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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: September 04, 2015, 07:27:51 am
Maybe I missed it, but I don't see any mention in this thread as to how Merkel and Germany have been taking the lead in welcoming refugees, and (after some hemming and hawing) being willing to frame it as the moral issue that it is.

I've had harsh words for Merkel and Germany in the past, so I just want to go on record saying that credit where it's due, and I take back many of those harsh words.  They're doing the right thing and more of Europe should follow their lead.  (And so should America!  Though we are an ocean away; the refugees we most need to take in are Central American instead.)

As for the tenor of this current flamewar: yes, we can couch things in questions of political feasibility, but as is so often the case it is hard for me to look past what just is "the moral unacceptability of the NIMBY-aspect".  That is all.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the Beer thread on: September 04, 2015, 07:03:46 am


You say that like it's a problem.

Badger: the problem with the Sriracha stout isn't that it's literally the worst beer, but that Rogue is an insanely annoying brewery that's all faux-revolutionary gimmickry and not really any sort of quality.  Basically the brewing equivalent of a Che t-shirt.  This just happens to be their latest and most grating gimmick.

I had the misfortune of trying one of their donut beers last year and it really was undrinkably bad.  Maybe that would have been a better example.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the Beer thread on: September 01, 2015, 10:08:02 pm
Best:



Worst:

4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The CrabCake Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: September 01, 2015, 06:19:03 pm
Context:

Three inches long and 1/8 inch wide?  Got it.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 27, 2015, 10:52:51 pm
And here is a version which will get a better Muon2 score, moving VA-08 into close to safe Dem territory at about a 4.5% Dem PVI (using 2012 numbers), and VA-10 from fairly safe Pub to quite safe Pub (3.5% Pub PVI to around 5% Pub PVI).  So this “good government” map locks in the delegation at 7 Pubs to 5 Dems. Thus the Pub gerrymander nets it one seat, while moving VA-10 into a slightly more marginal status as the cost of doing so. By 2020 if trends hold, it may be necessary for the Pubs to draw the map this way anyway, to keep its hold on VA-10. In that event, a Pub gerrymander would turn into a dummymander.



This last map certainly seems like the best option of those three, and gets the "pleasing non-elongated shapes" metric down well.  It's not bad.  Couple small GooGoo tweaks I wonder about:

a) giving the Eastern Shore to VA-2 instead, since it only has road connections to VA Beach, and/or
b) splitting 6 and 10 such that they don't cross the Shenandoahs.  

The first tweak would be pretty neutral or maybe even help the Pubs by putting VA-2 further out of reach (I assume 1 and 3 would shift south, with 1 taking Williamsburg and 3 taking more of VA Beach/Chesapeake); the second would make an additional competitive district (the Loudon/Charlottesville one of course).
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you rather discuss music with BRTD or discuss sex and gender with Antonio? on: August 26, 2015, 05:56:44 pm
I'm more likely to join in conversations with BRTD about music, but only because those "conversations" consist of easy, low-effort potshots against someone with hilariously awful taste.  The fact that he's arrogant about said taste only makes it "better".  

I'm not super interested in having sex/gender conversations on the Internet right now, and I respect that some of y'all find Antonio's affect off-putting, but his instincts are generally in the right place, so as far as serious conversations go that would easily be my vote.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Who do you think will win the Vienna state election ? on: August 26, 2015, 12:42:48 pm
Besides, it's deeply disturbing that you advocate naturalizing foreigners only for the purpose of winning elections for center-left parties. If they have to rely solely on this to win, they are politically bankrupt because it shows that they have no solutions to actual problems...

That's not the only reason I support it. I also think taking in more immigrants is morally right as well as beneficial both economically and culturally. In short, there are only advantages. The electoral marginalization of racists is only a welcome side-effect. Wink


Why should it be morally right to crowd out a people in their own homeland?

The idea that people are being "crowded out of their homeland" is nonsense on so many levels. 
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The topless parade. Pride or Shame? on: August 26, 2015, 12:39:04 pm
Men and women should both be allowed to be topless in public (normal, not a prude).

Obviously this.  Especially now, when the prude in Gracie Mansion is using OMG BREASTS!! as a pretext to take street space away from people.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: August 22, 2015, 03:43:59 pm
Seriously though, can Bloomberg run? If not, give us Diana Taylor.

My ideal candidate would be someone like Antonio Reynoso or Brad Lander (who is superficially similar to DeBlasio but is plainly orders of magnitude better and more genuine on transit/infra issues).
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: August 22, 2015, 03:33:14 pm

Eh, maybe "protected speech" wasn't the exact right phrase, but it is most certainly legal:

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/yes-ladies-you-can-walk-around-the-city-topless-6710067

Diaz's bill is at least not discriminatory, but it is unnecessary and useless prudery for the sake of prudery.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC General Discussion - You Hear That Giant Sucking Sound? on: August 22, 2015, 03:16:52 pm
Here's some required reading on this mess.

