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September 16, 2014, 08:31:04 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Perhaps the most out-of-touch video ever on: September 15, 2014, 11:29:10 pm
My personal version of this phenomenon...

One of my accounting professors this year was the CFO of a small publicly traded company. I looked up her compensation and she made about $500k in 2013. 2013 was an unusually good year, but she never made less than $300k for all the years she was CFO. This person could not comprehend paying cash for her car.

It goes to show that fiscal competence and high income are only somewhat correlated.

what about fiscal competence and being an accounting professor? Tongue

My dad is a physician who constantly berates his patients about the health decisions they make, all the while being someone who never exercises and is considerably overweight. People can compartmentalize their knowledge and let their emotions interfere when it comes to applying it to their personal circumstances.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / ISIS takes a page from the American Right, goes after school curriculum on: September 15, 2014, 08:14:29 pm
While an actual war continues to rage in Iraq and Syria, a culture war is going on in the countries' school classrooms as ISIS begins revising textbooks and curriculum standards for schools in areas under its control.

Some of their changes would sound all too familiar to Americans. The teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution has been formally banned. Social studies standards have scrubbed references to secularism and Arab nationalism - deemed akin to polytheism - in favor of a traditionalist, Islam-based approach.

Meanwhile, gender segregation has been taken further; rather than simply mandate single-sex classes, new rules require that female teachers only teach female students and male teachers only teach male students.

Quote
The education statement put out by the militants in Mosul ends with a chilling reminder of its willingness to use brutal force. "This announcement is binding," it concludes. "Anyone who acts against it will face punishment."
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is Andrew Cuomo to the right of the average New York voter? on: September 14, 2014, 04:09:17 pm
He is to the right of the average New York City voter.
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: LA Gubernatorial Election, 1991: Roemer makes the runoff instead of Duke on: September 14, 2014, 03:47:18 pm
Edwards. I like Roemer and think he meant well, but he pretty much upset everyone during his term as Governor.

He pretty much upset everyone because he didn't abide by the Louisiana Way of palm-greasing and briefcases full of money.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 538: Important Distinction between "STEM" and "TEM" in Salary on: September 14, 2014, 01:49:00 pm
You have to be admitted to the college of engineering at a lot of schools. You can't just be admitted and then decide you want to be an engineering major. And there is the risk of failing out and being forced into a less rigorous major and graduating with a lower GPA as a result.

I think the "special snowflake" complex has become so endemic that a lot of people just cannot tolerate being in a major where it's a given that they will mostly get Cs and Bs and will probably fail a few classes and have to retake them. Those are the people who'd rather major in psychology and graduate magna cum laude.

Yeah.... but it really could depend on other things than just GPA. For example, my Computer Science GPA is only like .2 of a point lower than my Political Science GPA. I would tell people not worry about getting C's or God forbid getting a couple of D's and having to remediate over the summer or having a "victory lap".

Engineering is a different ballgame in that regard though. I don't know of any other majors where you can graduate with a sub-3.0 GPA and still probably be graduating with a job offer already lined up.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: NC: 1984 Senatorial General Election Result on: September 14, 2014, 01:33:33 pm
Jesse Helms is a reminder that in politics, you can be a divisive a-hole/HP as long as you're only one up to the point where you can still get just over 50% of the vote.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Were there any big cities in the South pre-1860? on: September 14, 2014, 09:22:23 am
New Orleans was the closest thing to a "Northern" city in the sense that it was (for the era) decently sized and had a considerable number of immigrants coming and going. And that was because it is a port city. Notice that Charleston and Mobile, also ports, are high up on the list.

Urban growth requires a commerce and industry based economy, and the South's agrarian economy had little need for cities bigger than what most of them were. There was also the weather factor.

I wouldn't have bothered adding Dallas to that list, not only because of how laughably small it was but because it really wasn't a Southern city at that time. They were still frontier folk defending themselves from Indian raids up in that part of Texas at the time.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / How will the governor/Senate ticket-splitting occur in Kansas? on: September 14, 2014, 12:50:45 am
What kind of voters will vote...

