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  1. #1
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    Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Our basic system of government is not working. A representative democracy is intended to utilize professional politicians in a system of checks and balances. The reason why we use representatives is to acknowledge that most complex issues are beyond the grasp of the average citizen who must focus his attention on matters not dealing with the operation of the government. The expectation is that the citizens remain informed and use their vote as a general sign of approval/disapproval for policies and behaviors of the elected representatives. The media is the bridge whose job is to help the citizens remain informed by reporting on our representatives.

    The system is broken in three main areas:
    1) Citizens have shown little interest in news and are more interested in entertainment.
    2) The media has chosen to forgo news in favor of delivering entertainment.
    3) Politicians have seized upon this trend and chosen to either represent issues via obscure legislation, via appointed agencies, and via propositions.

    As I see it, the system has broken down at all layers, but it begins with the citizenry itself. People won't tune into investigative pieces which are not high in entertainment. Really, most people won't digest news which does not come in the form of a 120 character soundbite. People get lots of surface information, but little depth. This is problematic for several reasons. People tend towards over-confidence on their knowledge of issues because they have digested lots of factoids. In current politics, Trump said this or Clinton responded with this is all people get. No depth. No context. No real objective reporting on the issue. Instead of facts, we get a candidate's spin from one of their spokespersons. This is all the average person is willing to digest and when objective reporting occurs, people complain it is biased.

    This leads the "news rooms" to forgo actual reporting and investigation with capturing soundbites from the representatives and their opponents. If the majority makes a statement, then it must be reported and then the news must follow with a statement from the other side. None of this is news nor is it useful. It is the willful spreading of propaganda. The citizens should be outraged, but, frankly, it is all they want. If Politician A does something, then the news will report it without actual investigation. They will capture a quote from politician A (or a surrogate) and then get a quote from some Politician anti-A (or his surrogate). Then, if either quote generates some "buzz" (i.e. ratings) it will be repeated. What is, of course missing is any judgement on importance or the idea of getting more information. Rather, the media outlets look to use the story to create entertainment. The talking opinion heads on all the news channels discuss the issue from some ideological perspective. Often, they invite other surrogates to give the viewer more spin. Again, there is no objective journalism being done.

    The final issue is how politicians use the existing framework to obscure their own policies and decisions. In order to keep this post from being construed as partisan, I'll use CA state politics and remove any discussion of actual politicians. In CA, one of our legislative tools is the proposition system. Voters can put initiatives on the ballot to create law. Politicians can add items to the ballot too. The legislature uses this to avoid tough decisions. So, for bond measures and tax hikes, the legislature will often put these items on the ballot, but almost always couch the legislation as some sort of health initiative or something for the children. Sometimes, the initiative is so complex there is no reasonable way the average citizen can make an intelligent decision. So, it comes down on who spends the money on ads. The legislation typically uses this to avoid doing their job and making tough decisions. They hide behind the idea of democracy, but this is at odds with the idea of representative democracy. Again, though, it is another pothole in legislative system.

    Why do we get candidates like Clinton and Trump? Because we deserve them.

    Discuss: How can we fix representative democracy in this country? Is it fixable?
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    Why do we get candidates like Clinton and Trump? Because we deserve them.
    I have said this exactly. At first I believed that we really deserve Clinton, but now I am leaning to the idea that we also deserve trump. For so long we have been told that morals don't matter "it's the economy stupid". So much so we now have a rich playboy as the "conservative" rep. .. yea, we deserve this.
    For that reason, i have to disagree that the representative gov is not working. I looks like our candidates represent us pretty well.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    Discuss: How can we fix representative democracy in this country? Is it fixable?
    I think this is a two part issue. First we have to educate children on how to properly think and how that is part of their personal responsibility as a citizen of the U.S. Just like Jury duty and pulling over to help a hurt motorist.
    Second, we need to provide the tools to facilitate those educated decisions. Where is the personal history card for each candidate? (I really don't know).

    Third, it is going to start with me personally. I was just speaking to my brother who is facing a moral dilemma this election. namely, Can you vote for a person who fundamentally doesn't represent your values and beliefs? My response to that was that if we don't, then we have a responsibility to find people who DO and support them with our time and money, otherwise... we are just asking and letting others run our lives.
    Which I am guilty of in the first degree.


    I really wish that the media would do their job. I felt a massive deserves done to Dr Ben Carson, as the Media simply ignored him out of the race. What occurred to him is right out of your OP. He was scolded for not "stepping up" and making himself heard... You know who did? Trump. Should Ben Carson have had to yell and speak out of turn in order to be heard? Not IMO. The purpose was to give a platform to examine each candidate, and instead we got the camera lens on the loudest mouth in the room, and people followed that lens without much thought (on the whole).

    As long as the media is not investigating and showing the shenanigans of the congresses (state and federal) then we will continue to get things like voting for tax cuts, where everyone votes for it, but it is set up to fail with a 4 way split(where all are tax cuts of different amounts) vote where a majority is needed. Then everyone goes home and says they voted for what the people wanted, but the mean other people didn't let.
    It is just shenanigans bent on lying to the public. Instead, the Kardashians are the front page.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  4. #3
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    "This leads the "news rooms" to forgo actual reporting and investigation with capturing soundbites from the representatives and their opponents."

    You argue that there must be a common responsibility for the consumption of well-done news which I agree with and that it is the capitalistic tendency for the media outlets to produce what is profitable which I also agree with.

    But I'm certain that you wouldn't agree with any sort of public obligation on the media outlets to produce "fair and balanced" news such as the fairness doctrine.

    I disagree and would argue that it is inherent in our commonly owned systems that an obligation exists and that if it isn't being provided it is our duty to make sure it is.


    Further, I'll argue that profit friendly positions - trickle down economics - that are more prevalent on the right will naturally be favored on commercial driven outlets. I'm not going to buy commercial time on a radio station that espouses raising my corporate taxes, increasing regulation on my business, or the benefits of unionization to my workers...or even a fair discussion of such. I'm going with a station that blasts such measures out of the cannon of hyperbole.

    What's left over - for example PBS and NPR - then looks incredibly leftist in comparison and is easily attacked and corrupted as well - take out Bill Moyers and insert Juan Williams.


    Finally, there is public education and I doubt we could even get past the argument over whether it should even exist. Never mind what its purpose is, which I believe is to produce good citizens rather than test scores. The recent school book controversies in Texas are proof, again, that profit and those seeking to exploit it do not have the best interest in mind.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  5. #4
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    Finally, there is public education and I doubt we could even get past the argument over whether it should even exist. Never mind what its purpose is, which I believe is to produce good citizens rather than test scores.
    This response is not a disagreement er say, but I wanted to offer you my thoughts.

    First of all, you should know that we do home-school, so your point about if public education should exist is not really all that far out there.
    However, the landscape of education and what is possible and available is drastically changing. It is now capable to change in such a way as to be able to cater to any parental choice one may have.
    Take the classic debate on teaching evolution and creation in schools. We could create a system that simply bypasses that issue by providing both in equal quality to all children as the parent sees fit.
    My point is that the current education system is not simply broken, but it is horribly outdated. Take the text book "controversy" you point out. There is now simply no reason that a student could not have digital access to every textbook ever created over the past 150 years for free with an internet connection. Yet schools spend millions of dollars each year "updating" textbooks. Colleges do the same thing. Any justification to it now is simply outdated. For $50 a Kindal could have every book on it. A single teacher could face time with 10k students at a time. Children who don't get it could raise a digital hand and get one on one with another teacher or helper. Curriculum could be massively automated.

    I do believe the gov has a responsibility to provide access to free education. Things like libraries and schools play an important roll in our society. How we access it needs to change and be updated to our times.
    I say all this heavily influenced by the way we personally school our children and the massive choices now available to us as homeschoolers. Years ago, if you wanted to teach your child to read the only books available were coloring books from wal-mart. Now, my children sign on line for high-school courses. All that Math that parents are supposedly not qualified to teach.. my children have access to 10 different video explanations of each problem. Do you remember finishing every text book page in school? My children are required, expected and forced to do it. The point is both a higher quality education, as well as more child specific teaching, tracking etc.

