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Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

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1 minute ago, L. Marcus said:

Who is the gentleman in question?

 

Good me: An American citizen with every right to run for president. 

Selfish Me: A guy who seems sure to peel off votes from whoever the Democratic Nom is thus making it more likely to give us four more years of Trump 

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Why Nations Fail included an illustrative bit of Robert Mugabe history. Zimbabwe had a national lottery. The drawing was held and the winner was... can you believe the luck... Robert Mugabe!

 

Mr Mugabe was already a billionaire from looting the economy and the government, but I guess you can never be too rich or be seen to win too many times.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Since this doesn't actually harm the NRA, the designation is mere moral posturing to please the base. It also plays into the far right's hands by supporting their narrative of persecution by the evil and tyrannical (but weakling) urban liberals.

 

Now, a racketeering investigation might turn up something prosecutable, which could be useful.

 

Dean Shomshak

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19 hours ago, DShomshak said:

Since this doesn't actually harm the NRA, the designation is mere moral posturing to please the base. It also plays into the far right's hands by supporting their narrative of persecution by the evil and tyrannical (but weakling) urban liberals.

 

Now, a racketeering investigation might turn up something prosecutable, which could be useful.

 

Dean Shomshak

"We're being persecuted by ineffectual weaklings" is a cognitive dissonance mindset that explains why I couldn't be a far right conservative.

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4 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

"We're being persecuted by ineffectual weaklings" is a cognitive dissonance mindset that explains why I couldn't be a far right conservative.

Completely agree. 

 

To be fair though, "our local municipality is taking a strong stand with this scathing resolution on something we have absolutely no power to enforce/ change/influence - yay, look at us!" Kind of cuts the other way on my political preferences. 

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Interestingly, this isn’t just a statement with no basis in fact or law. They’re applying the federal government’s definition of a terrorist organization to the NRA, and it meets the criteria. 

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

Interestingly, this isn’t just a statement with no basis in fact or law. They’re applying the federal government’s definition of a terrorist organization to the NRA, and it meets the criteria. 

Except as a County/municipality they don't have the authority to apply the federal government's definition. Which makes it a statement with no basis in law. They could attempt to seize assets, arrest members, and so forth I suppose. Let's see how that works out. 

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6 hours ago, Old Man said:

Interestingly, this isn’t just a statement with no basis in fact or law. They’re applying the federal government’s definition of a terrorist organization to the NRA, and it meets the criteria. 

 

I'd love to see the checklist on that.  I'm no fan of the NRA, but terrorist group - as though they were on par with Isis - seems really out of bounds.

 

Even with more recent Antifa vs. Proud Boy dust ups you don't typically see bands of roving NRA members shooting people.

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:24 AM, megaplayboy said:

"We're being persecuted by ineffectual weaklings" is a cognitive dissonance mindset that explains why I couldn't be a far right conservative.

 

It's pretty common in conspiracy theories. For instance, I am told that in the Middle East it's not unusual to find people who believe simultaneously that the USA is an all-powerful overlord that controls everything their own government does, and a cowardly, decadent country that folds like a cheap suit as soon as troops start dying.

 

Conspiracy paranoia is a defense mechanism to puff up the paranoid's ego. The more powerful and dangerous you proclaim the Enemy to be, the braver you must be to dewfy them. So why hasn't the Enemy killed you to shut you up? They must also be cowards. Also, courage is a virtue, and the Enemy must be completely lacking in admirable traits.

 

<shrug> People are funny.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:24 AM, megaplayboy said:

"We're being persecuted by ineffectual weaklings" is a cognitive dissonance mindset that explains why I couldn't be a far right conservative.

 

It's pretty common in conspiracy theories. For instance, I am told that in the Middle East it's not unusual to find people who believe simultaneously that the USA is an all-powerful overlord that controls everything their own government does, and a cowardly, decadent country that folds like a cheap suit as soon as troops start dying.

 

Conspiracy paranoia is a defense mechanism to puff up the paranoid's ego. The more powerful and dangerous you proclaim the Enemy to be, the braver you must be to dewfy them. So why hasn't the Enemy killed you to shut you up? They must also be cowards. Also, courage is a virtue, and the Enemy must be completely lacking in admirable traits.

 

<shrug> People are funny.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Vox claims that Bolton left because he couldn't goad the President into starting a war. I still think that the President's foreign policy is bad, but I will give praise where praise is due: he didn't attack when Bolton told him to. Thank you Mr. President.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/10/20859357/john-bolton-trump-war-north-korea-iran

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IMHO it finally penetrated Trump's skull that while his base loves him to talk tough on the international stage, they don't want America to get involved in another foreign war. Bolton's path won't get him reelected, which is his overwhelming priority.

