AAccording to recent polls per the Washington Post…
Trump still leads with White voters, 50 to 40 percent.
Trump is tied with Hillary among men, 45 to 45 percent.
Percentages in the high 60’s disapprove of his comments on women, Muslims, and other groups, and believe that they show an unfair bias.
Specifically in the individual results, voter percentages in the double digits say that they both disapprove of his positions there, but still plan on voting for him.
What an utter disgrace.
I mean, I get that 14 year old boys will talk like that about women. Same thing about minority groups, in a lot of majority-white areas. And, some men never grow up. This is exactly the kind of thing that you would expect out of a spoiled rotten man-child. It was of precisely zero surprise to me to hear Trump say the things he did about women, not after he said the things he did about other people.
But how can a voter think that how a President feels about his people is of no issue whatsoever in the election? Maybe most voters don’t understand about cap in trade, carried interest, public health care options, so on. But if you don’t grasp the issues, what else is there to go on besides how Trump says he feels about people? It seems like the number one thing for most people should be a gut feeling for someone’s motives and temperament, but instead, there is this block of voters for who these things are of no importance whatsoever, as long as the groups he seems to hate aren’t them.
What an utter disgrace.
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Oct 10, 2016Jusstice posted a message on In General, Would In a Vaccuum You Say Three Color Decks are Better than Two Color Decks?It depends on what you mean by “better”.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Win rate? I will have to say that the best performing decks I’ve ever built have been UR, UW, and mono-U. I can think of a few things I would add to the UR deck if it had Black as a third color, but I’ll be the first to say that the relationship of most tuned EDH decks with the color Black ends with about 4-5 of the Vintage staple cards, then maybe Ad Naus and Doomsday, if appropriate. Given the added inconsistency of your own UUx costed disruption, I don’t think it makes much of a difference in overall performance, provided that the opponents you’re playing against aren’t just letting you goldfish your deck.
Theme? You could just take away cards from out of a third color if you feel a 2-color limitation suits your deck better. So in that sense, 3-color provides strictly more options. But if you are really just trying to hit a theme, the idea of “better” becomes so subjective that you really can’t argue one over the other. It’s up to you. And for some people, they can’t just leave out the 4-5 cards that are staples for each color, which makes it more difficult in practice to nail a theme the way you might like. So it looks like it would be better, but it actually takes more self-control and willingness to limit yourself to avoid every 3-color deck looking the same.
Consistency? This is where I think most EDH players overrate 3-color decks. Some people have 10x Fetches, all ABUR duals, etc. For those decks, you’re probably only marginally behind the consistency of a 2-color deck. But most people don’t have those, are proxying them, or are playing them in an online client. And for decks without that fixing, you are either one turn behind a 2-color deck (abysmal), or are missing a color in about one out of 4-5 games (terrible). If you are actually playing EDH in a conscientious way (read, not just conceding when you don’t like your opening hand like in about half the MODO games I play nowadays), then you are sitting through the color screw for about 45mins to an hour in these games. Even if it only happens once every few sessions, this gets old really quickly. It’s generally not fun for other players either, especially if it happens to more than one player at a time. It’s only in the very slowest of groups where you can just draw yourself out of a screw post Turn 7, and be a meaningful factor that game. Everywhere else, you are spending about 20% of your EDH career being upset with your deck.
Oct 6, 2016This line of thought is about 30 years obsolete. We’re talking pre-Greenspan era obsolete. There is no shortage of anything in the United States, except good sense.Posted in: Debate
The other day, I explained to a friend in Brazil (of all places) how Portland could be a 12 hour drive from San Francisco, despite being in adjacent states, and all of the land in between is perfectly passable and arable. Try explaining to someone in Tokyo, or who makes a 3hr bus ride from Amsterdam to Paris for that matter, how everyone in the United States needs to learn how to get by with less.
Also, I talked to a recruiter lately about how I should consider $35/hr a “good rate” for contract legal work on the International Transfer Pricing structure of a 7-figure sale of capital equipment. Meanwhile, I distinctly remember preparing the income tax return of a woman who billed at $200/hr to strap a latex fin to her lower body and swim around pools at events like birthday parties for celebrities, real estate magnates, etc.
Somewhere along the way, sensible wealth allocation in society passed us by. Think if it were actually profitable still in the US to do something like start up a steel mill, cheese factory, etc, out in somewhere like Ukiah, CA (which would be an industrial park if it were the same distance from Berlin or Shanghai as it is from San Francisco). It is not because people in the US eat too much or are living in houses that are too big. It’s because wealth has become such a virtual abstraction that real things aren’t worth as much as invisible ones, and real estate moguls run at a net loss for 20 years, pay no taxes, and are still able to hold themselves out as paragons of success/lifestyle.
Let interest rates alone, plz
Sep 22, 2016For something to achieve that goal - kill one person and one person only, by combat - Xenagos is probably the best bet. And build like this, it will not be very good at winning. Also, it will be very inconsistent, as are all decks trying to win before Turn 6. But, ramping Xenagos into Berserk into some other doubler will get the job done.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Also, Kalemne is really good against passive players. If you ramp hard enough, you might be able to access enough things like Brute Force in time.
Sep 22, 2016Posted in: Religion
If a misunderstanding not being my fault made the misunderstanding true, well, I would not spend so much time on online message boards. I would be the best Wall Street trader ever, and I’d be taking over the world soon.
Are we debating the merits of creationism, or are we just debating who is right and wrong about what so and so said?
If god created the universe from himself, then he didn't create it from nothing.
I feel like we’re going to be stuck endlessly circling around definitions here. This statement at the end, once again, is predicated on your definition of “nothing”. There’s a difference between what you and I are each claiming that the ex nihilo apologists are saying preceded the Universe:
You: “God”, then “nothing” as null set, empty set, etc
Me: “God”, then “nothing” as that which doesn’t pertain to “God” (granted, very circular definition)
What my previous post was intended to show is that my “nothing” is no less nothing than yours. That is because what constitutes “God” in this argument is not defined by any extrinsic properties. There is nothing that you can “take out of God” in order for “God” to “create the universe out of himself”. The character of something being “God” is not finite in such a way that you can add something or take out something in such a way that you don’t have “God” anymore.
As in the “heap” example, no number of grains being added/subtracted causes something to cease to be a “heap”, except it does if you can express what constitutes a “heap” in finite terms. Craig in his Kalam argument used the example of guests going in and out of a Hotel (much more at length, much better read).
Or, Highroller’s example of a human creating a baby is fine. You pointed out that a human baby is created out of a gamete. Your point holds because a gamete is a distinct, physical aspect of a human being. You can take away gametes from a human until what you have doesn’t meet the definition of “human” being used here (as that which can create a baby). A human being is finite, so any physically discrete thing will do disprove that, and that’s the point.
Now the key here, imagine something named “God” with property “blank”, such that taking out no amount of “blank” will cause “God” to cease to be “God”. This “blank” is nothing. If it were the opposite of nothing, say "something", then taking out enough of it would alter the character of God. So, it's nothing. But this "causation" here is stating that in doing this act of “taking out” this "nothing", what you have is the Universe. If you sense a contradiction here, that’s because it's exactly what the Kalam argument is saying. That because everything we know of is finite and discreet, everything has to have a beginning, except necessarily one thing, “God”, that couldn’t possibly be finite and discreet, and which albeit very circularly, preceded all things that are finite and discrete, including his own attributes. There is nothing to distinguish from within "God" as that which God created the Universe, because there is nothing, by definition, to be distinguished about "God" to begin with.
Any more clear?
Sep 21, 2016Posted in: Religion
Well, you are getting close to fallacy of intentionality here then. How is it that you know what they said? Well, you use your definitions for the words and make your own argument. Again, imperfection of language.
I hardly think that all of the thinkers the argument is attributed to believed that they were wasting their time, because the bare dictionary definition of the word “nothing” was perfectly apt to describe what they were saying. The reason they went on for hundreds of pages each one is because it’s extremely difficult to define what preceded the Universe.
Ok, the question is what God made the universe "out of”? If I’m understanding correctly, you’re saying something is necessary alongside God in order to be acted upon (affected element in your OP). Making that assertion does imply some sort of infinite regression. For something to be caused, two things are necessary - both a causal agent and an effected agent. So, effectively there could be no state with simply a causal agent, there have to always be two things.
But, how do you differentiate between what these Theists are arguing constitutes God, and what this argument would have as God, plus this thing that is acted on to create the universe? Is there any meaningful distinction?
See sorties paradox. It’s also called “paradox of the heap”, where what constitutes a “heap” of sand is said not to depend on one grain, so it’s possible to keep taking away grains until you have 0 and still have a “heap”. When an intrinsic property is said to depend on extrinsic things, the paradox results. If there’s anything to be concluded from it, it’s the idea that logical absurdities automatically result when finite models are used to prove something that is altogether not quantitative. This is a true issue that various mathematical models (logic models without intervals, multiple infinities, fuzzy logic, etc) have tried to solve, with little practical success.
Point is, being “God”, a “causal agent”, or “affected element” is an intrinsic property. It does not depend on how much of something you have. It’s not clear how little is needed to be that thing, or how much is so much that it would stop being that thing. It’s transfinite. It has no point of reference. You can’t conclude that it’s not there, or that it is there, by measuring it against some reference.
So as I pointed out before, it’s in the very definition of what’s being argued. These Theists, albeit very circularly, are defining as “God” whatever existed before the creation of the Universe (whether one thing, two things, or *smirk* a Trinity of things). Adding one element to the margin, this “affected element”, doesn’t do anything to change the character of that thing. It’s included in the definition.
What’s being pointed out by arguments like the Kalam argument is that everything is finite, except the one thing that cannot possibly be due to infinite regression, and that thing is “God”. No other element or point of reference required.
Sep 21, 2016Posted in: Religion
Yes, but the whole point of a definition is to attempt to describe the thing you are trying to describe. Yes, the definition you use isn't always what you mean, but that doesn't mean your argument is based on that definition. The other person cannot see inside your head to see what you mean. If you are using the wrong definition for what you mean, you change it, and if the other person is using the wrong definition (as with equivocation) you correct them on that. Definitions are the bridge between meaning and word. A discussion about any term is dependant on the definition of that term as to what the meaning is. There is no other pathway.
Agreed entirely. Lots and lots of volume in dialectic debate is taken up deciding on just what is in the mind of the person putting forward the argument, and then redefining terms when an inconsistency is found. As in, everything written by Plato, ever.
But, the original post started out along the lines of… “The Kalam Cosmological Argument/Creatio ex Nihilo is ‘logically incoherent’, because nothing is nothing, nihilo is nihilo.” If you advance your own argument, you can use your definition of nihilo/nothing. If someone else advances an argument, it uses their definition. But you are using your definition to repurpose someone else’s argument, refute that repurposed argument, then claim that the original argument is refuted. That is the literal definition of “Strawman fallacy”.
(And yes, this might be the first time that the internet says that something is a Strawman, and it actually is.)
Definitions are arbitrary. There is no truly meaningful connection between any word and it's meaning other than that is the meaning. Significance is practical. If you don't accept the definition that just means the words change. The point stands on its own. If you don't accept "nothing' to mean, when used strictly, 'no thing', then I'll call it something else and nothing of much substance has changed. If you would like to argue that no significant number of people exist that premise 3 applies to because those who agree with the phrase don't use nothing to mean no thing, then fine, I'll say those people probably need to be more strict with their language so people can actually know what they mean if not the most straightfoward definition of nothing. If nothing does not mean no thing, what does it mean? What objective standard could we use to determine it?
I think you’re on the right track here. There is endless, endless discussion on what actually existed before the creation of the Universe. Theists might call that “God”. Physics theorists might call it a “Quantum Singularity”. The premise that it is literally “no thing” or “empty set” is one argumentative position, but it’s not to be inferred by someone’s use of the word “nothing” or “nihilo”, particularly when they are stating directly in their argument what it is that created the Universe.
Specifically, the Kalam Cosmological Argument that you brought up offers mountains of persuasive evidence on the idea of “finitism”, specifically that the Universe is finite. Things being finite, they must have a beginning, and therefore something must have existed prior to that beginning in order for it to be distinguished as a beginning. The fact of there being a beginning means that there was something before it. So, these Theists are not arguing on the idea of “nothing”, based on the dictionary definition. They are arguing that only supernatural things (e.g. God) could precede the Universe.
My argument isn't much of a proof, it's based on assumptions taken to be reasonable and practical that most people accept for those reasons. This is only about the sensibility of an idea, not the absolute truth of it.
Also, the complexity of WLC's arguments say nothing of their validity or soundness. Note that WLC's argument has a central syllogism, as does mine. Neither represent the entirety of the argument.
Well, I’m not saying that those arguments must be true because of how much was written on it. What I am saying is that WLC concedes plausibility to the opposing position, based on the fact that mathematical and logical models which are finite can’t prove the idea of “finitism”, since that would involve circular reasoning. And it’s because the argument is offered in persuasion that evidence from such a variety of different places is marshalled to support it.
Maybe you are conceding the same point that this “nothing” has to be defined, but I’m not seeing that here. I’m hearing you say that something can’t be created from “nothing”, because of how you define nothing in the dictionary. That sounds like a proof. Even if you are arguing in persuasion, what you are essentially saying then is that because we have a word called “nothing”, and everyone can be made to mutually understand this “nothing”, we must refer to this “nothing” in arguing what preceded the Universe. That amounts to what you claim is reasonable, sensible, and practical here. The bare fact that we can all understand a word.
So as I said above, it’s just not persuasive. You’re just arguing for the empiricism of words here, not ontology.
Sep 20, 2016Posted in: Religion
Any argument is dependant on the definitions of the bloody words you are using. This is not a distinguishing feature of this argument, it is a feature of all arguments.
Um, what? Maybe you want to rethink that?
Logic definitely was not invented along with the invention of language by humankind. Rather, language was invented to describe logic, and other things like it. Words are signs of things, not the things themselves. And they are shown repeatedly to do a less than perfect job at it. Case in point, there are a host of informal logical fallacies that arise specifically because of the imperfection of language (Equivocation, Sorties fallacy, argument on etymology, intentionality fallacy, referential fallacy, etc)
Point being, the ability of language to articulate a concept so that it is mutually understood by speaker and listener is no indication that this mutually understood thing actually exists. It’s not representative of reality, it’s just a concept expressed by a word. This character of “nothing” as it pertains to the origin of the universe might be of a different character than what is understood by the word.
This is a strict philosophical argument, so it is not inappropriate that I am using a strict philosophical definition of nothing. To go back to a point I made earlier, if virtual nothingness is considered true nothingness, that is working against the whole point of distinguishing creatio ex nihilo from creatio ex materia in the first place. There is a very important distinction to be made here with true nothing.
So as here, I agree that your distinction of “true nothing” is important to the argument. That’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re setting forth that definition as being “the empty set”, proof by assertion. Then, you’re going on to prove/disprove a whole host of things about the actual universe based on the assertion.
But, who gets to define “true nothing”? You can define it for your purposes, provided you confine the argument to your own definition. But if you’re extending it to things like the Kalam Ontological Argument, which you point out that others are making, then it’s going to be up to them to define this “true nothing”.
In fact, William Lane Craig (who you cited) goes on for hundreds of pages about particle physics, mathematics, relativity, cosmic singularity theory, all in support of the premise that everything is finite. It’s with that understanding, not yours, that he defines this “true nothing” that you’re talking about as it relates to the Kalam argument. And even in the end, he makes the reservation that his claims are only in persuasion, not proof, and concedes plausibility to other claims. Simply stated, transfinite models can’t be used to prove all things are finite, since they implicitly rely on that being the case in order to make any logical sense.
Consider that the side you're claiming to refute has offered all of that mountain of evidence only in persuasion of what’s being discussed, and all you’ve done is asserted your definition of terms. And you’re arguing in proof. Not persuasive.
Sep 19, 2016Posted in: Religion
Now, there is torturing words, and there is strapping words to a wooden table like Mel Gibson until they yell - “Freedom!”
From what you’re saying, your entire argument is based on the dictionary definition of the word “nihilo”. The only reason you’re arguing that the Universe can’t be created from “nothing” is because of how you define “nothing”. That’s all. Even if we all bend our cognitive understanding to the limitations of the words in the English language, how can you believe that this is a persuasive indication of anything actually related to the origin of the Universe? I am sure that whatever happened there, the forces at play have more bearing on cosmic truth than the board of lexicologists at Mirriam-Webster’s.
Also FYI, even the Wikipedia available version of the arguments you claim Theists are making don’t rely whatsoever on the character of this state of “nihilo”. Wikipedia – “Stating that the mathematical conventions stipulated to ensure the logical consistency of transfinite arithmetic have no ontological force, Craig believes that finitism is most plausibly true.”
So, strawman? Tautology? Begging the question? Whatever this line of argument comes down to, it’s just not persuasive.
Sep 16, 2016My religious belief is a lot like my political belief, neither side will claim me. I don’t think everything in the Universe has a natural cause, which puts me at odds with most non-Theists in any debate that actually happens. But also, I don’t believe in any of the highly particularized notions of God that define religious groups. If it's too specific to have a basis in evidence or argument, I'm not inclined to believe it.Posted in: Religion
Also, I find it helpful to actually segregate the events that people attribute to “God”, since they’re distinct. And they also happen to give rise to this sort of Cartesian Doubt that forms my own beliefs. They are:
1) Origin of Species/Intelligent Life – Darwinist. I don’t find any objection to the idea that man, and all life, evolved from single celled organisms, which happen to also have the ability to reproduce. I believe anything that self-perpetuates at one level of complexity can have the natural tendency of increasing complexity.
