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Messages - scifibum

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Wow, that’s the very best example of grasping at straws I’ve ever seen.

But no, when Flynn was charged , nobody thought he’d lied to the FBI. Flynn was prosecuted for a crime nobody thought he committed. Flynn maintained his innocence right up until they coerced him into the plea.

 It’s exactly what it looks like.

This is the dumbest talking point. This kind of charge is not supposed to be predicated on impressions of interviewing agents. Flynn did lie. The charging document covers the evidence that he lied. Your assertion that nobody thought he lied when he was charged is completely false, based on the ridiculous concept that interviewing agent impression of body language preempts the actual evidence.

General Comments / Re: NFL fines for disrespect
« on: May 24, 2018, 11:17:16 AM »
It's obvious that employers can require things of their employees although I think there's some potential for further development here because there's a free speech issue. Free speech is not an absolute right but limits on it need to be examined.

I think it's pretty clear that Donald's point was that the NFL was pretending not to understand the players motivation for their protest. It's been a common theme. Instead of trusting Kaepernick and others to say why they're protesting and what they want, it gets reframed as some sort of disrespect for the military or other completely distorted versions of what they're doing.

Personally I don't give a crap about the NFL, but I'm even more unlikely to start giving a crap now. I think they are caving to nationalistic demagoguery on the part of politicians.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: May 16, 2018, 04:06:53 PM »
I am sympathetic to the opinion that it would be ridiculous to try to take Trump down over this particular peccadillo. I don't think it CAN happen. He isn't going to have his party turn on him over this (after all, it's just additional color on things that were already known about his character).

But if it COULD be done, I'd be fine with it. It's not like we can't field presidents who HAVEN'T done this kind of thing.

Avenatti's PR for his case as a political campaign is an interesting angle, but I'm gonna guess he's not billing his client for the TV appearances anyway.

General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: May 16, 2018, 02:49:51 PM »
I think Crunch is probably right on this one.
Ummm... which part?  The part where he characterizes the men's actions as "cashing in on an “undisclosed financial settlement“ from Starbucks"?

Clearly, not the settlement that has now been disclosed for 2 weeks.  Clearly not the part where they were "cashing in on" their one-dollar settlement.  Maybe it was the part where he implies that their associate "magically appears"?

Thanks, I was a little startled that he appeared to be getting away with that one.

General Comments / Re: Trump just won the 2020 election
« on: May 04, 2018, 12:33:08 PM »
When it comes to dairy and grapes, I think regional designations actually make some sense.  I don't know if this holds true for apples, but the local environment and farming customs do affect the characteristics of dairy products as well as grapes.

While the sellers main motivation is to preserve the reputation of their products - and their profits - it does benefit the consumer when it comes to consistency and predictability. After all, to the degree that "Parmesan" doesn't tell a consumer that their cheese comes from a particular region with regulations that predict the characteristics of the product? It also doesn't tell them whether what they are buying is what they expect.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: May 03, 2018, 05:28:37 PM »
When asked why Cohen paid Daniels the money, Giuliani said Cohen made the allegations against Trump go away, saying "he did his job."

“Imagine if that came out on Oct. 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton?" Giuliani asked.

"Cohen made it go away," he added. "He did his job."

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:20:26 PM »
There's literally no way to establish that where you have a celebrity that has a practice of paying for NDAs that predates his campaign.  In fact, it's almost certain that the opposite conclusion would be held.

In theory there certainly is a way to establish this, such as if the people involved made statements that the purpose of the payoff was to influence the outcome of the election.  Giuliani has now suggested this was the case.  Who knows what else lurks on Cohen's seized devices? If coupled with an admission that they want to keep this off the campaign books, you even get a crime-fraud exception.

I get it, you guys are looking for a crime for Trump to be guilty of, no matter how implausible, but this isn't likely to be it.

Indeed, we're watching closely, and Trump's constant telegraphing that he's worried about what the investigations will find helps hold our attention.

Note that I didn't make a claim about how likely it was that Trump would be guilty of a crime here. I was responding to your claim that if Trump used his own funds then the possibility of violations was pretty much eliminated. However the funds were accounted for, if the intent to influence the election can be established it's still arguably in violation of campaign finance laws since it wasn't reported. I'll grant that Trump's (no doubt extensive) history of paying off people with dirt on him will help his argument on THIS particular hush operation.

Loan from Michael Cohen to the campaign required filings (he was paid back in installments over time).

Legal services and expenses are routinely billed after the expense is incurred, this is not a "loan."   By this interpretation every campaign in history has violated the campaign finance laws by failing to report the services they received and later paid for as "campaign contributions."

You're off track. If it was a campaign expenditure then it had to be reported, whether it was a "loan" or a "service" or an "expense". The question is whether it was a campaign expenditure, which depends on facts that we don't know (but investigators might know). Certainly Giuliani has suggested that it was by asking us to imagine if [Clifford's story] had come out during the final debate, in order to understand Cohen's motivations at the time.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: May 03, 2018, 12:23:51 PM »
"But I don't really see how it's a violation of the law to use campaign money on PR for the candidate..."

You have to account for campaign money regardless.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: May 03, 2018, 12:22:59 PM »
Intent to influence the election = in-kind campaign contribution.

Loan from Michael Cohen to the campaign required filings (he was paid back in installments over time).

So no, this doesn't clear the air.

I think it'd go a long way to substantiating some kind of collusion between Trump or his campaign and Russia.

