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plarblman

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May 30 16 9:29 AM

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I'm not thrilled about weighing into the political debate here, but I'd like to put something out there to consider particularly for Europeans like Sindy. Say what you will about how the US military operates, but here's an unavoidable fact: the fact that the US subsidizes other country's military budgets and stations troops overseas means that said countries can afford to spend less on military budgets and more on social welfare programs. I'm actually quite surprised that more Europeans aren't afraid of Bernie Sander's proposed budget changes, as it would effectively force them to cut back on things like healthcare or unemployment to make up for the shortfall in military support. I'm not going to bother covering military interventionism or regional politics, just addressing something that I don't normally see people talking about.

On a personal note, I would like to see some alternative to the US solely taking the role of deterring WWIII (especially when we literally have the pentagon and CIA fighting and undermining each other over policy) but I can't think of any realistic solutions. The UN is supposed to fill that role diplomatically, but I think I'm not the only one who believes that they haven't been very effective.

Last Edited By: plarblman May 30 16 9:31 AM. Edited 1 time

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Sindy

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May 30 16 10:07 AM

@Beardfist Yupp. That's the exact thing happening in Europe with muslims and gypsies. They create pockets where their backwards traditions thrive, and they efficiently hold down their own who want to leave. I know plenty of muslims who shit talk the backwards kind, and plenty of gypsies who do it as well. They all had to struggle to get out of the toxic environment, doubly so if women, and shit talk what they left behing more than any whitey racist ever could.
Meanwhile some middle class spoiled youth with no hands on experience glorifies the "native" culture and blames the whites for it existing.

[email protected] if US pulled support, yes, conflicts would go differently, we'd probably be back to mandatory service, and I'm sure if Russia decided to invade, all ex-Soviet countries would re-Soviet pretty fast. I don't doubt it.
​On the other hand, if US didn't currently have troops aggressively stationed on the NATO-Russian border and building missile defense systems to give Russia the finger, there wouldn't be any war threat from Russia so there wouldn't be need for our military to compensate for lack of Americans.
​That's the sad thing. It's not a straightforward "remove x, y happens" with the US/UN/NATO system.
​Not touching the past because it's pointless to debate how x y z war would have been without US troops.

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Beardfist

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May 30 16 11:31 AM

It's odd when you think about it, because in plenty of rural towns, you see a similar conviction to the backwards elements of Christianity. I think what breaks more people out of it, though, is the ability for those doctrines to be criticized. And, of course, you can't question these other doctrines, because ~imperialism~ or some other stupidly misconstrued concept. Complete aside, but I get absolutely triggered by people throwing that word around stupidly, who slap it on any country that has ever once occupied land or taken a colony. THERE'S MORE TO IT AHGHHHGHHH. Non-African Black America is odd because it demands the same sort of "don't talk about it!" that the protected religious doctrines do, but... it's not a codified doctrine. And I think that explains the soft bigotry of the left: any subculture that's a different color than the majority IS IN DANGER, MUST BE PROTECTED! The fundie Christians are white, so they can take the criticism. BUT THOSE POOR DARKER SKINNED PEOPLE

My only real insight into the US military issue is the sheer size of the federal budget that gets diverted to funding our operations overseas. I'm a fan of limited government, and especially fiscal responsibility (which is why I hate both of the US parties with a passion), so... the size of it is absurd. I want to snip the vast majority of it away, and I do believe that our allied nations should provide for their own defense instead of cozying up on the postwar Marshall Act-era assitance. That said, for right now, I think phasing-over is all the more that we can do, explaining the US' recent lifting of the arms ban on Vietnam. Xi Xinpeng is clearly pushing the borders of what he can get away with in the South China Sea, and the party has been stripping away what little liberties Hong Kong has enjoyed bit by bit, so I understand the worry of countries in that area. The US also needs to stand strong with India in resisting Pakistan (mostly by STOPPING THE FLOW OF MONEY THAT GOES TO THAT STUPID COUNTRY), and I can understand Europe's angst regarding Putin in the wake of Crimea. Still, it should be the Europeans' responsibility to adjust their border security as they see fit in regards to Russia, and the existence of treaties like NATO I find to be pretty stupid. Turkey is in NATO, and clearly shot down the Russian plan in its airspace so Erdogan could throw a fit and strengthen the AK party into a better dictatorship (they just approved a new prime minister from the AK, who is replacing a centrist guy from the opposing party). So... Why should the west get sucked into that stupidity? Like, while I can understand the wariness, when I read about the silos being rearmed and constructed, I couldn't help but wonder what the point of that was.

