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General politics thread (was: General U.S. politics thread)



  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    that's it; i'm changing the thread title
    *Darth Vader NOOOOOOOOOOO*
    I think the only Tsar who possibly didn't was Alexander II (and look what that got him).

    He happened to be a tsar at a time when like every radical group in Russia believed assassinating the tsar will magically solve every problem Russia ever had.

    Also, I always found it ironic the one tsar we got was like the least bad.
    Why though? It's how he was, it adds to his character for me. I don't like when people think history was pretty and Hallmark-style romantic and all; the uh... brutality; adds to the romance.
    You have me there; I kinda expected you want the Hallmark style.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Also, I always found it ironic the one tsar we got was like the least bad.

    Most Polish outcome honestly.

    There was a school (daycare?) shooting in Thailand. No real details still but this is really not something you can pin on anything just yet. So far since this report they discovered that he killed people at this daycare center and then killed his whole family (and then himself). Pretty sad event.

    The implication for me has always been that school shootings are an American cultural thing so I expect this to turn out to not be some weird misanthrope-with-a-gun situation.

    I bring this up because it happened and not exactly because I want to have a debate about gun control right now or anything like that.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know

    Apparently because phones and internet were cut off in one area, people didn't even know they'd been annexed by Russia (at least in terms of words).

    The Russian administration seems even more delusional than Liz Truss and Co. right now. They lose territory by the day, either via Ukrainian offensives or Russian withdrawals. However, they claim to own several areas that they've been driven out of, but also don't actually know their own borders?

    Of course, there's a flipside to this;
    a) Russia claims to have expanded it's borders, justifying even more brutal levels of violence to 'defend' these areas
    b) Russia has brought forward 300,000 reservists as well as new conscripts

    It's possible that in a few days or weeks there'll be a reversal of fortune, but at this point it seems like the Western alliance was right to bet on Ukraine as a means of destroying Russia's military reputation and international capabilities.

    Though of course with gas and fuel reserves as well as other natural resources, they'll always have money flowing in, but that doesn't exactly make for a functional state.

    For some reason there are a lot of NYT pieces that aren't picked up by other media so I just have to link there anyways even though it's paywalled.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    the Western alliance was right to bet on Ukraine as a means of destroying Russia's military reputation and international capabilities.
    this phrasing is sus
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Nobel Committee just dropped the news: a Belarusian dissident, an Ukrainian civil rights NGO, and the Russian organization Memorial.

    You know what, time spent browsing teh interwebz lets me know there's plenty of Russians who see Memorial as the bad guys. I always felt this is so similar to our own righties. You see, stuff like research into wartime anti-Semitism, for them it's an attack on Poland funded by foreign Jewish conspiracy vested interests. JEEEEEEWS Very much the same arguments as raised against Memorial. Except, in Russian case it's stupider because whateverelse I could say about our righties, digging up a case of wartime massacre is a stain on the whole nation, but digging up a case of Stalin's atrocity shouldn't be a stain on anyone but him and his system.
  • edited 2022-10-07 12:55:28
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    this phrasing is sus

    What do you mean? Of course Western hegemony is all about expanding outward to give everybody a chance at democracy. At times people play rough (Euromaidan, 2014), but I'm betting nobody was expecting their mostly soft-NGO-based activity to lead to a full scale, very random-seeming incursion by Russia.

    The opportunity was not 'presented' to anybody to destroy Russia, they merely fought for their ideals as stated, moreso than anybody would expect them to stick through it (the forthcoming European Winter of Cold Without Kindling).

    It's not conspiracy, it's just politics.
    Nobel Committee just dropped the news

    Not Salman Rushdie though? I heard people put that out there but I haven't actually read any of his works so I don't know if they're just bad (if inflammatory in all the right ways) or something.
    a Belarusian dissident

    I think I mentioned something about this a while back in a pass-the-parcel type way, about how Eurovision banned Belarus for banning a musician who was also an activist from representing them (and legitimately ruining their chances at winning because her 2020 song was epic).

    Belarus could have gone the Hungary route of just calling Eurovision too gay to ever participate in again (and man was Viktor Orban right) but of course that means they (Hungary) can't send Papai Joci for a third go of it.

    You know if all you ever do is follow Eurovision closely you'd gain a strangely vacuous but probably accurate view of European politics.

