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Messages - cherrypoptart

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51
General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 07:04:11 PM »
Well if we can all just admit this is mostly a politically motivated attack that would be fine.

To turn it around, just because you disagree with someone politically doesn't mean you should let them get away with criminal activity.

Now when you only go after the people on the opposite side of the political spectrum while letting the criminals on your own side slide, as a politician you should be called on it.

52
General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 05:29:25 PM »
It's reasonable to be skeptical especially when it comes to politicians.

If you had a politician that supported the agenda of a charitable organization and was nevertheless suing them it would be difficult to question their motives. But when you have politicians suing charitable organizations and trying to destroy them when they disagree with their agenda then assuming their motives are pure and without a partisan political bias requires a great deal more effort.

I suppose it could just be a coincidence that she disagrees with the NRA and is suing them. Maybe she's suing a lot of other charitable organizations and going through fishing expeditions of their finances to look for anything shady.

53
General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 02:26:50 PM »
But is she suing them because she is concerned that the contributors aren't having their money used in ways most effective at supporting the 2nd Amendment or is it because she doesn't agree that NRA members should have their power felt and voices heard through the power the NRA wields at all?

I'm not really seeing the comparisons here. These are just people accused of wasting money. It's not even a certainty yet the money was even wasted. If it was used to buy influence with powerful people then that's pretty much the purpose it was given for in the first place. If this ends up being another big nothing-burger it demonstrates again Democrats abusing their power to attack their political opponents just because they disagree with them.

54
General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 07, 2020, 10:11:15 AM »
It seems like Trump had a reasonable solution that would satisfy everyone.

"Departing the White House on Thursday, Trump called the lawsuit "a terrible thing" and suggested the NRA should “move to Texas and lead a ... beautiful life.” He said the group had been “decimated” by costs of recent legal actions and called it a “sad” situation.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that the NRA would be welcomed "with open arms."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/06/nra-lawsuit-ny-attorney-general-sues-shut-down-nra-over-fraud/3309412001/

This is obviously political. She wants to dissolve the NRA instead of holding the people who may have abused their positions in it accountable and letting the organization continue it's advocacy for the American Constitution.

The conflict of interest takes away all credibility from Letitia James. It would be one thing if she came out as a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and the individual's right to keep and bear arms but since she obviously opposes all that her attack on the NRA reeks of the very government tyranny we're all so concerned about. Her aim isn't to clean up the NRA but to get rid of it and that gives her true motivation away.

So having said all that, transparency in such organizations is a good thing. If there was graft and pocket lining that was either illegal or even just something contributors to the organization wouldn't approve of then that's all good to know and if crimes were committed then holding people accountable is fine. There would be no reason to dissolve the organization over any of that though. Surely there are provisions in such cases for new people to take over and hopefully do a better job than the last bunch or get held accountable themselves.

55
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: July 29, 2020, 09:21:01 PM »
I believe if the U.S. had been under mando-masking since January we might only have a few thousand dead right now like Japan with only about one thousand dead. The problem is one you point out though, that if that had actually happened people wouldn't be taking the virus seriously enough and would be saying that it was a scam and the discomfort of masks was completely unnecessary. They are saying that now anyway even with our over 150,000 dead but it would have been louder. Maybe it was necessary to get an idea of how bad this virus can be without public mask usage just to get people on-board with masking up. If we keep the masks on for at least the next four months or so we should start to get a very good idea of their effectiveness. I don't expect to see results for a least a couple more months but after that my hope is the results will be dramatic in a very good way and the most dramatic in the places with the most stringent policies. We may be in for a disappointment of course and it's still all contingent on people wearing them in the right way at the right time, but we can always hope, do what we can with what we've got, and knock on wood. I am disappointed though that we still don't have enough N95 masks for casual public consumption yet.

56
General Comments / Re: Census Shenanigans
« on: July 26, 2020, 03:01:34 PM »
That's one option. A little late now though. Have we been violating the Constitution all this time by not counting tourists for apportionment? Not likely. The Founding Fathers obviously suffered from a lack of imagination as far as both tourists and people in the country illegally being the huge problem it's become. The other option besides counting tourists for the census and apportionment is the Trump plan which is perfectly reasonable.

