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    1. The re-vilification of Johnny Depp

      So there's something interesting I’ve been seeing on social media, and was wondering if anyone here might have any insight into this. I’m assuming you all know the story, but I’ll sum it up. 2016...

      So there's something interesting I’ve been seeing on social media, and was wondering if anyone here might have any insight into this.

      I’m assuming you all know the story, but I’ll sum it up. 2016 Depp and Heard divorce. It’s implied that Depp was abusive of Heard and then TMZ obtains video of Depp yelling and throwing cabinet doors around. Depp is still in good standing with the industry, but a year later MeToo happens and the Depp stuff is now evaluated with that climate.

      Depp seems to be still getting work, including Fantastic Beasts, but then Heard publishes an op-ed in the Washington Post claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse by Depp, who she only refers to as a former husband.

      The internet largely backs Heard, that mixed with Aquaman being released around the same time as the op-ed, becomes a launching pad for her career into the mainstream.

      Then in early 2019 new evidence comes out that Heard was abusive towards Depp. A shift on the internet becomes prominent. People start to side with Depp and in early 2020 (still pre-pandemic) phone recordings of Heard admitting to hitting Depp were released.

      Suddenly the “woke” standpoint, in terms of the online culture war, became to believe Depp. At least for the most part, there were still some corners of the internet and personalities who were still calling Depp an abuser. But still, things tilted in favor of Depp. Even when the UK trial against The Sun didn’t go his way, the stance was largely pro-Depp.

      Then the U.S trial happens. And things shift again. Suddenly we get articles begging people to believe Heard.

      Even when progressive news outlets and journalists defended Depp they would get dog-pilled by other left-of-center people. This included Shure getting called a fake feminist and a Republican.

      So what happened here. Why did Depp’s position in the online culture war change, or was it ever changed to begin with?

      4 votes
    2. Is it just me or did the edgy socialism that blew up during the pandemic kind of die down?

      This might just be because of the change I’ve made in my online behavior, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve talked many many times about my long stint on Twitter....

      This might just be because of the change I’ve made in my online behavior, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

      I’ve talked many many times about my long stint on Twitter. Specifically the brief stint where I was highly active on leftist twitter from early to mid 2020 (where I managed to get around two thousand followers which seems crazy to me now considering I’m just a random guy). Back then tensions were high. People were getting laid off, high profile civil rights protests were happening, and there was nothing much to do but to be online. Personally my internship I had lined up during the summer (since I was just about to graduate college) ended up getting cancelled which led me to a period of depression. It’s also the reason I started spending so much time on Twitter and what led me to drink heavily and gain a bunch of weight. I imagine a lot of people who became extremely online during this period were in similar boats.

      Anyways, I made a couple of online friends during this time period. It initially started as “Bernie” or “Rose” twitter. We were all pretty normal social democrats supporting Sanders for the presidency (which before Super Tuesday seemed like a big possibility). And then when it became clear that Biden would be the democratic nominee, a lot of people ended up going to the dark side. They started using hammer and sickle emojis on their display name. Started talking about how they were going to read Marx and Lenin (but they never did). They started making memes about how awesome Castro and Mao were. Bios went from “BernieOrBust” to “Marixst-Leninist-Maoist.”

      A lot of talk started happening of “grow your own garden the end of the world is near” and also “arm yourselves comrades the class war is among us.” Somehow everyone became very fond of the second amendment. There were twitter accounts LARPing about joining the Socialist Rifle Association, e-girls were taking provocative pictures of themselves posing with automatic rifles in front of a Soviet flag. It became a whole thing. Some of this online behavior was covered in articles like The Cut's Before We Make Out, Wanna Dismantle Capitalism?

      I ended up disconnecting from all this around September/October of 2020. I actually ended up voting for Biden in November which I wasn’t planning on when I was addicted to Twitter. I go a little bit into this detox here.

      Fast forward to this year. A wave of mass shootings happen. Something that used to be a normal thing pre-pandemic but which stopped/slowed down thanks to lockdowns and schools remaining closed. With all of this in the news again, I start thinking back to the friends I used to have. And their gun loving, revolutionary wanting, “libs get the bullet too” type of tweets that they were writing back in 2020. I don’t remember most of them let alone their names. But I do remember a few.

      I look them up. And there are dozens of tweets about the need for gun control. They’re talking about how nobody actually needs guns, and all of the typical liberal arguments in favor of gun control. A stark contrast to what they were saying before. They still have “socialist” in their display names and bios, though from the retweets I saw of them they were no longer following the “Mao is cool” type of people. For lack of a better term, they calmed down. They don’t long for a revolution to happen. They don’t want blood on the streets.

      I think what had happened is that they all forgot what mass shootings were. How destructive they were. And now that society is mostly back to normal, including mass shootings, they remembered what that was like.

      Now this is too niche of a corner on twitter to talk about in terms of larger online behavior. But back in 2020, I did predict that when Biden became president a lot of these online socialists would retreat into the liberals that they used to be. And it seems like that has happened, at least to some extent.

      I mean, I’m glad for them. They seem more balanced, and it’s good that they eventually found themselves like I did (even if I did it a little quicker than they did). But it is still an interesting progression that a lot of my former online friends took.

      12 votes
    3. Is the US going to break up?

      Hi tildos. I am curious on your thoughts on the stability of the US in the short-medium term. What I'm worried about is the combo of a majority of Republicans having beliefs divorced from reality...

      Hi tildos. I am curious on your thoughts on the stability of the US in the short-medium term. What I'm worried about is the combo of a majority of Republicans having beliefs divorced from reality due to a sophisticated propaganda network, increasing "othering"/hatred of non-repubs, fascism becoming more popular among young people and the brazen mask-off takeover of the govt.

      From my understanding these sorts of things (civil war, country breaking up) tend to happen very slowly, then all at once. I am very worried we are approaching the "all at once" stage. Is this reasonable? Is a civil war likely? Balkanization of the US? Something else?

      What could be done to prepare? I have European-immigrant parents, so would getting citizenship in their country be prudent? Learning other languages? (I know english, mediocre grasp of birth-language, poor/middling spanish). Buying a rifle?

      I am starting to regret choosing to attend a university in Texas haha with these prospects.

      31 votes
    4. Abortion bans are going to hit us worse than we think

      One thing about the bans on abortion that no one is talking about but is going to affect absolutely everyone is the current labor shortage we're experiencing in this country. From logistics to...

      One thing about the bans on abortion that no one is talking about but is going to affect absolutely everyone is the current labor shortage we're experiencing in this country. From logistics to food service to retail and beyond, women are part of the workforce in the United States. Once women start being forced to carry to term and give birth in numbers not seen in half a century, those women will be removed from the labor pool. That means less people in every work field in a time when we're already seeing a shortage of workers. That's only going to get worse. Add to that the reduction in salaries and rise in expenses for basic necessities (baby food, diapers, baby clothes) and that's money taken out of most sectors of the economy.

      We are headed for a massive labor shortage and a massive hit to an economy already weakened by a major pandemic. With this one ruling, the economic backbone of the American infrastructure may be dramatically weakened, and the number of jobs being filled are going to plummet.

      This is all on their heads, and it isn't going to be pretty.

