Oh honestly

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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:03 pm

Ben Turner wrote:
Colin Wright wrote:Well, it is the norm for an enormous area -- greater in size than, say, all of Europe.

Really, exclude certain chunks, and it's the rest of the country -- with, as even you appear to concede, more than sixty million inhabitants. Trump country, more or less.


If it's Trump country, Trump is fucked, because he'll only get 20% of the vote. Unless they have an outstandingly high turnout rate, Trump must actually get more of his votes from the cities.


Maps are readily available. You'll discover you're wrong.

What's more, the suburbs are only 'badly planned' if you assume the norm is to live in closely packed homes all within walking distance of inefficiently run corner markets at the end of convoluted distribution chains.


Huh? The two supermarkets I have in mind are Lidl and Sainsburys, which are both massive chains.

Anyway, you have closely packed homes but without the supermarkets (or the buses, or the train stations).

What if you'd rather have to drive to get the groceries -- but have an acre or so or land to yourself?


Scotland?


Scotland's summers are like a nasty winter day anywhere else.

Anyway, point is, this country's not as bad as common wisdom would suggest. At the end of the day, I haven't left it -- and I perfectly well could have.

As I've said about Oregon, it's the worst place in the world -- except for everywhere else.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:18 pm

Right. He just didn't realize.

Biden claims, "Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that," Biden said. He added, "They should have told me."

So he's dumb enough to fail to realize that bullying a country into calling off an investigation that would threaten the 60k a month pay-offs to his party animal son is wrong -- but he's smart enough to be President.

Can't have it both ways. Either you're unqualified, or you're unsuitable. Which would it be, Joe?
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:24 pm

This is mildly comic. The New York Times:

'Iran Is Secretly Moving Missiles Into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say
The buildup of a hidden arsenal of short-range missiles is the latest sign that American efforts to deter Iran have largely failed.'


What is going on, of course, is that Iran is seeking to deter us -- or at least, our Gulf allies.

Whether that proves sufficient to hold the forces of aggression and evil at bay remains to be seen.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:42 pm

Multiple homicides at a Hasidic Jewish grocery store...in a black neighborhood.

This could turn into an ideological short circuit.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby specterx » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:47 am

Ben Turner wrote:Well that's bad- but there's a distinct lack of anything to ascribe significance to if one isn't religious.

For me, since everyone else in my generation seems intent on ripping the world up and starting again, my objective is to try to pass on as much of the good stuff to the next generation so that it isn't lost in the carnage. But this isn't exactly a positive goal.

Anyway, the sprawl is bad. I don't see why you can't have corner stores in residential areas. Which commandment says thou shalt have to drive to buy a pint of milk? We must have missed that one as I live pretty deep in suburbia and there are two supermarkets within a ten minute walk, and at least two schools closer than that.


The U.S. suburban pattern generally takes the worst of both worlds: houses are spread-out enough that private car rides are a must for most people and most journeys, therefore all other elements of the system (from strip malls to multi-lane roads and curb cuts, to the oceans of mandatory parking) need to be engineered with that in mind. You're definitely not in a city or town. Yet, the houses are packed so close together that the available yard/garden space is (usually) minimal, and lots often don't have much in the way of trees or natural-growth areas - so you're definitely not out in the country. Around here, a trend for the past 10-15 years has been builders purchasing old modest houses, tearing them down, and building gigantic five-bedroom, 5,000sqft McMansions to the very edge of the lot - so nowadays you don't even get the yard.

The very worst of all are the two- or three-story apartment blocks and planned townhouse developments plopped down off a six-lane exurban feeder road and surrounded by a parking lot. Living there means you enjoy the same amount of personal space (indoor and outdoor) as in your typical pack-'em-in European town, but instead of living in an actual town with a functional organic community, tons of locally-owned businesses, and a walking-distance railway station taking you right to the city center, you live in a shithole suburban development with some generic name like Tivoli Gardens or Meadow Springs, close to nothing but the interstate (if you're lucky), literally and figuratively in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby specterx » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:31 am

Colin Wright wrote:I suspect you don't appreciate the finer points of decorating with mounted salmon.

More seriously, isn't this a function of who you associate with?

You have some notion of the aesthetic taste (or lack thereof) and sensibilities of the average American, but how much do you really know about the average Slovak? Is your notion of 'French culture' drawn from the Louvre, or from wanderings around those huge slums to the east where they house the blacks and Arabs?

Then too, for better or for worse, Europeans are kind of doggily submissive to the dictates of their elites. America, for better or for worse, is triumphantly democratic in a sense Europe wouldn't even want. Here, at least to a far greater extent than in Europe, the plumber decides what he thinks, and whether he wants a sofa upholstered in pink with silver threads woven into the fabric.

There's a kind of organic vigor to what's left of American culture -- something that is neither the antique remnants of seventeenth century peasant life, nor the latest frothings of the urban elite. It's kids collecting for the canned food drive outside Sherms and classic car shows and Veterans Day Parades and guns and guns and guns, and always, immediately helping out your neighbor. We wanted marjoram the other day. Kim didn't have any -- but she immediately phoned Vicky to see if she did, and turned up at our door with the marjoram two minutes later.

You don't have to like it, but it's there, and hopefully, it's completely unkillable.


The sad essential truth of the matter - at least for me - is that given how enormous this country is, I can pretty much count on one hand the places I'd voluntarily live. I feel lucky there are even that many.

What really sets the USA apart is the sheer opportunity for business and money-making, due to the huge size and diversity of our economy plus our pro-business and pro-wealth laws/norms. If you're a Nebraskan farm boy who wants to code for Amazon, or a kid born to New York lawyers who wants to raise cows in Wisconsin, there's really nothing stopping you; pick a good state to start your business and you'll enjoy nice low taxes and red tape; the $5 million estate tax exemption ensures that financial independence can be passed on to heirs. OTOH if you're born in a place like Portugal or Greece you're pretty much fucked despite being theoretically able to move across the entire EU, and in better-off places like Spain or Italy it seems pretty much impossible to operate a small business in full legal and tax compliance. Even countries like Germany have rather narrower economic bases, greatly limiting you if you want to enter certain fields.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:47 am

Usually, David Cole's a bit overwrought for my taste (which can be overwrought itself), but this one's good.

https://www.takimag.com/
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:44 am

Okay. Not a super close ally, then.

'Pensacola attack: US grounds Saudi aviation students after navy base shooting'

Mind: of course we'd go to war for her.
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:44 am

All religions are equal, but some are more equal than others.

'The executive order, according to White House officials, will state that title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin, will also be applied to 'Jewishness' '
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Re: Oh honestly

Postby Colin Wright » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:19 pm

Wahh.

Various views on the (predicted) impeachment fiasco, but here are the voices of what could be considered the pillars of what used to be the establishment:

'Impeach Trump, Save America' (New York Times)

'Trump Assaults Facts to Survive Impeachment' (CNN)


and 'The Case for Impeachment' from the ever-reliable Washington Post.

It's over. Frenzied banzai charges are only going to make your defeat more conclusive.
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