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Messages - Fenring

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They are using median wealth, which is a much more useful view of the data than the mean. Donald was a little sloppy calling it the average.

Ok, fair enough. Although I still have huge suspicions about numbers like this.

As an Objectivist, the biggest problem of all is the hugely unlevel playing field created by historical family wealth. Ayn Rand made it pretty clear in Atlas Shrugged that people should not extend an advantage to their children by setting up jobs for them. Like the Donald Trump effect where Fred set him up with every advantage he never had to earn. He's not unique in that regard. It's one of the reasons I've come around to ideas like full public tuition for college. Despite the fact that it violates other concepts, like transfer of wealth to accomplish other goals of equal opportunity.

To me the problem always has been not so much the family wealth - or at least it's becoming less relevant over time. The issue to me (which is endemic to capitalism) is that certain actions in an open landscape have increasingly and vastly disproportionate return, so that two people working equally as hard and even equally as cleverly can still make orders of magnitude different amounts of money. To me this far overshadows the fact of family wealth, as the problem of inheritance is that it's extremely hard by itself to leverage wealth exponentially unless there's a magic recipe in place. Old money had a habit of drying up unless they did the (gasp!) unthinkable of trying to actually create an income stream. Having a huge sum to start with is certainly a help, but frequently that won't get you beyond small-time. What's $50 million really supposed to get you when comparing to billionaires, after all? The magnitude of wealth overall is increasing rapidly as technology and distribution do. The result of this isn't easy to track across purely racial lines, because unfortunately it's more than just effort or even chances in life that can create a mega-fortune. In fact the same is probably true of even creating a modest fortune.

That said we're not really meant to be talking about the top 0.01% but rather median net worth (I guess), and from that standpoint we really have to be able to nail down that nasty "all things being equal" parameter. The issue of old money is a collective issue in society, but not a specifically racial issue; or at least it's not by definition a racial issue, notwithstanding the fact that everything affects everyone and therefore race is part of the mosaic (as are all other factors). But when talking about uneven results I think a reasonable person needs to be referring to uneven results from a similar starting point; otherwise we're just talking nonsense. What a person is concerned about is whether he/she gets a fair shake in life, not whether those who started off rich have a leg up; it's trivially obvious that they do and no theory about race is required to assert this. Nor is it of any help to say that because more white people than black people started off rich in a given generation that more white people than black people will have large fortunes; this again is not a statement about race but is almost trivial as a proposition. In fact if this last fact were not true it would imply something quite alarming. To me the key issue is whether the gap for an average person has been closing since 1960, and I find it deeply suspicious that DonaldD seems to have found some figure suggesting it hasn't. If that is so then it *must* be because of some factor other than the ability for a black person to get a well-paying job, since that playing field has largely been leveled. Is it completely level? I don't know. But that's not the game; the game is to close the gap over time. If there is an upward trend towards parity then the situation is good; if not then it's good to ask why, and I would be the first to be on board with asking.

A close examination of wealth in the U.S. finds evidence of staggering racial disparities. At $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150) in 2016. Gaps in wealth between Black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception. The Black-white wealth gap reflects a society that has not and does not afford equality of opportunity to all its citizens.

I don't love playing the who can find the best stats game, but I just Googled it and Master Google says the average net worth of an individual American is something like $692,000. I find that number staggering since a scant time ago I remember fun facts that sounded more like half of Americans have a negative net worth. Of course perhaps the figures get messed with to include or not include certain data. For instance if you're talking about average Americans it would include everyone (presumably over the age of 18?), whereas white people obviously only includes white people. Depending on your selection method you might or might not be including people like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in your calculations, which in terms of actually assessing how things are in America is pretty useless. Switching to median net worth USA it comes out as $97,000 per household, a far cry from $692,000 per person. I don't know where Master Google is getting these numbers but anyone I have my doubts about exactly what these figures mean.

But let's leave the Google-fu aside and look only at your figure: if the 'white household' figure includes Jeff Bezos then it's obvious (to me) that this will skew things. But you do list two scenarios that affect the landscape: old money (or leverage), and new opportunities. The former is interesting because it's true that a couple of generations alone will probably not fix this aspect of it no matter what the laws are (within reason) and no matter how well or poorly anyone acts. It can take a while to accumulate a fortune or a power base under normal circumstances outside of very rare cases. The new opportunities side of it seems most relevant if you're taking a young black kid and a young white kid and comparing what they can expect out of life. I don't really know how an average (or even median) net worth figure is going to be able to disentangle the 'old money and power' side of it from the new opportunities side of it. I guess for the sake of this definition we'll define new opportunities as 'all things being equal how well do they do.' The problem here is that looking at aggregate figures won't - in the short term - help you to easily see how well they do all things being equal, because all the data from where things are not equal gets figured into it.

The good response now would be - aha! the fact that things are not equal is exactly the point! Well, yes, but in what way? Unequal in the sense that having had a head start the old money families will be tough to catch up with? That's true, but also not that relevant to a young black kid. Unequal in the sense that starting out poor puts you at a disadvantage? This one I would agree with, since it could affect the ability to have a stable enough life to get through school, go through college, etc. So I would definitely be happy to agree with an argument that poverty puts people at a disadvantage, and history of poverty for an ethnic group certain makes it hard for them to hit parity in the short term. In the long term, all things being equal, we would expect parity to be reached eventually, or at least asymptotically, assuming their performance is equal to that of a group that had a head start. But what I would like to know is whether a poor white kid has better chances than a poor black kid, all things being equal; and if so, what the impediments were to the black kid. I guess my hunch is that if poverty is such an impediment then a good test for whether the money alone is the issue would be a UBI test, and to see what effect that has. Take the baseline out of the equation by making sure having money for food and rent isn't an issue, then see how things go after that for the white and black kids.

The problem is right now we have a lot of anecdotal evidence and IMO not much solid basis for knowing what our conclusions should be. Far be it for me to say there is no racism in America, that would be silly. But too quickly people will use stat-fu to make some short circuit analysis and clamor for legal remedy, whereas in reality we know practically zero about economics to my satisfaction, and even less than that about psychology in any hard sense. 'Experts' claim all sorts of overblown stuff that they "know" but I think it's mostly smoke to justify a paycheck. The ability to reasonably calculate why one person has one result in life and why another has another is probably far beyond us, maybe hundreds of years away. Data is nice, but can be misleading. In fact it might not even be data in the sense of observations as physics means it.

