[Q&A] Questions you want answered (D&D Edition)

Reviving for the new D&D:
-ask or answer questions better suited for D&D than EE
-not intended as a debate thread; if people want to debate a particular issue feel free to create a new thread for it.

Mixolyde wrote:

Do other countries have Boomers, and are they as bad as ours?

I read a theory somewhere that the racist, sexist, and homophobic policies of Reagan and Bush 1 killed many in the boomer generation that would have been more progressive. Ignore the AIDS epidemics, that kills large numbers of people we today would classify as LBGTQ+. The war on drugs imprisoned or killed millions of black and brown people. Women died from not being able to get health care, much less safe, legal, and available abortions. The poor instead of getting health care they need die. Direct subsidies from the poor and middle class to the rich, those whose lives would have been saved by those subsidies die.

In short, Boomers aren’t conservatives because they’re old. They got to be old because they were privileged enough to survive.

Mixolyde wrote:

Do other countries have Boomers, and are they as bad as ours?

Brexit says hi.

Mixolyde wrote:

Do other countries have Boomers, and are they as bad as ours?

Something about it makes me think to take it with a grain of salt, but I just ran across this today (LINK):

Willetts had stumbled onto one of the great divides of modern politics: young versus old. In Britain, age is now a better predictor of voting intention than social class. Overall, the Boomers voted for Brexit in 2016 and the Conservatives in 2017; their Millennial children voted Remain and Labour. The single biggest error that Theresa May, the prime minister in the lead-up to the 2017 election, made during that process was to float the idea that older people might have to contribute more to the spiraling costs of their own retirement care. The “dementia tax” prompted an immediate, ferocious response, and May backed down.
Boomers have successfully deterred politicians from devaluing the state pension, even as salaries and working-age benefits have stagnated. The result is that pensioner poverty has halved since 2000, whereas poverty among people of working age has risen. Pensioners are less likely to be surviving on a low income than are those of working age.
UpToIsomorphism wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Do other countries have Boomers, and are they as bad as ours?

I read a theory somewhere that the racist, sexist, and homophobic policies of Reagan and Bush 1 killed many in the boomer generation that would have been more progressive. Ignore the AIDS epidemics, that kills large numbers of people we today would classify as LBGTQ+. The war on drugs imprisoned or killed millions of black and brown people. Women died from not being able to get health care, much less safe, legal, and available abortions. The poor instead of getting health care they need die. Direct subsidies from the poor and middle class to the rich, those whose lives would have been saved by those subsidies die.

In short, Boomers aren’t conservatives because they’re old. They got to be old because they were privileged enough to survive.

This came up in another thread, and I think the question is more about why the privileged of the Boomer generation seemed to go from liberal to conservative. We think of the Boomers as all dope-smoking hippies on campus protesting everything, but that means they had to be privileged enough to get to college in the first place.

Did the privileged of that generation change from liberal to conservative? Or were they never really all that ideological in the first place, and being a hippie was just a flag of convenience for just another youthful rebellion before settling back in?

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

It got comfortable and settled in for an easy retirement.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

Jonman wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

People by and large got used to them? Like they were a cultural anomaly and made for good TV... and when they weren't anymore, they didn't just blip out of existence. It's like all those kids and teens you see fighting against desegregation and the civil rights movement. Those kids grew up too... and it explains a lot of the older faces in the crowds at Trumps' rallies.

Demosthenes wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

People by and large got used to them? Like they were a cultural anomaly and made for good TV... and when they weren't anymore, they didn't just blip out of existence. It's like all those kids and teens you see fighting against desegregation and the civil rights movement. Those kids grew up too... and it explains a lot of the older faces in the crowds at Trumps' rallies.

That's basically what I wrote earlier. In which case, they sure *do* deserve the 'OK Boomer' treatment.

Probably not exactly D&D, but how does health insurance work in relation to wages in the US? My understanding was that it was a bonus on top of wages, but more recently I've noticed people saying their employer takes money out of their wages for insurance.

