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Ice Queen

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Posts posted by Ice Queen


  1. 30 minutes ago, Mexal said:

    Only ones saving the USA from Trump are the voters in 2020. That is all. Trump has already been named as a co-conspirator in a campaign finance felony and no one has batted an eye.

    Our democracy is broken. The law means nothing. Why are people still kidding themselves that this evil thing will ever go willingly?


  2. 13 minutes ago, DMC said:

    I think it should also be noted at the end of the letter Barr stated he has requested the Special Counsel's assistance in identifying aspects of Mueller's report that should remain confidential.  That sounds fair enough, at least on its face.

    No, it doesn't. We paid for it, it's ours, and we deserve to see it. All of it, unredacted. If he's as innocent as he claims, there's no harm in it.

     


  3. 1 hour ago, Mexal said:

    It's more about the criminal nature of proving obstruction of justice beyond a reasonable doubt and if they can't prove the underlying crime (conspiracy) then they can't prove that Trump actually obstructed justice to stop that crime from being exposed. It's legal rather than actual which is why Mueller didn't make a determination one way or another. Full report in that area might still not look great for Trump but the top line is very good.

    If you're covering for people who committed a crime on your behalf, you might not be guilty of the original crime, but it's still obstruction, yes? Maybe we should ask Nixon.


  4. 22 minutes ago, Mexal said:

    Actually, Mueller left it up to Congress. Barr chose to weigh in when he didn’t have to.

    Oh, I agree He should have recused himself.

    Mueller wants Congress to do its job, like that's ever going to happen. If they would have done that, Mueller wouldn't have been needed in the first place.

    So, that leaves the state attorneys general to save us. But I think the time is rapidly approaching when it gets bloody. Trump will take this as an exoneration, and it's full court authoritarian press from here. Law and order mean nothing, Trump is above the law thanks to Iran Contra Barr, and our democracy no longer functions.

    Sorry to be so nihilistic, but there you go.


  5. Just now, Mexal said:

    It's more about the criminal nature of proving obstruction of justice beyond a reasonable doubt and if they can't prove the underlying crime (conspiracy) then they can't prove that Trump actually obstructed justice to stop that crime from being exposed.

    They probably could. Mueller left it up to Barr who, being the good little Republican foot soldier he is, won't prosecute. Republicans, party over country every time. 


  6. 6 minutes ago, Triskele said:

    So it sounds like what's being released says that Muller found no collusion with Russia to influence election not enough evidence on obstruction.  Sounds like a best case scenario for Trump so far.  Wow. 

    We all heard what he said to Lester Holt. Seriously, what more do we need?

    Let's see the whole thing. Executive summaries never match what's in the actual report. 


  7. 31 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

    You could'Ve also mentioned, that the "Ukrainian" Manafort worked for was a Russian puppet, which was driven out during the so called  Orange Revolution (the irony), which more or less started the whole Crime war/occupation. Yanukovich is currently residing in his Russian exile, and in the Ukraine he is wanted for high treason (not sure if he has faced trial in absentia).

    I know, it was not your claim.

    Yep, they sentenced him to 13 years in January.

    And that Manafort got about $60 million for his trouble. 


  8. 1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

    I’ve always been grateful that my parents were okay with me giving up fiancé for psychology (and then psychology and political science). I got into to one of the better business schools in the country, and they had taken that as a point of pride, but they could also see that I was deeply unhappy there despite doing really well. Thankfully Minnesota is also a good school for the programs I switched to, so it was that big of a difference in the end.

    I don’t know if a full gap year is ideal, but I think what I did was smart. I already had about a semester’s worth of credits when I graduated from HS, so I stayed at my CC for a year and took classes part time. I got my generals done on the cheap and I got a chance to explore possibilities outside of business. Then after a year at the U I switched to a program I preferred. If I had just started there as a freshman I likely wouldn’t have risked taking a psychology course from the get go.

