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Why the far right is surging all over the world: The “reactionary spirit” and the roots of the US authoritarian moment
  • They mostly seem to think something like "I'm not intolerant, I'm just stating uncomfortable facts that the liberals/socialists/etc are afraid to acknowledge!" I think @[email protected] is right in that certain topics being off-limits for acceptable discussion in liberal circles just serves to drive them towards the right. This, combined with right-wing dominance of media in the US and poor communications operations from the Democrats just serves to legitimize and invigorate the far-right here.

    Just look at something like the discussion on crime and quality of life. Democratic leaders will point to statistics and uncritically say, "Crime is down, I don't know what you're talking about, things are fine." Statistics require context to interpret successfully, and they also obey the rule of garbage in, garbage out. It would not invalidate the statistics at all if, for example, overall crime were down, but more crimes were being perpetrated out in the open where people could see them than occurred previously. They also only capture the crimes that are successfully reported. Sexual assault is pretty famously under-reported, owing to a variety of factors. Having lived in the hood for a long time, I've also experienced it first hand that cops just flat out refuse to take a report sometimes.

    Whatever the case may be, if the topic of crime and safety comes up these days and you post something like, "I get the stats say its down generally, but my neighborhood/commute/city has deteriorated significantly over the last few years and I no longer feel as safe as I used to," you'll get a bunch of replies mocking you with a few canned responses like "The plural of anecdote isn't data," or calling you a Republican plant or something, and not one that actually tries to engage with it. You should be able to look at the Republican platform and realize this isn't something that should cause one to overlook all the terrible things the GOP advocates, but many people will do just that when they feel that the Democrats have been ignoring them and their concerns for long enough.

    If enough of your electoral base are voicing concerns that run contrary to your data, you really need to look into why that is and how to address it, or you run the risk of the opposition siphoning voters away when they acknowledge those concerns and validate them, even if you know for a fact they aren't actually going to address them.

  • Why the far right is surging all over the world: The “reactionary spirit” and the roots of the US authoritarian moment
  • If capitalism is decaying, how will it continue to work as intended for capitalists?

    I don't think it necessarily will in their eyes, but as I see it, they view it in two ways that aren't mutually exclusive. Firstly, as capitalism decays, it could give rise to a system that allows them to exploit others even more mercilessly than they already do, and they're eager to reap the benefit of this development. Secondly, they think that their riches will allow them to escape the negative impacts of capitalism, regardless of what happens. Look at the billionaires buying up islands or building remote doomsday bunkers to escape to in the event things really go south. They fully expect that in the worst case scenario of extensive warfare, environmental crises and societal collapse, they'll be able to retreat into their castles, pull up the draw bridge over the moats, and live out the rest of their days in comfort while the rest of us suffer and perish.

  • Global IT outage shows dangers of cashless society, campaigners say
  • Even cash breaks down pretty quickly in a hypothetical situation where you have something similar occur that lasts for an extended period. When banks' systems are impacted, how do I get more cash from my account with them when whatever amount I had when the system went down runs out? I haven't had a physical passbook for an account in a good 20 years.

  • Linguistics
  • I would argue the main benefits are to teach people how to effectively switch registers as the context demands, and to expose them to a range of language they likely wouldn't ordinarily encounter in their daily lives. English teachers could do to lose the judgmental aspect of "This is the one true way to speak English, the way you talk amongst yourselves is wrong and you need do stop," but there's a definite value in teaching students, "This is a way to write/speak clearly and effectively that will be understood by quite nearly every other educated English speaker you might encounter."

    As far as exposure to a broader range of language than one normally encounters in their life, I saw the importance of this first hand with many of my coworkers who were heritage speakers of Spanish. It's not my native language, but it was my primary work language for a good 5 years, and I wound up getting put on interpretation duties for our safety meetings over a native speaker with pretty limited formal education in Spanish. For topics to do with daily life, family, friends, etc, this guy would be able to speak much more naturally than I could. I might not say something that was exactly wrong, but perhaps I would be too formal or make odd word choices he wouldn't. The problem was, he completely lacked any technical and professional vocabulary, and had no concept of what words/phrases were unique to his own country and what alternatives might be more widely understood.

