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116 F'n Saint

About cmilliken

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    Super Anarchist
  • Birthday 08/19/1965

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  1. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter

    I'm not much of a righty but I am a supporter of rule of law and I want people to have an honest debate, not an emotional hissy fit, and so sometimes that means I have to take down an argument if I think it's stupid or facetious, even if I agree with the intent. Defeat Iron-men arguments. Burning up Straw-men is weaksauce. For example, I think marijuana should be legalized - not because I don't think it's a gateway drug or it's harmless or whatever but because calling it a schedule 1 drug is both hypocritical and foolish. Marijuana has become a tool of abuse for bad actors in law enforcement and that needs to stop. I think we spend too much on the military. But I don't want to cut military spending - I want to cut military obligations and have spending meet those obligations. But make no mistake, I want to reduce our obligations! I think we've become addicted to 'hard power' because drone warfare is too easy. I fear the day that technology is turned against the US - and it will eventually. I think there is racism but I think it's also largely regional and has become an easy refrain for the intellectually lazy. I think affirmative action is a blunt tool who's time has largely passed but I'm willing to let it stand until we come up with something better. I think we should just bite the bullet and get to some minimum level of universal health care. If someone has strep throat, they should go to a pharmacy, get tested, and get a shot of penicillin in the ass. Everyone should get at least one checkup - dental, medical, and financial - free - every year. I'd like to get on to debating what the minimum services will be and stop the nonsense about paying for it with the bullshit system we've created. We do need better gun access rules but we should change the 2nd Amendment. Write it up, put it to the will of the people. I don't like the process of legislating through the courts. I want the LEGISLATURE to legislate. We have a system to make changes. We've done it dozens of times. We should use it. I think Trump has been a bad president. I think he's short sighted, emotional, and has a moral compass that points at his penis and little else. But I also believe that Obama and Bush were WAY closer to each other in policy and temperament than team D or team R care to admit and that both well meaning but mediocre. On the other side, I think how Team D treated Mitt Romney was deplorable and think they've allowed identity politics to cloud their judgment on many issues. I think the republicans have been tainted as well and are sprinting to catch up - to the worsting of discourse everywhere. I think College campuses have absolutely been run into the ground under bloated and wasteful bureaucracies. They cost 10x too much and become monotheistic temples to an orthodoxy that is unrealistic and emotionally stunted. That's definitely more of an 'R' point of view I suppose.
  2. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter

    Based on what I can tell, it's probably true that 'poor is poor' everywhere. In Ohio, you could get a job at 'Sheets' convenience/gas station for around $11-1$2 / hr. That works out to about 22-24K / year assuming 2000 hours / year working, which is pretty close to the 'bottom quartile' for all the states. What's different is the high end. That's personally why I find the arguments about 'income inequality' to be uncompelling, particularly when it comes to 'income based' services like health care or even food stamps. My best friend's son when to college, became a Chem E., started working for DuPont, got fully vested, then quit after 5 years. For the next two years, he had essentially zero income, drove around in the truck he had bought and paid for, and got subsidized health care - afterall, he had zero income and was off his parents insurance. He had money in the bank and took beautiful pictures of Patagonia. When he was done, he went and got a job with benefits - afterall, he was a Chem E from a good school who'd worked at DuPont! My daughter, who graduated from College last month, is looking to get a job at Americore to teach for a year. They actively promote the fact that you get paid so little, you qualify for food stamps while you're working for them. Income inequality is a nice buzzword but the problem is WEALTH inequality and regional wealth tied with land ownership, not necessarily "income." If you happen to own land or houses in one of the major 8 growing metro areas, you're kicking ass. If you don't, you're kind of sucking vapors. We don't really have a broad based economy anymore. We have a collection of highly specialized regional economies, primarily leveraging some key business sector like medical services, financial services, or information services. That's why the #1 determiner of wealth (and health!) is ZIPCODE.
  3. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter That's not what the data says. Worst inequality rank Worst 10 states 75th percentile income 25th percentile income $ Difference Inequality ratio (75th/25th) 1. New York $72,360 $26,050 $46,310 2.78 2. California $70,380 $25,910 $44,470 2.72 3. New Jersey $70,180 $25,850 $44,330 2.71 4. Maryland $70,830 $26,280 $44,550 2.70 5. Illinois $64,010 $24,060 $39,950 2.66 Lowest inequality rank Best 10 states 75th percentile income 25th percentile income $ Difference Inequality ratio (75th/25th) 1. South Dakota $46,700 $23,370 $23,330 2.00 2. North Dakota $57,380 $27,920 $29,460 2.06 3. Vermont $56,400 $27,150 $29,250 2.08 4. Maine $53,240 $24,640 $28,600 2.16 5. Iowa $52,170 $23,970 $28,200 2.18 There might be a quality of life issue but in terms of 'income inequality', it's pretty straight forward.
  4. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter

    " The consequence is that highly regulated states also greatly disadvantage those with low and modestly middle-class incomes. This likely helps to explain migration patterns that have long favored southern, low-cost states. With their friendlier policies, it seems that low-cost states are now saying to high-cost states, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
  5. cmilliken

    The Deep State Conspiracy; How to Subvert Democracy

    I'm not sure I believe in a deep state I am sure that I believe a lot of career politicians and bureaucrats were DEEPLY frustrated and more than a little scared that the beltway gravy train got interrupted by an interloper with his own agenda - even if it was self serving. I'm ABSOLUTELY sure that the media and Trump are a human centipede encircling the Internet. I have no sympathy for either and hope they puke in each other's mouth, just a bit.
  6. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter

    Yea. A few years ago, Random or Mikewof, I don't recall right now which, sort of pushed MMT on this board. I get the idea but to me, it seems to inevitably lead to either price controls or printing money. The authors use the example of the Government always having money for the military when they need it. Think about that a second - you're using MILITARY FUNDING as the template for ALL government expenditure. Serious? The whole government should operate that way? You REALLY think THAT'S a good idea? I get the appeal. It's HUGELY hypocritical to blow a bunch of money on weapon systems that will never get used, or bases that we'll never need, while people suffer. It's INCREDIBLY hypocritical. But I'd personally rather fight the battle of cutting the military than doubling down and using it as the benchmark.
  7. cmilliken

    Poor People's Lives Matter

    To me, one of the major problems is mobility. There's a common refrain - move to where the jobs are. Ok.. But what does that actually mean? The job growth is in selective areas, not necessarily broad based. There are certain cities that are booming - and vast numbers that are just treading water. Lets look at the practical aspects of moving, to say a boom town. Rents are 2K / month and up. Rental deposits are often 1st months rent - another 2k. Rent a Uhaul and move yourself? 1K. So just to pack up and move costs $5,000. Say you get a job at the 'new minimum wage' of $15 /hr. That's about 350 hours of work - or your first two months - just to pay for the first months rent, deposit, and moving expense. You've bought no food, paid no utilities, nothing and you now owe the 2nd months rent again. A third month to pay the rent for the 2nd month and the 3rd month! That's the poverty trap in a nutshell. Thats why the number one predictor of wealth and success are ZIP CODE. Not intelligence. Not skin color. Not college major. Not work ethic. ZIP CODE. That's what determines wealth for the average American. That's a root of poverty. 50 years ago, you COULD pack up your family and move. Now, you cant. And with loss of mobility came loss of the American dream. Is it possible to escape? Sure. Is that possible for the 'average' Joe? Forget about it.
  8. cmilliken

    The rise in Teen depression and mental health

    I agree. I never took your comments as reductionist. My contributions, such as they are, have been to try and been to provide data. What appears to be true is that people are emotionally impacted by games, music, videos, etc. (big DUH there). How people actually react to this stimulus varies widely.
  9. cmilliken

