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Politics 101 or Attack of the Pod People
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Written for Facebook but turned out so well I am sharing.

If I live long enough to reflect on the virtues of civilized society, I will cherish the memory of when the art of civil discourse was both possible and in practice. I see way too many close family and friend, not to mention acquaintance relationships, unnecessarily broken up over politics. One guy who did not have boo to say to me all through school took it upon himself to PM me on Facebook to tell me I was unfriended and blocked over the content of my posts! My standard is, if posts REALLY VIOLATE FACEBOOK POLICIES OR LEGAL BOUNDARIES (Slander, libel, impersonation, terrorist threats, homicidal or suicidal content) BY ALL MEANS REPORT THEM (which I do), BUT--if you REALLY don't like the content of somebody's posts, you can either JUST UNFRIEND them, or UNFOLLOW without unfriending! It is NOT NECESSARY to bring out elephant guns to kill mosquitoes!

Another person with whom I was in contact, I don't know personally but was following as they have movie rights to my second favorite book in the entire world, also UNFRIENDED AND BLOCKED ME ENTIRELY ON THE BASIS OF POLITICAL POSTS, nothing I said about THEM, nothing I said about ANYONE they know! Their message was less nasty than the guy from school but both hurt! In the case of the guy from school it was kind of, "Fine, don't let the door hit you on the way out," but with this other person I'd liked to have remained in contact. I even tried contacting them, both though their website, and through any other fans I thought might be in contact, and no response.

I also have at least one relative who I don't think has unfriended or blocked me but may be hanging by a thin thread and I am still walking on eggshells over that. For the record, the ONLY PEOPLE I HAVE BLOCKED were those who overstepped all bounds of sanity and civility, and I didn't make a production out of it by informing them, I just did it. Possibly no one wondered about any of this, but just for the record there it is! (Certain people calling themselves Christians should try opening the Bible and kindly take note that Jesus drew a lot of flak for the people He CHOSE to interact with--*because* they were the most in NEED of positive attention!)

Not much to do with the price of eggs in China, but just because I like it, there is a very cute story about a "Sunday School Nazi" named Mrs. Smith, who ran things like a gulag, dictating which classes were allowed to use the drinking fountain and restrooms when and so on. A little girl asked her mother, "And isn't it funny, mother, that God loves Mrs. Smith just as much as He loves you?" Out of the mouths of babes!
 
Posts: 7164 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had not noticed this thread before or I would have commented earlier.

First, I would like to thank those who have kept this board up and running. I do not come here every day, but I like to stop by from time to time and check it out.

That having been said, I am disappointed that this thread seems to be somewhat off the rails. I certainly understand people being disappointed that their candidate lost, but the vitriol against the opponents' supporters is ... disappointing to me.

I actually did vote for Donald Trump. He wouldn't have been my first choice, but in my view he was a preferable choice to the only viable alternative (Hillary Clinton).

I heard some people say during the election, "How is it possible that in a country of 330 million people, these were the two people we get to choose from? Isn't there someone ... ANYONE ... who would be better?"

Well, it is in large part the personal attacks, not only on the candidate but on the candidate's family, friends, associates ... really anyone who is close to the candidate, and even people who VOTED for the candidate ... that convince so many good Americans that they simply do not want to put their families through the meat grinder that is a modern American Presidential election. And I can't say I blame them.

Incidentally, I would like to think that I do not fall into the group of Trump voters characterized earlier in the thread as unintelligent, lazy, uninformed, etc. I have a bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering (Univ of FL ... Go Gators!) and 3 Masters degrees. I am a retired US Air Force pilot, and I am currently a pilot for a major US airline. I can detail more of my resume if needed, but I think I am safely in the "knowledgeable voter" category.

For what its worth, I see a lot of folks, on social media and elsewhere, talking past one another and not taking to the time to understand the perspectives of others ( and truly not giving a rat's ... um ... behind!). I think the fiery rhetoric solves little and leaves in its wake a bunch of stressed out people ... and often the most stressed out of all is the deliverer of the rhetoric.

I suppose that's enough for now. I'd be happy to answer any "why did you vote for ..." or similar questions if desired, and if the emotions get involved I'll just quietly step away from this thread.

