Discouraging to see people continually making these overly simplified binary arguments all day- that government is either a 'good thing' or a 'bad thing.'To me, that's like saying fire is bad.
Fire is bad! You see it burn down that house!
Or water is bad.
Did you see that flood? That woman drowned!
Therefore; the conclusion: we need less fire and less water.
Or even better! No fire and no water!
We really need to elevate the level of debate. There are layer upon layers of nuance in the world, and we are missing it all. We are so far from having a base of understanding we can agree on.
The misinformation campaigns of the Koch brothers and their ilk have really taken root, and it's a major bummer.
"You are seeing basically the same reaction to globalization in early 21st century America, as we saw in early 20th century Europe. The campaign and presidency of Trump. Clever politicians will say 'the problem is not that the United States can't control everything, the problem is not that globalization is alway going to be full of challenges that we actually need to face and try to address. The problem is not that we need new state policy.'
'No, no, no' says Mr. Trump- 'the problem is that globalization has a face- it has a Chinese face, it has a Mexican face, it has a Jewish face.'
And that is a familiar form of politics, because what that does, is it relieves Mr. Trump, and the government in general, of any obligation of actually addressing the challenges of globalization. It instead replaces that with a form of politics in which we are meant to just chase after the supposed members of these various groups, and while we do that- we then forget about what the government is supposed to be doing for us: namely, fostering more opportunity and making us more prosperous.
So the attempt at a Muslim Ban is terrible for Muslims, but it's not really about Muslims. It's about getting us into the habit of seeing Muslims as the source of our problems. The new denunciation office at Homeland Security, where you are supposed to call up a bureaucrat in Washington if you feel you've been the victim of an undocumented migrant, that's not about the migrant. That's about getting you into the habit of denouncing your neighbors. It's about bringing in a new form of politics. "
- Timothy Snyder, Author of 'On Tyranny' in conversation with Sam Harris. I highly recommend this podcast- find it here.
"In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose." -Jimmy Carter
Was conversing with a couple of young men recently about the Trump phenomenon. We got into a discussion about the type of business practices that were often utilized by our current President, throughout his career. There have been multiple reports that if a deal did not pan out as lucrative as had been projected or expected; Trump would 'renegotiate' the terms of payment with those who had been contracted to do work on said project. The negotiation tactics are familiar to many who have worked with other similar large developers:
"We agreed to pay you $100k; but the deal hasn't panned out how we hoped- so we are willing to pay you $30k."
The small business man is then presented an option:
"You can try to sue me- borrow enough money to attempt to battle my massive team of lawyers; we will drag this out for years, flood your lawyers with reams of paperwork; and during this entire time period you will be stuck in a crippling financial crisis. At the end of it all, you will most likely lose, and be left destitute --- or you can accept the 30 cents on the dollar offer, and walk out of here today with $30k in your pocket."
One gentleman in the conversation then said both tragically and matter of fact:
"Yep. He's a good business man."
They way the guy said it, his voice noted both the moral disgust of the situation; and the very practical realization that this was in fact 'good business'.
This conversation goes exactly and precisely to the core of our current dilemma: this is good business. There is nothing illegal about this. Leveraging your entire strength and weight against those with less resources in order to save your own bottom line, is a great business move.
It is also good business to measure the cost impact of proposed safety measures versus the expense of the lawsuits of those who will die by not providing them. It is also good business to avoid the costs of high regulation; dumping toxins and pollutants into our environment; and depleting our limited natural resources at the expense of the greater good. It is good business to create products where workers rights and protections are at their lowest; to push for the lowest wages possible.
This is good business.
In looking at the Trump phenomenon; I wonder how far down the rabbit hole will we go? Do we hate the player, or do we examine the rules of the game completely?
I've heard it said Trump is the last desperate gasp of a failing business model. This model that glorifies profit, regardless of morality.
As with most things in life; it depends on what we the people will do with the information available to us.
We need a new definition and model for what defines: 'good business'.
"We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."- James Baldwin
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard Phillips Feynman
Went to a very educational discussion on the consensus plan this morning. I've often heard it said "people always pay close attention to national politics and not local politics- and it is the LOCAL politics that really affects them."
I just want to double down, or if possible quadruple down on that statement. So much of what affects your day to day environment is decided at the city, county, and state level. That is the reason my campaign slogan is 'Get Involved', because I want to encourage you all to get involved.
A good way to start is put syracuse.com as 'see first' in your FB feed. Another is to reach out to your local committee, be they Democrat, Republican, Green, or other. Another is to join groups like CNY Solidarity that work in grassroots resistance.
I've become particularly fond of the phrase: 'If you're not at the table, you may wind up on the menu.' It's true, politics responds to constituent demand. Now is an incredibly important time for Syracuse politics, a lot of 100 year decisions are coming up that will affect our city for decades to come.
So at the risk of being redundant, I encourage you- Get Involved.
A LOT to be proud of! Thanks for info Terry!
For all of you Bridge Jumpers.... a little perspective.........
-Syracuse is the 18th winningest program in Division 1-A college football history
Only ND (13), USC (12), and Ohio St (9) have more members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame than Syracuse (8)
-Syracuse is one of 16 BCS schools with at least 18 representatives in the College Football Hall of Fame
-Syracuse is one of only 8 schools that have won NCAA national championships in football and basketball.
-Syracuse is the 5th winningest program in Division I college basketball history, trailing only Kentucky, UNC, Kansas and Duke
-Syracuse has the 6th highest winning percentage in Division I college basketball history
-Syracuse has 46 consecutive winning seasons in basketball, the longest active streak in Division I
-Only Syracuse, Duke and Kansas have been to at least one Final Four in each of the last 5 decades
-Only Syracuse, Duke and Kentucky have had at least one player drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft the Past 5 Years
-Syracuse has 11 NCAA National Championships in men's lacrosse, more than any other program in the country.
Just want to take a moment to shout out the amazing NY Bernie network. Through out the campaign I connected with other organizers through out the state; and I'm so psyched to see Mary Lupien running for office in Rochester, Brian Nowak running in the Buffalo area, and Keith A. Rubino running in Herkimer.
Next weekend the statewide movement has the NYPAN conference in Binghamton, March 26, with Lauren Livingston and other statewide organizers.
I thought I'd take a moment to recognize. Not sure people are aware the network remains engaged and active. The struggle continues. #stillsanders