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Messages - Wayward Son

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101
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:50:49 PM »
Ultimately, however, any criticism of Biden in this context is a classic "Whataboutism."

If what Biden did was illegal/immoral/high crime, then that probably means what Trump did is, too.

If what Biden did was "politics as usual," then there should be no criticism of Biden's behavior. :)

And, of course, regardless of what Biden did or did not do, that has no bearing on Trump's behavior and whether it was a high crime or not.

You know, "whataboutism" is the reason why Trump would get away with shooting someone on 5th Avenue.

Imagine Trump standing on 5th Avenue with a smoking gun in his hand and a body at his feet.  His supporters would immediately surround him and start arguing:

"The Clintons murdered many people, like Vincent Foster, Seth Rich and so many others, and they were never prosecuted for their crimes.  So why do we suddenly want Donald prosecuted for shooting this man?  Politicians get away with murder all the time.  It's a normal thing in American politics.  The only reason people want to prosecute Donald is because he is a Republican and is getting Republican programs instituted, like the Wall, and the Democrats can't stand it.  Why, if Obama had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the mainstream media and Congress would have said practically nothing about it!  You know it's true!  This is just a political witch hunt like all the other witch hunts that Trump has endured.  We should be investigating Congress and the mainstream media about their corrupt use of their powers, not Trump!"

And they'd say this even as the blood puddled around them and soaked into the soles of their shoes. :)

Let's find out if Trump really did threaten to withhold American funds, approved by Congress, in order to pressure the Ukrainian President to come up with dirt on Trump's political opponent.  Because at the end of the day, that is what is really important now, not what Biden did.

If Biden did wrong, prosecute him for it.  But that has nothing to do with whether Trump did wrong or not.

102
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:33:11 PM »
ElectorlaVote.com had a pretty good summary of the Ukraine/Biden controversy, IMHO:

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[T]he company at the center of all of this is Burisma Holdings, a natural gas concern in Ukraine. That company is owned by a client of Hunter Biden's law firm (former Ukrainian government official Mykola Zlochevsky) and shortly after Biden's colleague and business partner Devon Archer joined Burisma's board, Biden joined the board as well (this was in April 2014). Since Biden had no expertise in the area of natural gas, it was a curious choice, as was his generous compensation package (often as much as $50,000 a month). If all of this seems to have a slightly unsavory odor, well, that's a fair assessment. Not helping things is that Burisma had attracted the attention of government authorities prior to Biden joining the firm, and was under investigation by both the UK and Ukraine when he accepted his seat on the board.

As noted above, Joe Biden enters the story in 2016, while he was vice president. As the Obama administration and much of the international community had concluded that the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was rotten to the core, Biden—acting as an envoy for the administration—helped oust him, primarily by threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine as long as Shokin was in place.

At this point, Donald Trump's thought process becomes crystal clear. If Biden was acting with an eye toward helping his son, then he and Trump would have done literally the same thing: used U.S. foreign aid as leverage against Ukraine in exchange for personal concessions. The problem for Trump is that he's relying on a lie that Shokin told to Giuliani, and that is entirely unsupported by evidence. To start, although Shokin's office was technically investigating Burisma in 2014, there was little activity on that front by 2016, and indeed, the British had grown frustrated with what appeared to them to be obstruction, as if Shokin was actually trying to protect the company. On top of that, it wasn't just Joe Biden who thought that Shokin had to go. As Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council explained to the Wall Street Journal, "The whole G-7, the IMF, the EBRD, everybody was united that Shokin must go, and the spokesman for this was Joe Biden." And finally, for the Biden conspiracy to be true, Barack Obama would have to have been a willing participant. This is the same man who ran one of the most remarkably scandal- and corruption-free presidencies in memory.

In summary, one can look askance at Hunter Biden, who may have traded on his familial connections to claim a handsome salary from a shady Ukrainian company. However, there is no evidence that Joe Biden's actions vis-à-vis Shokin were undertaken to help his son, or had any other corrupt intent. In fact, there's an argument that getting rid of Shokin actually put Hunter Biden at greater legal risk, since an honest prosecutor was more likely to turn the screws on Burisma than a dishonest one. That means that if Trump is counting on a defense of "I did the same thing Biden did," then he's really stepped in it.

103
I remind you of that?  Lol.  I'll make it even more simple, where in the tweet did Trump "deny he previously offered"? 

It's pretty obvious to me that they (and you) are reading more into that tweet than is there and making assumptions about it in the write up.  There's legit criticisms to be had, I even flagged a few for you, but the inability to even acknowledge that the media seems to be overreading their source troubles me.

He didn't need to "deny he previously offered."  He simply said that him making the offer was fake news, period.  IOW, he denied ever making the offer.

Five days before this tweet, Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin said he would meet with "no preconditions."

The only excuse I can see is if he changed his mind.  But before this tweet, when did he withdraw his offer to meet without conditions?  Does he believe the media can read his mind?  ::)

What disturbs me is how Trump encourages his followers to doubt everything the media reports about him, blames the media for his own mistakes, and tries to hide his mistakes and crimes by casting all reports about them as "fake news."

Not to mention how some people try to find any excuse to justify and try to make "reasonable" this man's claims.  Apologetics should be left to those crazy creationists. :)

104
General Comments / Is it Still DUI if the Horse is Sober?
« on: September 19, 2019, 11:45:01 AM »
Apparently it is.

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wo Amish men drinking alcoholic beverages while operating a horse and buggy carrying a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra and outfitted with a giant stereo system.

