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Ranxerox

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  1. Thanks
    Ranxerox reacted to Lord Liaden in In other news...   
    Are the giant ‘murder hornets’ as dangerous as we think?
  2. Haha
    Ranxerox reacted to Bazza in Coronavirus   
  3. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Matt the Bruins in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Also, earlier this year, Gates said that if Elizabeth Warren was nominated he would have to think about whether to support her or Trump.  Bill Gates total wealth increases by more than 2% a year.  So if Warren was elected and got her 2% billionaire wealth tax, his total wealth would not go down on a year by year basis.  It would merely increase less quickly.  Still, despite not Bill Gates not liking Trump and all the many good things Warren was proposing to do with the proceeds of the wealth tax, the thought of having his wealth increase less quickly was enough to give Gates pause. 
     
    He didn't say that he wouldn't support Warren, just that he would have to think about it.  I like to think ultimately he would done the right thing for the right reasons.  Yet, that pause, left me wondering how much of Gates' charity work is out of love for his fellow man and how much is to be the big man who gets to write the big checks.
  4. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to DShomshak in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Well, I'm told that J. K. Rowling is a billionaire because she wrote some books that a lot of people liked, and had the luck or foresight to insist in the copntract that she get a cut of any spin-off profits from merch and movies. I don't see how she robbed or cheated anyone.
     
    An unusual case to be sure, but it's an "existence proof." If one can exist, so can others.
     
    It's why I no longer feel outrage at high-paid athletes or entertainers, when so many obviously more worthy people toil for modest wage. Consider everyone who enjoys watching, say, LeBron James play basketball. Millions ever game. Imagine each one of them could pay ten cents directly to him in appreciation. Clearly, he soon becomes a very rich man. And can one say that each of those millions did not receive ten cents' worth of pleasure? Repeat for actors, musicians, etc.
     
    I am willing to extend this exercise to providers of other goods and services, dividing profit gained by the value gained by others. BUT... In such cases, everyone in the supply chain for providing those goods and services has a right to a share as well. If the business model that makes a few people very rich depends on keeping most people's wages artificially low, there is certainly unfairness that should e corrected. Or if the wealth comes from rent-seeking rather than honest competiton for customers.
     
    Returning to J. K. Rowling, it is likely she would not be as wealthy as she is if all the people making the Harry Potter merch in Third World countries were paid a share rather than, well, Third World factory wages. But she would still be very rich.
     
    I see the problem as less that some few people are so very rich as that so many are so very poor. And that their poverty is not an unfortunate natural event, but deliberately created by those who would rather extract wealth than create it.
     
    Dean Shomshak
     
     
  5. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Old Man in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Only if you think it's possible to earn a billion dollars.
  6. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Cygnia in Coronavirus   
  7. Thanks
    Ranxerox got a reaction from TrickstaPriest in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I agree.  For our corporate overlords, greater rights for LGBT and racial and ethnic minorities are cheap consolation prizes to hand out as they tighten their grip on our nation's money and power.  The ever growing income income divide that separates the rich from the rest of us has gone from being an disturbing and odious reality to an existential threat.  The climate scientist of the world have let us know that quick and drastic action is required to prevent the worst possible affects of climate change from coming to pass.  Yet, still the billionaire class and their political and media flunkies resist efforts to address climate change because to address it might in the short run make them a little bit less wealthy.
     
    So we agree about the problem.  The question become how to solve it.  With the largely unfettered privilege of the rich, our current age if often likened to the Gilded Age of the late 1800s.  It was the 4 year depression known as the  Panic of 1893 that strengthened the Progressive Movement and allowed for the election of a Republican controlled House and Senate (back when Republicans were still kind of the good guys) and Teddy Roosevelt.  Although Teddy was born into wealth and supported corporations, he did believe that federal controls were needed to curb the excesses of corporations and extremely wealthy.  From this desire, Roosevelt's Square Deal was born.
     
    I think that Biden might want to be Teddy Roosevelt (after all what US president doesn't want Teddy), but I don't really think he has the charisma to pull it off. He might surprise me though, or maybe in 2024 or 2028 we might get president that is up to the challenge.  It isn't enough though to get the right president. Republicans are no longer the good guys, and both houses of congress need to be flipped for any sort of progressive agenda to be passed.  Right now the electoral drubbing Democrats took in 2010 still weighs against that.  It gave Republicans control of state houses across the country in time to allow them to draw the electoral maps following the 2010 census and gerrymander the districts.  
     
