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Everything posted by Lyly

  1. American capitalism since the 1970s has also been characterized by a more marked income disparity and centralization of wealth combined with Democratic and Republican consensus disfavoring the more "social democratic" social structure - in short, the rise of what people call neoliberalism. But my point is that the average person's ability to sustain their livelihoods has come under more and more threats since that time and I do agree that that puts a strain on people as individuals and as a society. I don't think it's completely summed up in the idea of 'mental health', but it's a hell of a big feature of life nowadays. For a short spurt after the end of World War Two and the point at which the global market was healthy again, being (white) working class in the United States really did translate into more and more benefits within the system - those benefits today are diminishing and life is more "hopeless", we'll say, for many people who could have expected better in previous decades. To me, that speaks a lot to why you see white men being the mass shooters so often - it's precisely the population that has lost the most ground relative to everyone else in the same class (whether capitalist or worker).
  2. Teddy Roosevelt being ranked so highly for my list is kind of surprising, especially because I personally resent the level of Roosevelt fandom typical among these kinds of discussions. Even so, he made 4th, and right after his younger cousin at that. Obama is ranked pretty highly relative to what I would expect. I do believe that by popular American standards, Obama is going to be viewed very positively, but I don't have a lot of praise for anyone who has been President, Obama included. Ford is higher than I expected as well, even though I do admittedly have a softer spot for him than most people. The Bushes being quite so low kind of surprises me as well. I probably just need to do more research on everyone to hand-pick all the values, but overall, I am happy to have something of a list.
  3. Here's what came out of the equation for me. I don't totally agree with it and I am surprised by some of the results, but I always have difficulty rating the Presidents from my political perspective, so it was an interesting exercise. I didn't modify the formula too heavily, but I tried to de-emphasize the areas I didn't know as much about, like judicial appointments, so they would impact the rating less. #1 Lincoln #2 Washington #3 FDR - large jump below top three- #4 Roosevelt, Th. #5 Eisenhower #6 LBJ #7 Obama #8 Jefferson #9 JFK #10 Madison #11 Monroe #12 Polk #13 Adams, J #14 Clinton #15 Ford #16 McKinley #17 Cleveland (Both Cleveland terms were next to each other in ranking, so I merged him) #18 Truman #19 Reagan #20 Taft #21 Wilson #22 Van Buren - negative ratings below this line - #23 Garfield #24 Harrison, B #25 Grant #26 Nixon #27 Adams, JQ #28 Coolidge #29 Jackson #30 Hayes #31 Arthur #32 Bush, GHW #33 Carter #34 Taylor #35 Bush, GW #36 Fillmore #37 Harrison, WH #38 Tyler #39 Hoover #40 Trump -another large jump to the bottom four- #41 Harding #42 Pierce #43 Johnson, A #44 Buchanan
  4. Maybe so, it's hard for me to determine. I meant it in the sense of signalling that your suspicions seem to be correct - Trump can unilaterally renegotiate tariffs. I'm not a legal expert and this act has been modified a few dozen times and has amendments out the wazoo, but it seems to point in the direction that Congress handed over negotiating powers to the Executive Branch in the beginning of the 20th century and that trend has only been reinforced over the decades. I'm sure there are a dozen other items of legislation, executive orders, and treaties that add layers to the cake. Here's the most relevant text from the act itself: the President, whenever he finds as a fact that any existing duties or other import restrictions of the United States or any foreign country are unduly burdening and restricting the foreign trade of the United States and that the purpose above declared will be promoted by the means hereinafter specified, is authorized from time to time to proclaim such modifications of existing duties and other import restrictions, or such additional import restrictions, or such continuance, and for such minimum periods, of existing customs or excise treatment of any article covered by foreign trade agreements, as are required or appropriate to carry out any foreign trade agreement that the President has entered into hereunder. Given that SOME amount of tariff probably exists already on steel and aluminum, however modest, that would presumably put power in the hands of the Executive branch to make new relevant policy. That said, there's a lot of restrictions and limitations on the power as stipulated, but they also all have time-relevant clauses, so they may not be relevant any more. Trump is also known to be a person who presents bald-faced lies as fact and then when he has his way will work around whatever the legalese says, even if it means he doesn't get what he first mentioned at all, so it is entirely possible this Act does not allow him to do what he claims it does, but as we saw with Andrew Jackson - it's a matter of stopping him, not letting him. Further relevant links: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2018/february/trump-administration-sends-annual http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/news/economy/trump-trade-reciprocal-tax/index.html
  5. Something.. something... "works on paper"
  6. The first two proposals don't change any of the actual issues - they're just things that liberals say to make themselves appear to have good ideas and a commitment to gun control. Bumper stocks are not necessary for mass shootings or for even emulating the style of shooting they enable (it can be done without them), and raising the age is common sense enough, I suppose, but people well into their latter 20s have conducted school shootings in the past decade, so that won't be stopping anything. "Increase background checks" is a mostly empty statement without policy specifics.
