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Messages - Fenring

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1
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.

2
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.

3
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?

4
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.

5
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?

6
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.

7
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.

8
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.

9
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.

10
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.

11
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.

12
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?

13
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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.

14
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:

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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.

15
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.

16
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.

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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.

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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.

17
General Comments / Re: General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 29, 2020, 06:33:03 PM »
TheDrake,

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.

However:

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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.

18
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.

19
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.

20
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.

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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.

21
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.

22
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").

23
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.

24
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.

25
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.

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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.

26
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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:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/20/politics/trump-administration-federal-agents-chicago/index.html

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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:

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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:

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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.

27
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.

28
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.

29
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).   

30
If you prefer an example
Quote
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.

Quote
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.

31
As Kasandra was wont to point out - your crystal ball is broken, more often than not, and you are completely oblivious to this fact.

<shrug>

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.

32
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.

33
Quote
- 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 -

Quote
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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_restricted_choice

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?

Quote
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...

/snark

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.

34
... 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.

35
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.

Quote
Quote
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.

Quote
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.

36
...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'...

37
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.

38
General Comments / Re: Hamilton
« on: July 08, 2020, 12:34:46 PM »
NH, I haven't seen Hamilton but your description makes it sound like "Revolutionary War Rent"! Funny you should critique Lin-Manuel in particular as his performance in the show has to whit become legendary in the musical theatre community (to which I'm peripherally connected as I have one foot in the door of that milieu). One singer friend of mine in particular idolizes him, so I'll try to check it out since now I'm curious.

I didn't think the musical styling would be to my taste but is *is* a phenomenon, so there's that.

Interesting point you make also about black-washing the white history there, especially since the crowd loving this show in a big way is almost certainly the same crowd denouncing other media that glosses over black struggles in history. It shows to me that there is a split mind at work, one side of which is the child's mind (in a good way) that just loves good, fun stuff and doesn't have an agenda. The other mind is trained into people to concoct all manner of issues into otherwise pleasant media to 'make a point'. So you might well have at this point the same exact person loving The Little Mermaid on the one hand because they know it was beloved to them before, but also denouncing it because XYZ political reasons. I have actually seen this divide occur in the musical theatre and now Harry Potter fanbase community, as one family I know who are huge Disney and Harry Potter fans will not accept any argument that goes against these franchises, whereas many others are totally willing to throw their favorite works into the dustbin if their political views get crossed.

It's a funny thing to see, although I haven't seen it happen yet with Hamilton, as it's still very much on the "in" as far as I can tell.

39
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 08, 2020, 12:23:34 PM »

I suspect even the Trump supporters that lose parents to covid wouldn't hold it against Trump

I think you need to be careful about assigning blame to Trump for this whole situation. Would another President have handled it better? Maybe. Some conservatives here have argued that Biden was saying even worse stuff originally re: travel ban, but let's leave off comparisons and talk about the situation in America. It's no secret that Americans basically hold in contempt 'passive' and 'obedient' populations, nanny states, and authoritarian Asian-style governments. All the ingredients that are needed for people to do what they're told and not deviate are anathema to the American mentality. The entire world knows that Americans are rebellious, willful, and even paranoid about being told what to do. I think "don't tell me what to do!!!" (with all three exclamation points) might be the most accurate slogan for the States. In some respects this is admirable and attracts praise, especially in regard to the American drive for success and freedom. But in other respects it's a giant spectacle of shame as the world listens to news report after news report of Americans failing to be able to do things of basic civic responsibility that would be a no-brainer in Sweden or South Korea. So there are pluses and minuses, and situations where the American mentality has benefits, and others where there are drawbacks. Any situation where you really need people to agree and help each other out in a general cause is going to be a big failure in America, especially right now. The exception is a major war, as all the paranoia makes everyone too scared to go against it.

So you can blame Trump all you want, but all he is is the embodiment of "no one tells me what to do or think." If you think he's a problem, you may be right, but remember that he's just a mirror magnifying a general trend in the U.S. And I hope you don't think I'm being mean or anything, most people around the world have already thought this for like 30 years (or at least as far as I remember). 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. *These* are the factors making it hard to accomplish anything in America regarding COVID, along with various political corruptions I suppose.

40
Quote
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

I didn't read "Is that what we see?" as suggesting the connotation you noted. Maybe I'm missing something.

Well it's the general tenor of an answer sounding like pushback on criticism, rather than something like "yes I am also worried that the protests were a problem but it's hard to know." Instead 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.

41
If the "post-hoc" argument had nothing to do with the post of mine that you quoted, then you shouldn't have quoted those words from my post.

I quoted that portion of your text, which I'll repeat here just to avoid potential confusion -

Quote
Is there any evidence that the protests caused a significant number of infections, significant as compared to all the other behaviours leading to the infection rates?  We should see huge spikes in the areas where the protests happened, and ongoing reductions in infection rates elsewhere.

Is that what we see?

- 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. My point was that you don't know yet, and probably never will whether the protests caused a significant health problem long-term. All you have been looking for (reasonably, in a way) is the short-term or 2-week fallout, but that's only half the picture. The other half is how much people are going to take safety precautions seriously going forward, and for how long, until they get fed up. Even if the protests weren't the last straw they certainly added to the load. For many people, though, I actually do think they were the last straw, but for others the last straw could be something else later on. And there will be a last straw if people don't really believe their sacrifices are doing anything or being respected by their fellow citizens. The protests very much showed that health precautions are important unless something we care about more shows up. That's a super bad message to send. And you can't measure that now because it's psychological, but at the same time denying that this is relevant is foolish.

