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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. Not exactly. I would like to see democracy in name operate as democracy in action. You asked what reforms might accomplish that and I made some suggestions. I didn't realize reforming a long-abused, corrupted and deformed system would come across as fascist. So, never mind; just let things run their course.
  2. Who said it was? If they were - and I don't see it demonstrated - it would be because the crowd submitted a hundred guesses of which the average was used, while the expert had only one guess. I'll wait for a court to assign that experiment as your sentence for some misdemeanour. I doubt the US citizenry will go along with that. Some of their factions work hard to disallow the votes of their fellow citizens.
  3. A whole overhaul, I should think. I'd start with proportional representation. Then remove the money: prohibit lobbies and patronage; stop fundraising and give each candidate the same travel voucher. Liberate the judiciary from the ignominy of political election and appointment, determine heads of government departments and agencies by merit, not political favour. Disband the electoral college, take district delineation and voter registration away from the states, ban rallies and media advertising, reduce campaign events to 2 months prior to the election. Then we could review what else needs fixing.
  4. Fine. Could you also figure out a way to stop those same hacks preventing people of African and Latin origin and people who live below the poverty line from voting? The thing is, the American political system - as well as many others, obviously - could benefit from some major reforms, because the way matters stand, these democracies are not living up to their name.
  5. Yes, I'm familiar with that abuse of power. There are many - voter suppression, intimidation, redistricting, changing the eligibility requirements and registration without notice, placing the polling stations where poor people can't reach them, refusing employees time to vote, misinformation, etc., etc. Democracy is fragile and corruptible - especially when it runs on money. The answer to abuse is not simply to rely on public ignorance and gullibility. This is why I didn't just advocate a state-administered test for voter registration, but an elementary-school course in civics (thus, no great intellectual attainment is required, and all legal school-leavers would have had the same course.) Immigrants are often better informed than born citizens, because they have to take a test. This relegates naturalized citizens to second-class: they have to earn their voting right while a born citizen has it as an unquestioned prerogative. An informed electorate is all that can possibly prevent abuses becoming the norm for all governance. Voters need a better-founded knowledge of their system of government and more reliable - factual, rather than sensational - information. It's not impossible.
  6. It's just my crazy, irrational notion that government isn't democratic unless the people understand what they're voting for.
  7. It's not arbitrary. It restricts voting to those capable of understanding what they vote for and against. By your method, we don't need political campaigns at all: everyone who paid entry fee goes on the ballot sheet, which it tacked up on a fence. The voters are given a blindfold and a dart. Alternatively, we could draw names from a hat. Ideally, every eligible candidate's name would be in that very big hat. I really would prefer candidate eligibility restricted to people who can read and count at Gr 4 level. We've seen governance by a fractious toddler and it wasn't pretty! The slope gets a lot more slippery if the chief executive hasn't been potty-trained. On the contrary, nobody should be allowed to vote until they comprehend the rules, the process and the the candidates' stand on current issues.
  8. I would advocate for lowering the voting age to 14 - certainly no younger - on one condition: a robust civics curriculum through elementary school. Eligibility would then be determined by passing the Grade 6 level civics exam and naming the current holders of major political offices and their policies. (And absolutely no campaigning in schools!! However, teacher-moderated debates between local candidates would be useful, with parents invited to attend.) Yes. The democratic process is nothing more than a means to achieving some kinds of equality - the ones specified by a nation's constitution: political participation, opportunity, legal rights and freedoms. People often confuse - or deliberately conflate - different kinds of equality and equity. Equality under the law does not imply equality in any other aspect of life or social activity.
  9. Yes, leeks are included: The wine in a sauce probably doesn't amount to much, and if it's cooked, the alcohol will have boiled off anyway. I've heard of dogs getting drunk (some people think that's a joke), so it's not directly toxic, but it depresses their respiration and body temperature, so an older dog, or one with other health issues, could actually die. Hard bisquits and tendon chews are better; some kibbles dissolve and add to plaque formation - according a vet we used to see. You can also bake your own dog bisquits quite cheaply.
