Merv's Politically Incorrect Audio Blog

Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    Yeah, I think it’s very hard, but doable. It would take some clever writing of mark-to-market rules. Short of getting all the way there, I’d support getting of the preferential rate on capital gains and the mortgage interest deduction and instituting a refundable housing credit that would be better for most homeowners than the MID, offset some of the property tax’s regressivity, and help renters in the process.

    As I worked on my eventual dissertation, I definitely changed my mind on property taxes. With Prop 13, there was a misapprehension on the left and the right that the people who voted for it were all anti-tax conservatives. But discontent with property taxes had been brewing for decades, all across the country and across partisan lines. As the U.S. grew modernized in the ‘40s and ‘50s, the unsustainability of funding a bunch of essential stuff at the state and local levels became more apparent, but neither party did anything about it. Eventually, people got pissed off enough to vote for a measure that most knew wasn’t great, but at least did something.
     
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  2. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    Welp, our county school board voted today to keep the original start date for school openings. August 11. Literally every single other county bordering us has pushed it back. We're doing the hybrid thing.

    So basically: "We know that we should hold back because we still have no plan. But we don't want to piss parents off waffling more while everyone else has already reached a decision. So we will tell them we have a plan... the plan, is to open the schools in 2 weeks." Also known as the "give them what they want" strategy. Essentially, when you have an important decision to make and you can't work out what to do, give people what you think they most want.

    So this should be interesting to see. Things have actually started trending down for us lately.

    https://cbs12.com/news/local/martin...uss-plans-for-reopening-graduation-ceremonies

    I guess I'll put the 5 friggin hour meeting on while I paint at work tomorrow. Though honestly, I think whatever happens is going to be a mess. I understand that transmission rates seem much lower in children, which is a good sign. But then... for most of this they have been at home. No school, no sports, no anything. They haven't been getting the exposure that adults would. I understand there is also a chance for a trickle of problems dealing with learning, mental health, future outcomes. Many issues with keeping kids out of school. Parents working. Vital services inexplicably tied to schools.

    So I basically have two questions that I guess I will hope to see answered soon. The first is regarding the reality of the transmission rates described by the CDC. They say 7% of all cases are children. How does that factor into the big picture when we essentially multiply the chances of transmitting it? Being that it's something we can't know, operations will have to be seriously hindered. Which leads to the second question, which is regarding whether we can open the schools in a way that actually deals with the impact that people fear keeping them closed will cause.

    I still think that we should be doing everything we can to keep that r-value down. That's always been the name of the game. We are literally just starting to trend down. Sort of. Climbing right now, but it's slower and we're still down a little from before. I would hardly say it is under control here atm. We're still sitting ~10% positive... and wasn't the CDC saying it should be below 5% to open schools? It might not take very much to bring it back up, either. Again, when cases are going up, we can't expect adding more risk factors to do anything other than up the cases exponentially. It's not that complicated.

    That aside... doing it this way, to me, is like trying to fix a dollhouse with a ball-peen hammer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  3. will_f

    will_f Leave of absence from SBAF - having fun in RL

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    It is in all our benefit to have good and free public schools. Many of the ills being discussed on this thread are the direct result of a massively underfunded public education system that pays teachers crap, buries them in stupid paperwork, and in many places is managed by school boards loaded down with nutjobs pushing agendas unrelated to teaching people how to think. That’s how you end up with a country that can’t separate fact from fiction, can’t respond to a public health crisis, has out of control homelessness, has falling life expectancy, and still thinks its the envy of the world.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    4gw24n.jpg
     
  5. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    Stand by.
    The Proud Toys
    [​IMG]
     
  6. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    [​IMG]

    10/10
     
  7. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    "First of all, I know evil. He's a very intelligent man. Great guy. Strong negotiator. I know more about evil than anyone in the world, believe me, I do research."

    "Evil? What you gotta under.... the point is... apples are great right off the branch, you sonofabitch."
     
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  8. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    From my end Trump still has an edge in FL due to strong voter excitement for him and the GOP here. I was on I95 over the weekend and I saw some Trump Fan Club signs on giant billboards. Then again I am in Northeast FL, which is a very strong GOP stronghold due to suburbs (which hasn't been tilting towards the Dems as much as some were saying), retirees, and rural areas.

    Also, GOP of FL has done a fantastic job on voter registration. At 2016 Dems had a 300k voter registration advantage over the GOP, currently it is about 180,000 advantage Dems. I'm thinking when the registration period closes in FL (in FL to vote in an election you need to make sure you are registered 28 days before election day), that advantage might go down to 170,000. However, no political party controls the state registration of voters. Dems and GOP have about 36%/37% total amount of registered voters each while NPA/Independents are 25% (which went up by 10% over the last decade). However, keep in mind FL is a closed primary state so we get voters who vote in the GOP primary for example but in Nov votes Dem (and same in reverse as well).

