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Renegade

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Everything posted by Renegade

  1. That is my hope. So far, Bill Weld is the only Republican challenger. That can't last.
  2. Laripu, I'm very sorry to see you go. I respect your decision, but I hope you'll reconsider. I've been coming to this board for at least 12 years now, and have far more than the 425 posts credited to me. I'm not going to throw in the towel just because someone is trolling. So long as there are good people here to talk to (one less now), I'll keep coming back. When it gets too hard to find a good discussion, I'll leave LO just like I left NHB. That's an interesting question. First, I'd say it's wrong to assign all of humanity to be either liberal or conservative. A person can be 'not liberal' without being 'conservative'. Both liberals and conservatives should be able to expel the most ridiculous misuses of their name. Consider the racists who call themselves 'conservative'. Should other conservatives not cast them out? What does it say about them if they make no effort? I think we need to ensure that our own fringe is trimmed. We're known by the company we keep and the membership we allow. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Sometimes, they're just as bad in different ways. I get it. It's not your site. You don't make the rules. It is interesting and illuminating to see how the site owner chooses to draw the rules...who is acceptable and who is not. By those choices, the forum is made (or unmade), one member at a time. The forum is not a better place today. If this forum has no rule against hate and violence, then perhaps we need a new rule? Surely the forum's rules are no more difficult to change than the Constitution? What do we need? A petition? A poll thread?
  3. +1. Me and all my family also live in 'red' states. I've been torn about how I want to react to this person. Normally, I believe in engagement and mutual respect. But, in this case, logic, facts and compassion just inspire more disgusting behavior. He feeds on anger and outrage. It's what he comes here for. Part of me says "evil must be opposed". But, after some contemplation, I think the best approach is...
  4. Renegade

    Hillary Clinton was right

    I think the general point of the article is sound in that the forces that brought us President Trump won't disappear when he's gone. The 'deplorables', as Hillary called them, will still be with us. It makes me sad that so much more effort goes into castigating these people and so little into trying to understand why they are who they are. It's far too simplistic to say it's in their genes or they were taught by their parents. If either of those were the main cause, you wouldn't see such clear geographical divisions we have today. The folks in the big cities have the same genes. In many cases, they (or their parents) migrated from less populous areas. Instead, I 'd like to see more consideration of social and economic differences between urban and non-urban environments. I don't think this is unique to the USA, either. Consider France's Gilets Jaunes movement which is mostly found within the same sort of 'flyover country' that supports Donald Trump. More generally, around the world we're seeing more far-right, anti-foreigner, nationalist, protectionist, nativist parties gain support and influence (AFD in Germany, France also has the RN, FvD in Netherlands, UKIP in UK, etc.). If these angry, poor, and disadvantaged people were primarily found in large cities, would they be treated differently? Do we call the angry, poor, and disadvantaged people of Chicago's south side 'deplorables'? In my generation, it was the small towns that were drying up. I moved out, but my brother stayed in our hometown (population less than 2,000) where incomes crashed during our lifetime. There, Donald Trump is king (he won 75% of the vote). My brother had the same parents, the same raising, the same genes...but his outlook is shaped by his experience with a dying town. I know he's not 'deplorable' and he's definitely not racist. But, there was no possible scenario where he votes for Hillary. Today, even the mid-sized cities are losing ground while economic opportunity is concentrated in the biggest cities. I live on the outskirts of a city with about 600,000 residents...and it's too small to compete. My kids either moved away to find good jobs, or they stayed here with lower incomes. As long as this trend continues, there will be more recruits for the 'deplorable' army. Ridicule and insults won't change how they vote, but it might drive up their participation rates. If there's a way for Democrats to address non-urban issues, they need to do that. If there's not a way, they need to ignore flyover country and just take care of the big-city base.
  5. Renegade

