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Monday, June 02, 2014

OTP - June 2014: Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

Bitter Mouse Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:48 AM | 4613 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics, stupid ideas

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   2301. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4724530)
Perhaps someone with real expertise will chime in, but I don't believe it is that easy to get your debts discharged in bankruptcy just because those debts temporarily exceed your assets, when you're sitting on an income stream that is more than adequate to pay off those debts over a reasonable interval. Since the Clintons were able to borrow enough to finance not one, but two mansions, it looks like the banks didn't consider them bankrupt, either. Even Dead Broke Hillary hasn't made that argument, although I remain hopeful that she will follow Mefisto's lead.


I'm no bankruptcy expert either, but you typically don't get to just handwave your debts away through bankruptcy; there will typically be a repayment plan; assets may be required to be liquefied. If you fall behind the median income you may be able to get out of paying some of your debts, but there was no bloody chance in hell the Clintons were falling below that line.

But it would have been a hoot to see them file for bankruptcy and then try to purchase a $1.7 million home which (in the fantasy world in which the sale went through given that they had just filed for bankruptcy) the judge would then have to order liquefied. That would seem to be the epitome of bankruptcy abuse.
   2302. Jick Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4724534)
Is the middle east any more illiberal and authoritarian than Sub-saharan Africa, Central & South America or SE Asia (India aside)? Hell - or east Asia? Japan has a strong liberal democratic tradition going all the way back to 1946!

MAYBE IT'S GENETIC


I posted this a couple of years ago when this topic came up but it didn't generate any discussion that I recall. It's a much more interesting and compelling thesis than "Islam is inherently evil". (Responding to your post because it's the most recent on the subject.) Well worth a read...yes, it's long, but it's easy to skim, if skim you must.

Does Oil Hinder Democracy?
   2303. zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4724535)
@2300
Argentina? Chile? Guatemala? El Salvador? IDI FREAKING AMIN? Cambodia? Various "Congo" republics? The DR? Cuba pre- and post- Cuba?

Middle East is just more overtly religious about it. But as I am sure Snapper will tell you, Atheist Regimes are the WORST!

   2304. zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4724536)
Yeah Jick I actually read that when you posted it (maybe not from your link). There is a general argument that resource-rich places have worse government. There is a MORE general argument that correlation is not causation.
   2305. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4724538)
@2303
You have a list of places that either had temporary bouts of insanity, or while bad were just kleptocracies, or like Cuba never remotely as illiberal as your typical Arab country, pre- or post- Castro.

   2306. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4724543)
There is a general argument that resource-rich places have worse government.


I think it's a matter of single resource places having worse government as government either exists to serve those who control that single resource (see West Virginia), or Government controls or is the battleground for control of that single resource.
   2307. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4724544)
The comment from the brilliant would-be campaigner that started this:

SAWYER: You've made five million making speeches? The president's made more than a hundred million dollars?

CLINTON: Well, you have no reason to remember, but we came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy. Bill has worked really hard and it's been amazing to me. He's worked very hard. First of all, we had to pay off all our debts. You know, you had to make double the money because of, obviously, taxes, and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.


I absolutely love that she says "we struggled to piece together the resources for mortages for houses." Mortgages, plural. Houses, plural. The struggles of the commoner!

And "mortages" sort of understates the point; they were buying houses worth upwards of 2 and 3 million.

And one of the "houses" was so that she could establish residency in New York for an upcoming Senate bid that she -- like any commoner just struggling to get by -- was poised to win.

This was after they had spent two decades living in taxpayer-funded mansions. As well as collecting a salary ($200K per year for Bill as president) -- granted the legal bills swamped that.

But Bill was soon to earn $13 million in 2001 on the lecture circuit, plus Hillary banked $2.8 million from some silly book that she "wrote." They bought a msnsion in Chappaqua for $1.7 million, and, for good measure, one more in DC for $2.85 million. Bill had a massive pension from the federal government, which includes money for setting up office space and staff.

In accumulating their massive wealth over the years, did they hit the lottery? Stumble on a cure for cancer? No, and no. They wrote books and got paid handsome fees on the lecture circuit -- income streams that were entirely predictable.

That she in essence tries to pretend they had, at any point, a plight similar to the factory worker who just got laid off is plainly dishonest, as it is for people here to go to bat for her on this score.

But wait! Hillary gives back!

Quoting:

"I happen to have given lots of free speeches," Clinton added in the interview, which took place at her Washington, DC home.
   2308. Jick Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4724546)
Some paragraphs from the article in 2302. I perhaps should have warned people that it's a PDF.

Page 332:
The first is through what might be called a ‘‘taxation effect.’’ It sug-
gests that when governments derive sufficient revenues from the sale of
oil, they are likely to tax their populations less heavily or not at all, and
the public in turn will be less likely to demand accountability from-----
and representation in-----their government


Pages 336-7:
As Inglehart notes: ‘‘Is the linkage between
development and democracy due to wealth per se? Apparently not: if
democracy automatically resulted from simply becoming wealthy, then
Kuwait and Libya would be model democracies.’’40
In other words, if
resource-led growth does not lead to higher education levels and
greater occupational specialization, it should also fail to bring about
democracy.


And so on. Then several pages explaining the model and several pages of tables. Hardly a slam dunk, I realize, but worthy of pondering for anyone genuinely interested in the subject.

The author has another paper linking lack of progress in women's rights to resource wealth, but I can't find that one at the moment. Maybe when I'm back online tomorrow.
   2309. dlf Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4724547)
Perhaps someone with real expertise will chime in, but I don't believe it is that easy to get your debts discharged in bankruptcy just because those debts temporarily exceed your assets, when you're sitting on an income stream that is more than adequate to pay off those debts over a reasonable interval.


Short answer is that post 2005, for most people, there will be a mandatory repayment plan for some portion of the unsecured debts as long as current monthly income is over a very minimal threshold. This is the 'means test' established under BAPCPA modifications to bankruptcy law a decade ago.
   2310. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4724551)
Wife and mother of two whose husband just got laid off from the Corvette plant in Bowling Green:

"This is bad. We are dead broke. How are we going to feed our children?"
"Don't worry, honey, I have a plan."
"Oh, great. What is it?"
"We're going to buy a $1.7 million mansion in Chappaqua and then I'm going to run for the Senate!"
<blank stare>
   2311. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4724556)
   2312. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4724558)
Jick, your link at 2302 is broken, but yes, I do think the presence of oil, the tech required to get at it and the bedfellows that creates between autocrats and monarchs and the O&G industry is fundamentally antithetical to liberal democracy. About the only "oil" nation that isn't autocratic that I can think of is Norway.
   2313. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4724569)
Interesting bit on Brat/Cantor and populism.

