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Messages - Seriati

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General Comments / Re: But yeah, Antifa is the real threat
« on: October 08, 2020, 07:12:05 PM »
I think there's a big difference between people with rocks and roman candles, versus the threat posed by people with automatic weapons and explosive devices. That's the point.

There is a big difference.  The former is a massive group of Democratic partisans that are burning, looting and intimidating their political opponents, who've not only expressed that its okay to use force to stop protected political speech they don't want to hear but have acted on those ambitions.  It's a group that is routinely protected by the leftist media (who pretends they aren't real), by DNC politicians (who deny they are real, contrast that with Whitmer's statements today that these crazies are Trump's fault because he refuses to condemn them and those words have consequences.  I mean honestly, if you can't recognize that bit of open illogic, you're insanely partisan), and by DNC county and state level prosecutors and attorney generals (who have guaranteed there are no legal consequences for any of these acts of terrorism and not even 24 hours of holding them in jail).

The other is largely a figment of your delusion.  Yep six crazies were caught.  Six crazies who won't be bailed out of jail by Trump campaign staffers (unlike the Biden campaign's relationship with antifa brown shirts).  Six crazies who won't be excused and protected by the right.  Yet six crazies the DNC media is going to pretend prove an existential threat to everyone so that they can blame the Republicans and continue to lie about what is really occurring.

The militia groups are armed to the teeth, and yes, most of them haven't opened fire into a crowd at this point.

I think the word you're looking for is "none" of whom have opened fire into a crowd.  Meanwhile, antifa's have routinely attacked peaceful protestors and even journalists they don't like.  Heck in one case they even planned and executed an ambush attempted murder of a journalist.  Just to avoid confusion that's a literal assasination attempt to try to stop a message they don't like.

When it comes to government buildings, who has taken more lives, Timothy McVeigh or all of Antifa combined.

I'm not saying Antifa should be ignored, and I'm not saying they are not a threat. But who is the greater threat?

Between Antifa and Timothy McVeigh?  Antifa (McVeigh died 20 years ago).  Between Antifa and white nationalists?  Antifa.

I mean you're correct that Timothy McVeigh was able to carry out a terrorist attack, a mass killing for a vague position.  There's nothing vague about Antifa, and their politics leads to assasinations, to fire bombings, to destroying their opponents, and if they get power to pogroms, forced reeducation camps, state sanctioned robbery and even disappearrences.  If you want to talk big pictures, communism and the new ideals of the left have killed more people than virtually any other philosophy. 

But hey I'm sure the history of giving power to groups that endorse violence to settle peaceful political agreements will totally work out differently this time, cause you know "good guys."

I'm glad these guys were caught in time.

Everyone is.  But you're not outraged that the terrrorists with whom you agree politically are released, protected and emboldened, and that's where we differ.

If Whitmer exceeds her power, that's what the courts are for.

Whitmer exceeded her power.  That's just a fact.  Both at the state and federal level.  Just this week the courts have started declaring it so.  The fact that you think the "remedy" for an actual dictator wielding arbitrary authority is to wait and hope that the "courts" will stop her is beyond crazy.

Whitmer was required to get legislative authority for her actions.  She refused.  If this were Trump you'd be raging about it.   Not even a question.  You'd be raging about it being the worst crime in history.  It's not Trump, is a Democratic governor from Michigan who declared the unilateral authority to issue laws like a king and you have not said a word.  You haven't protested, in fact you maligned protesters that brought attention to it as dangerous or deranged.

Whitmer should be removed from office for her violations of the rights of US citizens.  Are you educated enough on her actions to realize it or defend it?  Or is this only about team colors?  What consistent principle allows you to evaluate Trump's actions and Whitmer's actions and not come to the conclusion that Whitmer is a far greater threat to Democracy?

Lots of people have challenged government during this period. Ultimately, she can also be impeached. Unless you think making people wear masks and shutting down businesses to stop the spread of disease in an emergency warrants armed rebellion and/or assassination.

That's like saying that all Trump was trying to do was to enforce our immigration laws.

Whitmer issued completely arbitrary dictats, with the force of law.  She corruptly excused her allies and punished her enemies.  Remember when you wanted Trump impeached where you couldn't even find evidence he did something?  Yet here there are volumes and have you leveled any criticism?  If you care about abuse of power, about corruption, about a threat to Democracy, as many of you have claimed in your criticisms of Trump, where is your harsh condemnation now?

No, this thread is a "jump in at the end of the game" ploy.  Pretend like an aberration is everything, and then put out a headline to whitewash an actual terrorist movement.

It's propaganda.

General Comments / Re: But yeah, Antifa is the real threat
« on: October 08, 2020, 05:45:31 PM »
It's funny, cause antifa makes threats all the time, they ship shields, clubs and other weapons in Uhaul trucks apparently, they burn down government buildings, and they have been linked to all manner of felonies.  Yet somehow you think you've made an argument.

Can you point me to the city that is being looted by white nationalists?  Can you point me to the place where they've been rioting for months or even days?  Can you identify anywhere that they have committed some crime in that context?

No, you can probably just link to the old debunked hate crimes report that over-ascribes the actions of a couple specific criminal skin head gangs and ignores 95% of racially motivated violence because they can't "prove" a connection.

Long and short, your post is propaganda.  Antifa is real.  The threat is real.  Antifa has been involved in far more crime and intimidation than white nationalists.  Pretending that people who hate on Whitmer, who is a LITERAL autocratic dictator (ie. she IS a fascist but somehow antifa ignores that), because of her illegal assumption of plenary authority is symptomatic of a larger threat is delusional.  Whitmer is a dictator.

General Comments / Re: But yeah, Antifa is the real threat
« on: October 08, 2020, 05:23:36 PM »
Odd Subject line.  Did you think somehow Antifa was a personal threat to Whitmer?  Or are you just trying to pretend that a group that specializes in intimidating and terrorizing citizens without power and who can not effectively fight back is less of a threat to our country than a group of morons trying to engage in a political assassination?

In the real world, millions have been directly or indirectly impacted by Antifa, and zero by these idiots.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: October 06, 2020, 01:35:34 PM »
That's your argument?  That's exactly what I mean.  You're posting sound bites not arguments.  If you have a problem with the thread why do you personally keep bumping it?

General Comments / Re: War on Cops
« on: October 06, 2020, 01:34:04 PM »
It's fuzzy in the sense that there are not really any actual terrorist organizations in America (like Cobra), so the FBI is mandated to watch for certain red flags and certain groups that exhibit those red flags. A group chanting or speaking about the legitimacy of the Federal government is as close at present as they can come to 'identifying' dangerous groups.

A group using violence and intimidation for political purposes is pretty darn close to a terrorist organization, and we do in fact have that on wide spread basis in the United States.  The message that's coming through, is do what we say or we may burn down your city next, say what we want or we may destroy your career and your family, heck stand when we tell you to or we'll take your dinner and your beer.  The implicit threat is ALWAYS that someone even worse could happen if you don't comply.  I think you're confused in labeling this terrorism because we've dealt with "terrorists" for so long that exploited random murder-suicides so graphically.  The essence of this "movement" is compliance through terror.

I mean this not in the sense of people who uphold the constitution, but rather self-styled groups whose primary mandate is to uphold the constitution in the face of what they see as a government that is no longer legitimate.

History decides if these people are right or wrong.  I think our government has clearly crossed the line of its legal constraints.  I mean look at the Flynn case.  Massive, massive spying on a US citizen with no probable cause, even political persons able to see his personal call transcripts without any evidence of criminality, and even the foreign agent angle was incredibly weak (and not in the Constitution to boot). 

Here's what the Constitution says on that:  "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

No part of that was complied with, not in any way shape or form.  No probable cause ever existed.  If you read through the FBI internal communications that have been revealed, it's absolutely, 100% crystal clear, that the FBI routinely uses work arounds without even any lip service to the Constitution to take information without probable cause, heck without even a clear suspicion.

How do you square that?  If you have a Constitution that's inviolate, yet routinely violated, do you have a Constitution?  Is it really only the people that have to follow the law and not the Government?

How do you square the Rule of Law with elected prosecutors deciding to overturn the laws passed by the people's legislature and Congress, signed by the executives and that the court's are willing to enforce?  One person, apparently, has the power to dictate the entirety of what really is the law.  We elected prosecutors to make them politically accountable, yet what we've gotten now is the nightmare version of that, where they are open partisans, running on platforms to ignore the laws.  It's all the way back to old England, with every local prosecutor the new Sheriff of Nottingham punishing her parties enemies and exempting their friends.

You can walk through the Bill of Rights and find open violations of all of them (except maybe the Third, but we'll see in the next Presidential administration).

I've actually met people like this IRL, who say things like "Did you know that income taxes are illegal and the government owes each of us millions of dollars?" and then the further conclusion of "Did you know that the U.S. government lost its legitimacy in 1933 and since then is a rogue organization?" Stuff like that.

Shrug.  Public education has deemphasized critical thinking for so long how can you be surprised?  The people have been trained and conditioned to accept lessons from on high without thinking about it, even when they reject the orthodoxy they only have the tools to be information takers from other sources.

And btw I'm only referencing what I actually saw in one iteration of the FBI guidelines for dangerous home-grown groups, which (as of maybe 10 years ago or something) including in its red flag categories groups insisting on upholding the constitution above all else.

Imagine that, the Obama-Biden statist administration thinking that upholding the Constitution is what a terrorist would do. 

Again, the deep state thinks that IT is the proper authority of the United States, not the people, and certainly not anyone that's elected by the people to bring them under control.

Pick an agency, after four years of a Trump administration, the staffs at all of them are still resisting his directions at every turn.  That's not because they're professional and they "know better."   That's because they are partisan and feel that no "fake President" can direct them to do differently.  I really care about your politics, the idea that bureaucrats should be able to resist the elected government for years should tell you everything you need to know about how out of control they are.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: October 06, 2020, 12:00:17 PM »
I find it funny the way you guys keep posting the equivalent of soundbites on this thread to bump it.  Are you making an actual argument?  If so please make the argument.

I mean in the prior post DonaldD links to a study as if it's making a point.  What is your point?

The study flags that during the Holocene period the Greenland Ice Sheet may be retreating at its fastest rate.  Okay.  But why do you think that is significant?  The Holocene is defined as beginning at the end of the last Ice Age.  So pretty much from about 120k years ago to about 12k years ago (the beginning of the Holocene), Ice was increasing everywhere.  For the last 12k years (generally) it's been melting.  I say generally, because we know that in the last 750 years there was a 550-600 year period of reversal where Greenland re-glaciated (killing off it's early Viking settlers). 

Do you think this current ice trend is clearly proving something bad?  Could it be "proving" that the Medieval cold period (from 1300 to 1850) was itself the aberration and that the Holocene's base temperature (based on what it's been that's forced significant global warming over the past 12,000 years, was always going to be higher than it is now (Holocene's top temperature is lower than other recent warm periods, at least so far)?  In other words, did you prove or disprove whether the current rate is a correction to the trend or a departure from one?  The way I read the charts the Holocene has been acting funny the whole time, the temperature never got as high as it has peaked in the most recent inter-glacials.  Then the Holocene flattened out, which hasn't been the most common pattern, but not totally unusual.  Based on how the charts read (with the precision being unclear), it's entirely possible that the Medieval cold period was "supposed" to be the literal beginning of end of the world as we know it and plunge the Earth back into 120,000 years of new glaciation, or that it was an aberration and the trend line is still in self correction  mode to respond to whatever the primary motivators of deglaciation are (and, unless I've missed something "new" there is zero consensus or even real understanding on what forces the glaciation cycle). 

It seems like it was linked to because it sounded alarming, and expressing a feeling of alarm as an argument seems to be the new norm.  Maybe I'm wrong, please feel free to walk through your theory on our ever changing glaciation cycle and where the Earth is going (it's not going to be static no matter what we do), and tell us why you think feeling alarm over this is relevant to your theory on what's going on.

I feel very similarly on the debate about Hurricanes.  Weather is more complicated than we understand, and you can't assume that, for example, warming water in the Gulf will generate more Hurricanes.  We reached that idea when a warming gulf was an aberration that was measured against a steady state of a cooler climate around it.  Hot and cold cause a storm.  However, if the Gulf is warming, but so is the background around it?  Do you still get an increase in storms?  By what mechanic?  In fact, it may be that if there is global warming, the warming of the Gulf at the same time would reduce the frequency of storms.  So don't just throw out a sound bite, make your case.

General Comments / Re: War on Cops
« on: October 06, 2020, 11:19:55 AM »
Um, based on what I understand are current FBI guidelines, any group even suggesting the illegitimacy of Federal or local law enforcement would be on a terrorism watch list. That is why so-called constitutionalists were on the last version of the domestic terrorist guidelines that I caught sight of. A group outright calling for violence against police? I don't think that's even remotely a stretch to call them a terrorist organization.

A group making that chant is not a terrorist organization.  A group taking steps to implement it or encourage it would be.

Not sure what you mean by "constitutionalists."  The Tea Party, for example, should never have been on a watch list.  If they were, that was a precursor to the life we're now living where federal law enforcement agencies were co-opted to scrutinize the opposition to the DNC.

If you're talking about the heavily armed militias that were "prepping" for the fall of the US?  Maybe, maybe not, depending on whether the organization was planning to "help" the fall along.

Of course two answers may come back:

1) But they aren't an organization!
-This feels like an epic cop-out, since all that means is that guerrilla activity is legitimized, just so long as it's not centrally coordinated?

People have a funny understanding on this (and politically convenient to boot).  Lack of a brick and mortar headquarters does not eliminate something from being an organization.  An organization is any group that shows an ongoing ability to coordinate and organize.  That hurdle has been far exceeded for many of those groups.

