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Messages - Wayward Son

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1
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 21, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »
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You are completely mischaracterizing my position to continue with your strawman though. I’m pointing out the politically motivated violence that’s already occurring on a regular basis right now. Not saying this movie has caused it. I’m saying it’s a bad idea to have a movie portraying more politically motivated violence.  I’m also saying that this movie should be released but the timing is wrong and perhaps some time later would be better, just like Variety does.

A reasonable position, worth discussing.  If that were all it was.  But, starting with your initial post:

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I guess the only question left is if it will win a Golden Globe or even an Oscar. I suppose it depends on the body count it can inspire across the nation. What’s the over/under? 10? 20?

Presuming that this movie will win top awards moves your position into one where you are saying the Hollywood establishment endorses portraying politically motivated violence.  And I think we all know who the Hollywood establishment are associated with.  Hint—it ain’t Conservatives. ;)
From there, it is not hard to find instances where you seem to be saying that Liberals (or at least those who disagree with you) are inclined to agree with the idea of politically motivated violence.  E.g.

So you love the idea of killing MAGA types. You’re cool with this. Ok

(That was in response to my challenging your assumption of how influential such a movie, when released, would be.)

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I don’t think it matters who was heroic and who was the villain or who was portrayed as the victim. But, so many of you seem to really dig this fantasy of killing your political opponents so you try to go through the mental gymnastics to accept it.
And you’re probably wondering why the second amendment even exists.

(That was in response to scifibum challenging the idea that the scenes would be used to inspire violence.)

And while you do mention that 15 percent of Republicans thought it was a “good idea” to eliminate their political opponents, you stated that 5 percent more of Democrats thought it was a “good idea,” too.

Based on those quotes, along with your detailed descriptions of scenes of a movie that hasn’t been released yet, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that you are also arguing that Democrats, Liberals, and the Liberal-Elites are actually quite OK with this, if not actively supporting it.  So I wouldn’t call it a “complete mischaracterization.”

2
General Comments / Trump's Greenland
« on: August 21, 2019, 01:51:33 PM »
As we snickered about Trump wanting to buy Greenland from Denmark in the Freedom Gas! thread.  We recognized that it was a silly idea, or as my favorite response said, "The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous."

Apparently Donald Trump didn't think it was ridiculous.  He cancelled a planned trip to Denmark because of it.

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Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time...

The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!

IOW, if we're not going to talk about selling Greenland to the U.S., we have nothing to talk about.  :o

It's one thing to float a silly idea, just to see if there is any interest in it.  We can laugh about it, but there's little harm done.

It's quite another to snub another country, an ally no less, because they won't consider a wild idea which they are under no obligation to even consider.

I imagine this would be the equivalent of someone being invited over for dinner, who then later says, "Oh, great, we can talk about you selling your pet dog to me while I'm over there."  When the family tells him their dog is not for sale, he responses, "Well, if you have no interest in selling your dog, I guess I'll postpone the dinner for another time."  ::)

IMHO, this is the most momentously stupid reason to postpone a diplomatic trip that I have ever heard.

Would anyone care to argue that this wasn't one of the most stupid moves in recent history?  That this was the most petty excuse for cancelling an official trip in our memories?  That there is no logical, reasonable defense of this unforced diplomatic faux pas, and that the man who did it is a complete incompetent?

If so, please state your reasons.  I would love to hear them!

3
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 16, 2019, 06:07:39 PM »
And didn't Jared, Ivanka and quite a few others use private email accounts for official communications, too?  Have all of those private email servers been vetted, too?

4
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 16, 2019, 04:11:15 PM »
FYI, Snopes did a study to see estimate how many Americans actually believed satirical stories like those from The Babylon Bee and The Onion.  See the article for methodology.

Of the top 5 most-believed Babylon Bee articles, between 19 and 28 percent of the study's Republicans believed they were "definitely true," as opposed to 6 to 14 percent of the Democrats.

OTOH, of the top 5 most-believed Onion articles, between 12 and 14 percent of the study's Democrats through they were "definitely true," while only 5 to 9 percent of the Republicans did.

So based on that one study, it does seem that quite a number of people believe obviously-satirical stories, on both sides of the aisle.

5
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 16, 2019, 04:00:06 PM »
Why not?  Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People's Party, said it best:

"The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous."  ;D

6
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 16, 2019, 03:56:36 PM »
Fenring said:
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It's true that Crunch is prone to jump the gun and cry "you see! they want to kill us!" but at the same time it's not clear that this an implausible guess about what it's about either.

And that's the thing.  Not only does he jump the gun and cry "They want to kill us!"  He jumps further and states that "If you disagree, that means you want to kill us, too!"  >:(

All based on an unreleased movie that we've only seen snippets and heard rumors about.  ::)

If that ain't poop, I don't know what is.

Crunch said:
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We know essentially what this movie is...

Yes, we all do know what essentially this movie is.

It's essentially a remake of "The Most Dangerous Game," similar to their previous remakes: "The Purge," "The Purge, Election Day," "The First Purge," etc, ad nauseam.  It's a movie where someone decided to try to make it more "relevant" by putting a political twist to it, by having the two sides being Conservatives vs. Liberals.  And since making the gun-toting Conservatives being the hunters was too trite, someone decided to twist it around and have the Liberals being the hunters instead.  And, essentially, this is some stupid little horror/slasher movie that will have as much influence on society as every Halloween, Jason, Saw, Scream, Elm Street, etc. movie that has come before.

What we also all know is that this thread is essentially a hit-piece, an attempt to slander every opponent of Trump and Conservatism.  To state or imply that they would gladly kill the opposition, just like the characters in the movie.  That it is really the fantasy of everyone who dislikes Trump and what he's done to this country.

I'm not saying this is the intention of everyone who has written on this thread.  Just Crunch, who started it.  Crunch, who makes vague excuses like this is "the dumbest strawman" or "stop pretending," because he knows that, if he had to clearly spell out his objections, that he would reveal his irrationality and biased hatred of everything that doesn't fit in his little universe.  How he has overblown the trailers to make it seem that the movie is inspiring people to shoot at ICE offices.  That a stupid little horror movie is indicative of an entire movement of millions of people.  A movie even he hasn't seen yet, but because of his biases and prejudices, believes he knows inside-out already.  And believes that everyone else knows already, too.  And anyone who denies it is "pretending."

Don't worry, Crunch.  Everyone knows the essentials about this movie--and you.

7
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 16, 2019, 02:18:54 PM »
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Tariffs are a strategy, which if employed incorrectly hurt 'us'. If employed correctly they do not. 'Us' marked like this because some people will always benefit from policies that generally screw over the populace, while good policies are going to be harmful to those particular areas. But this notion that higher prices due to tariffs harms America is the sort of short-term mistake that led to cheap crap being the payoff for losing all the jobs. It's a misreading of economics 101 where "lower prices = profit!" That's not how macro really works.

It's not that "lower prices = profit!"  It's "lower prices = more buying power for everyone."  Those who can produce a product more efficiently should do so, because it makes it more available to everyone.  Higher prices = everyone not be able to afford as much.

Of course, what jobs each country can do is efficiently is important, too.  And the fact that each country must have jobs in order to afford to import is true, too.  And that some countries can distort their "efficiency" with subsidies, cheap labor, ignoring environmental regulations (!), etc. is also a factor.  But the bottom line is that tariffs always increases the prices of imports.  And if the imports are cheaper than what can be made domestically (or from some other source), this will increase the price of items, decreasing buying power.  Thus they should be used sparingly, and with delicacy.

That much I remember from Econ 101. :)

8
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 15, 2019, 04:17:44 PM »
There are things we can do to address these problems.

We can ignore or override groups that object to certain technologies.

Sure can, nuclear power coming soon to a community near you.

And we may come to that, in the near future.

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We can make international treaties that certain polluting technologies cannot be used anywhere for manufacturing, or put tariffs on products made with polluting technologies.

It's a nice thought, but you can't make an international deal without the other countries agreeing, and not one of the non-western countries will agree to and then comply with pollution friendly, economically bad constraints on their business.

You can use tariffs, which is exactly what Trump is doing.  Are you saying you agree with him?

There are ways we can encourage other countries to comply.  Subsidies.  Trade guarantees.  Special trade status.  I'm sure you can think of more.  And, yes, tariffs.

