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Messages - Wayward Son

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General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: April 01, 2016, 04:52:31 PM »

it isn't legal to 'knowingly' send classified info via anything but secured systems.  Which is why it matters if she knew (or should have known) the material was classified.  The identity of a CIA agent should be pretty cut and dried.

This is true.  My point was, though, that it has nothing to do with her using her own server for e-mails vs using the government server, if the government server was not considered secured for classified material, either.

Either way, if she did send classified materials in an unsecured method, she did break the law.  Then the question becomes how severe was this crime.  Was it closer to a "parking violation" severity or a "selling atomic secrets to the Russians" severity?

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: April 01, 2016, 03:49:53 PM »
For the sake of dialogue assume that "abortion is murder" should be read as "abortion ought to be considered as murder." It is obviously killing, that's not what's in dispute. As an analogy to "abortion should be considered as murder" and concordantly should be illegal, consider the position of someone in a society that employs ritual child sacrifice. That person might claim that it's wrong to murder children for any reason, and as you might imagine the defence that "it's not murder because it's legal" would be missing the point entirely.

One can believe that abortion is wrong and still not consider it murder.  It all depends on how "sure" you are that it is wrong.

Consider Matthew's position.  He acknowledges that the Catholic Church considers abortion murder, and he is a practicing Catholic.  So he probably believes it is wrong.

But does he expect everyone else to abide by his church's judgment?  Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, and from having to follow religious precepts that one doesn't agree with.

So Matthews can believe that abortion is wrong, just like he believes eating meat on Friday used to be wrong (until the Church changed its stance), or that divorce is wrong, and still not require that those things become illegal.

So until he is convinced that abortion is wrong on a basis more firm than religion, he can believe it is wrong and still not require it to be "murder."  Because if his belief is primarily driven by his religious beliefs, then he has no right to impose it on other people.

So, again, what is Trump's stance on this?  Does he believe it should be illegal (in almost all circumstances), and if so, shouldn't then the woman who has an abortion (and thus participating in an unlawful killing) be punished?

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: April 01, 2016, 12:34:29 PM »
Actually, I thought Matthews nicely humiliated Trump by showing that Trump really didn't have a position on abortion, no matter how often he declared he was "pro-life."

Because there are different types of "pro-life."  From the discussion, it appears that Matthews may be pro-life (adhering to the position of the Catholic Church), but he is not willing to impose his beliefs on others by advocating that abortions are declared illegal in practically all cases.  This would be called "pro-abortion" by certain pro-lifers.

Trump would not clarify if he wanted to go that far, and instead tried to turn it around on Matthews and make him say it.  But, as Chris pointed out, it doesn't matter what Chris thinks, since he's not running for President.  He wanted to know what Trump thinks.  And Trump tried to weasel out.

It's this double standard--taking a position but not wanting to take a position--and blaming it on the media instead of taking responsibility himself, is one of the reasons Trump is so annoying.

General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: March 31, 2016, 03:19:45 PM »
I still keep wondering if it was legal to send classified information over e-mail at all.

Considering the route such e-mails take (through various other servers, IIRC), I would think then any classified information would be unsecure if sent to any e-mail address.

Does anyone know?

Because if so, then Hillary using her own server is not an issue, but rather that it was sent at all.  It would be like complaining that someone sent explosives in a small passenger jet when it would be more secure on a jumbo jet, when it's illegal to put explosives on any passenger aircraft. ;)

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: March 30, 2016, 11:15:14 AM »
And for today's event, Trump has reneged on his promise to support the eventual Republican nominee, because he had been treated "unfairly."

Which opens him up to actively oppose the nominee if he isn't it.  Which opens him up to run his own, third-party campaign if he decides to.  Which opens him up to thoroughly sca-roo the Republican party by siphoning away votes.

Stay tuned, folks, for the next exciting episode. :)

General Comments / Re: Election Day
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:28:48 PM »
He is more likely to be defeated by the RNC than by Hillary.

I kinda doubt that, Fenring.

For one, not nominating Trump will cost the Republican Party quite a bit.  It will alienate a large segment of Trump supporters who will feel that the RNC "stole" Trump's nomination, which is a price the RNC may not be willing to pay.

And while Hillary has a -13 point unfavorability rating among voters, Trump is posting a -33 point average.  While people hate Hillary, they really hate Trump.

So with the RNC having so much to lose, and Hillary being less unpopular than Trump, I'd say there is a better chance of him being defeated in the general election.

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: March 18, 2016, 01:02:58 PM »
And as the show goes on, another idea pops up.  A State Legislature could override the popular vote and make the House decide the next President.

Basically, it could go like this.  While the people vote on who they want for President, the state legislatures appoint the electors for the electoral college.  Normally, they vote according to the results of the election, but there is no Constitution requirement for them to do so.

So the legislation in a state like Texas could appoint electors that would vote for a third candidate, like Paul Ryan.  If the election was close enough, that could mean that neither of the other candidates would receive the 270 required to win.  So the decision would revert to the House of Representatives, who would choose among the candidates with electoral votes--including the Texas pick.  So with a willing House, both the Democrat and Republican candidates could be ignored and the Texas pick could be voted in by the House.

It's a wild, long-shot idea, which would probably result in the members of the House being replaced (although it would be the next House members that would vote), but the fact that anyone is talking about this shows what a crazy circus this election is becoming.

General Comments / Re: Election Day
« on: March 17, 2016, 06:36:19 PM »
Sounds more like The Walking Dead to me.  ("Hey, gov'nor, whacha got in your back room there?" :) )
There was an explicit scene in B5 where the Emperor of one of the races went into his "council chamber" which was a room with the heads of all of his advisors that he'd executed for displeasing him.