But more fundamentally, this is a distinction that exists everywhere.  Iran is not held accountable for acts of war because instead of sending soldiers trained in Iran and funded by Iran in Iranian uniforms to conduct them, they send soldiers trained in Iran and funded by Iran that wear plain clothes.  The whole world has agreed to pretend that Iran is not accountable in the same way for doing that (still accountable, but it's a fight to enforce it and is no where near the impact of what would come down on Iran in the other circumstance).

Same thing is going on here.  Without an "official" organization, the media has no spokesperson to interview, there's no high profile names that can be railed against, and accordingly, the group doesn't exist.  Well it doesn't exist if it supports left wing causes, you'll note they have no problem "finding" "white nationalists" involved in everything under the sun despite not being able to find any actual people to accuse directly on that front either.  Why are white nationalists real and antifa not real?  Just politics.

2) It's just a few people, so what are you going to do, arrest them all?
-I tend to utterly disagree with the talk we hear sometimes (on these boards as well) that if you're anywhere near an agitator then it's your own fault and you should have known better. However that's in the case of a peaceful protest.

If you are involved in a peaceful protest, and you see a violent crime you should call the police and make a statement.  If you don't, but instead interfere "peacefully" with the police's ability to keep order, to make arrests and ultimately to stop the crime, you're not an innocent bystander.  Think about it like an injury at a kid's sporting event, the first thing the other kids are taught to do is to take a knee.  That's not about really about respect, that's to get them out of the way of the people trying to help.  If you're at a protest that is turning violent, and you're not in a position to do something about the violence, you need to take a knee and clear out so that those who have the ability to stop it can do so.

If we're talking about blocking a hospital emergency entrance, then I actually do think that any instance of an obviously dangerous demonstration you're attending, you actually do have an obligation to try to stop it or else to vacate, because you really are aiding and abetting - or at minimum a useful idiot - if the group you're with is doing bad stuff. People chanting "death to cops"? I'd go on record saying that anyone ok to hang out with people saying that has crossed the line and should expect to be arrested from time to time.

Think how evil that chant is.  It's not about holding guilty or bad cops to account, its about criminalizing an entire class of people with an "original sin" of being a police officer.  It's literally about casting as negative a profession whose entire existence is to enforce the laws that we - as a democracy - have agreed apply.  What the heck?  I guaranty that if the people who are chanting that get power, they will not tolerate any dissent from the laws they put in place.  You think police are bad?  Wait and see how bad it's going to get when the left installs Soviet style political police.

And before you say, we have not criminalized an entire class of people no matter what BLM tells you.  It's not the "same" thing, it's not even a close thing.

General Comments / Re: War on Cops
« on: October 06, 2020, 10:59:32 AM »
If they were blocking access to the hospital, then the police would have absolutely had reason to move them away or arrest them if they refused to move after being given appropriate warning.

No.  Why would any functional human being need to be given "appropriate warning" not to block access to a hospital?  Have you really gone so far past zero that you'd think blocking a hospital is an event that would ever be okay?

I have little patience for those that illegally block interstates and major roads, but blocking emergency services is never okay.

They should be immediately arrested and charged (and actually tried).  I find it beyond absurd that people claim they are all about justice, and yet are completely on board with the new practice of local Democratic prosecutors not charging actual crimes committed by those with whom they agree politically.  I mean the same person that thinks Barr is "Trump's lawyer" because Barr follows the law, sees nothing wrong with the NY AG announcing they are going to investigate Trump's whole family till they find something illegal, and with other Democratic prosecutors refusing to prosecute "non-violent" felonies that occur during Democratic political riots. 

There's a reason Justice is blind, and its because what the eyes open crowd advocates isn't Justice, it's just witch trials with a new gloss.

As for those who had not blocked access, but who had "chanted support support for killing cops", are you suggesting those "animals need to be arrested and punished" as well?

Nah, they got every right to say that.  How about you get off your rear and put that cancel culture to a valid use and cancel them?

General Comments / Ruth Bader Ginsberg
« on: September 18, 2020, 07:50:21 PM »
I can't imagine anything this country needed less than Ruth Ginsberg passing away right now, but NPR is saying it's happened.

Rest in peace.

General Comments / Re: read any good books lately?
« on: September 17, 2020, 02:45:05 PM »
There were quite a few books and series on the list I didn't comment on - even though I read them - for one reason or another (e.g., WOT - loved them despite their problems, Fire and Ice - too many characters and unconcluded, Elric - very confusing for a novice reader, Foundation - good but the style is older Sci-Fi, LofTRs - everyone already has an opinion, Dune - really a mixed bag about future evolution), but Thomas Covenant I didn't comment on because I could never get into it.  I don't mind dark heroes or anti-heroes, but it's hard to read about "heroes" that are have so few redeeming qualities.  You can like a hero that's 3/4's evil, but its hard to like a whiner.

One series that isn't on the list (its post 2001 when the list was compiled) in the series Wen Spencer wrote that started with Tinker.  It had an interesting premise (an experiment causes the entire city of Pittsburgh to be shifted (and shifted back and forth) to a world of magic.  It's a mature kind of look at it that looks at the impact on the human residents of Pittsburgh that stayed and the interactions with both worlds and the races that already lived there.

General Comments / Re: read any good books lately?
« on: September 17, 2020, 11:21:24 AM »
I've been working my way through the 236 books and series in NPR's Science Fiction and Fanstasy Finalist List for the last couple of years.  I had already read a bit over a third of them, and the ones I've gotten through so far have all been pretty good, except for one or two exceptions.

Fun list, mostly stuff I do like to read.  Though it definitely includes some books that aren't strongly written if that matters to you. 

The Belgariad, loved this as a kid, and still re-read it occasionally, but the main characters are always just better at everything than the other side.

The Black Company Series, great, great series.  Lots of grit and fair bit of moral complexity.  Really plays on who's a good guy, who's a bad guy and whether that's just a matter of perspective.

Bridge Of Birds, by Barry Hughart.  There's actually 3 books in this series.  They were fun, probably couldn't be written today.  As I understand it, he patterned his stories very loosely on Chinese myths but completely made up his own version of an alternate historical China.  Very well done, but I think he just quit writing after he did the three.

The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny.  The first series of five books is amazing.  Very 70s dated, but amazing.  The second series isn't quite as good, and the stuff written after his death is terrible (no wonder he specifically never wanted anyone else to write in the universe).  The universe he created though is very fun.

The Deed of Paksennarion Trilogy, still think if you're a D&D player this should be required reading before you play a certain LG character type.

Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey.  Most of what she wrote is written simply with strong stories, and I'd almost classify them as young adult these days.  This one is the first in a long number of stories set on Pern.  Very fun read, this one in particular has some elements that would have been controversial when it was written (though they are implied), but now would be fairly tame.

The Hollows Series, by Kim Harrison, the early books in this series are rich and strongly written - Great Stories.  I think the later books are less so, but you'll keep reading them to see what happens and they're still good enough to enjoy (didn't like the final one though).

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.  This was all the rage a few years back.  Strongly written, interesting story that seemed unique to me.  If you avoid fantasy because it's not literature (which no one on this board should be doing, but you may have a friend) you may find this one a good one.

The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore.  Not sure if this is referring to a part of the series, or to his entire work that covers these characters.  Some of these are terribly written (look at the IceWind Dale Trilogy with a critical eye, which is unfortunate because they are the first in order), but the stories are terrifically fun, and the characters are Iconic.  Of course, they are all set in the D&D Forgotten Realms world.

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.  I read this after I started watching the television series of the same name (probably better to do it in this order, they are very different and less angst in enjoying the "alternative" version in the book).  Pretty good stories with a bunch of unique elements.  Often billed as an adult version of Harry Potter, which isn't remotely fair, all it really has in common is that magicians have a  school for learning magic.

On Basilisk Station, by David Weber.  This is book one in the "Honorverse," series of space operas patterned as an in space version of the Horatio Hornblower age of sail novels.  Most of the early ones are really good.  However, the series is like 25+ books and some of the later ones suffer from trying to cover way too many side stories (sometimes they miss covering the main story).  Even still probably read through all of them 4-5 times (not atypical for me to have done so with a series I enjoy).

The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks.  Read these as a kid, and never realized that he still hasn't stopped writing in the Shannara world.  He's scattered those books from our modern time through the far future of the times in the Shannara Trilogy.  Some parts are stronger than others, and I suspect many will find the ever changing "rules" of how magic/science/power are invoked and how evil and good work confusing.  You also have to be able to tolerate the time scale where even beloved characters are going to be shown to be creating non-permanent solutions on a scale of thousands of years.

The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind.  Strong book fun read.  But also book one of a lengthy series of books.  The good news is you can read this one and the story ends put it down and keep it "done" in your head.  If you keep going, then every time a "conclusion" occurs the very next book unwinds it in the first few chapters to create a new and worse problem.  You also have to be able to tolerate the dark side of war and abuse, lots of graphic scenes.  And if you can tolerate all of that, then you'll have to be prepared for some of the later books being political screeds, with the characters sometimes lecturing the reader (and other characters) through literal speeches putting out the author's political views.

The Uplift Saga, by David Brin.  If you haven't read at least Startide Rising and the Uplift War I highly recommend doing so.  The book before and the books that follow are not as strong in my view.

The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony.  Has anyone actually finished these?  I've tried a few times, but I've found that after the first 6 books of the first "trilogy" (which has 9 books), the stories go down hill a bit.  There are still flashes of great stuff in every book (at least as far as I've read).  I recently read through book 25 (Swell Foop, which was written in 2001, and he's published through book 44 released this year).   He's very fixated on juvenile sexual innuendo (both in the quality of the references and in the age of some of the characters), which is a bit off-putting.  I think he's gotten away with it mostly because it's innuendo and the books are heavily on the comic side of comic fantasy (in reality some parts are little more than vehicles to write out a pun) and the references can been seen as humor.

Terry Pratchett--Going Postal and especially Small Gods.  (When a storm gets so bad than even Death hides out with you, you know it's bad! :) )

Not sure how a new reader would approach the Disk World books.  It appears like an enormously long series, but really it's a group of smaller lightly related series set in the same world.  The biggest advantage to reading them all is catching the cameos.  If you start at the beginning, you'll get a false picture, the first 2 are more serious than the rest of series becomes.  I think my favorite groups are the Witches books, and the Night Watch books, but there are lots of other good ones (the various books related to Death as a character, as well as, what seem to be stand alone - like the very good Small Gods mentioned above).

It's interesting that none of the modern fantasy related to vampires (Twilight, Sookie StackHouse stuff) is on the list.  Not worse than some of the other inclusions on an objective basis - is it out of category?

General Comments / Re: Plastic recycling a lie?
« on: September 14, 2020, 11:50:05 AM »
China stopped "accepting" it and pretty much never sorted it or recycled it.  What a scam. But this runs into the biggest problem in fixing anything, you have ask people to give up convenience.  Instead they'll look for anything possible to punish someone else, or make impossible demands on someone else, but will continue to justify their own person uses.

I find it very interesting that they label as a problem that there are so many different kinds of plastic.  Couldn't this be fixed (in very large part) by mandating exactly which plastics are permitted to be used on consumer products?  Do we really need different color bottles?  Or so many different kinds of plastic cartons?

General Comments / Re: Militia in the streets
« on: September 02, 2020, 07:50:49 PM »
Are their any laws about allowing "Militia" in the streets

Yes, you can see the Constitutional rights related to bearing arms, free assembly and ultimately to self defense.

Who here is in favor of condoning such a thing as Militia on the streets?

No one.  We empowered the government to create police departments and passed laws criminalizing certain conduct for a reason.

The problem is that when the government abdicates its responsibility to enforce those laws, which is unarguably what the Democrats endorse, it leaves the citizens no choice but to re-assume the burdens that government was formed to take off their hands.  The Democrats are breaching the social contract by refusing to prosecute violations of law.

Does it depend if they are a white or black militia

Not in the least.  Black militias are just as welcome to protect against violations of the laws of the country.  They are not however any more welcome to decide to violate the laws in pursuit of higher goals than white militias would be.

All people, black and white, are entitled to self defense.  When defending others all people are subject to the risk that they will be acting wrongfully and be liable to prosecution.

What should the minimum age of participants in a militia be?

Don't even understand this question.  What is the minimum age to participate in self defense?  Are children allowed to kill attempted rapists if they can?

What kind of training should they have?

Self defense doesn't require training.  If you want trained law enforcement, we have this group called "police" that could be enforcing our laws instead.

How do you hold the Militia accountable?

Same way you hold anyone else accountable.  Self defense is a right, defense of others entails a certain amount of risk at law.

Does it matter if Militia come from outer state?

Not really.  Fighting anarchy is the responsibility of all citizens.

How the crap are Militia considered LAW and ORDER????

Not sure why you think they are.  Militia is only involved because order has broken down and laws are being violated in ways that threaten the very principles upon which our Constitutional order is based.

Law and order would be the police arresting rioters, arsonists and violence committing protestors, prosecutors filing the applicable charges and courts putting them in jail.  Which is exactly what the local Democratic governments have abdicated with orders to defund the police, force them to let the rioters and looters proceed unchecked and removing any requirements for bail.  Its exactly what the activist prosecutors have been put in place to do, and have done by announcing they will not press or even file charges against criminals arrested in connection with riots unless they were involved in direct violence (which they make no evidence to determine).

Don't whine about a break down in Law and Order when you support exactly the conduct that refuses to apply that law and order.  What did you expect that no one would respond just because the Democrats are able to put in power a handful of elites who refuse to do their duty?

What we also see are witches being burned, Tutsis being macheted, blacks being lynched, and the list goes on.

Really?  Where did you see a witch being burned?  Show where you've seen blacks being lynched.  You're lying, you have not seen any of that.  Reading in a history book about witches being burned has NOTHING to do with modern justice or lack there of.  The results of blacks being lynched was decades of justice reform, civil rights improvement and massive amounts of protective laws being put in place.  All of which is being undermined by these actions today.

