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Everything posted by leicsmac

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54329813 Humans started the current great extinction event. They can stop it too. Just takes the political will.
  2. Yep, that's rather my point. The "average people" who thought he would be worth a go four years ago aren't nearly so great in number now as they were then. Of course Trump knows how to win as well as you do, but by and large the numbers are saying that they're not buying what he's selling - at least for now.
  3. Non-paywalled version of the NYT article: https://archive.is/2STEO
  4. For fiscal and/or social self-interest, then? Now that there has been 4 years of Trump governance, no one can be ignorant of the man or his policy decisions as perhaps some were in 2016 - I'm curious as to another reason why "young, intelligent family-oriented rational people" would want 4 more years of that than self-interest. In 2016 that was indeed the case as Trump was a less known quantity politically. Safe to say that's no longer the case, and the appeal among the average man/woman might be why his poll numbers aren't what they were at this point four years ago.
  5. Well, it's any of what was said in that post about Trump's deeds not true? But it is right, his supporter base certainly isn't all dumb. Some of them are very smart indeed, and revel in exerting power over people they deem "lesser". And because they're smart, they're pretty good at it too.
  6. If the margin is small enough that Trump leads through in person voting on election night,I would say it is a high probability that he will try to use the courts up to the Supreme Court in order to delegitimise the postal ballots and win that way. A decisive defeat so thorough that it's clear he lost in election day too would make that much harder to do and I think that would probably be the end of the line, so I reckon you're on the money with your assumptions. However, I still think that whatever the result, there is going to be serious unrest afterwards. A convincing win for Biden would simply be the path of least unrest, but there certainly still would be some. A narrow win for either party could result in some of the dire consequences you mention, I sadly concur. The debates aren't going to mean much IMO when this whole thing is a direct referendum on Trump and the vast majority of people have made up their minds already, and it's down to how much of the vote gets out and how much is suppressed, if any.
  7. Well, it won't affect the devoted following that he has - they're too far gone - but it certainly won't help him and as he's drifting a bit further in the polls now he needs a bit of help.
  8. Yeah, it's pretty much as you say. The "thin blue line" represented on a flag has been co-opted by far-right groups in the US as a way of deflecting attention from the systemic race-based problems within policing and the justice system in a lot of the US - going "what about those brave blue lives" rather than actually addressing the problem because, you know, they're ok with the way things are now. I guess folks saw the UK flag with similar representation and thought it represented similar views. Of course, given the reasonably obvious differences between the attitudes of police in the UK and US towards people of colour, that viewpoint lacks any nuance at all.
  9. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54312699 Barrett it is. The Senate Dems should ask one important question at the hearing IMO: "In the case that your religious belief conflicts with the law as stated, can you say in clear conscience that you will choose the law as stated in each and every case?" Of course, she will defend herself and say "Yes" (as she has done before) but it's important to get it as a matter of record so if she does decide to, say, make a religious-based ruling on Roe v Wade, there will have been irrefutable evidence that she lied under oath - which could be addressed accordingly.
  10. Close, but not quite, I think - at least their thoughts on the matter would be with the health and general wellbeing of some other people in mind rather than pure self-interest - though obviously not all. So many problems with the world tend to be down to this, don't they? Humans need to get better at that. Quickly, too.
  11. They do indeed face making such sacrifices - they and a lot of other people besides. The idea being, rightly or wrongly (depending on one's point of view) to protect the medical infrastructure of the UK by making it harder to be a vector of the virus and thus protect lives for long enough for a vaccine to get out there. People who don't want to do this and thus are more likely to be vectors are (because the virus won't affect them nearly so badly as other people they might transmit it to) acting in their own self-interest by prioritising their own needs ahead of that of other people. That's practically the dictionary definition of "selfish" - I don't think there's any way that isn't the case, given what we know about how the thing is transmitted and who it affects. It's harsh, but I think it is technically a justified label, as unfair as it might sound. Of course, self-interest isn't always bad - but I'm not really seeing the utility of it in this particular matter.
  12. I'm not sure how asking and/or expecting folks to take measures against this virus that might be detrimental to everyone - those asking/doing and those doing - can be seen acting in self-interest. Busybodyish, domineering and unwanted in the eyes of many, but not selfish - as those people have, most often, as much to lose from this spiralling on as anyone else does. They don't personally benefit from the things that they are asking for.
  13. There's a term for it - "perseverance porn" or somesuch. People get so carried away with these gestures of philanthropy that they don't seem to question the system that put such poor people in that position in the first place. It's the same with all those GoFundMe's for medical costs in the US - rather than celebrating hitting a target so someone can have lifesaving treatment, perhaps you should, you know, work towards having a healthcare system where that doesn't have to happen at all? Edit: Here it is.