2) Origin of Life – Unnatural Causation. I am on board with the natural genesis of amino acids, and things that resemble cells. However, I believe that is a far cry from something that is both at an unstable level of complexity (which all life is), and also finds itself naturally self-perpetuating at a rate that outpaces that instability. Every phenomena in the universe other than organic life on Earth suggests to me that those two conditions are mutually exclusive, entropically.
3) Origin of the Universe – Unnatural Causation or No Causation. My unimaginative mind is better able to grasp the notion of no Earth than it is of no Universe, so the cosmologist in me is at a disadvantage. But I am also not inclined to find a Naturalistic explanation for something, based on nothing other than the mere prompting to disbelieve Supernatural things. I can sense an overwhelming bias in this drive shared by a lot of people to reach toward unfounded explanations, simply on the merit of them not involving any intelligence in the Universe other than man. Plausibility is a poor substitute for knowledge in my mind. Also, if I am to accept a theory based only on plausibility, I find myself constrained to extending that principle to theories on both sides of the Theism line.
Where I instinctively depart from “Theists” is on the character of these unnatural/supernatural causes. A supernatural force doesn’t need to be omniscient, omnipotent, or even benevolent or immortal to deposit life on Earth, so it doesn’t follow that the creation of the Universe is attributable to the same force. I find myself somewhat of a reductionist here, that I’m hesitant to attribute things to the same supernatural cause. I’m even more hesitant to imagine for myself the character of that cause, especially if it only seems to suit some personal fancy of mine, or provides justification for people to act on base desires.
Sep 16, 2016Posted in: Religion
A tautology is the logical construction where you are simply saying the same thing twice - A, therefore A. It’s considered a fault in argumentative style, because you are not arriving at any new conclusions. That’s the difference.
As here with Creatio ex nihilo, it depends on how you define “creatio” and “nihilo”. If you define “nihilo” as literally an empty set, then “creatio” is not within the set of “nihilo”. It’s an empty set. So, it will be true that no single thing is in it, no matter what that is, cause, effect, affected object, what have you. But that is only because you’ve defined “nihilo” as the empty set.
The argument is nothing, therefore nothing. That’s a tautology.
So, “nihilo” excludes things that are “causal”, but could include things that are “acausal”?
Again, it’s asserting the bare premise of your definition of “nihilo”, and it ends up being a tautology. If you define it as containing “acausal” things, or naturalistic things, then that is your definition. A Theist might say it includes some things that are “causal”, specifically God. But neither side is offering any support of that premise, only making the bare assertion.
Causality becomes a statement about reality when you assert that all things have causes.
Your definition, bolded for emphasis: “Causality refers to the interaction between an causal agent, an affected and an effect. In order for an effect to be produced, there must be a prior interaction involving something that is causally influenced.”
The premise that all effects have causes is an assertion, and would need support.
Well by the definition of “nihilo” you seem to be arguing, no Theist actually believes it. No person believes that there are any elements in an empty set, by definition.
What these Theists seem to me to be actually saying is that this “nihilo” can be defined, albeit very circularly, as that which existed before all causes that are not “God”. So now with causal agents in existence that are not “God”, there is no more “nihilo”, and that event in time is/was creation.
The problem with this line of discussion and others like it (the 747 gambit by Dawkins, etc) is that people think they are arguing Theism against “not-Theism”, or Theism against Science, or what have you. What’s actually being argued is the ontological premise of Theism versus Naturalism. Not-Theism is not its own argumentative position. It's just failure to hold the position of Theism. It doesn't lend itself for any platform of argument, whatsoever. You're just saying that you're not taking someone else's position.
And so by asserting the premise of Naturalism in support of the conclusion of Naturalism, what you have is either the fallacy of begging the question, or a tautology as above. But Naturalism is actually an affirmative claim. You’re saying that everything has a cause, those things that are not Natural are “acausal”, or whatever you want to use. It’s one big exercise in question begging.
Sep 12, 2016Posted in: Debate
It's not always going to be like that, but if this is happening even just 10% of the time it's still a sickening miscarriage of justice brought on by a system that prioritizes convictions over determining guilt and doesn't respect a person's 6th amendment rights. I'd rather 10 guilty men walk free than see 1 innocent man go to jail.
Well, I wouldn't characterize the role of the adversarial trial system either as getting convictions, or as determining guilt. Nothing short of omniscience would be able to determine guilt. The purpose of the 6th amendment has been held out by the Court as the right of someone to put their case through "the crucible of adversarial testing", not give people equal quality of legal defense. So, the role of the system was never to make people sleep better at night that all is right with the world. Rich people are still rich, and it still sucks to be poor.
From the point the police detain a person, every mechanism of the US system is designed to do one thing - exonerate innocent people. The article said, criminologists best estimates of "false guilty" pleas are from 2-8%. These stats still show if they didn't do it, they are telling their lawyer.
Sep 9, 2016Rather than circling back on the same points, let me just set up a scenario for the sake of argument. Let’s say that we have a defendant who stands accused of a felony narcotics charge, and some assortment of combined conspiracy charges, “aggravated” charges, and other types of charges one side is claiming give prosecutors too much leeway in recommending sentences. So for argument’s sake, 25 years worth of charges at trial, 2 years worth on a plea deal. Arguments aside that the prosecution may be letting off a serious criminal with 2 years, or that the defense may be feeling browbeaten into the deal and loathe to defend an innocent person because of workload, let’s just take that that that scenario in itself.Posted in: Debate
And finally of course, let’s suppose that our defendant is, in fact, innocent. Of the two admittedly terrible alternatives below, what do you think an innocent defendant in the current US justice system is more likely to choose:
1) Pleading to a 2 year sentence that financially ruins them, makes them unemployable, and ruins them for life.
2) Pleading innocent, going to trial, and risking a 25 year sentence that ruins them for life.
Is it crazy to assume that innocent defendants are more likely to plead innocent?
Statistics from one of the articles linked above (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/11/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/ ) shows that between 95% and 97% (depending on jurisdiction) of felony cases are resolved by plea deal. Well, the Innocence Project also mentioned in the same article states that, of the approximately 300 people they proved were wrongly convicted, 10% of them entered a plea of guilty.
So 95% - 97% of all defendants plead guilty, but at least among this subset of wrongly accused people that we know about, 90% of them plead innocent.
Sure, giving people more money helps them get a better lawyer. Investing more time verifying someone’s guilt makes for greater certainty that we are getting it right. And, it’s always horrible when an innocent person is jailed. But the innocent people still seem to me to be pleading innocent an overwhelming amount of the time.
So now, would it be better to focus on making our attorneys better so that people who plead innocent get a better trial? Or hobble the minimum standards of the profession in some misguided attempt to reduce costs of private representation, and make our attorneys worse? Say it was you sitting there totally innocent and looking at prison time. Would you rather that the attorney the state appointed for you be overworked, or stupid?
Put another way, should the role of the justice system be to exonerate the innocent, or make ourselves feel better about people who we're locking up?
So hey, maybe like I’ve been saying, the problem is with what acts we've chosen to criminalize, not the justice system.
Sep 9, 2016Posted in: Debate
You're acting like it's felony defendants who are urged into taking plea deals, then using statistics about misdemeanors to prove your point. Though the whole thread this has been the case even, but now you come up with these horror stories of false imprisonment going on for years, impossible bail amounts, unqualified counsel, and so on this parade of horribles. But yeah, if you somehow find yourself accused of felony murder, then nonsensically plead out when the deal offered is a life-ruining amount of time in jail, hey, you might have to count on the appeals process to sort out your situation. Your public defender will have plenty of time as you sit in jail to put together an appeal.
Still don't like it:
Sep 8, 2016Posted in: Debate
When their attorney fails to meet the minimum standards for the profession, as regarding that defendant’s particular case. Each court system in the US establishes Bar Associations that grant an attorney the right to practice law in that court system. Nearly all states have “integrated” bar associations that serve for every court system in the whole state (although the US Constitution doesn’t require it). They have minimum standards for admissions, and procedures for attorney discipline and disbarment. Among these standards are very open-ended ethical obligations that make plain that an attorney needs to have training, resources, and TIME to ethically represent clients.
The Supreme Court standard of review for ineffectiveness of counsel claims uses a lot broader language than that, such as “prevailing professional norms” and an “objective standard of reasonableness”, in order to get a “meaningful adversarial testing”. So, any standards that the Court sees as getting enough credence among attorneys could be used to overturn a conviction. Some attorney associations put out minimum standards for Public Defender workloads. If a defendant finds one that they like and they think their attorney failed at, then they can ask the appeal court to review it.
This is a case by case determination, which is exactly how the US justice system treats it. The twitter-sphere, Netflix documentarians, and cable news outlets are the ones treating it in the form of made-to-order statistics and cherry-picked, aggregated inferences.
Yeah, getting thrown in jail sucks. Talk to your mayor/governor/police commissioner about that. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with public defender workloads for cases at the hearing stage.
Until then, make bail. Unless you’re suggesting that already overworked attorneys and judges make the days and days of preparation for the serious felony cases that they do, only to wait on indigent felony defendants to show up and make their court dates, there is no getting around having to incarcerate people.
And if someone feels they were unlawfully imprisoned and suffered economic loss, they can sue their police department for it.
Once again, I thought we were talking about defendants being coerced by states attorneys to accepting plea deals, due to their attorney being terrible at the hearing stage.
If you are hiring a private attorney to plead out, you probably know what you’re doing by pleading out. Otherwise, we still have to absorb all of the people in the justice system who can’t afford ANY attorney, no matter how cheap they are. So, this migration of defendants from the public defender’s office to the offices of private attorneys never happens, no matter how you hobble the standards of the legal profession to drive down the price of private representation. Public funding is the same, because what do you think determines the salary per time commitment that the public defender offers its attorneys? It’s set at the market rate for legal services of that quality, otherwise those candidates go to private practice, or wherever work is better. So no matter the economics of private representation, the reality is that some people will always have to use the Public Defender’s office because they are broke. And that is where you look at whether minimum standards are being upheld because those defendants can’t just go somewhere else for an attorney.
I mean, which one of us is arguing the 6th amendment here? There is a reason that every single 6th amendment case ever on effectiveness of counsel has had to do with the level of service the state provides at no cost.
Agreed. But what level of wealth inequality forces you to plead guilty to a crime?
I agree with the facts of this economic situation. I also agree that being wealthy gets you access to a better attorney. But we are talking in this thread about people pleading guilty to crimes. And this is one situation, unlike health insurance, etc, as above, where the system in the US does appoint an attorney for people who are broke. So if this problem does exist, no solution of better wealth distribution solves it. Even if you somehow eliminate all broke people and thereby eliminate the practical need of a public defender’s office, you could still have people pleading guilty to crimes when you’re saying they shouldn’t. What’s being argued are whether minimum standards of representation are being upheld, not the effects of income inequality.
It's like saying tequila hangovers suck because if we were all rich, there wouldn't be anything but Patron. Crappy tequila is still out there, and drinking too much is still a bad decision.
Sep 8, 2016Posted in: Debate
#1 - I don't think you really do appreciate the situation that public defenders are in. You say you understand they are overworked, but I don't think you're properly representing the gravity of the situation. Let's say that you're right and public defenders spend an average of 1 hour per case in your defense. Let's see how long the prosecution is spending on trying to convict you (source: http://work.chron.com/average-working-hours-prosecuting-attorney-5569.html)
On a per-case basis, the American Prosecutors Research Institute reports that prosecutors spend an average of 100 hours preparing for a homicide case, 8.49 hours preparing for a non-homicide felony, 2.17 hours for misdemeanors and 3.32 hours for juvenile cases.
Does that seem fair? At a minimum, the state are spending 2-3x as much time trying to convict you as it is trying to ensure you have a reasonable defense, and that's not taking into account the issues of disproportionate funding / resources made available to prosecution versus defense. From this article this article, "According to the US Department of Justice, in 2007, about 73% of county public defender offices exceeded the maximum recommended limit of cases (150 felonies or 400 misdemeanors)." "More than 80% of those charged with felonies are indigent. As a result, they are unable to hire an attorney and instead rely on representation by a public defender." It's hard to do your job properly when you are constantly given an insane amount of work that it is simply not possible for you to handle. And I promise you that 7 minutes on average is not an adequate amount of time to determine whether someone's life is going to be permanently screwed up for something they may or may not have done. 7 minutes is barely enough time to take a dump, let alone learn who your client is, what the charges are, what the circumstances of their arrest was, and come up with a plan for how to defend them.
On comparing the time a prosecutor spends versus the public defender, it’s Apples to Oranges. Everyone has heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”, and that definitely shows up in the comparative workloads.
The state has to assemble all of the evidence (police reports, vehicle records, any physical evidence, chain of custody reports), anything related to severity of the charge (criminal records for the accused, affirmative defenses, etc), and then make the very discretionary judgment call of whether and how to charge the offense. That’s all before the hearing.
On the defense side, attorneys get essentially all of the evidence from the state, packaged with the severity of the offense information, sentencing guidelines, etc, all in an e-mail “FW: Ur client did this…”. They are basically reviewing the state’s evidence, then deciding how to advise their client.
I would have actually expected the State to take a lot more than twice what the defense does. Certainly on the civil side, the Plaintiff has to go to a ton of work putting the compliant together before Defendants even hear about it.
Also as mentioned, this 7 minutes idea came from one jurisdiction in one study, which was about 10x the magnitude of the reported result of any other jurisdiction. All on a point of evidence taken in the form of personal statements. Can we move past that now?
It sucks to make poor decisions? If innocent people are sitting down with their Public Defender, then not opening their mouths on alibi’s and other mitigating evidence because they figure they’re screwed anyway, there are a lot of things wrong in that person’s head that goes beyond their attorney being overworked. Because to be clear, the defense attorney has a duty of professional ethics to evaluate any relevant statement of fact their client does make that does not appear in the State’s evidence record. So I’d hope that in the mind of any innocent person, taking a plea deal on a felony because they figure they’re screwed is not something they’d do without uttering one word.
If you fear this is the common situation and want procedures compelling defendants to offer evidence, then you’re going to be running up against a person’s sixth amendment right to determine the scope of their defense. This happens all the time, and it’s usually the defense dealing with defendants that don’t want to cooperate rather than the other way around.
Also as said, there is no “overcharging”. There is the prosecution charging the offense that the evidence warrants, or the prosecuting charging a lesser offense. If the penalties are so overblown that the prosecution is frequently “undercharging”, and the perception is being developed that charging what the statute authorizes is “overcharging”, then the issue is with the prescribed penalties in the statute being too high or not nuanced enough for all defendants. That’s the legislature’s problem, not prosecutorial browbeating.
I don't give a flying **** if that's somehow still better than how the rest of the world approaches criminal justice. 1, I don't believe that for a second - citation needed, and 2, even if it was somehow true, that still in absolutely no way whatsoever is an excuse for this complete and utter mockery of the 6th amendment.
This is burden shifting. The presumption is that people pleading guilty to crimes are guilty. In this thread, the case is made that too many of them are innocent, based on Public Defenders being overworked and/or negligent. I challenge that premise by highlighting how diligent and effective they are, which necessarily entails a comparison to something. You can’t just move the goal posts onto some prescient incarnation of a criminal justice system that is 100% right all the time, and there are unlimited resources.
#2 - If you have a Masters degree in computer science, flipping burgers at McDonalds is not going to provide you enough income to pay your bills each month without falling further into debt. Sure, you could have your debt payments lowered or deferred, but that interest is still going to accrue and you'll still ultimately be falling behind. In the same vein, lawyers cannot afford to represent people who can't pay them several thousand dollars for their time because they have massive debts to pay off as well as typical living expenses. That doesn't negate the need for lawyers though, so people are put into a situation where they are forced to accept having a criminal record, or put themselves substantially into debt to stay out of jail. The attorneys will still make their fees from those most desperate to avoid prison. It's not terribly surprising that poorer people will often opt for the criminal record, as the alternative may quite possibly put them into debt longer than they'd be in jail for. If the attorneys didn't have such large debts to start with, then they could more easily afford to charge less without impacting their own lives and thus more people would gain access to adequate representation.
To be clear, none of the arguments put forward so far have had anything to do with private defense attorneys, just public defenders. Those are free. And if your argument is that public defenders are so ineffective that private attorneys are the only way for the innocent to avoid prison, then just circle back on all the points made about all the systemic checks present to ensure a public defense represents access to the justice system.
Also once again, no real attorneys in the US are stuck making this economically poisoned decision of whether to practice criminal law or some other field of law. Most attorneys are out of work. For those who have work that doesn’t pay well enough, there is the income-adjusted repayment of student loans (10% of disposable income, forgiveness after 25 years). No one is falling further into debt than that, even if they had alternatives, which they don’t. There are even repayment breaks for government employees that state agencies historically used to recruit, but don’t need to anymore because there is such a surplus of underemployed professionals now in the US.
#3 - Just because you aren't personally familiar with these sorts of ads doesn't mean they don't exist and/or don't impact the justice system. See here. Almost certainly because judges don't want to appear "weak on crime", it was found that the more often political ads aired against them, the more often they ruled against criminal defendants. The link between conviction rates and election ads is undeniable.