You are bearing false witness.

As an aside, driving 30 miles from out of state in order to carry a gun while putting themselves in the middle of a protest in someone else's city can in no way be characterized as "defending themselves".

Really, and is driving to a protest for black lives then somehow also false if you're doing it in another community?  What makes defending racial justice as a roving partisan different than defending constitutional principles?

Fact is, the damage that the left is doing to the country is nationwide even though the burning, looting and crime are currently localized.  It's every citizens problem when the local government chooses to let mobs violate the rights of its own citizens in pursuit of their own partisan political advantage.

Wielding a gun to protect somebody else's used car dealership - how does that work, anyway?

Same way as defending it with fists I'd imagine.  Nothing about having a gun for self defense is out of the ordinary in that context.

I note, you didn't choose to respond to the NY Times link.  It looks in that article like the first shots they can identify are coming from someone other than the kid, who fires after he hears shots and is being charged.  According to the link in the second event they heard 16 shots (far more than the kid fired) and one of the people he shot had a pistol in hand.

What about going to a protest means you should be carrying a gun?  really nothing.  Going to a planned riot and session of wanton criminality on the other hand, sure does.

What if those evil hoodlums don't stop smashing the cars when you tell them to?

I take it then that smashing cars doesn't justify shooting them to you.  What if they were beating a man with a baseball bat?  Okay then?  What if they are throwing incendiary devices at police officers?  Okay then?  What if say, they're deciding to rape a woman in the middle of the day on a subway platform?  Okay then?

If you can't understand why a situation where people feel entitled to smash and burn cars needs to end, then you're not really advocating for anything but anarchy.  The rule of anarchy is always defend yourself.  Militias are doing exactly that, even when they travel, by trying to stem the sense that there is no consequence to such abusive behavior by looters and rioters.

What if they don't stop when you aim your guns at them?  Do you shoot the for rioters not listening to armed, self-appointed militia telling them what to do?

No, they get shot for engaging in violent anarchy in direct violation of our laws.  They get shot because complicit politicians seeking partisan advantage refuse to do their sworn duty and enforce the laws - laws that have been there in some cases for our entire history and that no rationale person thinks are the wrong laws, or even in any way racist.  They get shot for being personally culpable in creating a system that is ruled by anarchy and the might makes right precepts of anarchy.  We had a system based on justice, these individuals are facing the consequences of breaking the social constructs that protect them.  They get shot because they'd rather be shot than accept that the police should be enforcing the laws.

The whole situation is created by people who don't believe in the responsibilities of citizenship while they abuse its privileges.

Now what are you going to do when the anarchy stretches into your house and the houses of your friends and family?  I somehow don't believe you're going to roll over and let them do what ever they want to you and yours, but you're perfectly content if they're doing it to someone else.

General Comments / Re: Official Party Platforms
« on: August 24, 2020, 11:27:37 PM »

Not hard to find. All concrete proposals.

I'm stunned that you labelled any of them concrete proposals.  Other than the stance on immigration, which is effectively reversing anything that slows down illegal immigration or actually tries to enforce our laws in good faith, almost everything is a collection of buzz words and impossible to realize promises.

As just one clear example:

Transit: Provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options through flexible federal investments with strong labor protections that create good, union jobs and meet the needs of these cities – ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines to installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.

First of all, Biden uses "high-quality" about 10 thousand times, to describe everything that appears anywhere in his proposals.  He also throws zero-emissions into every  single proposal.  I mean my favorite on that front is this one:

Many farmers are some of the best stewards of our land, air, and water. The government needs to partner with them to accelerate progress toward net-zero emissions. As president, Biden will ensure our agricultural sector is the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and that our farmers earn income as we meet this milestone.

Has anyone told Biden (maybe one of his scientific advisers that he references a thousand times, but never by name) that its more likely than not impossible to achieve zero emissions farming?  Even vegetable only farming doesn't get there, and certainly not when you account for harvest, transit and fertilzer.  Animals?  not unless he's going to use those land grant university research funds he's promising to get fartless cattle.  He can only mean "net zero" by buying credits or some other fake accounting trick.  How's he going to increase their costs (which is 100% the result of his proposals), limit their techiques, require they pay for carbon offsets and help them generate income?  Sure as heck isn't going to be by letting them raise their prices, as that rational policy is anathema to everyone in government that relies on the bread and circuses technique.  Really only one thing he can mean, a return to massive farm subsidies where, once again, we pay farmers to grow crops (or not grow crops) that we don't need, that we then force others to find uses for (hello big fat Americans raised on a diet of high fructose corn syrup to help soak up the government subsidized corn we grow).

How's he achieving zero emissions in transit, with improvements "ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines to installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists"?   Rails, transit and busing all have emissions, with the only arguable "savings" coming from reducing car traffic, but if we're all headed to electric cars there isn't any savings there.  But it gets worse, cause even if you posit all electric mass transit, and ignore the environmental costs of laying tracks - and completely ignore that the most effective mass transit systems in the country have been virtually shut down for over six months because of pandemic that calls to question whether we can ever responsibly use such forms of transit again (which by the way will really hurt the Biden "leadership" on Covid that we all missed while he was hiding in the basement and criticizing Trump acting early, but that his website proudly proclaims) - you still have to generate the electricity.  You may have notice CA's green outs.  Turns out that the central planners in the great socialist state of CA failed to account for the fact that power needs last after dark until late evening, and that solar power drops off a cliff when it gets dark, which means buying fossil fuel power from whoever happens to be running a dirty plant out of state that can pick up the capacity.

And because the Dems have totally screwed over their union allies in about a thousand ways, he references "good" or usually "good paying" union jobs in every single "proposal."  Note that he's creating these "good paying" union jobs with a economic plan that will revitalize our economy, by "mobilizing" small businesses.  Umm... small business and big union contracts, not exactly peanut butter in jelly.   In fact, small businesses are the exact kind that have NEVER been able to survive the heavy union overlay he's proposing, not to mention not being able to afford the 12 weeks paid sick leave he's proposing (yep 3 months apparently out of a year),  the mandatory increase in wages, and, oh yeah, the criminal charges they could face if they argue too hard against unionization (hey, you know freedom is overrated anyway).  But just in case we're confused, he only means "the right kind" of unions, as he makes crystal clear when he promises to send massive amounts of immediate cash aid to local governments to support their good paying union jobs for educators and fire fighters (ever since 9/11!  Go go pretend patriotism call out), but not the police unions (which he leaves out repeatedly). 

And why cities over 100k?  Surely for you post office fanatics you don't think it's okay to leave the under-served rural areas free from the benefits of green transit options.  Wouldn't that help to citify them if they could get into the nearest cities on cheap (ie heavily subsidized) green trains and buses?  Oh yeah but there's a reason for that call out.  There's like 320 cities of that size in the US and 75 are in CA and virtually all of them are blue even if they're in red states.  Nothing like targeted pork for the base.

I mean Biden's promising to raise taxes on virtually everyone, but especially on scary "corporations" and the rich, but don't look behind the curtain on the SALT tax deductions, which will come back with a vengeance even thought they pretty much only benefit the 1%ers.  But hey, they're Blue State 1%'ers so you know they get the 99%'er-pass by association.

And got to love his "motto" "Build Back Better."  Lol, just like "Make America Great Again" except, you know better, cause he'll add in millions of pages of new regulations with severe consequences to make sure that none of you ever make the mistake of thinking you could possible manage any aspect of your own life better than faceless federal bureaucrats against whom you have no recourse and for which you have no appeal (oh unless you happen to be connected to a DNC politicians, and then again you get the DNC-pass and those rules clearly don't apply to you).

General Comments / Re: The Squad
« on: August 14, 2020, 03:15:10 PM »
Oh sure, we all know about gerrymandering and safe districts.   Those aren't extreme, they are common.

Apparently you don't.  Gerrymandering to create minority representation to satisfy the voting rights act is not the same thing as gerrymandering to create safe districts.  It's not common, but it's not extreme.

That has nothing to do with the fact that the composition of these four districts is in fact extreme.  There are plenty of Republican districts that are just as extreme, that you could list a dozen positions that are decidedly mainstream and popular there and with their reps.  None of that would make those districts "mainstream" either.

And being a Democrat isn't extreme. You could find many such districts dominated by even the progressive wing of the party (whisper... what used to be the crazy Bernie progressive ideas are now mainstream, not extreme).

I didn't say that being a Democrat is extreme.  I said these districts are extreme even for Democrats.  And any district that hasn't switch parties for 30 or more years is pretty much as a factual matter demonstrably off the mainstream.

Regardless of how many policies people have really thought through, that they are wrong about, or that they support in name only - none of that bears on whether such ideas are extreme.

The lack of ideological diversity really does speak to the lack of being in the mainstream.  You seem to be confusing "mainstream Democratic" with "mainstream" and ignoring that these districts are to the left of mainstream democratic.

Decriminalizing drugs would reduce the number of people who have difficulty finding employment because of a nonviolent drug offense. A majority (55%) of Americans favor recategorizing drug offenses from felonies to civil offenses so that the offenses would be treated as minor traffic violations rather than crimes.

This is where AOC sits, not Heroin For All, wherever you got that from.

Exactly what I said, decriminalizing addicts, not drugs.

General Comments / Re: The Squad
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:39:53 PM »
I think Lambert has a skewed idea of "extreme" unless he means "extremely different than what I think".

I did a big researched response to this the other day, but I forgot to post it.  The long and short is that Lambert is correct about these districts being atypical.  3 of the 4 are tiny districts wholly comprised of neighborhoods in a major city, the fourth (Pressley's) is slightly bigger in that it covers parts of Boston and parts of its sub-urb communities (like Cambridge).  AOC's was the one of the four most recently held by a Republican and that was in the early 90's (30 years back) and only then because AOC's district included different neighborhoods, for the other 3 you have to go back further or even WAY further to find the last time they weren't held by a Democrat (you have to go back 60 years for Omar's district, 70 years for  Tlaib's, and 98 years for Pressley's to find their last Republican representative).  They are the exact essence of "safe" Democratic districts with no diversity of political thought (they range from Progressive/Liberal to ultra Progressive/Socialist).   These are districts whose sense of leftist outrage and sense of unfairness in government is the direct result of decades, or even a century of being managed by Democrats.

Pressley's, at least, is openly the result of race based gerrymandering designed to increase minority representation in Congress - the only kind of race based gerrymandering allowed (and in fact it's required) under the voting rights laws.

There's nothing wrong with such districts existing, but they are not remotely mainstream.  They are fringe districts of highly concentrated voters with little to no diversity of political thought or ideas on how to accomplish things.

69% of voters support medicare for all

As a pie in the sky philosophy.  But only because they've been lied to about what it means.  They believe they will keep their private insurance and medicare "for all" is really for other people.

Majority opposes it when you make clear they would lose their current insurance.  Majority opposes it when you make it clear they have to pay for it (you can "flip" this result if you lie and claim their combined tax and premium load will be lower and they will get the same services).  Majority opposes it if you explain that it requires delays in testing or procedures (which all such systems include).

But sure, if you lie about what it is, you can get majority support for a "sounds nice" version.

67% support a $15 minimum wage

But have no qualms about not paying it to their babysitters and domestic help.  This one reflects a poor understanding of economics for the most part and falls apart when you explore specific cases.

85% support mandatory paid sick leave

Which is also supported by the Republican's and the Trump White House.  No one accepts that there don't need to be exceptions to certain employers being responsible for paid sick leave and there's not yet a majority of even democrats that are willing to put the state and federal government on the hook to make up the difference. 

As yourself, assuming you live in a progressive community, how many of you neighbors pay their baby sitter when the sitter is sick and can't take care of their kids?  How many will pay a contractor who can't show up on the job?

51% think that police are too militarized

Which is true, but is largely a bunch of buzzwords in their mind.  You can find larger margins that think the police take too long to respond, that the police should "do something" about violent crime, or for any number of things that involve violence by the police.

55% support decriminalizing drugs

I think this is a misstatement on your part.  Support to decriminalize addicts is not the same as support to decriminalize drugs, and I'm not aware that there is a majority supporting decriminalizing any drug other than possibly marijuana.  Or do you think there's 55% support to allow Herion sales?

77% support campaign finance reform and limits on campaign spending

Might as well make this 100%.  Even politicians and deep partisans "support" this, they just really support doing it in ways that impair their political opponents and not themselves.

Problem is that this is practically the test case for a situation where every solution is at least as bad as the problem, which means that claiming that any member of the squad is on the same side as the majority here is pretty much a lie.  The Squad supports hurting Republicans and helping themselves, they don't support real reform that doesn't benefit their own side disproportionately. They are literally as much of the problem as every other politician.

70% support 100% renewable energy in the near future

Might as well say 100%.  This is nothing but support of an aspiration.  That number drops below 10% rapidly, when you try to get them to pay electric bills that bear the unsubsidized costs of that 100% renewable power and give them options on which provider to select.   Let their power go into brown out mode because renewables don't - yet - provide consistent power flow when needed and you get riots.

Again, it's easy to get broad support for broad aspirations.  What percentage of people have supported the space program?  Or think we need to put a person on Mars?   It's really high, until you ask them if they support redirecting $2 trillion out of the budget to fund it.  Because reality is "supporting" an aspiration costs nothing about makes someone feel good.  We're all pro-recycling, but when you ask homeowners to do multi-stream recycling and separate different kinds of plastic compliance drops through the floor.  Because support is really just barely more than zero costs.

The only item on her platform that I could find that didn't have widespread national support would be this.

That was behind a pay wall.  I did look at her platform on her Congressional site, and there's a good bit on there that is not subject to broad support, particularly when you explain how it would be implemented. 