Brownback/Roberts
Brownback/Orman
Davis/Roberts
Davis/Orman

...?
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVII: I Ate The Strawberry (The REAL, AUTHENTIC Update) on: September 14, 2014, 12:07:02 am
There's been a schism of the Update.

Will Eraserhead maintain control, or will Bushie's Avignon Papacy stubbornly persist?
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Palin family (including Sarah) involved in drunken brawl. on: September 13, 2014, 10:59:30 pm
Anyone who voted for this woman to be vice president of the United States needs to abstain from any election that takes place for the rest of their life.

And the same for those of us who voted for John Edwards for the same office, am I right?

Keeping a mistress is par for the course for men in positions of authority and has been since the beginning of time. Even having an illegitimate child is, as Strom Thurmond would attest.

But public drunken shouting matches and brawls at lower-class sporting events? Yes, that most certainly is beneath the dignity of the office of vice president.

John Edwards did a little more than just keeping a mistress.

Tell that to the jury that found him not guilty.
So how is Palin any less qualified than him? She hasn't even done anything worth pressing charges over.

Everything about her screams lower-class mediocrity. The spotty college record, the pregnant teenage kids, the highlighted hair, and now this incident. People like that have no business representing this country at its highest levels.
Is that worse than a man who cheats on his dying wife? Yes or no?

On a personal level, no. In terms of how it negatively affects the dignity and gravitas of a public office, yes, a public, drunken brawl is more of a national embarrassment than someone carrying on a private liaison.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Palin family (including Sarah) involved in drunken brawl. on: September 13, 2014, 10:41:46 pm
Anyone who voted for this woman to be vice president of the United States needs to abstain from any election that takes place for the rest of their life.

And the same for those of us who voted for John Edwards for the same office, am I right?

Keeping a mistress is par for the course for men in positions of authority and has been since the beginning of time. Even having an illegitimate child is, as Strom Thurmond would attest.

But public drunken shouting matches and brawls at lower-class sporting events? Yes, that most certainly is beneath the dignity of the office of vice president.

John Edwards did a little more than just keeping a mistress.

Tell that to the jury that found him not guilty.
So how is Palin any less qualified than him? She hasn't even done anything worth pressing charges over.

Everything about her screams lower-class mediocrity. The spotty college record, the pregnant teenage kids, the highlighted hair, and now this incident. People like that have no business representing this country at its highest levels.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 538: Important Distinction between "STEM" and "TEM" in Salary on: September 13, 2014, 10:40:14 pm
My 10th grade physics teacher had a PhD in physics from Rutgers.

He was an extremely difficult person and my impression was that he may have gotten screwed out of teaching positions because no one liked him. It was fine for him though because his wife is a patent lawyer so she makes all the money and he gets the low-stress job of teaching physics at a small, private high school.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Palin family (including Sarah) involved in drunken brawl. on: September 13, 2014, 09:10:23 pm
Anyone who voted for this woman to be vice president of the United States needs to abstain from any election that takes place for the rest of their life.

And the same for those of us who voted for John Edwards for the same office, am I right?

Keeping a mistress is par for the course for men in positions of authority and has been since the beginning of time. Even having an illegitimate child is, as Strom Thurmond would attest.

But public drunken shouting matches and brawls at lower-class sporting events? Yes, that most certainly is beneath the dignity of the office of vice president.

John Edwards did a little more than just keeping a mistress.

Tell that to the jury that found him not guilty.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 538: Important Distinction between "STEM" and "TEM" in Salary on: September 13, 2014, 09:09:21 pm
You have to be admitted to the college of engineering at a lot of schools. You can't just be admitted and then decide you want to be an engineering major. And there is the risk of failing out and being forced into a less rigorous major and graduating with a lower GPA as a result.