Opposing it is the Democrat Party literally colluding with foreigners to influence and manipulate American elections.

57
General Comments / Re: Census Shenanigans
« on: July 26, 2020, 01:25:49 AM »
Exactly. There is a difference between what the Constitution says and what the Census Bureau does. The Constitution doesn't explicitly exempt tourists from the Census just like it doesn't explicitly exempt people living here illegally.

58
General Comments / Re: Census Shenanigans
« on: July 25, 2020, 04:31:03 PM »
Does the Constitution say you don't count tourists for the Census? That you cannot count them?

59
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 03, 2020, 02:34:06 PM »
Just got an emergency alert on my phone that by order of the Governor the great state of Texas is mando masking effective immediately. This is very good news and about time.

60
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 27, 2020, 05:56:57 PM »
With all that's going on with the coronavirus, I have a question.

Is there a safe way to go to a fighting game tournament?

It's very crowded, you are right next to the people you are playing against, and it's for many hours over three days in a hotel convention room type environment.

Okay, if you must know, it's the Texas Showdown. A younger relative of mine wants to go badly but everyone is trying to convince him it wouldn't be safe, partly for him but mostly for the people he may bring the virus back to afterwards. You've got people flying in from all over, maybe getting into town a few days before so just enough time to become infectious if they catch it on the plane.

We're actually hoping it gets cancelled so we don't have to worry about it. Would a full on gas mask, gloves, and put the clothes in the car trunk afterward and leave them there for a month work? I'm thinking he won't be able to wear the gas mask for that many hours, won't be able to play well in gloves, and there is no guarantee a gas mask ordered over the internet will be in good enough working condition and also no guarantee the seal will hold that long especially if sweat starts getting involved. Or are we overthinking it and worrying too much?

61
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 27, 2020, 01:17:22 AM »
I gotta admit I'm liking Biden on the mask issue.

He said he'd issue an executive order or something requiring everyone to wear masks, presumably indoors or when social distancing parameters couldn't be maintained.

While I agree that would help with slowing the spread of the virus while letting us still get out and about what I wonder is does the President have such authority?



62
General Comments / Re: Trump and the OGW miss the point, again
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:05:19 AM »
If Americans knew there would be a job for them with those skills then they'd be willing to train for them. As it is, the Americans could train for that but then the jobs would still go to H1B workers who can also train for the same thing but will accept less pay, fewer benefits, and longer hours without complaint and they also can't use the position for the experience and resume padding to jump to a better position at another company like an American worker can and will. Moving to less expensive H1B hires had ripple effects throughout the higher education and qualification pipelines to get into these jobs that cannot be undone without the stability that will only come when the H1B program is reduced for quite a while. If it's just going to be reduced until the next President or Congress comes in then why would people risk learning new skills and undergoing months or years of training to get qualifications when the rug is just going to be pulled out from under them again like it was for the Disney IT workers who were fired en masse and had to train their foreign replacements in order to receive severance compensation? People talk about there not being Americans with the right skills but that little episode showed the truth of it. And to the extent that there aren't Americans with those skills that's because they know they can and will be replaced so what's the point?

63
General Comments / Re: Literary causation?
« on: June 22, 2020, 03:21:56 AM »
The movie Contagion seemed like it might have a lot of parallels too. That's already been discussed a lot in the media. I don't want to give out any spoilers but it was pretty good. Of course there were a lot of differences too. The Last Ship, both the book and the TV series, had more differences than similarities but still some interesting overlap in some ways.

If this is in general about books that seem to predict the future a couple more may be Tom Clancy's 1994 novel Debt of Honor and  Hector Charles Bywater's 1925 novel The Great Pacific War. We heard a lot after 9-11 that nobody could ever imagine that people would use civilian jetliners to smash into buildings. Hardly. Also interesting is the possibility that Admiral Yamamoto himself may have read The Great Pacific War and modeled his attack based on some of the ideas in it, so in that case not a book predicting the future but as the thread title allows, perhaps serving as a causality itself.

