Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Open Thread -- Vox Populi



"If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law."

-- Henry David Thoreau

120 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

For anyone wishing to discuss current events without doing so in a holiday thread, here's an open thread!

There's a lot of depressing news out there. :(

K said...

You want depressing current events?

I didn't get my request for a brand new Porsche Carrera S AGAIN this year.

Patriot said...

Vox Populi?.....Okay......Since we seem to have such an issue with voters voting themselves other people's money, why don't we have some restrictions on who should be eligible to vote? There was a reason why only landowners had the voting franchise in our Founders time. They knew that once a people found out hat they could vote themselves the product of others hard earned labor, then we were through as a free society. Could that be part of the problem of why we are in the mess we're in today, debt-wise?

A modest proposal.....for discussion......Who should be allowed to vote? "Citizens?"...ala Bradbury's view? "Party" members ala Social Democrats views? Anyone wanting something from "the government" ala current views? "legals?" "Illegals?" anyone anywhere in any country? What designates a "legal" voter? Time in country? Family ties? Oath of citizenship?

I believe we have so abused the notion of democracy, and that voting has become so corrupt, that we must look at the franchise again if we expect this governing experiment to continue into the 21st century.

With that said.......I think we are DOOMED under current practices.

Writer X said...

I'm optimistic that Piers Morgan will be deported. At least do humanity a favor and cancel his dullsville show.

Only 364 days until Christmas.

Happy New Year!

AndrewPrice said...

K, That is an outrage. What is Santa thinking?


Writer X, That is a cause for optimism! LOL! Thank you for the Christmas warning, I'll start my shopping now. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, We should replace our system with a random number generator and handle all elections that way. How could random chance do worse than we've been doing?

Anthony said...

Looks to me like nothing will happen after the school shootings.

I agree with Andrew that the big problem is nutjobs running loose, but nobody really seems to be serious about putting them away. Many liberals are focusing on guns and many conservatives are focusing on everything but guns.

If only mental care facilities had a vocal lobby...

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Sadly, that's the human condition. We avoid difficult solutions like the plague. And when you add in a politicization of an issue, real solutions become impossible because people end up fighting over the shape of the table around which they will negotiate.

And mental health is an issue neither side wants to discuss because it can't be solved with the usual easy solutions -- it will require hard choices.

tryanmax said...

Patriot, as unhandsome as the notion is, I do believe you are onto something. It is incorrect to say that the march of human history is toward greater and greater freedom. Rather, it is an oscillation between liberty and bondage, perhaps featuring growing amplitude and shortening wavelength--but I'm getting overly specific.

As Franklin said, "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." The implication for democracy is that corrupt people appoint their own to leadership believing they will be dealt with leniently when the reality is that the unjust dole out the harshest punishment.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax and Patriot, You're probably right that people are too stupid for Democracy to really work... BUT...

1. It's counterproductive to wish for a smarter electorate or to hope that we can change the voting system in some way that goes against the tide of history. This is our system, we need to deal with it.

2. The fact that people are stupid is no excuse for our failure. In fact, it only enhances our failure. People are herd animals and they are easily led. If we understand that, then we can use that and lead them where we need them. The failure is not theirs, the failure is ours for not finding the right way to win them over. And to me, there is an obvious reason why that has happened. The problem is that conservatives don't want to hear it... and it has nothing to do with policy.

Patriot said...

Andrew.....I don't think people are stupid at all. I think they vote for the easy solution.....and always will. Why wouldn't someone vote to take others money if the opportunity is there? So maybe "democracy" itself needs updating.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I think it's a lot more complex than that. Otherwise, the party promising the goodies would win 90% of the vote. I think people do a much more delicate balancing act in their minds, considering many more factors, than conservatives realize. And I think all the talk right now on talk radio about "low information voters" completely misses the point that conservatives have turned off the electorate.

