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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#21361 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2024-January-31, 10:28

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
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#21362 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-January-31, 20:42

View Postkenberg, on 2024-January-20, 12:06, said:

We have to take the world as it is, and see what we can do. I suggest, for starters, that an argument for banning menthol cigs should be based on general issues of health instead of on the fact that Blacks choose menthol more often than Whites.

As I understand it, menthol cigarettes are being banned because they slipped through the 2009 ban on all flavoured cigarettes due to the politics (ie donations) of that time. So from the FDA perspective, this ban is long overdue. The FDA believe that the flavouring, including menthol, increases addictiveness and makes the cigarettes easier to get started on, making them ideal for getting new (usually young) users into the cycle of addiction.

The fact that tobacco companies systematically and aggressively target black communities for their menthol cigarette marketing is a separate issue and one that the FDA (and NAACP) are choosing to highlight. This is not the same thing as the ban being because of the targeting of blacks, although I daresay right-leaning media will choose to present it that way. It would be wise for independent and left-leaning voters to stick with the facts rather than buying into such spin and spreading it as truth.
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#21363 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-January-31, 20:56

In reply to Possum:
In that case: 1) Vote Biden 2) expatriate 3) Commit insurrection
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21364 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 03:55

View PostGilithin, on 2024-January-31, 20:42, said:

The fact that tobacco companies systematically and aggressively target black communities for their menthol cigarette marketing is a separate issue and one that the FDA (and NAACP) are choosing to highlight. This is not the same thing as the ban being because of the targeting of blacks, although I daresay right-leaning media will choose to present it that way. It would be wise for independent and left-leaning voters to stick with the facts rather than buying into such spin and spreading it as truth.

As I understand it, the ban is not intentionally targeted at the black community. But the argument being made to postpone the ban is that it unfairly impacts the black community, because menthol cigarettes have long been marketed to blacks and are more popular among them.

None of this makes sense if you think about it logically, since taking away their cigarettes is actually a health benefit for them, and marginalized communities are usually at the low end of the healthcare spectrum. But except for children, cigarette smoking is considered a right in the US, so this is viewed as curtailing the rights of black people to smoke their preferred type of cigarette.

#21365 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 11:33

View Postbarmar, on 2024-February-01, 03:55, said:

As I understand it, the ban is not intentionally targeted at the black community. But the argument being made to postpone the ban is that it unfairly impacts the black community, because menthol cigarettes have long been marketed to blacks and are more popular among them.

Yes, this is true of the original flavoured cigarette legislation. The reason that menthol cigarettes escaped the ban in 2009 was due to resistance from a portion of the black caucus, who were in many cases relying heavily on funding from the tobacco sector. I hinted at this in the previous message without being explicit about it.
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#21366 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 15:56

View PostGilithin, on 2024-January-31, 20:42, said:

As I understand it, menthol cigarettes are being banned because they slipped through the 2009 ban on all flavoured cigarettes due to the politics (ie donations) of that time. So from the FDA perspective, this ban is long overdue. The FDA believe that the flavouring, including menthol, increases addictiveness and makes the cigarettes easier to get started on, making them ideal for getting new (usually young) users into the cycle of addiction.

The fact that tobacco companies systematically and aggressively target black communities for their menthol cigarette marketing is a separate issue and one that the FDA (and NAACP) are choosing to highlight. This is not the same thing as the ban being because of the targeting of blacks, although I daresay right-leaning media will choose to present it that way. It would be wise for independent and left-leaning voters to stick with the facts rather than buying into such spin and spreading it as truth.


Politics generally and donations specifically are always part of the story. But another aspect occurs to me. I started smoking around 1954. Kool menthol cigarettes were available then and had been for some time To the best of my recollection, other flavors such as chocolate cigarettes or strawberry cigarettes, or whatever, were not available. So I think the following is reasonable: The FDA decided they had to do something about cigarettes but they were not up for a total ban. I can imagine a conclusion such as "Ok, we can't get support for a total ban but we should be able to put through a ban on this new trend of suckering people in with all of these flavored cigarettes". Maybe they should have done more but I have know people who would have fought back hard against a total ban regardless of how warranted it would be for health reasons. So maybe they did what they thought they could do then and now think they can push it further.

I don't know, maybe I could have bought chocolate-flavored cigarettes in 1954, but if so I was unaware of it. Cigs and menthol cigs go way way back. Other flavors are more recent. I think they decided to start by forbidding the new variants. Maybe that's cowardly, or maybe it was the best they thought that they could do. I dunno.
Ken
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#21367 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 16:19

View Postkenberg, on 2024-February-01, 15:56, said:

Politics generally and donations specifically are always part of the story. But another aspect occurs to me. I started smoking around 1954. Kool menthol cigarettes were available then and had been for some time To the best of my recollection, other flavors such as chocolate cigarettes or strawberry cigarettes, or whatever, were not available. So I think the following is reasonable: The FDA decided they had to do something about cigarettes but they were not up for a total ban. I can imagine a conclusion such as "Ok, we can't get support for a total ban but we should be able to put through a ban on this new trend of suckering people in with all of these flavored cigarettes". Maybe they should have done more but I have know people who would have fought back hard against a total ban regardless of how warranted it would be for health reasons. So maybe they did what they thought they could do then and now think they can push it further.

