Trump presidency

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trpmb6
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:30 pm UTC

Oi...

Chelsea Handler via Twitter wrote:To all the generals surrounding our idiot-in-chief...the longer U wait to remove him, the longer UR name will appear negatively in history.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:31 pm UTC

ucim wrote:With Trump, it's really hard to distinguish satire from (tragic) reality.

Now, what if he does succeed in getting Kim to back down, either before or after some military confrontation? Would he be then seen as a hero? Would t his drive his approval ratings enough to take him through the next election?

Jose

NPR's analysis shows that Trump is full of shit/confidence gaming. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... ly-changed
As of Friday morning, no U.S. aircraft carrier was on patrol in the Asia-Pacific region. The USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan have both returned to their respective home ports, San Diego and Yokosuka, Japan
In addition, neither US citizens have been evacuated nor any additional assets have been deployed.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:51 pm UTC

I believe Ronald Reagan returned to port because they are getting ready for the war games the US and SK are going to hold in a couple weeks. (Might be a month out)

Analysts say that we don't need anything more than a single carrier group to deal with NK anyways.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:57 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Coverage on this Global Times report continue to treat the statement as a Chinese Government official position.

Regardless of whether it's official, isn't it an entirely expected and logical policy? It's basically the kind of security pledge the US has with all of its allies. NATO also only requires members to defend others if they are attacked, not if they are the aggressor.

China was never going to back NK militarily if they started shelling Seoul out of the blue. That's kinda obvious.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby MartianInvader » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:15 pm UTC

The problem is, of course, it's not always clear who "started it" - that's how escalations work. They say stuff, we say stuff. They test missiles, we fly planes in war game exercises. They launch some missiles into the sea near Guam, we blow up some trees on their border. Turns out there were some soldiers nearby and a few got caught in the blast; they think they're under attack and start firing across the border. Some soldiers from that conflict are taken captive, the other side sends soldiers to rescue them. A firefight ensues, they call in mortar support, we send in planes to bomb the mortar sites, they launch missiles at our aircraft carriers, we launch missiles at their silos, and the next day there are nukes in the air.

Who "started" that one?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:51 am UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I believe Ronald Reagan returned to port because they are getting ready for the war games the US and SK are going to hold in a couple weeks. (Might be a month out)

Analysts say that we don't need anything more than a single carrier group to deal with NK anyways.

Only a single carrier group? Do you have a source for this? Seems like you're assuming that the time needed to take out targets isn't a concern.
MartianInvader wrote:The problem is, of course, it's not always clear who "started it" - that's how escalations work. They say stuff, we say stuff. They test missiles, we fly planes in war game exercises. They launch some missiles into the sea near Guam, we blow up some trees on their border. Turns out there were some soldiers nearby and a few got caught in the blast; they think they're under attack and start firing across the border. Some soldiers from that conflict are taken captive, the other side sends soldiers to rescue them. A firefight ensues, they call in mortar support, we send in planes to bomb the mortar sites, they launch missiles at our aircraft carriers, we launch missiles at their silos, and the next day there are nukes in the air.

Who "started" that one?

Who started it really depends on who's stronger. After all, the US didn't start the indian wars, we won after all. Of greater concern is that this North Korea crisis might be a boost to Trump's approval and a welcome distraction from the Russia and general Trump incompetence. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/us/r ... korea.html
He's trending back up in the last few days at 538's approval tracker as well. Might just be noise, need another week + no war to be sure.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:04 pm UTC

The "Darker News thread" has the primary conversation with regards to the White Supremacist rally last weekend. So I'm not going to add very much on that topic here (I don't want to start a parallel discussion here).

But I will note that Gallup's approval rating poll for Trump has dropped from ~37%ish to 34% in the past week, and 34% is the lowest Gallup has polled for this President yet (Previous low of 35% was back in March). I was waiting for the "weekly approval rating" to gauge the public's reaction to the whole Sessions / ACA Failure / etc. etc. newsweek. And I think this drop to 34% is more about that at the moment. Trump's response to the White Supremacist rally is likely "too new" so I don't expect that to have an affect on polls quite yet (aside from the daily polls, which I personally am trying to disregard. IMO daily polls are too noisy)

http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallu ... roval.aspx
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:44 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

Looking at that one hurts my eyes. I'm pretty happy with 538's weighted average, with ability to filter between All Polled, Adults, or Likely+Registered Voters.

The Public Policy Polling poll from Aug. 9-10 currently has the 2nd-biggest weight (out of 5) because it only included registered voters, even though it was only a "day" and had the fewest number of respondents. Meanwhile, the Gallup one is just Adults in general and is weighted a fair bit less, even though it's more recent, covered more time, and had more respondents.

And, like I imply right there, 538 shows you all the recent (high enough quality) polls for you to see.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:04 am UTC

Liri wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

Looking at that one hurts my eyes. I'm pretty happy with 538's weighted average, with ability to filter between All Polled, Adults, or Likely+Registered Voters.


Fivethirtyeight is a meta-poll. They don't actually do any polling themselves, as far as I'm aware. They just analyze everyone else's polls.

Gallup on the other hand, is literally the poll that invented the Approval Rating in 1935. I think most people are familiar with Gallup's numbers. When people say "Approval rating", its basically implied to be the Gallup number.

