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  1. Credence2 profile image79
    Credence2posted 13 months ago

    That phrase came up a lot in some of my military boot camp training.

    In the political world, there is an alternate meaning.

    My brother and I had another of our periodic political discussions.

    While he is left, he is more "black left".

    He would have been satisfied with a Harris, Klobuchar, Biden, Bloomberg etc. with the ultimate goal of leaving the "system" in tact, just wanting a larger crumb from what we have been receiving. He resisted Trump and the Republicans primarily for race related reasons, while my dislike includes that and yet is much broader.

    Well, I asked him to entertain a parable. There are these little treadmills on the floor immediately beneath a table filled to the brim with a Thanksgiving feast of bounty, with all the fixings, you know.

    These mice, black and white, were running on their treadmills to near death in exchange for a crumb that falls from the table of bounty. While the white mice traditionally received the larger crumb and they knew it, they were willing to fight the black mice to be certain that they continued to received the larger share, yet none of the mice really knew what was at the top of the table cloth. And from the standpoint of the oligarch, fighting mice won't have time to concern themselves with climbing the tablecloth. My brother was satisfied with just a larger crumb.

    I, on the other hand wanted to climb to the top of the table, to find the source of the crumbs and challenged the oligarchs in charge of the table as to their right to the bounty and if "crumbs" were a fair exchange for the effort of the mice, below. Who were they afraid of, how are they held accountable for their behavior? In my indignation, I was willing to touch the eyeball of "God". In this status quo system, that is "rocking the boat".

    No mouse can be allowed see the top of the table and live. He might well share information with the others below and that would generate questions, etc...Who would have thought that the great and powerful "Wizard of Oz" was no more than an old man pulling levers and operating controls behind a curtain? Or, much like that conflict between reality and facade, found in "The Matrix" series of films.

    The only candidates that were going the direction that I believe was needed were Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But, because they were the kind of "mice" who dared to want to see the top of the table, they had to be dispensed with forthwith, politically, of course.

    As I am the most left leaning person left in the forum, I missed my former comrade in arms, "Pretty Panther". I must take my tack to many of these matters on my own.

    I respect all of your views but for obvious reasons I cannot agree with them all. Now, you know where I stand and the foundation for that stand. I trust that all of you can be equally as candid.

    I express pride in being among the  "Last of the Mohicans", a genuine West Coast Liberal.

    1. peterstreep profile image81
      peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      There is another problem here.
      Personally, I don't blame the oligarchs. And my goal is not to reach the table and have a good word with them.
      To me the problem is the treadmill itself. The economic system that's based on the wrong principles.
      I have not heard the term black left, which sounds like an accusation.
      To me red as in socialism is an old story.
      I see myself as green, not red.
      To me, the main problem in the economic system is not that it widens the gap between the rich and the poor but that it is ruining the planet we are living on.
      The economic system we live in today is a system based upon a growth economy. The myth is that companies have to grow and expand and produce every year more.
      This is an economy that ruins the resources of the earth and ruins it too with its waste products. (the phone of yesteryear, the plastic wraps and bags etc)
      This system is responsible for the climate crisis we are right in at the moment.
      The climate crisis is the biggest threat that is threatening human civilization, the ecosystem, a rapid extinction of plants and animals, air pollution has killed more people a year in 2021 than COVID,
      In a recent study by 17 out of 22 persons microplastic was found in the bloodstream (test was conducted at the University of Amsterdam). 17 out of 22!! think about that.
      To me this is a much larger problem than the rich-poor question. Although they are connected.
      And that's why this system of growth should be abolished and replaced with the doughnut economy.

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Hello, Peter, thanks for weighing in...

        Reaching the top of the table may not be just to have a "good word", but to challenge the order of things.

        The "black left" refers to views of most African Americans regarding it support for left leaning views and values applied to the prevailing American economic, social and political reality.

        Your point regarding environmental degradation is a valid one. Within our current economic system, such degradation is an offshoot of a rapacious greed and avarice that, as its foundation, is obvious to any other consideration.

        Your primary concern and mine both stem from the same source. Economic exploitation of both people and the environment is part of the same stew.

        Growth that is not controlled through recognizing that the Earth's resources are both fragile and finite is irresponsible. I am on board with that principle.

        Only a fool fouls its own nest. The Earth's biosphere is a closed system, so the garbage you carelessly discard will end up in your drinking water eventually.

        But poor countries want to become rich countries, why does Brazil destroy the Amazon? It is criticized by environmentalists but doesn't everybody want a chicken or two in their pot or a two car garage? Consumerism and the evaluation of people and nations based on non life sustaining material gain is an archaic concept that we have yet to grow out from.

        The US and Western nation have attained a high standard of living for itself by exploiting resources, are we not hypocrites for attacking developing nations for wanting to do the same?

        1. peterstreep profile image81
          peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          It's difficult as the problem we face. The exploitation of labour and resources is deeply rooted. It is not just a political thing.
          My thoughts:
          The `problem has to do with the idea of ownership. This is a Jewish, Christian,Muslim idea. (and bang you've got 55% of the worlds population)
          It's about one of the first sentences in the bible.
          "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
          In other words, the world was given to men, and men could exploit it to their liking. It's his rightful possession
          With this philosophy, the world was conquered and lands were divided and given as ownership. rivers became possession and people had to pay to drink from them, to fish in them.
          Of course, humans were possession too, slaves were bought and sold. Contracts made and laws solidified these attitudes. You created the owners and the owned.
          The resources of the earth could be owned and bought and sold.
          There was a clear pick order created. men were at the top of the order and animals below then plants and then stones. A hierarchy in worth.
          This philosophy is deeply rooted in western society, even if you are an atheist you are brought up with these values.
          To break this is incredibly difficult. Bit by bit people start to think about old values. that everything is connected (you see this theme more and more in popular tv.) that if you eat an animal or cut a tree it has an environmental impact. You eat yourself, you cut yourself as a manner of speaking. a lot of tribes used to hunt but leave a piece of the hunt behind as a gift for where the game was taken from.
          The hopeful thing is that more and more kids are rebelling against the old way of thinking with movements like Extinction Rebellion and School Stryke for Climate Change. As they see the world being destroyed before their eyes. This is the new social awareness like the socialism of a hundred years ago.
          Old politicians like Sanders in the US and Corbyn in the UK were still thinking of old-school socialism. But the new school left fighting for more social justice has to think about this new world. And in my eyes, they were stuck in their own rhetoric that they perfected over the last 50 years. But it's outdated.
          We need leaders from a young generation like Greta Thunberg a world movement that addresses new problems with new ideas.
          The world is changing incredibly fast and leaders who had a 50 year career are perhaps not the best option to lead anymore.