I don't know, maybe I could have bought chocolate-flavored cigarettes in 1954, but if so I was unaware of it. Cigs and menthol cigs go way way back. Other flavors are more recent. I think they decided to start by forbidding the new variants. Maybe that's cowardly, or maybe it was the best they thought that they could do. I dunno.


You are discussing this in a historical context, but (at least in Europe) it is a current issue.
Adolescents are being targeted to vape nicotine with a range of flavours that remind them of the sweets they grew up on (and thus seem similarly innocuous).
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#21368 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 17:49

View Postpescetom, on 2024-February-01, 16:19, said:

You are discussing this in a historical context, but (at least in Europe) it is a current issue.
Adolescents are being targeted to vape nicotine with a range of flavours that remind them of the sweets they grew up on (and thus seem similarly innocuous).


Definitely depends where you live. Smoking rates by country.
Non legit hoc
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#21369 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 19:53

View Postkenberg, on 2024-February-01, 15:56, said:

So I think the following is reasonable: The FDA decided they had to do something about cigarettes but they were not up for a total ban.

I can but point you towards this 2008 NYT article. It is possible the NYT and other media of the day got it all wrong but it seems to me more likely that it is accurate, particularly as clove cigarettes were banned whereas menthol, which are functionally almost identical, were not. The only significant difference between these products is that menthol cigarettes are produced in the USA and clove cigarettes are mostly imported. This led to Indonesia bringing a multi-year international $55 million WTO lawsuit that the US effectively lost. What, if anything, the US ended up paying out is unknown but the US did agree to drop all challenges to Indonesia's mineral export restrictions as part of the settlement. That's a lot of effort to help out the US tobacco industry (or more specifically Marlboro, the legislation used to be referred to as the Marlboro Monopoly Act) if you want to believe it was a pure health decision from the FDA and no political cash was involved.
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#21370 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 19:55

View Postpescetom, on 2024-February-01, 16:19, said:

You are discussing this in a historical context, but (at least in Europe) it is a current issue.
Adolescents are being targeted to vape nicotine with a range of flavours that remind them of the sweets they grew up on (and thus seem similarly innocuous).


I do not mean to dismiss the present. Absolutely adolescents are targeted, as they were. I would collect my pay for setting pins in the bowling alley and put the coins into the machine to buy cigs, In theory you had to be 18 to buy cigs. I was 14 or 15 and no one said a word as I bought them.

Me being me, I start by blaming myself for this stupidity. My father had a stroke when I was 13 and the doctor told him if he wanted to go on living he should quit smoking. He did and lived for 25 more years. Why on earth I started when I was 14 or 15 defies explanation. Yeah, we were targeted, but no one put a gun to our heads and told us we must smoke. Really stupid.

Anyway, I am just fine with restricting smoking and the more it can be restricted the better. But it would help if people would use some sense.
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#21371 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2024-February-01, 21:51

A bit off topic, but this conversation brings back a lot of memories:

Both my mom and my dad smoked when I was young, but my dad quit cold when he was forty.

"When I had to smoke three cigarettes before breakfast," he explained, "I knew it was time to quit."

But my mom could never kick the habit and died of a stroke at 77, ten years before my dad. She was a professional musician, and her smoking took quite a toll on her singing voice. As the oldest kid in our family, I have the best recollection of how she sounded when she was 28 compared to when she was 48. She was still great on the piano and organ, but her singing range was constricted and lower and her voice raspy.

Because I had a few asthma attacks from age 8 to about 13, I never had the urge to take up smoking tobacco. But my wife Constance did start smoking as a teen and continued until she was 29, three months before we married. Because of my mom's experience, I wasn't sure that Constance would succeed at quitting, and I resolved not to pressure her to quit. She actually planned when and how she would quit a year in advance and she did pull that off according to her plan. She says the fact that we planned to start a family provided the motivation. But for quite a while there were situations where she'd feel the urge to light up. Powerful stuff.
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#21372 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-02, 08:09

View PostPassedOut, on 2024-February-01, 21:51, said:

A bit off topic, but this conversation brings back a lot of memories:

Both my mom and my dad smoked when I was young, but my dad quit cold when he was forty.

"When I had to smoke three cigarettes before breakfast," he explained, "I knew it was time to quit."

But my mom could never kick the habit and died of a stroke at 77, ten years before my dad. She was a professional musician, and her smoking took quite a toll on her singing voice. As the oldest kid in our family, I have the best recollection of how she sounded when she was 28 compared to when she was 48. She was still great on the piano and organ, but her singing range was constricted and lower and her voice raspy.

Because I had a few asthma attacks from age 8 to about 13, I never had the urge to take up smoking tobacco. But my wife Constance did start smoking as a teen and continued until she was 29, three months before we married. Because of my mom's experience, I wasn't sure that Constance would succeed at quitting, and I resolved not to pressure her to quit. She actually planned when and how she would quit a year in advance and she did pull that off according to her plan. She says the fact that we planned to start a family provided the motivation. But for quite a while there were situations where she'd feel the urge to light up. Powerful stuff.