I think the "special snowflake" complex has become so endemic that a lot of people just cannot tolerate being in a major where it's a given that they will mostly get Cs and Bs and will probably fail a few classes and have to retake them. Those are the people who'd rather major in psychology and graduate magna cum laude.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: September 13, 2014, 09:00:09 pm
Turkey refuses to host U.S. anti-ISIS forces
Quote
Turkey will refuse to allow a U.S.-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told AFP Thursday.

“Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

<snip>

Turkey now sees itself a victim of ISIS with Islamist militants holding 49 Turks hostage, including diplomats and children, abducted from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq on June 11.

Ankara is therefore reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against ISIS militants in apparent fear of aggravating the hostage situation.

“Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” the official told AFP.

<snip>
Also, a recent survey conducted by Metropoll found that only 62.5% of AKP supporters consider Isis a terrorist organization.

Damn them. Everyone knows good and well this isn't really about about the hostages. I mean c'mon what do they take us for? And they won't even let us use our base in Airbase in Incirlik to conduct operations. Ingrates.


We should get with Britain/France/et al and threaten to expel Turkey from NATO unless they cooperate with us on this.

They can either be a Western country or they can be a neo-Ottoman Islamist-appeasing pseudo-empire. They need to choose one or the other.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: September 13, 2014, 08:13:40 pm
I'll just chime in and point out that the number of Western hostages the Syrian government has beheaded is still zero.

Those of you who still want another "regime change" are welcome to give one good reason why we should enable the Islamists to seize the other half of Syria.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Palin family (including Sarah) involved in drunken brawl. on: September 13, 2014, 08:08:44 pm
Anyone who voted for this woman to be vice president of the United States needs to abstain from any election that takes place for the rest of their life.

And the same for those of us who voted for John Edwards for the same office, am I right?

Keeping a mistress is par for the course for men in positions of authority and has been since the beginning of time. Even having an illegitimate child is, as Strom Thurmond would attest.

But public drunken shouting matches and brawls at lower-class sporting events? Yes, that most certainly is beneath the dignity of the office of vice president.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Perhaps the most out-of-touch video ever on: September 13, 2014, 03:38:59 pm
There is an interesting psychology that happens with people as they progress in their careers and make more money.  Many people continually re-frame things in their head, they convince themselves that they are worth the money they are getting paid. This often moves in short order into them thinking that they are even underpaid for their awesome work. On a parallel track non-essential luxury things which were once out of their realm and reach in their former lives, now become must haves. Because God forbid you dont have the latest car, fanciest modern kitchen, send your kids to the right schools, vacation at tony places etc etc

The sad truth is that the hamster wheel of consumption does not slow down as income grows.

Particularly as you get into higher-paying jobs which are scarcer, less replicable and require more luck/connections/je ne sais quoi to obtain, the opportunity cost for opting out of a lot of the stuff on that list becomes higher.

You can say, "Well, country club dues are a luxury; the Evil Bourgeoisie should shut up and play at the public course." Well, everyone else they work with at their company and in their line of work are members at that exclusive club. So when you're interviewing for an executive position or trying to raise money for a business, are those guys going to give the job/capital to you, or to the guy they know a lot better because they see him every weekend on the links?

You can say, "Shut up and buy a cheaper house in a more proletarian neighborhood." Again, all that will do is put their children at a disadvantage by forcing them into a less affluent public school or putting them farther away and more removed from their private school. And you won't know the people you work with and do business with as well because you won't be in the same neighborhood as they are.

You can say, "Buy cheaper clothes and drive an Accord instead of a Mercedes," but rich people are no less subject to peer pressure and shallow judgment than poor people are.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: September 13, 2014, 12:26:23 am
I saw John Adams take a selfie earlier tonight.

The ghost of the former president, or the composer of Nixon In China?
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Ted Cruz booed off stage at Middle Eastern Christian conference on: September 12, 2014, 09:46:07 pm
The Democrats have  an ex-president that wrote Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, the GOP do not.

