Paladin of Ice

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About Paladin of Ice

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    Bannerman of Social Justice
  • Birthday September 27

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  • Gender Male
  • Location New York

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  • Name James
  1. US Politics: We're serving Flint water mmmmm.

    With the eyes of the world on them to see how they respond to the poisoning of their people and a crippling failure of their government, Michigan Republicans respond... by passing an anti sodomy and anti oral sex law.     At least they have their priorities settled. Government should be small enough to fit into your bedroom, right?
  2. US Politics: We're serving Flint water mmmmm.

    Thanks in large part to Congress refusing to sign onto international agreements about banking transparency and failure to regulate banks, the US is rapidly becoming the world's favorite tax haven, especially for dirty money. (Note that there are three separate links there, including links to a long 60 minutes segment with a reporter posing as the representative of a would-be African client making suspicious purchases and a big NPR review of the story and interview with a journalist who's been covering the topic for quite some time. These are definitely long and time consuming segments, but certainly worth watching or listening to.) Also, a number of cities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have higher lead levels and/or children with lead exposure than Flint. For extra fun, the New Jersey cases can be at least partially traced to governors deliberately taking all the money out of the lead decontamination efforts to put it in the state's general fund, so they could appear to balance the budget without raising taxes, and Christie vetoing the attempts to put the money back multiple times. It's almost like one shouldn't handcuff themselves about how they can run their state...
  3. US Election Thread - Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa

    Rand Paul has decided to drop out. (And in grand Rand Paul tradition, it comes shortly after having pledged to continue campaigning. I feel the echoes of him filibustering against drone use and then turning around and saying he wasn't opposed to using a drone to shoot up American streets to stop a guy who had stolen $50 from a liquor store.) I have to say I'm slightly surprised, I thought sheer obstinance might get Paul to stay through another few races. Put it down as another way that he's not his father, I guess. (Also, thanks for completely upending my Republican Candidate dead pool, Rand.)
  4. Cra-Cra-Craaaaaaazy Weather!

    Over here, we just started February with a day in the 50s, when I'd normally expect 20s or so. I don't know whose winter we're getting, but it sure isn't Alaska's!
  5. US Election Thread - Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa

    Looking over the numbers, I was somewhat surprised by Paul doing as well as he did. Before the rise of Trump I thought that Paul would wind up with a small but respectable slice of the electorate, but he's been so completely overshadowed that I thought there was a chance he'd numbers like Christie or Kasich did. Instead he held onto 5th pretty solidly and actually got himself a delegate. I still think Rubio's strategy of siting back and waiting for everyone else to wear each other down before swooping in is a long shot to pay off, but his performance certainly gives him hope. And if a few more losses cause the Donald to pull out of the primary and go independent and leave Cruz and Rubio as the Big 2, it just might work for him. Carson should be a non-factor after this, (and indeed, I bet if he weren't running Iowa would have been a lot easier for Cruz, since he's the natural inheritor of all the Evangelical votes) and I'm willing to bet we'll be sticking a fork in Christie, Fiorina, possibly Kasich after New Hampshire. Bush will stay in out of a sheer and complete inability to understand what is going on until his donors decide it's time to drop him. Paul will stubbornly play it out for awhile too. Santorum is already a complete non-factor. So it's looking pretty much confirmed that the big boys of the race will be Rubio, Cruz, and Trump. What Trump does, especially if he continues to place lower than first, is the big wild card.
  6. 2016 US Election thread: the begininning

    Ok, but are the two 'disproportions equal? My understanding of it was that you had an almost 100% chance of being stopped (it was some ridiculously high number) if you were black, which is way beyond what the percentage of criminal offenders are part of any ethnic group. So it still isnt worth the trade off. Anyway, I am skeptical of this broken windows mumbo-jumbo (excuse me, theory) so naturally disinclined to be favorable to any policy based on it. At least 1 or 2 years, more black males were stopped and frisked than the total number that lived in the city.
  7. Cra-Cra-Craaaaaaazy Weather!

