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Everything posted by Delta1212

  1. John McCain is giving by far the weirdest line of questioning of the whole hearing so far. He questioned why Comey announced that no charges would be filed over Clinton's use of the email server, but the investigation of Trump's campaign is on going and this is a double standard because both candidates were part of the election where Russia interfered. He was attempting to imply that 1: Clinton should be under investigation for collusion with the Russians just like Trump is. 2: clearing Clinton of criminal wrong-doing in the email situation is the same as clearing her of collusion with the Russians and 3: that clearing her of wrong-doing with the Russians while continuing to investigate Trump shows that the investigation is biased. There are so many false connections in there that it took me several minutes to figure out how to properly summarize it in a way that outlined the chain of logic he was attempting to draw.
  2. I agree with zapatos. This doesn't paint a favorable picture of him, but it's largely an enhanced picture of things that are already known about him with reasonable certainty, and it will take something significant and new in terms of evidence to prompt any real sort of action. I don't think even if Comey testified that Trump had committed obstruction of justice that it would be terminal on its own. It would take tangible evidence of a crime rather than an opinion from a former FBI director to have even a chance of that, and the testimony hasn't even gone so far as to directly characterize Trump's actions as criminal in that way. I'd say it hurts him politically by increasing the pressure of the current situation and by failing to relieve it as it could have if the testimony were different than what has been given so far, but it's not a final bullet by any stretch, especially given what the Trump administration has been weathering so far.
  3. I've been able to keep it on in the background throughout and have only missed a couple of brief sections so far, and this closely tracks with my impression.
  4. Fromer FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee today on the subject of Russian interference in the US election. His testimony begins in about 20 minutes at 10 am Eastern Time. Here's a link to the C-SPAN live stream for anyone who is interested. His prepared opening statement has been entered into the record and can be viewed ahead of time here. Edit for comments: Comey just called Trump a liar under oath.
  5. The problem is people being killed by terrorists. Therefore the number of people killed by terrorists is a good metric for how big of a problem it is. Also, What history are you familiar with that you think "civilian terrorism" is a heretofore unseen phenomenon in the Western world?
  6. The destruction of the lives of innocent people is a small price to pay to avoid the destruction of the lives of innocent people.
  7. I stand by my original analogy.
  8. It's like insisting that the only way to increase the survival rate of people who require ambulance rides to the hospital is to remove the brakes from the ambulances so they can't slow down and cost people precious time. And then accusing anyone who thinks this is a bad idea of not valuing human life.
  9. You seem to be stuck in a strange mindset of "The only way anyone can do anything about this problem is by taking away our rights."
  10. The thing I find most bizarre, and this is more of a US thing than a UK thing for obvious reasons, is the number of people who would eagerly give up innumerable rights and throw money at the government in the name of protecting them from terrorism but who, at the suggestion that maybe it would be a good idea to give the government some money and authority to deal with something orders of magnitude more likely to actually kill them like, say, heart disease, suddenly start screaming about tyranny.
  11. Jesus Christ, and I thought the Internet thing was bad: May promises to dismantle human rights laws so they don't get in the way of fighting terrorism. I'm not even exaggerating for effect, that's almost a direct quote.
  12. You are mistaking what is meant by social construct. If I have a red triangle, a blue circle and a red sphere, I have three objects that are all different from each other. I can group them in various ways. I can say I have two flats and a solid, two rounds and a pointy or two reds and a blue. Those are all categories based on real physical differences, but which differences and similarities I choose to emphasize is an arbitrary choice. I can categorize them in different ways and wind up with completely different groupings. But, given an arbitrary grouping, I can certainly identify which shapes fit into which group. It is not that you cannot find shared traits to use to categorize people. It is that there is a near infinite number of ways to define those categories that will give you very different groupings. It is not the physical traits that are socially constructed. It is the way in which we choose to group those traits, and which traits we choose to emphasize as determiners of group status, that are socially constructed. There is no objectively correct definition of human race, and different people will fall under different groupings depending on how one chooses to define race.
  13. I don't believe there has been enough research to be able to pin down an optimal number, and this is something that I think would likely be highly variable between individuals as well as at different ages.
  14. The question is what percent of the overall Neanderthal genome is retained within the human population. I would suspect that you would not be able to reconstitute anywhere close to a full Neanderthal.
  15. If you have a one meter wide desk and you lay a meter stick across the width of the desk, can the meter stick exist at both ends of the desk at the same time?