P.S. I know a lot of people, on all sides of the political spectrum, who have blocked or unfriended folks who constantly post politics. The most common reason I have heard is, "I go to social media to keep in touch with friends and relax, not to see political stuff." For the same reason, lots of folks (including me) have not watched a single NFL football game this season ... and I have been a fan for a long, long time.


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He said, "You're -- You're not waiting anymore, are you, Chris?"
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: 10 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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C. M. Christopher, nice to see you here and thank you for contributing.

To address the topics you raised:

1. The people who contribute to and maintain this forum. I was made moderator shortly after the forum began in 2001 by someone at the publishing company who was tired, as all forum members here were, of having to personally complain to the publisher every time advertising spam or worse appeared on the boards and we had no means of removing it. I have never been paid. Many years ago I received a few books and posters and that's it.

Eventually I made Phil Nichols Deputy Moderator. Somehow in doing this, I managed to erase my own screen name and put his in twice. I don't know whether this is fixable without messing up something else and haven't looked into it, so there that is.

Phil was the most likely and logical choice as co-moderator. As we live nearly halfway across the world from each other, he will be awake when I am not and vice versa, so whoever spots an issue first can fix it. Also he is an authentic Ph.D. Bradbury scholar. I happen to have read every published word by Bradbury which I could obtain, some multiple times, met him on two occasions, and enjoyed a correspondence with him for over 30 years, but I have no professional degrees other than a B. A. in English.

As for who at the publisher's may be responsible for maintaining this site and the boards, I would not know the individual's name if any such person exists. The last time I attempted to contact them I received no answer. I am awfully afraid the publishers are absentee landlords. The last thing they did on the forum was to move to this format from an older version, and that was eight or ten years ago, and of course they posted something on the site regarding Ray's death. I live in dread of the day when someone at the publisher's may suddenly recall this place exists and want to pull the sort of lowdown dirty trick that Col Needham and Jeff Bezos did with the Internet Movie Database!

2. Politics. We were down to about four regular members before the 2016 election, and one left because of it. I invited him to stay, but when he was unable to delete his own account, he had me do it!

We don't have an off-topic board and have never found a way, even with moderator powers, to construct separate boards for such topics. For an example of the sort of board befitting such a literary luminary as Ray Bradbury, please see here https://stephenking.com/xf/index.php and weep. As for the rules of what goes and what stays on the board, I had to invent them as the need arose and will bump up the thread for the benefit of new members. I have never forbidden discussions on politics or religion or bowed to any demands to do so, period! Ray personally avoided high-profile figures from both, as I understand particularly religion.

As for Facebook, I unfriended or blocked ONLY individuals who were REALLY abusive, and being widely read and brought up well before the snowflake era, I can stand a fairish amount of abuse. (Does anyone remember the phrase, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?") I have, however, BEEN UNFRIENDED AND BLOCKED by someone whose name I will not mention, who has movie rights to my favorite Bradbury book (I'll give you one guess and let you follow up) SIMPLY DUE TO MY POLITICAL OPINIONS!

My own family and friends who voted for the president whose name I decline to utter include dear friends from childhood, half the people who came to the hospital to visit and cheer me when I broke my leg, (the winter before the election--in a different and better world the likes of which I may not live to behold again--) and have taken me out to theater performances and dinner--good, wonderful, Christian people who are not ignorant or evil. There are also several relatives of fine Midwestern stock, extremely well-educated, descended from lawyers and judges, of good religious and moral character. One cousin works until practically dead on his feet to provide Thanksgiving dinner for whatever is the politically correct term these days for poor folks. They are not illiterate, ornery, shotgun-totin', Confederate flag waving, Nazis any more than I am a downright dirty red godless commie! (If that is what anyone automatically becomes who is against fascists.)

We can agree on a few things.

1. No sane person would want the job of president. Look at any picture of a president on taking office and the same president even five years later. I invite anyone to do this for any president who lasted five years or longer, going back to the invention of photography.

