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101  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bernie Bros on: February 10, 2017, 01:33:04 am
Why are all the D-VA avatars so extremely pro-Clinton? This is something I've noticed since the moment I joined here.

It's tempting to speculate that it's the combined of effect of federal employment and living in places or having friends and family who rely on federal employment, but IIRC most of our D-VAs aren't even from NoVA, so it might just be a coincidence. We're talking about four or five posters at most, right?
102  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bernie Bros on: February 10, 2017, 01:20:11 am
I had a number of opinions during the primary, but at this point, I am highly invested in not relitigating the 2016 primary. We have a real chance to remake the party into something better now, and I think that is all that matters.

-To make the party better, an understanding of how it went bad is warranted.

"Bernie Bros" are certainly nowhere near the cause of the downfall of the Democratic Party. They were a stalking horse invented by Clinton-loyalist psychos to try to explain away the Sanders movement as one fueled by sexism rather than a sincere social democratic movement.

----------

And this, Virginia, is why it is easier to say we need to move on from the 2016 primaries than it is to actually do it.  Instead of reacting with consolation and conciliation (i.e. We're all in this together -we need each other) in the wake of Hillary Clinton's defeat, they vengefully and opportunistically launched a blame game, seeking to marginalize anyone who didn't support Bernie Sanders with the intention of launching a hostile takeover.  So, I hope you understand the bitterness and hard feelings that reign supreme right now.

To borrow one an old Atlas line, did you clutch your lapel as you wrote that?
103  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of billionaires on: February 10, 2017, 01:08:02 am
My favourite billionaire (obvs Marcus Licinius Crassus) has been dead for over 2,000 years, so I considered it inappropriate to mention him.

Oh come ON now you're just trying too hard. You probably wear a bow tie as well and pretend to enjoy dry sherry.

Nah, I'm more of a t-shirt and sh**tty beer kind of guy. On the other hand it is one of my aspirations in life to reach the stage where I can where trouser braces without getting shat upon by co-workers/boss. Unlikely, but not impossible.

Are trouser braces really esoteric enough to provoke that reaction? As long as you're wearing a jacket they're not especially noticeable.
104  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where do you stand on transgenderism? on: February 10, 2017, 12:29:52 am
This doesn't happen fwiw. The only medical procedure an underage will get is puberty blockers, which are not permanent.

Do you have any idea how widespread their use is within different countries?
105  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The CrabCake Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: February 10, 2017, 12:27:09 am
Quote
Scarlet, are you at all familiar with John Rawls? Look up his Theory of Justice. It's probably the best way to rescue you from the depths of your cringeworthy amoral utilitarianism.

No, and a read about it on wikipedia reveals that it really isn't anything special.

I must have missed the overwhelming impact it had on human society.

It's funny because you're dismissing one of the most important works of modern political philosophy with a sneer after skimming it's Wikipedia page. Apparently, you're also insecure enough about being laughed at that you felt a need to comment on it here.
106  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rural Americans felt abandoned by Democrats in 2016, so they abandoned them back on: February 09, 2017, 08:35:57 pm
Regarding the comment "Bernie would have won" .. I think the Healthcare debate with Cruz... hints to the fact that Sanders is much more effective debating and running in a primary- where the voters are inclined to go with the major parts of his arguments... But not so effective when having to debate Republican... who fundamentally do not agree with even the premise of his argument.

-Goldwater lost. Sometimes, the conservative position is not the popular one. And Cruz lost his debate with Sanders, as he couldn't coherently defend an alternative to Obamacare.

Can you suggest anyone who can, considering that no one in the GOP Congressional caucus has put forward a plan that meets all of the party's stated objectives for repeal and replace?

-What do you mean by "all of the party's stated objectives"? Obviously, not everyone's going to be covered.

Is any major Republican with a replace plan openly admitting that people will lose coverage is it passes?

Is any major Republican with a replace plan openly admitting that it is not revenue neutral?

Is any major Republican with a replace plan openly admitting that people may be denied insurance or unable to afford the premiums on account of pre-existing conditions?

etc.

I thought it was odd to call out Ted Cruz for a failure that affects every Republican calling for repeal and replace. There isn't a coherent argument being offered by either the Trump administration or any Congressional Republican.
107  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Bernie Bros on: February 09, 2017, 07:23:58 pm
Higher than my opinion of posters who write as if they're regurgitating content that they picked up in a moldering pile of months-old congressional press releases.
108  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of McDonald's on: February 09, 2017, 07:06:12 pm
I like their coffee.

Their bathrooms are reliably clean.