I guess maybe it's kind of both situations, just whatever spin they want to put on it? I.e. we'll offer you 20% less money and call the insurance a bonus.

If you get health insurance from the employer, usually they pick up most of the cost and you pay the rest out of pre-tax salary. At my company we pay on the order of 30-40% ourselves I think; for a family plan this totals $8000 or $4300 depending on which plan you have. They also cover half of the plan's deductible. The company's share is tax deductible to them as an expense.

My previous company was absolutely stellar on this- they paid 100% plus funded a pre-paid reimbursement card up to about $4000 for a family that could be used for anything medical including glasses. This is pretty unusual though.

Thanks, that really helps clear it up for me. I think I've been misinterpreting a lot of what I've been reading recently.

halfwaywrong wrote:

Probably not exactly D&D, but how does health insurance work in relation to wages in the US? My understanding was that it was a bonus on top of wages, but more recently I've noticed people saying their employer takes money out of their wages for insurance.

I guess maybe it's kind of both situations, just whatever spin they want to put on it? I.e. we'll offer you 20% less money and call the insurance a bonus.

Also, employer plans vary greatly based on your job and overall field. Obviously, a lot of restaurant and retail positions have bare boned catastrophic coverage if of course an employee can get it. It’s one of the reasons a lot of retailers keep most employees to under 30 hours a week so they don’t have to pay coverage. I noticed in the tech field that contractors going through a temp agency can get pretty good coverage for themselves but add a family member and the cost shoots through the roof. Of course, if you’re full time at a place like Microsoft you have a luxurious health package that includes wellness programs and cheap/free upscale gym memberships. The big companies are able to dangle these much better benefits to contractors to spur them to work harder and try to get on full time.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

Jonman said historically/culturally over-represented. Meaning that TV and films focused a lot more on hippies than they had reason too. Those boomer hippies are still around, they're still a minority, it's just that no one cares anymore.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

Jonman said historically/culturally over-represented. Meaning that TV and films focused a lot more on hippies than they had reason too. Those boomer hippies are still around, they're still a minority, it's just that no one cares anymore.

That meaning would be irrelevant to the whole "OK Boomer" issue, so, that misunderstands the question.

I mean, I *could* see the point that maybe the whole idea that Boomers once did anything good is itself a myth. Like I said:, "Or were they never really all that ideological in the first place, and being a hippie was just a flag of convenience for just another youthful rebellion before settling back in?" That the Boomers who loudly celebrate their generation weren't the ones doing the heavy lifting back then anyway.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hippies were a small and historically/culturally over-represented subset of that generation. Plenty more didn't tune in and drop out.

Sure, that was my point--they punched above their sheer numerical weight, and they punched liberal. So...where did all that power go?

You missed my point. They're still here - they're just vastly outnumbered by their not-hippie peers, as they ever were.

But things are not as they ever were, and that's my point. If they were over-represented then, and they're no longer over-represented now, then what happened between then and now?

Jonman said historically/culturally over-represented. Meaning that TV and films focused a lot more on hippies than they had reason too. Those boomer hippies are still around, they're still a minority, it's just that no one cares anymore.

That meaning would be irrelevant to the whole "OK Boomer" issue, so, that misunderstands the question.

I mean, I *could* see the point that maybe the whole idea that Boomers once did anything good is itself a myth. Like I said:, "Or were they never really all that ideological in the first place, and being a hippie was just a flag of convenience for just another youthful rebellion before settling back in?" That the Boomers who loudly celebrate their generation weren't the ones doing the heavy lifting back then anyway.