  7. Here's the answer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_Tariff_Act
  8. I had the initiative not long ago to produce this scenario for fun and as a learning exercise. It is still an early work in progress and the main problem right now is balancing. I haven't worked on it too much recently, but I did play around with it today and thought it would be fun to share. The scenario is a very loose interpretation of the world and doesn't represent any particular point in the plot of the story. Combat skills have been translated to spin power. Electoral College votes are based on estimated population proportions/densities I found on the internet. It's just for fun, but I tried to have it make sense. If anyone does play, let me know how it goes and feel free to make suggestions or critiques. Or edit it to your own liking, I don't care. - - - - Westeros - 2000.rar
  9. If you don't have absolutely black borders and are having issues, try making sure they are all the same uniform value totally black. Otherwise, check that your counties don't have multiple values associated with the fill point. Some states, like Rhode Island, have a point that fills in the state and another one to fill in the bubble next to it; if a state has islands or any other separate component, they might also have multiple values. These extra points will fill in whatever part of the map they are assigned to and will make it seem buggy.
  10. lol, WVProgressive and Patine summed up my critique. I think it's funny that the 80% Democrat summation sounds further left than the mainstream of the Democratic Party leadership itself.
  11. Ah yes, one of the fundamental contradictions of capitalism - the development of monopolies via successful competition snuffs out the opportunity for further competition.
  12. I will say that I am at least impressed that his policy announcements are actually matching up to his economic-nationalist position. For a while at the beginning, Trump seemed to not understand the disconnect between his stated vision and his inability to express an understanding of inflation vs. deflation. Maybe he still doesn't have a grasp on these things personally, but his administration is clearly catching up to his lead. I don't feel that the proposed tariffs are good for either the beloved free market or for the average American, so I don't exactly support it. But if I were in the position of a capitalist-cum-politician who wanted to force capital investments back into the national economy, these kinds of nationalist/protectionist policies are exactly the things I would be exploring. In other words, if it were in my interests and I weren't working class. All that said, I am in no way an economist and there's a hell of a lot more that other people know than myself. Will American industry make up the gap? How bad will price wars become? There's a lot of variables, and a lot of risk, but that's exactly what people want Trump for, so, hey.
  13. I feel like a part of it is also in the nature of being conservative vs. more radical. Anyone who looks at the left even briefly can tell the fractious nature of leftists is ridiculous. Literally worthy of ridicule. But I think of it as that being a conservative is ideologically more straightforward - you literally wish to conserve elements. Liberals/Progressives/Radicals/Revolutionaries have the task of proposing a solution to their perceived problem - obviously there will be disagreement over how best to change something, much more than how to keep something the same. So leftists splinter and have bitter rivalries and disagreements, etc., such that left unity is historically rare.
  14. The two-party system is a structural problem associated with first-past-the-post single-member districts (the Presidency functions as a national single-member district viewed this way). It's simply the most logical division of parties in such a format. The United States would easily form multiple formal parties given the political space to do so. The Democratic and Republican parties are already simply massive big-tent coalitions and major third parties have existed before (and then absorbed into one of the major big tents). If third parties were somehow valid, I suppose I might vote for some kind of a left unity party, but I don't view legislative action as the most important function of a leftist political party and wouldn't expect such a party to ever have any power anyway.
  15. I live in Texas, where party registration isn't a thing. I voted "independent" in the poll above. I previously voted in the Democratic primaries in 2016, though I am not voting in the primaries at all this year. They just ask you when you reach the front of the line which ballot you want to vote on - Republican or Democratic. Everyone looks at you funny when you ask for a Democratic primary ballot, but there is otherwise no further association made with any party past that immediate vote.
  16. Well you're the one that made the point, but I thank you anyway.
  17. This is a good discussion. In addition to Integrity, I want to say Credibility almost fits for the purpose of the game too.
