Jump to content
Simon

Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Hermit said:

So in ..'lighter' political news... Trump has ticked off Greenland and , naturally, Denmark

 

My understanding is he wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark, but Denmark doesn't want to sell and Greenland doesn't want to be sold?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to buy Canada

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Lucius said:

My understanding is he wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark, but Denmark doesn't want to sell and Greenland doesn't want to be sold?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to buy Canada

 

The magnitude of Trump's ignorance and arrogance doesn't even surprise any more.

 

But the government of the Canadian province of Alberta is making one of its periodic rumblings about separating from Canada, so you might be able to buy that. With oil prices depressed right now you could probably get a good deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

But the government of the Canadian province of Alberta is making one of its periodic rumblings about separating from Canada, so you might be able to buy that. With oil prices depressed right now you could probably get a good deal.

 

Please, not even in jest...

 

In fairness to The Donald, let's not forget the Louisiana Purchase, or how the US acquired Alaska.

 

Anyway, with separation cooling off in Quebec, someone has to pick up the slack, don't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

I linked the chart a few pages back in this post.

 

It's from a Vox article that Sociotard originally posted. The chart is from the International Crime Victims Survey, Gallup Europe. It shows that the US is a bit below average of 15 industrialized countries in 11 violent crimes. (The next chart shows that we have about three times more homicides.)

 

The Vox is trying to use the two charts to support the following conclusion:

 

"This is in many ways intuitive: People of every country get into arguments and fights with friends, family, and peers. But in the US, it’s much more likely that someone will get angry at an argument and be able to pull out a gun and kill someone."

 

Of course, they're making an enormous logical leap here, since their chart doesn't address crime motives at all, and most of our crime is concentrated into certain areas (per the earlier article found on one of the anti-gun lobby websites by csyphrett), which is more of an indicator that most homicides aren't crimes of passion. They've not actually shown how many of those we have. (I'd say the rate of success is probably a bit higher in those sorts of homicides given odds of guns becoming involved being greater in the US, but there aren't really any numbers presented by the Vox author to show exactly what the ratio of these crimes of passion is.)

 

If the article's statistical data is correct, then their first thrust, looser gun control correlates with a higher level of police deaths, seems to be supported.  But that chart looks to have every US state and only a very few countries, which I tend to associate with the potential for accidental outliers, confirmation bias or even outright cherry-picking.

 

The suggestion that crime rates in the US are comparable to other countries (and, it seems, even violent crime rates are comparable), but lethal violence is much more common in the US, and the response is escalation  by the police - greater risk, greater fear, so greater likelihood they will apply lethal force.

 

BTW, the homicide rate cited for the US in the VOX article is 5.1 per 100,000.  The "police killings" rate is per million residents.  The article acknowledges correlation is not causation, but the numbers seem to suggests some correlation.  The tobacco industry is also quick to point out that the correlation of smoking to various illnesses is not necessarily causation - how many of us believe those statistics are just coincidence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2019 at 9:53 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

 

So if the primary defense of owning a firearm is the potential attacker seeing it and backing off,

 

 

Why would you want to CONCEAL it, rather than display the gun so your potential assailant knows to back off?

 

I'm also tempted to note that, if your main benefit is him seeing the gun, it doesn't actually need to be loaded, or even in working order.  It definitely does not need a large magazine or rapid firing capabilities.

 

I like to conceal mine for three reasons:

1-  30-07 signs are everywhere here (meaning you can conceal carry on premises, but not open carry).  I don't want to walk back to my car to lock up my firearm over and over.

2-  Open carry makes other people uncomfortable because they can see that you're armed and they aren't.

3-  Nobody tries to steal your firearm if they don't know you have a firearm.

 

I mostly like Texas concealed carry laws minus a couple of features.  1-  They're a straight up constitutional violation and I dislike laws that violate the constitution.  2-  There are too many areas that you can/can't have a weapon on you and the list is long and illogical.

 

That being said the background check is thorough, you get fingerprinted and have to prove a modicum of competence at the range.  I also prefer conceal carry since it doesn't draw attention or scare people.  It's a very good balance between having the ability to defend yourself and not causing trouble for other people.  My brother-in-law open carries and most of the family hates it.  It just draws the wrong kind of attention.

 

As far as having an unloaded or non-functioning weapon - A lot of people do carry their weapons unloaded and use it in the fashion you're recommending.  I can't imagine doing that.  To me the weapon is like collision insurance on my car.  I haven't needed it for decades and there's a good chance I will never need it.  But I still keep the collision insurance in case there's an emergency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

The magnitude of Trump's ignorance and arrogance doesn't even surprise any more.

 

But the government of the Canadian province of Alberta is making one of its periodic rumblings about separating from Canada, so you might be able to buy that. With oil prices depressed right now you could probably get a good deal.