This has the cause and effect backwards. What I’m saying is that the public doesn’t care about it enough to go the other way. Not that judges/DA’s don’t, because after all, they’re running for an office that puts people in jail. Who knew, candidates that use ads that they are tough on crime want to be tough on crime. But Like everything with the elections process though, if people really do care about it, start voting that way. Voters get duped as to the facts of the issues all the time.
Quote from lugger »Quote from Lithl »
"They" being people (including the people that are part of the government machine) in other countries, and "trivial" including such things as misdemeanors.
Perhaps I am not understanding exactly what you mean by "they" and "trivial things"?
This reads like you think misdemeanors shouldn't go to court and should be resolved by 1. not charging the crime at all or 2. charging the crime and bypassing the court system w/ the punishment.
I think you mean, "the US should ease up on sentencing for petty crimes" but I can't be for sure.
I can get behind this. Instead of presuming that innocent people are pleading out/getting convicted because their attorneys are terrible, how about we consider the possibility that they committed a crime? A quick list of misdemeanor crimes described in the 2009 study from the NY Times OpEd. The study held these out as things that the DA’s office didn’t even think needed to be punishable by jail.
1) Sleeping in a cardboard box
2) Occupying more than one seat on a Subway
3) Sleeping on a subway
4) Feeding the homeless
5) Underage possession of alcohol
6) Turnstile jumping/fare evasion
7) Fish and game violations
8) Driving with a suspended/revoked license
I do think that there are a lot (A LOT) of problems with the justice system in the US, but access to meaningful representation is not high on my own personal list of woes.
Sep 7, 2016Posted in: Debate
[quote]Professional guidelines recommend that public defenders handle no more than 400 misdemeanor cases in a year, yet a 2009 report found that part-time public defenders in Orleans Parish handled the equivalent of 19,000 misdemeanor cases per attorney annually — which means an average of about seven minutes spent by a lawyer on each case.
Does that sound like the minimum standards of the profession are helping those who must rely on public defenders? If seven minutes of time to prepare my case is the highest standard in the developed world, what the hell does every other country do for their citizens? Public defenders are laughably overworked and underfunded.
First off, I would resist boiling issues down so far that they can become Twitter hashtags and made-to-order statistics. The NY Times writes an editorial on a report of a report, and now the message is whatever people want it to be.
If you read the report from the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers, it actually only has the New Orleans public defenders office at 7 minutes per case, and only for “part-time” attorneys. It has every other public defenders office at about an hour per case. If the outlier is held out as the chief finding, that’s a tilted agenda.
More missing details, the report was specifically about conditions in misdemeanor courts from 2008 projected into the future, and we are using that here to explain why “Making a Murderer Happened”, which documents a 1985 felony charge in Wisconsin.
Besides, X number of minutes may be enough, maybe not. I have gotten a lot of things done in seven minutes. It takes a successful examinee on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) an average of 1 min 45s to answer a question that is intended to represent a challenge. And attorneys probably type and send e-mails at between 20 and 40 words per minute. It depends on details like administrative support that vary widely between jurisdictions, and are too nuanced to delve into in a way that would be digestible on the national debate stage.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with Public Defenders being overworked. What I am saying is that minimum standards do exist for both systemic oversight and individual attorney ethics, they are higher than the rest of the developed world, and a much more nuanced look than what a Netflix documentary provides is really needed to draw any conclusions. The report in the NY Times OpEd even states that the increasing caseloads pose a risk to the attorneys being disciplined for ethical issues. So the system seems to be holding itself accountable to defendants.
That’s saying that I’m so broke I can’t afford to work. Huh…?
I mean, I’m all for reducing the cost of law school as long as it doesn’t interfere with the world-renowned quality of that education (and good luck there). But to be clear, the alternative in a profession suffering from underemployment is underemployment. It’s not just to take better compensating work in some other area of law. Given the alternative between making $20/hr as a Public Defender and making $15/hr doing unqualified administrative work, what do you think an attorney will choose? If it’s underemployment, it’s because some other grad out-competed the rest for the job with the Public Defender.
Also on the Federal Student Loans system generally, the amount due on payments caps out at 15% of a grad’s disposable income (10% for new grads under the Obama plan). Even if someone were at this crossroads between making 40k/yr as a public defender and 100k/yr as a real estate attorney, that decision is about whether to drive a new Mercedes or a used Kia, not whether you can “make ends meet”.
To redirect here, it’s not just about voter apathy. It’s apathy on the issues of relevance to the office of DA or judge, and ear-splitting passion on partisan storylines, like gender-neutral bathrooms, which have no relevance to the justice system. So for those of us, like myself, who have listened to a DA candidate campaign, it is more about virtue-signaling and pretending you are getting softball questions from a cable news anchor than it is about the administrative oversight of the justice system. About the most hot-button issues they will talk on relative to criminal justice is the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana and/or immigration issues, which are still outside the purview of an office that is supposed to be enforcing policy rather than enacting it.
I have heard no DA ever claim that they're the best for the job by getting higher conviction rates. At least in all the states where I've lived, I'd be very surprised to hear a campaign platform anything like that. But neither have I heard anything like a candidate claim that they are an administrative expert, reduced inefficiency by X% at a hospital or some such, and that they have a plan for reducing case loads. The local elections process does happen, but this seems like a non-issue to both sides.
Bwahahahaha, because public defenders suck at the state level. They used to be good at the federal level, until cut back started.
I disagree. Do you have any evidence that they suck, other than just the fact that they aren’t paid as much as hedge fund managers?
Debt is evil. It binds you, it's not an "incentive." It's more like, "I'm going to smack your butt with a paddle if you don't clean the dishes." Whereas more lawyers are motivated by "I got to help someone out!" or "This case is extremely complex, and I can use my analytical ability to think through all this paper work." Don't confuse disincentives with incentives. IF a person wasn't going to enter a field, they would have done so.
There's a demand for lawyers to fight local cases, and there's a demand for public defenders. What you seem to neglect is that I want more of a free market for young lawyers to prove themselves without having to be burdened by unnecessary debt.
70k'year in Canada is pretty good living.
You know what? Who I am to judge how much debt someone should have for an education? What really makes me feel special to say what people should pay for college.
Here's the thing. Lawyers are necessary to transmute legalistic garbage into practical results. Period.
Doctors being heavily encumbered by debt, makes then incentivized towards making money. Then we get more boob and vagina repair specialists than GP's.
Chasing money and raising the price of an attorney pr doctor fee per hour is ludicrous.
So we tried high debt with high education, created an education bubble. Let's go back to what works, capitalism without all the socialism. Low debt margins increases individual wealth, which then opens up people to spend more money to create other jobs.
We're using a "Sith mentality" for a "Jedi problem." Which means "greed" isn't the largest motivating factor here.
Debt is the problem, it creates fear and panic. The good side of self interest, that is the acquisitive towards resources to protect oneself against, well, poverty is natural to man.
Instead I see student debt like a gambling addiction. "Skin in the game" means nothing to me.
If the person is a fully actualized person by the time they graduate high school, then they will naturally want to be independent. "Giving" someone a discounted education is called grace and even then law degrees are overpriced and overpromised for results. This has been a continuing trend with colleges.
Society is already waking up to the college lie, parents are having children focus on STEM degrees.
But this is also a problem with Human Resources. No nontransferable skills, you must have the exact degree. Overqualified for an entry level job, blah blah.
The whole system is rigged.
Maybe it's time we stopped worrying about the students and looked at the employers and saying. "Hey the kids' got a law degree, might be worth hiring her for something above lettuce chopper."
The system is borked. Period. Defending it in its totality is confusion. There are fewer business being created by young people as compared to other depressions and recessions. That's because of the debt problem.
I agree that the educational system needs some work, and so do most of the progressive lawmakers I have heard talk on the issue. That’s what student loan reform is about.
What this fails to show is how the problem with education impacts the justice system. We have masses of recently graduated professionals who are out of work, but nevertheless meet the standards of the profession, and the problem is with the quality of the representation of criminal defendants? There’s plenty of a “free market for young attorneys to prove themselves”. They can apply for a job at the public defender’s office, apply for part-time work, or volunteer. And there are more of them willing to do so precisely because of the availability of federally backed education.
There is no cap on the number of lawyers. Care to explain?
There are private law schools all over, federal student aid, and unless it's different in some states, anyone with a law degree can sit for a state bar exam. Meanwhile, not even in the worse off states like California has the Bar Examining Committee artificially adjusted standards to limit entry into the field. Examinees continue to succeed or fail on the test based on their unadjusted performance.
Sep 6, 2016Posted in: Debate
If young lawyers were able to graduate with no to little debt, we would see more private practices open up. Young lawyers doing the DUI's and speeding tickets, then moving up to be prosecutors and defense attorneys in large cases. That is the system, but I would fathom that as lawyers would go up and down the pike. For instance a lawyer who was raising 2 children would perhaps not want to work for a high end law firm and just do some small cases to bring in money and maintain work experience until their children were older. On and off ramps for careers, and not encumbering people with debt.
It's mostly the pipeline into the work environment that is the problem for young people, as well as the off ramps for people with children to come back to the work force. Fix those aspects of the working world, and you open a world of difference.
To begin with, this seems entirely bass-ackwards. We are hurting for qualified attorneys, so let’s reduce the costs spent on law degrees? We need incentives for attorneys to open private criminal defense practices instead of having kids, so let’s reduce the debt for each graduating attorney? Passing the bar is a problem? If someone has to take on debt, attend a school with highly compensated professors, and pass a bar exam, wouldn’t that serve to incentivize them make good on their investment and practice law, rather than de-incentivize them to do so? Wouldn’t that ensure better quality representation for the accused in the justice system?
Maybe if people were just deciding against becoming lawyers for these factors we would have a problem, but just to be clear on the facts, there is no shortage of attorneys whatsoever. There are so many that the legal community is currently wondering whether the back log of all the recently graduated attorneys will ever be worked into the profession. Lots of out of work attorneys would love Criminal Defense work, or even to stand by and assist with Criminal Defense work on a volunteer basis, but other attorneys are out-competing them for it. And even pre-2008 recession days, it was a minority of those working as attorneys who ever actually had to take a case to court.
Also on top of there being so many attorneys in the US, the US has what are possibly the highest minimum standards for attorneys in the world, as measured by years of education, worldwide educational rankings, the number of law school applicants as a ratio to admissions rates, and the ratio of those who take the state bar exams against those who pass. If you need further evidence, look at the trade surplus of services exports delivered by US legal professionals to other countries. The world values US legal professionals more than the US values theirs. So, it’s hard to argue that these factors weigh against the effectiveness of the legal professionals in the US justice system, relative to the rest of the developed world.
So in summary, if you are arguing that the reason prosecutors favor plea deals is because defense attorneys are terrible, what you are talking about is, at worst, the bare minimum standards to be licensed in the profession (public defender’s office) in an adversarial negotiation with what probably amounts to a slightly below average line of work in terms of compensation and prestige (DA’s office). An abundance of lawyers and very high minimum standards in the US both weigh heavily against the argument that Public Defenders are just getting their rears handed to them in these negotiations. And that’s only if you buy the idea that public defenders are the dregs of the profession, where from what I’ve seen it’s a little the opposite, that trust-fund darlings are the ones to be overly enamored with Criminal Defense work and Constitutional Law, and have the least concern with low compensation.
I get charged with a crime, if I can afford a lawyer and fight the charge it forces an economic decision. If a DA knows that a person is able to get "good defense" they will be more likely to go through the case through an investigation rather than charge shenanigans.
There is another thing we're not talking about. Voting versus appointed DA's. Nifong from the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal was elected. Prosecution out of the "get tough on crime" approach from the 1970's and 80's was the crack epidemic. So conservatives latched onto the idea of get tough on crime, which they wanted more quantifiable aspects. Conviction rates were a part of this for getting tough on crime and sending people to jail as a way to remove evil from society.
As we know today, high incarceration rates mean little if recitivism rates are high. Then there is the issue of mercy bookings and the mentally ill. The prison system is the largest mental health provider in the nation. Nifong himself is the poster child of why you don't want elected DA's, because he needed to look good in front of the electorate.
So we are dealing with 3 separate issues:
1. Elections of judges and DA's basing their success rate on convictions
2. Expensive lawyers
3. Inability for society to deal with the mentally ill
From there we do the legitimate people who do belong in jail at least for a time and then transitioning those people back into society. We do have some statistics, such as men over the age of 27 are less likely to go back and engage in violent crimes. There are some areas of data we can deal with and readily work with.
You need to take each issue one at a time.
1. When have you ever come across campaign ads for a Judge, or even a DA? The average cable news watching voter doesn't care at all about these offices, or even understand what they do. The only factor I see that could possibly weigh in here is whether they’re putting either a (D) or an (R) next to their name on the ballot, or leaving it off. With party affiliation, it only shifts the power of appointment from the executive (as it would be where the office it not elected) to the partisan machinery of the primary process. Without party affiliation, the vote is essentially blind.
2. As above, huh??? The US justice system compels the State to appoint a Public Defender for all criminal charges. And any economic factors that might be driving up the costs for legal services would only serve to raise the minimum standards for the profession, which are already the highest in the developed world.
3. I’ll grant that there is some intersection between the public health system and the justice system, but what’s the alternative? Besides, most people believe the opposite, that standards for “insanity defenses” are still too low.
Sep 2, 2016On this idea that the prosecution has to pick which of 1st degree, 2nd degree, manslaughter, so on, to charge you with and stick to it, just wait. Back the truck up.Posted in: Debate
There is a legal concept called the “merger doctrine”, and “lesser included offenses”. A lesser charge is one where every element is also an element of the greater charge. You can charge murder and convict manslaughter, but you can’t charge manslaughter and convict murder. So, the prosecution is always incentivized to bring the highest charge that they believe, under their duty as an officer of the court, that the facts warrant. The jury will always be instructed that they can convict on any lesser charge, unless that charge includes some element that the more serious crime didn’t.
So, the charge at court will always be ratcheted up to what they think someone actually did. And prosecution does have to list this out to the defense attorney before the hearing. So if they tempt the defendant with a plea deal for a lesser charge, and someone thinks having a greater charge anywhere on the table is unfair, that is just perception. Prosecution threatening with a murder charge means that they think murder was committed. Practically speaking, the most prevalent motivation for prosecution to offer deals is because they are overworked. Thinking they are just frivolously upping the stakes to browbeat people has it backwards.
I mean, I thought that even grade school teachers by now were teaching that "innocent until proven guilty" means it's really hard for the state to bring charges. In any event, here is a quick list of protections against prosecutorial abuse. I’ve tried to sort them from most direct to least:
1) Standing Trial for the Charge – If you think you are innocent and you’re being prosecuted anyway, what would be the weight behind the prosecution upping the charges? What evidence do they have, and how did they get it if you’re innocent? Answering those questions will make it really easy for a defense attorney to defend you. And for all criminal charges in the US, the state has to provide a defense attorney at their expense unless you choose your own.
2) Contesting How You Got Caught – If you really didn’t do it, how did you end up in police custody? There are multiple ways that cops can go wrong in catching you, and as I am reminded recently, cops have less training than cosmetologists. There are a number of highly likely things that they did in apprehending an innocent person. Even if they came to your house and busted through the door, they need a warrant for that. Even at that point, it has to come from a judge, and judges have to abide by certain standards of evidence in granting a warrant for seizure.
3) Grand Jury (felony cases) – If you are charged with a really serious crime (felony) in some states, there will be assembled a Grand Jury on the question of whether to indict you for it. There is basically complete secrecy in these meetings, and no oversight whatsoever. The prosecution has to provide evidence to convince them. But if people sympathetic to you are impaneled in a grand jury, they can prevent the prosecution from indicting and no one will ever know about it. If they are not sympathetic to you after they see the evidence, why aren’t they? Either they didn’t watch Law and Order, or they don’t believe these scenarios are as common as TV presents, or there’s just too much evidence.
4) Adversarial Hearing on Indictment – Even in cases without a Grand Jury, the defense attorney’s professional obligation to serve his/her client begins before the hearing, and the prosecution has to share evidence. If your attorney isn’t compelled by the evidence, what is the basis for the prosecution to threaten to up the charges?
5) Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict – Ok, you’re innocent, you went to trial on bad evidence, and the jury convicted you. Your attorney will make a motion to the judge for JNOV. Now, the judge has to personally okay it.
6) Automatic first Appeal as of Right – If your attorney, the jury and the judge all let you down, you can appeal any criminal conviction without the burden of stating any grounds for it. So now, two different judges have to okay your conviction.
7) Appealing the conviction on Civil Rights grounds – If you somehow got convicted on a really crappy case, both your attorneys were on auto-pilot, and the judge was against you, why would that be? If it’s because of something about you like race, religion, national origin, etc, then you have grounds for appeal that don’t have anything whatsoever to do with any evidence for the actual charge. If you have evidence of prosecutorial malice, or even statistics in your area showing the likelihood of prosecutorial abuse (incarceration rates, etc), then an appellate court can overturn your conviction.
8) Appealing on the grounds of ineffective counsel – Ok, somehow your attorney didn’t mention that there are countless of these mechanisms of the state in the way of you getting convicted, and he misinformed you that you were screwed even if innocent. Your next attorney will tell you how wrong he was, and you get out of jail free just because your lawyer was bad.
