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AI Wessex
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Jason, I recall that you're a lawyer. Imagine that Canada allowed anyone to practice law, as in the 19th C. in the US. The new lawyers are as sharp as you, but don't have the reputation (often unfair) of sleaziness that lawyer have to endure, and they don't have to kowtow to the Canadian Bar Association.

Since many legal matters are no more complicated than driving from point A to point B, you see your clientele base and those of other old-school lawyers slowly erode. Your clients tell you that you charge too much, your collective reputation (not yours personally, but...) for shady practices are worries, and the new-fangled Maverick lawyers know just as much and are more eager to handle their issues for less money.

You can't give up your law license, since that's in the past and what got you to where you are today. It's what allows you to make the good living you do. But you could charge less money to keep your clients or show more "eagerness" when acting on their behalf.

Are these new-age legal reps a good thing?

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Fenring
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I've got to jump in on this, Al. You're seriously comparing driving a car to working as a lawyer? Is this really what you think of professional training and ethics? Maybe you should have made your example even more extreme and suggested that anyone who wants to should be able to break the monopoly on psychiatry too.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
In answer to your original question, it's not a question of the regulations being "poorly enforced". The regulations are doing what they were clearly designed to do: maintain a protected monopoly for entrenched interests.
That rather begs the question, don't you think?
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TomDavidson
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Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?

What about regulations on being a hairdresser? Because there are regulations. Are they there to protect the entrenched hairdresser cabals?

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AI Wessex
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I'm trying to draw a stark contrast that would evoke a reaction like yours. This is a protected group, but that is not. Come up with a better one if you like. For instance, US doctors didn't have to be licensed until the beginning of the 20th C, either. During the Civil War, all it took to be a wartime doctor was to have a saw and not faint at the sight of blood. Then the monopolists and special interests took over...
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Fenring
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Wait...are you trying to provoke a response like mine to illustrate that taxi drivers and doctors should not be protected jobs in similar ways, or are you trying to argue that both/neither should be protected jobs and that there is no substantive difference between them?
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NobleHunter
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For doctors, anyways, professionalization served a valid purpose and to entrench interests. There's a reason they got away with driving out almost all other practitioners of medicine from the market place.

[ November 12, 2015, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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jasonr
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Al I don't see lawyers and doctors as being in the same class as taxi cabs. Driving a cab requires zero training - it is literally just driving a car for money. Ironically alot of doctors and engineers do end up driving cabs because their professional training is unrecognized and driving is literally the only marketable skill they have.

I am not, by the way, against regulating the cab industry for safety, discrimination, etc... But the current regime isn't about those things. It's about maintaining a monopoly.

I realize lawyers can be accused of the same thing at least in theory. And hell maybe it's true and anyone should be able to hang up a shingle and practice law. What can I say except I disagree, and regardless, it doesn't really change how I see the cab industry. Driving isn't complicated - we don't need $250,000 license plates to ensure a safe and well run system.

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kmbboots
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I take cabs a lot and my experience has been far different from jasonr's. The vast majority of my cab rides are pleasant and reliable, the cabs are clean, and I can pay with a card if I choose. I can nearly always find a cab when I need one. There is occasional muttering or sighing when very short trip pulls a driver out of a line where he is likely to get an airport fare but no refusals.

I hear horror stories about Uber.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
There is exactly zero hypocrisy in having problems with a service vs. using that service.

Do you have problems with your cable company but you still watch TV?

Do you have problems with Super PACs but understand that you won't win an election without one?

Congratulations - you are not a hypocrite. You are able to do the mental equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time by holding two ideas in your head.

It's not that he's critical of it and still uses the service. It's that he is running on a platform that it violates rights and would regulate it so that he would destroy it. All the while using it 100% of the time. That is, in fact, hypocrisy.

I don't like cable companies. I don't use them. I still watch TV via streaming and I do not have control of them. Do you not see the difference?

PAC's are a problem. Claiming you use one in order to get into office so you can end them is dishonest. Nobody is going to do that.

Sanders is clearly demonstrating a foundational principle of liberalism. As a dedicate socialist, we should not be surprised.

