U.S. Republican Primary

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:21 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:The best bet for democrats is probably a protracted nomination fight between Gingrich & Romney, with Paul having gotten ~10% of the delegates himself.

And on that note, I recommend everyone here take part in the primaries and vote for Paul.


Or try and get John Huntsman or Gary Johnson into the limelight. Seriously, the 2 republicans I like; I'm merely lukewarm about Paul. I dislike Obama, but I'll choose Obama over Perry, Gingrich, Trump, Bachman or Cain...

Back on topic, who do you think performed the best in the debate?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Back on topic, who do you think performed the best in the debate?

I haven't watched any of the debates as I won't be voting republican*, but from what I've read, especially with Nate Silver, would indicate that Gingrich was the "winner", in that he did well enough to prevent an opportunity for being dethroned. It also seems to be that Romney's only mistake was the $10,000 bet thing, which honestly, I don't even see why it's a gaffe- it highlights that he's rich, sure, but people use such large figures when offering fake bets all the time anyway, and seemed to be a good case of putting your money where your mouth is. Would people really have reacted better to it if he had made it a $100 bet instead?

Incidently, speaking of Gingrich, to go with my earlier post, I just found out he doesn't just consider himself a historian, but is an actual assistant professor of history, with a PhD in the subject. How the fuck do you get that educated on history then just ignore simple facts when making a conclusion? Obviously it's done for political gain, but if I went that far in education on a subject, I wouldn't be able to do stuff like that with a straight face.

* And unless they return to candidates such as Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or even Nixon (minus the corruption), I probably never will. The more they appeal to Reagan the more they guarantee my vote goes elsewhere.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:31 pm UTC

Christie is just popular because he can bully people and, like Herman Cain, be smug about being an asshole.

In Joe Scarborough they showed what they thought was one of his "feisty" clips where a mother asks him how he can make cuts to public education while he sends his children to private schools, and his basic answer is "Piss off, I don't have to explain my choices to you just like you don't explain yours to me."

Which will be picked apart when he becomes a candidate because he callously discarded a legitimate question, that he would not be invested in making good decisions for public schools since his children don't attend them. Or that he tried to establish an equal standing between her need to explain herself and his, being that he's a public official and she's not. That is, whose interests he is bound to serve.

Assholes are fun to watch on TV like Barney Frank but don't necessarily make for good presidential candidates when you have to step out of spitrfully partisan comfort zones ad have to broaden your appeal not as a political warrior but as a leader who has good will for EVERYONE in the country, not just those who agree with you.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:* And unless they return to candidates such as Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or even Nixon (minus the corruption), I probably never will. The more they appeal to Reagan the more they guarantee my vote goes elsewhere.


Even with the corruption, Nixon was a better president than most. If only because they all had the corruption (the media finally did their job with Nixon).

I mean, the Watergate scandal involved listening in on the DNC plans for the debates. Debates that probably wouldn't have changed the election anyway. But no, Nixon had to be Tricky Dick and shoot his own foot.

In 1960, Mayor Daley blatantly rigged Illinois for JFK, although it was somewhat irrelevant since JFK would've won the electoral college (but not the popular vote) regardless. 2000, Florida, which just happened to have Bush's brother as governor, just happens to have a weird ballot... And then Gore was trying to undue that quasi-rigging by cooking the books in the recount (only to burn himself). Reagan sold weapons to our 'nemesis' Iran in order to fund terrorists in Central America. Back to JFK, the Cuban Missile Crisis was actually about Turkey; Cuba was just the end of it that the public saw.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:47 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* And unless they return to candidates such as Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or even Nixon (minus the corruption), I probably never will. The more they appeal to Reagan the more they guarantee my vote goes elsewhere.


Even with the corruption, Nixon was a better president than most. Only because they all had the corruption (the media finally did their job with Nixon).

To be fair, the "media" hadn't really existed all that long beforehand; at least not as a journalistic body with an emphasis on ethical and investigative journalism.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:04 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* And unless they return to candidates such as Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or even Nixon (minus the corruption), I probably never will. The more they appeal to Reagan the more they guarantee my vote goes elsewhere.


Even with the corruption, Nixon was a better president than most. If only because they all had the corruption (the media finally did their job with Nixon).

While I agree that essentially all of them are or were corrupt to some extent, the issue with Nixon, to me, isn't the corruption per se, but that he got away with it- forever painting it as acceptable for the president to bend the rules and not get in trouble for it. I guess you could say that was up to Ford, but Nixon was the one that created the situation, and he was the one that resigned after (I assume) being offered a pardon. It's too bad, he does seem to have been a great president otherwise- I read a joke that said "Nixon was the last liberal president". With respect to JFK, I think if he wasn't assassinated he'd be remembered far less fondly- he got lucky with Cuba, not to mention getting us into Vietnam. But untimely death has a tendency to make the history books more forgiving.

