“Slander and libel in politics keep reaching new lows. The internet may seem like a good smokescreen and sometimes it is, but the perpetrator is often obvious. It’s all pathetic–childish, desperate, and dangerous. What people want to hear from candidates is their background and experience, evidence of their character, their intentions, and their political leanings. Mudslinging against opponents only makes them the best of a bad lot–and that’s if the mudslinging is truthful, which it often is not.”
by Rich Pezzullo and the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Since President Trump was elected, mental health professionals in the United States have seen an increase in patients whose stress has come from politics.
A prevalent “symptom” of the “disorder” is feeling as though the world is going to end.
Before you start saying that this is the result of President Trump’s current behaviors, consider the fact that the American Psychological Association has recorded a rise in anxiety in the Trump era, with a five per cent increase (52 to 57 per cent) in politically induced stress levels over a six-month period before, during and after the 2016 election .
As previously reported on this blog Ridgewood has become a breeding ground for what is now called ,“Trump Anxiety Disorder.”
The American Psychological Association (APA) found in a recent online survey that stress levels following the election are the highest they’ve been in a decade. And the majority of respondents reported stress over the 2016 election and the future of the nation as factors.
The APA also found a correlation between stress levels and electronic news consumption.
Therapists told CBC that in recent months, patients have indicated that separation of migrant families at the border, the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Trump’s various feuds with other world leaders have all been triggers for “Trump Anxiety Disorder.”
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Seaside Heights NJ, according to Christine Shapiro on April 28th after our Trump Party , I went inside a bar called “Spicy Cantina” at Seaside Heights, NJ , while I was there , I ordered a drink and I started speaking with a couple. They had told me that they were from North Jersey and I said that I was also from North Jersey. Suddenly, the bartender approaches me and he says, “Listen I can’t have you harassing our customers about Politics. I will ask you to leave “. And I said that I didn’t harass anybody neither spoke about Politics. I felt offended of them telling me to leave. I spoke with the manager and I said that was discrimination of them judging me by my Trump Train shirt and flag that I was wearing on my back. He said it wasn’t a big deal. Afterwards, I left and came back again within 15 minutes. When I approached the door, the security guard said , ” I can’t have you come inside. The manager said your not allowed to come in.”
I was so disappointed. This is a country of freedom. Who kicks you out of a bar because of the clothing that you are wearing? Trump is our president. People need to accept it. I didn’t even say a word about politics inside. I couldn’t believe this was true. I never felt so discriminated throughout my whole life. they are telling people that my side of the story is false but the truth is their side of the story is false.
“People always say to me I hate Politics, I can’t deal w all the back and forth and the fighting. Well Politics is all around you. Its in that check you write to your Mortgage Company every month and its in the Schools you drive your kids to everyday. NJ Politicians have completely lost control especially in Bergen and Passaic Counties and they don’t want you to know it. We pay the most ridiculous amount in taxes yet we know the least about what’s happening in Our Town and County Governments. It defies all logic. “
The announcement earlier this year by state Senator Kevin O’Toole that he will not pursue reelection promptly altered the political landscape in LD40, setting in motion the emergence of a new GOP establishment ticket that surfaced fully formed this morning. Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
He has the platform, but it’s all about communicating it.
By Paul Meara
Posted: 02/16/2016 11:00 AM EST
If we know anything about Bernie Sanders’ campaigning prowess it’s that he can make up ground quickly. And there’s no better candidate to do that against than Hillary Clinton, whose approval or favorability numbers have never strengthened after announcing a candidacy bid for any public office. That said, the Clintons have generally high popularity numbers with African Americans and it’s going to be an uphill climb once again for Sanders to capture a large swath of that support.
With the Nevada Caucuses just eight days away and South Carolina Primaries only 15, Bernie has his work cut out for him. Luckily for him it seems like more and more black support, especially young, seems to be turning more and more in his favor. At the same time, Clinton just picked up an endorsement from theCongressional Black Caucus PAC, and it’s likely she’ll pick up the support of President Obamaeventually, whose accomplishments she heavily touted in the Friday’s (February 11) Democratic debate.