Following one's foundational principles is by definition the opposite of hypocrisy.

Thank you for making me look more closely at Bernie Sanders. While I have a prejudice against Socialists, a socialist who takes the time to economize campaign spending by using Uber, while at the same time calling for its regulation, reminds me of why I like Carli Fiorino, who was willing to risk and lose her job for doing what she thinks is right. What you have essentially told me is that Sanders makes ethical decisions based on his own concience rather than relying on his PR groupies.

Now I want to know moew about Bernie Sanders. Any Bernyites here who can link me to substantive content, meaning stuff that BS (ouch, unfortunate initials) authored himself?

H

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AI Wessex
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quote:
I hear horror stories about Uber.
I hear horror stories about cabbies, Uber drivers, doctors, lawyers and pre-school staff, as well as about every other profession under the sun. It's just anecdotal fluff to point to your own favorite provider among choices if all you have is limited experience and exposure.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?

I cant speak for doctors or shrinks, but as for the bar association, I can say with confidence yes and yes

Yes the bar association exists to maintain an entrenched monopoly for entrenched interests. No question. (The AMA not so much because the American Osteopathic Association prevents a strict AMA monopoly).

Yes it also serves a valid purpose in protecting the public.

Tom has a point. But Al's equivalence of physicians and attorneys to cab drivers is offensive and unfair to both doctors and attorneys, but more unfair to Doctors than to attorneys, I think,

BTW the learning curve is far, far steeper in law school than getting into law school, far steeper studying the bar than in law school, and FAR steeper in the first 3 years of practice in any.legal field than it is studying the bar.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Now I want to know moew about Bernie Sanders. Any Bernyites here who can link me to substantive content, meaning stuff that BS (ouch, unfortunate initials) authored himself?

I've been a fan of Bernie's for a few years, and he speaks in the senate on many occasions about the same sorts of things you hear him mention in the debates. In fact, if you've heard him speak on and off for years then there's actually nothing new to hear from him in the debates, which is exactly what makes him different from the other candidates: he didn't have to create a campaign platform, he's just continuing the mission he's been on for a long time now with the same position he's always had.

If you'd like a video example on the way he speaks and what he values, here's a good an example as any:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-fawXeTxlE

This is Bernie addressing the senate about the TPP fast-track bill (which his side lost since fast-track was passed).

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AI Wessex
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Lear had his fool, who saw the future more clearly and spoke wiser than the King. There should be an Executive Office of the Fool, or in other words, every President should have a "Bernie Sanders" on their Executive staff.

[See Pete? This is how to do it...]

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Pete at Home
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Thank you, FEnring.

Al, I will reread that later ... Didnt catch that the first time but Shakespeare always was an area where you and I could communicate most clearly (I miss that Al) so I am going to hit an AA meeting, drink some coffee, dunk my head in icewater, and reread.

Meanwhile, Al, I would love to know your own view on Bernie Sanders.


(see! I wrote an entire post without thinking of sex. Oh, damn!)

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Lear had his fool, who saw the future more clearly and spoke wiser than the King. There should be an Executive Office of the Fool, or in other words, every President should have a "Bernie Sanders" on their Executive staff.

I can take this analogy further, if you'll permit. Historically, including in Shakespeare's own production of Lear, the Fool was double cast with Cordelia, meaning the same actor played both parts. This was far from a cost-saving device, but rather was important to the interpretation of the story. In the King's court in Act 1 the King could not abide an heir to the throne - an interested party to be sure - to question the King and speak the truth. Cordelia was Lear's most beloved and yet when she spoke an uncomfortable truth she was banished for it. Lear presumably saw the need for allegiance and obedience as being exceptionally required from those who stood directly to gain from their relation to the King. Since interested parties having their own opinion in matters related to the King is a conflict of interest the King's solution is to eliminate such conflict by mandating that everyone agree with him.

We can see this same situation in modern politics where parties tow the line and dissent within a party is frowned on to say the least. The President's own advisors in the last few administration tends towards either 'on board' with the President or else outright being either his puppet or his master as the case may be. They want to present a unified front, and one where the President is supported at all times. And when any sort of disagreement shows itself the staff are usually dismissed in favor of people who will play ball.