    We would have safety meetings once a night, and they would have topics like, "When a forklift has its forks in the air, don't walk beneath it, as hydraulic failure could lead to injury or death.". He translated that one night as "Cuando la vaina del pasillo tiene esa vaina de en frente en el aire, no pasen por debajo de la vaina. Es peligroso." Basically "When the thing in the hall has the thing in front in the air, don't walk under the thing. It's dangerous." Best case, he might say "El forlift," but he would never land on "el montacargas," or even think to look it up. Some of his wilder attempts at interpretation didn't work for anyone, and the ones where he just used a Spanglish version of technical terms only worked for other coworkers who already knew at least a bit of English, and probably didn't really need the translation that much to begin with. Unfortunately, we had a fair number of employees who were monolingual Spanish speakers that he found himself just completely unable to communicate with effectively.

    Granted, not everyone takes full advantage of it, but English classes do (or at least should) expose you to a broad range of the language, as it's used in various contexts and forms, while also furnishing students with the ability to expand upon that and adapt to new contexts on their own in the future. Failure to do so leaves students with stunted linguistic and communicative abilities.

  • The DNC is the only reason you're not currently enjoying a second-term Sanders and a sane Supreme Court.
  • You can't have it both ways. You're arguing the Democrats simultaneously don't care about leftist voters because they don't show up and vote and aren't a significant enough chunk of the electorate to be worth catering to, yet claiming that this same group not showing up resulted in Hillary's loss against Trump. Which is it? Are we the deciding factor in US electoral politics, or a bunch of rabble-rousers not worth concerning yourself with?

    The reality is that Clinton lost the election due to extremely narrow margins in a handful of flyover states not known for being bastions of leftism. Leftists of Lemmy in LA or NYC could have all gone for voter fraud and voted for her multiple times, and she still would not have received any more votes in the electoral college from California or New York, because she already got them all! Conversely, she wouldn't have gotten any fewer votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, which were the decisive states at the level of the Electoral College because of leftists in other states.

    tl;dr: Get lost with your ahistorical, left punching bullshit.

  • AI-powered network of Russia-based websites masquerading as local American newspapers is pumping out fake stories targeting the US election, investigation finds
  • Sure, but many people seem to suffer when it comes to distinguishing facts from opinion and interpretation.

    For example, it's a fact that Biden had a very poor performance in the debate. No one is really disputing that, though there have been various justifications offered for it. All good up to this point, but it falls apart when it comes to interpreting what that means for the Democratic campaign. Some are of the view that it's too late to change the candidate and have Biden stand down, and that to do so would tank our chances of beating Trump. Others, myself included, feel like the hit he has taken is likely terminal, and that our best chance is to have him bow out and spin up a new campaign as soon as possible, in order to have the best shot at viability. Personally, I think the longer the delay on doing so, the more it becomes a situation of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Either way, absent someone with a functional crystal ball or some time travelers that can give us a definitive answer, both stances are subjective and fallible interpretations of what the best course of action would be, based on facts. Yet, in the couple of hours I browsed Lemmy after my post-work nap today, I easily saw a dozen people accusing posters who stated Biden should step down of being trolls, Russian agents, useful idiots, and/or arguing in bad faith for merely stating an opinion. I've seen people who think Biden is the best shot get called stupid for holding that view, but it rarely seems to have the same power to kill a conversation dead in its tracks as, "You disagree with me, ergo you must be a Russian shill."

    To deny these disinformation campaigns, both foreign and domestic, are real is to be deluded, yet so is dismissing any and all criticism of the party or views that don't hew to the party orthodoxy as being pure propaganda. Heck, even for people who have fallen wholeheartedly for such propaganda, you ignore them and dismiss them at your peril. If you don't successfully reengage with them and manage to bring those individuals back into the fold, they could quite easily make up the margin that ultimately could swing the election. According to this NPR article, the last two elections were essentially decided by less than 80,000 votes each in a few swing states. Unless Democratic strategists have a surefire method that's guaranteed to juice their votes by millions in those states, they really can't afford to be leaving anything on the table if they want to win.

