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About ThinkerX

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  • Birthday 04/25/1963

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  1. For those here whining about the collapse of the left - ordinary citizens are now really aggressively confronting conservative politicians everywhere. If this gets ramped up a few notches, how many boarders here will participate? And is there any chance the conservative politicians in question will grasp just how loathed many of their policies are? http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/where-are-the-babies-mitch-mcconnell-pursued-from-restaurant-by-angry-crowd/ar-AAzLjm7?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580
  2. Team Trump and World health (literally) - http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/u-s-opposition-to-breast-feeding-resolution-stuns-world-health-officials/ar-AAzJvKl?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580
  3. I guess socialists really do loathe the concept of small business.
  4. Ok, this is my situation. I have a USPS highway mail contract that pays me about 60K a year. House is paid for, few other expenses. This time last year, I hired my lovely young daughter to run the route for a two days a week - she needed a job with stable hours for babysitting purposes. Pay was based on 7 hours a day, 9 days a month. By the terms of the contract, I have to pay her $15 an hour straight time plus $4 an hour for 'health and welfare' (in lieu of health insurance). That gives her a monthly paycheck of just under $1200...pathetic. I really, really wanted to give her *three* days a week - but this is where the other expenses kick in. Biggest of those is the $1500 a year for workers compensation insurance. Plus...call it another grand in state and federal taxes. And, if I give her that extra day a week ($1700 a month, give or take) then that insurance and taxes both go up - quite little bit. Now, I have other expenses on top of this - payments on a vehicle I bought for the route, gasoline, and estimated taxes. Repairs for other work vehicles - I dropped five grand into the one last year (and got a modest tax refund). Health insurance for myself. And yes, despite all the expenses and issues, I really hope to be able to give her that three day, 21 hour workweek and $1700 monthly paycheck before the year is out. At that point, after other expenses, she'll be making more than I will. My whole point is that there are significant employer expenses that appear invisible to many posters here - expenses that throw a serious crimp into schemes for a living wage at a reduced workweek.
  5. I see two major issues with the 20-30 hour work week as 'standard.' 1 - Paying a living wage for so little working time is likely to be genuinely rough on employers. 2 - And people do what, exactly, with the extra time? I anticipate lots of stupid, even criminal things happening as people try to fill the empty hours. Folks here remember the joy of being on unemployment for protracted periods? Long, empty days? Last year, I hired my daughter to fill in a couple days a week on the route. Prior to that, I worked 6-7 hours a day, six days a week, barring the occasional holiday. Dropping down to four days a week was rough. Seriously rough. Yes, I had projects to see to. Before, those were, 'well, I'll budget a couple hours after work for that.' Those extra days off, well, those couple hours came and went and left me with the whole rest of the day.
  6. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics-Hope Floats 2: We All Float Down Here

