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  1. #3791
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNV View Post
    I just watched CSPAN’s video of this.

    The cynical will call it a stunt, and will miss it entirely.

    I see it as intentionally symbolic, and meant to inspire and guide. You know, the leader of the free world using traditional imagery? For someone with such a flawed past as him to do that, means he has absolutely massive balls. And, ironically, indicates an amazing independence, immune to others’ opinion of him. That is strength and humility, not conceit.
    Much the same was said of Bush the Younger at the National Cathedral after September 11. His speech was characterized as vengeful and out of place for a place of worship. When someone who does not play for Team Blue gets close to a church, the MSM soil themselves. When Lord Clinton gathered pastors around him after getting caught with his pants down over Monica, that was simple Christian charity and a noble effort by all concerned.

  2. #3792
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    On the first point, I would challenge you to name a single public voice that calls him or herself a 'Marxist'.
    FWIW, over here we have plenty of well-known public voices on the left, who get corporate media platforms and interview party leadership candidates, who are self admittedly Marxists and Communisms. Our political history is different, of course. Here's the lovely Ash Sarkar clapping back at Piers Morgan with "I'm literally a communist, you idiot!" during live daytime TV. It wasn't irony.
    YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    What's curious to me is how the conflation of master/slave and Marxism ever happened in the first place... This confusion is somehow rampant (e.g., see Mr. Christansen's comments above) in the US and I find it a bit disconcerning.
    I am not talking about the master/slave dialectic, or Nietzsche. I wasn't referring to Karl Marx's work directly, either, despite my faux pas but since you described him as just an "economist", I would say he was a lot more than just production and labour.

    Marx was complex and clearly much, much more than just an economist. "Just an economist" would clearly not have so greatly influenced and set the philosophical trajectory for, to the degree his work did, people like Gramsci, and the aforementioned Germans, and The Frankfurt School, critical theory and intersectionality. He has informed everything about the left today.

    These increasingly complicated explanations for why our social problems can only be viewed through this prism of the "victim" and "oppressor" narrative, or as with intersectionality, how we are living at the intersections of overlapping, mindbogglingly tangled systems of "privilege" and "oppression" - have been promulgated and developed with one aim in mind: burn it all fucking down. It has nothing to do with creating an egalitarian utopia of equality and peace.

    Its job is to methodically vilify, then justify for the eradication and replacement of, all of the European traditions, norms and values which are responsible for the West in general.

    You combine that with liberal egalitarianism, and you have a situation where everyone, from corporate and money power, to the media and academia are telling black people they are allowed to, and indeed should, think of themselves in terms of a "group", and collectivize and politically organize themselves according to their shared racial identity.... but white Europeans must strictly adhere to the tenets of liberalism at all times. Be individuals, and act as individuals within a society of other atomized individuals. If we want to express an identity, we may do this by consuming products, and other forms of traditionally white culture and identity can, and should increasingly, be viewed with suspicion.

    If white people start to become a bit exasperated with this demand place upon them to only act as individuals, they are quickly reminded that it is for their own good, and the good of society and the world at large, as we, as a race, have been marked down in the history books as capable of unspeakable evil (the holocaust, colonialism, slavery...) A trip to the movies, or a night of Netflix, for a bit of light relief and escapism from it all, turns into a propaganda event where the message is repeated in creative and emotional ways. It does certainly seem to me that white people are the only race no longer permitted to act as ethnic group. It is no longer polite or fashionable for that to be a thing.

    There is a reason there has been a recent uptick in interest of the far right (as reported by the media), and it's nothing to do with Trump's "dog-whistling" tweets. You have kids on YouTube, who should be playing Call of Duty, and instead are live-streaming their debates on Third Position ideas. It's pretty crazy.

    To be honest, at this moment and with the problems we have, nobody gives a shit about whether Marx said this, or Nietzsche said that, or whatever. I don't think free market capitalism is the realistic answer to fixing the problems we face today, either, by the way. You have a highly technical, nuanced understanding of these ideas, and that is all well and good, but the arguments that the left have been permitted to make (due to liberal egalitarianism, and the way it limits the right's ability to counter them-) in popular culture and mainstream politics, for decades, has got us to this place of rioting and looting. Now questioning the police's existence, for God's sake.

    Given the police arrest about 12,000,000 Americans per year, it is obviously inevitable that another George Floyd will die during his arrest by another white cop. It's just a matter of time.

