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  • Trump isn't of the far right. He's more liberal than any of the post WWII Republican presidents. That's leaving Bush II out of the analysis. Bush II is a progressive--as opposed to a liberal--who made some religious noises for political reasons. Bush II should be considered in the line of progressive warmongers that include Wilson and FDR.

    Really, the vast majority of Republicans are in the mushy middle. There are almost no viable political leaders on the traditional right.

    Then you have the Democrats who are dividing between liberals and progressives. (The fatally flawed left-right spectrum is badly breaking down here.) Most of the noise in academia and the press is coming out of the progressives these days, with the traditional liberals keeping their heads down and their mouths shut. The progressives are convinced of the correctness of their positions -- both factually and morally -- and they will not tolerate any dissension. They are reactively authoritarian and will severely punish anyone who disagrees with them.

    On the far left (and I'm wincing even as I use the metaphor) they have donned black shirts and taken to the streets in a revival of fascism. And yes, fascists have always been of the left. One of the great victories of the Frankfurt School's Cultural Marxism and its critical theory is in convincing academia and the press that fascists were of the far right. The fascist worship of the state is a linear extrapolation of progressivism.

  • Ooh boy, another "X and Y aren't useful labels, don't map well to reality, and have no accepted definitions, but here's a bunch of things I strongly believe about Xists and Yists" hoedown. Yeehaw!

    Meanwhile on the planet earth, the obvious label for Trump is apolitical. He doesn't ally himself or form enemies based on policy, he chooses policies according to his allies and enemies. Nonetheless, it's clearly true that people who consider themselves "far right", or are popularly labeled that way, correlate to Trump supporters and allies. To deny that would be bizarre.

  • The third remarkable thing about Cohen’s plea was its substance. The president of the United States’ personal lawyer admitted to lying to Congress about the president’s business activities with a hostile foreign power, in order to support the president’s story. In any rational era, that would be earthshaking. Now it’s barely a blip. Over the past two years, we’ve become accustomed to headlines like “President’s Campaign Manager Convicted of Fraud” and “President’s Personal Lawyer Paid for Adult Actress’s Silence.” We’re numb to it all. But these are the sorts of developments that would, under normal circumstances, end a presidency.

    Three Remarkable Things About Michael Cohen's Plea

  • Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010

    The United States is collectively mad, but we do show occasional glimmers of sanity. My state, Michigan, legalized cannabis last election.

  • Now we just need the Federal Gov't to reclassify it. That is unlikely to happen during the current administration, however.

    Being schedule I leaves people open to Federal prosecution even if they aren't challenged by their state/municipal police.

  • edited February 2019

    I doubt if Trump would spend any political capital on the issue, but I also doubt he would veto it if Congress passed such a law.

  • "One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity" begins the author, in a presumed reference to his own time as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars :neutral:

  • It's grating how conservatives refer to "the explosion of homosexuality" like it's a new thing... As if there wasn't always gay people. Gay people (and transgender people) have always existed. They've just been closeted and self supressed. The only thing that has changed is the social acceptance.

  • @Rufus said:

    It's grating how conservatives refer to "the explosion of homosexuality" like it's a new thing... As if there wasn't always gay people. Gay people (and transgender people) have always existed. They've just been closeted and self supressed. The only thing that has changed is the social acceptance.

    Maybe? The data are sparse. We know it has been around for a long time, but we don't know how common it was. We do know that are societal attitude has changed drastically in a short period of time.

  • @Rufus said:
    Gay people (and transgender people) have always existed. They've just been closeted and self supressed. The only thing that has changed is the social acceptance.

    Agreed for recent history, but IIRC there are decent arguments that our social concept of gayness isn't as universal as one might think. I think the default example was classical Greece, where supposedly they saw things as more "top vs bottom" than gay-vs-straight. That is, when two guys fucked the social view would have been that whichever one did the penetrating was having normal manly sex, while the other would be seen as effeminate for having been penetrated. Or something like that.

    (Didn't read the taki article obviously, so not sure if it touches on this)

  • Who's the daddy? Paternity mixed up in cities, study finds
    Illegitimacy more likely over past 500 years among urban poor, say geneticists

  • edited February 2020

    A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates

    This is a relatively old article, but I found it interesting and it made some points I hadn't thought about...

    What drew me to it was finding the source for a hilarious factoid I bumped into on Facebook: "... according to a 1997 poll... 12% think Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc."

