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  • Do you know what the most hilarious thing about TR is? It's that there are people who flip out whenever you suggest punishing anyone for anything, on a fucking message board with a written bill of rights, democratic control of the administration, and an almost universal right of appeal. lol

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Messages - Testy Calibrate

3
And this has ...  what to do with ... whose "head rolling"  ?  :dunno:

Or is this now the official Dave Hawkins Mindlessly Rebroadcasts The Latest From The Conservative Play Pen thread?
This is "ever hopeful Dave" hoping that the Darwin debased Minds here will one day wake up and realize how stupid they have been in their assessment of Donald Trump.
My assessment of Donald Trump is capable of allowing that he may not be a total failure in everything he touches. Particularly regarding Korea.  That doesn't make him anything like a good thing. Also, all you've done is posted an infographic with a hypothesis.
4
And this has ...  what to do with ... whose "head rolling"  ?  :dunno:

Or is this now the official Dave Hawkins Mindlessly Rebroadcasts The Latest From The Conservative Play Pen thread?
How great trump is.
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https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

I posted this in another thread because I couldn't find this one.

Sorry, Anyway, this is truly disturbing.
7
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

Jesus this is disturbing.

BTW, I thought there was a Peter Theil omnibus thread but I couldn't find it. If a mod wants to move this there, that would be good.
8
Huh?
Don't you worry your little head over it, dave.

Have you figured out yet that "Peoples_Pundit" lied to you?
That you're rebroadcasting Fake News like the useful idiot that you are?
no. It appears to me that Trump and Fox News have been pretty much right all along.
lol. of course it does.
10
Ok, so Google news makes it hard to get the relevant links,  but apparently someone shot 2 cops through a window in a restaurant in Florida. The cops would not release any info on the motive saying how the story needed to be about the "heroes" who died. That was yesterday I think.  Today, NBC runs a OP ed saying police are being demonized.

Gotta say, tigers don't have their stripes painted on them by gazelles. When you act like a demon, people will tend to think that you are a demon.
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Yes, like those.
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It's cops that make me understand vader's choice to accept the dark side.
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Okay let me back up. Yes I am too lazy to read the indictment myself. I appreciate those who read it for me and give me the cliff notes. Were or were not manafort and Gates indicted for doing work for Donald Trump? That was the interesting part of that tweet to me.
Really?
Up till now you thought they were indicted "for doing work for Donald Trump"?
Why did you think that?

no kidding. Because, if they had been, your continued support of Trump while you assumed that is pretty clearly based on not evidence.
14
Getting back to Rick B ... My analysis of his post is that he is typical of many males - doesn't have a very good "radar" to be able to detect where people are actually coming from.  I've found that in general women have better radar than men.  I have struggled with this issue in the past myself and have had to work to develop a better "radar."
Dave, you have literally no idea where anyone else is coming from.  You only know if they believe what you want them to believe and even then you don't usually get that right.
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Anyway,  people don't need heroes.
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Andreus: sad is the land that has no heroes.
Galileo: sad is the land that needs a hero.

~Brecht
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Killing ice agents is morally acceptable
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i do not get this "trump is remaking the GOP in his image" shit, near everything he's actually done is basic ass republican shit.
he's making them admit that though
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A little bit of comfort is highly underrated in this modern culture.
21
Politics and Current Events / Re: liberty U: whoah
whoops. part the third:
Quote
Chris Gaumer taught English courses both on campus and online at Liberty after getting his bachelor's degree on campus in 2006. The difference between the two forms of teaching was startling, he told me. As an online instructor, he said, he was not expected to engage in the delivery of any actual educational content. That was all prepared separately by L.U.O.'s team of course designers and editors, who assemble curriculums and videotaped lectures by other Liberty professors. This leaves little for the instructor to do in the courses, which typically run eight weeks. "As professor, you show up and your job is to handle emails and grade," Gaumer said. This helps explain why the instructors -- the roughly 2,400 adjuncts scattered around the country, plus the Liberty professors who agree to teach online courses on the side -- are willing to take on the task for what's long been the going rate for the job: $2,100 per course. (Falwell Jr. said it will soon go up to $2,700.)

Until recently, the course designers and editors, a team of about 30 people, worked out of the old Thomas Road Baptist Church -- the congregation moved out of the former bottling plant years earlier -- in a concrete room that got so cold in winter that they sometimes kept scarves and hats on. For editors, starting pay is now around $11 per hour. As L.U.O. boomed in size, they became so overwhelmed by the challenge of shaping hundreds of courses that L.U.O. decided in 2015 to focus designers and editors on the hundred or so highest-enrollment courses per term, leaving the maintenance of the remaining hundreds of courses up to the instructors themselves. One former editor recalled having a professor send a syllabus along with, essentially, an apology for throwing something together at the last minute.

