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1  General Discussion / History / Re: Did Albert Speer know about the Holocaust on: August 06, 2017, 06:26:57 pm
So did the German citizenry for the most part know what was going on.

How could they not know, seeing millions loaded into trains and never returning.

It's not that simple. It was always clear to them the Jews were never to return, with the official line being resettlement to the west (and, before 1938, forced immigration). The final solution as we knew it materialized only when the war was underway and Jews were already deported to ghettos. The Holocaust was never a public policy. In fact SS was very sensitive about keeping as much secrecy as possible.

While it became apparent something else was going on, I'm pretty sure most of Germans were shocked to see the full picture come 1945.

Nah Winfield is right.

There is a tendency to see the Holocaust through the prism of the camps, and particularly the concentration camps, where there was at least a slim chance of surviving, and not the Einsatzgruppen and the death camps, where there was not. But just as many jews died by bullets as  by gas, which, inevitably, means there are a tens of, if not hundreds of thousands of accomplices, not just from the SS but from the Wehrmacht as well. That's not counting all the people who knew from working on the trains, or dealt with jewish belongings. It's absurd to think that mass murder of that scale could be kept quiet. And, of course, it wasn't. To take an example from Richard Evans book on the Reich at war, as early as March 1942 the SD (who were very good at this sort of thing) reported back that "soldiers returning from Poland were talking openly about how Jews were being killed in large numbers there". By October 1942 Anthony Eden publicly reported that 2 million Jews had been murdered in the house of commons. And straight after that the British flooded Germany, through the BBC and through the RAF, with details on the camps, which Goebbels did not deny. Evans summarises that at the latest everyone knew by 1942, and I think that's a reasonable suggestion.

As for the idea that the SS were very concerned with the secrecy, that's true and it isn't. On the one hand, yes, Goebbels never outright announced that "Today we have murdered 5000 Jews, tomorrow we will do the same, and the day after....", and certainly talk about it by members of the public was discouraged. On the other hand, pretty much all political discussion was discouraged, and they didn't really make it too difficult to piece things together (which, to be fair, they couldn't have done if they wanted to). One of the most chilling lines in all of history is "if world Jewry launches another war in order to destroy the Aryan nations of Europe, it will not be the Aryan nations that will be destroyed, but the Jews.", which Hitler said to the Reichstag, and thus all of Germany, in January 1939, and repeated again in 1941 to the Reichstag and in 1942 on the radio.
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion on Climate Change on: July 13, 2017, 07:55:22 am
55% of global warming is caused by humans, 45% by nature
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: How do British Jews vote? on: July 10, 2017, 07:51:04 am
Well there was David Ward but he was effectively expelled from the party.

Jenny Tonge is another, although she has also, albeit much too late, been expelled from the party.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: "Non-binary" gender people vs. furries on: July 03, 2017, 04:16:19 pm
Non-binary sounds like a computer having an identity crisis

Huh, this is apparently possible

(Normally I'd feel bad about hijacking a thread, but, BRTD.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: World leaders who are more popular in another country than they are at home on: June 30, 2017, 07:03:31 am
George W. Bush was probably pretty popular in Africa and Eastern Europe at the end of his administration.  He was greeted quite enthusiastically in Albania. 

George W. Bush: The Norman Wisdom of US Presidents
6  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Who is worse? Satan or God? on: June 30, 2017, 06:54:57 am
Satan is more fiscally conservative whereas God is more socially conservative
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: 2017 and onwards, Mayhem on: June 27, 2017, 06:39:57 am
I just realized the UK hasn't had a left wing government in nearly 40 years.
That is all.

Wow, thanks for this blisteringly hot take, random american.
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: June 2017 Federal Election on: June 25, 2017, 05:32:09 pm

1. BK/BK
2. Clyde/Siren

1 dr_novella
2 cxs
3 onej
4 peebs
5 alpha
6 poirot
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Lincoln Voting Booth, June 2017 on: June 25, 2017, 05:13:43 pm


1. This election will last for exactly 72 hours beginning at 1:00:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, June 23 and ending at 1:00:00 AM on Monday, June 26. All ballots cast outside of this period will be counted invalid.

2. You are eligible to vote in this election if you (a) have registered with the federal Census Bureau as a voter of one of the states of this Region; and (b) have not had your voting rights stripped as the result of deregistration or court order.

