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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Guess what's NOT going to happen? on: December 16, 2009, 11:27:01 pm
Aww...

Little baby troll was born on third and likes to think he hit a triple.

It's not that I'm living beyond my means.  It is that living IS beyond my means.  Essentials cost more than I make.  I cannot find better paying employment.  And sociopathic twerps like you rejoice that health insurance costs more than rent.

Yes, I'm pissed.  Pissed and desperate.  (and dumb enough to rant on a public forum so you can get your jollies pretending that you're better than everyone else).

I don't believe in a hell, but some days I wish there was one for people like you who delight in the suffering and misery of others.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Guess what's NOT going to happen? on: December 16, 2009, 07:45:09 pm
And when ECR passes, none will mourn him.

After all, caring about the well being of other people is strictly a liberal vice.
3  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: National pride on: December 15, 2009, 01:14:51 am
Mildly disagree.  I think this quote sums it up wonderfully:

Quote
The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?
~Pablo Casals
4  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Death of the Religious Right? on: December 15, 2009, 01:01:05 am
Religious zealotry and it's influence on politics tends to wax and wane over time.  I think/hope that it is currently on the wane (though it may flare a little over 2012 among pseudo-Christians who take pagan calendars a bit to seriously), but rest assured it will return again.  And again.  and so on. 
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which of mentioned Vice Presidents were qualified for the Presidency? on: December 14, 2009, 06:09:15 pm
All were legally qualified (us citizen, at least 35). 

Most to least qualified (resume wise)
GHWB
Nelson Rockefeller
Joe Biden
Al Gore
Walter Mondale
Dick Cheney
Dan Quayle

Most to least qualified (temperament/skill wise)
GHWB
Al Gore
Joe Biden
Nelson Rockefeller
Walter Mondale
Dan Quayle
Dick Cheney
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The Changing California Electorate (2009 vs. 1978) on: December 14, 2009, 05:54:57 pm
It's pretty shocking that California Republicans were more likely to support same-sex marriage in 1977 than now.  Basically shows the extreme decline of the liberal Republican tradition in the interim (the last vestiges of the actual "Party of Lincoln").

Also, stupid Californians. Don't you know Prop 13 is what causes all of your budget messes?

1.  The change wasn't that extreme.  It's practically churn (from 65% against to 68% against) and I don't think that it was a major political issue in most parts back then, so the rabid partisans didn't have anyone telling them how to answer that question.

2.  I do know that, but I'm probably a bit better informed than most (as is probably true with most people on this board)  For most people Prop 13 was the big taxpayer's revolt - making sure Grandma didn't get drowned in property taxes just because the house they bought for 10K decades ago had increased in value by an order of magnitude or so.  Not many people recognize it as a way big companies avoid taxes (since they are, in effect, immortal) or recognize the insane 2/3rds requirement (and how certain extremists can abuse it ad infinitum  for their own pork; or even just ideological purity.  The really dark side of gerrymandering is that it makes the loonies ultra-safe; and a sizable minority of them can block anything) even exists - much less causes a problem.
7  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Armey: Pawlenty on 'safest ground' on: December 14, 2009, 05:17:15 pm
The good, the bad, and the ugly:

The good:
Thus far, Pawlenty doesn't seem to be carrying much baggage - which is generally considered a plus for a candidate.  (or does it?  Our last three presidents came with considerable baggage).

The bad:
Trying to equate Palin and Clinton somehow.  The criticism that Clinton got an unfair boost due to who she was married to has some merit - but it is not uncommon for people to marry someone who is an intellectual equal in many ways.   He overstates Palin's case a bit - a one-term governor who quit in the middle of their first term  (not to take on higher office, but just, because...).

The ugly:
Confusing nuance and addressing the US as intelligent adults with being wishy-washy and obtuse.  Perhaps for the teabaggers being a simple minded zealot is considered a blessing, but in the real world it only leads to trouble.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: opebo vs. Libertas on: December 14, 2009, 05:00:52 pm
Is there a cyanide option?
9  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Republican Pres Cand. with Woman V.P. cand? on: December 14, 2009, 03:02:18 pm
In any case, I will stand by my prediction that one or both parties (more likely the Democrats than the Republicans) will have a woman on their presidential ticket in '08....either in the presidential or vice presidential slot.  You can quote me on that in two years.


Since someone bumped the thread, consider yourself quoted.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever done something this intellectually dishonest? on: December 13, 2009, 05:13:42 pm
Actually, it's accurate (sort of).  It just leaves out one vital piece of information - The Republicans did not field a candidate that year in that district.  So the results were:

Solis(D)                    130,152    99.994%
Nobody(R)               0                0%
Osunwa -write in(I)  8               0.006%

Link

So, yes, it is intellectually dishonest in being a lie of omission.

