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September 04, 2015, 07:25:26 am
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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Far northern New York on: September 03, 2015, 05:51:58 pm
OK, scratch the NE corner of NY from the belt. Interestingly the recreational area of Greene County (Wyndham and environs), is decidedly Pub.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump claims nuclear deal forces US to defend Iran from Israeli attack on: September 03, 2015, 05:37:36 pm
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/23/rubio_to_kerry_does_deal_obligate_us_to_defend_iran_from_israeli_sbotage.html

Quote
There's a provision, 10.2 that reads: "Cooperation through training or worhkshops to strengthen Iran's ability to protect against or respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.

From what I've read, if Iran is actually in compliance with the deal, just doing peaceful nuclear work, but Israel doesn't like it and decides to attack, the US will defend them.


I assume that is an accurate statement, and of course, Israel would never attack under such circumstances. The rub comes 10 years hence.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump claims nuclear deal forces US to defend Iran from Israeli attack on: September 03, 2015, 04:47:33 pm
Well, does it?
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Current status of SSM in the holdout states (MAP) on: September 03, 2015, 04:41:50 pm
This county clerk in Rowan County has doubled down, by claiming that her deputies willing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples (5 of the 6, with the 6th being her son, so she seems willing to take her son down with her), have no force and effect. She might be in jail for some time. If an elected official refuses to perform their duties in accordance with law, such an official should be impeached, or somehow removed, or a Court should basically take over the duties of the office through a special master. We are a nations of laws, not persons, and if otherwise, this nation would cease to be a civilized nation. It has nothing to do with the merits of SSM, and everything to do with the rule of law.

To engage in some psychobabble, this clerk strikes me as a narcissist. Everything revolves around her desires, the rest including performing her duties, be damned (and probably she took an oath, she is now violating, to follow the law, when she was sworn into office). If she had any decency at all, she would just resign, stating that performing the job now violates her conscience. Why does she not do what seems obvious to anyone who respects the rule of law?
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Say something nice about the preceding poster. on: September 03, 2015, 04:17:28 pm
Leftish Mormons who take their religion seriously (not Jack Mormons) are quite interesting to me. And the chap is civil and polite and informative. I am most pleased he is a part of our community.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Far northern New York on: September 03, 2015, 04:01:04 pm
Why are you obsessed with this phrase of "Birkenstock Belt?"

Obsessed is a rather strong term, but I just find the whole phenomenon fascinating (liberal rural whites, now so much a rarity in most places), and I live right at the edge of the zone now, and in fact two wards in my town are sort of the same way. I was visiting Lenox in the Berkshires to see the Edith Wharton home. It's a very wealthy place, just gorgeous, very cultural, and voted 76% for Obama 2008. Interestingly, the Berkshires did trend very heavily to Baker to help elect him governor even though still heavily Democratic  (about a 10 percent trend, but still 65% Democratic), so obviously much of it, but certainly not all of it,  is cultural rather than economic per se.

Also I am beginning to suspect that much of the perimeters of the belt are defined by landscape (hilly and dead bang gorgeous, stunningly so really, and lush, but with seasons, and still not all that far from major cosmopolitan cities).

And one thing one does not do in the Birkenstock belt, is flaunt wealth. No, rather you mask it. And I like that after living all my life in Tinsel Town, and environs.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of compulsory military service on: September 03, 2015, 03:54:14 pm
Unnecessary coercion and a profoundly dumb idea these days. Now war is high tech, not about a mass number of soldiers, and much more high skilled. In some European countries with a draft, like The Netherlands, my impression is that military service is basically like a summer camp, and the military is not really fit to do much of anything anyway. And in a major war, that will probably end with a nuclear holocaust now. Major wars requiring the entire nation to go on a war footing are a thing of the past (putting aside wars between smaller countries, or a major country against a small one, rather than major powers).
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Church and State on: September 03, 2015, 03:45:52 pm
Basically, I favor the SCOTUS approach. The state should not finance religion (although it does deem them for taxation purposes as the same as charities, which is a debatable matter, and perhaps in a a more perfect world would not obtain, but we don't live in a perfect world), not be hostile to it, not favor one religion over another, or religion over secularism, or secularism over religion, but allowing students to go to religious schools with vouchers, where it is the parents that are making the decision as to how to cash the voucher rather than the state, if just fine, and making reasonable but not excessive accommodations for expressions of religious conscience. Everything is a balancing test.

