RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?

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[edit] Chemo and Cultural Respect

I'd been forwarded this article I posted on the WIGO by a friend of mine and thought it was an interesting moral question.

Personally, I think she should be required to take chemo. As well meaning as the parents are, this isn't worth a life. It's not an overstepping of bounds of "White Western culture" (science is science, regardless of your background), and the culture and traditions of the Iroquois Six Nations aren't going to suddenly crumble if children are required to have modern medical treatments. It's the same reasoning behind requiring Christian Scientist parents to seek medical treatment over faith healing. (Sorry if it's worded weird -- It's 3AM and I'm about to collapse) Noir LeSable (talk) 07:07, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Native Canadians go to the doctor and the hospital every day (especially when they have broken bones or other trauma). The idea that powdered herbs can cure cancer is not an integral part of the aboriginal world view. This is total full out child abuse. Sanctioned by a sympathetic judge. --91.176.225.45 (talk) 00:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
So science is relative too now. Fuck. (Agrajag (talk) 19:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC))
The judge says maybe the kid can choose not to consent. Sure, why not. The evidence suggests that typical adults aren't able to meaningfully consent to medical procedures, but the present law requires us to pretend they do anyway, so why not kids too? I'm sure an eleven year old can go through the motions, listen to what a doctor says (well, simulate listening, look at them, nod attentively, it's not important to understand what they're telling you because they have spent years studying this stuff and you're really not interested) and then say "No thanks". That's good enough for the law if an adult does it, why shouldn't an eleven year old get the same benefit of the doubt? Sure, she'll probably die. People demand the illusion of free will, and that illusion has a price in blood, so be it. Tialaramex (talk) 10:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The 5 year survival rate for Leukemia among children under 15 is 70%. I'm sure this varies depending on the kind of Lukemia and the treatments given and many other factors. The survival rate (more than five years) is not as high but it isn't even close to as dire as you claim. If the girl was told honestly that the herbs she will take likely will (likely) have zero effect and that chemo therapy might extend her life then she may make a different decision. In any case its absurd to claim that children are capable of making adult decisions. Her mother is incapable of making a rational choice and prefers her own total superstitious woo over the well being of her child. That's abuse. --Shabidoo (talk) 20:10, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The article seemed to suggest that there was some other sort of tribunal to which the hospital could have applied, which seemed odd, but may well be true. ("Even if the hospital had determined she was too young to decide, they should have gone to Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board to resolve the dispute, he said.") This is a routine lawyerly way to pass the buck.
The procedural context was odd: the hospital was asking, not that the girl be ordered to chemo, but that the local child and family services agency be forced to intervene. They elected not to. The judge chose not to order them to. It may well be that the judge's hands were tied; the hospital sought an order that the law did not allow for. The multicultural mummery may be an attempt to rationalize a decision in a difficult case in which the court found it had no power to intervene. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 17:08, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't you think that that was a damn dangerous rationalization? In this case it might not be so serious. Chemo is pretty ineffective, and maybe the kid would have a better death without it. But the precedent that it sets is terrifying - what if it's not chemo (delaying what is generally the inevitable) next time? What if it's a vaccination, it's a Lyme disease treatment, its a tuberculosis treatment? Something that can be treated effectively? Because some person has the triple misfortune of being a child, being born into a group that subscribes to some particularly moronic belief, and being infected with an easily curable disease, should that deny them their right to be treated? The notion that the rules magically change for you because of your birth is antithetical to everything that nations like the US and Canada are supposed to stand for. This precedent is truly harmful, no matter how petty the reasons for it. (Agrajag (talk) 19:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC))
Yes, it would have been better if the judge had omitted it entirely. Child protective services people are usually underfunded, and a certain amount of triage comes with the job. In order to actually do the work, they need a whole lot of discretion. The hospital sued to compel them to act in this case. The judge found that he had no authority to grant the hospital the judgment it requested. That could and should have been it. The report of the judgment also suggests that there was some other provincial authority with specific powers to order medical procedures for patients unable to consent, and for whatever reasons, the hospital did not apply there. That too might be fatal in ordinary litigation.
Realizing that such a decision may sound harsh, and the effect of his lack of authority may be that the child dies, the judge adds irrelevant collywobble about how much he respects Native traditions. Given the details provided by the story itself, all that apparently is dicta. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 02:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Sally Morgan

While the Mirror's page is new, I'm convinced this is the same incident which took place one or two years ago. Both involve a woman misunderstanding the photograph event and Sally getting in contact with their 'spirit'.-- Forerunner (talk) 14:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Darnit! Got a cite to that? - David Gerard (talk) 14:56, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Mirror's page ≠ new - Dated @ top 26 May '14 Scream!! (talk) 15:06, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I knew it was familiar. I guess I was instead thinking of Merseyside Skeptics' critique of her, where most of her shows revolve around someone hanging themselves against a door; dead babies, and a deceased drug addict showing her his memory of being forced to flush all his narcotics down the toilet by his parents.-- Forerunner (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] GamerGate

Got onto BBC Radio 4's flagship news programme Today here in the UK yesterday as well. Oldusgitus (talk) 18:05, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Ooh crikey. Today or PM? Summary? - David Gerard (talk) 18:08, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Putin vs. Wikipedia

Has he contacted Andy yet? --Gulik (talk) 19:02, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

No but Andy has nothing but effusive praise for the action, from what I've heard. Ikanreed (talk) 19:21, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Wikimedia Russia (the local chapter) doesn't take this very seriously, and suggests it will join similar announcementware like the Kremlin's replacement for Google announced last year. You don't remember that one? Neither does the Kremlin, apparently - David Gerard (talk) 09:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Schlaffy's supporting Russia in this? What a dispicable traitor to his nation. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 09:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Julien Blanc

I'm incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of someone being barred from entering a country for the crime of being a douchebag. I don't feel this is something any government should have gotten involved with. A protest at the site itself, a campaign to the venues to cancel his gig etc... all those would have been acceptable to me, but not government intervention to the point of disallowing him entry. X Stickman (talk) 19:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

OTOH, it's quite an achievement to be too misogynistic for the Abbott government - David Gerard (talk) 20:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Luckily he's not barred for "being a douchebag", he's barred for openly advocating assault as a dating tactic, with video evidence. A history of violence is a not-at-all-uncommon reason for barring people from entering your nation. Ikanreed (talk) 20:23, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
That's the difference, these PUA often go far beyond simply being a "douchebag". I'm not particularly happy with rapists being allowed entry to our country, neither am I people who have encouraged sexual assault in others. This is something to celebrate --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 21:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Just judging by the article though I can see why someone would be alarmed. It mostly mentioned him as a sexist or racist rather than someone who assaults people (they downplayed that a bit more than they should have).TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I imagine many of these PUAs have assaulted women in the past, at least the more aggressive ones. I've seen quite a few posters in r/theredpill admit to rape before --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 22:55, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
"Luckily he's not barred for "being a douchebag", he's barred for openly advocating assault as a dating tactic, with video evidence." - I'm not seeing the point at which he transitions from "douchebag" into "something more than douchebag" from what you're saying, unless you're flat-out claiming he's committed incitement, in which case people should be petitioning the authorities to investigate (and I assume some people are). Until the criminal justice system grinds into motion, I don't see what good it will do anyone to outright ban him from entering a country. Which is not to endorse or minimise the awful stuff he says, I just take a dim view of using censorship to tackle social ills. Grumblejaws (talk) 12:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
You're pontificating while clearly avoiding looking into WTF you're pontificating on. His videos advocate "picking up" women by assaulting them - David Gerard (talk) 12:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
For the record the offical line is
following the London bombings in July 2005, the Home Secretary announced a list of particular activities that would normally lead to a person being excluded or deported from the United Kingdom (UK) on the grounds that their presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good. The list of unacceptable behaviours covers any non-UK national whether in the UK or abroad who used any means or medium including:

Writing, producing, publishing or distributing material

Public speaking including preaching

Running a website

Using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader

to express views that:

foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs

seek to provoke others to terrorist acts

foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts

foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK

The list is indicative and not exhaustive.
Note that this is a reason to refuse entry or deport non UK citizens. Note also, for comparison, a Canadian (if I remember correctly) was refused entry to the US because his web site mentioned that he had used LSD in his youth. By comparison the UK restrictions are very mild. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 13:49, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and this list of people refused entry to the UK might be of interest. The one that raised an eybrow for me was Martha Stewart! Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 13:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
@David Gerard, no I'm completely aware of WTF I'm pontificating on, that's why I was explicit that I don't endorse or seek to minimise the things he says. My point was that Ikanreed's response to Stickman didn't explain why Blanc is in some meaningful way more than a douchebag, it just specified why he is a douchebag. I dunno, maybe that word is more mild than I realised, it's not one I use. At any rate, I've had a problem with my native UK's incitement laws and the Home Office's corollary exclusion list for some time and my take on this issue is coloured by that. Grumblejaws (talk) 21:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I concur on that - David Gerard (talk) 23:48, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I personally think that the chilling nature of your country's hate laws on speech was best shown when Fred Phelps was banned from entering the UK. As some smart person once said, the best way to determine a society's willingness to have free speech, is to see if they'll tolerate Phelp's bilge. Brenden (talk) 00:43, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We have nothing against homegrown nutters but I see no reason to allow foreigners to pollute the country. Do you imagine Phelps would have been admitted to the US if he'd been British? Scream!! (talk) 02:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Aaaaaaand Ferguson is on fire.

There are live updates on Reddit. It seems that other marches/protests across the nation have largely been peaceful (save a few exceptions) or planned for other dates, but Ferguson has erupted into mild chaos, reporting several major fires, looting, and gunfire.

Yeah, bravo. I'm sure this is exactly what the parents of Michael would've wanted. And as someone who lives in the semi-south, I'm sure tomorrow I'll hear all the "I told you so"s and the usual subtly racist rhetoric from my coworkers from all this rioting, but with equal disregard for the line of reasoning of why the officer in question was not indicted. (One of the reasons why I'm not fond of Osaka Sun's "America" comic link -- there are some massive issues with police accountability, but it's a different situation for this particular case)

Bah. Fuck this noise. Noir LeSable (talk) 06:26, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

And my usual question : Which happened first? The violence or the tear gar? Compro01 (talk) 09:02, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it really matters. You don't go around burning people's stuff, even if there is tear gas involved. That said, the police response seems to have been moronic - from what I've heard, the protesters were just yelling at riot police (or police dressed in riot gear) and a police officer got up on an armored car and told them to disperse or face tear gas. It kind of sounded like the protesters were trapped between gas and police shields. There's been shooting with automatic weapons, but it's unclear whether it's coming from panicked property owners or anarchists (it's not the police). This is the new America.(Agrajag (talk) 12:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC))
From what I've heard, it was much more than "just yelling". And you talk as if riots and civil unrest in America haven't been a thing for the last century. Noir LeSable (talk) 16:31, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
It does matter, the government's violence is a reaction to the and as a way of protecting the system that oppresses black Americans for being black. For all these cries of vandalism and flag burning, people seem to be okay with black bodies being vandalized and burned or make really shitty false equivalences for them. Maybe I'm being cynical idk. BlackProg (talk) 17:00, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Nah, the "violence is always justified for public order" justification is fundamentally hypocritical. You take out the "always" from the notion, and you might be able to construct a meaningful notion of governance. But it's always like "something bad happened, thus shooting at people is okay". And it's disproportionately used on black people. Ikanreed (talk) 17:12, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
So the American Bar Association is questioning the ruling. --TiaC (talk) 19:43, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
If they're thinking about bringing a new trial, good luck trying to find an impartial jury at this point. I'd welcome one -- as long as it remains impartial and not some sort of "justice by popularity" deal. Noir LeSable (talk) 21:43, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the National Bar Association is questioning it. The American Bar Association is an entirely different organization, despite the similar names. Compro01 (talk) 14:03, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's a thing from my perspective. Whether justified or not, the Ferguson incident has sparked off significant protests across multiple US cities. I can see two possible reasons for this
  • Across the US there are significant numbers of people who were looking for any excuse to go out and have a good riot.
  • Across the US there are significant numbers of people who are so pissed off by their perception of injustice in US policing that the wanted to express their anger in a way that would get noticed.
The very fact that so many rioted in so many locations has to be significant. Sending in troops to crush the rebellion doesn't resolve the issue, it just pushes it back under the carpet. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:21, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I think people are getting sick about hearing about severe police abuses across the country where the punishment for the cop is nearly zero. There are many good cops, but it seems like a run in with a bad one can easily send anyone to critical care. It's very obvious that the darker the skin the more likely the interaction will be fatal. It isn't a justification for violence. However, I think people are fed up going through what you are supposed to do that there seems little option left. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

What a shame. Peaceful, persistent protests are vastly more effective for uniting people in favor of your cause, and equally effective in causing institutional change (e.g. if they want the police chief to lose his job). Rioting and hurting people who have nothing to do with the situation will only stoke the racial tension. Aside from the fact that there clearly wasn't sufficient evidence to convict Darren Wilson of anything (though, arguably, he should have been indicted), arson and looting only ever makes things worse.--Episteme (talk) 00:21, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Riots are very likely when you put a lot of excited young people in one place and they get angry for any reason. That's why both sports riots and prison riots are a thing. Crowds naturally form during certain events, particularly when the event has a geographic focus. Is anybody oppressing the fans of a winning sports team? No. But sometimes they riot anyway. The best countermeasure known for outdoor riots is rain. Pour a few centimetres of cold rain on that crowd of excited young people and most will leave for somewhere warmed and drier. And if they get angry about it the rain doesn't care, it is calmly relentless in a way no human police force could be, water will fall on you until you stop running around in the street and go indoors. All this and it rarely causes lethal injuries. Tialaramex (talk) 09:49, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Franz Fanon argued in his book The Wretched of the Earth that any oppressed, marginalized, alienated and colonized group inevitably will and must resort to violence against their oppressors. This is because the systems of oppression that ensnare them and deny them their humanity are inherently violent, and only through violence do they assert their humanity in the face of such flagrant abuses and create a new group identity and consciousness. Some have argued that African Americans essentially constitute an internally colonized group in the United States. I'd say that they more accurately resemble a perpetually unemployed group of redundant laborers, forced to choose between joining the military, getting a sports scholarship, or recapitalizing the ghettos they've been driven into through crime, but they certainly are faced with systems of oppression that are inherently violent in the form of our police and penal systems, both designed to control the dangerous classes. Responding to a system of violence they face every day with violence seems quite reasonable to me. They know that there isn't much hope for reforms and change within the system that is designed to oppress them, the verdict is proof enough of that. So because they are daily faced with violence and repression by the police and penal system, and see that all legal avenues for change are hopeless, they are left without any other choice but to riot and assert that, yes, they are indeed human beings and have limits to what they will put up with. They won't be told to be calm and wait for things to get better any longer. The collateral damage is regrettable, but I wouldn't dream of condemning anything done by people who live the lives that this structural lumpenproletariat are forced to live, and for all intents and purposes will continue to live if nothing actually comes of this. 72.133.43.175 (talk) 17:20, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Don't be silly. Of course you can cause institutional change through non-violent means (remember this thing called the "Civil Rights Movement?"...). Rioting is in no way necessary to achieve what's wanted in Ferguson (i.e. reform in the police department). Bare assertion to the contrary gets you nowhere. Secondly, you should temper your hyperbole when describing the state of the African American community in the US. Are they at a disadvantage? Yes. Is there subtle, yet widespread racism? Yes. Is there white privilege? Yes. But saying that they're "oppressed, alienated, colonized, marginalized" etc. is just absurd and inaccurate. Plenty of African Americans have made it out of the ghetto to be successful by means other than sports. Opportunity is available to essentially all African Americans (though the right social environment might not be present for them to take advantage of it). You're wrong, and your blatant advocating of violence is disgusting. Destroying random shops will not achieve anything. Does this woman look like a racist white oppressor to you?--Episteme (talk) 20:43, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Your argument is wrong-headed in the extreme. For one, you exaggerate the extent of racism in this country vastly. While it is a much greater problem than most of the populace believes and a large portion of the US population is disadvantaged in many ways, no minority in this nation constitutes a permanent underclass. Secondly, you do the protesters a great disservice by claiming that the violent individuals among them are expressing the feelings of any substantial proportion of their movement. As for the claim that there is no hope for reform - while change rarely comes quickly enough in anything, it happens and has been happening rapidly for the past half century. One bad verdict does not a reactionary nation make. Thirdly, your idiotic arguments in favor of violence reek in pretty much every possible way. "Collateral damage"? It's a nice way to breeze past other people's losses, isn't it? If it were your livelihood gone because of some drunken bastard's Molotov cocktail, I'll bet that you wouldn't be so dismissive. And this little gem "I wouldn't dream of condemning anything done by people who live the lives that this structural lumpenproletariat are forced to live": just because someone is at a disadvantage (the colonized, impoverished people of the Daesh, for instance) does not give them the right to make other people's lives miserable. But probably the most revolting part of your screed is your assertion that violence is a way to prove humanity. Violence is not humanizing or a way to prove personhood. Violence is inhuman. Rioting signals (truly or falsely) that you are a person who cannot be dealt with or reasoned with as a human being and confirms dehumanizing stereotypes. The violence of a few poisons the well of a whole legitimate protest movement.The fact that you make these assertions is disturbing, and I can only hope that your beliefs are not widely shared. (Agrajag (talk) 22:02, 28 November 2014 (UTC))
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