It's not something you see every day. But the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department in Ohio say that's exactly what they witnessed during a routine patrol in the county's Amish community.
Deputy Eric Hermsdorfer came across the men while on patrol the early morning of September 15. When he attempted to stop and question them about drinking and driving, they leaped out of the buggy and disappeared into the woods by the side of the road, according to a police report.
Meanwhile, the horse pulling the buggy also took off, but Hermsdorfer caught up to it. The men, though, were gone.
Yeah, definitely not a routine stop.
Hermsdorfer turned the horse over to a local farmer until the two men came forward. The sheriff's department has attempted to call different people to pick up the horse, but no one has answered the phone, according to the report.
The two men could be charged with failure to comply with the deputy's commands, Chief Deputy Joe Dragovich told CNN affiliate WJW.
Dragovich also said drinking and driving laws still apply to the buggy, even if it's pulled by a horse and not licensed.

I would think that the horse would have enough sense not to do anything dangerous, mitigating most of the deleterious effects of the alcohol.

Is this another case of government overreach? :)

105
My main criticism is his first few words: "The Fake News is saying..."  It's fine for him to change is mind; it is not fine for him to pretend he never said it and then accuse the media of lying about it.

Remember this every time he talks about "fake news."

106
Donald Trump@realDonaldTrump:

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The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, “No Conditions.” That is an incorrect statement (as usual!).

Donald Trump, talking with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

President Trump: “You [Iran] want to talk? Good.”

Chuck Todd: “No preconditions?”

President Trump: “Not as far as I’m concerned. No preconditions.”

At a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Conte:

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PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet.  I don’t know that they’re ready yet.  They’re having a hard time right now.

But I ended the Iran deal; it was a ridiculous deal.  I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet, and I’m ready to meet any time they want to.  And I don’t do that from strength or from weakness.  I think it’s an appropriate thing to do.  If we could work something out that’s meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet.

Q:    Do you have preconditions for that meeting?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No preconditions.  No.  If they want to meet, I’ll meet.  Anytime they want.  Anytime they want.  It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world.  No preconditions.  If they want to meet, I’ll meet.

So who you gonna believe?  The lying Fake News media, or President Trump? ;)

107
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 10, 2019, 01:37:00 PM »

You never claim it was proven, just that it has to be believed. Jesus.

I never said it has to be believed.  I only said that I believed it, based on what I believe I know about Trump and the news media.  That between a man who lies regularly, has shown disdain for the law, and has asked people to commit illegal acts for him, and a news media which lives on its reputation to tell facts and which has processes to try to ensure what it prints is true, I tend to believe the latter.  I never said the news media was infallible, or that everyone has to believe this report.  I just wanted to make sure everyone understood that something that is not proven to be true is not necessarily false, and that you actually need proof to prove something is false.

Now why don't you answer the more interesting question (at least to me): if this report is verified by the notes of those at the meeting that Trump has actually promised to pardon anyone who broke the law in order to get the wall built, what does that do to the claims of those who said the report was false and "fake news"? :)

108
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 09, 2019, 03:48:05 PM »
Oh, yeah, and as a side note: John  Oliver was talking about Brexit last night, and mentioned that several MPs have quit over the issue, including a certain Jo Johnson, who happens to be Boris' brother.  :o

109
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 09, 2019, 03:44:00 PM »
If you're at all interested in the Brexit Crisis, check out Charlie Stross' blog. (Charlie is a British SF author, which gives him the home field advantage on perspective.) 

I'm especially interested* in his statement that the "referendum that was only upheld by the courts because it was non-binding (so the foreign interference and straight-up vote rigging couldn't be held a violation of election law)." They may wreck the UK economy over a non-binding referendum??  ::) 

(*Interested enough to mention it, but not to research to verify it. :) )


110
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:52:37 PM »
There have been a couple of mass shootings lately that not a single person here posted a condemnation of. Using the logic above, this proves everyone here supports and condones mass shootings.

Does that help you?

No, not really.  If I had started a thread loudly condemning a mass shooting by a Conservative, but then had said nothing about previous ones by a Liberals, then there might be a parallel, and you could ask me to clarify my position as to whether it was the mass-shooting or the fact that it was a Conservative who did it that was more important.  But since I didn't, I don't see why I should. (And for the record, I am completing and unutterably against all mass shootings, especially aimed at political opponents, if I wasn't clear about that before. ;) )

And if that situation had occurred, I don't think I would mind clarifying my position with the above statement, if only to dispel rumors. :)

So, no, that is not my logic, and I still would like you to clarify your position on whether you condemn boycotts per se, or only those against Conservatives.  Unless, of course, you'd prefer that we come to our own conclusions without your input. ;)

111
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:25:19 PM »
... a boycott by a business against an individual seems a lot like a boycott by individuals against a business...

No. A private business can be compelled by law to serve a customer. A customer cannot be compelled by law to patronize a private business. I suspect you're just being silly but I'm not sure.

Very true.  However, I was referring to a boycott of a business that boycotted an individual, which is not compelling the business by law to serve a customer.  Rather, it was trying to compel a business through a boycott to obey the law (although I'm not sure the law covers discriminating against customers based on political affiliation and/or being a part of a government administration).

So while you are correct that a boycott by a business against an individual is not exactly a boycott by individuals against a business, and the former is often illegal, it still does not address why a boycott against a business that boycotted an individual is good, while a boycott against a group of businesses that support an evil Administration (in the eyes of those who are boycotting) is evil.

