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Walther M.M.
I may talk too much, but I think even more >_<
I may talk too much, but I think even more >_<
Walther's posts

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On humility versus arrogance: why being smug will not lead to a better world

A rather lengthy article that applies to a significant number of people I've crossed online. Being right and mocking those too ignorant to accept it is the new cool in today's world, and though it may boost your ego to feel that way, it hardly helps to actually build bridges of understanding with those who disagree, which is probably quite important if we care about effective social change.

Granted, the very nature of being smug (and thus, not humble), would make it extremely hard for those who are the target group to actually consider the included message and not outright dismiss it. So perhaps nothing will change even if everybody read it. :/
:/ I feel I've likely been guilty of this...

I can feel several heads nodding from people too polite to say so. I can think of several conversations where friends have essentially said as much in nicer terms. I'm sorry, and I'll try to do better.

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How the rest of the world sees the current American elections

Total madness, would be an apt summary. I am aware that the internet and international news paint a certain picture, which might be drastically different from how people immersed in the story feel about it, as they do have stronger and alternate influences which just aren't broadcasted elsewhere (or else the only explanation left would be insanity :P), so it isn't surprising that this isn't as obvious for Americans as it is for the rest of the world. Still, that there are people openly, and proudly, proclaiming their support for Clinton / Trump while dismissing every bit of news that should make them concerned is what tends to get the rest of the world worried for them. 
(I normally do not do this to quote an entire article, but this is so powerful I wanted to make it easy for anyone interested to read in full.)

This is from

What the HELL is going on in the States?

That question is posed at least five times a day – and increasing – in Canada (the country often spoken of in the most patronizing way by American pundits). Canadians monitor their neighbours to the South closely. After all, the two countries are inextricably bound together though millions of economic and familial ties and what Americans DO affects Canadians. What Canadians have watched over the past year is a gong show. Literally. A show. Politics dished up as entertainment at it’s not-so-finest.

It’s not only that the GOP are running a fascist for President. It’s that the democratic party – supposedly the “sane” Party of the People, appears to be equally corrupt and superficial. The view from up here:

1. In many parts of the USA, only “some” people get to vote for the candidates of their respective parties. Other people, outside the holy boundary of party affiliation, are silenced.

2. Where people who have no party preference are “allowed” to vote and cast ballots based on their view of candidates and issues, voting is rigged and/or manipulated. Indeed, this appears to occur in “closed primaries” and caucuses as well. Apparently, many people in the States go to the polls only hoping their vote will count.

3. In the United States, it appears to take MONTHS to count ballots and voters have NO idea whether or not their votes will “count.” The Press, NOT doing its part, declares votes 100% counted even when there are millions outstanding. Caucuses often have multiple voting levels. The press does not bother covering these and rarely updates the delegate numbers (unless of course, drama can be manufactured as we saw with Nevada: blatant lies that thankfully were corrected in foreign press (while corrections were buried in American news media).

4. Two of the three candidates still standing (and more on this below) are under criminal investigation. The reaction of the rest of the world: Are you KIDDING me? This is allowed? And if it is: People VOTE for them?

5. Overall, the U.S. media doesn’t care that two of the candidates are under investigation. Apparently they are content with their assurances that “nothing will come of it.” Call the rest of the world crazy, but when the FBI has been investigating you for a year for example, we actually doubt that this is a “right-wing” conspiracy to smear Clinton and we would expect that U.S. journalists would investigate the charges.

The “rest” of the 1st World is more than aware that the Clinton Foundation has engaged in very doubtful (lets not hedge: criminal) practices and that while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton furthered her own financial future by secretly carrying on her official and not so official correspondence through her PRIVATE BASEMENT SERVER. Again: how can this be seen as anything other than treasonous behavior in a country that LEADS the world in terms of its stances on war and peace? Does the USA no longer care, in any way, how they are perceived?

6. Clinton is seen as a war hawk. War hawk and criminal trumps woman. But not for many of her supporters in the States. The press (and the Clinton campaign who exploits both gender and race) are childishly focussed on “oh wow! we elected a woman” (never mind how and who). It appears that many American voters/politicians do NOT take the role of their country in terms of its relationship to the world, seriously. If the United States is the world leader, then American voters need to take that seriously when they choose their leaders. Americans no longer have any claim whatsoever to the moral high ground, they stand exposed as hypocrites. Indeed, any critique Clinton makes of Trump can be made about her. American politics is all about the “show,” not about issues. Superficial, identity based simulacra.