Gaumer, who now works at Randolph College in Lynchburg, said the steep drop-off in quality from the traditional college to the online courses was both openly acknowledged among Liberty faculty and not fully reckoned with. The reason was plain, he said: Everyone knew that L.U.O. was subsidizing the physical university. "The motivation behind the growth seems to be almost entirely economic, because it's not as if the education is getting any better," he said.

Falwell acknowledged that Liberty's faculty initially resisted the rise of the online program, fearing the degradation of academic standards. "The big victory was finding a way to tame the faculty," he said. But he disputed that there was any great difference in quality. For one thing, he said, the university made sure that all of its online instructors "adhere to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, our doctrinal statement." Physical distance was a challenge, he said, but online instructors overcame it by making an extra effort to reach out. "They spend a lot more time taking a personal interest in the students," he said.

One of the 65,000 students who enrolled with L.U.O. in 2013 was Megan Hart, a woman from New Jersey with unflaggingly high spirits. Hart, who is in her 40s, started her working life at the glass company where her father worked, too, until he was laid off. From there, Hart made her way into education, teaching communications at the local community college and the local prison. Adjunct courses at the college paid just $525 per credit, netting her only about $5,000 per semester, so she got a low-level administrative job there, too.

Her first marriage, to the father of her daughter, ended in divorce. In January 2012, her second husband suddenly vanished. Hart and her daughter, then 9 years old, lost their home shortly afterward, and she filed for bankruptcy. She and her daughter moved into her parents' basement and got by with donations from her local Assemblies of God church, where she was active. In 2013, she signed up to take three courses at L.U.O. that would provide her with a certificate in communications, allowing her to become a full-time instructor at the community college, which would reimburse her L.U.O. tuition.

Hart, who had a master's in communications and leadership through Pat Robertson's Regent University, chose L.U.O. because of its affordability and Christian cachet. But in her years of teaching and taking courses, she said, she had never seen anything as flimsy as what L.U.O. passed off in its supposedly graduate-level courses. She had little interaction with the instructor, and the questions for the midterm and final exams were so arbitrary that it seemed to Hart as if they had been randomly generated by a computer program. She spent the open-book exams wildly flipping back and forth through the textbook and course materials trying to find the relevant passages. It was, she wrote to L.U.O. officials later, like "looking for Waldo."

When she wrote the instructor for the second class to ask about the test, he responded: "As to exam question, I have no clue how the final is run." He said he'd get back to her. He ended his note, "Do remember that God is in control and he works all things for our good."

When Hart emailed the instructor for her third course, which had a closed-book exam, she confirmed Hart's suspicions: "The exam questions are random." Hart got good grades in the first two courses but was increasingly convinced she was paying for a meaningless experience. She sent an email outlining her concerns to the instructor and an L.U.O. academic mentor, adding that she might quit the third course. "We will certainly take your input very seriously," the mentor responded. "May the Lord bless you richly in your studies and future endeavors."

Finally, Hart told the officials that she was withdrawing from the third course, even though she had been informed that she would still have to pay 25 percent of the cost. "My spirit has been so sick over what I have experienced," she wrote. In late 2013, she filed a complaint with a little-known government agency called the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which oversees the state's colleges.

Between 2009 and summer 2017, L.U.O. students filed 49 complaints with the council, more than for any other institution in the state. For some, the problem was administrative bungling -- L.U.O. registered them for the wrong class, or required a class it turned out they didn't need, and so on. For some, it was endless technical or logistical troubles that kept them from being able to submit their assignments or get textbooks. For others, it was disputes about tuition and financial aid that left them feeling as if L.U.O. was demanding more money than was fair, and withholding their transcripts until they paid up.

Several complainants said they were particularly taken aback by their L.U.O. experiences because of Liberty's religious underpinnings. "I just expected that Liberty University being a Christian university," they'd be more helpful, wrote a complainant who went to prison and then became homeless after a stint enrolled in L.U.O. He had been seeking to have his transcript released despite his still having a balance at L.U.O., so that he could resume his education elsewhere; Liberty responded by recommending homeless shelters. "Liberty's motto is they are a Christian school that is training champions for Christ and they are the light of the world," another student wrote six years ago. "That motto needs to be revised."