The Public Policy Polling poll


Perhaps that poll is good, but the company has only been around since 2001. Maybe this is sorta like "The Dow Jones" vs S&P500. Most people recognize that the S&P 500 is a superior index, but the Dow Jones is the index which is most commonly reported due to historical reasons. When people say "The stock market is up today", they mean the Dow Jones.

Similarly: when people say "The President's Approval Rating", they usually mean Gallup's numbers. The main problem with FivethirtyEight (and other metapolls) is that you can cherry pick the poll that best suits your argument. I choose Gallup's numbers due to its long history and widespread acceptance.

We can reasonably compare Trump to Eisenhower and even Roosevelt due to the huge amount of history with Gallup. But "Public Policy Polling" doesn't even have numbers on say... Clinton.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:09 pm UTC

... yeah, I know it's an aggregate, that's why I like it

I don't really care what people think when they say "approval rating". Some historical cachet does not a great poll make. Gallup has a B- rating from 538, which is fine. There are many that are higher (including the public policy one). My point though was that their weighting decisions aren't necessarily perfect, although they have a heck of a lot more experience than me.

538 does not cherry pick. Their (very extensive, you can look) list of approved pollsters release a poll and it's automatically added to their weighted average.

And I don't get why you're criticizing that public policy one, my entire point was that they use every good poll, which means 538 themselves also can make those historical comparisons. And they do. Scroll down past the list of polls and you'll see exactly that.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:52 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Liri wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

Looking at that one hurts my eyes. I'm pretty happy with 538's weighted average, with ability to filter between All Polled, Adults, or Likely+Registered Voters.


Fivethirtyeight is a meta-poll. They don't actually do any polling themselves, as far as I'm aware. They just analyze everyone else's polls.

Gallup on the other hand, is literally the poll that invented the Approval Rating in 1935. I think most people are familiar with Gallup's numbers. When people say "Approval rating", its basically implied to be the Gallup number.

The Public Policy Polling poll


Perhaps that poll is good, but the company has only been around since 2001. Maybe this is sorta like "The Dow Jones" vs S&P500. Most people recognize that the S&P 500 is a superior index, but the Dow Jones is the index which is most commonly reported due to historical reasons. When people say "The stock market is up today", they mean the Dow Jones.

Similarly: when people say "The President's Approval Rating", they usually mean Gallup's numbers. The main problem with FivethirtyEight (and other metapolls) is that you can cherry pick the poll that best suits your argument. I choose Gallup's numbers due to its long history and widespread acceptance.

We can reasonably compare Trump to Eisenhower and even Roosevelt due to the huge amount of history with Gallup. But "Public Policy Polling" doesn't even have numbers on say... Clinton.

You don't believe in the superiority of aggregate polling? Gallup doesn't release polls often enough to warrant individual use.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:09 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You don't believe in the superiority of aggregate polling? Gallup doesn't release polls often enough to warrant individual use.


They release a poll every 3 days! Which is probably too quickly frankly. How often do you even need to know the approval rating?

If there were 100 people polled each day, only 3 people would have had their opinion changed in the last month. I worry that you're assigning way too much importance to the specific number... which often only moves a fraction of a percent on a week-to-week basis. I'm not even sure if the recent moves are outside the margin of error.

With that said, historical importance and comparisons are important. Which is why I use Gallup's numbers. I'd rather have a poll go back to 1930s, rather than an aggregate of polls that have different methodologies. Its about comparing "like with like". If you're saying "34% approval rating is historically bad", then we need a poll (like Gallups) with a long history. That's just how numbers work.


If you want to know if the approval rating is 35% vs 34%, I guess... aggregate polling might be more useful. But I'm seriously not interested in that. Roosevelt's approval rating was not an aggregate poll-of-polls. A lot of these modern polls didn't exist even as recently as Clinton. In contrast, the Gallup existed throughout that whole time and therefore has a certain amount of historical significance.

Liri wrote:... yeah, I know it's an aggregate, that's why I like it

I don't really care what people think when they say "approval rating". Some historical cachet does not a great poll make. Gallup has a B- rating from 538, which is fine. There are many that are higher (including the public policy one). My point though was that their weighting decisions aren't necessarily perfect, although they have a heck of a lot more experience than me.

538 does not cherry pick. Their (very extensive, you can look) list of approved pollsters release a poll and it's automatically added to their weighted average.

And I don't get why you're criticizing that public policy one, my entire point was that they use every good poll, which means 538 themselves also can make those historical comparisons. And they do. Scroll down past the list of polls and you'll see exactly that.


Look, I've done the math on simple random sampling and its something I understand a hell of a lot better than aggregate polls-of-polls with bias corrections. I've seen what FiveThirtyEight is doing, and maybe I can trust Nate Silver as a statistician. But frankly, I don't know if the math translates over to every use scenario as the simple random sample that Gallup does.

Ultimately, the difference of ~2% or so is easily within the margin of error in any case. So the most important thing is to pick a poll and stick with it consistently. I've picked Gallup for literally years, decades even (if we're counting grade-school reports), and therefore I'm sticking with those numbers.

