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Messages - Kasandra

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101
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 25, 2020, 01:16:58 PM »
The only country in the world where the disease is treated as a political problem rather than a health and medical emergency is the US.

The question that nobody here wants to answer directly is, What the *censored* is wrong with the US?

The peoples' minds have been broken and divided. All social issues are political issues; all scientific issues will eventually be political issues; all of it can be traced back to corrupt politics and brainwashing. But by all means, let's continue to vote for party-selected candidates and let them dictate the playing field.

So you're going to vote for TheDrake's Aunt Millie, too?  Since 95% of voters select either the Democratic or Republican candidate, you'll have absolutely no impact on how the next President will act.  But you'll know you did the right thing, anyway, because neither of them deserves your vote.

102
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 25, 2020, 01:06:21 PM »
A tale of two countries:
  • Canada and the USA both saw the first deaths attributable to the virus in mid March
  • Canada and the USA both saw new cases 'peak' in mid-late April
  • Since then, Canada has seen a steady drop in new daily cases, down to about 1/6 of the peak number
  • Since then, the USA has seen a slight dip in new cases (primarily as a result of the hot-spot north-eastern states getting a handle of the pandemic, while cases increased elsewhere) followed by a plateau and a new increase to record new-daily-cases level.
  • Both countries have administered roughly the same number of tests per capita, and have seen recent increases in the daily rates of testing.
  • Both countries have seen regional 'restriction relaxation' plans taking effect.

See, the thing that has seemingly been lost in all of this is people have moved the goal posts.

Remember "Flatten the curve" from months ago? That is exactly what the US did, and has been doing, although it looks like they need to put more restrictions back in place as the curve is moving up again.

Everywhere else is seemingly trying to eradicate it before/until a vaccine is available.

And given China has admitted they haven't even succeeded at that, I wish the other "free societies" luck on that.

That goal was seen as a monumental and difficult objective when cases were rising so fast that refrigerator trucks were parked at hospitals to "store" the bodies.  Now that seems like a modest goal since hospitals in those cities where the infections first swept through the population are under control.  But, the rest of the country decided that it was good enough that hospitalizations and deaths weren't continuing to skyrocket.  They were wrong because nobody understood (or yet understands) how the virus really spreads and how deadly it really is.  Meanwhile, every single western European country has seen their precipitous rise in cases and deaths fall just as precipitously and now have far lower rates of new infections compared to the US.  And they test more, isolate and contract trace and mandate nationwide standards for restrictions on commerce and social gatherings.  The only country in the world where the disease is treated as a political problem rather than a health and medical emergency is the US.

The question that nobody here wants to answer directly is, What the *censored* is wrong with the US?

103
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 25, 2020, 04:14:02 AM »
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Historically, I'd agree. This year, I'm not sure that can be relied on. We'll see on election night, or at some point between now and then.

Trump has created an atmosphere that brings out the worst in people and eggs them on to be worse yet if they don't suffer any consequences.  So, people will lie to pollsters without feeling any shame or regret.  It's like a virus, nobody can see the lie so it's like it didn't happen.  How freeing is that?!  People who think like that won't mind if Trump encourages states to rig the election and wins because of it, because nobody will take any responsibility for it and Trump will blame Democrats for corruption.

104
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 24, 2020, 06:58:59 PM »
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Another things in play right now is the whole "cancel culture" mindset being in full swing, and people may not trust "Joe Pollster" calling them on the phone, they may be suspicious of being Dox'd or otherwise targeted if they give "the wrong answers" to left-wing activists. So there may a significant number of people actively lying to the pollsters this time around.

Some people do lie to pollsters, but not very many.  As Silver pointed out, most people who answer calls from pollsters and take the surveys feel a legitimate impulse to add to the public discussion.

105
General Comments / Re: The Great Unmasking
« on: June 24, 2020, 06:54:59 PM »
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Funny thing, there actually are a great number of cases where the prosecution has decided to dismiss a cases after a guilty plea has been entered into the record. They're rare, but they're not unheard of.

