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Messages - Wayward Son

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1
General Comments / Re: Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

No. Of course you mischaracterize my words. Without straw man arguments, you got nothing.

Well, when there was nothing in the original post, you can't expect much more in the comment. :)

And although I know it is useless to say, why don't you explain to me what you thought you were saying, instead of just dismissing my understanding of your words.  Because I don't believe I mischaracterized the meaning of your words at all.

2
General Comments / Re: Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 04:30:39 PM »
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In any event, hard to see why you'd be upset, nothing Trump has done remotely hits the level of creating DACA out of whole cloth and that still doesn't bother you.

Which Constitutional power did Obama break by creating DACA (which comes down to not enforcing a law to its fullest extent)?

Now which Constitutional power did Trump usurp by taking money allocated for a certain program and using it for another?

Sorry, but usurping Congress' power of the purse is much worse than not fully enforcing a law against a group of people who were not responsible for breaking it.  I really have to wonder why you have the importance of these backwards.

3
General Comments / Re: Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 02:02:46 PM »
What makes you think Congress will be able to fund either of them, once Trump gets his hands on the money?  ;)

4
General Comments / Re: Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:24:00 PM »
Congress has spent decades ceding its authority to the executive branch. If Trump can get them to pull it back, that would be another great win for him and America.

So you consider abusing Presidential authority to the point of nearly breaking the Constitution, so much so that Congress is forced to take away authority from the Presidency (if they can! ::) ) as a "win" for Trump??  :o

No wonder the Republican party is so screwed up!  ::)

5
General Comments / Live It Off the Wall
« on: February 14, 2020, 11:38:46 AM »
The Trump Administration has announced the diversion of another $3.8 billion from the military to build his wall.

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The Trump administration plans to sap money intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment in order to fund barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon told Congress on Thursday, a move that has agitated Democrats and even drawn condemnation from a top House Republican.

The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump's border wall.

But this shift in funding marks a new phase for the administration, which until now had used money set for military construction and counterdrug operations, not combat equipment. The fiscal 2020 money will be moved into drug interdiction accounts that the Pentagon tapped last year to fund border barrier projects...

The money will be drawn from a host of procurement accounts, many of which are popular on Capitol Hill. The move includes a cut of two Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets at a cost of $223 million; $100 million from the Army National Guard's Humvee modernization program; $650 million cut from the Navy's amphibious assault ship replacement; and $261 million from the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship. The reprogramming also trimmed two Air Force C-130J transport aircraft for a cut of $196 million and $180 million from the service's light attack aircraft program.

The Pentagon also sapped an extra $1.3 billion from National Guard and Reserve equipment accounts, for which Congress has typically sought to allocate increased funding.

One could argue that these pieces of equipment weren't really needed and are just boondoggles to bring money to Congressmen's states (although some would assert that the military actually needs that equipment, and is less-prepared without it).  OTOH, one could also argue that spending it on a wall that can be climbed over, dug under, cut through or blown over by the wind is as much a boondoggle, if not more.

But however you slice it, Trump is taking fighting equipment away from our military to fund his pet project.

One wonders what gives him the right to reallocate funds from Congress as he sees fit.  Doesn't the Constitution give Congress the power of the purse?  At this rate, Congress might as well just write him a check and tell him to spend it as he will.  It doesn't matter how Congress intended the funds to be spent.  :(


6
General Comments / Re: Did the tariffs have a net benefit so far?
« on: February 13, 2020, 06:08:42 PM »
Fenring, do you expect Trump's tariffs to last 5 - 10 years?

To paraphrase Keynes, in the long run, his tariffs are all dead. :)

7
General Comments / Re: You don't get no ice cream
« on: February 13, 2020, 03:46:37 PM »
Don't tell this to Two Scoops.  He'll send Billy Barr after them!  :o  ;D

8
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: February 13, 2020, 03:45:32 PM »
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Fact is, Trump told you what he was doing and why, and got the results he told you he would get.  I think that means those who continue to pretend he didn't know what he was doing are the ones with the simplistic and naive understanding.

Baloney.

If I said that I raised a yellow flag every morning so that the sun would rise, because the sun follows the flag, you would call it simplistic and naive (not to mention other adjectives :) ).

And if I came back at you and said, "I told you what I was doing and why, and got the result I told you I would (the sun rising every morning)," you would laugh in my face.

So don't tell me just getting "the results he told you he would get" is anywhere near sufficient to prove that he isn't simplistic and naive.  Correlation does not prove causation, especially when "the results" may not be all he says they are.

9
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: February 06, 2020, 06:46:12 PM »
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Still waiting for your explanation on how denying cross examination helped us get to the truth.

You mean denying the White House the ability to cross-examine the witnesses (since Republicans were at the hearings, too, although some Republicans would have you believe otherwise)?