64
General Comments / Re: covid-19 outside the US
« on: June 17, 2020, 07:04:00 AM »
They were working on a mask requirement bill. I hope that helps them. We should be doing the same.

65
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 15, 2020, 08:33:46 PM »
Fauci admits what everyone pretty much knew all along, that he was lying about the masks in order to conserve the limited supply for medical workers. A fatal mistake.

https://news.yahoo.com/fauci-said-us-govt-held-154828784.html

"A few days earlier, he tweeted that masks were "not effective in preventing" COVID-19 in the general public, saying, "Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!"

And now it's too late to get most people to care, especially after the riots. Literally smh.




66
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 15, 2020, 02:50:40 AM »
The protests busted wide open any attempt to contain the coronavirus now. It wasn't just that the protests themselves spread it because even if they did that was just a small fraction of the damage. The real arrow through the heart was psychological since the main thing the protests did was to make most of the people who were still willing to take it seriously just throw up their hands and give up. I was seeing about 80% masking rates at Walmart a few weeks ago and now it's under 50%. We were supposed to have a slow, methodical, controlled and very disciplined re-opening that involved staying at least six feet apart and wearing masks but those protests did irrevocable damage to the containment mindset especially because they were backed up by so many irresponsible but totally woke so called health care experts that the complicit media trotted out to support the idea that fighting racism by violating the Covid-19 containment protocols was totally valid and worth it. The point is there were many patriots who were willing to go along with social distancing and masks when they saw it as their duty and perhaps more importantly saw almost everyone else doing it but now over half of them just point to the protests and shout, without masks and with their droplets flying everywhere, "But the protests! But the protests!" We have fully achieved total epic failure. At this point even Leroy Jenkins would be proud. We had a plan. It was a good plan. And then we got this instead. You know that's exactly what those protests were to the Covid-19 containment plan, a great big old "Leroyyyyy Jenkins!!!"

67
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 11, 2020, 10:01:01 AM »
As the weather warms up especially in much of the South people actually tend to spend even more times indoors especially during the heat of the day. That's the fly in the soup of the hope for the heat stopping the the virus, for instance in a place like Houston which boasts about being the air conditioning capital of the world. To the extant that people do spend more time outdoors the virus probably would decline in transmission but that's not always the case just because the weather warms especially when the heat and humidity get extreme which by all accounts makes it very difficult for the virus to survive on surfaces but unfortunately that's also right when people head inside for climate control.

68
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 09, 2020, 01:32:25 AM »
So one thing that would be interesting to study is what would happen if your mask only covered your mouth but not your nose? How effective would that be? My bet is that it would still be much more effective than nothing and it might make more people more willing to go along with it. It's mostly the droplets with the virus riding on them getting spread by the open mouth while talking, laughing, coughing, sneezing, and so on. If the mouth remained covered at all times to catch those droplets while people could still breathe through their nose if tests showed that was reasonably effective then it could be a reasonable compromise. An interesting thing to look at might be the spread of the virus through communities of deaf people. I'm not sure if there is a place like that but if you just had people signing instead of talking would that reduce the spread? Of course they still laugh and you may have uncovered coughs and sneezes to worry about but it would be something to look at. If it turned out to be true then another possibility is that people who don't want to wear masks just hold off on their First Amendment right to free speech for the little while that they are indoors in crowded areas and keep their mouths shut.

69
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 09, 2020, 01:24:41 AM »
What does unlikely mean though? Ten percent chance seems like that would make it unlikely. With hundreds of millions of people engaging in billions of interactions every day you know what they say... no matter how unlikely it is for an event to occur, if the conditions that make it possible are repeated often enough it becomes nearly a certainty. Or something like that.

I saw something that said wearing masks could reduce the risk of transmission by up to 85%. Two facts lead me to believe it is true. The first is that I saw it on the internet and the second is that it supports what I already suspect.

One other thing to consider is that the WHO has been wrong so often so far that it's entirely possible a George Costanza "do the opposite of what I'd normally do" approach would achieve better results.

And one last other thing is that we already tried the maskless approach and it was a total disaster with over 100,000 souls lost so far. Trying again what already failed is a recipe for doom.

