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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 10:36 PM
Number of posts: 10,047

About Me

Lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Left a piece of my heart there.

Journal Archives

It's impossible to be progressive without advocating metric measurement

Here is a map of all the countries using the imperial system of measurement which (in addition to the points of the video) is based on the King's thumb and foot. Remember, conservatives love British royalty!

If Obama wants to make a legacy, and drive the Tea party so far around the bend they disappear into their own anatomy, he would push through proper metrification in 2015 after we get out the vote in 2014 to make a Democratic majority.

If metric is good enough for the US Army and schoolchildren, it is good enough for the USA. Or we comfort ourselves that at least we have Burma among advanced countries with us.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:18 AM (3 replies)

Stop the "lifestyle choice" assumption & the obsession with gay sex and you

Stop the "lifestyle choice" assumption & the obsession with gay sex and you stop almost all of the objections.

The "biblical objections" can be dealt with by asking people to observe all of Leviticus or none of it or explain how they know more than their God and get to pick and choose. Further, Jesus said nothing against or about homosexuality.

Anti-gay people seem to spend more time thinking about gay sex than gay people. Most gay people when thinking about gay relationships are thinking about balance of chores, romantic dinners, living wills for emergencies, survivor benefits, Ikea furniture, whether to stop renting and buy a house together, what's for dinner, does my lover like my shirt, can I walk home or should I take a taxi to avoid a beating, etc.

Gay people choose to be gay no less and no more than heteros choose to be hetero.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Jan 1, 2014, 01:24 PM (1 replies)

For fools (your wording) that take caricatured labels as the real thing ...

Note: I agree with the general broad underlying motives that prompt an OP such as this thread. However, ...

Libertarianism is the current darling target in progressive and liberal circles, but the straw man that so many delight in knocking over is just as ridiculous as the straw man liberalism/progressivism = socialism = marxism = communism that the right wing delights in knocking over.

As described by David Simon above, that extreme unmodulated form (ex. Randian objectivism) is worthy of contempt and denigration.

However, there are many shades of libertarianism that partially overlap liberalism and anarchic socialism, and many people with those leanings and persuasions who can be united with us to make common cause for progressive and liberal goals. It is a mistake to put so much weight on a label, but it is very convenient for many and a comforting target for many readers. Similarly, conservativism traditionally is more akin to modern left-of-center liberalism and very different from neo-conservativism. Conservatism at its root is the beginning of conservation and the environmental movement, for example. Neo-conservatism is much more aligned with the ultra-libertarianism that Simon sets up above, except for their uber-nationalistic lusting for "foreign adventures" and constant war.

Too much indulging in labeling (of which I am guilty too) is not as good as focusing on specific policies, legislation, regulation, and action.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Dec 18, 2013, 10:00 AM (2 replies)

What I'd like is a real Health Industry, not the Disease Industry we have

The Disease Industry caters to every little fluctuation that people have and creates lots of hypochondriacs who don't take care of the basic issues in their lives.

Got the sniffles? Take a pill! Forget about keeping warm and drinking lots of fluid. Mask the symptoms and run yourself ragged not giving the body a chance to heal.

Got a mild headache? Take a pain reliever and don't attend to the underlying dehydration (or whatever it might be).

Got a pulled muscle? Take a pill and feel no pain! That way you can re-injure the muscle repeatedly and prevent it from healing properly.

Then people get in the habit of taking pills for this and that and everything. Meanwhile they smoke, eat, drink, and laze around to excess.

People need to be more pro-active about health and resist the urge to make every little ache / pain / inconvenience go away. Paradoxically, this means getting more in touch with our own bodies, knowing them better, and being more knowledgeable about our treatments and preventive medicine, especially nutrition and lifestyle.

Most health care costs are engendered in the last weeks of life because we have a Health Insurance Economy and not a Health Economy (Health Assurance) If there really was a Health Industry, then more of those costs would be expended in the early and mid-life resulting in much higher quality of life for much longer which would be a net reduction in health care costs per year.

Let's have Health Assurance, not Health Insurance.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Nov 4, 2013, 04:09 PM (1 replies)

Anyone think billionaires work less hard if their prospects are only 2 billion, not 4 billion?

