02-27-2020 02:02 PM
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  1. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    I personally am not a very political person, but I still like discussing it from time to time. I am registered as independent but label myself as a libertarian because I am a hardcore freedom lover and want to live my life as happily and freely as possible. The problem is is that in the US (where I currently study) there seems to be some pointless war in the political world, effectively turning this once wonderful country into sort of a dystopia. I am all for people expressing their opinions, maybe even some mildly heated disputes, but things are being taken too far.

    The first part of this saga is political violence in schools. I had the misfortune to see pictures and videos posted by parents depicting images of their kids being beaten and the aftermath. What were they beaten over? Trump hats. As a libertarian, I believe that EVERYONE has the right to express their own political belief in any way shape or form without being discriminated against, kicked out of social groups, beaten up or otherwise treat differently than everyone else. If you don't like Trump or some other politician, vote against them , have them impeached or whatever else instead of attacking INNOCENT CHILDREN.

    The next part is a lack of freedom of speech and opinion in US colleges. Nowadays, if you say one thing "wrong" to anyone, even people you think you trust, sometimes it can result in weird things happening. In severe cases, students have been kicked out for mere innocuous Twitter comments, controversial verbal comments or anything that was against the ideas of the left. Now I am not saying that the left is bad in anyway (to each his own), but this politicizing of schools is stupid as hell. Schools are for getting an education, civil discussions and similar stuff and NOT for discrimination and political abuse/corruption. Here in the US I literally have to turn on a separate "safe mode" version of myself so that I stay alive, which is mega annoying as I hate having to hide my real self from others. Having almost nobody to talk to about certain stuff is annoying and makes me depressed and stressed out quite a bit. I mean none of my opinions are harmful or discriminatory in any way, but still. Back in my secondary home country (Serbia) I can speak however the hell I want to with my friends and family about any subject, no social/legal/academic repercussions whatsoever. Also, this stuff also applies the situation where I have to make sure I don't say anything that could "trigger" someone and make them beg for a "safe space". Sorry, but people have to learn that they are not entitled to any accommodations just because they cannot listen to stuff they don't agree with, be it in normal daily life or as part of a lesson. Accommodations are for DISABILITIES and other similar stuff (like if you need an accommodation because of misophonia or similar auditory issues in the event they disrupt something), not for intolerance to free public speech.

    And the final thing is younger people who want "free stuff" from the government. Now I've joked on social media about wanting it, just to see how people reacted. Nobody cared about my posts of course as usual, but... There are tons of young people very agressovely protesting on the streets and social media for free crap (socialized medicine, etc...). This irritates me as it means I would have to pay more taxes, and those taxes would also be funding health care and other "free" stuff for other people. Secondly, socialized medicine ends you up with literally garbage public hospitals and other things. I know this as back in Serbia we have socialized medicine (leftover from communist Yugoslavia days). The hospital in my city, until a recent cleanup, had cockroches in the children's ward and associated food (roaches crawled out of a meal when my sister was in hospital a few years back, and my mom almost lost it from anger and disgust), underpaid nurses steal toilet paper, people who come in complaining about about potentially deadly moments that happened a moment ago get deprioritized in favor of people with minor injuries that can safely wait, the hospitals look like crap and are dirty as hell, most employees rude and disorganized, medical records piled in dusty piles, ambulances not sent to save older people (65+) even if they are literally dying (or having some other life threatening issue) while making an emergency call, etc... That is socialized medicine and "free" stuff for you, and I don't wanna see that in the US as it would destroy our world-class medical system and alot of other stuff. Nothing is ever free. It is obvious that the younger generations think the government can get funding out of nowhere, and there will be a hell of a tantrum when they see their increased taxes.

    All in all the political situation here is super depressing. I try not to think about it much, but that is hard as hell. I hate the separation and fighting in this once united country tearing people and families apart, making daily life harder and so on.
    aximtreo, kct1975, Golurk and 3 others like this.
    01-13-2020 10:25 PM
  2. J Dubbs's Avatar
    The U.S is falling into a state of decay....as is most of the rest of the world. That's what people do, they destroy, and unfortunately there's not much you can do about it, except to enjoy your life and be glad you won't be around when the world population reaches critical mass and things get REALLY ugly ;-)
    01-14-2020 03:00 AM
  3. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    You must not have spent much time in America yet if you haven't noticed how flawed and trash our healthcare system is. Our life expectancy is actually dropping, people are filing for bankruptcy and losing their homes over medical bills. We pay multitudes more for the same services and medication because a large portion of what we spend is going to wealthy share holders as profit.

    Don't even think about calling an ambulance, that's a $1500 fee even if they don't do anything. Sprain a wrist and need treatment, go to the ER and spend close to $1000 to get an X-Ray to verify nothing is broken. I've never broken a bone or had surgery and I still am in debt to 3 different hospitals.
    01-14-2020 04:01 AM
  4. Mooncatt's Avatar
    You must not have spent much time in America yet if you haven't noticed how flawed and trash our healthcare system is. Our life expectancy is actually dropping, people are filing for bankruptcy and losing their homes over medical bills. We pay multitudes more for the same services and medication because a large portion of what we spend is going to wealthy share holders as profit.