    Bottom line, the sky is now the limit for education. There is no excuse that every child can be cheaply and effectively offered access to the best teachers in the world.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    "This leads the "news rooms" to forgo actual reporting and investigation with capturing soundbites from the representatives and their opponents."

    You argue that there must be a common responsibility for the consumption of well-done news which I agree with and that it is the capitalistic tendency for the media outlets to produce what is profitable which I also agree with.

    But I'm certain that you wouldn't agree with any sort of public obligation on the media outlets to produce "fair and balanced" news such as the fairness doctrine.

    I disagree and would argue that it is inherent in our commonly owned systems that an obligation exists and that if it isn't being provided it is our duty to make sure it is.


    Further, I'll argue that profit friendly positions - trickle down economics - that are more prevalent on the right will naturally be favored on commercial driven outlets. I'm not going to buy commercial time on a radio station that espouses raising my corporate taxes, increasing regulation on my business, or the benefits of unionization to my workers...or even a fair discussion of such. I'm going with a station that blasts such measures out of the cannon of hyperbole.

    What's left over - for example PBS and NPR - then looks incredibly leftist in comparison and is easily attacked and corrupted as well - take out Bill Moyers and insert Juan Williams.


    Finally, there is public education and I doubt we could even get past the argument over whether it should even exist. Never mind what its purpose is, which I believe is to produce good citizens rather than test scores. The recent school book controversies in Texas are proof, again, that profit and those seeking to exploit it do not have the best interest in mind.
    If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it drop, then did it still make a sound? PBS and NPR exist but few tune in to listen. So, holding them up as solutions is fine, but is certainly limited. As you pointed out, neither are beyond corruption as they generally require a certain amount of public funding (either govt funding or donations) meaning they still must adhere to the wishes of the funding sources. What their funding streams allow is for them to care a little less about entertainment value. And, this is not a terrible thing. However, not taking advertising dollars does not exclude them from bias nor corruption which you pointed out.

    It is interesting that you focused on economics and media whereas, I would argue, it starts with the people. If folks don't demand better news, then no one will feel compelled to provide it (no matter the economic system). Sig suggested education, but this requires the same sort of effort and I find it highly unlikely.

    Capitalism, to directly address one of your points, does not tell people what they want. It leads to the production of the things people demand. If I placed a piece of poop on a shelf in a store, people wouldn't feel compelled to buy it. The fairness doctrine was attempted and it ran into its own problems. It led to low ratings for radio and they all switched to a music only format. It didn't make anyone better informed or more interested in the news. It just decreased the available outlets for people to acquire information. In other words, it didn't solve the problem, it just altered the landscape while the problem continued. So, if I thought the Fairness Doctrine would actually make things better, then I'd support it. The airwaves, after all, are leased from the public. So, expecting radio stations to uphold some sort of requirement is not about some ideological stand. I just don't think it worked.

    I honestly think we need a truly horrific event to alter our course. A dictator elected into office who overthrows the military. A President who is crazy and starts a nuclear winter. The idea that folks will simply demand better through small changes of course or subtle alterations to attitude is highly optimistic.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  8. #6
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    I honestly think we need a truly horrific event to alter our course. A dictator elected into office who overthrows the military. A President who is crazy and starts a nuclear winter. The idea that folks will simply demand better through small changes of course or subtle alterations to attitude is highly optimistic.
    I don't think we would see that ever occur. I mean, as it stands the ruling class have a golden goose. I think the gov works exactly like they dream it to. A single person coming to power? Politicians won't stand for that because it will cost them money. I'm not saying that our gov is as bad as it will ever get, the ruling class still have their sights on our guns and free speech to further cement their rule.

    So events to change the national mindset? I think one powder keg is the catholic run hospitals and abortion. It will come to a point where the choice is close the doors or violate a closely held belief. It could fizzle and never occur if the church doesn't dig in their heels and instead cave. But 1/3 of the hospitals closing in some cities would be a serious and attention demanding outcome.

    Point is, I don't think all the water shed moments would take the form of nuclear winter or as drastic grabs of power from the gov. Instead it will be a small bridge too far that ignites deeply held convictions long subdued because it was happening to someone else.

    One thing I have been pondering is if the courts are stacked and the 2nd amendment is re-interpreted to no longer be an individual right, if that will actually have the reverse effect desired by the gov. IE more better trained politically active gun wielding citizens.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  9. #7
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't think we would see that ever occur. I mean, as it stands the ruling class have a golden goose. I think the gov works exactly like they dream it to. A single person coming to power? Politicians won't stand for that because it will cost them money. I'm not saying that our gov is as bad as it will ever get, the ruling class still have their sights on our guns and free speech to further cement their rule.

    So events to change the national mindset? I think one powder keg is the catholic run hospitals and abortion. It will come to a point where the choice is close the doors or violate a closely held belief. It could fizzle and never occur if the church doesn't dig in their heels and instead cave. But 1/3 of the hospitals closing in some cities would be a serious and attention demanding outcome.

    Point is, I don't think all the water shed moments would take the form of nuclear winter or as drastic grabs of power from the gov. Instead it will be a small bridge too far that ignites deeply held convictions long subdued because it was happening to someone else.

    One thing I have been pondering is if the courts are stacked and the 2nd amendment is re-interpreted to no longer be an individual right, if that will actually have the reverse effect desired by the gov. IE more better trained politically active gun wielding citizens.
    First, I am not as conspiratorial as I think you are. I don't think there is some mass agreement among the ruling class. Rather, elected office attracts certain types of people. The scrutiny and publicity involved removes a subset of those people. What you tend to get, when all is said and done, is a group of megalomaniacs with psychopathic tendencies. And yes, cozy relationships do form among these people and other wealthy people. I think this is a natural symbiotic relationship which has incrementally increased over time. Not by design, but because it has worked and each politician just sorts of builds on what his predecessor has done. Like any living organism, it prime function is survival. So, the government eats and it grows. Again, not by some master plan. It is just the natural way of organisms.

    You offer an interesting scenario which could, theoretically, result in radical change. However, the Catholic Church is just as much a living organism as government. The Pope has recently offered a lighter stance towards both homosexuality and abortion. Certainly not coming out saying they are ok. But, on homosexuality, I think his statement was, "who am I to judge?". The point here is that I think you'll see the church shift its stance to align itself with its own best interests which is, of course, increased enrollment. There will be no powder keg from the church. They will certainly offer some resistance, but then they will go along to get along. Perhaps even change their own views. They get tax free living. They have their own golden goose they won't wanna cook.

    I think, if the court is stacked and the 2nd amendment nullified, it will be interesting. However, politicians look out for their own best interests and changes to gun laws will continue to be made incrementally and via soft regulations by appointed agencies. Changes will happen subtly and over time. Look, when CA finally lost all form of bi-party leadership and the Democrats effectively made this a single party state, they didn't just run out and raise taxes all at once. They have added them back in incrementally and via regulation. They have slowly raised revenue, often using backdoor solutions so the Kardashian population didn't notice. THey would love to just increase it and tax everyone with two dimes half to death. However, they understand that their positions are still elected so they will make incremental changes even though there is really no roadblock to anything they want to do.