-------------

Maybe I'm not going to convince you with that. I guess one of the more important numbers is the "strongly approve" and/or "Republican approval" numbers: http://www.gallup.com/poll/203198/presi ... trump.aspx

Republicans still seem to have a large amount of support for Trump, even today there's a 79%ish approval rating within Republicans.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Jumble » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 pm UTC

Trump tweets cartoon of train hitting CNN reporter then retweets someone commenting that he is a fascist. There is frankly no point in insulting or laughing at this arsehat. He does it all by himself.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:48 pm UTC

I just saw Trump's press conference from Trump Tower.

:shock:

Yup, he absolutely meant what he said off-script on Saturday about "both sides" being to blame in Charlottesville. He clearly did not mean what he had been forced to say, so stiffly, on Monday, against the white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Unbelievable. (I mean, it's unbelievable that he clarified this before a bunch of reporters--it's totally believable that he feels this way.)

President Donald Trump lashed out about the criticism of his initial statement about the Charlottesville violence today and quickly went on to blame both sides of protestors for the conflict, adding that there were “very fine people” in both the group of white supremacists and white nationalists as well as the counterprotesters.

“I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame object on both sides,” Trump said during remarks in Trump Tower today.

“You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

Trump also defended his initial statement that he made about the violence on Saturday, saying it "was a fine statement" and that he wanted to make sure that he had the facts before speaking again on the issue, which happened on Monday when he made a second statement from the White House.

"Before I make a statement, I need the facts, so I don’t want to rush into a statement. So making the statement when I made it was excellent," he said.

Trump took issue with a reporter's characterization of part of the crowd being part of the so-called alt-right.

"When you say the alt-right, you define it. Go ahead. Define it for me," he said.

"What about the alt left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt right? Do they have any assemblage of guilt? What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do," he said. It's unclear what Trump meant by the "alt-left."

He went on to question why the statue of Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee, which prompted the protest in the first place, was being removed.

"You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name,” he said.

"George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down -- excuse me. Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner,” he said.

He was asked about his view of the driver of the car that plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring others.

"I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. There is a question. Is it murder? Is it terrorism? Then you get into legal semantics," Trump said.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-la ... d=49235032 (WARNING: Auto-loading video)


That just has a few minutes of video, but the whole question-and-answer session is well worth watching in its jaw-dropping entirety. I can't find a transcript yet, but believe me, one is coming.

Edited to add: New York Times now has transcript and video. (Correction--nope, not yet. Here's an edited version: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/p ... ville.html)

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A Combative Trump Criticizes ‘Alt-Left’ Groups in Charlottesville
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MAGGIE HABERMAN
AUG. 15, 2017

President Trump angrily defended himself on Tuesday against criticism that he did not specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups following the weekend’s deadly racial unrest in Virginia, and at one point questioned whether the movement to pull down statues of Confederate leaders would escalate to the desecration of George Washington.

In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence on Saturday that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.

He said that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”

And he criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” he said, noting that the first American president had owned slaves.

The president’s breathtaking statements inflamed and stunned people across Twitter.

“Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No,” wrote Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida. “Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.”

“No words,” said Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia.

David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, praised Mr. Trump’s comments as a condemnation of “leftist terrorists.”

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville,” Mr. Duke said in a Twitter post.

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the Charlottesville park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

Mr. Trump unleashed a torrent of frustration at the news media, saying they were being “fake” because they did not acknowledge that his initial statement about the Charlottesville protest was “very nice.”

Again and again, Mr. Trump said that the portrayal of nationalist protesters in the city were not all Nazis or white supremacists, and he said it was unfair to suggest that they were.

“Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch,” he said, adding that blame for the violence in the city – which also took the lives of two Virginia state troopers when their helicopter crashed – should also be on people from “the left” who came to oppose the nationalist protesters.

“You had a group on one side and the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious and horrible. It was a horrible thing to watch,” the president said. “There is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You can say what you want. That’s the way it is.”

He also called the alleged driver of the car that crashed into the crowd, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, “a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want.”

Mr. Fields is being held without bail on charges of murder and malicious wounding in the death of Heather Heyer. His first court appearance was on Monday.

The president’s raw and emotional eruption during a news conference about repairing infrastructure was a rejection of the more measured language about the unrest that Mr. Trump offered in a brief statement on Monday from the White House.

In that statement, Mr. Trump appeared to distance himself from his earlier claims on Saturday that two sides were to blame for the weekend violence. But on Tuesday, Mr. Trump returned to his initial feelings about the subject, which poured out without much prompting from reporters at Trump Tower.

“There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country,” the president said.

Mr. Trump said his initial statement on Saturday was shaped by a lack of information about the events on the ground in Charlottesville, even though television statements had been broadcasting images of the violence throughout the morning.

“There was no way of making a correct statement that early,” the president said. “I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters. I didn’t know David Duke was there. I wanted to see the facts.”

But Mr. Trump also made it clear that even now –- with the benefit of hindsight -– he does not accept the overwhelming criticism that he should have reserved his condemnation for the white supremacist and Nazi groups.

But referring to the reporters assembled, he insisted that he had watched the protests “much more closely than you people watched it.” He said that he believes there were “bad” people on both sides, and he criticized other for being unwilling to say that.

“You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” the president said. “Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

Asked whether he considers the alt-left as the same as neo-Nazis, Mr. Trump said: “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups.”

