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General politics thread (was: General U.S. politics thread)
At a time when almost the whole world is under major travel restrictions and people are prevented from going to churches in their own towns and cities, a group of NBA players is allowed to zip in and out of the Vatican for a day's tryst.
The Pope then writes an opinion post parroting the NYT's positions on almost everything to shill his new book.
If you're telling me flying to the NBA to talk about BLM with a person who isn't even in the American government is important, then there's very little you can convince me people shouldn't be allowed to do.
Why? When people in power say "do what I say, not as I do", that's apparently not relevant? People can't even see their grandparents, American institutions just had a huge "do not have Thanksgiving at all" push, and the Pope gets to see people who aren't related to him at all for "important discussions". Pope Francis is a hypocrite who clearly doesn't care about anything rather than his own political influence.
And, honestly, "hypocrisy is weak" is literally just "bad faith" in disguise. You're being Teen Vogue right now, and it's not endearing or meaningful.
People take things their thought leaders say seriously when their thought leaders take them seriously. There have been many cases of NBA players catching coronavirus, and the premise behind the lockdowns is to prevent the asymptomatic spread of coronavirus to those who are vulnerable ("Don't kill grandma").
So an old man who is nowhere near the best health meets up with a high-risk group from a whole continent and ocean away and then tells everybody who is protesting that they can't engage in this behavior that they're wrong. He publishes this in the most prominent book-pushing opinion column in the world as promotion for his new book, parroting exactly what this column likes to hear (and we all know what happens when they don't get what they want).
I don't particularly want to argue about the Pope's opinions either.
But, what exactly is your position on travel restrictions anyway?
Are you against travel restrictions, in which case what they did is okay, or are you in favor of travel restrictions, which would basically contradict your earlier position?
That's apparently relevant but only when people you don't like or people whose opinions you don't like do it.
Quick reminder that governments in the U.S., at multiple levels, are not on board with this lol
The best part of this criticism is that I've never read Teen Vogue and have pretty much zero idea of what it's like, aside from the handful of original-Vogue articles I've been pointed to over the years, so it's frankly a rather strange comparison, but then again you and I both probably have some odd reference pools.
and next you'll be gratuitously ragging on the mainstream media
(really? literally none of their actual news articles, not counting their opinion page, have been "decent"?)
You guys had a discussion the first link is directly relevant to, the second is more tangential but made me wonder why you can't just settle for a single term for white neckbeard militia righties instead of getting a new one every few years. (And I have two open tabs less in my browser. Win-win!)
Oh, now that you're here: I was going to ask you to elaborate on this, haha.
(I had an earlier draft written up saying "now you're just being a tease" lol)
This isn't about my position, it's about the Pope's.
It'd be convenient if you mentioned which people in power you were talking about so I could argue effectively.
Major ones such as New York and California have though.
We were literally just talking about Teen Vogue, socialism, and bad faith, and that's the comparison I was making. It's in this very thread on the last page.
I'm glad to know I was right about the current Proud Boy leadership not being white supremacists then.
But again, they're street pugilists who deserve only the barest minimum factual defense.
I said equity was the push to ensure equal outcomes amongst "identity" groups and somehow the clearest example of this came from Kamala Harris of all people.
"Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place."
So yeah. Thanks Kamala Harris, I guess.
Anyways, the actual effect of equity right now appears to be removing merit-based admissions and grading systems from public schools and replacing them with "lotteries" and other huge unknowns.
Surprisingly enough this seems to have the effect of reducing the number of high-achieving Asian students making the cut.
To be fair I didn't specify a point when I posted that; I kinda figured it'd be about what he wrote, things like working together for the common good.
But, still, you're just attacking the messenger.
How about the Republicans in general, such as when they preach fiscal responsibility on one hand as a political bludgeoning tool against their opponents, while advocating the hugest tax cuts on the other? Though I guess that's "consistent" in the sense that they campaign on the general ideological idea that government is incompetent, then when they get elected they proceed to break government in order to make it incompetent.
Oh, there's also preaching about "freedom" while real people's lives get shafted left and right by circumstances outside of their control. Not to mention the giant medical bills, but apparently reducing the cost of insurance by cutting out the middleman isn't something they care about. And let alone not letting people get abortions lol
Reminder that Florida
edit: oh gosh another reply
But I guess I'll just post it anyway.