I'm already fairly convinced there's something there - Trump's deference to Putin and tendency to act guilty on the subject of Russian interference, combined with the way Flynn and Sessions seemed to want to hide conversations with Russians, combined with the campaign meeting about the stolen emails and the attempted coverup of that, combined with the Steele dossier - I think it adds up.  But I know it's not enough to act on.  I'm not proposing that the country should act in accordance with the implications of my conspiracy theories. :)

But if they prove Cohen was in Prague, I think it's just a matter of time before the collusion can be proven. It's a key part of the dossier and has been denied emphatically. I would have given low odds that he was actually there - it seemingly would have required some cloak and dagger maneuvering - but his dropping these suits just when some of his secrets might be exposed makes me reluctant to dismiss the possibility.

General Comments / Re: Justice and murder by the mentally ill
« on: April 18, 2018, 02:58:57 PM »
I think punitive justice is a fiction.

Locking the woman up might be justified absent advances in psychology that can more or less guarantee that she is not too dangerous to live as an ordinary citizen, since she's demonstrated that she sometimes is too dangerous.

Locking up the woman to deter others from killing children is probably also justified (although I think it's worth studying how much punishment creates how much deterrence - on a perpetual basis).

Locking the woman up to balance out the harm she did makes zero sense. 

General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 17, 2018, 12:49:45 PM »
Yeah 911 was a pretty silly move. 

In a perfect world: You didn't buy anything, you accede when asked to leave. You have no reason to be angry about this.

In reality: You're probably right that you're getting asked to leave in part because you are black. You should probably still leave, but you are probably not wrong to be angry about getting singled out. Not leaving as a form of civil disobedience is an option you have, but deploying it is a risky option.

Just a side observation: In general, truly public restrooms should be far more common in urban areas. Retail stores shouldn't have to deal with people dropping by solely to use the facilities. I don't doubt that some retailers would prefer to keep that traffic, but society should still provide facilities for public use.

General Comments / Re: Facebook neutrality
« on: April 16, 2018, 01:41:13 PM »
Facebook has no incentive to do this. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that they do this. Why do you believe they do this?

General Comments / Re: Facebook neutrality
« on: April 12, 2018, 05:35:38 PM »
I'm not sure what we're talking about here.  There was a controversy during the 2016 campaign about the "Trending" section on FB - some anonymous ex-employee claimed that it was routine to exclude conservative viewpoints from that section, but FB already responded pretty convincingly.

Cruz was grilling Zuckerberg about the idea that some right-leaning pages get shut down and Zuckerberg denied that the company attempts to suppress right leaning political voices. 

My own feed is completely full of right wing stuff unless I take steps to screen it out.

What are we talking about here?

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 12, 2018, 12:44:43 PM »
The FBI and the US Attorney's office aren't saying this is Criminal Trump.  They are saying this is Criminal Cohen. 

But yeah, I had thought it was signed off by the Trump appointee at first, and I don't know anything about the politics or interests of those in his office who are acting in his place here.  Still, the process of getting the warrant tends to reassure me.

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
Apparently sometimes the review is contracted out to an independent law firm instead of a "dirty team". *shrug*

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:59:52 PM »
It's about Cohen!  The warrant was predicated on suspected crimes that Cohen is being investigated for.

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:58:32 PM »
Just as a reminder, Mueller already handed this off to the regional US Attorney's office.  The raid was not a part of the Mueller investigation.

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:47:13 PM »
Just to elaborate on this:
There shouldn't be any warrant that allows that to occur.

The warrant can allow this kind of thing to be seized but not necessarily reviewed by investigators.  There are screening procedures to separate privileged material from non-privileged material. 

Letting the target of an investigation do the screening isn't always feasible, for obvious reasons.  The goal is to preserve the attorney-client privilege, not violate it, but otherwise allow the search to succeed. There are rules and procedures and legal precedent already established for this kind of screening.

And as you know there's a crime-fraud exception to the privilege anyway.  Otherwise criminal conspiracies would be immune to prosecution by having the conspiracy involve an attorney.

We don't have all the details, but if you've gotten to the point that you can justify a search warrant of an attorney's office, you can't trust the attorney to help you identify which materials are subject to the privilege, can you?

General Comments / Re: House Closes Investigation
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:33:54 PM »
There are some decent articles about it available.

DoJ has some rules in place to discourage this kind of search if less intrusive methods will (or ought to) work. What we can surmise from the fact that the search occurred is that the U.S. Attorney's office in question made an argument that less invasive methods were likely to:

...compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.

This was then approved by the head of that office (who Trump appointed recently) after consultation with the Criminal Division of DoJ. 

Then that was approved by a magistrate.

To this point, it's not impossible that it was the wrong course of action, but it's pretty unlikely to clear ALL of those hurdles unless there was a compelling reason to use a search warrant instead of a subpoena.

There are also standards in place to avoid violating the attorney-client privilege when such material is seized. It's not going to be completely opened up to investigators for wholesale review.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: March 29, 2018, 04:20:27 PM »
Unfortunately it's not a joke.

It makes a mockery of the concept. Voter nullification suggests that people's votes are being blocked or discounted. Feeling discouraged because the president you voted for is a scumbag, which you somehow only figured out because of coverage on CNN, is not an example of disenfranchisement.

Oh well, it's a pretty slogan about making every vote count even if its a lie.

You might want to clearly identify your targets. I've never said that I want all stupid people to vote for stupid reasons.

General Comments / Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: March 28, 2018, 04:28:09 PM »
CNN wants ratings, obviously.  The salaciousness is enough of an explanation for why they are giving it airtime. 

But how many on the left would insist on eliminating a liberal candidate because they were a cheater?  Or removing one from office? 

Remember Anthony Weiner? 

In fact, Democrats have done a lot of navel gazing over how they defended Bill Clinton, and there's been a lot of acknowledgement that what he did was indefensible. 

Hint: the left isn't amoral.  Certainly a business entity like CNN might be, but you were painting with a broader brush.  And of course Democrats are partisan and it sometimes blinds them, but that is not nearly as extreme a claim as "they don't think cheating is wrong". 