This is a good example of something for which the name escapes me at the moment.  Call it an inflation or synecdoche where a few things somehow take on the characteristics of and subvert the whole. You managed to do that in two sentences.  Congrats.

106
General Comments / Re: Defund the police
« on: June 24, 2020, 05:57:27 PM »
This was an interesting point brought up while watching a Joe Rogan episode, where he was citing a Navy SEAL trainer. Rogan didn't go where I'm about to though.

I've previously said the "Police are underpaid, overworked, and under maned."

The Joe Rogan citation gets into it as the observation was "They are minimally trained and really should be spending about 20% of their time in training, de-escalation, proper use of force, etc." (Which would be more in line with how the US Military approaches things)

The problem with that is to get to being able to have 20% of their time spent in training, that means 1/5th of the force would be training at any given time. My WAG would think most police forces are unlikely to even average 1/20th of their time in a training mode.

Which means you need more cops in order to cover for the ones who are being trained/"refreshed" on things.

If there wasn't as much racial bias among the police forces across the country, there would be much less need for training in how not to kill unarmed black suspects.

107
General Comments / Re: The Great Unmasking
« on: June 24, 2020, 05:55:47 PM »
So it goes. 2-1, guess which 2 were the conservative judges.  The judge who wrote the opinion was appointed by Trump.  This isn't over yet, as Judge Sullivan has the option to appeal to the appeals court en banc or even to the Supreme Court.  Nevertheless, conservative justice appears to be dominant in this case, even though reality has a liberal bias.

108
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 24, 2020, 05:48:21 PM »
A new poll from Nate Silver and NYTimes/SienaThey also published their methodology for people to validate or quibble over.

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Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken a commanding lead over President Trump in the 2020 race, building a wide advantage among women and nonwhite voters and making deep inroads with some traditionally Republican-leaning groups that have shifted away from Mr. Trump following his ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new national poll of registered voters by The New York Times and Siena College.

Mr. Biden is currently ahead of Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points, garnering 50 percent of the vote compared with 36 percent for Mr. Trump. That is among the most dismal showings of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and a sign that he is the clear underdog right now in his fight for a second term.

Mr. Trump has been an unpopular president for virtually his entire time in office. He has made few efforts since his election in 2016 to broaden his support beyond the right-wing base that vaulted him into office with only 46 percent of the popular vote and a modest victory in the Electoral College.

But among a striking cross-section of voters, the distaste for Mr. Trump has deepened as his administration failed to stop a deadly disease that crippled the economy and then as he responded to a wave of racial-justice protests with angry bluster and militaristic threats. The dominant picture that emerges from the poll is of a country ready to reject a president whom a strong majority of voters regard as failing the greatest tests confronting his administration.

Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by enormous margins with black and Hispanic voters, and women and young people appear on track to choose Mr. Biden by an even wider margin than they favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump in 2016. But the former vice president has also drawn even with Mr. Trump among male voters, whites and people in middle age and older — groups that have typically been the backbones of Republican electoral success, including Mr. Trump’s in 2016.

109
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 24, 2020, 03:27:00 PM »
Why not vote for Biden? Nepotism. Opposing busing. Groping women. No vision for healthcare. Massive support for police violence. Somehow managing to be less coherent than Trump. I wouldn't vote him in to a board position for my HOA, let alone running the country.

Aunt Millie it is.  For the rest of us, half a loaf.  FWIW, In a semi-recent interview Ralph Nader was asked if he had any regrets about 2000.  He didn't regret the votes he got, because like people said about Hillary, Gore should have run a better campaign.  OTOH, he does regret not running as a Democrat, as he wasn't running to win anyway, and hoped running as an independent might push Gore and the Democratic Party to more progressive positions.  Do you think he made the right choice?

110
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 24, 2020, 03:22:09 PM »
We can't know for certain who got it where, but the number of cases apparently hasn't risen in those cities, which is a good thing.

111
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 24, 2020, 01:48:40 PM »
Seems a bit like you're reading a lot into a little.