Highlights the lack of fresh and healthy food availability in the area and the steps some people are taking to rectify that.
(also yes i know there's at least one photo of someone wearing a mask wrong. i say "at least one" because there are instagram embeds that aren't loading for me)
To say the least, "traditionalists" have a mixed opinion on Jaypeetoo. And those that don't, I won't really say they do this to spite Fran, you know. (Edit: and that "apart from being Polish" is a pretty big apart, if you know what I mean.)
Also just in one morning I have been talking politics way more than I planned to already. Other stuff I've commented on this morning:
1. This one Democratic candidate posted on Daily Kos about how marijuana legalization is a winning issue even in rural America, and at the end he mentions he's running for a seat in the Virginia state house of delegates. I check out the district he's running for and it's an urban district within the DC beltway. So I posted asking him what this issue has to do with the district he's running to represent (which incidentally already has an incumbent Dem whom I don't know to have any particularly salient vulnerabilities).
2. Just posted a comment disagreeing with someone who said that the partial recount of the POTUS 2020 election in Wisconsin's Milwaukee County was a waste of time, because all it did was just add 382 more votes to the vote totals, which also happened to pad Biden's margin by 132 votes. IMO, it wasn't; it (1) verified the result, and (2) allowed a few hundred more people's votes to be properly counted.
Incidentally, the Trump campaign was stupid with this; they asked for a partial recount of only the two biggest and most Dem-leaning counties. (To be fair, they had to pay for this, though given their record of stiffing people I am wondering whether they've actually paid yet lol.) If you want to overturn a result where the Dem is leading by a thin margin (even though the size of said margin made any overturning unlikely anyway), and you get to pick the counties where the recount happens, you should pick the Republican-leaning counties. That's where the Republican undervotes are likely to be. But the Trump campaign didn't recount any of the big Republican-leaning counties (such as the infamous WOW counties around Milwaukee, i.e. Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington), nor any of the numerous small ones. Instead, they went on strategically useless fishing expeditions in Dane County and Milwaukee County (i.e. the counties containing Madison and Milwaukee), in order to create the veneer that they were investigating massive vote fraud, only for them to come up empty.
We don't even agree on what the common good is and I don't think arguing about it would make a difference.
If you have less taxes to pay you have more financial freedom to do whatever you want?
I didn't know Portland, Oregon; Flint, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; California, and New York city/state were run by Republicans.
I'm surprised that your response to this is "they should be saved by government circumstances outside their control" rather than "they should have the freedom to make things work for themselves under those circumstances".
People do not need the government's protection from their lives. In fact, they frequently need their lives protected from the government.
You post an article that starts with George Floyd (like basically everything trying to make you swallow a pill of racialized insanity the past six months) and then claim I'm the one trying to make things political?
I'm sorry to say this, but if this had been a police bullet, rather than a hushed nod to the crime epidemic sweeping her area, it'd be a much bigger deal in this article. In fact, it'd be the whole article.
And I just mean, danged heck, "Black and Latino lives"? I'm really sick of this dehumanization. They can't even be people now.
Ah, market research is racist, good to know.
Stores go where they are wanted.
This whole thing is just yet more of the racialized panic dressed in a story about some vegan lady. In addition, it steps right into people's personal freedoms "for their own good". They met resistance "even from inside the community". Gee, I wonder why.
Only each individual can decide to eat healthily. Just because NPR has decided what would be good for these people and found somebody who agreed and then crafted a story backward doesn't make it right.
Give us a store or you are evil racists. We deserve a store because I, personally, exist and want one. Nobody else will come, and you'll make loss after loss, but at least you won't be racist.
In all honesty, GMH;
You live in a world where you don't have to deal with any conservative opinions and therefore can make ridiculous claims like "All Republicans claim they care about freedom but really they just want to cut government programs" and "though given their record of stiffing people I am wondering whether they've actually paid yet lol" and not have it questioned. If I go after Hunter Biden or even how Joe Biden appointees have been on twitter bragging about essentially violating the Logan Act (ie what Michael Flynn was investigated for), you'll have like six articles ready that'd all be a crock yet I'd have to go through them all punting away nonsense.