Did you intend your mention of "voter nullification" as a joke?  Because it is one either way.  That's CNN you're talking about.

As for whether the affairs are newsworthy, yes. 

1) The integrity of the President matters.  It's been clear to most for some time that he has none, but some remain unconvinced. Blatantly lying about the affairs and the coverups might help convince some people that they misjudged him as having some decency. (His wife had a newborn baby, for goodness sake.)

2) The corruptibility of the President matters.  He's got a history of paying hush money.  How extensive and varied the reasons for this is a matter of national interest.  Who else has leverage on him?

3) Campaign finance laws might have been violated.

I'm not going to deny that there's a substantial amount of schadenfreude involved in finding this whole matter interesting.  And because Trump is doing a huge amount of damage, and because his tenure is likely to further entrench the oligarchic trend in our government, and because the GOP in general is likely to continue much of what he's doing, yes, it would be great if embarrassing him, exposing his venality and dishonesty and hypocrisy, and shining a light on how he has debased the office had the side effect of depressing voter enthusiasm among the classes of voters who were stupid enough to think he would be a good President.

General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:57:57 PM »
My understanding is that the Logan act has never resulted in a conviction, but that it is still a law that could be used to prosecute someone, and might be used if someone was to deliberately and secretly undermine the foreign policy of the sitting executive.  I think Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador - if they included any pressure to take acts or refrain from acts, in ways that conflicted with Obama's foreign policy - appear to be that kind of violation of the Logan act. 

I understand that many people have offered opinions to the contrary.  However, there is no unanimity of opinion on this topic, and I think there are credible arguments that the Logan act can be enforced constitutionally, and is applicable in this situation.  It has yet to be fully tested in court.

As for the "lying" charge, I think Mueller is probably depending on a difference between what happened, what Flynn knew, and what Flynn told the FBI, rather than an impression the interviewing agents had at that time.

General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:56:27 PM »
If by "most recent understanding" you mean "most recent right wing talking point", I guess.

General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:46:52 PM »
The Holt interview is far from the only evidence there is about why he fired Comey. 

The Rosenstein memo has some reasoning that Trump, interestingly, has failed to repeat or reinforce. 

He has, however, made up some things about the FBI being in turmoil. 

General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:01:09 PM »
Asking for leniency if the breaches were unintentional isn't terrible unreasonable, heck Comey had just made up an intent requirement to keep Hillary out of jail and there was little question she intentionally created her server to keep her communications out of the public view.

How would you feel if Obama had pulled Comey aside to ask for leniency? 

Of course it was horribly improper.

General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:59:28 PM »
That's the Lester Holt interview, which by the way if you read the transcript, clearly shows the Comey reference was an after thought.  Flipping that around to being the primary or sole reason as you implied is a bad faith misrepresentation. 

In my view, this is one of those memes that the left has repeated to itself so many times, that they stopped actually presenting evidence and have forgotten that they haven't actually proved it.  It's barely even plausible as - we all know - that firing Comey doesn't stop a "Russian investigation".

1) You're not making sense, what do you mean by "the Comey reference"?  The question is why did Trump fire Comey, so how can a reference to Comey be an after thought? 

2) Trump can't know that there's no collusion between members of his campaign and Russia.  Even if that's his opinion, what you are suggesting here undermines the narrative that you're trying to sell.  He wasn't trying to interfere with the investigation, except maybe he knows it was a waste of time, so in that case he knows it was a waste of resources anyway so it would be fine to try to interfere with it? 

General Comments / Re: Release the memo
« on: January 31, 2018, 07:07:25 PM »
I note, the FBI sources previously confirmed that there are no factual inaccuracies, which left very little ground to dispute an apparent conclusion.

You know better than this.  Selectively chosen facts can seem to support false conclusions. 

And you also know that the fact set is largely classified - and that the FBI can't unilaterally declassify anything to defend itself.   

Even Congressional democrats are relatively powerless to rebut anything misleading, given that the GOP controls the relevant committees.

So if Nunes et al want to distort and mislead, they can.  And the FBI doesn't really have a way to correct the record.

General Comments / Re: State of the Union response
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:07:28 PM »
Trump himself has proven thoroughly that his words cannot be trusted.  Why would you applaud lies about unity and cooperation?

General Comments / Re: Going nuts for nutella
« on: January 26, 2018, 01:00:37 PM »
I guess it's useful to be reminded that the veneer of civilization requires active maintenance.

General Comments / Re: Trump won't make Clinton's mistake
« on: January 25, 2018, 06:13:32 PM »
Luckily he never says anything untrue or breaks a promise.

General Comments / Re: Tall order
« on: January 25, 2018, 06:13:02 PM »
You know, in the wake of Weinstein, it seems a bit silly to worry about such puritanical extremes.  We're not on that side of the spectrum.

General Comments / Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
« on: January 10, 2018, 05:30:32 PM »
Ren was hiding his thoughts by creating the impression that his thoughts about killing Snoke were thoughts about killing Rey. This mask allows him to get away with the manipulation.

That's what you saw them showing in the film? I.e. you observed this as being what was overtly being told? Or did you sort of gather this after the fact as what must have happened?

Yeah, Snoke's monologue gave it away.  He could see Kylo Ren thinking about striking down "his true enemy". 

General Comments / Re: Weinstein mess
« on: December 11, 2017, 05:17:56 PM »
I don't think anyone was misled in a way that matters.  Whether they believed the annotation was written by the same person as the inscription and signature wouldn't, in my opinion, sway their opinion on whether it would have been a creepy move in the first place.  I think the only people who think this admission looks good for Moore are the same people who didn't believe her in the first place.