[Edit to add]: I was just looking at a web article about protests and this image was at the top.  She doesn't look violent to me.

112
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 24, 2020, 01:46:47 PM »
It is looking like protests have not caused a spike in cases:

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Despite warnings from public health officials, new research suggests Black Lives Matter protests across the country have not led to a jump in coronavirus cases.

A new study, published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, used data on protests from more than 300 of the largest US cities, and found no evidence that coronavirus cases grew in the weeks following the beginning of the protests.


113
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 24, 2020, 01:41:41 PM »
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Someone I know IRL has a sign in his neighborhood publicly posted that reads "Silence is violence." Once you go down that road, all you need to do is not be an abolitionist and you're on the Evil Scale.

Did you ask him what he meant with that sign?  My first thought is that he might have meant that by not speaking out (he didn't advocate or say he was ok with violence), you are tacitly endorsing the violence that is taking place against blacks.  Maybe not, but you have apparently already formed an opinion.  What do you think he means?

114
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 24, 2020, 01:37:48 PM »
I always vote. I voted Johnson in 16. I voted against bad judges. I voted for Obama, because he had integrity. I will never vote for Biden. No matter what. He's a horrible person, and I am not okay with him.

Why?

115
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 24, 2020, 07:37:46 AM »
Granted, increased testing will likely have had something to do with these numbers - but for the USA as a whole:

Well, I just bothered to visit the tracking site for my state to check "the other stat" that the epidemiologists talk about, a less than 10% positive rate is an indication of adequate testing.

My state's positive result rate is 2.3% for this week, compared to about 7% back in April, so even though the number of positive cases is comparable, there clearly is a lot more testing going on.

That's good news and is reflected in the test results of a number of other states, according to Johns Hopkins tracking.  It's being reported that as many as 8 million people may have been infected with coronavirus in March where 80% had no symptoms.  That's good news for them, but not for the people they infected who had worse experiences. They may have been responsible for the explosion of hospitalizations and deaths in New York, for example.

It's not clear to me who is being tested in each state.  Since people aren't being tested randomly, I assume that these are asymptomatic people who request the test for some reason or have developed symptoms and need to be tested.  So, while it's good that the positivity rate is low in many states, I would like to know why it's as low as it is.

116
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 24, 2020, 07:30:31 AM »
If you don't want those other slave-owners also cancelled, you should be instead focusing on saying that a statue made to honor an evil cause is different than a statue meant to honor a person's positive achievements, regardless of the evil actions in that person's life. e.g. Perhaps Einstein was a bad husband and father -- but a statue to Einstein would be for his achievements as a physicist, not for his family life. Similarly a statue to Jefferson would be for things like his Declaration of Independence, not his slave-owning.

Through this argument you paint yourself into a corner, as now you open the field to have to examine why a statue of a Confederate general is on display. You can no longer assign a reason (e.g. "to defend evil slavery") once you've opened the floodgates, because if you hear the reply of "we want this statue up because he was merciful to his enemies on the battlefield" just as an example, a rejoinder of "yeah but he was evil" contravenes your premise.

Basically, if you can find anything good in a person's background, no matter how great the evil of their legacy is, you can build a statue in their honor.  Most of the Confederate Generals for whom military bases have been named were pretty poor leaders who lost most or all of the battles they led their troops into.  We could honor them for killing fewer US soldiers than they would have if they had won, which was a good thing.  I could see having a statue in their honor if that was the inscription on the pedestal.

117
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 23, 2020, 04:50:33 PM »
You assume Nader voters aren't proud of themselves? Why do you assume they regret not voting for an uninspiring man of modest accomplishments (Gore) versus a dynamic champion of justice (Nader)? Maybe instead you should be asking all the Gore voters if they regret not voting for Nader?