I know, I know, 'color-blind strategies don't work', I guess. I mean, if you're able to find stats to show that the lot of black families hasn't improved since practically Jim Crow then I don't know what to tell you, other than it sounds like voodoo hocus pocus to me. Go look with your own eyes at the state of black people in business, government, science, professions, and you'll really tell me it's just like it was in 1960? That sounds actually crazy to me. Maybe Jeff Bezos and the Waltons are throwing the numbers off, who knows. I mean, it's also possible that certain conditions are creating a huge amount of debt and negative net worth, which is a whole other topic that tbh I haven't studied, but it's only one of many possibilities for how a grand number can come to what it is. Maybe having huge debt means you went to college, which kills your net worth but also increases 'how you're doing in life'; maybe many black people are buried under student debt and this is affect the figures. And hey, if so I'd be on board to criticize the student debt situation. The complexity of it all is staggering, though.

Do you want to explain to a 20 year old black man that sorry, maybe there won't be equality until his great grandkid finally grows up in equality?

You are conflating statistical trends with his particular outcome; stats don't work that way. You can't explain a particular person's life situation via a statistical trend, nor can you make positive predictions for such in his case. You can look at aggregate results, but it doesn't map onto why that person did or did not 'succeed' or get a job of a particular income, or accumulate savings over his life, or start a company and have it thrive. They are not unrelated issues, but there should not be a case in practice where you *need* to explain to a particular person why his income level is a certain % lower than his white buddy who he feels is no better qualified. The one example where I do think immediate explanations are needed would indeed be where blatantly unequal or double standards of law are implemented by either the police or courts. And I fully support the objections against the police in general, partially because of this, but also for other reasons. But when the word 'inequality' becomes a catchall any meaningful analysis turns into culture wars. 

No, but congrats on ignoring the substance.  I pointed out that the gains that were made were not the result of color blind policies, so pointing to those gains as evidence that color blind policies could work is a non sequitur.

I doubt very much that it is possible to identify which policies yielded which part of the result. And I mean that - it is out of the reach of our intellects and science at the moment to pinpoint direct lines of causation in this way, this system is far too complex. Doesn't mean we can't say anything at all about it, but I actually think it is physically impossible that you could have the knowledge that color blind policies did not play a part in equalizing the conditions for minorities in America. I'm not even saying you're wrong, per se, just that you're making an incredibly strong claim which you actually have to make anyhow for your point to stand.

If someone is about to shoot you, does it matter if the person is doing so because he hates blacks, or because he hates poor people and you are poor because society actively made your parents were poor?  Either way, you're about to be shot because you are black, and the person shooting you hates you.

Your example is more telling than you perhaps intended, because it invokes an adrenaline-filled and reactionary tone to a situation that in real time unfolds over decades. But reacting to it as if it's a bullet heading your way is part of why people seem to have trouble telling the differences between (a) improvement versus total completion of a goal, and (b) underlying causes and visual effects. In both cases if it's a bullet then it doesn't matter, you need to react immediately and with a direct and focused action, right or wrong. If it's a 10-50 year solution type of problem, then reacting fast (right or wrong) is wrong, even though it taps that feel-good button right now. Social media has only exacerbated the 4-year election cycle tendency to look at things only in the short term.

Is it really so much better to want to keep poor people away instead of colored people? ;)

Why does it have to be better or worse, why can't it both be bad? Do you take hurricane insurance when you're in earthquake country, because 'what does it matter which way my house was destroyed'?

Really Fenring?  Employment rates of blacks and whites are the same?  Median income is the same?  Rates of incarceration the same?  Education levels the same?  Even remotely so?  And do you really believe the gains that have been made in the past 100 years occurred because of trust in color blind policies?

So the hill you're dying on is that until there is 100% parity across all categories of success then things haven't improved in the last 100 years? Your point hinges on "hoping" for the last 100 years not being enough. But if conditions are getting closer to parity over that timeframe then your point IMO becomes specious.

And since "addressing poverty" won't survive the next election cycle, hoping for trickle down economic racial equity will no more happen in the next ten years than it has in the past 100.

Except is has happened...unless you are saying that black people are in the same situation they were in 100 years ago?

The other reason for resistance to class first approaches is that historical they end up being white first as well. So a lot of people are skeptical of claims that the way to be progressive is just to forget about race.

I think "forget about race" may be jumping the shark. But it might be sufficient to at least ask whether the best way to address black poverty is by addressing racism, or by addressing...poverty. Based on my phrasing you can probably guess where my vote lies.

But is there really much difference between classism and racism?

Racism was used over the decades to make sure certain races (blacks, hispanics, etc.) were kept in the lower economic levels, which is most likely the primary reason large fractions of these minorities are still in those levels.

That the outward effect may be momentarily overlapping has nothing to do with whether they're the same thing. If classism is at the heart of it then the rich wouldn't want the poor around regardless of their skin color, and would take concerted efforts to keep anyone down who is already down. If racism is in play then these people wouldn't approve of black neighbors whether they are rich or poor. Not saying these don't both happen, but saying they may be the same thing is specious, unless you subscribe to the new far-left playbook where nothing is relevant for discussion other than final effects. Under that rulebook, if more blacks are poor than whites proportionately then that IS racism, regardless of any other considerations or motivations. But for most people, it does involve both intention and personal outlook and actions, and as such I think you will find that hatred of the poor is quite different from hatred of members of different ethnic backgrounds.

I might argue that the 'class protecting their interests have in the past successful uses racist reasoning to defend their actions and distract the 'useful idiot' from realizing that the discrimination doesn't just hurt Black people but the poor 'lower class' as well. Allowing such racist reasoning no matter how well hidden behind the words we use to become systemic.  So separating the debate on class and racism become difficult because its been a tool of classism to distract

This could be true, but it could also be backward. You could just as easily suppose that the class protecting their interests have a vested interest in shifting attention away from themselves onto another target. Your supposition seems to be that the upper classes use racist reasoning, which the lower classes notice and get upset at those in the upper class. But if the perception of the racism re-focuses those who are angry towards red herrings, then the upper classes are protected and the lower classes are beating on windmills and expending their energy, while riling up those who feel threatened by a mob - win win win for the rich.

Google is your friend, but it's weird that the name didn't ring a bell, given that he was running for the democratic presidential candidacy this past year.

Tbh I didn't follow that primary quite as closely as I followed the ones in 2016. Some of the candidates felt like they blended into the background for me, as I was primarily focused on Bernie, Warren, Yang, and a couple of others.

Maybe it is just classism, but also either overt racism or subconscious racism because of the disparity along racial lines of income inequality. It says "I don't want to solve the societal problems that lead to crime, and my focus is on making sure poverty and crime just don't affect me personally."