Their menu has more healthful options compared to many other fast food chains.

Their food is, on the whole, much less harmful to your health than any of the major sit-down chains (Round Robin, Fat Tuesday's, Macaroni Factory, etc.)

It's not a bad place to sit around and work, talk, and people watch. And, in some places, it's the only third place where people can congregate. That's better than not having one.

You can set that against: Treatment of labor, treatment of the environment, serving food that still isn't even close to healthful, directly targeting children in their advertising, promoting "drive-through" culture, driving some diners out of business, sketchy development practices, and more that I'm forgetting. It could be worse, but it's still bad. If I'm on the road, I'll pack a sandwich.

No, I'm not "above" fast food, and I'm not judging anyone harshly for an occasional indulgence although I do feel bad for you if it's a genuinely irresistible urge. I just know that it's not good for me or for anyone else.
109  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rural Americans felt abandoned by Democrats in 2016, so they abandoned them back on: February 09, 2017, 07:05:18 pm
Regarding the comment "Bernie would have won" .. I think the Healthcare debate with Cruz... hints to the fact that Sanders is much more effective debating and running in a primary- where the voters are inclined to go with the major parts of his arguments... But not so effective when having to debate Republican... who fundamentally do not agree with even the premise of his argument.

-Goldwater lost. Sometimes, the conservative position is not the popular one. And Cruz lost his debate with Sanders, as he couldn't coherently defend an alternative to Obamacare.

Can you suggest anyone who can, considering that no one in the GOP Congressional caucus has put forward a plan that meets all of the party's stated objectives for repeal and replace?
110  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Dakota Pipeline protesters leave behind 250 truck loads of garbage at site on: February 09, 2017, 06:39:20 pm
Some of you are talking about this as if it were a campsite or picnic, the kind of event where a person can carry everything they need in and carry it all out in one load.

But that's not the case. There were thousands of protesters living in the middle of nowhere for months, who were then rapidly forced away from the site by law enforcement.

By the way, how much of this garbage is human waste? Did they dig latrines in the frozen ground, or what?
111  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Issue with one particular moderator on: February 09, 2017, 05:25:54 pm
Also, please, the claim that the claim that "calling someone's gender orientation a mental illness is offensive" is offensive to people who are mentally ill is not clever. It doesn't make you look clever. It makes you look like a person who is trying really hard to look clever and failing ever harder at it. Think about your claim for a couple of minutes, swallow your embarrassment and don't repeat it again.

The attitudes displayed in Gustaf and Hagrid's posts are great examples of why it's worth speaking up about this. They are two of the most hateful regular posters here.

If you want an inclusive community, if you want to acknowledge the human dignity of every person, and if you want to enforce norms of basic respect, don't be hateful yourself. Even toward groups of people whom you believe deserve it. I'm not just talking about respect for speech that you dislike or find offensive, I'm also talking about how you discuss certain groups of people.

Bring on the scoffing and disdainful replies that give away just how thoroughly they don't get it. To put it in their preferred language, check your class privilege. That's hardly the only form of oppression that matters, although I'm sure that you'll claim against all evidence that that is what I really believe, but on an online forum in which status and recognition are most heavily influenced by verbal intelligence and access to education, it's a form of privilege that matters even more than it does in settings where other aspects of your identity are more salient whether you want them to be or not.

Extreme Republican is about as far from my definition of a good poster as it's possible to get. He was even on my ignore list when he created this thread. I have never seen any use or anything to be learned from engaging with him. The only reason that I even read his post was because it was had become an object of derision on AAD.
112  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Omega Scarlet on: February 09, 2017, 03:17:38 pm
Not invited to my private island.
113  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: RI's 2016 Precinct Map Thread on: February 09, 2017, 02:05:36 pm
It'd be really interesting to see metro areas circled/outlined on these.  It's easy to just see a glob of red and assume that's the metro, but I'd wager the outer suburbs of most metros are solidly blue.

Do you mean city boundaries? Metros areas are just county aggregations. I could probably do city boundaries for a state or two by request, but I'm not going to do it generally as I feel it makes things more cluttered.

You could use a dot density maps (easy with most GIS software - represent the dots as a separate layer and the choropleth as a background, maybe with a transparency applied to the dots so that they distract less from the background color). The result is rarely an especially attractive map, but for people who are familiar with the data it's easy to read and interpret.

I've also seen people vary the tint by votes per unit of land while using hue to represent the winning candidate's margin, but this is a lot trickier in any software package with which I am familiar and more difficult to read.
114  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The CrabCake Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: February 09, 2017, 01:51:18 pm
Quote
Scarlet, are you at all familiar with John Rawls? Look up his Theory of Justice. It's probably the best way to rescue you from the depths of your cringeworthy amoral utilitarianism.