Oh, and an eddit, @plarblman, I think it's rarer to find someone that argues the UN does anything useful than someone critical. Remember how the UN completely bungled Rwanda years ago? GUESS WHAT'S HAPPENING AGAINNNNNN. Just a little south this time, in Burundi. 

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peabrain

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May 30 16 11:32 AM

Beardfist wrote:
We've tried dumping money and teachers into public schools, and it don't work:

 

I agreed largely with what you said until this point, Beardfist. It actually has been shown that money matters in student outcomes. I think it's a huge problem that some states spend more on prisons than they do on education. It doesn't make sense to me to be spending several times more on a prisoner than a student. Doesn't it make more sense to spend a little more on students so they don't end up in prison in the first place? Unfortunately that's against the agenda of the for-profit prison industry. People scoff at terms like the "school-to-prison pipeline," but if you look at the evidence it does appear to be happening in our country.

As for climate change, assuming I hadn't read any of the literature, I'd still be more likely to believe an expert in the field than Sarah Palin.

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Beardfist

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May 30 16 11:54 AM

peabrain wrote:

Beardfist wrote:
We've tried dumping money and teachers into public schools, and it don't work:



 

I agreed largely with what you said until this point, Beardfist. It actually has been shown that money matters in student outcomes. I think it's a huge problem that some states spend more on prisons than they do on education. It doesn't make sense to me to be spending several times more on a prisoner than a student. Doesn't it make more sense to spend a little more on students so they don't end up in prison in the first place? Unfortunately that's against the agenda of the for-profit prison industry. People scoff at terms like the "school-to-prison pipeline," but if you look at the evidence it does appear to be happening in our country.

As for climate change, assuming I hadn't read any of the literature, I'd still be more likely to believe an expert in the field than Sarah Palin.

Money spent wisely matters in student outcomes, and NCLB and Common Core after it, both half-baked and half-implemented policies, have ensured that money gets thrown into the mix in the stupidest of ways. Schools get their funding penalized if they do poorly on the standardized tests, which is so stupidly backwards, so you have a panic and hysteria about doing well at them. The problem is that you have middlemen and bureaucrats worrying, who buy into programs and plans and things that are just outrageously stupid--who on the side funnel away local taxes from those at-risk schools into the more... 'reliable' ones. The high school I went to, while I was there, spent thousands and thousands of dollars on these "smart board" things that I saw maybe one teacher use. After the district had bought them, they spent absolutely no time bothering to try to educate any of the teacher on how to use the boards, and released clunky at best and unusable at worst online resources for them. Spending per student as such was increased, but in the dumbest and most ineffective way possible. Meanwhile, you have stories of schools in NYC and DC on their last legs that gets an administrator who grabs the bureaucrats by the balls, hires quality teachers, and makes sure the money is spent on shit that's useful to the kids. After blowing its wad on those stupid boards as well as other 'innovations' while I was there, this year the regional district has said that it's considering closing all four of my hometown's high schools, because they blew through all their cash and bureaucrats reallocated funds to the bourgie schools after the money had no effect. I guess that's what I'm real mad about. You can't just throw money at a problem until it goes away, because money isn't infinite. 

The school to prison thing is real tough to chew, though. Shit schools lose funding because of NCLB and CC and so forth, but honestly, even if they didn't, I'm not sure what the effect would be. Because of all the red tape, like I said, it's hard for teachers to get rid of disruptive, violent students. And those students absolutely ~destroy~ the value of the education for everyone else, and seeing them get away with so much shit galvanizes other kids to join in. The way gangs will recruit at high schools and get people into violence at a young age, well, it isn't always a fault of the school itself. Chicago, for example, has seen an absurd upswing in murders this year, before the blood summer has even begun (and now that it's the memorial day, shit is about to get way worse). The primary people getting nabbed for it? 14-17 year olds. Now, I think the notion of a private prison is absurd, and here in Pennsylvania we had a judge get arraigned for essentially allowing a child labor camp of a prison to get made (and he funneled innocent juvies into it for some quick smack), so I think the whole idea is stupid. I think the mandatory minimum laws around drugs are stupid, especially around marijuana and coke (even if coke is actually bad for you... like, really boss?). But I don't entirely get behind the school-to-prison thing per se. I think there's a correlation, but not a causation. Prison lobbyists do tend to wield a disproportionate amount of power in the system and make mad bank on it, so I wouldn't be surprised if they actively attempted to keep shit schools shit, but I think it's a little conspiratorical to suppose there is a direct link. Both schools and prisons need some serious overhauls, but we're too busy talking about one percent of the population to pay attention to layered shit. fuck the department of education, fuck it so hard

