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GeorgiaDon last won the day on October 28

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  1. I'm confident in believing this is just as credible as all your other SHTF predictions. I have no doubt that this is what Trump is trying to pull off. I also am quite sure that if he were to succeed it would be the end of the USA. Republicans have proven themselves to be reduced to minority rule, using legislative tricks to hold on to power despite representing an ever smaller share of the population. This strategy would impose one-party rule on the country, where the current POTUS could use completely unsubstantiated allegations to deprive the entire population of any meaningful ability to vote so he could re-appoint himself as "dear leader". There is no way that several states would accept such an arrangement. I could see California+Oregon+Washington as their own country, maybe with a couple of adjoining states, the New England states+Pennsylvania (in part)+Virginia (in part)+Michigan (in part)+Wisconsin (in part) as another country, and the South and middle of the current USA becoming KingTrumpistan (or maybe New Israel, or just Butfuckistan). Not that Trump or his sycophants give an actual shit about the US.
  2. You are missing the point. If it worth it to society to invest that kind of money in fighter pilots or astronauts, why is it not worth it to invest in a skilled workforce who can do things that are useful to industry and to society in general (such as engineers, doctors, research scientists, teachers, etc). Especially considering the return the government would see on their investment, in terms of higher lifetime taxes paid and enhanced economic activity. You can't have an advanced IT industry, or pharmaceuticals, or (insert industry of choice here) without a skilled work force. In many industries employers have to rely on immigrants because the US is not producing enough trained US citizens, and yet we allow the price of entry to a career (i.e. the high cost of education) to exclude a large fraction of the potential work force. Other countries remove the economic barrier, and in exchange expect rigorous programs so that the people who get through and ultimately graduate are the ones who are the most determined, and so (presumably) are the most likely to make a real contribution to the economy.
  3. Here is an article from Forbe's that discusses the cost of training military pilots. A basic qualified F-16 pilot costs $5.6 million, an F-35A pilot costs $10.15 million, and an F-22 pilot costs $10.6 million. There are universities that specialize in aeronautical training. Why not let would-be fighter pilots pay for their training themselves? Why should the taxpayer have to pay for that? For the cost of a single fighter pilot I could train 20-30 PhDs in biotechnology, immunology, or infectious disease research. What would be the better deal for the economy? I can assure you the Covid vaccine was not developed by Donald J Trump tinkering in the White House bunker, it was developed by highly trained scientists. There's your reality.
  4. The majority of people with an education after high school, especially a university degree, earn significantly more than people who only finished high school, or who dropped out. Their major doesn't matter all that much (excepting a few areas such as accounting perhaps), many employers are mainly interested in knowing that a potential employee can stick with a program long enough to graduate. As a result they pay quite a bit more in taxes over their lifetime. You could look at it as an investment: put in tens of thousands up front, get back hundreds of thousands long term. If you tell everyone "you're totally on your own" the only people you will see becoming engineers (as one example) will be the people who have both the smarts to get through the degree, and the money to do it with. IOW your pool of potential engineers will be kids from well off families. Alternatively, if you take family wealth out of the equation you can open up the opportunity to select for ability and end up with a larger set of really talented engineers for the work force. BTW the main reason why college/university tuition has increased so much is that state funding has shrunk dramatically compared to 30 or 40 years ago. Also you don't want to limit your pool of potential faculty to people who are unable to get/hold on to a job in industry, which means universities have to compete with the private sector for talent. Speaking for myself, after putting myself through undergraduate, a Master's degree, a PhD, and 2 postdoctoral fellowships, I am not going to settle for a $25,000 salary for the privilege of teaching at a university (undergraduate and graduate courses, plus running a research lab to train grad students) when I could earn many times that amount in industry.
  5. Also, Biden is not being provided with the daily national security briefing he should be getting to ensure he is aware of threats to the country when he takes over. Of course, the biggest threat right now is Trump and everybody with any sense already knows that.
