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    1. Since it's the peak of tropical storm season again, this thread is open for all to share stories and thoughts about weather experiences. Not necessarily concerns about climate change, but the...

      Since it's the peak of tropical storm season again, this thread is open for all to share stories and thoughts about weather experiences. Not necessarily concerns about climate change, but the incidents you've had personally, and whatever you've learned about preparation, resilience, and recovery.

      I'm no longer a Florida resident, but my contacts are blowing up with concern over Hurricane Dorian.

      I've been watching the storm on this nifty site, which has great tools and visualisations to satisfy the most avid weather geeks.

      Dorian is likely to be another devastating, small-region, high-intensity buzzsaw, like last year's Hurricane Michael, which practically erased towns in the Florida panhandle, or the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. [I'm not really a good person - I'm having more than a little schadenfreude that Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is near the center of the storm's predicted path. But I'm not the only person who thought of that.]

      According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida has nearly $600 billion dollars of single family housing at risk from a Category 5 hurricane, leaving aside loss of life and injury.

      My stories, compressed for those who've read this before

      Some of my friends and colleagues have families still recovering from the impacts of 2017's Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria.

      While I had to deal with these storms' impacts to infrastructure professionally, the hurricanes didn't have enormous personal impact. I was mainly supporting friends or covering for colleagues struggling to help family in Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands. Our house was eight miles from the coast, so we only dealt with a downed tree and other cleanup, a few hours without power, and some blocked roads.

      Because I have dumb hobbies, the most extreme weather dangers I ever encountered were while kayaking and canoeing. Five years ago, I was on a guided ocean kayaking trip that ran into an unpredicted storm squall. Perfect blue skies and calm one minute; near darkness, huge waves, practically solid rain, and 40-knot winds the next. The party got scattered all over half a dozen of the 10,000 Islands. I struggled to get off the windward side of a long isle, so the wind banged my kayak into mangroves for an hour, then I was paddling furiously to avoid being swept into the Gulf of Mexico. But we all survived without major harm, the guide managed to reconnect us without calling for rescue, and we arrived at our destination with good stories. I can only imagine what it's like to be exposed to worse conditions in a hurricane.

      Up to that time, the most dangerous weather I'd run into was snow and ice storms. When I was a kid, the Blizzard of 1978 left my family stranded, without phones, power or heat, for five days. We had a fireplace, plenty of hardwood, and an ample store of dried and canned provisions, so it felt more like a rustic adventure than the dire situation it could have been. My brother and I thought 10-foot snowdrifts were the greatest fun ever - we spent more time outside than in, "helping" to dig out by making snow forts and tunnels with the neighbors' kids. Of course, it was followed with a spring of chores like putting up half a kilometer of snow fences, learning to drive a 40-hp farm tractor, and setting up a ham radio antenna and generator, as my city-raised parents had come to grasp what rural life really entailed.

      15 votes
    2. supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road. poll has been closed as the...

      ~supplementary condorcet voting poll, if you'd like to answer in more nuance and provide some data to compare against when i ask this question later on down the road.~ poll has been closed as the week i said it'd be open has elapsed. thanks folks, and of course feel free to continue replying to this thread,

      (foreigners are also welcome to chime in on who they'd vote for if they were eligible)


      it's still 200 days to the iowa caucuses, but since this election cycle began literally six months ago already and we already have one debate under the belt, we're probably far enough along in the primary at this point that at least some of the billion candidates trying to run for the coveted position of democratic nominee for president in 2020 are making an impact on you, and nobody has actually asked this on here recently, weirdly enough.

      i'll probably ask this question again in... i dunno, three months (so mid-october)? and see what changes between threads (if anything does).

      47 votes
    3. I think a Sovereign Fund is where Yang should move his focus to. Its a long-term approach that requires a focus. In 30 years the Norway fund has become the largest fund in the world The Norway...