I mean look at masks.  There's too much politicization on this point, but there should be broad support for wearing masks.  You can see it in some other countries.  Will that mean there is broad support for Federal marshals (ie, federal storm troopers as the Dem's like to refer to them) showing up in every local community and arresting people who are not wearing them?  We already know the answer - it'll be political - if Trump sends them it's storm troopers and they'll be met with violence by radical leftist protestors.  If Biden sends them it will be a "common sense" necessity that doesn't violate anyone's rights even if they have to kill people on the right and bust their heads to enforce it.

I'm not sure you could call that extreme, though it is unpopular. So I hate to break it to you, wm, but these are mainstream views. There's nothing magical about the districts.

There's nothing "magical" about a district, but it's absolutely false to claim these are not extreme districts - they are that's just not magic.  Whether aspirations are main stream has zero to do with whether a persons policies to achieve those aspirations are main stream.  The Squad's policies are way off the scale on how they do everything, they are not mainstream.  Given the current state of mis-education in this country it's certainly possible that they will become mainstream.

Why are Republicans (and conservatives) so hell bent on privatizing the Postal Service?

They aren't.  Privatization is an option, but so is reform.

A better question to me, is why do you ignore the significant problems that the government has imposed on the post office and the significant changes in reality in your question? 

First class mail is down 50% since 2001. Total mail carried is also down dramatically.  With less mail carried revenue goes down, when you add in that the mix of mail increasingly favors "discount" mail - advertisements, the impact is dramatic.

Meanwhile, delivery locations have increased in the same time period.  That means more stops, more routes, more over head, to carry less mail of less value.

Meanwhile, Congress prohibits increasing charges to match costs, Congress mandates that the Post office fund its own pension obligations (despite the post office losing money).  And to make it worse, Congress imposed arbitrary funding targets and absolutely prohibits the Post office from investing those funds in anything other than obligations of the US government.  Being forced to put large piles of assets into underperforming assets, means that obligations increase at a faster rate than savings increase.

Meanwhile, other delivery services have increased freight, increased locations and increased profits.  Hmm...

Meanwhile, more and more communication is carried over purely electronic means, including the ability to send and scan actual documents and to fill all traditional functions of post online.

What exactly about this picture makes sense to you?

I mean it is one of the few actual agencies authorized by the Constitution?

Bet you can't find any of the mandates that make it absolutely unworkable in the Constitution.

You would think they would be in favor of it since it is in the original document. Instead they say it should pay for itself? Why? It is a service supplied by the Federal Government, one of the few that the Founding Fathers actually wanted.

Here's what the Constitution orders:  "The Congress shall have Power...... To establish Post Offices and post Roads"

That's it on the Post office.  It doesn't require that Congress establish any set amount of post offices, or that they do what they've done and establish and operate post offices in excessively remote areas.  It doesn't order them to pay for the operation of the post offices in any specific manner (it was assumed that  the service would be profitably run - the idea of subsidizing a money loser would have shocked the conscious).

What part of that Constitutional provision would anything the "Republicans" have called for violate?  Answer, none.

Now point to where it says anything about operating the post offices at a loss, or subsidizing them, or requiring the post offices fund their employees retirement and mandating that they can only invest in terrible investments that just so happen to fund Congress's ability to provide pork without raising taxes. 

And now Trump is doing what I feel is an impeachable offense over not funding it so that we can have an honest election at a time of pandemic, just because he knows it will hurt his chances? Any one want to defend his actions?

Yes.  Nothing about not funding the post office impairs an honest election.  In fact, refusing to support the Dem's attempt to increase fraud in the election is the opposite of what you claim.

What should be impeachable is every Democrat that's calling for sending unrequested ballots out in a manner that's designed to allow their agents to maximize fraud in the election.

But unfortunately for both of us, none of these policy provisions are high crimes or misdemeanors.  The election fraud that Dem operatives will engage in are generally felonies, but we all know that even if they get caught, which is designed to be virtually impossible in this set up, they won't face charges.  Seems so 1984 to me that you support wide spread fraud in voting as some kind of "honest elections" policy.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 07:13:19 PM »
The question isn't about motivation, it's about whether she is right. If I'm mad at my neighbor because his dog poops in my yard, it doesn't make me wrong to report them doing something illegal even if I might let it pass otherwise. Did you think that various inquiries into the Clinton Foundation were pure of heart and not politically motivated?

Now if you're mad about your neighbor's dog and you task a prosecutor's office to investigate their business, their taxes, their property records and their phone calls and then you prosecute them based on a criminal law that hasn't been enforced routinely because it turns out that their tool shed illegally encroaches on a protected wet lands, even though they didn't build it (the prior owner did), and your office then bankrupts them in legal defense costs for a charge that ultimately gets thrown out.  Then you'd be talking about the same kind of abuse as Jones is routinely wielding.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 07:07:55 PM »
Umm... wow.  You guys may know I routinely limit searches by date ranges to pull things from Google that are free from a pro- or anti-Trump bias.

Out of curiosity, I searched, "Letitia James cases against charities" time limited from Jan 1, 2010 through Dec 31, 2016.  I figured I may get some Trump charity overlap, but I wanted to see if she had a history of going after charities generally.  Now she's not been the AG that long, but I didn't know her history, so I thought maybe she was previously a prosecutor of some kind (turns out she wasn't).

Here's the disturbing part.  That search turned up over 10 pages of articles, the vast majority of which directly relate to the NRA case just filed, but showing search dates from years ago.  The articles are current if you follow the links, but the search dates have clearly been backdated. 

Here's one example:

New York Attorney General Moves to Dissolve NRA - news ... › player › category › news › article

Oct 16, 2014 - In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, Attorney General Letitia James claims that top NRA executives used charitable funds for personal gain, among other offenses.

This one may be my favorite:

MSNBC - On the New York AG filing a lawsuit against the ... › msnbc › posts

Oct 22, 2011 - New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday against the National Rifle Association seeking to dissolve the gun rights advocacy group and accusing top executives of "years of illegal self-dealings" that funded a "lavish lifestyle."

In any event, this is 100% political.  If it were not, she'd go after the executives directly not the charity.   By seeking to dissolve the charity she's trying to force it to waste is charitable assets immediately prior to the election on an expensive legal suit.

Again, this should be a no brainer for anyone with any sense of civil liberties or civil rights.  The remedy sought is completely out of line with the harm alleged and there is zero chance it would be pursued against someone that is not her political opponent.  Who are we kidding, her office has ignored bigger charitable crimes that are on her side, and spent an inordinate amount on a politically motivated investigation.  That seems to be the specialty of the NY AGs.

Hope everyone likes this tactic as much when the right copies it in the future.

I'm struck again about the "bad apple" versus "bad org" argument. When somebody at ACORN royally screws up, its evidence of widespread conspiracy. When a cop screws up, its one bad guy. When somebody gets caught farming 30 votes, its evidence of a plot to destroy democracy. When someone in the NRA is unethical or lawbreaking, its a freak occurrence. If instead it had been the Clinton Foundation, then HEADS MUST ROLL!

ACORN's purposes and methods were illegal.  If you believe Jones, the NRA was a victim of out of control executives.

When someone get's caught farming votes it's evidence that your meme "there's no real election fraud" is a lie.   We don't have any real ability to detect fraud, which is something the Democrats are counting on with this strategy.  The fact that we detect it all with a secret ballot and poor voter ID laws is more likely evidence that it's endemnic than that it never occurs. 

The Clinton Foundation was involved in far bigger illegal activities.  They'd never survive the kind of scrutiny the NY AG applied to the NRA (without much of a basis), but lucky for the Clinton Foundation, it's on the blue team and will never be investigated in such a manner no matter what evidence appears.

We no longer have a system of justice that applies to both sides evenly.  The left has weaponized prosecutors offices, correctly identifying that their discretion is unreviewable - no matter how egregiously applied.  They are free to release rioters no matter how legitimate the charges, not prosecute crimes solely for political reasons, and investigate their enemies and subject them to abuse, which they are routinely doing.  Lawfare at its grossest.  Like I told you when Obama was establishing the executive authority precedents, you may not like how the next guy uses them (and that was a massive understatement of a prediction), this too is a change that all of you personally are going to live to regret.

General Comments / Re: General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 30, 2020, 04:47:51 PM »
So some of the many attacks and lies that were leveled, rather than seeking answers:

From Jerry Nadler – in his opening statement.  There are so many lies per minute it’s impossible to catch them all, yet here’s a massive and partial list from just that 10 minute slice of the five hour hearing:

Your tenure has been marked by a persistent war against the department’s professional core in an apparent attempt to secure favors for the president. Others have lost sight of the importance of civil rights laws, but now we see the full force of the federal government brought to bear against citizens demonstrating for the advancement of their own civil rights.

Every part of that statement was false.  Nothing attacking the “professional core” just exposing their manipulation in politics and conduct that should result in criminal charges.  Nadler endorsing corruption of the “professional core” and denouncing exposing it is blatant corruption and propaganda.  Not one statement from the DOJ or Barr supports any kind of abandonment of civil rights laws.  And the full force of government hasn’t be brought against any citizens, the limited force of arresting those violating federal law hasn’t even been brought against all those violating federal law, just those for whom they have an airtight case.

here is no precedent for the Department of Justice to actively seek out conflict with American citizens under such flimsy pretext or for such petty purposes.

Nor does Nadler have any evidence suggesting that the DOJ is seeking any conflict.  Congress obligated the federal government to protect federal property.  Congress created the laws that are violated by destruction of federal property.  Nadler and his party are openly supporting violent rioters and anarchists in their war against federal property.  Every single precedent in our history in respect of open insurrection and sedition is far more violent and oppressive than the exceedingly limited current federal response.

We are coming to grips with a civil rights struggle long swept under the rug, if not outright ignored, by our government.

That is quite true, yet not one word for the state and local governments that have been applying the police power in that manner?  It’s Democrat controlled cities and police departments that head every list of oppressive police departments.  Is Nadler serious about civil rights, or only serious about criticizing for political gains?

We are as a nation witnessing the federal government turn violently on its own people.

Flat lie.  We are witnessing one of the single most measured responses in history to anarchists destroying American property and lives.  The amount of deaths, injuries and sexual assaults is rising on the backend of everyone of these protests.  Police officers have been shot, murdered and assaulted with deadly weapons.

What we are really witnessing, is the Democrats in federal government openly supporting an insurrection and lying about the situation in a naked grab for power.

And although responsibility for the government’s failure to protect the health, safety and constitutional rights of the American people belongs squarely to President Trump, he could not have done this alone.

Really?  He did this how.  The laws are those passed by Congress, the actions have been measured by even the contours of what the laws allow.  Every part of the violation of constitional rights, health and safety in those communities can be laid at the feet of the Democratic local officials and their persistent inability to create just application of law or at the feet of the violent protestors, rioters and looters that have actually violated those rights.  Nadler seemingly believes the feds going there is attack of storm troopers but that its also President Trump’s fault for not stopping the riots.

He needed help and after he finished utterly humiliating his first attorney general, he found you.

This one’s petty, but Sessions humiliated himself.  He let dirty cops convince him to give them control over the only investigation of their  own dirty acts.

First, under your leadership, the department has endangered Americans and violated their constitutional rights by flooding federal law enforcement into the streets of American cities against the wishes of the state and local leaders of those cities to forcefully and unconstitutionally suppress dissent.

Open propaganda.  The lack of any enforcement of the laws in Portland and other leftist cities has endangered Americans – and in fact has lead to increased violent crimes, massive destruction of property and looting.  “Flooding” apparently means sending less that 50 people to defend a courthouse against crowds of hundreds or thousands of anarchists.  Not in any real world.  Just in the world of a compliant media with market tested messaging. 

Flooding is an explicit lie.  If Barr said it in his response he could be brought up on lying to Congress charges.

In any event, enforcing federal law – even if done by actually flooding the streets with agents – is not a violation of anyone’s Constitutional rights.  That a senior member of Congress would not know this is unbelievable (in fact don’t believe it, its just another lie).

“To forcefully and unconstitutionally suppress dissent” is a pernicious lie.  And you on the left are complicit in it if you don’t challenge it.  The only people in Portland whose dissent is being suppressed are those that dissent from the mob.  They can be murdered with impunity, assaulted with impunity, doxed, have their family and friends attacked.  Nadler knows all this.  He wants all this.  He’s a fascist and so is everyone that supports this.

Second, at your direction, department officials have downplayed the effects of systemic racism and abandoned the victims of police brutality, refused to hold abusive police departments accountable for their actions, and expressed open hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement.

None of this is spoken with a strong regard for the truth.  Systemic racism is a concept that could have a meaning, but as it’s used today is just a lie.  It’s a way to claim racism without being able to demonstrate any way in which that racism is effected.  Barr pointed that out later in his responses, and specifically asked to be directed to the racism they are ignoring. 

And I love the charge that they “refused to hold abusive police departments accountable,” charge.  All those departments directly controlled by the Democrats, in many cases for decades that are abusive, that the federal government is going to “hold accountable.”  By what, sending the federal stormtroopers  “against the wishes of the state and local leaders of those cities” to interfere?  Is there any world where Trump inserts federal troops into state and local policing situations that Nadler would support.  Of course not.  He’s talking about consent decrees (which are a violation of the Constitution as they’ve been used, but fat chance the  Roberts court does anything about them) and as we all know are only “acceptable” if a Democrat President enters into them.  No word from Nadler how he reconciles that all the crimes committed by the police are a matter of state law (again almost always controlled by member of his party).

Third, in coordination with the White House, the department has spread disinformation about voter fraud, failed to enforce voting rights laws, and attempted to change the census rules to flaunt the plain text of the Constitution, and even defied court orders on this subject, all in the apparent attempt to assist the president’s re-election.

