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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19181 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-08, 21:38

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-08, 20:52, said:

If I were all that fond of rationality I would have married a computer.
Of course we are not completely rational.


Apple or PC?

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#19182 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 06:28

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-November-08, 21:38, said:


Apple or PC?



My first love, and I have very fond memories, was for a Macintosh but now by heart has been taken by a PC. What is there to say, what can you say, when a love affair is over?
Ken
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#19183 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 07:48

I think progress has been made in our discussion of reading lists.
Exactly how should books be chosen? Not mentioning a certain three-letter theory helps the discussion along.

I think a rough guide, a first approximation, could be this: If we are ok with having a classroom discussion of what happens, then the book is acceptable.

I graduated HS in 1956 and, going by that criterion, it was fine discussing what Brutus and others did to Caesar but what went on between Antony and Cleopatra was off-limits. Weird, but so it was.
Winston, speaking of his high school, says "We didn't have to form moral opinions - just had to know the story, characters, and who wrote it."
Hmm. Maybe. But then why read it. Just get a plot summary somewhere.
In The Music Man, Harold Hill sings
I hope, I pray
For Hester to get one more A
Ok, I understand the reference. But do we read The Scarlet Letter just so that I don't have to look dumb and say "Who is Hester?" I hope for more.

Gilithin notes that "When I was at school, one of the books that got studied was The Merchant of Venice." And I note that I read it as a high school assignment but sort of accidentally, I was expected to read something and the library had the play on LPs so we could listen instead of read it. But are we prepared to then discuss anti-semitism? If not, then we probably should not be reading it. And discussing means discussing. When I was 12 I had a friend, Stan, whose father was a lawyer. Stan was, I think, the only friend I had whose father had been to college. Stan was Jewish. What to make of this? I had another Jewish friend, Denny, and as far as I know Denny's father had never been to college. Later I would have a Jewish friend whose father had been to jail during the HUAC years. Anything to make of this? I recently saw the movie Shiva Baby. I described it to Becky, who had not yet seen it, as very good and very Jewish. Becky watched it and agreed with both statements.
Are we prepared to discuss such things in the classroom? If the answer is no then let's not assign M of V.
Possibly the answer should be no. A classroom setting is a bit phony. We have to worry about it going viral, that someone might lose a job, etc.

One more example. In my senior year my psychology teacher, a guy I liked a great deal, gave his opinion that no woman, no matter how modern she thinks she is can be truly happy in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Even in the mid-50s there were young women in class who could have contested this. But being the mid-50s they kept silent. The same point applies. If not prepared for a free and open classroom discussion, then don't bring it up.
Ken
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#19184 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 07:58

Johnny Harris and Binyamin Appelbaum said:

It’s easy to blame the other side. And for many Democrats, it’s obvious that Republicans are thwarting progress toward a more equal society.

But what happens when Republicans aren’t standing in the way?

In many states — including California, New York and Illinois — Democrats control all the levers of power. They run the government. They write the laws. And as we explore in the video above, they often aren’t living up to their values.

In key respects, many blue states are actually doing worse than red states. It is in the blue states where affordable housing is often hardest to find, there are some of the most acute disparities in education funding and economic inequality is increasing most quickly.

Instead of asking, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” Democrats need to spend more time pondering, “What’s the matter with California?”

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

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#19185 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 09:28

I have watched the Housing portion of the video supplied above. I always personalize things for better or worse. I have mentioned that the neighborhood I grew up in has not changed all that much but there is one change. A large complex for seniors has been built on a plot of ground where we used to play as kids. It seems to be pretty similar to something Palo Alto rejected according to the video.
St. Paul is not Palo Alto.


I liked growing up in St. Paul but even I, other things being equal, might prefer to live in Palo Alto. Or Berkeley, I really like Berkeley. That probably has something to do with prices going up there. Prices are going up plenty in St. Paul but not like in Palo Alto. Or Berkeley.


Yes, we have a housing problem.


I guess the video is saying that Dems really support low-income housing as long as it is someone else's neighborhood. There is probably something to that.


Ken
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#19186 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 10:05

IMO these are two of the more important quotes in the WC in some time.

Quote

I think progress has been made in our discussion of reading lists.Exactly how should books be chosen? Not mentioning a certain three-letter theory helps the discussion along.


Quote

Instead of asking, "What's the matter with Kansas?" Democrats need to spend more time pondering, "What's the matter with California?"


We need to talk about what we support - every time we mention someone else's lie, a frame, we re-enforce it.
Along the same lines, to win over others requires producing better results, results that affect their lives. What is the matter with California, anyway?
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#19187 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 10:34

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-November-09, 10:05, said:

What is the matter with California, anyway?