I believe they expected that to happen during the Senate Impeachment hearings.  After all, every other Senate impeachment hearings had witnesses that spoke directly to the Senators and told what they had witnessed.

Do you really think that this White House would cross-examine witnesses to get to the truth?  ;D

10
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: February 06, 2020, 06:40:32 PM »
The Republicans in the Senate, and apparently a lot of other people, decided that the Senate trial was to evaluate the quality of the House's evidence, rather than to determine whether Trump was guilty of the charges or not.  :(

You think deciding on a person's guilt should be based on something...other than...evaluating the quality of the evidence? This sounds like a Troy McClure bit.

I think in proper court cases the jury is explicitly instructed to rule based on the evidence alone and not whether they "think" the defendant is guilty. So...yeah..."we all know he did it" isn't a kind of evidence.

It's not that the judgement should be based on something other than the evidence.  It's that the Senate Republicans decided that it was more important to limit their inquiry only to the House's evidence.  And if that evidence, and that evidence alone, did not convince them, well, then it was all the House's fault, wasn't it?  If Trump happened to the guilty and there was more evidence out there that proved it, well, that wasn't their job to look at it.  Finding out the truth wasn't their job.  Responding to the evidence the House provided was.

Evidence, facts, guilt, innocence--those were only secondary issues. :(

11
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: February 06, 2020, 05:03:04 PM »
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Given Pelosi's statement that impeachment is forever vetting the facts in the House before impeachment seems like the minimum standard that should apply.  Or do you believe that once the Senate chooses not to remove that Trump is exonerated?

Can't have it both ways, if Impeachment means something it's the Houses job to make sure they have it correct.

It finally occurred to me why this is so sad.

The Republicans in the Senate, and apparently a lot of other people, decided that the Senate trial was to evaluate the quality of the House's evidence, rather than to determine whether Trump was guilty of the charges or not.  :(

12
General Comments / Re: So the POTSUS gets to swear on national TV now
« on: February 06, 2020, 04:48:53 PM »
From Stonekettle Station:

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Trump directly pandered to the racists and the sexists and bigots of all stripes, to the greedy and the selfish, to the nationalists and the xenophobes and the war mongers. Trump appealed to that guy at the end of every bar. You know, that guy, the loud drunk, the blowhard, who knows it all and is determined to tell you. The guy who thinks that if we just drop enough bombs, kill enough people, the rest will fall in line. That’s his answer to everything, bomb ‘em! Violence. A punch in the nose. Trump appealed to that guy because instead of attempting to lead from out in front, from a position of (alleged) moral high ground, Trump instead told that guy he was right.

The simpleminded demand simple solutions to complex problems, and Trump gave them that.

Trump told them they didn’t need to be better people.

That’s what a real leader does, encourage you to be better.

But not Trump.

No. Trump told Conservatives they were fine, the very best, in fact, they didn’t need to be better people because they were already the best people. Better than everybody else.

Trump didn’t appeal to their supposed better nature. Instead, he told *censored*ty terrible people that it was okay to be *censored*ty terrible people. Trump told the privileged that they were the real victims. That’s right.

Trump told racists that they were very fine people indeed, that it was okay to be racists, and he welcomed them to his rallies. The Klan. Nazis. Confederates. Proud Boys. For the first time since 1968, since George Wallace, they were all welcome up front. Come as you are!

Trump told the misogynists that it was okay to grab ‘em by the pussy so long as you popped in a Tic Tac first. He told the haters it was okay to hate gay people and Muslims and people of color. Trump told the greedy that it was okay to be selfish. He told the warmongers peace could only be had with the application of high explosives. He told the deliberately ignorant stupidity was a virtue, history was a liberal plot, education was elitism, compassion was an assault on manhood, and that money – and only money -- was proof of intellect.

Trump told terrible people that it was okay to be terrible.

Trump told terrible people that they didn’t need to feel bad about being terrible.

The defining moment was when Trump stood in front of America on national TV and told conservatives that it was A-OK to mock the disabled and he flapped his arms around and made weird squawking noises. The audience, instead of being appalled, they roared with laughter.

They roared with laughter.

Swearing?  Why not?  Everybody does it, so it can't be terrible.  Trump leads again.  :(

13
General Comments / Re: DNC Rule Changes
« on: February 05, 2020, 06:12:27 PM »
Quote
It’ll be a choice between the current economy or eating your pets to survive.

I know.  Think of those poor Swedes, having to eat their babies because their socialist economy has left them destitute.  ;D

14
General Comments / Re: DNC Rule Changes
« on: February 05, 2020, 06:10:12 PM »
Whilst I chuckle at the sentimentism, Wayward, it's a bit Facebooky. Like, you know, what Crunch would forward to us from Facebook.

I would be much more interested in hearing your thoughts on the Killer Mike campaign speech.

