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Everything posted by GeorgiaDon

  1. Post a photo anyway. Maybe I can ID it. I think Marianne would have appreciated a photo like that here. I miss her too. I've taken over teaching her course in Ecuador and the Galapagos. It's great fun but when I'm there I think of her every day.
  2. Sort of, but not because of reaching interstellar space first. According to NASA: "Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, about two weeks before the Sept. 5 launch of Voyager 1. Why the reversal of order? The two were sent on different trajectories, and Voyager 1 was put on a path to reach its planetary targets, Jupiter and Saturn, ahead of Voyager 2."
  3. I'm quite sure there are a lot!! of Texans who believe if she just prays hard enough Jesus will make sure that baby is just fine when it's born.
  4. Sounds like Brent and Stephen Miller are of the same mind regarding the value of Afghan lives.
  5. I think that is true. Biden's order is based in the HEROs Act, which gives the government authority to forgive educational debt, but it must be tied to some specific conditions or a national emergency. For example there has been a debt forgiveness program for some time for people who agree to work in lower paying public service jobs, and for teachers. Of course Betsy DeVos did her best to make sure no-one could actually benefit from those programs, and left a big mess to fix. In this case, Covid was declared a national emergency by Trump and that was extended by Biden, and the current loan forgiveness is being linked to that national emergency.
  6. Here in Georgia all in-state college and university students who maintain a B average receive the Hope scholarship, which covers 80% of tuition costs. The scholarship does not cover books or fees and unfortunately the state university system has tacked a lot of fees onto the cost of attending. Also of course the scholarship does not help with room and board type expenses. Nevertheless, 80% of tuition is not insignificant. It is paid for with money raised by the state lottery; by law any money raised by the lottery, after prizes and expenses to run the lottery, must go into the scholarship fund.
  7. Every time I see a chart like this I wonder about a couple of things: 1. The chart shows total migrant arrivals, which lumps together legal and "illegal" arrivals. As far as the Trump administration and its supporters are concerned there is no real distinction, they seem to hate everybody who wants to come to this country (with the possible exception of white Europeans especially from Norway). However it is perfectly legal to present yourself at a border crossing and ask for asylum. Your petition will be adjudicated and a decision made, but no laws have been broken just by asking for asylum. 2. The Biden administration (really, Biden personally) is being blamed for people trying to come to the US. What power does any administration have to force people to stay home and not try to come here? Does the US have police powers in Guatemala (as an example)? Do we run the military in Mexico? How, exactly, is Biden supposed to intercept people and turn them back before they reach US soil? Would it not be more effective to figure out why so many people are fleeing their homes to come to a distant country? Few people leave home on a whim, just for a change of scenery. The journey is incredibly dangerous, and they are not at all assured of success. They are fleeing out-of-control gang violence, largely fueled by American demand for narcotics. They are fleeing corrupt and violent military regimes, many with a history of being supported by the US. They are fleeing starvation brought on by natural disasters, such as a series of hurricanes that struck Central America and destroyed their food production several years in a row. If you and your family were facing starvation and being constantly threatened and robbed by gangs, and your own government and police were powerless to help, who would not try to run to safety? But, when Biden (or Obama before that) proposes to spend money to try to help deal with those problems so people will be able to stay home, all we hear from politicians catering to the Trump base is "America First" and complaining about spending money on other countries. When I hear the rhetoric from many conservatives I have to believe that they would force people back into a burning building rather that allow them to break curfew. I'm reminded of the M.S. St. Louis, a ship carrying 900 Jewish passengers trying to flee from Nazi Germany in 1939. The ship was refused permission to dock, first in Cuba, then in the US, and finally in Canada before being forced to return to Germany, where over 1/3 of the passengers ultimately died in concentration camps. Disclosure: I am an immigrant to the US. I came here legally. The process took a long time, it was not particularly pleasant (the "system" assumes you are a terrorist or a criminal it seems), and it was very expensive. I was able to do that because I came from a non-shithole country (Canada), I am educated (PhD), and it probably did not hurt that I am white and I speak English.
  8. Would you (and your twin) advise skydiving students there is no need to deploy their parachute until after they've reached the ground? After all, one second before impact they are fine, they are breathing, their heart is beating, they can move their arms and legs. Anyone who says there is an emergency is just pushing panic. Prudent people take action before the problem becomes irreversible
  9. What complete and utter bullshit. Trump agreed to have all US forces out of Afghanistan by May 1 2021. There is nothing in that agreement about hanging on to any airbase beyond May 1. He did commit to releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners (many of whom promptly rejoined ISIS and Al- Qaeda), and he did cut the Afghan government out of the negotiations. His administration did virtually nothing to get any Afghan people who assisted the US and coalition forces out before that exit, and indeed they fought tooth and nail to make sure as few as possible made it to the US. He kept to that timetable despite the Taliban violating almost every condition they had agreed to in the agreement. Trump completely turned his back on the Afghan people, just as he did the Kurds earlier. Biden delayed the US exit until the end of August but decided to follow through with ending US direct involvement in the war. Remaining, in violation of Trump's agreement, could only have been done at the cost all out war with the Taliban, which would have required sending tens of thousands of US troops back into Afghanistan. Between August 14 and the 25th, the US evacuated 82,300 people from the Kabul airport; including evacuations run by other coalition partners over 122,000 people were evacuated. In comparison, between March and December 2020 the Trump administration processed only 532 visa applications from Afghan translators and others who assisted the US; they left the Biden administration a backlog over over 17,000 unprocessed applications.
  10. Georgia recently passed a "constitutional carry" law that abolished any requirement for a concealed carry permit. No permit = no background check, no training or proficiency requirements, no limitations of any sort. It also greatly expanded the sort of places you can carry, and restricted the right of property owners to keep guns out of their establishments.
