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  1. #10021
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Inquisitor View Post
    You haven't noticed what Trump's been doing on the international stage while he's been president, America's ceded the Pacific to China, alienated the UN and EU, given concessions to North Korea for nothing, among other things. I didn't say they were going to conquer the world tomorrow, I said they wee the closest to greater influence on global politics then they have been in decades and it's true. Both are in dominant positions right now. Both Russia and China have been utilising soft power to gather more influence globally, all without firing a single shot. It's not the 60's anymore, the world is far more complex and tighter globally.

    Nations don't crumble because of nothing, Trump is a direct result of Russian interference - that's why they've backed him and why the counties weaker than it would be under President Clinton. Do you believe Russia interfered in the '16 elections for Trump, or other countries recently?



    Be specific, you're too vague in how you want the world to change for the better. I have no details on how this is going to happen once America is off the board. You think no country is going to swoop in to fill the power vacuum? Hegemonies don't simply stop occurring once America retreats from the international stage, others will make their own hegemonies like they always do.

    You continue to ignore the atrocities of the countries you bought up are doing, ignoring the whole context since it interferes with your narrative that America must be evil and whoever else is left does what they want.

    Moving the goalposts with North Korea and Venezuela, that stance isn't as strong with countries like China or Russia.

    It's infuriating how you dodge questions, which shines a light on where you truly stand on international politics. It's not a good look.
    While Trump has been soft on Russia publicly, the overall foreign policy establishment still remains hostile to them and they are still just as isolated economically and politically as they were during the Obama administration. As for China, regardless of Trump's personal affection for Xi, our policy toward them has been quite aggressive, in case you had forgotten we've been in a trade war for the last few years that shows little sign of letting up. Granted, this stance hasn't necessarily been very effective, if anything it has just made China retaliate against us just as strongly and encouraged them to expand their military presence to set up a buffer zone in the Pacific against the US Navy. However, I don't really see how Clinton would have had any easier of a time. The neoliberal consensus seems to be that she would've just been able to get the EU, UK, Japan, Australia, etc. to all just gang up on China and isolate them the same way that they did to Russia, but given that the Western world can't seem to agree on much of anything these days and that most of these countries are far more dependent economically on trade with China than they ever were with Russia, I'm not really seeing that being an effective strategy.

    As for hegemonies, not all countries play power politics in the same way. America is rather unique because, despite our geographic location, our political alignment has always seen us look back toward the Old World, and events in Europe and Asia have always held far more weight than what's going on in our own backyard. This means that we've always been able to operate at a somewhat safe distance, giving us a free hand to meddle in other countries' affairs without fear of immediate blowback. If Russia and China decide they want to go strong arm some Muslims into submission, it tends to blow up in their faces almost immediately, witness the disasters in Chechnya or Xinjiang. When the USA does it, we can just drone strike some weddings and be assured that the retaliation will mostly fall on our local allies and few Americans will be directly harmed. Because of this crucial factor, America has been FAR more adventurous in pushing the envelope geopolitically than Russia or China could ever afford to be. The Soviet Union did try to do some of this during the Cold War, exemplified by the Cuban missile crisis, but given their vastly inferior resources they could never really compete with the USA as genuine equal, whereas China has never really ventured beyond their own backyard militarily and doesn't have the means to do so anytime soon.

    Because of this, I'm not really afraid that Russia or China will step into the void if America steps down from its position as the sole global superpower. Rather, what I foresee is more of a multi-polar world, where the US, Russia, China, the EU, UK, India, Japan, etc. all kind of jockey for power and position, but with no single party sufficiently strong to singlehandedly dominate the rest the way that America does now. What this means is that we will settle into a sort of equilibrium where any country that gets too aggressive will cause a coalition to form in response to gang up on them and put them back in their place, but then return to squabbling among themselves immediately afterwards, restoring the overall balance of power. This is historically how the world has always operated, the current situation that came about after the fall of the USSR is rather unique and has given us a seriously inflated ego about our place and position and has led us to make monumentally bad decisions that have backfired spectacularly.