I have to be honest, one of my biggest disagreements with BLM and the current state of the leftist movements is that I think their focus is objectively misdirected. There are important things to 'punch up' against in the world, and I think the racist white supremacists might be the most misguided and red herring of a target that we've seen in recent memory. I'm mentioning this because classism - and more generally the battle for policy as regards wealth - has historically always been at the forefront of the culture wars, and it seems foolish to suppose that this has magically ceased to be the case. Sure, it could have other elements, which may include racism, but jumping right past class conflict just cannot possible create an accurate picture. It never could and it never will (so long as there are classes). The people with money want to protect what they have, and want something for their buck, and those without it want to change the system. Those with control over the money supply want it to benefit their interests, and those with huge capital want it to leverage policy into their own monopolistic or oligarchic enrichment. You can classify all of this under D for duh. Rich people don't want poor people messing up their neighborhood, a headline you can find in any age going back to Ancient Rome I'm sure.

If you are unaware of "low income housing" as a threat to suburbia being used as part of the southern strategy, the use of Cory Booker as the boogey man to implement it should really have spelled it out for you. Now why would he have specifically nominated Booker for that position, I wonder...

I have no idea who that is, so I'm amenable to seeing your POV if you wouldn't mind explaining. I'm also sure there are people who don't want low-income housing because of racism, but I was addressing the automatic conclusion that it's just that.

It seems to be jumping to a conclusion to call him racist for (presumably) accurately reflecting a public sentiment about their communities, which in turn it may be jumping to a conclusion to call them racist (and him by supporting them). I can tell you from first-hand evidence that the presence of low-income housing near higher-end neighborhoods can increase local crime and danger for the neighborhood. In fact it seems practically self-evident that this would be the case. It takes blinders and a desire to find boogeymen to assume this must be because racists hate the blacks, versus they don't want crime in their neighborhood.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 11, 2020, 02:54:03 AM »
I don't know if that's accurate or not in terms of the physics of it, but I can tell you that while wearing masks people end up shouting at each other to be understood properly, even in a sparsely-populated environment. I'm not saying I think masks are bad (I don't know) but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that they aerosolize water particles more than normal, and that the force of speaking loudly like that causes particles to shoot out of the sides if the mask isn't 100% sealed (which it won't be in almost all cases).

Side note, but in my anecdotal experience people who wear masks tend to believe it makes them invulnerable and they will walk right up to you. Even my wife the other day walked closely by someone, and when I asked why she didn't respect the social distance she said she was wearing a mask, so shouldn't she have been safe? The answer was, of course, who knows? But as I explained, if she knew for certain the person she walked past had bubonic plague, she would have run in the other direction, mask or no mask. That's how I treat the situation, but unfortunately many believe that masks act as deflector shields and that keeping distance is now obsolete.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 09, 2020, 03:20:40 AM »
Fenring, thank you for the detail. As I understood your premise, SA put some cash into the Clinton Foundation in exchange for favors. My request is that you demonstrate that they got bang on the buck versus every other American administration.

1) It's not my premise per se, it's what may be seen as a reasonable hypothesis. 2) I can't demonstrate that as even if there was pay to play how would I know what favors were exchanged, and therefore how worth it they were? 2b) Presuming that the Saudis for example were doing similar deals with previous admins, I suppose it wouldn't matter so much to me how much more or less effective it was during a particular admin; it would be more relevant merely to establish that it was happening at all. In any case my original point is that an audit proves nothing either way, just that donations were made. Personally I find it hard to believe these were out of charitable goodness, but regardless all I was saying was that an audit would be a poor method of investigating this particular type of activity.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 09, 2020, 12:47:20 AM »
As far as Saudi goes, Presidents from Reagan to Trump always gave them a backrub free of charge. We should not give them a single dollar, they spawn the Wahabbists, murder journalists and are generally evil. To support your premise, you show me how the Trump administration did anything more against them than the supposedly corrupt quid pro quo you assert.

I'm not talking about supporting them or anything like that, you've got it backward. I'm talking about why would these supposed Wahabbist evil people be donating to nice charitable foundations in the U.S.? You asked me to define 'shady countries' and so I did. Are you going to revisit my original statement now that you and I had contributed toward an answer to that question?

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 08, 2020, 03:38:23 PM »
I'm not sure what they thought they would find in the Clinton Foundation that an audit would reveal. I mean, at the extreme of anti-Clintonites there are murmurs of stuff like child trafficking and other things, "it's all through the Clinton Foundation!!" Cause I'm sure they'd put that on the books. The more moderate critics tend to believe that they were operating a pay-to-play scheme. So yeah, you'll see donations to the Foundation from shady countries who clearly don't give a crap about charitable contributions. How can looking at the books ever tell you whether it was a donation from the goodness of their hearts or whether something was expected in return?

I'm fascinated, please define the "shady countries" and then take a holistic non partisan view of who's charities or for-profit businesses have interactions with them. And please check your unfounded QAnon in the coat room. Quid pro quo is ALWAYS about proof. You know like when a president wants an investigation into a political rival as a condition of receiving military aid?

As for not dissolving the org, and going after the execs, that could totally happen. If the board of directors stepped in. Which they won't because they think it is fantastic to book charter flights and drink pappy van winkle.

You're fascinated with why I would call Saudi Arabia and QATAR as shady countries, to be donating to an American charity? Are they giving to Greenpeace and the SPCA also? Gee, I wonder why countries like that would give millions to the Clinton Foundation...

As for your demand for proof, see my above post. There is not and can never be proof in the way you describe of quid pro quo of this sort. We are not talking about a treaty or deal made with Ukraine, we are talking about a private arrangement between two people. You will never even get proof of things like that in regard to business alliances that are perfectly legal, no less illegal activities.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 10:34:56 PM »
I'm not sure what they thought they would find in the Clinton Foundation that an audit would reveal. I mean, at the extreme of anti-Clintonites there are murmurs of stuff like child trafficking and other things, "it's all through the Clinton Foundation!!" Cause I'm sure they'd put that on the books. The more moderate critics tend to believe that they were operating a pay-to-play scheme. So yeah, you'll see donations to the Foundation from shady countries who clearly don't give a crap about charitable contributions. How can looking at the books ever tell you whether it was a donation from the goodness of their hearts or whether something was expected in return?

Have you ever considered that the protests are really all about Black Lives Matters and justice for all Americans, not just the ones that look right, and it is this "violent core" that is exploiting it to wage their psychological warfare against the will of the majority? ;)

This wasn't addressed to me, but it's a good case in point for why the country is going through a rough patch. It's not because there's a protest; sometimes things need to be protested, that's good. It's because right now each side needs to prove how evil the other side is, on any topic and using any example. In the case of a protest the left needs to keep showing how it proves how bad Trump is and how the right is supporting an authoritarian government; and the right needs to keep showing how it proves how much of a menace the [radical] left is and how all they really want is destruction. Nevermind how everyone can learn from it, or agree on the problems to solve, no - it needs to just be another call to arms against the other side, with the incident of the protest itself just being yet another signpost of what's wrong with the evil ones.