  14. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54303942 Not altogether unexpected. I wonder what the response to this will be, should she be confirmed and then healthcare related legislation, chief among it Roe v Wade is challenged.
  15. My position remains the same: "living with the virus" and opening up, unless a place already has a low virus patient count and a top of the line tracking system to highlight and target outbreaks as they occur, is inviting a risk of exponential growth in virus cases and conequential massive strain on health resources. Some people evidently think, for whatever reason, that the risk is low enough to take the chance and that taking the risk is better than the losses that are happening now, economically and socially. Personally, I can't see how they can be so confident that the risk is so low, and as I also have confidence in the speedy delivery and effectiveness of a vaccine, that holding on is the better, more risk-averse way to go. Over here they've managed to open up most things apart from a few restrictions, but that's because the case count was low as it was, the contact track and trace is unbelievably good, and even then there have been bumps in the road that have needed some stricter measures temporarily to get over. I simply wouldn't try it in the UK, where neither a low case count nor anywhere near good enough tracing infrastructure exists.
  16. https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54285869 McConnell breaking ranks and assuring the transition of power will be peaceful whatever the outcome is. Reasonable of him to say, but I wonder how much of that is wishful thinking.
  17. Is the daft "academic that doesn't live in the real world" (whatever "real world" means) stereotype still so widespread that folks think that scientists aren't taking societal consequences into account? To say nothing of the fact that they're probably as dependent on the next pay slip as anyone else? A more likely and less prejudiced explanation is that the scientists have had to adapt their advice based on rapidly changing knowledge of this virus and, at the present time, consider that the more risk averse course is the best one for the time being, having taken everything, including societal consequences, into amount. It may be that they're wrong about that in the long run, but that won't be because they didn't consider something as patently obvious as the damage remaining "closed" would do. I'd like to know on what widespread context that a more risk averse recommendation is somehow "wrong". And there's a world of difference between recommendations to legislate consumption of food and drink products (a personal choice that mostly only affects the consumer) and recommendations to legislate measures against transmitting a virus (which is a personal choice that can and will affect far more people than only the person making it).
  18. FWIW I'm prepared to believe the grand jury acted within the law to not prosecute here (though I'd add that in this case the law is an arse). I'm more thinking about this bloke who has taken the life of a presumed innocent woman and seemingly feels absolutely zero remorse for it, if that email is anything to go by. I'm not sure about anyone else, but if I'd killed someone, even by accident, I'd be feeling a bit shit about it for a while afterwards. And I'd also add that perhaps lack of empathy is not a desirable trait for a member of a police service.
  19. Yes - in fact exactly *because* it acts faster than light means that an observer traveling faster than light (like in a black hole) would be able to observe past events and therefore "time travel" - but only observe, not interact. Of course, seeing as no "information" can be transmitted out of a black hole and we're a long way from mastering FTL travel, that particular area will remain purely theoretical for a while yet.
  20. You should have heard me when Man City got that dodgy VAR peno against us back in February.
  21. Exactly how gravity can act "faster than light" is one of the true mysteries of astrophysics, that's for sure. To expand on the structure of a black hole a little more, most of what we see as "black" is in fact the "event horizon" - the point at which light cannot escape, hence, black. The core of the black hole itself - the singularity - is at the centre of that. Also, there are different types of black hole, based on size and how they originated.
  22. Black holes are most often (but not always) caused by the collapse of truly massive stars (usually more than 20 times the mass of our Sun). When a star runs out of hydrogen to convert to helium, the force of gravity at the centre of the star becomes much bigger than the outward gas pressure, which causes it to collapse - something that happens to most stars, including our own some 5 billion years from now. When a star with a high mass collapses, the force of gravity is so large (because of the increased mass) that it there is nothing, not even the force that binds subatomic particles together, than can stop the collapse. At some point, the force of gravity becomes so large that even light cannot escape, and you have a black hole. Humans certainly could create a black hole if we learned how to manipulate and generate gravity in the correct fashion. That's a big if, though. There was a lot of unfounded theories regarding the LHC creating a black hole through high-energy collisions, yeah. However, given that the energies involved at the LHC are some 10000000000000000 times smaller than what is necessary to create even the smallest black hole, there's a reason they are unfounded.
  23. Why? Once the virus had gone international, the Chinese didn't make various world governments act like idiots while others did rather well. Isn't it a hallmark of national sovereignty that the response to everything that goes on within the borders of a nation is the responsibility of that nation?
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