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    The U.S. Government is a Mess

    Reading through all of the political threads over the past months and years and the views of everyone willing to step out and say 'something' to express their opinions and beliefs is truly an American thing - and I'm damn proud of it. Just having the ability to express one's self openly is an amazing freedom we enjoy and likely take for granted. I'm worried though, that the core of our government is dangerously corrupted.

    The 'divide' and partisanship and Koch money and corporate tax deals buried inside thousands of pages of code...all of it has me thinking that we have become irretrievably corrupted.

    We often read and hear about politicians selling their souls. There is plenty of that in the news now. Why aren't DEMS going after every potential REP seditionist? Why did REPs do just about whatever they wanted when T was in office and appeared too timid or afraid to rebuke T? How does Graham do a 180? Repeatedly. Cruz take shit from T about his wife...etc., etc., etc. The list is exhaustive. And now Garland? Inaction much?

    My conspiracy theory is this; We - all - both sides - are immersed in payoffs, dark money, sweetheart enrichment deals and even more nefarious actions like child sex, drug money benefits and more. I firmly believe T saw the files and threatened every R who showed resistance. Now, the Biden administration has a choice too. Expose "them" and reap the short-term political benefits or let it all go slowly and quietly into the darkness of history, sweep it under the rug knowing full well that DEMS have their own host of mirrored transgressions.

    If we the people only knew half of what was really going on, the way politicians enrich themselves and their family and friends, there would be a massive revolt on a scale that would make the fight for Independence akin to a child's tea party (no associative pun intended.) Why else would people betray so many social norms, reputational benchmarks or community associations? It's money. It's always been about money and always will. It is the root of evil and power.

    "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely."



    What is next? On one hand, we have to have accountability and those doing harm to our democracy must pay a price. On the other, we have survived beyond this immediate transgression and we can simply 'move on.' What is right anymore? Which way do we go?
    Last edited by 4EverRangerFrank; 06-08-2021 at 11:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    Reading through all of the political threads over the past months and years and the views of everyone willing to step out and say 'something' to express their opinions and beliefs is truly an American thing - and I'm damn proud of it. Just having the ability to express one's self openly is an amazing freedom we enjoy and likely take for granted. I'm worried though, that the core of our government is dangerously corrupted.

    The 'divide' and partisanship and Koch money and corporate tax deals buried inside thousands of pages of code...all of it has me thinking that we have become irretrievably corrupted.

    We often read and hear about politicians selling their souls. There is plenty of that in the news now. Why aren't DEMS going after every potential REP seditionist? Why did REPs do just about whatever they wanted when T was in office and appeared too timid or afraid to rebuke T? How does Graham do a 180? Repeatedly. Cruz take shit from T about his wife...etc., etc., etc. The list is exhaustive. And now Garland? Inaction much?

    My conspiracy theory is this; We - all - both sides - are immersed in payoffs, dark money, sweetheart enrichment deals and even more nefarious actions like child sex, drug money benefits and more. I firmly believe T saw the files and threatened every R who showed resistance. Now, the Biden administration has a choice too. Expose "them" and reap the short-term political benefits or let it all go slowly and quietly into the darkness of history, sweep it under the rug knowing full well that DEMS have their own host of mirrored transgressions.

    If we the people only knew half of what was really going on, the way politicians enrich themselves and their family and friends, there would be a massive revolt on a scale that would make the fight for Independence akin to a child's tea party (no associative pun intended.) Why else would people betray so many social norms, reputational benchmarks or community associations? It's money. It's always been about money and always will. It is the root of evil and power.

    "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely."



    What is next? On one hand, we have to have accountability and those doing harm to our democracy must pay a price. On the other, we have survived beyond this immediate transgression and we can simply 'move on.' What is right anymore? Which way do we go?
    Was watching a local city council debate a few weeks back. One of the candidates is the brother of a friend who died an awful death from 9/11 cancer. He's a good guy, but the whole thing from every candidate from beginning to end was nonsense wrapped in gibberish surrounded with bullshit. We pay a lot of cheap grace, platitudes about how great our system is, and certainly it's better than most countries. But that starts looking like going through the motions, like the Romans or the Vikings or any declining empire, offering empty tribute to a dead god as some rote civic ceremony. The level of political discourse has nothing to do with addressing our real issues.