Or even my other potentially offensive-to-the-left thoughts, as you are one of the people I actually look to on this board on that side of the spectrum.

Sorry, DJQuag, I don't do rap. ;) :)

15
Where is the list of topics the president is supposed to be an expert in? I’d be interested in seeing that.

Oh, please, Crunch.  How could anyone create such a list?

Remember, the President's a genius.  He said so himself.  Not just a genius, a stable genius.  He's the man who plays 4D chess when the Democrats are playing checkers, remember?  This is a man who blows your intellect away, our only hope to Make America Great Again (c).  A man who knows that all scientists and climatologists are dead wrong just by gut instinct.  Who knows economics better than all the economists combined.  He actually corrects NOAA about the possible paths of hurricanes!  You cannot comprehend how much smarter he is than you with your poor average intellect.

When you're that smart, you can't make a list of everything he's an expert in.  He's an expert in everything. 

Including, apparently, geography and NFL teams. :)

16
General Comments / Re: DNC Rule Changes
« on: February 04, 2020, 03:40:35 PM »
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"60x richer and more successful then Trump"

Waitaminute.  If someone has negative net worth, how can you only be "60x richer?"  ???

17
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:35:19 AM »
It sounds like we are woefully unprepared for this outbreak.

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In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is—not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark...

In the spring of 2018, the White House pushed Congress to cut funding for Obama-era disease security programs, proposing to eliminate $252 million in previously committed resources for rebuilding health systems in Ebola-ravaged Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Under fire from both sides of the aisle, President Donald Trump dropped the proposal to eliminate Ebola funds a month later. But other White House efforts included reducing $15 billion in national health spending and cutting the global disease-fighting operational budgets of the CDC, NSC, DHS, and HHS. And the government’s $30 million Complex Crises Fund was eliminated.

In May 2018, Trump ordered the NSC’s entire global health security unit shut down, calling for reassignment of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer and dissolution of his team inside the agency. The month before, then-White House National Security Advisor John Bolton pressured Ziemer’s DHS counterpart, Tom Bossert, to resign along with his team. Neither the NSC nor DHS epidemic teams have been replaced. The global health section of the CDC was so drastically cut in 2018 that much of its staff was laid off and the number of countries it was working in was reduced from 49 to merely 10. Meanwhile, throughout 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development and its director, Mark Green, came repeatedly under fire from both the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And though Congress has so far managed to block Trump administration plans to cut the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by 40 percent, the disease-fighting cadres have steadily eroded as retiring officers go unreplaced.

Public health advocates have been ringing alarm bells to no avail. Klain has been warning for two years that the United States was in grave danger should a pandemic emerge. In 2017 and 2018, the philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates met repeatedly with Bolton and his predecessor, H.R. McMaster, warning that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would render the United States vulnerable to, as he put it, the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.” And an independent, bipartisan panel formed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that lack of preparedness was so acute in the Trump administration that the “United States must either pay now and gain protection and security or wait for the next epidemic and pay a much greater price in human and economic costs.”

So Trump was able to dismantle another Obama bureaucracy and save millions of dollars in the budget.  And we have no central coordination for our various local health and safety agencies.  This may not go well.

18
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: February 03, 2020, 06:40:06 PM »
And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

This is irrelevant to the point. You asserted an equivalence between bribery and extortion, which (a) are not equivalent, and (b) not applicable to Trump unless you can show one of them is. I have alternatively heard the accusation flip-flopping between bribery and extortion, but actually these are contradictory claims and cannot both be true. The fact that I've heard both suggests strongly that people are misinformed about what certain foreign interactions actually mean. Hence my question to you about campaign finance law. You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Trump would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances? It *might* explain them but it does not follow from them as a direct consequence. The only argument I could see making sense here would be a campaign finance violation, i.e. that Ukraine doing something beneficial to Trump's re-election is in an of itself against the law. Whether you realize it or not, this was the point you were (intentionally or not) actually making.

First off, I did not assert anything.  I was paraphrasing Elizabeth Warren.

Quote
You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Trump would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances?

I assume you mean "investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Biden would help him..."

No, I did not "conclude" that this is what's happening.  However, if we do conclude that he was extorting Ukraine (and I believe the evidence overwhelming shows that his representatives did just that), and if this extortion was mostly, if not exclusively, for the purpose of helping his campaign (which, I admit, may still be in question, although the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that), then the question becomes relevant, for the reason you said--it would be an illegal campaign contribution.  It would be made much worse because he used his position as President to do this extortion; using the power of the Presidency to withhold the funds.

The question, as I understood it, was based on the assumption that Trump did use his position to extort Ukraine.  But the question itself was not meant to prove that he had done so, AFAIK.  It was meant to point out that if it was proven, then it would be illegal just as the opposite would have been.