In other words, the idea that we lost because Obama promised lots of goodies is an evasion. We lost the election because WE lost, not because Obama won or because voters got stupid.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey everyone! Merry Apres Christmas! I just got back from Disney World (and boy are my feet tired!) You know, it really IS the happiest place on Earth. More on that later...

AndrewPrice said...

Welcome back Bev! :) Did you get Mickey's autograph?

tryanmax said...

I should have been more clear about being "onto something." I had a number of earlier thoughts that I let go because they got really long. There are some lost nuggets in there; maybe I can recover one or two. I only meant it as far as people will vote themselves into bondage if given a good pitch and a ballot--essentially what you're saying, Andrew. As such, I'm certainly not wishing for something which history has never before provided.

You're absolutely right that the larger issue is that conservatives "don't want to hear it" where "it" is any number of unpleasant realities. I would say that those conservatives have actually joined the herd. And from my perspective, many of the solutions are sickeningly simple. Majority of them boil down to mere rhetorical shifts, but on the right one can't call crimson scarlet without being accused of abandoning principles.

The left has tried to say that the right is imploding for as long as I can remember, but this may be the first time they are right about it. I'm not listening to Rush today, but the last several times I have, he's just not making any sense any more. He's talking about coerced confessions and weird stuff like that, like the Gestapo are running things. And both sides have been hand-wringing about civil unrest for some time now, which is starting to make me worry about self-fulfilling prophecy, if you know what I'm saying.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You're just trying to get me into trouble aren't you? LOL!

The short answer is: yes.

Conservatism has killed itself by painting itself as deeply extreme. (Although oddly, they try to blame the MSM for labeling them as extreme even as they rush to claim the mantel of most pure and to pour out hate on all who are less pure.) I actually mention this in an article upcoming after the new year. No other ideology or party has ever tried to sell itself to the public as "we are the extreme fringe," but that is exactly what conservatism is doing -- everyone else claims to be moderate and "of the people."

A rhetorical change alone would go a long way to fixing the problems conservatism is facing right now, but because of two decades of programming, that is impossible. Instead, the preferred solution seems to be calls to greater purity and to be more extreme and more offensive to the people we need to win over -- Rush is calling them "low income voters" as if that is any way to win people over. So it's full speed ahead into KoolAid land.

Right now, the best thing that could happen to conservatism would be if the Republicans and the few intelligent conservatives left used people like Rush to triangulate against and relaunch the party into the rhetorical middle just as Clinton did.... "we're not with them, we're new."

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. All the conspiratorial talk is sucker bait for idiots... low-information voters... who don't understand that Rush is feeding them bullsh*t to keep them riled up.

tryanmax said...

Agreed on the sucker bait, but if you throw enough chum into the water, eventually...

tryanmax said...

Oh, and I would N - E - V - E - R try to get you into trouble, Andrew. Honest! ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Well yeah, but that's the goal... anger/fear = ratings.

As an aside, I got into an argument with someone over Christmas about this "low information voter" crap. They were laughing that Rush was calling anyone who didn't vote Republican that. I pointed out that it is counterproductive to insult people we need to win over. They didn't want to hear it.

So let me throw this out there, if anyone is upset at me calling Rush listeners "low information voters," ask yourself why it should upset you... if you really think it doesn't upset the people we need to win over.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Sure. Actually, I don't mind. I'm here to speak my mind whether it makes me popular or not.

JUST wait until you see my first proposal for the new agenda. People are going to have a fit... especially when they realize I'm right.

tryanmax said...

And as long as we are making "Modest Proposals" of the Swiftian variety, I had this brainstorm with some relatives over the weekend. You have to have your head pretty deep in the sand these days not to know that there is no "Social Security Lockbox" let alone any equivalent for the other entitlements. In other words, most everyone seems to be okay with the idea that the younger working generation is picking up the tab for the older retired generation. I could have a debate with myself on that topic, so whatever.