I'm sure many do, but the saying "perfect is the enemy of the good" comes to mind.  I've become more pragmatic in my voting habits, even if to some that might seem like choosing the lesser of evils.  Sometimes the evil, in this case Trump, is so great that the imperative to keep him from winning the election is itself a matter of principle - the greater good.  Ask yourself how many excess deaths have occurred due to his governance and inaction, and how many more excess deaths will there be if he continues in office for another 4 years?  How many more impeachable acts that harm the interests of the country will he commit and remain in office?  How much more dysfunction and harm will he do to Congressional right to oversee the Executive and to countless socially necessary programs and agencies?  How many lives will be harmed by his lack of any sort of moral compass that will deny people access to medical care?  Then ask whether those things would be as bad under the lesser Biden evil and whether it's worth making the practical rather than the purely principled choice.  Or vote for your great aunt Millie, because she's a truly wonderful person.

118
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: June 23, 2020, 03:15:15 PM »
Wrong thread....ignore...

Should we appreciate Bolsonaro if he claims he's trying to create herd immunity?  He seems to be doing it the right way by doing nothing.

No, because he isn't trying to ensure health services are available to ensure the sick have every chance possible to survive being infected. He's allowing his health system to be over-run.

No, because they were trying to ensure slaves were available to ensure their white owners had every chance possible to become rich from their labor. They were allowing the plantation system to be over-seen.

Wrong thread....ignore...

119
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: June 23, 2020, 02:13:48 PM »
Should we appreciate Bolsonaro if he claims he's trying to create herd immunity?  He seems to be doing it the right way by doing nothing.

No, because he isn't trying to ensure health services are available to ensure the sick have every chance possible to survive being infected. He's allowing his health system to be over-run.

No, because they were trying to ensure slaves were available to ensure their white owners had every chance possible to become rich from their labor. They were allowing the plantation system to be over-seen.

120
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 23, 2020, 01:16:03 PM »
Trump's already got a statue, but the erection didn't last very long.

121
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: June 23, 2020, 01:09:33 PM »
Should we appreciate Bolsonaro if he claims he's trying to create herd immunity?  He seems to be doing it the right way by doing nothing.

122
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 23, 2020, 01:07:37 PM »
Now that you mention it, why isn't there a statue of Tsar Nicholas II in Russia?  It would remind them of their history.  That same goes for the Napoleon, who could have statues all over Europe and in Egypt, Shah Pahlavi of Iran and every other deposed leader or failed revolutionary.  They all represent "history".  Back at home, Richard Nixon deserves one, too.  Eventually, someone will want to build one for George Bush to honor his horrific warmongering.  We Must Never Forget Our Heritage!

123
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: June 23, 2020, 09:06:19 AM »
The latest update on the Swedish model. The US has the highest number of deaths, but Sweden's death rate is increasing faster:

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Every summer for the past 13 years, fans of Nordic culture have gathered on the Norway side of the border with Sweden for the outdoor festival Allsang pa Grensen, which translates roughly to, “Singsong Along the Border.”

But this summer, there will not be any Swedish singers in the live broadcast event, nor will there be any Swedish fans in the audience, singing and clapping along. This year, Swedes are forbidden to enter Norway.

And Norway isn’t the only Scandinavian neighbor barring Swedes from visiting this summer. Denmark and Finland have also closed their borders to Swedes, fearing that they would bring new coronavirus infections with them.

124
I read a bit on this due to your post. Apparently there was an attempt in 2014 or something to repeal it already, which failed due to huge Asian pushback. When you look at the current list of arguments for/against you will notice a conspicuous trend along those lines...

Affirmative Action efforts are widely known to significantly harm Asians and their ability to access colleges. Because they are the ones over-represented there, not whites.

I'm only aware of this issue at Harvard.  Where else do you hear about it?

125
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 23, 2020, 07:43:11 AM »
Ouch!

It's a regular hertz donut.

126
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 23, 2020, 07:03:18 AM »
I'm not sure why people can't get their heads around members of the administration spouting racist rhetoric, when from the mouth of the comedian in chief himself:
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By the way, it’s a disease, without question… has more names than any disease in history. I can name - Kung Flu - I can name 19 different versions of names.

