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Does reading fiction make you a better person?

awnlee jawking

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/22/does-reading-fiction-make-you-a-better-person/

I assume the fiction considered didn't include religious tracts ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

More skillful at gaining the cooperation of others I can see, but would the new powers be used for good or evil? Would more empathy just make some people better manipulators?
I'm inclined to think it makes people either better or worse human beings.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
red61544
Updated:

Awnlee, that was a very interesting article and really got me thinking back to my childhood. I grew up in a town of 5,000, small town with little to occupy a kid's mind. But the town had a library and my older brother and I discovered it at around five years old. I had to walk by it on my way home from kindergarten (that lets you know that I am ancient; today, no parent would let a five year old walk home alone) and would usually stop in to browse. I had my mom's permission to stop at the library when I wanted but couldn't stop any where else. My brother and I consumed that library - fiction, history, and biographies for me, fiction and science for my brother. The librarian - there was only one - would tell us when something new arrived and even started to order some things for which we asked. Asimov's "Naked Sun" in 1958 and Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" the following year got us into science fiction (and got my ass tanned when our dad picked up "Troopers" and read a few pages.) Fifty-six years later, I'm still an avid reader. I've had twenty-two years of military life and another twenty as an editor for several different magazines. (I stopped editing so that I could actually enjoy what I read.) Am I a better person because of what I have read, both fiction and non-fiction? I believe I am. My sense of ethics and morality are rooted in my parents but they were grounded by my reading. I am much more empathetic to minorities and the disabled than the generations that came before me. I think I am more aware of how easily I can hurt or destroy others by a casual comment than are many of my contemporaries. I argued in a past post that there is no such thing as constructive criticism - it is all destructive. That belief also comes from everything that I have read. If reading doesn't actually make you a better person, it at least introduces you to different ideas and different ways of life. It opens your mind to things you have never considered and probably would never consider had you left the book and your mind closed!

sejintenej
Updated:

I seriously wonder. Like Red61554 I grew up in a small community but without a library, shop and once weekly bus service to town 15 miles away. Therefore, no books.
I had to go away to school (the village school ended a 11 years of age but I left at 8 1/2.)where I was forced to read three treatises; The Rape of the Lock which I still don't understand, The Scottish Play (custom is that you never ever use the correct name for this Shakespeare foreign lingo stuff) and "The Trumpet Major" by Thomas Hardy - a bore of the infinitieth degree.

Take it from me that dead trees were better living.
As for local oeuvres, can one trust them? The "One Percenters" are reputed by one author to be a hard drinking hard fuc**ng load of (sometimes but occasionally not dope fiend)geezers better avoided by the 99percent.

Just stopped in a distant hostelery for lunch in their garden which was nearly full of bikers from a nearby club. Fat, quiet, decently dressed - even the women seemed to be wearing bras under their tops with nary a tit in sight - the author's description was way out of date - he was a bit closer to the mods I rode with but far more extreme than even them.

Ergo, read, enjoy , but believe nothing unless proven

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

If the thread is about whether reading affects who and what we become, then yes. I sometimes wonder how many young readers of Jules Verne's stories about airships, submarines, and travel to the moon were stimulated to the point they studied engineering and helped to make those stories reality.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

More skillful at gaining the cooperation of others I can see, but would the new powers be used for good or evil? Would more empathy just make some people better manipulators?
I'm inclined to think it makes

I didn't see that from the quoted survey, and it echoed what I thought reading it. Literary fiction forces people into others heads to fully understand them and place ourselves in others lives. Genre fiction, or non-fiction, only require us to know what someone is thinking at a given time, which doesn't trigger as much empathy. abusers/manipulator so are more likely to focus on less intimate stories that serve their own purposes.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Capt Zapp
Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

full of bikers from a nearby club.


A lot depends on the club involved. Where I grew up we had a few motorcycle clubs in the area, some were the worst rectums you could ever meet - Hell's Angels, Bandidoes, Commancheroes, etc - while others were the exact opposite. The ratio of scum bags to good guys was about 20 to 1.

However, there's no way you can equate a motorcycle club like the US Patriot Riders as the same as the Hell's Angels - yet to see them riding down the street you'd have a hard time telling them apart most of the time, except for their colour patches.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater


However, there's no way you can equate a motorcycle club like the US Patriot Riders as the same as the Hell's Angels - yet to see them riding down the street you'd have a hard time telling them apart most of the time, except for their colour patches.