By “disinformation” about voter fraud, he means accurate, legitimate and OBVIOUS information about the risk of fraud from universal mail in ballots (the same thing prior Congresses identified as the single largest fraud vector).  Nadler and his party are masters of spreading disinformation about voter fraud.  Voter fraud exists in every election, and the Democrat’s goal is to maximize its spread.  There’s no legitimate conversation though, this is an all or nothing party loyalty test.  Either you support an election process that facilitates fraud or you are “spreading disinformation.”

There’s no failure to enforce voting rights laws.  That’s just a flat lie.

The Constitutional question is interesting, I think the President is misinterpreting that provision, but it’s not clear what the remedy actually is.  I suspect, they will ignore his report and have the new President resubmit a “corrected” report (which also ignores the Constitution – bet you won’t hear Nadler repeat his newfound concern for the Constitution then).

None of those points really tie into the President’s reelection.

Fourth, at the president’s request, the department has amplified the president’s conspiracy theories and shielded him from responsibility by blatantly misrepresenting the Mueller report and failing to hold foreign actors accountable for their attacks on our elections, undermining both national security and
the department’s professional staff in the process.

Just a lie.  Barr’s statement about the Mueller report is STILL accurate.  Barr’s conclusion about it, that there was no obstruction was in fact the conclusion that was required under law, even under Mueller’s misstated version of the law. 

The revealed facts on this, now make it 100% clear that Mueller’s investigation was never legally justifiable.  It was based on KNOWN false information.  He rewrote his mandate months later to try and create a justification and still failed to include anything that wasn’t refuted by the facts.  And in fact, it's obvious that Mueller knew that Russian collusion was a myth early in his investigation, and deliberately delayed reporting that to influence the 2018 election.  That manipulation put the Democrats in charge of the House, and to my knowledge is the only successful manipulation of a recent election as a result of foreign disinformation.  Propagated, without consequence, by the deep state.

Mueller should be facing criminal charges.

What foreign actors were not held accountable?  Was that the UK national that influenced our election at the behest of Hillary’s campaign?  That’s true neither Steele nor anyone involved in that blatant foreign influence were held accountable (interesting that you above make a note of Barr’s answer on foreign influence being so clear cut, when this interference was the single most consequential foreign influence in our history).  Maybe he meant the Ukrainians who the Obama admin solicited to fabricate evidence on Manafort so that they could justify investigating him?  Or maybe they mean the foreign agents that they coordinated with to spy on Trump campaign staff overseas, or the foreign intelligence networks they accessed to get intel on the Trump campaign?

In that case, I agree, not one of the Democrats that heavily violated our laws on soliciting foreign influence has been brought to account for those crimes.

Fifth, again and again, you personally have interfered with ongoing criminal investigations to protect the president and his allies from the consequences of their actions. When career investigators and prosecutors resisted these brazen unprecedented actions, you replaced them with less qualified staff who appear to be singularly beholden to you.

Firstly, this is a lie, there is no ongoing criminal investigation that was interfered with.  Stone was post trial and conviction – a trial and conviction that Barr supported.  Barr was 100% right that the line prosecutors were acting vindictively and treating Stone differently and more harshly because he was Trump’s friend.  You don’t have to take my word for it, nothing at all stopped the judge in that case (who was no friend of Stone’s) from applying the higher sentence if she deemed it appropriate.  The fact that she didn’t is pretty clear evidence that the line prosecutors were out of line.

Anyone, who’s read the additional evidence in the Flynn matter and thinks that is a righteous prosecution at heart is not a believer in any of the principals America was founded on.  There is no conception of classical liberalism or civil rights underwhich what was done to him is okay.  The latest (just today) grant of an en banc hearing by the DC circuit just demonstrates how political our judges have become.  Go back and read the amicus brief at the trial court level, it’s straight up, grade A conspiracy theory garbage.  The evidence the DOJ presented far exceeds what it was obligated to provide, and is way more than adequate for a dismissal.  The hidden lie here, is that even if the judge were allowed to rule on Flynn’s guilt (which he’ll never get to as this fight is about whether he’s allowed to rule to deny the governments motion to dismiss – he’s not under the SC precedents – he’ll never get to declare Flynn guilty in a manner that sticks.  The SC has decisively state the DOJ can drop a prosecution post-conviction).

The only reason this is playing out, is to try and force Trump to pardon him.  Maybe someone can point to the law that makes that legitimate?  Show where a judge may refuse to dismiss charges to try and force a President to make what will be deemed a political act.

Any precedent here is going to be one off, cause I can tell you 100% confidence, that Biden will have no problem with and face no scrutiny for dismissing charges against any of the criminals that Durham ultimately seeks to prosecute.

The message these actions send is clear. In this Justice Department, the president’s enemies will be punished and his friends will be protected, no matter the cost, no matter the cost to liberty, no matter the cost to justice.

Nah, the “clear” message is that Nadler and the Dems have their thumbs on the scales of justice, which decisively tilt in their favor, and that they will fight, lie, propagandize and do everything on earth to prevent justice from being applied equally.

Finally, and perhaps most perniciously, the department has placed the president’s political needs over the public health by challenging stay-at-home orders in the states hit hardest by the pandemic.

Seriously?  Wasn’t Nadler just lecturing us on the federal storm troopers violating civil rights by seeking to suppress protests?  So, it’s a dangerous risk to demand that churches be treated equally as the Constitution requires to other gatherings, but it’s unconscionable (even assuming Nadler’s lies were true) to seek to stop mass gatherings of protestors.

Freedom of religion is in the same Amendment as freedom of speech.

In the hands of President Trump, a Department of Justice that adopts a dangerously expansive view of executive power and demonstrates a willingness to shield him from accountability represents a direct threat to the liberty and safety of the country.

That’s counterfactual.  President Obama openly adopted an expansive view of executive power, which has been grossly curtailed under President Trump – both by his choice and by the excessive lengths leftist judges will go to stop him. 

We want to give you a chance to respond to our questions to these and other matters and we hope and expect that you will do so in a clear and forthright manner.

That’s the most blatant lie of all.  They had no interest in hearing his responses.  If they were in the right, they would have wanted to get him on the record on everything.  However, they know they’re in the wrong and that it’s obvious and easy to see if one isn’t willfully blind and therefore he can’t be allowed to speak.

The transcripts really don't do the hearing justice.  The nastiness of the Dems is softened by reducing it to text.

General Comments / General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 28, 2020, 07:07:48 PM »
So I just watched the House Judiciary Committee's hearing where they had the opportunity to ask questions of the Attorney General on the record and I'm appalled.  I am note sure how the Democrats on the committee could have possibly wasted any more time than they did.  They pontificated for 5 minutes at a time, made knowing false statements, repeated propaganda and their most common response to any answer that Barr actually tried to provide was to immediately interrupt him and state "I am reclaiming my time."

What's the point of an oversight hearing where the person asked to be there is not allowed to respond to even direct questions?

In the five hour plus hearing, we got to hear multiple speaches on whether the Trump admin's response to Covid-19 has been good or bad - what is the DOJ supposed to do on that point?

Multiple speeches on whether mandatory voting by mail will cause fraud - you might think there was a question in there but you'd largely be wrong as any time Barr tried to answer what seemed to be a question, the Democrat asking it immediately declared it wasn't a question and "reclaimed their time."

Repeated insistence that Federal Troops are assaulting peaceful protesters, even though literally everyone is aware that this is not true.  Not one second of response admitting that trying to burn down a federal court house is not a peaceful protest.  Lots and lots and lots of straight up propaganda and lies on this point.

I've said it before, but the format of these hearings needs to be permanently changed.  Allowing Congress people to lie and put words in the witnesses mouth and refusing the witness a right to respond even when accused of crimes or slandered is absurd.  This is not remotely what the founder's had in mind and it serves no real purpose in our society.

it's beyond offensive to be lectured by children engaged in naked partisan behavior while lying and claiming that the otherside is the one responsible.

My favorite response to a question asked about whether Barr would commit not to x, was "I will follow the law," to which the Democratic Congressman responded with something like, well since you won't give a clear answer I'm moving on.

Or how about the demand that Barr give up the challenge to Obamacare, not because the Congresswoman made a case at law but because people are dying and she's sick with cancer and he's trying to kill her (paraphrase) and it's the "right" policy anyway.  Barr responded that he has 2 children that have been treated for Cancer and whatever he thinks of the policy (implying he may agree) his job is not to set the policy but to apply the law, but was interrupted because apparently admitting the actual legal standard that an AG should apply is not the answer that was called for.

Or  when Horowitz's conclusion was misstated (deliberately) by the Congressman, Barr responded that this was not Horowitz's conclusion, to which the Congressman told Barr he was a liar and doubled down on the false statement.

If you want to see why reasonable people should not give Democrats power, watch this hearing.  It has nothing in common with any legitimate purpose of Congress and was solely conducted to let Democrats read a list of Presidential campaign promises.

General Comments / Re: Roger Stone pardon
« on: July 20, 2020, 07:11:18 PM »
But yes, if you look at the history of pardons, they are littered with pardons of friends,  family and political allies.  Heck if you look at Clinton with Mark Rich, that pardon was arguably the result of bribery.  I mean what do you call it when a rich fugitive from justice gets pardoned after his wife makes large contributions to Hillary's Senate campaign and the Clinton library?  Can you even imagine how your head would explode if you could find something similar that Trump did?

Its interesting that you don't view what trump did with regards to Stone as similar?  I am reasonably confident if Clinton did the exact same thing with the same timing your head would explode.

If what you guys seem to want to believe is true, then the "more similar" pardon would be that of Bill Clinton for Susan McDougal who spent 18 months in federal prison including 8 in solitary rather than testify against the Clintons in connection with the Whitewater mess.  Of course that was a pardon after the fact.  She'd already served the time.  But it's difficult to understand why she'd serve 18 months rather than testify if she didn't know something, or why if she was innocent Bill let her, other than pure politics. 

Given that people seem to forget anything about the past everytime they start 'splaining about Trump, you should take a look at her history.  It's inescapable that you'll reach one or both of two conclusions:  (i) Federal prosecutors used lies they had suborned as testimony and tried to force a witness to lie more, and/or (ii) she had relevant testimony of criminal activity by Bill Clinton.

Either conclusion is relevant here.  If it's the latter, then you have your direct example of a criminal/political pardon directly related to a President's crimes.  If its the former, you have the literal fact pattern that I've been describing of overzealous prosecutors abusing the plea process and not caring at all about whether the testimony is a lie.

Mueller's team was doing the former  They have a history of it and that's what they were doing.  Whether there was also an underlying criminal activity to hide can't be certain, but the evidence of it is practically nil and you'd be hard pressed to even explain what criminal activity on this point Stone could be aware of - especially since they have his emails and records and VERY SIGNIFICANTLY never charged him with anything related to a substantive crime.

The problem of these types of pardons is that they are wrong no matter which party.

No.  The problem is partisan prosecutions that are not merited by the facts.  Pardons issued where a President thinks a prosecution is unjust is a perfectly reasonable compromise.  The "real" alternative - that you guys seem to ignore - is that the President would reassert his Constitutional authority to directly intervene inside the DOJ and the FBI in their investigations and charging decisions to ensure that these pardons are not necessary.    Pardons are open and we can all judge there merits.

Prosecutions?  Not so much.  They are arbitrary and in the eyes of the beholder.  Or has anyone - to date - explained why they needed a federal task force, frogman and swat team to arrest Stone in the first place?  Elderly, non-violent, first time offender. 

Its not acceptable.  Most presidents wait till they are about to leave office to pull off this crap That Trump new he would get away with doing such thing now should be troubling for everyone.


He commuted the sentence.  It's not a pardon.  It lets Stone keep fighting his case.

Meanwhile, did I hear you speak out when during the trial the Judge barred Stone from making his defense public with a gag order?  How could a political persecution be brought to light in that circumstance?  The deck was massively stacked, with the prosecutors bringing trial in CD in front of an overwhelmingly Democrat jury, with a foreman that had already commented on the case - and Stone - as deserving of jail before being put on the jury. 

The Mueller investigation repeatedly and illegally leaked fake stories to the media that made those they were persecuting look bad.  The same media ran those stories uncritically and even went so far as to cover up their sources, even after the stories were shown to be untrue.  Yet Stone not aloud to respond.

If you believe civil rights - at all - what Mueller did should have you terrified.  Yet, the problem is President Trump?  Absurd.

General Comments / Re: Roger Stone pardon
« on: July 20, 2020, 01:15:31 PM »
So if I understand this correctly, Roger Stone was convicted by a jury of perjury and witness tampering,

Not exactly, he was charged with one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.  I've now read the declassified transcript of his testimony to Congress.  It wasn't searchable or I'd pull quotes from it.  One of the principal "falsities" is that he repeatedly said he did not have documents responsive to the publicly announced mandate of the House Committee.  I think he was correct about that based on the public announcement, which was flawed, and didn't actually get to the documents it wanted that he did have.

It's also interesting that he was charged with misrepresenting his sources - he over emphasized Credico and under emphasized Corsi.  However, if you look at the actual testimony, you see that he named Corsi and didn't name Credico (jounalistic privilege), and it looks like on Credico actually had contact with Wikileaks.  The primary dispute on that point is that Stone claimed he was in contact with Wikileaks prior to talking to Credico and therefore Credico wanted Stone to be clear he had a source before Credico.  I can see how a prosecutor with the records in hand would find fault with the answers, but I'm less sure that a reasonable person considering someone's actual memory during a Congressional hearing would conclude the same.

The most "legitimate" part of the charge is that Stone really did seem to underplay the amount of times he tried to get information through his contacts.  I think the Corsi vs. Credico point is mostly nonsense, given that Corsi had no direct contact (but implied to Stone he did) and Credico did have direct contact (an interview, but implied more as well), it's pretty easy to see how Stone's public comments didn't represent actual reality and how his memory would have altered over time.  It's hard to see exactly how - after disclosing Corsi's role - Stone would have benefited by "lying" about what Credico told him.  Whats the motive there?

