Live Impeachment Hearings

Reopened October 2019 - includes archived threads from pre-2019

Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 21st, 2019, 6:19 pm 

charon » December 21st, 2019, 2:12 pm wrote: Why their thinking is so chaotic? Search me. Ego, self-importance... I don't know.

No. "Their" thinking is not chaotic: it is quite ordered, on different levels of complexity and by different criteria for each category of "them".
I meant the issue as: why the situation is what it is and why it can't be changed by reasoning.
I wasn't searching you; I was trying to show you.
I'll stop now.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 21st, 2019, 7:32 pm 

Serpent » December 21st, 2019, 11:19 pm wrote:
charon » December 21st, 2019, 2:12 pm wrote: Why their thinking is so chaotic? Search me. Ego, self-importance... I don't know.

No. "Their" thinking is not chaotic: it is quite ordered, on different levels of complexity and by different criteria for each category of "them".
I meant the issue as: why the situation is what it is and why it can't be changed by reasoning.
I wasn't searching you; I was trying to show you.
I'll stop now.


Oh, come off it. The situation is what it is... but their thinking is orderly. Oh, very good!

No, it's not orderly, it's exactly the opposite, which is why they are actively contributing to, and responsible for, what's taking place.

Like I said, is everyone asleep, or what?
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 22nd, 2019, 1:25 pm 

...

Of course, there is another perfectly good reason why the Republicans are all happy to vote for Trump. It's not because they love him.

    'The president demands complete fealty, and as the impeachment hearings showed, he has largely attained it. To cross him is to risk a future in the Republican party.'

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/21/us/p ... icans.html
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Forest_Dump on December 22nd, 2019, 1:40 pm 

Peronally I think it has become abundantly clear that the polarization has becme so extreme that neither side is remotelt capable of understanding the reality their opposites live in and both sides are equally bad in this regard. I do believe that there is a "middle" of sorts and it might even be in a majority. But I do not think that either the vocal Republicans OR the Democrats (including in both cases the extreme fringes who might call themselves independents) are capable of understanding the position of the "middle" let alone finding any way to appeal to them. Truth be told even on this thread (and others like it on this page), I see only shouting in one of the echo chambers without any attempt to grasp what the other side is saying. And this comes from a slightly centre-left Canadian who thought the GOP has always been too far to the right (well for that matter the Dems as well) but now is forced to at least nod at the Bushes as being somewhat moderate.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 22nd, 2019, 2:56 pm 

Forest -

My shouting is against the perversity of a 'trial' whose outcome is loaded.

I hear what both sides say - or, rather, their confusion amid total disorganisation, etc etc, none of which is terribly relevant to what will eventually happen.

As one wit I know put it, they're 'having a meeting about a meeting'.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Forest_Dump on December 22nd, 2019, 7:13 pm 

Not 100% sure what to say. On the one hand I agree the outcome was definitely loaded from the beginning. I think everyone should have been able to predict since the midterms that the Dems would convict on something and the GOP would acquit in the Senate. To me, the fact that Trump withheld on 71 subpoenas, etc., became kind of moot but also important for history's sake. And it really, IMHO. does become a key historical moment because when the GOP does overturn the impeachment, it will probably mark the point when it became clear that the Union was doomed. As I said, there is some hope that a moderate could pull together a majority but my prediction is that the US will Balkanize (i.e., since the red and blue states are not often contiguous, the US will break into more than two smaller countries).
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 22nd, 2019, 7:56 pm 

Forest -

Not 100% sure what to say.


Doesn't really matter. Actually, my original point was not only how extraordinary it is, but that no one to my knowledge on TV or the Press has denounced the system as a whole. It's the system that allows it to happen.

This is not an anti-American rant on my part, but, to be honest, if it was happening somewhere more obscure I doubt anybody here would be bothering with it. But this is America, the first country in the world. One would expect more, frankly.

Do you mean to say, if all the evidence against him - which we are told is 'overwhelming' - is presented in this 'trial' the majority voice will still vote to acquit?

So, in the first country in the world, a corrupt president is to be exonerated by a majority vote from members of his own party who are scared of what he might do if they're 'disloyal'? That's what they're saying, you know.

It's really not funny. And I'm not into politics at all.

Vat has justified it by saying that, if and when it happens, voters at the next election will act to not re-elect. What's more, that's the very reason the system is as it is.