It makes me mad, because there's this private charter school about a twenty minute walk from my place, in a real rough neighborhood, that's been doing a lot of good for the community. It preps kids for careers in engineering or general IT-related fields, and it's serious about its curriculum and the kids that get in. It's had a lot of success stories, but it's also not bound by all of the stupid bureaucratic shit public schools are. They fire bad teachers, grab and retain good ones, boot troublemakers, care about security, and provide their kids with the resources they need to get an edge. not buying 30 $1500 classroom props to collect dust.

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peabrain

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May 30 16 12:19 PM

Not all charter schools are created equal. I agree with you wholeheartedly that mismanagement of money is a big problem. Administrative bloat is a huge problem where I live.

Edit: I was actually wondering if everyone would be willing to take this political compass test: https://www.politicalcompass.org/test

It's really interesting to see where people fall on the chart when you have discussions such as these.

Here's mine:
Economic Left/Right: -8.5
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.97
image

Last Edited By: peabrain May 30 16 12:38 PM. Edited 2 times.

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Sindy

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May 30 16 12:59 PM

"from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.

Fucking commies.
.
Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all.

Fucking commies.
image
Fucking commie.

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SmashLampjaw

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May 30 16 2:37 PM

peabrain wrote:
Edit: I was actually wondering if everyone would be willing to take this political compass test: https://www.politicalcompass.org/test
Political tests (including this one) tend to be written with a bias that reflects the person who wrote them. This test has a left-wing bias that will probably push everyone who takes it to the left of where they are.

Some examples:

Biased version in the test: "If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations."
Why are the only parties that can profit communists and faceless megacorps?
An unbiased version would be: "If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than providing entrepreneurs with financial opportunities."

Biased version in the test: "I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong."
Who in the hell would click "Agree" right now unless they knew the question was loaded? The left will always pick "Disagree" and the right probably wouldn't pick "Agree" during these years under Obama.
An unbiased version would be: "I'd always put my country's interests ahead of those of other countries."

Biased version in the test: "Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races. "
That's not politics. I don't have to guess which side racism is attributed to, even though the Democrats are the party of slavery and Jim Crow laws.
An unbiased version would be: "Our nation's culture has many superior qualities, compared with other nations."

I could go on, but the point is anyone taking this test who doesn't spot the bias is going to wind up being told they're actually Left and didn't know it.

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May 30 16 2:43 PM

peabrain wrote:


Edit: I was actually wondering if everyone would be willing to take this political compass test: https://www.politicalcompass.org/test

It's really interesting to see where people fall on the chart when you have discussions such as these.

image

I obtained near perfect neutrality. Meh

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People have a common defense mechanism they employ to defend themselves from the threat of contrary viewpoints. This shield they wield is the act of dismissing such contrary viewpoints by arbitrarily undermining their validity.

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peabrain

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May 30 16 4:26 PM

SmashLampjaw wrote:
Political tests (including this one) tend to be written with a bias that reflects the person who wrote them. This test has a left-wing bias that will probably push everyone who takes it to the left of where they are.

...

I could go on, but the point is anyone taking this test who doesn't spot the bias is going to wind up being told they're actually Left and didn't know it.

 

I'm aware that it has bias, but I've never encountered a completely neutral one. Plus I like the chart itself. I've actually debated with folks that are in the blue quadrant before too, so I'm not sure the statements push people too far to the left.

Last Edited By: peabrain May 30 16 4:28 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Sindy

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May 30 16 8:21 PM

Aww Smash, don't you wanna be a fucking commie with me? :(



​Yeah it has bias. I've even found that some questions that had not that much to do with politics existed.
​eg (paraphrasing) writers and artists are more useless than physical laborers - only dictatorships cracked down on writers and solely because of opposing views. Noone deported you to Siberia for writing, they deported you to Siberia for writing about the shortcomings of great Mother Russia. Nazis didn't ban/burn books for being books. They banned them for the content. And artists, good artists, were needed for propaganda art and paintings of the leading class. Yes a lot of artists and writers were "free thinkers" and ended up in trouble, but it wasn't a "oh this guy just made me this SICK propaganda poster. Gonna ship him to a labor camp and get another artist and hope he's equally sick. Then ship HIM off too". Then the fucking modern art question. Yeah Stalin wouldn't have appreciated if someone drew him a green square and insistent it's a tank, but to imply all liberalians love modern art by default is kinda dumb.
​There were a couple more that were not a guarantee to show what side the person leans to, can't recall them.