That is why the country is going through a rough patch. Not because there are some bad people out there among good-intentioned others, but because a growing majority want to hate each other rather than heal and grow. It's what happens in war-torn African countries, and it's sad and scary to see happening in North America. Even the Canadians are on board the hate train on one side or the other, although probably more on the side of the American left.

The people with the laser pointers were obviously not peaceful protesters. How many people were shining laser pointers? How many got physical with her? This is at the heart of the appropriate phrase "mostly peaceful protesters". The video on NY Post shows about 6-7 people confronting her. We don't see whether they are alone, or if they broke off from 500 people marching and singing. I don't know why you think that anyone is making the argument that protesters in Portland are 100% nonviolent.

I think TheDeamon's point is something to the tune of people here accusing Trump of escalating a peaceful protest into being violent, whereas his point is that it was already violent to an extent which according to him hasn't appreciably changed as a result of DHS presence. I don't have a factual thing to add to any of this, other than it sounds super-fishy to me to argue that it's Trump's fault that some violence has ensued. I don't know, I guess it's possible, but somehow it doesn't ring true.

General Comments / Re: Is Our Partisanship a Threat to Our Democracy?
« on: August 06, 2020, 10:59:52 AM »
Of course partisanship is a threat to democracy. In fact it is practically by definition anti-democratic. The focus of democracy is not actually in majority rule, which ethnically speaking is often the case in many countries (even dictatorships), but rather in respect for the minority and respect for the other side's arguments. The benefit of democracy - that each side can state their case and the loser will respect the governance of the winner - vanishes when neither side wants to hear the other side's case, and then the loser does not respect the governance of the winner. The current situation in the U.S. is closer to being a cold civil war than a democratic republic, if we're going by the mentality of the population.

No, this isn't quite the parallel. Rather, you'd have to agree that if you thought that a person going to an abortion clinic would likely result in an escalation of violence by a mob of people present, and they did so, that you would come to the determination that they are responsible for the violence.
Not what I said at all.  It doesn't matter what 'you' think 'their' expectation was, it matters what 'their' expectation was.

'You' can certainly have a belief about what their expectation was.

You can guess, but stating as a fact what their expectation was is off the table. I like speculating as much as the next guy, but you cannot submit a statement of someone else's intent as anything more than just that. You want to believe that Trump sent in officers just to create a backlash, go right ahead - so long as (along the lines of my analogy) you think it's equally reasonable to conclude that a woman going to an abortion clinic past protesters is doing it just to rile them up. My point is that I don't think your logic would track into cases of an opposite political alignment, and it is my speculation that Trump gets his own special analysis involving assuming the worst motives that would not be applied to other cases.

Passive opposition is a lot different than active opposition. Using pepper spray on people is different than trying to walk past someone to get to a clinic. Especially in a public atmosphere of making statements about how you're going to clear the streets. I think a more appropriate analogy is going to somebody's conservative speech with the intention of blocking their path and interfering with them, which is often called out as provoking violence.

Obviously no analogy will map on a strictly 1-to-1 basis. If you want to quibble I could remind you that from the perspective of the abortion protester the woman effectively has announced that she's there to do violence (to the fetus). And I could quibble more that the point made earlier in the thread isn't that the protesters reacted violently to any actual offensive action taken by federal agents, but rather than the actual fact of them arriving was enough to incite violence.

If a person going to, say, an abortion clinic, thought that the likely result of their action would be an escalation of violence by a mob of people present, or the likely torching of the clinic, and they chose to undertake that action, then yes.  This is self evident. 

No, this isn't quite the parallel. Rather, you'd have to agree that if you thought that a person going to an abortion clinic would likely result in an escalation of violence by a mob of people present, and they did so, that you would come to the determination that they are responsible for the violence. That's the limit of what I said in my previous post; but if we're going to go by the full parallel then we might also ask you to agree that you'd be asserting that a woman going to an abortion clinic under those conditions probably did so to escalate the protest. The reason this is the accurate parallel is because we cannot assume her intentions or knowledge in advance any more than we can about Trump. Sure, the most likely reason for a Federal official to send in officers during a violent protest is to establish order, but it's possible that it was done with malice aforethought; just like we could probably assume that a woman going to an abortion clinic is going there to get an abortion, but it's possible she's going there to incite a reaction. You sure you want to be the one to accuse her of malice aforethought when walking into an abortion clinic? I find it very hard to believe you would come to that as your first hypothesis in that situation.

If you see the angry mod, and think that by walking to the post office at that time there is a significantly increased chance of triggering an escalation that might lead to people getting hurt, or a building getting torched, then yes, you would be absolutely responsible for the resulting violence if it were to escalate.

I believe your position hinges on this point, ok. I'd like to know if you'd make precisely the same argument for a woman walking past an angry protest at an abortion clinic. If she walks past the protest and they start being violent, she is absolutely responsible for the resulting violence, right?

No, the only reasonable expectation was a re-escalation of the protests, maybe helped by a few questionable arrests of people off the street.

WS, that is not only not the only reasonable explanation, but it's not consistent with Trump's playbook. Other explanations could be (a) executive overreaction, (b) error about how to resolve the issue, (c) trying to look tough, (d) making a statement to R voters that order will be maintained. These are all more plausible and probable than your explanation, which while still possible is sort of up there with Obama faking his birth certificate. Sure, it's possible, even something someone might do, but is defaulting to a worst case scenario interpretation seemingly arbitrarily. The options I just offered are pretty typical sorts of political reasons, and all would account for it, and none require the motive of deliberately agitating protesters. You may be right, but I think it's very unlikely. Only if you think of Trump as Cobra Commander or something would you expect that any action he takes can surely be chalked up as some kind of criminal scheme.

That doesn't mean the perpetrators of the violence are not themselves responsible for their own acts; of course they are.  But that doesn't magically absolve the president of his own bad actions.

That really depends on your confidence in that fact that Trump sent them knowing it would cause problems, and even because it would cause problems. That's a lot of bad faith, which may or may not be warranted (I find it difficult to make any determination about that).

But going back to a previous point:

If I knew that my otherwise completely innocent action would likely lead to violence, then of course I would be at least partly responsible for the resulting violence.

I think this is a bad universal rule of thumb. If, for instance, I want to walk down the street to the post office to mail a letter, and there's a mob of people who hate the mail system, and you tell me that if I walk to the post office it will rile them up, I do not think there is any world in which I am *responsible* in any way for them throwing bottles if I decide to go anyhow. If I get hurt you might say "I told you so", and if I complain you might say "you were warned", but you can't say "you have to take responsibility for them getting violent". In that context, I do not. Even if I'm stirring the pot and I go to the post office just to test them they have complete responsibility for being in that state of mind and being willing to throw bottles at the post office.