I'm not against tariffs, per se.  They are a tool, one that should be used very sparingly and delicately.  After all, it is basically a tax on the U.S. consumers of imported goods that has the effect of making those imported good more expense to us.  It puts pressure on the foreign country, while hurting us at the same time.

That does not imply that I agree with that idiot in the White House who doesn't understand tariffs and uses it to nilly-willy like a spoiled 10-year-old.  ::)

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What we need is to agree that this is a problem that must be addressed, and then use political will to find solutions.

And we already have, which is why the US has been THE LEADER in pollution control in industry for decades, and is still making substantive gains in reducing pollution and in paying to develop pollution friendly tech. 

Give us credit, and look to the countries that aren't trying to make it better.

We have made progress, but hardly enough--CO2 levels are at their highest in the last 800,000 years. :(  U.S. emissions increased in 2018, although they are projected to decrease over the next two years.  But none is due to Republican leadership or the man in the White House, who denies there is even a problem.  You can't solve a problem you don't even recognize as being a problem.

We can do much better.  But we have to decide to do it, decide how we want to do it, and to do it.

9
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:27:39 PM »
There are things we can do to address these problems.

We can ignore or override groups that object to certain technologies.  We can make international treaties that certain polluting technologies cannot be used anywhere for manufacturing, or put tariffs on products made with polluting technologies.

What we need is to agree that this is a problem that must be addressed, and then use political will to find solutions.

Environmentalism is about the use of force to impose the will of the righteous on the unbelievers. Case in point.

And, apparently, Conservatism is to deny any fact that might limit a person's liberty or profits, no matter who may be hurt or how many.  Case in point.  :P

10
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:00:18 PM »
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Police in San Antonio arrested a man early Tuesday morning in connection with gunshots fired through the windows of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in the city, according to the agency.

But yeah, it’s just a fantasy on my part. Right. Tell me again that this isn’t happening.

Waitaminute.  You're saying that a movie, that has not yet been released and only a few seconds of clips have been shown, has inspired someone to start shooting at his political opponents?  Seriously?  :o

So tell me, how do you think racist rhetoric from the President influence White Nationalists? ;)  ;D

No. I’m not saying that. Please tell me you’re pretending to not understand. If you’re not pretending you may want to seek help.

No, I don't understand.  I can only read what you wrote and make inferences from that.  I can't read your mind (not that I'd want to).  I can't guess about things you don't say.

May I suggest that a simple few sentences explaining yourself would be more productive than suggesting that I seek help?

11
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 04:55:24 PM »
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Uh, the film was pulled from release so, you see, the exact minutes are not available yet.

So how do you know those minutes will be released?  Crystal ball? :)

Do you know how this works? Seriously. Movie made, previews released, marketing materials, theatre release date set. Have you even been following this? Are you just pretending you don’t know all this?

Oh, I understand the process, apparently better than you.  How often scripts get revised, even during production.  How the story can be changed even more during editing.  How you really don't know what the film will be until it is actually shown.

Which is why I am pointing out that you have no knowledge that these scenes are, or will be, in the movie.  So the whole basis of your argument in this thread is based on a pile of poop, which means your whole argument is poop, and every single accusation you've made against Democrats, liberals and people on this thread based on this movie is basically a pile of poop.  And, frankly, the stench is starting to offend me.

So why don't you just flush this whole thing like a decent person and realize you've been had again by the Conservative Media.  That they fooled you once again into believing something that just isn't true.  That this movie has nothing to do with what liberals and Democrats believe should be done with Trump Republicans.  That this is all a fantasy construct put together by deluded minds that you, unfortunately, swallowed hook, line and sinker.  Cut your loses, admit that this is based on nothing, and leave it be.

And please don't reply with another lame "are you pretending" B.S.  If you don't have an answer, admit it.  But don't try to say that I don't understand, that I'm pretending, that I'm the one who is not being honest and forthright here.  It's a silly game, and you're not fooling anyone.  It didn't work in the fourth grade, and it doesn't work now.

Got it?

12
General Comments / Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:17:10 PM »
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I don't get how a pop culture character (of any ethnicity) has become a (widely understood?) slur...

Uh, you mean like Uncle Tom or Little Black Sambo...?  ???

13
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:13:34 PM »
There are things we can do to address these problems.

We can ignore or override groups that object to certain technologies.  We can make international treaties that certain polluting technologies cannot be used anywhere for manufacturing, or put tariffs on products made with polluting technologies.

What we need is to agree that this is a problem that must be addressed, and then use political will to find solutions.

14
General Comments / Re: Hong Kong
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:41:59 PM »
One way or another, we're going to end up on the short end of this crisis.

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[T]he President has another headache on his hands, namely the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong. Some, including many in the Chinese government, think the United States is behind it. Who knows how true that is, but what is much clearer is that Xi Jinping is getting ready to crack down harshly, and Trump has no plan for what to do. "The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurt. I hope nobody gets killed," he said. If things spiral out of control, it would be a very bad look for the White House, whether the U.S. gets more directly involved or it looks the other way, and would even further inflame tensions between the U.S. and China. That is particularly true if Taiwan is the next target, as many fear will be the case.

In short, the administration may be on the brink of its first full-blown foreign crisis. This one would even tax a skilled diplomat like Richard Nixon or Franklin D. Roosevelt, which means it's way, way above the pay grade of Trump and the other folks in the White House right now.

But at least Trump sent his thoughts and prayers. :)

15
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 11:53:21 AM »
Wayward, that wasn't what he said.  If the Dem's theory on Trump's responsibility for mass shootings is to hold water, then it must follow that attacks on ICE can be directly attributed to the anti-ICE rhetoric of the Dems.

Really?  I must have missed that.  Could you quote where Crunch actually said that?  Because I thought we were talking about "The Hunt." ???

16
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »
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Police in San Antonio arrested a man early Tuesday morning in connection with gunshots fired through the windows of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in the city, according to the agency.

But yeah, it’s just a fantasy on my part. Right. Tell me again that this isn’t happening.

Waitaminute.  You're saying that a movie, that has not yet been released and only a few seconds of clips have been shown, has inspired someone to start shooting at his political opponents?  Seriously?  :o

So tell me, how do you think racist rhetoric from the President influence White Nationalists? ;)  ;D

17
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:12:41 AM »
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Uh, the film was pulled from release so, you see, the exact minutes are not available yet.

So how do you know those minutes will be released?  Crystal ball? :)

18
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:11:31 AM »
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A bleak new federal report found that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose to levels the world has not seen in at least 800,000 years, highlighting the irreversible and mounting deleterious effects of human activity on the planet, as ABC News reported.

Global carbon dioxide concentrations reached a record of 407.4 parts per million during 2018, the study found. That is 2.4 ppm greater than 2017 and "the highest in the modern instrumental record and in ice core records dating back 800,000 years," the report said, according to CNN.

It wasn't just the amount of carbon dioxide that set record levels. Other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide also continued a rapid rise into the atmosphere. Together, the global warming power of greenhouse gases was 43 percent stronger than in 1990, according to the State of the Climate report released Monday by the American Meteorological Society, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.

Greenhouse gases are not the only thing rising. Global sea levels also reached their highest levels on record for the seventh consecutive year, as ABC News reported. The report says that ocean levels are rising about an inch per decade, but that number may need to be revised if ice melt at the poles accelerates.

For global temperatures, 2018 ranked fourth, behind 2016, 2015 and 2017 for the warmest on record. That top four finish for 2018 is despite a La Niña system over the Pacific that cooled ocean waters for part of the year.

So far, 2019 is on track to be the warmest year in recorded history, according to NOAA.

Global sea temperatures also set a record level in 2018. "This record heat reflects the continuing accumulation of thermal energy in the top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the ocean," according to NOAA. "Oceans absorb more than 90 percent of Earth's excess heat from global warming."

The State of the Climate report noted that glaciers continued to melt at an alarming rate for the 30th consecutive year, as CNN reported...

The 29th annual release of the State of the Climate report was led by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and relies on contributions from more than 470 scientists from nearly 60 countries around the world. It incorporates tens of thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets and provides a detailed update on global climate indicators and notable weather events, according to NOAA.

19
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 13, 2019, 04:50:33 PM »
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But, so many of you seem to really dig this fantasy of killing your political opponents so you try to go through the mental gymnastics to accept it.

Not sure if you're demonstrating extremely poor reading comprehension or something else, but it reflects poorly on you (not the people you are falsely accusing of things).