Here's the crux: under that system, it's not a cash buy-in; it's a flesh-and-blood buy-in. So wouldn't it make sense, then, that in order to receive Social Security and all the rest, one should have to produce and raise some children? I'd even allow an adoption caveat for those who can't have children on their own.

Now, I can already imagine some of the objections to just this basic introduction, so allow me to address them as I proceed. The first objection might be that such a system would encourage overpopulation, but that isn't necessarily so. After all, one's benefits need not be in direct proportion to the number of children raised. If a maximum benefit were established, say only up to three children, then there would be a disincentive to produce any excess offspring?

Why three, you say? Wouldn't two children per couple maintain the population replacement rate? You are, of course, correct. But we are compassionate people, are we not? What of the disabled, whether by birth or injury? We simply cannot off them, can we? (Can we?) NO! Thus, a certain number of additional people are required to offset those who, though no fault of their own, are unable to contribute to the system.

It has probably crossed your mind that there are also a certain number of people who will not, for whatever reason, turn themselves to gainful employment upon adulthood though they be perfectly capable. Alas, I have no perfect remedy, but I can propose a means to minimize the occurrence. I would never suggest that we coerce all men to labor. Such an idea is anathema to this whole exercise. However, I would propose that one's retirement benefit not be tied to one's wage or salary during their own productive years, but rather be tied to the productivity of one's children (making certain allowances, of course, for the parents of the aforementioned disabled.)

As I said, this does not ensure that every person upon adulthood will work gainfully, but it will provide such an incentive to the parents to encourage productivity in their children that one could expect a minimum of such individuals. And seeing as how certain shiftless individuals are generally identifiable while they are still young, the parents could, at their own choosing, direct their efforts at instilling work ethic at the remaining children to encourage even greater heights of production from them!

Doubtless, there are other scenarios and circumstances I have not yet considered, and I have already pointed to some allowances that need to be made but have not sorted myself. But I think you can see just from what I've briefly outlined that what I propose is a superior system, not only in its means to care for the aged of our population, but also to encourage the productivity and prosperity of our nation into the future! What could go wrong?

Individualist said...

Patriot

I think you are trying to teach a History of Morals and Philosophy class from Starship Troopers.

Despite the cartoonish mockery of his ideas as displayed in the films Heinlein was making some prescient points that those who vote should be those who were willing to put their life on the line for the country.

Individualist said...

tyranmax

As regards to Social Security I would point to the controls the US government decided to place on company pension plans in the late 60's early 70's, namely ERISA. It stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and is a rather complicated peicer of legislation. We accountants not so lovingly refer to it as Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam because of the complicated pension accounting questions we have on reporting requirements on the CPA exam.

The key is though that in the 60's many company's had a "pay as you go" retirement system. They set it up so that the new workers paid the pensions for the retirees. Some companies would actually take the excess payments made and loan themselves money. In the late 60's during the Whip Inflation Now era many companies downsized leaving the number of workers too few to pay the retirement pensions.

Congress made ERISA to force companies to report their undeclared pension liability, to force them to disclose the moneys alloted to the fund and even required that the company fund it.

Pay as You Go was outlawed by congress as being too risky for a public corporation. Funny but Pay as You Go is actually defended by democrats like Carville.

BevfromNYC said...

YES!!! I met Mickey Mouse!! I got a private audience with him in his dressing room...well there were 20 other people, but it was almost private! It was truly a thrill. Loved, loved, loved Disney.

Patriot said...

Individualist......"Want to know more?" :) Actually, that is really the nub of my point....when there are no restrictions on voting, we get into the situation we are in now, where one party unabashedly trolls for votes from people who want more of what others have. I think we will see more Gerard Depardieu's and his attitude towards the state confiscating more and more of his earned wealth to support those unwilling and/or unable to work, and to have them live ever more comfortable lives with 'basic' necessities to include TV's, internet service, cell phones with "free" plans, etc...etc...etc.....

