"As a former trombonist from my high school days I can only say I always knew we (the horn section) would be the ones responsible for the end of the world". (jerseycajun) "However, because the 'boners existed as a section, by default the sax section got more dates". (rick_day)
"But Limbaugh, whose program is estimated to reach 15 million listeners, called the Pope's comments "sad" and "unbelievable."
"It's sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth.""
Oh how worked up the Pope has made some guys! Suddenly the pontiff stops being so infallible, eh? He just doesn't understand what Jesus is whispering in his ear, and he needs someone to explain it to him. Someone who knows more about capitalism and socialism "and so forth".
Someone like a Fox "news" commentator, perhaps?
"I go to church to save my soul," said Fox News' Stuart Varney, who is an Episcopalian. "It's got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He has offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He has characterized negatively that system. I think he wants to influence my politics."
So... capitalism is a political system, now? When did that happen, pray tell? (pun unintended) When did capitalism stop being an economic and social system using markets to distribute goods and services, and suddenly become a political system? I thought capitalism was a tool? Does this, highly competent and infinitely infallible pundit, by any chance, happen to be mixing up capitalism with democracy? As if speaking with a British accent would magically make him look smarter, eh? But what do I know. I'm not on Fox "news", therefore I don't know shit about these things "and so forth".
While the community has been able to handle racist trolls in the past, some recent comments required the clarification of what is and isn't tolerable speech.
14) People are welcome to discuss issues surrounding race, ethnicity, gender and sex. However, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or homophobic remarks will not be tolerated on this forum. Political stances can be discussed without resorting to racial, gender or sexual stereotyping and abusive remarks intended to humiliate individuals or groups of people. Trying to stir up hatred of this sort is your shortest path to being banned.
To be clear, this is not a rule designed to crush dissent or discourage unpopular speech, but rather to make it clear that remarks intended to insult rather than illuminate, to deride rather than discuss, are not tolerable in these areas.
Is there some grey area here? Probably, but as bright a line as possible has been shown to be necessary, so we chose to take it. Discussion is, of course, welcome, but know that we did take all concerns on both sides of the coin into account in crafting this.
As always, thanks for continuing to make talk_politics one of the best places for political discussion on LiveJournal. Hope everyone is having a good holiday season.
I am writing from deep in the trenches of the great War on Christmas. War is hell, Mary. I lost my best friend today after hearing him wish someone “happy holidays.” I held him there in my arms and whispered “we can’t be friends anymore because you are a Godless heathen” - and just like that, he was gone.
As Madiba waves goodbye to the world, many people here in South Africa and around the planet are pausing for a moment and contemplating about the man, the legend, and his legacy. Because this humble man embodies things many would like to see emulated in the world, despite all his human flaws and imperfections. In a way he has preserved his aura of a legend long before his end, because he blended a profound grasp of modern visionary thinking with the traditional mindset that is inherent to the peoples throughout Africa in a way that transcends time.
Nelson Mandela is the man whom many within and outside his fatherland believed they knew intimately enough to warrant referring to him by his clan name, something that is generally only considered appropriate if you're related to him by family, or at least are member of an associated clan. But he was always an exception from the general rule.
Long-term joblessness — the kind that Ms. Barrington-Ward and about four million others are experiencing — is now one of the defining realities of the American work force.
The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent.
In part, that’s because people don’t return to work in an orderly, first-fired, first-hired fashion. In any given month, a newly jobless worker has about a 20 to 30 percent chance of finding a new job. By the time he or she has been out of work for six months, though, the chance drops to one in 10, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
I've so far had three conversations, online and off, with people who say that, when hiring, they either reject out of hand any resume that shows the person is unemployed and/or over a certain age or instruct their recruiters to do this. They look ever so regretful about it. Shake their heads. Furrow their brows. Shrug as though they aren't responsible and some invisible force is making them do it.
So I have a question for any of you employers who do this or instruct your recruiters to do this. If you are going to systematically shut out Americans who've faced long-term unemployment, or have been careless enough to be born before 1964, surely you support some form of public assistance that will prevent the resulting large pool of the permanently jobless from starving or living on the streets? Is that correct? In between tossing into the shredder any resume or application that indicates the person has been out of work for more than a few months, or (horrors!) has a few gray hairs, no doubt you actively campaign for some permanent government system of financial support for the thousands and thousands of human beings you are consigning to permanent unemployment.
