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#302 Jun 07 2016 at 7:59 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
The problem is that transsexual and transgender are not the same thing.
The problem is starting a rant with a strawman.
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#303 Jun 07 2016 at 11:29 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The problem is that transsexual and transgender are not the same thing.
The problem is starting a rant with a strawman.
!

I had to stop reading after the remark of how it must be a new fad that teens are saying they are transgender.

Hmm. NO! flat out no. Teens are smart enough to know that coming out as transgender means you put your life at risk. I have had friends kill because they were just walking along a street and someone didn't like seeing that they were transgender. So no teen with a brain is going to come out as transgender when it's just a phase to be in now.


Sorry gbaji got me angry even more then his patronizing on the HR thread.
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#304 Jun 07 2016 at 1:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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ElneClare wrote:
I had to stop reading after the remark of how it must be a new fad that teens are saying they are transgender.

Hmm. NO! flat out no. Teens are smart enough to know that coming out as transgender means you put your life at risk.

Yeah, these people who think that some high school kid will say "I'm a girl today! Hur, hur!" and walk into the girl's locker room have never attended high school before. At best, you'd be viewed as the most pathetic kid at school for being so desperate to try and see boobs (and it's not as though anyone will change in front of you anyway) and at worse you'll get the shit beat out of you for being a trans-faggot-perv-monster. Or some combination thereof, such as getting the shit beat out of you for trying to creep on the football player's girlfriend.

My older kid actually has an acquaintance via a couple school clubs who is trans and, while he (trans-male) is accepted from what I can tell, it sounds as though it was a pretty long process even among friends and classmates who didn't doubt your sincerity.

Edited, Jun 7th 2016 2:56pm by Jophiel
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#305 Jun 07 2016 at 8:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Yes, I get your position. It's "money is more important than people".


No. It's "the closer the people making spending choices are to the people they are spending the money on, the better those choices will be, and the more people you will help with the same amount of money". It's about smarter use of resources. And hey. Giving the people in a local geographic area the power to make their own decisions with their own money rather than having it circle around through a vast number of layers of government before coming back to them, often with strings attached that don't make sense.

So, kinda the opposite of what you think. It's making the people more important than the money. Unless you honestly think that taking money from people and then making them dance to your tune in order to get it back somehow makes them more important in that scheme. Seems like the primary virtue of the top down system is to use people's money to control them. The lower level of government you use for your social programs, the more "the people" matter, and the less "the money" does. I just think you have it backwards.

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Robbing from Peter to pay Paul is fiscally unsound.


Except that in this case, what we're doing is giving Peter less money so that we can give Paul more, without increasing the total amount of money handed out. Which, if you're paying attention, is perfectly fiscally sound. You may not like the new distribution of spending, but it's not unsound from a fiscal perspective.

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You clearly don't really understand traditional GOP fiscal theory.


Really? Maybe you can expound upon what you think it is? Because from what I'm reading, it sure looks exactly like what I've been talking about. Federal spending should be limited to what the constitution requires. Should be done only if necessary. Yup. Looks like I've got it nailed perfectly.

What on earth do *you* think GOP fiscal policy is about?

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Not "unfunded"...improperly funded.


Care to elaborate? They were funded the same way everything else is. Congress passed legislation and funded it. How do you think things get funded?


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gbaji wrote:
bijou wrote:
]So rich local areas get great schools and poor ones get crap schools with no money sharing from the first to the second because...liberty? Is liberty the right answer?
Um... That's how it is right now.
Not where I live.


Oh. Just to clarify. When I said "that's how it is right now", I was referring to great schools in the rich areas and crap schools in the poor areas despite a massive amount of money sharing from the first to the second. We already do that sharing and it doesn't change the fact that rich areas have good schools, and poor areas have terrible ones.

What? There's a lot of things that liberals and conservatives disagree on, but the fact that our poor inner city schools are terrible places to get an education is not one of them. We disagree on the cause and the best solutions, but not the problem itself. Despite much greater tax dollars flowing to those poor schools, they still under perform. Massively. That's the point I'm making. We currently shift a large volume of tax dollars from the rich neighborhoods into the poor, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. At some point, one kinda should conclude that this isn't working and try something else. But the Left's solution is to just transfer more and more money, hoping that maybe this time, it'll work.

Conservatives are the only one's talking about actual public education reform. But because we identify the monolithic public school system itself as part of the problem, and that system supports and maintains the very powerful teachers unions, and the Democrats are tied strongly to said unions, the Left cannot consider those solutions at all. Thus, they stick to the "spend more money" approach. Which hasn't worked so far, and shows no sign of doing so in the future. But hey. They're the intelligent, educated, free thinkers, right?

Oh wait. Weren't we talking about government spending being influenced by special interests and industries? Well, there's one right there. What a surprise!


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gbaji wrote:
So yeah. Liberty. When you give people the power to make their own choices and then hold them responsible for those choices, they tend to actually make better choices than when they are forced to do what some other authority thinks is best.
Unless that choice is abortion, then interference from authority is justified.Smiley: rolleyes


You play that one note too many times and the string will break. Is that really your only response: But... But... Abortion!!!

You know what other liberties we're ok with infringing? Theft. Rape. Murder. Urinating in the city drinking water. Removing the tags from mattresses. You know, things that adversely affect other people (ok, not sure about the mattress thing, but you get the point). It's almost like there's a consistent pattern here. There is a massive difference between legislating the things people are not allowed to do, and legislating the things people must do.


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gbaji wrote:
I'm not sure what sort of conspiracy theory you're spinning now, but do you honestly think those factors and forces are any less present under any other administration
I'll give you a few minutes (or hours or days) to take a look at the staffs of all US GOP presidents going back to Nixon ans see if a few faces keep reappearing. I'll wait.


