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Topics - cherrypoptart

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General Comments / What are some things that Biden gets right?
« on: September 24, 2021, 08:12:31 PM »
I don't want to constantly be the Debby downer on the guy so if he's doing something good I'll acknowledge it.

Further strengthening our "relations" with India is one thing that Biden is doing right, and it's interesting and kind of fun for Biden that both he and Harris have family relations with India. I'd like to see even greater cooperation and partnership with India going forward and Biden seems like a good guy to get that done. Economically, militarily, and politically the country of India seems to align well with our own so to see the foundations of our mutual friendship deepened is very heartening.

General Comments / Packing the Court
« on: April 10, 2021, 06:16:16 PM »

"President Biden created a bipartisan commission Friday to study structural changes to the Supreme Court, giving the group 180 days to produce a report on a range of thorny topics including court expansion and term limits."

One thing should be very clear. If liberals had a majority on the Supreme Court and conservatives were in charge of appointing new members to it, does anyone seriously believe the liberals would be in favor of packing the court with more conservatives, or even in favor of a commission to study it?

This is purely a power grab. FDR tried it and it cost him in the mid-terms. From wiki:

"The Democratic Party lost a net of eight seats in the U.S. Senate and a net 81 seats in the U.S. House in the subsequent 1938 midterm elections.

As Michael Parrish writes, "the protracted legislative battle over the Court-packing bill blunted the momentum for additional reforms, divided the New Deal coalition, squandered the political advantage Roosevelt had gained in the 1936 elections, and gave fresh ammunition to those who accused him of dictatorship, tyranny, and fascism. When the dust settled, FDR had suffered a humiliating political defeat at the hands of Chief Justice Hughes and the administration's Congressional opponents."

This is interesting too, that even the Democrats saw this for what it is. I wonder how many of them today will be willing to stand up for principles instead of grabbing for power.

"Other reasons for its failure included members of Roosevelt's own Democratic Party believing the bill to be unconstitutional, with the Judiciary Committee ultimately releasing a scathing report calling it "a needless, futile and utterly dangerous abandonment of constitutional principle ... without precedent or justification".

This goes way beyond a nuclear option. This is more like a planet buster, the Death Star option. It will destroy our entire system of government as we know it and put in a new one where whoever controls Congress and the Presidency also controls the Supreme Court because they will just pack it and pack it and pack it until it bursts. Biden even saying he just wants to study the possibilities is like saying let's study the possibilities of building a Death Star that can destroy our planet. This is madness.

General Comments / Predictions and thoughts on the Biden Presidency
« on: November 04, 2020, 11:21:36 PM »
These threads are always fun to come back to a few years later to see how what the politicians said they would do matches up to what they actually tried to do and then what they really accomplished. Obama's promises about healthcare are a good example, one with no individual mandate and average costs coming down twenty-five hundred dollars per family compared to what actually happened. So what is Biden promising to do, will he do it, and will it work as intended?

Will he succeed in getting the filthy rich to pay more in taxes and will his tax policies end up resulting in more money to the Treasury? Will he get the assault weapons ban he wants? Is our healthcare system going to be substantially improved and can he really "shutdown the virus" like he said? Will there be less pollution and will climate change slow down because of his administration? I wonder about all of that and a lot more. Just like with Obama, the good thing is that we get to see if these people can deliver on their promises. When they fail like Obama did miserably, that sets up the other side for a good chance at taking over for a while the way Trump did and may yet do again.

General Comments / Messages from Joe Biden
« on: October 11, 2020, 04:44:09 AM »
As putative front runner and like Hillary pretty much a sure thing to be our next President, Joe Biden deserves his own thread to reflect on his statements, unlike the voters who don't deserve many things including whether or not he intends to pack the Court.

"Joe Biden on Friday again refused to state whether he would attempt to pack the Supreme Court if elected president, saying in an interview that voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on the issue."

Is this guy joking? Because that's hilarious!

General Comments / Patent abuse
« on: September 03, 2020, 04:09:42 PM »

"NASA patented a faster, cheaper route to the moon...

It may seem odd to patent lunar travel, but Burns said it is really no different from any other invention. "It's a creation that was the result of doing numerical modeling of planetary trajectories, he said. "So it is intellectual property."

NASA patents and licenses inventions to achieve the "widest distribution" of a technology, Dan Lockney, a NASA executive, told IPWatchdog in 2018."

So I thought for a moment maybe they are patenting this so nobody else can try to do it and this way they can keep it in the public domain for anyone to use, but that's not it. They are charging for it.