      I think a Sovereign Fund is where Yang should move his focus to. Its a long-term approach that requires a focus. In 30 years the Norway fund has become the largest fund in the world

      The Norway Fund has been the receiver of all of Norway's Gas Taxes and Profits but has not paid out anything, so its only grown. But its intend purpose is to supply a form of a UBI (or subsidize Gov't tax revenues if the taxes were to ever fall short enough)

      To Fund it, in the US, we need the Gas tax to be quadrupled. Double ($1/gal) it to properly pay for road maintenance and to pay for properly funded and expanded metro development, Greener metro lines, bike lanes, double it again ($2) to pay for Wealth Funding

      This gas tax funding of $1/gal would contribute 175Billion in investments

      After 40 years the wealth Fund would provide $7 Trillion Annually to pay for a UBI for as long as the US were to want it. Without any additional tax revenue

      I think we can look at other jobs and industries where there is a boom and bust cycle, casinos, and where future income should be considered

      Mississippi Gambling Revenue and therefore taxes has fallen 31% in 2018 (tax revenue $234 million) vs 2008's (345 million) best year numbers.

      If Mississippi had contributed it's taxes to a Sovereign Wealth Fund instead of using it as a Substitute to Government taxes what would the effect have been.

      A year after gambling was Legalized in Mississippi, skipping the first years taxes, the state of Mississippi has received Gaming Taxes, Starting in 1994, a total of $6.3 Billion in tax revenues

      If those same taxes had been invested in a Wealth Fund its current value would be ~$29.6 Billion

      Of course this would have required Mississippi to create 6 Billion in alternate tax Revenues, and this is the stump speech Yang needs to create.

      Because in 5 years when Gaming Revenues have dropped another 50% its time for Mississippi to be ready, and in this case you're sitting on a $50 Billion Wealth Fund. That can pay out $4 billion a year to its 2.9million residents or fund the government services instead of deep cuts

      14 votes
    4. Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries? When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves...

      Shouldn't there be loud and clear opposing voice to Trump overstepping historical boundaries?

      When Trump declares emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE or when he approves secret nuclear power tech sales to Saudi Arabia

      When Trump urges US Fed to cut interest rates

      When Trump lifts sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and when Trump conceals face-to-face encounters with Putin

      20 votes
    5. So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate. The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail. From the NYT article:...

      So what I want to know is whether or not this is that unusual for someone in real estate.

      The discussion on r/politics is myopic and the discussion on /r/tax lacks detail.

      From the NYT article:

      The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

      Trump's statement/tweet:

      “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport,

      Now my very limited understanding of real estate and taxes is this:

      • You can depreciate the building but not the land
      • Depreciation can be carried over multiple years
      • When you sell property you can roll those proceeds into the purchase of another property, thus delaying income tax

      Are those accurate? If so, do they explain Trump's taxes?

      I'm thinking not (I suspect Russian money laundering is the real source of income). However, I have yet to read a good discussion of the specifics. Has anyone read such a discussion or have insight to add?

      Main story from NYT:
      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

      CNBC's article about Trump's response:
      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/trump-defends-tax-tactics-after-nyt-story-says-he-racked-up-more-than-1-billion-in-losses-it-was-sport.html

      EDIT: As an aside, I got into a wee bit of trouble because my wife's (very) small business lost money three years running. The accountant that I worked with informed me that if a business losses $ three years in a row, the IRS considers it a "hobby" and you can't subtract those losses from your personal taxes. Is that in play with Trump at all? If not, why not?

      EDIT2: I'm going to answer my own question I think. I heard a good segment on NPR yesterday that addressed my question. You can read the transcript here: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/08/721552462/president-trump-defends-himself-against-report-he-did-not-pay-taxes-for-8-years

      The bottom line is it's not so unusual but it doesn't exclude the possibility of him running his businesses poorly either. So I think it's not really what the headlines have made it out to be.

      14 votes
    6. In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst...

      In 2016, I was an ardent supporter of Bernie. But come the general, I voted 3rd party, because I was "Bernie or Bust." Many people accuse me of indirectly voting for Trump, allowing "the worst thing ever" to happen (esp since I'm in a swing state that went Trump). But here's the truth as I see it: Voting Democrat regardless of candidate, with their only qualification being "Not Trump," will only increase the USA's slide (deeper) into fascism.

      The reality I see is that even if Trump had never entered the 2016 race, 90%+ of the policy, judicial appointments, and everything else that he has done since being elected would be identical no matter which "R" candidate won the race, because all of these things are exactly what the GOP has been doing for decades. In that regard, I consider Trump more favorable than any other R candidate, because he is at least failing to do his "real" job: Hiding fascist, imperialist policy behind a charismatic smile and some clever words.