    We are still in the Middle East, fighting pointless endless war.

    We are printing money we do not have.

    There is so much more, wrong.

    Alexander Hamilton ; "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end ."

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    The year 2020 was a stark reminder for me as to why I just don't follow politics or get invested in these assholes that don't care about you, and never have. A lot are actually catching on now. What took so long? I crack up when people are watching whatever "news" network they watch and yelling at the TV, like c'mon. Most of it is just theater anyway. So after that dumpster fire of a year, I was more than happy to go back under my rock when it comes to that three ring circus.

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    I hear you guys and I have the same feelings about wanting to get on a rocket to Mars. Seriously though, where else can you go? Netherlands? A remote island? I'm at a loss for a solution these days. Heartened that my Rangers ar rebuilding and their anticipated success sustains me, but other than that...

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    Remember, even the politicians we think are nice, are complete scum bags. You don't get a seat in Congress for being a nice person.


    And it's all about money. We're all sheep. And they're laughing at us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    Reading through all of the political threads over the past months and years and the views of everyone willing to step out and say 'something' to express their opinions and beliefs is truly an American thing - and I'm damn proud of it. Just having the ability to express one's self openly is an amazing freedom we enjoy and likely take for granted. I'm worried though, that the core of our government is dangerously corrupted.

    The 'divide' and partisanship and Koch money and corporate tax deals buried inside thousands of pages of code...all of it has me thinking that we have become irretrievably corrupted.

    We often read and hear about politicians selling their souls. There is plenty of that in the news now. Why aren't DEMS going after every potential REP seditionist? Why did REPs do just about whatever they wanted when T was in office and appeared too timid or afraid to rebuke T? How does Graham do a 180? Repeatedly. Cruz take shit from T about his wife...etc., etc., etc. The list is exhaustive. And now Garland? Inaction much?

    My conspiracy theory is this; We - all - both sides - are immersed in payoffs, dark money, sweetheart enrichment deals and even more nefarious actions like child sex, drug money benefits and more. I firmly believe T saw the files and threatened every R who showed resistance. Now, the Biden administration has a choice too. Expose "them" and reap the short-term political benefits or let it all go slowly and quietly into the darkness of history, sweep it under the rug knowing full well that DEMS have their own host of mirrored transgressions.

    If we the people only knew half of what was really going on, the way politicians enrich themselves and their family and friends, there would be a massive revolt on a scale that would make the fight for Independence akin to a child's tea party (no associative pun intended.) Why else would people betray so many social norms, reputational benchmarks or community associations? It's money. It's always been about money and always will. It is the root of evil and power.

    "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely."



    What is next? On one hand, we have to have accountability and those doing harm to our democracy must pay a price. On the other, we have survived beyond this immediate transgression and we can simply 'move on.' What is right anymore? Which way do we go?
    First off, thanks for starting the conversation here. It's a hard, hard topic.

    Our democracy, as constructed, has a system of checks and balances; each branch checks each other, the people check the executive and legislative. What's happened in the last 40 years or so is that we've gotten to a place where the executive refuses to check the legislative and vice versa unless there is an opposition party, and the people refuse to check the legislative in any meaningful way for fear of putting the other party in power. We've also kind of forgotten what the whole goddamn point of the whole thing is; when we demonize something like government spending...like, dude, that's what they're SUPPOSED to do. Wisely, of course, but that's literally why we elect these people - to direct and spend our tax dollars at the behest of the people.

    We've become so partisan on all levels of government that we can't even agree on basic things like "voting is good" and "science makes sense".

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    As a whole, we've become dependent on government for more than is needed. What we've seen is more and more power and responsibility has been handed to them over the years. Many have long warned against the repercussions of doing this. The results shouldn't be a surprise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmc51 View Post
    As a whole, we've become dependent on government for more than is needed. What we've seen is more and more power and responsibility has been handed to them over the years. Many have long warned against the repercussions of doing this. The results shouldn't be a surprise.
    I want 'government' to take care of the systems of our lives - making and paving roads, keeping street lights on, enforcing speed limits (even though I'm a speed freak) drinking water and such...you know, the basics. What has happened though, and it's been a very slow and long-coming erosion of ethics and morals is the complete disregard for what is right and just. Doing good for 'us' has become doing good for 'them' - meaning the politicians. How does it make sense that million$ are spent getting elected to a seat that pays a few hundred grand? Why would you do that unless you knew that the long-game was going to be insanely beneficial? We should drop 'service' from the description 'public service.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmc51 View Post
    As a whole, we've become dependent on government for more than is needed. What we've seen is more and more power and responsibility has been handed to them over the years. Many have long warned against the repercussions of doing this. The results shouldn't be a surprise.
    Perhaps. Our government is based on John Locke's social contract, which ostensibly says the only right ceded to the government is the right to be the government - to punish those who would break the rules of society. The "positive" version of that is that we trust government to make law that is fair and just, and enforce it.

