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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/06/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Lucius

    In other news...

    We didn't start the fire (Homo Erectus did) Habilis to Erectus Oldowan to Achulean Stand straight, migrate, This is how to speciate Flaking flint, chipping bits, Now and then there comes a spark Soon they learn, catch that burn Then they drive away the dark We didn't start the fire Was already burning when Sapiens came learning We didn't start the fire No the first release is from an earlier species Light, heat, cooked meat Learning how to feed the flame Teaching all the beasts to fear Things will never be the same Stone ax cuts and hacks Make a fire hardened spear Bigger brain, growing grain, Baking bread and brewing beer We didn't start the fire etc. Clay kiln, baked brick Forging bronze then iron and steel Building engines worked by fire Using steam to turn the wheels Gasoline, electric light AC/DC, dynamite ATOM SPLIT - THIS IS IT WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO HIT? We didn't etc. Lucius Alexander The palindromedary didn't start the fire either.
  2. 4 points
    To ask a question of Thomas Sowell: "Why should anyone with power espouse 'leftist ideas' or 'populist ideas' when those ideas suggest weakening the money and power of those people?" This is why the Republican party will never address 'Gerrymandering', despite it's obvious and blatant corruptive politics. This isn't about economics. It's about power. It never was about anything else. If you want to reduce spending, an earlier comment on this thread suggested minority governments spend less than majority governments, historically. If we are talking about democrats being fiscally poor decision makers, well: https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296 Me. I would like a government that acknowledged that Global Climate Change isn't a fantasy, and that it could potentially end our civilization if not curtailed? You know, like every other country in the world is doing? Imagine the way the world might look if we hadn't had politicians and 'news entertainers' literally accepting cash for our future. If 30-40 years ago we had congressmen who actually said "yeah that sounds bad we should look into this"? If you want to talk about finding politicians unpleasant, how about people who essentially say "nah your kid don't got cancer" and who block every attempt to research, analyze, and cure that condition. Who devote substantial resources to gaslight you and make it sound buffoonish, ridiculous, or "unpatriotic". "Your kid doesn't got cancer, I have a doctor who will say so!"
  3. 3 points
    Trencher

    Creepy Pics.

  4. 2 points
    First, this is disingenuous. Write him and ask. As it stands, this is just a contextonomy. Or, are you intentionally ignoring the point? Setting up a straw-man and knocking it down on a message board doesn't impress me. The point is: politicians are always trying to float programs we can't afford and offer people things they should not have to woo voters. The last fiscally responsible politicians we had were elected in the 1960's. People in power who espouse "leftists ideas" are specifically targeting their opponents money and power. They are not targeting their own money and power, and especially not the money and power of the administrative state. I am opposed to an intrusive and ever-growing administrative state that sees the pocket-books of the common man as a blank check for politicians balkanized partisan agendas - be they right or left. I agree the GOP isn't interested in fixing gerrymandering. By that same token, the DNC isn't interested in taking reasonable steps to clean up voter rolls or verify eligibility. I'm not a partisan the way you are. I'm not pointing the finger at one party while turning a blind eye to the other. Neither of these parties are interested in playing an infinite values-based game that benefits the American people. Both are pursuing their finite interests in extremely cynical and self-serving ways. I am not going to play "White hat / black hat" with you. There is a corruptive influence flowing from both parties. I'm not going to play "pick your poison." I'm going to say "don't drink the poison." Economics is power. Taxes are control. This is so basic that I don't need to argue it. Indeed, if you think politics doesn't boil down to the control of the the people's treasure you don't know the first thing about power. Define "minority governments." Do you mean a government in which the president's party is in the minority. All good, I generally prefer that. That does not mean I'm going to vote for candidates who espouse interests and goals are anathema to my own. I regard both parties as being fiscally irresponsible decision makers with a poor grasp of economics. The republicans gave up on fiscal responsibility and sensible economics decades ago. That doesn't make the democrats any better than it and the difference can be explained not by fiscal sense, but presidents who don't control both houses and therefore can't spend like madmen. I strongly recommend reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. If you really want to understand the causes of income inequality and the problems both parties bring to our tax structure, its a must read book. If it were my word here is what I would do: Do away with income tax. Yes, I said that. Leave the corporate income tax rate at 20%. Jack up the the capital gains tax up to 50-70%.. What would be the results: Poor and middle class people would have more income for expenses, education, and insurance. Businesses would know what to expect and be able to make healthy profits - and more people could start small businesses. The money made from capital gains alone - which are not earnings - would pay for the military, medicare, and social security. You want to secure the middle class. That's how you do it. You want to fund entitlements with only modest reforms? That's how you do it. Here is the thing: democrats always point out that the GOP caters to the rich. Its true! Here is the thing: republicans always point out that the DNC tax policies hurt the middle class and small businesses. Its true! Both have completely misunderstood taxes. The democrats are constantly raising the wrong taxes. The GOP belligerently refuses to raise the right one. Vituperative aside, yeah, its a problem. But, its only one of many problems, and your woulda-coulda-shoulda is meaningless. 30-40 years ago politicians didn't say that. Here we are. Look, I work for a solar company. I get it. But, at the same time, even if we acknowledge it, what do you propose we do? Most of the policy movies I see from the environmentalists, while logical, aren't reasonable and, in some cases, are extremely destructive. Its an easy problem to diagnose. It is not an easy problem to treat. If you destroy your patients health and quality of life extending their life, what was the point? I do not buy into the fallacy of "something must be done." Ergo, "something must be done, this is something, therefore this must be done." I want us to set a responsible environmental policy and, I agree, this administration isn't doing that. But, whatever we do, has to be smart, effective, and conserve our economic well-being in the process. I do believe that's possible. It is not, however, what I have seen to date. Dear God. Really? More straw men and conflations. I am talking about high-level political ideals and you are arguing personalities. My opinion of Trump's character is stated in no uncertain terms in this thread. Yes, the man is an obstinate ass. So what? That is not what I am talking about. Until the dems (and you) stop making it about the man and return to a focus on the nation all I hear is Charlie Brown's teacher. When you do make it about our nation and our values, then we'll have something to talk about. Of course, I may still find your proposals anathema, but I'll at least hear them out. In the meantime, I'mpointedly voting libertarian with a clear conscience and wagging my ballot in your face. May the Force be with you.
  5. 2 points
    Starlord