2. The Democrats are as much to blame for the 2016 disaster as are the Republicans. I am far from being any lover or even truster of Hillary Clinton and Co. The ONLY reason I voted for her, and urged others to, was that she was the ONLY viable candidate to POSSIBLY win against the most vile example of evil contemptible corruption since Adolf Hitler left the building! Speaking of Hitler, consider that the current president was conceived in the womb less than a year after the death of Hitler. For those who believe in reincarnation, fairly fast work there! Perhaps the spot the big H was occupying was too hot to handle and he beat it back earthwards!

Where the smears hit me personally is with accusations of being a Democrat (when I am a member of no political party) and a snowflake sore loser whining because my candidate lost, which is like saying the American Revolutionary War broke out because a few blokes in Boston objected to tea! I am utterly distraught beyond all consolation over the ruin of my nation through the destruction of every single virtue which ever made America good in the first place, ranging from religious and ethnic tolerance to honesty, integrity, and other moral ideals, respect for women, guaranteeing a basic education rather than sending poor kids straight to the factory, to environmental protections, and of course we never did have health care, but should...but fine...call names.

I have given up all hope of physically surviving much longer, even if the result is no worse than the two world wars and the Great Depression put together. I am not cut out to survive such things. I am profoundly tired. So my bucket list now pretty much consists of preserving what I can of my own viewpoint or those of like-minded individuals past or present so that those who dig the last few relics of civilization out of the bombed and burnt-out rubble can't say they weren't warned...WHAT. EVER. Ray Bradbury claimed not to predict the future but to attempt to prevent it!

3. Emotional Reactions. See my threads on the destruction of Ray's house, if you dare! The saddest thing is no one is any longer reading either the works of Ray or numerous others of literary merit. I don't speak the language of the populace, as the populace was not being properly educated BEFORE this administration, which now vows to terminate The Department of Education on December 31, 2018!

I am glad authors such as Ray spoke out against injustice and outrage of many kinds, but I can't continue much longer as a lone lost voice howling in the wilderness against institutionalized corruption and greed. I will contribute here as long as I can and if unable to will try to provide Phil with advanced warning, and hope Brexit, Britain First nuts, or some other disaster, does not wipe them out first.

Thank you and good night.
 
Posts: 7164 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the reply! We may not agree on political specifics, but I admire your passion.

Also, thanks for the info on how this board is set up. I was not aware ... if you look at my post count, you will think I am quite new, but I have been around for quite some time and have benefited greatly from many of the posts on the site. Again, I appreciate you taking the lead to keep it active in so much as a single person can do so.

There are times when I agree with you regarding education in our country. For what its worth, I do think eliminating the Dept of Education would be a positive step, though. It was created out of the Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1979 (began operating in 1980) and elevated to cabinet-level status by President Ford. So, somehow, the United States made it through over 200 years of its history with no cabinet-level education department. And today, the DOE has become another incredibly bloated government bureaucracy (4,400 employees and a $68 billion budget as of 2016). Wouldn't that money be better spent at the state level actually educating children rather than running a huge government agency? We now spend more per child on education in the US than any other nation in the world except Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland ... and the only thing our students lead the world in (on average) is "confidence" ... ie, they THINK they know a lot about everything, but they really don't.

There are times when I think our country's future is screwed. One need not look very far to find man-on-the-street interviews where college students are asked to identify a picture of the Vice President, or to identify the three branches of the US government ... and they cannot do so. However, I also volunteer for and contribute money to a foundation which raises money for scholarships for young people who are working on degrees in STEM (or STEAM, if you prefer) fields. These young men and women give me great optimism for the future -- they are smart and incredibly motivated.

As for politics, I have become very disappointed in the establishment of both major political parties. Each has its "pecking order" that determines whose "turn" it is to be in charge -- and each party has its ways of telling the American people, "You really are not very smart, so you need to vote for whomever we tell you to vote for."

In the case of President Trump, his Presidency is unprecedented. Never before has a President faced such ardent opposition from the opposition party AND from the establishment of his own party. For BOTH parties, their primary concern is most certainly NOT doing what is in the best interest of the American people ... their primary concern is in maintaining their own power base and ensuring that those who have "paid their dues" in the party get what is rightfully coming to them (ie, "it's my turn to be Governor / President / Senator" etc).

