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The Continental Divide

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posted on Dec, 23 2016 @ 04:21 PM
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originally posted by: CB328



We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”


This kind of proves what I've been saying for years. Republicans want a lot of uneducated people because they're easier to manipulate. That's why they want teenage pregnancy (in spite of their rhetoric) because then you get the mother and the child mostly likely poor, ignorant and pissed off. Then you can't get people like Trump elected.

But overall, I would say this is a cycle that happens to every society. Look at Bosnia. Our country is developing into almost a mirror image of that society.

No matter how great a society starts out, eventually you get too many low quality people because it takes a lot of work, dedication, education, social structure and money to produce quality people while it's very easy to make losers.
You are a very important member on here. Thank you for your efforts to impart knowledge and wisdom.




posted on Dec, 23 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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a reply to: desert

Yes, I drove a truck for eight years... a little over a million miles. I've been to every corner of the Continental US except the Northwest, and some of Canada.

I learned a few things on the road. Never buy cigarettes in New England. Truck stops have insane profit margins. The Rio Grande is a ditch. The Statue of Liberty is not as big as it looks on TV. Slot machines like to eat quarters. Detroit doesn't have road crews. Snow sucks but ice sucks worse. Canadian border guards have no sense of humor when you mention AK-47s. Never drive past Patriot Stadium on the day of the first game. Trucks and dust devils don't play well together. Never blow an air horn at a moose; it will mate with your truck. Mooses (meese?) are tougher than trucks. Atlanteans can't drive in the rain... and apparently just steer towards the nearest obstacle if they see a snowflake. If you see the Hollywood sign from the cab of a semi, you just screwed up.

I got some impressions about some places, too. Canadians are nice, but I just don't seem to fit up there. I learned to hate Chicago. New York City is actually kinda nice. I can't say the same about the rest of the state. California feels like I just crossed a national border. Utah is beautiful. West Virginia would be the size of Texas if they ironed the wrinkles out. Florida is three different states. There's a lot more racism in New England than in the South.

But really, most of what I already believed was proved out: people are people. In hard times, they will succumb to their base instincts. In good times they won't. They just want to live their lives.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 24 2016 @ 10:25 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
That was always the beauty of America, and the lure that brought so many here: the ability to succeed or not on one's own merits, in whatever one chose to do. And we've lost much of that.


We've lost some of that, but I think it's for the better. Personally, I like living in a nation where I know I have a safety net if I fall. It doesn't make me less likely to not work, instead it makes me more likely to take the risk. I come from being on disability for the last 10 years, and working at school to get the knowledge necessary that I don't have to live like that in the future. But a small part of me takes comfort in the fact that should the job market not cooperate, or perhaps my own issues cause me problems... there's still a way for me to care for myself.


I wonder if anyone has ever said on their deathbed, "I wish I had made more money," or, "I wish I had controlled others' lives more." I doubt it, yet how many, like the earlier example, spend the most precious thing they can own, their time, chasing things that won't matter in the end.


This is going to sound weird, but probably because I'm in a video game degree and I look at video games a lot (and sometimes even play them) I approach life as if it's a strategy game. The best advice I've ever been given in these games is "focus only on what matters". It's advice everyone thinks they follow, but very few actually can, because few can separate what does and doesn't matter in life. I've applied this to my entire life though, combined with constant attempts to declutter.

The result, is that I focus on experiences rather than things. To me, doing a thing is more important than a reminder of that thing. My personal possessions rival that of a monk, and that's the way I like it. One should spend time enjoying life, and doing things important to them. If work is important, then do it... but to within reason. If you only work for money, you should work for money until your comfortable, working for additional money, just for the sake of having more money leads to discomfort.

I know lazy people in life, and I know workaholics in life. I try to straddle the middle.


My overarching goal is self-sufficiency. It's much more specific than that statement, but that's the idea. I have weekly/monthly goals that I strive toward, and every morning set daily goals for what I want to accomplish that day. Periodically I re-examine my long-term goals and adjust them as necessary. Like you, I tend to keep them mental, although you are right that writing them down is preferable.