Quite honestly, Vat, that's about as crazy an argument as I've ever heard in my life! If I've understood you correctly, that is.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Forest_Dump on December 22nd, 2019, 10:12 pm 

The majority in the Senate will vote to acquit because the majority in the Senate is GOP and they have already said what they will do. Plus I think I have heard it said (sorry I can't remember where) a couple of Dems might cross the aisle, as it were, because they are in pro-Trump districts. As to Trump being corrupt, I think you might be underestimating how many people knew that before they voted for him last time and just didn't care either because they believe the other side is corrupt too or because they think his over-all policies (e.g., on the economy or other things) are more in line with their desires so in a real way he is a lesser of evils. But then, I could be somewhat wrong given that there is recent news of some (no idea how many though) hard-core Christians starting to condemn Trump. I am surprised they ever did support him but then Trump figured out early on how to bring them to his side.

As I have said many, many times, I have always believed Trump is a sociopath but I always knew he was good at the games he likes to play (although I am not sure I would be anything other than very cautious about calling him smart in a traditional sense) and his opponents consistently underestimate him. I suspect he will lose the next election but then again I never thought he would win the last one. On the other hand, it was the Dems that really lost the last election and easily could blow the next one by over-estimating how many people want to be rid of Trump or simply not voting for a compromise alternative. Perhaps even worse, though, would be the results of what could happen if the Dems win with a more radical candidate. Much as I like Bernie Sanders, for example, and like his policies, etc., even more, I think a presindency under him last term would have been even worse with a lot more violence and polarized rupturing. IMHO the US does need to move more to the left BUT I think it has to be very gradual and well-thought as a process that will needs decades, if not generations, if not to cause a lot of backlash, etc. I really am not all that confident that the US is strong and cohesive enough to survive any kind of radical shift too quickly.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 22nd, 2019, 11:30 pm 

Forest -

Sorry - maybe, maybe not, but I'm only talking about the so-called Senate trial.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 22nd, 2019, 11:55 pm 

charon » December 22nd, 2019, 10:30 pm wrote:Forest -

Sorry - maybe, maybe not, but I'm only talking about the so-called Senate trial.

I thought you were talking about the whole system.
The so-called senate trial is required by the legal procedure. The fact that its outcome is predetermined by the current bizarre circumstances is the result of a very recent development in US politics - one that was entirely unforeseen by the designers of the procedure. Knowing this, Congress has, nevertheless, to go through the motions, so as to be in compliance with procedure as set out in the rules.
Do you not see?
This is the test case - the one that conclusively shows the procedure to be inadequate/outmoded/invalid. In order to accomplish that - and bring about a change - the prosecution is duty-bound to go through the correct motions in the correct order. They have done that with admirable composure, restraint and dignity.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 23rd, 2019, 7:50 am 

Serpent » December 23rd, 2019, 4:55 am wrote:
charon » December 22nd, 2019, 10:30 pm wrote:Forest -

Sorry - maybe, maybe not, but I'm only talking about the so-called Senate trial.

I thought you were talking about the whole system.
The so-called senate trial is required by the legal procedure. The fact that its outcome is predetermined by the current bizarre circumstances is the result of a very recent development in US politics - one that was entirely unforeseen by the designers of the procedure. Knowing this, Congress has, nevertheless, to go through the motions, so as to be in compliance with procedure as set out in the rules.
Do you not see?
This is the test case - the one that conclusively shows the procedure to be inadequate/outmoded/invalid. In order to accomplish that - and bring about a change - the prosecution is duty-bound to go through the correct motions in the correct order. They have done that with admirable composure, restraint and dignity.


I thought you'd left this discussion?

I was talking - perfectly obviously - about the system that allows a loaded 'trial' to take place. A trial whose (false) outcome is already known is not a trial, it's a fix.

one that was entirely unforeseen by the designers of the procedure.


Oh, really?

Do you not see?


Only too clearly.

This is the test case - the one that conclusively shows the procedure to be inadequate/outmoded/invalid. In order to accomplish that - and bring about a change - the prosecution is duty-bound to go through the correct motions in the correct order.


Have you got a link that says that?

And are you telling me that, at the end of this, they will rule this procedure invalid? Because it obviously is.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 23rd, 2019, 8:42 am 

Here's the latest nonsense:

https://www.foxnews.com/media/karl-rove ... ment-trial

Now they're saying the Democrats shouldn't be 'jurors' because they're biased. What, and the Republicans AREN'T biased?

