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AndYnot?
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Oh, and Mike Schilling for the win, right out of the gate. Gary, what's to discuss? Elected officials pay little attention to constituents, even organized groups of them, and the best organized and funded groups are the financial elites. While it's nice to see evidence of what everyone already knew, everyone already knew it. Bah. I'm going back to bed.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2010 on Best Buy at Obsidian Wings
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I'm still at 11. It may be necessary to double 14, given how armed the other side is, or brags about being. One should always double down on an 11. It's how the game is played. Has D'Souza explained how having a single Kenyan parent one did not know imparts an automatic anti-colonialist attitude through the blood but having, say, two Indian parents one did know presumably does not? Does he view India's independence from Britain to have been a bad idea? What about the Irish? At least half of white Americans have at least one Irish ancestor (and on March 17, suddenly we all do) who came here specifically to escape colonization by the English, who also colonized Kenya. And India. And North America. Seeing as how the US was the first anti-colonial state, how exactly is anti-colonialism supposed to be a bad thing, anyway? I really don't get these people.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2010 on Best Buy at Obsidian Wings
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Republicans are frauds. "conservatism" is a fraudulent philosophy. a faux-sophy. Fox-sophistry? The GOP is just saying outright that large and permanent tax cuts for the richest are preferable to a smaller temporary tax cuts for workers. So what else is new? Oh and russell- great link to the Teapartybizzopp.info site. I just read half the front page; I'm especially impressed with how every single sentence contains at least one, and often several, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or usage errors. It lends verisimilitude to what must be (dear gods I hope) a scam. They know their market- the folks who want an English-Only law but who can't write in English. Man, I wish I'd thought of that a year ago. I'd be rich enough by now to appreciate a tax cut.
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In the end, the only thing Gingrich accomplished was to make sure that conservatives became demoralized, because putting in the work to elect Republicans didn't actually result in them getting what they wanted. As a leftie Democrat who volunteered for Obama and other Dems in '08, I feel their pain. I give Newt overwhelming, if not complete, credit for taking down Jim Wright. I'll give him credit for Clinton's landslide re-election. What this country needs is to two mobs with assault weapons to get rid of politics as usual. Only two? I can envision 3 or 4 in Nevada alone, and that's not even counting the bikers. Perhaps the notion that tax cuts are ridiculous is not as widely held as some would believe. That an idea is popular doesn't mean it's not ridiculous. Case in point: Real Housewives. Somewhat off-topic: I saw the best headline ever yesterday at Roger Ailes' (not that one) blog. "Will Jindal endorse Vitter? Depends." -RobW (I keep forgetting- I can apparently only post once without signing in w/typepad.)
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I don't think I've ever heard the words, "pipe bomb," in any context other than to describe a deadly weapon used mainly by gangsters (mafia, bikers) against each other or by terrorists (KKK) against whoever pissed them off.
Toggle Commented May 22, 2010 on IOKIYNAM* at Obsidian Wings
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Ooh, almost forgot. This was really my favorite part: (but who has trouble with the idea that the US automakers worked successfully against the Japanese for decades by citing now instead of wondering about the 1970s?) Auto industry history happens to be a favorite topic of mine. Have at it. Dude, the adaption of the standards that I mentioned previously took place in the '70s. That's precisely the period I was referring to. Just how successful do you think US automakers were in keeping out the Japanese, even in the 1970s? I remember the -70s; I remember my neighborhood being full of Toyotas, Hondas, Datsuns (what Nissan was called then), Mazdas, and Subarus. The fact is, the Japanese didn't even begin to compete in the US market until the mid-70s. They simply didn't have any products that could sell here; their biggest cars were subcompact by our standards and pitifully underpowered for the speeds and distances we drive. It was not until several events of the mid'70s (the gas crunch, the new pollution and fuel economy standards, highly-publicized issues of US car quality and safety), and a new commitment to designing cars specifically for the US market, made them rather suddenly competetive. When they did finally get serious here, the US companies barely reacted at all. They pretty much just abandoned the market for smaller fuel-efficient cars (and inexpensive sports cars) altogether, completely failing to predict consumer demand for such. This proved a boon to the Japanese companies when the industry saw a sudden rise in fuel costs and new regulations on economy and emmissions. (In my, and many observers', opinion, the US companies have repeated this error all over again with the last 20 years' emphasis on SUVs, trucks, and big sedans in their lineup. They just don't learn.) The US car industry fought those regulations tooth and nail; the Japanese simply met them, and with their smaller cars and engines were already ahead from an engineering perspective. Now, it is true that the US companies lobbied for protectionist measures against the Japanese imports. This was argued at the time, and quite credibly so, to be a reasonable response to Japanese protectionism. In other words, just another run-of-the-mill trade dispute. And STILL not an example of regulatory capture.
