America”s Next Civil War

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DGA
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by DGA » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:28 pm

Samsara.

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:38 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:59 pm
Can you name a time in this country where the police functioned organizationally (not just individually) for the public good in this way? Boy, I can't.
That is so cynical.

Its hard to respond to such a broad and categorical conclusion.

Law enforcement agencies perform no public good?
Anyway, that's how I hope it plays out. Just a straight criminal approach.
Do you really see this administration pursuing anything like that?
I don't think its up to this administration. Part of why Trump hates the FBI is because he knows he can't control it. He can't demand loyalty from the US Attorneys.

The danger is letting this guy hang around too long, letting Trumpism become a self-sustaining movement in the government.

No doubt his damage is substantial, but law enforcement is its own thing. Presidents have had trouble controlling the FBI since Hoover was in charge.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:39 pm

Seems like some of you are cheering for civil war, egging it on, welcoming it.

I don't even
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:01 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:38 pm


That is so cynical.

Its hard to respond to such a broad and categorical conclusion.

Law enforcement agencies perform no public good?
Not on an institutional level, generally speaking. As individuals? Of course, there are many decent, altruistic people who work in Law Enforcement...but they ain't doin' policy. Can you name me a time where they did, where they were not at least simultaneously oppressing the groups they were supposed to protect? Maybe de-segregation, but that sure was a mixed bag. Cynical? Maybe..I think it's just a realistic appraisal of the history of American Law Enforcement, which is quite ugly.

I don't think its up to this administration. Part of why Trump hates the FBI is because he knows he can't control it. He can't demand loyalty from the US Attorneys.

The FBI's record on social justice for vulnerable populations is as bad as Trump's, and much longer.
The fact that liberals are now singing it's praises because of some anti-Trump optics is mind-blowing to me, the FBI is an organization with an awful track record when it comes to a more just society. Almost uniformly bad.
The danger is letting this guy hang around too long, letting Trumpism become a self-sustaining movement in the government.

No doubt his damage is substantial, but law enforcement is its own thing. Presidents have had trouble controlling the FBI since Hoover was in charge.
When has the FBI ever worked in the public interest?

On Trump, the movement he currently represents began a long time ago, they were already percolating during the Clinton years. if he is voted out, movement-wise someone will replace him, Trumpism didn't spring from nothing and it won't be disappearing anytime soon, as sad and depressing as that is. The milquetoast, economically-neutered liberalism that some claim is the antidote to Trumpism will just (at best) stave off it's worse excesses temporarily. There needs to be a new social movement on the left that can actually counter Trumpist narratives and provide an alternative (no, I don't know what it needs to look like, wish I did), in my opinion that's it. relying on institutions like the FBI to protect democracy is ...surreal, to say the least.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:09 pm

DGA wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:28 pm
Samsara.
The Swiss army knife of Buddhist responses.

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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:11 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:39 pm
Seems like some of you are cheering for civil war, egging it on, welcoming it.

I don't even
I think point is that the far right has been gearing up for it since the 90's.

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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:22 pm

Nemo wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:16 pm
... the nice educated coastal one ...
Let's not forget their bad dentistry and dueling banjos.

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:34 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:01 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:38 pm


That is so cynical.

Its hard to respond to such a broad and categorical conclusion.

Law enforcement agencies perform no public good?
Not on an institutional level, generally speaking. As individuals? Of course. Can you name me a time where they did, where they were not at least simultaneously oppressing the groups they were supposed to protect? Maybe de-segregation, but that sure was a mixed bag. Cynical? Maybe..I think it's just a realistic appraisal of the history of American Law Enforcement, which is quite ugly.
I think you have it mixed up.

Law enforcement, as an institution, is charged with enforcing the laws. That's, theoretically, a neutral function.

How the police power is exercised is a question of individuals, whether acting individually or as a larger group.

