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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18141 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-24, 15:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-April-24, 08:43, said:

The words of Der Fuhrer Donny, 6 days after the 2020 election: "Nevada is turning out to be a cesspool of fake votes."

April 21, 2021, Nevada Secretary of State announced that her office had found "Zero evidentiary support" for claims of fraud or bias in the 2020 election.

Reuters-Ipsos poll released in March: 6 in 10 self-identified Republicans believe the 2020 election was "stolen".

What is the connection? My thinking - if the polling is close to accurate - is that these are people who place faith superior to fact when it comes to their personal beliefs. And there is no way to have a discussion with someone who is like that because their facts start off in a different realm than yours.


...and there's another problem.

Of the 70+ million people that voted for the "smartest man on Earth," I would bet that exactly 97.35% of them would not understand that "Zero evidentiary support" means that it didn't happen.

Exactly 100% of them will believe that it means that there is obviously some support - just not 'evidentiary' and Trumpy, Trumpy, Trumpy.
These same people exist in Australia.
Like the pod people - they're everywhere.
They look like people, sound like people, but really they're vegetation. A terrifying combination of "Night of the living dead" and "Invasion of the body-snatchers".

I remember about two years ago when the internet became feverish because some commentator used the word 'oleaginous' in a sentence.
Lawrence ODonnell was so excited that someone had said "oleaginous" that he devoted more than 8 minutes to it on MSNBC.
You can see it for yourself. http://bit.ly/Oleaginous.

Instead, they believe in something called "Natural law" - one of the most (in)famous proponents of "Natural Law" is JR Biden.
A man that may not know everything, but at least he knows the difference between right and wrong.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18142 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-April-24, 20:51

If you believe that government's job is to organize white men into a gang to beat up on everyone else, then of course you think that votes of non-white people are fraudulent and any election decided by their votes is stolen.
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#18143 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-25, 06:49

Ross Douthat said:

https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage

... But beneath this party crisis there is the deeper one, having to do with what conservatism under a liberal order exists to actually conserve.

One powerful answer is that conservatism-under-liberalism should defend human goods that are threatened by liberal ideas taken to extremes. The family, when liberal freedom becomes a corrosive hyper-individualism. Traditional religion, when liberal toleration becomes a militant and superstitious secularism. Local community and local knowledge, against expert certainty and bureaucratic centralization. Artistic and intellectual greatness, when democratic taste turns philistine or liberal intellectuals become apparatchiks. The individual talent of the entrepreneur or businessman, against the leveling impulses of egalitarianism and the stultifying power of monopoly.

Needless to say the right hasn’t always fought these battles well or wisely. But the fights have given conservatives a clear stake in the liberal order, a reason to be invested in its institutions and controversies even if, on occasion, they might doubt that some of its premises are true.

So the question, then, is what happens when the reasons for that investment weaken, when the things the right imagines itself conserving seem to slip away?

What does it mean to conserve the family in an era when not just the two-parent household but childbearing and sex itself are in eclipse? What does it mean to defend traditional religion in a country where institutional faith is either bunkered or rapidly declining? How do you defend localism when the internet seems to nationalize every political and cultural debate? What does the conservation of the West’s humanistic traditions mean when pop repetition rules the culture, and the great universities are increasingly hostile to even the Democratic-voting sort of cultural conservative?

At least you can still defend the heroic entrepreneur, say the libertarians — except that the last great surge of business creativity swiftly congealed into the stultifying monopolies of Silicon Valley, which are leading the general corporate turn against cultural and religious forms of conservatism as well.

This set of problems explains the mix of radicalism, factionalism, ferment and performance art that characterizes the contemporary right. What are we actually conserving anymore? is the question, and the answers range from the antiquarian (the Electoral College!) to the toxic (a white-identitarian conception of America) to the crudely partisan (the right to gerrymander) to the most basic and satisfying: Whatever the libs are against, we’re for.