Above a certain level of richness it becomes a game, score-keeping.

Raise taxes on the rich and level the playing field a bit more. Throw that phrase into the Republicans' faces.

Political persuasion is all about framing and language. The Republicans are always talking about the American Dream and the opportunities that a "level playing field" provides; usually when they want to erase affirmative action and the like.

Level the playing field: tax the rich and feed the poor.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:20 AM (0 replies)

Larger doses of Vitamin D are now found to be very broadly efficacious, with almost no downsides.

I don't know about it helping fight insomnia, but modern research is finding that larger doses of Vitamin D than in the past has positive effects on a broad spectrum of health and wellness measures. Further, there seems to be no downsides for almost everybody at the larger doses and there seems to be no effective upper limit for most people (but be reasonable and consult a doctor before getting extreme). Some people have taken 100,000 IU doses with no ill effect (that's extreme!).

The old recommended doses were, say, 200 to 600 IU per day. The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine cautiously upped it in 2010 to 600 from 200 and to 800 IU for seniors. Now, many doctors are recommending 2,000 IU or more. My elderly but active mother, who only trusts ordinary mainstream doctors, takes 2000 IU upon her doctor's recommendation.

Unless a person works outdoors bare backed all day all year in sunlight, it is practically impossible for the body to make as much Vitamin as is beneficial.

In the past couple of years I had been reading several articles as they came out touting the benefits of increased vitamin D for cancer prevention, skeletal strength, and cardiovascular health, so I had started taking a Vitamin D gelcap to increase my intake from 600 IU to 1600 IU. This summer I lucked into a great free nutritional supplementation program through work. Through it I saw a doctor for the first time in over 15 years and had my first blood test in 30 years.

They recommend high doses of Vitamin D to their participants, as high as 10,000 IU per day. I decided to take 5,000 IU per day as a combination of 2,000 in a multi-vitamin and 3 x 1000 IU drops. I had been taking a one a day multi-vitamin. With the new supplementations the last three months, I am feeling that everything has been tuned up very slightly or slightly, and I continue to feel great.

Always, build a strong foundation by eating a very healthy diet and gradually bring weight into a healthy range. Supplementation is only supplementation.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 05:52 AM (1 replies)

By narrowing the def of journalist, the Senate bill restricts anonymity, but it's worse.

The bill narrows the definition of journalist. So while it sort of "codifies" the case, it is the side effects that are more important to the politicians and more damaging to journalism.

First, the bill would mean that if somebody blogs an anonymous whistleblower, their IP provider could be forced to reveal them and the blogger forced to reveal the whistleblower.

This is because the bill seeks to greatly restrict the definition of journalist to a few approved media outlets.

Yes, journalists would have a codified shield, but there would be a very much reduced number of them shielded.

The bill trades a big broad shield of legal precedent for a small shield of legislation.

Second, by effectively licensing journalists, this restricts media freedoms. It also restricts free speech by stomping all over bloggers and 'citizen journalists'. It means much more pressure on those media outlets to maintain their journalist licensing and therefore toe the government line and not offend bureaucracies. Corporate interests already have advertising and media ownership for pressure.

Remember the old saw? "Freedom of the press is really freedom for those who own the press." This move extends that. Licensing means the government effectively owning the journalists. It would mean a guild where only people with degrees in journalism or broadcasting could report.

It also means that bloggers and citizen journalists can be shut down at any time if they actually commit real journalism that politicians and their corporate backers don't like. Effectively it would mean that unofficial journalists would not own a press anymore.

The politicians want to restrict the media and especially the bloggers in the same way that they strictly control their press conferences and their interviews and their message.

The net result is less honest reporting, less sunlight, and less free speech.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Sep 13, 2013, 05:20 AM (1 replies)

Media conveyor belt for propaganda: not "GOP victory office", but "GOP campaign office". Wakeup!

Wakeup media! Just because you are on the Intarwebz is no reason to be a slacker.

When you (media) report using the carefully chosen framing of the parties, you are using their language to accomplish their goals.

