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July 28, 2017, 12:03:45 pm
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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US Detects North Korea Missile Launch on: Today at 10:53:37 am
2  General Discussion / History / Re: Was FDR's rise predictable before the Great Depression? on: Today at 07:35:05 am
Absent a Great Depression, it's hard to imagine Hoover not being reelected. Even with a 25% swing (instead of the 35% FDR actually got) Hoover still handily wins the Electoral College in 1932. FDR might have been able to win in 1936 assuming he stays Governor until then, but FDR barely held on to the Governorship in 1928, so with no Depression he's not a lock for a second gubernatorial term, let alone four.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why the (once) failing New York Times loves Trump on: July 27, 2017, 08:49:19 pm
Gotta love how one man has had the ability to change the entire planet. I love it.

So did Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun. Shouldn't in the quality of the change involved matter at all?

Of course, don't be stupid. But strong leaders are needed in the world. We have catered lately to the weak and indeed, we have been good societies, but strength is a great leadership attribute, too. Isn't it?

Yes strength is great leadership attribute, but it is one Trump utterly lacks. Like all bullies, he struts and huff and preys upon those who can't fight back, yet when the going gets tough, he gets going.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: How interested are you in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series ? on: July 27, 2017, 08:25:39 pm
Not enough to get CBS All Access.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Interior secretary threating to hurt Alaska over Murkowski no vote on: July 27, 2017, 09:05:04 am
Bridge to Nowhere-gate? 😈

Just imagine if Christie had become Interior Secretary? Not that he could have. You have to go back to Morton in the Nixon/Ford cabinet for the last non-westerner Interior Secretary. And Krug in the Truman cabinet is the second most recent.
6  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Why do you believe (or not believe)... whatever you believe? on: July 27, 2017, 02:18:23 am
At my core beliefs, I believe in what I call the Divine, that force, spirit, deity, thingamajig, etc., that provides us with free will and keeps us from being trapped in a meaningless deterministic universe. As a Universalist I believe that the Divine tries to provide us with guidance, if we will but listen to it. As a Daoist I believe that the philosophy embodied in the Dao is an excellent summary of that guidance. As a Christian I believe that one of those ways the Divine tried to guide us was through the example of Christ Jesus, a living embodiment of the Way, who is both fully Human and fully Divine, tho I am agnostic on the issues of the virgin birth and the trinity. I'm Adoptionist in my theology as I believe that Jesus could not have been fully connected to his Divine nature prior to his resurrection as it would render the whole crucifixion into a farce if he had been.
7  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Favourite "New Atheist" on: July 27, 2017, 01:59:20 am
tmc, there's nothing that cannot be harmful, atheism included. I certainly don't fear or loathe atheism, but there are certain atheists that are as toxic as the worst theists and also those who are as saintly as any religious saint. On balance, I do believe that religion has been a force for good.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Donald J. Trump fundamentally a good person? on: July 26, 2017, 07:37:42 pm
What pushes me to ask this question is his staunch support from those who purport to be pious.
A number of them subscribe to a providential view of history in which God makes use of evil people to accomplish good despite themselves. So Trump's personal immorality is of at most minor import to compared to whether he can help them advance their cultural views.
9  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Impeachment via vox populi on: July 26, 2017, 10:48:38 am
Utterly unworkable. To begin with, we don't really have national elections, but State elections which happen to include votes for the Federal offices of Representative, Senator, and Elector. Second, we already have a method for President sucession, so there's no need to invent a new method of what to do when a President is removed from office.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump continues to attack his own AG, Sessions, this time via Twitter on: July 25, 2017, 11:46:09 am
I mean if this is how Trump treats one of his most loyal supporters, why would anyone take a job from him?
That's one reason they're having difficulty filling positions. His own incompetence is another as he and his people aren't used to filling a lot of decision making jobs.
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: HBO Announces CONFEDERATE, a New Drama Series on: July 24, 2017, 02:19:16 am
I don't get what the big deal is. It's a TV show, which have a record for exploring all sorts of topics, ranging from insanely good to insanely stupid. No need to watch it if you think it's dumb.

And I'll say this - at least this is more realistic than corpses reanimating and taking over the world Tongue

You say that now Virginia, but when you and the others come pounding at my bunker door with the ghoulish hordes closing in....

The Prince(ss) Who Was Promised will save us. And if not, there's always something to be done with a sonic screwdriver.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How long until Tillerson resigns? on: July 23, 2017, 11:07:28 pm
-exit, quickly replacing -gate as the most annoying overused political suffix.
13  General Discussion / History / Re: Moses, Hebrews leaving Egypt, etc. - backed up by other histories? on: July 23, 2017, 11:02:00 pm
Plants are photosynthetic, but not all photosynthetic organisms are plants. With even a basic understanding of biology, you'd know that. The cyanobacteria aren't even eukaryotes, let alone plants.
14  General Discussion / History / Re: More historical date on: July 23, 2017, 10:33:13 pm
Yes, we would have had German and Italian nationalism without the French Revolution. Napoleon's ability to tap into the already existing desires of the people is one reason he had the successes he did. 1789 was when the fuse was lit, but its spark would have been for naught if there had been no powder keg to blow. So it boils down to what's more important, the spark or the bomb. The American Revolution provided the final leavening of saltpeter without which the French Revolution would have been only a flash in a pan instead of an explosion.
15  General Discussion / History / Re: Most Boring Part of U.S. History on: July 23, 2017, 10:20:30 pm
The Era of Good Feelings.

Least The Gilded Age had Machine Politics.
I suppose that if you find the minutiae of political maneuvering for no greater purpose than power, machine politics could be interesting, but I don't. The most interesting aspect of the Gilded Age is the percolating labor issues with the Rise and Fall of the Knights of Labor and the Haymarket Affair among other things.

