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Monday, January 08, 2018

OTP 8 January 2018: Lawsuits could change the rules in North Carolina politics, balance of power in Raleigh

Jake Quinn says his main job when he umpires baseball games as a volunteer for North Asheville Little League is to ensure each team is treated fairly.

“Before the first pitch is thrown, the score is 0-0 and the team that scores the most runs during the game wins the game,” he said.

But, he says, “That’s not the way elections work. With gerrymandering, one team starts out in the lead. That’s fundamentally unfair.”

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 08, 2018 at 07:54 AM | 2393 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: little league, off topic, politics, umpire

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   1801. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5605545)
Zonk just barely beat Matt Taibbi

The end of this sentence did not live up to its promising start.
   1802. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5605548)
From the vast bigness of the tubes:
Norwegians have universal health care, strict gun control laws, and strong arts subsidy. Why would they want to move here?
   1803. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5605549)
If Trump had said "poor" countries instead, would that have been acceptable enough to move to a substantive discussion about merit-based immigration selection?


Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.


Bullshit.


I attempted to do precisely that last night - the posts remain (last page) above - but the problem is that you don't actually want to engage in any sort of substantive discussion. You just want to use tired, superficial tropes.

To reiterate - even under our current NON-"merit"-based system (which repeating again, is actually a "certification" based system) -

- Immigrants are twice as likely to pursue higher education as native-born Americans. If you look solely at first generation children of immigrants versus native citizens whose family history extends back longer, the gap grows even wider.

- Immigrants are disproportionately more entrepreneurial than native born Americans; starting new businesses at far higher rates, patent applications are disproportionately weighted towards immigrants, small businesses are disproportionately owned by immigrants

- Immigrants are nearly half as likely to commit crimes as native born citizens

The fact is - we already have a merit-based system. The US does send immigrant collecting drones out to shitholes to acquire immigrants; they self-select.

It is inherently logical that people from rich/successful countries are not particularly interested in pulling up stakes just to head to another rich/successful country. People from poor/unsuccessful countries do - something about the "land of opportunity".

For a person to leave their culture, their friends, their neighbors - there would obviously be a trigger... and that trigger would be a lack of safety, liberty, and all manner of sundry opportunities (educational, financial, entrepreneurial, etc).

Our system is already merit-based because it comes from a self-selecting pool of people that generally have at the merit of ambition - non-acceptance of a bad a situation and a desire to better themselves, their families, and their children.

Quit pretending you're some kind of holy oracle, divining legitimate arguments from crude or uncouth Trumpisms.

You're not -- you're just another Spicey... Dressing up the ridiculous with tired bromides, cliches, and superficial twaddle.
   1804. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5605550)
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.
In case anyone wasn't playing close enough attention, Ray is talking about me, here.

The only personal attack in our little subthread was your ad hominem use of "dishonest lying hack" in 1578. Well, and 1794 adds "not rational", "hallucinating", and "not very nice". "Hack" is pretty funny considering my sole immutably held political view is that Donald Trump is a racist clown.

Characterizing your refusal to answer the question as to whether or not you still think Trump is smarter than the average bear as "lacking a spine" is descriptive, not an attack.
   1805. tshipman Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5605551)
Responding to Brian Branson in 1649, where I laid out a bunch of factors for why poor nations are poor and he fisked it:

Colonialism

The Americas have a pretty strong trend where the highest standard of living countries are the northernmost (and southernmost) despite all being Colonial nations in similar fashions.


There is a persistent phenomenon in a lot of regions where there's persistent wealth or poverty. Northern Italy vs. Southern Italy, or regions of Germany.
In general, however, 19th century colonialism appears to have been particularly brutal when it comes to a focus on resource extraction rather than development. Further, this trend was exacerbated by racism: the darker the skin, the more an area seemed to be mistreated. Both phenomena were particularly pronounced in Africa.

Here's a good summary:

We argue that in two sorts of colonies there is a clear case to be made for colonialism retarding development; those with a centralised state at the time of Scramble for Africa and those of white settlement.


Population Density
Lots of low standard of living countries have low population densities, lots of high standard of living countries have high population densities. Excluding very small countries, the highest population density countries are Bangladesh, Taiwan, South Korea, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Israel ... for instance.


Population density impacts a country's development. High density = bigger hurdles for transition from agriculture, but better benefits once it does.

Too high population density decreases the natural endowment per capita, but eases the development of infrastructure, leading to existence of an optimal population density for economic growth (Yegorov, 2009)


Systematic corruption

And if Trump claimed that, man would people be calling him racist.

Foreign interference to reinforce systematic corruption

This is a bit tougher to evaluate, because almost every country is rife with foreign interference ... I don't buy it


If you don't buy that foreign interference has reinforced systematic corruption in Africa and the Americas, I don't know what to tell you. The Cold War involved systematic interference to prop up corrupt leaders in the third world.

Trading partner luck

Oceans are by far the cheapest way to ship. While being landlocked can be a problem, only a few countries are landlocked. Otherwise, trading partners aren't really determined by luck.



The luck comes from whether your competitive advantage in 1950 happened to involve something that the West needed in trade. Some places languished, others flourished due to relatively random chance.
   1806. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5605552)
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.


It's especially amusing since they've already conceded there's nothing wrong with calling a ######## a ######## and there's nothing wrong with preferring immigrants who are more likely to be educated/healthy/law abiding.

There was a fair chunk of the right that, during the Obama administration, acted like the lefty nutjobs here. Maximum outrage, all the time. Everything he said or did, whether innocuous or meant to troll them (Obama did indulge in pushing righty buttons, which is one of the reasons lefties liked him so much). Anyway, they were always convinced that THIS time they had the goods on him and he'd be forced out. They spent 8 years in a constant state of RAEG and never got what they were looking for, although I suppose you could argue for many of them the RAEG was really the entire point. I think that's the case for a number of people here.
   1807. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5605554)
If Trump had said "poor" countries instead, would that have been acceptable enough to move to a substantive discussion about merit-based immigration selection?

Because poor people have no merit? That's an interesting perspective.
   1808. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5605555)
In general, however, 19th century colonialism appears to have been particularly brutal when it comes to a focus on resource extraction rather than development. Further, this trend was exacerbated by racism: the darker the skin, the more an area seemed to be mistreated. Both phenomena were particularly pronounced in Africa.


I would say that Haiti might very well have a better case for this phenomenon than even the most screwed African nations... We've been through it before, but just to reiterate - virtually alone as a nation that was literally founded by slave revolt casting off its masters, only to be then isolated and virtually under a global blockade for nearly a century. Indeed, it was sort of the exception to the 19th century Monroe doctrine, for obvious reasons... only occasionally eyed by various fire-eaters as another piece of the Latin/Caribbean rim of confederate slavery expansion, but more often wished as something its former masters would deal with.
   1809. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5605558)
Comparing Obama to Trump is definitely some sort of rational. A specific sort.
   1810. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5605559)
#1794 reads more like a Trump parody.


