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Old 12-21-2017, 12:52 AM   #281
Kid Charlemagne
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"The bottom are doing better..."
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EDIT: Oh, and this:
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/ite...-remember-that
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:51 AM   #282
Thane of Cawdor
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They are KC, and you know it. I reiterate. Stuff like air conditioning that used to be a luxury is now a requirement, specially for those with health issues. Would you prefer to live in the 50s with no internet, no ac? You might. Go ahead. Tell me life is worse now. I think it is because of stupid liberal laws where they try and protect the stupid from themselves, like one person does somethin stupid and we cant enjoy fireworks anymore, crap like that.

Let me clear this up for anyone who doesnt actually know what the new bill did. You pay LESS taxes, everyone is making more money. Next step is to cut spending. That will be next year.

KC that is the absolute most biased site I've ever seen (and dont retort with your obvious sarcasm and say that the whitehouse is tho im sure ya will)
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:40 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
Let me clear this up for anyone who doesnt actually know what the new bill did. You pay LESS taxes, everyone is making more money. Next step is to cut spending. That will be next year.
I posted a link on the last page. The answer is a little more complex than how you put it.


1) You will temporarily get more money at home, it is also fairly small unless you earn 100k+ (<3% of your current household income unless you earn 6 digits). I'll spoiler the point again (which were calculated using public IRS files from 2012).

If you're earning 30k/year with no kids, you're looking at $440 back a year. If you're earning 60k/year (the median income for a dual income family) with two kids, you're looking at about ~$1700 a year (which is about $140/month...which would probably pay for about 7-12 months of fuel, depending what source you ask about how much you burn).

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...alculator.html

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Some basic numbers (assuming you take the standard deductions, kids is defined as <18)):
- If you're earning the median household individual USA salary (31 000) and living alone with no kids, you'll save about $35/month ($440/year, 1.5% less income lost).
- If you're a married couple earning the median household income (60 000) and live with 2 kids, you'll save about $140/month ($1,680/year, 2.8% less income lost).
-- If you don't have kids and are single at this income, you save about $120/month ($1,480/year, 2.5% less income lost)
- If you're a married couple with a shared income of 300,000 and have two kids, you'll save about $1,333/month ($16,000/year, 5.3% income lost)


So you're saving money, yes, but let's also keep how much is being saved in proportion. It's not a huge return but a small bump back. 2/3s of the savings from today's budget passing will be in corporate hands.




2) This money is coming from somewhere obviously. So the question is: where?

The answer is "you're borrowing it". You're not running a surplus so you need to borrow the money from someowhere.

You're going to extract larger debts now for a little to the taxpayer (for now) and a lot to the companies.

That within and of itself isn't the worst thing in the world. But it also comes off as massively hypocritical as it comes from much the same Republican core which demanded austerity during the recession recovery. It's hard to believe Ryan, McConnell, and the rest demanded to curtail reckless spending 4 years ago while basically running the same levels now without blinking.

This move digs as much deficit annually as the Canadian budget (scaled up to the USA to account for population differences). And we feel like we're bleeding red ink everywhere. Which puts is one of two situations: either Canada is massively healthy economically or the USA has a spending problem on both sides of the aisle.

And as a Canadian, I can tell you it's not the former.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:39 PM   #284
Kid Charlemagne
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I’m sure Japan does have nutty right-wingers, but apparently their Political Outsider Exclusion System works better than ours, so the nuts never get any significant influence in Japan.

The Japanese know all too well what can happen to a country whose belligerent fanatics get control of it.

Coral Sea. Midway. Guadalcanal.

An increasingly effective submarine campaign which strangles and starves the homeland.
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Philippine Sea. Leyte Gulf.

HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:05 PM   #285
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I’m sure Japan does have nutty right-wingers, but apparently their Political Outsider Exclusion System works better than ours, so the nuts never get any significant influence in Japan.
Japan's system is a lot more similar to the Germany's or Canada's (leaning closer to Germany). A high number of parties makes it difficult to stick to two party "with us or against us" policy and the fluidity of the parties are on full display. The fairly surprising rise of the Party of Hope (No, seriously. That's it's name) points to how different it is from the USA's (where you'd be hard pressed to even imagine a legitimate third party, let alone one enough to threaten party rule).

Honestly, as much as Japan itself is in dire straits (aging population, inability to kickstart their economy), their political structure gives me hope that a country like the USA isn't fundamentally stick in this ever devolving cycle of partisan politics.

---

Anyways, holidays are over, people are done talking about that book on Trump and things should be back to nor--



WTF world?

Let's start with Canada first because I think it's fair if I do the small story first?