    With the 2020 census we have a chance to redraw the congressional maps, if we can win back the statehouses.  The current gerrymandered maps make that a tall order but not impossible.  The trick to gerrymandering is to win as many districts as possible with the fewest possible votes.  This is accomplished by creating a handful of districts which your opponent wins by landslide while creating bunch of districts that you have just enough voters to reliably win.  The downside to this is strategy is in sea change elections you can loose almost everything because you have created a large number of safe(ish) districts and no truly safe districts.  We need to make 2020 a sea change election, so that once we get our Teddy Roosevelt they have a congress willing to pass the Square/New/Green Deal.
     
    tl;dr - If it bothers you, forget the White House. Just make sure that we win the state houses.  
  8. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I keep reading/hearing, "people/Americans are ____," like current trends and attitudes are universal and constant. Americans can profoundly change their thinking, because they have. Where was America before the civil rights movement? Where was America before the New Deal? But those things took effort, they took time and persistence, weathering setbacks and disappointment and suffering. And it took those who saw the need for change to keep pushing the rest into recognizing it.
     
    What I hear and read now is a lot more people saying that this pandemic has made them aware of the flaws in our systems and how they need to be changed. It's also made it much harder for those who oppose change to hide their real motives. Of course there's no guarantee that substantive action will result from it, but there's never been more fertile ground for progressive thought to grow.
  9. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from GM Joe in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I agree.  For our corporate overlords, greater rights for LGBT and racial and ethnic minorities are cheap consolation prizes to hand out as they tighten their grip on our nation's money and power.  The ever growing income income divide that separates the rich from the rest of us has gone from being an disturbing and odious reality to an existential threat.  The climate scientist of the world have let us know that quick and drastic action is required to prevent the worst possible affects of climate change from coming to pass.  Yet, still the billionaire class and their political and media flunkies resist efforts to address climate change because to address it might in the short run make them a little bit less wealthy.
     
    So we agree about the problem.  The question become how to solve it.  With the largely unfettered privilege of the rich, our current age if often likened to the Gilded Age of the late 1800s.  It was the 4 year depression known as the  Panic of 1893 that strengthened the Progressive Movement and allowed for the election of a Republican controlled House and Senate (back when Republicans were still kind of the good guys) and Teddy Roosevelt.  Although Teddy was born into wealth and supported corporations, he did believe that federal controls were needed to curb the excesses of corporations and extremely wealthy.  From this desire, Roosevelt's Square Deal was born.
     
    I think that Biden might want to be Teddy Roosevelt (after all what US president doesn't want Teddy), but I don't really think he has the charisma to pull it off. He might surprise me though, or maybe in 2024 or 2028 we might get president that is up to the challenge.  It isn't enough though to get the right president. Republicans are no longer the good guys, and both houses of congress need to be flipped for any sort of progressive agenda to be passed.  Right now the electoral drubbing Democrats took in 2010 still weighs against that.  It gave Republicans control of state houses across the country in time to allow them to draw the electoral maps following the 2010 census and gerrymander the districts.  
     
    With the 2020 census we have a chance to redraw the congressional maps, if we can win back the statehouses.  The current gerrymandered maps make that a tall order but not impossible.  The trick to gerrymandering is to win as many districts as possible with the fewest possible votes.  This is accomplished by creating a handful of districts which your opponent wins by landslide while creating bunch of districts that you have just enough voters to reliably win.  The downside to this is strategy is in sea change elections you can loose almost everything because you have created a large number of safe(ish) districts and no truly safe districts.  We need to make 2020 a sea change election, so that once we get our Teddy Roosevelt they have a congress willing to pass the Square/New/Green Deal.
     
    tl;dr - If it bothers you, forget the White House. Just make sure that we win the state houses.  
  10. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Ragitsu in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Oh, socially speaking? Yes, we've moved the needle left in a number of ways. I'm not ungrateful that people have put their reputations and lives on the line to ensure that the everyman isn't going to be discriminated against if they are gay or possess a skin tone darker than Morticia's Addam's...er...you know what.
     
    The economic factor troubles me most. It is a trifling matter for a modern day politician or business to chant about diversity and "We're all in this together" and all that fuzzy-wuzzy kumbaya type pablum. No, what happens is that the social inequality which is invariably tied to dire economic straits gets focused on...but it's just the one angle: one facet. Minority populations (ethnic minorities, to be clear) that have been chronically disadvantaged for decades aren't necessarily going to get ahead if all you do is you tell people they're equal to everyone else. You can eradicate a good portion of this malignance if you address the underlying rot instead of dousing it with gallon upon gallon of perfume before declaring "Mission accomplished". "Socially liberal but economically conservative" (or any close enough description) quickly becomes a self-evident contradiction once you recognize that the latter attitude hinders or even outright reverses reconstructive attempts based around the former.
     