The special election figure he gave is a hair off (a fraction of a percent), but was significantly different in that there was more than one candidate on the ballot.
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Getting a little worried... (Attention whoring, but a serious topic) on: December 12, 2009, 08:02:29 pm
Just stop buying/drinking Coke/soda/anything that isn't skim milk/100% juice with no added sugars/water. That will have a huge benefit and isn't really that difficult, compared to things like exercise or drastic diet changes (both of which are probably necessary in the long term).

Actually, fruit juice is not generally a good idea with diabetes.   Especially orange juice.  (at least according to my doctor).  Since it has fructose - a naturally occurring simple sugar - it tends to create a spike in blood sugar levels.  (It is however handy if you are hypoglycemic - that is have low blood sugar - to bring it back up to normal).

There are a number of things that can cause shakiness, so it would probably be best to talk with your doctor about it.   
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Incorrect use of the word 'fascist' thread. on: December 12, 2009, 04:31:28 pm
Allowing gays to marry (and not sending them to death camps) is "fascist".

Socialism is "fascist".  Communism is even more so.

Jesse Owens was the 'fascist' runner in the Berlin Olympics.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: "The most dramatic political about-face in our history" on: December 12, 2009, 02:25:58 pm
The main problem here is that the article takes Obama to task not so much for what he actually claimed during the campaign; but the strawman ultra-lefty that the right wing tried to portray him as.

Bill Mahr had it right - we have the conservative party (the Democrats) and the way out there wacko party (the Republicans).  Liberals may not be happy with this state of affairs, but that is the way things are right now.
14  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Long Standing Questions of Mine on: December 10, 2009, 12:46:23 am
Being highly subjective, I can only toss out my own opinions (from the perspective of an agnostic with a non-traditional religious upbringing)

1. From a non-literalistic interpretation, it seems to be a contemplation of the problem of evil - that is, why do bad things happen to good people.    It seems to reinforce the idea that just because someone suffers does not mean that they are wicked (then it turns around and gives him a reward for being just and holding faith throughout the hard times).  The message seems to be "don't blame God when things go badly, it is all part of the divine plan.  Instead stay faithful through difficult times and you will be rewarded.

In a literal sense, it seems awful cruel for a benevolent deity to act that way, but we cannot know the mind of God.  However, I suppose it could be assumed that the children who died would then be with God, which would ultimately be a good thing.

2. I don't see why not.   Many faiths have certain common ground (in particular, the golden rule).

Alternately, some medieval philosophers considered the concept of limbo - that the unsaved would be kept in a place which was not unpleasant, but not divine, in order to await final judgment.

3.  I think a person's answer to that depends on whether or not they believe in a doctrine of biblical inerrancy.    If you believe that all parts were divinely guided, and that the retelling of the stories over the years, the recording of those stories in writing, and the reproduction of those writings over the centuries, and the major modern (or semi-modern) translations are all flawless due to divine intervention - then the answer is no.

If you're working from the idea that the stories and instructions are the literal word of God, with some possible errors in reproduction and translation - then you probably want to look more at overall themes, what ideas come up over and over again throughout different books.

If you think some doctrines come out of habits of the times, rather than divine origin, consider the usefulness of them today.  Were certain foods ruled out because they sometimes spread disease (pigs tended to carry parasites) - if so, then modern medicine makes it about as safe as any other food.   Then again, the scripture usually cited ending the kosher rules (Matt 15) involves eating with unwashed hands not eating non-kosher foods; and washing your hands before you eat is considered a healthy practice today.

4. I tend toward universalism myself.  Perhaps moving on to another spiritual plain to learn and grow anew.  If there is anything, I would think it would be rather immediate, and I don't consider time (in a universal sense) to be a limited quantity.  Eternity is longer than a very long time - it goes on forever.

5. Like I said, I have a rather non-traditional background, so I tend to imagine God as an essence, rather than a physical being.  Perhaps (as in the sense of omnipresence), as a part (or the whole) of all that exists.   
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: When did the GOP become the pro-war Party? on: December 07, 2009, 08:16:22 pm
In times that the Democratic party opposes wars

(end glibness).

I see two main shifts - one in the '50's one in the 90's.  In the '50's it was pretty much a pissing match as to who was 'tougher' on communism (Or at least who had the more paranoid rhetoric and was more willing to sacrifice freedoms for scapegoating ala McCarthy).

In the 90's, there was a drastic shift away from the pragmatic policies of Reagan and Bush Sr. (Who Clinton emulated well, and Obama seems to be working on emulating).  It is from that era that we get the Powell doctrine.   The unholy alliance between the neocons (and their hangers on - the jingoists, who care less about creating stable democracies than about kicking butt), the authoritarian/religious right (which wanted to turn or burn the heathens, or at least figured that militancy was divinely sanctioned), as well as various kleptocrats who reached new highs in war profiteering.
16  General Politics / Political Debate / A libertarian paradox? on: December 07, 2009, 06:36:32 pm
How much power should the government have to prevent people from infringing on other people's rights?

