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Kentonio

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Member since: Thu Oct 15, 2015, 05:36 AM
Number of posts: 4,377

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Ok, let's talk about conservative Democrats

First up, this isn't another thread to talk about Mello and Sanders and Kaine etc etc repeat ad nauseum. There's already more than enough of those. What I'd like to discuss is the broader question of which candidates we should be putting forward and whether allowing a conservative wing of the Democratic party is actually a wise strategy moving forward.

The argument as I see it is this: To make progress in conservative & southern states we have to run candidates who are outside the progressive wing of the party. This can well result in candidates who do not completely share the party ideology on major topics including workers rights, abortion, guns, healthcare and more. The theory goes that it's better to have someone in the D column who shares some or most of our ideals, than not. Over time this is supposed to allow increased exposure to Democratic thought and allow for those states to start moving more towards us ideologically.

On the opposite side of the argument is the idea that by allowing conservative Democrats we weaken our own national message and lessen our power to enact national legislation even when we have a majority (they won't always vote our way in case they're attacked with their vote at election time (see public option etc)). There's also thinking that by running conservative Democrats, we don't offer in the people in those states a genuine choice between our ideology and the Republicans, but rather between the GOP and a watered down version. It's possible this could be a contributing factor to our inability to connect with working voters in some of those states and the growth of the 'politicians are all the same' mentality that has infected a lot of voters. There's also the argument that by running progressives we can grow the progressive message there, which is undermined with conservative candidates.

I can see some truth in both sides of this one, and it troubles me not being able to see a clear route forward. My instinct is that we should run on our ideals and ensure that the Democratic 'brand' is clear and united in the values we represent. At the same time though there's certainly truth in 'the perfect is the enemy of the good'. If running pure progressives in southern states is just going to condemn us to decades of GOP rule in those states, then are we just being self-destructive handing over power so easily to those who resent everything we hold dear?

I'd be really interested to hear people's thoughts. And please, let me ask one more time for people to not turn this into a thread about individuals. This is just about strategy.

Someone chained a cross to gates in Gay St in Greenwich Village

The response from the locals was wonderful.

On Good Friday, a mysterious giant wooden cross appeared on Gay Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, chained and locked to an apartment gate.

Over the next nine days, the cross’ owner would return and chain the cross to different parts of the street making it impossible for others to move it.

“To be honest, I’m a Christian, and the cross means, love, peace and hope. And it was clear the owner of this cross did not share those values,” Gay St. resident Micah Latter, whose gate the cross was first chained to, told HuffPost. “Whatever [this person’s] point, [it] was lost in translation. Their actions were pointless and annoying.”

Latter posted daily Instagram updates of the cross’ location and tried to seek help for its removal from authorities, which was unsuccessful. So, he had an idea: Why not turn the cross into a symbol of love and acceptance and take the power back from its owner?

On Sunday, Latter and ten neighbors and friends gathered to paint the cross the colors of the LGBTQ rainbow flag. They drank champagne and changed the locks so the original owner can no longer move it ― they’re now calling it “The Love Cross.”


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/love-cross-nyc_us_58ff5447e4b0b6f6014ac24e?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

People turning on Matt Taibi

Ok, for full disclosure I'm a huge fan of Matt's writing. I keep seeing people talking about him as an 'apologist' or 'stooge' for Putin and Russia. Now it's possible I'm missing something (I've seen several articles he's written on Russia) but from my understanding his point isn't 'this didn't happen' but purely warning that we need to be extremely careful to make sure we can PROVE it happened. He also makes some very good points about the lack of trust in the media by the public, and how false allegations could further damage that weakened relationship.

Now that to me doesn't sound like apologism. That sounds like the adult in the room reminding people not to run before they can walk, and make sure they're damn sure about what they're claiming before they damage themselves by over-reaching. Given what we've seen my personal feeling is that there are almost certainly some huge and shocking revelations set to come out proving collusion, but I don't think its a negative to approach it carefully and make sure we're hitting the right targets and not just throwing around speculation.

There's a famous lawyer rule, that you should never ask a question you don't already know the answer to. I think for the media this probably falls under that rule. We rely on them to investigate and ask the right questions, but if we set up specific accusations and then they are proven false, it will undermine later investigation and reporting of real related wrongdoing. We can't just swing and miss repeatedly and hope we eventually hit one, we need to make sure our aim is true.

Protests against Dana Schutz painting of Emmett Till

White Artist’s Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Draws Protests

The open-coffin photographs of the mutilated body of Emmett Till, the teenager who was lynched by two white men in Mississippi in 1955, served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement and have remained an open wound in American society since they were first published in Jet magazine and The Chicago Defender at the urging of Till’s mother.

The images’ continuing power, more than 60 years later, to speak about race and violence is being demonstrated once again in protests that have arisen online and at the newly opened Whitney Biennial over the decision of a white artist, Dana Schutz, to make a painting based on the photographs.

An African-American artist, Parker Bright, has conducted peaceful protests in front of the painting since Friday, positioning himself, sometimes with a few other protesters, in front of the work to partly block its view. He has engaged museum visitors in discussions about the painting while wearing a T-shirt with the words “Black Death Spectacle” on the back. Another protester, Hannah Black, a British-born black artist and writer working in Berlin, has written a letter to the biennial’s curators, Mia Locks and Christopher Y. Lew, urging that the painting be not only removed from the show but also destroyed.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/arts/design/painting-of-emmett-till-at-whitney-biennial-draws-protests.html?emc=edit_th_20170322&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=33386653&_r=0

I have a real issue with this. Firstly surely the whole point of art is that the message comes from the creation not from the creator. If this had been a painting by an African American artist, no protest would have occured, its purely based on the ethnicity of the artist. Secondly, even if people had an issue with where the painting was being displayed, or it being included in a particular event, the idea of calling for art to be destroyed just repulses me. It's no different than calling for a book to be burned in my mind.

Am I missing something?
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