So what’s your theory on why they support this film being released at this moment in time?  I’d be ok with it under more temperate times but with antifa support and rationalizations of their actions I think it’s reasonable to assume some level of fantasizing about this. A poll about eliminating your political opponents came out recently and about 20% of Democrats though it was a good idea, a little more than 15% of republicans thought so as well. Want to fuel that? It’s a good idea, you think?

You can pretend it’s all me, that’s the easy way out. But reality doesn’t agree with you.

At what time does the film identify all the hunted characters as being Trump supporters?  Please give the range of minutes, so I can see for myself without having to sit through the whole stupid thing.

Otherwise, stop being outraged that people aren't outraged about your fantasy, and making up stories about why they aren't outraged.  ::)

20
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 06:12:33 PM »
Just because Trump wasn't directly involved in hiring doesn't necessarily mean he didn't know, wasn't involved, didn't direct, or wasn't responsible for his underlings decisions.  All sorts of directives can come from above to be implemented by underlings.

None of the presidents of those seven food processing plants worked in human resources.  But do you think they bear absolutely no responsibility for having so many illegal aliens working for them? ;)

22
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 12:15:14 PM »
As someone pointed out, if Trump had all corporate employers who hired illegal aliens arrested, he would be arrested, too. :)

23
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 09, 2019, 03:43:09 PM »
Looks like the Right-Wing-o-sphere is going nuts about the rumors about this movie.

A nut named Rick Wiles is blaming the Jews.  ::)

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“They’re talking about murdering conservative Christian rural citizens in this country. That’s no joke. The Jews of Hollywood spent tens of millions of dollars to produce that movie. This is not a joke, this isn’t satire. They’re sending a message: get ready to kill conservatives.”

“The Jews are plotting a Jacobin revolution in this country,” he continued. “If that hasn’t convinced you, what will it take? Next year, when they’re shooting you?”

Fox News calls it "the liberal Twitterstorm fantasy taken to the next level."

Of course, Our Racist President says: ""The movie coming out is made in order ... to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!"

And there's Ammoland.  "As for white Americans who believe in their nation being the “greatest terrorist threat,” we see who the murderous aggressors are."

All for a movie no one has seen yet. :)

24
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 08, 2019, 03:46:29 PM »
I should also point out that the premise of this thread is based on unsubstantiated rumors.

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However, the ideology and political affiliation of the characters who hunt and kill what appear to be working-class people from largely rural areas remains unclear, despite the aforementioned websites’ [The Epoch Times and The Blaze] repeated and emphatic descriptions of them as “liberal” and “left-wing” elites. Notwithstanding the context of a fictional horror movie, it should be unnecessary to point out that hunting human beings for sport has never been a tenet of Enlightenment liberalism or modern-day American progressivism.

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We asked Universal Pictures whether it could confirm the accuracy or authenticity of those elements of the script published by THR, but we did not receive a response in time for publication. It’s unclear whether the script allegedly seen by THR was at an early stage of development, or a final draft, or whether those elements that suggest a liberal-conservative enmity between the characters made it into the final cut of the film itself.

Without having confirmation of those important details or being able to watch “The Hunt,” we cannot confirm the accuracy of the claim that the movie features “liberal” or “left-wing” characters hunting “Trump supporters” for sport.

And as a few have pointed out, it is the typical Hollywood trope of the quarry turning the tables (which goes all the way back to the short story, "The Most Dangerous Game.")

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The official Universal Pictures website for the film, which describes it as “a new mysterious social thriller,” contains the following plot summary:

“Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen … for a very specific purpose … The Hunt.

“In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all."

When the hunters are ultimately the ones who get killed, it is hardly an endorsement for hunting. :)

25
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 08, 2019, 03:20:37 PM »
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So you love the idea of killing MAGA types. You’re cool with this. Ok.

F**k you, G2, you stinking liar.  >:(

Wayward: Please see your email. -OrneryMod

26
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 07, 2019, 06:42:16 PM »
If that were true, Snopes would merely point out that it’s a satire site. Instead they work it like a real story.

Snopes always points out that when stories come from a satire site.  See for yourself.  But since some gullible fools think they are true, they rate it's actual truthfulness, just for them.

Don't blame Scopes.  Blame the MAGAs that can't tell truth from satire.  ::)

27
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 07, 2019, 06:38:42 PM »
Ya gotta get on ball there, Crunch.  Where've you been?  Your talking about a premise almost identical to "The Purge:"  gov't makes it legal to shoot poor people one night a year (the rich protect themselves) and it backfires on them.  This is just them guys trying to milk a bit more out of the idea of class warfare.

It'll have the same impact as the three (or is it four? five? anyone keeping count?) Purge films--they'll make a few million, and hardly anyone will notice.  ::)  Just like all them Jason films and Halloween films and other slasher films.

28
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 07, 2019, 05:59:09 PM »
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I also think it's funny that it came to my attention because Fox did an interview with it's owner (?) where he was complaining that Snopes has repeatedly "fact checked" his satirical stories to label them as fake news rather than satire.

Well, that's because there are a lot of people out there who pass on the stories without labeling them as satire.  And those who get them don't realize they are satire and pass them on a God's Truth.  ::)

So it's not so much that Snopes is labeling his stories as fake news, but rather the people who pass them on a fact.  :)

29
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: August 02, 2019, 04:54:13 PM »
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Quote from: Wayward Son on July 31, 2019, 10:48:59 AM
Or do you believe the entire field of astrophysics is not "science?" ;)  I mean, exactly which of your objections do not apply to our knowledge that the sun is primarily run by fusion of hydrogen atoms?

We not not *know* that the sun is primarily run by nuclear fusion. That has been the leading theory for a while, but never observed or corroborated. I'm not saying it isn't true, but that we're only in a position at present to say that as a theory it seems to fit the data the best. It would surprise many, but confound few, to ultimately learn that there's no fusion in stars at all and that the exposions are generated some other way.

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And we certainly don't know if there are unknown unknowns that could be the real reason the sun shines.  But does anyone question the consensus that we do know how the sun shines?

There isn't fusion because there's a consensus. If there's fusion it's because there's fusion. Our best guess is no more than that. That's not nothing, but it's not a fact either. So we work under the assumption there is fusion, make calcualtions using it as a premise, and see where that goes. The whole thing may prove to be bogus eventually when we learn about a new quantum property that fits the data much better.

Thank you for illustrations my point, Fenring.  You assert that we don't *know* that the sun is primarily run by nuclear fusion.  But if we don't know this, this basic fact about the sun, can we say that we know anything?

And if we don't know anything, then what are we doing researching astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, or any science whatsoever?  We don't really *know* anything about them.  So how can we make new discoveries, when we haven't established any discoveries in the past?

Which comes down to what you mean by *know*.

What scientists mean by "know" is that we have a theory (which means the idea is well-established in the science and just about everyone agrees it is true--i.e. a consensus :) ) which nicely explains practically all known phenomenon for the subject, but is open to revision if the evidence warrants it.  It is not something that we know is true and shall be true, forever and ever.  Nor is it something that is just tentatively believed, and can be dismissed at a whim.  It is in between those extremes, siding toward "true" as it continues to withstand the tests of scientists and time.

But since we don't really *know* that theories are true in the absolute sense, can we rely on them?

And there's the thing: we can rely on them for as long as they are reliable.  So long as the theories continue to produce predictions within the margins of error, we can rely on them.  And anyone who dismisses a theory which continues to produce correct results within the margins of error does so at their own peril.  Because then you are denying a useful tool to predict what will happen.

So far, from what I've heard and the consensus of scientists, the climate computer models have produced good predictions within the margins of error.  They are based on established theories of thermodynamics, radiation and such that have so far withstood the test of time.  And they all point to one thing:  that the CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere is the primary driver for the global warming.  For as long as most of these models show this, and their predictions are reasonably accurate (within the margins of error), then it is reasonable to rely on their results.

We ignore them at our own peril.

30
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: August 02, 2019, 04:20:30 PM »
It's not so much that consensus is science, but science needs consensus. :)

Science says that human life begins at conception.  But scientifically prove what "human life" is.

Science can prove a definition of what "human life" is, but it can't prove what is meant by "human life."

Is "human life" some cells of a human that are living, even if most of the body is dead?

Is "human life" when the brain is still living?

Is "human life" a bunch of cells that could develop into a human body if it is in a mother's womb?

Without a consensus of what "human life" is, science cannot prove anything about it.

