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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greece General Discussion on: Today at 02:30:06 am
Quote from:  FT
Yet even hardline communists were taken aback when Mr Lafazanis proposed that the Syriza government should seize control of the Nomismatokopeion, the Greek mint, where the bulk of the country’s cash reserves are kept.

“Our plan is that we go for a national currency. This is what we should have done already. But we can do it now,” he said, according to people present at the meeting.

Mr Lafazanis said the reserves, which he claimed amounted to €22bn, would pay for pensions and public sector wages and also keep Greece supplied with food and fuel while preparations were made for launching a new drachma.

Meanwhile, the central bank would immediately lose its independence and be placed under government control. Its governor, Yannis Stournaras, would be arrested if, as expected, he opposed the move.

This would have been a coup.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does your family know about the infraction point system? on: Today at 02:25:56 am
I'm waiting for the right moment to inform my mother of the demise of death points.  I hope she's sitting down, as I'm sure it will be very traumatic.

have cold wash cloths ready.  Also, maybe a good slug of bourbon.  Maybe have psychiatrists on standby in case she needs an emergency prescription of xanax.

Every time is the right time to have some good bourbon on hand. Smiley
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on: Today at 02:22:17 am
What characteristic does a human being have at the point of birth that it did not have a day before birth that provides the human its right to life?

The ability to think. The ability to rationalize. The very things that make us human.

...it does? I don't think this is accurate.

The anti-choicers sure love to strawman in abortion threads:

We are not talking about aborting the day before birth, we are talking about a time where the fetus is not viable (i.e. it cannot survive outside the womb even with technological and medical assistance) and has not reached the threshold of fetal thought.

Nor are "baby parts" being sold on the black market. Fetal tissue samples that otherwise would've been discarded can be used to advance medical knowledge and save lives.

No one ever claimed that anyone was arguing for abortion just before birth. The idea was was to raise the question of when and how one can try and draw a line between "living" and "non-living" or whatever distinction determines whether one would be killing a human being or not. The point here is that it is very hard to draw a line that isn't ultimately arbitrary, not to claim that anyone supports prepartum abortion or postnatal infanticide. That is a strawman.

For example, the word "viable" is nebulous. The boundaries of "technological and medical assistance" are not immovable, while, conversely, a newborn child cannot survive on its own outside the womb, either. Is it also "not viable"? Again, I ask that not to argue a point, but to emphasise the difficulty of trying to make these clear-cut distinctions when dealing with an issue steeped with ambiguity. "(Fetal) Thought" is an even more ambiguous concept.

As for the videos... no, there are no organs or tissue being sold on the "black market". But there are organs or tissue being sold. Planned Parenthood claims they're being "donated", but that's clearly not a settled matter. This latest video seems to suggest explicit profit-seeking; and I'm not sure whether they're still claiming that there's nothing illegal about them or if it is a fraud. I think I've heard both...
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Boy Scouts Lifts Ban on Gay Scout Leaders on: Today at 01:56:31 am
Developmental needs are relatively minimal, and can be easily dealt with outside the program.

Uh, what?  Boy Scouts is all about boy's development.  The needs of boys to learn how to be boys and men in successful and healthy ways are not "minimal."   If they don't get it at Boy Scouts, they will try to find it somewhere else.  Because it is a basic social need.

Interaction with girls will happen outside the program, won't it? 

Thanks for proving my first point: the development a Boy Scout undergoes and the skills learned are not unique to males in the slightest. That we should be inculcating boys and girls into mutually exclusive gender roles is fundamentally wrong. Creating an all male echo chamber that is far less likely to check on misogyny or homophobia (both large problems in the SQ) than an integrated program is not how we make boys be better men.

My confusion as to how an all-male organisation is any more likely to be homophobic than a mixed-gender one aside, I can only respond by again pointing out the existence of the Girl Scouts, which has a substantial programmatic overlap with the Boy Scouts. The point about funding is superfluous; the idea of treating the two groups as if they were segregated education systems that need to be consolidated to ensure some kind of equality borders on the absurd. The two are separate organisations, talk of "proportionality" is a nonsequitur, as if one's prosperity (a word I don't think many would throw around in reference to the BSA in the first place) was coming at the expense of the other.

