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We Can Work It Out - Politics & Philosophy
20 June 2020
10.11pm
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Ron Nasty
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And that there is my argument, your vote should choose between what's on offer in this election, and not who might or might not feature in the next election.

All the talk for Biden's possible VP seems to be Kamala Harris. Where is she considered to be on the spectrum?

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21 June 2020
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Fortunately for me, i live in a state that consistently votes blue, so i'll be voting for the candidate i like (probably Howie Hawkins of the Green Party) instead of the lesser of two evils, knowing that my choice is unlikely to affect the election results.

As for Kamala Harris, she appears to be somewhere around here on the political compass.

She's definitely better than Trump but some of her stances bother me, particularly her stances on Medicare for all, abortion*, and free speech.

1. Against the death penalty (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
2. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
3. Against private prisons (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
4. $15 minimum wage (liberal, progressive)
5. Reparations (authoritarian, progressive)
6. Fix student debt problem without making college free (compromise)
7. Abolish the electoral college (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
8. Gun control (liberal, progressive)
9. Strongly pro choice (liberal, progressive)
10. Against Medicare for all (libertarian, conservative)
11. Supports Obamacare (compromise)
12. Decriminalize undocumented immigration (compromise)
13. Against the wall (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
14. Legalize marijuana and expunge former convictions (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
15. Decriminalize other drugs for first offenders only (compromise)
16. Pro-LGBT+ (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
17. Bring the troops home (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
18. Progressive taxation (liberal, progressive)
19. Against free speech (authoritarian, conservative)
20. Supports Patriot Act (authoritarian, conservative)
Progressive: (13/20=65%)
1. Against the death penalty (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
2. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
3. Against private prisons (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
4. $15 minimum wage (liberal, progressive)
5. Reparations (authoritarian, progressive)
6. Abolish the electoral college (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
7. Gun control (liberal, progressive)
8. Strongly pro choice (liberal, progressive)
9. Against the wall (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
10. Legalize marijuana and expunge former convictions (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
11. Pro-LGBT+ (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
12. Bring the troops home (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
13. Progressive taxation (liberal, progressive)
Liberal: (12/20=60%)
1. Against the death penalty (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
2. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
3. Against private prisons (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
4. $15 minimum wage (liberal, progressive)
5. Abolish the electoral college (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
6. Gun control (liberal, progressive)
7. Strongly pro choice (liberal, progressive)
8. Against the wall (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
9. Legalize marijuana and expunge former convictions (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
10. Pro-LGBT+ (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
11. Bring the troops home (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
12. Progressive taxation (liberal, progressive)
Libertarian: (9/20=45%)
1. Against the death penalty (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
2. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
3. Against private prisons (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
4. Abolish the electoral college (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
5. Against Medicare for all (libertarian, conservative)
6. Against the wall (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
7. Legalize marijuana and expunge former convictions (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
8. Pro-LGBT+ (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
9. Bring the troops home (libertarian, liberal, progressive)
Centrist: (4/20=20%)
1. Fix student debt problem without making college free (compromise)
2. Supports Obamacare (compromise)
3. Decriminalize undocumented immigration (compromise)
4. Decriminalize other drugs for first offenders only (compromise)
Authoritarian: (3/20=15%)
1. Reparations (authoritarian, progressive)
2. Against free speech (authoritarian, conservative)
3. Supports Patriot Act (authoritarian, conservative)
Conservative: (3/20=15%)
1. Against Medicare for all (libertarian, conservative)
2. Against free speech (authoritarian, conservative)
3. Supports Patriot Act (authoritarian, conservative)

*I'm fine with a politician being pro-choice but she's a feminist strawwoman on the issue, supporting little to no regulation and wants it to be publicly funded. This means that if she got what she wanted, a woman who's 8 months pregnant with a healthy and fully developed baby can walk into her local Planned Parenthood and have an abortion, partially paid for with taxpayer money.

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21 June 2020
6.48pm
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I think tactically the main reason for *not* voting Biden would be to effectively force the DNC to finally start recognising economic progressives as a voting block by showing them that they can't win without doing so. During my 'Bernie or Bust' phases, that was pretty much my opinion on the matter, but at the end of the day the immediate wellbeing of minority groups is more important. 

Kamala is... about as good as we could've hoped for. I have my issues with her, but she'll be a generally good addition to Biden's ticket and will help him pick up voters in areas where he might otherwise have struggled. 

¡No pasarán!

 

22 June 2020
11.08am
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Dark Overlord
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QuarryMan said
I think tactically the main reason for *not* voting Biden would be to effectively force the DNC to finally start recognising economic progressives as a voting block by showing them that they can't win without doing so. During my 'Bernie or Bust' phases, that was pretty much my opinion on the matter, but at the end of the day the immediate wellbeing of minority groups is more important.