      20 votes
    5. Predict the next five years in the US

      How do you see the next 5 years playing out, politically, economically, socially, militarily? In areas that hit closest to you? I feel I'm not confident in making a forecast more specific than...

      How do you see the next 5 years playing out, politically, economically, socially, militarily? In areas that hit closest to you? I feel I'm not confident in making a forecast more specific than “nothing good will happen." And yet I have to make huge decisions about where to live and work.

      6 votes
    6. I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity

      It's because they believe(d) he can(could) tear the whole thing down, so they can rebuild a theocratic empire on its ashes. I was listening to Ian Masters' Background Briefing from sometime in the...

      It's because they believe(d) he can(could) tear the whole thing down, so they can rebuild a theocratic empire on its ashes.

      I was listening to Ian Masters' Background Briefing from sometime in the past few days, and he had some lady on who said it. She was speaking about the idiotic ruling from FLA on the mask mandate, then pointed out that this judge was one on the approved list from the Council for National Policy. Apparently Trump agreed only to appoint judges from this list, among other concessions, in order to gain evangelical support. And then she said, they want to tear down all American institutions, so they can install a theocracy instead. It finally all made sense.

      This is terrifying to me. I was brutalized by evangelical fundamentalist religion growing up, and am still severely impeded by the trauma in my adult life. I would much rather live in a world where every lunatic open carries a fully automatic submachine gun than live in a theocracy.

      I was recently informed about the Council for National Policy. They're a force for evil. A highly effective force, that his been working mostly in secret since at least the 80's to turn America into a Spanish inquisitors pipe dream.

      This still doesn't quite explain why middle class Baptist Jane would vote for Trump, I guess maybe racial fear? Paternalistic conditioning?

      I try to be solutions focussed generally speaking, but I don't see one right now, sadly. I aim to start looking and thinking..

      16 votes
    7. How do you reconcile 'legal principles' with the seeming inability to change them?

      This is mostly in reference to a recent post on ~news that has me curious. Based on the law, it seems like the Rittenhouse trial ended about as fairly as it could have. Other users have accurately...

      This is mostly in reference to a recent post on ~news that has me curious.

      Based on the law, it seems like the Rittenhouse trial ended about as fairly as it could have. Other users have accurately pointed out that a lot of the law that we're governed by was (at least, in part) influenced by the white supremacy that is rooted into American law. This is where it gets a bit confusing for me.

      If you're devoted to legal principles, then you must believe things like this (far-right extremism) are to be addressed through our established systems, i.e congress. This is logically consistent. However, how can you reconcile this with how corrupted the system we rely on has become?

      The legislative branch in the US is notorious for being a partisan shit-show filled to the brim with deceit and corruption. When the only way to change the law is marred by evil and ineffectiveness, how am I (or those skeptical of the true reasons behind the Rittenhouse verdict) supposed to remain devoted to principles that rely on the system functioning in good faith?

      15 votes
    8. California Gubernatorial Election

      So I’m curious if there are any other Californians here looking at the ballot for the recall of Governor Newsom and scratching their heads like me. A group of Trump supporters got up enough votes...

      So I’m curious if there are any other Californians here looking at the ballot for the recall of Governor Newsom and scratching their heads like me. A group of Trump supporters got up enough votes to hold a recall of the governor, and we have to vote in the next few weeks. The ballots arrived this week and there are 2 votes we have to make: 1) Should we recall the governor? And 2) Which of these 46 (not joking!) people should replace him. Unfortunately, of the 46 possible replacements, I’ve heard of 2 of them: Caitlyn Jenner and Angelyne. Neither appear to have any relevant experience. (I’ll give Ms. Jenner the benefit of the doubt that she’d at least give a voice to an underserved portion of the population, though.)

      This opinion piece from the LA Times makes the point that if the recall succeeds, there are no viable Democratic candidates despite the state leaning Democrat by a 2 to 1 margin. (Furthermore, I can’t find any place that even has statements from each of the candidates like our elections usually do. Found it!)

      I don’t know how likely the recall is to succeed, so it may be a non-issue, but I’m a little concerned that there could be some dumb situation where not enough people take it seriously and only people who are pissed that they have to wear masks vote and we end up with some far right talk show host as our governor for the next year and a half or more. Anyone else have a strategy here?

      22 votes
    9. What do you think are some good things about the US?

      Admittedly independence day was a week ago so this is kind of late. Most people in the left consider the US to be one of, if not the worst country in the (developed, unless you're a right wing...

      Admittedly independence day was a week ago so this is kind of late.

      Most people in the left consider the US to be one of, if not the worst country in the (developed, unless you're a right wing strawman) world and, we have listed the bad things about the US many, many times, so I think a thread about the good things about the US would be neat.

      The 3 main things I think are good are:

      • Honestly, I think party primaries where most people vote for president are good. While I do think they would be much more beneficial in a multiparty system as opposed to the US's 2 party system, I think it's better than having your presidential candidates be chosen by usually politicking with the party. I don't mean this to say the way party primaries are conducted in the US is the way because it isn't, but I think it's better than not having a primary.

      • I also think midterm elections are good, because it means that if people dislike the course of the current government, they can vote for that in a midterm. In the US, this means they only had 2 years of a Republican trifecta led by Trump as opposed to 4 like here in Brazil and I suspect a lot of other places. I don't mean this to say elections every 2 years is unequivocally good, and for such elections you would definitely need shorter primaries so elected politicians don't need to spend most of their time campaigning which I've heard is often what they do.

      • Lastly, I think the US is by far the country most concerned with things like electoral systems and methods, campaign finance, whether there should be an upper house or not (not that senate abolition is popular even among leftists, but it is much more popular than a place like, say, Brazil, where I live), and this is the third good thing about the US.

      Of course, all of these originate from the worst parts of the US political system, but I think the fact that there's any public conscience of them existing is still a good thing.

      One can argue the fact that the largest amount of influential companies being under US regulations means that if any positive changes to said regulation are implemented the entire world benefits (most obviously concerning the Internet), but the opposite is equally true and far more common.

      There's also probably many good things about US culture, by virtue of that being true for most most cultures, but I don't know what US culture specifically is enough to list them.

      12 votes
    10. If the US Federal Government was to stop issuing student financial aid to private colleges and universities, what would be the impact to those institutions?

      Posted this over on r/highereducation, thought it might be interesting here. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially in the context of "free college" proposals. Subsidizing private...

      Posted this over on r/highereducation, thought it might be interesting here.

      I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially in the context of "free college" proposals. Subsidizing private colleges and universities would be a political non-starter. I'm assuming the government would have a "teach-out" style plan to transition schools off federal dollars. Regardless, the impact would be massive. I've briefly glanced at financial aid and revenue data for one R1 school, and it seems federal money makes up a significant (20-30%) portion of annual operating revenue. While that doesn't seem like much at first, I suspect enrollment would drop significantly at many schools if there was the alternative of going to a public university for free. Several thoughts come to mind:

      • What percent of schools would close or merge?

      • What would be some of the most surprising schools to close?

      • How quickly would schools close? Would they immediately shutter, close at the end of the transition period, or struggle on for a few years?

      • What is the breakdown of institution types (R1/2 vs SLAC vs engineering schools)?