It reminds me of the Ali G and Borat skits, where during the course of an 'interview' someone who say or do something bad. Some might argue that Baron Cohen was inciting these acts and statements, but I would argue that all he did was give them rope to hang themselves; their antics betrayed their own issues and he was just a catalyst to expose it. He was no more responsible than I was for watching the show. That they would say these things at all was 100% on them, and I have a difficult time seeing it differently for violent protesters. You can argue that any number of actions would 'set them off' and I'm sorry, but whatever sets them off is really their hang-up. Even if Trump is an idiot for sending the officers that really is a different matter from the fact that the mere presence of certain humans would make these protesters violent. That should not be a thing.

Whether human nature is such that people should automatically respect police authority, and that any resulting lack of respect is something that can be "addressed" is an interesting question, but quite separate from the actions of the administration leading to escalating violence.

This is a peculiar point. While I can see the logic of your side of it - that avoiding provocative actions is a good thing - it's very hard to get away from the fact that it being provocative is a problem. It may be Trump's fault that he sent federal officers, but it's not his fault that the presence of federal officers would cause violence. That shouldn't really be true, should it? Especially since this was originally supposedly about corruption and racism in local PD. If I'm having a temper tantrum in public and an officer tries to get me to calm down and clear the street, sure, that may escalate my tantrum if I don't want to be interfered with, and sure, he could just leave me alone. But then again, I'm the one having the tantrum and in the position of being so easily riled up, and I'm doing so in public and disturbing others. Maybe I'm even having a tantrum for a very good reason, but that doesn't somehow excuse if I mouth off at a police officer or throw stuff at him. None of my personal BS - however justified or right - gives me carte blanche to attack an officer, nor does it somehow make it his fault if he takes steps to get me to settle down.

I find the logic bizarre that Trump could be said to be inciting violence by sending in officers to defend against mob actions. Maybe the mob is totally right, but that has nothing to do with the fact that he's not the one who made them a mob in the first place. Their propensity to escalate just because someone they don't like is in the area is their own issue, not that of the rest of society.

General Comments / Re: General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:40:29 PM »
The word "accept" implies active participation. A government saying something nice about you is not accepting anything.

Uh-huh. Except that all the information we have so far about Russia "meddling" in the election involved independent online activities that neither Trump nor anyone else could actively participate in anyhow. They were probably run by guys in some room in Russia, not much room to 'participate' other than enjoying that someone online is saying nice things about you and bad things about Hillary. The one event trotted out time and again is the meeting with that one Russian dude, which amounted to nothing and contributed nothing material to the election since nothing was either solicited or exchanged.

IF a foreign government asks a candidate if they'd like to have them voice support, a yes is accepting.

Do we have any reason to believe that happened? And if we don't, does the question posed to the AG have any relevance other than implying that it happened? It's stating a false fact in the form of a factual question, with either answer seemingly making Trump look bad. Say "yes it should be allowed" and it sounds like he's defending what Trump did. Say not and it sounds like he's throwing Trump under the bus. Sounds like a kafkatrap to me.

Having a foreign government offer you research on your opponent and agreeing to hear them out is accepting. It isn't so complicated.

Actually it is. It's not like Putin got on the phone and said "yo Trumpie, let's talk!" It's more like your people tell you one day they got some opposition research, and if you think to ask where they got it they say "private sources", which can mean anything from a PAC, intelligence community, Wikileaks, foreign agents, you name it. You demand to know and that could cause trouble since sources sometimes like to be unnamed. They say it's from Wikileaks, and that gets into another can of worms; did they hack to get it? from a leaker? are they really a Russian puppet undermining America? or honorable Americans exposing corruption? Good luck sorting that out. So what are you going to do, refuse all research that comes into your team's hands?

The 24 show actually had a sub-plot with something like this, where someone on a candidate's team 'got ahold of' the playbook for the other candidate. Basically flat out espionage and theft. The moral dilemma was whether to use it and plan for the debates based on it, or throw it out. That case I can see a clear line being crossed, because you have been told it's stolen from the other side directly. But if you're told "we've accumulated some research" it could be quite convoluted to determine where all of it came from or was sourced. Maybe they outsourced data analysis to an Indian firm; does that mean a "foreign country" is interfering? Except I bet this happens all the time. These things are probably rarely as simple as you make them out to be. Maybe on occasion it's pretty clear-cut like on 24.

General Comments / Re: General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 29, 2020, 06:33:03 PM »

I agree with you that it's aggravating to see various people in contempt of the Congress, which includes Fed board members, party members, corporate people like Zuckerberg. Telling the elected officials to F off in so many words should have consequences. Maybe be criminal. But it goes both ways, because they need to earn the trust of having the power to require answers. If they're corrupt then I'd rather they had less power, not more.


Mr. Cicilline: (02:55:16)
Is it ever appropriate sir for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election?

Wiliam Barr: (02:55:24)
It depends what kind of assistance.

Mr. Cicilline: (02:55:26)
Is it ever appropriate for the president or presidential candidate to accept or solicit foreign assistance of any kind in his or her election?

Wiliam Barr: (02:55:38)
No, it’s not appropriate.

Mr. Cicilline: (02:55:39)
Okay. Sorry you had to struggle with that one, Mr. Attorney General.

This was a dumb question probably meant to generate sound bites to be used against people. I have seen very straightforward, factual questions rebuffed with the likes of "I will have to look into the matter" when there is a 0% chance they didn't know the answer already. I mean, numbers questions, factual yes/no questions about did X happen. But this is not like this, this is "will you denounce Trump" phrased as a factual question. There cannot possibly be an acceptable definition of "foreign assistance" for this question to be answerable. There cannot be a proper definition of "accept" for it to mean anything beyond "do you admit Trump is a no good cheater dumb guy". Upon reading that question my first response was "...uh? maybe?" How can there be a quick answer to that, it's practically a question of how all of politics works, and you're asking the AG for his 'opinion' on the matter as if that proves something. The notion of a candidate 'refusing' foreign assistance would itself bear a massive amount of detailing. What does it even mean? That if Russia conducts a poll via the internet and it shows that you're more popular, you have to publicly announce that you're not more popular in order to be sure you're not being "assisted" by the poll? If websites or chat groups have people talking you up, do you need to send in your people to argue back and say you're a bad candidate? Because these are the types of things Russia actually did last election; brigading, talking up, Twitter stuff. You know, the stuff corporations do all the time (even foreign ones or ones with foreign offices and operations).

The entire question feels bogus to me. And if there is a matter to bring up about NGO's or 'foreign actors' participating in some way in the national conversation, that's not a topic to pursue with the AG, but rather with the Congress itself if they want to make some specific laws about this.

LR, if that argument holds water then it also nullifies any relevance to mentioning "press members" being detained or harassed. If anyone is press then it means nothing.

Decipher Trump's motivation... I'm tired of it. Standard defense of trump is to He says what he means except when he doesn't in which chase you have to read between the lines. And You never get to know when to apply the rules.