112
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 09, 2019, 02:08:35 PM »
But what if proof never came?

Boom.

More like "Pfft." :)  I never claimed the report was proven.  I am just objecting to anyone who falsely claims that the report is false.

And, BTW, we may find out.  The House Judiciary Committee is subpoenaing the notes from that meeting.  Will it still be "fake news" if contemporaneous notes by the people there confirm the report?  Will it still be a lie if those who took the notes testify in front of Congress that their notes are accurate?

What it could be is an actual instance of attempted bribery.

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Trump is more exposed here than he probably realizes. Legally speaking, it doesn't matter at all whether or not the pardons were actually given, only that they were offered. Further, even if he thought it was a joke, what actually matters is what his underlings heard. If they believed it was a straight offer, then that would be enough to make it an illegal bribe.

Admittedly, anonymous reports must be taken with more than a grain of salt.  But that alone doesn't make them false.  As I said before, we've seen numerous instances where anonymous sources actually told the truth, which was revealed later.  So while we should put them on the shelf marked "Needs further evidence," we should not dismiss them out-of-hand.

And if this report eventually ends with the headline, "Trump Impeached for Attempted Bribery," now that would be a "BOOM!" :)

113
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 06:45:03 PM »
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Playing the SAT analogy game, a single tyrant is to an entrenched bureaucracy, what a state-run propaganda network is to a decentralized news media with a general agenda. The latter systems (decentralized, with no one person to blame) are the most efficient of the corrupt forms, as no person will ever be obviously at fault, every participant can claim ignorance or that they were following instructions from a higher up (who in turn use lower-downs as fall guys in crisis), and there is no direct line of recourse during a conflict. Further, the decentralized system has a fluctuating degree of truthfulness and slant, so that there is no certain way to measure spin or misdirection, or even to name exactly 'where' the spin is coming from. It ends up coming from everyone and nowhere, because if you pinpoint one case of it there will always be a convenient excuse, or a motte and bailey "hey, why did you take it so literally anyhow, we just reported what we heard". So yeah, it's totally convenient that this system maximally enables the same behavior RT does except that unlike the Russians we in North America don't like being aware that they're doing it.

Doesn't this apply to every system of reporting where a consensus view of reality prevails?

I mean, one of the responses to the accusation that the media has a liberal bias is that reality has a liberal bias.  If reporting the truth accurately favors one side over the other, how can you differentiate that from a decentralized media with an agenda?

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I would actually be satisfied with the bar being set *so* high that it would be difficult, at least initially, to even function as a news network. Let their licences be torched if they're caught ever faking photos or reporting without investigating (i.e. repeating what someone else told them). However I have faith in human ingenuity enough that I know in a different ecosystem where the bar was set much higher people would find a way to do news under those constraints. The means to execute reporting in that manner would have a learning curve and then would eventually become standard. I don't really expect that, although I'm confident that even that level of rigor is doable if that's actually what was required. If the current crop of media companies didn't like it I'm sure a new crop of people who actually feel compelled to serve the public (rather than make a media empire) would step up.

While I would also like to see the news media not be profit-driven, we have what we have.

And everyone, please consider once again, what if proof was found that this story was true?  It is a distinct possibility.  One that declaring the story is a lie discounts.

114
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 06:37:47 PM »
Since the blacklist purpose was to boycott, and a boycott by a business against an individual seems a lot like a boycott by individuals against a business, and since I was referring to a boycott of a business--no, I think you do have to explain. :)

115
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:30:22 PM »
Well, without further information of what you do and don't support, what are we supposed to do? ;)

Why don't you just further elaborate on your position, rather than attacking those who ask the question?

116
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:09:07 PM »
Well, where do you draw the line between a "good" boycott and a "bad" one then?

117
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 02:59:40 PM »
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Unless I'm crazy I thought Seriati's point is literally that these 'anonymous reports' are self-serving and not to be trusted. He used the word "propaganda", which has strong connotations of not just this one reporter as being questionable, but rather the entire media network that pays the reporter's salary. In fact the term "reporter" is practically void of most of its content that it used to imply so I would personally avoid being concerned about the pros and cons of each particular writer when speaking broadly about propaganda-related issues.

While I agree that 'anonymous reports' are self-serving and not to be trusted, you can't just declare any such story absolutely false or a lie.  Either extreme will be wrong sooner or later.  This very story may very well be proven (even to the satisfaction of a court of law) to be true in the future.  I rather expect it will.

Remember, "true" and "false" in real life is not a binary choice.  There are degrees of each.  In this case, because the story comes from anonymous sources who cannot be verified or vetted, there is a fairly low degree of reliability in the story.  But low does not mean zero.  There is a chance it is actually true, that the reporter(s) actually talked to people who witness the event and reported it truthfully.  But until we know all the facts, we cannot know which it is.  We can only estimate the probabilities.

Even when I say I believe the story, I am actually only expressing probabilities.  I am only saying that I believe that the story is more likely to be true than to be false, IMHO.

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You've just hit the magic button: as long as a certain percentage of reports turn out to be true it gives green light to throw in spurious ones on the grounds that "you can probably trust us." This is how all efficient state propaganda is conducted, including that done by the KGB: mix a lot of truth in with the misdirection to lend credibility. If literally everything you say is lies the system fails.

