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About Darzin

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    Faux political agitator

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  1. On the China thing almost no one here has seen the old trilogy. I don't think they even released foreign films back then, so without that context the new trilogy is making a bunch of references no one understands. I'm surprised it was released at all to be honest. China only allows a certain number of foreign films in cinemas and I have no idea why Star Wars was approved. They would have been better off showing the original trilogy first or nothing at all.
  2. I'm assuming you're referencing this article from Vox about how American democracy and more generally presidential systems are a bad example? I think that the article has a lot of good points and I think if we had a parliamentary system instead of a presidential one we wouldn't be having the kind of crisis we are having now. I also think the way the American system is a winner take all system which basically ensures only two viable parties really hurts things as well. A system which gives parties seats based on a percentage of the vote would allow both more liberal and more conservative options.
  3. So I think we got lucky with Trump... Not that Trump is a good president or even a passable one, or even somewhat competent one, but in the sense Trump lacks the focus to directly attack American institutions. When you read that article in the Hollywood reporter or from the new book, you see an unfocused lout, who is damaging our democracy but who is doing so by lashing out rather than in targeted attacks, if Trump had been a different person but said the same things but actually believed them in a coherent way, instead of just ranting or if he made Bannon his chief of staff things could have been so so much worse. Picture another world where Trump or a character like him gets elected same campaign same promises same story Lets call him Alt Trump. Now when our Alt Trump gets elected he meets with McConnel and Ryan and tells them the agenda, tax cuts then healthcare, well actually healthcare first then taxes, he has campaign promises to keep and tells them they can always repeal healthcare later but for now some cosmetic fixes. He meets with some democrat and day one they pass some badly needed fixes to Obamacare, the more conservative Republicans will balk, but with Democratic votes they can pass it and it does. The Alt Right doesn't really care about healthcare they care about immigration. So now we go to tax cuts and the Republicans pathetic, spineless need to pass them no matter what, Alt Trump explains simply to McConnel and Ryan he will sign whatever bill they bring him, as long as it includes two things; first funding for a border wall full and complete, second funding to hire 50,000 new agents for ICE, not really investigative iv agents more like manpower trained the way the border patrol are quickly and less rigorous put someone David Clarke in charge of running it nonwhite but authoritarian to the max. Paul Ryan and McConnel will grumble and grovel and threaten but in the end the NEED these tax cuts, we all saw how painfully supplicant they were to their donors, they will find the money if it is provide those things or lose their tax cuts, because their dream is here. Also during this time two executive orders are issued one which says the executive branch views undocumented immigrants as clear criminals, the other in which the administration makes clear that aiding criminals is a crime, Or perhaps regulations carrying the force of law are issued. I bet you can see where I'm going with this but lets hold off a minute. Our Alt Trump then moves on to infrastructure and a nice bi partisan bill is passed rebuild middle America yadda yadda, the New York Times says nice things about him, and just after that the hammer drops, massive raids across the country targeting not only undocumented immigrants, but also all the Liberal organizations which help them from the leadership on down are charged with aiding and abetting criminals human trafficking whatever they think can stick. It's certainly not all Liberal organizations but a fair part of the Civil society has been removed maybe even some entire governments of sanctuary cities arrested .Of course massive protests kick off and for our Alt Trump hopefully riots too, he starts talking about law and order how we have large parts of society failing to follow the law, and just look we have people rioting and destroying things because criminals were arrested, we need to restore order to society ect ect. Then our Alt Trump starts offering a solution we have makers vs takers, and well the takers and leaches are taking to much so propose only makers can vote to need to vote you need to give more money to the federal government to vote, it's like having foxes vote for what to eat! Now this comes close to violating the 24th amendment but I'm not sure it does since it's not about a poll tax it's about a positive tax balance, of course not every state would adopt this but if a few key ones with Republican governors and legislatures and it's game over. Now the above scenario is a bit extreme but it's more legal then many things Trump has actually done just more extreme in it's consequences. And you don't have to be that extreme Trump has not done targeted attacks and doesn't have enough foresight or knowledge of government to properly subvert it, but someone could... the Republicans have been useless in protecting democratic norms, and that's what Bannon saw Trump lacks the focus but if someone had the presidency and the focus to actually dismantle our government institutions the Republicans would do fuck all to stop them.That's why Bannon decided he needed to be president. Also I am firmly of the opinion that Trump not making Bannon his chief of staff is one of the most fortunate decisions in the countries history. If Bannon had been able to create an ideologically focused unified Alt Right staff we would be much worse off now. Things maybe be horrible now but remember they could have always been worse.