They're all completely insane.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 23rd, 2019, 9:05 am 

can't seem to clean up these quotation notations.
charon » December 23rd, 2019, 6:50 am wrote:I thought you'd left this discussion?

I stopped trying to show you how the system works and why it does so. I hadn't, at least up to that point, given up commenting on reality vs wishes.

[one that was entirely unforeseen by the designers of the procedure.]
Oh, really?

Oh, really. AFAIK.
The framers of the constitution had not even envisaged universal suffrage. They didn't think about the kind of semi-literate buffoon who throws public tantrums ever being elected. They assumed all governing bodies would be made up of men of their own class and education, and that the interest of the electorate would be their interest. They wanted to safeguard the fragile new republic against a resurgence of monarchy.

Have you got a link that says that?

To say what I think? No.
That the House has proceeded according to the rules, you can check for yourself. That the representatives who conducted the impeachment hearings so far felt they were duty bound to do it very properly, several of them have stated on various public venues. Whey they feel this way, I can understand.

And are you telling me that, at the end of this, they will rule this procedure invalid?

No, I am not telling you that.
I'm telling you that this is an event that will change something in the way America does government. If there is a post Trump history of the United States, this present drama, or farce, or circus - this public spectacle - will be recorded for posterity, and the players in it will be regarded according to how they behave now.
At some point in the recent past, the Republican party gave up its last vestige of a claim to principles, scruples or shame. It doesn't matter how this impeachment ends: they have no reputation to lose. They've hitched their fortunes to a balloon.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 23rd, 2019, 9:56 am 

Serpent -

Thanks, good post

The framers of the constitution had not even envisaged universal suffrage. They didn't think about the kind of semi-literate buffoon who throws public tantrums ever being elected. They assumed all governing bodies would be made up of men of their own class and education, and that the interest of the electorate would be their interest. They wanted to safeguard the fragile new republic against a resurgence of monarchy.


Good point.

It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Are you from the States? Which part?
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 23rd, 2019, 11:14 am 

charon » December 23rd, 2019, 8:56 am wrote:It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

I do not expect it to turn out well - for anyone. There are only losers in the short term - and there may not be a long term. Maybe you're too young to remember how the Roman Empire sank. Only, everything was slower back then: it took generations, instead of decades.

Are you from the States? Which part?

That part they haven't been been able to annex. But there are idjits in Canada eager to sell out.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 23rd, 2019, 12:13 pm 

Sorry, Canadian, I forgot. I thought you were a bit cool and detached about all this.

Well, Hitler lasted about twelve years and Stalin a lot longer so I guess it's all rather unpredictable.

Personally I think the whole world's got worse over the last few years. There's a danger of desensitisation and the wholly unacceptable becoming normal. There has always been political chicanery but my impression is that it's certainly become more brazen and pervasive.

People like Trump may just be a sign of the times, which rather lets him off the hook somewhat. Poor chap doesn't even know it himself.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 23rd, 2019, 5:49 pm 

charon » December 23rd, 2019, 11:13 am wrote: I thought you were a bit cool and detached about all this.

That's more a result of age than of geography. Whatever happens next door affects us - and the rest of world, but us second, right after Mexico. We've still got one of their foreign hostages in a luxury condo in Vancouver; can't hand her over; can't let her go; causing all kinds of havoc.

Well, Hitler lasted about twelve years and Stalin a lot longer so I guess it's all rather unpredictable.

Caligula's reign only lasted four years - roughly analogous to Trump's. A bad ruler with insufficient checks on his power can do a lot of damage in four years. Only, today, damage also travels farther, faster than at any previous time.
But Hitler's legacy can still cause trouble in places far outside Germany - like the present USA. Stalin's secret service machine probably still operates along the same general lines, but otherwise, he's pretty much gone, except as the world's second most favourite bogey-man. (He wouldn't have liked being second to that pipsqueak.) Caligula's mark on the world was wiped out in a decade: his reign was followed by some of the best emperors.
Trump likes to depict himself as the mostest of anything in the history of the universe, but he doesn't matter at all. He's just the diagnostic symptom of a systemic dis-ease that's progressed about as far as it can before the patient is killed or cured. If he's remembered at all, it will be as what was left when morally-bankrupt Republican party finished scraping the sides of the porkbarrel.

