AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1879061 times)

Offline JRM

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 4502
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16440 on: July 02, 2020, 05:17:51 PM »
The presidential primary campaign of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination and the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress from New York have once again raised the issue of the desirability for and the possibility of a system of “democratic socialism.”

For many of their critics and opponents the operative word is “socialism” in their vision of a new and better America. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez insist that they are being forced to carry the unwanted and unjustifiable ideological baggage of the “other” socialism that prevailed in countries such as the Soviet Union that were based on a system of dictatorship and authoritarianism.

Theirs, they assure us, is a kinder and gentler socialism that is compatible with and built on the premise of democracy and the duly electing will of “the people.” Democratic socialism has nothing to do with 20th-century communism and the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” they say, which ended up brutalizing millions of innocent men, women, and children.

PRAISING THE SOCIALISM OF THE COMMUNIST COUNTRIES
Both conservative and libertarian critics of Bernie Sanders have joyfully dug up and displayed on the Internet and social media a huge trove of video clips showing Sanders praising the social and economic achievements of the communist regimes in Soviet Russia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

He is shown saying that long lines for the essentials of everyday life in those countries is better than paying for what you want in capitalist societies. Under capitalism, Sanders declared, only the wealthy are able to buy what they want, while under breadline communism everyone gets an equal share of what the central planners deem is needed by “the masses.”

The leaders of those socialist countries are all honest and honorable men who left a very positive impression on Bernie Sanders’s sensitive appreciation for the betterment of his fellow man. No mention, it seems, was ever made by him about the tyranny, terror, or mass murders by his collectivist comrades in arms in the communist workers’ paradises that he visited.

But now, he insists that his views and values have nothing to do with the system or the realities of dictatorial socialist revolutions. However, he continues to add, let’s not forget the good in those societies with their free health care for all, education at no cost, and a sense of fairness and social justice, even if some in those socialist governments might not have always been “democratic” in their ruling ways.

Instead, Sanders states that the systems he has in mind when referring to democratic socialism are in countries such as Denmark or Sweden, with their policies of social and redistributive justice and government control of business, without any of the embarrassments of those “other” socialist regimes of the past that he once hailed as supplying positive lessons from which to learn to make a better America.

SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM: COMMON ENDS, DIFFERENT MEANS
Originally, in the nineteenth century, “socialism” and “communism” were often used interchangeably, merely as synonyms for the same general idea — the end to private ownership of the means of production, replaced with communal ownership and more conscious centralized planning of economic and social life.

Socialists in that earlier time may have had different visions of the specific characteristics of the collectivist society of the future, but a rejection of private ownership and a belief in communal ownership for a more socially equitable distribution of what would be produced was shared by all socialists and communists.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a cleavage did emerge between socialists and communists, but it had to do with means and not ends. In Western European countries such as Germany and France, the “democratic” socialists increasingly rejected the arguments of their narrower Marxist Russian cousins who were more and more adamant that change could come only through violent, revolutionary means. The German Social Democrats said that the same ends as those wanted by the Russian revolutionary socialists could be achieved through democratic means.

This distinction was reinforced after the October Revolution of 1917 that brought Lenin and his followers to power. Consider this expression of the difference between socialists and communists, taken from an article in the 1929 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica written by G.D.H. Cole, who was a well-known British socialist:

Socialism is essentially a doctrine and a movement aiming at the collective organization of the community in the interests of the mass of the people by means of common ownership and collective control of the means of production and exchange….

The distinction between socialism, as represented by the various socialist and labor parties of Europe and the New World, and communism, as represented by the Russians and minority groups in other countries, is one of tactics and strategy rather than objective. Communism is indeed only socialism pursued by revolutionary means and making its revolutionary method a canon of faith.

Thus, in the eyes of socialists and communists, for most of their shared history well into the twentieth century, the desired destination — collectivist ownership and central planning — was the same. What they differed over was the political method of reaching that end-state: democracy or dictatorship, ballot boxes or bullets. But either way, the market economy and private enterprise would be relegated to the “dustbin of history,” to use one of Karl Marx’s phrases.

WESTERN SOCIALISTS AND CENTRAL PLANNING
It would be unfair and historically inaccurate not to emphasize that there were many “democratic socialists” in Western countries, both between the two World Wars and during the Cold War years, who refused to support or clandestinely collaborate with the Marxist masters in Moscow. They were sincerely devoted to the ideals of a society of civil liberties (freedom of speech and the press, freedom of religion, and individual autonomy over personal affairs) and democratic politics.

They placed those values above achieving socialism by violent means if it entailed losing them. And many of them were truly repulsed by the brutality and cruelty of the Soviet regime and other countries in which communist dictatorships had come to power.

