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Messages - Gaoics79

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General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:50:48 AM »
Did anybody die at Berkeley?

It's coming, guranteed. Only a matter of time.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 27, 2017, 02:07:23 PM »
Letterip, I'm assuming that 100% of protesters present has a smartphone, which means that there is going to be one high resolution digital video camera for each and every protester on site. Right off the bat, the number of cameras (and possible perspectives) dwarfs what the police will ever have available on site. In addition, I am going to assume that pretty much every aspect of the demonstration, more or less anything that happens of significance, will be recorded by someone in the vicinity. If a rock is thrown, chances are it's either on camera or at least the immediate aftermath is.

So if there's a question of what happened here or what happened there, even assuming the crowd is largely just a bunch of ad hoc demonstrators with no affiliation or organization, it's on video on someone's phone, guaranteed.

Yes, the police are more organized and can probably access video more easily and quickly, but on the other hand, they are also under procedural constraints about what they are going to release and when (and under what circumstances), whereas the protesters aren't. (unless they are afraid of incriminating themselves, which is less a legal / procedural constraint so much as a fear of being prosecuted)

So as I see it, both groups have access to video, both groups have self-serving motives and both groups have advantages and disadvantages. In terms of the access to video footage, it isn't clear to me that the police have the advantage.

Also I guess I'm not sure what video you would want from the protesters?  Isn't the footage that contradicts the police statements sufficient?

It may be. On the other hand, video footage may also be selective. When the cops release a video of a protester throwing a gas canister at police (without showing the video depicting where the gas cannister came from) that's a dishonest self-serving use of video, just as it would be if a protester released a video of a cop bashing a protester on the head, without showing the part where the protester threw a rock at the officer's head (for example).

My assumption, by the way, is that within both the police and organized protest groups, there are high resolution, high quality videos of pretty much the entire event. Even back in 2003 when I used to witness small scale protests on campus at school there was always a video guy - and this is in the pre smart phone days. So if that video isn't being released to the public, there's a very good reason for that.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 27, 2017, 11:42:51 AM »
Except they're not "random" citizens. They're organized protesters. And with smartphones, it's correct to say that they likely have more plentiful and accessible cameras than the police (I presume police cannot pull out their iPhones to record.)

Also I am guessing police are subject to stringent legal constraints in terms of how and when they release video to the public, whereas the protesters can do as they please.

To me it is a wash.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 27, 2017, 10:06:51 AM »
It is perplexing to me that in 2017 we seem to have scarcely more video of these protests than we got 10 or even 20 years ago. We should have a video recording of every protest, from start to finish, posted on Youtube and from more than one angle.

If the police have this available and are keeping it under wraps, maybe it's time they start posting the video online. Otherwise, they're just going to keep taking it on the chin again and again.

Incidentally, I am in complete agreement with the person (I think Letterip) who suggested that an adverse inference can be made against anyone who has video, but chooses not to release it. However, I include the protesters in that group along with the police. From the murkiness of the record in this case, I infer that both sides are guilty of misconduct and we should assume they are both blameworthy.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 24, 2017, 07:30:56 PM »
This is the beauty of these nutbars - they will just flat out tell you what they're about. They're not even "extreme" relative to the commonplace madness that infests academia. The media just won't report on this sort of thing.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 24, 2017, 10:26:59 AM »
I think the increasing prevalence of Doxxing and personal attacks on protesters and others who are video recorded might make masks more, rather than less prevalent. In other words the mask is a symptom rather than a cause. But as TheDrake notes, the type of people most prone to masking up seem least prone to being personally targetted these days for their political views.

Personally I think Doxxing is reprehensible in all but the most extreme cases, and firing someone for their political views is bordering into McCartheyism territory outside of maybe public figures like sports stars and CEOs. If it becomes rampant, to the point where an ordinary citizen need fear for his livelihood over, say, wearing a Trump hat (and I think we're nearly there)  I'd be sympathetic to people masking up in order to excercise their constitutionally protected rights.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:32:45 PM »
Despite the media claim that the right has been emboldened by Trump I see only evidence of the exact opposite. Rather, it is left wing organizations that have increased their aggression and influence. Trump is a gift to the far left. They are the ones who are plainly ascendant as is becoming increasingly obvious.

But I will say this: if you ever wanted to give the fading and irrelevent Nazis and KKK a shot in the arm and save them from the abyss tbey've been falling into for the past 50 years, wow, antifa and others sure have found the prescription.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 22, 2017, 07:10:32 PM »
It's moments like this where I have to wonder if I'm in the club of people that if placed under a FMRI scanner, I'd turn up with a brain scan that would closely match some of the worst criminals(and politicians/Business execs) in history, as I don't seem to have that particular reflexive mental gag reflex. As disturbing as those lines of thinking are, on personal ethical and moral grounds(never mind external ones), venturing in that territory is almost on par with discussing the weather and its impacts in some respects.

I used to think I was like you. I read Mein Kamph as a student and wasn't bothered at all despite being Jewish. Jerry Falwell bible thumpers, ISIS, none of it offends me or affects me in a vicseral emotional way even if I abhor it intellectually.