  6. Well OK, but that has more to do with avoiding prosecution in New York than it does being humiliated about losing.
  7. Better than being a Republican. They always go low.
  8. Tough choice: an intelligent, articulate, accomplished woman, or an elf on a shelf.
  9. I live on a small farm on a dead end dirt road in rural north Georgia. Many of the properties on the road have Trump signs, most have multiple signs along with multiple American flags and crucifixes, making kind of a shrine. The crucifixes do double duty, as many people around here believe putting a cross in your yard keeps away "the Rona" (Covid-19), especially if you decorate it with Christmas lights. Go figure! A few weeks ago we put a Biden/Harris sign on our pasture fence along the road. It is the only democratic sign in the area. Within a few days it was spray painted with "Juses". After pondering it for a bit my wife realized it was supposed to say "Jesus" but it was misspelled. Says something that they couldn't spell Jesus. My wife made and put up a sign that said every time our sign was vandalized we would make a donation to the Biden campaign, and she added a new Biden/Harris sign to the fence. For the next couple of weeks the signs were left alone, but every day more and more garbage was dumped along the roadside in front of our property, over a distance of several hundred yards. Unfortunately none of the trash contains anything with an address on it. More disturbing, we found one of our goats with a noose made of electric fence tape cinched tightly around it's neck. Fortunately it was still alive and we were able to cut the noose off. Last Friday my wife came home from work at lunch to find that someone had cut out a large section of fence containing the signs, and dumped it in a neighbor's yard up the road. Our horses and goats were in that pasture, so I assume whoever cut the fence intended for our livestock to get out on the road and perhaps get run over or disappear into surrounding properties, most of which are forest. Luckily the animals were in a different part of the pasture and they are all accounted for. So don't try to tell me Trump supporters believe in free speech or political discourse. Some, including some on my road, are thugs. I have a strong suspicion about who is responsible but I can't prove it. Of course the local police basically throw their hands in the air and say they can do nothing without more evidence, which is probably true. My wife is determined to show we won't be pushed around so she went out this evening and put two new signs on the fence. We have set up security cameras around the house and barn, and my son, his wife, and I spent a couple of hours on the shooting range we built here. Hopefully the shooting will let whoever is responsible for the vandalism know we are well armed. But, we are off at work for most of the day and I am concerned about how things might escalate. Even if we get good photos from the security cameras an get a conviction it won't compensate if my dogs or livestock are killed, or my house is.burned down. My wife says no-one would take it that far but I am not so sure. Just life in Trumpistan I guess. It does seem that the mood has changed in this country, or at least around here, over the last few years.
  10. It would only have taken 4 Republican Senators to show some integrity after the lies they spouted in 2016. Clearly as far as the entire Republican Party is concerned, to a person, integrity is a quaint old-fashioned notion compared to the exercise of raw power. In Trump's party keeping your word is for suckers and losers.
  11. Barrett: law school (Notre Dame) professor, 2 1/2 years on court of appeals. Kagan: law school (Harvard) Dean, Solicitor General of the United States It's not clear to me how less than 3 years as a judge on the court of appeals outweighs Kagan's experience, but obviously YMMV.
  12. So being Dean of the Harvard Law School, and Solicitor General of the United States, doesn't count as experience? I guess they hand those jobs out to random people getting a latte in Starbucks.
  13. Donated to Biden/Harris, local senate candidates, and the Lincoln Project.
  14. What, chop him up? Not a bad idea...
  15. Since Biden has now committed to making some sort of a statement about expanding* the court, I was thinking about what he could say that would be reasonable, not piss off progressives in the party too much, and not scare away voters who don't like Trump but don't want to mess with the court too much either. Here is what I came up with; I'm curious what others think. 1. Say he will give it 2 years to see if this court is determined to take a wrecking ball to civil rights (and replace them with a fundamentalist Christian theocracy), environmental law, consumer protections etc. 2. If the court acts in a reasonably balanced way, leave it as is. 3. If the court is clearly trying to push the country back to the 1800s, propose adding 2 seats and make that an issue for the next Senate election. People would be able to vote on the proposal by choosing senators who support or oppose the idea. By promising to wait to see how the Court behaves, and to leave the choice to voters in the next election, he can defuse the issue for this election while still leaving expansion of the court on a short fuse. *The press likes to use the term "packing the court" when they talk about expanding it. I think the term is perhaps intended to gin up an emotional (i.e. negative) response. What the Republicans have done is "pack the court" by removing the filibuster and using their minimal majority (only 1 seat in the case of Kavanaugh) and naked hypocrisy to seat the most extreme conservatives they could find. Increasing the number of justices only modestly and only moving the balance back towards the middle (6 conservative, 5 liberal) would not be "packing the court" by any reasonable definition.