Recommend an Op-Ed piece
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22-08-2016, 07:55 PM
Recommend an Op-Ed piece
I think it might be interesting to have a thread dedicated to op-ed pieces that you feel noteworthy for whatever the reason.

“An op-ed (originally short for “opposite the editorial page” though sometimes interpreted as "opinion editorial") is a written prose piece typically published by a newspaper or magazine which expresses the opinion of a named author usually not affiliated with the publication editorial board."

I also think that providing a short excerpt to highlight why it caught your eye and why you are recommending it would go a long way to create interest as oppsoed to the tl;dr reaction.

I’ll start.

What I Learned as a Black Man Traveling Through the Terrifying Heart of America ~ By Wilbert L. Cooper

http://www.vice.com/read/wilbert-cooper-...rica-trump

"Again and again on our trip, I saw white Americans yearn for a time that had long since passed—a time that, often, they seemed to barely understand. It was only after the trip was over that I realized that it was the gulf between these backward-looking fantasies and this modern moment that has made America such an ugly and angry place to be recently, especially on the campaign trail.

I'm reminded of a quote from Don DeLillo's classic novel White Noise: "Nostalgia is a product of dissatisfaction and rage. It´s a settling of grievances between the present and the past. The more powerful the nostalgia, the closer you come to violence.”

Powerful stuff.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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23-08-2016, 12:27 AM (This post was last modified: 23-08-2016 12:31 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Never thought of nostalgia in those terms, but it can fit well in retrospect.

I have never been nostalgic, anecdotal yes, but basically - despite a very dickey ticker - the possibilties offered by now and tomorrow are the important things for me.

The past is only for, hopefully, learning from. My other signature is, "Yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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15-10-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Thought-provoking piece on Red and Blue. It certainly left me re-evaluating what is happening during this election.

How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind
http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-tr...l+Posts%29

[Image: 577531_v1.jpg]

Excerpts:

"Blue islands in an ocean of red. The cities are less than 4 percent of the land mass, but 62 percent of the population and easily 99 percent of the popular culture. Our movies, shows, songs, and news all radiate out from those blue islands.

And if you live in the red, that fucking sucks.”

"The foundation upon which America was undeniably built -- family, faith, and hard work -- had been deemed unfashionable and small-minded. Those snooty elites up in their ivory tower laughed as they kicked away that foundation, and then wrote 10,000-word think pieces blaming the builders for the ensuing collapse.”

"These are people who come from a long line of folks who took pride in looking after themselves. Where I'm from, you weren't a real man unless you could repair a car, patch a roof, hunt your own meat, and defend your home from an intruder. It was a source of shame to be dependent on anyone -- especially the government. You mowed your own lawn and fixed your own pipes when they leaked, you hauled your own firewood in your own pickup truck.”

"It feels good to dismiss people, to mock them, to write them off as deplorables. But you might as well take time to try to understand them, because I’m telling you, they'll still be around long after Trump is gone."

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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15-10-2016, 09:27 AM (This post was last modified: 15-10-2016 09:39 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Yes, something to think about. And something that has the right shape to fit into the jigsaw that is my understanding of America.

I have known of the sense of individual independence some Americans express for years, thought it went well with both the facts and the legends of the opening of a new continent and the building of the West. Just living miles from the nearest town means you have to be more pragmatic and practically resourceful than the East Coast city flat dweller.

The description of what makes a man was evocative and resonant for me. For different reasons, a different kind of isolation, I have also had to become self-resourceful to survive.

It even informed me why pick-ups are so popular - many is the time I wish that I had one!

It also puts an underline, for me, to support earmuff's felt need to build and fly his own rocket.

Something to contemplate.

later: Blimey, brain filling with linked things - Maker Fairs, home inventors in general, hot-rods, the availability of materials and chemicals... things non-existant, rare or unavaivable in Britland.

Sorry wandering off thread.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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15-10-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
This is from the New York Times by Roger Cohen It's kinda long. Sorry.

How Dictatorships are Born

"Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?”

Of course Bob Dylan deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature. We’re all Mister Jones now. It’s the wildest political season in the history of the United States.

Just to make his pedigree clear, Donald Trump is now suggesting that Hillary Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty, in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”

What was it the Nazis called the Jews? Oh, yes, “rootless parasites,” that’s it. For Stalin they were rootless cosmopolitans.

Just saying.

Societies slide into dictatorship more often than they lurch, one barrier falling at a time. “Just a buffoon,” people say, “and vulgar.” And then it’s too late.

