The Coffee Party Agenda

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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markabaddon
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby markabaddon » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:43 am

Barber, go it. And yes, I think McConnell is a particularly slimy sonuvabitch. Boehner, however, is just as despicable (while not nice, I did like the crack one Dem had asking how it felt to have the first orange-skinned Speaker of the House, referring to Boehner's horrible tan)

SWP, Ah-nold would never be elected to any national position within the Repub party, as he would not pass their purity test. He is fine with same sex marriages, and holds some environmental friendly viewpoints. Never fly in a Rove controlled party
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:07 pm

Arnold shows a libertarian streak...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40086114/ns ... _politics/

No one cares if you smoke a joint or not.

No one cares except for the alchohol and tobacco industries and the Bible thumpers of course.

The ironies abound. Many law enforcement groups supported Prop 19. They know best of all what a monstrous waste of resources it is to lock up pot smokers (half a million last year). Most of the sellers and growers opposed it. While it's illegal it's a sellers market. Why cut into the profits?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:38 pm

Suggested plank: any citizen will be allowed to opt out of the benefits of any social program, receive a rebate from their payroll taxes, & simply pay as they go.

A half-hour down the road is a very nice blue-collar resort, Maple Lake. If you have a cabin on Maple Lake, you're asked to pay into the costs associated with maintaining a fire department for the area. There's not even social pressure for you to pay. If you decline, & your cabin burns, the trucks will show up, & the firefighters will dutifully hose down the cabins of the paid-up residents all around you. That has happened only a few times in my lifetime, but people remember, & almost all contribute their annual fee.

Naturally, it's impossible to parse out everything that taxes go to help, but I'm thinking it'd be an important lesson to many in simple civic involvement, especially at the local level. I could get back my few dollars of road-repair money, but the neighbors might have some complaints about a lack of funds to fix the road in front of our houses. Insurance companies would start to refuse coverage to home owners who neglected to support fire & police.

Well, it's a fantasy.

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swp
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby swp » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:50 pm

Anthony Ravenscroft wrote:Suggested plank: any citizen will be allowed to opt out of the benefits of any social program, receive a rebate from their payroll taxes, & simply pay as they go.
what about payments they have already made into a system in which they do not wish to participate? would they get a refund of all monies paid in to date? to be clear, I am only speaking about payments made involuntarily into social programs as mandated by (then) current law.

would people (I didn't say citizens here on purpose) be allowed to collect from any of these social programs if they have never contributed to them? would there be age restrictions of any kind, both for contributing and receiving benefits?

and of course the big question: how would the baby boom, or any baby boom over long periods of time, be calculated into the system to avoid the problems we have now from an aging population?

and most importantly, when am I going to stop fearing starting sentences with a capital letter?
swp

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:53 pm

Hm. Well, no refunds, anyway.

Now that I think a bit, maybe a "vesting" period. This would serve two purposes; first, to keep people from writing a hasty check when they see trouble cruising down their personal road, & secondly to bring home the lesson that members of a society invest in it.

I swiped this idea in greatly different form from some real efforts about 20 years ago. If you're a skier, you know there are plenty of high-risk slopes. A bunch of skiers proposed that the worst should be declared no rescue zones in order to keep goofballs off, or at least support Darwinian evolution. If I remember the motivating incident correctly, two idiots decided to take on a high-risk slope, & met with catastrophe. In the resulting resue, one died... along with six brave rescuers.

A cornerstone of Jeffersonian democracy is to lift up those in need. What I propose generally is that Society should save its resources for those who want AND need aid, not wetbrains who get a syphilitic giggle from taking risks -- have fun, & send a postcard if you live. I don't want to exclude those who CAN'T contribute, but the ones who WON'T should be allowed to maximize their vaunted Freedom.

People who think businesses should be freed from nasty stuff like environmental regs should be allowed to live next door to Superfund sites. People who feel the need for ever more prisons should be allowed to live next door to 'em.

I think we should have some sort of socialized medical system, & anyone who wants can opt out, including their under-18 kids. The system could freely turn them away for pre-existing conditions & such, or charge maximal rates because (as they say) the Free Market is always right. They could get a few extra dollars a paycheck, & find they no longer qualify for benefits of the unemployment system, Social Security, & disability. They can always recant publicly, then start to pay in, & reap the benefits thereof, like retiring on $100/month -- heck, their families can care for 'em, right?

While this would initially drag down the fund pools for the rest, it shouldn't take long before the idiocy level has literally died down a bit, & at least it'd take a whole bunch of Rightist "red meat" issues off the table.

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FrankChurch
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:40 pm

Tax breaks for green energy companies, not the big guys who want to control it like General Electric.

Localism as the new normal. No strip malls, civic virtue, kill the chain stores, buy organic, local, American.

Control capital flows. Especially for speculation. A special tax for not creating jobs.

Keep out more China and Indonesian junk with tariff hikes. Protect our infant industries.

Mandate more art and culture in schools. Teach parenting--how much it costs, will it cramp ones lifestyle and the like.

Spend MORE money on public radio/television. Have a government cable station--one for the left, one for the right.

A small tax on stock transactions.

Usury laws.

Get rid of the weak Senate.