What you are talking about is when police have acted in ways to oppress and even terrorize people. Arguably, they are violating their mandates when they do that, and possibly breaking the laws and violating civil rights. There are many examples. There are also many examples where the police are just doing their job which we want them to do. I'd argue that is the case most of the time.

In any event, speaking in these broad statements is really not productive. We'll just continue to speak right past each other.

I don't think its up to this administration. Part of why Trump hates the FBI is because he knows he can't control it. He can't demand loyalty from the US Attorneys.

The FBI's record on social justice for vulnerable populations is as bad as Trump's, and much longer.
The fact that liberals are now singing it's praises because of some anti-Trump optics is mind-blowing to me, the FBI is an organization with an awful track record when it comes to a more just society. Almost uniformly bad.
"as bad as Trump's, and much longer."

I'm sorry - what does that even mean?

FBI has done some rotten shit. Hoover was a piece of work. The COINTELPRO stuff was not pretty. The way Whitey Bulger was handled at the FBI is criminal.

The FBI has also done their job in taking down some really bad criminals over the years.

Cops are a mixed bag, individually, institutionally. Its a F'ed up world we live in with a lot of bad actors. Tell, how should they be dealt with?

I do chuckle at outspoken lefties celebrating the FBI. What can you say? When ideological agendas and team first mentality prevails, beliefs, views and principles are all flexible in service of winning.
The danger is letting this guy hang around too long, letting Trumpism become a self-sustaining movement in the government.

No doubt his damage is substantial, but law enforcement is its own thing. Presidents have had trouble controlling the FBI since Hoover was in charge.
On Trump, his movement began a long time ago, they were already percolating during the Clinton years. if he is voted out, movement-wise someone will replace him, Trumpism didn't spring from nothing and it won't be dissapearing anytime soon, as sad and depressing as that is.
Trumpists have not taken over. Not by far. I think the Washington bureaucracies, including law enforcement, intelligence, military, are largely their own things dominated by serious career civil servants who take their service to country very seriously. There are a lot of things to be wary about DC, but the caricature you paint of the Federal government is not one of them.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:11 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:39 pm
Seems like some of you are cheering for civil war, egging it on, welcoming it.

I don't even
I think point is that the far right has been gearing up for it since the 90's.
The right was being tracked post OKC. Then 9-11 happened and it was all hands on deck against "Islamic Terror." Resources need to be reallocated, for sure. Its not a done deal.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:50 pm

Hopefully, this will all be a footnote, like the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's Rebellion, and Black Panthers, and Weathermen, Bloody Kansas. Hopefully its not a chapter in US History text books.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:21 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:34 pm

Trumpists have not taken over. Not by far. I think the Washington bureaucracies, including law enforcement, intelligence, military, are largely their own things dominated by serious career civil servants who take their service to country very seriously. There are a lot of things to be wary about DC, but the caricature you paint of the Federal government is not one of them.
Where did I paint a caricature of the entire federal government? Can you point that out? I was speaking about the FBI, and about law enforcement more generally. Not every bureaucracy in DC. Nor did I say anything about "Trumpists taking over".
We'll just continue to speak right past each other.
Apparently so.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

PeterC
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by PeterC » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:25 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:40 pm
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:02 am
'Civil war' is a slightly ambiguous and emotive term. Factional violence? We're already there, and there's the potential for a lot, lot more

https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/ind ... portl.html
Prior to the start of a scheduled Aug. 4 demonstration, "the Portland Police Bureau discovered individuals who positioned themselves on a rooftop parking structure in downtown Portland with a cache of firearms," Wheeler said during a City Hall press conference. Berk Nelson, a senior mayoral aide, later said the weapons included "long guns."
The people on the rooftop were members of Patriot Prayer, said Assistant Chief Ryan Lee, who appeared at the press conference with Wheeler and other police officials. Police officers seized the weapons found on the rooftop that day, but they were later given back. No arrests were made because the protesters had not broken any laws and all had licenses to carry concealed weapons, Lee said. Neither Lee nor Wheeler named the people who guns were seized from. 