Yes, like the blatherings of a flaming ignoramus.
   1811. ^^^ Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5605561)
They spent 8 years in a constant state of RAEG and never got what they were looking for, although I suppose you could argue for many of them the RAEG was really the entire point. I think that's the case for a number of people here.


Clickbait gonna clickbait.
   1812. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5605562)
McCain has gone on record:
@SenJohnMcCain 20m20 minutes ago
People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our President, should respect it.

@SenJohnMcCain 21m21 minutes ago
Respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism. To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America.
   1813. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5605563)
Hasn't anybody played Victoria II? Africa is just a place you beat into submission then take all the resources. No wonder they are having a rough go of it relative to Europe and the US.
   1814. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5605564)
1789

Not many reporters had the time, or the stamina, to spend a full day with him {Stengel].


Or the liver...
   1815. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5605565)
My father played a role in turning it into a first world country, so I (justly, I think) take some pride in his work. My mom went back last year and she didn't pay for too many drinks.


That sounds interesting, care to elaborate?


Sure. My dad was a bank regulatory and finance lawyer out of NY, and a pretty darn good one. When the Warsaw Pact countries split off from the Soviets, most of them hired US or UK lawyers to draft western-style finance/bank regulatory laws. My dad worked with a couple of other lawyers as the drafters of those laws for Slovenia and did similar work and a lot of giant privatizations in Poland (where he was born before immigrating to the States).

It was super cool work - actually kind of dangerous, one of the intelligence agencies went after the group he was working with in Slovenia and of the four people working most closely on it, two died in mysterious circumstances within a year and my dad was probably poisoned, though they way they poisoned people (we were told) there was always plausible deniability that you had just become naturally, horribly sick. But he met and worked with Lech Walesa (I have cool Solidarity memorabilia in my house) and was very proud when his laws worked and western investment flooded into the countries under the laws he'd helped draft. I spent a bunch of time in Eastern Europe in the early 90s which gave me a near-pathological fear of communism and totalitarian regimes which sticks with me today. It is REALLY hard to have spent time in late-Communist Europe and not be some flavor of center-right in your personal politics.
   1816. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5605566)
God bless OTP's Dancing Monkeys and protect them from themselves, as they are undoubtedly possessed by an evil spirit, and their everlasting souls are at stake.



Nah, #### 'em. May they rot in hell.
   1817. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5605567)
They spent 8 years in a constant state of RAEG and never got what they were looking for, although I suppose you could argue for many of them the RAEG was really the entire point. I think that's the case for a number of people here.


Clickbait gonna clickbait.


How shocking that it is the Trumpkins - in near unison (I guess Clapper is trying to hunt down the next obscure distraction) - who are now completely ignoring what are actually two distinct and different policy discussions:

What to do about immigrants who are in breach of the law - whether arriving illegally or overstaying visas vs discussions about the legal immigration system and how to/if it should be remade.

Shocking, I know... why if they didn't insist that they're interested in substantive discussions - and didn't have such rich histories in being totes believable about that - you might think they actually are nothing but a bunch of Richard Spencer clones.
   1818. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5605569)
Hasn't anybody played Victoria II? Africa is just a place you beat into submission then take all the resources. No wonder they are having a rough go of it relative to Europe and the US.


Vicky is best played as Brazil, supplanting the US as the dominant power in the western hemisphere...
   1819. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5605570)
Norwegians have universal health care, strict gun control laws, and strong arts subsidy. Why would they want to move here?


Norway has the ninth highest rate of gun ownership in the world. That's a strange choice to emphasize.
   1820. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5605571)
SenJohnMcCain 20m20 minutes ago
People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our President, should respect it


But I'm'a still vote for the wall and everything else Trump wants on that front, thanks, John McCain, we love you, you are all things to all people, truly.
   1821. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5605572)
Here's an interesting take from MLK, Jr's nephew. It's quoted in one of those ticker thingies on CNN, so scrolling may be necessary:
“I don’t think Present Trump is a racist in the traditional sense as we know in this country," Farris said. "I think President Trump is racially ignorant and racially uniformed. But I don’t think he is a racist in the traditional sense.”
If this comment were in isolation, I'd be more inclined to buy the "just locker room talk" argument. But this combined with the Curiel stuff and other comments lend itself toward a tapestry.

There's also an argument to be made that the "racial ignorance" is as bad as outright racism - it's bad to think it, but it's also bad to not realize you think it, particularly if you're affecting others adversely. And there's another argument that 70 year old businessmen who've been sued over this kind of thing lose their right to claim ignorance - there's been plenty of opportunity, and one would assume fervent attempts, to explain to Trump how racism is in play.

So as polite as this tries to be, I'm not buying it.
   1822. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5605573)
Wow, Ambassador Robert Tuttle (to the UK, under W) says he hopes Trump visits the UK so they can "get to know him better". Does he want the UK to completely turn against us? WTF?
   1823. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5605575)
What to do about immigrants who are in breach of the law - whether arriving illegally or overstaying visas vs discussions about the legal immigration system and how to/if it should be remade.


You sure such a discussion wouldn't impinge on your RAEG TIEMS?
   1824. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5605576)
Not many reporters had the time, or the stamina, to spend a full day with him {Stengel].


Or the liver...


They sure wouldn't afterward.
   1825. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5605577)
What to do about immigrants who are in breach of the law - whether arriving illegally or overstaying visas vs discussions about the legal immigration system and how to/if it should be remade.


Yeah we could have either discussion. They don't want that though, they would rather demagogue on the subject.

Anyway, I see stretchy has returned. He is the poster child against my belief diversity is good, because he is plenty diverse and yet ...
   1826. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5605578)

If you don't buy that foreign interference has reinforced systematic corruption in Africa and the Americas, I don't know what to tell you. The Cold War involved systematic interference to prop up corrupt leaders in the third world.


What you haven't demonstrated, or even given any indication of, is that were this took place heavily, where it took place moderately, and where it didn't really take place significantly have any difference in their outcome. Nor, really, that your estimate of where places are corrupt or not is much other than impulsive racism. Yeah, some corrupt leaders were propped up, while others were kicked over, while others were ignored. But there's no indication of the outcome being any different. Chile and Argentina, for instance, still fit the Far North/South = Rich pattern, despite being two of the most obvious examples of propping corrupt governments.
   1827. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5605579)
What to do about immigrants who are in breach of the law - whether arriving illegally or overstaying visas vs discussions about the legal immigration system and how to/if it should be remade.