I agree; even Mods and Rockers varied from the extreme worst cases to those you could introduce to your maiden aunt.

The point I was trying to make is that you have to be very careful with what you read. The newspapers are at least biased or/and unreliable and novels can be full of rubbish.
My example of the biker club on SOL demonstrates the point that one does not get the full gamut of knowledge UNLESS you go to some scholarly tome exploring the specific subject (see non-fiction below).

Ergo you do not benefit from reading fiction because you can't usually trust what you read. It might in extremis improve your style if you are immersed sufficiently.

That is why my "library" is almost entirely non-fiction but there again that is not always trustworthy. A specific recent cookbook (which I don't have - it is a compilation of older stuff I do have) has been translated from the French and one ingredient has been multiplied 100 fold in error!

Replies:   REP
REP

@sejintenej

you can't usually trust what you read


That is true of fiction and non-fiction. You need to run it through your reality filter to separate the good kernels from the bullshit.

Some of the truly inaccurate non-fiction books are those dealing with history. Writers repeat what they have been told and they document it by defining other inaccurate accounts as the source supporting their remarks.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Writers repeat what they have been told and they document it by defining other inaccurate accounts as the source supporting their remarks.


All true, and another thing is they apply their own biases and assumptions to the situations well after the fact. Thus they assign motives that were never there.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

I agree. What makes it even worse is if the writer is wants to 'white wash' the person(s) they are writing about. They leave out the negative and accentuate the positive.

sejintenej

@REP

Some of the truly inaccurate non-fiction books are those dealing with history. Writers repeat what they have been told and they document it by defining other inaccurate accounts as the source supporting their remarks.

Very true.
Close to where I lived up to a month ago there is a tiny village where the priest, Bérenger Saunière, somehow stumbled upon a lot of money and gained considerable influence. There are over 100 books written about him and the mystery but nobody knows the facts. They even go on to write that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that after His death she fled to Rennes to give birth to His daughter.

At least it is good for tourism

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

abusers/manipulator so are more likely to focus on less intimate stories that serve their own purposes.

I certainly agree the character of readers would affect/dictate their choice of material. I found the article thought provoking, and encouraging too.
The only doubt I had was the psychologist seeming to equate empathy measures with that knowledge being used for good purposes.
Perhaps I am too cynical after crossing paths with too many, and I know natural abusers are a small minority. I just thought, for a few, reading fiction may help them become more proficient evil-doers.

docholladay

I don't know about them making me better. At the most I only get a different viewpoint which can lead to interesting personal questions and/or answers. I don't think the reading materials makes me better or worse. That is like blaming others for my evil deeds (we all have them). I believe in taking the blame for my own mistakes, but will stand up to god almighty if I think I am in the right and the hell with the consequences. Like I told the clerks in that porn bookstore when I was a manager "ID everyone including and especially the President of the United States".

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@sejintenej


reading fiction because you can't usually trust what you read


I cannot agree. The imagined characters in fiction are REAL enough for me to learned from.

I am a member of a religious organisation based entirely on that premise. We are called 'The Shakers', and I expect I will be its ONLY EVER adherent.

We are planning on gathering weekly to hear guest literary experts read a selection they choose from one of Shakespeare's plays, and then discuss the lessons it contains for humans. How to avoid the common foibles of human nature, and the comeuppances that often follow. We may occasionally find someone able to read from the 'Ramayama' instead.

Sadly, organised religions now often end up with well-intentioned people coming away with only reinforced attitudes of: 'We are right, and they are wrong, because a higher entity told me so.'

... and my official title is Pope Ross. :)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@docholladay

"ID everyone including and especially the President of the United States".

What years was that?

Replies:   docholladay  docholladay
docholladay

@Ross at Play

What years was that?

early 70's. I had finally gotten a job and was working instead of drawing a disability check. Hell I got arrested for distributing pornography. I was dumb, pled guilty with understanding I wouldn't work in that business again. Should have fought the damned charges. I was just working for a living. With my history I could possibly have won the case.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

We are called 'The Shakers', and I expect I will be its ONLY EVER adherent.


James Bond was a shaker. He definitely didn't want his vodka martinis stirred. :)

AJ

Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

abusers/manipulator so are more likely to focus on less intimate stories that serve their own purposes.