Why not look at the staffs for the Dem presidents as well? You'll find the same pattern. I'm not sure what your point is here. I fully agree that where there is government money, there will be private industries (both for profit and not) that will attempt to use that money for their own benefit. This is the same whether it's a defense contractor, or a medical device manufacturer, a union, or a community organization. They all play the same game of taking money from various sources and using that money to influence government actions in ways that they want.

My point is that you (and many other people) obsess over this in just one area: Military spending. But you ignore that it is present in everything that government is involved in. Every Thing. So the best way to minimize this is the limit government spending to just those things it must do. Which gets us to the ironic issue of folks opposing federal military spending (which is something that the federal government must do), while supporting things like the ACA. And doing so with the whole "military industrial complex" argument. Um... That can't be your only argument. If it is, then you lose.

That undue influence argument is a great argument for exactly what we conservatives are arguing for: Limited government. But limited government means limiting it to just the things it has to do. It has to maintain a military. It does *not* have to fund public education, or health, or housing, or transportation. None of those things need to be done at the federal level. Certainly not to the degree of micromanagement that we currently do.


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gbaji wrote:
To be fair, we could also talk about his decision not to topple Iraq at the time. But that's a whole topic of itself..
Since everything else followed, it kind of is the topic.


Ok. But at the time that decision was made, no one knew that the cease fire would not be resolved for more than a decade. No one knew that a no-fly zone would be established as part of that unending cease fire. No one knew that this would be maintained via troops stationed in SA. No one knew that this guy named OBL would be angered by this to the point of organizing terrorist attacks on the US. And no one knew that this would culminate in 3000 lives lost on US soil 10 years later. It was only as time went by that these unknowns became known. Each one was a signpost, which could have been read, and to which adjustments could have been made to our course. But each one was ignored, which lead to the result of 9/11.

To blame the guy who made the first decision while absolving the guy who made all the ones after that is kinda silly. It's like blaming your drunk driving accident on your parents teaching you to drive. Yeah. I suppose technically, if you'd never learned to drive, you wouldn't have purchased a car, would not have been driving that car years later while drunk, and wouldn't have caused an accident. But I think we should place the bulk of the blame on the later decisions, and not the former.

The larger point here is that the interview of OBL occurred in 1998. Three years before 9/11. Three Years (and he actually wrote his first fatwa in 1996, which contained the same information, for those who bothered to read it at the time). OBL told us exactly why he was angry with us. He basically told us exactly what we could do to eliminate the threat. He was being interviewed because he was already an identified terrorist threat to the US, so this was not at all theoretical stuff. Did the Clinton administration do anything at all? No. So yeah. I'm sorry, but I place the massive portion of blame for 9/11 squarely where it belongs: On the head of Bill Clinton.

Edited, Jun 7th 2016 7:35pm by gbaji
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#306 Jun 07 2016 at 10:51 PM Rating: Good
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My point being on the school funding issue is that is a place like, oh say, South Dakota you would have vast areas with NO schools unless one were to take ALL monies allocated to schools and redistributed them in such a way as to have them built where areas have little funding, either due to low incomes in the area or the fact that the population is so thin. Not everyplace is San Diego, dude.

I know you hate the poor and the coloreds, but the farmers? You 'Pubbies are supposed to love those guys.
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#307 Jun 08 2016 at 8:07 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's like blaming your drunk driving accident on your parents teaching you to drive.
It's more like blaming your drunk driving accident on your parents giving you their car keys and a couple bottles of whiskey.
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#308 Jun 10 2016 at 9:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
My point being on the school funding issue is that is a place like, oh say, South Dakota you would have vast areas with NO schools unless one were to take ALL monies allocated to schools and redistributed them in such a way as to have them built where areas have little funding, either due to low incomes in the area or the fact that the population is so thin. Not everyplace is San Diego, dude.


And my point is that we currently redistribute money from the rich and densely populated areas to the poor and thinly populated areas, and the latter areas still have terrible schools relative to the former. So we're not solving that problem, are we? You do realize that only like 10% of the total dollars spent on K-12 education comes from the federal government, right? It's not such a large amount that states couldn't manage it on their own (especially if their citizens are no longer suffering that additional federal tax burden). The federal government's role in education is less about redistributing money from rich states to poor states (although there certainly is some of that), but using the process to hand money out with stings attached. It's their method of control. And in many cases, the rules they set are nonsensical, and certainly can't apply equally to all schools in all parts of the country. Which is silly and wasteful.

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I know you hate the poor and the coloreds, but the farmers? You 'Pubbies are supposed to love those guys.


So when the federal grant money that you need for your rural school (because it makes up that last 10% of funding that keeps the darn lights on), comes with rules attached like "must build wheelchair ramps at every entry point to the school property", despite maybe the rural school having dirt lined roads, they'll have to build a curb just to comply with the rule. Or "must have ESL teacher on staff", even if all of the students in your school speak English fluently. There are a boatload of regulations that make a ton of sense in a big city, but not in a small rural town school. Yet, in order to qualify for that money, they have to comply.

Heaven forbid we just let them decide how to run their own schools? Wouldn't that be better? Again, it's not a matter of schools getting funded or not, but that the process of winding money out of the hands of taxpayers, through the federal government, and then back to the taxpayers neighborhoods, results in ridiculous waste of time, money, and effort. Which could be much better spent actually educating the kids rather than say mandating which books must be in their libraries, or which textbooks they must use, what sections of a class must be included to qualify for some national education standard, how the restrooms must be configured (gotta toss that one in, right?), etc, etc, etc.

You get that the biggest problem for rural schools right now is that the overhead cost to meet the federal regulations (or state regulations which exist because the state wants to qualify for federal funding, and cares more about the schools in the cities than the ones in the country), often results in school closures. This, in turn forces kids to have to travel long distances to go to schools in the city, where the "one size fits all" education methodology actually works (well, sorta). I disagree with your assessment that the poor or people living in rural areas are better off as a result of this kind of intervention. I think they are much worse off in fact.
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#309 Jun 10 2016 at 9:37 PM Rating: Decent
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I remember watching a show about silly school regulations. In one of the segments, they were talking about trying to implement a healthier school lunch program. It was a rural school, and they wanted to use fresh food from the local farms. But in order to qualify for the federal funding for their school lunch program, they had to receive their food from one of a small number of "approved" food providers. The closest of which was like a hundred miles away, and the only food they could deliver to the school would come in the stereotypical pre-packaged garbage format. It took silly amounts of effort on the part of the school to work around the regulations.