          1. Credence2 profile image79
            Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Yes, it was his rightful possession within limits, the very source of the justication for the dominion by man of the entire Earth also speaks of God destroying those who destroy the Earth, (Revelations 11:18) indicating that the Earth is non impervious to damage and harm. Even though civilizations of the past. did not have the technology to really alter the Earth's biosphere in any measurable way, the capacity for that is here today.

            As the scriptures referred to the fact that all men were equal in the eyes of God, it also speaks of men dominating one another to their injury. But instead, the focus is on the dominion part while carefully ignoring the rest.

            Men operated from a twisted philosophical foundation based on oppression and exploitation, carefully shrouded behind "the holy scriptures". This, from the very beginning.

            For every man that is at the top of the food chain there are 10 that ask about your right to be there.

            As long as material possessions and comforts are the yardsticks used to measure relative success in this world, I am pessimistic that the current status quo will change anytime soon among enough people.

            These movements you speak of, are they for real and are they aware know that changing people's attitudes about this is like moving a mountain? When has man, even when faced with his own extinction, ever operated unselfishly? I am not optimistic as to prospect of the future generation, at least into the near future, if the past track record is any guide.

            A future where people can have what they need in harmony with the natural environment, perhaps as a biproduct of technology. Bear with me for a moment? Fusion energy, while still elusive, will feed the need for energy with a negative carbon footprint. Nanotechnology may lead to synthesis of common substances into proteins and compounds that could address famines, etc.

            You saw how well Greta Thunberg message resonated among the capitalists.

            1. peterstreep profile image81
              peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              The Dominion of all on earth is about ownership. That's the first philosophical mistake. You can argue about how it is treated (and if God judges right or wrong about it) but that's already a secondary step.
              So it's not in the human characteristics that we are in this capitalistic ownership world of today. It's a social construct. And therefore it can be changed.
              Laws can change behaviour. For example, 30 years ago everybody smoked everywhere and it was seen as normal. Today thanks to laws you are not allowed to smoke in planes, public buildings etc. This was incredibly difficult to change as the cigarette industry kept telling us that smoking was okay and not a risk to your health with millions of lobbying. And it was a cultural thing (smoked myself) Now it's seen as not done. There is a cultural change in attitude towards smoking.
              The same can be done with the meat industry. Make laws that forbid serving meat in public spaces, planes, and restaurants.
              If you want to eat meat you can do it at home.
              As the cultivation of cattle is one of the biggest polluters on earth next to fossil fuels. the amount of water and grain needed for an ounce of meat are unsustainable in today's world.
              So things can change if we are willing and with changing of laws.

              -You saw how well Greta Thunberg message resonated among the capitalists.-
              Of course, as she is a threat to them. She is a massive force and bringing an ideology, something to fight for, to the new generation. An ideal that lots of generations before her had forgotten.

              We have to change our behavior. As for waiting for technological solutions is not changing anything. And therefore you have to look at yourself and be active in making this world a better place by starting with consuming less and eating less meat, using less plastic bags, buy local products etc. These are small things but the more people do these things the more will follow.
              More and more children and grownups have become vegetarian or vegan, this was unheard of 20 years ago. So there is a trend in being aware of your impact in this world under the new generation. (talking about the Netherlands and Spain, the countries I know best)
              thanks for explaining black left. I hadn't put one and one together.
              Also, Socialism is in many countries different.
              In Spain for example there is not only a socialist movement but also communism and political anarchism are still alive. things that are almost extinct in northern Europe.

              1. Credence2 profile image79
                Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                "And therefore it can be changed"

                Yes, good point, it can be, but will it be?

                My lifetime is testimony to how society changed its position on tobacco and cigarette smoking. I remember cigarettes being advertised on cartoon shows that in the 1960s were on TV in prime time. A time, when anyone who was anybody smoked.  I heard about the 1964 Surgeon General report putting science on the side of cigarettes being hazardous to health. I saw the early 1970s bring in bans against cigarette advertising on Television and the requirement for warnings on every pack sold. I remember the social stigma associated with the habit as seen on "no smoking on aircraft" and "designated smoking area" at work and where people congregate during the 1980s and 90s. Now, it is considered a crude and socially abhorrent practice.

                You have made your point, but whether the clear health risks to ones self and others associated with smoking could be transferred to the consumption of meat products, for example, may well be a stretch.

                Yet change has to start somewhere, your example of the beef industry and the amount of grain used to sustain it is frightening. Meat can be synthetically produced through non meat products and may well be a manner of weaning people away from the real thing. We have that right now, Kentucky Fried Chicken, not offers a chicken product that is not chicken, but it tastes an and  smells like it. I am open to the incremental changes that in practice does not present a great deal of inconvenience  being willing to maintain habits once one realizes what is at stake.

                When I speak in terms of America, this consumerist society is slow to acknowledge and appreciate what is going on. There are many that question the efficacy of GMO produced food that my wife tells me is prohibited in Europe or at least require identification, but still prevails here. Rest assured, that America will be a laggard regarding acceptance of these changes. I just hope that we catch on before it is too late.

                We also hope that the powers that be, economic, can be overwhelmed merely by popular outcry.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  The loudest voices win the day.  I can't say I like that scenario much.

