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1  Other / Politics & Society / Virginia Governor Declares states of emergency because of GUNS RIGHTS RALLY on: January 16, 2020, 03:01:31 AM
Due to the fact that Virginia Democrats have taken over both chambers of the states legislature, they've planned a LARGE amount of gun control bills that are going to be coming up the pipeline. It seems as if the Dems are unified in passing these, and the Democratic Governor Northram (yes, the guy who got caught with blackface, was told to resign and then didn't) has signaled that he's supporting these measures.

I'm going to expect that a good majority of you guys have heard / seen all the memes on the topic already, saying things like "GUN OWNERS WE'RE GOING TO VIRGINA" or that they're going to take the gun from their cold dead hands. Things along those lines. To summarize it, gun owners in Virgina (and outside of Virgina) are pretty pissed and they're holding a protest/rally to show their anger and try to convince lawmakers to change their potential votes.

The group that's hosting the event, the Virgina Citizens Defense League, has stated that the people participating in the rally are going to be armed though it is going to be a peaceful protest. Virginia Governor has countered in saying that they've received credible reports from LE saying that people are going to be violent and try to cause harm.

Who knows if he's being truthful or if he's just trying to shut down a group of people that he wants to stop. Guess we'll see in the coming days. (Monday is the date of the rally btw)

Source: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/796666321/virginia-governor-declares-state-of-emergency-ahead-of-pro-gun-rally (didn't quote or anything, just want people to be able to read about it here, can always look this up and find a different source if ya think NPR isn't good enough)
2  Other / Politics & Society / What news sources do ya guys use? on: January 08, 2020, 11:05:10 PM
I'm pretty stuck on using WSJ and NYTimes for my news these days, not paying for it anymore thankfully (thanks Twitchy) because of (https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-chrome) which is beyond helpful. Pretty big fan of both sites for news, though I do like the WSJ editorial section more.

Wanted to know if everyone else could share the news sources that they use and like, maybe even some authors in particular, etc. Always looking for a new reputable source of news.

Let me know. Even if you guys have some sort of aggregate that you use (Like RealClearPolitics or Apple News, etc, anything is appreciated)


This is going to be a self moderated thread, so please don't sig spam or I'll delete it, thanks Smiley
3  Other / Politics & Society / Iraq votes to expel US Coalition Troops on: January 05, 2020, 09:54:22 PM
In a stunning rebuke to the US (that MEANS NOTHING) Iraqi Lawmakers voted 170-0 to expel US troops (and coalition troops) from Iraq. It's important to note that this vote is not final as this current caretaker government doesn't have the authority to oust the US (from NY times, will source this below) Most members of the chamber hadn't been present as well, as there are 328 members of the chamber and the rest hadn't attended the vote as they were boycotting it. These other members are Sunni and Kurds.


I''d just like to note again that what they've passed is a nonbinding resolution asking for the PM of Iraq to rescind the invitation of the US to assist in removing ISIS from the country. Pretty much a nothing burger.

Source:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/iraqi-parliament-votes-in-favor-of-expelling-u-s-troops-11578236473
4  Other / Politics & Society / Trump doesn't care about the deficit, no one does. on: December 30, 2019, 06:18:12 PM
While this isn't fully Bitcoin related, I still did think that this topic did require some sort of conversation. Just as a note, I'm going to be posting this thread here and in the P&S section for maximum visibility. I do hope that's fine.

Here's the quick and simple summary of all of this: The US deficit is soaring in the Trump era, as it reached $984B in 2019. This was fueled by spending increases, and tax cuts.

But lets take a walk down memory lane, when Republicans used to care about spending and Democrats even went across the aisle to help out as well. In 2011, the GOP House of Rep pushed for a Balanced Budget Amendment -- pretty much forcing the government to have a balanced budget every year. Due to this, the Obama Administration tried to cut back back on spending and had done a good job at a certain point. There is a bit of leeway you have to give the Obama administration though, given that they controlled the executive during a time of a recession they obviously would have a higher deficit then most presidents.