General Comments / Re: Weinstein mess
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:07:14 PM »
There should be no confusion here, Nelson admitted this on ABC News
Thanks Crunch.  I had heard or read that was the case but thought maybe it was muddier than that due to DonaldD's post.  Will try and watch the clip later. 

I don't think you should thank Crunch just yet.  It's much muddier than "she admitted to forgery". 

She wrote an annotation with date and location under the part she claims Moore wrote. 

She has not admitted that she "forged" anything.  Admittedly it was dumb not to delineate the part she wrote and the part she claims Moore wrote from the get-go.  But look at what Crunch is doing here:

So now we have a yearbook where at least some of it was forged (and the accuser admits to the forgery) and a key facet of the story built against Moore has been completely falsified.

1) "Some of it was forged" is only true if she represented the part she wrote as something that Moore wrote.  Did she do that, or was that simply one possible assumption people could make when they saw the yearbook?  She should have been clearer (her attorney certainly should have anticipated this as well), but she never specifically claimed that Moore wrote the annotation that she has now clarified that she added. 

2) The annotation was not a "key facet" and which person wrote the annotation does not speak to whether her allegations against Moore are true.  The "completely falsified" claim is completely false.

General Comments / Re: Weinstein mess
« on: December 07, 2017, 06:49:50 PM »
Vetted by a group like WaPo?  :o Right.

Argument by incredulity works every time when it's the evil liberal  media.

I just don’t go for mob rule, trying, convicting, and sentencing in the court of public opinion.

The sentence in this case would be NOT getting elected.  You want voters to wait for proof beyond a reasonable doubt?  That's pretty stupid, and I'd wager you've taken the opposite position with regard to other races and candidates. 

How exactly did you do so? 

I used google for something like 60 seconds and found a clip from the time frame and sources that were supposed to have completely neglected the trial.  The clip was about the trial.

So the claim you posted was false, easily disprovable, and doesn't speak well to the reliability of the MRC if they are the source of the claim.

Because that's virtually all the MRC does, time stories and look for bias.  Do you have a reason to doubt their measures on something that can obviously be measured on an objective basis?

Yeah, I doubt them because the claim was easy to disprove.  The claim was zero coverage on nightly news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC.  That's not true. 

Because network evening news has a LOT of viewers and, in my view, they're more passive than other news consumers.  They are the most persuadable, because they are the least likely to be active consumers of news, and it's it been my specific thesis all along that the media distorts the world to support the left and pull down the right.  Choosing to ignore a Senator's corruption trial because of party, when it would be on every night if the parties were reversed is good evidence of that.

What I was asking you is why the benchmark is MENENDEZ.  The MRC cherry picks its data if this is the measurement taken in isolation from other stories that are about the same type of thing, like the supposed corruption in the Clinton foundation. 

I see.  Your argument is that in 2 months, there wasn't any time to cover the first trial of sitting senator for corruption since the 80's   Really?  Not enough time for a one minute update?  Lol.

As I pointed out, this is a false straw man, and you still apparently haven't checked whether it's true.

the lack of coverage is just a fact, an objective fact

Yeah, how much coverage there was is an objective fact, but what that means is not.  MRC is not out to provide objective analysis, they are out to prove a conclusion that they formed decades ago. 

In my opinion, much of what is termed "liberal bias" is actually a more informed point of view.  "Conservative" viewpoints include creationism, widespread voter fraud, Trump isn't an embarrassing disaster, and a bunch of other erroneous positions based on ignorance.

It was pointed out to me that the trial of Robert Menendez, a sitting Senator, for corruption has received zero evening news coverage on NBC, CBS and ABC. 

It didn't take me very long to determine that this is not true. 

How much coverage on the nightly news on those networks was there?  It wasn't zero, that much was easy.  But I don't have a handy, exhaustive list of the stories that they DID run, so I don't know.  Why did you believe it was zero? How did you confirm that?

Why is this the benchmark we're using?  I have a feeling it's because someone wanted to find an angle that demonstrated the bias of the mainstream news media, and not the outcome of dispassionate analysis.

We also have two mass shootings, one of which was the worst ever, in the same time frame, the aftermath of some of the most destructive hurricanes ever, and a president who doesn't stop generating news - from simple gaffes to international incidents - on a daily basis even if we exclude everything Russia.

If that's not enough, how about you recall that there's also ubiquitous coverage of scandals involving HRC and the DNC.

I'm afraid your case isn't very persuasive. 

General Comments / Re: pardon me
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:45:21 PM »
They could have overturned any detention...

:D  You've really jumped the shark, man.  If the problem is the sheriff is detaining too many people via illegal racial profiling, just "overturn the detentions".  Those people will get their lost time and money and dignity back.  It won't cost money like an appeal would.  :D

The order that he not obey the law...

The order was based on a finding of fact that his version of "obeying the law" violated the constitutional rights of the detainees.  The "reasonable belief" standard in this law was never defined in a way that supports your claim that a reasonable belief somehow rules out discriminatory or unconstitutional practices. 

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 18, 2017, 12:26:18 AM »
Yep.  There aren't "two sides".  Antifa doesn't represent normal liberal demonstrators who made up the majority of counter-protesters.  And their tactics HAVE been repeatedly disavowed by groups that aren't antifa. 

Even so, antifa's tactics are deplorable but their aims aren't. 

It's wrong to:
1) equate brawling with vehicular homicide
2) equate violent antifascism with violent neo-Nazi white nationalism.  The violence is wrong but the ideological endgame is vastly different.
3) equate antifa with one of two sides.  Nope.  The left in general doesn't embrace antifa, antifa doesn't represent them, The Left can't control them, etc.  It's also wrong to equate the right in general with the alt-right.
4) ignore the context and impact of the actions of various factions

Also, Fenring, before I hurry up and forget my password again, I want to point out that your definition of terrorism is stupid.  You can figure out the implicit political demands in the alt-right's demonstration in Charlottesville.  You can do it.  You don't have to play dumb about what they want, and the symbolism of their torches.  Don't be so determined to stake out the centrist position that you end up acting dumb like that.

