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#0: 11-10-2016 @ 08:23:05 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13854#13854

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Let me kick this off by explaining why I am starting this thread.   If you read the date on this post you'll notice I'm starting this 2 days after a rather divisive person was elected the next President of the United States.  I'm opening the post now because I want to accomplish two major goals.

The first of those goals is to make it clear that politics is an acceptable topic of discussion in the group.  Why?  Because we are all, without exception, adults.  The real world is important, we all have power over the future of our nation (be it US or Canada based on who is reading this) so being informed and informing each other is productive.  Some of us I'm sure are also very terrified and worried about the outcome of the election.  You might want to know that you have friends you can discuss these fears or concerns with and I want those of us who are willing to be there for you to be able to do so.

However I do have a second goal because I also want to make something else abundantly clear. The larger this group becomes the more it is GROSSLY INAPPROPRIATE for you to act as if everyone here shares your political leanings.  We are not eight people who all went to the same college and graduated from it anymore.  We have 16 active users ranging from 20s to 30s, male and female, white and non-white, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Atheist and Agnostic,  we live in two different countries, and among those living in the USA we're spread across no less than 4 states, with origins leading back to at least 2 more.  It is literally impossible for us to share the exact same views on everything. 

It is my hope that because 16 is still a pretty small number, and we're all adults, that I don't have to make a "no more politics" policy on the forums or on our voice chat channels.  It is my hope that I can open up a thread like this and people can express their concerns, fears, comments, etc, while being respectful of the idea that someone else reading might be on the opposite side of the fence.  So please try to be respectful of others at all times.   This doesn't just apply here though in fact it is doubly important on Voice Chat.  If someone is playing a game and another person joins Voice Lobby and immediately starts ranting off political commentary that inflames you, you can't just leave channel as easily as they can. The game you are playing might stop you from being able to escape until the match is over, and demand so much of your attention that you cannot hold complex discourse.   Storming into Voice Lobby and immediately talking as if everyone must hold your same view on something political is a great way to accidentally offend others here and you should be careful of it.

Now that said, I'm willing to hold a vote (with the vote collection point being this topic thread).  If people would rather this community be a "safe place" from having to hear about politics at all, I am willing to accept that, but if I do that it must apply across the board.  We have historically been a pretty liberal leaning group, but again we've grown to a point where it is not safe for you to assume that being offensive to non-liberals is acceptable behavior, so if I make this a "no politics zone" it needs to apply to everyone and all views.    This isn't my preference, but I'm willing to do it if I'm out voted or if we end up having problems in the groups dynamic because of it.

One final note, because it's sadly 2016 and I feel like I have to make it:  We should be respectful of each other, but "respect" is different from "being accepting of lies and misinformation."  Having a difference of opinion is one thing, but this last year has been full of people refuting proven, on record facts and statements and then trying to defend themselves by calling said recorded facts as lies.  If you can't accept facts, then get out of this topic.

Also, much like any other topic on this forum, participation is completely optional. You don't have to post here or read anything posted here.

Does that all sound good?  Let me know.

This post was edited by machvergil on November 10, 2016, 11:27 am


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#1: 11-10-2016 @ 04:37:12 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13863#13863

St00fSt00f

  • Real Name:Steph
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I think we're all adults, as you've stated, and should be able to have a conversation.  I also think that there may be people out there who need time/more time to come to grips with what is currently happening in America.  I don't think any of us are unreasonable people, and we certainly have folks who will play devil's advocate (though none come close to Steve in that regard, in my opinion), but as long as we all realize that everyone is entitled to an opinion and not everyone might share that opinion, I think we'll be ok.

People can be considerate and avoid talking politics if there's a number of people who don't want to discuss it -- the reasons for not discussing politics are many, and can range from things hitting too close to home to simply being burnt out on the topic.  I also think that if there are people who would like to talk about politics, they should be able to.  I'm sure the separation out into different chat rooms for game night will alleviate some of the fears that some may have of a night of fun turning into a giant bitch fest.