    Don't even think about calling an ambulance, that's a $1500 fee even if they don't do anything. Sprain a wrist and need treatment, go to the ER and spend close to $1000 to get an X-Ray to verify nothing is broken. I've never broken a bone or had surgery and I still am in debt to 3 different hospitals.
    It's expensive, but half the problem is government interference and lobbying from the medical industry. For example, type 2 diabetes is now being cured. You'd think that is great, right? Well doing so means not following the "standard of care" practices that are in place by the major medical associations and going against government recommended dietary guidelines, and doctors actually helping people rather than keeping them customers are at risk of losing their medical licences and are being censored at every turn.
    J Dubbs, kct1975 and ImmortalAl like this.
    01-14-2020 06:12 AM
  5. Mooncatt's Avatar
    It is obvious that the younger generations think the government can get funding out of nowhere, and there will be a hell of a tantrum when they see their increased taxes.
    If we don't change our tax system, I doubt it. The income tax here also levies an income tax on businesses, which are simply built in to the price of goods and services. ALL taxes are paid by individuals through increased prices, reduced wages, and/or reduced investment returns. There's a basic economic fact, but most Americans are ignorant of that. So any time they want a new program to pay for it, they want to tax corporations and the most productive (i.e. rich) people to pay for it. They don't realize they are the ones paying those corporate taxes, and taxing the rich into oblivion will stifle the economy. But yet they blissfully think they aren't being taxed more.

    Ask someone how much income tax they pay, and you'll get one of two answers. Either a dumbfounded look because they don't pay attention, or they will tell you how much they got back on their tax return. Even if they accounted for the tax refund, they are still wrong, because they only looked at personal income taxes. They don't consider FICA taxes (social security and Medicare) to be a tax, and they don't account for average 22% embedded tax in their purchases.

    That's part of why I've been an advocate of the FairTax, which is a plan to replace the entire income tax system with a single rate sales tax on all new goods and services at the retail level over poverty line spending. It simplifies taxes more than anything, makes taxes 100% transparent, and transfers a lot of power back to citizens. So of course that's exactly why politicians do everything in their power to fight it. It's been sitting in Congress as bill HR25 for 20 years now.
    01-14-2020 06:31 AM
  6. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    If we don't change our tax system, I doubt it. The income tax here also levies an income tax on businesses, which are simply built in to the price of goods and services. ALL taxes are paid by individuals through increased prices, reduced wages, and/or reduced investment returns. There's a basic economic fact, but most Americans are ignorant of that. So any time they want a new program to pay for it, they want to tax corporations and the most productive (i.e. rich) people to pay for it. They don't realize they are the ones paying those corporate taxes, and taxing the rich into oblivion will stifle the economy. But yet they blissfully think they aren't being taxed more.

    Ask someone how much income tax they pay, and you'll get one of two answers. Either a dumbfounded look because they don't pay attention, or they will tell you how much they got back on their tax return. Even if they accounted for the tax refund, they are still wrong, because they only looked at personal income taxes. They don't consider FICA taxes (social security and Medicare) to be a tax, and they don't account for average 22% embedded tax in their purchases.

    That's part of why I've been an advocate of the FairTax, which is a plan to replace the entire income tax system with a single rate sales tax on all new goods and services at the retail level over poverty line spending. It simplifies taxes more than anything, makes taxes 100% transparent, and transfers a lot of power back to citizens. So of course that's exactly why politicians do everything in their power to fight it. It's been sitting in Congress as bill HR25 for 20 years now.
    I didn't know about that FairTax movement. Sounds quite nice actually. But yeah, I think we'll have a pretty hard time changing the tax system as old government stuff dies hard.
    kct1975 likes this.
    01-14-2020 08:07 AM
  7. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I didn't know about that FairTax movement. Sounds quite nice actually. But yeah, I think we'll have a pretty hard time changing the tax system as old government stuff dies hard.
    I'm one of their volunteers/page editors on their Facebook page, so I try to promote it where I can (within context, of course). It's rather amazing the amount of positive implications such a should plan can have and I'll take and questions or debates on it here via PM or through their Facebook page.
    anon(10181084) and kct1975 like this.
    01-14-2020 08:15 AM
  8. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    I'm one of their volunteers/page editors on their Facebook page, so I try to promote it where I can (within context, of course). It's rather amazing the amount of positive implications such a should plan can have and I'll take and questions or debates on it here via PM or through their Facebook page.
    So basically because of the lack of income tax, I wouldn't feel the increase in sales tax? I think implementing FairTax might cut down on irrational protests.
    01-14-2020 09:16 AM
  9. Mooncatt's Avatar
    So basically because of the lack of income tax, I wouldn't feel the increase in sales tax? I think implementing FairTax might cut down on irrational protests.
    A bit of a loaded question, because the 23% inclusive sales tax be shown on every receipt. Lol. So I'll try to make this as clear, but concise as possible.

    As I mentioned above, there's an average of about 22% tax embedded into your purchases right now. This covers the tax burden of every company and employee involved in getting raw materials through the production and supply chains and onto the store shelves. Employees are hit at minimum with 15.3% income tax due to FICA alone (it's advertised as you and your employer paying half each, but they aren't fooling us). For someone living paycheck to paycheck, that's an effective ~37% income tax before you even start calculating the personal income tax portion.

    Side note, all of those numbers above are inclusive tax rates. The FairTax is thus listed as an inclusive sales tax, unlike most other sales taxes. This makes for a direct comparison between tax plans. With a 23% income tax, earn $100, you keep $77 and pay $23 tax. With a 23% sales tax, you keep the $100 in your pocket until you spend it. Then it's $77 for the item, $23 in tax. I say this because while it's the same dollar amounts and rates in both cases, critics love to refer to the sales tax as its corresponding exclusive rate of 30% without acknowledging the distinction to make it sound like it's higher than it really is.