  2. #10022
    Invincible Member Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    Yes, as I plodded into town I was thinking about this topic I realised the danger of it (a belief in natural law) was that it could just be used to reinforce existing prejudice. And who has right to determine what is "natural"??

    While a belief in "everything is a social construct" might at first seem dangerously amoral (because in certain circumstances it might justify killing people)...it is probably a more useful way of thinking...because it makes everything subject to challenge and review...and allows for outmoded standards of behaviour to be jettisoned.

    The only note of caution is that ("all is a social construct") implies acceptance that society may not become more and more tolerant...actually if environmental change makes resources scarcer...society might find it necessary to reduce individual freedom to protect majority.
    I'm studying Data Science and recent covered visualization. One term that came up that this reminds me of is 'Clustering', where data points (which could represent anything, even people) are grouped together by the average distance to a single point.

    Bottom line, people do tend to group together when they share something in common. the more in common the share, the tighter the grouping. These groupings, however, are constructs. Useful constructs in Data Science, not so much so in society, but still constructs.

    If the commonality of all the data points, of all the people, was just one identifier (human), then the cluster would encompass everyone. The Majority would be all encompassing, and there wouldn't be a minority or even any outliers.

    That is not something humans are ready to do yet, but who knows?

    Then again, there are such issues as individuality, free will, and the right to interact with those who share common interest. These are important as well, so it is a balancing act. Preserving individuality and free will, while minimizing tribalism in it's worst forms.
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  3. #10023

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    In 2015, in 2016, and in 2017, “Crazy Stupid Republican of the Day” published profiles of Peter Kinder, a former Lieutenant Governor of Missouri who has the uncomfortable reputation of having held numerous campaign fundraisers at Missouri area Hooters restaurants, and once frequented a strip club enough to get to know a dancer there who would go on to become a Penthouse Pet. Kinder also lied to the public about the Affordable Care Act, telling citizens not to sign up, and during the 2012 elections, he got on social media to claim that United Nations poll watchers were helping President Obama “steal the election”. In the past few years, Kinder has not done much to repair his reputation, either. During the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri back in 2014, Kinder made the level-headed decision to start demonizing the protesters, calling for the arrests of Michael Brown’s father and the Reverend Al Sharpton, and demeaned the citizenry return to “Anglo-American values” (because that doesn’t sound racist at all). Kinder was quoted in an interview with Steve Malzberg on Newsmax that “the protests in Ferguson were based on a lie” and “the Justice Department is more racist than Ferguson”, shortly after the Department of Justice released their own report on the killing of Michael Brown, and blamed all of the fuss on President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, who he said were “obsessed with race”. He defended his remarks later, saying the DoJ was staffed with “Marxists and Black Radicals” and that they were “fanning the flames of racial division”. His bigoted tone had not changed by November 2015, either, when he responded to the terror attacks in Paris that were carried out by jihadists from France and Belgium by asking Governor Jay Nixon to stop accepting Syrian refugees into Missouri, adding that they must be sure “terrorists are not coming to Missouri masquerading as refugees.” Kinder lost in the 2016 GOP Primary to become the next Governor of Missouri and has now faded from relevance.
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  4. #10024

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    It was on this date in both 2018, as well as 2019, that “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” first profiled the U.S. House Representative from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District, Ann Wagner, who after a long career that included working on the 1992 Bush campaign and several years during the second Bush administration as a co-chair of the Republican National Committee, was first elected to the U.S. House back in 2012,

    when she ran for the seat being vacated by former Congressman Todd Akin, who decided to not for his House seat and instead make his epically disastrous run for the U.S. Senate. Thus far in Wagner’s tenure, she has missed over double the amount of votes of the average member of Congress, at 4.7% of the time. Apparently the fact that she so frequently doesn’t bother to even show up to represent the people of Missouri’s 2nd District (the gerrymandered district covers the wealthy portions of St. Louis in its suburbs) isn’t a deal breaker for those voters, who re-elected her in 2016 with 58.5% of the vote.