70
General Comments / Re: Fix it
« on: June 08, 2020, 10:01:51 PM »
One good thing is that even with all the cameras everywhere at least now we can all wear masks if we want to. Silver linings. One thing I hated about checking out at Walmart, Home Depot, and other places is at the register you are suddenly confronted by a huge face staring back at you from the monitor at the checkout, your own! That's freaky. Like that scene in Terminator 2. Anyway, now with masks, sunglasses, and a ball cap it's all good. If I had a better phone I might record more of what I'm doing outside kind of like in the movie The Final Cut with Robin Williams. Put it in a shirt pocket with the camera facing out and away you go, or maybe a front belt clip. Not as obvious as the Google Glass. As the years go by it's interesting how much you forget ever happened without the pics or video to remind you.

71
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 05, 2020, 07:17:08 PM »
Even if systemic racism is worse than the pandemic how does spreading the virus around help to get rid of systemic racism? If anything it facilitates more racism because the virus is killing a disproportionate number of people of color. These health officials or whoever they are making excuses for dropping our guard on social distancing and common sense precautions are doing a grave disservice to people of color and everyone else for that matter. Just anecdotally myself, I'm seeing the use of masks go by the wayside now when I go out, down from 85% or so to now maybe 40%. It's like the same klaxon that sounded to let the riots commence also gave the all clear for masks off. Not nearly as many people are taking this seriously anymore. In a way it's hard to blame them. Here we all are pitching in and doing our part, making an effort and sacrificing and for what? It's all for nought now with these protests and riots.

Yes, Daemon, unless the whole virus thing was the biggest hoax in history then there will be thousands of people soon enough who are also saying, "I can't breathe." And I don't think it was a hoax at all. This literally killed us.

The only good news recently is that since my blood type is O+ maybe that's why if that is what I had a while back I recovered okay. It seems it hits people with A type blood harder. I'm not certain I recovered completely though. Getting a kind of weird thing with my toes every now and then, like a strange tingling and pressure. It's hard to say though if it's anything. I've been trying to walk a lot, got some new shoes, so hopefully that's all it is. I take a baby aspirin and that seems to help.

72
General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 04, 2020, 04:37:48 PM »
Are they supposed to get a jury of their peers or a jury of their victim's peers?

73
General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 04, 2020, 12:17:27 AM »
Mattis makes some good points but what happens when the police abandon their posts and the governors don't do anything either and just let chaos and anarchy rule while the cities burn? I wouldn't want to see our military attacking civilians but when the alternative is what we've seen with police stations themselves getting burned out and nothing being done about it then somebody has got to do something. If the local cops won't stop it, the mayors won't stop it, and the governors won't stop it then there is only one person left.

74
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 03, 2020, 05:07:33 PM »
Does it look something like this?

http://www.emotioneric.com/emotionfill/smarmy.html

75
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 03, 2020, 11:47:27 AM »
There is also the issue of all the traveling being done for protests. If even a small fraction of what we think we know about the coronavirus is accurate this is going to be a disaster of epic proportions.

76
General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 03, 2020, 09:27:05 AM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

"Since the beginning of 2015, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have rendered people unconscious with neck restraints 44 times, according to an NBC News analysis of police records. Several police experts said that number appears to be unusually high.

Minneapolis police used neck restraints at least 237 times during that span, and in 16 percent of the incidents the suspects and other individuals lost consciousness, the department's use-of-force records show. A lack of publicly available use-of-force data from other departments makes it difficult to compare Minneapolis to other cities of the same or any size.

...The version of the Minneapolis Police Department's policy manual that is available on-line, however, does permit the use of neck restraints that can render suspects unconscious, and the protocol for their use has not been updated for more than eight years."

Not sure I have a point yet. Just information.

77
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 02, 2020, 10:22:01 PM »
It seems like both sides think letting this continue is to their own advantage politically.

And not only that but the converse is true too; putting a stop to it with all the drama that will entail will not look good on camera.

