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Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1005

OK, there are a lot of strange arguments you've made, but I have to get running soon. So here goes:

This is why I rank Woodrow Wilson as the worst US President of All Time: He really put into practice this idea that "Europe's problems are America's problems", and it's saturated the minds of Americans ever since.

Unfortunately it didn't. We stood by for two years while Hitler took over almost all of Europe, and it took Pearl Harbor to crack through our isolationism.

Your assertion that an Atlantic Wall is enough to protect us also makes me suspect that you're forgetting what happened in WWII.

The Russians are deeply pragmatic. What would they have to gain by annexing the Baltic states?

Russia just invaded Ukraine in 2014. What did they have to gain in that case? I hate to send you to a George Will article but it popped up in my first Google search and I have to go now.

Comment Re:How many times... (Score 3, Funny) 57

Don't you worry. After this election we'll eliminate oversized regulatory agencies like the FCC that are full of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who make it harder for small businesses like AT&T to come up with new business models (such as throttling websites that don't pay extortion fees).

Comment Re:Acetaldehyde (Score 1) 304

Acetaldehyde can cause nausea and headache, and is (partly) what gives you a hangover after drinking. Your liver first oxidizes alcohol to acetaldehyde. then to acetic acid. (Weirdly enough, the brain also converts alcohol into acetaldehyde using a different enzyme.) OTOH if you drink methanol the liver converts it into formaldehyde which is extremely toxic because it denatures proteins.

Acrolein is a common smell near an outdoor barbecue, and also frying pans when the oil reaches its smoke point. In dilute form acrolein doesn't smell too unpleasant, but the vapor from pure liquid acrolein irritates and burns the eyes, skin, and throat, and also triggers coughing, severe shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs.

Comment Re:The basest, vilest (Score 1) 1005

I voted against Clinton and think she's a horrible candidate. While she may have exhibited patterns of incompetence and knowledge when dealing with embassy security, look who she's running against.

The guy who wrote The Art of the Deal said it was difficult working with Trump because he has a five minute attention span, and says he thought he was a sociopath even as he was writing the book. (Trump responded with a lawsuit.) Psychiatry professors are presenting Trump in lectures as a classic example of narcissistic personality disorder. The DSM V lists several mental disorders with symptoms that describe him perfectly. You can't pin him down on any policy, other than building a wall (across a 2000 mile border where the net traffic has started going south), dismantling the EPA, not allowing Muslims into the country, reforming the First Amendment so he can sue for libel, etc. It's mostly amorphous stuff about "hiring the best people", "making things work again", shutting things down "until we can figure out what is going on", etc. He can't keep a promise, abuses eminent domain to seize property, stiffs people once their legal fees would exceed the amount he owes, and runs scams like Trump University.

Are you comfortable being one tantrum away from a nuclear war? Ask any ambassador if they're more worried about Trump or Clinton. If you can't see all the red flags around this guy you must be a blind partisan.

Comment Re:Joke ? (Score 1) 1005

She's gleefully in favor of infringing on constitutionally protected rights,

Taking your guns away once again, I assume?

supports nationally self-destructive immigration policies,

Are you referring to the couple thousand Syrian women and children fleeing the aftermath of your stupid war? Or the 12 million Mexicans he wants to load onto rail cars and dump into the desert, south of the 2000 mile wall you think he's actually going to build?

and wants to see the government involved in wildly more private sector activities, at both the business and personal level.

Does she want to dictate where iPhones can be manufactured? Or does she have a history of abusing eminent domain to seize people's property?

Comment The two-party system (Score 1) 1005


That's only technically true. The U.S. Constitution doesn't actually specify that there can only be two parties, but it arranges a winner-take-all system that organically results in the emergence of a two-party system. For a third party to gain a foothold, one of the two major parties has to fission roughly in half. (The last time this happened was before the Civil War, when the Whigs split up.) The U.S. has always had third parties, but each one is a satellite of one of the two major parties. (The Libertarian Party is a splinter off the Republican Party, and the Green Party is a splinter off the Democratic Party.) The reason that these parties stay small is obvious- if a Democrat votes Green, he knows it will help the Republicans, and if a Republican votes Libertarian, he knows it will help the Democrats. So the third parties only get a small number of protest votes (and only if these people don't stay home and watch Netflix).

This clearly has an effect on Senate elections. Also on the Electoral College during presidential elections, but states are reluctant to apportion electoral votes by the proportion of voters- since it means voters in that state exert less of an effect on the outcome of a presidential election than voters in winner-take-all states nearby.

Meanwhile the House of Representatives is controlled not by a majority of voters, not even by a majority of seats, but by a majority of a majority of seats. And that majority-of-a-majority isn't even answerable to the majority of voters in their districts, but to the (generally nutcase) minority that votes in primaries. Even if you disregard the ridiculous gerrymandering of districts, this isn't government by the people; it's government by a minority of a majority of a minority of the people. It's an absurd perversion of democracy and one of the biggest bugs in the Constitution.

Comment Re:Absurd Pile (Score 1) 1005

The vast majority of which owe their national security to the US. Security which we are not properly compensated for. Trump will force our lazier "allies" to get their houses in order and shoulder more of the burden for protecting themselves.

The United States pays only 22.1% of the direct costs of NATO- about $500 million annually. (Germany pays 14.6%, France pays 10.6%, the UK pays 9.8%, Italy pays 8.4%, Canada pays 6.6%, Spain pays 5.8%, Turkey pays 4.3%, and the remaining 20 NATO allies- the Netherlands, Luxembourg, etc.- pay about 1% each on average.) On a per capita basis, the U.S. spends considerably less on NATO than either Germany or France.

The indirect costs of NATO, of course, are somewhat higher, as you'd naturally expect when a country voluntarily spends 54% of its discretionary budget on defense. That's totally nuts, and the way to address it would be to simply reduce military spending. But that's obviously not what he's proposing, since he knows it would get him booed off the stage. He's talking about keeping the military budget at present levels, and instituting a shakedown of NATO allies with an explicit threat to disregard our treaty obligations if countries don't pay up and are subsequently attacked. (The NATO treaty has been ratified by a Congressional supermajority, so this would be unconstitutional, but Trump insists that he can "negotiate" his way out of it and get a "better deal"- albeit one that could not possibly net us any more than $1 billion.)

Regardless of whether he intends to follow through on these statements or not, the mere fact that he's describing NATO in public as a protection racket instead of a treaty has already undermined national security. It's not as if both our NATO allies and Putin can't hear these rants (via "our Internet"), and the leaders of several of these countries have already expressed their suspicions that the United States might be willing to abrogate its treaty obligations if this fool gets elected. In fact Trump is making it clear that there could be no point in signing a treaty with the United States at all. It's now obvious to the rest of the world that the American political system has reached an ominous level of instability which is possibly sufficient to elevate a cretin like this to the presidency.

Comment Re:The basest, vilest (Score 1) 1005

I don't recall any of those attacks being blamed on a youtube video by a Secretary of State and a President, let alone going after and investigating someone who made said video and using them as a scapegoat. Nor do I recall a Secretary of State lying to the families of those victims while telling people in private emails that it had nothing to do with a video.

Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Perhaps bold text can penetrate your thick skull. Once again, from the same 2014 article:

On the day of the attack, Islamists in Cairo had staged a demonstration outside the United States Embassy there to protest an American-made online video mocking Islam, and the protest culminated in a breach of the embassy's walls- images that flashed through news coverage around the Arab world. As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

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