Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 19, 2014, 07:57:36 pm
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

  Show Posts
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 ... 597
76  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is there such a thing as objective reality? on: December 04, 2014, 10:32:29 am
If reality is so loosely weaved, leave your house by the second floor window because you strongly believe you will be able to leave the house that way and then see if your assumption holds up.

From your perspective, I might be dead. From my perspective, though, the universe itself would have ceased to exist along with me. That's exactly what I mean. Does reality exist for me separately from my perception of it? Rather, it seems like it's constructed by my perception of it.

If the universe does not exist apart from you, what accounts for discovery and surprise? Wouldn't you have to argue that when you are surprised, it's really some part of your mind revealing itself to some other part of your mind? Also, it seems a bit implausible that a universe constructed by the mind (or "perception") would be so precise. When I dream, the laws of physics are certainly not precise. But when I am waking, they are. The only way this could be internally generated is if all the laws of physics were somehow inside of me, and I brought them forward by some ulterior process akin to the doctrine of recollection.
77  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rand Paul blames Garner's death on cigarette taxes on: December 04, 2014, 10:12:33 am
And he's not wrong.

New York State has the highest taxes on cancerweed in America; the purpose is to cut smoking and cut the costs of healthcare related to smoking.

Low rates of adult smoking correlate to positives in just about every social metric. In a study that I started on how the states measure against each other I found that high rates of smoking correlate negatively to statewide credit scores -- not to mention life expectancy. If you live in a state with a high rate of smoking, then a big chunk of state and local government spending goes to treating ailments related to smoking.

If you are going to pay high taxes, then at least let them be spent on roads, public transit, schools, libraries, etc.  Utah, which has by far the lowest rate of adult smoking, seems to get very good results from such government spending as it has.  

There's a good argument that smoking imposes negative externalities, but the same can be said of eating unhealthy foods, drinking, owning firearms, living in hurricane prone areas etc. With smoking the link is just larger in degree. So you can only take that argument so far.

Almost all negative SES factors are co correlated, so that means little.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 04, 2014, 12:35:23 am
Cops are human beings, and civilians are human beings. I don't think its any great moral crime for one human being to speak to another frankly on the street, particularly if they have a history between them, as Mr. Garner seems to have with these officers. The balance of power is with the cops when there are a dozen of them surrounding one unarmed man, and when they have the full force of society's trust and authority behind them. It's their responsibility to be trained in human relations and excercise restraint.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 04, 2014, 12:21:41 am
I don't think it's clear that he was resisting arrest. First of all, he was saying, "Don't touch me." That suggests he was still trying to communicate with the two officers- from his standpoint, it hadn't escalated beyond discussion. There was no attempt on his part to escape or defeat the officers in a physical confrontation. At most, he waved his arms around and turned his body while trying to talk with the officers. This is why, the break in the video is important, IMO. Was it clearly communicated to him, that he was in fact, under arrest, and that failure to comply would result in physical escalation? In other words, a warning? I think part of why this video is so explosive is that it seems to happen with no warning.
80  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cop in Eric Garner's death not indicted on: December 04, 2014, 12:10:51 am
There seems to be a break in the video just before the physical confrontation starts... was Garner ever told that he was under arrest, and that he could either come peaceably or they would be forced to coerce him? That's the part that I didn't see in the video. It seems to me that a reasonable man, even an angry man, will intellectually agree to arrest than get into a fight he can't win. Therefore, by the full force of proper warning, peaceable compliance can be achieved, no?
81  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Abolish The Senate on: December 03, 2014, 06:28:27 pm
Conservatives want to model the U.S. on the U.N. now? Well I never thought I'd see the day Smiley But in all seriousness, the U.N. is not a government, it's a treaty organization. And China isn't underrepresented. As one of the "Big Five" victors of WW2 (even though in reality it was 3), it has a permanent seat and veto power on the UNSC. Heck, before 1971, ROC/Taiwan with its 15 million people could have theoretically vetoed a UN resolution supported by the entire rest of the world! That thought alone shows why we need proportional representation.
82  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germans honour slain 'role model' Tugce Albayrak on: December 03, 2014, 05:56:08 pm
Here's a pic from her funeral:



Personally, I think it's great that millions of Germans can sympathize with a Muslim woman of Turkish origin in such a high profile way. It really goes against the xenophobia that we see in much of Europe today.
83  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who will Fiorina be comparable to? on: December 03, 2014, 04:37:36 pm
Larry Summers? She'll uphold the banner for failing upwards.
84  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: December 03, 2014, 04:35:43 pm
Inquiry into Human Understanding by David Hume
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Abolish The Senate on: December 03, 2014, 04:33:01 pm
Quote
It is not that you have to ensure every last group is represented, but that one group cannot dominate and control the others without having to join together with some other group. Thus is the source for the greater willing on the part of the Senate to compromise.