      • What would be the impact on religiously-affiliated colleges, especially Catholic schools (there's already many little-known ones in the middle of nowhere)?

      • Of the schools that survive, what sort of strategies would they employ to remain solvent (lean heavier on foreign students, reduce admissions standards, have mandatory work-study programs to reduce administrative costs, create alumni contracts akin to tithing, invest more in the financial sector/Wall Street)?

      Edit: Whoops, I thought I posted this in ~misc. Oh well.

      12 votes
    11. Do any other US citizens think of emigrating?

      I'm a 23 year old male originally from Southern California, and like the title says I'm curious to see if anyone else near my demographic has seriously looked into emmigrating in light of the past...

      I'm a 23 year old male originally from Southern California, and like the title says I'm curious to see if anyone else near my demographic has seriously looked into emmigrating in light of the past year and a half.

      What factors motivate you to move?
      What would be an ideal location for you?
      What timeline would are you looking at?

      One of the main motivators I seek to emmigrate is climate change. As the world continues to progress and evolve I do not think the United States will be able to equitabbly address the changing landscape and ways of life. As for when I would want to move, I'm not sure; currently it seems like a far off probability, but I know it's a choice I will have to make in my own lifetime.

      33 votes
    12. What's your opinion on the concept of US Supreme Court packing and/or term limits?

      For those not aware, packing the court in this context refers to expanding the size of the U.S. Supreme Court so that whoever's in power can nominate judges they prefer to the newly-created seats,...

      For those not aware, packing the court in this context refers to expanding the size of the U.S. Supreme Court so that whoever's in power can nominate judges they prefer to the newly-created seats, thereby creating a favorable majority for them where there might not have been one previously. It was attempted once in 1937, but failed, and has not been attempted since.

      As for term limits, Supreme Court justices have none; the position is for life. The reasoning for this is primarily so that they can't be influenced as easily for political gain, as they've already achieved the final step in their careers.

      Personally, the concept of court-packing has worried me no matter who does it, because from what I can tell (though granted I've not researched this), the Supreme Court has thus far done a decent job of avoiding partisanship; I'm concerned packing the courts would damage this precedent. I do believe that term limits could work, though I suspect they'd require a clause prohibiting justices from holding any jobs after their term expires, lest they become politically influenced by down-the-line job offers.

      That said, what's your take?

      (By the way, CGP Grey has a great video on some parts of the Supreme Court if you're interested in learning more about it)

      21 votes
    13. What prevents former US presidents from disclosing national secrets?

      I have tried to answer this myself and come up empty handed. When a U.S. president leaves office, they take intimate awareness of many national secrets with them (weapons systems, intelligence...

      I have tried to answer this myself and come up empty handed. When a U.S. president leaves office, they take intimate awareness of many national secrets with them (weapons systems, intelligence gathering techniques, etc.). What prevents a former president from selling this information to the highest bidder?

      22 votes
    14. What are some good resources for California voters?

      Most California voters received their ballots this week, and as usual there are a bunch of propositions to vote on that we’ve barely heard of because nearly all election discussion is about...

      Most California voters received their ballots this week, and as usual there are a bunch of propositions to vote on that we’ve barely heard of because nearly all election discussion is about national issues. So, what are you using to study up?

      10 votes
    15. Pence/Harris 2020 US Vice Presidential Debate - Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. Watch on YouTube Other viewing options Debate starts ~90 minutes from the time of this...

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed.


      Watch on YouTube
      Other viewing options
      Debate starts ~90 minutes from the time of this posting.


      Info from The Washington Post:

      Location: The University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

      Moderator: Susan Page, Washington bureau chief, USA Today

      Details: The debate will be 90 minutes long and have no commercial breaks. It will be divided into nine segments of 10 minutes each that the moderator gets to choose.

      23 votes
    16. Just how bad is Trump's 2020 pitch?

      Not submitting a link. Last thing that scumbag needs is web traffic. But...let's suppose every one of this items actually came to pass in a reasonable form. There is some stuff there even I would...

      Not submitting a link. Last thing that scumbag needs is web traffic.

      But...let's suppose every one of this items actually came to pass in a reasonable form. There is some stuff there even I would legitimately want. So let's see the good/bad of Trump's lies, and discuss.

      I'm bolding things that are (IMHO) obviously very, very bad. Italicizing ones that might be good, but are likely just lies. Striking out anything that is blatant pandering that the president has 0 ability to act on.

      The purpose of this mental exercise is to see how people who don't keep up with politics might fall for the rhetoric. Know your enemy and all of that.

      JOBS

      • Create 10 Million New Jobs in 10 Months
      • Create 1 Million New Small Businesses
      • Cut Taxes to Boost Take-Home Pay and Keep Jobs in America
      • Enact Fair Trade Deals that Protect American Jobs
      • "Made in America" Tax Credits
        • I like the idea of trying to locally source stuff. Tax Credits are not how to do it.
      • Expand Opportunity Zones
        • Eh, sounds good on paper...but will likely just be another loophole.
      • Continue Deregulatory Agenda for Energy Independence

      ERADICATE COVID-19

      • Develop a Vaccine by The End Of 2020
      • Return to Normal in 2021
        • Maybe if we actually did what we needed to do. I don't have my hopes up.
      • Make All Critical Medicines and Supplies for Healthcare Workers in The United States
      • Refill Stockpiles and Prepare for Future Pandemics
        • Yay for fixing your fuck-up way too late?

      END OUR RELIANCE ON CHINA

      • Bring Back 1 Million Manufacturing Jobs from China
      • Tax Credits for Companies that Bring Back Jobs from China
      • Allow 100% Expensing Deductions for Essential Industries like Pharmaceuticals and Robotics who Bring Back their Manufacturing to the United States
      • No Federal Contracts for Companies who Outsource to China
        • Outsourcing bad. But China isn't the only place.
      • Hold China Fully Accountable for Allowing the Virus to Spread around the World
        • God. Damn. It. I have no words.

      HEALTHCARE

      • Cut Prescription Drug Prices
      • Put Patients and Doctors Back in Charge of our Healthcare System
      • Lower Healthcare Insurance Premiums
      • End Surprise Billing
      • Cover All Pre-Existing Conditions
        • Wait, didn't ACA do that?
      • Protect Social Security and Medicare
        • They obviously mean by increasing age to collect, privatizing, and actually trying to dismantle it. But you know...would be good if they did the opposite of what they've tried to do the last 2+ decades.
      • Protect Our Veterans and Provide World-Class Healthcare and Services
        • How about for everybody else too?

      EDUCATION

      • Provide School Choice to Every Child in America
        • Yea, let's do away with church/state separation and also enable crippling debt from kindergarten. /s
      • Teach American Exceptionalism
        • I have no words. This is basically the worst thing ever.