I find it rather depressing, actually. The republican party of old was more than capable of appealing to me, and Nixon himself isn't that far removed from the modern era. I dislike the fact that I'm just as likely to vote democrat because I absolutely detest the opposition as I am because I actually like the candidate*. Despite the fact that we don't even know who the republican nominee will be, I'm already 99.99% certain I'll vote for Obama because even if the nominee is someone fairly reasonable like Huntsmen, in order to win they'd have to pander so far to the base that they will no longer be reasonable (see McCain 2000 vs. McCain 2008). I hate hate hate hate (also, hate) that the only former republican president that any of the modern ones actually like was Reagan. The only thing he had going for him was he was charming, relative to other politicians. Outside of that, he was terrible, almost certainly my least favorite president. Why can't they try to appeal through the lens of their better presidents?

Well, I suppose they don't because they've kind of dug a hole for themselves, where they need to pander to the far right to have any chance of winning primaries. Honestly, I think even a moderate republican should hope for them to lose in 2012, and probably 2016 as well- if the super right wing elements keep them out of power for long enough, the moderate wings of the party will reassert themselves. Of course, democrats seem to be the most willfully inept political strategists yet- the republicans keep handing them all the tools to establish constant dominance over the political sphere, and they keep fumbling. With the current crop of candidates for the republican nomination, they've practically sent Obama a gift wrapped box with a note inside saying "Sorry we made fun of you before- you can keep the presidency, ok? We'll call it even.", but he can't get his chances at reelection above the range of "about even money".

* An example of each: I voted for our governor- John Lynch (D), very happily in 2008 and 2010. I voted for Hodes (D) for the senate in 2010 because Ayote (R) showed herself to be a tea-party loving, super reactionary nut case.

EDIT: Fixed the years for McCain. Whoops.
Last edited by Ghostbear on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:36 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dauric » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:44 am UTC

The thing for me is that, while I grew up with Republican parents with fiscal conservative and 'minmal government' ideals, the current Republican party has so far removed themselves from those ideals turning the arguments for -functional- fiscal responsibility and -functional- but minimal government involvement in to an insane dogma divorced from reality. This deification of Ronald Regan is utterly divorced fom the actual history. While he did sign in to law one of the largest tax cuts in history, when it became clear that deficits were spiraling out of control he signed in to law new tax increases to mitigate the problem.

Even my parents, who have reached that age where they're loathe to change anything, are considering changing their lifelong Republican voter registration to independents because the party has not only stopped representing them, but has taken on positions they feel are harmful to them.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:49 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:(see McCain 200 vs. McCain 2008)
McCain is old, but he's not that old! :P
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:47 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:(see McCain 200 vs. McCain 2008)
McCain is old, but he's not that old! :P

Whoops! Fixed. Haha. I was only off by a few years...

Dauric wrote:The thing for me is that, while I grew up with Republican parents with fiscal conservative and 'minmal government' ideals, the current Republican party has so far removed themselves from those ideals turning the arguments for -functional- fiscal responsibility and -functional- but minimal government involvement in to an insane dogma divorced from reality. This deification of Ronald Regan is utterly divorced fom the actual history. While he did sign in to law one of the largest tax cuts in history, when it became clear that deficits were spiraling out of control he signed in to law new tax increases to mitigate the problem.

Even my parents, who have reached that age where they're loathe to change anything, are considering changing their lifelong Republican voter registration to independents because the party has not only stopped representing them, but has taken on positions they feel are harmful to them.

I think my Dad, at least, might have done the same thing a decade or two ago- it's never been mentioned who he used to vote for in the 60's through the 90's, but he has a fairly conservative mindset, and would likely support libertarian candidates, if not for the fact that he got burned with Nader in 2000. These days, he votes democrat for everything, doesn't even look to see what their stances are- he just figures they'll be automatically better then the republican. Which I don't think is a particularly smart policy, but it has an air of feeling like he was betrayed by the republican party. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

I just don't think Reagan was a good president, period. There's no one specific issue that killed it for me. I definitely see him as the launching pad for the hardcore right-wing republicans of today though.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* And unless they return to candidates such as Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower or even Nixon (minus the corruption), I probably never will. The more they appeal to Reagan the more they guarantee my vote goes elsewhere.


Even with the corruption, Nixon was a better president than most. If only because they all had the corruption (the media finally did their job with Nixon).

