US 2020 Election Democratic Party Debates Discussion

28 Jun 2019 14:53 - 28 Jun 2019 14:55 #340105 by Rosalyn J
I'd like to discuss the various talking points brought forward in the debates which aired Wednesday/Thursday

Particularly I want to review how the various points brought forward line up with our Doctrine.

So here are the guidelines for participation:
1. Any point you make must be supported not only with relevant sources outside of the Temple, but also with the Doctrine

2. Please cite your sources. Provide links to outside sources and provide rrferences to parts of doctrine (ie Teaching # 3 or Maxim #5)

Night 1:

Night 2:

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28 Jun 2019 15:07 #340107 by ZealotX
Excellent topic. I'm finishing the second debate now.

And I do think it is absolutely relevant to discuss this within the context of our doctrine because... I mean wow...

In the SW universe Jedi were servants of society and therefore naturally became an extension of government but were still independent. But it was their role to enforce the ideals of democracy. If we can't find "some way", "some means", of doing something similar at least in spirit, then I think we're missing out on a large part of what being a Jedi "could" be about.
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28 Jun 2019 19:14 #340111 by Rex
Although this is tangential to your point, a value that I think ought to be a part of TotJO is authenticity
The first night's three gratuitous Spanish moments (particularly by Booker as an obvious attempt to one-up Castro's stance on immigration) are symptomatic of a desire we have to conform and appeal to certain people or groups.

While Castro is related to Chicano politicians, his ending statement wasn't recognizing them but a ploy to gain sympathy. Beto was flat out just "Pokemon go to the polls" pandering.

Acting authentically (what that means is a discussion in itself) is a key component of actualizing belief and thus morality and ethics.

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28 Jun 2019 19:30 #340112 by Carlos.Martinez3
I will defiantly finish the video but the first two minute sounded like a sports show intro - Kinna like a bad Dave Chapelle skit that didn’t make the print or a commercial for ESPN 8 “the ocho”

I guess it goes to show who part of the demographic is... me in 2004 at the movie theater lol ... any how looking forward and to seeing how things go ...

Ps I don’t watch tv or get commercials - we have no tv in my home as our choice. Thank you for posting this.

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29 Jun 2019 21:42 #340150 by Rosalyn J
Response to Rex,

I tend to agree that authenticity should be a part of what makes a Jedi. In preparing my response, I read the doctrine. I was able to find these three references:

Teaching #9: Jedi have integrity. We are authentic to what we believe and are open, honest and true to our purpose and our minds. We remove all masks to reveal ourselves as courageous and noble of heart. We do not hide from fear of damage to our image because we know that our image cannot be blemished from the words and actions of others.

Honesty: To avoid lies.

A Jedi is honest with themselves and seeks to always go beyond appearances. There can be no honest self without the knowledge and wisdom to see truth.

Integrity: To be consistent.

A Jedi lives as a Jedi at all times. Hypocrisy is their worst enemy.

Honesty and integrity are the bedrock of authenticity.

However, such things as attempting to speak a native language, or code switching (ie ain’t nothin’ wrong with that), or appealing to history/legacy (ie my grandfather worked in a steel mill or one of my relatives is in the LGBTQIQ community) are attempts to play the game of identity politics. But it’s not for nothing. Society by and large has played the game of identity politics for as long as there have been separate identities. If it seems like this has reached a fever pitch recently there may be at least two reasons: separate identities have different and separate experiences AND the internet has made it so that we are more acutely aware of the scope and consequences of separate identities functioning under the same “system”.

Often times the refrain has been “if you don’t know my story, you cannot represent me”. The attempt to speak Spanish is an attempt to show that they know the story, an obviously failed one as being able to speak spanish does not make one necessarily culturally aware. With such identity politics, it's so easy for pundits to play the game of one-upmanship, as we have seen if we watched the debates. More platitudes, less attitudes.
Which brings me to another aspect of the doctrine.

Pure Motive: To act with motive and purpose.
Without a sound motive and purpose, action has no meaning, no destination and lacks a foundation. A Jedi moves with the Force, trusts in its ways. A Jedi’s actions are firmly based upon a deep motivation to be as their path dictates.

We must ask ourselves something, and that is whether we want our representatives to be decided on the basis of identity politics, because as my source suggests, one of the cons to identity politics is many, many fractures; many, many competing ideas.

The prevalence of identity politics is preventing us (in a collective since) from finding common ground across cultures, races, sexual identities, classes, etc. The Jedi Believe portion of the doctrine says in part that Jedi believe... “In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin”.
But why do politicians play this game? Because the larger society plays this game.

I am looking for a candidate that doesn’t take the easy road of pandering, but for whatever concern, be it education, imigration, economics, etc., comes up with a real solution which is accessible for all. But I wonder whether the larger society would even be willing to hear good policy if its not couched in identity politics.

It’s not enough to say “stop playing identity politics”. We have to have in place an equitable, accessible system that accounts for the differences in the makeup of the US.
That, I think, is not going to come from Washington. That has to develop from the ground up. Its only going to come through us (in our circle of influence) dialoguing about ideas to create change and making those inroads within the various fractured groups, sometimes by pulling up a chair in our own group and inviting someone to have a seat. Connection, Community, Change. That needs to be what we cultivate.