    Remember back when Obama first took office. All the promises he made. Democrats were wetting themselves because there was a Dem president and Congress was Dem controlled. After all the promises, all that got done was the ACA really, and even that was a compromise among Dems. Hence, my belief it is going to take something really big and probably really terrible to get things back on track. Maybe we'll just crumble like Greece, Rome, and all the other long lost empires. We'll probably hang around like the British. Unless something drastic happens, I just don't see much room for optimism.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

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  11. #8
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    First, I am not as conspiratorial as I think you are. I don't think there is some mass agreement among the ruling class. Rather, elected office attracts certain types of people. The scrutiny and publicity involved removes a subset of those people. What you tend to get, when all is said and done, is a group of megalomaniacs with psychopathic tendencies. And yes, cozy relationships do form among these people and other wealthy people. I think this is a natural symbiotic relationship which has incrementally increased over time. Not by design, but because it has worked and each politician just sorts of builds on what his predecessor has done. Like any living organism, it prime function is survival. So, the government eats and it grows. Again, not by some master plan. It is just the natural way of organisms.
    I wasn't offering the conspiratorial version. I actually had in mind exactly what you described. I just think they couldn't have planned it better, not to say that evil string masters ordered it all (unless the devil counts?). I agree that what we have arose through the natural flaw in humanity, rather than due to some master plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    You offer an interesting scenario which could, theoretically, result in radical change. However, the Catholic Church is just as much a living organism as government. The Pope has recently offered a lighter stance towards both homosexuality and abortion. Certainly not coming out saying they are ok. But, on homosexuality, I think his statement was, "who am I to judge?". The point here is that I think you'll see the church shift its stance to align itself with its own best interests which is, of course, increased enrollment. There will be no powder keg from the church. They will certainly offer some resistance, but then they will go along to get along. Perhaps even change their own views. They get tax free living. They have their own golden goose they won't wanna cook.
    Well, I agree to an extent. I am not sold on the idea that they will dig in their heels and fight on this issue. I personally think if they don't then they will lose power, and that is why I suspect that they might. I think the greatest threat to their golden goose is loss of power. Also, I think that taking on this fight would actually see their ranks grow, as many other christians would join them in the fight. It would also fit well with their "Catholics come home" campaign. Nothing like a good fight to rally the troops.
    Your point about the Pope is very good, he is hardly the one I would think would direct this, so that undercuts it all. I honestly don't know what they will choose.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    I think, if the court is stacked and the 2nd amendment nullified, it will be interesting. However, politicians look out for their own best interests and changes to gun laws will continue to be made incrementally and via soft regulations by appointed agencies. Changes will happen subtly and over time. Look, when CA finally lost all form of bi-party leadership and the Democrats effectively made this a single party state, they didn't just run out and raise taxes all at once. They have added them back in incrementally and via regulation. They have slowly raised revenue, often using backdoor solutions so the Kardashian population didn't notice. THey would love to just increase it and tax everyone with two dimes half to death. However, they understand that their positions are still elected so they will make incremental changes even though there is really no roadblock to anything they want to do.
    Well the judges don't answer to that part of the system at all. That is why that is the most likely route. I mean, look at abortion. At one time all the states outlawed it, then a few started to soften, then while the vast majority of states still outlawed it, and the vast majority of people were still against it, the courts made it law and overthrew it all.
    That is the democrats dream with guns and the 2nd amendment. Make it illegal, and sort out everything else afterwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBELSD
    Remember back when Obama first took office. All the promises he made. Democrats were wetting themselves because there was a Dem president and Congress was Dem controlled. After all the promises, all that got done was the ACA really, and even that was a compromise among Dems. Hence, my belief it is going to take something really big and probably really terrible to get things back on track. Maybe we'll just crumble like Greece, Rome, and all the other long lost empires. We'll probably hang around like the British. Unless something drastic happens, I just don't see much room for optimism.
    Well, I can only offer half hearted optimism, I mostly agree. I think the time is past and short of a constitutional convention or some other grass roots movement fueled by whatever event, we are just headed off the cliff. The way I see it the gov is simply waiting for a big enough event to put to action what they really want.
    Like Katrina and the gun grab there. Now that was too local, but a system wide economic collapse, like say the kind printing **** tone of fictional money may bring about, might do it. Heck I think we are just a single sustained string of attacks by terrorists from banning most guns, even if they use knives in every single attack. On the whole our nation seems to me to be quick to give up rights for the false promise of safety. You and I probably agree on where that ends.

    I guess when you talk about a spark to move the people, I see it as much more likely that the spark will lead to less personal rights and liberty, not more. I offer the catholic church spark, as really the only thing I can think of that may lead to good things. I can hope that the 2nd amendment changes would have the reverse effect desired by the dems.. but not sure.
    Have you got any ideas other than nukes that could occur? Or maybe by it's nature we would never see it coming?
    WWIII without nukes... probably we end up like England an full on socialist state. Some states get screwed enough by the fed? not likely.
    Meh... I don't know.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    This response is not a disagreement er say, but I wanted to offer you my thoughts.

    First of all, you should know that we do home-school, so your point about if public education should exist is not really all that far out there.
    However, the landscape of education and what is possible and available is drastically changing. It is now capable to change in such a way as to be able to cater to any parental choice one may have.
    Take the classic debate on teaching evolution and creation in schools. We could create a system that simply bypasses that issue by providing both in equal quality to all children as the parent sees fit.
    My point is that the current education system is not simply broken, but it is horribly outdated. Take the text book "controversy" you point out. There is now simply no reason that a student could not have digital access to every textbook ever created over the past 150 years for free with an internet connection. Yet schools spend millions of dollars each year "updating" textbooks. Colleges do the same thing. Any justification to it now is simply outdated. For $50 a Kindal could have every book on it. A single teacher could face time with 10k students at a time. Children who don't get it could raise a digital hand and get one on one with another teacher or helper. Curriculum could be massively automated.

    I do believe the gov has a responsibility to provide access to free education. Things like libraries and schools play an important roll in our society. How we access it needs to change and be updated to our times.
    I say all this heavily influenced by the way we personally school our children and the massive choices now available to us as homeschoolers. Years ago, if you wanted to teach your child to read the only books available were coloring books from wal-mart. Now, my children sign on line for high-school courses. All that Math that parents are supposedly not qualified to teach.. my children have access to 10 different video explanations of each problem. Do you remember finishing every text book page in school? My children are required, expected and forced to do it. The point is both a higher quality education, as well as more child specific teaching, tracking etc.

    Bottom line, the sky is now the limit for education. There is no excuse that every child can be cheaply and effectively offered access to the best teachers in the world.
    I do agree with much of what you said and don't know much about homeschooling or your experience with it. I'd argue that you do indeed have any parental choice already but what we are arguing here is the state's involvement. We already send our children to sunday schools and educate them in wide other areas and, yes, all of that information and tools are available to us and always have been. I agree that the availability of information has become easier, quicker, and with more choices. So say your child is awake for 12 hours per day, they go to school (state supported) for 6 hours and the rest of the time is up to you. The question is what they are doing for those six hours, the rest of the time is, indeed, open for parental choice. You could spend it in religious instruction, sports, whatever.

    Using funds or support you receive for homeschooling for religious education, say, doesn't seem permissible. Is it? Or if it were it'd be in certain categories. For example, a comparative religions class. Substituting creationism for a science class certainly isn't permissible. Maybe a philosophy class or current events or debate class/club could take it up. The idea of religion vs. science in science class only comes up when discussing the history of science which, when done properly, doesn't equate the two but points out the flaws in our past where attempts were made to do so. Unfortunately, when done badly this can leave a negative impression primarily on religious zeal which can often lead back into a cycle of equating the two or trying to exclude one or the other.

    ---------- Post added at 04:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:45 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it drop, then did it still make a sound? PBS and NPR exist but few tune in to listen.
    Is that how we judge quality? By ratings? The News Hour, BTW is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive news program going. Add to that the Nightly Business report, Frontline, Nova (supported by the Koch Foundation) not to mention all of the entertainment and culture PBS provides. Nova does provide some serious **** sometimes but nothing, NOTHING, compared to something ridiculous like Ancient Aliens or any other such nonsense.