But this SJW ideology is something new. It makes me angry, so angry that even reading it or hearing it on tv gets my blood pressure up in seconds and gets me cursing under my breath like a crazy person. I have been contemplating terminating all news reading to get away from it and switching to pure fiction. I can't even watch CNN anymore because of the intellectual residue of this ideology which I can only conclude I am just allergic to. Like an extreme peanut allergy the more I am exposed the worse I get. I truly think I'd be more comfortable talking to a nazi than a radical feminist. Crazy ay?

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 21, 2017, 07:23:05 AM »
Some Monday morning headlines with more counter "protests" by the downtrodden and marginalized in the face of "fascism".

Some counterprotesters dressed entirely in black and wore bandannas over their faces. They chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism slogans, and waved signs that said: “Make Nazis Afraid Again,” “Love your neighbour,” “Resist fascism” and “Hate never made U.S. great.” Others carried a large banner that read: “SMASH WHITE SUPREMACY.”

“I came out today to show support for the black community and for all minority communities,” said Rockeem Robinson, 21, a youth counsellor from Cambridge.

He said he wasn’t concerned about his personal safety because he felt more support on his side.

The Boston Free Speech Coalition, which organized the event, said it has nothing to do with white nationalism or racism and its group is not affiliated with the Charlottesville rally organizers in any way.

“We are strictly about free speech,” the group said on its Facebook page. “We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.” [/quote

La Meute said earlier this week that their gathering was to protest the policies of the federal and Quebec governments in the face of “the scourge of illegal immigration” and to call for more resources for officials at the border.

The counter-protest was organized by anti-fascist and pro-refugee groups after at least two Quebecers were identified participating in a white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Va.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 18, 2017, 06:40:05 AM »
That you Kenmeer?

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 17, 2017, 02:50:30 PM »
His mental health issues are probably to mitigate things even further from there.

They rarely do, mental health defenses almost never work in the US, contrary to tv court dramas.

As a general matter, these defenses are not raised very often and work even less frequently.  I have represented thousands of people before, many of whom have serious mental illnesses or chemical dependency problems.  I have sought mental health opinions in about 50 cases, with about 10 of them with viable mental health defenses.  In some of those cases, we chose to waive the defense for one strategic reason or another.  That said, I raise these types of defenses more often than most attorneys in the State.  Conservatively, I estimate I have been successful raising these defenses in less than 0.3 percent of the cases I have been involved with.  Simply put, these defenses are not common.

It is very highly unlikely this vehicular attack was "premeditated" much beyond about 4 minutes before he climbed in his car.

That would meet the burden for premeditation.

Someone premeditates a crime by considering it before committing it. Premeditation requires that the defendant think out the act, no matter how quickly—it can be as simple deciding to pick up a hammer that is lying nearby and to use it as a weapon.

A crime of passion/rage does not constitute a terrorist attack, no matter how terrifying it may be for those that become involved.

If the goal was to cause fear to the broader group, then it was indeed terrorism.  I doubt the burden of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' could be met.

Letterip whether it is technically terrorism is hard to say. For me the label is not important but what the implication is and how the event is characterized to remove relevent context. Every terrorist attack I have heard of involved premeditated massacre of peaceful citizens. All the facts suggests to me this attack wasn't a premeditated attack but an escalation of violence that was already simmering between two sides. It may be that the persons killed and injured were not engaged in violence at the time they were hit, but their "side" certainly was and was not merely protesting peacefully. In addition, reports are that the anti-protesters vastly outnumbered the protesters, so this was not an even battle.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 17, 2017, 10:25:29 AM »
The brawls are not the issue here.  The issue is the act of terrorism that occurred.  The additional fact that the side that terrorist belonged to also vocally supports Trump requires a strong condemnation.  I have an issue with any kind of violent protest.  If the act of terror had not occurred I would tend to agree with you.  Since it did all of the morale equivalency arguments are bunk.

I don't agree. The brawls are very much the issue. Obviously murder is worse than brawling but you have to look at the context. Thus far there is no evidence that this was a premedidated or planned attack. He hit people with his truck. Until further facts come out, it is logical to conclude that this truck attack was related to the other violence. In other words this wasn't some pre-medidated "attack" but a deadly escalation of violence that was already occurring. I blame antifa and hold them (at minimum) equally at fault as the nazis in respect of the underlying violence. This guy didn't just run a truck into some Sunday shoppers or machine gun a night club. It is disingenuous to look at the truck attack as some kind of isolated event. I don't even think it clearly qualifies as "terrorism" frankly.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 17, 2017, 07:07:23 AM »

Here we go:

Christeen Elizabeth, one of the organizers of a planned rally against the event — “No Fascists in Our City!”, the Facebook event page for which originally featured a header photo of a crossed-out swastika, before the photo was changed Wednesday — said it was important to speak out against what she sees as violence against oppressed groups.

There's no slippery slope. Anyone they don't agree with is a "fascist" period full stop.

Trump was completely justified in condemning both sides. This was never about Nazis or the KKK and if you think this kind of violence will stop with them think again.