    So under the FairTax, every new good and service for personal use is taxed at 23% inclusive at the register. Even online sales are subject to it. The writers of the plan believed no legal resident should have to feed the government before their family (as is the current system) and wanted basic necessities untaxed, so they untax poverty level spending via the prebate. At the first of the month, all legal families (regardless of income) can opt in for a check that rebates in advance the taxes you would pay on poverty level spending. You would then pay it back during the month as you go about your normal shopping.

    As you can see in the attached chart, the prebate is determine only by family size and this makes the plan naturally progressive based on spending choices. Used items are not taxed a second time, eliminating double taxation. Long story short, wholesale prices will fall some as corporate taxes are removed, leading to a rise in after tax prices. That alone would likely have made you balk, but now you hopefully understand that you'll be spending with untaxed dollars thanks to no Federal withholding, and your true effective tax rate can easily be lower than it is today.US Politics makes me upset-screenshot_2019-03-09-09-43-24-1.jpeg
    anon(10181084) and kct1975 like this.
    01-14-2020 09:54 AM
  10. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    A bit of a loaded question, because the 23% inclusive sales tax be shown on every receipt. Lol. So I'll try to make this as clear, but concise as possible.

    As I mentioned above, there's an average of about 22% tax embedded into your purchases right now. This covers the tax burden of every company and employee involved in getting raw materials through the production and supply chains and onto the store shelves. Employees are hit at minimum with 15.3% income tax due to FICA alone (it's advertised as you and your employer paying half each, but they aren't fooling us). For someone living paycheck to paycheck, that's an effective ~37% income tax before you even start calculating the personal income tax portion.

    Side note, all of those numbers above are inclusive tax rates. The FairTax is thus listed as an inclusive sales tax, unlike most other sales taxes. This makes for a direct comparison between tax plans. With a 23% income tax, earn $100, you keep $77 and pay $23 tax. With a 23% sales tax, you keep the $100 in your pocket until you spend it. Then it's $77 for the item, $23 in tax. I say this because while it's the same dollar amounts and rates in both cases, critics love to refer to the sales tax as its corresponding exclusive rate of 30% without acknowledging the distinction to make it sound like it's higher than it really is.

    So under the FairTax, every new good and service for personal use is taxed at 23% inclusive at the register. Even online sales are subject to it. The writers of the plan believed no legal resident should have to feed the government before their family (as is the current system) and wanted basic necessities untaxed, so they untax poverty level spending via the prebate. At the first of the month, all legal families (regardless of income) can opt in for a check that rebates in advance the taxes you would pay on poverty level spending. You would then pay it back during the month as you go about your normal shopping.

    As you can see in the attached chart, the prebate is determine only by family size and this makes the plan naturally progressive based on spending choices. Used items are not taxed a second time, eliminating double taxation. Long story short, wholesale prices will fall some as corporate taxes are removed, leading to a rise in after tax prices. That alone would likely have made you balk, but now you hopefully understand that you'll be spending with untaxed dollars thanks to no Federal withholding, and your true effective tax rate can easily be lower than it is today.Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the explanation. I'm not too savvy with this stuff but you made it super clear. Only having to pay taxes when I buy something sounds great. And plus, keeping non taxed income lets me buy more stuff for the same amount of work if I, for example, visit a place with lower tax rates than the US. Also, the lack of taxation on used items would be great as I occasionally buy used stuff to save money (I still haven't forgotten Amazon charging me several bucks of tax on a $52 used calculator). One more question: if FairTax were to be implemented, would I still have social security deducted? I calculated that for the job I am starting tommorow, I will lose a little over 3 hours worth of money which is honestly mega annoying.
    01-14-2020 10:10 AM
  11. Mooncatt's Avatar
    if I, for example, visit a place with lower tax rates than the US.
    Items purchased outside the U.S. And brought back would be subject to the tax unless it qualifies as used, or has had an equivalent tax paid in that foreign country. I'm not 100% on the specifics of how that's handled, but I can look it up later when I have more time. If you want to look for yourself, here's the bill (caution: typical government legalese speak ahead!).

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-...e-bill/25/text

    One more question: if FairTax were to be implemented, would I still have social security deducted? I calculated that for the job I am starting tommorow, I will lose a little over 3 hours worth of money which is honestly mega annoying.
    Social Security (aka FICA) deductions would be eliminated as well, but will be funded from a portion of the tax. About 35% of the tax revenues are earmarked for social security and Medicare, which shores up funding of those plans and also effectively removes the wage caps on funding. Your employer would still file wages to the Social Security Administration for benefit calculation.
    anon(10181084) likes this.
    01-14-2020 10:37 AM
  12. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    When I meant bringing stuff from OTHER countries, I meant buying a few things for personal use while on vacation or something. Would they really be able to tax me if I, for example, were to buy myself a new Android device in a different country for my personal use? Nowadays they don't do that AFAIK
    01-14-2020 11:55 AM
  13. Mooncatt's Avatar
    When I meant bringing stuff from OTHER countries, I meant buying a few things for personal use while on vacation or something. Would they really be able to tax me if I, for example, were to buy myself a new Android device in a different country for my personal use? Nowadays they don't do that AFAIK
    I had initially thought the tax would be applied to all new imports and a situation like your example would be taxed at the same time import duties are charged. Looking into it deeper, there's a section of the bill that reads as follows.