Assume for a moment that entities other than governments (people, corporations) can infringe on the rights of others.  That may be hard for some who follow libertarianism as a religious dogma rather than a philosophy (and who, I would argue, are actually somewhat authoritarian in their worldview).

Beyond the obvious (such as kidnapping, murder, and theft) what should people be allowed to do to one another.  Can a person sell themselves into indentured servitude, or even slavery?  Could they do the same with their kids.  Would it be acceptable for companies to set up their own towns where their rules take precedence; could an employee, say, be locked up indefinitely without trial if they had previously signed a waiver as part of an employment contract.  Would it be acceptable to coerce someone into de facto servitude - say an exchange of indentured servitude for life, for life saving medical care for their child.

It is odd as I see two varieties of Libertarian out there - one brand which has a rather positive view of human nature - that most people are, to use a phrase I heard once, responsible enough to be trusted with matches (or their own decisions).  Laws exist to deal with the sociopaths and similar exceptions.  I would suspect that this type would consider the government primarily as a device to ensure individual freedom.    The other group is more nebulous, but tends to have a darker view.  Call them Randroid, or kleptocrat, or just plain crazy/evil - they tend to have a more negative view and believe that it is normal (or even desirable) for one person to exploit another.  Needless to say, they tend to fantasize themselves the exploiter, rather than the exploited - perhaps in part due to a Gaultesque overestimation of self-worth.  Their philosophy strikes me as really more authoritarian - in which they imagine themselves mighty leaders over the lesser peoples they command.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When did Democrats become the left-of-center American party? on: December 05, 2009, 12:48:21 am
James, stop trolling
At least when you troll, you stick to one-liners. James is trying to make his trolling sound like legitimate debate by using lots of words.

Lots of words?  There are barely over a hundred there.  It is unfortunate if you consider that to be a lot of words.  I suppose you're eyes must have glossed over at the detailed posts of Beet and pragmatic liberal.  But hey - I'm just following the good old appeal to ridicule which you so skillessly wield (helped only by the tendency for the human brain to shut down in response to mockery.

Hey, I recognize that this is just a playground.  No actual policy is decided here, so it isn't world changing if you cling to old stereotypes rather than take a look around and recognize how many assumptions there are out there in the real world that go unchallenged.

If you feel like it - perhaps on a break from your trollish duties - take a good look around you and try observing the world without prejudice - you might just be surprised at what you find (if you can find the courage to think - a false certainty in a specific worldview can a lot more comforting than embracing the doubt that comes with recognizing that we don't know it all and that our information is always imperfect.   But I doubt you even read this far - too many words, I suppose. 
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When did Democrats become the left-of-center American party? on: December 04, 2009, 07:58:52 pm
The problem with the question is the problem with the whole left/right spectrum in general.  There are so many issues to be considered, and more than a few demographic groups as well - and they don't always band together.

On social/race issues the big flip came around 1964 with the civil rights act.  In terms of pragmatism vs. ideological purity they have all but completely flipped over the past two decades.  In terms of demographics, Democrats are attracting a larger number of the well educated while Republicans are attracting more people with less education.

In economics it's a bit lopsided, with Democrats largely for free markets and Republicans supporting corporate cronyism (socialists are almost non-existent in American politics).

LOL

     My reaction exactly.

Why?  Is it because you buy stereotypes that are at least three decades out of date (and were never perfect to begin with).   Is it because some libertarians choose to remain blind to the fact that concentrations of power (and limitations on freedom) are not solely done by governments. No bid contracts are not an element of a free market.   Companies who require their employees to opt out of a fair justice system in favor of arbitration (which generally knows where their paychecks come from), or the gutting of anti-trust laws so that they can maximize short term profit while stiffing start-ups and and smaller companies undermining (if not outright killing) the innovation which drives an actual free market economy.

Try actually reading Adam Smith sometime - rather than blindly assuming that he believed in blind faith in corporations, you might be a bit surprised:

Quote
As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. 
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When did Democrats become the left-of-center American party? on: December 04, 2009, 03:49:30 pm
The problem with the question is the problem with the whole left/right spectrum in general.  There are so many issues to be considered, and more than a few demographic groups as well - and they don't always band together.

On social/race issues the big flip came around 1964 with the civil rights act.  In terms of pragmatism vs. ideological purity they have all but completely flipped over the past two decades.  In terms of demographics, Democrats are attracting a larger number of the well educated while Republicans are attracting more people with less education.