7. Candidate Bernie Sanders – a moderate in terms of the rest of the 1st world – is advocating for what the rest of that same (sane) world takes for granted: single payer health care, union representation, open voting, over turning Citizen’s United (again: this type of money in politics just can’t happen in rest of 1st world), paid parental leave, extended maternity leave, a reconsideration of the Palestinian question, etc. etc. Eminently sane proposals to get the country and American foreign policy on track. We’ve watched in astonishment as that same U.S. media has presented “pundit” after pundit, or featured articles, saying proposals like single payer health care just can’t be done. Interpretation made elsewhere: it can’t be done because the States won’t take on their pharmaceuticals: in other words, it is corporate interests that must be protected AGAIN.

a. Objection #2: Its too expensive. Answer: Bull_ . The money the U.S. wastes on weapons et al for “defense” (against who exactly?) pays for single payer many times over. In fact, this argument has been disproven so many times, it’s not worth reiteration.

b. Objection #3: We have the “BEST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.” BAAHAAAHAA. I’m guessing those words are only ever uttered by those who can afford to pay the exorbitant insurance coverage (or pay cash) for that health care system.Last time I was down visiting one of my kids/grandkids families, I was at the pharmacy listening to a woman plead for her insulin only to be told that she couldn’t have any until the following month – no coverage left…. and I thought OMG. So I went over to offer to pay – she wouldn’t let me – but this should NEVER HAPPEN.

8. Canadians have access to all U.S. news channels. Consequently, the country has watched as “journalists,” many of them directly tied to the Clinton campaign, have belittled, disrespected, mocked, marginalized and deliberately misinterpreted Sanders and his voters. Paralleling 2008, the Berniebros/Obama Boys rhetoric has been used to camouflage the worst kind of simplistic identity politics based on gender and “race.” Is it now possible, that in the “greatest country on earth,” it no longer matters if you engage in criminal acts as long as you have a vagina? Can the problems of millions of American women living in poverty – of all colors – who can’t stay home at all with their babies to form a mother-child bond because they have to work for less than minimum wage in some States in the hopes that they can feed their families – can their challenges be overcome by their joy that Hillary Clinton is a woman? (sarcasm for the hard of hearing). The portrayal of Bernie Sanders as an “old white man” (as opposed to an old white woman) who is tone deaf to issues of race is laughable. Yet “pundits of color” have furthered this nightmare rhetoric, effectively consigning the communities with whom they SHOULD be aligned to more economic despair – because: WOMAN! Ex pat Democrats are shaking their head in disbelief and anger. (It is no accident that Sanders won Democrats Abroad by a large margin: the experience with other systems will do that).

But I digress. The view from up here? The United States is a mess:

In 2008, President Obama was almost a god in Canada. Yesterday he endorsed a woman under FBI investigation. What to think of him now, no matter his motives?

Elizabeth Warren, who most of us up here thought of as Bernie’s female (non-identical) twin, jumped aboard the criminal train: Warren, who was going to fix Wall Street and who maintained that she was all about the poor. (Topic for next blog).

Hillary Clinton has declared HERSELF the winner WITHOUT having the required (2383) Pledged DELEGATES NEEDED TO WIN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. She declared herself the winner while CALIFORNIA WAS STILL VOTING, (and where ballots are STILL BEING COUNTED). This fact alone boggles the imagination. Is there any other first world country where a candidate can declare themselves the winner of a political contest without meeting the requirements of a ‘win’ and before that contest is even over? Worse, one where everyone else jumps on board and says yeah – her! She won! President Obama? Waiting to hear.

It’s no wonder that Sanders voters are entirely disillusioned. They have (in addition to how they have been misrepresented) been told, in no uncertain terms, that they do NOT matter. They have been told their issues are negligible or they can’t be done. They have been told that everyone knows they will get on board the Clinton train; after all their only alternative is Trump. Message to Hillary Democrats: you couldn’t have pushed Sanders voters any harder towards the Green party, writing in Bernie or to Trump. It is, sadly, the country that will pay for what you have done.

The night before the California primary the AP declared (in collusion with Clinton campaign) Hillary Clinton the winner on the basis of a “survey of superdelegates” who actually have no say until July. Everyone watching knew that was cooked and that the intent was to suppress the vote the next day in all States voting, (but especially in CA), but the AP appears unconcerned about its reputation world-wide. Is there any ethics left in American politics? Any sense of morality?

With all due respect to @johnoliver, it is truly funny what constitutes a political scandal in Canada. What is not funny is that NOTHING in American politics is scandalous any longer. Oh, pundits may gasp at Trump’s latest “gaffe” (it isn’t even called what is it anymore – straight fascist rhetoric) but they give him limitless airtime. And Clinton’s server? The Clinton Foundation? The intimate collusion by the political elite and press? Fixed elections? Voter fraud? Nothing to see here folks. Just go with the WOMAN.

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Because sexism is a normal part of our lives

And it really, shouldn't be. Yet, this is the truth, and will remain to be so if we ignore it or deny it. It is totally not surprising that any movement which rallies a majority of young males will have the potential for displays of blatant sexism if a female target is involved: like when Bernie supporters feel Hillary is cheating her way to the nomination.