9) Electing a different government – District attorneys are elected in a lot of jurisdictions, and appointed by the executive in others. Judges are the same. Also, the state legislature will usually include in the criminal code what the minimum and maximum penalties are for a charge. If the best and brightest in the society are codifying criminal charges with way, way more penalties than they should have, such that the prosecution is always armed with the threat of bringing a stiffer penalty, why is that? Are you sure it’s just because they all don’t like you?
Aug 30, 2016Jusstice posted a message on Scooping To Deny Triggers (i.e. Spite Scooping) Polls [Multiplayer Only]Just FYI, the "sometimes" category overlaps with the "Yes" category in the poll for the last two questions.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If you "sometimes" spite scoop, then yes, you spite scoop.
Aug 30, 2016Posted in: Religion
There are two binary logic switches at play here: "I affirm that there is a God" and "I affirm that there is no God". (1, 0) is theism, clearly, and (0, 1) is at least one form of atheism. (0, 0) is variously described as agnosticism, another form of atheism, or both. (1, 1) entails a logical contradiction*, but people affirm logical contradictions all the time, so it's not a possibility that can be discounted offhand.
I can agree with this too. I was also saying that some people see a contradiction or impossibility with the (0, 0), due to one of those binaries being the negation of the other. But this way of describing it also recognizes that there is no such contradiction.
I’m not sure what the existence of Epistemology proves.
But to go a bit down that rabbit hole of what I think you're getting at, I’ll just clarify by saying that the logical proof of an idea is independent of Epistemology’s definition of “knowledge”. So if Epistemology defines “knowledge” as beliefs that have both sound evidentiary justification and are objectively true, you just have to recognize the implicit premise there that some objective truth exists. It might not, and people would still believe things. In other words, people still believed things before Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” So, what you have is either the acceptance or denial of premises that are increasingly basic. And, Epistemology does accept a certain set of premises, like whether we are conscious or in a dream, etc. The act of defining this set of premises as narrowly as possible is the whole endeavor of Epistemology. But, it does involve the acceptance of them, and then defines those and others based on them quite subjectively as “knowledge”, as according to the pertaining definition.
But if you throw aside any implied ontological premise, which you should if you are discussing anything different from Epistemology, then all you have is the logic. At that point, things that you believe, know, suspect (or any other synonym) follow some logical pattern, such as: X, therefore Y. Logic doesn’t and cannot specify what degree of certainty knowledge, beliefs, etc, are held. The premise X is either true or false. The logical construction is either valid, or it’s not. There is no logical construction that proves a belief, versus one that proves knowledge.
That was my point in regards to the premise of the existence of God. You have points of evidence (or non-evidence), and you either accept them or you don’t. You have conclusions that the evidence is offered to support, and you either consider the reasoning of those arguments valid, or you don’t. The degree of certainty for each is outside the bounds of that discussion. Atheism and Theism, in my mind, relate to the content of those posited ideas and the arguments they support.
Granting this premise for the sake of argument, why couldn't people apply the labels "atheist" and "agnostic" to the distinction? You seem to be arguing that because the distinction isn't "real", it can't be what people use to define these terms. And that doesn't follow at all. People define terms based distinctions far less real than this, all the time.
Well, I didn’t intend to be arguing in proof of that. People could be using the terms to describe degree of certainty. All I’m saying is that I don’t think that this is how the terms are used, based on the character of the statements of those who are widely considered “Atheist” or “Theist”. Someone could come to a different use of those terms.
I’ll have to fill in later the support for why I think these terms are widely understood that way.
Aug 30, 2016I remember a Colbert Report, where he was discussing the relevance of findings that 99.8% of people underneath the federal poverty level had access to a refrigerator, and the majority had access to a microwave.Posted in: Debate
His response, “You mean, they can preserve and reheat food? Oooh-la-la! I guess the poor are too good for mold and trichinosis.” (http://maspower.tumblr.com/post/8139350541/they-can-preserve-and-reheat-foods-oooh-la-la )
So evidently for some people, this is a discussion we need to have. The conservative study was held out on Fox News in support of the asinine narrative that people on public assistance programs were freeloaders, and getting a comfortable lifestyle while refusing to work.
My opinion, I think minimum wage should put someone right about where they need 1-2 roommates to split rent with at a 2-bedroom apartment, with 40% of disposable income going to housing. The federal guideline for lending on income to expense ratio is 28%. The other 60%-72% can and should go to other living expenses like food, utilities, appliances, and investing in the betterment of a person’s ability to earn. It’s not reasonable to expect 70%+ of someone’s income to go to housing, and them living on uncooked beans, rice, etc.
Right now where I live, a 2 bedroom apartment rents for $1500/mo and the minimum wage is $9.50/hr. That means that about 45% of someone’s income who works 40 hrs and splits rent goes to housing. I’d say it needs to be improved.
Also opinion mine, living conditions of being barely above water at this 40% while splitting rent and working 40hrs a week should mainly be understood as pertaining to single people under age 30. If people who are getting more experience and taking on more life responsibilities are still not able to make ends meet, that’s also a problem. Also, it’s a problem if capable people are strictly unable to find work, even at minimum wage. Furthermore, those unable to work due to documented conditions should not be turned out on the street like animals.
But as to the Living Wage, I think 40% income to housing expense ratio is not overly generous at all, and would probably put me on the more austere end of the political spectrum.
Aug 30, 2016Posted in: ReligionQuote from BetweenWalls »Atheist literally means non-theist. Theist, in its broadest sense, has come to mean someone who believes in (and thus worships) one or more deities. More strictly, it might mean someone who believes in only a single deity, or one who believes in a particular kind of 'creator' deity. An atheist is not a theist, thus making them someone who does not believe in deities.
Highroller, I'm not sure what you mean by someone who simultaneously lacks belief and disbelief (for deities). Can you explain how such a thing is possible? I think perhaps you're trying to describe agnosticism? Agnosticism is related to atheism (or theism) in that it concerns deities, but it's not a label that addresses the same question - it addresses knowledge of deities, rather than belief of deities. It's better to think of these terms on separate axis, as in the attached image. The lower left chart maps 2 axes concerning deities: belief and knowledge. As Lithl mentions, it is indeed quite possible to be an agnostic atheist, for example.
Also in the image is another axis that relates deities, but refers to conviction in one's belief - see the upper right chart. A 'strong atheist' might say "There are no gods", whereas a 'weak atheist' might prefer instead to say "I lack belief in any gods".
Not42, you may find the 3rd chart (lower right) interesting. You say you are open to the idea of God or gods, but still identify as atheist; you might consider yourself implicitly atheist (while also being agnostic).
There is no real difference between belief and knowledge. The difference in how people understand the two words simply has to do with the type of evidence that supports the conclusion, or the degree of certainty. But, there is no difference in terms of the logical proof, the philosophical argument, so forth, between belief in a premise and knowledge of it. Seeing as how Atheism and Agnosticism discuss exactly those things, I'm not inclined to believe that people are using two different terms just to differentiate their degree of certainty or the basis of their conclusions. They are beliefs in two different ideas.
Your question about how it’s possible to simultaneously lack belief and disbelief is what I think is critical to the discussion here. Some are saying that’s Atheism and it's the same as disbelieving something, others are saying it’s not, or that this state of belief isn’t possible. To take another crack at the red pen analogy from the other thread, suppose I’m holding my hands behind my back and I tell you that I’m holding a red pen. You could draw (at least) three different conclusions about that premise, analogous to Theism, Atheism and Agnosticism.
One, you believe that I’m holding a red pen. You’ve taken in the evidence of my statement, and any other sources of evidence you might have, and form that conclusion.
Two, you believe that I am NOT holding a red pen. You take the evidence of my statement as probative of the opposite conclusion. For example, maybe you have reason to believe I’m untrustworthy, or I’m prone myself to misunderstanding what spectrum of light pertains to red, what a pen is, so on. But, you take the evidence and conclude that the premise of me having a red pen is NOT true.
Three, you don’t believe that you have any information to conclude one way or the other. Suppose you didn’t hear what I said, or you don’t understand my language, or maybe I didn’t say anything. Or maybe you just don't consider people's statements about themselves as being evidence of anything. In any event, you can’t conclude that I’m holding a red pen, but neither can you conclude that I’m not. At least, no more than you can conclude at any time that any given person not in your view is not holding a red pen. Someone asks you about this red pen of mine, and you have no idea. This is the state of neither believing or disbelieving something.
Alternatively, take another example. If you’re familiar with advanced math or computer programming, you’ll understand the difference between a value of “1”, a value of “0”, and concepts used to indicate that there is NO value, such as undefined, empty set, or null set. A zero or a one will lead to some calculation, but an undefined variable is not operable.
In fact, in the history of the development of mathematics in prehistoric cultures, you can find those cultures who are said to have “invented” the concept of Zero, and those who didn’t. It’s an idea that’s really not just intuitive. Suppose we view an empty slate as the “default”, there are advantages to denoting a value of Zero instead. It’s making an affirmative statement about a numerical value, whereas the empty slate is not. That allows conclusions to be made and calculations to go forward. So, every culture that was exposed to the difference between that and the concept of Zero went on to adopt the Zero. Here, Atheism is being put forward as the “Zero” or belief in no God, while it’s being pointed out also that it’s possible to have neither belief in God nor belief in no God, which would be an empty slate.
Aug 29, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from Gentleman Johnny »Quote from Ljoss »
Your conclusion does not logically follow your setup there... Your tax dollars go to fund things that the market does not provide for that you do benefit from so taxation it is not theft.
If there was no taxation, would your money be going to the exact places that the taxation was sending it in the exact amounts? Not for most people, so taxation is theft.
Let's start with the latter justification. If you take someone's car in the middle of the night without their permission but leave behind a bag containing ten times its value in cash, have you still stolen from that person?
I guess I'll take the bait.
Theft, in law, a general term covering a variety of specific types of stealing, including the crimes of larceny, robbery, and burglary. Theft is defined as the physical removal of an object that is capable of being stolen without the consent of the owner and with the intention of depriving the owner of it permanently.
So by taking the item, without asking, regardless of any items left and their value the answer to your question would be yes. Even if you left $1 million dollars for a Little Tyke's Cozy Coupe, that would be considered a form of theft.
Actually, I don’t believe so. I think I remember reading about a case like this actually (too lazy to research citation). Someone stole a bike or something, left money, then the bike got reported stolen, so on. At trial, the defense attorney produces evidence of the money being left, prosecution objects that the evidence was not relevant, judge sustains, and jury convicts. On appeal, the court ruled that the evidence was relevant to show “mens rea” of defendant (criminal intent), and overturns conviction.
It was a very old case, could have been picked from any number of cases to show the general principle that basically everything is “relevant evidence” for the defense in a criminal case, whether on “mens rea”, impeachment of witnesses, etc. Also to show that for every criminal case, the jury can acquit whenever they feel like the defendant didn’t intend to do anything wrong (not to be confused with not knowing that what you did was wrong).
And in fact, the reverse is also true, where a defendant can be convicted of “attempt” regardless of actually having carried out any harmful act. That is, at least as long as there exists enough physical evidence of criminal intent that allows a court to conclude “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant intended a crime, and took some action in furtherance of that crime.
In all other cases where someone absconds with property, or otherwise interferes with property, there is the civil law remedy in tort for “trespass to chattel”. You sue someone for taking your stuff, no police or handcuffs involved.
Really, there is a moral/ethical component to actions classified as “crimes”. No moral wrongdoing, no crime. And so theft being a widely recognized crime, I find that it’s exactly the intent of those who might characterize taxation as a crime to conflate it with the worst kind of immoral actions. Then disingenuously, they back into the dictionary definition of theft, devoid of any moral character, when they’re asked to justify what they said.
TL;DR – No way taxation is theft, because the government doesn’t intend to act immorally by collecting taxes.
Aug 29, 2016The ones I'm most excited for:Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Hokori, Dust Driker - Because every deck that runs all the Winter Orbs needs one more way to access the effect.
Karmic Guide and Body Double - Because no one ever combo's off with these cards, right?
Any ETB card in Bant - It's nice for one color combination to be able to run G and W together, for stuff like Bane of Progress.
Disciple of Bolas - Some decks really, really need more ways to draw cards.
Prime Speaker Zegana - Speaking of Bant and card draw, how's this for one?
Really, there's just so many options with this guy. I'm super excited for an Imperial Recruiter that actually exists in relevant quantity in paper.
Aug 29, 2016Selvala is sick. Kessig Wolf Run and Akroma looove it, and I've also tried things like Blazing Shoal, Balduvian Rage, and Dragon Mantle before, which might be good enough now with a little more mana production in the deck. But, I have a feeling it will be a staple for any deck running Green.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Selvala's Stampede is also one where I have to reread it to make sure it's as powerful as it looks. It seems like it should cost 1-2 mana more than it does. Six is incredibly cheap for what seems similar to going down with Garruk, Caller of Beasts 4 times and up at least once. No color restriction either, or exile on resolution. Whoops, look like Sylvan Library kept an Eternal Witness on top.
Aug 25, 2016Posted in: Multiplayer Commander DecklistsQuote from Ertai Planeswalker »I feel a pillowfort strategy is counterproductive with Marchesa, as becoming the Monarch paints a target on your head. At the same time you're trying to get people to not attack you...
Why not accept you won't be the monarch, and then focus on something else to win the game while everyone else is fighting over the crown?
I agree that avoiding the crown going to someone else shouldn't be priority #1, but that's a far cry from saying that pillowforting is counterproductive. Because what will probably happen is that the one person at the table that no one can attack productively will get the crown, then you have a general that spits out tokens rather than draw cards.
That, and you could always play Kami of the Crescent Moon, Seizan, Perverter of Truth or Nekusar, the Mindrazer if you really didn't care about everybody else getting a free draw off you. It is probably a lot easier to pull off some non-board-oriented win with either of those generals, if you have no interest in attacking or preventing attacks.
Aug 25, 2016Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from Underhill83 »I thing, I have less of an issue with dedicated infect decks.
My problem are the one-shot kill cards that you can through in to your deck to take out this one unlucky guy.
Yes, it may be just one at a time, but hey, that's even worst. Now he can watch the other 3 playing for the next hour!
Phyrexian Hydra in Xenagos is an example. An easy turn 5 kill for an unprepared opponent (haste is an important thing here).
If somebody pays 12 mana for Blightsteel Colossus and attacks the next turn. Sure, I could deal with it, I'm dead. But that is not the problem.
It's the fast and easy - Counterspell or die - Tainted Strike and such.
Sure, other strategies are faster / better, but this is about the low power battlecruiser games, that usually take 10+ turns.
Why is the starting life at 40? Why is Commander damage 21?
Let's change poison to 15, so adjust it a little bit more to EDH.
What do you have to lose? Seriously! What the h*** do you have to lose?
Well, what do you have to lose from relegating Infect into the category of things that are appropriate for these "battlecruiser" games, and into this category you have for "faster/better" strategies? What is the difference? Why do you never, ever see Doomsday combos that are "counterspell or die", but you keep seeing Blightsteel?
I don't get it. On a table where everyone is pulling punches, why are some punches pulled but not others. Answer me this question and I will gladly use it to avoid getting a bunch of angry PM's and so on when someone decides that what I did wasn't fair.
Aug 24, 2016Agreed. The consistency of having some draw power in the Command Zone is awesome, but running more “become the Monarch” cards would sort of be like running more Fog in an Angus Mackenzie deck. Actually come to think of it, it would be even more redundant than that, because the Monarch emblem stays in the game even after Marchesa is killed. In fact, Marchesa is probably one of the Commanders with the most lingering impact that way, and you’d rarely want to cast her more than once per game.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Better support would be to run more Haste, recursion, and evasion to give you a card at the end of your turn. I think cards like Nether Traitor would be good includes.
Aug 24, 2016I am racking my brain to figure out what advantages are offered by an Infect strategy, but I can’t think of anything that really sticks. And, I have played a fair bit of Infect, from Skittles, to traditional aggro Infect with Doran, to one shot Infect with Rafiq, Mimeoplasm, or Xenagos. In all cases, I decided that other decks were better.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If it is traditional aggro, the problem is with traditional aggro. You lose to wipes. If two or more wipes happen between Turn 5 and Turn 10, you will definitely lose, and being outside of that Turn 10 window means that you’ll lose even in these “Spirit of EDH” groups who hold mostly to that baseline. It’s strategically identical to running something like Jor Kadeen, Gahiji Honored One, or similar, and so likewise, it’s generally inferior to either General damage strategies, Spellslinger strategies, and just ordinary GoodStuff strategies that win with tired cards like Craterhoof Behemoth.
If on the other hand it is some one-shot pump sequence with Grafted Exoskeleton , Glistening Oil, Phyresis, Triumph of the Hordes or something involving an incidental Inkmoth Nexus or Plague Myr and pumps you’d be running anyway, then keep in mind that there are a lot of cards that just make for explosive sequences. It could be Malignus with Double Strike, some Breath of Fury play, or just a Commander pumped up for General damage. Case in point, Blightsteel Colossus might as well be Phage the Untouchable, no difference whatsoever. It is a one shot kill, of which there are plenty.
Really just substitution any combo here, not even necessarily having to do with creatures or permanents, and it’s the same thing. In fact, with Maze of Ith being in the format, it is really clunky to ever try to arm up one creature for a single shot combat kill. It’s probably better than trying to swarm out 3 other players with 2-3 drops, but immensely vulnerable to Maze, or any other removal of basically any sort that a normal opponent could expect to be running. Lots and lots of combo sequences don’t present as many vulnerabilities to interaction.
