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    Beer and mead brewing. Making sausages, fresh cheese, lox, limoncello, Scotch eggs, Atholl Brose.

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  1. Adam Smith's concept, the invisible hand, is for an ideal that cannot be planned, one for which we yearn, an unreachable bourn, one that perforce cannot ever exist. Perfection isn't real no leader can create a good enough world a society that's great. Mommy won't kiss booboos. That's not really new news but it's a little less distressing, if instead you're getting pissed. John Lennon says "Whatever gets you through the night", so if Sonny Stitt does that, "it's alright, it's alright". In the long run it's moot if it's whiskey or toot: if your poison is Mozart, and someone else's, Liszt. It's broken, it's broken, it never worked the way it should. But now it's in pieces, it's broken for good. The party's over, we did what we could it was fun while it lasted, now its over for good.
  2. Be best? Randy Rainbow tells her how.
  3. North Korea. Saudi Arabia. Russia. Turkmenistan. Venezuela. ... that's all I've got. On the other hand, there is also no place more committed to equality and justice. We are, to quote the song below: "the cradle of the best and of the worst". Democracy It's coming through a hole in the air From those nights in Tiananmen Square It's coming from the feel That this ain't exactly real Or it's real, but it ain't exactly there From the wars against disorder From the sirens night and day From the fires of the homeless From the ashes of the gay Democracy is coming to the USA It's coming through a crack in the wall On a visionary flood of alcohol From the staggering account Of the Sermon on the Mount Which I don't pretend to understand at all It's coming from the silence On the dock of the bay, From the brave, the bold, the battered Heart of Chevrolet Democracy is coming to the USA It's coming from the sorrow in the street The holy places where the races meet From the homicidal bitchin' That goes down in every kitchen To determine who will serve and who will eat From the wells of disappointment Where the women kneel to pray For the grace of God in the desert here And the desert far away: Democracy is coming to the USA Sail on, sail on O mighty Ship of State To the Shores of Need Past the Reefs of Greed Through the Squalls of Hate Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on It's coming to America first The cradle of the best and of the worst It's here they got the range And the machinery for change And it's here they got the spiritual thirst It's here the family's broken And it's here the lonely say That the heart has got to open In a fundamental way Democracy is coming to the USA It's coming from the women and the men O baby, we'll be making love again We'll be going down so deep The river's going to weep, And the mountain's going to shout Amen It's coming like the tidal flood Beneath the lunar sway Imperial, mysterious In amorous array Democracy is coming to the USA I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean I love the country but I can't stand the scene And I'm neither left or right I'm just staying home tonight Getting lost in that hopeless little screen But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags That Time cannot decay I'm junk but I'm still holding up This little wild bouquet Democracy is coming to the USA
  4. So let's imagine what that bipartisan progress will look like Democrat: Single payer healthcare. Republican: Socialist! (Takes HMO money.) Democrat: Gun control. Republican: Stalinist! Nazis did that! (Takes NRA money.) Democrat: Abortion rights. Marriage equality. LGBT equality in adoption and employment. Republican: God, Sodom, and Gomorrah! (Takes evangelist money.) Democrat: Banking regulations to prevent meltdowns. Republican: Socialist, Stalinist, Communist! (Takes Wall Street money.) Democrat: No gerrymandering. No voter disenfranchisement. No purging of electoral rolls. Republican: States rights! (Audible snickers and backslapping.) Democrat: Corporations are not people. Republican: The Supreme Court says they are, you Communist! (More snickers and backslapping.) That's what bipartisan cooperation looks like. That's why third party votes are not helpful. Because they're playing a different game. They're playing to win, not to serve.
  5. Yes. Yes! I could not agree more. "correct principles´╗┐ for all to follow. Diplomacy, decency" = good intentions "fact based science" = intelligence I want a government of good intentions, informed by intelligence. Seems like the executive and Senate are currently exactly the opposite on both counts
  6. Ah, it's coming to an end anyway. They've found plastic in snow in the Arctic. We're breathing it. We're eating it because it's everywhere in the food chain. And plastic is well-known to contain endocrine disruptors. The Roman Empire was reputed to have fallen due to lead poisoning. With out global pollution, food will continue to be a slightly poison and with global warming, food will become ever more difficult to produce due to desertification. Yeah, so Donald Trump won't kill us. Unless the m-f-er goes nuclear on some hated enemy. ........................Like NYC. (But first he'd insure the f**k out of all his properties. Then oops, that was an accident! Boom.)