Quite simply because it was a hysterically funny thing to say!  You could tell that everyone in the audience laughed at it, because none of them were wearing masks and we could see that their mouths were open and breathing hard.  Yesterday Kelly McNinny reminded the press that he loves the Asians and was just pointing out that the chinks infected us.  Tomorrow she'll tell us how great a job Trump has done fighting off the wahoo woohoo wuhan flu, even though the US with only 4% of the world's population has 25% of kung flu deaths.  We're going to need some Jew Jitsu here to buy the WooHoo lab to head off their next pandemic release, so somebody call George Soros!  :D :D :D

127
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 23, 2020, 06:45:26 AM »
People said a second Bush term would be the ruin of the country. People said a second Obama term would be the ruin of the country. People always say that crap, people always settle for the lesser of terrible choices. I'm done with that. A party can put up a person who is competent, has integrity, and has vision, or they can watch me not vote for their candidate. Period.

Odd to me that here you are going for the more pure solution.  I wonder how many people who voted for Nader in Florida in 2000 still insist they are proud of themselves.

128
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 23, 2020, 06:43:59 AM »
Neither are books or buildings. Burn it all.

Same question to you mate: did you lament the toppling of Lenin or Saddam Hussein statues?

If not, why not?

Saddam Hussein statues were monuments to himself, and were "sufficiently recent" to not matter. The Lenin statues are more complex because "recency" for him, and possibly the individual statue, becomes more variable. But it can still largely be classified into being an imposed icon by the Communist Party rather than an Icon actually desired or genuinely pursued by the people of the area at the time the statue was erected.

Which also moves it into local solutions for local issues for the most part, or else we stumble into international condemnation of the Taliban destroying statues created by non-Islamic groups thousands of years before. Or ISIS/ISIL doing to same in Iraq and Syria.

Way to pretend there is some sort of slippery slope here.  Get rid of the monuments to generals who fought to preserve slavery in the US.  Why do you keep weaving and dodging?

129
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 06:04:36 PM »
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Interesting point about a break down in demographics however my point was that in general as a society we don't care as much about the elderly dying. Unless its our parents and grand parents but even then we won't sacrifice as much to save them.  Maybe that's always been how its been.

When the movie is made about this pandemic it should be called "The Expendables".

130
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 06:01:29 PM »
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"China created this pandemic." is presumably a reference to the Chinese Communist Party(CCP), not the Chinese people.

If you want to trace its roots, bats created the pandemic.  They happened to be in China, where there are a lot of bats and a lot of viruses and a lot of fresh food markets.  You want to blame the communist party for the bats?  Should we blame democracy for the swine flu?

131
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:55:30 PM »
Let's do this instead.  Let's get rid of the statues that honor the Generals who fought to preserve slavery and rename the military bases named in their honor.  Anybody want to argue against that?  We can have further discussions about who next to eviscerate once we've finished with these.

Tell that to the idiots ripping down statues outside the scope of the Confederacy and Jim Crow.

Try to focus on one thing at a time.  We can't fix every problem all at once.

132
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:54:46 PM »
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Yes, they took up arms against the Federal Government which made the rebels at best, insurrectionists at worst, but that isn't treason as defined by the Constitution.

Yet they were allowed to continue as citizens of the United States when the war ended.  None of them applied for citizenship, and as far as I know none of them emigrated to another country.  If they resigned their commisions and weren't committing treason, how could they honorably stay US citizens?  You are really good at rationalizing, but you aren't making much headway here.
I'll have to walk that one back, they do meet the definition for treason as they obviously "levied war against the United States" but the lack of prosecutions speaks volumes as well.


Yes, it speaks to a wish to return to comity in the face of a new reality.  Unfortunately, we're still waiting for most of that new reality and with examples like police brutality against blacks and the noose that was hung in Bubba Wallace's garage, we aren't anywhere close to where we're supposed to be.

There's even a movement in Congress to enact laws to restore the rights embodied in the Civil Rights Act.  We all know that won't go anywhere in a Republican Senate.