    Also I often wonder why I specifically became a fan of Hungarian music out of all the European music scenes (it was ByeAlex, but still). I like German pop music better, but Hungary was definitely frist.
    stuff like research into wartime anti-Semitism

    I really don't get this in either (Poland or Russia) context. Yeah, people used to be xenophobic and not like Jews a lot at all. Nikolas II was a virulent anti-Semite who never once questioned why exactly he would hate Jewish people that much.

    I understand I guess that people can feel as if they are being attacked in a modern context (like how BLM types act all the time), but if you are dealing with someone who doesn't appear to have an interest in smearing you with a brush of 'historic [whateverism]', and is only trying to find out the facts,

    Memorial seems like they were fine?* I mean I don't like to trust what I find at first blush, but they seem like they do good work that can't be obfuscated. then why not have the facts be found out? Learning more about the past is always super cool.

    *This was in my history so it turns out I watched it forever ago and so I should have theoretically known what Memorial you were talking about.

    Also maybe it's just where we hang out but I was thinking today; some Jewish does something dumb, and then everybody is yelling "Early Life!" like it's going out of style.

    This is mostly about Billy Eichner and his new movie Bros which according to some is meant to convert your yung'uns to homosexuality (I'm not sure where this whole "Jews want your kids to be gay" thing comes from because it's mostly directed at Jewish men who are gay themselves so it's not like they're winning at heterosexual reproduction either).

    Before you check;
    [Billy] was born to a Jewish family and had a Madonna-themed bar mitzvah.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    the forthcoming European Winter of Cold Without Kindling

    Just for the record, I'm like, it's about fcuking time to do something with that dependence on hydrocarbons and if this gets some people to act on it then I'm all fine with wearing an undershirt.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I can't tell if you're joking or not.

    Update on the Thailand shooting; the shooter was a former police officer who was let go on drug charges and seemed to be mostly interested in going all family annihalator but his kid wasn't at school that day which made him snap somehow?

    Thailand seems to have a problem with police/army officers going postal, especially since they're highly respected in the country as is (what with the military junta currently in control) and the fact that they're highly corrupt (involved with drugs/human trafficking etc etc etc).

    Unrelated; people (anti-interventionists) who really believe that the reason people care about Mahsa Amini is that the CIA is trying to create a psyop/color revolution really should pay attention to current events for more than a day considering the Obama/Biden Administration's crown jewel of foreign policy is the Iran Nuclear Deal which is being threatened by this whole thing.
  • edited 2022-10-08 21:39:58
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    A rundown of why the cost of home insurance in Florida is likely to be increased as part of the long-term effects of the hurricane.

    Also, an article more generally about the poorly-advised development of Florida: https://grist.org/extreme-weather/hurricane-ian-real-estate-developers-canals-cape-coral/
    This latter article echoes an earlier one I posted but says a few extra things. The earlier one was focused on Cape Coral; this one speaks more broadly about other southwest Florida locations. But really, this pattern of development is not even confined to southwest Florida; there's similar stuff that's happened here in southeast Florida too.
  • edited 2022-10-09 03:25:55
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    On an unrelated note:

    One of the more amusingly wholesome memes to result from the Ukraine-Russia war is...the decrying of smoking.

    IIRC this first became a thing when there was a big fire at a Russian air base in Crimea, and Russian sources reportedly claimed that soldiers smoking irresponsibly was the cause of the fire. This was widely mocked on the internet, but subsequent instances of things blowing up, particularly on the Russian side, have seen people reacting by remarking mockingly that someone must have been smoking, to the point where I remember seeing an official Ukrainian government Twitter account tweeting a no-smoking sign in response to one of these events.

    I don't know the prevalence of smoking in eastern Europe, nor really anywhere else since I haven't studied the subject, but if this is what gets some people to kick the habit, I won't complain.
  • edited 2022-10-09 16:00:17
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I don't know the prevalence of smoking in eastern Europe

    From the weird stuff I get into online I do know that a bunch of Eastern European gymbros (and others wishing to be Eastern European* but are instead just gymbros) have this pre-workout**/diet/smoking thing they swear by and the justification tends to be "Well I look hot and you don't."

    *Now I need to figure out if Hungary is considered Eastern European...
    **To this day I still have no idea what "pre-workout" is aside from that it possibly comes in a can?
    A rundown of why the cost of home insurance in Florida is likely to be increased as part of the long-term effects of the hurricane.

    This reminds me of how I did a whole financial projections project based around how nobody in South Africa does protest insurance aside from the government thanks to the high risk.

    The state-run program is about as reliable as the one mentioned in that article so the real secret (which obviously I didn't put in an academic paper) is hiring private "security" that the police will pretend doesn't exist/isn't breaking any laws.

