Forum Replies Created
January 15, 2021 at 12:22 pm #36045
This conservative pundit thinks Biden stands a good chance of becoming one of the most popular presidents in history, especially if the GOP’s internal schism doesn’t get healed. He could become the FDR of the 21st Century. And he can do it by being semi-progressive.
Even intuitively, that feels quite plausible, and yet less than a half decade ago, it probably would have sounded borderline absurd.
I do wonder what will stick to Biden and Trump with regard to Covid. Strange to say, but when I think of 9-11, the attacks themselves are relatively minor in my memories; the main thing that comes up is the moment Bush was told. Stealing someone’s YouTube comment on that moment:
“America is under attack”
“Yeah but, I need to know what sound a cat makes”
Fair or not, that really is the impression it left, not just of that moment, but the whole two term presidency. I’ve almost forgotten how hated he was–how much I disdained him–and remember instead all the wonderful gaffes.January 15, 2021 at 11:57 am #36044
…but I thought I read somewhere that a simple majority is enough to block him from running for office again.
Yes, but unless I’m mistaken, blocking him from running again can happen only after he’s actually convicted. In any case, I’m personally ok with the impeachment even as just a tokenal message, and ok with delaying any senate trial until after the troll is inactivated on the 20th.
That makes more sense, and I am confident you are correct, but it’s also less desirable, so for the time being, let’s just live like it’s false.January 14, 2021 at 10:04 pm #36035
Yah but….Mitch McEnabler Has already said they’re not gonna do anything until January 19… They’re going to drag this into Biden’s term. And knowing the way Trump enabler’s go they’ll probably say that it’s just not worth it and this will be another slap on the wrist. I don’t think they’re going to actually get it through the Senate.
Isn’t that better? I don’t fully know how it works with federal elections and timelines, but wouldn’t that position them so that the Democrats are in control of the Senate? A 2/3rds majority may not be likely for a conviction, but I thought I read somewhere that a simple majority is enough to block him from running for office again.January 14, 2021 at 8:54 am #36031
Is it just me? Or is this whole impeachment thing too little too late… Just like their lousy $600 stimulus check. The damage has already been done.
I imagine they are hoping they can bar him from running for office again, at a minimum.January 9, 2021 at 8:25 am #35933
Sorry, you asserted that social media was this big driver of Anti-Vaxxer hysteria. I gave you the falsifying instances of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s bogus article in The Lancet, plus Jenny McCarthy’s TV hysteria on Oprah, then threw in the Tuskeegee Syphillis Experiment as a bonus, and you won’t accept anything as a falsifying instance. “Be gone” is all the response this rates.
That isn’t falsifying since the claim isn’t that anti-vaccine beliefs didn’t predate modern social media. The claim was with regard to the impact of social media on the saturation of these ideas in the general population. Jenny McCarthy wasn’t on Oprah until 2007(?). Between 2007 and 2008, Facebook alone had gone from 14 million users to 100 million, and certainly it wasn’t the only avenue for spreading propagandistic web bullshit at the time. Truth be told though, I don’t think I came across her until 2008/ 2009 myself. Never was an Oprah watcher.
The date at which Wakefield published his paper doesn’t speak much to when his work hit mainstream audiences with any real force. Did you know the term ‘meme’ was coined in 1976? And world wide memes existed at least as early as the 40s with Kilroy (I’m just taking shit of wiki atm, but the point is what it is). That doesn’t mean mean “meme”s as we know them now in their bastardized internet form had the same impact, exposure and adoption rate throughout all that time frame.January 4, 2021 at 12:22 am #35798
Should professional medical advice be considered free speech under the First Amendment?
I think the trick in America is if you want to do something negligent or harmful, find a way to characterize it as speech. Robbed a bank and murdered three people in the process? Just make sure you do it artistically so you can claim it’s a performance piece.December 24, 2020 at 1:40 pm #35695
Reg, One bone of contention I do have with the article: What’s all this about “saving the National Health Service (NHS)?” And why does a system that the article says keeps patients in the dark about their options need to be “saved?”
That’s not actually what it says though. It says ‘protect the NHS’ which at a quick search seems to be a government slogan. Many health care systems, including various systems/ institutions through out the US were worried initially about facilities being overwhelmed. Due to protective gear shortages, there were concerns that medical staff were at risk of being infected. I believe there are actually still PPE shortages (again, this includes the US). I am not 100% certain, but I believe ‘protect the NHS’ was an attempt at reducing the possible strain on the healthcare due to possibly atypical and extreme circumstances.
Kept in the dark… I don’t believe that is what the article was suggesting that generally happens in the NHS. It refers to how things were in the old days, and it mentions a few areas where there are still shortcomings about educating the public/ patients.December 21, 2020 at 12:40 am #35589
That scenario B answer creates some interesting implications though. What if the transporter had worked properly? The transported individual is the clone, in a sense. The original just happens to have been consumed in the process. Can you escape culpability just by using a transporter?December 20, 2020 at 11:56 pm #35587
This is similar to the Ship of Theseus thought experiment.