Mine are much bigger than that. I want to create jobs for people, set up Franklin Trusts, and build a project of worth, maybe get into politics one day too. Lots to do, just not easy goals to achieve.


originally posted by: Indigo5
a reply to: Aazadan

Elan Musk often describes "First Principles" thinking.

The difference between knowing a ton of "stuff" and the process by which to solve novel problems...aka New, not done before stuff...Those are two very different skill-sets. One is fit for being a tool inside a corporation and making X happen 20 times a day...another is inventing new stuff, pushing forward....and Phd does not make anyone less of a tool if they can't start from the basics and THINK about a problem.



Knowing stuff, is how you gain the ability to learn new things. Intelligence is largely built around the idea of analogies between something you understand, and something you don't.

That said, I don't think much of Elon Musk. He's a smart guy, but he's just plain wrong on a lot of his ideas.


originally posted by: TheRedneck
There is assistance for folks like us. I started back in college in my 50s, broke, on food stamps. Now I hold a BSEE from UAH, am pursuing a Masters, and have an internship as a research engineer.


I'm no stranger to broke and on food stamps. I get help with a program in Ohio, it's pretty nice. That and Pell Grants, combined with cheap university. Fortunately, I'm only mid 30's rather than 50's though.

I may not be in a position to give back monetarily yet, but I do give back where I can. I have two regular students I teach aspects of computer coding to (people who would never be able to go to college). And I've done the tutoring thing.

Fortunately, I'm in a program where a formal degree isn't required, only what you know is. Which means I'm able to take what they spend on me getting the training/degree, and get two more people into the work force for free.



posted on Dec, 25 2016 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan


We've lost some of that, but I think it's for the better.

I think my meaning may have been lost in translation somehow.

The ability to succeed or fail is not the same as saying one should starve if they fail. Thinking about it now, it occurs to me that that same misperception may be responsible for part of the political rift we are seeing. I'm going to take an example from my own immediate life to illustrate my actual meaning.

My present goal involves a circuit I have designed. I previously tried to design this circuit and made some faulty assumptions. While I learned much from that initial circuit (including that my basic premise appeared correct), it did not work well enough to proceed. My goal failed. I did not succeed. That failure does not mean I should go hungry. It simply means the reward I expected had the initial circuit worked was not forthcoming.

I then took the information from my initial tests and, after taking the needed courses, made four adjustments to how the circuit operated. I have now got the new parts in house and the new circuit boards are en route. I will assemble the new circuit and test it again. It may succeed, in which case I expect a hefty reward for my success from commercialization of my project; it may fail, in which case I deserve no such reward; I will have to try again.

Either way, I feel I have the right to try and get a job and provide for myself and my family. If the job market 'doesn't cooperate' as you put it, I would like to be able to still eat and have electric lights. In other words, there is no insinuation in the 'right to fail' of someone becoming destitute.

The right to succeed must coexist with the right to fail. If one cannot fail, one cannot succeed either. So if the right to fail us removed, so is the right to succeed. That does, to me, have bad implications... for example, perhaps I would not have the right to try my experiments, or perhaps if they worked I would not be able to commercialize it for a reward. In that case, why bother trying? I didn't need to build my shop, didn't need to buy a board and parts... I could have spent that money on Dorito's to munch on while I watch the latest episode of a mind-numbing 'reality show' on the TV, sitting on the couch in my underwear without a care in the world.


Mine are much bigger than that.

And that's fine... good luck on your goals. I hope you succeed.


I may not be in a position to give back monetarily yet, but I do give back where I can.

And therein lies part of the problem with insulating people from success / failure. I am in the same situation. I would love to establish a scholarship for people like me in my Dad's name. So here are two people who would love to give back, but can't... both of us need a success in life to be able to help others succeed. If our chances for success are mitigated, our ability to help others is sacrificed. Multiply that dynamic by thousands, millions of others in similar situations, and you get the world we live in.

So no, the ability to fail is a good thing.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

Returning to movies.