The biggest problem with California is that it is too large. If it were to be split up into roughly 30 small states, Democrats would have more or less a lock on the Senate and excellent chances of winning the HoR and the WH outside of catastrophic losses across the country.
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#19188 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 15:23

The reasons that Americans vote (or don't vote) have very little to do with racism or sexism.
It's a mistake to talk about sexism or critical race theory if you want someone to vote for you.
Here is a recent Pew research study of the main things that concerned Americans in April this year.
Here is the list of topics they asked Americans to label as important to not important - I randomised them - see if you can rearrange them in the correct order from most important to least (See the spoiler for the right order).
When you finish, compare the result to the Pew findings.
This is the reason Trump got more votes than any previous President twice - and it has nothing to do with an explosion in the population.

  • Gun violence
  • Sexism
  • The quality of public K-12 schools
  • Condition of roads, bridges: and other infrastructure
  • Domestic terrorism
  • International terrorism
  • Racism
  • Violent crime
  • Economic inequality
  • The coronavirus outbreak
  • Unemployment
  • The federal budget deficit
  • Illegal immigration
  • Climate change
  • The affordability of health care

Spoiler

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#19189 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 18:18

On the subject of what motivates voters, I thought this opinion piece was interesting. Ken might too:

Matthew Karp and Dustin Guastella:'Message to Democrats: embrace economic bread-and-butter issues to win' (The Guardian; 9 November 2021) said:

As he set about disembowelling Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill last month, Joe Manchin paused to offer some cheerful advice for outraged progressives.

“[A]ll they need to do,” said the West Virginia senator, “is elect more liberals.”

There was something slightly perverse about Manchin counseling the leftwingers whose policy agenda he was helping tear apart: he sounded like a burglar recommending a home security system as he made off with his loot. And yet his point is undeniable: if progressives hope to gain more leverage in American politics, they must win more elections.

Of course, this is just what they have been trying to do. In the wake of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, an energetic cohort of progressives crashed into city halls, state legislatures, and Congress itself. In the House, “the Squad” may be the most visible avatar of this new leftwing politics, but the larger Progressive Caucus has grown from under 28% of all House Democrats in 2008 to over 43% today.

Still, as the fate of Biden’s bill shows, leftwing influence on national politics remains limited. That’s because progressive gains have not been not responsible for changing the larger balance of power. By and large, progressives have replaced sitting Democrats in deep-blue districts. They’ve failed to prove themselves in contested seats, and have yet to win a major statewide election. Without expanding the Democratic base, progressive advances reflect a larger trend away from the party’s working-class constituency and toward educated urban professionals.

American progressives aren’t alone facing this problem. Over the last half-century, center-left parties all around the world have suffered massive defections from their once-sturdy working-class electoral base. As labor unions have declined in size and power, and economies have shifted away from high-wage blue-collar jobs, millions of working-class voters have moved toward parties of the right. And though pundits obsess over the “white working class”, the phenomenon now clearly extends across racial lines, with non-white, non-college-educated voters breaking significantly toward Republicans since 2012.

But in order to win more elections, especially in swing districts, both Democrats and progressives must win more working-class votes. The numbers here are just overwhelming: in 2020, well over 60% of American voters did not have college degrees. In Congress, over four-fifths of House seats – and 96 of 100 Senate seats – are chosen by electorates where 60% of the voters lack college degrees. For progressives to accept an inevitable decline in working-class support is to accept their position as a permanent and punchless minority.

So how can progressives win back the working class? Here opinions divide sharply. Some liberal analysts argue that an increasingly professional-class Democratic party must restrain its own instincts to suit the preferences of less educated voters. These “popularists” urge liberal candidates to build their campaigns around the party’s safest, best-liked ideas, like lowering prescription drug prices, while tactically sidestepping less popular positions on immigration or police reform. In response, a range of progressive critics contend that such compromises with working-class opinion are either politically ineffectual – since candidate messaging doesn’t matter very much – or morally untenable, since, they say, it would mean replaying Bill Clinton’s rightwing racial pivot in the 1990s.

In conjunction with Jacobin magazine and the public opinion firm YouGov, our team at the Center for Working Class Politics decided to dig deeper into this question than an ordinary survey would allow. Rather than polling voters on isolated policies or beliefs, we designed an experiment to test how potentially Democratic working-class voters respond to electoral matchups. By asking voters to choose between hypothetical candidates, who presented a range of personal characteristics and campaign messages, we were able to develop a richer portrait of voter attitudes at the ballot box. And by presenting this survey to a representative group of 2,000 working-class voters in five swing states – a much larger sample of this demographic than appears in most polls – we were able to focus on these voters in much greater depth.