Trump had even promised to fight the Debt and the Deficit, but nothing has come out of this. Trump rarely mentions it anymore, as it's a losing game for him. Republicans ignore it as they know going against Trump is political suicide -- and Democrats mention it here and there but it's not enough.

Both sides are hypocrites -- only caring about problems when the other side is causing it. Democrats only carea about deficits when Republicans are doing it, and Republicans only care about deficits when Democrats are doing it.

We shouldn't kick the can down any longer. We must focus on the deficit and the debt and focus on it now, instead of trying to focus on it when it's too late and the next generation is saddled with something that has spiraled too far out of control.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/25/us-deficit-hit-billion-marking-nearly-percent-increase-during-trump-era/
https://www.thebalance.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306
https://apnews.com/caeb6d6c4eff45e4bc5da12db06004bc
5  Economy / Economics / Trump has disregarded the deficit, a key campaign promise. on: December 30, 2019, 06:17:36 PM
While this isn't fully Bitcoin related, I still did think that this topic did require some sort of conversation. Just as a note, I'm going to be posting this thread here and in the P&S section for maximum visibility. I do hope that's fine.

Here's the quick and simple summary of all of this: The US deficit is soaring in the Trump era, as it reached $984B in 2019. This was fueled by spending increases, and tax cuts.

But lets take a walk down memory lane, when Republicans used to care about spending and Democrats even went across the aisle to help out as well. In 2011, the GOP House of Rep pushed for a Balanced Budget Amendment -- pretty much forcing the government to have a balanced budget every year. Due to this, the Obama Administration tried to cut back back on spending and had done a good job at a certain point. There is a bit of leeway you have to give the Obama administration though, given that they controlled the executive during a time of a recession they obviously would have a higher deficit then most presidents.

Trump had even promised to fight the Debt and the Deficit, but nothing has come out of this. Trump rarely mentions it anymore, as it's a losing game for him. Republicans ignore it as they know going against Trump is political suicide -- and Democrats mention it here and there but it's not enough.

Both sides are hypocrites -- only caring about problems when the other side is causing it. Democrats only carea about deficits when Republicans are doing it, and Republicans only care about deficits when Democrats are doing it.

We shouldn't kick the can down any longer. We must focus on the deficit and the debt and focus on it now, instead of trying to focus on it when it's too late and the next generation is saddled with something that has spiraled too far out of control.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/25/us-deficit-hit-billion-marking-nearly-percent-increase-during-trump-era/
https://www.thebalance.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306
https://apnews.com/caeb6d6c4eff45e4bc5da12db06004bc
6  Other / Politics & Society / Trump organization revenues remain steady, while hotel revenues decline on: December 25, 2019, 11:05:08 PM
Was just doing a tad bit of news reading for the day and found this NY Times article on the current conditions at the Trump organization - profit and revenue and all that info. See article - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/25/us/politics/trump-businesses.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Pretty much just breaks down the fact that while a good deal of the hotels with Trumps name on it are falling in profit -- probably partially due to the protests that always occur outside of the buildings -- the office buildings that they own (without the Trump name) are doing AMAZING.

I know this is pretty much typical fluctuations in business. But front page of NY Times is the front page of NY times, so so be it.
7  Other / Politics & Society / FBI Ordered to Fix National Security Wiretaps after IG Report on: December 18, 2019, 02:56:56 PM
This doesn't typically happen, but the FISA court has come out with a statement regarding the wiretapping of Trump campaign and former campaign officials and they're saying that they had been misled by the FBI.

This never happens but here is the report - https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6600-fisa-court-demands-answers-fro/87f1132ddc399b0c99b1/optimized/full.pdf#page=1 - from the presiding FISA judge stating that the FBI had provided false information and had withheld information from FISA judges in order to get a warrant granted to wiretap Trump Campaign officials.

Here's some quotes from the above statement.