      DRAIN THE SWAMP

      • Pass Congressional Term Limits
      • End Bureaucratic Government Bullying of U.S. Citizens and Small Businesses
        • Nice soundbite...but 'End Bureaucratic Government' is code for "Let's stop regulating to prevent discrimination and other things that are generally good ideas"
      • Expose Washington’s Money Trail and Delegate Powers Back to People and States
      • Drain the Globalist Swamp by Taking on International Organizations That Hurt American Citizens
        • Yea...cause the USA is the bastion of all that is good and does no wrong /s

      DEFEND OUR POLICE

      • Fully Fund and Hire More Police and Law Enforcement Officers
      • Increase Criminal Penalties for Assaults on Law Enforcement Officers
      • Prosecute Drive-By Shootings as Acts of Domestic Terrorism
      • Bring Violent Extremist Groups Like ANTIFA to Justice
        • Somehow I think the actual Nazis won't be targeted by this.
      • End Cashless Bail and Keep Dangerous Criminals Locked Up until Trial
        • End monetary Bail. Anything else: bad.

      END ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND PROTECT AMERICAN WORKERS

      • Block Illegal Immigrants from Becoming Eligible for Taxpayer-Funded Welfare, Healthcare, and Free College Tuition
      • Mandatory Deportation for Non-Citizen Gang Members
      • Dismantle Human Trafficking Networks
      • End Sanctuary Cities to Restore our Neighborhoods and Protect our Families
        • I can't bold this one hard enough
      • Prohibit American Companies from Replacing United States Citizens with Lower-Cost Foreign Workers
        • Nice soundbite, but give Unions power again and those kinds of problems will resolve themselves.
      • Require New Immigrants to Be Able to Support Themselves Financially

      INNOVATE FOR THE FUTURE

      • Launch Space Force, Establish Permanent Manned Presence on The Moon and Send the First Manned Mission to Mars
      • Build the World’s Greatest Infrastructure System
      • Win the Race to 5G and Establish a National High-Speed Wireless Internet Network
        • Not sure who you're 'winning' against, but whatever.
      • Continue to Lead the World in Access to the Cleanest Drinking Water and Cleanest Air
        • Um....yea.... how about everybody gets those things?
      • Partner with Other Nations to Clean Up our Planet’s Oceans

      AMERICA FIRST FOREIGN POLICY

      • Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home
      • Get Allies to Pay their Fair Share
      • Maintain and Expand America’s Unrivaled Military Strength
      • Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans
        • That sounds a lot like 'Continue with Endless Wars'
      • Build a Great Cybersecurity Defense System and Missile Defense System
        • Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped bombing everybody else this wouldn't be needed.

      Sorry, couldn't resist adding my additional commentary. So yea, looking over it again...very, very bad. But enough gems in there that the uninformed that only hears about those might fall for it.

      27 votes
    17. The 2020 Democratic National Convention has concluded. What are your thoughts on it?

      Share your thoughts and feelings on how the convention went, and what you think it means for the remainder of the race. Did it change how you plan on voting or participating in the election? Who...

      Share your thoughts and feelings on how the convention went, and what you think it means for the remainder of the race. Did it change how you plan on voting or participating in the election? Who were the stand out speakers that you would like to share with others? Will you be watching the Republican National Convention? What were the biggest stories to come out as a result of the convention?


      Politics Disclaimer: As we discuss the sensitive topic of politics, please remember to comment with an open heart and remember the other person behind the screen. Be generous with your interpretations of others and realize you might have to agree to disagree. When in doubt, read the Tildes Code of Conduct.

      33 votes
    18. I just became a US citizen today

      I took the Oath to become an American citizen today, after having lived in the U.S. since I was a little girl. I'm glad to have finally done this, but I'm wondering on what to do next. Any and all...

      I took the Oath to become an American citizen today, after having lived in the U.S. since I was a little girl. I'm glad to have finally done this, but I'm wondering on what to do next.

      Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

      44 votes
    19. Do you think there will be a 'silver lining' or any long-term results from these protests?

      I think the biggest effect of this will be that a lot of white suburban Klobuchar-ites will be more apprehensive of keeping the police as it is and a lot of progressives (like me, I always thought...

      I think the biggest effect of this will be that a lot of white suburban Klobuchar-ites will be more apprehensive of keeping the police as it is and a lot of progressives (like me, I always thought it was a class matter disguised as a race one) will take identity politics and racism more seriously and see themselves as privileged white people because it's become pretty hard not to. There will also be a lot of people in poor countries who will relate to the experience of being brutalized by the police and see the US as increasingly like them. I'm Brazilian and I honestly can't really see how is the US any better than my country anymore and in my state I scarcely see the police with more than batons and only in Rio de Janeiro (where drug gangs hide in the mountains and the state government is run by the party led by a former military officer) is the police really comparable.

      Organizers might see that strength in numbers does little against FOX News and other media outlets so serious organization (proper mottos for example) might be taken more seriously.

      Black people might be energized enough by this to turnout at an equal rate to white people despite the institutional barriers, which hasn't happened since Obama.

      17 votes
    20. Why aren't more leaders encouraging protesters to stay home?

      I can think of several good reasons why protesting is a really bad idea right now: The virus doesn't care if your cause is just. If you end up going to jail, that's another hotspot. It provides...

      I can think of several good reasons why protesting is a really bad idea right now:

      • The virus doesn't care if your cause is just.
      • If you end up going to jail, that's another hotspot.
      • It provides cover for violence.
      • The courts are going to do whatever they do at their own pace anyway.
      • The long-term work of police reform isn't even going to begin until the crisis is over.

      And yet, despite all these good reasons, I don't see leaders, black or otherwise, clearly saying that people should stay home. For example, Obama's statement is carefully neutral on this. It seems to be taboo?

      But I'm out of touch. What am I missing?

      11 votes
    21. General US protests discussion

      There's a lot of unrest in the US lately, with protests going on in several cities. How do you feel about the state of things in the US, regarding racism, police brutality, etc...? What's your...

      There's a lot of unrest in the US lately, with protests going on in several cities.

      How do you feel about the state of things in the US, regarding racism, police brutality, etc...? What's your viewpoint on the protests? How do you see the situation evolving? Some fear deadly confrontation between military police and civilians.

      Have you had the misfortune of having a negative encounter with police officers? Care to tell your story? Have you participated yourself in one of these protests? What was your experience like? If you haven't, do you keep yourself informed? Where do you primarily find news? What's the general mood in your neighborhood, in your community, in your city?

      We've seen protests pop up a lot more in recent years in various parts of the world - eg. Hong Kong, Lebanon, France, etc... Do you feel that this is symptomatic of a larger, global unease? Or can the US protests be considered wholly specific?

      36 votes
    22. How would you explain systemic racism and issues with black oppression in America to someone who is unfamiliar or doesn't believe in it?

      There are many thoughtful posters on Tildes that are much more eloquent than I. In the discussion of recent events I find myself struggling to successfully illustrate these issues. Any help would...

      There are many thoughtful posters on Tildes that are much more eloquent than I. In the discussion of recent events I find myself struggling to successfully illustrate these issues.

      Any help would be appreciated.

      24 votes
    23. "What should Bernie do when he drops out? Are there any potential drawbacks to doing so now?"

      From the NY times Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was reassessing the future of his presidential bid on Wednesday after a crushing round of primary losses left him with no realistic path to the...

      From the NY times

      Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was reassessing the future of his presidential bid on Wednesday after a crushing round of primary losses left him with no realistic path to the Democratic nomination and the 2020 race itself looked increasingly dormant because of the coronavirus outbreak.