Sure, but that has nothing to do with the rationality of apportioning votes equally according to state. The greater willingness of the Senate to compromise is largely a result of (1) the filibuster, which makes compromise necessary to pass most bills (2) the greater independence of individual Senators, who have larger individual power bases and are not totally at the mercy of the Leader, (3) to some extent, Senatorial tradition. It'll be interesting to see whether this survives the massive increase in polarization jfern posted. My guess is it won't, and we see it's already crumbling.
86  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In a presidential candidate, what is experience to you? on: December 03, 2014, 04:11:58 pm
Experience for a politician is like standardized tests for a grad school applicant. She has to reach a certain level to avoid being weeded out, but beyond that it's irrelevant. E.g., no random persons off the street, or people who've never held statewide office, if even for a couple of years. That's pretty much it. Although I suppose, angus makes a good point about military experience being a plus.
87  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Racial divide on Ferguson indictment is almost identical to 2014 House vote on: December 03, 2014, 12:42:23 am
It means 58% of whites in this country are degenerates.

Getting a little tired of this shtick from my fellows on the left. You're not going to win anyone over to your side with that kind of nonsense.

It's not nonsense and I'm not trying to win anyone over. The hicks can stay in hickland.

It is nonsense, even the most hardened racist is capable of reform. And learning a bit of human relations is necessary in this business.
88  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What % of the black Republican vote would Cain or Carson win in the primaries? on: December 02, 2014, 11:32:26 pm
Let's see, assuming he gets Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Tim Scott, J.C. Watts, Mia Love, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Thomas Sowell, and Herman Cain, and that crazy dude from Florida. Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice would probably go for Bush. So his max is 9 out of 11, or 82%
89  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: SURVIVOR: Asia-Pacific on: December 02, 2014, 11:22:37 pm
5 Palau
4 Bahrain
3 Marshall Islands
2 Kiribati
1 Nauru
90  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Racial divide on Ferguson indictment is almost identical to 2014 House vote on: December 02, 2014, 11:11:02 pm
It means 58% of whites in this country are degenerates.

Getting a little tired of this shtick from my fellows on the left. You're not going to win anyone over to your side with that kind of nonsense.
91  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Abolish The Senate on: December 02, 2014, 10:47:20 pm
The reason the court ruled that state senate districts had to be drawn equally, was because the rural counties were getting a highly disproportionate amount of representation. In California, Los Angeles County had only one state Senator, while several rural counties were distributed into several low population districts.

But the implication is that a Senate is suppose to be proportionate to population at all and the US Senate is most certainly not. It makes no sense that the court should create a double standard regarding the structure of a Senate within the Constitution, particularly when Article 1 endorses a Senate that is not proportional for the very reason of creating balance of interests. The Court completely abandoned that in 1962 and has thus created one problem in the solving of another.

Proportional representation is balanced... That's the point. Disproportionate representation is what is unbalanced. I mean, it depends on what you're trying to balance. States or people? The former was created by the latter, to serve the latter. Even Hobbes, the great champion of the State, put his argument in terms of what it could do for Man. Even the worst dictatorships set up a state only to serve some person(s), if only the dictator himself. In the United States, the states were created largely arbitrarily; they do not reflect any long standing religions, languages, ethnicities, or cultures; their only rational basis is the fact that they exist, as accidents of history. Human beings, on the other hand, are the basic building block of society and each have the same intrinsic moral worth merely by being human. It's no contest.

The Senate is not going to be abolished because the Constitution has made it impossible (and because it is politically out of the question), but let's not pretend there is any good reason for arbitrary representation "by state."

 You balance interests of different groups of people because a dictatorship of the simple 51% majority nationwide could also lead to division as interests specific to a particular region are ignored. Like agricultural issues in small states or hurricane preparedness along the Alantic coast.

But on what basis are we to define different "groups of people"? Why agricultural interests over say, physicians' interests or manufacturers' interests? And if that is the aim, why define it geographically? Why not set up a special protection for farmers? There are more farmers in upstate New York and Texas than in Idaho. Society is full of interests specific to small groups of people. Disabled people are less than 1% of the population. How are their interests to be represented? Should we carve out a Senate seat for them? Splitting things according to geography doesn't solve this problem. The geographic argument only makes sense if you think there is sone thing intrinsic in the land as currently apportioned among the states itself, that merits representation. Clearly there is not, nor is there any for state senate and house districts, which we redraw all the time.
92  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Abolish The Senate on: December 02, 2014, 09:56:06 pm
The reason the court ruled that state senate districts had to be drawn equally, was because the rural counties were getting a highly disproportionate amount of representation. In California, Los Angeles County had only one state Senator, while several rural counties were distributed into several low population districts.