No, and a read about it on wikipedia reveals that it really isn't anything special.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: So it begins... on: February 09, 2017, 01:38:41 pm
Quote from:  link=topic=258537.msg5516648#msg5516648 date=1486655493
Custom departments always seem to attract people that have escaped from the works of Heller and Kafka.

^Something to keep in mind. I'm outraged about this, too - we all should be. But we should have been outraged a long time before.

Whatever your feeling about other branches of law enforcement, border patrol agents tend to be thugs. Mostly because they have more power: They are not accountable to citizens or required to respect your rights in the same way as other law enforcement personnel. The enlargement of the force that occurred under Bush, and the enhancement of their powers within 100 miles of a land border or coastline, has never received the attention that it deserves.

As with so many other aspects of the national security state, liberals who weren't bothered by how a policy was used under Obama and conservatives who weren't bothered by how a policy was used under Bush are finally realizing just how mistaken they were to cheer on and enable these expansions of federal executive power.

Or, at least, one would hope they'd have learned something. The worst fears of civil liberties advocates - the kind that we've been told are implausible and unreasonable for nearly two decades now - are now being realized.
116  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Dakota Pipeline protesters leave behind 250 truck loads of garbage at site on: February 09, 2017, 01:30:54 pm
But the environment................  Roll Eyes

A few dozen truckloads of garbage are virtually nothing compared to millions of tons of carbon emissions or the thousands of gallons of oil that could be released into the soil and water table in a leak. Of course the protestors left behind a massive amount of garbage, that's the nature of constructing and inhabiting a settlement the size of a small city or large village in a place with no plan or infrastructure for waste removal.

Besides, the local authorities in North Dakota were so intensely hostile to the protests that any uncorroborated statements from them - especially any that sound designed to provoke outrage - merit some skepticism.
117  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would an "all liberal, all the time" version of Milo Yiannopoulos be like? on: February 09, 2017, 10:50:15 am
Your response to Milo...is a bestiality apologist?

Why not? It's not as if I'm sympathetic to the "all liberal, all the time" perspective. I'm just showing you someone who fits the description.
118  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would an "all liberal, all the time" version of Milo Yiannopoulos be like? on: February 09, 2017, 08:40:50 am
1. Massive jackwad
2. Marketing and publicity genius
3. Openly threatens conservatives, but never engages in violence
4. Picks on random conservative, old, white dudes
5. Results in massive protests and occasional violence when he visits conservative areas.
6. Has some personal trait that would make you think they should be a conservative (in the way that Milo is gay)

Your criteria made me think of just the person for this: Reverend Jeff Hood from Denton, Texas.



Read how Rod Dreher reacts to Rev. Hood's doubting reflections on whether he was right to counsel a man out of having sex with his dog:

Quote
Yeah, well, today on his blog, Rev. Jeff hears God calling us to something even queerer than you can imagine. He recalls a hospital conversation a few years ago with a man who had been injured by his Labrador retriever, with who he had been having sexual relations. Excerpt from the dialogue he recounts on his blog. “F” is “Frank,” the patient; “C” is himself, the Chaplain:

F8: Yes. When we were intimate the other night, Lucy sank her long teeth into my neck. She had never done that before. Lucy became very vicious very quickly.

C9: (Still holding his hand…) Sir, if you don’t mind me asking…what exactly is Lucy?

F9: Lucy is 88 beautiful pounds of Labrador.

C10: (Still holding his hand…) I appreciate the clarification. I’m sorry that things are not proceeding as well as you would prefer in your relationship with Lucy. Do you think the disconnect you’re feeling from Lucy could possibly be attributed to the vast differences between your species?


[...]

You really have to read the entire exchange, realizing that the progressive pastor is presenting himself as the voice of compassion here. And maybe he was, in his way. He did end up talking Frank out of continuing to have sex with a dog. That’s not a bad thing.

But later, he came to wonder if he had done the right thing. Says Pastor Jeff:

I was very shaken by the encounter with Frank. Not long after I left, I went and talked with a psychologist. When I told him what happened, he challenged my assumptions. “What makes you think that someone can’t be in a consensual sexual relationship with an animal? It doesn’t just have to be all about sex either. Real intimate partnered love is a possibility too. Many animals are intellectually and emotionally more capable of healthier relationships than we are.” While it has been many years since these events transpired, I think about them often. I still don’t have clarity on what I should have said to Frank. I simply did the best I could with the understanding that I had.