On the center and the liberal center-right, meanwhile, there’s a sense that the way out of this mess is for decent conservatives to recommit to the liberal order — “to organize and draw a bright line between themselves and the illiberals on their own side,” as my colleague David Brooks put it this week.

But that might not be enough. In the end, conservatives need to believe the things they love can flourish within the liberal order, and it isn’t irrational to turn reactionary if things you thought you were conserving fall away.

So the question for the right isn’t one of commitment, but capacity. Can conservative energies be turned away from fratricide and lib-baiting and used to rebuild the structures and institutions and habits whose decline has pushed the right toward crisis? And will liberal institutions, in their increasingly ideological form, allow or encourage that to happen, or stand permanently in its way?

In prior columns I’ve stressed how the weakness of conservatism makes it hard to imagine a successful right-wing insurrection or coup against the liberal order.

But weakness has rippling consequences too, and a conservatism defined by despair and disillusionment could remain central to liberalism’s crises for many years to come.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18144 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-25, 07:34

View Postakwoo, on 2021-April-24, 20:51, said:

If you believe that government's job is to organize white men into a gang to beat up on everyone else, then of course you think that votes of non-white people are fraudulent and any election decided by their votes is stolen.


Or if you think the government has no business telling anybody what to do - then any vote against that ideology is fraudulent.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18145 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-25, 13:50

Newark Police officers did not fire a single shot during the calendar year 2020.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18146 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-April-25, 18:47

View Posty66, on 2021-April-25, 13:50, said:



This is good to see. My knowledge of cops and robbers is close to non-existent so I am always glad to see good news like this.
Ken
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#18147 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 18:13

View Postkenberg, on 2021-April-25, 18:47, said:

This is good to see. My knowledge of cops and robbers is close to non-existent so I am always glad to see good news like this.

So am I. Apparently it means there were no violent crimes committed in Newark in 2020. I wish we could say the same for New York, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, etc.

#18148 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 18:20

View PostChas_P, on 2021-April-26, 18:13, said:

Apparently it means there were no violent crimes committed in Newark in 2020.

Q.F.T.
When did pass become a 4-letter word? --- WinstonM
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#18149 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 19:24

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-April-26, 18:20, said:

Q.F.T.


Quantum Field Theory?
Quite Fine Tea?
Quick Fox Trot?
Quack Five Times?

I'm working on it. In the crossword puzzle, Wild West of the cinema was Mae. I should be able to get this.
Ken
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#18150 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 19:36

Literacy is such a problem in the USA that Dr Suess was commissioned to write some books to improve reading comprehension.
This is what the original 2nd amendment says:

Quote

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

NB "A well regulated militia" and "the security of a free state".


There was never any intent that this would mean everybody who wanted one could purchase and keep a Battleship on their front lawn to deter trespassers.


The whole "rights" argument about guns in America holds as much water as a colander.
For those that didn't get past Dr Suess, a colander is a thing that doesn't hold much water.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18151 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 20:22

View Postkenberg, on 2021-April-26, 19:24, said:

Quantum Field Theory?

Quoted For Truth.

It's just that I don't believe that there was no violent crime in Newark in 2020. And hopefully the reasoning that "If there had been violence, the police would have shot someone" is a bit exaggerated.
When did pass become a 4-letter word? --- WinstonM
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#18152 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 20:44

The goal should be to minimize the total number of people killed.

When the number of people killed by police greatly outnumbers the number of police killed in the line of duty, the police are too trigger-happy; fewer people would die if police accepted a slightly higher risk of being killed to avoid killing others.
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#18153 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 20:47

View PostChas_P, on 2021-April-26, 18:13, said:

So am I. Apparently it means there were no violent crimes committed in Newark in 2020. I wish we could say the same for New York, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, etc.

I daresay I speak for everyone here in wishing we could say the same for Washington DC in January 2021.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#18154 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-April-26, 20:54

View Postakwoo, on 2021-April-26, 20:44, said:

fewer people would die if police accepted a slightly higher risk of being killed to avoid killing others.