The Democrats think this makes Trump look bad and Trump along with the Republicans see this primarily in Democrat controlled states and cities and figure it makes them look weak and mollycoddling to criminals. If the Democrat governors and mayors crack down and civilians get killed or even handled roughly it looks like they are no better than the police who got this whole ball rolling in the first place. Now Trump could maybe crack down and that might make him look good to his base but as long as this is mostly going on in Democrat controlled areas and the people in charge there rebuff his offers of assistance then he may figure his best play is to wait for the time being and maybe make his move when Republican controlled areas have their leadership asking him for help if things get out of control and they figure they need it at which time he has the military ride in like the cavalry to save the day, but only after people are begging for it.

78
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 02, 2020, 11:12:52 AM »
There is no way to put the protests down without a lot of people getting killed. Unfortunately, if what we fear about the virus is correct, there is no way that not stopping these violations of coronavirus mitigation efforts won't result in tens of thousands more deaths than would have been caused by stopping the protests. There was no good solution. Perhaps there was no solution at all. If there is a massive spike in Covid-19 deaths in the months to come though, we know who is to blame.

79
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 01, 2020, 10:11:24 PM »
It's a small difference either way. If they aren't enforcing the rules or even saying anything about them anymore then the effect is no different from officially changing them.

80
General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: June 01, 2020, 08:49:41 PM »
Joe Biden's contribution on the issue of police violence:

"Joe Biden said Monday that police under attack in the line of duty should shoot their assailants “in the leg instead of the heart” as a way to avert the killing of civilians.

“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop, when there’s an unarmed person coming at them with a knife or something, you shoot them in the leg instead of in the heart is a very different thing. There’s a lot of different things that could change,” Biden said in a meeting with community leaders at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del."

https://news.yahoo.com/biden-suggests-police-could-shoot-assailants-in-the-leg-instead-of-the-heart-201750470.html


81
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 01, 2020, 08:22:23 PM »
I think Crunch has the better sense of the loosening of many of the restrictions. Democrats don't want to be put into a position of having to prosecute protestors for violating corona virus control laws in addition to whatever other laws they may be breaking. Many of the laws to control the corona virus made these types of protests illegal just by their mechanics. Public safety is being put on the back burner for political reasons, both regarding the virus as well as people getting beaten unconscious, and unless a new weaker strain of the virus becomes prevalent tens of thousands more Americans than should have are likely to die because of the contributions of the protests to the spread of the virus unless the whole thing has been a hoax all along and having probably suffered from it myself I highly doubt that.

We were supposed to have a controlled and gradual loosening of restrictions with checkpoints along the way so that if we saw flare ups the restrictions could be quickly reimposed as and where needed. This is not that. This is a total abrogation of responsibility.

82
General Comments / Re: Protestors vs. Rioters
« on: June 01, 2020, 07:53:33 AM »
George Floyd's brother:

"... why are you out here tearing up your community? Because when you’re finished and turn around and want to go buy something, you done tore it up. So now you messed up your own living arrangements."

QFT.

There is more video coming out about the arrest and though it doesn't absolve the officers of wrongdoing, if it had come out earlier perhaps a few people might not have gotten as outraged though maybe most of them still would have. The point is that the media seems to selectively release information and video, and cut and splice the video it does release, in a manner to stir up as much anger as possible. My understanding is it basically showed Floyd being combative when they tried to put him into the car. That still doesn't excuse the knee on his neck but it's not like they were just out to murder a black man that day either. The coroner's report also seems to show it wasn't the knee that killed him. It doesn't say what killed him and I shouldn't speculate but it seems like maybe the stress of the whole situation was too much for him to handle, like a panic attack. He should have gotten help with that instead of the treatment he received. A little kindness would have went a long way.

83
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 30, 2020, 09:22:56 PM »
https://news.yahoo.com/lessons-from-japan-on-containing-coronavirus-could-help-us-reopen-safely-160105489.html

"The other big lesson from Japan is that masks work. Face coverings have been universal there for months, in large part because “Japanese people [already] feel comfortable wearing masks on a daily basis,” as Shigeru Omi, vice chairman of the Japanese government’s expert coronavirus panel, recently explained. “Many people are allergic to pollen, so they do this during the cedar pollen season from the beginning of the year until spring, as well as to protect against influenza.” As evidence of the efficacy of masks, Japan did not trace any clusters to its notoriously crowded commuter trains, where riders are usually alone and not talking, their mouths and noses fully covered."