      Mr. Sanders’s campaign has stopped actively advertising on Facebook and its campaign manager sent an email to supporters without asking for donations — the kind of steps that other candidates have taken before ending their campaigns. Mr. Sanders’s aides said he is not suspending his campaign at this point, even as some Democrats have become increasingly vocal that he should consider leaving the race.

      Even among Democrats who view Mr. Biden’s eventual triumph as inevitable, there is a belief that contested primaries are good for the party, making some of them reluctant to call for Mr. Sanders to withdraw. In Wisconsin, Democratic officials worry that if Mr. Sanders drops out before the state’s planned April 7 primary, it could dampen his supporters’ enthusiasm, depress turnout and hurt progressive candidates for state and local offices.

      Mr. Sanders also views the coronavirus crisis as a moment when the progressive agenda he has championed for years is especially vital, and he is eager to leverage his influence for good at a time when issues like health care and economic inequity are so resonant, some allies say.

      And top advisers see potential for him to continue to shape the narrative around how the country should be responding to the crisis and are holding out hope that they can harness existing virtual infrastructure to allow him to get his message out and keep his supporters engaged — a tacit admission that the campaign is no longer trying to win.

      The above paragraphs show that yes, Sanders knows his electoral situation is done for, despite never clearly indicating if he is dropping out.

      Some suggested Mr. Sanders should declare a moral victory — Democrats have moved broadly toward his progressive policy platform since he began his first presidential campaign — and throw his support to Mr. Biden.

      “It’s time to throw in the towel knowing that he has won the battle of issues,” said Wilbur Colom, a D.N.C. member from Mississippi. “The Democratic Party has moved within inches of his revolution on all major issues. We all are feeling the Bern.”

      From the Star

      Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the progressive group Democracy for America, said Sanders can play a potentially “critical” role in unifying the party by continuing his campaign.

      “Bernie has already made it clear that he will 100% support the Democratic nominee and that he’s going to campaign for Joe Biden if that’s who it is,” Chamberlain said. “The reality is, that’s not 100% true for all Bernie Sanders supporters. So there is a real value to Bernie staying in the race as long as possible to bring those people into the party deeper.“

      That underscores the sensitivity of how Sanders proceeds. Justin Bamberg, a South Carolina state representative and Sanders supporter, said it’s wrong to assume that, if the senator quickly drops out, his backers would unite behind Biden.

      “It’s a mistake for the party, regardless of whether the nominee is Biden or Bernie, to think that beating Donald Trump in and of itself will be enough motivation for the average person living their day-to-day life to come out and be excited about voting in November,” Bamberg said.

      I agree. Biden needs to emphasize that he can be trusted to keep his promises of endorsing and then carrying out Warren's plan despite their controversies and that the bernie or bust folks won't gain nothing from a Biden presidency.

      13 votes
    24. Washington debate discussion thread

      Admittedly I deleted and re-uploaded this because I was worried I had posted the original thread too soon. A'ight, here we are. Spreadsheet time. When will the debate be broadcasted? The debate...

      Admittedly I deleted and re-uploaded this because I was worried I had posted the original thread too soon.


      A'ight, here we are. Spreadsheet time.

      When will the debate be broadcasted?

      The debate will be recorded March 15th, 8-10 PM ET. (1-3 AM UTC)

      Where will it happen?

      In the CNN studio in Washington DC. Note that they moved it from Phoenix due to the Coronavirus.

      Who will moderate it?

      Dana Bash and Jake Tapper from CNN and Ilia Calderón from Telemundo.

      Where can I watch this?

      It will most likely be livestreamed in CNN's YouTube channel. it was livestreamed on CNN's website.

      So, what's new and how will this change anything?

      This is the first and possibly the last one-on-one debate in the primary between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and (also due to Coronavirus concerns) It has no live audience. It will also occur before some of the largest states in the primary vote.

      So what do you think should happen? What questions should be asked? What should the candidates do and what should we talk about?

      12 votes
    25. If the US removed FPTP and the electoral college, what new parties would pop up?

      (You could replace FPTP with STV to keep the districts that elect representatives in the house intact.) I'll start. The Democratic party breaks up into the neoliberal and progressive parties. The...

      (You could replace FPTP with STV to keep the districts that elect representatives in the house intact.)

      I'll start.

      The Democratic party breaks up into the neoliberal and progressive parties.

      The neoliberal party is where centrist candidates like Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg go.

      The progressive party is where progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren go.

      The Republican party might lose a large part of their electorate to the libertarians, since many Republicans are more concerned about letting business prevail and don't really want cultural conservatism.

      Andrew yang maybe also leaves the Democrats and founds his own party, the party for online reform.

      The greens also become significantly more popular but they may have too much in common with the progressives.

      The Senate could be changed to include as many seats as the house for proper representation.

      18 votes
    26. Which US presidential candidate do you think has the best foreign policy?

      The nice thing about electability being uncertain is that you can choose the candidate you think is best. Unfortunately I have lost faith in my ability to decide that. Studying candidates'...

      The nice thing about electability being uncertain is that you can choose the candidate you think is best.

      Unfortunately I have lost faith in my ability to decide that. Studying candidates' policies seems useless since, after all, Congress makes the laws. We are likely to see either stalemate or centrist legislation regardless.

      Maybe I should decide based on foreign policy instead? Most people don't do that but I don't see why not. Any recommendations for interesting articles to read?

      12 votes
    27. Healthcare rant thread

      So I don't know about all of you, but I'm pretty sick of terrible healthcare in the USA. So I'm starting this thread for all of us to rant about our personal issues with healthcare. I'll be...

      So I don't know about all of you, but I'm pretty sick of terrible healthcare in the USA.

      So I'm starting this thread for all of us to rant about our personal issues with healthcare. I'll be writing my rant into it's own reply later (it's a bit of a long one), but I wanted to start the thread now to give others a chance to start venting.

      Rules of Rant Thread:

      1. Don't argue a rant
      2. Thread is likely going to be incredibly USA-centric. USA healthcare is assumed unless stated otherwise.
      3. Rants should involve people no more than 2 degrees of separation from yourself. This thread is to vent about your personal experiences, not hearsay from total strangers.

      In order to foster further discussion, and include those without a rant: Here are some things I personally would appreciate and expect for replies, but others might not.

      • Explanation of how things would work out for you if you were in a similar situation
      • Advice for dealing with any ongoing or future problems
      33 votes
    28. Charleston Democratic debate Discussion thread

      New debate, new thread. (Unfortunately somewhat late as the debate was streamed right at the time I wrote this post.) The debate was being live streamed in CBS's channel in YouTube. Twitter is one...

      New debate, new thread. (Unfortunately somewhat late as the debate was streamed right at the time I wrote this post.)

      The debate was being live streamed in CBS's channel in YouTube.

      Twitter is one of the debate partners so expect a few questions from there.

      The south Carolina primaries are due February 29th and there willl be no more debates until after super tuesday so this debate is pretty important.

      16 votes
    29. Las Vegas Democratic Debate Discussion Thread

      So it has been awhile since we had Democratic Debate threads here and I thought it would be nice to have a discussion topic for tonight's debate. I am really interested to see what everyone's...

      So it has been awhile since we had Democratic Debate threads here and I thought it would be nice to have a discussion topic for tonight's debate.