Andrew....consider this thought experiment.....Should the vote of an illegal immigrant count as much as someone who's family settled this country and sweated and died for the right to vote for the last 3 centuries or so? And the illegals' vote is to take away from that American what his family died for. That is the point I'm trying to make when I posit that perhaps we need to have a few more restrictions on who is able to vote in this country.

BevfromNYC said...

FYI - Just in case you haven't heard, 89 yr. old former Pres. Bush's conditioned has worsened. He has had a persistent cough and has been hospitalized since Thanksgiving. He was scheduled to go home for Christmas, but he he is not doing well. Hopefully, he will improve, but a few prayers wouldn't hurt...

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

I hate to sound like a smartass, Bev. Being a theme park enthusiast, I have to say Disneyland at Anahiem, CA is the true "Happiest Place on Earth"! Yes, the resort is much smaller than Disney World, but it feels much more authentically magical than DW. Walt Disney, himself, actually walked in Disneyland, unlike Disney World. DW just feels too commercial, too "give-me-your-money"-ish. Anyways, I'm glad to hear, you had a lot of fun! I really want a Dole whip, right now!

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Don't worry about it, Bev. Bush Sr. is one tough SOB. He went sky diving for his 90th birthday, for pete's sake! lol

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

I agree, Patriot. There should be a filter on the voting process! Or else more FDRs, Obamas and Bushes will win the Presidency.

AndrewPrice said...

Ooof. I'm back. Just spent the day here: FOGO and am now planning to explode. :D

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is amazingly awesome! You've got to tell us more about it. :D

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Man, all this talk about elections here, makes me recollect Election day 2012, again. Truly an depressing day... We could've elected Romney, surely a more qualified man for the job, a man with no skeletons in his closet, who's also an accomplished businessman and governor, but that won't cut it with the American people, just because he's either rich or a Mormon (or both)! *sigh*

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Uh...

This...

I would propose that one's retirement benefit not be tied to one's wage or salary during their own productive years, but rather be tied to the productivity of one's children.

... is both brilliant and utterly insane. I'm betting you have plans to a functioning doomsday machine in your basement! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, We have no idea what would happen if we put someone competent into the job... better stick with incompetent and corrupt.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

I guess you have a point, Andrew. If we had competent people in DC, Commnentarama would've probably never existed. Blogging about politics would've been more boring! Or in a worse case scenario, Commnentarama would've been an left-wing site! lol

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, I would gladly trade one blog for a world in which we had nothing to complain about with our government. But in truth,. there would always be call for Commentarama as a place to exchange ideas... or recipes. ;P

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Hmmm, Recipes, you say? I like the sound of that! lol

AndrewPrice said...

Fortunately or unfortunately, we can stick to politics for now. :)

BevfromNYC said...

Ooooh, a recipe section! Here's one -

Martini

Chill martini glass, chill vodka
Pour chilled vodka into chilled martini glass*...drink.

Optional: garnish with olives or a twist of lemon if necessary.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Why does that sounds like a vodka shot in a martini glass?

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew: Well, and the problem is? It's a great recipe that I am sure will be very popular for the next 4 years...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, No problem at all. And I think you are right... there will be much to "celebrate" in the next four years.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, technically speaking, I don't have a basement, unless you consider that it is a basement apartment. But that doesn't answer your question.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, that's an evasion. LOL! So what kind of doomsday device is it?

T-Rav said...

Question: Can I substitute Everclear for the martini?

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - Unless it is a very SMALL glass and you only have 1 for the entire night, I do NOT suggest your substitution. I have experience in this,so trust me! It will not turn out well. ;-(

The Management said...

Memo to Commentarama-ians:

The recipes posted here must be used with caution. Do not use them while driving or operating heavy machinery or while driving heavy machinery. Or while plotting the destruction of humanity with small furry woodland creatures or any kitties. And especially do not feed to any kitties who are plotting the destruction of humanity!

That is all.

The Management

tryanmax said...

The best kind.

AndrewPrice said...

The best kind! LOL! :)

The Management said...