Does this mean that someone who writes about abuse and manipulation is more likely to be an abuser/manipulator, or at least has those tendencies whether they act on them or not?

docholladay

@Ross at Play

What years was that?


The 70's were also the years when I got the offer from a few friends to handle the pay back on that cop for me. I turned them down but now looking back on it. I should have accepted the help. Of course with those offers the potential cost would always be there. Much nicer when those groups feel like they owe you a debt than the other way around.

For example one of my contacts at that time rented out a two car garage for storage purposes. The real contract was at the low rate of 1 dollar a brick per day. Another little sideline was the back room of a bar with several phones. He made big money out of that back room. Then again my knowledge of those activities almost got me killed.

Ross at Play

@docholladay

ME: What years was that?
You: early 70's.

I was wondering which POTUS you were particularly suspicious of. Ford and Carter seem too inept for caution to have been about current office holders, but now it looks like generalised paranoia as a prudent consequence of lifestyle choices.
Glad you survived.

Replies:   docholladay
Ross at Play

Adding to my description of my religion. I could only be interested in a religion that will SHOW ME, NOT TELL ME how to be a better human. :)

Replies:   sejintenej
docholladay

@Ross at Play

lifestyle choices.


What choices? Every time I got work, I would be fired because of my damned medical records which I never told anyone about. Somehow they always found out and in one case their insurance company found out and ordered that I be fired as too big a risk. Supposedly those records were sealed and required my signature to be reviewed. Management of that company refused to testify as to the insurance company's actions so no proof for a law suit. Otherwise I lived on the damned streets or in the mountains and high desert. At least those places were nice and peaceful.

Replies:   Ross at Play
sejintenej

@Ross at Play

Adding to my description of my religion. I could only be interested in a religion that will SHOW ME, NOT TELL ME how to be a better human. :)

IF one defines religion as a way of living then there are many options and, if you are selective, there are a few SENSIBLE ones on SOL which, if followed, could make you a better human.

Ross at Play

@docholladay

What choices? Every time I got work

Withdrawn.
Coming from a civilised country with a moderately functional legal system, Australia, it easy to forget others live in barbaric countries where the oligarchy knows Laws only really apply to 'them'.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Coming from a civilised country with a moderately functional legal system,


Perhaps you should talk to Earnest Bywater about how functional that legal system is.

http://storiesonline.net/s/13958:178155

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Perhaps you should talk to Earnest Bywater about how functional that legal system is.


The basic system is functional, except when you have a deceptive government action which is used by an abusive rectum to push his own barrow. If the government had taken the normal 'Duty of Care' actions involved with the law change the situation would never have arisen. The bulk of the details are in that story.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

The basic system is functional, except when you have a deceptive government action which is used by an abusive rectum to push his own barrow.


The same could be said for the US legal system. The problem is that the incentives in the system tend to reward abusive rectums so the system tends to be run by abusive rectums.

The bulk of the details are in that story.


I know, I've read it.

If the government had taken the normal 'Duty of Care' actions involved with the law change the situation would never have arisen.


Here in the US, the courts have held that while for us peons, ignorance of the law is no excuse, it is unreasonable to expect a cop to know the law.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

The basic system is functional


Its the same way here, and I will assume in every other country. The problem for me was some knew how to abuse the system and get away with it.

My problem to an extent is the fact I bear grudges forever and a day. I never forget or forgive when someone does me wrong.

sejintenej

@Dominions Son

Here in the US, the courts have held that while for us peons, ignorance of the law is no excuse,

We have that concept as well and there was a court case where nobody could get hold of a copy of the relative law because it hadn't been printed yet. Prosecution, defence and the judge had to rely on notes circulated to judges.
We also have a Freedom of Information Law and under it I made formal demand for a copy of every law, order, regulation (etc.) interpretation, jurisprudence which was not imposed by my local borough council but which could in any way or at any time involve me or to which I as a citizen could be subject! (I phrased the demand in legalese far more detailed than that). I got back a link to a government site which has fully updated parliamentary laws - and nothing else. I shall merely plead that the Ministry has thus indicated that I am not subject to any tax, motoring and most other regulations - might be "interesting".
Incidentally I know that US lawyers learn about the Magna Carta but I wonder if they are told that apart from one minor one every clause has since been repealed!

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@sejintenej

every clause has since been repealed


It sounds as if it was the rulers and politician that repealed the clauses. That's the problem with not keeping a close eye on the political leaders.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

I know that US lawyers learn about the Magna Carta but I wonder if they are told that apart from one minor one every clause has since been repealed!