You sure such a discussion wouldn't impinge on your RAEG TIEMS?
Here's some legitimate wisdom:
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.
   1828. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5605581)
Norway has the ninth highest rate of gun ownership in the world. That's a strange choice to emphasize.


True - but they do have significant restrictions that do not exist in the US.... The first is strict rules on storage - as well as allowing for police inspection of such storage safety (albeit with notice). The second is that you need a license for more than just firearm purchases - the same license is also required for ammunition purchases. Finally, they also have caliber and power restrictions not present in the US.

If anything - I think it might be fair to say that Norway would be a good example of "strict gun control laws" not necessarily being anathema or obstacle to private gun ownership.

To be sure - there are elements of Norwegian gun control laws that would probably run afoul of the the US constitution (and not just the 2nd amendment, I imagine the right of inspection would also be problematic).... but I would gladly trade US gun laws for Norwegian and pronounce the matter done.
   1829. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5605583)
You sure such a discussion wouldn't impinge on your RAEG TIEMS?


I think your posts in comparison to mine speak for themselves. I'm not the one that the posting evidence of the last couple pages makes painfully obvious is either unwilling or unable to distinguish between the two.

Nor, I'll say again, am I the one like you, Ray, or SBB or simply ignores items of substantive discussion that aren't amendable to your slapdash, superficial cliche fest.
   1830. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5605584)
Here's some legitimate wisdom:


Seriously? He's worth engaging in good faith? I think that's nuts, if that's what you're suggesting.
   1831. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5605587)
A bit more on the new tax withholding rates - 90% Likely To See More Money In Paychecks:
Under those new tables, the Treasury estimates that 90% of people who get a paycheck are likely to see more in take-home pay, as soon as February. Employers will have until Feb. 15 to incorporate the changes in their payroll systems.

More money might be somewhat popular.
   1832. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5605588)
   1833. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5605589)
There is a persistent phenomenon in a lot of regions where there's persistent wealth or poverty. Northern Italy vs. Southern Italy, or regions of Germany.


Within countries but also across continents, there are strong wealth gradients across continents, where the farther you are from the equator, the wealthier your country is.


In general, however, 19th century colonialism appears to have been particularly brutal when it comes to a focus on resource extraction rather than development. Further, this trend was exacerbated by racism: the darker the skin, the more an area seemed to be mistreated. Both phenomena were particularly pronounced in Africa.


Sure, Colonialism was often brutal, but what isn't presented is any evidence that that's why the economic development has proceeded more slowly. Colonialism (as noted earlier) was brutal in Ireland - something like three quarters of the population was driven out - but Ireland looks just like the countries around it today. Liberia or Ethiopia didn't see much colonial extraction of anything, but they look just like their neighbors. Ditto Thailand. Like, really, what I'd want is some mechanism so that we could make predictions that would verify or falsify the idea, rather than "just-so" stories that don't seem to hold up to even cursory examination.
   1834. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5605592)
I much prefer both Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis to Vicky. Vicky ... I feel like the timeframe is too short to much change your destiny, unless you play immigration-mad Uruguay.
   1835. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5605596)
This story has way too many hooks to do it justice in a single post - Birth tourism brings Russian baby boom to Miami

Seriously it has Russia, immigration, anchor babies ... it has everything.
   1836. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5605597)
I much prefer both Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis to Vicky. Vicky ... I feel like the timeframe is too short to much change your destiny, unless you play immigration-mad Uruguay.


Oh, wholly agree... I really want to like Vicky - I think Paradox has gone back-and-forth on whether they'll actually do a Vicky III (I believe latest operable is No) - but I've also found it far too dense and clunky. Whether the core gameplay system or whatever - I've run across any mods that make it much better.

   1837. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5605599)
If Trump had said "poor" countries instead, would that have been acceptable enough to move to a substantive discussion about merit-based immigration selection?


Because poor people have no merit? That's an interesting perspective.

It's worse than that. These immigrants are not being rejected because they're poor. They're being rejected because they come from a poor country. That's the definition of prejudice. And that's the more friendly take on what "poor" stands for here.
   1838. tshipman Posted: January 12, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5605600)
What you haven't demonstrated, or even given any indication of, is that were this took place heavily, where it took place moderately, and where it didn't really take place significantly have any difference in their outcome. Nor, really, that your estimate of where places are corrupt or not is much other than impulsive racism. Yeah, some corrupt leaders were propped up, while others were kicked over, while others were ignored.


Well, no, because I'm not writing a scholarly article for publication.

Some specific examples of how foreign interference reinforced systematic corruption would include:

the USSR and Libya

The USSR's investment in Gaddafi helped entrench him in power. Without that, he probably is unable to consolidate his power so quickly or so effectively.

El Salvador (topical!)


We propped up a side in a civil war, causing that civil war to extend longer than it would have, and wreaking devastation on the country. The Salvadorean civil war lasted 25 years, ruining human capital and investment in the region.


Chile and Argentina, for instance, still fit the Far North/South = Rich pattern, despite being two of the most obvious examples of propping corrupt governments.


I didn't say it was the primary factor in a country's success or failure, merely that it is a factor. You're also not grappling with the counterfactual: absent foreign intervention, both those countries could be wealthier than they are today. You're simply observing that they are second world, rather than third world, and saying that the US intervening for the Argentinian Junta must not have done much damage.

That's bad analysis. There's nothing magical about latitude that makes regions wealthy. Atlanta is more prosperous than Iowa. Los Angeles is richer than Portland.
   1839. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5605601)
A bit more on the new tax withholding rates - 90% Likely To See More Money In Paychecks:

More money might be somewhat popular.

Nah, doesn't matter. The narrative has formed and the goose is cooked. You'd have better luck going onto Fox News and explaining the context behind Peter Strzok's texts to his girlfriend.
   1840. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5605602)
More money might be somewhat popular.


Keep digging through that shitpile, Clapper... it's good, honest work you're doing.

Meanwhile - as your fellow Trumpkins will surely tell you, economic performance continues the same upswing it's been on for 5 years (though now - what was previously "chugging along" is "booming") - yet your boy remains mired 20 points underwater.... while the D/R ballot preference remains a double digit split.

But I'm sure you're right... just like all the other times the page has been turned, this will be different.

Maybe you ought start using Q1 2018 as your pilot season? Start rolling out the arguments about things are actually great and Trumpublican problems are actually just because of the non-stop opposition complaints and media outrage? You know - see if Survivor: TOTALLY UNFAIR ISLAND - has the juice to make the fall schedule?
   1841. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5605603)
I think your posts in comparison to mine speak for themselves.


They certainly do. TGF - 97% less obsessed with cocks than those bargain brand posters!

Nor, I'll say again, am I the one like you, Ray, or SBB or simply ignores items of substantive discussion that aren't amendable to your slapdash, superficial cliche fest.