But that does not change the fact that the goal was to end, whether democratically or violently, personal choice and freedom of association over many if not all things generally covered under the headings of supply and demand, production, and consumption. The government was to become the paternalistic overseer of the forms and content of much of everyday life through the nationalization of the means of production and central planning.

SCANDINAVIANS, FREE MARKETS, AND SOCIALISM
Bernie Sanders declares that his ideal democratic socialist society is to be seen in Sweden and Denmark. The only problem is that many in those countries and a number of American and other European critics of socialism vocally insist that what is in those countries is not socialism. They say that the economic systems in Sweden and Denmark are functioning and highly competitive market economies with, admittedly, significant social-welfare safety nets. Thus, they are market-based welfare states, and not examples of the socialist “better world” Sanders wants for America.

As Swedish classical liberal Johan Norberg expressed it not long ago,

I don’t think the American Left knows that Sweden is the country of pension reform, school vouchers, free trade, low corporate taxes and no taxes on property, gifts and inheritance. Sweden affords its big welfare state because it is more free-market and free trade than other countries. So if they want to redistribute wealth, they also have to deregulate the economy drastically to create that wealth….

We do have a bigger welfare state than the U.S., higher taxes than the U.S., but in other areas, when it comes to free markets, when it comes to competition, when it comes to free trade, Sweden is actually more free-market.

But notice Norberg’s wording. Sweden is a free-market economy, but with a bigger welfare state than that of the United States. Sweden had tried a more comprehensively government-controlling socialist-style system but had reversed paths to more market-oriented relationships because of the negative consequences from central planning.

So, is a free-market society compatible with a sizable welfare state? According to some, at least. Said libertarian commentator John Stossel, in one of his columns, “Next time you hear democratic socialists talk about how socialist Sweden is, remind them that the big welfare state is funded by Swedes’ free-market practices, not their socialist ones.”

SWEDEN AND SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
But wait! So Sweden is a free-market, liberal democracy with
extensive redistributive welfare programs? Well, not according to Daron Acemoglu, professor of economics at MIT in Massachusetts. In his article “Social Democracy Beats Democratic Socialism” (Project Syndicate, February 17, 2020), we are told that Bernie Sanders’s call for “democratic socialism” is the wrong road for America or other countries to follow. It entails too heavy and direct a hand of government over the social and economic affairs of a nation’s citizenry.

What America needs is Sweden’s version of “social democracy,” which is not a liberal free-market system. If you are getting confused, don’t worry, you are not alone. In the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth, “social democracy” was what German democratic socialists called their version of socialism, which was to lead to both a centrally planned and a more highly redistributive political system.

Historically, social democracy, then, was democratic socialism. But no longer, not according to Daron Acemoglu:

Social democracy refers to the policy framework that emerged and took hold in Europe, especially in the Nordic countries, over the course of the twentieth century. It, too, is focused on reining in the excesses of the market economy, reducing inequality, and improving living standards for the less fortunate…. Simply put, European social democracy is a system for regulating the market economy, not for supplanting it….

What is needed, then, is not market fundamentalism or democratic socialism, but social democracy…. The market must be regulated, not sidelined.

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM OR SOCIAL DEMOCRACY?
Bernie Sanders calls for democratic socialism, which will control the economy through planning and regulation, as well as by widely redistributing wealth by expropriating most of what is owned by “the rich”; but that is not the “bad” Soviet-style socialism because it will not be (at least at the start!) a dictatorship. America will be just like Sweden and Denmark.

But, wait a minute! Johan Norberg and John Stossel tell us that those Scandinavian countries do not have democratic socialism. They are functioning, vibrant competitive free-market economies producing so much wealth that they are able to support welfare-state programs that are larger than those in America.

But hold it one more time! Daron Acemoglu insists that what Sweden has is not Sanders’s democratic socialism or a system of freewheeling “market fundamentalism.” Instead, Sweden has “social democracy,” which widely regulates markets and competition, redistributes wealth for greater income equality, and cares for the disadvantaged.

SWEDEN: FREE MARKET OR CENTRAL PLANNING?
The reality, it seems, at least from what I’ve read and tried to understand, is that Sweden and Denmark are not what Bernie Sanders considers them to be and wants to see implemented under the label of “democratic socialism.” His dream is for something far, far closer to the centrally controlled and commanded economic system that was seen in the communist countries from which he rhetorically now tries to distance himself.

But neither is Sweden a truly free-market economy, in spite of what Norberg and Stossel say is the case, again on the basis of what I’ve tried to glean from various readings. It is, in fact, a “mixed economy” with degrees of competitive openness, but with significant government regulation and oversight, and with an extensive redistributive welfare state. It seems closer, again from my understanding, to Daron Acemoglu’s system of “social democracy.”

