Maurile Tremblay

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Maurile Tremblay last won the day on August 30 2016

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  1. Okay, I'll backtrack from my previous post a bit and agree that there is a sense in which people are sometimes called racists simply for disagreeing. Not for disagreeing about any particular topic (except the obvious -- disagreeing with the idea that certain races aren't inherently subordinate). But for disagreeing in terms of general ideology and therefore committing the grave sin of being on the other political team. It's related to the fundamental attribution error. There are a few different reasons why a person might think that George Zimmerman was legally justified in shooting Trayvon Martin. A person could have looked at the facts of the case and made an honest judgment about it. Or a person could just be a racist. The reality is that we tend to do whatever mental gymnastics are needed to give people on our own team the benefit of the doubt in such situations, while we concurrently go out of our way to assume the worst about the motives of people on the other team. So it is quite possible that a liberal would listen to another liberal explain why, all things considered, in this particular case, there probably isn't enough to convict Zimmerman, and think to himself, "Gee, I may disagree with my fellow liberal in this case, but I have to admit that he is sure being fair-minded!" Or he could listen to a conservative give the exact same explanation for the exact same position and think to himself, "Gee, that conservative is totally racist. So predictable!" So in that hypothetical (but frustratingly realistic) situation, the conservative would be considered racist and the liberal wouldn't be, and it wouldn't be because of anything either one of them thought, said, or did in the actual case at hand. It would simply be because of which team they were on -- i.e., on whether they agreed or disagreed with the other person's overall political views generally.
  2. I wouldn't conflate free speech with lobbying efforts or campaign contributions. They're largely separate. The biggest threat to free speech is not that Wall Street is spending money to drown out the voices of the rest of America. If anybody is drowning the rest of us out with their excessive speech, it's CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times and the like -- the Wall Street Journal maybe, but not Wall Street. That's also why Citizens United is the wrong horse to criticize in this. The defendant in Citizens United was a tiny voice that the law, as applied in that case, wanted to diminish further. The law didn't do anything to prevent CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the like from drowning the rest of us out. As applied in that case, it was aimed at a small, non-profit, independent film-maker. In terms of lobbying, yes, it's a real problem. The fact that Wall Street and big corporations spend so much on politicians allows them to rig large parts of the political (and therefore economic) game in their favor. One way to avoid this is to restrict lobbying efforts. I'm sympathetic to that, but not in ways that weaken the First Amendment by restricting speech contra Citizens United. Another way to avoid the problem with special-interest lobbying is to reduce the power of politicians so that they're no longer worth bribing. This is the traditional libertarian solution, but doesn't seem realistic. It's a hard, complicated problem that seemingly lacks a simple solution.
  3. In response to the fact that a producer from CNN "liked" Plame's Tweet, somebody in the comments made a good point that is also relevant to the Ted Cruz thing. Liking a Tweet doesn't necessarily mean that you like the Tweet. Sometimes people like Tweets just to keep track of them so they don't have to search for the URL again later when they want to report negatively on them. That likely explains what happened with Cruz.
  4. No. Politics is simple, mathematics is hard, economics is dismal, and physics is generally pretty sensible except when it comes to quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is just zany.
  5. I don't think does humor pieces. It's not exactly The Onion. I mean, some of the points are phrased in a slightly humorous style, but the substance seems valid, IMO. Also, come on, of course it's a humor piece.
  6. The Beave has a point here. Ruling is: pole.
  7. I'll try to make my point a different way. Some people claim that certain posters call others bigots simply for disagreeing. This is obviously incorrect in that it's stated much too broadly. If it were true, you'd have conversations that went: "Looks like it might rain tomorrow." "I disagree." "RACIST!!" But in fact, that never happens. People aren't called bigots "simply for disagreeing," full stop. At the very least, you'd have to add something like "about stuff involving race" to the end of it. But that doesn't do the trick, either. Most liberals will tell you that, as a general rule, black people have darker skin than white people do. I'm pretty certain that if I (weirdly) voiced disagreement with that observation, however, it would not cause anyone to call me a racist. People might call me blind, but not racist. So it's not simply disagreeing that triggers the appellation, and it's not even disagreeing about race that does it. It's something more specific still. I'm don't have my own well-formed theory about what it takes, exactly; I'm just standing on the sideline pointing out the obvious -- that it's something more specific than mere disagreement. Something more specific, even, than disagreement about race. I don't know exactly how much more specific, but definitely more specific than that.
  8. If that is supposed to be a summary of anything I said in my post, it is a rather baffling one.
  9. That's an interesting topic in itself these days. Joe Scarborough just tweeted: "If you vote to reorder one-sixth of the US economy without a CBO score, never call yourself conservative again. You are a dangerous radical. ... Anyone who defines 'conservatism' by the ideas of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley do not recognize it in this GOP."
  10. put together a list of reasons to doubt Mueller's impartiality. Mueller has always struck me as serious and competent, and in general I still think he can probably conduct the investigation objectively, but there are a few red flags I hadn't been aware of. ETA: see if this link avoids the registration requirement:
  11. They should play the National Anthem at sporting events, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at church, and "Who Let The Dogs Out?" at pretty much every other event like office parties, luncheons, baby showers, yard sales, luaus, the ballet, etc. I love that song.
  12. I like to think of Mueller as Salma Hayek's character in From Dusk till Dawn. I don't know why. I just do.
  13. This is an important article.
  14. I was just thinking today about how young-earth creationism doesn't seem to be a thing anymore. I don't think anyone on this forum has argued against evolution in years. I wonder why not? The evidence hasn't changed much in the past few decades, but nobody was a creationist based on evidence anyway. Denying evolution has in some sense been replaced by denying climate science, but it doesn't seem the same. There used to be people like golddigger who put a lot of effort into denying evolution. They'd read creationist websites and parrot misinformation about the minutiae of cell metabolism and whatnot, even borrowing arcane jargon from chemical engineering. I don't really see people doing anything similar with climate change. The skeptics on message boards don't bother misrepresenting the finer points of radiatively active gases' emission bands -- they mostly just post laughing emojis. It's like they're just going through the motions; their hearts really aren't in it. What seems to have replaced hardcore enthusiasm for goofy pseudoscientific views these days is hardcore enthusiasm for goofy political views. Plenty of people put real effort into knowing the details of secret codes used in Podesta's emails, or the connection between pizza and pedophilia, or the Deep State's conspiracy to frame Trump for colluding with Russia, and so on. Now these people are enthusiastic about their beliefs! At least as enthusiastic as the creationists used to be, and as impervious to evidence. Humans are really quirky and weird. No wonder there are so many movies about them. They are fascinating in so many ways.
  15. True, I've seen people make this terrible argument, or something pretty close to it.