That's what i used to think as well. However, the DNC (as well as the more traditional Democrats) probably would've voted for Trump if Bernie won the primaries, just like in 2008 when a bunch of Hillary supporters (including senator Joe Lieberman) voted for Republican John McCain over Barack Obama.

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24 June 2020
3.31pm
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The sensible side of my brain knows it probably won't happen, but I have this niggling suspicion that Biden is going to choose Condoleeza Rice as his VP that won't go away. I mean, weirder things have happened in this timeline, and it does seem like the sort of weird bipartisan move that Biden would do.

In other news, a great night for progressives in Democrat primary races, with AOC being overwhelmingly re-elected against a corporate backed challenger, and it's looking like Jamaal Bowman is going to oust establishment Dem Eliot Engel in New York's 16th congressional district. I'd been feeling pretty depressed about US politics since Bernie got thoroughly owned after his rivals joined forces against him, but I guess I forgot that the progressive movement was always about more than him, and that really it's probably a better idea to focus on getting in candidates down-ballot rather than expending so much energy on the big prize.

Anyways, the night did also lead to this absolutely glorious moment -

Screen-Shot-2020-06-24-at-21.30.38.pngImage Enlarger

¡No pasarán!

 

20 August 2020
3.04pm
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Dark Overlord
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@Ron Nasty said in another thread
Of course, were a vaccine to be found, and things around the world started normalising faster than thought, there has to be a slim chance its release date may be brought forward. The worrying thing is if we're still in the same situation next August...
a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-paul-7

I don't think a vaccine will be enough to return to normalcy, at least initially. The main problem is that vaccines are never 100% effective and the initial doses will likely have a low rate of effectiveness.

My guess would be that the initial vaccine's ~75% effective and you would need 70% of the population to be immune to the virus (although the vaccine only has to be 50% effective to be approved by the FDA), which would mean that we only have the potential to achieve herd immunity if everyone gets vaccinated that can and it's possible that even that wouldn't be enough to achieve herd immunity. However, while this might be enough in most of the developed world, polls show that as much as half of Americans would refuse the vaccine, meaning that as much as 75% of Americans could still be capable of getting and spreading the virus, even after a vaccine's out and Anthony Fauci has confirmed that there will be no vaccine mandate.

Also, there's a lot of people who believe that getting the virus gives you immunity. However, it's unknown whether or not this is actually true and even if it is, it's likely that the immunity's only temporary.

My guess would be that we'll have to let the virus die out naturally by wearing masks, social distancing, and limiting crowds until around mid-2022 (at least in the United States).

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20 August 2020
3.46pm
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Ron Nasty
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You have plenty of schools and nurseries in the U.S., @Dark Overlord, that will not accept children who haven't had their vaccinations. You could always get a similar situation with non-essential services, such as cinemas, bars, live music, sports, etc., where you are refused entry without proof of vaccination, allowing them to return to operating without social distancing and other measures.

As to the virus dying out naturally, that's never-never land. COVID-19 is now an endemic virus around the world, like so many others. There has never been an example of an endemic virus dying out naturally, and even those we thought we had eradicated fully still come back again. The  majority of the most dangerous viruses we can control, but they still keep coming back at us.

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20 August 2020
4.51pm
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Good point. However, anti-vaxxers will just send their children to a private school that doesn't require them to be vaccinated or even decide to homeschool them and while non-essential businesses could definitely deny service to anyone who isn't vaccinated, it might not be enough if the vaccine's less than 70% effective and even if the vaccine's 70% or more effective, there's nothing stopping anti-vaxxers from boycotting and or picketing places that deny service to them, which could discourage such places from re-opening or encourage them to open with restrictions like the ones you see now since anti-vaxxers represent a huge chunk of the population.

As for the latter point, i used the wrong words. I don't think the pandemic will die out in the sense that no one will ever get it after 2022. However, i think that by then, we'll have a good enough understanding of the virus that we'll have a highly effective vaccine to achieve herd immunity and highly effective treatments so no one has to die from the disease if they somehow get it.

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20 August 2020
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Andrew Wakefield, the author of the discredited 1998 study that claimed to find a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, has been responsible for so much suffering in the modern era. If DO is right that as much as half of the US population might refuse a vaccine, then I can't see that an end is in sight for the US with regard to coronavirus. It might end up being for everyone else's good to block off immigration from the US if rates stay as high as they are. 

¡No pasarán!

 

20 August 2020
5.57pm
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Ron Nasty
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They might be able to picket businesses who required proof of vaccination to enter (though that may prove to be difficult of the majority of non-essential businesses went down that route), @Dark Overlord, but how could they boycott a business they are banned from using because of their lack of a vaccination?