I’ve been reminded in recent weeks of the passage in Fred Uhlman’s remarkable novella, “Reunion,” in which a proud German Jewish physician, twice wounded in World War I, and convinced the Nazis are a “temporary illness,” lambasts a Zionist for trying to raise funds for a Jewish homeland:

“Do you really believe the compatriots of Goethe and Schiller, Kant and Beethoven will fall for this rubbish? How dare you insult the memory of twelve thousand Jews who died for our country?”

Germans fell for the rubbish. The Republican Party fell for the garbage.

Today, millions of Americans who plan to vote for Trump are apparently countenancing violence against their neighbors, people who might be different from them, perhaps Muslim or Latino. It’s easy to inject the virus of hatred: just point a gun.

That Trump traffics in violence is irrefutable. His movement wants action — deportations, arrests, assassination and torture have been mooted. The most worrying thing is not that Trump likes Vladimir Putin, the butcher of Aleppo, but that he apes Vladimir Putin.

Speaking of Latinos, here’s what happened the other day to Veronica Zuleta, who was born in El Salvador and became an American citizen more than a decade ago. She was in the upscale Draeger’s Market in Menlo Park when the man next to her said:

“You should go to Safeway. This store is for white people.”

Zuleta was shocked. Never had she encountered a comment like that about her brown skin. But even the Democratic bastion of Silicon Valley is not immune to the Trump effect: Once unsayable things can now be said the world over. “Go back to where you came from” is the phrase du jour.

In the three months after the Brexit vote in Britain, homophobic attacks rose 147 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. It’s open season for bigots.

Financial and emotional pressures have been mounting on Zuleta. She lives in what the visionaries of Google, Facebook and the like consider the center of the universe. Where else, after all, are people thinking seriously about attaining immortality; or life on Mars; or new floating cities atop the oceans; or a universal basic income for everyone once the inevitable happens and artificial intelligence renders much of humanity redundant?

Y Combinator, a big start-up incubator, has announced it will conduct a basic income experiment with 100 families in Oakland, giving them between $1,000 and $2,000 a month for up to a year. Just to see what people do when they have nothing more to do. Oh, Brave New World.

Back in the present, prices for real estate have soared. Zuleta lives in a modest rented place on what used to be the wrong side of the tracks, in East Menlo Park, east of Route 101 that runs down the Valley. As it happens, her home is now a couple of blocks from Facebook’s sprawling headquarters designed by Frank Gehry that opened last year. She asked about a job in the kitchen, to no avail. She struggles to make ends meet.

Facebook, she told me, “is intimidating for people like me. It’s like, get out of here if you don’t know anything about technology.”

For its part, Facebook says it cares about and invests in the local community — $350,000 in grants donated to local nonprofits this year and last, new thermal imaging cameras for the local fire district, and so on. Its revenue in 2015 was $17.9 billion.

Zuleta works from 6:30 in the morning until midnight, cleaning homes, driving children to school and activities, running errands for wealthy families (like shopping for them at Draeger’s), and cleaning offices at night. In between she tries to care for her two young children. The other day, she was in the kitchen, collapsed and found herself in the hospital.

“The doctor said I need to sleep and relax,” she told me. “But I can’t!”

Life is like that these days for many Americans: implacable and disorienting. As a Latina, Zuleta said she would never vote for Trump, but she feels overwhelmed.

Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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15-10-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
(15-10-2016 01:33 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  This is from the New York Times by Roger Cohen It's kinda long. Sorry.

How Dictatorships are Born

"Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?”

Of course Bob Dylan deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature. We’re all Mister Jones now. It’s the wildest political season in the history of the United States.

Just to make his pedigree clear, Donald Trump is now suggesting that Hillary Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty, in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”

What was it the Nazis called the Jews? Oh, yes, “rootless parasites,” that’s it. For Stalin they were rootless cosmopolitans.

Just saying.

Societies slide into dictatorship more often than they lurch, one barrier falling at a time. “Just a buffoon,” people say, “and vulgar.” And then it’s too late.

I’ve been reminded in recent weeks of the passage in Fred Uhlman’s remarkable novella, “Reunion,” in which a proud German Jewish physician, twice wounded in World War I, and convinced the Nazis are a “temporary illness,” lambasts a Zionist for trying to raise funds for a Jewish homeland:

“Do you really believe the compatriots of Goethe and Schiller, Kant and Beethoven will fall for this rubbish? How dare you insult the memory of twelve thousand Jews who died for our country?”

Germans fell for the rubbish. The Republican Party fell for the garbage.

Today, millions of Americans who plan to vote for Trump are apparently countenancing violence against their neighbors, people who might be different from them, perhaps Muslim or Latino. It’s easy to inject the virus of hatred: just point a gun.