Acemoglu’s social democracy historically grew out of something similar to Sanders’s idea of democratic socialism. While the democratic socialists of the early and middle decades of the twentieth century, as we saw, opposed Soviet-style tyranny as a political basis for implementing socialism, they still believed in a socialist centrally planned economy and wanted to establish one.

GREAT BRITAIN: PLANNING VERSUS FREEDOM
That is what was attempted in Great Britain in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War under the newly installed Labour Party government. British economist John Jewkes (1902–1988) detailed the meaning and consequences of the attempt to implement democratic socialism in his book Ordeal by Planning (1948; revised and enlarged edition in 1968 under the title The New Ordeal by Planning).

Nationalized industries and government production and distribution planning extended and enlarged the scarcities and shortages that had already been experienced during the war years, including lack of energy supplies for heating homes in the winter. Reduced consumer choices and sluggish and wasteful industry were then matched by the Labour government’s decision in the spring and summer of 1947 to introduce labor conscription to prevent workers from moving out of areas where the central planners wanted them to be employed and to relocate them to places where the planners needed them to be.

The democratic socialist ability to vote on those who would hold political office was shown to be inconsistent with the individual’s freedom of choice over what was to be produced, from whom and how much to buy, and the ability to decide on his place and type of work. Socialist planning and personal freedom were substitutes and not complements. More of one meant less of the other; they just did not go together when what people wanted and wanted to do was found to be inconsistent with the central plan social engineers were trying to impose on society.

THE INTERVENTIONIST WELFARE STATE
By the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Western European social democrats had to grudgingly accept that traditional socialist planning did not work, threatened people’s everyday freedom, and could lose them elections. As a result, social democratic political parties moved away from campaign platforms promising nationalization and central planning.

Democratic socialism increasingly became Daron Acemoglu’s social democracy, that is, the highly regulated, interventionist state with extensive and expensive welfare states. Some nationalized industries were privatized, degrees of market freedom and competition were reintroduced or maintained, and taxes were modified to serve as incentives for work, saving, and investment for the economic growth and tax base needed to achieve the traditional socialist equalitarian redistributive ends through the welfare state.

Central planning was abandoned for the “managed” market economy. As British economist Vera Lutz (1912–1976) detailed in her book, Central Planning for the Market Economy (1969), the French variation on this theme came to be called “indicative planning.” The French government used taxes, subsidies, and regulatory incentives to indirectly induce private enterprise to move into the investing and manufacturing directions the political planners in Paris wanted, rather than directly controlling and commanding production and employment in the economy with a heavy hand.

SOVEREIGNTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
What none of the political and economic systems we have been discussing reflected or represented is the idea or reality of a free-market liberal society. Let us not forget the meaning of liberalism as a philosophy of individual rights and liberty that includes peaceful and honest ownership of private property, freedom of association (including freedom in all forms of production and exchange), and a constitutionally limited government with the duty to protect and secure people’s rights and liberty and not to violate them.

That was concisely explained by the liberal historian Hans Kohn (1891–1971), who was born in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, fought in World War I, was a prisoner of war in Siberia during the Russian Revolution, lived for a time in the Middle East, and then left the “old world” in 1934 for the “new” in the United States, where he found a haven of liberty from the rising totalitarianism taking hold in the Central Europe from which he had originally come.

In his book Revolutions and Dictatorships (1939), Kohn contrasted the two fundamentally different forms of society and government:

Throughout history we find two fundamental attitudes concerning the relationship between the individual and the state. One attitude puts the state above the individual; the individual depends for the full realization of his faculties upon the state before whose authority he bows and to whose ends he is subservient.

The other attitude regards men not as the object, but as the subject of authority. The state is no end in itself, but a means for the self-realization of the individual, to the transformation of the society of men into a really humane society….

Liberty … in its negative sense protected the rights of the individual against the interference of the state … built [upon] the autonomy of the individual, or, as Kant called it, his dignity as an end in himself.

SELF-GOVERNING INDIVIDUALS IN A LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
To be an end in himself, the individual human being cannot be the tool or instrument in the compelled service of others, whether those others are private persons denying him his freedom, or those in political authority placed in that position by either bullets or ballots.

If we were to speak, in place of either democratic socialism or social democracy, of a name for the political order of human freedom with individuals as ends in themselves, we might refer to it as liberal democracy. It is “liberal” because it considers each and every individual human being as a self-governing person who is sovereign over his own life and who enters into voluntary and mutually agreed-upon associations with others for personal betterment as he defines it.

It is “democratic,” since self-governing individuals govern themselves politically as well, in that they elect those who are placed in the positions of securing and protecting their liberty under the power-restraining rules and limits of a strict constitutional order.