If not, what alternative are you proposing for dealing with this large pool of human resources you are so willing to toss into the dustbin?
But an investigation into Tirado’s background by the Houston Press’ Angelica Leicht revealed that the blog post’s author is a private-school-educated Democratic activist who wildly exaggerated her circumstances. She owns a home as the result of her parent’s generosity. She has worked in politics since 2004 and has called herself a private political consultant since 2010.
A conversation with the blogger in question over Twitter really nails down the issue:
Sadly, this is not the only hoax of late perpetuated in the name of "social justice." People might remember the waitress from a week or so ago that claimed that a family left no tip for a gay waitress, instead writing an anti-gay message on the tip line. That was also apparently a hoax:
No, the right is not immune to such issues, to cut off the "but what about your side" complaints a bit, but the issue here is something a little more important. The issues of how to deal with poverty, with hatred, with equal rights, they're all important. The more these stories have to be made up, the less prevalent they're going to appear to those who may need to be convinced. The more these stories have to be made up, the less likely it is that issues of overt racism and hatred and poor people who can't make the math work or cook broccoli are actually real. This is a major problem in particular on one of the social justice hubs of the internet, and the default position of many social justice advocates that those in the "majority" cannot pass judgment on claims of "oppression" by "minority" groups and individuals facilitates a culture that is not skeptical and is far too accepting of out-there claims that don't meet basic scrutiny, never mind offering claims that we can verify.
How do we solve this problem? At what point do we need to really make a clear point about these anecdotes not meeting the data standards we have in place?
While the Ukrainian government is performing a brutal crackdown on the pro-European protesters who've flooded the streets and squares across the country, the news coming from neighboring Moldova is quite different. And in a sense, refreshing.
Some background first. When the USSR crumbled to pieces in 1991, the Moldavian SSR declared its independence under the name the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, its easternmost part (beyond the river Dniester) in turn declared independence from the new country, and decided to remain in Moscow's orbit. Its name is Transnistria, and it remains an unrecognized country to this very day.
Today, most citizens of Moldova speak Romanian, or at least a very close form thereof, depending how you look at it. The river Prut symbolically separates the country of Moldova from the Romanian district of Moldova, people on both sides sharing the same cultural, ethnic, linguistic and genetic heritage. In reality, this division has always been nominal. Sure, most people in Moldova call themselves Moldovans and they have a "Moldovan" self-identity (only a small part think of themselves as actual Romanians). But even so, in historical regions like Bessarabia, the term "Moldovan" has always carried the connotation of "a sub-type of Romanian", the way "Texan" relates to "American". Even the language which the Soviet leaders dubbed Moldovan, has tiny, if any deviations from Romanian, which are much like a dialect rather than separate language (think of the Northern English dialect as it relates to English, as opposed to Catalan vs Spanish). There are of course the three other official languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Gagauz (a Turkic language). But Moldovan/Romanian is by far the dominant one.
And then there's of course the alphabet issue. The Moldovan authorities have imposed a version of the Cyrillic alphabet in order to further separate the Moldovan identity from the Romanian one. But that has not undermined the sustained relations between the two peoples through the years.
Our previous discussion on the pervasiveness of the medieval mindset in the modern world brought up an interesting attitude that could be characterized as either a willful ignorance of medieval thinking or a naive assumption that medieval thinking simply no longer exists. Perhaps some further consideration of the topic would help. For example, pseudo-modernist John Meier's perspective on fundamentalism makes the assumption that fundamentalists approach sacred literature from a modern perspective and misinterpret it due to a lack of contextual information. What he fails to see is that modern scholars do a better job of putting sacred literature into context than he does because his ultimate mission is to discredit modernism in favor of medieval thinking.
Fundamentalists cannot be considered modern because they have yet to make the transition to modernity. Their rejection of advances in understanding such as evolutionary theory and set theory point to a profound antipathy with modernity that could be characterized as medieval zealotry. Their inability to put sacred literature into a historic context does not reflect modern naivety. Instead it reflects a zealous rejection of any ancient literature other than sacred texts. This rejection is the same as the orthodox rejection of Pagan culture at the dawn of medieval Christianity.
The same kind of rejection can be seen in Meier's rejection of scholarship based on a deep understanding of Pagan culture. Meier even goes so far as to deny the possibility (or probability) that Jesus spent time in Sepphoris, a city quite close to Nazareth thought to have a significant degree of cosmopolitan influence. It seems that his rejection of the idea of Jesus spending time in Sepphoris is based on an urge to isolate Jesus from Pagan influence. This disagreement with modern speculation puts Meier in a medievalist camp much closer to the fundamentalists he criticizes.