    I regarded Clinton as badly flawed from the outset. First big red flag was the secret corporate speeches, whose contents she refused to divulge. Told me - and others - that she intended to be more of a corporate figurehead than a president. 'Corporations come first - always' - type mentality. Second red flag was the whole email investigation, which like it or not, did result in an active, apparently legitimate investigation against a presidential candidate. Clintons denials and evasions only made this situation worse, and convinced a lot of people she was not merely a corporate puppet, but incompetent as well. Third flag was the condescending attitude - 'adult in the room' mentality combined with an utter lack of charisma. Most damaging was the lack of vision: condemn Sanders all you want, but he had a message that resonated very strongly with a large segment of the population. Clinton, on the other hand, kept trying to be 'all things to all people,' which combined with her other issues - especially the lack of charisma - pretty much did her in. Wake up people. If the democratic party is to win the presidential election in 2020, they will need a candidate possessed of both charisma - the ability to get a crowd to howl at the top of their lungs and go out and do something - AND a clear, easily understood vision that can be reduced to a 'sound bite.' A boring technocrat WILL fail, regardless of academic/political qualifications. A candidate whose platform comes down to 'at least I'm not Trump' WILL fail.
  7. Perhaps you forgot whom we have parked in the Oval Office. Saying something can't happen is extremely dangerous where that one is concerned.
  8. Since my post on 'natives and Eskimos' is still being mentioned occasionally... I have known quite a few natives and those of native descent through the years hereabouts. Again, one of the closest friends of my youth was half native (technically half Aleut, but that was rarely mentioned) The name of the local Athabaskan Branch is 'Kenatze.' Almost never used except in an official or legal sense. Usually called the 'native association' - including virtually all of the local natives. Eskimos: rarer, but I have known/worked with a few through the years. They refer to themselves as either natives or Eskimos - I recollect maybe two or three occasions total where tribal affiliation got brought up, and that was for 'official paperwork.' I have known a number of natives (including Eskimos) who migrated to this area from the Bush. NONE had any great interest in returning permanently to their hometown Bush village, though a couple were inclined to work fish sites, boats, or visit relatives. Others said 'no way in hell am I going back there' (more or less). These last were often fleeing abusive (sometimes sexual) situations. So...given this... is it wrong/racists to refer to these people as 'natives' instead of Kenaitze/Yupik/Athabaskan?
  9. Problem here, though is the Aleuts, Athabaskans, and Eskimos were actively engaged in genocidal campaigns against each other. Each viewed the others as intolerable. They'd made your assumption about each other BEFORE the Russians entered the area, and the Russians exploited said divisions to put themselves in power. The Russian presence was largely commercial - they were after seal pelts. Except where they had local outposts, they didn't bother much with the local villages - with one broad exception: they took hostages from each tribe to Kodiak Island, one of their major bases. As long as the natives brought in seal pelts, the hostages were...not abused overly much and the Russians stayed out of the villages. The US arrivals were so obsessed with gold they barely noticed the natives. Currently, flat out: the bush villages require external (government) support to survive. Again, legitimate economic activity is almost non-existent. The current situation, left unchecked, will result in demographic disaster. You mentioned reparations? North Slope Borough (Eskimo) is effectively an oil company. Other native groups hold vast tracts of land, mostly vacant.
  10. Given the prevalence of alcoholism, crime, and flight from the villages and (partial) dissolution into the broader populace,* my assessment is that left unchecked, the current native/Eskimo cultures are in dire danger of collapse. The past is dead. *I knew several half natives growing up; one, deceased about 22 years now was one of my closest friends.
  11. A fair interpretation. And I have a pile of similar anecdotes. But, the question I was pondering after today's encounter was this: Yes, the natives and Eskimos made their disdain for whites (and pretty much everybody else) pretty clear. But, were M and Ex-Pat wrong (racist) to be a bit peeved? Historically, given their treatment by the Russians and later US arrivals, the natives and Eskimos have cause for their dislike. However, they were always equally unfriendly towards each other. Area I'm in saw repeated battles - attempted mini-genocides between Eskimo's, Aleuts, and Athabaskan tribes - sometimes with casualties in the lower four digit range (pretty much entire towns). That infighting actually contributed substantially towards the Russian takeover. Also worth keeping in mind (and more relevant to the thread). Alaska is very much a red state - overall. However, what with districting and all, the democratic party is pretty potent A major reason for democratic party success is 'votes from the bush' - aka the various isolated native and Eskimo villages. That said, these villages are regarded by outsiders as...'welfare camps,' filled with drugs, crime, and alcohol - with some justification. Little legitimate economic activity. So...is this lifestyle worth preserving? Heck...https://www.adn.com/features/alaska-news/crime-courts/2018/06/08/from-criminal-to-cop-and-back-again-in-alaskas-most-vulnerable-villages/
  12. Guess I'm fool enough to jump into this racism discussion with a couple anecdotes. First, I deliver mail in rural Alaska for a living. Route is dominated by conservative old people, with whom I get to interact with daily - part of the job. I'll call him 'M.' One of M's in-laws is a teacher in a remote native Alaskan village. Off the grid, no road access, you get there via boat or plane. Population in the mid three digit range. M's wife went to visit said in-law a month or so back, as the school year was wrapping up. She involved herself (uninvited) into the local school system and rapidly made herself unpopular. Reason? She was doing things that *needed* done for a very long time that nobody bothered with, and it ruffled more than a few feathers. (She might have used terms like 'lazy natives' - though that is unclear from the bits I heard.) After she came back, word relayed through the relative was that though the native populace didn't like her, they kind of wished she'd stayed longer. Again, apparently because she got things done. (And no, I don't know what 'things.') I was running a bit later today than usual with the mail, so M and a few others were waiting for me at the mail boxes, having an animated discussion. Subject turned to natives, whose villages have reputations for being unfriendly towards whites. The one guy though - Ex-Pat from Canada, said he minded them far less than he did the Eskimos, whom he called 'real assholes.' Ex-Pat (former contractor) recounted the time he was sent to an Eskimo village (presumably in Canada). Locals made it very clear to him he was unwelcome within minutes of setting foot off the plane. As soon as his task was completed, they loaded him back onto the plain and pretty much told him to not come back, ever. (And yes, all I have is Ex-Pat's side of the story.)
  13. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I decided Trump had a realistic chance of being the Republican Candidate a year before the general election. Six months prior to the election, I said, flat out that not only was Trump going to be the Republican candidate, but he had a far higher chance of winning than was generally acknowledged, largely because Clinton was very effectively vilified. My comments and concerns were dismissed out of hand here and elsewhere. I'd taken to reading the comments sections of the various political articles. Trump dominated those debates, and had a large, vocal faction in his favor. Sanders had a core of dedicated followers. There was little or no enthusiasm for Clinton. That, right there, told me that Clinton was in far, far worse shape politically than the more left types were willing to admit. Unlike the vast majority of other posters here, Trumps victory did not surprise me.
  14. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    Although, if memory serves, Florida was counted a near certain win for Clinton right up to the point the votes started coming in.
  15. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    I seem to recollect that Gowdy was among a select few congressmen offered a briefing by intelligence professionals a few weeks back on the whole Russian collusion scheme, purportedly rooted in reality. Don't know if he accepted, but if so, perhaps that has a bit to do with this decision.