    The next politically useful, racialised death and subsequent rioting will certainly NOT be any less significant/violent/severe/politically far reaching than this one, it will be measurably worse, and that accelerationism is the whole point. The left will be able to, quite rationally, complain the situation has not improved since May 2020 when George Floyd was killed, and present this brand new case of systemic, white supremacist police brutality to demonstrate how the level of "equality" has worsened, or at least, stagnated. They will describe this as being due to the white supremacist institution's refusal to listen to them, and remind them they are an unheard, voiceless people. What do you do when you demand change, to secure your own existence, but are ignored? You make that change happen yourself "by any means necessary". The level out outrage will need to be amplified since the last time in order to have any potential for effect. A placard and paper-mache Trump effigy will no longer cut it.

    That will be all the fuel needed for the fire, and you will see more intense rioting and violence than now. More preposterous demands. Less people willing to argue to the contrary, in public, at least. Especially if their pay-cheque is paid by a woke corporation. It WILL get to the point, one day in the future, where the corporate media and neo-liberal money & political power are not just tacitly endorsing the destruction (with the ol' "I understand your pain, but...") but instead they will be calling for all out violent insurrection (marketed with a different, euphemistic title, and a suitable front-man, obviously)

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    To be fair, you did do this better than any other empire in the history of the world.
    Indeed we did! Harsh but fair, harsh but fair. The other week I saw a jaw-dropping clip of an English (ethnically) travel vlogger walking through a street in a poor area somewhere in India, filming with his go-pro as he went. This random middle-aged Indian guy walked by, asked if he was English, beamed a big smile and exclaimed "Come back, please, and rule us again! Sort this mess out!". He grabbed his hands and shook them vigorously. Hilarious! The English bloke just laughed awkwardly, slipped out of his grip and walked away as fast as humanly possible. Couldn't believe it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    Not a single innocent bystander has been murdered, by police or the masses, and no residential building has been destroyed or even defaced. No police have been forced to do anything, which hasn't stopped them from their usual jack-booted thuggery.
    I have personally seen lots of footage circulating on social media, and some news articles, which show the opposite of what you say. I'll post some links tomorrow. It's not pleasant viewing, though. When (not if) my city is burning from all this, I will be begging for the state's jack-booted thuggery, and wondering if feeling this way is accidental.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    As to your point about divesting your police... is the budget of the the police in metro london? Is it anywhere close to $2 billion? I'll bet the farm on a wild guess and say its nowhere near even half that amount.
    Just googled the Met Police's budget and it's 4.12 billion USD.

    "Minneapolis city council members announce intent to disband the police department, invest in proven community led public safety":
    Minneapolis City Council Members Announce Intent To Disband The Police Department, Invest In Proven Community-Led Public Safety - The Appeal

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Ebner View Post
    Again, this is pure nonsense. Nothing of the sort has happened here, ever. This sort of fantasy rhetoric is what makes people think the far right is attempting to incite riots.
    The left doesn't need any help in starting riots, with the way the corporate media carry on. How do you think it would go for me if I stood between the mob and my property, armed with whatever I had to hand (due to the lack of police presence) and politely stated I disagreed with pretty much their entire theory on racism and refused the very idea of "white privilege"? After I demanded that my right to free speech was respected by the mob, and reminded them they should not damage my property, do you think they would agree to disagree, and with a shrug, move on? Or do you think something else might happen - to me?

  3. #3793
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNV View Post
    Category — Corona

    Cribbing from another site, quoting Lewis about a pandemonium of his time.

    Lewis:

    In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in the Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.” In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays.
    I've always appreciated the things Lewis has written about living through the modern world, especially considering the fact that the man lived through WWI firsthand (along with Tolkien). If anyone is a fan of Narnia check out his less-popular Space Trilogy for similar themes with a science fiction veneer.

    Quote Originally Posted by George Christiansen View Post
    It turns out that, while the length of time involved (the video i saw was extremely short) or some other factor may be in play to make this case abnormal and excessive, the knee on neck thing was a standard protocol in MPD and had been used over 200 times last year without a death, so there was no reason for it not to be used or to expect that it was dangerous.

    One autopsy stated that Floyd had severe heart issues and had meth and Fentanyl in his system, which could have easily caused him to die simply from the panicked stress of knowing that he was screwed and going to jail.

    This goes into a bunch of detail that has made me entirely rethink whether there is actually any guilt on the part of any of the officers. Mostly I don't give a shit because it is a rare problem that is also a local one. But the optics were great for stirring the pot so.....