So, if your group has an issue with Infect, then that’s sad, but you always have stronger strategies that are available to you.
In my mind, if you hadn’t had Delirium in that spot with Blightsteel, your group would be of the exact opposite opinion about Infect, without anything of the rules of Infect in the format having changed. Evidently, they just don’t like people winning. Nothing you can do about that, because after all, winning is the objective of the game.
Aug 24, 2016Jusstice posted a message on To atheists and agnostics: what makes Christianity unappealing or unacceptable to you?Posted in: Religion
Nope. Atheism is not the claim that there is no god; it's the rejection of the claim that there is. If you say "there's a god," and I reply with "I reject that claim," I'm an atheist, but I am NOT asserting that there ISN'T a god. Am I splitting hairs? No, because it's a vital distinction. Atheism is the default position on an extraordinary claim absent any compelling evidence to accept the claim. There are, of course, plenty of people who would claim "there is no god." I would call them anti-theists, different from atheists. To your other point, atheists aren't the ones defining god. When I say I don't believe in god, I'm saying I don't believe in whatever god you're currently talking about and yourself defining. That's why any reasonable discussion on this topic should start with a clear definition of god. It just so happens that there are many similarities in people's definition, especially among Christians, so by generalizing with "I don't believe in god," there's a pretty good chance what I'm talking about is pretty close to what you're talking about. But feel free to define god any way you want and I'll let you know if I believe in what you're describing.
These terms aren’t the most set in stone anywhere, so I’m not going to say you’re wrong. But I will say that just about every discussion I’ve ever had, and every public source of information I could find on these terms expressed the following understanding of them:
Atheism (n.) - the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Atheism (n.) - the doctrine that there is no deity
It comes from the root word “theos” or “God” and the prefix “a-” used to frame something in the negative. You’re only an atheist if you’re declaring an affirmative belief that there is no God. If like in your example, someone claims that there is a God, then you reject that claim, that’s not an affirmative belief. That’s simply saying you’re not a follower of that belief. Whereas in my example above, if you make the argument that bone cancer exists, therefore no God, you are stating the atheist doctrine that enough evidence exists to prove that there is no God.
From the same sources on the term “Agnostic”, speaking generally and not specifically related to the belief in deities:
Agnostic (n.) - a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
Agnostic (n.) - a person who does not believe or is unsure of something
Basically, there are two definitions here. The first one is a capital-letter “Agonstic”, which is the affirmative believe that knowledge on a given topic is impossible. The second one is small letter “agnostic”, which can be a simple statement that you don’t believe in an idea. If you simply say you don’t believe, you might be capital “A” Agnostic as well, in the event that you also affirmatively believe that knowledge on that topic is impossible. You might also be an Anti-theist. But you can’t be an Atheist, because an Atheist believes that he has knowledge bearing on the existence of God, that knowledge is possible, and that it indicates affirmatively that there is no such God.
On the term ““antitheist”, there is no entry in either of those dictionary sources for the term. But Wikipedia lays it out as “opposition” to theism, or most commonly opposition to organized religions that profess belief in God. So in your example, if you’re in a conversation with someone who says they believe in God, then you say you don’t, and you think that belief is dangerous, harmful, so on, that makes you an anti-theist. You may also be either an Agnostic or an Atheist (not both), or you might be only a small-letter agnostic to the premise of the existence of a deity.
This is an interesting take, but I tend to disagree with placing atheism on a spectrum like this. My biggest beef is that it conflates knowledge with belief. I view knowledge as more than just a really really really strong belief. I see it as a whole different thing.
I also take a very binary approach to belief. You either accept a claim and thus "believe" it - i.e. place a "true" label on it - or you don't. Anything other than a full acceptance of a claim is a rejection of the claim, even if you're uncertain or fall somewhere else on that spectrum. Because, again, the rejection of a claim is NOT the same as an assertion of an opposing claim. The lack of absolute certainty in either direction doesn't preclude you from being entirely on one side or the other.
What this all really boils down to is burden of proof. Only those who make a positive claim have the burden to provide evidence in support of their claim. Both "a god exists" and "no god exists" are positive claims that require evidence in order to justify their acceptance. As an atheist, I'm not making any claims, I'm just shaking my head in disbelief until someone convinces me.
Actually, there is no philosophical difference between knowledge and belief. There might be a dictionary difference and a difference in science, but that only turns on what kind of evidence is accepted in proof of a premise. People will usually take “knowledge” as having a basis in some form of falsifiable, physical evidence that either turns on human powers of observation or the use of measuring tools. But first to really make that distinction, you’d have to be holding out some philosophy like Objectivism or Naturalism, where you hold those physical means of observation on a higher order than other inputs. Someone who doesn’t ascribe to that philosophy could always enter in and hold those means of observation subordinate to others, like whatever inputs such as emotion, etc, forms the basis of their proof. But in terms of that philosophical proof, stating you believe something based on such and such is the exact same as saying you know something, based on such and such. There’s also no inbuilt degree of certainty like you’re saying, with knowledge on the absolute certainty side. There are no absolutes really, only increasingly fundamental premises that a proof is based on, such as the Cartesian idea of whether what you’re observing corresponds to some objective reality.
Granted, those beliefs about the cardinality of measurable, objective evidence tend to go hand in hand with Agnosticism. But if you are talking about this “knowledge”, what you’re really discussing is the capital “A” Agnosticism, which is the belief that no knowledge of God is possible. It’s still a belief. In fact, if you delve deep enough philosophically, you won’t find any physical evidence at all on the kinds of questions that are asked, and so you’ll ultimately have to come out on one end other the other on these things you call “beliefs”. In actuality, capital-letter “Science” and other post-modern schools of thought actually are premised on these belief sets, like Naturalism.
So, I’m behind you 100% that both saying there is a God and saying there isn’t one are positive claims. I just think the definitions you laid out are the reverse of what most people have them. If you’re saying that Theists haven’t met their burden of proof to you and you’re shaking your head until someone comes with more evidence either way, that seems to me that you’re Agnostic. An Atheist would say something like, “Oh, so you’re God is all-powerful and infinitely benevolent? Well, my cat got hit by a car. No benevolent God would’ve let that happen, ergo no such God exists.”
Aug 23, 2016Jusstice posted a message on To atheists and agnostics: what makes Christianity unappealing or unacceptable to you?Posted in: Religion
Similarly, I hate the idea that personal beliefs exist in some sort of vacuum - that it's perfectly fine for anyone to believe anything they want because they're not hurting anyone. The truth is, unreasonable adherence to supernatural beliefs DO, in fact, have an impact on others. A person's beliefs influence - if not dictate - their day to day actions. Voting is a good example (but not the only example). A push towards the notion that "faith" is a virtuous and helpful thing is at best misguided and at worst extremely dangerous.
And just to be extremely pedantic:
Atheism is not a belief.
I don’t think that topic is pedantic at all. Is Atheism a belief? Yes, I think it definitely is. It’s the belief that there is no God. It’s a negative belief rather than an affirmative belief, but it’s a belief. A different example, I believe that there is no gas in my tank when the needle reads empty. But, I still have a belief about the contents of my gas tank.
I saw a video on my Facebook feed recently of an “Atheist” who was asked what he would do if he died, and sure enough, found God at the Pearly Gates. His answer was that he’d refuse to acknowledge God as his ruler, and not want to have any part of this “Heaven” of his, because how could he allow things like bone cancer in children?
That right there is an Atheist. His position is that things like bone cancer are evidence for the affirmative conclusion that no being fitting the definition of “God” exists. It’s much more than just saying that he’s weighed the evidence offered in support of God and found it insufficient to form a belief in God. He’s saying that there is enough evidence that he is compelled to believe the opposite, that there is no God.
What I still find irredeemably derivative about Atheism is that it still relies on some definition of “God” to say that someone doesn’t believe in that God. And Atheists not believing in God and all, they are not in the business of putting out their definition of the God that they don’t believe in. So, they have to borrow some other group’s definition of God and point to it, saying this is the God that we don’t believe in.
Back to the OP’s question of what is unappealing to Atheists about Christianity, answering the question of whose God the Atheists in question don’t believe in will reveal their position on that group. If the answer is that they just don’t like the way the members of that group behave, or what the effects of that belief set have been, then you probably don’t have an Athiest.
Aug 23, 2016Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion ForumQuote from Sheldon »Quote from Impossible »That's what grinds my gears, for lack of a better phrase. I find the "perceived barrier to entry" to be an outright terrible criteria for banning. Cards should be banned for power reasons. Period.
"Should" is a dangerous word, because it implies a single desired end state, not to mention having moralistic overtones. Please explain the "should" to me.
Well, I'm sure you'll agree that there is some desired end state for the ban list. I’m not sure you mean by “moralistic overtones”, but every logical action has a desired outcome. The goal with game design, of course, is to make a better game. You know, a game that fosters continuous development the way Magic does, not just reward chance outcomes like Craps. If you intend to say that multiple factors distinguish a good game from a bad one, then I agree. But, the goal of game design is the improvement of the game in one or more aspects.
To make a case for why “power reasons” should be the touchstone, it’s because it’s a necessary ingredient for there to be any rational basis for a ban in the first place. Unless a threshold of power it met, a card’s ban has no effect. If you ban Grizzly Bears, there is no effect whatsoever on the game. If you ban Sol Ring, if nothing else, every player has to take it out of every single deck. That’s not to say less commonly occurring cards must be less powerful, but the net magnitude of the effect that a card’s ban would have is precisely its power level. In the same way, it’s the tractability of the card in game (more powerful cards are harder to deal with) and its magnitude of impact on the game (more powerful cards do more stuff). Every ban ever is traceable to a very powerful card.
Basically, it seems like the logical inverse of what it’s often taken to mean. It’s not to say, there are more powerful cards than SP/PT/etc, so ban them. It’s the idea that unless those cards were powerful enough, there would be no impetus whatsoever to ban them.
Aug 23, 2016My brief take on Iona, it could easily be banned, no one would be the worse for it, and a ton of groups would be better for it. I think this is the card that shows most clearly the different “factions” of EDH. It’s easily understood in that light how one faction could be raising outcry for a ban harder than for any other card, but then have those outcries fall on deaf ears anyway. Rundown of each faction and their position on it…Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
The self-styled “cEDH” community, they don’t really care about any ban that the RC makes, because those bans have zero impact. The cards that do actually define the cEDH format have been legal for a long time, and each member of this group has had plenty of chance to determine whether cEDH with the official ban list is a game they like. Whether the experience could be improved to appeal to a wider base is of no moment, because they don’t view this as the role of the ban list. For this group, Iona is just one more card like Stasis, Contamination, Void Winnower, etc, that a certain strategy will use as a centerpiece with a ton of surrounding support in the deck, and then succeed or fail. Only, it happens to be among the worst options to fill this role, so it’s rarely if ever used. Consequently, no one from this stripe is throwing their chip in the pile to ban the card.
The “spirit of EDH” crowd, they evidently don’t play cards that contain the word “can’t”. They don’t play cards that restrict untapping or mana-production of any kind, and Iona on the surface doesn’t look unique among that set of cards. As to that set of cards, like I’ve heard it said before, it makes them sleep better at night knowing that it is around, in case some group, somewhere still can’t stop UGx goodstuff despite all the bans that they’ve made specifically targeted at the archetype. And because in a meta with exclusively GoodStuff staples and incredibly disadvantaged “casual” decks, goodstuff is the only baseline, they only make bans that affect the placement of the goodstuff goalpost. Only that puts this group in a position where they have to outsource the evaluation of the cumulative negative experiences that would cause a ban under any other pretext. And evidently, they can’t parse through it well enough to figure out why the “mainstream” set of EDH players is having the kind of problem with Iona that is fundamentally different from problems with Stasis and other denial cards.
And as for the “mainstream” EDH community, the problem is precisely that Iona is a lot different from all of those. It’s not getting policed in the way other denial cards might, either inside the game or outside of it, exactly because its effect is limited to a single color. Where all 3 of the other players in a pod might reasonably be expected to find a Naturalize for Winter Orb, the third and fourth players not affected by Iona will not see a reason to deal with it. After the game also, there’s just this one player griping about a card that “dies to removal”, and everyone else went on with the game. That’s aside from certain factors like the fact it’s been printed relatively recently, is a big creature of a subtype that sees a lot of play, and other facts that lead to it showing up in decks far more common than a card like Choke. The underlying reason that it keeps creating bad experiences in multiplayer is because it does what very few other cards in the multiplayer context do – demand an answer only from the players who are affected by it, while exclusively restriction the ability of those players to deal with it at the same time. There are a few cards like it, but most of them are unplayable for being too narrow, or they are not nearly as strong in the abstract. But it’s the externalization onto other players of the problem Iona poses that causes it to go unsolved. Call it “interacts badly with the rules of the format” if you want to, but naming a color to lock out makes for a recipe where the usual multiplayer dynamic doesn’t function.
Aug 22, 2016If history shows anything, third parties don't take the place of major parties in the US system. What you'd see are primaries that are increasingly hotly contested, and lots of individuals jumping from one major party to the other, until the issues themselves change. Usually this means a subtle shift rather than an entire rebranding. You'll only find an actual party change in name where there is an extremely intransigent faction (such as with Slavery pre-Civil War), that also continues to rack up local elections. And, they have to rack up those elections at such landslides that local party leaders would opt for continuing to win their elections rather than having any national support.Posted in: Debate
Something I remembered recently with the whole Churchill being compared to Trump line, Churchill actually changed parties twice. The political landscape was extremely volatile then in the UK, so there were enough voters who sided with him each time. Of course, he made a career of taking unpopular positions, and it didn't always work out. Relevant to now, maybe the Left after Hillary becomes isolationist under a guy like Sanders, then a lot of the hawkish, pro-business people on the Right jump ship to contest primaries in Blue states.
Aug 22, 2016Posted in: Debate
So let me understand you, you’re saying that people can’t violate the law? So all the murder, theft, violence, etc, that happens on a daily basis doesn’t actually happen, because it’s against the law? That seems to be what you’re saying. I’m explaining the massive corruption that would ensue by entrusting the management of infrastructure to the private market, and you’re saying that won’t happen because it’s against the law.
People are concerned with the practicality of regulation and the methods of enforcement (police, the courts, etc), and all you are saying in rebuttal is that these things are of no concern as long as there is a law written on a piece of paper somewhere.
Or alternatively, that it is no indication of a less efficient society if we have to employ unlimited numbers of police and private security forces just in order to get from our homes to our places of work. Not compelling.
Except in a libertarian society, we are relying on individuals to privately carry this out, rather than the public administration to do so. Nowhere did I say that these problems are created by Libertarianism, just that Libertarianism is very bad at dealing with them. And again, you’re saying that the bare fact of there being problems means that there will be solutions.
Actually, they have the common law right to insist on performance, or an injunction, incidental damages, or any other remedy available at law. But if someone hikes the prices on a toll road, I have to stay home instead of going to work, and Libertarianism doesn’t magically teleport me to my office. Point being, the fact of there being some solution to these issues at law pays no acknowledgment to how efficient those solutions actually are. You’re the one here with the burden to prove your case that the private sector is best able to solve market inefficiencies, but all you’re doing is stating very circularly that the issues will be solved due simply to the fact that they’re perceived.
Can you explain with any specificity how those solutions would be more efficient than the ones we currently have? Or state a historical example of how they are? No, you can’t, because every ounce of evidence weighs against you on that.
So now, you’re holding out insurance claims adjusters as these infallible saints of the free market? Absent regulations from the New Deal to Dodd-Frank, which every Libertarian says were a bad idea, Insurance Companies would be nothing more than Ponzi schemes, where everyone pays a small fee upfront, then the minute anything actually becomes due, the ownership vanishes like a thief in the night.
In a Libertarian society, you could either have insurance firms, or you could have limited liability, credit, passive investment, and everything that actually makes the free markets liquid. You couldn’t have both. So now, you are arguing for the repeal of the financial system in favor of everyone hoarding gold in their cellars.
And generosity? Ok, how great of you to offer that there will be generous people under a Libertarian system that will look at all the inane failures of their government to act, then step up and do the right thing anyway. Except, how about you analyze those incentives for generosity? If you believe in markets, certainly you can do that. In Libertarianism, you are relying on the undiluted altruism of medical practitioners to grant free services to nearly everyone in need of them. In a regulated economic system, you are giving the medical field government subsidies, recourse in court, and most importantly, an economic system that actually holds private insurance companies accountable.
Ok, example. Let’s say that WOTC announces the release of a new card game, and you pre-order it because you liked Magic enough to buy it instead of all of the other TCG’s available. Now the card game comes out, and it sucks. Theft?
Or let’s say that Wizards says that it’s kept records of all the people who’ve bought Magic products, and announces that they’re going to give out free packs of their new game apportioned among those who bought Magic products (whether they like it or not). The new game sucks. Theft?
Or how about this new card game is something that you go out and collect physically in the streets, sort of like Pokemon, such that no individual can really be excluded from it, and the costs of printing and distributing the cards have to be borne equally by everyone in the form of increased tournament entry fees, packs, etc, for Magic. And on top of that, you never actually bought any Magic, but your parents did who came before you. You just get to play the new game, if you want. Theft?