We do need to have old laws abandoned and new ones added or modified. But the current media storyline is not about people working together to do this... it's about the Glory Of Big Struggles Against Shadow Government Organizations which are taking over the world/state/your town.
.......
So I submit that our taste for entertainment drama (and the entertainment industry's interest in profits) is driving a lot of this. As "evidence" I'll point to other countries where the media isn't as engaged with this kind of story -- and where the people as a whole aren't quite as paranoid as Americans are getting.


Movies and games sure can reflect and promote such thinking. Food for thought.

Again I go back to 1980, a turning point in my mind. Ronald Reagan's famous words, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." This brought the notion of an overreaching federal govt to the national stage. While many Americans certainly might have a grievance with some form of govt (city, county, state, fed), RR's words cleverly planted the idea of a federal govt that really didn't have your best interest in mind. But, even then, the popular idea was to reform govt not do away with it.

It wasn't until the end of the 1980s that the political rearrangement of the two parties began in earnest. During the 1980s, Congress could still find compromise. Younger people here would find it hard to believe that at one time both parties contained liberals, centrists, and conservatives, who would find compromise! (In truth, there is more to American compromise than simply party composition, but the devolution of one party into a faction would not take place until the 1990s.)

When far right Republican Newt Gingrich was allowed to have national power via Congress in the 1990s, he started the party on the road to becoming a faction of extremists. "Compromise" became a dirty word, and any Republican not conservative enough was RINOed. And the further one went to the right, the more anti-federal govt one was.

I would guess that at that point the ranks of Independents swelled with RINOs. So, while the general population was not necessarily becoming more extreme, one political party was. That party (along with their favorite media) would give power and voice to more extreme ideas and talk.

Yes, the movie, Erin Brockovich, came out in the beginning of the 2000s, and shortly after that, Americans would be engaged in battles with the "war on terror". And Harry Potter would be burned at the stake.... well, the books certainly were wanted to be banned by increasingly vocal right wing Christians (who BTW were given increasing political power under GW Bush). The Matrix begins.

By the end of the 2000s, the nation had gotten into the Great Recession, teetering on Depression, and, well, the Rep Party would swoop in to claim the Tea Party, changing the movement into a tax revolt and anti-big govt (except for the refrain of "keep your govt hands of off my Medicare and Social Security!") with conspiratorial elements. The Republican Party would complete its metamorphosis into a faction. So, yes, I could certainly see how Hollywood and the gaming industry would also swoop in to have Americans shell out big bucks for watching/playing dystopian fantasies. ETA "V for Vendetta" franchise, for ex.

And by now, Reagan's words also morphed into....
Reagan Was Wrong: The Nine Most Terrifying Words Are, “I’m a Libertarian and the Market Will Save You”
edit on 26-12-2016 by desert because: ETA



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

West Virginia would be the size of Texas if they ironed the wrinkles out.

Truer words have not been spoken, LOL. Did you cuss us as bad as most truckers when driving through? I used to love when I had my CB. The truckers called I-77 everything except a road! LOL



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: desert


When far right Republican Newt Gingrich was allowed to have national power via Congress in the 1990s, he started the party on the road to becoming a faction of extremists. "Compromise" became a dirty word, and any Republican not conservative enough was RINOed.

I seem to remember things from that era a little differently.

Gingrich is indeed very conservative, but it was compromise between him as Speaker of the House and Bill Clinton as President that led to the balanced budget. Clinton could have done nothing to balance the budget save curbing Executive spending without the assistance of the House. The House holds the purse strings of the country.

I do believe that was the last big compromise I can remember, though. Since then, your point is apt. Neither side is willing to give an inch, and even today, I see Trump adjusting his positions slightly toward those of his detractors, and then being lambasted by those same detractors. It's almost as though we have forgotten what actual compromise is.

Let's look at the Wall for an example. The promise to "build a wall" was in reality a promise to enforce the border in my mind, and I believe in the minds of most supporters. In reality, there are places where a physical wall is not practical, places where a physical wall is not needed, and places where a physical wall is not sufficient. But the second an adjustment allowing for fences instead of a ten-foot massive wall in such areas was mentioned, there were cries of broken promises, not from supporters, but by those who opposed the idea of a wall in the first place. That's a very strange way to try and achieve a goal... it's like going to the store to get a refund on a broken product, and as soon as they agree to give the refund screaming "You don't have the guts to tell me no, do you?"