      I am really interested to see what everyone's thoughts are going into the debate tonight as far as expectations, what you are hoping to hear, and what outcome you think will come from this.

      Please share your thoughts below!


      What time is the debate?

      The debate will air live at 9 p.m. ET from the Paris Theater in Las Vegas.

      How can I watch it?

      The second February Democratic debate will be live-streamed on NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the Nevada Independent’s website, and on the NBC News app. The Noticias Telemundo Facebook page will also stream the night’s events, as will the NBC News and MSNBC Facebook pages. You will also be able to stream the debate live on NBC’s own streaming app, NBC News Now, on devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

      What is new?

      Wednesday's debate will feature the first appearance from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who met the DNC's mandating polling threshold this week.

      Who is moderating?

      NBC's Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Noticias Telemundo's Vanessa Hauc and The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston will moderate the event.

      29 votes
    30. How could we regulate biased/lying media outlets and aggregators without encroaching on good ones?

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates...

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates and media aggregators ranging from r/the_donald to r/chapotraphouse banning anyone who opposes them. Thing is, these are the most well known examples. How could we tell faulty media sources and aggregators apart from good ones in mass? Do you think that's possible?

      15 votes
    31. What's the deal with meta advertising?

      I don't watch T.V very often, but do - when I'm up (which is infrequent given I'm outside the U.S) - watch the NBA. Recently I've had a little time so have watched a few games live. Doing so, I...

      I don't watch T.V very often, but do - when I'm up (which is infrequent given I'm outside the U.S) - watch the NBA. Recently I've had a little time so have watched a few games live. Doing so, I was quite taken aback at how commonplace humour and meta advertising are nowadays. Is this just a U.S thing?

      Is there any research out there on when and why advertisers started doing this? Seems like every other ad shoots for either humour or "we know you know this is an ad, you're clearly smart enough to realise that, so smart in fact you might want to buy into our brand". Whatever the case, as ever, grateful for resources/discussion from those more in the know than I.

      EDIT: A good example that is equal parts humour/meta is LeBron James' Super Bowl Sprite Ad.

      10 votes
    32. Should some of these Republicans start to recuse themselves from the impeachment of Donald Trump?

      Just a question. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of them saying they already have a vote against removal of Donald before a court appearance. Sorry if this is the wrong sub tilde for...

      Just a question. Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of them saying they already have a vote against removal of Donald before a court appearance.

      Sorry if this is the wrong sub tilde for this. It just pisses me off.

      "'I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here': Graham predicts Trump impeachment will 'die quickly'" in Senate https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/14/politics/lindsey-graham-trump-impeachment-trial/index.html

      17 votes
    33. Free-Wheeling Hypothetical: President Pelosi ... how would that work?

      Admittedly highly unlikely ... but also becoming less inconceivable by the day. She is 2nd in line after Pence. So, let's just say, 3-5 months from now, They swear in Pelosi as the next POTUS....

      Admittedly highly unlikely ... but also becoming less inconceivable by the day. She is 2nd in line after Pence.

      So, let's just say, 3-5 months from now, They swear in Pelosi as the next POTUS. What does that do to both Repub and Dem Primaries? What does it mean for the next election? Does the US keep itself together long enough to have an election?

      Heck, while I'm asking, what about a President Pence in 3-5 months. That's at least an order of magnitude less unlikely. How would that play out?

      PS: Somebody recently started a 'what do you daydream about' thread ... so, you-know ... this.

      8 votes
    34. Discussion: Top 10 Stupidest Things US Fed Govt has done

      Okay, so this notion is still a bit undefined in my head, kind of figuring it out now, as I type. I want to come up with a list (doesn't actually have to be 10) of the worst things the US...

      Okay, so this notion is still a bit undefined in my head, kind of figuring it out now, as I type.

      I want to come up with a list (doesn't actually have to be 10) of the worst things the US government has done, to undermine the ideals and principles that the United States was (at least nominally) founded on ... truth, justice, baseball and mom's apple pie - kinda stuff.

      You can go back as far in history as you like (so Civil War, Dred Scott, things like that are absolutely open for consideration) ... but it has to be something that continues to significantly impact US govt, US society and/or the world, to this day ... something they have not remedied.

      Off the top of my head, the main thing that comes to mind is the Citizens United case, which I believe has fundamentally broken the US political system (which was, previously, already seriously frayed). I'd also consider the non-consideration (by the Senate) of Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination (by Obama), and the US (both the govt and the public) collective "whatever" to the news that Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections (and continues to do so, now joined by China and assorted others).

      I may edit this to refine the idea. But the basic goal is to create a really high-level list of "First Things" the US needs to fix, to have any hope of returning to a state of democracy (okay, democratic republic), and/or normalcy.

      5 votes
    35. So I went along.

      Time for a story. Some of you might remember that I was planning on going abroad. I intended to visit New York City with one of my best friends, setting foot in the United States for the first...

      Time for a story.

      Some of you might remember that I was planning on going abroad. I intended to visit New York City with one of my best friends, setting foot in the United States for the first time in my life. I have had reservations about the actions and the state of politics of the US for a while, but I'm by no means an activist; I largely settle for small discussions regarding this topic, online or among friends. This means that I had not considered the current administration as a deterrent to my week-long trip.

      For the sake of what I'm about to talk in the rest of this post, some additional personal details are needed for context. I am a EU citizen and a second-generation immigrant, child of a parent born in North Africa. I was fortunate enough not to have to go through having to acquire a "real" visa as my country is part of the ESTA program. This program is a fast track of sorts that allows a non-citizen to get clearance to get into the US by providing information through an online form. As I went through that automated process, I arrived at one step that worried me: they asked about being a citizen of another country. Now, I have both an EU ID and passport but I have double-nationality from my parent and so I also have ID and (an expired) passport from that country.

      That country is not unstable or known to host terrorists or extremist organizations but I was wondering if I would be lumped in with immigrants from more troubled countries and so I hesitated to put that information at all. But then I figured that it would be a bad idea to lie and then have to explain why I lied if they figured out. And I didn't visit that country for a decade. So in the end I did input that info. This decision stayed with me and caused me anxiety until the end of the 72 hour waiting period. I thought about being denied while having already spent roughly a thousand bucks on the airplane ticket and the hotel. Fortunately in the end everything went through. That put my fears at ease.

      Let us fast forward to the day of the trip. My friend and I had the good idea to stay up really late the night before even though our flight was outrageously early. I think I slept for 3 hours if that. And during the 8 hour flight I absolutely could not sleep despite my best efforts. This is just me setting the stage for some heavy sleep deprivation.

      Arriving at JFK, we eventually stumble upon the horribly long queue for customs. When we got to an officer, my friend went first, giving his passport and scanning his fingerprints. I went just after him, doing the same. However, the officer seems to have an issue. They close their booth and ask me to follow them. My friend's watching and is like "wtf is going on", the only thing I manage to say is "welp later I guess", maybe not realizing what is going on.

      My passport withheld, I'm led to a waiting room... and told to wait there, no reason given. The officer tells me that "it" should be quick. As I scan the room, I mostly see Arab or Asian people with an additional one or two white-passing people. I sit and get my phone out to message my friend where I am and what I was told, when an agent immediately tells me that no phone is allowed. I can only imagine how panicked my friend was getting at that point.