The anodyne responses the students received from L.U.O. were frequently glossed with Christian bromides. To a student whose financial aid was suspended in 2015 after the student failed a course because the textbook didn't arrive in time, an instructor sent "quiz tips that may help" that included "Eat a healthy meal before taking your quiz" and "Pray before beginning each quiz!" Other L.U.O. responses included language errors so extreme that they bordered on confusing: One administrator wrote in 2014 about a complainant's having submitted work that "appeared to have been copied from an unsighted source," while a professor responded to a student in 2012 that "no other acceptions will be made."

Other students were left simply to flounder, contrary to Falwell's claims of close attention from distant instructors. Lydia Terry-Dominelli, who lives in a suburb of Albany, N.Y., signed up with Liberty in 2013, when it looked as if she and her husband were headed for divorce and she was worrying about how she could support herself and her 9-year-old daughter. She decided to get her teacher's certification and chose Liberty partly because she was an observant Anglican. "I was ready for something that had some kind of value system," she told me.

In 2015, Terry-Dominelli failed a graduate-level education course when, she said, one of the assignments she submitted vanished from Blackboard, the online system used by Liberty. After twice failing a writing course and puzzling over what she was doing wrong, she asked the course instructor for an explanation. He wrote back to suggest that she might do better if she found a "new work space" like the local library. After she assured him that her apartment sufficed and the conversation continued, he wrote: "I wonder if you can't find a great prayer group through L.U.O.?"

Terry-Dominelli struggled further with confusing assignments in another graduate-level education course. She was starting to feel helpless over the lack of guidance. "I have prayed very hard, and what I keep being told is I am in the wrong place," she wrote to the education instructor in late October of 2015.

"Bless your heart. I am so sorry," the instructor responded. "I will join you in prayer for you to have wisdom and discernment."

In early 2016, Terry-Dominelli was unable to access online the spring-semester courses she had registered for. She took it as a final sign and left Liberty, just a few courses short of the master's degree she had borrowed more than $20,000 to pay for. In August 2016, having failed to establish a decent income, she moved back in with her husband. Lacking certification, she took a part-time job as an aide at a local elementary school. Unable to afford the loans she'd taken out, she filed for help under the U.S. Department of Education's Borrower Defense program, which is intended for students who have incurred student debt after being misled by higher-education programs. (Her application is still pending.)

She also filed a complaint with the Virginia agency: "I feel that I was being pushed out of the program and I need to know why," she had written to one of her professors. The agency declined to take action, finding no clear violations by Liberty. "What's killing me is that I went into this program to try to change my situation," she told me, "and I'm worse off than I was at the beginning."

The Trump-Falwell bond has if anything grown even stronger in recent months. In October, Falwell Jr. told Breitbart News that Trump could "be the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln" and urged an evangelical army to rise up against the "fake Republicans" standing in his way. In December, he joined Trump in promoting Roy Moore's Senate candidacy, quoting the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in a tweet on the eve of Election Day: "AL voters are too smart to let the media & Estab Repubs & Dems tell them how to vote. I hope the spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd is alive/well in AL. 'A southern man don't need them around anyhow & Watergate does not bother me, does your conscience bother you, tell me true?' " In late February, he joined in on Trump's mau-mauing of Jeff Sessions, calling the attorney general a "coward" in a tweet for his handling of the Russia investigation.

But on campus, Falwell has proved a more divisive leader than his father. In May 2016, conflict over his pro-Trump stance prompted the resignation of the chairman of the university board of trustees' executive committee, Mark DeMoss, whose father was a major donor to the university. DeMoss previously told The Washington Post that "the bullying tactics of personal insult have no defense -- and certainly not for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ." It also prompted students on campus, including Wahl and Forbes, to gather hundreds of signatures in opposition to Trump following the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape. After Falwell's support for Trump following Charlottesville, several Liberty graduates mailed back their degrees in protest. One protester was Laura Honnol, a banking officer in Lubbock, Tex., who attended from 2003 to 2007. "There's been a huge climate shift from Falwell Senior to Falwell Junior," she told me. "You felt like you disagreed with Senior, but he had good intentions and just didn't do it right sometimes. But Junior came along, and it's become more of a profit machine and a numbers machine."

The Trump connection is not without risk for Falwell. Some people who worked for L.U.O. in late 2016 and early 2017 blamed it for a dip in applications at the time and said the decline led to an April 2017 leadership overhaul and the departure of many employees. Falwell told me that Liberty has deliberately brought online enrollment down to around 85,000, explaining that "we wanted to make sure we kept the student quality at a certain standard." And he said that his alliance with Trump has only helped the university: "For every student we lost because of political concerns, we picked up two or three inquiries who support us because of that political stand."