    Barely seeing anything with Biden/Harris stuff/signs in my area. I can go into any suburb and see 10-20 Trump signs in a few blocks with giant Trump flags and tons of Black the Blue/No To Socialism signs as well. All these wedge issues get people to the polls and give political parties $$$$. I'm seeing the same excitement for Trump again as I did for Obama/Biden back in 08/12. I wouldn't be surprised Trump wins FL again in Nov. Some might say why he might win considering what he is saying/doing as of late. Consider that Florida gets a lot of conservatives/wealthy from very liberal states (NY/CA/IL) who are super pissed on how screw up the taxes and government are from those states. Then they move to FL and vote down ticket GOP to keep taxes low, focus on policing, and blah blah blah. Plus with retirees who vote GOP due to low taxes (which is important for retirement), and cheap housing, well you see the point on why the GOP is strong here.

    Also here's something that might become (but most likely will) a law in FL: https://www.flgov.com/2020/09/21/go...d-looting-and-law-enforcement-protection-act/

    Even if FL have strict laws on the books, lets scare anyone to prevent protesting due to our State Attorneys have broad powers as-is. The upcoming is design as another wedge issue to give the GOP the edge (if you vote Dem you do not believe in laws and policing, current talking points of the FL GOP). Also, FL for the most part didn't even have close the protesting unread in other cities. This is mostly due to strong laws favoring the police to stop any BS.
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I read an article about democracies collapsing which compared Trump with the leaders who brought it down in those countries and it was scary shit.
     
  10. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    LOL, so was the comparison on Obama and Hitler.
     
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  11. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    Where can I check that out, 4chan? Let me dig out my Pepe avatar.
     
  12. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    When will people realize that every four years we are repeating that South Park episode.

     
  13. penguins

    penguins Friend

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    I personally believe the fact that we have Trump and Biden is largely due to big media, big corp, big gov, and most importantly, the D + R parties working together to effectively stifle all competition (both from within the party or outside - i.e voices like Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, Ron Paul, Libertarian party, etc getting screwed). Last time I checked, monopolies and duopolies were still bad.

    However, the other part of it is a reflection of how America as a whole has declined since the mid 2000's. We have no one to blame but ourselves for this.
    The fact that we had Bush vs Kerry, Obama vs McCain, Obama vs Romney, Trump vs Hillary, and now Trump vs Biden is simply a reflection of America's decline in the last 15ish years (granted I thought Clinton and Bush Sr were bad too and Reagan was only a good actor who was in the right places at the right times). The same reflection can be seen in the loss of absolute American hegemony in the world and the complete dominance of the dollar in global economics, the current open-ness of BLM, Antifa, Proud Boys, and similar groups, the greater appeal of socialism now, general rise of poverty and decline in purchasing power of the average person (all while inflation is supposedly only at 1-2%.... sure....), rise in drug use especially amongst the poorer and/or rural parts of America (almost can't blame them - life looks bleak in many of these places), the fact that healthcare is still overpriced (forget universal insurance - adding more middle men is mathematically idiotic and only drains taxes, productivity, etc) and most importantly, what I perceive as the rise of 3rd world mentalities and behaviors that in about 1/2 of America, both left and right, that from what I can understand, would have been unthinkable 20ish years ago outside of fringe groups. On the rise of 3rd world mentalities - several friends who moved here within the last 10 years from 3rd world countries have all quietly expressed to me approximately "wow we thought America would be better b/c it's a great country that was built by great people and ideas - how come half the people here act 3rd world too"

    Could go on and on, but regardless of who wins, I have no hope in gov. Gov is ineffective as is, too big and bloated with no incentive to actually be efficient and effective and get stuff done, large corps have too strong of a choke-hold on our cheap to bribe politicians (if you're going to take bribes - at least do like Brazil or China and do millions at a time and be done after 3 or 4 bribes so you minimize damage instead of a lifetime of small "contributions" which maximize damage), and the general populace was somehow gullible enough to buy into the blame game narratives being pushed in education + media instead of looking around with their own eyes and fixing things.

    For my sake and the world's sake I hope things get better here... but I really don't see how it's going to happen anytime soon. Most people I meet out there can't get beyond "orange man bad" or "antifa bad" when it comes to stuff like this. My calls to forget this stuff and problem solve instead get met by glares of "angery / triggereddddddd" or lots of blame game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  14. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    i don’t know how to interpret this. Are you kidding and saying there’s nothing to the comparison I mentioned or do you actually think Obama is comparable to Hitler???? :eek:
     
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  15. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Facebook Friend

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    The orange man is very, very bad though. I'm not sure if the world as a whole could take another 4 years of the orange man.
     
  16. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    As much as I'm inclined to make a joke about things as a means of keeping my sanity, all you Americans have my sincere condolences for the very public bilateral pantsing your country received.

