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1876  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Asia's Cult of Intelligence versus the US' Cult of Ignorance on: June 27, 2014, 03:11:35 pm
By the way...is this yet another OMG THE ASIANS* ARE THE MODEL MINORITY type sentiment that is all too common among middle-class white Americans?

*As if "Asians" or "Asian-Americans" really existed, let alone were a monolithic group. I mean, seriously folks...
1877  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The fact is; US healthcare sucks on: June 27, 2014, 01:34:37 pm
If everyone in America had equal access to health care, then there would be somewhat  less need to pretend that America is a classless, colorblind, egalitarian society. But it's in the interest of some powerful...people and institutions for the charade to continue.
1878  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The GOP doesn't want you to know: Walker's job numbers are worse than Illinois' on: June 27, 2014, 01:24:58 pm
In the short term, there is an inverse relationship between employment and debt/deficits.

Yes, more people working means more tax revenue, which means lower deficits. It's a much bigger stretch to say that lowering deficits puts more people to work, especially when the GOP plan to reduce those deficits is generally to take money out of the hands of the poor and lay off large numbers of state and federal workers.

You don't understand-the poor are poor because they are lazy. They are losers. And besides, those greedy public employee unions have no right to mooch off the taxpayers (which don't include the poor, obviously).

obvious sarcasm is obvious
1879  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Asia's Cult of Intelligence versus the US' Cult of Ignorance on: June 27, 2014, 01:18:48 pm
In all other societies - at least those with a history of aristocracy - the conservative impulse translates itself as an elitist, hierarchical phenomenon. Education is to be valued as a status symbol.

This is a good thing....why?

Anyway, I think the problem isn't "populism" per se, but rather the importance of racism in how social class is experienced in America (and how American society is highly stratified largely on that basis).
1880  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the United States go back into Iraq? on: June 26, 2014, 07:39:18 pm
No (not a fan of imperialism).
1881  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Freedom of religion in the US Constitution (and other associated thoughts....) on: June 25, 2014, 02:10:24 pm
So I think that the United States has a rather... interesting relationship to religion, when looked at from a bit of a distance. Tongue

On the one hand, America remains unusually religious in the 21st century by most measures for an  advanced industrial capitalist/liberal democratic country. On the other hand, religion is intensely individualistic and private (as opposed to state-sanctioned or public-which is impossible in the US for obvious but significant reasons) in this country. As I alluded to in the previous sentence, the First Amendment, IMHO, is really, really important to understanding America's relationship with religion. By guaranteeing  the right to express one's own religion (or lack thereof), the First Amendment provides a legal justification for individual religious conscience, religious diversity/pluralism, and a distinction between religion in the private sphere and politics in the public one.

It's an odd  thing, though, when you have "freedom of religion" in the sense outlined above. There are contradictions that can arise. For example, when does a person's religious beliefs infringe on the rights of others' religious beliefs (or lack thereof!)? When does a politician's own religious beliefs-which inform the individual conscience and judgment of said politician-interfere with their ability to help govern a both increasingly religiously diverse and an increasingly secular country? And what is the rationale for any answer to any of these questions?

I dunno, I am just thinking out loud here. Tongue Any thoughts?

1882  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of patriotism on: June 25, 2014, 01:22:58 pm
Too vague and subjective a term. Would need to be sufficiently defined for me to give a good answer.
1883  General Politics / Individual Politics / Opinion of the "Yankee Republicans" on: June 24, 2014, 10:40:58 am
An almost mythical, supposedly once-dominant but now, almost extinct (or are they?...) species. Known for being (again, supposedly...) "socially moderate" (or even liberal)   and "fiscally conservative." Above all, pragmatic, sensible, and prudent. Certainly a far cry from those poor, uneducated backwoods Dixiecrats and fundamentalist Christians from the South (who, of course, immediately flipped from Democrat to Republican at the same time as the rest of the country flipped-in the 1960s-from Republican to Democrat).

Always on the right side of history..which will vindicate the Yankee Republicans, in good time.
1884  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Worst right-wing radio host? on: June 24, 2014, 10:18:31 am
I used to have a dog (RIP). A big Yellow Labrador, so you can imagine the size of his turds. Now, each turd may have been uniquely sized and shaped, but at the end of the day, they're all still dog turds.