3. When voting for Senate and Assembly, please rank the candidates that appear on the ballot in order of preference, with "1" indicating your first choice, "2" your second choice, etc. You may rank all, some, or none of the candidates on your ballot. If you wish to vote for a candidate whose name does not appear on the ballot, you may do so by writing his or her name in the blank provided. If you only wish to vote for one candidate, you may mark the space next to that candidate's name with an "X" or simply type the candidate's name.

4. You are permitted, but not advised, to edit your ballot within 20 minutes of posting it in this thread. Editing your ballot more than 20 minutes after posting it in this voting booth will cause it to be counted invalid.

5. Please check over your ballot thoroughly before you click "Post". You have no excuse for casting a ballot which contains errors or does not accurately reflect your preferences. Failure to correct errors in your ballot may result in its disqualification.

ONE (1) to be elected

[1] 20RP12/R2D2 of Massachusetts

[2] cinyc of New York

[ ] Write-in:

ONE (1) to be elected

[2] Kingpoleon of New Jersey

[1] Mike Wells of New York

[ ] Write-in:

THREE (3) to be elected

[3] kyc0705 of New Jersey

[4] RGN08 of New York

[1] lok1999 of Indiana

[2] JGibson of Illinois

[ ] Write-in:


Text: [The Grammatical Accuracy and Equality Amendment to the Constitution of Atlasia may be read here.]
Question: Shall the proposed Grammatical Accuracy and Equality Amendment to the Constitution of Atlasia be ratified?

[1] YES

[ ] NO


Text: [The proposed Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Atlasia may be read here.]
Question: Shall the proposed Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Atlasia be ratified?

[1] YES

[ ] NO


10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, 2017 - Election Day and Results Thread on: June 17, 2017, 02:57:15 pm
What Leave constituency/ies did the Lib Dems pick up?

Eastbourne, with Carshalton and Norfolk North being Leave holds.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK Liberal Democrats leadership election, 2017 on: June 17, 2017, 02:51:39 pm
Only somewhat related, but do we know how Orkney and Shetland vote separately ? Is the LibDem base evenly distributed or more on one of the archipelagos ?

IIRC in the 2015 close shave (The Lib Dem majority was only 4% or something) the word from the count was that Carmicheal won Orkney but lost Shetland. Although given other results I imagine that wasn't due to innate partisanship but because Danus Skene, the SNP candidate, was based in Shetland and Carmichael is based in Orkney, and if there is one place in the UK where people are most likely to vote for local candidates for local people it's Orkney and Shetland.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does your family follow Austrian politics? on: June 17, 2017, 10:43:47 am
I force them to, by inserting tidbits into all of our conversations:

Mum: Are you free to come with us to Manchester in August?
Me: I'm as free as Vienna is likely to vote SPO at the next election

Dad: Do you want to watch that new drama on BBC1?
Me: I haven't been this excited since I had the chance to liveblog the funeral of OVP deputy from 2006 to 2008 Gunther Kesselburger.

Sister: Nice weather today
Me: You know what isn't nice? The views of the naive left leftist Van Der Bellen

Mum: How did your exams go?
Me: Isn't the real question what is the education system like in Austria? Let me tell you about that.
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: What happened to Jesus of Nazareth? on: June 13, 2017, 11:14:01 am
Simplest possible solution: he wasn't really dead when they took him down for the cross. 9 hours generally wasn't enough to die. The part about the tomb is either artistic license, or maybe they really put him in there to keep up appearances and got him out soon after.

A hot take! The hottest of takes!

Anyway, option 1, although "ascend" obviously shouldn't be taken to mean what it normally does.

It's certainly hot, but not quite as hot as "Jesus had a lookalike go up on the cross for him and got away," i.e. the Muslim take.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 31, 2017, 12:25:54 pm
No evidence that giant polls are any better tbh.

True, it need not be. But 1/2K polls are usually meaningless. Most of this small sample size polls would even pass the 95% CL. With giant polls, you have a much larger sample size to analyze geographical, age wise pattern & so on. That is impossible in a smaller poll.

The last survation poll had a 50 odd sample size, that is meaningless & you have literally no idea from that ! For country wise issues, having 8-10K etc is pretty decent, perhaps 50K isn't needed (unless you want individual seat wise data which is hard even with 50K)!