  4. I think we will see a Mars colony although perhaps not self sustaining in all of our lifetimes I think there is a decent chance a human being will walk on Mars in the next 15 years. Because of SpaceX the entire reason Elon Musk created SpaceX was to colonize mars and SpaceX is right now working on a rocket BFR which should be capable of going to mars and back. So far SpaceX has met their targets eventually if not on time and they are well on the way to making humans capable of interplanetary travel. For a really good read I highly recommend How (and Why) SpaceX will colonize Mars. It's a bit long but it explains a lot about Musk his goals and how he plans on achieving them.
  5. I think over the top pessimism about the future is a bit much. Look Trump is bad really really bad he's dangerous and destroying norms and he is bad for America specifically. But if you look at the world we are not doing that bad can you think of a time when things were better. As much as Trump might want to he can't bring America back to the 1950s he can't in 1950 we had segregation, gay marriage was unthinkable, repression and racism were rampant. The Soviet Union still existed and was ruled by Stalin, China was a starving hellhole and rule by Mao. Say what you will about Putin but he is better than Stalin, say what you will about China but after Mao they have moderated and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and into a prosperous middle class. Africa, Latin America, and Vietnam while still poor are many times wealthier than in the pas Yes Trump is a monster but if you look into human history you will just find more monsters and compared to the rulers of the 20th century Trump is pretty mild. If you read the comments on Republican and Nationalist blogs they talk about how Democrats always win and Republicans always lose, which is true on social issues. Gay rights are settled the last Republican president was trying to get a gay marriage ban into the constitution. This one couldn't dream of that. These past years have seen the Republicans cave on any social issue. A bif part of the "fuck Libruls!!!" impulse which got Trump elected are results from a rage of seeing every relevant institution in this country be captured by liberals. It will not last the young generation of millennials are progressive on social issues and economics. Trump is an old man's president the last vestige of a dying generation who see there values and their culture slipping away. Trump is a mess, Trump is a disaster, His presidency will hurt many and likely even kill many but it is not by any means the end. The pendulum will swing back and meanwhile the rest of the world is doing pretty well.
  6. Here is another discussion of the Phoenix lights. The video we have mimics the behavior of flares. The airforce says they dropped flare at that time. Of the hundreds of videos e do have none showed a triangle of lights. And even if they did a triangle of lights is usually an airplane. I'm just not seeing the mystery here. That object that went through our solar system recently might be something it has a really odd ratio for an asteriond but it looks like we'll never know now.
  7. Not sure if this counts as a conspiracy or not, but I think there is a decent chance that the interstellar asteroid which just came through our solar system is an alien spaceship of some kind, the 10 to one ratio, the using the suns gravity to accelerate, and back to that highly unusual shape, I really think it was something. It's a pity it seems we'll never know for sure.
  8. Can the president be tried in a normal court? Or does he need to be impeached? If congress refused to impeach Trump could he be tried for his crimes like a normal criminal? What about the attorney general can Jeff Sessions just be arrested for the above? Also I wonder if the right's fixation on whataboutism and Hillary Clinton might backfire in 2020? The fact that they are still going on about her a year after she lost is just nuts, but I wonder if their fixation will blind them to other threats. I know in 2020 the right wing will scream the candidate is the TEH WORST!!!! and TEH MOST LIBERAL!! but if they have been using Hillary Clinton as a foil for four years it might be hard to make the new candidate seem worse than Hillary. Bengazi and the Emails had a lot of time to build momentum I doubt any new candidate will have quite so much swirling around them. Especially if the right keeps on about Bengazi the Emails and Uranium, and so far they show no signs of letting up.