    Is it more likely that society has become so complicated that we simply expect government to be able too much? Fair question, IMO. Personally, presented with the alternative of, ostensibly lassiez faire economics, yeah, I think I'd rather have the government intervene on some basic things like population health and security.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    Perhaps. Our government is based on John Locke's social contract, which ostensibly says the only right ceded to the government is the right to be the government - to punish those who would break the rules of society. The "positive" version of that is that we trust government to make law that is fair and just, and enforce it.

    Is it more likely that society has become so complicated that we simply expect government to be able too much? Fair question, IMO. Personally, presented with the alternative of, ostensibly lassiez faire economics, yeah, I think I'd rather have the government intervene on some basic things like population health and security.
    Far wing politics (amplified by social media) has heavily degraded the two parties, as more moderate politicians are forced to either embrace or go to war with the noisy fringe. Governing has become more about damage and damage control than sensible use of Constitutional pillars for societal guidance and protections. Just about every piece of legislation becomes a litmus test for purity.

    We are at the point where the left vilifies Manchin and Sinema while celebrating Romney, Murkowski, and Collins. Unless one of the those three "R's" actually votes in line with their conservative values, in which case they are somehow sellout hypocrites.

    Meanwhile the right has no problem censuring some of their best leaders for standing up for democracy against the insanity which sprung from the Trump movement while stripping Cheney of her leadership role for the same. It seems canceling is OK for conservatives when they're the ones doing it.

    In short, stupidity of the populous is winning the day. Social media made it so the dumbest ideas can be celebrated by the millions stupid enough to buy into them. Politicians who seize on that and amplify the stupidity are benefiting, while those who rightly stand up against it are harassed.

    Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.
    - George Carlin
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    Carlin's diagnosis is the one I agree with most. Especially the bit about ignorant, selfish pols being a direct reflection of ignorant, selfish voters. Social Media didn't ruin anything -- it just made it incredibly easy for that ignorance to amplify by orders of magnitude.


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    'I frankly don't give a fuck how it all turns out in this country - or anywhere else, for that matter. I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we're just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of "American Dream," which has merely been misplaced.' - George Carlin, preface, Brain Droppings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    Carlin's diagnosis is the one I agree with most. Especially the bit about ignorant, selfish pols being a direct reflection of ignorant, selfish voters. Social Media didn't ruin anything -- it just made it incredibly easy for that ignorance to amplify by orders of magnitude.


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    The U.S. Government is a Mess

    When did the ignorant group become emboldened to amplify their ignorance? I think the majority of people who donít know or donít understand have historically remained pretty quiet about it. No? Is it really the cheap and easy social media platforms to blame? The fact that so many newspapers are written on a sub-8th grade level says it all. (When our company comes up with new marketing ideas and I push for clever cerebral designs, Iím also reminding the team to make it understandable on a third grade level.) It goes beyond being educated though. Something has happened to truth and honesty and honor along with self-respect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    When did the ignorant group become emboldened to amplify their ignorance? I think the majority of people who donít know or donít understand have historically remained pretty quiet about it. No? Is it really the cheap and easy social media platforms to blame? The fact that so many newspapers are written on a sub-8th grade level says it all. (When our company comes up with new marketing ideas and I push for clever cerebral designs, Iím also reminding the team to make it understandable on a third grade level.) It goes beyond being educated though. Something has happened to truth and honesty and honor along with self-respect.
    I hear what you're saying, but newspapers SHOULD be accessible and written at a level where information can be digested. Good education is a privilege in this country, but the right to be informed shouldn't be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4EverRangerFrank View Post
    When did the ignorant group become emboldened to amplify their ignorance? I think the majority of people who don’t know or don’t understand have historically remained pretty quiet about it. No? Is it really the cheap and easy social media platforms to blame? The fact that so many newspapers are written on a sub-8th grade level says it all. (When our company comes up with new marketing ideas and I push for clever cerebral designs, I’m also reminding the team to make it understandable on a third grade level.) It goes beyond being educated though. Something has happened to truth and honesty and honor along with self-respect.
    Well, its really both sides.
    And ignoring that is ... ignorant.

