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Everything posted by leicsmac

  1. I think we've touched base on this before. Trump was smart and PR savvy enough to know that a message of division, "us and them", "America First" and sod the "other" would be his best chance of success which is why he launched with it in the first place, and his PR team were good enough (and recognitive of the power of social media) to make it work. His opponents did make a tactical and strategic error by following him down into the pit. However, that all said, I'd still choose to put the majority of the blame for all this administration does on those who campaigned for it, rather than those who campaigned against it in a manner that proved to be ineffective. Edit: I'm assuming you're not framing it as such but the inflexibility last sentence is really not something to be proud of for Trump supporters - or anyone else, come to that. It's Sunk Cost Fallacy written large and the kind of attitude that would see the ground scorched into oblivion than other people or the future make use of it.
  2. TBF all despots have PR teams of a sort - it's how they get power and often it dictates how long they stay there. FWIW I don't think Trump is a despot, but I have to credit his PR team for being as bloody good as they are - imagine what the reaction would have been if many other leaders had said things and followed policy the way he has.
  3. A question was asked in another thread about how this administration might be dangerous. I'd say the continual disregard and ignorance of both in-house and worldwide scientific expertise (because when you're a powermonger you naturally assume everyone else is too) is right near the top of the list of reasons. Not the first example and I'm sure it won't be the last.
  4. I'm just going to focus on this one part here - is the inference here that Trump has not lied at any point in his press conferences, merely "said outrageous things", because that seems to be the inference? I'm interested.
  5. And the expected barrage at the WHO from the current US administration: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52718309 Good to see the spirit of national self-interest is alive and well in these trying times. NB. It may well be that the WHO is not fit for purpose but without serious suggestions about how it might improve beyond "getting out from underneath China's skirts" this letter should be read for what it is: meaningless self-interested pissing into the wind and an attempt to stoke nationalist fervour in an election year.
  6. Yeah, I think they were gong for the angle that allowed for an element of human control in all this rather than just being the victims of natural fate, but they really could have put it better and like you I'm not sure how much more comforting that is anyway - the funny thing about any possible global disaster is that the ones caused by humans tend to look a lot like the ones not caused by humans, consequences-wise.
  7. Thought I'd leave a harder target for the detractors to debunk...
  8. ...and if the man were solely on the stand-up circuit it would be really damn funny. But he isn't.
  9. Second this. And Sphere.
  10. WHO conference going on, rather more important than it usually is this year. General sentiment seems to be one of unity China say they'll back an independent investigation when cleaning up is done - guess that means they're satisfied there won't be anything that implicates them or they're confident enough they can control the narrative enough to make it look like that. Wonder which it might be? US reps not spoken yet - wonder how they will play it, especially since they're no longer paying the club fee but getting in anyway.
  11. TBH, while these folks belong in this thread, the sociopaths that put these ideas in their head first (and the ones that endorse them famously and publicly, looking at you many Fox News talking heads) belong in here more.
  12. Well, judging by the reports found and posted above there has also been serious investigation into the UK matters too, it just didn't end up in court because there wasn't enough evidence. I continue to stand by the assertions above regarding the seriousness of both - the only thing I'll add is that these are just the parts in the UK and US that have come to light so far, who knows what's going on behind closed doors and not known yet?
  13. leicsmac