Toplessness is protected speech, there's no good reason to suppress it.  Also it's sexist as f**k that they're going after the desnudas but not the Naked Cowboy.

Also, (as you surely expected me to say) this is truly awful of DeBlasio.  At best he's a spineless panderer, at worst he is genuinely reactionary.  Given that he is so invested in going to the mat for his daily SUV-chauffeur-to-the-gym routine, and that Bratton has gone on record as wanting to "tear it out", I fear the worst.

Bloomberg nostalgia level rising.  The man, for all his reputation, and not to say that he was without his faults, was genuinely more progressive and perceptive than de Blasio on the issues that really matter.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Donald Trump (R) vs. Michael Bloomberg (D) vs. Mark Zuckerberg (I) on: August 22, 2015, 12:17:09 pm
Trump might be the most liberal of these 3 right-wingers.
I tend to think Bloomberg is a bit more liberal than Trump.


but muh guns and big gulps
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Snowstalker and Boss Tweed Memorial Courthouse of Personal Worsts on: August 21, 2015, 11:20:46 pm
A couple of my early posts expressed admiration for how "so liberal!" Richard Nixon was because he signed the EPA and went to China.  The worst part is that I was thinking this sort of thing well into my twenties.

Like PJ, too lazy to actually look it up specifically.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel to Refugees: Go Back to Africa or Go to Prison on: August 20, 2015, 03:35:53 pm
Quote from: traininthedistance link=topic=217767.msg4698192#msg4698192
You don't understand why someone would sympathize with those who are forced to be in the minority, with those who don't have the privilege of power and roots, with the downtrodden and spat-upon?  You don't understand how someone could learn those lessons from their history, how they could generalize from their own experience and apply their empathy to all peoples?
You don't seem to understand that I myself, as a Jew in a big European city (which is not the same as in America), am forced to be in the minority. Talk about "privilege"? What "privilege" do I have by not being able to walk through my own multicultural, poor neighborhood with a yarmulke, or with my necklace with a magen david, without the chance of being harassed by groups of teenage guys hanging around, without feeling self-conscious all the time? That I don't notice people's strange, often hostile looks when I do wear my necklace or my kippa outside my neighborhood? And I'm quite a tough, strong guy, while many in my community aren't. Not complaining about this, just pointing out some basic facts.

Obviously I understand the urge many Jews have to show solidarity with other people who are (deemed) oppressed. And I'll stand by other oppressed people, provided that they don't hate me for who I am. But I get the impression some people think everything is A-OK with Jews now, and we can "move on to other oppressed groups" or something like that. That's not the case. Israel is continuously under attack: Hamas' anti-Semitism is not something that could have targeted any nation, it's a typical anti-Jewish thing, just the same as when the nazis wanted to wipe us out. Meanwhile, the situation in Europe is becoming insufferable for many Jews - just look at the aliyah rates from France.

I don't understand how a Jew could forget that the Shoa was not about discriminating some random minority, it was actually about discriminating Jews. That the pogroms and the ghettos weren't just policies against some random minority, it was actually about discriminating and killing Jews. We need to stand together, because the anti-Semitic poison hasn't magically gone away, it still exists and it's becoming worse and worse. However, nowadays, for many "cosmopolitan" Jews who lack any understanding of (and pride in) the precious heritage of their people, when it comes to making priorities, other Jews come last. And that's what I don't get. I totally understand if people think that there should be a two-state solution in the interest of Israel and blah blah blah, even if I totally disagree with it. But I don't understand if people simply don't care about Jewish pain, about Jewish lives, about Jewish rights, or actively try to deny their fellow Jews basic rights.

The awful level of anti-Semitism in Europe (and that, similarly, gets smuggled in under cover of other concerns in some corners of the left) is precisely what I was thinking about when I said that ag is missing some important details.  I completely respect how your experience there could lead to the sorts of views you have.  Of course, just because a group is oppressed in some arenas doesn't mean they can't also be the oppressor in others.  The world is a large and complicated place.  

I guess I should probably confess that I'm not actually Jewish.  I merely share my life with someone who is.  And, in the unlikely case I ever have children, they will be. Smiley
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Donald Trump (R) vs. Michael Bloomberg (D) vs. Mark Zuckerberg (I) on: August 20, 2015, 02:57:48 pm
I get the ironic love for Trump, and I'm laughing at his effect on the Republican primary just as much as the rest of y'all but c'mon, he's basically our equivalent of the National Front.

Bloomberg is the obviously correct choice here.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel to Refugees: Go Back to Africa or Go to Prison on: August 20, 2015, 02:50:46 pm
 "race traitor"
Please show me where I used these words. Tip: I didn't. Jews are not a "race". Only nazis think Jews are a race.