133
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:51:19 PM »
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This new purity test they wish to impose upon the country is a farce, it needs to stop.

That's pathetic.  You should be jailed, if not executed, for your many egregious sins, about which I have no information.  Let's line everybody up and kill them all (not me, them).  Talk about an absurd argument.

Let's do this instead.  Let's get rid of the statues that honor the Generals who fought to preserve slavery and rename the military bases named in their honor.  Anybody want to argue against that?  We can have further discussions about who next to eviscerate once we've finished with these.

134
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:45:42 PM »
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But it doesn't change the matter that for that time, especially for someone from the original 13 states, you were loyal to your state first, the federal government second.

There were 34 states in the US when the Civil War started, and of the states that seceded, only 5 were "original" colonies. West Virginia didn't become a state until the war was already 2 years old.  Doesn't matter whether you want to call it technically treason, they did it for slavery, so I will call out their ethical and moral ideals as evil.

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Yes, they took up arms against the Federal Government which made the rebels at best, insurrectionists at worst, but that isn't treason as defined by the Constitution.

Yet they were allowed to continue as citizens of the United States when the war ended.  None of them applied for citizenship, and as far as I know none of them emigrated to another country.  If they resigned their commisions and weren't committing treason, how could they honorably stay US citizens?  You are really good at rationalizing, but you aren't making much headway here.

135
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 03:02:28 PM »

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro:
Quote
China created this pandemic.  They hid the virus, they created that virus, and they sent over hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens here to spread that around and around the world - whether they did that on purpose, that’s an open question.
The racism is strong in this one...

He's already got the 10% of votes who will believe that. I wonder why they bother.

136
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:43:50 PM »
Down goes Grant! Maybe it's just statues in general (no pun intended)?

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/20/ulysses-grant-statue-toppled-in-san-francisco/

Grant owned a slave, and married into a family that owned a lot of slaves. That there are reports of his being a "soft touch" on the slaves and often being found working right alongside them in the fields is entirely immaterial to the fact that he participated in the institution.

How would you balance that against other aspects of his life?  FWIW, I'm not defending or arguing against taking down his statue.  There are very few people who I think should have a statue displayed in their honor in a public space.

I was being slightly sarcastic in that response, but echoing the statements reported by the press at the time it happened. Grant's statue was taken down because he owned a slave, and his wife's family owned a lot of slaves.

Would you please raise your hand next time?  My sarcameter has been registering a lot of false negatives lately.

137
General Comments / Re: Trump and the OGW miss the point, again
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:41:43 PM »
Nevertheless, the blanket policy imposes the same restrictions on his company.

138
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:40:54 PM »
There is no objective measure for the quality of someone's character, but we do have lines that we don't cross.  One this country honors is patriotism, which those generals sorely lacked.  Another is the republican principle that all men are created equal, which they also lacked.  I won't bother with Christian prohibitions against the "particular institution" of slavery and racism, since the OT and NT mention slavery, servitude and bondage over 100 times and which Christian fundamentalists had no problem with when slavery was the law of the land and many don't now.

Your problem here is you immediately stepped into the problem of judging prior generation by modern standards rather than the standards of their time.

Why is that my problem?  I understand how their loyalties were divided, but they chose their state and culture over their country.  And they fought and died to preserve the "peculiar institution" of slavery, not for any higher cause.  If you want to avoid imposing revisionist thinking, don't bring up "states rights," which is a purely modern invention.

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For 1860's America, you were a citizen of your state first, the United States seconds. In the case of Robert E. Lee for example, his failing was that he was a patriot to Virginia first, and a patriot to the Union second, so when Virginia parted ways with the union, his loyalty compelled him to honor the call of duty from his state.

And that was a horrible error of misplaced loyalties on his part.  He chose treason over patriotism, given the definition of those terms both then and now.

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In that era, if he had sided with the Union, while the northerners may have lauded him all the same, he would have also been deeply suspected by many on the north because of his dis-loyalty to his home state of Virginia and the Confederates would have regarded him as one of the most vile sorts of traitors imaginable. Even though in that scenario he never spent so much as a minute as a member of the Confederacy.