It's the problem of overgeneralization. There are plenty of boomers who generally tried to do good things with the world too, and tried not to leave behind a sh*theap of problems that they'd be dead for so who cares. I'd say SOME of the hippies absolutely fall within that category (I haven't quite reached him yet, but it sounds like the "guy who almost guessed how it all works" from The Good Place falls within this category)... others moved on from the movement too... just like plenty of folks grow up with overly conservative parents who grow up believing gay people are evil and liberals are trying to destroy this country then they move out, start getting exposed to other media and people and their parents are in control anymore and they start to lose that programming. And... yeah, there are plenty of people who cling to that racism because that's how they've always been and that's how things were until people started getting uppity about it.

And there are plenty of people in the weird middle of all of that. My mom spent 20 years working for the EPA and genuinely fears for the future of this planet. She hates that some bigoted assholes make life harder for my sister's friends who are gay who basically kind of got adopted into the family as they dealt with non-understanding parents.

She also really hates the idea of welfare because it would be abused, same with single-payer healthcare for all because she actually bears witness to that system's potential abuse as my aunt basically uses it as a "get out of work free" card and goes for literally nothing but symptoms that most folks would take an aspirin for or recognize as "yeah, you're not 20 anymore" and doctors spend 3 days running tests to find nothing and because she's basically poverty level on wages because she never bothers to tell her jobs about these days, she ends up getting a new job every 8 or 9 months... and no matter how much me or the 5 health professionals who have lived with us over the last 5 years tell her, that abuse isn't common and doesn't undo the simple fact that people shouldn't be dying of curable diseases just because they're poor.

She reacts negatively to the idea of socialism even as we explain that ultimately, the social security she's living off of (or the job she had that was basically monitoring and helping protect the environment) was inherently socialist because what company could be trusted to actually DO that when so many of them have proven they couldn't be trusted on that (or worker safety, or ethical sales practices, or...).

She's a boomer and she's a weird mixed bag of both the things that would lead people to say "OK Boomer" on some things... and not on others.

The most amusing thing about "OK Boomer" for me is how much it's led to the media's Boomers going absolutely frothing at the mouths with "those damn millenials" while posting pictures of Gen Zers and complaining about how they're not doing the same things they did as mid 30s to young teens are doing the same things they did in various situations. While ignoring the things that make it impossible to do so. "Why don't kids play outside anymore?!" Probably the rampant over reporting of isolated incidents of violence that you listened to and basically told your kids they weren't allowed out of your eyesight? (Also ignores the massive privilege of white people to be able to do this in the first place when playing outside as a kid while black is radically different, as demonstrated by Tamir Rice.) "Why aren't these kids buying the houses we did?" Ummm, we aren't paid enough to? Also, your McMansions are horribly designed personal monstrosities and the main person you're looking for to buy your house is basically you so... *shrug*

halfwaywrong wrote:

Thanks, that really helps clear it up for me. I think I've been misinterpreting a lot of what I've been reading recently.

Jim Hines is a sf / fantasy author. His wife recently died of cancer rather suddenly. Here he talks about health costs in the US.

Demosthenes wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

That the Boomers who loudly celebrate their generation weren't the ones doing the heavy lifting back then anyway.

It's the problem of overgeneralization.

Including by the Boomers themselves! : D

I'm very confused by how congress operates, specifically around the control of what gets brought to discussion and a vote and the various procedural tricks politicians play.

For example, the house has passed numerous bills that the Senate is just ignoring... how does this work? Does the Senate majority leader have complete control over what he even allows to be voted on? That seems like an overwhelming amount of power in the hands of one person/party. I understand controlling which Senate authored bills get considered, but It seems like if one branch of congress is proposing a new law and has passed that bill the other house should be bound to at least consider it.

Up until recently, the government as a whole had operated under a bunch of assumed rules and norms. These norms are things like what you are asking about. Recently though (the past decade or so) Republicans and now Trump have shown just how many of these rules and norms are reliant on government officials operating in good faith.

One of the most important things for our next government to do post Trump is to codify these norms into laws as it has become evident a vast number of our government officials are happy to ignore them for their own benefit.

cls33 wrote:

I'm very confused by how congress operates, specifically around the control of what gets brought to discussion and a vote and the various procedural tricks politicians play.

