RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive453

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This is an archive page, last updated 27 April 2024. Please do not make edits to this page.
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I just found a pro-life howler[edit]

I just went to church this morning for Easter, and I found a paper that I knew RationalWiki could get some mileage out of mocking. I've uploaded a picture I took of it, but here's a transcript:


A Second Chance at Choice

Medication Abortion accounted for 54% of US abortions in 2020. The Abortion Pill is a two-drug regime (Mifepristone and Misoprostol). Mifepristone competes with the mother's progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that prepares her body for pregnancy. Mifepristone creates a hostile environment for pregnancy whereby the embryo is unable to implant in the mother's uterus, thus causing the embryo to expire due to lack of hydration and nutrition. Misoprostol, usually taken 1 to 2 days after Mifepristone, induces uterine contractions that expel the embryo.

Abortion Pill Reversal. The Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) protocol, pioneered by Dr. George Delgado, can reverse the effects of medication abortion. He showed that a regimen of Progesterone, if administered within 72 hours of taking Mifepristone, and before taking the Misoprostol, was 64% - 68% effective in reversing the effect of Mifepristone. There have been over 3500 documented cases of abortion pill reversal that resulted in a live birth.

Physicians have prescribed Progesterone to reduce the risk of premature birth and recurring miscarriage. Progesterone is also commonly prescribed for women who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). Further APR research is needed to compare the most effective and least burdensome Progesterone doses, duration, and delivery methods.

Second Chance at Choice. Pro-abortion advocates are aggressively fighting against APR. They falsely claim that APR does not work. They strenuously object to laws that require physicians to inform women of the APR option. The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists strongly supports laws which require physicians to inform women of the APR option as part of a woman's right to informed consent prior to abortion.

The first two paragraphs sound somewhat reasonable (though the second paragraph makes me want to check this Delgado's credentials, and when I tried to find a copy of this paper online to link here (and identify the author and publisher), I found a few articles doubting the procedure), but the third paragraph is the descent into crazy. Like, lolwut? Does the Catholic Church think those eevul leebruls are duping women into taking mifepristone and misoprostol? The wording also sounds like cranks trying to refute the science that refutes their crankery ("Pro-abortion advocates are aggressively fighting against APR. They falsely claim that APR does not work. They strenuously object to laws that require physicians to inform women of the APR option." Come on, really?!?), and the "woman's right to informed consent" thing in particular reeks of attempting to make pro-life palatable by reframing it as "no, we're the real pro-choice people, those awful liberal atheists are trying to badger you into murdering your baby!!!11!!". So, yeah, I basically decided to share this paper for a laugh. What do you all think of it? Luigifan18 (talk) 16:21, 31 March 2024 (UTC)

It seems like the paper you got was lifted and slightly altered from Massachusetts Citizens for Life.
George Delgado is a pseudoscientific hack who seemingly discovered that he could get on the anti-abortion gravy train by hawking an "abortion pill reversal" gimmick. There is no evidence that his method works at all (if it "works", it's probably because mifepristone isn't a very effective abortifacient on its own) [1], but some of the usual Republican states have used his bullshit claims to encode into law a requirement to force doctors to say that abortion pills are reversible. [2]
The big current problem with this hack is that Delgado is one of the 11 plaintiffs currently at the Supreme Court trying to make mifepristone much less accessible; a decision that restricts mifepristone could also affect the FDA's regulatory authority over drugs.[3] This group attempted to claim "standing" by saying that their work has been upended by patients experiencing complications from the drug. General consensus seems to be that most of the Supreme Court, in spite of its conservative makeup, were skeptical of the group's "standing", with only "the usual suspects" not noticing what a bunch of goofs the plaintiffs were.[4] (I mean, really, Alito. Bringing up the Comstock Act? Really?) BobJohnson (talk) 01:10, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Delgado is associated with both the hotline[5] and the only citation that could be called peer-reviewed.[6] The journal in which it is published (Issues in Law & Medicine) was created by an anti-abortion front group (National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent & Disabled),[7][8] so its peer-review is likely to be politically-motivated by fellow anti-abortion advocates. The study as one might expect is shite: they mixed self-reported information (i.e., the hotline) with their own clinical data. One may presume it's a privately-funded study since they list no funding source in the paper as would otherwise be the case, so there's no requirement to submit anything about it to the FDA regarding proposed methodology or precautions regarding human studies. Bongolian (talk) 01:45, 1 April 2024 (UTC)

Trump's selling MAGA Bibles now.[edit]

I'm not joking. Just when I think he's reached the nadir of antichristdom, he does something else to show that he can still get worse. Luigifan18 (talk) 23:36, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Obligatory humor: Can I get one signed by the author? Is the cover bound upside down to the text? Bongolian (talk) 01:40, 30 March 2024 (UTC)
Considering the source, he should have used the Wicked BibleWikipedia as the basis of his "MAGA Bible" text. (The infamous commandment misprint for this: "Thou shalt commit adultery") BobJohnson (talk) 05:15, 30 March 2024 (UTC)
Some hilarious quotes. Trump: "All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many. It’s my favorite book,"; Trump: "Religion and Christianity are the biggest things missing from this country"; Website selling Trump's bible: "This is the only Bible endorsed by President Trump".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:29, 30 March 2024 (UTC)
Has Trump ever read the Bible, like, at all? --Trans Fem Agenda`
I would be very surprised if he has. Luigifan18 (talk) 23:32, 1 April 2024 (UTC)

Russia attacking American brains[edit]

I'm currently watching a CBS 60 Seconds episode (Equalizer, Season 4, Episode 5) about some Russian biological agent/"directed energy weapon" causing brain damage to FBI and CIA personnel. How credible is this? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:16, 1 April 2024 (UTC)

Just looked it up. The documentary is about Havana syndrome. Sounds like Putin is using the same shit the Cubans did. Luigifan18 (talk) 00:22, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
I found an article placing the blame on crickets of all things. It's from last June. However, the article takes pains to point out that this isn't conclusive by any means, and so the real cause of Havana syndrome is still a mystery, as of June 2023 anyways. Carthage (talk) 12:49, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
It's probably a mass hysteria and saber-rattling crossover episode. One of the unexpected byproducts is when the media talks about it online their replies get filled with Targeted Individuals sorts claiming it's proof of concept that they're themselves being beamed with sonic weapons. The Wikipedia page on "Havana syndrome"Wikipedia mentions some reports/studies, including one by multiple US intelligence agencies indicating "that a foreign adversary's involvement was 'very unlikely'" and that "the National Institutes of Health published two medical studies evaluating people reporting Havana syndrome symptoms, and found no evidence of brain injury, irregular blood biomarkers, or vocational impairment." That the media is still banging this drum is sort of a joke. It was still one back when there were articles written by scientists explaining that a sonic weapon of this sort was implausible, but it's considerably more of one when even the intelligence agencies themselves and multiple medical studies are returning a "no" on this theory. Chillpilled (talk) 13:15, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
A very detailed analysis can be found at the Insider. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 18:18, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Of the two speculative theories mentioned in that report as to why the intelligence agencies would dishonestly sweep it under the rug (and I assume deal with it behind closed doors), assuming that is in fact what they've done, I'm much more compelled by the idea they wouldn't want to hurt their recruitment numbers. I have a vague perception they may be struggling with recruiting people in recent years. The idea they'd downplay it because the public would think the government is ignoring what amounts to an act of war is laughable — they already ignore things amounting to that all the time. And well, so do the Russians, since nuclear war isn't exactly in either of our interests. Chillpilled (talk) 01:29, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Whether or not this is part of it, the intelligence agencies in question certainly have had a hard time. Given that young people have plastered (or had their parents plaster) their faces all over the internet, getting anyone with any kind of anonymity is almost Sisyphean. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:21, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Possibly counterintuitively, it's usually not a problem. Chillpilled (talk) 04:19, 2 April 2024 (UTC)

April Fools on Wikipedia[edit]

If you may have not known, Wikipedia holds annual April Fools celebrations that usually involve joke AfDs and requests. It's about time to bring this up, as leave any suggestions here for anything we (RationalWiki) could do for that. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:41, 30 March 2024 (UTC)

Rebrand everything to look like another domain for CreationWiki. IntrepidSkeptic (talk) 01:42, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
RationalWiki doesn't celebrate April Fools, so this was meant to be a place to brainstorm ideas that will target Wikipedia on April Fools. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:16, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
Can we do at least, like, something for april fool's? maybe put the RW logo upside down or on its side for a day? or put IrrationalWiki in the title for a day? At least something? See, I get that as an authority on misinformation we need to be reliable, but there's degrees of funnery. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 08:09, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
Simple. Put something from the Funspace in the Featured Article page for one day. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:16, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
woefully late, but I like TheEternalOutsiders' idea. For the following reasons: Rational wiki is not a general destination, we are proud of our snark and fun, it would require a single main space edit, and it would be tops. See the conversation in a year. Torrent (talk) 04:55, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

Happy Trans day of visibility (and also easter)[edit]

Happy trans day of visibility everyone!Koafox (talk) 12:08, 31 March 2024 (UTC)

And right on cue, Vivek Ramaswamy acts stupid on Twitter. (Twitter! It's where people who don't know about Easter's rotating moon-aligned date go to act stupid.) BobJohnson (talk) 15:54, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
The last two days have been such a manufactured shitshow over this. Not something my already frayed mental state needed more of. Paul S (talk) 22:27, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
Eh, not worth getting to worried about yet another manufactroversy. Rage gets clicks, and various "news" ecosystems scramble to think of countless new ways to enrage and fill up a 24-hour news cycle. Subsequently, when the "rage bat signal" goes up and an idea is floated about, every talking head starts babbling on queue, even if the Thing of Rage is, quite simply, idiotic. The "weirdest twit" award here has to go to Caitlyn Jenner,Wikipedia who engaged in this rage despite being trans herself.[9]
Today is also Cesar Chavez Day,Wikipedia which I suppose is too "historical" for Fox News types to get worked up about. BobJohnson (talk) 00:32, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
What is the point of 'day of visibility'? Is this like those 'awareness days' I remember as a kid? KarmaPolice (talk) 23:43, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
It seems essentially[10], yeah. Though with the additional component of celebrating trans people. Has a different sort of vibe I think compared to "raising awareness" for breast cancer, or something else unequivocally bad. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:53, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I was not very aware of Trans Visibility Day or however it's respectfully capitalized. I was honestly led to believe the Biden administration was choosing Easter Sunday to be this holiday. My initial reaction was 'that's a bad play.'. It took some looking around to realize that it's not being declared as trans vis day this specific year, they both just line up. I am so fucking upset that for a moment, I was like 'but they hate that shit, why today?' Because the day was already a fucking day, treat me like an asshole, I literally had no idea. The difference is I spent a second to check in on Trans Day of Visibility. Have fun, no problems with it. As an atheist who loves escape rooms and hates nightclubs, Easter is just a party where you play tricks on the children. Easter is an A tier holiday. The work you put in. Torrent (talk) 05:36, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Biden didn't come up with the rule for religious decorations on Easter eggs either, been a thing since 1976 and was a thing under Trump too. Chillpilled (talk) 06:53, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Easter is always held on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, purportedly to coincideWikipedia with the date of Passover (which also is based on a lunar calendar). Though it doesn't seem to always work out, this year's Passover (April 22-30) is well beyond Easter's date. Oops.
Next year, Easter falls on... 4/20!Wikipedia So next year, be sure and light up your bong for Jesus, man! BobJohnson (talk) 13:35, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

Important message from the Board of Trustees regarding the future of this wiki[edit]

To Bigfoot or not to Bigfoot, that is the question…

It's no secret that this past year hasn't been the kindest for RationalWiki. We've struggled with declining editorship, viewership, and we had that server scare some months ago. We, the Board, been having some pretty deep discussions about this amongst ourselves, and we've unanimously decided that this wiki really is headed in the wrong direction.

As a result, the Board has decided on an action plan to rectify the problems facing RationalWiki. This is based on our identification of the real core issue facing us as a community: people just aren't passionate about this project anymore. So in my position as the Board's Chairman it's up to me to announce to everyone that RationalWiki is changing course and redefining itself for a new future. The fact is, refutations of pseudoscience, authoritarianism, and fundamentalism just aren't as relevant and important as they used to be.

Instead, RationalWiki will be rebranding and refocusing on what's really important. I'm thrilled to announce that going forward, RationalWiki will now become BigfootWiki and rededicate itself to documenting the evidence for this mysterious cryptid and aiding the endless search for this magnificent creature. I think it should be pretty obvious to everyone that this is the defining issue of our time and a far worthier focus for this wiki project. As such, our new mission will be:

  1. Analyzing and refuting the Bigfoot denialism movement;
  2. Documenting the full range of evidence for Bigfoot's existence;
  3. Explorations of the great American wilderness in search of Bigfoot;
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.

To reflect this change in course, the RationalMedia Foundation will soon be renamed to the BigfootMedia Foundation. As for the Saloon Bar (soon to become the Bigfoot Bar), all non-Bigfoot relevant discussions will be disallowed from this point forward. We the Board welcome community input regarding these major changes, but it must be understood that BigfootWiki, the new Bar posting rules, and our new mission are non-negotiable. We look forward to learning and growing as individuals alongside you as we all join the all-important search for Bigfoot! Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:42, 1 April 2024 (UTC)

I am overjoyed to announce that we have successfully managed to aggregate and present every piece of evidence of Bigfoot's existence and can therefore lay down our work. We're done here. Thanks everyone for your hard work, this couldn't have happened without you. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 01:12, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Behold! Ze evidence:
- Rairyu75 (Talk) 01:38, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Don't worry, we'll sort it out. Soon we'll have a great gallery of evidence to show you all! See, there's plenty of blobsquatch pictrues around – but by using the new, amazing AI tech of this age we have now entered, we can sharpen and magnify these images, revealing the Bigfoot hidden within! --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:44, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Sexy Ψ (talk) 02:12, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Add porn ads and turn this non-profit into fun-and-profit.-Ryan1257 (talk) 03:03, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
We are still a family friendly site, so R18 is out of the question. Bongolian (talk) 14:02, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
I would like to congratulate @DuceMoosolini for his research into this subject. Bongolian (talk) 13:59, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
My brothers and sisters in Bigfoot, while I appreciate the enthusiasm, our mission is not complete until Bigfoot is found. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 16:18, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
I would like to announce that my signature has apparently been eaten by Bigfoo… aaaaaah! Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:24, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
Are you all right, Arcadium? Bongolian (talk) 18:11, 1 April 2024 (UTC)
If you will fund me, instead of me funding for a change, I have coordinated bigfoot's location. Skunk ape is unlikely, the southeast,because it's warmer, but not so warm that a cold forest Bigfoot has moved towards the northwest. navigating the border would be difficult, but I can bring you a Bigfoot carcass. I just like this place, I don't get paid anything but aside from Alexa an occasional 'man will you quit it' no link but if you want to hunt Bigfoot In the pacific northwest say 'yeah'[User:Torrent|Torrent]] (talk) 06:47, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

Gamergate 2: Electric Boogaloo[edit]

The continution of archives.....

BBC Gaming Presenter Jules Hardy Calls For Current Sweet Baby Inc. Discourse To End With A “Final Purge” Of Ideological Opponents From The Medium

John123521 (talk) 14:14, 2 April 2024 (UTC)

Honestly I search and had found out the website was comic news that goes political, but with Sweet Baby Inc thing keep going this could add fire of this GamerGate 2. I'm really worried to see this shit going..... John123521 (talk) 14:44, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
New fire had added……Gamergate are back……For these who believe in it.
Women will SELF-DELETE over Stellar Blade! Claims IGN editor after company apologizes over his storyJohn123521 (talk) 05:36, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

Spiritual Warfare, Uncritical Thinking, and More Fundamentalists on the Internet.[edit]

Best vandalism ever[edit]

Okay, maybe not really, but I figured you guys would get a kick out of seeing this. BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL BILL… Luigifan18 (talk) 22:22, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

I saw Bill Nye live as an adult. A friend's girlfriend had watched me watching the Ham evolution debate live and found a live event. Bought tickets and told me we're going, which was actually fine, one of the coolest girlfriends I've met and they are married now if that's a concern. Very relevant that we were adults with no children here. The show was a big physics 'chemicals REACT' kinda small explosives open air show for children. We were way in the back. out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man run up to big wooden fence, and jump to it. I couldn't describe the fence or how he was standing on the lower rung? The point is it was Bill Nye, back in the cheap seats (there were no cheap seats) clowning around a little bit. But get this, I and my friends are polite, we all saw him and smiled and waved and gave a thumbs up and a nod. Three adults who were happy he was there but not starstruck. I don't know if he got the message right, because when he went to speak, he talked a lot about sundials and something he had experienced recently. Sunlight through leaves. And he really wanted to call it something. Bill was great, but I don't think it was a performance for the kids Torrent (talk) 05:04, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

WHAT THE [swear word]?!?[edit]

I just found something truly awful on Reddit… J-just how does a person get that horribly callous?!? Luigifan18 (talk) 01:42, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

It's called edgelord. We have an article on it! (The sad thing is, some of them are dead serious. Dumb, but dead serious. Others are trolling, of course. "Just joking", perhaps.)
Having said that... Reddit may be slightly better than Twitter, but there is a shit-ton of pure bullshit, particularly in drama groups. Rage-bait is also a Thing on social media and I kind of get a wee bit suspicious of pretty much anything posted in the more popular corners. Seen too much crap over time, personally. But it's not like I care too much even if it's true. Most neo-Nazi types are massive losers in real life. BobJohnson (talk) 02:38, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Looks coordinated. j-j-ju just sayin. Torrent (talk) 05:55, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

I survived the big quake[edit]

Just to let everybody know that I survived the worst earthquake in Taiwan in 25 years completely unscathed. It was just before 8 o'clock in the morning when it struck and I was at home in bed. (I don't start work until 12:00 and I usually don't get home until gone 10:00 at night, so I usually don't get up until 10:00 in the morning.) Where I live is 176 km (or nearly 110 miles) away from the epicentre. But my building shook incredibly violently and I was scared witless. But in the end, the only thing that happened was some things on my desk fell over and the umbrella leaning against my wardrobe fell on the floor. However, this did make me aware that the building in which I'm now living is older than some others where I've lived in Taiwan in the past and it's in a scuzzier neighbourhood. If I had been closer to the epicentre, I might not have been so lucky. Spud (talk) 14:00, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

It's good to hear that you are well, Spud! Bongolian (talk) 17:20, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Wow, I just saw photos of some of the highrise residential buildings that are now standing at 30° angles. Scary![11][12] Bongolian (talk) 18:33, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm glad your OK! Ψ (talk) 03:35, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Tough experience. Glad to hear you are OK.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:59, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I am glad it wasn't you. Terribly sorry it was anyone. Torrent (talk) 04:14, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I also survive the big 4.8 magnitude NYC Earthquake. I thought my neighbors upstairs were moving heavy furniture or something. I got a bunch of warnings on my phone... 40 minutes after the fact. CorruptUser 15:54, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

The Repugnant Conclusion in philosophy[edit]

I'm in the midst of reading Zeke Faux's book Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall as some of you may have noticed. In it, he describes Sam Bankman-Fried's (SBF) upbringing within a milieu of academic utilitarianism. The philosophical concept of "The Repugnant Conclusion"[13] is brought up as a conundrum within utilitarianist philosophy, and it seems to explain quite a bit about techbro motivations:

  • SBF, who according to his colleague Caroline Ellison said something to the effect of "…he would be happy to flip a coin. If it came up tails and the world was destroyed, as long as it came up heads the world would be like more than twice as good." It seems that SBF always made decisions on what he calculated were probabilistic expected values (EVs). This worked great for making a fortune with strictly quantitative things like cryptocurrency, but terribly when he mixed in quantitative and qualitative EVS, the latter seemingly all within his head.
  • effective altruism
  • cryonics
  • Elon Musk's weird pronatalism
  • transhumanism

Wikipedia has a short page on it under Mere addition paradox,Wikipedia but doesn't really cover the real-world consequences of powerful people's use of this concept.