I'm not really interested in deciphering his motivation or defending him, but as there is a constant barrage of people trying to make political hay out of everything he says, such as above with the out-of-context quote about stormtroopers, the form of using those soundbites is what needs to be pushed back against. That this is used against Trump 99.9% of the time since he's always the main event is not my choice, but I would push back against this type of gotcha tactic in any context if it was being done repeatedly.

You don't see Trump slinging crap at people on the air, eh?

I know some people here think Trump is so deranged and senile that he can't even figure out who he's talking about, but I think that the sort of people who he slings crap at in public are not the type of person we're talking about now. Maxwell is the sort of person who is supposed to not exist, she'd not a public figure. That she is now widely known is a gigantic failure, but that's a side point to the fact that Trump slings mud at talking heads and politicians, not at obscure figures who are important behind closed doors. That is standard and he knows that.

A normal human president would just refer them to the DOJ and the AG, or just generally express confidence in the justice system finding the truth.

If you say so.

Actually I think it would extraordinarily rare for a sitting President to make public statements with actual content about active intelligence assets. That's the sort of thing that is kept out of the airwaves. This case is strange because she and Epstein kind of got outed for other reasons but it's likely still a powder keg behind the scenes. A handwave and 'let's move on' is all I would expect from a politician on this. Let's be real, you are not going to start trash-talking an ally's agents no matter what their public image is.

Did you just imply that the president of the United States was unable NOT to say nice things about Ghislaine Maxwell because she is a secret agent of Mossad?

Well the context is if he's asked point blank "what do you think of the Maxwell situation" he has basically three choices: say something bad about her, say something like "no comment" (very unlike Trump), or make a lukewarm pleasant statement and move on. I suppose a fourth option would be to say something glowingly positive, but that would really be bad. I don't realistically see high-ups slinging crap at her on the air, which leaves a nondescript lukewarm remark as the least noteworthy and most expedient since refusing to say anything at all looks a bit weird (like "I have nothing to say about that").

So, the sitting president just supported a person accused of sex trafficking, yet... radio silence.  It's a sign of just how morally bankrupt the president has shown himself to be that this doesn't rate a single response.

This sounds like a separate thread topic to me, as it's not really about Trump sound bites that are stupid. If you're asking how he could tacitly endorse someone like this, you really need to ask how such people (especially Epstein) become as powerful and connected as they are in the first place. Even Trump is not likely to publicly denounce a Mossad asset connected to politicians far and wide.

That's incendiary rhetoric. Trump was prepared to sit down with local leaders and find out how best to work with them. We have always had a partnership relationship with Feds and Locals, but evidently, Lightfoot wants to create a new non-relationship with the Feds. She's the bull in the china shop - not Trump.

You may or may not be right, but this was a side comment and not my main point. My point was that an out-of-context quote was drawn from an article, and the description offered suggested something contrary to what the article actually says. I am talking about spinning news into being whatever one wants; what you think about Trump's relationships with local government is a fine topic but a separate one.

She doesn't want the Federal government stepping in and doing whatever they please or think is a good idea, even if it is to address the problems she specifically listed.  She want helps, locally directed and controlled, so that the help actually doesn't make things worse.

I have no doubt that anything Trump does there is going to be like a bull in a china shop, and wouldn't be surprised if the manner of execution of helping stop illegal gun sales wouldn't be what the mayor wants. I wasn't trying to argue that he's her best buddy now, I was pointing out that DonaldD (and the article he was citing) misrepresented what the move to put people in Chicago was about.

Now you believe that Trump isn't sending in shock troops.  But will they be coordinating with local police and the local police will be in charge?  If they are not going to coordinate, how effective do you think they will be, being unfamiliar with the city?  And if they are going to coordinate, why hasn't the Chicago police chief informed her of his talks with the Federal agents coming in?

DonaldD's quote was meant to illustrate to us that the Emperor is sending in the stormtroopers in yet another rise towards fascism. But the article he got that quote from was specifically about a move to send investigators to Chicago, which said *explicitly* that this was unrelated to Trump's statement about wanting to send people in to liberal cities to get them under control. The fact that Trump has previously said he'll take matters into his own hands if local government won't, we already know; he said that quite a while ago. This article's information didn't say anything about Trump following through on that threat, explicitly said this was a different operation, but the writer of it tried to make it sound like this was Trump sending in stormtroopers, to scare the reader. That is pretty much the gist of propaganda: make the facts sound how you want them to sound to elicit a response of your choice, even though the facts themselves don't imply what you are making them imply.

Your argument that Mayor Lightfoot may still be upset about Trump's move is beside the point. I probably even agree with you that it won't be what she wants. But my point was that DonaldD was playing the Rise of Hitler card and the article he got that information from says nothing like that.

Trump said Monday he will send federal law enforcement to certain cities, "all run by very liberal Democrats," in the latest example of his "law and order" messaging.

Trump railed against Portland and others, saying in the Oval Office that he will be sending in some federal law enforcement.

"We're not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore and all of these, Oakland is a mess. We're not going to let this happen in our country. All run by liberal Democrats," Trump said.

First, he refuses to state that he would respect the results of the election, and now he is going to send federal shock troops into "liberal" enclaves, in the hopes of fomenting unrest that he thinks will help him with his electoral chances.  What could possibly go wrong?

The world is watching in horror as this fascist program plays itself out in real time, in what was once a leading democracy.

I went ahead and copy-pasted the entire quote to see the context, and it led me to CNN and FOX articles which are specifically about Trump sending DHS agents to Chicago. The quote did not lead me to any other article other than this one:

The Department of Homeland Security plans to send more than 150 Homeland Security Investigations agents to Chicago for a 60-day stint, according to a source familiar with the deployment. Homeland Security Investigations is a branch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that serves as the investigative arm of DHS and specializes in countering cross-border criminal activity.

The effort appears to be separate from the federal presence in Portland, Oregon, which was part of the President's demand that federal buildings be protected from protesters.

The article is about this deployment to Chicago, and it mentions Trump's statements about sending Federal agents to help police blue areas as backdrop. The article goes on to elaborate on the matter of agents being sent to Chicago:

Chicago's mayor warned Monday about such plans in the wake of criticisms of how federal agents are facing off with protesters in Portland.

"I have great concerns about that particularly given the track record in the city of Portland. I spent a lot of time yesterday talking with the mayor or Portland to get a sense of what has happened there. We don't need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the streets and holding them, I think, unlawfully. That's not what we need," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot said that instead the federal government could help stem the violence by cracking down on illegal guns.

Ok, so far it reads as a condemnation of Trump sending in agents to police Chicago, right? Except I actually cut out a bit that comes before the first quote I mentioned above:

One senior law enforcement official told CNN that there are plans to send federal agents to Chicago through the end of the summer. The agents will focus on illegal gun sales and gun violence and outstanding warrants, among other targets, according to one of the sources. Both sources said an announcement could be made in the coming days.