OK, that beats out Dead, where the Governor simply had a collection of zombie heads in fish tanks, snapping at him when he wanted to think. :)

General Comments / Re: Election Day
« on: March 17, 2016, 05:39:50 PM »
Sounds more like The Walking Dead to me.  ("Hey, gov'nor, whacha got in your back room there?" :) )

I'll make a prediction right now that if she becomes President nothing significant changes with regard to a) campaign finance, b) lobbying, and c) too big to fail. I'll even predict that she makes no significant attempt to change these things. If I'm right about this then I still don't particularly see the difference between her and Trump other than their aesthetic style of presentation.

The problem is that no one is a perfect principled politician or a chameleon.  Even the principled politician has to listen and respond to the will of the people and the exigencies of national and international events.   And the chameleon needs to keep satisfied those who elected him, if only to have a chance at re-election or to prevent from being removed from office.

So while Clinton and Trump may be both chameleons, they each have a side that they are aligned with, and need to keep somewhat satisfied.

So while Clinton may not make any changes to campaign finance or banks that are too big to fail, she will have more sympathy for reproductive rights and limiting the power of the powerful, while Trump will have more sympathy for the rights of the unborn and increasing the power of the powerful.  And so will the staff that they appoint.  And don't forget the Supreme Court appointment that is pending for the next President (unless the Senate sees who it will be and **** in their pants :) ).

So even if they are the same as politicians, the results of them in office won't be the same.

Still depends on how lucky the Republicans feel (to paraphrase Dirty Harry :)).

The lessons of history suggest, instead, that significant damage to party reputations is done by unsuccessful presidencies, not unsuccessful presidential candidates. Unsuccessful presidents like Herbert Hoover and Carter shaped their parties’ reputations for decades after (see, for example, attempts to compare Obama to Carter). But Trump’s approach and lack of real party roots probably make him more like an even worse president, Andrew Johnson, whose myopia and racism brought down more than just his party. Republicans stand a smaller chance of electoral loss if they nominate Trump than if he launches a third-party bid. But nominating Trump might be the outcome that should worry party leaders the most. Trump winning the nomination, and then winning the presidency — as unlikely as that may be — probably represents the greatest long-term risk to the Republican Party.

His winning could be worse than splitting the party.

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: March 16, 2016, 02:59:15 PM »
Here's one for the Reality Show.

In Illinois, Trump lost delegates because they had foreign-sounding names.

If I understand it correctly, in Illinois, you don't vote for the candidate, but for the delegates.  Each congressional district has three delegates that can be elected, and each of them has the name of the candidate they are pledged to.  So if you want all three to go to a certain candidate, you vote for the three delegates that have that candidate's name next to them.

This worked well if the candidate's name was Doug Hartmann.  But Raja Sadiq, in the same district, got 25% fewer votes, even though both of them were pledged to Trump.

So in three districts, the number one and two spots were taken by Trump supporters, but he lost the third delegate because the third supporter (with a foreign-sounding name) missed the third spot--a pattern unique to Trump.

It's like Trump supporters wouldn't support Trump if his delegate didn't sound "American" enough. :)

Now it's both sad and pathetic.  Trump *may* not have enough delegates to win on the first ballot, but a second ballot can only have candidates who won the majority of delegates in at least 8 caucuses and/or primaries.  Right now no one but Trump qualifies, but Cruz may well qualify by the convention.

If Cruz doesn't qualify by the convention is Trump the candidate by default? Or can two other candidates do something like merge their wins by naming themselves as a 'ticket'?

It appears that the Republicans can do do just about anything they please, if they are willing to pay the political cost.

(This is the same link I put in the Trump the Reality Show thread, but I fear it may have been lost in the bickering there.  ;))

General Comments / Re: Trump, The Reality Show
« on: March 15, 2016, 01:22:53 PM »
Rallies and protests are nice, but the real show starts July 18 in Cleveland.

Read about the probable result of a contested convention.

Now that's going to be a hellava show.  ;D

General Comments / Re: Election Day
« on: March 14, 2016, 03:29:52 PM »
I think Sanders would be stymied by the Republican House just like Obama, and after a short while attacked just as vehemently.  Hillary at least has experience being attacked and stymied, so she's my best hope to actually get something done with this oppositional Congress.  Hillary.

General Comments / Re: Obama blamed for Trump
« on: March 14, 2016, 01:09:47 PM »
They haven't even funded his actions when they've agreed with them.
Wanh, wanh, wanh Republicans bad.

Eh?  You've stated that Republicans only oppose Obama because they oppose his (radical) policies.  Then, when AI points out that they won't fund his policies even when they agree with them, you go "wanh, wanh, wanh?"  ???

Doesn't defunding policies they agree with, but Obama proposed, pretty much prove it is not only policies they disagree with that make them oppose Obama?  Am I missing something?

General Comments / Re: Obama blamed for Trump
« on: March 14, 2016, 12:04:19 PM »
No, she broke the law.  Period.

I however, think there is a very good chance she is "above the law," at least with respect to this Admin.  We'll see I suppose.

Driving on the freeway to work this morning, I saw dozens of people who broke the law.  Period.

Are they all too "above the law?"  Or could there be another reason they weren't all cited while I was driving by?  ;)

General Comments / Re: Obama blamed for Trump
« on: March 11, 2016, 02:44:05 PM »
Dang it!  I mean to link to the original New York Time opinion piece.  :-[

But at least it's good to know somebody checks out the links... :D

General Comments / Re: Obama blamed for Trump
« on: March 11, 2016, 11:10:12 AM »
Lol.  I heard that earlier and nothing flattering comes to mind.  It wouldn't be the first time though he's made news by denying something no one heard in the first place.