So, please, if you consider yourself a decent human being, call out displays of sexism when you see them, even specially when it's from somebody that supports your cause. The ends must not justify the means.

#politics #sexism

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If the mission is to stop Trump, there's only one safe bet

So far, it seems apparent that a matchup between Clinton and Trump would be rather close, the polls have reflected this and it's unlikely to change any time soon. Yet, it's quite clear that Sanders is the best positioned candidate to take him on, if you understand the reasons why people support Trump, you'll see that it shouldn't be hard for a Sanders presidency to be somewhat palatable as well to this block of voters.

Unless, as some may think, the only reason Trump is this popular is because of the sexist and racist sentiment, and setting him up against a woman is a wake up call to everybody who's against sexism to vote Hillary. Yet that strategy may not work as well since there are many valid reasons to be wary of Hillary, too.

That the DNC is hell bent on nominating Clinton despite the troublesome context surrounding these elections would appear to me as a clear clue that this is about the money and corporate benefits, not what's best for the people.

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Some criticism of the current state of American politics and what the future may have in store for the Democratic party

A very thoughtful article. Quality food for thought regarding the current, and possibly future, state of American politics.

That more people are caring about politics is probably the most important change, and may actually drive politics into a more democratic tune. Of course, there's a bumpy road ahead, as the system has grown accustomed to a non voting population that allows an illusion of democracy, and things have been optimized to protect it, but the illusion is starting to shatter in the eyes of the people.

We can only hope that positive change lies at the end of the tunnel.

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Males and females aren't really all that different

Although the article talks about sexuality and the libido, it does includes a quote that I really like regarding the differences between the genders, and which I believe can be extended to most (if not all) human dimensions.

"Regardless of the nature, origin, or extent of gender differences in sexuality, differences among women and differences among men are far greater than the difference between the average woman and the average man."

Considering that the way we think about gender influences it, it's tempting to argue that all differences boil down to cultural factors, but even if that's not the case, would it not be healthier to think there are no such differences, as a way to minimize the social impact?

#sexuality #genderdifferences
"The more sexual experience I acquired, the more I discovered something odd. Despite what I’d learned from the American Pie franchise, men didn’t seem to want sex all the time," writes Lux Alptraum. "Even in relationships where my sex drive began as a bonus, it soon came to feel like a bug: Every time a partner rejected my advances, I felt increasingly convinced that there was something wrong with me. Because if male desire for sex is a given, then a lack of interest must necessarily reflect a problem with the sex on offer—and not, of course, the possibility that the notion of an ever-present male sex drive is a fallacy." 

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When meanness is the social directive

What happened to humanity? Or, rather, pretty large swathes of humanity? A long time ago, when the internet was just starting, it was relatively easy to find others who would sympathize with one plight, to make friends. Since then, I've seen a rise of a different kind of mindset, where people are increasingly self interested and only care about their own pain, and are unable to see the struggle others are doing through. As a result, they've become increasingly nasty towards others, and justify it by making themselves the victims.

Once up one a time, people could take shelter in the internet to take shelter from the hardships of life, nowadays it feels like you'll just be exposed to vile criticism. It's really sad that things have changed this way, and it's unlikely it'll improve.


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An interesting analysis: which Democratic candidate has the better chances against Trump?

It does look like Trump's charisma may win him the Republican nomination, and this author believes he's well prepared to beat Hillary if it comes to that.

If the issue isn't, "which makes a better candidate? Sanders or Clinton?" But rather "how do we beat Trump at the elections?" The game might be quite different.

If anybody out there has thought this through and believes Hillary has a fair chance to best Trump, I'd be interested in hearing their reasoning.


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Differences in gender social perceptions
Or, as most people call it, male privilege. Language is an interesting artifact, because not only it allows us to name and refer to things without having to point at them, but it also allows additional meanings to be attached to them. A word, a label, often carries several connotations and additional implied meanings that describe an object beyond its actual, real properties.

It would be wonderful... if the implied meanings were accurate. Unfortunately, they are not. Have a read at just how different someone is perceived just from their gender, even if the underlying persona remains the same.

#society #privilege

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I may not be big on sharing inspiring images... but this bit actually is a parallel to the passage from seeking knowledge to acquiring wisdom. It's one of those worthy goals I hope to never lose sight of.
When most people hear me describe this approach, they typically say, “No problem, I’m open-minded!” But what they really mean is that they’re open to being wrong. True open-mindedness is an entirely different mind-set. It is a process of being intensely worried about being wrong and asking questions instead of defending a position. It demands that you get over your ego-driven desire to have whatever answer you happen to have in your head be right. Instead, you need to actively question all of your opinions and seek out the reasoning behind alternative points of view."
~Ray Dalio
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