Ok.
   1842. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5605605)
Oh, wholly agree... I really want to like Vicky - I think Paradox has gone back-and-forth on whether they'll actually do a Vicky III (I believe latest operable is No) - but I've also found it far too dense and clunky. Whether the core gameplay system or whatever - I've run across any mods that make it much better.

Agree. EU >>> VII

Just hoping the next patch or two makes HOI IV a bit more engaging. Although I've lost too many hours to that half-baked game (mods make it worth playing).
   1843. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5605607)
I think Clapper is right, money is popular. Tax cuts are generally popular. Presidents typically get credit and high approval ratings when the economy does well.

So if all that is happening, more money because of tax cuts and in general a booming economy, then why is Trump and the GOP so unpopular?
   1844. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5605609)
why is Trump and the GOP so unpopular?


FAKE NEWS!

   1845. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5605611)
So defending racist #### is what draws both TGF and SBB out of lurking...
   1846. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5605612)
This is not a discussion about merit-based immigration, as much as Trump defenders would like to cast it that way.
I'd be very interested in a discussion about merit-based immigration, if there was one to be had. But I'm not sure there's one out there. On the high end, our system is pretty open for the educated and skilled. While should try to reduce the number of smart people leaving the country and seek to increase the number of smart people coming here, is there any disagreement to that from any side? I don't think so.

If we have policies preventing skilled/educated people who would qualify and want to come to America, we should change them. I don't think that is the case now, but if there is any data about PhD's being kept out for some reason, feel free to present it. There might be an argument for letting foreign tech workers stay, for example. In general I would support that.

Definitely reduce the bureaucracy and the fees required to apply for citizenship. Do a BPR and figure out why it takes so long and costs so much. Suspect the R's would fight this even though reducing bureaucracy is theoretically one of their talking points, but could be wrong.

-----

In terms of raw numbers, since Trump is touting Canada's system- let's compare the US to Canada. Based on the official statistics, there were 1.2 million immigrants to the US in 2015, 265K to Canada. Both the US and Canada brought in about 160K "skilled" workers (156K vs 166K). Meanwhile the US brought in an additional ~7x as many people for humanitarian reasons, and about 12x as many family members (assuming the US and Canada use similar definitions for those terms and bin similarly).

And of course many of those 165K skilled immigrants to Canada were Zonkish, moving from the US, and vice versa.

On a per-capita basis, net immigration to Canada was about double that to the US. That is, immigration represented a net population change of .73% in Canada, vs .37% in the US. If Trump wanted to propose doubling our overall immigration to match Canada, I would support that. Increasing our current immigration to ~2.4 million per year to match Canada's growth rate would be probably make a nice dent in paying for the tax cuts.

If we did that, though, would we be able to substantially increase that 160K skilled workers? They are a scarcer resource, and they have more options. I would propose bringing in all of those people we can, but as others have mentioned, it's a tougher sell.

But of course Trump doesn't really want that; he wants a modern version of the 1924 immigration control act, excluding or limiting the number of people allowed to immigrate from certain countries.
"My conviction is that by strict limitation and a wise selection of immigration, we can make America stronger in every way, hastening the day when our population shall be more homogenous." William Doak, Secretary of Labor, 1931
Sounds quite familiar. FWIW the 1924 act went into effect in 1929- just in time for the Great Depression. Good times.
   1847. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5605614)
If we have policies preventing skilled/educated people who would qualify and want to come to America, we should change them. I don't think that is the case now, but if there is any data about PhD's being kept out for some reason, feel free to present it.


Depends, but I'm in the US as a J-1 scholar. That my wife had to spend months applying separately for permission to work, and has to do that every year (effectively making her unemployable) is a serious downside. In contrast, when I was in the UK, it was automagic that she could work, and it was kept without hiccups (except when we ###### up our visa renewal! Oops!)
   1848. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5605615)
BTW - one item under the radar...

Hasn't gotten much ink - it is another deep red district that Trump won by 20 points - but there's a special election for a PA congressional seat in about 8 weeks... Trump was originally - and remains, at least for now? - slated to visit next week for a campaign appearance.

This was the seat vacated by Tim Murphy - who resigned a few months back when he was caught pressuring his mistress into an abortion, surely you recall the discussions from Clapper's obsession with political marriages and affairs like this one:



and this one:



The GOP candidate a longtime state rep for the district - and a HEAVY favorite... but lots of whispers that he's just not a very good campaigner (his fundraising has been anemic and various groups have had to prop up his spending).

The Dem candidate is a good one - young, telegenic, former assistant US Attorney, Marine captain, lifelong son of the district.

It's certainly an uphill climb - very much a midwestern Trump district - but then, you don't do Presidential campaign stops plus several planned VP swings for a 5 foot putt in a gimme election, do you?

How do they put it?

Might be worth keeping an eye on...
   1849. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5605618)
Northern Italy vs. Southern Italy, or regions of Germany

Within countries but also across continents, there are strong wealth gradients across continents, where the farther you are from the equator, the wealthier


Just to quibble (or maybe not even that, just to say), though, the southernmost parts of the current Germany are the wealthiest (Bavaria, Baden, Hesse). There are a lot of "recent" historical accidents in play there, of course. East Germany is entirely north of those areas and was impoverished by communism. Aside from Hamburg, even the northwest of Germany is not now particularly wealthy; but historically, the Hanseatic areas in the north (and right across Pomerania in what is now Poland, to East Prussia) were very rich.
   1850. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5605619)
I didn't say it was the primary factor in a country's success or failure, merely that it is a factor. You're also not grappling with the counterfactual: absent foreign intervention, both those countries could be wealthier than they are today. You're simply observing that they are second world, rather than third world, and saying that the US intervening for the Argentinian Junta must not have done much damage.


I mean, yes, I'm taking a null hypothesis that the wealth of countries is entirely random, and then asking whether other theories do a better job of predicting the data.

So - does foreign interference produce a good correlation with wealth? Not as far as I can see, so it's not a good hypothesis. That there was foreign intervention that sometimes reenforced corruption doesn't address at all whether it has anything to do with overall economic success.

So - does latitude produce a good correlation with wealth? Yes. Do I know why? No. I assume it's not a direct cause.
   1851. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5605620)
Just hoping the next patch or two makes HOI IV a bit more engaging. Although I've lost too many hours to that half-baked game (mods make it worth playing).


I don't think I've played it since the first month of the release (not a fan, figured out how to game it, got bored, figured I'd wait on expansions).... I assume by this point there have been expansions?
   1852. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5605621)
Nor, I'll say again, am I the one like you, Ray, or SBB or simply ignores items of substantive discussion that aren't amendable to your slapdash, superficial cliche fest.


Ok.