Ok, I hope it's clear that paying for something that you can't get behind 100% isn't theft, simply because you don't like the outcome. But now instead of a game of cards, substitute in something that is so critical and fundamental to everyone (participation in society) that no one would ever knowingly refuse it, and would be impossible to deprive someone of even at their request. Now, you have the agreement between government and its citizens. It doesn’t require your consent, approval, or even awareness of how it is benefiting you. But it does offer you the opportunity for input and participation. And, you do have to pay taxes for it to exist. Not theft. Not even close. The thief can always decide not to rob you, but the government (thankfully) can’t decide to repudiate its commitment to you. Why should you be allowed to repudiate your commitment to it?
Aug 12, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from ExpiredRascals »@OP: I think, as others have pointed out, I believe you're misframing libertarianism. Admittedly, there's also a major question of defining terms. Libertarianism as a political philosophy is different from Libertarians as in the political party. I recommend you step back from trying to frame particular opinions on social welfare and the like and instead bring it back down to the fundamental concepts. The best manifestation of this that I've seen was this article that I highly recommend you read.
It's entirely possible to ask these questions of libertarian philosophy (as presented in the linked article) and come to different conclusions than yours, and in fact I do, but the key part is understanding where your position is arising from.
As a point of interest, I would pose this to you: if you fear the government exerting expanding power and control, how do you differentiate this from corporations exerting expanding power and control?
Thanks for the link, I enjoyed the read. Not necessarily directed at anyone, here are my thoughts:
It’s hard to disagree with the imperative that people evaluate the issues beneath the labels. That said, doing so represents demands far in excess of what the US constitutional system was designed to impose on voters. It is great to have transparent, public discourse at a sophisticated level, but ultimately what is expressed in the ballot box is this “large-R/large-D” persuasion. Identifying which tribe you belong to is all that our system ever set out to require of voters. And, I think asking what is expected from whom is important particularly in the US constitutional system of separated powers, as the rest of this author’s blog post will further make clear:
1) Does the United States Constitution permit the government to do this?
Whose role is it to ask this question? It’s not the voter. What might surprise many people, it’s not even really a question for the legislature or the president. It’s uniquely the purview of the US Supreme Court to decide the limits of government power.
This acknowledges a reality that the founders understood very well, that every government everywhere is empowered to do anything that it wants to do. It’s the Captain Jack Sparrow principle, what a man can do and what a man can’t do. It requires no less than the force of some other government power to restrain what another part of the government decides to do. The Legislative enacts policy that it likes, the Executive enforces it, and if the citizens don’t think it’s constitutional, then they take their case to court. Of course the other branches knowing that the Court can invalidate their policy, they are incentivized to make law that will actually pass muster. But the Constitution didn’t appoint them authorities on Constitutional law, or even ask them to be experts on it, just require an oath to uphold it.
Much less is required of the actual voter. So, what small-l libertarianism says about a candidate’s campaign platform is still unclear. That the candidate believes that the Constitution is of some role in determining the limits of government power? Everyone agrees on that. Is libertarianism saying other political philosophies don’t believe in Constitutional limits of power?
2) What would this power look like if it were expanded dramatically in scope or in time?
Have you guys ever read a Justice Scalia opinion? Basically to him, any expanded read of a Constitutional principle meant that we’d soon be living the worst parts of Brave New World and 1984.Again, the Judicial decides precisely those questions of how each law and decision affects the precedents going into the future.
But what beliefs small-l libertarianism requires of voters and the other branches of government, I still have no idea.
3) What would this obligation look like if exercised indifferently by unaccountable people? 4) What would your worst enemy do with this power?
Ok, here are questions of practicality that belongs to the elected branches of government. But still, I’m failing to see here how the libertarianism political philosophy distinguishes itself. Everyone agrees that there should be enforcement mechanisms in government policy, or there would be no policy. That includes sensible appointments to government agencies, and a lot of states have given enforcement mechanisms directly to voters, such as review, recall, ballot initiatives, so on. Does libertarianism say that current enforcement mechanisms don’t go far enough? It seems to me from the platform that the opposite is true, too much enforcement. Or that a law shouldn’t be enacted in the first place unless the libertarian God has a perfect, prescient foreknowledge that the enforcement mechanisms in it will be easy to implement and foolproof?
The premise of governance in a Republic is that the voters will elect people that they find moral and trustworthy, who will make appointments down the line of people that they find moral and trustworthy. The major parties believe, and the Constitution provides, that voters will elect different representatives if they find the current ones “indifferent”, “unaccountable”, or “enemies”. But how a law passed by libertarian lawmakers looks different from one passed by an ordinary, prudent lawmaker, I still have no idea.
5) Does this power make a choice about morals, ethics, or risk that individuals ought to make?
I think I might sort of understand where this is coming from. Modern opinion like Lawrence v. Texas, Williams v. Morgan says that “morality” (whatever that is taken to mean) cannot serve as the rational/legitimate basis for legislation. On this point, Libertarians seem to identify more with this view on the Left than with the opposing view on the Right. Of course the question is, what is this “morality” that has no place in public policy?
What is evident from opinions like those, and the dissents, is that what’s meant by “morality” here is actually just anything that has a basis in tradition, religion, or any such similar things that those decision makers have subjectively defined as obsolete or antiquated. It cannot possibly mean any and all things that society values as wholesome, praiseworthy, prudent, or ethical. In fact, the only thing that government has ever done is endeavor to establish policy based on its choice of what is beneficial to those it intends to serve. How you actually draw the line between judgments that governments can make, or only individuals can make? Small-letter libertarianism doesn’t make that at any more clear. It only says that there is such a line (which again, was never in dispute). Big-letter Libertarianism, though, seems to agree with the Left that this means only secular influences ought to be the basis of policy. But this is platform, not principle.
So in the end, we’re circling back again on these things either being within the power of the Court to determine, or intended to be checked by the Republic form of governance where voters can elect to replace government officials that they don’t find themselves in agreement with. I’m still not sure how libertarianism distinguishes itself, other than just being prepossessed with these Constitutional issues that bear little relevance to the process of setting an election platform.
6) Does this power represent the government putting its thumb on the scales to prefer some competitors over others, perhaps based on their relative power and influence?
Wait, as I recall, the elements of a “protected class” under strict scrutiny analysis include groups that are “unable to protect themselves through the normal political process”, or are “subject to historical prejudice”.
So first, if you think that you are disadvantaged (really, who doesn’t?), then the mechanism of electing new representatives is your recourse, and if that is ineffective, you can ask for protection from the Court. It looks like another case of libertarianism trying to encourage voters to elect Constitutional Law scholars to office.
Second, is this a libertarian saying that competitors in a market should not use their power and influence to tip the scales? It’s probably nested somewhere in this idea that the process of getting a government license to do business, as in the example used in the blog, is more easily identifiable as a government action. Now that there, that’s businesses using government to distort markets, which is a bit no-no right? Whereas, all of the ways a government sets conditions for markets and enables trade that are often taken for granted are to be, you know, taken for granted. Roads, police, so on. As already posted above, where do you draw the line? Major parties are engaged in drawing that line, meanwhile libertarians are patting themselves on the back for reminding everyone that there is a line.
7) Does this power set up a conflict between laws and rights?
First, there is actually no difference between “negative” rights and “positive” rights. For every right that there is, language allows for it to be stated in either the affirmative or the negative. I have a right to bear arms, or I have a right for the government not to deprive me of or restrain my ability to buy and own weapons. I have a right to education, or I have a right for the government not to restrain States and other institutions in their ability to provide me affordable education. Lawyers and judges being very crafty in their word choice, the jurisprudence also bears out that principle. Analysis only looks to whether there is a “benefit” or a “duty”, not whether it’s characterized by action or inaction.
What this is actually saying is that Constitutional Law (labeled by the author as “rights”) should be on a higher order than other policy (labeled as “law”). Again, this issue seems to be both extremely well settled, and completely outside the domain of the representative elections process. Any conflict within a single law would be interpreted by the judiciary.
8) Are we giving this power to the right level of government?
There is no article of the Constitution that appoints an ombudsman to decide what issue belongs to which branch. Good thing, or they would just decide that every issue belongs to them. As above, it’s the what you can do, what you can’t do principle. The powers of every branch have been shaped like that, from Marbury v Madison onward. The founders seem to me to have envisaged that, especially with the 10th amendment. In really bad cases too, there is a process for Constitutional amendments.
So where that puts small-l libertarians on where each issue should go, I still have no idea. Yes, wow, there are governing principles. Where is the person I’m supposed to be voting for on the issues, though?
9) Are we acting out of fear, anger, or self-promotion?
Stop electing people that are acting on fear, anger or self-promotion, then. Except, how does a law written by a libertarian following this principle actually read any differently than a law written by some other lawmaker (except for not being named after dead kids)? Or is this some sort of contrarian virtue-signaling, where libertarian candidates profess that they are not prone to fear, anger and self-promotion, then go on inciting anger and self-promoting as normal?
10) Is there any evidence the government is any good at this?
Is there any evidence in the history of human behavior that people can assess themselves as unfit? Then after doing so, they relinquish or fail to act on power they’ve been given? Or relinquish power under any conditions, at all? By the way they value checks and balances, those in the libertarian camp should probably agree that, no, people don’t do this.
Again, how the American Constitutional system is set up is that the branches of government are the only ones that can challenge one another. It is understood that they will undertake any and every action that they believe serves the best interests of their constituents. If it turns out they suck at it, elect different people. But candidate who professes that his plan after taking office is to do nothing without asking a judge if they should is either lying or profoundly mistaken about the nature of the office that they are running for.
To summarize, I get it that judicial nominations are the role of some offices that run for election. But, it is a real strain to make this small-l libertarianism here your calling card, because it’s nothing more than a principle that judges would use to interpret issues of Constitutional Law. It’s not long after that point that candidates will ready their list of intended judicial nominees, and then start dragging them along on the campaign trail and deferring to them for whether they’d be allowed to do such and such without making James Madison cry.
At best, the principle will put a voter into the Republican party on economic policy, and possibly into the Democrat party on foreign policy and social issues. That’s no indication that you’re led by principle, and the rest of us are led by partisan groupthink. If there are enough people who are of a like mind on the actual issues, then put the issues into the election platform. We will see if it works out (history lesson, it didn’t).
At worst though, libertarianism is a get out of jail free card for obstructionism, filibuster, and inaction. Don’t like something? Don’t have any ideas on how to do it better? Easy, just claim that it’s government overreach! Doing nothing was the right course. Campaign on a principle that government is ineffective at doing anything, and then once elected, set out to make sure that it continues to be ineffective.
Aug 12, 2016Reviewing the news from the campaign this morning, and based on what I’m seeing, people still aren’t taking the threat of a Trump presidency seriously. Categories from most frequently appearing to least:Posted in: Debate
1) News that Trump said Obama is the “founder” of ISIS, Hillary the “co-founder”. This is the briefest excerpt I could find of the discussion between Trump and a right-leaning radio news outlet:
"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS," Trump replied. "I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton."
Hewitt pressed Trump, explaining that Obama has not been "sympathetic" to the terrorist organization, "hates them," and is "trying to kill them."
"I don't care," Trump said. "He was the founder. His — the way he got out of Iraq was that — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?"
The New York businessman added again that he would characterize Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, as the "cofounder." He had previously referred to her as the founder of the group.
"Let me ask you, do you like that?" Trump asked Hewitt.
Hewitt, not amused, replied: "I don't."
"I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn't create ISIS," the radio host said. "That's what I would say."
"Well, I disagree," Trump said.
The Republican presidential nominee, mirroring Hewitt's argument, contended that Obama's policies allowed ISIS to form.
"Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS," Trump said.
An exasperated Hewitt responded by saying he'd "just use different language to communicate" the message.
Ok, so the case here could be nothing worse than Trump is stupid. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word “founder”, and he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Or, maybe that he is knowingly and willfully straining the limits of language to inflame negative opinion of the Left. But clear from the context, he’s saying that the power vacuum from US military mismanagement created ISIS, not that he believes Obama literally went around the Middle East organizing a militant group in support of an Islamic State. So, Trump is unethical and stupid? News?
2) More opinion on results from polls showing Clinton is in the lead, and how the Trump camp is trying to deny it.
So the case against Trump here, he is a bad candidate because he is a loser? Sound familiar? At best, this is discussion outside of the issues of this race. At worst, it’s ad hominem. I mean, I understand the newsworthiness of the polls themselves, but it doesn’t explain why the sheer volume of this back and forth far exceeds the volume on actual issues.
3) Politically slanted news related to the Olympics
Such and such local newspaper failed to mention the name of African American swimmer Simone Manuel who won Gold. More about how the sports casting of the Olympics contain “micro-aggressions” against women. Again, I’m not debating the newsworthiness of the Olympics. I’m just shocked that it’s getting more volume of coverage than the below statement by Trump:
4) Trump says that under his administration US Citizens suspected of terrorism will be tried in military tribunals at GitMo. (http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/291208-trump-says-hed-prosecute-us-citizens-in-guantanamo)
The case against Trump here is nothing short of the fact that he is a dictator. He is a modern day Mao, Mussolini, Napoleon, Hilter, who intends to make unrestrained use of the powers of the state against its citizens, at the sole discretion of his cabinet. And, this ranks 4th in overall importance?
As I’ve said before, detracting from these points and many, many other similar instances from Trump just makes this seem like any other election, and not the threat to free society in the US that it actually is.
Aug 11, 2016Jusstice posted a message on President -- Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton's -- Presidency Presidential President's ThreadPosted in: DebateQuote from MrM0nd4y »
They're just learning from their master, Trump.
Many people are saying—great people, truly tremendous—they're telling me, they're, they're saying that Hillary has health problems, okay? They're telling me that. Tons of people. They're stopping me on the street and saying "Donald, you're a great guy, really excellent. Did you know that Hillary has health problems?" Now I'm not saying that she does. I'm not, okay? I'm just saying that some people are saying that. I don't know. I don't know. You tell me.
This is the guy who wants to reform libel laws, lol.
Trump is reporting to his crowd what someone said to him that someone else said to them, and now it's as good as truth to them.
Aug 11, 2016Jusstice posted a message on President -- Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton's -- Presidency Presidential President's ThreadYeah, I heard Sean Hannity reported on this Clinton health brouhaha also. I remember hearing also that when his show was asked what the source of the facts were, they just deflected by saying that bloggers said so. Evidently now, if someone says something, that's enough to call it journalism.Posted in: Debate
Aug 11, 2016I would say that most Disfigure effects with any sort of upside would be playable, since Kiki Jiki, Karmic Guide and Laboratory Maniac are just that common. I also value a Duress effect in this format with any sort of added value, like Entomber Exarch. But because this is a Sorcery at a cost of 2, no way.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Aug 11, 2016Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about Thassa, God of the Sea. I see her all the time in decks that don’t care about unblockability or devotion. And since every deck can probably put a couple cards in the graveyard, a loot every turn gives better selection on what you can get rid of than Scry. And a lot of decks will prefer the card in the grave to the card back in the library.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I suppose the only other difference would be the indestructibility versus the option of the Frost Titan effect. I’d say the protection effect weighs in as better.
Aug 10, 2016Jusstice posted a message on Good YouTube channels for commander gameplay (preferably from MTGO)?This is one I should know, but all of the players I used to know who put up VODs of multiplayer Commander games don't play on MODO anymore.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I'd also like to know if anyone is out there doing it. Though, I will say that if the length of a MODO video is shorter, it's because all of the pointless waiting and priority passing was edited out. And so, the only way to get that kind of content is for someone to be watching their own replays and commenting on them. Any actual analysis in them has the benefit of hindsight.
Aug 10, 2016Well, the UCMJ itself (Uniform Code of Military Justice) is distinguished by enabling military commanders to use discipline before thinking things through, and making decisions that don’t require a lot of grey matter. Even if there’s enough time to go through a court martial, there is a lower standard of proof there (not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ like in civilian court).Posted in: Debate
This is one I tend to sympathize with the viewpoint on the right. If a soldier needs to be assessed for stupidity, insanity, fitness for pressures, etc, or otherwise their deployment might be viewed as a “sort of crime”, that is a culture of victimhood that should probably not be allowed to prevail in the military. Debatably, it should not be allowed in the general society, either. It is hard to envision a country being able to field a military where a soldier has some sort of civil right for command to assess their status as a victim of the system before they can give orders or enforce discipline. He has his extreme style, but maybe Trump was trying to appeal to that idea.
This “Second Amendment” joke is really imprudent, though. But there too, I think it belongs with the set of boneheaded gaffes that Trump should never have said because of an inability to properly expound on them, rather than with his set of premeditated threats to human rights.
I think it’s very commonly believed among the right that some sort of Lockean “consent of the governed” principle is on a higher order than the Constitution itself, which could be viewed as having a foundation in the Declaration of Independence. That document very directly says that it’s the duty of citizens to overthrow insufferable governments. And the thing is, the 2nd Amendment has an extremely wide spectrum of interpretations that have been argued. One view toward the Left might be that it does no more than preserve the right of the States to have a National Guard (militia). The mainstream view on the Right seems to be an individual, private right to firearms, but an unqualified right. Somewhere in that view on the Right is that the 2nd amendment was intended to incorporate those principles of the Declaration of Independence into the Constitution.
My opinion, the nature of a constitution doesn’t require the writing in of any moral principles that may be superior to it. It could be of no legal effect, since a constitution is intended as the final authority. So, I find it unlikely that it was the founding intent to incorporate clauses that have no legal effect. And in practicality, the Abraham Lincoln administration certainly didn’t view any authority superior to the Constitution, so it’s hard to argue for a pre-Civil War interpretation of it. Notwithstanding my own opinion though, I think there’s plenty of room to make the argument in good faith that this is what the 2nd amendment should be taken to mean.