The modifier “liberal” makes clear that a democratic system of government is limited in its role and authority to preserving freedom, in comparison to any social democracy, which implies that a majority, or an elite claiming to speak for the majority, may abridge and usurp the liberty of some members of society to serve the coercive purposes of others, both in the marketplace and elsewhere.

We, therefore, need to revive the idea and ideal of a truly free-market-based liberal democracy over any socialist version of democracy that may be offered to us.

https://libertarianhub.com/2020/06/30/liberal-democracy-versus-democratic-socialism-versus-social-democracy/

Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16441 on: July 02, 2020, 06:03:28 PM »


Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>

Do you have some academia prejudice? Is it because she's black that you don't like her video? Sometimes getting real knowledge means seeing what is between the lines. I get tired of watching one the most brilliant professors in the world, Chomsky  - worth $5 Million - pontificate the truth, especially with a White Privileged Harvard grad, leaning back smoking a pipe. Geeeez.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
One should apply Critical Theory if one espouses it.
« Reply #16442 on: July 02, 2020, 06:23:38 PM »
Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. With origins in sociology as well as in literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors.

Can't you see how academically saturated Chomsky is? That should be balanced with many other viewpoints that do not agree with the Great and powerful Oz. Isn't that what Critical Theory does, consider many different cultural/societal organizations. I don't see you doing that. In fact, your positions seem quite narrow. Maybe you think Critical Theory is great because you don't know what your talking about, then you have the excuse to say, it is just part of the bigger picture. So far I have seen nothing original coming from your scholastic indoctrination.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Phil Rumpole

  • Bussing Staff
  • **
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16443 on: July 02, 2020, 06:28:38 PM »


Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>

Do you have some academia prejudice? Is it because she's black that you don't like her video? Sometimes getting real knowledge means seeing what is between the lines. I get tired of watching one the most brilliant professors in the world, Chomsky  - worth $5 Million - pontificate the truth, especially with a White Privileged Harvard grad, leaning back smoking a pipe. Geeeez.

That marina Abramovic is about 75yrs old. The secret to looking half that is in the diet, cheap carbs and lots of em. It was probably autocorrect changing "order dominos pizza" to "play dominoes on cheese pizza"
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 06:32:26 PM by Phil Rumpole »

Offline JRM

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 4502
    • View Profile
Re: One should apply Critical Theory if one espouses it.
« Reply #16444 on: July 02, 2020, 08:07:40 PM »
Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. With origins in sociology as well as in literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors.

Can't you see how academically saturated Chomsky is? That should be balanced with many other viewpoints that do not agree with the Great and powerful Oz. Isn't that what Critical Theory does, consider many different cultural/societal organizations. I don't see you doing that. In fact, your positions seem quite narrow. Maybe you think Critical Theory is great because you don't know what your talking about, then you have the excuse to say, it is just part of the bigger picture. So far I have seen nothing original coming from your scholastic indoctrination.

So..., you're going to pop in here with that now, having avoided all discussion of Critical Theory in the Diner recently?  Having seen the almost total lack of informed response to Critical Theory issues and topics I have raised in here? Why? Why now?

If you want to see something rather original from me that derives in part from my engagement with Critical Theory, see my comment following the article here.:  https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-07-02/its-not-as-simple-as-rebellion/

Chomsky is every bit worthy of my deep admiration of him. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 08:12:09 PM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16445 on: July 03, 2020, 01:41:09 AM »


Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>

My eyes tend to glaze over at these debates, but I tend to react to the word "libertarian" in the same way some react to spiders or snakes.
Media Bias/Fact Check doesn't list them. A visit to the site reveals sources like John Whitehead and Reason.com (which I regularly consult) and Daily Caller, the ron Paul Institute, and Lew Rockwell, which I do not.

It's premises are,

Quote
Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. News stories are automatically fetched and updated 24/7.

Hard pass. From me, anyhow.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline JRM

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 4502
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16446 on: July 03, 2020, 06:46:04 AM »


Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>

My eyes tend to glaze over at these debates, but I tend to react to the word "libertarian" in the same way some react to spiders or snakes.
Media Bias/Fact Check doesn't list them. A visit to the site reveals sources like John Whitehead and Reason.com (which I regularly consult) and Daily Caller, the ron Paul Institute, and Lew Rockwell, which I do not.

It's premises are,

Quote
Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. News stories are automatically fetched and updated 24/7.

Hard pass. From me, anyhow.

As Noam Chomsky has pointed out again and again, the now common meaning of "libertarian" in the USA refers to something quite the opposite of what it means in most of the rest of the world, especially Europe. Here in the States, it refers mostly to unregulated capitalism and handing the core of our culture over to the care of the market.  Everywhere else, it refers to a major branch of the socialist movement, the non-state branch, essentially. 

So, yeah, spiders and snakes.

