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ThinkerX

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  1. Look in the mirror. He who hunts monsters risks becoming one himself. I see multiple posters here - those bitterly condemning 'fence sitters' - as starting that transformation. You might not care for it, but something on the order of 25-35% of the US populace holds views strongly at odds with yours about race, economics, and the role of government. Despite these differences, there are items large and small where agreement or compromise is possible. Ignoring these openings and focusing on a purely confrontational strategy is foolish in the extreme. Pursue it, and the result is catastrophe - for everybody.
  2. Again, I see identical sentiments (about the same publications, no less) from right wing posters elsewhere. Their response is to retreat into a sort of bubble of Fox News and conspiracy theories. To me, at times, it seems like the hard left posters here are also retreating into a world of polemic and conspiracy theories. Not nearly as entrenched as is the right. But cropping up often enough to warrant concern. This brings up my major concern. We in the US are stuck with BOTH the hard left and hard right for the foreseeable future. Literally millions or tens of millions of people in both camps, many motivated, and some in positions of authority. 'Final Victory' by either faction without a monumental bloodbath is simply not going to happen. Legally oppressing the 'other side' is not going to accomplish anything save inspire massive resentment. A purely confrontational strategy is doomed to failure - especially when the chief purpose of a given faction is to denounce the other.
  3. Change a few words, and this could be a post from some of the far right sites. This road leads nowhere but to a great deal of pain and misery for everybody.
  4. Too much hype here about the rise of the racist right. The alt-right DC rally looks to draw hundreds, not hundreds of thousands - enough, maybe to fill a good sized restaurant. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/its-right-there-in-front-of-the-white-house-is-dc-ready-for-unite-the-right/ar-BBLK9Im?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=msnclassic
  5. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics- This Is Us, Basically Fascists

    Yes, it's Fox. Yes, the chances of this happening are infinitesimal. Still, it's interesting, and the reaction of Trump and Conservatives should it miraculously happen ought to be well worth it. Or what happens when the designated scapegoat refuses to play? http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fox-news-editor-we-should-stop-having-reporters-at-trump-rallies/ar-BBLsT6m?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580
  6. ThinkerX

    Credit Card Theft

    One of my quasi-relatives had a credit card stolen from his wallet about six months ago. Thief took just the card, one seldom used and hence tucked behind the others. Then he went shopping. Thief took advantage of the CC machine setup at the bigger stores around here, where if the total is less than $50, you don't have to sign. He also kept his total purchases down to under $500, hence avoiding felony charges. Most of the thief's purchases were for everyday items - food, clothing, gasoline. When arrested (he was caught on camera in several places), the law was not inclined to make a major case out of it - basically just released him, as part of an recent ill-thought-out state law (despised by the more honest sorts) that basically lets petty offenders walk. Quasi relative ended up taking him to small claims court, more out of principle than ought else. Said thief knew *exactly* what he was doing from the start, and how the legal end would play out. My quasi-relatives tale, and multiple others like it (among other things I have to contend with rampant, rarely investigated and seldom prosecuted mail theft on my route) makes me cast a extremely dubious eye at official crime stats (law preferring to dismiss petty crime altogether rather than deal with it) and take a dim view of liberal sentencing guidelines.
  7. ThinkerX

    U.S. Politics- SCOTUS 2: The Election Strikes Back

    I greatly dislike Trump. 'Hate' is too strong of a word; for hatred is ultimately rooted in fear, and while fear can be useful, left unchecked it is ultimately self destructive. This is evident with both the 'Trump Cult' itself and the more militant left types. Still, at the risk of enraging the entire board... First, there is a major, possibly deliberate misconception on how much of the right views Trumps actions, particularly in diplomacy. What the left see's as wanton breaking of treaties and sowing global chaos, the right views as a negotiating tactic. I noticed something all through the Obama tenure, something pointed out by boarders here: The Democratic Party collectively does not understand salesmanship. Time and again, they'd ask for the minimum they wanted; and the republicans would hammer that minimum down to mere scraps. Complete idiocy. Instead, you OPEN the negotiations with extreme and outrageous demands and compromise from there. with My example is the junker cars I used to buy and sell: say I had one that was realistically worth maybe $1000. But when I set out to sell said vehicle, I wouldn't ask for $1000, instead I'd ask for double that price. Ridiculously high? Yes. But, when the negotiations began in earnest, I could afford to come down off that price - and maybe even get $1200 or $1400 for that vehicle. Republicans UNDERSTAND this. Much of their strategy (and Trumps) centers on this. Democrats - and the left,, on the other hand, appear to be totally clueless about this basic principle. Hence, they WILL get screwed over each and every time in negotiations - and have NOBODY but themselves to blame. This basic ignorance shows up repeatedly in many of the posts here with the absurd fretting about this or that outrageous act of Trump or Congress. That said, there are some acts of Trump that I am not completely at odds with. First, from the POV of many in the rural (west) and others who have had the misfortune to have dealings with it, the Federal Bureaucracy is way, way, overdue for serious pruning. Remember the Bundy mess in Oregon (?) a few years ago? I strongly disagree with what they did - but what gets COMPLETELY ignored or ridiculed by the Left is that bunch spent YEARS trying to deal with the system properly, only to be met with massive arrogant incompetence each step of the way. The acts they took were wrong, but so were the bureaucratic acts that drove them to that point. More and more, this situation appears endemic within the entire bureaucracy. This carries over into land use - construction of roads, mines, and oil drilling, among many other things. Permit processes now take over a decade instead of a couple years - endless idiotic redundant reviews and studies and deliberations. Triple check? Fine. Check twenty times between a dozen departments, each moving at glacial pace, and increase the cost by an order of magnitude - not fine. Much of the time the bureaucracies chief objective is to protect and promote itself to the exclusion of all else. Then there is immigration. My belief is that corporate America has been using illegal immigrants to artificially drive down wages for US citizens. The illegals work for less money, making them preferable to hire. Yes, they pay taxes and work jobs no one else will. Yes, the overwhelming majority are law abiding types, often fleeing hellholes 'south of south.' But that does not change the wage depression effect. Libertarian Overlords luv illegal alien workers. And yes, I loath Trumps policies and racism on this matter - but this situation festered over multiple decades with NOBODY attempting to enact a serious, comprehensive long term fix. What proposals there were, were ALWAYS along the lines of 'entered after this date' or 'brought in as a minor' or some such - patches, not true solutions. Say what else you will, Trump dragged the whole stinking mess out into the open.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. I guess socialists really do loathe the concept of small business.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Perhaps you forgot whom we have parked in the Oval Office. Saying something can't happen is extremely dangerous where that one is concerned.
  15. 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?
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