Apart from the fact that crosstabs aren't worth much for small polls, this is pretty much all wrong.

A 1000 sample poll has a margin of error of about +/- 3%, assuming that the sample is representative, which is more than enough to predict the results of the general election, roughly speaking. Because the decrease in the margin of error is logarithmic, there is not that much advantage to be had from having a sample much larger than this, unless you poll the whole country.

This is only true, however, if the sample is representative in the first place, which is the hard part of polling, and is just as much as an issue for 50,000 sample polls as it is for 1,000 polls. (Especially for yougov, as their samples are self selecting)
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) refuses to say whether people have a right to eat on: May 28, 2017, 12:16:01 pm
People have a right to eat, but peope don't have a right to food.

Huge difference.

People have a right to bear arms, they don't have a right to arms.

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 28, 2017, 11:37:34 am
I wonder whether all this new momentum for Labour could start having any impact in Scotland and start moving unionist votes back to Labour from the Tories in which case Labour could pick up half a dozen Scottish seats. Just wondering

 just totally alienated by Scottish Labour only ever talking about "A SECOND REFERENDUM" and not the issues, which the SNP surprisingly do.  There's also the fact that the Tories are rising and you might have the whole "the SNP are bad and we aren't fond of them, but at least they aren't the Tories" thing going on.

The irony is that I have heard many Scottish Labour activists say they're the only party that doesn't drone on about independence; with the SNP+the tories being the ones who play it as a trump card

ICA is right that in terms of public, official, campaigning the SNP pretty much never mention independence. Of course, they don't have to. Everyone knows that they want another referendum and they want independence. And in 2015 and 2016 they had the support of pretty much every Yes voter, and it's pretty clear that these voters didn't switch en masse to the SNP simply because they loved their new education policies. If they want to get a landslide, like in 2015, though, they need to win over a few no voters as well, which is why they don't talk about independence, because otherwise they'll scare these voters off. But it is a bit rich for them to complain about others campaigning on the constitution when most of their voters are motivated by it too.

I get ICA's mum's frustration with Labour as well. I hate constitutional politics, and I hate that it is how we decide our votes now. But unfortunately the Scottish population don't, or at least don't hate it enough to not vote on it. We tried to run our 2016 campaign on moving on from the referendum and more spending on healthcare, but we got thrashed, and, worse, the tories, by running their campaign entirely against independence, surged. So the party made the decision that if it wanted to remain relevant in Scottish politics it had to have a strong position on the constitution, and it had to talk about it. It's unfortunate that that's the world is, but that is the way it is.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 28, 2017, 11:22:50 am
I wonder whether all this new momentum for Labour could start having any impact in Scotland and start moving unionist votes back to Labour from the Tories in which case Labour could pick up half a dozen Scottish seats. Just wondering

Scottish Labour have deep, deep problems and I don't see this changing things for them.  Labour's traditional appeal wasn't to "unionist voters" but to your traditional working class voters and they've mostly gone to the SNP at this point - it honestly wouldn't surprise me if a bunch of those voters didn't actually support independence - my Mum is doing this at this point: just totally alienated by Scottish Labour only ever talking about "A SECOND REFERENDUM" and not the issues, which the SNP surprisingly do.  There's also the fact that the Tories are rising and you might have the whole "the SNP are bad and we aren't fond of them, but at least they aren't the Tories" thing going on.

I only see two Labour seats in Scotland in any remotely realistic scenario: I think that they'll hold onto Edinburgh South and have a small chance in East Lothian - past that, I see nothing.  The old heartland seats in the west are all SNP by huge margins now, and I can't see them getting anywhere near the swing they'd need even if they closed the gap.

Aren't Edinburgh North and Leith and Renfrewshire East closer than East Lothian though? Or do local issues make those harder for Labour?

Labour, against all expectations, held East Lothian in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2016 (and with an increased majority!) , and only lost one council seat and maintained largest party status at the council elections this month. So it's become clear over the last 2 years that Labour remain fundamentally strong in East Lothian, and it's being targeted accordingly.

