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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Realistically, could anyone beat Hillary in a primary? on: August 29, 2014, 12:59:22 am
At the very least, I expect that a protest candidate of marginal status will enter the race and do fairly well in the Iowa caucuses (20-30%). In the end, she may win Iowa by less than 50-60%.

Well sure, if Sanders challenges her, then her margin of victory in either Iowa or New Hampshire being less than 50 points seems like a good bet.  Sanders would air criticism of her from the left that most Democratic voters haven't been exposed to yet because they're not paying attention to the race.  So I don't think he'd remain stuck at 2% by any means.  There'll be *some* traction for his message in the party, so getting something like 25% or more in one of the early states is very doable.

Even if it isn't Sanders, I bet that some vaguely qualified politician or prominent progressive figure will challenge her from the left and will receive a non-negligible number of votes because he/she will receive a some media coverage from MSNBC and a lot of media coverage from the progressive blogosphere and magazine circuit.

The Democratic Party is too diverse for Hillary Clinton to win early primary states by gargantuan numbers. Even a some dude candidate could achieve a respectable performance with the right strategy. I'm sure that some of Ron Paul's supporters would be more likely to vote for a far-left oddity running on drug legalization, isolationist foreign policy, anti-NSA etc than for Rand Paul.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Realistically, could anyone beat Hillary in a primary? on: August 29, 2014, 12:34:54 am
It's more possible than people are willing to admit. Because Hillary Clinton is already the defacto nominee, she will stake out a few positions on policy issues that will irritate progressives and she will face increased scrutiny from progressive media outlets over the next year. A dark horse candidate could decide to enter the race if the conditions are right and win.

At the very least, I expect that a protest candidate of marginal status will enter the race and do fairly well in the Iowa caucuses (20-30%). In the end, she may win Iowa by less than 50-60%. We'll see though.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Nine year old kills gun instructor with Uzi on: August 27, 2014, 05:27:05 pm
Remember, only the police should have guns. That's REAL freedom, you dumb Americans!

"People kill people"
Being an unsafe instructor sure does.

In Europe, the police don't carry firearms because it isn't necessary; very few people own guns.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: The Red Northwest on: August 26, 2014, 08:23:39 pm
Portland, Oregon

October 31st, 2029

At the beginning of the 21st century, Portland was the mecca of the much mythologized latte liberal. According to the canon of poorly-written pop sociology, latte liberals lived according to a routinized religious rite of counter-cultural consumption, which was intended to accumulate the affectations of outsiders or cultural others. From dawn to dusk, the latter liberal would participate in the same ritual iteration: he would drink an artisanal pour-over coffee that was sourced to Chiapas or Ethiopia before commuting via bicycle to an "indie" firm, where he would proceed to produce nothing of value before hopping on a bus to purchase inefficiently grown organic food and a six-pack of craft beer, which tasted nothing like a beer produced by craftsman. Although only a small minority of the People's Republic of Portlandia participated in these rituals, civic boosters were quick to re-affirm the conventional wisdom that Portland was a utopia of the weird so Portland's brand became the latte liberal.

As the Transhuman Age matured, the latte liberal was an endangered species that had been long forgotten. Portland was another model urbanity of the future; a city of sleek bio-tech and quantum computing campuses, maglevs and high-rise condominiums that embodied Transhuman design. The latte liberal could still be found in the decaying tract housing and modernist apartments that stretched along the Columbia towards Mt Hood but the graying latte liberal subculture contributed only a slight hue to the grand multicultural mosaic that was Transhumanist Portland.

to be continued...
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What is a WASP? on: August 26, 2014, 02:15:34 pm
WASP is a term that confers class status, political identity and secularism or liberal Protestantism in the United States and it's increasingly unrelated to having "ASP" descent. For instance: in 2014, Vermont dairy farmers are far more likely to have purely Yankee roots than blue blood families in Connecticut or Boston, who are increasingly likely to have some Irish or Italian or Jewish ancestry. Yet, Vermont dairy farmers are rarely described as "WASPs" while CEOs, CFOs and corporate lawyers will oftentimes be described as WASPs even if they have a non-WASP last name.