  • I'm only about halfway through the article, and damn. I got to put it aside for a bit.

    Also for some reason I'm listening to the soundcloud linked from the article. Its not my thing, but I can't bring myself to turn it off.

  • "Is Betteridge's Law a Thing?"

  • @fenomas said:
    "Is Betteridge's Law a Thing?"

    Falsified, because BLM led to an increase in murder about as certainly as anything can be proven without controlled experiments.

  • The article doesn't make, let alone support, that claim.

    But let's assume the premise. If BLM protests caused increased crime, I guess we'd better work on addressing the issues that caused the BLM protests. That's the takeaway, right?

  • The main chain of causality was:
    BLM decreased cops.
    Decreased cops, for a variety of reasons, caused more murder.

    There was a secondary chain that went:
    BLM rioters went unpunished.
    Miscreants, seeing this, decided that bad behavior was more acceptable.

  • "The author proposed a plausible mechanism for how his premise could be true" is not the same thing as "the author's premise has been proved as much as a thing can be proved".

  • @Bill said:
    The main chain of causality was:
    BLM decreased cops.
    Decreased cops, for a variety of reasons, caused more murder.

    There was a secondary chain that went:
    BLM rioters went unpunished.
    Miscreants, seeing this, decided that bad behavior was more acceptable.

    This is a vastly over-simplified argument for a complex problem, intended only to scape-goat the people you don't like. If there were 1,000 murders in a given time frame, you could probably identify 800 unique circumstances and 10,000 factors... The country would be better served by identifying and addressing root causes (poverty, education inequity, systemic racism).

    Things like, "the cops just need to crack down on these criminals", have been tried before (mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes, etc.) and they served only to exacerbate the underlying problem. It's like putting a house fire out, by knocking the house down with an excavator.

  • edited February 11

    @fenomas said:
    "The author proposed a plausible mechanism for how his premise could be true" is not the same thing as "the author's premise has been proved as much as a thing can be proved".

    Sailer has been working on it too. Murder spiked all around the country both times BLM peaked.

  • @Rufus said:

    @Bill said:
    The main chain of causality was:
    BLM decreased cops.
    Decreased cops, for a variety of reasons, caused more murder.

    There was a secondary chain that went:
    BLM rioters went unpunished.
    Miscreants, seeing this, decided that bad behavior was more acceptable.

    This is a vastly over-simplified argument for a complex problem, intended only to scape-goat the people you don't like. If there were 1,000 murders in a given time frame, you could probably identify 800 unique circumstances and 10,000 factors... The country would be better served by identifying and addressing root causes (poverty, education inequity, systemic racism).

    Things like, "the cops just need to crack down on these criminals", have been tried before (mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes, etc.) and they served only to exacerbate the underlying problem. It's like putting a house fire out, by knocking the house down with an excavator.

    Obviously I simplified it. I wanted to highlight the main point. Really, if you don't believe there is a strong negative correlation between policing and crime, I don't see much hope of us ever agreeing. As far as I can tell, police presence and removing criminals from the street are the two things that actually do work. Direct action often (or usually) trumps indirect action.

    As for the so called root causes you mentioned, I don't believe any of them are true root causes, and I question the prevalence of most of them.

    Poverty: people in the United states (and Canada, for that matter) are richer than ever. Crime hasn't disappeared. For example, people living on government transfer payments are considerably wealthier and have access to more services than my parents had when they were kids. Their childhoods weren't hellscapes of crime and violence.

    If you say that it's relative poverty rather than absolute poverty, you have just proposed an unsolvable problem. Some people will always be richer than others.

    Education inequality: people in the United States are given more access to education than ever before. Schools, even ones in poor areas, have huge budgets relative the most of the developed world. (You can look it up if you don't believe me.) More people are getting bachelor degrees than ever before. If you don't care about the diploma, you can obtain undergraduate-level education in several different subjects online. It's not the education that's the problem; it's the students.

    Systemic racism: it's lower than it has ever been in American history, unless you are counting reverse racism. The evidence for systemic racism is actually evidence for population differences in behavior and ability.

  • You know that there was also a pandemic happening at the same time right? People stuck at home? People not able to work?

    Let me guess: the people citing murder stats managed to also leave out the stats in violent crime, because that went down. They probably also leave out stats for rape, robbery, car accidents, and others as well.