General Comments / Re: Destruction and theft of cultural heritage
« on: August 16, 2017, 09:16:35 PM »
I think many of these monuments are fundamentally offensive and should be torn down. I think Josh's comparison to Hitler statues in Germany is an apt one.

However, the question is: 1) Who should do the tearing down and 2) What else are they going to tear down once they get a taste for it?

I do not like the idea of mobs tearing down anyone's statue, end of story. It's illegal, it's violent, and yeah, it's asking for armed confrontration and bloodshed in our streets. The next time some mob of self-entitled SJW types decides to take down a statue on their own time, there could be blood in the streets if certain groups get wind of it. This is what happens when police abdicate their responsibility to uphold law.

I'm particularly disturbed because I think that tearing down the statue of Jefferson Davis and other confederate monuments is the thin of the wedge with this rabble. In Canada we have similar agitators threatening to bring down a statue of Cornwalis in Halifax, who by the way founded the City - all because he called for the scalps of Miqmaq warriors at the time. Suffice it to say, while it doesn't endear him to a modern audience, it wasn't like the Miqmaqs were pacifists either, or above similar acts of barbarity.

And let me repeat, the man founded the City!

So yeah, I don't like self-righteous mobs tearing down statues and I am positive that it won't be long until any number of historical figures are going to receive similar treatment, from Washington (who owned slaves) to Churchill (who propagated colonialism). This isn't the slippery slope with these people - they are already there. They are just targeting the low  hanging fruit right now. When they're finished with the confederate monuments, guaranteed it's not going to stop.

General Comments / Re: Uber v Waymo
« on: August 16, 2017, 04:03:05 PM »
Letterip forgive me but what is this case about?

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 16, 2017, 03:55:36 PM »
I agree with TheDeamon. I cannot remember the last time I read about the KKK or Nazis rioting in an American city. It's simply not their MO.

By contrast, AntiFa has a recent and pervasive history of this exact behaviour.

They are using the fact that their opponents are Nazis as cover to justify aggressive thuggery. The nazis are pleased to retaliate when provoked but they are plainly not the "active ingredient".

The racists are little more than a rump, a spent force with little or no influence left. They are not a serious threat. And since these antifa types clearly consider anyone right wing a legitimate target better watch out. They are going to get alot bolder now. This is a huge win for them.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 15, 2017, 11:57:39 AM »
It's not about the vile-ness of the ideology, it's about how dangerous it is. Their plan might be speech for now but, since they're Nazis, it ends in genocide. One can also lose elections against racists, theocrats, and other pernicious ideologies but you might not get a chance to vote Fascists out of office. If Trump were an outright fascist, and not just a useful idiot, by 2020 he could do much to subvert the system's checks and balances. Especially given how compliant Congress is. By 2024, he could be President for life. He won't because he isn't a fascist but your system doesn't seem particularly resilient at the moment.

Noble there are dangerous ideologies all over the place. Plenty of people espouse beliefs that in a worst case scenario could lead to genocide. This is not rare at all. Hell I can point you to blog posts from radical feminists that espouse policy that is tantamount to genocide against men. Big deal.

Talking about Nazi Germany under Hitler and comparing that to the marginal misfits we see today and presenting them as similar threats is highly specious.

It's like saying that that bubonic plague is more dangerous than bird flu because the Black Death of the 14th century wiped out 1/3rd of Europe and bird flu hasn't killed anyone. Except context matters. I see zero evidence that Naziism is resurgent in today's world and plenty of evidence to support the precise opposite conclusion.

Meanwhile I see no evidence that these antifa types are purely limited in their scope to Nazis and the KKK. And these guys have been gaining power. If anything, I'd suggest that Trump's election has emboldened *them* - I don't recall reading about mobs knocking over confederate monuments with impunity during Obama's term.

And yeah I have to call bull*censored* on the "heavily armed" nazi comment. Funny that - so many guns but not a single report of anyone being killed by gunfire. Hmmmm....

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 15, 2017, 10:51:01 AM »
It seems like they are trying to beat the fascist at their own game.

Sounds about right. Except their definition of "fascist" will be expansive, not merely limited to Nazis and the KKK.

This is like a coming out party for them no doubt. For the first time they have a true carte blanche to do what they please and best of all the media will make sure their enemies eat 100% of the blame. The only better target would have been child molesters.

Speaking of the "resurgent" KKK and Nazi movement, which I'm told is now a major force in American politics thanks to Trump, where were they when this happened:

Where's the fearsome white supremacist movement to bust heads? Where are the emboldened racist politicians? Where is the police forming a wall of protection around these monuments?

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:53:09 AM »
I do not see
multiple sides escalate a situation to fever pitch

The killing of 1 person and injuring 19 more by driving a car into a crowd of peaceful protesters is escalating things to a fever pitch.

Killing is different from shouting slogans. 