19
"Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game, and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well. Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!"--current President Donald J. Trump

"It’s Missouri you stone cold idiot."--former Senator Claire McCaskill.

20
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: February 03, 2020, 03:18:35 PM »
Let me ask a question Betty Warren asked yesterday to the wrong people (the House Impeach Committee, rather than Trump's Lawyers):

If Ukraine had offered to Trump to investigate Biden (which would possibly help his campaign) for weapons to defend themselves, that would be illegal, right?  Offering assistance to a campaign in exchange for badly-needed assistance.

If that is illegal, why is the opposite--offering to release badly-needed weapons for an investigation into Biden--not illegal?

It was established as fact that the provision of Javellins was not at anytime delayed.  Ergo, your entire supposition about delaying release of weapons is counterfactual.

No, his Administration merely promised, i.e, threatened, not to release the military funds until Ukraine announced the investigation into his political rival and son.  The fact that he didn't follow through with that threat is entirely beside the point.  The threat itself, if made for political gain, would be a high crime.

Reminds me of a calendar I have on the stupidest things people have said.  Reportedly during a cross-examination, the following occurred:

Quote
Lawyer: What happened then?
Witness: He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me!"
Lawyer: Did he kill you?

Somehow, this sounds similar, if the defendant was being charged with assault. :)

Quote
And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

21
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: January 30, 2020, 01:38:46 PM »
Let me ask a question Betty Warren asked yesterday to the wrong people (the House Impeach Committee, rather than Trump's Lawyers):

If Ukraine had offered to Trump to investigate Biden (which would possibly help his campaign) for weapons to defend themselves, that would be illegal, right?  Offering assistance to a campaign in exchange for badly-needed assistance.

If that is illegal, why is the opposite--offering to release badly-needed weapons for an investigation into Biden--not illegal?

22
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: January 30, 2020, 01:05:16 PM »
Quote
If the House wants to hear from Bolton they should subpeona him.

Oh, yeah, that worked so well for the House for their other subpoenas.  ;D  What makes you think it would be any different with Bolton, who already said he wouldn't testify to the House until a court ordered him to, because Trump ordered him not to?  Do we have to go over the Obstruction of Justice charge? ;)

I hadn't heard the House lost their case in court.  How well did it go for them again?

Last I checked one could still challenge any subpeona in court and that's not evidence of a separate crime of obstruction.

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The House then declined to pursue the matter further, even when Bolton subsequently announced he was willing to testify.

Except that he specifically said he would testify to the Senate, not the House.  And the impeachment was already headed to the Senate by then.  Day late and wrong house.

Again, the Senate should reject the House's defective record.  If this was a real court the case would be dismissed with leave to refile or remanded to the lower court to fix the problem.

In fact this is not a real case, it's a government funded campaign ad to interfere in the 2020 election.  Every single step of this has been managed by the left on a political basis.

Abuse of power by Trump?  My ass, clear abuse of power by the Dems.

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And in any case, we now have more information than the House did at the time.

If the House needed that information they should have obtained it.  You can't impeach someone for claims they didn't develop without uncostitutionally taking the sole power to impeach from the House. 

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The only question is whether they want to know the whole truth or cover the truth up. ;)

The only question is whether they will realize that this is nothing but politics and shut it down or let the Dems get away with the biggest political crime in our history.

I remember when Republicans used to brag about being the Moral Party.  The party that believed in the Justice and Facts.  You guys always made fun of us Democrats for not knowing what was true and what wasn't, not thinking logically, being driven by partisanship and emotions.

Now look at you.   With possible new information coming out (we didn't know before that Bolton had actually heard Trump say to stop the funds to Ukraine until they investigated Biden), why do you object?  Because he has the right to appeal revealing those facts (even though that would delay the process until after the election Trump wanted to influence).  Because in a "real court case" it would have been dismissed.  Because the claims weren't previously sufficiently developed before they were brought to the Senate (in spite of the fact that they couldn't get the evidence in a timely manner).

Tell me, do you give a flying f**k whether Trump actually tried to use his position as President to extort another nation, one that was fighting an invasion, in order to get dirt on a political opponent?  Or do you just want to make sure all the i's are dotted and all the t's crossed before the Senate gets to judge?

I ask because the Trump defense team and the vast majority of Republican Senators don't care.  They are quite willing to give the President kingly powers to do whatever he likes (if its for the good of the country, like having Trump as President, he's justified in just about anything he does) as long as it is a Republican President.  Watch how fast they spin around when a Democrat is elected to our highest office.

We need to hear from Bolton to establish what the facts are.  Whether those are established in the House or the Senate does not change the facts.  And if Trump tried to use his office to extort another nation into helping with his election, he should be removed from office.  Anyone who believes in justice and facts would agree with that.

But those don't matter much to Republicans anymore, do they?