And remember, "consensus" is not something scientists sign up to.  No one tells scientists "you must believe this."  Rather, consensus is what most scientists choose to believe.  That is why I keep comparing it to a jury.  A jury isn't told what to believe.  Each individual comes to his or her own conclusion, and the verdict is found when they reach a consensus.

If a vast majority of scientists come to the same conclusion, not from being told what to believe but from their own reasoning, then that tells you something, much like a jury coming to a conclusion about the facts of a trial.  It's not perfect, of course, but it's better than any other method we've come up with for finding what the facts are.

I'm sure some of you will say, "The experiments determine the facts."  Well, guess what?  Scientists use experiments as the determinate for what is factual, along with close observation and models.  So when the experiments make clear what the facts are, you have a consensus.  When the observations make clear what the facts are, you have a consensus.  When all the models reasonably model what is happening, whether it be inside a star or a climate system, you have a consensus.  Because scientists like to be right, and a majority will follow the best way to determine that.

When a majority of scientists come to a consensus about a theory, that theory is the best/most productive one we have.  That is the power of consensus.  Like a jury, when many minds independently study something and come to the same conclusion, it is the best bet that that conclusion is the best one we have.

31
General Comments / Re: What are Democrats running on in 2020?
« on: August 01, 2019, 11:07:47 AM »
I'm not following the debate on this thread, but I thought I'd add a list of the things Democrats agree upon according to David Brin, just to keep the ball rolling (and make sure there is input about what Dems are running on from those who are not Republicans):

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Here again is my list of consensus items that ALL of the Democratic candidates are for.

* Electoral reform: end gerrymandering, rigged voting machines, voter suppression and other cheats,
* Election money transparency,
* Restore our alliances.
* Deter acts of war (cyber/electoral/trade etc.) against our nation/institutions,
* End "supply side" vampirism by the aristocracy we rebelled against in 1776,
* Infrastructure, paid for by ending supply side voodoo,
* DACA,
* Children out of cages, refugees given safe places to live and process,
* A Marshall Plan for Central America + holding their corrupt elites accountable,
* Medicare for all Children (a start so popular the GOP can’t dare refuse),
* Climate action,
* Restore science, R&D and technological leadership as national strengths,
* Protect women’s autonomy, credibility and command over their own bodies,
* Consumer protection, empower the Consumer Financial Protection Board,
* At least allow student debt refinancing. Analyze and start doing much more,
* Restore the postal savings bank for the un-banked,
* Basic, efficient, universal background checks,
* Basic-level Net Neutrality for consumers,
* A revised-throttled War Powers Act and limit presidential emergency powers,
* Civil Service protection,
* Reject racism, gender-phobia, nazism etc. as evils while calming all sanctimonies,
* Restored respect for things called facts. Support professions that use them,
* Restored rebuttal rules on "news" channels,
* Emoluments supervision. AUDIT the cheating, money-laundering oligarchy,
* Ease out of the damned drug war (at least don’t impede states),
* Anti-trust breakup of monopoly/duopolies,
* Allow pharma renegotiation and stop the tricks that stymie generics,
* Restore some of the social contract set up by the FDR-loving "Greatest Generation" (GG),

Anyone who shouts "socialism!" at that list is screaming at our parents, the GGs who crushed Hitler, contained Stalinism, took us to the moon, loved science and built the world's greatest middle class...

And if you think not, show us the democrats opposing any of those things! *  Better yet, look at the last time the dems had power to legislate, just two years (2009-2011) out of the last 26, when those "corporatist" dems were frenetically busy! Look at California and New York, where they've had more time. This "corporatist" malarkey comes right out of a Kremlin basement.

While some Democratic candidates want to go further than this list, remember that most changes need to go through Congress, too.  And, as we've been told about Trump, Congress will also moderate the President's wilder ideas.  These are just the ones that would pass a vast majority of the Democrats muster.

32
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 31, 2019, 10:48:59 AM »

Earth is Warming.  I guaranty we don't know Earth's current temperature, not on the surface, not in the atmosphere generally, not from the surface to the edge of space, and certainly not in the entire volume thereof.  What I can't know is how accurate our estimates are and what the real margin of error is (the calculated margin is nonsense). 

I guaranty we don't know what Earth's temperature was in any of the those volumes as a historical matter (and some are completely impossible to have measured given the way we indirectly measure historical temperatures).  What I can't know is the margin of error on the estimates, or whether the indirect measurements we do are less accurate than the direct ones we are attempting now, or even if they are more accurate.  It's literally possible that the indirect historical measures actually encode more relevant data than the real time measures, of course it's literally possible they're completely noise.

I guaranty, the way we have built the models using micro data research is heavily biased towards that which we easily understand, can get too or have researched, which is a heavy bias.  What I can't know is what else is out there, or if we by random chance have pieces of it correct.

Putting that aside, let's assume that we are in fact warming (and there are plenty of people that make reasonable cases this is not the case, and others who make nutty cases), then that leads to the question of what's causing it.

These are very erudite criticisms of our state of knowledge, but I believe they exaggerate the uncertainty, for two reasons.

First, what do you mean by "know?"

When you say, "we don't know Earth's current temperature, not on the surface, not in the atmosphere generally, not from the surface to the edge of space, and certainly not in the entire volume thereof," exactly how much don't we know?  For instance, let's say we measure the temperatures in Detroit and Chicago to a tenth of a degree, and they are both at 98 degrees F.  Does that mean we have no idea of the temperatures between those cities?   Could there be a field in between that is at -40 degrees, for instance?  Of course not.  We know enough about thermal dynamics and weather to know that such an anomaly would be readily detectable through winds and such.  Not to mention satellite measurements.  And not to mention the thousands of people who pass through the areas every day, none of which have ever frozen to death between those cities on a hot summer's day. :)

So while you object that "I can't know is the margin of error on the estimate," you can know that there are outer bounds on those estimates.  So you can't completely discount all measurements and extrapolations from them.

Second is that models are a legitimate way to conduct science.  Or do you believe the entire field of astrophysics is not "science?" ;)  I mean, exactly which of your objections do not apply to our knowledge that the sun is primarily run by fusion of hydrogen atoms?  We don't "know" its temperature.  We don't "know" the actual margins of error.  We don't "know" if the models we created using micro data isn't heavily biased.  And we certainly don't know if there are unknown unknowns that could be the real reason the sun shines.  But does anyone question the consensus that we do know how the sun shines?  Even you?

And what about black holes, background radiation, supernovas, etc.  Don't we "know" anything about them?  Or is all we know is that there are shiny things in the sky? ;)

I also noticed something you didn't guarantee above.

You didn't guarantee that AGW isn't happening.

This is important, because there are a few things I can guarantee, too.

I can guarantee that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing.  We have the measurements.

I can guarantee that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  We have over a century of research about that.

So I can guarantee that CO2 is trapping more heat in our atmosphere than it did in centuries past.

No matter what the other data says, it doesn't change these facts.

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Caused by People.  That's our second "consensus" item.  It's caused by people.  This by the way is almost completely reliant on a single correlation.  As the human population's technology and pollution have increased the "measurements" we are able to do appear to have increased.  That's it.  There's no experiment that confirms it.  So how do we get from correlation to causation?  Well honestly we can't.

However, we can approach the limit by eliminating other potential causes (again assuming we are even correct about the temperature).  As with any purely observational Science, we become more certain of a theory by eliminating other potential causes as a source.  And that's the whole lot of what is going on.  If the correlation breaks the theory  falls apart (which is why things like a "pause," a medieval warm period, and historically far higher carbon concentrations at lower temperatures are so damaging that they have to explained away).

Modelling though?  Total red herring, and literally not a science experiment.  It generates zero data.  It runs zero experiments.  It settles zero factual questions.  What it may be good for is generating hypothesis, and if we get tuned enough correctly making predictions.  I personally don't believe it's close to there yet, but reasonable people can disagree.

Why is it dangerous to treat this "consensus" as meaningful?  Well mostly because we only know of a correlation and have not shown a causative effect.  That means that contrary evidence will either "break" the model completely, or lead to "narrative explanations" of things that altered the course (whether these are actual refinements, or literally just covering for a broken hypothesis is in the eye of the beholder).  If it's just a false correlation, and we implement ridiculous and damaging policies, they will (a) do no good, and (b) be credited with any correlative change.

So if we do nothing, and nothing happens.  Proof it was a mere correlation.  If on the other hand we completely rearrange the world, destroy all economies and kill have the population, and nothing happens.  Proof we "saved" the world.