And I am bending over backwards to not draw inference that one of the two sides here takes on the flags of the greatest enemies of the United States in our history (Nazis and Confederates) while expressing a level of bigotry that I hope we can all disavow, while the other group (that still may have some obnoxious people in it) is protesting against bigotry, Nazis, the KKK, and the Confederacy. Even omitting the content of the two sides, when there is a terrorism act the President should be able to condemn that act, immediately and unequivocally even if he doesn't make inferences about the larger group that the terrorist came from (and of course it shows his vast hypocrisy given his position that Islamic terrorism must always be called out by name, and that Muslims are responsible for always condemning any terrorist act taken by someone who also calls themselves a Muslim).

Hahahah "peaceful" protesters.

I know who the brown shirts are and just cause they're brown shirting Nazis doesn't make them anything but what they are. We see these types frequently now worldwide abd it ain't the KKK.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 14, 2017, 06:06:15 PM »
I'm a jew so the idea of being sympathetic is laughable. But the Nazi movement is finished in USA. It is little more than a rump and hasn't been relevent for decades. I literally have zero to fear from them. They are Nazis in name only - a pathetic shadow of their former malevolence. The KKK also is a bunch of nothing, a shadow of a shadow that hasn't had real power since before I was born.

The only reason it gets any airtime now is when the media pushes their Trump=Nazi dictator narrative which they flog at every opportunity. So these sad impotent little nothings are the next incarnation of the Third Reich. Ummm no.

These antifa types by contrast are a going concern so them I take seriously. And it is like them to go ape *censored* and brown shirt anyone they don't like so yeah, I look at this story with an intense skepticism.

General Comments / Re: Charlottsville
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:27:34 PM »
I would consider any news from mainstream sources on this story suspect. The mainstream media organizations seem very lax with the truth where the subject of the story is merely an unpopular target (see the "Google anti diversity screed" for a recent example) and it doesn't get any less popular than a bunch of Nazis. They'll lie without shame and without restraint because almost nobody they care about will call them out on it. They have pretty much carte blanche.

General Comments / Re: consumer protection
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:15:56 PM »
This is a borderline example for me. I'm not sure I'd call it fraud but it is very close to the line. In theory I don't have a problem with a store arbitrarily hiking up the per unit price and then discounting the deal price which is really just clever marketing. It's reminiscient of how those tv ads will throw in three extra items for the same price plus x plus y perks etc... It's smoke and mirrors but it isn't actually dishonest technically speaking.

My sister, who has worked for several online retailers, can tell you about how consumer behaviour works in these situations. Picking the right price point and how to break down that price (and when to do it in the buying process) is an art unto itself. For instance, do people prefer an "all in" price up front or do they prefer a low up front price that gets jacked up with add ons and extras? The answer is fascinating (and a little surprising).

Well I told you what I needed to take the Russian story seriously. Legally speaking, you may or may not need something less tban that to get impeachment. The issue isn't the "red line" partisans need to get rid of the President they always hated and have determined to eliminate through any means.

Greg prove to me that Trump actually took a bribe or is somehow in Russia's pocket and that would be interesting. But note I already have conceded that this guy isn't fit to be President. I want him gone as much as you do - just not to vindicate Clinton, the DNC, or hyperleft partisans who throw temper tantrums when someone doesn't cowtow to their sacred shibboleths.

I am more concerned about people here and their actual views. I am asking people here, who are not among the large majority who read no news, what it would take within their moral compass to go from a position favoring President Trump to one of clear opposition.  Those of you who are convinced that Hillary Clinton was a criminal or Obama was a tyrant, what would President Trump have to have done to make him even worse in your mind than your image of Clinton or Obama?

The problem is that the majority of the people here who you are referring to don't actually "support" or even like Trump.

Let me put it to you this way. I'm appalled by Trump. I am not actually appalled by anything he has done (I consider the Russia issue to be complete BS) or anything he has said (I don't give a *censored* if he bragged about grabbing pussy) but by who he is. He's not fit to be President, end of story. So if you're asking how I get there - the answer is, I'm already there and was way before election night.

But I'm also appalled by the people opposing him for reasons I consider to be self-serving, disingenuous and corrupt. It is not about whether I hated Hilary more or less or whether she would have made a better president. At this point, regardless of Hillary's merits or demerits, I would love to see Trump disappear, fall off the face of the earth - but not if it means handing "victory" and justifying the actions of the people seeking to remove him for corrupt reasons, using irrelevant pretexts. It is very important to me that if Trump fails, it happen for the right reasons and does not reward the wrong people.

So there's an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. How to make Trump disappear without vindicating and emboldening (and rewarding) people I despise?

I'm not sure there's a satisfactory answer here. I feel a bit like China must feel right about now. Trump is to many of his "supporters" what North Korea must be to China - something embarrassing, regrettable, something we'd love to just toss into a black hole - but something we are stuck with because the alternative would be total capitulation to our adversaries. We would be happy to throw Trump under a bus - but not THEIR bus to vindicate THEIR agenda.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 11, 2017, 08:42:26 PM »
But, of course, you don't have to believe me.  I may be the biggest liar in this entire group.  I can't change your mind about that.  But I would ask that you give me the benefit of the doubt.