Trump’s comment was in very poor taste even so, but not necessarily bad faith. As mentioned before, if the Attorney General’s office thought that Trump had committed incitement, treason, sedition, what have you, then he would be arrested and arraigned for it. Anyone who would call this treason doesn’t have a lot of credibility in my mind.
Also I might add, isn’t it enough to focus on Trump’s deliberate, unrecanted threats to human rights? He’s threatened to ban Muslims from entering the US, threatened to target the families of terrorists, advocated torture, so on. This shotgun approach by media on the left to construe whatever Trump has most recently said in the least favorable light just makes this seem like any other election. We have a candidate who views himself as a dictator, and we are afraid he will get elected unless we can manufacture some click-bait to keep the Twitterverse humming?
Aug 10, 2016Jusstice posted a message on The Memeoplasm: theorizing how to keep my library in my graveyardCome to think of it, it’s more than once now that I’ve seen someone make infinite mana and try to go off with Laboratory Maniac, get it killed or something, then respond with Blue Sun’s Zenith on themselves for X = 0. Then a few times, they just peddled around casting BSZ for 0 every upkeep with something like a Thought Vessel on board to keep their whole deck in hand, and then just try over and over to reanimate Lab Man until the table runs out of answers to it.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Seems like you'd be trying to do basically the same thing.
Aug 10, 2016Very clever to include this unorthodox way of increasing loyalty by blinking. Sort of reminds me of Sarkhan the Mad with no plus ability, only it won’t die to itself. That said, it’s a very low impact card. I can’t imagine a deck including this over either Phyrexian Arena or Sorin, Grim Nemesis.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Aug 10, 2016Jusstice posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer BanlistI think the public-private consideration is more of a spectrum, though. Granted, Cockatrice and MTGO are on the most extreme end of that spectrum. On the other end, there are super-private games of EDH, say on the kitchen table between a never-changing group of long-time friends, but most groups are in-between. There are groups that want to be open to new members without giving them a deck check. There are “private” groups that advertise their contact info in places like this site to get new people, and there are even card shops where you can get pickup games or find a Commander night.Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
So if there are issues at a venue like MODO that are attributable to the ban list, those are issues that also exist further down the spectrum. The issues being managed by people just lessens the impact, it doesn’t mean that there’s no issue. To be specific, if just about every deck to combo off Turn 5 and earlier uses a certain set of cards (Mana Crypt, Survival, etc), then those cards pose a threat to the player expectation of not being combo’ed out Turn 5. If nothing else, groups now have to tell each other not to run them, not to combo out on Turn 5, so on.
The problem with the ban list philosophy is that it factors in whether groups are able to manage issues before making a ban, but it doesn’t gauge where a group would have to be in this public-private spectrum to be able to manage it. As a result, a ban will only come down when an issue is affecting the most private of groups. For everyone else, the implicit answer is to make your group more private (problems with the player not the card, only a problem for “competitive” play, have an intervention with that player, what not). All of these oft-used rationales essentially boil down to making your group more private and exclusionary.
But, people don’t want to make their groups more private. They would rather play Magic with people than tell them they can’t come play unless they take out Winter Orb. Wizards evidently doesn’t want to make them more private either, based precisely on the fact that they are supporting Commander products on MODO, FNM’s, and with yearly Commander products.
Otherwise, for any kind of issue management mechanism to have any sway in public venues, a stigma in the community needs to be cultivated around some tacit, presumed list of don’ts. It’s a constant, immense political campaign to cultivate that stigma, and as I’m sure we’ve all seen, it can get hostile.
The other rationale (read excuse) is that the RC has no way of knowing what suits each individual play group, and so for that reason they have to maintain a list that is not hostile to the less-interactive forms of Magic (combo, mana denial, etc). Of course, that runs into a couple of issues. The first of which, the cultivated reliance on issue management means that the format-wide community actually has had to come down with an implicit set of expectations. That set of expectations is drawn more narrowly than those of the list of players the RC alleges to want to include. So, an RC member like Sheldon might write about cases where Armageddon is needed to balance out some dominant deck in the sort term, but the fact remains, players at an FNM will scowl at you if you play it.
The second thing, those groups where those less-interactive styles of Magic are played bear a strong correlation with those groups who don’t rely on a ban list to set the tenor of their gameplay. They are just as happy with one list as another, as long as it’s public and mutually agreed. What they care about is an equal-playing field, regardless of what that field is. So, you end up tying yourself in knots trying to include people who are at no risk of ever feeling excluded by the content of the ban list.
An alternative approach would be a pragmatic one, rather than a dogmatic one. Take the entire set of all venues where Commander is being played, then assess whether the sum total effects of a ban would be a net positive or a net negative. If positive, make the ban. If some minority groups take it as a negative, that can only serve to align their play expectations more toward that area of the public-private spectrum that the rest of the community finds itself on. Hey, maybe my Livonya Silone Warrior Tribal can’t play Turn 3 Livonia anymore off of a Mana Crypt, but look at all these people I can play with at my card shop without suffering through early turn blowouts.
Aug 9, 2016Jusstice posted a message on The Memeoplasm: theorizing how to keep my library in my graveyardYou could just run any of the Beacons or Zeniths in color. My recommendation would be Green Sun's Zenith for this, because it's the cheapest on mana. Then Memory's Journey back to the library and keep casting it every turn for X = 0. Just always make sure to spare at least 1 Green mana each turn, fail to find with each search, and you are good.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Or alternatively, just run Laboratory Maniac and Dread Return. It sounds like you probably don't want to do that, but it's an option.
Aug 9, 2016I prefer lands that have a higher chance of entering untapped later in the game than earlier. Examples, I don’t like Seachrome Coast (aka fast-lands), but Prairie Stream (tango lands) and Glacial Fortress (check lands) are ok. In EDH, you can usually afford to be unproductive on Turn 1 and sometimes on Turn 2, but top-decking lands that ETB tapped is really bad.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
And with enough playable lands in a 2-color deck that satisfy this criteria, I’m not sure that a deck that would want them would be able to play it untapped very often, because of the way it works. The more lands like the above, Future Sight lands, etc, that you put into a 2-color deck, the worse these lands become. I don’t like them for EDH.
Aug 9, 2016Jusstice posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer BanlistThe MTGO Commander games are absolutely overrun with Mana Crypt. I’m sure the ~1 ticket price point has a lot to do with that. Honestly, It’s such a struggle to keep those games fun anymore, that I know quite a few players who traded away their collections. A lot of it is due to the general crappiness of multiplayer on that client (and cards that are inexplicably not available online like Altar of Bone, Soldevi Adnate, Soul Barrier), but most of it is that about half the public games you try to set up end either with someone comboing out during the first 5-6 turns, someone conceding within the first 10 minutes, or someone playing a deck like Hazezon Tamar or Zedruu and getting salty about their deck not standing up to interaction.Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
What they would say is that you should use MTGO to set up “trusted” games instead. But, if I have anything like a weekly time slot that I can just set aside, there’s no reason I can’t play paper Magic. MTGO is for those free hours in the evenings. And evidently for Vintage now. No real plan from WOTC to get any further support for what’s possibly the most popular form of Magic right now.
Aug 8, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from Surging Chaos »Quote from gumOnShoe »The main difference between the party 4 years ago and now is that the candidate is literally crazy and incompetent this time around. But, party platform hasn't budged in the way the autopsy said it needed to for the party to grow.
Is that a more fair explanation of what I meant?
Edit: I don't think that you can expect Trump to follow the platform; but that doesn't mean that he's not ultimately running on it.
If ordinary Republicans really cared about the platform, they would have submitted to Jeb, Rubio, Kasich, or maybe Cruz.
People didn't gravitate toward Trump because he was promising tax reductions and cuts in government spending. No, the base went for Trump because of trade deals and "build the wall". That's why all the movement conservatives and think-tank types are freaking out over Trump. That's why the 2012 autopsy blew up in the face of the establishment. The people at National Review and Heritage Foundation (among other institutions) are finally coming to grips that the voters they court really don't care as much about the platform as they do. The voters want a more European style of conservatism that is much more nationalist and economically liberal than what the think-tanks approve of. There's a reason why Trump refuses to touch SS and Medicare, for example. His supporters would instantaneously revolt if he laid a finger on those programs, despite those supporters being life-long Republicans.
The comparison to European Social Democracy is interesting. It sort of makes sense in that light that the Trump campaign thought themselves capable of wooing Bernie supporters. Although I think that the education level of this demographic would lean them toward a legitimate, qualified (read non-Trump) candidate, I also see a lot of overlap on the issues between the two camps. And, it’s not the first time in this thread that it’s been mentioned that a real tragedy here is the total loss in this election of any fiscal/economic conservatism.
In further irony, the left refers to conservative European socialist democracies with strong nationalist elements, like those in the Scandinavian countries, as examples of how social programs do work. Daily Show vod, HuffPost click-bait, so on, will mention the awesome statistics for wealth-distribution, access to medicine, conditions for the poor, retirement, child test scores, etc in the census data of countries like Finland. What they’re really comparing to though is much more in line with Trump’s vision than it is Hillary’s –isolationist, politically neutral, closed-bordered, racially monolithic, economically protectionist, etc.
Of course, I’ll mention also that these countries do not have nearly as robust Equal Protections as the US does, and by design. A lot of them strike me as just paying lip service to it. Something like, “hey, this worked out really well over there in the US, and we can agree that a lot of messed up stuff happened here (Europe) because of Nationalism, so I guess we have to give it a shot.” Meanwhile, they close their borders as much as is physically possible, deny public benefits to any non-nationals that do find themselves there, and fail to count them in any census data.
Equal Protections is something Northern Europe is reluctantly trying its hand at, meanwhile for the US, it’s not just something we do, it’s who we are. Since at least the early 20th centry, we have held out that a diverse, open-bordered, culturally-tolerant society is objectively better for overall national welfare, and that the benefits are intrinsic to those qualities. And for an equally long time, history has borne out the truth of that. The US would have to turn its back on 100’s of years of political culture, government process, and jurisprudence to have anything like a European socialist democracy. It would never happen through someone like Trump who takes no leadership on actual issues.
Quote from Highroller »
I just want to draw attention to this specific quote:
It's that level of denial, that level of delusion, that is terrifying.“It doesn’t have to be anti-, like the movement’s been for decades, so much as it has to be pro-white. It’s kinda hard to go and call us bigots, if we don’t go around and act like a bigot. That’s what the movement should contemplate. Alright,” he concluded.
Because it is what we've seen in this thread, what we've seen in this forum, and what we've seen in the entirety of Trump's campaign: people who are obviously bigoted speaking out against people calling them bigots.
Please, all of you, read this. And then tell me, do you still believe that it's the people calling out racism and xenophobia and bigotry that are the problem? Do you still believe it's counterproductive to call people who are obviously bigots bigots? Or is it a moral responsibility to call people who stand for bigotry and prejudice out for who they really are, instead of just letting intolerance slide? Is it our duty as citizens who believe in the American values of life, liberty, and equality for all people to point out the horrors of injustice and prejudice instead of growing acclimated to them, and through our silence express our willingness to acquiesce to these things occurring right in front of us?
Is anyone really so blind as to not see what's at stake here?
On this, I don’t recall the topic lingering this thread for very long where someone said we should accept bigotry, or that condemning it is insensitive, belligerent, closed-minded, or some such. If it was expressed somewhere, I don’t recall it as something that comes up over and over.
What I do recall is the sentiment that if a person was already labeling support of legitimately current issues (like traditional marriage, refusing services on religious grounds, late-term abortions, segregated bathrooms, etc) as “bigotry”, then doing that somewhat disqualifies them from now being the ones to raise the alarm against the bigotry of Trump’s policy proposals. Not that the bigotry should be tolerated, just that the intended audience has long been totally justified in having stopped listening to those people who were always labeling everything as bigotry. And after those people left no choice but to be escorted out of the discussion, so to speak, what you have is a substantially weaker voice of reason, which was debatably necessary for the worst elements on the right to have taken the debate stage.
Speaking on growing acclimated to intolerable things, I find that American society is at far greater risk of acclimating itself to rhetoric that any degree of push back against the most progressive platform that can be conceived on paper could only be founded in “bigotry”. Or, that opposition to the conservative platform is “unpatriotic”, or what not. I don’t think we are growing acclimated to actual bigotry. In fact, it wasn’t until this election that issues took stage which were actually bigoted enough to require a virtual repeal of the 14th amendment to take effect. But for a long time now, there has been a sizeable element of the debate that has characterized moderates like McCain, Romney, etc, as bigots, simply for being the race/gender they are and/or taking the positions they did. That element shouldn’t be surprised at all that no one on the right will listen to them anymore.
Aug 8, 2016I have seen it once in a while in competitive pods, mostly as tech against mana dorks and hate bears. It is very slow there, but for some combo plans you really do need to keep the board clear of hatebears. I’ve never seen Drop of Honey in paper Magic, but have seen Porphyry Nodes once or twice.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I think the effect would see a lot more play in a different color. Green tends to play mana dorks, and White tends to play hatebears. It’s a worry for these decks that they’d lose control of the effect. Of course, Black has The Abyss and other similar things (which I’ve also never seen in paper outside of a display case). They can usually come out at roughly the same time because you never play Porphyry Nodes earlier than the creatures.
I think it’s an underrated card, because it’s usually a spot removal plus quite a bit of tempo. It’s the tempo that’s underrated in multiplayer. Maybe someone would have played something like a Linvala, Keeper of Silence but no one is playing any creatures into this so they just pass instead. It would be best in a deck that has some sort of mana denial plan, both to trim down mana dorks and to set up these tempo turns better. Similar cards in Blue are Mark of Eviction and Slow Motion. Both have similar reusability, better targetability, but are awkward for different reasons.
Another aside, wouldn’t you be looking for replacements after a price jump? Trying to find a spot for a card because it jumped in price seems, I don’t know, a bit backward.
Aug 5, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from gumOnShoe »
Down the line though, pre-Civil War politics shows that this is how changes to the major party system tend to happen. At the end of both the First Party system and the Third Party system (the only ones that changed during peacetime), the party on the right became so obsolete and discredited that it faded away and eventually got replaced by one further left of the original party on the left. At some point, not even dividing the vote on the left between two candidates poses any risk that the one on the right will win, and it’s at that point that the other left party just runs a candidate in the general.
So; I've been wondering if and how exactly this scenario would play out. Because, the GOP seems to be incapable of change and voters for the GOP seem to be incapable of caring about what the "leadership" wanted. That said, the right wing ideology is kind of sticky. And at the same time there's a "moderate" wing of the democratic party that's starting to really feel like there's a line between them and the liberal part of the party. But, with the racial lines the rightwing continues to draw their party is becoming irrelevant. It's easy to see how the democratic party could move rightward. It's tried so hard to own the middle, and the left really wants its own party; but if the right is just ideologically set; how can that possibly happen? We can't forget that there are still many states that are solidly red. Geographically, the nation is sorted politically for the most part.
So, while it seems like what our society needs is for the second party on the left to rise up and for the democratic party to become the right wing party; the reality is that we have this media machine that's kind freezing everything place; redrawing the lines every day. I don't know if the classical argument is applicable, even though to me it looks like the way the system wants the adjust; and if it can't make that adjustment, what happens? Dems forever while the rightwing party becomes more and more radical, more and more hateful until it pops?
Speculating here because it's fun, let's take a look at the differences between Hillary and Sanders, and between Trump and the traditional right.
Hillary strikes me as more hawkish than the usual Dem, and more pro trade. And if the DNC is any indication, she’s still counting on support from the special interest constituencies (immigration reform, abortion rights, BLM, LGBT, SJW).
Sanders is not as swept up by these special interest of the left, and more about majority, middle class interests. He tends to own the constituencies that are the most affected by declining conditions among the middle class, wage stagnation, asset inflation, student loan bubble, etc. To no surprise, these are the younger, educated, mostly White voters who stood to inherit the middle class vision.
Trump endorsed the standard Republican platform, with the exception of foreign policy with Russia. He is much less hawkish than other Republicans, more progressive on social issues, anti-trade, anti-immigration reform, anti-Constitution, anti-everything, pro-Trump. The political power of his constituency will not outlive this election cycle. Certainly the voters themselves will, and they won’t be able to forget how close they were, so there will be some anger and upheaval to who knows what result.
But it seems clear to me at least that the hawkish, pro-trade Republican voter base should slide into the Democratic party as rebranded under Hillary. And equally clear, the Democrats will lose a lot of White voters to the party that coalesces under Bernie, which trend will probably widen with time as the younger population comprises more and more of the electorate.
The anti-immigration voters should in theory eventually go left to Bernie, because of the demographics, and the isolationism. For the rest of the social issues, who knows who will ultimately own them. In my mind, most of the issues other than immigration are just pandering, anyway. I can see the religious voters going for Socialism before they find themselves in the same party as LGBT and non-Whites, so maybe Bernie’s party will inherit them also. R’s will probably argue that they inherited the socialists and not the other way around, so who knows.
It will probably take at least one more transformative figure in the national scene to pick up the pieces.
One thing I will say though, Bernie himself does not at all seem to be above challenging a hypothetical Hillary in 2020. In the interview with Bill Maher, the prospect of running again was brought up and 4 years was mentioned somewhat unconsciously as the timeline.