So hold on: the article is apparently about casting shade on Trump releasing shock troops into Chicago just as he promised to do in liberal cities, and seemingly quotes the mayor as basically telling him not to do that. But the article clearly states - in a sequence that hides the fact - that Trump is actually not sending "shock troops" into Chicago at all, but is actually sending DHS investigators in to crack down on illegal gun sales, which is exactly what Mayor Lightfoot suggested the Federal government should be doing.

DonaldD, assuming this was your source, it appears to me that you've misrepresented the facts stated in the article, although to be fair you've interpreted it in the way the writer probably intended you did. Again, I'm assuming this was your source, but if it was this is a piece of pure propaganda spin, trying to make the reader think Trump is sending in shock troops when in fact (despite the article being deliberately unclear about it) the quotes clearly say that Trump is *not* doing the thing Mayor Lightfoot asked him not to, and is rather doing what she asked him to. So much for the fascist takeover  ::)

And believe me, this is the least of what I see daily on my social media about Trump setting himself up as dictator for life and surrounding himself with the SS.

I think the gist is that anyone who is is disorderly and non-compliant is by definition an anarchist, which in this case is likely a synonym for "disobedient troublemaker". I'd guess it's the same mentality certain police officers have in regard to citizens who do anything other than immediately and subserviently comply with commands.

General Comments / Re: Voting mechanisms
« on: July 15, 2020, 11:23:52 PM »
And seriously - people are going to hack into government servers on the off chance they'll be able to out people on social media?  Really? That's verging on paranoia.

I think it's more likely that the hack happens and the sale of the data is a secondary result, but I was mostly making a devil's advocate argument in favor of secrecy after already saying I didn't thinks secrecy should be the end-all of deciding how voting happens. My point was that if coercion was going to happen at this point in history it would be lateral, not top-down.

General Comments / Re: Voting mechanisms
« on: July 15, 2020, 09:49:49 PM »
And as far as absolute privacy, not just in practice but in the exceptional case of a hack on the voting infrastructure - what is the purpose of keeping the vote secret?  The secret ballot exists primarily so there can be confidence in the process of the vote collection - to safeguard choice - so that the outcome of an election is not the result of coercion.

Gotta agree, if this is the only hitch in a 'futuristic' voting system that would in every other way be superior, it doesn't sound like much of an objection to me.

However, and this is only perhaps a related point, we are entering a future where people's individual choices are being used against them in the social sphere, so there is a danger of coercion taking place from other citizens. For instance suppose a hack occurred when voting records were released; it might not adversely affect the legitimacy of the election, but that information could be used against the individuals to, say, blackmail them, in the event that they'd have difficulties if it got out (for instance if a person voted for Trump among the wrong company).   

If you prefer an example
the requisite snark shows pretty clearly that you not only think objectively that there is no spike evident, but that in addition you find the idea silly that there was one.
Incorrect assumption - the snark was directed to the certainty displayed in TheDaemon's conclusion, not only in the absence of evidence, but in the presence of refuting evidence.

But TheDeamon wasn't in any obvious may making a numerical claim; he seems to me to have been saying that for all the talk of everything being Trump's fault, none of it is laid at the feet of the protests. Now he seems to go further and assign more blame to the protests than to Trump, which is an assessment that would be hard to calculate, never mind trying to refute it using only COVID spike numbers. You'd have to ask first 'made worse in what way'. I already argued an example of this, not sure if TheDeamon meant anything like that, but as the point I have to just assume someone read it and didn't have anything to say. But assuming that citing some immediate spike data somehow refutes the claim that the protests did damage is a specious rebuttal. Now it would be fine as an added on point, but as a rebuttal it doesn't really contradict anything TheDeamon said, other than to show that at least on that particular front the data is inconclusive in support his point. So taking a general point about how the hypocrisy of allowing a protest while denying lesser things, and the experts seesawing on the point, and having you attempt to answer that with some data that may or may not be on point, is what I was responding to. That he was so certain is obviously something I can understand you taking issue with, but if all you were trying to communicate was that he shouldn't be so certain that was a failure IMO.

If I were to point out every time you speculate on people's motives or assume their true thinking, it would be a full time job.  Kasandra tried it for a while, but it was exhausting just watching it - I have no interest in schooling you on your every post.

I do speculate on motives, yes, and specifically I try to zero in on what the real opinion of the poster is. I'm not quite as interested in points of debate refutation as I am in trying to figure out the real point of view behind the particular argument. To an extent I think our goal actually should be to come to understand that ideas, or mindset, of each other so that we can actually know what is being argued. The text on the screen is rather insufficient to be able to reply to anyone and have it be a real answer. Most often what you'll see is arguments about straw men when the real ideas are not on the table. It's easy to sometimes win an argument when you never even considered what the other person really thinks. You just set upon some text they write.

Now to the extent that 'motive speculation' is a no-no on the forum, I believe the meaning of that is we're not supposed to undermine someone's point by announcing why they wrote it; e.g.. "oh well that's a bad argument because you're just sore that the liberals are right." It's a sort of ad hominem with the purpose of avoiding a meeting of minds, and I don't do that. What I do try to do is to pin down why an argument was posed so that we can get past short blurbs of text and have a meeting of minds. It takes some risk to do that insofar as one can try to find the POV behind a comment, but you won't always be right. If personal POV's are off the table and only text is in bounds then it would actually limit discussion to the point of a puppet show. In reality most posts here do engage in motive analysis, as in trying to determine the person's political views, personality, and habits and so forth. These are germane IMO and no one complains. If you think I'm way off base in assigning a POV to a post of yours, sure, I might just be flat wrong, but maybe you should consider that you are flat wrong too...about your own post that is. You obviously know your POV, but one is not always aware of what one communicated in text writing. If I say your post came off as blatantly dismissive, maybe calling my comment 'blindly partisan' is itself the bad kind of motive speculation; ignoring an argument by assigning an epithet to the poster. Maybe, just maybe, I really did see what I saw and what you wrote wasn't representative of your POV.

As Kasandra was wont to point out - your crystal ball is broken, more often than not, and you are completely oblivious to this fact.


Then what explanation do you have - not that you owe one, but if you're willing to satisfy my curiosity - for offering snark in response to TheDeamon's comment about how people weren't allowed to gather in their own back yard but a gathering of 1,000 people was ok? If my crystal ball is broken then what purpose was there in offering a curt rebuttal rather than offering any point of agreement?

I won't even comment on your definition of partisan, since I'm probably further to the left than you are on many issues.

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 09, 2020, 05:54:28 PM »
I noted latter in the day that some of the signatories of the letter asked to have their names removed from the letter. cancer culture sadly works.