Does that mean that no one reads the New York Times? :)

General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: March 10, 2016, 01:33:40 PM »
Wayward, I've re-read our thread on the old board more than once.  You should take a trip back down memory lane, cause what you said was never true, at least for what we've been discussing for months.

The issue that is being played up, is the call/no call they made on the rescue, which was always just a judgment call.  There's never been any good reason for it to be as unclear as it is.  Can you tell me what President Obama was doing at the time with confidence?

The real issue has always been the corrupt cover-up.  The needless lies and frame job.  It's just a lie to even try to claim at this point that it was a 'failure to say soon enough that a tape wasn't the cause.'  It was an intentional and deliberate lie from the start to even sell the tape theory.  Like I said, go back and refresh yourself on your own positions on that thread if nothing else.

The subject at hand (the one I made the comment on, to which you are responding) is the Benghazi Congressional Committee.

While you state the issue is the call/no call they made on the rescue, I do not find that to be an issue with the committee anymore.  I do not recall any recent questions on available resources, nor accusations that they were held back.  From what I understand, those questions have been asked and answered during the numerous hearings, and are now no longer an issue.

The only issue that I recall the committee has still been investigating (before the e-mails came up) was the announcement of that the tapes were the cause of the attack.  But while your opinion is that it was an intentional and deliberate lie from the start, my opinion is that it was, at worst, a convenient excuse that the Administration adopted because it was the initial cause that the CIA came up with for the attack, one that was later revised and corrected by all involved.  There is documentation for my opinion.  And, ultimately, it had no effect on the actual actions of the Administration or by anyone else that I know of.

While you have the right to your opinion that there was some "corrupt cover-up," it is only an opinion, and hardly fact.  And, in my opinion, it is a completely bogus one.  But the fact that the Benghazi Committee has not uncovered any facts to show that military forces were not properly deployed, which was the serious charge about the event, means to me that they were not serious about uncovering serious allegations from the start, and were far more interested in political scandal, i.e. "blowing smoke."

You may believe certain things about the Benghazi attack.  But we are talking about what the Committee believes.  And, AFAIK, they no longer believe that aid was not deployed in a timely manner.  And the issue about the tapes still comes down to "why didn't the Administration admit the cause wasn't the tapes sooner."  So the only thing I see is a political fishing expedition.  And so, any "conclusions" they come to without substantial evidence is just political smear.  Which I am sure is why they are waiting until just before the election to release their "conclusions."

General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: March 09, 2016, 02:26:21 PM »
Sorry, Seriati, but it's just been blowing smoke from the beginning. :)

How else can you explain that the emphasis went from the Administration purposefully denying aid to an embassy under attack to the Administration not saying soon enough that is wasn't a tape that set off the attack?  ::)

When you go from a serious, if not murderous, dereliction of duty to a misunderstanding about the cause of an incident, that shows that it wasn't the initial charge that they were truly concerned with.  It was the smear.

So how can anyone trust the verdict of a group of Senators who are primarily looking for something to smear Hillary with, even if it turns out to have basis in fact? ;)

General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: March 09, 2016, 01:40:48 PM »
If the government really does intend to go through with a formal case against her it would destroy her campaign against Trump. No one current being tried for a crime would be electable. If this is the case I feel like it needs to be made clear ASAP so Clinton can decide whether to salvage this election for the Democrats by conceded the nomination to Sanders. And if they don't intend to do anything to her I think they should probably officially drop the matter and declare her innocent of any wrongdoing so the spectre of this issue can be banished.

I can't guess whether she or Sanders has a better shot against Trump in the general, but if she wins the candidacy and then subsequently has charges pressed against her, it will be too late to swap her out for Sanders, who by then would have lost his momentum after losing the candidacy. If current conditions persist it could be a recipe for a Trump presidency.

I think this was the plan for quite a while now (since the Benghazi-committee investigation is not scheduled to be completed until a month or so before the election), whether there is an actual case against her or not.  Of course, this was planned well before Trump appeared on the scene, so that might complicate matters. :)

Which also complicates the matter on how people will vote.  The Benghazi investigation has been a partisan fishing-expedition from the beginning.  Any complaint against Hillary from the committee will be tainted with that partisanship.  So the question is, will the voters give any weight to such a complaint, regardless of the merit?

That, of course, assumes that the Republicans can swallow the idea of the Trump Presidency--a prospect which could actually cause more damage to the Republican Party than allowing Hillary to win.  As FiveThirtyEight said:

The lessons of history suggest, instead, that significant damage to party reputations is done by unsuccessful presidencies, not unsuccessful presidential candidates. Unsuccessful presidents like Herbert Hoover and Carter shaped their parties’ reputations for decades after (see, for example, attempts to compare Obama to Carter). But Trump’s approach and lack of real party roots probably make him more like an even worse president, Andrew Johnson, whose myopia and racism brought down more than just his party. Republicans stand a smaller chance of electoral loss if they nominate Trump than if he launches a third-party bid. But nominating Trump might be the outcome that should worry party leaders the most. Trump winning the nomination, and then winning the presidency — as unlikely as that may be — probably represents the greatest long-term risk to the Republican Party.

General Comments / Re: Republican Leadership needs to Step Up
« on: March 08, 2016, 01:55:55 PM »
What makes you think this is different from how things were 150 years ago? Both parties were starkly opposed to one another with no hope of a middle ground. What else is new.

And that division was resolved with a Civil War that killed more Americans than any other war in our history.  It may not be new, but it's worrisome.