But the implication is that a Senate is suppose to be proportionate to population at all and the US Senate is most certainly not. It makes no sense that the court should create a double standard regarding the structure of a Senate within the Constitution, particularly when Article 1 endorses a Senate that is not proportional for the very reason of creating balance of interests. The Court completely abandoned that in 1962 and has thus created one problem in the solving of another.

Proportional representation is balanced... That's the point. Disproportionate representation is what is unbalanced. I mean, it depends on what you're trying to balance. States or people? The former was created by the latter, to serve the latter. Even Hobbes, the great champion of the State, put his argument in terms of what it could do for Man. Even the worst dictatorships set up a state only to serve some person(s), if only the dictator himself. In the United States, the states were created largely arbitrarily; they do not reflect any long standing religions, languages, ethnicities, or cultures; their only rational basis is the fact that they exist, as accidents of history. Human beings, on the other hand, are the basic building block of society and each have the same intrinsic moral worth merely by being human. It's no contest.

The Senate is not going to be abolished because the Constitution has made it impossible (and because it is politically out of the question), but let's not pretend there is any good reason for arbitrary representation "by state."
93  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who would be the strongest non-Hillary female nominee for the Democrats? on: December 02, 2014, 07:56:36 pm
My gut says Klobuchar.
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Abolish The Senate on: December 02, 2014, 07:16:12 pm
Irrelevant. Even if it were deemed Constitutional (see the equal representation clause of Article V), we would need 38 states to go for it, which would mean convincing small states to give up some of their power for a higher principle. This is a very high hurdle.
95  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why were Megyn Kelly's comments on Santa so controversial? on: December 02, 2014, 03:07:03 pm
Is this the kind of thing that constitutes American "political debate" these days? If so, it's a sign that things are going well in this country, since we have no real issues to talk about, apparently.
96  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rand Paul is running for re-election. on: December 02, 2014, 01:19:28 pm
There's a small part of me that hopes he doesn't run so he saves himself for 2020.

I think he won't run and will save himself for 2020.


Why would he do that when the GOP has a good chance of winning this year-- especially if Hillary doesn't run-- in which case there'll be an own party incumbent in 2020?
97  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The "Who is running?" tea leaves thread on: December 02, 2014, 01:00:09 pm
How much credence is there to the idea that speaking engagements are often a way of getting around campaign finance laws? That could have something to do with it, although it's not as if she needs to announce before spring.

At the rate of 14 delivered or scheduled so far over the past year or so, at $250,000 per speech, that amounts to $3.5 million total - in contrast, in 2007 she was raising north of $20 million per quarter. From a financial standpoint her best bet would be to announce as early as possible so she would have the most fundraising quarters under her belt as possible.

It came out just last week that UCLA paid Clinton $300k to speak - and that was, according to UCLA staff, the "special university rate."

So? At the rate of 14 per year at $300,000 per speech, that's still only $4.2 million per year. In the first quarter of 2007, Hillary raised $25 million, as one of three major candidates. She would have to give 83 speeches per quarter (nearly one per day) at $300,000 to match that.
98  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 2016 Democratic Nomination Poll - December 2014 on: December 02, 2014, 12:57:37 pm
I really hope so. It will be much easier to get someone vaguely reasonable in without Hillary. Sure, Cuomo or Warner or whoever might have to be taken down, but they won't have the high polling because of name recognition nor the gender card.

Someone on the left won't win in the GE. Even if Hill Dog doesn't run, someone like Warren or Sanders has no shot.
99  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: is the term "white working class" a double count? on: December 02, 2014, 12:48:26 pm
So? It's clear that many white working class voters who were once open to voting Democratic have turned away from the party, so whether they have a military or evangelical background shouldn't matter, unless you think there's been a sudden surge in military or evangelical voters recently.
100  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The "Who is running?" tea leaves thread on: December 02, 2014, 12:43:53 pm
How much credence is there to the idea that speaking engagements are often a way of getting around campaign finance laws? That could have something to do with it, although it's not as if she needs to announce before spring.

At the rate of 14 delivered or scheduled so far over the past year or so, at $250,000 per speech, that amounts to $3.5 million total - in contrast, in 2007 she was raising north of $20 million per quarter. From a financial standpoint her best bet would be to announce as early as possible so she would have the most fundraising quarters under her belt as possible.
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 ... 597


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines