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May 24, 2015, 08:49:04 pm
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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Mathematician John Nash and his wife killed in a car accident. on: Today at 03:58:28 pm
It feels really bizarre when some that age dies of non-natural causes. RIP.

Probably better than a slow decline into Alzheimer's or cancer.

RIP
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: SE Houston area (question for IndyTX) on: Today at 12:19:13 pm
To add to jimrtex, I'd point out the low voter turnout of the more working-class Hispanics who live in places like Pasadena.

Galveston used to be the closest thing Texas had to a "labor Democrat" stronghold because there were so many longshoremen; the advent of container shipping and the shifting of cargo away from Galveston to the Port of Houston ended that era. So today their economy depends more on the University of Texas medical school and the various hotels, restaurants and bars that make up their tourism industry. Hurricane Rita in the mid-2000s was a big setback for them too. Basically they're a pretty stagnant place that is getting progressively smaller and older as time goes by - and more Republican. They still tend to provide some of the most plaintiff-friendly juries in Texas, though; I work for a plaintiffs' law firm and Galveston and Beaumont are by far our favorite places to try cases.

Does that have anything to do with what was going to trial locally.  For example, a local hospital with a history of surgeons operating drunk or some otherwise slam dunk negligence cases recurring at the loading docks?

No, it's because the population is almost monolithically working class and predisposed to identify with employees and workers rather than with management and the company in such cases. They probably know someone who got injured in some physically demanding job and know how devastating it can be, economically, emotionally, financially and physically. It doesn't matter if they're socially conservative or not, if they're Democratic or Republican, they're going to have more empathy for the plaintiffs in those cases.

When you request a jury pool and go through voire dire, the defense counsel is going to try to get as many white collar types on the jury as possible - people who are middle class or better, who went to college and who have never worked the sort of job where you have to wear safety equipment. They'd rather have a politically liberal doctor than a machine shop worker with McCain/Palin stickers on his truck. In someplace like Galveston or Beaumont, there aren't enough "defendant-friendly" people living there, so it's going to be hard to get enough of them on a jury.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Conservative excuse of "it's the liberals fault!" may soon not hold water on: Today at 11:25:40 am
Notice that they've shifted away from promising to stop the "Democrat congress" to faceless organizations like the EPA that are never going to go away and do not come and go with elections.

To be fair, the EPA is an executive agency, so it's not surprising they would shift to criticism of a branch controlled by the executive.


All partisans love to blame the other side; this is nothing new.

Yes, but the GOP disagrees with the very notion that the environment should be protected at all. Lest we forget that Christine Todd Whitman's big mid-2000s falling out with her party happened after they got mad at her for doing her job as EPA administrator rather than simply sitting on her hands and allowing oil companies and heavy industry to do as they pleased.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Maryland vs Virginia on: Today at 10:49:33 am
In honor of ModerateVA, I suppose. I don't think this one has been done recently.

As for me, I have many politic friends on the Maryland side of things, and I must say it is more up my alley. I have never been to Baltimore, although I have heard pleasant things. The Bay is beautiful. SOMD is full of uppity transplants from the northeast/Chicago/West Coast (including my friends that reside there) - my people.

NOVA has an older and more southern population - not my people. Alexandria is really nice, though. The Virginia coast is nice, but doesn't beat the Bay. And inland Virginia is Mississippi, so bad.

Maryland is more expensive than Virginia and somehow still manages to have worse roads and infrastructure. The whole area has an air of decay about it despite its residents paying more tax than their Virginia neighbors.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Palestinian national football team detained by Israel on: Today at 10:39:56 am
Mondoweiss is revolting, a hive of self-hating Jews just short of Norm Finkelstein. Even most Jewish leftists consider them to be a dangerous group.

But then, you knew this.

Why don't you respond to the actual topic instead of criticizing the source?

It deserves the same treatment as Rense or Stormfront, that's why.

This is why having any kind of discussion with you is pointless. You think any kind of criticism of Israel on any level is equivalent to wanting to eliminate Jews from existence.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: SE Houston area (question for IndyTX) on: Today at 10:36:20 am
The Vietnamese communities in the area are also fairly Republican.

Where in SE Houston are there Vietnamese? I thought they were mostly in Alief.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How can Marxism/Communism ever work in the US?I on: Today at 10:35:00 am
They will wait until income inequality reduces America to the England that Charles Dickens wrote about: a handful of fabulously wealthy individuals surrounded by a huddled mass. And then they will hold an election...

After that, it won't really matter what flavor of communism it is.