Personally I think the whole world's got worse over the last few years.

There is plenty of trouble to go around. With climate change threats, overpopulation, spreading food, work and land insecurity, the rapid approach of peak capitalism and the collapse of global economy, the rats are growing frenzied, biting almost indiscriminately whatever comes near enough.

There's a danger of desensitisation and the wholly unacceptable becoming normal.

That's certainly one of the unpleasant affects.

There has always been political chicanery but my impression is that it's certainly become more brazen and pervasive.

You never before had to hear five people discussing the same bit of chicanery 24 times a day, for three months running. A pope plotted to assassinate an emperor? You maybe heard about it seventh-hand, three months after it was discovered. And then you got on with your own mundane oast-loading and Protestant-thumping.
This present mood seems particularly offensive because we're contrasting it to one of the high-points in human history. We came to expect improvement upon improvement in education, international relations, in standard of living, equality and tolerance and social services. Especially in the quality of public discourse, the much-maligned 'political correctness' movement was far more effective than we're usually aware: we've learned to take reasonable consideration of fellow humans for granted.

People like Trump may just be a sign of the times, which rather lets him off the hook somewhat. Poor chap doesn't even know it himself.

He doesn't seem to know much - but I'm not so forbearing as to regard him a 'poor chap'. He'll never get anything remotely like the punishment he deserves.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 23rd, 2019, 9:08 pm 

You've said it. I won't contest your rhetoric.

the much-maligned 'political correctness' movement was far more effective than we're usually aware: we've learned to take reasonable consideration of fellow humans for granted.


That's interesting, although I wonder sometimes if it's not merely a somewhat verbal effect. We can do awful things but the pronouncement of certain words and phrases gets you publicly eviscerated.

As for your guest, I believe she can still go shopping, so that's all right :-)
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 23rd, 2019, 10:36 pm 

charon » December 23rd, 2019, 8:08 pm wrote:... I wonder sometimes if it's [PC] not merely a somewhat verbal effect.

The very fact that you put two qualifiers in one short sentence suggests that you're not certain.
Two things about that:
Words can hurt. Quite a lot, in many situations. I'm sure you have been accused of or called one or two things that you can't easily forgive, and also let a few epitaphs fly that you regret.
Each and every mean, belittling, ugly word that is not thrown in a person's face during an argument, that is not spoken 'in fun' by a comedian, that is not tossed carelessly around a schoolyard, office, restaurant or sports arena, is one less wound. These little wounds, barely noticed by the people inflicting them, accumulate as deep festering sores in the people who suffer them daily, from infancy onward. The use of such words also becomes habitual in children who are not corrected when they repeat one: they up grow up callous to other people's feelings, and if they gain power, to other people's rights.

Just reflect what routinely happens on some carelessly moderated forums, where posters are free to employ crude language and verbal attacks. The aggressive boors take over, spew their venom all over the board. The smart, well-informed and civil posters stop participating. The quality of discussion degenerates.
Want to reduce friction and resentment in society? Start by speaking politely to one another.

We can do awful things but the pronouncement of certain words and phrases gets you publicly eviscerated.

I've been known to use hyperbole myself. But - examine that ^^^ statement. What actually happens when you use the sanctioned words? People respond verbally, in a negative way. That's all. Whoever doesn't like the way you wield your freedom of speech has recourse to their freedom of speech to express disapproval.
And maybe you stop doing it, because the approval of your peers is more valuable to you than the license to insult somebody. If we are aware of who-all might 'eviscerate' us for saying something, we become more mindful of the effect of our words - and by extension, the effect we have on those around us - of how we are perceived and what power we have. I think that mindfulness could result in better behaviour, maybe even better people.

Language matters. It's one of, if not the main defining features of a culture.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 24th, 2019, 8:58 am 

The very fact that you put two qualifiers in one short sentence suggests that you're not certain.


It's merely rational thinking because obviously I'm not privy to all peoples' thoughts and motives.

But, from what I observe, most of these trends are very superficial. Dreadful things are happening in the world and we're worried about someone saying a word we don't approve of. It's all a bit sad really.

And if one voices thoughts like that the response is predictable, that things are better than they were and every little counts, which I suppose is unarguable.