Let me say it again: Scouting does not exclude women. If you were to insist on a mixed-gender group, there even is Venturing. If that does not satisfy you still, there are a whole bevy of breakaway and Scouting-like groups for you to choose from. Perhaps the Unitarian Universalist scouts, whatever they are called, might suit you.

As for the religious requirement, the development of spirituality is part of Scouting's mission, as laid out by Baden-Powell. It is part of its purpose. To take that out would be to change the nature of Scouting.

The purpose of the Boy Scouts is not to act as some "social justice" pressure group. Again, if that is what one is looking for, there are options. There seems to be a tendency amongst "social justice" types to assume that when a potential platform exists, there is an obligation of sorts to use that platform to advance "social justice" (as they define it), regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with why that platform is there in the first place.

This is what I'm mildly getting from some of the comments here: since the Boy Scouts could allow girls to join, or it could openly allow non-religious people as members, or it could fight "misogyny or homophobia", it should or even must do those things. It reminds me of when someone asked what the College Republicans were doing to "fight rape culture" at one of our meetings. While we gave them some kind answer, after the meeting we were all quick to observe that we weren't really doing anything because that was not the point of the group. The Boy Scouts obviously should not spread misogyny or homophobia, but it doesn't exist to combat them in particular, either, beyond aiming instilling a moral compass in its members.
5  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Provisional Parliament: Voting on Amendment on: Today at 01:12:57 am
Nay
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you most prefer the politics of Los Angeles, NYC, or Seattle? on: July 30, 2015, 03:15:13 pm
Seattle may soon become a two-party city of Democrats vs. Socialists, and even if you don't like that prospect, it is certainly the most intriguing of any of these cities.

You mean Democrats and one socialist.

Yes, for now, but the Socialists definitely have a very strong presence in the city, particularly in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and the U-District. Republicans almost never run for city-wide office anymore, but Socialists do all the time, even if they have only won one election. I can easily see someone like Jess Spear winning an open-seat race, and Nick Licata and Pramila Jayapal are both pretty much on par, if not to the left of Bernie Sanders, even if they identify as Democrats. It's not a huge leap to see the Socialists making a play for their seats when they retire.

Jesus. I see there is more than one Socialist. Time to impose direct rule?

Of course, Seattle still hasn't matched Milwaukee, which, if I recall correctly, regularly elected Socialist mayors for several decades.

Socialist Alternative on the whole is pretty bad, yes. But there are of course good comrades in every organization, albeit ones with confused politics. I'd reserve the 'class traitor' title for groups like the ISO or the SWP in the UK, though, given their open support for the destruction of the Soviet Union and the eastern European deformed workers' republics in the late 1980s and present day Sinophobia

At least they are advancing the "Proletarian Cause". Your faction is doing...?
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 30, 2015, 03:12:19 pm
Given that almost any candidate who is half a century or more old is labelled as "too old" or "past it" nowadays...

Yes, why has this happened? Why has the age range for new leaders swung to the "early forties" lately? Chuka is 36!
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 02:35:52 pm
I just thought of something. We could even have a Thaksin. We already have one, in fact. We call him Donald Trump.

I like this comparison the more I think about it. A Prime Minister Trump in the process of monopolising power would probably enough for urban liberals to take to the streets "in the defence of the monarchy".
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on: July 30, 2015, 02:31:52 pm
You don't think it's not even a little disingenuous to suggest that getting a STD test and getting an abortion are comparable activities?

Nope, both are legal women's health activities.

So are taking vitamins or an eye examination.

I don't understand why they need funds from the government. Why can't they just be a private non-profit? I hope they try to defund it, even though Obama will veto it.

Because these sort of programs pay for themselves. Less burden on government services and all.

Universal euthanasia at 80 would also reduce the burden on government services, you know. I'm not convinced this is the best line of reasoning to justify this.

You got me - although I should add that I don't consider embryos persons, while I do consider granny a person and would thus object to euthanising her.

And that is where we differ. Smiley

You don't consider grandma to be a human?!

I was waiting for someone to make that joke.

All I will say is this: there is no intrinsic difference between a child a second before leaving the womb and a second after leaving it. Neither can survive on its own, neither can communicate with other people, neither understands the world around it, and so forth. With that in mind, at what point, if not implantation, can a definitive line be drawn between being human and not being human?