Just not smart... but that is apparently politics in 2016.

And it's not just present policy that indicates this. For quite some time I have watched Obama along with a group of loyal Democrats in Congress constantly berating the Republicans for being "the party of no." But it seems every time I dig into an issue, the reason the Republicans stood firm was in response to the Democrats standing firm. The cries from the administration seemed to indicate a belief that Congress should never question a policy initiative. That's simply not true; it is the very job of Congress to act as a check and balance on Executive actions. My thoughts whenever I heard the phrase "the party of no" became one of "Congress is actually trying to do their job."

What should happen when the Congress, or when any group in Congress, says "no" is that there should then be attempts at compromise. The two opposing sides sit down and discuss their specific objections to the proposal, and each side tries to dissuade the other's fears through changes to abate them, while protecting their most important parts of the disagreement.

Assume I need a car. I want a Dodge truck; my wife wants a Camaro. Why do I want a truck? So I can haul large materials. Why does she want the Camaro? Because she likes the way it looks and rides. So We find something in between, something that can still haul most of my materials, but which also is a little 'sexier' than a dooley pickup with a diesel motor. Maybe a flashy-looking SUV.

That's compromise. We each get most of what we want, but give a little to get it. According to politics today, however, we should each stand firm. No way in Hades she's getting a Camaro, and no way in Hades I'm getting a pickup. In the meanwhile, our present car loses 50% of its trade-in value because it's getting older by the second, we can barely get it to go from point A to point B any more, and we eventually end up renting an old used Yugo at $20 a day just to make sure the other one doesn't get anything they want.

That just doesn't make sense! We both lose by making sure the other side doesn't win. In the example, two bone-.ed people hurt themselves, but in politics... there the American people all get hurt.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Martin75

I don't think it's physically possible to drive the length of I-77 without cussing.

I have to admit I admired the West (by God!) Virginia culture, though. Some of the nicest people I've ever met. I broke down going up a steep grade one day, and barely made it to the side before I stopped from the pull of gravity. I set out the triangles and called dispatch for a tow, kinda worried even air brakes wouldn't be enough on that grade, when someone from West Virginia Roadside Assistance stopped to help. She set her car up to make sure no one plowed into my truck while I saw waiting for the tow, made sure I was OK, recommended a repair shop close by, and recommended the best motel deal for me while I was there. I was having trouble believing that her state job description was to help stranded motorists, including truckers.

BTW, there is a story I tell about West by God... I was .ing west from Virginia along US 460 and just as I got to the border, I saw two signs... one saying "Welcome to West Virginia" and the other a forgotten road work sign that said "Bump A.." What was funny was that both were at the bottom of an extremely steep grade up the side of an extremely tall mountain.

"Yep, I'm in West by God... they consider this a bump!"

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck
LOL, yes we do actually have courtesy patrol that just drives the roads to see who they can help.
I guess with our grades they kinda have to. But I do miss listening to a new trucker on the CB.

I live off Exit 14 of I-77 and 460 is the main highway through our town. Beautiful country (unless your a trucker
) but amazing roads for my 78 TransAm!

I wouldn't trade it for the world! We still value our neighbors and understand what community means.
Troubles are just a 'bump" in the road! Hahahaha!
edit on 12/26/2016 by Martin75 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/26/2016 by Martin75 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: Martin75

Hahaha, yes, you guys do value community!

I guess that's the biggest cultural difference I saw there. Here we do value community, but we are even bigger into self-reliance. West by God seems to place a little more value on community than on individualism, which can make them seem a little 'liberal' compared to areas like the Deep South. I assume that's due to the difference in environment; here, a man can usually get by on his own most of the time, but when those winters hit up there, you better have some folks willing to band together for the greater good. Here you can drive through the country and you will see a sparely inhabited, but pretty much consistently inhabited, place... there, it seems you guys have wide expanses of nobody with small hamlets nestled here and there.