If you don't, I understand.  After all, I know the real reason why you don't believe me.

Wayward, I'm just frustrated with a kind of argument style that you (and many others in this debate) employ which seems inherently disingenuous to me. There's just so many qualifications to the assertion you made that I kind of doubt that you really mean what you say. I don't actually believe that you're deliberately dissembling, but you are dissembling, perhaps even from yourself.

I don't even think the science matters in this situation (the scientific correctness of the memo is incidental), although it's interesting to note that others here more or less demolished your flippant claims on that point. The issue is people who hold what can only be described as a faith based belief, essentially a dogma that can't be contradicted by any means. And no matter what argument gets thrown out, they just grab whatever's handy (scientific arguments if science works, unscientific if it doesn't, ad hominem attacks, whatever...) and throw it all out defending their dogma . It's almost like dealing with an evangelical Christian where you come to the depressing realization that no argument, none, will ever move the needle.

General Comments / Re: Trump & NoKo
« on: August 11, 2017, 01:01:03 PM »
I don't have a problem with China's position. They are effectively dissuading both sides from a first strike. The US faces the prospect of war (possibly nuclear) with a major power while NK faces the prospect of being thrown to the wolves by its only ally. I find their position logical and their end goal to be in everyone's interests, even the US's.

General Comments / Re: Diversity programs discussion
« on: August 11, 2017, 10:32:39 AM »
TheDrake I'm not saying that tech companies are immune to this bias. Rather, I say that there are other explanations why an elite tech company like Google recruiting from the cream of the crop, might not have a black / latin cohort equal to their representation in universities and that this is an inevitable result of the success of AA programs doing precisely what they are supposed to be doing.

Further, if Google is desperate to shore up its diversity it stands to reason that employees would be seeking out, rather than shying away from minority candidates. I have issues with the knee jerk assumption that because Sharmika might have trouble getting a job as a telemarketer or a receptionist at a bakery due to her name it follows that she'd be at a similar disadvantage applying to a company like Google which is desperate to recruit women and minorities.

General Comments / Re: Diversity programs discussion
« on: August 11, 2017, 08:03:23 AM »
TheDrake I suspect affirmative action programs at the university level have inflated the number of black and hispanic graduates. That is not metely supposition on my part but literally the purpose of such programs.

Black and hispanic candidates are being accepted into (and graduating from) elite programs with relatively inferior qualifications to their white and asian peers. Again that is what AA programs are designed to do.

Google hires from the cream of the crop in terms of grades and other merits.

I don't think the logic is hard to follow on this one.

While I agree that first name bias may be a factor in some parts of the economy, given Google's evangelical devotion to diversity I find it hard to believe that they are throwing reams of minority applicants in the trash because of it. If anything, you would expect HR desperate to fulfill their diversity targets, to behave in the opposite way.

Just because first name bias effects, say, a laundromat or a car part factory, doesn't mean it applies to Google. Context matters.

General Comments / Re: Trump & NoKo
« on: August 10, 2017, 04:24:07 PM »
Seriati I don't think "global nuclear war" is a realistic scenario although a regional one is possible. But keep in mind that possibility becomes a near certainty if we act.

As for crazy Kim, yes it's disturbing when someone like him has his finger on the button. I'm frankly disturbed that someone like Trump us in a position to usher in nuclear war as well.

But I think there is a big danger in presuming that because someone is "crazy" in some sense, therefore they are immune to reason even to the point of inviting certain death. For all its bluster, NK has not started WW3 yet. And it may never. Kim is a fat unhealthy man who may have a heart attack and die in 10 years. Or he may be assassinated or deposed. In the modern world I tend to think that this kind of regime is not a good long term bet. In other words, there is a pretty good chance the problem may solve itself in the next 20-30 years with no need for a cataclysmic blood bath.

General Comments / Re: Trump & NoKo
« on: August 10, 2017, 02:36:31 PM »
It should be noted that NK can reduce large parts of Seoul to slag with its artillery alone which cannot be countered. The death toll for civilians would be minimum tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands. The NK army is 1,000,000 and can overwhelm the US garrison on the DM zone. The outcome of conflict would be catastrophic even with nukes off the table. Conventional war in any realistic scenario is almost unthinkable from a modern sensibility.

Agreed, I've iterated it a few times in the past, got tired of repeating it. That refrain is simply the basis for why we won't start it. But if it starts, we'll finish it.

It's also exhibit A in why our prior administrations failed us on this issue.  NK has been a thorny issue from the beginning, and it has gotten progressively worse.   Having all our "responsible" Presidents kick the can down the road because of the thorns has potentially left us with Trump being responsible for fixing it.

Difficulty is not a good reason to pass the buck.

Seriati maybe "punting" i.e. doing nothing is the best option when the alternative is 100,000 dead and a major megapololis in ruins (in the best case!!) and regional nuclear war in the worst.