Whereas Labour did relatively well in East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh North and Leith in 2015, they were standing popular, prominent incumbents. But since then, in the Holyrood and council elections we've fallen back in both seats substantially. In particular East Renfrewshire was, before 1997, a pretty solid conservative seat, and over the last few years the tories have re emerged, so Labour are no longer the obvious, or even a possible choice for unionist tactical voters. For instance in 2016 the Tories gained Eastwood, the scottish parliament seat that is broadly similar to East Renfrewshire, albeit Eastwood is better for the tories, as East Renfrewshire also contains areas like Barrhead and Neilston. Nevertheless, without a high profile incumbent (Jim Murphy was the leader of Scottish Labour when he lost east renfrewshire), with the Tories having become the largest party in the seat at Holyrood and at the locals, Labour have pretty much no chance in the seat, although they seem to be running a spirited campaign.

Edinburgh North and Leith is fundamentally better for Labour than East Renfrewshire, and it has quite a bit in common with Edinburgh South, so a victory wouldn't be completely shocking, but recent results, combined with the loss of incumbency, show far less resilience among the labour vote than East Lothian, so it's a less likely gain.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Favourite AltCentre figure? on: May 27, 2017, 12:53:11 pm
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2017 - Predictions Thread on: May 17, 2017, 12:50:43 pm
SNP 56 seats (-) [SNP gains Edinburgh South to added extra humiliation to Labour, and lose some marginal to the Tories]

Most of the Tory prospects in Scotland are not marginal at the moment.

Given the extreme volatility of Scottish politics over the last decade, I'm not sure any seat except for maybe orkney and shetland can be described as truly non marginal. In an environment where 20, 30, 40 point swings can happen at every election then everything is marginal.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 13, 2017, 01:51:14 pm
Possibly the weirdest development in British politics over the last few years, and there is a lot of competition, is the recasting of David Miliband as the reincarnation of Jesus, Lincoln and Martin Luther King all rolled up into one, rather than the nice but wet blanket charisma vacumn that he actually was.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: May 12, 2017, 10:05:36 am
For my constituency of Edinburgh South we have:

Alan Beal (Liberal Democrat)
Jim Eadie (SNP)
Ian Murray (Labour)
Stephanie Smith (Conservative)

Ian Murray is the incumbent, notable for being the only Labour MP to survive 2015, Jim Eadie was the MSP for the related but distinct scottish parliament seat of Edinburgh Southern (which does not have the council estates in the south of the city that Edinburgh South has, so is consequently better for the tories than Edinburgh South and worse for Labour and the SNP) from 2011 to 2016 when he lost his seat to (again, notably) Labour. Stephanie Smith is a councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton (the part that is in South but not Southern) and Alan Beal is, as far as I can tell, some dude.

I'll be voting for Murray, and am cautiously optimistic, given our performance in the council elections and murray's position in the sweet spot of the constituency of being both against independence and brexit, of a hold. In fact, I'd go as far to say that this could be one of the only constituencies  in the whole country where labour increase their majority.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: WV-SEN: Jenkins in on: May 08, 2017, 04:36:10 pm
West Virginia Dems have proven they still have staying power (Jim Justice and John Perdue say hello).

Plus Manchin is very much the only Democrat who can still win in West Virginia.

23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK Local Elections, 4th May 2017 on: May 05, 2017, 01:06:43 pm
I know if you'd have told me this 5 years ago I'd have been horrified, and I know the results elsewhere are terrible, but given those last few years and the results in england I have to say I'm pretty chuffed with how Scottish Labour performed. Historically being the largest party in Cowdenbeath, Inverclyde, East Lothian and West Villages in Fife is pretty much Labour hold Jarrow, but still. I'll also admit to a bit of schadenfreude that the SNP got what was coming to them, even if their replacements will be just as bad, if not worse.
@ everyone here who keeps insisting that every council in Scotland will now be governed by ineffective pan-unionist anti-SNP coalitions:

that's just hyperbole, right?
Is there any reason to assume existing SNP+Labour and SNP+Tory coalitions will suddenly break down? Also why assume they would't be viable elsewhere? Is this something that the parties specifically campaigned against, or something?

Yes, and there are obviously political reasons for the SNP pushing this.

The actual coalitions will vary based on the maths in each council area and the local political situation. I imagine that despite national commitments we will probably see all sorts of weird alliances, even if it is disguised under a minority administration with confidence and supply, but there's no reason to think that these decisions will be based exclusively on the constitutional issue.