    (b) De Minimis Payments.—Up to $400 of gross payments per calendar year shall be exempt from the tax imposed by section 101 if—

    “(1) made by a person not in connection with a trade or business at any time during such calendar year prior to making said gross payments, and

    “(2) made to purchase any taxable property or service which is imported into the United States by such person for use or consumption by such person in the United States.
    I double checked with another volunteer that is a retired lawyer, and we agree that this language states, in laymen terms, that you would be able to make up to $400/yr in foreign purchases for import without owing the tax. Note that the above text only applies to you making the purchase directly with the foreign retailer. An importing company that handles the import and re-sale of foreign goods within the U.S. would not allow you to make use of this credit.

    So let's look at the purchase of a phone. If you have made no foreign purchases prior and bought a phone in another country for US$400, you would owe no tax. If you bought a phone for US$1,000, you would only owe tax on $600, or $138.

    How would this be determined? There is another section of the bill covering credits and refunds. As I currently understand it, you'd have to pay the full tax at the same time you pay import duties, then submit paperwork and your receipt(s) to the state sales tax agency (the sales taxes are remitted to the states, then the states remit all those collections to the Federal treasury) for the refund. They would cross check things to make sure you haven't claimed the refund yet for that given year, and issue it to you. This could be handled across several purchases, not a one time use it or lose it situation. Another option, though not explicitly laid out in the bill, could be the development of an instant reporting system that can check your $400 exemption status when you go to pay import duties and the sales tax, and deduct that from the amount of sales tax due accordingly.

    I'll admit this isn't a common scenario, and we don't envision it to be a big issue with people trying to evade the tax. Importing stuff into the U.S. directly can be hassle and you also typically don't get a warranty on so called "grey market" items like that. So those two factors alone are likely to dissuade most of those would be purchases.
    01-14-2020 03:18 PM
  14. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    So basically you're in that case CBP would on entry go through my bag and for every personal device ask whether it is new and/or whether I bought it new abroad bla bla. I mean how the hell would they be able to enforce that. My personal devices are my personal devices, period, regardless where I buy them. Nobody will mess with that. Inspecting every bag and asking these questions would slow down CBP badly. Another problem is people who love abroad traveling with one or more high end devices will be grilled. I'm now not so convinced now that your FairTax system is the nicest idea. I never bring boxes of anything I buy before crossing a border and just put said item into daily use immediately instead of waiting for home to unpack it. This is totally normal back in Europe.
    01-14-2020 03:59 PM
  15. Mooncatt's Avatar
    So basically you're in that case CBP would on entry go through my bag and for every personal device ask whether it is new and/or whether I bought it new abroad bla bla. I mean how the hell would they be able to enforce that. My personal devices are my personal devices, period, regardless where I buy them. Nobody will mess with that. Inspecting every bag and asking these questions would slow down CBP badly. Another problem is people who love abroad traveling with one or more high end devices will be grilled. I'm now not so convinced now that your FairTax system is the nicest idea. I never bring boxes of anything I buy before crossing a border and just put said item into daily use immediately instead of waiting for home to unpack it. This is totally normal back in Europe.
    Am I reading you right that you're ok paying the tax on your item bought in the U.S. but not ok paying it on that same item bought elsewhere for use in the U.S. for the same reason (it's your item)?

    According to the bill, the tax would be due when you pay the import duties. I don't travel abroad, so I don't know how import duties are currently handled or how much your luggage is searched for smuggled items to evade duty charges. My guess is things wouldn't change much from how they are right now, except you'll have the added sales tax on top of the usual duty fees.

    While we do believe that some minor evasion will happen, it's generally agreed that such evasion as you are hinting at will be trivial. An item here and there likely won't be noticed and it would be logistically impossible for a meaningful amount of import smuggling to happen. Certainly nowhere near the $700 billion and growing income tax evasion we currently have. This video covers evasion in general.

    01-14-2020 04:28 PM
  16. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    I would pay in the country I bought it in. But once I start using it as a daily driver it should be treated like all personal electronics. This is NOT considered smuggling, at least not in the vast majority of the world. I guess FairTax is just one of those sweet political dreams with crappy strings attached as always. Right now this crap isn't put in effect, and I want it to stay that way. Customs exists to prevent commercially sellable stuff from being mass imported, and the same with large amounts of monetary instruments. Customs should not be messing with your belongings that you are entitled to carrying with you when you travel.
    ImmortalAl likes this.
    01-14-2020 04:37 PM
  17. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I'm currently looking into this for some additional clarification. What I can say is that for the purposes of the FairTax bill, the difference between a new and used item depends on if the tax was paid. For example, if a company buys a work vehicle brand new, they don't pay the tax because it's not a retail level sale. Business to business transactions are not taxed, eliminating the embedded tax problem. When they go to sell that vehicle to a private party for personal use, it's treated as a new item and the tax will be due on the fair market value at time of sale. Yes it's used in common vernacular, but it's the final retail sale that requires the tax to be paid.

    My initial thoughts about importing follows that same logic. I'll let you know if I find out any different.
    anon(10181084) likes this.
    01-14-2020 04:54 PM
  18. Javier P's Avatar
    I personally am not a very political person, but I still like discussing it from time to time. I am registered as independent but label myself as a libertarian because I am a hardcore freedom lover and want to live my life as happily and freely as possible. The problem is is that in the US (where I currently study) there seems to be some pointless war in the political world, effectively turning this once wonderful country into sort of a dystopia. I am all for people expressing their opinions, maybe even some mildly heated disputes, but things are being taken too far.