    2. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I am a Liberal; however, I don't believe in victimology.  I am of the school that if one wants something, h/she has to learn the game of obtaining what one wants.  One has to strategize & organize.  No one is going to give anyone anything.   If one wants power, h/she has to learn the game of power & grab it.  One has to fight for & earn what h/she wants.

      Life is about dominance & power.  Life is like a pecking order.  Those at the top make the rules, those at the middle or the in-betweens are usually the conformists who are fearful of rocking the boat.  They are afraid to get out of their comfort zone.  They go along to get along.  Yes, the middles are quite fearful of power while those at the top are comfortable with power.  Of course, those at the bottom are the powerless.  They are simply persona non grata.  They feel that they are very insignificant & feel that they are outside society.  They are marginalized, even ostracized.  They are the D group.  They typify the victim mentality to the nth degree.  They believe that they are powerless & inculcate succedent generations in this negative philosophy.

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        TRUE liberals don't believe the sorts of things you speak of here, Grace

        1. gmwilliams profile image85
          gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          This is the REAL world, Credence.   Societies are based upon dominance & power.   Not only human societies but animal societies.  Hierarchies are here to stay.

          1. Credence2 profile image79
            Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            But who is in them and how theyare created and justified for a TRUE liberal constantly remains open to question and challenge

          2. tsmog profile image81
            tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Reminds me of the Blue Oyster Cult song Dominance and Submission. hmmmm . . . Then in the background I reflect on Hegel's Master - Slave Dialectic on Self Consciousness.

            Hegel’s Master-Slave Dialectic: the search for self-consciousness
   … ciousness/

            A short snippet why the song was written
   … submission

            For listening pleasure if your a rock & roll fan

            1. Credence2 profile image79
              Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              TSmog, a Blue Oyster Cult fan?

              We could probably start our own thread between classic rock lovers. Them were the days, weren't they.

              I put in a Billy Joel ditty as a salute to "our generation" found in the Generation Z thread and see if it does not speak for us and our times. I will put it here.


              1. tsmog profile image81
                tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Thanks Cred and both being if I remember right graduates of '72 the music of that time influenced not only our developing 'self' or identity but our thinking forming beliefs with us today while some have transitioned. Amazing!

                I listened to the Billy Joel link. Every morning my day begins sitting here in front of my PC with my coffee and cigs listening to my Pandora personal station. It is formed on the likes of Progressive Rock like Tangerine Dream and others, Blues like Muddy Waters and others, and guitar like Mike Oldfield also Progressive Rock, yet the guitarists I used for the programming included blues, rock & roll, and even classical while now reminds me of the guitar battle in the movie CrossRoads.

                Steve Vai vs Ralph Macchio Epic Guitar Battle. Amazing!

              2. tsmog profile image81
                tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                I just went to your link again, yet instead of just listening I sought the actual lyrics gaining much more insight on its message as I read them twice. Sharing it was like walking through everything impacting my life in that time of the 70's. Then I remembered a stanza of Frank Zappa song. It's the second stanza.

                I may be vile and pernicious
                But you can't look away
                I make you think I'm delicious
                With the stuff that I say
                I'm the best you can get
                Have you guessed me, yet?
                I'm the slime oozin' out
                From your TV set

                And, now it is our digital device held tightly in hand sometimes walking into traffic. Again, from your sharing

                We didn't start the fire
                It was always burning, since the world's been turning
                We didn't start the fire
                No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it

                1. Credence2 profile image79
                  Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  Yes, I remember the late great Frank Zappa. I graduated high school in the world of preeminent AM rock stations with the introduction of "underground rock" found on the FM band. I am sure that you guys in California were ahead of all that, but in 1972 Denver, that was what was happening. The Moody Blues" song "Nights in White Satin" was heard everywhere.  Today, who needs a radio, just speak into your phone and hear any song you desire at any time. Who could have imagined it.

                  The video attracted me with its progression through the time of the family corresponding with the time of our lives with mention of all the events that were a part of those times.

  2. Nathanville profile image91
    Nathanvilleposted 13 months ago

    You’re not alone in being “the most left leaning person left in the forum”; I’m a ‘Socialist’ (red) which is a lot more left than Bernie Sanders ever was, although I’ve also become a green over the past ten years; albeit ‘Greens’ are far more left than ‘Reds’ in British Politics.

    Red standing for ‘Socialism’ in Europe because it represent the spilt blood during the struggles of the left in the fight to win workers’ rights (Trade Union legal recognition) and democratic rights (the right to vote for the working class, and ultimately women too.

    That’s why the British Labour Party’s flag is red, and their anthem is revolutionary:-

    The Red Flag - British Socialist song and anthem of the Labour Party:

    The Greens speaks for themselves, green representing the colour of the environment.

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Arthur, I have to wonder, whether I would be a considered that dreaded word "Rightwinger" within your society. As the political and ideological yardsticks between our two societies are different.

      Bernie scared me a bit with his honest speaking about Democratic Socialism. I am not a Socialist, but I damn well wanted a tight rein on Capitalism and its potential for abuse. Senator Warren of Massachusetts was willing to confront the beast that was making it all go and challenge the society toward a fairer path.  According to the Right, we must cut off free school lunches for the kids because it encourages them to be lazy? But we are subject to incessant whining by the oligarchs about the need to cater to them or else they will take their chips "companies" and go elsewhere to just exploit another society, who in their desperation is more vulnerable.

      For example, I saw a couple of interesting documentaries on how unemployed people were dealt with within the English system. While I criticize the American approach as flinty and unduly punitive, your society gives shows a great deal of patience and latitude almost begging people to get a job. That was a little too much for me.

      Overall though, I like the general "lean" of your society, where people tend to come first.

      The issue about the Statue that was torn down, while the people that did it had their reasons, I probably would have approached this in a manner short of destroying public property. The likeness was unpopular enough that removing it may have been done through petition.

      1. Nathanville profile image91
        Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        From your examples, I would guess that you would make a good Liberal Democrat in Britain; in the European politic spectrum Liberal Democrats are in the centre – neither left nor right.