    I think gap years aren't for everyone, but as long as the kid has a plan for how they're going to use it, it can be very beneficial. Sitting at home on Mom's couch playing video games doesn't count. :) But working, or taking off in a pickup truck with just a backpack and no money, the Peace Corps...these experiences can really help them sort things out. When the year is up, they're a year older, a year more mature, and hopefully more focused. 


  9. 6 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

    There is no doubt, I think, that firms are less willing today to do training today than they were in the past. And then they cry about a "skills gap"* and yet offer up no solutions on how to solve it.

    * a good part, in recent years, which was bullshit by the way.

    The skills gap is caused by boomers who have no idea how to use technology, much less to its full potential. And yet these people are the ones whining about how they can't get the kids to do anything, or they're not qualified. 


  10. 33 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

    This, and I would go further.  I think we need to rethink early years even more urgently.  I am a huge proponent of Universal Pre-K, for instance.  But on the back end, I would love more investment in, and reinvigoration of, state universities (land grant and otherwise).  I would like to see more public investment in public schools.  And I think that it is ok for public schools to be leveled to a certain extent, but each branch should offer a quality education and provide real options to the state's residents (e.g., taking California as an example, the flagship UC Berkeley is excellent globally, but each of UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, etc., have flagship programs that are really, really fantastic or the school itself is globally recognized as a whole).  And it's not just because I believe in quality education being universally available for its own sake (I do).  I think it is a wise investment by the state.  North Carolina is a good example of this.  There are six excellent schools within a relatively close drive of each other (UNC, NC State, UNCG,  North Carolina Central (a HBC) and Wake Forest).  Four of these six schools are public.  One of the drivers of the success of the NC Piedmont (which could have been entirely devastated by the collapse of tobacco and textile industries) was the ability to attract pharma and other high tech industries to the area, in part because of the access to a well-educated pool of workers.*  So some of the turmoil in the UNC system and the funding debates right now seems...misguided.

     

    *Note that Eastern NC is still very, very poor.

    I'm not a fan of preschool or pre-K, at least not in its current form. 

    We have a whole generation of 16 and 17 year old kids utterly stressed out and demoralized from the strain of trying to get into good schools because we've brainwashed them into thinking they have to get into the best schools and earn the most scholarship money.

    We're doing exactly the same thing to 3 and 4 year olds on the other end of the spectrum and there are probably just as many people bribing admissions people in "exclusive" pre-K programs as there are at the college level.

    My kids used to come home with homework in preschool. To me that's crazy. Once they become adults they're going to have 50 years of an overly structured environment. Can't we just let them be kids? They need unstructured playtime and time to be creative. No pre-planned Lego packages and Lincoln Logs. No "educational" video games. They need outdoor play and they need to be allowed to get dirty, climb trees, make mudpies. 

    Young children are super absorbent sponges. They're going to learn anything and everything. Their brains are wired for it, and by kindergarten they're ready to learn. 

    I never made my kids do summer homework, either. Being a well rounded kid is just as important as book knowledge. 

    We're taking their childhood away from them by overly scheduling them and forcing them to do homework and excel before they're ready. As long as they know their alphabet, their numbers and colors by kindergarten, they're no worse off than their peers. Is there any evidence that these types of programs, in an attempt to create the next Einstein, have any benefit beyond elementary school? 


  11. 4 minutes ago, S John said:

    I agree with others that there should be less focus on driving everyone to college and more trade-school type options for those who don't want to go to college.  There was a program like this at my high school, and it was stigmatized as for non-college bound losers.  The school did not do enough to combat that narrative.

    Anyway, I think there's one other thing going on here that I haven't seen brought up (and apologies if I missed it) is that even though you CAN absolutely make an excellent living in the trades or by having some manufacturing specialization, etc, part of the reason that so many kids want to try the white-collar college route is because of benefits and security.  A lot of blue collar jobs don't have insurance, a 401k, are more susceptible to layoffs (sometimes seasonally), and if you are laid off you could be in serious trouble.  I think you are more prone to losing your job to automation, though that is extending to white collar jobs too now.  I imagine a situation like if you are a specialist on the assembly line at some GM plant and that plant is where half your town works and that plant closes?  You're probably fucked.  I think it is a lot easier to find yourself screwed by a situation beyond your control if you're a blue collar worker vs. a white collar one. 