Here's a bit of wisdom from that Fournier link.

At West Chester's popular D.K. Diner, a military veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. "We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba," said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Las Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read, "The revolution has begun."


Which side of the barricade are you on? Populists from the right and the left—from the tea party and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul to economic populist Elizabeth Warren—are positioning themselves among the insurgents. Sosnik pointed to six areas of consensus that eventually may unite the divergent populist forces:

A pullback from the rest of the world, with more of an inward focus.

A desire to go after big banks and other large financial institutions.

Elimination of corporate welfare.

Reducing special deals for the rich.

Pushing back on the violation of the public's privacy by the government and big business.

Reducing the size of government.

A perpetual motion machine.


Anyone who can simultaneously accomplish the first six shouldn't have much of a problem adding the seventh.


   2314. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4724573)
Looks like I'm not the only one who was unimpressed - Authors Slam Clinton Book Tour Performance:

Catching up: I'd rather read a cereal box than a hack like Halperin.

And a half-day-old Coke to Mefisto.
   2315. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4724574)
"This is bad. We are dead broke. How are we going to feed our children?"
"Don't worry, honey, I have a plan."
"Oh, great. What is it?"
"We're going to buy a $1.7 million mansion in Chappaqua and then I'm going to run for the Senate!"


They already had the $1.3M "loan" lined up from their crony Terry McAuliffe for the mansion in Chappaqua when Slick left office.

The Clintons are grifters, liars, exaggerators and in Bill Clinton's case a perjurer. Christopher Hitchens had them pegged perfectly. The bullsh!t she was slinging with Diane Sawyer is just the beginning of yet another round of years and years of bullsh!t if she runs and the American people are pathetic enough to elect her. They're like the B.O. in Seinfeld's car.
   2316. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4724582)
But Hillary's polling advantage is real... and it's spectacular.
   2317. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4724586)
Some polling news, and - brace yourself - it's not good news for Obama. Obama Favorabiity Rating Hits New Low:
Americans' views of President Barack Obama as a person have turned slightly negative, with 47% saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 52% an unfavorable one. That net favorable rating of -5 is the least positive personal assessment of Obama to date.

Americans have generally maintained a positive opinion of Obama personally throughout his presidency even as his job approval ratings have averaged no higher than 48% in each of his last four years in office. In addition to the current June 5-8 favorable ratings, there have been only three other times when his favorable rating did not exceed his unfavorable rating: once in October 2010, just prior to that year's midterm elections, and twice in late 2013 during the troubled rollout of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

More people are saying Obama is doing a poor job and they don't like him that much.

   2318. Mefisto Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4724589)
Latest Bloomberg poll on Obamacare:

39 Support
42 Oppose, went too far
11 Oppose, did not go far enough
8 Not sure

What is your opinion of the health care law? (Read list.)

32 It should be repealed
56 It may need small modifications, but we should see how it works
10 It should be left alone
2 Not sure
   2319. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4724590)
The Clintons are grifters, liars, exaggerators and in Bill Clinton's case a perjurer. Christopher Hitchens had them pegged perfectly. The bullsh!t she was slinging with Diane Sawyer is just the beginning of yet another round of years and years of bullsh!t if she runs and the American people are pathetic enough to elect her. They're like the B.O. in Seinfeld's car.


It's one thing to "serve" (*) for a few years in government. Quite another to spend 35 years there, as "First Lady" twice, then as a senator, then (after being passed over for president) as SoS, and then even that is not enough, and you need to make another power grab for president yet again.

(*) I love that word when applied to power hungry people living off the taxpayer dime who feed off of controlling people. As if we're supposed to view this work as noble.
   2320. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4724591)
56 It may need small modifications, but we should see how it works


"See how it works." Lol. We can "see" how jumping off a bridge works, too.
   2321. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4724597)
If there is a liberal here who has either voted for a third party candidate or has abstained in a presidential election over the past 20 years, please identify yourself now.

1988 - Bush/Dukakis - abstained/Fank Zappa.
2000 - Gore/Bush - abstained/Frank Zappa.

You don't even know half of what you think you do.
   2322. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4724603)
As long as we're on our weird presidential votes, here are mine:

1996 - Clinton
2000 - Browne
2004 - Nader
2008 - Nobody
2012 - Romney

As the 2016 Senate is likely to flip back to the Democrats (if it flips in 2014, otherwise a hold), I would almost certainly vote for the Republican if the election was held today. Whether I vote for Rob Portman for Senate depends on who appears likely to win the presidency.

My favored mix is a Republican Senate, Republican President, and Democratic House, my least favorite (by far) a Democratic sweep.
   2323. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4724609)
But Hillary's polling advantage is real... and it's spectacular.

OTOH knowing that she'll never get the support of Sugar Bear or Ray, she'll probably die of sleep deprivation before the 2016 election.
   2324. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4724617)
You don't even know half of what you think you do.


It's so much easier to wrestle the bears in your head.
   2325. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4724626)
Looks like the Republicans have finally figured out a sure fire strategy for winning the Latino vote: Change your name.

This Arizona candidate changed his name. His opponent wasn’t happy about it.

In Arizona's District 7, two congressional candidates are facing criticism for changing their last names in the uber-competitive Aug. 26 primary to replace retiring Rep. Ed Pastor. Both of the name changes have led to lawsuits, and both are a result of a belief that Hispanic surnames are a boon for any candidate on the ballot here.

First, there is Scott Fistler, who was running as a Republican in a district that is more than 50 percent Hispanic and where President Obama won 72 percent in 2012. Presented with these facts, Fistler thought it would be worth a shot to legally change his name to "Cesar Chavez". He also became a Democrat halfway through his campaign to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Alejandro Chavez, grandson of the actual Cesar Chavez, filed a lawsuit against the candidate formerly known as Scott Fistler on June 10 -- a day before the deadline for challenges. Besides the name change and the timing of his Democratic conversion, there are also problems with Fistler-Chavez's ballot petitions. The Arizona Republic reported that about 70 percent of his signatures may not come from registered voters from the district. Many of the signatures were also not from Democrats or Independents -- the only voters allowed to vote in a Democratic primary in Arizona. Fistler-Chavez is not worried. Channeling his inner Jackie Chiles, he said, "My campaign is too legit to quit"...


   2326. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4724641)
Here's a bit of wisdom from that Fournier link.

At West Chester's popular D.K. Diner, a military veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. "We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba," said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Las Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read, "The revolution has begun."

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." — some right-wing nutjob
   2327. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4724647)
re: #2325, Good of Andy to alert the world to the nut jobs running for Congress as Democrats, although he buried the lede a bit, and is just teasing us with the tip of the iceberg. Fred Phelps was a Democrat, too, BTW.
   2328. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4724649)
The New York Times: Tanks, of Unknown Origin, Roll Into Ukraine

"Unknown Origin?!?" Is Walter Duranty's battered skeleton moonlighting as the paper's layout editor?
   2329. robinred Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4724652)
Frederick Derry


Just for Andy: as you probably noticed, Fred Derry is the name of the Dana Andrews character in The Best Years of Our Lives, the 1946 Best Pic winner about soldiers returning home.
   2330. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4724660)
The New York Times: Tanks, of Unknown Origin, Roll Into Ukraine

But are they being operated by Rodents of Unusual Size?
   2331. tshipman Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4724672)
"Unknown Origin?!?" Is Walter Duranty's battered skeleton moonlighting as the paper's layout editor?


I have to imagine there were several arguments over the headline, which reeks of a compromise.

I don't get the point of Putin's blatant dishonesty. It's not like it's going to fool anyone.
   2332. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:08 AM (#4724702)
Here's a bit of wisdom from that Fournier link.

At West Chester's popular D.K. Diner, a military veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. "We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba," said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Las Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read, "The revolution has begun."


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." — some right-wing nutjob

Jesus, that old chestnut again? That Jefferson quote used to be a favorite of the New Left crazies back in the days of Bill Ayers and the Weathermen, but it's nice to see that our Joe is now identifying with a pair of lunatic cop killers. Mumia Abu-Jamal couldn't have put it any better.
   2333. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:22 AM (#4724706)
re: #2325, Good of Andy to alert the world to the nut jobs running for Congress as Democrats, although he buried the lede a bit, and is just teasing us with the tip of the iceberg.

The first candidate that article describes was actually a non-Latino Republican who changed his name from Fistler to Chavez and switched his party registration in order to be eligible for the primary.

The second candidate is a Latino who changed his name six years ago from Ruben Marinelarena to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego. Gallego was his mother's maiden name, and she raised him as a single mother after her husband (Marinelarena) had abandoned her and her children. The only political motive here was a nuisance lawsuit filed by his opponent.

If you want to consider those two cases identical, that says more about you than it does about those two cases.
   2334. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4724707)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." — some right-wing nutjob

Jesus, that old chestnut again? That Jefferson quote used to be a favorite of the New Left crazies back in the days of Bill Ayers and the Weathermen, but it's nice to see that our Joe is now identifying with a pair of lunatic cop killers. Mumia Abu-Jamal couldn't have put it any better.


So who are the tyrants and who are the patriots in Joe's world, I wonder. Are the nutty cop killers supposed to be Patriots, or is it just a random sound bite taking the place of thought?
   2335. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:34 AM (#4724709)
Regarding 2318 (The Bloomberg poll), here is another nugget (copied here because I often say the parts of ACA are much more popular than the whole, and I always get push back):

65 percent support banning insurance industry discrimination against preexisting conditions
55 percent support eliminating lifetime caps on insurance company payouts for health care
75 percent support allowing children up to 26 to stay on parents’ policies

   2336. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4724711)
So who are the tyrants and who are the patriots in Joe's world, I wonder. Are the nutty cop killers supposed to be Patriots, or is it just a random sound bite taking the place of thought?

Joe's like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. Sometimes he's a pecan nut, and sometimes he's a cashew nut, but I doubt if any of us will ever know what we'll find next.
   2337. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4724713)
Apropos of our discussion a while back. From the former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120
   2338. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4724714)
Regarding 2318 (The Bloomberg poll), here is another nugget (copied here because I often say the parts of ACA are much more popular than the whole, and I always get push back):

65 percent support banning insurance industry discrimination against preexisting conditions

People should know better than to choose the wrong parents.

55 percent support eliminating lifetime caps on insurance company payouts for health care

But what about the rights of the insurance companies' shareholders?

75 percent support allowing children up to 26 to stay on parents’ policies

Get a job, you hippie moochers LOL
   2339. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4724717)
snapper, I am not a WSJ subscriber so I can't read the article. However it is not surprising there are those in power who don't like the changes. It always takes a long time for these things to switch over. How long did it take to start treating alcoholism as a disease and not a character flaw? Right, that one is still happening.

If I could read the article I could respond more directly, though I would state that appeal to authority runs both ways and I can find authorities that disagree. Essentially in matter like this the right answer shakes out over time.

I do know that my ex seems happier having transitioned, but I admit it might be just having divorced me :)
   2340. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4724725)
snapper, I am not a WSJ subscriber so I can't read the article. However it is not surprising there are those in power who don't like the changes. It always takes a long time for these things to switch over. How long did it take to start treating alcoholism as a disease and not a character flaw? Right, that one is still happening.

If I could read the article I could respond more directly, though I would state that appeal to authority runs both ways and I can find authorities that disagree. Essentially in matter like this the right answer shakes out over time.

I do know that my ex seems happier having transitioned, but I admit it might be just having divorced me :)


Google "WSJ" and "transgender" and you can see the article in full. For some reason that works and the link doesn't.

Johns Hopkins used to do gender reassignment when McHugh was there, they are not rear guard hold-outs.

They stopped because they found the patient outcomes were no better, and often worse, than for patients who didn't have surgery.
   2341. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4724728)
It is possible surgery is not the answer for everyone (obviously) and should be used less often than it is currently. Honestly no idea.
   2342. bunyon Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4724734)
Here's a bit of wisdom from that Fournier link.

At West Chester's popular D.K. Diner, a military veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. "We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba," said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Las Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a "Don't Tread on Me" flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read, "The revolution has begun."


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." — some right-wing nutjob


Joe, on the one hand, I completely agree with the quote (EDIT: the last, famous, quote, not the nutjob vet). However, I think the goal of any society should be to install and maintain a system where it isn't necessary very often.

So, two questions for you:


1) Do you think that time is here again that we need to water the tree?

2) If so, do you agree Republican "elites" as well as Democratic "elites" should be shot? Or are you trying to revolution yourself into a Republican triumvirate?
   2343. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4724735)
It is possible surgery is not the answer for everyone (obviously) and should be used less often than it is currently. Honestly no idea.