Yes, it's called neurological and brain development. Next.

And yet that process is nowhere near complete upon leaving the womb. Indeed, it does not conclude until decades after that point.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2018: Does Hatch Stick Around? on: July 30, 2015, 02:26:01 pm
What about Huntsman?
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 01:03:43 pm
I just thought of something. We could even have a Thaksin. We already have one, in fact. We call him Donald Trump.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on: July 30, 2015, 01:01:22 pm
You don't think it's not even a little disingenuous to suggest that getting a STD test and getting an abortion are comparable activities?
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 12:58:19 pm
Lee Hsien Loong?

Simi's fetish for the "Disneyland with the Death Penalty" is troubling to say the least.

I'm not going to suggest some loosey-goosey leftist, and you know that! Wink
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 12:51:56 pm
Oh no, we could just make Princess Sirindhorn our President. Tongue

See, King Bhumibol was born in Cambridge, so he'd actually be eligible!
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 12:42:45 pm
My boy Tony Abbott obviously.

Unfortunately, I don't think bringing the State's under the domain of the Crown will be particularly popular.

I'll say it: Queen Elizabeth. Failing that, Bhumibol Adulyadej.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on: July 30, 2015, 12:40:51 pm
Yeah I'm sure the liberal defense of this shady organization has nothing to do with planned parenthood spending millions on ads for democratic candidates

You guys act like Planned Parenthood is some sort of abortion factory when it's 3% of their services and their goal is obviously to make sure women have intended pregnancies and guidance through them.

This is a misleading statistic. Planned Parenthood deflates the proportion by breaking down their "services" into their individual components. Getting an STD test, getting some pills, and taking a condom in one visit count as three individual "services". It's estimated that abortions account for around a third of their revenue, and that they carry out around forty percent of the country's abortions.

It also bears saying that they carried out 327,653 abortions in fiscal 2014, compared to 18,684 "prenatal services" and just 1,880 adoption referrals.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood on: July 30, 2015, 12:26:23 pm
I don't understand why they need funds from the government. Why can't they just be a private non-profit? I hope they try to defund it, even though Obama will veto it.

Because these sort of programs pay for themselves. Less burden on government services and all.

Universal euthanasia at 80 would also reduce the burden on government services, you know. I'm not convinced this is the best line of reasoning to justify this.

You got me - although I should add that I don't consider embryos persons, while I do consider granny a person and would thus object to euthanising her.

And that is where we differ. Smiley

You don't consider grandma to be a human?!

I was waiting for someone to make that joke.

All I will say is this: there is no intrinsic difference between a child a second before leaving the womb and a second after leaving it. Neither can survive on its own, neither can communicate with other people, neither understands the world around it, and so forth. With that in mind, at what point, if not implantation, can a definitive line be drawn between being human and not being human?
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 12:09:40 pm
Tabare Vazquez? Rafael Correa? Matteo Renzi? Evo Morales? Answer may change depending on elections in Portugal, Canada, Taiwan, Korea, Spain etc. in the near future.


Obviously the question is completely meaningless though as all politicians are products of their surroundings. All the politicians mentioned are impossible to imagine in a U.S. context in anything remotely like their current incantations.

What did we do to you?
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Convention for Agreement on Regional Consolidation in Atlasia on: July 30, 2015, 10:23:58 am
This makes sense. Those who have wanted to leave have already left.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A foreign leader as US President on: July 30, 2015, 10:21:45 am
Lee Hsien Loong?
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How would you grade Carly Fiorina's performance? on: July 30, 2015, 10:19:52 am
Well I must say the results here are rather disparate. Smiley  Why might that be?

Because she's one of us.
22  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Provisional Parliament: Voting on Amendment on: July 30, 2015, 10:06:37 am
I vote in the Party Room.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Homelycooking for RG! on: July 30, 2015, 09:46:38 am
Do this!
24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Governor Simfan34 on: July 30, 2015, 09:43:24 am
I am glad to hereby appoint Wulfric as Pacific Councillor.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2016 - a bad year for election nerds on: July 29, 2015, 07:44:45 pm
The Ghanaian election will be on 7 December, not in February. Smiley
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