I'd like to see a page on The Repugnant Conclusion. Anyone interested in helping out with this? Bongolian (talk) 17:14, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

A reply to such paradoxes from a utilitarian: [14].𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 07:44, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Utilitarians just don't want to admit their philosophy is flawed. And as far as the Repugnant Conclusion, the implication is that we already live in something similar to the world of "A-"; we have some countries with a relatively good lifestyle, and other countries that are full of poverty. Would it therefore be "moral" to open all borders, KNOWING that we'd create the world of "Z", where everyone is in poverty but total utility is higher? Furthermore, moving from world A to A- is the equivalent of having an unwanted pregnancy and putting it up for adoption; a child in foster care still is expected to have a life worth living, albeit much less so than the average, ergo having lots of unwanted babies should be considered a net positive. I support both condoms and regulated immigration for similar reasons, but utilitarianism says I should oppose both. CorruptUser 14:58, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

A GIF from the past, lying dormant, unused... until now.[edit]

Andy talking head.gif Andrew Schlafly's head. You're all welcome. - Rairyu75 (Talk) 22:50, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

I’m surprised there is no serious dmca action taken against this wiki. Still, the fair use files category needs some cleanup like some staff last year cleaning up draftspace. 2600:387:15:2813:0:0:0:B (talk) 22:54, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
It's so stiff and creepy… Luigifan18 (talk) 22:56, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
For my money, about the best parody I can think of was this creepily airbrushed picture of Penis Drager. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:45, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm really kinda reeling at a DMCA concern on a wiki. The links aren't created, and using Schlafly in any sense isn't a DMCA risk. You could get a pic of Andy from anywhere, toothpaste is out of the tube. Torrent (talk) 04:26, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Parody is not subject to DMCA, and as this is a US wiki, the wiki itself is protected by Section 230.Wikipedia
The main deal here is that this image was created in 2010, when this wiki was essentially a Conservapedia troll wiki. It's 2024; at this point, no one should care about the completely irrelevant Conservapedia anymore. This is more just a weird "blast from the past", in a sense. BobJohnson (talk) 13:34, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

No strikethroughs?[edit]

I'm tired of seeing strikethroughs used as a lazy excuse for "humor" on this website. There are too many examples to count, and it got old really quickly. I propose we do away with the practice entirely. (talk) 00:06, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

Might wanna move to RationalWiki talk:Community Standards. (talk) 00:15, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I was gonna suggest ATIM, but BONs can't post there. Anyways, I think this is a bad idea. Strikethrough humor can be done well, just like almost any other kind. Luigifan18 (talk) 00:16, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I wonder where the bad strikethrough touched them, anyhow... Kencolt (talk) 01:36, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
It's a shame this is not a wiki where people can just make accounts and improve articles.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:25, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Such edits are welcome. Some editors have been removing strikethroughs for a longer time, they've slowly decreased over recent years, but there's plenty left. If others disagree on some case it may be undone. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:11, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
A strikethrough can also inform if an org/person has a habit of using particular code-words and/or giving themselves airs; for example, a person who calls themselves a 'human biodiversity scientist' can have it struck out and replaced by 'racist crank'. I've used it a couple of times in this manner. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:27, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I f@ckin' love strikethroughs and I wish you guys did too. Alas, I feel like I'm the only one sometimes... - Rairyu75 (Talk) 05:16, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I love strikethrough humor as well. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:35, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Same. Lavalizard101 (talk) 18:40, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
i like strikethrough humor, but as with all types of humor, some jokes can be unfunny. that said, i'm kinda said of some of the things this site has gotten rid of recently, including strikeout humor and the wikipedia bouncy ball. The G (talk) 04:51, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
It depends upon how serious one takes this wiki. Cross-outs are a tradition in low-brow humor everywhere. Even Albert Einstein could laugh at a Charlie Chaplin pratfall. It's the kind of contribution that can be found in Mad Magazine and represents a typographical form of slap-stick comedy. I like to say to the nonplussed editor "use your words." Sometimes a the strike-through could be called a kind of epanorthosis. But that's giving it a language value as a meaningful expression, which is really not the case because it more likely than not appears to propose an ambiguity. Some people want this wiki to be regarded as upholding exceptional ethical standards as well as informed opinion. Does low humor suggest high standards? "What? Me Worry?" UncleKrampus (talk) 16:08, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't have so strong feelings about them unlike those who usually remove them. I don't like it when they and other clutter accumulates at the top of an article, or there's too much in one place. They seem to be disliked because they're often used as low-effort shortcuts to humor, not because they're unserious as such. But I think a few are fine spread out in otherwise more dry text, much like the other little decorations like {{nofact}} and {{lie}} and things connected to them, which strikethrough removers don't mind leaving in. When there's a point brought in the article to joke about, I think it's generally good when strikethroughs are replaced with something else that gets the joke across, which the best edits that remove them do. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:02, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
I think that I found them initially amusing, but the preponderance of them makes them tiresome, especially after the third or more reading. Strikeout humor is lazy: if someone wants to make add some snark, there's usually a better way by writing out what they want to say. Bongolian (talk) 18:50, 7 April 2024 (UTC)

Do we have an active chat anywhere anymore?[edit]

Asking since I could use some help in dealing with some problems and questions I've been having, and in the past old chat channels helped with that.

So, does anyone stick around for conversations on the Discord or anywhere else? Be good if I could have an actual exchange with someone from here since it deals with subjects like politics, discrimination, and other fun stuff that the Wiki deals with. Real-time exchanges would be nice for that. Paul S (talk) 03:22, 6 April 2024 (UTC)

I thought the Saloon Bar itself was the chat channel? Luigifan18 (talk) 03:47, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I think Paul S is asking for something real time like Discord. I'm not on Discord so I don't know how active it is, but there have been several Sysops on Discord (See RationalWiki:Discord and Category:RationalWikians who use Discord). Bongolian (talk) 04:51, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
It's fairly active, with plenty of link swapping and comments on linked stuff, and comments on wiki goings-on and random things. It's half-locked to newcomers as most boards on the channel are limited to people with 100+ edits, to keep trolls out. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 11:27, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, this. Thank you. Paul S (talk) 14:28, 6 April 2024 (UTC)

Paul S may ask any question, no? Torrent (talk) 07:52, 6 April 2024 (UTC)

Idiot Chechen politicians banned music outside of 80-116 BPM[edit]

I've recently heard the news about Chechen government banning EDM that is outside of 80-116 BPM because they don't fit their "Chechen mentality" and traditions. I fucking hate these idiotic traditionalists who are trying to stop foreign music because of so-called "Western influence". I really wish that these trads fucked off.

Source: https://djmag.com/news/chechnya-reportedly-bans-all-music-outside-80-116-bpm 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 16:12, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

It's an odd definition of "trad". It wasn't too hard on Youtube to find a purported Chechen folk song that exceeded 116 BPM ([15] - about 150bpm as played, I'd say).
Interestingly enough, too, the BPM range *not* banned is around the BPM range of hip-hop. Whoops? BobJohnson (talk) 17:02, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Time to play Chopin's Funeral March, but only at 80bpm,[16] not the alternate peppier version of 160bpm.[17] Bongolian (talk) 06:34, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm just waiting for someone to come in and defend this dumb practice as "protecting an indigenous culture". After all, a culture must be respected because of how long it has lasted, yet it is so weak, it must be protected with heavy censorship and xenophobia.-Ryan1257 (talk) 23:07, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
This is what irks me the most. As long as you create nothing new and don't make foreign genres on your own, you're to be blamed for your culture decreasing. 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 14:03, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Apparently this law would inadvertently ban the Russian national anthem, which is usually played at a tempo slower than 80 bpm. (Not sure if Chechans consider that a bad or good thing...)
Also, as far as music coming from the Caucasus, this law would ban probably the most prominent piece of music the Western world actually knows by someone from that region: Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance".[18] (Khachaturian is not from Chechnya, he was born into an Armenian family in Tbilisi,Wikipedia now the capital of the neighboring country of Georgia.) This is usually played quite briskly (160bpm-180bpm or so), so way too fast for these prudes. :p BobJohnson (talk) 14:46, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

vertical church article?[edit]

should we have an article on the vertical church? Or is it not big enough for an article? Koafox (talk) 15:26, 9 April 2024 (UTC)

The "vertical church" network, from my Googlings, appears to be part of Harvest Bible Chapel,Wikipedia which was formerly run by a very naughty boy, James MacDonald.Wikipedia There's probably enough "meat" for an article on them, sure (at the very least, on MacDonald). BobJohnson (talk) 16:11, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Doesn't seems especially notable in a sea of dodgy churches - but feel free to do the work if ya' want. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:26, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Yet this also means WP has nothing on them [or more correctly, a dedicated page]. I argue this makes it more important for us to cover them - even if it is a semi-stub with a load of links to other RW pages. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

Global monkey torture network[edit]

I repeat: global monkey torture network. Why is that a thing? No, seriously, why is that a thing that exists in real life?!? That is Saturday morning cartoon villain shit. A global monkey torture network is the kind of thing Captain PlanetWikipedia should be fighting. Humans in real life should have better things to spend their time on. What the actual hell. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:18, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

The second anyone can find their.niche and make money from it, morality takes a backseat. If somebody can stomach doing torture, which we all must agree humans did and do to each other in our long history and under certain circumstances we still abide, they can make money doing it. This looks stupid and perverse, BECAUSE IT IS. Torrent (talk) 05:30, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
This reminds me of both Dr Harlow and Dr Pavlov. Both were important researchers... but both were monsters. CorruptUser 16:53, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, this is one of those online rabbit holes on the more twisted side. There's a few, but with the people who hate monkeys it's extra bizarre, because the obvious question of: "why monkeys?" emerges once you find out they especially and specifically hate monkeys. I always thought it was some "uncanny valley" feeling they experience, and some of these people hate other primates because of some perceived mix between familiarity and otherness, which is if I'm not mistaken where a feeling that some things are "creepy" comes from. This is about as far as I have pondered this because dwelling on it much in one sitting is probably not a way to remain mentally sound. Chillpilled (talk) 05:17, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I remembered this because it was so strange. https://youtu.be/Vtn9rZUsfnk?feature=shared Timestamp 10:20 or so, 4 years ago. the idea of torturing baby monkeys is what I would call a bad meme. It can be engaged with as a joke, but the problem is, it's solidified in dark edge humor to the point it must be legitimate. This is why I actually agree with the Desantis camp, that kids under 14 shouldn't have social media. It's definitely more complicated, parents should know more, but a conversation about why it's not funny to torture animals is actually beyond a lot parents. Especially dominionist homes Torrent (talk) 06:20, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Conversations happen in Dominionist homes? I thought it was mainly 'adult tells you the Correct Way™, you counter it, they tell you you're wrong ['because I said so'] and if you press it, you're told to shut up, go to your room and read the Bible'. At least in my experience. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:57, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
That's a big blind spot in my take. I am anti dominionist, I am criticizing what we've got on people who like monkey torture. A simple resolution would be to show everyone a bunch of monkey torture videos and wait for the last one to tap out. That would be a deranged group. I do not have to watch the monkey torture myself to describe the pathway to it, and to know the hubs in which it is freely marketed is the next step. Children under 14 can find their own way out of fundamentalism, they do it constantly, the idea that it must be via direct contact is really not reading the situation. Direct contact can exist in both negative outcomes. And it's not mutually exclusive. But, mitigating harm, a lot more nonsense devolved into hate has gone on in social media. By 14 I bet a kid is ready to deliver hot takes. I don't think they are ready for the general public. Torrent (talk) 04:58, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Why do people say consciousness isn't a brain process?[edit]

I got frustrated today because I couldn't convince someone of this. They say it's just a theory and science was wrong before and that some scientists argue otherwise, but the reality is that the evidence does point in that direction. Even denying the relationship between the self and the prefrontal cortex. It's just...what can I do about it?

They also keep falling back to personal experience, that no one is 100% certain about reality or that no one person is an arbiter of reality. It was just the same line of excuses I often hear when someone doesn't want to question their understanding of their own experience. I couldn't even talk deeper about it because everything was just dismissed as "beliefs" and "ideas" or theories and they kept trying to draw me back to experience. But isn't the point to question our understanding of experience to know what's going on? (talk) 00:02, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

I'll just note that traumatic brain injuries definitely affect consciousness. Carthage (talk) 02:19, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Some aspects of the dualism (i.e., the mind-body problem) can be scientifically demonstrated, e.g. that damage to a various parts of the brain have a direct cause on specific physical behaviors (as noted by Carthage here). Other aspects are not disprovable, e.g., the existence of a soul or solipsism. These latter types of dualism are usually dismissed by rationalists as not worth bothering with, based on the heuristic of Occam's razor. In the case of the soul, one could also dismiss it based on the requirement of supernaturalism. But such dismissals are not likely to convince a true believer. Bongolian (talk) 02:29, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I've noted in my projects in the past that the mind can be conceived of as the bridge between the brain and the soul. However, as Bongolian stated, that delves into metaphysics that can't be demonstrated, let alone proved, one way or the other. In any case, there are documented cases of people's personalities changing dramatically as a result of brain damage; Phineas GageWikipedia (the guy who survived being impaled through the face by a freakin' railroad spike) comes to mind. If a person's personality was stored entirely within their non-physical soul, then brain damage wouldn't have any effect on it, and yet Gage got a lot more irritable after the accident… hm. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:08, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I've occasionally entertained thoughts that the brain is a conduit for consciousness, so physical expression of consciousness can be affected, but there is a sort of deeper field of consciousness that remains unaffected. Such ideas don't really pass the "smell test" so to speak, so I don't seriously believe them, but it makes for fun thought experiments or flights of fancy. Carthage (talk) 03:34, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

I guess I'm just frustrated trying to talk sense into people because it's clearly a mystical bias that leads to this. I know a lot of BUddhists deny the brain is the seat of consciousness, and all that other stuff. The problem though is that demonstrating it would be SUPER unethical, I'm not going to mess around with someone's brain to prove a point. But more than that even drugs can affect consciousness, I should know because I was knocked out once for wisdom teeth removal. I literally blinked and missed the whole thing, it was trippy and a little scary but that was a chemical that changed my awareness.

But then again I'm talking to people who think that the self is this awareness that doesn't change even though the content of it does, but that is still just a belief. I don't think the self is that awareness but that belief does affect them though. I think of consciousness as electricity that lets us do what we need to similar to how a computer needs power to run everything stored in it. The evidence every day seems to point to all this just being the brain as well. How do you argue with someone who says emotions reside in the body because that is where they are felt? Don't they know what is responsible for those sensations? (talk) 06:25, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

Both brain damage and drugs affect the brain and affect consciousness. The affect on consciousness is quite clearly a consequence of the biological effect on the brain. How do you argue? Ask for specific, testable counter-examples.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:49, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
The real question is to ask why people insist that “consciousness” refers to anything singular, specific, coherent, or real. Also wasn’t this exact fucking topic posted sometime last year, and OP got really upset at the suggestion that some physicalists would argue that consciousness could manifest in non-biological systems like a sufficiently advanced AI? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
Well, an AI with consciousness is something that could hypothetically happen if it was programmed to think for itself in a similar way to how humans (or other highly intelligent animals, if we want to argue that they might have consciousness) do, rather than simply accepting and executing commands or running a function. It's just not possible with current programming techniques and computing technology to do that quite yet, especially since there's still a heck of a lot we don't know about how the human brain works. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:50, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
It should be said that physicalists who make this claim mostly agree with you here, but it’s the possibility of their being conscious AI that they appeal to —- many don’t think we have actually reached such a state yet. But also this possibility also depends on your conception of consciousness. Many dualists reject this possibility, but it’s seems self-contradictory to reject this possibility if you are, say, a functionalist. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:35, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
There is a whole variety of theories that fit with this idea. The supreme being concept is one of the best ones. From solipsism, where ones consciousness is all there is (either in your brain, or somewhere else in the phenomenon that is you), to Berkely idealism calling for everything to emanate from the mind of god. So, you are the god, or someone else is the god, and that's where consciousness comes from. These theories are philosophical, but prescientific. They are scientific dead ends. Not everyone likes science. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:46, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I think this can be chalked up to a simple 'denial of facts due to dislike of conclusion'. People do not want to consider 'their consciousness' [ie themselves] to be simply a massive pile of synapses [of which operation is dependent on chemicals and what the wiring is like], so it's not true, utilising a god of the gaps defence. This is understandable, because to accept this is to have to look in the face the quite possible end for us - that of dementia, where as said synapses fail, we lose ourselves bit by bit ['I feel as if I'm losing all my leaves' a la The Father] or a stroke damages a % of our synapse-pile and thus, changing 'us'. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:51, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
the problem of Phineas Gage and all lobotomy is actually asking where the individual resides, and it's the brain. There's an old joke, 'I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.'. There's a really tough question to answer, how much of the self is brain chemistry? We've got soul, but what happens to that soul when brain damage occurs? The answer I've come to is, yeah, brain chemistry defines the self. This isn't prederministic, inherently, it's a recognition of our own will. Free will comes back into play, baybeee, because the faster we understand ourselves the quicker we are to move towards understanding each other, and nothing monumental is built by a single artist, despite what history books record. Torrent (talk) 06:22, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Fatah and Hamas fighting each other: This is not the time to be dicking around[edit]


So Israel has decimated Gaza Strip but you are more worried about fighting against each other. How about working together instead of fighting each other? No unity means no room to reach a peace agreement. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:08, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

After all, it's National Brotherhood Week![19] Bongolian (talk) 17:33, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
You mean to tell me Hamas cares more about maintaining its own power than helping the citizens of Gaza!?-Ryan1257 (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Kinda hard to do that when Israel is deliberately blocking aid. What's the purpose of this post? No one here is pro-Hamas. Carthage (talk) 20:21, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I never said that I supported Hamas. That said, Hamas is still the de facto government that is certainly not going away and has popularity in Palestinian society. If each party wants the State of Palestine to survive then they need to make a unity government. There are no other political parties in Palestinian society that holds sway. It is a crap shoot but that is what there is to work with. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:56, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Fatah was extirpated from Gaza by Hamas. The only "unity" deal Fatah wants with Hamas is to fight against Israel, not in any longterm peace deals. Barring a war against Israel, Gaza collapsing into complete anarchy is actually a Win for Fatah. CorruptUser 05:09, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
One reason Netanyahu propped up Hamas (or so I hear) may have been precisely to divide Gaza versus the West Bank. If it's working, I can't say it's unsavvy. Chillpilled (talk) 08:53, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Israel also controls the infrastructure of Gaza, controls the borders, maintains a blockade.... It's a farce to say that that Gaza was autonomous in any meaningful way. Carthage (talk) 09:30, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm talking divide-and-rule. It benefits Israel if a critical mass of Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas, another mass in the West Bank support Fatah, and then they feud. They're already divided geographically, now also politically to an extent. Reportedly, Netanyahu has explicitly outlined driving that wedge as part of his strategy. Chillpilled (talk) 11:58, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm aware, I just thought it worth bringing up as an important note of context. People are acting like the Palestinian territories are fully sovereign, with complete autonomy. They aren't, they're under hostile military occupation. Carthage (talk) 12:01, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Just to respond to the idea that Hamas and Fatah are "dicking around." We here are mostly non-sectarian and for the most part non-believers. Hamas and Fatah are groups with world views deeply rooted in Islam-related realities. From my perspective, what could they do besides dick around? When one has a world view entirely grounded in religious mythologies, where is there to go, really? The real enemy is the belief that God is supposed to help defeat the enemies of the righteous. You may find yourself substituting "reason" for "God" in your internal dialogue. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:49, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Isn’t Fatah primarily secular though? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 16:18, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't know what the leaders actually believe. They are Islamic by cultural tradition. Google supplies "Fatah al-Islam (Arabic: فتح الإسلام, meaning: Conquest of Islam) is a Sunni Islamist militant group established in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda."UncleKrampus (talk) 16:36, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Assuming we’re talking about Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah here and not some weird tiny Islamist namesake, then Fatah is hardly an Islamist outfit, so it’s basically yet another chapter in the “People’s Front of Judea” saga.
Palestinian factions infighting and killing each other to gain control of “the movement” is not something that suddenly arrived with the conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Hence the jokes in Life of Brian. And that infighting of yesteryear happened between groups that were all (at least nominally) secular and driven by various types of leftist revolutionary ideologies. So I don’t think the “Islamist worldview” explanation holds much water.
As for the effect of this latest internecine struggle on any “peace initiatives”, I doubt that it makes any difference. You could even argue that the division makes it more likely that Israel would cease its latest war in Gaza if Fatah doesn’t close ranks with Hamas, because Israel sees such divisions among the Palestinians as a useful part of its security strategy. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:52, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
They are probably followers of the Islamic traditions. I think the Christian population of the Palestinian territories has declined precipitously from 15 percent in 1950 to less than 2 percent today. So, in order to be secular, I assume that Fatah must likely be comprised of atheist Muslims and others who got on the wrong bus. It's no wonder that they attack each other.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:07, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
An element of the 'Bibi created Hamas' argument is the fact that various Israeli Govts for two decades have run roughshod over what little powers the PA did have; this has led Fatah do become totally discredited with the Palestinian people as 'corrupt collaborationists' because they feathered their own nests while 'not stopping' continued Israeli thefts of land/resources etc. Part of Hamas' very appeal was that they promised to purge corruption and 'stand up for our people' - and well, we know what that looks like, don't we kids?
And now folks are talking of having Fatah return to Gaza on the backs of Israeli tanks, with the West pinning their hopes in such a crippled, puppet PA to 'sort out' the daunting list of tasks which would tax the ability of an functioning state staffed by geniuses. Totally fucking ludicrous. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:27, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I agree with KarmaPolice’s point here, not to mention that Fatah/PLO/PA lost most of the popular appeal it once had long before this current war in Gaza.
As for Fatah having to be ”composed of atheist Muslims” (as per UncleKrampus above) to be secular, I don’t see why that should follow at all. Secularism is not a view on personal(!) religion but about the relation between religion and state. Hence, personal religiosity does not necessarily have to conflict with support for a secular society. Until the 1970s/‘80s the driving ideology of most branches of the Palestinian movement tended to be a combination of Pan-Arabism and some version of socialism (or at least strongly state guided development), similar to, say, the various Ba’ath parties or Nasserism.
It’s also interesting to see how the “othering” of Arabs in The West in general (and the “othering” of Palestinians in particular) has shifted from then to now. Then they were mainly “othered” by considered “uncivilised” in a direct continuation of imperialist/colonialist notions of civilisational hierarchies. Now they are “othered” by the “othering” of Islam as a whole and the notion that Muslim societies cannot “really” change, or at least not into modern, secular, democracies like “us”. ScepticWombat (talk) 04:37, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Why it isn't funny to torture an animal[edit]