    Feels weird knowing LOLRs exist in fancy first-world places like the US (at least in a citizen-facing context).

    Maybe it's because I'm a heartless financier but I always err on the side of insurance in these cases. "Actuarial averages are just math" and such.
  • edited 2022-10-09 21:25:25
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    Meanwhile in Pennsylvania...

    Voter behavior can sometimes be...strange.

    So you'd expect that if a voter would prefer a candidate who agrees with their opinions more on political/policy/ideological stances. This is a pretty standard and normal assumption (inb4 stats puns on what I just said), but...


    Someone shared that image in a politics chat I'm on.

    Someone responded with this meme:


    You may now check the box on your bingo sheet labeled "votes solely based on vibes".
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Meanwhile in Pennsylvania...

    Oh this isn't about Fetterman directly (a lot of discourse around disliking him makes me kind of sad) and Oz (who is well, The Dr. Mehmet Oz).

    Clearly nobody should be allowed to vote until their political news saturation reaches above 2 hours a day.
    "Displays both"

    This reminds me of how twitter RW is super anti-intervention on Russia/Ukraine but then you watch some Fox News video or see some other normal Republican people doing a thing in an IRL seeming situation and they're all very "I Stand With Ukraine" (it confused me the first time I saw it too).

    I guess this would be "Displays both a MAGA 2024 and Ukraine Flag" type deal.
    "Votes solely on vibes"

    Probably not the worst way to do it.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    It's official; Kwasi Kwarteng was The Weakest Link.

    No, it was Suella Braverman.


    No, it was Liz Truss...?
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Article about how the US public service response to the COVID-19 crisis trailed behind the private sector, plus how progressive positions adopted within that timeframe didn't really help.

    Was most surprised to learn about the policing situation.
  • edited 2022-10-31 23:28:38
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    Have you noticed that, when you try to use government services lately, they are often total shit? Government agencies are short-staffed, wait times for services are long,
    Oh, no, not this Republican meme again.

    Look, both public/government and business/for-profit entities can have annoying wait times. For private entities it's like 80% of the time one tries calls up customer service and asks them to actually do something. The only differences are that government-run entities often don't invest as much in trying to doll up the initial process of getting a customer, whereas the for-profit companies want to make this process as smooth as possible and then deal with the fallout later.

    Yeah, yeah, I know the usual stereotype is something along the lines of the half-confused grumpy old lady at the DMV or the tax collector's office who goes way too slowly in a dingily-lit office that looks barely better than a warehouse. I've seen such with my own eyes, even. Yet just today I had three interactions with government-run services that were very smooth and satisfactory: a nature walk, led by a very knowledgeable naturalist, at a well-maintained natural area; a mail ballot drop off, which was even conveniently located outside the polling place so I didn't even have to find a parking space for my car to drop off my ballot; and a public library, where I had a smooth process of asking for assistance finding certain materials, finding them to my satisfaction, then checking them out, in a well-lit and comfortable environment and with help from friendly and speedy staff.

    Heck, it's not just "government" that can look dingy like that; a number of nonprofits also can look dingy like that and be understaffed and such. It mostly has to do with how much funding they put into making their public-facing customer service look good. Which is not necessarily the same as actually making their operations work better, for that matter.

    It ain't all sunshine and rainbows on either side. Just sayin'.

    Anyway I just wanted to get this addressed first. Since it does appear at the start of the piece. I know it's not his main point, but yeah.

    I'm gonna try to be quick since I have to get to work myself.

    As for his first point, I've seen a rather significant employee shortfall in both public and private sectors. The private sector is capable of acting on this faster, since they can approve pay raises more easily than governments can, though it hasn't exactly been quick to do this either. And on top of pay raises there's other changes that are needed in the ways jobs are structured and the ways people are hired.

    So yeah, governments can be slower to act on that.

    As for policing, my guess is that the sentiments expressing skepticism/disapproval (or even outright disdain) for the police certainly didn't help things, as it probably made police feel they have to thread a finer needle between use of force to control situations and alternative methods that may result in less harm but may also lead to situations like perps getting away. That said, I haven't actually studied how this stuff has affected policing, so I don't know.

