Reasons for Joy; In Gentleness, and Respect.

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primary deterrents to unfettered state expansion.
That's a common refrain among many ultra-Conservative, and it seems irrational to me, at least it is if is meant seriously.  So tell me: are you serious?  Would you actually take up arms against your fellow citizens? If so, under what circumstances would you do this?

A friend of mine, who is a devoted Trump supporter, made two interesting posts after the election.  The first showed a US flag, with one star removed - and he announced that Texas (where we live, and a very conservative state) should secede.

In the second post, he mentioned that he'd been in the military and still feels bound by his military oath, to defend the nation against all enemies both foreign and domestic, emphasizing "domestic", and the context was clearly referring to Biden and his supporters.

The irony us that the "domestic" enemies in mind when the oath was composed during the Civil War were secessionists. 

Of course, these were just emotional reactions to an undesirable election outcome, but I do wish everyone would remember that we are one nation, and diversity of  thought is a strength, not a weakness.

Political Threads / Re: Why are we still in Afghanistan?
« on: Today at 04:11:10 pm »
No no I'm arguing that a popularity contest might not be the best way to select leaders.
I agree 100%, but we have to make do with the system we have.  Within that system, I like to encourage people to look beyond the partisan talking points and also consider the character and particular the judgment of the person one is voting for.  It seems that at least SOME people have been doing that recently. 

Political Threads / Re: COVIDIOTS?
« on: Today at 04:07:32 pm »
My wife and I have been fairly careful, generally avoiding crowds and religiously wearing masks.  Nevertheless, we decided to attend an outdoor Autumn festival a few weeks ago, in a small town in central Texas.  We weren't happy about the fact that less than half the people were wearing masks, but we kept ours on.  We did have to skip eating at some booths when we saw the cooks and servers were unmasked.  But what REALLY stirred me was a conversation I heard between 2 unmasked 50+ year old women.  One of them said, "I was just livid! I walked into this shop, and the owner told me I had to wear a mask!  I put him in his place, and said 'no one can make me wear a mask!'  He then told me he needed to require this because he's immune compromised.  I told him that's HIS problem, and left. He's not getting MY business!" 

I brought it up because choice is relevant to the discussion, as eloquently described by Pete Buttigieg in October:

"I think the dialogue has gotten so caught up on where you draw the line that we've gotten away from the fundamental question of who gets to draw the line and I trust women to draw the line when it's their own health."

Around 6000 such events occur each year, less than 1% of abortions.  To this. Buttigieg commented:

"Let's put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it's that late in your pregnancy, then almost by definition, you've been expecting to carry it to term...[Families then] get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime, something about the health or the life of the mother or viability of the pregnancy that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice."

Quote from: Fred link=topic=6057295.msg127575784#msg1275757824
That's biased nonsense.  Read my last two posts.

You ought to stick to science and religion topics. #jk
Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm hanging around here in hopes of having rational discussions.  I'm not interested in trading partisan barbs. In looking through your posts in this subforum, that seems to be what you mostly want to do.

I'm shocked that so many people are advocating partial-birth and even post-birth abortions, so who knows where unchecked liberalism will lead.
I wish you guys would represent the opposing position accurately.  No one is ADVOCATING for abortions of any kind. They are OPPOSING taking away choices.  I get it that you believe one shouldn't be able to choose to take a life - but you need to defend that against the opposition's actual position, not a caricature.

So if the elections are secure, does that mean Russia didn't hack them?

That was just cuz Trump was president. Everything is fine now and elections are uber fair. Better say it or they are coming to wreck your career and life.
That's biased nonsense.  Read my last two posts.

Political Threads / Re: Will Trumpism continue in the Republican Party?
« on: December 02, 2020, 11:09:23 pm »
So if the elections are secure, does that mean Russia didn't hack them?
Election security is multifaceted.  If back-end servers containing contact information for voters is hacked, this implies the election was not "secure", but it doesn't imply votes were changed. The major issue in the 2020 election is vote counts, and I've seen no evidence of hacking voting machines or any other equipment that tabulates counts.  So it seems that yes, Russian didn't hack them, nor did anyone else. 