By the way, Donald Trump is selling his helicopter to help with his legal fees if you even really care.
I live on the opposite side of this fence, where every mainstream article tries it's darndest to make every conservative opinion out to be Far Right, Evil, or Completely Unsubstatianted. Like that Newsweek article gacek posted. I could go through it explaining how things like #WalkAway are not far right or how Donald Trump's claims are substantiated to some extent but what the heck is the point.
Fact-checkers all do their dardnest in the same direction, and frankly, I don't even mind the unequal footing. I do mind the work I personally have to do.
I don't want to do this anymore. I've been at this for over a year now and I feel like I've made zero progress in helping you understand me or even just having you become slightly more civil towards conservative opinions of any sort. I guess the lesson was everybody gets where they get all by themselves and I should just keep working on my own stuff.
In all honesty, over the last month, I did not miss arguing with you like this.
So basically my reaction to the article is "this is a nice idea for a policy but I'm wondering how practical this is" while your reaction is "the media is being unfair to conservatives/pushing a agenda where everything is about racism". Have you considered maybe it's because you're looking at everything through the lens of "the media is making everything about racism"?
And you're wrong.
And that's because all you do is see everything through the lens of social movements and the commentary provided by them and people commenting on them.
There's nothing sacred about liberal or conservative or whatever-label ideas. But I guess I haven't really had much of a chance here to rag on stuff from what's nominally my side of the aisle.
Even though I've mentioned time and time again to liberals/progressives that I don't think "defund the police" is a good idea (to say nothing about "all cops are bastards") and I even tried to play it nicely to them to suggest that they recast it as alleviating the burdens on police by supporting them with staff more specifically trained for a variety of emergencies, alas I have no clout amongst those folks (and doubly so since I never got involved in the protests myself, and if I tried to express more disagreement with them I might be accused of whitewashing things, unless I specifically look for quiet rooms meant for serious conversation and then carefully word what I have to say). And there's much more I can complain about on that side.
Meanwhile, you on the other hand have been basically arguing that there is no systematic problem of police brutality and that all this racial justice stuff is being made up for nefarious purposes ranging from selling books to causing civil ruckuses for fun and profit. Which is patently untrue. So I instead have to spend my time responding to this from you.
I would like to have more discussions on stuff like how to make policing work better, on the idea of community policing, on studying success stories where people have been able to improve communities with the cooperation of police and non-police folks and so forth. But, just like it ain't happening when I walk into a discord and people with "ACAB" in their display name are posting tweet after tweet documenting police brutality (and even if every single instance is true as represented, that's still not conducive to having a nice sit-down discussion), it ain't happening when all you have to say about the matter is that racial justice/social justice stuff is a giant load of baloney, along with a bunch of gotchas from catching celebs doing hypocritical things and accusations that the media is pushing whatever. (They ain't saints, but frankly, nobody is, yet we still need to actually get some shit done. Or, perhaps, we don't need to get anything done, based on the ideology that the government shouldn't do stuff?)
I'll be frank, I didn't either, and I should probably admit/apologize that I've just lost the patience for dealing with what was basically you posting something and me being stuck with having to explain why it's not that or it's more complicated or whatever.
(Ironically, basically the same complaint you're posting with regards to me.)
(Also ironically, I think I've had an easier time responding to you since I told myself to just let loose.)
other responses below the fold
I could dig further to find info on how he stiffed other people, of which there are multiple instances, such as this, and so forth.
Frankly speaking, if we're arguing on such a conceptual level, then the flipside argument can be offered that if taxes can guarantee a set of basic services, people won't have to spend their money/time/effort just trying to survive and can do more of whatever they want.
And at this conceptual level, they frequently need their lives protected from various other marauders, from petty criminals and to worker-/consumer-exploiting corporations.
(This is why trying to create policy based on ideology is stupid.)
lol now you're just nitpicking
Care in what sense?
In the sense of sympathizing with him for his lack of campaign cash? Not any more than basically any other candidate, particularly one who spend their campaign funds in rather poorly-advised ways. He's neither the first nor the last.
