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About theguyfromtheVale

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    Social Justice Squire

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  1. I hope you'll be ok, Bonesy. Best Wishes.
  2. Perhaps the argument itself is unhelpful. Are there issues with immigration? Almost always, yes. But the actual question that should be asked isn't if there are issues with immigration but whether there would be worse issues with or without immigration. If immigrants make up a significantly larger percentage of NHS employees than of NHS patients, for example, stopping immigration will hurt the NHS more than it helps - even if immigrants are more likely to be NHS patients than native Brits. More to the point, the Tories have shown again and again that they will cut public services and privatise the leftovers. If you're rightfully worried about the NHS or public schools, electing the Tories will only exacerbate the problems. As for a strong negotiating position, even if that could be achieved by this election (it can't), that is no use if your chief negotiator doesn't understand what those negotiations are about, and May has shown precisely that kind of obtuseness in talks with the EU so far. Lastly, the current mess is almost entirely the fault of the Tories. Rewarding them for their short-sightedness and cynicism with regards to Brexit is precisely the wrong message to send.
  3. From an outsider's point of view, life under Mike Pence at least wouldn't entail fear of the US president launching nuclear war or blatantly sharing our intel with Russia on a whim. So, yes, I'd rather live with Mike Pence's dominionism than risk nuclear apocalypse or an increase of terrorism in these parts of the world, thank you very much. Oh, and since we're discussing the possible end of the world, I'd like to end on a lighter note: What do you call four male dropbears sitting on a horse? ... I'll see myself out.
  4. Because the Senate could impeach him if thw Republican hawks ever decide to put country before party - or at least reelection chances before intraparty loyalty.
  5. That's a... debatable understanding of infinity, Scot. Infinite expansion is not the same thing as infinite incidence. They are connected to different concepts of infinity that do not necessarily have a connection. For example, even an infinite universe might contain only a finite amount of matter (or energy, to be more precise), so infinite parallel existence of living beings would be impossible in an infinite universe.
  6. On that note. Most interesting is the graphic that displays who Democrats and Republicans think is and isn't discriminated against in the USA. Somehow, against all evidence and historical privilege, Republicans think everybody's about equally discriminated against - except black people, who apparently have it all dandy.
  7. Move on, nothing to see here. We're far too likely to get a snoozefest, as we always do.
  8. @Tywin et al. Complacency is of course the wrong position to take, but I'm not massively worried right now. Macron is ahead by a 20 point margin in the polls right now. That's quite the head start; the polling errors for Trump's election and for Brexit were in the order of 1 to 3 percentage points. The only comparable event to a 20 point miss would be Sanders' primary result in Michigan - and primaries are much harder to poll than actual elections.
  9. Very bad things happened to him. before. He's not in that wheelchair because of an accident, disease or a genetic disorder, after all. But yeah, whenever Merkel's seemingly squishy stance makes me consider German conservatives not that bad, all things considered, I remember that there's always Schäuble waiting in Merkel's wings.
  10. I wouldn't go quite that far. But I have to admit, I'm not going to give Le Pen the benefit of doubt after merely six years. We're not talking something that happened centuries ago but rather very recent developments. And while I'm unlikely to ever support her politics for a myriad of reasons, I'd at least give her some grudging respect if she turns out to really have turned a page on positions that, for me, are really unforivable. Some political positions are just too toxic to make you return from contact squeaky clean, and what Le Pen père said and did in his lifetime certainly qualifies for such a political position. His daughter might be different, but she has a lot of proving to do, and her turn from her father's positions was far less clean-cut than might have been hoped for, even if it's commendable that that happened - but so far, it's all been hot air, smoke, and potentially mirrors.
  11. Oh, sure. But you then have to live with being okay, and having been okay, with the politics of said party before yout leadership; you can't claim to have been opposed to it on principle. If you were opposed to it, your opportunism was, quite obviously, greater than your disgust at those positions.
  12. You're describing not fascism, but totalitarianism, of which fascism is one flavor. However, fascism is far more open to private ownership than socialism ( and particularly totalitarian communism) is, and indeed usually promises large-scale corporate welfare (including forced labor) and increased infrastructure spending, which is attractive to business owners (particularly if the only politically viable alternative is full nationalisation under a communist regime). I recomment reading up on Hjalmar Schacht and Alfred Hugenberg if you think fascism was perceived as opposed to big business back in the day. I'd also recommend reading up on who the richest German families in 1900 were - and which the richest families in the 1950es were. Hint: the Nazis were not all that bad for most of them, with the exception of those whose wealth used to be mainly concentrated in possessions in Silesia and Pomerania... For a checklist of what fascism is, I usually refer to the late, great Umberto Eco's analysis. Let's just say Le Pen isn't looking too great on many of those positions. As for party history, it's extremely important, and for two reasons. First of all, your history lesson on racial politics in the USA during the 19th century ignores the history of racial politics in the USA during the 20th century in its entirety, in particular the Civil Rights Act and the Southern Strategy, which basically reversed the position of the two parties. However, that switch was based on actual legislation passed by the Democrats, not some window-dressing. You can maybe change such a position over the course of decades, but to do so in just six years seems to me to be quite the warning sign. If the FN continues to expel actual fascists amongst themselves, they may earn my grudging respect for that. But I will not base that change on just once incident when most underlying positions haven't changed to a matching degree. In case of MLP, she was a party member when her despicable father was party leader. Did she resign in protest over his flirt with fascism? She might have made a political career in any party, but she chose to stay. I think that choice reflects on her principles vis-à-vis fascism. And not in a good way. As for your example: Yes, I do. Wh do I think it's wrong to strip such a person of their citizenship? Because (s)he may have been born in your country, and only ever lived there? Because it sets up inequality of the law for citizens depending on who their parents were? Because our failure to educate and integrate young people whose parents immigrated isn't their parents' home country's fault? And lastly, because stripping people off their civil rights because they are imagined to be opposed to your own principles makes one precisely totalitarian?
  13. With the difference that people like me who are descendants of card-carrying Nazis don't continue carrying their political heritage onwards. Marine Le Pen had lots of opportunities to break ties with her father before becoming the leader of his party. She didn't, until his detestable positions that were fundamental to the party she inherited became political baggage to her ambitions.
  14. Yep. Note Rippounet said MLP's party is fascist. He made no statement on Le Pen herself. And given the history of the FN's founding members in terms of participation in the Franco-sponsored terrorist OAS or the Vichy regime and the rampant Holocaust denial of Le Pen père, it's hard to argue against the idea that the FN, from its inception, was a fascist party. That might have changed, but knowing the party's history should, at the very least, make one wary of the possibility. I'd also argue that fascism is not, usually, opposed to (big) business per se. It's not even bad for the economy, at least in the short term. In many ways' fascism is the corporate-friendly populism that drives righteous anger at the economic circumstances away from those in power towards those who wield even less power than the masses in the first place. It's the lightning rod corporations put up to continue business as usual. As for opposition to free thought, Le Pen's idea to strip people of their citizenship based on their ideology seems to me to be exactly that.
  15. The problem with that is that a strong, unified position is almost impossible when the result was reached by a small margin. This can also be detrimental when you're unified in the strong decision to drive off the cliff (or at least threaten the livelihood of 20% of voters); criticism and alternative positions are not a bad thing. Lastly, it's far from guaranteed that debate will be more unified after the election.