Anything that breaks up the establishment within the parties is a positive thing, in my view. Bernie Sanders (who I disagree with on almost every single issue -- I will never believe that Socialism and its inherent lowering of the bar for everyone except for politicians and criminals is the best way to help move people out of poverty) could have upset that apple cart for the Democrats, but they have a structure in place to prevent an insurgency candidate from moving forward. Donald Trump has the potential to break up the establishment in the Republican party if he can get re-elected -- if he loses the election in 2020, then the Republican establishment will exclaim, "See, we told you so" and go back to business as usual.

There are those on all sides of the political spectrum who say that the guy or gal in power who is not their guy or gal is an "idiot". Some said it about President Obama, now same say it about President Trump. Those who say such things are simply not correct. One cannot become President of the United States if one is an idiot ... period. No elected leader in the history of the world was an idiot (there were some idiots who were elevated to power by birthright).

Our country is on an unsustainable path. It was founded under the principles of individual liberty, guaranteed by a small federal government which granted most powers to the States. The federal government has now become a bloated bureaucratic mess that is incapable of operating in a fiscally-responsible manner, and I fear that over time we will simply be crushed under the weight of our debt. But that will take time ... probably more time than I have. Until then, I shall remain positive and hopeful about our future.

Thanks or the exchange -- it is refreshing being able to have an online discussion where parties can disagree agreeably. :-)


*******************************************************
He said, "You're -- You're not waiting anymore, are you, Chris?"
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: 10 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:

...and not taking to the time to understand the perspectives of others...


While I'm all for engaging in dialogue with folks of a different opinion, I cannot even begin to comprehend what there can possibly be to understand about perspectives when voting for a fascist. These are mighty dangerous times.


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6904 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug Spaulding:
While I'm all for engaging in dialogue with folks of a different opinion, I cannot even begin to comprehend what there can possibly be to understand about perspectives when voting for a fascist. These are mighty dangerous times.


Congratulations! You're the winner of the "Godwin's Law" award for this thread! Big Grin

Incidentally, here's an interesting article featuring a short interview with Mike Godwin, who originated Godwin's Law in the old USENET days: http://time.com/4837881/godwin-law-interview-2017/

An exerpt:

It’s obvious you have a pulse on social media where the Hitler comparisons you predicted are rampant. You can’t just chalk that up to Trump right?
As far as I know, every President who has been President from the time I got on the internet has been compared by someone to Hitler. People compared President Obama to Hitler. People have forgotten there were pictures of Obama with a Hitler moustache. That talk was crazy.
I’m not going to tell people whether to compare Obama or Trump to Hitler. It’s the government of the United States, and that’s very hard to destroy with a cult of personality because we have a lot of institutional inertia by design.

Would you say Trump’s impact makes the comparisons to fascism online more frequent?
I think so. There’s always been a general upward trend, peaking at election times. I think President Trump’s campaign was so populist and so outside the political establishment that it inspired people to reach for the comparisons because we’ve never had a President like this come in as a media personality outsider.

Isn’t it lazy to go there?
Of course it is. If you want to say something more powerful than the last person who disagreed with you said, people volunteer the rhetorical comparisons because they haven’t thought hard about history and what’s different between now and Germany in the 1930s or Cambodia in the 1970s.


*******************************************************
He said, "You're -- You're not waiting anymore, are you, Chris?"
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: 10 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This man Godwin and his wonderful ideas! It's clear he's not promoting or apologizing for Nazis by telling people to simply shut up and take it when they see such tactics employed--just pointing out that Nazis were so absolutely awful their atrocities should not be taken lightly.

Speaking of Hitler, Marge Schott was absolutely flayed alive years ago for this. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/05...chott-on-hitler.html Ask any German who actually remained in Germany at the time, and did not happen to be on, or have loved ones on, one of the many groups targeted for elimination! (They didn't start hauling people off bodily for four or five years anyway.) Hitler DID gain approval by bringing a lot of order and good works to an extremely chaotic situation! Do you think if he came in the first day and said, "Hi, my name is Adolf. I am going to exterminate millions, cause the country to be divided, and basically force everyone here into being bombed, starved, demoralized, and broke, if not killed," he would have gotten anywhere? Granted, he didn't know all that at the time himself, but still! Even with history's lessons, it's disheartening to say the least to see a president doing this and so many Americans allowing and supporting it! (And although he's done a lot less harm than Hitler, he's done a lot less good as well--where are all the great jobs which were supposed to be preserved or created?)