For another example, the papacy is itself a medieval institution. One of the key distinctions between modernists and medievalists is the rejection of papal authority by the former, although fundamentalists could be considered medievalists who also reject papal authority much the way that Eastern Orthodoxy rejected it. As long as people revere papal authority and idolize sacred literature, medieval thinking will persist. The former could be considered a Western medievalism while the latter could be considered an Eastern medievalism.
The political implications of persistent medievalism cannot be understated. German National Socialism is the most prominent back-lash against modernism that we know of. The bullying of homosexual youth in American society can also be debited to medievalism. The tendency to use brutal interrogation and punitive methods also marks the persistence of the medieval mindset.
Are you willing to rethink your position on medieval thinking?
During the Communism people of the Soviet Union were told by the Communist press that everything in the West is bad. However some Soviet people were allowed to visit West and when they came back, they smuggled into USSR some Sears and Macy's catalogs with a selection of stuff, unimaginable for a Soviet citizen. Soviet people were so shocked by these catalogs that they decided to commute suicide and dissolve their country into pieces.
One of the modern consequences of those Sears catalogs in the past is the current situation in Ukraine. A large fraction of Ukrainian people assume that any offer they can get from European Union is good by definition, because Europeans are Good People. However we all know that used car salesmen do exist even in the West.
I think that the deal Europeans offered to Ukrainians has a questionable value. As a Ukrainian American I propose to protect Ukrainians from Europeans and just annex their territory to the United States. I filed the following petition yesterday:
December 01, 2013, 09:40 "... I didn’t ask, but just looking at faces I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they are born here..." 1: a) a libertarian b) a liberal c) a conservative
2: a) a racist b) a limited immigration advocate c) someone with an amnesty agenda
"Hey you fish'n'chips-munching, telly-gazing, unthinking automatons decent folks, why not make freedom a bit less free? But only for newcomers who don't look like us and who talk funny. And only for those newcomers who haven't already come here! Those who are already here can stay allright! Great idea, innit? Oy! Oy!" That's basically what David Cameron proposed the other day. But the more striking thing is not the proposal itself, and neither the reaction of those powdered Euro-poodles in Brussels (they waved a finger at him to stop with his hysterical anti-immigrant shit - again), but that this time France and Germany look prone to listening to him. Gasp!
Mascot for Brazilian cancer awareness group has made new friends with kids and adults while driving a serious medical issue into the media spotlight.
So I guess we better say hello to Senhor Testiculo, the wide-eyed, dual-toothed, rosy-cheeked, mole-sporting scrotum that'll pro'lly cause a lifetime of nightmares for anyone who lays eyes on him... or maybe that's the point of it all!
The little curly hairs are an especially nice touch... oddly enough, in a land where waxed girls are the norm!
"You can touch him, kiddo, he won't bite. Much."
Ps. My goodness, the things that turn up when you google "Mr Balls"..... :O
Greetings, comrades and comradesses! Tovarisch Putin is at it again! He raising price of wodka again. In 2014, from January, the prise of half-litter bottle wodka will go up to 199 rubles (divide by 30 for dollar result)... GASP! And after August 1 of same year, it increase more: 220 rubles! This almost 1/5 increase, comrades! Can you imagine??
History of the Russia show that one thing Russian people never forgave their leaders: when try to screw around with their booze. Tzar Nicolay II try restrict booze and raise prices, just like what Putin doing now. In result, he became last Tzar ever and died in a storm of bullets somewhere in a forest along with whole family. So take the lesson, you Putin!
A lot of people are making new traditions and trying to get their shopping done early, and we’re trying to be there for them. -- Christi Woodards, General Manager of Sunrise Mall, on Black Friday bleeding into Thanksgiving Day, quoted in the Sacramento Bee
Hey American retail workers! Forget those stodgy ol’ Thanksgiving Day traditions of hanging out with your family, watching football, or relaxing after the mid-day feast. Our vigilant retailers have come up with an exciting NEW tradition, in which you (if you’re lucky) look nervously at your watch near the end of the meal and, before the pumpkin pie comes out, make your excuses and rush out to stand behind a counter so you can spend several hours dealing with the kind of people who think stampeding onto a show-room floor is a good way to cap off the holiday.
