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Bonam last won the day on September 9 2018

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  1. Despite wanting to reflexively blame westerners for this, most of the polluted river garbage in the third world comes from places like this: Slums built on the side of rivers where people dump their household, commercial, and industrial refuse directly into the water.
  2. This surprises people? I thought it was well known that almost all garbage enters the oceans from rivers and beaches in densely populated third world countries. How else do people figure so much garbage gets into the oceans? Falls off the side of boats? Flies in the wind from a landfill to the ocean? First world beaches: Third world beaches:
  3. At home: Significantly reduce immigration from majority Muslim nations. Replace the ideology of "multiculturalism" with the ideology of "assimilation" Abroad: It's out of our control. Wait for the Muslim world to grow up, maybe another 500 years or so (that's about how long it took Christianity to turn from murderous savages to marginally civilized, no reason to expect other religious groups to do it any faster).
  4. Meh, for every one attack by "far right" terrorists there are a hundred attacks by terrorists from groups that the "far left" is in love with and spends all their time covering for. It's "time to take on" anyone who is willing to kill for a cause, period. Doesn't matter what the cause is. If you believe deeply in something go write a blog, rather than murdering people.
  5. BC2004 is right that there are a lot of stats still showing America doing well compared to many countries. This is largely a result of the period from about 1945-2001, where the US was consistently #1 in many ways and built out a massive lead, which will take a long time to fully erode. However, over the last 20 years it does seem like US society is on the decline. I think there are several factors: Increasing ideological polarization (people view their political viewpoints as a matter of identity, and disagreeing political viewpoints as indicative of bad moral character) Echo chamber effect (primarily driven by social media), which self-reinforces the above polarization Increasing racial polarization (mostly driven by entities [including US individuals, companies, and foreign governments] who seek to inflame these tensions for their own gains) Political gridlock resulting from the above 3 factors, resulting in an ability to get even relatively uncontentious laws with broad support in the population passed Increasing costs to carry out any significant project resulting from an increasing pile up of regulation and litigation An increasingly large permanent underclass that is more and more disconnected from the productive economy I think some of the most cost effective things that could be done to address some of these issues are: Re-allocate some of the money that goes to the federal government to go directly to state and local governments instead (using some fair scheme, perhaps based on population). Local projects can then be debated and funded in a less contentious environment. This will reduce the extent to which local governments are reliant on property taxes, which causes massive disparity between neighborhoods based on property value. There's no reason state and local governments should be constantly trying to lobby the federal government for contributions to specific individual local infrastructure projects, instead, they should have direct access to a reasonable amount of money for this purpose. Review the curricula in the public and private education systems and add a significant emphasis on financial literacy, critical thinking, and the ability to independently fact check information. These are all extremely important in the modern world but not taught in school. It will help with reducing the permanent underclass as well as making people able to properly assess information whose sole purpose is to inflame tensions. Create a system where online information (including in social media) can be rated for its veracity in a pervasive way. Any random viral news story that shows up in a facebook feed (for example) should have an indicator beside it showing how truthful the information and headline is, according to a consensus of independent and informed entities whose incentives are aligned properly to prioritize truthfulness over spin or sensationalism. This will aid in reducing the echo chamber effect and ideological polarization. Care must be taken to avoid any such system being a propaganda arm of the government, it would have to be setup in a very careful way to ensure independence, balance across a variety of informed viewpoints, and credibility. Emphasize the opportunities available in "blue collar" jobs in the "trades". Many of these pay even higher than most white collar jobs, and yet the school system and culture under-emphasizes this option. The lack of skilled tradespeople also harms the overall economy and drives up the price and timeline of new projects. Many people in the permanent underclass, who are unable to go to college or even finish high school, could perhaps have been much more productive members of society if the option of learning a useful trade had been presented early. Perhaps create an education track where people who are interested in this path can begin to pursue it early, at the high school level. Facilitate easier access to banking for the "poor" so they don't have to rely on exploitative services like payday lenders. A very small government subsidy could make it profitable for mainstream commercial banks to properly serve this segment of the population with accounts and services that are as good as those that they offer to middle class clients. In combination with enhanced financial literacy in the education system, this would allow many people in the underclass to start to get a handle on their personal finances, which is the #1 thing they need to do to escape the underclass.
  6. People just don't want to have that many children. Biological evolution provides a sex drive, not a reproduction drive. Technology (birth control) de-couples the two. Many people in advanced countries are still dating, having not yet settled on a lifelong partner, when they are already past their prime child-bearing years. Probably the only way government can substantially raise birth rates is either through coercion (i.e. you have x kids or you pay massive penalties / go to jail) or through massive incentives (not just small incentives to make it less expensive, but huge ones that significantly outweigh other considerations). In the US/Canada, you'd probably need an incentive on order of about 10x the average yearly salary to significantly boost birth rates. $500k per child (maybe paid as $2300/month for 18 years) or so. Possibly still cheaper than the long term costs/effects of mass immigration or population collapse, though.
  7. Meh, they're all nobodies until they become President. Nothing new here. Just look at the contenders for the Republican nomination in 2016. A nomination season with lots of different candidates is better than a coronation of a candidate no one likes, anyway.
  8. Hmm when I was in school in Vancouver in the 90s, there was no O Canada, no pledges, no statements of any sort that were made on a daily basis. Maybe once every few months there would be a school-wide assembly where O Canada was sung. Students only had to stand and take off their hats, singing along was not required. Frankly if any school is forcing any songs or statements on a daily basis, that's not only government forced indoctrination but a mind-numbing waste of time. I don't care what the statement says. While this kind of crap might fly in Toronto, I don't think it would fly in Vancouver, where most of the population is sensible Asians that immigrated to Canada specifically to escape this kind of bs in their homelands. White guilt social justice types are already becoming a minority in BC by virtue of immigration, thankfully.
  9. Voting for "change" means nothing. Change can be any of a million things, in many different directions. Ask 10 people about what they would like to see changed and you'll get 20 different answers. There's two things that win votes in America: providing entertainment and controversy, which Trump excels at, and promising free stuff, which a Democrat challenger will likely try to do. She'd win in a landslide in liberal areas, and be rejected in a landslide everywhere else. Electoral map would look the same as always but probably even more starkly divided than usual. As for not being afraid to say what she thinks, of course she's not afraid, she's in a super safe seat for that kind of rhetoric.
  10. Meh, you overestimate people. Just like in ancient times, people just want bread and circuses. Trump is great at the circus part, at least.
  11. You were talking about "running a country". When it comes to family and friends, if they are talking about themselves, plans that we are making, or other things that they should have clear knowledge or controlling decision making power over, then sure I'll trust them. But if they are talking about politics, the latest "scientific study", or other things they may have heard or seen that they don't have direct knowledge or control over, I assume it's bullsh*t just as if I'd seen it on facebook. Whether I let them know of that fact or politely smile and nod depends on the person, of course.
  12. But the same people who whine about "male aggression" also whine about financial success and want to tear down the rich and successful, too. It is, at least, consistent.
  13. Agreed. The only way to show your honesty is to continue to be honest for long enough that the person who you are trying to convince of your honesty thoroughly establishes the fact of your honesty in their minds. And then, once they fully trust you, is when you betray them of course and move on to the next victim.
  14. Seems to be the case already. I assume 100% of information I casually hear/see is wrong and disregard most of it, while researching the veracity of the small subset which is of enough importance to warrant the time to do so.
  15. Image from the recent New Horizons flyby of Ultima Thule, the most remote object ever visited by a human spacecraft:
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