about these lower working class people as long as they vote for them. These people have been getting suckered by the 'evangelicals' forever too. Tammy Baker, Jim Jones, you name them. But ask them for help and they will give you the shirt off their back. And yes, outside the cities, it's all trump country. I happen to live in a fairly up
scale county, that hasn't always been that way, lots of DC bedroom community people out here and a fair amount of money, but the old timers are the old south and usually the kids grow up that way too. Confederacy us still alive out here, just amazing. I didn't grow up here and was reticent about living in Virginia, but the wife wanted to for the horse scene. I'm sure my vote never counts for diddly in the county. It's changing though, the dems finally took over the state offices and we have a fairly good gov. I could go on forever. You wouldn't believe the things I've run across out here. Beautiful area though, next to the Blue Ridge, we're on 55 acres and fairly insulated and do have some friends so it's not all bad. But this virus thing has me worried. So far only 41 in the county.
 

brokeneagle

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Get the book called, 'Deer Hunting with Jesus'. It's about a guy that grew up in Winchester in a fairly hard scrabble family, but was smart enough to get himself through college and out of the area, and then went back to try to figure out why these people vote against their own interests. It's an old issue, the Chamber of Commerce, the Repub. politicians have used gun control, abortion and Jesus and the usual tropes to brain wash the lower working class in the south. What do you thing Roger Ailes, Murdoch, R Stone and all those RW conspiracy theory guys are about other than lining their own pockets. they don't give a hoot about these lower working class people as long as they vote for them. These people have been getting suckered by the 'evangelicals' forever too. Tammy Baker, Jim Jones, you name them. But ask them for help and they will give you the shirt off their back. And yes, outside the cities, it's all trump country. I happen to live in a fairly up
scale county, that hasn't always been that way, lots of DC bedroom community people out here and a fair amount of money, but the old timers are the old south and usually the kids grow up that way too. Confederacy us still alive out here, just amazing. I didn't grow up here and was reticent about living in Virginia, but the wife wanted to for the horse scene. I'm sure my vote never counts for diddly in the county. It's changing though, the dems finally took over the state offices and we have a fairly good gov. I could go on forever. You wouldn't believe the things I've run across out here. Beautiful area though, next to the Blue Ridge, we're on 55 acres and fairly insulated and do have some friends so it's not all bad. But this virus thing has me worried. So far only 41 in the county.
I'm in rural south as well. Only 10 cases in my county. Funny as we are here because of my wife's horses. Well I guess they are half mine.
 

DogT

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What'd I tell you, guns, abortions and Jesus, that picture is not unusual, there's a nice cartoon that was in the Guardian years ago on that theme with John McCain, and he was almost reasonable, but he did appoint that strange woman. I have another word for it, not ironic, ironic is not usually not in the local vocabulary, three syllables. When I first moved out here I could hardly understand a word the locals said. It took a while. And 50 miles west of DC is not like SC or AL or GA. Funny thing is the drawl is not unlike the German Bavarian drawl, in a similar way.

I went in a Starbucks a year or so ago and a guy walked in with a glock on his hip. I told the manager, that's the last time I come in that store, if he lets armed civilians in the store, I have no clue what training that guy has had. I've got guns, but I don't go around showing them to people I don't know. Actually all it took for me to get a concealed permit here in the county was my honorable discharge DD214 (military separation papers). And I've been out of the army for 55 years. That's just nuts, and I don't carry guns around. I could go on for hours about the gun nuts and things I've seen here. I really didn't know how erratic this country is until the moron started turning over the slimy rocks. Alternative 'facts'. Yeah, more like ignorance, but you might fix ignorance, can't fix stupid. 'Guns save Lives' is like fing for virginity, or fighting for peace. No logic or critical thinking at all, just flip logic on it's head. As long as it fits the ideology.

The skinheads/Neo-natzis are bad in Germany, but they are sort of under control, mostly in the east. You'll never keep all this idiocy down, all we can do is control it. Give them decent jobs and most of it will go away. But now that's going to get hard, I can see a lot of social unrest in places, due to hunger, and you can't blame them. It's going to be a strange couple years until the virus get under control. The 'stable genius' and his sycophants are not helping. Ugh.
 
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