"As of Friday, the country of 126 million people — more than a quarter of whom are over 65 — had reported just 16,673 cases and 886 deaths."

If we had been wearing masks from the beginning our death toll if it followed their trend might only be less than 3000 souls. They have crowded trains full of people and they didn't find clusters most certainly because almost everyone was wearing masks and not talking much. So simple. So obvious. And yet we still won't do it.

The other thread about the great unmasking is taking on a new meaning as more and more people decide to throw off their masks and throw all caution and common sense, along with the virus, to the winds.

84
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 29, 2020, 04:22:17 PM »
The masks don't do much to stop the airflow. That's not their purpose. They help stop the water droplets the virus rides on.

It's easy enough to demonstrate too. You have someone shouting in your face with their spittle flying all over the place including into your eyes and your mouth if you open it to talk back and up your nose as you inhale and then you get that experience for a minute or so and compare it to how much of that spittle you're getting on and in you when you take out a hanky and cover their mouth with it.

There was the study quoted that the cloth mask only restrict 2% of airflow. But the question is how much do they restrict expelled droplets?

I'd be curious about something else too. If you had an infected person just sitting quietly in a room with their mouth closed at all times how much viral load would you measure in the air and on surfaces compared to if the same person were shouting, singing, laughing, and talking loudly? I don't know but it seems like it would be easy enough to measure and if it's significantly less with a quiet person breathing only through their nose than perhaps we could ask people who refuse to wear masks to at least keep your mouth shut, literally.

As for the idea about only wearing a mask if you are feeling sick well that ship sailed a long time ago. We have over a hundred thousand dead now and almost all of them got infected by someone who wasn't feeling sick, pretty much the only exceptions to that being medical personnel and close family members taking care of the ill.

Having maybe had this I think I experienced why this virus is so different. My only symptoms were very severe chest pain and trouble breathing like an asthma attack. No fever. No coughing. No aches or other pains. No headache. No reason to think I even had anything contagious until this virus came along and we learned more about it. And most people don't experience even that much. That's what makes this one so different and why we need to treat it differently.

85
General Comments / Re: The Great Unmasking
« on: May 22, 2020, 11:54:25 AM »

Kasandra


"So, you are saying Flynn was tortured, right?"

Was he subjected to severe emotional pain?

86
General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: May 22, 2020, 09:28:37 AM »
Didn't Joe Biden engage in plagiarism?

https://www.businessinsider.com/plagiarism-scandal-joe-biden-first-presidential-run-1988-2019-3

"During an event at the Iowa State Fair, Biden mimicked entire portions of Kinnock's speech from earlier in the year. At one moment, Biden repeated the line that he was the first "in a thousand generations" to graduate from college, gesturing to his wife in the exact same way Kinnock did, while also saying the same line about her education and lineage.

Biden would later acknowledge that he in fact did have relatives who attended college, directly contrasting the Kinnock lines."

I don't know about Tara's possible background of deception but let's just say it's true. Biden also has a background of deception. So if you have two proven liars then who do you believe? Why assume she is lying about the accusation any more than he is lying about the denial if they are both liars? It seems like it would cancel out and you're back to he said / she said.

87
General Comments / Re: The Great Unmasking
« on: May 22, 2020, 08:54:47 AM »
https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cat.aspx

1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Threatening someone like Brian Banks with a 41 years to life prison sentence if he doesn't take a plea deal for rape and take five years instead seems like it would qualify as inflicting severe mental suffering.

Flynn lost his house and whether he's innocent or guilty he's not getting that back. Causing someone to lose their house to pay their lawyers seems like inflicting severe emotional pain. And threatening their children too.

Going back to Brian Banks, you have to wonder what if...? So what if he didn't take the plea deal? His accuser cries in court and points the finger at him and he gets a life sentence. He never gets out to record her private phone conversation admitting her crime. He never gets exonerated. He's still in prison right now and everyone thinks he is a rapist. If he wasn't why would he have admitted to being one?