    I do strongly opine that "defund the police" is the wrong message, except maaaaaybe as the "bad cop" approach coupled with the "good cop" of "let us help the police by taking burdens off of them that they're not as well-suited to address as other services, so they can focus on actual crime". (Sorry, the "good cop/bad cop" terminology is something I can't think of an alternative to at the moment, but the irony of using it here is something I acknowledge.) But frankly, why not just go for the latter approach instead. Because I think it creates a win-win situation. We need some sort of public institution to keep order; that's the police. But the police not only shouldn't overstep their responsibilities but also shouldn't be asked/demanded to overstep their responsibilities. Instaed, they should be working cooperatively with other..."social support staff", to come up with a general term for this on the fly.

    That said, pointing to traffic tickets might not be the right gauge. They're not necessarily good deterrence of traffic misbehavior, as they depend on how they're enforced, and furthermore, increases in traffic accidents and/or fatalities aren't necessarily due to them either, as people have noticeably gotten, angrier and more on-edge, on average, fueling riskier behaviors while driving in a nasty positive-feedback loop.

    As for education, I think there's something to be said about specific skill advancement in things like reading and math, but there's also something to be said for considering "civics", in a broader sense of the term -- people can't just contribute to society merely with skillsets applied to tasks, as if they're free-agent machines. They're responsible for families, communities, cities, and states, and they need to understand values like working cooperatively and getting along with people and accepting others different from themselves. Some of this seems like feelgood stuff, but without things like empathy it you'd just end up with a significantly nastier/brutish social situation.

    Teachers certainly aren't saints. Though this whole recent reactionary hullabaloo accusing every other thing of being "critical race theory" is frankly misguided.

    anyway that's my very long two cents. i probably didn't address what he wrote very comprehensively, though this is a long article.

    anyway, happy halloween!
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    GMH I love you but I'm not reading all of that.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    hahaha sorry i just wanted to get it done quickly and kept typing and typing and this was the result
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Gets me thinking. From the point of view of a majority member, the "are [minority group]" questions are tricky. You're gonna get dumped on either way, whether you overestimate or underestimate. The "are [majority group]" questions are safer in this way, the worst that's gonna happen is you're gonna be called a clueless boomer, feels like. Makes me wonder how it looks from the other side, whether the minority members amongst the queried overestimate or underestimate their numbers.
  • edited 2022-11-07 12:53:59
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Yeah I think I've known about this for a while since media over-representation tends to be cited as a reason these things are as they are.

    For example Gossip Girl 2007 had a main cast that was 6/7 white (Chuck, Blair, Serena, Nate, Jenny and Dan vs. just Vanessa who was mixed race anyways so like 6.5/7) and none of them were gay aside from Serena's brother Eric (who was in the third ring of supporting characters anyways).

    Gossip Girl 2021 has Zoya (black), Julien (mixed-race), Aki (Pacific Islander) and then Audrey, Obie and Max (white) so now it's 50/50 white/other. Max and Aki are also bisexual (and Max has two dads). S2 is also upping Shan (black) to main character status.

    Basically any kid/teen that watches HBO Max will have a skewed idea about demographics.

    I mean, at least you're not the UK where the TV representation is about the same but the population is several degrees less diverse. Or Canada where the majority of this content is actually made which has similar demos to the US.


    I seriously don't want to hear about the Elon Musk twitter thing anymore but a lot of the vitriol at the things he's doing one day to the next are just "I really don't like Elon Musk but I especially don't like that the people supporting my ideological team are no longer in charge of twitter".


    CNN has a new morning show on with Don Lemon*, Kaitlan Collins and some blonde lady who apparently has actually been working at CNN this whole time and I just didn't notice. It's a morning show so I get it around mid-day and I actually kind of like it. It's like a troupe of schoolyard bullies in a way.

    A lot of people suggest you stop watching TV news because it's meant to "scare" you and disinform and [one day I will find that clip of the Ukranian group from Eurovision in 2018 haranguing about TV news] but I actually think it is a great idea to watch/listen to things you hate (except for Vox, that's just mostly trash**). A lot of people end up being surprised that a thing is happening for no reason aside from they purposefully weren't paying attention.

    Apparently the show is bombing really hard but I hope it can recover enough for new management to keep it on.

    *Don Lemon is both black and gay so again, massive demo over-representation (also it occurred to me the other day watching it that all three hosts have husbands). Also if he gets any more plastic surgery he will start looking like RuPaul's twin.

    **Man I thought I still hated Vox but it's kind of irrelevant now so I think I don't care much. However, John Fetterman totally had a Teen Vogue endoresement message in one of his campaign ads and so I guess that might be the new Vox in terms of 'media to direct my vitriol towards' somehow.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    If I Emailed My Parents Like Democrats Email Me


    Mom, did you see this?!?