First definition first, to slaughter an animal is not to torture one. We do a lot of killing to eat. When we slaughter an animal, we take into account what we can eat. If we approach the idea of killing carefully, we can go hunting and return with venison but not buffalo. Because killing and hunting are different. A lot of hunters don't know how to clean a carcass, good for business but really? cut the thing down with a rifle then have no idea what to do, that's pitiful. Some people are so excited to 'bag' A buck they will defend hunting just because they got.a.gun and that's their best use for it. I think you should clean enough carcasses to know how to teach it, if you're gonna be out gunning down anything. Being said, few animals get a dignified end, so a bad shot bleed out kill is adjacent to the human experience of dying slow. The point is, don't hurt anything for fun, and find no fun in anything getting hurt, the fuck is wrong with you if that doesn't add up?Torrent (talk) 09:15, 6 April 2024 (UTC)

I think I enrolled in the wrong class. Chillpilled (talk) 10:03, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Engaging in animal cruelty is associated with antisocial personality disorder.[20] Bongolian (talk) 17:41, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I think animals deserve certain moral considerations to the extent that I think we should refrain from eating them if we can afford not to. I personally think hunting is actually more permissible ethically compared to buying meat from a store. That being bought from a store where the animal was provided through factory farming. The sheer difference in QoL for the animal who is allowed to live in the wild to adulthood, and is ideally killed instantaneously and without their conscious perception of it, is vastly preferable compared to animals who are raised industrial under extremely distressing conditions, and killed swiftly on a production line. The opposition of carnists to hunting I always found hypocritical, but I also think the opposition gets abused by carnists and vegans to rationalize culturally imperial acts against traditional indigenous hunting practices — that can actually be pretty harmful for both the animals and these communities. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:06, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I had a buddy who went on a fishing trip in Canada. He stopped by some bait and tackle and said the owner was all pissed off. Said 'you got a limit, but the natives got nothing stopping them.'. His takeaway was 'whoah, I don't care, I came out to catch a couple fish.' I had some other friends who went out for a game expo, big long trip, had to pick up another friend. They hit a gas station and the guy behind the counter said 'watch out for the natives.'. I visited Quebec at the age of 13. I had some spending money. I was approached by a white man with a dirty Quebecois accent who said 'I've been in an accident, I have to call my mom.' I gave him no paper money, but I think he might have swindled me out of some coins. So the point is, perceived swindling versus actual swindling versus actual culture. I do think it's wrong to over-fish, but if that's the only equitable Export, I get Reservation Dogs (equitable edit) as a show retaining the mantra 'Catfish is Life'. I caught a catfish in Missouri with frozen jackinthebox as bait. I was on vacation with a friend, and we literally dragged it up with line tied around a stick. I was too young to clean it, took it to the houseboat, buddy's dad was like 'you guys wouldn't like catfish anyway.' It was a horrible moment, what do you do with a dead catfish? Torrent (talk) 05:54, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
There is also an issue of anthropomorphism or how "close" an animal is to humanity here. We are much more likely to value a dog over a cow, and a cow over a cleaner wrasse, even though cleaner wrasse have passed the mirror test. (This ignores that there are criticisms of the mirror test.) Carthage (talk) 08:21, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Exposure is also a factor. Since I'm on the autism spectrum I've read plenty about Temple Grandin, and I'm familiar with how the slaughterhouses that actually do it right operate. And my grandmother has told us about growing up during the Depression, and her father always had work but was mostly on his own for getting meat, so she's talked about watching him catch fish and decapitate chickens. If you need to do it to survive, you'll likely find it in you to do. What bothers me much more are the "humane traps" people set, which truly are torture. If you want to exterminate mice or rats (catching them alive is also fine, they make very good pets), use something that will kill them. I once had idiot coworkers set one and I showed them the trap caused the mouse to panic and rub its legs raw, then since there was no way to extricate it I made them watch me administer the coup-de-grace with a hammer. It was in no way a fun experience, but it was better than letting it die over several more hours; either use traps that are meant to keep animals alive for release (as I once did for a band of flying squirrels) or kill on impact. And in a general level, a purely self-interested argument against animal torture is the meat of a stressed animal doesn't taste nearly as good; even medieval Europeans knew this. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:11, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
I had a similar experience. i was home alone with Cool Dave, a short haired pointer mix rescue I had inherited because, party house, and who really had no idea how big he was, but he saw something in the kitchen. He jumped out of my lap with no concern for my balls as a launchpad, and trotted into the kitchen. Cool Dave did not trot often, so I caught my breath and followed him. Our landlord had put out poison for mice. We had been catching them in buckets and letting them go. But here was a mouse, paralyzed by the waist up, just kicking itself around in circles. Cool Dave wasn't the type to eat a mouse, but I wouldn't risk it. I shooed the dog, got a washcloth, ran it in hot water til it was warm, picked up the mouse with it and twisted the poor vermin. I put it in the trash and took the trash out. The strange thing is you wouldn't expect it to be over. But it was, we never saw another mouse. Noises in the walls, probably squirrels and mice, but nothing in the soft trap buckets that used to catch at least one a day. The poisons for home intruders are apparently effective, I still hold a painless death execution ideal. It's kinda statistics, suffering will happen, the more outliers that can be affected in some way, the less it counts towards an inevitability. If it's superficial, it's still my experience. Torrent (talk) 05:13, 12 April 2024 (UTC)

Cass review and youth transgender healthcare in the UK[edit]

Cass review as discussed by PinkNews I'm a bit puzzled that the report found that there was no real evidence for social transitioning improving the mental wellbeing of trans-youth. I seem to be seeing a lot of reports recently claiming that loads of kids are getting quick and easy access to puberty blockers and parents are being forced to let their kids transition or else they get labelled transphobes, which sounds like a TERF fantasy and as far as I was aware up until now a minority experience. Doesn't mean that it's true, just it's definitely not a finding I was expecting to see. What do people think? Tikitime2 (talk) 16:48, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

I strongly suspect there has been a tendency of the NHS to over-use puberty blockers. My reasoning for this is a) the NHS has a tendency to throw drugs at problems due to a massive shortage of alternative provision [therapies etc], b) the field of trans youth being very new [lacking strong medical evidence base for treatment plans etc] and c), a relative ignorance of the long-term effects of puberty blockers [in which is basically an 'off-label' use of them]. A serious plank of this report is that said kids should be 'screened for other issues first', such as mental issues, neural-diversity and I suspect sexuality too. I could forsee, for example a situation where a 'questioning' trans kid comes to realise they're 'just' a tomboyish lesbian, or effeminate bisexual male or even just a very depressed kid who desperately wishes to 'escape' into a different person.
The main fears the trans community has here is that a) it shall be weaponised by the 'phobic Govt in attacking them further, b) the 'alternative, holistic provisions' won't exist c) said 'talking therapies' that are provided may simply be politically/religiously led hectoring lectures of 'stop feeling that way' to the victim and d) it might take so long to actually 'clear the hoops' to arrive at actual medical intervention it could cause significant distress [imagine having to watch yourself developing into something you hate for 4-5 years, knowing that then you'll have to undergo a huge amount of medical intervention to reverse it]. We're also not overly happy that the person who will ultimately be deciding on all this is most likely to be Wes Streeting, a guy who's increasingly echoing TERF talking-points [evidence if any is needed that 'LGBT' is in reality a fractious, vague alliance with precious cross-loyality].
I shall also point out that 'social transitioning' is held by NHS adult gender services to be required [something like two years?] before they even discuss any provision of hormones etc [which shall be heavily subsidised; test would cost £960 a year for a transman privately but £115 on the NHS]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:32, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't claim there's "no real" evidence. It carefully lists a lot of studies showing evidence and deems virtually every one of them "low quality" evidence, a term of art likely to be lost on laymen. Apparently because the research wasn't double-blinded, which has been argued to not be practical and/or ethical in this instance, but the people concerned with evidence quality can go ahead and design/fund some research if they actually would like the base to improve (they won't do this). The fact they're talking about social transition in this way, which is just changing name/pronouns/clothing and other presentations... well, what else can I expect from British institutions? Of course this will be used to push for conversion therapy, relabeled as "exploratory therapy", which for some unknown reason requires no "high quality evidence" to be deployed. The funny thing here is that even if I granted them everything in terms of actual arguments they make, I think it still may not refute the underlying principles and potential risk/potential benefit analysis, because the worst case scenario is that you've got a cosmetic placebo (bearing in mind that even placebo can have positive effects) given at the request of the patient exercising bodily autonomy. That's a worst case scenario, and the most they've demonstrated is uncertainty between that and something better than placebo. But then, I'm not even sure if "placebo" is the right word; it's like saying that feeling better about yourself after dying your hair or growing your muscle mass is "placebo", it's someone shaping their body how they think they'd prefer it to be. Chillpilled (talk) 20:45, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Hmm, I missed that bit. Odd, how it appears nobody 'important' picked up that Catch-22 element of the report. Now you raised 'bodily autonomy', the report does also basically order the ignoring of Gillick competency [the ability for minors to consent for medical treatment for themselves, as long as it is believed they are mature enough to understand] by shunting the lowest age to 16 [an age where a person has near-full bodily autonomy]. Even then, they say 'extraordinary cases' which [as a layperson] suggests that it's going to be an assumption for 'no' regarding medical interventions until 18 [of which then they would then socially transition for at least a year and await on the list to get diagnosed/treated, meaning that it's quite possible they'd have to wait well into their 20s before anything concrete was done].
Now I'm digesting this further, this report is starting to rather stink a bit... KarmaPolice (talk) 21:17, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I am curious to what the actual significance or scientific authority of such a review is. It is odd that such sweeping conclusions are being made that go against what peer-reviewed systematic reviews produced in the US state about the effects of social transition on mental health, and for such a report to align so strongly to the sort of talking points trans-exclusionary actors have been arguing for decades. Is this an actual peer-reviewed publication, or one of those “independent” reviews? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
The Cass Review was commissioned by the NHS and led by a paediatrician named Hilary Cass. Consider it a "meta review" done by medical professionals instead of being something purely scientific.
I don't have a huge disagreement with a lot of the conclusions, and a lot of the giant PDF (skimmed) seems pretty good, though digesting such a big document in full would take more time than I have right now, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot of things. Emphasizing therapeutic individual approaches seems, well, correct. Having said that, I think the report goes quite fair bit overboard in being over-cautious on exactly the thing there is a moral panic about in the UK. The conclusion the NHS committee reached on puberty blockers sticks out quite a bit compared to the conclusion of a vast majority of nations. Even though personally I do think some caution is warranted in using puberty blockers in adolescents (in light of the relative newness of this treatment), I think the NHS conclusion is way too tight (over-applying "caution is needed" to a fault). Most developed nations seem to also aim for a "therapy first" approach, but are okay with puberty blockers as the case may be - it may be better to undertake this, whatever the risks, than the alternative after all. The impression I get of the NHS approach, in contrast, seems to be setting themselves up for lots of unnecessary hoops to be undertaken for those special cases. Furthermore, like others mention, maintaining barriers to treatments like gender conversion well past adulthood (when one in theory has full body autonomy) makes no sense to me. (Though I believe options outside the NHS exist in these cases, it just sucks it has to be that way.)
The giant PDF actually mentions that conversion therapy is bullshit (page 151), so anyone using it to justify such is, well, wrong-headed. But I suppose this is the other problem: the moral panic is so raucous right now, this is seen as a "victory" for the TERFs. The United Kingdom is probably where the worst of the anti-trans moral panic is at the moment (even worse than the evangelical US in some ways), so one wonders whether the almost glacial over-cautiousness on some of the subject matter was influenced by the sheer angry volume of the "controversy" there. BobJohnson (talk) 23:23, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
A recent Swedish review of the literature says much the same thing re. lack of quality research. Le législateur (talk) 01:46, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't reject conversion therapy, it pretends to while rebranding a form of it as "exploratory therapy", then argues that this term has only been described as a form of conversion therapy for "political" reasons. What that "exploratory therapy" is, is instead of respecting the patient's gender identity they ask them a ton of leading questions trying to raise doubts about it. They call it "exploring". The point where the "exploratory therapist" actually turns to affirmation under this model, if they ever do, isn't quite clear. They do this because they think some significant amount of people with gender dysphoria have it because of some mental disorder or other it is stemming out of, a belief the review itself attempts to validate at the p. 150–151 section you pointed out (the topic is also discussed at p. 202 where they essentially argue this "exploratory therapy" should receive an exception in any conversion therapy ban). A partial search for "explor" in the document (where you'll find their coded conversion recommendations) turned up the strange result of the review suggesting on p. 110 that "exploration with gender-questioning youth should include consideration of their engagement with pornographic content." I tried to find the paper the review cites for this suggestion, probably this, which seems to be claiming gender dysphoria may be caused by "misogynistic pornography". It also states: "Girls affected by autism might be at higher risk because of their reduced mentalization capacities." So apparently the Cass review found a paper reliable despite its first foot forward being to call autistic people too stupid (sorry, equipped with "reduced mental capacities") to know their own gender identity, no it must be the porno instead. After the review's publication, the leader of GenspectWikipedia immediately took to The Economist to argue that a conversion therapy ban would ban the treatment pathways that the review recommended — I wonder why. Chillpilled (talk) 06:09, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
My bad, apparently some go further than just asking the patient a lot of leading questions. Some "exploratory therapists" also may recommend "smearing henna on their chest to simulate surgical scars, forcing them to maintain an extreme haircut after they have decided they don't want it", or stabbing transgender people with acupuncture needles to associate being transgender with the upsetting sensation. So there's a range of practices, but the thing about asking a lot of leading questions seems to be what they agree on. Chillpilled (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
I can't offer any insight what the medical care of a trans person should comprise. There is no diagnosis for the trans-gender person, some say, because transgenderism is not a medical condition. And yet, it seems, the trans-person may well require a form of treatment often called "gender affirming care," (GAC). This immediately presents an antinomy in the framework of medical ethics: a non-medical condition that requires medical treatment. But the ethical practitioner is bound by oath to practice as if no harm will be done to the patient. We see here, in this thread, non-professional opinions asserted with the intention of supporting GAC arguments. I would call it a sympathetic reaction, but nevertheless, a political one. The so-called TERFS attitudes are irrelevant to strategies for therapy, except when the argument becomes political. Politicians argue with politicians and doctors argue with doctors.
This adds to the antinomy: how should the structure of medical therapies be affected by political opinions? The question appears to suggest an unsound basis of understanding. Therapies should be recommended and followed because studies have proven them to be effective. We hope that these GAC therapies are effective treatments. Should we sensibly be antagonized by those medical professionals who remain unconvinced assuming that their intention is constructive? I am concerned that sort of contention only adds to the general disrepute society is coming to hold for scientific experts who may uphold controversial or unpopular opinions. UncleKrampus (talk) 02:28, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
TERFs have only ever been a supporting element, a spearhead for social conservatives to use. The Cass review claims (p. 100) that behaviors such as girls playing with dolls and boys playing with trucks are due to biology; the recommendation against social transition under age 25 is effectively in part saying that "caution" should be taken before clinicians support patients in such gender-stereotyped behaviors if they don't align with birth sex. Seems really feminist to me. Unsurprisingly, the review also cites Richard Green and Ken Zucker (p. 67), who decades ago advocated the idea that minors became gay or transgender because they were allowed to engage in such behaviors stereotypically associated with the opposite sex (see more here). It cites these two to suggest trans-minor high desistance rates despite the fact they defined a child as transgender if they showed stereotypically gender/sex "misaligned" behaviors as described. The review mentions critiques of this methodology but attempts to cite Steensma to back it up (more on the pitfalls of this approach here). Chillpilled (talk) 09:56, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
As noted, my "observation" is more between the opinion of experts. The Wiki page on puberty blockerWikipedia provides summaries on several national stances, and its relatively easy to look up others. Obviously none of us are experts here on psychotherapy and medical care, as far as I'm aware, so we can only rely on professional opinion. It is obvious that this is a contentious topic even among medical experts. But even from the perspective of that Wiki article, the CASS/NHS UK perspective stands out as being overly conservative. Due to the contentious nature of the topic, I do wonder if some therapists will go "off-label" in the UK should the NHS stance hold.
The politics of transgender are quite a bit different in the United Kingdom compared to, say, the United States. This is because the transphobic stance is frequently not only found in the "social conservative" sector of society, it is also heavily found in the "old guard" of second-wave feminism (the "F" in TERF, of course). In the United States at least, from my perspective, the "trans controversy" in feminism (in addition to other concerns such as minority perspectives in feminism) took place in the 1990s-2000s. Opinions were made, tempers flared on and off, and some radical "womyn" of the time simply LANCBed, in a sense, once the dust settled (see Michfest). As of now, anti-trans stances are largely the domain of reactionary social conservatives here. I agree that TERFs have only been a supporting element even in the UK, but that side has contributed to some surprisingly shoddy anti-trans journalism in places you might not expect (including The Guardian, The Economist, and even the BBC). Medical experts are human and I've certainly read about cases where a medical expert lets their social background -- religious, political, or elsewise -- irrationally override the medical consensus. I don't think it's a stretch to wonder if the trans moral panic in the UK, likewise, has played a factor in the NHS guidelines. BobJohnson (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
The BBC surprised me the slightest bit recently with this highlighting the years-long NHS wait times for a first gender dysphoria appointment. (Not years for a prescription, years for a *first* appointment.) From my view the British media tends to platform anti-trans views much more than pro-trans views to the point I wonder if they aren't tending to lock out pro-trans perspectives except in places like the three you listed where they'll just platform both at once. Chillpilled (talk) 14:07, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
While outrightly 'fixing' a report to say what you wanted it to is fairly rare in the UK, it's somewhat common to 'stack the deck' in your favour by selecting the report writer(s) who while still having professional credibility are pre-disposed towards the Govt's view and/or defining the remit of the report to focus on particular aspects. Personally, I think they'd have liked the report to read 'trans is a load of hocum' but that's an unsupportable position scientifically as of 2024 - so they'll settle with a report which has a butt-load of hedge-betting in it. They'll then cherry-pick from the report, package it up as 'trans youth guidence for the NHS' and release it with great fanfare within the next couple of months. We also have the trans guidence for education still sitting in draft form, which is also very over-cautious [demanding parental consent all the way, every step being solely driven by the youth, as little information as possible to be provided, being obligated to grass them up to said parents etc] which is a very English way of making sure shit don't happen much without actually saying you cannot do it. So I suspect a big dogwhistly anti-trans gear-up is happening, in the vain hope it might shore up the bleed-out from Tory to Reform in the coming GE.
But yes, if you can go private all the way, you can theoretically avoid all this crap as it's nothing more than 'company policy' [draft policy at that right now]. However, there's the risk that most, if not all private gender services would follow this guidence anyway.
On the TERF issue, foreign readers need to bear in mind the second-wave feminists of the Greer type are 'the Establishment' now in the UK, and is perhaps the 'default view' of places like those bastions of middle-class mores, MumsNet and the Hate Mail. I've long argued that their motivation is 95% misandry; that they cannot think of a man as anything else than 'sexual predator' and the sole motivation they have is of sex. Thus, they simply think of transwomen as being men who are so obsessed with women/sex that they 'want to be one'. I heard a discussion on the radio last night on this; about half of the callers were on the 'transwomen are perverts' line to the exclusion of all else [though a lot of these fall into the toupee fallacy]. Yes, the British media is suffering with 'false balance' on this issue [as a whole] but the BBC is one of the lesser offenders here. Plus, that story is about waiting lists which is quite obviously facts, not anyway 'opinion' [which is where a lot of the drek comes from] KarmaPolice (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
On that last point: that's the thing though. Even outside the realm of "opinion" and instead only looking at "just facts" reports, these news outlets based in the UK tend to completely ignore stories that make the anti-trans side look like they've got some egg on their face, or if they report on whatever it is at all they'll do so in an incredibly tilted way. The usual exception is kind of "alternative" media like the Byline Times, Novara Media, or else explicitly LGBT-oriented media like PinkNews. I've been told time and time again that one of the underlying reasons is that British media is full of people who went to the exact same schools as each other and essentially operates like an elitist clique. Anti-trans activists or pundits saying scandalous things somehow tends to only reach the pages of PinkNews while if a pro-trans person (oddly, it does not even have to be a notable person and often happens to not be) says or does something scandalous it's in at least one major paper/tabloid if not, somehow, all of them.
The bias has been noted by some American news outlets, who nevertheless rarely take interest in British trans matters it seems. Such a rare occasion cropped up recently and led to an interesting juxtaposition when, at the same time that the JK Rowling topic of the moment in the UK media was whether she would be arrested, the Rowling topic of the moment in non-British media was whether she had denied Nazi crimes (something which was covered by as far as I can tell absolutely no British outlets except Spiked which ran an article defending her... that was also written by Malcolm Clark, the exact person she was citing for her historical interpretations in the first place). Chillpilled (talk) 14:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
It's not exactly 'everyone went to the same school', more a situation of where most, if not all the main players are no more than 'Three Degrees of Separation' away from any other player and musical chairs is a popular pastime. That yes, 'A went to school with B', but also 'B went to Uni with C', 'C trained at the BBC under D', 'D was E's editor at the Independent', 'E got to know F when E worked the political beat and F was the Tory PR person' while 'F was screwing C during a period in the '10s' while 'B and E keep on running into each other at dinner parties in Hampstead/Islington, at which B told E all about A' and so on. Couple this 'London Nexus' [the Swedes call this 'Ankdammen'; aka 'the duck-pond'] with the fact a lot of the upper echelons of journalism is clogged up with ageing/elderly journalists with stale views and stale 'black books' of sources as elderly as they and [for example] mistake a few nutjob/troll accounts on Twitter as being a massive 'extremist trans lobby' or similar. Good, better-nuanced journalism does exist in places like the BBC/Grauniad/Independent etc on trans issues, but they're really not getting the 'column space' which they deserve. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:24, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
To elaborate the point, another issue I suspect has happened is that a relatively small clutch of 'gender critical' experts have managed to hog the trans bandwidth by being 'easy to work with' and so they keep on getting re-used. It's a similar trick used by shiteheads like the IEA; they will almost at a drop of the hat haul their well-presented arses from Tufton Street to the BBC studio or similar to deliver their slick BS about why cutting taxes for billionares is good for Britain which exactly fills the four mins of airtime allotted. But due to the damn Nexus above, new [and perhaps more 'pro-trans'] experts are fairly locked out from this gig. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:43, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Actually that reminds me about the Cass review, one of the critiques I've seen a few trans people mention in response to its release now: that they've excluded any transgender people from involvement in the review process to avoid "bias", while including people (well, at the very least, Tilly Langton) who are themselves personally involved with "exploratory therapy" groups of the kind I described in some comments above. As far as whether they really did exclude any transgender people from the review process, a quick search at least turned up this from 2021, but I don't know whether it's been better proven since that. Chillpilled (talk) 16:36, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
If the allegations put forward by 'Translucent' are correct, it does appear that there has been some 'deck-stacking' going on. Now, I don't buy the 'cisgender narratives' argument about the Advisory Group [I in fact do accept that in this case, a trans person is likely to be too partisan for being on the Panel, though I do agree on the 'cis persons won't be partisan default assumption' being blatently incorrect]. But the simple fact a) Cass alone appointed people to the Advisory Panel and b) 'Cass followed a number of high profile trans hostile people and groups prior to being appointed, and no trans positive people or groups' does reek when put together. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Again, this is the political part, where one speaks of "pro-trans" and "trans-hostile" participants in research evaluation. The qualifications of analysts may be selected for sufficiency, in scientific review work, but the motives for participation are really not negotiable. A politician may not possess a good ethical basis for their positions, but a scientific professional must be dedicated to the ethics of experimental design. The agita from disagreement is not clearly justified. Politically, you don't want to employ a research team member who wants to implement a bias toward any predetermined outcome. Scientifically, it doesn't matter what ones opinions are if rigorous procedure is followed. The problem I see is that, though outcomes may be good, none of it is a result of really good science. UncleKrampus (talk) 19:21, 12 April 2024 (UTC)