But also remember that "the media" in America is not a single entity.  We don't have a state-run media (medium?  ??? ) coordinating with a single purpose.  We have a variety of actors, some good, some bad, some lazy, some indifferent.  So we will never have a media that is always truthful.  Conversely, we will never have a media that always lies, or even coordinates its lies in order to maximize its ability to fool the public (unless the state or something similar takes it over).  So we all have to deal with an uncertain media, which we can never completely trust (and will never earn our complete trust), but which we can never completely distrust, either.

If you demand that the media will always be truthful, and never make a mistake or tell a lie, then you have set a bar so high no media will ever gain your trust.

118
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 06, 2019, 11:50:40 AM »
Well, it would help if you actually decried on the record the list of boycotts that TheDrake listed, and had shown outrage at previous boycotts, like the Virginia GOP's boycott of the Red Hen restaurant.

119
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 06, 2019, 11:19:17 AM »
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If liar 1's statements cannot be taken seriously, then you know nothing at all about the events in question. If you think you can glean a probability of Trump lying based on a disreputable report, and then claim you still have basis to believe Trump lied, then you could also hear no report at all, close your eyes, and at any time saying that you believe Trump lied (about whatever you like). Do you see now? You're basically pulling "Trump lied" out of the air totally at random if you're willing to believe liar 1 about the nature of an event. May as well eliminate the middleman and just announce Trump has lied whenever you like. This is why the discussion has to be about whether the reporter should be considered to be a known liar or not. Because otherwise you're writing the news yourself. And that is not 'the other side' of Seriati's position.

Except that the discussion was never about whether the reporter was a liar or not.

We've never mentioned the reporter's name.  We've never analyzed his previous reports.  No, he is just another faceless reporter who had anonymous sources.  We've assumed from the beginning that, since he used anonymous sources, his story must be a lie.  Or, at least, that is what I've understood Seriati's argument to be.

And that is both stupid and irresponsible.

Stupid because some reports from anonymous sources have turned out to be true.  You can't discount all anonymous reports.

Irresponsible because, if you don't give at least some credence to the media, even to reports from anonymous sources, then you have taken away our best resource to keep the government in check.  Because a lot of whistle-blowing occurs from anonymous sources, who see possible illegal activities but don't want to lose their jobs or be punished in other ways.  Which means that the government can keep just about everything in the dark through intimidation.  Which means we are kept in the dark.

Certainly an anonymous report is not worthy of legal action.  But it is worthy of keeping an eye on the government about.  Because it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a President that only evaded obstruction of justice because his underling neglected to follow orders might not have tried to influence illegal behavior by offering pardons.  IMHO.

Of course, if you insist, I can modify my stance, too.  If we discount everything that liar 1 says, then we should also discount everything liar 2 says.  So when someone defends Trump because Trump denied something, he is writing the news himself, too, because we don't know anything, because everyone is a liar, and we can't trust anyone.

And in that case, what else can we do but write the news ourselves. :(

120
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 05, 2019, 06:24:07 PM »
It may be the opposite side, but it comes to the same conclusion.

Sure, don't trust the reporter who reported what Trump said: he's a liar, and you can't trust him (even though what he reported may be true).

But also don't trust that what the reporter said is a lie, either.  You can't trust Trump, either, and he very well may have said what was reported (even though he may not have said it).

121
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 05, 2019, 04:27:07 PM »
I never said I believed it (although personally I do, because it seems so much in character of the President :) ).

So again, you believe it regardless of whether its true because its something you want to believe is true.  Almost the definition of how to write propaganda.  Make it something the audience wants to believe or is afraid is true.
 

When a man tells a lie, then another lie, then some pathetic lie, then another...and someone says that he lied about something, is it so surprising that I actually believe that man has lied again?  The man, of course, is Trump.

It is well within his character--his egotism, his ignorance and/or disdain for the law, his immorality, his belief he is above the law--that he very well might say something like that.

When it comes between believing a writer whose livelihood depends on his accuracy, and a President whose disdain for accuracy is well-known, I tend to side with the former.

. . .

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This is a classic false dichotomy.  The most you can say is that it is unproven, and ask that we give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

What's funny is that what you are saying is more like a false dichotomy.  Effectively, because an unproven statement was reported, our options are to believe its true or "give Trump the benefit of the doubt."  When in fact, the option I'm taking is to ask for evidence - which of course doesn't exist.

Are you not the same person that claimed there was no proof that Obama's administration lied about Benghazi?  There's a 100X the proof there, including actual emails, yet you don't believe it.  But here, because an anonymous person said they heard something, you are all in.

So I'm going to point that you guys are living jokes on this.  There's no standards you're following other than tribal loyalty.

You're straw-manning me.  I didn't say it was proven.  I didn't say anyone had to believe it.  I just said no one can call it an outright lie.

In fact, I am pretty much taking exactly the same position you are, but on the opposite side.  I'm asking for evidence to show that the statement is untrue. :)

And review what "evidence" means.  Not for a court of law, but in general.  Just  because evidence is not admissible in a court of law does not mean it isn't evidence.

Finally, I do not believe I ever stated that "there was no proof that Obama's administration lied about Benghazi," in the sense that they told an untruth.  They certainly did.  What I disputed is that they told a purposeful untruth and never corrected it. 

I assume you are referring to them saying the attack was motivated by the Quran-burning tape.  They did say that, and it was false.  But they based this on an initial report from the CIA, which the agency later retracted.  And once the CIA stopped saying that was the reason, they stopped saying it.

