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Kelvin Mace

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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 12,818

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The words "Democrat" and "Republican" are pretty much meaningless

outside the beltway and the media. The Democratic Party is generally made up of a sprinkling of genuine liberals, a majority block of the Center-Right (ultra pro-business), a shrinking number of "conservative Democrats" (i.e. what we used to call "conservative Republicans") and a sprinkling of delusional folk who think that the GOP can be reasoned with and will keep their word (The Democratic "leadership").

On the GOP side you have 1/3 third paid stooges for the oligarchs (which includes the actual GOP leadership), 1/3 religiously insane Dominionists, and 1/3 barking mad, anti-government, racist teabaggers (who call the shots by preventing pretty much anything they don't agree with from getting done).

I am sure there is more than a little overlap amongst the groups on the Right.

From the Ted Cruz balcony, this translates as:

Genuine Liberals - Goddamn commie-hippie-Nazi liberals
Center Right Democrats - Goddamn commie liberals
Conservative Democrats - Goddamn socialist liberals
"Pragmatic/Bi-Partisan" Democrats - Goddamn liberals

Teabagger conservatives - Patriots™
Dominionist conservatives - God's Chosen People™
Oligarch conservative - Goddamn commie traitors working for the goddamn commie-hippie-Nazi liberals

The Overton Window is now so far to the right that if space/time is actually curved it is about to hit us in the back of the head.

If we are going to have a death penalty, let's add crimes the death penalty will actually deter

Update for folks assuming I am seriously advocating this or wish to engage in a discussion of firearms safety: THIS IS SATIRE! Thank you for your attention.]


One of the top arguments for the death penalty is that it "deters" people from committing heinous crimes, like murder. This is patently not true, since most people kill in the heat of the moment and because getting the death penalty has more to do with your race, the race of your victim and how much of a defense you can afford to pay for.

But let's set that aside and look at crimes where the death penalty would actually deter a crime.

1) Political corruption

If you get caught taking a bribe or abusing the power of your office for personal gain then you should face the death penalty. You were granted a sacred trust by being elected/appointed to public office and you betrayed that trust. Political corruption is absolutely premeditated. The condemned will be slathered in bacon grease then thrown into a pit of jackals. Alternatively, a "first offense" rule may be allowed, wherein the public official is simply branded on the cheek with the name or corporate logo of the person/entity responsible for fomenting the corruption.

2) Injuring or killing someone while "cleaning your gun". A firearm either has bullets in it, or it does not. If it does, you do not "clean it". The penalty in this case will be death by firing squad cleaning their rifles.

3) Killing someone while driving drunk. If you intend to drink, then under no circumstances should you drive. You were sober when you decided to drink, you got drunk, now some one is dead and we need to be sure you NEVER kill anyone else. Means of execution will be drowning in a vat of very cheap beer.

4) Calling a number on the "Do Not Call" list. This one is special for two reasons: First, the penalty for the first ten offenses is not death, but simply removing one finger with an axe. Second, the penalty is applied not to just the telemarketer making the call, but the perpetrator's supervisor and the company CEO. Execution is mandated on the 11th offense, at which time the execution is carried out by 50 angry citizens who have had their time wasted by telemarketers, who will be allowed to beat the condemned to death with a phone receiver (from a pre-1980 pay phone).

5) Rioting because "your team won/lost the big game". Execution is by submerging in a vat containing a slurry made from Hippo feces and cat urine, which is then set on fire.

6) Aiding/abetting the false conviction of an innocent person by means of fraud/deceit/omission. If you have in anyway colluded to convict an innocent person of a capital crime and do so by suppressing/altering evidence, coercing a confession, suborning perjury, or providing false testimony, you are to be executed. Execution to take place immediately after the verdict is rendered, with no appeals allowed. Method of execution is to "humanely" kill you by injecting you with whatever drugs we can find in the medicine cabinets of the jury. In the event that nothing lethal can be found, the jury will simply sit on you until you suffocate.

Special counsel will be provided to the defendant in such cases and must meet one or more of the following qualifications:

a) Be a public defender with ZERO experience in death penalty cases and have a caseload of no less than 100 hours per week.

b) Have a blood alcohol content of no less than .20 during all proceedings.

c) Be an active heroin addict.

d) Be the innocent person you got convicted.

Special counsel may NOT be declined.

These are the crimes *I* think could be deterred by the death penalty. I am sure people around here can think of a few others along with appropriate means of execution.

So, will we ever have an "Innocent Children's Day"?

To honor the deaths of innocent children at the hands of soldiers fighting for their motherland, fatherland, or homeland?

The innocent Vietnamese children burned to death with Napalm™?
The innocent Guatemalan children killed by death squads?
The Innocent Iraqi children killed by two wars waged for cheap oil?
The innocent child soldiers dying every day fighting other people's wars?
The innocent children killed by drug cartels?
The innocent children killed in mines?
The innocent children killed in factories?
The innocent children killed in mass shootings in schools?