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2010 on Trust but Verify at Obsidian Wings
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(Broken up into two parts in case length was the problem...) Julian: Arguing that financial regulation is bad because the government mucks things up is specious. Exactly. Nate: I think Seb is not serious about presenting the risks of regulatory capture. He's hardly yet come up with an example of it so I'm starting to wonder if he knows what it is. I think he is, as you suggest, simply bashing government regulation as a general concept. In my opinion, which you may find worthless since you've probably not heard of me either, he is using, or misusing, the phrase "regulatory capture" as a boogeyman and a distraction. I also think he's too smart to not be doing so on purpose. (See, now that's how you do passive-aggression!) Come on, Sebastian. Longtime lurkers like me, even those you've never heard of, would really love to hear an actual argument against finance sector regulation. Or do you want to just keep dancing around the subject a little longer? I would tend to think that leverage restrictions and clearinghouses with defined counterparty responsibility would be a good thing. Or you could simply abandon your position against regulation, though I doubt you'd acknowlege that you just did so. That works too. Did you really think BobbyP's comment was racist, and not sarcastic? You didn't pick up the "Blazing Saddles" vibe from it? -RobW
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2010 on Trust but Verify at Obsidian Wings
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(I've been reading here and rarely commenting for years now. I'm now signed in under the name I used to use. Before, the site would let me comment as "RobW" but now it won't. I'm signed in now under older name, maybe it'll work now.) Phil, you've got Jesurgislac and someone I've never heard of (but who has trouble with the idea that the US automakers worked successfully against the Japanese for decades by citing now instead of wondering about the 1970s?) on your side. I'm completely underwhelmed. Ok, the fact that you've never heard of me is intended here to be dismissive right? Implied is since you don't know me, my opinion is worthless, or rather, underwhelming. See, this is an ad hominem, an insult. Or it would be if it were more directly stated, but since you've merely implied it, it's a deniable ad hominem. Gratuitous insults, implied or direct, are against this blog's rules, yes? Umm. That wasn't passive aggressive. Deniable insults are, in fact, a form of passive aggression. You've invited the unseen audience to agree that someone is something bad, without directly saying so. But if you want painfully clear: He is a drama queen. Clarity wasn't the problem, Seb. Your intended meaning was obvious. The problem was the name-calling and the attempt at deniability in your name-calling. So, now you've said it outright. Better. Still a violation of the rule against name-calling, but at least it's direct. (FWIW, I was not, as Seb suggests, actually supporting Phil. I was objecting to Seb's tone.) -RobW
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2010 on Trust but Verify at Obsidian Wings
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Yet another thread completely derailed by Marty. Let's see, dishonest arguments, logical fallacies, constant shifting of goalposts, a tendency to make every thread about himself, and always, always, always, threadjacking. Let's see, the post was about how the US has declared a policy to assassinate Americans it deems a threat due to their speech and associations, and now ya'll are arguing about the legality of the invasion of Iraq, at Marty's insistence. I guess because it's a somewhat easier position for him to defend. Not that the arguments are any better, just more familiar.
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This discussion thread has been fascinating, but I'd just like to point out this from the article quoted in the original post: The question came from Christopher Glazek, a fact-checker at The New Yorker, who wanted to know whether Mr. Douthat and Mr. Salam believed that former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who has apologized on behalf of his party for the Southern Strategy, should also apologize for the Republican party's gay politics. The question that Douthat avoided wasn't actually about SSM. It had to do with decades of anti-gay bigotry on the part of the Republican party and whether or not Douthat believed the ex-RNC chair should apologize for it as Mehlman had done for the Southern Strategy. It's about the generalized and institutional anti-gay bigotry on the part of the GOP's leadership. SSM opposition is one of many symptoms of that. That Douthat avoided the question by leaping into a mealy-mouthed non-defense of his own anti-SSM position demonstrates this. I'll give him points for a most successful change of topic, though. We're not talking about how the GOP has consistently demonized, for cynical political gain, an entire class of American citizens as evil, anti-God, anti-family perverts; instead, we're debating the ramifications of one specific policy issue albeit a related one. Even Beyerstein's original post here is about his own personal bigotry and his failure to make an argument. She doesn't address the issue that Douthat successfully avoided, that of the Republican Party's culpability in perpetuating hatred for electoral ends. Nicely done, Ross.
