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Thread: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

  1. #101
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post
    Kudos to Associated Press for doing some actual investigative journalism, the kind where you piece together a story using bits found here and there to compile a picture.

    The story is by AP no matter what newspaper happens to pick it up from the wire service and publish it:



    The story is quite long and detailed and gives plenty of names and correlates the dollar amounts of donations to visits to Secretary Clinton to actions then taken by the State Department. This article seems directly aligned with the request at the outset of this thread: the authors are cautious not to draw many conclusions, and instead focus on providing lots of well-sourced information and then showing the connections among various data elements.
    The Clintons ran an airbnb out of the White House bedrooms when they were last there, for crying out loud. I don't think it takes a great deal of thinking to draw the only conclusions possible.
    That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open lists, to win or lose.

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    In keeping with the spirit of the original post at the outset of this thread, I am going to try and develop a logical thread so that all those playing along at home can follow and decide if they agree or not each step of the way. I have a destination in mind of course...

    Phase 1: understanding ourselves (oversimplified version)
    -- everyone has a blind spot (Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow)
    -- many if not most of us are unaware of where our blind spots are (Kahneman again)
    -- our blind spots are much more obvious to others than they are to us (Kahneman once more).

    Are we all on board so far?

    Phase 2: the value of free speech with which we disagree
    -- free speech with which we disagree can be valuable because it forces us to refine our thinking to refute it (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty)
    -- the best way to counter free speech with which we disagree is to refute it with superior arguments (Mill again)
    -- a useful exercise along the way is to clarify / confirm whether we are understanding where the other person is coming from in the first place (Kepler, original post in this thread; also a logical inference from Phase I and the two points above, no?)

    Still on board?


    More to follow.... tldr otherwise.
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post
    Phase 2: the value of free speech with which we disagree
    -- free speech with which we disagree can be valuable because it forces us to refine our thinking to refute it (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty)
    -- the best way to counter free speech with which we disagree is to refute it with superior arguments (Mill again)
    -- a useful exercise along the way is to clarify / confirm whether we are understanding where the other person is coming from in the first place (Kepler, original post in this thread; also a logical inference from Phase I and the two points above, no?)

    Still on board?
    The key word in the first part is "can." Note that it states a possibility, not a certainty or even a likelihood.

    What you are ignoring is that not all speech is equal in terms of the weight it should be afforded. It all may be equally protected under the law, because one man's trash is another's pinnacle of enlightenment, but that doesn't mean an individual has to value of the same as everything else.

    To believe otherwise gives us the modern media's fake equivalency, where it gives both sides of an issue at all times, even if the second side is one of Flaggy's conspiracy theories run amok, because to not do so would be evidence of bias.

    Not responding, and ignoring speech, can be just as effective a response when the situation calls for it. And yes, snark is a valid tool as well.

  4. #104
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    I needed to do some research the other day about private foundations, and came across Internal Revenue Code Section 4941(d), which lays out prohibitions against "self-dealing" among Foundation sponsors, their family members, and major donors.

    For purposes of this section, the term “self‐dealing” means any direct or indirect—
    ...
    (C) furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a private foundation and a disqualified person;
    ....
    (F) agreement by a private foundation to make any payment of money or other property to a government official (as defined in section 4946(c)), other than an agreement to employ such individual for any period after the termination of his government service if such individual is terminating his government service within a 90‐day period. [emphasis added]
    Based on the plain text of IRC Section 4941(d)(1)(F), it sure sounds like it was illegal for Huma Abedin to be on the Clinton Foundation payroll while she was employed by the State Department, doesn't it?

    The penalty prescribed by law is an excise tax on the Foundation and on the executives of the Foundation who approved the payment....which indicates that, based on information made public, that an IRS audit of the Clinton Foundation practices is clearly warranted. You know, that apolitical IRS that goes after all significant taxpayer violations no matter who makes them.