    We got more than expected here than they were predicting when I posted last, sometime late Thursday or early Friday the estimates of how much snow was going to fall just kept rising and rising. Last I saw they guessed that we would be hit with about 8-12 inches, and it spent all day coming down here. Haven't bothered to leave the house all day, just spent it watching movies and hanging out with the fiancee. As others have said, it's hard to tell how much has fallen with the wind whipping it all around, but it's a fairly considerate amount, regardless. Hope everyone is warm, safe, and supplied.
  8. Cra-Cra-Craaaaaaazy Weather!

    As of right now, I'm going to miss out on most of that, (only predicting about 1-3 inches here plus about 40 mph winds) but I'm keeping an eye out for changes in the forecast. Sounds like this time you guys in the Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia strip are going to be getting the worst of it this time around. Stay safe.
  9. The case against Bernie Sanders

    The best case I've seen against Sanders so far is the issue of implementation, and how he will make his ideas work. Free state colleges would be paid for by a small fee attached to every Wall St. trade. Great, sounds like a fabulous idea. But what if the state schools that are now tuition free (and are already often taught by underpaid, adjunct, or part-time professors) become massively overcrowded and don't have the teachers, the space, or the facilities to teach all the new incoming students? What if states pull the same sort of BS they did with Medicaid expansion and refuse to meet their obligations or continue doing what so many states have done in recent years and slash funding for higher education? If the whole thing is paid for by surcharges on Wall St. trades, what if the cost of schools for equipment or expanding due to incoming students goes up faster than the amount of Wall St. trades? What if the new taxes and fees get neutered as the bill goes through Congress?  Similarly, with healthcare, part of healthcare in at least some single payer systems is a central authority that sets the wages of all doctors, techs, and other practitioners. Is Bernie going to be able to get something like that through Congress? Is his proposed "Medicare for all" (which isn't really Medicare and goes beyond what Medicare currently does, since he claims it will eliminate copays and deductibles, which Medicare does not) going to cover abortion costs, and how likely do you think that is to get approved? What about controversial and potential quacky alternative medicines that people swear by and conjure up conspiracy theories to defend every time someone criticizes them like acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, herbal supplements, etc.? Supplements like weight loss pills/diet pills are one of the biggest scams out there in the US at the moment, frequently either not containing what they claim to or containing things like anabolic steroids or potentially harmful ingredients, (a case happening right now involves a bunch of servicemen and women in Hawaii who started experiencing liver failure after taking certain supplements in order to help meet their fitness tests) which is all but uncovered by the FDA. Is Bernie going to remake the regulations/regulators to be able to deal with these issues, with Congress and the lobby fighting it? How much is the country willing to spend on research to not only weed out the quackery from the real thing, but also to challenge conventional wisdom? (For example, recent studies are hinting that the glycemic index, which has been the Bible for managing diabetes reactions, may be inaccurate and the reaction to eating different foods is far more individual than previously thought.) What's going to be the role of all the non-profits, not-for-profits, and for profit institutions that already exist and all have very different views of how healthcare should go? Bernie's proposals doesn't address a lot of this, and thus isn't very enlightening. A lot of his plans aren't plans at all, they're rough ideas or goals without proper details on how he's going to accomplish it and seemingly the idea that existing obstacles can be wiped away with the stroke of a pen, and that when copying systems from other countries, (such as single payer) you can ignore the experiences and growing pains they've had with these systems and assuming that everything is going to be hunky dory once we switch over. I'm certainly more enthusiastic about Sanders than Clinton, and I want to see the country pushed more towards the direction of Sanders, but I don't honestly think he can do his list of reforms and changes, or that he understands everything that is going to go into accomplishing them. Nor do I think he's spent enough time with the people who could clue him in. And as leery as I am about Clinton on certain issues, particularly a hawkish foreign policy, I'm also worried about what happens if Bernie does get elected, and does a shoddy job of trying to get the changes he's campaigning on, and it all backfiring in the faces of liberals.
  10. U.S. Politics: Blame it on Canada!