There is something sort of naive about this. The history of science is one where political factors are hugely implicative to the trajectory of scientific revolutions. Darwin was hugely influenced by arguments for free-markets and Malthusian arguments about overpopulation popular in England for his time. The popularity of these ideas were a big reason why Darwin ended up so popular in England but far less popular in places like Germany that held strongly to the dominant “nature philosophy” of the time.
The military and industrial applications of physics and chemistry is a big reason why achieve such disproportionate amounts of funding compared to other sciences, and that allows a far greater quantity of research to be conducted in these disciplines (provided it is justifiable to applications tied to why they are funded to begin with).
I don’t think it’s possible to have “a-political” science. Feminist philosophers of science argue that androcentrism is a political bias that biases research design in such a way to undermine objectivity, and so, methodology has to correct for and account for sexism. You can also argue the total opposite as well, but it would be hard to conceive that either case isn’t being made towards some political bias. Take common objections to Gould as being “ideologically motivated” in the aim to being anti-racist. The objection suggests that scientists can be “neutral” about racism, but it’s not clear if that is genuinely possible — as any neutrality ultimate leaves racism itself unchallenged, and racism is itself by definition a type of bias. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:24, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
This is one of those rare days that Dumb and I [apparently] agree; that the only science which is truly apolitical is the ones which don't really have any effect on our everyday lives. What's more, 'scientists' are still people; coming with their own biases, political slants, ulterior motives and so on - this becomes more pronounced the further they stray from their own fief. This can be rather small - for example, being a genius at finance/banking does not grant you instant expert knowledge about say, behavioural economics. Lastly, 'running investigations', 'knowing what questions to ask' and 'spotting biases' are all skills in their own right; which is why [traditionally in the UK at least] big reviews/reports are done by retired judges [who are always experienced lawyers too].
As for 'pro trans' and 'anti trans' usage; I was quoting the Translucent article. Whether Cass was following only say, TERFy social media before they started to produce this report is a question which does need to be answered, re possibly being biased from the outset. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:18, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

The newsroom bloodbath in New Zealand[edit]

I am puzzled why the news about the announcement of severe cuts in television news in New Zealand is not getting the traction among many circles. This is the closure of the commercial Newshub which does the news for the TV channels Three and Sky Open, and the severe cuts in on the public broadcaster TVNZ. It would means that from the middle of this year, the country would have only two daily English-language news programmes on TV. They are Breakfast and 1 News at Six, both on TVNZ1. - Euromec (talk) 18:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

From an American perspective: even in the best of times, coverage of international events was often marginal. And traditional American news (e.g. print and television) are in serious decline these days, so there's even less international coverage than ever. So, no, not a peep over here. Scanning, it seems like The Guardian covered the story,[21][22] but I didn't see anything else that wasn't an Australia / New Zealand source.
News in general is in a bad place right now. For many, the replacement for news is the Internet. The Internet is a horrible place for news, with so much fake news bullshit floating around. An advertising model exists for fake news -- since bullshit is cheap to generate (it costs nothing to PIDOOMA), you can cover your expenses with scammy advertisements. This advertising model doesn't work for the more expensive long-form journalism as news consumers shift to the Internet (regardless of the high bullshit factor, it's "free", so...). Sure, it still exists, but increasingly its behind pricey highbrow weeklies / monthlies with a paywall. The future looks even shittier -- I can't wait (sarc) until AI "news" mucks things up even further. BobJohnson (talk) 20:02, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I think it's important to note that fake news / crap news [ie technially true stuff, but poorly reported etc] often is plying a particular 'line' some rich fucker(s) want the plebs to believe, so they will take a financial hit to make it 'free' [qv: GB News has lost ~£76m in the last three years]. It is why [if nothing else] all the right-wing news barons etc hate the BBC; it is perhaps one of the very few news orgs left which are 'reliable', 'global' and 'free'. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:24, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Even before the internet took off, pundit-driven news really damaged the news brand since it really primed viewers to accept misinformation as a "partisan viewpoint" as well as viewers becoming accustomed to "don't just tell me the news, tell me what I want to hear about the news that conforms to my previous beliefs". I think the Maryland bridge story and its conspiracy theories being the main story is what the final conclusion of what this type of news reporting has resulted in where even a simple ship accident story can't escape politics and conspiracy.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:24, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
We are in New Zealand - a pleasant little place best known for hobbits, sheep and being (usually) good at rugby (in some places). Otherwise we are far removed from most ppl's consciousness.... had someone in Ukraine tell me they thought I was "at the end of the Earth" as far as they were concerned. Dunno what more you were expecting.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:09, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Also - I suspect that the concept of public news media smacks of communism to many Americans so many will see it as "good riddance"- they have a love/hate relationship with their PBS that has an educational bent rathe than news, it often being criticized by the far right! And Libertarians resent anything funded by the taxpayer as loss of a potential profit making opportunity - whether it actually exists or not!Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:21, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Googling, I don't think there's been any recent polling regarding public media. In the past, though, it's been quite a bit more accepted than the GOP / libertarian snarling would suggest. IMHO, chalk most of the "noise" up to a bunch of billionaire yahoos who only give a fuck about themselves, and a bunch of reactionary culture warriors and conspiracy theorists far out of step with the general public.
I suspect that even if the reactionary side of the GOP got their way, a good chunk of US public media would survive (albeit in a scaled back fashion), as US public media already is heavily reliant on donations and contributors. I speculate that what might not survive is the stations deep in the middle of reactionary territory, perhaps. BobJohnson (talk) 21:42, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
I am curious, what are the two english holdout shows (answered) and what language would the rest be instead? Torrent (talk) 08:38, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

Asking this here because nobody answered it when I asked it in the talk page I am talking about[edit]

Should the 'Is eugenics actually pseudoscience?' Section under the talk page for eugenics be put under one of those drop-down template things? It's long as shit (I guesstimate that around 90% of the talk page's length is just that), and after skimming through it, it seems that, to me, the person who started it was spewing bullshit out of both ends. TheOneAndOnlyCirrusMan (talk) 01:18, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

Done. Bongolian (talk) 01:56, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

Iranian attack on Israel[edit]

Now that Iran has attacked Israel, does someone know what may come next?. I'm genuinely worried this may escalate the conflict, maybe beyond just going regional, in part given Iran and Russia are strong allies. Panzerfaust (talk) 07:44, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

There has been a bit of talk that Iran's response would be 'proportional' to the Syria hit, which them would mean Israel could then effectively ignore it. The fact that air defences basically intercepted them all suggests this can be ignored. Iran could have worse here - like activating Hizbollah, hitting Western shipping in the Gulf etc - but did not. I would very tentatively suggest that at the moment Tehran is not desirous to get into a full war with the whole West just yet. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:38, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
Yeah I don't think anything much is going to come of it. Though on the other hand, I wonder if it isn't in Bibi's personal interests to keep escalating this. Chillpilled (talk) 12:13, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
Given the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate, Iran had to do something to save face. It seems to me that the something they have done was designed to look very impressive while also being designed not actually cause any damage. For instance, it was massively telegraphed by starting off with a fleet of slow-moving weapons.
So now it's over to the Israelis again. It is possible that their hyper-belligerent leader is actually looking for an excuse go toe-to-toe with Iran. Though why he would want to get involved in two conflicts simultaneously (or massively expand his existing one) is beyond me.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:46, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I hope you're right. The very latest news is that Israel will respond, but they have not said how and when, and as you note others have said in the news Iran's attack seems to have been more of a warning than anything else. Panzerfaust (talk) 21:56, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
The smart thing for Israel to do would be say "Ha Ha! You missed! We win!". But, as I said, they (or rather Bibi) might actually want a conflict.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:53, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
The "why" of it would be a maneuver to drag the US into the conflict by (counterintuitively) making things worse for Israel, thus "necessitating" US intervention. My thinking, is that his thinking would be, that might be a chance to galvanize US popular support for Israel again. However Biden reportedly told Netanyahu that the US wouldn't support retaliation against Iran, so, if that was his plan, then Biden's stance may have given him pause on it. If this sounds too speculative, bear in mind the political corner Netanyahu has painted himself into — I wouldn't put desperate moves like this past him. Chillpilled (talk) 11:11, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

Iran, the US, and Jedi Councils[edit]

You know, Iran gets a lot of shit for having a council of unelected bureaucrats who legislate matters of life and death to protect the interests of the Iranian Revolution. Almost no one however realizes the US also has a council of unelected bureaucrats who legislate matters of life and death. It's just, instead of protecting the interests of a revolution, they protect and legislate the interests of a bunch of reactionary ghouls from Harvard. Maybe it's time to reform the judicial system of the United States to make it more democratic? Carthage (talk) 11:25, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

Comparing a theocracy with a system that was developed to work as a strong mechanism of checks and ballances happens to be one of the worst examples of false equivalency I've ever seen. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:16, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I get a sense that the American system was in part made to put a "check" on people who own no land. The institutions of the Senate and electoral college prioritize land over people regardless of whether that was the intention anyway. Chillpilled (talk) 13:28, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
The problem is not criticizing the American system, which is problematic and needs some reform, like getting rid of the electoral college. The problem is saying that the difference between the two systems is just who they protect. If you want my opinion, more consensual decisions is the way to go, as they make it harder for rent seekers and lobbyists to take control of the legislative branch. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:32, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact the SCOTUS is a fundamentally undemocratic body. The fact you are so riled up by this analogy suggests you recognize that fact. And if the reactionary ghouls of Harvard had their way, the US would be a theocracy. Either way the effects remain the same: an unelected council of bureaucrats deciding the fate of millions with no meaningful accountability. Aren't you supposed to be a strong supporter of democracy, or is that just talk? Carthage (talk) 13:43, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
No? Democracy is not a mere decision process where the majority wins. The fact that judges aren't elected doesn't mean that the US is less democratic, in fact this is a good way to keep the majority in check, which is a one of the greatest challenges of democracy. A better solution would be terms for Justices. It is an absurd that Clarence Thomas has been a Justice for over 30 years, for instance. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:51, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
And what of the tyranny of the minority? This unelected body of bureaucrats can impose their will on hundreds of millions of people without any meaningful accountability. These bureaucrats can impose their will by fiat, and there is no meaningful way to challenge their decisions without a constitutional amendment or a new court case. That is in and of itself fundamentally antidemocratic. Even Presidents, with almost no meaningful checks on their authority, are at least accountable to popular will by means of election. Then again, it's a great system if you prioritize the interests of land over people. Carthage (talk) 13:55, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
(EC) No, they can't, and you know it. If they did something so absurd, they might get impeached. The only country where judges are elected is Bolivia - hardly an example of good institutions. And for a good reason. The judicial branch is not supposed to represent people; its duty is to interpret laws and applying the Law to legal cases addressed to it. They can't be pressed by the will of people, otherwise they would just do what the majority wants, not what the law says it's right or wrong. Is this system perfect? No. Does it need some reform? As I said above, yes, a lot. But you're conflating it with the legislative branch, that actually makes the laws and needs to meet the scrutiny of the of elections. If you want better laws, you need better representatives, not judges that will distort the law in order to make what the majority wants. If you think that judges are already doing this except that they are just hearing a minority (and I think that this is possibly the case), than we agree that some people on SCOTUS should be impeached. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:06, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
The courts have taken on increasingly legislative functions over the years, you know that. Hell, the Court invented for itself the practice of judicial review. Nowhere is judicial review mentioned in the Constitution. The US Congress is under gridlock, and corruption is rife in the Court. Every year more and more absurd cases come out, and yet we see no impeachments. You know that there are no meaningful checks on judicial power. The fact remains the Courts can, will, and have imposed their will by fiat with no meaningful accountability. Hell, there is even scholarly literature calling for the democratization of the Supreme Court. And yes, this doesn't necessarily imply elections, but there are jurisdictions in the States where justices are elected. This directly contradicts your assertion that Bolivia is the only place with an electoral judiciary. Carthage (talk) 14:10, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Weren't we talking about supreme courts? And yes, there are meaningful checks on judicial power, or are you going to say that Justices cannot be impeached? The first part of your post (that the system is problematic and needs reform) is something that I never denied, in fact I even suggested two changes, so I don't even know why you're telling me that the system has many problems, you're strawmanning me again. My point is simple, it's not that the system doesn't need changes, it's just that your solution doesn't work as it will just subvert the functions and the very meaning of the judicial branch. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:23, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

I know that you're deliberately missing the point, that the SCOTUS acts as a check on the democratic process (IOW, it's antidemocratic, this is recognized in the scholarly literature too), but tell me when was the last time a justice was impeached? Just because a power is nominally on the books doesn't mean it's going to be exercised. Carthage (talk) 15:05, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I mean, I'm pretty sure it's implicit on my posts that I believe that it should be more common. I think we can at least agree that impeaching Clarence Thomas would be easier than overhauling the whole system. Not only that, I believe that the American Senate should be more selective and reject some nominees once in a while. There are many other things that I believe the US should to in order to have a more democratic SCOTUS. If you want a total overhaul, I think that the Swiss Model is probably the best. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:28, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
Also, I'm giving you an honest advice. Don't pretend to know the scholarly literature on the subject just because you found a page on Google and saw a couple of BreadTube videos on the subject. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:33, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
The Supreme Court has no enforcement mechanism (on its own, at least) other than the integrity of the legal system in itself. State governments in the past have indeed flat out ignored Supreme Court decisions they did not like. Examples of this include Dred Scott v. Sandford (a decision that in retrospect was so bad, from what I remember, historians cite this as an actual contribution to the Civil War) and Brown v. Board of Education (of which the Southern racists massively hated, Eisenhower had to bring in the National Guard to enforce the decision in one district, and some Southern districts simply shut schools down rather than comply with integration orders).
One thing that has been sadly de-emphasized in modern American politics is federalism; people tend to focus on the national scene and not give a shit about the local and/or state governments. This is a pity; from my vantage point, federalism has been an excellent tool to blunt extremism and prevent authoritarianism. It is never 100% perfect; as the historical South shows, federalism also can allow some nasty rules to be in effect if the majority in an area wants it that way. But the federalism nature of American government is why I'm, say, less worried about Trump's authoritarianism (as damaging as it will be if he's elected) then some -- if Trump goes too full ruscist, it's easy to envision more liberal places to start ignoring the federal government, as has happened in the past. Even in places with less strong governance like Brazil, I believe that the independence of states there helped prevent Jair Bolsonaro from being dictator-for-life. BobJohnson (talk) 16:23, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I remember seeing an article in The Nation supporting something along those lines, saying we should just ignore SCOTUS decisions that are obviously just legislative packages too unpopular for McConnell/Johnson to pass. I am sympathetic to that in principle, but have trouble seeing it happen because the Democratic party leadership tends to be dominated by naïve intuitionalists.
Also, while I have been absent from the saloon for a while it's nice to see somethings never change. GeeJayK will always be a plutocrat apologist, hmhmhmhmhm...-Flandres (talk) 18:00, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
How does saying that we should impeach at least one Justice (though I wouldn't mind impeaching at least a couple of others if it's necessary) makes me a "plutocrat apologist"? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:58, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think what’s being overlooked here is that a lot of the really good SCOTUS decisions that we now take for granted were hugely unpopular. Earl Warren was despised by much of the country for his rulings on Brown, Engel, Loving, Miranda, and others. He would almost certainly have been recalled by a public vote had the opportunity arisen. And an elected Court would’ve made the unpopular Roe decision get overturned much sooner. Not to mention public opinion on gay marriage didn’t change until well after Obergefell had already been decided. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:17, 14 April 2024 (UTC)

While that is true, at least some of those rulings were in part pressured by public opinion. It was even noted, IIRC, that the justices would do well not to "upset the South." The Court is not apolitical, despite what some people here tirelessly proclaim. Carthage (talk) 19:51, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm actually trying to find information on how popular / unpopular the Warren court was and coming up with little so far. There is a master's thesis here [23] that claims that the decisions were majoritarian at the time. From my perspective, if such is right, that actually is not surprising. Earl Warren was an immensely popular California Republican politician, actually winning the Democrat primary in the 1946 California gubernatorial election.Wikipedia Many of the "controversial" decisions you mention (and they were in some parts like the deep South) were decided unanimously or at least with a solid majority (like 6-1 for Engel).
From my perspective, the Warren court came at a unique point in American political history; it was a byproduct of the old New Deal ethos of FDR/Truman in combination with the "Eisenhower Republican" ethos. Neither of those movements were very regressive, both endorsed civil rights elements, and both these movements were quite popular. Perhaps once the late 1960s came up, when politics became much more raucous for various reasons, it might stand to reason that the Warren court might become more unpopular, but Gallup has polled Supreme Court opinion since the 1970s, and even back then, it was reasonably respected.[24]
From Gallup's poll, anyways, one can infer which recent decision by the Supreme Court is the most out of step with the public, and has done more damage to the court's reputation than any other: the repeal of Roe v. Wade. BobJohnson (talk) 19:56, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
Gotta say, this a bizarre US problem. Almost every other democratic nation I'm aware has nothing like this about its Supreme Court.Revolverman (talk) 23:51, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
The lifetime appointment for the "top court" is rather unique; most top courts have either a mandatory retirement age and/or term limits. This is something that IMHO is sorely needed for the US court, too. The US Supreme Court also has broader powers of judicial review than a lot of "top courts" in the world do.
Of the later, I don't think this is necessarily a problem per se, mind you. The main issue with the Supreme Court now is that we have only two "big tent" parties, and one of them has gone rather reactionary. This means that government at a federal level is gridlocked, fostering more of what should be decided by the legislature on the courts. This also means that the judiciary has become politicized (it's hard to think of a developed nation equivalent of the Federalist Society) and one or two justices (Clarence Thomas at minimum) seems beholden to special interests that have probably "nudged" their opinion with the help of a wee bit of "gifts".
My guess is I can figure out democracies that *do* have these characteristics in the judiciary, but not fully functioning ones. Then again, most "democracy indexes" have been considering the United States a "flawed democracy" for some time, more on par with Italy and Israel than top-tier democracies like Norway, New Zealand, and Iceland. BobJohnson (talk) 01:52, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @GeeJayK The Idea that the US is strictly speaking a “democracy” while Iran is simply a “theocracy” I think oversimplifies things.

From the perspective of the political philosophers that inspired the US, from Locke, Rousseau, and others — they wouldn’t classify the states as a “democracy” as historically systems of “democracy” denoted more so systems like ancient Athens. Rousseau for example didn’t think democracy was possible beyond the level of a city-state. The US would be better described as a republic, and the check and balances are more so intended to reflect a sort of enlightenment conception of the “general will” or “will of the people” rather than being strictly speaking being democratic in the sense that civilians de facto rule.

The simple presence of elections and civilian voting isn’t enough to establish a political system as simply being a “democracy”. If that was the case then countries like Iran, and Russia could be classed as “democracies”. That being said, I don’t think the term is actually all that meaningful in practice. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:02, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I think it needs to be remembered that in many respects the American political setup on independence took the existing British system as a model; and that was effectively oligarchic in nature - that only [white] males 'of significant property' were eligible to vote [and thus, stand for election etc]. This is not unexpected; quite a few of da Founding Fathers did have grave doubts towards 'mob rule' as much as did about an unfettered tyrant.
The other thing which needs to be recalled is that as well as importing 'the English model' of democracy they also imported the legal system [or more correctly, kept what they already had]. This is important because England had the tradition of common law which meant that over decades/centuries judges would define exactly how certain terms etc were to be interpreted [qv: 'responsible person'], which would then become 'precedent' which later/lower judges should follow - thus 'judicial activism' is happening all the time [as they're writing in tons of footnotes into every law which the legislators never voted on]. However, that term has become a snarl-word on the relatively few times judges decide to break with the 'conventional view' and write a new definition/interpretation.
But this is a 'feature, not bug' of the common law system. If it was left down to legislators alone to define every single damn line of every existant law they'd be sweltering behind a decade-plus backlog as all the old legislation is constantly 'reviewed' to bring up to code. Why? Because, for example all pre-1900 laws would need checking/modifying [and thus debating, voting etc] because their definition of 'property-owner' would say 'is a man'. It's a lot simpler/quicker/cheaper to have a bunch of very senior judges to rule 'yeah, women can own property' and then it gets retrospectively applied to all laws that say 'property-owner', even ones they are unaware of existing.
Lastly, the American system of appointing SCOTUS members is not the only alternative to direct elections. For example, you could organise a professional 'seniority' system where as long as they fit the qualifications get co-opted. Or a semi-appointed; in which a public shortlist of 'acceptable candidates' from the previous system is then presented to the President/Governor [for States] who then selects the one they think 'best'. But yes, a age/term limit does need to be put in - for the current system positively encourages the picking of the 'youngest' people in the hope they'll last 30 years plus. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:06, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I just wanna say that feeling the need to keep "the majority" in check is fundamentally antidemocratic. It's basically greenlighting soft minority rule. Those ignorant plebs have no knowledge of what's best for their own lives, and must be kept in their place. Leave governance to their "betters". Is this sort of system really democratic? It places the landed and wealthy over the landless and poor. I wouldn't call that democratic. I would call that oligarchic. Carthage (talk) 20:38, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Though to be fair, the majority can and often do vote against the rights of certain minorities. Radiolab did an episode about this with Sweden’s system of rural direct democracy, where communities would utilize such structures for xenophobic aims.
I mean I think we can conceive of how we would not want say trans-rights, or the rights of migrant workers to be subject to popular vote.
This is something Rousseau and other’s anticipated being a problem, and hence the so called “general will” or “will of the people” is meant to denote not just collective interests, or the interest of the majority, but the interest of the individual as equal to that of the majority.
This is also, in part, why we should get a little suspicious of leftists who are skeptical of human rights as a concept (rather than being skeptical of the current institutional practices which is justified). We may actually want certain rights enshrined in law so they are not subject to popular vote. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:44, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

South African economy under apartheid[edit]

Does anyone here have any good sources on the economy of South Africa under apartheid? Carthage (talk) 17:16, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

For a specific industry, diamonds, you might look at this article on De Beers, which was cited on our diamond page.[25] Bongolian (talk) 17:40, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
I wrote a paper on this! Anyway, the economy rapidly grew right after Apartheid ended. But without reinvestment back into infrastructure, combined with the inability to control the excesses of government corruption and spoils-politics, and the inability to retain the best and brightest... well, South Africa looks like it's about ready to collapse. Which should terrify everyone, since nuclear power plant. CorruptUser 20:30, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

US Election: 7 Months Left[edit]

Just a monthly thing I would likely be doing every month concerning the countdown to the election.

I wonder how much generative AI would affect this election given the state of this emerging medium of technology. And how would this new front of information and misinformation go from now until November. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:58, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

In the United States Senate, the Democrats are having it tough, they have to hold on to 20 seats while the Republicans only have to hold on to 11. The Democrats can only afford to lose 1 seat to lose the Senate! Since Joe Machin is leaving the Senate, West Virginia is lost unless Zachery Shrewsbury wins the Democratic primary and creates a Bernie style campaign in the deeply red state then they might be a small glimmer of hope? The Dems will struggle to hold on to Ohio and Montana since they have swung into being safe red states. The Democrats will try to win Texas off the Republicans due to unpopularity of Ted Cruz but we will have to wait and see if Texans will warm up to Collin Alreed. Ψ (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
A bernie-bro trying to instruct how to win elections is like a vegan teaching how to cook meat. And I can assure you, living in Texas, Ted Cruz is popular enough solely because he has an R by his name.-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
@Ryan1257 I'm not trying to be rude here, but just remember that the Dems are basically non-existent in many states like Nebraska, and Bernie could have made a lot of rusted on Republican voters vote for the Democrats for the first time in decades. Instead they decided to have Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden instead. May I ask how Biden is doing right now? Ψ (talk) 03:12, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Bernie-bros are the Ron Paul fans of the left with their conspiracy theories. I remember the 2016 election, and if Bernie voters were so numerous and had such an electoral determination, where the hell were they in the primaries? I still remember the rhetoric shifting from "he'll win the popular vote, but the super delegates will overrule him!" to "The super delegates need to vote Bernie in!". Plus, if you think a Hillary loss, as thin as it was, was bad, the Republicans would have won in even greater numbers since they'd have had a field day going against someone who claims to be socialist in any form.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You know, neoliberal centrism sure won 2016, didn't it? Why is it that whenever corporate Democrats win they say they didn't need the left, but whenever they lose they say the left abandoned them? We can already see this bullshit with your own strawmanning of progressives unhappy with Biden. Also, why be rude against Psi? Carthage (talk) 03:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't need to take people in good faith who are cool with Trump winning in order to "teach us a lesson" as psi has demonstrated in past posts. These types have done it for the past two presidential elections and they're just doing it again.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Trump wants to genocide Palestinians, is against the universal health care, is against increasing the federal minimum wage, sides with Republicans on the border issue. And Biden also believes those things as well. Ψ (talk) 04:25, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Example A of why I think you're a clown. Do you actually think Biden wants a genocide of Palestinians? Do you think he's whispering in Ben Yahoo's ear to up the body count further? I can assure you, if you think Biden and Trump are on the same level, just look at Trump's actions with Israel during his presidency (recognizing The Golan Heights, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, The friggin Abraham Accords). With Biden, you at least have someone who is reaching his breaking point on the issue and will eventually say "enough is enough", whereas Trump, he's been shown to give blanket approval to any he sees as his chum.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:59, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Keep in mind Biden has continued those policies, and is still giving Israel weapons despite everything Israel has done. It doesn't matter what a powerful politician thinks, it matters what they do. Carthage (talk) 05:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I remember Bernie being really big with blue collar Rust Belt workers. The same people Trump was trying to win over. Polls also indicated that Bernie had a bigger lead over Trump in any hypothetical general: [26] I suppose it's easier to rewrite history than to acknowledge the fact that people were fed up with the neoliberal status quo, however. Also, Psi took a moral absolutist stance on support for genocide. Isn't genocide a bad thing, and support for it also unequivocally a bad thing? If you think that morally objecting to those who support genocide is unreasonable, then you're a clown. Carthage (talk) 04:30, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You may as well be saying, "the polls were right, the voters were wrong". Again, where were his "numerous" voters when it mattered [27]? And you're not dumb for morally objecting to a genocide, but you are dumb if in response to one, you convince people to not vote and inadvertently help the candidate who is the most likely to encourage it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:59, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I know that a lot of the youth vote was suppressed. Areas around universities and shit were subject to severe voter suppression campaigns. Covid didn't help either. [28] Carthage (talk) 05:05, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Now you're just grasping at straws and trying to come up with excuses. If he had the critical mass of voters you claim, then winning in the primaries should have been an easier task since lower numbers can make a bigger difference than in the general election.-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:28, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Remember that he did win some primaries. He was number 2 for a reason. Carthage (talk) 05:39, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I would rather vote for something than vote against it. Tactical voting is for losers, because if you want to vote against someone than the other candidate would only have to be only a micrometre to the left to get your support. Also, the idea that Biden gives a shit about Palestinians is complete crap, I will never vote for a genocide President, fuck your civility politics. Ψ (talk) 05:33, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes I know that Sanders lost. At the end, the establishment Democrats were able to get their candidate to win. Without a doubt, things will continue to get worse and the far-right is going to get even more popular like in Europe. The political right would rather that the working class people use scapegoats like LGBT people, black people and immigrants to blame for their problems rather than the rich. Distractions that don't hurt the rich. Ψ (talk) 05:46, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is really interesting that this entire thing started because Ryan couldn't help but throw in a dig at people who just wanted universal healthcare and a living wage. Beyond that, what election are we even talking about? I brought up 2016 and Ryan responds with 2020? It's also really funny how Ryan completely ignores relevant factors such as media bias (such as how the corporate media didn't feature almost any representatives from organized labor between 2014-2016 not to mention the infamous Bernie Blackout), and party machinery. Remember how all 55 counties of West Virginia voted for Bernie but the superdelegates voted for Clinton? Yeah Ryan just completely bulldozes past all of this shit to smear people two inches to his left as conspiracy theorists. Carthage (talk) 06:24, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

As the person who once painted Biden as 'the American Brezhnev' and expected him to do absolutely nothing for his entire term, I shall admit he did surprise me. With this in mind, I cannot see the Gaza war going into say, May/June at this tempo and Biden continuing his two-faced 'it's bad but here's more cluster bombs' routine. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:42, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
People seem to forget that the Democrat party is a pretty big "big tent" coalition. Sanders captured the youth vote, but failed to capture the vote of people over 50. Sanders also failed to capture critical minority bloc (the African American vote in particular). "The party machinery" is not necessarily this evil shadowy blob conspiring against your favorite candidates, it might instead actually be aiming for the goal: who is the most electable? We've seen this with Donald Trump blasting his way into the RNC "Leeroy Jenkins" style -- the Republicans lost several elections in the last few cycles simply because the Trump-endorsed candidate sucked.
At any rate, Biden's nomination in the end meant that he got a fair share of the "suburbs" vote in 2020. This voting bloc previously was part of the Reagan coalition, and was the major notable shift that cycle. I'm still not entirely sure the "suburb" vote even now would accept full-on progressive politics (at least the Bernie Sanders style), but as it's hard to knock down a sitting president (traditionally), we're not going to test any "bloc" / "coalition" changes this cycle as much.
Assuming certain Republicans don't succeed in their desire to restyle the US as an illiberal democracy, millennials will be a majority of the US voters by 2028... making that cycle possibly more "interesting". BobJohnson (talk) 15:07, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
This is irrelevant to the contention is that superdelegates are inherently antidemocratic. Again see West Virginia. Also polls have shown that Bernie showed a major lead over Trump in any hypothetical general election. Carthage (talk) 04:16, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm actually surprised at the length of the war. Bush Jr basically gave Israel 30 days to go in before he removed support, during one of the wars in the early aughts. Obama did the same during a couple of the wars. There wasn't a war under Trump, surprisingly, so we don't know how he'd react. Biden has allowed the war to go on for 6 months and counting. CorruptUser 05:15, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I personally hold that the whole 'Third Way' project for leftist parties is dead. It was okay in the '90s when economically things weren't that bad and there was no real ideological challengers left standing globally, but the '20s is not this world. Part of the major draw for the native working class to right-wing demagogues like Farage, Trump, Orban etc has been not their 'culture wars' shite, but their promises of economic 'radicalism'. What's more [like BobJ], I don't believe there is many more 'votes to be had' on tacking any further 'progressive' socially - in this, it is perhaps best [at least on a national level] to either a) keep to the centre of the Overton window on social issues and/or b) restrict yourself to only 'harm principle' changes. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:20, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

What the US elections need is a Count Binface equivalent. Anna Livia (talk) 18:59, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

https://vermin2024.com/ ? KarmaPolice (talk) 12:38, 16 April 2024 (UTC)

Sexual assault drama, oh no[edit]

I recently became aware of a rather disturbing incident through Twitter, and I'm kinda reeling from it. Anyone want to pitch in to smash some rape culture? Luigifan18 (talk) 08:29, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I try to avoid Twitter, could someone explain what is going on? Koafox (talk) 15:25, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Someone came forward with claims of being sexually assaulted, complete with a document posted to Reddit. Much of the Sonic OC artist community is being supportive and sympathetic to the victim, though the alleged assaulter is (understandably unsurprisingly) being defensive about it, and two other people who were tangentially connected (one of whom is an artist I'm quite familiar with) have been making excuses for the rapist. Needless to say, said excuses are not going over well. One of the tangentially-connected people is trying to apologize (in the more conventional "oh shit, I'm sorry, what I did was not okay" sense) for the apology (in the "it wasn't that bad" sense), and since that's the person I'm familiar with and I'm in a similar "got in big trouble for saying something awful and stupid" position in regards to Reddit, I'm sympathetic, but not quite sympathetic enough to let that overcome my disgust at what happened to the victim. (A lot of other people are not buying the apology, either; I'm actually one of the less outraged ones. BTW, the other two people — the assaulter and the other apologist — have apparently deleted their Twitter accounts due to the fallout.) Luigifan18 (talk) 16:16, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Welp, Calypso also deleted her account. Had to see that one coming. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:15, 16 April 2024 (UTC)

The collapse of Western anti-war/disarmament movements[edit]

This is just an observation but it seems like most major anti-war/disarmament movements in the West have collapsed into tankie-ism, or at best appeasement of Russia (and to a lesser extent China) in the name of peace. Many groups that were opposed to the Iraq War like Veterans for Peace are now openly parroting Russian propaganda. Similarly, it's difficult to find any relevant anti-nuclear weapons groups who focus just as much on Russia's and China's nuclear expansion rather than solely blaming the West and the U.S. in particular. For example, recent leaks of Russian military doctrine shows that they have a much lower threshold for using nuclear weapons than previously thought mainly to compensate for their crappy conventional military forces, with targets including civilian infrastructure. Yet the most recent anti-nuclear video to pick up any traction by Emma Pike seemed to completely gloss over and ignore this.

The worst part of this is that not only are anti-war groups declining in influence, the most visible groups remaining are tanking their own credibility by engaging in this kind of appeasement attitude or outright being apologist of Russian imperialism. And the fact is, if the U.S. nuclear deterrent is reduced, it's very possible that it may encourage nuclear proliferation, because smaller countries will no longer trust the U.S. umbrella and see nuclear weapons and the guarantors of their sovereignty. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention, but how did it all come to this? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

'Nothing new under the sun'. Orwell noted this tendency during WW2; that 'pacifism is objectively pro-fascist' (ie by hindering the war effort you're ultimately helping the enemy). During the Cold War, NATO states had ready various plans to 'detain' various far-left/pacifist/anti-war types (as well as 'suspicious foreigners') in internment camps during any 'WW3' scenario - the British plan (partly leaked in the 1980s) showed they'd already had roundup lists, training guards and earmarking the Butlins camps they'd convert etc.
And Russian/Soviet military doctrine re: NBC usage has always been different to 'the West's' - I have read texts from the 70s which detailed this. So this 'leak' is a 'bears shit in woods' type. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:10, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
I noticed it years ago with regard specifically to what groups favor improved relations with North Korea. I came to think the typical "Korean Friendship Association" groups are a bunch of stooges (actually last I heard one of their leaders was even wanted by the FBI for sanctions evasion or something). I thought it was really unfortunate. You do not need to parrot the propaganda narratives of these governments to realize US policy towards them could be malformed. Chillpilled (talk) 12:01, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Do we, er, have some evidence to support the "most major anti-war/disarmament movements"? This sounds like a hasty generalization to me. Mind you, from a US perspective, I don't doubt the existence of anti-war movements like this -- some of these groups truly start out with an "anything anti-US / anti-West" paradigm, and thus they are overly receptive of tankie propaganda (which online Russia trolls are happy to dish out; they don't just target the MAGA dumb, after all). I'm just not convinced it's permeated the entirety of anti-war movements; peace groups tend to be scattered on the underpinning philosophy and the mission. For instance, some of them operate more at the think-tank / NGO level (think UNESCOWikipedia), while others operate from, shall we say, a wee bit different underlying motif than a "hard-left" anti-West activist (e.g. the peace organizations driven by religious faith). In environmentalism, there is a world of difference between, say, the WWF and Just Stop Oil. Likewise, I would expect that Emma Pike is not the first and last word on nuclear disarmament. BobJohnson (talk) 13:58, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Likely not the entirety, but certainly the most vocal that I've seen on platforms like Twitter/X i.e. Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, even Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sometimes. Granted I know that being vocal on these platforms doesn't necessarily make them the most influential, just what I personally witnessed as a somewhat casual observer. The sad part is that I think we are currently in a geopolitical situation where an arms build-up is necessary, because sadly I don't think Xi or Putin would be deterred otherwise, and I say this as someone who's traditionally been leery of neoliberal/neocon foreign policy and opposed to the Iraq War. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Their social media sites may skew to non-members, so is perhaps not the most reliable metric for where a group stands. The Veterans for Peace does include some peculiar non-veteran "big names" (e.g., Ralph Nader, Phil Donohue, Cornell West, Medea Benjamin) on their advisory board member list.[29] Code Pink and VfP have what appear be tankie talking points on the Code Pink site with regard to Ukraine.[30][31] Bongolian (talk) 17:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Allegedly current Code Pink leadership was captured, i.e. linked straight to the Chinese government via Jodie Evans' husband, who provides a quarter of the org's funds. This kind of thing will be familiar to anyone who knows about the way that Cold War spy wars spilled over into Soviet agents taking control of some left-wing activist groups, I'm thinking specifically of the CPUSA but there could be a lot more that happened with. With CPUSA, that ended with the FBI sending so many agents into the group in retaliation that it pretty well wrecked the org, not least its reputation, for a few decades. Chillpilled (talk) 00:26, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
You act like the US military desperately needs all that funding, when the US is light years ahead of any other country on the planet. It could go toe to toe with both China and Russia and still win. You could also make an argument that for a lot of countries, they view the US the way the US views China and Russia: as an unjustified aggressor. Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism? Carthage (talk) 18:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
The Pentagon does not agree with that, and nor do I. Now, in qualitative terms the US military is still the world leader and in size is still the strongest on earth - but she lacks 'staying power'. US 'pinch-points' include relative lack of 'war reserve stocks', a thiness in her native matériel production capabilities and a general 'lack of personnel' issue [both regular and reserves]. You tell me; how powerful is a Abrams with no ammo, a Nimitz-class with her F-35s unable to fly due to chip shortages or an mech infantry division which is down to 25% capabilities but unable to replenish due to lack of reserves? Most of the Euro members of NATO are in even worse shape; the Brits, for example recently showed that they could only deploy a single armoured division [about 160 tanks] to Europe and they would only have the capacity to fight for two months. This is why Russia is winning the war; 'quantity has it's own quality' and she sure does have tons of 'obsolete' tanks/artillery/APCs from the Soviet era, colossal stockpiles of everything from ammo to boots and a functional conscription system 'just in case'. Western 'national resilience' is in even worse shape; due to a major lack of cash and will I suspect no government actually has a plan if we woke up tomorrow to learn China's just sunk a US carrier group in the South China Sea and is carpet-bombing Taiwan.
'Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism?' Simple; because if the West does not prepare itself it shall find the Russian 'jingoism' run them over in their tanks. You know how much damage a peace sign does to a T-72? Absolutely none. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:06, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv. Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus. Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation. Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war? Carthage (talk) 13:37, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I keep wondering about this. I see many news articles telling us that we should be ready to resist Russian aggression. And I don't doubt Russia's bad intentions.
But after two years of pretty intense fighting they haven't managed to invade their much smaller neighbor. OK, that neighbor has had a lot of western help, but we were all initially calculating their defensive capabilities in days or weeks.
So it has taken them two years to capture like a quarter of Ukraine: and that at a terrible cost in manpower and equipment. Are they really going to be in any condition to take on the rest of Europe? Let along NATO.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv.
The war has turned into one of attrition [a la WW1 or the Iran-Iraq War] and Ukraine is not getting enough advanced Western kit [and more importantly, ammo and replacement parts] to give her a sharp enough qualative edge to counterbalance the Russian numerical one. If current rates continue, I believe Russia will win in around two more years.
Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus.
Ukraine is doing sterling work in doing a defensive 'fighting retreat' on her southern/eastern fronts. But it is still a retreat. And it was not 'NATO's surplus', it was NATOs reserve stocks. We do not have the industrial capacity to replenish these any time soon [let alone supply Ukraine with the gear to continue fighting]. What's more, N Korea in one deal supplied Russia with more artillery shells than the whole of NATO managed in a whole year. Remember that.
Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation
Putin shall create a Ukranian wasteland and call it peace. Chances are he hopes to find enough Quislings to place in charge of a puppet rump Ukraine so he doesn't have to worry about 'occupation' - there's enough of them hiding in Russia right now [starting with the ex-President Yanukovych who was driven out in 2014].
Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war?
If Ukraine falls, Putin will almost certainly come to the conclusion that he can win if he simply 'toughs it out'. I don't think he will go for NATO itself [at least not on purpose], but any bit of the 'near abroad' [aka what Putin thinks should be a Russian vassal, such as the whole of the old USSR] which tries to escape his control will be fair game [so Moldova and Georgia will be his next victims]. Putin shit-stirring in the Balkans [using his vassal Serbia as a front] shall also be very predictable and is an old bomb neither NATO or the EU wishes to have to deal with again. Lastly, a Putin win shall embolden the wannabe Quislings in Europe, which shall weaken NATO as a whole. Even if we leave out of the matrix the possible emboldening of China/Iran etc that 'America can be defeated if we simply drag it on long enough' it is fairly obvious that a Putin win is not in the interests of either Europe or the US. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:17, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I think you're underestimating the costs of occupation and overestimating Russian capabilities. The US won the war in Iraq, but lost the occupation, and that's because the US didn't have the numbers to effectively secure the country. Why do you think Russia would have the numbers to effectively secure Ukraine if the US wasn't able to effectively secure Iraq? Carthage (talk) 14:23, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
The Americans lost the Iraq War because the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win. Shoot anyone who resists and dump them in mass graves, throw cluster-bombs into rebellious villages, turn the nation's kids into hostages, make 'getting food/money/fuel/medicine' dependent on public collaboration, have 'collective punishment' for anything bad, find enough Quislings [however nasty they are] to do most of your dirty work etc. It is in fact rather easy to subugate a land if you have zero qualms about how you go about it and plan to be there forever - this was the lesson that both the Nazis and then Stalin showed in the 1940s. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:34, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
It's universally recognized by counterinsurgency experts that collective punishment is generally bad counterinsurgency practice. If anything, these tactics would only result in a strengthening of any potential insurgency. Here's a handy dandy manual from RAND Institute detailing what's generally considered good and bad counterinsurgency: [32] Carthage (talk) 14:40, 3 April 2024 (UTC)


Ukraine may end up being a situation like the Soviet–Afghan WarWikipedia for all we know, though of course in all probability different in the details. Still, the USSR was never able to *completely* capture Afghanistan despite nearly 10 years of trying. Some point this conflict's failure as key to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (though there were other factors). Likewise, Ukraine might end up being a similar "conflict that never ends", devastating Ukraine of course, but doing considerable damage to Russia as well.
One thing that seems somewhat different compared to that conflict is there are multiple articles that Russia is experiencing a brain drain. Multi-national companies pursuing globalization had started tip-toeing into Russia prior to the invasion, and some tech companies in Russia likewise flirted with international markets. So in contrast to the prior war, it seems like it has been easier for the "brainy skill" workers to find jobs elsewhere. How this affects Russia's future, who knows, but in general "brain drains" are never a good thing. (Since the Nazis were brought up, the brain drain from Nazi Germany had the direct result of transferring the heart of the world's scientific community from Germany to the Anglosphere, for instance.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:45, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Afghanistan had geography to help in their resistance, as well as external support via Pakistan. And the suppression doesn't have to be completely effective; simply to atomise/depress the people enough that organised active resistance is effectively neutralised.
Personally, I think the most likely result right now is another Korea - that we end up with a rump 'West Ukraine' joining NATO and a wasteland 'Eastern Ukraine' under the Russian thumb, with a thick DMZ along the middle and the world's largest minefield. And yes, the Russian future here is an even faster decline than previously predicted; and a rapid morphing into an effective Chinese colony. So the US/EU need to not only help Ukraine 'not lose the war' but also to inject trillions 'after the war' to get them not just back on their feet, but better than before. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
And so Russia still fails its initial victory conditions, which was to install a new puppet state for all of Ukraine. Russia has very much failed in its attempt to reestablish itself as a superpower. You are also still failing to recognize that collective punishment near universally fails as a measure of counterinsurgency. There's a reason it's considered bad counterinsurgency. What tends to be more effective to prevent sustained resistance is a combination of police action and investment into development. People are less likely to fight if they have a stable source of bread. Russia does not have the numbers. If anything, attempts at "suppression" will only galvanize resistance, which is also part and parcel of the insurgency playbook. Attempting to initiate crackdowns that generate moral outrage, which feeds into recruitment for the insurgency. Carthage (talk) 15:12, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
In a way, this 'meat-grinder' war benefits Putin, because a swift blitzkreig would have left lots and lots of Ukranians behond the 'Russian line' both angry with the invasion and capable of resisting. Instead, it's possible he ends up with a Ukraine which has been totally bled white, with those 'most desiring/able to resist' now dead/in gulag/in exile and with a profoundly tired and depressed civilian population remaining which is rather reigned to their fate.
Nor does Putin give a damn on your lecture on 'how to deal with insurgencies'. He will simply re-apply the 'Chechnya solution' to Ukraine; bomb it flat, loot it, then turn it over to corrupt Quislings to make it their plaything as long as they bow to the Czar [which I suspect he views as fairly successful]. Will it fail? In the end, yes. To paraphrase Churchill, you cannot ride a tiger indefinitely - at one point you either fall off it or are knocked off. But 'the end' can be a long time coming; decades, perhaps even centuries. Look at North Korea; people have been predicting it's collapse since about 1992. Ultimately, Russia will run out of steam to hold their 'empire' together [again], but that could be some time coming. This means we have to attend to reality; which is a deeply paranoid, cynical klepto-fascism on the edge of Europe with a rusting, though still functional war machine funded by China and ruled by a ageing Czar who dreams of being 'Vladimir the Great'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Chechnya also has a lot less people than Ukraine. Russia had the numbers to effectively occupy it. Even then, it still took Russia years to fully pacify Chechnya. Pacifying Ukraine would be a lot more costly than Chechnya. Carthage (talk) 16:14, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
These facts may be true [I accept them as such, for starters] but it doesn't mean Putin accepts them as such. Or has even been told of them to deny them. It is quite possible he is not being told that there is even 'Nazi resistance' in the bits of Russia he has recently returned to the Motherland. Even more importantly, he might know somewhat but simply not give a fuck - after all, who now talks [or cares] about the Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans or Pontic Greeks? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Who cares if it's more costly Carthage? It's a cost they're ready and willing to accept since they believe it's worth it no matter what. After all, going to war and invading Ukraine to begin with was once considered too costly, yet here we are. Russian politicians have said they want to go after The Baltics next and Lavrov can't be taken at his word since he once said Russia wouldn't invade Ukraine. Rather than pretend we're just idiots or "warmongers", maybe you should take Russia at their word.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:54, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Are we just going to continue to ignore how generally speaking the "measures" that people here are proposing Russia will use to crush any insurgency in fact are recognized by experts as strengthening insurgencies? Anyway, why strawman me, Ryan? My question is if Russia will even have the ability to effectively occupy any NATO territory after what is by all accounts a draining war, and what is going to be an even more draining occupation? Perhaps you should consider that saber rattling is a real thing. Russia has by all accounts proven itself to be a paper tiger. Japan probably has a stronger military than they do. You are all overestimating Russian capabilities. After all, Russia has failed in its initial victory conditions. No matter what way this war turns out, Russia will not be a superpower again. You are all ignoring that. Carthage (talk) 03:17, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You forget something, it doesn't need to be a super power, it just needs to be a nuclear power willing to use its nukes as a threat against any retaliation against its military during an offensive action [33] [34]. Why do I "strawman" you? I simply see all self-proclaimed socialists as two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default, even if it's spreading disinformation like, "X would never do that", followed by, "X did that, but it's actually your fault". Considering you call weariness and preparation against Russia "jingoism", I suspect I know who you're really rooting for.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Your hasty overgeneralizations get really tiresome. Karma's a self-declared socialist, but they're taking the opposite position of me: that Russia isn't a paper tiger. Where do Karma's loyalties lie? Also, do you honestly believe that calling for an increased nuclear arms race isn't somehow jingoistic? Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger, Ryan. Carthage (talk) 04:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I never called for a nuclear arms race (something which will inevitably happen if more countries feel threatened by Russia and aren't sure if NATO, and by extent, The US will protect them), I just simply think we should boost military industry again and start building up weapon stockpiles again to not give Russia or China the idea that they just need to "tough it out" long enough to win. And the difference is Karma has demonstrated to be someone with more than just "America bad, west is bad" contrarianism. Meanwhile, you once told me "China and The US are no different" which told me enough about your politics.-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
They are the same in that both are aggressive superpowers who pursue their interests without regard to ethics. You know, like any state does. You are evidently an American exceptionalist. Try telling someone in Iraq that the US is any different from any other would-be hegemon. To much of the global south, the US is viewed the same way the US views China and Russia. This is a fact. Are the countries and peoples who have been victimized by American empire wrong in that perception? Who are you to tell them so? As for building up nuclear stockpiles, you may not have argued for that, but such an interpretation can be easily read in the BON's posts. Do you just jump into threads without reading them beforehand? And don't try to pretend you weren't committing a hasty overgeneralization: you yourself stated that all self-declared socialists are "two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default." Carthage (talk) 05:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I've seen socialists claim the rape of German civilians was "corrective", laugh at Israeli rape victims, then claim they're morally the superior ones in the same breath, so yes, I suppose my interactions with socialists have damaged my ability to want to parse out the "good ones" from the "bad ones" as of late. It's become worse after October 7th, especially now that I hear any lethal force against me at any time is justified and in self-defense since I'm inherently violent for being a "colonist". And I really don't care about what you claim the opinion of "The Global South" is when: 1.) All we tend to hear are just the opinions of their ruling elites (surprise, they're not your third-worldist maoist comrades!). 2.) The "Global South" is just a general label given to a bunch of countries regardless of their different histories, geopolitics, and ethnic cultures. But no, I'm not an American Exceptionalist, I just believe Russia and China are worse alternatives who you wouldn't last a long under without being disappeared. Lastly, I respond to what people say in a thread, not to the whole thread at once since I believe conversations change over time.-Ryan1257 (talk) 06:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 1/ The 'policies of repression' I outlined earlier don't when taken as a whole policy 'strengthen insurgencies'. You cherry-picked one aspect, then hoped [apparetly] that the exception proves your rule. Insurgencies also require external support to be sustained - the USSR faced insurgencies within it's territories which it defeated - qv: 'Forest Brothers' in the Baltics after WW2. I'm not arguing that it would be easy to stamp resistance flat, but it's best to make the assumption that it shall prove effective enough at least in the medium term and Russia still have enough capacities to move on to the next victim.

2/ Does Russia have the power to 'defeat NATO'? I suspect not - even if it was 'minus the USA'. But I do know he could seriously fuck up Europe in his attempt and will cost a mountain of treasure and a sea of blood to defeat [and that is assuming that it doesn't end with mushroom clouds]. I don't want us to go through that again, esp as this time around the USA might not have another Marshall Plan to get us out the soup afters. But the thing is, what I think is irrelevant [also, what you think]. The only view which is relevant is Czar Vlad's and, well he thought Ukraine would be a walkover - he could miscalculate again. Perhaps one of the few things Europe can do to 'turn the dial' is to restore some of our military capacities so the Czar becomes convinced that NATO can win. Thus the old maxim 'if you want peace, prepare for war'.

3/ The analogy of the Iraq War is irrelevant in this case, as many factors are completely different. The Ukranian war was 'caused' by the Ukranian people choosing to defy Russia's demands to become a vassal state. They wanted to continue being 'masters of their own home', to decide for themselves how to live. Historical materialism also shows us that Ukraine is a superior societal form than the Russian; a developing 'bourgeois democracy' vs an 'autocratic fascism'. Why is the former 'superior'? Because the simple fact that it has enough freedoms within it to allow further development, which is something which is not afforded by the Kims, Putins or Xis of the world [and which Ryan rightly points out]. Now, did 'the West' cause mistakes which led us to the point of '22? Perhaps. But that doesn't matter now, just like debating whether the Treaty of Versailles 'caused WW2' didn't really matter by 1941. The question now is whether Ukraine lives free or in a gulag. That's it.

4/ The truth is that the ruling classes in the 'Global South' generally don't give a toss about the war either way - as in 'who wins'. It does not directly involve them and the most are adopting a variant of 'cakeism', such as the South Africans and Indians are. The bits of the 'South' who are pro-Russian are the usual suspects; as in the ones which have a direct material interest to continuing to suck up to Moscow - for example, their use of food supplies [some of it stolen from Ukraine] to buy support in parts of Africa. If the Russian 'cause' was just, they'd have some friends which didn't need to be bribed... right?

KarmaPolice (talk) 12:32, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

OK, I'll respond to the rest later: but where did you get that I believe that autocratic dictatorship is better than bourgeois democracy? I was talking about foreign policy, not domestic political systems. How also do you get that only the elites of many global south nations are anti-American? What? Public opinion is irrelevant here, or doesn't exist? My contention of Iraq is relevant to the fact that many people in the global south view the US the same way the US views Russia or China: as unjustified aggressors. Carthage (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Also, regardless of what you spout: Russia does not have the numbers to successfully occupy Ukraine. That is not on the table. To quote Atlantic Council:

This would be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances. Unfortunately for the Russians, they face the worst of circumstances for an occupying power. Historical cases of occupation and counterinsurgency suggest an impending disaster. There is almost no chance that Russia will successfully occupy Ukraine.

Successful occupations by foreign powers have some notable commonalities. Generally, chances for a smooth occupation increase when the occupier is welcomed by the population; is supporting an acceptable local government; can count on competent local defense forces; applies patient, humane population control tactics; has denied sanctuary to insurgents; and has kept antagonistic foreign powers from disrupting the occupation. All occupations face challenges, but some succeed. Coalition occupations of Germany, Bosnia, and Kosovo were generally successful.

Ukraine will be unlike any of these cases. Assuming Russia occupies large parts of Ukraine (Putin may still decide to negotiate a withdrawal), and assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation, a number of factors will line up for and against the Russians.

As for foreign support:

Meanwhile, insurgents will benefit from sanctuary and strong foreign support. In this study of 89 historical insurgency cases, the presence of an insurgent sanctuary strongly correlated with insurgent victory. If insurgents have a safe place to mobilize, rest, recruit, and train their forces, it is effectively impossible to wipe them out. In all likelihood, Ukrainians will be able to operate out of western Ukraine for years or, if necessary, decades. If international support can be sustained in the face of economic and political challenges, western Ukraine will also serve as a conduit for weapons, supplies, and ammunition the insurgents will use to kill Russian occupiers.

Given that you yourself have argued that Western Ukraine will likely remain independent, why are you so dismissive that they won't receive the support necessary to continue the insurgency? The Forest Brother insurgency was very different from Ukraine of today.
You also continue to ignore the fact that Russia is a paper tiger. It has failed in its initial victory conditions, to establish puppet rule over all of Ukraine. Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger. Realistically speaking Russia would not be in a state to meaningfully invade NATO territory. No amount of "special Russian willpower" can change that fact. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
RE; reasons for support. Done from a Marxist standpoint to counteract the 'well Iraq War was bad so this is too, Russia and the US are just all imperialists' false equivilences which I have heard coming from a lot of leftists in Anglo circles, aided/abetted by shitheads like Galloway and Russian propaganda outfits such as Redfish.
RE; Global South. Never mentioned the populations of such, just their elites. Why the hell are you flogging this line anyway? To argue some 'appeal to popularity' crap?
RE; Expert Opinion. I don't trust them. They were the same ones who told us that Russia would not invade, then that economic sanctions would stop the invasion, ending with vague claims that Russia would kind of 'give up' after their first assaults failed. Now I will listen to them, but I won't hang my hat on their pronouncements alone. And as I pointed out above, Putin doesn't give a flying toss of what the Atlantic Council says. Lastly, said quotes make it clear there are assumptions within it; such as 'assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation'; I already laid out the conditions that it's quite possible that by the end an occupied Ukraine has been bled so heavily that it's lost the will to resist.
RE; After the War. You keep on parroting 'Russia has failed it's initial victory conditions'... why? You think they cannot learn from their mistakes, regroup, then approach their targets more systematically? [Shock; they have!] Russia is a lot larger/richer than Ukraine; she has the will and is developing the means to completely grind her into mince. Ukraine needs more matériel; tanks, IFVs, artillery shells, AA missiles, drones and so on. It's the only way she will be able to even survive as a rump state. Where is she going to get these from? Us, as in 'the West'. But our military production capabilities are terribly weak; we cannot supply gear that literally does not exist. Thus the call of folks like Ryan to 'boost military industry again' - in short, the West needs to become the new 'Arsenal of Democracy', to allow us to help our friends fight for their freedom and keep enough in reserve for 'other needs'.
But you [apparently] don't agree with that, because that is 'jingoism'. So what's your plan, then? Let Ukraine get ground up and occupied, then watch the Ukranian people have to struggle for a decade or three to get their freedom again? On the argument that a think tank or two has said that ultimately, Russia won't win this? All the while, with a hyper North Korea sitting behind a new Iron Curtain on my continent doing their upmost to split apart Europe and turn us on each other? Yes, Russia is a declining power but hell, that makes them more dangerous than ever because they become more reckless. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:04, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Algeria, Ireland, Vietnam, we could go on,... unpopular military occupations cause a lot of damage and death but they very very rarely last in the face of a sustained insurgency. Also the idea that the western occupation of Iraq failed because "the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win really downplays the problems with the western interventions in Iraq and more broadly. Collective punishment, the bombing of civilians and the infrastructure they need to live, concentration camps, torture, indiscrimante retaliatory massacres - all feature and tend to all play a role in ensuring that the insurgency has a motivated and well-supported populace to draw from. Tikitime2 (talk) 23:36, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
Also when it comes to the collapse of the anti-war movement in "tankieism", I can't help but ask whether previous anti-war movements weren't also filled with people who were considered to be "tankies" by current standards? Traditionally the far-left have always been the cultural vanguard for progressive causes as, unlike liberals, they are not too worried with kowtowing to conservative social mores. The idea that the modern anti-war movement is saturated with leftists, falsely presumes that previous anti-war movements were more representative of the views of nice electable liberal moderates. The truth is that back then, as now, most of those moderates spent the majority of their political energy chastising leftists, only joining in with their movements once they had been adequately assured that it was the popular thing to do. Songs like "Love me I'm a liberal" satirise this quite well. Tikitime2 (talk) 00:00, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
"Modern standards" would trip up any comparison here. Prior to the second World War in the United States, there was a significant pro-Communist movement in the United States. It not only was anti-war, its positions were progressive for the day, and aligned with the labor reform movement of the time. Having said that... before WW2 (and the subsequent Cold War), I don't think anti-Soviet Union ethos was quite as strong in the United States (no Cold War had started). It also probably wasn't quite as evident to some that the idealism of Communism would in reality turn into the brutality of Stalinism. From what I can recall, due to a combination of the pressures of the Cold War as well as the revelation of Stalin's brutality, the "tankie" influence on the New Left of the 1960s was quite minimal.
(Edit: At least from a pro-Soviet perspective... there definitely was some pro-Castro sentiment in the 1960s New Left from what I recall reading, if you count that as "tankie". The Wiki articleWikipedia and our own article on the New Left also mentions support in this movement for Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh as well, but my current "impression" is this element was not terribly strong.)
In fact, "modern standards" brings its own quandry. One weird aspect of modern "tankie" movements to me is that, while seemingly a "leftist" movement, I would in no way consider the governments of either Russia or China to be "left" these days. Russia clearly is currently in a modern fascist government, albeit one with reactionary characteristics, not revolutionary ones (ruscism). Such can be said to be a similar template as many reactionary other populist movements elsewhere that also typically would be "right-wing" in most people's views (such as Trump, Orban, Bolsonaro, Modi, etc.). I feel (along with others) that China has abandoned any elements of pure communism and has instead embraced authoritarian capitalism,Wikipedia which is more similar to "ruscism" in many ways than anything progressive. BobJohnson (talk) 13:47, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I probably disagree with you on quite a few issues I think you have touched on something relevant which is the expansion of the term "Tankie" to almost any left-wing position that isn't anarchism or soft social democracy. I think by today's standards, Trotts, Lenninists, Maoists, people supportive of Castro or leaders like Sankara, the Black Panthers - most conventional socialists with a Marxist view of society or orthodox beliefs about what it would take to replace capitalism would be and are considered by many liberals and anarchists to be Tankies. And if you exclude every socialist bar the anarchists and "respectable" social democrats you're not left with much of a movement.
In terms of "Tankie" commentary on China and Russia I think one has to differentiate between people who are advocating for the policies taken in context, those who view those policies as their ideal and those who view themselves as simply pushing back against misinformation. North Korea isn't my ideal society and I doubt their policies are one's I'd agree with even in context but I can still be caught from time to time arguing the "North Korean" position in the face of what I consider to often be a highly propagandised and imperialistic narrative about "the enemies of the west" - but that doesn't mean that I think North Korea is an ideal society or even a morally good one. At least a few of the Tankies who are described as "Pro-Russia" view themselves as combating "propaganda" rather than advocating for Russia as a model society, though the former activity can often bleed into and become the latter. Tikitime2 (talk) 12:43, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I agree that the most worrying thing about Western peace groups (from the OP) is the potential credibility damage they can do to the notion of peace movements in The West.
Fortunately, most of the “traditional” peace movement has recognised this when it comes to Ukraine, because there is simply no plausible road to peace that doesn’t ultimately amount to “Ukraine should just capitulate”, i.e. rewarding the Russian aggressors for both betraying their own treaty commitments to Ukraine and the invasion of a sovereign neighbour.
Hence, most “peace calls” come from either those who are outright sympathetic to Russian imperialism and aggression (and thus cannot actually by called “peace movements” by any stretch of the definition). Or they come from those who are so locked into a framing in which the US and The West are always(!) the (only) imperialists that their knee jerk reaction is to find excuses for why Russian is “really” the victim.
The problem with trying to push for a negotiated settlement is that Russia/Putin has already demonstrated a blatant disregard for such treaties with their choice to invade Ukraine in the first place. The treaty (The Budapest Memorandum) in which Ukraine gave up its legacy share of the USSR nuclear arsenal was co-signed by Russia as a (supposed) guarantee of Ukrainian independence, sovereignty and borders. One cannot help wondering a counter factual scenario in which Ukraine kept its nuclear stockpile…, but things looked markedly different in 1994 than in 2014…
That means that a settlement would involve formally splitting Ukraine to let Putin keep (some of) his ill gotten gains (not likely to be accepted in Kiev) while simultaneously securing Ukraine against future Russian attacks, which basically would mean NATO membership (unacceptable to Putin and not likely to be accepted in NATO, either, due to the demand that members should have settled borders a a condition of membership).
Because such a settlement is so obviously unacceptable to either party, there isn’t really any scope for a traditional peace movement, because it would not have any realistic endgame. The only alternatives would be arguing for either Ukrainian surrender (and thus being more of a pro imperialist than a peace movement), or for unilateral, Russian withdrawal (which is just not on the horizon).
As for arguing against military aid to Ukraine as being a “peace initiative”, it’s hard to come to different conclusions from those presented by KarmaPolice. Namely that this would be a de facto support for Russian aims, given the respective sizes of Russia’s and Ukraine’s demographic, economic and military assets and Putin’s very obvious desire to continue the war to see how much of Ukraine he can gobble up. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:58, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh, and as for the “well at least a defeat of Ukraine will stop the war” perspective, it’s worth thinking a bit ahead and consider what a Russian ruled Ukraine (whether in whole or in part) would look like:
The “best” case is that it would change from a corrupt and somewhat dysfunctional democracy into a Russian style kleptocratic authoritarian state that imprisons and murders dissidents. And that’s the “best” case…
Another scenario is the Chechen model, meaning that some local vassal is essentially let loose to do as he (it’s probably not going to be a woman…) pleases, as long as he crushes any sign of opposition or rebellion and heeds any orders Putin might have. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:31, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Tikitime, you hate the word "tankie" not because it's an inaccurate position, but because it's the only insult that stings people who've earned the name. Tankie is generally used against those in favor of left-wing dictatorships and violence, and almost all of the positions you mentioned that are "reasonable, orthodox socialist" positions have authoritarianism baked into their philosophy and their followers. I mean, seriously, I'm supposed to look at someone who likes the idea of a revolutionary vanguard and think, "huh, perhaps they don't mean a dictator"? You just hate that others who have objections to those philosophies are allowed to disagree, after all, we're just future class enemies who will be dealt swiftly when the revolution comes. And for someone who claims to have no love for North Korea or Russia, it seems like you're very defensive and protective of them if you have to constantly come to bat for them. You see yourself as "combating propaganda", but that often devolves into spouting propaganda on their behalf to play PR for them (while conveniently ignoring propaganda they have about us, because hey, enemy of my enemy). Plus, you ignore the topic at hand, the problem with pro-Russian activists masquerading as anti-war activists, just to say, "I hate moderates, they're so mean and their positions are fake and fascist-sympathizing! Only far-leftists, like me, are true, moral people!". On second thought, you're the exact kind of person this phenomenon is about, so it's ironic you'd post in it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
@Ryan1257, if you want to argue with me about democracy, revolutionary politics and criticisms of Lenninism et al, I'd happily do that some other time. Preferably once you have demonstrated an ability to carry an argument past "spraying diarrhea then going silent when challenged". You've ducked Carthage's response in this thread, you've ducked Carthage in the thread below, you ducked out of the discussion in polyamory when I pointed out the unsubstantiated bullshit you were spreading there and I distinctly remember a good few other times that you have ghosted when challenged after popping off in discussions (usually about Leftism) here in the Saloon. So for me there is simply no point in crafting yet another response to your ravings since the chance that you will respond in good faith (or at all) is so low. I will however put it in writing that I think you are being a twat.
The modus operandi that I see here is you venting your political frustration with the left and then when you get spanked (and you nearly always get spanked, because let's face it, as far as the centrists on this site go, you're not exactly Christopher Hitchens) you either change the conversation to nut-picked posts you saw on the internet or simply bow out before restarting the cycle a few weeks later. And unlike your McCarthyist fugue-state musings about me, my assessments of you are based on real observations of your posts on this site.
You are of-course, free to prove me wrong. Prove that what you said has any basis in reality. Find one example, of me going to bat for the Russian Federation or for North Korea. You can click on my username and it'll take you to my page and you can check through my contributions. Since I go to bat for them constantly and you, Ryan, would never make such an accusation without evidence I wait with baited breath. Or alternatively you can end up like Raven and AMassiveGay, getting booted when your screeds become so tiresome that even other moderates start to feel embarrased. Tikitime2 (talk) 15:27, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Checking Ryan's most recent edits find almost no constructive edits. Only one WIGO. The rest are shitposts on the Bar and other talk pages. He doesn't even do the bare minimum of reverting vandalism. Carthage (talk) 16:16, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Tiki: the issue is that all of your 'occupation' examples involve democratic states - that in effect, 'public opinion' broke the regimes' will to continue. Russia is not democratic, and thus can go along with it for much longer and bloodier. What's more, you are completely failing to see my point; that having to have a 15-30 year insurgency war against a regime which doesn't give a fuck will might leave Ukraine 'victorious', but in an utterly destavated land with a severely traumatised [and smaller] population and dealing with a severe case of cultural brainwashing in esp. their younger citizens. Even more importantly, it shall rely on the West in sustaining this resistance effort - which will piss off Moscow no end and will result in them meddling in our affairs too.
I fail to understand how this is a 'better' result for either the Ukranians or for Europe in general. The only folks I can see 'immediate peace [at any cost]' policies satisfying are [mainly] American pacifists and isolationists who can engage in such wankery behind two oceans, a nuclear arsenal and the world's biggest navy. Oh, and Putin fanbois, obviously. But thing is, these Anglo peaceniks are totally impotent and know it too. They don't have any power and minimal clout within the wider 'left family'. They have the complete freedom to proffer entirely batshit 'solutions' and policies in the certain knowledge they won't ever have to make them bleeding work.
BobJ: I'd argue that modern 'tankie-ism' is not pro-Russian/Chinese, but simply so 'anti-Western/American' to the extent they cannot see anything past that fog. The USA/NATO is supporting Ukraine, therefore Russia must be in the right and so on. I note that [for example] it's not the tankies going to fight for Russia from the West, it's the fascists. Perhaps a good example of 'nuanced tankieism' is shown by the British Communist paper Morning Star; they are under zero illusions of how shit Putinism is, but then plough an anti-NATO line leading to a 'bothsidesism' while dodging the question 'who's victory would be best for the people of Ukraine?' However, there are times in which a non-Tankie can appear to be as such [as Tiki points out]; for example, arguing the likes of the USA/UK/France lecturing North Korea/Iran on the possession of nuclear weapons is rank Western hypocrisy [though in this case, the Morning Star is pro-Chinese to the point it sickens me; they fucking send Maoists to gulags these days]. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I shall also point out that from as far as I can tell, AMassiveGay did not get 'booted' for anything. Attendence at RW or it's Bar is hardly mandatory. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Not only that KP, but if anybody is going to boot users for being tiresome, they better bring a lunch.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:49, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
First off @Tikitime2, what you see as me "getting spanked", crumbling to opposition, and simply getting owned is more of just the fact I don't carry on arguments too long since I have a lot of other things to do with my day, like work, so I try not to make a habit of carrying on posting if I feel like the conversation will only get worse from there. I'm willing to let you get the last word in and move on if it means the argument is done. If you or Carthage stopped responding to me, I wouldn't think I "won", I'd just think you had other things to do rather than continue. Also, if others have responded to a conversation I was having, as Karma has done in this thread, and I agree with their take, then I don't feel like I have to add anymore since I doubt my take would be that much different and theirs was well said. And let's go over some of the other threads you mentioned. The thread below, that's an example of I simply didn't see a point of continuing the conversation since we simply have two different points of view on a situation that's essentially alt-hist at this point. On the poly one, you responded awhile after I had lost interest. I didn't even discover your response till way later and I'm not going to go for "round 2".
And why am I not cleaning up vandalism or contributing constantly? Simple, I'm not proficient in all things wiki and still need to take the time to learn them and the useful pages and tools for seeing them. Hell, I'm still having to figure out how to check all of a user's edits like you recommended. This isn't my hobby, so I'm never gonna be as active as more dedicated users, I mainly use this site for information and seeing topics discussed.
Lastly, I've developed a deep suspicion towards out-and-out socialists after previous run-ins in other spaces where they'd pretend to be friendly and agreeable, crowd in more of their friends and get prominent moderator positions, then finally, cement their control by banning any disagreement with the party line. I remember the days when Oxy, another socialist who was around here, where I didn't think it was worth engaging since we had a dedicated angry user who'd hone in on any disagreement like an artillery shell and do everything but threaten to come to your house and beat you up. Seeing that and how she got away with it for so long dampened my confidence in this site's ability to stand up to even one extremist as long as they're on the left, so I've just been waiting for the inevitable next one ever since to finish the job. That said, in the future, I'm gonna try and make our disagreements less personal, but getting into an argument with you doesn't mean I've signed a contract that I have to continue just because you're rearing to go, I'm gonna bow out whenever I please whether you like it or not.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:02, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
The anti-government forces in Myanmar haven't received significant foreign support, and yet they've fought the war to a stalemate. Also, unlike your contention that France, the UK, and the US were democracies and Russia isn't, that criticism doesn't apply to Myanmar, which is a military dictatorship. Carthage (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Myanmar doesn't have a colossal amount of natural resources to sell to China, a massive stockpile of weapons to use, a huge cash-stash to spend on stuff and a large, functioning domestic arms industry. Myanmar is also made up of a lot of jungle and hills, which is a bonus for armed rebel groups while most of Ukraine is flat 'tank country' which offers little places to hide. But what's your point again? That it's better for the Ukranian people to have to spend a few decades waging a bloody civil war which most likely [if they win] leave them with a utterly trashed nation? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
No, my point is that an occupation of Ukraine would be so costly for Russia that it would be impractical to invade NATO right after the Ukraine war. They'd have their hands full trying to secure an occupation doomed to failure from the get-go. Threats of invading NATO right off the heels of the Ukraine war are clear saber rattling. Carthage (talk) 14:53, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Also do you seriously think there aren't ways to compensate for flat terrain? Urban warfare is hell for any counterinsurgency force. Hell, you can approximate the tactics of the Viet Cong in an urban setting. Carthage (talk) 14:58, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
That is so comforting to the Ukranian people. I dare you to tell them that [ideally, to their faces]; 'oh, don't worry, you'll lose this war and be occupied, but don't worry, because a think tank or two said you'll win your freedom again eventually'. You tell me, how is this situation better? No, really - this is a genuine question. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:51, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
Which is quite possible, as some folk are warning - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68778338 KarmaPolice (talk) 10:46, 13 April 2024 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice, point taken regarding functioning liberal democracies, however the Taliban did also force out the USSR. Also it would seem to me that even against an "undemocratic" opponent a loss of public support is still a big factor in it crumbling. Dictatorships rely on the loyalty and faithfulness of its underlings and populace else they quickly become dysfunctional - a dictator who orders soldiers to shoot protestors needs to be confident that those soldiers don't agree with the protestors and won't just defect instead. I would very much agree however that a Ukrainian insurgency that wins 10 years later is going to go through a lot of misery (the survival rates of guerrillas are usually prettly close to zero) and will simply inheret a wasteland so it would be a fairly pyrrhic victory, though if it were to tie up Russian forces it would cause a problem for Russian expansionism - pretty awful for the Ukranians though.
@Ryan Bollocks. If you have time to churn out fresh batches of accusations and invective in the Saloon (I'm still waiting by the way for you to find a single example of me defending the actions of North Korea or the Russian Federation btw) then you have enough time to respond to people when they answer your posts. It seems very clear that your definition of "the point at which a conversation is not worth having", is the simply the point at which your hand has been caught in the cookie jar.
And thank you for proving my point about changing topics and nut-picking. I don't give one solitary fuck about your experiences with Oxy. I'm not responsible for their actions and your cowardly attempt to bring them into this because your accusations against me have fallen flat is exactly the kind of craven bait and switch I was pulling you up on. I live in a country where a historically socialist party was recently taken over by a group centrists who pretended to be "left wing" before they pushed out (some would even say purged) its socialist members. It's not nice but it's also part of politics and I don't expect to be able to use that as a pass to abuse centrist members here.
Finally, while you have no legal or contractual obligation to respond to me, you also have no legal or contractual obligation not to peer pressure a recovering addict into relapse - that doesn't mean people won't think you're a cunt for buying an alcoholic a 6-pack or that I won't criticise you for shit-stirring and starting arguments that you refuse to finish. Tikitime2 (talk) 20:21, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
No, the Taliban didn't force out the Soviets; it was the Americans - via their proxies, the Pakistanis. That in 1988 they signed an agreement in which basically 'everyone quits fucking about with Afghanistan', which the Soviets honoured but the Pakistanis didn't. It was only with the collapse of the USSR [and the ending of military aid] did the pro-Soviet DRA finally fall over in 1996 - which was five years of effective standing alone. Which even the most ardent anti-Soviet person would admit was a damn sight better showing than the cardboard regime which the Americans installed in 2001 which fell on their heads on the way out twenty years later.
But even then, the Taliban aren't to be hailed as amazing 'fighters'. They won because the DRA basically ran out of advanced military gear which had kept them at arms-length since 1980. Here I draw an analogy with the Rhodesian Bush War [1965-1979]; that it was only because Apartheid South Africa effectively 'pulled the plug' on the white regime re weapons and oil and Salisbury couldn't restock their dwindling supplies of increasingly clapped-out tanks/planes [which the rebels couldn't really counter] that caused the regime to give up; not that ZANLA/ZIPRA managed to win decisive military victories.
Russia has little regard for 'foreign opinion', significant technological/military/economic resources and and a Czar who has made this the hill he'll die on. While it's nice to dream that the Russians will fall apart like a cheap suit and Putin will end up perishing a la Ceaușescu, Mussolini or Indra Ghandi and be replaced by someone who cuts the losses; we have to work on the assumption neither of those will happen. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:08, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
The Taliban didn't need to be "amazing fighters," they just needed to be enough of a nuisance that it would be more costly to continue fighting than to just retreat/wait out any occupation. I remember an anecdote where insurgents in Afghanistan would literally hire teenage boys to grab a shitty rifle and take potshots at a US base from a hill. If the Americans tried retaliating the teenager would just slink away back into the general population. Carthage (talk) 22:31, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
Still waiting for you to explain to me why it would be 'better' for the Ukrainians to be conventionally defeated [due to lack of weapons] and then have to fight a insurgency against the Russians for 10-25 years, which judging from the Russian actions so far will be brutal as hell and leave them with a totally ruined country. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:02, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

Australian knife attack - insufficient force used?[edit]

A blood bath in a shopping mall :( But I'm curious about how it is a sole Australian police officer can kill an actually armed person with 2-3 shots (it's not officially stated how many yet) - whereas (cough) some other police are sometimes reported firing dozens of bullets to do the same.... (yes I'm being snarky and sarcastic...) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:59, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

This is a really dumb way to think about it, and I'm glad it's snark Give this stabber an AK. The crime is strange, the weapon is, thank everything, a knife. Bullets are fucking dangerous, knives are fucking dangerous. https://www.wowt.com/content/news/Video-released-of-police-shooting-that-killed-Cops-crew-member-480827321.html Not even exactly a replica. Airsoft pistol, which is so scary that it might be a pistol that the business next door took, I don't even remember, like 20 shots to the wall. In order, and this is all in complete order, to stop a man fleeing an unsuccessful robbery of a Wendy's, which is so scary because the man has a gun, despite it being a toy gun in the aftermath, shoot at the target. Through whoever. I think two to three shots are an explanation of a scenario, and really not a good justification of police action. Torrent (talk) 07:16, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
You missed the point entirely - it is about the police officer than the offender!Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:27, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
It's really weird to say, as I'm actually home to school/mall shooters, ism https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westroads_Mall_shooting. no, it's not wrong to shoot a person who is committing wonton violence. Maybe that's where I have to leave it for now. Torrent (talk) 07:24, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Now, if my Auzzie modern history is correct, traditionally their firearm availability was almost as wide as the American - until the 1996 Port Arthur massacre which led to 35 dead, and the Govt to tighten it right up [so if this was 1994 the attacker may have been armed]. Somewhat similar happened here in the UK that year - Dunblane massacre - in which the UKGovt tightened da rules too. I think that's important to note; part of the American 'problem' is that after mass shootings nothing changes. Think how many people would be alive today if politicos on all sides said 'enough is enough!' after Columbine in '99.
The other point which is lost on many anti-gun campaigners in America is that 'gun violence' is in fact 'violence which uses guns' rather than 'violence caused by guns'. Here in the UK we're in a bit of knife crime 'epidemic', and predictably we have folks saying to 'restrict blades as much as possible' without realising they're using blades becasue they can't get guns and I fully expect if they couldn't get blades they'd make shivs out of screwdrivers or similar to do the deeds. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:56, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
The "rumor mill" (as the officer has not been officially identified as far as I am aware) is that the officer who handled the Sydney knife attack was rather experienced. And we all know that the United States police force is sorely under-trained -- from the BBC (who quote an advocacy group called ICJTR), it's a little over 500 hours for the United States vs. 3500 for Australia.[35]
The officer was identified almost immediately - she is Inspector Amy Scott - 39 with 19 years experience.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:27, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
If there's going to be a turning point on gun culture in America, I feel that possibly police officer safety will lead the way, given that the police officer community tends to be both "in the line of fire" so to speak and thus has a lot more at stake here, as well as being culturally conservative typically (so the usual whargarbl arguments typically thrown by 2nd amendment absolutists won't work very well.) Traditionally, I remember groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police being staunchly pro-Second Amendment no matter what (in spite of the obvious safety risks that poses to police). Hhowever, when Googling for police positions, it seems that another group called the International Association of Chiefs of Police (in 2018 at least) does advocate some relatively common sense positions (restrictions on semi-autos, body armor, etc.)[36] that nonetheless would get the NRA die-hard type extremely angry. (Given that the NRA are Russian trolls, practically speaking, they should be safely ignored, but sadly they are not... yet.) So it seems like there is some "debate" within that community, which is interesting to see... BobJohnson (talk) 12:45, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
What, a 'only Nixon could go to China' type of person? Yeah, I could see that. Or more correctly, a series of such people. Not just 'names', but local 'good ol' boys/girls' only known in their immediate circle. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:26, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh, get off and forget what you're even talking about. Yes, I agree that gunned/stunned up police officer is how you deal with this disaster, but I don't agree that that that's the end of it. Absolute dipshit thinks his best form of speech is knife murder, that's not casual internet use. He 100% was on the internet, we have to accept that. I don't know if I agree with the 'pipeline' theory that anyone could 'whoops' into it, but I do agree that once they get there it's really tough to explain what's incorrect about it to them. Torrent (talk) 07:55, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

The Fundie Rabbit Hole Continues[edit]

This is a culmination of random search engine finds concerning the existence of right-wing traditionalist Christians. It seems like the rabbit hole of Christian fundamentalism and atheophobia is even deeper than it seems to be. I've encountered ministry, congregation, site, bot, spammer, and more endlessly sanctimoniously preaching spiritual nonsense such as "There's a Jesus-shaped hole in your heart" or "Give me your money or you'll burn in hell" or "The Bible is the infallible word of God™, and all other beliefs are invalid and so are yours", "you're being controlled by demons and I can solve everything with the power of God™.", or "Everything else is affiliated with the Devil™ and you should only listen to me" among other religious claims. What's going on with all of these bozos and con men running amok anyway with impunity, and why isn't there more education teaching people to think critically? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:06, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

The Religious Right and Republican Party undermining the education system so that people are too ignorant to question their nonsense? Luigifan18 (talk) 02:23, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
A lot of Christian fundamentalists also claim someone is "spiritually blind" or "blind to God™", using that as an sanctimonious excuse to force beliefs, claiming they can see God™. They claim "You're blinded by the Devil" or "Your blind to the 'glory of God'™" TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:39, 15 April 2024 (UTC)
@Luigifan18 People around where I´m at unironically believe that the democrats are undermining our education system. I remember a friend of mine and his dad asked a college official if the professors were liberal or conservative. Like bro? Does it even matter? Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 21:19, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
It's a "self-solving problem"... and conundrum. The Republicans' have long propagandized against and demonize education (for, in my opinion, extremely stupid reasons at the "think tank" level, usually rooted in libertarian anti-government bullshit). This seems to have had an unfortunate effect. The vast majority of Republicans in a 2019 Pew survey believed that colleges have a negative effect on American society.[37]
The GOP propaganda, of course, tends to be nutpicking. Yes, the "college scene" leans progressive, but from what I experienced, and what others I know have experienced, there are very few truly radical left college professors. Only a small percentage of people major in gender studies or whatever the populist whine claims. In other words, people who have actually been to college know that it's not anything near what the propaganda portrays. So, what's happened in the last 20 years is that the college educated bloc, which previously was more mixed politically, is moving towards the Democrat party, as the GOP has abandoned them. While the reverse has happened for non-college educated whites.
Since the groups no longer "mingle" as much, this leads to bullshit propaganda... in this case, for both sides. (An equivalent of the Fox News propaganda in my view is the endless "Cletus safari" stories liberal outlets do on rural Donald Trump Voters. They absolutely exist, but are hardly the whole story of rural America... or Trumpism.) However, the fervor of the propaganda on the Republican side though seems worse, in that the Republican party passes actual "culture war" laws. The net result? If you are in certain careers, you would not want to work in certain states, in that a culture war law actually can effect your career. Like, would an obstetrician or an educator want to work in a place like Idaho, whose legislature seems hostile to both? Small wonder there is a "rural brain drain" going on, which only makes the above situation worse.
The above GOP bullshit is also a significant reason why Christianity is in decline in the United States: as noted in the Religious Right article, a significant portion of churches have politicized, and no longer welcome liberal viewpoints, or even Christian New Testament style humility. This was a known problem even all the way back in 2004, when the United Church of Christ made their "Bouncers" ad highlighting church intolerance.[38]. It has only become more evident when multiple top church leaders embraced Donald Trump for political reasons, despite Trump's very significant moral flaws. I think the "con men" side of Christianity -- prosperity gospel and all of that -- only further adds to the woes; combined, one can easily have a "first impression" of American Christianity as a scam built on nasty values such as intolerance. A long time ago, there was a more "mainline Protestant" church that was far less political and far more restrained, but such has faded. As a result of the above, more and more Americans are "unchurched". American Christian leaders only have themselves to blame. BobJohnson (talk) 00:04, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
The sad thing is that American Christian leaders probably lack the self-awareness or humility to admit their fault and change course. The way things are going, a whole lot of Christian denominations are likely to go extinct in the next hundred or two hundred years. Hopefully there will be some sane ones left standing. Luigifan18 (talk) 01:21, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
As for my thoughts on the matter, I feel like the whole situation involving Christianity seems like a boiling pot of well water, with the water being moderate Christians and the filth dissolved into the water being the toxic fundamentalist leaders and shills that make up many churches as well as all the nasty rhetoric they churn out daily. As moderates and other people leave church for good, what remains are more and more far-right and extremist Christians that are increasingly concentrated into a more saturated form. They'll turn to more and more aggressive tactics like spiritual warfare, direct intimidation, and the old "You're going to Hell™ if you don't accept my words." handwave. Anything they can do to scare gullible people back into their organizations. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:19, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Religion is private. It’s not politics. Far-right Christians are far-rightists who want to make Christianity something else, something bigger. They’re just extremists. As to Christianity declining, I don’t care, and neither should Christians. For me, you can believe in whatever the fuck you want as long as it’s not Scientology and co. If your family believes your grandfather was a semi-god, and your mother just died, then your religion is practically in decline. You can still believe in your granddad. The Nostradamus believers are also getting fewer since 9/11 is passé. It’s like colour of skin. I do not give a damn about what your skin looks like (I probably have my unconscious preferences, thoo). If I don’t like my own, might as well change it. But so far I’ve been very satisfied with my skin as it is. New world (talk) 19:47, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
I suspect the continued actions of the Culty Right in the USA is making self-IDing yourself as Christian more toxic, as well as driving 'curious neutrals' away from the faith. To the point where I do wonder whether a decent % of 'unchurched' are in fact ultimately Christians, but in a quiet/private manner, fairly moderate in belief and a bit worried of the views of their peers if they got 'outed'. I also note that the current iteration of Religious Right has basically nailed their underpants to the mast re; capitalism, culture wars, denial of general reality etc and are most likely to 'go down with the ship'. This big study gives some sobering reasons of why folks leave church; interestingly, of the cult-raised folks who didn't continue in it as adults, only 14% stated 'lack of belief' but 23% said 'did not fit' [a catch-all including political views], 18% 'little love shown in church' and 15% was 'negative experiences with evangelicals'.
This suggests that Luigi's view that 'American Christian leaders probably lack the self-awareness or humility to admit their fault and change course' is perhaps correct. Young Americans [and other nations like the UK] are not rejecting Christianity per se, they are just rejecting your malign and hypocritical vision of it [or on the mainline cases, the boring and useless vision]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Absolutely this. If fundies go acting like that, they deserve a slap on the face. When it comes to Republicans etc, they're just losers who are jealous that different values are winning. That's why they don't have trust in colleges. 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 11:33, 20 April 2024 (UTC)

JKR has now hit Holocaust denialism[edit]

Trans activist Erin Reed has now listed on her blog, the recent Twitter storm that JK Rowling has effectively touched holocaust denialism, after claiming that the Nazis never targeted trans people in Germany, calling it "a fever dream." Euromec (talk) 22:02, 15 April 2024 (UTC)

I think it's rather "denial of Nazi crimes" (term used by a regional German court in relation to denial that trans people were targeted) than Holocaust denial, but the second is a subset of the first and they're closely related. If you want to know about it as regards JKR, I recommend this article as one of the better summaries I've seen. Chillpilled (talk) 12:59, 16 April 2024 (UTC)
How many Trans people were killed in the Holocaust? I know the Nazis targeting Gays in general, starting with the Night of the Long Knives where they killed all the Gay Nazis that had been critical to their rise to power, because Nazis, but I don't know how many Trans, Genderfluid, NB, etc etc also ended up in the camps. CorruptUser 22:35, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
An issue with that is a matter of language. For example, the identity of “gay” wasn’t a popular term of identification for men who experience same-sex sexual attraction until about the 1960’s. Similarly, identification with the labels of transgender, non-binary, or gender-fluid wasn’t really common among those who experienced gender incongruence until the 1990s. To determine the answers to these questions you have to determine the language that was used at the time, and if these sort of cultural distinctions we make today are the sort they used in the historical event of reference. I think someone else previously made mention of the use of the term “transexual” in Germany at the time of Hirschfeld's research — but like “homosexual” the term may not have been adopted by those whom the term was being applied to. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:51, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
It seems that the term widely used for self-identification was “transvestite” given a lack of alternative terminology, but it is difficult to discern the genuine identity of those who used the term as there is a lot of overlap here between demographics who experience incongruence with the sex they were assigned at birth, and those who simply experimented with presentation and expression. A similar issue happened with the Stonewall riots and the label of “queen” that was used by individuals who would more readily identify as trans later in life, and those who were simply drag performers or crossdressers. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:01, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
Wait, so what is George Santos? New world (talk) 23:06, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
An ex-congressmen and gay man? Why are you asking? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:26, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
I think that’s self-explanatory. New world (talk) 23:48, 17 April 2024 (UTC)
No, it’s deeply confusing in context. We’re talking about Nazi Germany and the holocaust. Cory was asking what the numbers were for trans people killed in the holocaust. I am giving an explanation to why we do not know an exact number. You are asking questions completely off topic. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:05, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
George Santos has cancelled you. New world (talk) 01:12, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
what the fuck are you talking about and why do you think this behaviour is appropriate right now? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:42, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Calm down, sheesh. New world (talk) 03:08, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
It might be difficult to discern if by your model the determination of whether someone is gay or trans boils down to whether they've identified with those specific words. My model doesn't so much have this problem if it considers men who solely desire and have sex with other men to be gay men regardless of their identity, or if it considers "transvestites" who get sex change surgeries, take hormones, and have sex+gender dysphoria to be trans. Those would be the clearest-cut cases imaginable and so maybe you can find some bare-minimum, but admittedly, we don't always know so much as that and may have to go off of clues. Or you can use catch-all phrases like "non-heterosexual" or "gender-variant" and be done with it, I suppose. Chillpilled (talk) 15:17, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
You’re at first misunderstanding the problem, but then you sort of circle around to getting it. The issue is identifying how people in the past who cannot currently speak for themselves, would genuinely fit these definitions, without having intimate knowledge of the details of their life.
But your conception runs into some problems, as a number of self-identifying gay men would not be considered “gay” by your definition. This is why historians of these subjects use terms like same-sex sexual activity, and same-sex attraction. That is, no doubt, a reality of human sexuality that people experience these things and engage in such activity. Human beings also no doubt across history and across various cultures, had folks who felt incongruent with their sexual traits, or how their culture classified them under the anthropological/sociological conception of “gender”.
Recall Kinsey’s discoveries that many “heterosexuals” and “homosexuals” are rarely exclusively one or the other. I am not endorsing the conceptual schema of the Kinsey Scale here , as a bisexual man I have my objections, but the basic discovery that most “straight” people have been “incidentally gay” or that “gay” folks have been “incidentally straight” (how do you think some gay people end up in straight marriages with children?) is not a shocking revelation when you realize that sexuality is more of a fluid spectrum then it is a strict fixed categorical distinction (this doesn’t imply sexuality is “willed” or is simply “socialized” either).
There is no doubt individuals who exclusively experience same-sex sexual attraction and identify as “gay”, as there are people who predominately experience same-sex sexual attraction, and very little attraction to individuals of differing sex, and yet still identify as “gay”.
You run into deeply problematic territory when you start insisting that only one of these individuals has legitimate claim to being “gay”. No different then Kinsey’s problematic insistence that bisexuality implies equal sexual attraction to same and differing sexes. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:31, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
If you want to know what “my model” entails, I actually wrote an essay on the subject Essay:Rationally Understanding Queerness. Though, it was written pre-grad student OSD, so there are definitely things I would argue differently now. Especially with respect to the concept of “essentialism”. My understanding is very similar to the biopsychosocial model of sexuality/gender. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:39, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, that kind of sounds like bullshit. Nazism is not at the bottom of everything one finds repulsive. Perhaps Trans people were not specifically targeted, but found themselves in the target range and were a small part of the genocide. One could argue that trans folks were not the focus of Hitler's blood lust, they just fell into the target range by being socially deviant. They belonged to the class of "weirdos and freaks." homosexuals, gypsies, communists, Jews and many others the Nazis wanted to get rid of. This is a semantic argument over victim status and not a disagreement over the morality of genocide. Some people can be really awful without being Nazis. Most people can, really.UncleKrampus (talk) 00:51, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Throwing the term "holocaust denier" at her IMHO needs context (only because the "stereotype" of "holocaust denier" is solely antisemitic, unfortunately, even though the Holocaust targeted far more than Jews). Nonetheless, "transvestites" (as they were known then), which would have included trans females, definitely were targeted. We kind of went over this in the Bar about a month ago.
What really sucks in this case, Rowling talking out of her ass aside, is Rowling's bullying. Apparently libel law is bad enough in the UK to in effect act like the United States SLAPP suit, in that it can be used to flat out censor people. My impression of UK libel law is that it seems like that if you've got deep pockets to handle lawsuits, you can lie and defame all you want (see the Daily Mail and other tabloids)... unless you pull some *really* shitty stunts, of course (see News of the World). However, if you are just Joe Average on Twitter, Rowling can use her hefty money and lawyers to in effect silence you by threatening a hefty defamation suit. Because the burden of proof is low enough that I guess a... well, honestly a "technically correct" tweet from Rivkah Brown... can be counted as libel.
(It's of course not *that* easy... Rowling's bullshit lawsuit ended up creating a Streisand Effect on Twitter as Rowling's "holocaust denier" aspect trended. There's other English speaking countries other than the UK who don't have to worry about that legal framework, and they are free to shit on Rowling all they want without repercussion.) BobJohnson (talk) 01:29, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Ask any religious Jew if the Holocaust targeted more than Jews and you will find yourself in an awkward argument and pegged as an antisemite. That's why the "H" is capitalized. "The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. Wikipedia" Semantics is no joke. Unless they were Jewish, trans people were not part of the "Holocaust." You are speaking of other genocides the Nazis committed.UncleKrampus (talk) 01:54, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
"Ask any religious Jew if the Holocaust targeted more than Jews and you will find yourself in an awkward argument and pegged as an antisemite." Yeah, I am going to say that making that broad of a hasty generalization about Jewish people who practice Judaism as incapable of acknowledging other non-Jewish victims of the holocaust is antisemitic. It would be morally objectionable to argue against Jewish people being the primary targets and making up the majority of those killed during the holocaust, and if one were to deny the facts of Jews being the primary targets, then any Jewish person would be entitled to call one out as antisemitic. That being said, many a Jewish-run organization that teaches about the holocaust (as far as I am aware) is more than willing to argue that other racial minorities, communists, gays, trans, and disabled people were all targeted by the Nazis and many put into concentration camps. Framing Jewish people as largely being ignorant of these details about the holocaust, or only looking at the Holocaust as a means to centre their own victimization is antisemitic (whether specifying only those who practice Judaism or not). - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:01, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
The exclusion of non-Jewish Holocaust victimsWikipedia from Holocaust memorials has been a "sore point" among affected groups. As seen in the talk page of that Holocaust victims wiki article, there is considerable disagreement at the moment among historians over whether the Holocaust should be just Jewish people, and if not, what other groups should be included (not all of those killed in that Holocaust victims wiki article were systematically pursued like Jews... but some were.)
I think the modern perspective seems to be more inclusive though -- yes, I agree with Dumb that most Holocaust memorials that I've seen do also recognize the other persecuted groups. Of course, the Jewish were the top primary target, but from my perspective, I think it is incomplete to leave out the suffering of other groups. What makes the Jewish persecution special in a way that others persecuted by Nazis in the name of eugenics and racial purity weren't? It sort of gives the "short stick" to the 500,000 Romani murdered and the 250,000 disabled murdered by the Nazis, among many others, and muddles the "root cause" of the Nazi ethic. So, I personally disagree with those that reserve the Holocaust term for Jews alone. Nonetheless, this is still why I would have not thrown the term "Holocaust denier" at Rowling so readily; Rowling might still be in the camp where "Holocaust=Jew genocide by Nazis" and no more. BobJohnson (talk) 14:38, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, and I disagree with many ways some identity groups use language. I cannot just decide how language will be used by others. Religious Jews think of the Holocaust as their own religious enigma. You can think what you like. Many on the left conflate Nazism with the concept of evil and think their arguments are all the more powerful by invoking an association with Nazism, which is almost always a fallacy. I would only add that religious identity is so powerful in its gravity that non-Jewish people can not define the nature of antisemitism in any way that many Jews accept, even as white people cannot define the black condition in any way that would not generate controversy. The attempt to attach to words connotations that are not ordinarily understood by many people, is generally futile. Good luck with that. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:16, 19 April 2024 (UTC)

How did conservapedia become irrelevant?[edit]

So between 2006-2013 conservapedia was talked about far more than it is now but now it's barely talked about and even on this website which made to counter conservapedia barley talks about it now. I think it is because of the following:

  1. Too fringe: the website believes in young earth creationism and other fringe beliefs which made many conservatives turn away from it
  2. Decline of New atheists: Due to a Split in New Athiesm which made the Movement largely dissolve, conservapedia received less and attention because it got attention from new atheists who were gone after 2013
  3. Failure to adapt to the times: the website while trying failed to adapt to modern conservatives by not focusing on Trans rights, Trump, "stealing" of the 2020 U.S election etc that much which caused less visits. Conservapedia has competitor Infogalactic while Infogalactic is started by an Alt-righter, it still tries to present itself as neutral and critize insane beliefs like YEC.

←§ Reichtangle (talk) 14:37, 18 April 2024 (UTC)

I thought the Biden Junta was ruling America. Isn’t that enough for the "stealing" 2020 part? I mean, I haven’t read it, but I’m sure they believe the capitol attack was all Antifa. Who even reads these wikis? Is it a big thing in the US? I remember Conservapedia being very nationalist, not something nationalists of other countries would enjoy. New world (talk) 15:48, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Other than a few big projects such as Wikipedia, wikis are in general less of a "thing" these days. Post 2010, Big Social Media arose, and it's easier for the fundies and conspiracy theorists and whackdoodles (and everyone else, frankly) to use Facebook or YouTube or whatever. Even the alt-tech sites that sprung up for those whose extremist opinion is bad enough to violate main social media TOS are easier to use than contributing to a wiki.
Conservapedia didn't help itself by eventually becoming paranoid about any new users and only allowing a particularly narrow range of views (some of which indeed are very green ink crazy). Which means that (from my point of view) the decline of Conservapedia was worse than much of the rest of 2000s Internet (blogs, forums, portals, wikis, and whatnot). Many of these fossils of the old Internet are still are hanging around and, even if they are not mainstream Internet anymore, are "doing alright". That's not really the case for Conservapedia due to numerous self-owns over the years.BobJohnson (talk) 16:22, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Stuff like blogs, wikis, forums etc have 'survived' because generally speaking they offer 'real content' - I would put YT in here too, as a lot of it's content is stuff like 'how-to' guides, online lectures, historical videos and similar which can't be sorted in 240 characters, a single Intra pic or a 120sec TikTok. But CP doesn't really have this becase Assfly likes being in his little pond and steadfastly refuses to allow CP to grow outside his direct, personal control or have anyone outshine him. Nor [I suspect] does he know much about how to use social media to draw folks to CP, partly 'cos he's an old fart [in his 60s] and so are folks like KenBot and RobS [though that don't really matter if you have shit content to promote anyway]. I am not so sure they would have needed to go full-Trump to 'remain relevant'; I know of some conservative types who have sort of survived as a 'stuffy old guard' if they'd have some academic/journalistic gravitas [or at least the veneer of it, like say 'The American Conservative'] but as we know, CP doesn't have this.
I also question the whole purpose of CP. To make a whole 'Dominionist WP' would have needed a ton of hands to make and well, Assfly don't play that well with others and who would use it anyway? If it's for 'homeschool kids' [as I believe the original purpose was], wouldn't it have been a lot easier to simply made a site which curated extant 'friendly' materials, along with sample curricula written by real teachers, reviews of textbooks, perhaps a forum for 'homeschool chat' and similar? Even [from what I can tell] American 'conservatives' don't even take CP seriously. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:53, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
It exist because he thinks it means he's carrying on the work of his mother, Phyllis "I've written more books then I've read!" Schlafly. Revolverman (talk) 18:51, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
At one time, there was a justifiable reason for CP to be paranoid since there were once active RW editors who trolled CP. That behavior has been discouraged by RW for a while now. CP was once slightly open to other conservative viewpoints, at least on talk pages, but it's become an increasingly narrow circle jerk of fewer and fewer active contributors, which basically dooms it to irrelevancy. To be fair, RW has also effectively closed the doors to the small cabal of active CP members, but we are still fairly open to a wide range of viewpoints, including having former moderator and sysop in good standing User:RWRW (conservative/libertarian), and sysop User:AprilIsTrying (communist). Bongolian (talk) 19:36, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
There is a fundamental difference between RW and CP. At RW, you can edit, create an account, debate, insult, revert, leave, come back, rewrite, delete, create, start, finish, drink, disagree, ban, agree, and a hole lot of other things you can’t do at CP. Also, a lot of commies here. New world (talk) 19:54, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Which is perhaps the crux of the issue; CP was hugely ambitious a project [recreating the whole of Wikipedia, which apparently as of '06 had 269k mainspace English articles], but while a) maintaining ideological 'purity', b) said Overton window shrinking over time and c) ruled over by a man who didn't want to either 'share' or to have anyone outshine them. In this it shares the same general faults as say, CZ or ASK; simply too big a project for such a small userbase [as of '23 it had reached ~55k or something, which means it's still only 20% the size of the old WP].
Which can be seen even now; as of 2024 it doesn't have a page on 'Elm tree', it's 'pear', 'tulip', 'Crohn's disease' and 'concrete' pages are stubs, 'coffee' is a semi-stub and 'chicken', 'Alexander Graham Bell' and 'National Highway System' are so dumbed-down they're almost worthless. Only 'Battle of Britain' and 'USS Constitution' are anything vaguely useful, and even then I think the average 12 year-old would get more change out of a age-appropriate book on the relevant topics from their local library. Which is the irony; that if I was a culty homeschooler parent, I would have to resort to WP to cover many basic topics because even after eighteen years it still can't tell me anything [for example] about the uses of concrete. [However, I did notice that on a couple of aspects alone their 1984 page was better than RW's... for now.]. I mean, Johnson and his small team wrote the world's first dictionary in half this time, and he didn't even have THE LORD on their side!
Though perhaps someone can tell me; why the hell didn't CP simply folk WP's content on foundation? I'm sure their article on concrete was better than theirs even then... KarmaPolice (talk) 11:34, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Aren’t there issues with the homeschooling part too? I am not familiar with homeschooling in the US, but shouldn’t there be certain guidelines and controls? Or can you just teach your kid that the earth is flat and that the second coming is soon? New world (talk) 12:40, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
In the UK, you have to provide your kid with 'an education'. However, this bar is basically 'the 3Rs' - as long as this is covered, you can teach your kid what the hell you want [or not teach]. No requiements to follow any curriculum, take any external exams or have external moderation [though some councils will make at least a cursury look]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:07, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Homeschool requirements in the United States vary considerably from state to state. New Jersey (Andy's home state) is very "loose", essentially unregulated from my perspective. Other states have tighter regulations. Nonetheless, there is absolutely no reason why a US homeschool curriculum cannot be infected with the Jesus in most states -- this is a "feature", not a "bug", and from what I've heard, it is actually a bit of a challenge to find homeschool curriculum without religious crap in it here. BobJohnson (talk) 15:29, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I think the plethora of 'unaccredited' places of higher learning in America makes things worse; here in the UK fundie parents would hit the 'bollard of reality' earlier when it's pointed out their precious shall not be able to attend any form of college/university/training course due to a complete lack of formal, accepted qualifications [which would then effectively shut them out of most non-slavey forms of work]. Now I think of it; what the hell do 'graduates' of fundie 'colleges' do for work afterwards with their degree in baloney? KarmaPolice (talk) 15:42, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Until recently in France, you could homeschool your kid until high-school, and many times that worked. It was very popular with the sophrology/anti-psychiatry folk, with private schools being the solution for the far-right extremists and Christians. Contrary to common préjugés, after primary school the French education system is an absolute mess. To solve this, the current government wants your kids to wear uniforms, respect authority, and go to certain "level groups". What foreign parents coming to France usually see. New world (talk) 17:03, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
I do have a sister in law who was home schooled, she's extremely well adjusted and will not allow fantasies like Santa or the Easter Bunny in her house. Raised Catholic, angry as a Chick Tract. Love her, she's my sister. Torrent (talk) 05:58, 22 April 2024 (UTC)