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I read the news today (oh boy) - Current world events
10 June 2020
9.57pm
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Starr Shine?
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I disagree about not renaming/erasing dark relics of the past. By giving these ideas the light of day, it emboldens the ideas and can inspire those to follow in those unsavory paths. 

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10 June 2020
11.52pm
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Dark Overlord
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I'm in the middle here. On one hand, taking down a statue of people like Robert E. Lee is often just used to avoid fixing real problems like the war on drugs and privately owned prisons that encourage recidivism. But on the other, having a park named after people like Robert E. Lee and a statue to go along might make blacks and other racial minorities uncomfortable because these people wanted them enslaved and while the same can be said about the founding fathers and even Lincoln (who was against slavery but supported mass deportation), they're known for better things so i think it's best to put the statues in a museum and let the community decide who to rename the park after via direct democracy.

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11 June 2020
12.14am
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I just wonder where that leads, @Starr Shine?? Penny Lane in Liverpool was named after infamous slave trader James Penny, so if the street gets renamed, do we get Paul to go in and drop in the new street name on every recording he's ever made of Penny Lane ? It's not always where names comes from that gives them the meaning they've come to have.

History, including our own, is often a short-lived thing, and how it's viewed - and commemorated - often changes. Sometimes you risk erasing, hiding, a history that isn't something to be proud about but nor should it be forgotten for the importance of the lessons it teaches about how to and how not to be. People should be aware that some of our history ain't great, and nor are many of those who were once honoured, but we risk just sweeping them and their mistakes under the carpet - offering the possibility we just remember the best of our kind and hide the worst as it becomes buried deeper in history books.

Only reason I know James Penny was a slaver trader, a despicable thing to be, is because The Beatles wrote a song about somewhere named after him.

Now is too short a span to decide how much of our histories are hidden because they've become uncomfortable - we learn from both the good and the bad, and often from unexpected sources, but it becomes harder to learn if we hide so much away at the bottom of a dusty drawer because we disagree with who our ancestors often were, how alike and how unfamiliar.

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11 June 2020
12.47am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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I think the idea is, RN, that having the statue up is a symbolism that the community celebrates these people's lives - which isn't correct when the community no longer celebrates slave trading and such. So by pulling them down the community is showing that it has learnt from the history of the last hundreds of years, and is making a statement that anything to do with it is now totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

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11 June 2020
4.40am
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Ron Nasty
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I worry that once you start looking at the moral attitudes of those from the distant, and not so distant, past, you end up tearing it all down and renaming everything. There's those who want Churchill removed from Parliament Square, Nelson toppled from atop his column in Trafalgar Square, there's those suggest Gandhi was racist, Nelson Mandela, Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake.

We stand on the shoulders of flawed giants when it comes to asking if those who came before us lived up to modern moral attitudes and views.

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11 June 2020
5.19am
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And that is a very good point too. There's a happy medium somewhere - I don't feel it is tearing down all the statues never to be seen again, but I don't think leaving them up is a good idea either.
Long term, putting them in museums is probably the way forward but for now the community toppling them is a good way to release the pent up anger at the wrongdoings of the past, and is very symbolic. The next step is recovering the statues and placing them in a museum.

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11 June 2020
6.08am
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Ron Nasty said
Penny Lane in Liverpool was named after infamous slave trader James Penny, so if the street gets renamed, do we get Paul to go in and drop in the new street name on every recording he's ever made of Penny Lane ? It's not always where names comes from that gives them the meaning they've come to have.

 

  

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said there was no evidence to support it was named after James Penny.

Liverpool is going putting plaques at places named after slave owners explaining Liverpool's connections with the slave trade.

 

I agree with both Holey and RN, there is some balance we can achieve. Statues of people like Colston, who while he was a generous man to charities, his money was got through the buying and selling of slaves, should be taken down. I don't think they should be melted down but should be housed in a museum (if a museum is willing to take it, probably a lot of them have more value in scrap metal to be honest, there are A LOT of statues around).

Gandhi while holding racist opinions on Africans, is known for successfully getting Indian independence from the British through nonviolent resistance.

Should we take down the statues of John Lennon because of his cruel mocking of the disabled? 

What about Queen Victoria, she has statues in practically every major British city (and if she's not there, a statue of her husband is) yet it's under her reign that the exploitative British empire grew and achieved its peak?

