Brooklyn Reader
SWASHBUCKLING HERO 2012
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Sep 13 Brooklyn Reader commented on Keith Olbermann On Donald Trump: A Demonic Messiah in Oompa Loompa's Clothing..
Perfect. Absofuckinglutely perfect.

God damn you, television networks! Hire this man! If you're going to cover the invective-filled shitshow that is Donald Trump with a straight face and interminable coverage, there is absolutely no reason to avoid Olbermann. Whatever complaint you may have ever had about him being perhaps a little too hard-edged and uncivil has been totally "trumped" in this election cycle. You've voluntarily lowered your own claimed civility level far below anything Keith Olbermann has ever represented. It's time.
Sep 9 Brooklyn Reader commented on A Judge Sided with Dakota Access, But the Feds Decide to Halt Pipeline Construction Instead.
I hope everyone realizes that DOJ, Interior and Army/DOD are all Executive Branch Departments, and that the person in charge of the Executive Branch is the President. I don't hear anyone in the White House tooting their own horn, but there is no way these three Departments did this without involvement by the Oval Office.

Obama is pretty cool sometimes.

Now, think about the idiot Trump, his profanely bloated ego, lack of attention span, and authoritarian leanings and take a guess as to how he'd have handled this.
Sep 9 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
@112 A "lot of words" and all you read is that "this will be better for our corporations?" Maybe it's time to consider, just consider the possibility that you've allowed yourself to get a bit close-minded and doctrinaire, to the point that you can't fully absorb information that might be relevant.

Yes, this might benefit American businesses, or multinational corporations associated with or doing major business in the U.S. but successfully avoiding taxes here, so fuck them, seriously. But is it going to be OUR stinking corporations running roughshod through the consumer economies of the Asia-Pacific, or is it going to be China's? Our culture, or theirs? Diplomatic and military alliances with us, or with them? Is the most popular foreign language to learn going to be English, or Mandarin?

Right now, we're the cool kid at school, and all the other kids want to sit at our table, but China is making investments in infrastructure, tech R&D, education, and industrialization, and sucking up to our friends. And if we're not careful to keep up our game, we're going to be sitting all alone. China is investing heavily in third-world countries with exploitable resources in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. This gives them a lot of power and influence.

A trade pact by us with a large group of their current and potential trading partners keeps us in the game.
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Sep 9 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
@110 For what it's worth, the TPP is primarily a strategic move to steal some of China's influence in Asia. It not only excludes China, but it includes all of their neighbors who are somewhat concerned about China's rise as a regional megalithic power. The TPP is intended to cement U.S. influence, economic and otherwise, in the Asia-Pacific while letting a little air out of China's tires. Absent some economic agreement like it, China will consolidate its economic influence throughout the region, to our eventual detriment. Whatever the eventual details of such an agreement, it would be immensely tactically and strategically stupid not to have one, to the point that even one with a few dozen warts is preferable.
Sep 8 Brooklyn Reader commented on Everett's War on Poor Alcoholics Escalates.
However noble (?) the goal, I'm not sure that banning malt beverages by brand is strictly constitutional. Everett might just lose a suit if some distributor tries one. NYC couldn't pass a soft-drink cup size ban, although that was pretty much just industry lobbying efforts that killed that

And... malt liquor? Whatever happened to wino wine, you know, MD 20/20, Nighttrain, Thunderbird, Wild Irish Rose?
Sep 8 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
@95 Just brainstorming out loud. To fix gerrymandering, there needs to be some sort of national law that mandates some sort of minimum granularity for districting. Mostly, I worry about Congressional districts in populous states. In states with only one Congressional district, the problem is already solved. But gerrymandering affects state legislative districts, too, and that's what lets a party in power manipulate the electorate to stay in power. Soooo... if you could impair them doing that, what would the legislation look like? I grabbed onto zipcodes because they're not as tiny as census tracts, and because they're already structured by a politically-oblivious higher power, the Post Office. (As a bonus, though, to political organizations, if entire zipcodes end up in one district, of whatever level, that makes it cheaper to bulk-mail/saturation-mail the district, so, consolation prize.) Anyway, to make districts of the proper size, you might have to split up zipcodes, so I put in the language that you could only have a single piece of a busted-up zipcode in any one district. Otherwise, it's gerrymandering as usual, right?

This won't make all districts ideal little rectangles of similar size and shape, but it might prevent the worst of the shenanigans. PLUS, it's easy to understand and enforce, an important feature.

Anyway, no, no organization is pushing this language, but if you know any, feel free to forward it to them.
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Sep 8 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
@86 Tribalism is pretty deeply embedded in primate DNA, including ours. It doubtless contributed to our early success as a species, although it's pretty damned limiting in our current level of societal, and as you note, intellectual, development.

Other than spreading awareness of this genetic link to warring bands of monkeys who throw feces at the exactly-the-same monkeys in the next tree over, and proselytizing a conscious effort to conquer that instinct, we'll be strangled by this for another million years or so.
Sep 8 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
Continuing on @82...

If there are any legislators here wondering how you would impede gerrymandering, here's some sample language you might want to consider as a starter:

"When creating legislative districts, no USPS zip code shall be divided in any way such that portions of it are combined in any district containing any other zip code which has been divided."

That allows: 1) Any combination of adjacent zipcodes to form a large district (e.g. Congressional). 2) Dividing one zipcode between other whole zipcodes to form a medium district (e.g. state Assembly). 3) Dividing up one zipcode to form small districts (e.g. town council). Still room for mischief, but not nearly as much as today.
Sep 8 Brooklyn Reader commented on The Election Is Tightening—Don't Waste Your Vote.
@80 Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Catalina. Regarding a leadership vacuum, I think we mostly have to blame politics. Business, industry and social institutions can only achieve leadership through politics. And right now, there is a giant ideological roadblock stuffing up our politically-elected governing institutions, most specifically Congress and the Republican Party. This ideological bloc/blockage prevents any power from slipping away from them, whether it results in terrible governance, outright neglect, or the infliction of unwarranted misery on our fellow citizens. Dislodging this cancerous blockage from the bowels of democracy won't be easy, either. They've spawned their own powerful media wings, done everything to disenfranchise anyone who might vote against them, using tricks like gerrymandering, "purging" voter roles without notifying the purged, moving and closing polling locations, and other schemes to make it more difficult for them to vote.

People talk about being able to right this after the 2020 Census, but I don't see how. If Republicans hold statehouses then, nothing will change, and they've done everything to nearly guarantee that they will.

Electing a President who will nominate rational Justices to the Supreme Court, and not ideological Republicans, and a majority Democratic Senate which will confirm them, is the only sliver of daylight in that darkness. Then, some sort of court case that will declare gerrymandering unconstitutional, and we can get back on course.
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