    Know Your Enemy: The Gun Nuts

    Not all "gun nuts" support Trump. There are quite a few of us who voted against him.
  6. Great songs. TheOldBarn is no troll or bot.
  7. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    This part is absolutely true. But, that doesn't mean the constructive actions I suggested won't help. In fact, this aversion to criticism makes it even more important that we use carefully targeted criticism. Broad and confrontational statements, like saying you "feel ashamed of" (your words) your country, play right into the 'liberals hate America' narrative. Would it still get your point across to say something like "I love America, but we should not have invaded Iraq"? I'm suggesting that, when it comes to their country, liberals should throw blankets of love and darts of criticism; not the other way around.
  8. Would you accept 'solar geoengineering' as part of the answer? Would you be willing to accept a 'solar shade' to lessen the impact of global warming and give humans more time to adopt a carbon-neutral economy?
  9. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    Although you can find many people claiming (today) that this behavior never happened, you can also find others claiming that it did (for example: Disrespect for Vietnam vets is fact, not fiction). I didn't actually see anyone spit upon, however I do remember seeing (in the news at that time) how vets were treated after Vietnam, and it wasn't good. Vets coming back from Vietnam were met by angry protesters. This 'meme', as you call it, far predates Rambo. But, whether actual spitting happened or didn't wasn't the point of my statement. I brought up the Vietnam War as the seminal event when liberals lost the patriotism issue to conservatives. In the public perception, this is where it all started. Absolutely true. This doesn't go unnoticed, either. Republicans like to spend money on expensive weapon systems that keep their corporate supporters busy. They sell this as giving troops the weapons they need to succeed, which is partially true. But, when it comes to honoring commitments to retirement pay and healthcare, the R's (not all, but most) are completely unreliable. As a result, today's military is as politically diverse as the nation. I think the 'patriotism issue' is something that will mostly disappear when the Vietnam era folks die off.
  10. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    ↑ liberal patriotism issue Sure there is. Vote, volunteer, do good things, talk about the outcomes you want to achieve, and motivate others in a positive way. On the other hand, telling people how you're ashamed of your country isn't going to help with the liberal patriotism issue. When you oppose a policy, a politician or an issue, people are more likely to engage with you. But, when you attack 'the country', you're going to get instant resistance from most people. I don't imagine that's any different whether you're talking to people in Russia, Switzerland, or the USA...citizens generally don't like it when you demean their whole country.
  11. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    Some ideas from your link that I strongly disagree with: It would help if the person making the statement offered some evidence. Without support, this statement looks like nothing more than 'sour grapes'. In the words of Vince Lombardi, "Champions make their own luck." Luck grants people merit? Really? 'Luck' stays up late studying textbooks? 'Luck' drags people's ass out of bed and gets them to work on time? 'Luck' puts in the overtime and 'luck' does the research? How exactly does this statement by the author in any way show a "tenuous and indirect" link? Articles like this make me angry, not because they call into question my own meager outcome in life. They make me angry because they call into question the whole idea that people should strive to succeed. If you buy into this BS, success is just 'luck'. Don't worry about trying hard. Don't worry about taking care of your team. Don't worry about making good decisions. It's all 'luck'! All who buy into this is are doing themselves no good service. Here's a major point that the author is missing. Even if you grant (which I don't) that there were 1,000 other people just as worthy as Bill Gates who didn't succeed because of 'bad luck', the beauty of the meritocracy is that there were 1,001 talented, industrious people working their asses off to succeed because they believed in the meritocracy. They believed their talent and hard work would be rewarded (and most likely was rewarded, if not to the same extent as Bill Gates). If you could go back in time and convince them that the meritocracy is false and their outcome in life will be due to 'luck', how many would be willing to make the sacrifices? 'Luck' and 'merit' are both required to some extent in order to have success. 'Luck', by definition, is beyond our control. So, focus on the things you can control. Build your merit and, in our meritocracy, you will attain the best outcome possible. On the other hand if you, like the author if this article, decide that 'luck' controls everything and there's very little if any link between merit and outcome, there's no point in working hard to build your merit and you will not get your best outcome. This author fails to understand that belief in the rightness of, and striving for, meritocracy is a key motivator for countless actions we take every day. Without it, a thousand threads come unraveled. When people give up on meritocracy and accept 'luck', we might as well go back to the middle ages and accept whatever "God's will" has in store for us.
  12. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    Absolutely! My hat is off to those who protested against the Vietnam War. If they'd stuck to protesting the war and blamed the politicians that caused it, I don't think liberals wouldn't have a patriotism issue today. But some blamed the war on the soldiers who had no say in it. Those soldiers and their families still hold a lot of resentment for the way they were treated. Other incidents like Jane Fonda's trip to North Vietnam also hurt the liberal image on patriotism. Liberals did a much better job handling the Iraq war...support the troops and oppose the war.
  13. Renegade