Oliver Cromwell made Britain one of the strongest countries in the world, took power and control away from the monarchy, established the Royal Navy, made English law fairer and more just, yet he and his troops committed ethnic genocide against the native Catholic Irish in Ireland, which resulted in 41% (618,000) from 1642 to 1651-ish of the population dead through fighting and disease. He has a lovely statue outside Parliament. He did some good things for the island of Britain but decimated a large proportion of a country's population that was, at the time, under British rule. Should his statue be taken down? I don't know.

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11 June 2020
6.20am
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Anyone else find statues in general just a bit naff? They're rarely visually appealing, IMO. 

Anyways, my take on it is that I pretty much agree with everyone who says 'don't destroy the statues, put them in a museum'. That way the history is preserved without being put on a literal pedestal, which carries the tacit glorification of the person depicted, even if you put a sign explaining their crimes there. 

That said, I think the protestors were right to give Mr Colston a little swim in the harbour, not because I think what they did sets a good precedent, but rather because the very act of what they did will now (hopefully) become a part of the history in its own right, and will serve as a symbolic moment for the city of Bristol rejecting its gruesome past and choosing to move on. 

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11 June 2020
7.27am
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QuarryMan said
Anyone else find statues in general just a bit naff? They're rarely visually appealing, IMO. 

Anyways, my take on it is that I pretty much agree with everyone who says 'don't destroy the statues, put them in a museum'. That way the history is preserved without being put on a literal pedestal, which carries the tacit glorification of the person depicted, even if you put a sign explaining their crimes there. 

That said, I think the protestors were right to give Mr Colston a little swim in the harbour, not because I think what they did sets a good precedent, but rather because the very act of what they did will now (hopefully) become a part of the history in its own right, and will serve as a symbolic moment for the city of Bristol rejecting its gruesome past and choosing to move on. 

  

Well the act of human's building statues have been around since ancient times, ever since Mesopotamia. It has since then been a treatment of respect and honor to various people to have statues erected in their honor. So that sort of answers the question then.

But yes, the same old 'noble' statue can get boring at times.

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11 June 2020
7.36am
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Ron Nasty said
I worry that once you start looking at the moral attitudes of those from the distant, and not so distant, past, you end up tearing it all down and renaming everything. There's those who want Churchill removed from Parliament Square, Nelson toppled from atop his column in Trafalgar Square, there's those suggest Gandhi was racist, Nelson Mandela, Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake.

We stand on the shoulders of flawed giants when it comes to asking if those who came before us lived up to modern moral attitudes and views.

 

We may stand on their shoulders, but we don't need to publicly celebrate them with statues and other monuments. Tear those down and sell the parts to fund history education to teach people of the terrible things people have done and that views on history can change. Or just stick them in a museum where they can be a tool for learning, not embarrassment. A monument to a terrible person is not forever, we can adapt and move past the shackles of time.

Also, Gandi's racisum is no mere suggestion

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11 June 2020
7.13pm
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12 June 2020
4.14am
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How dare you threaten Greyfriars Bobby, Quarry! You leave that dog alone!!!

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12 June 2020
7.43am
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I cannot believe Trump can get away with having made 19,127 false claims in his first 1,226 days of presidency (up until May 29th this year). That is obscene.

The fact that he knows that he can make claims and not be scared of being fact-checked astounds me. Sure, politicians - on both sides - lie on occasion, but that's averaging 16 factually incorrect statements a day. How does he find the time???

Sometimes I look at America and wonder how the hell it's so different to Australia and UK. And I think I know why.

In the UK and Australia, we have question time where members of parliament have to face questions from the other side - or the crossbench (that's also a concept I can't believe America doesn't really have to much extent. Very useful for democracy). Trump doesn't have to do that. He can get away from facing scrutiny, thinking on his feet about pros and cons, all of that sort of stuff. He has the power, thanks to the American system, to make a decision and not face any scrutiny (at least from other politicians and half the media), and that isn't good for democracy. Politicians need to do their job - work with other politicians to find the best solutions.

 

Case in point: Trump can issue a cease and desist letter when he disagrees with the latest poll...

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12 June 2020
9.22am
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The Hole Got Fixed said
I cannot believe Trump can get away with having made 19,127 false claims in his first 1,226 days of presidency (up until May 29th this year). That is obscene.