I find this a strange argument. As if the problem is that the police it too eager to defend themselves.
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#18155 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-April-27, 09:27

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-26, 20:47, said:

I daresay I speak for everyone here in wishing we could say the same for Washington DC in January 2021.

Yes. Also Washington, DC in January, 2017.

#18156 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-27, 11:42

Paul Krugman said:

Today’s column was about reasons right-wing politicians believe they can lie to their supporters about what the Biden administration is up to, especially although not only with regards to climate policy. As I said, the Republican line is that Democrats are going to take away all the good things in life, when the reality is that the Biden team is very much not calling for any serious crimping of Americans’ lifestyle.

But why does the current administration imagine that we can save the planet without making major sacrifices? A lot of the answer has to do with extraordinary innovations in energy technology that have taken place over the past dozen years, innovations that make achieving a low-emission economy look like a medium-difficulty technical problem rather than something that will require drastic changes in the way we live. The cost of electricity from wind power has fallen 70 percent since 2009; the cost of electricity from solar panels has fallen 89 percent.

Thinking about these developments, I remembered something I wrote back in 2010, when Democrats were trying unsuccessfully to push through legislation creating a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions. The economic costs of such a system that model-builders estimated at the time were significant, although far from economy-killing. But I suggested that it was a good bet that the models overstated the economic costs of climate action, largely because they didn’t allow for creativity. Indeed, what we got was innovation that transformed the whole proposition.

Now, you can’t always count on that kind of innovation coming along. A bit of autobiography here: I spent the summer of 1973, between my junior and senior years in college, working as a research assistant to William Nordhaus, who devised a brilliantly innovative way of modeling energy futures. (He later won the Nobel largely for his work integrating economic and climate models.) I passed most of that time in Yale’s Geology Library, rounding up the best available estimates of how much alternatives to fossil fuels, oil in particular, would cost; these estimates were crucial inputs into Bill’s model.

Unfortunately, over the next several decades we would learn that the engineers responsible for these estimates were wildly overoptimistic: Oil prices rose well above the levels at which alternatives like shale oil were supposed to have been competitive, but the substitutes kept not appearing. Another of my teachers, Martin Weitzman — who should also have won a Nobel! — quipped that the cost of alternatives to crude oil was always 20 percent above the current price of crude, whatever that price happened to be. We used to call it Weitzman’s Law.

Weitzman’s Law didn’t finally snap until after around 2009, when first fracking, then renewable energy, saw plunging costs and surging production.

So we couldn’t have counted on renewable energy getting so cheap so fast. But it did. Claims by conservatives that policies to reduce emissions would kill the economy never made much sense, but anyone making those claims now is living in a time warp, ignoring the way the energy landscape has changed.

The truth is that given current technology we can resolve the climate crisis without major changes in the way we live. No, we won’t have to give up meat. Although now that you mention it, meat alternatives have gotten immensely better over the past few years, and if you believe The Times’s food desk — which you should, it may be the best part of the paper! — vegan cheese is getting seriously good. Innovation isn’t just about energy production.

In other words, we can eat, drink and be merry while still saving the planet. Enjoy your grilled brussels sprouts.

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#18157 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2021-April-27, 13:27

View PostChas_P, on 2021-April-27, 09:27, said:

Yes. Also Washington, DC in January, 2017.

Yeah, same thing completely. :huh: :blink:

Whataboutish and counter-attack - last vestige of a pretend argument for those that have no reasonable position to hold. That might work in conservative media, particularly on uneducated voter groups, but I would not count on it holding too much weight here.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#18158 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-April-27, 17:58

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-27, 13:27, said:

Yeah, same thing completely. :huh: :blink:

Whataboutish and counter-attack - last vestige of a pretend argument for those that have no reasonable position to hold. That might work in conservative media, particularly on uneducated voter groups, but I would not count on it holding too much weight here.

Thanks for the laughs Zel. You truly are a national treasure.

