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1876  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: BREAKING NEWS: POPE FRANCIS I - Jorge Mario Bergoglio - Argentina on: March 15, 2013, 10:56:31 am
Wow, that was rude...I'm right here. I didn't see whatever that was about the Argentine priests and don't particularly care. Things like contraception, abortion, and gay marriage are the chief issues I care about. There's not much in my life affected by the Pope, so the broad issues surrounding perpetuated bigotry at the cost of lives take precedence for me. Not all of us drink the Kool-Aid, so the bottom line is much appreciated.

As for abortion, gay marriage, and contraception, obviously whoever the new pope was would be against those.  The contraception ban will almost certainly fall in the next 30 years or so, but it won't be on a pope's first day, and it will probably be from a pope who had previously fallen in line on the issue.
Gay marriage will probably never come, but I would expect to see Episcopal-style gay blessings by the time we have a pope born in the 1980s or so. Regardless, we all knew what the new pope would think.
And the Church will probably oppose abortion 500 years from now, so it's not worth even wondering what any potential pope would think about it.

As a non-Catholic, could you help me out here? Why do you believe the hierarchy is moving slowly towards SSM and contraception, but not abortion?

Because lots of other similar-style Christians (Episcopals, Lutherans, etc.) have come around on contraception and are starting to move toward some kind of gay recognition.  None of them are changing their minds on abortion any time soon, though.
The Church's position on contraception doesn't matter one bit. Everybody uses it anyway. And opposition to the War in Iraq didn't stop conservative Catholics from lining up to vote for Republicans. But it's not just the Catholics, so I shouldn't single them out. Religion is just an excuse to meet people, feel good about yourself, and criticize others for being different.

Fantastic insight! You are the only one to have ever come close to possessing this knowledge!
1877  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of internet atheists on: March 14, 2013, 05:35:39 pm
Only those blindly adhere to hurtful and often absurd myths are allowed to attempt to convince others they are right? That's a strange double standard. I'll pass on the talking snakes and the rapture. If you want to judge me for thinking critically, that's your problem. Just don't for my tax dollars to spread your foolishness.

Yes because all religious people think like that.

And it's worth pointing out that atheists don't have a monopoly on "thinking critically", nor do they always do so.
1878  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Income groups among white voters: $50-$75k vs $75-$100k on: March 14, 2013, 03:35:22 pm
Using this website http://www.dimpledchad.info/result/, if one controls for education (so that you are comparing white voters across different income groups, but within the same educational group), one finds, as expected, that, for the most part, higher-income whites who have "some college" or "no college" (high school graduates) are much more Republican than lower-income whites within the same educational groups (Example: McCain got around 46% of whites in the "some college" category with annual incomes of under $30k, but about 56% with annual incomes of $30k-$50k, and over 60% with annual incomes of $50k or above).

However,  the correlation doesn't work at the $75-$100k income level, even among white voters within the same region and the same educational level. McCain got 56% of the vote  in at income level among white high school graduates, for example, but 65% of the vote among white high school graduates at the lower income level of $50-$75k.

Why is this? My hypothesis is that the demographic "white high school graduates with incomes of $75-$100k a year" might be a good predictor of belonging to a unionized job or a small business owner who feels more financially stable, not struggling as much, and so less receptive to Tea Party's right-wing populist appeals. Tongue

Anyone else have any theories about this?
1879  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the new Pope Franziskus I on: March 13, 2013, 07:59:40 pm
"Is Bergoglio a progressive, a liberation theologist even? No. He's no Third World priest," said Rubin. "Does he criticize the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes."


Voted Neutral, FWIW.
1880  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: BREAKING NEWS: POPE FRANCIS I - Jorge Mario Bergoglio - Argentina on: March 13, 2013, 07:25:46 pm
'The only things most of us care about'? You need to define either 'only' or 'us' or both for me to know whether or not that makes any sense.

us=the suburban white male post-materialistic collective that is the Atlas Forum
1881  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Opinion of internet atheists on: March 13, 2013, 07:24:40 pm
1882  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Paul Ryan: "We are not going to give up on destroying the healthcare system" on: March 13, 2013, 11:04:48 am
Why do people continue to believe that one person should live and another should die from common, treatable conditions based on the size of their banking account?

Survival of the fittest.

Yes, "fitness"=how much money you have.