88
General Comments / Re: The Great Unmasking
« on: May 22, 2020, 07:45:05 AM »
Just some interesting reading about the plea bargain process.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-plea-bargain-system-can-make-the-innocent-admit-guilt-enter-michael-flynn/2020/05/19/27eb0fc6-99e1-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html

I think we talked about this before, the idea that under certain definitions of torture the plea bargain process might actually fit.

I'm not saying I'm against the plea bargain process necessarily but it all comes down to the details. If it's used to get a guilty person to confess and save the tax payers some money then it has a place but separating that out from coercing the innocent to confess to crimes they didn't commit is the rub.

89
General Comments / Re: Defending one's home in North Carolina
« on: May 15, 2020, 07:48:55 PM »
Would anything be different if the girl had been in there getting raped and murdered at the time and they saved her?

Sure you can call the police but they may be too late. Without probable cause they may not get in at all.

90
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 13, 2020, 02:50:18 PM »
If the virus is coming in through the eyes then without eye protection the only protection you have left is the other person wearing their mask. I see very few people wearing eye protection. As far as I know it hasn't been widely recommended. Yes it would be beneficial and if some people are doing that they should be safer but if wearing masks including even do-it-yourself ones is a burden or too much to ask then asking everyone to wear eye protection that would stop the virus seems like it's just not going to happen.

91
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: May 13, 2020, 01:28:20 PM »
Both the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress dropped the ball. I can't think of anyone who was sounding the alarm. As for the information available, all that was necessary was the information we could see in the news coming out of China. This was obviously going to be a monster and everyone in charge with their pollyannic optimism was just as obviously completely delusional at best. Maybe if there hadn't been an impeachment they would have all acted the same way too, heads in the sand with their hands over their ears screaming lalalalala. I don't know. The impeachment certainly didn't help any though.

92
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: May 13, 2020, 01:10:07 PM »
It's obvious in retrospect that Trump didn't take the virus seriously enough. The impeachment proceedings didn't just distract Trump though. They also distracted the Democrats. Of course the Democrats didn't take the virus seriously enough either. I can't help but wonder though if they had been focused on the virus instead of on impeachment maybe somebody would have noticed this one was different. Everyone dropped the ball. They were playing a different game instead.

93
General Comments / Re: Defending one's home in North Carolina
« on: May 13, 2020, 09:10:06 AM »
Since it turns out the vigilantes were incorrect about these people having any involvement in the missing girl then yes they would be within their rights to defend themselves in their home using lethal force.

But what if the vigilantes had been correct and the girl was there being held against her will and used as a sex slave? Would that make a difference? What if a similar group had done the same thing to Ariel Castro because they suspected he had a missing girl held captive at his house? Would Ariel Castro have been within his rights to shoot them to protect his three sex slaves from being rescued? If that had happened and a bunch of vigilantes went in and rescued those girls without probable cause and without a valid search warrant or law enforcement involvement would it have been illegal to prosecute Castro?

Jeffrey Dahmer also had the police called on him. One of his victims, a 14 year old boy, actually got out and Dahmer talked the police into thinking it was just a lovers' quarrel and got the victim back and murdered him immediately afterwards. If neighbors had formed a vigilante group to investigate him themselves would that have been illegal? Would Dahmer have been within his rights to shoot them dead? I guess the point is there are times when doing things strictly by the law gets innocent children killed and worse. However, this was not one of those times.

94
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 12, 2020, 06:21:37 PM »
Maybe a compromise could be that masks are required in grocery stores where people need to go but are optional in other places like movie theaters, restaurants, bars, concerts, and churches. So if people want to go out there maskless and infect everyone to help usher in herd immunity that's their call but they'll only be infecting other volunteers while those who would rather take a pass for a while are afforded that option.

95
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 12, 2020, 06:16:18 PM »
The problem with saying to wear a mask if you want to is that defeats the purpose. It's like telling someone if you don't want to get hit by a stray bullet from celebratory gunfire shot up into the air a mile away then don't fire your gun into the air. If others aren't wearing masks then my mask isn't going to help me any. In fact everyone could be wearing masks except one person and if that one person is the spreader then they are all imperiled. Just crystalizing the obvious point of contention here and why people are getting so upset at others not wearing masks.