  • House Democrat is proposing a constitutional amendment to reverse Supreme Court's immunity decision
  • I don't think it's necessarily being so concerned with integrity as to deliberately self-sabotage, but rather that this was a potentially viable strategy 40-50 years ago, and many of the eldritch horrors in party leadership, Biden included, just haven't gotten the message that the situation has changed in the interim. Part of Biden's campaign pitch was that he's worked in Congress for so long and has the relations that would let him reach out to the other side to get stuff passed, and he just gets taken advantage of when trying to do so. The Republicans have long since moved on to a strategy of "Ram through whatever you can while you're in power, and obstruct, obstruct, obstruct when you aren't." They generally aren't concerned at all with what non-GOP voters think of them and their actions, which lets them just bulldoze their way through the process while racking up points with their base for being effective at advancing the agenda, regardless of how hypocritical/immoral they are in the process. Just see Mitch McConnell when Obama tried appointing a justice to the Supreme Court near the end of his term versus his response to Trump doing the same.

    I would also say there's just a fundamentally different level of at least the appearance of integrity necessary on the Democratic side, and Democratic voters are less willing to accept that the ends justifies the means. This is clearly illustrated just by looking at the fallout for pretty much any Republican having a sex scandal, versus it happening to a Democrat. In his initial scandal, Anthony Weiner didn't even engage in a criminal act, having sent a 21-year old woman a sexually explicit photo. In less than a month, Nancy Pelosi had called for an investigation into it and he'd resigned his seat. In contrast, Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse in a civil case and has had heaps of sexual assault and harassment accusations brought against him, yet the party of family values, good, Christian morals, and law and order is still completely behind him.

  • House Democrat is proposing a constitutional amendment to reverse Supreme Court's immunity decision
  • For some of their more conservative members, they've certainly done so in the past, but I'm pretty sure that @[email protected] is just talking about the self-defeating obsession that Democrats have with appearing non-partisan. Yes, they do need to compromise to an extent to get something through the house at the moment, but they have essentially self-sabotaged in the past when they had the majorities to not need to do so, yet insist on negotiating with the Republicans anyway because they hope moderate Republicans will give them credit for not ramming legislation through in a one-sided fashion.

    This really only works when the other party is engaging in negotiations in good faith, which the Republicans do not. As a result, the Democrats give the GOP initiative on steering bills and policies as they like, winding up with compromised legislation that doesn't please their actual base, while also not getting credit from the Republicans they're hoping to sway in some sense.

    For an easy example of this, look at talks about eliminating the filibuster earlier in Biden's presidency. Manchin and Sinema made it a dead idea, but even before that, Biden has been opposed because of his obsession with reaching across the aisle in an age where trying to do so only serves to stop his agenda dead in its tracks. Rather than get their elbows out and bully the two hold outs into falling in line (which was supposed to be what Manchin was good for, at least. I kept hearing, "He disrupts things, but he falls in line when it counts," but pretty much never saw evidence of this), they just shrugged and collectively let the agenda die or get neutered, because to do otherwise would not be bipartisan.

  • Democrats say Trump is an existential threat. They’re not acting like it.
  • There's a lot of racists out there. I feel like if she's at the top of the ticket, she's gonna get dragged down.

    This is just preemptive cope to avoid having to reflect on whether the Democratic leadership and its preferred candidates are actually the thing that needs change, and she's not even an actual candidate yet. Kamala's biggest problem is not that she isn't white. Obama was a Black man, but he had heaps of charisma. Kamala has all the charisma of a plate of lutefisk,and people flat out do not like her. She is also irrevocably tied to Biden and his legacy, likely to her detriment amongst the crowds you would most worry about not voting for her because of her not being white.