 

*Wonders if Alberta will open its borders to Centrist Refugees who are too liberal from much of the US, too conservative for much of Canada*

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

I like to conceal mine for three reasons:

1-  30-07 signs are everywhere here (meaning you can conceal carry on premises, but not open carry).  I don't want to walk back to my car to lock up my firearm over and over.

2-  Open carry makes other people uncomfortable because they can see that you're armed and they aren't.

3-  Nobody tries to steal your firearm if they don't know you have a firearm.

 

So is the main benefit "an attacker knowing you have a firearm is more likely to back off" or  not?  if it is, hiding the gun reduces that benefit.  That would imply there should be no more restrictions on display of the firearm than on carrying the firearm, at a minimum.

 

11 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

That being said the background check is thorough, you get fingerprinted and have to prove a modicum of competence at the range.  I also prefer conceal carry since it doesn't draw attention or scare people.  It's a very good balance between having the ability to defend yourself and not causing trouble for other people.  My brother-in-law open carries and most of the family hates it.  It just draws the wrong kind of attention.

 

So, is the purpose "to deter an attack" or "to be able to retaliate if threatened with attack"?  If the former is effective, I would think "open carry" would be attracting the right kind of attention.

 

11 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

As far as having an unloaded or non-functioning weapon - A lot of people do carry their weapons unloaded and use it in the fashion you're recommending.  I can't imagine doing that.  To me the weapon is like collision insurance on my car.  I haven't needed it for decades and there's a good chance I will never need it.  But I still keep the collision insurance in case there's an emergency.

 

I'm not recommending it, I indicated I was tempted to. However, if it is simply the appearance of the firearm which deters a potential attacker, neither huge magazines nor automatic firing capability are needed. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I was having what is probably best described as an existential crisis the other day, and all of a sudden, I got it.  I realized that when I die, maybe 10, 20 years, nobody will even know I ever existed.  My death is going to be as meaningless as my life is.  I'm an absolute, total, worthless nobody.  These guys, the shooters ... at least they're being talked about.  Yes, it's all negative, but what's worse, being hated, or being ignored and forgotten?  Even being despised, someone's acknowledging your existence.  There are better ways to make one's mark, of course, but how many of those are accessible to minimum wage schmucks who can't afford higher education and likely wouldn't have the opportunity to use it even if they could?

 

In that moment, I really think I truly understood.  And on some level, that frightens me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to know my offspring are going to live a happy life beyond me.  Other than that, what good does 'my mark' (or material things, having my existence acknowledged, etc.) do me when I'm dead?

 

I just try to be happy and live positive in the present.  YMMV.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that everyone we truly touch in our lives, everyone we make a difference to, carries a part of us in them, affecting how they think and feel, and how they live. That in turn affects how they touch everyone in their own lives, and in turn how those people live. So our influence spreads outward, like ripples in a pond, becoming part of the whole of humanity, enduring for as long as humanity endures.

 

That's enough immortality for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Trump and Greenland... All Things Considered noted on Friday that Pres. Truman also tried to buy Greenland for the US. It was part of geostrategy against the Soviet Union, in ways that probably aren't very relevant anymore--though the US still does have a military base in Greenland, an article in today's paper says. The same article reports Trump is, perhaps uncharacteristically, soft-peddling the story as just a possibility being casually explored, not a hard policy proposal.

 

Countries buying and selling territory back and forth is not a fashionable idea right now. For one thing, it is considered likely that the people of the territory might want to be consulted. It's still an idea that might be worth considering on some occasions, though.

 

For instance, back in the 1990s I read that Russia was having trouble paying back loans and owed the US (and other countries) lots of money. Russia also had a problem with separatist violence in Chechnya. At the time, I wondered if these problems could solve each other: The US cancels Russia's debt in exchange for Chechnya becoming a US territory like Puerto Rico or Guam. We get access to Caspian Sea oil, the Chechens get out of Russia with an eventual option for either statehood or independence at their choice, and Russia gets one less group of angry non-Russians. I am sure that people who actually know that part of the world would tell me it's a terrible idea, but I found it amusing.

 

It might be extended to other countries that want to be ethno-states but have inconvenient minorities, such as the Karens in Myanmar or the Kurds in Iraq. Again, it's probably a bad idea in practice, but at least it's an attempt to break ethno-political deadlocks and give everyone what they want.