Again. Heaven forbid we give the authority to make those decisions to those actually directly running the schools. But the Left is so terrified of individual people making decisions for themselves, that they cling to the idea of central planning and solutions. Which, frankly, just plain doesn't work well at all. But no matter how silly and expensive and wasteful, in the liberal mindset it's better than the chaos of allowing people (and schools) to make their own decisions. I guess because they might actually make better ones than the big brains they've been depending on for so long, and it might make them look stupid. And we can't have that!
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#310 Jun 10 2016 at 10:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Again. Heaven forbid we give the authority to make those decisions to those actually directly running the schools.

We do. Participation in the National School Lunch Program is voluntary. The people "directly running the schools" make an active choice to hand over some of the decision making process. The National School Lunch Program is based on US Department of Agriculture agreements with farmers to purchase surplus food at discounted rates and supply that to the schools which is why they can't start reimbursing every school that decides to independently procure their own food. But the option is always there to drop participation in the NSLP and start buying all your stuff from Farmer Joe if that's what the district wants to do.
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#311 Jun 10 2016 at 11:25 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
My point being on the school funding issue is that is a place like, oh say, South Dakota you would have vast areas with NO schools unless one were to take ALL monies allocated to schools and redistributed them in such a way as to have them built where areas have little funding, either due to low incomes in the area or the fact that the population is so thin. Not everyplace is San Diego, dude.
And my point is that we currently redistribute money from the rich and densely populated areas to the poor and thinly populated areas, and the latter areas still have terrible schools relative to the former. So we're not solving that problem, are we?.
But the rural areas get to HAVE schools, which is kind of my point. They're not hoity-toity rich cnut schools like you went to, sure, but at least they get one.
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#312 Jun 11 2016 at 2:59 AM Rating: Default
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I grew up and now remain in poverty and luckily the government gave us poor kids coupons to use for lunch at school. Was still a kind of shameful thing to do and better-off kids made fun of me and my little coupons. One teacher even mocked me and my single mom about it, telling me and thus her how we were failures.

And in elementary I used to make a buck or two where kids would give me their left-over coins and left-over foodstuff and I'd combine the food and eat/drink it all for their amusement. A disgusting slurry. Also used to make money by bets on how quick I could drink milk. Faster than those fat-cats thought. Making 25 cents here or there as big gains to a family at age 4 or 10 is not something rich people can fathom, at all. Did that milk-drink bet from elementary through middle and can still drink fast as ****.

Newspaper route to of course, and summers spent as a teen temp trying to help my family survive. Licking envelopes and polling people.

But it sure is nice for poor kids in school to not starve to death. Also nice for Turkey to not massacre 1 million+ Armenians and Obama to fulfill his promise about acknowledging such a blatant historical fact.Too bad so many forces are against any of that. Must only be the GOP Congress.

Edited, Jun 11th 2016 5:05am by Palpitus1
#313 Jun 11 2016 at 6:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Are you tired of being picked on, uncool?
To the poor child, rich kids can be so cruel -
Pennies and change to he who'll act a fool.
Take heart, take action - and shoot up your school!
- Untitled #23, Poems to a Young Palpitus1
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#314 Jun 12 2016 at 12:56 AM Rating: Default
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I never advocated violence, so please stop with that supposed fashion of my comportment or my avenue of proper redress. Though yes, I was only "cool" in elementary as that weird, poor kid willing to drink the leftover slurries. Mocked but survived, I did. Yoda sucks btw, fuck Yoda. Useless moron. Bad advice and clueless. Probably not good eatin' either, tough old *******.

Also, rich kids can be cruel, so can poor kids. In any event I'm right now too drunk to remember how to fit this in to the overall argumentative thread this has school lunch thing has turned into.

But I will say: Fuck Obama for not acknowledging the Armenian Genocide! OMG. Millions of Armenian kids didn't even get the chance to be ****-hurt like me and writing life descriptions about food vouchers for poor but still-privileged US people because they were DEAD. Limed and piled into graves! Turkey is so awful. It's "special relationship" is continually nearing the US' "special relationship" with Israel. Special relationship with the House of Saud. Former special relationship with South Africa. Special relationship with Pahlavi, and Pinochet. Special relationship with you and my spanking tool.
#315 Jun 12 2016 at 8:31 AM Rating: Good
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We don't have a lot of options for partners in the Middle-east, and since we our foreign policy has been on a pro-stability track, the value of remaking Anatolia and the caucuses in our image is generally unappealing. I'd also like to believe that Turkey is less likely to persecute or invade other countries while they are a US ally.

But I don't disagree, our regional allies (ie. non-WW2 pickups, which are generally great.) are fairly ******. Saudi Arabia is a special case though, as they have been quite good allies and business partners, despite the general despicably.
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#316 Jun 15 2016 at 7:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Again. Heaven forbid we give the authority to make those decisions to those actually directly running the schools.

We do. Participation in the National School Lunch Program is voluntary. The people "directly running the schools" make an active choice to hand over some of the decision making process. The National School Lunch Program is based on US Department of Agriculture agreements with farmers to purchase surplus food at discounted rates and supply that to the schools which is why they can't start reimbursing every school that decides to independently procure their own food. But the option is always there to drop participation in the NSLP and start buying all your stuff from Farmer Joe if that's what the district wants to do.