BTW, the Dershowitz comment that constitutes a kill shot for the impeachment, and has opponents hot and bothered is this:

“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

This quite clearly refers to something that is in the public interest AND could help a president get elected. Dershowitz does not have a history of being obtuse or vague.

The reactions are boringly predictable but basically variations of "So what you're saying is if Trump thinks his re-election is in the public interest, he can do anything!"

In my experience, anytime an logical arguments begin with "so what you (he/she/they) are saying is..", you're no longer arguing logically/factually and have directly crossed into mind reading.

Schiff and lots of others (Colbert, seriously I thought you were smarter dude) are already using edited/mind-reading versions of Dershowitz's quote across the media. It's all they have left because how would you argue it as stated?

It's not mind reading.  It's logical inference.  (You've heard of that, haven't you?)

What is or is not in the "public interest" is a political question.  One can argue that making the Democratic Party illegal would be in the "public interest."  Ask any partisan Republican.  Just because you might disagree doesn't make it not so.  So the range of justification of something being in the "public interest" covers just about any action, including deciding that being President is ultimately in the public interest, especially if you are a very stable genius, so much smarter than everyone else! :)

Besides, the whole point of this impeachment is the firm belief that investigating debunked theories, those only held by the rightwing fringe, is in no way "in the public interest."  The only interests it would help is Trump's and the Republican Party's.

So, yes, the vagueness of the term "public interest" gives the President carte blanche to do just about anything he wants.  And if practically nothing is impeachable, and he cannot be charged with a crime while he is office, what the difference between a President and a king/dictator?

23
I'll admit it.  You're full of it. :)

Quoting Trump verbatim is now defaming him, eh?  Well, I guess we know the source of all these negative memes that make the President look bad:

The White House.  ;D

When you finally wake up and notice it, you'll be a lot better off.

24
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: January 28, 2020, 05:52:38 PM »
Quote
If the House wants to hear from Bolton they should subpeona him.

Oh, yeah, that worked so well for the House for their other subpoenas.  ;D  What makes you think it would be any different with Bolton, who already said he wouldn't testify to the House until a court ordered him to, because Trump ordered him not to?  Do we have to go over the Obstruction of Justice charge? ;)

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The House then declined to pursue the matter further, even when Bolton subsequently announced he was willing to testify.

Except that he specifically said he would testify to the Senate, not the House.  And the impeachment was already headed to the Senate by then.  Day late and wrong house.

And in any case, we now have more information than the House did at the time.  Now we have a good indication that he does have specific information relevant to the case; a written account that he personally heard Trump say he would withhold the funds until Ukraine complied.  Things are different now, and its in the Senate's court.  The only question is whether they want to know the whole truth or cover the truth up. ;)

25
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: January 28, 2020, 01:46:26 PM »
I've been avoiding this thread for a while because, once Sondland testified under oath that he had told the Ukrainians that they needed to start the investigation before there would be a White House meeting, there was no question in my mind that the Trump Administration pressured Ukraine.  I didn't need to hear any lame excuses to the contrary.

However, new developments brings me back.  Namely, the pages from Bolton's book that have been "leaked."

Looks like the pro-Trump Republican Senators are in trouble.

On the one hand, if they ignore the alleged allegations in the manuscript and don't have him testify, they will have to explain come March, when the book comes out, why they did so.  Can anyone really argue that Bolton personally witnessing Trump directing that no aid be sent to Ukraine unless they investigate the Bidens is not germane to the impeachment?  ;D  Is trying to keep pertinent info out of the trial anything short of a cover-up?

OTOH, if they do have Bolton testify, he will be talking about things that Mulvaney and Pompeo heard, too, which will drag them into the trial to testify.  And if they're going to do that, why not ask Parnas what he knows?  All this doubtlessly means more and more worms from the can to deal with.

It looks like McConnell's plan to have a quick, quiet impeachment acquittal has just blown up in his face.

26
General Comments / Re: Left eating it's own
« on: January 27, 2020, 02:05:12 PM »
More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, so I'm not so sure about that, Pete. :)

27
General Comments / Re: Left eating it's own
« on: January 27, 2020, 12:31:15 PM »
Not the mention that the source video for the Washington Times article is from Project Veritas, which has a worse record of lying than even Donald Trump (which is admittedly hard to believe :) ).