But, of course, it misses the point about a scale of values, placing more emphasis on what really matters more and not so much on secondary issues that don't involve radical change.

Language matters. It's one of, if not the main defining features of a culture.


Yes, but it's a conditioning factor too. A society where everyone is trained to use word A instead of word B seems very nice but it nevertheless means they're all conforming machines. Therefore it means nothing.

What we want is a society of free, intelligent minds, not a society where one has to walk on eggs in case one 'offends' someone who may not actually give a damn.

When they tried, some years back, to rename Christmas as Winterval in case it offended Muslims, the Muslims just laughed and thought they'd all gone mad. And quite rightly.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 24th, 2019, 1:01 pm 

charon » December 24th, 2019, 7:58 am wrote:It's merely rational thinking because obviously I'm not privy to all peoples' thoughts and motives.

One thing you can be reasonably - though never absolutely - sure of is that they all think they're thinking rationally and acting on justified motives.

But, from what I observe, most of these trends are very superficial. Dreadful things are happening in the world and we're worried about someone saying a word we don't approve of.

Sure its superficial. Also regional. But it's a whole lot easier to do what you have a legitimate vocabulary for than to do something you would be embarrassed to articulate.
I don't think we can wait until everybody's motives are pure and altruistic to invent the correct language for good behaviour. It's like solving the problem of crime by locking people in prisons: that's never worked, because it's going in the opposite direction to how things actually work in the human mind.
Emotion > thought > idea > visualizing > verbal expression > act. The earlier that progression is interrupted the less bad action there will be.

It's all a bit sad really.

They don't call it the Human Tragedy just for fun!

But, of course, it misses the point about a scale of values, placing more emphasis on what really matters more and not so much on secondary issues that don't involve radical change.

Have you seen what happens when someone incites radical change?
If all the others are desperate enough to make it happen, much carnage ensues, and the resultant change, while radical, is not what the instigator imagined. If they're not desperate enough, the radical is ignored, derided, ostracized, pilloried or crucified - depending on the social climate.
Small, incremental change has fewer casualties.

[Language]
Yes, but it's a conditioning factor too. A society where everyone is trained to use word A instead of word B seems very nice but it nevertheless means they're all conforming machines.

Social animals are products of their culture.
Therefore it means nothing.

It means a very great deal. Reflect on the word "honour" in the context of as many cultures, past and present, as you can think of. It's been a formative concept in the lives of human males since before civilization; a concept that gives men and boys value in the estimation of their tribe - but it doesn't motivate the same kind of behaviour in all cultures.

What we want is a society of free, intelligent minds,

Who are "we"? Not everybody wants that - not by a long chalk.
However, it has been the central theme of social philosophies from the mid-nineteenth to late 20th century. You and I are the products of that Euro-American culture. You inherited the words, and with the words comes the ideal. If you follow it along a little further, to where that idea in your head meets the version all those other people are carrying in their heads, and you'll see why it's necessary to compromise.

not a society where one has to walk on eggs in case one 'offends' someone who may not actually give a damn.

Why jump to hyperbole? Just learn good manners and no eggs need be harmed.

When they tried, some years back, to rename Christmas as Winterval in case it offended Muslims, the Muslims just laughed and thought they'd all gone mad. And quite rightly.

Not all the Muslims laughed. Some, hearing that a few Christian actually cared about their feelings, came an inch, six inches, a couple of steps, toward reconciliation, away from the fringes of frustrated resentment where terrorists are recruited.
Which "they"? Lots of people have ideas - some bad, some good, some silly, some clever. Lots of people offer suggestions. As a polity, we choose from among them the ones we're willing to entertain. The very best are invariably rejected by the majority and forcibly rejected by the entrenched power. The worst are often printed on flags and tee-shirts.

BTW - I'd be very much open to a gradual eradication of Christmas, starting with a reversion to the winter solstice celebration of pagan cultures - any cultures where it doesn't involve human sacrifice.
Meanwhile, Merry Yalda!
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 24th, 2019, 7:21 pm 

One thing you can be reasonably - though never absolutely - sure of is that they all think they're thinking rationally and acting on justified motives.


I wouldn't agree with that. But many do, it's true.

Sure its superficial.


Yes, but superficial implies other, deeper layers. The shallow has little effect on the deeper and the deeper always forces its way through. The problem here is that a person can be trained like a machine to do and say all the 'right' things but at another level that's not what is going on at all.