Read the article, it's interesting.
   2344. Ron J2 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4724738)
Ray, as with the rest of the Canadian contingent I've never had the opportunity to vote for anything close to a Republican. Well I suppose there was the brief time that Reform (a group that broke away from the Conservative party because it was not in fact actually conservative before eventually absorbing the remnants of the old Conservative party. The resulting party is not really conservative by American standards) was on the map, but I didn't vote for them.

I have voted NDP (socialist), not because I generally agree with their policies (I don't, but there's no chance that they'll end up in power. They have frequently held the balance of power and the concessions they extract for supporting the government -- like universal health care -- are generally things I approve of) but because I've met and like the man running for them (Paul Dewar if it matters). Same reason my mother voted Conservative when Walter Baker represented her riding.
   2345. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4724743)
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." — some right-wing nutjob


Joe, on the one hand, I completely agree with the quote (EDIT: the last, famous, quote, not the nutjob vet). However, I think the goal of any society should be to install and maintain a system where it isn't necessary very often.

So, two questions for you:

1) Do you think that time is here again that we need to water the tree?

2) If so, do you agree Republican "elites" as well as Democratic "elites" should be shot? Or are you trying to revolution yourself into a Republican triumvirate?


You might also ask him to name some names. I assume that no tobacco company CEOs would be on any list of Joe's, but that still leaves quite a big field of candidates for possible elimination, evidently including a Las Vegas cop or two.
   2346. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4724751)
Defenses of violence are unpatriotic and un-American. There's no problem or issue in the country remotely justifying a violent response or violent action.

Andrew Sullivan has started referring to the red/blue divide as "Our Cold Civil War," and he's right and I concur. You people should be embarrassed.
   2347. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4724756)
Ray, as with the rest of the Canadian contingent I've never had the opportunity to vote for anything close to a Republican. Well I suppose there was the brief time that Reform (a group that broke away from the Conservative party because it was not in fact actually conservative before eventually absorbing the remnants of the old Conservative party. The resulting party is not really conservative by American standards) was on the map, but I didn't vote for them.

When it comes to Israel and foreign policy generally, Ron, Harper's Conservative Party looks pretty, um, conservative.
   2348. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4724761)
You people should be embarrassed.

If not now, some will be plenty embarrassed one week from tomorrow.
   2349. bunyon Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4724762)
You people should be embarrassed.

Who is " You people should be embarrassed."? I was not defending violence but it appeared Joe was and I was curious if that was his intent. I know a lot of you guys react viscerally to each other (as do I on occasion) and I'm trying not to do that. Really wondering if Joe thinks it's time for shooting and, if so, are two Vegas cops the guys to go after.

It's interesting. Most of the people I know who are most right-leaning and revolution-hinting are former military and/or law enforcment. It surprises me that cop killing would fall under the defense of the right revolutionaries.
   2350. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4724766)
Who is " You people should be embarrassed."?

Everyone who has turned politics and the parties into such a deep component of their self-identities and so badly conflated the personal and the political.(*) Both sides.

The people who have precipitated and engaged in the Cold Civil War should be embarrassed. End of story. Grow the #### up.

(*) Enabled by the Internet and modern communications/marketing -- the obvious proximate exogenous causes of the Cold Civil War.
   2351. Greg K Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4724776)
Ray, as with the rest of the Canadian contingent I've never had the opportunity to vote for anything close to a Republican. Well I suppose there was the brief time that Reform (a group that broke away from the Conservative party because it was not in fact actually conservative before eventually absorbing the remnants of the old Conservative party. The resulting party is not really conservative by American standards) was on the map, but I didn't vote for them.

This week I noticed a party I hadn't heard of before on my provincial Ontario ballot. "The Freedom Party". I looked them up and they are libertarians. I think I ended up voting Green. Conservatives were a no, and in this case the NDP had kind of pulled a dick move and cynically forced an election so they were a no. As it turns out they were deservedly punished for it and the Liberals netted a full majority.

EDIT: My voting record is spotty, as I have mentioned previously, I think it's presumptuous of me to advise the Queen on how to run her country. But I've done it once or twice when people have guilted me into it (I have principles, I just don't stick to them all that often). I think I've voted for a smattering of NDP, Liberal, and Green Party.
   2352. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4724789)
Regarding voting I look at the actual candidates and evaluate what they say and have done, and vote my personal priorities. Since the Democratic party does a reasonable job of representing them (well it is a bit conservative and corporatist, but the fringe parties are very non-serious in general) I have largely voted Team Blue.

I almost always vote (I have missed the occasional local election when it surprises me and I am traveling), but other than that I am very reliable. I have voted one Republican at the Federal level (House, the Dem was corrupt and sleazy) and one Republican at the state level (Governor Arne Carlson, good guy, moderate and the Democrat was a flake).

The main place I (like the Tea Party) influence things in the Primaries. I think Obama 2008 was the first time ever a presidential candidate I voted for in the primary I also voted for in the general.

Regarding the "Cold Civil War" I believe the rampant money in politics is a huge source of the problem.
   2353. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4724792)
1) Do you think that time is here again that we need to water the tree?

2) If so, do you agree Republican "elites" as well as Democratic "elites" should be shot? Or are you trying to revolution yourself into a Republican triumvirate?

You might also ask him to name some names. I assume that no tobacco company CEOs would be on any list of Joe's, but that still leaves quite a big field of candidates for possible elimination, evidently including a Las Vegas cop or two.


Come the revolution the only thing he'll be watering is his pants.
   2354. Ron J2 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4724793)
As the Sterling turns. Seems like Sterling has decided to play rough. He's reportedly hired 4 private investigation firms.

After a shaky start he's not disappointing -- though it could all be over if he loses the hearing that starts next week.
   2355. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4724796)
is his pants


First of all, I initially read this as plants.
Secondly what does Smitty think of this?
Third, better that than killing people. Violence is seldom the answer.
Finally, nice slam though.
   2356. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4724798)
As the Sterling turns. Seems like Sterling has decided to play rough. He's reportedly hired 4 private investigation firms.

After a shaky start he's not disappointing -- though it could all be over if he loses the hearing that starts next week.


It reminds me of the ARod dust-up, and ARod did not disappoint for a long while. However, suddenly he just up and dropped it -- which I understand for a number of reasons, both political (small-p) and money, as well as the fact that it was not an easy legal battle to win; I think he should have tried the hail mary -- requesting an injunction -- before giving it up.