      An hour passes.

      With still no reason given for what I'm going to call an arrest, I then had had time enough time to see people go through, leave and for others to take their place all the while I listened to the officers talk to each other and interact with the visitors.

      The ratio of people stayed mostly the same, meaning the majority was comprised of Arab and Asian people, roughly half didn't speak English at all. There were two types of processing. The first one was people waiting 20 minutes and getting called to a counter in the same room, getting their passport back and being allowed to leave. The second one was people waiting at least half an hour and getting summoned to go with an officer to an ominous corridor, staying at least half an hour and then being allowed to leave.

      The officers at the counter chatted within themselves in a friendly manner, typing on their computer at the same time, a nice front immediately shattered by how they talked down to everyone. One elderly person went to get something in their luggage placed at the opposite end of the room when two officers yell at them to sit back down. An asian person was using their phone unaware of the restriction when an officer warns them: "Don't use your phone. Don't use your phone! Hey! Don't use your phone! Oh for the love of- DON'T. USE. YOUR. PHOOONE." Apparently talking slowly to a visitor in a foreign language means they can obviously understand what the office is saying and that they're just acting like they don't understand. And more variations of cliché American cop tropes.

      A half hour passes - still no reason given.

      My friend tries to approach the room to get information and I hear an officer asking firmly for him to go away. (Un)fortunately an officer finally summons me. They lead me into a room and I'm invited to sit down. The officer apologizes for the wait, and then begins an hour long interview. They are very friendly and ask what places I intend to visit, they ask me about my childhood, my parents, my relation to my other country, my education, my hobbies, my jobs. Then I'm asked to unlock my phone. They go through every app and ask me to explain what they all do. They capture my Facebook name, contact names, what is open in my browser, and more stuff that I can't see.

      I cannot describe how distressing it is to see an officer of the law go through your phone. I could not predict if they would stumble problematic material or if they would interpret things the wrong way. This is why I hate people that say "oh I don't care about privacy, I've got nothing to hide". You think I have anything at all to hide?! I am a law-abiding citizen of my country, I have never harbored any intention of committing a crime in my entire life, I can't harm a fly for heaven's sake!

      And finally after all of this I am allowed to go. I get to my friend and hug them and try to get out of this place as fast as possible.

      Maybe you're wondering if I tried to oppose any of this? Hell no. Not using my phone, waiting without reason, giving an ungodly amount of personal information and give access to my phone to a stranger, I did not fight through any of this. Why? I was afraid. I was an alien going through customs in the Patriot Act era. It was very clear to me that if I tried to block any of this process I would not go out of that airport to the US. I have my principles in privacy, but I did not want to waste a literal thousand bucks and more of my time.

      So I went along.

      50 votes
    36. Polite vs Helpful

      I've noticed an interesting cultural difference between New Yorkers and Californians. Lets say I am a bumbling tourist, inconsiderately impeding foot traffic, yet clearly lost and in need of help....

      I've noticed an interesting cultural difference between New Yorkers and Californians.

      Lets say I am a bumbling tourist, inconsiderately impeding foot traffic, yet clearly lost and in need of help.

      New Yorkers, in my limited experience, will bluntly say "hey moron, get outa the way," but then there is always one willing to help me out if I ask.

      Californians, in general, will be very polite, but typically get a little nervous if a complete stranger asks for help.

      Disclaimer: I've lived in California, but have only visited New York, so my observations are a little biased.

      8 votes
    37. Tildistas in the US, who do you support in the 2020 Democratic Primary?

      supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road. poll has been closed as the...

      ~supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road.~ poll has been closed as the week i said it'd be open has elapsed. thanks folks, and of course feel free to continue replying to this thread,

      (foreigners are also welcome to chime in on who they'd vote for if they were eligible)


      it's still 200 days to the iowa caucuses, but since this election cycle began literally six months ago already and we already have one debate under the belt, we're probably far enough along in the primary at this point that at least some of the billion candidates trying to run for the coveted position of democratic nominee for president in 2020 are making an impact on you, and nobody has actually asked this on here recently, weirdly enough.

      i'll probably ask this question again in... i dunno, three months (so mid-october)? and see what changes between threads (if anything does).

      47 votes
    38. Are the Democrats too meek?

      Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries? When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves...

      Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries?

      When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves secret nuclear power tech sales to Saudi Arabia

      When Trump urges US Fed to cut interest rates

      When Trump lifts sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and when Trump conceals face-to-face encounters with Putin

      20 votes
    39. Looking for insight in to Trump's Taxes

      So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate. The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail. From the NYT article:...

      So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate.

      The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail.

      From the NYT article:

      The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

      Trump's statement/tweet:

      “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport,

      Now my very limited understanding of real estate and taxes is this:

      • You can depreciate the building but not the land
      • Depreciation can be carried over multiple years
      • When you sell property you can roll those proceeds into the purchase of another property, thus delaying income tax

      Are those accurate? If so, do they explain Trump's taxes?

      I'm thinking not (I suspect Russian money laundering is the real source of income). However, I have yet to read a good discussion of the specifics. Has anyone read such a discussion or have insight to add?

      Main story from NYT:
      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

      CNBC's article about Trump's response:
      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/trump-defends-tax-tactics-after-nyt-story-says-he-racked-up-more-than-1-billion-in-losses-it-was-sport.html

      EDIT: As an aside, I got into a wee bit of trouble because my wife's (very) small business lost money three years running. The accountant that I worked with informed me that if a business losses $ three years in a row, the IRS considers it a "hobby" and you can't subtract those losses from your personal taxes. Is that in play with Trump at all? If not, why not?

      EDIT2: I'm going to answer my own question I think. I heard a good segment on NPR yesterday that addressed my question. You can read the transcript here: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/08/721552462/president-trump-defends-himself-against-report-he-did-not-pay-taxes-for-8-years

      The bottom line is it's not so unusual but it doesn't exclude the possibility of him running his businesses poorly either. So I think it's not really what the headlines have made it out to be.

      14 votes
    40. IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst...

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst thing ever" to happen (esp since I'm in a swing state that went Trump). But here's the truth as I see it: Voting Democrat regardless of candidate, with their only qualification being "Not Trump," will only increase the USA's slide (deeper) into fascism.

      The reality I see is that even if Trump had never entered the 2016 race, 90%+ of the policy, judicial appointments, and everything else that he has done since being elected would be identical no matter which "R" candidate won the race, because all of these things are exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades. In that regard, I consider Trump more favorable than any other R candidate, because he is at least failing to do his "real" job: Hiding fascist, imperialist policy behind a charismatic smile and some clever words.

      Ultimately, this is the reason why I don't generally support Democrats either. Hillary's policy wouldn't have been as immediately destructive as the GOP agenda, but it also would not have stopped the march towards fascism. I voted my conscious in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. I just hope there are more people willing to do the same this time around.

      I like to picture that the government of the USA is digging a hole. With every shovelful, we're sliding ever closer to a fully authoritarian fascist regime, and the destruction of our planet. While Trump (and the GOP as a whole) has been calling in for backhoes and drills to speed the process....as far as I can tell, only two candidates in the 2020 primary are calling to stop the digging: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. At best, the other candidates are conveying messages akin to: "We need to compromise with the GOP and maybe slow down the rate at which we allow new backhoes to be brought to the pit."