Sorry, "self-hatred", I misremembered.  Your correction is well-taken.  The basic point stands.

Ag takes the ideal of cosmopolitanism to its logical conclusion.  You don't need to agree (obviously I'm far far more sympathetic than you, but I'm not sure I would, either) but surely you can step outside of your own biases and understand why and how he believes what he does?
I understand MalaspinaGold's worldview, even though we don't agree on almost everything, but ag's worldview... nope, I don't understand that. I also don't feel the urge to try.

You don't understand why someone would sympathize with those who are forced to be in the minority, with those who don't have the privilege of power and roots, with the downtrodden and spat-upon?  You don't understand how someone could learn those lessons from their history, how they could generalize from their own experience and apply their empathy to all peoples?

Again, I wouldn't actually say I agree with ag.  There are some important details he misses.  But I do respect his stance on Kohlbergian grounds, and think that all reflective people should at least be willing to take it seriously.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel to Refugees: Go Back to Africa or Go to Prison on: August 20, 2015, 02:19:59 pm
You are literally crazy, your worldview is literally crazy, and I'm not going to take the effort to reply to your hogwash once again. I'm going to put you on ignore because your baseless accusations go too far, and I'm sure you will not regret that I'll be doing so. Goodbye.

I'm not sure that someone who thinks supporting the Iran deal (which, by all objective accounting, will improve the safety of everyone in the Middle East, Israel included) makes you a "race traitor" has any room to talk about "literally crazy" worldviews.

Ag takes the ideal of cosmopolitanism to its logical conclusion.  You don't need to agree (obviously I'm far far more sympathetic than you, but I'm not sure I would, either) but surely you can step outside of your own biases and understand why and how he believes what he does?
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Why are white voters so Republican? on: August 20, 2015, 01:48:58 pm
This topic makes me realize I live in a very nice place. Smiley

18+ 2010 Census
White 6729
Black 1913
Hispanic 1930
Asian 473
Native 201
Other 321

2010 election results
Obama 5658
McCain 524
Other 168

I wouldn't like to live anywhere that white.

Only about 58-59% white. Too much for you??? Well, that's smells of racism)))

Yes. I'm certain I've never lived anywhere nearly that white.

College Park MD was 63% White in the last census.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The Onion has a new clickbait site, and of course it's genius on: August 17, 2015, 07:31:58 pm
Sorry for the necro, but it was necessary:

20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you want me banned from this FORUM ? on: August 17, 2015, 05:05:01 pm
Hopefully he can bring in more Blacksicans (or Blaxicans) to his rallies there.

http://www.ktvn.com/story/29792439/bernie-sanders-coming-to-las-vegas-reno-tuesday

This post is disgusting.

I'm voting yes.

What's your problem with this post ? Sanders' coalition needs to become more diverse in the next months so that he can beat Clinton. I don't get your bitching and whining ... I only used Blacksicans as a term to combine the 2 groups he needs to attract most in the next months.
We get you were trying to be clever with putting words together...but sometimes it can backfire.  And it did...because it's a sensitive subject in American race relations.

Eh, excusing it as an "American thing" sweeps under the rug all the ridiculous racism that Europe is able to get away with for some goddamn reason.  (C.f. Zwarte Piet– which is actual honest-to-goodness blackface, with all the tics and tropes that implies, and is also a "cherished cultural tradition" or whatever).
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who do you have a more positive opinion of? on: August 17, 2015, 05:00:30 pm
Vaughan Williams is far from my favorite composer (he's one of the better ones to come out of England, but that's largely because the competition is pretty limp on the British Isles), but I'll still take him over any car company exec any damn day.
22  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Recent bans on: August 15, 2015, 12:26:57 pm
Man telling when even Antonio, the biggest pro-mod hack there is now is calling for this not to be a permaban.

Kal's a far bigger pro-mod hack at this point IMO.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The Big City Areas vs The Rest of the State: Pennsylvania on: August 14, 2015, 03:24:46 pm
Damn, I missed this.  Well, I would have voted for Philly, BEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY.  Yes, even after HitchBot.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Next Dutch Election, pick your poison! on: August 14, 2015, 03:22:52 pm
Eh, I'd be a D66-GreenLeft swing voter.  I'm sure you're all shocked.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: most jewish congressional district outside of New York on: August 13, 2015, 03:41:33 pm
I'm a little surprised that NJ-5 and NJ-11 are more Jewish than NJ-9.  I guess NJ-9 is just too heavily minority, so even if the white population is more Jewish (and I have no doubt it is, there are large Orthodox communities in Passaic and Teaneck, and substantial mainstream Jewish presence elsewhere), that's not enough.

Apparently my district (NY-9) has the most Jewish white non-Hispanic population in the country, roughly 65%, even beating out Nadler's NY-10.  Which isn't surprising, since most of the area is either heavily-Black or heavily-Orthodox.
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