    I agree any system is capable of corruption that is why vigilance is crucial and strong protections for those things we deem of value is required. You argue that we should value proper news and information being provided vs. entertainment or sensationalism (if it bleeds it leads) placing only the blame on what people "demand" when channel surfing. I'd argue that if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care and that its proper to do that through legislating the commons as we did with the fairness doctrine...which worked fine BTW and DID provide the type of information dissemination you now say we are lacking.

    I argued that it was our lack of taking responsibility in this area that led to this and, yes, capitalistic tendencies => not to degrade them but to point out their inherent properties.
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  14. #10
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Is that how we judge quality? By ratings? The News Hour, BTW is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive news program going. Add to that the Nightly Business report, Frontline, Nova (supported by the Koch Foundation) not to mention all of the entertainment and culture PBS provides. Nova does provide some serious **** sometimes but nothing, NOTHING, compared to something ridiculous like Ancient Aliens or any other such nonsense.

    I agree any system is capable of corruption that is why vigilance is crucial and strong protections for those things we deem of value is required. You argue that we should value proper news and information being provided vs. entertainment or sensationalism (if it bleeds it leads) placing only the blame on what people "demand" when channel surfing. I'd argue that if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care and that its proper to do that through legislating the commons as we did with the fairness doctrine...which worked fine BTW and DID provide the type of information dissemination you now say we are lacking.

    I argued that it was our lack of taking responsibility in this area that led to this and, yes, capitalistic tendencies => not to degrade them but to point out their inherent properties.
    I never claimed or insinuated quality == quantity. I merely noted that no one watches PBS and NPR. I also noted that when the Fairness Doctrine existed, new outlets and news programming went away. If we cannot judge a show based on ratings, then we cannot dismiss news just because it gets high ratings, right? Again, I am not anti-Fairness Doctrine as much as I just do not believe it actually worked well. A lack of fairness doctrine does not prevent networks from producing good news shows. The existence of the fairness doctrine tended to lead networks to avoid news altogether. Now, the current climate is certainly a lack of quality news so I understand your desire to see us go back to the Fairness Doctrine. However, it didn't work. The experiment already failed. It didn't help Americans care less about the Kardashians. It would probably lead to the elimination of all three major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, and FOX). So, I guess, if that is your primary motivation, then it makes sense. In the big picture, though, it solves nothing. Those channels would be replaced by the TMZ Network, People Magazine Network, and some other Food oriented channel.

    Capitalism does not cause the problem. Capitalism merely exposes our moral and ethical weaknesses. I find your arguments are these sweeping grandiose antidotes such as, "if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care," and yet no one is stopping you. No one is preventing you from demanding anything as a consumer. No one is forcing you to demand something as a consumer. Demand is just an expression to define the set of things people want to consume. Now, you can choose to limit the available set of items for consumption and hope that people change their demands. Isn't this, though, a form of tyranny? Does it ever actually work? Who gets to define the set of consumable products? Government officials? What is their criteria? Is it going to be political? Ideological? Religious/Moral?

    I do not think there is a real answer here by the way. There is no real option to change what the American consumer has become unless something occurs which is truly earth shattering. I do not have faith in politicians setting the tone or direction either. I think it is pretty clear by now (or it should be), that politicians are as much a part of the problem as anyone. I think you pick on capitalism because it exposes our flaws. When we are free to do what we want and choose what we want, then our warts show clearly. Conversely, the populace under a heavy-handed dictator who have no freedom, rarely get to expose their moral and ethical short-comings. To blame capitalism for humanities' flaws is like celebrating a lack of crime on the morality of a brutalized population under tyrannical control.
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    not a disagreement
    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    I'd argue that you do indeed have any parental choice already but what we are arguing here is the state's involvement. We already send our children to sunday schools and educate them in wide other areas and, yes, all of that information and tools are available to us and always have been.
    Well, there are ways a parent may wish to focus on religious relevant themes in all subjects of school.

    For example, suppose you were doing a poetry class, and used Curriculum that used bible stories, and poetry in the bible to teach that aspect. There is certainly nothing academically wrong with that. Or history class spending more time on the prominent roll of Christianity, or even minor stuff like a Christians experience of certain historical events.
    The point is that school subjects offer a great opportunity to raise a child in the way that a parent sees fit, and there is no reason that this can't occur or be state facilitated, because the states job is to provide an opportunity for education. While those curriculum would never (and probably should never) be found in a current public school setting, when that "public" part becomes more child specific, any objection to it is really muted. Why not have those included for MY child in a state coarse, if YOUR child doesn't have to participate?

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    I agree that the availability of information has become easier, quicker, and with more choices. So say your child is awake for 12 hours per day, they go to school (state supported) for 6 hours and the rest of the time is up to you. The question is what they are doing for those six hours, the rest of the time is, indeed, open for parental choice. You could spend it in religious instruction, sports, whatever.
    This is where there is maybe a hint of something we don't agree on. As a parent I am responsible for all 24 hours of my child's day. School, Doctors, lawyers... basically any specialist, is an ASSISTANT to my responsibility. I am not sure how you see it, but the language you use seems to imply that the parents don't or shouldn't have a choice in the 6-8 hours of school time. That I would have to reject.
    Other than that, I get your point. I think it at the least doesn't place enough value on the multi tasking available for school time.

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    Using funds or support you receive for homeschooling for religious education, say, doesn't seem permissible. Is it? Or if it were it'd be in certain categories. For example, a comparative religions class. Substituting creationism for a science class certainly isn't permissible. Maybe a philosophy class or current events or debate class/club could take it up. The idea of religion vs. science in science class only comes up when discussing the history of science which, when done properly, doesn't equate the two but points out the flaws in our past where attempts were made to do so. Unfortunately, when done badly this can leave a negative impression primarily on religious zeal which can often lead back into a cycle of equating the two or trying to exclude one or the other.
    The idea of separation of church and state, is to keep the state from dictating religion to the people. The state has no business teaching your child my religious beliefs.
    In the kind of system I see as possible, and coming soon that simply will not be an issue.
    Your child can learn american history in a completely catholic, atheistic, Hindu curriculum. Whichever you choose for your child. Right next to him, in the same class, or from home miles apart my child can learn the same subject in whatever way I choose and not effect you child. Each of those versions can still teach the fundamental points Columbus sailed the ocean blue.. Washington crossed the Delaware.. etc. So why can't the state approve and provide the material? Here "provide" doesn't mean create, it just means to grade the provided curriculum as "approved" ... so that it counts.

    ___The funds____
    This is really where the rubber meets the road. But in the future, the funds will be going towards the infrastructure, not the curriculum. The cost of Approving a curriculum isn't really a legit reason to say that the most christian way of teaching... math, or history, or art, can't "count" towards an education.
    There may be other issues.. but times are changing and the school system needs to really, really catch up.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I merely noted that no one watches PBS and NPR. I also noted that when the Fairness Doctrine existed, new outlets and news programming went away. If we cannot judge a show based on ratings, then we cannot dismiss news just because it gets high ratings, right? Again, I am not anti-Fairness Doctrine as much as I just do not believe it actually worked well. A lack of fairness doctrine does not prevent networks from producing good news shows. The existence of the fairness doctrine tended to lead networks to avoid news altogether. Now, the current climate is certainly a lack of quality news so I understand your desire to see us go back to the Fairness Doctrine. However, it didn't work. The experiment already failed. It didn't help Americans care less about the Kardashians. It would probably lead to the elimination of all three major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, and FOX). So, I guess, if that is your primary motivation, then it makes sense. In the big picture, though, it solves nothing. Those channels would be replaced by the TMZ Network, People Magazine Network, and some other Food oriented channel.

    Capitalism does not cause the problem. Capitalism merely exposes our moral and ethical weaknesses. I find your arguments are these sweeping grandiose antidotes such as, "if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care," and yet no one is stopping you. No one is preventing you from demanding anything as a consumer. No one is forcing you to demand something as a consumer. Demand is just an expression to define the set of things people want to consume. Now, you can choose to limit the available set of items for consumption and hope that people change their demands. Isn't this, though, a form of tyranny? Does it ever actually work? Who gets to define the set of consumable products? Government officials? What is their criteria? Is it going to be political? Ideological? Religious/Moral?