Because rich people are clearly better people than poor people. Obviously, being poor is a crime that should be punished severely.
1883  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: JFK got MURDERED in Dallas! on: March 13, 2013, 12:32:24 am
Dallas at the time was really no different than a lot of other metropolises of that time - SoCal (particularly OC), Phoenix, Denver etc. It was a sunbelt boomtown fueled by the Military Industrial Complex and oil. Big time stronghold of the John Birch Society if I recall and the local media was virulently right wing (H.L. Hunt, Edwin Walker). Also lacking in the left wing southern and eastern europeans that NY City had.  

This too.
1884  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: JFK got MURDERED in Dallas! on: March 13, 2013, 12:29:34 am
No, I'm not talking about what you're probably thinking of.

In the 1960 election, JFK lost Dallas County, Texas, by 25% to Nixon; yet, he still managed to when the state.

OK, that was bad.  My attempt at dark humor aside, Kennedy's poor showing in Dallas County was part of what seems to have been a larger pattern that existed in much of the South at the time; a reverse urban-rural divide in which Republican inroads in the region found more success in the metropolitan areas, while the rural areas were made up more heavily of loyal, partisan, Democrats.

In addition to Dallas, Kennedy also lost Harris County (Houston), TX, but by a less extreme 6 points.  Also, Georgia was JFK's second best state, in spite of just squeaking by in Fulton and DeKalb Counties (Atlanta area).

Still, his thrashing in Dallas County seems to have been exceptionally bad.  His worst state was Nebraska, but even there he only lost by 24 points.  Any thoughts on why Dallas hated Kennedy so much?  Was it just more anti-Catholic than other cities?

1. Black population large enough to make white people angry/uneasy/resentful, but not large enough to impact the election results.
2. No organized labor presence.
3. No "white ethnic" Irishmen or Italians.
4. The Catholic thing was indeed a problem. Back then, other than in South Texas and San Antonio, being a Texan meant either being Baptist, Methodist or Episcopalian.

To get a better understanding of the kind of places Texas and Dallas were at that time, I'd suggest reading The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough. Some of the old-school oilmen from the '40s and '50s would probably criticize the Koch Brothers for being too liberal. (H. L. Hunt used to argue that people's votes should be weighted based on how much they paid in income taxes, effectively preventing anyone who was too poor to pay income taxes from having the right to vote.)

Any kind of southern white resentment towards black people would not have equaled more votes for the Republican party back then. That's a direct result of the southern strategy, which was not in play during the 1960 election. If anything, Republicans did better in urban areas of the south at the time because people there tended to be a little more progressive. Democrats were seen as the top choice of rural, conservative southerners. Remember, JFK was very quiet on the issue of civil rights at the time so he could hold onto that vote and LBJ had not yet adopted a progressive stance on the issue- he was seen as more of a defender of segregation.

I would chalk it up to urban areas being wealthier and having more Northern transplants who had little to no sympathy for Yellow-Dog Southern politics.
1885  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: The Case For Removing (Almost) All Liberal Arts From College on: March 12, 2013, 08:39:04 pm
Didn't read.

Any problem with higher education is the failures of the K-12 system.  Making high school diplomas more valuable would eliminate the problem of Liberal Arts being "useless."

Exactly, particularly in certain states and areas where politicians want the K12 classroom so badly to mirror the teachings of White Evangelical Neo-Fundamentalist Protestant doctrine.

And angus, I did read the article. The "tl; dr" was for people who didn't read it. Tongue
1886  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How Washington Could Make College Tuition Free (at no extra cost) on: March 12, 2013, 08:35:11 pm
Here's one problem.  If everyone has a college degree, doesn't that make the value of a college degree less? A generic college degree of today is only worth about what a high school diploma was in the '50s.

It makes having a college degree almost essential to compete in a global economy, does it not?  Unless you're a Steve Jobs type, which the vast majority of the world population is not.

My problem is this.  Just getting a college degree in *Insert liberal arts subject here* isn't really doing much good other than deflating the value of that degree.

We need to focus on getting more people with useful, marketable skills.  That includes STEM majors as well as trades like welding and construction.

1887  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Surviving in a "right-to-work" state? on: March 12, 2013, 08:30:55 pm
One day at a time, paycheck-to-paycheck, etc.
1888  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: The Case For Removing (Almost) All Liberal Arts From College on: March 12, 2013, 03:31:54 pm
tl; dr version

"The only value of your education is how much $$$$ you can make from the job that your major qualifies you for. Otherwise, don't bother with higher education."

In other words, the usual BS from a disgustingly narrow-minded yet hilariously transparent ideological view (a view that, in other news, is fast becoming the dominant view of policymakers in many countries). It's global economic paranoia on the part of the power elite.