...he responded, with a slapdash, superficial cliche...
   1853. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5605622)
Depends, but I'm in the US as a J-1 scholar. That my wife had to spend months applying separately for permission to work, and has to do that every year (effectively making her unemployable) is a serious downside. In contrast, when I was in the UK, it was automagic that she could work, and it was kept without hiccups (except when we ###### up our visa renewal! Oops!)
Yeah, stuff like that needs to be fixed (and is what I meant by the reduce bureaucracy comment).

If you wanted to move here permanently, do you think you'd be able to do it? or would some kind of quota system stop you?
   1854. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5605624)
If Trump had said "poor" countries instead, would that have been acceptable enough to move to a substantive discussion about merit-based immigration selection?

Because poor people have no merit? That's an interesting perspective.


BDC, that's not what merit means in this context. It means skilled vs unskilled labor.

I certainly would not have or support an immigration policy that barred unskilled laborers from coming here. But that's out of compassion, not because I think unskilled people add more economic value to the country than skilled people. Neither do I want an open door policy.

Regardless, there's no reason that a discussion of an immigration policy that leans towards merit-based is inherently invalid.
   1855. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5605625)
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.

In case anyone wasn't playing close enough attention, Ray is talking about me, here.


You're "folks" and "people" plural? That's an interesting bit of self-flattery.
   1856. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5605626)
...he responded, with a slapdash, superficial cliche...


We've had tons of substantive discussions on immigration. Well, I have. Whereupon you guys mostly just scream that anything other than open borders is OMG RAYCISS and/or "Not who we are because TEH STATUTE OF LIBERTY!". Shrug. Been there, done that. So instead I'm just going to entertain myself as I see fit and enjoy watching you poop your pants with RAEG.
   1857. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5605627)
Regardless, there's no reason that a discussion of an immigration policy that leans towards merit-based is inherently invalid.
Still waiting for you to propose some details of said policy.
   1858. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5605628)
If you wanted to move here permanently, do you think you'd be able to do it? or would some kind of quota system stop you?


Unless Trump messes with it, I assume a permanent job would mean I'd get sponsored for an H1-b (exempt) visa, so my wife could apply for work approval after arrival, which I *think* would not have the renewal issues.

But Trump, of course, has suggested he may nix that.
   1859. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5605629)
A bit more on the new tax withholding rates - 90% Likely To See More Money In Paychecks:

Under those new tables, the Treasury estimates that 90% of people who get a paycheck are likely to see more in take-home pay, as soon as February. Employers will have until Feb. 15 to incorporate the changes in their payroll systems.


More money might be somewhat popular.

Sure, if it were all that simple, but.....

New tax guidelines rely on workers to double-check their paychecks
Millions of Americans will need to use a new Internal Revenue Service online calculator to ensure their new paychecks are accurate, Trump administration officials said Thursday as they issued guidelines for implementing the recently passed tax law.

The guidelines are necessary for businesses to calculate how much to withhold in taxes from employees’ paychecks beginning as soon as next month. The White House said Thursday that businesses should make these adjustments by Feb. 15, part of the administration’s push for millions of workers to see bigger paychecks as quickly as possible.

In rushing the process, the Treasury Department is asking companies to rely on outdated forms to help determine how much to withhold.

A senior IRS official said Thursday that Americans with simple tax situations are likely to get accurate paychecks next month. But many Americans, including those who tend to itemize their tax returns, will need to use the online tool to ensure they are not dramatically overpaying or underpaying their taxes. The online calculator will not be available until sometime next month.

If they find their paychecks are inaccurate, it will be incumbent on the employees to tell their employers to make corrections....

The new guidelines incorporate lower tax rates that were central to Congress’s December tax overhaul. Trump administration officials said that the guidelines should lead to bigger paychecks for 90 percent of all wage earners.

But these tax withholding decisions are based on tax forms Americans file with their employers, known as W-4s, that were written to apply to an outdated tax system. The Treasury Department and IRS are designing new W-4 forms that millions of Americans will probably be able to fill out later this year to make their tax withholdings more accurate in the future, but they will not be ready in time for the paycheck adjustments next month.

“We had an existing form,” Mnuchin said. “We had existing technology. We had to figure out how to fit this in this format.”

Senior Treasury Department officials said they expect employers to update their systems so that the new withholding tables go into effect by Feb. 15....

Now what could possibly ever go wrong?
   1860. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5605630)
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.

It's especially amusing since they've already conceded there's nothing wrong with calling a ######## a ######## and there's nothing wrong with preferring immigrants who are more likely to be educated/healthy/law abiding.

There was a fair chunk of the right that, during the Obama administration, acted like the lefty nutjobs here. Maximum outrage, all the time. Everything he said or did, whether innocuous or meant to troll them (Obama did indulge in pushing righty buttons, which is one of the reasons lefties liked him so much). Anyway, they were always convinced that THIS time they had the goods on him and he'd be forced out. They spent 8 years in a constant state of RAEG and never got what they were looking for, although I suppose you could argue for many of them the RAEG was really the entire point. I think that's the case for a number of people here.


Indeed.

Look at what they've managed to convince themselves of here: "The people don't want to discuss this with us are racists and enablers and embarrassed that they supported Trump." No, actually, people don't want to discuss it with them, because they're miserable, insufferable folks who classify disagreement as bigotry and who attack people personally and vociferously if you don't reach their Only Conclusion; people are discussing it with others around them, who are more fair-minded or like-minded, because it turns out that people don't want to be used as target practice, which is often all that these miserable folks exist for. It's the same mistake they made during the 2016 election when they drove Trump supporters to not discuss things with them, thereby managing to blind themselves to the reality that Trump could win. They're at times a little more clear-headed now having been burned once -- and how -- but old habits die hard.

Merit-based immigration is a valid discussion, to sane people.
   1861. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5605631)
Liberia or Ethiopia didn't see much colonial extraction of anything, but they look just like their neighbors.


Obligatory!
   1862. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5605632)
1856

Been there, done that. So instead I'm just going to entertain myself as I see fit and enjoy watching you poop your pants with RAEG.


No RAEG, no pants-pooping over here. I'm just fully confident in my opinion that the President is an assshole. Fortunately for me, he keeps opening his mouth or tweeting, thus providing confirmation.
   1863. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5605633)
Hasn't gotten much ink - it is another deep red district that Trump won by 20 points - but there's a special election for a PA congressional seat in about 8 weeks... Trump was originally - and remains, at least for now? - slated to visit next week for a campaign appearance.
This was the seat vacated by Tim Murphy - who resigned a few months back when he was caught pressuring his mistress into an abortion, surely you recall the discussions from Clapper's obsession with political marriages and affairs like this one:



Murphy ran unopposed the last two cycles, and won by 30% to 35% margins in the three cycles before that. The GOP hasn't had to think about this seat in this century.