96
They still have conditions on who qualifies to get tested. If they have so much extra testing capacity and are closing sites due to limited demand they should consider opening the testing up to anyone who wants one and then also let them be tested anonymously. I mean they are in a car so you could run the plates to find out who they are but these are extra tests on people who now don't qualify to be tested at all so if any of them happen to pop positive that is just bonus information. Why anonymously? That may be the only way some people will want to do it. At least you'll now there is a case and you can give them a handout on voluntary quarantining and mask wearing. But this would be someone who was just walking around maybe spreading it anyway so at least they'll know and hopefully will do the right thing.

97
General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 12, 2020, 02:36:38 AM »
I tried to read that article but it quickly went into the weeds. It was difficult to understand.

I found this article pretty balanced if much less scientific.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/are-masks-the-next-front-in-the-coronavirus-culture-war-182414248.html

I would put it this way. If someone knows they are sick and contagious and they are going somewhere like an emergency room would they be less likely to spread this virus if they have a mask on or if they don't?

In the church choir group where so many people got infected and they insist they were careful not to touch things, would as many have gotten infected if they had all been wearing masks compared to how many that got infected without any of them wearing masks? Of course it would have been harder to sing but common sense says that fewer would have gotten infected and almost certainly it couldn't have made things any worse. Now sometimes common sense can be wrong, but would more people have gotten infected if the infected person or persons had been wearing masks while they sang? It's hard to imagine how that would be possible. The mechanism by which wearing masks reduces the chances of infecting others is pretty clear. The mechanism by which a mask would increase infections over not wearing a mask requires some contortions especially to demonstrate how the mask would be more dangerous than no mask, for instance the virus would land on the mask and then you'd touch it as opposed to the virus would just land right on your face and you'd touch that or worse yet the virus would ride a droplet right up your nose or into your mouth and straight on down to your lungs.

Of course the masks aren't foolproof. The Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm and later died was convinced he contracted the virus through his eyes. And if it can get in through the eyes can it also escape from the eyes? Could you give someone the virus just by looking at them, like an invisible laser vision attack? And of course the mask has to be worn with some measure of simple common sense, and not like this:

https://www.timesnownews.com/the-buzz/article/covidiot-woman-cuts-hole-in-face-mask-to-make-breathing-easier-watch/587757

Okay but seriously now, this virus is still largely an unknown quantity. It's far better to err on the side of caution at this point until we learn more. And speaking of learning more, the more we learn the more freaky this virus seems.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/10/coronavirus-attacks-body-symptoms/?arc404=true

98
General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: May 10, 2020, 10:05:52 AM »
Of course it's impossible to say what might be different regarding the coronavirus response if the Democrats hadn't gone ahead with the distraction of their shampeachment but it is certain that it was a major distraction at a critical time when the country could least afford it. And of course it didn't just distract Trump either. Maybe some of the Democrats would have had their eye on the ball and raised the alarm about the virus pandemic looming just over our collective shoulders but unfortunately they too were otherwise occupied on matters that were far less pressing. The point is that whole farce was a lot of time, money, energy, and attention spent on something that was a complete waste of all of it when there were far more important matters needing those resources.

Pelosi waving her little impeachment articles now looks a lot like Nero fiddling.

99
General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: May 09, 2020, 11:12:33 PM »
Let's not forget that we aren't just voting for a President. This is also the only chance to vote for who gets on the Supreme Court.  We see that party does matter by the number of 5-4 decisions the Supreme Court makes along party lines regardless of the dream of John Roberts that there aren't conservatives and liberals on the Court, just Justices. We have a very good record now for both parties regarding the Supreme Court.

100
General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: May 01, 2020, 01:31:46 AM »
That's true that there aren't other accusers with Biden. Maybe he only did it the one time.

Of course maybe he didn't do it at all. Even by her own reports though she doesn't mention that she ever told him no or stop unless I missed it. If it happened maybe he thought it was consensual and then when he found out not quite he took that to heart and never did it again confining himself to shampoo brand guessing and the Japanese style after haircut shoulder rubs.

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