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My newest video will ring in the holiday season![edit]


I figured that my newest video will have a Christmas theme and it will premier on Thanksgiving night. A courtesy of the Trans Zombie Queen! --Trans Fem Agenda 20:28, 10 November 2023 (UTC)

Impact Winter is such a great title. I've bookmarked it. I'm excited for it, especially because I heard my Thanksgiving is going to be a little smaller, more local this year, and my family isn't exactly local. A courtesy indeed, Queen. Torrent (talk) 03:57, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
It also contains a dose of social satire. It would not be the first time I had a video with satirical content in it. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:44, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

On Polling...[edit]

Okay, Biden's polling isn't good. However, I heard suggested that it's the methodology might be partly to blame; that most pollers still rely on calling landlines and hoping folks pick up - thus it skews 'old' and 'retired' [and has an firm overlap with Angry Old Folks mainlining Fox News]. Is there anything in this? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:55, 10 November 2023 (UTC)

I think you just don't want to accept that his polling is bad right now. His support has dropped among young people recently (his collapse in support among the young demographic is such that he's even roughly tied with Trump in some polls with that demographic), so the explanation that it's because of polling skewing older is likely invalid. The polling as reported by the NYT recently even showed that he does uniquely bad compared to other Democrats, both generic/unnamed and specific named ones, though the former does much better than the latter (everyone loves to fill an empty vessel with their own preconceptions). Chillpilled (talk) 18:48, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
I learned my lesson in doomerism from the 2022 midterms. There’s still a year left, and remember that Obama was polling about this badly in 2011. Don’t give up, but don’t let up either. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:59, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
RE: Polling. Phone response is definitely a problem, though maybe not one that leads to bias. Telephone response rate is horrible these days (cellphone or telephone, I'm not sure if there is a big "elder landline bias"). Pollsters have always had their own "in-house" methods to try and adjust their sample data to try and make their sample look what they feel should be as "random" and "unbiased" as possible. Obviously with so many people not answering their phone, this makes things tough for them. As a result firms are using a cornucopia of methods these days. It remains unknown at this time what methods are accurate and what methods are not.
Worse though IMHO is the "24 hour" "horse race" cycle of news these days. First, this had led to pundits over-analyzing and getting over-excited about polls without understanding much of the math behind it (ask a pundit what a confidence interval is!). Let alone the fact that polls *are* usually massaged a bit per the above, and the quality... varies. In the past, there were only a few polling firms, producing polls every now and then. Now we get daily polls from umpteen firms, some of which have rather "questionable" massaging. Even the better polling agencies tend to get wrung through the news cycle wringer with ridiculous hype.
Because getting a true random polling sample is hard, I think that even the best election polls are a touch "weaker" at prediction than some other statistics. Fivethirtyeight touted 2022 polls as "historically accurate!" in an article. [1] That "awesome" accuracy... was a weighted average miss of 4-5%. A wee bit more than I remember what confidence intervals pollsters tend to report. Because a lot of elections are close, this means election "call" accuracy is even worse. Even Fivethirtyeight's charts showed that only 64% of the House polls were called correctly in 2022. There's time when the calling accuracy is pretty good, of course, but don't expect a poll to really predict any close election that well.
As mentioned, I speculate (along with many others, but there's been a wave of election results behind it) that the "abortion rights effect" was missed by some pollsters in 2022, just as there was a wave of enthusiasm for "the Trump" that was missed in 2016. However... the special election (2023) polls I saw actually were pretty good. But there was only a few of them. As 2024 ramps up over here, we'll see if the pollsters are "close" this time. I think making anything about current Biden/Trump polls is way too premature, for multiple reasons. BobJohnson (talk) 19:01, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
My personal rule of thumb is that US polling is less reliable than the UK ones; that when the latter makes mistakes, it's normally due to incorrect weighting rather than 'tuning' the result to suit the views of those who commissioned it. I also suspect [perhaps like you] a lack of actual analysis is going on; I mean, 60% of Dem voters might prefer another candidate than the Old Man but they're going to vote Dem anyway and more importantly, I've not seen any polls showing any Dem candiate doing better amongst floating voters than him. Lastly, Trump's polling amongst them is worse than Biden's, and is unlikely to rise as more of his trials continue and he continues his crappy asshat routine. Oh, and the application of the Sagan Standard; the Post-ABC polling [which has caused much of the chatter] is quite out of sync with all other polls [and even Tuesday's results] and doesn't explain why. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:33, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
It all strikes me as mental gymnastics to get around an uncomfortable truth. Yes, Dems have outperformed polling in recent elections, polling isn't perfect, it's just the latest polling and there's a year to go, etc... but we're talking multiple polls showing a somewhat comfortable lead in multiple battleground states that Biden ultimately only won by some thousands of votes. It was outlier polls a couple months ago. Not now. It's consistent now. Chillpilled (talk) 19:42, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
None of these polls change my view; none show any Dem candidate better-placed than Biden and more importantly, I don't see any way Trump can expand his support past his base - he is polling 53% - 60% unfavourable with the public at large. The fundimental error with binary popularity polls is that they don't really chart what I call the 'fear and loathing factor'; ie the voters who may 'disapprove' of Biden but hate Trump more [and vice-versa]. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:00, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
Something left unsaid in this discussion so far: Donald Trump. Obviously a lot of people indicate they would vote for him, but there is a sizeable amount of that support that would evaporate if he gets convicted of a felony.[2] He's already been proven guilty of fraud, and the documents case in Florida is so bulletproof honestly on the judge could protect him and while she's a hack the governments arguments are grounded and serious. -RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:50, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
The problem with predicting Biden vs. Trump is *both are detested about equally at the moment* fundamentally, with both having roughly the same unfavorable ratings. (And that's the norm; we are in an era where nobody in a Western democracy likes *any* leader very much). So it's probably going to come down to who is hated least and/or generates good enthusiasm for a "I don't like him, but I'll vote for him because of XYZ" vote. It's a little early for figuring out the "enthusiasm factor" a year away. At the moment I think Biden is probably being dragged down a fair tick personally some by his Israel stance, which has hurt him among key Democrat / progressive constituencies. So yes, he's polling fairly badly now. But, as the saying goes, a week in politics is a long time. (And it is... the "government shutdown" is rearing its head again, probably, in 7 days.) BobJohnson (talk) 02:51, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
polling by phone used to be accurate but I don't think it is anymore. The idea of 'something else' is probably why Trump didn't get 8 years. Probably why Biden will lose too, even if it's Trump. I just cannot believe the Democratic party isn't saying 'wow look at all Biden achieved, he's seeking no second term' and putting somebody else forward. If the party picked anyone without damage, said "Biden has been speaking intimately with [anyone under the age of 65] and said, this is who we think should be the next president, they would lose zero votes. I can't say if they would gain any. Torrent (talk) 04:37, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
I'm more sanguine towards Biden's chances. 'Age' is not much a factor when you remember the Orange One is only 4 years younger [and possibly less fit], the 'pissed at Biden' demographic are generally the last folks who'd switch to Trump and on the achievement side he's done decently enough when you consider the challenges he's had.
If asked to drag out the cyrstal ball, I am going to hazard that this election is going to hinge on the politically disengaged 'Blue Dog Democrat'. Trump will try to blame any/everything bad on Biden personally, and will most likely play the 'are you better off than four years back' riff wielded by Reagan in '80. Now, I think more folks will cut Biden slack than predicted on this [I mean, inflation, wars and gridlock shutdowns is not really his fault] but the problem is the above slice are so disengaged to the point they're suseptable to lies [qv; here in the UK Govt ministers keep on implying that 'reducing inflation' will make prices fall]. We also need to remember the 'monkeysphere'; it's not good enough to hide behind reasonable economic stats if said voters don't feel it's actually in their 'world' [a problem Clinton failed to notice in '16]. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:03, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
First off, that's what I'm saying, the politically disengaged will not turn out for Biden. Secondly, I don't think you understand how much more effectively Republican messaging has been about Biden being too old for office than any messaging about Trump being too old has landed. Biden is in office, Trump doesn't even have to do the debates, which I warned would happen, to a lot of people saying 'he has to do the debates, what are you talking about?'. And now there are Republican leaders saying 'well, Haley is doing good, but she's not beating Trump until she explains why she's better than Trump'. I assure you, this is how Hillary lost to Trump. And Biden can't do it either. You're talking from a political realism standpoint, I also predicted something stupid was gonna happen January 6. The wins, the first trans state senator in the south, also being part of A metal band, to you and me 'cool, whatever'. The left over here isn't the left over there. The country is big and politically illiterate. A single state senator is a country in crisis. Federal elections are going to feel the push against progress. Torrent (talk) 03:28, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
First off, that's what I'm saying, the politically disengaged will not turn out for Biden
Why not? I suspect they could go either way, as I argued above. 2020 managed to get the best participation rate since 1960 [as a %] and most of this would have been from mobilising the fairly disengaged voter to come out.
Secondly, I don't think you understand how much more effectively Republican messaging has been about Biden being too old for office than any messaging about Trump being too old has landed.
The politically disengaged have not really noticed this because they've not been paying attention. A lot of people remember Trump is old too, though they may not remember how old - I remember '20 being quipped as a competition between 'Racist Grandpa' and 'Senile Grandpa'.
Biden is in office, Trump doesn't even have to do the debates, which I warned would happen, to a lot of people saying 'he has to do the debates, what are you talking about?'
However, it's an odd situation where both majors have ex-Presidents running for a second term. This last happened in, I believe 1892. Trump has a record he needs to 'defend' and if he simply refuses to turn up to any debates it is unlikely to play well with the floating/disengaged voting bloc which he needs to win.
The left over here isn't the left over there. The country is big and politically illiterate. A single state senator is a country in crisis. Federal elections are going to feel the push against progress.
The crux of the argument appears to be this; 'do you think Trump is able to find any new regions of support in the American population?' I believe he cannot - all the 'pushers' are merely keeping the Trump loyalist gang together and turning it into a cult. Therefore, the question hinges on the low-motivated 'Blue Dog Democrat' in wafer-thin states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona. If MAGA can convince them to not bother turning out [through negative campaigning] or even better, disenfranchise enough of them it might produce a technical victory for the Orange One. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:57, 13 November 2023 (UTC)


Will the politically disengaged turn out for Trump, though? One thing I've noticed is that, while Trump still has his Loyal Fans, other areas which were, shall we say, "all in" on Trump in 2016 have kind of cooled down a touch. To take but a slice of life, conspiracy and shitpost scenes (your /pol/s and whatnot) still have their Trump worshipers, but also seem to now have many who see Trump as part of the (insert ethnic slur-ridden conspiracy theory) Deep State or something. Such reflected in other polls: while hating on the government is a decades-old American pasttime, the hatred these days seems both higher than ever, extends into areas it previously didn't (like the Supreme Court, who in fairness brought it on themselves), and is quite often a great dislike of both political parties (3-in-10 dislike both Republicans and Democrats).
In other words, assuming it is still Biden vs. Trump, while I don't disagree that Trump could win, I don't agree it's a shoe-in for Trump, either. I actually think Biden would be in a bit more trouble, in fact, if someone a wee less fascist (like a Nikki Haley) ran instead. Trump's been barking an awful lot of dictator-wannabe shit lately, and "I hate Biden, but I like democracy more" is probably going to be a "voter motivation" this time around should this continue (as it probably will). BobJohnson (talk) 15:06, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
Well, I've made it fairly clear I generally don't think the 'floating disengaged' voters will really turn out for Trump, with the caveat 'as long as the economic picture doesn't get darker than already predicted' [a mild to technical recession but one where labour doesn't hurt as much as usual due to workforce tightness due to the Boomer retirement wave and benchmark inflation at 4-5%]. I also think we're not factoring the disgust/anger due to Trump's fuckwit activities during Covid, which would have causes some folks to lose loved ones unnecessarily. Lastly, I find the idea that Trump is on a shoo-in utterly laughable - he is not winning any new folks over to him [as far as I can see], merely doubling-down on the same old shit, like a kind of 'Best Hits' tour for a bunch of decrepit old rockers who last cracked the charts during Clinton. What's happening right now is we're hearing about 'how popular Trump is...' but forgetting the next bit is effectively '...as voted by readers of Classic Rock magazine'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:00, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
We have entered a fascinating age, politically. Conditions have conspired to make both parties so unpopular they cannot take advantage of their rivals being unpopular to score a decisive victory. Thus, traditional polling/political commentary will tend to assume the incumbent will lose because they aren't factoring in the quality-or lack thereof-of the rival. I'd expect close elections and deadlock for some time until one of the parties breaks their rut. There won't be 1964s or 1984s for a while.-Flandres (talk) 16:12, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
Another interesting question is how much of the traditional GOP money-pit and talent-pool Trump will be able to tap in '24. A lot of support/donations come from 'business as usual' influence buying and 'my party, right or wrong' views but each election has shown that pool/base as shrinking; by summer '20 it was clear Corp America was solidly turning against Trump and that was before trials and a half-assed putsch. The loss of talent might be critical; we've seen how quickly Trump burns through people [be it his own lawyers or senior staffers] and who the hell is gonna sign up for that? Esp if you're a career staffer and fears - at least - that 'Trump 2024' being a résumé stain [and job] from hell [plus, Trump doesn't fucking pay his bills, which is gonna put off prospective workers regardless]. Thoughts? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:23, 13 November 2023 (UTC)

"Infidel" Ayaan Hirsi Ali has converted to Jesus[edit]


Someone update her article! All of the hold outs who ignored the red flags were warned that she was a phony.

2607:FB91:38A:C235:A8AA:5230:25FA:FD53 (talk) 20:13, 11 November 2023 (UTC)

Never heard of her. But in terms of Islam she's still an infidel.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:23, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
[EC]She's "converted" to "Christianity", but not to Jesus - his name doesn't appear in her article once, there's no indication she believes he died for our sins and was resurrected, etc. Seems like she's just decided that she prefers Christianity to Islam, which isn't much of a departure from her previous views. Christopher (talk) 20:25, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
RE: Bob, Actually this is a step up in terms of Islam, she's now part of the people of the book.Wikipedia Though, it's probably still considered unacceptable apostasy in many places to go from Muslim to Christian. But certainly Muslim to atheist is thought to be among the worst of all. Chillpilled (talk) 20:26, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
Muslim to Christian is still apostacy and still rates the death penalty in some Muslim states. Apostasy in Islam by country.WikipediaBob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:32, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
(EC) She's a Somali who was well-regarded in some New Atheist circles way back when for her outspoken anti-Islamic messaging. Over the last few years she's taken an overtly Islamophobic and generally reactionary turn for the worse. Carthage (talk) 20:28, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
The thing with Ayaan Hirsi Ali is that her criticism of some of the more barbaric elements of fundamentalist Islam cultures is absolutely, completely understandable. Unfortunately her criticism teeters into sweeping screeds about the entire religion that are unjustified (as an example, repeatedly basically inferring that the West should be at "war" with Islam, in its entirety, for some reason). Since leaving Dutch politics, coming to America and joining the American Enterprise Institute and other Republican think thanks, I also feel that she's (really hypocritically) adapted some of the more regressive elements and memes common in American politics (as well as American fundamentalism), such as hating on Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and transgender individuals. BobJohnson (talk) 22:04, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
"I'm converting to a religion i don't actually believe in, for the culture war"
I think this statement demonstrates the growing difference of Christianity as a political identity and Christianity as a religion, at least here in the States. In places like the Balkans religious identity has also been an ethnic identity for a very long time. To be Serb is to be Orthodox, to be Croat is to be Catholic. Carthage (talk) 23:39, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
One of the things that alienated me to Judaism was seeing politically-conservative Orthodox Jews increasingly abandoning halakha (although of course there's always the post-fact justification purporting to be from halakha) in favor of trailing whatever the Christian Right is doing at the moment. I frequently give the lady behind Libs of TikTok as a great example of this. I don't know how common this even is, but I've seen it enough that it was already a little too common for my taste. This ties into what you're saying because it represents part of a wider trend of the right-wing in the US being synonymous with Christian conservatism. Chillpilled (talk) 00:05, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
I think this shows why "cultural christianity" or any similar variants for other religions can be just as dangerous as the real thing, especially when it's tied to ethnic identity.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:24, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Islamic apologists really hate her. I really surprised so many religion apologists here.Zatoichi (talk) 18:49, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Consider we may take issue with her other viewpoints, like working for the AEI or being a Donald Trump supporter. Chillpilled (talk) 00:14, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
She can criticize Islam and attitudes among its adherents all she wants, I don't mind. The problem I have with her is being another right-wing extremist.-Ryan1257 (talk) 13:42, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
I get the sense that she's kept all of the trappings of her old life and way of thinking, but just swapped out "Islam" for "Christianity". It happened with a lot of infamous ex-commies such as Ayn Rand, so it's hardly new. CorruptUser 20:25, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
She actually got known as a New Atheist (to the point where some considered her the "fifth horseman"). Point still stands, though; even though I'm an atheist, I never cared for that crowd personally; that movement seemed way too stringently anti-theist too often, in a *cough* almost fundie-vigor-way, for my taste. Such became quite clear when a number of that group got swept up into various obsessions (anti-"woke", transphobia, and yes, an over-obsession with Islam) that aligned them, if a bit "ill-fitting", with MAGA type politics.
Ali's move oddly comes when I've noticed Sam Harris, who of the "Four Horseman" probably aligned with the deepity side of the "populist right" (eg the Intellectual Dark Web) the most, has distanced himself a fair bit from that side of late. (EG: He's been quite critical of Donald Trump as well as the tendency of the "IDW" to wallow in conspiracy theories, especially on vaccines.) So... BobJohnson (talk) 20:40, 13 November 2023 (UTC)

I came up with another story idea (I have been experimenting with concepts(yes it is a zombie apocalypse))[edit]

Here is the idea:

Snow covered the outside of the Michigan State Prison. Visibility was at near zero. Cold air rushed into the prison as the heat went out three days ago. A deadly blizzard slammed the midwest, east coast and even the deep south. Temperatures were mostly below zero during the day. At night the temperature would reach as low as 50 below zero. Some prisoners and staff had died from the extreme cold.

Stefania Benzar sat in a prison cell. She casually smoked a cigarette in her bunk. There were several packs of cigarettes stored in the bunk. Stefania obtained the cigarettes using her less than legal talents that got her arrested to begin with. So many men and women used her services; be it crooked politicians, school teachers, preachers, married men and even some police.

Despite being in the men’s portion of the prison, Stefania kept the killers and rapists off of her. She managed to get some of the guys to protect her. Her looks and promises of sex were a valuable bargaining chip, some of the sex promises were fulfilled though; mainly because she found some of the men attractive and had her own desires.

Her cellmate, Greg Thompson said to Stefania, “I have to wonder if we have been abandoned? I have not seen any prison staff since yesterday”. Stefania shrugged, “Your guess is as good as mine dude. Like you said there has not been any staff around”. Then she gave Greg a cigarette and a match.

Greg lit up and took a deep drag of his smoke. Stefania liked Greg, not romantically or sexually as he was very gay, but as a big brother figure. Their friendship kicked off quickly. They were both arrested for the same illicit work. They were both low income and lived in similar rundown shanties. Greg also provided protection for free due to the fact that he saw Stefania like a little sister.

My main character is a transgender woman locked in a men's prison. She was arrested for prostitution after losing her job as a physician assistant. I have it where right wing politicians made it easier for LGBTQ people to lose their jobs and easier to be imprisoned. I have the idea of exploring the hypocrisy of the far right who complain about LGBTQ people while watching LGBTQ porn and soliciting LGBTQ prostitutes. Racism and the denial of minority rights will be explored. My main character also experiences discrimination for being of Greek-Romanian descent as my villains also hate eastern Europeans along with every other ethnic minority. My main character is also out for revenge against a preacher who solicited her services and got her sent to prison. Good concept? --Trans Fem Agenda 21:58, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

I really like the implicatIon that this is a detention center that is big enough to have a Men's and Women's block. Beset by zombies, A system of cells, hallways, yards and means of control, I think it's a good idea. Maybe, "very gay" is kinda an idea of a caricature and you're going tO need more characters. I would like to see what you do with it. Torrent (talk) 04:07, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
I'm not a writer myself, but I dabble with concepts and I'll try to give my critiques. I'll start small and say I get that you're trying to express real-world worries with, "right-wingers took power and made it easier to fire people for being trans", but you have to ask yourself, is this an important piece of world-building that impacts the story or is it an extra detail being thrown in to make the world darker? If you're going to use it as a reason to say why there are a large amount of LGBTQ+ folks in prison (meaning more of those types of characters), then that'd make sense. Otherwise, I think being a prostitute and trans along with existing transphobia in the prison system is enough to convey how she got there and the precarious position she's in. Secondly, I recommend you do some research about the culture inside of prisons beyond just what is seen in tv shows since the group dynamics you see in there would make the stakes higher due to danger not just being outside the prison, but within. Essentially, "friends" are often a fluid concept and is often tied to gangs for a reason. Lastly, I think you should keep the story focused on the trials and tribulations your character will face inside the prison since that seems like a treasure trove of plots and stories rather than a simple "I'm gonna get out and get that sum bitch" storyline. These are just my thoughts though, and a critic is a legless man who teaches running.-Ryan1257 (talk) 13:38, 13 November 2023 (UTC)

I am thinking of having it where a Christian nationalist political party gets control of the Federal government after rigging an election. They pass laws that makes arrests of LGBTQ people and ethnic minorities much easier. --Trans Fem Agenda 14:45, 13 November 2023 (UTC)

The second section of chapter 1: I introduce another main character and the main antagonist[edit]

*Inside the warden’s office sat Frank Teller. He was the warden of the Michigan State Prison. A smug look was always on Frank’s aged face. His eyes lacked any sort of compassion. The staff did not have a very high opinion of him. The prisoners absolutely hated him.

Frank watched cable TV in his office. He took a sip of a Whiskey Sour; pondering how long the blizzard would last. Despite the blizzard and the heating system breaking, Frank’s workspace was akin to the throne of a king. A nice space heater kept the office space warm. The other workers and the prisoners could live without; at least that is what Frank thought. Why would a king care about the peasants and the serfs? Some of the prisoners referred to Frank as the Devil on Earth. He actually liked the term.

As he finished the Whiskey Sour, Frank heard his phone ring. Answering the phone, Frank said, “This better be important. I am very busy right now”. The person on the other end responded, “I doubt that drinking booze, watching porn and jacking off is not actual work Frank”.

Frank truthfully laughed, “Oh calm down Eric. Seriously though, what is up”? The person on the other end, Eric Sybil responded, “Well, there has been a dramatic rise in missing persons cases. My sources within the federal government indicate a possible kidnapping ring. Some of the guards at my prison here in New York have disappeared and others have fallen ill”.

After taking a breath Frank replied, “Half of my staff failed to show up for work. I assumed that it was just the blizzard causing this”. In response Eric stated, “That is part of the issue. The blizzard is expected to last for a few more days”. Frank said to Eric, “Thanks for letting me know”. He hung up and got back to his show.

As the show got to the best part, the Emergency Alert System interrupted the show, “The following message is transmitted at the request of the Michigan Defense Force. This is a Civil Danger Warning. Extremely cold….”. Frank muted to the TV. He waited until the alert concluded before turning the volume back on.

Frank watched the pornographic film and he got excited. He wanted to get some tail. He decided to have a lesbian woman brought in from the female prison block. The woman the guards had brought in was a 19 year old woman. This woman pleaded to be left alone. However, Frank sustained desire from being under the influence of alcohol.

“Please don’t hurt me, Warden. I beg you” cried the woman. Frank replied coldly, “I hear that you are gay. I believe that the gayness needs to be corrected”. The woman, named Rochelle Tiller, screamed in horror as her body was violated. All the pleading just made Frank more excited.

  • In her cell Rochelle cried alone. Only 19 years old and her life was over. She had been abused by other prisoners and guards. Rochelle’s care packages were almost always swiped and at no point did most people care. Most of her fellow inmates held homophobic views. Rochelle was seen as a weakling.

As a child Rochelle experienced extreme abuse by her parents. She rarely went to school as a kid because her parents would punish her for the smallest mistake, Rochelle suffered bullying in school, mostly by teachers who hated gay people. Due to this Rochelle had no confidence in herself.

One day Rochelle had enough. All the abuse and torment had formed a stew of pure rage. Two years ago on a warm April day, Rochelle’s parents were talking outside; leaving her alone inside. It was now time to act. Rochelle would declare her independence with the spilling of blood.

While her parents were outside Rochelle swiped a meat cleaver from the knife block. She hid under the kitchen table, watching for when mother and father would come in. Rochelle’s heart raced knowing that her enemies would die today. Today she would be free.

Mother and father came into the kitchen; shouting for Rochelle. Neither one saw the hit coming. Their legs have been chopped by the meat cleaver. Rochelle wanted her parents to suffer. She slashed at their arms and legs; they needed to remain imobile. They needed to suffer horribly.

Rochelle stuffed rags into their mouths so they could not scream. She dragged them to the garage. There she turned on the riding lawn mower and stated maliciously, “You made me suffer. It is about time that I returned the favor”. The looks of horror on her parent’s faces brought Rochelle joy. Rochelle then completed the murder as she ran over her parents with the riding lawn mower.

Blood splattered everywhere. When they were dead, Rochelle’s euphoria died as she realized what she had done. About an hour later the cops broke open the garage door. The rest was history. Now she was a weak girl again. Rochelle suffered unending abuse in prison. Would her suffering end?

I have a crooked prison warden and a young woman in prison for two counts of homicide. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:42, 13 November 2023 (UTC)

Userbox images[edit]

I think it's strange that the default userbox image size is only 45px. I think it should be changed to 60px. That would look nicer. The two custom userboxes on my page are both 60px. --LiamM32 (talk) 18:57, 7 November 2023 (UTC)

I think that there should be a vote on whether this should happen. But how do I setup a vote for it? --LiamM32 (talk) 06:11, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
I don't know, but it's a little bit of an odd ask. Something I could see going wrong is if you change everyone's userboxes it'll change what a lot of people's user pages look like. Sometimes people take the time to get it looking just right, and the smallest thing can throw it off. It's why I tried making that asparagus picture as close as possible to the original image's size (or, rather, the effect on the overall box's size). Chillpilled (talk) 06:28, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
If this is too much of a concern, there should be a parameter to change the image size when including it. --LiamM32 (talk) 05:14, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
I changed Template:User environment, Template:User Georgist, & Template:User pronuclear so that an "id size" parameter can be set. For example on your page you can write {{User Georgist|id size=60}} to make the image 60 pixels wide. The default size is still 45. It would be nice if there was a way to not require doing this for each userbox template individually.
Unfortunately, the amount of text makes Template:User pronuclear three lines if the image is set to only 48 pixels wide. I considered making Template:Userboxtop have an adjustable width, but I don't want to edit such an important template without testing first. --LiamM32 (talk) 22:15, 15 November 2023 (UTC)

Afghan roads and 20 years of war[edit]

So I was listening to a podcast interviewing two journalists who had just returned from a trip to Afghanistan. What I find particularly striking is that the Taliban minder attached to the two journalists actually took them on a detour to show them the state of the roads. The Americans obliterated the country's infrastructure. "We have pregnant women, sick children, and sick men, needing to go to a hospital, but there's no maintenance from the government. Why won't we just get a pickup truck?" When the journalists pointed out that the Taliban guy was criticizing his employers, he quickly backtracked and said he was criticizing the international community.

Some people interviewed had expressed that they have no choice but to resort to the opium trade due to economic sanctioning, otherwise they'd starve. "Why aren't we receiving aid? There are people starving here." When the journalists pointed out that women's rights were being suppressed, some of the people interviewed responded: "The Americans destroyed our schools, and we're starving. What good is schooling if we can't even feed ourselves?"

Of course, it was pointed out that it's just performance from the international community's perspective. We do business with the Saudis all the time despite them being, well, the Saudis. We allowed the World Cup to happen in Qatar despite the stadium being built by slave labor (free trade is really helping those slave laborers out lol), and you have EU officials praising the Azeris despite the fact that some prominent Azeri politicians were openly calling for a genocide of Armenians (because the Azeris were giving them energy).

The international community doesn't give a shit about the actual state of female affairs in Afghanistan, only the performance. The Taliban have also provided a sense of stability in a region devastated by conflict for decades. "If you're an 18 year old, 20 year old, you haven't known anything but war." The Taliban's legitimacy is greatly helped by that sense of stability they provide. Of course, the Taliban will have to uphold that sense of stability, which is going to be difficult with ISIS-K, the resistance forces, and global sanctions hampering the ability of Afghan people to even feed themselves.

Here's a link to the podcast episode in question: [3] Carthage (talk) 19:18, 10 November 2023 (UTC)

The podcast also was produced six months ago FTR. Carthage (talk) 19:19, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
It definitely sucks, and the idea that any country isn't fighting for itself is a little naive. But it is pretty normal in powerful countries with political border wars to supply dissident militias in order to destabilize a cohesive oppositional government. people tend to try to work together. Almost as if that's the problem. Torrent (talk) 05:03, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
As far as I know the Chinese are much more enthusiastic to do business with the Taliban than the West, but that's not necessarily any better than the West. China is really only interested in siphoning Afghanistan's wealth and not really providing any returns to Afghanistan. NATO at least pretended to be interested in state-building. That being said, the Taliban are the rulers of Afghanistan now, I think it's time the West started dealing with them as such (that doesn't preclude providing support to the anti-Taliban resistance movements). There's also probably a "revenge" motive involved there somewhere, but I doubt people are going to come out and openly say it. Carthage (talk) 19:04, 11 November 2023 (UTC)
It took twenty years for Vietnam and The US to have normalized relations, so you're asking a lot in a short amount of time, especially from the same administration that pulled forces out (which would be political suicide). And the fact is, The Taliban proudly hosted, and still hosts, a group that killed Americans on our home turf and never apologized. Plus, they promised a lot of reforms after they took power and just blatantly broke those promises which pissed away any remaining good will. The Taliban dug its own grave internationally, and honestly, they seem happy there. I really don't understand why a supposed leftist, anti-authoritarian like you wants to help prop up such a regime so much. The fact is, helping The Taliban doesn't help the civilians since it's not the consent of the governed keeping them in power, it's those guys with the AKs, so any aid will just go to them.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:02, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't like the Taliban by any means, but they're also the guys running the government now. They're no longer an insurgency. As for promises, well, Trump kinda nixed that one, eh? When you announce you're pulling out while you're negotiating with an enemy force, that kind of removes the teeth from your diplomacy team. Also, it's funny you mention that the Taliban promised a lot of reforms. The fact that the Taliban engaged with foreigners at all is part of the propaganda DAESH uses to justify their anti-Taliban campaign. I have to wonder how many Taliban guys are missing the days when they didn't have to run a country. Probably quite a few. It's easier to conquer a country than to rule it and all that.
The journalists in the podcasts did mention that the Taliban guys had a sort of "swagger" to them because they won, and there's nothing the people they're ruling over can do about it. As for aid, well, if you're not giving any aid anyway then the people of Afghanistan are gonna suffer, and the Taliban can use that in their propaganda (as the North Koreans do): "We're not the reason you're starving, it's the foreigners withholding aid. If we got aid we could give it to you, but we don't have it." Also, this ignores that a fundamental part of Islam is the zakat tax, which goes to support the poor and marginalized. The Taliban are religiously devout, so the zakat tax is mandated. That goes to social welfare programs. I'm not talking about giving weapons, the Taliban have plenty: I'm talking about supplying food, clothing, and whatnot. Of course NATO is giving the Taliban guns anyway to combat DAESH, so that point is kind of moot. Also we support the Gulf States, which are as bad as the Taliban. That kind of makes claims that the West values human rights disingenuous to the peoples of these regions. Carthage (talk) 01:13, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
You've made several claims here that I think you really need to backup. For one, I've not been able to find any claims that NATO is providing arms. Also, the idea that the Americans were regularly destroying schools and infrastructure on purpose despite the fact 1.) The occupation forces were doing everything they could to create a functioning state and legitimize the government, so they'd be trying to build infrastructure and schools. 2.) Literacy rates went up during the occupation among both men and women. Also, the nature of fundamentalists means that they'll selectively follow their religion, so I wouldn't trust them to fulfill Zakat as universally as it should be, otherwise, all muslim states would be modern welfare states. Lastly, the main difference between a lot of the states you mentioned and Afghanistan is the fact that the ones you mentioned are energy superpowers, so they hold a lot more leverage than Afghanistan does for commanding respect. The day we stop needing oil and gas is the day we'd tell them to pound sand.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:47, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The claims about schools were supplied by the interview with the two journalists who had interviewed people in Afghanistan. However, the US usage of cluster bombs did destroy quite a bit of infrastructure ([4]), there is also evidence of the US collaborating with the Taliban to combat DAESH, although with an admittedly limited Google search I couldn't find evidence of arms supplying ([5]). The interviewed Afghans would say that local infrastructure would be destroyed by the US, including through cluster bombing, and then never rebuilt. If you had any idea how inefficient and incompetent the US administration of Afghanistan was, you wouldn't be surprised: ([6](

As for the Saudis, that in and of itself doesn't help the reputation the US has in the Muslim world. "Oh, we're all for human rights, unless you have oil in which we suddenly don't care." Also, I mean, you could just talk to any Afghani? I am personally connected to Arabs who lived under the occupation of Iraq. The US military is despised there for obvious reasons. Carthage (talk) 02:06, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

Afghanistan didn't have paved roads BEFORE the Americans showed up. The place was going to collapse to moment the US withdrew no matter what, so either it was worth it for the US to be there FOREVER or to just leave and be done with it. That said, leaving all that equipment behind was beyond stupid, but that's what happens when you drag your feet in withdrawing. What should've been done is the US quietly handing all the excess equipment to Ahmad Massoud, effectively installing his group in as a dictatorship. Because the cold harsh truth is there was not a path for Afghanistan to become a beacon of Democracy, only a hellhole ruled by a strongman, and Massoud was probably better than what the Taliban is doing now. CorruptUser 20:07, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
Prior to the Soviet invasion Afghanistan had 2,700 miles of paved roads, as per the US Army Corps of Engineers: [7]
Also I think it pays to remember that we deliberately snubbed the then Afghan government during the negotiations with the Taliban. Given the US' long history of betraying its allies (cough the Kurds cough) when they're no longer convenient, this shouldn't be too surprising. Carthage (talk) 19:46, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
As for the Taliban "providing sanctuary" to al-Qaeda, remember they offered to hand Osama over to the US, their only stipulation was that Osama receive a fair trial. Bush, of course, ignored this and bulldozed right in. Causing a war that would cost billions of dollars, thousands of American lives, and many more lives of the Afghan people (but of course no one cares about them...) Carthage (talk) 21:13, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Prior to the 2001 invasion, there were 50 miles of paved roads. I don't know what the sitch before the Soviet invasion was, but the Taliban didn't seem intent on building new roads. CorruptUser 21:25, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I found the journalist article BTW: [8]

I think this little ditty is particularly condemning:

With international aid and trade largely suspended, opium and meth became the last economic lifeline for many in provinces such as Kandahar and Helmand. In a country where the public sector minimum wage is under $60 per month, foraging for ephedra can bring in $30 per day, which, although laborious, takes no special skills or investment—traders even travel to pick up the product. In the traditional Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, poppy cultivation raises around $400 million a year for farming families, including the 30-year-old Talib resting his Kalashnikov rifle on his knees in the front seat of our car. The soldier said he has received no salary for the 15 years that he has served in the Taliban forces and doesn’t know how he’ll support his family without growing opium.

These people have literally no choice but to grow and sell drugs or starve. How can one justify sanctions when the people they harm the most are the people the sanctions are supposed to protect? (My opposition to sanctions are from a purely humanitarian basis. Fuck the Taliban.) You think the rich fucks in Kabul are starving? This little bit is darkly hilarious with that in mind:

Asked if Afghan families facing starvation following the ban would receive financial support, Ali, the senior counternarcotics official, replied that, as good Muslims, Afghans know “obeying their leader is the most important thing,” dismissing the question with the flick of a wrist adorned with a huge gold watch. For years, Taliban commanders depended on loyalists to shoulder hardship in pursuit of victory, but if peace fails to deliver security and rural supporters feel betrayed by the widening wealth gap, support may evaporate—and lower-ranking Talibs will need to make a living wherever they can.

"Lower-ranked Talibs will need to make a living wherever they can..." like growing poppy largely for international export. Carthage (talk) 07:03, 15 November 2023 (UTC)

For context the podcast linked in the OP was an interview of the two journalists responsible for the article I just linked. Carthage (talk) 07:22, 15 November 2023 (UTC)

Critiquing the State of Israel Isn't Antisemitic[edit]

Been a while since I've been her so I'm about to dump a whole load...

A month into this conflict and the government of Israel leading this bombing campaign still has no serious ideas about the day after. Worse its using the victims of Hamas atrocities and hostage taking, to justify arming settlers in the West Bank who are killing Palestinian civilians. And they don't even give a shit about their own hostages as they bomb Gaza into a parking lot. Israel has been the reason for every delay in evacuating foreign nationals as well as aid coming in, mainly because they wouldn't promise to not target border crossings or aid trucks. While Hamas may chant "From the River to the Sea', Israel has the actual power to make it possible.
The fact of the matter remains that every decision by the Israeli state led by Netanyahu has caused this crisis. The immediate violence from Hamas was so effective because the IDF had been redeployed mostly to protect settlers in the West Bank. Hamas admitted it had been surprised by the lack of resistance and capturing of so many hostages. Hamas took power through a coup but has been allowed to govern, with the consent of Netanyahu and his government, explicitly because it would make it easier to ignore the Palestinian Authority trying to negotiate it's a Palestinian state. This ensured his right-wing supporters, who do believe in Zionist supremacy as well as a "Jewish Ethnostate" would continued to back him, and when he really needed help most recently members of his own government have spent their time in power harassing Arabs at shared religious sites, inciting demonstrations that intentionally harass Muslim neighborhoods and supporting a radical change to the constitution to protect Netanyahu from corruption charges in addition to removing any possible check on the legislature, which Israeli civil society had been protesting against for months. If you don't think that contributed to the absolute failure of Israeli intelligence to see this attack coming, maybe the constant attacks by Netanyahu on the military for pushing back on his constitutional project will convince you.
At this point it is pointless for either side to claim any moral high ground. The violence perpetrated by Hamas was criminal and it's kidnapping of hostages barbaric. However Israel clearly has the advantage in using violence. But this doesn't matter when the actual problem is a political one. Both Hamas and the IDF are utilizing the violence to achieve political objectives. Hamas wanted to derail negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, an objective they accomplished. They did this ostensibly because they believed the quest for a Palestinian state would die with that agreement, which might have been true, indications are it wasn't. The IDF now wants to destroy Hamas militarily and politically, an impossible task considering the political question of Palestinian statehood is still present.
Not a single critique above is targeted at Judaism as a faith, people with Jewish ancestry, or blame any Jewish person for the actions of the Israeli state. If anything the Netanyahu government is the one explicitly using Judaism and the historical plight of Jewish people to justify its military actions including quoting Deuteronomy 25:17 which mentions the Amalekites, a group God commanded they genocide in 1 Samuel 15:3. Don't forget the WWII comparisons, that aren't in reference to the Holocaust but instead the Allied bombing campaign, conveniently ignoring that those actions happened before the Geneva Conventions ratification, itself a response to violence committed by the Axis and Allied forces.

TLDR - Ceasefire now, Free Palestine, Netanyahu is committing war crimes because he doesn't want a Palestinian state, Hamas is a political organization who used political violence like virtually any other revolutionary group, If Israel was serious about ending the threat of Hamas it must realize the way to do that is to abandon it's plan for an ethnostate. -RipCityLiberal (talk) 06:54, 9 November 2023 (UTC)

Good post! Zionists like to use the label of antisemitism as a cheap thought terminator and smear tactic. It cheapens the label immensely, and is incredibly cynical a maneuver. Carthage (talk) 13:45, 9 November 2023 (UTC)
In a survey of 800 American Jewish voters in July 2021, [9] only a small minority (13%) said that one cannot be pro-Israel and critical of Israeli policy. And within that survey, some were very critical - for those under 40, a significant minority agreed with strong statements such as "Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians" (33%) and "Israel is an apartheid state" (38%). And this was well before this current conflict. Even beyond the strong opinions, it's clear that a very large percentage of American Jews aren't happy with what "the Bibi" is doing to Israel. (I suspect Jewish diaspora in other countries have similar opinions if they are politically more aligned with progressive policies, as in the US.)
This means that I speculate that there will probably come a time when said Netanyahu-styled Zionists start accusing actual Jews of being antisemitic for merely being of the wrong "political flavor". (If that hasn't already happened, that is). BobJohnson (talk) 22:29, 9 November 2023 (UTC)
I honestly believe that there will be some kind of power vacuum in Gaza. If Hamas is destroyed, a group just as awful or possibly worse could take hold. I can also bet that there will be a lot of Gazan civilians angry at Israel for their disproportionate response. The only way I can see a power vacuum being avoided in a Hamas is destroyed and Israel does not reoccupy Gaza is UN peace keeping forces being deployed to facilitate the formation of a new government and relief agencies assisting in rebuilding. The PA in the West Bank seems to have little interest in controlling Gaza. Muhammad Abbas is a complete joke for a leader. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:49, 9 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Bongolian I think the problem with the slogan "Israel has a right to defend itself" is that it has an implicit premise: Palestine does not have a right to defend itself. All too often this slogan is used as a thought-terminating cliche to shut down criticism of Israeli policy. "Israel has a right to defend itself" has become a cheap, mindless talking point, and I think carries much less currency when Israel is the dominant power in the region. Israel has a right to defend itself, but that's not a blanket cover for crimes of aggression, which is notably not self-defense in any sane polity. Carthage (talk) 20:22, 10 November 2023 (UTC)

Yes, there are also limits to a country's right to self defense, i.e., not committing war crimes. Bongolian (talk) 20:26, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
That would be like if a small military team attacks a country but the country responds with nuclear weapons. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:31, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
If we're being technical here, they don't have a right to self defense because you cannot defend yourself against land you occupy and administer.@Rationalzombie94 the Palestinian Authority cannot administer Gaza until it has the right to administer the West Bank, which settlers and IDF security forces have cart blanche for violence.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:43, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
There are also new movements like the Lion's Den who are bunkering down and defending Nablus, their land (they even go on patrols), rather than initiating armed incursions into Israeli territory. It's a lot harder to apply the label of "terrorist" to these groups than it is to, say, the PIJ or Hamas. Israel does it anyway, but it's a lot more disingenuous. The Lion's Den actually operate off of a motto of resisting incursions into Palestinian territory by the Israelis, because the PA certainly aren't doing that. They also operate with much more popular support than the PA, so removing groups like the Lion's Den is going to be a lot harder because of that. "If you come onto our land there's going to be blood. Either yours or mine, but blood will be shed."
It "helps" that the Lion's Den are overwhelmingly the youth, with no real socioeconomic prospects many have turned to militancy. "I'm going to die anyway, better for a cause that will defend my people." This is what happens when you disenfranchise an entire nation. The Lion's Den are also not out-and-out antisemitic, they don't refer to "Jews" as the "enemy" or speak of destroying Jewry in their communications, unlike Hamas. They speak of "Zionist occupation forces" instead. There's also an ideological sort of neutrality among the Lion's Den. The Palestinian militants recognized that the IDF liked to divide and conquer, so they figured they'd deny Israel that advantage and form a sort of united front against the occupation. You do whatever during the day, but when you're flying the colors of the Lion's Den your partisan affiliations stay home, or at least are supposed to stay home. Carthage (talk) 23:55, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
I wouldn't go as far as to call Lion's Den nihilists, but they are definitely neutral when it comes to Palestinian political partisanship. Hamas tried winning Lion's Den over desperately, but the Den ignored them pretty resolutely. Same with Fatah. Lion's Den only cares about resisting Israeli incursions into Nablus. I'm not sure how smart their tactics of operating out in the open are (especially as many Lion's Den members have been assassinated by the Israelis), but it definitely sends a message. Carthage (talk) 00:36, 11 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Israel is also the belligerent occupier of the Palestinian territories, so from a legalistic perspective I'm not certain that Israel has a basis to claim self-defense from combatants in a territory it is belligerently occupying. Israel also denies that Palestine is a state, so I'm not certain that Israel can claim self-defense from a hostile combatant state. Now, Israel responding to provocations (like October 7th) is another matter, but I am not making any ethical claims, merely questioning the legal basis. Thoughts? Carthage (talk) 00:27, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

And as I've said before, I think the justification of "self-defense" ends when you ignore proportionality, as Israel is obviously doing. Carthage (talk) 00:38, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

Happy Trans Awareness Week[edit]


I made a comedy video in honor of Trans Awareness Week. All hail Blahaj! --Trans Fem Agenda 00:38, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

Isolation of dentists from medicine[edit]

I've heard dentists used to be considered quack doctors by mainstream medicine (it probably wasn't helped by Pierre Fauchard recommending people swish their teeth with their own piss which I uncovered immediately while looking into this), and even today are a bit isolated from the rest of medicine to some extent. To what extent is it true? Looking into it a little I found the blog Science-Based Medicine defends modern dentistry. There were a couple articles that popped up from The Atlantic and RealClearScience (the latter citing Undark magazine interestingly enough) claiming dentistry is full of shit, which I'm less inclined to trust. I get the feeling anti dentistry sentiment could be bolstered implicitly by people hating dentist trips, and not to mention people who hate water fluoridation would probably start hating dentists too. Chillpilled (talk) 08:52, 17 November 2023 (UTC)

My simplified understanding is that in the Middle Ages, they were two general fields of medical treatment: physicians (non-surgical),and barber-surgeons. The latter became barbers, surgeons, and dentists. Bongolian (talk) 09:03, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
Ping! Mediaeval medical schools laboured under the full or partial ban of studying anatomy and without antiseptics or anaesthesia the chances of a patient surviving surgery was so low even if they'd knew what they were doing. So, 'doctors' left such things to the plebeian barber-surgeon. The earlier term was 'dental surgeon', which basically meant he was a bloke who had a load of pliers and picks and would yank out teeth when they'd rotted. In some places, it was the local blacksmith. However, this didn't matter so much because in those days most people had fairly decent teeth due to the lack of sugar and most died before they had time to fall out. It was only in the Victorian era where dentistry started to emerge as 'medicine' in it's own right, but the historical roots mean they are still not technically 'doctors' [similar to optometrists]. So a kind of credentialism.
However, I think a strong line needs to be drawn between 'medically unnecessary' cosmetic work, seeing far too many cases of 'incipient decay' and/or 'worn fillings' and 'suspicious product recommendations' vs full-blown 'woo'. Now, private [ie American-model] dentistry is full of the first three because that's what you get for leaving it to unfettered capitalism - but it don't mean it's still not medicine [a pointless fill-drill or veneers is still done medically]. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:39, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
In some languages it may sound different, even though a historical difference can be seen. For example, the Swedish word for dentist (tandläkare) translates literally into "tooth doctor". Yet here dentist establishments are generally separate from (even when physically near) other medical services and organizations providing them, and treated differently in terms of how costs for treatment are socialized. Modern dentistry is also a lot about hygiene and the understanding of tissue health and non-surgical things. Here there are technically two types of dentists; the "tooth doctor" who is more highly qualified and allowed to do surgical stuff, and the "tooth hygienist" who does only preventive and non-invasive treatment (and will send you to the other type if e.g. drilling is needed). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:06, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
I'm thinking I'd make a short-ish page on dentistry that notes this general situation, thus why I asked (also my general curiosity was a reason I guess). I went into it wondering whether dentistry was full of alt-med promoters. I'm starting to think that (due it seems to differences in regulation, but maybe my thought just isn't right at all and dentistry isn't particularly unique in this sense) while it's a slightly to somewhat more welcoming environment for alt-med and profiteering than medicine for the rest of the body, we can't be throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. One dentist put it like this (here): he knew three guys like that Atlantic article described (profiteering, exploitative), but then he knew twenty other dentists who aren't like that at all. Also, it generally seems like dentistry and the rest of medicine are on a trajectory to gradually integrate with each other, rather than dentistry pigeonholing itself defending bad practices, so that's good. Chillpilled (talk) 20:03, 17 November 2023 (UTC) I shouldn't insinuate dentistry is any more inclined to alt-med than other medical practices, without proof. I looked it up and found a pilot study of dental students, but that's just a pilot study which is hardly worth anything. Chillpilled (talk) 21:58, 17 November 2023 (UTC)

Dentistry page was created, mostly around my desire to note the A. the historical seclusion and B. The Atlantic's dumb anti-dentistry article. There is something in that Skeptical Inquirer article I stuck in the further reading, about how quack medicine tends to be encouraged in dentistry in individual, private practices, which could be an interesting future line of inquiry. But it's from the 1980s, and maybe a topic more suited for the dental woo article. Chillpilled (talk) 11:22, 18 November 2023 (UTC)

Anti-Vaxxers with Stacks of Cash[edit]

Ever since the COVID pandemic struck planet Earth the rollout of the subsequent vaccine, anti-vaxxers have somehow exploited the situation and now they have stacks of cash to lobby with. Other anti-vaxxers have begun to donate their money to more influential anti-vaxxer propaganda organizations (disguised as "non-profits"), giving them budgets of millions to work with in terms of political lobbying, frivolous lawsuits, and organized marches.

Here's some more reading: [10], [11]

Now, I wonder what it would take from civil society to starve them of all their money and soapboxes. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 17:38, 17 November 2023 (UTC)

Institutional mistrust is one of the most powerful predictors of vaccine hesitancy. Considering how fucked up American health care is (a "health care" system that I can truthfully say, just from one epidemic alone,Wikipedia killed hundreds of thousands of Americans over the last quarter century due to either its fucked up structure or especially through pharmaceutical greed), I actually think that the US "vaccine hesitancy" numbers are, in some ways, not as bad as they could have been.
At any rate, that's the crux of an issue that is fixable. As long as government and/or the medical industry is seen as fucked up, the anti-vaxxers definitely ain't going away. So my guess is that reforming the system to be less greedy and money-grubbing will help things out, if such can be done successfully (good luck). Now, there's other predictors of vaccine hesitancy (eg religion) that you can't help... there's always been a small minority pocket here that were anti-vaccination regardless. But "back in the day", they weren't as powerful of a force as they are now. BobJohnson (talk) 18:45, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
And it turns out they've got alt-med and even germ theory denial trailing right behind them. What a mess that is. Chillpilled (talk) 19:57, 17 November 2023 (UTC)

Tankie support for the DNR[edit]

It's amazing how many tankies support the DNR. It's pretty obvious that if they actually went to the DNR or Russia their delusions would be shattered fuckin quick. Jake Hanrahan was doing an interview with a DNR soldier early on before the invasion and he was one of the few guys who openly said "yeah, I'm a Russian." Well he asked Hanrahan "how can you live in Gayropa?" That's Europe for the non-homophobes btw. Homophobia and transphobia is rampant in Russia and the Donbas, and some of these tankies are queer. I suspect part of the problem is that quite a few don't speak Russian. It's quite comical, actually. Carthage (talk) 03:57, 12 November 2023 (UTC)

An enemy of my enemy is my friend. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 16:42, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
Even before the annexation, the DPR and LPR were mere puppet states much like Vichy France. Both puppet states and Russia are viciously Anti-American yet there are Americans claiming to be patriotic who support them. Much of their ideology is based on Anti-Americanism. Why any so-called American patriot would support them is absolutely amazing. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:47, 12 November 2023 (UTC)
I had to close the italics here. Spud (talk) 00:07, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
I think the above is a slight on Vichy France. Vichy had an element of 'freedom of will' about her [at least at first] - because Berlin knew they could only control the French Empire through them. What's more, Vichy created herself; it was not under German insistence they convened and installed Petain as dicator. No, the two puppet states are more analogus to the 'Independent State of Croatia' or the 'Slovak Republic'; fully Axis created and controlled from the outset. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:16, 13 November 2023 (UTC)
Living in America is no reason to be pro-America. We cause a huge amount of problems in the world. We tragically mistreat our own population. We have at best a pseudo-functioning democracy that kinda sorta represents people, vaguely. We could do with regime change. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:10, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
I never said anything to that effect. But likewise, Russia is also an imperialist power. You don't have to "stick it" to America by supporting another shitty regime. Carthage (talk) 20:13, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
Even more simply put; you can be firmly for your country but loathe and despise your government [for example, criticising government policies because you believe such action(s) are beneath the standard you feel your country should meet]. This is why I always do my best to ensure my bitching shows this differentiation. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:42, 20 November 2023 (UTC)

An article about anti-christian bigotry[edit]

We kind of have an article on anti-christian bigotry but the article doesn't talk about persecution of Christians but rather the persecution complex of american christians. The reason this wiki doesn't have an article about anti-christian bigotry is simple, most people on the wiki are americans. While christians are not persecuted in USA but are actually in other parts of the world. So should we make an article detailing the bigotry against christians in some parts of the world ←§ Reichtangle (talk) 11:33, 15 November 2023 (UTC)

Yes. Because it would then stop people adding details of that stuff to the Christophobia page, which isn't about persecution of Christians. It's about the word "Christophobia", that's rarely used to describe the mistreatment of Christians in non-Christian majority countries and is instead used by whiny arseholes who think the woke brigade want to make it illegal to say, "Merry Christmas". Spud (talk) 13:22, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
@Reichtangle, I tried to call your attention to a major problem in the Alexander Finnegan page that needs to be addressed Talk:Alexander Finnegan#Rebronzing. Can you address that first? Bongolian (talk) 16:21, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
Discrinansion agent Christian in the U.S.A. is definitely a problem, but it is a bigger problem in other places. Mably 2 different article could work? — Unsigned, by: Koafox / talk / contribs
Historically, most of the significant anti-Christian discrimination I am aware of in the USA is of the "Christian vs. Christian" variety (eg anti-Catholicism, of which has cooled in recent years.)
Most modern "discrimination" whines I have heard in the USA deal with either political issues or various cultural whines, neither of which I see counting as "discrimination". The vast majority of Christianity in America has attached themselves to culturally "conservative" causes ala the Religious Right. You do see a lot of dislike of Christianity in the social medias, but a lot of the dislike stems from political issues (eg staunch opposition of abortion, Christian nationalism) as well as identity oriented issues (eg focusing on calling homosexuality a sin above all). Although American Christianity in the past had movements that strongly supported then-progressive causes (eg Social GospelWikipedia), these movements, while they still exist, are at the moment weak in America. (Indeed, instead, we have some people who call themselves "Christian" that see "turn the other cheek" as some sort of liberal claptrap.) As long as that political alignment remains, this is how it will be.
There are several other nations where there absolutely is serious persecution of Christians -- a lot of Asia is pretty bad (eg Pakistan, India, China), as well as several African countries (especially the northern, more Islam ones, but also a few others like Nigeria (due to Boko Haram, I believe) and Congo). This persecution is far, far beyond the "oh noes Christmas card says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas" junk people whine about in the USA. We're talking prison, mob violence, destroyed homes, and murders here. BobJohnson (talk) 18:07, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
Not being a Christian, I can't say that I have given the antagonism towards Christianity much thought. But, I would say, that bigotry towards Christianity, as being distinct from physical violence, is often expressed on this wiki. I do not mean the kind of "bigotry" that I oppose, but rather, the kind of bigotry that is avoided in the case of Islam. But I do not oppose its absense either. "Islamophobia!" is often raised when Islam is criticized. I have no interest in complaining about Islam in America. Inconsistency, is rarely viewed as rational (drinks!), but it is existentialist. UncleKrampus (talk) 16:41, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
There is no doubt that Christians are the subject of persecution in some parts of the Muslim world - as are atheists for that matter. For example here. Other examples are not hard to find.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:52, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
Christians also face restrictions, or even persecution in countries like China, North Korea, Nicaragua and Cuba. Another used (which is now blocked) also wanted to write about anti-christian bigotry (and even created a category IIRC). I'll just say what I always say when people ask "why don't you guys have an article on X?". If you think this is an interesting and missional subject, go ahead. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:29, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
I think there's enough there to warrant an article. Possibly. I mean, to touch on the a) 'my Christian religion gives me the right to be a sexist, repressed homo/transphobic jerkwads to folks and it's bigotry to tell me to wind my neck in a bit!' and b) the 'sane [or just private] Christians' who do feel a bit of a backdraft of discrimination because the increasing public perception that every Believer is of the first stamp. For example, if you were in public life in the UK and you outed yourself as anything more than a 'Christmas and Easter' Christian you'd get at least a few odd/suspicious looks - esp if you were not in a sector of public life which is rather heavy in 'cultural conservatives'; I mean, if you were a musician or writer I don't think it would be good [career-wise] to become primarily known as 'a Christian creative' because everyone agrees Christian music/fiction sucks ass. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:53, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
(Tangent reply) That's more because modern "Christian music/fiction" is too often crassly slick, trope-ridden, boring exploitation or pulp that "plays it safe" and has zero depth (and that's before you get to potential distasteful elements eg homophobia or racism). I doubt many people would apply the label "sucks ass" to Johann Sebastian BachWikipedia or C.S. Lewis. Or even, say, the gospel tradition in America, of which birthed some of the all-time great singers in R&B and dance music. See: Aretha Franklin,Wikipedia whose Amazing GraceWikipedia gospel album alone completely blows away the entire Hillsong oeuvre. Or the less known but oft-sampled in old school house music Loleatta Holloway.Wikipedia (Frankly, I'm sure there are many more great singers that I don't know in that genre, as I'm not particularly aware of artists there that didn't "cross over".)
I've heard of several bands in the American rock / metal scene whose members are all Christian, and have definite Christian influences in the lyrics, who nonetheless distance themselves from the "CCM" genre label, precisely because CCM implies trite garbage. EG: August Burns Red,Wikipedia Flyleaf,Wikipedia Switchfoot.Wikipedia BobJohnson (talk) 00:39, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
I just saw the Aretha Franklin film, Amazing Grace,Wikipedia it's quite good. The camerawork is bad, but the music is superb. The film had been buried from 1972 to 2018 until Spike Lee et al. rescued it and released it. Bongolian (talk) 01:46, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
I'd argue that before before 1914 the vast majority of Europeans were Believers and so being a 'Christian creative' was the default setting and so didn't have a term for it. In very short, what happened was a cultural 'paradigm shift' between 1914 and 1945 [ie between the two wars] within the intelligentsia which meant by the '60s the older, repressed 'Muscular Christian' with his scoutmaster's uniform and 'good clean fun' was being forced out of the media. The rise of 'Christian creatives' as a genre was a direct reaction to this marginalisation by the rising Chrisitian Right, mainly after they realised that old-school direct censorship a la the Hays Code wasn't gonna hold much longer but also 'the devil has the best tunes' to tried to steal the trappings of 'da hip folks' to deliver the scoutmaster's message. But it doesn't work because they're just badly-disguised tracts which got greenlit due to ideological purity, not actual quality. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:10, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
I think Christians were actually persecuted under the Roman Empire, which could be mentioned as some historical background. Subsequently the Romans flipped and started pushing Christianity and persecuting non-Christians (except perhaps Jews, at least Jews I don't believe were persecuted by Christian-run Rome to the same extent as pagans anyway). Chillpilled (talk) 22:18, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
Being in the "sane Christian" camp, I do get very annoyed when I hear people talking about Christianity like it's a force of pure evil. I've been in multiple arguments on Reddit about the subject. Luigifan18 (talk) 22:24, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
The problem is that you're on Reddit lol. What do you expect? Carthage (talk) 00:31, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
The Christian persecution complex can be found in the New Testament, so it's not easily excised from Christianity (2 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 5:10, Romans 12:14). Bongolian (talk) 18:06, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Christians actually were being oppressed during the time period the Bible is set in (I'm not so sure about when it was written). So the talk about persecution in the Bible makes some degree of sense. Luigifan18 (talk) 23:27, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

your daily dose of irony[edit]

ever wonder why hotels don't have a 13th floor (or even skip 13 in numbering their rooms)? turns out a surprising (or not, depending on your view) number of americans have irrational and superstitious beliefs about the number. according to a 2007 gallup poll, the share of americans who wouldn't even stay in a room or floor bearing that number was... 13 percent. (and yes, this is real.) The G (talk) 04:51, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

Though this doesn't come with a deliciously serendipitous Gallup poll, there's a similar superstition in much of East Asia about the number 4 -- tetraphobia.Wikipedia This leads to the 4th floor being skipped in many buildings over there (as well as in some cases *any* number with 4, such as 14, 24, 40-49, etc.)
As talked about in the Wiki article, I've actually seen buildings which skip both the 4s and 13, because the "world is a bit smaller" these days, superstitions included. BobJohnson (talk) 18:55, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
i learned about this in my short-lived attempt to learn japanese. the reason behind this is because the word for 4 (four) in mandarin sounds similar to the word for death. (as such, this is also true for sino-derived names for numbers in japanese and korean.) this is why in japanese, the native reading, よん (yon), is sometimes preferred over the sino reading, し (shi), for the same kanjiWikipedia for the number 4 (四). The G (talk) 04:17, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

Stop forcing AI into everything[edit]

Are humans really that easy to manipulate? Now that ChatGPT popped off and AI became THE drama llama of this year we all suddenly need to put "AI" into our products? It's especially bad in image manipulation software like photoshop but is essentially everywhere - LinkedIn, every instant messenger on earth has it now, INCLUDING those who wouldn't need it in the first place (Discord, just why?), social media, now browsers apparently can't do without AI, edge has it on by default, even the Windows 11 start/search menu has an AI button you can't even disable, literally every company on earth is now forcing half-baked and usually useless AI into their products. Nobody needed it, nobody asked for it, they are barely any more useful than the google search I would have done instead (and then, by the nature of generative ai I STILL have to fact check it), you can't tell me that there was even a single person who saw the new AI integrated into the Win 11 search/start menu and thought "yes, this is exactly what I needed, that's DEFINITELY worth cluttering the screen even more". Are people actually falling for this new marketing scheme? I guess uninformed people who wouldn't understand AI anyway, integrated or not, would, after hearing about ChatGPT, take it as something positive, but everyone else would just see through this really, REALLY transparent advertising campaign, right?

We always had AI, AI is what selected the videos on my YouTube home page and there it was perfectly fine. A use case for AI was found, an AI was implemented and it worked fine. Before ChatGPT there used to be AI when there was actual USE for an AI (and honestly back then it was already too much, think of AI chosen automated responses to support tickets), but since CGPT they're putting their AI absolutely EVERYWHERE, whether there is a reasonable use case or not. At this point it feels like they're not putting AI because they found a use case that they just weren't aware of, I think they're putting AI because then they can write "AI" somewhere into their product and that will appeal to people who think AI is the newest bestest craziest shit. But please tell me the masses are smarter than that? ULTRACOMFY (talk) 03:41, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. Carthage (talk) 01:09, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Welcome to the glory of mindless consumerism. People are going to buy anyway, and AI makes money. It's the sexy new thing. It's why they plaster pictures of Elon Musk over every new bullshit AI hype release pushed out on Shittube and similar platforms. Carthage (talk) 01:09, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
There's some elements of AI that, to be fair, are pretty neat. (EG: If you upload a picture of a wild animal in Google Images, chances are Google will know what it is). But other parts are GIGO in action. One example: I think AI has done a great job of shitifying Google Search. These days, so many regular searches (particularly if your query is a little "left field" or niche) come up with all of these garbage "web pages" that play the SEO game with a bunch of garbled, often AI generated "content farms" page creations. Yeah, content farm junk has been an issue with Google Search for years (appending "reddit" or a similar site to your query in order to get some actual useful information has been a thing for a while), but my impression is that AI's making it easier for the farms to churn out garbage content, and therefore make Google search even worse.
These hype cycles over technology are just something else. A few years ago making everything "smart" and "Internet of Things" was a big trend. That spawned large amounts of bizarre wireless connected devices. No one I know of asked for stuff like a WiFi enabled juicer or a "smart egg tray", but companies were tripping over themselves to make "smart products", no matter how silly. In the process, of course, creating: A) security nightmares, because most of these rush job products had piss poor security, and B) dystopias of "the subscription model economy" and smart devices that bricked when they couldn't communicate with their "home base 'cloud'". This new AI rush will probably be similar in having some fun "consequences" of some sort... BobJohnson (talk) 02:38, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Google search is absurd these days. I kind of know Google like it's my back hand, and even I keep running into cases where the bullshit flood is preventing me from learning more about a topic recently. I'm starting to think the Web as it exists in the social media era, and subsequently the AI era, is a mistake. The track this is leading to is a more segregated Web. Sam Altman's "Worldcoin" idea might actually go somewhere, and that's something I don't like to admit because I find it very privacy-intrusive and potentially authoritarian, but if the alternative is an AI-overwhelmed bullshit flood then it (or something like it) might end up the only option for continuing the "open Web" one day. The only alternative I can think of is sort of similar to what you see with "private tracker" piracy communities: a lot of vetting before you're let in somewhere. This is stifling too, but again, better than no solution. Chillpilled (talk) 02:53, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There's some sustainability issues with current AI development, and not only environmentally, but also quite possibly financially. 1) "Critics Furious Microsoft Is Training AI by Sucking Up Water During Drought" and "... as few as five ChatGPT queries can result in gulping up 500 milliliters of water (roughly a 16-ounce bottle) at Microsoft's Iowa data center."[12] 2) "Microsoft reportedly runs GitHub's AI Copilot at a loss", may be similar with other AI service providers[13] -- trying to hook future customers while running at a loss, relying on deep pockets and/or investor money, in order to then screw up prices later (the best monopolist making it profitable if their dreams come true). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:33, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

Were you thinking of this, BobJ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartner_hype_cycle
It's a good 'lie-to-children' illustration to what happens for any new major technological development; we saw it with the internet, computers, automation, mass media, electricity, railways... and savvy folks shall notice that the cycle is almost identical to a Dunning-Kruger curve. We're hearing a huge amount of stuff about how 'AI will change the world' but it's mainly dominated by either the 'naive optimist' or 'fearful pessimist' voices - and if prior examples are anything to go by, both voices are wrong. Partly because both are speaking from the dim lights of ignorance. I mean, even the term 'AI' is a misnomer in regards to LLMs as they are not 'intelligent' in what we would understand it to mean. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:46, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

This is fucking brutal[edit]

Right, so Reddit has a video of the Ecuadorian protestor with the tear gas grenade lodged in his skull: [14] Viewer discretion is advised, but this is fucking brutal. How the hell does a tear gas grenade get lodged into someone's skull like that? Fucking sick. Carthage (talk) 06:41, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

"How the hell does a tear gas grenade get lodged into someone's skull like that?" It's still a projectile weapon that's launched at a good clip. Hit someone most anywhere and they'll be injured to some degree. Hit someone in a squishier spot, and it can become embedded. Hit someone in a vital spot, and they can be killed. It's why things like tear gas, sand bags, etc. are usually referred to "less lethal" weapons these days rather than "non-lethal". 192․168․1․42 (talk) 11:24, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Right, that's what I ended up thinking (because I don't really see a blunt object like a canister, I don't see the human body as being strong enough to throw such a thing to where it lodges itself pretty pointedly in someone's socket, but I may be wrong here. Feel free to correct me if I am.) It's still fucking insane to me. "Less than lethal" itself is a hefty double standard TBH. Nice PR jargon. Someone throws a brick at a cop, that cop obviously, and rightly, isn't gonna regard that brick as a "less-than-lethal" weapon. Whereas if a cop fires a small rocket at a protester's head, that's "less than lethal." Carthage (talk) 11:31, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Less than lethal is reliant on two scenarios. One is when you really understand how it could be potentially lethal. The other is when when you really don't. Torrent (talk) 04:25, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

Serial concern trolling[edit]

There seems to be a single person serial concern trolling on the Saloon using different accounts. The M.O. each time is a brand new user asking a provocative question, then disappearing and not caring about the answer: User:Homebase, User:AmericanCitizen, User:Lionisangry. Bongolian (talk) 08:17, 20 November 2023 (UTC)

Just ignore and delete. Ψ (talk) 09:32, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
I don't see concern trolling as a well-defined problem. Just delete nonsense. Every kind of idea that today would be regarded as unacceptable can be found discussed in The Republic, and other Platonic dialogues. Those who are disturbed by them need to improve their own understanding. Being angry with the world is not good for content quality. We cannot expect all questions to fall within an unspecified cannon of propriety.

"...a concern troll is someone who enters a discussion with a pre-formed opinion contrary to the majority opinion, but pretends to conform in order to subtly sow dissent and doubt without being called on it..."--RationalWiki. So, now if I enter this discussion with the sole purpose of subtly creating doubt, would that make me other than a practitioner of the Socratic method? Most ideas, I find, have not been well thought-through by the general public, myself, or the general user who might appear here. If I am absolutely convinced that you present the wrong answer, that doesn't mean I believe I have the right answer. The idea that there is an unambiguous "majority opinion" is itself a challenging presumption. Is this a troll? or is it an accurate statement formulated to encourage modesty, skepticism and empiricism? I love the concept of RationalWiki. Like Paris, it is a beautiful place, despite the Parisians.UncleKrampus (talk) 15:45, 20 November 2023 (UTC)

Well, that's a whole lot of jargon for a whole lot of nothing. Carthage (talk) 15:51, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Yes, analysis requires jargon. Sometimes what we have to analyze appears to be insignificant. So, I agree.UncleKrampus (talk) 16:01, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Actually it's not concern trolling. It's just someone asking dumb questions. Why? It may be (among other things): some teenager who thinks they are being clever; someone trying to provoke those "dumb liberals" into saying something silly; or just some arsehole. Given the kind of questions I would go for "dumb teenager".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:12, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
I've seen posts from people who were probably genuine askers (my judgement of that was based at least once on the person's other edits) here get marked concern trolling, once or twice. The place is pretty wide open for anyone to come post in and the site is sometimes a top search result. Still I think the people Bongolian pointed out are probably all the same person. I wouldn't even be leaning in the direction of them being disruptive if it weren't for them constantly hopping accounts, otherwise I could have assumed they just prefer not to engage after making the first post. Concern trolling isn't just "someone's asking a question I don't feel like taking the effort to answer" (though some questions like "is Trump like Stalin?" don't necessarily need humoring, that's going nowhere intriguing), it includes conscious or subconscious intent to disrupt the forum. Chillpilled (talk) 19:05, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
but really odd that you can confidently answer this as if it was a question. i don't like your example question, I'll stick aroundd if you'd like to address my concerns with this entire deal. Torrent (talk) 04:44, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Eh? Chillpilled (talk) 04:48, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

Have any cranks ever joined RationalWiki to respond to their article?[edit]

Has there ever been a case where a crank signed up to RationalWiki in response to an article being written about them? Either to edit it in their favour, comment, or insult whoever wrote it? --LiamM32 (talk) 05:11, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

It sure looks like that's what's happening on your draft right now. The answer is emphatically yes, by the way, it happens now and then. Usually they aren't as polite. Chillpilled (talk) 06:00, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Whoah! I didn't even notice that it happened before I wrote this. Though I felt like there was a chance of this happening, as I knew that they were aware of these two articles. Somehow, they managed to find the article on Blithering Genius while it was still a draft. It's likely that they're monitoring my edits on RationalWiki.
Honestly, I'm quite impressed that he (ZC) had such self-restraint when editing these articles. One was an article on the guy he looks up to (BG) who inspired his own blog, and the other is on himself and his own blog. Both of these articles are overwhelmingly critical of them, yet this guy comes over and only does the following edits:
  • Changes a word from the Commonwealth spelling to the American spelling ("behaviour" to "behavior")
  • Corrected the name of a blog mentioned.
  • Fixed a grammatically incorrect sentence. (I often make these when I try to reword an existing sentence, but then I forget to proofread it.) Though TBF, this sentence was a relative compliment in the context of the article.
  • Adding a reference (a link to one of the blogs) after a paragraph summarizing the content of that blog post.
  • Now the most amusing part of all: He left a message to me in hidden text giving me recommendations on critical things I can say about him. Some of these are to add more of his controversial stances that I haven't mentioned. One of them is "He has pseudo-scientific views on the COVID-19 lockdowns", which is a very funny thing for someone to write about themselves. He even suggested that I point out the irrationality and irony of him being against "race-mixing" despite being mixed-race himself.
I have interacted with this guy a fair bit, as I was introduced to these blogs by talking to him on Reddit. In a long argument with him, I found it rather easy to find flaws in his arguments, and I found him very stubborn about admitting the flaws in his reasoning. So I find it quite amusing that he's not only being such a good sport about this, but actually contributing to it (while staying hands-off on the narrative). Much better than the other member of their Discord server who messaged me calling me a "fucking retard" over something I wrote about BG in his article.
I suppose there's a possibility that he's playing 4D chess, and this is a strategy to make me softer on him and his allies. But honestly, I think that's probably not the case here. He said that he finds it entertaining to watch me write this (in the hidden text), and he very well may be telling the truth. --LiamM32 (talk) 07:18, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
It's happened a couple of times. Our main rule on living people is citations. If I were to say that, I dunno, Anonymous user likes to eat the center of Oreo cookies and throw out the cookie parts, well, that's just baseless slander, but if I were to cite a news site showing said user eating the center of Oreo cookies then it's, umm, baseful slander. CorruptUser 07:15, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Alright. Well, the articles that I've been writing haven't said anything about what people do in their personal lives. I've been writing an article on a blogger, using mostly their own blog as citations to prove that they really have said the things that the article claims that they've said. Of course, there's still some subjective analysis. One of his fans messaged me on DIscord and called me a "fucking retard" because of a line in the opening paragraph that "He is very likely a white nationalist, though he doesn't make this explicit". They guy told me that this guy never advocated for white nationalism. I wrote that statement because this blogger tends to show great sympathy to white nationalists compared to the vitriol he shows to political moderates. I wasn't sure how the rules apply to things like this, but then, I think I was softer on this blogger than most RationalWiki writers would be.
Anyway, I'm curious. Who were the cranks that signed up in response to articles on themselves? Did they edit their articles? Did they just argue with people? --LiamM32 (talk) 07:26, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
RW:PISSED has some examples. At least some of them have turned up here even if that page doesn't note it though, I know LGB Alliance Australia blanked half their own page for instance (although, I guess that feasibly could have just been one of their supporters using their name as a username). Chillpilled (talk) 16:48, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Jonathan Kane came here with some overall legitimate complaints that we corrected to his satisfaction. Bo Winegard came here with some complaints that were not addressed to his satisfaction, and he claimed that our page on him got him fired from academia and threatened to sue us; the interaction led to the expansion of his page. Eugene M. McCarthy came here with some complaints that were not addressed because his ideas are far outside mainstream science; the interaction led to the expansion of his page. There may be other examples from further back that I don't remember, but RW:PISSED is indeed a good starting point. Bongolian (talk) 03:20, 15 November 2023 (UTC)
There was that one time Abd ul-Rahman Lomax filed a lawsuit against us, receiving an indefinite ban for it. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 18:28, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
I can't believe nobody brought this up, but see RationalWiki:Pissed at us. We document people overreacting to our criticism. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:38, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Oops, I spoke too hastily. @Chillpilled and @Bongolian both brought it up. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:40, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

Sam Altman circus[edit]

So, Sam Altman of ChatGPT fame was suddenly fired from his CEO role (currently in our article), and shortly after some investors try to get him back. OpenAI is "optimistic", but Altman demands that the current board resign if he is to return. The next plot twist(s) may come in the next few days.

Update: "Microsoft hires ex-OpenAI leaders Altman and Brockman to lead new AI group", More than 730 employees of OpenAI have signed a letter saying they may quit and join Sam Altman at Microsoft". --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:47, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Update 2: So apparently Sam is back at OpenAI, and part of why he was fired had to do with an "AI safety" dispute where Sam favored ignoring the doomsday fears and pressing ahead. (A newer OpenAI project named Q* is able to deal with some grade school math well, leading to fears of an AI that dominates humanity.) Timeline. And ChatGPT went down for a time. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 11:57, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

In related news, there is the new-old story (which I hadn't heard of before) of his alleged serious abuse of his sister Annie Altman in childhood, which social media attention is shifting to at present. People speculate on the recent events and whether they're somehow related (I think that's unlikely), and they also wonder why the allegations by his sister never became news back in 2021 when they were new. Someone on LessWrong compiled the online material about it all, and sensibly IMO concludes that while evidence is lacking, neither can it be excluded.

Some dismiss the sister as crazy or wrong, on account of her history of depression and other mental illness, her having had a long-repressed memory of abuse (which leads to questions of reliability, but doesn't in itself imply that the memory came from some therapy in the manner of a false memory), or finding it unlikely that she was widely shadow-banned on various platforms as she had claimed (but it's a smaller matter whether she was right about that). There's some evidence that earlier attempts to share and discuss the story of the allegations was repeatedly scrubbed from the site Hacker News (ran by an Altman company) before, though I've separately read earlier that they tend to censor basically anything mentioning sexual abuse without strong evidence. It remains to be seen what more may happen or come up about it all. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:47, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

Trauma victims can very easily develop mental illness as a result of said trauma, so that dismissal is arguably ableist. Carthage (talk) 12:49, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
I actually saw this some weeks back and took the effort to archive the relevant pages (to archive.today, don't know if I did triple-archiving to IA and ghostarchive but I may have) showing these accounts really were all run by his sister in case people tried to deny that later, although it happened that the story hasn't picked up until now it seems. He endorsed the Twitter account as being his sister's, years ago, in a Tweet of his own. Chillpilled (talk) 13:04, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

New RW Project[edit]

Draft:Military occupation

I thought that it would be a good addition. --Trans Fem Agenda 01:19, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

It might be a good idea to stick to the scope of definition of 'military occupation' to that which is found in the Hague Convention of 1907Wikipedia (Military occupation § Occupation and the laws of warWikipedia). Going back before the 19th century is going to make it harder to understand what was and wasn't considered a military occupation. Bongolian (talk) 17:31, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
I could use an extra set of hands on the project. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:24, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

Everybody is turning into Nazis?[edit]

Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is turning into Nazis? Elon Musk, Jimmy Dore, and Ted Cruz all started to openly endorse anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in just this year alone. I hope I don't turn into a Nazi. MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 01:52, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

It's something to be expected with the Israel-Hamas conflict. Islamaphobic remarks are also more prominent these days.
That being said, I wasn't able to Google any recent antisemitic remarks from Cruz and Dore. Recent remarks from Cruz, in fact, I would actually more call Islamaphobic, as he's made the exaggerated (often false) assertion that "pro-Palestine" is "antisemitism" in recent social media posts. BobJohnson (talk) 02:07, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Nah, it's just the political climate making subtle usage of dogwhistling unnecessary. Everyone's using bullhorns now. As for Cruz, he's explicitly endorsed the "cultural Marxist" shit. Carthage (talk) 02:08, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
And hitting old people with bullhorns. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 03:33, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Scratch a boomer and a reactionary bleeds. (And for the boomers in chat, I'm being facetious, although there is a significant generational disparity in reactionary politics.) Carthage (talk) 03:34, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Leslie Jones fights back against Nazis at Thanksgiving.[15] Bongolian (talk) 02:18, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
The National Socialist German Workers' Party has been defunct for nearly 80 years. When the figurative label "Nazi" is tossed about with the abandon that's become fashionable lately, you shouldn't be surprised that "Nazis" become common. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 11:28, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
If you want someone more recent, Musk's rhetoric is veering near that of Anders Breivik and the Buffalo shooter.
I agree that Ted Cruz is not close to being a neo-Nazi though. That was based on his promotion of the Cultural Marxism rhetoric, and while that does seem to have its roots somewhat in Nazi propaganda, as a slogan it's mostly just an anti-communist snarl word. Before the Bolsheviks and Nazis were a thing, what conservatives fearmongered about in place of "cultural Marxism" was often "nihilism" and anarchism, oddly enough. I've seen this in some 19th century political cartoons. Chillpilled (talk) 12:07, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Right, I don't think Cruz himself is a Neo-Nazi. However, there's no way a US Senator (or, perhaps, his staff) isn't aware of the implications of the "Cultural Marxist" dogwhistle. Carthage (talk) 12:42, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
If you just type in "Cultural Marxism" into Wikipedia, it will tell you it's an antisemtic conspiracy theory in the first sentence, so I would be amazed if Cruz just "didn't know".
@ Who the fuck calls it the "National Socialist German Workers' Party"? Just call it "Nazi Party". MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 13:13, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
@192․168․1․42 I meant you, yes you! MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 13:13, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
IP be trolling. If the alt-right doesn't want to be called Nazis, they shouldn't embrace rhetoric and ideology with strong similarities to the Nazis.
At any rate, worshiping "strong but dead" ethnic purist shithead governments has always been a thing that I've known of. Even back in the 1980s there were people who adored the Nazis (just ask any punk music fan), even though the memory of World War 2 was still fresh enough. Stronger still in the United States are the neo-Confederates, who for some reason are strongly attached to a government that's been dead since 1865, and only lasted 4 years anyways. BobJohnson (talk) 18:24, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
That's a user disguised as an IP, funnily enough. Chillpilled (talk) 01:25, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
I personally refer to them as 'fascists', not 'Nazis' for the very fact the latter is much more defined. You have many fascists who rules-lawyer the close definition of 'Nazi' to technically argue they are not one - for example full-throated support for Bibi and friends - and then using that to then imply none of the aspects apply to them. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:26, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
"If you just type in "Cultural Marxism" into Wikipedia, it will tell you it's an antisemtic conspiracy theory in the first sentence" It's specifically a redirect to the article titled "Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory". You might check out "Marxist cultural analysis" instead. You may find the talk pages of those articles to be interesting reading.
"Who the fuck calls it the "National Socialist German Workers' Party"?" That's the English translation of what they called themselves (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, often shortened to Nationalsozialisten, and often abbreviated NSDAP). I called it that here to emphasize that it was an actual political organization that no longer exists. As such, there are in fact no Nazis around today. So the modern epithet is a figurative use that is generally intended to portray the target of the epithet as bad in some way that the user of the epithet doesn't want to justify explicitly. There being more "Nazis" is therefore a function of people calling each other Nazis more than in the past.
"If the alt-right doesn't want to be called Nazis, they shouldn't embrace rhetoric and ideology with strong similarities to the Nazis." Ideology like favoring organic farming, renewable energy, or building expressways? The Nazis weren't bad because they were Nazis. They were bad because they did particular bad things. If a person or group is to be regarded as bad like the Nazis, that would depend on specific bad things, not a vague free-floating Nazi-ness.
"I personally refer to them as 'fascists', not 'Nazis' for the very fact the latter is much more defined." That makes it better for generic insults, but worse for productive discussion. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 04:16, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
"62 Group veterans remember the emphasis the movement placed on exposing far-right links to German National Socialism. In 1971, the 62 Group attacked a meeting of the secretive, international neo-Nazi Northern League at the Royal Pavilion Hotel in Brighton. Cantor remembered that the Northern League invited three ex-Gestapo members from Cologne. Jules Konopinski, another 62 Group veteran, described, ‘dealing with ex-Nazis from Germany, ex-SS men’."[16] But clearly there's never been a descent or relationship between the original Nazi Party and the neo-Nazis, it's impossible. Chillpilled (talk) 04:47, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
It's all in the Richard Spencer article, kingpin of the "alt-right" term. Because until recently (maybe), according to Richard Spencer, he was not a Nazi, okay? He just promoted "identity politics for white Americans and for Europeans around the world." Not Nazi, right?
After all, Adolf Hitler preferred to spend his leisure time listening to Richard Wagner operas. Richard Spencer prefers to spend his leisure time shitposting on Twitter. Obviously, one must conclude that Spencer can't be a Nazi because they "relaxed" in different ways! (/s) BobJohnson (talk) 05:30, 24 November 2023 (UTC)

The Sun in 1987: lightning strike sex change[edit]

So here's the main trace of that article (see top-left). A retelling in FTM Newsletter. The Sun wasn't in any of the big online newspaper archives so it's weirdly hard to find the original.

I find it hilarious for its outlandish claim, but it leads me to wonder: was The Sun literally trying to convince trans people to kill themselves in thunderstorms in 1987? With cases like Jan MorrisWikipedia and trans people in the UK's Gay Liberation Front (early 1970s), it's quite possible they were aware of trans people. And from what I can tell they were already a very conservative outlet by then (these were the Thatcher years, days of Section 28, and it seems homosexuality had only been legal for some twenty years by then; our own page on The Sun mentions a 1989 headline, "STRAIGHT SEX CANNOT GIVE YOU AIDS").

Of course it's possible this was just run-of-the-mill tabloid sensationalism. But how should I be able to tell which one?

FTM Newsletter is clearly mocking the tabloid, even compares them to the National Enquirer. So I guess they weren't buying. Chillpilled (talk) 14:50, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

Also, this is strangely enough not even the only paper to ever claim this. In about 1855 the Argus and Democrat republished just such a story. I think it's a tall tale in both cases, of course... maybe it appeals as a story because of a fascination with sex and gender, combined with the near-death experience aspect? Chillpilled (talk) 15:42, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
The Sun allegedly did WHAT? The Krusty Krab (talk) 16:17, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
I invoke Hanlon and Occam here. Murdoch-era Scum has always been the [perhaps] worst national paper in regards to reliability - and the UK public know it. It's fought [and lost] lots of cases over the years on charges on making shit up [qv; Hillsbrough] or simply spouting off crap [qv; Littlejohn] and would be a fair 'résumé stain' for journalist who desired to be seen as 'serious'. It's fairly famous of producing 'Polly Filler/Phil Space' articles with no basis in fact which were cooked up in a writer's head when needs be. In America, they'd make it about celebs etc but the English libel laws make this a relative non-starter. So... what do you do? Make up an event with unnamed people in a manner which it cannot be actually disproven [or really piss a particular person/org off] and then never mention it again. Non 'papers of record' can get away with this because they're 'ephemera' and thus, there's no real comeback for printing shite. At least, until the internet came along...
Now why I don't think it's a cunning plan to get trans people to kill themselves. It's 1987, and the average Scum reader is a working-class bloke who left school at 16 to perform blue/grey-collar work. Pretty Conservative [both big and small C] and the paper is happy to exploit the pre-existing suspicions over any social change they personally didn't get [ie anything not mainstream when they were a teenager]. You've already pointed out the raging homophobia of the paper of that period, and on the vague time they deigned to notice transwomen [not transmen, naturally because they're not real] would have been outright mockery ['trannies', 'ladyboys' etc]. You think any transperson [or even curious/questioning] would have chosen to buy the paper to read that? KarmaPolice (talk)
I was about to add that I'm starting to lean on Hanlon's razor for this one. Chillpilled (talk) 16:46, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
We have to remember the time. In 1987, it's not likely even The Grauniad would have got their head around transgender folks, the official term used was 'gay and lesbian liberation' while bisexual people don't exist yet.
To quote Ghandi; 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.' The Scum article is clearly a start of 'stage 2'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:56, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
1987 is far, far later in trans history than you'd expect — I'm putting together a timeline, and this Sun article was just a funny footnote I turned up (it doesn't go on the timeline because the person supposedly involved isn't trans in the sense we think of, though, it's just sometimes I run into funny stuff like this while looking; if it did go on the timeline, it'd be on the extreme recent end of it). But concerning The Sun in particular, yes it's probable that if they were aware of trans people at this time then they would've just lumped them in with "those queers". However, it was possible to learn about the distinction from homosexuality (although the two are sort of correlated which has always been somewhat recognized) since as early as the 1920s. The police of Berlin issued guidance on the topic which made that clear, then. That was as a result of Magnus Hirschfeld's work. Though, even before that there was a category of "metamorphosis sexualis without paranoia" in the late 1800s which was distinguishing transgender people from gay people. Before this from about 1600s–1800s, it seems gender dysphoria was sometimes called "Scythian melancholy", in reference to descriptions by Hippocrates and Herodotus in antiquity of the Scythian enaree. I could go on and on. Chillpilled (talk) 17:25, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
I agree that it's not "convince trans people to kill self" per se. But in reviewing, 1980s The Sun seemed to be extremely homophobic. This Buzzfeed article ([17]) covers how activist Terry SandersonWikipedia documented some of the rather barbaric homophobic headlines and articles during that time. Not just The Sun, of course, other tabloids ande broadsheets as well. Yet even by the low standards of 1980s Britain, The Sun's 1980s homophobia seems to stand out s particularly egregious. (Apparently Sanderson actually got the UK Press Council,Wikipedia a voluntary press ethics organization described in the Wiki as rather weak and permissive in the 1980s, to censure Sun writer Garry BushellWikipedia in 1990 for his homophobia and offensive slurs (eg frequent use of "poof" and "woofter")).
So chalk it up to a byproduct of a shit rag that in 1980s was calling AIDS the "gay plague", to the point where in 1986 it gave "space" to a "vicar" who declared that he would shoot his son if he had AIDS. [18] The assertion is frankly "closer" than a mere Hanlon's razor would imply. BobJohnson (talk) 17:31, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
In 1987, the British Big Public had almost no idea what transgender was; in the case that 'trans history is longer than this' is irrelevant. Look, the first trans main character on British mainstream TV was 1998 [no prize if anyone can name them] and I recall the BS which was kicked up about that. The thing is, the article is so patently stupidly incorrect the writer must have been betting their readership wouldn't know a single thing about 'them' to contradict it. Which is why I put this in the general 'low-grade red-top sensationalism' pile along with crap like this which BrassEye later mocked silly. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:03, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

I claim my non-prize by saying that trans character was Hayley CropperWikipedia (originally Hayley Patterson) on Coronation Street, who was played by cis actress Julie HesmondhalghWikipedia Spud (talk) 05:53, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

I have to confess I actually wasn't the one to come up with the thing about the article being a malicious plot to bait suicides, that was someone I showed the article to before, and it made me think on it. But the more I do think on it, the more I think it's most plausible (nigh certain) that they just wanted to fill their tabloid with more eye-catching junk. I mean they really didn't need to cook up weird ploys to harm LGBT people at this time, they were very straightforward with how they did that. I distinguish between awareness of trans people from the general public, though, and awareness from journalists, who would have had more possible interactions with the Gay Liberation Front and who would've been more likely to regularly pore over the various other papers in distribution at the time. Chillpilled (talk) 18:09, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
I mean the scum has been known to post Nibiru and "time traveller claims" shit so... Lavalizard101 (talk) 18:11, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Here I thought the Daily Express had a trademark on Nibiru. Chillpilled (talk) 18:18, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Only when it's related to Diana or Maddie McCann. Though I now wonder whether Nibiru can influence house prices... KarmaPolice (talk) 20:03, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
Was '15-16 October 1987' involved? Anna Livia (talk) 20:37, 24 November 2023 (UTC)

Peace Prize[edit]

Is it just me or does the Nobel Peace Prize seem like a gigantic joke? I mean, not only did fuckers like Obama (who never saw a drone he didn't like) and Begin (who was a terrorist before 48 and an ethnic cleanser after 48, not to mention everything about the fucking 1982 Lebanon war) get awarded the Prize, but now Abiy Ahmed, the fucking clown in Ethiopia conducting a genocide against the Tigray get the Prize too? Why does anyone take this shit seriously anymore? Why does this thing exist? Carthage (talk) 13:11, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

It's not a gigantic joke [example, the 20-23 awards seem reasonable enough] but there are times where I do wonder the board should be more willing to simply say 'nobody makes the cut this year' [last done in 1972]. From my reading, awards are given either a) for particular events or b) general 'long service' - Obama's was contriversial at the time as he didn't really tick either box. However, this does mean that individuals can suck before/after the award - I mean, Kissinger got one, because it was tied directly to the 'ending' of the Vietnam War. Purely personally, think the 'worst' award was for Mother Teresa in 1979 - as her 'long service' was at best deeply suspect all along. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:49, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Let's not forget that there are not really any requirements for nomination either and that other nominees have been bad. Trump was nominated one year, stalin was nominated twice. Lavalizard101 (talk) 14:20, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Don't forget Hitler was nominated once. The Krusty Krab (talk) 16:32, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
The only reason why Obama won was because he is not Bush. It was basically the Nobel Committee sending a "fuck you" to Bush, even though Obama shares this quality with 8 billion people. That being said, Obama was laurated in 2009, most of his controversial stuff happened after that. There was some signs that Obama's legacy would be shaky on human rights (for instance, as far as I know, he didn't do anything in his first year to close the Guantanamo Bay camp, even though he promised that during the campaign), but even if he didn't deserve the prise back then, we couldn't, I believe we couldn't argue that he was actually someone who was working against peace and human rights in 2009. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:44, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
If I recall right, Obama's justification was that he'd done the Mid-East circuit as the new POTUS and made the usual grunts about there being a need for a solution to the whole clusterfuck situation. Ie normal behaviour. Which was partly why Obama himself said he didn't believe he deserved it. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:59, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Obama was given the prize for being the first Black US President, basically showing that the US wasn't so inherently racist that that couldn't be done; had the Presidency gone to Joe Biden, there wouldn't have been a prize. There MIGHT have been a prize for Hillary, since it'd prove the US wasn't so inherently sexist and all, but who knows if Sexism is as nearly a concern as Racism for the Swedish Intelligentsia. The decision to give him the prize was made less than a month into his presidency, and he ended up starting or getting the US involved in, according to Wikipedia, seven wars. Also apparently the US is fighting four wars at the moment; what the fawk, News Corps? Why are we involved in Niger, what's going on over there? CorruptUser 15:14, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Niger is currently in crisis following a coup d'etat, which has led to a Jihadi insurgency in Niger, led by al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. Lavalizard101 (talk)
Not sure what that's got to do with Obama and/or Nobel Prizes. Anyway, I don't buy that one, Corrupt; makes the assumption that 'the election of a black man' as POTUS being the most amazing thing that year for the entire globe. Look, the USA is the elephant in the room but it isn't the entire room. The 'sod you' to Bush Jr makes some sense and well, Obama had made some nice noises too. I personally think in this case Obama was a classic 'compromise candidate'. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:59, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
My Niger comment was in response to the question at the end. Lavalizard101 (talk) 17:57, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Are the STEM related Nobel prizes just as bad for any reason? I think I remember something about a recipient turning out to be a fraud, or maybe it was just a nominee. Chillpilled (talk) 18:56, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Can't speak for the STEM area, but regarding the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics (not exactly a Nobel then), I'm not aware of any economist that didn't deserve it. Usually, economists with cranky ideas on the right (Hayek, Friedman) or on the left (Krugman, Stiglitz) had meaninful contributions in certain areas, but a subpar work as political advocates. Friedman is probably the second greatest American economist of the second half of the 20th century after Paul Samuelson, but his work as an advocate of libertarianism is terrible, even for libertarianism standards. Perhaps he didn't deserve to be laureated for his mildly support of Pinochet. Joan Robinson didn't win, I believe, because she kinda supported Mao and Pol Pot (I'm not putting Pinochet on the same level as these two), so maybe it would be fair to "punish" him. I don't know. Economics is a huge field and it's very difficult to be good at everything like Samuelson was, and even him was wrong in many things. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:07, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
A dictator is a dictator. If a Nobel Prize is politicized, well... That doesn't exactly demerit the work of any economists who won the Prize, but it is worthy of an eyebrow-raise. Carthage (talk) 19:17, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
(ec)Talking about people “deserving” certain rewards or not deserving touches up against issues of responsibility, the ethics of praise, and moral desert. To address these sort of questions you have to engage with what moral/social/cultural function do these rewards serve, and what if anything is of value to that function. I think you inevitably fall back on judging “deserving reward recipients” on a case by case basis, but there is also broader questions regarding the harm or benefit such rewards bring about beyond the recipient, or if the choice of recipient in question produces said effect. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:21, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
Nobel told what the prizes were for: rewarding people who benefited humanity. I would say then, they ought to be people who have had a net positive impact overall, at least, and aren't running cover for bloodshed under the table or something. When you're handing peace prizes to people like Kissinger it begins to feel very much like a corruption of what the guy whose fortune started the prize was trying to do. Chillpilled (talk) 19:29, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
A Nobel prize in medicine was granted for the invention of the Lobotomy. At the time, it was a radical and effective treatment for people with extreme emotional/mental disorders. Today it's an atrocity. CorruptUser 19:32, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
(EC) For my part the only Prize I think has been thoroughly corrupted (I am neutral on the economics Prize, although I would love to see Prizes for the other social sciences, and yes I am aware that the Prize in economics has been extended to other social sciences, but come on) is the Peace Prize. Kissinger, Obama, Begin, Ahmed, even fucking Trump got a nomination. They need to seriously clean house. Carthage (talk) 19:33, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
You would think there might be such a thing as a Nobel Prize retraction especially in such cases. Chillpilled (talk) 19:35, 16 November 2023 (UTC) My indent level was changed here for some reason, but this was specifically in reply to the lobotomy guy, not the peace prize guys (though Kissinger for a peace prize is just about as egregious). Chillpilled (talk) 20:50, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
But back to the Peace prize, and specifically Obama's, I know it's only speculation on my part that he got it for being the first Black man elected POTUS, but it's also speculation that he got it for being Not Bush. The difference is that my speculation is based on "Black man elected" was actually a HUGE deal at the time, whereas, as mentioned by others, about 8B people are equally as qualified under the metric of being Not Bush.
And Carthage, if you are going to bring in Begin, you have to include Arafat...CorruptUser 19:43, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

On the Economics 'Nobel', it can be said that the economists who got it were important to the discipline, even if you don't agree with everything they say. For example, while I don't agree with most of Friedman's conclusions but a lot of his critiques etc can be chalked up to 'fair points'. As noted above, often economists can get cases of ultracrepidarianism [esp when going into socio-ethical-politico realms] and well, 'Nobel disease' is a thing.

Anyway, it needs to be mentioned that different Prizes have their own setups for awarding it; for example the Chemistry one is done via a committee which is de facto respected chemistry professors who then forward the final name to the Swedish Academy of Sciences to vote on. It's only really the Peace one which is 'politicised', in the respect they're basically retired Norwegian politicians who are partly selected on 'keeping the balance' between different political factions. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:49, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

Nobel disease is a thing, but personally the only Nobel prize I have seen that has led to retrospective "WTFs" is the Nobel Peace prize. Of this, I think Aung San Suu Kyi is the classic case of how such can happen. When she was rewarded the prize in 1991 ("for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"), she was seen sympathetically in the West as someone who won an election, but was being unjustly detained by a meanie military junta. A true story, of course... but as she gained power in the 2010s, the West slowly realized that her attitude towards the Rohingya genocide was, shall we say, quite similar (and reprehensible) to that meanie military junta. Oops. BobJohnson (talk) 20:44, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

Prizes in general are for specific accomplishments, and that includes Nobel Prizes; with a cash value of almost one million US dollars. There is a tendency for people to believe that a scientist is always going to produce scientific work. There is also a tendency for some people to think they can evaluate the work of established researchers by using google and RationalWiki.UncleKrampus (talk) 22:47, 17 November 2023 (UTC)

Right, so what exactly had Obama done in 2009 besides being "not-Bush"? Carthage (talk) 22:52, 17 November 2023 (UTC)
Not for nothing, the award is named for the guy who (somewhat accidentally) invented dynamite, which just screams "peace", so it got off to a bad start. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:18, 18 November 2023 (UTC)
That's the whole point. He regretted his invention and wanted to make up for it, so he left a lot of money to give out peace awards. Chillpilled (talk) 06:53, 18 November 2023 (UTC)
My impression of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was a combination of the “Obamania” factor and the expectation that he would usher in some kind of international arms reductions deal, rather than actively working against international treaties of this kind, unlike Bush who actively worked against them. Especially pertinent was the issue of the ABM treaty that Bush killed off just two months after 9/11. I was suspicious of the wisdom of essentially giving Obama the prize “in advance” and, sadly, it turned out that my scepticism was well founded.
From that perspective, while Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was premature, at least it was in line with the stipulation of its selection criteria (if he had actually worked for disarmament). By contrast, a lot of the recipients, while doing very worthwhile humanitarian work, seem completely out of whack with the criteria, which are specifically about disarmament and the reduction of armed conflicts. Instead, a lot of the recipients are “good people” working for humanitarian issues wholly unrelated to these issues and whose work would better fit, say, the EU Sakharov Prize (which some of them have also won, btw). ScepticWombat (talk) 14:01, 18 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, there does seem to be a level of 'definition slippage' in regards to 'peace' but I suspect this is deliberate because otherwise there would be very few actual awards [I mean Pooh-Bear would most likely got the '23 award for China's shitty 'Ukraine peace plan'] so I'm gonna let the wider definition of 'improving the general 'peace level' of the world [including internal dissent and factors causing violence upticks] slide. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:35, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Well, if you consider that most conflicts ultimately boil down to squabbles over limited resources, I feel that humanitarian work could fit the definition of "peace promotion" by stripping people of a reason to fight. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:28, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
If we start reading legal documents this way, they become essentially meaningless. The bequest aimed the Peace Prize at someone ”who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses.”
This makes it fairly obvious what kind of work was intended to merit the prize and is pretty hard to square with, say, working to extend educational opportunities or providing micro loans, however worthwhile these pursuits may be. The other Nobel prizes haven’t suddenly been switched to cover entirely different areas than the ones specified, and although literature does include awards for a variety of texts (poems, screenplays, lyrics), it hasn’t started to be awarded for singing, music, acting or film making. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:21, 22 November 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── And this just happenned... GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:37, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

Any thoughts on the Abraham Accords? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 04:20, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
”Meh”, best sums up my impression of the Abraham Accords. They simply formalise what has actually been practice for decades. Especially looking at the signatories, it’s hardly a bunch of states that have actively been stirring up trouble for Israel within recent memory, nor do they pose any meaningful strategic risk even if they were to become antagonistic. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:56, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

So Musk is a guy of really bad character[edit]

Not only did he promote some Nazi tweet but now is making idle threats to sue. He seemed reckless but now he is becoming like Donald Trump what with promoting hateful groups and making idle juvenile threats. Who knew he'd sink so low? — Unsigned, by: Homebase / talk / contribs

Those who know him personally are unlikely to be surprised by this behavior. Bongolian (talk) 00:08, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Right, his own daughter disowned him. Carthage (talk) 00:10, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
He's always had that asshat and batshit crazy "eccentric" side as far as "the biz" and life goes. But there is a significant difference between Musk Twitter feed 2014 and Musk Twitter feed 2023. Over the last couple of years, he's really fallen into the alt-right rabbit hole, something that wasn't true even in 2020. A lot of people do seem to think that his transphobia has a lot to do with this shift. If so, I'd expect the ship to sink even further over time. BobJohnson (talk) 01:57, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, IIRC Musket's transphobia had a lot to do with his daughter disowning him. I wonder if that was part of a feedback loop. Carthage (talk) 03:37, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Musk not only was transphobic towards his own daughter, but he still shares anti trans stuff to his audience of millions knowing that he’s hurting his own child. Genuinely a piece of garbage. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 04:02, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Which would be worse? A person who is bigoted to all, including their own family, or a person who is bigoted to all, but will be a hypocrite and make an exception for their family? E.g., does Strom Thurmond being nice to his Black daughter make him better or worse than the horrid racist who would disown his daughter? CorruptUser 02:01, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
What about just not being bigoted? PR at the very least, just understanding bigotry enough to not do it publicly to your own family? Understanding family? The grossest day in American Royal History was when Elon Musk and Grimes named a baby. Torrent (talk) 10:06, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

Hello, boys![edit]

I’m baaaaack! --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 02:42, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

I don't think we've interacted, but from seeing talk page archives, I always liked your signature. Chillpilled (talk) 06:34, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
I don’t think so either, last time I was active on here was more than 2 years ago. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 18:09, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Welcome back CorruptUser 01:59, 21 November 2023 (UTC)
See my talk page (click the "Reasoning") for a detailed explanation of why I suddenly disappeared off the face of the Earth for two years, it's a long story. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 20:14, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

Republicans and the Barbie movie[edit]

I'm currently watching the Barbie movie. Can someone refresh my memory on just what about it made the Republicans so damn mad? Luigifan18 (talk) 23:15, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

Idk, but watching Ben Shapiro lose his mind and burn Barbie dollars on stream was so fucking funny. Carthage (talk) 23:17, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Someone wrote a RW article on it!
But, there does seem to be a "Internet brigade" that has "woke derangement syndrome" and is willing to haphazardly toss around all the culture war yap memes ("DEI!" "ESG!" "CRT!") to any media on the planet, no matter if it fits or not. I've seen some instances of "oh noes woke!" comments which are so laughably out of touch and incorrect, it's pretty obvious they never watched the f'n thing and are just there to score imaginary brownie points (or troll farm points) for their imaginary cause they are trolling for. Barbie fits better than others in some ways, but these (to borrow their own term) "NPCs" will complain about anything. BobJohnson (talk) 23:29, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Eh, Ben Shapiro is in the same league as anyone big on TikTok or Instagram; he's just an "influencer" who tries to attract as large an audience as possible, and is paid by corporations to shill cheap crap. Even if there was nothing to be upset about, he needs to be upset, because that's his racket. CorruptUser 00:01, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
That's true. It's still pathetic that people would take this shit seriously, which is what I find funny. Carthage (talk) 00:04, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
You speak as though Ben Shapiro had a mind to lose to begin with. Luigifan18 (talk) 01:21, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
True lol. Carthage (talk) 18:43, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
What I don't get is I specifically remember Barbie apologizing to Ken at the end. Ugh, As if. Torrent (talk) 10:53, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
I always think Shapiro is bipolar when I hear his non-stop chatter. The phrase "he thinks it sounds better if he says it fast" comes to mind.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:29, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

Would Trump be as bad as Joseph Stalin if America did not limit the president's power?[edit]

He certainly is a scoundrel who cares about personal glory more than the welfare of the country. Though would he actually sink as low as Stalin, who killed people and invaded other countries? If he had no such limit, might he be just content to stay home and have people sing his praises? Even if he'd still be a scoundrel, would he actually go far as Stalin? — Unsigned, by: AmericanCitizen / talk / contribs

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 18:10, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
This is silly. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:08, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Indeed.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:12, 19 November 2023 (UTC)
Would Trumpery set up a bank or rob it (as Koba did)? Anna Livia (talk) 20:40, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
Don't underestimate a man who owns a name that can bankrupt their own (plural) casinos to do both. How do you go bankrupt on a casino? Torrent (talk) 10:42, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
And bankrupted his own real-estate business in New York somehow. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 04:19, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

Are flat earth proponents really harmful?[edit]

Rough storm pirate.png Ahoy, matey!
Beware, for there be a great sea of
Concern Troll Bullshit ahead!

They just believe the earth is a different shape than scientists do. Their not like people peddling alternative medicine with dangerous cures or others who harm people. If everyone thought the earth was flat nothing would change. Lionisangry (talk) 01:55, 20 November 2023 (UTC)

Well, they wouldn't all be like him.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:03, 20 November 2023 (UTC)

You realize satellites are a necessary part of telecommunications, right? You realize modern meteorology absolutely relies on satellite data and understanding of globe spanning currents, right? You understand air traffic control relies on understanding the shape of the planet, right? You realize modern time-keeping (which is necessary for GPS and precision microwave RF communications (i.e. your cell phone) to work) relies on having time bases which are mounted in satellites and require understanding of gravity based time dilation to sync properly? It would change a fuck-ton and ruin many industries if people forgot the shape of the planet. Boats would get lost, planes would run out of fuel, your GPS wouldn't work, radio towers would slowly lose their sync and be unable to communicate, satellites couldn't be replaced. It would be apocalyptic, you fool! MirrorIrorriM (talk) 03:38, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
There's IMHO roughly two general categories of flat earthers (with a bit of overlap).
A) Trolls, shitposters, and the like who really don't believe what they are spouting. Probably the majority. Probably "mostly harmless" in many ways. But on the other hand, look at 4chan for a case study of how shitposting went from Mister Splashy Pants to, well, /pol/.
B) Reflexive anti-intellectualism, generally tied on such a significant denial of *all* science / government / authority and/or insane devotion to (usually literalist) religion and whatnot. Flat out is so out in left field and so easily proven wrong by, say, simply looking at a harbor with boats, there that even most conspiracy theorists seem to not believe it. But the line between "flat earth" and "alternative medicine" or other popular conspiracies is not that thick. (talk) 03:47, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
There is a general decline in trust for science in general right now in America that seems to be stemming from the COVID pandemic. Think about the implication, in how people distrusting epidemiologists (or whoever) is now suddenly jumping over to people distrusting climate scientists (as we've also seen a drop in belief that humans are causing climate change). In the same way, a lot of people believing Flat Earth would probably have a lot of not-so-obvious consequences for other scientific fields. Chillpilled (talk) 04:02, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
"If everyone thought the earth was flat nothing would change." Obviously false. The world would starve to death in the middle of a global economic catastrophe. If everyone suddenly lost trust in satellite information there would be no international shipping or flights. No food or equipment transportation. With vastly reduced internet business would struggle to order and pay for stuff anyway. Such a list could go on and on.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:05, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
On the plus (?) side, if everyone thought the Earth was flat, the Internet would disappear in its current form (thanks to all the above communication / cell phone disruptions), and all those flat earth shitposters would have to find something else to do with their time. BobJohnson (talk) 15:30, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Now you're selling it to me. Forget being a globehead then. Chillpilled (talk) 17:16, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
It's harmful on the basis of being incredibly stupid and illogical. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 16:08, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
They are not harmful, they are just cartoonishly confident about something very demonstrably wrong. The only explanation is they want to fight about it. You can but I would suggest against. Torrent (talk) 03:05, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
"You realize satellites are a necessary part of telecommunications, right?" They actually aren't. Nearly all telecommunication these days is through fiber-optic cables, often with a radio leg for the end connection. And satellites being USED for some kinds of communication doesn't make them NECESSARY for the things they do.
"You realize modern meteorology absolutely relies on satellite data and understanding of globe spanning currents, right?" Similarly, a global view can be stitched together from Earth-based instruments. Most weather reports you might see use ground-based Doppler radars to track what's going on in much better detail than satellites can manage.
"You realize modern time-keeping (which is necessary for GPS and precision microwave RF communications (i.e. your cell phone) to work) relies on having time bases which are mounted in satellites and require understanding of gravity based time dilation to sync properly?" The synchronization problem caused by satellites being higher in Earth's gravity well is only an issue if there are actual satellites there. The entire issue goes away if there are not in fact any satellites. And atomic clocks don't rely on the shape of the Earth to function. Their function may be disrupted by the different physics required to make a flat Earth work, but that's a different topic.
"It would change a fuck-ton and ruin many industries if people forgot the shape of the planet." Less than you seem to think. The whole of the modern world is adapted to existing on a globe, but that's not the same thing as being dependent on a globe shape to function. For example, the functioning of power plants and water supplies would be the same whether the Earth were flat or round. The differences there would be in the specific lengths of connections to supply the network, and that only becomes noticeable at very large scales. Worldwide travel and commerce obviously work now, so they wouldn't stop working if people no longer believed in a globe-shaped Earth. By all means, challenge flat-Earthers, but keep in mind that not all challenges are valid. After all, for most practical purposes, Earth's surface is pretty much flat, with local geography being a much bigger deal than the global curvature.
"But the line between "flat earth" and "alternative medicine" or other popular conspiracies is not that thick." Which means that, if you want to discredit a movement, you can simply send some people there to espouse flat earth ideas along with whatever ideas you want to discredit. Flat Earthers will be conspicuous in fringe communities as long as there are narratives that organizations want to discredit. As always, propositions should be evaluated on their own merits rather than associations. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 04:20, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
brilliant, this is corn pops cereal, gotta have it. Is there ANY proof the firmament isn't the reason weather balloons just stop at altitude? Wait... Put an unpeeled Clementine or satsuma in water. Peel it and try again. It's density not gravity, obviously. The peel has too much air, which it couldn't have In the firs place if gravity 'works.' Torrent (talk) 11:33, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
We all know the world is actually pear-shaped. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 04:20, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

New draft[edit]

I’ve just started a new draft on the term “big tech”. Requesting help in writing it, as while I may be back I haven’t the free time. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 23:32, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

The "tech" part should be capitalized in the title, like "Big Tech". Chillpilled (talk) 23:33, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
Done. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 23:45, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

A conspirituality navigation sidebar?[edit]

The Category:Conspirituality now has 25 articles; a few more old articles likely belong there, and more may be written later, so it will probably slowly grow over time -- yet remain smaller than either of the main conspiracy ones and the New Age one.

Anyway, it could be nice with a dedicated sidebar for this topic, to replace one or another, or (awkwardly) both at times, of {{conspiracy}} and {{newage}}. (Less commonly, {{pseudosciencenav}} or {{altmed}}.) But that takes both some clever words and a drawn icon, which I'm not generally so good at. I don't know if others are interested or have ideas, but @Plutocow is who I've seen make the most new sidebars.

Very generally, some icon and theme could suggest conspiracism and/or spirituality (of one or more kinds), and possibly alternative medicine too, at the same time. But what I personally think of is too complex for a little icon and theme; I know the following is probably too much to capture. If I imagine some character, it would be someone using magic and/or New Age "manifesting" (and/or maybe a Bible and crucifix) to defeat the omnipresent Illuminati alien-human hybrid conspiracy, which is inseparable at every level from quantum-healing the sick all around the world and setting the stage for the global cosmic ascension. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:10, 24 November 2023 (UTC)

Looking at the Google, there's two things that seem to pop up on the image search for conspirituality:
A) Someone in a meditative yoga pose, especially the cross-legged sitting pose where one lays their hands on their knees and connects their thumb and index finger together. (Don't ask me what this is called, but it's the type of pose you expect chants of "om" to emit from...)
B) An Illuminati pyramid, similar to what is already used for the conspiracy category.
So I think you are "on the right track", any iconography is going to be some combination of the two things. One can even perhaps combine current slogans for New Age and conspiracy for one of the titles. ("What THEY don't want you to know about dolphins!") Or make new ones in this direction ("Reptoids and chakras") BobJohnson (talk) 18:45, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
The yoga pose is called siddhasana,Wikipedia which is far more closely associated with Buddhism and Hinduism than conspiracism. Bongolian (talk) 19:03, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
Maybe prominent in search results because of how "health and wellness", and thus yoga, has blended into conspirituality? Anyway, it may work in that it suggests an inward-focus of sorts, while the other half of conspirituality is the outward focus on the world, politics, and imaginary dramas.
And what color should we make it? I've always loved these navsidebars we make, and I'm down for seeing a new one any time --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 20:18, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
That's a difficult question (to me), I'd rather leave it up to whoever can draw or put together a nice icon, which I hope someone else will be able to. Or maybe I'll decide it later, there's such large room for vacillation when there's no clear criteria to go by. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:42, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Another idea that popped into my mind was a confused wizard wearing a tinfoil hat (but that may be tricky for a small icon) and holding or decorated with some spiritual symbol(s), including something suggesting New Age. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:13, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
On further thought, how about the yoga pose with a tinfoil hat added? That's the simplest combination adding the conspiracy that I can think of. (Maybe optionally with an Illuminati pyramid symbol on the tinfoil hat, given how so many camps view others as "controlled opposition".)
I think the "Reptoids and chakras" suggestion is a good candidate. It sounds fairly representative for something short. Another could be, summing up the spirit of many teachings, "What THEY don't want you to know about cosmic ascension!" --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 09:44, 25 November 2023 (UTC)

Snapping from Mental Pressure[edit]

It's hard to get my words out on this without sounding blunt, but hear me out. I wonder if there's any connections concerning internal prejudice and constant pressure from bullying and/or abuse. For example, how many people with prejudiced views ended up getting those prejudices from being the repeated and chronic victim of bullying or abuse and turning to hate, sometimes through bad advice online? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 16:37, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

Sometimes yeah. Isolation and resentment are fertile breeding grounds for radicalization. Other times though? The type of radicalization also depends on who the target is. Reactionaryism is driven, at least in part, by fear. Fear that your place in the natural hierarchy is being threatened. It's a lot easier to pin blame on the other than to realize the reason you don't have a girlfriend is because we have a system that values toxic masculinity, and when men don't "make the cut," because no-one wants to date an abusive piece of shit for one, instead of realizing it's a systemic (ie patriarchal) issue, they blame women instead. Carthage (talk) 16:46, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
That argument isn't a one way street either. The woman who got abused in your scenario above is most likely going to resent the man in question. And how would she handle the incident? Is she just going to blame all men rather than just the man in question or not? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 16:59, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Reaction swings both ways. What do you think misandry is? But also, women don't have the systemic power men do. Rape culture predominantly excuses male rapists, while also pretending rape on men by women isn't a thing, because obviously if a man is raped by a woman he's just not a man. He's a cuck, or whatever the latest orc term is. Misandry lacks the systemic power (except for when it intersects with transphobia) that misogyny does, to pretend the two are the same is a false equivalency. Carthage (talk) 17:03, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
No matter what, both misandry and misogyny is still unjustifiable and inexcusable. It's hate speech either way. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 17:09, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Yes. Carthage (talk) 17:12, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
As for people in general, it's quite frustrating that folks can just go on any old website and vent out their bottled-up abuse in the form of hateful remarks (targeting the minority or majority, doesn't matter), only to receive total impunity for their words. Search engines get clogged up with that filth as a result. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:05, 27 November 2023 (UTC)

Assadist Puppet Sites[edit]

Well, I just got myself a rude awakening while combing through YouTube just now.

The other person that runs The Grayzone, Ben Norton, runs two puppet sites/channels/etc. that pretend to be as newspapers: Geopolitical Economy Report, and International Manifesto Group.

Both of them push similar Assadist bullshit that Norton tends to spew out in bulk. And they haven't even been deplatformed by YouTube or other video and podcast sites as of writing. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 14:25, 27 November 2023 (UTC)

Also, Ben Norton himself has a ton of accounts on various sites, as well as his own webshite. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 14:26, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Apparently Norton left The Grayzone a while ago, but he has been a slippery eel who runs his own sites now, with similar bullshit to Max Blumenthal. Perhaps that other Assadist shithead needs to be torn apart as well. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 18:21, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Of all the dictatorships to simp for, why do they pick Assad? At least with Xi, you can say he's done major things. Meanwhile, Assad still hasn't wrested control of his country after 12 years of fighting-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:41, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Just another thing. Most Assadists tend to also be vatniks as well. Those who simp for dictators tend to simp for more than just one. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:04, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
@Ryan1257 Assad is part of the anti-Western gang. That's enough for some of these idiots. You can see that many of them also hate Rojava despite being a relatively successful leftist experiment just because it is kinda of backed by the West. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:09, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Rojava has been in reconciliation with the Assad government for years; they have common enemies, especially Turkey and the rebel groups it backs. Chillpilled (talk) 22:09, 27 November 2023 (UTC)

Trump goes Full-on Fascist[edit]

On Veterans' Day, Trump made a bunch of extremely loaded remarks at his rally, calling his political opponents "vermin" and planned to "crush" them should he take office. As mentioned elsewhere, these remarks are eerily fascist, reminiscent of Mussolini and Hitler. Combined with his sinister plans for 2025 (Insurrection Act to quash dissent, pardoning January 6 attackers, and more) should he get elected, this is just one more reason than ever to disqualify him from ever running again.

See these links for more: [19], [20], [21]

TheEternalOutsider (talk) 11:19, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

Ah, of course. So Trump is such a threat to American democracy that his political opponents should prevent the public from being able to vote for him. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 13:13, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
For my part I'm happy to read whatever doctor bleach-injector has to say. He's always good for a laugh.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:18, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
It's just darkly amusing to see Trump's Biggest Fans lap this shit up, given that their authoritarian embrace also tends to come with a heavy dose of jingoism. "Land of the free" becomes doublespeak, apparently, in their hands. (Then again, the Venn diagram of Trump's biggest fans also crosses with the evangelicals, the group that claims to be Christian but seem have forgotten Important Commandment #2.)
We've seen Trump term #1 (as well as similar ruscist-wannabes in a similarly decentralized state like Jair Bolsonaro), it's pretty easy to envision what a Trump #2 term will really be like. Frankly, it's amazing to me that he's actually dominating the Republican primary. Are memories that short? BobJohnson (talk) 14:04, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Trump second term will be way worse. The reasonable people from his last administration have mostly turned on him, so he’s definitely gonna appoint crazy yes men everywhere if he gets into power again. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 15:24, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
I guess the main thing our IP contrarian has to remember as well is that Donald Trump is involved in numerous criminal cases at the moment... many of them concerned efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In which case, if Trump is convicted, well, there's a little thing called the Fourteenth Amendment (section 3) in the US Constitution that Trump will have to worry about applying to him even more so. (Several groups already are trying to apply such to him, but it's IMHO premature to do so until the courts issue a ruling.) So... yes, there is the possibility of a Constitutional tut-tut that could, as your tut-tut implies, potentially exclude him from holding office at all, if Trump ends up being a convicted seditionist. (Though I'm sure any attempt at exclusion will result in whining, gnashing of teeth, bellowing of hot air, lawsuits aplenty, and all the other elements of the political shitshow of the national US government of late.) BobJohnson (talk) 16:12, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Troll Carthage (talk) 17:20, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
Anti-rationalism has taken over the temper of our times. Fascism or nationalist authoritarianism has always been favored in the restive classes that shuffle through bar-room society. "There ought to be a law..." kind of person is found everywhere. So, Trump comes forward and claims to be the only one who can solve the problems, whatever they are. Perfect for the anti-rationalist, the person who ignores empirically based arguments when they are inconvenient. The advocates for a few forms of social justice are also occasionally anti-rational, but they are not dangerous, albeit an annoyance.UncleKrampus (talk) 15:41, 14 November 2023 (UTC).
Yeah. I don't like how many people are desentized to being conservative. Heck, I've becoming like this myself too. It's such a brain rot. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 11:30, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
As regards Bob’s comment on possibly fleeting memory, I don’t think the issue is that Trump’s poll numbers reflect sudden amnesia. I think those supporting him remember him very well and actively support his ludicrous strong man image. Look at the fear mongering that the GOP has peddled for decades and Trump’s statements seem more continuity than aberration. And it’s not like the party’s anti democratic tactics or rhetoric suddenly arrived on the scene with Trump, either. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:15, 14 November 2023 (UTC)
It is undeniable that nationalism is also pushed by right-wing plutocrats (Peter Thiel, the Kochsphere, et cetera) out of economic, political, and cultural self-interest. Carthage (talk) 17:23, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

TrollUncleKrampus (talk) 17:56, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

The age of American Un-Reason trundles on, getting worse every day. Cardinal Chang (talk) 22:44, 14 November 2023 (UTC)

Will note that Godwin's Law and its variants and derivatives do not apply in this context - it is more that there is no 'suitable and apt word' yet to describe late 20th-early 21st century 'non-democratic rightwing behaviour with egregious worldviews and intent' (as distinct from 'various flavours of far right positions with a democratic component' and 'political dirigisme' etc). Anna Livia (talk) 12:21, 15 November 2023 (UTC)

Can I remind people of the several definitions of the word 'trumpery' (see Wiktionary etc) which may plurally be applicable here. Anna Livia (talk) 11:53, 16 November 2023 (UTC)
"doctor bleach-injector" This relates to a broader theme in this discussion of not addressing what is actually going on, and instead using a shorthand caricature as the basis of discussion. Most doesn't have enough relevant content to warrant a response, but do you know what Trump actually said?
"In which case, if Trump is convicted, well, there's a little thing called the Fourteenth Amendment (section 3) in the US Constitution" Trump has not been formally charged, let alone convicted, of rebellion or insurrection. But suppose he had been. The US Presidency is conspicuous in its absence from the positions listed in Section 3. An officer of the United States is an appointed position within the executive and judicial branches, while the US President is an elected position. This was not necessarily the case at the time for the positions listed (as they were state-controlled matters), and relates to the notion that the democratic process itself is a check against inappropriate people getting into power. Suppose Trump has sufficient support to be elected again. Who do you think should have the authority to overrule that? Specifically?
"I don't like how many people are desentized to being conservative." Conservatism is an ideological stance that favors prioritizing the maintenance of good things in the status quo, as opposed to making changes to the status quo with the goal of improvement. What do you mean here? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 13:11, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Amendment 14 section 3 is indeed vague. The "hold any office, civil or military" certainly could be interpreted to apply to the presidency... but perhaps not. This has never really been tested. It historically was mainly used to keep Confederacy officers out of government, up to the point where the 1872 Amnesty ActWikipedia was enacted. Then only used a couple of times in the early 1900s. The issue here is, since the Civil War, we haven't had to deal with a president that flagrantly violated democratic norms with a failed self-coup attempt before.
If Trump is elected, I'm sure this clause will be tested, all the way up to the Supreme Court level (though I imagine the Supreme Court will wiggle out of disqualifying Trump due to it, given the makeup). Already, a judge has ruled that Trump committed an insurrection, but she did not see that a presidential candidate could be disqualified by the Amendment 14 ruling. "Your mileage may vary" and doubly so if Trump is thrown in jail for one of his four felony trials. I could easily see at least one judge along the way disqualifying Trump (only to eventually be overruled by the Supreme Court, of course).
It is indeed strange times, because despite Trump attempting sedition, Trump still remains popular enough to be the top Republican nominee. As for "authority"? Well, the US President isn't that far above the law. (I will say, in one case, the "classified documents" case, where there *is* a lot of wiggle room for the top folks that the "little guys" don't get, Trump completely stupidly blew his "leniency" away). I'm sure he'll attempt to wiggle out of the federal trials if elected, of course, but some of the trials are at the state level (where he has no authority to wiggle out of) and of course he is not president now (no matter what he says), so whatever comes along next year still applies.
I'm sure you'll have some forced contrarian reply to this in about a week or so (poor bar archiving bot!), but it won't be of any matter; the true motto of US politics at the moment is "shit's fucked up", even more so than usual. So it goes. BobJohnson (talk) 15:24, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
Due to his terminal God Disease and cheapskate nature, there's a very good chance Trump will end up burning worse than other more 'regular' Entitled Rich Assholes would (as noted on his 'classified documents' case). I'm not one to quote Chris Christie much, but he was on the money when he said the Orange One is his own worst enemy. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:31, 20 November 2023 (UTC)
"Amendment 14 section 3 is indeed vague." The actual text is as follows:
"Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."
Trump has never been a member of Congress, an officer of the United States or any State, or a member of any State legislature. This section outright does not apply to him regardless of what he's actually done. And again, "officer" and "holding any office" refer to appointed positions in the executive and judicial branches, not the elected position of US President. An "office" is simply the position that an officer holds. Do you have anything to say about actual specific laws as they relate to observable things that Trump has actually done?
"As for "authority"? Well, the US President isn't that far above the law." You misunderstand. The US is nominally a representative democracy. Trump is a natural-born citizen at least 35 years old, and he has not been found guilty in a court of law of anything which would disqualify him from being President. As such, he is eligible to run, but there's been a lot of sound and fury about preventing him from doing so. If he's not popular enough to win, there's no point, but if he is, who (if anyone) do you think should have the authority to decide that Trump shouldn't be able to run?
"in one case, the "classified documents" case, where there *is* a lot of wiggle room for the top folks that the "little guys" don't get" De jure, it's specifically the President with arbitrary authority there, since the President (alone) is Constitutionally vested with executive power, and document classificaiton is an executive function.
"I'm sure you'll have some forced contrarian reply to this in about a week or so" This is a holiday week, so I have more time now than usual. As for contrarianism, I've said similar before, but the Rationalwiki community doesn't need to be told that fascism is bad. It apparently does need to be told that forcible suppression of political opposition (a hallmark of actual fascism) is bad. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 04:11, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
"Who (if anyone) do you think should have the authority to decide that Trump shouldn't be able to run?" Why, the courts and/or legislature (depending on which aspect we are talking about), of course; for interpretation of Amendment 14, it is indeed the courts. So far, the courts have taken a hard pass on Amendment 14 Article 3 (and even if they do not eventually, I suspect the Supreme Court will too). We can "armchair quarterback" all day long, but such means nothing; in the end, the Supreme Court is designated as the final arbitrator of interpretation in US government. All of this is just the "joy of politics". I'm sure if a judge decides that Amendment XIV means Trump's off the ballot in a state (and I think, especially after a sedition-related conviction (should that happen), this might be a possibility, though who knows), it will make headlines for a few days and cause howls of political rage in "the social medias" or something, before being likely appealed away.
"De jure, it's specifically the President with arbitrary authority there" Well, Trump is not currently president, he is a private citizen, so I'm not sure what that ramble is about. At any rate, I'll leave the Trump indictment for the documents case for you to read the alleged US code violations he is accused of. Now, there is nothing that says that even someone convicted of a crime and currently in prison can't run for office, of course. Certainly there is nothing that I know of that says Trump can't self-pardon any federal convictions if elected (although that I'm sure also will be tested in the courts if he tries). But, there also is nothing that I know of that states that Trump can pardon a state level crime (eg the Georgia RICO case). It leads to "interesting legal scenarios".
Finally, throwing around the "fascism" term, tsk tsk. Do you actually think, if Trump is found guilty of felonies in a court of law, this somehow is "forcible suppression of political opposition"? Do you believe, in the unlikely case that the Supreme Court rules that Amendment 14 Article 3 disqualifies Trump, that this somehow is "forcible suppression of political opposition"? And why the term "political opposition" anyways? We are talking about the courts here. Judges and juries. Not politics. (Well, in theory.) "Interesting phrasing", methinks. BobJohnson (talk) 05:11, 24 November 2023 (UTC)
"Why, the courts and/or legislature (depending on which aspect we are talking about), of course" The aspect I was talking about there is apart from legal disqualifications. Since, you know, none apply yet, but TheEternalOutsider seemed to think that there were several reasons right now to disqualify Trump from ever running.
"So far, the courts have taken a hard pass on Amendment 14 Article 3" Meaning that such legal mechanisms do not currently apply as a justification to remove Trump from ballots. Removal of rights in the US is supposed to come after due process of law.
"We can "armchair quarterback" all day long, but such means nothing" The relevant laws are public knowledge. This isn't complicated or ambiguous.
"Now, there is nothing that says that even someone convicted of a crime and currently in prison can't run for office, of course." Then that's that as far as Trump's eligibility for office is concerned.
"Finally, throwing around the "fascism" term, tsk tsk." Did you see the topic heading here? And the part where TheEternalOutsider characterized an out-of-office political candidate saying mean things about his political opponents as "full-on fascist"? While simultaneously expressing that the current government should prevent that candidate from even running for election?
"Do you actually think, if Trump is found guilty of felonies in a court of law, this somehow is "forcible suppression of political opposition"?" As eligibility for the office in question does not depend on a lack of felony convictions, yes, if that's used as a reason to remove Trump from ballots. Obviously.
"(Well, in theory.)" So you're aware of the issue. Care to compare that Trump document indictment to the classified document problems of prior administrations and how the legal system handled them? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 19:54, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah. Trump was asked to return documents not his. He actively resisted doing that, and when he finally did, he deceived his own lawyers and only returned some of the documents while claiming he returned all of them. Trump was given as much lee-way as possible, and still didn't return all of the documents. Carthage (talk) 20:01, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
If you want a compare-and-contrast from the same administration, compare Trump to Mike Pence, the later who also had classified document problems, but (like the other recent cases eg Biden and Hillary Clinton), cooperated fully, returned all documents in question, and is facing no further charges.BobJohnson (talk) 20:28, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
(EC)I like how Trump calling his opponents vermin and his spokespeople claiming their "existence will be exterminated" is just "saying mean things." The Trump campaign is just saying his opponents are vermin and threating to exterminate them! Nothing fascist about that at all! If anything Democrats are the real fascists!-Flandres (talk) 20:09, 28 November 2023 (UTC)

Good bye, RationalWiki[edit]

As you know, I retired after an argument with LGM on January 16, 2023, but intermittedly popped back in with this account since, making 19 edits on various dates such as February 25, March 7 (which the edit resulted in this account being blocked for 22 days (also I love that TS song)), April 29, June 2, November 2 and November 9. That five month gap along could be evidence that I was dissapeared from the site, but I wanted to make it official. RationalWiki bores me now, and too many users dislike my existence to the point that I retired. And while I spent ten months contemplating if it was the right choice, I made that decision - it is.

Thank you to the few users who were nice to me in my tenure on RW, it is with that I declare the end of Andrew5 (2021-2023) permanently. The password to this account will be scrambled, like what I did with my previous account ten months earlier. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 18:13, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

One last comment - please do not discard my mod votes that I made five minutes ago. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 18:16, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Best wishes on your future endeavors. There are no rules against LANCBs from returning and voting, or voting then LANCBing. Bongolian (talk) 18:35, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Indeed. I don't remember if I were ever impolite towards you. If so, I hope it were meant in good humor and I do apologize. I don't know why some users objected to your interest in the weather. Traditional polite conversation can be preferable to some of the trash-talk one can sometimes find here. Anyway, goodluck Andrew. Stop by anytime.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:04, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
It wasn’t the weather that pissed people off. It was the pedantic wikicopping. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 01:29, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
What does “wikicopping” mean again? --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 06:27, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
It's a term used by people who set RW and Wikipedia apart, noting that you don't hand out warnings and litigate questions on RW as if Wikipedia rules or similar apply. A sysoprevoke was given to Andrew5 for, basically, being disruptive in that way. A time later he resumed something similar except without sysop tools, and focused more on intervening in discussions, trying to bring Wikipedia rules into them, relitigating old questions, and generally wasting time and energy of other participants, but without breaking any clear RW rule in doing this. Some were more mildly annoyed, some moderately, a few claim to have avoided the wiki to avoid Andrew5. At the same time, Andrew5 did act constructively a fairly large portion of the time; it may have all gone different had he been willing to take feedback to heart, rather than briefly feign listening to it. (But then, he wouldn't have bans on Wikipedia and Uncyclopedia either.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:03, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Apart from the wikicopping was the fact that he had no interest whatsoever in the skeptical purpose of the wiki added to his inability to engage honestly. His pro-Trump posts frequently sparked debate but he would never respond directly to any challenges put to him. He would just avoid questions or respond with other inflammatory comments or pose new questions. I simply gave up engaging with him, but those who continued found it to be an increasingly frustrating experience. There was also his tendency to create single-use socks who would "join" the wiki simply to make one-time comments saying how much they agreed with Andrew.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:20, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Those socks were not mine. Those were created by some troll trying to egg them on. This is why I wish we had checkuser on this wiki. My political views have shifted slightly in the aftermath of trump’s indictments and santos scandals, though I will say Biden is the most pro war president ever. Anyway, I am still retired but needed to defend myself against Bob. (talk) 15:44, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
Oh, looks like I didn’t miss much when I was out. (And by the way, sorry for the Irish goodbye) --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 16:44, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Can’t say I ever knew you (being dormant due to college throughout the vast majority of that time period) but best of luck in your endeavors. Feel free to recreate your account and stop by in the future if you feel like it. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 21:31, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Press F to pay respects. The Krusty Krab (talk) 22:15, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
"As you know ..." nope. ", "....I retired.." clearly not. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:21, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

Israel Under Fire's propaganda manual[edit]

Does anyone know if this is legitimate: [22]? It includes such gems as "don't engage with critics of Israel, who seek to shape discussions around the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a whole." It reiterates that any discussion should be focused around October 7th, and not the entire conflict.

The issue here is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a whole. It is very difficult for us to win there. October 7 is about war crimes committed by Hamas, an organization that people abroad for some reason do not perceive as terrorists, no matter how much we try to say that they are. Now there is proof. It’s our 9/11, and that’s a relatable analogy for most Westerners.

Is this real? It's been known for a while now that Israel weaponizes allegations of antisemitism to silence dissent and debate, but I didn't think you could find such a manual out in the open. I'd like to know if this is real and not a hoax. Carthage (talk) 08:42, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

I thought the fact it was in English may have been slightly suspicious, as you'd expect such a thing to be communicated in Hebrew if the audience was to be other Israelis. However it could be aimed at English-speaking Zionists abroad. Looking at WHOIS information, this site was registered on October 8, 2023, which I believe may be consistent with an Israeli or close sympathizer to Israel registering it although this is just interpretation. Initially I thought there wasn't a lot to go off of outside what's immediately presented on the site. But then I found this. So it seems this site is created by the Israeli software company Elementor.Wikipedia Chillpilled (talk) 09:25, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Right, the site does say that messages aimed at Jewish people are to be "different" from a non-Jewish audience. Carthage (talk) 09:29, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
The site itself says that the text is "Paraphrased from Jordana[sic] Landau’s Facebook post", with the link to Joanna Landau's Facebook post. Her post has the original text in both Hebrew and English.[23] Landau describes herself as "a specialist in country branding and influencer marketing. She is the founder and Chair of the Board of Vibe Israel, a nonprofit based in Tel Aviv…",[24] so this is not official government policy, it's marketing. Bongolian (talk) 18:29, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Does it have to be, though? Zionism itself is a political movement. Israel is the end-result of that movement, but not the movement itself. Also, states can and do use deniable assets to further their interests. This doesn't itself imply that Israel itself is behind these groups, but they're not actively working against them or denouncing them. Why would they? They promote Israeli interests abroad. Carthage (talk) 18:32, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
The big impression I'm getting is that this is part of a network of quickie sites that popped up after the Hamas attack in October, and if anything, they are connected to Israel's start-up / tech scene. I base this not only on the above information connecting this site to Elementor, but also on one of the "asset banks" sites, Wordsofiron.com. This site also appears connected with tech, eg one guy from an Israel "operations intelligence AI" platform called Akooda, [25]. The LinkedIn for that site [26] also has "volunteer" employees from other various startups, whose LinkedIns (oddly from my viewpoint, I like to keep politics out of my work :p ) mix staunchly pro-Israel posts with IT technobabble. The other "asset bank" sites have no information at all I can find about them, so admittedly this is a bit speculative, but it's "what we got".
Uber-Zionism is not limited to government representatives, and although much of the Tel Aviv tech/startup scene is notably anti-Netanyahu, it certainly stands to reason that there would be a chunk that isn't. Government support of these pages cannot be ruled out, but my current "Occam's Razor" view is that this is just a bunch of Zionist tech guys throwing up a quick Wordpress-y (or equivalent) page to help "support the cause". BobJohnson (talk) 19:19, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, that's my general conclusion too. Israel doesn't need to throw thousands of dollars behind soft power influencers when any jackass with an internet connection can do the work for them. Undoubtedly you're going to have people claiming this is a Mossad front, but again: any jackass with an internet connection can do the same. It's much more cost-efficient to just let these useful idiots do your propagandist work for you. There doesn't need to be any official connection. Carthage (talk) 19:23, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Maybe it is real (hehe, get it? Because that’s how many Americans pronounce their name?), but why write it in English instead of Hebrew? --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 15:56, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
English is an international language at this point, used by people who never interacted with, say, people from the Anglosphere at any point in their lives. Ask any English speaker in Singapore, which is part of the Anglosphere, if their natively-spoken English is as "real" as, say, British English and pray to whatever sky-goat you worship not to get punched in the face. So, with this in mind, I'm not terribly surprised it's in English, especially if it's directed at, say, a non-Hebrew speaking audience. Carthage (talk) 16:05, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I see that less than 13% or so of American Jews can confidently read Hebrew. American Jews might be the strongest supporters of Israeli policy.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:35, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
There is the possibility that it might be 'officially unofficial'; that one of the folks behind this site did get 'invited to a drink' [or something] by some official Israeli personage who gave them a little nudge to do it and/or 'give a few pointers' on how it should be like. This is completely normal in the intelligence game; agents do seek out those who they feel may be 'amicable' to their state's interests and try to get them more amicable, as well as giving encouragement to 'walk-ins' [ie the folk who seek them out] to do more than they would have done off their own bat. I hold that it's an insult to Mossad to suggest they haven't deployed some assets to assist in trying to 'win the propaganda war' online [in fact, I suspect quite a lot] but on doing a quick sweep the basicity of the site in question strikes me as the workings of a volunteer who's not a complete noob. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:47, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

"Significantly problematic"[edit]

Take a look at the top of the page for Cognitive differences between sexes. Then take a look at the top of the talk page. Now, I haven't interrogated this page at all, and I have no idea how good or bad it really is, so I'm not looking to discuss that here. What I'm wondering is why there's apparently not such a thing as a hatnote at the top of the mainspace for the article, indicating it's "significantly problematic" (or I'm not aware of one). Why is that hidden away on the talk page only? Let's suppose this was a fatally flawed page. To a casual reader who doesn't open the talk page, they might receive no indication of that even though it's been marked as one there. So what's up with that? Should there be a template to indicate this to the reader, if there isn't already one I've missed? Would there be a way to automatically display it, when the talk page marks it so, and vice versa? Chillpilled (talk) 02:41, 28 November 2023 (UTC)

Generally speaking, "X is problematic" is a statement about the speaker rather than X. That is, the speaker has a problem with X, and the details depend on what the speaker thinks, which may or may not be forthcoming. In this case, the person who put that there was LeftyGreenMario. Given the talk page section which he started shortly thereafter, it seems his problem was a perceived lack of detail in the article. This is what's changed in the article since then. My take is that LGM (self-admittedly not familiar with the topic or related jargon) did not find the article very intelligible, and the people who were familiar with the topic were not very interested in revising things to be more accessible. The article and talk page haven't seen much activity in the last five years, so the call to attention stayed as it was. The intention of putting it on the talk page and not the article seems to be that the desired action was a group discussion about how the article could be improved, as direct edits by knowledgeable editors had already led to article content that LGM found undesirable. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 11:30, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
That's the exact opposite of what I was on about... if someone doesn't like a banner it can be challenged or removed, I'm asking why one doesn't exist for this use case and how it might look if it did. I was not asking anything about who put that on that specific talk page, which I gave only as an example (there are 210 pages marked significantly problematic and often I found it's due to misc. issues like under-referencing). It just happened to be the one I noticed this lack of a banner/hatnote/whatever from. Chillpilled (talk) 13:13, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I would say that if we put a disclaimer at the head of an article it begs the question: Why is the article here in the first place? Questioning the legitimacy of the article belongs on the talk page, don't you think? The problem with "problematic content" is that it is a personal opinion, in this case of a moderator. It can be difficult to ascertain the mood of the mob that happens to be present here at any particular time.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:35, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I feel it is probably worth mentioning that there are still issues with the article given that it presents evidence uncritically, and isn't entirely up to date. Take this systematic analysis for example [27]. The opening paragraph opens with studies that are all about 7+ years old, and for some reason feels the need to open on brain anatomy differences despite not really being differences in cognition. Most of the stuff about differences in performances on certain cognitive tasks are all dating from the early oughts. Not to mention that a good chunk of these studies are coming out of an academic discipline infamously known for being in a replication crisis. There is warrant for caveats and skepticism here I don't think are being adequately conveyed. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:41, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
There are templates which are more specific than simply saying a page is "significantly problematic", such as {{sources needed}} and {{outdated}}. I think it's best to be more specific, using such templates. If a subtype of something being "significantly problematic" lacks such a template when it would be useful to have one, then it would be good to make one. One template per type of serious issue, basically. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:00, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Every article in any wiki should be read skeptically. This one is no exception. There are a number of articles here that make statements about its respective topic that are not be found in standard references with varying degrees of authority, e.g., Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannia, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Should such articles receive a template warning? I think it is better to fix the article than to slap a label on it. I generally don't accept a majority opinion on the correctness of opinion expressed in an article. Being concerned about misleading unintelligent people seems an admission of failure.UncleKrampus (talk) 16:11, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah. If you feel an article has such flaws, create an AFDem to have it promoted to “problematic” --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 17:03, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
With regard to the article in question I would suggest just changing the title to "Alleged cognitive .....", and editing any problematic points.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:13, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

The Episcopal Church[edit]

can someone make an article about the Episcopal Church? Koafox (talk) 17:00, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Anglican. Carthage (talk) 17:01, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
There actually is a separate article already: Episcopal Church. Whikeypalians are what the American Anglicans started calling themselves after the Whiskey Rebellion American Revolution. Bongolian (talk) 20:29, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Really into a new show[edit]

So, HBO has a new animated horror/sci-fi show, "Scavengers Reign". Long story short, HBO has a deal with the guys at Adult Swim. One of their short films, "Scavengers", was good enough that they decided to turn it into a series. And it's friggen beautiful. The basic premise is that a space freighter is damaged near an alien planet, and only a handful of survivors made it down to the surface. But the way they do the horror is not that the alien world is hostile to humanity, but that the alien world is outright apathetic to humans. Think of it like "Primal", but in space with more character development, better animation and a much larger story. CorruptUser 20:32, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Doesn't look much "prettier" than any other animated series TBH - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWQH8cMpWTU Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:37, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
I'd recommend watching the original short film here. It's not necessary, and some elements do get recycled in the show, but it gives you a sense of what kind of bizarre alien biology will be like. And it's not just the animation style itself, but, well, the world itself is just so unique it's worth giving a shot. IMDB gives it an 8.8; somewhere between Arrested Development and Firefly, so I guess it's an ok show. CorruptUser 20:48, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Geert Wilders Victory; A Wakeup Call for Europe[edit]

Last night, the "Freedom Party" (PVV), representing the Xenophobes of the Netherlands, have won the largest share of the votes. They are expected to hold roughly 1/4th of the seats in the Dutch parliament. This makes Geert Wilders the most likely person to be the next Dutch PM. Furthermore, Le Prick's "National Rally" party, the Xenophobes of France, have surged in popularity. Similar can be found throughout the rest of Europe, such as Alternativ fur Deutschland in Germany and Vox in Spain.

How did we get here? What lessons can we learn? How do we prevent this in the future?

Ultimately, Europe needs to take a long hard look at immigration policies, and actually have the difficult conversations with its public. The debate must be inclusive of even some of the xenophobic elements of the public, and their concerns must be addressed rather than simply dismissed, because they are not fringe anymore. CorruptUser 21:48, 22 November 2023 (UTC)

There is often no stronger curse for a far-right party than to be given the keys to government, in a democratic country. Most often they can't handle it. They are built for opposition whining. Even repressive fascist dictatorships most often fall to pieces within about a couple decades if not mere years. All they can ever manage to accomplish seems to be inflicting some kind of trauma or another on the public. Chillpilled (talk) 22:16, 22 November 2023 (UTC)
I know the headlines are "Wilders wins" but to me, the details are "fragmented dysfunction in the Netherlands as usual". It's a parliamentary system, and Wilders' party won 35 out of 150 seats. The most of all parties, sure, but still not enough to be that dominant.
So yeah, migrants are certainly an issue in the Netherlands (and much of Europe, and other countries, etc.). But Dutch politics is famously fragmented. Given that the last coalition collapsed over migration, exactly the issue Wilders is hardline on, I doubt coalition formation will be easy. The current record for a coalition government forming in the Netherlands is 271 days. One wonders if the current Dutch parliament will beat that record? BobJohnson (talk) 22:27, 22 November 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure what "addressing" the concerns of xenophobes means in this context. It feels like what is being gestured towards is the common trap that centrists fall into mistaking the bigotry that drives far-right movements for something that will go away if they indulge it with a bit of red meat. But has Tory rule in the UK done anything to reduce anti-immigrant sentiment? Does the dominance of right-wing narratives in media and politics in the U.S. alleviate or feed racist paranoia? The answer is obvious. Conceding policy to them isn't going to blow off steam and prevent some racist explosion, rather it'll just tighten the noose around your neck. Tikitime2 (talk) 23:00, 22 November 2023 (UTC)
Okay, first off Corrupt the PPV are not going to be the next government. They look to become the largest party in Parliament, which looks to contain sixteen of them. Here's the final polling (and crunched into seats). You need 76 to form a majority government; and most of the large parties will flat-out refuse. Their only hope is that the more 'moderate conseratives' of the VVD agree to get into bed, then able to get over 2/3 of the little parties to form a rickity coalition which will fall over fairly quickly. Nah, most likely [and desirable] outcome is that the four next-biggest parties form a grand coalition and block Wilders.
With 'addressing' the concerns, the only good-faith POV I can take from this was the frankly stupid manner the Third Way leftish parties basically shut down all discussion period over such issues as integration, nationalism, migration as 'racist' and let the fascisty stains like Wilders, Farage, Le Pen etc to basically, define the whole narrative over it. Ultimately, a lot of this is down to socio-economic stresses from the 'neoliberal age' which the previous folks again, really didn't desire to talk about.
Lastly, the combained VVD/PVV vote seems to be around 35%, which is not much more than the 33% they scored in 2021. Now, while I shall defer to any Dutch person [or anyone with more accurate stats] but I shall posit the theory is that the PVV has mainly managed to radicalise [and then steal] enough of the VVD base, similar to what UKIP did to the British Conservatives in the 00s/10s to the point 'Lord' Dave decided to call a refrendum on Europe to call their bluff [and we all know how well that turned out, don't we boys and girls?] 'A wakeup call'? Yes, for the Dutch mainstream right - that once again, we see the spectre of fascistic populism breathing down their necks, and if they turn and shake it's hand with a smile, it will consume them. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:39, 22 November 2023 (UTC)

Not to underplay what a threat a fascist like Geert Wilders is, but I also recall that basically anytime he get ANY micro sliver of power, he self destructs? its a shame that saying "Only Ubermenches from here!" is still enough to hook people. (talk) 00:35, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

How did we get here -> the previous ruling party (VVD) blew up the government on immigration issues (forcibly - the previous PM wanted to retire so he started a problem with his own party, this was the easy way to break the government coalition). Then the expected shoe-in victor (NSC) spend the entire election cycle being so non-committal that the party (or specifically, it's leader) stopped being a shoe-in. NSC managed to motivate a bunch of non-voters, meanwhile VVD lifted their "we will never rule with PVV" rule, meaning that PVV voters that would otherwise not vote PVV suddenly assumed that PVV could win, giving them yet another boost. We'll see how this works out. PVV is gonna have to make a lot of concessions if they want to get a majority government and they also need to control the first chamber. As for the main reason why there's an "immigration issue" - we have a housing shortage and the xenophobes blame it on houses being given to immigrants. The actual issue is way more complex than that but xenophobia lends itself to easy soundbytes. PVV voters broadly lean young as a result. -- Techpriest (talk) 10:05, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Ah, good-old zero-sum 'lifeboat politics' at play here again, then? The fact they trend young is an interesting one; could it be said that a decent % of the PVV vote is then not so much 'far right' but more simply 'anti establishment'? KarmaPolice (talk) 12:50, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Anti-establishment? I thought teenagers weren't allowed to vote (well, 18 and 19-year-olds can vote and are still technically teenagers, but that's a semantic issue). Does Holland do things differently than the US in that regard? (And yes, I know I'm stereotyping teenagers a bit when I say that they tend to be anti-establishment — trying to be defiant for the heck of it in an effort to find themselves and all — but KarmaPolice's remark about these far-right voters trending young caused me to jump to the conclusion that for once, they're genuinely trying to be edgy (albeit in an immature fashion) rather than just plain bigoted, and teenagers do have a reputation for trying to be edgy (and more often than not bungling it to the point of being ridiculous due to inexperience).) Luigifan18 (talk) 13:59, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
There's also the possibility that the unexpectedly high result is in part because of the current wave of protests going on right now. CorruptUser 15:11, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
I find it interesting you think only teenagers can be 'anti-establishment', Luigi. The truth is that there's a strong undercurrent of 'things are not working' from a lot of folks under 40 all around the advanced world and 'the establishment' gets a lot of blame for this. Which I don't blame them; a lot of issues are decades in the making [elderly care crises and housing shortages don't crop up overnight] and a whole generation of leaders [aka Boomers] have deliberately ignored them repeatedly.
I personally keep on getting hits of deja vu right now, that like the British 1930s the country is being run by and for the benefit of the old/rich/stupid which even dynamite cannot make them realise which century they're living in. To be a younger person in such countries like now feels a bit like being the only kid of an elderly severe hoarder - you know the massive clean-out is on the horizon but the parent doesn't give a fuck and keeps on giving us condesending lectures like we're five. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:19, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Again, the "teenagers tend to stick it to the man and rebel for its own sake because they want to establish their own identities" thing is a bit of a trope and a stereotype (which I admitted to up front) that admittedly has some basis in reality. Obviously, teenagers are not the only ones who can be "anti-establishment", but they do have a bit of a reputation for holding anti-establishment attitudes. Whether this reputation is actually deserved, I'm not sure. I haven't done any recent research into why teens have a reputation for being edgelords rebels who try to shake things up and shock their elders, so I wouldn't know whether the "rebellious teenager" stereotype is supported by [properly-conducted] scientific studies, just a product of TV shows depicting teenagers as rebels without a cause, or derived from something else entirely. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:36, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Assuming the Wikipedia numbers are accurate, the big losers are the two conservative parties (VVD and CDA) and the centrists in D66, while the winners are Wilders, the new “social contract” party (NSC) and to a lesser extent the Social Democrats/Greens (GL/PvdA) and the farmer populists (BBB). Oh, and all the tiny parties at most held their ground or they lost seats.
So, voters on the right (incl. the small parties on the right) have rallied around Wilders and the farmer populists, while D66’s voters probably went to the Soc. Dem.s and/or the social contract party. But yeah, continued, general fragmentation, but a new constellation with a drift from conservative to more right wing protest parties, a decent result for the “old left” and for the “new centrist protest” (i.e. the social contract party) is probably the best summary, as far as I can judge (and I’m not a specialist on Dutch politics). ScepticWombat (talk) 17:23, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure what narrative you're even trying to punt here, Luigi. Truth is, some of the things which are really pissing younger people off [long working hours in 'sticky floor' jobs and inability to get stable/decent housing for example] does not really even effect teenagers. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:03, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
Right now, my "armchair quarterback" sees European populism playing out a *wee* bit differently than America. The executive summary for pretty much all developed nations is basically, the Third Way is dead and has pissed a lot of people off. It has made a few "winners", but a lot of "losers". The (not wholly incorrect) perception is that the "good jobs" are either outsourced away or taken by immigrants. There's a (also not wholly incorrect) perception, too, that the Millenial on back generation (and remember, Millenials are by now *adults* often in their 30s) isn't going to be able to as easily do what previous generations did (start a family, buy a home, etc.) Because all of this is now ridiculously expensive, with jobs that pay shit. Add another generational divide of source, with the (also not wholly incorrect) perception that the Boomers have locked up the wealth and gamed "the system" for their benefit.
America's populist (Donald Trump) is a little unique in that his biggest fans are more locked into the rural elders, and the GOP has responded by molding into his fashion. From what I see, Trumpism does not *quite* fit (at the moment) younger more conservative leaning voters; there's probably too much Rush Limbaugh style culture war yap on things people overall have mellowed out on (eg railing against homosexuality or especially the marijuana), and too much evangelical puritanism that led to mistakes like repealing Roe v. Wade. In contrast, while certainly the rural elder vote still is a thing for European right populists like Le Pen, I think they've done a better job softening their image enough where they aren't seen as completely racist backward looking asshats. There's certainly a lot you can say about the Brothers of Italy PM Giorgia Meloni,Wikipedia but she's popular. Now, I don't really think she's actually helped Italy's clusterfuck economy, she certainly has some asshat Other positions, and Italy's been a wee bit more prone to the fascism and adjacent more than other European countries (see Silvio Berlusconi). I also don't know if, in the end, she'll do something over-the-top enough to lose votes (though for now she seems quite a bit more technically competent at the moment than other fuck-the-system votes like the Five Star Movement). For now, by softening the rhetoric just a bit, she was able to attract a broader spectrum of voters than the Brothers of Italy previously did.
Europe also has pockets of populist left (as Jean-Luc Mélenchon showed last year) and the "center" is still holding to some degree, of course. Generally speaking, I don't think roaring against immigrants and Others will solve any of the above economic issues. The one anti-immigrant, anti-EU plan that I know of that was fully realized -- Brexit -- appears to have been, by all indications, a mini-disaster. What will solve all of the above malaise though? I really don't have a great idea, unfortunately. BobJohnson (talk) 18:58, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yeah I'd characterize it mostly as an anti-establishment vote than a vote for populism in specific. Not that it makes the end result any different though. As for D66 - so the thing with D66 is that they always lose when they're in power and always gain when they're in the opposition. This is because of D66 policy which is basically "try and join a working coalition no matter what" - the party arguably entirely exists to make sure that right wing parties don't have to ally themselves with populistic parties like what happened here, and right wing policies are the greater compromise on D66's ideals compared to left wing policies. It's actually an improvement compared to how it was in the past, the party has gone to low end of single digit votes before after being in a center-right coalition. The left in the Netherlands is a curious mix of "the eternal opposition" (SP), random populistic bullcrap (DENK, BIJ1) and a few parties that totally could get a victory together... if it weren't for PVV this time (PvdA, Green Left who ran on a shared member list this time). Within regards to the age thing - young here is just "sub 30 voters", not literal teenagers. That in mind - it's also not even a guarantee Wilders will get into power. Coalition building is a thing and Wilders has exactly one road to a majority in both chambers consisting of PVV/BBB/NSC/VVD, the last of which is going to demand major concessions if there's gonna be a government (the second-to-last might also, but NSC is fairly closely politically aligned with Wilders on the key issues Wilders cares about). It's the main reason why for example the EU isn't scared of a Nexit occuring - the idea is entirely unpopular outside of PVV/BBB/FvD/JA21 (with a possibility that NSC could be convinced), which does not a majority make. Relatedly, Wilders also has things like the constitution standing in the way of some of his plans and he's already announced that he's gonna shove anything he can't get away with in a single term (it takes 2 terms to change the Dutch constitution) out of his party program if it's required to form a government. Not that much of an improvement but the truly insane shit probably won't happen. -- Techpriest (talk) 19:17, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
I put it as 'younger voters', so anybody under 40. I picked this as the line because under this, you would have grown up fully in the post-Cold War 'Neoliberal Era' and only know the Good Old Days from hearsay [and coincidently, mainly missed from the benefits of said era].
Now, while I agree with both above on the main, I would say that I don't think these people think generally 'the good jobs' are taken by immigrants, more that Business™ has used cheap overseas labour to squash down pay growth and casualise/degrade the existing jobs so what used to be 'decent jobs' no longer are. Which is why I termed this more 'anti-establishment' rather than 'right-populist'; that a lot of these voters wouldn't be so bothered with 'migrants'/'immigrants' if they didn't have to constantly scramble for every damn thing, feeling there's not enough of everything to go round and seeing [normally] overfed smug elderly folk lecturing them on 'working harder', 'stop having so many coffees' and other shit. In fact, if it was a toss-up, I'd give it a 50/50 chance they'd drive out all the smug Boomers and take their houses than purge the migrants. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:44, 23 November 2023 (UTC)
I agree that the discourse isn’t that migrants are taking the “good” jobs, but are instead blamed for squeezing wages and conditions for lower status jobs. If anything, the discourse on the “good” jobs is that “the elite” is distributing them amongst themselves and their children. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:46, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
As someone that tends to support open borders, I see the immigration crisis as public education crisis, at least to some extent IMO. If you're so unqualified that you are losing your job for someone that doesn't even speak the language of your country, well, then maybe the lack of qualification and opportunities are not your fault. Immigration does create jobs and I think country discrimation will be seen as something as bad as race discrimination in the future, but until then, we also need some sort of policy to tackle short term trade-offs. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:00, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
How does immigration ”create jobs”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that there’s some specific, finite number of jobs, but immigration creating jobs sound to me like the kind of supply side logic that I’m generally extremely suspicious of. Is it because there’s something special about immigration that generates jobs, or is it just based on the notion that the “supply creates its own demand” in the labour market? ScepticWombat (talk) 20:14, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
Per a ACLU report [28] the way immigrants "create jobs" is by starting new businesses and through additional consumer spending. I can see that. The report however also mentions that immigrants help the economy "by filling low-wage jobs that keep domestic industry competitive". This is probably the big part that (while The Business Community approves of such) many angry at immigrants (for reasons already mentioned) disdain. BobJohnson (talk) 20:58, 25 November 2023 (UTC)
There's also the issue that low-wage jobs skew the "net contributions" when comparing whether immigrants are a positive or negative. Unless the job is just make-work, every job is necessary for society to function as-is; you can't have doctors and attorneys without someone sweeping the floors and picking crops. How much each job contributes is... complicated. But the result is, by the numbers, underpaid immigrants will pay far less in taxes than the receive in benefits, meaning that on the books those immigrants are "drains" on society, even as they contribute in more ways than just what they pay in tax. CorruptUser 05:13, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Aaand Gee falls into the Third Way meritocratic-education panacea trap. We saw this in the UK from the New Labour Govt [97-10]; that 'education' would break the class structure in a manner which would neither cause a) class war or b) huge government spending programmes. Result; supply/demand mismatch - not enough 'good' graduate jobs for all the grads [result; chronic underemployment] and an excess supply degraded the 'value' of a degree [result; ballooning credentialism as businesses demanded higher and higher qualifications with no real reason]. Thus the pissed-off nature of a lot of the younger voters - 'we fucking followed all the advice you gave us and it proved be full of shit as your kids slithered into those good graduate jobs and I'm serving them coffee'.
Now, on Gee's 'Say's Law' and multiplier effect. The key issue here is that for most advanced nations, the heavy majority of immigrant workers are in occupations which pay fuck all [in the UK; social care, retail, hospitality and cleaning]. Their multiplier effect on the general economy is fairly little because their spending is limited to the bare bones of survival. No discretionary income means no meals in restaurants, no haircuts, no leisure travel, no cinema visits, no Netflix and so on. Even more critically, no discretionary income means no ability to save money to launch businesses [or to improve skills-base etc] - the keystone of the 'immigrant entrepreneur' myth [often when you dig into these modern Horatio Algers you find they in fact hail from well-heeled families 'back home' who provided the capital... just ask Mr Musk!]
And while I often disagree with Corrupt, they're onto the general money here - that not only do many of these folks 'net recipients' in govt services that they put in [I'm not so much bothered by this as I look long-term rather than always wanting immediate 'net contributors' only as immigrants] but the simple fact the state actively subsidies minimum wage jobs because they do not pay enough for a person with dependents to live off [and the 'live' bar is normally very low, see above]. It doesn't take an economic genius to ask 'who stands to gain from this?' and come up with the answer 'the rich, the corps and their hangers-on'.
But this is more corrosive to a nation than the obvious immediate drain - businesses quickly get addicted to the cheap labour. Not only do they end up building whole industries based on models which are uneconomic without the welfare subsidies but they become loathe to invest in capital plant, which means that while gross output rises, per-head productivity does not [which is the magic number when it comes to raising up SoL]. To give a simple analogy; limitless cheap immigrant labour makes the farmer simply hire more people with hoes to work the land by hand, while if they could not they would instead invest in better tools so the current farm-hands could produce more per-head [and coincidently, produces more demand for capital goods which produces more work]. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:08, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
In both the UK and US, polls show that many people clearly separate "low-skilled immigrant" and "high-skilled immigrant". The former is generally seen as undesirable; the later on the other hand is quite okay with many.[29][30] I don't think US politicians going on the "anti-immigrant" bender have been wise to this phenomenon.
(Mind you, the same "hollowing out" and "businesses addicted to cheaper labor" issues exist with "high skilled" workers too... just ask American-born developers what they think of H1B visas. :) But it shows the Trump style demonization route... probably misses something. "Keep out the Mexicans and Muslims"... well, what about the Mexican and Muslim doctors, which (from one blog that referenced a frustratingly vanished OECD report in 2015)[31] represents at least 10% of foreign US doctors (counting Pakistani doctors as Muslim)? I'd bet the answer is a little different...) BobJohnson (talk) 18:21, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I actually answered the first bit in my earlier first paragraph, which I for some reason didn't post earlier. Part of the problem, naturally is that most equate 'high skill' with 'high pay' - the interesting dilemma where you'd see the UK Govt deciding that nurse immigrants were 'undesirable' but hedge-fund managers were 'desirable'. Even before the pandemic, I know which one I think would be the most 'net contributors' to the UK. But this is to be expected, for Anglo conservatives/capitalists 'know the price of everything but the value of nothing'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:47, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
The H1B visa scam originally had a good purpose, but it was horribly abused by Big Tech companies to suppress the wages of what used to be middle to upper-middle class programming jobs, and then when fewer people went into computer programming BECAUSE the wages were suppressed the Big Tech companies had the audacity to complain even further that they couldn't get enough applicants. And the visa system is by lottery, so Big Tech discovered that instead of finding the "best" candidates, they just make offers to thousands of candidates of dubious quality and then take the ones who lucked out. The solution was actually obvious and what was proposed by Trump of all people; do away with the lottery, and allow the people in based on how much they are making. Want to replace your $120k/yr programmer with that $70k/yr immigrant? Well, there are 80,000 people that are being offered salaries of $110k+, so unless you want to pay said immigrant $110k, the American's job is safe. CorruptUser 14:48, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
I'd go further - I'd make the hiring company pay a hefty 'fee' for every outside worker hired and brought into the country. I would then earmark the fees for the domestic education system, ensuring the lion's share of the extra cake went to the most under-achieving schools/areas of the country. This isn't because I am xenophobic, it's because 'overseas poaching' is a normal move for Corps too damn cheap/lazy to hire natives to do the work. Thus, we need to make said poaching less attractive and offering training more so. Supply and demand, mon. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:10, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
1) There ARE shortages of skilled workers from time to time. Let's say tomorrow we discover cheap, safe, clean fusion power. That's great news... except we do not have enough nuclear scientists in the US. And the time it takes to generate a NEW nuclear scientist? Well, assuming all high school kids are pliable, that's still 4 years of college and 3 years working on the PhD, so it takes 7 years for the market to even BEGIN to react to the surge in demand, let alone produce enough scientists to meet it. But if India has too many scientists running around? They could send us their excess in the meantime.
2) That money is effectively going to taxes, and not the workers themselves. While sure, it's nice to get free tax revenue, workers of the world should have some minimal sense of "brotherhood", and want to see the people in their field earn a fair wage. And besides, upper-middle class immigrants are already going to pay a metric fuqton in taxes anyway... so long as the company actually pays them the money.
3) Again, I'm not anti-immigrant; these really are the Best and Brightest and the country really is better off with them here. I just A) want them being paid similar wages, and B) providing a stabilizing "bulwark" against social unrest, whether that's by raising "proper" middle-class families to supply the next generation of Americans or just simply being productive members of society. CorruptUser 21:53, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
1) Normally, these skilled labour shortages happen because Corps are lazy and wish to be spoon-fed labour at no cost or committment to themselves. Ruling out the occasional black swan, they will know years, sometimes decades in advance future labour demands - to run on your fusion example, the likes of GE, Westinghouse, EDF etc shall know well before the state, educational systems or the Big Public that the tech was about to hit 'commercial application' stage, they will be able to guestimate the amount of labour needed and what's more, will have the ream of stats to work out if there would be enough nuclear engineers etc in the pool to do it. In short; Corps poaching pre-trained folks overseas is one of the main reasons they don't train natives anymore.
2) This policy isn't designed automatically to 'help workers', it's to make hiring overseas less attractive option to Corps over a) training natives and/or b) increasing investment in capital goods. So ultimately, if successful it should help workers - a more skilled workforce and higher productivity [which leads to a higher SoL]. Simple supply and demand, with the state putting an extra weight on one side to engineer the more long-term beneficial choice.
3) Truth is, the sorts of 'people we want and need' are the sorts who'd do well anywhere. Including often their own countries. In fact, often their own countries need them more than we do; many developing nations suffer from perennial brain-drain which is one of the main roadblocks to their own development. It's 'beggar my neighbour' labour policies which clearly favour us. Going back to fusion again, if we poach all the Indian nuclear engineers, who will build the Indian fusion plants, which would allow them to wean themselves off both coal and wood burning? KarmaPolice (talk) 12:09, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

Truss's necklace[edit]

For something a little light, I have put a few words about Truss's necklace and its connections. [Me talking with a BDSM leather collar around my neck] Euromec (talk) 09:20, 28 November 2023 (UTC)

And I wear a red tie. What's that code for, you kinky fucking bastards? Christ! What a bunch of fucking stupid twats! Spud (talk) 13:20, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
Means you're an Aries. Chillpilled (talk) 13:33, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
No, I'm a Virgo. Spud (talk) 13:36, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I know, I could tell because I thought you were an Aries. Falsifiability will never catch up with me. Chillpilled (talk) 13:45, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
It could be the other signal, and that you like taking it in the arse. [Red in the hanky code means fisting] 😄 14:04, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
It means you can trus me. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 15:50, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
We should, perhaps, have a wiki motto, what do you say? The New York Times uses "all the News that is fit to print." How about "If it's in the Mary Sue you can see it here too!"UncleKrampus (talk) 22:47, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I will be slightly fair, it's not wrong that "O-ring" pendant necklaces are marketed towards submissives as "day collars". (Example: [32]) However, what Truss is wearing (usually described as a "circle necklace" or "hoop necklace") is pretty common fare for the general public. It's not hard to Google search necklaces similar to Truss's ([33][34]). It's just jewelry.
(One hint for the online gigglers: as seen by the above day collar link and others similar, solid gold isn't a real popular choice for "day collars"). BobJohnson (talk) 00:48, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
This is.... Strange Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 17:50, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

The impossible has happened[edit]

After over a century, Henry Kissinger is dead.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞) 02:04, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

Joy to the world? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:16, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Well that's finally happened. I guess the grim reaper finally decided to stop by and claim that shriveled husk of a war criminal. -- Techpriest (talk) 08:35, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
We jinxed his Nobel peace prize by condemning it on the saloon bar. It was like his horcrux. Chillpilled (talk) 10:45, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, he's dead. But so are his victims. It pisses me off that he got away scot-free to the bitter end. Because this is bitter. He lived a free man, of wealth, until the day he died. His victims weren't, and aren't, so lucky. Carthage (talk) 14:02, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
I have to at least give him something for his role in hunting down members of the Gestapo, that's not nothing. If he'd died in the 1950s we'd most likely remember him for that, which was A Good Thing. And today I learned he was residing in Kent CT, a place I've been many times (the falls really are something); I probably wouldn't have tried to make it look like an accident myself, but if I knew it was him I wouldn't have actively intervened if someone "accidentally" knocked him onto the train tracks that for some reason are almost entirely unguarded in downtown Kent (you'd think the Mary Wojtyla video would've been enough to convince people not to let just anyone walk all over train tracks, but hey). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:40, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
America killed all those people, if you want to know the truth. The America that elected Nixon. Massachusetts voters got it right. UncleKrampus (talk) 04:35, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
I hear he even suggested that Ukraine play into Putin’s hands to “sAvE fAcE” like Czechoslovakia in the 30s, because he took too seriously Putin’s daily threats to launch nukes that can totally singlehandedly launch an area the size of France into orbit (source: trazt miy bro)- threats thrown around so much by ruZZia that they are now meaningless on the world stage. He of all people should have known that jingoistic dictators will stop at nothing, they think they own everything and everyone and will stop at nothing until this is so. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 17:57, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
By the time a guy has one of Nena's red balloons for every year of his age, I'm OK with brushing it off as an oldster being an oldster. The many things that came before (one that doesn't get enough attention was backing Theranos, which very nearly killed people in its own right)... not so much. I would also say, though his theories were beyond horrible for Cambodia that country was a basket case long before he had anything to do with it; they'd been a basket case for hundreds of years (as in going back to the 1400s), so it's important to stick to what his policies directly led to. Norodom Sihanouk wasn't an agency-free puppet, it matters to be clear on who did what. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:48, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

Shane MacGowan's died[edit]

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has died aged 65, following a recent hospital stay after being diagnosed with encephalitis. The singer-songwriter, whose hits include 1987's Fairytale of New York and A Pair of Brown Eyes, had been unwell for some time. (BBC website quote). Loved Fairytale! Scream!! (talk) 16:23, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

I still love it. And I think I know what's going to be the UK Christmas Number One this year. I wonder if sales of the original version ("cheap lousy faggot") and the censored version ("cheap and you're haggard") would count as sales of two different songs or just one. Spud (talk) 04:43, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

Ready for another war? The second most "pacific" continent in the world (of course I'm disregarding the rampant crime) might face one very soon[edit]

Venezuela will have a referendum this weekend over a territorial dispute with Guyana. Basically, they want to annex 70% of the tiny, oil-rich country.[35][36][37]. This is can be very well a sham referendum since Venezuela is not a democracy. And who knows how they'll react if it passes. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:49, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

What about insurgencies? Conflict is still conflict regardless of whether or not the belligerents are non-state actors. (I'm also distinguishing base "crime" from politically-motivated insurgencies, although there is heavy overlap between the two.) Carthage (talk) 17:57, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Was specifically talking about large-scale wars involving two or more countries. The last time there was an actual war in SA was I believe, the Cenepa War 30 years ago, and it only lasted a month. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:03, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Ahem! The Falklands affair? Scream!! (talk) 18:45, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, didn't realise how long ago that was! Seems like yesterday. Scream!! (talk) 18:45, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
1/5th of the entire population of Guyana is living in the US. The US should just annex the place, and problem solved... /sarcarsm CorruptUser 20:34, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Yay! Another Military occupation! This should be interesting. This will probably be the next Crimea --Trans Fem Agenda 02:12, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

I wonder how the usual "anti-imperialist" gang will react to this. Surely they'd condemn a country invading another country for oil...right?-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:37, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
They haven't condemned Morocco for outright exterminating an entire people and stealing their land. CorruptUser 14:16, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Tankies will likely call Guyana a "colonial creation," so therefore Venezuela has a "right" to take back what's theirs. Never mind that runs into the same problem proponents of reconquista of the American Southwest have.... what about the indigenous peoples? A colonizer is a colonizer to them, and they sure as hell didn't like either Anglo or Hispanic colonization. Carthage (talk) 14:24, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
They’ll call Guyanans “settler-colonialists” and try to deny their status as actual civilians like they’re doing with Israel since the early 2000s, purely because Guyana is pro-Western (that’s their real ideology, they’re clearly not above simping far-right factions that promise to conquer and erase vexing pro-Western neighbors). Since they openly simp Ruzzia (a fascist one-part state where gays are so abused and invisible that you can literally see the sadness in their eyes and is so jingoistic it has terrorized its neighbors for decades), so it’s almost as if they don’t really care about leftism. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 03:30, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
It works both ways though. Israel is a settler-colonial state born out of an act of mass ethnic cleansing (NaqbaWikipedia) and terrorism (Jewish insurgency in Mandatory PalestineWikipedia) and to this day Palestinians live under crippling apartheid and Arab Israelis suffer under a regime equivalent to Jim Crow. Israel is a belligerently occupying power, that leaves a much higher standard for Israel (which they fail to live up to, I can and will provide more citations upon request) than the territories they are illegally and belligerently occupying. Israel has a right to self defense, but Palestine doesn't? Already we've seen, last time I checked, 11k Gazan deaths. 4k kids dead. Roughly two-thirds of that women and children? This is completely ignoring what Israel's doing in Lebanon and the West Bank. As of a month ago 19k were already displaced by Israeli bombing campaigns in Lebanon. And anyone who has paid even the slightest bit of attention knows that life for Palestinians in the West Bank is pure hell. Settlers forcing people out of homes at gunpoint and uprooting orchards with impunity. Here's an article on settler-colonial violence in the West Bank: [38] This also ignores how Israel gets the lion's share of water and land in the West Bank, and Palestinian control is limited to lesser quality land. This creates a pressure cooker for violence. And there is a clear double standard here. Palestinian picks a gun up to prevent their home being taken over by settlers? Well they can't go to the courts. Palestinians live under military law, and the PA is powerless. So the situation with Israel is a lot murkier IMO than Ukraine or Taiwan. Carthage (talk) 03:55, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Good point, it is more complex in Israel’s case since they’re galloping towards a one-religion ethnostate and even subject Ethiopian Jews to similar racism and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even bring them to Israel. But wait till the tankies find out how Russia, America and Canada got all that land they now own, drowning entire countries in blood and tears. --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 04:07, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Well at least Crimea had the matter of the locals inviting the Russkies over. This one seems to be a pure land grab. MeowPurr 15:33, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
You mean the Russian "locals", who themselves were the descendants of those who emigrated from Russia proper during the Soviet era in order to keep an eye on the native populations, just in case.CorruptUser 16:41, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Ignorants. This has been a dispute going on for centuries, not something cooked up on a whim. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guayana_Esequiba KarmaPolice (talk) 17:34, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
That's why I brought up the reconquista analogy. Not everyone here is unfamiliar with geopolitical history. Carthage (talk) 17:40, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Scream's Falklands analogy is perhaps most accurate here - a situation where [I suspect] while the claims to land might be correct they cannot really claim the people who dwell within it [and I suspect like the Falkland Islanders, have amost nil desire to be 'reunited' with Venezuela]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:48, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
You mentioned it has been going on for awhile, but in the wikipedia article, it's also mentioned that it had been calmed down for some time. It started back up again with the discovery of oil, so it seems the historical claim idea is just a cover for wanting to own most of the oil and mineral wealth in that region.-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:33, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
It's also a colonial claim. Made with no consideration for the people who already lived there and owned that land. Carthage (talk) 04:01, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 95% of the population "voted" for annexing Esequibo.[39]. This reminds me of when Saddam Hussein was "elected" in 2002. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:17, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

Would the US intervene if Venezuela annexes Esequibo? If military intervention is off the table, sanctions are still on the table. Carthage (talk) 21:19, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
No idea. Guyana is not part of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal AssistanceWikipedia, so the US is not obliged to defend them as far as I understand. I've read something about the UK having some sort of duty to defend them, but I don't know if it's true. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:25, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
True. My question, I suppose, since I don't think the US wants Venezuela getting control over all that mineral and oil wealth... would they be willing to go to war over it? Under a Trump presidency, I suppose.... The US, if there's armed Guyanese resistance, might be willing to arm and fund proxy groups. Carthage (talk) 21:57, 4 December 2023 (UTC)