 

My current thinking adapts the idea to the US. It's all too clear that the US is not one nation, and two of the sides loathe each other. So how can we disengage? Answer: Sell the cities to Canada, as urban people tend to be increasingly liberal while the rest of the country gets more conservative and resentful of the urban "elites." For an example: My own state of Washington is geographically a deep red state, but demographically a blue state: The populous, strongly Democratic counties around Puget Sound overbalance the less populous counties everywhere else. But if Pugetopolis became part of British Columbia, the Republican party would get another Idaho to supply reliable senators, members of Congress and electoral college votes; ind Pugetolpolis liberals would get single-payer health care and other desired policies; and I could move to Canada and become Lord Liaden's fellow-countryman without leaving my aged mother, who needs me to take care of her and doesn't want to leave the house she's lived in for more than 50 years. A win all around.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "two" sides loathing each other is a relatively recent phenomenon. Up until the last couple of decades, congressmen and senators of each party socialized with each other after hours. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil would have drinks together after hours even though they were diametrically opposed on many policies.. Bob Dole was famous for loathing the small-government conservatives within his own party but getting along with Democrats quite well. George W. Bush tried to appoint a life-long Democrat to the Supreme Court and seemed genuinely puzzled why people within his own party were objecting to his choice. Bush Sr., in his day, won the Iowa caucuses as a pro-choice Republican.

 

Even today, I have the distinct impression that most politicians aren't sincere in their beliefs: they say whatever message they want to display to the cameras and their constituents but that message doesn't necessarily have much to do with anything other than their assumed persona.

 

I'm not sure that there's two definable sides, much less that it's a long-term situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, archer said:

The "two" sides loathing each other is a relatively recent phenomenon. Up until the last couple of decades, congressmen and senators of each party socialized with each other after hours. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil would have drinks together after hours even though they were diametrically opposed on many policies.. Bob Dole was famous for loathing the small-government conservatives within his own party but getting along with Democrats quite well. George W. Bush tried to appoint a life-long Democrat to the Supreme Court and seemed genuinely puzzled why people within his own party were objecting to his choice. Bush Sr., in his day, won the Iowa caucuses as a pro-choice Republican.

 

Even today, I have the distinct impression that most politicians aren't sincere in their beliefs: they say whatever message they want to display to the cameras and their constituents but that message doesn't necessarily have much to do with anything other than their assumed persona.

 

I'm not sure that there's two definable sides, much less that it's a long-term situation.

 

I hope you're right. But it isn't the politicians I'm worried about: It's the party bases.

 

Dean Shomshak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to sound morbid as hell, but I think some of this may resolve as the majority of the boomers slowly die off. That sucks for the members of the younger generation that agrees with them, but while I could be wrong, it seems a lot of the stratification isn't just political, it's generational.

 

I read an article, maybe it was in this very thread, that said Americans actually have a lot of areas where red and blue agree.... but congress isn't touching those largely because their big money donors don't care/like those agendas.

 

So maybe we'll get there on our own... or maybe the younger generations which seems to skew more towards the left (Again, correct me if I'm wrong) will take the reigns and settle the matter as population demographics finally go their way? 

 

Honestly, I'm convinced that if 80% of younger millennials and those Gen Zs that could vote did, politicians on both sides would freak out in a panic. Unfortunately a lot of them are happy to take to the streets but not the ballot boxes.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DShomshak said:

 

I hope you're right. But it isn't the politicians I'm worried about: It's the party bases.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

The party bases generally go wherever their leaders choose to lead. That's what makes a Trump in the Oval Office such a dangerous thing. The party base actually standing up to the party leadership and saying "hell, no" is much more the exception than the rule.

 

If or when we return to an era of party leaders not deliberately trying to inflame their bases on an hourly basis (rather than just in the weeks leading up to an election), I think we'll return to an era of more civility.

 

I think it's perfectly fine to call a socialist "a socialist" if the person actually fits the definition of a socialist. Or a communist "a communist"...but there's a lot more American socialists than there are American communists and the terms aren't interchangeable. It's helpful to call someone a "Nazi" if he's a national socialist but using that term isn't helpful when used inaccurately as a slur. It's helpful to call someone a white supremacist if he's embraced the Alt Right teachings and/or if that person is pandering to white supremacists...but it isn't helpful to refer to someone as a white supremacist if he's not doing either of those things. And "white supremacist" and "Nazi" aren't interchangeable terms any more than "socialist" and "communist" are interchangeable.

 

Hillary when she coined the term "deplorable" was specifically talking about the white supremacists who had been marginalized to the point of non-existence inside American politics but who Trump was reviving as a political movement. And she took special care to point out that in saying deplorables that she was not talking about Republicans in general or even the normal conservative faction of the Republican party but rather a fringe (which had not been wholly dedicated to either party for decades). It's very unfortunate, in my opinion, that many Republicans deliberately chose to not listen to what she said and embraced the label "deplorable" as a badge of honor.

 

I think that we need a lot more nuance, like what Hillary displayed in that instance, in American politics. It's fine to point out what the opposition as a whole really believes or to accurately label individuals with whatever label they actually deserve based on their actions and beliefs. But George W. Bush obviously wasn't Hitler despite his overwhelmingly huge number of flaws and despite the popular use of BUSHITLER signage which was used as slurs against him. And all of that "Bush is Hitler" stuff and the rest of the inaccurate over-the-top rhetoric we've seen in American politics over the last couple of decades has only made it more difficult, in both parties, to criticize Trump for his real racist pandering and for that accurate criticism be taken seriously by the public at large.