On the flip, if there is a causation and we do nothing it gets worse.  But if we "do something" and it's the wrong thing it will also get worse and maybe much worse (which is why I'm so opposed to international treaties that punish the most efficient producers).

But let's not kid ourselves.  Consensus on AGW is literally consensus on a hypothesis, and literally one that's incapable of being tested.

Except that it is far, far more than simple correlation.  We know that CO2 traps heat.  So we expect that increased levels of CO2 will trap more heat.  That is not just correlation.

Here's a thing that we don't emphasize enough.  The computer models of our climate are not intended to "prove" that global warming is occurring.  What I stated previously "proves" that.  What the computer models can do is help us better understand exactly how it is affecting our climate, in greater detail.  They might even show that there are other factors that mitigate our emissions of billions of tons of CO2 and it is not warming our planet.  Dig it:  the computer models are our best chance of showing that AGW is not occurring.  Otherwise, we are left with those basic facts above.  And they all point to AGW being true.

And while there are other sources of CO2 than our emissions, nevertheless we are still emitting billions of tons of CO2 each year.  Any natural source increase the global warming effects.  And other source of heat increases the temperature increases we are creating.

We know we are trapping more heat in our atmosphere.  The only question is how much and how quickly.  A good model of our climate system will help us get a more accurate answers to those questions, and maybe even show that we actually aren't affecting the overall system.  But so far, the models haven't.  And until they do, we have to assume that the basic physics is correct, that the models are reasonably accurate, and that we are the main cause of rising temperatures on Earth.  To do otherwise is to kid ourselves.

33
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 29, 2019, 04:22:45 PM »
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So what happens to the person who stakes their reputation on a claim, builds up a considerable amount of prestige pushing that particular claim. Only to start encountering information which contradicts their claims?

People like to be successful in their fields after all, and don't want to look like abject failures after all.

Which isn't to mention all the fun to be had when people are designing tests to confirm what they're seeking to confirm.

When that happens, their experiments (and those of their students) start to fail.

It's like that one guy who spent $40,000 on a rocket to prove that the Earth is flat.  You know what happened?  It went up thousands of feet, and he didn't see the edge of the Earth.  He felt cheated, because he preformed this experiment and it didn't prove what he wanted it to prove.  He wanted his money back. :D

When you have a bad assumption, eventually it will show.  Other scientists will devise an experiment to isolate the incorrect assumption. Of course, the ones who hold the bad assumption will try to figure out alternative explanations for the inconsistent results.  But over time, the correction idea should win out.

It may take a long time for the truth to win out.  But the contradictions will be there, sitting like a toad on a log, sticking out its tongue, until a new consensus is reached, which should be closer to the "truth" than before.

34
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 29, 2019, 04:10:10 PM »
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There is no jury in science, and therefore the answer to your question is "you don't need to trust anyone" because science doesn't work based on trust. In fact the best science eliminates the human factor as much as possible, so that 'agreement' or 'compliance' become ideally irrelevant when the functionality of a theory speaks for itself.

Yes, the best science eliminates the human factor as much as possible.  But the problem is that it can't be eliminated. :)

Most (many?) experiments are repeated.  But once they have been repeated enough times, they are accepted as fact by most scientists--a consensus of scientists, if you will.  There will still be some holdouts.  But overall, almost all scientists trust that it is true.  Not because they have performed the experiment itself, or tested it directly, but because it has been tested by others and has withstood all secondary tests over time.  If you don't trust other scientists to have performed the experiments correctly and have come to usable conclusions, then you cannot make any progress in science.  You will spend all your time confirming what everyone else has done before. :(

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Science is not some team sport where everyone has to agree on the rules beforehand in order to play. There is literally no need to make some over-arching determination of which theor(ies) are better in some kind of vote, and in any case there is no unification to speak of among experts in terms of them 'signing on' to the same club where members must subscribe to the same beliefs. The way you describe things sound a lot more to me like dogmatic religion than scientific work.

No, there is no vote, no "signing on," no club membership.  And yet scientific consensus exists.  Over 90 percent of climatologists believe that humans are affecting Earth's climate.  We know this is true, in spite of there being no vote.

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You'll know because experiments are repeatable that are based on those theories. And you'll know because people are making money off of it. You do know that there are no channels in the fields to establish "consensus", right? Physicists don't have polls passed around all over the world where they have to scratch in "agree" or "disagree" on various propositions. The only reason we talk about consensus in climate science is because it's been journalistically turned into a public and political fiasco. By virtue of it being political people speak of consensus, because agreement is fundamentally a political end; but certainly not a scientific one.

Nonsense.  Can you tell me with a straight face that there is no consensus on Maxwell's Equations?  On Relativity?  On the Big Bang?  Can you tell me that less than 90 percent of all scientists for which these are relevant to their fields don't believe these?  If you can't, you acknowledge there is a consensus, even if there is no voting.

They vote with their experiments.  They vote with their assumptions.  They vote with the basis of reality that they conceptualize to design and perform their experiments and studies.  We don't need no stinkin' poll... :)

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Peer review covers methodology for publication purposes, and other than that there is no general oversight over broad theories. As far as 'well-tested' goes, typically in areas of research different teams will try to reproduce interesting results independently to see if they're repeatable. More teams succeeding in this definitely lends credence to either the method or maybe a theory that led to the method.

Eventually there comes a point, though, where teams don't try to reproduce results, when peer review doesn't question an assumption.  They take them as a given.  That is what I mean by a consensus.

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Here you seem to be talking about some kind of efficiency calculation, where the 'likely long-term success' of a given line of research can be determined by 'the experts.' Unless you're suggesting invoking a brand new branch of science philosophy, something like "probabilistic study of research future" (which currently doesn't exist), may I assume you're rather talking more about what we sometimes call 'mainstream' thought? The funny thing is that if Kuhn is going to be taken seriously at all then we have to suppose that the mainstream understanding of which research is going in the right direction has always been wrong, without exception. If it was right we'd never have had all of these scientific revolutions.

I'm not talking about an efficiency calculation.  I'm talking about scientists who decide what they believe is true, and using that as a jumping-off point for further research.

Which means that even Kuhn's revolutionaries have a consensus view about aspects of the universe.  How could Einstein have come up with Relativity without the consensus understanding of Maxwell's Equations?  Without Maxwell's adding the speed of light to Ampere's law, there would have been no puzzle for Einstein to solve with Relativity.

35
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: July 29, 2019, 12:09:35 PM »
From the little I hear from this side of the pond, Johnson has unrealistic plans (hopes) for Brexit, along with a determination that he will exit the E.U. by Oct. 31, come hell or high water.  Which most likely means a hard Brexit, which will almost definitely lead to an economic recession for Britain.  I've heard estimates as high at 10 to 15 percent reduction in their economy.

This would mean a drop in the pound and probably a worldwide recession, which President Trump will blame on the Democrats. :)

I doubt Scotland or Wales (or Whales, as our President spells it :) ), will secede.  I can't see Ireland uniting.  I do see the violence in Ireland increasing because of the border being re-instated between Northern Ireland and the rest of the isle.  We all pray it won't be as bad as back before the Good Friday accord. :(

Johnson will doubtlessly make some trade deal with the U.S., which will most likely do very little to help either economy, although both leaders will exaggerate its effect.

You should check you last night's episode of >Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  He goes into what a clown Johnson is, and how he will probably crash and burn.  He had a previous episode about Brexit that echos my post, too.  (I must warn you, though, he makes numerous references to a couple of rutting foxes in the episode, so caveat emptor.)

36
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 29, 2019, 11:55:39 AM »
Which brings us back to original question: AGW versus "beginning of human life."

AGW consensus is based on the fact that other theories about the current increase in Earth's temperature have no yielded good results, as determined by those who are studying the field and actually want their theories to match the measured facts as closely as possible.  Certainly there are other avenues that may yield good, or even better, results.  But so far, one one has shown a study that the vast majority of climatologist believe is a good direction to pursue, except for the consensus opinion.

The consensus among biologists also agree that the beginning of human life is at conception.  But what is not agreed, what is not measurable, is how much we should value that beginning of human life.

Do four cells trump the rights of the mother?  Do those four cells mean that she has no say about how the pregnancy should proceed?  Does that forming of human life mean that the mother has no say over what happens to her body, and whether is might kill her or not?