While it may be a little outdated, a December poll by YouGov of South Carolina Democrats showed that African Americans heavily favored Clinton at almost 4 to 1. Nationally, a recent Fox News poll showed a 71 percent support figure among non-whites for Clinton compared to just 20 for Sanders. Barack Obama carried South Carolina in 2008 with 80 percent of the black vote and while that number may not be entirely necessary to hit in order to win the state, Bernie can’t have Hillary attaining a statistic near that, especially as they’re mostly split among whites in the state.
No turn around in presidential politics so far would be as big as if Bernie Sanders were able to cut 20 to 30 percent off of Clinton’s lead among African Americans in the state. That effort has already begun and for it to be even more effective, here are a few ways he can better gain the black vote in South Carolina and beyond.
N.J. campaign committees continue to see fundraising decline
By Matt Friedman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
That’s the least amount raised for any legislative election year since at least 2007, though that’s in part because only the Assembly is on the ballot — the first time that’s happened since 1999. But Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s executive director, said much of that money has been or will be put into other channels.
by Elan Journo | September 11, 2014
Thirteen years have passed since jihadists rammed jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Doubtless the images of the Twin Towers collapsing are indelible, and the toll in human life was achingly massive. In time, though, memory fades. By themselves, our impressions of the past are insufficient to guide our thinking and action. We need consciously to identify lessons from our experience.
What should we learn? Here are three crucial lessons, still unlearned.
Lesson #1: America’s selfless foreign policy encouraged Islamist aggression.
Writing days after the attacks, Leonard Peikoff explained that: “Fifty years of increasing American appeasement in the Mideast have led to fifty years of increasing contempt in the Muslim world for the U.S. The climax was September 11, 2001.” My talk, “The Road to 9/11,” looks at several episodes of pre-9/11 Islamist aggression and the self-effacing responses of the Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton Administrations. Standing apart from conventional thinking, ARI advocates for a foreign policy guided by the moral ideal of rational egoism, a policy that resolutely protects the lives and freedom of Americans.
What does that look like? Peter Schwartz’s monograph, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America lays out what an egoist approach looks like in theory and practice (purchase Kindle ebook or paperback). My book, Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism, analyses the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and applies Ayn Rand’s ethics to foreign policy, defining a path to victory against the enemy. (Read the introduction.)
Lesson #2. The enemy is not just Bin Laden, or Al Qaeda, but the Islamist movement.
“Know your enemy” is a necessary condition for figuring out how to defeat the threat. Tragically, neither before nor after 9/11 did American policymakers understand the enemy. It is hopelessly superficial to think of the enemy as “terrorists” (many groups use that tactic) or “haters” or “hijackers of a great religion,” or Al Qaeda, etc. Bin Laden has been dead three-plus years, and Al Qaeda has been damaged — but clearly the threat persists.
by Aaron Ross Powell
The political process is fundamentally antisocial and corrodes our ability to live in harmony with others.
Politics is nothing to be proud of. We shouldn’t believe in it, shouldn’t get excited about it. Shouldn’t think it’s noble or, worse, fun. On a good day, politics is a silly game with negative externalities. A waste of countless hours and countless minds—hours and minds that could’ve gone to productive, radical, world-changing, and life-improving pursuits. Politics, on a good day, is lost opportunities. On a bad day, it’s livelihoods and sometimes lives destroyed. It’s violence and ignorance and fear.
Strong words demand definitions, though. So what do I mean by “politics?” I mean the act of deciding for others via the mechanisms of the state. Choosing for others, and then getting government to make them go along with our choices. Granted, when we make decisions via those mechanisms—by, say, voting—we expect the outcome will apply to ourselves and not just to other people. But it’s misleading to say we are “deciding for ourselves” when we vote, because if what we vote for is something we would’ve done anyway, we could always choose to do it independent of a vote. If I think contributing money to a cause is worthwhile, I don’t need the state to make me do it. I can cut a check any time. By voting, by shifting from the personal and voluntary to the political and compulsory, we call for the application of force. A vote is the majority compelling the minority to comply with the majority’s wishes. Thus politics is a method of decision-making where choices are moved from individuals choosing privately to groups choosing collectively, and where the decisions those groups arrive at are backed by law and regulation. It’s this last aspect—the backing by the force of law—that distinguishes politics from, say, five friends voting on where to go for dinner.
