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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    While I was no fan of McCain qua politician, and regard his prisoner-of-war heroism as misdirected, the story bears reviewing. This comes from David Foster Wallace's piece on McCain from 2000. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/david-foster-wallace-on-john-mccain-the-weasel-twelve-monkeys-and-the-shrub-194272/ But there’s something underneath politics in the way you have to hear McCain, something riveting and unSpinnable and true. It has to do with McCain’s military background and Vietnam combat and the five-plus years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison, mostly in solitary, in a box, getting tortured and starved. And the unbelievable honor and balls he showed there. It’s very easy to gloss over the POW thing, partly because we’ve all heard so much about it and partly because it’s so off-the-charts dramatic, like something in a movie instead of a man’s life. But it’s worth considering for a minute, because it’s what makes McCain’s “causes greater than self-interest” line easier to hear. You probably already know what happened. In October of ’67 McCain was himself still a Young Voter and flying his 23rd Vietnam combat mission and his A-4 Skyhawk plane got shot down over Hanoi and he had to eject, which basically means setting off an explosive charge that blows your seat out of the plane, which ejection broke both McCain’s arms and one leg and gave him a concussion and he started falling out of the skies right over Hanoi. Try to imagine for a second how much this would hurt and how scared you’d be, three limbs broken and falling toward the enemy capital you just tried to bomb. His chute opened late and he landed hard in a little lake in a park right in the middle of downtown Hanoi, Imagine treading water with broken arms and trying to pull the life vest’s toggle with your teeth as a crowd of Vietnamese men swim out toward you (there’s film of this, somebody had a home-movie camera, and the N.V. government released it, though it’s grainy and McCain’s face is hard to see). The crowd pulled him out and then just about killed him. U.S. bomber pilots were especially hated, for obvious reasons. McCain got bayoneted in the groin; a soldier broke his shoulder apart with a rifle butt. Plus by this time his right knee was bent 90-degrees to the side with the bone sticking out. Try to imagine this. He finally got tossed on a jeep and taken five blocks to the infamous Hoa Lo prison – a.k.a. the “Hanoi Hilton,” of much movie fame – where they made him beg a week for a doctor and finally set a couple of the fractures without anesthetic and let two other fractures and the groin wound (imagine: groin wound) stay like they were. Then they threw him in a cell. Try for a moment to feel this. All the media profiles talk about how McCain still can’t lift his arms over his head to comb his hair, which is true. But try to imagine it at the time, yourself in his place, because it’s important. Think about how diametrically opposed to your own self-interest getting knifed in the balls and having fractures set without painkiller would be, and then about getting thrown in a cell to just lie there and hurt, which is what happened. He was delirious with pain for weeks, and his weight dropped to 100 pounds, and the other POWs were sure he would die; and then after a few months like that after his bones mostly knitted and he could sort of stand up they brought him in to the prison commandant’s office and offered to let him go. This is true. They said he could just leave. They had found out that McCain’s father was one of the top-ranking naval officers in the U.S. Armed Forces (which is true – both his father and grandfather were admirals), and the North Vietnamese wanted the PR coup of mercifully releasing his son, the baby-killer. McCain, 100 pounds and barely able to stand, refused, The U.S. military’s Code of Conduct for Prisoners of War apparently said that POWs had to be released in the order they were captured, and there were others who’d been in Hoa Lo a long time, and McCain refused to violate the Code. The commandant, not pleased, right there in the office had guards break his ribs, rebreak his arm, knock his teeth out. McCain still refused to leave without the other POWs. And so then he spent four more years in Hoa Lo like this, much of the time in solitary, in the dark, in a closet-sized box called a “punishment cell.” Maybe you’ve heard all this before; it’s been in umpteen different media profiles of McCain. But try to imagine that moment between getting offered early release and turning it down. Try to imagine it was you. Imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interest would have cried out to you in that moment, and all the ways you could rationalize accepting the offer. Can you hear it? It so, would you have refused to go? You simply can’t know for sure. None of us can. It’s hard even to imagine the pain and fear in that moment, much less know how you’d react. But, see, we do know how this man reacted. That he chose to spend four more years there, in a dark box, alone, tapping code on the walls to the others, rather than violate a Code. Maybe he was nuts. But the point is that with McCain it feels like we know, for a proven fact, that he’s capable of devotion to something other, more, than his own self-interest. So that when he says the line in speeches in early February you can feel like maybe it isn’t just more candidate bullshit, that with this guy it’s maybe the truth. Or maybe both the truth and bullshit: the guy does – did – want your vote, after all.