General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: August 18, 2017, 12:14:11 AM »
<can't resist the low hanging fruit in this thread, digs up password>

Fenring, you should look up the creed - well, it's more of a values statement - of the Detroit Satanic Temple.  You couldn't be more wrong about the morality of their religion.  They don't worship evil, they don't even believe in the devil as a being.   They believe in empathy, justice, and other things like that. 

When you say something like this:

if you want to be pedantic about it Hitler's got nothing on THE DEVIL.

you are arguing from within the context of religions that believe in the devil as a being who is purely/maximally evil.  Not from the context of the Satanists who wanted to erect a statue, whose beliefs are both atheistic and benignly humanistic. 

In this example you've chosen, you're completely wrong.  They don't want to harm anyone; they aren't evil.  Except if you circularly define blasphemy as evil, which is understandable if you're arguing from Christian theology but absurd if you are trying to make a point about civics.  Hitler is evil by the standards of basic human rights enshrined in our constitution.  Baphomet as viewed by the Detroit Satanic Temple is no more evil than a statue of Zeus sponsored by an art appreciation club.

You've made another pretty egregious error in this thread, too:

Can you imagine if someone suggested removing a Jewish monument on the grounds that they dislike the tenets of Judaism? There would be an outcry that would never stop.

1) the Ten Commandments ARE tenets of Judaism, and we've been around the block on that kind of monument already.  It didn't trigger the cataclysm of anti-anti-Semitism that you predicted. 

OK, fine, everybody conceived of those as Christian monuments.  Not because they weren't also representative of Judaism, but because Christians are such a bigger cohort in this country. 

But that still leaves:

2) "Jewish monuments" in public, that aren't also Christian, aren't much of a thing in this country.  Holocaust memorials don't represent Judaism, their purpose is to remind us of the immeasurable evil of the Nazi regime and keep us vigilant against similar evils.   

3) You're comparing symbols of a religious and ethnic identity - which happens to be a protected class in this country - with symbols of historical events that were brought about by the evils of racism and which symbols were largely erected for the purpose of promoting white supremacy, and further, mainly exist in places that continue to shelter and breed racism.   One of these things is not like the other. 

This difference is the same reason you can refuse to hire Nazis but you can't refuse to hire Jews. 

It's a terrible comparison. 

Pete, I didn't respond to your Facebook message because I have no desire to let anything that happens on this site intrude into any other venue.  Your message DID remind me to come check this thread which is why I responded to your posts shortly afterward. 

Calling that message an "olive branch" is not a fair characterization.  Feel free to post your message here in full if you want to dispute my disputing of that characterization. 

It's hard to read your writing in "good faith," when you do stuff like this:
(1) come out and without any examples or specifics, accuse me of destroying Ornery.
(2) sit silent for a few days, failing to respond to any material points by anyone.
(3) hardly an hour AFTER I send you an olive branch personal message letting you know that I'm banned from the forum and that you can now enjoy it without me, you pop back on here and make more personal attacks on me, knowing that I cannot respond.
(4) You completely fail to enter any other discussions during the 2 weeks I'm banned.

So does this list explain your behavior, considering that all of it happened after the behavior I was complaining about? 

You didn't destroy Ornery, and it was dumb and hyperbolic to say that you are the reason it sucks now.  But the way you ignore details in my posts, don't follow links, and don't seem to make an effort to understand me?  That does suck.  And it's been going on a long time, and hasn't improved. 

Whether you're banned or not, I have a right to respond to you here, however prompt or tardy that response is. 

I don't know what [factual errors] you're talking about, and you haven't given specifics in any of your personal attacks on me.

That's funny - because I did tell you what factual errors I'm talking about.  Page 1.   

You are engaging in classic abusive behavior.  Blame me for abusing me, and then claim that I'm enjoying it.

Um, no.  I'm not blaming you for my bad behavior, I'm blaming you for yours.  You accused me of "making stuff up" and "playing stupid" before I got mad.  Page 1.

And, at the same time, were demonstrating that you hadn't really paid attention to the content of my previous posts, by not acknowledging that the Orlando attack HAD been counted in the comparison you were criticizing for not including Orlando, and that stories that didn't include Orlando were published well before Orlando happened.  That was stuff I pointed out, and also stuff that was supported in links I provided, by the time you were accusing me of dishonesty. 

[scifi to Seriati]... That's pathetic.  ... It's called context.

You're quoting Seriati, here.  Do you see the pattern yet?

But it speaks poorly of your integrity when you not only blame me for your incivility, but accuse me of engineering your misbehavior and laughing demonically when you misbehave.

I wasn't blaming you for anything I said to Seriati.  Where did you get that? 

My comment was this:
If you're going to pat yourself on the back for getting me to respond with incivility, enjoy that.

Because you had just said:
....someone needs to take the higher ground here.

I wasn't attempting to present any justification for anything that happened after you made the post I was responding to.  I hadn't even responded to Seriati at the point you made the post I was responding to.  How could I claim you were patting yourself on the back for events that hadn't yet occurred when the patting occurred? 

Your interpretation is bizarre and unjustified.

The argument in question was a straw man.  You went into an Emperor's New Clothes frenzy, ridiculing me when I asked where Trump had suggested that refugees were going to massively increase the danger to all of us on the street.  In response to your ridicule, I asked you rather politely for a source, and you responded rather rudely that you didn't have to give me a source.

