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76  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: May 02, 2015, 03:36:50 pm
Didn't the last Survation poll have Labour on 29?

Survation have had two polls released in the past day one for the Mirror and one for the Mail. This is the Mail one. The Mirror one had a one point lead.

YouGov have a 1 point Tory lead today.
77  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: May 02, 2015, 03:10:20 pm
Survation have released their final poll.

CON 31 (-2)
LAB 34
LIB 8 (-1)
UKIP 17 (+1)
GRN 4 (+1)

78  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: May 02, 2015, 01:54:47 pm
Safety in numbers. If they call this one wrong, at least they are all calling it wrong together Smiley
79  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Femen strike again @ FN's May-Day parade on: May 02, 2015, 01:25:54 pm
I'm offended that their breasts are censored.
80  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: May 02, 2015, 01:13:58 pm
Very grim news for Labour if anything close to accurate, but salt required etc: http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2015/05/02/revealed-eds-night-time-dash-to-casa-brand-driven-by-postal-ballot-panic/

An ocean of salt required. There is no way to 'count' postal votes in that fashion.
81  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: May 02, 2015, 01:04:56 pm
https://twitter.com/sionsimon/status/594537312115159040/photo/1

Sex segregated rally in Hodge Hill Sad
82  Forum Community / Forum Community / A shout out to my second cousin, who was awarded Chile's highest foreign honour. on: May 02, 2015, 11:39:15 am


John Keenan (far left)

http://www.soundsandcolours.com/articles/chile/nae-pasaran-and-how-scottish-workers-took-on-pinochet-an-interview-with-director-felipe-bustos-sierra/

'Nae Pasaran is a short documentary about the longest-running single action of solidarity for Chile in the UK. In East Kilbride, Scotland, factory workers at Rolls-Royce refused to work on the jet engines of the infamous Hawker Hunter fighter bombers which attacked the Presidential Palace in Chile during the military coup on the 11th September 1973. The elected president, Salvador Allende, died during the siege. The planes were British-made and the engines were built and serviced in East Kilbride. After four years in Scotland, the engines mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night. We meet the three surviving workers, Robert Somerville, John Keenan and the 91-year-old Bob Fulton. Bob is the man who first realised the engines were in the factory and put his job on the line when he refused to work on them.'

A trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgSaxhKKcAM
83  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: How would you reform and redraw UK local government? on: May 02, 2015, 11:18:25 am
Reconstitute the Metropolitan Counties and empower them in accordance with the Greater London Authority. If someone in Bury or Crosby whines then tell them to grow the f-ck up and say if they like suburbia so much never shop/work in the nearby city ever again. You can't reap the benefits and refuse to play a part in funding and supporting the cities you benefit from (sorry it's a particular bug bear of mine)

Abolish unitary authorities in England and Wales, except for Bristol. Reconstruct and give more power to the counties but make sure Avon, Cleveland and Humberside never appear again.

Basically 1974 on steroids.
84  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How can anyone be sure their religion is correct? on: May 01, 2015, 06:38:44 am
^ Kind of irritated by your reply.  I wasn't engaging in academic bullsh**t.  I'm engaging in a logical analysis of arguments about reality, and how we determine what good is.

Your graph is asserting, what, that it's human nature to reverse-engineer information to substantiate your beliefs?  OK, yeah, and?  What is sociology giving us here, an explanation that religious faith and other self-referential beliefs are a human tendency?  Of course it is.  Do you think that means we shouldn't bother to figure out when we're being deluded or irrational about information-gathering?

Sorry about my snark but there is something that deeply irritates me about the nature of this inquiry. Hopefully, my answer below will help clarify why this is the case.

I believe that atheism is deeply misguided. The logic of atheism is as absurd as the logic of any religion. Like most people, I cannot conceive of God but I also cannot conceive of there being no God. Modern science has not clarified the nature of our existence so much as it has confounded the nature of our existence: the universe is an endless, infinite expanse that cannot be understand with logic or rationality that may be apprehended by our primitive mental capacity. I cannot think of an infinite chain of causal events without a beginning or end, this notion makes no sense to me because I think in terms of cause -> effect. This has two implications: something had to have engendered the events that resulted in my existence but that something also had to have existed for eternity according to the precepts of science. In my view, neither of these two ideas can be comprehended. However, the former is more desirable because it implies that there is an element of order inspired by some kind of benevolent creator or force.

In short, I do not believe that the fundamental nature of "reality", "being" or "existence" may be apprehended through the use of our senses, even if they are exponentially sharpened by technological implements. Our brains cannot make sense of a lot of raw empirical data, even if it is sifted through ontological categories and the like. In otherwords, I think it is delusional and irrational to even attempt to answer this question because there is no answer. Anyone who attempts to say there is an objective Truth about religion is full of it.