Yeah, it's been pretty well established that intimidating and scaring people tends to work.

- because it very much carries the connotation that the protests weren't really a significant health concern, despite some people trying to make it look like one.
No, it didn't carry that connotation.  I pointed out, initially, that those protests were a terrible idea from the perspective of the pandemic, but what you quoted was simply about the data analysis - the actual words were limited to pointing out that the actual data did not seem to support the argument, as put forward by TheDaemon, that the protests caused any significant increase in infections.

Yes, I know that your literal text said this. But I don't think I'm off base using my 'crystal ball' to intuit that if your remarks take the form of a rebuttal that you are opposed to TheDeamon's proposition (that BLM is 'magic' and is treated like it doesn't count re: COVID). When I read something like this -

Huge protests in those states, yet no increase in cases coincident with the protests... hmmm...

the requisite snark shows pretty clearly that you not only think objectively that there is no spike evident, but that in addition you find the idea silly that there was one. No, you did not outright say that, but if we're forbidden to draw fairly obvious conclusions from text then next to zero data can be extracted from anything anyone says. Language and communication don't actually work like that. It seems to me a motte and bailey approach to language to use insinuating words and punctuation but then withdraw to claiming you meant literally nothing more than was written. I'm not accusing you, btw, but rather objecting to the idea that reading between the lines is somehow bad form; it's actually a necessary component of language. We do not literally say everything we mean or think.

Here's another point, that has oft been brought up in one form or another:

Loosely stated it is a principle showing that the odds of someone having a holding in cards is reduced when they 'choose' not to play it on a card play, because they may have not played it because they chose to, and may not have because they could not. Thus failing to produce a card on a play has an increased chance that they lack that card than just 50/50. The principle holds for choosing to make statements; if you fail to produce a particular argument, there is a greater chance you don't hold it or believe it, as the reason for not stating it might alternatively be that one chose not to say it on this occasion, or that one doesn't believe it. When I see a consistent trend towards only arguments on one side the Law applies; the odds that the person actually believes it but chose not to remark on it is reduced. For instance in this occasion, why not just say to TheDeamon "yeah it was bad, but it may not have caused that much damage in hindsight". An easy opportunity to express at least partial agreement, but instead your wrote a somewhat snarky rebuttal; that doesn't sound to me like you partially agree. Is this an irrational conclusion?

You do this all the time - inserting yourself into a discussion, while being completely unaware that your partisan blinders cause you to misread the actual written words.

Yes, sorry for participating in a discussion on a discussion forum, next time I'll ask permission, and I'll be doubly sure to make sure I have no biases before posting. Sorry to be the outlier on Ornery in having a point of view...


That said, I think "partisan blinders" doesn't mean what you think it means. You are using it to mean "you disagree with me", whereas in fact it ought to mean I have a strict compliance with a particular partisan (conservative, I guess?) side. But hold on: if you check your own post history and mine, you will likely find that the cause of police brutality, violence, and mistreatment of people is a cause I've posted about probably 100 times more than you have. That might actually literally be accurate. I've started multiple threads about it, many of which were about black people being killed for no reason. They weren't BLM threads per se, but were about the issue they were protesting, which includes the need for vast police reform. I know this won't fit into your theory that all dissent from your POV is "partisan" but I'm sorry to tell you that your idea about my post is pretty absent in terms of accuracy. The side I'm taking about the protests screwing around with COVID morale is a pro-social distancing position. And yet I also am strongly in support of police reform, and largely agree with the object of the protests. But yeah, I object to one thing and I have "partisan blinders". You really need to dispense with the us vs them idea, man.

... or maybe, along with all his other attempts to divide the country, his outreach to white supremacists and racists has put off the majority of those who believe that white supremacy and racism is really, really bad?

No one's opinion of him has changes one jot since his election, and there was zero inkling of any of what you say in his campaign unless you include the wall stuff. But the idea that people have been 'put off' because of alleged dog whistles to racists is misleading at best; most who hate him already did before he even became the Rep candidate.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 08, 2020, 02:29:28 PM »
I doubt that Trump followers will hold him accountable for his handling of the crises even if they are personalty affected. As it seems you would not. Trump could kill someone on 5th av and not be held accountable remains true regardless of the excuses.

I wasn't talking about the handling of the crisis, reread again; I was talking about how effective any measures taken would actually be in the U.S. You can release guidelines in Denmark to socially distance and people will do it. In the U.S. they either won't bother, or it will be a mixed bag and you'll have to really make laws with teeth to make it happen universally. This isn't an administrative issue, it's a reality of how little the populace is willing to be told what to do. If you took my comment and brought it back to 'Trump can get away with anything' then the fixation on Trump is yours, not mine. I was talking about the people.

He is *not* responsible for the entire country being a huge partisan crapfest, nor is he responsible for the sense of entitlement and disregard for authority that far predates him

Perhaps he is not "responsible" yet he most certainly uses the partisan crapfest to his advantage exasperating the problem. I doubt he vies the crapfest as a problem.

This is debatable. He ran on a platform which included admitting that the financial system was bonkers and made no sense, but that he was certainly going to exploit it as much as he could so long as it was legal to do so. It seems similar here perhaps; he'll game the system so long as it can advantage him, but may well believe the rules should be different in theory. You know what that makes him? An average American.

If someone see the crapfest as a problem yet continue to defend ans support the man who is exasperating it they are part of the problem. no?

If we don't ask for better then the crapfest we can't expect to get any better. I suspect if Biden handled the crises in a similar or worse manner you would let him off the hook

It depends on what you see when you look to the top. If you're looking for a shining icon that is one thing; I think I haven't been expecting that for a while. The Ancient Greeks had an idea (held by some) that the leader is responsible for teaching and improving the people by example. He was the moral exemplar. De Tocqueville by contrast seems to observe that leadership follows in the footsteps of the social climate and culture. You get the leader you deserve in many cases, and I don't mean morally, but rather that the social climate is going to determine who gets into office. I would advise in this case to believe Tocqueville and to assume that if Trump is in office that people need to take a long hard look at themselves. And no, not just the right-wingers, it's everyone. The crapfest is mutual. You have no right to demand better until you are better.

...we get "have you seen any sign they were a problem?" which is not outright denial but a wishy washy way of saying that if no one can prove it was a problem then nothing to see here.

Correct in the main, but The question is whether the protests in general were staged by a frantic losing Leftist crowd who wanted to hurt the Trump economy at any cost. It still is the question.

Lol, thanks for the 'help'...

General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 08, 2020, 12:51:36 PM »
It's not a split mind thing to both enjoy a piece and to criticize it.

Sure, but I think increasingly people are finding that everything is all or nothing. Either a piece is celebrated, or it's cancelled if something bad happens. Granted this isn't how moderate people think, but I think the numbers are increasing in the extreme.

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