None of this is correct!  I claimed that Trump was fear mongering and trying to scare people and make them feel unsafe without his intervention.  You then required evidence that Trump claimed the average Joe was going to face direct threat in the street.  I told you that this was an arbitrary challenge, which is true (you were asking for something more specific than I had claimed existed). 

If you have read my posts, you'll already understand that I later provided specific examples of the fear mongering I was talking about.  If you had said "can you provide examples of fear mongering", I would not have called that an arbitrary challenge. 

But there was no "frenzy" about that. 

When I got mad is when you demonstrated that at the same time you were asking me to provide sources and back up my argument with specifics, you had not paid attention to specifics that I had already mentioned, and were accusing me of making things up.

Even in this most recent post where you are trying, again, to take me to task for incivility, you have quoted Seriati and chided me for his words.  You have bizarrely misconstrued my remark about patting yourself on the back, and said that your construction speaks poorly of my integrity. 

And you haven't shown that you understand your errors I pointed out on page 1, in my first post in this thread.  Those errors appeared to form a large part of the basis for your outrage expressed in the opening post. 

That sucks.  And asking me to repeat the specifics over and over doesn't wash.  I'm disgusted because of a long term pattern of misconstruing and misrepresenting my words, and making conclusory remarks if I don't dance to the tune you play when I object.

General Comments / Re: Day without a woman - wut?
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:40:34 PM »
Here you call for evidence of unfairness:

"provided no evidence of unfairness"

and proceed to explain why you won't accept any anyway, because who can really say what is more unfair.

Feminists assume a priori that any such downside must be caused by systemic evils or sexism or whatnot but since they are blind to every factor but their own myopic obsession with economic ends they have zero credibility to make an honest assessment of the situation in its real context.

Your version of feminism is like representing "the 1%" with the Monopoly moneybags guy, or Snidely Whiplash.

Take a minute to think about how you just made a blanket statement about how feminists will behave in a generic hypothetical a criticism.

I get why you want to burden flip, you have an impossible challenge to meet to show that virtually any of these refugees have been vetted to the extent that others would find reasonable.  But just because your burden is impossible doesn't make it mine.

What's ironic about this is that the Trump administration had an opportunity in court to demonstrate the urgency of the executive order, and had nothing.  Because he has nothing. 

Your point about documentation is off target.  Your position appears to be based on the assumption that those administering refugee admissions were previously not aware of the potential problems with documents and were doing nothing about it.  This is not true. 

There are plenty of sources out there that provide some of the high level details of the existing vetting process.  One key point: when the vetting is inconclusive, people don't get in. 

And this "burden" is still of your own imagination.  I have no idea why you think I need to show this.  I'm not trying to dictate the finer details of refugee vetting.  My point is that DJT, during his campaign and after, was misrepresenting and exaggerating the danger of Muslim immigrants and refugees, and that was the context for comparing Islamist jihad attacks against other terrorist attacks.  The motive was to help keep such dangers in perspective, not to malign and endanger the American right.

A few more quotes:
we have to stop people from pouring into our country.

...this is a problem that, if we don't solve it, it's going to eat our country alive. OK? It's going to eat our country alive."

"We have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States," Trump said this week. "We don't know who they are. They have no documentation and we don't know what they're planning."

“Altogether, under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of their children,”

Trump was lying that we are letting refugees in when they have no documentation.  He's also lying by using the words "pouring" and "tremendous flow".  He lied that Clinton proposed a system with no vetting, and even lied about the number.

Do you know what it's called when you use falsehoods and exaggerations to try to stir up public fear?  Hint for Seriati: it starts with f

Trump was making a valid argument, that we need a travel ban in place to change how we are vetting refugees.  He said that against an express background of refugees in Europe causing any number of legal issues both because of lack of cultural similarity and because of express interest in doing so.  He said that against a background of refugees themselves killing other refugees over religious differences and raping women and children refugees in camps. 

That's just factual information.  Rather than address it, you tried to distract by calling it fear mongering because he used a trigger word that has been used enumerable times and is easily understandable in context.

That's irrelevant factual information.  None of the bad things you listed are helped by the travel ban.  None of them are things that are ignored by the civil servants who are vetting refugees according to the current (carryover) policies.

I'm not investing more time in this, since you are engaging in apologetics.

General Comments / Re: Day without a woman - wut?
« on: March 20, 2017, 03:38:33 PM »
When an issue is a societal issue, all members of that society have a stake, sometimes it has more impact on one group or another, and we, as a society, should take that impacted group's opinion into account and even give it a heavier weight, but it's poor logic to believe that society can do nothing but defer to the most impacted group's view, and that all other views are meaningless.  In a nutshell, if you aren't worried about credibility to people outside the group, then you shouldn't expect people outside the group to support you. 

I'm just going to point out that this is why 'privilege' has become a more prominent talking point.  "This thing you are complaining about doesn't make sense from my perspective, so I'm going to continue to believe it's not really a problem and withhold my support."  As you point out, this can stall progress on the issue.  Where I differ from you is that I think it's your failure, not theirs.

We also have heard that certain types of success are tied to ability to generate business, and personality.  Clearly there could be no sexism involved there.

Whether there is or not, it's not generally possible to address.  Should you be forced to buy All instead of Tide because one has more female board members?  Or more female shareholders, or a female CEO?   If there are three women owned stores in your town, should you be forced to shop at them even if they don't sell what you need?  How do you address that on average full time working men work five more hours a week than full time working women?

It's great to express snide maxims like you're making a point, but if you can't articulate a workable solution, all you're doing is patting yourself on the back for something that doesn't effect you and costs you nothing. 

Workable solutions are tricky.  Honestly, we are still stuck on recognizing why things are they way they are.  There's a lot of people who will hear "full time working men work five more hours a week than full time working women" and think "oh, there you go.  That's probably why there's an earnings gap, and why there are more male CEOs."  But why are they working more hours? 