    Based on the plain text of the IRC and information already disclosed publicly (there is more than I cited that appears to apply), it looks like substantial excise taxes over several years could be involved.
    Last edited by FreshFish; 08-26-2016 at 10:46 AM.
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    I have heard some people express bewilderment that Hillary Clinton has as much support as she does.

    I can think of plenty of good reasons for people to vote for Hillary, in some cases, because they believe she is corrupt; in other cases, they merely don't care at all either way.

    1) Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers love Hillary. They know they can count on her to keep them flush. According to Federal Election report, as of June 30, they had given $48,000,000 to Hillary, and $19,000 to Trump. Goldman Sachs pays her $225,000 an hour. She will need to bring lots of federal debt to the market, and she will rely on them heavily.

    2) Plaintiffs' trial attorneys; they know she has no interest whatsoever in tort reform.

    3) College professors, deans, and administrators: keep that federal tuition funding rolling in, we love it!

    4) Leaders of public sector unions, she will keep hiring and expanding government, more dues for their coffers! Teachers' unions in particular, no way we will see any educational reform that puts students first: they don't vote, they don't pay union dues, they count for nothing.

    5) people who work in the professional grievance industry: as long as we keep sniping at each other, we won't band together to protest just how much of a mess we are in, all of us together. Keep us divided and weak and arguing amongst ourselves over symbolism.

    6) mainstream media, they are "rent-seekers" just like anyone else these days. They love the idea of restrictions on First Amendment rights, they figure it will give them a competitive advantage as they expect to be among the chosen (The New York Times even ran an editorial suggesting that the government needs to issue licenses on which media companies have protected free speech rights; that was their response to Citizens United, which was a competitor).
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    So basically all the reasons why people in the know vote for Republicans: rentiers, traders, corporate welfare recipients, and the wealthy. Got it.
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    I have heard some people express bewilderment that right wing candidates have as much support as they do.

    I can think of plenty of good reasons for people to vote for right wing candidates, in some cases, because they believe they are corrupt; in other cases, they merely don't care at all either way.

    1) Poorly educated white males in Alabama.

    2) Poorly educated white males in Mississippi.

    3) Poorly educated white males in Louisiana.

    4) Poorly educated white males in Georgia.

    5) Poorly educated white males in Arkansas.

    6) All people in Wasila Ak.

    7) Gopher fans.
    .

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    So basically all the reasons why people in the know vote for Republicans: rentiers, traders, corporate welfare recipients, and the wealthy. Got it.
    Yes, unfortunately, the rich and powerful control both political parties, and the only consequence of any election is which group of rich and powerful gets to divide up the spoils. More wealthy people vote D than R, you know....
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post
    Yes, unfortunately, the rich and powerful control both political parties, and the only consequence of any election is which group of rich and powerful gets to divide up the spoils. More wealthy people vote D than R, you know....
    That's education.

    The more you know the more you vote Dem, but the more you know the more you make and the more you make the more you vote Republican, so it's all a wash.

    The domination of the two parties by the wealthy is bad, but the GOP welcomes it -- it's part of their mission statement. The Dems are theoretically opposed to it, though as time passes I'm becoming more convinced that since the actual party leaders are themselves wealthy those may be crocodile tears.

    Still one place to go. I particularly like that the torches look like ice cream cones.
    Last edited by Kepler; 08-31-2016 at 01:12 PM.
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  10. #110
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post

    4) Leaders of public sector unions, she will keep hiring and expanding government, more dues for their coffers! Teachers' unions in particular, no way we will see any educational reform that puts students first: they don't vote, they don't pay union dues, they count for nothing.
    The right had their shot at education reform and it was a massive failure. Take the L and stop whining.
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MaizeRage View Post
    The right had their shot at education reform and it was a massive failure. Take the L and stop whining.
    They had a shot at health care reform to and blew it.
    They had a shot at fixing the Middle East. Blew that.
    They had multiple shots at trickle down economics. Blown.
    They had a shot at locking up drug users. Blown.
    They had a shot at fixing Social Security and Medicare. Blown.