A relationship with Trump could benefit Falwell Jr. and Liberty in other ways too. One of the top orders of business for Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has been to roll back Obama-era regulations on online-degree providers. She named a former official from for-profit DeVry University to lead the D.O.E. unit that polices fraud in higher education. Claims for student-debt relief under the Borrower Defense program are being considered at a far slower rate under DeVos, who is delaying by two years an Obama rule that would make it easier to file debt-relief claims. And DeVos is expected shortly to roll back several key regulations geared toward online providers: ones giving states regulatory powers over distance-learning programs, establishing clear standards for a credit-hour and requiring "regular and substantive" interactions between online instructors and students. Falwell told me that Liberty officials have had a major hand in some of DeVos's actions: "A lot of what we sent them is actually what got implemented," he said.


After the convocation on the first weekend in November, I met with Dustin Wahl in Liberty's student center, overlooking the campus quad. He said that the unbridled success of the online program couldn't help putting him in mind of the profit-seeking tradition within American Christianity, which is closely aligned with evangelical Christianity's prosperity gospel -- the notion that financial success, far from distracting us from the higher values, is an affirmation of godliness. Wahl told me he'd frequently heard people justify the school's new wealth in these terms. "A lot of people just talk about it generally, how God has blessed us," he said.

Falwell rejects such prosperity-gospel talk. "I'm not going to tell you that we've done better because we're better people," he told me. "What I will say is that we've always operated from a business perspective. We've treated it like a business." And that's what first drew him to Trump, he said: the kinship of one businessman to another. "I thought to myself, if there's one thing this country needs, it's exactly the methods we employed at Liberty to save the school and make it prosper, and that's just basic business principles."

As I sat with Wahl, the spoils of that prosperity were visible all around us: not just gleaming new buildings like the $50 million library with its robotic book-retrieval system, but also, up the mountain, a $7 million "Snowflex Centre," with a polymer surface for year-round skiing -- the only one of its kind at any university in the country. Elsewhere, the university is completing a $3 million shooting range. But, Wahl said, once you knew about the thousands of people far from Lynchburg who funded this splendor, it was hard to take your mind off them, and off the faith with which they signed up for L.U.O. "You get a phone call," he said, "and it's God telling you, 'I'll give you an education.' "

When we spoke before my visit, Wahl raved about the campus: "It's beautiful," he said. Then he added: "And it's funded by the online program that's sold to people who can't really afford college."
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Politics and Current Events / Re: liberty U: whoah
2nd half
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Politics and Current Events / liberty U: whoah
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/magazine/how-liberty-university-built-a-billion-dollar-empire-online.html
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
super long article so I am splitting into 2 posts but interesting
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I totally sympathize with your point of view, and I really do agree he seems a lot nicer than some popes.

But what kind of bugged me is that attitudes of the religious organisation of which he is the head had kind of upset the poor kid in the first place. He was 6, and he was afraid his dad was in hell.

I am of an age now where I get to see about as many funerals as I see weddings in what is still a pretty Catholic country, and I cannot tell you how often I have had to listen to wizened nasty little gnomes warning grieving relatives that they better stick with the church if they want to see them again. During a goddamn funeral mass. There seems to be a machine in this country somewhere that turns out angry hobbits dressed in vestments. There are loads of nice ones too, mind. But good lord it feels like you meet that particular type a lot if you live in a catholic country.

I would have whole-heartedly applauded his performance here of he hadn't included the rider about baptizing his children. Even with it, it is so much nicer than it used to be. I appreciate the way he is even letting nice atheists into heaven these days. The CC is slowly, SLOOOOOWLY starting to shed some of their awful baggage.

But he did include it. And those priests at those funerals I sit through do say those petty, nasty, smallminded things. It doesn't bother me much personally, but it does bother people I know and care about. And I live in a country where the CC is pretty much unavoidable: almost no non-catholic schools, so my agnostic daughter goes to a Catholic one. Funerals happen in churches. Weddings do. Young kids do confirmation and so on. Etc etc etc.

I think the CC could be so much nicer. I think it would be so much better for them: both priests and believers could be so much happier if they could just focus on the joys of faith rather than on areas that clearly conflict with the modern ethos as most people, in this country at least, see it.

I am not so much cynical as I am frustrated, I think. That should absolutely not blind me to what is good and nice and so on, I totally agree with you there. But on the other hand, it is not like THAT much is being asked of these guys either. No-one is asking them to stop believing in God, or to believe that God wants them to live a certain way. It would just be nice if they could stop being jerks in the name of their religion to other people. And sometimes it feels a little bit like they get a round of applause whenever they almost completely fail to be a jerk to other people.
Ireland?