    I really think one way to help to correct this problem is universal healthcare.  It would be so much easier to weather hard times if you did not have to worry about paying for healthcare.  On top of that, I don't think people in the US feel free to pursue what they are interested in because it is so important to have insurance.  Of course, some people would just sit around with their thumb in their butt, but our country has always been industrious, creative, innovative - it'd be cool to see what would be unleashed if people were free from fear of bankruptcy should they or a loved one become ill.  I'm sure there are untold numbers of skilled artists and artisans with a business degree sitting behind a desk right now at a job that probably isn't really important anyway, for the sole reason that they and their family need health insurance.  I think there are a lot of white collar workers who would be more open to blue collar work if they didn't feel the need to pay for stability with a degree.

    Employer based health care is a relic of WW II and has outlived its usefulness. I completely agree with you! It's long past time we had universal health care or some version of it. It would free up a lot of worry for the work force and would be much cheaper in the long run. 

    With automation, you might lose your job to it, yes. However, you can avoid becoming a victim of it because we will always need people to design, build and maintain those machines! We need to get people into the trades so that they are the ones with those marketable skills. Instead of coal mines and fracking, people could be employed by the renewable industry. But they need those technical skills...and American kids don't have them. This is where we're missing the boat. Our kids aren't competing with the kid in the next desk for a job in a mill. They're competing with kids from all over the world, and we need to downsize their ambitions of making billions on Wall Street and draw them into fields that are going to be sustainable in the long run and actually give us a solid manufacturing base. 


  12. 1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

    We vastly overemphasize kids performance in high school. All I cared about at the time were girls, athletics and where the next party was at. If I liked a class, I got an A. If I didn’t, I passed it with a B or C. But when I got to college and figured out what I wanted to do. I was a straight A student and graduated with top honors. Frankly the kids I went to high school with that were super focused on college were miserable, and a lot of them flamed out once they made it to the elite school of their choice.

    One of my daughter's friends was an engineering major--not by his choice, but by his parents', who were both engineers. The parents were livid that he wanted to change his major and only relented when he tried to commit suicide. She also dated a boy who wanted to transfer to a school in Florida, and his parents told him that if he transferred they would no longer pay his tuition. He was miserable, too, and was barely coasting by because he didn't want to be there. 

    While we're on this topic, I am all in favor of gap years. Very few people know what they want to do at 18 and it's really unrealistic of us to expect them to. Let them take a year off to work or travel or whatever and let them figure it out before committing four years and tens of thousands of what's most likely going to be YOUR money. 


  13. 2 hours ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

    Your last sentence can't be quoted often enough, and I'll go ahead and quote the one before it as well for good measure. We as a society (Americans) need to eliminate the stigma of two-year degree and trade programs. I'm not sure exactly when the perception arose that these education choices are "undesirable," but it needs to stop. One reason I feel this way is because in talking to my clients, mostly medium-sized US corporations, the jobs they have the hardest time filling at present are the skilled labor positions. Meanwhile they have more overeager white-collar office job applicants than they know what to do with, most of which will undoubtedly end up disappointed with whatever position they eventually manage to snag.

    It's been 25+ years since I went through this process myself, and since I don't have kids of my own I can only relate stories I've heard through others since then. All I can say from reading through all these responses is that the environment today is an even bigger nightmare than I thought. The simple fact is that the market is oversaturated with degree holders who have always believed that earning that piece of paper is the golden ticket to a better life. Instead, many of them find themselves overwhelmed with debt and forced into whatever low-paying starter job they can manage. As others have pointed out, the ones with built-in financial advantages start out the race several laps ahead. In addition to the points already raised, they're also the ones who can afford to take the unpaid internships which have become the surest path to the most desirable entry level jobs in the market.

    I was 2nd in my (small, public) high school class and had excellent test scores, but otherwise my high school "career" was rather unremarkable. My parents were blue collar and sure as hell weren't about to pay extra to anyone for my education. They always wanted me to go to college, but made it clear that I would be mostly responsible for getting myself there. Pretty much the only way to do that nowadays is to bury yourself in debt and hope for the best. What a dismal fucking racket. 