    Corona Virus

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52701524 Who was it that said Brazil may well end up getting the worst of all this?
  14. And now there is a retweet of a budding anti-Semitic/nationalist group. "Today Trump retweeted the white nationalists I follow most closely- Michelle Malkin & the America First/groyper movement. I know we’re all desensitized by now, but I can’t get over how extreme this is. These are the folks leading the white nationalist movement today, & Trump has given them massive exposure. Always an extreme anti-immigrant crusader, Malkin has gone even further off the deep end this year, after being shunned by mainstream conservatives for embracing the AF/groyper movement and its antisemitic leader Nick Fuentes. https://thebulwark.com/michelle-malkin-mother-of-groypers/ She’s long focused on ending ‘mass migration’ into the US, to preserve the so-called ‘historic demographic core’ of the West, i.e. white people. Despite being a self-described ‘little brown woman’, white nationalists accept her as a fellow-traveler, mainstreaming their core ideas. A tiny sampling of how awful Malkin is- In a February speech, Malkin claimed it's valid to question the # of Jews killed in the Holocaust. She regularly touts her new column at the site Unz Review, whose ‘Banned Books’ section features ‘Auschwitz: A Three-Quarter Century of Propaganda’ & other Holocaust denial tomes. Earlier this month, Malkin & Milo Yiannopoulos released an ‘America First Reading List’ that included Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ and William Pierce’s ‘Turner Diaries’, a race war fantasy novel inspiring white nationalist acts of terror since the 80s. https://twitter.com/safetyberkeley/status/1257533294171656194?s=20 The America First movement, which Trump also retweeted, is a leading white nationalist org. Focused on influencing college campuses and mainstream conservative institutions, they emphasize Christian patriotism, and seek to distance themselves from prior generations of 'toxic' white nationalists, in a savvy appeal towards mainstream respectability. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/11/20948317/alt-right-donald-trump-jr-conservative-tpusa-yaf-racism-antisemitism While many white nationalist orgs are in tatters due to deplatforming and doxxing, the America First movement is still going strong. Last month, AF leader Patrick Casey said in a podcast, that in the COVID era “it’s more important now than ever for us to get out there on the internet.”" Teflon enough? Probably, sadly.
  15. Oh, and on the topic of corruption: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52694497
  16. Thank you for doing a bit of the legwork for me there. I'll weigh in with some of my own: https://www.npr.org/2018/10/23/659784277/republican-voter-suppression-efforts-are-targeting-minorities-journalist-says https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/magazine/the-man-behind-trumps-voter-fraud-obsession.html https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-election-idUSKCN18B1QB And these are just attempts in Kansas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and North Dakota where a court has found evidence of possible voter suppression tactics and ruled on it, rather than mere speculation. Who knows what else is out there that hasn't been found/ruled upon yet? So yes, I think I'm right in thinking that Republican voter suppression in the US is as big a problem as Labour voter fraud in the UK - if not bigger.
  17. leicsmac

    Corona Virus

    Masks have been part of the scenery since this thing broke and even before that here in Korea. It's probably not solely responsible for the (pretty decent) results over here - it's one of a number of factors. However, it might have helped with keeping things running and allowing people to go out and do stuff while keeping infection rates down rather than having to go with a full lockdown as many other countries have had to do.
  18. ...and I'm sure I could find equally compelling research and reports on voter suppression by Repub legislatures if I were to put some effort into it and it was so desired. It is simply wrong to dismiss one and treat the other as concerning if there is any interest at all in impartiality here. As before, the only reason I might find the UK case a little less alarming is that it didn't have a hand in those who did it (but let's say allegedly, in both cases, for the moment) being given the keys to the entire kingdom.
  19. Not entirely sure what where I live has to do with my belief or lack thereof in national identity, other than the dyed-in-the-wool nationalists over here that do their very best to make life harder for us weigukin - doesn't make much of a difference if the people around me have that belief, I do not and I don't subscribe to the idea of anyone buying into it, wherever they live. I'd like to think it's possible to preserve a sense of cultural difference between peoples without it going hand in hand all too often with the idea of superiority over those "others", but I'm not sure how possible it is. And knowing that, I guess it just comes down to whether you think preserving those differences is worth the price in blood and suffering attached to it. Some do, some don't.
  20. leicsmac

    Corona Virus

    As is what happened here - Korea was down to a handful of cases per day until this one slipped the net. However, what it has done has mitigated the damage that this cluster will do and could also do the same for subsequent clusters. If that's the case then it might not be realistic with 52 million people either, but it is happening over here nevertheless.
  21. Once again: words are free, but they can and do have consequences. Sometimes in blood. If folks think that is a price worth paying, then fair enough.
  22. I'm interested to know how, to use one example, the idea that Covid 19 was bred in a laboratory as a biological weapon is somehow more credible because people espousing the idea are having to seek their own platforms rather than using existing ones? Ditto for anti vaxxer belief, come to that. I'd add climate change ignorance to the list but oddly enough despite the threat it poses that one hasn't been so targeted as yet.
  23. None that should be of import because I'm going to attempt to spread them around. Power over other people doesn't interest me. However, the same cannot be said for a lot of other folks who may or may not share those views. Talking about this as if it is just a matter of principle and that thoughts and viewpoints exist solely in a vacuum is not understanding the reality of the situation IMO. As before, totally free speech is something we should aspire to in principle, but practically speaking it does often cause a mess.
  24. Voll has is right - as above spoken viewpoints don't exist in a vacuum and people can and often do act upon them. Is it always a case of waiting until that happens before addressing the matter?
  25. Difficult topic. Idealistically people should be free to believe and talk about that belief as they wish - and given the capacity for Internet access these days it's hardly difficult to have and maintain your own platform for doing so without having to violate the terms of use while using a platform supplied by another. However practically words do have power and it's rather easy for words of violence to become acts of violence. As such, freedom of speech has to come with freedom to take the consequences of that speech - because words don't exist in some kind of vacuum entirely separate from deeds.
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