The Dehumanization of The Opposition

The intense partisan divide in this country along political lines is frequently discussed, and attributed to various different causes. Especially in the case of the recent El Paso shooting, the cause is often stated to be The President, the NRA, any number of different groups or individuals and can change depending on the issue at hand. While many people were thrust into thoughts of legislation and reform after the El Paso shooting, I was lost in thoughts of division and how exactly we got here.
I’ll just be honest right now, the president didn’t cause the El Paso shooting. No one but the shooter was at the cause of that. But it’s the shifting of narratives and overly bold language that so greatly muddies the waters of truth and allows people to so easily feel secure in their arguments. That security is further solidified by the instant dismissal of other views and opinions through use of over simplification and claims that the other side is essentially shilling for their cause.
It’s this insane rhetoric, I believe, that has gotten us to this place of such drastic division. Some common examples that are shared are that pro-lifers want to take away women’s right to choose and that pro-choicers are baby killers; or that 2nd amendment advocates are just worried about their guns and not the safety of others and that gun control advocates just want to take everyone’s guns away. None of these things are completely true and the longer we block ourselves from even considering that there is a real person with real opinions on the other end of that argument, we are doomed to this culture of division and dismissal and will be lost in a world of vetos and filibusters.
In reality, those that are pro-life, generally consider abortion to be murder. Regardless of the legitimacy anyone feels in that argument, for many it is a manner of morals and for some a moral cornerstone that abortion is wrong because it is murder. Those that are pro-choice genuinely feel that it is a woman’s right to make whatever decision they want with their body and it should be fettered by no one, especially a man. Do you really think either of those groups of people are going to easily change their mind? The answer is no.
In reality, 2nd amendment advocates have a plethora of reasons that gun ownership is vital to a well functioning society and that any infringement would be detrimental to the ability of the public to keep their government in check, as is their constitutional duty. Those that are gun control advocates (however educated or uneducated on guns) are scared. They are scared for their lives and the lives of their children and for whatever reason, however they arrived at this conclusion, believe that moderation of access to firearms will solve that problem. It is unreasonable to believe that either of these groups would change their minds easily.
Until we as a society and as a country are able to take a step back and recognize and respect that the person we are arguing with, be it on the internet or in real life, is an actual person, not just a walking talk point to make you upset. The same way you don’t want to be forced into anything, those that don’t agree with you don’t want to be forced either. With the way our media and social media is running, we are teaching our youth to hold extreme ideological positions with little to no evidence and no desire to receive any, because all that matters is owning the libs or punching nazis.
Well what you think are liberals are actually progressives, a small faction of a once great Democratic Party that, in my opinion, will lead to the destruction of the party if left unchecked. And what you are calling nazis are actually far right idiots and white supremecists, an equally small faction amongst a once great Republican Party that, in my opinion, left unchecked by leadership and executive will ruin the fragile image the party has with the next generation.
If we cannot even care to understand the differences that separate us into those worth listening to and those who should be ignored, then we stand no chance of identifying that which draws us together and provides us the hope to compromise for the good of this great country. Far left Marxist ideals and Far Right nationalism have nothing legitimate to offer this country and should be ignored. Those who lie between have at least some semblance of hope or new ideas that stand to possibly benefit the world and country we live in, and they should be understood for their value before simply being dismissed on the count of opposition to your own ideals.
It is this intensely partisan outlook that places people like Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin in the real of the far right in the opinion of modern media. And the hatred for their perceived views, not even their actual views, are enough to deter most people from even googling their name to hear the words out of the persons own mouth. We have discussed time and time again the vital lessons that people like Dr. Peterson stand to teach us. Lessons that, if ignored, doom us to make the same mistakes of other countries in the past in the form of Marxism or Fascism. It is the ignorance of these lessons that place us in danger of repeating history, for we have chosen not to learn from it.

Episode 66

After a killer guest host, Don and Offie get back to business and dive deep into how nihilism can influence your life and the world around you, the immigration raids that happened in Mississippi last week from several food packaging plants, the morality of raids of this manner and legality of employing illegal immigrants. And then a look at the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, deconstruct the varying factors that could cause shootings like this as well as the many possible solutions (viable and non viable) to the immense issue of mass shootings in america, and those that may be considered by Congress upon their return. In SPORTS Zeke maintains his holdout and TB12 gets paid.

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Episode 65 is LIVE! Guest- Isaiah Brooks

This week Don and Offie are joined by super special guest Isaiah Brooks and with his help the democratic debates are deconstructed (kind of). the odd difficulty of actually WATCHING Possible Instagram censorship lingers, 2AM is challenging the will of the people, Colin breaks down Latino weddings, feelings of pride for friends turning their lives around the purpose of political debates and relevance of the timing, the arguments for and against a UBI, the lies of Jay Inslee and Kamala Harris are innumerable and Harris is called out by Tulsi Gabbard in the midst of fighting Biden, the ways that racism is and is not ingrained in this country in regards to social structure, policing and police brutality, housing and education, how different locations and cultures can change relationships with law enforcement, does flint have clean water?, why Medicare for all WILL cost the middle class more in taxes, why mental health is just as important as physical health and preventative medicine should gather more attention, and in SPORTS!! Zeke is STILL holding out and Mike Thomas goes from $1.6 mil a season to $1 mil a game.