While I agree that essentially all of them are or were corrupt to some extent, the issue with Nixon, to me, isn't the corruption per se, but that he got away with it- forever painting it as acceptable for the president to bend the rules and not get in trouble for it.


He got caught and is vilified forever in the history books and in cartoon shows about the future, while Kennedy mostly got away with it; presidential hopefuls like being referred to as "Kennedyesque", not "Nixonesque". The ones that did get away with the corruption, we don't even know about.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:16 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:While I agree that essentially all of them are or were corrupt to some extent, the issue with Nixon, to me, isn't the corruption per se, but that he got away with it- forever painting it as acceptable for the president to bend the rules and not get in trouble for it.

He got caught and is vilified forever in the history books and in cartoon shows about the future, while Kennedy mostly got away with it; presidential hopefuls like being referred to as "Kennedyesque", not "Nixonesque". The ones that did get away with the corruption, we don't even know about.

He was vilified by history, sure. But he received a presidential pardon and, legally, got off scot-free. And look at the consequences- I don't know enough about most of the intermediaries, but Bush Jr. has a huge list of cronyism with respect to contracts and outright deception (Iraq), and all that happened was some of the more leftwing members of congress suggested impeaching him, but no one did. I think if a president in the decades before Nixon had deceived the American people on such a broad scale as Bush did, then the senate would have been glad to impeach them- probably even their own party, to some extent (even if it was only to protect their own image). Now it's just considered par for the course, "nothing to get worked up about", which is a huge issue, and if it does happen (e.g. Clinton), then the vote will come down to party lines.

Nixon paid the price for his mistake, but the problem is, he paid the wrong price. He should have been held legally accountable for his actions. Not saying Kennedy is any better or any worse in this respect (truth be told, I don't know enough about him to say either way- though I see no reason not to take your word for it either), but Nixon set the precedent, even if it was unwillingly. It is disappointing that that does consume all discussion of Nixon's terms though, he did some rather impressive things in office; normalized relations with China & Russia, created the EPA, and did probably the single most important mix-up for the military yet- he turned it into an all volunteer force, no longer reliant on the draft. I dislike that he essentially killed the moon landings though :(. NASA never gets the love it needs...

--------------------
More on topic, I noticed from reading that Gingrich appears to be smart in at least one way- he doesn't give overly cagey answers, dodging the issues. He owns up to his infidelity right away. And while I still think his actions are rather disgusting, I'd like to hope that other politicians pick up on the fact that acknowledging mistakes can be more effective than just dodging them. Obama seems to be sorta-kinda going for this lately as well- just he words it really stupidly, so him saying he didn't fix the economy fast enough just turns into a sound bite, instead of a man admitting he needed to refocus. If he causes a switch on that front it'd be pretty impressive, though he'd still be a sack of shit.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:28 am UTC

Meh, the moonlandings after the first few didn't do much beyond pride. It's cheaper, safer, and more dependable to send unmanned probes/robots instead of manned expeditions to space. Ever hear about the time during Apollo 8 James Lovell accidentally deleted the computer records needed for a safe return to Earth, and had to re-input the data mid-flight? Turned out to be excellent training for when he was commander of Apollo 13. The only reason for manned expeditions, aside from extra-terrestrial colonizations, is to learn how humans can survive in the conditions prior to extra-terrestrial colonization.

So I won't fault Nixon for that. I will fault him, however, for declaring Ketchup a vegetable so the department of education could cut back on funding for school meals. EDIT: was Reagan, not Nixon.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:15 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Meh, the moonlandings after the first few didn't do much beyond pride. It's cheaper, safer, and more dependable to send unmanned probes/robots instead of manned expeditions to space. Ever hear about the time during Apollo 8 James Lovell accidentally deleted the computer records needed for a safe return to Earth, and had to re-input the data mid-flight? Turned out to be excellent training for when he was commander of Apollo 13. The only reason for manned expeditions, aside from extra-terrestrial colonizations, is to learn how humans can survive in the conditions prior to extra-terrestrial colonization.


A lot of NASA's benefits have been indirect however; sure, we don't really gain anything directly from putting someone on the moon, but all the technology that needs to be developed to do it? That benefits us. And considering how poorly we fund science that isn't part of NASA or the DoD, I'll be happy to have NASA given impressive tasks to accomplish. During Nixon's administration, NASA's goal were quite big too; they wanted to establish a moon base and get a man on Mars. I feel safe in saying that the amount of research and technological advancement required to do those two things would have paid off great dividends for us.