    What's the problem with Rep. Omar?

    Certainly, it never was a symbol of oppression and it's a trivial example in comparison to the noose or the burning cross. But, no kidding, I was briefed not to call it a flip chart during an HR class at work. It was so unexpected that I remember this example over everything else in the class. You can google it and see I wasn't the only one. Not recently and not in the USA. But, in other countries there's certainly a long and bloody history. Whether or not I get upset about anything you call me is more about how you say it and what your intention is; not the term you used. For example, in some contexts, the 'n word' is a term that shows kinship. In other contexts, it's a fighting word. If (when you you call someone a WASP) you're merely cataloging facts, it probably won't be taken as an offense. On the other hand, if you use the term in anger to indicate you believe the person is an intolerant racist bigot, then you might have some problems. Context is everything. Good point about the hate crimes against Jews. I had no idea it was that high. I would have thought Muslims would be most targeted. I don't know that the statistics on racial hate crime reports accurately indicate the actual prevalence of the crimes. One reason is the same reason that affects sex crime statistics...under reporting. To start with, the police are reluctant to record any hate crimes. Partly this is due to the difficulty in determining a person's motivation, and partly due to the negative stigma hate crimes cause for the community. Plus, there's a cultural bias against regarding some actions as hate crimes. A black guy gets beat up by some white guys; it might be a hate crime. A white guy gets beat up by some black guys; it's just a mugging. And then there's Jesse Smollett. I ask this out of ignorance, not argument. How does one even know that an atheist is of Jewish descent? Do they seek you out because of your parents? Other than noting who attends services in a synagogue, I wouldn't have a clue how to know if someone was a Jew. Surely, not everyone who's name ends in -stein or -berg is a Jew? I thought those were common Germanic suffixes, not necessarily Jewish. In my ignorance, I would have thought atheists are more likely to be discriminated against than Jews.
  14. Renegade

    What's the problem with Rep. Omar?

    I get what you're saying. 95% of the time, that's probably accurate. But, sometimes a burning cross is just a fire. Sometimes a noose is just a rope. True example: Someone I know, had a young grandson. They bought one of those plastic swings with the wraparound seat. The seat comes with pre-fitted nylon ropes that end in two hooks about 2 ft above the swing. So, to hang the swing, you need two ropes hanging from a swing set...or, in this case, a tree limb. After years of use, this person took the swing down because the child had outgrown it. The ropes in the tree would have to wait for another day (too high to reach). Imagine that person's surprise when they were scolded for having two 'nooses' in their front yard! In some neighborhoods, they might have come to real harm over that misunderstanding. If I had my way, people would default to the 'misunderstanding' approach until proven otherwise. "Excuse me sir...do you know the history of the burning cross?" Crosses and nooses are so much part of the culture that everyone can reasonably be expected to already know that history. But what about 'flip' charts? I have learned that I shouldn't call those big pads of paper on a tripod (used in briefings) 'flip' charts because the word flip is a derogatory term for people from the Philippines. Sometimes, it seems like we might run out of words that aren't offensive. Yes, Omar should know better. It may not be a fair standard, but it is well known. If nothing else, this incident shows very poor judgement on her part. Also, her half-done apology for the way it "made people feel" makes me think she's hostile to Jews. It's sort of like she said "I'm sorry it upsets you that I don't like Jews".
  15. Renegade

    Why don't libruls embrace patriotism?