I am not saying a nuclear armed NK is a great option, but neither was a nuclear armed USSR or China, yet we learned to live with that reality. Would the world have been better off if the USA had elected to turn the cold war "hot" at various junctures down the road where it chose to "punt" instead? In the history of the last century, certainly post WW2, I do think expediency and maybe even a little cowardice, might have saved the world a couple of times. God save us from the brave principled men who draw red lines in the sand and plunge us all off a cliff for the sake of a war that may never have come.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:03:23 PM »
And that's the one he crashes up against (assuming Google has a similar boilerplate). "has the effect" not "has the intent". I think its hard to argue that his posting didn't have this sort of effect.

Wow I think it's really easy to argue that his memo did not have the effect of "harassing" or "intimidating" any employee. Actually, thus far we have 0.0 evidence for this proposition.

But again, if someone comes forward and claims to have been "intimidated" isn't that tidy. A self contained entirely unfalsifiable grounds for termination purely at the discretion of Google or those within its ranks.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 12:58:59 PM »
Noble the idea that the existence of this memo is some kind of smoking gun in an anti discrimination suite bears greater scrutiny. I don't buy it. I also would like to know if only embarrassing memos the brass disagree with get plastered on the internet and used as justificatiom for termination or if all do? Speaking of litigation, maybe the lawyers who represent this employee will do a little digging of their own to find the answer. I know what I think.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 12:30:56 PM »
I also find it disturbing that some are arguing that Google was justified in the firing owing to the negative publicity arising from the incident when it is almost certain the a Google employee or employees was responsible for distributing the memo to the public. So what it amounts to is a company deliberately spreading an internal document for the express purpose of manufacturing cause for dismissal. See, the memo he drafted has brought notoriety to our company after we leaked it to the public! Tidy tidy.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 12:20:50 PM »
I agree that scientist have different opinions on these topics.  But without an overall consensus (like we have with climate change), you can't make definitive conclusions about how the differences between men and women affect the workplace, much less any particular workplace.

I'm guessing you missed the underlying irony in making this claim, after you said:

But the bottom line is the argument has no scientific merit.

By the way, I'm dubious of "refuting" a statement that thousands of studies demonstrate a trend by handwaiving at it that she didn't cite them.  Unless you're an expert in the field, or she's not, it's unreasonable to just dispute a claim and move on.

I find Wayward's approach to this topic and his posting on this thread disingenuous.

General Comments / Re: Google manifesto
« on: August 10, 2017, 11:42:58 AM »
Now, I don't believe he should have been fired for this ignorant screed

I actually don't believe you Wayward, at all. If that's motive speculation then so be it. But in this case your reaction to the situation (and others defending the firing) sounds like double talk to me.

General Comments / Re: Trump & NoKo
« on: August 09, 2017, 01:54:58 PM »
It should be noted that NK can reduce large parts of Seoul to slag with its artillery alone which cannot be countered. The death toll for civilians would be minimum tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands. The NK army is 1,000,000 and can overwhelm the US garrison on the DM zone. The outcome of conflict would be catastrophic even with nukes off the table. Conventional war in any realistic scenario is almost unthinkable from a modern sensibility.

So then trump wasn't that far off the mark when he boasted he could shoot somebody on fifth Avenue and not lose support. Presumably as long as he keeps deporting illegals, blocking Muslims from coming into the country, eliminating regulation, and cutting social welfare programs?

Somebody needs to give his supporters a face saving option that isn't = surrender and admit you were wrong to oppose us in the first place.

So because our country is abusive in it's practices regarding cyber espionage, we should invite the same by outside "saviors"... and Russia is as good as anyone to invite in to protect us?


Nope, not quite. More like because the government has engaged in illegal cyber espionage on a massive scale, lied about it and then sought to sweep it under the rug and punish the whistleblower, it is hard for me to take their solemn pronouncements about the dangers of foreign espionage that seriously, let alone admonishing a presidential candidate for *joking* about conduct vastly less concerning than what they have done with impunity.

And in regards to Russia, they're a foreign country - they can be expected to be self-serving and even adversarial. You don't like them hacking your servers? Get better security, problem solved. Much easier a problem than protecting the country from its own government.

I just thought it showed a total lack of seriousness on cyber-defense by an adversarial nation. 

I guess context matters, because 10 years ago I might have looked at it differently too. But post Snowden, it's alot harder for me to attack this issue with the same degree of earnestness and outrage.

I mean we discovered that the US government was conducting an illegal spying operation, not merely gathering meta data, or surveilling foreign agents, but straight up spying on its own citizens, without meaningful oversight, without actual warrants. On top of that, they lied about it point blank to congress.

Then when this conspiracy was exposed, the reaction? Have no fear folks, we'll apprehend the traitor who exposed our misfeasance and see to it that he's punished for his crimes.

So it's funny, in a scary kind of way. And in a way Trump's irreverence was refreshing. It's not even that dissimilar a situation when you stop and think about it. Clinton illegally destroys these e-mails, which are supposed to be public records, We're told pish posh, nothing of interest in those e-mails (which are conveniently destroyed) Trump laughingly asks the Russians to "help" her "find" them, and we get this tutt tutt from the media and the intelligence agencies (the ones who conspired to spy on us illegally) that Trump is jeopardizing national security.