Not to mention that one of NASA's less commented on purposes is to get people interested in science. If you're seeing people landing on the moon, a child is going to be excited with science and math when they find out the relationship between them. A probe might be just as effective for gathering information, but it's a lot less exciting, and pays less dividends. Plus, it's outright embarrassing that NASA doesn't have the ability to get back to the moon. That's just.. pathetic.

CorruptUser wrote:So I won't fault Nixon for that. I will fault him, however, for declaring Ketchup a vegetable so the department of education could cut back on funding for school meals. EDIT: was Reagan, not Nixon.

Some things never change.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:30 am UTC

That's the weird thing about science; you don't know how much or how little the payoff is from any particular endeavor. Hell, a quarter of modern Statistics was created just to make hops production more reliable for the Guinness Corporation (yes, the beer company). That said, there is no reason to believe funding NASA now would have more benefit than funding NASCAR. After all, NASCAR has given us many automotive safety features, more fuel-efficient engines, new flame-retardant materials, and so forth.

But if you really want people interested in science, actually pay scientists more than other careers, dammit.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:19 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That's the weird thing about science; you don't know how much or how little the payoff is from any particular endeavor. Hell, a quarter of modern Statistics was created just to make hops production more reliable for the Guinness Corporation (yes, the beer company). That said, there is no reason to believe funding NASA now would have more benefit than funding NASCAR. After all, NASCAR has given us many automotive safety features, more fuel-efficient engines, new flame-retardant materials, and so forth.

Even if you got the exact same technologies at the same cost from NASCAR science as from NASA science, NASA would still pay off much more. If NASCAR develops something, directly or indirectly (I'm assuming most of the developments from them are indirect, and come from competitors / competitor's sponsors), the developer owns any related patents or trade-secrets or similar associated with the new technology. If NASA develops something, all the patents belong to them, which I assume (and I'll admit to not having looked this up) places it in some variation of public domain. And a lot of what NASA would research is long-haul types; things that companies are fairly reluctant to invest in themselves. Plus, I like the moon* dammit, I want a lunar base so we can say "Fuck yeah, we have people living on the fucking moon." I'd be willing to bet that setting up a lunar base would cause us to have a much more impressive mastery of objects in earth orbit as well.

CorruptUser wrote:But if you really want people interested in science, actually pay scientists more than other careers, dammit.

As an engineer, I wouldn't complain about this at all. I suspect the reason science pays less than other difficult professional careers (e.g. lawyers or doctors) is that science-y stuff tends to lack the "hey, this is what I did for you to make us successful" factor. A surgeon can point out that x% of their patients survive, a lawyer can point out a case they won, a manager can say they saved $y last year. A scientist can point to a lot of things, but nothing as dramatic as the others. All of them are just as essential, but we live in a "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?" culture, which is bullshit, but it's not easy to fix either. So long as science tends to be less dramatic and more long term, we'll get paid less.

* Definitely my favorite celestial object, and I feel Luna is a way more awesome (by a factor of approximately infinity) name than Jupiter or Terra or Venus or even Sol. Why didn't they name any planets Minerva anyway? She was a more important part of the Roman pantheon than Saturn, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus, at the very minimum. And arguably more important than Pluto, and maybe possibly Mars and Venus as well. Bah.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby The Reaper » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:09 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:* Definitely my favorite celestial object, and I feel Luna is a way more awesome (by a factor of approximately infinity) name than Jupiter or Terra or Venus or even Sol. Why didn't they name any planets Minerva anyway? She was a more important part of the Roman pantheon than Saturn, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus, at the very minimum. And arguably more important than Pluto, and maybe possibly Mars and Venus as well. Bah.
Mercury and Mars. Didn't wanna give aliens ideas by naming the system Mmmmmmm.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That's the weird thing about science; you don't know how much or how little the payoff is from any particular endeavor. Hell, a quarter of modern Statistics was created just to make hops production more reliable for the Guinness Corporation (yes, the beer company).

Wait, really? Do you have a source on this? It sounds interesting and I want to read more!

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:28 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* Definitely my favorite celestial object, and I feel Luna is a way more awesome (by a factor of approximately infinity) name than Jupiter or Terra or Venus or even Sol. Why didn't they name any planets Minerva anyway? She was a more important part of the Roman pantheon than Saturn, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus, at the very minimum. And arguably more important than Pluto, and maybe possibly Mars and Venus as well. Bah.
Mercury and Mars. Didn't wanna give aliens ideas by naming the system Mmmmmmm.

Huh? I have no idea how to read this reply.