William F. Buckley is the modern symbol of WASPs and he's an Irish Catholic. George Wallace is portrayed as the enemy of WASPs by the history books and he is an unspoiled WASP.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How would you like to be buried? on: August 26, 2014, 01:40:16 am
Underneath the pyramid burial complex built in my honor, of course.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / The Red Northwest on: August 25, 2014, 08:07:51 pm
The Apogee of the Transhuman Age
October 29th, 2029

It was no surprise that the self-proclaimed thought leaders of America inaugurated the 100th anniversary of Black Tuesday by proclaiming victory over macroeconomic calamity and material insecurity. After all, pundits and academics were quite proud that America had successfully weathered the storm of the Great Recession and had only suffered a few slight dips in the interim. Of course, the eternal critics of America's grand 21st century consensus claimed otherwise: that America was mired by inequality or overburdened by debt or at risk of experiencing environmental calamity. These critics were irritating gnats to the Silicon men and the millions of immigrants that had reaped the rewards of the 21st century "bio boom". America had a sleek nano-optic grid, a life expectancy that soared near the three digit mark, universal access to higher education and had experienced a cultural renaissance that shattered global stereotypes that had once defined America as a nation of backwards boors dependent on Big Gulps, big trucks and firearms. On the world stage, America was now viewed as the vanguard of progress in an era of expanded human ability. As the Transhuman Age reached maturity, its discontents became increasingly irrelevant. It was difficult to remain discontent with the rapid advances in neurology that allowed for a preponderance of drugs that had almost eliminated depression and anxiety.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Does anyone still believe the Iraq War made the Middle East a safer place? on: August 25, 2014, 01:50:52 pm
The Bush administration is responsible for the rise of ISIS. Its chief error wasn't removing Saddam Hussein from power but in conducting the occupation of Iraq as a kind of political affectation designed to curry the favor of the American public. Naturally, superficial wars entail running from the harsh realities of nation-building that are the foundation of stable post-war climates. When Iraq's historical treasure was looted, Donald Rumsfeld made a quip about the large number of vases in Iraqi museums. As hundreds of men were murdered and hundreds of women were raped in a lawless Baghdad, Donald Rumsfeld claimed that the press was hyperbolic. As Iraq's institutions were disintegrating, officials in the Bush administration celebrated. For nearly four years, the Bush administration acted in this grandstanding/delusional manner and the Middle East has paid the price.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: DKE: Democratic net gain of Gov seats unlikely on: August 25, 2014, 12:52:16 pm
The DKE model is a slightly more sophisticated polling aggregator.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: AK-Rasmussen: Sullivan+2 on: August 25, 2014, 12:50:55 pm
Only a curiously timed indictment could possibly protect the liberals from the revolution created by Begichcare.

Nothing says revolution like the elderly and the obese lining up at the ballot box to fill in some ovals.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Was Christopher Hitchens a right winger? on: August 23, 2014, 12:47:33 pm
One can support full-flung military interventionism around the world and still be leftist.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Forum racists on: August 23, 2014, 12:13:38 pm
I am an MECHA activist that wants to cut the beating hearts of white people on muh pyramids, apparently.
13  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: A fair or unfair dismissal from a workplace canteen conversation? on: August 23, 2014, 12:11:23 pm
This is actually an example of "Political Correctness running riot" or whatever and is not grounds for termination under any circumstances.
14  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: "Having children is a human right that should not be denied by society." Really? on: August 23, 2014, 12:05:39 pm
Having children is not an absolute human right, it is very circumstantial. In cases of immediate environmental catastrophe or with pregnant minors, the state should have the ability to intervene and create flexible controls (so that those who value children more can still partake in the act) that limit the number of children.

I am of the belief that very low fertility rates are as indicative of social problems as very high fertility rates and that families must be supported by the state at all costs but there are circumstances in which pro-natal Social Democracy ceases to make sense and circumstances in which aggressive pro-natal policies are necessary. Family planning is a crucial aspect of public policy like healthcare or education or macroeconomics and I distrust anyone who claims that "healthcare is a human right" because that's evading the subtleties of the issue that truly matter.

This is probably the only issue where I come off as a very conservative kind of leftist. 
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama's 2nd term agenda... what is it, and how likely is it? on: August 23, 2014, 11:51:39 am
Attempt immigration reform as Republican leadership pivots towards the center -> immigration reform dies a quick death as conservative grassroots forces rebel en masse again and threaten to primary any Republican who votes in favor. This immigration reform bill is somewhat unpopular with the public though tremendously popular among the browns.

I will accept my accolades.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama's 2nd term agenda... what is it, and how likely is it? on: August 23, 2014, 11:51:09 am
destroy SS and Medicare, continue erosion of due process and civil liberties, continue to transfer wealth to "top 1%", continue to load debt onto students and consumers.