Uh huh. You're basically supporting my point. So the citizens of your state have already been taxed for their portion of the funding that goes to fund the school lunch program. You're the person in charge of setting statewide policies for your public school system. It will behoove you to set policies that require all public schools in your state to utilize said programs food supply so as to maximize the return of tax dollars back to the state. And for most of the schools in your state, this will work out great. But for those in more rural areas, for which it might be much much less expensive (and healthier) to use alternative means, it does not work out so well.

You get that states establish policies based on this funding stuff as well, right? It's part of that process that I spoke of, where multiple layers of government each get in the way of doing something. If it were just the state itself, absent the federal program funding and requirements, they might make different choices. But they're presented with an all or nothing scenario. Any school that they allow to use alternative lunch program methods will have to be funded out of a separate pool of money (and will cost them more in net). So, despite it making far less sense, it's easier and cheaper for the state to just set blanket rules. If the tax funds were all kept entirely within the state and not laundered through federal government hands, they might easily to something different.
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#317 Jun 15 2016 at 8:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
My point being on the school funding issue is that is a place like, oh say, South Dakota you would have vast areas with NO schools unless one were to take ALL monies allocated to schools and redistributed them in such a way as to have them built where areas have little funding, either due to low incomes in the area or the fact that the population is so thin. Not everyplace is San Diego, dude.
And my point is that we currently redistribute money from the rich and densely populated areas to the poor and thinly populated areas, and the latter areas still have terrible schools relative to the former. So we're not solving that problem, are we?.
But the rural areas get to HAVE schools, which is kind of my point. They're not hoity-toity rich cnut schools like you went to, sure, but at least they get one.


You have failed to make any sort of compelling argument, that absent the 10% of total k-12 public school funding which comes from the federal government, that rural schools would be shut down as a result. You've just kinda jumped right to an argument that assumes that is the case though. Which is the part that I'm disagreeing with you on. The total amount of funding a state has to fund its schools is just not that affected by those federal funds. Their existence tends to make states comply with federal requirements because.. hey, extra money, right? But if you actually eliminate the tax burden that pays for those federal funds and returned it to state taxpayers (and thus to the states), and eliminated the extra costs that are baked into the federal requirements to get those federal funds in the first place (many of which are more or less a wash), I suspect that most of your concerns would vanish.

The federal government doesn't provide this funding out of some fear that schools would be shut down if they didn't do their part. The federal government funds these things as a means of control. Period. It's a way for big government loving liberals to force every school in every district of every state to have to comply with whatever increasingly nutty social experiment based policies they've decided they want to subject this next generation of school kids to. If you actually believe that this funding is necessary just for many schools (especially those in the tear jerk groups serving the poor and rural communities) to merely stay open at all, then that's a wonderful example of how well the left has succeeded in using fear to manipulate you. You're so afraid of what might happen if your schools don't take their money (which, you know, they took from you in the first place), that you just roll over, show you belly, and let them do whatever they want, no matter how insane it is.

Why are people so afraid to just let go of dependence on big brother? It's so bizarre to me. Your world really wont come crashing down around you in the absence of all of these things. It really wont.
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#318 Jun 15 2016 at 9:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Uh huh. You're basically supporting my point.

Was your point that participation in the NSLP is completely voluntary and any school that would rather get their own food is 100% free to do so? I mean, great... glad we agree that there's no problem here.
Quote:
It will behoove you to set policies that require all public schools in your state to utilize said programs food supply so as to maximize the return of tax dollars back to the state.

Participation is that the district level, not the state level. Programs are administrated by the state but individual districts still need to voluntarily choose to participate and apply.
Quote:
You get that states establish policies based on this funding stuff as well, right? It's part of that process that I spoke of, where multiple layers of government each get in the way of doing something. If it were just the state itself, absent the federal program funding and requirements, they might make different choices.

Oh, they'd absolutely make different choices. For instances, smaller states would be unable to get the same deals that larger states could get on surplus agricultural goods since they'd have far less purchasing leverage. Be a great deal for agricultural states who could buy "local" food, less of a deal for New Hampshire where they farm... apples? Blackberries? Gravel? Who knows?

Despite what your tin-foil hat fevered brain tells you, the NSLP isn't some sinister liberal program to control our children, it started primarily as a sop to farmers during the Depression and WWII era. No one had money to buy crops so farms were failing. The government, realizing that having a national food source was a good thing (and wanting to prevent more economic calamity than we already had) started buying all their unsold food. Then, since they now owned a bunch of food, started distributing it via the NSLP and through various welfare-style programs. If you killed the program now, the outcry from scary child-controlling liberals would be drowned out by the outcry and lobbying from Archer Daniels Midland or Riceland.

But, just so we're straight on this: Some district desperately wants to give their kids Farmer Frank's Local Wonder Grub but, weighed against feeling like a couple dollars of their taxes might not be going right back to them, they decide "Well, sucks to be the kids -- gotta get dem dollahs"? That's your argument?

Edited, Jun 16th 2016 8:49am by Jophiel
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#319 Jun 15 2016 at 11:28 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Why are people so afraid to just let go of dependence on big brother?.
That hilarious considering your personal suckling at "big brothers" teat year after year.
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#320 Jun 16 2016 at 7:48 AM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:
That hilarious considering your personal suckling at "big brothers" teat year after year.
Doesn't matter, you didn't make a compelling argument. And if the pattern is any indication, a compelling argument is one where you adamantly refuse to read anything about the topic (even your own sources), repeat what you thought you heard other people say and pretend it's your own thoughts, and bluff in hopes no one calls you on it.
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#321 Jun 16 2016 at 4:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Uh huh. You're basically supporting my point.

Was your point that participation in the NSLP is completely voluntary and any school that would rather get their own food is 100% free to do so? I mean, great... glad we agree that there's no problem here.
Quote:
It will behoove you to set policies that require all public schools in your state to utilize said programs food supply so as to maximize the return of tax dollars back to the state.

Participation is that the district level, not the state level. Programs are administrated by the state but individual districts still need to voluntarily choose to participate and apply.


