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April 20, 2014, 01:08:12 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update Season XIV: The new chapter on: April 16, 2014, 03:00:25 pm
This is one of the most disgusting things I have read on here (and I don't mean just update, I mean the forum as a whole)

Not sure I agree with you, speaking as someone in an interfaith marriage. If you're serious about your faith, in most cases you are setting yourself up for a conflict without an easy answer. 
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why did WV undergo a D-to-R realignment in the 1890s? on: April 14, 2014, 02:37:26 pm
Have you read through this outline? It appears like this was a Progressive movement.

3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NY State health exchange "a big success" on: April 14, 2014, 08:24:30 am
They were all a big success, except Maryland.

Massachusetts was a complete disaster, which is ironic since we had a functioning exchange before Obamacare changed some of the rules for policies.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever boycotted any company, product, or service on: April 13, 2014, 10:23:20 am
I refused to go to Exxon or Mobil stations for at least a decade after Exxon acquired Mobil and rescinded Mobil's domestic partner benefits.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 7 Million people sign up for insurance plans via state/federal exchanges (!) on: April 09, 2014, 04:14:13 pm
Job lock and lack of access to health insurance has been created by tax-subsidized employer-provided healthcare systems. You see how Americans consume oil, food, and retail goods? That's how we consume healthcare, too. Now imagine the government subsidizes consumption by excluding it from gross income, and they hide the cost of healthcare by dumping it on your employer, except for a nominal copay or relatively small deduction.

Obamacare strengthens the disease, to the delight of the virus, while suppressing the symptoms. Who could ever be against such benevolent policy?

It sounds like you're advocating for raising taxes by shifting some income into the taxable bucket.

Now, which political party is more likely to consider legislation that does that, and which party is more likely to demagogue the hell out of anyone who proposes it and nuke the remains?
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Opinion of Kiryas Joel, New York on: April 07, 2014, 07:48:44 am

Sometimes they also vote heavily for Democrats. Hasids have a very practical attitude to elections, think it's fair to say.
This. hassidic approach to politics and the affairs of the "Goys" is not something easy to explain to western people (I can hardly understand them and I know their culture pretty well).

I'm not sure what you mean, there is nothing particularly complicated about "we will vote for those who will give us more stuff".
That's a very simplistic view of a concept that is built upon a "tradition" of over 1200 years rooted in religious writing

What complexity is being missed by that description?

For what it's worth, while you can trace Jewish scholarship pretty far back, Hasidism only goes back a few centuries and Hasidic participation in a democracy is strictly a post-WWII phenomenon.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mozilla CEO forced out because of Prop 8 Donation on: April 07, 2014, 07:44:26 am
     His views on gay marriage are irrelevant to the job. I couldn't care less what they are. The only thing I have to say about the outcome is that anyone who would actually boycott a company over this has too much time on their hands. Maybe they should focus their time on something a little more non-trivial.

The pressure against Eich was internal, but that said, boycotting a browser is one of the least time-consuming acts I can imagine. All you have to do is switch to Chrome and maybe post that you're boycotting. Just a few minutes.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mozilla CEO forced out because of Prop 8 Donation on: April 06, 2014, 07:20:13 pm
How long do you people think it will take this guy to find a new job? A few month a year?

Some company that wants a spike in sales will hire him immediately. Just look at Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty, both of which were almost certainly intentional media ploys to get right-wing Christians to buy their stuff. Both worked beautifully.

It looked like it was going to be that way for Duck Dynasty, and maybe sales of duck calls went up, but their tv show returned from hiatus to a big drop in ratings. That surprised me because I expected watching Duck Dynasty to become a form of political activism.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mozilla CEO forced out because of Prop 8 Donation on: April 06, 2014, 07:19:09 pm
Go team gay rights.

Am I wrong that this was almost entirely an issue driven by people internal to Mozilla, and not the "gay rights" bogeyman? The only external issue I saw was OKCupid's protest page. After that, I've read a lot about Mozilla's culture of openness, social activism, etc. and how Eich was a bad fit and not popular even before the Prop 8 issue arose.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mozilla CEO forced out because of Prop 8 Donation on: April 06, 2014, 07:58:48 am

as it is... there's not really a good case. especially considering that he was part of a large majority. tens of millions of americans have changed their views since then -- do we even know he's not one of them?

Yes, we do. In the week following the discovery, he said he still felt the same way about same-sex marriage and did not regret his funding. The most he would say was to apologize for pain people felt in response to learning about his donation.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: MI-04: Camp weighing retirement? on: March 31, 2014, 06:05:29 am
Or he's just pissed off because of how his tax proposal was ripped apart so is trying to scare them.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Pennsylvania without Philadelphia on: March 29, 2014, 12:03:48 pm
Middlesex County, Mass. has significantly more people than all of NH.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Georgia very quietly unveils online voter registration on: March 29, 2014, 07:46:57 am
How long before the legislature shuts it down?
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IA-Sen: Bruce Braley criticizes Grassley as ‘a farmer from Iowa’ on: March 27, 2014, 01:15:27 pm
There must be some bright side.... better now than in October?
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are Asian Americans Democrats? on: March 26, 2014, 08:31:26 am
One other point -- there are presently 11 Asians in Congress and all of them are Democrats.  The GOP does not currently have even one token Asian on their side, as they did in some past years.  While simply putting an Asian face on the same policy isn't going to solve the problem, we shouldn't overlook the power of visual representation.  These Congresscritters are a natural bridge to Asian voters.