No. This is America. That means the street urchins selling flowers and newspapers outside a stately mansion would just say, "I don't want to raise taxes on the people living there. I'm going to live there eventually and then I'd just have to pay more taxes!"
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Conservative excuse of "it's the liberals fault!" may soon not hold water on: Today at 10:32:00 am
Notice that they've shifted away from promising to stop the "Democrat congress" to faceless organizations like the EPA that are never going to go away and do not come and go with elections.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which journalist would you nominate as a 'dick'. on: Today at 10:30:26 am
We're conflating commentators and journalists. Then again, so has society as a whole.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would You Rather Live In Japan or Italy on: May 23, 2015, 08:02:18 pm
Italy. Good food, beautiful scenery/people. My knowledge of Spanish would lend itself to picking up Italian.

Japan would be unaffordable, I'd be a total cultural alien and I don't want to live in the land of tentacle porn, dirty underwear vending machines and overworked salarymen.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Palestinian national football team detained by Israel on: May 23, 2015, 05:08:53 pm
Mondoweiss is revolting, a hive of self-hating Jews just short of Norm Finkelstein. Even most Jewish leftists consider them to be a dangerous group.

But then, you knew this.

Why don't you respond to the actual topic instead of criticizing the source?
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: KY: 2015 Gubernatorial Republican Primary Election Result on: May 23, 2015, 03:28:58 pm
So there is no run-off, I take it?
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Kirk ranked 6th most bipartisan senator on: May 23, 2015, 03:25:10 pm
He's still a shameless AIPAC shill.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Huckabee defends admitted child molester on: May 23, 2015, 02:29:54 pm
Believing in redemption is scandalous.  It has always been thus.

It's fine to believe in redemption, but Huckabee goes out of his way to defend these people solely because of their Christianity. I don't believe he would be talking about redemption if this were some random child molester.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with redemption.  Being a Christian means hoping that all might one day be redeemed.  When it comes to child sex crimes and premeditated murderers, however, the perpetrators will have to seek redemption in the next world.  Not because they are inherently irredeemable, but because of public safety.    

Redemption doesn't mean that you don't have to face legal penalties.  It means that you are not defined by what you did, that you are not forever judged for it as being unworthy of respect and incapable of goodness.  If you do not believe that people can change and learn and grow from what they did in their youth, then you do not believe in redemption.

But Josh Duggar didn't face legal penalties. This wasn't a "slip up" either - it was a consistent pattern of behavior over several years. He is not worthy of respect and never will be. He is disgusting. His family is disgusting. And Mike Huckabee is disgusting for being an apologist for such a twisted and sick family.
15  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Social Security let savers purchase additional pensions? on: May 23, 2015, 02:15:58 pm
You mean purchasing additional pensions from Social Security funds?  How would this work?  Sounds like it would just add to the burden on current/future workers since the price would likely not cover the outlay.

It would work like purchasing an annuity from the private sector now. Social Security would offer you a quote based on your age/gender expressed as $X/month per $100,000 paid in, for life. Social Security would take the money from your retirement plan and start sending you cheques once a month.

As I noted before, I'm not opposed to the idea in principle, but any actual plan would have to offer pretty bad rates for the program to work.

So what's the point? It sounds like a solution in search of a problem. The logic behind public pensions is that the taxes of the young pay for the benefits of the old. The logic behind private annuities is that the premiums of the not-yet-retired pay for the benefits of the retired.

I don't see how purchasing the equivalent of an annuity from the government would be any more or less complicated/confusing than just purchasing an annuity from a private issuer.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Should the U.S. join the Commonwealth of Nations? on: May 23, 2015, 02:08:18 pm
I think we would end up overshadowing the whole thing. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the non-Anglophone countries left because they didn't want to be in the "'Murica League" and formed an alternative organization that was basically Commonwealth Minus the US.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Would you ever buy a General Motors vehicle after the 10 year cover up? on: May 23, 2015, 02:03:35 pm
The only GM vehicles I would ever go near are their trucks and truck-based SUVs. My family swore by Chevy Suburbans when I was growing up. I wouldn't buy one new, though. I have very little respect left for them at this point.

If I want an American car, I will buy a Ford.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: SE Houston area (question for IndyTX) on: May 23, 2015, 01:53:23 pm
To add to jimrtex, I'd point out the low voter turnout of the more working-class Hispanics who live in places like Pasadena.

Galveston used to be the closest thing Texas had to a "labor Democrat" stronghold because there were so many longshoremen; the advent of container shipping and the shifting of cargo away from Galveston to the Port of Houston ended that era. So today their economy depends more on the University of Texas medical school and the various hotels, restaurants and bars that make up their tourism industry. Hurricane Rita in the mid-2000s was a big setback for them too. Basically they're a pretty stagnant place that is getting progressively smaller and older as time goes by - and more Republican. They still tend to provide some of the most plaintiff-friendly juries in Texas, though; I work for a plaintiffs' law firm and Galveston and Beaumont are by far our favorite places to try cases.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: When will the USA have the first millenial (Y) president? on: May 21, 2015, 04:54:39 pm
I love how everyone has a different definition for what a Millennial is.