And he said it should be “up to a local town, community” to say whether the statue of Robert E. Lee should remain in place.
Last edited by ObsessoMom on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Jumble » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:19 pm UTC

Yes. Just seen this. Interested in the concept that the left wing are 'charging up' the alt-right, presumably by not being a bunch of fascist, xenophobic racists. I'm sorry, but the president of the United States is beneath contempt.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:32 pm UTC

There were rocks and water bottles and punches being thrown on both sides in some of the clashes between the alt-right protesters and the counter-protesters. That's what Trump was referring to when he said that he decried the violence "on both sides." There was also, indeed, a group of counter-protesters that charged a group of protesters, threw down their white supremacist signs, and stomped on those signs.

Only one side actually committed murder, though. Throwing a water bottle or a punch at someone, although a very bad and counter-productive thing to do, is not equivalent to mowing them (and many others) down with a car. And let's not forget that the whole point of the white supremacists' protests, including the tiki torch march reminiscent of many past terrorist acts--burning crosses on minorities' lawns, etc.--was to intimidate and terrorize.

Ever classy, Trump also took the opportunity to brag about his winery in Charlottesville, which he called one of the biggest wineries in the United States. And also to say what "beautiful, beautiful things" the mother of the murdered counter-protester had said about him on social media, although he admitted he hasn't gotten around to calling her yet, after three days. What a guy. You've really got to see the whole, unedited video of the press conference when it becomes available.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:40 pm UTC

Can he survive this?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:43 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Can he survive this?


Yes. He was elected to his position and there were plenty of warning signs through the campaign. Any attempt to convince a Trump supporter that he's actually racist seems to be met with skepticism.

I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if Trump loses supporters over this. Gallup polls for the Republicans is 79% still in support of Trump. Trump has the "majority of the majority" so to say, so he's still in a position of power.

I think people around here are overestimating the political strength of the "BLM" movement. Black Lives Matters seems to be seen in a negative light most of the time, and its clearly the group that Trump is referring as "The Alt Left". Frankly speaking, I expect this line of discussion to work for Trump and his supporters.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

"You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict."

Wait wait wait. Am I reading this wrong, or did Trump just say that the murderer was simply the fastest to come up with a verdict for the counter protesters (ie: that he sentenced them to getting run over by a car)? I feel like I must be making an error, but I can't see how to read that any other way.

EDIT: Just watched the video and... yeah, that's what he's saying. Right!? When the president is advocating vigilante justice I just don't know what to do with that.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:59 pm UTC

I think he's saying we should charge him with whatever is the easiest to convict.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:03 pm UTC

Okay, okay, that makes me feel a bit better. That makes sense. I can continue living in this world. :x
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:06 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Can he survive this?
Politically? Before he was elected, I'd say no. Now, I have no idea.

There was some point way back when I kept hoping that the more Trump spoke, the more Republicans would realize they'd made a horrible mistake. Now, I'm worried that the more he speaks, the more Republicans realize that they can get away with this shit, too.

There's a certain type of terror that comes from realizing you aren't standing in a herd of fellow sheep facing down a lone wolf -- you're in a herd of wool-clad wolves who just realized they can finally ditch the disguise. The Germans might have a word for it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:07 pm UTC

SDK--

Trump was also referring to the controversy over whether the driver of the car should be charged with civil rights violations or terrorism in addition to the more straightforward and obvious murder and attempted murder charges. So far, the driver has been charged with civil rights violations, but not with terrorism.

Trump said it doesn't much matter, so long as the murderer is punished, but I took the testiness of his answer to be an expression of his frustration with critics who have been saying that the lack of a terrorism charge does matter. By not charging the driver with terrorism, the Trump Administration telegraphs to the public that it reserves the term "terrorism" for brown Muslims, not white Christians.

(There's a certain irony in the fact that the Charlottesville statements of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had such a controversial past with regard to his treatment of civil rights cases years ago as a district attorney--that's what Sen. Elizabeth Warren was persisting about when "Yet, she persisted" at his confirmation hearing--seem downright noble compared to Trump.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:There were rocks and water bottles and punches being thrown on both sides in some of the clashes between the alt-right protesters and the counter-protesters. That's what Trump was referring to when he said that he decried the violence "on both sides." There was also, indeed, a group of counter-protesters that charged a group of protesters, threw down their white supremacist signs, and stomped on those signs.


Here's the thing, though. If you want to proudly proclaim that you're a Nazi, I will vehemently support your right to do so. But if you expect me to lift a finger to prevent you from being punched, you've made a substantial miscalculation. And if you do get punched, there's still only one bad guy in this scenario. Attacking a large group of Nazis does not mean the counterprotesters were bad guys; a massive group of good guys spent half a decade attacking large groups of Nazis a little while back, and I don't hear many people equating both sides in that particular conflict.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cyanyoshi » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:34 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
"You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict."

Wait wait wait. Am I reading this wrong, or did Trump just say that the murderer was simply the fastest to come up with a verdict for the counter protesters (ie: that he sentenced them to getting run over by a car)? I feel like I must be making an error, but I can't see how to read that any other way.

EDIT: Just watched the video and... yeah, that's what he's saying. Right!? When the president is advocating vigilante justice I just don't know what to do with that.