I doubt people who have been vaccinated will be bothered too much by a couple of people outside a premises urging them not to enter until they allow the non-vaccinated to enter as well.

Remember, cinemas don't have a huge online presence, nor do bars, live music, or sporting events - at least not financially.

The majority of anti-vaxxers concentrate on childhood vaccines, which generally don't affect their lives too much. It'd be interesting to see what they chose to do if it started affecting what they could do. After all, many anti-vaxxers choose not to refuse the annual flu jab, while others have vaccinations to allow them to travel overseas.

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20 August 2020
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Dark Overlord
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Regarding boycotts, it'd probably be a pretend boycott done to discourage people from entering the location rather then a genuine boycott.

As for your point about some anti-vaxxers getting their annual flu shot, how can you be anti-vaxx if you vaccinate yourself? My only guess would be that they vaccinate themselves but refuse to vaccinate their kids but that's just stupid.

I'm thinking of the hardcore anti-vaxxers like Alex Jones and Rick Wiles who think that Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to inject microchips into people so he can take over the world.

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21 August 2020
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Dark Overlord said
(Snip)

I'm thinking of the hardcore anti-vaxxers like Alex Jones and Rick Wiles who think that Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to inject microchips into people so he can take over the world.

  

 I actually know people who believe that.

9 September 2020
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Has famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward just taken down his second President?

I asked somewhere on here months back if Trump's attitude to COVID-19 might not be his downfall, and while it's arguable that Woodward has sat on valuable information he had for months, he has a new book, Rage, coming out which accuses President Trump of misleading the American public on the seriousness of COVID-19 from the very beginning. Not only does Woodward accuse Trump of failing in the most important role of his Office, to protect the American public, but he convicts him with quotes from on-the-record interviews that, most importantly, were taped.

Trump can't make accusations of being misrepresented or lied about this time. It's all there in Trump's own fecking words.

On 7 February Trump told Woodward, "You just breathe the air, and that's how it's passed. And so, that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu."

He went on to suggest it was possibly 5x more deadly than the worst flu, adding "It's very deadly."

Very different assessment to anything he was saying at the time, when he was saying publicly things like, on 26 February, "This is a flu. This is like a flu. ... It's a little like a regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner," or on 9 March, "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 22 deaths. Think about that!"

So, while admitting in an interview for a book just how deadly he knew the virus was, he withheld that from the American public and told them it wasn't that dangerous and to carry on as normal, discouraging the necessary measures - like lockdowns - to prevent the spread of the virus.

In a further conversation on 19 March, again on tape, Trump told Woodward, "To be honest with you, I always wanted to play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic."

And much of Trump's reaction over the months can be seen in light of these quotes to Woodward, that he knew from the beginning of February just how deadly the virus was, and that it was much worse than flu, and that he downplayed it because of the effect it might have on the voters in an election year for him.

190,000 dead Americans and counting, some of whom will be down to States either not locking down early enough or opening up too early, while he discouraged locking down and railed against States not reopening as quickly as he wanted.

While many Trump believers will shrug this off, there will many who lost loved ones that might have second thoughts, and even more among the non-Trump Republican voters.

Much as I dislike our berk - oops, I meant our Boris, and think he's got lots wrong along the way, I have never felt he was downplaying the seriousness of the situation. We have Trump, on the record, admitting it was his policy to downplay the virus.

190,000+ dead. This could be a turning point in the US election.

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10 September 2020
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Ron Nasty said
Has famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward just taken down his second President?

I asked somewhere on here months back if Trump's attitude to COVID-19 might not be his downfall, and while it's arguable that Woodward has sat on valuable information he had for months, he has a new book, Rage, coming out which accuses President Trump of misleading the American public on the seriousness of COVID-19 from the very beginning. Not only does Woodward accuse Trump of failing in the most important role of his Office, to protect the American public, but he convicts him with quotes from on-the-record interviews that, most importantly, were taped.

Trump can't make accusations of being misrepresented or lied about this time. It's all there in Trump's own fecking words.

On 7 February Trump told Woodward, "You just breathe the air, and that's how it's passed. And so, that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu."

He went on to suggest it was possibly 5x more deadly than the worst flu, adding "It's very deadly."

Very different assessment to anything he was saying at the time, when he was saying publicly things like, on 26 February, "This is a flu. This is like a flu. ... It's a little like a regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner," or on 9 March, "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 22 deaths. Think about that!"

To be fair, Trump isn't the sole person to blame in this scenario, as his son in-law Jared Kushner also played a big part in downplaying the virus.