I doubt if you looked at his testimony in the context of looking at a dozen people that have testified to Congress and you had full access to every written communication they ever made that this is the one you'd find as best suited to prosecution.  But you should read it for yourself. 

I don't think this is a conviction you get with a jury outside of DC, lucky for the Dems the Feds get to bring these cases in place where juries are 90%+ Democrats and in this case apparently even openly hostile to Trump.

...involving actions taken during and in support of Donald Trump's election...

I see.  Does that mean it's okay for Trump to prosecute Biden's campaign staff and to get the records of everything they've ever said?  Let's say, they decide to investigate Seattle's CHOP for insurrection (which it was) and to probe the Biden campaign's involvement, for which an easy case on national security could be made.  Can they then secretly seize all their records, demand interviews and prosecute any lack of complete candor about every single person they ever communicated with on the topic? 

Or do you think Biden's team would be required to disclose all internal communications on that topic?

What about the dirty trick's Biden's engaged in?  Can Trump legitimately open counter terrorism investigations on every single Biden staffer that has had any conversation with any non-US person where they've expressed an offer to help out?

Assuming Trump does all this and Biden wins the election, are you taking the position that Biden can not dismiss any of those prosecutions, commute sentences or pardon persons related thereto, all because it was to "help him get elected"?  Or is it just that Biden, but not President Trump, gets to determine that an unfair politically motivated prosecution should be terminated?

- and Stone recently claimed that he could have "easily" turned on Trump to avoid a trial - suggesting that he actually had information....

Or that the DOJ was willing to give Stone a deal if he lied about communications with Trump.  Apparently those were by phone call, so there's no one but Stone or Trump to say what was said (unless they actually wire tapped those calls - but then they'd have to admit to that crime to use them).  I brought this up when they prosecuted Manafort by flipping Gates.  If Gates committed the crimes but the prosecution wants Manafort, flipping Gates allows them to "explain away" his involvement by saying that every written record on which Manafort does not appear but Gates does was at Manafort's direction.  If Gates is lying then Manafort is wrongly convicted (not by the way saying that this happened, only pointing out how it works).  Is the prosecutor really following the evidence if the evidence points to Gates?  Or are they suborning perjury with the deal they give Gates?  How would you ever know?

I think you're kidding yourself if you believe that the DOJ wouldn't have willingly used a lie by Stone about what was said to further their efforts.  As long as it couldn't be proven to be a lie, they didn't care.  They knew the targets they wanted.

...that at the very least a) he thought was legally damaging to the president, and b) was serious enough that it would have been of sufficient value to prosecutors to reduce his own charges, enough for him to avoid trial.

Given how Meuller's farce panned out anything connecting anything, no matter how minor, to President Trump would have been invaluable.  It didn't have to be damaging or even material it just had to be there. 

I mean my goodness, the Dems impeached President Trump where Trump's only communications on the topic were that there was no quid pro quo and that he didn't want anything.  If the Mueller probe had been able to find even one person or document that linked anything to President Trump they would have used it.

So the president used his constitutional authority to reward somebody who explicitly claimed to have shielded the president from legal jeopardy.

This statement doesn't match reality.  It's a lie to claim that your conclusion was an "explicit claim" when Stone would tell you directly, if you asked, that the DOJ was asking him to lie in exchange for the deal.  There was nothing illegal about candidate Trump talking to WikiLeaks, he could have done that directly, so what was the "legal jeopardy" he faced.  No one is in legal jeopardy for talking to Wiki leaks after the fact about what they had, the legal jeopardy is with anyone who coordinated with them to steal the information (Stone was unarguably not involved in that - and the Mueller team knew that given they had his communications on the matter - and accordingly he couldn't link anyone to the only part of this that was a crime).

It's settled law that publication of stolen information is a journalistic privilege, provided the journalists didn't steal it or encourage the theft.

Is this a purpose for which the presidential pardon power is usually exercised?  Is it outside the norm?

Well you've misstated the purpose in this case.  The purpose here was to undo what the President obviously feels is an unjust persecution of his friend, primarily for the crime of being his friend.  The fact is that's reasonable interpretation of what occurred, and if you're the President you would know for a fact whether this prosecution was unjust or not.  President Trump is not guilty of anything at law, years of investigation have failed to even make a plausible case.  If it turns out that this is also reality - ie that he's actually not guilty, and not just super human in evading proof of guilt (which would be really amazing for a narcist) - then he's actually right about what's going on.  Can you accept the possibility that he's right?

But yes, if you look at the history of pardons, they are littered with pardons of friends,  family and political allies.  Heck if you look at Clinton with Mark Rich, that pardon was arguably the result of bribery.  I mean what do you call it when a rich fugitive from justice gets pardoned after his wife makes large contributions to Hillary's Senate campaign and the Clinton library?  Can you even imagine how your head would explode if you could find something similar that Trump did?

General Comments / Re: Voting mechanisms
« on: July 15, 2020, 01:09:29 PM »
If we trust that online banking is relatively safe, why are we so concerned about online voting? 
 If we trust mailing checks to each other, why are we so concerned about mail in ballots?

Do you know how many bank accounts have been hacked?  It's not a small number.  When checks were regularly used (and accepted) they were bounced all over the place.  Used to be many stores had entire walls of pictures of people that had bounced checks.  Anyone with an found check book could walk out of a store with merchandise.

The truth is that mail-in ballots will contribute heavily to fraud.  Every politician knows that, their opposition or support has NOTHING to do with any principal other than whether they think that fraud will help or hurt them.

Shouldn't there be an audit mechanism possible, just as there is counting paper ballots?   And don't give me that crap about needing to ID someone.

What would that be?  Do you have a "neutral" person that is entitled to call you up, open your ballot and confirm that everyone you voted for is correctly indicated before its counted?  Like that won't be abused.

You already oppose voter ID, what do you audit against if you don't have voter ID?  In fact, the argument you are making is beyond absurd, to believe that you can simultaneously oppose IDs AND believe you're verifying the voter.  If you can do the latter, you'd already be able to do the former.

Most people don't even look much like the person in the picture from three and a half years ago. What average poll worker is going to look at the ID and say "that doesn't look like you". And if you think that there is a huge cabal working to stuff ballot boxes in an election that is spending a half billion dollars, but they can't come up with a fake ID for people, you are delusional.

Presenting a fake ID is a much bigger risk - and people get caught all the time - than falsifying a stack of mailed and not requested votes.

Go on record.  What is your acceptable level of fraudulent votes that will be counted.  There is zero chance that it won't happen under this plan, so that means you accept some "reasonable" level of it, what is that level?

General Comments / Re: Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:12:08 PM »
Don't look at me, we've been out of our house 3 times in 4 months and I missed my father's out of state funeral.  But many in the community have refused to accept any limits.  They were having parties before we even got to stage 1, so when things were "relaxed" for stage 1 they could only understand it to mean that the very minimal precautions they were taking were no longer necessary.

General Comments / Re: Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 15, 2020, 10:34:49 AM »
Yes, reopening is a terrible idea. My question presumes that they do not open, and perhaps they never open. What are the implications? Like maybe writing with a pen stops being normal because everything is done via tablet or computer.

BTW, what is up with that website, it looks like 1996.

I don't see how anyone can claim that reopening is a terrible idea.  I live in a blue state in a region that was hard hit, and if you head over and take a look at any beach its packed, no social distancing, no masks.  Kids in massive herds playing with anyone and everyone. 

Restaurants are full constantly.   Granted the no mask wearing patrons are set at tables that have maybe 4 feet between them after they sit down but probably measure at 6 feet table top to table top on one axix, on the other axix couldn't be more than 4 feet.  Every one of neighbors has had multiple parties with dozens (at each party) of non-mask wearing friends (and not even the same groups of people each time) and have been having those parties for months.  They love their "social distancing picture" so they'll yell for everyone to spread out so they can take the picture showing themselves spaced out.

Look at social media, at least here, its filled with people - not wearing masks - getting together and hugging and hanging all over each other.  We even had a group of mom's that posted their night out at restaurant with multiple hugs with their friend from out of town - who was here for five days and was supposed to be subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine - hmmmm.

What exactly are we gaining by closing schools with that backdrop?

Meanwhile, special needs students are getting crushed, minority students may be irrevocably damaged.

Why is it that everyone else can reopen their workplace successfully, and some like restaurants for the most part never even closed?  Teachers should be in mandatory masks.  Students should be as well (the word here is that parents are lining up friendly doctors to excuse their child from the facemask requirements for spurious medical reasons).  Temperatures should be taken.  Windows should be open, kids should be outside as much as possible.

Obviously I'm skipping a lot, for example transmission from kid to kid and kid to adult seems much lower than adult to adult and adult to kid.  Some teachers are high risk and should receive accommodations.

But what I'm not missing is that distance learning was a failure, even where it was most successful the students are way off pace.  Something like half of the school systems didn't even manage to take attendance and virtually none were able to maintain their grading.

General Comments / Re: Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 15, 2020, 10:11:05 AM »
Now that brick and mortar schools have been closed for some time, will it have any permanent effect?

Estimates I saw are that if distance learning continues for any substantial length of time this year the average student will end up a full year behind expectations.  Retention of knowledge is well below the expected level and that compounds very rapidly.  The gap between students with more resources and stronger family units and poorer students without that structure will become the largest in recent history as the former will receive more support to maintain grade level.  Minority students are expected to be especially hard hit and are already far off even the poor marks set by others.

That's just academics, the social learning losses may be insurmountable.  While there are some indications that students with intact and supportive families are receiving benefits from having their parents home more, for broken families, families still working outside the home and abusive families those benefits don't exist and they're losing out on peer to peer and teacher to student interaction.

Will students of this era be less prepared for later learning? Will they experience a dip in standardized tests compared to other cohorts?

Yes to the latter, who can say to the former.  Despite the beliefs of our educators much of what they teach isn't really necessary to have a good job and can be made up in other ways.
Might we see a cost-saving transformation to distance learning?

No.  In no circumstances will you see cost-savings on the longer term, even shorter term the teacher's unions are resisting any cost reductions.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 10, 2020, 04:13:18 PM »
If you want to learn about anyone, any place, or anything read an actual book. Maybe I'll start a new thread with book recommendations. Too many people think they learned about JFK, MLK, and many others from watching a movie. Let alone a musical. Wicked is also not about the Salem witch trials.

Yeah, don't read Wicked, not if you like the musical.  And whatever you do, don't hand that book to a child just because the musical is fun for kids.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 10, 2020, 01:04:10 PM »
I couldn't tell you the names of any of the songs after a single viewing, honestly, the musically fades away when I'm watching a story.

People online seem to rave about Soo's performance and I don't get that.  I didn't see anything that she added that I wouldn't expect from any one of hundreds of actresses on Broadway.  She was professional and overall fine but not a standout.  Similarly, I didn't see much about Jackson's performance as Washington that stood out.  Maybe they both look better on a rewatch.

This was a musical about a man's complicated life, not a history lesson, any more than Le Mis was a history lesson about France at that time.

No, this was advocacy as art (which is okay).  The voice was Lin's not Hamilton's.  Lin didn't write this to tell Hamilton's story, he wrote it to use Hamilton's story to tell Lin's story.    This wouldn't have been a hit if it was a musical about a man's complicated life.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 10, 2020, 12:36:44 PM »
Well now I have msquared.  General consensus was that it didn't live up to the hype (but honestly how could it).  The more musical half of the family couldn't get into it, they didn't like that the songs blended into each other without pause or spoken interludes  They really didn't like Lin-Manuel's performance (I tend to agree on that, he was one of the weakest performers, which is tough when you're the lead - I didn't like Leslie Odom as Aaron Burr either.  Daveed Diggs on the other hand was a blast, loved him when he was playing the Marquis de Lafayette, but when he came back out as Jefferson - wow!).  They would have preferred seeing Wicked yet again (my 10 year  could sing half the songs after seeing the performance once).  King George is obviously an unfairly fun role, prone to excessive camp, obviously enjoyable but can't comment on whether the actor actually added anything to that wasn't already there in the role. 

The more analytical side of the family enjoyed it more, but still diidn't think it matched the hype.  In part the younger ones said they'd never learned any US history in school (despite having had US history), so it was a new story for them.

I found some of the story a bit misleading, definitely an effort to recast history to support a certain political view.  Specifically trying to recast our history with the "good guys" as strictly seeking to expand federal, unilateral power.  It's oddly trying to blend an anti-statist (King George) and pro-statist (Jefferson) message, which is actually quite hard to explain sensibly.  So Lin-Manuel didn't even try to explain the inconsistency he just made King George and Jefferson into obvious camp and clowns.  That's a little unforgiveable to me.  If you're taking on challenging material skipping the main challenge is a weakness.     

He also rather oddly tries to blend protest "against the autocratic government" culture into the story on the same "team" as supporting a new powerful central government.  Is this message really that autocratic institutions are good, provided that they are controllled by Hamilton/Washington, but are bad if they are controlled by King George?  He mocks Jefferson's position that decentralized government would be better. 

It's also really bizarre to write your revolution like it's a chaotic anti-fa moment (this came out through the choice of lyrics not how the story developed)  when you're going to write the ending to be pro-statist.    It's beyond obvious, but recasting the revolution by using the actors to make it about race was actually quite inspired.  While this performance is probably more useful in inspiring elements of chaos that seek to knock down the country, it can also be used by those seeking to unify and bring us together by showing what we all have in common in the  fight against injustice.

End of day, whether is autocratic King George or fascist cancel culture, the message of Hamilton for freedom plays out the same way.  Good people need to speak up and remind others of why their rights are important and freedom should be fought for and once won shouldn't be let slip away.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 09, 2020, 03:56:58 PM »
It's funny the way you guys are talking about Hamilton, considering there's a cancel culture movement to have it removed from Disney.  All or nothing on everything.
It's funny that you think that everybody who doesn't agree with you disagrees with you about everything.