The district swung hard to the right 20 years ago, and is filled with the kind of "Trump Democrat" voters so often credited for his win. The district is also home to numerous large coal mines. As long as the coal revival continues to go strong, Trump's full-throated support of coal should carry a lot of weight.

The voters remember. Should be more than enough to keep this can't-lose seat safely in the Republican column.

Jan. 12: Coal Miners Turn On Trump After They Gain Fewer Jobs Than A Local Sam’s Club

Jan. 12: Trump Promised to Bring Back Coal. How’s It Going? (TL:DR-- "Not.")

Jan. 9: Coal CEO slams Trump for picking 'inadequate bureaucrats'

Jan. 9: Trump's Appointees May Have Just Bankrupted Big Coal

Jan. 9: Trump and Perry's Coal Bailout is Dead
   1864. tshipman Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5605634)
So - does foreign interference produce a good correlation with wealth? Not as far as I can see, so it's not a good hypothesis. That there was foreign intervention that sometimes reenforced corruption doesn't address at all whether it has anything to do with overall economic success.


This is a category error. You're looking at all foreign interference as being equal when that's not the right way to look at it.

There are a lot of different types of foreign interference: sometimes it's propping up a corrupt government, sometimes it's helping remove a not corrupt one, sometimes it's investing in a good government. Even in reinforcing corruption, there's a wide variety in types of actions.

You're taking a small sample set, lumping in a bunch of categories, and then crying that it doesn't meet a regression test. Of course it doesn't! It's a complicated system, without a good way to evaluate counterfactuals. This is a problem that is not well-suited to data analysis!
   1865. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5605637)
BDC, that's not what merit means in this context. It means skilled vs unskilled labor.

I certainly would not have or support an immigration policy that barred unskilled laborers from coming here. But that's out of compassion, not because I think unskilled people add more economic value to the country than skilled people. Neither do I want an open door policy.

Regardless, there's no reason that a discussion of an immigration policy that leans towards merit-based is inherently invalid.


But again, you're not discussing it. You're only defending bromides.

Skilled vs unskilled in this "merit" context means certified, as in, "has a degree". There are plenty of valuable skills that do not generally trend towards educational degrees.... so the first problem is that you're not addressing that "unskilled" in the context the merit/certification system assumes that everybody in the unskilled pool is necessarily just a ditch-digger. Granted - modern manufacturing and automation, means that a lot of these 'unskilled' by your definition but actually skilled in a real sense would be artists, writers, musicians, etc -- but skilled craftsmen exist. Carpenters, masons, etc. And there is a very lucrative market for goods - niche vs industrial/mass-produced - but still a very lucrative market for such wares in the US. The sort of market such a person in Haiti is unlikely to be able to reach from Haiti.

Beyond that, though - I still come back to this stubborn way you imply the static nature of these immigrants... and I have pointed out - what... 5 times now?.... the numbers very much show that immigrants pursue "skills" - in the form of certifications (education) or entrepreneurial endeavors at far higher rates than native born Americans.

You have at various times, lauded your own background in 'unskilled work'.... while you were pursuing skills.

The data clearly shows that immigrants are actually likely to do the same.

The simple fact is that "skilled" (certified) people in successful countries have no real reason or desire to emigrate. Skilled (certified) people from unsuccessful countries certainly would - to a point (doubtless, you have to make certain moral and liberty sacrifices - but if you're skilled in a largely unskilled country, and willing to do so, you might well be happy to be the 1% in a kleptocracy).

People are not static. Even if they are immigrants.
   1866. DavidFoss Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5605638)
Regardless, there's no reason that a discussion of an immigration policy that leans towards merit-based is inherently invalid.

Still waiting for you to propose some details of said policy.


To play devil's advocate for Ray's point, a lot of technology employers sponsor green cards claiming that the individual has skills that are hard to find among US citizens. At several tech jobs that I've had, I've been the only American-born person on the team. I don't know if we could have an immigration policy based solely on employer-sponsored green cards.

The flip side is migrant farm workers. There is a whole economy based on bringing in undocumented people to, say, pick radishes and lettuce, for very low wages and no benefits. Employers want this. Consumers want this. How do you get this work done cheaply but 'on the level'?
   1867. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5605639)
So instead I'm just going to entertain myself as I see fit and enjoy watching you poop your pants with RAEG.

Like #1846? You seem to be focused on ghosts.
   1868. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5605640)
Ray, #1788, 1:46 PM: Hey, which of you folks want to engage with me in sincere, sensible and substantive debate?
Ray, #1860, 3:35 PM: Forget you, no one wanted to talk to delusional, miserable, insufferable, closed-minded attack dogs.

I think it might be another Trump parody.
   1869. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5605641)
It's the same mistake they made during the 2016 election when they drove Trump supporters to not discuss things with them, thereby managing to blind themselves to the reality that Trump could win. They're at times a little more clear-headed now having been burned once -- and how -- but old habits die hard.


Why can't you racist cockholstering filth have a substantive conversation with me? Oh, walking away shaking your head? That just proves what a horrible piece of #### you are! And EVERYONE AGREES WITH ME!

What's funny is they don't realize that the people who don't agree with them just don't want to deal with a crazy person, and instead nod politely or grunt in apparent agreement.

What's really funny is they acted just like this during Dubya's administration too. This is just how they behave when they don't hold the Presidency. They'll act the exact same way in 12 years when Mitt Romney's grandson, Cucksworth Milquetoast Romney Jr. becomes POTUS and proposes a 0.001% cut in the growth of the Subsidized Perverted Arts budget. Literally Hitler!
   1870. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5605642)
Merit-based immigration is a valid discussion, to sane people.


Sure. Merit based immigration (or perhaps, needs based immigration) makes a lot of sense.

The paper bag test Trump's talking about does not reflect merit.
   1871. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5605643)
We've had tons of substantive discussions on immigration. Well, I have. Whereupon you guys mostly just scream that anything other than open borders is OMG RAYCISS and/or "Not who we are because TEH STATUTE OF LIBERTY!". Shrug. Been there, done that. So instead I'm just going to entertain myself as I see fit and enjoy watching you poop your pants with RAEG.


...he repeated, in near-identical fashion.

But that's fine - I know with Sloppy Steve now even shipped off Elba into a lifeboat somewhere, it's tough times for you... so my bleeding heart liberalism makes the usual allowances.

And regardless - I'm having fun, too. Lots of it.
   1872. Count Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5605644)
A merits system wouldn't discriminate against people with the appropriate skills or credentials or whatever from Haiti or Norway. Doesn't matter if the country is a ######## if you're evaluating individuals. Trump's comment isn't relevant to that discussion except in as much as it reveals (again) that his issue, and the issue of many immigration restrictionists, is having too many brown and black people in the country, not skills or economic competition.
   1873. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5605645)
I don't know if we could have an immigration policy based solely on employer-sponsored green cards.


