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Saturday, February 01, 2014

OTP - Feb 2014: Politics remains a hurdle for immigration reform

Yet Obama might find his best-chance legislative compromise in an issue that lately has seemed to be on life support: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Curiously, immigration was an issue the president barely mentioned in this year’s speech. Maybe he does not want to interfere with those Republicans who actually agree with him on the need to bring the nation’s millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows.

Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2014 at 04:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   201. Morty Causa Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4651317)
As for the working poor and not being able to afford bank accounts, first, like I said, I think they can find a bank somewhere in any good-size town that doesn't charge fees and requires only a minimum balance. That problem is way overrated. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are many people like this, but the reason for it isn't that they can't afford to have an account at a bank. Second, why can't the employer pay all its employees through something a trust account? Then, the employee can either withdraw everything at once or write checks or use debit card or whatever as he needs it. Seems like a win-win for the employee, employer, and the bank.
   202. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4651321)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. Civil Rights hypocrisy on race is coming home to roost.

But the fact is that a lot of liberals hold on to some really bad ideas about race too. Some of the arguments they keep trotting out amount to little more than unexamined platitudes, riddled with holes. Fifty years after the March on Washington, America’s high school cafeterias are as racially divided as ever, income inequality is growing, and mass incarceration has hobbled an entire generation of young black men. Do we really think this is entirely due to Republican obstruction? Or is it also possible that the party charged with taking black Americans to the Promised Land has been running around in circles?


The author calls them "liberals." I call them "faux liberals." They were never interested in neutral processes. That was just rhetoric. What they wanted was a payback reverse racism. It's like rhetorically placing women on a pedestal while being an inveterate womanizer. Rather than planting those seeds of equality in legal and political institutions at the beginning, they decided to eat that seed corn. Short term self-gratification has a price, and the price is the offended class is more and more looking to get some of their own payback.

Just finished reading that long article, and I wonder if you also agree with the author's conclusion.

So far, nobody seems to have a solution that works, but a good start would be an honest assessment of what went wrong the first time and why. It would also be useful to go back to Brown and recall what the Supreme Court actually instructed schools to do. Its directive was clear: eliminate the last vestiges of state-sponsored segregation “root and branch.” In that formulation, segregated schools are really just the branches, growing out of racially homogenous neighborhoods and towns. If we want any kind of long-term solution to this problem, we have to look at housing, zoning, mass transit, property taxes. That’s where the roots of our racially balkanized and economically stratified cities lie. We can hack away at the branches all day long, but if we don’t deal with the root of the problem, we can’t expect anything different to grow back in their place.
   203. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4651323)
Good news! Those things were changed in 87

Pishtosh man, that can't be true - next thing you know you'll be telling me my portfolio of Confederated Slaveholdings, Transatlantic Zeppelin, Amalgamated Spats, Congreve's Inflammable Powder, U.S. Hay, and the up-and-coming Baltimore Opera Hat Company are worthless.
   204. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4651325)
I am discussing Gov't employee unions, i.e. the Post Office. There is no "bottom line" and their is no management that cares about keeping costs down. There are only taxpayers who suffer when unions use political influence to garner overly generous wages and benefits.

They are also legally prevented from striking. I'd say that's a pretty serious "check on their power".
   205. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4651326)
They are also legally prevented from striking. I'd say that's a pretty serious "check on their power".

They don't need to, they just buy off politicians.

Also, they do sometimes strike; there was a NYC subway strike not that long ago, and the courts just slapped them on the wrist.
   206. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4651329)
DO you have any evidence of the Postal Service buying off politicians? Any at all? And POSTAL WORKERS are in fact forbidden to strike since you know, that time they struck back in 1970. As are all federal employee unions.

//Given your previous reliance on The Green Berets, I am beginning to suspect you are channeling On The Waterfront at the moment.



   207. GregD Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4651330)
Though, in certain unions you can finagle that but pouring on the OT in you last few benefit determining years. Lots of Gov't workers go retire on 100% pensions. It's a huge abuse.
Good news! Post office bases retirement on basic pay, not including overtime.
   208. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4651335)
If we want any kind of long-term solution to this problem, we have to look at housing, zoning, mass transit, property taxes. That’s where the roots of our racially balkanized and economically stratified cities lie


That's a fascinating argument, but I'm not sure what the solution is other than to stop having the federal government subsidize suburban sprawl (federal highway funds, oil subsidies, mortgage interest deduction, FHA/VA lending, etc.).

I also wonder what the effect on our cities would be if you dissolved all inner-city public schools, and gave everyone private school vouchers. I'm not sure the education of the kids would improve any, but I would bet you'd see a lot more people stay in the city, rather than flee for the burbs as soon as their kids turn 5.

Suburban sprawl is also kinda taking care of this for us. Inner ring suburbs are dealing with much of the race, class, poverty issues that used to be unique to central cities. You can only run away from these problems so far.
   209. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4651336)
Good news! Post office bases retirement on basic pay, not including overtime.

Great. Now let them retire at 67, like all the chump taxpayers, and I'll be happy.

DO you have any evidence of the Postal Service buying off politicians? Any at all? And POSTAL WORKERS are in fact forbidden to strike since you know, that time they struck back in 1970. As are all federal employee unions.

//Given your previous reliance on The Green Berets, I am beginning to suspect you are channeling On The Waterfront at the moment.


And prior to JFK, Federal employees were forbidden to unionize. Your patron saint, FDR himself thought the idea of letting Gov't workers unionize was ludicrous.

All gov't unions make political contributions and provide free election workers to politicians they think will favor their cause.

They take taxpayer money, extracted from their members by mandatory dues, and use it to pay politicians to raise taxes to get more taxpayer money for the union. It's a reprehensible system.