The Era of Good Feelings has McCullough v. Maryland, the Monroe Doctrine, the Compromise of 1820, among other things.
16  General Discussion / History / MOVED: Donald Trump's first mention on this site. Or: Congratulations to elcorazon! on: July 23, 2017, 09:17:37 am
This topic has been moved to The Atlas.

17  General Politics / Economics / Re: Next Recession on: July 23, 2017, 12:38:54 am
Henry, there is a potential bubble out there. If the GOP manages to get a healthcare bill passed, the massive cuts they want to implement in healthcare spending will effectively act the same as a bubble, just that this time the collapse of demand will be due directly to government policy instead of market forces.

Fortunately, the Republicans so far have been unable to agree how they will trigger the next recession, but even that lack of agreement might be enuf to trigger one if the private insurance market collapses because of their efforts, even if they never pass anything.
18  General Politics / Economics / Re: Is bitcoin a global currency? on: July 23, 2017, 12:12:14 am
Certainly not to the extent the US dollar is. Save in a few marginal places such as North Korea, you'll find at most minor difficulty spending US currency. Bitcoin is a specialist medium of exchange with a built-in infrastructure limitation that will prevent it ever seeing widespread use. The blockchain that provides bitcoins their anonymity and decentralized nature can't handle even a mere million transactions per day. Even the modest yet controversial efforts to improve throughput won't make it capable of handling the billions of daily transactions that would be needed to make it a real global currency.

It's possible that a future digital currency could solve the problems Bitcoin inherently has, but I'm skeptical. Bitcoin makes some sense for its niche market, but a digital currency that solves the problems that prevent it ever seeing widespread use would cause it to lose its luster to the miners that make the Bitcoin network possible.
19  General Discussion / History / Re: Most Boring Part of U.S. History on: July 22, 2017, 11:34:49 pm
The Gilded Age of the 1880's. Reconstruction was over but the worst of the Jim Crow Era was in the next decade. The West was won. We weren't engaging in overseas interventions. Politics was boring for the most part. Obviously it wasn't completely boring, it never is, but it easily was the most boring era for the United States of America to date.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukrainian soldiers are sacrificing Donbass POW to pagan deities on: July 22, 2017, 09:22:08 pm

What Would Perun Do?
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If Trump self pardons will the Supreme Court rule aganist him? on: July 22, 2017, 09:02:53 pm
For the court to rule, the Pence administration would have to bring a case against him after Trump's impeachment conviction. (Trump won't resign.) Hard to imagine that happening and even if did, it would be years in the making and Trump is old enough that there is a good chance he'd die of old age first. So even if Trump gets to the point of being desperate enough to try pardoning himself, we're unlikely to have this point resolved.
22  General Discussion / History / Re: Moses, Hebrews leaving Egypt, etc. - backed up by other histories? on: July 22, 2017, 07:24:35 pm
Good grief, you could at least get the basic science you're mangling correct. Plants don't need oxygen, it's a waste product for them. Beyond that, while it's not at all surprising that stromatolites developed in shallow waters, and they are the earliest know fossil structures, there is evidence for life on our planet from before them.  More on point for your "theory" the cyanobacteria that create stromatolites aren't plants.  Land plants don't even show up in the fossil record until the middle of the Ordovician while animals first appear in the record during the Cryogenian, some 200 million years earlier.

If you're going to insist that the sequence in Genesis 1 is intended as an actual description rather than poetic license, then you're basically left with asserting YEC, rather than evolution of even the theistic variety. The sequence just simply doesn't work unless one assumes literal days.
23  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Can a president pardon himself? on: July 22, 2017, 02:52:33 pm
Moreover, doing so wouldn't shield a President from impeachment and given the uncertainty of whether a President can pardon himself (tho I think he can't), it's definitely better for a President (or Governor) to get his successor to pardon him and thus spare himself the expensive legal wrangling that would inevitably follow a self-pardon.
24  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Since a POTUS could technically serve for 10 years... on: July 22, 2017, 01:32:52 pm
It certainly does show again the considerable difference in constitutional interpretation we have. You favor what I consider to be an overly literal interpretation, which if applied consistently would lead to absurdities such as the Air Force being unconstitutional. Whereas, where the intent is clear, I see no reason to consider farcical loopholes caused by overliteral interpretation as being valid. The only thing I would consider to be disputable here is whether the two-year limit is applicable to only individual terms or to service as a Presidential successor combined as intent is not obvious. Since it is practically impossible that anyone will ever succeed to the office on two separate occasions (as what happened with Ford makes clear) this debate, unlike some others, is purely theoretical in my opinion.
25  General Discussion / History / Re: More historical date on: July 22, 2017, 01:08:30 pm
I can understand why Americans would say their revolution, but really, the more important one was the French. It's not even a contest.

Modern democratic politics itself is a legacy of the French Revolution.
To say that modern democratic politics is a legacy of the French Revolution is not just an overstatement, but it is flat out wrong. At best, one can say that it served as a catalyst that caused a number of trends in European politics to proceed explosively but those trends had been evident well before the Revolution and considering the counterrevolutionary trends that happened in reaction, in the long term, it's doubtful the French Revolution had any long term impact save one, the Code Napoléon, and that more because it became the primary example of codified civil law rather than it being the inspiration for it.

Please read a book about modern European history before making these posts.

Actually, I'm in the middle of re-reading a history of the Holy Roman Empire, Heart of Europe,  right now. While the Enlightenment which precipitated the French Revolution had a major impact on the development of European politics, to ascribe those developments to the French Revolution itself is to mistake the symptom for the cause.
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