  2. 2 points
    Hillary dindu nuffin! She's an angel. Sweet, and innocent, and honest. If she were unintentionally guilty of anything, first of all, she'd admit to it right away, because that's how honest she is, and, second, if she somehow accidentally didn't admit to it, she would've been caught, charged, tried, and convincted, because that's how much integrity that democrats and Obama's Justice Depaetment and investigative and law enforcement agencies had! It's just silly nonsense to imagine that the Clintons had a powerful political machine and abused anyone. That kind of stuff doesn't happen in reality. Conspiracy theory kookiness. You're stupid if you've bought onto the vast right wing conspiracy lie that Hillary is anything less that a saint.
  3. 2 points
    "I have my eye on you". (In effect) The president doesn't have to say much more, his implication, as regularly before, is if you (a country) want to be part of the civilised and rule of law-abiding group of nations -- then behave that way, with self-responsibility, and protect lives and property rights. (Otherwise, there could be economic consequences - and you know I can do it). Every other world leader, notably the UK, has shirked and played down the farm issue in South Africa, with a muted response only from an Australian govt. minister inviting farmers over there. Their chicken appeasement policy is clear, like the UK turned a blind eye after cutting loose Zimbabwe: they don't want to appear to be racist, patronising and post-imperialist. As it is, the outraged reactions in local media have been tiresomely predictable. Good for you, President Trump!
  4. 2 points
    Just keep minding your manners and who knows, one of these days these posts are gonna gush all over you...click click, click click.... You may each refer to case number 2018-03. The clerk at the Compliment Clinic will take your statements and collect fees:
  5. 1 point
    Totally tasteless. But funny. So, I was walking through the mall in Portland and I saw that there was a Muslim bookstore. I was wondering what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore so I went in. As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk stopped me and asked if he could help me? “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s book on his U.S. Immigration Policy regarding Muslims and illegal Mexicans?” The clerk said, “F— off, get out and stay out!” I said, “Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in paperback?”
  6. 1 point
  7. 1 point
    I'm going to have to insist you answer my first question: Is it the responsibility of an employer to ensure the economic stability/status of its employees? Yes, no, maybe, sometimes?
  8. 1 point
    Yes, really. For example: https://kdvr.com/2018/09/07/bernie-sanders-introduces-bill-targeting-worker-pay-at-amazon-walmart/ And Amazon having government as a customer is "in bed with the government"? What's next? A company that sells office supplies to any part of government is "in bed with the government"? A building owner that leases space to any part of government is "in bed with the government"? And that some of its employees having received food stamps puts Amazon "in bed with the government"? By such criteria Donald Trump was "in bed with the government" and "lost his high moral standing" before running for President.
  9. 1 point
    I think it a mistake to focus on the science which few of us are able to judge. Regardless of the science, the political question is whether this provides justification for a massive concentration of wealth and power in Washington, DC. Even if things do heat up, I doubt the government will respond in a more efficient and economical manner than will leaving people to sort this out for themselves. About the only regulation I would support would be a stiff tax on hot air from politicians.