What measurements would you suggest to answer these question?  What experiments will help us determine the correct answers?  And to what degree of certainty?  What will be the error bars of these experiments? ;)

When you are asking, "To what degree is the current warming trend attributable to CO2 increases in our atmosphere," that is a scientific questions that a consensus of scientists can provide a fair good answer.  When you are asking, "To what degree should we value the life of a developing human over its mother," that is not a scientific question that does not have a scientific answer.

37
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 29, 2019, 11:46:02 AM »
This all shows a basic misunderstanding of what is meant by "consensus". Yes, consensus is not part of the scientific method.  It is, however, a goal of the scientific method.

No, it’s not.

The scientific method:

1 Make an observation.
2 Ask a question.
3 Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
4 Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
5 Test the prediction.
6 Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

Nowhere in there is the step “take a vote”. Science does not use votes to decide what theories are true and which are false.

What you're missing here, Crunch, is step 6: "use the results."

How do you know which results to use?

Let's say you have different, contradictory results to an experiment by two different researchers, or even by a whole slew of researchers?  Which results do you use, or do you throw them both out?  But what if some of them are liars?  What if some of them did the experiment badly?  What if there is a statistical component of the experiment, and some of them are outliers?  How do you know which ones to believe?

Obviously, you look closely at the experiments and decide which ones are better, right?  Can anyone suggest a better method?

But then, who makes that determination??  Who are you going to trust to be as unbiased as possible?  Who will be the jury?

The current approach is to let everyone make the determination, giving more weight to those who are experts in the fields.  After all, they have more to lose if they are wrong: they can lose reputation, and they can hobble themselves by believing incorrect models, which will sabotage any research they do using those models.  (If you believe the Earth is flat, any predictions based on that idea will probably come crashing down. :) )

But if everyone is making the determination, how can any of us know what is established as true and what is still undecided?  There will always be contrarians who will dispute any finding (e.g. Flat Earthers).  So how can we know what are the best theories?

One word: consensus.

If you have a vast majority of knowledgeable people agree on a certain theory, who will stake their reputations on it, and base their research on it, then it is a much higher probability that it is true than by any other method that I can imagine.  You have a group of people who know the subject--who are constantly testing the subject and trying to pry more information from the subject, who will delve even deeper into the subject to figure out why their predictions are wrong--agreeing on basics that have served them well in the past and present.  The ones who believe in theories that are true will more often make progress in their experiments and models.  Those who don't will won't make as much progress, if at all.

And, oddly enough, people like to be successful in their fields. :)

So consensus means two things: the jury of the most of the knowledgeable people agree that the theory is well-tested, and that it is being shown to be useful in further fruitful research.

Can they be wrong?  Of course.  But they are right more often than not, and certainly more often than any other method you can think of.

The best part is that, as research continues, it tends to weed out those theories that don't work.  Take TheDeamon's list of overturned theories above.  How did those theories overcome the old consensus?  By the accumulation of data and predictions being confirmed.  But then, when did we, as non-experts, know that the new theories were correct?  When the consensus of scientists agreed they were.  When they realized that the theories were better than the old ones, and would yield better results.

So, yes, consensus is not part of the scientific method.  But it is the best way to know which directions will probably yield further knowledge, and which directions probably won't.  Because of the opinions of those who are the most invested in finding that knowledge and have tried (or seen others try) the less-fruitful directions.

38
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Reforestation and other plant sequestrating will help reduce atmospheric CO2 for a while, but it is not a long-term solution.

Hundred million years is short term? The fact that it comes back eons later as petroleum is an odd objection.

What percentage of plant matter gets fossilized and becomes fossil fuels, etc.?  The plant has to be buried before it decays, then not consumed by bacteria, fungus and borrowing animals.  As I recall, most plants do not become fossilized.

Burying plants deeply is a very good method of sequestration, but to have a significant effect, it has to be actively done.  In other words, we have to bury it.  How much grass and trees are you willing to bury each years? ;)

Otherwise, you will only sequester the carbon until the plant decays.  Not very long for a vast majority of plants.  And the huge number of new plants required each year would be a major undertaking itself, and require vast areas to be devoted to growing these plants.  That would be in addition to what we grow for food.

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Global warming maps better to deforestation and marine poisoning than to gaseous emissions.  Best way to explain the shifts of the last 10,000 years.

Could you please cite your source?  Correlation does not prove causation, and I would like to see what other data there is to support this (especially the numbers that show how the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere is completely accounted for by deforestation, in spite of the billions of tons of CO2 we add every year).  And remember:  CO2 traps heat.  Any other source of global warming is simply ADDING to what the CO2 is doing.  There is no argument about that.

39
General Comments / Re: Consensus as science
« on: July 26, 2019, 06:49:32 PM »
I think the difference here is between a consensus about a scientific question and a consensus about a social question.

Scientifically, I can see 95 percent of scientists agreeing that a unique life begins at conception.

But scientifically, they would have no opinion about what rights and responsibilities such a life has at conception.

Because there are things you can physically measure that can make the determination about whether the life is unique.  But there are no physical measurements that can be done to determine how much of the mother's life the zygote has a right to take.

Combine that problem with the chances of the zygote naturally reaching maturity (between 20 to 25 percent IIRC), the threats to the mother's life, and the fact that it may not be viable even after birth, the question is no longer a scientific one.

Yes, life begins at conception.  But when that life is 100 percent dependent on the mother, may not mature anyway, and may cost the mother energy or her life, then whether the zygote has the right to be born or not is not science.

40
Reforestation and other plant sequestrating will help reduce atmospheric CO2 for a while, but it is not a long-term solution.  Plants only hold the carbon for as long as they live.  When they die, they emit most of the CO2 again during decomposition.  So grasses will reduce CO2 during the summer, but emit it again come winter.  And, in fact, the changes in the atmospheric CO2 levels show this.  (See seasonal variations in the Keeling Curve.)

The other problem is the amount of CO2 they have to absorb.  Humanity generates about 24 billion tons of CO2 every year.  Meanwhile, trees absorb between 13 pounds (for new trees) to 48 pounds (for mature trees) of CO2 each year.  That means we would have to plant around 1.8 billion new trees (or the equivalent) each year just to keep up with what we emit.  And bury or equivalent all those trees when they die.

Plants will help, but they won't alone solve the problem.

41
General Comments / Re: Our Racist President
« on: July 18, 2019, 06:41:10 PM »
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How did he ever get elected? Oh yeah; he ran against Mrs Telltale Smirk.

If that were true, Pete, how is it that the next Democratic presidential candidate is going to be even worse than Hillary, in spite of the fact that no one knows who that person is going to be yet? ;)

No, people actually love Trump and what he believes/stands for, if only for hating Democrats in general. :(

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If you don't share the ideals, which I don't think any of the "squad" really do, you are not really American.

You mean ideals like the fact we are all Americans, not just those who are white?  That we are a nation of immigrants, all with as much right to be here as the next guy?

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lhan Omar, is a flat out anti-semite who stands for equating America to terrorism.  Ayanna Pressley is a straight up racist and her quote about not needing any more brown faces that don't want to be brown voices proves it, to her you are only valuable for your color and only if you agree with her.  Tlaib's got a view point that comes from her Palenstinian roots that includes lies about the history of Israel.  And AOC, what is part of American exceptionalism that she doesn't hate?

If you gave them as much of the benefit of the doubt as you give Trump and the Republicans, you’d know that’s all BS.

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Hang OR deport?   Are you listening to yourself?  Deporting is in the law. PERIOD.  Wanting people deported is a completely legitimate position.

I said “hang or deport minorities,” Seriati.  Not illegal immigrants. Why do you think you missed that?  Why do you mistake minorities for illegal immigrants?  Is it something about the rhetoric coming from the top?  Something about demonizing all foreigners, and now their children?  Because, after all, no one from some foreign country can have our values and culture.  And that’s what’s important, isn’t it?
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Face it, Trump played you and the rest of the woke again.

No, Trump has finally made clear what his real face is.  Now it’s just a matter of making you wake up to it.
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True he has, bringing more jobs and more real wage increases to them, ensuring that the tax code was revised to provide a tax benefit to every lower class tax payer notwithstanding the lies.  Reforming an unfair prison system put in place by the Democratic President Bill Clinton?  Yep, did that too.  Actually focusing attention on a border situation that is insane that harms the ethnic hispanic immigrants who come (they are a minority here, but not by much, but a majority where they come from)?

