Friday Open Thread

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

–Bertrand Russell

60 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    Soft on crime Denver County jurors sentence Dexter Lewis to life.
    At least we can trust jurors in Arapahoe County to be tough and do the right thing. Oh, wait.

    • BlueCat says:

      Looks like the death penalty is not going to be a viable option in Colorado anymore. Time to join the rest of the civilized world and take take execution by the state off the table.

      • ZMulls says:

        Yep.  Among the most contentious issues will be whether abolition will apply to the three people currently on death row.  If it's wrong, it's wrong across the board; and, the crimes committed by Holmes and Lewis were more severe and horrific in scope and brutality than those committed by any of the people currently on death row.  If Hickenlooper truly wanted to lead on this issue, he ought to start by commuting those sentences to life in prison without parole.  This would pave the way for legislation to repeal the death penalty by removing that objection from the table.


  2. Progressicat says:

    A response in another thread reminded me of a site that I really like.  They have a model "political compass" that relies not only on our traditional understanding of political positioning as "left" and "right" (economic philosophy) but also on degrees of authoritarianism and libertarianism.  Their iconochasms quiz is fun too.

    Here's what I look like, as an example:



  3. Davie says:

    I'm continuing the trend upward and to the right I guess smiley

  4. ZMulls says:

    I'll bring it back.  -9.75, -9.54.

  5. Andrew Carnegie says:

    psst…Don't tell anybody.

    personalised chart

    It looks like I am the closest person to being normal on this site.

    • ZMulls says:

      As The Dude said, "That's just, like, your opinion, man…"

    • Progressicat says:

      That's great!  Unfortunately, it means you'll have to stop referring to Democratic leaders as "socialists" since you're more lefty than them…

      • Davie says:

        That chart, by comparison, would appear to place Herr A.H. roughly in RINO territory.

        • BlueCat says:

          Not even. You have to be lot farther right than that even to be a RINO . Heck, you have to be farther right than that to be the supposedly most liberal president in our history, Obama, according to real righties. Which makes AC so extremely liberal by his own standards I don't know how he lives with himself.

          Funny how the rest of us seem to be located in the expected neighborhoods judging from our expressed opinions. We hopeless "libs" seem to be a pretty honest self aware bunch. And I love how this totally justifies my long time assessment of the Democratic party, that those in office are almost all center right, including Obama.

          The definition of center has become so distorted that there really isn't any left wing to speak of among elected Dems. A few somewhat to the left of center but hardly a wing's worth. Take all Dem members of congress and the President and all the Republican members of congress and you get an elected government that ranges from center to far to wacko right with a handful of center left exceptions and even fewer true left exceptions, Obama, HRC and others accused of radical liberalism by Republicans certainly not among those exceptions. 

          The whole "extremists on both sides" mantra is revealed for the nonsense it's always been. Obama should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for all those years he spent throwing fellow centrist Dems under the "extremists on both sides" bus to pander to the Republicans who, en masse, had sworn never to support anything he supported, whether it would be good for the country or not from before his inauguration.

          Poor, poor AC. He'd have to go farther right just to be "normal" for an elected Dem. How ironic that if he shares my dislike for HRC it's most likely because she's too far right for him.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      I think you've mistaken normal for middle…where you 'll find the vast majority of road-kill.


    • Davie says:

      AC, so basically, that means you don't have any strongly held beliefs.  Which probably explains your ability to post the nonsense you do, and let the criticism and ridicule roll off your back, since you aren't personally invested in the content of your own postings.

      Which is useful for being a troll

    • exlurker19 says:

      You are the farthest person from normal on this site.  You might be the most banal and middle of the road person on this site.  Or you read the  questions wrong–that's my theory.

    • BlueCat says:

      First normal is simply statistically average. Here in the US it's "normal" to know who the Kardashians are but not who your state legislators are. Second… how embarrassing. You're not even a real rightie, not even a tiny bit over to right of center, yet you obviously aspire to being one. You parrot all the talking points, push all the cartoons, support all those far rightie Republicans who at least are honest enough that they appear where you'd expect them to on the graphic PCat provided. 

      You're even to the left of most of the "lefty" political figures you rail against. You can't even be honest with yourself, much less us. Good thing you don't use your real name, right?  What a huge hypocrite and fraud you are. At least with Tank he is what he says he is.

  6. Wong21fr says:

    Gettin' close to the middle.