Even many corporate overlords not in politics are part of the global conspiracy to make fat rich white dudes the lords and masters and everyone else the serfs, and the dummies don't WAKE UP AND SEE it! Anyone opposing the oppression is viewed as some sort of wet blanket commie snowflake!
 
Posts: 7164 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are you really comparing Trump to Hitler on a Ray Bradbury board?

Or am I, perhaps, misunderstanding what you wrote?

I've been away for awhile. I see no rational purpose for this discussion here. IF we are to have the discussion, calling me (for voting for Trump) a fascist is juvenile and non-constructive. That kind of uncivil dialog should be edited out by the moderators.

Discussion of ideas--even opposite ideas--is fine; name-calling is not a part of the civil society and is simply a means of bullying, rather than engaging in the kind of discussion I believe Bradbury would have favored.
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: McKinney, Texas | Registered: 11 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For the record, I was never calling Trump voters fascists. I agree with Doug that they voted to support fascism...subtle difference. Even moderators are allowed opinions.
 
Posts: 7164 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey, Mr. Dark! I noticed you are in McKinney ... I am in Plano (signature says Dallas, but it is Plano). We are actually looking into possibly moving to McKinney in the near future.

As for dandelion and Doug Spaulding (who made the reference to Trump voters voting for a fascist), perhaps a review of what a fascist is might be helpful. I see many people today confusing "fascist" with "someone who I disagree with".

Regardless, there is little point in debating ... Trump haters do not seem to want to debate, only to shout as though specious arguments made more loudly are somehow more convincing.


*******************************************************
He said, "You're -- You're not waiting anymore, are you, Chris?"
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: 10 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The relevance to Ray Bradbury is that the resident "president" is already restricting speech! He has issued a list of words not to be used! Will it stop with the seven deadly words, or involve whole sentences, concepts, and entire books? Sound familiar much?
 
Posts: 7164 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Apparently, Dandelion/Doug, with all due respect, you have been living under rocks for the last eight years on the question of censorship. Truly bizarre, but, it is impossible to debate those infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome. I think it is an inappropriate line of discussion here, but I am not a moderator. Too much visciousness, unrelated to Bradbury, and I retain the right to reach out to the publisher of the site.

As to McKinney, I love it.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mr. Dark,
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: McKinney, Texas | Registered: 11 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dandelion:
The relevance to Ray Bradbury is that the resident "president" is already restricting speech! He has issued a list of words not to be used! Will it stop with the seven deadly words, or involve whole sentences, concepts, and entire books? Sound familiar much?


Do you have a better source than the one anonymous source that the report was based upon?

According to the one anonymous source, there were 7 words that the CDC was not to use in documents “related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress”. If that report is true, it still would not rise to the level of banned words.

Supposedly, the words were:
Vulnerable
Entitlement
Diversity
Transgender
Fetus
Evidence-based
Science-based

Regardless, here is the response verbatim from Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the CDC Director: "I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs."

Perhaps you have a source that is more definitive than the Director of the department in question?


*******************************************************
He said, "You're -- You're not waiting anymore, are you, Chris?"
 
Posts: 35 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: 10 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by C. M. Christopher:
Congratulations! You're the winner of the "Godwin's Law" award for this thread!

It's interesting that you think that, because there was once a Hitler, there can never be another fascist - almost like the existence of the man renders the very possibility of there ever being another person who holds to fascist ideals impossible, and that this person cannot exist. How is that, exactly?

Oh, dandelion... you have, no doubt, noted already (on many forums) how the trumpkins will defend Donald no matter what he says or does, and it's this very relaxing of their bodies into the frog soup currently being prepared that is so frustrating to see, knowing that they (and all) will see it, as always, too late.


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6904 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I notice Doug did not respond to the challenge. Typical.
 
Posts: 2769 | Location: McKinney, Texas | Registered: 11 May 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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