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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DHS Shut Down Averted on: March 03, 2015, 11:26:41 pm
Everyone else has already beaten me to it, but its sub-agencies could be divided among Defense, Interior, and even Commerce. I don't really hate the DoHS, but it's basically the Miscellaneous Department even more than Commerce is.

Remember that in 2002 the argument for forming DoHS was that the CIA and FBI weren't under the same roof and had difficulty coordinating...and neither CIA nor FBI are under DoHS and that's just as true as it was in 2002.

EDIT: Granted, some of the DoHS' agencies' previous locations made even less sense. The Secret Service as part of the Treasury Department was baffling, even if the Secret Service's portfolio was 1. prevent Presidential assassination, and 2. prevent counterfeiting. Mainly because those two tasks shouldn't belong to the same agency.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: According to voting records, Jeb Bush didn't vote in the 2008 election! on: March 03, 2015, 11:23:15 pm
I didn't know there were voting records that anybody can look at. That's the news story to me.

Most states have them available. You can't tell who someone voted for, but you can tell if someone voted. It's a key asset in determining likely vs unlikely voters for campaigns, especially given that you can tell if someone voted in the Democratic or Republican primary, which is usually (though not always!) a pretty good sign where someone leans. If someone consistently votes in GOP primaries and in general elections, you can bet that person is a diehard Republican and vice versa.
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite French Revolutionaries? on: March 02, 2015, 11:08:18 pm
Of course, my emotional sympathies lie more for the Vendée rebels

So you've gone full reactionary. Good to know.

This post deserves a response.

It is interesting that the self-professed champions of liberty would force the clergy of France to swear a loyalty oath to the state and to renounce their allegiance to Rome after a century of Gallicanist moves by the French monarchy to control the Church hierarchy in France had already limited that authority in all but name, and then ruthlessly persecuted those driven by conscience to reject this repugnant oath to loyalty of state over church, and then to slaughter those who rose up in defense of the conscience and convictions of those brave clergymen who resisted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

The Revolution eradicated the traditional divisions of the French state, those ancient provinces whose identities predated the Capetian monarchy itself in many case, and with them the traditional bonds that had united people of those provinces together in a shared identity. It replaced them with an artificial and bizarre "French" identity that had no appeal or significance for the vast majority of them, dividing them into departments with little historical or cultural commonality, and refused to even listen to those, preferring rule by decree from Paris to any sort of sharing in the obligations of government with the provinces. The government decreed that the dialects, which since time immemorial had had royal decrees published in them alongside Parisian French, as degenerate patois, even the Breton that had once been spoken in the Breton court in Nantes and the Flemish and Catalan spoken over vast stretches of neighboring territory. The French Revolution finally ended all hope that movements like the Fronde had shown in the previous century of decentralizing and ending Parisian rule over the rest of France, instead completing Louis XIV-XVI's work and beginning over a century of tragic and systematic stamping out of regional variance and identity in the French "nation."

Why shouldn't I sympathize with the people of the Vendee, standing up against a distant and alien Parisian government that cares not for Vendee's particularities, rebelling against the unjust orders to wipe out the non-juring priests and rising up to protect their Church from an alien imposition from Paris attempting to destroy them and even forcibly recruit their children to die in a moronic war with Austria to uphold the principles of a revolution they abhorred? How can you not have a heart for people who risked and often lost their lives, property, and livelihood in a valiant campaign to preserve the liberty of the non-juring clergy to reject an impious oath of loyalty to a state that clearly did not deserve it?
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When will New Jersey become competitive? on: March 02, 2015, 10:40:51 pm
There are Dem states that are trending GOP. Minnesota has moved from Safe Dem to Lean Dem over the last few decades as Minnesota has drifted away from its roots as one of the most left wing states in the country, and Wisconsin is even further along in that same progression. I'm not sure what the hell is happening in Iowa, but it seems to be trending R as well.

New Jersey isn't one.