        The advantage of Liberal Democrats in Britain is that being in the middle; they can work easily with either side - Conservative or Labour.  A coalition government with the Liberal Democrats is a good coalition as the Liberal Democrats moderate extremism from both sides.

        Liberal Democrats support a ‘mixed economy’; a little bit of socialism (in moderation) and a little bit of capitalism (in moderation); whereas in contrast British Socialism would like to see all ‘Public Services’ such as public transport, electricity, gas, water, sewage etc. all brought under government ownership and control e.g. Nationalisation.  And they are political policies which are popular with the voting public e.g. 64% of the British Public support renationalising Britain's railways.

        Railways and the National Grid are turning out to have a rather interesting political twist to them:-

        In Britain the Labour Government nationalised all of public services and many industries in the aftermath of the 2nd world war.  The Conservatives hate Nationalisation as it symbolises ‘Socialism’; so consequently Margret Thatcher (then Conservative Prime Minister) privatised everything in the 1980s, including the National Grid and the Railways.  With the exception of London Transport which has always remained under the ownership and control of the London Local Government - thus making public transport a lot cheaper in London than anywhere else in the country.

        When it was privatised the railway was split into two parts, one private Company responsible for the rail tracks and the train stations; while the trains and train services where privatised through ‘franchise’ with different train operators (private companies) running different passenger services across the country.

        The Private Company responsible for the tracks and train stations went bankrupt in 2002, so the Labour Government took that part of the business back into public ownership – renationalised.

        But an interesting twist is that even the present Conservative Government has acknowledged that the private companies running the franchises for the train services are charging the public far too much money for the fairs, and creaming the profits off for their shareholders rather than reinvesting in the service.  Therefore, although the Conservatives loath nationalisation, on the 20th May 2021 the Conservative Government announced that the train services will be renationalised e.g. the franchises will not be renewed as they run out.

        And another surprised announcement on the 6th April this year, from a Conservative Government that traditionally loathes nationalisations is that they will renationalise the National Grid in 2024 (bring it back under government ownership and control); specifically to help the Government to reach its target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

        As regards your last point; Bristolians did petition our local Government for years to have the statue removed.  And although it was a Labour Government in Bristol, who was sympathetic to the idea, it was low priority e.g. it would have taken years and years before the Local Government got around to doing anything about it.  Therefore, when it came to the BLM protests the Bristol people took matters into their own hands, and did what the vast majority of Bristol people wanted.

        Although at the time it was destroying public property; ironically the statue, in its’ vandalised state, has increased in value; and restorers employed by the Bristol Local Government have been paid to do restoration work on the statute to stabilise the vandalism, as it is now part of the history of the statue, which is on display in a local museum, where the full story is told.

        Inside the secret facility restoring toppled Edward Colston statue:

        1. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          "Liberal Democrats support a ‘mixed economy’; a little bit of socialism (in moderation) and a little bit of capitalism (in moderation); whereas in contrast British Socialism would like to see all ‘Public Services’ such as public transport, electricity, gas, water, sewage etc. all brought under government ownership and control e.g. Nationalisation.  And they are political policies which are popular with the voting public e.g. 64% of the British Public support renationalising Britain's railways."
          Precisely, Arthur, I would take that position very comfortably, but in America, I would be considered a Marxist/Communist.

          Maybe a parliamentary system would be an improvement on the state of current American politics, a system where, in the big picture, the status quo must be maintained as objective of both our major parties.

          1. Nathanville profile image91
            Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Yep, in a society where the most left-wing politics are Democrats, then anything left of the Democrats (Liberalism) will appear extreme, and incorrectly labelled as being Communist. 

            We don’t have Communism in Britain, fortunately; but even Communist ideology comes under different flavours e.g. Marxism, Maoism, Leninism, and Trotskyism etc.

            You may have a point, maybe a parliamentary system would be an improvement in the USA; I can’t see that it would make things worse?

            1. peterstreep profile image81
              peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Funny thing is that neo-liberalism is extreme right wing.

              1. Nathanville profile image91
                Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Yep, neo-liberalism is a form of extreme right-wing economics used by Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the USA; which is radically different to the general meaning of Liberalism, which tends to be more centrist in the political spectrum, and certainly left of Conservatism.

                It’s a problem when people latch onto a key word and then incorrectly assumes the politics to be on a different part of the political spectrum to where it really stands just because that word is commonly associated with other politics that are on a different part of the political spectrum. 

                A prime example is Hitler’s political party, commonly known as the ‘Nazi Party’ full official title was the ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party’; which makes it sound like a ‘Socialist’ party, but in reality it was a fascist party, which as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is an extreme right-wing, authoritarian party. 

       … 0practice.

                In the 1980s we had a break away party from the Labour Party, who called themselves the ‘Social Democratic Party (SDP).  The SDP were MPs on the right of the Labour Party, and the reason they broke away from Labour is that they found Labour too left-wing for their liking.  In reality the SDP weren’t really ‘socialists’ they were ‘liberals’, and the SDP party is classified as a centrist party in British politics; so it was no surprise when they merged with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats.

                I guess in European countries, where we are used to a wide spectrum of political parties understanding the flavour of politics, regardless to the different labels/names used, becomes second nature to many; but in a two-party system like the USA it must cause confusion at times?

                1. peterstreep profile image81
                  peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  Yes, to make it more complicated. In The Netherlands we have....

                  Liberal Party - 34 seats
                  Democrats - 24 seats
                  Right Populist Party - 17 seats
                  Christian Party - 14 seats
                  Socialist Party - 9 seats
                  Labour Party - 9 seats
                  Green Party - 8 seats
                  Animal Rights Party - 6 seats
                  Cristian Union - 5 seats
                  Far Rightwing Party - 5 seats
                  Conservative Liberal - 3 seats
                  Far Rightwing 2 - 3 seats
                  Christian Reformed - 3 seats
                  Liberal Left -3 seats
                  Pan European - 2 seats
                  Independent seat - 1 seat
                  Independent seat -1 seat
                  Independent seat - 1 seat
                  progressive left-wing - 1 seat

                  Today's government is a coalition of the Liberal Party, The Democrats, Christian Party and the Christian Union. with a majority of 77 seats (150 is the total of seats)

                  So lots of choices to vote for.