If we managed to find Tim Scott & Allan West, there ought to be a Korean businessman somewhere that we could run.

Remember Jay Kim?

16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bill would forbid divorcing parents in Massachusetts from having sex in home on: March 24, 2014, 04:45:24 pm
Sen. Ross said he filed this bill at the request of a citizen who petitioned for it.

17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 538: GOP slight favorite for Senate control on: March 24, 2014, 09:23:19 am
Just because Silver said that Berg had a 92% chance on Election Day doesn't mean that Silver was wrong.  One out of every 12-13 times he says "92%" on Election Day, he should be "wrong."

This is true, but the odds you would have this and something similar happen in a neighboring state's senate race (Montana) indicates a weakness in the model when it comes to states like ND and MT. It could be a regional issue or one affecting low-population states. I forget where Montana landed, but if it were also 92%, the chance that would happen is more like 1 in 144. A trivial weakness, but a relevant one.

[on edit: Montana was described as 66% in another thread. Chance of both being wrong because of pure chance is .34 * .08 = 2.7% of the time, or 1 in 37 chances.]
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are Asian Americans Democrats? on: March 23, 2014, 02:43:58 pm
I recall that the Vietnamese vote was unusually warm toward McCain because of his biography, exaggerating the swing back.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Judge rules SSM legal in Kentucky on: March 21, 2014, 10:24:24 am
Yes, it bothers me in any context and it won't take a apocalyptic catastrophe to cause things to go backward, tho I will admit it is more likely to cause it to happen, not because such events are likely to cause society to become evil but because such events are more likely to cause society to change, both for good and for evil.

We've never, in the history of the world, had a society as accepting of openly gay people as the U.S. is today, with the exception of some other contemporary cultures. There have been societies with a space for homosexuality, but never on the basis of equality or social acceptance.

We have had societies move forward on anti-Semitism and take a sharp jump back, true. However, with gays, we're fully integrated into society because we're nearly all born into heterosexual families.

I don't see any case to be made for backwards movement. I won't argue with pure skepticism or pure nihilism, but I also don't have reason to respect it.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are Asian Americans Democrats? on: March 21, 2014, 08:49:44 am
Let's not forget the Muslim American vote has a role in this too.

While I'm not sure how many Asians are Muslims, and IIRC most Muslim Americans are actually black Americans, the fact that they went from voting something like 90% for George W. Bush in 2000 to some 85% for John Kerry in 2004 sure hasn't helped the GOP.

Turks, Kurds,  Iranians, and Arabs are generally considered white.

What this means is that the only major group of Muslims who check "Asian" on the census form are those of South Asian descent. I would be shocked if the proportion of Asian-Americans who are Muslim exceeded 5%.

Indonesians? Malays? Hui Chinese?

(Of course ethnic non-Muslim Chinese are large minorities of the population of Malaysia and Indonesia). 

Very small presence in the U.S. in comparison with Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Muslim Indians.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Judge rules SSM legal in Kentucky on: March 20, 2014, 11:36:41 pm
No.  A realist.  If I were a pessimist, I'd be saying that the current changes would inevitably be reversed in a couple centuries, which is just as ludicrous.  I just doubt our ability to predict what societal norms will be a couple centuries from now.

I think Conway's usage could be quite reliable if we're only thinking about the next 30-50 years, i.e. his own lifetime, rather than extending it arbitrarily into the future. People today can speak about being "on the right side of history" for the civil rights movement. Does that usage bother you, too, because it doesn't take into account that we could be living in Waterworld or Mad Max in 2314 where civil rights are viewed differently?

The U.S. isn't going backwards on gay rights any more than it's going to go backward on anti-Semitism or bigotry against the Irish. End of story.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are Asian Americans Democrats? on: March 20, 2014, 10:47:40 am
Race is an artificial construct.  Asia is real.  Culture is also real, and I still think that collectivism in cultures is a major factor. 

I guess I don't understand a definition of collectivism that could apply to both Chinese and Indian culture in a meaningful way, and which also accounts for high rates of entrepreneurship among South Asians in the U.S. Please tell me more.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Who's best out of Cook, Rothenberg and Sabato? on: March 20, 2014, 10:30:54 am
Rothenberg is the most enjoyable to read.
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are Asian Americans Democrats? on: March 20, 2014, 10:09:24 am
Generalizations about Asian voters, in particular those that ascribe voting behavior to a cultural value, are hard to support across multiple nationalities. There's little that South Asian and, say, Chinese immigrants have in common. What the American-born generation largely shares with their parents is an appreciation for diversity and belonging to the U.S. When the Republicans talk about Real America and how great things were before modern immigration, even if you were born and raised in the U.S. and identify fully as American, it's going to alienate you.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: March 20, 2014, 09:46:06 am
Another conservative self-made billionaire blasts DeBlasio's socialism.

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