Trump’s policies have done little to nothing to help the economy, except perhaps to supercharge it with that stupid corporate tax cut, which will bite us in the behind come the next recession. The benefits to the “lower class taxpayers” are temporary and barely significant.
I’ll give you the bipartisan prison system reform.  He never campaigned on it, but at least he didn’t veto it.
Tell me again how characterizing illegal Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers is helping Hispanics in our country.  Ask you Hispanic friends (since you obviously are not one) how many times someone has told them to go back to Mexico after Trump came into office?  How they feel about ICE raids, threatened and actual?  Ask them if they feel more secure, more welcome in this country now?  You might learn something.
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Have you condemned Pressley, she's an honest to goodness racist, she only sees color and not the real people behind it.
You realize that it doesn’t matter if I’m really David Duke trying to fake you all out.  That’s doesn’t change the fact that Trump is a racist.  He’s a racist because he told a bunch of minority American citizens, Congresswomen no less, to go back to where they came from.  It’s what racists say.
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Or do you have some evidence of a Trump policy that is racist or harming minorities that you've kept in the vest?
No, so far he hasn’t implement or tried to implement any overtly racist policy, except for separating illegal immigrant children from their parents for no good reason.  I doubt Congress would have approved an overtly racist policy.  But his words…ah, his words…
He may not do anything overtly racist, except with his words.  But covertly?  Like maybe make it harder for minorities to vote?  Like maybe say that the votes from minorities were all illegal, implying that they are all illegals?   
You think he’s going to stop here?  You think he’s not going to escalate?  Listen to his rally last night.  His followers were chanting, “Send her home!  Send her home!”  A week ago, the thought never occurred to most of them.  Now they’ve internalized it.  Now it’s their desire, their belief.  To exile American citizens because they disagree with their politics, to those brown, black and Muslim “sh*thole” countries that are so much worse than anything here.
You think, with all these people cheering him on, inflating his ego for showing them who to hate and which American values to trample, that he’s going to pull back now?  You think this narcissist won’t double down after hearing all those cheers?
Maybe he hasn’t crossed the line for you yet.  But he hasn’t finished crossing lines yet.
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Name me the "swing" liberal justice.  I'll wait.
Cute meme.  How can you have a swing liberal, when the courts are demonstrably far more conservative than they were 40 years ago?  Mathematically, in order to be in the center of this SCOTUS, you have to be on the conservative side.
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Lol, are they not sh*thole countries?  Great to hear, I guess we can deny all asylum claims from people that originated from them.  Oh wait, now they are sh*thole countries and there's a credible threat?  Consistency not a strong point today is it.

Fact is people are fleeing these countries because they are a mess, almost all of them economically, and many of them politically.  How is that at all inconsistent with what was said?  Answer its not, you're just harping on a sound bite without carrying any water on analysis.    There is no part of the Democratic position on this that holds together as logically consistent.
Of course these countries are messes.  So is ours, if you’d bother to look, rather than try to make it worse.
It’s the “vicious women and children” part that was important in that sentence.  That Republicans are so stupid and timorous that they treat women and children as invading armies.  Cowards.
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I already acknowledged that what Trump said is pretty defined as racist by the Woke, and pointed out to you that to the rest of the country it looks pretty reasonable on its face.
That’s because the “rest of the country” is stupid.  Telling a minority to “go back to your country” has been acknowledged as a racist remark for years.  It’s specifically mentioned as an example of racist behavior in government instructions to managers.  It only “looks” reasonable if it doesn’t apply to you.  Telling a white person from West Virginia to “go back to your country” is laughable; they’re already in “their” country.  Telling a black person to “go back to your country” is telling them they should go back to Africa, that they aren’t really part of this country.  The correct response to this remark that looks pretty reasonable on its face is “Go f**k yourself, I’m just as American as you, if not more so!”
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Don't believe me, do you recall how stunned everyone living in a left bubble was on election night in 2016?
Don’t believe you.  I read FiveThirtyEight just before election night.  They estimated Trump had about a 25% chance of winning.  I’ve played enough D&D to know how good those odds were. :(
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Once again you seem to be calling for the otherside to vote against their own interests out of disgust.  And there's a reason you do that, to my knowledge only the Republicans ever vote against their own interests as a matter of principal (Exhibit A, Roy Moore - not elected, Exhibit B, Bob Menendez - re-elected).
No, I don’t want the other side to vote against their own interests.  I want them to stop acting so morally superior and admit that they have no morals other than their own selfish interests.
Let me remind you that Moore only barely lost that election, 50% to 48%.  600,000 Alabama Republicans thought their own interests trumped the charges against him.  We’ll see if he has better luck this next time.
And I’ll see your Menendez with Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., who won handily against his opponent (after smearing him) despite being up on charges and blaming it all on his wife. :)
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All your angst on this complete crap, there's no chance that the Democrats would not have done the same.
What a load of crap.  No matter what Republicans do, you can excuse it because the Democrat would have done it, too?  I suppose you use that excuse to defend Rep. Dennis Hastert and justify what he did with his student when he was a coach: “There’s no chance that the Democrats would not have done the same.” :p
And, BTW, as I recall, the last time a similar situation occurred, the Democrats did let the nomination go through.
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Trump telling a group of anti-semitic, anti-American, communists that happen to be Congresswomen to go back where they came from?  I don't think he gives two shakes about their ethnicity.
Pff.  Have you ever heard someone use that against a white, except in retaliation?  It doesn’t make sense.  It only makes sense if you assume they are “from” somewhere else.  And what criteria do you think he used to assume that other than race?
The Congresswomen should have responded as any white guy would have: “I am where I came from, you dumb ***.” :)

Oh, well, it’s been fun, but I’ve wasted enough time on this. Later.

42
General Comments / Re: Our Racist President
« on: July 17, 2019, 03:57:32 PM »
Only for those who find you more credible than me, Seriati.  And I think that is starting to wear thin.

Exactly what has Trump actually done to make life better for minorities?  Been President during a up-turning economy?  What did he do to make the economy turn up?  Cut taxes?  He didn't do that; Congress did.  He didn't help them at all.  What else did he do?  What else?

And what exactly do you have to "do" to prove you believe minorities to be second-class citizens and not real Americans, or even real people?  What actions would you consider to be racist that the President could do?  Call blacks "n*gg*rs?"  What would it take?

He's supported making it harder for minorities to vote.  He's called immigrants from brown-skinned countries rapists and murderers.  He's separated families of immigrants on thin pretexts, hoped that it would discourage people from coming here, and then blamed Democrats for it all. 

For more evidence, see one of Trump's latest tweets.

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Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!

Three guesses which demographic has Omar polling at 8% and Cortez at 21%.  (And the first two don't count.)  The constituents of their respective districts? Every American, nationally? No, neither of those.  Ever wonder why he would think that that particular demographic speaks for all of America? ;)

Democrats are racists, too.  We all are, to some extent.  But most of us recognize it, and have enough common sense not to let it affect our words and judgement too much.  But Trump doesn't.  He's letting minorities know that he doesn't consider them equal to him and his tribe.  If he didn't know to stop before now, what makes you think he'll have sense to stop on worse matters?

Trump is a liar, a fool and a racist.  You may think it worse for me to stand with the party that wants to make this country more equal and fair, but you will still have to take responsibility for those you stand with, whether you recognize who they are or not.

43
General Comments / Re: Our Racist President
« on: July 17, 2019, 03:24:27 PM »
No matter how anyone tries to spin in, when you tell a minority to "go back to where you came from," you are telling them that they are not Americans, that they are foreigners, and that you don't want them here.  That, since the person is not white, they must be from somewhere else, and belong there.  That is racism, pure and simple.  Maybe not as bad as those who want to hang or deport minorities, maybe not as bad as those who would forbid marriages between races and keep them separate, but it's still solidly racist.

Trump is a racist.  It is now indisputable.  Get over it.

All these excuses, all these explanations and qualifications and denials, all this pretending that someone is lying to you, all those do is enable him and racists like him.  All you are doing is letting racists, better than him or as bad as him or worse than him, know that you will accept them, embrace them, call them friend, so long as you get what you want.  You are standing tall with racists.  You are calling for dividing America into real Americans and those who are not, based on race and ethnicity and skin color and politics.  You are helping these people turn our country back into the racist pit it was in the past, where a gang of whites could drive out an entire town of blacks when they felt like it.  Is this really what you want to do?

And for what?  Another Supreme Court justice?  More tax breaks that are increasing the deficit?  Protection from those vicious women and children from "sh*thole" countries?  Is the price for your decency and integrity really that low?