                  1. Nathanville profile image91
                    Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    Very impressive; we don’t have quiet such a wide spread in the House of Commons in the UK because we still don’t have Proportional Representation yet (except for the Mayoral Elections), but it’s still quite diverse compared to the USA:-

                    Seats in the House of Commons (Lower Chamber in UK Parliament):
                    For a working majority 326 seats are required.

                    •    Conservatives = 359 seats
                    •    Labour = 199 seats
                    •    Scottish National Party = 45 seats
                    •    Liberal Democrats = 13 seats
                    •    Independent MPs = 9
                    •    Democratic Unionist Party = 8
                    •    Sinn Fein = 7
                    •    Plaid Cymru = 3
                    •    Alba Party = 2
                    •    Social Democratic & Labour Party = 2
                    •    Alliance Party = 1
                    •    Green Party = 1

                    Seats in the House of Lords (Upper Chamber in UK Parliament):
                    For a working majority in the Lords, 384 peers are required, which these days is never achieved, so the two main parties, Labour and Conservative are heavily dependent on the support from 'Crossbenchers' who by their very nature are 'Independent'.

                    •    257 = Conservatives peers, including 47 hereditary peers.
                    •    184 = Crossbench peers e.g. Independent of any political party, including 34 hereditary peers.
                    •    167 = Labour peers, including 4 hereditary peers.
                    •    83 = Liberal Democrats, including 3 hereditary peers.
                    •    38 = Non-affiliated e.g. Independent of any political party, including 2 hereditary peers.
                    •    25 = Bishops
                    •    5 = Democratic Unionist Party peers.
                    •    2 = Green Party peers.
                    •    2 = Ulster Unionist Party 2 peers
                    •    1 = Independent Social Democrat peer
                    •    1 = Labour Independent peer
                    •    1 = Plaid Cymru peer

                    Of course, the people don’t get a chance to vote for peers in the House of Lords because peers are either appointed for life or are hereditary peers e.g. inherited their seat from their parent.

                    In local Government in the UK the smaller parties tend to do a lot better, for example in the Bristol local government (where I live), it’s currently a Green/Labour Coalition local government; the working majority required being 36 seats.  The political make-up of Bristol Local Government being:-

                    •    Green Party = 24 seats
                    •    Labour = 24 seats
                    •    Conservatives = 14 seats
                    •    Liberal Democrats = 6 seats
                    •    Knowle Community Party = 2 seats

                  2. Nathanville profile image91
                    Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    Another point I failed to mention, I don’t know if you have something similar in Holland, is that under the British Constitution the elected Government doesn’t always set the Agenda in Parliament.

                    The three areas of particular interest in this respect being:-
                    •    Private Members Bills.
                    •    Opposition Day, and
                    •    UK Youth Parliament.

                    In the UK Parliament individual MPs and Peers can introduce their own ‘Private Members Bill’; but not surprisingly very few ever get to become law – but some do.  Since 1983 a total of 364 Private Members Bills have passed into law, the last of which was the ‘Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021’, sponsored by Mike Amesbury MP (Labour) in the House of Commons and Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Labour) in the House of Lords.

                    In the UK there are a total of 20 Opposition Days a year; a day when the Opposition Party sets the Agenda, currently 17 opposition days a year are allocated to Labour, and 3 days to the Scottish National Party.  For example on 29th April 2009 the Labour Government was defeated in an opposition day vote on the subject of settlement rights for veterans of the Gurkhas, the first time since January 1978 that a British government had lost an opposition day vote.

                    The UK Youth Parliament founded in 1998 consists of 369 school children aged between 11 & 18 who are democratically elected by their fellow school children (of that age group) from across the whole of the UK. 

                    In 2009, at the suggestion of the then Labour Government, Parliament voted on whether the UK Youth Parliament could sit in the House of Commons on one day a year; the vote was passed by 189 MPs in favour and 16 (Conservative MPs) against.

                    So since 2009 the UK Youth Parliament have sat in the House of Commons one day a year to debate and vote on their policies; one of the big successes of the UK Youth Parliament is a partial victory in their campaign to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 e.g. the voting age was lowered to 16 in Scotland in 2015, and in Wales in 2020.

                    Alex McDermott MYP (aged 14): Votes at 16 UKYP House of Commons Debate Speech:

  3. IslandBites profile image87
    IslandBitesposted 13 months ago

    Yup. Someone called me that once so, I guess I'll join in.

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Great, I need your help to get "my back" sometimes.... I would be delighted to hear from you more often.

    2. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Oh gawddd . . . Campfire sing-along at dusk, right?

      GA ;-)

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, indeed, joint our mutual admiration society...

        1. GA Anderson profile image90
          GA Andersonposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Can't, I have an appointment with a martini at dusk.


          1. gmwilliams profile image85
            gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Gus, you bring the martini & I bring the champagne with filet mignon.

  4. Ken Burgess profile image80
    Ken Burgessposted 13 months ago

    That was an enjoyable read, Cred.

    Lots of questions came to mind.

    What is Esoteric if not extremely left leaning?

    Why is it that you think Warren and Sanders are legitimate after the past few years of seeing them sell out, seeing Warren turn on and betray Sanders, seeing them point the finger at the "rich man" purely for political gain and showmanship?

    Why is it when you and I see things so similarly as to the problems with the system, instead of finding more common ground you almost seem outraged at times, throwing up race as an issue that trumps all other matters and therefore there can never be a uniting of common cause?

    Methinks you enjoy being the "last of the mohicans" too much and fighting the fight for the sake of fighting, rather than forwarding an agenda where all can benefit rather than one benefiting without the other.

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Hello, Ken, thanks for your imput.

