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Is it too early to joke about the Lincoln assassination?: Political Discussion
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Aug 30th 2013

This is a pretty un-partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats are on both sides of this.

Aug 30th 2013

That only works if you're already in the fight.

Duh.

I'm not really following this story. I have a feeling whatever happens, it'll be horrible either way.

Aug 30th 2013 edited

I agree. It already is horrible. Of the 1,429 killed in the chemical attacks, 426 were kids, if our intel is accurate. That's pretty much an elementary school wiped out with sarin gas. I don't want to be a grown-up anymore.

Aug 30th 2013

Didn't they also use a napalm-like substance on a school today? I thought I heard that first thing this morning.

Aug 30th 2013

So let's say we bomb the shit out of some strategic targets and manage to avoid or minimize horrific collateral damage, keep both Iran and Russia from intervening directly or indirectly and don't utterly disrupt whatever fragile stability currently exists in the Middle East, what's the best case scenario? Does Assad tip his cap and step down? Do the rebels seize the capital and call for elections? This is a giant shit sandwich.

Aug 30th 2013

This is a giant shit sandwich.

Somebody needs to tell these exact words to John Kerry, or whoever's in charge.

Aug 30th 2013

or whoever's in charge

The Trilateral Commission. Or the Jews.

Aug 30th 2013

I think the minute someone on Fox News said the words "regime change," a chill went up my spine. It feels like too little, too late in terms of actual ground fighting or air attacks on our part. Assad truly lives up to the first three letters in his name, and I doubt anyone (except Russia) wants to see him continue. But we're possibly in "Mission Accomplished" territory and I for one am not sure that's a good idea. Then again, Syrians do deserve better. But I fear we'll somehow Dubya this up somehow or another ("Dubya" being my alternative to "fubar")

Aug 30th 2013

Why the Middle East is and will always be a gigantic disaster that we should stay out of as much as possible:

Middle East flow chart

Aug 30th 2013

MB is the Muslim Brotherhood and Sisi is military leader Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Also, this:

Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!
Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.
But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!
Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!
Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the U.S.!
Gulf states are pro-U.S. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim >Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.

Aug 30th 2013

Yep.

Aug 30th 2013

Who besides the Armenians doesn't miss the Ottoman Empire right about now, amiright?

Aug 31st 2013

Who besides the Armenians doesn't miss the Ottoman Empire right about now, amiright?

Stupid Lawrence, why'd you have to liberate Arabia?

Sep 10th 2013

AMJ, that is perfect.

I'm encouraged by this new development, if it's real, that Assad may give up the chemical weapons?

Sep 10th 2013

True. I mean, if we can't trust the Russians to mediate an international crisis, who can we turn to?

Sep 10th 2013

I'm sure this will buy us at least a week of not bombing.

Sep 10th 2013

Putin will singlehandedly go to Syria and take away all their chemical weapons by hand...so that he can sell them to Iran ;-p

Sep 10th 2013

He would never do that. Not while there are Chechnyans to drop them on.

Dec 5th 2013

There's been a lot of talk the past week about "income inequality" and how that's such a bad thing. Can someone explain this to me? I really don't know if income inequality is better or worse than it was 10, 50, or 100 years ago. I think that's really difficult to measure. What I do know is that rich people of any era have always lived comfortably and had a lot of power. Poor people from 100 years ago were practically serfs. They lived short lives, were unhealthy, and unhappy. This has gotten a lot better in the past 100 years. Now, poor people are a lot better off in terms of housing, healthcare, and basic needs like clean water, transportation, and food. Poor people from back when my ancestors were poor were starving, freezing in winter, and dying of diseases.
Isn't that what is really important as a society? Isn't where the bottom is at more important than where the top is at? Saying that CEOs now make 100x what the entry level worker makes, where as 100 years ago they made 50x (I'm just making those numbers up)...that doesn't mean anything to me. I could care less if the richest guy in America has 100 billion or a billion.