Although, notably different, the Ship of Theseus wouldn’t have had cognition and a sense of personal identity.
We may actually naturally be in more of a Ship of Theseus scenario anyway. From birth to death, how much of the original matter that made us up still exists within us?December 20, 2020 at 11:31 pm #35583
I suppose there are two basic forms of the science-fiction transporter relevant to this scenario. One is much like a sophisticated fax machine only the original is destroyed in the process. The other seems to not just copy you, but actually convert your mass into a more transmissible form and then relocates and reconstitutes it.
You can’t get duplicates with the latter. It’s the same entity at any point in the process, even if configured differently somewhere in the middle. With the former, I’d say at the point the original was copied and the exact point the copy was generated, they’d be the same person, very briefly. I don’t think we are defined by the specific atoms that make us up, but rather the specific pattern and form in which they are arranged. From that point on, however, there would be a continuous degradation to that sameness. While they may both still share many defining traits, they become distinct people even if ever so slightly at first.
But let’s imagine two scenarios. In both scenarios, a transporter error results in two iterations of an individual–the original and a copy.
Scenario A: After the error, one of the individuals commits a murder. Are they both culpable or just the one? Is there an ethical or moral concern with both or just one? Does it matter how much time has passed? A decade, a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute?
Scenario B: After the error, it is discovered that prior to the transportation glitch, the original committed murder. Are they both culpable or just the one? Is there an ethical or moral concern with both or just one?
December 18, 2020 at 1:50 am #35516
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Kristina.
Also a time to teach them the difference between fighting ‘tyranny’ and railing against reality.December 17, 2020 at 11:15 pm #35502
Do I trust the vaccine? I’d trust it to babysit my kids…
If I had kids…
And that was a thing vaccines could do.
That said, I’m bound to be a somewhat lower priority. Currently, about 4,000 doses have been shipped to BC (I’m not sure if that’s doses for 4,000 people, or 4,000 first doses). Total population is over 5 million, though those under 16 are not getting vaccinated at this time. Still, millions of people and very limited supply. I am not in an elevated risk group for complications, I am not an essential worker, I will be afforded the ability to live a fairly solitary life for the next half year. There are so many others who should be vaccinated before me.
Right now only Pfizer is approved in Canada, but Moderna will probably be approved soon too. Hopefully covid restrictions are fully maintained until a considerable portion of the population is known to have been vaccinated. Like many countries, recent numbers have been appalling. Some people who have been vaccinated may see it as an opportunity to go 100% back to normal, but like most vaccines, it’s not 100% effective. And we’ve seen many people lying about being unable to wear masks or outright refusing. Having them lie and say they are vaccinated when they aren’t is somewhat of a concern.November 28, 2020 at 3:05 pm #34922
I don’t think it is inherently unethical. My dad once considered joining a church after my parents had separated. He wasn’t particularly religious. I don’t think he believed in any god per se (could be wrong). Mostly he just longed for a sense of community. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that as long as you accept the community as they are and aren’t just using them. Admittedly, some of the actual believers may just be using the church themselves for a sense of social standing or moral superiority or other disingenuous motives, but that’s on them.
Joining all (or many faiths) for the sake of inquiry? Can you do that with integrity? Without just using people who have invited you into something sacred to them? I am not a fan of organized religion in the slightest, but I am not so cynical as to believe there are no wholesome and sincere congregations/practices/ communities. If you are seeking something from them, what are you offering of yourself in return? If you can produce a fair answer to that, then I don’t think it is unethical in this hypothetical scenario. (In reality, I don’t think you can pull it off without making some rather hefty lies).
Personally, I won’t so much as bow my head for a meal time prayer if it is a religious ritual. It’s a farce. I can’t feel it as anything other than putting on a show or an outright lie. To me, it’s disrespectful to treat someone’s deeply held practice so disingenuously. Disrespectful to them and to myself. And if it isn’t a deeply held practice for them, they should back the fuck up off me if I say no. Historically, religions have asked people to bow far deeper than a simple mealtime prayer, and especially as an LGBTQ+ person I won’t budge a millimetre in deference or subservience (though not all contemporary religion is bigoted). So there is no way I could go through that experiment ethically, even if it were somehow possible to convert in that way.November 27, 2020 at 6:19 pm #34915
It’s difficult to get an accurate landscape of wealth and income inequality in Canada and where it is trending. Compared to the 90s, inequality has almost certainly increased. Compared to five years ago, some of the more conventional measures show it as levelling or marginally reducing.