      I am somewhat to the left of Esoteric in a number of ways, probably a bit less "hawkish". He would probably be more comfortable among traditional democratic candidates, while I advocate from a more radical left view. But, we both see Republicans as a problem.

      I have seen Elizabeth Warren in countless public speeches, and as part of congressional committees excoriating the oligarch, corporate-Wall Street class. She acts and speaks with temerity and sincerity. I believe that both she and Bernie were sabotaged by the money changers on Wall Street in addition to their adherents within the Democratic Party. You and I,both, were suspicious as to how Joe Biden, on a clear losing streak during the campaign, miraculously bounced back after the South Carolina primary.
      The Bloombergs and the establishment destroyed the route of  the true progressives and the direction they were going in. While I like Bernie, he was a bit over the top. But, I would prefer him before giving audience to any conservative Republican type.

      Liz was responsible for the CFPB, Consumer Finance Protection Board, giving regular citizens a voice against large financial predators, with their exploitation tendencies and deep pockets. If you only knew how hard the money changers fought to discredit the new agency and its mission. I knew that she was holding on to a weapon by which they could be wounded. She is the "real deal" and I have not given up on her. She is still correct, the "rich man" is the problem in so many aspects.

      In my mice analogy, I am vexed by the white mice for simply accepting the larger crumb as if it was some sort of inheritance instead of wanting to climb the cloth to find out who is exploiting us both. Racism has been an very effective tool in keeping the poor generally powerless and misdirected. The white Mouse had the psychological reward of the preferential treatment associated with just being a white mouse, they would gladly live with economic exploitation in return.

      It has been an effective weapon used by the "top of the table" class to divide for generations here in America, and it has worked well. So, it is part of the problem and it cannot be dismissed as a mere footnote.

      My position here is in some aspects is unique because I am a strident advocate for the Left and its policy preferences. After all, with Rightwingers surrounding you, someone has to do it. I don't see anyone from the side of my adversaries speaking and acting like progressive Democrats, except Democrats.

      1. Ken Burgess profile image80
        Ken Burgessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        China's treatment of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region came into the spotlight again after a new report found evidence indicating Uighur laborers are being forced to pick cotton by hand.
        An estimated 570,000 workers from three Uighur regions were mobilized to cotton picking operations in 2018, the report found, citing online government documents.

        China was at a recent UN event accused of harvesting organs en masse from Uighurs and other groups. A campaigner for the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China said the data "appears to be part of an elaborate cover up that disguises the state-run mass murder of innocent people."

        Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said that people who murdered white farmers during a government-sanctioned purge in the 2000s will never be prosecuted.

        Facing severe economic problems and an election, Mugabe sought to nationalize 4,500 properties in 2000 — about 95 percent of farmland owned by whites — and distribute the land to supporters. Government militants backed by local police began using squatters to force farmers to sign over their land. By 2001, the first white farmers were killed for resisting.

        Within days of that first death squatters had killed 77 people and left thousands homeless. Stories of atrocities and violence like squatters cutting off the nose of a farmer with a machete when he refused to sign over the deed to his land were common place.

        Starving inmates of one of the subcamps in Germany can be seen in appalling detail with their bones clearly visible as the prisoners are forced to wear nothing but rags.

        Piles of discarded wedding rings from those killed in the Nazi slaughter are also included in the chilling images.

        Others show Jews as they are executed by German army mobile death squads, the Einsatzgruppen, while starving children beg for food and alms in a Warsaw ghetto.

        --  -- --

        It is the evil within humanity.  It is not a white/black thing.  It is not a Christian/Jew/Muslim thing.

        It is being the minority.

        Wherever you are in the world, if you are the minority, you will be at the mercy of the majority.

        America was no different... until it finally was.

        It is very different today and much of that has to do with choices made by the majority to make it a more fair and equitable system for all.

        Never in ANY society in ANY time in human history has so much opportunity been presented to so many simply for being a minority than here in America.

        Scholarships, Immigration Welfare, Minority Business Owner Loans, etc.

        - -- -- -- -

        We are in the process of destroying all those benefits. just as we are in the process of tearing apart all else in our society. 

        Understanding that this, too, is human nature... the pendulum swung from one extreme where minorities were exploited in America to today where an equally detrimental and destructive extreme is taking hold; where we hold on trial all those of the majority for "crimes" done in past generations and use things like CRT to teach innocent kids that being born white means you were born evil (and I thought Catechism was bad).

        Too many are intent on revenge, retribution, and reparations, we have colleges giving degrees in Social Justice and entire industries devoted to developing new classes of minorities and types of victims.

        To me this is not a sign of a society healing and becoming stronger, it is a sign of a society fragmenting and failing.  But there could be a salvation for the country on the horizon.

        Soon enough, both white and black will be in the minority.  It will be a Hispanic majority that comes into prominence in America and I expect Spanish will become the predominant language in most states soon enough.

        1. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          And in America, the "majority" was merciless in its subjugation of people solely because they were of fewer number? It is a blight on the human condition which many try to excuse to no avail.

          Is it really human nature? This European oriented article seems to support your point.

 … ntolerance

          From my perspective, if people do not present a physical or economic threat, I see no reason to express such hostility toward them. It is the "bully syndrome", the exertion of power by picking on someone smaller or with less resources to resist. It speaks poorly on us all as a species.

          Such thinking is primitive and consequently has never entered my mind. I don't like bullies, from any perspective.

          "It is very different today and much of that has to do with choices made by the majority to make it a more fair and equitable system for all."

          There remains a great deal yet to be done toward that goal, resisting those that are front in center in our politics that continue to thwart it. Because if America does not, this issue, which is the equivalence of the canary in the coal mine, will be the country's undoing. The majority has taken a lot, so a lot has to be returned. If we don't get this straight at home, it will be difficult to present a unified front toward China or Russia.
          Part of this backsliding is the censoring and burning of books by the Right, where everything that is not cohesive with their world view is poronography. Lying about the true nature of this nation's past before me is not part of the healing process. This CRT thing is just a form of muzzle and the silencing of opposing viewpoints. Shooting the messenger will get you nowhere, for the message remains. History is history and where the shoe fits.....