28
Regarding Lev Parnas:

"I don’t know him, other than he’s sort of like a groupie...He shows up at fundraisers. I don’t know anything about him...Parnas, I don’t know, other than he probably contributed to the campaign along with tens of thousands of other people...This weekend I was taking pictures with hundreds of people. Every once in a while I'll look at somebody and I'll say, ‘Gee, I wonder when that picture is going to be in The New York Times, or The Washington Post or on Fox'...I don't know him at all...Don't know what he's about. Don't know where he comes from. Know nothing about him. I can only tell you this thing is a big hoax...I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him"

You gotta wonder how stupid he thinks his supporters are.  ;D

29
Here’s my take on Aquina’s arguments.  Forgive me if I repeat other’s arguments; I’m just putting this out as quickly as I can.
I would summarize his arguments thus:

1.   For there to be motion, there must be a first mover.  This is God.

2.   For there to be cause and effect, there must be a first cause. This is God.

3.   For there to be something, it must come from something. It came from God.

4.   For there to be gradation, there must be ultimates.  These are God.

5.   For there to be results, it must come from intelligence.  This is God.

The first three are pretty much self-evident.  Unless everything always existed, there had to be an origin.  But calling it God is either meaningless or makes unwarranted assumptions.

Meaningless in that we could just as well call it “happenstance,” “luck,” or “the Big Bang.”  It tells us nothing about what caused these first motions, causes or matter.

Unwarranted assumptions if you use the acknowledged meaning of “God” or “gods.”  Because God has the power to do these things, and intention when He does so. 

But obviously these are not necessary for the first three.  Would anyone be surprised if we said the Big Bang happened without someone making it happen?  There are several speculations, having to do with black holes, wormholes and such, that it could have happened because of a natural process in an alternative universe.  But no one would call a natural, mindless process “God” except to redefine the word from its common meaning.

The fourth point isn’t really necessary.  Some things, like absolute zero, have no smaller value; it is the ultimate.  Other things, like heat, have no ultimate value; there is always something bigger.  Calling something that is bigger than what we know “God” doesn’t tell us anything.  Great, so we can imagine something larger than anything that exists—that does not prove it exists.  If it does, please get me a unicorn. :)

There is also no reason why all these ultimate must be aspects of the same thing or being.  Why can’t a star be the hottest thing, the middle of space the coldest, light the fastest, etc.  Why must all these ultimates be part of a single thing called “God?”  I see no reason.

Which leaves the fifth point, which is obviously a false assertion.  For an arrow to hit a target, someone must have shot it?  Aquina obviously didn’t know the law of unintended consequences. :)  If you aim at a target and hit the guy next to it, did you intend to hit the person?  If you build a coal-fired generator, did you intend to increase the global temperature?  If you’re driving fast on an icy street, did you intend to crash into an oak tree?

With inanimate objects, it’s even worse.  Does water intend to become snowflakes?  Do viruses intend to make people sick?  Do animals intend to have mutations that sometimes turn out to be beneficial, and pass those on to their young?  Of course not.  The natural laws they are subject to make these things just happen.  And the laws themselves did not intend for them to happen; they are simply consequences of the rules they automatically obey.  No intent required.

So results do not require an intelligence.  So they do not require a God.

Aquina’s arguments for God do not prove a God, especially one that has intelligence and intent.  They are really forms of the “God in the gaps” idea—attributing everything we can’t explain to God.   It very well may be His doing, but not necessarily.  And when speaking of science, it’s best to leave out the unnecessary.

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God isn't 'ruled out of hand' - it is simply impossible to aggregate any series of observations that God is a more rational explanation.  I can always say 'why not advanced aliens' or 'why not I'm a butterfly on a wall hallucinating this' or 'why not this is all merely a simulation and I am a brain inthe matrix' and you would have to agree that they better fit the evidence.  Similarly once you invoke God as explanation it makes rationality impossible.  If God is the 'explanation' for anything, why not simply God as the explanation for everything.  Similarly the 'butterfly on a wall dreaming I'm a person having a discussion on the internet'.  Or the 'brain in a matrix simulation'.  There are infinitely many such explanations for everything and it is perhaps impossible to differentiate between most of them.

I think Laplace put it best.  When he presented Napoleon a copy of his Celestial Mechanics, which explained the motions of the planets and comets, Napoleon asked why God wasn't mentioned.  Laplace famously said, "Sir, I have no need for that hypothesis." :)

It doesn't mean God isn't there somewhere.  But He isn't needed in most cases.  You don't want God to be included in explaining why something falls, or why lights come on when you turn on the light switch, or figuring out the probability of an electron's location around an atom.  Because it doesn't add any information to the explanation.  At best, it can only add uncertainty.  So why include Him?

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 16, 2020, 06:26:19 PM »
That we are in a rapidly warming climate, and that something should be done about it. Today its about whether something is unprecedented, but its the standard playbook.

* It's not happening
* It's not that bad
* It's not our fault
* It's too difficult to fix

1) Nobody disputes the warming is happening, the cause is in dispute. (As are some of the methodologies being used to claim the extent of said warming)

2) Yes, how bad it is in dispute and anyone who claims it's only going to be bad has a very high bar to cross on that one.

3) "It's not our fault" was previously covered in #1, but it's also relevant that if we're seeing "natural variability" in play, nothing we do about "our contribution" is going to change anything, because in that case, we had little to do with what's being observed.