Sensational character of a story doesn't make it more significant.

Portland is a regional city, with a population of a little less than 625,000 people. If you include the metro area, you have under 2.4 million people. The number of people directly involved was statistically tiny. Even if that event had blown up into a gun battle, it would not have compared to the Rodney King riots. This is not a national problem. Its a regional one, at most. This is a spasm of discontent. There is still way too much money to be made in the US for civil war to actually break out. The danger is acute only because of the ease of access to firearms. They're no match for the police, national guard, let alone the military.

You can bet, all of these groups are under surveillance now. They will be infiltrated. When a decision is made to go after them, these groups will be systematically broken up through a full court press of police and prosecutorial power. People will start doing hard time on tax evasion and various RICO charges and the spirit will be smothered. Revolution loses its sex appeal when you're facing maximum security for thirty years. In the meantime, time will go on.

The danger will come if economic opportunities disappear. To put a metric on that - unemployment of what, 15,20%? 30%? We're not anywhere close to that.
The point of the story isn’t that Portland is a canary in a mine. The point is as long as you have groups of people who can easily associate, persuade each other to engage in this sort of behavior, and have access to weapons; and that the conditions exist for a disaffected minority to develop; then you will see more violence along these lines.

Law enforcement could address this. To date they have been unwilling or incapable to do so. The longer they don’t, the harder it gets. I agree that serious law enforcement efforts plus a little military force would quickly squash these groups. But the political will to do that seems sorely lacking.

I wouldn’t put too much confidence in published unemployment rates these days - the numbers don’t mean what they used to mean. With the rise of part-time employment and the polarization of incomes, they significantly underestimate ability to make ends meet for a large segment of the population.

But to return to my original point. Civil war is an ambiguous term. It doesn’t always mean cities becoming warzones. The relevant question to me is whether the level of ongoing violence is increasing or decreasing. Right now it’s not decreasing.

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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by DGA » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:26 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:09 pm
DGA wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:28 pm
Samsara.
The Swiss army knife of Buddhist responses.
The Zen forum called to say "Dried shit on a stick."

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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Quay » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:28 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:02 pm
Losing reserve currency status will be the biggest blow to the US economy. Most Americans are clueless about what this even means.
....
Unless one of your old hobbies was following international currency markets. :-) As long as the U.S. has the largest nuclear arsenal and a very effective military that status will not change. No other currency can defend itself both figuratively and literally like the dollar can.

Their are only two other currencies that at first glance might seem plausible, the Euro and the Renminbi. The former is dependent on the U.S. banking system and the latter is, though quite large in scope, artificially stable, endemically corrupt, and subject to the whims of a small ruling group. Neither is seen as a safe haven.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Quay
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Quay » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:29 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:50 pm
Hopefully, this will all be a footnote, like the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's Rebellion, and Black Panthers, and Weathermen, Bloody Kansas. Hopefully its not a chapter in US History text books.
:heart: Yes.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:43 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:21 am
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:34 pm

Trumpists have not taken over. Not by far. I think the Washington bureaucracies, including law enforcement, intelligence, military, are largely their own things dominated by serious career civil servants who take their service to country very seriously. There are a lot of things to be wary about DC, but the caricature you paint of the Federal government is not one of them.
Where did I paint a caricature of the entire federal government? Can you point that out? I was speaking about the FBI, and about law enforcement more generally. Not every bureaucracy in DC. Nor did I say anything about "Trumpists taking over".
We'll just continue to speak right past each other.
Apparently so.
I'm sorry I missed the subtlety in your categorical condemnation of the police.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Malcolm » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:07 am

DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:26 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:09 pm
DGA wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:28 pm
Samsara.
The Swiss army knife of Buddhist responses.
The Zen forum called to say "Dried shit on a stick."
This is more like the Leatherman of Buddhist responses.

