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Alex_Krycek

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Alex_Krycek last won the day on July 27

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About Alex_Krycek

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  1. I don't assume anything about your political affiliations (even though you just assumed that I do). The fact remains that your point about someone holding a sign being equivalent to the President actively using his power to sway a foreign leader into smearing a political opponent is simply absurd. Pure sophistry.
  2. You didn't, actually, as it was an illogical statement. But anyway, let's move on. A Republican strategist, Mike Murphy, stated the other day that up to 30 Republican Senators have quietly voiced support for impeachment. Despite the common perception, Republicans are not a monolith when it comes to Trump (despite Moscow Mitch's cowtowing). Many Republican Senators harbor deep antipathy towards him because of his belligerent attacks on them and his disdain for the rule of law. We'll see how it plays out. The Dems have to do their part and at least give it to the Senate.
  3. Oh come on. Please don't trivialize the conversation. Someone holding a sign and the President actively pressuring another foreign leader to investigate and potentially discredit a political rival are two completely different things. It must be harder and harder for them to mask it from the public.
  4. No, there's no grey area here. Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate Biden, his political rival, in an attempt to influence a US election. That is blatantly illegal and undermines the Constitution, which he is sworn to protect. If impeachment were "totally partisan" as you put it, the Republicans would have impeached Obama during his first term. However, there was no legal basis to do so they resorted to petulant stonewalling instead.
  5. This article provides an explanation: https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/presidential-impeachment-the-legal-standard-and-procedure.html But the ultimate standard is if the President is suspected to have broken the law. In this case by Trump's own admission he did - he called President Zelensky and specifically asked that a political opponent be investigated. That's 100% illegal. Interesting exchange from the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, who is testifying on Capitol Hill right now. Maguire is the one who initial tried to withhold the whistle-blower's complaint against Trump. Schiff: And if that conversation involved the President requesting help in the form of intervention in our election, is that not an issue of interference in our election? Maguire: Chairman, once again, this was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into– Schiff: I understand that, but you're not suggesting, are you, that the President is somehow immune from the laws that preclude a US person from seeking foreign help in a US election, are you? Maguire: What I am saying, Chairman Schiff, is that no one, none of us, is above the law in this country. I see your point, but in that sense many decisions to indict are largely political. For example a District Attorney choosing not to pursue charges against a rich teenager because his father is a pillar of the community is a political act. There may be a larger grey area about when to impeach the President, but ultimately Congress must rely on some kind of legal foundation to give impeachment proceedings genuine merit. Impeachment can't just be political - there must be some legal framework to found it on.
  6. Calling impeachment a "political process" is inaccurate. Impeachment is a kind of legal proceeding designed to investigate and judge whether or not an elected official has violated their oath of office, and hence has violated the Constitution: Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official from office; it is the equivalent to an indictment in criminal law, and thus is only the statement of charges against the official. Once an individual is impeached, they must then face the possibility of conviction on the charges by a legislative vote, which is separate from the impeachment, but flows from it, and a judgment which convicts the official on the articles of impeachment would entail the official’s removal from office. And: The term impeachment refers to the legal process that takes place when charges are brought against a public official, to determine whether he or she can and should be removed from office. Contrary to popular belief, impeachment is not the actual removal from office, but the procedure that must be followed in order to achieve such a removal. If the trial that occurs following impeachment results in a conviction, the official is removed from office. To explore this concept, consider the following impeachment definition. Source: https://legaldictionary.net/impeachment/ And Trump already broke the law, by the way, by asking the Ukrainian President to investigate Biden: Federal law states it is illegal to "knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation." Trump's request to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was not for campaign cash, but what's referred to as an "in kind" contribution that would arguably be of more value — damaging information that could be weaponized against Biden, a potential 2020 rival. No quid quo pro is needed (even though there was one). Trump is already guilty by his own admission. Case closed.
  7. If there is rule of law in America, Trump's Presidency will end with his impeachment. If there isn't rule of law, he'll stay in office until at least 2020.