  9. I don't think we are quite at the point of civil strife, but the system certainly is strained. I do, however, see a light at the end of the tunnel young people and the younger generation are pretty liberal on both social issues and economics. The republicans have lost the young and in less they change their current policies are not sustainable. I think part of the insanity of Trump and the Republican party in general is they can feel the country slipping away from them. Anger and fear are powerful motivators but in the end the type of people who voted for Trump are below replacement rate. Assuming we survive the next 15 years I think we'll be all right. Also I am optimistic about Trump losing in 2020. When he ran one of the problems is he had no record for liberals to attack on policy. The lack of a repeal of Obamacare and the lack of a wall on the southern border will depress conservative turnout, and Donald Trump as president will boost liberal turnout and hopefully the reality of him being president will tamp down that third party nonsense liberals are so fond of.
  10. That won't happen even members of the party aren't ideologues the way they were in the past. The amount of applied communist ideology is negligible at this point in time. China is more uber capitalist then America in a lot of ways business and money triumph over all. Yes the students have to study marxism at the university I work at but for most of them it's their least favorite subject as the content is not relevant to their lives. That's not to say Chinese don't support the government most of the people here are content with the system. Sure they might have individual gripes but the government has raised people up from starving peasants to a nice middle income economy in a few decades. And at least for the Han they don't really feel much oppression. As for Xi staying another term he very well could, but they fact that most people here think he won't does give me a pause, it would be quite a shock to they system if he stayed.
  11. With people voting against their own interests I think some of it comes down to blind anger and resentment not only racial (although that is a huge part) But if you listen to the way conservatives talk about , Hollywood, New York, Washington DC, you see a seething resentment of liberal control of the culture. True these places have some conservatives but they are beltway types and libertarians. God and Guns types have basically no influence over the culture and if you spend anytime on line or in person in places they hang you'll see this resentment. White conservative America is losing economically and culturally and they just cannot handle it. That's where you get this burn it all doen mentality. They also feel they've lost at every turn, gay marriage, Obamacare, the fact that multiple GOP governments have failed to reduce the government in any meaningful way, true they've mad cuts but the average GOP voter wants the thing burned down. Now with trans rights and rape culture coming more and more to the forefront they see another loss. Even with a reprehensible reactionary GOP government, the culture move on regardless and that is why we see this seething anger because they cannot pass their goals of moving the clock back socially to 1950 and economically to 1890 it's just not going to happen and they get angrier and angrier about this and here we are. How to fix it I don't know, wait for them to die I guess. Also racist doesn't equal Nazi, there are plenty of racists and alt righters who are not Nazis just other strains of horrible, People like Vox Day and Mike Cernovich are trying to push the Nazis out, so they can be horrible racists and sexists without the Nazi baggage. There is quite a bit of drama over Richard Spencer in the Alt right sphere. Alt right = Nazi, is great rhetoric and if you are running a campaign sure use it. But if we are just talking here then I think it's worth pointing out it's not actually true.