#18159 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-28, 10:44

Here's a topic D's and R's can perhaps agree on: capping school administrative expenses per student.

Matt Ginsberg said:

https://www.register...INION/312119870 (2013)

Last year at this time I wrote a column wondering what I should get my son for Christmas. He was a freshman in college.

This year, I’d like to write about my daughter, who’s a sophomore at South Eugene High School. She finished finals for the first trimester last week, and starts her second trimester this week. In many cases, this means that my daughter and other high school students will be starting new subjects that they haven’t seen before.

After two weeks of these new subjects, there will be a two-week break for the holidays. And then classes in these subjects will resume. And meanwhile, there will be a three-month gap in the students’ education in science, language and other subjects where continuity of education is crucial.

Who came up with this idea? Two weeks in a new subject, immediately followed by a two-week vacation? A three-month gap in language education? I don’t see how this can possibly facilitate learning; if someone had asked me last year to produce the worst high school class schedule imaginable, I wouldn’t have come up with something this bad.

My plan is to blame the school board. I don’t know if they’re the folks who actually came up with this ludicrous plan, but they certainly approved it.

And it’s not as if the school board has covered themselves in glory in other ways. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The average Eugene School Board member has been in office since 2005. Some more, and some less. Let’s compare the situation today to that in 2005 and see what’s happened during their collective tenure.

During the 2004-05 academic year, there were 17,907 students in the Eugene School District. The budget was just over $126 million, or $7,041 per student ($8,420 in today’s dollars).

Today, there are 16,027 students, as baby boomers’ kids grow up and leave the system. The budget is about $140 million, $8,724 per student. That’s a 3.5 percent increase over the 2004-05 number, including inflation. Good for us: Economic downturn notwithstanding, we’re spending more real dollars on each of our children now than we did when the school board showed up.

There’s only one problem. We’re spending more, but getting less. You don’t need to be reading this column to know that the quality of an education in Eugene schools has dropped drastically over the past eight years.

The numbers reflect this. In the 2004-05 budget, the 17,907 students were taught by people filling a total of 907.6 “certified positions,” which is what they call the teachers.

That’s an average of 19.7 students per teacher. In the 2012-13 budget, the 16,027 students are taught by 757.7 teachers, or 21.2 students per teacher. Given that we’ve got more money, why is there a 7.2 percent increase in the number of students per teacher?

In 2004-05, the district had 76.9 administrators and supervisors, one per 233 students. In 2012-13, there are 78.5 administrators, one per 204 students. How can a smaller student body require more administrators and a full 14 percent more per student?

I run a couple of software companies. If the finances get messed up, it’s my fault because the buck stops with me. My view on this school disaster is the same: The buck stops with the school board.

They have overseen the calamitous decline in quality of education that has occurred over the past eight years. And that decline has occurred while we, the citizens, have been spending more of our precious resources on education than ever.

I’m sure that the school board will have many excuses. Board members will blame the teachers’ union and the Public Employees Retirement System. They’ll blame increased spending on special education. They’ll blame politicians.

Personally, I don’t care. They’re the school board. The buck stops with them.

So here’s my solution.

First, we should rewrite the Eugene district’s budget, capping every category at inflation-adjusted, per student numbers from 2004-05.

Every category. Number of administrators. Superintendent’s salary. Average teacher salary. Special-ed spending. All of it. The only exception should be the number of teachers. The 3.5 percent increase in real dollars since 2005 should be spent entirely on more classroom teachers because it is teachers who actually deliver educational value to our kids.

And second, we should ask for, and then gratefully accept, the resignation of every member of the Eugene School Board.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18160 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-28, 11:01

View Posty66, on 2021-April-28, 10:44, said:

Here's a topic D's and R's can perhaps agree on: capping school administrative expenses per student.




"The market should set the rates of remuneration!" - Every Republican caught in the U-shaped ideological trap*.

*Even slime mold can find its way out of a u-shaped trap. Ergo, ...?


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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