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Mayberry Machiavelli

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Member since: Sat Jan 17, 2004, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 21,007

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I just started watching "Fishing with John" on streaming. Um, what exactly is the story here?

It's actor John Lurie going fishing in various locations with different hipster favorites (I think Jim Jarmusch and Tom Waits are the first two episodes).

I've jumped in to Willem Dafoe ice fishing in Maine.

Does anyone know the history of this show, how it came to be made? What channel it was on?
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sat Jul 28, 2012, 03:23 PM (0 replies)

Sincere question for those who were around re: Carter being primaried by Kennedy

Was Carter primaried because he was felt by the part of the party to his left to not be liberal enough?

Or was it more a sense that, due to reasons having nothing to do with whether he had the proper ideological alignment, he was a politically failed president (weak economy, country feeling impotent over Iran hostages and OPEC etc.) who was going to lose big, and you had a major figure who always had presidential ambitions in Teddy Kennedy who saw Carter's vulnerability to a big defeat as justification enough to make a try at realizing his own ambitions?

I honestly thought it was more the latter than the former, but I was pretty young then and not too informed. Any enlightenment appreciated.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jul 15, 2012, 08:19 PM (22 replies)

Wouldn't it be better for Romney to just say "yeah I ran Bain til 2002 and this is what we did"?

Instead of all this stupid legalese about how he could be CEO but have nothing to do with the company?

Is it really better from his campaign's point of view for him to be seen as a lying sack o' crap instead of as a corporate leader who did some ruthless stripping down of companies in the sacred cause of making giant piles of money?
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jul 15, 2012, 09:59 AM (11 replies)

"I did NOT have financial relations with that company!"

Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Fri Jul 13, 2012, 08:15 PM (36 replies)

My cat's new thing is to punch me in the arm every time I walk by her little perch.

What'd I do?
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Mon Jul 2, 2012, 10:39 PM (7 replies)

This is what we are dealing with:

Sirius/XM has a medical channel, and there is a show devoted to insurance and coverage issues.

Some lady called in who's a single mom, the show's topic seemed to be about the ramifications of the health care legislation.

She is currently uninsured, her employer doesn't offer health insurance.

She was concerned about being able to afford insurance as a single working mom. The host of the show explained that he was really glad that she called in because this is one area where the new law is really helpful to her, because depending on her level of income, she would receive varying levels of government subsidy to her insurance premium, including full subsidy if she was below 30K or whatever (she never did say what she made).

Then she turns around and says, "well this is where I have a problem with it, I'm really proud of being able to take care of my family all my life without going on welfare/public assistance" and I smacked my forehead so hard it could probably be heard 3 counties away. I'm thinking "you'd rather get a 100 thousand dollar bill for a bad car accident or cancer in your family that would completely bankrupt you, but you're complaining that you can't afford insurance, and you HAVE NO INSURANCE NOW so such an event WOULD bankrupt you WTF, and lemme guess, it's all Obammy's fault right", and the host sort of made this point, but in a much nicer and more pleasant way than I did, LOL.

I wonder what news network she watches on TV all the time?
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jul 1, 2012, 11:14 PM (30 replies)

Highly recommended article by Dr. Atul Gawande on the political fight over PACA.

Dr. Gawande describes the nature of the health care problem and why it is easier to demagogue against solutions than to provide simple solutions that are easy to sell. He also describes the main types of arguments used against PACA in a broader historical context of how similar lines of argument have been employed to resist other social changes in the past:



Two decades ago, the economist Albert O. Hirschman published a historical study of the opposition to basic social advances; “the rhetoric of intransigence,” as he put it. He examined the structure of arguments—in the eighteenth century, against expansions of basic rights, such as freedom of speech, thought, and religion; in the nineteenth century, against widening the range of citizens who could vote and participate in power; and, in the twentieth century, against government-assured minimal levels of education, economic well-being, and security. In each instance, the reforms aimed to address deep, pressing, and complex societal problems—wicked problems, as we might call them. The reforms pursued straightforward goals but required inherently complicated, difficult-to-explain means of implementation. And, in each instance, Hirschman observed, reactionary argument took three basic forms: perversity, futility, and jeopardy.


The rhetoric of intransigence favors extreme predictions, which are seldom borne out. Troubles do arise, but the reforms evolve, as they must. Adjustments are made. And when people are determined to succeed, progress generally happens. The reality of trying to solve a wicked problem is that action of any kind presents risks and uncertainties. Yet so does inaction. All that leaders can do is weigh the possibilities as best they can and find a way forward.

They must want to make the effort, however. That’s a key factor. The major social advances of the past three centuries have required widening our sphere of moral inclusion. During the nineteenth century, for instance, most American leaders believed in a right to vote—but not in extending it to women and black people. Likewise, most American leaders, regardless of their politics, believe people’s health-care needs should be met; they’ve sought to insure that soldiers, the elderly, the disabled, and children, not to mention themselves, have access to good care. But many draw their circle of concern narrowly; they continue to resist the idea that people without adequate insurance are anything like these deserving others.


(more at link)

The article is short, basically a blog post, but very concise. I personally think Gawande is the best writer on social, ethical and political issues surrounding medicine right now. If you are unfamiliar with him, I'd recommend you check you his books and articles. He is a gifted writer and his style is not dry at all, it's informative but also entertaining reading.

Many of his articles are compiled online at the New Yorker's website, and a lot of these have been incorporated as chapters in his books:

Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jul 1, 2012, 11:35 AM (3 replies)
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