They stole our word from us here, and for this they cannot be forgiven.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Phil Rumpole

  • Bussing Staff
  • **
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16447 on: July 03, 2020, 07:11:24 AM »

They stole our word from us here, and for this they cannot be forgiven.

They took too much liberty with it
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 07:17:50 AM by Phil Rumpole »

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
Re: LIBERAL DEMOCRACY VERSUS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
« Reply #16448 on: July 03, 2020, 07:53:47 AM »


Libertarianhub.com … How does the journalistic quality of this source resonate with the journalistic quality of this?:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mRhfS8U6WxE&fs=1</a>

Do you have some academia prejudice? Is it because she's black that you don't like her video? Sometimes getting real knowledge means seeing what is between the lines. I get tired of watching one the most brilliant professors in the world, Chomsky  - worth $5 Million - pontificate the truth, especially with a White Privileged Harvard grad, leaning back smoking a pipe. Geeeez.

That marina Abramovic is about 75yrs old. The secret to looking half that is in the diet, cheap carbs and lots of em. It was probably autocorrect changing "order dominos pizza" to "play dominoes on cheese pizza"

How old? I didn't know about his addition! No wonder he slobbers at suppertime. Maybe he could try some roller skating to "bulk up" some.?
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
Re: One should apply Critical Theory if one espouses it.
« Reply #16449 on: July 03, 2020, 08:02:26 AM »
Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. With origins in sociology as well as in literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors.

Can't you see how academically saturated Chomsky is? That should be balanced with many other viewpoints that do not agree with the Great and powerful Oz. Isn't that what Critical Theory does, consider many different cultural/societal organizations. I don't see you doing that. In fact, your positions seem quite narrow. Maybe you think Critical Theory is great because you don't know what your talking about, then you have the excuse to say, it is just part of the bigger picture. So far I have seen nothing original coming from your scholastic indoctrination.

So..., you're going to pop in here with that now, having avoided all discussion of Critical Theory in the Diner recently?  Having seen the almost total lack of informed response to Critical Theory issues and topics I have raised in here? Why? Why now?

If you want to see something rather original from me that derives in part from my engagement with Critical Theory, see my comment following the article here.:  https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-07-02/its-not-as-simple-as-rebellion/

Chomsky is every bit worthy of my deep admiration of him.

Ok, I take it back about not using your knowledge of Critical Theory in any creative way. Very good and very original. I like that. I was all worked up yesterday about how serious it is that we all find a way to "take back america" ( Howard Dean! :)) I kind a made a mess of my own nest. Sometimes I just don't know what do do with myself! :D
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
19-year-old McDonald's worker assaulted after asking a customer to wear a mask
« Reply #16450 on: July 03, 2020, 09:43:29 AM »
A 19-year-old McDonald's worker was assaulted after asking a customer to wear a mask, revealing a growing crisis in the restaurant industry


As companies facing crises in how to deal with customers who refuse to wear masks, restaurants are front and center.

When Maria Resendiz asked a customer to wear a mask while working the McDonald's drive-thru, she had no way of knowing the request would result in a trip to the hospital.

The 19-year-old was working at an Oakland, California, McDonald's on June 27 when a customer pulled up without a mask. Resendiz told Business Insider that she requested the customer wear a mask, as instructed by her manager and as required by the local government.

The customer refused, saying "I don't need no Mexican b---- to tell me what to do," according to an OSHA complaint filed by Resendiz this week. According to the complaint, the man parked his car and began banging on the drive-thru window, screaming at Resendiz that he would kill her.

Resendiz said she originally tried to hold the window closed, as the lock was broken. But, when she went to close the window, the man grabbed the McDonald's employee and began slapping and hitting her. When the man finally left, Resendiz says she called the police and was taken to Highland Hospital.


Resendiz's injuries.

Resendiz says she has faced harassment and assault working at McDonald's in the past, including customers throwing cups of feces and vomit at her and death threats from people who were unsatisfied with their orders. But, she says things have gotten more extreme during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, she said she has never received training on how to deescalate conflict with customers.

McDonald's did not provide a comment on its de-escalation training, though the fast-food chain offered franchisees' guidance on how employees could respond to customers who would not wear masks or socially distance in its reopening guide.

"I just want to tell customers not to disrespect us," Resendiz told Business Insider. "We're humans as well."

As companies grapple with how to deal with customers who refuse to wear masks, restaurants are front and center. Making customers cover their faces — either due to local requirements or the restaurants' policies — often becomes workers' responsibility.

McDonald's has internally emphasized the importance of personal protective equipment in recent weeks, saying in an internal letter on Wednesday that restaurants need to be disciplined about "requiring proper mask use by crew and – where applicable – customers."

Michael Smith, the franchisee who owns the location, said in a statement to Business Insider that the safety and security of guests and employees are his top priority and that the business is continuing to work closely with Oakland Police Department.