It works, though, and seems to work pretty well.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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My thought is this cycle proves a rule, rather than an exception. Throughout human history, peaceful and transparent governance, tolerant of diversity of thought, is something rarely achieved or sustained.

I was just reading this article, which made me think of this thread:




Michigan Dem Meeting Breaks Into Violence as Clinton Fans Repel Sanders Partisans

On December 3, the Michigan Democratic Party held a committee meeting, open to the public and party members, to vote on delegates to represent Michigan at the Democratic National Committee. Unfortunately, rather than learning from Hillary Clinton’s presidential election loss, and sincerely welcoming Bernie Sanders supporters into the party after scolding them for more than a year, the Democratic establishment has continued treating progressives as second class citizens.

Michigan was one of the most closely contested races during the Democratic primaries. Sanders pulled off an upset victory there after polling suggested Clinton was likely to win. The most recent turmoil between the pro-Clinton leadership of the Democratic Party and Sanders supporters is a microcosm of the constant tug-of-war progressives are in with establishment types across the country, over issues such as appointing new leadership roles and determining a direction for the party’s recovery.

During their meeting, Sam Pernick, president of the Young Democrats of Michigan, and other Sanders supporters—who nearly outnumbered the rest of the attendees at the meeting—protested the lack of transparency and openness exercised by the Michigan Democratic Party, which rigged the DNC delegate nomination process behind closed doors. Michigan Democratic Party officials responded with force. Pernick and several others were nearly dragged out of the meeting. Pernick is pursuing charges, and the Westland Police Department recently issued Mike Stone, a senior Michigan Democratic Party official, a ticket for assault and battery.

More...



In the end, it really boils down to one simple dynamic-- those who seek power and those who seek to share it. The latter is by far the most rare.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 03:29 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I'm out to read in the sun for a while, but I wanted to drop this off here.

From 2011, Mike Lofgren, 28 years as a Congressional GOP staffer. He doesn't spare the Dems....his book, "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middleclass Got Shafted", however, he doesn't subscribe to false equivalency, "But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP."

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult


"Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today's Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery."

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.


Another good read, article

How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 03:59 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
The ability to succeed or fail is not the same as saying one should starve if they fail. Thinking about it now, it occurs to me that that same misperception may be responsible for part of the political rift we are seeing. I'm going to take an example from my own immediate life to illustrate my actual meaning.


I guess my point was that if your circuit fails, you still have a back up method to support your family. I agree that the option to not be a success has to exist, but I guess that what I was getting at is it feels like often times people feel a risk needs to be a total risk. Runaway success if the gamble works, absolute failure if it doesn't.

I'm glad that risks in our society aren't actually risks, there's simply outcomes which work out very well, and outcomes where you still come out ok. You don't have to worry about the idea that if your plan fails to work out, you might not have food and shelter.


So if the right to fail us removed, so is the right to succeed. That does, to me, have bad implications... for example, perhaps I would not have the right to try my experiments, or perhaps if they worked I would not be able to commercialize it for a reward. In that case, why bother trying? I didn't need to build my shop, didn't need to buy a board and parts... I could have spent that money on Dorito's to munch on while I watch the latest episode of a mind-numbing 'reality show' on the TV, sitting on the couch in my underwear without a care in the world.


To me it's less about the money, and more about the idea that we live in the land of opportunity and with enough effort I can choose to support myself any way I want. I'm rather poor now, I live on disability. Two years from now, I'll probably be making a very nice wage when I finish school. Most dev's in my field start around 100k in SF, or 80k in the midwest, which to me is an unfathomable amount of money, enough that the wage doesn't matter. I've never doubted my ability to perform these jobs, but I do occasionally doubt if the work will be available for me because software development can be a really fickle industry. But I do hope I can end up in the field I want to end up in which is VR/AR development.



And that's fine... good luck on your goals. I hope you succeed.


Me too. Give me 30 years and we'll see if I do or not. I take a very long term view of things.



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan


I agree that the option to not be a success has to exist, but I guess that what I was getting at is it feels like often times people feel a risk needs to be a total risk.

Only a fool places all his eggs in one basket. A backup is always needed, and for many that's what a good job is: a backup plan. If their own experiment in success fails, they have a way to live until they can try again. No one seriously wants success/failure to be absolute.