The truth is that Frank is not alone. If you survey the online and print data out there, there are at least thousands of people currently carrying on intimate relationships with animals. Regularly, news stories come out after a relationship is revealed. These frequent occurrences bring about an important question. Can an animal consent to such a relationship? Through expanding science, we are gaining knowledge that animals are as intelligent if not more intelligent than humans. I’m still uncertain if consent is possible. I do know that there are an increasing number of people who claim that it is. The more I think and read about it the blurrier the lines seem to get.

I also think about what Jesus would say. There is nothing in the gospel narrative that speaks to intimate relationships with animals. In the midst of such absence, one is even left to wonder if Jesus might have even had intimate relationships with animals.


“One” is? What a pervert and a blasphemer. But he’s not a random nut. A straight man who is married and the father of children, Hood is a big presence on the SJW scene in north Texas, it appears. When you abandon Christian orthodoxy, there’s no brake stopping the slide into the abyss. I do wonder, though, where progressive religionists draw the line on their left side. Are there any religious enemies to the left? Will The Christian Century blog network continue to host the blog of a Texas pastor who says God incarnate might have been into bestiality? What, exactly, does a guy have to do or say to be disfellowshipped from progressive Christian circles (besides vote Republican)?
119  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of poors on: February 08, 2017, 11:54:22 pm
Mixed. I'm extremely wary of any sentiment that verges on the idea that poverty is ennobling.
120  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where do you stand on transgenderism? on: February 08, 2017, 11:47:22 pm
I have trouble with this debate because I don't even understand what people mean when they claim that transgenderism is a mental disorder. I'm not sure that anyone making the claim knows, either.
121  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Antonio V on: February 08, 2017, 11:10:25 pm
Antonio is an outstanding poster. I almost always enjoy reading his takes whether I agree with them or not. (And I usually do.)
122  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would an "all liberal, all the time" version of Milo Yiannopoulos be like? on: February 08, 2017, 07:19:53 pm
Because we seriously need one.

He died of cancer six years ago.

123  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: C-CA is Everywhere on: February 08, 2017, 12:47:46 pm
Was this thread meant as a vulgar joke? Ignore the text in Riley's post and just look at the title.
124  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who won the Obamacare debate tonight? on: February 08, 2017, 10:33:05 am
As per usual, nobody really wants to be honest that providing health care for all, at the quality level it is now for those who have it, is going to be very expensive, and somebody will have to pay for it,

Huh

I literally never have heard anyone claim that providing health care for all Americans is not expensive, or that “somebody” (?) will not have to pay for it. And you’re using the wrong tense: It should be is, not is going to be, because we are already paying for health care for everyone.

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as to those who cannot afford it (maybe 40% of the population or something).

Children, the elderly, and other dependents alone would get you close to 40% who are unable to pay even for heavily regulated and subsidized health insurance. It is exceptional for an individual to be capable of covering the cost of the care that he or she might need.

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Obamacare had a chunk of those paying the subsidies being healthy young folks, who pay too much in premiums, which I hate. I would prefer the taxpayers pay such subsidies in taxes,

This makes about as much sense as saying we that shouldn’t have an army because it means forcing “healthy young folks” to fight and die on behalf of the old and the rich.

Most elderly people in the United States would be living in or near poverty without Social Security. Few of them have anything even approaching adequate retirement savings. Even fewer would be able to afford any kind of health insurance on a private market. And most of them are extremely unhealthy. The fact that a substantial minority of the elderly make up the the wealthiest sizable group of Americans in the country is comparatively unimportant.

This is the inescapable reality of health insurance markets: Either the young and the healthy subsidize the old and the sick, or the old and the sick go without care and die.

Obviously this can happen through taxation and subsidies rather than regulated premiums, and that would be a relief for the great majority of young Americans who don’t have very much to spare. But it’s striking to see the idea that we have a responsibility to take care of the elderly treated as if it were one of the world’s great injustices. Your line might resonate with young adults if you bring up in conversation, but you’re deluding yourself if you really believe that this is a ridiculous and unfair condition. All of us will benefit from the same social compact someday. If your lot hasn’t succeeded in dismantling it by then, at least.

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and that all subsidies be means tested, so folks like myself cease to be subsidized.

There is not a good way to means test health insurance coverage. We are living through a horrifying example in this right now: Look at what is happening to people who fall just above the income level for Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. There are policies that would improve this, but as long as some people are eligible and others are not it will remain a challenge, and it will cause suffering.