Would you disagree that the absurdity of Giuliani's claims of hacking are commiserate to the absurdity of, say, Pelosi's?
Giuliani has spread the irrational conspiracy theory about Dominion voting systems, and spread this disinformation widely - damaging trust in the voting system.  What has Pelosi said or done that is comparable?

What's the difference between Cuomo (CNN) and Hannity?
Not sure what you're going for, nor why it matters.  Here's a few differences
 1.Hannity spreads conspiracy theories (Seth Rich murder; election fraud;), and I'm unaware of Cuomo doing this.
2. Hanity has a lot of direct contact with the President. Cuomo does not.
3. Cuomo's brother is a Governor, Hannity's friend is a President.

The press primed the public for Trump's incessant complaints of election fraud/interference irregularities for four years and now clutch their pearls as he does exactly what they did. The phrase s*** show comes to mind.
Did you read my last post? No incorrect information was conveyed in any of the articles you pointed to.  Reasonable concerns were conveyed about what vulnerabilities.  We should have been concerned, and fortunately, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency of the government monitored this and reported that this election was secure. You might take a look at their website, where they debunk a variety of rumors.  This was Christopher Kreg's agency.  You know, the guy Trump fired for telling the truth about election security. 

 Perhaps you're saying that this reporting resulted in people being sensitive to the possibility of election fraud. I get that, but it doesn't excuse irrationality - especially by the President and Giuliani.  Before a single vote was cast, Trump said he could only lose if there was fraud.  There was no rational basis for this. As soon as the vote count went against him, he resorted to this - there had to be fraud because he lost.  Thus, as in any conspiracy, every fact that could be interpreted consistent with fraud was treated as confirmation of fraud.  Lack of success in court is treated as corrupt judges.  No one can ever disprove a conspiracy theory to a person who believes it - every bit of contrary evidence is dismissed or rationalized. 

Political Threads / Re: Why are we still in Afghanistan?
« on: December 02, 2020, 11:58:11 am »
I disagree. I think these problems are inherent in democratic politics and the solution lies with resolution via non-democratic means.
You disagree that we need leaders with good judgment?! 

What sort of "non-democratic means" are you referring to? 

Political Threads / Re: Will Trumpism continue in the Republican Party?
« on: December 02, 2020, 11:56:12 am »
Ben - Thanks for the links. I read all the articles and it pretty much confirms what I thought.  I've added a comment below each link below. In summary, these articles raise concerns about need for security, and in some cases describe instances in which Russians hacked back-endsystems.  I see no lies, no assertions of stolen elections, no conspiracy theory.  Contrast that with Trump's assertion that he won the election, Rudy's assertion that the Dominion voting systems altered votes, and worst of all: the fact that large percentages of Trump voters actually believe the election was stolen.
--Does not assert that an election was stolen, just raises concerns about vulnerability. What's the problem?
An allegation of an instance hacking into VR systems in Durham county, and two other instances of alleged hacking into back-end systems (not voting machines).  The article raises general concerns about vulnerability. Responsibly reporting:
"There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns — local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions — and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it."
Seems to be a different version of the Times story, and again- it raises concerns and promotes the need to avoid problems.
Back end voter information was obtained by Russian hackers. Again: raising concerns, not asserting vote changes.
Same thing: voter information hacked by Russians.
More hacking by Russians.

EDIT: This is a fun one:

Sensationally notes the need for security. Do you disagree?   Domininon voting systems, and as far as I know, ALL voting machines, or NOT on the network.   That doesn't preclude all possibility of fraud, and security is still needed.