 

====

 

< mini-rant >

 

The Alt Right was specifically founded to be the Alternative to the American political right and the Alt Right specifically embraces the concept of white nationalism as its core concept. That should demonstrate to everyone that the American political right wasn't formerly a bastion of white nationalism since in just the last few years there was felt to be a need to create an alternative to replace the American political right with something else.

 

Or at least the last presidential campaign should suggest that Hillary at least recognized that there was something new, unique, and dangerous about the Alt Right which wasn't formerly present as a fundamental tenet of the American political right as it had previously existed.

 

< /mini-rant >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Hermit said:

This is going to sound morbid as hell, but I think some of this may resolve as the majority of the boomers slowly die off. That sucks for the members of the younger generation that agrees with them, but while I could be wrong, it seems a lot of the stratification isn't just political, it's generational.

 

I read an article, maybe it was in this very thread, that said Americans actually have a lot of areas where red and blue agree.... but congress isn't touching those largely because their big money donors don't care/like those agendas.

 

So maybe we'll get there on our own... or maybe the younger generations which seems to skew more towards the left (Again, correct me if I'm wrong) will take the reigns and settle the matter as population demographics finally go their way? 

 

Honestly, I'm convinced that if 80% of younger millennials and those Gen Zs that could vote did, politicians on both sides would freak out in a panic. Unfortunately a lot of them are happy to take to the streets but not the ballot boxes.

 

My impression from discussing politics with a heck of a lot of people from all age groups is that (among the people who express a political opinion), the younger you are, the more extreme your opinion is likely to be and the less open you are to compromises: even compromises proposed in conversation which would tilt heavily in your favor if they were put into effect in real life.

 

It may be that recent generations skew more to the left and that the country will naturally drift more to the left as the boomers die off. But from my experience in interacting with people on political topics, I would expect portion of the stratification effects which come about due to age demographics to become stronger rather than weaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, archer said:

 

My impression from discussing politics with a heck of a lot of people from all age groups is that (among the people who express a political opinion), the younger you are, the more extreme your opinion is likely to be and the less open you are to compromises: even compromises proposed in conversation which would tilt heavily in your favor if they were put into effect in real life.

 

It may be that recent generations skew more to the left and that the country will naturally drift more to the left as the boomers die off. But from my experience in interacting with people on political topics, I would expect portion of the stratification effects which come about due to age demographics to become stronger rather than weaker.

 

Well, now I'm sad

 

*Sigh* 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Hermit said:

 

Well, now I'm sad

 

*Sigh* 

 

 

If it makes you feel any better, I don't think that much of the stratification is due directly to age. By that I mean, once someone is stratified,  my perception is that they're much more likely to stay that way if they're fairly young (one of the reasons I don't think that comedy news shows which only deal with topics in a superficial way are at all helpful).

 

But the vast majority of people still don't have a political philosophy. They might root for one side or the other in a presidential election but for the most part they don't understand the issues, don't want to understand the issues, and if you took most of the platform of either candidate and attributed it to the other candidate, they wouldn't notice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the drift of generations towards becoming more conservative as they age does not necessarily connote they adopt the attitudes of their parents or grandparents.  A more conservative Gen Zer might be "conservative for 2065" or somesuch, which might mean being reluctant to concede that AIs should have full legal rights.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, archer said:

The Alt Right was specifically founded to be the Alternative to the American political right and the Alt Right specifically embraces the concept of white nationalism as its core concept. That should demonstrate to everyone that the American political right wasn't formerly a bastion of white nationalism since in just the last few years there was felt to be a need to create an alternative to replace the American political right with something else.

 

I think part of the problem is that the more severe side of the left tends to call anyone who isn't left enough for them ALT Right.

 

A lot of the labeling is patently absurd.  Two internet guys I like to listen to fairly often are Joe Rogan and Tim Pool.  They're both moderate democrats.  They dislike/hate Trump and agree with most things that would have been mainstream left only 8-10 years ago.

 

Now Tim has a show that is being threatened to be shut down by Antifa nuts because it involves trying to get progressives and conservatives sitting down face-to-face to talk to each other.

 

Tim, in particular, getting called ALT Right is incomprehensible to me.  He likes universal income, health-care for all, and several other mainstream left ideas.

 

If this kind of nonsense doesn't cool off by 2020 there are going to be lifelong liberals voting for Trump because their own party has lost its mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

I think part of the problem is that the more severe side of the left tends to call anyone who isn't left enough for them ALT Right.

 

 

Fortunately, that's balanced out by the mindless 'right' referring to everyone who isn't rabidly pro-Trump as being a "communist".

 

< j/k >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...