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Thread: I have seen the future...

  1. #1
    Whacker Knot WØTKX's Avatar
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    I have seen the future...

    And it is in the United States

    My own form of American nationalism, intensified both by living outside the country and by travels within it, arises from love of the American idea: inclusion, expansiveness, opportunity, mobility, the open-ended struggle to make the nation a better version of itself. After living in Japan during its amaze-the-world era of the 1980s, I wrote a book arguing that the proper U.S. response was not to try to be more like Japan but instead to be “more like us”—which was the book’s title. (Its subtitle was Making America Great Again. Sigh.)

    America is becoming more like itself again. More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware. Even as the country is becoming worse in obvious ways—angrier, more divided, less able to do the basic business of governing itself—it is becoming distinctly better on a range of other indicators that are harder to perceive. The pattern these efforts create also remains hidden. Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself.

    ...


    In what underpublicized ways is America moving forward locally and regionally, while we read only about chaos and discord nationally? To summarize a few:Civic governance. Even as national politics induces distrust and despair, most polls show rising faith in local governance. For instance, surveys typically find that only a quarter of Americans trust the national government to “do the right thing,” but Gallup polls in 2014 and 2016 found that more than 70 percent trusted their local government to do so. Part of this could be explained by people self-selecting into more-homogeneous communities. But in our experience it was true even in cities with significant racial and economic diversity, from Greenville to Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino. Mayors serve multiterm stints, launch long-range projects, realize that they’ll encounter in daily life their neighbors who pay the city’s taxes and rely on its services. I could spend the rest of this article describing initiatives that tech companies are launching and refining to improve the quality, responsiveness, and accountability of city services.
    ...

    Even as arguments about tax cuts or increases have degenerated into religious war at the national level, we saw them discussed in what you could call reasonable terms locally. Dodge City, in western Kansas, is very conservative in national politics. But everyone we met there stressed the importance of its “Why Not Dodge?” sales-tax increase, which citizens had approved in the late 1990s in a referendum. The proceeds had paid for parks, public swimming pools, and other facilities. In the same 2014 election in which West Virginia voters removed the very last Democrat from the state’s congressional delegation, the taxpayers of the capital city, Charleston, voted for a levy to sustain their public libraries. Even as the local and national economy collapsed in 2009, the mayor of Columbus, Ohio, urged his citizens to approve a tax increase rather than curtail city services and lay off employees, and they agreed.


    “Across the country, we’re seeing significant growth in local officials’ training for civic engagement, and the appearance of many new online platforms and other tools to connect citizens and their governments,” Pete Peterson, the dean of Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, in California, told me. Peterson ran down a list of cities illustrating the effects of a new emphasis on engagement—starting, to my surprise, with the Los Angeles–area city of Bell. In 2010, Bell was the object of an investigative series by the Los Angeles Times showing corruption in the city’s administration top to bottom. (For instance, the city manager of this small, low-income city had engineered pay for himself of well over $1 million a year.) The series was followed by arrests, trials, and prison sentences. “That city has seen nothing less than a civic renaissance, with new leadership and a public much more involved in the future of the city,” Peterson said. “It’s an amazing before-and-after illustration of what happens when people get engaged”—for example, involving citizens in decisions about what had been a notably secretive city-budgeting process.


    Immigration. Even as the national discussion grows more hateful, the lived reality of absorbing immigrants and refugees has remained remarkably calm—in the cities where they have actually arrived. Pew, like other polling organizations, periodically asks Americans which national problems concern them most. Through the five years before Donald Trump’s election, immigration rarely made the top five. (The economy usually leads.) A Gallup poll conducted six months after his inauguration found that nearly two-thirds of Americans felt the level of immigration should either stay the same or go up.


    During the 2016 “Brexit” campaign, polls indicated that the communities in the United Kingdom most fearful of an immigrant presence were those where the fewest immigrants had ever come. American polls strongly indicate the same pattern. Steve King, a Republican who is the most outspokenly anti-immigrant member of Congress, represents a district in Iowa that is 93 percent white; representatives from districts along the U.S.–Mexico border, Republican and Democrat alike, are more relaxed about the immigrant “threat” and either outright oppose or only tepidly support plans to “build the wall.”