Means-testing means that you leave people wrangling with confusing eligibility and income reporting requirements that cause frustration and, much worse, lapses in coverage. It means switching insurers and going to a different doctor when your income changes. It also makes the political sustainability of universal coverage more challenging – voters tend to sour on programs that are only for the poor. Most of all, most of us are better off when even the most affluent among us need to care about the quality of any public service. You always frame this line as some kind of noble sacrifice that runs against your own interests, but that's not true, because this is a policy that protects your ability to ignore what it's actually like to use a public service or payment system because you can just purchase whatever you want and not worry about anyone else.

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Finally, the system needs to move to an HMO system, particularly for the olds.

HMOs were hated by almost everyone and were only mildly effective at reducing cost growth and unnecessary use of health care. They did not improve quality of care. They did not improve health outcomes. I doubt that there are many health economists who would seriously argue that the United State should move back toward them. They just don’t work well given the existing elements of the health care system in this country.

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All of this is just too politically toxic, so we get the debates like we got here, that are not very helpful.

It was a political spectacle. Why would you tune expecting a detailed and nuanced comparative policy analysis? This was Bernie Sanders debating Ted Cruz on commercial cable television, not Katherine Baicker debating Uwe Reinhardt on CSPAN. Both Senators were clear enough for someone with basic knowledge to understand what their priorities were. That is what politicians should do, and the event didn’t need to be anything more than that.

Moreover, it’s not a matter of avoiding harsh but necessary truths: Your views are unpopular. They are unpopular among Republicans, they are unpopular among Democrats, and they are unpopular among unaffiliateds and non-voters. Maybe it’s worth considering that this is because your preferred policies would not actually work in the interests of most people.

(Your views are also unpopular among health economists and policy experts – the specifics, I mean, not the pablum about “someone needing to pay for it.” It’s as if you skimmed a few white papers in the early nineties and decided that you had cracked the code and became so proud of you learned then that you haven’t read or listened to anything on the subject since then.)

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I don't like single payer, because it affords consumers with no choices, and that is unnecessary. Let folks pick and choose.

"Consumers." Roll Eyes I think the word you are looking for is patients.

Also, I must be missing something: You object to single payer because it "affords [patients] with no choices," (which is false, by the way), yet you prefer "an HMO system." Surely you must realize that managed care works - if it works at all - by limiting your choices? Why is one objectionable but not the other?

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The main thing is that many just cannot afford the premiums.

Is it really? Or is that the costs driving those premiums have been increasing for decades? And that these costs have become decoupled from improvements in life expectancy and well-being? And that, in the aggregate, they don't buy Americans better health outcomes than people living in other wealthy countries. These health policy conversations should never lose touch with the realities of mortality and chronic disease. In the final analysis, who really cares about insurance or care if they're not improving length or quality of life? This can't be taken for granted.
125  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who won the Obamacare debate tonight? on: February 08, 2017, 08:27:08 am
Both of them did fine, as expected. Three observations:

(1) It was obvious that each was arguing from a different ideological framework and sets of values - and they acknowledged as much. This was refreshing even if Cruz was pretty evasive about the grim and brutal realities of not treating healthcare "as a right."

(2) Neither Senator had a concrete plan that they were uncritically defending, and this allowed them to get away with a lot. Sure, Sanders was speaking in defense of Obamacare, but he repeatedly acknowledged the law's flaws and advocated for a single payer system. Similarly, Cruz was very critical of Obamacare, but he didn't have a single Republican replacement plan for he which advocating. He didn't even have an outline and even resorted to the "purchase insurance beyond state lines" claptrap, as if that's going to be universally affordable, as if that's going to make up for losing most forms of free-at-point of access preventive treatment, and as if access to cancer treatment in a Delaware hospital would make any difference to someone living in, say, Nebraska.

(3) The rhetoric about "health care as a right" would be more convincing if it were framed as health care as an obligation or responsibility. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, and each other. I think you can sketch out the basic question - Should emergency departments be permitted to turn sick and injured people away? Should hospitals be permitted to lock out pregnant woman who need care? - and justify a great deal of intervention from there, both public and private, both medical and non-medical: Complete streets and sidewalks; clean air, water, and soil; mandatory vaccinations; preventive care, especially for pregnant women; better nutrition; cigarette, alcohol, and soda taxes etc. If you want to get into the emergency department when you need care, you need to work on all of these things. All of them improve health and usually they will be more affordable than critical care.

Of course Sanders political instincts are better than mine, and American voters have an extreme allergy to accepting any kind of responsibility (e.g. childish tantrums about paying taxes, jury duty, etc.).
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