Addendum to Memo:

Do not operated dooms-day devices while using any recipes posted on this site...]

You know who you are, Tryanmax!

That is all...for now.

The Management

AndrewPrice said...

This is excellent...

You may recall that a New York newspaper published a map with the names and addresses of people who are registered to own guns in NYC. Well, a blogger has gathered the names and addresses of the staff of said paper and just posted it. LINK.

Naturally, various journalists are upset about this and are calling it "misplaced." I guess it's not so funny when your Nazi-like tactics get used against you, is it?

T-Rav said...

Wait. How can you misuse a doomsday machine? Isn't the worst-case scenario happening when someone uses it properly? I demand explanation on this.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, A proper doomsday device should bring about a swift, clean destruction of the world. If you set it wrong, you could end up just maiming the planet... or causing people to vote Democratic, which results in a long, slow, painful, protracted doomsday of incompetence.

BevfromNYC said...

"...a long, slow, painful, protracted doomsday of incompetence."

But wait, doesn't that mean someone has already misused a doomsday device? Oh, yeah, it was on Nov. 6, 2012...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev... yep... the Obama Bomb.

rlaWTX said...

The Obama Bomb: We Come in Peace BOOOOM

Happy recovery week (the week between C'mas and NYear)!
Have you chosen which resolutions to make to break?

BevfromNYC said...

Yes. Proposal #1: I resolve to not say anything unkind about Obama for one year...no, one month...no, one week...no, one day...okay, one hour, but that may be pushing it.

T-Rav said...

Bev, how about this. Think for an hour about how nicely he dresses.

AndrewPrice said...

Who? That JFK wannabe?

I'm with Bev, one full hour is really pushing it.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - I didn't say I would not THINK anything unkind. I just said I would not SAY anything unkind...for on hour...maybe.

Chris Matthews said...

I resolve to talk to a doctor about this odd sensation in my leg.

AndrewPrice said...

I resolve not to call for the brutal murder of any more film crews as I did HERE

... at least for three weeks.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Will that be consecutive weeks or just total weeks?

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, Chris, maybe you can just not talk to anyone ever again...

tryanmax said...

I resolve to get on drinking and quit the wagon. *hic!*

AndrewPrice said...

Oooh, nice thinking Bev! Ok... I resolve not to call for the brutal murder of any film crews in at least two weeks this year! :D

That's one resolution I can probably keep!

So tell us more about your visit with Mickey!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Well said. ;P

tryanmax said...

Piers Morgan opened his mouth and said something stupid again (but I repeat myself). You may hear elsewhere that Morgan said that "it's time for an amendment to the Bible." On that, I'm sure he was just being a cheeky Brit, so I let it pass.

The real takeaway from his conversation with Pastor Rick Warren is this exchange:

Warren "Opinion changes, but truth doesn't."

Morgan "We're going to agree to disagree on that."

AndrewPrice said...

I love the Deport Morgan petition. :)

As for Warren v. Morgan, I'd happily deport them both.

T-Rav said...

Here's what Warren's comeback should have been: "Fine, as long as we can agree to disagree on the propriety of doctoring photos of war crimes, Piers."

AndrewPrice said...

Personally, I'd prefer just to see them enter the Thunderdome to settle this. :)

tryanmax said...

While I can't say that I am particularly fond of the whole evangelical megachurch ethos, I still find Rick Warren infinitely more tolerable than Piers Morgan. Besides, that limp-wristed limey wouldn't last two seconds in the Thunderdome. The pastor could give him a Purpose-Driven Beatdown.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm trying to come up with some way to refute that... but I can't... not one word of it.

tryanmax said...

Hey! Season 1 of Star Trek: TOS is now streaming for free on Hulu.

tryanmax said...

Today's lesson in Russian logic: Refute charges of human rights abuses and false imprisonment by denying orphaned and abandoned children placement with families--because that'll show them how kind and gentle you really are. Also, avoid any comparison between squalid prisons and a decrepit orphanage system.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

The various Trek series are also on Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime.

