Altherion

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  1. And ordinarily this would provide an extra perspective... but McConnell being on the same side as the Democrats means that it is almost certainly is not the case. It's not a secret that most of the media is controlled by a relatively small group of people and when they're all on one side, the people who might have been able to present a counterpoint generally don't have the resources to do it either (especially not on short notice). The 25% is for something that is actually illegal. I also personally find the behavior described in your second sentence distasteful, but you have to remember that "Ethically questionable, but not illegal!" might as well be the unofficial motto of modern US politics. Is dating on the order of 10 women who are clearly too young 40 years ago worse than voting for policies which directly and logically lead to the loss of their livelihoods for hundreds of thousands or sometimes even millions of Americans? Of course, ideally I would prefer a candidate who does not have drawbacks of this nature, but given current Congressional reality, yes, I'd take one with that kind of behavior over the usual slime.
  2. The world of tomorrow is extremely difficult to predict so I'm not all that confident about who is misunderstanding. I disagree. Look at the world, in, say, 1917. You are right that technology is drastically different, but so are are demographic trends, laws, mores, social roles, etc. in practically every society. Sure, a few fundamental cultural traits such as traditional foods still persist (if you can find and are willing to pay for the versions which are not affected by mass production), but even the rare country that hasn't been touched by either a revolution or a major war (e.g. Switzerland) would be practically unrecognizable.
  3. Unless you believe that unprovable allegations regarding events that happened 40 years ago somehow coincidentally turned up in a national newspaper weeks before the election, there can be little doubt that there is a propaganda campaign against Moore. However, I guess what you're really asking is whether I believe that the allegations are true -- after all, propaganda can be perfectly truthful -- and the answer to that is more nuanced. On the one hand, whoever is running these attacks did a very good job: this is a far cry from, for example, the half-baked, anonymous accusations against Trump in the fall of 2016. Of course, they can't prove anything, but they've done about as well as possible in the given situation and their case is fairly persuasive. On the other hand, however... there are two strong factors against them. The first is simply the timing and I've already mentioned it above. The second is the sheer number of scumbags lined up on the side of this propaganda. They usually take opposite sides on an issue so one has to choose between them, but in this case, the Democrats and mainstream Republicans are on the same sides and if that coalition claimed that the sky is blue, I would be tempted to go outside and double check just to make sure that it hasn't mysteriously changed color. I do not have the resources to determine whether the allegations are true or false, but, on the balance between all of these things, I would guess there is about a 25% chance that Moore did something truly objectionable. No, I would not. However, this is because I disagree with several of his positions rather than because of the propaganda.
  4. The courts have no authority over Senate procedure and in fact the Constitution explicitly species the rules for expulsion: So all it takes to kick out a Senator is a two-thirds super-majority and they have no recourse. It doesn't matter that no crime has been committed and, in principle, they could do so simply because two-thirds of Senators just don't like somebody. However, historically, it has taken something really big to get somebody expelled: of the 15 Senators ever to face this sanction, 14 did so because they supported the Confederacy during the Civil war and the 15th was this guy. No Senator has been expelled since the end of the Civil War (though a few have resigned before the Senate could vote on the matter after they were charged with crimes). It's not obvious to me that Moore will be elected. There is heavy propaganda warfare here and the forces arrayed against him are far greater than those on his side: he's opposed not just by the liberals, but also by the groups who back Senators McConnell, Graham, etc. However, if he does win, I suspect that these Republican Senators will find some technicality to avoid any serious action because they're afraid of the voters.
  5. @Rippounet Both. And yes, invaders and refugees are seen in different light -- but when there are enough refugees, the distinction begins to blur. There's certainly no shortage of Europeans who see the current wave as an invasion rather than a humanitarian crisis. Half a century is the longest timescale at which I believe one can plausibly claim that one effect is important (and even that's a stretch). If you go back further (e.g. one or two centuries), almost every society on the planet will be practically unrecognizable. It's also roughly the timescale on which other groups became accepted in American society. Remember, discriminatory sentiment was once directed at the Irish, at Germans, at Eastern Europeans and many others... but this effect falls off until it is very difficult to notice within half a century or less. This obviously hasn't happened with certain other groups. Practically everything is useful to them though: divide-and-conquer works even better when there are many divisions. For example, Humanism in its original form is at best studied as a historical movement (and even then not by too many people) and the most popular of its descendants serve the same exact masters.
  6. For a short while there, I thought Darth Hoodie would regret effectively wasting two timeouts on that challenge, but of course, who needs timeouts at all when you have Brady?