    I do not think there is a real answer here by the way. There is no real option to change what the American consumer has become unless something occurs which is truly earth shattering. I do not have faith in politicians setting the tone or direction either. I think it is pretty clear by now (or it should be), that politicians are as much a part of the problem as anyone. I think you pick on capitalism because it exposes our flaws. When we are free to do what we want and choose what we want, then our warts show clearly. Conversely, the populace under a heavy-handed dictator who have no freedom, rarely get to expose their moral and ethical short-comings. To blame capitalism for humanities' flaws is like celebrating a lack of crime on the morality of a brutalized population under tyrannical control.
    I agree with most of what you said except that nobody watches PBS or NPR, that simply isn't true.

    CNN came before the fairness doctrine was removed in 1986 and was indeed much better before it. Compare, for example, the coverage and pressure put on our leaders before the 1991 attack on Iraq with that of what happened in the most recent invasion which was pathetic.

    "Capitalism merely exposes our moral and ethical weaknesses." Which is why we shouldn't rely on it solely. It is a construct like any other. I'll agree that it's feedback can be useful.

    ""if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care," and yet no one is stopping you. No one is preventing you from demanding anything as a consumer. No one is forcing you to demand something as a consumer. Demand is just an expression to define the set of things people want to consume."

    The argument isn't about what I demand as an individual but what we are going to do. Yours is the free market libertarian position which means we do nothing but rely on the aspect of capitalism. I'm pretty sure the argument just stops there for your part...there's nothing more to do. I, however, disagree. The commons exist and we, collectively, are responsible for how they are used. Capitalism doesn't get a free ride.

    ---------- Post added at 01:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:53 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    not a disagreement

    Well, there are ways a parent may wish to focus on religious relevant themes in all subjects of school.

    For example, suppose you were doing a poetry class, and used Curriculum that used bible stories, and poetry in the bible to teach that aspect. There is certainly nothing academically wrong with that. Or history class spending more time on the prominent roll of Christianity, or even minor stuff like a Christians experience of certain historical events.
    The point is that school subjects offer a great opportunity to raise a child in the way that a parent sees fit, and there is no reason that this can't occur or be state facilitated, because the states job is to provide an opportunity for education. While those curriculum would never (and probably should never) be found in a current public school setting, when that "public" part becomes more child specific, any objection to it is really muted. Why not have those included for MY child in a state coarse, if YOUR child doesn't have to participate?
    .
    I wouldn't say those examples couldn't be used as long as they weren't to the exclusion of others such as the poetry example or you weren't substituting fables for historical occurrences, such as Noah's ark. It wouldn't be a problem as to what your child or my child is participating in, rather what the state is participating in where the line would have to be drawn.

    ---------- Post added at 01:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post

    This is where there is maybe a hint of something we don't agree on. As a parent I am responsible for all 24 hours of my child's day. School, Doctors, lawyers... basically any specialist, is an ASSISTANT to my responsibility. I am not sure how you see it, but the language you use seems to imply that the parents don't or shouldn't have a choice in the 6-8 hours of school time. That I would have to reject.
    Other than that, I get your point. I think it at the least doesn't place enough value on the multi tasking available for school time.
    Oh, I agree. You are involved and am sorry if you took that wrong. However, as a part of society in which you have chosen to live you are involved collectively. That is how we do things together, making it easier, and therefore increasing efficiency and output. With that has to be some type of agreement on standards which we do through some type of system of give and take with all of us involved, including myself who has no children and lives on the other side of the country because I have a stake in it too. I pay taxes and those taxes are going to provide those "assistants" to those with children and I also have a say in what I believe will make the good, productive citizens that are surrounding me are. That too, is a collective responsibility we all have and that we all participate in.

    True, you can pick up and go "Mosquito Coast" if you chose, but you haven't. You've chosen to homeschool and there's a lot of reasons people choose to do that.

    ---------- Post added at 01:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:17 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post


    The idea of separation of church and state, is to keep the state from dictating religion to the people. The state has no business teaching your child my religious beliefs.
    In the kind of system I see as possible, and coming soon that simply will not be an issue.
    Your child can learn american history in a completely catholic, atheistic, Hindu curriculum. Whichever you choose for your child. Right next to him, in the same class, or from home miles apart my child can learn the same subject in whatever way I choose and not effect you child. Each of those versions can still teach the fundamental points Columbus sailed the ocean blue.. Washington crossed the Delaware.. etc. So why can't the state approve and provide the material? Here "provide" doesn't mean create, it just means to grade the provided curriculum as "approved" ... so that it counts.

    ___The funds____
    This is really where the rubber meets the road. But in the future, the funds will be going towards the infrastructure, not the curriculum. The cost of Approving a curriculum isn't really a legit reason to say that the most christian way of teaching... math, or history, or art, can't "count" towards an education.
    There may be other issues.. but times are changing and the school system needs to really, really catch up.
    hmm, it's also not to support one religion over the other (atheism isn't a religion).

    But there's a difference between using religious examples and facts about individual's beliefs and religious instruction. For example, I wouldn't see a problem with teaching that the pilgrims believed they were divinely inspired to come and settle in new england but teaching that the foundation of what was to become the united states was the result of biblical prophecy would be religious instruction. Perhaps I'm not explaining it but somewhere in and between there would be the line.

    But I don't see that as any real problem for you at home, is it? You would have your history lesson - talk about the pilgrims and their beliefs - right? Then, ok kids time for religion class like I had in catholic school (which wouldn't use state resources or count towards the curriculum) and then you could instruct them in your religions doctrine. Even if they ran right into one another or one followed the other closely I really don't see a problem there when we acknowledge that homeschooling is somewhat different than the classroom filled with 30 kids, changing books or even rooms or teachers.
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I agree with most of what you said except that nobody watches PBS or NPR, that simply isn't true.

    CNN came before the fairness doctrine was removed in 1986 and was indeed much better before it. Compare, for example, the coverage and pressure put on our leaders before the 1991 attack on Iraq with that of what happened in the most recent invasion which was pathetic.

    "Capitalism merely exposes our moral and ethical weaknesses." Which is why we shouldn't rely on it solely. It is a construct like any other. I'll agree that it's feedback can be useful.

    ""if we are going to "demand" something it should be done with thought and care," and yet no one is stopping you. No one is preventing you from demanding anything as a consumer. No one is forcing you to demand something as a consumer. Demand is just an expression to define the set of things people want to consume."

    The argument isn't about what I demand as an individual but what we are going to do. Yours is the free market libertarian position which means we do nothing but rely on the aspect of capitalism. I'm pretty sure the argument just stops there for your part...there's nothing more to do. I, however, disagree. The commons exist and we, collectively, are responsible for how they are used. Capitalism doesn't get a free ride.

    It is unclear if the Fairness Doctrine was applied to cable news. I really couldn't find much. In the early days of CNN, it didn't offer editorials anyhow, if I recall. It was strictly news. It was the only game in town. It was new and different. In today's climate, it would cease to exist. You offer an example from 1991. The Fairness Doctrine had already been rescinded. The premise of the Fairness Doctrine was limited bandwidth. It is unlikely such a law today would pass Constitutional muster. Again, I just do not see this as a viable option. Furthermore, it does not really solve any problems. I return to my analogy of the well-behavior populations under tortuous dictators.

