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Everything posted by laripu

  1. My suggestion is that your vote and you're voice matter. Next election, vote Democrat and convince other people to vote Democrat. Them hold your representative's and senators to their promises. Write them through their web sites. I've been doing that, asking for impeachment for quite some time. I've even contacted Florida Republican senator Rubio and Nancy Pelosi.
  2. Ok, you write persuasively on this. I like that you provided links and evidence. So here's a link that supports what you wrote too: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/08/ben-howe-evangelical-christians-support-trump/596308/ But here's the caveat: as long as the Republicans leadership is playing to win and not to serve, we'll get nowhere. If we want progress, we need to keep the House, and win the presidency and a slim Senate majority. The latter is just possible, although unlikely, I admit. But the presidency is important and the win must be spectacular. Republicans must see evidence that playing to win will be punished by the electorate. If not, they will continue to see playing to win as a winning strategy, and will continue to do it. My wife occasionally says that she feels very sorry for Merrick Garland. There's a man who was sacrificed on the altar the Republican leadership has built.
  3. 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.
  4. Be best? Randy Rainbow tells her how.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.)
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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.
  15. 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. 🙄
  16. One way to reach Universal Healthcare: Create a public-option version of Medicare that covers everything (like Canadian style + drugs + vision +dental). Allow people to buy into it or not with monthly payments. For people 65 or older, the monthly fee is low, like a Medicare Advantage Plan PPO. Prior to age 65 the fee is higher but subsidized even more heavily by progressive taxes. No-one is required to have it. Monthly charge for the public option depends on last year's tax return. Poor people pay less, rich people pay more. Again, subsidized heavily by progressive taxes. But no-one is required to have it. No co-pays or co-insurance or out-of-pocket maximum for the public option. Homeless people are automatically covered, free. Pass a law that requires everyone to prove that they can afford medical care up to and including major illnesses. By "afford", I mean that the maximum yearly out-of-pocket should be no more than a third of your net income (or family income for dependents). If you have no dependents and your insurance has an out-of-pocket maximum of $6000, then you need to be making a post tax salary of at least $18,000. If your yearly after-tax income is $3 million or more, you don't have to have any insurance. (More needed for families.) If you can't prove that you have adequate coverage, and you're not in the$3 million plus area, then you're automatically insured by the public option. If you don't pay your monthly payments, then they're collected as tax, based on your current tax return (not last year's). Again, poor people pay less than rich people. Many people will choose this option. No-one is coerced into doing anything. Everyone is required to be able to afford healthcare. The poorer you are the more you're helped with the cost. When you seek medical attention, you're not charged. This is basically a requirement to be able to afford healthcare + a public option to ensure it. How you make certain you can afford it, is your business. If I can think of this in 5 minutes, then any collection of staffers in Washington could do better if they had a week to ten days.
  17. I agree with both comments. Beside that, the debates were boring. I changed channels. My wife said she'd rather watch "the Rape Show", by which she meant reruns of Law and Order SVU. I kind of agree. I don't even care anymore who the nominee is. Anyone. Just get Donald Fü¢kin' Trump out of there.
  18. You can't force an adult to accept medical treatment, and you shouldn't force them. But you can make it a crime for faith healers to say that people don't need medical treatment for real illnesses. Real medical treatment should be included in the advice given by people claiming religious authority, or it's fraud at least and possibly homicide. Protect the gullible.
  19. There ought to be a law against urging someone to choose faith healing over medical help, for life threatening illnesses. At the very least, it's fraud. It could easily be seen as negligent homicide too. If parents can be charged for choosing faith healing over medical help, why can't the priests or pastors or rabbis be charged with fraud or homicide? If the faith healing involved was Wicca or Scientology, would the authorities act with more celerity? These parents pled guilty to negligent homicide: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/07/10/faith-healing-oregon-parents-plead-guilty-premature-babys-death/772751002/ These parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter, got probation. (!) https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-couple-get-probation-for-death-of-daughter An ex-co-worker of mine used to say: "Ever notice that, by faith, god 'cures' cancer right away, but a fractured leg takes god three to six months?" ... Well, I guess he's going to hell for noticing that. 😈
  20. Whatever it was, Trump is making it worse. And the only way that makes sense is if: 1. It increases his personal power, and/or, 2. He's doing it at the behest of Russia for reasons we don't yet know. He must be impeached, even if the Senate will not convict. He must be impeached even if McConnell will not accept the impeachment for trial. (That could happen, and I cite his refusal to debate the judgeship of Merrick Garland as a proof of the erosion of norms.) He must be impeached to show that at least one party is playing by the rules. If the electorate votes against that in 2020, then they want a dictatorship. If the election is rigged for Trump, we'll get a dictatorship. If either of those two events happens, then this is the last chance to impeach Trump.
  21. Actually, that's not what I'm saying. I think George Will said it better than I could, but I'll try: We have had, in the past, norms that indicated what we could say or do. They were honored even when broken. For example, the bad stuff that Nixon did; he at least knew breaking in to the DNC offices was unacceptable, and therefore tried to hide it. He was a racist, but tried to hide it. He knew what the norms were, and paid lip service to the norms. So you can deal with conservatives that adhere to the norms, when they're at least giving lip service to them. If they're shown as hypocrites, your can say so and it means something. Trump is different. He's changed the norms. He says they don't matter. His supporters don't care if he lies. The norms are jettisoned. He says that whatever he does is presidential by definition because he's the president. (And I hear echoes of "l'état c'est moi".) You can't reason with someone to whom reason doesn't matter, and facts don't matter. (Which is why it's useless for me to be in No Holds Barred.) He doesn't care whether something should not be done, because the only thing he cares about is what he wants to do. There are no more norms, there is only the will of the dictator. George Will is saying that culture matters, and if our culture is defined by Trumpism, then we've lost an important element of Western Civilization. He's also saying that Trump has hurt conservatism, which is true. George Will's conservatism was merely wrong. Trump's brand is so far off the mark that it doesn't even rise to the level of being wrong.
  22. That have some plausible deniability. They can claim that it encompasses all monotheistic religions, not just Christianity, since Muslims and believing Jews also trust in a single god. (I specified "believing Jews", since many Jews are ethnically or culturally Jewish but are in fact atheist. I fall into that category.) It still excludes atheists, who don't trust in god, and possibly adherents of polytheistic religions such as Hinduism. Probably also excludes Buddhists, since that religion doesn't require belief in a creator god. It also excludes the various New Age and Wiccan religions that have popped up ever since paperbacks became inexpensive, and with greater celerity since the advent of the internet. Apparently if you're told about something, there's a non-zero probability that you'll end up believing it. I imagine that soon the ACLU will get involved. But I think it's really a tempest in a teapot. First of all, it won't stop some kids from profession atheism later in life. I was forced to sing Christian hymns in elementary school, by this school board. It did nothing to me other than making me resent them. (🎶✝️🎵"Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war. With the cross of Jeeee-zuz going on before." 🎵✝️🎶) Secondly, wouldn't you trade that sign in every school for universal healthcare, cradle to grave? I would. The sign shouldn't be there. But I'd say that in the list of things that hurt people and how much they hurt people, this is way down, like lower than artificial food dyes.
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