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  Are Heroes mostly brave - oder obedient?
Posted by: Hintergrund - 03-06-2019, 11:12 PM - Forum: Generations - Replies (34)

After reading how G.I.s compared their Missionary leader Douglas MacArthur to God, and how the same G.I.s later failed to lead their Boomer kids in Vietnam (after they had spoiled them rotten), I really wonder: Are they as heroic as their name?

If they were able to do heroic deeds, it's because they had competent, realistic Nomad leaders who saw through the Missionary bullshit.

Even if the G.I.s were just as brave as the Nomads have been: Without good officers, brave soldiers became "Lions lead by donkeys", as in WW1.

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  Turning-dependent jokes
Posted by: Hintergrund - 03-01-2019, 09:08 PM - Forum: Turnings - Replies (2)

I like to read old jokebooks and such, hence I often find jokes that don't fit that much into our time. This is a thread for them.

Here's one from 1T for a start:

A G.I. tells his wife: "It's time we give the kids the talk how the world really works!"

Wife: "No, please don't, they still so young and innocent!"

Husband (sighs): "Listen - we always told the kids that the good Lord provides the daily bread, Santa brings the gifts, and the stork delivers the babies, right?"

Wife: "Yes - and?"

Husband: "The kids are starting to believe that I was just a useless bum!"

That's typical for 1T - parents who believe in Dr. Spock, "we need idealistic kids" and all that, spoiling them rotten... and that's the result: ungrateful brats who don't know jack!

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Tongue Women get lucky, Selective Service for them.
Posted by: Ragnarök_62 - 02-27-2019, 02:44 PM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (2)


I have 5 nephews and I fully support this. This will cut their chances of being cannon fodder by 50%. Big Grin  SJW's of both sexes can share a common delight of MRE's for supper and shitting out in the boonies as well.

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  Gen-X in MidLife - Are We Really On the Sidelines?
Posted by: sbarrera - 02-24-2019, 06:27 PM - Forum: Generation X - Replies (12)

From my blog, inspired by recent memes about Gen-X the overlooked generation.



 February 18, 2019  Steve Comments 0 Comment
[Image: GenXMissing.jpg]
Recently there was a meme going around that showed the living generations and their birth years, but with Generation X conspicuously absent. The responses from my generation came fast and thick, loaded with the expected amount of snark and ironic detachment.

The meme was circulating around the same time that Saturday Night Live aired a sketch called Millennial Millions – a parody game show in which Millennials had to withstand obnoxious, narcissistic Baby Boomers for a chance to win the same entitlements the Boomers already enjoyed – like health care, or a job. My generation was there in the form of the game show host, who had this memorable line: “I’m Gen-X, I just sit on the sidelines and watch the world burn.”

My generation has always had an instinct to keep to itself, to take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself, but otherwise stay in the background. It’s because of the hands-off way we were raised in the 1960s and 70s, a time of cultural upheaval when children were not a social priority. We learned to depend on ourselves, not to trust social institutions or the wisdom of our elders. And we’ve carried that attitude forward into mid-life, perhaps to our detriment.

Is Generation X really on the sidelines of life, ignored and forgotten? Let’s took a look at the impact we have had in different spheres of life. We can also look at some of the best known Gen-Xers for insight.

As I pointed out in an earlier blog post, Generation X comprises everyone in their late 30s through late 50s. These are the prime years of life – we are at the peak of our careers, growing in responsibility and taking over leadership roles. The culture may decry Boomers living too long and keeping good jobs away from Millennials, but it is really Gen-Xers occupying all those managerial positions. It’s Gen-Xers who have driven the digital transformation of the economy, and the remarkable productivity gains which have given us our prosperous commercial age.

The most successful Gen-Xers in business, particularly in the dot.com world, have been greatly influential in forging the modern zeitgeist. But only a few are really prominent, like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Tesla founder Elon Musk. Other founder-CEOs are responsible for much of the background of modern life, but aren’t as well known – Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, Uber’s Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The iconic Internet startup-CEO is a Millennial, Mark Zuckerberg. And no highly successful Gen-X entrepreneur has the stature of the two great Boomer godfathers of the digital age – Bill Gatesand Steve Jobs.