When union members are given the choice whether or not to pay dues, the majority don't pay. It's a coercive, crony system, managed to the benefit of the union leaders (who don't actually work), their cronies in the union who get the plum jobs, and their political allies.
   210. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4651340)
I'm not talking about private sector unions. They can negotiate anything they want as far as I'm concerned. If they get too unreasonable, they'll just bankrupt the company and lose their jobs.


And this phrasing right here betrays your biases, as if it's the union's fault if companies go bankrupt. Any management that would allow union demands to bankrupt an otherwise stable and successful company, is incompetent and likely to drive it into bankruptcy without the union's help. Just go ahead and say it. You are against organized labor in any way, shape, or form. Or at best, you feel it is a blight on the economy.
   211. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4651342)
Good news! Post office bases retirement on basic pay, not including overtime.


I believe they're also required to fund their retirement outlays until Jesus returns.
   212. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4651344)
I also wonder what the effect on our cities would be if you dissolved all inner-city public schools, and gave everyone private school vouchers.


It would finally provide Scientology with a purpose for all those empty buildings they've been buying around the country.
   213. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4651347)
Great. Now let them retire at 67, like all the chump taxpayers, and I'll be happy.


Everyone should be retiring earlier not later. If other people are forced to retire at 67 then we should help them to retire earlier and not punish everyone else. The idea is to pull everyone up into a better place, not pound down on those that are doing better.

We are an insanely wealthy country full of people looking for jobs. Let older folks retire early so that the younger folks have jobs, don't punish the elderly by making them work while also removing possible jobs for younger people.
   214. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4651349)
When union members are given the choice whether or not to pay dues, the majority don't pay. It's a coercive, crony system, managed to the benefit of the union leaders (who don't actually work), their cronies in the union who get the plum jobs, and their political allies.


When taxpayers are given the option of not paying their taxes a majority don't pay. Taxes are coercive and redistributive and managed for the benefit of the political leaders (who don't actually work) and their cronies and political allies.

When parishioners are free of social pressure to give, a majority of them don't donate to the church. It is a coercive, crony system, managed for the benefit of the religious leaders (who don't actually work), their cronies and religious allies who get all the real benefits.

Hey, assertions putting things in a negative light are FUN!
   215. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4651351)
Everyone should be retiring earlier not later.


It's good enough for the Pope!
   216. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4651352)
If we want any kind of long-term solution to this problem, we have to look at housing, zoning, mass transit, property taxes. That’s where the roots of our racially balkanized and economically stratified cities lie


That's a fascinating argument, but I'm not sure what the solution is other than to stop having the federal government subsidize suburban sprawl (federal highway funds, oil subsidies, mortgage interest deduction, FHA/VA lending, etc.).

The author doesn't deal with any concrete solutions beyond that brief paragraph I quoted, since 99% of his energy is devoted to assigning blame for what went wrong with school integration, without introducing the slightest bit of context as to what the choices may have been at the time. Which is was what Morty was doing when he linked the article in the first place, with his usual "reverse racism" BS. Morty loves to talk about "complexity" on the one hand, while at the same time throwing around simplistic right wing cliches like so many pieces of confetti.

Since this seems to be a multi-part series of articles in the making, maybe the author will go beyond name calling in future entries, but from the tone of the one I just read, I'm not holding my breath.
   217. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4651354)
When taxpayers are given the option of not paying their taxes a majority don't pay. Taxes are coercive and redistributive and managed for the benefit of the political leaders (who don't actually work) and their cronies and political allies.

When parishioners are free of social pressure to give, a majority of them don't donate to the church. It is a coercive, crony system, managed for the benefit of the religious leaders (who don't actually work), their cronies and religious allies who get all the real benefits.


Speaking of freeloaders who don't pay taxes.
   218. steagles Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4651356)
Great. Now let them retire at 67, like all the chump taxpayers, and I'll be happy.
it's like the sermon on the mount if it were written and spoken by gordon gecko.
   219. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4651357)
Just go ahead and say it. You are against organized labor in any way, shape, or form. Or at best, you feel it is a blight on the economy.

Snapper loves private sector unions that devote their energy to fighting immigration and building tariff walls. Beyond that, not so much.
   220. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4651358)
Polling Update!
GOP nomination:
Huckabee 15.0
Christie 12.8
Ryan 12.4
Bush 12.2
Paul 11.4
Rubio 8.4
Cruz 8.4
Walker 5.3
Jindal 3.7


Huck still isn't in every poll, but when he is Ryan and Bush suffer as a result, Christie and Paul are unaffected.
   221. BrianBrianson Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4651361)
It's quite remarkable how many unions do an atrocious job of communicating to their members what they do. I was a union rep. (an unpaid position, fwiw), and the union office more or less did two things: harass the management until people got paid for the work they'd done, and harass the management until the made token efforts to resolve sexual harassment complaints. Both services were probably well worth the dues we were paying, and pretty invaluable if you needed them, but the membership seemed to be under the impression we were sending their dues to buy rocket launchers for Palestinian terrorists.
   222. steagles Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4651369)
It's quite remarkable how many unions do an atrocious job of communicating to their members what they do. I was a union rep. (an unpaid position, fwiw), and the union office more or less did two things: harass the management until people got paid for the work they'd done, and harass the management until the made token efforts to resolve sexual harassment complaints. Both services were probably well worth the dues we were paying, and pretty invaluable if you needed them, but the membership seemed to be under the impression we were sending their dues to buy rocket launchers for Palestinian terrorists.
informing union members of the benefits they get from being in a union could only be described as a misuse of union funds because it doesn't benefit the union members who don't understand the benefits they get from being members in the union.
   223. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4651370)
Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) to resign. Preumably just to take another job, nothing nefarious as of yet.