  • Democrats say Trump is an existential threat. They’re not acting like it.
  • When it comes to the Democrats and* the left* — from the Biden campaign on down to the activists

    What's with calling out the left on this, when the closest they get to a leftist organization they take issue with is a climate advocacy group. The left has been pretty clear that Biden is not the man for the moment since the go, and for our troubles, we've been called everything from stupid and naïve, to privileged white people who don't care about insert minority group here (and ignore that not all leftists are rich, white people, there are plenty of POC active in leftist politics, though critics, often privileged white people themselves, do love to erase their existence in the same breath they claim to be looking out for them), to either useful idiots or fully cognizant agitators working on behalf of enemy states. Centrist Democrats and liberals have been the ones trying to tell anyone who will listen that the same old play will not just be good enough, but is actually our only option to win, and they're trying to leave the left to take the fall for their mistake, yet again.

    Some of it is political calculation. If the president steps aside, the logical candidate is Vice-President Kamala Harris, but Harris has struggled in office and her poor poll ratings mirror those of Biden. If the Democratic Party tries to sideline Harris and open the door to other candidates through an open convention, they risk alienating her and her supporters and opening up further wounds in the Democratic coalition.

    What, risk all four of her supporters? Oh, darn, there go the chances of winning ever again.

    Democrats are not going to win with a staid campaign by the usual corporate boot-licking line of candidates they've relied on up until now. The sooner they accept that and get behind a candidate who is pushing for systemic changes on issues that actually resonate with your average Americans and the problems they face in their daily lives, as opposed what matters only to their donors, the better for them this time around. Heck, if they actually follow through and make some of those changes, even better.

  • Mom Takes Her Adult Son Apartment Hunting & Realizes There is No Way He Can Afford To Live On His Own — ‘Millennials Are Not Lazy’
  • The kid sounded like he had a plan of his own and was working towards it, so it might just be as simple as mom has a car and he doesn't, or it's his first apartment and she knows what to look out for when moving into a new one, which he's never had experience doing. The article doesn't make it sound like he's some totally dependent man-child, but it also doesn't elaborate enough to really say why she went along.

  • It's exhausting...
  • That it only becomes a topic of popular discussion once every two years doesn't mean people are sitting on their hands the rest of the time. I've volunteered on local, state and Congressional campaigns, mostly translating campaign website and literature/fliers into Spanish. I've done this in the lead up to the 2020 presidential elections, state assembly, city council and mayoral races here. If I talk to people about this stuff outside explicitly political gatherings or a presidential election cycle, I'm an annoying leftist who won't shut up about politics. When the rest of the country gets off their collective ass and pretends to care, I get "Why haven't you done anything in between election cycles, you're not serious," from the same people who didn't want to hear about local elections the last few years.

    Yeah, it's pretty exhausting having the same liberals disengage between presidential elections and then pretend to be the arbiters of serious politicking once every 4 years to try and punch left and exclude any actual leftist viewpoints. Thanks for doing your part to keep that liberal tradition going strong.

  • Fuck up a book for me please
  • Something like this to produce graded readers is a great idea, but I don't see anything in the ad itself that indicates it's for language learners. If this is for a general audience for native speakers, then it's enabling people to avoid learning to read (and ultimately use) more complex and nuanced language, in favor of infantilizing consumers and spoon feeding them everything.

    The only use case I could see this being a positive for when aimed at native speakers would be something like adult literacy programs, or maybe homeschooling for kids with difficulties learning to read who don't have the trained, professional support that one would hope they might have in a more typical school setting. For adults who struggle with illiteracy, I could see this being quite beneficial, though. It's something that people will often be embarrassed about to begin with, and somebody who's feeling self-conscious about this could be demotivated by only being able to read books aimed at children. Even if they say "Screw it, I need to do this," it can be difficult to maintain motivation and interest when the only content you can find at your reading level is written for little kids. If they could have adult materials adapted to a level that's challenging but manageable for them, I could certainly see that being a good thing.