But it has come at a price, that being that it requires a complete victory.  You can't have a partial victory when the fate of the Nation hangs in the balance.  You either win or die, swim or sink, defeat the evil Democrats or be defeated.  And, so far, the evil Democrats haven't been defeated.  They are holding their own.
Sounds like a straw man to me. They disagree to the core with Democrats and so will obviously fight them tooth and nail. Do you think they should behave otherwise? This is party politics in a nutshell.

Although the song remains the same, it's the stridency that I find different.  Parties haven't tried to shut-down the government over their differences until recent history.  Compromise has been the order of the day.

So why do Republicans disagree to the core with Democrats now?  Why didn't they 40 years ago?  50 years ago?  Why are they calling for shutting-down the government rather than compromising and working with the opposition?  What has changed so radically, if not for the rhetoric of the Right?

In fact, you were making an argument in the other thread that people see him as the savior from the GOP leadership, not from the evil Democrats.

I was?  ???  I don't remember that...

Whatever, why does the GOP need saving from the GOP leadership?  ;)  Isn't it because they have not be able to push through their agenda, and allowed Democrats to block it?  What other reason is there?

This is the exact narrative that Washington and the media have been spinning for the last several years. Now you're going to try to pin it on Trump? Fear-mongering about ISIS, about Lybia, about Syria, about Putin - the 24 hour news cycle has been pushing these ideas relentlessly. If Trump knows how to capitalize on this public mindset then that basically means he knows how to campaign. But he certainly has nothing at all to do with people feeling this way. He is not making people scared, he's being successful at making them feel safer when he tells them how he'll take care of business.

This is what I am saying--that Trump is the result of the narrative, not the creator of it.


Measures that might include ignoring the Supreme Court, ignoring Congress, ignoring those in the Military that what you want to do is illegal

Trump never said these things and you know it. But in terms of ignoring Congress, tell me, when was the last time the Congress was consulted about a military engagement? Or rephrased, when was the last time the U.S. officially declared war?

Didn't Trump say he would ignore certain rulings of the Supreme Court (or am I getting him mixed up with Cruz and the others)?

And, you're right, I can't think of a specific example of him specifically saying he would ignore Congress, although I think he would have to to implement some of his ideas.

But he has specifically said that, if the military said torture was illegal, he would just tell them to do it anyway, since he would be Commander-in-Chief and they have to do whatever he tells them to.  After all, everyone in the military swore allegiance to the President...  ;)

No, I don't think I'm that far off from what Trump has said.

General Comments / Re: Republican Leadership needs to Step Up
« on: March 08, 2016, 01:34:08 PM »
" Through the rhetoric of the Right Wing Media (Limbaugh, Ingraham, Fox News, various politicians, etc.), they have been convinced that what liberals and Democrats have done is absolutely evil"

What has Limbaugh said that hysterical left wingers and some leftist preachers havent been saying about conservatives since the 1970s?  Are we pretending that no one on the left compared Bush to Hitler or claimed the military invente HIV to kill black people?

Seems to me that anyone seeing the division is one party's problem is part of the problem.

Although there are hysterical voices on both sides of the aisle, currently the ones on the Right have far more influence than the ones on the Left.

When someone who claims that the military invented AIDS to kill black people becomes the leading Democratic candidate, we'll talk.  Until then, recognize that this is currently a bigger problem for the Right than the Left.

General Comments / Re: Republican Leadership needs to Step Up
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:05:31 AM »
It's not just that the people feel betrayed.  Through the rhetoric of the Right Wing Media (Limbaugh, Ingraham, Fox News, various politicians, etc.), they have been convinced that what liberals and Democrats have done is absolutely evil, and that voting for Republicans will stop and reverse this.  It is not a matter of compromise or improvement; it is a matter of defending what is good and righteous, with the fate of the Nation in the balance.

This message has been very successful for the Republicans for the past couple of decades.  It has energized its base and allowed them to achieve significant victories in getting candidates elected to Congress.

But it has come at a price, that being that it requires a complete victory.  You can't have a partial victory when the fate of the Nation hangs in the balance.  You either win or die, swim or sink, defeat the evil Democrats or be defeated.  And, so far, the evil Democrats haven't been defeated.  They are holding their own.

So what do you do when the stakes are so high?  Who do you turn to when you're losing the war?

A strong leader.  One who can take on the evil Democrats.  One who isn't afraid of them, can bully them into submission, can get the policies pushed through by trampling over the opposition.

Or as one Trump supporter said on NPR this morning, a guy who "isn't a pansy" like all those in Washington. :)

When you hear, day-in and day-out, how we are at war with those who are destroying our country, and we are losing that war, then desperate measures are called for.  Measures that might include ignoring the Supreme Court, ignoring Congress, ignoring those in the Military that what you want to do is illegal, ignoring reality if necessary (by saying that Mexico will build us a wall to keep their people out of our country  ::) ), and just getting the job done. 

Trump supporters aren't evil or stupid.  They've been convinced, through the relentless propaganda of the Right, that we are in desperate times and that things aren't changing their way.  So they are willing to take desperate measures, because the stakes are so high.  And the one who seems the strongest right now is Trump.

Thus we get a Republican front-runner who most of the Republicans can't stand.  A person who is a liar and a bully.   A person who promises the moon, but has no real plan or experience on how to get there.

But, really, how different is he from all the demagogues that have been preaching to the Right for years?

General Comments / Re: Republican Leadership needs to Step Up
« on: March 07, 2016, 06:47:42 PM »
Perhaps this gives a better perspective.

I was listening to a CPAC roundtable late last week (televised, I wasn't there) where the panelists, including The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes, discussed the basic division in the GOP today: between people who feel the party establishment has betrayed them and those who do not...