What we learned in the “Commonsense Solidarity” report may confound both sides of the ongoing debate. The strongest candidates in our sample made bread-and-butter issues their top priorities – jobs and the economy, rather than immigration and racial justice – and spoke about those priorities in universalist, rather than “woke”, identity-centered rhetoric. These differences were even more pronounced among the working-class voters that Democrats and progressives have struggled most to reach, including rural and small-town voters and voters in blue-collar jobs.

In this sense, our findings support the view that working-class voters are sensitive to candidate messaging, and that progressives who want to win their support should put economic issues at the center of their campaigns. But does that mean that Democrats must either tack hard to the center, or abandon their effort to win back a fundamentally “conservative” working class, as some analysts have argued? Not at all.

The voters in our sample preferred candidates who endorsed Medicare for All to those who supported an anodyne centrist alternative, “increase access to affordable healthcare”. And given a choice of political messages, they chose a populist, Bernie Sanders-style soundbite – pitting working-class Americans against wealthy elites – somewhat more often than a moderate, Biden-style message.

Nor does our study suggest that Democrats must “play it safe” by avoiding discussions of racism. Working-class respondents strongly backed candidates who promised to “end systematic racism” over those who offered a bland pronouncement of “equal rights for all”. They did not punish female or non-white candidates – in fact, black candidates performed significantly better than any other group in our sample, even among white voters.

Working-class voters will not punish candidates for advocating for civil rights. But when Democrats frame this struggle in a way that overshadows their commitment to delivering bread-and-butter goods, and when they adopt an activist-inspired, identity-based rhetoric, they are likely to lose working-class votes. Our survey turned up some very large gaps on this front. A populist candidate with a central focus on the economy earned 63% support, for example, while moderates and “woke” progressives with a focus on immigration or racial justice won under 50%.

Combining a populist message with a candidate from a working-class background, meanwhile, stretched these gaps even further. While a moderate military veteran – the kind of Democratic candidate often celebrated by party leaders and the press – received just 51% support, a progressive populist teacher earned over 65%. Strikingly, these preferences were shared not only by Democratic voters, but the critical swing demographic of working-class independents.

To be sure, a choice between hypothetical candidates is different from an actual campaign but unlike most other studies of this kind (using surveys or election data), our experimental approach allowed us to isolate the characteristics that either attract or repel working-class voters to a particular candidate.

Last week’s elections offered one demonstration of what happens when workers’ issues are ignored. In Virginia, Democratic ex-governor Terry McAuliffe was lured into a culture war with Republican Glenn Youngkin, with Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved claiming headlines in the campaign’s final weeks. As economic issues disappeared from view, McAuliffe – a paradigmatic “woke” moderate with no ability to reframe the debate – found himself swamped by working-class defections. Where Biden had won Virginia voters without college degrees by seven points, McAuliffe lost them by 20.

Joe Manchin’s arithmetic is unyielding. If progressives want to exert real power in American politics, they cannot be content to replace establishment liberals in deep-blue seats: they must also prove themselves as an alternative to the cautious centrism that swing-district Democrats prefer. The good news is that this doesn’t have to mean sacrificing bold economic policies or evocative populist rhetoric. But if progressives continue to insist that political messaging is inconsequential, or that it is impossible to adjust their program to the priorities of the working-class electorate, they risk condemning themselves to permanent irrelevance.

Matthew Karp is an associate professor of history at Princeton University and a contributing editor at Jacobin. Dustin Guastella is director of operations for Teamsters Local 623 in Philadelphia

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#19190 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 18:20

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-08, 20:52, said:

If I were all that fond of rationality I would have married a computer.
Of course we are not completely rational.

Does the computer have no agency? She might not have been prepared to marry you!
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#19191 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 18:39

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-November-09, 10:05, said:

What is the matter with California, anyway?