  8. Interesting development relating to this subject: "Pig to human heart transplants 'possible within three years'. Hopefully this will have a big positive impact on those with organ failure / dysfunction. Quick Summary: Adapted pig hearts could be transplanted into patients within three years, according to a report citing the surgeon who pioneered heart transplantation in the UK. The anatomy and physiology of a pig’s heart is similar to that of a human’s, so they are used as models for developing new treatments. Hopes for a successful heart attack treatment were raised in May after a genetic therapy showed promise in pigs. Considerable obstacles remain, however, before the genetic therapy can be tested on human heart attack patients. Most of the treated pigs died after the treatment because the microRNA-199 continued to be expressed in an uncontrolled way. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/aug/19/pig-to-human-heart-transplants-possible-within-three-years-terence-english
  9. The point was that ethical considerations given to any particular species shouldn't be wholly dependent on how developed that organism is from an evolutionary standpoint. I say "wholly" because obviously we have to draw the line somewhere - insects, for example. We can't all be Jains and worry about stepping on an ant.
  10. Is verbal ability and the use of language the only relevant metric to measure intelligence? Seems quite self serving and limited to our own species. I would argue that intelligence exists along a spectrum which includes moment to moment awareness, emotion, sensory ability, imagination, and above all the capacity to experience pain. If an alien species arrived and concluded that because humanity does not possess telepathic abilities, we are are therefore unintelligent, would it give them ethical license to confine us and treat us as they saw fit? Just a thought experiment. Perhaps we're not so intelligent after all then, if we can't even enjoy the day.
  11. In my view it's about having a certain understanding of pain that different animals experience, and taking steps to mitigate or protect them against inhumane treatment. It's about having a higher respect for different forms of life, even so called "lower" forms of life such as plants, which we now know behave in remarkable and seemingly intelligent ways. Demise is one thing - everything dies - but imprisoning an animal from birth until death while subjecting it to inhumane treatment is different. That's where a code of ethics needs to play a role.
  12. From my perspective the ethical implications hinge on this point: whether the goal will be to grow custom organs independently using stem cells (acceptable) or if the organs will be taken from fully developed hybrid organisms after the organism has reached maturity. If the latter approach is taken, then there would be animal rights implications, especially if the experimentation impacts the cognitive development of the species (i.e. if the cognition of the species is at a certain level of general intelligence, higher than a monkey but below that of a human).
  13. Interesting development in the experimentation of human / primate genetic hybrids in China. The research is being conducted by Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte of the Salk Institute in California. The purported aim of the experiments is to cultivate human/monkey chimeras which can generate human organs: The idea behind the research is to fashion animals that possess organs, like a kidney or liver, made up entirely of human cells. Such animals could be used as sources of organs for transplantation. Their objective is to create “human-animal chimeras,” in this case monkey embryos to which human cells are added. Izpisúa Belmonte tried making human-animal chimeras previously by adding human cells to pig embryos, but the human cells didn’t take hold effectively. What are your thoughts? Should this type of research be sanctioned in western nations (US, UK, Europe, etc)? Or should it be prohibited for ethical reasons? SOURCE: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614052/scientists-are-making-human-monkey-hybrids-in-china/ The original story was reported by El Pais: https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/07/30/ciencia/1564512111_936966.html
  14. That's what I thought you would say. Do you also think that eligible Canadian citizens should receive elderly benefits? It depends what your priorities are, and how intelligently the program is structured. In the US, we could provide free public college quite easily by knocking 50 billion USD off the Defense budget. It would be a more productive long term investment as well. What I find interesting is that conservatives in places like Canada, France, the UK etc, are still considerably to the left of American right wingers, and yet they still espouse the same deep seated fears about expanding new social programs (in our discussion free public college). An American right winger would fight tooth and nail against the healthcare system you wouldn't give up, despite it being "far from perfect". It seems to be a deficiency of sociological imagination - the person can't imagine a solution on such a massive scale working properly in a productive way, and sees only the negative impact. Yet, when that solution has already been implemented by others (such as universal healthcare), they're quite happy to take advantage of it, and integrate the system deeply into their own lives, such that it becomes almost indispensable to them. However, if that system were not already in place, they would revert to the position of the American conservative, and once again be dead set against it, for the aforementioned reasons.
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