Most of us have at least a sense there’s something wrong with politics. Watch cable news, listen to talk radio, sit through weeks or months of campaign ads, and it’s impossible to avoid the unseemliness of political practice. It’s off-putting and makes us, or ought to make us, question the character of anyone enthusiastic about it. But its pernicious influence extends beyond those who embrace politics as a vocation or hobby. Politics represents a corrupting influence in all our lives, a stumbling block in our paths toward living well. No matter how minimal our participation.
Politics accomplishes this by undermining our ability to practice well the art of good living. One way is indirect: politics contributes to an environment where learning the skill of living well becomes more difficult than it would be otherwise. An important prerequisite to living well is a certain amount of material security—if we’re just scraping by, we have no time for higher pursuits. We’re used to common libertarian claims, grounded in economics, that a system where decisions are made politically—whether through the democratic process or by legislators and bureaucrats instead of by individuals—will lead to less wealth and innovation, and thus give us fewer resources to lead the kinds of lives we would decide to lead in a world of choice and plenty. In this way, a politically controlled environment becomes less compatible with maximally good lives.
But politics doesn’t just make the world around us worse. It makes us worse, as well. When we participate in politics—by seeking office, by voting—we take part in a system where we attempt to decide for others while they attempt to decide for us, and where those decisions, whoever makes them, are backed by violence or, at the very least, the threat of violence. It’s a system where the participants say to each other, “I know what’s best for you, you need to do what I say, and if you don’t, these men with guns will threaten you or take your money or lock you in a cage or kill you.” Such a system encourages us to deal with each other in ways beneath the standards of behavior we ought to reach for, and it encourages us to see each other not as friends and companions and fellow seekers of the good life, but as enemies and rivals and obstacles in the way of finding happiness.
Politics inculcates pettiness, short-sightedness, Manichean thinking, tribal feuds, selfishness, and rage. It discourages reason and respect and a basic appreciation of the dignity of others, especially those who seek lives different from our own. It makes us less likely to find virtuous mentors or learn from the virtuous actions of others, because everyone we encounter will themselves suffer from its corrosive influence. Politics encourages extreme reactions instead of careful seeking of the proper, measured response. Politics distances decisions from local knowledge and so limits moral wisdom by making it less likely we will act to bring about virtuous outcomes even when motivated by virtuous impulses.
Politics is, at best, a blunt instrument, though perhaps an occasionally necessary one. But its use has costs, including, I believe, degradation of our character. We should resort to politics only when we have no other options, and then only reluctantly. At the very least, it should never be cause for celebration or held up as the ideal of civic virtue. In short, politics makes us worse. We’d be better people without it. Better off if we rejected the political as a means to flex our will in the world and instead made more effort to live up to our potential as rational, discoursive beings. The good life is not the life of politics and politics is, at a fundamental level, incompatible with the good life.
JUNE 14, 2015, 11:24 PM LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2015, 11:32 PM
BY LINDY WASHBURN
STAFF WRITER |
To the Democratic lawmakers who worked for months on a measure to protect patients from surprise medical bills and solve the problem of New Jersey’s uncontrolled out-of-network health care costs, it looked like momentum and public support were building.
They’d heard from all sides — hospitals, physicians, insurers and consumers — starting last fall at three public hearings. They worked over the winter with health-policy experts to produce a bill. After its introduction last month, they listened to feedback for eight hours on the day before a holiday weekend. They revised the measure in an effort to address concerns.
But last week, the Democratic sponsors couldn’t even get their bill voted out of committee in the state Senate when they failed to get the support of members of their own party. A hearing scheduled for today before an Assembly committee has been scuttled. Any action before fall is unlikely.