Edit: Are you trying to say we couldn't have a planet named Minerva because there'd be too many planets that start with M, causing us to abbreviate to mmmmmmmm? That'd still get held up by Terra, even if we went for M-something with everything else, "mmtmmmmm" doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby The Reaper » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* Definitely my favorite celestial object, and I feel Luna is a way more awesome (by a factor of approximately infinity) name than Jupiter or Terra or Venus or even Sol. Why didn't they name any planets Minerva anyway? She was a more important part of the Roman pantheon than Saturn, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus, at the very minimum. And arguably more important than Pluto, and maybe possibly Mars and Venus as well. Bah.
Mercury and Mars. Didn't wanna give aliens ideas by naming the system Mmmmmmm.

Huh? I have no idea how to read this reply.

Edit: Are you trying to say we couldn't have a planet named Minerva because there'd be too many planets that start with M, causing us to abbreviate to mmmmmmmm? That'd still get held up by Terra, even if we went for M-something with everything else, "mmtmmmmm" doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

If you named everything else something with an M, why not name Terra with an M as well?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:02 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:* Definitely my favorite celestial object, and I feel Luna is a way more awesome (by a factor of approximately infinity) name than Jupiter or Terra or Venus or even Sol. Why didn't they name any planets Minerva anyway? She was a more important part of the Roman pantheon than Saturn, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus, at the very minimum. And arguably more important than Pluto, and maybe possibly Mars and Venus as well. Bah.
Mercury and Mars. Didn't wanna give aliens ideas by naming the system Mmmmmmm.

Huh? I have no idea how to read this reply.

Edit: Are you trying to say we couldn't have a planet named Minerva because there'd be too many planets that start with M, causing us to abbreviate to mmmmmmmm? That'd still get held up by Terra, even if we went for M-something with everything else, "mmtmmmmm" doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

If you named everything else something with an M, why not name Terra with an M as well?

I was basing that off the idea that Terra was already pre-named before the planets started getting names- Terra was the Earth personified- an earth goddess. Mars (the deity) is not Mars (the planet) personified- he was War personified. We just named a planet after him because it was red, and red is the color of blood, which is what you spill when fighting (it's also the color of strawberries, but I guess they didn't care about that). So, so long as they went with a Roman pantheon theme, they were going to be stuck with Terra. And if they decided to not go with a Roman theme, then Minerva wouldn't be in the running for me to complain about anyway. Besides, just adding Minerva in would make it three M's- not enough to make an "mmmmmm", when you throw in the T, J, S, P, U, and V- even before subtracting one (or two- depending on your stance on Pluto) out for Minerva to replace it. And then if you wanted to abbreviate the solar system, you'd get stuck with the Sun, which they'd have to name Sol to stick with the Roman theme again (being, unsurprisingly, the sun personified- same goes for Luna with respect to the moon, though I think she actually got more "character development", so to speak, than Sol or Terra). Plus, all M's would require digging really deep into the Roman Pantheon, with the remaining options being rather obscure or insignificant.

Should I try to blame republicans here, to try to return us to the original topic? A more serious attempt I guess- if the early states split (which seems possibly), do people think Romney's established campaign work in other states (so far the only candidate to do so) will be enough to let him pull ahead in the end? Hell, Gingrich is only now starting to establish a game plan in the early states proper. At the very least, this primary season should do a great job informing us on how much the ground game matters for electoral success.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby IcedT » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

This just in: Gingrich is saying crazy things. http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/11/the_most_apocalyptic_throwaway_line_in_last_nights_gop_debate

Newt wrote:If we do survive, it will be in part because of people like Rick who've had the courage to tell the truth about the Iranians for a long time. (emphasis added)


Summary: there's no such thing as Palestine, Palestinians are all terrorists, and Iran poses a serious existential threat to the U.S. Wut?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

IcedT wrote:Summary: there's no such thing as Palestine, Palestinians are all terrorists, and Iran poses a serious existential threat to the U.S. Wut?


Maybe I'm just a cynic as far as Israel/Palestine is concerned, but I would venture that this belief is pretty mainstream... It may be crazy in the sense of "completely devoid of any truthful content", but it's not something that's so far outside popular understanding of the I/P situation that it will make any significant waves.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:41 pm UTC

IcedT wrote:This just in: Gingrich is saying crazy things. http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/11/the_most_apocalyptic_throwaway_line_in_last_nights_gop_debate

Newt wrote:If we do survive, it will be in part because of people like Rick who've had the courage to tell the truth about the Iranians for a long time. (emphasis added)


Summary: there's no such thing as Palestine, Palestinians are all terrorists, and Iran poses a serious existential threat to the U.S. Wut?