The betrayal is that the GOP promised it would destroy Obama's presidency (end it in 2012, defang it before and after) and turn back the various things he's done to damage the country and 'transform' it. But let's remember that Republicans played a high stakes game of brinksmanship in 2011, threatening to default on the national debt if President Obama didn't comply with various demands, an event totally without precedent in more than two centuries of American history. There was the Cruz government shutdown in 2013 to attempt to force yet another showdown over Obamacare. There was the successful effort to kill immigration reform in 2013. There's the current refusal to even receive the President's nomination to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, at the beginning of the fourth year of his term - again, totally unprecedented in American history. (We had serial rejections in the mid-19th century, never a refusal even to consider a nomination.) And these are only some of the most high stakes examples...

You can say all sorts of things about these folks being crazy, or extremists or whatever else. But set aside all these evaluative or partisan interpretations and one thing is fairly clear in objective terms: a large portion of the GOP is not satisfied with what can realistically be achieved by conventional political means. One might even add here working with allies on the Supreme Court to come close to overturning Obamacare on what were extremely flimsy grounds. Yes, it's a bummer to take over the House and latter the Senate and still have Obamacare. But as long as you have a relatively popular President with a veto pen, that's life. You need to elect a president too.

As I noted at the end of last month, some of this is a product of "hate debt" and "nonsense debt" - building up wildly unrealistic expectations by over-promising and trading in an increasingly apocalyptic political rhetoric. But it's not all that. Something this powerful, as we've discussed, isn't just ginned up by political leaders. It runs much deeper. But again, the overreaching point is important: The narrative of 'betrayal' - at this volume and intensity - only makes sense if you are dealing with a chunk of the electorate with expectations that are deeply unrealistic in the context of conventional political action.

That is a volatile situation when you're talking about at least a quarter of the national electorate.

That gets you Trump. It also gets you Ted Cruz. And it may get you worse still.

Since private land grazing prices have also skyrocketed due to federal government's irrational and destructive Ethanol boondoggle, your argument follows the statist logic of a PRC Tibet handwashing.

According to Wikipedia, grazing fees on federal land went from $1.35/animal unit month in 2012 to $1.69 in 2015.  A 20% increase.  But considering the price hasn't changed substantially since the early 80's (see the chart in this article comparing federal vs. private fees), that is not a huge increase when you take inflation into account.

Also note from the chart that the average private fee has doubled during that time.

And while you may like to blame Ethanol for corn prices, how much corn did those ranchers use before?  I would think that they relied mainly on hay and alfalfa during the time their livestock would be "grazing."  So it probably has far more to do with the persistent drought in the West (which is causing a hay and alfalfa shortage) that is cutting into cattlemen's profits than Federal grazing fees.

Which also means that lowering the grazing fees will have little to no effect on saving family ranches.

So while you might characterize my questions as "PRC Tibet handwashing" (whatever that means), I think you should rather re-examine your assumptions about the situation.  Because they seem to be on shaky ground.

After all, Bundy's beef wasn't that the fees were too high.  He felt that he shouldn't have to pay them at all. :)

[You're ignoring that their being born into poverty is the result of generations of discrimination and racism.
Except that's a false story.  The current "trend" of being born into poverty is the direct result of the expansion of social programs advocated by the left, which altered the trajectory of an entire people from upwards to downwards. 

Shouldn't the "party of science" base their policies on actual results rather than feel good beliefs?

Really?  In the past, people who were born poor were less likely to be poor when they were old?

What is your source for this?

Ethanol is driving grain prices through the roof, so jacking up unreasonable graze fees will wipe generations-old family businesses out.

From what I've heard, grazing fees are much lower on Federal land than they are on private land, so I don't understand where you get that they are "unreasonable."  How much lower should they be?


Sure, it was a guess--but it turned out to be the right guess.

Only if you accept that extremely partisan article would that be true, like I said other estimates put them in place within 3 hours and with time enough to potentially save 2 of the lives lost.

Seriati, could you please show your non-partisan source for this 3 hour estimate?

And do you know when the source testified during a Benghazi hearing?  And what was the Administration's response to this 3 hour estimate?


Well there is the redacted email released that shows the Pentagon offering unspecified forces - did I miss where this turned out to be a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack?

Actually, yes, you missed it.  The Democrats released the unredacted e-mail, and it turns out that military forces referenced were the ones that were actually sent to the Libyan compound to rescue the survivors.  I told about this on the last post of this thread on the old forum.

So, yeah, it pretty well was a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack. :)

There's several different statements of various insiders relating to forces in the region that were action ready and could have been sent to arrive with various arrival times.  Not sure how any of that would be a bold-faced lie, unless your asserting there are no American forces (including air power) anywhere in Europe, the Mediterrean, the Middle East or Northern Africa that would be kept ready to react on a short time line?

Yes, and all of them (that I heard of) would have arrived long after the action was done, and long after the servicemen that were sent had already evacuated the survivors--thus negating any "meaningful time frame."

However, if you know of a specific one that would have arrived sooner, I would love to hear about it.

There's absolutely no way to have known real time that any force mobilization would not have arrived in time to make some sort of difference, which means lack of beginning to mobilize forces that would take even several days to arrive is not justifiable.

Unless, of course, that those in charge in the area realized that this attack would be over well before other help could arrive.  Sure, it was a guess--but it turned out to be the right guess.  Perhaps those local decision makers were better informed, more experienced, or made better judgments than partisan politicians in Washington. ;)

Quote's become clear that we could have sent help in a meaningful time frame - but that the order was never given...

Whoa!  Really?  Seriati, you've got to fill me in with the details.  This is the first I've ever heard of this.

Every other time someone's said it, it has turned out to be a bold-faced lie, usually told by some partisan hack in the media to fool the hicks.  But I must have missed one.