    I've basically gone from piece of shit kills innocent man to piece of shit kills piece of shit to cop may have contributed to a piece of shit's death, but it is likely unrelated to his knee being on his neck and he is likely not guilty of anything much at all.
    The more I hear about this incident, the more of a "gray" area I think it is. Was Floyd a POS? Definitely. Was the cop a POS? Definitely. These are the kind of tricky situations the justice system is supposed to figure out.

    The big signal to me that Floyd is ultimately just a media op is the whole situation with that jogger (English's newest racial slur) Ahmaud Arbery. The Arbery killing was a similar event to Floyd's. For whatever reason the Arbery's killing didn't take off, but Floyd's death did. Timing is everything.

    I used to live in Saginaw, MI, and this kind of stuff happened with some degree of regularity. Some coked out dude would make a big scene, the cops would respond, and the media would ultimately paint the police department in a bad light if there was even a chance that excessive force was used. Maybe the cop fired too many shots. They should have let the dude brandishing a knife get a little closer. They should have "shot the gun out of his hand like they're trained to do". (I actually saw this one in the Saginaw News's op-ed. Anyone who's ever shot a pistol realizes how ridiculous this is.)

    I get that cops are in a unique position and that abuse of power is a huge problem, but after living and working in the inner city ghettos of Saginaw, MI and Milwaukee, WI, I do have some sympathy for officers who are trying to work in what essentially amounts to the Wild West.

  4. #3794
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    In the "Milgram Experiments" about 65% of people (teachers) administered what they believed to be near-fatal electric shocks to people ("learners") who made minor mistakes in answering questions, no matter how loudly the learners screamed or appeared to be suffering -- as long as a perceived authority figure told the teachers the shocks were "essential." The studies have been replicated, and at least one had an added finding that White teachers shocked Black learners to the maximum more often than they shocked white learners the same way.

    One wonders if a similar percentage of police doesn't behave like the teachers in the study, and whether that gives a clue to what happened in Minneapolis.

  5. #3795
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltomo View Post
    ... check out his less-popular Space Trilogy for similar themes with a science fiction...
    Follow Ransom’s adventures in the Space Trilogy = yes

  6. #3796
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNV View Post
    I see it as intentionally symbolic, and meant to inspire and guide. You know, the leader of the free world using traditional imagery? For someone with such a flawed past as him to do that, means he has absolutely massive balls. And, ironically, indicates an amazing independence, immune to othersÂ’ opinion of him. That is strength and humility, not conceit.

    IÂ’ve heard sympathetic newscasters call Lafayette a good gesture poorly executed. I donÂ’t see the poor execution. Lack of polish perhaps. But thatÂ’s a virtue. It appears he did what he thought was right, unscripted.
    On the first part, I think we just disagree with what elected leaders should and shouldn't be doing with the time we pay them for, and that's OK. "Symbolic gestures" are not something I ever want to see a politician waste his time on, especially when he's not actively campaigning (granted, they do it all the time). Call me old fashioned, but I expect concrete results, or active work towards those results, and could care less about symbolic anything from people we appoint, to you know, get shit done.

    On the latter point, I guess its the 'flawed past' part that hangs a lot of people up. If this were a man who attended services regularly, who paid any kind of lip service, at the very least, to his Presbyterian background (his own former church had to clarify that he hasn't been an active member since his dad died in 1993), I guess the gesture would be easier to understand? What if he were visiting a mosque or a temple instead? That would pretty clearly be a 'stunt', right? To a non-religious, non-christian person like myself, a Presbyterian visiting an Episcopal church to take a photo outside is not that different. It just seems like a very strange time to do that sort of thing which, for me anyway, makes its hard to disagree with those sympathetic newscasters. Using his personal security force to forcibly move people to go take a photo in front of a building is just not a good look, no matter what the timing or circumstances.

    Also, you're the only person I've ever heard describe the president as humble. He puts his name, in huge letters, on everything he touches. I also don't hate the guy, but I would never accuse him of being humble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This was my take on it, Noah. But I don't hate the guy.
    I don't either, to be clear. But, I haven't met him--I tend to reserve those sorts of extreme emotional reactions for people I've met in the flesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by VNV View Post
    It’s a version of Wokeness-as-cult. He’s not the first to say it. You disagree with the comparison, or just his rendition?
    Ah, thank you very much for this explanation. I don't consume enough political punditry to be able to identify these sort of positions.