Enter the Fool, who enters the play right when Cordelia leaves and remains by Lear's side for most of the play. The Fool, like Cordelia, speaks his mind freely, but with one difference: being a Fool, he has no power and nothing to gain by agreeing or disagreeing with the King. He isn't an interested party and thus there is no inherent conflict of interest. He's a Fool precisely because he has no power to gain or lose; he's outside of the game's rules (much like the fool in a deck of cards). Also note that the two people dearest to the King are Cordelia and the Fool, and there is even a nod towards the end of the play when Cordelia has been hanged and killed:

"And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never!"

The moral we might take from this is that we cannot expect or even tolerate the truth from someone who has a vested interests in the results of his comments, and who is rewarded or punished based on the political implications of his comments. If there is to be an "office of the fool" it would have to be immunized both from the reward/punishment system, and also from backlash by party members who dislike what the Fool is saying. The Fool would, indeed, have to be excused from the normal rules of the game like the Joker in a deck of cards.

Until we create the conditions for any, if not all politicians from being allowed to act in a capacity not 'in the game', we will never get truth from them.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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jasonr
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I take cabs a lot and my experience has been far different from jasonr's. The vast majority of my cab rides are pleasant and reliable, the cabs are clean, and I can pay with a card if I choose. I can nearly always find a cab when I need one. There is occasional muttering or sighing when very short trip pulls a driver out of a line where he is likely to get an airport fare but no refusals.

I hear horror stories about Uber.

I didn't mean to suggest that cabbies are all or even mostly bad. Most of my experiences with traditional cabbies have been fine. But the industry has been complacent for a long time. There are problems you see routinely that have never been addressed until Uber came along and started eating the cabbies' lunch. And for every horror story you've heard about Uber there are plenty more about traditional cabs. Trying to villify Uber or suggest that its drivers are unsafe is a losing argument for the cab industry.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Meanwhile, Al, I would love to know your own view on Bernie Sanders.
He's more ideologically pure than Clinton and has a lot of good ideas (I've read his book). Unfortunately, he's too old to learn how to govern, so he'd either have to contradict himself in office or sit high and dry above the legislative process and be forced to veto almost every piece of major legislation. I honestly do wish there were a spot for him in the Clinton Executive to advise while not having to consent.
quote:
can take this analogy further, if you'll permit. Historically, including in Shakespeare's own production of Lear, the Fool was double cast with Cordelia, meaning the same actor played both parts. This was far from a cost-saving device, but rather was important to the interpretation of the story.
Fenring, I hardly knew ye! I am always happy to talk about the Bard, but I'll disagree with this point of fineness. I'm sure you know that women's parts (in both senses [Smile] ) were played by male actors in Shakespeare's day. There can be irony, intentional or otherwise, by casting a single seeming voice to two roles that don't appear on stage at the same time. You could be right that Shakespeare intended that irony, but it might be the case that his company had a limited cast of actors (which it did), and he was furiously rewriting Lear almost for every performance to respond to feedback from King James and his court, so personnel were constantly in flux. Or the truth might lie somewhere between or outside of our musings. In either or any case, I rate your post a "Like" [Smile] . We once had a thread on Shakespeare, I recall. Pete and I did like the back and forth of how much was meaning and how much was stagecraft. I especially love thinking about how absurd it is to imagine that his almost uniformly uneducated and illiterate audiences could follow the stories in any more than a rudimentary way. One theory I like is that the groundlings saw the action vividly but only heard the speech as cadences and rhyme. The Bard, sometimes called the Bawd, meant only to please.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What about regulations on being a hairdresser? Because there are regulations. Are they there to protect the entrenched hairdresser cabals?

Well...yeah. Which is not to say that such regulation is unnecessary. But in Utah, you have to put in a year of full time apprentice work before you get your license. I think that's clearly excessive and is only required because it's in the interests of existing hairdressers to make the barrier to entry as high as possible.