I gave my bafflement at the Palestine is entirely invented earlier in the thread. The Iran thing seems new though- why are these fuckers so obsessed with creating new wars? Iraq and Afghanistan haven't gone over that well for us. McCain was gunning for chances to bomb Iran since the beginning, and now Gingrich is in the same boat? Fuck, even if Iran was a particularly dangerous nation to our survival, the actual population of Iran thinks fairly well of US citizens- it's plausible that they'll have another revolution of their own to remove the current setup- possibly whenever Khamenei dies (he was born in 1939- so probably not too soon, but he can't survive for too many more decades either). The best way to fuck up the civilians of Iran being OK with us is to, you know, start a war with them. I heard those are pretty good at fermenting ill will.

Seriously though, what's with all the war-mongering from the right these days? They can have their beloved military-industrial complex without being in a constant state of war.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Seriously though, what's with all the war-mongering from the right these days? They can have their beloved military-industrial complex without being in a constant state of war.


The Second Coming of Jesus is preceded by a series of wars in the Middle East involving Israel. In order to assist God's plan of bringing about the end of the world and salvation to all of mankind (well, the ones that believe in Jesus, anyway), we need to do everything we can to encourage war in the Middle East and support Israel, right up to the point where 2/3 of Israel's population is wiped out by nuclear war. After this, there's the Rapture, and all Christian Republicans go to heaven while everyone else burns in the apocalypse.

Something like that, anyway.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Роберт » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That's the weird thing about science; you don't know how much or how little the payoff is from any particular endeavor. Hell, a quarter of modern Statistics was created just to make hops production more reliable for the Guinness Corporation (yes, the beer company). That said, there is no reason to believe funding NASA now would have more benefit than funding NASCAR. After all, NASCAR has given us many automotive safety features, more fuel-efficient engines, new flame-retardant materials, and so forth.

But if you really want people interested in science, actually pay scientists more than other careers, dammit.

Are you getting NASCAR and Formula One mixed up? Formula one would be so much better of an investment.

Also, I'm having trouble deciding who to vote for. Jon Huntsmen doesn't seem to stand a chance, really.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:17 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Seriously though, what's with all the war-mongering from the right these days? They can have their beloved military-industrial complex without being in a constant state of war.

The Second Coming of Jesus is preceded by a series of wars in the Middle East involving Israel. In order to assist God's plan of bringing about the end of the world and salvation to all of mankind (well, the ones that believe in Jesus, anyway), we need to do everything we can to encourage war in the Middle East and support Israel, right up to the point where 2/3 of Israel's population is wiped out by nuclear war. After this, there's the Rapture, and all Christian Republicans go to heaven while everyone else burns in the apocalypse.

Something like that, anyway.

I'm pretty sure it's more complicated than that. Maybe it's just that they realized that having a constant enemy, somewhere, somehow, is politically quite advantageous for getting agenda items through- all you need to do is say that they help defeat the Iranians, or the communists, or the terrorists, or whoever. Or maybe they really are that batshit crazy.

Роберт wrote:Also, I'm having trouble deciding who to vote for. Jon Huntsmen doesn't seem to stand a chance, really.

The nice thing about primaries that you can vote for who you want, without having to worry too much about being stuck with people you find completely unacceptable because you "wasted" your vote. If you like John Huntsman, or Paul, or Perry, or even fucking Trump, then you should vote for them in the primary- the worst that happens (from your perspective) is that they don't get the nomination. Primary elections don't determine who wins the office though, so you can afford to vote in a non-strategic manner. So even if the person you wanted to win the primary loses, you did your part to help them not lose (which does help them out too- if they do well enough, people will consider & incorporate their policies, even if they lose), and you still get to make a vote against someone you find more unacceptable on election day, later down the road.

As someone who is terrified of the right-wing gaining even more power over the republicans, I'd also encourage you to vote for Huntsman, just to work to lasso them back into the more sane territory.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Gingrich's approach to history seems to be to make shit up. If people care about such things as facts this might be a problem for him. As is, with our undereducated electorate he can continue to claim to be a scholar. Those who dare challenge this will be marginalized.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that NASA has invented more useful shit than NASCAR or Formula 1. Also wasted a lot less gas.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The Second Coming of Jesus is preceded by a series of wars in the Middle East involving Israel. In order to assist God's plan of bringing about the end of the world and salvation to all of mankind (well, the ones that believe in Jesus, anyway), we need to do everything we can to encourage war in the Middle East and support Israel, right up to the point where 2/3 of Israel's population is wiped out by nuclear war. After this, there's the Rapture, and all Christian Republicans go to heaven while everyone else burns in the apocalypse.

Something like that, anyway.