"On Saturday, we learned of an altercation at our San Pablo Avenue restaurant," Smith said. "The supervisor on duty called local law enforcement immediately to report the incident. Officers were welcomed into the restaurant to review security footage and are still investigating this matter."

Resendiz said she wants McDonald's to make changes so employees do not feel threatened when they show up for work.

"Security is all we need. ... All we want is to feel safe," Resendiz said.

Anti-mask customers put workers at risk for harassment and assault on the job


Restaurant workers are wearing masks, but need to find a way to make customers do the same.

Resendiz is not alone in facing harassment and assault while working in restaurants during the pandemic. The new responsibility to enforce mandates to wear masks can put employees and other customers in danger.

A man was shot in the parking lot of a Chili's in Forest City, North Carolina, last week following an argument over Governor Roy Cooper's mask requirement, police told WBTV.  In May, a Waffle House customer shot an employee at a location in Aurora, Colorado, after being turned away by a cook for not wearing a mask, according to an NBC report.

Even in situations where no one is physically harmed, workers face harassment from anti-mask customers. When Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez asked a customer to wear a mask, as required in San Diego County, Gutierrez says that the customer began cursing at him, threatened to call the corporate office, and posted a complaint about the incident on Facebook.

The majority of customers seem happy — or at least willing — to wear masks. Gutierrez ultimately received more than $101,000 in tips after his refusal to serve the anti-mask customer went viral in late June. Roughly 7,500 people have donated to a GoFundMe for the barista.

Business Insider's Aria Bendix reports that people who portray masks as a political issue or culture war ignore the growing body of research that indicates masks help prevent the coronavirus from spreading. For example, one model from the University of Washington predicted that if 95% of the US population wore face masks in public, the country could prevent roughly 33,000 COVID-19 deaths. 

The minority of customers who are aggressively anti-mask put workers at risk, both in terms of spreading the virus and when it comes to harassment and violence on the job.

"In 30-plus years of studying retail and crisis situations, we have never seen a situation of customers being so rude to hourly employees," Larry Barton, a professor of crisis management and public safety at the University of Central Florida, told Business Insider's Mary Hanbury in May.

https://www.businessinsider.com/restaurants-face-crisis-with-customers-mask-enforcement-2020-7
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
Unemployment rate won't recover for the next decade, CBO projects
« Reply #16451 on: July 03, 2020, 11:09:55 AM »
New York (CNN Business)America's recovery from the pandemic recession could last through the better part of the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office's 10-year forecast published Thursday.

The Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown has brought the economy to a stop, and even though states are slowly reopening, it will be a tough next decade as the country recovers from this recession, according to the CBO.
On top of that, the forecast is riddled with uncertainty in terms of the virus itself, changes to consumer behavior and policy responses, the CBO cautioned.
The CBO now forecasts the unemployment rate will remain above its pre-pandemic level -- which was a near-50-year low of 3.5% -- until after 2030, the end of the current forecasting range, the CBO predicts. The 10-year average unemployment rate will be 6.1%, up from 4.2% projected in January.
Meanwhile real US gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, will be an average 3.4% lower over the next decade than what was originally predicted in January. It will take until 2028 until GDP will grow in line with long-term trend growth again.
And that's not all: This recession could nearly quadruple the federal budget deficit this year, pushing it to a whopping $3.7 trillion, according to projections from April.
Interest rates are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future, say the Federal Reserve and the CBO, to encourage economic activity.
But whether the worst is already behind us remains to be seen. The CBO projects the unemployment rate to peak in the third quarter before falling rapidly in the remainder of 2020 and throughout 2021.
So far, unemployment peaked in April at a rate of 14.7%. More than 20 million jobs vanished that month. But since then, America has seen a record number of jobs resurface as the economy reopens.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier Thursday that a record 4.8 million jobs were added in June, bringing the unemployment rate to 11.1%. Yet the economy is still down 14.7 million jobs since February.
Still, with worries about rising Covid-19 infection rates in parts of the country, some states are putting their reopening on hold. For people who were laid off, that means more time out of the labor market.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/economy/congressional-budget-office-projections-economy/index.html
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President
« Reply #16452 on: July 03, 2020, 11:18:53 AM »
It is increasingly looking as if Joe Biden can beat President Donald Trump in November. The president seems more and more out of step with the national mood, from his handling of the pandemic to his response to racially biased policing, not to mention a wide array of other issues. Even in key swing states, Trump is losing ground that will be difficult for him to make up.