Of course, what this means is that there are a million unlicensed hairdressers giving $6 haircuts and $30 dye jobs at home. [Smile]

[ November 12, 2015, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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NobleHunter
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I suppose I'd be contributing to the hairdresser lobby by saying "dye jobs" in a skeptical tone.
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LetterRip
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TomD,

quote:
Do you believe that regulations on being a lawyer, doctor, or psychiatrist exist to maintain a professional monopoly for entrenched interests? Do they serve a purpose?
Mostly to maintain a monopoly (and gain new monopolies) for entrenched interests. Doctors are probably 1/3 of their natural numbers due exactly to competitive barriers that serve no purpose than to keep the cost of doctors high.

Many medical specialties could be readily replaced with specialists trained in a quarter of the time; or with a scanner and diagnostic software.

Law could be dramatically simpler - a 3-6 month course could be adequate to practice most areas of law.

Psychiatrists being exclusively allowed to prescribe medicine vs psychologists is purely about protecting entrenched interests.

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Fenring
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Al,

In my view there is pretty much no chance that Shakespeare didn't mean something interpretive by that double casting. I also don't think it was because they just lacked actors. You would have to assert that they magically lacked exactly one actor, that the role that would have been filled by that actor was magically a role that was also Lear's dearest friend, and that Shakespeare added a line in the end showing a relation between his daughter and the word "fool." Indeed, from the perspective of Cordelia's sisters and the other courtiers she must, indeed, have been a great fool. "Doesn't she know she'll gain nothing from these comments? What a moron." This is the way people in corrupt circles think, even though to them it's plain common sense. The entire reading of the play rides on the relationship between Cordelia and the Fool, since the difference between a truth-teller who stands to gain/lose by their statements and between a truth-teller who is free of all that is the entire crux of the story. You see this motif repeated in Lear being first King and them a beggar; first well and then crazed and sick. You see it with Edgar being a royal and then a madman, and Edmund being a nobody and then becoming a major player. For each person their association with real power changes the nature of what the results of their true statements are. Their opinions don't change, but their station does, and that is everything. It shows that a person is not allowed to be themself unless they are in a position with nothing to lose by saying what they think. The play shows that being in such a free position is generally called things like Fool, crazy, bastard, and so forth. For Lear, Cordelia and Edgar losing their power frees them to be who they really are; for Edmund gaining power gets him killed for who he is.

I guess you can disagree with my reading on this, but I would never attribute to Shakespeare's casting and writing the idea of coincidence or irrelevant circumstance. He even played certain parts himself when he felt it was thematically appropriate or necessary for him to do so. I use the same reasoning as I do with Plato when reading Shakespeare: it's all calculated, all for a reason, and if I can't find it then that's my failing and I have to look deeper.

[ November 12, 2015, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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AI Wessex
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Well, because this is Ornery and we can't claim authority on any topic, you should ignore the extensive study I gave Shakespeare in college, as well is the dozen or so biographies I've read about him and the many productions of Lear that I've seen over the years. But also because this *is* Ornery, after all, I have to point out that You Are Wrong.

But, hey, I haven't been in a bard fight in years. If you want to take it outside of this thread, feel free to set up a cage where we can settle this like groundlings.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
I didn't mean to suggest that cabbies are all or even mostly bad. Most of my experiences with traditional cabbies have been fine. But the industry has been complacent for a long time. There are problems you see routinely that have never been addressed until Uber came along and started eating the cabbies' lunch. And for every horror story you've heard about Uber there are plenty more about traditional cabs. Trying to villify Uber or suggest that its drivers are unsafe is a losing argument for the cab industry.

Indeed, but the flip side of the coin is whether Uber, though central planning can manage to better accomplish what the taxi medallion system was established as a market based approach to solve. The medallions definitely demonstrated how unregulated capitalism in a limited resource situation, can fail pathologically, but it remains to bee seen if Uber can actually ensure that it doesn't fall victim to the flood/famine cycles that ravaged the taxi system before a market was established to prevent oversupply driving fares to unsustainably low levels and being more harmful than profitable to people that tried to get into the business.