This post looks far more delusional in retrospect than the posts of left-liberals.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Rank Northeastern and Midwestern metros from most liberal to most conservative on: August 23, 2014, 11:49:51 am
Baltimore received much larger numbers of migrants from the South, both white and Black. Hence the "Balmer" white accent, which sounds distinctly Southern in character if a bit off: most white Baltimore residents have a good portion of Southern-stock ancestry, whether it can be traced to colonial Maryland or New Deal-era Virginia. Baltimore definitely attracted its fair share of ethnic immigrants but its numbers are small in comparison to the Rust Belt or the Northeast. Baltimore is Southern.

Of course, Oakland received little immigration up until recently and most of its working class can be traced to the Southern US but I'd never claim that it is a "Southern" city so maybe these distinctions are fairly arbitrary.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 20, 2014, 06:44:47 pm
Protestants are almost a plurality in Guatemala and Honduras? Now I knew that the Evangelicals were big there, but....

Interesting that the Protestant population is still so low for Mexico in comparison.

Mexico is uneven. In Chiapas the Catholics are, I believe, under 60% by now. In Guanajuato they are well over 90%. So, it is not that the border is sharp. Then, again, evangelicals are the biggest among the native and the poor. The wealthy and educated classes tend to stay Catholic (if nominally).

In northern Mexico and parts of central Mexico there are non-negligible numbers of Protestants that converted in the late 19th and early 20th century. This demographic is very middle class and was liberal/revolutionary in the early 20th century but now tends to support the PAN.

In response to Snowstalker:
Presbyterianism is the most prominent Protestant denomination in Mexico, even in Chiapas. Many "mainstream" Protestant churches have a very significant presence throughout Central America. These Protestant churches tend to win converts based on their message of Christian univeralism and their superior provision of education/various social services. I can't say that the same is true for Evangelical churches in Central America but this is hardly a manifestation of the "far-right". If anything, the spiritual message of Protestantism succeeds in Central America because of its spiritual egalitarianism and is reflection of leftist values/aspirations.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In new book, Paul Ryan urges GOP to stop 'preaching to the choir' on: August 20, 2014, 12:48:13 pm
Paul Ryan is positioning himself for 2016.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 20, 2014, 12:42:27 pm
I am in Mexico City.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Just moved to Moscow, Idaho on: August 20, 2014, 12:39:33 pm
Get out while you still can.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 20, 2014, 11:48:40 am
I'd discount the 79% figure in Mexico. Mexico is overwhelmingly Catholic but the Catholic church has an increasingly tenuous hold on its followers. Mexico would have likely gone down the same path as Guatemala if aggressive anti-clerical reforms weren't instituted and the Virgin of Guadalupe wasn't vigorously promoted as a national symbol. Because Catholicism isn't tarnished with right-wing politics and oppression in Mexico, it has escaped the rapid decline experienced in other Latin American countries. Nevertheless, Catholicism is very weak among the indigenous and is becoming a more nominal faith outside of the Bajo. Census statistics and surveys can't capture this because lapsed Catholics (there are many of them) are still recorded as Catholics. Mexico is similar to Ireland in this regard.

There's a reason why Mexican-Americans are quickly becoming unchurched in the United States.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Electoral Geographic splits in countries on: August 08, 2014, 11:53:50 pm
In Bolivia, the wealthier white/mestizo east is more conservative than the Andean west and is very opposed to Evo Morales to the point that there was a separatist movement that gained traction in the late 2000s.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Citing Israel, GOP eyes Jewish vote on: August 08, 2014, 07:07:45 pm
The Democratic Party is so dominant among Jews that even Orthodox Jews supported Obama by a fairly large margin in 2012. Outside of New York and a few urban areas, casual anti-semitism is common and it's generally exhibited by Republicans. With this in mind, there's no way that Republicans will ever make serious in-roads among Jewish voters.

Republicans who support converting Jews to Christianity offend Jewish sensibilities far more than Democrats who are anti-Zionist.
25  General Politics / Economics / Re: Opinion of the Austrian School on: August 05, 2014, 07:23:36 pm
Not sure why austrian econ is bad because of no math.

The Austrian's School rejection of empiricism and its general rejection of mathematics doesn't make it "bad". It just means it has it's not Economics, which is a social scientific discipline.
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