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Shemp Howard

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Sep 9, 2013, 12:10 AM
Number of posts: 889

About Me

I'm sticking to the union. That about sums it up.

Journal Archives

Why I am taking a break from DU.

I have posted parts of this post elsewhere. I've now decided to put it all together in one place. Apologies to those who have seen it elsewhere.

One reason I joined DU is that it's a progressive site. The word "progressive" means many things to me. One thing it means, to me, is kindness. Not weakness, but kindness; trying to see the best in people.

This includes the way I see most people who voted for Trump. There are certainly evil people who voted for Trump. I have no sympathy for those people.

But there are also many stupid people who voted for Trump. It is simply wrong, morally, to treat all these stupid people as if they were evil.

As an example, good friend of mine went from working for Hillary in the 2008 primaries to voting for Trump in 2016. Why the change? He lost his job. I do not consider my friend evil. But perhaps he's stupid for falling for Trump's empty slogans.

Unfortunately, post after post here on DU treats all Trump voters as evil beings. No exceptions. They are all very horrible people who deserve to have very horrible things happen to them.

As a progressive, this pains me. Stupid does not equal evil in my book. It just doesn't. I would hope to help educate these stupid people. I do not wish that bad things would happen to them.

But as of now I seem to be in the minority here. So I think I need to take a little break. Perhaps when things settle down a bit, I'll be back.

Yes, I know that with less than 1000 posts, I'm not a key player here. I won't be missed. And yes, I won't let the door hit me on the way out.

Best wishes to you all. Stay strong, and stay vigilant. Going forward, DU will be part of what (hopefully) puts the brakes on Trump.

Regarding the Russian hacking, what is really going on here?

I've read the Washington Post article about the Russian hacking, and I'm still confused. As I see it, there are four possibilities. Which one is it?

1. Since the Post provided no real hard evidence, it's all just a guess and a rumor. No big deal unless more evidence is forthcoming.

2. The Russians really did hack the DNC. But they released only the emails that would hurt Hillary. If so, it's on the DNC for having terrible email security.

3. The Russians really did hack the DNC, and also the RNC. But they released only those (legitimate) emails that would hurt Hillary. If so, that's repulsive, but it doesn't quite rise to the level of demanding a do-over election.

4. The Russians fabricated DNC emails, and/or they hacked into the voting booths to ensure a Trump win. If so, President Obama needs to present evidence to the public, and to the Electors, and to the Supreme Court. And Obama needs to do this immediately! Don't waste a day.

If I had to bet, I'd bet on possibility #3.

An argument for the Electoral College

I've been active in unions for most of my adult life, so I'm going to make my argument using unions as an analogy.

Suppose there is a union work site that employs 20 carpenters, 10 plumbers, and 8 electricians. It's now contract time. Under a simple one person, one vote system, management only needs to make the carpenters happy.

Of course, that's not the way it works. Management must make the carpenters happy, and the plumbers happy, and the electricians happy. Management must offer something to each of the three unions.

The Electoral College system operates much the same way. And yes, it sometimes leads to very some unpleasant results. But it does make some sense.

The main problem with the EC, as I see it, is that it gives the smaller states too many EC votes. This can be remedied by giving each state an EC total based on its House of Representative membership only. Not likely that will happen, I know.
Posted by Shemp Howard | Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:46 PM (6 replies)

Obama voters switching to Trump

I live in a dark blue region of a rust-belt state. In 2008 and 2012 many of my friends and acquaintances supported Obama. But I was surprised, and shocked, to hear how many of them went for Trump this time around. These people were the children and grandchildren of factory workers. Democratic party policies from FDR forward gave their families a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

Bernie was the FDR in this election, IMHO. But Trump was the Robber Baron. So the choice between Hillary and Trump should have been easy, a Democrat vs. a Robber Baron.

So why did so many go for Trump? Trump appealed to the baser instincts of some of them, I'm sure. But here's what many said to me during our polite arguments: There are no good jobs around here anymore. Trump will bring them back. (Trump ran ads in my state to that effect. Hillary did not.)

All of this is just what I, one person, observed. And it certainly doesn't tell the whole story. But Michael Moore was right. Worried people will follow a Pied Piper. To negate this, the Democratic Party must bring back a focus on jobs, and emphasize that fact. Just putting position papers on some internet site will not be enough.

The Democratic Party used to be known for championing both social justice AND good middle class jobs. We need to be known for that again.

Bernie (or Bernie's ideas) 2020!

Hillary lost the 2016 electoral vote because she ignored the very real concerns of the American working class.

Trump flooded my rust-belt state with ads about how he would re-open closed factories. Hillary ran ads about how she cared about children. Care to guess which ad campaign was more effective? Hint: Trump won my state.

Bernie understood what worried the average American factory worker. So did Trump. But Hillary did not. And so she lost.




Haiku for this last day of DU's primary debate

Soon debate will end
Hillary is the winner
Some cheer, others sad

It's pretty bad, I know. Feel free to contribute your own. But nothing mean-spirited or preachy, please!

I want an anti-war person as Hillary's VP (no, not Bernie).

Hillary is not shy about using force. So for her VP pick, I'd like to see someone with strong anti-war credentials, someone who will push back against all the constant one-more-war advice Hillary is sure to get.

And make no mistake about it. She will get that more-war advice. Consider that memo that came out of State recently. Let's bomb Assad. And if that means tangling with Russian fighters, so what?

Two final points. One, I'm not advocating for Bernie here. I voted for him in the primaries, but for many reasons he'd be a poor fit for Hillary's VP. I'll leave it up to this forum to suggest suitable VP candidates.

And two, an anti-war VP is actually a must for Hillary to get my vote. Her past regarding the use of force scares me. No more wars, please.

How I will prepare for June 16th.

I will prepare for June 16th by removing the B, S, H and C keys from my keyboard. That way I will not be able to praise Bernie Sanders or criticize Hillary Clinton.

Cheers! (eer! after June 16th)

Guns? Bombs?

The Orlando massacre generated many gun-related comments here at DU. No surprise there, of course.

And it got me thinking. I personally would favor a ban of all semi-automatic weapons, period. I would keep revolvers, breech-loading long guns, and bolt-action rifles legal. I think a semi-auto ban would pass judicial muster, as the Second Amendment does contain the phrase "well-regulated".

Getting such a ban passed would be very difficult, I know.

But that's not the main topic of my post. Let's suppose for a moment that my proposal became law, and semi-autos became very difficult to obtain. What then would prevent a terrorist from just switching over to homemade bombs? As we saw from the Boston Marathon bombing, such devices can be quite lethal.

Maybe this post is just rambling, as I don't have a solution to the bomb problem.
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