GOP offense should be focused, after the obvious four swing states of Colorado, Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, on the Upper Midwest. If they can't make inroads there, the very harsh reality that they need three out of the four aforementioned swing states to even have a chance at winning has to be faced.
5  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is the author of Revelation the same as the Gospel and Epistles of John? on: March 02, 2015, 08:27:47 pm
I don't get why it's so important for conservative Christians to insist that Paul wrote all 13 letters, or that Peter wrote the Petrine epistles, or that John wrote all of the Johannine literature.  what's really at stake?
  If the author is just some guy rather than one of the people who actually knew Jesus, then by the standard used to define the canon, they shouldn't be in the Bible.  1 and 2 Clement, Barnabas, the Didache, and other early works were excluded from the canon not because of their theology or a lack of popularity but because they lacked a direct connection to Christ.

But even going by traditional attribution of the books without bringing higher criticism into this, the traditional St. Luke (of Luke/Acts) never met Jesus, either. He was Paul's secretary.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: In general (not just dating), do nice guys finish last? on: March 02, 2015, 03:24:55 pm
"I'm a nice guy" sounds like something a loan shark says.

"Sure you're delinquent this month, and Danny the Shark here could cut off your fingers, but I'm a nice guy, I'll give you another two weeks with only double the interest due."
7  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Challenge: describe "your" country on: March 02, 2015, 03:18:12 pm
I'm a contrarian at heart. I'd hate to set something up because my passion lies in mocking and tearing down popular/majority opinion.
8  General Discussion / History / Re: What US election was the first you consider democratic? on: March 02, 2015, 02:17:41 pm
We've never really had one, given the amount of people that have been disenfranchised at one point or another (especially today, with mass incarceration effectively disenfranchising most of the poor), plus we have an electoral college that effectively quashes any notion of real democracy.

If we want a truly democratic election, we have to (1) abolish the electoral college; (2) get rid of archaic ballot access laws that ensure the Democratic-Republican duopoly; (3) restore voting rights to the disenfranchised, especially felons and those in prison; (4) end residency requirements on voting, voter registration, and extend the vote to all persons who work. There's no legitimate reason not to have the vote at 16, given that plenty of 16 year olds work and have their labor taxed as part of that process, which you might remember we fought a revolution over back in the day. No taxation without representation and all that jazz.

In what universe are "most" of the poor disenfranchised by felonies? The highest guesses I've seen are ~2% of the electorate.
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: A question about the opponents of gay marriage on: March 02, 2015, 11:54:36 am
Opponent of SSM:  "Allowing the gay couple next door to get married violates my religious freedom."

Observant Jew:  "Allowing my neighbor to eat shrimp with cheese violates my religious freedom."

Observant Catholic:  "Don't allow my neighbor to eat steak on Friday.  It's against my religion."

All three arguments are equally idiotic.

Even the most radical ultra-Orthodox Jew wouldn't be interested in forcing a Gentile neighbor to follow Jewish dietary law. The whole premise of those laws is that they're part of a covenant God made with the Israelites, and your radical Haredim are happy thinking that the goyim are outside of that covenant.

They'd happily try to force a secular Jew to get back on the kosher bandwagon, though!

People keep analgizing Christianity's and Islam's universalism to religions that are strictly opposed to it. This idea that Orthodox Jews' reaction to Gentiles trying to keep Kosher would be anything other than territorial hostility ("My covenant! Go get your own!") Is mind-boggling.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: In general (not just dating), do nice guys finish last? on: March 01, 2015, 05:31:24 pm
Someone who self-proclaims himself nice usually isn't.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Hillary Become 'Mommy President' to Millennials? on: March 01, 2015, 05:20:54 pm
Given that most millennials are in their twenties or thirties, I would think not.

I think that's what the OP was going for, given Clinton is in her mid-60s. Clinton's almost exactly my mother's age. She's the exact right age range to be a mother figure to those around 30.

To what end this thread is meant I have no idea.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Boston Citizens vs. Harvard Faculty on: March 01, 2015, 02:40:58 am
The first two thousand names of the Boston phone book isn't a random sample. As the joke about that quote has gone for nearly forty years, Buckley is just subjecting Boston to the rule of Aaron A Aaronofski.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DHS Shutting Down in 1 week on: February 28, 2015, 07:00:05 pm