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30 Jun 2019 17:20 - 30 Jun 2019 17:21 #340172 by Rosalyn J
Education Night 1

“Free education” is one of the sticking points for many progressives along with free healthcare. I’m not saying it's an impossibility. In fact, I’d love to have access to free education. What I do believe is that as it stands now, the US American education system is ill-equipped to offer “free education”. Our current public education system isn’t working. It isn’t preparing most students for jobs immediately after graduation or continuing education.
For doctrinal support I turn to the three tenants of focus, knowledge and wisdom. It's why it was so important for me to engage in a bit of research to see where our education system lies in terms of success. I believe that a good candidate for president will understand the unique needs of the current economy by speaking to employers and understanding what sort of people they need for the workforce and cause to be put in place educational reforms that directly meet those needs. That they will speak to teachers and students throughout the public education system to understand their unique needs. Free education doesn’t solve the fundamental issue of classism if you can opt out of the system with enough money. If you can opt out of the system, you’ll be less likely to seek to improve it.

Thoughts on the Debate
The only thoughts about education that I found to be practical were from Klobuchar who said “But I think my plan is a good one and my plan would be to first of all make community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percentile gets help with their education. My own dad and my sister got their first agrees with community college. There are many paths to success as well as certifications. Secondly I would use programs. I would double them from $6000 to $12,000 a year and expand it to the number of families that get covered up to families that make up to $100,000. And then the third thing I would do is make it easier for students to pay off their student loans because I can tell you this, if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.” The only place where I asked myself “how?” was on her last point about student loans.
However, I think the phrase “free education” is misleading. Its tax funded education. With the exception of private universities, most colleges and universities receive some sort of tax funding. When Warren says “free education” that is what she means. Essentially increasing the amount of funds provided such that students and their parent’s don’t have to pay anything Collectively, US Americans pay enough in taxes to make education free. However, the funds are being appropriated in such a way that without cuts to other parts of the national budget, making education completely tax funded might be off the table.

But allocation for education and other line items in the federal budget aren’t actually decided at an Executive level, but at the Legislative level. See here(1). It’s interesting to me that Klobuchar and others are members of the senate which is part of the legislative branch of government and are advocating for something they have direct control over through legislation. Here(2) is the US budget for 2018. Non defense includes education as well as transportation, some veterans benefits, health, housing insurance and “other activities”. These outlays need to be laid out like other slices in order for an informed conversation to be had about spending on education. But what I really want to get at is if these senators have not been successful in bringing forward their proposals for education in Congress which has direct authority to put funds towards that then “free” education is a pipe dream.

Independent Research
I think it is also important to look at what we have available now, which is tax funded k-12 education and see how successful that has been as a sort of marker to how successful college education would be if it were fully tax funded.

The 2015 PISA results showed that US 15 year olds were unremarkable in their standing against other countries, straddling the middle among 71 tested. Here (3) are the rankings. I was able to get this small video (4) from the PISA website to explain a little about how it works. PISA helps us get a better understanding for how our education system stacks up against other countries, but if you listen to the national conversations around education you will hear that these(5) and (6) are some of the issues facing public, tax funded k-12 education

Now, let’s talk about job readiness. Here (7) is an article that states that less than half the high school students surveyed believed they were ready either for college or a career. It is likely from the issues stated in the articles above, but it underscores my point that “free” education is not an US American priority. To summarize:
-K-12 education is failing to prepare students for careers or college
-The cadre of teachers in schools is being managed by individuals with little or no direct experience in classrooms
-The cadre of teachers is expected to do more teaching with less money to a more exacting and limited definition of success
-Many parents, dissatisfied with public education, are opting for private or homeschooling options.

Now that I have finished with K-12, I’ll move over to colleges. Here (8)is an article citing a recent survey of college graduates and finding that 43% of them are under-employed out of college. Which means only 57% are able to land a job that requires the degree that they pursued. Now, we can say that some of these people choose degrees that aren’t directly connected to jobs, but there are some that did not (psychology engineering and biomedicine are three notable examples).

When you are under-employed, the likelihood that you will be able to pay off high interest student loans is low. Here are some helpful statistics (9) about college borrowing trends.

How do we solve the problem of under-employment? It isn’t by making college “free” while it is failing those individuals using it. We need to base our education system on the current and future job market needs. We need to dignify trade jobs again. As Klobucher said, “there are many roads to success” and I would add that not all of them go through college. We need to make education a priority for all. It may mean raising taxes, or cutting spending in other areas, but that has to come also with maximizing every dollar we have allocated to education now.

Here is the dirty little secret, or not so secret we don’t talk about. Education access is a matter of socioeconomic status and there have been barriers to access all throughout American history, We have a system that allows those with greater access to money to control the k-12 experience as well as the college experience of their children. What that leaves those with low or medium SES with is the public option, a separate and fundamentally unequal option, not necessarily on the basis of the knowledge (but in some cases, yes) but in the case of the connections, the networks, the resources available to students.