But there has to be an upside to success and a downside to failure. Otherwise, neither matters. It's like playing poker with Monopoly money as opposed to playing a game of quarter-dollar with friends. The former is not really poker; there's no sting if one loses. The latter is real poker, but it's rare to lose over $20 a night. That $20 stake is what makes it a real game of skill.

I love quarter-dollar poker with friends... but I think table stakes is for crazy people. That's absolute success/failure, and it rarely works out well for most.


I'm rather poor now, I live on disability. Two years from now, I'll probably be making a very nice wage when I finish school. Most dev's in my field start around 100k in SF, or 80k in the midwest, which to me is an unfathomable amount of money, enough that the wage doesn't matter.

I'm in the same boat, really. An internship doesn't pay the actual engineering wages (or provide benefits) that a real job would ($60k starting here, which is along the same lines of what you quoted where you quoted it).

But even if I never get that job, the job is my backup plan. The circuit is my goal. If it works, I'll retire (and work on more projects). If not, I'll keep looking for an opening to appear. A lot of people think I'm crazy... no, just walking a different path to ongoing realization of personal, worthwhile, self-determined goals.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 05:09 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Just because I have a need speak in Lyrics on the day great artists die...

This is my answer to bridging the "Continental Divide"..In George Michaels music..It sums up Trump, his election and how we bridge the divide..in one concise lyric.



I just hope you understand.
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man.

All we have to do, now,
Is take these lies and make them true somehow.

All we have to see
Is that I don't belong to you,
And you don't belong to me.

Freedom...FREEDOM





posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 11:08 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Martin75

I guess that's the biggest cultural difference I saw there. Here we do value community, but we are even bigger into self-reliance. West by God seems to place a little more value on community than on individualism, which can make them seem a little 'liberal' compared to areas like the Deep South. I assume that's due to the difference in environment; here, a man can usually get by on his own most of the time, but when those winters hit up there, you better have some folks willing to band together for the greater good


"Rugged individualism" is a great concept for lone males in their prime.

But it's a terrible idea for others.

Women die much earlier and more often in childbirth without help. Without a community's help and companionship, frustration with family can lead to violence and abuse - or suicide. For those who aren't healthy, "rugged individualism" means early death and a lot of misery.

The disabled have no place in the Rugged Individualism society. The only value is in physical strength ... Stephen Hawking would have no value in a Rugged Individualism Society, and would have died (neglect or lack of resources) fairly young.



posted on Dec, 27 2016 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

I beg to disagree. While I definitely understand your point that some members of society are not as capable of surviving under 'rugged individualism,' I also believe that when possible, reliance on oneself is more effective than reliance on others.

That does not mean I condemn communuty; quite the opposite! It simply means that, should community be overwhelmed, that community will not survive. If a rugged individualist in a community that is overwhelmed can assist others, that community can survive, at least in part. In other words, both approaches together are superior to either alone.

It has been my personal experience that true pure individualism does not generally exist. Even the strongest man needs help from time to time. Pure communities, however, do exist and IMO are the most vulnerable in our society.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 27 2016 @ 12:16 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Byrd

I beg to disagree. While I definitely understand your point that some members of society are not as capable of surviving under 'rugged individualism,' I also believe that when possible, reliance on oneself is more effective than reliance on others.


It also relies on defined roles. Someone goes off to hunt, but someone has to stay at the hearth, raise the kids, dress the meat, etc, etc. The home-stayer can't get up and say 'good luck' to the kids and walk off to hunt or be ruggedly individual. The kids can't walk off at age 3 or 4 to be ruggedly individual.

...I'm not real fond of the concept, as you can tell, because we women get stuck with the staying home, cooking, making clothes, etc, etc, and washing all the diapers to support the ruggedly individual guy.

And frankly, that just ain't no fun (imagine that YOU had to take care of the home and couldn't ever ever ever do anything else.)



posted on Dec, 27 2016 @ 05:57 AM
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a reply to: Byrd


It also relies on defined roles.

Not really.