Meanwhile, with regards to campaign financing in general, this election did reveal what are likely multiple instances of candidates hitting saturation points for their campaigns, most notably Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. The amount of money that got burnt, on both sides, was positively ridiculous, but the Dem Senate candidates burnt more, with less to show for it, and I ain't afraid to make that observation. Frankly speaking, the fact that Trump won in 2016 with a half-bungled campaign shows that there are so-called "fundamentals" to the electoral landscape that can't be circumvented by throwing money at it (at least the way they did it) and many Dems were wrong to think otherwise.
I'm inclined to say, if I wanted my country run like a business, I'd prefer the one doing the running being a good enough businessman to afford a lawyer instead of setting up a garage sale. (Also, I probably wouldn't want one with so many legal fees to cover.)
I should just clear up a few things;
I should say, at least, that I didn't want this. I could say something like "because it'd tarnish [Donald Trump's] legacy" but everybody I've mentioned already worked hard to make sure there wasn't one to start with. I felt the current result coming, possibly because I'm just a pessimist, and possibly because of things that'll only sow more argument in this thread (not widespread fraud just to be clear).
Frankly right now I don't know. There are people who think there's a way but I don't believe there is. I don't like this state of hemming and hawing until Dec. 14th when I still err strongly on the side of moving on.
I wasn't really ever sad because I was ready, but I'm quite excited for what's to come.
Ah yes it's nitpicking to insist human beings are first and foremost always referred to as such rather than as "lives" belonging to an identity group. Do you think this is the first or even 7,000th time I've seen this sort of rhetoric?
I'm glad you see it.
If a government can't even provide policing services or forms of legal exercise then we certainly shouldn't have it at all.
As I said, less taxes, less control, not none. I will not trust the government to feed or clothe or rent for or whatever me if I can help it. These are services we provide to the unfortunate, and they are only done this way because we are dealing with reality.
Tabulation errors, undervotes, and overvotes do occur, but tabulation errors are likely to have been caught in the recanvassing, which is basically the process of rechecking the number given by each municipality and also already happened during the initial count (hence people on both sides who stare at numbers yelling at their screens when the numbers suddenly go up or down), and from my own observations recounts tend to find more undervotes than overvotes anyway (which is why I was saying the Trump campaign should have picked a partial recount in strongly Republican counties in Wisconsin), but even so, recounts generally don't change things by more than a few hundred votes out of millions cast.
So, without me looking at actual ballot totals including rejected ballots, I'd say that it's possible but highly unlikely that he could make up the deficit he'd need, in multiple states, in order to win re-election.
The result took forever to count initially, because a lot of places were just ill-prepared to handle large amounts of ballots by mail. This, amusingly, led partisans on both sides to go nuts for about a week, and ensured that no one would be satisfied with the result.
That said, like I opined earlier, I'm not opposed to recounts, personally. (Though I'm not the one setting deadlines and figuring out how much stuff costs, either.) Hell, I'm even of the opinion that candidates shouldn't declare victory or concede until the vote counts are certified.
It is quite literally about "lives" when we're talking about the nutrition people need to lead healthy lives.
As for them being black, well, that's sorta just stating the truth, ain't it.
Also, bonus reply: No one said that, and besides, market research isn't a sentient entity capable of being racist. The way you've described this, creating a crazy strawman out of it, just shows how on edge you are about mentions of race, frankly.
Let's actually look at a larger excerpt, from which you quoted: None of this says "market research is racist". Rather, what is it about? The recognition that there exists this unfortunate vicious cycle caused by economic realities, and that no amount of pleading and yelling is gonna change that, followed by people moving on from that to take practical decisions to improve their own lives.
It would be really nice if a person can say "I want to eat healthy" and suddenly supermarkets with fresh produce pop up around them and their wallet fills with money to buy said produce.
Meanwhile, in recognition that that's not how reality works, some people have been hard at work taking matters into their own hands, like growing their own food.
And now you're contending that NPR made up this whole thing, rather than people actually deciding that they wanted better food themselves, and people taking their own steps to do stuff like set up community gardens.
Now you've become the one unilaterally declaring what's going on and what should/shouldn't happen here.