  10. Thanks for the suggestions, but we'll just try to deal with whatever price our billionnaires charge for services.
  11. Read the ingredients. Canned dogfood is some meat, maybe some 'meat byproducts' - which may be anything from pigs' ears to chicken beaks to fish meal to floor-sweepings in a slaughterhouse - and there might be vegetables (carrots, turnips, peanuts), artificial flavour, maybe some vitamins, and lots of water. The proportions depend on the brand - more meat in the really expensive ones. Dry dogfood is mostly cornmeal, rice, beet pulp, meat byproducts, maybe soy. There is nothing wrong with including vegetables in a dog's diet; they need some fibre - especially if they're not very active - and most dogs also like celery, carrots and broccoli. Wolves also eat berries, carrots and apples. You just have to make sure they get enough protein, fat, calcium and vitamins. Ground bones would be fine, and chewing on a large bone or sinew is good for their teeth, thin bones, like chicken legs or pork ribs, especially if cooked, can be deadly: they break into sharp points that can puncture a dog's intestines. Raw bones are less likely to splinter, but can still cause trouble. Domestic dogs are fine with cooked meat and broth. There is some suggestion that feeding them raw meat might promote aggression or at least a craving for the hunt - which could be really unfortunate in a city setting and downright lethal to a dog in the country - but I don't know how whether it's true. Some butchers do cater to the raw dogfood trade. I used to make my own dogfood - meat, cereal, vegetable and supplements - which cost about the same as canned food at the time. Now I cook chicken for the cats, to serve alongside dry food - and it's way cheaper than whatever is in the tiny cans. If you feed your dogs human food, that's fine, as long as you avoid giving them onion &garlic, chocolate or anything with caffeine, anything alcoholic or fermented and xylitol. It's a good idea to avoid real sugar, too, and dairy products. They love ice cream and cheese but large amounts of either can wreak havoc on their digestive system. (I once gave the remainder of the cottage cheese and sour cream in my fridge to the dogs before we left a house and packed them into the truck. Two of them were okay; the third had galloping diarrhea all the way across California and Nevada. Really no fun for any of us!)
  12. Yes, I did! A mistake I made in ignorance and for want of due diligence. I admit it freely; I assumed that that was understood. Therefore, as you note, my absurdity was not so absurd as I had supposed, which certainly does disqualify my earlier post for the absurdity thread (though this one might possibly fare better). However, when apprised of the fact that I had posted in error, I was curious enough to follow the link and discover the monarch who had been hitherto unknown to me, and was amused to learn that he was not so very much more regal than his present namesake and I was moved, perhaps also in error, to share this datum with other who might find it amusing, if not necessarily absurd.
  13. How i wish I could eat either of those - and I'm not fussy about pedigree. The pumpernickel bagel from Pete's Doughnuts and the pita from the Taj Bistro would do me just fine. Or the olive/pepper/tomato bread from that place on Hwy 6, or a warm cottage loaf from the Markdale bakery... But I'm confined to croutons, breadsticks and crackers. I haven't tried keeping a leaven; for our needs, it's not worth the trouble.
  14. We recently acquired a bread machine. (All four of our hands are too arthritic for kneading.) We still have to use commercial ingredients, of course, I get to pick which ones and in what proportion. The bread is not as fluffy as the packaged ones, nor as crusty as the bakery product, and it's only good for about three days. However, it has extra fiber and the close texture makes thin slicing easy. I make a 1 or 1.5 lb loaf either on the weekend of after 7 pm when electricity is cheaper. Since we don't eat much bread, I usually take four or six slices the next morning and freeze them. The last of the loaf usually becomes spiced croutons. Which reminds me, it's time to go pick some tomatoes for dinner salad.
  15. Sheep are not so unlike antelope that you need special evolution for it. Fruits, including cucurbits, nuts and roots were always part of the hominid diet. Grains, too, though the strains have been modified over time to suit human needs: they have been accelerated in their evolution by us. Cooking food, including flat-breads, has been in our repertoire for quite a long time; it was the norm well before agriculture was. The problem isn't an evolutionary one; it's commercial one. The more processing an ingredient undergoes, the more of its nutrients are lost - and usually the more refined sugar and chemical preservatives are added.
  16. Oh. In that case, I guess metabolic function counts as much as facial features. And while one can see which facial features came from which side of a family, metabolism and cell functions are so widely distributed that I'd guess it's impossible to tell how much of any individual's are dominated by which parent's set of genes, until an illness is traced to some hereditary flaw.
  17. Because the X chromosome is bigger than the Y? But the metabolic enzyme and brain function information on the X chromosome wouldn't show up in physiognomy ?
  18. As to the title question : No. People are more likely to resemble the parents who has the most dominant genes. How much more likely depends on the presence of recessive genes in both parents. The only thing always determined by the father's chromosomes is the sex of the offspring. Their appearance depends on a large number of quite random factors.
  19. Hallucinations can be caused by many different health conditions that affect the senses. This is a simple outline of hallucinations and possible causes.
  20. That's why soaking baths are so relaxing, I guess. Maybe not for everyone, but it's a widely used escape for women who find being pulled in opposite directions by the obligations of work, home and relationships quite stressful at times. My daughter's bathroom is also thick with candles, so I guess there is a component of that different quality of light. Hers are icky scented ones, so add in aromatherapy.
  21. Yes. I'm holding out for the ambiance - the lightness of body, the soft motion of water, the gently waving plants, the quiet, and especially the diffuse green light. I find the quality of light, even in an ordinary room, has an effect on my mood. I wonder whether translucent green and blue patterned bedroom curtains would help with some issues, like anxiety and overstimulation.
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