    And, we have a man in office who has tried his heart out to implement complex fixes to many issues and they have blocked him at every turn. And the blockage only gets worse when Hillary gets elected.
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo View Post
    And the blockage only gets worse when Hillary gets elected.
    We'll see.

    Any chamber controlled by the GOP might as well not even convene, but Hillary plus the Senate can do a fair amount -- if nothing else they can help the judiciary recover from the last 40 years of wingnut abuse, and undo the Great Unwinding of voting, worker, and reproductive rights.

    Budget bills and active legislation are dead unless and until the Democrats get their act together in the House. I've read we will need to win the net House vote by 7M votes just to get back to 50% due to a variety of factors, not all of which are nefarious. That could happen if the bottom falls out with Apricot Adolf, but don't hold your breath -- the GOP seems to be holding serve in AZ and GA which means no wave is coming.
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    The domination of the two parties by the wealthy is bad, but the GOP welcomes it -- it's part of their mission statement. The Dems are theoretically opposed to it, though as time passes I'm becoming more convinced that since the actual party leaders are themselves wealthy those may be crocodile tears.
    or they are really good at fooling lots of people for long periods of time, and the media are complicit in the charade since they too have privileged positions of wealth and power to preserve...


    btw, intelligent people generally are much easier to manipulate than ordinary people, all you need to do is flatter them on how smart they are..... I wouldn't be surprised if that is an important element in the Democrats' appeal.
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    So basically all the reasons why people in the know vote for Republicans: rentiers, traders, corporate welfare recipients, and the wealthy. Got it.
    I like how he's finally stopped hiding his "BSABSVR" shtick lately.

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    ...

    I can think of plenty of good reasons for people to vote for right wing candidates ...

    1) Poorly educated white males in Alabama.

    2) Poorly educated white males in Mississippi.

    3) Poorly educated white males in Louisiana.

    4) Poorly educated white males in Georgia.

    5) Poorly educated white males in Arkansas.

    ...
    (emphasis mine)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaizeRage View Post
    The right had their shot at education reform and it was a massive failure. Take the L and stop whining.
    Why in the world would they want to fix education?

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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post
    btw, intelligent people generally are much easier to manipulate than ordinary people, all you need to do is flatter them on how smart they are..... I wouldn't be surprised if that is an important element in the Democrats' appeal.
    You shifted ground and it nullifies your argument.

    You jumped to intelligence, whereas I simply talked about education. Education is what makes people more tolerant, not intelligence. There are lots of really intelligent jerks. Intelligence might even make people more jerky because they've had to deal with the small brains all their lives which is tiring.

    Of course there's also the Lake Wobegone problem when it just comes to intelligence: most people think they're more intelligent than they actually are, and stupider people tend to overestimate their intelligence by proportionally larger amounts because their stupidity indicates deprivation of the ability to reason correctly from their experiences.
    Last edited by Kepler; 08-31-2016 at 07:42 PM.
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  17. #117
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo View Post
    They had a shot at health care reform to and blew it.
    They had a shot at fixing the Middle East. Blew that.
    They had multiple shots at trickle down economics. Blown.
    They had a shot at locking up drug users. Blown.
    They had a shot at fixing Social Security and Medicare. Blown.

    And, we have a man in office who has tried his heart out to implement complex fixes to many issues and they have blocked him at every turn. And the blockage only gets worse when Hillary gets elected.
    You actually think anyone wants to fix any of that? How do the rich get richer fixing that stuff?
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    We'll see.

    Any chamber controlled by the GOP might as well not even convene, but Hillary plus the Senate can do a fair amount -- if nothing else they can help the judiciary recover from the last 40 years of wingnut abuse, and undo the Great Unwinding of voting, worker, and reproductive rights.

    Budget bills and active legislation are dead unless and until the Democrats get their act together in the House. I've read we will need to win the net House vote by 7M votes just to get back to 50% due to a variety of factors, not all of which are nefarious. That could happen if the bottom falls out with Apricot Adolf, but don't hold your breath -- the GOP seems to be holding serve in AZ and GA which means no wave is coming.
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
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    Re: An Experiment: A Literal Political Thread

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