Because black people, like all other people, aren't infallible saints.
also how the flying frack do you even get this from a story about people planting their own garden and growing their own food
Keira Bell, a young lady from the UK who was given puberty blockers and testosterone by the GIDS clinic via the NHS, has successfully sued the organization for fast-tracking her gender-transition and providing her as a teenager with interventions to which she could not properly consent.
I appreciate that you'll all enjoy the schadenfreude of me posting a Newsweek article just after clawing into them, but this is Abigail Shrier and I've already mentioned her work before.
I have to say, this doesn't actually feel good at all. Looking at the years and well, proper development stolen from Keira just makes me feel really sad.
Government is a limited instrument, no matter how it tries (and man, it has been tried) it will never solve the ills of how humans interact with or are affected by the economy. Minimal intervention is required if you wish to prevent outright squalor, but anything above that starts getting dangerous.
Similarly, do not pretend that "everybody chipping in" doesn't mean legal obligations you can be pursued against if you don't comply. It's not voluntary once the government gets involved. American social security already makes up 1/4th of total tax revenue and as a result it is a bulk of payroll taxes. If you poofed that out of existence, or even eased it to less insane levels, that's a lot more money in people's pockets.
Tax revenue currently sits at 20% of total government debt if you exclude interdepartmental debt, and 15% if you include it. The debt has doubled since 2010 (the first year that taxes couldn't cover benefits) and has grown 800% in the last 30 years.
Almost all of these issues are compounded by the overuse of the Social Security Trust Fund, and the borrowing done seems so unwieldy that The Fed might not be able to pay back what it owes in a timely fashion. Of course, when that time comes, it'll be quite obvious that the government will just tell those it owes "eh, we'll figure it out as we go".
To be clear, the taxes taken to fund this thing are being borrowed rather than invested as they should have been.
Keeping with what I said earlier, Medicare, one of the most fundamental "chip in" schemes, raised taxes on high earners (you pay at least $1,250 when married and $2,000 when single in additional taxes just cause).
You danged sell your house past a threshhold price and you pay capital gains tax (on your house, not an investment). There's even a tax for if your healthcare is too good (though that's been delayed till at least 2022).
"Everyone", you said.
In fact, until the Tax Cuts and Jobs act, you were penalized 2.5% if you didn't have health insurance ("for your own good", surely).
And that's what comes from trusting the government to be your safety net.
And also they tax your safety net pension/retirement at 3% so that's fun.
Money has to come from somewhere, always.
It will never completely solve them, but it can certainly take steps to help.
Unless you're of the ideology that produced such statements as Grover Norquist's infamous quote about shrinking government until he could "drown it in the bathtub".
And you could get a waiver in various ways.
And you're forgetting this is because they didn't actually make an option for people to default onto. Because of wingnut fears of "socialized healthcare" (which conveniently forget economies of scale like I explained in one of our previous arguments a few months ago or so).
Your argument amounts to three things:
1. Taxes reduce the money you earn, and this is always bad. [in neglect of maintaining functional infrastructure and institutions above the point of "squalor"]
2. Social security isn't designed properly and/or has implementation problems. [as if this means that the whole idea of a social safety net is wrong]
3. stuff about government debt in general which doesn't have to do with this.
plus a brief commentary picking on badly designed taxes
Actually, if you want to get this fundamental, money isn't a conserved quantity like matter or energy.
Well I was conflating this:
post with what you said in the images thread. Both arguments were fresh in my mind.
First of all, the payroll taxes (social security, Medicare, unemployment) make up the current American safety net.
Secondly, I brought this up because I thought you'd given some thought to this and so had a policy in mind that I hadn't heard before so I could consider it properly. I guess that's not the case?
My next paragraph explained in detail how taxes are not opt-in but mandatory. That's pretty dangerous. The government's trigger finger on your pocket is not fun, and government track records with people's funds are quite terrible.
So, yeah, not communism.
I don't see how this disagrees with my "limited instrument" position.
For some people. Most people who exceeded the waiver limits still had to pay and so this isn't actually a positive.
Do I really have to re-explain how economies of scale are actually just stepped costs that eventually turn into (even higher per case) marginal costs?