Anyway...

I briefly mentioned a couple more showbiz deaths on the Film site. I think most people will be familiar with the second man's work, at least to an extent.

As for Warren v. Morgan, I couldn't care less. I know next to nothing about Morgan and I don't watch his show, yet I instinctively dislike him. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I thought it was only American families who are evil?


Scott, Which dead Morgan are you hating on? ;P

tryanmax said...

Andrew, that's true. But then, it's American families that do most of the adopting, so...

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Rick Warren seems like a decent enough person. He helped a lot of people. Piers Morgan, on the other hand, makes me despise all Brits (and Europeans for that matter)! Yeah, I'm kinda Xenophobic towards people from Europe...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The key is AMERICAN. That alone will make him popular. Everybody loves to hate Americans... they copy us in every way... but they hate us.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, Scott's talking about that Warren v. Morgan. Ok, I missed that. I thought he was talking about some dead celebrities.


Snape, What I find so amazing about the Euros/Brits is the arrogance and the hypocrisy. At this point, I much prefer people from anywhere else in the world myself.

tryanmax said...

It just saddens and sickens me. I know how it is for families who are adopting and how painful it must be for the ones that have been cut off. Once a family gets their child assignment, that child immediately becomes "theirs" in their mind. And Russia requires a lot of stuff to be done in person, so these families have flown halfway around the world multiple times and have already met these kids and in some cases have started bonding. It's as though those families have been torn apart before they were even stitched together, and it makes me weak with sorrow.

From my perspective, it isn't the least bit crass to compare it to what the parents of Newtown were put through, only in this case the children's lives aren't over, so they suffer as well.

The sad reality is, it is highly unlikely that anyone else will adopt these kids. Most of the rest of the world holds onto backwards notions that family is blood and adoption is something shameful and strange. But at the same time, they regard Americans who adopt as "stealing" their children. It's truly a bizarre mindset.

Furthermore, the children in Russian orphanages are more than likely disabled--FAS is very prevalent in Russia--meaning they are even less likely to find adoptive families. And the state simply isn't the entity to care for such children.

Beyond all this, it's just a statistical reality that children who's adoption process is aborted rarely ever get assigned again. In other words, terminating the process all but guarantees the child will remain an orphan permanently. And given the state of Russia's orphanage system, Putin's temper tantrum has all but ensured that these kids will wind on the street or as criminals and prostitutes.

But, hey, at least they won't be "stolen" by those nasty Americans. /rant

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Yeah, I was referring to two separate things: Morgan vs. Warren...

...AND two dead film/TV veterans (composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett and Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson).

As I said, I don't have a dog in the Morgan/Warren/2nd Amendment fight, BUT while I have no love for Warren, I seem to instinctively dislike Morgan and that's without having seen a frame of his show. :-p

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Yep, Morgan's a real arrogant, smarmy c*cksucker. They should deport him.


tryanmax, All I can say is that hopefully these people will adopt American kids.

BevfromNYC said...

FYI - It's my birthday today. You may now pay homage to me...;-)

Kit said...

Tyranmax,

It is disgusting. Here is a Washington Post on it.
LINK

Putin's passing of the law may be done to keep the perception of the US as a violent, dangerous, and impoverished place compared to the happy and prosperous Russia -a perception he needs to keep in order to remain in power.

Also, most Russians support the law because they see the US as more dangerous for children than Russia.

Kit said...

"tryanmax, All I can say is that hopefully these people will adopt American kids."

Apparently its harder to adopt kids from the US than from a foreign country.

Anthony said...

Putin is a piece of work. That being said, international adoptions are always risky as heck because the legal systems of the countries where adoptions are popular are very, very, very, very crooked.

Well to do Americans (international adoptions are not a poor man's game) who are desperate to adopt but don't understand the system (pretty much all of them) are easy marks for unscrupulous lawyers.