      Ultimately, this is the reason why I don't generally support Democrats either. Hillary's policy wouldn't have been as immediately destructive as the GOP agenda, but it also would not have stopped the march towards fascism. I voted my conscious in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. I just hope there are more people willing to do the same this time around.

      I like to picture that the government of the USA is digging a hole. With every shovelful, we're sliding ever closer to a fully authoritarian fascist regime, and the destruction of our planet. While Trump (and the GOP as a whole) has been calling in for backhoes and drills to speed the process....as far as I can tell, only two candidates in the 2020 primary are calling to stop the digging: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. At best, the other candidates are conveying messages akin to: "We need to compromise with the GOP and maybe slow down the rate at which we allow new backhoes to be brought to the pit."

      In my mind then, it makes more sense for 4 more years of Trump, than to allow another center-right candidate for his opposition. Because at least Trump isn't able to pull off the charismatic smile and/or intelligent language that the Regan's, Bush's, Clinton's, and Obama's of the world have that allow terrible things to continue behind a cloak of "incremental change." It wakes up those who would otherwise tolerate these horrendous acts, and perhaps inspires them to become more active. By allowing for the political discourse to end with "Anything is better than Trump", it just permits the overall platform to gradually, but continually shift to the right.

      And in my mind, it is the total death of real, dissenting voices in public discourse that is far, far worse than Trump winning another term could ever be.

      I would love to hear if anybody else in this community has had feelings akin to what I've described here, as I've only been described as "insane" by most of the people I've discussed this with in person.

      28 votes
    7. The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC. When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you...

      The one thing people didn't learn regarding Trump and is repeating itself with AOC.

      When you consider a politician stupid, it actually empowers them to be crafty. I think Trump would love for you to think he is stupid.

      When you constantly attack a politician, you actually give them more followers. It's strange, but the Streisand Effect is real, especially in this Internet era.

      The biggest weapon in someone's arsenal is to actually just talk about what they are for. Not attack their opponent and give them press. The rules have changed.

      5 votes
    8. In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7% England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5% The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of...

      In the US the tax rate on the bottom 78% of earners taxes was less than 7%

      England has a tax rate for the same income of 11.5%

      The top 6% (Avg Adjusted Gross income 514,000) paid $840 Billion of the income taxes

      The Bottom 49.1% (Earning less than 45k AGI) paid $97 Billion of taxes, but 27.4 Million Households filled for $66.7 Billion in EIC tax credits

      If the taxes on the bottom 78 percent were increased 6% to a level similar to England the USA could have universal health care

      The US Spends 3.4 Trillion on Healthcare.

      Just 5% of Americans Account for 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending. So taking away the top 5% means the US spends about 5,500 per person. More than UK, but with a long term approach we can tackle that.

      1. Saying no to covering all issues. See above. Total cost down to 1.8T

      2. Accepting a tax increase

      • Doubling the Medicare withholding will provide 500B
      • Down to 1.3T
      1. Reallocate state spending In 2015, state governments across the country spent a combined $605 billion on health care
      • Down to 700 Billion
      1. Increase taxes 6% across the board, like those of countries that provide healthcare. 600B in Funding
      • Down to 100 Billion
      1. 1/3 of expenses in 2017 was payable for hospital room rentals and 21% was to doctor's office billable hours
      • Increase utilization to make hospitals & Doctors more efficient so cost can be cut
      • 1% reduction in billable hours and room rates Down 100B
      • Adjust pricing based on cost savings
      • Repeat

      If the US had higher taxes for gas we could have a better Infastructure. Using rough math we in 2017 underfunded the highway dept about $21.5 billion

      • 40 Cents per Gallon vs 18.4 cents currently
      • 33 Cents vs 17.5 cents for Highway maintenance at fully funded for at least the next 5 years
        * 1 Cent vs 0.9 cents Gas Safety and storage. Round it up to a full penny better saftey funds for better clean up
        * 4 cents a new Green energy tax for Green projects
      • 2 Cent New Metro Projects tax

      $5.5 Billion annual funding for projects, plus using funding not going to covering the underfunded highway dept means who doesn't want to announce a 10 year $250 Billion Green Deal Project. Get States to match it 40/60 and its a $600 Billion Project

      $96 a person more and With this Major Cities can tackle major projects and Rural cities can apply for the Metro Funding. $1.5 Billion each state gets on average can be applied however but that's encouraging moving to a Green plan.