Polling Update!
GOP nomination:
Huckabee 15.0
Christie 12.8
Ryan 12.4
Bush 12.2
Paul 11.4
Rubio 8.4
Cruz 8.4
Walker 5.3
Jindal 3.7


I think Scott Walker is a decent dark horse to win the nomination.
   224. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4651376)
So far, nobody seems to have a solution that works, but a good start would be an honest assessment of what went wrong the first time and why. It would also be useful to go back to Brown and recall what the Supreme Court actually instructed schools to do. Its directive was clear: eliminate the last vestiges of state-sponsored segregation “root and branch.” In that formulation, segregated schools are really just the branches, growing out of racially homogenous neighborhoods and towns. If we want any kind of long-term solution to this problem, we have to look at housing, zoning, mass transit, property taxes. That’s where the roots of our racially balkanized and economically stratified cities lie. We can hack away at the branches all day long, but if we don’t deal with the root of the problem, we can’t expect anything different to grow back in their place.


Short of literally resettling people by force, that's a lost cause. A quick perusal of racial population heat maps (fascinating btw, one was linked here last year I believe) will show you that people generally prefer to live in racially homogenous areas. Anybody familiar with real estate prices knows that people will often pay immensely high premiums for what essentially amounts to the right to choose your neighbors.
   225. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4651380)
A quick perusal of racial population heat maps (fascinating btw, one was linked here last year I believe) will show you that people generally prefer to live in racially homogenous areas.


Does that account for class though? I would like to think most middle class white people don't have much of a problem living among middle-class African-American families (and vice versa), but I guess it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't the case. I know African-Americans populations tend to be very clustered, but I don't know if that's because they are poor or because they are black or both.
   226. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4651381)
And this phrasing right here betrays your biases, as if it's the union's fault if companies go bankrupt. Any management that would allow union demands to bankrupt an otherwise stable and successful company, is incompetent and likely to drive it into bankruptcy without the union's help. Just go ahead and say it. You are against organized labor in any way, shape, or form. Or at best, you feel it is a blight on the economy.

I am against organized labor the way it operates in this country, as a fully owned subsidiary of the Democratic party. That doesn't give two shits about the tidal wave of blue collar jobs that has left America, as long as the politicians and union bosses are comfy. That wants to use coercive and undemocratic organizing tactics to expand its influence. Yes, I'm against that type of organized labor.

I am not against organized labor in principal. It is an important safeguard of workers rights. But, it's not playing that role in the US in 2014.
   227. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4651382)
I think Scott Walker is a decent dark horse to win the nomination.


I'd concur...

Though, I think that Huckabee's folksy populism could play if he hides his social conservatism... Thing is - that social conservatism really IS his whole thing as a politician and I'm not so sure he 1)can, or 2)would even if he could.

Social issues are advancing so quickly that I think a candidate like Huckabee is quickly boxing himself out of national practicality... Even the "let the states decide" simply isn't far from being an untenable position.

My money is on Walker... though, I very much think that Democrats would love to see him as the candidate, too. That's not to say they're/we're wise to want that - just that there's obviously really bad blood going back years and I'm quite certain the left would dearly love have a crack at him in an open election.
   228. zenbitz Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4651388)
we use a credit union in San Diego (600 miles away)... I find it a bit inconvenient but the wife handles it so I leave it to her. I had to look up on Google what the closest bank branch was to my house. Wells Fargo, 1.6 miles (the city is 7miles x 7 miles)... which is closer than I thought but not very close in a city this dense. There are lots of ATMs wit $2 fees though.

And despite being a very diverse city - the public schools are still pretty segregated. But I think it's simply by social class as the Middle Class white/asian cluster as do the Lower Class Black/Hispanic. Some schools are ca 90% black and some are ca 90% hispanic.

   229. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4651389)
Snapper loves private sector unions that devote their energy to fighting immigration and building tariff walls. Beyond that, not so much.

Are you arguing that those things wouldn't be in the interests of their members?

You love unions because they fully support your political agenda.
   230. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4651393)
You love unions because they fully support your political agenda.


I support unions because they are, more or less literally, the only functional impediment between management/capital and socio-political dominance. An organized working class is the only barrier between us and neo-feudalism. As such, I don't distinguish between private and public sector unions, even though there are some trailing factors of public sector unions which complicate the deal. But those complications do not override the immense need to re-build the power of labor in America. Because right now, if it comes down to more power for public sector unions (and actual power to some of the working classes) vs even more power to the capital-management classes, you have to support labor. Unless you are a C-level exec at US Steel, you don't root for US Steel.
   231. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4651396)
And despite being a very diverse city - the public schools are still pretty segregated. But I think it's simply by social class as the Middle Class white/asian cluster as do the Lower Class Black/Hispanic. Some schools are ca 90% black and some are ca 90% hispanic.


There's a different between a city being diverse and it's neighborhoods/school districts being diverse, although I don't know enough about SF to opine about the situation there.
   232. Mefisto Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4651406)
Short of literally resettling people by force


You mean the way we did with black people in order to create the racially homogeneous areas you now say "we" prefer?

Ah, I miss the days when conservatives claimed the benefits of incentives.....
   233. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4651409)
Snapper loves private sector unions that devote their energy to fighting immigration and building tariff walls. Beyond that, not so much.

Are you arguing that those things wouldn't be in the interests of their members?


I'm simply noting that those are the only cases where union struggles would seem to garner your support, at least based on the hundreds of comments you've made around here.

You love unions because they fully support your political agenda.

There's truth to that, but since my political agenda is strongly in favor of collective bargaining in support of providing living wages for working people, it's kind of a circular point.

And of course the reason you don't support unions in practice (as opposed to in theory) is that they resist your political agenda of limiting immigration.
   234. GregD Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4651415)
That doesn't give two shits about the tidal wave of blue collar jobs that has left America,
How strange, when you look at the fact that this is what most unions have devoted themselves politically. Rather than being solely devoted to the Dem Party, several tried to punish the Dems for free-trading jobs away in 72 and 76 and 80. Then they came back to the Dems in the 80s because they saw Reagan--despite his private indications--was just as committed to exporting jobs. They organized against NAFTA proposed bya Dem president. They have opposed many trade agreements over the years.

It is true that they have not succeeded in these efforts. Since they are the only force actively fighting to keep from exporting jobs, I assume you wish they were much stronger than they are now?
   235. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4651420)
How strange, when you look at the fact that this is what most unions have devoted themselves politically. Rather than being solely devoted to the Dem Party, several tried to punish the Dems for free-trading jobs away in 72 and 76 and 80. Then they came back to the Dems in the 80s because they saw Reagan--despite his private indications--was just as committed to exporting jobs. They organized against NAFTA proposed bya Dem president. They have opposed many trade agreements over the years.


Exactly. Labor never abandoned labor. The Democrats abandoned labor. The New Left and the DLC punted labor for the coffers of Wall Street. At this point labor is to the Dems as religious conservatives were to the GOP in the 1980s and 1990s. "Where else you gonna go, chump?"
   236. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4651426)
That doesn't give two shits about the tidal wave of blue collar jobs that has left America,
How strange, when you look at the fact that this is what most unions have devoted themselves politically.


Snapper has basically fallen for the rightwing's caricature of the labor movement, rather that what the labor movement is and was historically in reality. He wants conservatives to go "populist" by supporting working men and women and helping improves their lives, but he categorically rules out the ONE (1) thing that historically has improved the lives of the working class- a strong labor movement. Hence he really has no idea of what a populist approach would entail other than by artificially restricting the flow of labor and goods.
   237. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4651428)
Short of literally resettling people by force


You mean the way we did with black people in order to create the racially homogeneous areas you now say "we" prefer?


Is this an argument for racial integration via forced resettlement, or did you just want to complain about reality not working the way you'd prefer it to?
   238. Mefisto Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4651434)
Do you have an actual point?
   239. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4651437)
They take taxpayer money, extracted from their members by mandatory dues, and use it to pay politicians to raise taxes to get more taxpayer money for the union. It's a reprehensible system.

It's particularly reprehensible when military retirees who served this country for 20 years or more get their pensions cut and then civilian federal employees get their pay raised a week later.

I'm all for restraining pay and benefits in order to cut spending, but it should be done fairly and equitably, not by singling out those who have no political power.
   240. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4651439)
Do you have an actual point?


I asked you a question. Since content-free whining is pretty much your only contribution here, I'm not expecting much, but I suppose you might have had a stroke or been kicked by a mule and somehow transformed into a decent poster.
   241. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4651442)
It's particularly reprehensible when military retirees who served this country for 20 years or more get their pensions cut and then civilian federal employees get their pay raised a week later.


Because one class of federal worker is morally superior to the other.
   242. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4651444)
Because one class of federal worker is morally superior to the other.

No, learn how to read: they should be treated fairly and equally, you vile scum.
   243. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4651449)
No, learn how to read: they should be treated fairly and equally, you vile scum.


Were you equally up in arms about the thought of unionized auto employees losing their contractually agreed upon pensions during the GM bankruptcy process, or is this new interest in making sure all previously agreed upon pensions get paid out in full simply a function of 1) knee jerk fellatio of "the military" and 2) mindless repetition of the nutwing's talking points du jour? I have my assumptions, of course, but for some reason I feel like pointlessly trying to engage you this afternoon.

(or if you prefer to keep it limited to federal employees, were you similarly appalled when Postal Service employees saw their pensions and benefits slashed a few years ago when the big GOP talking point was "make the USPS profitable (or bankrupt it via stupid accounting rules from the House.)"
   244. Mefisto Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4651452)
Your (implicit) admission that you have no point simplifies the discussion. It would be much easier if you'd just announce that in advance.
   245. BrianBrianson Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4651453)
Joey, that premise only holds if you don't believe it's reprehensible for workers to organize for better pay and less abuse.

Start at: If God had found postal workers to not be morally abhorrent, he wouldn't have made them born poor in the first place. Everything else flows from there.
   246. Morty Causa Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4651455)
The issue should be: why isn't everyone on a mandatory assured pension program? And why do we think that those who are now on one are somehow cheating the rest of us?
   247. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4651456)
It's particularly reprehensible when military retirees who served this country for 20 years or more get their pensions cut and then civilian federal employees get their pay raised a week later.


2 serious questions.

1) Are military pensions ever cut, or are the COLA increases merely frozen or reduced? I wouldn't know. I walked away after 8 years of service with 0. Not only that, I wasn't allowed to deduct my IRA contributions because I had a "pension plan", which means I walked away with less than 0, namely the amount I paid in taxes on $16,000 in IRA contributions.

2) Are postal pensions fixed once they start to payout like most defined benefit plans, or do they get annual COLA's like the military?

Because, aside from the collective bargaining thingy, the two don't seem particularly similar.
   248. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4651458)
Joey, that premise only holds if you don't believe it's reprehensible for workers to organize for better pay and less abuse.