From wikipedia:

Since about 1970, California has been experiencing an extended and increasing housing shortage, such that by 2018, California ranked 49th among the states of the U.S. in terms of housing units per resident. This shortage has been estimated to be 3-4 million housing units (20-30% of California's housing stock, 14 million) as of 2017. Experts say that California needs to double its current rate of housing production (85,000 units per year) to keep up with expected population growth and prevent prices from further increasing, and needs to quadruple the current rate of housing production over the next seven years in order for prices and rents to decline.
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#19192 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 20:36

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-November-09, 15:23, said:

This is the reason Trump got more votes than any previous President twice - and it has nothing to do with an explosion in the population.
  • The affordability of health care
  • The federal budget deficit
  • Violent crime
  • Illegal immigration
  • Gun violence
  • The coronavirus outbreak
  • Racism
  • Economic inequality
  • Unemployment
  • Climate change
  • The quality of public K-12 schools
  • Domestic terrorism
  • Condition of roads, bridges: and other infrastructure
  • International terrorism
  • Sexism


Other than massively increasing the budget deficit, would you care to tell us what Trump did in these categories to justify your suggestion that this explains 2020 rather than the more obvious case of it being related to easier access to voting through more extensive postal ballots, drop-boxes, 24 hour voting and other such initiatives?
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#19193 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-09, 21:12

View PostGilithin, on 2021-November-09, 20:36, said:

Other than massively increasing the budget deficit, would you care to tell us what Trump did in these categories to justify your suggestion that this explains 2020 rather than the more obvious case of it being related to easier access to voting through more extensive postal ballots, drop-boxes, 24 hour voting and other such initiatives?


He pandered to people's insecurity about having a job and protecting themselves from sickness and violent crime.

"It's the economy stupid" WJ Clinton (I think).


Pre-pandemic (Trump's Iran hostage rescue debacle) Trump's pandering would have seen him easily beat off any candidate.


The results of the polling seem to show that Americans are in a constant state of fear - about everything.
Nothing in the polling points to anything aspirational.
Trump just played on that fear a la the Apprentice and it paid off handsomely.


I don't like it because things that happen in America affect the whole world.
Also, we have our own Trump running Australia - they're a plague.





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#19194 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-10, 06:57

Jonathan Bernstein said:

Republican dysfunction just keeps getting worse. The latest? A movement to strip the 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill of their committee seats. Let’s go to Congress scholar Josh Huder:

This is legitimately insane. These kinds of punishments are normally reserved for gross misconduct or extreme betrayals of party.

Voting for an infrastructure bill is neither of those things. I'd be very surprised if this develops further. But the fact it is being discussed at all is bananas. Try to overthrow your speaker? Assignments might be in jeopardy. Blatant corruption? Assignments might be in jeopardy. Drunk drive your car into the Potomac with an adult entertainer? Assignments might be in jeopardy.

Vote for an infrastructure bill? That's a Tuesday.

As everyone noted after the news broke, 19 Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voted for the bill in August; support for it wasn’t some fringe position within the party when it cleared Congress last week. And indeed, as Jonathan Chait points out, the perceived problem with the bill wasn’t the substance. It’s that it was a Democratic bill. This wasn’t the first move by Republicans to punish one of their colleagues for cooperation with Democrats, as former conference chair Liz Cheney could remind us.

The dynamic that tends to govern these tantrums is simple. Republican radicals are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the party’s mainstream. They can’t do it on policy because the party is already extremely conservative, so they wind up looking for procedural maneuvers — shutting down the government, for example — even if there’s no point to it.

At the same time, the mainstream of the party is desperate to avoid getting tagged as “Republicans in Name Only,” or otherwise accused of being insufficiently loyal to the party, and so they often go along with whatever nonsense is being proposed. That’s all been true for years. It’s worse now that nobody in the party wants to be seen as disloyal to former President Donald Trump, regardless of what chaos he is supporting at the moment. Thus: Dysfunction.

All of this has minimal or even zero direct effects at election time. Voters mostly don’t care about this stuff, and indeed it’s unlikely they ever hear about most of it.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It significantly limits what Republicans can get done when they have majorities. After all, Trump wanted and couldn’t get an infrastructure deal, while almost everyone in the party wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare but couldn’t get that done. Governing failures stemming from all this may even wind up producing indirect electoral effects. We don’t really know why five of the last five recessions have started with Republicans in the White House, but internal party difficulties surely can’t help.

How bad is it? There’s a good chance that Republicans will have a majority in the House of Representatives after the 2022 elections, and there’s already been some speculation about how large a majority they would need to select a speaker and organize the chamber. Yes, there was similar chatter about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats back in 2018, but in fact Pelosi was never in any serious danger.

Perhaps it will turn out that current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will have similar strength. Perhaps he’ll be replaced by someone else all House Republicans will be happy with. And perhaps Republicans will have such a large majority that they can afford plenty of defections. But if they do wind up with a slim majority, there’s a possibility that we’ll see plenty of chaos.