      In my mind then, it makes more sense for 4 more years of Trump, than to allow another center-right candidate for his opposition. Because at least Trump isn't able to pull off the charismatic smile and/or intelligent language that the Regan's, Bush's, Clinton's, and Obama's of the world have that allow terrible things to continue behind a cloak of "incremental change." It wakes up those who would otherwise tolerate these horrendous acts, and perhaps inspires them to become more active. By allowing for the political discourse to end with "Anything is better than Trump", it just permits the overall platform to gradually, but continually shift to the right.

      And in my mind, it is the total death of real, dissenting voices in public discourse that is far, far worse than Trump winning another term could ever be.

      I would love to hear if anybody else in this community has had feelings akin to what I've described here, as I've only been described as "insane" by most of the people I've discussed this with in person.

      30 votes
    41. Something has changed, and, thankfully, those trying to manipulate us haven't recognized it yet.

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC. When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you...

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC.

      When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you to think he is stupid.

      When you constantly attack a politician, you actually give them more followers. It's strange, but the Streisand Effect is real, especially in this Internet era.

      The biggest weapon in someone's arsenal is to actually just talk about what they are for. Not attack their opponent and give them press. The rules have changed.

      5 votes
    42. Would you pay higher taxes for better government services?

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7% England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5% The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of...

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7%

      England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5%

      The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of the income taxes

      The Bottom 49.1% (Earning less than 45k AGI) paid $97 Billion of taxes, but 27.4 Million Households filled for $66.7 Billion in EIC tax credits

      If the taxes on the bottom 78 percent were increased 6% to a level similar to England the USA could have universal health care

      The US Spends 3.4 Trillion on Healthcare.

      Just 5% of Americans Account for 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending. So taking away the top 5% means the US spends about 5,500 per person. More than UK, but with a long term approach we can tackle that.

      1. Saying no to covering all issues. See above. Total cost down to 1.8T

      2. Accepting a tax increase

      • Doubling the Medicare withholding will provide 500B
      • Down to 1.3T
      1. Reallocate state spending In 2015, state governments across the country spent a combined $605 billion on health care
      • Down to 700 Billion
      1. Increase taxes 6% across the board, like those of countries that provide healthcare. 600B in Funding
      • Down to 100 Billion
      1. 1/3 of expenses in 2017 was payable for hospital room rentals and 21% was to doctor's office billable hours
      • Increase utilization to make hospitals & Doctors more efficient so cost can be cut
      • 1% reduction in billable hours and room rates Down 100B
      • Adjust pricing based on cost savings
      • Repeat

      If the US had higher taxes for gas we could have a better Infastructure. Using rough math we in 2017 underfunded the highway dept about $21.5 billion

      • 40 Cents per Gallon vs 18.4 cents currently
      • 33 Cents vs 17.5 cents for Highway maintenance at fully funded for at least the next 5 years
        * 1 Cent vs 0.9 cents Gas Safety and storage. Round it up to a full penny better saftey funds for better clean up
        * 4 cents a new Green energy tax for Green projects
      • 2 Cent New Metro Projects tax

      $5.5 Billion annual funding for projects, plus using funding not going to covering the underfunded highway dept means who doesn't want to announce a 10 year $250 Billion Green Deal Project. Get States to match it 40/60 and its a $600 Billion Project

      $96 a person more and With this Major Cities can tackle major projects and Rural cities can apply for the Metro Funding. $1.5 Billion each state gets on average can be applied however but that's encouraging moving to a Green plan.

      The U.S. combined gas tax rate (State + Federal) is According to data from the OECD, is the second lowest (Mexico is the only country without a gas tax).

      The average gas tax rate among the 34 advanced economies is $2.62 per gallon. In fact, the U.S.’s gas tax a rate less than half of that of the next highest country, Canada, which has a rate of $1.25 per gallon.

      We want to have the European advanced economy of our peers but we arent wanting to pay for it

      26 votes
    43. Did you watch the State of the Union? Or the Democratic Response? What did you think?

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV...

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV coming into this. I consider myself generally liberal on most issues with a few exceptions (gun rights, against college for all, etc)

      Some observations:

      • There was much there to please Republicans regarding the economy, etc
      • There was much there that I'm not sure will play well with Trump's base: economic programs for women in other countries (Ivanka's influence?), criminal justice reform, lots of praise and visuals of black Americans including several guests, seeming to waffle a bit on the "wall" - I think he reduced it to fencing, did I get that right?, he stated several times he was in favor of legal immigration (something his actions have indicated otherwise and his base seems to be against)
      • We're going to make peace with the Taliban - that was a jaw-dropping moment for me and I could tell from the reaction of the Rs in the crowd that it didn't play well with them
      • Democratic women wearing white - smart political move and I didn't catch they did it during his first speech
      • Pelosi was great to watch. Calm as a cucumber. She had several little subversive moments where instead of immediately sitting down after clapping she shuffled some papers or pretended to read something, sending a clear message of what she thought of POTUS' remarks
      • Trump's anti-immigration push still isn't focusing on any facts...sigh.
      • Russia investigation was only mentioned once or twice so he didn't succumb to temptation there
      • I thought this was by far his best and most presidential speech
      • The Rs at work were not impressed so I thought that was interesting

      Regarding Stacy Abrams' response:

      • I was totally disappointed
      • She completely lacked energy and I had a hard time following along because of it
      • Kennedy was 100x better in his response (even with the excessive lip balm)
      • I don't have much else to say...it was bland

      What did you think?

      EDIT: Forgot he announced we're back in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. And what was up with bringing in all of the Holocaust survivors and WWII vets? Was that a blatant appeal to the oldest members of his base or simply to recall the last "good" war the US fought?

      19 votes
    44. Dear US-Americans of Tildes, is West Virginia really that bad?

      I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river,...

      I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river, and they do look pretty. Definitely somewhere I would like to hike. I've also heard that the local BBQ is good, which is relevant to my interests.

      At the same time, almost every time I see West Virginia mentioned on e.g. Reddit, there is always someone pointing out that WV is, for lack of a better term, a shithole. I've seen that occurring several times on several different subreddits. What is up with that? Is that just a thing where the people from one US state always feel the need to throw crap at other states? Are there economical reasons? Is it too conservative/racist/what-have-you?

      Just in case, I am not trying to start something, I am genuinely curious, how can one place be called “almost heaven” by one group of people and at the same called a “shithole” by another.

      35 votes
    45. Americans here: what is right wing, what is left wing?

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it...

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it scientific-ish, and share our answers as top-level comments that expose our perception, thoughs and answer. If you disagree an answer, post a toplevel comment that exposes your view, instead of direct refutals to individual comments. I believe that's a more productive approach.

      The right-left distinction in US politics is quite different to what it is in other parts of the world. Your right wing politics supports free speech for example, which in most parts of the world is an oxymoron. Could you explain me which ideas and stances are classified as right wing and which left wing in the US politics? Please read the above request before responding, I really don't want to start a political flame war and would be sorry if this turned into such a thing and became a burden on the mod(s).

      20 votes