"The agency charges as much as $50,000 to license its patents but typically asks for $5,000 to $10,000, plus royalties. "It is through the upfront fees that NASA seeks to recover some of its investment in the patent filing and maintenance costs," the agency's licensing website says."

Don't get me wrong here. I think it's great work that they are doing. That's a fantastic trajectory and I can appreciate all the time and effort and money and brain power put into it. Nobel Prize consideration is certainly due. I'm just not seeing how it's something that should be patentable, like if you found a way to get across the ocean in a hot air balloon using the most efficient wind currents and different altitudes and locations during your journey, or tried to patent an efficient route across the ocean on your sailboat, or a time saving way to drive through a city or state or country. I'm not seeing in the story that this is a patent they applied for and it's under consideration and might still be rejected. Apparently, it got approved.

Is that how this should work? Any other examples of patent abuse, either upheld or denied, whether or not you agree with this one?

General Comments / Democrat Primary
« on: June 09, 2019, 05:31:25 PM »
You sure do learn an awful lot about a group of people by the way they criticize themselves, and talk amongst themselves too.

"Soon after Delaney responded by asking to debate AOC, Rep. Ilhan Omar stepped in to tell him (after AOC had already declined): “No means no.”

So already allusions to rape. Biden is flip flopping like a fish out of water on Hyde. Some Democrats demand a debate focused solely on climate change so that should be interesting. I'm very much looking forward to this. Hopefully it will be educational but it will definitely be entertaining.


"Bernie Sanders isn’t backing away from his controversial proposal to allow all incarcerated felons to vote in U.S. elections."

"If we are serious about calling ourselves a democracy, we must firmly establish that the right to vote is an inalienable and universal principle that applies to all American citizens 18 years and older. Period.

When we look at the history of why our country has banned incarcerated people from voting, we must understand that the efforts to rob citizens of their voting rights was a legacy of slavery and continuing racist attitudes post-Jim Crow.

After the ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which extended civil and legal protections to formerly enslaved people, many state governments rushed to create new felonies to put black people in jail and then institute lifetime disenfranchisement.

Our present-day crisis of mass incarceration has become a tool of voter suppression. Today, over 4.5 million Americans — disproportionately people of color — have lost their right to vote because they have served time in jail or prison for a felony conviction.

It goes without saying that someone who commits a serious crime must pay their debt to society. But punishment for a crime, or keeping dangerous people behind bars, does not cause people to lose their rights to citizenship. It should not cause them to lose their right to vote."


Wow. Now that is really out there. I doubt anyone will be surprised that I wouldn't be in favor of this idea. So Timothy McVeigh gets to vote for years while he is waiting to be executed but obviously none of the over one hundred people who murdered would get to vote during that time period, or ever. I have to admit this makes no sense at all to me. It's kind of funny how language works and two people can say the word "fairness" and have such different ideas about what it means. I suspect letting everyone vote seems fair to some people but for murderers? That's just out there. Just my opinion though. I could be wrong.

General Comments / Wealth tax
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:34:03 PM »

"Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren suggested a new tax on the rich Thursday that could cost American billionaires $85 billion a year, according to a Forbes analysis. The plan would not directly affect anyone worth less than $50 million, but it would subject those with fortunes of more than $50 million to a 2% incremental wealth tax. The rate would rise to 3% for any fortune that crossed the $1 billion threshold.

That means billions of dollars would be transferred from the richest Americans to the larger population. Jeff Bezos, whose $137 billion fortune makes him the wealthiest person in the world, would have to fork over $4.1 billion annually under such a plan. Bill Gates would pay an additional $2.9 billion in taxes, and Warren Buffett would owe $2.5 billion more. President Donald Trump, whose estimated $3.1 billion fortune made him the 259th-richest person in America as of September, would owe an additional $80 million.

“We are now in an America where one-tenth of 1% has about the same wealth as 90% of America,” Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, said in an appearance on MSNBC. “And here’s the deal. Forty percent of America today can’t come up with $400 bucks in an emergency. That is not an economy that is sustainable, and it’s not a democracy that’s sustainable.”

Some billionaires who would be paying the tax characterized it as a step toward communism. “The leftists are ‘communist light’ for now,” Rockstar Energy Drink founder Russ Weiner, who is worth an estimated $4.5 billion, wrote in an email to Forbes. “They will continue to get more dangerous with their demands and actions. It will never be enough.”

Frank VanderSloot, who grew up poor and now sits atop a fortune worth an estimated $4.2 billion, offered a more measured reaction. “On the surface, it’s such an easy sell to sell people, especially young people,” VanderSloot said, “that hey, if we just took from those that had it, and we took it and kept it ourselves or gave it to people who don’t, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? I mean the whole idea of Robin Hood was Robin was the hero, right? But it’s been tried. And it creates an economic disaster.”