I don't like the term separation of church and state. Religion and public policy are inextricably intertwined. Values come to a substantial extent from leaps of faith, but religious and secular (secular one's called a priori assumptions). Better is the way SCOTUS puts it, which is that the state should be neutral towards religion, or lack of religion, but not disengaged from it.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: If Russia's claim to Crimea legitamate? on: September 03, 2015, 03:36:50 pm
It's always difficult when a minority that is a majority in a part of one nation, wants to join an adjacent nation. Russia precipitated it, but a majority of the populace was no doubt more than happy to go along. Now the issue is what happens to eastern Ukraine with the same issue. Not to make a comparison, but that is the tactic Hitler used to annex the Sudentenland. He was just picking up Germans that were a majority in that part of Czechoslovakia (I think they were a majority, but perhaps not).
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / ! on: September 03, 2015, 11:57:34 am
I didn't find Colbert's schtick very amusing myself. He sounds a bit more like an egomaniac than a comedian here:  it's mine, mine, all mine!. Keep your grubby little paws off my VIP seats! Only I can make money off them! Poor Bush is trying to humanize himself as a regular guy by doing this sort of thing. It won't work, Jeb. You are just not a funny man. Your persona is more like an earnest Methodist minister from Indiana actually. You're a decent man, but uninteresting and boring.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The topless parade. Pride or Shame? on: September 03, 2015, 11:25:11 am
This phobia of "topless" men displayed here is really weird to me. Anyway, I am all in favor of topless men on the streets, but I digress. And thank heavens, my impression is that men going topless is not deemed as criminal indecent exposure, unlike perhaps for women, which then raises the issue as to whether that constitutes gender discrimination, which gets intermediate scrutiny if I recall correctly under the Constitution.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Obama a Muslim? on: September 03, 2015, 11:08:23 am
As opposed, I suppose, to the super pressing question of whether Obama is a Muslim. Sorry to have participated in derailing such a serious thread.

Touche. But what is serious, and the reason I put it up - in fact the only reason - is the Pub and Trumpite Pub beliefs about the matter, all in the face of clear and convincing, or dispositive, evidence to the contrary. I find that a bit sobering. Don't you?
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Obama a Muslim? on: September 03, 2015, 11:01:24 am
I wouldn't say it's totally off topic, as it originated from a discussion of Obama's religion (the topic of the thread), and Wulfric's insistence that his own criteria define whether or not Obama can self-identify as his own preferred religion.

But it certainly has gone down a rabbit hole, and I'll take the opportunity to pull out now.

Thanks. You knew this was going nowhere right, and now it's all about the Bible more than public policy, and well, thanks again.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Obama a Muslim? on: September 03, 2015, 10:57:14 am
So the punishment prescribed for this is the same as the punishment prescribed for murder?

I'd convict the doctor performing the abortion of 2nd degree murder, and the mother  of assisting another in committing murder. I'd assign the usual punishment under current us laws for both crimes.

Perhaps you and Figs can start a thread on the Debate board about abortion (or maybe the Religion board). It is totally off topic here. And the debate will go nowhere, because all of these abortion debates are based on a priori assumptions of just how "human" a fetus is and when, thereby entitling a fetus to a varying spectrum of "rights" based on those assumptions, but have at it - there. Thanks.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: PPP-National: General election match-ups close on: September 03, 2015, 10:50:58 am
It's all about Hillary. The Pub candidates are almost just a generic Pub choice. Hillary gets about 45% no matter what, and gets a bit more of the undecideds with well known and more controversial Pub candidates (a bit surprising she gets the max 47% figure with Rubio however), but only a couple of points more at the moment. Once voters get to know the candidates better and some states vote in the primaries, the Pub numbers may become more variegated by candidate. That's my read anyway. It's really more of a poll about whether voters want a third term of Obama as POTUS.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hypothetical scenario Bush and Trump are not the R. nominee on: September 03, 2015, 10:43:52 am
Rubio, Kasich, Cruz.