​Then the things about religion and deviant sexual behavior were also weirdly worded (granted, not as much as some of the first questions).

​Now shut up and be fucking commies with me.[/i][/i]

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May 30 16 9:34 PM

The test told me I'm only slightly commie though. :(

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fallinq

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May 31 16 12:49 AM

Well I'm a right-wing, minarchist nut-job, just like in real life. Honestly though, Smash is right. Many of the questions had me scowling in annoyance, because I would have gone with a third option that wasn't available. So I had to go with whatever was the closest to what my actual answer would be, even if it was clearly slanted to sound bad.

And some of the questions were kind of baffling. Like:
"A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system."

The hell? This question isn't even asking where you stand, it's just asking if you think people argue less in a dictatorship than a democracy. Yeah, probably. The chance of getting thrown in a gulag if you object to something will do that. I guess what it's trying to measure here is if you think that's a good thing or not, but the way it's phrased I could very easily see people picking a choice that's the opposite of their beliefs out of sheer confusion.

Another gem:
"Astrology explains many things."

...Kay? I know they're assuming people who believe astrology are more left, because dirty hippies, but this actually has zero bearing on a person's political beliefs, beyond a possible correlation that is in no way a causation.

"When you are troubled, it's better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things."
Again, I really don't see how this helps place anyone anywhere on the chart, except that it seems to be focusing on bizarrely specific stereotypes.

And as a final example of the problem with these sort of questionnaires:

"There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures."
"Peoples" and "cultures" are defined differently by different people. For example, I would classify ISIS as a people, but not a culture, although they do fit into the larger culture of militant, fundamentalist Islam. Other people wouldn't consider militant, fundamentalist Islam to be a separate culture at all, and would say there is only Islamic culture.

Quizzes like this have always seemed to be kind of a mess to me. I feel like people will either not catch on and will end up placing themselves closer to the author's viewpoints because those viewpoints are presented more favorably, or they WILL catch on and will "compensate" with their answers, making them more likely to place where they think they "should" be. Author bias isn't the only problem. A simple yes/no, agree/disagree answer isn't enough to properly cover the multitude of opinions out there.

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Sindy

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May 31 16 3:00 AM

Yeah, the astrology and the coping mechanism for being overwhelmed are the ones I've been considering fucking pointless as well.

And this...
"A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system."
​just fucking lol indeed. Because dictatorships have gone so well in history when there was no opposition, right?

​Honestly I would normally be much more towards autoritarian left, but I'm guessing shit like the sexual orientation subcategory and those random ass questions have made me look much more hippie. Actually I'm bored and Imma see where I place by answering those as expected from a commie and leaving every strictly political answer as I did.

e: Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offence. this gem, too. Pretty sure there's some conservatives that would smoke and some hippies that think it causes more trouble than help if used irresponsibly.

image

I changed nothing except that I now think artists are worthless and gay sex is disgusting. Five questions, and I'm halfway to being a dictator.
And the sexuality counts MORE than I expected, jfc. I voted some people are inferior and everyone should be controlled and under permanent surveillance and came out in the "liberitarian" half, just because I don't give a fuck about homos. Priorities.

Last Edited By: Sindy May 31 16 3:22 AM. Edited 1 time.

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peabrain

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May 31 16 7:52 AM

Their FAQ discusses some of the "gripes" you guys brought up. I was always perplexed by the astrology question in particular, and here's what they had to say about it:
"More significant for our purposes is whether or not the individual believes in mystical determinants of fate, hence the astrology proposition. There is a psychological linkage between determinism and authoritarianism. The astrology believer may hold very liberal social views in other areas, but this does not alter this more authoritarian aspect within his or her cluster of attitudes."
So it sounds like if you believe in astrology it's going to move you to the red quadrant on the chart.

But it really sounds like you guys need to check your privilege.

Last Edited By: peabrain May 31 16 9:57 AM. Edited 1 time.