    FIRST: I got a $300 traffic ticket because I forgot about alternate side parking.

    THEN: I saw this really cute shirt and it was $95, but that’s actually a good deal because I’m definitely going to wear it a lot.

    NOW: Rent is due, and according to my most recent calculations, we’re about $395 short.

    Mom, we don’t have a moment to spare. I’m asking—no, BEGGING—for you to chip in ASAP. If every parent reading this email contributes just $197.50 by midnight, we can defend the shirt I just bought from being returned this November.

    Funny thing is I see people complaining about Republican fundraising being about exactly the same, thinking it's unique to the party or something.
  • edited 2022-11-07 18:09:25
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    I think this seems like the result of marketers noticing what works and then running it into the ground. Scaring their supporters stiff seemed most effective, so now they're just scaring their supporters stiff every single time, and it's hilariously stupid.

    I seriously don't want to hear about the Elon Musk twitter thing anymore but a lot of the vitriol at the things he's doing one day to the next are just "I really don't like Elon Musk but I especially don't like that the people supporting my ideological team are no longer in charge of twitter".
    Frankly, the stuff he's doing is damaging to the company in a number of ways. For example, he's firing a ton of staff, while also trying to offer verified status to everyone for a fee. You can't do verification without actual people working on it, so either this goes nowhere or you'll end up with a bunch of people improperly going through the verification process.

    Heck, the whole content moderation process -- which is how people get to see what they want to see in the first place -- depends on having staff working on stuff. Algorithms can only go so far. And I'm not even getting into how letting staff go means letting stand more questionable stuff like misinformation/disinformation.

    And I've also heard that he's been promoting his own tweets (basically making himself extra spammy), and firing a bunch of programmers, reportedly those that wrote fewer lines of code...which would be extra stupid if true.

    Anyhow, I'm just taking advantage of the chaos to tell folks to get Mastodon accounts.

    For anyone who doesn't know: Mastodon is basically open-source, decentralized Twitter, made up of many little "Twitters" connected to each other.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    I wish I could understand Russian and Ukrainian myself so I could personally know what people are saying on videos coming out of the recent/current conflict.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Because you guys asked me for translation a few times, I'm gonna disappoint: I'm afraid I can't help with spoken language, not even as little as I occasionally do with written.

    Also, more importantly, I'm kinda scared of TikTok.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    It's fine, don't worry about it.

    I was basically saying that knowing the language personally would make it easier for me to understand what's going on and also verify stuff that I see/hear.

    meanwhile: Polish Man Scared Of TikTok
  • edited 2022-11-07 21:30:01
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    also whelp, hot on the heels of fourteenwings complaining about Vox I found a nice article there.


    TL;DR: the legacy of Trump's presidency and associated social movements and opinions are a delegitimization of the very idea of an impartial civil government itself.

    And as the article notes, this goes beyond traditional Republican targets like regulatory agencies and the EPA and has grown to encompass the FBI, the military, and so on.

    Further commentary (from me, not just my paraphrasing the article):

    This has also been described as the increasing politicization of things that should simply not be political at all. Even stuff like vaccinations -- which had been not just pretty much universally accepted aside from some fringe groups but also basically an entirely unpolitical issue (there might even have been fewer right-wing than left-wing anti-vaxxers before COVID, from what I've heard, though I've never researched this) -- has now been pulled into this cultural/political turf war, as said fringe folks, empowered/emboldened/"enloudened" by increased political standing and allies in high places (e.g. POTUS), basically just keep looking for stuff to throw a tantrum over.

    Basically they start with the assumption that the government has some sort of crazy conspiracy to screw them over/cover something up/etc., and then go try to fit the facts to their choice of narrative, then after enough picking-and-choosing they decide unilaterally and based on their own hype that they've found some untold shocking truth. And because they can't conceive of a government that is fundamentally impartial, they force their assumption that the government is there to screw them over in particular, self-justify it (often on their own, though sometimes by misbehaving enough that the government actually does have to do something about them), and then try to turn their assumption into a self-fulfilling prophecy, by further politicizing what parts of government they can get their hands on.

    Sidenote: The article calls this "anti-statism" but I'm not sure that's what that term means. At least I think "statism" means something other than the opposite of this.
  • edited 2022-11-08 02:51:55
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    More of how it's not just "people supporting my ideological team are no longer in charge of twitter".

    Edit: also this, though I am unfamiliar with the source of this info: https://www.platformer.news/p/musk-discusses-putting-all-of-twitter
    ...putting all of Twitter behind a paywall, that is.
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