I find it interesting that I'm taking a position of pro-precautions and that people aren't taking it seriously enough, but because it might have the tinge of an anti-left position you're trying to refute my position on it anyhow. After all of your posts on global warming and the pandemic, I would have thought you'd be first in line to support any position of taking these public concerns seriously. I can't help but feel that somehow the protest movement is 'untouchable' and that it is making you reverse your usual position because it's higher on the priority list. If that is so (and it's not wrong, per se, to have priorities) then it only validates my point: people see someone else placing something higher than social distancing, and now the conclusion is obvious: when something important to me comes up I'll place that as a higher priority too.

42
That's a complete straw man argument, at best; at worst, it's dishonest.

I would say that the straw man is to claim that what I just argued is that all new recorded cases are a result of the protests. What I argued is that in subtle ways when you corrode morale and belief in the procedures it leads to slackening of safety protocols, and that you will not be able to track this back to the protests in terms of an immediate spike. The effects may not have even been fully felt yet, and it is too chaotic a system to ever track it. All we have is common sense and what we see with our own eyes, and I *know* that universal slackening happened as a result of the protests. How this directly affects numbers we cannot be certain.

But I find it interesting that you quoted my pointing out of hypocrisy to then suggest that really there wasn't a serious spike. What on earth do those have to do with each other? That it was rank hypocrisy seems to me so self-evident that it's particularly striking to see anyone defending it. We both know that there was no general announcement or consensus that outdoor gathering was probably low-risk until after the protests, at which time it became politically expedient to say so rather than to have to put your head in the noose and announce that you had a problem with the protests. And I don't want to be funny about this - the people supporting the protest on social media would have utterly disowned anyone who had spoken against it on any grounds (including safety concerns).

43
Is there any evidence that the protests caused a significant number of infections, significant as compared to all the other behaviours leading to the infection rates?  We should see huge spikes in the areas where the protests happened, and ongoing reductions in infection rates elsewhere.

Is that what we see?

The issue isn't just whether the physical event of the protests caused a spike, although even if that was an issue it's a major blow to morale, because many people were being prevented from holding outdoor gatherings prior to that. How convenient that a post hoc justification of "oh outside is ok" came after they knew the protests would happen regardless of what they said. Heaven forbid public figures on the left should say of others on the left "we agree with their cause but these protest gathering are wrong". And I know why not - they would be torn to pieces.

But aside from this particular morale problem, there is a worse one, and one that stands aside from whether the protests directly caused an outbreak: the caused the entire public to lose faith in social distancing, which long-term may slow down progress or makes things worse, albeit not as a sudden spike. Don't you realize that the ability to convince people to stay at home and not go out was tenuous even at its best? Hearing about a mass protest crushes the ability of many people to take social distancing and isolation seriously. In my city the entire trend of social distancing was utterly shattered immediately after the start of the protests. One day people would walk on to the street to avoid walking near you (9/10 of them would, 1/10 never gave a crap), and then the next day, post-protest, literally no one is doing this anymore and the sentiment was "uh, I guess we're not doing this any more."

It's not just as simple as looking for a spike 2 weeks later. And if social distancing breaks down and that doesn't create a spike (as you're trying to show), then that serves as a significant refutation of the value of social distancing, numerically speaking, which further corrodes morale. And I'm not arguing that would shouldn't social distance (we should), but rather that it will cause people to think it's useless.

44
Have you noticed that almost all of the active threads on Ornery have collapsed into trying to figure out how giant the cluster*censored* for Trump has become?

Funny you should say that, as this is exactly the case also for MSM networks since 2016! Trump Trump Trump 24/7, and if another story rises cover it briefly then back to Trump. It's no coincidence.

45
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: July 06, 2020, 01:59:08 PM »
How clumsy of them!

46
Who said I was going to stick around? Why couldn't I leave my own property and let the invader do whatever they wanted?
 
Not even germane to the conversation about this particular incident, because nobody invaded anyone's home. It's hard to get raped by someone when they are 10m from your front door.

I think the issue is more one of the fear of letting things get out of control with an unknown potential assailant in a place they shouldn't be. I am no fan of lethal force, especially involving the police, but there is no purpose in making general claims about what people should do if those fundamentally go against human nature in some respects. It is not normal to feel 'ok' with abandoning your home and letting people have their way with it, nor it is even obvious to someone to flee from the place that is generally the place they feel is their safe base. Holing up and defending is a far more natural response to a potential invasion. Not saying there's no merit to your idea, but I wouldn't say it as if anyone should be expected to actually do this.

47
Did I say they didn't have the right? I did not. I'm saying you don't need to threaten to kill somebody, no matter how justifiable, just because they decided to walk down your driveway. I'd personally let someone steal every single thing from my house before I'd end a life over it. I'd let someone spraypaint my garage, tip my car over, and piss in my cheerios and I still wouldn't kill someone over it.

Would you even let them take the crystal ball in your house - the one enabling you to know they'd be friendly while taking these things and wouldn't rape your wife and kill you?

48
General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:34:31 PM »
...or increases when it matches one's beliefs.

I suppose that would be a corollary, yes.

49
General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:24:26 PM »
it was funny that you clearly thought it was "on the nose", whereas you missed the whole face ;)

I guess so! It's also funny how "comprehension" magically declines when it's a post counter to one's own predisposed beliefs.

50
General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: July 02, 2020, 12:35:07 PM »
It was a joke insofar as it wasn't meant as literally serious. It wasn't intended to be humorous. But I'm happy to explain a post the next time one goes over your head. Just ask :)

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