For Trump, there are two broad pathways to maintaining power. First, we can already see very clearly a strategy designed to suppress voter turnout with the purging of registration rolls of large numbers of mostly urban voters; efforts to suppress mail-in ballots, which are more necessary than ever, given COVID-19; a re-election apparatus that is training 50,000 poll watchers for the purpose of challenging citizens' right to vote on Election Day; and significant efforts to make in-person voting in urban areas as cumbersome as possible in order to have long lines that discourage people from exercising their voting rights.

The second pathway to subverting the election is even more ominous—but we must be cognizant of it because Trump is already laying the groundwork for how he can lose the popular vote, and even lose in the key swing states necessary for an Electoral College victory, but still remain president.

This spring, HBO aired The Plot Against America, based on the Philip Roth novel of how an authoritarian president could grab control of the United States government using emergency powers that no one could foresee. Recent press reports have revealed the compilation by the Brennan Center at New York University of an extensive list of presidential emergency powers that might be inappropriately invoked in a national security crisis. Attorney General William Barr, known for his extremist view of the expanse of presidential power, is widely believed to be developing a Justice Department opinion arguing that the president can exercise emergency powers in certain national security situations, while stating that the courts, being extremely reluctant to intervene in the sphere of a national security emergency, would allow the president to proceed unchecked.

Something like the following scenario is not just possible but increasingly probable because it is clear Trump will do anything to avoid the moniker he hates more than any other: "loser."

Trump actually tweeted on June 22: "Rigged 2020 election: millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others. It will be the scandal of our times!" With this, Trump has begun to lay the groundwork for the step-by-step process by which he holds on to the presidency after he has clearly lost the election:

Biden wins the popular vote, and carries the key swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by decent but not overwhelming margins.
Trump immediately declares that the voting was rigged, that there was mail-in ballot fraud and that the Chinese were behind a plan to provide fraudulent mail-in ballots and other "election hacking" throughout the four key swing states that gave Biden his victory.
Having railed against the Chinese throughout the campaign, calling Biden "soft on China," Trump delivers his narrative claiming the Chinese have interfered in the U.S. election.
Trump indicates this is a major national security issue, and he invokes emergency powers, directing the Justice Department to investigate the alleged activity in the swing states. The legal justification for the presidential powers he invokes has already been developed and issued by Barr.
The investigation is intended to tick down the clock toward December 14, the deadline when each state's Electoral College electors must be appointed. This is the very issue that the Supreme Court harped on in Bush v. Gore in ruling that the election process had to be brought to a close, thus forbidding the further counting of Florida ballots.
All four swing states have Republican control of both their upper and lower houses of their state legislatures. Those state legislatures refuse to allow any Electoral College slate to be certified until the "national security" investigation is complete.
The Democrats will have begun a legal action to certify the results in those four states, and the appointment of the Biden slate of electors, arguing that Trump has manufactured a national security emergency in order to create the ensuing chaos.
The issue goes up to the Supreme Court, which unlike the 2000 election does not decide the election in favor of the Republicans. However, it indicates again that the December 14 Electoral College deadline must be met; that the president's national security powers legally authorize him to investigate potential foreign country intrusion into the national election; and if no Electoral College slate can be certified by any state by December 14, the Electoral College must meet anyway and cast its votes.
The Electoral College meets, and without the electors from those four states being represented, neither Biden nor Trump has sufficient votes to get an Electoral College majority.
The election is thrown into the House of Representatives, pursuant to the Constitution. Under the relevant constitutional process, the vote in the House is by state delegation, where each delegation casts one vote, which is determined by the majority of the representatives in that state.
Currently, there are 26 states that have a majority Republican House delegation. 23 states have a majority Democratic delegation. There is one state, Pennsylvania, that has an evenly split delegation. Even if the Democrats were to pick up seats in Pennsylvania and hold all their 2018 House gains, the Republicans would have a 26 to 24 delegation majority.
This vote would enable Trump to retain the presidency.

We cannot let ourselves believe that this is a far-fetched scenario. We have just seen Trump threaten to invoke emergency powers under the Insurrection Act of 1807 to call up the U.S. military against domestic protesters. The remarkable apology by Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, stating that it was wrong to create a perception that the military would get directly involved in a domestic political protest and intervene against American civilians, underscores the corrupt use of executive powers Trump is willing to employ. As Fareed Zakaria recently said in summing up the lessons of former national security adviser John Bolton's new book: "Donald Trump will pay any price, make any deal, bend any rule, to assure his own survival and success."

So what do we do as citizens to face the impending reality of The Plot Against America? We must "out" this scenario—and do so loudly and consistently. We have an imperative to build a "people's firewall" that reaches deeply across the country and reflects public revulsion at the potential for Trump to undermine our entire democratic system of governance.

Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, should immediately ask the Judiciary, Commerce, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees to hold hearings on how steps can be taken to safeguard against this scenario, especially how to confront any invocation of emergency powers by the president.