          Strength can only come with justice. But don't worry, as I said before, the majority-minority stuff is just more "red meat". The issue is the sharing of power and the dilution of the concentration of wealth among the majority today. To accomplish that will take a bit longer.

          Ken, thanks for your input.

          Social justice is relevant  in a society where it is too often lacking, calling it woke or discrediting it on its face is just another part of the backsliding phenomena.

          1. Ken Burgess profile image80
            Ken Burgessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Good counter, fair points.

            So that we are working not on assumption, but on a familiar fact basis (or at the least, you know what I am working off regarding America's history regarding this matter) I ask that you watch this video:


            What is the way forward, what do you propose?

            I think that way is being lost, as focus shifts on so many nonsensical things (like 72 sexes)... but I await your reply.

            1. peterstreep profile image81
              peterstreepposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Thank you Ken for sharing the link to the video. It was definitely worth watching. I learned a lot!
              Understanding the history of a country makes you better understand the current situation.
              A well-explained video I would recommend to everybody.

            2. tsmog profile image81
              tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Great video! Thanks!

            3. Credence2 profile image79
              Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Ken, I am pleasantly surprised that you would present this video and not go with a Prager version. This guy had me captivated for the full hour, he certainly augmented what I already knew about this history. I have to find more of his lectures to watch.

              His presentation was accurate and poignant, but would conservatives consider it to be CRT? If more could see it, I wonder how they would respond?

              I did not hear anything about the inherent or intrinsic evil of any group of people and his account certainly shows racism in America to have been systemic in nature. It not just a bunch of "bad people". I like how he separated the wheat from the chaff, indicating that the Founding Fathers really did not make any provision for the abolition of slavery in the future, but merely deferred the problem to future generations.

              The lecture was not CRT, but DeSantis and Conservatives would complain because of all of the unpleasant realities revealed.

              When listening, I was thinking about WEB DuBois and his prominent role in the struggle and I am reminded how my mom was a friend to his granddaughter who was living in Denver in the 1960s and 1970s, and who had recently passed away at the age 89, last year. I wished that I had been a little older during the time of my parents' acquaintance with her to ask questions about her grandfather.

              The first step toward healing is to stop lying and revising history solely for the comfort of the audience. It is bad enough that in this vaunted Democracy any group people could have been subjected to so much ill treatment for so long. We dishonor these people and their struggle by denying that it happened and whitewashing it. What am I to tell MY kids, that they just materialized out of nowhere as the underdog?You can tell DeSantis that concealing the truth will not change it. It continues to give me a negative vibe regarding conservatives and they earn it every day.

              Reparations are not a reality within this hard hearted society and the breath of it would simply bankrupt the country. I was acquainted with an elderly German gentleman as part of my religious studies. He was a soldier in the German Wehrmacht during the last two years of the Second World War. He took pride in not ever having killing anyone and in our conversations he spoke of the extraordinary compensation given German Jews and the State of Israel by the German Government in recompense for the terrors visited upon them during the Third Reich. The German government took responsibility even though many citizens were not involved in the Reich, personally

              I would want a free or very low cost availability of community college and trade school access to all. It is unaffordable in the mindset of conservatives who are more than content to waste a trillion dollars on experimental flightless "dodo birds". This provision would apply to all, I can't figure how it would be administered as the details can be worked out by the bureaucrats. Much of the history teacher's lecture lends credence to why certain groups are where they are today. Offering opportunity shows me that you are sincere in recognizing the disadvantages imposed on others from the past and, as the instructor alludes, has a great deal of responsibility as to why and where people are today. This issue, a stain on the American creed, can begin to be washed away.....

              1. Ken Burgess profile image80
                Ken Burgessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                In brief, what I liked about that video, he was able to tie a pretty coherent and mostly complete history of events together.

                He did bypass certain aspects, like the extreme racism Woodrow Wilson brought into the Federal Government, the vast amount of effort he put into rescinding advances made on behalf of people of color.

                The point was, since the Civil War, white men stood up and tried to do the right things for people of color (whatever the motivation seems irrelevant to me because we can never know what was in the heart and minds of those who tried), many died for that effort, including at least one President.  ... And for every effort, every reparation, every law that gave equal rights, there were those that worked to counter them, undo them.

                I don't believe this is what CRT teaches.  I believe what it teaches is that white people are inherently evil... maybe not the "original" CRT, but that version that is being applied today.

                If you take what I gave as examples two posts back, or if you take the time to research history of global racism and religious persecution, I think it is clear this is not a "white man is evil" matter.

                This is WHOEVER has the MAJORITY eventually commits heinous crimes against the minority.  Also, during wartime, this can be magnified tenfold. 

                What the Japanese did to the Chinese during WWII was no different than what the Germans did to the Jews.

                Such horrific crimes continue today, in China, in Africa, in the Middle East. Slavery, butchering and murdering, raping and mutilating those that are of a minority of one sort or the other.

                In just 100 days in 1994, about a million people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists in the most gruesome and inhumane ways imaginable.

                I don't know how to end racism or religious extremism... I just know it is a crime of every race and every prominent religion whose history I am familiar with (there are of course religions and sects that do not fit this).

                1. Credence2 profile image79
                  Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  There was so much mayhem, Ken, who could get Wilson and his adding fuel to the fire in edgewise.

                  Not enough white men stood up for what was right, if there were we would not have ended up with so dismal an aftermath for race relations after the Civil War. And all because people "were different"?

                  There is a BIG difference in what this history prof teaches and CRT. Is the truth about events in American history when it does not fit into the rightwing patriotic crap, CRT? Have a look, if you would, Ken, at the last comments on the Disney thread and the issues regarding middle school textbooks and see the result of whitewashing history for yourself. See how quickly conservatives end the conversation in this issue when confronted with undeniable facts. It is always so easy for them to lie and misdirect.