Republicans used to denigrate Democrats for not being smart, for having no integrity, for supporting Bill Clinton who cheated on his wife.  Now no Republican cares.  Trump married three times, sleeping with other women?  Who cares.  Mitch McConnell lying through his teeth about a "Senate tradition" to let the next President choose a Supreme court nominee?  Why, everyone lies.  Trump telling a Latina, a Muslim, and a Black American to go back to where they came from?  Why, THAT'S WHAT AMERICA STANDS FOR!  ::)

There is no place left to hide anymore.  The Supreme Court recently said that the Trump Administration lied to them about the reason for the citizenship question to be added to the census.  There have been more appointees by the President to resign or get booted out because of corruption than any other recent Administration that I can recall.  And we know the President lies to us, openly, blatantly, unabashedly.  It's time to admit that this President and his Administration are a disaster.  It's time to stand up for American values.

Or stand firm with the racist.  It's your choice.

44
General Comments / Our Racist President
« on: July 15, 2019, 03:59:34 PM »
For anyone who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt about being racist, let them go.  As you've probably heard, his tweets on Sunday removed all doubt:

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So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

The most likely Congresswomen he was talking about are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.  All  of them are American citizens.  Three of them were born in America.  Two of them were born to American parents.  One of them has American ancestors that have been in this country longer than Trump has.

You can almost hear him suggesting that if blacks don't like this country, they should go back to Africa.  ::)

Is there any wonder anymore why white supremacists support him?

Is there anyone who doesn't realize that, if you support Trump, you are supporting someone who believes not every citizen is an American?

I'm curious if anyone on this board still supports this President.  Is it because you agree that some Congresswomen should "go back" to where "they came?"  Is it because you will forgive a bit of racism if you can get other policies enacted?  Is it because you love the current economy so much that disenfranchising citizens is a small price to pay?

Trump is a lying, bullying, racist POS.  I hope that everyone on this board finally recognizes this and will act appropriately from now on.

45
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They have pictures of Antifa doing it at the event. Many bragged online about doing it. Perhaps the photos were faked and everyone is lying. IT could happen.

And pigs could fly, too.  Let's talk about what actually did happen instead of what maybe, might, could've, etc.  The photos we have indicate there was no concrete involved.  And exactly who bragged about putting concrete in the milkshakes?  Obviously it was not the person who threw it at Ngo.  If there is no evidence that photos were faked and no evidence that there was concrete in the shake, let's not assume it "could" be true.  Otherwise, you can start a discussion about why pigs fly. :)

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Andy Ngo still ended up in the hospital so what's your excuse for that?

Well, he apparently didn't end up in the hospital because of a milkshake that was thrown on him.  So what am I excusing?  ???

And his hospital stay, from whatever reason, does not affect the fact that, from the evidence that we have, there was no concrete in the milkshake.  You were wrong in saying that there was.

And while we're on the subject, what about this:

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Man it sure is weird how every time a fascist gets hit in the face with some food we have a week long discourse about left wing political violence but every time a fascist murders people we're treated to a smorgasbord of excuses of how it's not political.

Maybe we need a bit more perspective on the degrees of violence.

46
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During the demonstration last weekend, Ngo was coated with “milkshakes” that were really made of quick dry cement- the idea is that an alkaline burn would result as it dried.

Well, you source Crunch was full of it.  There was no cement in the milkshake.  Because if there were, it would have been immediately noticeable.

We know this because, unlike those who made the accusation, someone tried putting cement in a milkshake to see what would happen.

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The splatter looked nothing like a milkshake. It looked like wet concrete.

Two hours later, the cement-milkshake mixture coating our dummy was still squishy and wet. It had not dried, as quick-drying concrete is supposed to do.

Conclusion: It's definitely possible to mix quick-drying cement with a vegan milkshake—but the result would be immediately obvious and would leave behind a telltale mess that's tough to clean up....

But a concrete milkshake is distinctive, as we learned. It's gritty, clumpy and a dark color.

Take a look at a photo of Ngo doused with a milkshake.

Compare it to the photos in the article.  Which type of "milkshake" looks most similar?

This was more "fake news" from the purveyors of, and creators of, the term "fake news." :)


47
General Comments / Questions about Climate Change
« on: July 09, 2019, 11:25:17 AM »
Since we've had numerous discussions about climate change/AGW on this board, I thought some of us might be interested in taking the discussion to a broader audience.

FiveThirtyEight is soliciting questions about climate change that it readers would like answered.  The questions must be about climate change and reasonably specific: "In other words, you can ask us to explain a specific metric used to measure changing climate, don’t ask us to prove to you that climate change is real. (Because it is.)"

There's no guarantee that the questions will be answered, of course, but it is a chance to get some of the best "gotcha" questions to a national audience, or a good explanation of why something is or isn't so.

48
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: June 20, 2019, 06:39:24 PM »
Too late for what?

The world isn't going to end in 12 years.  We just will have changed our climate for our children and grandchildren, most likely for the worse.  And we will continue to make it worse until we reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans.

It will be too late to prevent the changes then.  We will have to spend money not only reducing our carbon output, but also taking carbon out of the atmosphere.

If we can't afford it now, what will we do then when it's even more expensive?

Too late for what? Are you sure you’re following the climate issue?  It’s always 12 years until it’s too late to save the planet. If we don’t take action by 1998, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2020, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2025, 2028, 2030. Otherwise the planet is completely uninhabitable by 2050.

You'd better check that strawman for mice, Crunch.  One of them is liable to bite you. :)

49
General Comments / Re: AOC's latest
« on: June 20, 2019, 06:37:19 PM »
And similarly, being a Trump supporter, like Trump you'd rather see them all dead.  Am I right? :P

Citation needed, I doubt Trump wants them dead. What he wants is for them to not be in our country due to illegal entry.

I'm sure he'd rather kill them all by peaceful means. :)

Actually, what I'm doing is looking ahead to the end game.  Trump once said he hoped that his cruel treatment of immigrants would dissuade them from trying to come here.  But if people are coming here to escape grinding poverty and threats to their lives, what would it take to dissuade them?  Basically, a greater threat to their lives that the one they are facing at home or elsewhere.  A silly wall you can scale with a ladder certainly won't do the trick. ;)

So if Trump really wants to stop people from trying to immigrate to this country, he will have to provide a deadlier threat than what they face at home.  He will have to try to kill them.  And to be effective, he will have to kill some of them to prove it to the rest.

Of course, I mainly said that to yank Crunch's chain. As my mom used to say, "What you shout to the forest, the forest will echo." :)

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Don't tell me what I would or wouldn't do.  Regardless of what you think you know, you know bumpkis.  Saying stuff like that just shows your ignorance, bigotry and foolishness.

Same can be said for you.

Oh, I'm sure I do sometimes.  Feel free to correct me and educate me.  Explain to me how I'm wrong.  I would love to hear it.

But don't expect me to treat Crunch any better than he treat me.

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And don't talk to me about using immigrants to score political points, when your Trump is using them as the basis of his campaign.  Like you care who uses them for political points.  ::)

It certainly is effective. As recently as 6 months ago we had a press that was so indifferent on this issue that they were actively denying there were any problems with regards to immigrants crossing our Southern Border, no problems what so ever, and Trump was blowing things out of proportion to generate a crises which didn't exist.

Trump backed down, and now here we are, 6 months later, and the media is generating a crises involved the same issue, over things which have been going on since Obama was in Office.

Well, six months ago there were far fewer immigrants trying to cross the border.  But despite Trump's policies, there has been a great increase recently.  So, yes, the media is covering it, and the Trump Administration's response to it, as they would for any President.

But don't forget that Trump calls illegal immigrants murders, rapists and such.  That he equates illegal immigrants with gang members.  You can't deny that he uses immigrants--or actually, the fear of immigrants--to score political points.  So the last thing a Republican should do is criticize a Democrat for using immigrants "to score political points."  ::)

50
General Comments / Re: AOC's latest
« on: June 19, 2019, 06:33:14 PM »
And similarly, being a Trump supporter, like Trump you'd rather see them all dead.  Am I right? :P

Don't tell me what I would or wouldn't do.  Regardless of what you think you know, you know bumpkis.  Saying stuff like that just shows your ignorance, bigotry and foolishness.

And don't talk to me about using immigrants to score political points, when your Trump is using them as the basis of his campaign.  Like you care who uses them for political points.  ::)

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