  16. An in person class or tutor is very helpful. The most important factor is consistency. 1 hour every day of practice is going to be more valuable than 7 hours one day a week even though it's the same amount of time. I try to set aside time to read news in another language, and watch/listen to news in it daily. And listening to music, obviously. First just to get used to the sound of the language but as you progress it's important to listen actively and try to pick out words or eventually just understand as much of what you are hearing as possible. If you can find an online discussion forum that you can participate in, especially in an area of interest, that is very helpful. Try to make a friend or two with native speakers and encourage them to critique your use of the language. And there are plenty of online resources, too. I've found Memrise good for drilling vocabulary, and I personally find Duolingo fun, and a very good refresher if you'be ever had some exposure to a language and need to get the rust off and expand on your skills a bit in order to start engaging in more practical usage. Starting a language from scratch with it is a bit trickier unless you're really dedicated, but I have done it personally and enjoyed it.
  17. I use basic physics on a rough conceptual level constantly in my daily life. How things move, acceleration, unbalanced forces, torque, thermal expansion; these are all things I think about whenever I move things, drive, open things from jars to doors or just walking around. Without doing any math, just an understanding of basic principles is immensely helpful in a wide variety of situations. And even beyond the practical, from an aesthetic point of view, understanding physics fundamentally alters the way you perceive the world around. The more you know, the more your view changes. The physical laws you learn are literally applicable to everything around you every moment of every day. If that isn't mind-blowing to you, I would suggest that you are failing to use the proper degree of imagination in applying what you've learned.
  18. I think the idea that it is easier to overlook extremism from people who are closer to your own beliefs than from those who are diametrically opposed to them is straightforwardly true. That does not say anything about who has a bigger problem with extremism running through their particular ideological grouping at any given time, and the post in question was specifically calling out May for accepting extremism in her own allies while criticising it in her enemies. I think you are jumping on him over this a little prematurely. I understand the desire to react against the "both sides are bad" narrative, but I don't think that's what this was.
  19. Yeah, I didn't read his comment like that at all. Edit: And it continues: Theresa May says Internet must now be regulated following London Bridge terror attack
  20. It happens. Have you not read Of Mice and Men?
  21. You absolutely can have both. But that requires a nuanced view of a topic, and when people get scared, nuance tends to be the first casualty, especially in politics where there is always someone willing to drive the narrative that any kind of nuanced view is really being "weak" on a problem in order to bolster their own support.
  22. There is a danger here in romanticizing the past. For hundreds of years, the people who mostly pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge were people for whom the cost was not a factor, usually members of a wealthy leisure class or of a, generally, religious order whose cost was supported by the community to allow them to dedicate time toward study rather than survival. For everyone else, the most pervasive view has always been that education is a ticket to greater opportunity rather than something to seek for its own sake, and that is still precisely the view you are observing yourself. It's unfortunate but also understandable from a practical perspective. And this is precisely why attacks work. It is easier to goad a more powerful opponent into doing more damage to itself than you could ever hope to do yourself. Get them to take actions like Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay that drives people to you. Get them to implement things like the PATRIOT Act that undermines the faith of their own citizens in their system of government. Provoke fear against refugees and immigrants to tear apart their unity in acts like Brexit or the Trump administration's consistently isolationist foreign policy moves. "Tougher" governments have a harder time cooperating with others than "understanding" ones, and that applies equally to their own potential allies as to the nominal enemy. See how effective the tough stands against ISIS ultimately wind up being when the West is bickering amongst itself instead of presenting a united front to global problems.
  23. It's an intentional exploit of the cycle of violence phenomenon and has been utilized successfully by insurgent groups throughout human history. You launch an attack which inspires a crackdown, then use the crackdown to justify launching more attacks. The people who resort first to violence are always the hardliners. Negotiating is, as you say, not their goal. Having an understanding opponent who is willing to negotiate gives moderates cover to try negotiating, sapping strength from the hardliner cause. Having an opponent with whom no negotiation is possible pushes moderates toward the hardliner stance because they lack any other options, bolstering their support. You want an opponent who is going to turn away potential allies and remove the possibility for any solution other than the violent one you are advocating. Responses born of fear and anger tend to be stupid responses. This is no less true of governments than it is of people. Goading the opponent into becoming angry, fearful and stupid is a primary objective of most of these attacks.
  24. That is exactly the logic right there.
  25. Yes, this is sort of an odd topic to have that discussion in. I'll just leave off by saying that I'm not sure exactly what it is you think I would oppose about any of that.
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