It's not a "victory office", unless you are on their side. It's a campaign office.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Oct 31, 2012, 08:43 AM (1 replies)

The pieces were planned and rehearsed. Obama put them together.

It's like a chef competition. You've filleted a salmon for roasting with a raspberry sauce a dozen times in practice sessions. You show up and they put down in front of you a trout and ingredients for a lime sauce. You deal, even though you've never roasted trout with lime sauce. You beat the other chef, who is still rattling the lock on the fridge trying to get the salmon out.

They probably stopped Obama at several points in mock debates and said "Here's a great place to ease back and say 'Go right ahead'" or 'Carry on' or 'Feel free, governor'. About other issues and points.

They may have helped Obama recognize Mitt body language and mannerisms and tells.

Earlier in the exchange, Romney answering the question first, used the phrase "terrorist attack". Then when Obama responds directly to Romney, he uses the phrase "act of terror", which has a subtly different connotation, but is in fact the actual phrase Obama used in the Rose Garden press conference. Then Romney, incredulous, unconsciously and carelessly uses Obama's phrase, thinking the first phrase, and adding you said it was "not a spontaneous demonstration" (rhetorically with an implied question mark), to distinguish it from "terrorist attack", which is what he is thinking.

Obama, cool as a cucumber, remembers that he didn't deny it being a spontaneous demonstration because he didn't address the film or the demonstration in his statement that day. But more importantly, he also sees that Romney is using Obama's phrase.

So he instantly recognizes that Romney is getting caught up in half-remembered phrases and is like a quarterback with his shoe laces untied. Thus he has the presence of mind to say "Proceed".

That's what we want from a Commander-in-Chief: Presence of mind.

And then Obama stays cool and lands a precise jab to Romney with "Get the transcript". Followed by the knockout punch by joking after Crowley's fact check: "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" This plays on the audio problems that started the debate and is evidence of extremely quick thinking by Obama.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I I certainly do. I certainly do. I I think it's interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed.

MR. ROMNEY: Is that what you're saying?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

MR. ROMNEY: I I I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Get the transcript.

MS. CROWLEY: It he did in fact, sir.

So let me let me call it an act of terrorism (inaudible) --

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)

MS. CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did as well take it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

Crowley vindicates Obama, while giving Romney a point about the riot. But too late for Romney, the damage is done by Obama's three hammer blows one after the other: "Proceed", "Get the transcript", and "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?"

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Oct 18, 2012, 09:07 PM (0 replies)

Actually no and yes.

Yes to positive metaphors.

But you can mention negative imagery if you tie it to the opposition. Thus you don't say "we aren't the party of throat-cutters". You say "The Republicans showcase violence like throat cutting at their convention". It's not high road versus low road; it's calling a scoundrel a scoundrel, "reality therapy". Too much high road, pure and clean looks weak and meek.

It's the same way Republicans mention "taxes". They call themselves the "tax relievers" and call us the "tax-and-spenders". The antidote is call them the "borrow-and-spend" party, and call us the "job creators", the "builders of infrastructure", the "educators for our future", etc.

Turn their phrasing around. So where they call themselves "tax cutters", say the "Republicans will cut the middle class to shreds" or "in ribbons" or "to pieces". That way when voters start to hear "cut" they start to feel they are being cut by Republicans. Say things like "The Republicans would make the middle class die by a thousand cuts."

"War on women" is a successful meme, especially when it is tied to the party as in "Republican war on women". It's negative, it's not high-roading, and it's not meek to bring the battle to the Republicans by making voters associate belligerent, violent, destructive imagery with them. They've been doing it to the Democratic Party for decades, because it is effective. We need to be even more effective.

You are right about terms like "gun-justice". That frames the debate as "guns = justice", which is nuts of course. So, taking the cue from Lakoff, talk about "relief from gun violence" and "peace and safety".

The modern world is more visual than ever. So bring it to the Republicans visually, audibly, and verbally by framing our policies and successes with positives visually, audibly, and verbally and framing their policies and failures with negatives visually, audibly, and verbally.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Sep 1, 2012, 01:49 PM (1 replies)
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