    Whereas immigrants congregate in big cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, many refugees are sent to medium-size communities that have specialized in assimilating them, a process we saw in, for instance, South Dakota, Vermont, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, among other states. Midwestern industrial cities that have lost some of their home-born population have pushed hard for outsiders to revitalize them. Erie was a magnet for eastern-European and other immigrants during its manufacturing heyday, from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries. Now refugees, including recent arrivals from Syria, make up fully 10 percent of its population, and they supply much of its entrepreneurial energy. In 2006 a group called Welcoming Tennessee began celebrating the importance of immigrants and refugees to Nashville’s economy. It has spread to become Welcoming America, supporting immigrant and refugee settlement in more than 50 cities.


    Talent dispersal. Even as ambition, money, opportunity, and innovation cram ever more tightly into New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and elsewhere, a discernible “reverse talent migration” is taking place.


    In Wichita, Kansas; in Bend, Oregon; in Duluth, Minnesota; in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; in Fresno, we found people who had already worked in the most expensive and “elite” cities or who had been recruited for opportunities there, and decided instead that the overall life balance was better someplace smaller and less expensive. Steve Case, a co-founder of AOL and now the CEO of the technology-investment firm Revolution, has for several years led “Rise of the Rest” tours across the country to promote new tech businesses and support existing ones in places other than the famous tech centers. “For half a century, there’s been a brain drain, as people who grew up in the ‘rest of America’ left their hometowns for better opportunities elsewhere,” Case told me recently. Case himself grew up in Hawaii but built his companies in the Washington, D.C., area. “We’re starting to see less of that brain drain. We’re seeing more graduates stay in place, in cities like Pittsburgh or Columbus, and a boomerang of people returning to where they’re from—for lifestyle reasons, and because they can see that their communities are rising and opportunities are increasing, and they’d like to be part of what’s going on.”



    Case points out that venture-capital support for start-ups is still heavily skewed toward the coasts. Nearly half of the total funds in the U.S. are directed to companies in California alone. But he says the balance is shifting, as part of a “third wave” of technology businesses (the first the building of the internet, the second the building of companies using it) based on applying advanced technology to “real” enterprises, from agriculture to health care to manufacturing. “It’s going to be more important to know how doctors work and farmers think and to build strategic partnerships,” he told me, “than just to work on coding and software.” The coding and software centers are in a handful of big cities. These other businesses are dispersed across the country, and start-ups will follow. “We see the ecosystems developing—mayors working with entrepreneurs and university presidents,” Case said. “Things are bubbling in these cities. It’s an untold story.”


    “Young people want to live in the city again, and they’re reviving it,” a tech-company founder named Doug Pelletier told us in Allentown, Pennsylvania, explaining why he had moved his headquarters from the suburbs to the long-troubled but improving downtown. It was a story we heard time and again. Igor Ferst, a Millennial engineer who had worked for Google and other famous companies in California, wrote us to describe why he and his wife had decided to move to Columbus. “The biggest improvement to our quality of life is not a lower median house price (though that doesn’t hurt),” he said. “Rather, it is a sense of freedom that comes from finding personal and professional fulfillment in a vibrant and welcoming city, away from the Bay Area’s grinding commutes and careerist, status-obsessed culture.”




    "“We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand
    a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.” - David Brooks, regarding Trump




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    Well,I hope this optimism is not misplaced. The national scene threatens to overshadow local options and achievements that don't toe the party line.

    I just read a depressing report that polls indicate that the presumed 'Blue Wave' in the fall elections has now become a "Blue Trickle", meaning that we are stuck with the Trumpsters in total control of the government for another two years, if not much longer. I suspect after Donald gets the Nobel Prize, his party will change the constitution to make him president for life. Apparently, millennials are joining the Donald Cult of Personality at a tremendous rate.

  3. #3
    Whacker Knot WØTKX's Avatar
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    Linky to the depressing report?
    "“We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand
    a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.” - David Brooks, regarding Trump




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    Whacker Knot WØTKX's Avatar
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    https://ballotpedia.org/Alice_Stewart

    Alice Stewart is a Republican political communications consultant. As of July 2017, she was a commentator for CNN. Stewart was the communications director for Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign.Stewart was also the communications director for Mike Huckabee's 2016 presidential campaign but left the Huckabee campaign on December 14, 2015. Previously, Stewart worked as the national press secretary for Rick Santorum's 2012 presidential campaign and Michele Bachmann's campaign that same cycle. She has also been the host of a talk radio show and a news anchor in Little Rock, Arkansas.
    Interesting credentials.