I am (as you may imagine) dismayed by the results of the election.  I am 90% sure that I can have a civilized discussion about what is going on and what things may actually happen over the next 4-8 years (the 10% I'll give as a buffer depending on how the rest of my day has gone/how hungry I am/how much my knee is hurting/how much other government stuff I've had to deal with that day/etc.).  I am concerned about the rhetoric that was spouted prior to now, but am taking a close look at what is actually going on, trying to figure out what can and actually will happen.

TL;DR I can see wanting to talk and not wanting to talk about politics, I think we're mature enough to have a civilized discussion, I am willing to talk if people want to talk, and let's everyone agree to be reasonable, respectful humans about this.


Canadians are my favorite mythological creature.
#2: 11-10-2016 @ 07:30:37 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13864#13864

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

Misharum Kittum Photo.
  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Well, to get the politics rolling. Here's an NPR article detailing what Trump wants to do in his first 100 days.


Justice and Truth
#3: 11-10-2016 @ 08:12:47 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13865#13865

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

Welp, good thing we weren't depending on Kitty getting hired into the State Department anytime super soon.

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

I somehow doubt this will go through.  It's honestly not a good idea for the American people.  It means that your congresspeople will always be rookies, they will never become used to the system or stay long enough to build connections with other leaders from other states.  It will also allow them to do what term limited State Congressfolks are able to do in Michigan:  Get in, cause a fuck ton of damage for selfish gain, and then be gone before you can be held accountable since you couldn't have been re-elected anyway.    I'm hoping that even a GOP lead Congress can see how bad that is for their own careers. 

* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAHA

AHAHAHA

... oh shit you're serious...

Look uh... heh.. heh.. this isn't even close to how international visa programs work.  The response from any country he does this to is going to be to cancel American visas right back.  Trumps' own big business interests are going to find it very hard to get anything done internationally the more of that happens. I'm not an expert on this subject but I have a feeling this is going to backfire so fast he and his cabinet will regret it.

Also it's been discussed a lot over the last 10 years how logistically impossible it is to mass deport that many people.  Nothing is said about he's going to pay for that.  I mean really think about it:  think about how hard it would be to pay for moving 2 million people to fucking anywhere in the world? Even assuming they're all Mexicans or other Central American citizens, that ain't cheep.    And if he thinks he's going to convince the "offending nations" to pay for it, again not how foreign policy works. 

 

School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

Hmm.  That might implicate my industry in a big way.  It's hard to say right now if it'd be a windfall or a pain though.  On the one hand Common Core has brought us a lot of clients, but on the other hand it has also put us under a lot of political fire due to its critics for decisions we have nothing to do with.  If the removal of Common Core results in those states who use it wanting to stick with us for their state-wide tests, then my industry might expand.  If on the other hand the States see that as a result to pull back from digital test, or state-wide standardized testing in general, then my industry might get hit real hard. 

 

Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.

Boo.  I don't feel qualified to say more than that, but "Boo."

End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

My god he actually is serious.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

This is going to destroy his Administration.  I mean it won't even take 100 days for this to fail.  What is he going to tell the American People when Mexico doesn't fork over the money for this wall that NO ONE in Texas or Mexico Wants?  That he's going to raise our taxes to pay for it?  

Like okay guys I know we're all scared, and we should be, but like... this shit is policy now?  Really?  In what fictional world will any of this work?  He's President, not god.  Even if he was dictator of the nation he still couldn't make other countries dance to his tune. 

What an idiot. 


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#4: 11-11-2016 @ 06:12:44 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13870#13870

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Okay here's what I've been saying to a few other folks and I want to repeat it here.  These are the things I'm saying to myself to stay functional after the results.