As to Sterling, Silver's comment the other day that Sterling should just "move on" probably didn't help matters. "Move on?" In Sterling's view they're trying to screw him by taking away an asset that is worth a ton of money and has been his for 35 years. Sterling should have issued a reply that said "F you."

That said, it's hurt Sterling that he seems to have flip-flopped a number of times on this, to the point where he seems to have signed things over to his wife (e.g., giving her clearance to sell the team), only to have a change of heart. That's not going to help him if he truly wants to fight.

What a mess, though, and if he goes scorched earth the league's headache will continue.
   2357. Ron J2 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4724799)
#2347 Sure, but they're much closer to the Democrats than the Republicans in overall alignment. That is to say, there's no shortage of hawkish Democrats or Democrats who are also friends of Israel. Harper (and the bulk of the Conservative party) also wanted to support the US in GWII, but was not in power then.

They do have some fairly prominent climate change skeptics in positions of power which is a major difference from the Democrats. They do have pretty much all of the really conservative people but Harper keeps them pretty firmly under control.
   2358. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4724800)
I agree with 2356. His change of mind, might (only might) reflect the mental state wife is arguing.
   2359. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4724801)
When it comes to Israel and foreign policy generally, Ron, Harper's Conservative Party looks pretty, um, conservative.


He's got nothing on the Aussie PM and his coalition.

---

I don't generally love Sullivan (though I'm a certified Dishhead), but I think he's smack on the money wrt the Cold Civil War. Niche media consumption, differing values, and entirely different worldviews have created essentially two separate countries. Granted, I think that's always been true to a certain extent (what did Greenwich Village have in common with Peoria in 1955?), but I think it's particularly acute now.

The fact that our political system has seen the rise of an essentially parliamentary party with bloc voting is another problem. IIRC, our Presidential system is quite unusual in its stability.
   2360. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4724809)
(what did Greenwich Village have in common with Peoria in 1955?

Nothing, but they didn't spend all day wallowing in their opposition to each other, monitoring what the other side was doing, saying, and thinking, and making their non-Village-dom and non-Peoria-dom such a key part of their deepest identities.

   2361. Ron J2 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4724813)
#2351 the Ontario election is a fascinating example as to why looking way forward in politics is a mugs game. An utterly hated party somehow manages to win a majority basically on a least of all evil vote.

Or as a friend put it, it turns out that we hate Mike Harris (former Conservative Premier -- Hudak ran on a Mike Harris type of program) and Bob Rae (only NDP Premier) more than we hate Dalton McGuinty (previous Liberal Premier. Current Liberal leader successfully avoided being tied directly to him)

Just a few months ago it was expected the Liberal would be pounded this time out.
   2362. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4724815)
Everyone who has turned politics and the parties into such a deep component of their self-identities and so badly conflated the personal and the political.(*) Both sides.


When the one party's domestic platform consists largely of attempts to take away the rights of brown people, or women, or homosexuals, I don't see any way members of those groups could avoid taking that personally.
   2363. just plain joe Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4724818)
What a mess, though, and if he goes scorched earth the league's headache will continue.


IANAL so I don't know, and don't really care all that much, but can't the NBA just terminate his franchise? In the end that is where all of the value that resides in the Clippers lies, the right and privelege to compete in the NBA. I'm sure that would be a failsafe option even if its available but it might be a convenient way for the NBA to rid themselves of this embarrasment.
   2364. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4724820)
When the one party's domestic platform consists largely of attempts to take away the rights of brown people, or women, or homosexuals, I don't see any way members of those groups could avoid taking that personally.

I'll have this nonsensical excess marked as Exhibit A.
   2365. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4724827)
He's got nothing on the Aussie PM and his coalition.

Why do you think my leg is tingling?
   2366. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4724837)
I don't generally love Sullivan (though I'm a certified Dishhead), but I think he's smack on the money wrt the Cold Civil War. Niche media consumption, differing values, and entirely different worldviews have created essentially two separate countries. Granted, I think that's always been true to a certain extent (what did Greenwich Village have in common with Peoria in 1955?), but I think it's particularly acute now.

It is particularly acute now, but that's solely due to two factors: The rise of the status of the non-white races; and the rise of modern communications.

When the Republicans tried to peddle the idea that Social Security recipients were going to have to wear "dog tags" around their necks, it briefly caught on among the loonies, but unlike the birthers or the "death panels" BS, it didn't have any means other than pamphleteering and sympathetic newspapers and magazines to keep the pot boiling**.

And when the caste system was as fully cemented in place as it was before World War II, you didn't have much overt racial "conflict" for the simple reason that non-white voices were brutally suppressed while the vast majority of whites bought into the Jim Crow system. If 80 years ago there'd had been a dozen syndicated talk shows, cable news and the internet, plus a black president, you'd have seen the same level of division that we have today, and probably worse.

**The most prominent radio demagogue, Father Coughlin, had other bees in his bonnet, namely the Jews.
   2367. Publius Publicola Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4724840)
Jick, your link at 2302 is broken, but yes, I do think the presence of oil, the tech required to get at it and the bedfellows that creates between autocrats and monarchs and the O&G industry is fundamentally antithetical to liberal democracy. About the only "oil" nation that isn't autocratic that I can think of is Norway.


There's no linkage between autocracy and oil in the middle east. We've just had a military coup de tatin oil-poor Egypt, oil-poor Syria is in the midst of a grinding civil war touched off by a popular rebellion against a dynastic dictator, oil-poor Afghanistan is continuing it's centuries-old tradtion of being yanked left, right and backwards by regional rivalries and global changes, all the while trying to hang onto a religion that has been holding them back for just as long.

The middle east is sort of unique. Empires wax and wane and wax again. There are ups and downs for every center of culture and progress. The muslim-dominated areas of the middle east contains the oldest center in Mesopotamia,a nd at least two others of historical note, the Egyptian and Persian dynasties. You could also throw in the OttomanEmpire, that was situated between the Byzantine and Persian powers and formidable challenge to both. But the middle east today is perhaps the most dysfunctional, retrograde backwater there is, in my opinion, rivaling central Africa. so the question is- How did this once,prosperous, forward-thinking, innovative civilization fall so far from grace?

I want to take exception to theidea that practice of Islam was the common denominator in the glories of that era. Islam emerged as a global force in the same way that the mongols did- at the end of a spear. Starting in Medina, forces led by Muhammed and then by his successors rolled more culturally advanced neighbors by sheer religious ardor, not by any demonstration of cultural spueriority. The conquests eventually consumed the areas of the world that were already culturally acvanced. If Islam did one thing, it unifed a fractious geopolitical area. to the extent the islamic world prospered, it did so by hands-off approach the early rulers took, and also by the rapacious policies it beheld towards its infidel neighbors, enslaving their boys for their armies and bureaucracies.

Because the early conquests continued with little interruption for so long, and because the Koran is explicit in encouraging the spread of Islam until it consumes the entire globe, a complacency set in that continues to this day. Islam in that part of the world is naturally assumed to be ascendant and without peer. The US is The Great Satan because it's seen as a morally bankrupt and corrupt challenger to this natural and desirable progression, and a denier of the will of Allah.

One of history's largest curiosities is that the emergence of Western Europe from the Dark Ages and its eventual maturation to dominant world power went largely unnoticed. For instance, British naval power wasn't begun to be commented in the Ottoma Empire intil the 1720's(!). It wasn't until the nineteenth century that the Ottomans began to take notice of the scientific and industrial revolutions that took place just beyond their reach. This lack of curiosity of Western Europe and what they were up to is easily the most glaring example of political myopia ever. Just a relatively short time before, the Byzantimes ahd finally been defeated and their capital taken and made a showcase for the primacy of Islam. The losses at Lepanto and Vienna were, to them, temporary setbacks that would be corrected in time, the will of Allah eventually but assuredly prevailing. The Ottomans, believing they were the avatars of destiny, never bothered to correct the deficiencies that were present in their sultanate until it was too late, and then did so in a haphazard and inadequate manner. their Empire was finally and irrevocably shattered in 1918. Only then did they take the steps necessary to genuinely modernize and recognize there was a world beyond that was superior, and they had some catching up to do.

And what was it they did first? They abolished sharia and the role of Islam in their society. The fully recognized that the marginalization of women and religious and other minorites was eating at them, and their competitors had that advantage over them. The remnants of the Ottoman Empire, especially the Arab word, never reformed. Why should they, when the Koran, the word of Allah, is explicit in the moral and cultural superiority of Islam over all other beliefs. While the need to reform is now widely recognized, there is no consensus on what to do. The religious conservatives insist that it was the turning away from islam that was the reason for the decline, and by recommitting to Islam they will recover their former glory.

Of course this is lala-land crazy. Sequestering half your population to domestic serfdom is not the way to move a society forward. And Islam, like all religions, is hostile to critical and independent thought. Perhaps even more importantly, Ismal is not just a religion. it is also a cultural, civic and legal system. It pervades every part of civic life in that part of the world: what to eat, when and how much to pray, whom to marry, how to make a living etc, etc. There's no secular in Islam. Secularism is anathema to Islam. That us why Al quesa, and the iranian mullahs and others of that ilk, are so hostile to democracy. Democracy was invented by others, by the non-believers,a nd so is automatically suspect and agaisn the will of Allah.

Infadel competitors have none of these emcumbrances,a nd it largely explains why the islamic world is stuck in the mud and getting worse and worse by the say.

So if the islamic world is to undergo true reform, then it has to follow the lead of what the Turks did after the collapse of their empire, take a long and honest look at their deficiences, retire islam to its proper place in some form of separation of churcha nd state, and develop secular institutions that work.

Rickey(!), you're wrong in blaming the colonial powers on the current ills of the middle east. Those ills have existed for millenia. Taht the colonial powers were able to roll them so easily is a symptom, not the cause, of the disease. And if anything, things have gotten worse once the colonial powers left. So viewing the problems of the middle wast through the colonial prism is a western liberal conceit that lacks a fundamental historial understanding, IMO.
   2368. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4724845)
When the one party's domestic platform consists largely of attempts to take away the rights of brown people, or women, or homosexuals, I don't see any way members of those groups could avoid taking that personally.

I'll have this nonsensical excess marked as Exhibit A.

It may be excess rhetoric, but it's the plain truth that 90% of the efforts to limit voter participation, deport would-be immigrants, and prohibit gay marriage come from so-called "conservative" Republicans. You can try to deny that the Sun is big and hot, but that doesn't make it a cold marble. You seem to get indignant when people point this out.
   2369. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4724848)
I'll have this nonsensical excess marked as Exhibit A.


Duly noted.

If you want to get upset about the idea of people being outraged over outrageous things, I guess that's your right.
   2370. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4724853)
Duly noted.

If you want to get upset about the idea of people being outraged over outrageous things, I guess that's your right.


Please. Even Andy conceded that it "may have been" "excess rhetoric."
   2371. The Good Face Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4724857)
Please. Even Andy conceded that it "may have been" "excess rhetoric."


Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left. It's a way of proclaiming that the speaker CARES more than others, thereby asserting his holier-than-thou credentials.
   2372. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4724865)
It may be excess rhetoric, but it's the plain truth that 90% of the efforts to limit voter participation, deport would-be immigrants, and prohibit gay marriage come from so-called "conservative" Republicans. You can try to deny that the Sun is big and hot, but that doesn't make it a cold marble. You seem to get indignant when people point this out.

So it's excessive, overzealous rhetoric, rendering it ultimately untrue.

I don't favor excessive, overzealous and untrue rhetoric -- particularly in an age where it can be communicated instantly. Do you?
   2373. Mefisto Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4724866)
Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left. It's a way of proclaiming that the speaker CARES more than others, thereby asserting his holier-than-thou credentials.


A glorious example of projection.
   2374. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4724867)
Even Andy conceded that it "may have been" "excess rhetoric."


And he was wrong to do so, though I won't hold it against him.

Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left.


The fact that trying to take away minorities' civil rights IS a "mundane activity" for mainstream conservatives these days really says all that needs to be said on the issue, I think.
   2375. Lassus Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4724868)
Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left.

I swear to god, skimming, I really thought this was about Ray and SBB responding to the story of what Hillary said about her finances.
   2376. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4724870)
I don't favor excessive, overzealous and untrue rhetoric -- particularly in an age where it can be communicated instantly. Do you?


Which of the things that I said, specifically, is "untrue"?
   2377. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4724869)
Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left. It's a way of proclaiming that the speaker CARES more than others, thereby asserting his holier-than-thou credentials.

Yep. The rhetorical zeal and excess is aimed not at truth, but at what Face said, and at burnishing the self-image of the blabber.
   2378. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4724873)
Which of the things that I said, specifically, is "untrue"?

All of it, including what it omitted.
   2379. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4724879)
NM
   2380. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4724880)

I want to take exception to the idea that practice of Islam was the common denominator in the glories of that era. Islam emerged as a global force in the same way that the mongols did- at the end of a spear. Starting in Medina, forces led by Muhammed and then by his successors rolled more culturally advanced neighbors by sheer religious ardor, not by any demonstration of cultural superiority. The conquests eventually consumed the areas of the world that were already culturally acvanced. If Islam did one thing, it unifed a fractious geopolitical area. to the extent the Islamic world prospered, it did so by hands-off approach the early rulers took, and also by the rapacious policies it beheld towards its infidel neighbors, enslaving their boys for their armies and bureaucracies.


But that's true of Greek, Roman, Byzantine civilization, etc. etc.

Perhaps even more importantly, Ismal is not just a religion. it is also a cultural, civic and legal system. It pervades every part of civic life in that part of the world: what to eat, when and how much to pray, whom to marry, how to make a living etc, etc. There's no secular in Islam.


This is precisely, word for word, the argument that European anti-Semites used to argue that the Jews would always be a backward, ignorant, corrupt people.
   2381. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4724881)
All of it, including what it omitted.


A sophist's answer, unsurprisingly.

Can you elaborate on the specific ways in which you believe that it was untrue?
   2382. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4724885)
Can you elaborate on the specific ways in which you believe that it was untrue?

Every factual statement.

Plus the implied assertion that assaults on the civil rights of browns, women, and gays would justify white males conflating the personal and political is wildly excessive, overzealous, and false, as is the implied assertion that it is one side alone that has "attempted to take away the rights of brown people, women, and homosexuals" in the past couple decades.

The idea that the polity and culture must revolve around your perception of the "rights of brown people, women, and homosexuals" -- which you almost assuredly do not define appropriately -- and that if it doesn't you and yours are justified in showy hissy fits, is also excessive, overzealous, and false.

It's a false piece of rhetoric from beginning to end, and you say things like that not to seek truth or consensus -- by definition -- but to signify your self-proclaimed status as someone who *CARES*, to pronounce your excessive and overzealous oppositionalism to people who *don't CARE*, and to burnish your self-image. It's little more than a love note to yourself.

   2383. The Good Face Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4724894)
Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left.

I swear to god, skimming, I really thought this was about Ray and SBB responding to the story of what Hillary said about her finances.


This, from the guy who said he'd "rather be dead" than live in a world where people didn't support gay marriage.
   2384. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4724899)
This, from the guy who said he'd "rather be dead" than live in a world where people didn't support gay marriage.

A world where Barack Obama didn't publicly support gay marriage until 2012, and Bill and Hillary Clinton firmly opposed it.

   2385. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4724903)
Andrew Sullivan on Hillary Clinton:

But one thing isn’t mysterious: she was not just another evolving American. She was the second most powerful person in an administration in a critical era for gay rights. And in that era, her husband signed the HIV travel ban into law (it remained on the books for 22 years thereafter), making it the only medical condition ever legislated as a bar to even a tourist entering the US. Clinton also left gay service-members in the lurch, doubling the rate of their discharges from the military, and signed DOMA, the high watermark of anti-gay legislation in American history. Where and when it counted, the Clintons gave critical credibility to the religious right’s jihad against us. And on the day we testified against DOMA in 1996, their Justice Department argued that there were no constitutional problems with DOMA at all (the Supreme Court eventually disagreed).

"One side," "one party," my ass.
   2386. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4724907)
65 percent support banning insurance industry discrimination against preexisting conditions
55 percent support eliminating lifetime caps on insurance company payouts for health care
75 percent support allowing children up to 26 to stay on parents’ policies


It's not shocking that benefits, isolated from any costs or consequences, always poll well. I imagine "Do you support having a Ferrari?" polls better than "Do you support having a Ferrari if it costs you $300,000?" and "Do you want to live to 100?" polls better than "Do you want to live to 100 if it involves consuming the souls of orphaned infants?"

But naturally, when the legislation, which deals with both benefits and costs, polls lower than simply listing the benefits individually, the answer is that the voters are a bunch of ####### proles that should shut up and listen to their morally and intellectually superior gentry liberal betters that only want the very best for the poor, developmentally disabled dears.
   2387. Publius Publicola Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4724908)
This is precisely, word for word, the argument that European anti-Semites used to argue that the Jews would always be a backward, ignorant, corrupt people.


Non sequitur.
   2388. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4724912)
Hysterical, overwrought reactions to mundane activities by political "enemies" is a common form of status signaling/seeking on the left.


Drink!
   2389. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4724926)

Non sequitur.


Do you believe Jews capable of participation in liberal democracy? If so, your argument that Muslims are incapable falls on its face.
   2390. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4724930)
Every factual statement.


Just to be clear, then, it's your position that the Republican party as a collective entity is NOT currently trying to take away the civil rights of African-Americans, women, Hispanics, Arabs, and homosexuals?

Plus the implied assertion that assaults on the civil rights of browns, women, and gays would justify white males conflating the personal and political


I didn't actually imply anything at all in that direction, but I think it's pretty obvious that those issues have a visceral component for even (straight) white males. Outside of a basic respect for fair play, most straight white males have friends, colleagues, and family members who are gay, brown, and/or female, and as such they would naturally look askance at any attempts to convert those people to second-class citizens.

as is the implied assertion that it is one side alone that has "attempted to take away the rights of brown people, women, and homosexuals" in the past couple decades


I'm pretty sure that if you go back and look at my comment, I didn't say anything at all about the "past couple decades", so you're just making that up out of whole cloth.

The idea that the polity and culture must revolve around your perception of the "rights of brown people, women, and homosexuals" -- which you almost assuredly do not define appropriately


Why would that "almost assuredly" be so?

you say things like that not to seek truth or consensus -- by definition -- but to signify your self-proclaimed status as someone who *CARES*, to pronounce your excessive and overzealous oppositionalism to people who *don't CARE*, and to burnish your self-image


On some political issues, no reasonable consensus with the other side of the aisle is possible. Either women are allowed to purchase and use birth control, or they aren't. Either homosexuals are allowed to have governmental recognition of their relationships, or they aren't. Those are binary states.
   2391. Publius Publicola Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4724931)
Do you believe Jews capable of participation in liberal democracy? If so, your argument that Muslims are incapable falls on its face.