Small, incremental change has fewer casualties


I'm not using radical change in that sense. I'm talking of the sort of change that would not lead to carnage of any kind. Sudden attempts at change rarely achieve much for all the reasons you mentioned but that's because it's being forced. Change can't be forced. If it is, it's not change.

It means a very great deal.


So-called 'right' action by programmed minds is wrong action. Actually that's what's happening at the moment anyway.

You said above 'they all think they're thinking rationally and acting on justified motives', implying that they're actually doing the wrong things entirely. What they think is right, isn't.

Reflect on the word "honour" in the context of as many cultures, past and present, as you can think of.


(I notice you used the Brit spelling there - is that the norm in Canada?)

The only strange use of the word honour I can think of is this notion of so-called honour killing.

Most of the reasons for honour killing are absurd to our eyes anyway, such as divorce, refusing an arranged marriage, and so on. Or, perhaps the most abhorrent, being the victim of rape.

Who are "we"? Not everybody wants that - not by a long chalk.


All right, what we need is such a society, not the present catastrophe.

Just learn good manners and no eggs need be harmed.


What is considered good manners differs from culture to culture. And you know what that means.

Meanwhile, Merry Yalda!


You too, although I'm afraid we've both missed it. It was on the 21st :-)
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 24th, 2019, 9:17 pm 

charon » December 24th, 2019, 6:21 pm wrote:Yes, but superficial implies other, deeper layers. The shallow has little effect on the deeper and the deeper always forces its way through.

It was something quite deep that motivated the successful opposition to slavery, child labour, the more gruesome forms of execution, the objectification of women and persecution of gays. The same deep motivation is behind the not-yet-successful protests against disparity, oppression and toxic pollution.
There is a lot 'underneath' the surface of human social relations that is constructive and progressive, along with the negative stuff. It takes a layer or two beneath the surface to advocate for any change at all, including wheelchair ramps, seat-belts and civil public discourse.

The problem here is that a person can be trained like a machine to do and say all the 'right' things but at another level that's not what is going on at all.

Who cares, as long as he acts right?
Seriously, how do you know what "is going on". For that matter, I think you use the machine analogy rather glibly, with maybe insufficient thought given to how this machine training actually works, who carries out on whom, by what methodology. What actually - I mean in the real, physical world - happens to turn free-thinking brutes into polite machines?

I'm not using radical change in that sense. I'm talking of the sort of change that would not lead to carnage of any kind.

Show me.

So-called 'right' action by programmed minds is wrong action.

What is real right action? Where does it come from? How do you learn it?

Actually that's what's happening at the moment anyway.

Where? Who is doing what's right but wrong?

You said above 'they all think they're thinking rationally and acting on justified motives', implying that they're actually doing the wrong things entirely.

I'm not implying anything of the sort. I've not made any judgment of right and wrong.
I'm stating that other people who also believe themselves rational have opinions that are different from yours. And when you have opinions that are different from theirs, they believe you're not thinking rationally.

What they think is right, isn't.

Some of them, probably.

(I notice you used the Brit spelling there - is that the norm in Canada?)[yes]
The only strange use of the word honour I can think of is this notion of so-called honour killing.

I didn't ask for strange. Only to think about what it means, in terms of behaviour, expectations, social standing and self-respect. It's different in each culture, that's all. Many words have that kind of power.
Language, from the moment one begins to hear it - even before a baby can form intelligible words - is a molding tool of the human mind.
If you want to call it "programming", all right, so long as you're aware that you, too, are a computer.

All right, what we need is such a society,

Changing want to need doesn't answer "who"?
There are powerful interests that need and want just the opposite. They do not want or need the society you or I may wish for. There are also a great many ordinary citizens who are either content with the way society operates, or want different kinds of change, not at all the kind you want.

not the present catastrophe.

I do not see any way that unforced change can make the present any less catastrophic.

What is considered good manners differs from culture to culture. And you know what that means.

It means, when in Rome, don't insult the pope; when in London, don't insult the queen; when in Seul, don't insult the Buddha... oh, hey! How about taking the trouble to find out the house rules before you go anywhere as a guest?
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 24th, 2019, 10:30 pm 

It was something quite deep that motivated the successful opposition to slavery, child labour, the more gruesome forms of execution, the objectification of women and persecution of gays. The same deep motivation is behind the not-yet-successful protests against disparity, oppression and toxic pollution.