So, while admitting in an interview for a book just how deadly he knew the virus was, he withheld that from the American public and told them it wasn't that dangerous and to carry on as normal, discouraging the necessary measures - like lockdowns - to prevent the spread of the virus.

Yes and no. While it's true that lockdowns do help prevent the spread of the virus, you don't necessarily need a lockdown to keep the virus under control.

For example, Canada was able to keep the virus under control while only banning large gatherings and in-person dining.

And much of Trump's reaction over the months can be seen in light of these quotes to Woodward, that he knew from the beginning of February just how deadly the virus was, and that it was much worse than flu, and that he downplayed it because of the effect it might have on the voters in an election year for him.

If that was his strategy (which it appears to be), that's a terrible strategy.

While it might've helped him in the short term, Trump would've had a massive boost in his approval ratings if he had handled the pandemic well and tried to unite the nation rather than divide, he would've won re-election in a landslide.

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10 September 2020
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Ron Nasty
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@Dark Overlord said
To be fair, Trump isn't the sole person to blame in this scenario, as his son in-law Jared Kushner also played a big part in downplaying the virus.

However, Kushner is not the President, the Commander-in-Chief. Many of those closest to Trump have parroted his approach. Had Trump had a different approach to the virus, taking it more seriously, it seems unthinkable that those around him, especially family members, would have contradicted him by saying it wasn't that dangerous. He set the playbook.

While it's true that lockdowns do help prevent the spread of the virus, you don't necessarily need a lockdown to keep the virus under control.

For example, Canada was able to keep the virus under control while only banning large gatherings and in-person dining.

While Canada may not have had the central Government ordered lockdown seen in many countries, its Provinces did far more than "only banning large gatherings and in-person dining." It appears to me that many, most, if not all, Provinces shut down many non-essential business, as shown by this Reuters article.

Perhaps @Von Bontee @vonbontee can clarify just how much Canada went into shutting down?

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10 September 2020
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 While I may not be vonbontee, I think I can still help answer your question (by speaking for Alberta, at least).

On March 12th, gatherings were restricted to no more than 250 people (with grocery stores, places of worship, malls and airports being excluded), international travel was advised against and those who were travelling internationally were advised to self-isolate for 14 days or longer after they returned. All jury trials that had not yet commenced were suspended on March 13th until May 31st or until further notice.

Schools were closed effective as of March 15th (at which point I finished the year online and only went back to school briefly to pick up any belongings and drop off textbooks), as well as daycares with the exception of a few approved day homes due to lower attendance. Provincial achievement tests were cancelled but diploma exams needed to get into university were not (if I recall correctly, we had the option to sign up for diploma exams if we really needed them but otherwise we didn't take them). Further restrictions on gatherings were also put in place on the 15th, with places of worship no longer being exempted and the number of people allowed being reduced to no more than 50.

Non-urgent scheduled and elective surgeries were postponed on March 17th. Gatherings were even further restricted on March 27th, with no more than 15 people being allowed. Some non-essential business were closed, including close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants, and non-essential retail stores. Essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies remained open. Liquor and cannabis stores were also deemed essential (errr, ok then a-hard-days-night-paul-10) and could remain open.

If you're interested in it as well, there is a bunch of information about the relaunching here.

I hope this helped. john-lennon-salute_gif

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10 September 2020
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Liquor stores should be essential. A big reason for quarantine was to make sure hospitals didn’t get overwhelmed. Stopping sales of alcohol would do the opposite. Alcohol withdrawal is brutal.

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10 September 2020
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Interesting @WeepingAtlasCedars it's not too different from our restrictions except that there wasn't a stay at home order and restaurants were allowed to stay open for take out (us Americans had to rely solely on the drive thru).

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11 September 2020
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said
Liquor stores should be essential. A big reason for quarantine was to make sure hospitals didn’t get overwhelmed. Stopping sales of alcohol would do the opposite. Alcohol withdrawal is brutal.

That does make sense. Also, as I think about it more, perhaps cannabis stores remained open so that those using medical marijuana could still have access to supplies? I don't know for certain though, as I couldn't find an answer as to whether or not medical marijuana is actually available to pick up in cannabis stores with a prescription or you're supposed to get it online somewhere with a prescription.

Dark Overlord said
Interesting WeepingAtlasCedars it's not too different from our restrictions except that there wasn't a stay at home order and restaurants were allowed to stay open for take out (us Americans had to rely solely on the drive thru).

Restaurants were allowed to stay open for takeout and delivery here (we've used many a drive-through as well). It was dining in that was prohibited:

Some non-essential business were closed, including close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants, and non-essential retail stores.

Apologies if I wasn't clear in my original post.

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Interesting.

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