  • it's a big deal jack
  • I was under the impression that he was supposed to be handing off the role to Kamala, which was meant to be a shift towards a young(er) leader, woman and person of color that they hoped would check enough boxes for younger voters to make them think she was an actual progressive. That plan seems to have been nixed once they realized she has so little appeal across the board, she could probably lose a popularity contest to any number of infectious diseases, and Kamala 2024 got scrubbed.

    They potentially could have found other viable alternatives, but they would have represented an actual shift in party leadership rather than bowing down to the party orthodoxy, so the DNC would never actually support them.

    What they really want is another candidate like Obama that is charismatic and can talk in a way that convinces voters who don't feel represented by the current Democratic party to say, "This is the candidate who can deliver on reshaping the party in line with my views," while having no intentions of meaningfully deviating from the party line. I think the experience with Obama is still fresh enough in the minds of these voters that they are on guard against the same sort of deception a second time.

  • You're too slow!
  • The facility itself might even be open on Sunday, I'm not sure, but they would mail it via USPS, which doesn't deliver on Sunday unless you pay extra for it, and Caremark most certainly did not pay the extra for me.

  • You're too slow!
  • My personal favorite was my insurance at my last job had my prescription coverage managed by CVS caremark. I have a few prescriptions I probably need to take the rest of my life, and after the initial fill at my local pharmacy, they would refuse to cover it unless I had my doctor resend the script to their mail-order service, and had the gall to claim it was for my convenience. Some of said medication is controlled such that I can only refill it within a few days of my current fill running out, bud will conveniently also cause some rather unpleasant withdrawals if I miss a couple of doses. So, "for my convenience," rather than calling in a refill and walking the two blocks to my local pharmacy, which has my refill ready in 30 minutes for me literally every time, I had to send it off to CVS. Then hope they filled it quick enough and there weren't any Sundays or holidays to mess with it.

  • Supermarket coffee marketing is getting… intense
  • Sure, I was just trying to say that while some people will dislike the flavor of the currently vaunted light roasts, even when properly brewed, I think there is a pretty sizeable number of people who would like them well enough, but just find it too much hassle. Especially outside of the specialty coffee scene, where you see more and darker roasts, in my experience

    When Costco or someone puts out a dark roast on the shelves, they generally aren't competing for customers that drink single lot beans from your favorite café, they're looking to get the people who find McDonald's coffee or Dunkin Donut's good enough, but want to save a bit of money by brewing at home.

  • Question: Megami Tensei - Where to start?
  • The mainline SMT games all take place in post-apocalyptic Japan

    Almost all, except for the oddball that is Strange Journey, taking place in post-apocalyptic Antarctica, instead. It has a lot of elements that differ from other Mainline entries, but Atlus treated it as such and acknowledged it with the recent Mainline 25th anniversary celebrations. I really enjoyed it and think it's worth a playthrough, but it may not be the best starting point. I also don't know how the remake holds up, I've read complaints about changes online, but SMT fans can be a bit touchy about their favorite games.

    SMT 4 is… odd. It starts out looking like a much more generic fantasy setting, but it most assuredly is not. It’s good, but it also very clearly is straining against the limits of the system it’s on. SMT 4 Apocalypse is also extremely good, and I would suggest playing SMT 4 just to play SMT 4 Apocalypse. I won’t say too much about SMT 5 except to note that it’s also good and I recommend it strongly.

    I'll disagree on this one and just add that not everyone who enjoyed 4 found Apocalypse to be that good. From what I saw, people that really just love the battle system and doing things like building out the perfect team for tackling boss rushes and insanely challenging super bosses really enjoyed it. If you go in expecting more of SMT IV's world and story, you may well be disappointed by it. I found the characters to be unlikeable, personally, and it seemed like an unnecessary rehashing of the story. I also recall some unavoidable boss rushes in the main story that made certain areas really grindy and killed my enjoyment for a good while.

    Otherwise, I would say a pretty decent write up here.