Quote
The frequency with which representations made by F.B.I. personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other F.B.I. applications is reliable -  Judge Collyer wrote.

The FBI responded by saying that their FBI Director (A Trump appointee) is taking appropriate action against those that had withheld information and provided false information and that they've implemented a 40 point corrective plan to fix this from happening again.

I doubt anything will really come out of this, but I guess we'll see. Just pretty crazy to see the FISA court come out like this, as they never do.
8  Economy / Services / Looking for web developer(s) for a few ecommerce websites of mine on: December 16, 2019, 04:36:17 AM
Hey there,

Currently looking for a developer(s) for some ecommerce websites that I manage. They're currently on wordpress, though I would truly like to move over to Shopify for one of the websites and to clean up the others.

Not too big of a fan of Wordpress, though I would be willing to stay for my other two websites that aren't big on ecommerce.

Pay is going to be competitive, something we'd be able to talk about over PM's on here or on telegram.

Do let me know if any of you guys are interested, I'd love to first extend this over to the bitcointalk community instead of having to deal with the scummy Upwork team.


Thanks!
9  Other / Politics & Society / Horowitz Report and FBI Abuse - WSJ on: December 10, 2019, 03:31:43 AM
The IG Horowitz report has finally come out. Here are some takeaways, I've sourced these from the WSJ and the reddit (Typically The_Donald, Politics, etc)

Here is some of the info that I gathered from the report. I'll start off with some of the info from The_Donald:

Page 196-FBI lies about corroborating Steele dossier info

FBI ignores glaring issues with dossier's credibility
AG Barr's statement
Page 414-Three teams assigned to the investigation all made "basic and fundamental errors"
Horowitz summary
Fusion GPS fuckery
Confidential human sources

Quote
Statement of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham
“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
Then you have the other side, the /r/politics subreddit:

Breaking: Dossier author Chris Steele had a meeting at Trump Tower, and maintains he was not biased against President Trump and in fact maintained a close friendship with a family member and was, if anything, “favourably disposed” to the Trumps. Extract from the OIG report here:


The full report. Here are excerpts of every single finding on political bias in the Executive Summary:

Page III. On Opening the Main Investigation.
We concluded that Priestap's exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision.

Page IV. On Opening Four Individual Investigations of Page, Manafort, Papadapoulous and Flynn.
We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations.

Page VI. On FISA of Carter Page
We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page.

Page XVII. On Usage of Confidential Human Sources and Undercover Employees.
Finally, we also found no documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivations influenced the FBI's decision to use CHSs or UCEs to interact with Trump campaign officials in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

And a Bonus on Page II. On Steele Dossier playing no role whatever in the Predication of the Investigation

These officials, though, did not become aware of Steele's election reporting until weeks laterand we therefore determined that Steele's reports played no role in the Crossfire Hurricane opening.

Emphatic rejection, on every single point, of the Barr/Trump conspiracy that the Russia investigation - or any aspect thereof - was politically biased or motivated.



I'll continue to add things here as we and other sources find them, I'm not going to make a conclusion here because there's a ton of info here.
10  Economy / Digital goods / Digital Ocean Credit on: December 08, 2019, 02:00:48 AM
Hey there,

Looking for $50 in Digital Ocean credits. Let me know!

Thanks.
11  Other / Politics & Society / [SERIOUS] How do we fix the College Admissions Process? A short list on: November 30, 2019, 05:03:54 PM
I know that we talk about this so much on here, so I'd love to talk about some concrete ways to fix the college admissions process. This is a process which leads to so many issues and is typically plagued by a lack of transparency and corruption. So here's my list:

1. Eliminate Rankings

Most colleges tout that they're the #1 in Forbes for this, or the #5 in US News Rankings for that and so on and so forth. But at the end of the day these rankings are just algorithms parsing through the hundreds of thousands of schools in the US. There's no reason that someone should rely on an atrbitrarily list like this to pick a college. There's also the issue that schools self report a good deal of information to these ranking sites, meaning that a new school is typically outed every year for inflating the reported numbers to the schools.