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:24 pm

How about actually supporting small businesses? The current system (like SBA) is heavily biased toward "small" businesses that're poised for world dominance, NOT mom-&-pop startups.

The current definitions the SBA uses have "small" meaning up to 1,500 employees, with gross annual receipts up to $35.5 million --
http://www.sba.gov/contractingopportunities/officials/size/summaryofssi/index.html

This sucks. How about redirecting the program to focus primarily on (a) startups, with (b) fewer than 100 employees, & (c) gross receipts under $1.5 million. My intent with that would be to target aid to local services & to stuff-makers who will sell to a national or world audience & thus bring cash & stability to their region. One of the few such successes I can name offhand is Belden -- you've likely got at least one of their products within reach, & they've had a longterm commitment to supporting their inner-city base.

Also, let's kick the crap out of megacorp-friendly intellectual property rules. The old standard was that you took out a patent & had 18 years to maximise profit -- after that, it was public domain. Given the vaunted "Internet minute," I could make a case to knock that back to a decade at most. I hate to appear xenophobic, but that "public domain" could be restricted to U.S. companies & individuals for the full 18 -- basically, we paid for it, so we should have an advantage.

The USPTO is hopelessly clogged. I'm surprised more megacorps haven't squealed about this, but I suspect they're happy since it gives them an edge over startups -- what garage inventor can afford to press a patent claim for years?

And trademark needs to be revised. A few years back, it was established that megacorps don't need to prove that a vague infringement is going to impact them in any way, so (for instance) Perfume Bay got sued blue by eBay, McDonald's has bankrupted well-established restaurants owned by people named McDonald, & Starbucks hammers one-off shops for "unfair competition":
http://consumerist.com/2007/11/starbucks-to-sue-small-michigan-coffee-shop-for-trademark-infringement.html

I see the Coffee Party as being pro-business, but also anti-trust, & certainly NOT willing to support trust-building with tax money. YMMV.

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FrankChurch
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:45 pm

Nobody is against business. What I support is an agrarian market.

What we have forgotten is Government created corporations. They have to be chartered by the states to exist.

-----------

Fact of the day: Did you know more Hospitals sue patients then patients suing hospitals? Charity hospitals charge double the insurance rate to poor people then send lawyers to kill their credit or garnish their wages. We give these hospitals tax free status and subsidy but they aren't required to give charity service. The IRS cannot investigate them.

This is why conservatives love tort reform. They want corporations to rule.

cynic
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby cynic » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:17 am

:shock: :roll: :lol:
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:16 pm

Mike, care to explain.

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:24 am

The "tort reform" meme is most often out of the same... er, mouths that rant about the evil "trial lawyers."

Here's a tort reform idea I swiped from a Libertarian friend. Anyone who brings a huge lawsuit claiming damages should be prevented by law from settling for less than (say) 10% of the initial claim. That will cut back on ninnies who sue for like $50 million then get a "nuisance suit" settlement of $50,000 to go away & let the whole mess be sealed. Attorneys will have to exercise more caution about the silly cases they undertake.

Everyone likes to cite the woman who beat McDonald's over hot coffee. Overlooked is that her burns were so severe she underwent skin grafts.

But then there's handgun companies sued for getting shot by the cops. Or the burglar who got paid for his injuries after falling through a skylight he was trying to enter. Or the idiot who thought his van's cruise control was autopilot & took a nap. Or the clothing company that lost after a moron strapped a few of their belts together to haul his refrigerator.

The only way to deal with those suits is to codify common sense, not to penalize the entire system.

Ever noticed how "trial lawyers" are A-OK so long as they're working for corporations...?

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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Moderator » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:32 am

Therein lies a chief frustration for me with the current political climate. People are repeating memes and sound bites whcih are not accurate assessments of reality. And yet when you try to deal with these people with facts and figures, they dismiss such things as irrelevant. From Bush tax cuts to healthcare reform to financial reform, people actually end up defending positions which work against themselves.

(Classic example was the guy who told me that if the rich didn't get their portion of the tax cuts extension, then none of us should get them.)

I'm beginning to see that our only response needs to be "gloves off".
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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NeonMosfet
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby NeonMosfet » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:03 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:Steve

The stupidity clause isn't workable. Too much like a poll tax. What acceptions are made for those whose IQ clearly puts them below "normal". And do we disinfranchise the mentally disabled and those who are mentally ill?

Otherwise, I'm more than willing to run on this platform. You really should think about running for some sort of office yourself. You may not have the money, but you clearly have the grasp of both the government and the governed it would take to make this nation great again!

Lori
It also might demand a literacy test, both in English, and the reading of coffee grounds.
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:07 am

Per my previous gripe about recent changes in IP rules:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11837939

What -- they're worried about losing market share?

(Just recently, it's started to dawn on users of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, & that ilk that these sites are EXCELLENT tools for skip-tracers, creditors, & employers -- & FREE to boot. Maybe "utter failure to protect one's privacy" should be a strike against getting a Coffee Party endorsement, being unconscionably stupid, or at least a symptom thereof.)

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FrankChurch
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Re: The Coffee Party Agenda

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:18 pm

Watch out, Barber may be in the CIA.

You still for literacy tests Steven?


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