How many were repealed before 1788?

US lawyers learn about the Magna Carta for two reasons.

1. The US constitution borrows a few concepts from the Magna Carta.

2. The US (for federal purposes) adopted English common law as the starting point for US law. However, the relevant version of English common law is what it was in 1788 when the US constitution was ratified.

Most US states (Louisiana is the only exception*) also adopted English common law as a starting point, but the relevant English common law is not current English common law, but English common law as it was when the state constitution was adopted.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

ignorance of the law is no excuse


The same holds true here. This puts a requirement on you to make reasonable checks of the law. Which I did.

However, there is no law saying how frequently you have to check the law. Also, there is a thing called Duty of Care which requires, among other things, those with power or authority over others to advise them of their duties and risks; one of these is for the government to make public new laws or changes to the law. I checked the law a few years earlier, and operated in accordance with the law as it was written. There was no publicity on the change, so I had no knowledge to check the law again, yet. That is where the trouble stems from. Also, the law is badly written.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

The same holds true here. This puts a requirement on you to make reasonable checks of the law. Which I did.

However, there is no law saying how frequently you have to check the law.


The problem in the US at least is that law enforcement officers do not have any such duty to keep current on the law. A police officer has complete immunity for mistakes of law.

Got arrested for violating a law that doesn't exist (yes this has happened)? Eventually, you will be released, but you can't get any compensation for the violation of your rights or for time spent in jail.

Sucks to be you, but the system doesn't care.
The

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater


The basic system is functional, except when you have a deceptive government action which is used by an abusive rectum to push his own barrow

My experience too. I was involved in a 12 year legal fight with the Federal Government (as my employer), so I've no delusions it is functional.
A difference I see in Australia (compared to US) is Governments are the 10' gorillas who behave as if they were beyond the Law, but individuals have some chance of not competing in the courts.
In the US (I suspect, without really knowing), many know they CANNOT fight either Governments or large corporations, because they'll simply keep on fighting until an individual's resources are exhausted.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Ross at Play


In the US (I suspect, without really knowing), many know they CANNOT fight either Governments or large corporations, because they'll simply keep on fighting until an individual's resources are exhausted.


From what I have read here, that is a common tactic regardless of country. Yet all those in power say: "Trust us, we are on your side."

edited to add: That is why this time around I will vote for the Republican party's nominee for president. I don't like the democrat options.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

Yet all those in power say: "Trust us, we are on your side."


The biggest lie ever told "We are from the government and we are here to help."

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

The biggest lie ever told "We are from the government and we are here to help."


That's because of the unwritten/unspoken last word in that statement.

"We are from the government and we are here to help ourselves."

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

"We are from the government and we are here to help ourselves."


So true, but it would spoil everything if they actually said that out loud.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

That is why this time around I will vote for the Republican party's nominee for president. I don't like the democrat options.


As if Trump is actually a better choice. The only primary candidate from either major party that is unquestionably a worse choice than Trump is/was Bernie Sanders.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

I disagree with your assessment, as is my right. However if the female candidate somehow manages to get elected, I fear that that right, along with several others, will cease to exist.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@docholladay

that is a common tactic regardless of country

Yes. That is why I described Australia as 'moderately functional' compared to the US. I have a bankruptcy and severe chronic depression to show it still happens in countries with comparatively fair legal systems.

Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

I disagree with your assessment, as is my right. However if the female candidate somehow manages to get elected, I fear that that right, along with several others, will cease to exist.


That right will fare no better under Trump who is well known for filling frivolous lawsuits against his critics.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

That right will fare no better under Trump who is well known for filling frivolous lawsuits against his critics.


There is a difference between filing suit against someone for criticizing you (which he has a right to do) and taking away their right to say it in the first place.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

Given that he as openly wished he could use violence against protestors at his events, do you actually think he would hesitate to use the FBI and DOJ to go after his critics. Or any of the other federal TLAs for that matter?

Replies:   Capt Zapp
REP
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


taking away their right to say it in the first place.


There are many people from foreign countries who have emigrated to the US and others who are in the country on visas. These people are here legally and comply with our laws. Trump has already taken positions that would strip these people, some of whom are naturalized citizens, of the rights that the US grants people who are in the country legally.

Trump has already indicated that the same type of thing should be done to other US citizens that he dislikes.