2. End Preferential Treatment for Legacy Applications

This isn't a problem in most schools, but in the IVY leagues -- you have a much better chance of being accepted to a school if your parent(s) were to have went their. Most schools say that they do this because it helps them with fundraising and alumni donations, but all this is a corrupt and nepotism filled way of not getting the most qualified person into the school. There's nothing that the government should do to end this, but people should be aware that schools are doing this.

3. End Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are stupid. I highly doubt that any college is going to pit you against another student and the last thing that they're going to try to see who has the leg up is a recommendation letter for a second. Think about how stupid that is: You've gotten someone that you know is willing to write a good letter about you write one, and that's the last mechanism as to see whos the better student?

That's simply not the case, these letters are without a doubt not even read and are useless in the process. Eliminate and let guidance counselors spend more time doing other things.

4. DRASTICALLY CHANGE THE ESSAY

In most schools, your college essay is going to be read by a good deal of people before it goes in front of the college admissions committee. You're going to send it to your English teacher, then a friend, then one of your parents friends, then back to your English teacher, and so on and so forth. Maybe if you're wealthy enough you're going to hire a tutor to write it or edit the essay for you as well.

The best way to change this process is to force students to have a set amount of time to write their essay. This isn't going to eliminate coaching and things along those lines, but it limits the amount of abuse and gets closer to hearing the students voice in an essay.

5. Maybe get rid of the ACT/SAT -- CONTROVERSIAL

This is a tough one, and I truly cant wait to see what the people think about this. But I do think that the ACT/SAT isn't a true measure of a persons intelligence, but it might be the best way to measure it and to standardize the process. So I'm unaware of what to fully do with this one.

I think that the people that do best on these tests are going to be people from upper class families who have the resources to get tutors and really prepare for the tests. Maybe these students are smarter, yes, but I don't think its fair to pit someone against someone else due to the $$$$ invested in tutors when that knowledge is just going to fly away once the test is done.

6. For Certain Schools Use a Lottery System -- CONTROVERSIAL

So in a good deal of very good schools, there's an issue where theres so many 'perfect' applicants applying that there simply isn't enough spots in the university to fill them. I'm going to go back to Harvard here.

They've stated that they have double the amount of applicants with 'perfect' scores then the amount of spots that they need to fill. I think a way to save time and money on this process is to have admission counselors go through their first or second round of looking at applicants past their scores and then using a lottery to pick the rest.

7. Alter the Tuition System

No one is paying the 'sticker price' for schools these days. So why do schools still advertise this price and then scare away potential students from even applying? We don't know.

Schools should post the price that most people are going to be paying and then go from their.


---------------------------

Obviously a good deal of these may be controversial, though I do want to see what people think on the matter.

Self mod because, yeah. I typically don't delete things, but we'll see how this goes.

EDIT: I THOUGHT I PUT THIS IN INITIALLY, BUT THESE POINTS ARE FROM - https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-fix-college-admissions-11575042980?mod=hp_featst_pos1 - Thanks for the catch.


12  Other / Meta / Getting Closer to the 1000 merit requirement for Legendary! on: November 28, 2019, 07:15:47 PM
I know this may not seem like a lot to many of you here as my account is pretty old. Though moving up does mean a lot to me, and shows that people truly like my pretty niche opinion and posts in the section that I stay in the most P&S -- that's literally the only section that I post in, and will most likely continue to post in forever. Every so often I move over to Bitcointalk discussion, or economics, or services or something along those lines but I'd say 97 percent or so of my posts stay in that one section.

But back to the point here, I'm going to use this thread as a countdown type of thing for me to get to 1000 and move onto legendary.

I hope no one takes this thread as a begging for merit, that's not what this is at all. If I wanted to peg I would only post in sections that I know get a good deal of merit, but I wouldn't love to post there. Which is why I continue to stay in my section, and reward people there as a merit source for posting within the section.