Spoiler: show
So, Ontario recently bumped up the minimum wage. Not by a small amount either. From $11.60 to $14.00/hr. That isn't a huge issue as Canadian models seem to indicate that minimum wage hikes in Canada aren't a huge impact on simple factors such as employment rates (Alberta has hit very low unemployment despite raising the minimum wage, for example. Even the likely next leading party, the United Conservative Party, is hesitant to claw back the raise to the currently planned $15/hr).

So in retaliation to increased costs, a couple locations of the franchised company Tim Hortons cut employee breaks (if you're in the USA, imagine an equivalent to Dunkin' Donuts). Then, when people starting giving tips to employees who sympathized with the workers, they denied the employees from accepting tips.

Keep in mind, not even the main company agrees with this. They call the moves reckless. Keep in mind that Tim Hortons has gotten a cult following in Canada because it gained a reputation as a "Canadian" icon. It carefully crafts its image to project the idea that eating and drinking there is a "Canadian" thing you can do. I can't think of an equivalent elsewhere.

As such, you can see how getting into a tiff with Canadians about pay could really hurt the company.

Incidentally, when Tim Hortons was bought by the Burger King franchise, they terminated the contract with Tim Hortons' coffee bean supplier. That was purchased by McDonald's. I mention this because a common sentiment in Canada the past few years has been that McDonald's now has superior coffee to Tim Hortons. Funny how tastes can't be lied to in this case.

Also funny how McDonald's seems to be fleeing to Canada while being losing ground in the USA. Their marketing blitz of giving away damn near free coffee in Canada has worked out.


While we're on the topic of Canada, let's touch on Canada and the USA.

Spoiler: show
So, Canada just filed a bunch of (in my mind, legitimate) complaints to the World Trade Organization.

It seems to be their new move for NAFTA talks. The USA has remained steadfast in trying to get everybody to conform to its will so Canada is loading up more ammunition against the USA. I see this as a bargaining chip: they'll drop the complaints to the WTO in exchange for dropping the USA's more unreasonable demands.

The USA hasn't fared well in 3rd party mediation of trade agreements. Nor really should it as it constantly attempts to violate rules to its own personal gain.


...And the USA has managed to get even more confusing. And the Netherlands is involved.

Spoiler: show
So, let's go with the Netherlands part first.

Trump recently appointed a new ambassador to the Netherlands. The individual, Peter Hoekstra, had previously made very...let's say...strange comments with regards to the Islamic State's relation with the Netherlands. In 2015, he claimed that the "Islamic movement" had gotten to a point where Europe was in chaos. He furthered by stating Dutch politicians were being burned and "no go" zones existed.

Of course, the Dutch reporters pressed him on the issue (with no records of any of this existing). He was offered a chance to withdraw his comment. His response? He's not revisiting the issue. Then really awkward silence. Video is below, but we see a very strong sense of a more direct Dutch culture as interviewers begin making points such as "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions" and "This is not hard work". It's a level of backbone I wish more media outlets had instead of letting their interview off the hook.



I mean, I get that you may regret your comments but have the class to admit you said it and that you made a mistake.


More filed under "general Trump comments". This time, it's Trump, DACA, and Mexico. Oh, and London is somewhere in the mix.

Spoiler: show
So...Trump recently held a public bipartisan committee. He seemed to completely waffle on issues. On DACA (a temporarily allowing citizens to stay because their children are not adults), he seemed to stand with whomever was speaking to him last. He made it a key goal to have the border wall between USA and Mexico funded by Congress (of course, despite claims that he'll have Mexico pay for it). But the first time he hears Dianne Feinstein speak (where she only promises a comprehensive review of the program, no speaking about actually building a wall), he agrees with her. It's just absolutely baffling.

Later on, the Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement on allowing Haitian and Salvadorans refugees remain in the country. And, oh boy, has the response kind of sucked.

Trump asked “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”. This appears to be quite reputable as well with official White House statements appearing to not deny the comment and multiple sources backing it up.

I absolutely loathe CNN for the most part, but one of their interviewees made an excellent comment last night.

Years ago, Irish were the ones coming from the "shithole country" to the USA. It's why we have the term "paddy wagon". But they've been accepted.

After that, it was the Chinese fleeing their "shithole country". They were parts of Chinatowns and were only given a "Chinaman's chance". But they fought it out and are accepted.

After that, it was the "wetbacks" fleeing a "shithole country". Now they provide a lot to the USA's economy.

Putting yourself on this side of the issue and deriding people purely based on where they're from puts on against the historical record. Not learning from history will likely put you on the wrong side of it as it repeats.

You could argue that he's trying to say the countries are a mess. Which you could do without comparing to them to a sphincter. But that also makes the implicit argument that the quality of the people leaving the country are based on the conditions of the country itself (that Haitians leaving Haiti are somehow different than other refugees because they come from a shithole). A mess of an argument.