Dec 5th 2013

I see your point, Jinx, but I'm still coming for your gold-plated helicopter. You can't fool me. Senor Moneybags! ;-)

Seriously, though: what we do for our poorest people says who we are as a society, and we're better at taking care of our own than, say, pre-Revolutionary France. No wonder the king got his head chopped off. But we'll always have work to do, and I don't think for a minute that income "equality" will ever come to pass because there's always gonna be someone who's more than happy to keep more of the pie than to distribute it. I would consider myself maybe lower-middle class (or maybe higher-up lower class) and I have seen both people who had a lot of money (and didn't mind letting you know it) and people who had to decide between feeding themselves or their kids. I've also know people who were better off than others who didn't use that as an excuse to be assholes. Everyone is gonna bring their own experience to this discussion (a lot of people can't grasp that, just because they could find a job, someone else might have trouble) and I can only speak to what I've known.

My take is that government programs should incentivize you to try harder in the job market, not be the incentive in and of themselves. I know a lot of people abuse the system, but the vast majority aren't living well off the government. Not all rich people are Donald Trump (i.e., giant anuses with ridiculous hair). It would be nice if no one ever had to decide between food and power bills. And if anyone knows how to solve that without short-changing everyone else, you have my vote.

Dec 5th 2013

Over the past thirty years the vast majority of income increases have gone to the top 5% of the population while for 50% of the population their wages have stayed the same or decreased. This is while productivity has increased significantly. That money could be recirculating through the economy helping create more jobs or higher wages.

Dec 6th 2013

That money could be recirculating through the economy helping create more jobs or higher wages.

Or it could pay for Donald Trump's lavish, super-classy and refined gold-plated bathroom with solid silver faucets and water piped in from the South of France.

Dec 6th 2013

Over the past thirty years the vast majority of income increases have gone to the top 5% of the population while for 50% of the population their wages have stayed the same or decreased.

This is true for major league baseball as well. Yet, everyone concedes that it is far better (financially) to be a ballplayer today than it was 50 years ago, especially for those at the bottom. Fifty years ago a scrub made 12,000 a year and a star made 100,000 a year...9 times as much. Now, a scrub makes half a million and the best stars make over 10 million a year...20 times as much. Should we complain that the income disparity is too high in baseball?

This is kind of the crux of my argument. You guys are focused on the top, but I think the bottom is most important. Not "the bottom compared to the top", but where the bottom is.

Dec 6th 2013

This is kind of the crux of my argument. You guys are focused on the top, but I think the bottom is most important. Not "the bottom compared to the top", but where the bottom is.

The bottom now makes less than it did in 1980.

Dec 6th 2013

Show me the stats...I'm not being sarcastic...I really don't know how you measure something like that, since the value of a dollar isn't the same now as it was then. All you can really say is that CEOs make X times what minimum wage is.

More people on food stamps now? Yes, they are, and that might be one measure. But is it? Have we just expanded who qualifies for food stamps? No one was on food stamps in 1930, but I don't think that is an accurate measure of poverty.

Again, I don't have any stats to back me up, just lots of genealogy research where I know exactly how poor my ancestors were and how they lived, and how poor people now have access to healthcare and transportation and housing and TV and stuff that improves their quality of life.

Dec 6th 2013

Here is one measure that shows that everyone below the top 20% saw a 2-3% drop in their share of income from 1979 to 2007 while the top 1% gained 10% . This trend has only gotten worse in the six years since. Until Obamacare goes into effect, 45 million people didn't have healthcare and having a nice TV hardly makes up for having to work two jobs to make it above the poverty line or to not be able to send their kids to college.

Dec 7th 2013

in their share of income

SHARE of income. Wouldn't you rather have 10% of a million dollars rather than half of 100,000? I'm still not getting why SHARE is important, but I have the feeling that's what is most important to some people.

Dec 7th 2013

Median income has decreased for those in the lowest 20% as well, which means people in the lowest incomes make less than they did 30 years ago.

Dec 7th 2013

which means people in the lowest incomes make less than they did 30 years ago

I seriously don't know what you mean. Less compared to what? Real salaries? Salaries pegged against inflation? Compared to the top 10%?

Dec 7th 2013

Their income is lower when adjusted for inflation than it was in 1980.

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