So yes, the man's an unserious clown and he's unfit to be President - no argument there. But faced with what someone like Clinton represents and the others in her league, there is this part of you that wants to make a mockery of it all.

Must have missed it when it was labeled a clever tongue and cheek statement by Trump... Or was that one of those correct the statement after the fact to cover it up things the administration seems to be so good at?

It was obviously tongue in cheek.

But assuming I'm wrong and he was serious there are two possibities:

1. Hilary was telling the truth and the emails were gone - in which case Trump was calling for a "hack" of data that didn't exist; or

2. Hilary lied and the data still did exist and Trump wanted the Russians to recover it.

In scenario 1 his comment was at worst irrelevent because calling on someone to recoverthe non existent is impossible - akin to calling on someone to steal my Rolls Royce.

In scenario 2 you're correct that he was calling on a foreign government to illegally hack a rival politician - in order to expose that rival's dishonest and *criminal* conduct.

That you think calling for the uncovering of a serious crime (albeit through illegal means) is more serious than the underlying crime is funny, but not surprising in the least given the coverage around this issue.

Other than Trump publicly asking the Russians to hack Clinton emails

You don't do your case any favors by rehashing points that have already been discussed and debunked.

That was debunked?
I personally remember watching a video of Trump asking the Russians to do just that.
I commented on it at the time thinking it ought to have been enough to have him removed from the race

The joke was that Clinton had claimed the emails were gone, deleted. So if the Russians successfully hacked them it would mean Clinton was lying and they weren't deleted. Get it?

Actually it was the funniest moment of the election and the cleverest thing Trump said. That people would be hysterical about the fact that a candidate (tongue in cheek) called for the Russians to retrieve deleted public records rather than the fact that a public servant ilegally deleted them to thwart a government investigation is depressing, but entirely consistent with the idiocy of the whole Russian collusion narrative, which is as big a dud now as it ever was. 

Kind of convenient to claim that all of science is against you, so you can disregard whatever doesn't fit your preconceived beliefs. If you ever get diagnosed with cancer, and I have been so I hope you don't, I wonder if you will trust the treatments by all of those liberal scientists. After all, you can find almost as many chemo-deniers as climate science deniers if you look hard enough.

As I alluded to on the transgender thread, one must be extremely careful to differentiate between statements of fact, which may be the subject of scientific evidence, versus statements of pure opinion (of ideology), which are not.

Further, there are entire "disciplines" within academia that are purely ideological in nature and therefore, in my view, not entitled to any deference by laypeople.

Greg are the three items listed supposed to be examples of Republicans hating those on the opposition? I thought that was the topic... But assuming you're just airing grievances against the Trump admin, would those be your top 3? Because if so, now I know why I just tuned out the anti Trump fanatics - weak weak weak sauce.

Greg you are confusing left wing culture with a left wing political establishment. On Bush's watch, for example, gay marriage became universal. His positions didn't move the needle at all. He made 0 difference in gay rights, immigration, abortion, and pretty much any position the right cares about. Pretending he shifted the culture rightward (or indeed any Republican did since Reagan) is fantasy.

Where the argument gets murky is on gun rights and corporate dominance. The former is an issue tbat straddles right and left and isn't entirely clear like abortion for example. The latter is one area that is also murky and seems to straddle both political parties. But the left won the culture war. Note I say won, not winning. It's over.

Imagine if we applied that standard consistently, and instead people on Side A hating someone because of an action they took, people on Side B asserted that the President from your party was foreign-born (and thus not a legitimate President of the US), Muslim, and may be the anti-Christ? Because arguably all of those in this context are the same or worse than "hate", and more than 50% of Republicans asserted the first two hateful claims, and more than 25% asserted the third.

That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

Greg, there's a key distinction you're not perceiving. Yes, many of the people who hate Obama because he's a secret Muslim (or whatnot) are also the kinds of people that conservatives (like myself) might find distasteful, even appalling in some circumstances.

Yet, the fact remains that these people are on the losing side of a culture war that's been going on for decades. Their influence in the media is practically nil, culturally they are losing most of their power. Rural, religious, socially conservative - these are dying values.

I know you are probably skeptical of that latter comment, but I do believe I'm right and I'm not the only one. As Michael Moore (someone whose views carry alot of weight with me these days): "The left won the culture war". PERIOD.

This is about culture. One type of culture is ascendant, one is fading away. The people who think Obama is a secret muslim? They're being swept away. The people who think anyone who supported Trump should be hated? They're ascendant. Trump's election provokes such an extreme reaction in them for the exact reason that they're so used to winning every war they have fought, getting virtually everything they ever wanted (although never realizing it), that when someone came to power who was truly contemptuous of their values, it was the biggest shock of ice water to their faces most of them had likely experienced in their lives. For them it must have been like somebody showing up on CNN advocating for the return of slavery.