If you'd like to root for me or something along those lines, I'd love that. I truly love being apart of this community, and I can't wait to be here for the years to come.

Thank you all!

13  Other / Politics & Society / Vape Products Shouldn't be Banned on: November 28, 2019, 05:05:53 PM
We've all seen in the news in the US for the last couple months that all these different vape products and vape flavors are being put under increased scrutiny and being banned because of myths and misunderstandings put out by people.

This is while 480,000 people die annually due to cigarettes and only a handful of people have died from vape products -- which were illegally sourced THC concentrate vape products. Not even products such as JUUL, and other nicotine vape products.

Everyone and their mothers knows that its much safer to just use nicotine and nicotine products such as JUUL instead of smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes are beyond horrible for you. People are peddled this lie that JUUL might be worse for you then Cigs.

And the honest answer is we don't know yet as we don't know the long term effects. BUT -- if we already know that Cigs are horrible for you and we haven't had any issues with E-Cigs in their decade or so on the marketplace then I think I know which one we should go with.

Yes the Government should impose their regulations and their taxes on these products -- but come on guys lets fucking fix the problem of smoking and use E-Cigs to ease people off of Cigs instead of just pushing them back towards the worst legal product known to man.
14  Other / Politics & Society / Republicans are now feeling "The Obama Effect" on: November 07, 2019, 04:10:38 PM
Throughout the 2012 election, Obama had such a polarizing presidency that he had cost Democrats many governorships, many state legislatures, and many seats in the House and the Senate.

This election Republicans are starting to feel this same thing. The Trump presidency are pushing many suburban Republicans away from him, and towards Democrats down the ballot.

Look at the recent Mississippi governors race -- where in 2015 Republicans had won by 34 percent. This year they won it by about 5 percent. That's too close for comfort in a race which is typically a lock down Republican.

Or the fact that the Virginia state legislature has now flipped to Dem.

Take this point from the article I'm referencing:
This turnout trend has now continued for three Novembers, and Republicans who try to explain it away are fooling themselves. The GOP under Mr. Trump is losing more college-educated suburban voters, especially women, than it is gaining rural voters or working-class former Democrats.

Republicans have to start picking up college educated suburban voters again, or this is going to get very interesting come 2020.
15  Other / Politics & Society / Banks Telling Chuck Schumer : We Don't want Warren on: November 07, 2019, 12:55:05 AM
Just an article I saw the other day. Chuck Schumer is on his quest to take back the Senate and went to some of his friends on wall street to look for some money -- and he couldn't get anything.

The bankers told him that all of that money is going to be on hold until they see who the party picks for the Presidential nominee.

I dont like money in politics as much as the next guy, though I do think that this is WITHOUT A DOUBT going to hurt the chances of Dem senators taking over the Senate.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/wall-street-shuns-chuck-schumer-donation-requests-as-elizabeth-warren-surges.html

Lemme know what yall think.
16  Other / Politics & Society / BOMBSHELL: ABC News Killed Epstein-Clinton Story, Says Anchor In Hot Mic Video on: November 05, 2019, 06:51:17 PM
I've seen this all over twitter, and now on the Daily Wire. BUT NO OTHER NEWS SOURCE HAS WENT AFTER THIS.

No one, not a fucking news source in the world. Not the Conservatives at the WSJ, or the Liberals at CNN/NY Times/etc. While I know that Project Veritas is KNOWN to be a group that edits a large amount of their content, even if this is edited this isn't something you just say.

Epstein didn't kill himself, and people in the upper echelon of society were involved in his death.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/bombshell-abc-news-killed-epstein-clinton-story-says-anchor-in-hot-mic-video

I'm going to leave this one moderated just cause I hate the CryptoTalk spam here.
17  Other / Politics & Society / Turning off Power to Combat Wildfires will hurt one group: The Elderly on: October 31, 2019, 01:14:37 AM
While I do agree on broad terms that if its going to stop a wildfire, we should be shutting down the power in certain areas -- we still must understand the effects that this has on particular groups. This would help us to determine if shutting the power off is worth the risk.