Don't you wish the current Administration was that forthright? ;)

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Saying it is proven to be a lie is at least as bad as saying it is proven to be true.  That is also "fake news." ;)

Would be, did I say it was "proven to be a lie"?  Is the only way to deal with malicious rumors and gossips to prove they couldn't possibly be true, and failing that means they are true?  Is every girl that's ever been called a slut, really a slut if they can't provide video evidence that they aren't one?  Is every person really guilty of every crime anyone else says they're guilty of, or just the people that look like child molesters?  After all they should know better than to look that way if they are innocent.

I'm getting depressed just reading you guys.  No belief whatsoever in any concepts related to justice, no understanding of why accusers have to be credible, why our legal system MANDATES the right to confront an accuser.

Heck, you guys are literally the people on the Salem witch trials who burned innocent women because the allegations sounded like they could be true.

Wake up, funny how you can be "woke" and totally asleep at the same time.

Once again, you are straw-manning me.  I didn't say it had to be true if it couldn't be proven to be a lie.  I just said one can't call it a lie unless one has proof.

It is a subtle distinction, but an important one, one that Conservatives need to learn.  Often in the climate debate, a denier will supposedly "disprove" some scientific experiment or indication that AGW is occurring.  Since he has cast doubt on the science, he declares that he has "disproven" AGW and that it is all a lie.

Of course, he has done nothing of the sort.  Even assuming he has actually "disproven" a piece of evidence for AGW, he has not shown that AGW is not happening.  It could still be happening, even it there was no scientific evidence of it occurring.  Just because we can't detect something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Similarly, just because someone finds the evidence of this report weak doesn't not disprove that it is true.  If no one had reported it at all, it could still be true.

When I hear "fake news," I assume you mean that it isn't true, that is it a lie, and it is a completely made-up story with no basis in fact.  Well, we don't know that.  The reporter very well have made it up.  Or the reporter could be relating a completely true account.  We just don't know, based on the evidence we have.  But saying the evidence is not sufficient to conclude the story is absolutely true does not mean it is sufficient to conclude it is completely false.  That's the point I'm trying to make.

122
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 05, 2019, 12:07:20 PM »
Whatever you say. If You think anonymous sources from a serial liar is trustworthy, let’s see how that works out for you.

No collusion.

Since we all know that Trump is a serial liar, I'm not sure what your point is.  ???

123
General Comments / Re: Nice business you have there
« on: September 05, 2019, 11:57:48 AM »
So I assume you're against this also?

http://www.boycottleftwingers.com/

Why would he?  Conservatives have been calling for boycotts for their opponents for years now.  They only get outraged when Conservatives are being targeted.  Otherwise, it's perfectly legitimate.

124
Quote
"In addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!"

And this is how pathetic Trump is in defending his tweets.

He spent time on Wednesday to make a video to show how the National Hurricane Center predicted hurricane Dorian might affect Alabama.  And how did he do it?  He took one of their maps of the hurricane's possible path and extended the forecast with a sharpie pen.  ::)

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"The President of the United States altered a National Hurricane Center map with a sharpie to falsely extend the official forecast toward Alabama so he didn't have to admit he was wrong in a tweet," noted weather writer Dennis Mersereau, who captured the screenshot of Trump's alteration.

With all the troubles in the world, with him cancelling his trip to Poland to oversee hurricane Dorian's progress, this is what he wastes his time on.  He has people set up video equipment, print out a map, and mark it up so it says something it didn't, just to avoid having to say, "Sorry, I misinterpreted what the forecasts were saying and how likely it was for Alabama to be affected."  This is how petty the President of the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, is.

This is the current face of the Republican Party.

125
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 04, 2019, 06:41:35 PM »
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So the media sells a lie, ie fake news, and you jump on calling for accountability?
Try to keep up, Crunch

Meh, so what? You aren’t even sure if it’s true. That’s the real point here. The media has been pushing lies for years. They deserve to be distrusted

And so have those who have accused the media of pushing lies.  So who do you trust? ;)

126
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 04, 2019, 06:39:56 PM »
Yes, there is evidence.  The WoPo reporter(s) says he has at least two sources, who want to be anonymous, who said it was true.  That is evidence.

You mean someone saying that someone told them is evidence? I think we know what that's called in a court of law and why it doesn't count as evidence. Because anyone can claim someone told them something, and there is no way to verify it without the source confirming it. Yes, this creates a catch-22 in media reporting, where some sources who will insist on anonymity cannot, by definition, come forward to back up the claim. That's why it's *so* important to build up impeccable credibility, so that on those [hopefully rare] occasions when anonymous sources are cited you know you've built a brand of trust so that the public can accept that you really do have the sources.

Fortunately, we aren't in a court of law.  Because, after all, not all truth can be told in a court. ;)

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Do you have any evidence that proves the reporter(s) are lying?

Is this your actual standard for whether or not to believe something? Do you hold all media reporting to this standard? If so, what is the threshhold of evidence required before you will sign off on believing that something is spun, misleading, or based on unrealiable (or non-existant) sources? Or I suppose I could alternatively ask whether you're an insider in Washington or a lobbyist, because otherwise I don't see how you'd have access to the reports and the people necessary to "prove" someone is lying about something on the air.
[/quote]

I never said I believed it (although personally I do, because it seems so much in character of the President :) ).  What I was disputing are those who automatically assume that, if it isn't "proven" by evidence that is admissible in a court of law, it must therefore be completely false.  This is a classic false dichotomy.  The most you can say is that it is unproven, and ask that we give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

Saying it is proven to be a lie is at least as bad as saying it is proven to be true.  That is also "fake news." ;)

127
General Comments / Re: Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: September 04, 2019, 02:20:21 PM »
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Exactly, you don't find it "improbable" therefore it's okay to report it in hundreds of sources without any evidence.