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Sindy

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May 31 16 8:15 AM

"Your privilege level is Extremely Oppressed with a score of -585"



Fucking commie


​I think my personal gripe with the test now that I noticed the pattern is that some of them are the COMPLETE opposite of what they should put you as, so the test is clearly made by some American and has no foundation in history.

​For example, astrology and religion score you in the red. With the dictators. Who discouraged or outright banned religious practices.
​Being pro choice scores you in green. With the liberals. Who are pro life more often than not - birth control and abortion was readily available for the Soviet countries way back when, and let's not talk about China... And it's the "progressive" countries that have strict laws on abortion - Ireland, Northern Europe, Central Europe.

​And the fact that I openly admit I'd be a dictator if my country wasn't a democracy and if I would get in power it wasn't for my tolerance towards religion and deviant sexuality.
​I can honestly tell you I laughed at scoring in green the first time around - I'm all for population control, eugenics, harsh punishments, and public surveilance. These alone should've insured I stay in red regardless of thinking gays are okay and can adopt and artists are useful. I say that if I were a dictator, not that many people would be suddenly happy with their condition knowing that I tolerate gays.

​So my peeve with the test, after doing it twice with just five different answers, is that they're not THOUGHT THROUGH. They seem to all give the same score. 15 dictator points for being homophobic. And 15 dictator points for believing all jews should be rounded up and gassed. Seems about right!

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peabrain

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May 31 16 8:24 AM

Sindy wrote:
​I think my personal gripe with the test now that I noticed the pattern is that some of them are the COMPLETE opposite of what they should put you as, so the test is clearly made by some American and has no foundation in history.
 

I think it was made by Europeans according to the FAQ. I just realized I forgot to link the FAQ the first time: http://www.politicalcompass.org/faq

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Sindy

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May 31 16 8:37 AM

Fair enough, I take it back, still funny. I'm not even sure they actually ran their own test on the people they placed on it tbh. If I were bored enough I'd run it out of curiosity, and am willing to bet Stalin will be closer to me than up there in the Commie Dictator maxed corner. Hitler will probably be lower too. I can probably run it on any dictator in history and not max on dictatorship, simply because of how religion, astrology, education, family life, and women's reproductive choices works in scoring and how it worked under their rule.

​Like Smash and fallinq said, there's too much to take into account, not just a simple agree/disagree, on a lot of questions.
​Still not a total waste to take, and was fun.

​Too bad for my privilege :( or is it good? I think it's good.

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peabrain

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May 31 16 8:44 AM

Sindy wrote:
Still not a total waste to take, and was fun.
 

That's why I like it! Originally saw it on 4chan of all places.
Sindy wrote:
Too bad for my privilege :( or is it good? I think it's good.
 

It's very good! It means you're entitled to a million asspats from Tumblr!

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Sindy

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May 31 16 9:19 AM

So between my extremely low privilege level, being a woman, and being supportive of weird sexualities and genders while having a dictator mindset, I could infiltrate tumblr, earn their trust by posing as one of them, then slowly climb to a position of power, at first pretending to be on their side and using their anger to dispose of people I want disposed of, then turn face and round up all the SJWs and minorities and dispose of them too AND CREATE THE PERFECT EARTH WHERE EVERYONE WILL BOW TO ME FOR ALL ETERNITY AND EVERYBODY I DISLIKE WILL BE DISPOSED OF

​oh, neato! Gonna start a tumblr blog!

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Beardfist

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May 31 16 1:53 PM

The political alignment thing is interesting as a concept, but I don't believe there's a particularly concrete way to plot someone on it. As the test seems to admit, it's a very... arbitrary thing, when you get down to it, and there isn't really seemingly sound science to go too far in it. For example, I argue that an enlightened absolutism is perhaps the best possible system of government, as democracy too often swings into the realm of dangerous mob-mentality, and late-stage capitalism is an inevitable evil of any democratic system. Nevertheless, there have been very few actually good enlightened dictatorships, and the way our systems now exist, I tend instead towards libertarianism: smaller, less powerful goverments with an emphasis on local involvement and efficient and reliable government responsibilities. I split on practical and ideological, so it's hard to map that.

Completely unrelated to any of this nonsense, if you folk ever get bored as hell, just spend a little time baiting the Bernie People. You don't need to know jack shit about the US election, history, democrats, etc. Just say you disagree with his policies and believe he's worthy of criticism, and my god people just spaz the fuck out.

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