    Back in 2015, Wagner became a hyperbolic opponent of Planned Parenthood, when she went to the floor of the House to call for the organization to be defunded based on the fraudulent “sting” videos provided by the anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress. Rep. Wagner bought the lie hook, line, and sinker, ranting that it showed “barbaric murder” and insisting that Planned Parenthood was “selling body parts of unborn babies.

    That however, as far as extremist lunacy goes, pales in comparison to what might be her lowest moment as a member of Congress in October 2017, when she got on Twitter to try to link Planned Parenthood to, and we’re not kidding… the Church of Satan. Where would she get such an idea? Well, apparently Ann Wagner gets her best information from Breitbart News, who linked two separate stories about the groups individually suing the government over anti-abortion laws as “proof” of their plot. We’ll let Snopes.com cover just how stupid that is, and then have you wonder how much of a moron Ann Wagner would have to be to believe it.

    But that isn’t to say Rep. Wagner is ready to attack all who might wrong the public… when it comes to banks and payday loan lenders, she’d like to allow them to victimize the public as much as possible, as evidenced by her efforts in March of 2017 to gut the protections provided by Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform as well as the budget of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Wagner is also a climate change denier, and she may have also eaten her own booger in a live Fox News interview, so there’s that.

    Ann Wagner was a bit endangered in 2018, what with her unsteady allegiance to Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape where he boasted of committing sexual assault was released. While at first Rep. Wagner condemned Trump for his remarks, she ended up waffling again and admitting she would vote for Trump anyway prior to the election.

    She didn’t get a serious primary challenger, but still, in the general election, Ann Wagner was definitely sweating about whether or not Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District’s +8 Republican lean in the Cook Partisan Voting Index would be enough to protect her from the Blue Wave, what with Democrats having a +8 advantage in polls with generic Democrats versus generic Republicans. She was nervous enough that she actually tried claiming that a campaign mailer Missouri Democrats sent out that criticized her immigration record was “illegal, which isn’t only untrue, it’s also a bizarre attempt at stifling the First Amendment rights of her opponents to speak ill of her. Still, even with the fact that she has never hosted a town hall in the six years she had held office… the partisan lean for Missouri’s 2nd ended up being just about enough to allow Wagner to hold on, as she won re-election in November with 51% of the vote.

    Thus, she was allowed to return to Washington, DC, and do things like this:


    Ann Wagner remains one of the few Republican women left in Washington, and still one of the worst. And that’s why we’re thrilled to report Missouri Democratic State Senator Jill Schupp has rolled up her sleeves, and plans on jettisoning Ann Wagner from office in 2020. After eight years of cowardice from Wagner, we’re looking forward to seeing her booted from the capitol in November.
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  5. #10025
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    I'm studying Data Science and recent covered visualization. One term that came up that this reminds me of is 'Clustering', where data points (which could represent anything, even people) are grouped together by the average distance to a single point.

    Bottom line, people do tend to group together when they share something in common. the more in common the share, the tighter the grouping. These groupings, however, are constructs. Useful constructs in Data Science, not so much so in society, but still constructs.

    If the commonality of all the data points, of all the people, was just one identifier (human), then the cluster would encompass everyone. The Majority would be all encompassing, and there wouldn't be a minority or even any outliers.

    That is not something humans are ready to do yet, but who knows?

    Then again, there are such issues as individuality, free will, and the right to interact with those who share common interest. These are important as well, so it is a balancing act. Preserving individuality and free will, while minimizing tribalism in it's worst forms.

    You are right, I think....it is a massively complex balancing act, but your ideal of much greater inclusivity is profoundly worth striving for.

  6. #10026
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Biden jumps to a 9 point lead in Floriday, Sanders in 3rd place now. His Castro love did not help him in the Sunshine State, duh.