For example, the house has passed numerous bills that the Senate is just ignoring... how does this work? Does the Senate majority leader have complete control over what he even allows to be voted on? That seems like an overwhelming amount of power in the hands of one person/party. I understand controlling which Senate authored bills get considered, but It seems like if one branch of congress is proposing a new law and has passed that bill the other house should be bound to at least consider it.

Congressional committees control everything and whichever party controls the congressional chamber controls the committee.

A generic bill starts in the House. It's proposed and immediately sent to the relevant committee(s) for consideration, drafting, re-writing, etc. The vast majority of proposed bills "die" in committee, meaning they are purposefully tabled, there's not enough interest in them, they're not practical, they address--or contain--things that the controlling party doesn't want to deal with politically, etc.

A few bills make it out of committee, meaning the members of said committee approve the bill and it's taken before the entire chamber. Here the bill can be further amended. Finally there's a floor vote.

If the bill isn't approved then it's most likely dead, but some can go back to committee for further changes.

If the bill is approved by the House then it's sent to the Senate where the same process is repeated: bills are sent to the relevant committee(s) for consideration.

Since Republicans control the Senate, they control all the Senate committees. And those committees chairs--under order of McConnell--are sitting on virtually all of the House bills.

So, technically, the Senate is considering House bills. But the political reality is that they are dead.

So if they are just sitting on the bills and continue to do so without either quashing them or sending them to a vote, is that better in the long run if the democrats win the senate majority in the next election?

Sitting on House bills is probably the second-worst thing the Republican-controlled Senate is doing. The worst is confirming an absolute sh*tload of extremely conservative--and barely qualified--federal judges who will basically have that job until they die.

Whether or not it would be better for the long run if Democrats won control of the Senate as well depends on your politics. In general, Americans bitch about government and Congress not doing enough, but they generally vote in a way that ensures one political party doesn't control both houses of Congress and the White House.

The mechanics of Democrats winning back control of the Senate (they need to gain four seats) is complicated by the fact that Senators have six year terms so only 1/3 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs each election cycle.

In 2020 Republicans are defending 23 Senate seats, while Democrats are defending 12 (it's 35 because there were two special elections for Senators who retired before their term was up).

Trump won 20 of the 23 states with Republican Senators back in 2016, which loosely means that Democratic challengers will likely have a harder going after those seats. But there are several states Trump barely won in 2016 or where the 2018 election showed significant movement away from Republicans so it is, theoretically, possible for Democrats to take four additional seats and win back control of the Senate. But everything's going to ride on the local politics of those states.

I've been reading a bit about surveillance and FISA after the IG report. I don't have an issue with the FISA court, I understand its theoretical purpose, but I am left wondering how we police the FISA court? Do we audit the applications after the fact, like, ever? What checks and balances are built into FISA? I'm asking because it appears the answer is "none".

You should also be asking because of the performance of the FISA court. It verges on rubber-stamping, which should lead you to asking what the point of it is in the first place?

Well, yes, we already knew that, but now we really know that it was simply rubberstamping anything set in front of them. "You guys took the time to put this together then it must be legit, approved!"

So, isn't your question about audit and oversight moot because we're talking about a court . And the only oversight they're supposed to have is higher courts - that's the intent of our legal system?

IANAL and there's a good chance I'm completely wrong.

For the long answer, the Lawfare National Security podcast did a great deep dive episode on FISA that is really worth listening to.

For the short answer: The FISA court has roughly the same approval rate of any other warrant-granting court. So either they are all "rubber-stamps," or the professionals who write these applications are actually good at their jobs and know how to collect evidence.
There is a FISA court of review, but only the goverment can appeal to it if an application is denied, and the Supreme Court can also hear appeals from that court. In theory the congress members on the intel committees could get the court documents for oversight, since they are cleared and it serms like it would be part of their job. I don't know if they actually do.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit...