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[edit] Question:

During the to 2 years (seriously, 2 fucking years?) this us election circus drags on, do any of your politicians do any actual work? Beyond stirring shit up so 1 half of your country is at the throats of the other half for the whole two years?AMassiveGay (talk) 07:46, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Answer: No 'Legionwhat do you want from me 08:40, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Nope.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 11:12, 11 May 2016 (UTC) 11:12, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
What they said. Plus, once it's over they start talking about the next one. It never ends. Dustandshadow13 (talk) 11:18, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Also, the republicans in the country have been overwhelming opposed to achieving any sort of progress. On anything. Ever. It's literally an important principle to them. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:41, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Implying that they do work outside of the election cycle.Petey Plane (talk) 15:01, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
You just used the words "work" and "cycle" in a single phrase. It's difficult not to - CARNOT ENGINES! THERMODYNAMICS! ENTROPY! WAAAAAAGH!--JorisEnter (talk) 15:04, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes. Answering otherwise is typical antipolitician cynicism. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. Moderator (talk/stalk) 15:13, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Counter-point: we could assert a measure of "doing things" and actually compare. There has to be a observational experiment that would give meaningful results. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:02, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
You say that as if antipolitician cynicism somehow wasn't an exceedingly justified position. ;) (talk) 05:17, 12 May 42016 AQD (UTC)

I think what i am really getting at is that a two year election process is ridiculous. Elections are divisive at the best of times, it can't be healthy to maintain it for so long. And the financial cost - so much money, wasted. You are not voting for a president yet, just voting on who you get to vote for to fuck you over. Its not as if this are just minuses outweighed by postitives because the whole system is appears broken to me. And because of the US's position in th e world, i cant roll my eyes and sigh 'ftt Americans', you drag us all along for the ride. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:50, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

To be completely honest, let's just get rid of the Senate entirely. The idea of non-proportional, undemocratic representation is patently ridiculous. Let's remove the Senate and change the House terms to 4 years and enact a 2-term limit. That way you get voted out if you do a bad job, but you only have 8 years to get things done, so you need to focus on your goals in a short period. It would be far better than the current system, does everyone agree? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 00:03, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't think term limits are actually a good idea. The argument, which I find persuasive, is that they just shift power to lobbyists, aides, and other unelected people. It takes time to learn how to be effective at politicking. Term limits keep elected officials inexperienced, and to learn how to get things done, they turn to lobbyists and others who know how to work the levers of power, and who don't have term limits. --Ymir (talk) 04:58, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
(EC) I find it a bit odd that you both 1) think Trump is going to be democratically elected President of the US of A, and 2) want to make things more democratic. Democracy is great when politicians and voters are committed to making informed, responsible choices and the parties don't constantly vilify each other. When that's not the case however...
Also, non-proportional, undemocratic representation can in fact be a tool to protect minorities and other vulnerable groups from the excesses of populism and elected oligarchies. Granted, that's not how it's currently used. But it's not actually patently ridiculous. (talk) 05:08, 12 May 42016 AQD (UTC)
I'm 'Murican and I agree. We should just have a national primary. Good luck getting it anytime soon though. Another thing worth criticizing is how all the media attention is devoted to the presidential contest. The majority of voters ignore Congressional elections, which is why it's currently controlled by right-wing nutjobs. The angry far right turns out in every election to vote against that damn Kenyan Muslim, while most other people forget midterms even exist. --Ymir (talk) 04:58, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Here's why elections are perpetual: it's direct citizen involvement in decision making. Most states have two election seasons annually, the Spring elections (primary) and Fall elections (general). Sowing and harvest. Elections are not about entrusting decisions to others and walking away. Public policy demands constant vigilance, and that's why it goes on forever. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 20:33, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
2 years for one election does not look like direct citizen involvement in decision making to me.AMassiveGay (talk) 22:01, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
not to mention its 2 years of he said she said rhetoric and polemics, thousands of different polls each spun a thousand different ways, with virually all your media parisan to a ridiculous degree, if i were trying keep the electorate uninformed but with the illusion of engagement, thats how i'd do it. You talk like the US is the only democracy in the world, but do you realise how insane it all looks to the rest of democratic world? People talk of american exceptionalism, but its frighteningly like american delusion. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
It's all true, and it is very expensive as well. Two year terms for Congress date from the days it took probably two years to mail a letter via pony express from D.C. to California. But the foreplay up to an election (i.e., primaries) are all about, "Is my congressman doing good for me, and who can we get to replace him if not). So, what you guys outside the country are focused on is inter-party rivalries, not general election candidates. These issues discussed are basically twofold: (1) does the candidate represent us as a party? and (2) electibility. General election issues are yet to be discussed. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 00:49, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
I feel as if it's all an act set up for some malignant purpose. Like they're preparing us for undemocratic dictatorship without silly elections anymore. The American people appear to have grown tired of politics, and that can pave the way for fascists like Trump, and worse. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:11, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
That's actually pretty funny. Here's the sad thing: only about 14% of voters are engaged right now. After the conventions media & pundits will say, "the American people really aren't paying attention right now" until after the Olympics and after the World Series. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 03:58, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
Rather than term limits, we have primaries, to keep the people involved and it just goes on forever. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 03:29, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] US-UK contrasted

Another question, perhaps further displaying my ignorance, in the UK, the majority of the government, from the prime minister through to secretaries of state to junior minister are mostly, not exclusively but mostly, is comprised of elected MPs. In the US, aside from the president, the vp and secretaries of state do not seem to be have or need any kind of electoral accountability. Is that correct? How does that work? AMassiveGay (talk) 16:44, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

The Veep and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, Labor, Commerce, etc. etc. are not directly elected by the people, and they aren't members of any legislative body. They are chosen by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Instead, voters usually indirectly pick who they want to fill these positions by supporting one presidential candidate or the other. The presidential candidates don't say who they will put in these positions until after they are elected, so voters have no idea who will fill these roles until after the election, and there aren't shadow cabinets or anything like that. Pretty shitty, now that I think about it. Yet another thing about my government that could use tweaking. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:13, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that's the system. While no law would prohibit a sitting Congressman from serving in a Cabinet post, it has never been done AFAIK (there was discussion of that among Republicans when Dick Cheney gave up his Congressional seat to be Papa Bush's Defense Secretary; likewise Les Aspin quit his seat to be Clinton's Defense Secretary as well, and Democrats (if I remember) briefly thought about, what if a Congressman doubles on the President's White House Staff as National Security Adviser. But nobody's ever forced the issue, and both parties agree under the separation of powers doctrine, legislative & executive should remain the way it is (although the VP has a dual role). A Committee Chairman in the House, say Armed Service or Foreign Affairs, is considered something of a co-equal or analogous to the British Foreign Ministry of Defense Minister; these really are very powerful positions, and at least they think they are co-equal. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 04:46, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
PbFreespace, I think Cabinet posts need a 2/3 majority, like Supreme Court Justices, appoints to the Federal Reserve, or impeachment, or treaty ratification, etc. "A bi-artisan consensus" is generally how the "advise and consent" clause is understood. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 10:21, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
In the states, however, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, etc are are elected statewide. So it is possible to have say a Republican Governor and a Democratic Secretary of State or Attorney General or vice versa (which usually results in high-profile, ongoing fueds and bitterness). The Gov. & Lt. Gov. run as a ticket (in most staes, I think). nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 10:27, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Cabinet roles are still appointed not elected in the UK system (and similar). Ministers are elected MPs but their responsibilities to their constituency are the same as other MPs' (though obviously their actions in cabinet have an impact on their re-election prospects). ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:17, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
yes ofcourse. I should have made that clearer. I just meant that prior to their appointments, they have stood for an election. Unless they are lords. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:03, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Started reading Walter Bagehot's 1867 The English Constitution two days ago, beginning with the part on the Cabinet. I'm sure the book needs updating, but he makes the British Cabinet sound like the Chicago City Council. The US is anything but a cabinet form of government (like in Israel, where Prime Minister is more like the Press Spokesman for the Cabinet). In the US, cabinet posts are just big honorary overpaid bureaucratic positions and titles for professional administrators. People from the legislative branch tend to make lousy executive adminisrators in these slots. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 20:36, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Also here in UK we have the entirely unelected second house who don't hold positions in the cabinet, and it is rare (but not entirely unheard of) for hereditary peers to renounce their title in order to run for the house of commons. (Tony Benn) Traditionally, ministers are appointed 'safe seats' - electoral zones where their chance of being kicked out of parliament is slim-to-none. (talk) 16:29, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
The House of Lords? What the hell?! Another reason to dislike British government too, then. I disagree with any unelected legislative body. That's so backwards and uncivilized. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 22:55, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
That's exactly what Bagehot said 150 years ago, its only function is "a reservoir of Cabinet Ministers" when Commons is too burnt out or corrupt to find somebody. House of Lords kinda reminds me of Superdelegates; nobody elected them to nothinga and they think their shit don't stink. It's the very definition of politics: poly, meaning many + tics bloodsuckers. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 00:57, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
"the very definition of politics: poly, meaning many + tics bloodsuckers. " You may very well be my new favourite Rationalwikian. To be fair to the lords though, those old men rebuff some of the worse excesses of the commons. And Benn was a great guy. (talk) 09:47, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
heritary peers have not been able to sit in the lords since 1999, unless they are also a life peer, ie. Been appointed to sit. The lords has always been an unacceptable anachronism when they vote the wrong way, and a vital part of democracy when they do. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:40, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
there is also talk by some quarters of making lords electable, but with diminishing numbers of people going out to vote, i doubt there is much stomach for further elections. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:46, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Ok, now in the Pinochet case, as I understand, the UK does not have a Supreme Court, so four old cronies from the Lords heard the extradition case and rendered a judgment. As a yank, this looks like a process they pulled out of their ass, would be totally illegal in the US, and appears they were trying to give some "cover of law" because it was a high profile International case & they just wanted to create the impression British jurisprudence is fair. Am I missing something? nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 21:37, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you're missing quite a lot. Until 2009, the House of Lords was the final appeal court (since replaced by the UK Supreme Court). It had twelve Law Lords that acted similarly in many ways to a supreme court and out of those were formed committees that heard cases. The judicial functions of the Law Lords were separate to the legislative ones of the House of Lords. It worked well in practice but was superseded by the supreme court as an attempt to fully separate the judiciary from the legislature. Remember, separation of powers in a parliamentary system is not a principle in the same way as it is the US. Even the executive Prime Minister is a member of the legislature.
In the Pinochet case, there were three rulings. The first ruled that Pinochet was not immune from prosecution, the second ruled that one of the 5 judges in a 3-2 case was possibly biased and therefore set aside the first ruling, and the third upheld the first but only for alleged crimes committed after 1988.
It was controversial more because of the implications of the principle of universal jurisdiction rather than any perceived political bias by the Law Lords.
You may adhere to the idea of American Exceptionalism and that the US Constitution and separation of powers is the best. But there are plenty of other systems in the world including the Westminster one that work well in practice and can perhaps be more easily changed as shortcomings become evident. Whether the House itself should be replaced by an elected second chamber is another matter. Ajkgordon (talk) 12:48, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
It's seems the two systems borrow quite a bit from each other - we copied Homeland Security from the British model & you guys copied an independent Supreme Court from us. In looking at our bizarre election laws, an outsider could learn something how our state system works, too. 50 states & territories have 50 different sets of election/primary/caucus/convention/delegate selection laws; each state has two parties with two different sets of rules. So literally there are over 100 different methods or systems practiced in the 50 states & territories to select a national party candidate. Now, there are two states that have absolutely now state laws whatsover on primaries - Alaska & Hawaii - the youngest states in the Union. Someday, the people of Alaska & Hawaii will say, "ya know, we should really have some kinda of government mandate as to where & when these caucuses and conventions are going to be held, etc etc; then those two state legislatures will start looking around at the other 50 states for one state to serve as a model for their needs. Whether its DWI laws, domestic violence, concealed carry, transgender bathrooms, etc etc this is always how this system works. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 04:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
I'd rather have a 'house of jurors' than a second elected house, as I don't want a CC of the commons (let's be honest, the commons is not representative of the populace). A sort of national service where you help run the country. The electorate are pretty stupid, but FPTP leads to exaggerated stupidity which a jury-duty style second house could mitigate as effectively as peers could. Probably. Okay maybe.
As for nations borrowing from each other, I wish we could hurry up and have separation of church and state over here, but the fucking queen is the anglican pope so that is not happening any time soon. One more reason for republic...— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
But ain't the role of religion in UK politics neverless less than in the US?--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 13:28, 20 May 2016 (UTC) 13:28, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Rob, there are other supreme courts - the UK one wasn't copied from the US one. Besides, it's very different.
BoN, the CoE has virtually no say in the running of the UK. It is an historical leftover just as much as the Monarchy. Separation of church and state would make little or no difference to people's lives and so is not seen as a priority even if it would be a nice-to-have. As Kugel points out, religion plays very little part in politics compared in the US. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:34, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thats' odd. You'd think having a female pope lead a major Christian Church would trumpeted as a big victory for women's rights. In the U.S., facing an partisan elected official in the Judiciary is very troubling. While lower court judges sometimes do have party affiliation, the process of nominating candidates for open seats is quite different from the open caucus and convention system for legislative and executive positions. Elected officials are supposed to be flunkies you hire & fire when their not doing their jobs right. This is why permanent superdelegates at the DNC convention is so troubling to many. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 20:19, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

hahaha the queen does not lead the church in the same way she does not lead the country. She is there solely to glad hand foreign dignitaries and give daily mail readers something more to read about that doesnt involve gay romanian gypsies trying to instigate sharia law. Any comparisons to tbe pope are at best hyperbole. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:30, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] How has your political views changed over the years, RW? (If it has)

My views have changed so much over the years that it could probably fill a decent sized rw-essay. Sierra Nav (talk) 03:21, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

I used to be somewhat of a fiscally conservative and a neocon and now I am a democratic socialist and an anti-militarist. When I was younger, I could have easily become an MRA but then I read some of the feminist articles here, on Cracked, and elsewhere.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:41, 12 May 2016 (UTC) 03:41, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
I used to be pro-War on Terror, now I see what the terrorists do to gays & women and say, "Oh well, that's democracy. That's what the American people voted for." nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 03:53, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
I assume that that is snark against me. I don't think war is going to "correct" the cultures of the US. I think that concentrating on social programs and humanitarian aid can better improve societies. I see no reason for why we need to give military aid to repressive regimes but forcing regime change is extraordinarily dangerous.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC) 05:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Are you being sarcastic? Because those "terrorists" have the full textual support of their religion. Unless this is a round-a-bout way of saying the West needs to promote anti-theism more. Lord Aeonian (talk) 05:21, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
How can something mired with contradictions lend its full support to anything? (talk) 05:25, 12 May 42016 AQD (UTC)
Taken to the logical extreme, scripture is unable to support its own reasoning, never mind allow for any other conclusions to be drawn from the same reasoning. But really, the atrocity isn't that the books themselves kill people (they don't), or even that crazy people seek and find support for their killing in the books. The real atrocity is that the vast billions of allegedly sane religious people don't put two and two together and actually distance themselves more overtly from these, as you say, contradiction-mired bronze age books. I expect crazy people to be crazy, that's a no-brainer. But I also expect allegedly sane people to actually think instead of complacently bask in the wish-fulfilling, solipsistic drivel of the desert dogmas. And I'm not seeing near enough of that. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:47, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I basically went from a fervent liberal progressive to a cultural relativist, moral subjectivist, political pluralist regressive. Hear hear. (talk) 05:29, 12 May 42016 AQD (UTC)

I've never really seen much point in nailing my colours the mast AMassiveGay (talk) 09:28, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

+1--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 11:10, 12 May 2016 (UTC) 11:10, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

I went from a ranty self-assured liberal technocrat to a ranty self-assured liberal technocrat. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:26, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Unusually for a Brit I grew up in a fundamentalist religious cult (seriously). Beliefs included: People of other races were inferior, Homosexuals should go to jail until they were cured, Earth probably 6,000 years old and loads of other similar stuff. I had to put in quite a bit of intellectual effort to get over all that.
Short answer - my views have changed a lot.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:10, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
i am curious to know what that cult might be AMassiveGay (talk) 11:06, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
The one this guy created.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:56, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
interesting. I am always surprised when i hear people still go to church, let alone a fundamentalist one. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:57, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
"Still"?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:15, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

When I was in college, I studied economics, and for a while I was an economanic pseudo-libertarian. I then started doing more reading in anthropology, and no longer am. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:38, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

I used to be more center-right, as well as an MRA, but over time I became more liberal.'Legionwhat do you want from me 16:10, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, my atheism actually caused me to almost become an MRA. I was exposed to TAA by watching DarkMatter's videos but ended up here which showed me how deplorable his views are.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:33, 12 May 2016 (UTC) 19:33, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
How does atheism make you hate women? O.o (talk) 20:25, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, like I said YouTube suggested I watch The Amazing Atheist's videos and I started to slowly agree with him about feminism. Luckily, I found his video on rape culture which led me here.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:29, 12 May 2016 (UTC) 23:29, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

I used to be a pretty convinced anarchist a few years ago, but now I've swung to the political big-government hard left because I think humans are too stupid to live together without the need for government. I have now labelled my self a socialist (I really can't shake the belief that the people who work the shop should run the shop), but in America I'd simply be labelled an extreme liberal, as I wouldn't implement things Soviet-style by just nationalizing everything immediately. It has to be gradual for America to swallow the medicine. I still do cling to some anarchist ideals though, namely that people should treat other people fairly and not coerce or exploit one another; a belief that is tied inextricably with political leftism. So a bit of a swervy road for me. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:33, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

You do realize that everyone thinks that their political view is all about treating others fairly, right? Even the Klan thinks they are about treating people fairly. StickySock (talk) 22:09, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure I agree. One of my basic premises is that people need an out-group, people that they will treat unfairly. Somebody will always be It; someone will always be 'marginalized'. The real question is, how do we blunt or misdirect this basic need to minimize the damage it does? - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 22:15, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
While I disagree on the necessity of the Other, I will point out that it perfectly explains why SJWs seem to need to find enemies where few would logically exist. Damn cisheteronormative christopatriarchal blancogeriatrics! StickySock (talk) 22:27, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Do you want me to reword my response? "namely that people should let each other do what they want and not coerce one another". Is that good enough for you, StickySock? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 23:33, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Not really necessary, since. I think we all know what anarchism means. Just that I find it funny that all ideologies think they have a monopoly on "more goodness less wrongness" and often use the same terminology. Your new rewording fits with some Republicans, who want business owners to do what they want and to be free from coercion by government in whom they hire and fire...StickySock (talk) 23:42, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Hence why I no longer godddamn believe in it, at least in the economic realm. Until people get good enough to not screw over their workers and customers, then we need governmental regulation. Also, modern business is deeply rooted in the existence of a hierarchy involving coercion, so your likening of my statement to the GOP platform is bullshit, as I don't want any coercion. Also, I don't claim a monopoly on "more goodness, less wrongness". It was just a way of wording things. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 23:49, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
  • basic premises is that people need an out-group, people that they will treat unfairly
Yes, no, and maybe. Scapegoatism is as old as the hills ("the Jews", "the Mexicans", "the corporations", "the greedy rich", etc.), but it takes a certain amount of a feeling of victimization on the part of adherents to provoke a response. 51% of electorate doesn't vote on which dog they feel they can kick to make them feel better or make them think their lives will improve. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 00:27, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
"I used to be a pretty convinced anarchist a few years ago, but now I've swung to the political big-government hard left" What the fuck? Do you realize anarchism is on the left? Withoutaname (talk) 10:55, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
"in America I'd simply be labelled an extreme liberal" Truth be told, if it was the case you supported big government because you "think humans are too stupid to live together without the need for" some sort of social control, with worker control over the means of production a secondary matter, many socialists and other leftists would call you a liberal as well. Withoutaname (talk) 12:01, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't know what you would classify me as in the West. I suppose an Enlightenment liberal? But that implies a very libertarian view, but I am more of a statist because the masses are not that smart. I affirm the reality of universal truths, as opposed to the relativism which currently plagues the West. I am actually influenced quite a bit by the Golden Age and classical philosophers. I think an autocratic state like al-Farabi's Virtuous City would be 'ideal,' and for the same reasons he did, with the exception that religious theocracy would be replaced with anti-theism. However I also agree with Plato that such a state would be almost impossible to implement, because of the problem in finding a suitable group of leaders. So, I support a democratic solution, with the caveat that the state exists to support the economy and educate the citizens to better their lives, and does not allow those masses to circumvent this (i.e., voting away anti-theism or something).

The thing is, I was always this way because I always recognized people who can't see their best interests don't vote for them. When I was a theist I recognized the logic of a caliphate, because how else could you ensure everyone has a good chance of going to heaven? Even among Muslims, they are many hypocrites and fringe sects. While majority rule is nice, the state must account for the fact that the majority is inept in many areas. I should note that I don't mean a state mandate immune to change, only one immune to change by simple merit of popular opinion. For instance, if an anti-theist state was created, and then it turned out that some Abrahamic religion was true, the state has to be willing to accept this new reality and become a theocracy. Lord Aeonian (talk) 01:11, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I can't help but think of two Rush songs from Snakes & Arrows, The Way the Wind Blows and Good News First. Both have had an influence over my leanings, in a lot of ways. I'm somewhat the right of most people here (I figure others can better pinpoint where I fall on the spectrum than I) and I definitely see that, as Neil Peart put it, "the best we can agree on is it could have been worse". The fact that we can agree on that means a lot, a lot of times it's hard to find even that. The Way the Wind Blows relates to the RW experience in a far less oblique way, if you listen (and rock out!) to it you'll immediately get it; Neil Peart was a good part of why I renounced Catholicism and became an agnostic at the age of 16 (oddly enough it was in early 2006, before Snakes & Arrows; there's no one moment I remember it happening, the month before that conversion was actually the closest I ever felt to religion because of some life events that affected someone I cared a lot about). And I've also gotten a lot harder on people who resort to violence and general nastiness to exclude people who they think are violent and nasty; working in a place with open Louis Farrakhan supporters (I'm white and have a lot of Jewish relatives) has taught me that absolutely no one is immune to irrationality, and it reminds me that all of humanity is in it together. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:19, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I used to be a Pacifist just like you, but then I took an Arab Spring to the knee. (talk) 15:37, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

In most ways i've become more progressive/liberal from my 20s to my current early 30s. My education and work as a social worker in marginalized communities, as well as a stint as a hospice social worker, has definitely contributed to that, as well as general life experience. My family has always been on the progressive side (we may as well be socialist at my home here in the Deep South), but i've become much less of an absolutist over time, and better able to appreciate ambiguity. I've become much less religiously inclined over the years, to my current atheism, and going to a doctrinally conservative, if not practically conservative, Calvinist liberal arts college actually contributed to that, but it was also a very good school. You learn a lot more about your own lack of faith (and how better to justify it) when you have to interact with , and count amongst your best friends, very intelligent people who are also very committed to their faith. In a few ways, like gun control, i've become more conservative, but i still believe in a strong regulatory system. Petey Plane (talk) 15:50, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm ashamed to admit that when I was younger and dumber I was a big right-winger. I was a fairly strong believer in Christianity, so not too surprisingly I got pulled into the American right. I was a big rah-rah Bush supporter and drunk all the Flavor Aid on Iraq, tax cuts, etc. From there I got attracted to hardcore libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism from reading Rand and Rothbard. It all seemed so clear! Of course government is the cause of all problems in the world! The poor are poor because they're lazy! Inherently superior people like myself are being kept down by the moronic masses! Fortunately I didn't retreat into an echo chamber and kept reading things that disagreed with my views. It eventually got hard to keep from asking myself, "Hey, me, if the solution to all problems is to just get rid of government, why haven't there been any successful anarchist societies? And why do countries with a strong social safety net and higher taxes do better than the U.S. on so many benchmarks?" Finally I came to accept that religions, political or otherwise, are a bunch of incoherent bullshit. It probably helped that I developed severe mental illness that pretty much messed up my life. Fortunately my wonderful parents supported me and helped me with medical care, but I was quite aware that without them I would be on the streets or dead, because of the travesty that is the U.S.'s lack of universal health care. --Ymir (talk) 22:59, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

My political views haven't shifted so much as they've solidified and focused. I've always been liberal/progressive/what have you, but in recent years I've become an ardent urbanist. I view all issues and policies from the perspective of an old-school urbanist (New Urbanism is a step in the right direction, but it's still very cargo-cultish and not particularly effective at promoting healthy cities), and will prioritize this even before my leftist inclinations.
One major area I've changed is that I've way softened on religion. I was never a hardcore antitheist, but I was definitely sympathetic to it in principle if not in practice. Nowadays I'm way hard in the accommodationist camp. I'm still personally an adamant philosophical naturalist, but I consider that part of my identity secondary to understanding, in a way that isn't condescending or hostile, how immensely important religion is to society's history, identity, and politics. And as with the urbanism > leftism hierarchy I follow, I consider religious views secondary to other politics—I'd rather be friends with a leftist devout Christian than a libertarian atheist. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 02:36, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Having grown up mostly in 70s and 80s Britain in public (private to non-UKers) school from a military officer background, I was pretty right wing and conservative until, I suppose, my late teens. The three day week, 25% inflation, humiliating IMF bailout, the winter of discontent, work to rule, CND and Labour wanting to hand our country over to the Soviets, flying pickets, and so on. My parents and other officers were often asked by civilians, in all seriousness, when the Army was going to step in. It was blindingly obvious from my little social corner that the left was dragging us down into oblivion. Thatcher was the saviour of our downtrodden strike-ridden dysfunctional country (even though she wasn't really "one of us") and it all suddenly went swimmingly once the pesky Argies had been dealt with and we could all go to wine bars and the Kensington Roof Gardens and buy BT shares and Dom Perignon.
Then I grew up. My slow shift to the left is still, I think, ongoing. I've become more and more socially tolerant and less fiscally conservative. I've experienced living in a "socialist" country (France) and had children early so I have perhaps a closer view on how the young look at things. I sometimes catch myself wistfully looking back at how much better something or other used to be but that doesn't worry me because I know some things were. But most things are, I believe, better today notwithstanding the various atrocities and difficulties we face across the world. 'Twas ever thus.
I recognise this is the opposite to the general shift to the right most people experience as they get older. But I'm happy with it. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:33, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I look at political ideology the way an atheist looks at religion - as a skeptic. There's a deluded mass out there who think they are in possession of the truth, call them liberal or conservative, Catholic or Protestant, Christian or Muslim. They feel they are right and others are wrong. They, and many of their adversaries see each other the same way.
For many years I sorted through the wheat & chaff, trying to figure if the right was 58% correct and the left only 42%; but by the next election cycle we'd be faced with a new set of facts to analyze and public opinion (call it peer pressure) would weigh in and distort objective reasoning. So I remain a skeptic; I don't think anybody who adheres to a political ideology and views others and the world through that prism is a sane person I'd trust to walk my daughter across the street. nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 03:49, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
I think it's very healthy to be a sceptic in general and to be sceptical of ideology even more so. Ideology is an intellectual straight-jacket. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:13, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
"Ideology is an intellectual straight-jacket" I don't think you realize how much you owe your so-called skepticism to ideology. No one can escape ideology; to even try to do so is ideological and nonsensical. Withoutaname (talk) 11:36, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
While the vernacular term "ideology" correctly highlights the underbelly of the meaning, the fact is that a lot more underlies that term, not all of it bad. I read Oxford University Press' Ideology - A Very Short Introduction, and it clearly had a few points to make. Among its points, however, was recognition of the bad in the term "ideology". A mixed bag, simply. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, quite right although somewhat pedantic. I was being lazy in my use of the word by only using it in the sense of prescriptive doctrine or dogma - a common enough if perhaps inaccurate definition. But don't forget I was following on from Rob's post and his use of the term. I assumed it would be fairly obvious based on context that the use of the word ideology in these posts was fairly prerogative. It was a commentary on the inability of some people to be able to view the world from a perspective other than their strict political ideologies. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:05, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Alright then, I have a test for you. Why don't you turn your skepticism towards Popperian falsificationism and tell me why that would come to define a particular field of inquiry as valid "science" over any number of other similarly useful criteria, like verificationism or postpositivism? If you live in the United States, why don't you also turn it against the Constitution and whether it really can ensure your happiness and well-being (or the happiness and well-being of others) by granting people certain "human rights"? Withoutaname (talk) 18:08, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Er.....can I have one on sport? Ajkgordon (talk) 21:30, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Look, it's very easy to simply passively live your life reacting to your social conditions and smugly looking down on all the ideologues, but critiquing the foundations of the social system you live in, requires a very creative mind. Withoutaname (talk) 21:33, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Was it Manchester United, Beckham with a free kick in injury time? Ajkgordon (talk) 22:08, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I've never been involved in politics, organized or done anything like that... but I used to consider myself a libertarian. I barely knew what that entailed, other than "something something freedom, something something complete". I never wrapped my head around it properly but I had also been exposed to some anarcho-libertarian arguments and they sounded simple enough. The typical libertarian/objectivist oversimplification; you own your time, your work takes time, taxes are slavery, thus if we have paved roads we clearly live in hell... I must credit RationalWiki with having given me the thus-far best perspective I've yet encountered on the absurdity of the Austrian school, the anarcho-capitalists, and related "respectable freeman-on-the-land alternatives". (I am aware that "respectable free-man-on-the-land" is an oxymoron). All the while, to the eternal credit of RW, not shirking away from how utterly insane Communism is.

A little off topic from the question of politics, I never was big on "woo" in my personal beliefs, but - speaking of "politics" - I actually had a period in high school when I read Infowars as my primary news outlet... I'm clenching back a laugh when I say this now, but it's actually true. I'd also been interested in the Zeitgeist movies and the Venus project around that same time, which have a significant (pseudo-)political element. I was perhaps most notably a global warming denier, too. I had no idea what I was talking about, of course. But I got sucked in by the crank debate strategies - so I know first hand that they need to be fought, not just left ignored by the mainstream. They fool people. Anyhow, all of this slowly fell away on its own around the time I turned 19 (because, come on), but RW was certainly a catalyst for making that a lasting change and helping me understand why these beliefs were garbage. I found RW when I was 23, and by that time, I was already out on the other side on those topics (the other side from the cranks, that is). But even if those beliefs and interests had largely died on their own by the time I came here, RW deserves big credit for promptly driving stakes through their hearts, tying the corpses with leaden chains and burying them under slabs of concrete. To quote Thomas Paine, "The mind, once enlightened, cannot go dark again.". Good riddance, I say. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

"All the while, to the eternal credit of RW, not shirking away from how utterly insane Communism is" I haven't seen RW actually debunk any communist ideas besides take the usual liberal route of citing how many numbers of people were "killed" in its "name", as if somehow 1) none of the other ideologies suffered similar problems 2) that was even relevant to the truth-value of the ideology and 3) that the people rallying beneath it were a single monolithic entity whose singular ideas could be swept away with citing a few statistics. Withoutaname (talk) 12:01, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Mission survey

FCP has analysed the results of the mission survey. Anyone got comments? (no replies have been made on the MS page yet, so I thought I'd post this in the Bar)--JorisEnter (talk) 12:52, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

A bogus survey that nobody bought into deceptively made to look official, and anyone's supposed to care? I believe we run articles about people who bring that quality of statistical evidence to a discussion - David Gerard (talk) 14:21, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I never claimed it was official, but the results are interesting.--JorisEnter (talk) 14:23, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I do think the survey provides some interesting information. What should we do with it? Any conclusions from the survey in terms of policy should be debated of course, but some seem to present themselves... (talk) 14:57, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
What I find especially interesting is that people seem to prefer the topics RW's mission most clearly applies to - pseudoscience, creationism, conspiracies etc. - over Gamergate, the social justice movement, Israel/Palestine stuff, and "mainstream" politics - which happen to be the subject of most edit wars.--JorisEnter (talk) 15:01, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I dunno, I thought the survey showed remarkably high support for SJW and alt-right/MRA topics. And that RW's core subjects from the beginning are considered more missional than other stuff shouldn't be any sort of surprise. (talk) 15:24, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah I was somewhat surprised by the support for SJW stuff and the like. They are, however, still way behind the topics people appear to actually care about (creationism, pseudoscience). Meanwhile, the discussion mostly concerns the SJ-and-related articles. To quote Aeonian
The majority of the world's population believes in some form of creationism. Millions of people every year are swindled by pseudoscience crystal energy type woo. Everyone in a democratic state cares about the differences between liberalism and conservatism. Those topics are important. The things you [Aneris], Typhoon, Castainge2, Kitsunelaine, etc. spend your time edit warring about? They don't even register on the scale.
Couldn't agree more.--JorisEnter (talk) 16:02, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I "edit warred" for correcting smears against Atheist Ireland, who do vital improvements and petition to the UN and such things, or when people here lied about me (with a neat trick of inventing stuff in an article, then putting my name into it, great fun). You just don't get it. ~ Aneris 21:16, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
JorisEnter, why are you reading through long tirades in my talk page archive? :D Lord Aeonian (talk) 22:09, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Big Joris is watching you!--JorisEnter (talk) 22:13, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
No, this is bullshit. The survey was bogus to start with, it was falsely painted as official, it's the sort of ludicrous rubbish RW routinely pillories people for, a pile of people (e.g. me) didn't participate because of its ludicrous bogosity and you're trying to draw conclusions from it. There are literally no conclusions to be drawn from it that you didn't bring with you - David Gerard (talk) 16:33, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Yup, this. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:39, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Fuzzy Cat Potato has his finger on RW's pulse. You noobs don't know anything about consensus or how this site should be run. Conscience (talk) 16:58, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
...says the guy that apparently never bothered to even make a fucking edit to anything other than his user page/user talk page.--JorisEnter (talk) 17:01, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't talking to you. Also, I've been here since 2009 in various incarnations. I thought you looked at my user page. Conscience (talk) 14:55, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Lemme see if I got this right...the argument is being made the SJW's are backed by science and are fighting pseudoscience, as well. Is this the conclusion? nobsMr. Trump, tear down this wall... 18:40, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Eh, what? Can't find that in the survey.--JorisEnter (talk) 18:43, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
I find it weird how upset you are about the survey. It allowed a fair number of us to express our thoughts in an easily presentable manner. It seems pretty clear what topics *most* of us would prefer to see and not. I don't think that means the I-P conflict gets dropped, but it probably chould be pared down. It certainly isn't needing to be such a major source of conflict here and have so much time spent policing it. AyzmoCheers 13:21, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Why should we cover the Israel-Palestine conflict? It does not have much to do with pseudoscience, nobody of us is a particular expert and there are hundreds upon hundreds of websites that cater to any potential viewpoint out there and some of them do a better job in terms of expertise than we could ever hope to achieve. In short, what do we lose by dropping it and what do we gain by having it? (talk) 15:48, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I am mildly disconcerted by the lack of support for 'language' and pseudolinguistics. Rest assured that I will be happy to ignore this factoid. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:40, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm mostly pissed off at the bullshit games to try to get a spurious claim of consensus to do something stupid that's ill-specified. This is part of a series of such - David Gerard (talk) 16:11, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
It's a wasted opportunity. A possible survey of RW editors is something which has been discussed a few times over the years. With some proper planning & community imput, it could have been a useful exercise in finding out about our reader/editor demographics, their other online/offline activities, what other sites they use or read, what they like & dislike about RW, etc. etc. Instead of which it was a single-purpose exercise promoting a manufactroversy over the site missions. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:20, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
So then let's have a survey and do it "right" this time. (talk) 02:53, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
But... but.. that would mean actually doing something!--JorisEnter (talk) 05:56, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
What's so bad about that? Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 14:34, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Just thought I'd throw this out there

But currently the main source of drama isn't SJWs, Israel-Palestine or even Democratic factional infighting; it's the bickering about this survey. >.> (talk) 16:15, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Meta-drama!--JorisEnter (talk) 16:29, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Where's RationalWikiWiki when you need it? Ɀexcoiler Кingbolt Noooooooo! Look! Up there! 20:50, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Has anyone seen this list of Biblical contradictions before?

A long time ago, I found a website that had a list of contradictions in the Bible sorted by importance. I've seen lots of other lists, but this one in particular had them grouped so that you could see which contradictions were critical errors, which contradictions only matter to Biblical inerrantists, and which ones depend on interpretation/doctrine. Has anyone else seen this website, and if so, what website is it? I can't find it again, unfortunately. —ShapeshiftingLizard ~▲~ hear me roar ~▲~ 22:54, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

We have a Biblical contradictions page, which also has links to some other lists. Maybe one of those is it. --Ymir (talk) 20:56, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
and TOW also kinda has one:w:Internal consistency of the Bible.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:37, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the list I'm looking for doesn't seem to be on either of those pages. Oh well. For all I know, the site might not even exist anymore. —ShapeshiftingLizard ~▲~ hear me roar ~▲~ 01:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
[1] (talk) 05:27, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Republican anti-Trump movement dead?

Rachel Maddow says the anti-Trump movement is getting desperate trying the equivalent of an impossible billiard trick shot. I am not quite sure. After all, the only thing it usually takes to flip an election is taking five or so percent away from one candidate. And an anti-Trump effort with any coordination could still do that. Even if it means Johnson 2016... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 22:04, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Trump isn't going to win anyway so it's not like they need to bother. The anti-Trump Republicans are basically projecting their Clinton hatred onto the American public as a whole and assuming everyone hates the Clintons as much as they do and would pick Trump over her. --Ymir (talk) 22:10, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
The establishment holdout is Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard; the Romney-Kasich shenanigans is more an effort to sabotage Hillary & guarantee a Trump win ("billiard trick shot"). So, Trump has time to meet Kristol's demands, sometime about the sametime Ryan comes out in support. If I'm wrong, under Rule 14 of the RNC, Romney & Kristol are essentially resigning from the GOP and have no future anywhere with the party. Romney & Kristol might be stupid, but they are not as stupid as Nadar or Jesse Ventura, essentially making themselves permanently irrelevant outsiders to the process and discussion . nobs Pat Nixon for President 00:44, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Note to Rachel Madcow: read the Twelfth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Text[wp]. Only the top three with Electoral vote getters would qualify. Kasich is the only viable candidate. Ryan, who took the job to unite the GOP, would be doubtful he'd be the one to divide the GOP by taking the job over Trump who more Republican voters would have voted for. In fact, only an total idiot would think this is a viable scenario, but being it's Rachel Maddow talking about that, it makes perfect sense now. nobs Pat Nixon for President 01:13, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
It's dead. Gone. Trump will be the nominee and next President of the United States for eight years. Face it. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 03:21, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Current spread on Clinton is 1/3 to 4/9. Don't know if you're much of a gambler, but those are pretty short odds, and they've barely budged for the past month. Are you just one of those chronically gloomy, superstitious types who's afraid to state obvious positive outcomes in case you jinx them? Robledo (talk) 18:25, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
The stronger candidate with a positive aim wins. Trump is for change, Hillary is status quo who can't dispose of a 74 year old socialist. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 18:33, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
With all due respect, Rob, change that you can believe in repels a significant majority of the US electorate. Trump is toast come November. Robledo (talk) 19:06, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

This election appears eerily similar to 1980. A radical non-politician at the head of the Republican ticket, an unpopular Democrat from the South and serious threat of a Republican Third Party effort... We know how 1980 ended. What can we do to keep President Trump from happening? Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 19:39, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

If by "eerily similar", you mean "scant fucking resemblance", then aye, +1. I'll let you get back to winning at talking about politics on the internet now. Carry on. Robledo (talk) 22:04, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Robledo, Trump bests Hillary by 3 points in some polls and other polls show her vote against Trump declining linearly with time. Those are pretty good betting odds. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 01:29, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Polls fluctuate day by day, week by week ... and yet the odds haven't shifted for a month. Think about that for a bit. You worry too much. Robledo (talk) 19:17, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Laurogeita Hamabost is on to something. There are similiarities to 1980 which even Trump tries to evoke. Succinctly

  • Reagan was an actor, an outsider, whom even some Republicans had trouble taking seriously right up to the convention;
  • a stagnant economic situation in which people were ready to try anything including throwing the baby (New Deal & Great Society safety nets) out with the bathwater;
  • a dangerous international situation with an immediate crisis with Iran, and a deeper underlying problem with Russia, which, like the economic situation, the old hands seemed incapable of resolving.

So it wasn't just Reagan, a GOP Senate was elected as well. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 05:07, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Reagan's critics in 1980 did not stop at the convention. There was a Republican running third party in that year. John Anderson. He gained 6.6% of the vote nationally... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 18:10, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
It was Democrats that mocked the idea of a "B movie actor" up to election and beyond. Republicans united behind the candidate at the convention and beyond (but there were those with doubts right up to the convention, as you see now with Trump). Anderson did more to hurt Carter than Reagan. He basically ran on the Equal Rights Amendment which Reagan opposed, and siphoned off votes from Carter. Still didn't win any Electors however.
One big difference, however. Reagan was pretty specific in his economic proposals which frightened many establishment Republicans ("economic Voodoo" or why he lost to Ford in '76), but was vague on foreign policy. Trump has been vague on both. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 20:27, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Amazing. Not a word on Anderson's support of ERA in his Wikipedia bio, and that was the only issue he had. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 20:40, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] It's my RationalWiki cake day!

I signed up for this beautiful mess of an internet project precisely one year ago, today - on the 19th of May 2015. Like Buzz Aldrin never said; "One small gigant, leap for kind man". And not to toot my own horn here, but to top things off in a celebratory style, setting Month 04 and Year 2016 here reveals that I was the 2nd most active editor on the entire site for April this year! (And with roughly 60% of those edits in actual mainspace). Perhaps a bit silly for me to point that out, I know - this site's been around for a long, long time, and a lot of fine people do a lot more than me... but still. I want to savor my tiny moment. It is my RW cake day, after all. Beaten only by a thin margin by the lovely JorisEnter, well deserving of the "win". (And then I'd like to stress that I wasn't "racing for most edits"; that would ruin the whole statistic, as a single edit could just as well be a minor spellcheck as a major article contributions. Besides, I wasn't even made aware of the statistic until the 27th of April).

Regardless of that boring statistic, however... there you have it. I hope my better contributions have been of any significance to the mission, and to you fine people. I've learned a lot since I started here, and although I've never had any specific axe to grind here, today I look back on how I was a year ago and can say with pride that I've grown to value diplomacy, compromise, editorial soundness and general positivity as the highest aspirations I have here (aside from snark and goat). Now, I'm still learning a lot, but I consistently try my best to help the site and the editors on it. I hope these efforts have generally been well recieved on your ends, comrades. It's been an eventful year for me too, personally. I was finally diagnosed, as an adult (of sorts), with a rather severe form of ADHD-C. (So, it's never personal if I'm slow to react/come or go a little/fail to reply to things/seem oblivious to various drama). Thankfully, I'm on better meds now than I was when I joined, which also plays into helping me to be marginally less derpy today... Regardless. Before I get completely off topic here. Let's raise our tankards to one more year of this wonderful nonsense, shall we? "So come take a drink, and drown your sorrows, and all of our fears will be gone til' tomorrow. Have no regrets, and live for the day, in Nancy's Harbor Café.". Huzzah! Thank you for everything, RationalWiki. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:59, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Congratulations Percy!--JorisEnter (talk) 10:04, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Hope to see many more "sourced, relevant quotes" popping up around RW over the years. ;) oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ Moderator (talk/stalk) 12:33, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
♫♬ Happy anniversary to you! Bongolian (talk) 07:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Congratulations! Keeping at it for a year practically makes you one of the Old Guard these days. Spud (talk) 15:45, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] BernieBros vs $hillsters

Formerly known as "List of bought-and-paid-for neoliberal corporate piece of shit one-percenters shilling for a mass murderer who will be arrested for "emails" any day now."

The New Republic’s Dana Houle: “It is Sanders’s prerogative to remain in the race. But exercising that prerogative makes it easier for mega-wealthy conservatives to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to lethally bludgeon both Clinton’s candidacy and the progressive agenda to which Sanders has devoted his career. This is not solely about combating the grave threat of a Trump presidency. It is also about the potential of a Democratic landslide and the progressive achievements that could follow, which is an opportunity too rare and precious to squander.… The best way for Sanders to advance the progressive cause is to end his campaign and unabashedly ask his supporters to join him in helping to elect Clinton.”

Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall: “Sanders is telling his supporters that he can still win, which he can't. He's suggesting that the win is being stolen by a corrupt establishment, an impression which will be validated when his phony prediction turns out not to be true. Lying like this sets you up for stuff like happened over the weekend in Nevada.”

Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum: “Before this campaign, Sanders was a gadfly, he was a critic of the system, and he was a man of strong principles. He still is, but he's also obviously very, very bitter…. By all objective measures he did way better than anyone expected and had far more influence than anyone thought he would, and he should feel good about that. Instead, he seems more angry and resentful with every passing day.”

The Atlantic’s Clare Foran: “As the Sanders campaign presses forward, it must carefully consider whether the senator’s ambition for a political revolution is a goal best achieved by actively stoking the anger of his supporters — and, in a sense, encouraging them to tear it all down.”

Vox’s Jeff Stein: “Sanders needed to win Kentucky to maintain an increasingly far-fetched path to the Democratic nomination. The fact that he lost — albeit by what appears to have been a very small margin — will only dramatically increase the calls for him to exit the race.”

Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur: “Real-keeping: Sanders is grossly misleading his supporters about his prospects for winning the nomination.”

MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin: “There's no rule requiring losing candidates to delude their supporters. He could just say "This is about a message."”

The Atlantic's James Fallows: “1) At this point in 2008, HRC was in closer race w Obama than Sanders is w her now. She stayed in but stopped attacking him as “callow” etc”

This traitorous superdelegate: A Sanders superdelegate flipped his allegiance to Clinton, per Bloomberg. Emmett Hansen II, Democratic National Committee member for the U.S. Virgin Islands, shifted his support. “There are no more windmills to joust against and no more mountains to climb,” he said.

New York Times’ John Harwood.: “Sanders doesn't seem very interested just now in preserving goodwill he's built up within Democratic Party after losing nomination,"

Nevada press corps.'s Jon Ralston: He lost, and the reaction to the vanquishing was akin to the petulant mewling of a baby who had been pampered until the moment he first was told no, wailing with no purpose other than to be loud. And just like an infant, the Sanders folks wanted it to be all about them.… I seriously doubt he can put out the fire he has set.

Washington Post's Dave Weigel: “This is truly the millennials’ campaign. Second place gets a trophy!”

That corrupt Hillary Shill called Barney Frank: "The way Bernie's been acting now is a demonstration of why he’s had no support from his colleagues."

Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas: “I’m feeling the respect I had for Sanders ebb out of me”

And now, last but not least, Wonkette's Rebecca Schoenkopf:if your “revolution” includes disinformation, aimed to rile up your supporters, that would make Pravda and Ronald Reagan blush, you can make like your healthcare, and keep it! (Also, if you consider Barbara Boxer, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Dolores Huerta, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and John Lewis to be Enemies of your State, you probably need to sit down with a mug of Ovaltine and give your animal farm and Four Legs Bad Two Legs Better a super double plus good unthink.) Before you tell us to WATCH THE VIDEOS — we have. They don’t show the blinding righteousness of your side that you think they do. What they show to most of us is the kind of screaming, violent temper tantrum for not getting your way — which happens sometimes in a democracy, or even a republic! — that is turning you into nihilist shitbirds.

If anyone has more examples of Shillary KKKlinton's shills undermining Saint Bernie post it here, please. Typhoon (talk) 13:10, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm sensing a lot of straw man here. (talk) 13:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
You're absolutely correct. All criticism is made of straw men. Bernie is not responsible for anything, which is why he's now calling for a debate to be hosted on Fox News between him and $hillary. It's the only logical move, after all, it's not like he's mathematically unable to win the primary. Typhoon (talk) 13:51, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
When actual or purported fanatical followers of Sanders are called BernieBros, what are fanatical followers of Hillary called?--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 13:58, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 13:58, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
$hillsters. Typhoon (talk) 14:14, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I get only 4 hits on Google.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 14:19, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 14:19, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I blame Correct the Record™ for that. Typhoon (talk) 14:27, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Can you only speak in straw men? O.o And it's been mathematically impossible for him to win the right amount of delegates for months now, that's obviously not why he's continuing the campaign so why do people keep bringing it up? (talk) 14:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Why is he then continuing his campaign when it's now obvious more than ever that no more good can come from it for anyone? Typhoon (talk) 14:14, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Why did Clinton?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 14:41, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 14:41, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I asked first, but OK. Clinton is winning the popular vote by millions. And unlike Sanders she isn't launching conspiracy theories about states she lost. Now you answer my question. Typhoon (talk) 14:50, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Cool. A candidate dislikes the process. She said in '08 that she wanted everyone to vote in the primaries but now she doesn't. You don't care about Sanders; you are here regurgitating blog posts. Go to put this shit on a Tumblr or Reddit post.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 15:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 15:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
What are you even talking about in that rant of your? And when will you answer my question? All you do is cry about Hillary, but god help us if anyone dares to criticize Sanders. Typhoon (talk) 15:24, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I have posted discussion about Sanders problems here and I have added to his criticism section on his page. All of this is criticism of staying in. He can stay in as long as he wants and I don't need to answer for that. It is nit his fault if Clinton loses to Trump because people will have chosen to not vote for her; you are the one posting bullshit about how Sanders shouldn't criticize her because they may hurt her in the general.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 15:36, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 15:36, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Clinton will not lose, whereas Sanders would end up like McGovern after the RNC airs attack ads with all the Communist stuff he did. Typhoon (talk) 16:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
The Democrats thought Kerry couldn't lose.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:19, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 16:19, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
That's some heavy shit you're smoking for you to compare Teflon Hillary to Swiftboated Kerry. Typhoon (talk) 16:28, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Why wouldn't he? He's an old geezer, why wouldn't he want to make the most of it and make as much of a mark as he can? It's not like he still has a whole life ahead of him. And you never know if Clinton's campaign might suffer some unforeseen circumstances. As the latter said herself in 2008, “we all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California”. (talk) 03:16, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Who the fuck cares if Sanders stays in? In a sense I've always known he would lose, probably from the moment he joined the DNC anyway, but I'd hoped he'd go down fighting the continuously right-shifting DNC and RNC establishment. Withoutaname (talk) 15:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Umm, the entire DNC cares, since they want to avoid another huge fist-fight? Sanders is becoming increasingly bitter and is clearly unable to control his supporters. Typhoon (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Good, I hope the DNC implodes on itself so we can go back to having an actual multi-party democracy. Withoutaname (talk) 16:20, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Because Typhoon thinks he has a point when talking about "Bernie Bros".--Owlman (talk) (mail) 15:49, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 15:49, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Case in point. Owlman. Typhoon (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Oh yeah bro lets go talk about increasing women's rights, criminal justice reform, and income inequality. That is real sexists and racists but we all know that Typhoon isn't some privileged white guy. It is real contrarian of us to not vote for Clinton who is a warmonger whi supports the death penalty and the war on drugs; how regressive of us not to see the true liberal candidate.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:09, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 16:09, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
BernieBros at Nevada voted out of the party platform to oppose voter ID laws and voted to also take out support for overturning Citizens United. That is when they weren't busy booing progressive and liberal Democrats. Typhoon (talk) 16:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Cool now Twitter is a respected source. They weren't booing them for being progressive.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:28, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 16:28, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
This is the perfect example of the conspiracy-mongering from BernieBros that liberal pundits are now finally pointing out. Everyone who attended the Convention can confirm that this happened. Typhoon (talk) 16:32, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I have shortened the title of this section a bit. My RC was a big mess with all these long titles.--JorisEnter (talk) 15:58, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I've made it better Typhoon (talk) 16:04, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

What the hell conspiracy theories are you talking about? The United States mainstream political process will naturally prevent a heavily left-leaning candidate from attaining office, especially when their source of funding is entirely dependent on independent financial contributors rather than corporate bigwigs and they have to continuously compromise their political principles to get anywhere in the DNC. This sort of outcome was inevitable so I don't see the reason why they're getting all mad about it. Nor do I see how this impacts Clinton in any way.

Why have none of you voted for Jill Stein? Withoutaname (talk) 16:46, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I doubt Typhoon reads anything from FairVote or the many other organizations that have criticized US campaign finaces.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:49, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 16:49, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Speaking of campaign finances, Sanders has a consistent problem with excessive, illegal donations. But I'm sure you know that because you read FairVote when not peddling conspiracy theories about Hillary "stealing" the primary. Typhoon (talk) 17:17, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I am aware of that problem but the FEC can't really do anything about any of the possible problems like CorrecttheRecord hiring astroturfers because they are split between 3 Republicans ansd 3 Democrats. I never said she stole the primary only that it was stacked in her favor; she accepted massive amounts of campaign finances, created the Hillary Victory Fund to subvert campaign finance laws, and had the party on her side. But idk why I would say any of this since you don't actually care about this. It is ironic that you complained about "purity tests" and now you link to op-eds that criticize Sanders for daring to criticize Clinton. You just want to be right about "BernieBros" I mean why else would you ask me to justify him still running.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 17:50, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 17:50, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
So a few people are a little overenthusiastic about Sanders. It just so happens that elections are based on the principle of one dollar == one vote. The real question though, Typhoon, is why haven't you voted for Jill Stein? Withoutaname (talk) 18:01, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I know why I won't be. It's easy to say you support them for the feel-good environmental stuff, but that's a very very shallow view of the party. They're strongly anti-GMO. Strongly anti-nuclear. They're pro-altmed, particularly with chronic conditions. I'm sorry, but I can't see myself standing with them. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 19:44, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Come on, you should support her because her platform is based on workplace democracy. And who wouldn't like a little more control over their place of work? Withoutaname (talk) 20:39, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Pass the butter and salt, my popcorn is little dry. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 18:13, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
The fun thing is: first corporate America ignores Sanders, then they say he should step down, or make a mountain out of everything (remember when Clinton interrupted him several times and he said she should let him speak now, how OMG he was downright silencing her, Sanders Silencing Woman! ! An outrage!). Then he gains a lot of ground and they say he can't win anyway and should give up, and now the same people feel “disappointed” about him, as if anything ever changed. You can observe the same creepy manipulative techniques with the Dawkins-critics, a similar bunch (you can tell, since people who like Dawkins are “DawkBros”. How they complain and whine and wail yet every time, mere minutes before they see the latest Outrage! they claim they became greatest fans again, just to be sooo disappointed yet again. How deep Dawkins has fallen! etc This crowd are famous for the histrionic spectacle, and it can be quite entertaining. ~ Aneris 00:40, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
What do you have against Dawkins' critics? Dawkins himself has become famous and rather predictable for his political gaffes. Dawkins fans still close their eyes whenever someone brings up Dear Muslima as a prime example of fallacy of relative privation. Withoutaname (talk) 06:59, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
That's not even wrong. For one, the discussion was about entirely different things (does "laughing down rape victims" sound familiar, if not, you know nothing); for another we know now for a fact that his critics are full into "islamophobia" and this whole fallacy is nothing more than rationalisation. And as a bonus, he wrote that as a snarky comment into a blog. What a sad state of affairs that some people can't get over it, and only added over the years (his critics have upped the stakes and now believe he literally unleashed the hatred against women). ~ Aneris 03:35, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
"does "laughing down rape victims" sound familiar, if not" It does, but what does that have to do with your knee-jerk defense of Dawkins whenever he's criticized?
"his critics are full into "islamophobia"" So Islamophobia isn't real now?
"this whole fallacy is nothing more than rationalisation" You're complaining about a prime example of the application of a logical fallacy to an argument being nothing more than "rationalization", on a wiki called "RationalWiki"?
"What a sad state of affairs that some people can't get over it, and only added over the years" People have pointed out his pattern of making stupid mistakes, not simply act surprised whenever he makes one. On the other hand, it seems you are the one who cannot get over the fact that he's criticized. Withoutaname (talk) 07:26, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
"So Islamophobia isn't real now?" Nope. Never was. Every instance of "Islamophobia" you see is actually just racism. Why else would Sikhs, Hindus, etc be targeted? Oh wait, they're brown. Nothing to do with Islam. Lord Aeonian (talk) 21:27, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't disprove Islamophobia, that just makes it a subset of racism, similar to antisemitism. And in reality, that's what it is. Withoutaname (talk) 12:07, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] This is the umpteenth Hillie Sandton catfight

And it has changed nothing and made people more antagonistic. Political topics make great RW topics! Herr FüzzyCätPötätö Moderator (talk/stalk) 19:16, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Even if we didn't cover any politicians people would want to talk about candidates here and that would result in antagonism.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 19:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Let's just hope we all get our focus back in time for the third term of President Trump... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 19:36, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps not as much antagonism as there is now. At least we wouldn't be getting edit wars on pages. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 20:11, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Do you not remember the MLP or Gamergate edit wars?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 20:22, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
That Ryulong editor seemed to be a complete nut Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:51, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
He did no edits this year here. Maybe he's gone for good from here, seeing that he's was vandal-binned.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 20:54, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 20:54, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I read up on him when I joined, it seems there's even a cult dedicated to justifying everything he did, like Marxist-Leninists talking about how the revolution needs a strong leader and Stalin was the best man for the job. Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
What cult? You can't just call everyone who looks up to someone with similar politics a "cult". Withoutaname (talk) 21:04, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
? You have no idea what we're talking about, do you? Ryulong was a highly controversial editor and there a few other editors who insist everything he did was the fault of others. Look through the coop case archives, it's a long story. Lord Aeonian (talk) 21:17, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Eh, not so much a cult as just David Gerard and Kitsunelaine. (talk) 21:26, 19 May 42016 AQD (UTC)
A few other editors supported him, yes, and he had a rather provocative editing style, but nowhere did I see an active shifting of blame. All it was, as all wikidrama goes, was a disagreement over politics. Withoutaname (talk) 21:30, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
There have been several other insane edit wars like Avenger's crusade against British English, his whitwashing of Israel, and his justification for the Dresden firebombing by stating they deserved it for voting for the Nazis. There was also Arisboch's constant edit warring with Mona. I wasn't here when this occured but there were several users who left and created SJWiki and the person who made it was quite unhinged from what I have read.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:58, 20 May 2016 (UTC) 00:58, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Nah, pretty sure that wiki already existed a while before all that happened. (talk) 03:21, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
I read that it was a fork from a bunch of splitters.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:37, 20 May 2016 (UTC) 03:37, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] The funny thing is

As someone not invested either way, I have seen far more criticism of Bernie and Bernie supporters (much of it from a single zealot) then I have seen attacks on Hillary, or the belief that Bernie can still win which certain users say is some sort of sacred tradition. The only person I've seen with anywhere near the level of fanaticism for Bernie certain people are complaining about is Mona...and her zealotry pales in comparison to that of the Clinton supporters, who spend much more time attacking Bernie than supporting Clinton. Why don't they just drop the Hillary stuff, and call themselves anti-Bernie instead of pro-Clinton? Lord Aeonian (talk) 19:55, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

You must not be around Facebook, Reddit, or other parts of the non-RW internet much. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 20:08, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Small sample size bias, dearie. Vulpius (talk) 20:13, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
First of all, the drama in question is supposed to be about RW, and second of all, I am on reddit and such, and do not see the Bernie mania certain people are talking about. Unless you guys spend your time in echo chambers. Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:21, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
$hillary is a dead meme. It's dead. Done. We're done criticizing $hillary. Okay? We're done. This is the billionth time someone called her a neocon and the trillionth time someone called her a neoliberal. No one's interested in the next "BENGHAZI" or "LEAKED EMAILS" meme about her.
But criticism of Bernie Sanders is rare. It's called for. It's needed. It's sorely lacking across the internet. It's why I came here. To learn how much different Bernie's platform is from $hillary. And how much similar. And he's had a lot of problems that his prophet millenials have yet to come to terms with. Withoutaname (talk) 20:36, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Seems like this is resting on the balance fallacy. Just because Hillary has a lot of faults and Bernie has less, doesn't mean we have to campaign against Bernie to make up for it. Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:37, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I was astonished by his support for Obama's foreign policy; he went as far as saying it was constitutional.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 20:42, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
  1. Fallacies are concerned with the truth-values of statements not levels of criticism against people.
  2. That's not what balance fallacy says. Clearly you need to review the wiki page for balance fallacy again, because I'm not even presenting two extreme positions.
  3. I'm not even campaigning against Bernie to "make up" for anything. I'm just asking to find some criticism of Bernie amidst all the "$hillary is evil" platitudes you can find in abundance on the internet.
Holy shit, you managed to be not even wrong on at least 3 levels. Withoutaname (talk) 20:55, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Uh, who are you addressing? Nevermind, I didn't see Aeonian's post.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:59, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 20:59, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Don't you think the "levels of criticism" of people should be at least somewhat related to the "truth-values" of their positions? It may not be the exact definintion of the balance fallacy, but when two people are being criticized equally, for the same reasons, but one person has done far more to earn that criticism...seems like a balance problem to me. Besides, we have criticisms of Bernie, and there is no "abundance" of pro-Bernie platitudes on the internet, unless you're also willing to count Hillary supporters and pro-Hillary echo chambers as an "abundance" of pro-Hillary platitudes. If you want more criticisms, find some sources and add them to the Bernie Sanders page. If there are problems and people point them out, find better sources. If there are no problems and people still edit war, than you're dealing with zealots and you're in the right. Lord Aeonian (talk) 21:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm not aware of pro-Hillary echo chambers, but personally speaking Reddit and even the working Dems group in my community is full of pro-Sanders echo chambers. Also there will always be some problems with our articles, they're not perfect. So when people edit war, it's not zealotry, it's democracy at work. Withoutaname (talk) 21:12, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
So, you're saying that the "abundance" of pro-Bernie echo chambers is evidenced by...your personal experience? Shall we accept woo testimonials as well? Why don't you look at communities for Hillary supporters - there are a few on Reddit, for instance. You will find they, to, are echo chambers. Lord Aeonian (talk) 21:15, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Well technically speaking, all the subreddits on Reddit are echo chambers. But most of the mainstream subs are either pro-Bernie or pro-Trump, including: /r/politics, /r/news, /r/worldnews, /r/TiA, /r/KiA, /r/funny, /r/gaming... Not to mention a large number of them grew out of the old Rand Paul demographic. And /r/sandersforpresident has had more subscribers and been around longer than the /r/hillaryclinton subreddit. Withoutaname (talk) 21:24, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, Aeonian, his page and Clinton's are locked atm.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 21:11, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 21:11, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Trump is to the left of both Hillary and Bernie on globalism and trade

Once being the party that opposed offshoring, lowering of wages through work permits given to foreigners (H1-Bs), and making it less palatable for American companies to takes profits and jobs overseas, the motto of the Democratic Party now is who cares anymore about free trade, Obama and Bernie will compensate us with nominal free stuff. So Democrats now walk in lock step whenever the left now says opposing immigration and free trade is racist.

The above is hyperbole and I'm taking some liberties with my interpretation of the current political dialogue, but I mean to be to drive a point here. Free trade and immigration, as has been implemented over the past 30 years, hurts the poor. Obamacare is unaffordable, has high deductibles, and creates an implicit 90%+ marginal tax for the poor working class through phase outs. Student loan tax deductions phase out at 60,000 annual income (or close to that), while having H1-Bs come to America willing to work for cheap just for the potential of getting a green card in 15 years drives down employment and wages for college graduates (including STEM) who have to pay back student loans. Giving guest worker permits to illegal aliens drives down the unskilled wage, making it more difficult to raise the minimum wage without raising unemployment.

Donald Trump is poised to sweep the white working class vote, including in the Rust Belt, Appalachia, and the South. Blacks and Hispanics may not vote for Trump, but that's because America legitimately was never great for the blacks and some Hispanics here just want to band with their own kind for political power. Objective (talk) 22:26, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

90%? I saw that kinda anti-Sanders propaganda floating on the net before.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 22:31, 19 May 2016 (UTC) 22:31, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Copy-pasta from before: FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ Moderator (talk/stalk) 23:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Why does immigration hurt poor people? Why does free trade hurt poor people? Just for reference, keep in mind that the global number of persons in poverty is decreasing, that the average and median incomes are increasing, and that the world as a whole has its highest levels of immigration and free trade, ever.
[EC] And here's the charts to prove it:
Free trade: exports are up and trade agreements are up
Migration: foreign-born residents are up
Average income: income is up
Povery: is down, by multiple measures
Inequality: guess what? also down
And, in case you need final proof: free trade demonstrably helps the poor the most
Ffffs. Damn closed-marketeers. FuzzyCatPotato of the Dazzling Bevels Moderator (talk/stalk) 00:41, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Average income is up. Wow, it was trending that way even before the invention of the steam powered locomotive and electricity. Solid evidence compared to your poverty figures. 20:52, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Look, I get that people lose their jobs when they are offshored and that companies have exploited H-1B visas by forcing their workers to train them to replace them in order to get their benefits; some free trade may have been unnecessary but more often than not the US suppliers sell their products w/o tariffs while US consumers have to pay more for foreign goods. If anything NAFTA hurt Mexican farm workers more than US manufacturing jobs. Sweatshops are horrendous and poor countries have been exploited but that doesn't mean globalization should be abandoned. The idea that free trade drives down wages or that immigration threaten the welfare state is ridiculous; even when jobs are offshored the government can mitigate the damage by creating public sector jobs and retraining workers.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:52, 20 May 2016 (UTC) 00:52, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
The problem with free trade is that it overwhelmingly benefits large, multinational corporations who are big enough already, rather than small people. Consumers get goods, which employs workers in poorer countries, but the downside is you are entrenching a terrible capitalist system even further. FCP, you're a free-trader? What other neoliberal ideas do you support? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 01:31, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Go ahead and tell people that they can "retrain" and abandon their homes because their jobs have been offshored. Or because some bozo made a smart-phone 'app' that means your skills are no longer needed. If people get a chance to vote against that sort of thing, they'll probably vote 'no'. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:56, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
@Pbfreespace: even if what you say is true (which again ignores the massive progress of the poor), why isn't it possible to easily fix those problems? I can't tell whether you're ad at capitalism or mad at "modern" capitalism, so I can't answer that question. And that kind of broadstroke "neoliberal" painting is exactly the kind of guilt by association RW calls out.
@Smerdis: They can retrain. The Luddites, too, were pissed about laborsaving tech -- but what better way to reduce poverty than to end menial labor and retrain people (which the US doesn't REALLY do) in more engaging (and profitable) professions? αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο Moderator (talk/stalk) 05:08, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Sounds like a bunch of causalation, Fuzzy. (talk) 02:43, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
What I presented is, sure. But the graphs should point you in the right direction: cheaper goods and services means better lives.
What alternate explanation can so easily explain poverty reduction after WWII? 32℉uzzy; 0℃atPotato Moderator (talk/stalk) 05:01, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
The era after World War II was the golden age of organized labor and the Golden Age of the Welfare state... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 18:15, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Now, explain everywhere that isn't Europe or North America. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. Moderator (talk/stalk) 23:37, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
perhaps cold war politics flooding former colonies with cash and support? Has the world gotten gradually more stable post war? Has the UN contributed? Reptillian overlords? Bono? AMassiveGay (talk) 23:54, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Fuzzy, the answer is twofold: (1) expanded trade; (2) expanded charitable giving through agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, etc. nobsTrump/Sanders 2016 17:54, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

What, exactly, are we going to "retrain" all these workers to do? Anything routine will be automated, anything else will be outsourced. Lord Aeonian (talk) 19:54, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Sure, automation will replace a lot of workers but that has nothing to do with free trade. Presumably, you could retrain them in more service based jobs or you can concentrate on increasing the public sector by instituting more public works or research projects.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:12, 22 May 2016 (UTC) 20:12, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Service jobs. This is an old old argument, and by now everyone knows first hand "automated customer service" on the phone is bullshit. Nothing like having a good 'ol human being to talk to when you need customer service at the Wal-Mart exchange counter or on the phone to straighten out your utility bill. Yes, service sector jobs do require a cultural adjustment, this is where Bernie Sanders & the Occupy Wall Street movement come into criticism, harboring and stressing resentment. The haves -- consumers with cash -- versus the have nots -- service sector employees who have to kiss consumers asses for the minimum wage. So it does require a cultural adjustment to make this "new economy" work. nobsUser talk:RobSmith #NeverHillary 20:21, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, you may disagree with this but unionizing would help increase wages and workplace protection.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:41, 22 May 2016 (UTC) 20:41, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't think you understand. Service sector jobs are being automated as well. The rise of wealthfront and betterment are excellent examples of the financial sector - once considered impervious to automation - being automated. At the bottom, Wealthfront already offers enough services for someone with little financial expertise to forgo any investment or financial advisers, and tax software is putting an end to the tax assistance/preparing industry. At the top, automated trading and "algo" hedge funds outperform human fund managers regularly, and automated trading confers additional advantages unrelated to stock picking skill, notable high frequency trading (HFT). The fact of the matter is, the financial sector will not employ nearly as many people as it does today in 20 years. Any other service sector industry which is similarly susceptible to software will suffer the same fate. As for low wage service industries, what about online shopping? I can buy an item from Amazon, an automated sorting device gets my item from a warehouse and loads it onto an automated truck, which drives to a central location near me and then dispatches a drone to deliver my item. No humans required. Also, I'd like to respond to @RobSmith because what they are discussing involves an important fact people often overlook - automation doesn't need to be just as good as, or better than, humans. It just needs to be substantially cheaper for the loss of quality. So, look at the automated call centers. They are certainly lower quality, but at the same time they are *much* cheaper. So companies don't care about the loss of quality, because the profitability of automation makes up for it by far. Lord Aeonian (talk) 21:42, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeas. I do realise that automation is increasing in service jobs and agriculture businesses; what I was saying is that manufacturing, as we know it, is dead and the US has moved towards a service based economy. Now, unions can try to revolt against the increasing automation of the service industry but w/o consumers boycotting them, either directly or indirectly, they cannot avoid this; unfortunately, consumers appear to tolerate, if not welcome, this change since most companies use a hybrid system of automation: robotic call centers, self checkouts, robotic baristas and servers, etc. A creative-based economy is worthless to the majority of people so we would have to rely on a knowledge-based economy which would be helped by the increase in complicated technology; this may still have problems, though, since white-collar jobs, such as surgery and accounting, can be partial replaced by automation. The biggest problem here maybe overpopulation since there will be fewer jobs.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:09, 23 May 2016 (UTC) 01:09, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
The existence of the technology isn't the determinitive factor, consumer demand is. If the haves want live human beings to clean their toilet or wait on them in restaurants versus having a robot do it, that will decide the future. Automation only can compete with living humans to the extent it can be more efficient. Most people I know or speak with are extremely frustrated with push button voice menus when they make a simple phone call trying to get some service or action. nobs#NeverHillary 01:33, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Well sure but I haven't seen any company in the US completely abandon robotic call centers, though, self-checkouts never overtook humans.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:42, 23 May 2016 (UTC) 01:42, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
First of all, I'll quote what I said above: "automation doesn't need to be just as good as, or better than, humans. It just needs to be substantially cheaper for the loss of quality. So, look at the automated call centers. They are certainly lower quality, but at the same time they are much cheaper. So companies don't care about the loss of quality, because the profitability of automation makes up for it by far." Second of all, luddite solutions such as consumer boycotts of automating companies are improbable and useless even if realized. Smashing the machines won't stop them. Also, bringing up "overpopulation" hinges on the lump of labor fallacy, as more people translates into more demand for goods and services. Less people would only make the problem worse. I'd say Marx's later works will soon be realized - capitalism has developed the means of production to the level where humans no longer need to work. At that point, society will transition into a post-scarity economic system. However, I am assured that the transition period will be...very unfortunate. I doubt many will survive the political and economic turmoil required. Lord Aeonian (talk) 06:37, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
You've set a classic supply-demand scenario. Technology & automation lead to crappy service and a demand for better, more personalized service, at a premium. Shark Tank, the TV show, is full of exactly such ideas. In fact virtually all services (vs inventions, manufactured commodities, etc.) sector ideas on that show are nothing new, other than re-personalizing service sector jobs at a premium. nobs#NeverHillary 18:51, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Accelerationism is a thing, you know? Withoutaname (talk) 12:20, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Anyone know what this woo is called?

Salient quote: "There are essentially numerous different but extremely similar two-dimensional planet earths, folded into a single phase space and occupying the same four dimensional location, creating a holographic illusion of a single three dimensional planet. Which we then have to share. Because (short version) the Trichiliocosm does not use lube when it Fucks you either." I recognize the Buddhist cosmology reference, but is this combined with many worlds theorem and quantum woo? And is there a specific name for it? --Castaigne2 (talk) 21:56, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Are you sure that's not a quote from the Time Cube website? --Ymir (talk) 22:25, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Quite. The author of the quote is intelligent, but has some odd ideas - and they might be original. I think. Maybe. --Castaigne2 (talk) 23:05, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
i believe the technical term is "word salad". Or, "taking theoretically valid science as fact and then applying teleology to the universe". The FCP Foundation Moderator (talk/stalk) 23:50, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it's just pseudoscience, i.e. dressing bullshit up in the verbal trappings of science. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:19, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Sounds like a hoot. Is there a link you can give us to more of their material? (talk) 23:32, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
No. --Castaigne2 (talk) 00:21, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] GMO Answers

I found this interesting YouTube channel about GMOs but, unfortunately, it has very few videos and hasn't posted anything new for months. It lacks the graphs that I am used to on science-based YouTube channels but it does have a lot of Q&A videos on common anti-GMO arguments and "concerns". I was curious what y'all thought about it.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 02:00, 21 May 2016 (UTC) 02:00, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

It puts a person to a scientific response. Good channel. oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ Moderator (talk/stalk) 16:25, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Oh god

Apparently this is Fakesagan, and heres his newest terrible video where he rambles about how Suffragettes were terrorists. here'Legionwhat do you want from me 05:12, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Holy shit! I knew I remembered this guy from somewhere; he was one of TAA's friend. He I learned about him from the straightd0pe aand he was quite the violent nut. I am glad to see he has fallen from vulgar libertarianism into alt right conspiracies.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 06:42, 21 May 2016 (UTC) 06:42, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
I haven't watched the video in question as this guy sounds nuts and I have no wish to give him views. That said, are we talking about American or British Suffragettes here? While he would be incorrect in either case, it would be the difference between out-right stupidity and vast oversimplification. Goven (talk) 18:11, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
The Suffragettes were terrorists. The entire point of the suffragettes was that they were going to achieve their political goals though violence, whereas other movements had just done stuff like march with banners and write letters to (all male) MPs. Distance in time and the fact they weren't armed with machine guns mutes this, but if you were a Suffragist in early 1900s Britain the Suffragettes were doing the same thing for your cause that Donald Trump has done for any legitimate grievances of the Republican party in the 2016 US election. The other thing distance in time distorts is the perception of how important they were to the outcome. Not at all. Women's suffrage was inevitable by the turn of the century, it was just a matter of exactly when it would happen, and it didn't happen while the Suffragettes continued burning things down and causing mayhem. Is that worth deaths? To the Suffragettes, and to any other terrorist group, the answer is always "Yes", every cause is worth killing and dying for. Alas. The decision to whitewash them now suits a modern simplification in which there are "good guys" who believe good things and whose actions are thus always justified "bad guys" who believe bad things and whose actions are therefore always bad and no shades of grey. (talk) 09:29, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
"Women's suffrage was inevitable by the turn of the century" Who says? This seems very ahistorical and it's completely ignoring the historical injustice perpetrated by a system that has treated women as property for centuries.
Really though, you're defending an authoritarian regime that has deprived half its population of the right to vote, and conveniently overlooking the inherent violence and suffering done in its name. When you compare it to whatever "violence" you see in the reaction of that latter half, they're not even on the same level. What does it say about you? Withoutaname (talk) 09:57, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't think he does, he just claims, that the suffragettes weren't the cause of women getting to vote.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 14:49, 22 May 2016 (UTC) 14:49, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
@Withoutaname Clearly, if the oppressed would have asked politely they would have gotten everything they wanted.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 15:08, 22 May 2016 (UTC) 15:08, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

I like how BON claim suffragettes were terrorists yet fails to point to even a single example. The FCP Foundation Moderator (talk/stalk) 15:04, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

husbands got home from work, and their dinner wasnt ready. Or is it not terrorism when we agree with the cause, you inhuman monster? AMassiveGay (talk) 15:21, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
seriously though, i think some windows were broken and stuff AMassiveGay (talk) 15:27, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
That's a bit like painting civili rights activists as terrorists because some of them were terrorists. Bleh. HairyFelineTuber Moderator (talk/stalk) 16:23, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
broken windows have feelings too :'( :'( Withoutaname (talk) 12:05, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

I actually think the IP above is fakesagan. I have no actually proof, but alas. 'Tis simply a hunch. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 15:28, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Samoan constitutional amendment proposal

From the Samoa Observer, 21 May 2016: "Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Saʻilele Malielegaoi, has reaffirmed his government’s intention to amend the Constitution to make Christianity the official religion of Samoa. But he wouldn’t say whether the government would entertain a call by the National Council of Churches to ban other religions like Islam." —Peter Chastain [Speak!] 13:17, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

My favorite Facebook comment about this came from a Dominic Liu Victor Pereira, who wrote (sic), "I for one am totally supportive of this move be our PM n his government.. Imho.. By actioning these changes now the government will be sparing Samoa from suffing the same unholy changes the US r going through right now.. It is well documented that the secularization movement is running rampant in the USA..." —Peter Chastain [Speak!] 13:17, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
It's well documented! Wow, it must be true! Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:38, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
But I bring all this up by way of asking if we should have a Samoa article. I don't have time to write it. —Peter Chastain [Speak!] 13:17, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
If they're going the way of the modern theocracy, then they're certainly missional. 32℉uzzy; 0℃atPotato Moderator (talk/stalk) 18:34, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] "Racist" or "sexist" labeling

I don't get why out of the thousands of times I've criticized someone by pointing out or following the logical racist or sexist connotations behind the views they espouse, they react as badly as if I've directly attacked them and called them "racist" or "sexist". In reality, my application of such labels is very limited, and I suspect many others do the same. If so, I wonder why so many people on the right, and in particular a large subset of self-titled "gamers", try to dismiss their opponent as a mere "SJW" overusing such words or make themselves appear to be not racist or sexist. Withoutaname (talk) 12:19, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Unrelated spat about people's personalities

[edit] Actual discussion

Now, you made a point of saying that you were calling out the underpinnings of particular statements and not people racist and/or sexist, but it raises the important side note, racists tend to see things this way: "racism is bad, and I'm not bad, thus I'm not racist, and the person calling me one is a liar, which is bad, therefor they're the real racist". It's a monotolithically stupid thought process, but a very natural one. The idea of "firmly believe something originating from a bigotted assumption-> racist" is one that no one who is actually a colossal racist ass will ever accept. I have no solution. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:03, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, that thought process is hardly unique to racism/sexism; I think everyone starts with the premise that they are "right" or, at least, right to the best of their ability and knowledge. And that in turn assumes that they are unbiased, rational people. Lord Aeonian (talk) 22:35, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
i am not sure why one would be surprised that people would react angrily if you were to tell them their words or deeds are racist. How is possible to to do this and not by implication suggest they are racist? The mere suggestion of an accusation of racism shuts down dialogue and in my opinion should be avoided in many but the most clear and egregious arguments. For example, arguments concerning immigration, while rife with racism, has enough grey areas that to suggest to someone that their fears concerning the issues are no more than racism, its telling them their concerns do matter to you. We see this happen in uk, with the rise of ukip, in europe with the rise of far rignt parties, and i guess with trump in the US. Its easy to exploit when people who would normally support the parties of the left feel like they have been abandoned by them. If they gonna be seen as racist, well, fuck it might as well be racist. Anecdotally, ive seen it happen too often. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:16, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
The thing is, Withoutaname conveniently didn't give any examples, so we have no idea how direct they were; if they said "that's racist!" or went about it in the more nuanced why they described. Honestly I've never encountered any such kneejerk reactions from pointing out the assumptions behind certain arguments, so I'd tend to believe Withoutaname was being too aggressive in labeling or ideas as "racist." Lord Aeonian (talk) 23:29, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
"They're too weak to be men"
"Are you saying women are weak?"
"Why don't you stop calling me a sexist and learn to take a joke?"
Withoutaname (talk) 00:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, that seems like a odd individual. In my experience, only the religious are so quick to snap at you. Lord Aeonian (talk) 01:20, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
this is similarly out of context and i am loathe to come to a decision with such scant evidence. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:52, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Think about it this way, if it was only a single incident of this happening, then I wouldn't have bothered to make a thread about it. Withoutaname (talk) 12:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, people have been just as quick to blame political correctness and liberal censorship. Withoutaname (talk) 12:06, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
A lot would depend on the context in which the first statement was made. But yes, part of the problem is with defining racism and etcetera ever more broadly. It's one thing to persuade people to not accept chauvinistic ideas about racial superiority or use racial insults in a deliberately hostile manner. Then it was defined down again; you were racist for telling a Polish or Newfie joke, without any real anger or insult intended. Then you move to the present, to the world of 'microaggressions' and 'privilege'. When it becomes so easy to be labeled a racist, more and more people will simply stop caring; one corollary of the 'privilege' doctrine is that everybody harbors an unacceptable prejudice against somebody. The only way not to lose at this game is to quit playing. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:46, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
You're derailing this conversation and doing the same things as the people this thread was talking about. This is not about a "doctrine" or about "winning" or "losing" a "game". This is about people who have their ideas criticized and in knee-jerk fashion make it as an attack on their person. I don't see the reason behind complaining that it's "too easy" to be labeled a racist, when no one has done that. Withoutaname (talk) 11:31, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
'derailing the conservation'? Are you not right? AMassiveGay (talk) 11:55, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Smerdis was trying to switch the conversation to be about it being somehow "too easy" (which it isn't) to label people as being racist rather than ideas, which is what this conversation was about. And then complaining that you can't escape being criticized because of some imagined doctrine that Smerdis pulled out of thin air. Withoutaname (talk) 12:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't help that the notion of 'derailing' is itself the same sort of nonsense on stilts. No, you don't get to define the parameters of every conversation. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 12:29, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
No, but I am the creator of this thread and I had a specific purpose in mind for it. Withoutaname (talk) 13:45, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
then that purpose changed to a more interesting discussion. Dont worry though - you've managed to bring it back to back to your initial whining. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

@WAN: Let the thread go as it pleases. :) I think people don't like having their biases pointed out because it immediately puts them on their defensive, where they have to argue about their statement. It's a bit like saying, "you're wrong" -- most people will (a la backfire effect) defend whatever it is they said, rather than raising themselves out of the conversation and discussing it meta-level with you. Fighting is easier than changing viewpoints.

@AMG: Be nice! Herr FüzzyCätPötätö Moderator (talk/stalk) 14:29, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Nobody likes to be told they're wrong. Another factor is that allegations of racism even if unfounded can be very damaging for somebody. I once witnessed a prominent academic on his professional blog make an unfortunate point involving an ethnic slur and get politely picked up it, then scream madly at everyone and block all comments for ever after. Even if you're a random internet person rather than being surrounded by hordes of nitpicking students, being called a racist not only damages your self-image as a tolerant person who's seen Selma and likes Kanye West and everything, it can also have real effects. Annquin (talk) 14:43, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
i believe there is a disconnect between what people think they are saying or what they think they are crtiquing and what the other person hears and how they interpret it. its not simply being told you are wrong. Its difficult to see how criticism of someones deeply held beliefs is much different from criticism of the person. Certainly, they are one and the same when discussing hot button issues like racism and sexism. I am yet to see a criticism of someones racist views that did not strongly imply that they were at a fundementally bad person.
Ofcourse, this all depends on said criticism as being justified in the first place. Which, sadly, is far from the case. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:58, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
What, exactly, is the difference between 'you hold racist ideas' and 'you are a racist?' I don't see how it's possible to have one and not the other. Racists, more or less by definition, are people who believe and say racist things. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:53, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
[2]. [3]. Hipocrite (talk) 17:53, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I'd say that by that definition, everyone's racist, because everyone has subconscious prejudicial ideas and biases based on their personal experiences and/or corroborating second- or third-hand accounts. The distinction lies in acknowledging those biases and trying to avoid or improve them, versus consciously letting them drive your views or decisions. One's part of human nature, the other's more explicitly hateful.
Unless you believe prejudice plus power, in which case I can't help you there. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Calling someone a racist is the worst available insult. If we define racism as noticing a certain set of traits or behavior in a certain group of people or things, then everyone who isn't blind and deaf is racist. So definitions matter here. It is entirely possible to not be a 'racist' and yet still cling on to some racist stereotypes about certain ethnic groups. It's helpful to think of racism as a kind of memetic disease in this instance: I hate cancer, but that doesn't mean I don't get cancer. I hate racism, but that doesn't mean I don't suffer from it. We must remain vigilant and try and keep the silly stereotypes at bay. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 23:11, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] PieOfInsanity is a 'crat for ru:rw

ru:rw has 0 active bureaucrats, so I just gave PieOfInsanity 'l33t p0w3rz for that wiki's maintenance. Do not be alarmed citizen. (The user table is shared. This is not ideal, but it appears to be how it is.) - David Gerard (talk) 20:47, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

God damn. Did he/she get bureaucrat rights with superdelegate backing or what. nobs#NeverHillary 23:59, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Suitcases full of money changed hanbds.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 00:25, 24 May 2016 (UTC) 00:25, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Do any Russians even read RU RationalWiki?'Legionwhat do you want from me 02:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] An outsider's suggestion

I asked someone critical of RW what they think RW does wrong. They wrote:

It's often trite and superficial when representing religious positions, beliefs, people, etc. It fails to observe Anatol Rapoport's rules for critical commentary, which even Daniel Dennett (to his credit) endorses in his book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking:
1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

I have every interest in improving that site. For the sake of attribution, here's the blog post where I first learned of it: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/28/daniel-dennett-rapoport-rules-criticism/

The steps seem relatively fair, at least for someone attempting to appear neutral (which RW obv. isn't).

1 seems somewhat strong. The Side-by-Side articles are a good example of 1, though RW does tend to exaggerate stupid ideas, rather than attempt to make them saner. If RW's role is often to show how shitty someone is, that's fine -- but it might turn people who like "neutrality" away.

2 seems strong. RW usually mentions what people get right and what they get wrong -- as a way of better explaining how some pseudoscience deviates from science, for example. That said, it's usually not counted as "agreement", but rather just "things which aren't shit".

3 seems the weakest. This might be a structural problem: To say that one has "learned" is to say that there was something of value in what was said, yet RW often opposes everything that was said. However, this could also be because RW has to adopt a snarky tone -- and so cannot admit any failure of its criticism.

And no, I'm not trying to change the site; I just thought this was an interesting criticism. Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato Moderator (talk/stalk) 22:57, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't think observing a set of rules for commentary, or even trying to observe said set, is something desirable for us. We point out stupid shit and criticize it, doing so from a rational and scientific point-of-view. That's it. Nothing more.
If you want me to get to the fine detail, I think the idea that we should criticize something after we've pointed out where we agree, such as in the intro or first paragraphs, is rather stupid. So take the Fox News article as an example. I don't think it would have the same quality if we said "Fox news is xyz. It thinks x. We agree with it on points a, b, and c. It is wrong on everything else". Just too dry and emotionless.
I think we will do better at our job if we don't try to confine ourselves to a structure or set of rules for criticism. It's limiting and will result in less and lower quality content than if we just wrote freely and came up with some brilliant writing. See what I mean? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 23:06, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Sure. Whatever you'd like. You're a mod, so go ahead and institute them. --Castaigne2 (talk) 00:18, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Some problems:

  1. This would mean abandoning SPOV
  2. This assumes the opponent acts in good faith. For example, William Lane Craig loves to claim his opponents straw man his arguments, which is why they must be presented and explained exactly as he makes them. It would seem nice to go easier on certain topics, but many of the groups we target are...sore losers, so to speak.

A much stronger improvement would be to only focus on topics which are more or less indisputable. In others, focus on religion and woo and drop the political articles which try to establish a PoV instead of just saying "X says Y because A, but Z disagrees because B. We all know that the main reason people attack RW is because of the political nonsense, not religion/pseduoscience. Lord Aeonian (talk) 01:10, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Most shitty arguments about politics boil down to just biological determinism anyway, which is just appeal to nature. Withoutaname (talk) 01:40, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
The gender topics yeah, but I was referring to things which have no clear "right," such as the Israel-Palestine issue, which has been a steady source of edit wars. Lord Aeonian (talk) 02:51, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it's one of the reasons I'm not as invested in the Israel-Palestine divide as others are, as I'm not as familiar on the issue. Those mainly boil down to questions of imperialism and arguments to history than they do to science. Which brings up the question of whether we ought to criticize bad history or pseudohistory as crank ideas, like Holocaust denialism or popular conspiracy theories. Withoutaname (talk) 03:35, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
There is quite a difference between Holocaust denialism and other forms of pseudohistory, and something like the Israel-Palestine issue.Lord Aeonian (talk) 04:08, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Israel/Palestine includes pseudohistory but focuses on modern politics. Ancient aliens might include politics, somehow, but is almost entirely about pseudohistory. There's a gray area -- eg, "War of Northern Aggression" -- but grayxamples are rarer than their binary brethren. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο Moderator (talk/stalk) 06:52, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm with Pbfreespace on the idea that starting with agreements isn't very conducive to the 'mood' that we're going for. The way that RW articles tend to go isn't "Yes, but have you considered...", it's "No, and here's why you're wrong...", and frankly the only real difference is whether it gets a rise out of other people. And, let’s be honest; the sort of people we’re dealing with would get pissed anyway from just the criticism alone. Acquiesce /ˌakwɪˈɛs/ 01:49, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Have to say, that's a fair assessment. Only skeptics seem to enjoy the humor; even on neutral pages, RW is immediately dismissed as "biased". FuzzyCatPotato!™ Moderator (talk/stalk) 06:52, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Daniel Dennett doesn't actually follow these rules though, particularly when writing about religion. As an academic philosopher, he has a requirement to be respectful of his colleagues, and these rules are sensible if working within the tradition of Anglo-Saxon philosophy alongside similarly-educated and similarly-behaved people working towards a common intellectual goal. But they don't apply in the wider world where many people have stupid beliefs and many other people want to read entertaining writing. Annquin (talk) 11:50, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

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