I think it's a fine idea to analyze the various allegations that have been made about 2020 voting to identify any fraud that may have occurred, security exposures, and process problems so that improvements can be made in the future. But making outrageous assertions, like Trump and Giuliani have done, is crazy.  And it's crazy to claim that media articles that raise security concerns and report actual instances of hacking are anything like that.  The Trumpist approach has clearly been: assume there is fraud (which Trump  -momths ago- said would be the case if he lost), and interpret every glitch as a confirming instance of fraud, and assume every suspicion raised by observers are instances of fraud. It is quintessential conspiracy theory reasoning - contrary facts never make a dent in the belief in conspiracy.  NOTHING like that has some from the MSM, but it's telling that you considered what they did to be similar.

Political Threads / Re: Will Trumpism continue in the Republican Party?
« on: December 02, 2020, 09:59:39 am »

1. I personally watched Rachel Maddow deliver the same Dominion conspiracy voting theory back in '16 except the culprit was Russia. You don't remember how Russia was hacking electronic voting machines back then?
I searched for this, and the closest thing I could find was this.  Is this what you're referring to? All she did was speculate about one voting machine (no reference to Dominion), and interviewed a lawyer who discussed the potential for hacking. and the need for auditability.  Whether it's this segment, or another, I don't recall an outcry expressing certainty of massive voter fraud - just concerns expressed about the risk. 

2. I live in an illegal-rich environment and have personally seen operatives busing illegal immigrants to polling stations.
You personally checked their immigration status and watched them vote?

Given the fact that this would be a felony that could get them deported, I'm skeptical that there would be much of this. 

Political Threads / Re: Will Trumpism continue in the Republican Party?
« on: December 02, 2020, 08:52:51 am »
You may be right, I haven't been following this closely, but I don't have more warrant for trusting to the press than Rudy, given both are hyper-partisan operatives. I think most Americans agree. The press might be the only group in the country with a lower approval rating than congress. Although I doubt anyone outside of MAGA boomers take seriously Trump's claims that he "WON, BY A LOT" (his caps not mine).
Rudy has promoted the Dominion conspiracy theory, as well as the general vague conspiracy theory that the election was stolen.  What has the MSM that is comparable? 

I've always thought the illegal voting problem was a much bigger problem than these arguments coming from Trump's legal team you mentioned, given how many illegal immigrants are in this country.
The mere presence of illegal immigrants does not entail their voting, so that alone doesn't seem a very good reason to think there's much problem. Is there evidence that illegals have actually voted? 

Political Threads / Re: Why are we still in Afghanistan?
« on: December 02, 2020, 08:46:42 am »

The cost of continued presence, financially and in ill-will generated, may exceed the cost of risking another terrorist attack. Risk Managers and economists have equations for this sort of a thing. I don't know the answer, but I know the main problem (as with COVID or any number of issues  now) is people monomaniacally obsessed with the cost of withdrawing or staying to the exclusion of the other. There's also opportunity cost to consider. Imagine what we could do with the trillions we've poured into putting out fires that we either set or whose flames we fanned.
I agree. I also see this as an inherent problem on politics: most citizens do not have the knowledge or expertise to analyze all the pros and cons, indirect effects, costs, etc.  This is a perfect example of why we need to elect leaders with good judgment, one who is willing listen to experts, and be persuaded by facts. 

Political Threads / Re: Why are we still in Afghanistan?
« on: December 01, 2020, 09:17:28 pm »

Far more terrorists have been created as a result of our interventions than killed. Our boys are risking their lives protecting opium fields and pedo warlords.
Interventions are certainly the root of all hatred of America, but by now that's history. Belated isolationism isn't suddenly going to generate love for America.  There is clearly risk if we depart Afghanistan, just like there was risk when we departed Iraq - and we see how that worked out. 

Political Threads / Re: Should we decriminalize sex work?
« on: December 01, 2020, 09:06:55 pm »
Should we decriminalize sex work?

I hope we do. I could use the extra money.
Lose the boe tie first, Fred...I hear they can be a big turn-off.
I guarantee that if I post that picture on a prostitution market webpage, I will get thousands of people interested.  (Including the Feds).

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