Why that is, I’m not exactly certain. Some policy shifts such as minimum wage increases may have had an effect. But also, calculations may not compensate for obscured income or wealth. I saw an estimate from 2015 stating $199 billion was hidden in offshore havens. The CRA estimated $240 billion in 2018. A more recent article $381 billion. those numbers can’t be taken at face value as they were calculated by different groups likely using different methodologies; however, it’s clear large sums are hidden, and it’s not much of a leap to assume the uppermost wealth quintile hides more than the lowest quintile.
Part of the issue comes from what the nation and provinces legally allow. Measures intended to promote certain types of activity like investing for the future or distributing tax burdens, or certain types of transfers are abused. Employers get away with constantly pushing up against the intent of labour laws. Subsidies are granted in ways which may no longer be effective. Creditor protections are abused. A lot of these probably could be tightened up to recoup some losses and curb some negative behaviours (or drive them into solidly unlawful territory).
I think one of the major shifts I’d like to see is a change to creditor protections and subsidies. Once the amount of money on the table reaches a certain amount, the government may need to be able to set stricter conditions and controls. For instance, when Target failed in Canada, the top most executive for Canadian operations escaped with a golden parachute. Mid to small businesses and employees got shafted, and in order to recoup losses would have had to claim creditor status in competition with much larger creditors.
When my previous employer–a co-operative retailer–recently hit the wall with financial mismanagement from the top coupled with covid, the board sold the co-op to an American firm. It was a dubious move done under creditor protections. The co-op had millions of members who all had–at minimum–a five dollar share. In order to get our shares back, we’d have had to have claimed creditor status. While individually the amounts lost were in the range of maybe $5-50, that’s millions of dollars and value basically erased from our hands so that a private firm could benefit (though in this case, out of country). Some of the lowest paid employees who were let go in the deal were stiffed on severance and not all of them will have the means to fight that. It’s a load of shit, really.
One of the other issues is even if income inequality reduces, even at the average rate of inflation, the lower quintiles may be disproportionately advantaged. Housing is a massive issue in many cities. Lower end rental rates are being wiped out, so those at lower income levels are seeing proportionately steep increases to cost of living. At least here some measures can be enacted to balance the scales. Rent increases in my province have seen tighter restrictions. Rezoning and development of residential properties has seen tighter restrictions. Foreign buyer taxes and vacancy taxes have made it so that it is either less profitable for speculators to hold properties as investments, or they pay more taxes. Whether they ditch the real estate or pay the increased taxation, there is some benefit.
Personally, when covid hit, I had hoped it would push more Canadians to take a stiffer stance. It’s hard for the lowest quintile to push back because they can easily be pushed from a state of slowly increasing debt to just being flat out fucked. But the extremity of covid was an involuntary push for lower income/ wealth Canadians to really take stock. Businesses like large grocery chains had to be blocked from gouging. They initially gave pandemic pay to employees, but the second they could drop it, they did despite their profits increasing and having an excuse to reduce employee hours. Canadians were looking for rent relief and pauses on mortgages. N.B. not a reduction in mortgages, but a pause, but there was no fucking way the banks would have gone for that. If the government ever has to choose between individuals taking on debt, and any threat or compromise to banking, well, sorry average joe.
The government did implement an emergency response benefit for businesses and individuals. The former was too slow and poorly structured, so it may not have been enough. The latter was decent, but it wasn’t enough to protect the lower quintiles from increasing debt or facing financial hardship. Also, many Canadians were excluded. Funnily enough, some employers complained that CERB was hurting their business because employees would rather take CERB than work for them. But in many cases, CERB wasn’t enough to cover all basic costs, and what employers were paying was slightly less to marginally more than CERB. So why would anyone want to be treated like shit in a shit job when they don’t have to? Maybe offer employees something actually worth coming back to.
We live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. We have a decent level of resource independence. We have clean water and food production capacity to cover the whole population. We have the space to house everyone and then some. But our covid response reeked of desperation to keep the economy running. The economy ranked higher than public health, even though we had the means to provide for everyone in a time of emergency. And it wasn’t even an issue of long term economic health. It was a symptom of a system that just can’t stop for even a minute. But our middling covid response led to the same pattern seen globally. We’ve vastly extended the strain and harm by taking half measures. How much with that cost us in the long run?
I had hoped more of this would have not only become apparent, but motivated people to push policy drivers to stop being shills and assholes. It did for a bit. But I fear with the prolonged timelines for recovery, people are burned out, and many will be desperate just to get some semblance of normalcy once a vaccine is widely available and distributed. We will get back on the hamster wheel and run run run until we die.November 24, 2020 at 9:13 pm #34833
My first inclination is to object to some of the premises because that’s the sort of person I am. However, given the variables in place:
Q1: Would I?
Yes, in this hypothetical scenario. The chief consideration is that the preservation of life doesn’t, on its own, trump reduction in suffering.
Q2: Would resource benefits at the expense of the creatures’ lives affect my answer?
No. I’m not weighing the lives of the creatures against resource availability. While the mere act of living as a human will almost always result in other creatures dying, that’s a far cry from trading the lives of an entire species for mining operations.