    The first part of this saga is political violence in schools. I had the misfortune to see pictures and videos posted by parents depicting images of their kids being beaten and the aftermath. What were they beaten over? Trump hats. As a libertarian, I believe that EVERYONE has the right to express their own political belief in any way shape or form without being discriminated against, kicked out of social groups, beaten up or otherwise treat differently than everyone else. If you don't like Trump or some other politician, vote against them , have them impeached or whatever else instead of attacking INNOCENT CHILDREN.

    The next part is a lack of freedom of speech and opinion in US colleges. Nowadays, if you say one thing "wrong" to anyone, even people you think you trust, sometimes it can result in weird things happening. In severe cases, students have been kicked out for mere innocuous Twitter comments, controversial verbal comments or anything that was against the ideas of the left. Now I am not saying that the left is bad in anyway (to each his own), but this politicizing of schools is stupid as hell. Schools are for getting an education, civil discussions and similar stuff and NOT for discrimination and political abuse/corruption. Here in the US I literally have to turn on a separate "safe mode" version of myself so that I stay alive, which is mega annoying as I hate having to hide my real self from others. Having almost nobody to talk to about certain stuff is annoying and makes me depressed and stressed out quite a bit. I mean none of my opinions are harmful or discriminatory in any way, but still. Back in my secondary home country (Serbia) I can speak however the hell I want to with my friends and family about any subject, no social/legal/academic repercussions whatsoever. Also, this stuff also applies the situation where I have to make sure I don't say anything that could "trigger" someone and make them beg for a "safe space". Sorry, but people have to learn that they are not entitled to any accommodations just because they cannot listen to stuff they don't agree with, be it in normal daily life or as part of a lesson. Accommodations are for DISABILITIES and other similar stuff (like if you need an accommodation because of misophonia or similar auditory issues in the event they disrupt something), not for intolerance to free public speech.

    And the final thing is younger people who want "free stuff" from the government. Now I've joked on social media about wanting it, just to see how people reacted. Nobody cared about my posts of course as usual, but... There are tons of young people very agressovely protesting on the streets and social media for free crap (socialized medicine, etc...). This irritates me as it means I would have to pay more taxes, and those taxes would also be funding health care and other "free" stuff for other people. Secondly, socialized medicine ends you up with literally garbage public hospitals and other things. I know this as back in Serbia we have socialized medicine (leftover from communist Yugoslavia days). The hospital in my city, until a recent cleanup, had cockroches in the children's ward and associated food (roaches crawled out of a meal when my sister was in hospital a few years back, and my mom almost lost it from anger and disgust), underpaid nurses steal toilet paper, people who come in complaining about about potentially deadly moments that happened a moment ago get deprioritized in favor of people with minor injuries that can safely wait, the hospitals look like crap and are dirty as hell, most employees rude and disorganized, medical records piled in dusty piles, ambulances not sent to save older people (65+) even if they are literally dying (or having some other life threatening issue) while making an emergency call, etc... That is socialized medicine and "free" stuff for you, and I don't wanna see that in the US as it would destroy our world-class medical system and alot of other stuff. Nothing is ever free. It is obvious that the younger generations think the government can get funding out of nowhere, and there will be a hell of a tantrum when they see their increased taxes.

    All in all the political situation here is super depressing. I try not to think about it much, but that is hard as hell. I hate the separation and fighting in this once united country tearing people and families apart, making daily life harder and so on.
    Can I ask you a few questions? I don't live in the US and I'm a bit confused with some of the things that you said.


    You talk about political violence in schools. That kind of incident must be condemned with no restriction, but there are some details missing. How old are those kids that you mentioned and how widespread this problem is? I've searched a bit and so far I've only found hoaxes pushed by Q-Anon and similar lunatics or some very isolated incidents where teens were beaten while wearing a MAGA hat and not because of it, which makes a big difference. I focused my search on conservative outlets and I couldn't find any sign that this is a serious or widespread issue.

    You mentioned the lack of free speech, the "left" defining what is "wrong", the isolation and fear you feel because you can't talk freely and that you need to hide your real self. Where is exactly this difference between right and wrong? What kind of things you feel you can't say? Do you mean that everyone plays this cruel game and try push you out? Sorry, but without details it's impossible to know what you're talking about and I'm pretty sure that in any college there are many groups sharing different interests and political ideas.

    Free speech is a human right and you are free to think what you want, but this doesn't mean that the rest of people will agree or be comfortable with your ideas, that's normal and I talk by experience. For example, this forum has a rule saying that discrimination and harassment are not permitted and a reason to be banned. Lack of free speech? Not really, right?. I'm not saying that this is what you mean but, again, without more details it's impossible to know for sure what you mean.

    Not sure what you mean by the "left", but some other things that you mentioned make me think that you have a little confusion about this term. You talked about "free crap", "socialized medicine" and "communist leftover". Public healthcare and education can't be restricted to socialism or the left and it would help if you search a bit about the history of the Welfare State. You can make this search as broad as you prefer but it could be enough just limiting it to the recent history in Europe and the pacts and consensus between the tradicional parties left and right of the political spectrum. Alas, in many many countries public healthcare and education are constitutional rights.

    The fact that in some places the public health system is far from perfect can be explained for different reasons like bad management, corruption, lack of funding or external pressure to privatise it for a profit. That could make a great discussion much more complex than your anecdotal simplification.