In politics, the influence of Generation X is also rarely noted, though we are integral to one of the remarkable political stories of the century – the rise to power of the Republican party. Gen-Xers were the most likely to embrace the Reagan Revolution in the “greed is good” 1980s, with its philosophy of deregulation and elevation of the free market. Like Michael J. Fox in Family Ties, we turned away from the hippie past to embrace a new era focused on the business of making money. Prominent Gen-Xers in politics today are mostly Republican, furthering that agenda. It’s as though left-leaning Gen-Xers are just not interested in getting involved.

In the 2016 presidential election the two Gen-Xers who made it the furthest in the primaries were Republicans Ted Cruz and Mark Rubio. With the subsequent Republican takeover of the government, it seemed that unfettered individualism had triumphed. This may be mostly a Boomer accomplishment, but it is one in which the Gen-X go-it-alone ethos has been complicit.
Since 2018, the tide has started to turn against Republican dominance. If a progressive wave does sweep away the current regime, if the Presidential administration does collapse from its corruption, Gen-Xers who hitched themselves to the Republican success story will find themselves sidelined. But Gen-Xers on the Democrat side aren’t likely to become prominent as a result. The political narrative of Democratic regeneracy is focused on the needs of the young generation, and the up-and-coming Democrat who is making the biggest waves today is a Millennial.

Media and entertainment is perhaps where Generation X enjoys the most eminence. A look at the highest paid film stars shows a lot of Gen-X faces. Gen-X has always been obsessed with pop culture, and now that we are in the peak of life, it’s like Gen-X content creators are finally getting the chance to realize the imaginative visions of their youth, aided by all the advances in computing and audiovisual technology. It’s no wonder so many of the franchises of our childhood years are springing to life in movie and television form. Gen-X also brings a bit of a dark touch; as I put it in an earlier post, we are in a large part responsible for a new film noir age.

As for the more serious side of media, Generation X has had less luck supplanting previous generations of journalists and news reporters. Part of the problem is that we peaked at the same time that “fake news” became a thing, and that the public stopped trusting traditional media. The great Gen-X opinion shapers are actually the sarcastic, fake news types, like Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert. It’s like not taking anything seriously has been our great contribution to the culture.

In family life, it’s Generation X whose live-and-let-live attitude has given us the diversity of the Modern Family, up-ending traditional family values. Not that Gen-Xers don’t support family – we are fiercely loyal and dedicated to those we love. After a childhood during a social era of family disintegration, we seek in mid-life to rediscover family life. We also are the ones who introduced work-life balance, turning away from the workaholic careerism of the Boomer generation. For us, for the most part, work is a necessity for survival, not a calling.

The main way in which the influence of Gen-X on family life is commonly regarded, if not acknowledged as a Gen-X trend, is in the rise of overprotective parenting – a reaction to the underprotective parenting of our childhood. A common kind of meme in social media feeds is one extolling the good old days of laxer parenting, and boasting about how a mid-lifer (70s or 80s kid) got along just fine without all the child protective rules and regulations of today. The irony is that a Gen-X parent might post such a meme, and might enjoy such a meme, but is unlikely to actually change parenting styles.

This high level look at Generation X shows how our ethos of individualism and self-determination has influenced our contributions to society. On the one hand, our productivity and innovation have helped sustain the great economic boom of the post-war period. Our tolerance and open-mindedness have helped to give us a society that is more diverse and full of opportunities for all than that of the past.

On the other hand, our avoidance of group participation – even denial of its value – hampers society’s ability to find solutions where collective action is required. This means long standing problems such as wealth inequality and the lack of affordable healthcare and education remain unsolved. As time marches on, Generation X has to be careful not to let its instinct for non-participation cause it to be fully sidelined, should a progressive or quasi-socialist regime supported by younger generations rise to power.

Gen-Xers still have many peak years of life left in which to make our contribution to history. In the transformative years that lie ahead, our generation may well produce new leaders from unexpected places. As the old order dies and a new one takes its place, we may find ourselves in positions of unprecedented power – and surprise the world with what we do with it. The story of Generation X is not over yet.