One week extension. We're going to do this again a few days from now?
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Walmart Giving All Employees a Raise to $10/Hour on: February 28, 2015, 06:55:20 pm
I think that the main takeaway from Mechaman's comment is the need for regional variation of minimum wages based on the local economy and cost of living. I'm hardly Mr. States' Rights, but I think the idea that it takes quite a bit more money to live in a big coastal city than it does to live in West Virginia or South Dakota is hardly controversial, and I don't see why minimum wage laws shouldn't take cost of living into account.
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Daniel Webster on: February 27, 2015, 12:51:18 am
He's the reason the Maine-New Brunswick border is so jutty and weird.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama breaking out the veto pen today for Keystone on: February 26, 2015, 12:25:56 pm
Wulfric, you keep asking for Obama to be reasonable but you don't seem to get what that means. The GOP wants something, the president is unwilling. Reasonable would be McConnell offering something Obama wants in return and them making a deal. Reasonable is not Obama just giving in.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Bush 2004 Results vs Obama 2012 Results on: February 26, 2015, 12:20:04 am
A pretty good night for Romney could add the very, very swingy Iowa to that column, but that's about it before we get to crushing Romney win Wisconsin falls territory.

Edit: While Pennsylvania was closer than Iowa, it's not very elastic.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: BOOM! Trump seriously preparing, starts hiring staffers on: February 26, 2015, 12:12:41 am
The debates will be magical. Jeb Bush standing between Ben Carson and Donald Trump will be the best thing.

Oh, can you imagine the Trump/Christie catfights?
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Ignoring age, Would you be able to vote under these qualifications? on: February 25, 2015, 11:10:23 pm
What would be the equivalent of "Thirty Pounds current money" in today's USD?

Even at the least favorable interpretation using the worst exchange rate between the Maryland pound and the Spanish silver dollar (Maryland valued the Spanish silver dollar between 4½ and 7½ shillings of the Maryland pound) and insisting you have the equivalent value to that amount of silver, it's still less than three thousand US dollars.
I think they meant property as in land- something non movable.

a building or buildings and the land belonging to it or them.
plural noun: properties
"he's expanding now, buying property"
synonyms:   building(s), premises, house(s), land, estates, realty, real estate
"private property"

So 50 acres of land, or over $3,500 worth of land- also remember most landowners property owned little more than a small plot of land around a house, that might be valued at even less.

I think land was worth much less back then because it wasn't well developed, that might explain it.

It's unclear, but I suspect that's the case, either 50 acres or 30 pounds worth of land, not other assets. Under that interpretation no apartment-dweller in the country would be eligible to vote. (Even if your rent was over $3,500 you're renting, not owning)

EDIT: Fun question! Let's say women's suffrage had been passed while this law was on the books. Could the spouse of a landowner vote under these rules, or would they need to own separate properties?
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this image on: February 25, 2015, 11:06:43 pm
The ratty, tacky long hair on the Luxemburgist is a good comment on the type of layabout armchair revolutionaries people drawn to "radical" ideologies. A Good Cartoon.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the execution of the Romanovs on: February 25, 2015, 12:57:44 am
I don't believe in ex post facto laws and "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias" hadn't been a criminal offense before. I'm certainly not a fan of Nicholas, but I fail to see the legal justification for executing him for a nonexistent crime.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama breaking out the veto pen today for Keystone on: February 25, 2015, 12:54:05 am
I don't particularly care about Keystone one way or the other, but it would be foolish for Obama to accept it without getting something in return. This is the perfect thing to hold hostage for Republican cooperation on some other issue.
23  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: pistis kai epistēmē on: February 24, 2015, 07:35:33 pm
Faith is not knowledge. When Job stated "I know that my Redeemer lives" Job's statement is not one of knowledge so much as confidence or trust. The Abrahamic tradition is, fundamentally, about contracts, whether community or individual, with God. Job's faith is trust that God will keep up his terms in the contract despite abundant evidence to the contrary.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What should the voting age be? on: February 24, 2015, 07:17:54 pm
The voting age and the age of majority should be the same number. I'm fine with 18 because it corresponds to all the other icons of adulthood. In countries where people reach majority in other respects faster, maybe younger. Bolivia's basically the child labor capital of the Western Hemisphere, I wouldn't blink if they lowered their age to 15 or 16.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite French Revolutionaries? on: February 24, 2015, 05:58:31 pm
Charles François Dumouriez, one of the most entertaining figures in history.

Of course, my emotional sympathies lie more for the Vendée rebels, but sadly "Give us back our King, our God, and our good priests!" isn't quite as catchy as Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
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