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What are they going to do? Become bullies in the streets and on the talk shows? This. I've been hearing what a danger to America I am for the last 30 years, that I and anyone who thinks like me should be rounded up and hung as traitors. But let's not dare call anyone on their side stupid because that would be uncivil. Why, they might respond with rudeness! Much of this, with minor changes, could be written about Marion Barry, whose current troubles are unlikely to make him less popular in his ward. Not really comparable at all, at least not until the Democratic Party puts Barry on the national ticket or anyone seriously considers him a contender for President. The discussion about Palin is really a discussion about the currently flailing GOP. This is great stuff about the alleged red/blue divide over culture, class, and politics. Apropro of that, may I suggest Amanda Marcotte's excellent post on the subject at Pandagon? http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/if_its_a_tribe_how_come_you_cant_be_born_into_it/ In a nutshell- she, a native rural Texan, has always had and still has all of the stated cultural markers of the so-called salt'o'the earth Real American (tm), much more so than soon-to-be-ex-Governor Palin in fact, but because she is a feminist and a liberal, she will never be recognized as such and instead will always be considered under the current mythology as a latte-sippin' coastal elitist. In short, what Russel said above. You know, a whole lot, maybe most, of us liberals became so precisely because of our blue-collar backgrounds.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2009 on The "Crucifixion" of Sarah Palin at Obsidian Wings
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If there was actual deceit or fraud, by all means let's prosecute them... ...absent outright fraud... ...Obviously, if there is evidence of actual fraud, I'm all in favour of punishment.... Maybe it would help if we had an agency responsible to determine if such fraud occurred. And more protective regulations to clear up the blurry areas. And much stiffer penalties so a lender couldn't just assume the rare small fine to be just another cost of doing business. But I think we all know that for the most part what we are talking about here is simply very aggressive selling, with very few instances of bank employees actually lying to customers or somehow failing to give them the necessary paperwork. "We" know no such thing. You believe it to be so. You also seem to believe in some bright shiny line between "fraud" and "agressive selling." I don't share your belief and I don't trust the banksters to regulate themselves and not step happily across that line whenever they think they can get away with it. "You f---ked up; you trusted us," is a good enough response for you, I guess.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2009 on "The Optics Are Bad" at Obsidian Wings
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Oh, one more thing... On the contrary, there IS a mechanism. The national instant check system. It doesn't effectively prevent felons from obtaining firearms for the same reason drug laws don't effectively prevent users from obtaining drugs: There's a black market. The NICS is not truly national. Only 30 states are actually fully compliant with it. Virginia is one state that refuses to participate- which is why the VT shooter was able to purchase handguns there over the counter despite his technical disqualification from doing so due to his history of mental illness. This guy in DC? Used a plain old rifle. I seriously doubt he had to go to any black market to get it. His 1981 incident? Involved a sawed-off shotgun- an illegal modification of a perfectly legal gun, easily bought in any sporting goods department with no check of any kind necessary. No black market. The black market is in 1)illegally imported automatic weapons, 2) illegally modified semi-auto weapons, 3) unregistered handguns, virtually all of them stolen and shaved. The latter two categories are the biggest and every single one of those illegal guns started out as a legal gun.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2009 on Shooting at Obsidian Wings
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Neither is raming ships on the high seas, and Greenpeace had a ship specially modified for ramming purposes. Get it straight, Brett. You're not talking about Greenpeace, you're talking about the Sea Shephards' ship from 25-30 years ago. And it wasn't "specially modified," it was purpose-built even earlier with a reinforced bow for ramming other vessels- by Norwegian codfishermen during their quasi-war over prime fishing grounds in the North Atlantic. The Sea Shepherds bought it for a song and went out to face down whalers. Having already been hit by ramming attacks from whaling ships, they put out with a ship equipped to fight back in a cat-and-mouse game of mutual intimidation on the high seas. Sea Shepherds were, in the 1970's, all about literally sinking whaling vessels in port and obstructing them at sea. Today, they focus on the latter, but consider themselves more like vigilantes than pirates. They claim to be enforcing international law in the absence of any serious effort by governments to do so. They've also been, as I understand it, deputized by the Equadoran government to protect the Galopagos Islands from exploitation- which gives some legitimacy to their claim of being a voluntary law enforcement service. At any rate, they've got nothing to do with Greenpeace- their founder, Paul Watson, broke off from GP way back in the beginning of the global environmentalist movement precisely because GP refused to take such direct action, focusing more on publicity stunts to garner public sympathy rather than directly preventing the whaling industry from functioning by forcing them to spend more on insurance and security. Oh, and their current flagship was originally a seismic research vessel. It is reinforced below the waterline so it can withstand the explosive charges detonated beneath it while underway. Such charges have been used against them by the Norwegian Navy. And, once again, NOBODY has been killed or injured by the Sea Shepherds- though property has been damaged- and neither they nor Greenpeace has ever advocated violence against persons.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2009 on Shooting at Obsidian Wings
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Consarn it, Jeff, you're doing it too. Step away from the sarcasm, people. Does it strike anyone else as just a bit overweening for Dr. Science to insist that every commenter here should rein in their writing/humor styles because she's having difficulty keeping up? If I'm reading you correctly, you're having so much difficulty telling sarcastic comments from sincere ones that you are forced to complain about every sarcastic comment that appears. And oddly, you don't have any trouble telling them apart to call them out. As for OCSteve, I'll give you my opinion: he's not being sarcastic. His position is sufficiently ridiculous that you can't tell. Personally, I love sarcasm. I use it often, I appreciate it when it's done well. I'm usually able to tell when someone is being sarcastic or sincere and obtuse. Since I've been reading here for some years, I know that OCSteve's comments generally falls into the latter category. When I honestly can't tell, I attribute it to poor comprehension on my part, or poor writing on the commenter's part. I don't blame the existence of sarcasm generally. I really don't appreciate people whose humor comprehension/recognition is so impaired they feel the need to insist everybody else conform to their preference or else they'll leave and won't we be sorry?
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2009 on What Conclusions Should We Draw? at Obsidian Wings
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