    It ain't over till it's over. Pessimissim stops people from voting. Just vote!

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...a-better-time/
    "“We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand
    a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.” - David Brooks, regarding Trump




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    It's going to come down to who has the best candidates. Right now, I don't see a Republican I'd vote for anywhere. I hope vast majorities see it the same way.

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    A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma allegedly argued this week that those unable to support themselves whether they’re disabled, children or otherwise – should view euthanasia as an option rather than burden taxpayers through use of SNAP food assistance. Christopher Barnett – registered to run in this year’s Oklahoma gubernatorial election – told a commenter to his campaign’s Facebook page that “…why are we required to keep them up? Sorry but euthanasia is cheaper and doesn’t make everyone a slave to the Government.”
    http://www.peacock-panache.com/2018/...nap-34012.html
    RIP Albi
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    Be blessed by the "Skip-Gods" and, be reflected back down into "DX-Land".
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    "Island Bartender" KG4CGC's Avatar
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    May 16, 2013 at 8:22pm


    Oh, come on. The problem with the Republican supporters is that they apparently expect, and are certainly trying to make the general populace expect, that the economy will recover almost overnight. Do you know what the term inertia means?
    A train wreck will stop a train very quickly and cause a lot of damage. Once the train is back on the track, it takes a much longer time to get up to speed...to use perhaps an over simplistic allegory.
    It is also interesting to note that large corporations are hoarding their money, and by and large are not hiring. Cash reserves in a majority of the largest corporations are bigger than at any time in history. This is money that could be used to put people back to work to help speed up the recovery.
    But nooo... Why should they do that and make Obama look good? Mark my words here and look back in a few years. If the Republicans somehow find a candidate who is halfway decent and they can win a Presidential election, all of a sudden there will be a hiring frenzy and the Republicans will take the credit. "Look see! We did what the Dems could not!" but that would be just a set-up lie and even you know it.


    I wrote that 5 years ago. I may have stolen it. I don't remember.
    Here we are 5 years later. Today I wrote.


    "The only part that was off was the part about a "decent" republican candidate. ANYONE with an "R" after their name could have won."

    Well except for Ted Cruz. I don't think he could of won. Nor could Ben Carson. Then there's Rick Perry. Yeah, I don't think he could have won. Brother Jeb had a chance. Not really. FWIW I'm reminded of that story in the bible we all learned as kids at Easter. The story ended when the crowd picked to save Barabas, a known criminal over Jesus, a (so called) enemy of the State. The people today have chosen the known criminal "because he's a good business man." Apparently, in the good ole U.S. of A. a conman is considered a good business man because long ago we were trained to accept the business thief as a legitimate way to make money. I just it just depends who they take their money from.
    Last edited by KG4CGC; 05-16-2018 at 12:12 PM.
    RIP Albi
    When do you tell a woman you're a ham?
    Be blessed by the "Skip-Gods" and, be reflected back down into "DX-Land".
    -Mel

  9. #9
    "Island Bartender" KG4CGC's Avatar
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    RIP Albi
    When do you tell a woman you're a ham?
    Be blessed by the "Skip-Gods" and, be reflected back down into "DX-Land".
    -Mel

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    That link didn't work for me. I am encouraged by the Senate Committee's report today, confirming that the Russians did interfere in favor of Trump. I'm even more pleased by the report that there appears to be evidence that the Russians used the NRA to funnel money to the Trump campaign - that has the prospects of nailing two sets of deplorables at the same time. I am a bit concerned about what might happen if we see Trump and LaPierre both in handcuffs at the same time - some of their supporters have recently discovered fire, and might prove difficult to deal with.

    I liked the comment someone posted in regard to Giuliani's rant that they have "Plan B and Plan C" to end the Mueller investigation if their present propaganda campaign fails. The commenter suggested that "B + C" were "Bunker" and "Cyanide". :)

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