Interesting.  I didn't mean to imply that I was talking about you or any of the posters here in that way.  I was talking about those pushing the cancel Hamilton meme, they're all or nothing on everything.  Either it's perfect and agrees with them completely, or it's completely flawed and must be cancelled.  I just thought it was interesting that the way you were talking about it seemed unaware that there was in fact an active cancel culture (from the left) trying to force it back off Disney because it fails to criticize Hamilton's ownership of slaves.

There is no forgiveness in cancel culture (well unless say you're the governor of Virginia and a Democrat).

I certainly don't think that anybody disagrees with me about everything.  In fact, I suspect that most people agree with me about a great deal of things.  We have much more in common than the media wants you to believe.

The idea of cancelling people is very dangerous.

I agree, thus my posts to that point, that destroying someone's ability to work and make a living over a political disagreement is vile.

Sure, maybe it feels good when you see that deserving person punished publicly, and their life is ruined because maybe they had a bad day (or maybe they really are a racist/stupid/evil person).

If that makes you feel good, there's something wrong with you.  Bringing a person to justice, requires justice.  We have courts and due process for a reason.  This current trend of destroying people for lack of sufficient political orthodoxy really is anti-American.  It's against everything this country was founded on.

We just had a local crime that involved a hit and run death with a white driver and a minority victim.  The police found, arrested and charged the driver within 4 days and people are mad that they haven't charged the driver with murder, but rather with the legal charges that actually apply.  People are planning to protest to try and force a charge that doesn't apply, and would go bananas if the jury or the court didn't convict on a charge that doesn't apply. 

There's something very wrong with that.  I mean that's literally mob justice, it's literally the same level of "justice" that applied in lynchings, and because it's going the "correct" woke direction its somehow okay?

But the net effect is a chill on the ability to disagree publicly.  Disagreement is the lubricant of democratic society.  Insomuch as this unfettered urge to cancel those who are not sufficiently in agreement with your group leads to a fear to debate publicly, it's a really bad thing.

Is it though, do you really believe it or are you just saying a platitude?  Your side is "winning" the repression war, are you not currently enjoying those benefits?   How committed are you - really - to overturning the apple cart of pressure and defending the right to have different ideas?

As an aside, "criticism" is not "cancelling".  How those ideas became synonymous in some people's minds is weird - and backwards.

There is a cancel meme for Hamilton.  There is also legitimate criticism of Hamilton.


Have you seen the play or the movie?

Not yet, we could never get the tickets at a time and price point that we could make work.  We're definitely planning to watch it together as a family and everyone's really excited about it.

You'd think it would be easy to find time in a quarantine, but I've been working more hours (even after eliminating a 4 hour round trip daily commute) in the last 6 months than any other period in my career.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 08, 2020, 04:00:39 PM »
It's funny the way you guys are talking about Hamilton, considering there's a cancel culture movement to have it removed from Disney.  All or nothing on everything.

I shortened your name from Kasandra to Kas (first time ever), and you drop the D from DonaldD while complaining about it?

I agree I can make an argument.  I think you can't.  You're not changing minds with the endless dodging.

Kas, rather I'm taking the opportunity to demonstrate that you and DonaldD are seemingly not capable of making the arguments you advocate.  Come on, surely it can't be that hard to demonstrate that you thought before you posted?

Here's a challenge - prove yourself not to be blindly partisan and show us a bunch of examples where Republicans were unwilling to make compromises.

Lol, answer a challenge with a challenge?  Admitting you can't answer the call?

No, I get it - you cannot distinguish between racism and policies meant to address the effects of racism, like affirmative action policies.  In fact, my guess is that you feel that affirmative action policies are by definition, not just in practice, racism.

Why don't you try to define the operation of an affirmative action policy that doesn't mention race.  That's literally the reasoning we just saw in the Supreme Court's decision on discrimination based on sex covering discrimination based on sexual preference and transgender status.

In fact, pre-schoolers are taught that two wrongs don't make a right, it takes very sophisticated thinking to understand how punishing people who are not directly responsible for something makes it better. 

But the fact is, we allowed affirmative action over the years to correct racism.  The arguments for it are there and known, make the case that we should allow more affirmative action, why and how it's implemented and what specific issues you see it as necessary to correct.  I doubt you even can.  You keep it vague and imply that disagreement is just unelightened racism.  I can distinguish between the two concepts, but I'm willing bet you actual describe racism when you try to explain affirmative action and why we need it.

So you can you show where the left is willing to make compromises and the right is turning them down?  Maybe how we urgently need police reform but the Dems filibustered the Senate bill so that only their own bill (in the House) would be up for discussion?

I know you mean well Fen, but some of the things you write make me shudder.

I don't recommend "rising above it."  You should reject it.  AI is perfectly capable of making an argument based on principal, but the current world is not requiring him to do so.  You should reject definitional games, here especially, but also in life, which is much harder, and make him explain his preferred policies and address the concerns.

Well, the thing of it is that some things in life do need updating, and many terms previously were insufficiently specific or relevant.

Needing to "update" is not the same thing as recasting a clear meaning as something different.  Social scientists used to try to create new words that explained their point, but the points were often so ridiculous that people rejected the words and the ideas.  We get a "backlash" against "politically correct," for example.  They gave up on that idea.

Instead they grabbed the idea of re-envisioning words that are incredibly loaded as describing everyday run of the mill concepts and pushing their ideas through that model.  This also coincides with their goal of moving language to match the laws already written.  They can't change the law - cause they can't win the political fight that it would take, but if they change the language they automatically change the law based on that language.  It's been an overt goal for a while.

Justice is blind.  The fact that we've failed to achieve perfect justice is a result of too much consideration of things like race, not too little consideration of things like race.  It will never result in an increase of justice to increase the amount of race we use in determining outcomes for the same conduct.

To me there is an inevitable conflict between being stuck in your ways and between change just for the sake of change.

That's a fiction.  The "conflict" is not with change for the sake of change.  It's with targeted change for very specific purposes.  The purpose of making impossible to have opposing views - if any position opposed to the one true position is "racist" (no matter what it is) and racism is evil, by definition anyone opposing the enlightened is in fact an evil racist that can be discounted.

The purpose of eliminating the ability to think through an argument.
The purpose of encoding political positions into the default moral positions.

The purpose of changing specific concepts in specific ways with highly predictable legal consequences.

The purpose of encoding political positions into law without ever getting a majority agreement.

It's fundamentally anti-democratic to seek not to persuade people but to eliminate their ability to even raise a contrary voice.

You do need to allow for updates, and for rethinking concepts, but of course the pathological version of this is pushing for changes that are either partisan or else self-serving. But blocking all change just on principle throws the baby with the bathwater.

Except none of that requires the methods they are using.  When methods don't match stated benefits it means the true goals are not what they say.

This is the fact, already a reality in Canada, that makes the "I don't use the far-left definition" a sticking your head in the ground kind of answer. It doesn't ever stop at being just a theoretical disagreement if you let things go too far, and in the U.S., which is uniquely obsessed with defeating those who disagree, a pathological direction is virtually guaranteed. That fact alone is not the fault of the left, but of those who perpetuate and encourage a system of division.

Those who do this are the left.  It's their only political operation.  They have reasoned arguments, they have empassioned ones.

Find where they actually listen to the other side and make compromises (you can't).

Step one, unless you think they are indeed racists who are trying to make sure that racism goes unchecked.  You can't have it both ways by accusing Democrats of wanting too many protections for disadvantaged segments of the population and wanting to get rid of protections.
I'm pretty sure none of your interlocutors actually believe that removing this clause is racist, but they do believe that, because of the specific way they misunderstand "leftist" definitions of racism, simply removing that clause must be racist on the part of Democrats because of what they think Democrats believe.

It's flat out racist.  He's literally advocating that a provision that bars the government from discriminating on racist be removed so that it will be easier to discriminate based on race.

Just because he believes that he's serving a good interest doesn't make it okay.

Again, for the talk about privilege and needing to listen, as soon as you hear something that you find uncomfortable the listening ends and you immediately try to recast it as fake or somehow disingenuous.  The idea that discriminating based on race is good and not racist act is a lie.  It's a twisting of linguistics worthy of being included in 1984.

It depends who you're talking to. I think some of the people here are confused about the logic of why certain things are called racist in groups like BLM. They may not be confused about the term as they grew up with it, but actually I don't believe that either. The groupthink coming from even small groups cannot help but permeate into the general consciousness and create a doublethink (i.e. contradictory things accepted at the same time), even if one doesn't notice it's happened. This is just a reality and is in a sense inevitable as soon as language games or updates are happening. You literally cannot avoid the confusion, so 'rising above it' is not exactly an option unless you're a hermit.

I don't recommend "rising above it."  You should reject it.  AI is perfectly capable of making an argument based on principal, but the current world is not requiring him to do so.  You should reject definitional games, here especially, but also in life, which is much harder, and make him explain his preferred policies and address the concerns.

Make AI explain how permitting the government to discriminate on the basis of race - a characteristic that the Supreme Court has already said requires strict scrutiny to apply because it is virtually never a valid basis for government power to be applied - will help reduce racism in our government.  It won't.  It will increase it.

Regarding whether the 'game is already over', I believe the game is already over in the sense that you can't 'stop' people messing with thinking like this. You can oppose, or just roll with it, but there is no 'conclusion' to the upending of meanings of things, of finality to a group's mutual agreement when some parts of the group are seeking to perpetually undermine other parts of it.

The "game" is over, because we've had 3 generations of education controlled by ever more radical leftist ideology.  As of now, virtually all means of communication are controlled by the radical left.  They have a massive control over the media, they control virtually all government bureaucracies,  they control enough of the courts, all of big tech and an increasingly significant number of the country's prosecutors.  They literally control the power to criminalize political thoughts and actions with which they disagree.

Looting and riots become "peaceful protests," homeowners defending themselves from violent mobs become "criminal harrassers oppressing free speech rights," people engaged in open insurrection that leads to multiple gun short deaths with open government facilitation are "peaceful protestors with important issues that aren't responsible for a few bad apples (who are probably secret racist agitators)."  Someone posts about it on Twitter?  Nope, banned or worse their posts are not pushed or pulled to those that have asked to receive them without any notice.

I didn't realize when the left said we've moved into a post truth world with the election of Trump, that they were not talking about Trump but rather themselves.  They lie with impunity, they repeatedly lie in the same ways over and over and over and not only never get called to account they have an army of useful idiots that rebroadcast and internalize their lies.  Meanwhile they wield the power to totally destroy people for just voicing disagreement, in violation of every principal upon which this country was founded.  They believe they have the right to oppress speach, religion, gun ownership, freedom of travel, freedom of association, the right to privacy (other than for abortions), all because they disagree with the person who is asserting those rights.

It's too late.  There are not enough people left who can think to correct this mess, and far too many that are actively pushing it.

- is not some accepted thing; or if it was then it isn't any more. Some people define injustice as unequal opportunity, others as unequal outcome. These are mutually exclusive definitions, and it cannot be assumed that there is a standard understood meaning to these terms. Likewise, even your definition of consequentialism cannot be understood to be clear, because even the notion of getting desired results gets muddied if the results desired are based not on empirical data but on deontological notions.

Just to be clear.  There's no definitional confusion.  Both sides know exactly what the words were intended to mean.  The left just plays a game of redefinition to allow them to argue for new meaning to the written word.

If you accept that there is confusion the game is already over.

The two positions cannot be easily reconciled, to say the least.

Are you saying that it is racist to repeal an ineffectual law that was intended to thwart racist practices?

It is racist to repeal a law that prohibits discrimination based on race.  So advocating for that repeal is inherently racist.

As to your false premises.  This constitutional amendment was effective, or you would not need to repeal it.  It did thwart overtly racist practices, and since you want to implement racist practices you need to repeal it.

Are you saying that you can't argue a proposition in good faith but can only redefine it to pretend you are a good guy when you're really advocating straight up racist action by a government?

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 17, 2020, 02:10:07 PM »
I may have read you incorrectly in that passage.  It appeared on first read that you were arguing that your examples were examples of textualism, when in fact I think you meant them of examples of what is not-textualism.  If that's the case I apologize.

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 17, 2020, 01:52:52 PM »
I'm trying to read up on all these terms, and I still don't get how you argue that's "textualism" instead of it's opposed theory "originalism".

Textualism and originalism are not opposed theories.  The latter is a theory of Constitutional interpretation that effectively says the meaning of the Constitution does not change in broad sweeping ways to adapt to the current views of society, rather it means what it meant when the founders drafted.  It's not quite the literalist school that Kasandra asserts, but it's closer than many find comfortable.  It's rooted in the fundamental thought that changes to the Constitution have to occur through Amendments not judicial whimsy.  Generally speaking, it also defers a lot of authority to the States and their governments to fill in the gaps (and historically they have).

Textualism is a school of statutory interpretation and fundamentally it's rooted in the idea that the words Congress uses are the definitive expression of their intent on the manner.  Literally it originated in response to opinions that primarily turned on legislative history, such as transcripts from a single session of a House committee, or even quotes from the sponsor of a bill as to what it meant.  It rejected those kinds of inputs as legitimate sources for the opinions of the 535 members of Congress and the President.  That led to basic rules about how to interpret the meaning of the words used.  They reject strict constructionalism or plain meaning both of which avoid the principal that the words should be interpreted based on their common meaning at the time.

A common example, was a statute that regulated something like motor vehicles - which later could have included things like airplanes.  Textualists interpreted it to mean only regulate ground transport as the term motor vehicles would have been understood at the time it was passed (however, unlike Kasandra implies, it would regulate any ground vehicle, including a hovercraft that couldn't have been conceived of at the time).  Both strict construction and plain meaning would likely have reach a contrary result.  It also meant that textualists rejected the idea that water could be regulated pursuant to a statute that gave the power to regulate chemicals, notwithstanding that water is literally a chemical it's not the common meaning and understanding of how that term was used in context.