    I think concerns about liberal patriotism grew out of opposition to the Vietnam war. Some of the anti-war people became anti-military and, to some extent against all manifestations of American power abroad. When some of the anti-war folks burned flags and spit on the returning vets while calling them 'baby-killers', that was seen as anti-American by many. That's an image liberals have been working to escape ever since. Once a party gets a reputation, it's extremely hard to reverse, even if it's no longer accurate. A Republican can talk about helping minorities all day long, but in the end, he's still a Republican and the words aren't trusted. It's much the same for Democrats and patriotism/support for the military. No matter how many times Democrats speak up for military benefits, weapons programs, or whatever, they're still Democrats. The current President may help the Democrats on this issue more than anyone else has. For example, he's raiding military construction budgets to build the border wall. He's also doing damage to international relations with our allies. He's shown no respect for the international institutions that generations of patriots spent their lives building. Too much of this, and the D's may become the new 'patriotic party'.
  16. Renegade

    What's the problem with Rep. Omar?

    There may be a different standard for her because of her open religiosity. We often set different standards for people's speech depending on who they are. For example, white folks are called out as racist if they reference negative facts about minorities. A Jewish person could probably have said what she said and not been called anti-Semitic. A practicing Catholic...they would probably get called out. Personally, I don't like that. What a person says should be looked at independent of who they are. But, that's not the way it works. Our reaction to political statements, for example, depends on who said it. Was the speaker a Democrat or a Republican? If it was a member of the party you support, you'll find a way to rationalize it as positive. If it was from the other party, you'll rationalize it as negative. This whole thing a result of identity politics. We assume that people will think a certain way because of who they are. Muslims must think like this... Whites must think like that... etc. I hate it.
  17. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    No. It's NOT free. You need solar panels, cables, transformers, transmission lines, real estate, batteries, etc. It's no more free than the oil/coal/uranium in the ground. It's there, but it requires the expenditure of productive capacity to access it, therefore it is NOT free. Cool. No disagreement here. People should be free to take the job they want. Here's another area of agreement! Our government should vastly simplify the tax code. It would free up the labor of thousands of IRS bureaucrats and tax accountants and be more fair and effective at the same time. Instead, our politicians continue to make the tax code more complex, often just to buy votes from different interest groups. Productive. Given the number of people who see that logo daily (3.5 billion) and the relatively minuscule amount of labor required, I'd say that the value (aesthetic) exceeds the cost. But, this is important, it's not my call to make. I make my decision when I choose load up Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, or...). Are you familiar with the concept of opportunity cost? In order to mass produce cars, you must transfer productive capacity from some other endeavor. You could flood the market (satisfy all needs) for any one particular good, but not for all goods simultaneously. "...will be..." That's not today. It's someday, so far in the future it's out of sight. Therefore, the end of your sentence should read "so it has merit" until that day arrives. Suppose my intelligence is superior to yours... Do you get nothing? If I can cry for the homeless while I ace my GRE, do I get to be a millionaire? Intelligence in and of itself is absolutely useless and deserves no merit whatsoever. Until it's combined with other attributes, it has no positive effects on anything. Maybe you've solved all the world's problems in your mind. Can you effectively communicate those solutions? Empathy is nice. You can cry while I starve to death. Maybe my final moments will be less painful. But, I'd much rather you actually spend some effort to bring me food. Positive human attributes are only effective in combination. If we ask someone else, they might say artistic talent is the most important attribute. You and I would disagree, but they would be adamant. How do we decide who is right? My position isn't that one attribute or another is the best...I'm saying they all have value. The market does a fine job of resolving the relative weighting. 16% for intelligence seems very generous to me, considering all the competition it's up against. I'll address the second part first... True. Free markets need help sometimes. Now, the second part... I have several garden hose nozzles (really, I do...I'm a gardener). Some are plastic, some not. We have far more choice now than we did even 10 years ago. New manufacturing technologies allow for economical production at ever lower quantities. These days, I'm often overwhelmed by choice and find myself wishing for the old days when I only had 4 or 5 choices for items. The quality of the plastic garden hose nozzles has increased. They're reasonably durable now and they work well. None of them (metal or plastic) will last more than a few years, but that's largely our fault as consumers. We (maybe not you or me, but consumers as a group) elected to buy cheap goods (like that damned particle board furniture) instead of more expensive and long-lasting goods. You and I might disagree with that, but we don't get to tell other people what their priorities are. But, your choice is still there. Amazon lists a variety of metal (bronze, galvanized, copper, etc.) garden hose nozzles. Some have very high reviews. You do get a say in what's offered! That's not what I'm debating. I'm debating the "end of scarcity". My position is that it's nowhere in sight. Until it is, discussion of what might happen someday is just a thought exercise.