    To answer your question, I disagree with both, but more so with his particular rendition. Calling wokeness a cult is just plain sloppy use of language. It meets none of the criteria for a cult (who is the leader? what freedoms do members have to give up? to whom do they give their belongings? what uniforms are they forced to wear? what fringe religious beliefs unites members? etc. etc.). This is akin to when the left pundits call Trump a fascist. That's simply unjustifiably hyperbolic and patently absurd. Does this mean I'm a fan of virtue signaling, wokeness, 'allyness', or whatever else people do to stack up cultural clout? Absolutely not. In fact I hate it, in all forms. I've damn near come to blows with people over my refusal to wear a mask (virtue signaling at its finest) but comparing mask-wearers to a cult is not something that ever crossed my mind. I certainly think many of them are fanatical and delusional, but that alone does not merit accusations of cultish behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrowdisciple View Post
    Additional food for thought is available in studies over at least thirty years that have found large disparities in hiring of people with identical educations and backgrounds, but whose names, and sometimes addresses, are associated with different ethnic groups. Study: anti-black hiring discrimination is as prevalent today as it was in 1989 - Vox One wonders whether police officers, who live in the same culture, aren't subject to the same biases that appear to persist in the society at large.
    Roland Fryer, a black economist at Harvard (inb4 accusation of "unconscious bias") has done one of the most detailed investigations of police violence. The results? Police are generally more likely to rough-up black suspects, but there is no statistical difference in fatal shootings of black vs. white suspects (in fact, white suspects are more likely to be shot to death by cops).

    Whatever biases exist in society at-large, Fryer work is strong evidence that they don't seem to play a role in fatal shootings of black suspects.

    Shiva, please forgive me for linking to a study that uses observational data. Shame on me for not providing evidence from a randomized control trial, with random assignment of race to suspects in police encounters.

  8. #3798
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNV View Post
    I just watched CSPAN’s video of this.

    The cynical will call it a stunt, and will miss it entirely.

    I see it as intentionally symbolic, and meant to inspire and guide. You know, the leader of the free world using traditional imagery? For someone with such a flawed past as him to do that, means he has absolutely massive balls. And, ironically, indicates an amazing independence, immune to others’ opinion of him. That is strength and humility, not conceit.

    I’ve heard sympathetic newscasters call Lafayette a good gesture poorly executed. I don’t see the poor execution. Lack of polish perhaps. But that’s a virtue. It appears he did what he thought was right, unscripted.

    Let’s have more of that.
    I've little doubt that the media, even Fox, did not represent this event dispassionately. But it takes a remarkable naivete or a fundamental misunderstanding of Trump's character disorder to reach this interpretation.

  9. #3799
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltomo View Post
    If anyone is a fan of Narnia check out his less-popular Space Trilogy for similar themes with a science fiction veneer.
    read these last year and really liked them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ltomo View Post
    Was the cop a POS? Definitely.

    I get that cops are in a unique position and that abuse of power is a huge problem.
    Based upon what?

    The former, in my own case was a combination of optics, ignorance of the tactic being used, and wishful thinking, but thus far I have not hear anything outside of a comment from the club owner he used to bounce for saying he seemed eager to go too far...which made me wonder why she never fired him. I wouldn't tolerate people acting that way towards my clientele.

    I think the latter I think is generally overstated (huge?) and done so due to no sense of proportion. Sure there are cases of abuse of power and some serious fuck ups we all know about and I have met, both socially and thanks to the blue lights being in my rearview, cops who seem to be compensating for small dicks, but have never experienced or even known someone personally who has experienced anything more than what could be said to be unnecessary heavy handedness.

    I think a lot of cop hatred is due to the potential for abuse (which is why I would like to see big changes in the job), just like a lot of accusations of racism are based on the possibility of it rather than the demonstration of it (just look at this case: no reason to see color at all, but here we are), but I think both are a lot rarer than people "intuit" them to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrowdisciple View Post
    In the "Milgram Experiments" about 65% of people (teachers) administered what they believed to be near-fatal electric shocks to people ("learners") who made minor mistakes in answering questions, no matter how loudly the learners screamed or appeared to be suffering -- as long as a perceived authority figure told the teachers the shocks were "essential." The studies have been replicated, and at least one had an added finding that White teachers shocked Black learners to the maximum more often than they shocked white learners the same way.

    One wonders if a similar percentage of police doesn't behave like the teachers in the study, and whether that gives a clue to what happened in Minneapolis.
    This and the Stamford prison experiments both required egging on by the researchers to get the abuse inflicted. But that probably doesn't matter, right?

    I was in the middle of The Gulag Archipelago when the Kung Flu fighting started, but figured why waste the time with the book when I can just watch the live action version on TV? I am quite aware historically what people can do to each other under the right conditions, but I am not convinced that that is anywhere near the norm in any US police department....yet.

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