  7. MapMaker says:

    I'm surprised (but not really) that  most of the politicians listed are in the Authoritarian quadrant. Probably goes with the territory. The politicians chart needs to be re-computed – Mike Gravel?

    personalised chart

    And of course, the origin of the chart is shifted. It should be at -5.38, -6.05 cool



    • Progressicat says:

      That chart is the 2008 election chart (they do a number of those).  The 2012 chart puts Obama more firmly in the upper right quadrant.

      • MapMaker says:

        I saw that, eventually. The other interesting thing is the microscopic difference between Obama's and Romney's ratings. The FAQ is a very good read. Checking out the authors that represent the various quadrants helps give meaning to wherever you, or someone else, landed.

        Also, that iconochasms quiz was humbling. I need to pay more attention.

  8. Denver Yankee says:


    Your Political Compass

    Economic Left/Right: -5.0
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

    personalised chart

  9. davebarnes says:

    In interesting, but non-Colorado news: New Hampshire is full of Commies.
    1. 60% of voters in the state support a policy that sets a goal of producing 50% of America's energy needs from renewable sources by 2030
    2. 57% of voters think funding for public schools needs to be increased
    3. 85% support background checks on all gun purchases
    4. 71% of voters support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour

  10. mamajama55 says:

    This explains some things about my employment history…..


    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I turned out as expected. Fiscal conservative on the issues that matter; libertarian conservative on the social stuff. Funny that I'm more of a conservative than A.C.

      • BlueCat says:

        So far AC is the only one whose results don't make any sense. Not surprised that yours do.

      • MapMaker says:

        CHB, come on, show us the score !-}

        So far we've only had people falling in the third quadrant. Are you saying you landed in the 4th?

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          I was in a hurry and did not save the scores. Yes, I was slightly into the 4th quad, I think. 

          • BlueCat says:

            You think? I'm disappointed CHB. If it wasn't blatantly obvious then you're not as conservative as you think you are.devil

          • MapMaker says:

            CHB, thanks. I was feeling a bit frisky last night, didn't mean to put you on the spot.

            So far, no one who uses this blog has claimed to fall into the positive side of the Authoritarian axis. Just all our politicians.

            • BlueCat says:

              The fourth quadrant is libertarian and right, 1 is authoritarian left, 2 authoritarian right (think Stalin and Hitler). 3 would be libertarian left and 4 would be libertarian right. In this context libertarian is set up as opposite authoritarian.

              I've seen others where libertarian is set up as opposite communitarian with the typical lib/progressive in the communitarian/left quadrant. I personally think that makes more sense.

              • MapMaker says:

                It goes counter-clockwise. Positive – Positive or Authoritarian – Right is quadrant 1. Quad 2 is Authoritarian – Left, y positive and x negative.

                There are lots of quibbles with this quiz, but I think that, in a broad sense, it at least groups together people who think about the same. At least as far as the small sample we have here.

                • BlueCat says:

                  In any case upper left is authoritarian left, lower right is libertarian right, etc.

                  I think it groups pretty well too but I think libertarian/communitarian is a more meaningful axis with libertarian standing for an emphasis on pay your own way individualism with maximum privatization and communitarianism standing for emphasis on shared responsibility and benefit via public enterprises such as public education and healthcare and regulation to protect the general health, safety and security.

                  I also don't think most libertarians would be very happy if they really did have to pay their own way for everything and have no idea what that would really entail because they're so used to benefiting from tax funded public works, infrastructure, fire and police protection, defense,etc. Even having government pay private contractors to provide those things is still big government rather than libertarian, not that private contractors have proved very efficient or competent when handed those kinds of projects.

                  • MapMaker says:

                    I see your point. I also don't think that many of us would have scored so highly on the libertarian scale if the questions had made more of the distinction you describe.

                    Certainly my stereotype of someone who calls himself a Libertarian does not fit with the label generated by this quiz for me. There's definitely a confusion between individual freedom and economic opportunity.

                    I think that the quiz increases the libertarian score with positions that value individual freedom while the the left-right axis is increased by increasing corporate autonomy (freedom in Libertarian speak). The quiz authors note that there is a difference between their Euro-centric political definitions and our American ones. That's probably at least one reason for the somewhat unexpected results.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Yep. Euro-centric is definitely different. Margaret Thatcher, arch conservative in European context was very proud of their national health system. Imagine that from an American arch conservative. 

  11. MapMaker says:

    I'm sure a lot of people have come across this already. But even Trump has to osculate the religious right's rear.

    Like Palin when asked about newspapers, when asked which part of the bible he likes, he said all of it.


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