Oh...what were we talking about, again?
1885  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Tulsa vs. Oklahoma City on: June 24, 2014, 10:03:01 am
in b4 Bushie
1886  General Politics / International General Discussion / NYT: Sunni Militants Seize Crossing on Iraq-Jordan Border on: June 23, 2014, 05:45:24 pm
BAGHDAD — Sunni militants seized the border crossing between Iraq and Jordan late Sunday night as they consolidated control of Iraq’s vast western region. The seizing of the crossing, known as Turabil, raised the specter of the insurgency’s becoming a menace not just to Iraq and Syria, where they already control territory, but also to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The advance by the militants followed their seizing of an important border crossing with Syria at Qaim, allowing them to move fighters and supplies almost unimpeded between the areas they control in Syria and Iraq. A third border crossing, Al Waleed, was also said to be in militant hands on the Iraqi side, though officials said the Syrian army still controlled the Syrian side of that crossing, indicating that at least for now, the militants could not cross freely there.

The Iraqi government said it had abandoned the Qaim crossing as a “tactical” decision as it concentrates its forces — Iraqi army units and Shiite militias — around Baghdad and in the Shiite heartland of Iraq.

1887  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: June 23, 2014, 05:25:29 pm
Feeling real good today. Exercised, studied, and sent some appreciative messages to several of my friends.  Smiley
1888  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite Founding Father? on: June 22, 2014, 12:23:21 pm
Thomas Paine

1889  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: President Gore prevents 9/11 and leaves Saddam in power to squash Al'Qaeda on: June 22, 2014, 12:03:59 pm
President Gore wouldn't have prevented 9/11.  I don't see how any president could have done that.  And I highly doubt Saddam would have squashed al-Qaeda.

Well, not ignoring a memo literally titled "Bin Laden determined to strike U.S." would probably be a start.

Now, I dislike Bush as much as the next guy, but that particular memo did not present any specific information that could have prevented 9/11. It was mostly a general summary of past Al-Qaeda plots against American targets (successful ones-including the embassy bombings in 1998 and the USS Cole bombing in 2000-as well as a few failed plots, including the Millennium plan to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999/2000)  and possible/potential future Al-Qaeda plots.

Saying that "bin Laden has the intent of striking targets within the US and has a past record of attacking American targets abroad"  is not the same thing as saying "We have actionable intelligence of al-Qaeda operatives who are going to hit X,Y, and Z targets on this particular date, at this particular time."
1890  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / A little bit of historical context re: opposition to the Iraq War on: June 21, 2014, 01:44:30 pm
Beginning in 2002, and continuing after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, large-scale protests against the Iraq War were held in many cities worldwide, often coordinated to occur simultaneously around the world. After the biggest series of demonstrations, on February 15, 2003, New York Times writer Patrick Tyler claimed that they showed that there were two superpowers on the planet, the United States and worldwide public opinion.[2]

These demonstrations against the war were mainly organized by anti-war organizations, many of whom had been formed in opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan. In some Arab countries demonstrations were organized by the state. Europe saw the biggest mobilization of protesters, including a rally of three million people in Rome, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ever anti-war rally.[3]

According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between January 3 and April 12, 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war.[1]


42% of Democratic senators (21 of 50) voted against the resolution. Those voting against the resolution are:

Sens. Boxer (D-CA), Graham (D-FL), Akaka (D-HI), Inouye (D-HI), Durbin (D-IL), Mikulski (D-MD), Sarbanes (D-MD), Kennedy (D-MA), Stabenow (D-MI), Levin (D-MI), Dayton (D-MN), Wellstone (D-MN), Corzine (D-NJ), Bingaman (D-NM), Conrad (D-ND), Wyden (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Leahy (D-VT), Murray (D-WA), Byrd (D-WV), and Feingold (D-WI).

1 (2%) of 49 Republican senators voted against the resolution: Sen. Chafee (R-RI).
The only Independent senator voted against the resolution: Sen. Jeffords (I-VT)


A lot of people, especially many Democrats, opposed the war at the time. Hillary made a calculated political decision to support the invasion of Iraq in 2002-and she continued to support it for a while after.