That Trump traffics in violence is irrefutable. His movement wants action — deportations, arrests, assassination and torture have been mooted. The most worrying thing is not that Trump likes Vladimir Putin, the butcher of Aleppo, but that he apes Vladimir Putin.

Speaking of Latinos, here’s what happened the other day to Veronica Zuleta, who was born in El Salvador and became an American citizen more than a decade ago. She was in the upscale Draeger’s Market in Menlo Park when the man next to her said:

“You should go to Safeway. This store is for white people.”

Zuleta was shocked. Never had she encountered a comment like that about her brown skin. But even the Democratic bastion of Silicon Valley is not immune to the Trump effect: Once unsayable things can now be said the world over. “Go back to where you came from” is the phrase du jour.

In the three months after the Brexit vote in Britain, homophobic attacks rose 147 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. It’s open season for bigots.

Financial and emotional pressures have been mounting on Zuleta. She lives in what the visionaries of Google, Facebook and the like consider the center of the universe. Where else, after all, are people thinking seriously about attaining immortality; or life on Mars; or new floating cities atop the oceans; or a universal basic income for everyone once the inevitable happens and artificial intelligence renders much of humanity redundant?

Y Combinator, a big start-up incubator, has announced it will conduct a basic income experiment with 100 families in Oakland, giving them between $1,000 and $2,000 a month for up to a year. Just to see what people do when they have nothing more to do. Oh, Brave New World.

Back in the present, prices for real estate have soared. Zuleta lives in a modest rented place on what used to be the wrong side of the tracks, in East Menlo Park, east of Route 101 that runs down the Valley. As it happens, her home is now a couple of blocks from Facebook’s sprawling headquarters designed by Frank Gehry that opened last year. She asked about a job in the kitchen, to no avail. She struggles to make ends meet.

Facebook, she told me, “is intimidating for people like me. It’s like, get out of here if you don’t know anything about technology.”

For its part, Facebook says it cares about and invests in the local community — $350,000 in grants donated to local nonprofits this year and last, new thermal imaging cameras for the local fire district, and so on. Its revenue in 2015 was $17.9 billion.

Zuleta works from 6:30 in the morning until midnight, cleaning homes, driving children to school and activities, running errands for wealthy families (like shopping for them at Draeger’s), and cleaning offices at night. In between she tries to care for her two young children. The other day, she was in the kitchen, collapsed and found herself in the hospital.

“The doctor said I need to sleep and relax,” she told me. “But I can’t!”

Life is like that these days for many Americans: implacable and disorienting. As a Latina, Zuleta said she would never vote for Trump, but she feels overwhelmed.

Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?

Two very different realities and the sad truth is that both sides are mostly blind to each other’s POV.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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15-10-2016, 02:33 PM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Too much democracy from Liberal Culture:
http://liberalculture.org/too-much-democracy/

“That is the problem of too much democracy – when it turns into a system able to legitimize even illiberal and unconstitutional actions”.

Text deals with among other things Trump, Republicans and Russia.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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23-10-2016, 07:17 AM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
From the New Yorker magazine a columnists explains what he finds.

THE ILLUMINATING BUT UNSURPRISING CONTENT OF CLINTON’S PAID SPEECHES

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassi...p_1=461754

It seems the HRC is, if nothing else, consistent with her message. I think this actually helps her.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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01-11-2016, 06:50 AM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Old people suck. Angry

tl;dr The overwhelming majority of 65+ Americans are voting for Trump but these fossils won’t have to bear the full impact of his presidency, the younger generations will.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-...2016-10-31

"I am watching armies of elderly people decide to impose terrible risks, without shame, on their own children and grandchildren. Some of Donald Trump’s strongest support comes from the over-65s. He enjoys a significant lead among older voters. If the election is close, they’ll put him in the White House.

But they are not the ones who will bear the cost if he becomes president and does his worst. They have their investments, their homes, and their Social Security payments. They enjoy the security of Medicare, the world’s biggest socialized medicine program.

If there is a war, they will not have to fight. If there is a depression, they will not lose their jobs. If he scraps universal health care, they won’t lose their coverage. And if this unbalanced man leads to catastrophe, as he might, they will not lose the chance of a long and happy life. They’ve already had most of theirs. Their future expectancy is counted more in years than in decades.”

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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01-11-2016, 07:31 AM
RE: Recommend an Op-Ed piece
Here's an old one from 1935 in a socialist rag called "Common Sense" written by a 2-time Medal of Honor awardee commie bastard. America's Armed Forces: 2. "In Time of Peace": The Army

#sigh
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