  18. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    You're a dreamer. The world needs dreamers. You should write a book. It would be very interesting. But, you oversimplify everything. Robots do not work for free. Someday...maybe... But not today. They need to be built, programmed, maintained, housed, fed (not just energy, but parts also), and managed. Resources are not only extracted by energy. You should spend a day in the oilfield and maybe you'd have a different point of view. Just because you don't want these 'unnecessary things', that doesn't mean someone else doesn't want them. Just because you don't think they're beautiful, doesn't mean someone else doesn't have a different opinion. The fact that people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on these 'unnecessary things' means that that they have value. Sure, my cell phone is unnecessary. I can live just fine without it. But, I'm very thankful to have it. The people who build cellphones are not digging and refilling holes. If we concentrated only on food, shelter, clothing, warmth and basic medicine, we might be able to supply those things to things to everyone on earth. But, I actually appreciate having unnecessary things like this computer I'm typing on. The production of this computer was not unnecessary work. I think your issue is that you disagree with how others define merit. Who says wealth should correlate with intelligence? What about creativity, hard work, and an infinitely long list of other positive human attributes? Do they have no merit? In what proportion should they be rewarded? A well-functioning market makes these decisions in a very democratic manner. I'm not comfortable letting you decide what is merit and what is not. That which "makes the most profit" is that which produces the most value with the least input. That is then by definition the most efficient use of the scarce input resources available. Now I see why you're so anxious to assume scarcity can be eliminated. With no scarcity, you don't need a market to allocate scarce resources. But, wishing it doesn't make it real. At least, not today. We can get there gradually. As more and more is produced, we have introduced socialist programs piecemeal. I think that will continue in the future. Someday (and I mean maybe a thousand years from now...if we don't regress) maybe we can get to 'the end of scarcity' and go full socialist. But, you can't rush it. Capitalist markets drive economic progress. They're instrumental in developing the technology and capacity you need to end scarcity.
  19. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    Today's reality is so far from this, it's like another plane of existence. It doesn't matter if you're building a spaceship or recycling an aluminum can...just because you can do it once, or a thousand times, that doesn't mean you can do it an unlimited number of times. If resources weren't scarce, they wouldn't be expensive. And that point is nowhere in sight (and just barely within the realm of imagination). Is this 'end of scarcity' something you see humanity striving for? Or do you believe it's something we're capable of achieving today? If it's the former, cool. If it's the latter, I don't think you're looking at the same world I am. Who's digging holes and refilling them? I don't understand the reference. Only a government would pay someone to do something useless like that. Actually, we already have a a meritocracy system. You do something I like, I give you money. I do something you like, you give me money. When it's properly implemented, it works awesomely well. There might be an issue with 'placing the value on empathy and intelligence'. See, that's your value...not mine. I get to place my value where I want. I might choose to value something higher than empathy or intelligence. This is where I get touchy about socialism. Who gets to decide where we place the value? When it's a 'top down' decision, I don't like it. When wealth disparity isn't too great, capitalism does a great job of giving everyone a voice in resource allocation. Even when the disparity is large, I still get a voice...just not very much. I see a completely socialist economy having a very difficult time balancing the allocation of resources (yes, scarcity is still ubiquitous) against all needs.
  20. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    There is no technology that eliminates scarcity. Just because you have the technology to build a space ship, that doesn't mean you can build a space ship for every human being on Earth. Therefore rides in space will remain scarce. Even with infinite production capacity, which we do not have, we would continue to have scarce natural resources, scarce space, scarce water, and countless other limitations. There can't be unlimited seats on the front row of a concert. There will never be unlimited top tier works of art. Only one person gets the parking space closest to the entrance. 7 billion people can't live in Aspen. Even for commodities, even if you had infinite production, challenges with transportation, storage and distribution would continue create scarcity. Scarcity isn't only about having enough of something. It's also about not having too much and getting it when you need it. There will always be more demand than supply. If you, with a magic wand, were able to meet every single need and want of every single human being on the planet today, they would have new needs and new wants tomorrow, some of which would be in direct contradiction of what they told you yesterday. Who get's satisfied first? Even if your magic wand can grant everything for everyone, there's still scarcity in who get's to be at the front of the line. Scarcity isn't a physical restraint that can be overcome with 'more stuff'. It's a psychological creation of the human mind. Have you ever watched children play? Give two kids a hundred toys to play with and they'll fight over just one. Give them both identical toys and one kid will want both. Or, they'll find some microscopic difference between the two and fight over that. Adults have the same impulses, we just handle it (a little) better. So, I think your definition of the 'end of scarcity' must be different from mine. That's why I asked the question.
  21. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    You guys are doing a fine job and I don't want to interrupt, but one term is not clear to me. What is "absence of scarcity"? I'm thinking it must have some meaning other than the literal, since the literal makes no sense. There will always be scarcity.
  22. Renegade