Beyond the issue of Constitutionality which is interesting in and of itself, would this actually be effective and by effective I mean would it bring in more money over the long term compared to leaving that money in the hands of billionaires so they continue to invest and grow it and they keep paying taxes on the income from it? That's where I'm most skeptical. Warren talks about how much money it will take in but is she factoring in how much will be lost over time because income tax won't get paid on that money anymore?

There's also the concern that it will start at the top and work it's way down to your average Joe millionaires who may only have one to a few million dollars, and may eventually work it's way down even further still until people with a few hundred thousand dollars in savings may get a "nominal" 10k asset tax put on them per year. That won't kill anyone with that much money. So there's the camel's nose in the tent, foot in the door, slippery slope thing to worry about too.

I wonder if Warren and others would still support doing this even if it wouldn't really benefit the economy or the Treasury after all the dust settles and they'd still be in favor of that just because it's more "fair".

"European Human Rights Court Rules Insulting Islam is a Crime" Their court declared that it is illegal to, and this is my words not theirs, tell the truth. They call it insulting Islam. A lady said that Mohammad married a six year old girl and consummated the marriage when she was nine and that type of behavior is akin to pedophilia.

I wonder if by this standard Charlie Hebdo was actually in violation of the law then when they printed their cartoons. In the gay marriage case our own Supreme Court pointed to changing international standards in their decision to legalize gay marriage so one has to wonder if this interpretation of the limits of free speech might be on its way here eventually especially with the standard of "yelling fire in a crowded theater" meaning that since saying these things often lead to death maybe limits are required for public safety.

General Comments / "The Fed Has Gone Crazy!"
« on: October 11, 2018, 12:20:39 AM »
I almost put this into the Trump lies category but didn't want to step on any more feet. Is the Fed going crazy? There is a chart in the story indicating that the rates were abnormally low for an abnormally long time under Obama. It's seems like these rate hikes are putting things back to what might be considered normal, but I'll admit I don't know much about it. I do like learning from all of y'all though so hope there are some insights. Too bad Kuato isn't around since I remember this type of thing being right in her wheelhouse and we see a bit how it's affecting the stock market but I also wonder what it's going to do to bonds. People investing in bonds know about laddering them to spread the interest rate risk, meaning you don't put all your money into 30 year bonds but buy them so they are expiring every few years or so that way if rates rise you'll be able to ... well I'm sure I don't have to explain it to y'all. The thing that I do wonder about is if let's say you have bonds expiring is it entirely possible that you'd be best off just holding that money as cash for a year or more and get no interest (or very little in a short term cd) on it so you can buy your bonds at a higher interest rate later? Or is it best to just keep laddering them and buying them as the old ones expire? I suppose that all depends on whether or not the rates will keep going up and how much.

Anyway, is Trump right that the Fed has gone crazy? Or is he lying again? Or somewhere in between?

General Comments / Cryptocurrencies
« on: January 06, 2018, 10:34:12 PM »
I'm just wondering what people are thinking about cryptocurrencies including bitcoin but also all the altcoins springing up. I'm a bit impressed by how many seem to be dedicated to helping financially underserved peoples without access to traditional banking resources although I wonder how much of that is lip service as opposed to an authentic desire to help the poor around the world. Maybe it's a bit of both. It seems like there is a lot of opportunity here along with risk but of course the big money will often be made by the founders of these new altcoins. I wish I had the first clue how to make one. I'd probably call mine gnomes and make a trillion gnomes, locking up about half for the founders including myself and hope to see it go up from half a cent per gnome to over a dollar for each gnome at which point we'd all be multibillionaires. If anyone wants to start a cryptocurrency and wants some founders maybe we could all pull our resources and do it. It would have to have some sort of purpose, preferably altruistic. They already have one for micropayments to authors. That was a pretty good idea. That idea is probably just dreaming though as I understand you basically need a team of basically post-doctorate level programmers and engineers, but it's fun to dream. Whatever the long shot odds of getting rich on cryptocurrencies are they are probably better than the lotto. Of course there is the risk that it could all crash too and whatever you put in is lost but it seems like, for instance with bitcoin, even a small investment has the potential to make an awful lot of money. Is this the next tech bubble or is it legit?

General Comments / Religious Freedom
« on: June 02, 2017, 08:12:24 PM »
Just for fun... got a kick out of how they end their prayers.

A Chandler, Arizona, man now has an official driver’s license featuring a photo of him wearing a colander, the Arizona Republic reported Thursday.