Walker is dead meat, I am skeptical Carson will ever display a facility with the issues that will make him creditable, Fiorina has no resume to speak of, so that leaves a battle between candidates acceptable to the establishment and Cruz, who does have the knowledge and debating skills representing the more anti-establishment, so-con faction.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump set to sign pledge ruling out 3rd party bid on: September 03, 2015, 09:39:15 am
This does not surprise me. Trump knows he can't win going the third party route and that it will ensure a Democratic victory. Using the threat of going third party to secure the nomination as a blackmail tactic, is not a good strategy. End of story.

Oh, and of course, if something weird happens, Trump will have no problem ignoring the pledge anyway, claiming that there was a breach of trust or something in the way he was denied the nomination. So in that sense, it's not really all that meaningful in my view.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: IA-Loras College: D: Clinton 48% Sanders 23%; R: Trump 25% Carson 18% Bush 10% on: September 03, 2015, 08:58:34 am
Hillary seems to have stabilized for the moment. It may take an indictment to stop her inevitability. Her hold on blacks, Hispanics and women is pretty firm. The email affair has not changed that.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Police Brutality Megathread on: September 03, 2015, 08:22:34 am
F*** the police. There's a special place in hell for these murderous pigs.

You're not going to get people on your side with crap like this. Your reaction is immature and against everything we've learned about the success of civil rights movements.

The legal system sure hasn't worked. They always get away with it, and when you try to film them, they beat you and smash your camera. You file a complaint, they don't even investigate and clear the cop of all wrongdoing. A cop kills an innocent unarmed civilian, they don't even press charges. What's left but to say? A cop here died in a traffic accident and 1000 people showed up for his funeral. Yet hundreds and hundreds of people are killed by the very people who are supposed to be there to protect them, and nobody bats an eye.

They all have a power trip, an ego. Most of them only got into that job just so that they could have power over people, and that's what gets people killed. What's left to say besides "F*** the police?"

Perhaps some of the above is true to some extent (it probably is), but the thing is, is that for cops engaging in misconduct, the risk is going up. Any cell phone can video stuff, and its hard to make sure  there are not any cell phones around. So I suspect given that risk, police misconduct is probably going down.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: House Republicans really don't like John Boehner on: September 02, 2015, 06:23:26 pm
Why would Sidney Blumenthal know the thinking of younger more conservative members of the GOP House? I mean, why would they confide in that man, who was viewed as a toxic figure?
21  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of These Religions on: September 02, 2015, 05:20:36 pm
I typed something, but decided to delete it. What's the point of taking issue with any religion really? It serves no useful purpose.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is Obama a Muslim? on: September 02, 2015, 03:43:39 pm
Bushie sired Obama using a time machine?

Yes.  That is my fictional explanation, at least.  Though it was Mitt Romney's abused dog Seamus who set it all up, to make sure that Mitt Romney would not ultimately be elected president.

I changed the color of your text to beige, because I didn't want to spoil anyone who hadn't read the story yet.  Highlight the text to reveal the spoilers.


It's fiction?  Who knew? Smiley
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump v Carson on: September 02, 2015, 03:41:23 pm
There is no need for Trump to attack Carson. Both are outsiders and crusaders against political correctness.

Since Carson won't attack Trump and isn't ruling out becoming his VP, I think that is precisely what's going to happen. Between the two of them, they'll have enough votes to clinch the nomination.


So the Pubs have a ticket where both are unqualified to be POTUS? It just gets curiouser and curiouser.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Say something nice about the preceding poster. on: September 02, 2015, 03:31:35 pm
Likes my partner's poetry, and seems to be an all around nice and level headed guy.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump v Carson on: September 02, 2015, 03:30:25 pm
"Trump can begin by complimenting Carson’s “inspirational” story and medical brilliance, but then pivot to his lack of leadership experience. “He’s a wonderful guy, but we’re not fixing brains here, we’re getting killed by China. We’re not separating Siamese twins, we’re separating Mexico from Texas with a beautiful wall!”

The above is the way to do it, and it's basically true. Carson is a nice guy, but not qualified to be POTUS. Trump isn't either, and has a temperament and judgment problem to boot, but a big chunk of the Pubs don't give a damn about that apparently. It's sad the two current front runners for the Pubs are so totally unqualified to be POTUS. It makes Mittens look like a veritable political God in comparison. Where have all the flowers gone?  But miracles can and do happen, and maybe Kasich will rise and save the polity from itself. Keep hope alive! Smiley
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