Efforts like this:
http://www.marketplace.org/2015/11/10/economy/should-gig-economy-workers-get-benefits

Are promising, and its understanding of the issue and participation in the effort are one of the reasons that I prefer Lyft to Uber. Even if it's benefitting from the contractor loophole, it at least understands that it has a fundamental responsibility to provide economic stability and security to its employees.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
it has a fundamental responsibility to provide economic stability and security to its employees
We also need to keep in mind that whether people who spend their entire day picking up fares from Lyft or Uber, or who maintain a half-dozen AirBNB pads, or who spend 18 hours a day on TaskRabbit, are employees is a contested topic.
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Pyrtolin
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Indeed, and that's part of why some degree of regulation is going to be necessary to help solidly clarify such questions and establish common standards for everyone to play by.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Well, because this is Ornery and we can't claim authority on any topic, you should ignore the extensive study I gave Shakespeare in college, as well is the dozen or so biographies I've read about him and the many productions of Lear that I've seen over the years. But also because this *is* Ornery, after all, I have to point out that You Are Wrong.

But, hey, I haven't been in a bard fight in years. If you want to take it outside of this thread, feel free to set up a cage where we can settle this like groundlings.

I'm not sure comparing credentials should matter when looking at the text itself. No amount of authority speaks better than the play. I, myself, studied Shakespeare not only on a theoretical level in college but on a practical level with people in the business who've worked with the likes of Pacino (one of my teachers was Pacino's go-to guy for Shakespeare). I studied it as a scholar, an actor, and a director, and I've acted in and directed the material. All this to say I should not be considered a mere dilettante as I have years of professional training and experience under my belt, but at the same time I don't think my experience ought to count for very much in terms of me wielding it like some kind of badge of authority. You shouldn't credit my comments based on my background; credit them based on the merit within them and on how they pertain to the play. The play's the thing - wherein we set the confines of our ring.
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AI Wessex
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I suspected there was more matter than you wrote. Seriously, then, open a thread or an email channel if you would like to pursue this further.
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velcro
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Jasonr wrote
quote:
But it does pretty well torpedo any "safety" arguments or any claims that "regulating" automatically confers an aura of safety.
True, "regulating" does not automatically confer safety. But if done properly, it can increase the odds of having a safe ride. Conversely, having no regulation whatsoever will never increase the odds of having a safe ride.

So while we can argue the extent and the side effects, properly regulating Uber drivers may improve safety and will not decrease it.
Net gain for safety.

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velcro
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Al wrote
quote:
Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern
Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

Pete,

Sanders is a little loose with his definition of democratic socialism. Look at what he says it is, not what you think it is.

“Democratic socialism is taking a hard look at what countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway (and) Finland … have done over the years and try to ascertain what they have done that is right, in terms of protecting the needs of millions of working families and the elderly and the children. And I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever.”source

Bernie Sanders in 25 words or less:
The economic and political systems are rigged in favor of entrenched wealth. We need to fix that before we can fix anything else.

I'm curious if anyone disagrees with that.

Also, if you poll people on his individual policies without mentioning Sanders or socialism, most of them have broad approval. While not a 1:1 correspondence with his policies, many are covered here.

It reminds me of the Equal Rights Amendment. Poll people on that, and they were opposed. But if you asked them if they agree with "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.", they were in favor. It goes to show what good propaganda can do to uninformed voters.

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Fenring
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The fact of the matter is that I think a majority of liberal Americans agree with what Sanders is about, but somehow think Hillary represents them better. It's dissonant with reality but branding is everything. Luckily Sanders has a decent brand too.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Al: Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern

Velcro: Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

He's been on the right (aka principled) side of many issues, but there's scant evidence of his leadership in the Senate. He's never authored any major piece of legislation (only 3 as sole sponsor in total), never led any committee, never held a Party position in the Senate, never been asked to be a spokesman on any issue. I like him and admire his stoic determination and resolute consistency, but from there to ascending to the office of the Presidency is a leap I don't think he's capable of making.

[ November 18, 2015, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Al wrote
quote:
Unfortunately, he's[Sanders] too old to learn how to govern
Care to elucidate, and possibly provide justification?

Pete,

Sanders is a little loose with his definition of democratic socialism. Look at what he says it is, not what you think it is.