    In other news...

    Just saw the article on the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel. I don't normally follow cutting edge 'sciency' news but I just wanted to say (yes, this may be a bit hyperbolic) that I think those things are gonna work out swimmingly for all humanity. Just my opinion though...YMMV.
  6. 2 points
    Anne Hathaway made a fine Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises; for that reason they might not want to use her for the upcoming movie. Likewise Talia al Ghul. Maybe Lady Shiva or Huntress would work.
  7. 2 points
    You misunderstand, or misrepresent. I'm not voting Democrat to spite the Republicans; I'm voting Democrat to stop the Republicans. If you can't see a meaningful difference between the policies and goals of the two parties, then your understanding of the world is so different from mine that I don't see how we can have a meaningful conversation on this subject.
  8. 1 point
    Vondy

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    Full stop. This is you responding to common republican rhetoric and not to anything I said. As a result, why is it here? Sure. I agree. But what does it have to do with me? Well, we know there are lots of dead people on many states rolls. And many states do absolutely nothing to verify eligibility. That is, in of itself, a "soft" way of gaming the system. My answer would be "the states should investigate and find out." To date, when that suggestion has been made, self-interested politicians have gone to war screaming "racism" and "disenfranchisement," which is deflection. When leaders of deep blue states vocally refuse to take any steps to verify their rolls its smacks of self-interest and and begs the question "why do you refuse to take meaningful steps to find out." I am not saying there is definitive proof. I am saying their is enough anecdotal evidence that a responsible person would take serious steps to verify the integrity of the rolls. That should not be taboo and treating it like it is plays into critics hands. I never proposed there wasn't and, as a result, I'm not sure why we are still talking about it. However, one issue that is often missed is what I would call "soft gerrymandering." By that I mean, "old lines." In many cases the urbanization of America has played into the republicans hands without their having to do anything. As cities become more blue, all that has to happen is for the GOP to do nothing. In other words, the republicans don't actually have to do anything in many cases to gain an electoral advantage. Go back and read what I wrote in context.. I did not refer to personalities in my discrete response to your comments on global warming and our environmental policy. I referred to them in response to Trumps behavior such as "gas-lighting," etc. This is a conflation of two different things. As a result, there is nothing for me to respond to. Sure. I already agreed that our policy is benighted. I also agree the Dems are better (to a degree) on this particular policy issue. However, you keep dredging up individual policies you object to as a means of pursuing a partisan fight with a non-partisan person who tried to raise a higher-level concern. Until we discuss how we get back to "increasing liberty for every single American" and fiscal responsibility and putting the administrative state in its place I'm not sure what this really has to do with me. Yes, the GOP has their heads in the sand. With that said, we can't have meaningful conversations when people engage in over-the-top rhetoric, take absolutist positions, and defame the opposition with a broad brush. There are republican congressmen and voters who believe in global warming and want clean air, clean water, and responsible conservationist and environmentalist policy. The kinds of rhetorical tactics you are employing alienate the people you need to come together with to get anything done. Do you want catharsis or workable compromise that moves the ball forward. The my way or the highway tribalist moralizing endemic in our politics today have destroyed the necessary well of trust democracy requires. Agreed. But how we talk about it has to engender conversation. We have to stop talking at one another and start talking with one another. For that to work you have to actively listen and respond to what people actually say. With respect, that has not been my experience in this thread. I would say the same of the GOP. They need to be broken up. I have dual citizenship and lived abroad for many years. I really like parliamentary systems that force coalition-building. It forces compromise and while politics are still ugly, results in more reasonable sitting governments that have to take more reasonable positions and play to the national mainstreet as opposed to the radicals and reactionaries lurking in the wings.Our system of government can be reasonable and play to the middle, but only when the two parties stop playing a finite self-interested driven game. To a degree this is our fault because we actively deliver the message that we want statecraft rather than politics. Bad economics does make my hair go white. So does sovereign debt and politicians who don't care if they bankrupt our nation tomorrow in exchange for votes today. But, you see, this is where we have a real and pointed disagreement. I regard the democrats current set of policies and the direction they want to take us to be just as lethal to our national well-being and freedoms in the long-term as the republicans. The only difference is that the the republicans are in power and the democrats aren't. Trump is the acute ailment of the moment. Yes, I would like the pain he is causing us to go away, but saying vote for "hepatitis instead of cancer!" isn't very inspiring to someone like me, is it? You see, from where I sit, you keep minimizing the damage the democrats would do because of the damage the republicans are doing. And, this is my opinion and it may be unfair, but the reason I'm really getting so much opposition is that I'm not playing to your partisan biases. Again, this is you responding to common republican rhetoric and has nothing to do with anything I said. As a result, what do I do with it? I have already agreed. However, I already answered this question above. Again, please go back and read what I actually wrote. No income tax. These are people's earnings. A reasonably low corporate tax rate. High capital gains tax. This is unearned self-perpetuating income. And, I do suggest you read the book. Its extremely well researched and cogently written by - gasp - a liberal! We used to have high capital gains taxes and the rich still got richer without lifting a finger. They just got richer slower. I don't see that as a bad thing. My answer: taxes and regulations. Strange, eh? The caveat is, the right taxes and the right regulations. My issue with the dems is that they are pulling the wrong taxation levers are unnecessarily intrusive when it comes to regulation. This harms poor and middle class people in a way that is more subtle, but just as pervasive, way. Let me be clear. I am not anti-regulation. Commons, markets, and regulations require some regulation to function in a fair manner. What I am against is excessive and populist regulation. In other words, I think regulation should be both smart and circumspect and reevaluated over time. Often times, in our zeal to do something, we impose bad rules that make things worse or have unintended consequences and never go away. So, yes, let's regulate. But let's make sure we do so intelligently and with a deft touch - and let us always be asking: is there a better way to do this?
  9. 1 point
    I am not disagreeing. But the 'leftist' "messaging" is far from 'poor people are lazy'. It is extremely easy to run a campaign that attacks 'big money', but (as we've seen with the progressive shift) it undermines itself. I would much rather have a rhetoric that doesn't bank on undermining poor, because that makes itself more powerful (and historically, is even more dangerous than just undermining political opponents). And yes, it is still pretty painful to see. I did just post a financial article that outlined how Obama increased the deficit the most out of recent history. Of course, he did inherit two wars and a "banking crisis". I think some of the estimation took this into account, but I would need hard data and methodology information. Are the voter rolls unclean? Is eligibility a major issue in the voting polls? So far there's nothing to indicate that it is. If you have any information otherwise I would be very interested. As I said, I've already re-evaluated my thoughts on medicare vs military cost (and before, on gun control) based on this very long thread. With gerrymandering, though. There's a rather... impressive history with gerrymandering, and there is an interesting discussion from Extra Credits on how gerrymandering may be raising extremism in politics. We can see a clear, discernable impact from it. If there is a huge problem with bad voter rolls, then we should definitely fix that. But is there? I'm not talking about personalities. We literally have a political party who's ingrained in the belief that global warming isn't real. Not even as personal belief, as political message. That political message is then broadcast on the most popular news network in the country, and spread to conspiracy theorist radio talk show hosts where it is further reinforced. We are the only modern country. In the world. That treats global warming this way. So yes, I compare it to someone saying "your cancer isn't real". Yes, it was rhetoric, and I apologize over being livid on that topic. If we want reasonable, real policy, we need a country that actually talks about it. This isn't a personality issue, it's that no one is going to create practical policies until we are well past the stage of climate change being political. Sure, I hate the democrats for making it this way, but they aren't the ones who need to give in over that. The democratic party needs to be broken up, and I'm hoping the recent changes in politics may change that. But bad economics aside, that's not what's making my hair go white. The reason you are getting so much opposition is the problem not of comparing two crap sandwiches, it's comparing a bad flu to an ultimately lethal disease, or what people perceive to be. There is some illegitimate fear mongering, but nothing makes me sicker than hearing that "people are too entitled" when working with coworkers who work 3-4 jobs. If you want to talk to people and convince them of your position, then, let's talk about the current financial situation. If we want to talk about taxes and not high-level political ideals, I'm fine with that. The current financial system isn't helping the working class. If you think that can be fixed by lowering taxes across the board, I'd be interested in knowing how. The "treasury" is not just what is held by the government, but what is siphoned off by the second estate (or the merchant class). The past-super-rich are being outstripped financially by a new generation of them. It's understandable companies like Apple and Amazon are taking heat in politics now. But the way Amazon workers, Tesla workers, and even Google employees are treated is not good. I honestly do not know how to regulate the power of the new era of corporations other than higher taxes and greater regulation. How would you go about this? All I got in my hand for this is taxes and regulations.
  10. 1 point
    Lucius