Now that most people agree that it was a waste of time, lives, and resources, she has said "I got it wrong." The question is: Should the American public forgive and forget so easily, especially in 2016?
1891  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could Hillary hit close to 70% in California? on: June 21, 2014, 01:30:43 pm
1892  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: New audio of Clinton talking about 1975 defense of alleged child rapist on: June 21, 2014, 01:26:30 pm
Disgusting, but not surprising.
1893  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Hot or not: Hillary Clinton on: June 20, 2014, 06:25:32 pm
1894  General Discussion / History / Re: Who exactly were the "LBJ Republicans"? on: June 19, 2014, 10:24:24 pm
Anyone who did not live in the deep south or in Arizona.

Uh, there were plenty of ancestrally Republican counties and places that voted for Goldwater (e. g.  that Bad Place just south and east of Los Angeles County Tongue ).

You mean the best place in the country? Wink

I wouldn't call West Arizona the best place.

What about Orange County, CA (which is what I was referring to...)
1895  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Presbyterians vote to endorse SSM on: June 19, 2014, 10:12:57 pm
To those in the know: How much of the "mainline Protestant decline/conservative and/or evangelical Protestant increase" can be attributed to differences in birth rates between the two categories of Protestants?

How much can be attributed to better (or rather, much more aggressive) evangelical outreach to minorities and the "unchurched"?

What about mainliners leaving for more conservative and/or evangelical churches (or alternately, leaving the church altogether, for whatever reason-I suspect, based on anecdotes of living in the SF Bay Area, a lot more liberals than conservatives fall into that latter group Tongue)

Finally, how much is this also a matter of mainline churches tending to being older (both in terms of denominations and in terms of congregants Tongue ) than evangelical churches?

I believe all of these contribute, but I'm curious to see what accounts for the bulk of the differences, or which is the most significant factor.
1896  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rupert Murdoch doing the unthinkable: Promoting the Democratic Agenda on: June 19, 2014, 12:54:04 pm
Democrats need more taxpayers. Same thing Reagan wanted for his tax reform.

And more working, taxpaying citizens is a bad thing because........?
The most obvious anti-immigrant talking point is that they push wages down. And that's probably true. We also already have an enormous oversupply of workers. Business would love to be able to hire these folks for peanuts without the risk of bad press.

But isn't one of the biggest reasons immigrant wages are relatively low is that illegals have no recourse for minimum wage/prevailing wage laws, other worker protections, demands for raises, etc. due to the overhanging threat of deportation? I've heard the argument that if that threat is removed they can more freely assert their rights, both in court and in the free enterprise market (switching to better paying jobs easier, etc.).

So the biggest threat for low-wage Americans are actually illegal workers and not those who have obtained their citizenship and can start demanding livable wages.

No, the biggest threat for low-wage Americans are the people who refuse to pay them a living wage.
1897  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rupert Murdoch doing the unthinkable: Promoting the Democratic Agenda on: June 19, 2014, 12:16:30 pm
The most obvious anti-immigrant talking point is that they push wages down. And that's probably true.

This is one of those commonly accepted beliefs that sounds like "common sense" despite the fact that there's little evidence to support it.
1898  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Breaking: Boots to be put on the ground in Iraq (AP) on: June 19, 2014, 11:52:04 am
Obama will be speaking at 1:15 EDT (if anyone cares).
1899  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Obama to Address Nation on Iraq Crisis on: June 19, 2014, 11:37:55 am
WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to make a televised statement about Iraq shortly after noon on Thursday, as he considers whether the United States should intervene militarily to help stave off an Islamic insurgency that has already swept through several major Iraqi cities.

Mr. Obama was meeting with his national security team at the White House on Thursday morning and planned to deliver his statement in the briefing room at 12:30 p.m., the White House said.

The statement comes a day after Mr. Obama consulted with congressional leaders at the White House, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called Iraqi leaders.

Among those participating in Thursday’s meeting with Mr. Obama, according to the White House, were Mr. Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff; Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser; Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations; and W. Neil Eggleston, the White House counsel.


Watch the address live: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/press-briefing-principal-deputy-press-secretary-josh-earnest-10

The speech has been delayed-Obama's meeting with his national security team has gone longer than expected.
1900  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Patent Office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says it's disparaging on: June 18, 2014, 04:15:00 pm
From the comments:

We could name the team after Boehner - the Orange Skins.
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