4) This goes back to #1 and #3, if it's mostly natural variability in play. We're not just talking about "fixing" our own contribution, we're talking about trying to counter-act mother nature herself. But in order to do that effectively,  we need to understand how Mother Nature is doing it. But as we're stuck in the clutches of the cult of we're doing it, we're not progressing very well on that front.

What you're missing in your thinking here, Deamon, is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  Which means that, as the concentration increases, it traps more heat, regardless of anything else.

So while much of the temperature increase may be due to "mother nature," our increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere (and the oceans) only makes it even worse. And as we continue to increase the concentration of CO2, it continues to make the warming worse.

It's like saying, "Well, most the temperature rise in our house in the summer is from the heat outside, so it doesn't matter if we turn on the furnace."  ???  If the increase of the heat is bad (and we seem to all agree it ain't good!), then making it worse is worse.

Maybe we can't get the temperatures back to where we want them, but we can make sure it doesn't get any worse because of what we do.

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:38:58 PM »
If you got 'em, show 'em.

Otherwise, we gotta work with what we got.

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:54:47 PM »

Turns out the European Space Agency has been tracking wild fires across the globe since 1995, and 2019 had exceptionally more fires than in previous years.  Combine this with 2019 being the second-warmest year on record, with 2010-2019 looking to be the warmest decade on record, there is definitely a trend.

Give me an extremely rough prediction model for global wildfires.  What are the factors?

Off the top of my head, drought and heat would be the major factors (to dry out the plants).  Periodic water to allow the plants to grow before drying them out helps, too.

So you would expect more wildfires in areas that become drier as AGW expands the desert zones.

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Trump's favorite executive time toy

I bet he loves playing with it with his associates John Barron, John Miller and David Dennison. :)

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:52:47 PM »
Quote
The problem is that those who deny climate change is happening look at events like the fires in Australia in isolation.  "These terrible fires in Australia don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  "The terrible fires in California don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  "The terrible fires in Montana don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  The same with heat waves, droughts, floods, powerful hurricanes, etc.  There were almost always worse incidents in the past.

What's happening now is that these almost-worst incidents are happening more frequently.  We have terrible fires in Australia, California, Montana, France, etc.  We have heat waves in France, Australia, California, etc.  We have floods in the Midwest, etc.  And not just regular fires, heat waves, droughts, floods and power hurricanes.  100-year floods every 50 to 25 years; heat records being broken every few years; category 5 hurricanes one after another.   When we look at the historical records, we are seeing upward trends.

Turns out the European Space Agency has been tracking wild fires across the globe since 1995, and 2019 had exceptionally more fires than in previous years.  Combine this with 2019 being the second-warmest year on record, with 2010-2019 looking to be the warmest decade on record, there is definitely a trend.

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General Comments / Re: Clean coal economics
« on: January 14, 2020, 01:42:20 PM »
The problem, of course, is that in rural West Virginia and such, there are no other high-paying job opportunities other than coal mining.  It's the problem with any one-industry town, as many of the steel towns learned a few decades ago.

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General Comments / Re: Clean coal economics
« on: January 14, 2020, 11:55:30 AM »
Doesn't matter, Pete.  Any use for coal that doesn't involve burning it won't justify the mining of tons of the stuff each year.  :(

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Then there's this.

Not really a quote, but a campaign ad by a fourth-grader for fourth-graders.

That's what the Republican Party has become.  ::)

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به مردم شجاع و رنج کشیده ایران: من از ابتدای دوره ریاست جمهوریم با شما ایستاده‌ام و دولت من همچنان با شما خواهد ایستاد. ما اعتراضات شما را از نزدیک دنبال می کنیم. شجاعت شما الهام بخش است.

Wasn't that what he said to the Kurds? ;)

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General Comments / Re: Trump Justice Department Clears Clinton
« on: January 10, 2020, 02:01:35 PM »
Since when does the President tell his supporters to "lock up" a supposed criminal?

Isn't he in charge of that??  ???

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 09, 2020, 06:41:38 PM »
Interesting to note that the trend of lightning-cause large wildfires is faster than those of human-caused large wildfires (see Fig. S3).

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General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: January 09, 2020, 06:29:44 PM »
Quote
While nobody in here is being histrionic about it, there is plenty of chatter going on everywhere about how the fires in Auz are "clearly the result of global warming" because they're so big, and so destructive. Typically logical fallacy material for a lot of AGW types, where any evidence of extreme weather is proof of AGW, natural variability doesn't exist for them.

The problem is that those who deny climate change is happening look at events like the fires in Australia in isolation.  "These terrible fires in Australia don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  "The terrible fires in California don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  "The terrible fires in Montana don't prove AGW; there were worse fires in the past."  The same with heat waves, droughts, floods, powerful hurricanes, etc.  There were almost always worse incidents in the past.

