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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:24 pm 
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I miss Prim ...
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And when it comes to elected officials: Is it too much to ask for some who didn’t have to be transformed to begin with?


Kind of? Like, for example, most Americans opposed gay marriage not that long ago, including Democrats like Hillary, and this view did more actual, physical, demonstrable harm than white people painting their faces black. Do I hold that against Hillary (and the majority of the US) now that she's come around? Absolutely not.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:28 pm 
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I'd say yes to both. People can grow and change. I have witnessed my parents' views of homosexuality change over the years.

I think part of the shock and horror of the "____ did blackface in decades ago!!!" is that you had no idea this finished product came from that starting material. And I can understand why the apologies offered seem so thin. How do you apologize for dipsh*ttery that happened decades ago that was found out today? Especially since you've spent time and effort getting past the mindset that made you think such dipsh*ttery was okay?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:47 pm 
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River wrote:
Especially since you've spent time and effort getting past the mindset that made you think such dipsh*ttery was okay?


If. IF they spent any time and effort - I think that is what makes it seem fake. There does not seem to be an indication that they have, in fact, spent either time or effort or got past the mindset.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:51 pm 
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Maybe they just grew up? Like most of us?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:53 am 
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People grow up and grow wiser.
Culture changes and what is acceptable changes.

When I was in Israel with my youth group in 1979 - I was 19 - we were invited by the kibbutz to present an entertainment to celebrate Australia Day (the day of which is itself now hugely controversial, but that's another story).
We brainstormed what to do that would really present an authentic Oz experience and decided on an outback theme.
We were stymied on the culinary front as there was no bush tucker, so we made billy tea, damper with snags, and lamingtons for dessert.
We talked about indigenous culture, Dreamtime, and attitudes to land...and (because my particular group was particularly passionate about talented in dance), we completely made up a faux indigenous dance, choreographed by me by putting together what I could recall from dance perfomances I had seen. We played faux digeridoo, we used rhythm sticks, we clad our loins in loin cloths, and we used ash coloured with chalk to paint our bodies.
None of us had any indigenous heritage, and none of us had any formal training or education in indigenous culture.
We did all this to the best of ability with the intention of shpwcasing indigenous culture and giving respect.

With hindsight, I am appalled at our arrogance and appropriation of what was not ours. We effectively dressed up in blackface, and whatever our intentions, today what we did would be howled down. My son was actually speechless when he first heard this, and that group - now all in our late 50s - have all shamefully shaken our heads at our gall when it's been brought up.

But that was not the cultural atmosphere of 1979. And we were not yet out of our teens.

Sent from a tiny phone keyboard via Tapatalk - typos inevitable.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:07 pm 
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Maybe I am still rather naive in much of this, but I always thought that it wasn't the actions themselves that were necessarily offensive (i.e. darkening one's skin, etc) but it was the history that infused it with offense.

That is, would it still be offensive to blacken your skin if blackface wasn't a thing in history, or black slavery wasn't a thing? Would it still be offensive to pretend to be do indigenous dances if the slaughter and oppression of indigenous peoples hadn't happened? We know the swastika would not be offensive in the least had not it been used by the Nazis. And if you come from a culture where these weren't the reality of your history, would there be any real way of knowing that these things would be offensive?

It's why I tend to be angrier when American college students dress in actual blackface and pose with KKK costumes, but less-so when someone is dressing up as Michael Jackson. The first you can't escape the history of why these things are offensive if you are from the US. The second really is just ignorance of culture and history.

That doesn't mean my feelings on the matter actually matter, I just feel that too much does get lumped into one monolithic grouping of offense when one seems more like childish innocence that was never outgrown and the other is much darker and insidiously willingly ignorant.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:11 pm 
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Funny, this is exactly the sort of responses I hoped for in the echo chamber! :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:15 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Funny, this is exactly the sort of responses I hoped for in the echo chamber! :)


Not to sound argumentative, but why? It's not me playing devil's advocate or arguing from a position I don't hold, or seeing things from someone else's point of view - it's just my thoughts. Which seems to be the antithesis to what you said you wanted the Echo Chamber to be.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Because its trying to see both sides of the argument. Which is what I always wanted in the other thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:00 pm 
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This Virginia stuff is big national news and yet this right here --

https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/justice-delayed/nJmIsk5XIHQ8LePmBRLPQI/

-- is not. This is so much worse and corrupt than anything going on in Virginia. Not that the Virginia stuff is unimportant, or that there's anything wrong with talking about it or having a thread about it.