Absolutely. There are generally two sources for these sorts of action. One is love - I'm not being religious - and the other is selfishly motivated, politically motivated, and so on.

The second one may have its effects for a while but generally they tend not to last. They cause ripples on the surface and fade.

The first one, love, is quite different. There is real change and it tends to last. It appeals to the good in humanity and is seen as right even though it may be resisted at the start.

Who cares, as long as he acts right?


But a conditioned person can never act rightly, even if he does so by chance. That's the whole point.

To take that to its logical conclusion, imagine a world which is absolutely perfect, all is love and peace and joy - but inhabited by beings whose minds are merely conditioned machines... therefore it is NOT perfect at all.

That has been the scenario of many a sci-fi movie and it's the rebel, the questioner, who has to rescue them from their sleep.

When you say 'Who cares, as long as he acts right?' whose side are you on? The oppressor, keeping them in their slave state, or the liberator?

Seriously, how do you know what "is going on".


What always goes on when the human spirit is denied freedom. It never lasts, the spirit will struggle and fight for its own liberation. History demonstrates it.

For that matter, I think you use the machine analogy rather glibly, with maybe insufficient thought given to how this machine training actually works, who carries out on whom, by what methodology.


I think it's called education!

We are taught constantly to conform right from childhood - parents, school, the workplace. That's why society is in the state it's in, not because it is composed of free-thinking individuals, but because it's composed of conformists.

In order to 'get on' in the world conformity is necessary otherwise one becomes an outcast. And we want what the world offers - money, position, identity, to be accepted, to fit in, not to be different.

In short, security, but that security is false. Anything can happen - illness, redundancy, eviction, rejection, war, you name it.

What actually - I mean in the real, physical world - happens to turn free-thinking brutes into polite machines?


Nothing, it's more the other way around. What has turned human beings into brutes?

Show me.


I am.

What is real right action? Where does it come from? How do you learn it?


First, what is not right action? Obviously destructive, selfish behaviour. The 'me first' attitude. If that's gone then action is completely different. Then we'll absolutely have a different world.

I'm stating that other people who also believe themselves rational have opinions that are different from yours. And when you have opinions that are different from theirs, they believe you're not thinking rationally.


So there's a massive conflict already, one opinion against another. Is living and acting by opinion the right way? Is that the criteria?

Language, from the moment one begins to hear it - even before a baby can form intelligible words - is a molding tool of the human mind.


Certainly it is.

If you want to call it "programming", all right, so long as you're aware that you, too, are a computer.


But are we only computers? Computers have no intelligence. We do, that's what separates us from the machine.

Changing want to need doesn't answer "who"?


All of us. I said what we need are free minds, not conditioned ones. Anybody who says 'I don't want a free mind' is obviously a lunatic.

I do not see any way that unforced change can make the present any less catastrophic.


But do you see that forced change is no change at all? I can force you to change by hypnotism, bribery, torture, religious threats of hell... you know, everything that's been tried. Have we changed?

So, if forced change isn't the way, then what is? It doesn't mean acceptance of the world as it is either, then you go to sleep, as most people have. But the person who is really questioning, that's a different thing.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on December 24th, 2019, 10:41 pm 

P.S. You know we're supposed to be talking about impeachment, don't you? They'll give us a room! :-)
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2019, 1:14 am 

charon » December 24th, 2019, 9:30 pm wrote: There are generally two sources for these sorts of action.

I don't think so. We're a little more complicated than that. Love is more complicated than that. So is selfishness.

[love] appeals to the good in humanity and is seen as right even though it may be resisted at the start.

That's the advocacy for civil public discourse; that which the resistance calls 'political correctness'.

But a conditioned person can never act rightly, even if he does so by chance. That's the whole point.

No, it's not. I was being facetious regarding a far more complex idea.
All persons are conditioned, and not by chance.
When you bring a child into the world, you set out to 'program' him. The purpose of 'parenting' is to produce an adult who can function successfully, be accepted and happy in the society in which you expect him to live.
You know the little caveman is still in there; you know he has all the primitive drives you had to overcome in order to be a civilized person: we all have a lot of destructive impulses that we don't act on, because we have been 'programmed' to resist them. Your job as a parent is to show the raging selfish infant how to master those drives, how to discipline himself and behave according to a set of social rules.