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  Prospects of the Collapse of Civilization
Posted by: pbrower2a - 02-21-2019, 09:17 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (20)

from the BBC

Future: Are we on the brink of civilizational collapse?

Great civilisations are not murdered. Instead, they take their own lives.

This article is part of a new BBC Future series about the long view of humanity, which aims to stand back from the daily news cycle and widen the lens of our current place in time. Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future,” she wrote.
That’s why the Deep Civilisation season will explore what really matters in the broader arc of human history and what it means for us and our descendants.

So concluded the historian Arnold Toynbee in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History. It was an exploration of the rise and fall of 28 different civilisations.

He was right in some respects: civilisations are often responsible for their own decline. However, their self-destruction is usually assisted.  
The Roman Empire, for example, was the victim of many ills including overexpansion, climatic change, environmental degradation and poor leadership. But it was also brought to its knees when Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 and the Vandals in 455.

...My comment (and all of them will be in blue): up to a few decades ago most of our potential learned Latin and with learning the language of Cicero, Cato, and Caesar those bright and privileged kids also learned how a mass society on a large scale could thoroughly fcuk up and take itself down. Such learning about the vulnerability of institutions that people take for granted was a powerful warning to future clergy, attorneys, and academics, something that one does not learn from a study of a language of similar complexity such as Russian, which has the bonus of some superb literature. Today's most promising youth no longer get that side effect of learning Latin. I will be bringing up Toynbee, whom I consider as relevant to modern Western civilization as to others of the past. The rot is setting in!)

Our deep past is marked by recurring failure. As part of my research at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, I am attempting to find out why collapse occurs through a historical autopsy. What can the rise and fall of historic civilisations tell us about our own? What are the forces that precipitate or delay a collapse? And do we see similar patterns today?

The first way to look at past civilisations is to compare their longevity. This can be difficult, because there is no strict definition of civilisation, nor an overarching database of their births and deaths.

In the graphic below, I have compared the lifespan of various civilisations, which I define as a society with agriculture, multiple cities, military dominance in its geographical region and a continuous political structure. Given this definition, all empires are civilisations, but not all civilisations are empires. The data is drawn from two studies on the growth and decline of empires (for 3000-600BC and 600BC-600), and an informal, crowd-sourced survey of ancient civilisations (which I have amended).

[Image: p0715m80.png]

Here is a list:


Comment: with the possible exception of the Byzantine civilization, none of those last beyond 1000 AD. Some last a long time (Three Kingdoms of Korea, 725 years and the Axumite Kingdom (in the southeastern Sahara (1000 years). The Qin dynasty lasts 14 years and the Third Dynasty of Ur at 46.

If a civilization is a dynasty or a continuing tradition of government, then the oldest existing civilization is the Hanoverian dynasty in the UK, the United States (so far one of the most impressive empires to have ever existed) is second at 242 and counting, and the Swiss Confederation now checks in at 203. The Orange dynasty is the same, but one must remember that four horrible years were occupation by the Demonic Reich (Nazi Germany) that itself is an attempt to establish a new civilization setting new (if monstrous) norms for its objectionable empire. Do the Swiss think that they have a civilization distinct from its neighbors? I doubt it.

The Hanoverian dynasty in Britain has just surpassed (at 305 years) the duration of the distinctive civilization of the Romanov Dynasty of Russia (303 years), and the United States of America will get there if it lasts deep into the next Fourth Turning that begins about 65 years from now. Much as I loathe Nazi Germany an ethical and intellectual sewer I recognize it as an effort to establish a new civilization built upon a  foundation of pseudoscience, terror, and slavery. I also recognize the Soviet Union lasting for 74 years -- which the Republics of India and Israel, which have their own distinctions (at 72 this year) already outlasting the first Bolshevist state. The longest-lasting Marxist states is that of the Kim Dynasty (surpassing the Soviet Union this year at 74) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- which is a complete lie about itself as a description of its character. It is on the Korean Peninsula, so it gets that correct.

I see the Republics of Israel and India as more durable than many political entities that have existed.

The United States of America is one of the most impressive empires to have ever existed.

It also has one of the most durable political systems to have ever existed. Will it survive Donald Trump? Probably.