    The rise in Teen depression and mental health

    Here's another summary more recently that also elaborates on the details. And OMG there's a lot of details. For example, more frustrating games cause feelings of aggression, whether the game itself is actually aggressive. I'm looking at you Candy Crush! But does that level of aggression translate into actual action? Sometimes - but usually not. It's REALLY complicated.
  10. cmilliken

    The rise in Teen depression and mental health

    This guy always does a nice job summarizing the research. This is from about 4 years ago.
  11. cmilliken

    The rise in Teen depression and mental health

    I don't know how to assess that comment. At face value, it seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom at very least. Factually yes, there are 'school shootings' that are simply accidents - a gun discharges by accident within 100' of a school and it's characterized as a 'school shooting' - but is that what you mean? Or are you suggesting that some subset of the school shootings weren't 'pre-meditated' and therefor not part of a pattern of behavior that would be considered 'psychotic'? Hanging your hat on the 'chronic' definition of psychotic?
  12. cmilliken

    The rise in Teen depression and mental health

    For the most part, I think teens are just teens but I do see two aspects of modern life that are both different and probably not helpful. The first is the compulsion for 'adult involvement' in all aspects of childhood to a degree that is excessive and probably bad. Sometimes, kids need to 'figure it out themselves'. They really do, IMHO. Childhood isn't about YOU and what YOU think about what they're doing. Childhood is about them. And yes, that means, sometimes, they're going to totally fuck it up. A little Nietzsche is part of life - that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Some parents need to find something else to do than relive their childhood by proxy. I also think your point 3 is the quite pernicious. I've said elsewhere that part of the problem with 'social media' is that it makes 'average' into a bad thing. The 'average' person has, at most, a few dozen friends, maybe 50-100 acquaintances, and maybe 500 people total that they could actually pick out of a crowd. That's average. But social media makes that out to be a loser. Being the smartest kid in a class or being able to play cello at 14 is fantastic! But then you get compared to some prodigy. Before, that kind of 'realization' didn't happen till you were late teens/early 20's - you'e probably not 'the best' at anything but you may be good at least at something! Now it's happening early teens when people aren't nearly prepared or grounded. I thank God that weren't cameras around for every stupid thing I ever did getting through teenage hood and college! I can't imagine that world. It depresses me just thinking about it. Kids getting things like 'participation' trophies' is much less of a deal than people make it out to be. Those are for the parents to feel good about and the other parents to bitch about. It's just another way for adults of all political stripes to try and worm in on kids life and make it about them, not the kids. The kids know what it is.
  13. cmilliken

    the potential of civil war

    I don't think there's any chance of a civil war in the next 20 years for the simple reason that things aren't near bad enough, not in the US. Despite all the news, social media, ranting, raving, hand waving, innuendo, strawmen ablaze, etc..things aren't bad enough yet. Food, water, education, TVs, cars, marijuana, booze, etc.. it's all 'cheep'. Hell, it's almost 'free'. What's not cheep is mobility. What's not cheep is opportunity. What's not cheep is hope. Those cost money - more today than they've ever cost in my lifetime. But they can still be had by the vast majority of Americans. And that will eventually sew the seeds of discord - but not yet. The flipside of 50 million poor and desperate folks is 270 million that are doing ok. And as Lark pointed out, the divisions are in people's heads, not in their geography. That's a huge impediment to any sort of mass uprising. There may come a time but it's not here yet.
  14. cmilliken

    So Much For Fiscal Responsibility

  15. cmilliken

    Sanctuary Cities - a new twist

    To me, that's what actually 'practically' exists anyway. Guns, drugs, prostitution, alcohol. Humans are what they are and unless you're truly willing to enact 'Chinese' levels of control, that's the endgame. I WISH with all my heart that the Republicans would actually embrace the mental health aspect of violence and actually put money back into care as well as creating some sort of appeal process for dealing with the back side of 'lock them up!"