Yes, there is evidence.  The WoPo reporter(s) says he has at least two sources, who want to be anonymous, who said it was true.  That is evidence.

Whether you believe it is sufficient evidence to prove or even believe it is true is beside the point.  But those facts are evidence.

Do you have any evidence that proves the reporter(s) are lying?

128
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 04, 2019, 02:02:51 PM »
One obvious solution would be to make Northern Ireland a de facto part of the Irish Republic, and locate the customs borders between Ireland and the rest of the U.K.  The Irish Republic and Northern Ireland would be treated as part of the E.U., and any people or products that go into England, et al, from Northern Ireland would have to be checked by customs.

I'm not quite sure how the Orange Irish would like that, though. ;)

129
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: September 04, 2019, 10:50:08 AM »
You make it sound like a hard Brexit gives the United Kingdom some sort of leverage with the E.U.  Why would that be?

Sure, the U.K. exiting the E.U. would hurt the E.U., but it will hurt the U.K. even worse.  And the E.U. wants to make sure no other country seriously considers leaving.  So they want to make it as painful as possible to leave.  They couldn't do any better than a hard Brexit.

Even if the E.U. wanted to negotiate, there is practically no time for it anymore.  A bit less than 2 months to come up with a new deal?  Won't happen.  Too many players on the E.U. side.  It will take time for them to come to a consensus.  Certainly more than 2 months.

Johnson has given himself a deadline that practically guarantees a hard Brexit.  Which is going to create a major recession in Britain, and will almost certainly trigger a worldwide recession, too.  For all our sakes, let's hope he fails.

130
"In addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!"

"Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter @jonkarl of @ABCWorldNews. I suggested yesterday at FEMA that, along with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, even Alabama could possibly come into play, which WAS true. They made a big deal about this..."

"....when in fact, under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some “hurt.” Always good to be prepared! But the Fake News is only interested in demeaning and belittling. Didn’t play my whole sentence or statement. Bad people!"

131
Which only proves that anyone who's against Trump is for evil.  Evil, I say!  Evil, EVIL, EEEEVVVVIIIIILLLLL!!! :)

132
The point is that it doesn't matter what the media says about Trump.  These are Trump's words.

The point is to see how much of Trump's own words you can take before you have to throw up.  How many fallacies, insults, conspiracy theories, stupidities, idiocies, and shameful utterances it takes before you realize that this man is not qualified to be President.

Grant isn't doing any spin.  He's not commenting.  He's not trying to tell you what you should think about any particular post, or even this thread.  He's just laying it out, clear as day, exactly what the President is saying.

If nothing else, it's going to show you what your price is.  For what you are willing to sell this nation for.  To demonstrate your values, and how much you can tolerate this juvenile behavior.

Please keep reading this thread.  And ask yourself after each one, is this the man you want to lead the greatest nation in the world?  Is this the man you want as the face of America?  Is this the man you want to have the most powerful post in the world?  Is this the man you want to have his finger on the nuclear button?

Remember--no spin.  Just President Donald Trump's own words, unaltered.

At least, that's what I think his point is.

133
That would have been a fair criticism, if it had been accurate.

I checked out the Wikipedia page and it listed the current and former members of the FEC.  The two that resigned prior to Petersen were Lee E. Goodman (who resigned in 2018) and Ann M. Ravel (who resigned in 2017).  Both were nominated by Obama.

As I pointed out above, both Obama and Trump were entitled to appoint ALL 6, Obama nominated 3 in 8 years, Trump 1 in less than 3 years.  Only 2 of Obama's were seated and both resigned before people over staying their term from before Obama.

So it seems an odd criticism to lay at Trump's feet, even if it is correct that he should nominate 6.  Of course, then the claim will be that we don't have a fair election because "Trump's handpicked FEC Commissioners" are the ones in charge.  Kind of a no win there.

That's a fair criticism.  Only points I'd make is that, with the Russian interference in our elections, Trump should be especially careful about making sure our elections are fair.  And that the "no win" scenario would also apply to anything Obama might have tried.

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But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

How do you figure that the Democrats have "the real blame?"

Well there's lot of reasons, many of which you are in your full knowledge.  I even think we have a thread discussion where I pretty decisively demonstrated based on history that the Dems lead the way in upping the ante on filibusters of appointments (though you distracted yourself by confusing the issue with an earlier Republican increase in filibusters that weren't of appointments).  Then Dems triggered the new cycle of nuclear option revisions.  Then they copied the Republican tactic of using strategic delays to slow critical appointments to apply to all appointments regardless of controversy. 

The latest tactic of course is to insist on 30 hours of senate floor debate for every nomination, which as I previously noted would mean that the entire session of the Senate wouldn't be enough to approve the nominees that are required to be approved (there's something like 900 that get confirmed).  With nearly a week of floor debate on each no administration could ever function.

So yes the Dems are responsible.  Like always they treat EVERYTHING as if its the only important thing.