  7. I didn't equate them. I wrote about the influence of such people, people who are "totalitarian racist evil". I think there is plenty of evidence for their influence. Evidence: Few Republican senators have criticized the oppressive conditions under which are held the innocent children of refugee asylum seekers. Few Republican senators have criticized the manner of speech of the president when it comes to Mexicans or Muslims or Africans. Consider all the vile crap that comes out of various Republican grandees, unchallenged. The reason that few Republican senators have criticized these things is that they worry about losing electoral support, or about facing opposition in the primaries. Therefore: the influence of people who are "totalitarian racist evil" is a strong factor in the behavior of Republican politicians. We can't compromise with that. Moreover, that part of the Republican party won't compromise with Democrats unless Democrats become something vile too. Who would we sell for a compromise?
  8. Last night I saw Anderson Cooper interviewing Steven Colbert on CNN. They both got emotional about the deaths in their families. Both has fathers that died at 10 years old. Anderson Cooper's mother died recently. Colbert remarked that his suffering gave him the understanding that others were suffering and thereby brought him closer to people. There are a group of Trump supporters, probably not most of them, but still too many, that would ridicule such sentiments and emotions. I'm talking about KKK, neo-nazis, white supremacists, and their ilk. Even the ones that have achieved prominence like Trump and Steve King. They would dehumanize their opponents and rid themselves of emotion, until killing their opponents evoked only derisive laughter. You can't compromise with totalitarian racist evil. How could you compromise? ... Pass a bill that is 50% good and 50% evil? Only kill half the people they want dead? Only expel 50% of non-whites? Until the influence of such people is near-zero, bipartisanship can't even be considered.
  9. If you don't like the idea of dark matter, you might like this: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/physicist-radical-theory-of-gravity It's not perfect. It's consistent with some data, inconsistent with other data. Still, interesting.
  10. It helps people understand how to fit into a corporate structure after they've done their service. The draft would be random. I imagine gang members would soon get a dishonorable discharge. But it might save some people that would have otherwise become gang members. Ok, I agree this was a weak point, and I happily withdraw it. The CCC and WPA haven't existed for a long time, but I suppose you could and should create some sort of alternate service organization. I'd favor both paths, military and civilian. There problem with the civilian path is that there isn't the imposition by force that makes the military effective at getting compliance. The military also has a physical fitness requirement that civilian organizations wouldn't. But something is certainly needed for conscientious objectors. That's about right. They get food and housing and medical benefits, an apprenticeship appropriate to their skills and intelligence, and low pay. Even with low pay most come out ahead. Some will stay in and get a career. I could agree to raised in pay as people get promoted after completing their mandatory service. Some, perhaps many, will not merit promotion and will return to civilian life. Some will return despite promotion. The ones that benefit the least are the ones who already have good discipline, skills and abilities, and who could have started a civilian job more expeditiously. But even those benefit from getting exposed to a variety of Americans. I could have used the imposed discipline at age 18. Lacking it, it took me a few years to develop it myself.
  11. The draft does a few things: It gives low-skilled, undisciplined people skills and discipline. It makes people of different backgrounds work together, thereby increasing tolerance. It provides an inexpensive labor force, which we'll need: climate change is going to make a lot of places uninhabitable in the next 10 to 20 years. It provides a big picture to people about how organizations work. It takes youth away from gang culture. Also, it's a way to sucker conservatives into providing job training. (By calling it national defense.)
  12. You can't try to solve all the problems at once. You just get overwhelmed and paralyzed. A government can work on more than one problem at once, but still not everything all at once. I think this is what we need: Elect a Democratic Congress and presidency. Fix infrastructure. Make sure bridges are solid, and water resources are safe. Big effort on climate change through laws, rather than regulations. But also: put into effect the social structures we will need when climate ruins global agriculture and safety. Because we're very very late and it's coming. Work on fairness in elections: reduce gerrymandering, make it easier to vote, ensure no foreign hacking by using paper ballots and no machines. Work to rebuild the trust of our allies, and global free trade, because we'll need both. (See #3 above.) We may need to bring back the draft.
  13. Well he's a professional writer and I'm not. I don't need reassurance from him, but every day I get some satisfaction when I hear about prominent conservatives abandoning Trump, and then criticising him publicly. Because: If you know conservatives (and I do), this kind of thing is a way to influence them. "See, even big honcho famous conservatives think Trump is dangerous. You should vote Democrat next time, to save the country." The more that happens, the more likely it will be that he'll be defeated in the next election. That is, if Putin allows it, of course. ­čÖä
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