  1. The United States of America has elected Populist leaders before and has endured.  This is not the end of our country.
  2. Just because Trump is President doesn't suddenly make him Despot.  Our country has checks and balances, we have to believe our Congress and Supreme Court will save us from anything truly insane he proposes.  Our predecessors have, we can too.
  3. Even with a GOP Congress at his back, there are many GOP leaders who have shown they don't agree with Trump's policies at best, and downright hate him at worst.  There are some things I'm sure they will work together to pass, but I honestly believe even a GOP Congress will not let him get away with his craziest policies because it will eventually reflect on their party and cause them to lose support.
  4. Bigotry, Violence, and Hate Crimes are still crimes. That didn't stop 11/8/2016.  Remind your fellow Americans that - Trump's election was not a Blank Check for white power citizens to get away with whatever they want.  Those of us who are their targets - the Muslims and the Hispanics and Women - report crime when you see it.  Those of us who are not in their crosshairs: call them out on their bullshit.  Tell those bigots this isn't their country.  Tell them they are the ones not welcome here.  

Thanks. 

Bonus: When you meet Trump supporters, share with them news of how he's not fulfilling his promises. Things like how his transition team contains a bunch of "Washington Insiders" despite claiming he was going to "Drain the Swamp."

This post was edited by machvergil on November 11, 2016, 9:47 am


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#5: 11-11-2016 @ 06:53:31 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13873#13873

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

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  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

To be fair on his first 100 days thing, I did see someone say on Reddit that that list was drawn up before the election took place. So how much it reflects his actual first 100 days plan we don't know.


Justice and Truth
#6: 11-11-2016 @ 10:01:58 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13875#13875

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Thanks Colbert

Also NPR did this fact check on the first 100 days plan.

This post was edited by machvergil on November 11, 2016, 1:12 pm


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#7: 11-11-2016 @ 10:33:16 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13876#13876

St00fSt00f

  • Real Name:Steph
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Prepare yourselves for the wall of text below (being a government employee, today is a holiday, and thank you veteran's for your service to our country).

As Tim said, this was released in October, before he was elected, and who knows how much of it will actually trickle down into the plans for his first 100 days or first year in office.

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

A thing about this point, and regarding Adam's concerns -- personally, I think reasonable term limits would be a good thing, as it would hopefully put a bit of a damper on the "must raise money to get re-elected" machine that Congress currently is, and if everyone was term limited, I think you might have less of a problem than you currently see in places like Michigan, where you have term-limited folks having to try to work with non-term-limited folks.  Eventually the old, entrenched, have-the-backing-of-all-of-the-fucking-lobbyists would cycle out and you could have people who actually reflect the makeup of our country making decisions for our country.  Senators have 6 year terms, Reps have 2 -- put a cap so that, say, no senator or representative could serve more than 30 years (5 terms for senator, 15 for reps) and that's probably good.  Might even be close to the rate that people currently burn out at.  Or make it less!

This term limit thing also goes hand in hand with this:

* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;

Because what seems to happen now is that either people get elected for unlimited terms and nothing changes until they finally retire/die, or people get elected, cozy up to whatever big business is pumping money into their campaign, pass a bunch of legislation that is beneficial to that business, and then leave government to work in the private sector at a cush gig for that business.  No conflict of interest there!

Right now, term limits don't work in the people's favor because not everyone is term limited.  Make everyone have to play by the same rules and then you can (potentially) have people who actually want to make a difference get into office and work with both sides of the country to come to some sort of agreement, as opposed to having extremely right- or left-wing legislation get tossed around.  The headbutting that goes on between the 2 major parties is infuriating, because it really seems that they are disagreeing with each other because they are in the other party, not because of what is actually being proposed as far as budget/legislation.  Seems like the whole reason my stupid state didn't have a budget for 2015 is not that the parties couldn't come to an agreement, but rather that either side refused to compromise and blamed it on the other.  GAH.

These two things will probably never happen because Congress is not going to cut off the hand that feeds it, and while they don't like how things are, no one is willing to even consider how to make it different because that would mean possibly losing the backing of their party, their elected office, and their livelihood. 

School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

Common Core sucks.  Standardized testing is a joke.  Charter schools are for profit, not for education.  The education system needs fixing, and doing away with Common Core is probably a start, but what teachers need is a living fucking wage and resources.  No one seems to get that.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.