---

Anyways, during all this Trump also cancelled his visit to the UK amidst fears he wouldn't be welcome. Which he likely wouldn't.

On Twitter, he claimed it was because of a USA misstep where they sold precious land for little and then spent 1.2 billion on a new embassy. Which he blamed Obama for. Only problem? W Bush was the one who made the deal.

Either way, I guess things have gone from "he'll see the Queen" to "he'll visit the UK" to "he's staying home".
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:43 AM   #286
Thane of Cawdor
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Rant time:

Freakin hippies are passing a law im told, to allow a THIRD gender box to check on a birth certificate. Male, Female, X. Gender X. The crap is that? I'm sorry but I was taught when I was 3 that girls had one part, guys had another, end of discussion. So please enlighten me. What is this mystical 3rd gender in mankind that has eluded me for so long? Or are parents, having just birthed a child, already expecting it to be a tranny? I'm honestly unclear on this one, but my whole life I recalled animals having two genders, someone help me out here.

Rant 2: These anti-confederates need to shut up and leave history alone. Its gettign to the point where anything with the word 'south' 'confederacy' 'dixie' etc are considered evil and by definition is related to slavery. You were never enslaved, is desecrating the grave or statue of a 160 year old tombstone gonna help you sleep better at night? Look through history, we get along a crapton better than we did in the 60s, things will never be perfect for everyone, shut up about slavery, it ended closer to 200 years ago. We do NOT judge people by our ancestors for crap's sake. Thus was a baptism, the erasure of 'original sin', those of us baptized are born clean, you make your own mistakes, you screw up, you sin. You are not liable for the mistakes made by ancestors you never met, none of us. Let us judge each other by our desicions, "not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character."

Thanks again to Martin Luther King for going about things the right way, though he paid the price. Few regular men are what I for one might call a hero. King Jr was a hero, so I give a thanks to him on his day today.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:46 AM   #287
kirant
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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
So please enlighten me. What is this mystical 3rd gender in mankind that has eluded me for so long?
You confuse biological sex (a stricter divide IMO) with gender.

Man/woman is a fairly obvious split. There are edge cases (as all things biological go), but the typical differences in reproductive organs generally define the sex divide.

Gender is different because genders are social constructs. Do they associate with the general sentiment of masculinity or femininity typically associated with their sex? Neither? A bit of both? If their mind associates their personal identity with these (admittedly) nebulous concepts, that defines their gender identity.

The obvious answer IMO here is to change the way birth certificates work. State a biological sex at birth and state the preferred gender.

(Of course, there are also people who also don't agree with this definition and may state that sex itself is somewhat fluid, but this has always been what I felt makes the most sense)

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Or are parents, having just birthed a child, already expecting it to be a tranny?
I think it is more that they are allowing a person who identifies as neither male nor female (or "do not want to tell") to change it so it's removed from their birth certificate. I think the doctor is still required to fill it out with biological sex at birth.

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These anti-confederates need to shut up and leave history alone.
People need to just let history be history. Flags and statues deserve to sit in museums instead of public centres and people need to stop tying their or their state's identity to the attempted secession of theirs.

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Its gettign to the point where anything with the word 'south' 'confederacy' 'dixie' etc are considered evil and by definition is related to slavery.
To be fair, the Confederacy did tie a lot of its identity to the idea of slavery. Most seceded with it as a stated cause and, for a union of states so hellbent on "state's rights", they trampled over it in a hurry when they stated that no state in their confederacy could outlaw slavery (literally in their constitution).

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things will never be perfect for everyone,
That's no reason to not try to improve. If things are at a 9/10, we should fight for that last 1. Complacency breeds mediocrity and I think we all want to be more than mediocre.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:42 AM   #288
Kid Charlemagne
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:00 AM   #289
Thane of Cawdor
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Mediocre. First off 90% is an A in school. You're getting to sound close to those people who want to "be the best that it can be" at the expense of everything. Trying to make a utopia, that's one thing. But some things in this world have a breaking point. Trying to limit ANY wrongdoing at the expense of our freedoms - that's law and politics. I for one don't want to loose my ability to shoot off fireworks or drive a car because of ONE person. And now some people, with enough freetime to bark about history want us to spend tons and tons of taxpayers dollars rennovating anything with the word confederate in it. There was more to it than JUST slavery. If you read your history books, and if you can put yourself in that mindset, its not the way you look at things now. Cold as it sounds now, its business. slaves were not people, they were property. Now ignore the morality of that for a second and consider this. Nowadays we have commercials where shock value, recording of your EVERY typed word on facebook and complete disregard to human rights is completely disregarded by any corporation for the sake of selling something and the 'ghost' of total goverment protection. To people 100 years from now I bet this idea disgusts them as much as slavery does now to some people. My point is its history, it was recorded. And you're LETTING it bother you, tis in the eye of the beholder. What if I said i found muslims offensive and didnt want em in my country? That's not 'fashionable' to say...this year in this era. Volkswagen was created by direct orders from Hitler...where's your hippies protesting volkswagens saying its breeding hate like a statue of Robert E Lee that no one living now ever met? Oh wait. The protesting hippies in the 60s DROVE volkswagens and protested the vietnam war with a car built by the losers of the previous war who were deemed immoral. How bout that?
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:05 AM   #290
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Mediocre. First off 90% is an A in school. You're getting to sound close to those people who want to "be the best that it can be" at the expense of everything.
Semantics.