Which is it? The school level? Or the district level? Cause if the whole district has to opt in or out, then "any school" is not free to do what they want.

I also don't think you get how bound by state regulations school districts often are. It's all well and good that the national program is structured such that each district chooses to opt in or out, but often the districts themselves don't really have a choice in the matter since they are often also required to opt in to <list of federal programs) in order to quality for some state program. Since a much larger portion of school funding comes from the state versus federal funding, this is a pretty huge deal. And yeah, it ultimately results in a spaghetti like funding and requirement mess that is almost impossible for districts to avoid. This is by design, since states want all of their schools to comply with all of their programs.

As I said, it's less about funding and more about control of the end product.

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Oh, they'd absolutely make different choices. For instances, smaller states would be unable to get the same deals that larger states could get on surplus agricultural goods since they'd have far less purchasing leverage. Be a great deal for agricultural states who could buy "local" food, less of a deal for New Hampshire where they farm... apples? Blackberries? Gravel? Who knows?


What deals? I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Maybe provide an example of how because a district has opted into the federal school lunch program (or any program you want to talk about), it somehow gets a better price for the food than it would if it just purchased it directly? Cause I'm not seeing it. The food isn't like shipped in bulk from some national center at a discount or something. You're not seriously suggesting that in this modern age folks in Vermont can't by anything other than the stuff grown in Vermont to eat? That seems... strange.

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Despite what your tin-foil hat fevered brain tells you, the NSLP isn't some sinister liberal program to control our children, it started primarily as a sop to farmers during the Depression and WWII era. No one had money to buy crops so farms were failing. The government, realizing that having a national food source was a good thing (and wanting to prevent more economic calamity than we already had) started buying all their unsold food. Then, since they now owned a bunch of food, started distributing it via the NSLP and through various welfare-style programs. If you killed the program now, the outcry from scary child-controlling liberals would be drowned out by the outcry and lobbying from Archer Daniels Midland or Riceland.


Sure. But it's long since ceased to be operated that way. All you're really telling me here is that programs that start off with good intentions and to make good use of resources ultimately change over time into something used (yes, I'll put my Smiley: tinfoilhat on here) as a means of control. And it's not really just about the stupid food program Joph. That's just one minor example. It's how the whole set of regulations and programs are tied together in a way so as to make it nearly impossible for any school to *not* comply.

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But, just so we're straight on this: Some district desperately wants to give their kids Farmer Frank's Local Wonder Grub but, weighed against feeling like a couple dollars of their taxes might not be going right back to them, they decide "Well, sucks to be the kids -- gotta get dem dollahs"? That's your argument?


No. I'm saying that there's an opportunity cost involved. The tax dollars are already paid. So the choice for a school (or district) isn't "spend X dollars on the federal school lunch program versus spending X dollars on an alternative", but "spend zero dollars of our budget on a school lunch program, or spend X dollars on an alternative". Because participation in the federal program is often baked into funding they receive from the state, which is itself often bundled with a whole bunch of other things that they do want to keep.

So it's more a matter of giving up things they're currently spending local tax revenue on at the district or school level in order to use those funds for something they may currently get "free". And in some cases, even if they're willing to do that, state regulations may be so intertwined that they can't do it without massive renegotiations with the state eduction department.

The point I'm making here is that it's not often about the money at the school level or even district level, but at the state level. The states tend to want to maximize the number of federal dollars coming into their public school system, so as to minimize the amount the state has to chip in. And in the interest of doing this, they may set standards that can only be met by schools and districts signing up to the relevant federal program. You get that just as every state isn't identical, every school district within a state isn't either, right? But the entire education system in the US is designed as a top down system, making it extremely difficult for individual schools or districts to deviate from the cookie cutter design.

IMO the federal money itself is designed to be just enough to entice the states to comply with federal requirements. That is, in fact, the entire purpose of the funding. If it was just to pay for things that we think kids need, then there wouldn't be qualifying criteria, right? They'd just hand over X dollars to provide food. But they don't. They say "You'll get this money if you provide whatever the current crop of folks as the USDA think is best for kids to eat this year, plus whatever other hoops we want you to go through, even if some of them have nothing at all to do with feeding hungry kids". Cause that's what they do. In many cases, schools will just sign up for the existing program because it's easier than fighting the regulation nightmare they'd have to go through to follow a different path.
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Which is it? The school level? Or the district level? Cause if the whole district has to opt in or out, then "any school" is not free to do what they want.

Gee, you got me there. It's district. I think district level is plenty close enough and certainly far closer than the federal level of intervention you were complaining about.
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I also don't think you get how bound by state regulations school districts often are.

You're just grasping at this point. You were wrong, get over it.
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What deals? I'm not sure what you're talking about here

Ok, you have no idea how the NSLP works. That's not especially surprising. The federal government is able to buy surplus agricultural goods for very low prices because they are buying literal tons and tons of the stuff. A large state will buy few tons than the federal government would have but will still buy a large amount. A small state will not buy much at all (relative to other states) and thus will not be able to leverage the same prices that larger states would be able to.
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The food isn't like shipped in bulk from some national center at a discount or something.

You don't think the federal government pays less in product and transportation than a small state would and this would impact their buying decisions? Well, that's cute.
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Sure. But it's long since ceased to be operated that way.

No, it still operates that way. The NSLP is part of the suite of subsidies the government gives to agribusiness. You didn't know that either, huh? Well, once you saw a TV show where a school couldn't buy apples from down the street so you must know lots! Why ever learn anything more?
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But, just so we're straight on this: Some district desperately wants to give their kids Farmer Frank's Local Wonder Grub but, weighed against feeling like a couple dollars of their taxes might not be going right back to them, they decide "Well, sucks to be the kids -- gotta get dem dollahs"? That's your argument?
No. I'm saying that there's an opportunity cost involved.