Problems the kids have are withheld from adoptive parents (part of the explanation for the infamous case where a woman decided to return the troubled kid she had adopted the way one returns shoes) and sometimes to get the babies adoptive parents tend to want, they are separated from their real parent(s) by coercion, lies or just plain theft.

T-Rav said...

Part of the issue here, I think, is that Russia has for some time been plagued with a long-term population decline, in some ways even more serious than that faced by most of Europe. I've heard that they're turning it around of late, but it has become a big issue among the Russian versions of pundits and policy groups, and some of the ultranationalists in the crowd have proposed solutions up to and including the legalization of polygamy (as it would result in more offspring per person). So, it may at least partly be that Putin wants to show he's doing something about the situation by keeping Russian youths in Russia, and preventing a further population drain in that direction. Kind of a small factor in the demographics issue when you think about it, but then, this is exactly the sort of solution I would expect Russia to come up with.

AndrewPrice said...

Adoptions in general are tricky. I know some people who tried to adopt a child here and weren't told the kid had some very severe anger conditions. They were basically unprepared to deal with what they were given.


T-Rav, I suspect Putin is just grandstanding in response to some event in the news. That seems to be his style. He's like a malicious Bill Clinton.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Happy Birthday Bev! :D

T-Rav said...

Andrew, no doubt. And keep in mind, Putin never met a way of exploiting Russian nationalism/chauvinism he didn't like.

Happy Birthday Bev! I'll get the black helicopters to do a fly-by in your honor. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Isn't that the truth. I put it down to impotent rage.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - I was wondering what that sound was? Are the kitties going to come over for cake?

T-Rav said...

Bev, if by "cake" you mean "yellowcake"....

tryanmax said...

My mother worked in international adoption for over a decade, and the only safe generalization to make is that it's not safe to generalize. One country may be very corrupt, another may really have it's act together. Whether it's harder to adopt domestically or not depends on which country you're comparing to. I suppose it's also safe to say that most popular perceptions about adoption are incorrect.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, T-Rav, if by "yellowcake" you mean vanilla with chocolate frosting, then yes. Sorry if the kitties were disappointed.

Kit said...

"Whether it's harder to adopt domestically or not depends on which country you're comparing to."

I bow to your superior knowledge.

tryanmax said...

Kit, not to drop to many knowledge bombs, but I've been doing some brushing up in the last couple of days and, apparently, the international adoption landscape has changed drastically in the last 5 years or so (the time since my mother left the field). Lots of countries have raised barriers to foreign adoption, in most cases sparked by national embarrassment rather than concerns for child well-being.

A notable exception is South Korea, who used to be the #1 choice of Americans adopting internationally. They have actually implemented successful policies to improve orphan welfare and have reshaped domestic public opinion to be far more favorable of adoption. They have raised barriers to international adoption, but not without raising domestic standards as well.

Meanwhile, things in the US have gotten far easier, to the point where domestic adoption in the US has outpaced foreign adoption for the first time in decades these past few years. So much for that misconception! I'm sure a number of factors are at play, but one of interest to me is that domestic adoptions are a lot more secure than they were before.

I don't know if you recall the Baby Jessica and Baby Richard custody battles in the 90s, but those scared a lot of people away from domestic adoption for good reason. They revealed many of the loopholes that could legally undo a costly, time-consuming, and emotional adoption. Those holes have largely been closed in the years since.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, My adoption by Sam Walton got reversed when he found out about it. :(

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - You too?? I've been trying to arrange my adoption by Warren Buffet. Don't tell him...

tryanmax said...

Bev, don't waste your time. He's already said he won't leave his inheritors anything.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That fits with his treatment of the country.


Bev, Try the Koch brothers.

BevfromNYC said...

Not the Koch brothers! Didn't you know they are evil, evil, evil! My dear old soon to be Daddy Warren loves to help people! I mean, he pays his secretary more than he's paid! What a guy!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is true. Your daddy Warren loves to help people, especially himself... to taxpayer money.