Remember, the profits of the arms trade, the drug trade, the slave trade, the oil trade, and the global economy isn't free. It is paid for by the blood of innocent children every minute of every day.

Just wondering...

Where has all the Ebola gone in the U.S.?

Where has all the Ebola gone?

Oh, right science got rid of it without any border closings, quarantine concentration camps, or mass die-offs in the population.

For those of you keeping score for the U.S. 2014 season:

Ebola - 1
Shootings involving more than 4 dead or wounded - 253
Traffic Fatalities - 26,000 (est)
Work fatalities due to accident/disease - 48,000 (est)
Cancer fatalities - 517,500 (est)
Fire fatalities - 1,952
Lightning fatalities - 25
Insect sting/bite deaths - 100 (est)
Dog bite deaths - 25
Bear attack deaths - 6
Autoerotic Asphyxiation deaths - 88 (est)

Ebola has had a truly disappointing season in the U.S. and really did not bring its "A" game. While it has racked up some impressive numbers in three countries in Africa, it has been completely crushed by perennial African champs Malaria and civil war.

So who will the Teabaggers replace McConnel and Boehner with?

Eric Cantor is probably kicking himself for not hanging around, since that would have meant he would have been top candidate for Speaker. Yertle pissed all over the baggers favorite boy in the primary, so he has to go. Besides, both are "too liberal".

Who do you think will replace them? My money is on Cruz for the Senate.

The high price of apathy in North Carolina

Context Check:

There are approximately 6.6 million registered voters in NC. Of that number around 1.4 million voted for Tillis, or 21.4% of the registered voters. There are 9.8 million people in NC, and 14.3% of the population chose the leader for the other 85.7%.

Now we can argue about the cause(s) of apathy, but the disease itself is clearly diagnosed.

The reality about "vote flipping" machines in NC and elsewhere

I swore I would avoid these kinds of threads since I always regret getting involved, but people are wasting a lot of energy better spent toward getting people to the polls.

Those of you who have been around a while may remember me for being involved in the whole e-voting issue as far back as 2002 on DU. I worked with Bev Harris before we parted company for a variety of reasons, but I was right in the middle of the whole Diebold affair. In 2005 I served in the NC Select Committee on E-Voting and helped draft the laws that govern electronic voting in NC.

I coined the term "black box voting"

I have worked with, built, written about and taught about computers for about 30 years. I worked for eight years installing computer networks in local banks and am pretty familiar with what is required to make systems secure and the rigors of auditing.

That said, "vote flipping", while a problem, is not evidence of fraud, it is evidence of a poorly calibrated touchscreen. If you search Google for news stories you will find the same problem happening in lots of places where TS systems are used, but you will also find the other side saying the machines are rigged by Democrats against GOP candidates.

Despite what a lot of people like to claim, stealing an election by rigging voting machines is not that easy, and highly dangerous to your freedom. Voter suppression tactics, on the other hand, are very effective and very HARD to prosecute.

Stop getting worked up about this and get on the phone to get people to the polls. Once again, the problem DOES happen and DOES need to brought to the attention of the poll workers/press, but it is not evidence of fraud.

Also, Diebold hasn't owned a voting machine since 2009. We, meaning activists at DU, drove them out of the business.

Again, yes it IS a problem and it does need to be addressed and we should really get rid of TS systems entirely and replace them with OpScan systems. However, claiming this evidence of fraud discourages people from voting at a time where we need every damn vote we can get.

Update: The same problem, different side in 2008.

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/323-Is-there-a-party-default-on-touch-screen-machines-NC-votes-flip-to-Obama.html

I am starting a humorous computer help site called Saint Spock's, help me pick a logo

Saint Spock's Computer Clinic will be a computer "how to"/advice blog where I try to help folks with the computer questions and problems. I am trying to choose a logo for the site and have narrowed it down to these:

#1


#2


#3



#4



#5


There are consequences to a "government so small you can drown it in a bathtub"



And I would point out that $1 billion 2002 dollars adjusted for inflation is $1.32 billion, so this is worse than it looks.

Why are Medicare Advantage premiums going up almost 300% in NC?

I have a fairly liberal co-worker who is on Medicare and just got notice that his Medicare Advantage premiums are skyrocketing in 2015, along with his "out-of-pocket" costs, his deductibles and co-pays. He received an email from AHIP claiming this is all the result of the ACA, and that these premiums will continue their dizzying upward ascent in the years to come.

Now I know AHIP is skeezy group, but what is the deal with these increases? They are WAY out of line from what I would expect, but I am not an expert on Medicare and its various programs. This particular plan is sold by Blue Cross of NC, and the increases are:

Monthly Premium: $18.90 increasing to $64.40
Out of Pocket: $3,400 increasing to $4,500
Doctor's Visits: $10.00 increasing to $20.00
Specialists: $35.00 increasing to $40.00
In-Patient Stays: $170 increasing to $250

What is going on here? Is the ACA causing these hikes or is there another explanation?
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