The same thing goes when we identify attributes that correlate with earnings and positions.  Why do those attributes land you there?  Should they?

These top level explanations are not evidence that there's not a problem, or that there's nothing to be done.  They shouldn't end the conversation.  That they tend to is a symptom of the inertia of inequality. 

Don't jump to the conclusion that I'd like to put the state in charge of correcting all of this at every level.  Mainly I'd like people - including many women who accept the status quo without complaint - to try harder to understand where feminists are coming from; to stop being so stingy with "credibility". 

Many many of the differences in outcomes between men and women come from men and women having different goals.  Complaining about a wage gap, when income is the primary motivator for something like 80% of working men and only 30% of working women is nonsensical.  Women have different motivations and refusing to acknowledge that their working habits tend to meet those goals rather than men's goals makes this comparison meaningless.

How nonsensical is it to demand equality, when we want different things, and then to use a "male" measure to claim it doesn't exist?

This, again, is finding a surface explanation and then proposing that we stop thinking about it.  OK, women want different things.  Why is that?  How are their goals shaped by what they expect to happen?  (BTW, which women in what place and how was the question phrased?)

Nobody needs to quote Harrison Bergeron to me, we don't need to equalize outcomes at any cost.  But it's pretty funny when the way male-dominated systems work is used as justification for the fact that they aren't female-dominated, unless you're intentionally saying "because we're in charge" is all the answer required.

"We're" not in charge.  No one is.  But you can't override people's choices and you can't expect them to not have consequences either.

You're saying that men aren't predominantly in charge, relative to women?  What if we look at CEO positions, or board seats in general, or elected government positions?  I'm trying to understand how they aren't. 


"How 1960's of you.  Which parent picks kids up is a family decision, isn't it?"

Yes, it is.  But discussion about patterns in these decisions, and how they relate to workplace norms and career arcs when you take gender into account, is completely on point.  Men may tell their wives that they can't pick up their kids because they won't be taken seriously at work, and women may face social consequences that men don't face for opting out of this task.

I'm guessing you're either not married, or pretty old.  I don't know any man around my age or younger who would get away with telling their wives they had to pick up the kids because he wouldn't be taken seriously if he did it.  The only time that argument ever came up in my life is when we were considering whether we both should hyphenate.  You're living in the 1960's, seriously. 

I'm married, roughly 40, and this conversation hasn't happened in my household because I'm not an idiot.  I'm not "living in the 1960s", but other people are.  Did you really assume I was describing something I thought was acceptable?

I have dozens of firsthand data points from people around my age.  It's pretty common for men to assume that their wives will handle logistics involving their children during working hours.  One common pattern would be men who consider it acceptable if their wives - who have been at home with children for a number of years - take a job outside the home as long as it doesn't require paying too much for daycare or for the man to have to pick up duties the wife had handled previously. 

In fact, this pattern is preached from the pulpit in more than one church.  Men should be the primary breadwinners, and women should be at home with the children. 

I find your skepticism that many men assume that their job takes priority over child related duties kind of baffling.  Do you not know many conservative religious people?

Explaining the earning gap isn't the same as addressing the reasons for it. 

It literally is, but perhaps you mean something else.

It's not a justification.  It doesn't solve the problem, or show that there is no problem to solve. 

So what do we do about it? 

Some proposed solutions might address something that seems more like a symptom than a cause.  But you have to keep in mind that there are chicken-and-egg sorts of cyclical and self reinforcing patterns.  Sometimes an affirmative action technique is the best option available.  I'm open to them on a case by case basis.  But in the meantime, I'm hopeful that more people can acknowledge that complicated, cyclical, self reinforcing discrepancies are worth acknowledging and discussing and labeling as unfair even if there is no clear and obviously fair remedy.  Because *just that* helps to correct the problems, by informing individual choices.   


What part of that strikes you as fear mongering?  Just the fact that he used the word "suicide"?  That's pathetic.  We have real examples of fear mongering everywhere, using descriptive language doesn't get there.  Particularly not in a quote where he references the Constitution at least four times.  It's called context.  Or do you think Rachel Maddow was "fear mongering" when she referred to "suicide" later in the same transcript?

He said the word "Constitution" a lot, sure, but I don't think he referenced any of its content. 

Rachel Maddow was talking about something else unrelated.  I think you're trying to distract.

You're not using logic or math either.  You seem to believe that there is some amount of terrorism we should agree to accept as a trade off for bringing in refugees.  The facts on the ground are that if you bring in enough refugees you will be brining in a future terrorist.  It's not a scare tactic to acknowledge that and address it.

So what is your acceptable incidence rate for Americans killed by refugees?  Is it one American dead per 1000 refugees admitted, or is it greater or lower?

Talk about arbitrary challenges...

It would be stupid to say that there isn't some amount of tradeoff between national security and other priorities in ANY policy that involves other nations.  I'm a bit surprised to see you implying that we should not accept any risk of terrorism as a result of allowing refugees to come into this country. 

I don't understand this fascination by the left to believe that prominent Republicans are dumb and its their advisers that control everything.  What do you get out of it?  Is it just the ability to make accusations against shadowy manipulators who you know don't have a platform to respond, or it something else?

As I have pointed out to you many times, Trump has a reality problem.  He frequently and stubbornly refuses to accept facts that are unflattering or otherwise bother him.  He also talks in absolutes and makes promises he can't keep.  These things reflect deficits in his intelligence.

I'm not talking about any other republicans here.  Just Trump.  Some of his advisers are obviously smarter than him.  Remember, Trump recently said that nobody could have known how complicated health care is.  Well, some of his team did know.  Trump didn't know.  He's not that smart. 