You're a complete and total ignorant dipshite. Military volunteers are specifically forbidden under the U.S. federal code to even organize and try to form a political union. In fact, overt political activity of any kind can potentially get you get kicked out of military service.
   249. BrianBrianson Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4651460)
Uhm, Joey, I think you missed my point entirely. I'm suggesting that if you think Postal Workers are morally deficient for having been born into the working class, all of Rickey's! conclusions are perfectly natural. It's only if you don't believe that that you'd conclude postal workers should be treated fairly.
   250. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4651462)
Because one class of federal worker is morally superior to the other.

No, learn how to read: they should be treated fairly and equally, you vile scum.


Agreeing with Misirlou in that I do not know if "military pensions" are being cut... but that said -

Pensions for BOTH private AND public employee unions get cut all the time... Private union employees always see their pension lopped during bankruptcy reorgs, meanwhile - here in BLUE Illinois, with a Democratic governor and Democratic legislature -- PUBLIC union employees just saw their retirement packages cut.

I don't know what magic world you live in where these things don't happen -- but I know plenty of teachers, ASCFME workers, etc here in Illinois that would very much like to know if they can move into it.
   251. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4651463)
The issue should be: why isn't everyone on a mandatory assured pension program? And why do we think that those who are now on one are somehow cheating the rest of us?


I would say this is because people like Glenn Beck have absconded with people like Thomas Paine (who proposed a national pension program more than 200 years ago) and convinced the masses that such people would view a program like this as evil socialistcommunistoNaziist redistributionism....
   252. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4651464)
Full pension? Postal workers get 1 % per year of their annual pay (over their best 3-year-stretch) multiplied by the number of years. It goes to 1.1% after 20 years. The only way to get your fall salary as a pension would be to work 91 years, which would be difficult to achieve by age 55.

That's a sloppy description of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) which replaced the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) for those hired after 1987. CSRS was a traditional defined benefit plan - to simplify, you got a pension worth .5625 of your "high-three" average salary after 30 years and at least age 55, and earned an additional 2% for each additional year up to an 80% cap at ~42 years of service. FERS has a lower defined benefit, so you'd get 33% of your high-three average after 30 years, but you also get Social Security (which CSRS doesn't), and a 401(K) type plan, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) that includes an employer matching contribution up to 5% of salary. Depending on how you invest, and how the stock market might be doing at the time you retire, you could do a little better or a little worse under FERS than CSRS. The main advantage of FERS is that the TSP & Social Security are portable, so unlike the CSRS, there is less of a Golden Handcuffs effect for folks who want to leave the government before 30 years.

   253. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4651465)
Your (implicit) admission that you have no point simplifies the discussion. It would be much easier if you'd just announce that in advance.


Thanks for (inadvertently) answering my question. Looks like

did you just want to complain about reality not working the way you'd prefer it to?


had you pegged.
   254. BrianBrianson Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4651466)
I'm also not aware of anywhere where most people haven't fallen for the neoconservative parody of unions that Rickey! has fallen for. I'm lead to believe places without too much English-language media penetration might do okay in this regard (France, Germany, Sweden, etc), but that may be a pipe dream of humanity's higher nature.
   255. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4651467)
I don't know what magic world you live in where these things don't happen -- but I know plenty of teachers, ASCFME workers, etc here in Illinois that would very much like to know if they can move into it.


Of course they do. And to a case, "conservatives" such as Joey cackle with delight every time a unionized pensioner loses a benefit. Because capitalism, and "balanced budget" and ####.

But let anyone suggest that military pay is just another class of federal workers comp and thus privy to the same "austerity" measures favored against Democratic leaning workers and the #### hits the fan. Because at that point you've run up against the knee-jerk militarism and authoritarian hero worship that undergirds "conservatism" and that's a sore spot.
   256. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4651470)
Were you equally up in arms about the thought of unionized auto employees losing their contractually agreed upon pensions during the GM bankruptcy process . . .

The assumptions behind that question are incorrect. Anyone seeing a trend here? The UAW employees didn't lose a thing. Their pensions were basically left untouched by the GM & Chrysler bankruptcies. The favorable treatment of the UAW even extended to UAW pensions at auto parts supplier Delphi Corporation, which had been spun off from GM 10 years before the bankruptcy.
   257. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4651472)
I think Unions of all sorts are important, even critical, even though not perfect. They are a good counterpoint to both Business and Government. Sadly right now Business and Government have risen while Unions have fallen. This is the root cause of many problems.

So when people see union = bad and fall for it what they are doing is helping Business and to a lesser extent Government. I wish it were not true, but sadly it is.
   258. BDC Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4651475)
But let anyone suggest that military pay is just another class of federal workers comp and thus privy to the same "austerity" measures favored against Democratic leaning workers and the #### hits the fan

I dunno. Force reduction, base closings, and budget cuts have hit the military hard, and there seems to be an entire DoD bureaucracy devoted to denying compensation. Republicans like to thank the troops, but as soldiers often say, thanks are great but I'd like to be paid.
   259. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4651476)
So when people see union = bad and fall for it what they are doing is helping Business and to a lesser extent Government.


Which is why I called snapper a useful idiot. He knows not of what he is talking about, but he's willing to put the full force of all the outrage he can muster against a caricature that exists only in his mind.
   260. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4651477)
In a perfect world, nobody in either the public or private sector would ever have their fairly negotiated pension reduced or eliminated. Unfortunately, in the real world companies sometimes go bankrupt and elected officials are sometimes fiscally reckless and promise more than can realistically be delivered. Making economic projections and assumptions decades into the future is pretty hard, and inherently risky.

For the last time, I'm in favor of government austerity, including in defense. But it shouldn't be done on the basis of political power and immoral laws; the moral thing to do is to make everyone in the system share the pain equally.

That far right winger Carl Levin for one agrees with me:

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin says he does not support the cuts because they cherry-pick a single group — military retirees — to help solve the nation’s budget woes. “I believe it is unfair to single out military retirees in a federal deficit reduction effort,” the Michigan Democrat said Tuesday during a committee hearing on military pensions."
   261. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4651479)
The UAW employees didn't lose a thing. Their pensions were basically left untouched by the GM & Chrysler bankruptcies.


At which point the wingnutosphere went apeshit that "socialist" Obama would dare put worker pensions on equal footing with non-guaranteed loans from private capital.

Now, flip the script, and let the pensions being put on the cutting block be military and suddenly pensions are sacrosanct, and only an American-hating socialist would think to balance the budget(*) on the backs of America's Holy Armed Services Members.

(*) of course, it was Paul Ryan's budget, but let's not pay attention to the man behind the curtain.
   262. steagles Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4651480)
No, learn how to read: they should be treated fairly and equally, you vile scum.
that sounds like social and/or commun...ism.
   263. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4651481)
The chair of Armed Services is speaking the company line of the Armed Services? Shocking. It's almost as if the (D) next to his name doesn't actually make him a socialist or a leftist.
   264. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4651482)
I dunno. Force reduction, base closings, and budget cuts have hit the military hard, and there seems to be an entire DoD bureaucracy devoted to denying compensation. Republicans like to thank the troops, but as soldiers often say, thanks are great but I'd like to be paid.


I think we need to be careful when talking about the military budget, though... I believe the Pentagon topline requests/budgets directly differentiate between personnel costs and procurement costs.

Even the DoD has at times tried to argue for procurement cuts - but the defense contractor industry simply has better lobbyists and more cleverly spreads work around into all sorts of districts... So procurement isn't made to suffer when it 'should' (in the sense that 'suffering' is defined as not spending billions on equipment even the DoD itself will often say it doesn't even want, much less need).
   265. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4651487)
For the last time, I'm in favor of government austerity, including in defense. But it shouldn't be done on the basis of political power and immoral laws; the moral thing to do is to make everyone in the system share the pain equally.


The problem is that I suspect your concept of "share the pain equally" means like-sized haircuts for everyone... and the simple fact is that some folks have a lot more hair than others.

10% to someone with a 7 figure income, sitting on 8+ figures of net worth simply is not the same pain as 10% is to 70 yo retired teacher who may or may not have a modest paid off home as the primary source of net worth.

   266. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: February 04, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4651488)
Even the DoD has at times tried to argue for procurement cuts - but the defense contractor industry simply has better lobbyists and more cleverly spreads work around into all sorts of districts... So procurement isn't made to suffer when it 'should' (in the sense that 'suffering' is defined as not spending billions on equipment even the DoD itself will often say it doesn't even want, much less need).


Yes. The DoD wants to cut tech acquisition and fund the human work program that is the Army and Marine Corps. Boeing and McDonnell-Douglass want to continue making cash hand over fist on tech contracts (and continue to employ high end engineer labor in the process, admittedly.) When push comes to shove, the Congress will fund their funders (the MIC lobbyists) at the cost of human workers (soldiers and Marines.)
   267. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4651502)
Now they tell us? ObamaCare Will Slow Growth, Contribute To 2.3M Jobs Lost:
The new healthcare law will slow economic growth over the next decade, costing the nation about 2.5 million jobs and contributing to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in a report released Tuesday. The nonpartisan agency’s report found the healthcare law’s negative effects on the economy will be “substantially larger” than what it had previously anticipated.
. . .
The CBO is now estimating the law will reduce labor force compensation by 1 percent from 2017-2024 — twice the reduction it previously had projected. This will decrease the number of full-time equivalent jobs in 2021 by 2.3 million, the CBO said. It had previously estimated the decrease would be 800,000.

Actually, some people predicted such effects, but they were ignored in the rush to pass a 1,000+ page bill that nobody read.
   268. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4651508)
Even the DoD has at times tried to argue for procurement cuts - but the defense contractor industry simply has better lobbyists and more cleverly spreads work around into all sorts of districts... So procurement isn't made to suffer when it 'should'

Like continuing to build tanks. Or sending brand new planes directly to the boneyard from the manufacturer.
   269. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4651510)
Now they tell us?


Just to be clear, you now accept what the CBO says? Because in past months many here have suggested the CBO is not to be trusted. Or is it only a good source when it says something you like?

Of course, no matter what. it is irrelevant. The law is not going anywhere. The GOP refuse to try to fix the law, all they want to do is repeal, repeal, and follow that up with more repeal. Democrats would be glad to fix it, heck they wanted to compromise on it to start with, but none of the GOP was willing.

And we all know it is not going to be repealed at a minimum until Obama is out of office. So are you willing to compromise in fixing the law, or are you just throwing around meaningless talking points? And yes I know that is a rhetorical question.

EDIT: Rush? Yeah I remember that multi year zoom that the bill took. If only there had been MORE time to debate. Good one, very funny.
   270. just plain joe Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4651512)
Agreeing with Misirlou in that I do not know if "military pensions" are being cut... but that said -


Pensions for military retirees are not being cut. Instead the rate of increase is being adjusted downward so that future increases will be less than would have occurred before. Even this lessened increase only applies to military retirees under age 62, under the logical supposition that these people will likely find gainful employment. The lessened increase does not apply to disabled retirees, they get the full amount of the increase. You could say that this same lessened rate of increase should have been applied across the board and that would be more logical and would save the government more money. To say that someone's military pension is being cut is both misleading and not true.
   271. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4651514)
Now they tell us? ObamaCare Will Slow Growth, Contribute To 2.3M Jobs Lost:


Um, that's because people who would hang onto their job only because they couldn't afford to lose health insurance don't have to. It's a good thing.
   272. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4651516)
Of course, no matter what. it is irrelevant. The law is not going anywhere. The GOP refuse to try to fix the law, all they want to do is repeal, repeal, and follow that up with more repeal. Democrats would be glad to fix it, heck they wanted to compromise on it to start with, but none of the GOP was willing.

Is that the new talking point? Blame the GOP for not "fixing" ObamaCare? Where is this Democratic legislation to "fix" ObamaCare? Or even an Obama Aministration proposal? Doesn't exist. But by all means, let the legislative process address healthcare. Has to be better than the last attempt.
   273. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4651526)
It's a good thing.

Not really. As noted by the CBO:
The budget scorekeeper said this decrease would be caused partly by people leaving the work force in response to lower wages offered by employers and increased insurance coverage through the healthcare law.

The agency also said employer penalties in the law would decrease wages, and part-year workers would be slower to return to the work force because they would seek to retain ObamaCare insurance subsidies. 

   274. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4651536)
Pensions for military retirees are not being cut. Instead the rate of increase is being adjusted downward so that future increases will be less than would have occurred before. Even this lessened increase only applies to military retirees under age 62, under the logical supposition that these people will likely find gainful employment. The lessened increase does not apply to disabled retirees, they get the full amount of the increase. You could say that this same lessened rate of increase should have been applied across the board and that would be more logical and would save the government more money. To say that someone's military pension is being cut is both misleading and not true.

This is completely true and I don't disagree. But we all know perfectly well that reductions in future spending increases are routinely described as being "cuts" by people in government and their media friends when it's their ox that is in danger of being gored. The idea that spending has to increase by a certain minimum amount year over year is the entire philosophy underpinning baseline budgeting.

So let's not have any hypocritical double-standards in the way we discuss these issues. And let's also not pretend that the government isn't channeling its inner Darth Vader and telling the retirees "I'm altering the deal; pray I don't alter it further".
   275. zonk Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4651540)
This is completely true and I don't disagree. But we all know perfectly well that reductions in future spending increases are routinely described as being "cuts" by people in government and their media friends when it's their ox that is in danger of being gored. The idea that spending has to increase by a certain minimum amount year over year is the entire philosophy underpinning baseline budgeting.

So let's not have any hypocritical double-standards in the way we discuss these issues. And let's also not pretend that the government isn't channeling its inner Darth Vader and telling the retirees "I'm altering the deal; pray I don't alter it further".


The most interesting part of the February OTP thread is undoubtedly that Joey B now finds himself in direct agreement with Dailykos and the RDB brigades who argue the exact same thing in regards to the Social Security formulate adjustments!.

I mean, hey -- I'm all for consistency... but the sorts of 'cuts' we're seeing to various public sector unions in Illinois or that a private union retiree sees when his pension is handed over to the PBGC aren't changes in COLAs or adjustments in calculations that slow the rate of growth -- they're actual situations where $100 of retirement benefits today literally become $85 (if you're lucky) in benefits tomorrow without adjusting real dollar amounts.
   276. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4651541)
And conveniently renegotiated after the worker has put their skin in the game but before he has a chance to get any back.
   277. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 04, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4651550)
And Filipinos - half of the people they meet already assume that they're Hispanic anyway, just because of their surnames.

Filipinos are considered Hispanics. So are people from Goa or Macau or East Timor:
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission encourages any individual who believes that he or she is Hispanic to self-identify as Hispanic.[39] The United States Department of Labor - Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs encourages the same self-identification.[40] As a result, any individual who traces his or her origins to part of the Spanish Empire or Portuguese Empire may self-identify as Hispanic, because an employer may not override an individual's self-identification.[41]
   278. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4651555)

Not really. As noted by the CBO:


That quote contains mainly good news, it seems to me.
   279. Morty Causa Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4651556)
   280. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4651557)
Pensions for military retirees are not being cut. Instead the rate of increase is being adjusted downward so that future increases will be less than would have occurred before. Even this lessened increase only applies to military retirees under age 62, under the logical supposition that these people will likely find gainful employment. The lessened increase does not apply to disabled retirees, they get the full amount of the increase. You could say that this same lessened rate of increase should have been applied across the board and that would be more logical and would save the government more money.


That's what I thought. Military retiree gets $40,000 this year, was supposed to get $41,000 next year. Instead, gets $40,500. Postal worker gets $40,000 this year, and the next, and the next, and the next...until he dies. Yet people will say it's the military guy getting cut and not the postal worker as well and that's not fair.
   281. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4651559)
Wait... my parents are from Taiwan. Does that mean I could identify as Hispanic?
   282. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4651561)
Because in past months many here have suggested the CBO is not to be trusted. Or is it only a good source when it says something you like?


I know those are your words and not his, but I think it's accurate to say that he does like bad news WRT ACA, and that's just sad. Not that he has to like ACA, but cheering on bad news for the country because it hurts the administration in power.
   283. Mefisto Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4651562)
From the CBO report:

"The estimated reduction [in CBO's projections of hours worked] stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply rather than a net drop in businesses demand for labor."

And here I thought conservatives supported worker choice.

Besides, Americans work longer hours than most first world countries as it is. A reduction in hours worked by individuals may very well mean opportunities for more workers. More people employed, fewer hours. Win, win.
   284. BDC Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4651566)
I must say that the Onion's version of Joe Biden never gets old.
   285. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4651571)
Wait... my parents are from Taiwan. Does that mean I could identify as Hispanic?