     
  11. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    And how exactly did that happen this time around?
     
    It seemed to me that that it was the voters of South Carolina, not party elites or the media, that put an end to Bernie Sander's campaign.  Prior to the South Carolina primary, there were a lot of centrist running on the theory that Joe Biden was a weak candidate and that they could steal centrist vote from him.  After South Carolina, it became apparent that beating Joe Biden wasn't as easy as they thought and that none of them were really up to the challenge.  Maybe party elites encouraged them to leave the race, but they would not have done so if the voters of South Carolina  had not made it clear that there was not reason for them to stay.
     
    After the hoard of centrist candidates left the race, their centrist supporters chose Biden and not Bernie.  Yes, the candidates endorsed Biden, but such endorsements aren't binding.  If they were, Bernie Sander's supporters wouldn't be wrestling on whether to vote for Joe Biden.  After all, Bernie has endorsed Joe so the matter would already be decided for them.  But no, voters decide for themselves. On a national level in head to head competitions, a majority of Democrat voters prefer Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders and always have.  It was only the split field with so many centrist vying for the moderate vote, that ever made it look like the American people might feel differently.
  12. Thanks
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Matt the Bruins in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    And how exactly did that happen this time around?
     
    It seemed to me that that it was the voters of South Carolina, not party elites or the media, that put an end to Bernie Sander's campaign.  Prior to the South Carolina primary, there were a lot of centrist running on the theory that Joe Biden was a weak candidate and that they could steal centrist vote from him.  After South Carolina, it became apparent that beating Joe Biden wasn't as easy as they thought and that none of them were really up to the challenge.  Maybe party elites encouraged them to leave the race, but they would not have done so if the voters of South Carolina  had not made it clear that there was not reason for them to stay.
     
    After the hoard of centrist candidates left the race, their centrist supporters chose Biden and not Bernie.  Yes, the candidates endorsed Biden, but such endorsements aren't binding.  If they were, Bernie Sander's supporters wouldn't be wrestling on whether to vote for Joe Biden.  After all, Bernie has endorsed Joe so the matter would already be decided for them.  But no, voters decide for themselves. On a national level in head to head competitions, a majority of Democrat voters prefer Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders and always have.  It was only the split field with so many centrist vying for the moderate vote, that ever made it look like the American people might feel differently.
  13. Thanks
    Ranxerox reacted to DShomshak in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Biden emerging as the presumptive nominee gives me a new perspective on a semi-joke I heard last year from, I think, a local pundit on the KUOW "Week in Review" program. He suggested that Americans' Presidential choices had entered a cycle of lurching replacements of each president with the candidate most unlike them. George W. Bush had a silver-spoon background but was good at playing "folksy" in his incoherent way. He was replaced by Obama, an erudite and eloquent self-made black man who promised a post-racial America. He was replaced by the word-salad crudeness, filthy lucre and race-baiting of Donald Trump. Next president, he suggested, would be a lesbian Latina.
     
    Well, no -- but Joe Biden is indeed the Anti-Trump in many ways. A career politician with decades of experience. Not eloquent, and a bit handier than is comfortable for modern sensibilities, but a man who seems to like nearly everyone, including ideological and political opponents, and can work with them to get what he wants.
     
    On a deeper level, he appears to be humble, or at least as humble as someone can be whose passion is office. Some months back, ATC aired an interview with Biden in which he talked about his crisis of faith when his wife died. How could God inflict such suffering on him? What brought him out, he said, was a Hagar the Horrible cartoon. Hagar is standing on a rock in a stormy sea with his longship sinking behind him, and he's crying out, "Why me, O Lord?" And in the next panel, the reply thunders down from the sky, "WHY NOT?" Biden said his thought was: Lots of people suffer. What makes me so special that God should look out for me and mine, more than anyone else?
     
    This is about as far from Donald Trump's malignant, self-aggrandizing narcissism as I can imagine. And if there's one thing the presidency of Donald Trump should have taught us, it's that character matters.
     
    Heck, even if Biden made the story up it makes him a better man than Trump: At least it shows Biden knows what a humble person looks like and cares enough to try impersonating one.
     
    Yes, Biden has pushed policy positions that I've disagreed with, and I wish he had more verbal acuity -- it was dire, watching him on the debate stage, apparently baffled at the abrupt turns his own mouth made. But president who likes other people and wants to cajole rather than defeat and destroy is not nothing.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  14. Thanks
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Cygnia in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    And how exactly did that happen this time around?
     