Ron Paul called Gaza a concentration camp IIRC.  And Jimmy Carter isn't influencing US policy.  Even progressives like Warren and Sanders are pro-Israel.

What does being pro-Israel even mean at this point? Can you oppose West Bank settlements and be pro-Israel? Can you support Palestinian statehood and be pro-Israel? Are you required to adhere to the Yisrael Beitenu party line in order to be pro-Israel?
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Can Jason Carter win the Georgia governorship in November 2014? on: September 12, 2014, 10:46:55 am
The Republican-managed Secretary of State's office has for years been perfectly complicit and has allowed that all 159 counties are allowed to set their own early voting locations and times in addition to what is minimally-required

See, in Texas, our Republicans are at least shrewd enough to throw local control under the bus when it conflicts with their ideological or political goals.

Regardless, it still strikes me as almost against the concept of equal protection under the law to say people who live in County X will have more opportunities to vote in a given election than people who live in County Y.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP: Obama to deepen America's military role in Mideast on: September 12, 2014, 10:08:27 am
But in Syria I don't think there is really anything to do, it's too much of a mess, and most of the "moderates" rebels are also islamists who just happen to be a bit less crazy than ISIS. It makes me cringe to hear that the "moderates" rebels will be trained in Saudi Arabia, because when they mean moderates, they actually mean that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Front_(Syria)

If people like Ted Cruz actually cared about Mideast Christians, as he claimed the other night, he'd be opposing Obama's decision to enable the non-ISIS Islamists in Syria.

The reality is that Bashar Assad is the only Muslim ruler in the Middle East who has demonstrated a commitment to protecting the rights of religious minorities - for Christians and for Alawites. If you support the "moderate" rebels there, you're giving guns and weapons to people who will eventually use them against anyone who isn't Sunni, or to force people at gunpoint to adhere to their version of Shariah. There is no such thing as a "moderate" Islamist.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz finding new ways to win friends and influence people on: September 12, 2014, 09:59:15 am
I'm aware of the history of the Lebanese Civil War (as my previous post implied). But saying Israel never did anything for Lebanese Christians besides invade their country is like saying America never did anything for Iraqi Shi'ites besides invade their country.

We didn't invade Iraq out of moral outrage at the marginalization of Shia Muslims. Israel didn't invade Lebanon out of concern for the Christian community.

But nevertheless, in both cases Israel and the United States deliberately acted to increase the political power of the Christian and the Shi'ite communities in those two countries, respectively. So it would not be an accurate statement to say that Israel never did anything for Lebanese Christians. You could say that Israel was wrong to back the Phalangists, or that they shouldn't have involved themselves at all, but you can't say they didn't do anything for them.

The fact that they were seen as "collaborating" with Israel sparked a backlash and their leader, Bashir Gemayel, ended up getting assassinated. The Maronite Catholics' political power in Lebanon has been on a steady decline ever since. So, no, on the whole it really wasn't much help.

Israel went into Lebanon to attack the PLO, which the Phalangists also happened not to like. That doesn't make Israel an "ally" of Lebanese Christians or any other Arabic-speaking Christian group. We don't regard Hitler and Nazi Germany as an ally just because they sought to destroy the Soviet Union at one point.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who was President when your parents were born? on: September 12, 2014, 01:30:25 am

His Majesty, George VI, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith

The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, Elect of God.

Who wore it better? George or Haile?
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: September 12, 2014, 01:28:58 am
Y'know, LeBron, most dudes would be excited to be surrounded by chicks and have so little competition in any club they joined.

Generally lesbians are not interested in having sex with gay men though. Actually from my experience having many gay male friends, they usually hate lesbians and vice versa.

I've always found it odd that while gay men and straight women can be such compatible friends, you never see gay female-straight male friendships. If anything, your "typical" gay man often feels perfectly at ease around the opposite sex and may prefer the company of women to the company of men (in a non-sexual context), while lesbians often seem to avoid men in general at all costs.
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