    It is a racket, absolutely. Just a little background, but one of the schools I got accepted to was Carnegie Mellon. However, my dad refused to help in any way, and I didn't want to go into debt to pay for it. Considering what happened a few years later, I should have just gone there. 

    We are fortunate in that we were able to provide the kids with that little extra leg up, though not nearly as much as some of their classmates. Even helping them navigate through that process is more than our parents ever did for us. My son went to a 2 year program and paid for it himself. He was completely debt free. My daughter is a little more pie in the sky, but she did complete every application by herself, and paid the application fees on her own. I contributed nothing to that process--all I did was guide her through the FAFSA.  I almost had her talked into community college because there was one school she hadn't heard back from yet. She said if she didn't hear from them by x date, she was going to community college. Great! Well, on the last day, she got her acceptance letter (from the Penn State campus 14 minutes from our house). So that's where she went and is still there. She'll graduate in December. She spent one semester in the dorms, and the rest at home which saved about $10K per year. 


  14. 2 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

    I agree with this. Whenever I talk to somebody or read somebody's opinion in the papers, the only thing I really care about, ultimately, is does the person have clue to what they are talking about and not what school they went to.

    I didn't go to elite schools. In fact me getting in college in the first place was pretty much a fluke, as I wasn't that good of a high school student, my only talent being I was pretty good at running down and tackling people. I didn't take my education seriously until about my third year as an undergraduate. I had to do a lot of catch up.  I got into a fairly decent master's program, eventually, but again, I think it wouldn't be considered "top tier."

    And yet despite having basically gone to little ol'  "cow college", I know enough to know when certain professors at elite universities have screwed the pooch. Something I have ranted about before. I've also corrected people that went to elite schools. It's not enough for them to say, "but I went to an Ivy League School!, so I'm correct". LOL, no. It doesn't work that way.

    I've never looked at my degrees as the end of my education, but only a begging. I'm pretty much committed to life long learning, but a lot of that need not take place in a formal classroom environment, in my opinion.

    Which now gets me into your comment that not everyone is cut out for college. In a nutshell, I agree. Right now, there is a lot of talk about providing everyone with a free college education. And while, I do in fact believe that being committed to life long learning and expanding one's skill sets is important, particularly if they want a fairly lucrative career, or a route out of poverty, I do wonder in fact if talk about free college for everyone is framing the problem correctly. Perhaps, we ought to de-emphasize the traditional college degree as an indicator of being "sufficiently intelligent" to do a job. I'm a pretty big fan of CLEP test, as it seems to me that is a much cheaper way for a student to demonstrate their basic competency with particular subject matter, rather than paying $1000 per credit hour or whatever. I guess what I'm getting at is that I would like to see an expanded system of test that allow people to demonstrate their competency in particular areas, rather than necessarily having to compete a traditional 4 year degree or whatever. I have no problem, obviously, with the state spending more money to help people continue their education. But the problem is that the supply of reputable colleges is limited. It's not a secret that the real price of a college education has significantly increased since the 1970s. In short, if you are going to give people more money to get an education beyond their high school years, you need to figure out a way to increase the supply of education. It seems to me that a way out of this is to de-emphasize the traditional four year degree and to put more emphasis on skills based testing, community colleges, and apprenticeship programs and so forth.

     

    I completely agree, and I'll add one thing. College has become four years of on the job training--it wasn't always that way. College was for refinement and a traditional liberal arts education. When did that change?

    The price of college REALLY skyrocketed in the 90s. I graduated in 1991 with about $3K in loans that I took out for books that I paid off in less than a year. When I went back in 1998, I could not believe how much it was. $13K per semester. I was married by then, so I qualified for NO aid whatsoever. I went almost $40K into debt for that, and I'm still not done paying it off. As an adult. And I have one still in college! 