    It seemed to me that that it was the voters of South Carolina, not party elites or the media, that put an end to Bernie Sander's campaign.  Prior to the South Carolina primary, there were a lot of centrist running on the theory that Joe Biden was a weak candidate and that they could steal centrist vote from him.  After South Carolina, it became apparent that beating Joe Biden wasn't as easy as they thought and that none of them were really up to the challenge.  Maybe party elites encouraged them to leave the race, but they would not have done so if the voters of South Carolina  had not made it clear that there was not reason for them to stay.
     
    After the hoard of centrist candidates left the race, their centrist supporters chose Biden and not Bernie.  Yes, the candidates endorsed Biden, but such endorsements aren't binding.  If they were, Bernie Sander's supporters wouldn't be wrestling on whether to vote for Joe Biden.  After all, Bernie has endorsed Joe so the matter would already be decided for them.  But no, voters decide for themselves. On a national level in head to head competitions, a majority of Democrat voters prefer Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders and always have.  It was only the split field with so many centrist vying for the moderate vote, that ever made it look like the American people might feel differently.
  15. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Cygnia in Coronavirus   
  16. Thanks
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    A Biden Presidency Could Be Better Than Progressives Think
  17. Haha
    Ranxerox reacted to Pariah in Coronavirus   
    I'll drink to that!
     

  18. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to Lord Liaden in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness   
    In the original Dr. Strange origin story Karl Mordo was apprentice to the Ancient One when Stephen Strange arrived at Kamar-Taj; but Mordo had already made a bargain with Dormammu to try to kill the Ancient One. Strange witnessed the Ancient One fighting off their attack, and it was that demonstration of the supernatural that prompted Strange to become the Ancient One's new apprentice. Mordo was jealous of Strange, though, particularly when Strange became Sorcerer Supreme.
     
    I also prefer movie Mordo, a good but inflexible man who felt deceived and betrayed by the person he'd devoted his life to. Classic Baron Mordo is a bit too mustache-twirly for my taste.
  19. Haha
    Ranxerox reacted to Duke Bushido in Coronavirus   
    Dude, I don't know who first coined that "social distance" term, but I can't wait for this to be over just because of that:  I am sick to _death_ (go ahead; I'm sure y'all got jokes  ) of "maintaining a six-foot social distance."
     
    I can't _wait_ to return to my usual eight-foot antisocial distance.......
     
     
  20. Like
    Ranxerox reacted to BoloOfEarth in Coronavirus   
    Not even trying to find a grossly overpriced mask that won't arrive for a month or two anyway.  We're going to try to make our own tonight.
     
    https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/make-diy-face-masks/
     
    https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6860-printable-face-mask-tutorial/ded6e67bb78f2599a7ff/optimized/full.pdf#page=1
     
    I took a seam ripper to a reusable non-woven polypropylene bag (ironically, one I got from Michigan Medicine, aka the University of Michigan hospital), taking it completely apart.  The single piece that made up the bottom and sides of the bag happens to be almost exactly the width needed for the New York Times mask pattern, and the edging connecting the sides/bottom to the front and back of the bag looks like it will work perfectly for ties for the mask.  We'll cut down, fold, and sew the handles for additional ties.  Overall, I estimate that one reusable bag has enough material for at least a half-dozen masks.
     
    Correction:  I didn't realize the instructions call for two layers, so one bag has enough for 3 masks.
  21. Thanks
    Ranxerox reacted to Michael Hopcroft in Coronavirus   
    Well, she;s safe. She called in just before I went to bed, very upset that I was making a fuss.
     
    Which was a relief but which also hurt a bit.
  22. Sad
    Ranxerox reacted to Michael Hopcroft in Coronavirus   
    Nobody is allowed in her building except residents -- everyone is a senior citizen and the entire complex is effectively under quarantine.
     
    Believe me, if I knew anyone in her building I could call I'd call them. The building management may be able to check on her in the morning.
     
    Hopefully it's just a problem with her phone, but it's hard not to fear the worst at a time like this. Too many people are leaving this life alone these days.
  23. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Armory in Recommend a Sports Movie   
    The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
  24. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from slikmar in Birds of Prey (2020)   
    So I hear from some circles, but at least where the professional reviews are concerned, the number are the numbers.  You can go read the reviews in the original publications.
     
    Also, I have watched BoP twice and enjoyed it both times. So, I have no difficulty believing that it would get 78% favorable reviews. 
  25. Like
    Ranxerox got a reaction from Grailknight in Recommend a Sports Movie   
    The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
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