    What commons are you proposing we protect? People have made choices about what to consume and it seems your primary argument is to take away their choices as though that will make them smarter. You are blaming capitalism, but, again, capitalism does not force people to consume one thing over another. It merely is a vehicle to provide the goods and services people demand. Which vehicle would you like to replace it with? What is your more just solution? Dictatorship? More laws? More regulations? To what end? We can tell everyone what to eat, what to drink, what to watch, when to pray, how much to pray, what to believe... what is your end game? How does this make society better? Just because something is broken, does not mean something can be done to fix it. Yes, I generally hold the libertarian view when it comes to the market place. However, if you propose a reasonable plan to invoke greater civic behavior, I am willing to listen. If all you can do is trot out old ideas with a poor track record and that likely infringe on our rights and liberties, I am probably not inclined to agree with you.
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    I wouldn't say those examples couldn't be used as long as they weren't to the exclusion of others such as the poetry example or you weren't substituting fables for historical occurrences, such as Noah's ark. It wouldn't be a problem as to what your child or my child is participating in, rather what the state is participating in where the line would have to be drawn.
    Well, that would be a can of worms if I were making the decisions for someone else other than my family. As long as it is the parents choice.. i don't see a problem. Teach what one calls a fable and another calls history? I think that conflict is actually pretty small.

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    Oh, I agree. You are involved and am sorry if you took that wrong. However, as a part of society in which you have chosen to live you are involved collectively. That is how we do things together, making it easier, and therefore increasing efficiency and output. With that has to be some type of agreement on standards which we do through some type of system of give and take with all of us involved, including myself who has no children and lives on the other side of the country because I have a stake in it too. I pay taxes and those taxes are going to provide those "assistants" to those with children and I also have a say in what I believe will make the good, productive citizens that are surrounding me are. That too, is a collective responsibility we all have and that we all participate in.

    True, you can pick up and go "Mosquito Coast" if you chose, but you haven't. You've chosen to homeschool and there's a lot of reasons people choose to do that.
    I agree with this, and of course no offense taken. The base standard is highly important.
    For me that is teaching the 3R's
    Reading,Writing,Arithmetic
    I don't really care much for how it is done. Or with what religious bent. If I could I would add "critical thinking" and "American history".
    Other than that, I think the rest is window dressing on an education.

    What are your priorities?

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    hmm, it's also not to support one religion over the other (atheism isn't a religion).
    It is the "one over the other" that simply doesn't apply in a parents choice system. Though I do consider atheism a religion as it is a "world view", where god is the self. That really isn't relevant I think to my point.
    It used to be that the gov couldn't help but pick one over another because it couldn't multi task. Like if the bible was used for reading assignments. All the other religions and atheists could have grounds for being mad. why? Because their child was having another religion implanted at the loss of their own. That simply doesn't have to be a problem anymore. So the objection doesn't or shouldn't apply anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    But there's a difference between using religious examples and facts about individual's beliefs and religious instruction. For example, I wouldn't see a problem with teaching that the pilgrims believed they were divinely inspired to come and settle in new england but teaching that the foundation of what was to become the united states was the result of biblical prophecy would be religious instruction. Perhaps I'm not explaining it but somewhere in and between there would be the line.
    I agree, but that doesn't need to be the case anymore. Again, take the subject of reading. You agree that the bible as a reading assignment could cause issues in the past.. yes?
    The first question is Why (I explained that above)
    the second is, does that objection/problem still apply to what education could be like?

    I say no, what say you?

    Quote Originally Posted by COWBOY
    But I don't see that as any real problem for you at home, is it? You would have your history lesson - talk about the pilgrims and their beliefs - right? Then, ok kids time for religion class like I had in catholic school (which wouldn't use state resources or count towards the curriculum) and then you could instruct them in your religions doctrine. Even if they ran right into one another or one followed the other closely I really don't see a problem there when we acknowledge that homeschooling is somewhat different than the classroom filled with 30 kids, changing books or even rooms or teachers.
    Right, at home it isn't a problem, at school in the past it could be a huge problem.
    I guess my point is that in the future the public system needs to look more like the homeschooling system. There really isn't any excuse for it not to be. It would be cheaper, more person to person, and more accommodating of the parents core beliefs. Just look at a book of all the available curriculum out there. As long as it meets the core requirements (3rs or any other agreed standard) there is no reason to exclude any of them.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    This is based on a true story. My son is in the seventh grade. He is taking history which I believe is World History. He has spent the past 2 weeks or so studying Islam. Ok. Fine. So, they teach him about Muhammed. Ok. Fine. What did they teach you about him I ask. He came from a poverty. Was exiled from his homeland because of his beliefs. He started a religion of peace. Wow! Um. It has been a long time since I read Muhammed's story, but I remember details quite a bit differently.

    For one. He came from a fairly wealthy family and he was not poor. I remember his family even had ties to the government. His family consisted of merchants and government types. He married the wealthiest woman in Mecca and inherited her money when she died. My son did not get this part of the story. He began hearing voices and claimed he was speaking with god. He was exiled from Mecca after his wife died, I think in part because he probably was a raving lunatic. Now, my son was taught about how Muhammed taught peace. This is super interesting because, by all accounts, after blowing his inheritance, he gained back his wealth through piracy and by waging wars. I mean, this was nothing peaceful about it. He remarried to no less than nine wives and had a separate house for each. There is nothing which indicates hardship about his life after leaving Mecca. My son is being fed a bunch of crap. Now, I saw his lesson and he's being taught the five pillars of Islam. I don't know what they are. It is a fine thing to learn from a historical perspective. However, I asked my son, how about the 10 Commandments? Did he have to learn those? Nope! So, this is the problem when we assert that government should be teaching things to some sort of national standard. They do not accommodate the views, ethics, and morals of the communities where the lessons are being taught. More importantly, there is little recourse when instruction is found to be misleading or even flat out wrong. This is one reason I tend to rail against increased centralized power.

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  21. #16
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    It is unclear if the Fairness Doctrine was applied to cable news. I really couldn't find much. In the early days of CNN, it didn't offer editorials anyhow, if I recall. It was strictly news. It was the only game in town. It was new and different. In today's climate, it would cease to exist. You offer an example from 1991. The Fairness Doctrine had already been rescinded. The premise of the Fairness Doctrine was limited bandwidth. It is unlikely such a law today would pass Constitutional muster. Again, I just do not see this as a viable option. Furthermore, it does not really solve any problems. I return to my analogy of the well-behavior populations under tortuous dictators.
    Which was the point that if you were going to do the news it had to be the strictly news and if you offered comment it had to provide fair and balanced coverage within the program or channel. Not between networks as is now claimed for you had one network reporting the news CNN and along comes Fox that now says with its "commentary" that it is offering the "balance" to that and calling news and facts the liberal side. That took time to develop and I'd argue that it hadn't come into its own until Bill Clinton was elected. Then the dream (I believe it was Ailes') of a "GOP television" first envisioned in the 70s came into being. Of course, the fairness doctrine had to be killed first and Reagan did the perfect job of that.

    I'm not sure how it limited bandwith in 1986. Cable was on the rise and there wasn't any (viable) internet as I recall...what I did have certainly didn't have pictures yet. Yuck, I'm old.

    ---------- Post added at 04:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    What commons are you proposing we protect? People have made choices about what to consume and it seems your primary argument is to take away their choices as though that will make them smarter. You are blaming capitalism, but, again, capitalism does not force people to consume one thing over another. It merely is a vehicle to provide the goods and services people demand. Which vehicle would you like to replace it with? What is your more just solution? Dictatorship? More laws? More regulations? To what end? We can tell everyone what to eat, what to drink, what to watch, when to pray, how much to pray, what to believe... what is your end game? How does this make society better? Just because something is broken, does not mean something can be done to fix it. Yes, I generally hold the libertarian view when it comes to the market place. However, if you propose a reasonable plan to invoke greater civic behavior, I am willing to listen. If all you can do is trot out old ideas with a poor track record and that likely infringe on our rights and liberties, I am probably not inclined to agree with you.
    I am not blaming capitalism, I believe we've agreed on its aspects. I'm pointing out that your system relies on capitalism solely which is a human construct like any other with its benefits and flaws. Nor did I say it needed to replaced. "Just because something is broken, does not mean something can be done to fix it. Yes, I generally hold the libertarian view when it comes to the market place. However, if you propose a reasonable plan to invoke greater civic behavior, I am willing to listen." ===> That's exactly it and what the discussion seems to be about. I'm glad we agree.