Doing the ethical and moral thing can be a bitch, but people of superior character and judgment do it anyway.  Cheering for the home team isn't a sign of ethics or morality, but identification.

139
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:33:19 PM »
Down goes Grant! Maybe it's just statues in general (no pun intended)?

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/20/ulysses-grant-statue-toppled-in-san-francisco/

Grant owned a slave, and married into a family that owned a lot of slaves. That there are reports of his being a "soft touch" on the slaves and often being found working right alongside them in the fields is entirely immaterial to the fact that he participated in the institution.

How would you balance that against other aspects of his life?  FWIW, I'm not defending or arguing against taking down his statue.  There are very few people who I think should have a statue displayed in their honor in a public space.

140
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:30:45 PM »
Quote
So in your view members of the EU can only be patriotic towards the EU, and an Italian person being patriotic towards Italy is 'not a thing'?

Sorry to answer a question with a question, but is the EU a country?  Do you want to answer my question whether secessionists were patriotic, since that's the word we're focusing on at the moment. 

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Looking at anyone with revisionist history (which is by the way a no-no in history departments) and judging them only by today's terms and standards basically throws understanding out the window. By today's standards, every single human being basically prior to WWII was some kind of imperialist scumbag, or a racist, or etc etc. Great.

I have no idea what raw nerve I must have touched in you.

141
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 12:06:21 PM »
We could quibble endlessly about the meanings of phrases and words in historical vs. current usage, so I won't spend much effort on it.  Two people can have opposing views on who is or isn't patriotic, but patriotism doesn't and never has applied to one's state, even before the Civil War.  The simplest and most universal definition is "love of country."  I'll let you decide for yourself if the secessionists were patriotic.

142
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:45:03 AM »
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So the issue of should there or shouldn't there be another round of restrictions is beside the point, and likely has nothing to do with a new outbreak if my area is a good sample case. The issue is that many people have decided they don't care anymore at all and are not even obeying the current level of restriction. Tightening it up again will serve no purpose unless the law has teeth and the police are willing to round people up or ticket them en masse for breaking the protocols.

Personal responsibility and awareness have always been the key, but we didn't know enough at the start of the pandemic to act in the best possible ways.  We know more now, but still not enough, so I think people should over-compensate on the side of caution and resist the urge to get out and party like it was 2019.  My concern with the yahoos who aren't behaving "well" is not that they may get it and recover, but who they will pass it onto and whether they will.

143
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:40:08 AM »
Quote
Yankee Doodle Dandies

I hadn't thought about that epithet in a long time, but it was an insult directed at American colonists who identified with the anti-English cause.  In other words, gays and fops, aka liberals.

There is no objective measure for the quality of someone's character, but we do have lines that we don't cross.  One this country honors is patriotism, which those generals sorely lacked.  Another is the republican principle that all men are created equal, which they also lacked.  I won't bother with Christian prohibitions against the "particular institution" of slavery and racism, since the OT and NT mention slavery, servitude and bondage over 100 times and which Christian fundamentalists had no problem with when slavery was the law of the land and many don't now.

Nobody argues that Noah and his offspring, as well as Adam and Eve where white, except that they almost certainly were not.  So it is at deepest level of human morality and ethics a subjective question, but that doesn't mean we can't pare away a lot of more superficial considerations that make it seem subjective but don't really. 

It seems a pretty easy answer to me to the question of what did those generals do to balance against their treason on behalf of slavery.  Not much for some, nothing for the rest.  Good riddance.

144
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 22, 2020, 10:48:20 AM »
Washington and Jefferson were slave owners.  The discussion around each person honored for the contributions and denigrated for their transgressions is how to weigh the balance.  Each should be judged independently and on their merits.  As for the Confederate Generals, their names wouldn't even be known except that they were traitors on the losing side of a war against the United States with the sole purpose of preserving the institution of slavery.  What do they have to balance that against?