If he were to be elected President, how long would it be before he abused the power of the office to right that, which he feels is wrong with the US. Including some of the things that make the US a wonderful place to live. Besides do you really want a man who has filed bankruptcy multiple times to have control of our government's spending.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

Given that he as openly wished he could use violence against protestors at his events


The thing is, HE DOESN'T. And yes, I do believe he would hesitate.

I am so tired of the 'politically correct' ass-kissers whining about how something someone says or does hurts their feeling or offends them.

I wish I could use violence against a LOT of people too.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

am so tired of the 'politically correct' ass-kissers whining about how something someone says or does hurts their feeling or offends them.

I wish I could use violence against a LOT of people too.


Threats of violence are a very different thing from just insulting and offending people.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
REP

@Capt Zapp

The thing is, HE DOESN'T. And yes, I do believe he would hesitate.


Yet there are videos and news reports of Trump doing that very thing. See:

http://mashable.com/2016/03/12/trump-rally-incite-violence/#KWYNtpSB_iqP

Capt Zapp

@REP

There are many people from foreign countries who have emigrated to the US and others who are in the country on visas. These people are here legally and comply with our laws. Trump has already taken positions that would strip these people, some of whom are naturalized citizens, of the rights that the US grants people who are in the country legally.


It would not be the first time this has been done and it certainly will not be the last. Remember the roundup of the Japanese during WWII?

If he were to be elected President, how long would it be before he abused the power of the office to right that, which he feels is wrong with the US. Including some of the things that make the US a wonderful place to live.


How long does it take ANY politician to do that? It sure didn't take our current one long. And the one who want's to replace him is already OPENLY saying she intends to eliminate some of our rights.

Besides do you really want a man who has filed bankruptcy multiple times to have control of our government's spending.


The president does not control the spending, he can only approve or reject the budget. The budget is created by congress, not the president. As far as his 'multiple bankruptcies', take a look at his overall business structure. You will find a lot more successes than not.

So yes, I would. And I would go so far as to say I would let him handle my personal finances. He's done a lot better than I have.

Replies:   REP  REP
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

Threats of violence are a very different thing from just insulting and offending people.


So I assume you have never told someone you wanted to kick their ass?

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Capt Zapp

The budget is created by congress, not the president


The President creates the budget and submits it to Congress for approval.

I was under the impression that we Americans learned that placing people in a detention camp because they happen to share the ancestry of a current adversary is the wrong thing to do. I really try to ignore Trump and his comments. Are you telling us that Trump is planning to round up everyone he disagrees with, emigrants, minorities, and women, and put them in a detention facility.

Replies:   Capt Zapp  Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

So I assume you have never told someone you wanted to kick their ass?


Not often, and never when I was campaigning for an elected office that would put me in charge of armed law enforcement agencies.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@REP

The President creates the budget and submits it to Congress for approval.


The President's budget is his proposed plan for the next year.

Are you telling us that Trump is planning to round up everyone he disagrees with, emigrants, minorities, and women, and put them in a detention facility.


I never said anything of the sort.

REP

@Capt Zapp

The president does not control the spending, he can only approve or reject the budget. The budget is created by congress, not the president.


Check what you said in your earlier post.

The President creates the budget for the government and submits it to Congress for approval. Congress then evaluates the President's budget and everyone supposedly negotiates in good faith to reach a reasonable level of spending. Unfortunately politics enters the negotiations regardless of the President's party affiliation.

Dominions Son

@REP

The President creates the budget and submits it to Congress for approval.


The president is required to submit a proposed budget. Congress is not required to so much as consider the President's budget.

In point of fact, during Obama's first term, the Democrats had a majority in the Senate, but for four years, the Democratic leadership did not let a single full budget bill go for a full vote on the floor.

Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

So I assume you have never told someone you wanted to kick their ass?

Not often, and never when I was campaigning for an elected office that would put me in charge of armed law enforcement agencies.


So you are saying that as long as you are not running for office, it's okay to threaten violence? I went to school with people who were always wanting to kick someone's ass, Some are now in law enforcement and one was even mayor. I STILL heard them saying they want to kick someone's ass. Just because someone has the authority to do something doesn't mean they will without just cause.

Before someone else jumps on me, I admit that there are those who WILL use their position of authority to take advantage of others. I've known a few and would love to kick their asses.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


So you are saying that as long as you are not running for office, it's okay to threaten violence?