    What I disagree with is the "old ideas with a poor track record". Your argument has been that ratings and profit indicate who is doing the best at providing the news, no?

    I'd argue that anywhere an industry operates over structures we all own in common - airwaves, bandwith, etc. - that requirements such that if you are going to provide the news it must be done comprehensively, are not unconstitutional. I can't, for example, buy channel 4 here in Boston and just start transmitting porn over it - though it would probably be highly profitable.

    ---------- Post added at 04:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:09 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I agree with this, and of course no offense taken. The base standard is highly important.
    For me that is teaching the 3R's
    Reading,Writing,Arithmetic
    I don't really care much for how it is done. Or with what religious bent. If I could I would add "critical thinking" and "American history".
    Other than that, I think the rest is window dressing on an education.

    What are your priorities?
    I think we pretty much agree and that makes me happy. The rest really is just details about some we probably disagree but I believe if we are all truly participating and listening through an honest discussion those could be ironed out.

    ---------- Post added at 04:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:23 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    This is based on a true story. My son is in the seventh grade. He is taking history which I believe is World History. He has spent the past 2 weeks or so studying Islam. Ok. Fine. So, they teach him about Muhammed. Ok. Fine. What did they teach you about him I ask. He came from a poverty. Was exiled from his homeland because of his beliefs. He started a religion of peace. Wow! Um. It has been a long time since I read Muhammed's story, but I remember details quite a bit differently.

    For one. He came from a fairly wealthy family and he was not poor. I remember his family even had ties to the government. His family consisted of merchants and government types. He married the wealthiest woman in Mecca and inherited her money when she died. My son did not get this part of the story. He began hearing voices and claimed he was speaking with god. He was exiled from Mecca after his wife died, I think in part because he probably was a raving lunatic. Now, my son was taught about how Muhammed taught peace. This is super interesting because, by all accounts, after blowing his inheritance, he gained back his wealth through piracy and by waging wars. I mean, this was nothing peaceful about it. He remarried to no less than nine wives and had a separate house for each. There is nothing which indicates hardship about his life after leaving Mecca. My son is being fed a bunch of crap. Now, I saw his lesson and he's being taught the five pillars of Islam. I don't know what they are. It is a fine thing to learn from a historical perspective. However, I asked my son, how about the 10 Commandments? Did he have to learn those? Nope! So, this is the problem when we assert that government should be teaching things to some sort of national standard. They do not accommodate the views, ethics, and morals of the communities where the lessons are being taught. More importantly, there is little recourse when instruction is found to be misleading or even flat out wrong. This is one reason I tend to rail against increased centralized power.
    I would hope a comprehensive world history course would also contain historical and political developments of Christianity. For example, the council of Nicaea. Did they cover Constantine? The growth of christianity under the roman empire? The debate over the divinity of christ? Later on they would get to the reformation and all of its social and political ramifications.

    I'd be interested in seeing that lesson plan. Ask his teacher for it.
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  23. #17
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    This is based on a true story. My son is in the seventh grade. He is taking history which I believe is World History. He has spent the past 2 weeks or so studying Islam. Ok. Fine. So, they teach him about Muhammed. Ok. Fine. What did they teach you about him I ask. He came from a poverty. Was exiled from his homeland because of his beliefs. He started a religion of peace. Wow! Um. It has been a long time since I read Muhammed's story, but I remember details quite a bit differently.
    Wow, ya, that is some serious white washing. I suppose its fine if they are putting it firmly in the context of "this is what muslims claim" rather than "this is the accepted historical coincensus of mohamad's life". Every religion has their whitewashed heroes and mystical history. Mohamad is not really a historical figure beyond his role in the foundation of Islam much like Jesus was not a historical figure in the political or literary world. (which tend to be the only kinds of figures anceint history has much record of)

    ---------- Post added at 11:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:17 AM ----------

    This is a fantastic thread by the way!

    Prolog: Is it really that bad?
    I just want to question whether or not democracy is really so broken as people make out. I've been traveling around the country for the last year and am getting an ever increasing look at the American landscape and American life. And while I can't call it a deep dive, it's reafirmed a couple views I've had. One is that America is doing pretty well over all. The other is that people tend to get worked up about anything they deem to be a problem that needs fixing.

    Democracy is not perfect nor will it ever be so. All socieities take some steps back and steps forward as they adapt to the ever changing needs of society and the demands of their environment. Personally looking back over my life of the last 45 years, I mostly see things constantly getting better. American society is less intolerant and crewel than it was when I was young. It is a lot richer and more powerful. We have far more information and far less ignorance than when I was a kid. More people are engaged in civic matters than ever before. Art and science have made incredible leaps and bounds all this time. The air and water are far cleaner than when I was a kid. We no longer talk as often about the immanent destruction of all mankind due to nuclear appocalyps. We still have wars but they are no longer on the kind of scale that we say in the two world wars. Many nations have come up out of abject poverty.

    For my money, America and the whole world have improved dramatically from when I was a kid, a teen, and a young adult. There is lots more to do, many challenges to overcome, but we are working on them. I think this thread is a great example of sharp minds trying to tackle difficult challenges.

    So, lets look at those challenges...
    1) Citizens have shown little interest in news and are more interested in entertainment.
    I'd say this has probably been true so long as life is relatively comfortable and prosperous. Secuiring food, shelter and sex, we all will gravitate towards entertainment of some kind. I think the only thing you can do is instill in people a civic virtue in being informed and participating in civic discource. We do that to a degree. I think we could do better on teaching research skills (constantly neeeding to update that cariculum) and critical thinking. Especially be reinforcing those skills through out school. Its definately part of what I was taught and I hope not uncommon, but you can always keep working at it.
    2) The media has chosen to forgo news in favor of delivering entertainment.
    I had a long rant on this in the clinton thread. Basically capitalist news sources will always work this way. And really, they always have to some extent. The number one thing we can do is to pay for our media sources directly instead of relying on advertising to pay for them. Public funding has a place, but really it only serves to create the media, not to get people to listen to it. Private funding is probably better, though again that can have a kind of corruption.

    I think anyone who wants to find good information in this day and age can find it. The problem remains #1. You can build it, but will they watch/read it? That said, there is plenty of good journalism out there still, its just that it gets drouned out by a lot of the crap journalism. Same goes with good informational programing. Always sad when the History chanel is showing ancient aliens and crap of that nature. They have some good history programs, its just that the **** shows are more profitable/popular.

    3) Politicians have seized upon this trend and chosen to either represent issues via obscure legislation, via appointed agencies, and via propositions.
    Again, I think the populace tends to punish any bold thinking and action. I kind of like propositions but you make some great points about their weaknesses. In some respects the voters push them into these situations, in others, I agree they just act cowardly and purly out of self interest to get elected again.

    I do think we have a kind of political echo chamber that acts like a resonant frequency in that each cycle makes the next one worse. Politicians rally support by creating "bad guys" and the populas thus becomes very polorized and partisan. In return any politician wanting to compromise must face the wrath of the populace they stolked into sucha a frenzy in the first place. I don't know that this is new, and in a way, the more peaceful and prosperous we are, the more these kinds of politics tend to arize. When there are genuince imanent crisis, we tend to come to some agreement to deal with them.

    What is worse, political gridlock due to invented differences, or actual crisis? Peraonally I think the invented problems are better to have than the real ones.

    For my part, every day I try to bring some understanding between differnet viewpoints. I try to put conservitives int he shoes of livberals and vicer versa so they can see they are not mortal enemies or aliens or what have you. Just people with different backgrounds and challenges but some comon ideals and needs. Sometimes I just get the ire of both sides, sometimes I get people to soften their rhetoric and I take that for a win.
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  24. #18
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post

    I'd say this has probably been true so long as life is relatively comfortable and prosperous. Secuiring food, shelter and sex, we all will gravitate towards entertainment of some kind. I think the only thing you can do is instill in people a civic virtue in being informed and participating in civic discource. We do that to a degree. I think we could do better on teaching research skills (constantly neeeding to update that cariculum) and critical thinking. Especially be reinforcing those skills through out school. Its definately part of what I was taught and I hope not uncommon, but you can always keep working at it.