In Episode 61 we talked about the first round of debates

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Opinion: Iran and The West

Written by: Colin Offenbacker
The Islamic Republic of Iran and the modernized western nations have been on a collision course since the Iranian Revolution. Picture two massive ships sailing towards each other on the high seas. Each ship knows that their courses will meet in a dramatic and devastation collision but neither chooses to take the initiative to alter course and avoid disaster. There is a term for situations like this in the nautical world, C.B.D.R. constant bearing, decreasing range. It’s a high stakes game of chicken. This is and has been the geopolitical situation for decades, but why? Is it a matter of culture…ideology? Or perhaps it’s one of control and autonomy. Whatever the prescribed reason at the time, regime change always seems to be the sought after end-goal from the western powers. This is something that has sat in the back of my mind since the United States pulled out of the so called Iran Nuclear Deal, and especially since the Trump administration began to collect hawkish foreign policy advisor’s, like that of John Bolton. Even if it’s not publicly announced as the overall goal, this question of “what do we do about Iran” is constantly posed by the commentariat and talk heads on media networks. Whether the chosen catalyst is regional stability, supporting liberal democracy, standing up to human rights abuses or slowing nuclear proliferation, the path to these endgame’s all end at regime change. The justification for regime change, changes and shifts over time and is generally based on some contemporary series of international incidents that happen from time to time between Iran and one of the other world powers. After one of these series of incidents, the only answer offered up by western powers always ends with a requirement for a total cultural shift from the top down. For a nation whose government operates, essentially as an authoritarian theocracy, the proverbial solution of cutting the head off of the snake tends to be the reoccurring fix du jure. As the world becomes more and more connected thanks to the modern state of media and information sharing, the world’s appetite for standard regime change, as it has been carried out in the past, has dwindled and vast public support for it has disappeared.

To bring things into a present day geopolitical framing, we as modernized western nations have changed the way we carry out regime change. Perhaps it’s an attempt at learning from the mistakes of our past and the 15 years of armed conflicts, but we now have shifted away from the typical occupational boots on the ground, air strikes and covert operations, to that of economic warfare through the process known as economic sanctions. Sanctions are an interesting leveraging technique on the geopolitical stage. They allow for a bottom up approach to regime change by essentially chocking off a nations ability to do business abroad. Generally speaking sanctions are applied to governments and individuals operating at an official governmental level, but can be adapted to meet just about any level of financial coercion required to meet the level of desired pressure on a particular government. If you imagine a classic trade blockade like those of the American Revolutionary War era you wouldn’t be far from the truth of a modern-day economic sanction campaign. Unfortunately a full blown sanction campaign effects a lot more than the targeted governments. Almost all modern nations, whether ideologically more aligned with the west or not, are far from economically self-sufficient and rely on international trade to maintain fiscal solvency. Of course every nation is different, but imagine that you run a small country that doesn’t have a military powerful enough to hold it’s own on the world stage. Your nation makes a decent profit, largely by shipping commodities abroad, and without that income you cannot meet the budget requirements to “pay your bills”. Now imagine a militarily powerful foreign entity shows up, tells you that they don’t like they way you’re running things and that you must change your ways. Until you capitulate, they will not allow you to sell your goods to other nations. You cannot stand up to their military might so you must capitulate. Unless you have a strong alliance powerful friends to aid you in your struggle, you’re powerless to stand up for yourself. So you either capitulate and your nation changes to meet foreign demands, or you don’t. If you decide not to, you’ve got a new problem on your hands. Your nation now must find away to “make it though” the economically crippling period of foreign sanctions. While your economy begins to collapse, the first people to “feel” the effects of a sanctions war will be the citizens of your nation. They will very soon grow tired of your nations failing economy and before you know it THEY are demanding you go so that they can be relived of the effects of the sanctions. This is a basic example of how an economic sanctions campaign can be run to institute a bottom up form of regime change.
To tie our example to the current situation with the nation of Iran, let’s take a look at the latest series of events that has landed Iran deep in economic warfare with the United States while the wider western world stands back and holds it’s breath. Since our current situation stems from the so called Iranian Nuclear Deal we’ll start there:

May 8, 2018: The United States withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal put in place under the administration of President Barrack Obama.

May 21, 2018: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relays the demands required by the United States that the Iranian government must meet before reentering into any kind negotiations.

August 7, 2018: The administration of President Trump reimposes sanctions on Iran which were originally lifted as part of the original nuclear deal.

November 5, 2018: The so called maximum pressure campaign on Iran begins adding another round of economic sanctions.

April 8, 2019: The US designates the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization & Iran retaliates by labeling the US military terrorists as well.

May 2, 2019: The Trump administration ends the waiver program which allowed other countries to import Iranian oil and threatens that any nation do business with Iran will be subject to US sanctions.