    We need to put more emphasis on the trades and their apprenticeships. When did auto shop stop being a thing? Being an electrician might not be glamorous, but it pays the bills and you make enough to be comfortable--without being saddled with the debt that comes with a 4 year university education. 

    I will never forget when my daughter and I were discussing her college options and I mentioned a trade school. She looked at me with nothing but scorn and said something along the lines of, "That's for dumb people!" I was so angry that I raised holy hell at her for being so snobbish and out of touch with reality. That's what happens when you go to school with kids who have parents named Mario Lemieux and Lynn Swann and it is the real downside of being in an upper middle class school district. PTA meetings were absolute torture.

    As far as free education goes, I've always had an idea. Extend high school for 2 years. Kids can get trade school education for free, or earn a 2 year college degree at no extra cost. The taxpayers of those districts are already paying for public schools, and I can't imagine it would cost all that much more per student, but of course those studies would need to be done. 


  15. I don't recall there being any such thing as prep classes for the SAT, to be honest. This was in the mid 80s. You took the PSAT, then the SAT. If you weren't happy with your score, you took it again and that was that. I was in a program called Centers for Advanced Studies, what would now probably be equivalent to AP classes without the college credit...you actually had to attend college classes to earn those credits. I took two classes at the local community college, and Chem 1 and 2 at Pitt for a total of 14 college credits. I had 3 study halls my senior year and I was also a 4 sport athlete.

    I also don't recall it being so cutthroat. For a lot of my classmates, we were the first ones to go to college. The steel industry had just collapsed, so for many it was college or the military (my high school was an ROTC and law magnet school). It was still frowned upon for girls to go to the military, so most of us opted for college or some kind of training program like beauty school. Boys had other options, like the trades. 

    By and large, our parents didn't go to college, so we had to navigate that process on our own. I learned the hard way when prior to sophomore year, I didn't get my FAFSA in on time. What a mess!

    The school district I live in is very good--insane, but good. Almost every single student takes AP classes, something I do NOT agree with. 

    I didn't push my kids to take them. My son knew he was going to be a chef, so he had no need for all that. My daughter, though bright, looked around at how stressed everyone was all the time and decided it wasn't worth doing that to herself. She took the SAT twice, no prep.

    She got accepted to every school she applied to. It helped that our district was so rigorous that the colleges added points. Her sophomore year was also eliminated in their considerations because she had mono for the entire school year, and they don't penalize the kids for chronic illness.

    All the stress and aggravation just isn't worth it. They'll get in somewhere, and if they don't there's always community college. 

    Not everyone is cut out for college and we need to stop making our kids think if they don't get into Harvard they're worthless and their lives are over.


  16. 7 minutes ago, karaddin said:

    14 people voted for "him". Several hundred thousand voted for the party of racism that he was a candidate for, and he has been kicked out of that party. Australia without a doubt has a very serious racism problem, but he is beyond the pale by our standards and let's not pretend the bizarre circumstances that led to him being elected are comparable to electing him as president.

    The fucking ghoul that we have running our security apparatus is a much better demonstration of that and I'm pretty sure he is also a Nazi, but he isn't fully open about it.

    I apologize for the offense. I forgot you have a parliamentary system and elections don't work the same way there as here. 


  17. 11 minutes ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

    Correct. There is a massive groundswell of this shit through various Internet platforms that are easily and readily accessible by anyone, including the disillusioned, entitled failures who inevitably consume it. The meme culture you mention has turned the whole thing into a sort of game for these people. Spreading hate through "humor." That's how these ideas have spread so quickly and have largely evaded public notice.

    If anything positive can come of this horrific event, perhaps it will serve to shine a light on these cockroaches that up until now hasn't been bright enough.

    So they're out in the open.

    What do we do about it?


  18. 24 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

    Well this is pretty black or white, either he just committed career suicide or Australia is more Islamophobia than I thought.

    Here's his maiden speech. He actually uses the term "final solution".

    Not even Trump is that brazen. The fact that Australians elected him leads me to think they're even more racist than we are. Apologies to karaddin for that generalization--I realize that most Australians are no more to blame for this whacko than most Americans are to blame for Trump. But wow.