    I had a long rant on this in the clinton thread. Basically capitalist news sources will always work this way. And really, they always have to some extent. The number one thing we can do is to pay for our media sources directly instead of relying on advertising to pay for them. Public funding has a place, but really it only serves to create the media, not to get people to listen to it. Private funding is probably better, though again that can have a kind of corruption.

    I think anyone who wants to find good information in this day and age can find it. The problem remains #1. You can build it, but will they watch/read it? That said, there is plenty of good journalism out there still, its just that it gets drouned out by a lot of the crap journalism. Same goes with good informational programing. Always sad when the History chanel is showing ancient aliens and crap of that nature. They have some good history programs, its just that the **** shows are more profitable/popular.

    The problem I have with this analysis is what exactly are we calling journalism? Journalism is a thing, it has rules and ethics. True, you can have good and bad journalists but they operate within some type of structure...there are sources for facts and information and those sources can be checked. The Limbaugh Show, O'Reilly Factor, The Dailey Show are not journalism no more than the National Enquirer is. It'd be like calling Ghosthunters scientific inquiry. And I agree liberals have been looking to get in on this game (mistakenly, I believe) in an effort to counter it. But Fox "News" has been lauded as the counter to the "main stream media" or the "liberal media" and I often have to conclude that they are indeed being offered as the counter to what is defined as journalism.

    Which is where the problem lies.
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    The problem I have with this analysis is what exactly are we calling journalism? Journalism is a thing, it has rules and ethics. True, you can have good and bad journalists but they operate within some type of structure...there are sources for facts and information and those sources can be checked. The Limbaugh Show, O'Reilly Factor, The Dailey Show are not journalism no more than the National Enquirer is. It'd be like calling Ghosthunters scientific inquiry. And I agree liberals have been looking to get in on this game (mistakenly, I believe) in an effort to counter it. But Fox "News" has been lauded as the counter to the "main stream media" or the "liberal media" and I often have to conclude that they are indeed being offered as the counter to what is defined as journalism.
    Well, its kind of abotu intent. If you intend to give your audience accurate verifiable information about the world they live in, then it's journalism. If you don't care if what you say is true and don't work to verify its truth, you are not doing journalism.

    I've watched Fox on rare occasions. Sometimes they do journalims there, or at least news reporting. Other times, lots of other times, they are just full of **** and are only "reporting" something they saw somwehre else without doing the lightest bit of verification on their own. They get caught in this pretty often. http://www.mintpressnews.com/pants-o...y-lies/205563/ This article shows just how bad they are.
    THough apparently they are the most trusted by the american public https://www.qu.edu/news-and-events/q...ReleaseID=2173 Which goes to show you how stupid / uninformed much of the American public happens to be.

    According to this survey http://www.poynter.org/2012/survey-n...formed/174826/ , if you want to be well informed, listen to NPR, that or people who are already well informed tend to listen to NPR. Also funny, watching Fox news is worse than watching no news at all!
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    Re: Repesentative Democracy Is Broken

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Which was the point that if you were going to do the news it had to be the strictly news and if you offered comment it had to provide fair and balanced coverage within the program or channel. Not between networks as is now claimed for you had one network reporting the news CNN and along comes Fox that now says with its "commentary" that it is offering the "balance" to that and calling news and facts the liberal side. That took time to develop and I'd argue that it hadn't come into its own until Bill Clinton was elected. Then the dream (I believe it was Ailes') of a "GOP television" first envisioned in the 70s came into being. Of course, the fairness doctrine had to be killed first and Reagan did the perfect job of that.
    I am not sure you understand the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine never said comment had to be fair. Just balanced. It never put a measure on quality. What happened was that opinion or news/entertainment shows were not feasible for the networks. The Doctrine tended to be applied in a partisan manner based on whomever was running government. If you were doing news, you still had to be balanced per the Doctrine. I mean, in today's world how would one cover a Black Lives Matters event? It is not cut and dry, black and white. You are turning this into a conservative v. liberal thread which just tells me (and everyone else reading) how simple minded you can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I'm not sure how it limited bandwith in 1986. Cable was on the rise and there wasn't any (viable) internet as I recall...what I did have certainly didn't have pictures yet. Yuck, I'm old.
    The Fairness Doctrine's existence is due to bandwidth issues. It began in 1920 because a few outlets controlled the airwaves. These airwaves were leased from the govt and there were rules stipulated. The Fairness Doctrine came in response to the feeling that certain views were getting shut off from the public by those controlling the media. Valid concerns in 1920 and through the 50's. By the 60's and 70's technology had opened up the amount of available bandwidth. Furthermore, it had come to light that various administrations (Nixon and Kennedy) had used the Fairness Doctrine to limit opposing views or to drown them out with "balanced" discourse. There were complaints from the networks and shows were canceled due to the difficulty in adhering to the Fairness Doctrine. By the 1980's, with the rise of cable, there was no shortage of voices and the Constitutionality of the Fairness Doctrine was being questioned. You actually conceded this when you noted that in 1986 cable opened up available bandwidth. Ultimately, it was rescinded and viewed as obsolete. More recently, liberals have tried to resurrect it because of their inability to compete with a lone media outlet, FoxNews. This, though, is a partisan action and has no bearing on the topic at hand. It will not strengthen our democracy. It will not result in a more informed public. As I stated before, what it will achieve is more shows on celebrity and cooking.


    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I am not blaming capitalism, I believe we've agreed on its aspects. I'm pointing out that your system relies on capitalism solely which is a human construct like any other with its benefits and flaws. Nor did I say it needed to replaced. "Just because something is broken, does not mean something can be done to fix it. Yes, I generally hold the libertarian view when it comes to the market place. However, if you propose a reasonable plan to invoke greater civic behavior, I am willing to listen." ===> That's exactly it and what the discussion seems to be about. I'm glad we agree.

    What I disagree with is the "old ideas with a poor track record". Your argument has been that ratings and profit indicate who is doing the best at providing the news, no?
    Please, and this is bothersome since you have now repeated it twice, show me where I have stated ratings/profit are related to quality. I have noted that capitalism defines our demands and results in a marketplace which meets those demands. Quality and quantity are not the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I'd argue that anywhere an industry operates over structures we all own in common - airwaves, bandwith, etc. - that requirements such that if you are going to provide the news it must be done comprehensively, are not unconstitutional. I can't, for example, buy channel 4 here in Boston and just start transmitting porn over it - though it would probably be highly profitable.
    I don't entirely disagree with you. If bandwidth is considered part of the commons and media outlets lease this bandwidth, then they must operate under a specific set of rules. This is what the FCC does. However, it does not mean the FCC can (or should) create any rule it pleases. Rules which subject the media to partisan scrutiny that could be construed as limiting the right to speak out against the government must be avoided. So, while it is nice to say news must be comprehensive, this is a really subjective requirement and very easily abused.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I think we pretty much agree and that makes me happy. The rest really is just details about some we probably disagree but I believe if we are all truly participating and listening through an honest discussion those could be ironed out.
    I concur. We both believe democracy is broken but we definitely disagree on what is required to correct it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I would hope a comprehensive world history course would also contain historical and political developments of Christianity. For example, the council of Nicaea. Did they cover Constantine? The growth of christianity under the roman empire? The debate over the divinity of christ? Later on they would get to the reformation and all of its social and political ramifications.

    I'd be interested in seeing that lesson plan. Ask his teacher for it.
    So, far, this is the only part of the course which appears to deal directly with one of the monotheistic religions. I'm probably going to have to have a talk with the teacher.
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