                  Let's make the distinction in your examples.

                  Japan had aggressive designs toward China, in other words, since about 1931, they were at war. War, as we see in the Ukraine, is savage, brutal and terrible. Was white America at "war" with minority residents for so long solely because they were different?

                  Hitler and the Nazis targeted Jews from a ideological construct associated with Nazism and Hitler's madness. It lasted 12 years and was horrendous, but we are not speaking of decades or even centuries of time.

                  I remember the Rwanda situation and there are examples all over the globe of man's inhumanity to man. That also did not last over considerable periods of time.

                  But in America, land of the free and home of the brave, leader of the free world, how have these minorities pose a threat over so long a period of time, to merit such savage treatment?

                  The only situation that could even be considered close is the "untouchable" caste system in India, based on some sort of cryptic religion. Is that a reasonable comparison to make with the US?

                  The examples you give are not good explanations for what happened here in America.

                  1. Ken Burgess profile image80
                    Ken Burgessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    I was not attempting to give a good explanation for what happened in America.

                    I was trying to point out how terribly awful humans can be to other humans, at its worst, as bad as any horror film ever put to screen.

                    I have always tried to make this point, many years ago I delved into indentured servitude which was the forefather to slavery in America, but in many ways was just as deadly and reprehensible and set the standard for the barbarity that slavery became in America.

                    Before any Africans had been shipped to America, hundreds of thousands of whites had been indentured servants, suffering from inhumane transportation designed to fit as many humans as possible in one ship, a design that became standard for slave ships to come, sold upon reaching their destination in ways that were made common place and set the path for slavery to come. etc. etc.

                    It went from poor indentured whites from places like England and Ireland and Germany to forced slaves from Africa. Miserable, cruel, heartless existence forced upon untold numbers.  It just shifted from one group to another.

                    And it took hundreds of years for America to get to the point where at least according to our government and to socially accepted norms, we are SUPPOSED to be all equal under the law, regardless of race, religion or origin.

                    I am not making excuses for the past, I am not trying to diminish it, but I think it would be wise to try and preserve what has been gained so far.

                    I think what has been gained is at risk, that there are a variety of forces arrayed against it, and that this fragile equality for all that we have achieved across the board (regarding race) is at risk.

                    Perhaps it won't matter if we are all equal, if we all lose our freedoms and our ability to climb the economic tiers based on our abilities and determination.

                    Serfs did not have rights or freedom because they were considered property of the lord when they got a home on his property.  The vast majority of white people were essentially slaves, nothing more than property for centuries. 

                    I don't know enough about Chinese history or other major civilizations to state for certain, but I think slavery (often going by some other name) has been around for a long time, abuse of minorities (of any type anywhere in the world) has gone on throughout history, and what has occurred in America has been a slow conscious evolvement out of this barbaric nature seemingly inherent in our species.

              2. gmwilliams profile image85
                gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Again & yet again ad infinitum, no one owes anyone anything.  If one wants something, it is up to him/her to earn it.  People must be responsible for themselves.  It isn't what your government can do for you but what you should do for yourself.   People have to LEARN THE ART OF RESPONSIBILITY for themselves.  When will people learn this????  I am totally against handouts.  People must pull themselves up.

                1. gmwilliams profile image85
                  gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  The problem is mindset in my assessment.   Instead of looking to the government to solve ills, it is time to assess the psychodynamics of families.  There are positive families & then there are negative families.   People must delve into themselves to solve problems.   The upper classes raise their children to be problem solvers & innovators.  This also applies to some extent to the upper middle classes.  The solidly middle class teach their children to be conformists.   The lower classes i.e. the lower middle class & working class teach their children to be slaves of the system & to accept the system.   The other lower classes i.e. the lower class proper & the underclass teach their children that their situation is generally hopeless & to accept the system as there is nothing to be done about it.   To reiterate, it is the MINDSET.

                2. Ken Burgess profile image80
                  Ken Burgessposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  That is an understandable perspective.

                  However, that is today's reality.

                  America's past made it impossible for those of minority class to do so.

                  And that in turn still hinders many who suffer because of the damage deliberately wrought by their own government in the past.

                  My view, I think it does not serve the ancestors of those who suffered due to the government to allow a blanket minority scholarship or grant or whatever.

                  People of "minority" status that came to the country two years ago may have just as much access to those benefits as a 6th generation American whose ancestors suffered tremendous hardship and discrimination.

                  There is too much support for immigrants and not enough support to offer opportunity to those in poverty in our country today. These policies impact those trying to get out of poverty just as much as any impediments put on past generations.

                  1. Credence2 profile image79
                    Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    My proposal for low cost or no cost post K-12 school could be means tested for everyone (citizen) and not be directed exclusively to minorities as any sort of reparation. We don't want anyone to have a virtual "cow" over this.

                3. Credence2 profile image79
                  Credence2posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  This whole society is based  on my political and economic exchange between people. My tax money pays for a great deal that I was not directly involved in, nor even consented to. That is the reality, Grace.

                  As for so much of your portrayal here, I question anyone who claim to be a "liberal" who at the same time is supportive of all this Social Darwinism stuff.

                  1. gmwilliams profile image85
                    gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    Ad infinitum, people who are ABLED- mentally, physically, & emotionally should be MATURE ENOUGH to realize that they ought to be responsible for themselves.  Only immature people contend that the government should provide things for them that they SHOULD PROVIDE for themselves.   If people are intelligent, they ought to be doing for themselves & not wait on the government to provide for them.  What you have presented is FAR LEFTIST in scope Credence2.  There is a saying that God bless the child that got HIS/HER own.  Dependence is a toxic thing Credence2.  You know better.

  5. emge profile image80
    emgeposted 13 months ago

    The Uighurs are having it tough in China but I stopped bothering about them as the Muslim world has ignored this despicable act( No fasting on Ramadan. and another 100,000 in "education" camps etc). They can talk and condemn actions in Palestine and Gaza but Uighurs? You ask me.


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