    The idea that BLM caused an increase in murder is specious at best, without some data about the people involved in the murders or evidence of an association. The people that blame BLM frequently point at the raw number of murders in cities. Occasionally they may even pull out the occasional per-capita argument, as long as they only look at cities and also don't include a scale that goes too far back into the past.

    But there are a few problems with that: If you look at murders per-capita by county you will see an increase just as large in rural, white, overwhelmingly red areas. Areas not particularly well known for being populated by BLM, even if the residents are worried that "antifa will come and invade". Areas that haven't had protests, police overtime, or even national guard visits!

    The number of cops has not really been reduced anywhere yet, by the way. Except maybe a particular city in Minnesota. But really they needed to wipe that department and start over.

    Reverse racism isn't a thing. Its just racism, said in a racist way because it implies its not possible to be racist to a white person. Systemic racism being 'lower' is something that would need a pretty wide study, but the fact it still exists is not a reason to rest on laurels. Considering that people like Sailer don't really believe its been a serious issue in 40 years I'm hesitant to take their words for it. Our current president is responsible for introducing an awful lot of recent bills that increased systemic racism, for example.

    Suffice it to say that I am shocked, shocked that iSteve has an opinion about BLM causing murders.

  • edited February 11

    Really, if you don't believe there is a strong negative correlation between policing and crime, I don't see much hope of us ever agreeing.

    This is straw-man gibberish. Just because somebody rejects the idea that BLM riots directly caused murders doesn't mean they think policing has no correlation to crime.

    Systemic racism: it's lower than it has ever been in American history

    Claiming unprovable things like this is why it's impossible to take you seriously.

    Thought experiment - imagine that we ranked every US citizen in order of how competent they are to judge the amount of systemic racism in the country. Hand on heart, where do you think you'd be in that list?

  • I haven't the time to properly research and formulate a detailed response to everything you said, but I have some quick points I would make.

    @Bill said:
    Obviously I simplified it. I wanted to highlight the main point. Really, if you don't believe there is a strong negative correlation between policing and crime, I don't see much hope of us ever agreeing.

    I don't disagree with the need for effective policing, and increased policing lowers crime... That is completely tangental to my point, however.

    Poverty: people in the United states (and Canada, for that matter) are richer than ever. Crime hasn't disappeared.

    Strawman... and the average wealth of a nation does not mean that there aren't people living in poverty... and a community living in poverty breeds children who turn to crime, drugs, gangs; in absence of adequate opportunity.

    Also, the large population of people living at or below the poverty line, in America would be massively insulted by your characterization that they are somehow NOT poor, because other people in other parts of the world are more poor than they are.

    Education inequality: people in the United States are given more access to education than ever before. Schools, even ones in poor areas, have huge budgets relative the most of the developed world. (You can look it up if you don't believe me.) More people are getting bachelor degrees than ever before. If you don't care about the diploma, you can obtain undergraduate-level education in several different subjects online. It's not the education that's the problem; it's the students.

    Schools in America are regionally funded, meaning schools in poor parts of America get less funding than those in more affluent communities. Those people living in those poor communities do not get the same quality of education, fail to move on to post-secondary education (which they could not afford, even if they could achieve the academic requirements), and are not afforded the opportunities to get out of poverty, and the cycle continues. United Shades of America did an entire episode about this... go find it.

    Systemic racism: it's lower than it has ever been in American history...

    I totally agree with you... if you stopped right there. Racism in America seems worse over the last four years, only because Trump has enabled all the racists to come out of the closet. BUT, racism in America is still endemic and awful. That it is better than it was is only an indicative of how bad it has been (in the not too distant past).

    ... , unless you are counting reverse racism. The evidence for systemic racism is actually evidence for population differences in behavior and ability.

    This however.... this is just ignorant... I don't know if it's willful ignorance, or if you just hide in the corners of the Internet where they don't talk about things that are racist and you lack exposure. You would be better served to get out of your confirmation bias zone, and actually did some research and reading/watching outside of your comfort zone. Go watch some documentaries on the topic... Seriously. If you look for it, the evidence of racism in America is voluminous... but not from Sailor, Fox News or any of your other conservative media favourites.

    You should make it a project or a challenge. Go find an unbiased article about current or recent racist or LGBT+ discrimination in America, each day; read it and post it here. If you disagree with everything you find... then we'll know at least that you're willfully ignorant.

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