On one hand, when wildfires happen the most endangered group are elederly people: The usually are the most isolated, have the hardest time getting out of a fire situation, and so on. Similarly, when you are to shut down the power to an elderly group -- they are at the highest risk for issues due to the fact that they heavily rely on medical devices such as ventilators and dialysis machines to stay healthy (relatively healthy)

If you want proof: All you have to do is look to the most common cause of death for 2017 Hurricane Irma, where the most common cause of death was from power outages which causes medical issues that were preexisting to go untreated.

If California is to continue to do this, they must be ready for the calls from elderly and be prepared to help

RAND CORPORATION - https://www.rand.org/blog/2019/10/turning-off-power-to-combat-wildfires-could-harm-the.html
18  Other / Politics & Society / Best way to combat the cartels: Legalization of Drugs on: October 24, 2019, 12:14:27 AM
I think this is pretty simple for people to understand, but the former Mexican president has fully supported the legalization of drugs across Mexico. This is ahead of a vote from the Mexican senate on if weed should be legalized countrywide. One of the biggest arguments to legalize weed is that it will choke off the cartels of one of their most vital profit making drugs.

This makes complete sense in Mexico and in the US.

Think about it simply: If the US legalized weed, then instead of drug dealers selling it illegally and buying their weed from who knows where -- people are going to go to the dispensary which is properly (and regularly) regulated by the state. Not only are they regulated and ensure that the weed isn't mixed with anything (very rare, but still) their is also another stream of tax revenue for the government.

But this isn't going to happen on the federal level in the US mostly because of business and other interests from the people listed below:

Police Unions
Correctional Officer Unions
For Profit Prisons AND REGULAR PRISONS
Big Pharma
Defense Lawyers
and so on.

These groups love the supply of people going to jail for marijuana and other non violent drug related crimes. That's what we have to fix in this country. What do we all think?

Article referenced: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/22/vicente-fox-legalizing-drugs-is-the-way-to-combat-cartels.html

19  Other / Politics & Society / Here's why the cost of gas is 40% higher in California on: October 23, 2019, 01:40:47 PM
If you live in California, the first thing I'd like to say to you is that I feel bad for you. California's weather is beautiful, yes, but the amount of taxes you're paying and the amount you're paying to live in California, through the absorbent COL is insane. I don't know how anyone does it. But back on the subject here.

The cost of 1 gallon of Gas in California is: $3.63
The national average for 1 gallon is: $2.60

Prices have surged in California (and some other Western states) due to issues with certain refineries and limited pipelines/refineries in the area. But this isn't an isolated incident, as gas prices in California are always higher then the rest of the US.

So why are there limited pipelines and refineries: Californians higher emission standards. It's a bottleneck.

But that's not something you'd hear from California Dems or their Governor, due to the fact that they dont want people to know that enacting their climate change policy is going to cause this.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/rising-california-gasoline-prices-highlight-growing-divide-in-u-s-11571832001?mod=hp_lead_pos5
20  Other / Politics & Society / Lebron James says Rocket GM wasn't informed about Hong Kong on: October 15, 2019, 03:46:52 PM
Pretty interesting stuff here, seems like we're seeing some backtrack from people in the NBA as an attempt to 'kiss and make up' with China in order to get 'good' relations back with China.

I don't see how a US company, the NBA, feels as if this is so much of a threat that they're willing to let look the other way on people getting LITERALLY killed in the streets due to fighting for their freedom.

But if you read a little bit more, you find the reason into why he did this.

James has a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, and China is the biggest source of growth for shoe companies. Nike recently announced its plans to release an apparel line based on the motto of James’s media company: “More Than an Athlete.”

Check it out: https://www.wsj.com/articles/lebron-james-says-tweet-supporting-hong-kong-protests-was-misinformed-11571107697?mod=hp_lead_pos9
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