I'm pretty sure it's more complicated than that. Maybe it's just that they realized that having a constant enemy, somewhere, somehow, is politically quite advantageous for getting agenda items through- all you need to do is say that they help defeat the Iranians, or the communists, or the terrorists, or whoever. Or maybe they really are that batshit crazy.


I'm not prepared to grant that level of competence to the Republicans without more evidence.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dauric » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The Second Coming of Jesus is preceded by a series of wars in the Middle East involving Israel. In order to assist God's plan of bringing about the end of the world and salvation to all of mankind (well, the ones that believe in Jesus, anyway), we need to do everything we can to encourage war in the Middle East and support Israel, right up to the point where 2/3 of Israel's population is wiped out by nuclear war. After this, there's the Rapture, and all Christian Republicans go to heaven while everyone else burns in the apocalypse.

Something like that, anyway.


I'm pretty sure it's more complicated than that. Maybe it's just that they realized that having a constant enemy, somewhere, somehow, is politically quite advantageous for getting agenda items through- all you need to do is say that they help defeat the Iranians, or the communists, or the terrorists, or whoever. Or maybe they really are that batshit crazy.


I'm not prepared to grant that level of competence to the Republicans without more evidence.


The religious reasons appeal to the evangelical portion of the Republican base, but Ghostbear's comment on the political advantages of a common enemy aren't anything new in politics. That the argument appeals to evangelicals, as well as people who long for the glory days of the Cold War (and it's mythical counterpart, the 1950's propaganda) just makes it a doubly appealing bit of rhetoric.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dark567 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

Garm wrote: Also wasted a lot less gas.
I actually very much doubt this. Although it depends on your definition of "wasted"

NASCAR uses approximately 2 million gallons of gas a year. Each shuttle launch uses about 150,000 gallons of liquid fuel + solid fuel weighing 2.2 million lbs. Outside of hiatuses due to accidents, there were on average around 6 shuttle launches a year. If you add in the rest of NASA's unmanned operations, test flights and other support, I would guess it would dwarf NASCAR.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:That's the weird thing about science; you don't know how much or how little the payoff is from any particular endeavor. Hell, a quarter of modern Statistics was created just to make hops production more reliable for the Guinness Corporation (yes, the beer company).

Wait, really? Do you have a source on this? It sounds interesting and I want to read more!


Here's the link. Student's t distribution is the estimate of the mean without knowing the variance of the distribution; basically any time when you don't have the luxury of a large sample size. Which is most of the time; most uses of statistics don't have the luxury of hundreds of data-points. And yes, the t distribution approaches the normal distribution as the number of data-points goes to infinity.

I made a bit of a mistake though; was barley, not hops. Still...

Garm wrote:I'm going to go out on a limb and say that NASA has invented more useful shit than NASCAR or Formula 1. Also wasted a lot less gas.


But you don't know for certain that now, after the research benefits from initial NASA research have been realized, that an additional $10B in NASA research will provide more future benefit than $10B in nanotech research, or $10B in cancer research, or $10B in stem-cell research, or $10B in advanced recycling research, or so on.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:29 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Роберт » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:24 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Роберт wrote:Also, I'm having trouble deciding who to vote for. Jon Huntsmen doesn't seem to stand a chance, really.

The nice thing about primaries that you can vote for who you want, without having to worry too much about being stuck with people you find completely unacceptable because you "wasted" your vote. If you like John Huntsman, or Paul, or Perry, or even fucking Trump, then you should vote for them in the primary- the worst that happens (from your perspective) is that they don't get the nomination. Primary elections don't determine who wins the office though, so you can afford to vote in a non-strategic manner. So even if the person you wanted to win the primary loses, you did your part to help them not lose (which does help them out too- if they do well enough, people will consider & incorporate their policies, even if they lose), and you still get to make a vote against someone you find more unacceptable on election day, later down the road.

As someone who is terrified of the right-wing gaining even more power over the republicans, I'd also encourage you to vote for Huntsman, just to work to lasso them back into the more sane territory.

Primaries aren't really any different from the general election. You have to choose how to vote. Am I wanting to take the party in a more sane direction? Probably Huntsman. What if I want a more insane but somehow cool direction? Ron. Paul. And he's got a higher polling percentage. I definitely will not be voting for Newt in the main election if he wins the primaries.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Garm wrote: Also wasted a lot less gas.
I actually very much doubt this. Although it depends on your definition of "wasted"

NASCAR uses approximately 2 million gallons of gas a year. Each shuttle launch uses about 150,000 gallons of liquid fuel + solid fuel weighing 2.2 million lbs. Outside of hiatuses due to accidents, there were on average around 6 shuttle launches a year. If you add in the rest of NASA's unmanned operations, test flights and other support, I would guess it would dwarf NASCAR.