Change the 9 to a 7 and 1 to a 3. Or to a 5 and 5. We don't know how close we are to "perfect". And while we don't know how close we are to 10, we should still work to approach it (and work to maintain it as advancements in the world mean that a 9 will slowly slip to an 8 and so on).

If you could live in a world of a 9 or, for no real pain, a 9.5, which would you take? Or, if we believe some more extreme opinions, should a place be allowed to be a 9 for some and 7 for others purely based on skin colour and where your family came from?

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I for one don't want to loose my ability to shoot off fireworks or drive a car because of ONE person.
That is one hell of a leap you made from "can we stop talking about the Confederacy?". Or is this just you airing all your grievances?

Either way, aren't cars a good example that people already have strong "car control"? You need to pass a government mandated exam to drive one. Heck, in many nations, you need to pass a learner's, get experience, then pass another exam. Then you need to register your vehicle. Then own insurance for it. And update your registration yearly (at least in Canada).

I think the fear of losing your car driving ability is much non-existant. Unless you're a DUI type of guy.

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history want us to spend tons and tons of taxpayers dollars rennovating anything with the word confederate in it.
Or maybe you should have ended the USA's chapter on Confederacy a while ago and this is just time catching up.

I give the lifetime of those involved to move on. At some point, people should have understood that the past was the past. Their ancestors were part of a rebelling state that failed. But some people seem intent on holding onto this past glorification and have somehow deified figures like Lee who by all rights should be seen alongside figures like Rommel. They are good commanders and (possibly) decent people...but they had their day and belong in the history book.

I can't speak to the exact example you use for "Confederate" in names. However, changing it if its origin was based on a now defunct state is acceptable. The name means nothing and is only kept for tradition's sake.

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There was more to it than JUST slavery.
Of course, but there's no getting around it was one of the biggest, if not the defining, factor. Honestly, the next biggest suggested point (state's rights) is heavily flawed...so stating that the flash point was slavery isn't a huge stretch.

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If you read your history books, and if you can put yourself in that mindset, its not the way you look at things now. Cold as it sounds now, its business. slaves were not people, they were property.
Such an argument was considered a marginal cause, even at the time. Were they given equal rights? No. However, it was well on its way into existence. Slavery was a dying cause.

Recall that even at the time of formation of the USA, slavery was becoming a controversial subject. Figures such as Jefferson saw it as a "moral depravity" and "hideous blot" on the USA. The times simply changed and the world decided "well, maybe slaves do deserve some rights".

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To people 100 years from now I bet this idea disgusts them as much as slavery does now to some people.
You get someone from 100 years into the future to tell me this and I'll believe it. It's a subjective argument.

A neat game to try out is "don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story". It tells the story of a teacher 20 years in the future. To the shock of the teacher, they find out late in the game that students purely expect that everything they post is seen by authority figures. And they're cool with it (despite the teacher protesting that he felt using his tools was an invasion of privacy...something completely foreign to them). They just assume everything they put online is being monitored.

I won't go into the debate if this is good or bad, but simply put...things change. The world might change the way you think...or it might change the way this game imagines it. Or anything in between really.

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And you're LETTING it bother you, tis in the eye of the beholder.
History is simply history. Learn from it or fall to the same vices.

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Volkswagen was created by direct orders from Hitler...where's your hippies protesting volkswagens saying its breeding hate like a statue of Robert E Lee that no one living now ever met? Oh wait. The protesting hippies in the 60s DROVE volkswagens and protested the vietnam war with a car built by the losers of the previous war who were deemed immoral. How bout that?
Nobody is epitomizing Volkswagen and creating statues of its valour as a piece of the German government in WWII either. The past is the past. It came from a fairly dangerous place and has since shifted focus. Let's bring it back though. The better comparison to the above would be a Confederate company which shifted focus in WWI.

And before you drag the whole name thing into it, I would be keen to point out that Volkswagen's name isn't particularly built off of imagery of their foundation. The translation for it is "people's car", which...you'd be hard to find association to "National Socialist German Workers' Party". Even if you go with the sketchy line of "people's" and "socialist".
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