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paul beard
Lifelong learner and teacher
Lifelong learner and teacher

paul's posts

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The evolution of a medium…

24 hours left in the 30 days Trump promised to give "the generals" to get their plan to defeat ISIS to his desk.

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One for +Ivan Sorensen 

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Nicely put…

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Dear President Bannon,

Congratulations on your upgrade to Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of the Abyss. This tier of our eternal rewards program is reserved for customers of our Fraud department, including flatterers, adulterers, hypocrites, and thieves. And what a dedicated customer you have been.

We thank you for your use of our offerings, including Graft, Pandering, Deceit, and the Promotion of Discord. You earned your Fraud points through a surprising variety of purchases, ranging from tax evasion to promoting white supremacy.
This Eighth Circle upgrade may come as an honor, but not as a surprise. We’ve anticipated it for some time now, watching you rack up points. You’ve been a big fan of our Greed and Usury collections during your career at Goldman Sachs, and when evading nearly half a million dollars in taxes. You even impulse-bought one of our more obscure wares, False Coinage, by running a World of Warcraft gold farm that violated the game’s terms of service.
While Malebolge is one of our highest membership tiers, there is one higher. If you fulfill certain requirements, we would be delighted to upgrade you to Cocytus, the Ninth Circle. This lake of ice is reserved for our most honored guests, the traitors. Notable guests at this tier include Cain, Brutus, and Judas Iscariot. While policy prevents us from suggesting specific qualifying products in our Betrayal line, we are confident you will explore your options. 

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In light of this — To understand how these two items are related, ask yourself what information you get from accessing someone’s social media accounts, or by getting the passwords to their phone or accounts. — is it time to revisit this idea?

I will show how we can use this “metadata” to find key persons involved in terrorist groups operating within the Colonies at the present time.
Rest assured that we only collected metadata on these people, and no actual conversations were recorded or meetings transcribed. All I know is whether someone was a member of an organization or not. Surely this is but a small encroachment on the freedom of the Crown’s subjects.
[I]f a mere scribe such as I—one who knows nearly nothing—can use the very simplest of these methods to pick the name of a traitor like Paul Revere from those of two hundred and fifty four other men, using nothing but a list of memberships and a portable calculating engine, then just think what weapons we might wield in the defense of liberty one or two centuries from now.


Someone was asking me what "Trumpism" is. It's defined briefly in this article.

You need to read the last section, starting with "Given all of this".

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Sorting through the lumber room, I found this…

Consider Barack Obama:
• as the inheritor of a lot of policies and mechanisms he claims to oppose (like domestic surveillance or inequality): whether or not he does and what he could actually do about it is another discussion
• with his non-aggressive (not to say passive) disposition (see above, what he could do about it vs someone more confrontational)
• his political disadvantages (minority in the House, bizarre anti-productive rules in the Senate, passive to oppositional big media)
• huge military expenditures, including politicized defense expenditures for weapons that will never be used (we’re buying tanks? Why? Do we need a navy larger than the next several nations’ fleets combined? And why the F-35, other than contracts and jobs it represents?)
• a massive state surveillance operation of which we have no idea the real cost, and the yet to be weighed divisive social effects
• and the current economic morass with consolidation of power and wealth in every industry and the resulting inequality.

Who do you think of as a 20th Century political figure, given that description?

The connection with Russia wasn't something I could foresee in July 2013, but it does add a little savor to the brew. 

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You read this stuff in one organized timeline — a flag officer in the US military with close ties to the Russian government advising presidential candidate, all against a backdrop of hacking and strategic leaks, and you wonder if someone saw The Manchurian Candidate (the original) as a plan, not a movie. 

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The phrase bandied around after Trump’s Thursday night phone call with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping is “paper tiger.” James Zimmerman, the former head of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, told Reuters that Trump’s threatening to repudiate the one China policy and then backing down “confirmed to the world that he is a paper tiger . . . someone that seems threatening but is wholly ineffectual and unable to stomach a challenge.” The international affairs expert Shi Yanhong told The New York Times, “Trump lost his first fight with Xi and he will be looked at as a paper tiger,” while The Guardian headlined a piece about the call, “China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger.”


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For every million of people who don't have insurance, there are 1,000 people who die prematurely. For every million of people who don't have insurance, there are 1,000 people who die prematurely. The Affordable Care Act covers 22 million people. 22,000 premature deaths a year. These are people. This isn't ideology. These are people. To ignore that and say we want free markets and free choice? Free choice means death to a lot of people. It meant death to a young man who had what I had 40 years ago who didn't have insurance, didn't get a checkup and didn't have surgery. He's gone and I'm here, and that's not fair.

It doesn't make any sense, and to put somebody in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services that's inimical to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. This guy is a wrecking ball. He's not a secretary. He's going into this agency to destroy it. he wants to undercut and diminish and in some cases literally destroy some of the major underpinnings of providing health care to people in this country. None of us, if we were sitting in this body -- if somebody walked by me and was stricken by a heart attack on the one hand fell on the floor, I'd help him. Every one of us would help him. I suspect Dr. Price would help him. He would be the first one there. By these changes what we are doing is having people fall by our side and ignoring them in large scale across the country. And it's just as real as if it is happening right before our eyes.This is a vote of conscience for me. It's a vote about my state. I love those people. I know them. I started out as a legal services attorney in a small town in Maine. My first boy was born in that town in a little rural hospital that's struggling. I can't see – I can't stand by and see someone take over this department who's going to do harm. That's the medical creed, isn't it? Do no harm. That's the oath. But we're talking about harm to seniors, to children, to people with insurance who won't have it. We're talking about real harm, and that's why I come to the floor tonight to urge my colleagues to reject this nominee.

But they won't. And I hope those who lose a family member never let them forget it. 
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