    But hey if y'all wanna laugh about some place else a certain dictator wannabe quite overtly asked Facebook to support their administration and most people are just taking it in stride despite how genuinely fucked up it is ¯\_༼ ಥ ‿ ಥ ༽_/¯

    "Philippine leader Duterte Lashes Out at Facebook After Fake Accounts Removed - The New York Times" https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/29/business/rodrigo-duterte-facebook-philippines.html
     
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  17. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    That debate was not fake news. It was a very real shit show.
     
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  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    As much as I hate Trump, Biden was so weak. Unwilling to take a stand for anything liberal, confused, just boring as hell regardless of the mad man he was debating. Even when he had time uninterrupted he didn't make his points clearly using good language. it ws always muddled and half communicated.

    Biden's going to be better than Trump for sure, but he'll be a nothing president. Won't accomplish anything, just like Obama. I can't fathom how he won the nomination except maybe people were all freaked out about covid and liked the idea of a comforting grandpa figure. And maybe people like nothing after trump.
     
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  19. Ardacer

    Ardacer Almost "Made"

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    I'm not from USA, so I have very limited knoweledge, but I liked Sanders and his ideas.
     
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  20. penguins

    penguins Friend

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    Just a rhetorical - would people have rated Obama as bad as Trump if the news had bombed him as hard as they bombed Trump every minute since before he was elected?
    To be clear, I dislike both roughly equally and have absolutely no problem saying that Trump has done a very bad job. But I ask this b/c I suspect public opinion of one is only better b/c the public perceptions machines mostly worked with him instead of very very strongly against.

    As for Biden being a do nothing - that's largely what I'm complaining about. Local, county, state, federal, and other - government just isn't structured to be effective and has no incentive either. We 95% can't blame this on any president IMO. We could have Einstein 2.0 as president and he would probably still get nothing done just b/c government is the way it is. Even things leaders get credit for seem to be really largely facilitated by the systems/departments beneath them that are only structured to operate a certain way and the elected leaders don't seem like they have much power to change/fix the systems/orgs.

    On top of that - why would they? There is minimal political benefit for them and a lot of risk. Most gov orgs/depts have a very strong interest to be as slow, conservative/cautious (like no risks, not politically) as possible, and for the employees, to not put themselves out of work. FDA and drug approvals as a random example. And of course as a leader I can't just pull the plug on a dysfunctional program or organization for total reform - politically I'll be criticized for "OHHHH XYZ hates such and such and he doesn't care about you - look he closed down a whole department that served millions of hardworking / impoverished / vulnerable Americans/favorite minority groups/whatever!!!!!" or "LOOK he stands for chaos and anarchy he wants to abolish the police department"... nevermind that abolition is meant to be followed by a new and reformed department.

    Which leads to my next example: police and all of the problems they have. It is not in their interest to reform and make their jobs harder. Why would they? They have a state monopoly on the legal use of force. There are no private police orgs, militias, etc that are officially recognized by the state that could compete with them (if anything, these orgs would be arrested or gunned down for being "radical fringe terrorist groups"). It's also strongly in their interest to "protect their lives" (which often results in abusing the general public and not protecting these lives) so they minimize risk to themselves over a 20 or so year career... which I get in the sense that any mistake could paralyze or kill them (but hey, if I paralyze you by mistake, just sue the department and the tax payer will take care of it... I just need to get the pension at the end... which you also pay for). I suspect many cops don't even do the dumb stuff they do with malicious intent - they legitimately think they're doing it right or for their safety even if it's clear to the public at large that something is wrong with the above picture. At the same time Bush, Obama, Trump, etc. did not waltz in and turn the police into this overnight.

    Even worse is qualified immunity or "civil asset forfeiture". Biggest piles of BS I can think of. Or even something simple holding cops to a lower standard than joe blow in some ways. The hell does pink shirt McMansion AR guy get charged with a felony for just holding his rifle on his property (finger not on trigger) with several potentially violent trespassers all around while the cops that actually shot and killed Breona + BF with their rifles (and lots of other botched no knocks) got in no trouble at all. Top it off by passing off the (high) costs of these botched no knocks on to the taxpayer where as many people get messed up by legal defense costs when having to defend their use of force. Even better - how can cops have a much lower hit rate on average and a higher rate of hitting the wrong people than joe blow with their use of firearms yet they get to keep doing so with little to no consequence. If we did this we would get multiple charges from reckless endangerment to attempted murder, etc. Also to be clear, I do not want to abolish police, but it needs some pretty serious reform at all levels.

    I could go on and on with many more examples of things wrong with gov groups big and small, but point is, I couldn't logically pin this type of stuff on just Bush, Obama, Trump, etc. This is some stuff that needs to happen at a societal level with some big brain thinky mode involved that goes in areas 95% out of their reach.

    Anyways, didn't mean to go on a long rant. I've been very discontent with many levels and aspects of government for a long time and I vented a bit. Back to normal programming and music/listening.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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