The fact that he knows that he can make claims and not be scared of being fact-checked astounds me. Sure, politicians - on both sides - lie on occasion, but that's averaging 16 factually incorrect statements a day. How does he find the time???

 

  

Fox and Friends is only on from about 6-9am and then a round of golf would take him around 2 hours. That leaves plenty of time in the day for him to be tweeting!

 

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12 June 2020
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To be fair, Obama ran as a progressive (making many Hillary supporters vote for Republican John McCain) but became your typical Democrat once he got in office, breaking many promises in the process.

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12 June 2020
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Dark Overlord said
To be fair, Obama ran as a progressive (making many Hillary supporters vote for Republican John McCain) but became your typical Democrat once he got in office, breaking many promises in the process.

  

There's a big difference between making promises you end up unable to keep and stating an outright falsehood. If you ask me to help paint your house and then the painting day rolls around and I go fishing instead that makes me an asshole but it doesn't make me a liar. But if, a month later I tell everyone I painted your house and did the bestest paint job the world has ever known...that makes me Donald Trump.

 

Obama's record on promise keeping was actually not all that bad - Politifact says he kept about half his promises and compromised on about another 25%. But what he wasn't was a liar.

20K falsehoods in less than 4 years rises to the level of compulsive behavior. 

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12 June 2020
12.34pm
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Good point but i feel that stating falsehoods is only worse than breaking promises if you're flat out lying.

In Trump's case, i don't think most of those falsehoods are flat out lies (although there's probably a few in there) but mostly just Trump either buying into conspiracy theories or just making a mistake. For example, while no president should ever even imply that injecting disinfectant is a good idea, it's very unlikely he was aware of the dangers before making that statement.

Meanwhile, Obama explicitly made those 533 promises and only stayed true to his word ~60% of the time (counting compromises as half broken half kept), as well as a technicality regarding his promise to get the troops out of Iraq war since he brought them back 3 years later.

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12 June 2020
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Dark Overlord said
Good point but i feel that stating falsehoods is only worse than breaking promises if you're flat out lying.

In Trump's case, i don't think most of those falsehoods are flat out lies (although there's probably a few in there) but mostly just Trump either buying into conspiracy theories or just making a mistake. For example, while no president should ever even imply that injecting disinfectant is a good idea, it's very unlikely he was aware of the dangers before making that statement.

Meanwhile, Obama explicitly made those 533 promises and only stayed true to his word ~60% of the time (counting compromises as half broken half kept), as well as a technicality regarding his promise to get the troops out of Iraq war since he brought them back 3 years later.

  

Let's start by saying that Trump has a SIGNIFICANTLY worse track record on promise keeping than Obama - 18% kept and 10% compromise - but that's an unfair comparison because Obama had two terms to complete his promises and Trump hasn't even finished one.

Trump's catalogued lies are "falsehoods, misleading claims and flat out lies." So, for example, the disinfectant thing actually wouldn't count as a lie, since all he really said was that it was something to look into. There are MANY examples of out and out falsehoods and flat out lies. In fact, so many that I'm slightly surprised to hear someone suggest otherwise. The man is the Beatles of lying, his lying is so prolific, so frequent and so obvious that he is literally off the charts compared to ANY past president. To quote the Washington Post, "We often hear from readers wondering how President Trump's penchant for falsehoods stacks up in comparison to previous presidents. But there is no comparison: Trump exists in a league of his own. Deception, misdirection, gaslighting, revisionism, absurd boasts, and in some cases, provable lies, are core to his politics."

12 June 2020
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I'll admit that Obama has done a better job with keeping his promises. However, the problem with both Obama and Trump is that they ran as a person they weren't.

Obama ran as a leftist while Trump ran as a populist that was more in line with the Reform party then your typical Republican but both became your Run Of The Mill politicians upon entering the White House (bar Trump's statements).

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12 June 2020
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Dark Overlord said
I'll admit that Obama has done a better job with keeping his promises. However, the problem with both Obama and Trump is that they ran as a person they weren't.

Obama ran as a leftist while Trump ran as a populist that was more in line with the Reform party then your typical Republican but both became your Run Of The Mill politicians upon entering the White House (bar Trump's statements).

  

Well that may be your issue with Trump. Mine is that he's a short-fingered, incompetent, ignorant, self-obsessed malignant narcissist. But I suppose that's a subject for a different thread...

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