    Biden 34, Bloomberg 25, Sanders 13, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 4, Steyer 1, Gabbard
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  7. #10027
    Incredible Member 4saken1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBullion View Post
    Biden jumps to a 9 point lead in Floriday, Sanders in 3rd place now. His Castro love did not help him in the Sunshine State, duh.

    Biden 34, Bloomberg 25, Sanders 13, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 4, Steyer 1, Gabbard
    Sanders has never been popular in Florida. Results of the last 3 Florida St. Pete polls:

    Feb 27: Biden 34, Bloomberg 25, Sanders 13, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 4, Steyer 1, Gabbard

    Feb 20: Biden 27, Bloomberg 32, Sanders 11, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 7, Steyer 2, Gabbard

    Feb 14: Biden 26, Bloomberg 27, Sanders 10, Warren 5, Buttigieg 11, Klobuchar 9, Steyer 1, Gabbard

    He's actually polling better there than the last 2 results.
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  8. #10028
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4saken1 View Post
    Sanders has never been popular in Florida. Results of the last 3 Florida St. Pete polls:

    Feb 27: Biden 34, Bloomberg 25, Sanders 13, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 4, Steyer 1, Gabbard

    Feb 20: Biden 27, Bloomberg 32, Sanders 11, Warren 5, Buttigieg 8, Klobuchar 7, Steyer 2, Gabbard

    Feb 14: Biden 26, Bloomberg 27, Sanders 10, Warren 5, Buttigieg 11, Klobuchar 9, Steyer 1, Gabbard

    He's actually polling better there than the last 2 results.
    True, but he saw a rise in other state polls in the same time that did not translate to Florida.
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  9. #10029
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    The DJI has dropped nearly 3000 points this week.

    It's now lost all the gains since August 2019.
    Last edited by PaulBullion; 02-27-2020 at 08:33 AM.
    "How does the Green Goblin have anything to do with Herpes?" - The Dying Detective

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  10. #10030
    Incredible Member 4saken1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBullion View Post
    True, but he saw a rise in other state polls in the same time that did not translate to Florida.
    My primary takeaway from these results were that as one moderate (Bloomberg) drops in the poll, another rises. Biden would have a much larger lead if there weren't so many other moderates in the race.
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  11. #10031
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    Trump has named Mike Pence as the Coronavirus Czar.

    A reminder why Pence is the last person you want in charge of pandemic control:

    lackluster public health efforts are what led to the defining moment of Pence’s one-term Indiana governorship: a massive HIV outbreak spurred by public health funding cuts and Pence’s moralistic stance against needle exchanges.

    A timeline of the HIV outbreak, the worst in state history, reads like a roadmap of what to do if you want to create a public health crisis.

  12. #10032
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KOSLOX View Post
    It's all over social media because Trump supporters keep using it to build strawmen.

    Go ahead, type #woke in the search function on Twitter an see what pops up. It's 90% right wing people using it ironically and 10% Black Voices for Trump.
    Black Voices for Trump, a.k.a.., self-loathing idiots dying to live on that GOP plantation while happily serving their Republican masters. Diamond and Silk (or, as I call them, Cut Glass and Burlap) immediately come to mind.
    Last edited by WestPhillyPunisher; 02-27-2020 at 08:33 AM.
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  13. #10033
    Genesis of A Nemesis KOSLOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    Black Voices for Trump, i.e., self-loathing idiots dying to live on that GOP plantation while happily serving their Republican masters.
    I'll never understand black Republicans. Black Conservatives I totally get, because A LOT of us are extremely conservative, I just don't get the identification with the Republican party that advocates for things that typically seek to disenfranchise black people at large.

    You can't vote conservative principles if you can't vote.
    Last edited by KOSLOX; 02-27-2020 at 08:38 AM.
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  15. #10035
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KOSLOX View Post
    I'll never understand black Republicans. Black Conservatives I totally get, because A LOT of us are extremely conservative, I just don't get the identification with the Republican party that advocates for things that typically seek to disenfranchise black people at large.

    You can't vote conservative principles if you can't vote.
    Self-loathing, AND self-destructive. A double whammy of stupidity.
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