      The U.S. combined gas tax rate (State + Federal) is According to data from the OECD, is the second lowest (Mexico is the only country without a gas tax).

      The average gas tax rate among the 34 advanced economies is $2.62 per gallon. In fact, the U.S.’s gas tax a rate less than half of that of the next highest country, Canada, which has a rate of $1.25 per gallon.

      We want to have the European advanced economy of our peers but we arent wanting to pay for it

      26 votes
    9. First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV...

      First let me say that I long considered myself an independent until I realized I always voted Democrat a number of years ago because I find they best represent my interests, so that's my POV coming into this. I consider myself generally liberal on most issues with a few exceptions (gun rights, against college for all, etc)

      Some observations:

      • There was much there to please Republicans regarding the economy, etc
      • There was much there that I'm not sure will play well with Trump's base: economic programs for women in other countries (Ivanka's influence?), criminal justice reform, lots of praise and visuals of black Americans including several guests, seeming to waffle a bit on the "wall" - I think he reduced it to fencing, did I get that right?, he stated several times he was in favor of legal immigration (something his actions have indicated otherwise and his base seems to be against)
      • We're going to make peace with the Taliban - that was a jaw-dropping moment for me and I could tell from the reaction of the Rs in the crowd that it didn't play well with them
      • Democratic women wearing white - smart political move and I didn't catch they did it during his first speech
      • Pelosi was great to watch. Calm as a cucumber. She had several little subversive moments where instead of immediately sitting down after clapping she shuffled some papers or pretended to read something, sending a clear message of what she thought of POTUS' remarks
      • Trump's anti-immigration push still isn't focusing on any facts...sigh.
      • Russia investigation was only mentioned once or twice so he didn't succumb to temptation there
      • I thought this was by far his best and most presidential speech
      • The Rs at work were not impressed so I thought that was interesting

      Regarding Stacy Abrams' response:

      • I was totally disappointed
      • She completely lacked energy and I had a hard time following along because of it
      • Kennedy was 100x better in his response (even with the excessive lip balm)
      • I don't have much else to say...it was bland

      What did you think?

      EDIT: Forgot he announced we're back in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. And what was up with bringing in all of the Holocaust survivors and WWII vets? Was that a blatant appeal to the oldest members of his base or simply to recall the last "good" war the US fought?

      19 votes
    10. I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river,...

      I am a Russian and recently I started to really like the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. I searched for images of things mentioned in the song, like Blue Ridge mountains and Shenandoah river, and they do look pretty. Definitely somewhere I would like to hike. I've also heard that the local BBQ is good, which is relevant to my interests.

      At the same time, almost every time I see West Virginia mentioned on e.g. Reddit, there is always someone pointing out that WV is, for lack of a better term, a shithole. I've seen that occurring several times on several different subreddits. What is up with that? Is that just a thing where the people from one US state always feel the need to throw crap at other states? Are there economical reasons? Is it too conservative/racist/what-have-you?

      Just in case, I am not trying to start something, I am genuinely curious, how can one place be called “almost heaven” by one group of people and at the same called a “shithole” by another.

      35 votes
    11. I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it...

      I know that I might be opening a can of worms, so please allow me to start my post with a request to not create deep comment chains with back-and-forth unproductive discussion. Let's do it scientific-ish, and share our answers as top-level comments that expose our perception, thoughs and answer. If you disagree an answer, post a toplevel comment that exposes your view, instead of direct refutals to individual comments. I believe that's a more productive approach.

      The right-left distinction in US politics is quite different to what it is in other parts of the world. Your right wing politics supports free speech for example, which in most parts of the world is an oxymoron. Could you explain me which ideas and stances are classified as right wing and which left wing in the US politics? Please read the above request before responding, I really don't want to start a political flame war and would be sorry if this turned into such a thing and became a burden on the mod(s).

      20 votes
    12. I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong. The new jobs report is out: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm I consistently...

      I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong.

      The new jobs report is out:
      https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

      I consistently feel like the media just runs with the unemployment rate and ignores the other very important numbers. I think that the economy isn't really "booming" for ordinary Americans and I think that the numbers in the job report that aren't widely talked about are eye-opening.

      These numbers used to be talked about a LOT more immediately after the 2008 recessions and during the OWS protests.

      To be clear, I'm happy the stock market is up but I don't think it's "trickling" down all that much.