  12. I lurk in this thread sometimes but I usually don't have much to contribute, but today I do have an uplifting story which I think we all need in the days of Trump. I work at a Chinese university and I assist the students with the English and Foreign Affairs clubs. And one of my students in the foreign affairs club organized a conference on LGBT issues and invited me to speak at it. I was very honored that they invited me as a speaker, and I was very proud of them for organizing this at all, in a closed system like China these kind of things are not encouraged and viewed with a bit of suspicion. Anyway we had a nice discussion and had a good attendance of students. We discussed issues Chinese students face and showing tolerance. Especially treating these things a bit more seriously there is little out and out hatred here but being gay is seen as a big joke especially to Chinese boys. I spoke a bit about LGBT issues in America and how while we have come far on some issues America is not a perfect by any means and we still have a long ways to go. I also discussed some solutions to problems LGBT people face in China. Many Chinese parents would be ok with the general concept of someone being gay or lesbian but would be very against it in their own children as getting married and having children is very important here. So I tried to bring up some solutions to show that being gay doesn't mean you can't have a family with adoption and surrogacy and that with these things it is still possible for a gay or lesbian couple to have a family. Honestly I was a little out of my depth, I'm a CIS white male and not as knowledgeable on these topics as many of you all. But I did my best to foster an atmosphere of sharing and tolerance, and also provide a bit of hope. Chinese sometimes think that they will never progress on these issues and so I tried to share that America is not perfect on these issues and China is more accepting now then America was 35 years ago and while the issues faced may be different they can be solved the same way through exposure education and acceptance. Anyway I know it's just a small thing but after being a teacher for four years this is the proudest I've been of my students, and I was very honored that they would consider me as the person to invite to be a speaker about this. I know for me the election of Trump has made the world seem a lot darker and it's nice to know some people are trying to bring some light to the world in places you might not expect.
  13. So reading the news lately I am somewhat concerned about the lefts seeming lack of support for any immigration control whatsoever. After Trump’s election it just kind of happened where now you see a lot of articles bemoaning the deportation of undocumented immigrants. I mean as the law stands people lacking a visa have no legal rights to be in the country unless you change that I really don’t see the issue with existing laws being enforced. I’ve seen articles bemoaning an immigrant being arrested for dropping off their kids, and this one talking about ICE agents arresting people at court. Shockingly the law is enforced at a courthouse. I mean I get what their criticizing that it makes it hard for undocumented immigrants to use the court system, but that’s really criticizing a symptom rather than the problem. The problem is that we’ve failed so much with immigration control that undocumented people need to use the courthouse or are even allowed is the problem. I mean I’ve lived abroad quite a bit and I can’t think of a country where I would be able to go to court with no visa. I’d need to show my passport and with no visa well then I would be deported. I understand the temptation to move somewhere when you really want to without the proper visa. I’ve lived places without 100% correct documentation, and if I was found out by the police I would expect to be summarily deported or at least fined and need to be careful around police. I live in China now and some teachers are working illegally on a tourist visa or without proper documentation it opens them up to exploitation by their employer, but no one says oh they should just stay in China. The answer is to get correct documentation. I mean take a look at this article here, it’s meant to be sympathetic look at the police harassing the brown people. But the reason they are doing it is because those people have no right to be in the country and the job of ICE is to remove people who are not in the country. Many of the articles I’ve been reading on left wing news sights seem to take an issue with this. I get that Trump is horrible and a racist and I get that ICE rounding up families and people who have committed no crimes, but lack the documentation to be here feels very fascist. But every country controls their borders and what many on the left seem to be passively advocating although I don’t think they’ve thought it through is a system where if you manage to get here you can stay whether you have a visa or no. Which to me seems an absolutely insane proposition, if you wanto fix the immigration system then fix and if you can’t then leaving people in a legal gray area and rewarding those who break the law to come here but just letting them stay in limbo is an absurd proposition. I don’t see any problem with deporting people who lack a visa or residency permit just like every other country in the world does and I think the left really needs to think about what many of us are advocating.
  14. I really don't think a Jewish candidate would be a problem. The religious right loves Israel after all to a point it's almost creepy. And if you ask most conservatives they love Jews and think liberals are the ani-semetic ones because of a lack of support for Israel. I think a Jewish candidate would be fine. There is anti-semitism in America but little in places of power and most Americans even conservative ones are just fine with Jews. Muslims on the other hand...
  15. I would like to point out that large portions of the right in America including large parts of this administration believe that Islam is a violent genocidal ideology that demands all of it's followers kill or convert all non Muslims. If you give the government the power to ban genocidal ideologies there is a decent chance the US right will try to ban Islam. Just a thought. Also I am very uncomfortable giving the Trump administration tools to ban speech, when we are talking about these things I think it's important to remember who the government actually is.