    And I'll finish with how upset you are with US politics. I wholeheartedly agree with you, I'm afraid we see it differently though. We both agree that there's a climate of confrontation and something should be done about it. All the information I have is that this confrontation is more moral than political. Bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, exclusion, constant insults, blatant lies and hateful speech have been normalised with top officials and supporters spreading this kind of despicable ideas on a daily basis. The revolt, or confrontation, from what you call "the left" is not against a conservative agenda, it's a fight to restore what many people consider basic human decency. Moral principles, not political or ideological ideas, with many conservative figures on board.

    Just an example that could close the circle on political violence. People of all ages are being harassed, isolated, beaten and killed on a daily basis because their race, religion and sexual orientation. This is a terrible and widespread fact. Should we consider it political? I don't think so, hate crime or even terrorism would be enough for a definition. Do you think something should be done to stop this tragedy? What about we stop considering hate ideas as political options protected by free speech rights? What about being against the leaders that spread and condone these (in)moral principles? Can we really separate the bigots that freely speak their hateful ideas from the criminals that put their fists and guns where their mouth is?
    TgeekB, Laura Knotek and cscott44 like this.
    01-15-2020 05:01 PM
  19. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    https://twitter.com/AmericanDiaries/...02111981342720 and one other incident.
    This thread is going nowhere. I have a thousand things to clarify but I have no energy to type as that would make me more depressed.
    01-15-2020 08:17 PM
  20. Javier P's Avatar
    https://twitter.com/AmericanDiaries/...02111981342720 and one other incident.
    This thread is going nowhere. I have a thousand things to clarify but I have no energy to type as that would make me more depressed.
    That tweet refers to the same incident that I mentioned before. Their explanation has been debunked in several places including the official statement from the school, that can be easily found (I have it if you want it). They have the recording of the whole incident and all the available information shows that the teen in question wasn't wearing any MAGA hat and the incident started after a verbal altercation between two students.

    I took a quick look to that Twitter account and it's clear the kind of information that they share. One of their recent posts includes a doctored video so badly edited that made me laugh. According to them this video clearly demonstrates that Obama is a Muslim born in Africa, the enemy within that always hated America (their literal words). Priceless.

    The other incident that you mention is probably the same. You can see this same confusion on the thread that you linked, with people finally realising that it was only one incident that was reported in different places and times.

    Sorry that this whole thing depresses you. This kind of violence is always terrible but I hope that all this information makes you see this incident under a new light, probably not so terrible as you originally thought.
    TgeekB likes this.
    01-15-2020 11:19 PM
  21. TgeekB's Avatar
    One of the issues with our society is with social media so accessible people will believe anything. We need to realize there are people purposely trying to cause dissension by lying and/or doctoring information, videos, etc. Spend some time and dig deeper, educate yourself, look around. You’ll be better off and less stressed.
    01-16-2020 03:00 AM
  22. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Can I ask you a few questions? I don't live in the US and I'm a bit confused with some of the things that you said.


    You talk about political violence in schools. That kind of incident must be condemned with no restriction, but there are some details missing. How old are those kids that you mentioned and how widespread this problem is? I've searched a bit and so far I've only found hoaxes pushed by Q-Anon and similar lunatics or some very isolated incidents where teens were beaten while wearing a MAGA hat and not because of it, which makes a big difference. I focused my search on conservative outlets and I couldn't find any sign that this is a serious or widespread issue.

    You mentioned the lack of free speech, the "left" defining what is "wrong", the isolation and fear you feel because you can't talk freely and that you need to hide your real self. Where is exactly this difference between right and wrong? What kind of things you feel you can't say? Do you mean that everyone plays this cruel game and try push you out? Sorry, but without details it's impossible to know what you're talking about and I'm pretty sure that in any college there are many groups sharing different interests and political ideas.

    Free speech is a human right and you are free to think what you want, but this doesn't mean that the rest of people will agree or be comfortable with your ideas, that's normal and I talk by experience. For example, this forum has a rule saying that discrimination and harassment are not permitted and a reason to be banned. Lack of free speech? Not really, right?. I'm not saying that this is what you mean but, again, without more details it's impossible to know for sure what you mean.

    Not sure what you mean by the "left", but some other things that you mentioned make me think that you have a little confusion about this term. You talked about "free crap", "socialized medicine" and "communist leftover". Public healthcare and education can't be restricted to socialism or the left and it would help if you search a bit about the history of the Welfare State. You can make this search as broad as you prefer but it could be enough just limiting it to the recent history in Europe and the pacts and consensus between the tradicional parties left and right of the political spectrum. Alas, in many many countries public healthcare and education are constitutional rights.

    The fact that in some places the public health system is far from perfect can be explained for different reasons like bad management, corruption, lack of funding or external pressure to privatise it for a profit. That could make a great discussion much more complex than your anecdotal simplification.

    And I'll finish with how upset you are with US politics. I wholeheartedly agree with you, I'm afraid we see it differently though. We both agree that there's a climate of confrontation and something should be done about it. All the information I have is that this confrontation is more moral than political. Bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, exclusion, constant insults, blatant lies and hateful speech have been normalised with top officials and supporters spreading this kind of despicable ideas on a daily basis. The revolt, or confrontation, from what you call "the left" is not against a conservative agenda, it's a fight to restore what many people consider basic human decency. Moral principles, not political or ideological ideas, with many conservative figures on board.