I'm not sure whether 17 years of Spanish rule over a part of an island counts -- especially if your family doesn't hail from the part of the island that was Fort Santo Domingo -- but if it means your kids get preferential treatment getting into colleges I'd definitely give it a shot. It also highlights the silliniess of these types of classifications.
   286. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4651579)
Filipinos are considered Hispanics. So are people from Goa or Macau or East Timor


It is almost like these "Racial" identifications are really socio-political artifacts from the past that happen to contain some semi-random genetic markers. I am positive the individuals IQ and life outcomes are very different if they self identify as Hispanic versus Asian.
   287. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4651593)
   288. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4651596)
A scoop on the NFL from the Daily Mail, eh?
   289. Morty Causa Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4651606)
The genotype creates the phenotype.

   290. Morty Causa Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4651608)
I must say that the Onion's version of Joe Biden never gets old.

I love the Onion's Biden persona. If he were younger, it might help get him elected.
   291. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4651611)
As a result, any individual who traces his or her origins to part of the Spanish Empire or Portuguese Empire may self-identify as Hispanic . . .

Not all "Hispanics" agree about including the Portuguese, BTW. When I joined a new agency early in my federal government career, every "Hispanic" employee in the office felt a need to let me know that a particular employee with a spanish sounding name was not Spanish Surnamed (a category then in vogue) but was actually of Portuguese descent via Brazil. They were not happy that he was "passing" in their view. This was in a civil rights agency.
   292. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4651612)
Politico gonna Politico:
There’s a lot more fine print about what those numbers really mean, and whether the jobs were “lost.” But what matters politically is how they’ll look in attack ads. And in this election year, “2 million lost jobs” is a Republican ad maker’s dream.
If this doesn't sum up the current state of journalism, nothing does.
   293. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4651617)
If this doesn't sum up the current state of journalism, nothing does.


If one side's initiative led to the discovery of a million tons of gold in a national park, the other side would be sure to respond with how they contaminated the ground with heavy metals.
   294. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4651622)
“2 million lost jobs” is a Republican ad maker’s dream.

And nearly perfectly describes how Republicans will continue to win congressional seats but struggle for the presidency.
   295. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4651625)
   296. The Good Face Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4651634)
It is almost like these "Racial" identifications are really socio-political artifacts from the past that happen to contain some semi-random genetic markers. I am positive the individuals IQ and life outcomes are very different if they self identify as Hispanic versus Asian.


You do realize that categories do not cease to exist just because a subject defies easy, perfect categorization, right?

Think of it this way... can you define, with perfect precision, where on the visible light spectrum red becomes orange? Of course you can't, it's impossible because orange and red are overlapping ranges. But the inability to make such a distinction doesn't invalidate the existence of color.

Or perhaps the Earth's atmosphere is more to your taste. Nobody can tell you the exact point where the stratosphere stops and the mesosphere begins; the boundary is a range of between 50-55km above sea level. Does this mean that the layers of the Earth's atmosphere don't exist?
   297. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4651637)
In reference to the earlier comment about Louisiana's Creationism law, and about Science Guy Billy Nye debating Scientific Creationist Ken Ham tonight. A nice article, setting out the issues at stake. I kind of agree with Dawkins: debating creationist can't but lend credence to their position, but the writer here has a point, too: the political cat is out of the bag.


Biologists tend to have trouble debating creationists unless they watched a few debates first, from the biologist's POV most of the creationists' argument are based upon counterfactual premises that the biologists don't quite grasp, and the responses made by creationists to the arguments made by biologists tend to be befuddling non-sequiturs to the Biologists.

Among other things Creationists tend to:

1: Misstate the positions of evolutionists.
2: Make assertions such as, "If evolution is true, why have we never seen a fish evolve into a bird? We haven't, therefore evolution is invalid"
3: Make assertions such as, "It is mathematically impossible for a few cells to evolve into an eye, it's akin to a tornado hitting a junkyard and assembling the junkpile into a working 747"
4: Ask "What about the missing link?"
5: Start off a sentence with, "The well established principle or irreducible complexity says..."
6: Say things like, "Gould disagreed with Darwin about survival of the fittest, therefor evolution is wrong"

The first time a biologist is confronted with such "arguments" they tend to be baffled, they have no idea how to even begin confronting such unadulterated bull ####.

Debating someone who makes blunt assertions based upon factually false premises, but follow no coherent internal logic when getting from point A to point B to Point C, can be very tough, because, where do you begin? The false premise? The failure to logically get from A to B? The failure to logically get from B to C?

During a debate you don't have time to organize your thoughts how to do that.

And for added fun, creationists will frequently accuse their debate "partner" of lying or committing fraud in order to obtain research funds ("follow the money") and then enlighten the audience with respect to the Piltdown Man (an actual hoax some paleontologists fell for, which according to creationists invalidates the entire field and proves that Genesis is true)
   298. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4651638)
Competition for greatest troll just got serious.


I don't see how she can be a serous candidate at this point, I assume this is intended to really rile up the evangelicals and get them off spouting misogynist stuff...
   299. spike Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4651643)
Debating someone who makes blunt assertions based upon factually false premises, but follow no coherent internal logic when getting from point A to point B to Point C, can be very tough, because, where do you begin?

So, you are suggesting Nye should practice with snapper?
   300. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 04, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4651647)
You do realize that categories do not cease to exist just because a subject defies easy, perfect categorization, right?

The categories exist only because the category makers created them. They could just as easily abolish them. It's silly that someone should get preferential treatment to college admittance or government contracts based solely on their last name or where their ancestors came from. It would make a lot more sense to favor those who came from disadvantaged circumstances. The idea that a person is disadvantaged just because someone has a Spanish last name is at best a blunt instrument and at times outright ridiculous. It's a cynical political ploy. There is no "Hispanic" category in India for Goans, nor one in China for Macanese. It exists only in places like the US where there is some political benefit to somebody in its existence.
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