Individualism is not gender-specific. While the males of the human species do tend to be stronger physically than the females, the females seem to be more adaptable and resourceful. Both are conducive to survival.

You are describing traditional family roles, the result of biological norms. The male provides protection and sustenance, while the female provides a home and raises the young. So far as survival is concerned, this arrangement works well. Men are typically more capable of physically demanding duties, while women are biologically prepared for childbirth and nurturing. Similar social arrangements are normal for other species as well.

But unlike other species, humans have remarkable adaptability. Some women prefer the homemaker/mother role. Others are the breadwinner of the family. Still others are equal partners in all aspects. While romanticists may subscribe to the notion of the 'modern family,' it has been my experience that families have really not changed much. Societal attitudes may have become more accepting of familial anomalies, but those anomalies were there all along.

That's where your observation fails: the conditions you mention happen due to community, not individualism. Individualism dictates absolute equality socially; all succeed or fail at life based on their own merits. Community requires all to care for all and tends to force people into roles they may be suited for physically, but not emotionally. That's why I prefer a balance between the two. Society should not dictate roles in a quest to care for all; individuals should dictate their own roles, in consideration of the community as a whole.

TheRedneck



posted on Dec, 27 2016 @ 10:10 AM
link   
An interesting take on old American economic divides and the cultural divides that went along with them
(a full read is the best, but here are main ideas)


For most of our history, American economics, culture and politics have been dominated by a New England-based Yankee aristocracy that was rooted in Puritan communitarian values, educated at the Ivies and marinated in an ethic of noblesse oblige(the conviction that those who possess wealth and power are morally bound to use it for the betterment of society). While they've done their share of damage to the notion of democracy in the name of profit (as all financial elites inevitably do), this group has, for the most part, tempered its predatory instincts with a code that valued mass education and human rights; held up public service as both a duty and an honor; and imbued them with the belief that once you made your nut, you had a moral duty to do something positive with it for the betterment of mankind. Your own legacy depended on this.
.....
In Yankee Puritan culture, both liberty and authority resided mostly with the community, and not so much with individuals. Communities had both the freedom and the duty to govern themselves as they wished (through town meetings and so on), to invest in their collective good, and to favor or punish individuals whose behavior enhanced or threatened the whole (historically, through community rewards such as elevation to positions of public authority and trust; or community punishments like shaming, shunning or banishing).

Individuals were expected to balance their personal needs and desires against the greater good of the collective -- and, occasionally, to make sacrifices for the betterment of everyone. (This is why the Puritan wealthy tended to dutifully pay their taxes, tithe in their churches and donate generously to create hospitals, parks and universities.) In return, the community had a solemn and inescapable moral duty to care for its sick, educate its young and provide for its needy -- the kind of support that maximizes each person's liberty to live in dignity and achieve his or her potential. A Yankee community that failed to provide such support brought shame upon itself. To this day, our progressive politics are deeply informed by this Puritan view of ordered liberty.

In the old South, on the other hand, the degree of liberty you enjoyed was a direct function of your God-given place in the social hierarchy. The higher your status, the more authority you had, and the more "liberty" you could exercise -- which meant, in practical terms, that you had the right to take more "liberties" with the lives, rights and property of other people. Like an English lord unfettered from the Magna Carta, nobody had the authority to tell a Southern gentleman what to do with resources under his control. In this model, that's what liberty is. If you don't have the freedom to rape, beat, torture, kill, enslave, or exploit your underlings (including your wife and children) with impunity -- or abuse the land, or enforce rules on others that you will never have to answer to yourself -- then you can't really call yourself a free man.

When a Southern conservative talks about "losing his liberty," the loss of this absolute domination over the people and property under his control -- and, worse, the loss of status and the resulting risk of being held accountable for laws that he was once exempt from -- is what he's really talking about. In this view, freedom is a zero-sum game. Anything that gives more freedom and rights to lower-status people can't help but put serious limits on the freedom of the upper classes to use those people as they please. It cannot be any other way. So they find Yankee-style rights expansions absolutely intolerable, to the point where they're willing to fight and die to preserve their divine right to rule.


Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America




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