Updated

No, not at all, rather I am saying it is far more significant when a presidential candidate does it.

If I were to threaten a significantly large group, I would have limited capacity to act on that threat.

And if I tried, the police would likely manage to stop me before I got very far.

A presidential candidate on the other hand if he wins has control of the military, the DOJ, the FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS, Secret Service, and a host of other smaller agencies all of which have armed agents.

If the president decides to use the armed agents of the government against his opponents, who is going to stop him?

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


Before someone else jumps on me, I admit that there are those who WILL use their position of authority to take advantage of others.


Trump's history strongly suggests that he would be one of those people who "WILL use their position of authority to take advantage of others."

docholladay

Regardless, Clinton or Trump, the rest of us will wind up losing. I was under the impression they were in the same political party, which is why I said I would vote the other party. Choosing the lesser evil hopefully.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@docholladay

I don't like Hillary and never have. I planned to vote Republican, but with Trump as the candidate, no way. He is far scarier than anything Hillary might do. At least she understands politics. I don't know what Trump understands except for how to use hate to focus his followers anger.

It is a damn shame we have to vote against a candidate instead of for someone we would like to see in office.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I planned to vote Republican, but with Trump as the candidate, no way.


then vote for independents where you can.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@REP

He is far scarier than anything Hillary might do

That is PRECISELY my feelings about your election, and I suspect large majority others outside the US feel that way too.

Dominions Son

@REP

I don't know what Trump understands except for how to use hate to focus his followers anger.


He knows how to swindle people and game the bankruptcy system.

docholladay

As best I can tell. The odds are we will lose no matter who gets elected. Either way we will just have to survive.

Replies:   sejintenej  REP
sejintenej

@docholladay

As best I can tell. The odds are we will lose no matter who gets elected. Either way we will just have to survive

Worse than that; you can't hope for improvement. The next one will want to take advantage and will consolidate your losses.
Back in the 1600's or 1700's the government imposed a TEMPORARY tax on income to pay for the then current war. Centuries later and the "temporary" tax is now called income tax.0

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater


then vote for independents where you can


That is one possibility. However, my goal is to vote down Trump, since I believe he would be a total disaster for the US, so I will aid the candidate that has the best chance of defeating Trump, even if she is not the best choice for the country. I think we can survive what ever she might do, but with Trump's opinions and apparent policies, he would destroy the few fragile truces that currently exist.

REP

@docholladay

Either way we will just have to survive.


True, but which one will damage us the least?

REP

@sejintenej

Back in the 1600's or 1700's


If you are referring to the US Government, I believe that temporary tax was imposed in the early 1900's.

Dominions Son

@REP

If you are referring to the US Government, I believe that temporary tax was imposed in the early 1900's.


No, the early 1913 US income tax(the modern one) was never intended to be temporary, they had to pass a constitutional amendment to make it legal.

There were two temporary federal income taxes in the US the first to help pay the civil war was enacted in 1861 and repealed in 1872.

The US congress tried to create a permanent income tax with the 1894 tariff act. However, this was ruled unconstitutional because the United States Constitution specified that Congress could impose a "direct" tax only if the law apportioned that tax among the states according to each state's census population.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_history_of_the_United_States#16th_Amendment

sejintenej

@REP

Back in the 1600's or 1700's

If you are referring to the US Government, I believe that temporary tax was imposed in the early 1900's.

Apologies; I was referring to the UK government

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I don't like Hillary and never have. I planned to vote Republican, but with Trump as the candidate, no way. He is far scarier than anything Hillary might do. At least she understands politics. I don't know what Trump understands except for how to use hate to focus his followers anger.

While I understand people issues with Hillary, Trump is openly distainful of the U.S. Constitution, and has stated on numerous occassions that he doesn't believe in the basic rules of law (i.e. he plans to 'change' the parts of the Constitution he dislikes). Since he can't do that, he'll likely simply IGNORE them (like freedom of the press, liable laws, equal protection of the law, copyright laws, etc.).

That's what scares me about a Trump presidency. That, and neither party seems inclined to actually stand up to anyone.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

While I understand people issues with Hillary,

My biggest worry for the US about Clinton is her party's attitude to Muslim extremists and terrorism is extremely reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain's one towards the Nazis in the 1930 and his desire and proclamation of Peace in out time, and we all know how that turned out - and I suspect the same result will happen with the extremists.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

That's not nearly as scary as Trump with control of the US nuclear launch codes. WWIII anyone?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

WWIII anyone?