Are the Republicans saints?  Not hardly, but they clearly had to prioritize who they forced votes on.  And now they changed the debate rules to only require 2 hours (which is a disservice on important appointments that gets swept into the only way to deal with obstruction on non-controversial appointments).

And why are there 900 nominations?  It's because Republicans obstructed Obamas appointments left and right.  That's why the Democrats decided to end the filibuster for judicial appointments--because hardly any of them were getting through.

Ah, but now because they are using another parliamentary trick, which only slows down the appointments and not stops them dead like the filibuster--now suddenly they are completely to blame!  ::)

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They have been delaying the nomination of judges just like the Republicans had done to Obama for this entire term,  mainly because the Senate is trying to pack the courts with far-right judges.

Are they?  Walk me through the judicial philosophies of 10 "far right" justices that were being forced through.  The fact is most Republican appointees only sin is believing in applying the law neutrally.  Find a judge issuing a national injunction that ignores the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that overturns a valid law to favor a social cause, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that orders something beyond the power of the courts under the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.

So forgive for not agreeing to your lie here.  Republicans fast tracking judges that will follow the law is a good thing.  If it turns a corner and they fast track or appoint conservative activists who are looking to overrule valid laws based on their religious views, I'll help remove them myself.

Until you can make a case about the judges appointed by Democrats actually following the law your complaint has no merit to me.

Show me a judge who says he is ignoring the Constitution, and I'll show you a judge whose rulings are overturned by the appeals court. :)  NO judge believes he is ignoring the Constitution.  ALL judges try to apply the law neutrally.  ALL judges will overturn laws if they determine that they are unfair, even if it is a "social cause."  ALL judges do only what they can within what they believe is the power of the Court.

Conversely, both Liberal and Conservative courts have overturned state laws and federal statues.

Judging whether a judge is not "neutral," "ignores the Constitution," "overturns valid law in favor of a social cause," and going "beyond the powers of the courts under the Constitution" is almost always a value judgement, one which is not agreed upon by all judges or legal scholars.  The main reason you believe these things about Democratic appointees is that you have a certain perceptual bias of how the law should work, in your opinion.  And with that bias, I don't see how I can show you that what you think is unconstitutional is actually allowed by the Constitution, or that it is appropriate to overturn a valid law.  Because the judges of all these cases have provided their reasoning, and if you don't agree with the reasoning (even if many, if not most, judicial scholars may agree), there is no way I can convince you.

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Except, maybe, for one little detail.  The FEC is supposed to have 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the board.  Currently, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent (i.e. non-Republican) on the board.  If Trainor was confirmed, that would have given the Republicans a majority.  So the Senate Democrats may have been waiting for a Democratic nominee to confirm at the same time to keep the board balanced.

There are paired nomination concerns for sure.  Its' supposed to be balanced.  No idea if he was appointed to break the balance or because they knew who was wanting to come off.  May just need to remove them all and replace all 6 on a single vote.

Let's hope Trump does something like that.  Because an electoral watchdog with no teeth is useless.  And right now, we need all the watchdogs we can get.

134
Trump says mean and stupid things. OK. But I, like a lot of people, don't really care what he says. I care about what he does. I think actions and results are what we should measure, not if he says things that give some people a sad.

It's his high level of respect for other people that allows me to call Trump an idiot with a good conscience. :)

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More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
Median household income has hit the highest level ever recorded.
African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
Veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.

How much of this is because of Trump, and how much is just the natural recovery from the last recession?

Consider this chart.  Does this show Trump doing an exceptionally better job than Obama?

And if the economy goes south before the election, will you give him credit for that, too?  Or will you blame the Democrats, the Federal Reserve Bank, the media, the Chinese, and everyone else you can think of, like Trump will?

Remember: Presidents don't control the economy.  There are a myriad of other forces at play.  They can do things that help the economy (like cutting taxes), but those don't guarantee a good economy.  Contrariwise, they can do things that hurt the economy (like trade wars).  In fact, it is much easier for a President to hurt an economy than to help it, just like it is much easier to become poor than to become rich.

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Record number of regulations eliminated. Freeing businesses to produce.

And freeing business to pollute, cheat, and do other bad things that those regulations were intended to prevent.

BTW, do you have a list of those regulations eliminated?  It would be interesting to see.

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Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.

Helps our economy for now.  Not so good since it also contributes to AGW.

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Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.

Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

It helps when you have a Senate Majority Leader that won't sit on your nominations and lie to the American people that there is some made-up "tradition" that prevents him from doing so.

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A raft of new trade deals that are more favorable to the US.

Do you have list?  The ones I've heard of (e.g. the new NAFTA) were just small modifications of old ones.

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The list goes on and on. For only a first term, this is pretty incredible. The results have been amazing and if the media weren't so rabidly biased and dishonest Trump's approval rating would be through the roof.

It amazes me that people still believe that every news reporter and editor in every single network are "rabidly biased and dishonest" about Trump, when we all know that Trump lies. :)  (Not to mention being stupid and despicable--see above.)

135
Reporting I heard yesterday made it sound like Bush had not made sufficient appointments, Obama none, Trump 1, who was stalled.  It sure sounds like zero interest all around to have cops on this beat.  How odd...

That would have been a fair criticism, if it had been accurate.

I checked out the Wikipedia page and it listed the current and former members of the FEC.  The two that resigned prior to Petersen were Lee E. Goodman (who resigned in 2018) and Ann M. Ravel (who resigned in 2017).  Both were nominated by Obama.