So, it's not the only possible visa, but Canada maintains a list of professions that if you're qualified/experienced in, you get extra points when applying for your visa/citizenship, because there aren't enough Canadians (and it includes a diverse list of professions, from aerospace engineers to a euphamism for strippers).

The UK has "job centres" that administer welfare and "help" those on the dole find jobs and such - sponsorship for the kind of visa I had when I was in the UK includes checking with the local job centre to see if there's an unemployed British person in the area who could do the job.

You don't really have to separate professors and turnip pickers into different classes of immigrants, if they're both being admitted because there are no Americans available for the job.
   1874. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5605647)
I assume everyone realizes that 2017 will be remembered as the year where things went well for Trump and his supporters.
   1875. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5605648)
Sure. Merit based immigration (or perhaps, needs based immigration) makes a lot of sense.


I would still maintain that the current system actually is merit-based... just a self-selecting, naturally occurring merit-based. I will again lean on the fact that whatever metric one wishes to use - pursuit of education, entrepreneurial endeavors, or even the bog standard 'more law-abiding' -- the current system is already that to the US. The data is the data.

Over time - perhaps that does change.... and it's worth reassessing - I just say that the data right now clearly says otherwise.

Who doesn't want only the best and brightest to come to their country and improve it? The problem is - unless you're going to go North Korea and just kidnap it - you generally have a hard time drawing it.

So - you lean on the self-selecting, intrinsic, non-certified "merit" immigration... which has always and continues to serve the US well.

   1876. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5605649)
More money might be somewhat popular.

Sure, if it were all that simple, but.....

New tax guidelines rely on workers to double-check their paychecks


Despite the efforts of Andy & the WaPo to make it sound super scary, all the article in #1859 says is that those who had a lot of itemized deductions and claimed extra exemptions on their W-4 because of that should adjust their W-4 to reflect the changes on what's deductible and the new rates. Not really a big deal, those claiming extra exemptions are usually fairly sophisticated taxpayers. They know approximately what they will owe and don't wish to give the government an interest free loan. Or perhaps they even want to receive an interest free loan from the government. Either way, their "plight" is small potatoes, and just reflects the longstanding limitations of the W-4 form. The government attempted to revise it not that long ago, but the proposed change was so complex it was dropped after widespread objections.
   1877. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: January 12, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5605651)
I imagine Slovenia might have a similar topography to Maine.

Its a beautiful country. Much more alpine than that. Think Oregon.
I wish I'd been keeping up with this thread during the Slovenia discussion, mainly to convey the fact that the Slovenes are the only Slavs who yodel. This is important information.

   1878. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5605653)
A merits system wouldn't discriminate against people with the appropriate skills or credentials or whatever from Haiti or Norway. Doesn't matter if the country is a ######## if you're evaluating individuals. Trump's comment isn't relevant to that discussion except in as much as it reveals (again) that his issue, and the issue of many immigration restrictionists, is having too many brown and black people in the country, not skills or economic competition

True. Another dynamic is language. No matter what your skills, they evaporate upon arrival in the US if you can't wield them in fluent English. So the board is further tilted toward whiter countries where more people learn English as a matter of course. And by Trumpian definition anyone who doesn't speak fluent English is apparently a ########, or whatever the noun for a native of a ######## may be.
   1879. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5605657)
So the board is further tilted toward whiter countries where more people learn English as a matter of course.


Like India. Or Jamaica. You know, the whiter countries.

Just come out and say it; you don't want too many white people because they or their children might vote wrong someday. I'm giving you credit and assuming your motives aren't actually worse than that ('sup Andy?).
   1880. Count Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5605658)
It's even worse TGF: Soros is paying us to support white genocide.
   1881. Count Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5605660)
So many conservatives, not just white nationalists, are convinced that liberals want more immigrants so they can increase the number of Democratic voters. It is ridiculous.
   1882. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5605661)
Just come out and say it; you don't want too many white people because they or their children might vote wrong someday. I'm giving you credit and assuming your motives aren't actually worse than that ('sup Andy?).


It often seems that way, but I don't know; diversity is a religion with them. The main driver could be that.
   1883. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5605662)
Seriously? He's worth engaging in good faith? I think that's nuts, if that's what you're suggesting.
See how leaving exercises very much left to the reader is fraught with peril?
Bottom line, there are some discussions that folks here are just not rational enough to have. Everything is dialed up to notch 10. And then you get the personal insults and the attacks and the venom. There's no point in trying to engage in a reasoned discussion about some of the outrages of the day with folks who are hallucinating -- and who, frankly, are not very nice people.
I had meant to note that Ray's words eloquently apply to TGF.
You're "folks" and "people" plural? That's an interesting bit of self-flattery.
You're absolutely right, I had little faith. It's entirely plausible you were speaking of TGF, as well.
Merit-based immigration is a valid discussion, to sane people.
Yes, it is. And those discussions have taken place, here.

Another legitimately eloquent thing you once said, Ray (and this is probably a paraphrase, but I hope the spirit is intact), was that you try to take words at face value rather than through some hysterical lens of what you think someone meant, or what the media tells us to think. I would firmly agree that's something we should all strive for. Well, when Trump says he doesn't see why we should take 'all these people from ######## countries', he's not saying "let's have a merit-based immigration discussion." He's saying he doesn't want to take people from ######## countries. Which is racist, and he should be called on it. *SEPARATELY*, we can have a merit-based immigration discussion.
   1884. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5605663)
Ah, Trumpy... He's like the golden goose of schadenfreude.

WSJ is reporting that Michael Cohen set up a payoff and corresponding NDA with ex-porn star Stormy Daniels regarding an "encounter" about 10 years ago. The WSJ's reporting is very vague about the nature of the alleged "encounter" - consensual romantic vs ##### grabbber. But does allude to other items - another ex-porn star (Jessica Drake) is among Trump's many accusers and actually cites the same event supposedly involved here (as well as mentioning an unidentified "another woman" - sounds like it may have been Daniels).

There's also some background on another story - I believe somewhat reported previously - about the National Enquirer paying off a different would-be Trump accuser, originally for a story but spiked (the National Enquirer publisher is a Trumpkin and it's well-known that he's protecting his boy) with the Enquirer claiming that the payment was for the woman to write a "fitness column", not a keep quiet payoff.

   1885. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5605666)
Another legitimately eloquent thing you once said, Ray (and this is probably a paraphrase, but I hope the spirit is intact), was that you try to take words at face value rather than through some hysterical lens of what you think someone meant, or what the media tells us to think. I would firmly agree that's something we should all strive for. Well, when Trump says he doesn't see why we should take 'all these people from ######## countries', he's not saying "let's have a merit-based immigration discussion." He's saying he doesn't want to take people from ######## countries. Which is racist, and he should be called on it. *SEPARATELY*, we can have a merit-based immigration discussion.