Not really? I mean, you can see all the work I put in and explanations I made. There's no simple quick witted responses to this. I just assumed you'd been doing research I was unaware of, and that's clearly not the case.
I mean, even in that first point, you use "always", then add caveats, and then still somehow manage to misunderstand what I'm talking about when it comes to taxes.
Your second point holds on to an "idea" rather than dealing with the reality on the ground (now here I admit you come close to "socialism has just never really been tried!").
Honestly, GMH, imagine how the guy who started paying taxes 40 years ago will feel when the government says they can only hand him 40% of what he's entitled to for a period of the next ten years to possibly forever?
I am telling you that people are being screwed over a lot (and my gosh when these debts come due whoever is President* will have a political nightmare on their hands) on the front and back ends but it seems you're more interested in holding on to your idea than at least even slightly caring (then again, I'm not a cutesy left-wing fantasy infographic).
(*this'll be during either the 2024 or 2028 administrations so please understand I'm making a general joke).
It should be obvious that if a whole quarter of tax revenue is being re-routed to programs then it can never be used to settle debts and that means the debts will keep growing with no real sign of abbetting.
In addition, some of the debts are from departments that deal in that same tax revenue (the inter-agency lending I talked about but left out of my first statistic as it's more relevant, if I wished to be dishonest just to "win" there's a lot of room I could have wiggled about in). Which means whatever they intended with the revenue (ie provision of services) is being wholly mismanaged.
That is to say, America has gobbledygook operational gearing and I don't want things to be that way.
A bit on this; but they aren't nutty. They are quite wingtastic though. For example, if the NHS rocked as much as people try to convince us, the UK's private healthcare market would not be booming.
I mean when "Choice when you would like to be treated" starts becoming a factor stuff's really gone off the deep end.
Basically, I'm quite disappointed in how this turned out.
Let me rephase/repeat this in case it wasn't clear (and it seems it wasn't clear, based on your response): You're basically taking the chance to flame Social Security specifically, based on the details of its implementation, which was not even my point to begin with, despite your claim that I have some "current fascination with social security".
If my previous response didn't make sense, perhaps it's because this wasn't clear.
I was referring to the idea of a social safety net in general.
Within the United States, it's not just include those items you mentioned, but includes a variety of other things, everything from the federal food stamps program to local libraries offering computers with internet connections on which people can search for jobs.
And it's not like people's track records using their own funds, or private companies' track records, are any better, in terms this general. Just that government records are easier to get, while people's and companies' balance sheets can be kept private a lot more often.
So the difference is whether that portion of the money that would form taxes is in the hands of an individual or is in the hands of the government. There are tradeoffs to both.
As for "the government's trigger finger on your pocket", things like taxes are (1) promulgated and (2) infamous for being sticks-in-the-mud that can't change with circumstance, so that goes against the notion of a "trigger finger". If you're saying "but the government could take away all my money in taxes", without regards to plausibility, then there are a number of other dangers that "could" happen.
Are there sometimes obnoxious amounts of red tape (in the form taxes, fees, and paperwork)? Yes. Does that mean the government is some marauding entity hell-bent on taking people's money then flushing it down the drain? No, and conservatives ought to stop talking like it is.
Ben Franklin recognized taxes as one of the two certainties in life (not to mention others who used the quote before him) before Karl Marx was even born.
This was a reply to the framing. We both agree that it's a "limited instrument" but the difference is how this idea is applied. I'm saying that it's a tool in a policy toolbox; like all tools, it doesn't solve all problems, but may help with some. You're emphasizing how it is "dangerous" and basically saying that it should be avoided whenever possible.
I'm not here to promote or to crusade against socialism; I'm just interested in trying whatever might logically work to improve conditions in my country. Whether you think something smells like socialism is on you. And, I guess, on those politicians who fearmonger by opining that any sort of service the government might provide to help people is tantamount to the promotion of Marxist ideologies and therefore bad.
I'd previously mentioned this economies of scale thing, but your previous mention of stepped costs (I did a quick search) was regarding something else. Meanwhile, the whole idea of insurance is that risk is pooled. Also, profit motive, or lack thereof. Anyhow this topic is a retread anyway.