That's what all the fuss about "STEM" majors is about-"remaining competitive" with countries like China. Because American policymakers are scared sh*tless of the notion that maybe, just maybe, a China or India will "catch up" to America.

I know this is hard for some people, particularly on the Right, to believe, but not everyone views education as a  means to act out a purely selfish (and I mean that in the absolute worst sense of that word) motivation to make money.

Just because you are a greedy a$$hole, doesn't mean that everyone else is, or should act that way.

1889  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Vermont, Italy, or Utah? on: March 12, 2013, 03:23:30 pm

1890  Forum Community / Forum Community / Top 5 favorite states on: March 12, 2013, 11:11:43 am
Sorry if this thread has been done before. Tongue

Anyway, all 50 states here. Pick your top five.
1891  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where were you born? on: March 12, 2013, 10:59:01 am
Sacramento, CA.
1892  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which is more racist/xenophobic? Europe/Australia or USA? on: March 12, 2013, 10:46:05 am
I guess I just get pissed off when I hear Europeans imply that America is some sort of racist backwater...do you guys really think Obama's story would be possible in any country in Europe or in Australia?

To answer this question specifically: Obama's story is possible entirely because he isn't a typical African American. While I don't claim most European countries will be electing any (racial) minority head of government any time soon, one should remember that America elected a man with black skin that happens to be culturally white in pretty much every way. (And that by 7% after the crash of 2008. Not that that itself makes a difference, but we should keep things in perspective.)

I think Obama would have won even if the crash didn't happen. By a smaller margin, of course, and a smaller margin than what Hillary would have managed, but he would have won. I don't think you can say that in any European nation, the son of an immigrant could become President/Prime Minister. I also wouldn't say that Obama is culturally "white", but that brings up an interesting point.

There is a close interplay of race and class in America, especially with regard to AA's. I wouldn't say Obama was acting white, he just wasn't acting like how we expect AA's to act (and this isn't just how whites see it, but also how many AA's see it, thus the common insult, "acting white"). A person who fits all those stereotypes could not become President, no. I also don't think a person acting like an uneducated redneck could become President. Still, if we look at how much overt and shocking racism occurs in America vs Europe, there is no comparison. Just look at the racism you see at soccer games. You don't see that in any organized sport in America.

Uh, Sbane, we actually had an uneducated redneck as President five years ago.

..who happened to be from an incredibly privileged and influential WASP family. Tongue
1893  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2013: Maps thread on: March 11, 2013, 12:17:11 am
Fascinating thread. Smiley

Before this crazy election, what were the big historical (like recent historical Tongue ) political divides in Italy based on? Religion, region, class mostly? Anyone care to give some specifics to this American poster and European-politics n00b? Tongue
1894  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Elections 1848-2010 on: March 11, 2013, 12:11:45 am
Just discovered this thread. As someone who knows precious little about French politics, I have enjoyed learning more from this thread and others of yours, hash! Smiley
1895  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Roman Catholic Church feels Europe slipping from its hands on: March 10, 2013, 11:43:36 pm
Sorry to contribute to the clogging up of this board with Catholic topics...Tongue 

.....For many Europeans, the relevance of the church, both for their personal and their public lives, is a thing of the past.

"The modern world and the Catholic Church are out of step," said Clifford Longley, a Catholic columnist and analyst in Britain. "The Catholic Church can try to re-evangelize by getting the modern world back into step with it, but I don't think that's going to work."

The church's declining fortunes in Europe pose tough choices to the cardinals gathering in their secretive conclave. Should they maintain the emphasis on shoring up the faith in the Vatican's backyard, or concentrate and increase their resources in places where the church is actually growing, such as Africa and Asia? Should they take an even more dramatic step (and a deep breath) and elect a new pope from one of those regions?


1896  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Illinois GOP leader: Yes to gay marriage bill on: March 10, 2013, 10:19:31 pm
Once again, many churches are on the wrong side of an issue. *sigh*...

1897  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Report: Ashley Judd set to run against Mitch McConnell on: March 10, 2013, 05:02:56 pm
1898  Forum Community / Forum Community / Which of these churches would you rather attend? on: March 10, 2013, 12:49:10 pm
This is an important topic, obviously.
1899  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you ever let two people with My Little Pony desktops train employees? on: March 10, 2013, 12:42:26 pm
Was this thread really necessary?
1900  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US adds 236k jobs; unemployment falls to 7.7% on: March 10, 2013, 12:36:09 pm
Good, now I hope all of the newly employed people start spending like crazy.

Using money that they will actually have, ideally.  Remember what got us into this mess in the first place.

Yet another reason why a minimum wage increase is a good idea.
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