So please let me know who the help was, where they were stationed, and how long it would have taken them to get there.  It's absolutely amazing this was kept quiet for so long.  Does the Benghazi committee know about this?

If you want to hear Hillary sound presidential, have you tried one of the Democratic debates? (Not that I have... :) )

General Comments / Re: Justice Scalia dead
« on: February 24, 2016, 05:34:53 PM »
Of course, to the Judicial Committee, a "centralist" would have to be someone far to the right of Scalia... :)

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 24, 2016, 04:02:32 PM »
CO2 does produce warming, and historically, HAS often produced significant warming.

How much of the CO2 in the atmosphere was produced by human activities?

You might want to look here for starters.

How much of the current warming changes were produced by CO2?

As far as I know, the only way to make a reasonable estimate of how much warming has been caused by CO2 is using the various computer models.

This article may provide more information and directions for further information.

Actually, there are much more powerful greenhouse gasses that are overwhelmingly produced by human activities, such as SF6.

True, including good old H2O.  But CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long, long time (at least a century), so it will affect our climate for the foreseeable future.  Most of these others gases stay for much shorter periods, so their affects are shorter lived.

Skeptical science is a good source for answers to a lot of the basic questions.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 24, 2016, 03:39:05 PM »
What does belief have to do with this?  This is a scientific question, not a matter of belief.  Proof is what is and should be persuasive.  There are indicators that AGW is occurring, they are just not at the level of proof.  I went into detail on the models to show why they are particularly misleading and often used to convince people that we have more scientific certainty than is possible.

Ah, I see, you want scientific proof.  Absolute proof that practically eliminates all other possibilities.  Proof that is so certain, so precise that we can predict with a great deal of certainty exactly what the outcome will be for any given change.

I believe your thinking of mathematics, not science. :)

Science is more about different levels of certainty.  You never have absolute certainty, absolute proof.  You have more or less certainty.  Some explanation reach a high level that they are labeled theories, but even the most hallowed theory is not considered immutable if new facts dispute it.

So asking for "proof" is unachievable.  Science doesn't "prove" anything.

But what we can do is ascertain and compare the levels of certainty.

For instance, we are very certain that higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere trap more heat.  So certain that practically everyone agrees with that theory.

That the Earth's atmosphere has been warming over the past century and half is also fairly certain, when you consider not only temperature readings but climate-related changes in plant species locations, animal (especially insect) ranges, glacial melting, etc.  There are far more indications of warming than of not.

And we have reliable measurements of the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.  So that is very certain, too.

But you dispute how certain we are that CO2 is the main cause of increased temperatures.  And here is where comparing levels of certainty is useful.

We are certain that CO2 is trapping heat, which, unless the heat is dissipated, will increase temperatures.  So we are pretty much certain that some increase in the temperature is from the higher CO2 concentrations.

We very, very uncertain that increased solar insolance is causing temperature increases.  This is because there has not been a consistent increase in solar insolance for the past few decades--the measured insolance has gone up and down, without a marked trend in either direction--while temperatures have been tracking up.

So in comparing certainties, we would say that our certainty of CO2 being a cause of temperature increase is much greater than from solar variances.  In fact, we would say that we are more certain that the temperature trend is NOT caused by solar variance and that it is.

This can be applied to almost every objection by denialists to AGW.

This is why I say that denialists need to "prove" their contention that AGW is NOT happening.  Because when we look at the various levels of certainty, we are far more certain that CO2 is part of the warming than it is not.  We are far more certain that CO2 is probably the major cause of the warming than we are not.  We are far more certain that increased concentrations of CO2 will increase temperature than we are not.  Relatively, we are more certain of AGW than we are of the objections.

Have we reached a level of absolute certainty about AGW?  No, I'll agree with you there.  But the preponderance of evidence is pointing toward AGW.  So it must be taken seriously.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 23, 2016, 06:36:06 PM »
So, IOW, Seriati, there is no reason not to believe that some level of AGW is occurring, and no reason not to believe it may be as bad as the computer models indicate.

But it is not conclusive with the information we currently have.

Am I correct in believing that is your position?

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:50:08 PM »
Wayward, this right here is where you're misapplying the logic.  Your conclusion does not lead from your axiom, which was the point of the question I highlighted.  The fact that man generated carbon has contributed to warming, does not speak to whether it has caused significant warming.  All the rest of your lengthy response falls apart in my view without bridging this gap.

OK, then answer me a couple of questions.

CO2 produces warming in the atmosphere.  How do you know it doesn't procedure "significant warming?"  And if the concentration doubles, how do you know it won't produce significant warming then?  What is your conclusive evidence of this?

Remember, it does produce warming.  How can you know it is not "significant," or won't be in the future?

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 23, 2016, 03:08:35 PM »
Wayward, you're not using logic there.

Oh, no, I very much am.  ;D 

Can you explain why we have had periods of higher atmospheric carbon and lower temperatures?

Because there are other factors than greenhouse gases that control the temperature of the Earth.

If you review the old thread, I have never denied that.  In fact, I listed a few such factors (such as solar intensity and distance from the sun).

But so what?  So in the past, other factors have overcome higher levels of CO2.  The question you have to answer is is something doing that now.

Because we all agree that CO2 is trapping more heat, and trapped heat can raise temperatures.

Do you understand that while everyone can agree that atmospheric carbon has a warming effect, that whether the Earth is warming or cooling is controlled by far more factors than atmospheric carbon?  If for instance the Earth is heading towards a cooler climate phase all atmospheric carbon would be doing is reducing the rate of decline?

And if you can prove this, then we won't need to worry very much, will we?  But you first need to prove it...