That is the way I interpreted the quote also. I reread it about five times and still that's the interpretation that made the most sense. Since Trump made a statement can so easily be interpreted as an endorsement of politically-motivated murder, then he should never EVER speak without first running it by someone with a better grasp of the English language.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:44 pm UTC

iamspen, I was just clarifying for Jumble that Trump's reference to counter-protesters "charging" the alt-right protesters wasn't metaphorical. Some of them really did "charge" the protestors, attacking them en masse. (Thus doing exactly what the alt-right protesters were hoping for all along, so that they could claim that they had been carrying weapons and shields only in self-defense.)

BTW, I've just called the offices of my congressional representative and my senators, thanking them for their harsh criticism of Trump's responses to Charlottesville, and saying that I'd be interested to know whether this winery that Trump bragged about owning in Charlottesville (though its website claims it has no affiliation to him) was properly declared as a possible conflict of interest for him. What does Trump own, and what does he not own? When he brags that he owns something, maybe we should believe him, and ask whether it's been properly declared as a potential conflict of interest.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:23 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Can he survive this?

It hurts his reelection campaign, and it might affect the 2018 midterms for the GOP. There's a lot of white people out there who can vote him back into office(unless sufficiently demoralized). If Democrats take back the House AND Senate(which requires taking out ted Cruz,) then trump will be impeached.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Can he survive this?

It hurts his reelection campaign, and it might affect the 2018 midterms for the GOP. There's a lot of white people out there who can vote him back into office(unless sufficiently demoralized). If Democrats take back the House AND Senate(which requires taking out ted Cruz,) then trump will be impeached.


Removing Trump from office requires a super-majority in the Senate. Even if the Democrats win all 33 seats up for the Senate 2018, they won't have enough votes to remove Trump from office (only 8 Senate Republicans are running in 2018. A 100% win across the country means 54 Democrats at best)

Regardless, the Democrats need to convince a number of Republicans before they have a reasonable hope for impeachment + conviction to occur. We're talking 66 Senators here, maybe 67 depending on rounding rules.

Honestly, if the Democrats simply hold on to the seats they have in the 2018 Senate race, then that's a win for them. They're statistically at a disadvantage here.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:28 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Can he survive this?
Ask yourself how many dead threads there are that are still open. Sure he can. If you mean stay in office. He hasn't committed a crime. Obviously he has never posted here, because he can't make coherent sentences.

Empty Suit President wrote:You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict.
It's easy enough to read this as convict on whichever one you can prove, but his grammar sucks.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:49 am UTC

I can see it not being a stretch for a handful (or more) of republicans to join democratic senators in removing Trump depending on how things play out over the next couple years. I'm not going to put numbers on it, or especially high hopes, but I'd say it's a distinct possibility.

Edit: this post is brimming with meaningful statements, huh
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:58 am UTC

Liri wrote:I can see it not being a stretch for a handful (or more) of republicans to join democratic senators in removing Trump depending on how things play out over the next couple years. I'm not going to put numbers on it, or especially high hopes, but I'd say it's a distinct possibility.
Yanno, I've heard it said that Muslims who don't call out radical Islamic terrorism as being evil and against their religion of peace are culpable by their inaction acting to condone that evil behavior. Why is it not the same with Republicans who fail to call out Trump for his misdeeds? Trump still commands the backing and respect of 80% of the Republicans. Republicans own Trump and his deeds, until the Republicans themselves call him out in large numbers.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Netreker0 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:02 am UTC

iamspen wrote:Here's the thing, though. If you want to proudly proclaim that you're a Nazi, I will vehemently support your right to do so. But if you expect me to lift a finger to prevent you from being punched, you've made a substantial miscalculation.


By that, you mean he's severely overestimated your adherence to principles over tribalism?

And if you do get punched, there's still only one bad guy in this scenario. Attacking a large group of Nazis does not mean the counterprotesters were bad guys; a massive group of good guys spent half a decade attacking large groups of Nazis a little while back, and I don't hear many people equating both sides in that particular conflict.


No, there's a difference. Being a Nazi isn't a crime now, nor was it a crime during WWII. (The exception being in Germany, where they made it a crime by carving out a huge exception to their general respect for free speech and association.) Committing genocide is a crime. Murdering prisoners is a crime. Feigning surrender? Crime. Attacking hospitals and hospital ships? Crime. Invading sovereign nations under false pretenses, probably a crime. The people who did that were Nazis. They deserved what they got, and arguably the survivors got off far too easy. The people who fought by their side but weren't guilty of those war crimes directly, in my book they were guilty of aiding and abetting those crimes.

Calling yourself a Nazi, while highly offensive, also isn't a crime, any more than it's a crime to call yourself the Son of Son of Sam, or a disciple of Charles Manson, or the last successor of The Golden Horde. It's speech--repugnant, offensive, inflammatory, but nonetheless protected speech. The principles that protect you from being arrested, beaten, or killed for saying "I'm with Her" or "George R R Martin sucks" or "Anti-weed laws are ridiculous and we need to repeal them" are the same principles that protect NAMBLA and Nazis. To ignore them is not only hypocritical, but ultimately self-destructive. Your violent reasoning--that if you say something repugnant enough, or belong to a dangerous group, laws against violent crimes no longer apply to you--is no different than the reasoning that says if you're an abortion provider, we can bomb you, or if you're a Muslim, we can burn your places of worship. And guess what? People like you aren't in power right now. People like them are. If we let Trump decide what is or isn't an "evil" group that warrants a first Amendment exception, it's not going to be Neo-Nazis and the Klan, it's going to be "eco terrorists" (including the WWF) and "left-wing terrorists" (including the entire Democratic party.)

Much as I recognize the legality of being a Nazi, it still makes you a bad guy. But punching the Nazi makes you just as bad. If anything, it makes you worse, because you're reacting precisely how they want you to and giving them a pretext to escalate. No matter what you think, you're not a hero--certainly not one of the caliber of our greatest generation.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:09 am UTC

Nazis should be punched in the face purely out of principle. And no, punching a Nazi doesn't make you worse than a Nazi; that's the stupidest thing anyone has said all day, including Trump.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Netreker0 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:27 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Nazis should be punched in the face purely out of principle. And no, punching a Nazi doesn't make you worse than a Nazi; that's the stupidest thing anyone has said all day, including Trump.


Being a Nazi means you're an idiot who thinks it's great to glorify a racist and murderous regime, and may or may not have committed crimes in order to bring that regime back. Punching a Nazi means you're also an idiot who gives ammunition to the Neo-Nazi movement, and a pretext for people like Trump to crack down on our rights even more. You're also a criminal, and a hypocrite who discards the values of a modern liberal democracy the moment they become inconvenient.

If you want to stop the Nazis, use your intelligence and rhetorical ability (assuming you figure out how to arm yourself for that particular fight) to show the world what they're trying to do and why it's wrong. Watch them. When they try to gain power by political means, oppose them by political means.. When they try to gain power by breaking the law, use law enforcement to take them down. Show the world you're better than them by being better than them.

When people like Trump say idiotic things like "there's blame on both sides," it's people like you who give them legitimacy. That is why you are you--in one respect--worse than the Nazis. As much as you enjoy broadcasting your superiority to Nazis, you're actually making the problem worse, like the self-righteous idiots who chase down random women in headscarves and then high five each other for fighting Islamic terrorism.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:28 am UTC

Look, Trump would dearly love to be a full-on dictator. Punch someone in his base of loyal supporters, and you give him just the excuse he wants to crack down to defend them, and root out those who oppose him, while pretending to protect the public.

His administration is already doing stuff like seeking the 1.3 million IP addresses that accessed a website advertising Inauguration Day protests. That's the sort of thing a petty, insecure dictator does. He would dearly love for some hotheads on the left to give him an excuse to impose martial law.

Please, please, do not be punching Nazis. Do not be threatening violence toward Trump or his supporters.

Direct that anger and energy into positive action. Be telephoning your congressional representatives and senators. Be registering people to vote in the 2018 elections. Be talking to your Republican friends and family members and neighbors in a non-insulting way, asking them to please unite to get this dangerous megalomaniac out of power.

As long as basically decent people are attacking each other and calling each others idiots and racists and traitors, we can't work together against Trump.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:34 am UTC

Netreker0 wrote:But punching the Nazi makes you just as bad. If anything, it makes you worse

Unless you go on to advocate genocide after you punch the Nazi, punching a Nazi doesn't make you worse than being a Nazi.

Making excuses for Nazis and spending most of your effort railing against the people who refuse to tolerate them might make you almost as bad, though.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Puppyclaws » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:37 am UTC

"wait until they gas a couple million human beings" in other words. But no, I think we know enough about Nazis now that we can safely say that they deserve whatever violence they get. At some point a person is engaging in 'fighting words' and has given up their legal protection against being attacked. There must be a point prior to letting ourselves get killed where we can stop Nazism, otherwise the liberal freedoms you are talking about will get railroaded out of existence by Nazis (as we see happening...).

And nobody is worse than a Nazi, it's impossible. People who oppose Nazis are better than them by not being pro-genocide. Content of speech matters. Unless your position is total pacifism, there must be a reasonable point where something has gone beyond dialogue and demands action. The freedom to speak can have limits without ending all freedom (we know this because in other countries that continue to have freedom and pluralism there are laws against speech defending Nazis and yet freedom remains).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Netreker0 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:28 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Netreker0 wrote:But punching the Nazi makes you just as bad. If anything, it makes you worse

Unless you go on to advocate genocide after you punch the Nazi, punching a Nazi doesn't make you worse than being a Nazi.

Making excuses for Nazis and spending most of your effort railing against the people who refuse to tolerate them might make you almost as bad, though.


No, not making excuses for Nazis. Making a principled stand for free speech and the rule of law. Earlier in this thread, a couple people raised an interesting point: To what extent are Muslims guilty for not condemning Islamic terrorism? At what point are Republicans, by their inaction, complicit in Trump's extreme agenda?

