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March 28, 2017, 01:28:09 am
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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: To my fellow Democrats/liberals: Stop saying Republican voters are stupid. on: March 13, 2017, 08:45:11 am
This forum's "liberals" are unusual and marginal, but it's not as if they exist in a vacuum. Everyone knows that these ideas aren't unique to the forum.
102  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Kalwejt Foundation for the Promotion of Atlas Hilarity on: March 12, 2017, 09:21:12 pm
America's best days are still ahead of it.

This poster's username elevates this post from bleak deadpan to laugh-out-loud hilarious.
103  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Raise the retirement age on: March 12, 2017, 12:03:14 pm
Call me an elitist dipsh!t if you want, but even if we set retirement funding aside, a future in which an increasing large share of children come from the least stable, lowest income, least educated households is one that horrifies me. You can already feel this instability and dysfunction coming through at the community level.

The solution to that is, of course, a society with a smaller gap between the wealthiest and the poorest.

Well, yes, and one that provides people from all backgrounds with good options for creating and maintaining stable environment for establishing families and raising children by their mid-twenties at the latest.
104  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Preet Bharara on: March 11, 2017, 08:54:02 am
FF but would be more of one if he'd put every legislator in the state in federal prison. The job isn't finished, Preet!
105  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Raise the retirement age on: March 11, 2017, 08:22:45 am
Call me an elitist dipsh!t if you want, but even if we set retirement funding aside, a future in which an increasing large share of children come from the least stable, lowest income, least educated households is one that horrifies me. You can already feel this instability and dysfunction coming through at the community level.
106  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Raise the retirement age on: March 11, 2017, 08:19:35 am
Interestingly, as I approach thirty, the only college friends of mine with children are women who married Mormon men, and even they only have one child per couple with plans for no more than one more.

Among my much more downscale high school cohort, I know plenty of people with three or more children, frequently out-of-wedlock or scattered across different relationships. One woman who graduated after I did just had her fifth, and I think she's only 25.

It's not exactly getting ignored, but the effect of college, graduate school, and student loans on fertility isn't emphasized enough, especially as a point of advice for children. Survey data show that most college women would prefer to have two or more children - there's not much of a difference between them and high school graduates in this regard - but for economic or cultural reasons they just aren't having gen. A very large share will have one or two, but a substantial contingent have none, and few have three or more.
107  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of holding local elections at completely random times in the year? on: March 10, 2017, 06:20:30 am
Right, I'm just saying that there's something wrong with civic life if people can't pay attention to a local election, whoever is culpable for that. You can't just expect local government to function like turning on your tap water.
108  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: To my fellow Democrats/liberals: Stop saying Republican voters are stupid. on: March 10, 2017, 06:16:23 am
Please don't respond to Winfield. He's a troll who belongs on your ignore list.
109  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is Breitbart a legitimate source? on: March 09, 2017, 10:32:52 pm
I don't know what "legitimate" means in this context. Both Breitbart and Huffpo are places to visit when you're curious about what a certain party line is claiming, but anyone who cites them as a serious source of information deserves to be laughed out of the room on a stretcher.
110  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: To my fellow Democrats/liberals: Stop saying Republican voters are stupid. on: March 09, 2017, 10:27:42 pm


Words to live by. Every winning coalition includes something of the ignorant, the moronic and the hateful. What is crucial in any campaign is winning those people over despite these qualities, not because of them.

A good portion of Clinton's voters aren't angels, either, including most of those who are fond of deploying this kind of invective.
111  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of dog-owners who call themselves "parents" or their dogs "kids"? on: March 09, 2017, 09:40:53 pm
My family has always owned dogs that we've used for hunting and companionship.  We consider them our property, not our "family".

I agree with your post, but, to be clear, I don't object to anyone who wants to think of their pets as a subsidiary "part of the family" or a "friend" as an expression of emotional attachment.

The language of "children," though, tends to come with an especially unsettling set of attitudes and behaviors that push pets into this strange territory in which they are equal parts consumer accessory and child substitutes.

For example, I know people who throw elaborate birthday parties, spend hundreds of dollars on Halloween costumes, order elaborate Blue Apron-style meals, make "summer camp" arrangements, and observe other elaborate rituals that far exceed what was normal for pets in any family that I grew up around. A lot of my friends were from families that couldn't afford to do things like this for their actual children. In the most extreme cases it has the feel of something out of Children of Men.
112  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Opinion of dog-owners who call themselves "parents" or their dogs "kids"? on: March 09, 2017, 07:32:41 pm
Revolting and obnoxious, isn't it? If you're a couple that has tried to conceive or adopt children repeatedly and without success, pets might be your sole consolation. For anyone else, it's completely decadent and inappropriate.
113  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Also-Ran vs Running Mate, 2012: Romney vs Ryan on: March 09, 2017, 06:59:37 pm
The Mormon, not the Randian wrecker.
114  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Kalwejt on: March 09, 2017, 06:50:46 pm
Why does no one care about LarryT?