No one has to argue the specifics you want them to, because you haven't demonstrated that the observed effect with respect to carbon can be generalized to the atmosphere as a whole.

Wait a minute.  You've already agreed that CO2 is trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.  What more do I have to demonstrate?

What's interesting about the six questions, is the one question that did not get asked (deliberately) on which the divergence occurs:  Has it been conclusively shown that human caused atmospheric carbon increases are the direct cause of significant warming?   The answer to which is, no.

Eh?  We have already agreed that CO2 is trapping heat.  Trapped heat causes warming unless something else absorbs or emits the heat.

CO2 concentrations are increasing yearly in our atmosphere and our oceans.  We emit gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.  We have found no other major source of CO2 that would account for this much increase.  Plus, some other studies that I won't mention now.  So we are the source of the CO2.

And, of course, the question implies that there has been significant warming.  Do you agree?

Still, even if there has been no "significant" warming so far, what happens when the concentrations reaches 450 ppm?  500 ppm?  800 ppm?

Even if it has not been "conclusively" shown that the observed warming is primarily due to humans, how about the future warming?  Because we have already agreed CO2 traps heat in the Earth's atmosphere.  So more CO2 will trap more heat.  Unless something else counteracts that.

So while the answers so far may not seem "conclusive" to you, you need to consider that the answer you are advocating is even less "conclusive."  And over time, increased CO2 will increase Earth's temperature if nothing else counteracts it.

I get you want to flip the burden of proof to make the other side responsible for "proving" it, but that's not how it works when the solutions you potentially want would represent radical and expensive shifts in everyone's way of life.

What makes you think the atmosphere and the thermodynamics inherent in it care about the expense of our lives? ;)

And if you are so concerned about radical and expensive shifts, consider how much it will cost to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere in the future.  Controlling CO2 and bringing it back to levels we've experienced for the last 400,000 years will be far more expensive, and require more radical shifts in our lifestyle, than we would need to do now.  Remember, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 100 years or more before being reabsorbed by natural processes.

So consider if you want to pay now, or pay more later.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 23, 2016, 11:41:18 AM »
I did note your answers in the old thread, and am not surprised that you would agree.

But it does illustrate my point, too.

We all know, and all agree, that CO2 is trapping heat.  And this trapped heat will cause the Earth to warm unless something else somehow counteracts it.

So my questions are:

If that something else exists, what is it?

How does it work?

How long and well will it work, or will it stop working sometime in the future, perhaps the near future?

And how confident are you that you are right?

Until these questions are settled, it is stupid to assume that there is such a something that will prevent global warming from occurring.

Because there may not be anything to counteract the rise in CO2.  Or it may only last a few decades.  Or it may only counteract a fraction of the warming.

This is why denialists should be working like mad on creating good climate models, to prove that something is counteracting the CO2 rise.  They are the ones that have to prove that global warming is not occurring because of CO2 rise.

Because we all know and agree that CO2 is trapping more heat.

That heat has to go somewhere or else temperatures will rise.  And temperatures have been measurably rising.

So, if it is not CO2, what is preventing the CO2 from doing it?

Deniers need to answer these questions before we should start listening to them.  Because without those answers, they are engaging in "just so" stories.

General Comments / Re: here comes the next ice age
« on: February 22, 2016, 05:20:05 PM »
Seriati said:
No, this is something I read that Lord Monckton, a famous AGW denier, said about a conference he attended. That all of the deniers in the conference agreed that CO2 was trapping heat...and that anyone saying they did not believe it was just trying to slander the denier movement. :) I had a link to it on another thread, but I can't find my link right now (too many AGW links to choose from  :-[ ).
Feel free to link it, I'd be happy to take a look.

Seriati, I finally found it.

Shock news from the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Climate Change Conference: among the 600 delegates, the consensus that Man contributes to global warming was not 97%. It was 100%...

At a conference of 600 “climate change deniers”, then, not one delegate denied that climate changes. Likewise, not one denied that we have contributed to global warming since 1950.

The article makes other points, which I don't necessarily agree with, but I think it is pretty clear that even AGW deniers don't deny that CO2 traps heat in our atmosphere.

Context, Pete, context.

Hillary was chiding Senator Johnson for harping on her for not quizzing the survivors immediately after the attack to ascertain that the attack wasn't the result of a protest.  She wasn't trying to play Americans for fools.  She was trying to get Johnson back to reality, that "once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was, number one, taking care of their injuries."  Finding out what caused the attack wasn't her first priority, and, if you think about it, wasn't her job at the time.  That's what the FBI and other security agencies are for.

Read the exchange here.

General Comments / Re: Pope Francis questions Trump's Christianity
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:59:44 PM »
Trump has responded with the typical diplomatic aplomb:

“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” Mr. Trump said.

The Trump campaign also released a statement from the candidate, defending his hard-line policies on immigration and saying the pope was out of line.

“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” Mr. Trump said, going on to claim that the pope was being used for political purposes by the Mexican government. “They are using the pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.”

Mr. Trump went on to say that he would defend Christianity more aggressively than current political leaders.

“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’ ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened,” Mr. Trump said.

Other members of Mr. Trump’s campaign also pushed back against the pope. Dan Scavino, his social media director, posted an image of Vatican City and noted that it is surrounded by a wall.

And Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and a supporter of Mr. Trump, said that the pope had crossed a line.

“Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country,” Mr. Falwell told CNN.

I wonder if these sentiments apply to the Religious Right, too?  ::)

I was asking if your reasoning re genetics was dispositive.

Ah, I misunderstood.  You're question was not clear.

In fact, this one isn't either.  Although sharing genes does indicate being part of a whole, genes do not prove that a cell is part of the whole.  In other words, having the same DNA shows that a cell is from a person, but not having the same DNA does not prove the cell is not from a person.