I am staunchly anti-Nazi. Statistically speaking, I've probably lost more blood relatives fighting the axis than the vast majority of people here. But I also stand for principles--perhaps above all, I stand for the principle of not being a hypocrite, of not abrogating my principles because the people violating them are on "my" side and the "victims" of the violation are an acceptable target. I don't rail against "people who refuse to tolerate [Nazis.]" I rail against the misguided people who would throw principles away in trying to defend them. The Nazis were genocidal racists, but that certainly wasn't the only thing wrong with them. They were also authoritarian fascists who used violence and the power of the state to silence dissent. Apparently, I'm the only one in this thread who remembers the Kristallnacht. It was the first major overt act of violence against the Jews of Germany. It was also--technically--not perpetrated by the government. Instead, German civilians and members of the Nazi party perpetrated violence against their victims, while the government sat back and did nothing, operating under a similar theory that if those people are an evil, subhuman threat to the Fatherland, laws protecting their rights shouldn't be enforced.

I don't tolerate Nazis, any more than I tolerate unprincipled hypocrites. I do, however, recognize that in a country ruled by laws and recognizing individual rights, the same law that prevents me from punching you in the face also prevents me from punching a Nazi in the face.

Also, please refrain from blatantly lying in future comments. I tried to reread my posts and (mis)interpret them as generously as possible in your favor, but the only way somebody could conclude that I "made excuses" for the Nazis is if they were a moron, and you sir are clearly no moron. At no point did I make excuses for Nazis or try to justify the Nazi message. I pointed out that the law bars violence against people for expressing a belief, no matter how hateful or abhorrent. That doesn't mean excusing their beliefs, let alone supporting them. That does, however, mean supporting a system of government and a set of principles. Your deliberate mischaracterization of my arguments is about as dishonest as me characterizing your post as "staunch support for the violent suppression of unpopular viewpoints."

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:23 am UTC

Nazis, like anyone else, have the right to speak their mind, no matter how abhorrent their ideas.

Nazis, like anyone else, have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and pursuant to that, the expectation of not being physically assaulted for offenses short of physical assault.

What they do not have is the right to have everybody else pretend that their ideas are valid and treat them like anything more than the inhuman monsters that they choose to be.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Netreker0 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:49 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:At some point a person is engaging in 'fighting words' and has given up their legal protection against being attacked.


Before we discuss any further, you should know that I'm using the legal definition of "fighting words," which is apparently very different from how you're using them. Since I'm too lazy to bring out Black's, wikipedia gives this definition, which is pretty accurate: "written or spoken words intended to incite hatred or violence from their target." In other words, it's like calling someone the N-word. A long, long time ago, the law often recognized that fighting words were provocation. For example, if you called someone an offensive word for a homosexual bundle of sticks, some jurisdiction would say that the insult is so inherently offensive that it's your own damn fault when that guy punches you in the face. This is no longer the law in most of the United States. The reason for this is exemplified by the first example I picked: To you and me, the N-word is no less offensive, no less of a provocation to a fight, than calling someone a slur for a homosexual, or for saying your mother is a prostitute. However, most jurisdictions didn't recognize the N-word as a fighting word. The people in power were the ones who decided what was or wasn't a fighting word, and they decided that they preferred to live in a society where you could call blacks any sort of racial slur you want without living in fear of a judicially-sanctioned thrashing. The judiciary decided that this sort of cherry-picking is too much power--and in a sense represented censorship by proxy--and so it largely got rid of that power.

What you're talking isn't fighting words--it sounds to more like a verbal true threat. And those, you can absolutely defend yourself against under the law. Fighting words are based on the principle that certain words are so offensive that it's perfectly acceptable to lose control and respond with violence. Responding with violence against a true threat is based on an entirely different principle: That you have the right to defend yourself against imminent violence, and that the threat of imminent violence can be conveyed verbally. Let's recap:

Fighting words:
"Hey, you're a no good Jew."
"That makes me angry." [punch]
Not legal.

Self-defense:
"Hey, you're a no good Jew, so I'm going to get my rifle from my truck and kill you and your whole family."
"No, you won't." [Shoot]
Legal. (Generally.)

There must be a point prior to letting ourselves get killed where we can stop Nazism, otherwise the liberal freedoms you are talking about will get railroaded out of existence by Nazis (as we see happening...)


Absolutely, and I have discussed those points previously, but apparently it bears repeating. Right now, we're at the point where it's all about politics--any direct aspirations to another Final Solution are (thinly) veiled. Most of these guys aren't overtly advocating genocide--instead, it's a couched in terms of things that might be unconstitutional, but not (criminally) illegal. It's crap like reverse affirmative action, policies favoring whites, changing birthright citizenship, deportations: Stuff that you and I probably oppose on principle, but that doesn't quite rise to the level of crimes against humanity.

There are specific Nazis who have committed acts of violence. If possible, they should be stopped with force during the act, and if not, stopped through criminal prosecutions. As for the ones who have been careful not to break the law, we have to fight their words with our words, their ideas with our better ideas. Right now, if 1000 anti-Nazis punch 1000 Nazis in the face, you wouldn't take a single Nazi out of the movement. Instead, you'd have a bunch of self-satisfied anti-Nazis with bruised knuckles, a bunch of slightly angry Nazis with bruised faces, and a world in which it just grew a sliver more difficult to tell who the bad guys are. Let's not forget, some crazed Bernie supporter already tried to solve the Republican problem with bullets--all he succeeded in doing was giving ammunition to the alt-right, and causing the media to focus less on Trump's craziness for a few days.