    Edit again: Louie Gohmert's statement leaves a lot to be desired, too. He doesn't like the shooters' methods, but agrees with the sentiment. At least that's the way I read it. 


  19. 9 minutes ago, karaddin said:

    There's always been an element of it in Australian society, we had the fucking "white Australia policy" as government policy for a long time. I also think it's pretty telling where racist South Africans went to after apartheid ended.

    But this is beyond that, the resurgent Nazis were not always here beyond the tiny numbers. The racist wedge politics that has dominated since the Tampa incident and 9/11 has been letting these attitudes spread and get oxygen. This is not a lone wolf, this is a loose in structure terrorist organization that spans the Western world that operates primarily over the internet. And it's scary and enraging.

    If you're not familiar with them I recommend Sarah Kendzior and especially Emily Gorcenski on Twitter. The former is less related to this and more the stuff that's going on in the open political arena, but the latter spends a lot of time tracking these networks and identifying who is at what rallies etc together. 

    Great, thank you! I will get up to speed on that. In the meantime, Senator Fraser Anning is batshit insane. There's nothing like victim blaming. 

     

     


  20. 7 hours ago, karaddin said:

    And after doing everything they could to stoke these fires, the fucking despicable Australian media have been airing his fucking live stream of the shooting, because profiteering off and spreading terrorist propaganda is a great idea and can't possible contribute to making things worse.

    Holy shit, really? That is just horrible. I'm sure there were hundreds if not thousands of people cheering them on, too.

    Is it me or has Australia become a hotbed of racism and white supremacy? Or was it always like that and I'm just now catching on?


  21. 4 minutes ago, DMC said:

    Only Stone, who didn't go to jail, and Stans, who didn't go to jail, would count as "high-level" officials - which was my original point.  The other three only went to jail for around half a year, and McCord obviously flipped.

    Mitchell went to prison for 19 months. He only got released because of medical reasons. Which is what Manafort is obviously trying to do. 


  22. 46 minutes ago, DMC said:

    Yeah I think only LIddy and Hunt were also part of CRP.  Don't quote me on that though.

    Well, sure, it's never going to happen in a bipartisan way because one party will always have the immediate advantage.  But the argument was if one party could do it unilaterally - and my contention that if they could they should.

    I don't think this is really a valid argument at this point.  Doing anything of substance is going to drive the parties further apart.  That doesn't mean you stop trying to do things.

    Stans, Magruder, Kalmbach, McCord, Colson...and, of course, Roger Stone. I know you're talking about the Plumbers, but a lot of prominent members of Creep went to jail.


  23. 2 hours ago, DMC said:

    Well, there were people on CRP that were just finance chairmen.  You may be thinking of the Plumbers, or "fixers," who actually organized the Watergate break-in, because the head of that was Liddy - who was also a member of CRP.  The USC Mafia were higher-level advisors, who didn't commit outright crimes like Watergate, but rather dirty tricks or "ratfucking."

    Donald Segretti.


  24. 24 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

    Meh.  I think that a younger person is more likely to be electable, and I care about that a great deal.  I also think that being President is incredibly taxing, both mentally and physically, and it is hard for me to believe that someone in their 70s is going to be the best choice available. 

     

    24 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

    Speak for yourself. I'll limit the oldies I vote for to the juke box unless given supreme reason to do otherwise.

    It's fine if you both think that way. We just have to be careful we don't become what we're fighting against. Personally, I'd love to see a younger woman win, but I'm not going to vote for her just because she is young and a woman. I'll vote for whoever I think is going to do the best job, and if that turns out to be an old white guy, so be it.

    As someone who is turning 50 in a couple of months, I have to say that I don't think 68 is old at all. You can still have all your mental faculties at that age, and as long as you've kept in reasonably good shape and eat right, there is no reason why you can't do the job, although it is true that health problems become more common after the age of 40.

    Edit: That's not to say I'll vote for a Republican, no matter who he is (and it will inevitably be an old white guy). I will vote for whoever the Dem nominee is, no matter what age, color, or gender. Just making that clear!

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