I know what you mean about 0ff-topic, I felt the same about my post, but there is a way that I think that it is very on-topic. How do we come to the views that we hold? Logic? That's part of it, I hope. But for me I am certain it is not all of it. Early experiences count for a lot.

It is almost impossible to see how a normal person could support Trump. But many do. If we are to survive this we need to ask ourselves, and we need to keep a very open mind, how this could happen. I think there are some answers and we need to find them.



Ken
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#21373 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-02, 19:42

I'm hallucinating. It must be.

As mentioned before, I often watch PBS Newshour. Did I hear tonight that there is now a theory that the NFL is plotting to have the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bow. so that Taylor Swift and her KC Chief boyfriend will have a fantastic opportunity to garner votes for Joe Biden?

I misheard this, right? Either I am hallucinating or this country has reached a state of ludicrous madness.
Ken
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#21374 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2024-February-02, 20:24

View Postkenberg, on 2024-February-02, 19:42, said:

I'm hallucinating. It must be.

As mentioned before, I often watch PBS Newshour. Did I hear tonight that there is now a theory that the NFL is plotting to have the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bow. so that Taylor Swift and her KC Chief boyfriend will have a fantastic opportunity to garner votes for Joe Biden?

I misheard this, right? Either I am hallucinating or this country has reached a state of ludicrous madness.


You heard right. Fox Propaganda Channel and other right fringe media are running around with their hair on fire because.... because... because... Taylor Swift encouraged her fans to vote, or if not registered to vote, to register in a number of Instagram posts starting last fall. And her fans, mostly young, turned out by the tens of thousands to register to vote.

Of course, younger Americans have a dismal record of registering to vote, and actually voting in elections. I can see how Fox Propaganda thinks that encouraging people to vote is unAmerican since most younger people would for Democrats.

Of course, Fox Propaganda has no problem if megastars 😂 Kid Rock (?), or Jon Voight (???) campaign for Trump and other right fringe politicians.
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#21375 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2024-February-03, 02:35

Taylor Swift is obviously a radical left communist vote-rigger out to destroy the USA and make everyone slave to swamp dwelling woke elites.
After all, her name is an anagram for floaty wrist which proves it.
Non legit hoc
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#21376 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-03, 07:31

So I guess that Kansas City did not really beat Baltimore last week. It's all a commie plot. Clearly the Ravens won, but the scores were deliberately miscounted. Got it.

Added: There is always a chance to learn something new. Before yesterday I would have said that I did not know any lyrics from any Taylor Swift song. But on the Newshour David Brooks, of all people, mentioned one of his favorites:

Did you hear my covert narcissism, I disguise as altruism
Like some kind of congressman

Ok. a bit of a beat to it. And I now know a little of Taylor Swift. Clearly a commie.

I am, well almost I am, at a loss for words.
Ken
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#21377 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-February-03, 12:48

View Postpilowsky, on 2024-February-03, 02:35, said:

Taylor Swift is obviously a radical left communist vote-rigger out to destroy the USA and make everyone slave to swamp dwelling woke elites.
After all, her name is an anagram for floaty wrist which proves it.

Worse, "Taylor Swift dates Travis Kelce" is obviously a secret code for "A dirty trick steals West FLA vote". Coincidence? I think not!!!
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#21378 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2024-February-06, 19:43

I would be unsurprised after this unanimous ruling by the appellate court concerning presidential immunity from prosecution that the SCOTUS denies cert.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21379 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-February-06, 20:56

View PostWinstonm, on 2024-February-06, 19:43, said:

I would be unsurprised after this unanimous ruling by the appellate court concerning presidential immunity from prosecution that the SCOTUS denies cert.

I am confident SCOTUS will not grant anything remotely like full Presidential immunity because that would in theory allow a future POTUS to assassinate every SCJ upon getting elected and replace them with political appointees. What I think they will do instead is give him a pass on the 14th Amendment and pretend that means they are following the Law rather than playing politics.
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#21380 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2024-February-07, 11:06

View PostGilithin, on 2024-February-06, 20:56, said:

I am confident SCOTUS will not grant anything remotely like full Presidential immunity because that would in theory allow a future POTUS to assassinate every SCJ upon getting elected and replace them with political appointees. What I think they will do instead is give him a pass on the 14th Amendment and pretend that means they are following the Law rather than playing politics.


I no longer have confidence in anything.

There is, or was, a bi-partisan bill in the Senate to address problems at the border. The arguments now being given for blocking this bill are totally incoherent. Well, incoherent logically. But the thinking seems to be that if this bill were to become law then some border problems could be somewhat addressed, but border problems are good for Trump's run for re-election, so Republicans should block any attempt to ease these problems. So: block any action, then run on the fact that there has been no action. The truly frightening part is that this could be an effective strategy.

Not only have aliens landed, they have taken power.
Ken
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