This is not a new discussion and not specific to our national heritage.  One of the most famous anatomists whose amply-illustrated Atlas of Human Anatomy books have been used for generations to teach medical students did his "dissections" on both dead and living prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.  The medical field has struggled to answer the question of whether to ignore his contributions to the field since that was first recognized.  We have a copy but I never open it.  Is that enough?  Should I destroy it or donate it to the med school library for students to refer to?

145
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 10:37:57 AM »
The question is - will there be the stomach for reinstating restrictions if and when it becomes obvious they are needed?

I don't think so. That might change if it were children and young people being the ones the virus affected the most.
At this point with lack of consistent leadership and direction the best we can hope for is herd immunity while protecting the most vulnerable the best we can.  Maybe that should have been the plan all along.

Herd immunity may not even be possible.  There are hints in ongoing studies that the immunity from the illness might wear off in a matter of months, which would mean the disease would never leave the population without continual vaccinations and protracted imposition of measures like isolation and mask wearing.  The virus won't be defeated by argument, so the lesson is don't bring political weapons to a pandemic fight.

146
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 22, 2020, 08:42:33 AM »
Severe mental illness is a bad thing in a President, but far worse for the rest of us:

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“And what we have done with the ventilators, the medical equipment, with testing. Testing is a double-edged sword. We have tested no (sic) 25 million people. It is probably 20 million people more than anybody else. Germany has done a lot, South Korea has done a lot. Here’s the bad part. When you do testing to that extent, you will find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please. They test and they test. People don’t know what['s] going on. The young man is 10 years old, he has the sniffles. He’ll recover in about 15 minutes. That’s a case.”

[Crowd cheers.]

147
General Comments / Re: Trump and the OGW miss the point, again
« on: June 22, 2020, 07:27:28 AM »
if anyone who knows anyone who has solid skills in uvm system verilog, send them here, https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-decker-a86795/

That's a pretty narrow specialty.  A friend of mine with a PhD in a closely related area (knows almost everything about almost nothing) has fielded offers from countries around the world, so good luck filling a position "locally".

148
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 21, 2020, 06:48:01 PM »
Why yes, yes I am.

149
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 21, 2020, 11:23:24 AM »
Florida Governor Desantis is acknowledging the dramatic rise in COVID cases since the lockdown restrictions were lifted isn't due to increased testing:

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Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged on Saturday that the rising number of new Covid-19 cases in Florida cannot be explained away by an increase in testing, and announced plans to step up enforcement of social distancing practices in bars and nightclubs.

“Even with the testing increasing or being flat, the number of people testing positive is accelerating faster than that,” DeSantis told reporters during a briefing at the state Capitol. “You know that's evidence that there's transmission within those communities.”

The Florida Department of Health reported more than 4,000 new Covid-19 diagnoses on Friday, the latest peak in positive Florida cases that began climbing about a month after the state began reopening its economy on May 4. The rate of new coronavirus cases has more than doubled over the past 10 days. On Friday, just over 12 percent of test results came back positive for Covid-19, which is an increase from 5.5 percent on June 10, according to a report by the Florida Department of Health.

He's not admitting that any mistakes were made by him or his Administration, it's the people who are following or not following the new relaxed guidelines who are to blame.  Masks are still optional:

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Even with more evidence of community spread, DeSantis refrained from requiring that people to wear masks in public. The state has endorsed the mask-use guidelines set by the CDC in May but DeSantis argues a broad mandate would be impossible to enforce.

“If you say you're going to be prosecuted you know or wear a mask, they’ll say 'geez, they were telling me not to wear one in March now they're saying to do it,'” DeSantis said. "We're going to trust people to make good decisions.”

Apparently, it's still not yet time to take the disease seriously.  Death increases will likely follow the surge in new cases, so we'll have to wait to see if that influences his thinking.

150
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 21, 2020, 08:44:20 AM »
Kudos for trying to keep their distance, but Trump's supporters were so spaced out hardly any of them managed to show up.

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