To take that to its logical conclusion, imagine a world which is absolutely perfect, all is love and peace and joy - but inhabited by beings whose minds are merely conditioned machines... therefore it is NOT perfect at all.

So you keep telling me. But it sounds a bit superficial - even reflex. It does in the sci-fi movies, as well, but there, at least the author gives us a plausible oppressor with a specific motive for controlling people's behaviour. You have not cited any such entity.

When you say 'Who cares, as long as he acts right?' whose side are you on? The oppressor, keeping them in their slave state, or the liberator?

Who said anything about sides, slaves and oppressors? If you read what's not there, you're in danger of drawing incorrect conclusions.

What always goes on when the human spirit is denied freedom.

I asked you to speak in public as if you cared how other people feel.
How did that morph into the suppression of "the human spirit" - whatever the hell that's supposed to be.

[machine analogy]
I think it's called education!

I'll assume that's as facetious as my reference to right action. I'll assume you don't really demand a world of illiterate innumerates who think the Earth is flat and disease comes from the evil eye.

We are taught constantly to conform right from childhood - parents, school, the workplace.

They probably want you shouldn't run out and piss off the first cave-boy with a bigger club.
Seriously (hint: this means i was joking before) Humans are social animals. Social animals have to learn rules of behaviour, protocol, roles, organization and relations in order to co-exist with a minimum of internal strife.

That's why society is in the state it's in, not because it is composed of free-thinking individuals, but because it's composed of conformists.

Think about that! If everyone conformed, there would be no conflict, no disagreement. Is that what you see? Free-thinking individuals disagree. A lot. Sometimes violently.

In order to 'get on' in the world conformity is necessary otherwise one becomes an outcast. And we want what the world offers - money, position, identity, to be accepted, to fit in, not to be different.

We want, first and last, to survive.

In short, security, but that security is false. Anything can happen - illness, redundancy, eviction, rejection, war, you name it.

In a poorly-organized society, yes.

[What actually - I mean in the real, physical world - happens to turn free-thinking brutes into polite machines?]

Nothing,

You've been giving me five kinds of grief about 'political correctness' forcing people to act like machines, and now you deny it even happens?
it's more the other way around. What has turned human beings into brutes?

So, you don't believe in evolution? You think we're angels that somehow got corrupted by public school?

[Show me.]

I am.

You're bloody well not! You're talking fairy-dust. A radical change that happens without violence or force and turns everybody into rational lovers? You've told me zilch about how that's supposed to come about.

First, what is not right action? Obviously destructive, selfish behaviour. The 'me first' attitude. If that's gone then action is completely different. Then we'll absolutely have a different world.

You would. If...

So there's a massive conflict already, one opinion against another. Is living and acting by opinion the right way? Is that the criteria?

You seem to think so.

But are we only computers?

No, we're also animals.

[who is 'we'?]
All of us. I said what we need are free minds, not conditioned ones. Anybody who says 'I don't want a free mind' is obviously a lunatic.

Fairy dust comes snowing down; minds are liberated from all conditioning. 7.8 billion infants.

But do you see that forced change is no change at all?

Nope.

But the person who is really questioning, that's a different thing.

indeed. And I wish you well in your quest. Just needs a little more work is all.
Last edited by Serpent on December 25th, 2019, 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby Serpent on December 25th, 2019, 1:17 am 

charon » December 24th, 2019, 9:41 pm wrote:P.S. You know we're supposed to be talking about impeachment, don't you? They'll give us a room! :-)

I didn't notice anyone objecting. They're probably asleep, with sugar-plums dancing in their heads.
If others wish to get back on topic, I'm sure the irrelevant bits can be cut or moved.
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Re: Live Impeachment Hearings

Postby charon on January 2nd, 2020, 3:39 pm 

'The holiday break is wrapping up, but there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the stalemate between House Democrats and Senate Republicans over how to hold President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate and not naming House lawmakers to prosecute the case (called managers) until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agrees on parameters of a trial that she views as fair. “We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side,” she has said.

But McConnell has said that he’s working in “total coordination” with White House lawyers and that there is no such thing as fair in a political body, so why even try? “This is a political exercise,” he has said.'


https://www.washingtonpost.com/

I love this. Some 'trial'. No set system, doesn't have to be fair... they're all mad as hatters.
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