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:34 am

PeterC wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:25 am

The point of the story isn’t that Portland is a canary in a mine. The point is as long as you have groups of people who can easily associate, persuade each other to engage in this sort of behavior, and have access to weapons; and that the conditions exist for a disaffected minority to develop; then you will see more violence along these lines.

Law enforcement could address this. To date they have been unwilling or incapable to do so. The longer they don’t, the harder it gets. I agree that serious law enforcement efforts plus a little military force would quickly squash these groups. But the political will to do that seems sorely lacking.

I wouldn’t put too much confidence in published unemployment rates these days - the numbers don’t mean what they used to mean. With the rise of part-time employment and the polarization of incomes, they significantly underestimate ability to make ends meet for a large segment of the population.

But to return to my original point. Civil war is an ambiguous term. It doesn’t always mean cities becoming warzones. The relevant question to me is whether the level of ongoing violence is increasing or decreasing. Right now it’s not decreasing.
I'm not sure what significance Portland has for the rest of the country. The PNW is a unique area. Portland as a city it's kind of atypical in being really... White. To the point it's kind of a punchline about clueless white progressivism... White dudes with dreads... Rachel Dolezol. Whatever it is, it seems quaint, no offense to the people of Portland . Now if this was happening in Raleigh or Atlanta or Cleveland... Maybe it would carry more significance. Probably not.

The US is so big geographically, population, socially, demographically, in terms of consciousness, it's hard to draw conclusions about anything based on even a few incidents.

To put this in perspective, the Oregon Ducks Football team probably had more people in one section of their first home game than showed up to the rally on both sides.

I agree with the questions about employment rates, but by any metric it's not bad right now. Wages are going up and consumers confidence is up... The economic mood is better than the pull back in the stock market would appear to suggest. Maybe a sign of the disconnect between capital and labor? Probably not.

We'd need a return to great recession unemployment and worse and for a longer period to turn people ready to violently overthrow the government, and critically, you'd need some monied interests seeing an advantage. What advantage is there for capital in civil war?

Really we're talking about pockets of discontent that occasionally erupt in violence. Is it rising? Probably in some ways.

On the other hand, violent crime rates are remarkably down in many cities. Some cities they're up.

There is no civil war now. There are issues to be wary of. I think we need to be careful about talking in hyperbole. If there is a perception that we have civil war that just gives an excuse to people to enforce martial law.

I've argues this before... We need to deescalate, starting with speech. No benefit in using big sensational words like civil war for what's happening now. We should be dealing with it in the most banal unsexy way possible: bureaucratic persistence. Nothing as disheartening as grinding along by public servants.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:45 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:43 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:21 am
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:34 pm

Trumpists have not taken over. Not by far. I think the Washington bureaucracies, including law enforcement, intelligence, military, are largely their own things dominated by serious career civil servants who take their service to country very seriously. There are a lot of things to be wary about DC, but the caricature you paint of the Federal government is not one of them.
Where did I paint a caricature of the entire federal government? Can you point that out? I was speaking about the FBI, and about law enforcement more generally. Not every bureaucracy in DC. Nor did I say anything about "Trumpists taking over".
We'll just continue to speak right past each other.
Apparently so.
I'm sorry I missed the subtlety in your categorical condemnation of the police.
Based on the actual uses of law enforcement during contentious political moments in the US. Again, do you have any kind of example of the FBI (for example) being a force for democracy? Being realistic about the history of LE institutions as regards democracy or justice in this country is not 'categorical condemnation'.

At least stop misrepresnting what I'm saying.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: America”s Next Civil War

Post by Queequeg » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:53 am

The FBI does a lot of things like go after criminals. They are critical in maintaining the rule of law.

They've also done some shady stuff against political groups and figures.

Saying they've done nothing in the public good ever does not inspire confidence about anything else that is said about them. It's just so biased is undercuts all other points as just ideological rhetoric.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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