 

What is pathetic to me is that Trump thought he could cut some sort of deal with the Taliban. He's already publicly proclaimed his plan to pull American troops out of Afghanistan imminently, which means he has zero leverage against the Taliban. They have no incentive to negotiate -- all they have to do is hold on until the Americans leave, which they've more than proven they can do. And then Trump is shocked that they launched a terror attack that kills eleven civilians and one American soldier? This is what the Taliban does, and has been doing for decades! The first rule of making deals should be, Understand who you're negotiating with.

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On 9/9/2019 at 12:29 PM, DShomshak said:

 

It's pretty common in conspiracy theories. For instance, I am told that in the Middle East it's not unusual to find people who believe simultaneously that the USA is an all-powerful overlord that controls everything their own government does, and a cowardly, decadent country that folds like a cheap suit as soon as troops start dying.

 

Conspiracy paranoia is a defense mechanism to puff up the paranoid's ego. The more powerful and dangerous you proclaim the Enemy to be, the braver you must be to dewfy them. So why hasn't the Enemy killed you to shut you up? They must also be cowards. Also, courage is a virtue, and the Enemy must be completely lacking in admirable traits.

 

<shrug> People are funny.

 

Dean Shomshak

It's fair to keep in mind that, at the time of the Mongol invasions, there were people in Europe who blamed the jews. Sadly, this is not a joke.

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1 hour ago, Sociotard said:

Vox claims that Bolton left because he couldn't goad the President into starting a war. I still think that the President's foreign policy is bad, but I will give praise where praise is due: he didn't attack when Bolton told him to. Thank you Mr. President.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/10/20859357/john-bolton-trump-war-north-korea-iran

 

This was my first thought too, but then I reminded myself that he is the one that appointed Bolton the job in the first.  Causing a problem and then taking credit for solving it is a big part Trump's MO.  So, no, I give Trump exactly zero credit on this.  If he had just stayed in the nuclear deal that that Obama's team negotiated we would not be bordering on war with Iran, his hot and cold running relationship with Kim Jong Un has not made the world a safer place,  and the deal that he was getting ready to strike with the Taliban would have been disastrous for Afghan women.  So, screw him. 

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2 minutes ago, TheDarkness said:

It's fair to keep in mind that, at the time of the Mongol invasions, there were people in Europe who blamed the jews. Sadly, this is not a joke.

 

Even less funny when we see similar absurd theories directed at Jews today.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Even less funny when we see similar absurd theories directed at Jews today.

Blaming jews is not a field that hires particularly original thinkers. I would say blaming them for the mongol hordes is probably the zenith of their original thinking.

 

I read a while back an article by someone who used to be an editor for some conspiracy theory mag, and quit after he realized that no matter the conspiracy, someone always ended up blaming the jewish people for it. I did a cursory search on a few I thought would be exceptions, but no. I'm not even sure how one believes a banker is both a reptilian and a jew, but apparently that is a thing. I suppose the catholic reptilians rule the world on Saturdays.

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On 9/9/2019 at 9:27 AM, ScottishFox said:

 

I'd love to see the checklist on that.  I'm no fan of the NRA, but terrorist group - as though they were on par with Isis - seems really out of bounds.

 

Even with more recent Antifa vs. Proud Boy dust ups you don't typically see bands of roving NRA members shooting people.

 

Lessee here now, looking up the US legal code on such things ... one checklist, as ordered.

 

5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States
 
Well, A and C are no-brainers, at the very least.

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10 hours ago, CrosshairCollie said:

 

Lessee here now, looking up the US legal code on such things ... one checklist, as ordered.

 

5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States
 
Well, A and C are no-brainers, at the very least.

 

A:  "involve" is really broad language - any criminal act committed using a gun would appear to link up with any organization which addresses firearms.  But wouldn't that also include an organization whose goals are to enhance gun control in the interests of reducing gun violence?  Unlike the NRA, they are directly addressing issues which "involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State" - a candlelight vigil for victims of a shooting could be said to "involve" that shooting.

 

B:  "The term “coercion” means— (A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; (B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or (C) the abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal process."

 

So, "support our desired legislation and oppose the legislation we dislike, or we will lobby our members to vote against you in the next election" - is that a threatened abuse of legal process?  Is activity designed to send the message that failure to vote against Candidate X (who favours gun control) will lead to greater physical restraint against those poor folks  after "the gummint" takes away their guns?  Does "any person" include an armed robber?  Similarly, is there coercion involved in advertising in the election to influence the manner in which the civilian population votes?

 

Again, the language seems very broad.

 

C is obvious for any organization whose activities are confined to, or at least focus on, the US.

 

Ignoring the application of this broad terminology to any specific organization, one would hope the Courts would interpret this language more narrowly than its most broad interpretation possible.

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