So long as there is a separation between us in terms of class, those who cannot afford college will have less opportunity and access to quality education


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01 Jul 2019 13:23 #340182 by ZealotX

Rex wrote: Although this is tangential to your point, a value that I think ought to be a part of TotJO is authenticity
The first night's three gratuitous Spanish moments (particularly by Booker as an obvious attempt to one-up Castro's stance on immigration) are symptomatic of a desire we have to conform and appeal to certain people or groups.

Let me play devil's advocate for a sec. When you empathize with someone you're kind of sharing in their experience the feelings surrounding it. Identity politics always feels a bit awkward when that person isn't in the same "category" as the identity they're "pandering" to. But a politician's job is to represent other people, not just themselves and they need to show that they care and that they can invest in the issues that concern different constituent groups. Old white men may have trouble connecting with and understanding the needs of young women, white, black or other. And certainly the issue of reproductive rights seems to be proving this true. So then you have an Elizabeth Warren or a Kamala Harris and without saying much you already know they're going to represent those voices that tend to be in the minority. And it's important because in a democracy (mob rule) minority voices tend to go unheard and that's how you get an economy and society that simply doesn't work for everyone even though that's the ideal.

So is speaking Spanish good or bad? It's good. I don't speak Spanish. However, I feel like for Spanish speakers its not just a language but rather a part of their culture that helps to maintain their cultural identity. Africans and Native Americans both had large portions of their cultural identity forcefully removed and it's like waking up in an ice filled tub with stitches where your left kidney used to be. Yes, you can survive without it. But you do lose something important and it affects you in different ways. So when they're speaking Spanish I take it as more of a "shout out" and that they've taken the time to learn something that's not necessarily easy. You could just walk up to them and be like "mi amo Taco Bell. tu tambien?" and THAT.... would be shuddering inducing levels of pander. So if it was bad I'd agree, otherwise for me it's relative to how good their Spanish actually was in terms of sounding authentic.

side note: Booker was kinda funny because when Beto did it he gave him side eye and I don't know if he already planned to do it and Beto beat him to it, or if he just was like... "man that was a good idea but guess what? I know Spanish too".
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01 Jul 2019 15:02 #340184 by ZealotX

Rosalyn J wrote: Education Night 1

“Free education” is one of the sticking points for many progressives along with free healthcare. I’m not saying it's an impossibility. In fact, I’d love to have access to free education. What I do believe is that as it stands now, the US American education system is ill-equipped to offer “free education”. Our current public education system isn’t working. It isn’t preparing most students for jobs immediately after graduation or continuing education.

I've thought a lot about Education against this greater backdrop of the 1%. Remember the Occupy Wall Street movement? It also grew out of this sense that even college graduates were coming out and weren't being able to find jobs. At the same time the cost has been going up dramatically and why? professor salaries? I don't think so. I think it has more to do with making it less affordable so that only those who can afford it get to have the benefit of it. And the Ivy league schools are meant for "ivy league" people which helps to solidify the lines between economic classes. But of course other schools are going to compete somewhat (market forces) and raise their prices too. The bottom line is that market forces and profit motive are playing too much of a negative role in society in ways that negatively impact those without money. And when it's education, something we all benefit from, or health... and both of which we all pay for indirectly through prisons and emergency room visits... it should be a question of rights. If we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that "life" should include healthcare. And that "liberty" should include education, imho, because guess what? You can be limited and even darn near enslaved by your lack of education. And if you don't have options a lot of people choose illegitimate paths to survive.

And let's be honest. Even rich people are breaking the law in order to get their kids into certain schools because they know how important it is in this country. I believe the same has led to part of the suicide rate in Japan because they know what not getting into a good school means for their future.

I believe the true cost of education is obscured and obfuscated by the profit motive. Think about hiring a plumber for something as simple as fixing a clogged toilet. Many plumbers will honestly tell you what the problem and what the cost is, but many will also inflate the problem and cost in order to pocket more money. When you extrapolate that same effect on an industry that is already expensive, the more expensive it is the less people look at and criticize additional charges. If you make college free, yes you are going to piss off the people who were skimming off the top and pocketing extra money. But that's probably less than 2% of the population who are basically sucking the blood out of the rest of us. And now with automation replacing many of the good jobs you didn't need an education for... globalization... and now with the dawn of AI on the horizon... we need a flexible education system where people can get continually re-educated for newer jobs. When I was in college degrees in game development didn't even exist.

I think there should at least be more degree classes (more than AS and BS) where lower tier options are free or $1000/yr. Why not subscribe to college like you subscribe to Netflix? I think almost everything should use a subscription model so you can get what you want out of life without breaking the bank.
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01 Aug 2019 15:10 #340782 by Uzima Moto
Panderers, the lot of them. Peddling to the people to progress their own agenda..

They just want to shape it in their own image. An image I don't agree with, at all..

Global Technocratic Socialism in a resource based economy isn't as benevolent as they make it sound.. imho

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