I may or may not opt to continue this conversation but I felt like clarifying why I was irritated enough to make that post. It's not really about you, it's about my continued frustrations regarding this subject.

Note: I typed a much better, sufficient respond that also attended to your questions but it was deleted because my browser closed on me.

Atheism is a ‘counter’ that there is no god, on the basis that other people (theists) assert that there is one. Whether the notion of a god, like other metaphysical claims is of any value to be worth any form of position taking is another matter and I don’t disagree with you on that. Empirically it is of little value. However socially it is of significant value because of how human beings ‘line up’ behind group ideas. If people conceived solely of a god whose domain was actually scientific; a creator, a maker, essentially a ‘deist’ position then it’s net social effect would be close to zero. However when god’s domain is perceived to be social; human actions and how they are, or are not in accordance with the will of god (theist), then the net effect on someone who doesn’t believe in that god or does not accord with what is perceived to be the will of god is measurable. Humans are the arbiter or ‘god’s intent’ and the effect on other human beings is something real. So whether or not god is real, or whether or not even conceiving of there being or not being a god has any value, the effect of that belief is ‘real’

Because the effect is real, then that is why some people take up an ‘a-theist’ position, even when taking a position doesn’t necessarily accord with them thinking the dichotomy of 'god vs no god' is ultimately worthless.
85  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 30, 2015, 03:50:06 pm
Maybe he's playing the long game. Let Cameron cling on until the Queen's Speech, then dare the SNP to back Cameron.

There isn't a 'long game' if he refuses any confidence and supply with the SNP and there's no other way he can form a government. He can allow Cameron to hang on, but the SNP will still vote down a Tory Queen's Speech. If he tries to form a super-minority government hoping it falls, the SNP will stick to him like a limpet and vote through a Labour platform whether he likes it or not. The SNP are not going to do anything but what the Scottish electorate expect them to do and that's back a Labour government .
86  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 30, 2015, 03:35:38 pm
Slightly different language than his previous denials to such an extent it can be taken (probably incorrectly) that he'd rather hand the Tories the spoils of the election before a vote has been cast. Not particularly helpful language at this stage in the game.
87  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 29, 2015, 04:09:16 pm
The Sun in Scotland backs whoever the Record doesn't. It's not done it's sales much harm.
88  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 29, 2015, 07:00:00 am
There's a possible void election in Hull East. There's photographic evidence apparently of the postal vote ballot papers cutting off the Labour and Green candidates names.
89  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 29, 2015, 06:26:31 am
But wait. I'll grant you that gay couples procreate less than straight couples. But they can procreate and will likely procreate more if incentivized to enter marriages, and so if procreation is the only state interest at play, then granting marriage benefits to gay couples doesn't harm the state interest (and at least marginally furthers that interest). But gay couples are harmed by the stigma of discrimination when marriage benefits are withheld. So if extending marriage benefits to gay couples isn't detrimental to the state's interest in procreation, then why shouldn't the state have to provide marriage benefits in a non-discriminatory manner? The state gets what it wants, increased procreation, without the societal detriment of a subset of the population being marked as inferior.

You will of course answer that rational basis review doesn't require the state to undertake the type of analysis I just did, but that brings me to the real point of my question, which you didn't answer last time I asked it: why do you believe rational basis review is the appropriate level of scrutiny for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

^^

Wulfric, this is basically where my questions are leading.  Except never mind court review standards...you personally oppose same-sex marriage, too, and that's why the issues with this argument are probably fatal to your position.

I'm going slowly here because I'm trying not to be presumptive.  So far, though, you haven't given me anything that's even an arguably good defense against the issues in your argument.  As presented, your argument would require you to reach conclusions I think you'd agree are obviously absurd.

That's why I'm sincerely asking you to spend 15 minutes thinking hard about this, because either I'm missing something, or you're smarter than this untenable argument.

And in practice, the state doesn't incentivise procreation through recognising marriage. Because if it did, then the 41% of children born outside of wedlock wouldn't be provided, or more accurately, their parents wouldn't be provided with any or like-for-like financial and other assistance/support in helping them to raise their children. The state clearly provides for children and the parents of children regardless of whether or not they are married.
90  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 29, 2015, 06:16:08 am
Certainly, every polling company is now showing a further move towards the SNP since early April. I am still, to put it mildly, shocked at the level of support the polls are showing for the SNP and the fact that Labour are registering sub 30.
91  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 28, 2015, 06:02:42 am
The 1992/1997 share for the Lib Dems that some people were predicting doesn't look overly likely now, does it?