The other members were all appointed by George W. Bush, and were hanging on past their terms waiting for replacements.  So this is a case where Trump could have replaced the entire board, if he chose to do so.

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But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

How do you figure that the Democrats have "the real blame?"  They have been delaying the nomination of judges just like the Republicans had done to Obama for this entire term,  mainly because the Senate is trying to pack the courts with far-right judges.  But I doubt they have delayed the FEC nomination.

Except, maybe, for one little detail.  The FEC is supposed to have 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the board.  Currently, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent (i.e. non-Republican) on the board.  If Trainor was confirmed, that would have given the Republicans a majority.  So the Senate Democrats may have been waiting for a Democratic nominee to confirm at the same time to keep the board balanced.

But if they were waiting for Trump to nominate a Democrat when not doing so would give the Republicans an advantage, well, it's no wonder that they had to wait. :)

136
Well, not exactly shuts down.  It will still take reports of violations and the filings of candidates detailing their contributions and expenditures.  But it will no longer be able to act upon that information.  It will no longer be able to enact new laws or enforce election laws.

This is because Matthew Petersen is resigning.  Once he's gone, there will be only three members on the six member committee, not enough for a quorum.  So no new rules, and no actions to punish those who break the rules.

Fortunately, Trump has already nominated a replacement: Texas lawyer Trey Trainor.  Unfortunately, he was nominated back in 2017, and the Senate has not gotten around to confirming his nomination yet.

So with further Russian (and doubtlessly others) interference with our elections looming on the horizon (or right next to us, depending on what they are doing), one more guardian of our democracy has been hamstrung by Trump and the Senate.  Great work, boys!  Let's hear it for free-for-all elections! ::)

137
General Comments / Re: Trump May be Willing to Cut SS and Medicare
« on: August 27, 2019, 06:14:24 PM »
What sarcasm?  Trump doesn't want to stop AGW.  He doesn't believe in AGW.  So the purpose of his tariffs are not to prevent worsening AGW.  It's a side-effect, an unintended consequence.  Once he's finished doing whatever he thinks he's doing (and I don't believe he knows what he's doing, regardless of what he thinks*), he'll stop.  And the unintended consequence will end there, too.

Meanwhile, others things that we should be doing are not being done, because he doesn't believe they are worth doing.  :'(

You can't rely on him solving global warming accidentally.  It's stupid to do so.  So if that is our only hope, then all hope is gone.

Fortunately, there is another hope, come Nov. 3 next year...


*How much can you trust a man who continually says that trade wars are easy to win?  What a maroon!  ::)

138
General Comments / Re: Trump May be Willing to Cut SS and Medicare
« on: August 27, 2019, 05:48:03 PM »
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Trump's trade war may be the only thing standing between you and the abyss.

Well, then we're doomed.  Because that idiot doesn't believe is basic science, and will doubtlessly stop the war before winning it.  Because he's trying to accomplish one of his delusions (like buying Greenland  ::) ) rather than saving the world.  :(

139
General Comments / Re: Trump May be Willing to Cut SS and Medicare
« on: August 27, 2019, 03:35:40 PM »
Meanwhile you get things like this on CNN:

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"Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."

Live on air and unchallenged at the time.  Granted, got a pants on fire from Politifact after the fact.

Even if you want to posit that climate change will kill that many (and the evidence is not actually there), attributing an amount of climate change to Trump's policies is absurd.  I mean if you were being HONEST, in your evaluation Trump's trade war with China has caused the slowest growth in the Chinese economy in nearly 30 years.  That alone has probably "saved" more carbon off the Paris estimates and agreements than the entire negative trend by all of Europe.

So, quite literally, you should be thanking Trump if you believe in climate change and supporting even more aggressive anti-China policies.

Oh, good.  Republican helps mitigate climate change by ruining economies.  That's a winning slogan if I ever heard one.  ;D

BTW, PolitiFact rated that comment, with predictable results.

Also, the host, Brian Stelter, agreed that he should have "interrupted after that line," but he said he was distracted at that moment and missed it.

140
General Comments / Trump May be Willing to Cut SS and Medicare
« on: August 26, 2019, 11:04:00 AM »
Or so reports Yahoo news, based on a report by the New York Times.

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Republicans on Capitol Hill say Donald Trump may be willing to cut Social Security and Medicare if he wins in 2020, reportedly describing the potential move as a “second-term project”.

Several senators told the New York Times in a report published this week they spoke to the president about reducing the costs of the federal health care and retirement programs — a move that would likely stir controversy in a presidential election season.

Republicans have said cutting both programs is crucial to reducing the nation’s deficit, which has ballooned under Mr Trump thanks, in part, to the GOP tax bill passed in 2017.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, described the process of cutting the costs of social security and medicare to the New York Times as “best done during divided government”.

“We’ve brought it up with President Trump,” he added, “who has talked about out it being a second-term project.”

Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, also told the newspaper that reducing the costs of the federal programs would require “presidential leadership” and “courage by the Congress to make some hard votes”.

“We can’t keep kicking the can down the road,” he said, adding: “I hope in a second term, [Mr Trump] is interested. With his leadership, I think we could start dealing with that crisis. And it is a crisis.”

When you create a $1.5 trillion tax cut, somebody has to pay for it.  And who better than widows and the poor? ;)

141
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.”

142
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!

143
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?

144
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.

145
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

146
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.

147
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. :)

148
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.

149
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

150
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?

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