Chimeras are proof of this.  One person, two sets of DNA (perhaps more).

(I still love that Radio Lab segment (a show on NPR) that tells the tale of a woman who was genetically found to be related to her father but not her mother.  Which was strange, since her mother distinctly remembered conceiving and carrying her. ???

Turns out that her blood was not genetically related to her mother, but other parts of her were.  A true chimera.

Which is why I say biology is messy. :D)

So genetics does play a factor, but it is not definitive in determining if something is part of someone's body or not.  Other factors must be considered.

I trust this answers your question.  If not, try summarizing my argument so I know exactly which part you are referring to and if I conveyed my position correctly.

General Comments / Re: Justice Scalia dead
« on: February 18, 2016, 01:00:23 PM »
But I want Democrats to acknowledge that they were also wrong to try to filibuster when Alito was nominated in 2006, and in general when calling the GOP on obstructionism to own up to and apologize for their own obstructionism in the past.  Obama has mentioned he "regrets" the filibuster, which is a start.

I don't think it is necessarily wrong to filibuster a nominee who a significant portion of the Senate feels is unqualified.  But can anyone tell me why Obama's nominee is unqualified? ;)

The filibuster should be used as a last-ditch effort by a minority to pressure the majority in dire circumstances.  (That's why I think a filibuster should be an oral one, where Senators have to keep speaking to keep it going, not this "gentleman's agreement" that you need 60 votes or you table discussion. :D)  But McConnell's threat to use it before any nominee is named is simply obstructionism and an abuse of power.  Which is why the Democrats had to remove it as an option for some regular business.

It also should be pointed out that the Alito filibuster never materialized, and that it was called for after the Alito hearings.  Democrats didn't unilaterally vow to filibuster whoever Bush nominated.

Wayward, do you think that a surrogate should have less rights to abortion than a genetic mother?

Although a surrogate does not share genetic material with the fetus, the other attributes I listed do apply.  So on a numeric scale, I suppose one could say that the surrogate has "less rights" than that of a natural mother, but I doubt this difference should affect the overall rights of the mother.  In other words, there may be less rights, but not enough to make any difference.

If the rights are equal, then how can you claim that your reasoning in is dispositive?

Depends on what you think I'm dispositiving. :)

My contention is that Pyr has a point in that the fetus is part of the mother during gestation.  So any rights and responsibilities of the mother to the fetus must take that into account.  It is not just something that is growing in her.  It is an actual part of her.  Not the same as her heart, liver and brain, but still a part.

I don't think this necessarily gives the mother the right to abort up to the day of birth, but it is a factor that must be taken into account.  The rights of the fetus do not trump the right of the mother to control her own body, which includes the fetus.

For that point I think my reasoning is dispositive.

General Comments / Re: Justice Scalia dead
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:08:18 PM »
On the lighter side, just check out some of these lame excuses on why Obama shouldn't name a replacement for Scalia.  :)

I find it interesting that you used the word "property" in describing the fetus, Fenring.  Because it isn't so much a piece of property, but a piece of the mother.
Wayward Son, we're specifically talking about independently viable fetuses.  They are inside the mother, but there's real basis to state they are "part" of the mother, they certainly are not required to remain a part of the mother (hence the classification of viable).
Do you consider your liver a piece of your property?  Your heart?  Your gall bladder?  Your appendix?  I don't.  I consider them a piece of myself, which is much more than just property.
And which of those if removed from the mother and not implanted in another living being survives independently on its own?

If we were talking about pre-viable fetuses your argument would carry weight, and it does to most everyone that's weighed in on the issue.

Of course, this is not so clear when it comes to a fetus.  Our liver, heart and gall bladder are supposed to stay with us our entire lives, while a fetus is supposed to be ejected after 9 months.  ("Ejected" not being even close to the right word, but you get my point. :))  But it is part of a woman's body until that time.  And so much more than just "property" that she can do with as she pleases.  It is part of her self.

Why is it a part of her self?  Honestly, why is a fully formed person, capable of surviving free from her body, that she expressly wants out of her body, a "part of herself" that she is entitled to kill? 

I think your entire argument is based on location, and if held to its logical extreme, would entitle a woman to have a baby killed during the birth process, if she choose.  Can you distinguish that fact pattern?  What if she's in the middle of scheduled C-section, hence there is no further physical trauma required to separate the live fetus from her body (other than lifting it out and cutting the cord), is she still able to have the doctor terminate this "part of her body"?

You're reading too much into my argument.  It is part of her body because it is in her body, because it is partly composed of her body, because it naturally grows inside her body.  It order to get it out of her body, you either have to cut her open or administer chemicals to induce her body to eject it (unless, of course, you wait until it comes out naturally).

But that does not mean that "she is entitled to kill" it under any and all circumstances.  Because it is not just another heart, liver, or brain.  It can and does grow into an independent person, and so cannot be simply considered as another organ.

But, by the same token, it cannot be considered a mere possession or something that the mother just happens to be feeding inside of her.

Both have to be considered in deciding what can and cannot be done with the fetus.

Any answer that does not acknowledge that the fetus is part of the mother is ignoring part of the problem.

General Comments / Re: Justice Scalia dead
« on: February 17, 2016, 03:19:16 PM »
That's why the death of Scalia really hurts, his primary legal philosophy (notwithstanding, Raich) was to rely on the text of the law strictly.

I got the impression that he relied on the strict text of the law when it agreed with his politic stance, otherwise not-so-much (as when he declared that corporations can have religious beliefs in Hobby Lobby).

Do you know of any of Scalia's decisions where he took a liberal position because of his strict reading of the text?

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