In this case, very minor compared to the wonder-glow you could get from buying local produce if that's actually what you wanted. But districts continue to voluntarily choose to be part of the NSLP instead. Go figure.
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IMO the federal money itself is designed to be just enough to entice the states to comply with federal requirements. That is, in fact, the entire purpose of the funding. If it was just to pay for things that we think kids need, then there wouldn't be qualifying criteria, right? They'd just hand over X dollars to provide food. But they don't.

Yeah, that's because you're not very sharp. They don't just hand over money because, yet again, the federal government uses that money to actually BUY food at vastly better prices than individual states could. Which is also why schools can't just buy their own groceries and ask for reimbursement. You know, nothing about this is especially hard.
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#323 Jun 21 2016 at 6:47 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Which is it? The school level? Or the district level? Cause if the whole district has to opt in or out, then "any school" is not free to do what they want.

Gee, you got me there. It's district. I think district level is plenty close enough and certainly far closer than the federal level of intervention you were complaining about.


Great. So we're agreed that your previous statement that "any school" could choose to opt in or out was incorrect. Progress at last!

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I also don't think you get how bound by state regulations school districts often are.

You're just grasping at this point. You were wrong, get over it.


Wow. Just "you're wrong"? With compelling arguments like that... What's next? Making fun of my mother?


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Ok, you have no idea how the NSLP works. That's not especially surprising. The federal government is able to buy surplus agricultural goods for very low prices because they are buying literal tons and tons of the stuff. A large state will buy few tons than the federal government would have but will still buy a large amount. A small state will not buy much at all (relative to other states) and thus will not be able to leverage the same prices that larger states would be able to.


We don't live in the 1950s any more Joph. We already have a pretty efficient system for transporting foods of all kinds around the country. Grocery stores manage to do this just fine. Restaurants manage it as well. The idea that schools can't obtain low cost bulk food without going through the federal government is just plain insane. Any cost savings the schools get for participation in the program isn't because the Federal government has some magically more efficient process for getting food from the farms that grow it to school cafeterias, but because the Federal government subsidizes the costs. What do you think that excess food would be doing if the government wasn't setting it aside for the NSLP? I'll also point out that this is contingent on there being excess food. Which is not the case for most of the food items used in school lunches these days. The food you get in your school is the same food that's available everywhere else, from the same sources. The only difference is that the federal government subsidizes the cost to make it less expensive to the school buying it through the federal program than buying it directly. You do realize that the NSLP costs taxpayers 11Billion dollars each year, right? That's what allows them to sell a meal to a school for $.30. There's no magic distribution methodology that does this. Trucks carrying government food don't magically consume less fuel. I'm somewhat baffled where you think this savings is really coming from.

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The food isn't like shipped in bulk from some national center at a discount or something.

You don't think the federal government pays less in product and transportation than a small state would and this would impact their buying decisions? Well, that's cute.


You do? That's really cute. Again. The federal government buys the food from the exact same places that everyone else does. It transports the food via the same methods that everyone else does. The dirty secret here is that the regional NSLP distribution centers are no different than the distribution centers used by grocery store chains. Same food. Delivered in the same manner and in the same locations. The only difference is that they use tax dollars to pay for the food, allowing them to sell it to the schools at an artificially lower price (actually, they reimburse them to make the total cost less).

You honestly think that they deal in more bulk food than the average grocery chain? Um... That's wrong. Dead wrong. If we're assuming that bulk quantities is what makes the price lower, then there's zero reason for the food purchased through the NSLP program to be inherently any less expensive than any other food distribution center. The *only* difference is that the cost is paid in bulk up front via tax dollars. Which hides the true cost of the lunches to the consumer.

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Sure. But it's long since ceased to be operated that way.

No, it still operates that way. The NSLP is part of the suite of subsidies the government gives to agribusiness. You didn't know that either, huh?


Yes. I did know that. That's part of my point. It's the subsidies, and not any greater ability of the government to move bulk items around the country, that makes the food appear to cost less. In 1947, when we were just coming out of WW2, and the federal government had tons of resources for moving men and equipment around that wasn't being used anymore, and that no one else could match, it was a much more efficient system for moving cost effective food around to places like schools. That advantage simply does not exist anymore. But the subsidies still do.

We would literally be better off simply dividing that $11B among every k-12 school in the country based on a per student economic need basis and letting the schools purchase and provide the food to their students than what we're doing now. It's complete duplication of effort, and serves no purpose other than to require that the schools jump through hoops to get the benefits of the federal food. Better yet, eliminate the program and let states manage this entirely on their own. Again, in the grand scheme of costs to run a school, this is actually quite small. But it creates an artificial opportunity cost that strongly encourages state education programs to mandate participation, and districts to choose to participate, and schools to be stuck participating.

Worse, it encourages fraud that increases the total costs significantly. If the states were funding their lunch programs directly out of state coffers, and schools had to justify their lunch costs to their districts, and districts to the state, they'd spend a lot more effort making sure that only those who actually needed the reduced price or free lunches receive them. What's happening right now is that everyone knows that there are a ton of people taking advantage of the system, but at no level of the system is there sufficient interest to prevent it. The districts aren't going to look too closely because they get funding for this (and there's other funding often tied to NSLP participation rates, so it's often in their interest to allow "mistakes" that increase that number). States don't care because they can pass that cost along to the federal government. And the folks at the federal government level don't care because for them, the bigger and more expensive the program, the better. They can launder it to the national tax base, sell it as "helping hungry kids", and tout the high participation rates as proof of the success of the program.

It's pretty much the poster child of why big government fails.

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No. I'm saying that there's an opportunity cost involved.

In this case, very minor compared to the wonder-glow you could get from buying local produce if that's actually what you wanted. But districts continue to voluntarily choose to be part of the NSLP instead. Go figure.


Uh. Yeah. Because in many cases, funding for other things is tied to NSLP participation rate. Surely you knew this, right?