In Edinburgh for instance, especially given the wide range of parties with substantial numbers of seats, and thus the large number of possible agreements, I'd be amazed if we ended up with a labour tory coalition. Take transportation, for instance, always one of the most important council issues, labour ran on extending the tram line, on keeping 10% of the transport budget spent on cyclists, on 20mph limits in most streets, whereas the conservatives ran implicitly against the first two, explicitly against the last and strongly in favour of spending a lot of money on potholes. Similarly, on council tax you have labour wanting to increase it, the tories to not increase it by anything more than a negligible amount. (In fact, on both of these issues the SNP positioned themselves, as far as they positioned themselves on anything, pretty much slap bang in the middle of labour and the tories) There is pretty much nothing to agree on, apart from both being against independence referendums, which doesn't tend to be the responsibility of councils.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election, June 8th 2017 on: April 28, 2017, 08:12:55 pm
Are terrible inaccurate constituency polls not going to be a feature of this race? I really enjoyed them in 2015 as they allowed me to talk about individual constituencies and pretend I had a clue as to what was going on there

My Gran who lives in Bury South, but just over the border from Bury North, got a phone call from pollsters asking her about Bury North, so they still happen, but I imagine it was just an internal.
25  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: In your opinion, can a Christian believe in universal salvation? on: April 28, 2017, 11:50:53 am
I posted this article the last time this topic came up, but it's a good enough read that I have no difficulty posting it again.

The crux of the matter, to me, is summed up early on in the piece:

Precisely because God does not determine himself in creation—because there is no dialectical necessity binding him to time or chaos, no need to forge his identity in the fires of history—in creating he reveals himself truly. Thus every evil that time comprises, natural or moral—a worthless distinction, really, since human nature is a natural phenomenon—is an arraignment of God’s goodness: every death of a child, every chance calamity, every act of malice; everything diseased, thwarted, pitiless, purposeless, or cruel; and, until the end of all things, no answer has been given. Precisely because creation is not a theogony, all of it is theophany. It would be impious, I suppose, to suggest that, in his final divine judgment of creatures, God will judge himself; but one must hold that by that judgment God truly will disclose himself (which, of course, is to say the same thing, in a more hushed and reverential voice)

and, regarding the Free Will defence:
Among more civilized apologists for the “infernalist” orthodoxies these days, the most popular defense seems to be an appeal to creaturely freedom and to God’s respect for its dignity. But there could scarcely be a poorer argument; whether made crudely or elegantly, it invariably fails. It might not do, if one could construct a metaphysics or phenomenology of the will’s liberty that was purely voluntarist, purely spontaneous; though, even then, one would have to explain how an absolutely libertarian act, obedient to no ultimate prior rationale whatsoever, would be distinguishable from sheer chance, or a mindless organic or mechanical impulse, and so any more “free” than an earthquake or embolism. But, on any cogent account, free will is a power inherently purposive, teleological, primordially oriented toward the good, and shaped by that transcendental appetite to the degree that a soul can recognize the good for what it is. No one can freely will the evil as evil; one can take the evil for the good, but that does not alter the prior transcendental orientation that wakens all desire. To see the good truly is to desire it insatiably; not to desire it is not to have known it, and so never to have been free to choose it. It makes no more sense to say that God allows creatures to damn themselves out of his love for them or of his respect for their freedom than to say a father might reasonably allow his deranged child to thrust her face into a fire out of a tender respect for her moral autonomy.

The idea that some are condemned to an eternity in hell seems incompatible with the belief in a a God who loves all.

My Lutheran pastor has implied that everyone will go to heaven.  He said that salvation comes through undeserved grace, and that not even believing in the wrong religion can keep a person from receiving that grace.

Jesus died for everyone's sins, didn't he?

That's not the issue though.

The problem isn't about God's grace, it's that Jesus himself said some things that are really hard to reconcile with universalism. I'm thinking of Matthew 25:31-46 in particular (the sheep and the goats). It's really hard (I'd say impossible) to square that passage with universalism.

The problem with scripture is that the gospels were not written in english Tongue What is clear is that in the early days of the church plenty of greek speakers (which, after all is what the gospels were written in) like Origen and Gregory of Nyssa and so on, interpreted Matthew 25:46 as meaning for "a long time" But anyway, if you wish you can easily find seemingly universalist verses in the New Testament in english, like 1 Corinithians 3 10-15. This isn't an issue where scripture is unambiguous.
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