    It gets worse when one side says something ignorant like "When did the ignorant group become emboldened to amplify their ignorance? I think the majority of people who don’t know or don’t understand have historically remained pretty quiet about it. No? Is it really the cheap and easy social media platforms to blame? The fact that so many newspapers are written on a sub-8th grade level says it all. (When our company comes up with new marketing ideas and I push for clever cerebral designs, I’m also reminding the team to make it understandable on a third grade level.) It goes beyond being educated though. Something has happened to truth and honesty and honor along with self-respect" thinking its everyone else who screwed up, and not them.

    Social Media is an abused platform because people in power spewing and promoting 'fake news' know the ignorant followers eat it up. It just promotes stupidity. The people in power need us [all] to be stupid and ignorant. I mean, the twitter profile game is always accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Well, its really both sides.
    And ignoring that is ... ignorant.
    If you want to equivocate, sure. If you're looking to complain about the honesty in this, no, it's not, and those of us who claim it is are failing to remember that spectrums are multidimensional because the idea of "separate but equal" in the media validates a worldview, not a fact. There's a far, far cry between a woke Charles Blow op-ed and the extraordinarily deliberately misinforming tactics behind an OANN or the Hannity show. Liberal outlets dramatize - and you'll never catch me saying they don't. Conservative outlets go well beyond that.

    It gets worse when one side says something ignorant like "When did the ignorant group become emboldened to amplify their ignorance?
    Probably, but I think we're well beyond the assumption of good faith here. We're currently in a space where our senators can't agree that "voting is good" and "science is good" - like...there are words worse than ignorant here that should probably be used. Ignorant is far kinder - it leaves plausible the possibility that they just don't know better.

    Social Media is an abused platform because people in power spewing and promoting 'fake news' know the ignorant followers eat it up. It just promotes stupidity. The people in power need us [all] to be stupid and ignorant. I mean, the twitter profile game is always accurate.
    Pete said it earlier or somewhere else - Social Media surfaces the loudest and dumbest among us and gives them a platform to amplify their loud and dumb. It also does the opposite - to be fair - but there really aren't negative consequences to amplifying the wise and kind.

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    Again, if we are going to point fingers, we're all ignorant.
    That's the point.

    And then we complain the elected politicians do the same? well no shit.

    Have you ever watched OANN or Hannity? It's just as wrong as CNN or anything else. Again, same thing. We are ignorant if we believe one side, one politician, or one news outlet is "better". They're all entertainment run by the man. Politicians are all the same - and their goal is to play you/us like a chess piece.

    As long as we are fighting eachother, and not them, theyll keep the power, the money, and the cycle continues.

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    When we elect someone to represent us, there is a social contract made. Implicit in that contract is truth, fair-dealing and an effort to champion what I, and others who voted for that person, believe in. To do otherwise breaks that contract.

    Representation through election brings a responsibility to the voters. There is a high standard to be met. Any breach is unacceptable and should have consequences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Again, if we are going to point fingers, we're all ignorant.
    That's the point.

    And then we complain the elected politicians do the same? well no shit.

    Have you ever watched OANN or Hannity? It's just as wrong as CNN or anything else. Again, same thing. We are ignorant if we believe one side, one politician, or one news outlet is "better". They're all entertainment run by the man. Politicians are all the same - and their goal is to play you/us like a chess piece.

    As long as we are fighting eachother, and not them, theyll keep the power, the money, and the cycle continues.
    Josh, you can't actually bucket these things together and have an accurate stance. There is a stark difference between what CNN does and what Hannity/Carlson and OANN do (straight up make shit up while masquerading as reporters, or worse yet, lie with impunity).

    It's damaging to your opinion when you equate a biased fact-based space with a biased non-fact based space. That they both have bias is not the consequential item here.

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