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Determining the extent of program fraud and error is important, as the entitlement is associated with other streams of federal, state, and local taxpayer dollars. Eligibility data are widely used as proxies for poverty rates, thereby influencing funding for myriad government programs and informing both school district policies and policy research. For example, NSLP participation rates serve as the main criteria for the allocation of federal Title I funds to schools. Those schools with a higher percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch also receive a larger discount on the federal government’s E-Rate program, which facilitates access to telecommunications services for schools and libraries.

State governments dole out benefits according to free and reduced-price lunch percentages, too. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, for instance, allocates $2,250 to schools for each low-income child enrolled in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The program gauges poverty using NSLP participation.

Because of the financial benefits, local school districts have a clear incentive to register as many students in NSLP as possible. Some districts encourage parents to fill out applications, even if they are not sure they qualify. One district in Chillicothe, Missouri, offered parents a $10 Wal-Mart gift card for turning in an application. “Even if you choose to pay for your child’s lunches and or breakfasts, each qualified application earns $1,025 per child of state money for our school district,” said Assistant Superintendent Wade Schroeder.


As I've been trying to point out all along, this is just one tip-of-the-iceberg example of the problem here. We tie so many of our programs together that we've created a monster of regulation and funding that makes it incredibly difficult for any one school (or person) to walk away from it. It's this layering of one program on top of another that creates artificial dependencies on each one, and ensures that they continue well past their useful lifespan.

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Yeah, that's because you're not very sharp. They don't just hand over money because, yet again, the federal government uses that money to actually BUY food at vastly better prices than individual states could. Which is also why schools can't just buy their own groceries and ask for reimbursement. You know, nothing about this is especially hard.


Um... Except that in many cases, that's exactly what is done. The schools buy the food and get reimbursed for it. The federal government doesn't actually directly maintain warehouses of food, and employ drivers delivering stuff. They use the same exact food distribution centers that every other food outlet does. They do mandate where they can purchase the food though, by licensing certain distribution centers as participants in the program and thus being eligible sources for school lunches. Um... Which is yet another means of control.

You don't actually think that federal employees are personally and directly involved in all this, do you? The federal government just sets prices, requires specific food sources, and mandates how much of what has to be purchased at what price. As I've been saying all along, the program has long since ceased to be about actually providing the food. That's done with existing infrastructure. The government just acts as a money handling and regulating middle man in the process. It's entirely about positioning themselves in the middle so they can control the product.

Here's an interesting article about this. Specifically, it's talking about why many districts are opting out of the NSLP because the controls and regulations have actually reached the point where it's no longer cost effective to maintain it (at least in many districts, ironically the more rural ones that were mentioned earlier). And yeah, it's quite clear that the schools get reimbursed for the meals *if* they meet the criteria. Which, in case you're still not following this, is entirely about control.

And yes, it's also about feel good big government, which seems to actively want to waste money. Michelle Obama's program changes have resulted in record quantities of food being tossed by students because it requires the schools to hand the kids the food, whether they want or need it or not. There's quite obviously a motivation to make the programs "bigger", regardless of need. Which, frankly, is not surprising at all. When you have an administration that actually thinks that the total dollars spent on food stamps increasing is a good thing, you kinda get a clue where their heads are at. They want to be able to quote large number of kids "fed", regardless of how much it costs the taxpayer, and how much of that food isn't actually eaten.

Which is freaking insane. We're no longer solving a problem. We're just growing government for the sake of growing government. You'll have to excuse me if I think that's stupid.

Edited, Jun 21st 2016 6:09pm by gbaji
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#324 Jun 21 2016 at 7:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm sure you wrote some great stuff. I kind of stopped caring six days ago Smiley: laugh
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#325 Jun 21 2016 at 7:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
I'm sure you wrote some great stuff. I kind of stopped caring six days ago Smiley: laugh


Oh, it was really really great stuff. Totally demolished you.

I'm honestly not sure at all how we moved from genocide to school lunch programs. Is that a good or a bad thing?
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#326 Jun 21 2016 at 9:50 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I'm sure you wrote some great stuff. I kind of stopped caring six days ago Smiley: laugh


Oh, it was really really great stuff. Totally demolished you.

I'm honestly not sure at all how we moved from genocide to school lunch programs. Is that a good or a bad thing?


If we committed genocide on children who "need" school lunches we could kill two birds with one stone, eh?
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#327 Jun 22 2016 at 7:31 AM Rating: Good
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We'd be better off if we just used the kids from the genocide to feed the kids that need school lunches.
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#328 Jun 22 2016 at 2:44 PM Rating: Good
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So, pal, will this affect your presidential vote?
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#329 Jun 23 2016 at 9:20 AM Rating: Good
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I'm pretty sure he already pledged to vote for the party with the guy with the big black boot for a hat in the other thread.
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#330 Jun 23 2016 at 10:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hillary dropping the ball again. Smiley: disappointed

We all know Trump would make Mexico recognize the Armenian Genocide.
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#331 Jun 24 2016 at 3:20 AM Rating: Default
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No, because two years ago I already would not have voted for her. And also:

Quote:
But I think the free market of ideas, the academic community, the open architecture of communication that is even greater now than it was in the past, are the proper fora for this kind of engagement, and that’s where I hope it is worked out.


This from the candidate who believes BDS movements should be criminalized in the States and railed against. Which is already happening, largely by democrats such as that new Cuomo thing/person, and Feinstien's hubby. Campuses across the country. Etc. Yawn. Meet a humanitarian movement or democratic (voting system) nationalist government, meet a US government that opposes it if US companies can instead gain wealth via a dictator or training Honduras death squads, etc.

It's not that the US doesn't learn from history. It's that so far it is immune to consequences. So whatever.
#332 Jun 24 2016 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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So, Trump then, by default?
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#333 Jun 25 2016 at 2:52 AM Rating: Default
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What? I'm going to vote for Stein as I did four years ago and I was planning to do two years ago until Sanders entered so then I had a bare hope a corporate warmonger might not gain the Democratic Nominee and maybe poor people in this country wouldn't suffer as much and also brown people in foreign countries wouldn't die as much. So did my 74 year old mother btw. It's obvious to both of us that both Trump and Clinton are shit and as such we'll never enable them via vote. Plus we live in Cali so it doesn't really matter.