      Some examples:

      Long-term unemployed are not finding work:

      The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.4 million over the month; these individuals accounted for 22.9 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

      There are ~4.5 million people who are working part-time who want to work full time, and that number is rapidly growing with ~250,000 added since last quarter:

      The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 263,000 to 4.6 million in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

      More than 1.5 million American's gave up looking for work:

      In September, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

      20 votes
    13. For my mom's 80'th birthday we're spending a week in the place she grew up: New York City. We're going to spend some time wandering her old neighborhood and seeing how it's changed, and we'll do...

      For my mom's 80'th birthday we're spending a week in the place she grew up: New York City. We're going to spend some time wandering her old neighborhood and seeing how it's changed, and we'll do some of the touristy stuff since I haven't been to NYC since I was a kid. We have general plans about where we'll be, but a lot of open time to do whatever strikes us as cool.

      Tildestrians, is there anything you think really shouldn't be missed? We're going to Coney Island and the Museum of Natural History for sure, but if there's anything you think is amazing I'd love to hear about it.

      14 votes
    14. Sorry for the minor clickbait title Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's...

      Sorry for the minor clickbait title

      Let's talk about ISPs in USA. In my personal opinion, they do so much "bad" things to their clients, as opposed to, most noticeably, Europe (I guess it's because, (at least in my country, IDK about another European states) much bigger competition, even in village with 500 people, there are about 3-4 ISPs, but there are even more of them in bigger cities). They throttle websites (even before they destroyed Net Neutrality), they track that you use your network too much and throttle you because of it ("they may send you a warning for excessive internet usage and throttle your bandwidth for awhile.").

      Now, they track that you download/upload too much and/or pirate movies and can throttle your account, downgrade your account, or completely refuse to provide you any service.

      Why? Why are they allowed to do this? Why they can track users and throttle them just because they download too much (I've read article about it, downloading too much, ISPs slowing down internet for few hours, link soon) or they suspect you of pirating. How they dare intercept your packets, read them and throttle you because of this? Why is it wildly accepted as completely normal behaviour?

      And I could continue on things like them publicly buying votes to remove Net Neutrality from the way, and so on.

      I honestly do not know why so much people are OK with this. Could we start a discussion on this?


      Throttling because of piracy sources: 1 2 3 4
      Pre-NetNeutrality-End websites throttling: 1 2

      29 votes
    15. It's been about a decade since I had a vacation and I have a wedding to attend, so to kill two birds with one stone we will be traveling from Florida to New York by car. Me and my girlfriend of 7...

      It's been about a decade since I had a vacation and I have a wedding to attend, so to kill two birds with one stone we will be traveling from Florida to New York by car. Me and my girlfriend of 7 months will be taking the trip together and its both of our first times taking a vacation in forever.

      Aside from the more obvious stuff like toothbrushes, clothes and condoms (humble brag), what should I think about? After the wedding we'll have nearly a full week to do anything we want or go just about anywhere within reason/distance.

      Here's what I have covered so far:

      • Trip route is planned for there and (somewhat) back.
      • Car oil changed, tires replaced, cleaned & roadside assistance available 24/7.
      • Cat is taken care of, will be well fed and spied on via a security cam.
      • Got lots of good snacks for the road, small cooler with water etc.
      • Will be using airbnb or a somewhat affordable hotel most nights, we're not scraping by but we want to try and spend money on fun stuff instead of rooms.
      • Got plenty of phone charges, plugs, etc for all our electronics.
      • Got an emergency medical kit and a paper US map in the car (For fun, and just in case.)

      So any suggestions, anything I am missing? Anything I can do to make the trip more fun for me and my girlfriend? Any fun road trip things to do between FL to NY would be nice as well!

      13 votes
    16. This comes from an article in Current Affairs, which to be upfront is an openly leftist publication. I thought it was an interesting anecdote, especially with the news from a few weeks ago about...

      This comes from an article in Current Affairs, which to be upfront is an openly leftist publication. I thought it was an interesting anecdote, especially with the news from a few weeks ago about the woman in Boston begging for people not to call an ambulance for her because she wouldn't be able to afford it (which is also mentioned in the article).