But this thing in Georgia is more important, though maybe it doesn't feel more important. There is no obvious identity politics angle here, or salacious sex scandal angle, or any celebrities, or any connection to Trump or any other famous politician. It's just ugly and despicable behavior by the Georgia speaker of the house, which is kind of boring I guess.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:36 pm 
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That's appalling. Both the corrupt behavior itself, and that it is so under-reported. I did a search on "Speaker of the House David Ralston" and the only articles that came up about this were local news. Not a single national story.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Fox News has one, which I guess is sort of surprising.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/georgia-house-speaker-accused-of-using-office-to-delay-court-for-clients


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:40 pm 
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It's not that surprising, actually. I've seen a lot of good reporting on Fox News. There is a big difference between their opinion talk show hosts (Hannity, Fox and Friends, etc.) and their actually reporters. Chris Wallace and Shephard Smith are two the best news anchors out there, in my opinion, and they have many talented reporters that are just looking to get at the facts, not slant them to match a political agenda.

I hesitate to say this because it may just be a question of me not making an accurate enough search, but I do wonder about the fact that article didn't come up (at least on the first page) when I did a Google search. I've certainly had Fox News links come up in searches, but it still makes me wonder whether Google's parameters someone concluded that Fox News didn't align with my world view. Or maybe I'm just getting paranoid.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 am 
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I can't say.

But I don't think I can express how repellent and awful I find this whole story. There is something deeply cynical about the whole thing. I am convinced that things like this would be a lot harder to get away with without such deeply partisan politics. It's hard to toss odious people like this overboard when they are on "your team" and doing so would give the other side a win and everything is an existential battle for the soul of the country and you can't give an inch. But maybe it's just simple corruption. People gravitating to power because they are greedy bullies.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:23 pm 
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I would have thought that an elected official would have to suspend his private law practice for the duration of his term; serving the public and serving private clients could represent a conflict of interest, as it does in this case.

As for the lack of coverage, our infotainment media operate as profit-earning arms of the corporations that own them; they will cover what gives the ratings, so, as Faramond noted, sex and identity politics outrage will get the air time. It used to be that the networks kept their news divisions separate from their profit-oriented entertainment divisions, but that went out the window in the 70s.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:27 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
I would have thought that an elected official would have to suspend his private law practice for the duration of his term; serving the public and serving private clients could represent a conflict of interest, as it does in this case.


I can't even conceive of why this would not be the case.

Quote:
As for the lack of coverage, our infotainment media operate as profit-earning arms of the corporations that own them; they will cover what gives the ratings, so, as Faramond noted, sex and identity politics outrage will get the air time. It used to be that the networks kept their news divisions separate from their profit-oriented entertainment divisions, but that went out the window in the 70s.


Yup.


(I changed the title of the thread.)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Faramond wrote:
This Virginia stuff is big national news and yet this right here --

https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/justice-delayed/nJmIsk5XIHQ8LePmBRLPQI/


I feel like throwing up.
And crying.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Meanwhile, in North Carolina House District 9, a new election is being called after electoral fraud was uncovered.

I'm not sure, maybe this doesn't technically belong here because the results were never certified, the apparent victor was never seated, and therefore the misconduct was not committed by an elected official. Anyway, the case has been percolating in the news and working through the Elections Board process for months now, but it's pretty intense. Apparently Harris, the GOP candidate and apparent winner, teamed up with a gentleman who does dirty tricks with absentee ballots to assure victory. Apparently, a team of people went out, got people in the district registered to vote as absentees, and then collected the ballots. The voters didn't know that it is illegal in North Carolina for someone to collect ballots in that manner. But here's where it gets really nasty: the collectors changed the ballots. The gentleman in charge of the operation has done this in the past to benefit Republican candidates. Harris won by less than 1000 votes and his opponent smelled a rat. The anomalies piled up and the Election Board got involved. Harris's own son, now an AUSA, testified yesterday that he warned his father to stay away from this guy, that sending people to collect absentee ballots is illegal in NC, but apparently Harris decided that his son had no idea what he was talking about (my parents blow me off too sometimes...I guess it's hard to take advice from a person you taught to wipe and flush). Anyway, Harris himself finally broke down and asked for a new election.

I feel like a robust public education campaign on how absentee ballots are to be handled could have prevented this. I wonder why there wasn't one.

I wonder if Harris will have the chutzpah to run for this office or any other ever again.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:43 pm 
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If I recall correctly, several months ago when this was first percolating there was talk of replacing Harris on the ballot for the new election that was already being predicted, and that Democrats called foul and claim that under North Carolina election rules he had to be the one on the ticket, unless he died or otherwise was ineligible. But I don't have a link right now supporting that recollection.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Well, if we are collecting truly appalling acts by supposed public servants, this one is a doozy.

Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules

Quote:
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.


It gets much worse from here and shows how hard it is to get justice against an influential man. Even when the man in question lured minors into a sex trafficking operation.

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