May 5, 2019: The US send the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the Persian Gulf in response to Iranian aggression in the area.

May 8, 2019: The Trump administration imposes additional sanctions on Iranian metal industries.

May 13, 2019: Four oil tankers are attacked in the Strait of Hormuz, the US blames Iran.

May 24, 2019: The Trump administration sends an additional 1,500 troops and other “defense capabilities” to bases in the Middle East.

June 13, 2019: Two more oil tankers are attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran. US officials release a video that shows Iran’s involvement. Iran denies it.

June 17, 2019: Iran says it is 10 days away from surpassing the limits set by the nuclear deal on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. The US announces it is sending another 1,000 troops to the Middle East.

June 20, 2019: Iranian forces shoot down a US military drone.

June 21, 2019: Trump announces on twitter that he called off a planned air strike against Iran the night before, a strike that was intended as a retaliatory measure against Iran for the drone that was shot down.

June 24, 2019: Trump imposes more sanctions on senior Iranian officials, including their “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

July 1, 2019: Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said Iran has breached the limits on the amount of low-enriched uranium it could stockpile under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal and will continue enriching it unless European nations help ease some of the US sanctions.

July 3, 2019: Iran confirmed its threat to increase uranium enrichment. The Iranian Supreme Leader Rouhani says: “Our enrichment rate is not going to be 3.67 percent anymore, it’s going to be as much as we want it to be.”

July 19, 2019: Iranian troops repel onto a British flagged cargo vessel via helicopter, seizing the ship and imprisoning it’s crew.

Now that we’re more-or-less up to date on our recent history with Iran, what does this time line of events spell out for the future? The short answer is that nobody but Iran really knows. In my humble opinion, the United States will NOT enter into an armed conflict with Iran unless seriously and blatantly attacked first. Simply put, I don’t believe the citizens of this country could sign off on yet another foreign war. I do however think that this economic warfare is an attempt at overthrowing the current Iranian regime, a goal that I see as righteous actually. The current Iranian regime has been a blight on the world stage since the days of the Iranian revolution, especially as far as human rights are concerned. This new age of economic warfare on the other hand, I just can’t square it away. Without being a nation officially at war with another nation, I don’t see the idea of crippling a foreign nations economy, which in turn devastates the nations civilian population, essentially using them as expendable pawns in a game of geopolitical chess, as anything but an immoral and unethical act of coercion. I don’t like saying that because even I feel like something has to be done about Iran, without any form of intervention whether it be diplomatic or otherwise, because if left totally unchecked we could be dealing with another nuclear regime like that of North Korea.

This conversation of “what to do about Iran” is one that needs to be hashed out and talked through at great length, by many people, and hopefully we’ll soon be talking about it on the podcast to so capture all the nuance the topic deserves. Until then, articles like this one will just have to do.

WE ARE BACK WITH EPISODE 64!

FINALLY Don and Offie are back for Episode 64 and discuss the first of many random commentors on the pre-show, the Democratic showdown between The Squad, Nancy Pelosi and eventually President Trump, the subpoena forced Testimony of Robert Mueller regarding the special counsels report, what his job was, why the president wasn’t indicted and the rules he had to play by, a trip down the lane of immigration and its varying aspects, the lies from AOC are stacking up, why Nazis don’t really exist anymore, Colin watches an insane amount of movies and in an NFL filled SPORTS more hypocrisy happens in the league.
 
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On Episode 56 we talked about the Muelled report:
 
On Episode 52 we talked about the anti-bigotry resolution we discussed this week
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Episode 62 with guests Jake and Morgan

This week Don and Offie are joined by special guests Jake and Morgan, and together they discuss the merits of psychedelics when used correctly, the places and methods in which to dispose of a corpse, the viability of being a farrier, the technicalities of being best friends with your partner, Jake and Morgans take on the Swallwell gun ban, some of the many reasons that you should NEVER drink and drive, the consistent disappointment of EA, hidden driveways and pizza deliveries, and to finish the day the best and worst movies from the group.

Episode 23 was the first episode in which Jake and Morgan joined us as a couple, it was also Colins birthday!

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Episode 61 of Salt of The Streets Podcast

On episode 61, the grab bag rears it ugly head and spits out a myriad of topics including the recent resignation of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, two more ships are attacked in the Persian Gulf further raising tensions between the US and Iran, further steps in the contempt cases in the House Committees, the pros and cons of Kamala Harris as a candidate and the dishonest treatment of Andrew Yang on ‘Deconstructed’, the dropping of charges in regards to the ‘Flint Water Crisis’ and AOC begins her process of selling out  right before a quick SPORTS!!

Episode Links:

Episode 58: Oil ships bombed in the Persian Gulf

Episode 13: Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

 

Episode 56: Talk about some of the Democratic Candidates (Harris discussed for sure)

Episode 54: More breakdown of the Democratic Candidates

Episode 53: Democratic Candidate breakdown (Yang discussed for sure)

 

 

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