Well then, acknowledge the problem with your position and make a case.  What number of American citizens being killed by terrorism is reasonable per 1000 refugees? 

Why are you using the stupidest arguments possible?  Why don't you show a deficit in Obama administration vetting of refugees instead?

You should really do more research into the news, not just what's spoon fed to you.  He has specifically stated that the original 7 countries were selected and identified because they had been identified as having their records compromised.  Iraq was removed in the latest order specifically because the administration was assured their records could be trusted.

You're telling me to do more research than to rely on the news, then referring to the administration's press oriented spin.  In the meantime, the administration has offered no evidence about deficits in current vetting.  Neither have you. 

I'm going to posit, that you have no idea what it entailed, and that most likely you wouldn't agree to use it to evaluate a person who you'd have to trust with your life.

I'm basing my argument on accounts from people intimately involved with the vetting - which takes about 2 years and involves extensive interviewing and cross referencing, and who would dearly love to enhance the effectiveness of what they are doing but are not aware of any gaps that the Trump administration is trying to fill. 

What are the gaps the Trump administration is trying to fill?

Out of curiosity, how does it "misrepresent" BLM to point out that death by cop is far less likely and far more avoidable than death by gang member?  And that increased police presence is one of the few things that can lead to real decreases in that second point?

It misrepresents BLM by suggesting that BLM is about the leading cause of death, instead of about a particular kind of pattern of injustice.  And your point about "increased police presence" COULD be relevant, but you just introduced that.  And by doing so, you suggest that BLM is against "increased police presence", which they are not. 

It kind of demonstrates you're arguing with strawmen instead of real arguments.

No, it doesn't.  Pete doesn't seem to have read or understood my posts. 


I've been here longer than youhave, Sci Fi, and I'm a lot nicer now than when you arrived.  I have changed for the better while you have changed for the worse.

You have not improved in your ability to read what I write and respond in good faith.  You haven't acknowledged the factual errors in your posts in this thread, and YOU attacked my integrity because I challenged your hasty and wrong conclusions. 

If you're going to pat yourself on the back for getting me to respond with incivility, enjoy that.  But if you ever want to convince me that I've misjudged you, it's going to take a whole lot less ignoring, distorting, and misrepresenting me.

Pete, your point about demoralization would hold a little water if Trump's immigration order was justified.  But it wasn't.  We are already vetting people, and he's not preventing demoralizing attacks with his order. 


Why don't you provide a quote where you show that Trump's saying that the average joe in the street will face direct threat from Syrian refugees?

Because that's a completely arbitrary challenge.

But if you doubt the scale of his fearmongering, here's an example where he explains that continuing the Obama administration's policies is "committing suicide" as a nation:

Here's a tweet from DJT about the TRO on his immigration order:

Our legal system is broken! "77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries." (WT)  SO DANGEROUS!

He is obviously trying to scare people, and make them fear for their own safety.  He is not expecting people to use logic and math to understand this.  Logic would involve understanding the current vetting procedures and evaluating their success and whether there are any gaps.  Math and logic would confirm that a high proportion of refugees would be expected to come from bad and scary places. 

For my part, I don't think Trump understands these things.  I think he's being prodded and flattered by Bannon and others who are smarter than he is.  But that doesn't mean his tactics get a pass.  And it doesn't mean that his fear mongering should go without a response. 

Scapegoating how?  You may be right; I'm not being rhetorical.

He has used attacks that were NOT performed by classes of people who would be affected by his immigration order as examples of why his immigration order is urgent and correctly targeted.   He is blaming the wrong people for bad things that have been done in order to justify his actions again them. 

Syrian refugees have murdered the Christian and Yazidi refugees right in the camps, so I don't think it's scapegoating to suggest that there are some bad seeds among them. 

No one has suggested that there aren't bad seeds among them. 

There is an extremely thorough and prolonged vetting process before the refugees are allowed to come here.  Trump consistently pretends (or indulges the delusion) that there is no vetting, and that Obama ignored the danger.  That's a big chunk of the justification for one of his campaign planks, and his immigration orders.  He hasn't identified any specific failing of the existing system - in court his lawyers couldn't provide a shred of evidence for the urgency of his ban to get the TRO overturned - he is just putting on theater to convince the dumbest of his followers that he's going to fulfill his misguided campaign promises. 

That dangerous refugees exist in camps outside the US does not support Trump's claim that we aren't doing enough to make sure they don't come here.  He hasn't bothered to try to support that claim. 

You don't see anyone trying to put BLM into "perspective" and point out that the actual percentage of black people getting murdered by police officers is rather small compared to other causes of death. 

I sure do.  I see constant efforts to misrepresent and undermine BLM using just that kind of argument.  All in an effort to distract from the uncomfortable reality that racism across many institutions allows unjustified killings to go unpunished.

Why play stupid about it now and pretend that it's about statistical death when you cannot produce a single frakking quote, even from Trump, to that effect?  Trump says enough dumb stuff on his own; you don't have to go making stuff up.

You're getting ahead of yourself.  Me not jumping to meet your arbitrary demands doesn't demonstrate a thing, Pete. 

Oops, I missed something.  There is one attack after Orlando included.  It's the left wing extremist attack, the 2016 Dallas police shooting.

And it's being counted as a right wing white extremist attack.  While Orlando isn't counted.   And you don't find that fishy?

OMG, Pete.  ORLANDO IS COUNTED.  I already told you that. 

The news stories that don't mention Orlando came out WAY BEFORE ORLANDO.  The source they used has BEEN UPDATED.  WITH ORLANDO.

The irony that you would attack me and suggest I'm making stuff up when you're too lazy to read my posts in detail and follow links and reconsider your hasty conclusions...

You're the reason this site sucks now.

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