Another non sequitur.
   2392. Publius Publicola Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4724942)
Let me put it this tway to you, SDeB. If you believe the practice of Islam isn't inhibitory, or even hostile, to the construction of liberal, democratic societies, please explain, citing Koranic verse and providing examples fundamentalist islamic societies that have flourishing democratic institutions.
   2393. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4724995)
It may be excess rhetoric, but it's the plain truth that 90% of the efforts to limit voter participation, deport would-be immigrants, and prohibit gay marriage come from so-called "conservative" Republicans. You can try to deny that the Sun is big and hot, but that doesn't make it a cold marble. You seem to get indignant when people point this out.

So it's excessive, overzealous rhetoric, rendering it ultimately untrue.

I don't favor excessive, overzealous and untrue rhetoric -- particularly in an age where it can be communicated instantly. Do you?


I'll reply to that by simply quoting a May 2014 Gallup poll on same-sex marriage.

When asked whether same-sex marriage should be legal, 74% of Democrats and 30% of Republicans said "yes".

Asked the same question, 82% of self-described liberals said yes, vs. 31% of self-described conservatives.

Of course that only measures public opinion. With regards to legislation, with the exception of West Virginia and Nevada, all 26 state legislatures that currently ban gay marriage passed those laws when those legislatures were under GOP control.

List of states that ban gay marriage (Scroll down to see)

Party breakdown finder for state legislatures, broken down by state and year

So it's not "90%" (my apologies for that), but the numbers don't lie, and they paint a very clear picture.







   2394. Jick Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4724998)
Rickey:

Jick, your link at 2302 is broken,


Sorry about that...it looks like half of the address gets left off for some reason when I try to make a link. Here's the URL:
http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/exed/sites/ldf/Academic/Ross - Does Oil Hinder Democracy.pdf

Publius:
citing Koranic verse


I'm not as familiar with the Quran as I should be, but it looks like Sura 42, Verse 38 would be a good start.
   2395. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4725002)
But naturally, when the legislation, which deals with both benefits and costs, polls lower than simply listing the benefits individually, the answer is that the voters are a bunch of ####### proles that should shut up and listen to their morally and intellectually superior gentry liberal betters that only want the very best for the poor, developmentally disabled dears.


Way to completely miss the point dude. Like I have said many times the parts poll way better than ACA by name does (similarly Kynect polls better in KY than ACA does). You added in the BS nonsense about what that means.

To me that means that repealing it (ACA) will be enormously difficult. You are not just getting rid of the dreaded mandate or the non-existent death panels (of doom!), you are getting rid of all those things people really like and are becoming used to. One side talks about the costs and not the benefits, the other the benefits but not the costs. Not shocking, but it put the horror story on the other foot.

No longer is the future cost going to be the worst thing ever, now the future benefit removal is the worst thing ever. Maybe this means you think people should shut up and listen to their betters, but I never said or implied any such thing.
   2396. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4725004)
If you believe the practice of Islam isn't inhibitory, or even hostile, to the construction of liberal, democratic societies, please explain, citing Koranic verse and providing examples fundamentalist islamic societies that have flourishing democratic institutions.


The rhetorical slight of hand here is where he moves from "the practice of Islam" in his first phrase to "examples of fundamentalist islamic societies" in his last. Any fundamentalist society is contradictory to western liberal democracy. Fundamentalist Islam. Fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalist Judeaism. Fundamentalist Buddhism. The key is the fundie bit, not the religion bit. By flipping "the practice of Islam" out for "fundamentailst" PP is hand waving away entire states like Indonesia.
   2397. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4725010)
Just to be clear, then, it's your position that the Republican party as a collective entity is NOT currently trying to take away the civil rights of African-Americans, women, Hispanics, Arabs, and homosexuals?

That's not what you wrote.

On some political issues, no reasonable consensus with the other side of the aisle is possible. Either women are allowed to purchase and use birth control, or they aren't. Either homosexuals are allowed to have governmental recognition of their relationships, or they aren't. Those are binary states.

They aren't remotely "binary states," but are instead subject to all manner of gradation, definition, and approach.

But the key thing here is your obvious yearing -- exhibited in virtually everything you write -- that they be "binary states." Why do you want that to be so? Because you want things reduced to the binary of good and evil because you yearn to identify with the "good" and to oppose the "evil" and proclaim that identity. Thereby, you construct pure fantasies having nothing to do with the actual world -- leading to a parade of excessive, overzealous, and false rhetoric, of the type we've seen on display here. You aren't a pluralist, you don't respect the viewpoints of others, you throw hissy fits at people who don't see things your way, you wrap much of your personal identity up in (a fictitious) politics ... you're the paradigmatic 21st century cold civil warrior.
   2398. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4725014)
Let me put it this tway to you, SDeB. If you believe the practice of Islam isn't inhibitory, or even hostile, to the construction of liberal, democratic societies, please explain, citing Koranic verse and providing examples fundamentalist islamic societies that have flourishing democratic institutions.


This is a terrible formulation, because it assumes the conclusion (that Islam is hostile) and insists one prove the negative of something. A more proper formulation would be the assumption that Democracy is open to all as the default, and then raise specific examples of what is different about group X that makes it likely Democracy is not as open for that group, for reason Y. Then you can test that proposition by looking at all groups with reason Y in common and look for mechanisms that reason X inhibits Democracy.

I believe that what SDeB was suggesting is that Jews and Muslims share many reasons (A, B, C) and so none of those shared reasons can be the factor you are looking for. Similarly Christians share much (with both Jews and Muslims) and none of those shared qualities are likely to be the culprit you are looking for.
   2399. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4725016)
Any fundamentalist society is contradictory to western liberal democracy. Fundamentalist Islam. Fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalist Judeaism. Fundamentalist Buddhism. The key is the fundie bit, not the religion bit.

I don't think this is equally true for all those religions.

To my knowledge, there is nothing in Catholicism, or Orthodoxy, or Judaism, or Hinduism, that would prevent a society that was overwhelmingly composed of strict practicioners of that religion from being a western liberal democracy.
   2400. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4725022)
They aren't remotely "binary states," but are instead subject to all manner of gradation, definition, and approach.


The application of the principle may be subject to approach, however the principle as embodied by the two major parties in question, not so much.

One party explicitly is in favor of Abortion, Safe, Legal and Rare. The other party is in favor of a personhood amendment, defining that life begins at the moment of conception.

Those are about as binary as you can get in the messy real world. Similarly allowing gays to marry and be recognized as as such, functionally in an identical fashion as straights, ignoring gender for purposes of marriage definition is the opposite of insisting marriage be between one man and one woman. There might be middle ground in the actual implementation of laws, but the principle is very clear and dichotomous.
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