    The defamation of socialism

    I think the reason flawed examples of socialism have tarnished the name (while flawed examples of democracy do not) is that there are so few 'good' examples of pure (or even semi-pure) socialism to counter the bad. Part of the defamation logic goes something like this: Socialism gives more power to the state and a more powerful state is more easily corrupted by the leaders, therefore too much socialism leads to a totalitarian regime. Then, they point to all the bad examples I'm sure you're familiar with. Lenin may and his contemporaries may have destroyed socialism in Russia as you say, but that's no defense against the arguments of those who are against it...it's too easily corrupted. For me, the critical point is: how much is too much? We just need to find the sweet spot, which I believe is a moving target depending on a nation's culture, economic development, education, morals, and other circumstances. It looks to me like its time for the USA to add to its social welfare programs.
  23. So, all we need to do is establish some minimum level of education and/or intelligence as a prerequisite for voting?
  24. I don't understand. When I read the article, statements like "But U.S. recyclers soon found new buyers and destinations for Americans’ garbage, particularly their plastic waste." made me think the Malaysians were buying our recyclable waste. It's not like we're forcing it on them or even paying them to take it. It sounds like they bought more than they have the capacity to recycle. Everything you said about Trump and his EPA is probably true, but I don't know what that has to do with this case. What should our new progressive government do? Not allow other countries to buy our recyclables? The article explains "...since sorting is such a labor-intensive exercise, it usually doesn’t make economic sense for many recyclers in the U.S. and other developed countries." If we don't allow them to buy the recyclable trash, then it stays here, and we would need to find people to do that 'labor intensive' work. Digging through trash to sort into piles...I'm sure those jobs would be even harder to fill than seasonal agriculture work.
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