    The stock market also has other things weighing on it like the complete turmoil in the Chinese market, Saudi Arabia and Iran more or less fighting proxy wars against each other in places like Yemen and Syria, etc. The slump in energy is a factor, but far from the only one.
  11. Navy sailors captured by Iran

    Commodore, don't gun loving conservatives like yourself like to say that a well armed society is a polite society. (Despite, y'know, the evidence to the contrary provided by folks like the militia in Oregon and their friends.) But if armed = polite, then what's wrong with the Iranians politely showing that they're armed to further encourage politeness, and then politely returning the sailors to the US within a day?
  12. U.S. Politics: Blame it on Canada!

    This is just a very general and rough idea, but the way the privilege is being used in that context essentially means that someone, simply because of who they are and/or how they look, will never have to deal with the same adversity or problems that other people do. For example, a man may have things to be concerned about when walking down the street at night, but he will never have to worry that someone twice his size and strength will jump out, hit him in the head, rape him, leave him in a dark alley, and then, after he manages to drag himself away for medical care, he'll have to hear about how he should have known better than to be out at night dressed like that. Or how a well dressed white woman will never have to wonder if the staff in the store is following her around because they want to get a sale, or because they think she's a thief. Meanwhile a black woman in the same clothes may be dealing with someone who thinks that all black people are criminals and the nice clothes are just a pretense designed to make the staff relax so she can throw a bunch of stuff into her bag before walking out. Or how the experience of someone who grows up looking or sounding like a gay stereotype in a homophobic small town may be impossible to adequately communicate to someone who doesn't look or act that way. For example to the high school jock, old Mrs. Henderson who likes a couple of doors down from him is the nice lady who spoke politely to him and baked a pie for his mother when mom was in the hospital. To the gay guy down the street, she's the mean old witch who spat on him and made him cry when called him homophobic slurs as he walked down the street. One day they have a friendly conversation and the jock refuses to believe such a vile accusation about Mrs. Henderson, because he knows her and knows she's a good person. Therefore as far as the jock can see, the gay guy must be a liar... or our friend the jock just happens to have been lucky to have been born and raised in a way that society approved of and never had to deal with those sorts of problems, through the sheer luck of the accident of birth. He's had the privilege of never having to be in that other place. Privilege could extends to lots of things: race, wealth, appearance, (lots of studies show that good looking people are much more likely to get jobs they apply for, get rewarded higher grades in class, etc.) gender, sexuality, etc. So, you could study up more on the intricacies of the term if you want, but that's a starting idea as to what people mean when they use it in that particular way. Hope it's been helpful, sorry if it's rambling and half incoherent due to trying to post in a hurry late at night.
  13. U.S. Politics: Blame it on Canada!

    Meanwhile Colbert made a joke the other night about Cruz' refusal to apologize for anything and said that maybe Cruz isn't Canadian after all.
  14. Not many, but the original issue was whether Bill helps or hurts her. And overall I would say helps... but there are probably some demographics where his unfavorables are higher and the favorables are lower.
  15. More millenials than you think may know of the affair, and liberal ones also may care about it for different reasons than you'd think. My 30 year old fiancee thinks of Bill as being creepy and a borderline rapist because he explicitly held power over those women that he harassed and even though the affair was consensual, there is the implicit threat that he could have used his power to screw over or mess up Lewinsky or others he had affair with if they had refused him. Her view is a little more extreme than mine, and while I'm not going to make the mistake of assuming that's the way that everyone, or even everyone of a certain age group views the Clinton affairs, I wouldn't be surprised if others saw it that way as well. Honestly I was always so caught up in the moral way that Republicans were caught up in trying Clinton over things to look at it from a liberal woman's perspective about being harassed and possibly at the mercy of a powerful man who might retaliate if you didn't go along with his advances.