The keyword being "REPLACE".  None of the fuckers in Washington NO ONE has an idea about what to replace the ACA with, they just know they want it gone because "Obama".  Healthcare is so fucked up in this country that I don't know what we're going to do about, but yanking insurance away from people is not the answer.

Restoring National Security Act. ...; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice;...

The VA system is a single payer system, and it doesn't work.  Allowing veterans to seek out more convenient doctors would be good.  How that fits under "National Security"......I got nothing there.

Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.

....that doesn't actually seem so bad.  Childcare is a huge drain on families, and providing affordable options might mean people don't have to abandon careers because it's cheaper to lose an income out of a dual-income home than it is to put a baby in daycare.

NPR put up a fact-checked version of the Trump's first 100 days thing.  Doesn't hit every point, but is worth a read. (EDIT: Adam already posted a link, but that was while I was typing this monstrosity).

In other news, some hope for Planned Parenthood funding (if it doesn't get squashed before the end of the year).  An opinion piece written back in April seemed to have some hope that this whole stupid Supreme Court Justice blocking thing could be circumvented, but as nothing has happened yet, I doubt the legitimacy of the original thought.

Trump has the potential to cause huge problems for minorities, LGBTQIA, and any other underprivileged groups, especially in states where the far-right, pro-white agenda has its hooks in.  As someone who likely will not be affected by many of the policies that target these vulnerable groups (being white, well-educated, and well-paid), I feel compelled to do what I can to get people into the government that will make sure these harmful legislations do not pass.  We have two years before the midterm elections, and there are likely local elections that happen in the interim.  We need to become involved in our political process, not really for us, but for the people who speak but aren't heard.  Basically my job currently is to speak for those without a voice, now I just need to do it outside of the office.

Also maybe Kitty should run for president.  She's levelheaded and religious, so appeals to both sides!

This post was edited by St00f on November 11, 2016, 1:38 pm


Canadians are my favorite mythological creature.
#8: 11-11-2016 @ 11:01:23 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13877#13877

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

A thing about this point, and regarding Adam's concerns -- personally, I think reasonable term limits would be a good thing, as it would hopefully put a bit of a damper on the "must raise money to get re-elected" machine that Congress currently is, and if everyone was term limited, I think you might have less of a problem than you currently see in places like Michigan, where you have term-limited folks having to try to work with non-term-limited folks.  Eventually the old, entrenched, have-the-backing-of-all-of-the-fucking-lobbyists would cycle out and you could have people who actually reflect the makeup of our country making decisions for our country.  Senators have 6 year terms, Reps have 2 -- put a cap so that, say, no senator or representative could serve more than 30 years (5 terms for senator, 15 for reps) and that's probably good.  Might even be close to the rate that people currently burn out at.  Or make it less!

From what I've observed, having to get re-elected is the only thing that keeps politicians honest. Without the threat of Job Security elections provide there is no reason they wouldn't do whatever their special interests (or selfish interests in the case of politicians who are also wealthy business owners) tell them to do because they won't have to pay any consequences for it because they're done anyway. You see this with US Presidents often getting more bold during their "Lame Duck Year," and it's often why they hold off on Pardons until then.  

I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I'm not convinced either. 

And I think it's pretty clear that Congress isn't going to pass it anyway so it doesn't much matter. 


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#9: 11-11-2016 @ 11:10:06 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=13878#13878

St00fSt00f

  • Real Name:Steph
  • Joined:2010-01-22

True, if they don't have to get re-elected, they're not necessarily going to do what their constituents want, though currently they listen to the needs of the constituents that donate (rich white folks), so it's not like it really helps in the long run.  If you prevent them from getting jobs with companies that back them (so they don't feel compelled to push legislation through that benefits that business), that may help with the "honesty" thing. 

Politics is a mess, so I can see wanting to clean house and start with someone who "isn't a politician".  Surprised Michigan went for it, what with all the luck they've had with outsider Snyder.


Canadians are my favorite mythological creature.

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