    In other news...

    No, I'm the guy hogging the karaoke machine without knowing the words to the songs. Lucius Alexander Not really. I'm just the guy over here in the corner with a palindromedary
  11. 1 point
    Talia necessarily means Ra's al Ghul is included in the story (and while he might have somehow escaped the ridiculously destructive train crash in Batman Begins, he's probably dead). I'd like to see Anne as Catwoman again, but the problem is timing. She only showed up when Batman was old, crippled, and basically retired at the end of his career, which was a pretty dumb move on DC's part, but it would be odd for them to ignore that or do yet another reboot. If they did somehow put her in the film, I want her to be actually Catwoman this time, not just a hawt burglar with goggles that kinda look like kitty ears when she's not wearing them. DC has been good about costuming and such, except for the Batman movies where they tried to avoid much of that.
  12. 1 point
    Ternaugh

    In other news...

    “We'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  13. 1 point
    We have gotten ourselves into a bad place with politics. We vote (in the main) based on tribal loyalties rather than on the people we are electing. If we elected people we trusted to do the right thing rather than the party brand that we have invested in, the political incentives of those seeking power might change. I speak as someone who sees the inside of politics in the UK but I still feel those tribal loyalties influence my vote at almost every election. Parties are new things in western politics and they make it easy for politicians to decide how to vote. I think that anything that makes it easy for politicians to decide how to vote is probably bad for democracy. I want my politicians to go to their parliament, to become informed and to make decisions that I am not able to make. I want my politicians to base their decisions on what they think is right rather than on the uninformed opinions prevalent on the internet or the pre-baked policies of the parties to which they are affiliated. The onus is on us, the electorate, to engage with the system, I believe we get the politicians we deserve and as long as we base our voting decisions on shortcut things like what party the politician declares allegiance to, we will continue to get politicians that game the system. it is like D&Ders that declare their character is chaotic good, but effectively play as neutral evil. ?. We need to find a way to label politicians with the label that fits their actions rather than the label they want to wear. I think the only way is for us to be willing to take a greater interest in who our politicians are and on building institutions we can trust to provide us with real information rather than the selective presentation of data we currently get. No idea how we get there though, most people are content in their tribalism either because they like their tribe or see supporting the other tribe as the only way to defeat the one they like least... Doc
  14. 1 point
    Ternaugh

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    The ending was excellent*, but the trip there was often padded with filler. That's been a problem with most Netflix Marvel series as of late, however. *If I could work the spoiler tags, I'd make a comment here about the real villain of Season 3.
  15. 1 point
    Doc Shadow

    What Have You Watched Recently?

    The Wild Geese, Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Kruger, Stewart Granger, Allied Artists 1978
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    how ? aren't the Titans better taken seriously ?
  19. 1 point
    Cygnia

    Creepy Pics.

    Firenado in CA yesterday
  20. 1 point
    Bazza

    "Neat" Pictures

    My photo.
  21. 1 point
    Cygnia

    "Neat" Pictures

  22. 1 point
    mattingly

    "Neat" Pictures

    Yeah, but does it breathe fire every night?
  23. 1 point
    We need a laugh. I found this and thought it might do.
  24. 1 point
    Cygnia

    "Neat" Pictures

  25. 1 point
    The local festival PDOL is underfoot. The streets are lined with exotic food stalls. Today's dinner was a steak sandwich with jalapenos and chili-bearnaise sauce. Pretty good, and just as greasy as festival food is supposed to be. But I do doubt it was beef -- looked pretty pork-y to me.
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