  10. 1 point
    Zzzzzz. Oh, sorry. I skimmed the article to see if it has occurred to anyone to try to investigate and measure the effects that Muh Russians' efforts may or may not have had on anyone. Apparently not. Is there any evidence at all that they influenced anyone to a greater degree than my cousin's thousands of attempts on social media to convince others of the powers of essential oils and healing crystals? (Zero likes, zero replies, several ignores and unfollows, and a few unfriends.) No? It's just too fucking scary, so we have to take measures immediately to control everything? Maybe it's even "settled science" already, and anyone who asks about proof is a "science denier"? J
  11. 1 point
    You need serious help. This dancing on graves, and anticipated graves, is beyond loathsome.
  12. 1 point
    I am sad about it, I liked him as a Presidential candidate, though I didn't agree with him on everything, him being a POW and being able to do what he did afterward earned my respect. I'm sad to see him go, it appears he did well raising his children, too.
  13. 1 point
    You have captured the brain-dead subtext of his every post perfectly. Very well done. You have my compliments.
  14. 1 point
    No, it doesn't give me a shiver, because no members of government in the entire history of mankind have ever sought to enhance their own power by taking money from deep pockets and doing their bidding. So, what are the odds of it suddenly happening now? To even suggest such a thing is comical. Pftt! Imagine, there are people who actually believe that people in positions of power might even think about doing anything dishonest in order to maintain that power! Ha! Ridiculous! Tee hee hee! J
  15. 1 point
    William, LOL... That's because you like progressive authoritarian government systems and you're in Canada. Neither is Trump-friendly (although Canada will be later.) But you're ass ain't in South Africa looking at mobs of people next door saying they want to kill you and take your stuff because they don't like your race. President Trump saying he's watching and implying he will not stand for racist genocide looks pretty damn good to anyone in that situation. I bet he would look great to you, too--glowing appreciation and all--if your own particular ass was on the line in South Africa. How's that for a reframe? Michael
  16. 1 point
    William, and to the fact-checkers, the Post writes a most disingenuous few articles on SA, getting all excited by tripping up Tucker. What WaPo and most other MSM constantly fail to miss is that Trump often achieves his aims by doing the least. Only with a tweet, usually. He "fires a warning shot across the bows" so to speak. This minimalist act has run-on effects which often turn out satisfactorily. Look for the implicit, with Trump, not just the explicit. Have they not learned how he does things, by now? I think Trump has a more advanced grasp of human nature and causation than many pundits. Here, it is true that farms haven't been seized - yet . But they will be. Before then, and after, this will be disastrous for South Africa - for one: who would now invest here? The rand will weaken further. Unemployment reach higher than (the 'official' figure) presently 28% Etc. The policy's intent sends a tacit signal to a populace, that "anything goes". Anyone can pre-empt official channels, even before the Constitutional change, and take whatever property they want. Anyone's farm, anyone's home, any white business, a vacant plot, etc. and any individuals/owners who resist are fair game. Zuma and Malema, adored by many, gave them permission. Only having the POTUS watching on, gives the SA authorities some hesitation, perhaps to walk a semi-legal line and restrain the land invaders. That could be meaningful, and I think has been encouraging to many here who own property, whites and blacks..
  17. 1 point
    It is being reported that the Pope is going to Ireland which has the worst record for pedophile priests. The conspiracy and evil cover ups are world-wide. Those tasked with teaching the words of a prophet may be dominated by non-believers who took the job just to be better able to commit vile crimes. The Catholic Church is an amalgamation of the Mafia and “Monster’s Inc.”
  18. 1 point
    LOL... This one is cute: Michael
  19. 1 point
    Just keep minding your manners and who knows, one of these days these posts are gonna gush all over you...click click, click click....