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#19195 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-10, 09:50

"The latest? A movement to strip the 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill of their committee seats. "


Did I go to bed one night and wake up living in The Planet of the Apes? Am I a character in a Stephen King novel?
Ken
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#19196 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-10, 10:33

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-10, 09:50, said:

"The latest? A movement to strip the 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill of their committee seats. "


Did I go to bed one night and wake up living in The Planet of the Apes? Am I a character in a Stephen King novel?

I’m more inclined to think Italy under Mussolini.
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#19197 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-November-10, 19:14

Are there any lawyers here?
I just watched a bit of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Day 7, Part 2.
Interesting exchange at 1:02:38
The prosecutor is about to show some drone footage and points out that the operator uses the "pinch and zoom" capability on the Ipad.

All hell breaks loose because the defence attorney states that (~1:04:48).

Quote

Ipads which are made by Apple have artificial intelligence, that allow things to be viewed through three dimensions and logarithms (court reporter asks: "what?" and the defence attorney continues) - logarithms I don't understand it either, and it uses artificial intelligence or there logarithms to Create what they believe is happening.


The Judge agrees that this is a valid proposition and that the prosecution needs to find an expert to testify that the zoom feature simply enlarges the original image without affecting what was already there.
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#19198 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-11, 04:13

from "Best of Late Night" at NYT:

Quote

A judge ruled this week that Donald J. Trump can’t prevent the release of files related to the Capitol attack, saying of Trump that “presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.”

“Damn! I have not seen such a brutal attack on an elected official since Jan. 6,” Stephen Colbert said.

“The last time Trump got a spanking like that was with a copy of Forbes magazine by Stormy Daniels.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“That is the worst denial for the former president since any time he tried to hold his wife’s hand.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“Now Trump’s legal team is going to have to figure out what to obstruct next. At this point Trump’s lawyers are, like, the losingest team in history, of any team ever. More than the Clippers. More than the Lions. More than the Washington Generals. And the Globetrotters beat them, like, 5,000 games in a row.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“You think anyone ever took notes in a meeting with Trump? When they finally subpoena those notepads, they’re just going to be filled with random doodles and inscrutable comments like, ‘Ingest bleach maybe?’” — SETH MEYERS

“And there’s no way Trump himself ever wrote anything down. He never even wrote any of his own books. They were ghostwritten, which I’m sure Trump took literally. [imitating Trump] ‘I didn’t write it — a ghost did, and I was pretty disappointed when I met the ghost. They said, ‘Donald, we’re getting you a ghostwriter,’ and I was hoping for a Slimer or, even better, a Patrick Swayze.” — SETH MEYERS

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#19199 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-11, 09:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-November-10, 19:14, said:

Are there any lawyers here?
I just watched a bit of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Day 7, Part 2.
Interesting exchange at 1:02:38
The prosecutor is about to show some drone footage and points out that the operator uses the "pinch and zoom" capability on the Ipad.

All hell breaks loose because the defence attorney states that (~1:04:48).



The Judge agrees that this is a valid proposition and that the prosecution needs to find an expert to testify that the zoom feature simply enlarges the original image without affecting what was already there.


Logarithms! Those sly devils are using logarithms.
The prosecutor then says everyone in the room uses the pinch and zoom feature of their iPhone. It's a good thing I was not in the room or this would be a false statement.
Now that I know it involves logarithms I will surely never replace my lost cell phone.
Be careful out there.

On a more serious note, it seems that what we have is a guy bringing an AR-15 to a demonstration, and another guy chasing after a guy who brought an AR-15 to a demonstration. In my wildest dreams, or my wildest nightmares, I cannot imagine myself doing either of these things.
I had a conversation a while back with a gun enthusiast and I gave my view that the expected consequence of bringing a gun to a dispute is that one person will get shot and the other person will go to jail. How difficult is that to grasp?
Ken
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#19200 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-11, 12:24

View Postkenberg, on 2021-November-11, 09:14, said:

Logarithms! Those sly devils are using logarithms.
The prosecutor then says everyone in the room uses the pinch and zoom feature of their iPhone. It's a good thing I was not in the room or this would be a false statement.
Now that I know it involves logarithms I will surely never replace my lost cell phone.
Be careful out there.

On a more serious note, it seems that what we have is a guy bringing an AR-15 to a demonstration, and another guy chasing after a guy who brought an AR-15 to a demonstration. In my wildest dreams, or my wildest nightmares, I cannot imagine myself doing either of these things.
I had a conversation a while back with a gun enthusiast and I gave my view that the expected consequence of bringing a gun to a dispute is that one person will get shot and the other person will go to jail. How difficult is that to grasp?


If the defendant had stayed home we wouldn’t be calling him defendant.

Although we all make mistakes, some mistakes should be considered totally avoidable.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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