In economics it's a bit lopsided, with Democrats largely for free markets and Republicans supporting corporate cronyism (socialists are almost non-existent in American politics).
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Tenn mayor shows remarkable egotism. on: December 04, 2009, 03:01:25 pm
Perhaps he should change his name to foolman

There are reasons that presidential speeches are typically made in eastern prime time - to get as many viewers as possible (including people just getting off work in the west).  Playing Grinch to the children of some minor mayor is not one of them.

Sheesh.  What a whack job.  If the GOP wants to be taken seriously you should purge these guys, not the so-called rinos.
21  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / An agnostic atheists wager on: December 04, 2009, 12:52:05 am
I ran into this, so forgive me if you've heard it before.  The general case goes like this:

Quote
Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe, when there is a significant lack of evidence of any one god's existence.

It can even be broken down loosely into a truth table:

Quote
   1. If god exists and god is benevolent and you are a good person who disbelieves, you will be fine
   2. If god exists and god is benevolent and you are a hypocrite who claims to believe but does not you may not be fine
   3. If god exists and god is malevolent and you are a good person who disbelieves, you may not be fine
   4. If god exists and god is malevolent and you are a hypocrite who claims to believe but does not you will likely be greatly punished
   5. If god does not exist and you are a good person who disbelieves then you have a net gain (You help yourself instead of waiting for god to help you)
   6. If god does not exist and you are a hypocrite who claims to believe but does not you have a net loss (Untruthfulness to self)

(then again, if god exists and is malevolent, we're all pretty much screwed regardless of belief).

The site leaves out true believer - but I'll see what I can add for convince:

7.  If you truly believe and you are a good person and god is benevolent, you will be fine.
8.  If you truly believe and are a good person and god is malevolent, you may not be fine.
9.  If you truly believe and are a good person and god does not exist, you will not have to hear that you were mistaken.
10.If you truly believe and are a vile person and god is benevolent, you may or may not be fine.
11. if you truly believe and are a vile person and god is malevolent, you may or may not be fine.
12. If you truly believe and are a vile person and god does not exist, well at least you will die eventually.

I would consider a god who puts Gandhi in hell (non-believer) and Torquemada in heaven (or any other zealot who wreaked havoc) to be a malevolent entity.

Opinions?
22  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Predict state of race on April Fool's Day 2011 on: December 03, 2009, 07:23:08 pm
As published on the onion:

The ghost of Ronald Reagan - 42%
Richiard Nixon's disembodied head - 22%
Michael Palin - 15%
George Clinton - 11%
Huckleberry Finn - 4%
Donny Ozmond - 4%
Others - 3%
Dick Cheney - -25%
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who was the President when you were born? on: December 03, 2009, 06:55:12 pm
Johnson.

My little brother was born on the last full day of the Johnson administration.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What should the age of consent be? on: December 02, 2009, 02:19:16 am
16, but for goodness sake we need to inject some common sense into statutory rape laws. A 17 year old who has sex with a 15 year old is not a criminal.

The vast majority of people charged with sex crimes are just kids. It's obviously a flawed system. Keep the 16 limit, but don't take it so literally.

In many states there is what is called a "Romeo and Juliet clause"

Emotional maturity is a tricky thing to gauge.  I would think that a 3 year window for those over 14 would probably be a fairly lenient standard.   Although 18 is a somewhat arbitrary age for 'maturity' (I think that there is often a massive difference in maturity between 18 and 21 or 22), but it is a societal norm and most people have at least the basic concept of personal responsibility and simple abstract reasoning skills.

When both parties are young and close in age, what they need is guidance and help to reform, not juvenile hall.   If one party is significantly older, then it's exploitation and a far more reprehensible crime.  (and yes, that includes situations where the older party is female - exploitation is exploitation)
25  General Politics / Political Debate / Are children property? on: December 02, 2009, 02:05:34 am
I have a pretty strong opinion in the direction of no, but I figured I'd bring it up for discussion.  Some parts of the parental notification thread (in particular the response of some Libertarians) surprised me a bit.   Is liberty only for those who have reached a specific age milestone?

Of course, there is the underlying (and more nuanced) question - how much control should parents have over their children?  In an ideal world parents would always have their childrens' best interests in mind - but this is not an ideal world.  There are bad parents, there are parents who are well meaning but endanger their children because of their specific beliefs (such as forgoing medical care), and there can be a values dissonance - do children (in particular teenagers) have a right to conscience - to believe what they will within the privacy of their own thoughts?   There is one question on the political compass test that I always figured would be a slam dunk ("It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents."), but I would guess by it's inclusion that some people think otherwise.  (perhaps that's part of why they rate me more socially libertarian than I consider myself to be).

Further, at what rate do children gain rights - is freedom of conscience innate, or something gained over stages of cognitive development?  I am curious how others here see this.
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