Here's the definitions I google:
Textualism is a formalist theory in which the interpretation of the law is primarily based on the ordinary meaning of the legal text, where no consideration is given to non-textual sources, such as: intention of the law when passed, the problem it was intended to remedy, or significant questions regarding the justice or rectitude of the law

It helps though if you don't stop with a summation of a philosophy without describing other key concepts: 

"We ask, not what this man meant, but what those words would mean in the mouth of a normal speaker of English, using them in the circumstances in which they were used ... We do not inquire what the legislature meant; we ask only what the statutes mean."

That's the general root of why they look to the time period in question.  Again, at it's very core textualism rejects the idea that judges have a right to change the meaning of a statute by redefining or reassessing the words used against a more modern understanding of what they could have meant or have come to mean.

In the context of United States law, originalism is a concept regarding the interpretation of the Constitution that asserts that all statements in the constitution must be interpreted based on the original understanding of the authors or the people at the time it was ratified.

You could argue that Originalism is a specific use case of textualism.  The Constitution was passed one time, by one group, the words they used therefore, are properly interpreted by what they meant at the time.  But I think you can find distinctions where the two philosophies would lead to dissimilar results. 

Any time you guys talk about what the legislators originally meant, or even care at all about the date that the law was passed -- that's originalism as far as I can google up. If you don't care about when the law was passed, only about the text of the law as it currently stands -- that's textualism, again as far as I can google up.

I hope its clearer now.  But the simplest distinction to understand is that originalism is a CONSTITUTIONAL interpretation philosophy and textualism is a STATUTORY interpretation.

Textualism is absolutely defined by an adherence to what the common meaning of the words used in the statute at the time it was passed.  And they expressly reject the idea of defining each word independently and putting it together (which is what Gorsuch did) to get a desired result.  Look at the examples in the Wiki.  "Foreign object" in your eye, does not cause people to believe that the splinter in your eye was from a foreign country, even though you could construct that meaning by using the common definitions of each word and putting them together.

You people sayin that textualism is about the original intent of the legislators or the meaning of the law as originally understood -- then I have to ask, what the heck would "originalism" be then?

Textualism is a rejection of an inquiry into what the "original intent" of the legislators was.  Or rather the only evidence it accepts about their intent is the words they chose to include in the statute.  Most of what I described above, about avoiding compiling definitions that ignore the context of the phrase is expressly a correllary of NOT trying to create a new intent for the statute as passed.  Judges are very clever when they want to manipulate language.

In any event, I hope its clearer. 

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 17, 2020, 01:15:42 PM »
Are you sure there's a limitation on old case rulings being overturned? I've heard of many instances where people behind bars for 25 years have had a new DNA test done and been released immediately when it was determined that their guilty verdict was bogus. Granted that's criminal and not civil.

There's no statute of limitation for proving you didn't commit a crime.  There are statute of limitations limiting when the state can charge you with a crime, though murder often doesn't have a statute of limitations.  Most civil actions have fairly short limitations on bringing the case.  Appeals have their own time requirements.

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 17, 2020, 01:12:49 PM »
I see. So textualism means interpreting old law based on new understanding of words, as opposed to the intent of the legislators?

No, it means the opposite and assumes a common understanding of the words in context.  If intent - meaning what they were thinking, but not what they included - then no religion that the Founders weren't already familiar with and had in mind would be included.  But that intent might have been in the minds of some of the Founders, but not others, for instance if one or more of them was thinking of Paganism, Hinduism or any of a host of animist beliefs.  If the Founders intent mattered, any judicial matters made based on scientific discoveries made since 1789 would be have to be judged in terms of whether the Founders had thought about them.

Actually no, that's a warped description of originalism (with an overlay of strict constructionism), which are other judicial philosophies (though strict constructionism is a rare philosophy and not well regarded even by conservative justices).  Take a look at the Wiki for Textualism it explains it what it is and how it differs from those philosophies with a fair bit of accuracy.  In particular, you may also want to read up on those two philosophies so that you can distinguish them going forward. 

There's no part of textualism that limits concepts to what the Founders had in mind.  Originalism does incorporate part of that concept for interpretation of the Constitution.  But even in interpreting the Constitution (which doesn't apply in this decision), advocates are not the literalists you are describing.

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 16, 2020, 01:03:16 PM »
Ok, so putting aside the definition of textualism for the moment, if the SC is *not* outright updating the law (officially) that means they are claiming this was always the law had to be interpreted, correct?

Don't mistake reality.  They updated the law, there's zero question of that.  The mechanic they used to do it is to claim that it never could have been read any other way, and even in 1965 that's what it meant.  It's contra-factual.  But yes, they are claiming that is is always how the law worked.

Does that not imply that all previous trials where an alternate meaning was used by the judge are retroactively a misreading of the law, and does that entitle any losers of past cases to have the cases re-opened since the rulings were contrary to the law at the time?

Well they largely also claimed that this is limited to Title VII, and dismissed with a handwaive the identical language in something like 45 other statutes (Alito including a list of citations in his appendix).  They did a handwaive that this doesn't resolve the bathroom issue, for example, which is "separate issue".  But that's a bizarre opinion.  If there's no other way to read the phrase, then it has to read the same way everywhere else it appears.

Previous cases may have appeal rights, depends on the case.  Certainly you can expect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of new filings to relitigate this issue across the entire legal system.

While activists might think that's great, I don't see it as remotely preferrable to a legislative solution.  I mean in the case of women's sports, both sides have a morally right argument.  Trans athletes want their identity respected, and for the same reasons that we passed a law to protect women's access to sport that prevents men from competing against them natural born women will be permanently disadvantaged if trans-athletes can compete.  The SC's opinion goes beyond what was there before, arguably allowing gender fluid athletes to flip back and forth between gendered competitions based upon their changing identity preferences.  Congress could have reached a balanced approach (or not) that at least tried to resolve that conflict, the Court's blunt hammer not so much.  Women lose on this issue because transwomen are more protected by a protection from discrimination based on "sex" than women are notwithstanding the "sex" protection was explicitly passed to protect women. 

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 16, 2020, 11:29:43 AM »
Actually a purely textual reading does lead to this result - See Gorsuch's opinion for the majority. Kavanaugh was legislating from the bench.  ::)

I find it frustrating when people that don't understand something pretend they do.  The essence of textualism, which can find in direct quotes from Scalia, is the interpretation of the words in the statute in the context in which they were passed and the meaning they had to reasonable people at that time.  It's a principal that is rooted on predictability of the law, stability of the law and the very Constitutional idea that Congress changes laws, not the courts.

Gorsuch is often a textualist, but here his opinion is only in the form of textualism.  It's actually literalist.  He expressly pulls individual words in the phrase out (textualism always requires you consider the whole phrase, or even the whole sentence), to put them together in a way that generates a result.

If you want to see that in real action, you can look at Alito's dissent (and the dozens of pages of attachments), where he goes into detail about the real time dictionary definitions (circa 1965).

Seriously, Gorsuch and Kagan are both proponents of textualism, one a conservative, the other a liberal - that doesn't mean that there is never ambiguity in the textual analysis.  Heck, all the SC judges are textualists today.  It's just lazy ascribing nefarious motives or thought to a judgment just because one doesn't agree with it.

I reject your lazy thoughts.  I agree with the result.  That doesn't change that the opinion is poorly reasoned and the consequences of that will be far reaching.

I don't know any of this legal wizardry, but it seems to me pretty common sense that declaring the current law to say that firing someone for sexual or gender orientation to be illegal, means it always was. If it wasn't always then it means the law is changing now, which is a legislative prerogative.

The essence of textualism is a rejection of the concept of "updating" the law to fit current social mores into existing language that never meant what one would like it to mean now.  Prior to the rise of textualism, the court routinely interpreted laws to mean things that were even contrary to the plain meaning of the words, using things like legislative history to "guess" at what the legislators were really trying to do rather than relying on what they did.  It was just an "amazing coincidence" that what the legislators were "really trying to do" was often the exact same thing the Justices wanted to do with the case.

This opinion is 100% about "updating" the law to match current mores.  The history on this leads to no other conclusion based on all the times its been considered and never come out this way, and at the time far from intended to protect homosexuality in employment people were still arresting people and subjecting them to mental health "care" for being homosexual.  Updating laws is the diametric opposite of textualism.

But if it *was* always the law then it means that those who drafted the law intended that, no? Or is the idea that the lawmakers unintentionally made this into law by using terminology that would change over time in meaning?

You should read the opinion.  The conclusion was that the language could never have been read any other way (despite the fact that it was literally read the other way by everyone, including 10 circuit courts, Congress, administrative agencies, the general population, and 19 SC Justices who never once held discrimination based on sexual orientation to the same standard as discrimination based on sex).

Thematically, the inescapable conclusion is that being anti-homosexuality is nothing but sexism.  The objection of the person that is anti-gay is according to the court a reflection of nothing more than an intent to discriminate based on gender.  If you interpret it otherwise the opinion's logic falls apart.  Notwithstanding that we have decades of laws and jursiprudence that treat it separately, that consider discrimination based on sexual orientation to me unique and distinct from discrimination based on sex.

Let's say that you have a law in favour of freedom of religion, and everyone is allowed to practice their religion freely. But the original legislators didn't consider Satanism to be a legitimate religion, and would have been horrified with the idea that their law allows even Satanism to be practiced freely. But let's say modern people on the other hand do consider Satanism just another religion.

That is textualism.  Much like the 1965 Act was already interpreted to protect a man from sexual harrasment by other men.  It's an inescapable consequence of the choice of words used.  If the act said it was illegal to discriminate against women, a different result happens, but the act said it was it was illegal to discriminate based on sex, which of necessity applies to both genders.

Now, if instead of Satanism, you were to include "lack of religion" you might be starting to cross the line.  But this case is more akin to saying that protection from discrimination against religion is really about belief, so if you passionately believe in the moral imperative of being a Union soldier in Civil War reenactments you would be protected from discrimination by your employer under the act and they would be required to reasonably facilitate your beliefs and observances.

Should the courts wait for a law that explicitly declares that Satanism is also included in "All religions"? Or should the courts accept that modern understanding of 'religion' has changed and Satanism is also included, even though that wasn't the original intent of the legislators?

Religion didn't change.  In 1965 the court recognized conscientious objectors, whose belief was not required to be tied to a belief in a god.  Here's what they said:  "[w]hether a given belief that is sincere and meaningful occupies a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by the orthodox belief in God of one who clearly qualifies for the exemption. Where such beliefs have parallel positions in the lives of their respective holders we cannot say that one is ‘in relation to a Supreme Being’ and the other is not."

Of course, that's why analogies are tough to use.  Too much extraneous baggage.

It's like saying "All people have the right to a fair and speedy trial", and having the law specify explicitly that yes, this includes women, Jews and Indians. Isn't the modern understanding that women, Jews and Indians are also included in "All people", even though perhaps once they weren't?

All again, textualism would point out that even at the time "all people" had a general meaning easily understood that in fact included all people.    Your arguments really don't come close to addressing what you seem to think they do.

But to give you the counter example of what textualism was fighting against.  The living Constitution crowd may look at that same passage, and decide that it only protects the right of a speedy trial to those people who are politically correct.  They'd look at it and say that those with racist views are inherently sub-human, for example, and non-humans can't be all people and therefore racists are not entitled to a speedy trial.  However, they may love dogs, cats and other pets and desire that such animals be granted a hearing prior to being put to sleep, so they not withstanding their lack of "human-ness," are defined to be people based on their compassion and loyalty.  There's no requirement for consistency, the language always bends to give the result the judge thinks is "right."  And when you come to that passage and try to live your life according to it, you'd need a great lawyer to even begin to explain to you the arcana that surrounds all the caveats and exceptions.

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 15, 2020, 08:59:25 PM »
Actually no.  A purely textualist reading does not lead to this result - see Kavanaugh's dissent for a textualist reading.  This was a purely literalist reading (which, to my knowledge, no legal practioners other than certain amubulance chasers have ever endorsed). 

The SC interpretation literally violates nearly every principal of statutory construction and does quite literally call into question the stability of the rule of law.  But hey, everyone that read an opinion column is a lawyer these days.

General Comments / Re: SCOTUS protects LGBTQ workers
« on: June 15, 2020, 08:47:10 PM »
That's going to be a "fun" one to watch get tested in the courts. Title VII is statute. The 1st Amendment is part of the Constitution. When statute is in conflict with the Constitution, the Constitution wins. So where Title VII meets up with religious organizations, the protections aren't likely to be as absolute.

As Alito helpfully pointed out, some 45 different statutes refer to discrimination based on sex.  So this is going to go far beyond Title VII.  Kavanaugh's dissent pointed out that even though those 45 laws refer to sex there is a large number of other laws that independently refer to discrimination based on sexual orientation (which per the SC's reasoning is unnecessary).  K also pointed out that of the 30 federal judges that directly considered this question all 30 ruled the other way, and it wasn't until 2017 that any contrary circuit court opinion emerged (previously 10 circuits rules the other way).  He also noted that 19 Supreme Court Justices (including many on the SC today) have decided cases based on sexual orientation, without even once flagging that they should apply heightened scrutiny to the decision (which is what applies in cases of sex discrimination).  Effectively decades of SC precedent decided on erroneous basis (this wouldn't necessarily change the result, but it certainly created an entire body of precedent and law that is effectively completely useless as precedent). 

How did 19 SC justices miss what this court says is the only possible interpretation?  How did the 30 judges?  Why has every Congress since 1975 introduced a proposed amendment to add sexual orientation (some have even had one house or the other pass such amendments, including 3 times in the last 5 years)?

I get liking the result, but this is NOTHING but a result orientated decision that constitutes judicial law making.

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