  11. From CNN: "The National Archives pushed back Friday on former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor, former President Barrack Obama, “kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified” upon leaving office. “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” NARA said in a statement. “NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration,” the statement from National Archives said. Earlier Friday, Trump alleged that Obama not only kept classified records but that many of them are related to nuclear weapons. Trump made the claim after The Washington Post reported the FBI sought documents related to nuclear weapons when it searched his Mar-a-Lago residence this week. " It's just exhausting, and infuriating, to deal with the constant stream of outright lies from Trump. How do you deal with someone who lies about everything, all the time? Even worse, people believe him to the point where they are literally willing to die to defend his lies. I wish a meteorite would crush him or something, but that would just generate more conspiracy theories. How long will it take this country to recover from his venomous existence?
  12. Both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice used private email, and classified emails were sent to those private email accounts, just as happened with Hillary Clinton. Why does that make Clinton the devil incarnate, but Rice and Powell are excused? Maybe blinders? Maybe partisanship?
  13. Any attempt to rationalize behavior like this assumes there is some sort of logical reason at play, the sort of thinking that rational people apply when they are weighing potential risks and benefits. With Trump, this is a futile exercise. He has never acknowledged that any law constrains him, or applies to him in any way. Considering his malignant narcissism, perhaps it just makes him feel as if he is still President to have this material in his possession. Perhaps he is just pissed off at being told he isn't allowed to have it. He is a child, an obnoxious spoiled brat who never grew up because he inherited enough wealth to escape any consequence of his pathological behavior. What I find to be even more mysterious than his malignant behavior, is that so many people still support and even worship him. Years from now psychology professors will make a career out of studying the contagious insanity that has gripped so much of the US, assuming of course the insanity hasn't sucked the whole world into Orwell's 1984.
  14. The sycophant websites that are linked are pretty hilarious too.
  15. Maybe, but I'm reminded that you shouldn't attribute to malice what can more easily be attributed to stupidity. Trump was completely focused on overturning the election, and apparently believed he would succeed in remaining in office. I'm certain that ensuring an orderly transition and complying with the federal presidential records act was the last thing on his mind. I'd guess that anyone in the White House who suggested they start packing much before January 19th would have been pushed out of the presidential helicopter. When the 20th was right around the corner and there was no time left, I suspect everything was just shoveled into boxes and moved. Perhaps Trump and his cronies still believed he'd be back in a short while and nobody would notice the missing documents. Maybe he thought it would mess with Biden's people when they couldn't figure out all these national security issues because the paperwork was missing. Anyway once everything was in Florida, likely someone noticed that they had a big problem. Instead of just admitting to the screwup and taking their lumps, they hid the incriminating documents in the safe and basically dared the "deep state" to come and get them. Bad move. All just speculation, but considering Trump's narcissism and disdain for government or following laws, more likely than speculating that he was going to sell highly classified documents to the Chinese or Russians, or maybe North Korea.
  16. If indeed you do hold a MBA I apologize. I also wonder why you choose to advance an incomplete definition of "recession", at least as far as the Business Cycle Dating Committee (the only official entity that has authority to decide whether or not the economy is in a recession) is concerned. Actually, I don't wonder why. That is consistent with your usual MO.
  17. Considering that 10-20% of known pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion (= miscarriage), and the true rate including the first month or so when most women do not know they are pregnant may be over 50% (link), I would really like to see these Republican attorneys general haul God into court and charge her with murder.
  18. I'm sure that when the Business Cycle Dating Committee or the National Bureau of Economic Research want to have an ex-DZ owner with no background in macroeconomics, or any other qualifications for that matter (except a lot of time on his hands that he likes to spend "owning the libtards") they will give you a call.
  19. It's worth remembering that oil is the starting material for a lot of products other than fuel. It might not be so easy to turn wind or geothermal energy etc into plastics or pharmaceuticals or the other myriad things that are made from oil. Perhaps it might not be wise to just burn it all and figure out what to do to replace it later.
  20. Don't forget about inflation! All those greedy proletariats thinking they should get a share of the wealth their labor is generating! That can only drive up costs! Next thing you know they'll be demanding things like health insurance and sick leave, and that will just cut into the hard-earned dividends the hard working investors are entitled to.
  21. The take-home message of the Rittenhouse affair is, if you see someone entering a school through a side door while carrying an "assault weapon" you should not do or say anything, as they might just be there to protect the textbooks. If you do try to intervene and get shot for your trouble, you are the bad guy. You cannot make any conclusions about someone's intent based on the circumstances, even if you see them shooting they might just be defending themselves. In America the person with the biggest gun is always right.
  22. It says a lot about the general quality of your posts when you have to explicitly let us know that this one is a joke.
  23. Old joke: A baby seal walks into a club...
  24. Well yes, but beyond that is a widely entrenched American ideology of "freedom" that emphasizes "personal liberty" above all else. People in other civilized societies recognize some balance exists between personal liberty and restrictions needed to make for a workable/liveable society. Indeed, they recognize that these two things are not always zero-sum affairs. For example, fewer firearms corresponds to less violent crime which results in more freedom to go out and do things without fear of being killed. Universal health insurance results in greater freedom to change jobs (or start your own business) without exposing yourself or your dependents to the risk of being uninsured, which is especially problematic if you or any of your dependents have a pre-existing medical condition. A large proportion of Americans, though, only recognize things that directly benefit themselves, and mostly in the short term. Almost anything that requires a measure of personal sacrifice, even if the result is a benefit to the whole of society, is pretty much a non-starter.