AndrewPrice said...

For those without access to the any news whatsoever, North Guam State defeated Muppett State 41-1 to win the Commentarama Bowl. It was played in Saudi Arabia... before a crowd of certified virgin goats.

The one point came on an extra point that was let stand after the touchdown was ruled to be against the word of Mohammed who is not big on the forward pass.

This was a proud day for Commentarama and we hope to become part of the BCS next year. :)

tryanmax said...

72 virgin goats? I guess, technically, it counts. *baaah!*

BevfromNYC said...

Commentarama Bowl? Cool! Even better than the Obama Bowl that pits House Republicans against...well...everyone.

Kit said...

"Lots of countries have raised barriers to foreign adoption, in most cases sparked by national embarrassment rather than concerns for child well-being."

If they want their children to rot then I guess its their choice. Let 'em.

And we shouldn't be surprised Russia is more willing to play politics even at the gross and negligent expense of their own people (K-19, Chernobyl).

BevfromNYC said...

For everyone to enjoy! Dave Barry's Year in Review

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/29/v-fullstory/3160638/dave-barrys-year-in-review.html

Individualist said...

The NEw York Journal (I beleive that was their name) published the names and addresses of Gun Owners because they fear them and want label them with a scarlet bullet around their neck.

Andrew has pointed to a blogger that printed their names and addresses.

So here is the question. How many of these noble minded journalists will now go out and buy a gun to protect themselves from people that might do something to them because the "Crazies" know where they live.

And if they do will they then have to post their names and addresses on their list of gun owners.

You can't write comedy this good. You have to live it.

BevfromNYC said...

Indi - You'd think that this would be fodder for comedy, but no.

Though you might enjoy this -

***Warning*** Foul language, so if you are sensitive to that, don't watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxRlpRcorEU

tryanmax said...

Too funny! (Here is a clickable LINK.)

You know, if the film industry were serious in its stance on gun violence, the MPAA would move to rate all films with gun in them at least an R and to classify "shoot-em-up" films as NC-17. Of course, that will never happen.

tryanmax said...

A brief lesson in why you should never jump to conclusions: If you've been following the Benghazi investigation at all, you know that Hillary Clinton bumped her head and (surprisingly) received a concussion preventing her from testifying. Upon this news, the right-wing media went into a furor, suggesting that Hillary was faking it and offering up all manner of speculation about the alleged coverup. Now it turns out that Hillary has a blood clot and everyone who called her a faker looks like an ass. Good job, asses!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Excellent point about films... except they toe the company line that films don't influence people. Everything else does... but films don't.

On Benghazi, the conservative world has become hopelessly conspiratorial.

BevfromNYC said...

Sorry, but I am still skeptical about Hillary's illnesses. she was scheduled to return to DC today. She was seen partying and photographed in DR over Christmas. However, her spokesperson says she was not there, but declines to elaborate where she was...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, She's in rehab... hence the "drunk texting" comment. Who knew Obama wasn't joking!

rlaWTX said...

*Happy belated birthday, Bev!!

*I think one of the reasons Warren and others of his perspective and position irritate me so much is that they let these great "teaching moments" slide by with nary a decent response. If you are going to the "the voice" of a huge group of people, get your head out of -um- the clouds, and think and respond more quickly to the inanity you encounter!!!

*Conspiratorial Conservatives: yeah. my brother is pretty convinced that Bloomberg orchestrated Newtown so he'd have a cause after he gets out of office. He (my brother) gets highly annoyed with me when I sigh deeply when he starts on one of his rants, but since many things I do highly annoy him (and for many other excellent reason) I don't care much. However, for him to have bought into the idea so firmly, there has to be many others out there tossing the concept about. SIGH.

*Happy New Year, y'all!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaTWX, I'm hearing idiot conspiracy theories about Newton coming all kinds of conservatives at the moment. It's deranged.

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