Already here,m but uses the name International Terrorism. Mind you, there's a lot of people who have their heads so far up their rears they don't see it as such, and Hillary is one of them.

REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Trump is scary, but one of the scarier aspects of his campaign is the apparent intelligence level of his followers. I don't know if you read this, but I copied it from the Borowitz Report which appears to have been printed in The New Yorker:

The theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking angered supporters of Donald J. Trump on Monday by responding to a question about the billionaire with a baffling array of long words.

Speaking to a television interviewer in London, Hawking called Trump "a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator," a statement that many Trump supporters believed was intentionally designed to confuse them.

Moments after Hawking made the remark, Google reported a sharp increase in searches for the terms "demagogue," "denominator," and "Stephen Hawking."

"For a so-called genius, this was an epic fail," Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said. "If Professor Hawking wants to do some damage, maybe he should try talking in English next time."

Later in the day, Hawking attempted to clarify his remark about the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, telling a reporter, "Trump bad man. Real bad man."

You have to love that sense of humor.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

a statement that many Trump supporters believed was intentionally designed to confuse them.


No, it was designed to insult them. :)

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


While I understand people issues with Hillary, Trump is openly distainful of the U.S. Constitution, and has stated on numerous occassions that he doesn't believe in the basic rules of law (i.e. he plans to 'change' the parts of the Constitution he dislikes). Since he can't do that, he'll likely simply IGNORE them (like freedom of the press, liable laws, equal protection of the law, copyright laws, etc.).


Well, that would put him on the level of the United States Congress from Jan 2009 to Jan 2011. But I guess remembering comments from leading, and ranking Democrats from that time is too much to ask.

The Democrats only care about the Constitution when it can be used to hinder Republicans. The Republicans aren't much better in that respect. Trump seems to be in another category.

Edit: Also the Democrats seem to have recently developed selective amnesia in regards to Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1 based upon all the rage they seemed to need to vent whenever the House Republicans instigated a Budget Battle. "How dare they(the US House Republicans) try to ..."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

The Democrats only care about the Constitution when it can be used to hinder Republicans. The Republicans aren't much better in that respect. Trump seems to be in another category.

That's largely true, but most politicians respect the rule of law. If we have a centuries old history of established laws, they don't suggest ignoring it and creating an entirely separate set of laws of their own devising. Instead, they try to rig the Supreme Court with new members likely to vote in new legal interpretations favoring their positions (which is why the Supreme Court has always been a lifetime term), so it won't be upset by any single election.

More than any other goofy thing that Trump suggests, his insistence that he'll pass a variety of 'new laws' for each of his causes worries me. Granted, the courts/congress isn't likely to approve those new laws, but given the President's responsiblity to 'act on existing laws', it's awfully easy to simply choose to ignore any law you personally disagree with if you don't respect the rule of law (as Andrew Jackson did, and for which the U.S. Constitution really has no remedy for). At least everyone else, once they get smacked down, have the good sense to bend to the will of the people. We have no such guarantee Trump will, especially when he so often doubles down, going out of his way to piss people off for no specific reason.

Now that I've established my opinion, I'll shut up about conservative/liberal politics. These discussions NEVER lead anywhere on this forum, with each side digging their heels in rather than reaching much compromise. Instead, it's better for each of us to focus on writing issues instead.

Lezeez, maybe we should launch a 'politics' forum page? I'm sure it'll be more contentious, but hopefully it will rid the other forum areas of the ever present partisan arguments and give the 1-bombers another avenue to vent, rather than trying to sabotage stories because they feel that no one will listen to them.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

Now that I've established my opinion, I'll shut up about conservative/liberal politics.


There's an old expression that goes: "Never argue religion or politics. It always leads to fights."

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

most politicians respect the rule of law.


They do, but only when they get to make the laws.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

They do, but only when they get to make the laws.


+1'ing this one so hard.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Granted, the courts/congress isn't likely to approve those new laws, but given the President's responsiblity to 'act on existing laws', it's awfully easy to simply choose to ignore any law you personally disagree with if you don't respect the rule of law (as Andrew Jackson did, and for which the U.S. Constitution really has no remedy for).


See President Obama and "prosecutorial discretion" or alternatively: "The dreamer act"

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