      I was in a New York City diner two nights ago and something disturbing happened. It was about 2am, and a woman was sitting alone in the next booth. She was disheveled and possibly homeless, and looked unwell. She had been eating a plate of food, but then sprawled herself along the seat and fell asleep. Someone in the restaurant must have called 911, because an ambulance showed up. They parked directly in front of the entrance and left the flashing lights on, and through the large windows the lights filled the restaurant and were overwhelmingly dazzling. The two paramedics approached the woman and told her to sit up. She mumbled a refusal. They insisted. As she finally sat up, bleary, they told her she would need to leave with them and that she should pay her bill. She replied that she had no money. The paramedics became upset, one of them asking her why she would order food if she couldn’t pay for it, and telling her she’d need to pay before they left. While the paramedics stood issuing her instructions as she muttered and fumbled, a young man at the front of the restaurant quietly approached a server and paid her bill. He then told the paramedics he had paid for her. They looked vaguely annoyed, and told her she should be grateful that a stranger just paid for her. The woman did not seem to comprehend, and just made a noise. Then the paramedics took her out to the ambulance. In the hour or so I stayed in the restaurant, the ambulance didn’t leave, and kept its lights on.

      Here’s why I was disturbed: the paramedics did not act like health professionals. They acted like cops. At first, I thought they were cops. Their uniform was similar, and the dazzling flashing lights were like police lights, and had the same bewildering effect. They were more concerned with whether the woman had paid her debts than whether she was okay. They had very clear contempt for her, treating her as a nuisance who was bothering restaurant patrons and needed to be removed. She wasn’t actually bothering anyone, of course; I was sitting in the next booth and had barely noticed her, and there were plenty of spare booths in the diner. But the paramedics were aggressive and unsympathetic in the way that many cops are. Incidents like the one I saw must happen constantly all across the country: homeless people and drug addicts (I don’t know whether the woman was intoxicated or on drugs, though it seemed somewhat likely) not being cared for with compassion, but being “policed” even by those who are supposed to be selflessly devoted to the improvement of health. The flashing lights were totally unnecessary, and made the whole diner feel like a police raid. And, of course, how typical of America that the issue of whether you can pay the bill is more important than whether you will live or die.

      What do you think of this? If you've had an experience with emergency medical services, how did it compare?

      11 votes
    17. I am not American but it seems to me that it is an incredibly broken system that 7 judges can essentially halt an entire country's progress. They decided that corporations have rights like a...

      I am not American but it seems to me that it is an incredibly broken system that 7 judges can essentially halt an entire country's progress. They decided that corporations have rights like a person, they can decide if gay marriage is legal, they can decide basically anything if they wanted as I understand it.

      So why does this even exist? Surely such gigantic decisions should be left to a parliament or something.

      19 votes
    18. The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries....

      The USA in particular has one of the lowest voter turnouts and the lowest registration levels of most developed countries.

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/21/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/

      In 2016 only 61% of eligible citizens voted and only 70% were registered.

      https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-580.html

      And that was a good year.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout#Trends_of_decreasing_turnout_since_the_1980s

      10 votes
    19. One of the more looming stories over the American political climate these days that takes over pretty much everything else is the special investigation into the Trump campaign and potential...

      One of the more looming stories over the American political climate these days that takes over pretty much everything else is the special investigation into the Trump campaign and potential collusion with Russian attempts to influence the US presidential election of 2016. There is a lot of information in the public domain about this story, including most recently Mueller seeking a revision of Paul Manafort's home confinement release after alleging that Manafort attempted to contact potential witnesses to conceal evidence relating to the various charges he faces.

      You can find a decent overview of most of the publicly available information on the related wikipedia page.

      So let's try to wrangle with all that public information. Please list, vet, and weigh the evidence you think is most important when it comes to the Special Investigation of the Trump campaign. Does it look like collusion with Russian electioneering happened or is this story mostly about finding incidental crimes of sloppy political first timers? What role do you think Russia played or tried to play in the 2016 election based on this publicly available evidence? What evidence would you like to see before making a judgment?

      26 votes
    20. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is stepping down, and there are rumors he intends to run for office and possibly the presidency. A frequent Trump critic, he would presumably be running as a Democrat...

      Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is stepping down, and there are rumors he intends to run for office and possibly the presidency. A frequent Trump critic, he would presumably be running as a Democrat if he entered the 2020 race. He seems to be staking out a position in the center of the party, criticizing the idea of a government jobs program or single-payer healthcare.

      Would you vote for him in a primary or general election? Does America need another businessman (albeit a successful one) president? How economically progressive should the Democrat's candidate be? Discuss.

      8 votes