    Just an example that could close the circle on political violence. People of all ages are being harassed, isolated, beaten and killed on a daily basis because their race, religion and sexual orientation. This is a terrible and widespread fact. Should we consider it political? I don't think so, hate crime or even terrorism would be enough for a definition. Do you think something should be done to stop this tragedy? What about we stop considering hate ideas as political options protected by free speech rights? What about being against the leaders that spread and condone these (in)moral principles? Can we really separate the bigots that freely speak their hateful ideas from the criminals that put their fists and guns where their mouth is?
    A couple of recent events would be the Jussie Smollett attack and intimidation of a student field trip. Note that in the U.S, the mainstream media is primarily leftist. With the exception of Fox News, the others all have obvious bias for leftists policies (Fox News being conservative). So when anything happens to bolster the left, they are quick to jump on it. For better or worse, moral issues have been tied to politics.

    In the Smollett case, he paid a couple of Nigerian guys to attack him and throw bleach on his face, and he at some point had a noose around his neck. The initial reports from the media were that it was a race based attack by white guys, claiming they shouted something about making America great again. So of course all the mainstream media outlets had a field day with it, tying it to Trump and conservatives, and only conservative outlets were skeptical. It didn't take long for it to come out the entire thing was fabricated and Jussie was subsequently charged. In another baffling move, the state attorney dismissed the charges against him, despite the massive costs he incurred on law enforcement. Guess which political side that attorney is on...

    In the other case, a video came out where again the leftist media went on a feeding frenzy, showing what appeared to be a group of students with MAGA hats intimidating an naive American in Washington D.C. And again, it was the conservative media that forced them to acknowledge the video was doctored. When the entire video was released, you see the student group that was standing around minding their own business when they were approached by the native American, who is a known race baiter, and a group also known for race baiting. It was that group that got into the faces of the students and wouldn't back down, but it was obvious that the mainstream media doctored the video to suit their agenda. The lives of those innocent kids was put in turmoil, and lawsuits were filed against media outlets for slander.

    Oh, and there's the Duke lacross case that was a major story about an apparent gang rape that was racially motivated, only to find out that entire story was fabricated by the lady as well.

    In terms of free speech areas, those do exist. One group of FairTax supporters regularly visits a college campus in California to promote the plan, and they are limited to only standing in one of their "free speech areas." Colleges claim to be a place to open up your mind and experience diversity... As long as you agree with their idea of diversity (forced diversity based on things like affirmative action and not individual qualities).

    Healthcare as a right: No. A right is something you can do without infringing on others. Healthcare is a service. To insinuate it as a right means someone is required to treat you, even if it means they don't get paid for it. That would be the definition of slavery. Plus all the other problems of the U.S. healthcare system I mentioned earlier. I can't speak for other countries, but it's too screwed up here to give control of 1/5 of our economy over to the government (moreso than the regulations already in place) even if I did believe that fallacy.

    To answer your last question, yes. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I don't care if Trump told his supporters to go kill all democrats, no one is forcing supporters to throw their fists or pull a trigger. We all still know right from wrong. No one should listen to him if he said that, and anyone that commits violence that comes from it should be punished for it. Free speech rights isn't to protect us from offensive speech, but to protect offensive speech from those that would stifle it.
    kct1975 likes this.
    01-16-2020 07:43 AM
  23. anon(10181084)'s Avatar
    A couple of recent events would be the Jussie Smollett attack and intimidation of a student field trip. Note that in the U.S, the mainstream media is primarily leftist. With the exception of Fox News, the others all have obvious bias for leftists policies (Fox News being conservative). So when anything happens to bolster the left, they are quick to jump on it. For better or worse, moral issues have been tied to politics.

    In the Smollett case, he paid a couple of Nigerian guys to attack him and throw bleach on his face, and he at some point had a noose around his neck. The initial reports from the media were that it was a race based attack by white guys, claiming they shouted something about making America great again. So of course all the mainstream media outlets had a field day with it, tying it to Trump and conservatives, and only conservative outlets were skeptical. It didn't take long for it to come out the entire thing was fabricated and Jussie was subsequently charged. In another baffling move, the state attorney dismissed the charges against him, despite the massive costs he incurred on law enforcement. Guess which political side that attorney is on...

    In the other case, a video came out where again the leftist media went on a feeding frenzy, showing what appeared to be a group of students with MAGA hats intimidating an naive American in Washington D.C. And again, it was the conservative media that forced them to acknowledge the video was doctored. When the entire video was released, you see the student group that was standing around minding their own business when they were approached by the native American, who is a known race baiter, and a group also known for race baiting. It was that group that got into the faces of the students and wouldn't back down, but it was obvious that the mainstream media doctored the video to suit their agenda. The lives of those innocent kids was put in turmoil, and lawsuits were filed against media outlets for slander.

    Oh, and there's the Duke lacross case that was a major story about an apparent gang rape that was racially motivated, only to find out that entire story was fabricated by the lady as well.

    In terms of free speech areas, those do exist. One group of FairTax supporters regularly visits a college campus in California to promote the plan, and they are limited to only standing in one of their "free speech areas." Colleges claim to be a place to open up your mind and experience diversity... As long as you agree with their idea of diversity (forced diversity based on things like affirmative action and not individual qualities).

    Healthcare as a right: No. A right is something you can do without infringing on others. Healthcare is a service. To insinuate it as a right means someone is required to treat you, even if it means they don't get paid for it. That would be the definition of slavery. Plus all the other problems of the U.S. healthcare system I mentioned earlier. I can't speak for other countries, but it's too screwed up here to give control of 1/5 of our economy over to the government (moreso than the regulations already in place) even if I did believe that fallacy.