  20. 1 point
    Korben. Let me enlighten you. Hell no! If you read my post a few more times, you might figure out what I was talking about. I can get abstract, I know, so multiple readings might help you understand. However if it gets really difficult for you after a few days, I will be glad to try to rephrase it in middle school vocabulary or make a picture or something. Michael
  21. 1 point
    Emphases added ... in re Michael Cohen and the New York FBI news just breaking in the Fake News world ... is he 'in custody' or not? The "comments from a kidnapping victim" will be interesting to parse, now that the "kidnappers" seem to have extracted what they wanted and intend to bring their victim before the Deep State. Cohen is just now formally arrested by the FBI and is on his way to a courtroom, unless the Fake News is Extra Fake today and making a mountain out of a molehill of gossip and 'sources say.' What does this have to do with Donald Trump? Probably close to absolute zero in terms of dirtying the President's reputation or contributing to legal jeopardy, IMHO. Cohen's reputation is something else, though. "Why didn't somebody tell me my longtime fixer was crooked?" will be said by nobody on Twitter.
  22. 1 point
    Stevie the Wonder believes that global warming caused Aretha's cancer. It's settled science. ‘All these various diseases that we have and all that is happening in the world in part is because there are those who don’t believe in global warming’ Oooh! Let's punish the non-believers who killed Aretha by not believing! As Al Sharpton said, "In the words of my late friend Aretha Franklin, show some 'R-E-S-P-I-C-T.'" J
  23. 1 point
    The "Manager" quote in the box at the top reminds me of Deming, the statistician who preached quality control after WWII to deaf ears in the US, so he went to Japan and made that country a world leader in quality automobiles and electronics. While this was based in part on statistics, it also included much about management practices. I think the common thread is the question of whether the management task is to make things work or to assign blame when they don't. This and three of Jonathan's points make me think of the management of the apartment building where I have been living for two years. As one example, in the fall we get a condescending letter of advance blame reminding us not to open our windows in the winter and thereby let the apartment get so cold the radiators freeze. The first question is, "Who would be dumb enough to do that in New Hampshire?" Unmentioned is the fact that the second floor here is so hot that I never have to turn the heat on all year, and, indeed, do have to open windows in the dead of winter. To solve the problem one would need to figure out what is wrong with the heating or ventilation system, but it's much easier to blame the victim.
  24. 1 point
    I am just trimming a bit. I started a low carb diet. It seems to be working. Now I can get to my optimal weight. I am not grossly overweight, but I am carrying more pounds than I wish to carry. So far my cardiohealth is good. I have a resting pulse of 48 bpm and I can ride 20-40 miles on my bike w.o. stopping to rest. Not bad for an 82 year old codger.
  25. 1 point
    Yes totally, "principles are not out-of-context absolutes" _especially and only _ "for an individual". I was saying: we have to work with what we've got. Real things, and real principles abstracted from real things Recalls AR: "He who...[something]...the future, lives it in it today" (I forget Rand's complete words). Since now and here is all one has, reality and one's adherence to reason and the good life, can't be put in abeyance until things improve drastically on the political (individual rights) front. And in our own lifetimes that's uncertain to improbable. I think the rationalism observed sometimes from Objectivists is all tied up with ambivalent, a priori ideas of perfection and perfectibility. Perhaps a hangover from initial religious influences - as if Rand and Objectivism would and could magically make oneself and the world instantly perfect. I.E, simply, by being put "out there" (by ARI, etc.) - or by one reading and theoretically understanding what Objectivism is (without following up with assiduous action, application and much further thinking). "Perfection" in objective terms (as if there were anything else, in reality), I think, is of one making the maximum commitment to what one is - in capacity and capability - according to and derived from what the identity of man is. The disappointment I've come across in Objectivism circles about a. the apparently "unheroic" outcomes in one's life and b. bitterness about one's imperfect society and nations (and less-than-"perfect" leaders...) can be explained and averted by understanding that the mind of man can aspire to be perfect - up to its boundaries in reality, and possible only for oneself. A wide and deep range of boundaries, which one hasn't a conception of until one begins discovering and pushing them. 'Beyond' reality lies (neo) mysticism, rationalism and intrinsicism. For everyone else around, one cannot know their minds nor control them, and here too, with others, one should not let 'the perfect' be the enemy of the good, as the saying goes.. Recalls another quote: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." Between what one can change and what one can't. Between one's own life-sphere and the public sphere. Happiness depends upon knowing the distinction.