This reminds me of idiots who would bring up HRC's time as a Goldwater Girl to "prove" that she was really a secret conservative.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Obamacare repeal/replace pass Congress? on: March 09, 2017, 06:44:53 pm
Cassidy-Collins can only pass with significant Democratic collusion in the House.

At this point it seems not much more plausible to me than the Ryan Medicaid cuts passing. Most likely Ryan and Trump can bring over much of the Freedom caucus by telling them that at least this is a major tax cut, and if they don't vote for this version of "repeal," then they get nothing. I have no idea how they win over the skeptical Senators, though.
116  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is a far left far right cooperation possible in the next years? on: March 09, 2017, 06:40:09 pm
On a personal note, I feel much more solidarity with people who sincerely believe in treating all people with respect and dignity. This is not an account on which the so-called center scores particularly well, barely edging out the far-right nihilists, the jingo-nationalists, and the most delusional - usually Randian - libertarians. "Tolerance" is not inclusion.
117  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is a far left far right cooperation possible in the next years? on: March 09, 2017, 06:32:21 pm
One way or the other, I think that the traditional division left-right division is becoming less useful for making sense of politics. What we now tend to describe as "middle-of-the-road" is in actual fact extremely radical and contrary to the core values of most people.

The most important political conflict today, within most countries, sets an elite "center" that wants to reduce politics to a series of increasingly refined cost-benefit analyses in opposition to an incoherent, varied, and largely disempowered mass of popular opinion that rejects a future in which most human beings seem to have no role or purpose.
118  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who would be a better candidate for the Democrats between these two? on: March 09, 2017, 06:11:42 pm
Klobuchar, for exactly the reasons why everyone here seems to believe that Gillibrand would have the advantage.
119  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: PAPOY Creepfest 2017 on: March 09, 2017, 05:45:14 pm
Yeah, great pictures TB. As someone who lives in a place that has been muddy, cloudy, wet, and just on the cusp of freezing for most of the past three months, I am jealous.
120  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French Presidential Election: First Round (April 23, 2017) on: March 09, 2017, 02:07:12 pm
I like Windjammer's ranking, which is almost identical to Nathan/Antonio's. Whether to support Le Pen over Fillon - or not vote between the two, I suppose - is the most difficult choice here. On the whole I think i would feel more guilty about a vote for Fillon or even not voting.
121  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Jason Chaffetz Suggests Dispersing Federal Agencies Across the Country on: March 09, 2017, 12:27:11 pm
^absolutely correct. And not overnight either, as if this were some Great Society era attempt at social engineering or building resilience against a nuclear strike. It would reduce corruption and resentment toward policymakers if it were done right.

Tintrivr's point about upwardly mobile federal employees resenting these changes is probably correct, but the kind of ambitious careerists who approach their work in that way need to be brought to heel anyway. In general they are adept at advancing their personal interests but horrible at performing useful work. Beware anyone whose email signature includes more than three initials, and if they mention Lean Sic Sigma, run away screaming. The best public servants won't be harmed by this; in fact, moving employment out of the D.C. area will probably allow federal agencies to hire better people than they can in the Sunken Place.
122  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of holding local elections at completely random times in the year? on: March 09, 2017, 08:08:20 am
Yeah, it's horrible. Further proof that American politicians are just not serious about the whole democracy thing.

Either that or that voters are not or cannot be serious. It would be more convenient for all elections to be held on the same date, sure, but what does it say that these can occur without most of the people who are nominally being governed even noticing?
123  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Jason Chaffetz Suggests Dispersing Federal Agencies Across the Country on: March 09, 2017, 07:46:13 am
This is a good idea that a lot of people have been talking about lately, but it's a heartening sign to hear it coming from a Member of Congress. (Definitely more worthy of public attention than his iPhone comment.)

And there are inefficiencies that will occur on account of this, but they are worth bearing. Don't underestimate the power, both symbolic and substantive, in the country's fastest growing, highest income, and best educated counties being a ring of previously unremarkable suburbs and exurbs oriented around its capital.
124  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of holding local elections at completely random times in the year? on: March 08, 2017, 10:51:04 pm
There's a lot that's fundamentally wrong with American politics. Local elections should be bigger than Christmas. Yet when my city last held elections, I had no idea what to make of the names on the ballot. Aside from one or two short articles in the paper and a somewhat bizarre "candidates forum" convened by the local Unitarian church - that I remember only because one candidate spent a great deal of time describing his plans for a municipal water park - I had very little information on which to base my decision.

This is why partisan politics is useful tbh.

Oh, right, I forgot to mention that: It was an officially non-partisan election! No wonder this guy was our mayor for five terms.
125  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of holding local elections at completely random times in the year? on: March 08, 2017, 10:02:29 pm
There's a lot that's fundamentally wrong with American politics. Local elections should be bigger than Christmas. Yet when my city last held elections, I had no idea what to make of the names on the ballot. Aside from one or two short articles in the paper and a somewhat bizarre "candidates forum" convened by the local Unitarian church - that I remember only because one candidate spent a great deal of time describing his plans for a municipal water park - I had very little information on which to base my decision.
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