If you’re not lucky, the “new tradition” is that you need to be on the floor and ready to work by 7:00 am, Thanksgiving Morning.
The surprising decision of the Ukrainian government to freeze the association agreement with the EU has caused new tensions and protests throughout the country. On Monday the police resorted to using batons, teargas and force to disperse opposition activists who were protesting in favor of the continuation of Ukraine's Euro-integration. All maydans (central squares) in the big cities are now engulfed in protests. 60% of the Ukrainians support EU integration, which is why the outcry will only be gaining momentum as the time passes. With all the consequences that come with that.
Thousands of people gathered on the biggest protest in Kiev in the weekend, the official data by the police stating around 100 thousand (we can only guess what the real number was). That makes it the biggest protest since the 2004 Orange Revolution. There were lots of people who were genuinely opposed to the sudden U-turn, and then there were some "thug-looking youngsters" who created an impression of intentional provocations (and this way provided some ammo for the government's argument that the protests are staged). There were attempts to invade the government building, but the security forces pushed the crowd back. Thousands spent the night in tent camps at the maydan at sub-zero temperatures, despite the ban. Now the state prosecution has started cases against a number of activists after these events. But things won't stop there. It'll all be getting only bigger.
So, a guy walks into a bar and asks about the Third Plenum...
You'd say 400 communists spending 4 days behind closed doors could come up with lots of things, and not always nice things. Truth is, few people know exactly how the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party went (it took place between November 9-12, behind closed doors). But chances are, it'll leave a deep mark on the further development of the world's second largest economy, and the world along with it.
The expectations from that forum couldn't have been any greater than this. The new leadership of the People's Republic, now lead by new president Xi Jinping who sat on the highest chair in March and took all the top posts in the party and state, were supposed to shape China's development for the next decade or so. And it's not like such "third summits" hadn't previously triggered major changes in China. Like the one in 1978 where Deng Xiaoping started China's opening up to the world; or in 1993 where a decision was made to shut down a number of failing state enterprises, which opened the private sector in the country.
I received an important lesson in the nature of intolerance when I transferred to my Alma Mater in New Jersey from a school in New York's Capital District. A work of art on campus had been vandalized by an unkind band of rowdy students. I do not know their motive for attacking the sculpture, but it may have had something to do with its less-than-traditional aspects. Students at the school also had a habit of vandalizing an older sculpture, but not to the level of damage inflicted on the newer work.
The totalitarian mindset has a notorious difficulty accepting more innovative works of art. Both German National Socialists and Russian Communists demonstrated an intolerance for jazz music. The former considered it to be the product of an inferior race and the latter considered it to be a manifestation of imperial culture. As an exception to Russian rejection of jazz, Polish Communists tolerated it as an expression of opposition to slavery. American national socialists Henry Ford was quite active in his opposition to jazz music. Other American detractors called it "devil's music."
Long before the Russian Communists rejected jazz Lenin advocated the destruction of aristocratic estate buildings by rioting peasants. He failed to consider the fact that those stately structures had been constructed with love and care by skilled artisans. To advocate the destruction of the products of Russian workers does not seem like a positive attitude toward those who labor. Pyromaniacs might espouse the destructive mission as a form of performance art, but the peasants who torched the structures were acting out of anger rather than a creative impulse.
We have seen similar forms of vandalism in recent times on the part of angry feminists and hateful rockers. Pussy rioters vandalized religious art in Eastern Europe and hard-edged musicians destroyed antique churches in Northern Europe. No movement is immune to the urge to attack art.
It is true that the medieval Church was a significant patron of the arts, but it was also a notorious advocate for the restriction of expression. Literature was one of its most famous targets. There was a time when the list of banned books was itself a banned book for fear that people would use it as a reading list. The German National Socialist book burning venture was not a strict Pagan throw-back. The books most hated by the Nazis were also hated by the Church. James Carroll commented on the clerical revulsion to existential literature in his critique of Catholic anti-Semitism.
What acts of artistic vandalism strike you as examples of bad politics?
The story of the revolutions in North Africa, the Levant and the Arab peninsula looks clear, at least at first sight. Repressive regimes, a lack of equal access to education and perspectives for development leading to desperation - all of this has brought events that look like a delayed echo from the processes of democratisation in Eastern Europe of the 90s. But another remarkable dynamic also deserves attention: the interaction between regional instability, the global grain market and the piling effects of climate change that have affected these continents.