Wait--Are you replying to me? Was that your "gotcha" in your past post about Clinton re: Armenian acknowledge or something? What? GTFO with your mistaken assumptions. I'm a motherfucking progressive, Timemaster!! I feel it in my bones, I feel it in the wind. Won't you defend Helm's Deep? No? So who are YOU going to vote for? Grima Wormtongue? Saruman? If those are the only two choices, yet a third choice exists? Why do you refuse to vote for Aragorn? Tribalist trout, bream, and other fish. Go with the river, always with the river. Your direction is already chosen from people more powerful than you. PISCINE
#334 Jun 25 2016 at 8:24 AM Rating: Good
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Oh, I'm probably voting for Stein, since Sanders lost, since I have the luxury of not being in a contested state. I still disagree with Sanders on trade, but we were broadly aligned on policy, and he's not one of the "problem people" progs.
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#335 Jun 27 2016 at 7:42 AM Rating: Good
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Beer Stein?
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#336 Jun 27 2016 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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See, even if I wanted to protest vote, I couldn't vote for Stein. The highest office the woman has ever held is a town council seat. I need to ask myself, "If my vote was the only one that mattered, would I want this woman (out of all the candidates) as Chief Executive & Commander in Chief"? And... ummm.... nope.
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#337 Jun 27 2016 at 9:36 AM Rating: Good
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Protest votes aren't about voting for the best candidate, they're about causing trouble.
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#338 Jun 27 2016 at 10:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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Really I'd just be happy with a "none of the above" box. If "none of the above" happens to win we can just put a decorative fern in the oval office for a while and let the janitor sign things as a proxy.
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#339 Jun 27 2016 at 10:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
If "none of the above" happens to win we can just put a decorative fern in the oval office for a while and let the janitor sign things as a proxy.
Pretty sure we did that for 2000.
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#340 Jun 27 2016 at 11:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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Timelordwho wrote:
Protest votes aren't about voting for the best candidate, they're about causing trouble.

Mainly, they're about tossing your vote into a pit of irrelevance out of a delusional belief that anyone cares.
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#341 Jun 27 2016 at 11:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Which ****** choice do you go with?
Vote for someone you don't think should have the job.:12 (19.4%)
Vote for someone who has no chance of winning.:7 (11.3%)
Don't support the democratic process.:26 (41.9%)
Stop paying taxes, grab a shotgun, and declare independence.:17 (27.4%)
Total:62
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#342 Jun 27 2016 at 12:16 PM Rating: Good
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I'm guessing there's something imprecise with those numbers.
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#343 Jun 27 2016 at 12:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Given I don't think we've had 59 people show up here in the last 3 months I'm inclined to agree with you.

Either that or maybe there's already a poll in the thread perhaps? Thought it just to let you not make another one in that case though. Oh well, broken forum is broken.
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#344 Jun 27 2016 at 12:43 PM Rating: Good
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We have 52 anonymous guests at the moment...

Plus Joph, Lolgaxe, SPG, me and Youshutup.

That's 57!
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#345 Jun 27 2016 at 1:11 PM Rating: Good
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Well, looks like almost 50% would abolish democracy to bring out their preferred candidate. Seems low.
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#346 Jun 28 2016 at 3:15 AM Rating: Default
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Except if any party gets 5% of the pop vote, they get matching election money. Even if you think Stein sucks, the Green Party still does have representatives locally, and that 5% if gained could go a long way.

Plus the current "deign to allow to debate" threshhold is uh, 15% or something. Gary Johnson is a lot closer to that in polls that bother to include him than Stein, so if someone polls me I'll lie and say I support him. I think I already said all this somewhere before. It's kind of obvious if you are aware of much of anything re: election rules and parameters.

Anyway, unfortunately due to election monies and debate rules, a little gain to acquire a threshhold can mean a lot. Not sure how horribly ignorant you are that you describe such as a "pit of irrelevance". Pretty ******* ignorant, I imagine. You might even purport that "a vote for Stein" is "a vote for Trump" just plainly, not even by state. Not quite sure how currently ******* stupid you are.
#347 Jun 28 2016 at 7:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sorry your **** is so hurt Smiley: frown

Hey, a few cycles back the Green Party got ballot access in Illinois which was supposedly a huge boon. Guess how many legislative and executive seats are being held by the Green Party today? Did you guess zero? Because that's the answer. They also lost ballot access because the one year was just an aberration and no one fucking cares about the Green Party.

But rock on with your matching election funds. What two times a hundred fifty bucks?
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#348 Jun 28 2016 at 7:47 AM Rating: Good
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Hey, those 450k votes Stein got in 2012 really showed everyone.
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#349 Jun 28 2016 at 10:49 AM Rating: Good
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What are we talking about here? Teenage transgender Armenians in favor of Brexit but are in danger of genocide in high school gym class due to using the Turkish bathrooms of their newly acquired sexual identity? Sounds complicated. Tell me more about your first world problems brought on by Facebook's 863 possible gender identities!
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#350 Jun 28 2016 at 11:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Totem wrote:
What are we talking about here? Teenage transgender Armenians in favor of Brexit but are in danger of genocide in high school gym class due to using the Turkish bathrooms of their newly acquired sexual identity?

Plot twist: Jill Stein is that teenager.
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#351 Jun 28 2016 at 11:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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Totem wrote:
What are we talking about here?
I'm not quite sure either, but from what I've gathered:

1) A long time ago people in Turkey (or some other similar place with lots of sand) killed other people.

2) This was bad.

3) They need to be told this was bad.

4) We may or may not need to send them to timeout for 5 minutes.


Edited, Jun 28th 2016 10:34am by someproteinguy
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