If those people get into the government in substantial numbers, then we take more proactive action. This means getting more directly involved in politics beyond voting and whining. In states with judicial elections (and even in states without them) advocate for judges who value the rule of law. If Donald Trump tries to put Muslims into camps, the first line of defense will be the one that stopped his Muslim bans--federal and state courts that declare the illegality of his orders. Understand the federal system. Unlike Germany, our federal government has limited powers to operate without state cooperation. Figure out what you fear most about a Nazi takeover, learn what state agencies would need to cooperate to implement that plan, and get others to realize why certain obscure posts are actually really important. Pay attention to what's happening with government, beyond the headlines. Aside from being one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century, the Holocaust was a tremendous logistical achievement that didn't happen overnight. Open Nazis are, in some respects, a lesser threat. Watch things like the appropriations process to see if the government is building, say, massive camps meant to house far more people than we currently have in the prison system. When the administration tries to conceal its activities, take full advantage of the laws and mechanisms we have in place to force transparency in government.

In terms of a last resort, elect governors you trust to take a hard line on certain principles. The National Guard answers directly to state governments--they serve overseas with the military only with the consent of those governors. They are the successors to the militias mentioned in the Second Amendment, and in a worst-case scenario, they will be the ones who stand against a fascist takeover of the federal government. Know your local law enforcement. I think we all know a few nationally prominent, Trump-supporting sheriffs who would gladly help put a bunch of brown people in cages. Make sure someone else heads law enforcement where you live. Outside of the National Guard, police agencies have the largest caches of military vehicles and equipment in the country. Make sure those agencies are controlled by people who will stand for the rights of everybody if it ever comes down to it. Buy a gun, learn how to use it. No matter what certain NRA types think, we're not going to beat tanks with semi-automatic civilian AR-15s. However, the prospect of fighting a population that is almost universally armed and angry is a powerful test that would separate some of the punch-card stormtroopers from the racist true-believers. This is a test the German Army never had to face: The Jews were unarmed and unable to mount a meaningful resistance, nor did the first few nations they annexed. The average German Army soldier never had to ask himself whether he was willing to lay down his life for Hitler's racist ideology, because he never really faced a substantial threat to his life until later in the war.

Unlike WWII, the Nazis aren't an obvious foreign invader. They are U.S. born citizens trying to use the political process to take power. In many respects, that process is like war between superpowers: It has to escalate slowly, and proportionately, or things might get very bad. In our case, overt, organized violence is akin to using nuclear weapons. If both sides gradually escalate to the point where the nuclear exchange is the next logical step, then I don't see that changing public perception that much. However, if one side sends a spy plane over the other's territory, and the other one responds by launching their ICBMs, then there is every possibility that they will lose the support of many of their allies and turn neutral countries into enemies. I completely understand why you want to skip to the nuclear option: We've all seen enough history to see just where the Nazis will escalate to given the chance. However, we have to fight them proportionately, not breaking the sort of rules we've set for the conflict unless the Nazis break them first. I have been arguing for principles, but equally important is pragmatism.

And nobody is worse than a Nazi, it's impossible.


Child rapists?

Unless your position is total pacifism, there must be a reasonable point where something has gone beyond dialogue and demands action.


Absolutely. Incitement, in which you say something that is intended to, and likely to, incite somebody to commit a specific crime. For example, punching someone in the face. A true verbal threat, as I have mentioned. (An actual discussion on what is a true threat and what is just some idiot saying "Imma burn down your house" on WoW is beyond the scope of this thread and quite frankly requires even more appreciation for nuance.) Solicitation, conspiracy, extortion, fraud. I disagree, however, that action should always involve some random citizen punching a guy in the face. More importantly, I disagree with the assertion that a bunch of morons calling themselves Nazis is that point.

The freedom to speak can have limits without ending all freedom (we know this because in other countries that continue to have freedom and pluralism there are laws against speech defending Nazis and yet freedom remains).


This is a straw man. I'm not worried about "ending all freedom." Even in China, in which the government has direct control over much of the economy, the internet is censored, and the government has used violence to suppress dissent, people have some freedoms. I'm worried about losing an unacceptable level of freedom. And I will admit, my standards are much higher than the average person with respect to that. In my mind, Thailand has an unacceptable level of freedom--it can, and does, jail people for the crime of insulting or disparaging the monarchy, something that is VERY broadly defined. England has an unacceptable level of freedom--among other things, it has Donald Trump's dream set of defamation laws, something that is so plaintiff friendly, and so completely lacking in frivolous suit safeguards, that any sufficiently wealthy person can absolutely ruin someone's life by pursuing a case that is completely without merit. And yes, Germany, that country I specifically cited as banning Nazis, doesn't have enough freedom. Among other censoring laws, there is one banning speech that insults or disparages foreign heads of state or other representatives. Recently, a German citizen was prosecuted for a poem mocking the Turkish dictator. The case was dropped for lack of evidence, and not because anyone in Germany seemed bothered by the fact that it offends free speech.

By your metric, apparently these countries are sufficiently free and pluralistic. And to be fair, I've traveled to enough oppressive, third-world cesspools to know that these countries are a huge improvement. However, to me, freedom to speak my mind, so long as I don't offend my monarch, or some foreign head of state, or blaspheme Islam, or insult someone rich and powerful enough to bankroll a frivolous lawsuit against me, isn't really freedom.


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