Corbett told the Republic that his quest was all in the name of religious freedom. As a Pastafarian in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Corbett said he wanted to ease the way for people of other religions to don the headwear of their choice, such as a hijab or a turban, without opposition.

General Comments / World Community Grid
« on: May 12, 2017, 04:33:21 AM »
So I've been doing this World Community Grid for about fifteen years now, off and on, and I thought it might be something some of the Ornery crowd would be into and I should give it a pitch. It's like a charity but instead of money you donate your computing power. I think they worked on the Human Genome Project and that distributed computing helped get it done much more quickly than had been initially anticipated. Now they're working on cancer, Ebola, AIDS, and a bunch of other stuff.

It doesn't seem to use much bandwidth but it does use just about all of the processing power available so I pretty much always turn it off if I'm doing anything more than browsing the internet or playing chess or sudoku, but since I leave my computer on all night and day anyway I just let it run when I'm not using it. Well, my pitch isn't going to be all the persuasive here. I'm just going to point to the website and let y'all decide for yourselves. If you work at an office you might send it up the flagpole there and see if anyone salutes especially for offices where they just leave the computers on all night anyway, but for this program even if they don't maybe they will.

What got me started is I was in speech class in college and had to do a persuasive speech. I was looking around for something to do it on and came across an article on distributed computing and it mentioned the World Community Grid so I did some more research and made that my topic. It was a pretty good speech if I do say so myself, but the subject made it really easy so even if you don't end up doing it if you know any students who have to write a persuasive speech paper this is a good subject to recommend.

General Comments / Birthers are back
« on: December 16, 2016, 01:29:18 AM »

Looking at the birth certificate video analysis they put up there at about 1:30 where they take five points on Johanna Ah’nee's birth certificate and copy them together and then move them over and they line up precisely with the identical marks on Obama's birth certificate... I mean I thought I had let this go but that's just spooky.

Someone else's comments from there that seem to match up with the gist of what I remember some of our own tech savvy contributors posting about this:

"my favorite thing about this doc is how illustrator and photoshop users can tear apart all the things they did to fabricate it. Look how the lines of the form bend with the binding, yet the background doesn't. What hospital or state records office has the budget to hire a designer to scan, very poorly delete the white background, (as evidenced by the white artifacts around the type) and put it on that hideous green background? what office on earth would do that in lieu of just scanning it in or putting it on an HP scan to email? Those machines you buy at office depot don't do what you see here. BTW, who ever did this lousy job, if you use multiply in the layer effects pallete, you won't have to delete the white, and you won't get the artifacts around the black pixels. Also when you are bringing in vector objects: add noise so it blends with the original raster image. Sloppy sloppy work. The PDF you can download opened in Illustrator reveals all. links, placed objects, multiple layers. A definite work of fabrication.

... there are so many reasons this thing is fake. Download the PDF from the whitehouse website, find someone who knows illustrator, (someone who knows pre-press) and ask them to explain the structure of the document and how it was built. ask them which elements are raster and vector, and if something like that is possible just by scanning something."


Those were the comments years ago by someone apparently knowledgeable on this stuff and that was even before Ah'nee's birth certificate was available for comparison. One might question if Ah'nee's birth certificate is legit. Maybe that is a forgery based off of Obama's birth certificate to perpetrate this birther hoax against a real Obama birth certificate. I don't know but I have to admit this is all still very curious.

I remember Daruma pointing out that before Obama anyone could get their birth certificate or a close family member's just by paying ten bucks and then suddenly after Obama all you could get, supposedly, was the short form according to Hawaiian government officials who said that even if Obama wanted to and came down there in person he couldn't get his long form. Maybe if there was a fraud it was imperative not to let the template for it get out. I wonder how Joe got access to it after all. And I also wonder if now that Obama is almost out of office the state of Hawaii might consider letting people get access to their own birth information on the long forms which are invaluable genealogical resources.

General Comments / Hillary's Health
« on: September 12, 2016, 03:10:24 PM »
Hypothetical: If Hillary has something serious like multiple sclerosis and doesn't want people to know, is that okay?

Just a hypothetical here, and we can remember that FDR hid the extent of his medical condition as well if that works in her favor.

World Watch / Where is this?
« on: December 20, 2015, 06:33:32 PM »
From the old forums someone asked where


Maybe the game they were playing is over but just like a kid in school who knows the answer and can't say it because the teacher knows he knows and doesn't call on him so the other kids can have a chance, it's driving me crazy not to be able to answer this question.

I think it's Salem, MA.

Just save the picture onto your desktop and then drag it into google images and that's what pops up anyway.

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