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Gender: Male
Hometown: MN
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 19,638

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"Why assume conspiracy when incompetence will do?"

Because conspiracy is far more likely to be true in this case.

The accumulation of wealth is a competitive game. The winners are those who play the game best.

They didn't all fail upward, they won because they were good at what they were doing.

The notion that they'd work together -- however temporarily -- to achieve more of what they want takes no stretch of the imagination at all. It fits Occam quite well.

Whereas, the notion that a bunch of incompetents somehow accumulated all the nation's power and wealth takes some serious explaining.

So... Yes to Occam; no to your conclusion.

"I thought something was really really wrong with me..."

The essential premise of christianity is that -- from the time you're born -- burning to death is too good for you.

A just and loving god who would never overreact has already decided that humans deserve to suffer infinitely for finite transgressions (of a seemingly arbitrary nature) because we just suck that much.

BUT...we've got a get out of hell free card so that if we assert the right notions about god and his history with us, we don't have to suffer although we have to remember that we still deserve to!!!!

Indeed, we are supposed to tell god what worthless pieces of shit we are and beg him, on a regular basis, to forgive our worthless selves.

It is the single most vile piece of mental illness ever to arise from the human mind.

The Dems must come out swinging for the people

I don't care if they win every fight, but they need to stand up against the GOP, consistently, unequivocally, and publicly.

The voters need to see that there's a real choice.

Here's a test: The ones who like the word bipartisan are not doing the job we need them to do.

To put it another way: How would you like a bipartisan army that wanted to work WITH the enemy troops?

(Hell, yes the GOP is the enemy!)

Beware of those who think they know god's intentions!

I watched a documentary on the nuking of Japan.

It started by pointing out the fire-bombing of civilian areas that we were already doing on a massive scale.

One interviewee (a pilot) said that dropping fire on civilians bothered his conscience.

So he went to his priest and asked whether doing something like that was really okay.

The priest told him, "God let you do it so he must have approved."

We'd all do better to figure out what's fair and decent than to try to figure out what "god wants".

Before we even decide who will judge the cases, we need to decide what the laws are

Example: Lying.

Lying can get millions of people killed, displaced, maimed or otherwise ruined for life (e.g. when lies start a war).

Now, of course, some investigation needs to be done to determine whether lies are being told, but that should be doable since the whole notion of lying is that someone is making a demonstrably false claim.

However...first we have to decide if it's okay to lie and start wars or cheat in elections or send innocent people to jail, etc, etc, etc.

To say "they have their view and I have mine; both might be valid" you either have to believe that lying -- in ways that do real harm -- is acceptable, or else you have to believe they're telling the truth.

If it's the former -- if you're saying that their view is that lying is okay and that's just as valid as the opposite view -- then why even discuss? It's all just a horse race; there's no right and wrong.

If, on the other hand, we're really just discussing whether the other side is lying, then at least we might agree that they shouldn't.

But to the extent that THEY think they should, there's a difference that is not susceptible to polling. A difference that should be carved in stone. A basis for declaring unequivocally that those guys are in the wrong, period.

Now Jacob cooked a stew (lessons in privatization)

Genesis 25:29-34

Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.

And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.


Did Esau make a good decision?

Did he get a good deal?

Substitute some politician who wants to sell our parks, our roads, our mountain tops, our water, our energy plants, etc for a one-time bit of cash leaving us without these things forevermore...

...and you've got the exact same story.

You'd think a nation raised on Bible stories would see this one coming wouldn't you?

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it -- Santayana

Godwin's law is an attempt to ensure that we can't remember the past by forbidding us to talk about it.

It is one of the most despicable ideas there is.

Fuck Godwin.

Fuck his followers.

"good guys finish last" -- Depends on your definition of good

"Nice" guys finish last is probably a lot more accurate.

Suppose you're in an infantry unit in the midst of a battle. A really good guy (or gal) wouldn't just sit back and let the enemy win. A good guy would fight hard.

In less life-threatening circumstances, people often confuse "good" with "nice", but even Jesus -- declared to be very, very good by all of his adherents -- is seen committing vandalism and assault in the temple in one of the most popular stories. It might qualify as good, but no one would call it nice.

In summary: We SHOULD be good. We should NOT be nice to the enemy. (And if the right wing isn't the enemy, then there's no such thing)
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