Collapse can be defined as a rapid and enduring loss of population, identity and socio-economic complexity. Public services crumble and disorder ensues as government loses control of its monopoly on violence.

Virtually all past civilisations have faced this fate. Some recovered or transformed, such as the Chinese and Egyptian. Other collapses were permanent, as was the case of Easter Island. Sometimes the cities at the epicentre of collapse are revived, as was the case with Rome. In other cases, such as the Mayan ruins, they are left abandoned as a mausoleum for future tourists.

What can this tell us about the future of global modern civilisation? Are the lessons of agrarian empires applicable to our post-18th Century period of industrial capitalism?

Comment: I am not counting voluntary divestment of colonial empires as collapse.

I would argue that they are. Societies of the past and present are just complex systems composed of people and technology. The theory of “normal accidents” suggests that complex technological systems regularly give way to failure. So collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage.

We may be more technologically advanced now. But this gives little ground to believe that we are immune to the threats that undid our ancestors. Our newfound technological abilities even bring new, unprecedented challenges to the mix.
And while our scale may now be global, collapse appears to happen to both sprawling empires and fledgling kingdoms alike. There is no reason to believe that greater size is armour against societal dissolution. Our tightly-coupled, globalised economic system is, if anything, more likely to make crisis spread.

If the fate of previous civilisations can be a roadmap to our future, what does it say? One method is to examine the trends that preceded historic collapses and see how they are unfolding today.

While there is no single accepted theory for why collapses happen, historians, anthropologists and others have proposed various explanations.


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Posted by: Bill the Piper - 02-21-2019, 01:15 PM - Forum: The Millennial Generation - Replies (13)

The mainstream media seem to think there is a generational boundary around 1995. Now even Pew Research agrees. Why?

If gen Z really starts in 1995, a new turning would have to begin in 1998-9, and I don't see it makes sense. Even 9/11 did not make that much of an influence on people's daily life, as the social media revolution and financial crisis of late 2000s.

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  Andrew Napolitano jumps the Trump "ship of fools"
Posted by: pbrower2a - 02-21-2019, 01:38 AM - Forum: General Political Discussion - No Replies

Shortly after the New York Times dropped an explosive report alleging President Trump called then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to put a Trump ally in charge of the Southern District of New York’s case against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said this request amounted to “an attempt to obstruct justice.”

According to the Times, Trump attempted to exert pressure on his newly installed attorney general late last year. With U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman having already recused himself from the Cohen investigation due to a conflict of interest, Trump reportedly asked Whitaker to put Berman in charge of the probe. Trump “soon soured” on Whitaker for not being able to make the move happen, per the Times.

Speaking with Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Tuesday, Napolitano noted that Whitaker himself could be in trouble if the story is accurate, seeing as Whitaker previously testified to Congress that the president had never pressured him on any of the multiple Trump-related investigations.

“There’s two potential crimes here for Matt Whitaker,” the judge stated. “One is actual perjury, lying to the Congress. The other is misleading. Remember, you can be truthful but still misleading.”


Comment: Is the end-game beginning?

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  Nurses Against Circumcision
Posted by: taramarie - 02-13-2019, 11:44 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (28)

Nurses Against Circumcision

"… I did not anticipate the lurching sensation that gripped my heart as I looked upon that baby. He was laying strapped down to a table, so small and new – pure and innocent – trusting – all alone – no defenses.
I walked toward the baby and wanted to take him off the table and shelter him – to tell him that it would be okay, that nobody would hurt him on my watch.
Then in walked the doctor. Loud. Obnoxious. Joking with his assistant. As if he was about to perform a 10-minute oil change.
Not once did he talk to this little baby. I am not sure he even looked at him – really looked at him.
Rather, he reached for his cold metal instruments and then reached out for his object of mutilation: this sweet newborn’s perfect, unharmed, intact penis.
I recall this little baby boy’s screams of pain and terror – his small lungs barely able to keep up with his cries and gasps for breath.
I turned in horror as I saw the doctor forcefully rip and pull the baby’s foreskin up and around a metal object.
Then out came the knife. Cut. Cut. Cut. Screaming. Blood.
I stood next to the baby and said, “You’re almost done sweetie. Almost done. There, done.”
Then came the words from the doctor, as that son-of-a-b***h dangled this little baby’s foreskin in midair and playfully asked, “Anybody care to go fishing?”
My tongue lodged in my throat.
I felt like I was about to vomit.
I restrained myself. It was now my duty to take the infant back to the nursery for “observation.”
… Back in the newborn nursery, rather than observing, I cradled the infant. I held him and whispered comforting words as if he were my own. I’ll never forget those new little eyes watch me amid his haze. He knew I cared about him. He knew he was safe in my arms. He knew that I was going to take him to his mommy. But, deep in his little heart, at some level, I know he wondered where his mommy was. While he lay there mutilated in a level of agony that we cannot imagine, in what was supposed to be a safe and welcoming environment after his birth, where was his mommy?"