My favorite and the one I hear the most is something like 1982-1998 births.

The idea that any span of births crossing the 80s and 90s could be a culturally coherent generation is bullsh[inks]. Consider, someone born in 1985 was 16 during 9/11, old enough to understand what it was. Someone born in 1995 was 6, and wouldn't become politically aware until well after the Iraq War; whereas the '85 kid might well have been deployed to Iraq. The 1995 kid wasn't old enough to care about Obama, while the '85 kid put her hopes and dreams on the big O. The '85 kid graduated college into a recession, and feels cheated. The '95 kid grew up in the "new normal" sh[inks] economy, and knows full well that his degree won't land him a job out of college.

Our experiences are completely different. Generation theory only works if the generations are like 4-8 years long. I think categorizing political generations by who was president when they graduated high school is a more interesting exercise. "Millennials" break down like this (using Strouss-Howe's age range iirc):

1980-82: Clinton Generation
1983-90: W. Bush Generation
1991-98: Obama Generation
1999-04: "Next" Generation

Not necessarily, a 13-year old in 2008 would certainly know about the 2008 campaign and his or her parents may have had an effect. Besides, elections are always big news regardless of age.

Atlas People, you don't get it. Think of a sport that doesn't interest you and that you don't follow. That is how most people feel about politics and elections. Other than Election Day and blurbs on the news that they may not even fully listen to, they don't pay attention or care. And I'm talking about the adults. There are 13 year olds who do not know who the candidates of the most recent presidential election were.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Saudi Arabia is going nuclear on: May 21, 2015, 04:28:57 pm
This will be very scary when the Gulf oil inevitably runs out.

Not really it's not the Pakistani technicians and operators will stay, when the money runs out. By the time the oil run out Saudi Arabia will just have a bunch of large radioactive paper weights.

No, I mean when the oil runs out, the Gulf Arab economies collapse, and Saudi Arabia falls apart.

2 things.

I got that it was that you meant, what I said was that without money the Saudi the weapons are useless, because I doubt they will any native born Saudi, knowing how to operate them or even maintain them. So these nuclear weapons will be useless.

The second thing, the Saudis will still be in a better position than the minor Gulf states, as they will still have the Pilgrims to Mecca and as we see the economic growth among the south east Asian Muslim majority states, there will be a lot of money coming from Malay and Indonesian pilgrims. It will not cover the loss of the oil, but it will a source of income something UAE, Bahrain etc. will lack.

Tourism is a poor means of economic growth - and that is what religious pilgrimages are. The Saudis cannot maintain their current standard of living renting hotel rooms and selling souvenirs.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Cruz: Why is the left obsessed with sex? on: May 20, 2015, 05:40:39 pm
Torie, why is your avatar red?
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Texas: Abbott signs law to restrict local fracking regulations on: May 20, 2015, 05:37:33 pm
Actually, no, but you're being intellectually dishonest in that the people on Denton aren't doing this because they are envious of those that own the land that fracking is occurring on, but because their town is being subjected to hundreds of earthquakes that are causing harm to those that aren't receiving any material benefit from said fracking. But thanks for playing.

I didn't say anything about envy nor did I imply envy. I said that the people without mineral rights are impairing the economic potential of the people who do have mineral rights. Denton is a perfect example because a fair chunk of the population (and anti-fracking signatures, I'm sure) is students who only live in Denton temporarily on a part-year basis. They definitely don't have mineral rights.

UNT is a commuter school. Most of those people do live in Denton or nearby.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: best and worst neighborhoods near airports on: May 20, 2015, 09:19:48 am
Dallas-Love (DAL) has some pretty nice suburban neighborhoods around it. There is an attorney the firm often works with who is based in Dallas but flies to Houston for the day at least once a week. He has reserved parking at the terminal which is only like 15 minutes from his house, uses his miles for priority boarding, never has any checked bags and it ends up being relatively easy according to him.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What would be your criteria for including candidates to the GOP debates? on: May 20, 2015, 12:29:32 am
Collecting a minimum number of signatures might be a good "alternate" method of qualifying.

And perhaps each debate could have one "wild card" spot on the stage where one of the candidates who otherwise didn't meet the qualifications is randomly selected to participate.
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AZ shuts down welfare benefits after 12 months...... on: May 19, 2015, 09:26:33 pm
MUH POOR arguments aside, what are the stipulations besides length for termination?

You mean what can cause a person to lose their benefits besides receiving them for the maximum length? Basically any time that someone stops meeting the eligibility criteria (an increase in household income, moving to another state, etc).

... Then what's the issue?

What do you propose someone do if they find themselves spending more than twelve months over the course of their life in a minimum wage job that doesn't allow them to afford food or housing or healthcare?
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