Vote share, no. But actual number of seats held could still outstrip what they won in 1992.
92  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 27, 2015, 02:04:18 pm
SNP
93  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 27, 2015, 11:19:59 am
Cashcroft's national poll is as bouncy as hell.

It's not.

First off, in a close race opinion polls should be bouncy. Secondly, Ashcroft's polls have generally shown Conservative leads since January (with two exceptions). Polling companies have different trends (and I know you know this!)

ICM has shown Tory leads since January.

YouGov (who are experimenting with calling back the same panel) has shown a consistent Labour lead since their methodology change in early April.

ComRes has shown a Labour lead to March and a Tory lead since then.

Opinium has shown the same.

MORI has shown a consistent Labour lead

Populus has shown the same.
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 27, 2015, 06:08:45 am
Yes, I know there are benefits to marriage that have absolutely nothing to do with procreation such as joint tax filing, inheriting the estate of your spouse, health insurance benefits, hospital visitation and what not. But the state interest that most convinces the state to incentivize marriage is generally its interest in procreation, not its interest in insuring people or making tax filing easier.

You keep saying this over and over. But where is your evidence that that is the state's main interest when tested in law?

Justice Kagan said this in 2013:

JUSTICE KAGAN: Well, suppose a State said, ... Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?

MR. COOPER: No, Your Honor, it would not be constitutional.

KAGAN: Because that's the same State interest, I would think, you know. If you are over the age of 55, you don't help us serve the Government's interest in regulating procreation through marriage. So why is that different?

MR. COOPER: Your Honor, even with respect to couples over the age of 55, it is very rare that ... both parties to the couple are infertile, and the traditional —

(Laughter.)

JUSTICE KAGAN: ... I can just assure you, if both the woman and the man are over the age of 55, there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage.


Goodridge v. Department of Public Health was a landmark decision in Massachusetts in which the court addressed and dismissed the three rationales the DPH offered for its marriage licensing policy: "(1) providing a 'favorable setting for procreation'; (2) ensuring the optimal setting for child rearing, which the department defines as 'a two-parent family with one parent of each sex'; and (3) preserving scarce State and private financial resources."

The first, she wrote, incorrectly posits that the state privileges "procreative heterosexual intercourse between married people". Rather "Fertility is not a condition of marriage, nor is it grounds for divorce. People who have never consummated their marriage, and never plan to, may be and stay married."

The misconception that "'marriage is procreation'", she wrote, "confers an official stamp of approval on the destructive stereotype that same-sex relationships are inherently unstable and inferior to opposite-sex relationships and are not worthy of respect."

The second, the marriage of a man and a woman as the "optimal setting for child rearing", a claim she said many Massachusetts statutes and the notion of "the best interests of the child" refuted, she found irrelevant, in that denying marriage licenses to one class of persons does not effect the marriage patterns of the other class. She turned the argument against the DPH: "the task of child rearing for same-sex couples is made infinitely harder by their status as outliers to the marriage laws."

She concluded that "It cannot be rational under our laws, and indeed it is not permitted, to penalize children by depriving them of State benefits because the State disapproves of their parents' sexual orientation." She dismissed the third rationale as an unjustified generalization about the economic interdependence of same-sex partners.
95  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 27, 2015, 05:46:48 am
TNS poll for Scotland. Fieldwork ended over a week ago however;


SNP 54% (+2)
Lab 22% (-2)
Con 13%,
Lib 6%
Green 2% (-1)
UKIP 2% (+1)
96  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 26, 2015, 06:07:34 am
Panelbase - Scotland

SNP 48 (+3)
Lab 27 (-2)
Con 16 (+2)
Lib 4
UKIP 3 (-1)
Greens 2

Another pollster showing Labour falling back a little.
97  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 25, 2015, 05:27:50 pm
And from today's rally, the anti SSM movement today;





98  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 25, 2015, 05:22:28 pm
What has marriage got to do with encouraging procreation when 41% of all new mothers in the USA are single or unmarried?

Assuming you're correct on that statistic, that still means 59% of all new mothers are married, meaning that marriage still makes procreation more likely.

No it doesn't. It demonstrates that there is no causal link and that in fact the only thing that 'encourages procreation' is sex.
99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay marriage opponents' strategy uncertain in 2015 on: April 25, 2015, 04:29:46 pm
What has marriage got to do with encouraging procreation when 41% of all new mothers in the USA are single or unmarried?
100  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal on: April 25, 2015, 11:54:16 am
Horrific. While the world must aid Nepal, it shouldn't leave a single footprint there.
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