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  "I had a late term abortion. President Trump and Pro lifers ....
Posted by: taramarie - 02-13-2019, 10:45 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (6)


"...I believe torturing babies in the service of what my friend Grace Ombry calls “cosmic self-improvement projects” is wrong. I believe torturing babies for any reason is wrong. Kate Carson, another friend whose words are so embedded in the way I think about baby loss and grief that I don’t even know when I’m quoting her anymore, says she was presented with the option of giving her baby only one of two precious gifts: peace and life. Like her, and like many parents faced with this impossible binary, I chose peace."
"But this week is different. The backlash against New York state enacting the Reproductive Health Act and Virginia Democrat Kathy Tran introducing a bill to loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions in her state has even veteran grievers reeling. To have the nation recoil in disgust and horror at what was our lives has a lot of us feeling tense and exhausted. And then our president called us murderers in his State of the Union address and promised to make what many of us did illegal. Half of his audience—our elected representatives—stood and applauded that line. We watched in horror, or didn’t in protest, but there’s no escaping the stigma being broadcast from the nation’s highest office. We came to the group and raged and cried and told each other he has no idea what he’s talking about. He doesn’t, but it still hurts."
".....New York’s law will protect a few more people from those small indignities. More importantly, someone who cannot travel will now be able to make the choice she must.
It’s the first victory for reproductive choice in what feels like forever. The members of our group are especially attuned to the way asterisks have been hung on Roe v. Wade since the 1970s. We know how close many of us came to being forced to continue pregnancies that would have tortured both us and our babies. We watched the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh with horror, not only because of the implicit acquittal of a credibly accused attempted rapist, but also because we knew it would likely result in abortion being further restricted in many more states, meaning more families in crisis pregnancies being forced to travel, maybe even for routine first-trimester procedures. Some of them inevitably won’t be able to, whether for financial or logistical or medical reasons."

"The only thing that could have been worse than her dying would have been to continue knitting her small body together with my body, to keep growing bigger and bigger with her and go through a far more dangerous full-term delivery or perhaps even a C-section, should her brain swell with fluid, and then watch her be intubated and fitted with a feeding tube. The only thing worse would have been to feel personally responsible for every bit of her suffering thereafter, wishing I could give her peace and being unable to do it. If you knew how fragile your grasp on the power to save your own child from medical torture was, you might pay more attention to legislative changes like the Reproductive Health Act, too.

And we won. It’s a victory that feels personal in part because the law was all but willed into being by the righteous fury of Erika Christensen, one of our own. But it’s hard to celebrate when the response to this law has just reminded all of us how deeply misunderstood or even hated we are for an experience that many of us feel to be defining, and that we do not regret."

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  Dionysian and Apollonian generations
Posted by: Bill the Piper - 02-13-2019, 02:10 PM - Forum: Generations - No Replies

I don't think this is a property of cycles, but of generations:

Missionaries were Apollonian. The Lost reacted with strong Dionysian tendencies in the 1920s and the remainder of the 20th century was mostly Dionysian. GIs had strong Apollonian tendencies (engineering), but they invented fascism with its Dionysian cult of physical power. Boomers are perhaps the most Dionysian generation ever. Xers are also Dionysian with their barbaric punk and rap music. Millennials appear to be Apollonian, with their fascination with computers.

What do you think?

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