“Democratic socialism is taking a hard look at what countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway (and) Finland … have done over the years and try to ascertain what they have done that is right, in terms of protecting the needs of millions of working families and the elderly and the children. And I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever.”source

Bernie Sanders in 25 words or less:
The economic and political systems are rigged in favor of entrenched wealth. We need to fix that before we can fix anything else.

I'm curious if anyone disagrees with that.

Also, if you poll people on his individual policies without mentioning Sanders or socialism, most of them have broad approval. While not a 1:1 correspondence with his policies, many are covered here.

It reminds me of the Equal Rights Amendment. Poll people on that, and they were opposed. But if you asked them if they agree with "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.", they were in favor. It goes to show what good propaganda can do to uninformed voters.

You left out the key clause of the ERA, is the part enabling federal legislation. So the uninformed voters were right on that [Smile]

But thanks for the summary on Sanders.

Would be nice to have a president that operates within the actual bounds of Article Two. Haven't seen one of those since ... Madison and Adams jr

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Pete at Home
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I even like that he voted against DOMA... though I am against neutered marriage I recognized Dona was unconstitutional.

Like what he says on the middle class. Ironic that a "socialist" might be the best hope. But Scand flavor socialist is good with me. Surprised that the crypto fascist dnc has let him get this far

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Like what he says on the middle class. Ironic that a "socialist" might be the best hope. But Scand flavor socialist is good with me. Surprised that the crypto fascist dnc has let him get this far

The secret of the DNC and RNC is that their only power is in illusion. They can trick, create images and narratives, but cannot use brute force. Their weakness is a true grass roots movement and although certain levels of shenanigans are possible in the primary process and then general election (including but not limited to voting fraud) they simply cannot oppose the actual will of the people. They must always bow before the mob or fear losing everything. Their hope is to win the minds of the populace, but if they lose that they have nothing.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Their weakness is a true grass roots movement
Which means, effectively, that they don't have a weakness, because our political and voting system effectively precludes any kind of true grassroots movement from taking control except through one of the two dominant parties (or by capitalizing on the collapse of one or the other if it happens to fail)
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Fenring
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Well, the weakness isn't exploitable unless the movement is very strong. The sort of movement which starts small and maybe could build up steam is likely to be fizzled out before it gets very far. But in the case of Sanders, for instance, this particular movement has been growing since 2008 and included Occupy. Sanders has the possibility of catching the momentum and not starting from scratch. But yes, the movement has to be very strong to streamroll the status quo, which means in turn a lot of discontent as well as people waking up and realizing the tricky illusion game. But if the people demand change in large numbers (on the streets, as Sanders puts it) the parties will have to acquiesce for the time being. It's true, though, that even Bernie has to run as a Democrat, but that doesn't mean he's beholden to the DNC in any way or that they like him. Ron Paul was the mortal enemy of the RNC in 2012 even though he ran as a Republican (and they treated him accordingly).
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velcro
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One more interesting link:Are you a democratic socialist?

It's a little oversimplified, (mentions free college, not free *public* college) but gets the point across.

Al,

He did govern Burlington VT, FWIW. And absence of evidence (of the leadership you mention) is not evidence of absence.

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AI Wessex
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Can you make it a positive and show where/when he has led since joining the Senate?
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Fenring
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Here's his list of committee assignments, from Wiki:

Committee assignments:

Committee on the Budget (Ranking Member)
Committee on Environment and Public Works
-Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
-Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy
-Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
-Subcommittee on Energy
-Subcommittee on National Parks
-Subcommittee on Water and Power
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
-Subcommittee on Children and Families
-Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
Committee on Veterans' Affairs

And magically these are all the areas he champions. So it looks like he puts his money where his mouth is and takes a leadership role in areas he values and can help with. I'll also note that in terms of legislation he was part of an across-the-isle movement to audit the Fed along with Ron Paul, and has continued his efforts in the audit the Fed along with Rand Paul and others.

So Sanders not only works towards what he says he believes, but he can do so on a bipartisan basis even with members of the Tea Party. If you want a qualification for President I think a good one is knowing how to work with Republicans toward common goals.

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