My idea of wasted is pretty darn subjective. I think NASCAR is pretty stupid so there's really no merit to my comment, just an expression of opinion in regards to the fuel.

The number of awesome inventions, however, is less subjective. Car safety is pretty great but so is Velcro and freeze dried food. Also cordless power tools, dialysis machines, and Astroglide.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

Considering that car accidents are bigger causes of death than kidney failure, I'd say car safety far exceeds the benefit of dialysis machines. Velcro was invented in 1948; years before the space program.

Also, I have never managed to watch more than 5 minutes of a car race without being bored to death. That may be why NASCAR fans get piss drunk before watching...

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Considering that car accidents are bigger causes of death than kidney failure, I'd say car safety far exceeds the benefit of dialysis machines. Velcro was invented in 1948; years before the space program.

Also, I have never managed to watch more than 5 minutes of a car race without being bored to death. That may be why the people that watch it get piss drunk...


Shoot, I'd always taken it on canon that Velcro was a NASA thing. Maybe NASA just popularized the stuff, who knows.


Totally didn't see this before, weird:

CorruptUser wrote:
Garm wrote:I'm going to go out on a limb and say that NASA has invented more useful shit than NASCAR or Formula 1. Also wasted a lot less gas.


But you don't know for certain that now, after the research benefits from initial NASA research have been realized, that an additional $10B in NASA research will provide more future benefit than $10B in nanotech research, or $10B in cancer research, or $10B in stem-cell research, or $10B in advanced recycling research, or so on.


Sure, that's totally fair. I was contrasting NASA to NASCAR. One of the advantages that I think NASA has over more targeted research is that the solutions have to be more practical and are not necessarily profit driven.

That's a fair point but I think that most of the car safety advances are saving people on the margin, and not preventing a lot of deaths that would have happened with or without the airbags or whatever. And look, we've already provided more nuance than all of this years Republican debates.

I must say that I'm impressed at the effectiveness of various far-right groups at tagging their party with their ideas. The machinations of the GOP candidates is impressive. Like it or not, they all have to swing to the right (except Bachmann and Paul) in order to please this group or that group in order to get themselves elected. There's just no analog for the Democratic party which is probably why the Overton window has swung so far in the past whatever years.

Some random thoughts that I had while reading through this thread earlier:

It's interesting how presidential power shifts with each administration. We can blame the various groups of advisers and "Czars" on JFK. After he got dicked over by the Joint Chiefs of Staff with regards to the Bay of Pigs he created the extra-constitutional group of advisers to help him avoid such boondoggles. The Iran-Contra affair has been used to justify all sorts of shit ever since Reagan played fast and loose with the rules to get his own private little war. And despite what everyone wants him to, Obama certainly isn't going to pull back W.'s expansion of Executive power.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:53 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Here's the link. Student's t distribution is the estimate of the mean without knowing the variance of the distribution; basically any time when you don't have the luxury of a large sample size. Which is most of the time; most uses of statistics don't have the luxury of hundreds of data-points. And yes, the t distribution approaches the normal distribution as the number of data-points goes to infinity.

I made a bit of a mistake though; was barley, not hops. Still...

Thanks!

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Jave D » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:22 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Garm wrote: Also wasted a lot less gas.
I actually very much doubt this. Although it depends on your definition of "wasted"

NASCAR uses approximately 2 million gallons of gas a year. Each shuttle launch uses about 150,000 gallons of liquid fuel + solid fuel weighing 2.2 million lbs. Outside of hiatuses due to accidents, there were on average around 6 shuttle launches a year. If you add in the rest of NASA's unmanned operations, test flights and other support, I would guess it would dwarf NASCAR.


Well of course it does (depend on what one defines "wasted" as). Still, one should hope that people see the exploration of space and the development of technology and science to be a bit less of a waste than driving around in a circle. I mean if nothing else, if we keep ignorant and backwards about space we're not going to be at all defensible against meteors. NASA doesn't focus on the defense of the planet aspect of this as much as I'd like, but still. Defense of the planet. Kinda important. Defense against low sales of Coors Lite? Not so much.

Perhaps there's a clever way to combine these two goals. If anyone could do it, NASA+NASCAR could!

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dauric » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:Perhaps there's a clever way to combine these two goals. If anyone could do it, NASA+NASCAR could!


NASACAR?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby NoodleIncident » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:35 am UTC

Well, until we start colonizing, space exploration really is just going in (ever-widening) circles...
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Wodashin » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:32 am UTC

We were supposed to be building a base on the moon right now...

Ugh.


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