So yes, there is hate on both sides, but one side is fading, decaying and impotent, while the other side - well they're the next generation. They will shape the policies of the future. Trump is a last gasp of a spent force - a fluke caused by the Democrats selection of a woefully inadequate / tone deaf candidate and a catastrophically botched campaign. And even then it was neck and neck.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 12:47:17 PM »
And PS - jasonr, there definitely is such a thing as race, and it's on a biological basis. But the thing you may be looking to touch upon is that race cannot be strictly prescriptive as a designator. For instance, as a genetic group, people from some geographical region will definitely have distinct difference from people from another one. But within each group there is huge divergence, so that a given individual there may well have more difference from someone in his group than from someone from another group, in theory. That being said, look at dog breeds and you'll get the gist of how different animals of the same species can be. Pomeranians are crazy different from German Shepherds, and there's no mistake about that. In a similar way, humans have breeds, which we instead call races for the simple reason that they developed for the most part geographically rather than through selective breeding as we've done with dogs.

What you may be alluding to isn't that race is a social construct, but perhaps that the traits we associate with particular races are social constructs, and there may be something to that. Some of those traits are probably biological too, but that can be hard to parse. What isn't up for debate is that, for instance, Japanese people look different from Nigerian people, and that no amount of internal divergence (within reasonable bounds) will confuse anyone about whether a native Japanese person is Nigerian.

Well my point Fenring is that there is that if a Nigerian has as much in common genrtically with an Irishman as an Irishman has in common with a Greek person what are we even talking about when we say "black" versus "white". Unlike sex, which affects physical anatomy, hormone levels, brain chemistry and reproduction (and a million other things) a "race" is in most cases is just skin deep (literally) and based on exaggerated notions and prejudices that are often arbitrary and socially constructed.

Look at Obama. Our first "black" president is as white as he is black but because of the shade of his skin and a few superficial facial features he's "black" POOF like his mother's DNA doesn't matter. Because it kind of doesn't does it? But if Obama said he was a "white" man people would throw a fit and he'd be derided as deluded or whatnot because damn he sure looks black doesn't he?

Meanwhile Bruce Jenner can put on a dress and not even undergo surgery but because he says so "POOF" he's a woman. He can swing his penis in your face and you gotta say yes mam what a "woman" you are.

So race is set in stone and based on how you look, but gender is whatever you feel?

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 12:31:13 PM »
Being trans as in feeling you are female when you are male sex is not insane or wrong. A feeling is not a delusion. A delusion is believing that your feeling makes you something you are not.

And WS bull*censored*. Tell me where on the sex spectrum you are and how you measure this. You're throwing around obsfuscatory nonsense to cloud the issue. When I mentioned rare cases I wasn't speaking of garden variety trans - I was talking about people who are actually sexually ambiguous - hermaphrodites, people with Y chrmosomes but otherwise female genitalia and hormone levels etc... That's not the Bruce Jenners if the world let alone the boy who likes to play with Barbies or feels he wants to be a woman.

There is no science or medical discovery that makes Bruce Jenner a "woman". Pure ideological crap.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:23:18 AM »

So yes, the black man who feels "white" is merely contravening an arbitrary social construct based on a fallacy. The biological male who considers himself a "woman" by contrast is far more dubious.

Uhhhh, no, you can't fake ancestry because you "feel" a certain way. Jason I'm surprised at you.

You equivocated between ancestry and race.

General Comments / Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 28, 2017, 08:57:17 AM »

I am not saying sex should be the be all end all of determining gender - but listening to trans activists talk you would think that the instant, say, a biological male says that he feels he is really female BOOM he's a she - and moreover, a *woman* whether he's got a penis, testicles and an adam's apple. And it's a fact that he's a woman like any woman and you better not say (or think) differently you're a bigot.

As a hypothetical, let's consider the possibility that science affirms that brains can be "male" or "female" definitively and biologically, and that trans persons are instances where a male brain is in a female body (or vice versa). In such a case, where would you stand on referring to the individual's sex? Would you use the brain, or the rest of the body?

Gender, as you say, is a social construct. That is more than just an individual's sense of self but also how society sees someone. It is as much society's business what a "woman" is as it is the individual's. So no, even if gender self identification is rooted in brain chemistry (which by the way, I take as a given) it is not purely the individual's sense of self that determines if he is a she or a he, or whether he is a man or a woman vis a vis everyone else. As sincerely as you believe yourself to be a "woman" you can't just force everyone around you to cowtow to that delusion - and it is delusion because "man" versus "woman" is far more determined by biological sex than any other factor.

Only trans activists are so deluded that sex is swept aside as if it diesn't matter when it is clearly the single most important overriding factor. Indeed, gender dysmorphia is itself evidence of the paramouncy of sex, as the sufferer literally cannot reconcile his feeling with his sex, such that his sex becomes an impossible to ignore millstone around his or neck that compels him or her to surgery and drug therapy. If sex were merely an incidental component in gender it would not be so. If it were really mind over matter, a penis versus a vagina wouldn't matter. But of course it does. It matters so much that it drives trans people to suicide. It compels them to surgery. Yes the brain chemistry matters too - but only in the sense that any mental illness does. A man with delusions of being eaten alive by bugs has a real brain chemistry problem but he is not in fact being eaten by bugs, nor should the rest of us have to cowtow to this.

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