  18. Government classes are different from civics classes, for what it's worth. Texas has mandatory government classes, but it has no civics education. I feel that my position might be controversial, so I'll try to explain a bit about what I see as the difference between the two. An American government class exists to explain the function and the theories of the federal government, the court system, elections, and how and why state governments exist. Government class is the what and the why, but civics class is the how (and some why too, in my opinion). Civics is about the dynamics of politics and compromise, not the theory and framework of its catalysts in this country. Civics is building community, at the community level upward, while American Government classes begin at the top and the state and county and city governments are ancillary constructs. But the way I see it, Government classes are only half of what's needed. I said earlier that I've talked to many people from prior generations who had in public school a civics education. These people also had government classes - they had both. That's what I'm talking about. For anyone who has been in the Scouting program, think of the emphasis used in the Citizenship merit badges, or even simply the concept behind that name. Citizenship is different from understanding how government works, and it's good that good citizenship be explained and modeled and practiced, just as it is good to have the mechanics and theory of the American representative system detailed and broken down into constituent systems. Granted, what I am talking about may not be related to what's in the video above - I've not watched it. That video may not be about civics as I understand it. Maybe it's just a guy asking people trivia questions? [edit] I also feel like NYrepublican and I are approaching the same point here - I'm talking about classes, while he wanted emphasize that he means education as a general social function - in this case, I suspect, that civics is not communicated as a social value even outside of formalistic classroom-taught standards. I feel the same way in that sense. Civics can't be subject to the way modern school works with an expectation that it will yield positive results in the real world. If people aren't debating with their friends and neighbors, if they aren't being asked to make decisions as a group over minute and routine personal matters, if they don't value the education in themselves of the how and the why of civic life, then willful ignorance and social laziness is the result. (If you have the time, I'd like to know if that touches close to your feelings, @NYrepublican) I hope that makes sense!
  19. Fair. We are in agreement though, for sure.
  20. I'm a friggin communist and even I think the "buy America" business is silly. If you're going to commit your entire national ideology to the preservation of a free market, why the hell would you then turn around and emphasize purchasing things made within this country? Even if it means being more expensive, lower quality, and doesn't even necessarily benefit fellow American workers? I admit I might find such products ever so slightly more appealing and I will do my best to say, buy union or local or what-have-you, but this idea that consumer choices are going to help anyone but the people already getting rich on importing things from overseas is just ridiculous. It's like vegans who argue that if people didn't buy meat, or people who say if you by organic, there would be less demand the other products - they'll just find another way to make the money somewhere else and it'll be exactly the same people making money of your "choices". It's not a solution. We live in a society where seeking personal advantage at every opportunity is the way to live comfortably. Either go all the way out and say you're a socialist or just live like a rational consumer. Fence-sitting doesn't help anyone.
  21. Thanks for the heads up! By the way, @jvikings1, I do indeed have a map ready for you when you'd like it and I'm happy to help in any other way I can.
  22. Civics education hasn't existed in American schools since the 1970s. Or maybe some of y'all are from more liberal states where that's still a thing. I know that here in Texas, I have to argue with boomers all the time who grew up with a literal class that was dedicated to civics education who don't seem to understand that such classes no longer exist and thus arguing that kids today didn't pay attention in that class is ridiculous.
  23. Most of my choices in the poll are just pretty safe Republican seats, but a few I did think about in some kind of way. Keeping in mind I have no idea who is running for anything outside of my own state - I don't really keep up with politics like I used to. I guess Florida might not go Republican, just because of the way things seem to be going now and the fact that a lot of individual Democrats in that state seem to be doing a good job of getting ahead of the moment right now. I could be wrong - everyone I have met who comes from Florida would probably disagree with me. I gave Wisconsin and Michigan a nod to the Republicans for no especially good reason. (Again, I don't know who is running) I just could see Democrats failing to appeal to their base and Republicans are good enough at separating themselves from their party that their base is more likely to follow through on election day. I don't know about Arizona, but I have read that Joe Arpaio (sp?) is apparently the favorite for the Republican nomination. If he is the candidate, I could see a moderate Democrat besting him... but it's not like Arizona is actively hoping for a Democrat - I know that much. I didn't vote for Ohio, but looking at the list now, I don't know why I didn't. They will probably go Republican. Because Ohio.
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