What's happening now is that these almost-worst incidents are happening more frequently.  We have terrible fires in Australia, California, Montana, France, etc.  We have heat waves in France, Australia, California, etc.  We have floods in the Midwest, etc.  And not just regular fires, heat waves, droughts, floods and power hurricanes.  100-year floods every 50 to 25 years; heat records being broken every few years; category 5 hurricanes one after another.   When we look at the historical records, we are seeing upward trends.

Sure, AGW types tend to blame every extreme weather event on AGW.  But deniers tend to ignore the increasing frequency of these very same extreme weather events, and discount all of them as just being incidents of natural variability.

When the variability trends in one direction, that indicates a change.  And something is causing that change.

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Do you refer to a US 2 star general as a “government official“?

I asked you to identify his government title. Is his military rank the best you can do?

No, I don't usually call a solider a "government official."  But that doesn't mean he isn't a government official.

This is especially true in countries where the military is closely associated with the government, if not part of or actually running the government.  So I really don't see high-ranking officers as an entirely separate category or even a lower category than a government official.

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You don’t get to pretend like we’re arguing something else and then question whether my point is relevant. You shouldn’t be using the word relevant if you’re not willing to remember the thread of the argument. Suffice to say that my answer is relevant to the foolish question you asked about Warren. This is the 2nd time in this thread that you have asked me a question and then obfuscated the context my answer. Do you need me to remind you what your question was, or can you take responsibility of remembering it yourself, or reading it above on this page?

Frankly, I don't know what the hell you're talking about.  You apparently are reading more into your words than I am, or perhaps I am reading more into them than you are.

My main point is that I haven't heard anyone on "the left in the West" who "viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis."  The only example given, calling Soleimani "a government official," is arguably true, and nowhere near a vicious attack.  So I still question this part of her essay.

If I am misconstruing your words or intent, I apologize.  I just want to make sure that my point is well made.  Because the last thing we need right now is the impression that "Much of the left in the West" condones the terrorist actions and murders of Soleimani.  I think the fact that numerous examples of vicious attacks on those celebrating his death pretty much speaks for itself.

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I'd also be grateful if you'd tell me (1) what you think Soleimani's government position was, and (2) the relevance in this context of his supposedly being a government "official."   My understanding is that he was head of the non-government militia, so I question that he was any sort of government official.

According to Wikipedia (and mentioned in passing in the article),  Soleimani was a major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  He was the commander of the Quds Force, which specialized in what we would call terrorist activities ("extraterritorial military and clandestine operations").

He was a government official because he was recognized by the government of Iran as an official, had a title and standing, and had the government's support in his operations.  Not to mention "was widely popular among Iranians, where his supporters viewed him as a 'selfless hero fighting Iran's enemies,'" as the Wikipedia article puts it.

Whether you acknowledge him as a government official or not is irrelevant.  The Iranian government openly acknowledged him, and we acknowledge the Iranian government.  Outside countries don't get to choose who is or isn't a government official.  Iran doesn't get to say if Trump is President.  (Heck, more than half of America doesn't get to say that, either. :) )  So why should we get to say if Soleimani was one?

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Well, then it is obvious that the author is wrong, because calling Soeimani a government official is not attacking people who celebrated his death.

Heck, we celebrate government officials' deaths all the time without denying they were government officials. :)

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Sorry, Pete, but you're wrong. :)

You said:
Quote
Quote
Quote from: Wayward Son on Today at 04:05:40 PM
Quote
Much of the left in the West (the same ones who describe themselves as progressives) also viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

Any clue to who on the Left the author was referring to as attacking people who celebrated the deaths of Soeimani and al-Muhandis?

Elizabeth Warren, for one, dignifying the master of assassins as "a government official"

This clearly says that Warren was a person who attacked people who celebrated the deaths by "dignifying the master of assassins as 'a government official.'"  I can see no other way to interpret your words.

47
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 07, 2020, 04:50:14 PM »
Wow.  How much do you think Biden will get for this video?

Or Obama for for this photoshopped picture?

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Except he was a government official, if you haven't noticed.  You can't blame her for stating the facts.

Just because someone is a government official doesn't mean they can't be an assassin, too.

Besides, that isn't attacking someone for celebrating his death.

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Much of the left in the West (the same ones who describe themselves as progressives) also viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

Any clue to who on the Left the author was referring to as attacking people who celebrated the deaths of Soeimani and al-Muhandis? 

Because I haven't heard it.  No one I've seen or heard has mourned their passing, or criticized those who celebrated it (unless their celebration was to justify escalating the situation in the Middle East).

As you said, I'd like to see what these numerous people of the Left said in context, rather than looking at what those who criticize them have said they've said.

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Sure, in the long run Russia will fade from the world stage.

But, to quote Keynes, in the long run we are all dead. :)

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