There needs to be an outpouring at all levels of society that this will not be tolerated—from government officials and lawmakers at all levels; to civic associations and civil rights groups; to business groups and trade associations, who have to recognize the economic chaos that would result from this kind of coup; to lawyers, academics and student groups practiced in resisting government policies; and, of course, to the editorial voices of the press, both local and national.

The recent resistance of our military establishment is an encouraging sign and necessary component of the "people's firewall." The president has to know there will be overwhelming resistance to any post-election chaos to undermine our constitutional order. He must know that the "people's firewall" will not yield to lawlessness. He has to be confronted with the reality that The Plot Against America must remain a work of fiction.

Timothy E. Wirth is a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14988
    • View Profile
‘Zombie Fires’ in the Arctic Pump Out Carbon at Record Pace
« Reply #16453 on: July 03, 2020, 12:02:59 PM »
Soaring temperatures that reached 38 degrees Celsius in the Arctic Circle reignited wildfires

Wildfires that have raged in the Arctic Circle since early spring led to a record spike in pollution from the infernos last month.

Arctic fires emitted 16.3 million metric tons of carbon — or about 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide — in June. That’s the highest since at least 2003 and almost nine times more than the same month in 2018, according to data from Europe’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. The previous June record was registered last year, when fires were the worst on record.

The Arctic region is heating twice as fast as the rest of the world, leading to sea ice melting faster than scientists forecast. The warm air spreading from Siberia across the Arctic doesn’t directly cause wildfires, but coupled with low soil moisture levels and low precipitation, it can contribute to ripe conditions for fires to spread.

Arctic Heatwave
June emissions from Arctic wildfires rose to new record this year

“The June 2020 map shows that the fire activity has been further to the east in the Siberian Arctic than in 2019, with more widespread fires in the non-Arctic parts of eastern Siberia,” CAMS senior scientist Mark Parrington said by email. “It is very surprising how similar the daily trend in the fire activity has been compared to 2019, especially as it is so unusual to all the other years of data that we have.”

This year some parts of the Arctic registered temperatures as much as 16 degrees Celsius (29 Fahrenheit) higher than usual in May and the town of Verkhoyansk in Siberia hit 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) last month. The fire season, which usually starts in early May and picks up at the beginning of June started earlier, with satellites registering wildfires as soon as March.

The fires typically burn through forests  and peatlands in Siberia, a region that straddles across all of northern Russia and is home to the world’s largest forest. The dry vegetation on these vast plains can burn under the snowpack of winter and Copernicus data from May suggested that high temperatures were reigniting these “zombie fires.”

AI6YR
@ai6yrham
·
5h
#Siberia #heatwave #wildfires
Quote Tweet

antonio vecoli
@tonyveco
 · 5h
An increasing number of #wildfires are currently burning in #Siberia, not only in its #Arctic region. This #wildfire started 4 days ago not far from the  #ArcticCircle,(65.8N,122.7E).Image of July 2, by @CopernicusEU #Sentinel2 @fragmansixty9 @Cruellaisdevine @lfkraus @AntonBoym



Last year scientists were baffled as they recorded fires burning in some parts of Siberia and Alaska for longer than they had ever seen. The wildfires emitted about 182 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the season.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-02/arctic-fires-cause-record-jump-in-emissions-as-temperatures-soar
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President
« Reply #16454 on: July 03, 2020, 01:51:03 PM »
It is increasingly looking as if Joe Biden can beat President Donald Trump in November. The president seems more and more out of step with the national mood, from his handling of the pandemic to his response to racially biased policing, not to mention a wide array of other issues. Even in key swing states, Trump is losing ground that will be difficult for him to make up.

For Trump, there are two broad pathways to maintaining power. First, we can already see very clearly a strategy designed to suppress voter turnout with the purging of registration rolls of large numbers of mostly urban voters; efforts to suppress mail-in ballots, which are more necessary than ever, given COVID-19; a re-election apparatus that is training 50,000 poll watchers for the purpose of challenging citizens' right to vote on Election Day; and significant efforts to make in-person voting in urban areas as cumbersome as possible in order to have long lines that discourage people from exercising their voting rights.

The second pathway to subverting the election is even more ominous—but we must be cognizant of it because Trump is already laying the groundwork for how he can lose the popular vote, and even lose in the key swing states necessary for an Electoral College victory, but still remain president.

https://www.newsweek.com/how-trump-could-lose-election-still-remain-president-opinion-1513975

Anyone who finds this scenario farfetched hasn't been paying attention. Trump and Barr have demonstrated themselves eager to engage in corruption, and the republicans have shown themselves capable of doing what is needed to hold onto power by any means necessary.

If Trump loses but remains president by this sort of chicanery, then other Americans will find it imperative to remove him by any means necessary.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."