Odd. You say you want to take his words at face value, and then you read your "Which is racist" conclusion into his words. Whether that's a valid reading or not -- I'm not opining on that here -- one thing it most certainly isn't is "taking his words at face value."

At face value he calls the countries sh^tholes, not the people. At face value.
   1886. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5605669)
Operation Excellence in Action continues....

It took the White House twenty-two minutes to figure out how to enable the "listening only" feature on a conference call on Thursday in which senior administration officials announced that President Trump would continue to waive nuclear program-related sanctions, keeping the deal intact.

"This White House can't even run a f*cking conference call," a reporter on an unmuted phone line angrily exclaimed to the entire call. "They don't know how to mute their line."

"It's the illegitimate media that doesn't know how to conduct themselves. They can't mute their f*cking phones," an unidentified official said. "Mute your phones."

Another White House official repeatedly attempted to quiet the noisy line "so the people in charge" could talk.

"I think if everyone had half a brain and common sense and muted their phones, this wouldn't be a problem," she yelled in an apparent fit of frustration.

"Hello? Hello?," one reporter interjected, some 15 minutes after the slated start of the call. "Has the call started?"

"This is Kim Jong Un calling for Donald Trump," another reporter joked as tensions flared.
   1887. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5605671)
At face value he calls the countries sh^tholes, not the people. At face value.


I know substantive Ray is ignoring me...

But I'll repeat again - this item only for the 3rd time -

No. This is not correct.

He said Why do we want people from ######## countries.

At face value.
   1888. Traderdave Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5605672)
That it was only $130,000 suggests it wasn't especially nefarious and probably happily consensual. It also suggests that Melania is blithely aware what a skirt chaser her husband is.

It's skeevy, to be sure, and highlights what a lowlife Il Duce is, but we already knew that. It's one of the less shocking things to come out about him lately.
   1889. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5605673)
Just come out and say it; you don't want too many white people because they or their children might vote wrong someday. I'm giving you credit and assuming your motives aren't actually worse than that ('sup Andy?).
I know, right? Scandinavians are such well-known right-wingers. Keep them out!

(of course, that's a joke. AFAIK no one has actually argued that we should keep white people out).

Still waiting for something explaining the substantive debate you want to have about merit-based immigration.
   1890. BDC Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5605674)
Like India. Or Jamaica. You know, the whiter countries

Don’t recall Trump bringing up Jamaica in preference to Haiti. Maybe I missed that.
   1891. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5605675)
He said Why do we want people from ######## countries.

At face value.


Yes. Which -- at face value -- does not call the people shitholes. It calls the countries shitholes. At face value.
   1892. Traderdave Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5605676)
Don’t recall Trump bringing up Jamaica in preference to Haiti.


He's not a bigot, he'll hire Mar A Lago staff from either place.
   1893. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5605677)
CNN is reporting that regarding shitholegate, Donald Trump is "happily entertaining himself as he enjoys watching people poop their pants with RAEG." (In so many words.)
   1894. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5605678)
Merit based immigration (or perhaps, needs based immigration) makes a lot of sense.

For the USA, and other receiving countries, sure. Despite my previously expressed preference for merit-based immigration over family ties chain-based immigration, I'm not sure we should encourage either type of immigration from developing countries. They need those people. Western Europe, Japan, or even South Korea & Taiwan won't miss a few engineers, physicians, lawyers, or unskilled but highly motivated workers. Not so for much of the rest of the world that is harmed by the brain drain and exodus of talent. There would be considerable opposition, and it's probably not worth the political cost, but we aren't really doing the third world any favors by encouraging its citizens to come here.
   1895. PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5605679)
Odd. You say you want to take his words at face value, and then you read your "Which is racist" conclusion into his words. Whether that's a valid reading or not -- I'm not opining on that here -- one thing it most certainly isn't is "taking his words at face value."

At face value he calls the countries sh^tholes, not the people. At face value.
Erm. He says "people from sh!thole countries" are unwanted. That people from those (uniformly dark-skinned) countries have less intrinsic value than people from Norway. Maybe Norway was on his mind from hanging out with their PM, or maybe because they're uniformly white, or maybe a little of both. I'll stand by racist, informed by a past history of Trump's face value comments regarding Mexican rapists, Haitians with AIDS, and Nigerian huts.
   1896. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5605680)
Yeah, sure, but he was suggesting that national origin, not merit, should be the basis for who's admitted, which is the part people are objecting to.
   1897. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5605681)
It often seems that way, but I don't know; diversity is a religion with them. The main driver could be that.


The funny thing about diversity is rank and file useful idiot lefties don't see the end game. Diversity undermines social/public trust; Robert Putnam's research showed as much and subsequent research reinforces it. Diversity turns high trust societies into low trust societies. And one of the features of low trust societies is that it's very difficult to generate public support for the sort of social welfare spending lefties love because everybody is convinced THEY'RE getting screwed in favor of some other group.

And when we look at the most fervent supporters of diversity, what do we see? Billionaires. Big, corporate media (usually the wholly owned mouthpieces of billionaires). The very people who don't want to shell out their precious money on social programs for the poors. That's why for hardcore libertarians, the Diversity Cult actually makes a lot of sense; in a fragmented, low trust society, people don't want high taxes or social spending because nobody trusts anybody else to follow the rules and use/distribute such money fairly. Of course, low trust societies are often incredibly shitty in lots of other ways, but hey, gotta break some eggs if you want an omelet!
   1898. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5605683)
Yes. Which -- at face value -- does not call the people shitholes. It calls the countries shitholes. At face value.


No.

At face value.

It is a very simple sentence, I do not understand your difficulty in grasping it.

Why do we want people from ######## countries.

Why do we want - certainly implying that we do, in fact, NOT want because they are not desirable.

People - the object, the thing we do not want.

from ######## countries - the descriptor applied to the object we do not want.

This really isn't as difficult as you try to make it.

But -- let me say or the record, I predicted yesterday that this is exactly where we would end up.... after the brief foray into "if he said it"... we would eventually end up with you digging in in the usual way.
   1899. BrianBrianson Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5605684)
Oh, well, you probably don't want to be on the "drained" end of a brain drain. Although remittances, seasonal migrant workers returning flush with cash, those kinds of things, may be upsides? A lot of talent does get trained and returned, so it may play out more mixed.
   1900. The Good Face Posted: January 12, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5605686)
Why do we want - certainly implying that we do, in fact, NOT want because they are not desirable.

People - the object, the thing we do not want.


Are all immigrants equally desirable?
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