  7. I am not sure that this is true: sometimes it subsides and sometimes the foreigners are expelled (or worse). To take Europe for an example, there were once significant fractions of it which were dominated by Muslims, but by the beginning of the 20th century, most had been driven out or forced to convert. I am also not sure forcing peoples to live together ultimately decreases racism -- despite half a century having passed since it was driven underground and subjected to an all-encompassing propaganda campaign in the US, it's still very much present and arguably stronger than in the past 25 years or so. I suspect it depends a great deal on how similar peoples in question were in the first place as well as on the level of competition within a given society as well as pressure by external forces. It's not very difficult to convince the peoples of what were once East Francia and West Francia that they're not each other's enemy when both are prosperous and both exist in a world where an increasing number of states is clearly more powerful than they are. It's much harder to integrate an entirely different culture into a society where inequality is high (and therefore competition for a decent position is already insane even without them). Perhaps it is... but keep in mind that you may merely be setting the stage for yet another humanitarian crisis. It would be really surprising if there was no movement at all -- the question is the magnitude of the movement and there the results range from near negligible (the two polls in the article vs. the poll that actually has Jones winning).
  8. The polls themselves are obviously part of the propaganda at this point. For example, here's a Breitbart article which discusses two polls concluding negligible changes since the allegations. Of course, there must be some polls which are honest or at least correct despite being biased -- but good luck figuring out which are which.
  9. There would still be some racists, but they would not be nearly as motivated nor have as many supporters. I have no idea what Kennedy was thinking, but if he was a competent leader (and I think he was), he surely must have estimated the power of the various sides and correctly concluded that he has the sufficient support to impose his ideology by force on those who disagree, handle the backlash and keep doing it until the altered society became the status quo and force was no longer necessary. My point was not that it is always wrong to impose change this way, but that one has to be confident in one's power and in the case of the refugee crisis, the people who invited them bit off significantly more than they can chew.
  10. Perhaps. However, in today's political environment, it is much, much more important that his attitude towards Putin is drawing strong condemnation and outrage from liberals -- any repercussions to his image are secondary.
  11. To give you a sense of scale, the population of Poland is nearly 40 million people so even though this is larger than most such rallies, it still doesn't amount to much. However, based on their voting there are quite a few Poles who, while not as radical, do have similar ideas. I am genuinely curious about what Merkel et al were thinking was going to happen when they tried to foist Muslims on Eastern Europe -- they can't possibly have been ignorant of the history there.
  12. The overlap between A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky is basically one character... but it is an important one. If you read them in publication order, you will know the fate of this character after A Deepness in the Sky before you even start reading the latter and, because of the nature of the book's plot, you should be able to interpolate quite a few things about said plot starting from roughly a quarter through the book. I'm not saying it spoils the story -- after all, most people (including myself) read A Fire Upon the Deep first and still loved A Deepness in the Sky -- but it does nail a few things down and I think it would be even better without this foreknowledge. That said, you are right: there is also a minor spoiler for A Fire Upon the Deep in A Deepness in the Sky and certain theories and events in the latter have a different tone if you've read the former, but I don't think these have the same impact.
  13. Why do you think it is likely? A single party state is practically impossible within the existing framework: the Democrats and Republicans have been taking turns at being in charge for the past century and a half and there's no sign that they want to stop. In fact, even winning a civil war barely disrupted this equilibrium. Now, it is possible (though just barely) that the pendulum will, so to speak, fly off the chain altogether. This would almost certainly require some manner of violent takeover either by the intelligence community or a paramilitary group allied with a major party or perhaps by the military itself. There are enough armed people in the country to make such a scenario semi-plausible -- but likely? I think not.
  14. I realize that leaving aside things such as non-disclosure by cabinet members, this is currently perfectly legitimate. What I meant was that minimization of this nature might not stay that way. This is interesting information, but off the top of my head, I don't see how it bodes well for anyone except the very rich. The US cracked down on Switzerland pretty hard a while back (UBS wouldn't give American citizens a bank account there without considerable hoop jumping even if they were based in Switzerland and needed one), but I didn't realize there were so many of these havens or that the US itself behaved this way. Oh well, looks like there is a lot more work for whoever is ultimately going to deal with this mess...
  15. I'm going to second (or perhaps 'fourth') the recommendation for Vinge's Zones of Thought series. This is one of the instances in which I would recommend the internal chronological order over the publication order. That is: A Deepness in the Sky A Fire Upon the Deep The Children of the Sky The Expanse is also good, although it is not at the same level. There's also John Scalzi's Old Man's War series which likewise has quite a few original ideas.