    To answer your last question, yes. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I don't care if Trump told his supporters to go kill all democrats, no one is forcing supporters to throw their fists or pull a trigger. We all still know right from wrong. No one should listen to him if he said that, and anyone that commits violence that comes from it should be punished for it. Free speech rights isn't to protect us from offensive speech, but to protect offensive speech from those that would stifle it.
    You mention "free speech spaces" at universities. Shouldn't whole campus have free speech LOL
    kct1975 and ImmortalAl like this.
    01-16-2020 10:28 AM
  24. Javier P's Avatar
    A couple of recent events would be the Jussie Smollett attack and intimidation of a student field trip. Note that in the U.S, the mainstream media is primarily leftist. With the exception of Fox News, the others all have obvious bias for leftists policies (Fox News being conservative). So when anything happens to bolster the left, they are quick to jump on it. For better or worse, moral issues have been tied to politics.

    In the Smollett case, he paid a couple of Nigerian guys to attack him and throw bleach on his face, and he at some point had a noose around his neck. The initial reports from the media were that it was a race based attack by white guys, claiming they shouted something about making America great again. So of course all the mainstream media outlets had a field day with it, tying it to Trump and conservatives, and only conservative outlets were skeptical. It didn't take long for it to come out the entire thing was fabricated and Jussie was subsequently charged. In another baffling move, the state attorney dismissed the charges against him, despite the massive costs he incurred on law enforcement. Guess which political side that attorney is on...

    In the other case, a video came out where again the leftist media went on a feeding frenzy, showing what appeared to be a group of students with MAGA hats intimidating an naive American in Washington D.C. And again, it was the conservative media that forced them to acknowledge the video was doctored. When the entire video was released, you see the student group that was standing around minding their own business when they were approached by the native American, who is a known race baiter, and a group also known for race baiting. It was that group that got into the faces of the students and wouldn't back down, but it was obvious that the mainstream media doctored the video to suit their agenda. The lives of those innocent kids was put in turmoil, and lawsuits were filed against media outlets for slander.

    Oh, and there's the Duke lacross case that was a major story about an apparent gang rape that was racially motivated, only to find out that entire story was fabricated by the lady as well.

    In terms of free speech areas, those do exist. One group of FairTax supporters regularly visits a college campus in California to promote the plan, and they are limited to only standing in one of their "free speech areas." Colleges claim to be a place to open up your mind and experience diversity... As long as you agree with their idea of diversity (forced diversity based on things like affirmative action and not individual qualities).

    Healthcare as a right: No. A right is something you can do without infringing on others. Healthcare is a service. To insinuate it as a right means someone is required to treat you, even if it means they don't get paid for it. That would be the definition of slavery. Plus all the other problems of the U.S. healthcare system I mentioned earlier. I can't speak for other countries, but it's too screwed up here to give control of 1/5 of our economy over to the government (moreso than the regulations already in place) even if I did believe that fallacy.

    To answer your last question, yes. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I don't care if Trump told his supporters to go kill all democrats, no one is forcing supporters to throw their fists or pull a trigger. We all still know right from wrong. No one should listen to him if he said that, and anyone that commits violence that comes from it should be punished for it. Free speech rights isn't to protect us from offensive speech, but to protect offensive speech from those that would stifle it.
    Yes, I followed the news about those two cases that you mentioned. I applaud when scams and manipulations are investigated and debunked, no matter what they are. The thing is, I don't have an idea why you mentioned them and in which way they are related to what I said. Are you trying to say that these debunked stories invalidate my claims? Are you saying that some isolated cases demonstrate that hate violence and bigotry don't exist and are far too common? You lost me here.

    I know that in the US the political spectrum clearly swifted to the right in the last years with an intent to change the standard definitions. Many people, including the president, insist every day to define as far left, socialism or even communism what it's just a mild version of social-democracy, which have a clear definition. This is classic political propaganda and what they want to achieve it's very clear, but we shouldn't necessarily follow this manipulation. Defining all media channels but Fox as leftish is a gross exaggeration and maybe the result of the manipulation I just mentioned.

    About free speech. You said that the campus let your guys use their space to promote their things. What else do you exactly want? Do you want them to change their curriculum, set extra classes for seminars, open their classrooms for you? The number of practical reasons that could make these things difficult is enormous, as you must know. Maybe I'm missing something but do they have a different behaviour with proponents of other minority tax systems?

    About healthcare. You say that it's a service and not a right, that's fine, that's your ideological/political point of view. In another place that could make for a good discussion between people with different opinions, like me, but that's not the point. Unless you agree with the OP that public health is a socialist/communist free crap your personal opinion is not related with what I said and even less with the actual and historical facts that I mentioned.


    About your last paragraph. I personally find very strange and a bit disturbing when people say that they don't care when their leaders vomit bigotry and hateful speech in public and always makes me wonder about the causes. Anyway, your words just confirm one of my main points, this a moral discussion and not a political one, where each one of us have our own principles and priorities.
    TgeekB likes this.
    01-16-2020 11:02 AM
  25. Javier P's Avatar
    One of the issues with our society is with social media so accessible people will believe anything. We need to realize there are people purposely trying to cause dissension by lying and/or doctoring information, videos, etc. Spend some time and dig deeper, educate yourself, look around. You’ll be better off and less stressed.
    Exactly. The good thing is that the same channels are excellent tools to investigate a bit under the surface and get most facts straight. In some cases this investigation only takes a couple of minutes, like the case at hand, and we can find big red flags very quickly. For example, on that thread linked above another thread retweets probably a bot where Muslims are blamed for the Australian fires.

    @Millenniumdroid I'd like to ask if you didn't notice this kind of things or if you just agree with them.
    01-16-2020 11:22 AM
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