Aug 5, 2016Posted in: Debate
Ok, because you are so confident in the result, let’s appoint you owner of the roads. You hire a squad of enforcement officers. You being very clever, you select people who are 6’0” average, 250lbs and up, with self-defense training and enough equipment to be able to handle any unruly people who decide to use your roads. Then, you give them a set of operating rules that lay out economically efficient road use. The Free Market being God and everything, you lay out rules that deliver maximum profit for you.
But then one day, your enforcement officers tell the guy at the toll booth to take a hike, they put in their own guy. Then, they insist on cash payments from motorists and then distribute them among themselves. When you find out about this, you go down there to tell all of your enforcement people that they are fired. To what I’m sure would be your profound surprise, these enormous men who you’ve armed to the teeth calmly fold their arms and tell you to shove it.
So, you show up the next day with a registered deed of ownership of the roads, and tell them that they have to respect your authoriteh. Maybe they treat you nice and tear up the piece of paper, maybe they break your knees. Meanwhile, they continue to collect whatever they want from the people using the roads.
So you do what? Call the police? How very circular. Except now, the police department can’t respond right away to this private, non-emergency situation. They are busy fighting in the streets with dozens of these thug groups who took over the roads, bridges, servers, and other infrastructure. But they let you know they’re sorry about this road ownership business venture not going your way, you now being sued by dozens of drivers that your thugs harassed on top of not getting any tolls for your roads. But to reassure you, they offer you a job fighting off street thugs. You can start as soon as they get the vest and pistol back from the last cop that got shot.
In all honesty, nothing is stopping legitimate government police forces from doing this sort of thing either. In fact, a lot of police departments in the US and the world over practice some sort of extortion on citizens. The point is, there is an immense benefit of public oversight when police powers (and many, many, many other societal functions) are legitimized by government control, rather than left up to profit seeking private individuals.
Ok, I can agree with you that there are some “corner cases” where the free market is a disaster. There are…
As above, enforcement.
Also as mentioned, natural monopolies. Same example with the roads that I detailed the economics of a few posts up. This happens when there are high barriers to entry, limited availability of assets (roads), or basically any other situation where there are high enough economies of scale. Everybody gets gouged.
Monopolies by coercion, collusion, or other artificial, anti-competitive business practices. Everybody gets gouged.
Externalities. Twitter version, I decide to raise poultry and dump all their waste into the public river next to my property. Everyone who used that water for irrigation and drinking now gets sick, dies. Sad!
Information Asymmetry. I Google how to write a search algorithm, Google redirects me to search strategies for Pokemon because they would rather me play their game than compete with their search algorithm. I go to my local law school’s library to research the elements of an ineffectiveness of counsel claim, and I’m not admitted to the library unless I present my bar membership card.
Collections costs. I’m employed in delivering waste disposal services, where every morning I pick up trash left at the front of every house. People are supposed to pay me for this, but I actually spend more time going door to door asking for my weekly $5 than I do actually collecting trash. I double my prices, people refuse to pay.
Other transaction costs (bargaining cost, illiquidity, etc). I get appendicitis. An appendectomy costs $15k-$20k. I collect weekly for my trash disposal services, and I get around $1200/wk. I tell the doctor I will have enough money to pay after about 3 months. The doctor tells me that he won’t put it on a tab, because recovery time from the operation, so on, and he hears that it’s really hard for trash collectors to get paid in Libertarian society. I try to cut out my appendix myself, get tetanus and die. Sad.
…. I mean, these are all things that any college student pursuing a bachelor’s in Economics will learn about in great detail, very early on. Much less what the actual cutting edge Economics theory at the post graduate level will show. The doctrine of an efficient free market doesn’t hold up at all past 101 level Economics. So, at what point is that doctrine the exception rather than the rule? Even for those who aren’t students of Economics, it seems like even a bare review of history has taught everyone these lessons. Except of course for the Libertarians.
If you want to help the poor in a libertarian society, you can do so, but forcing others to do so is theft.
If you view everything a government does as coercion, then you’re doing nothing more than painting yourself into that box. Nothing intrinsically defines that as theft.
By a different view, citizens have plead their hearts out over all eras of civilization for an agreement where everyone gets together, pools their resources, and solves all of the problems like the ones above. Then by a great act of administrative wisdom, some very insightful statesmen created a constitutional republic that authorized a legislature of elected representatives to undertake acts to provide for the common welfare of their constituencies.
Your view is a hollow mental exercise. The other view is a matter of historical fact.
Well, we might value cost-free education so our lives are more meaningful. We might value public health care so that people can stop dying of preventable diseases, or police oversight, or gun control laws that stop people from getting killed. Really, it’s up to everyone to define for themselves what constitutes meaningful human life, the pursuit of life goals, so on, and put those values into practice through the governance process.
My point, the definition of most people in the US bears a much closer resemblance to the platform of a major party than it does to the Libertarian idea that eliminating government is an infallible principle that has no logical limitations. The fact that one is presented as a pragmatic agenda and the other as an infallible principle of dogma has no bearing. These values actually are subjectively defined. We would rather govern ourselves by observable facts rather than abstract principles. Evidence being, we have the two major parties and not Libertarianism.
Aug 4, 2016Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from PrettyFlyForAGreenGuy »I've seen this thing put to some effective use in a Brago deck, and then later in a Derevi deck (that used Brago). The Brago deck would play this early when they could to filter through bad draws, and then when they had stuff worth protecting, they would flicker it with Brago and name Dragons to protect their board. The protection from Monastery Siege was supplemented by a GAAIV, a Thalia 1.0, and a few other tax effects. Brago would use the protection to build up inevitability from Elspeth, Sun's Champion, or Tamiyo 1.0, or some other planeswalker, or some good creature (Sun Titan on two triggers a turn or something like that).
In the Derevi deck, if fulfilled largely the same purpose, because the Derevi player would just tutor for Brago when they needed to switch from filtering draws to protecting their board.
Overall, I don't think you run this card unless you have some way to flicker it like the Brago player above, or you're an enchantress deck with access to blue spells (where it being a smaller, slightly more conditional Privileged Position goes a long way to protecting your enchantments that matter). I suppose you could also run it if you want a somewhat durable, repeatable loot effect. If none of those things describe your deck, however, you should slot something else in over this Siege.
That seems the most likely use to me as well. Brago seems to be the first choice for Azorius, and here's one more card that's better with him than in the average deck.
Greater Auramancy is also available, but I suppose it doesn't have the option of filtering your draws early. That said, Greater Auramancy is a very sought-after card itself.
Aug 4, 2016Posted in: Debate
Right now, I would take the presence of any third party candidate on the debate stage as a net negative for Hillary. There’s an appreciable amount of people polling for her based solely on the fact that she is not Trump. We all know that Trump’s constituency will not budge even if they found out that he’s an alien invader disguised as a man, so one more non-Trump candidate on the ballot divides the vote.
Down the line though, pre-Civil War politics shows that this is how changes to the major party system tend to happen. At the end of both the First Party system and the Third Party system (the only ones that changed during peacetime), the party on the right became so obsolete and discredited that it faded away and eventually got replaced by one further left of the original party on the left. At some point, not even dividing the vote on the left between two candidates poses any risk that the one on the right will win, and it’s at that point that the other left party just runs a candidate in the general.
If those on the right are waiting for this to shake out and the GOP to be revitalized somehow as issue-friendly but still right-leaning, history shows that won’t happen. A party to the left of the Democrat party is more likely to come in. Also, if people are expecting a greater number of states like Vermont to turn out and vote independent long before we see any party change, history shows that’s also not likely to happen either. The magnitude of the benefits from getting support from party bosses has always ensured those candidates come out with the official stamp of the major party on the left. In fact being on his second term in the senate together with his time in the house, Bernie Sanders is already the longest serving independent in congressional history. The issues themselves tend to change in a way that obsoletes the right on something they can’t pivot away from, then the left decides where the new lines are drawn.
We will see some major upheaval when Trump loses, and it will be really interesting to see the fallout in the election after this.
Aug 3, 2016What stuck out to me this week was the old line, “I’m only losing because the election is rigged.” I think Trump even made overt comments to the media that the election process is rigged. Soooo many things here have been reminiscent of early 20th century Fascism. This latest “we would win if the process were fair” type line sounds a lot like late 20’s Germany.Posted in: Debate
Even if Trump is defeated, and he more than likely will be, his voters are going to be indoctrinated to feel cheated. This movement doesn’t look like it’s going away after the election.
Aug 3, 2016Posted in: Debate
Freedom is not the ultimate good, but it is the closest thing to an ultimate good that a society can pursue as a general project. This is because there is no one ultimate good -- everybody has their own, be it family or fame or wealth or Pokémon. So society can't say, "Let's help everybody raise a family, and then we'll be doing good", because not everybody wants to raise a family. But society can say, "Let's make sure everybody is free to pursue their own goals, and then we'll be doing good".Quote from Stairc »That said, the basic issue is pretty simple. The movement values "Freedom" because "freedom" because "freedom". If something increased freedom, good. If something decreases freedom, bad. Why freedom good? Because freedom. Is anything else good? Not if it reduces freedom. Because freedom is good.
You’re saying that there is no definition of freedom that does not involve someone’s subjective good, but then you just avoid that by setting out a definition that is void for vagueness instead. How do you make verify that everyone is “free to pursue their own goals?”, when you refuse to set out even a limited set of what that pursuit looks like? I hope by this exercise it’s clear that you either have a definition of private rights that is subjective, or you have no private rights at all.
History will show as well that, yes, a society can, should, and does choose its own values. We can (and do) decide that we value human lives, and in so doing, give people assistance who have children. Same with public infrastructure, health care, education, or anything that you decide. If you leave the interpretation as vague as “freedom to pursue goals”, then people in power will use that vagueness to shoehorn whatever they want into that.
Uh oh. You don’t have a job because they were all given to White people? Well, at least you had the freedom to put in an application. We can only guarantee the “freedom to pursue your goals”, not anything of any substance. We hope there’s not too much disease and crime in the shantytown you’re now forced to live in. (Really, we don’t care, just don’t bother us.)
Aug 3, 2016Posted in: Debate@Stairc, Roads will be privatized, the entity who owns these roads will be able to install traffic lights.
But then, people don’t obey those traffic lights, because there is no traffic enforcement.
Then, maybe some road owners would employ traffic cops, three shifts a day, seven days a week. When they projected the costs of that, maybe the tolls on the roads would be around $20 a mile. But we’d all be rich under libertarian rule, right?
But maybe at some point they would realize that the thugs they hired to patrol the roads actually have no legitimacy whatsoever to do so, because of the 13th amendment of the Constitution. They would be constantly embroiled in litigation for torts like assault, false imprisonment, etc, about 100 times what current legitimate police departments actually are. All as private causes of action with lower thresholds of proof. But hey, let’s try it. I’m an attorney, and I could use the work.
Even then, the owners of roads would compete against one another, with the best funded owners buying progressively bigger sections of roads, better thugs, and better defendants attorneys in tort. Until at one point, one of these owners owns a section of roads so big or a road or bridge so critical that he can literally charge whatever he wants, and people would have to pay it. He could also use the threat of closing all the roads and bridges to coerce businesses, governments, and everyone at large into giving into his demands on basically any issue.
Wait, that exact thing actually happened. About 150 years ago. Literally. Ever heard of Cornelius Vanderbilt? You’ll forgive the rest of us who actually know the results of this thought experiment that we don’t want to enact anything like this ever again.
@Dox, public schools would be replaced with private schools. We don't need government provided healthcare, privatized health care does the job even better.
Do you know what private babysitting costs? Not even education, but babysitting? It’s between $200 and $300 a week, per child. Do you know what the median household income is in the US? It’s about $1,000 a week. About 1 in 20 people make $300 a week or less. So for about half the country then, they are paying between 20% and 100% of their income for each child, just to have someone watch the child and make sure he/she doesn’t die of thirst (food and bathrooms cost more). For comparison the real debt to income ratio for HOUSING expenses is 38%, and you are saying it should be equally expensive just to have one child.
And, I won’t even touch the private, unsubsidized health care idea. People would just start dying of things like Appendicitis because the InstaCare doesn’t accept credit card.
@Tiax, libertarianism will help the poor, but only if they are willing and able to work. global warming is a lie. you could argue that those who want to discriminate are being discriminated against in favor of those who don't want their feelings hurt.
Hey, maybe they are poor because they are unable to work? Do you want those people safe and taken care of, or sitting in the streets like in India, Brazil, etc, ready to mug you for the $50 in your pocket just for walking into their slums? Do us a favor and look up images and videos of the shantytowns that exited in the US circa the 1880s-1930’s. Then tell me what an awesome country we would live in if we went back to that.
Also, keep in mind that most of the people who lived in these shantytowns in the industrial era US actually had work. Those would be people totally willing and able to work, but are unqualified for work that actually keeps pace with living expenses (not to mention all the extra expenses above of living in a Libertarian society). Only about 30-40% of the US has a Bachelor’s degree, which is roughly the same percentage of people who have an IQ of 110 or above. So, you are saying that for these 60-70% of people, it’s their fault that they’re not engineers, nurses, consultants, etc? Would you want to buy consulting services from someone with an IQ of 90?
Thing is, even those people who are one standard deviation ABOVE average are only fit for small administrative tasks or manual labor, at best, with low entry barrier jobs like food service at worst. Besides, libertarians don’t believe in minimum wage, right? Who knows if they’d still even be getting $7.25/hr for their time. You’d feel fine telling someone, “Hey, we know you did better than most of your classmates in High School, your test scores aren’t bad, and you’re a hard worker, but because you’re basically just a warm body in this service-led, technology-driven, asset-based economy here, you’ll have to live in a shanty town. Sorry.”
To you, that stands out as the most sound governing principle that there is? Honestly, the US tried a version very similar to it, and every person with a conscience agrees that it’s one of the most shameful things that has ever happened in this country. And that was about 100 years ago, much less now.
Aug 3, 2016Based on his reported plan to delegate all policy decisions to Kasich as the VP, I don’t think Trump would actually be doing any nominating. I would not expect some used car salesman crony from this past to be up for the seat. It would probably be another instance of him ceding all input on an issue that doesn’t matter to him, much like the rest of the entire Republican platform at the convention.Posted in: Debate
I think Trump would mostly be the sort of absentee, lead by proxy sort of President that George W Bush was. The scary thing with him, there probably are one or two things that he’d really, really like to do as President. But, they are probably so horrible that he can’t actually get it onto any political platform beforehand. I was a bit shocked when Manafort came out and said that not even the non-interference with Ukraine aspect of the platform came from the Trump campaign. But ultimately, it was not all that hard to believe based on other facts surfacing that Trump is not at all interested in actually serving as President.
Aug 2, 2016For reference: Monastery SiegePosted in: Commander (EDH)
I was underwhelmed when the set was released, and considered it an average'ish looter effect mainly. But every time I see this card named Dragons, the deck playing it ends up delivering a beating. If somebody is leaving mana up, it's never budgeted enough to deal with anything of that players. Now, I find myself hoping whenever I see it that the player names Khans (which most of the time they do).
I'm just wondering if there's some unseen potential in the Dragons version. Is it a stretch to say that this is 80-90% of a Privileged Position or Grand Abolisher? If it's even close to that, then being a possible Looter il-Kor when it is most needed early would just seem to add value on top of that.
Aug 2, 2016The bad part about that, of course, is that you can’t force anything to attack, or who they attack. For one, you’re now counting on being able to pass with 5 mana up, this on board, and expect someone to ram their Sun Titan into a player with another Sun Titan. I’m going to go out on a limb to say that Hordechief will not likely give you this unbelievable trade on board.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Two, I have seen a good number of EDH decks that rarely if ever attack. Not just combo decks, but also Planeswalker decks, so on. You might find some kind of token blockers in these decks, but not any attackers to step into the trap in the first place.
Aug 2, 2016Posted in: DebateI like the idea of libertarianism, because I support liberty. I dont believe it is right to force people to pay for the poor. If you want to give to the poor then by all means do so, but dont force others to give to the poor. Basically, you are free to do what you want unless it violates other people's rights and the government's only purpose is to protect peoples' rights.
The thing is, saying “I don’t think the government should force citizens to do X, Y, Z” is giving you a blank check to avoid doing whatever it is that you don’t like. For example, “I don’t feel that governments should incarcerate people for theft, because I want to steal me some nachos.” That’s really just you drawing the line around some act as being part of “Freedom”, and saying this must be freedom because it’s grammatically possible to label that as freedom.
You might say, “Oh, but people have property rights, and the government’s duty is to protect those.” Well, someone else could also say, “human beings have a right to medical care, free education K-12, etc, etc”. Neither of you would be wrong. And no, the constitution does not grant property rights, or any other affirmative rights, it only details the processes of government and what the federal government is not allowed to do. It doesn’t define limits on what rights we do have.
The real question are the social norms that go into the definition of “freedom”. You could view that as what amounts to those “rights” when you say, “the government’s only purpose is to protect peoples’ rights.” You could also view it as the “social contract”, the tacit agreement between government and its citizens. However you view it, the ingredients of that are defined by social norms, not the dictionary definition of “liberty”. Government provides what citizens expect it to provide, which are then labeled as “rights”. But, those expectations do change over time. In return, citizens deliver certain things to the government.
And on being “forced” into providing tax revenue as our part, sorry, this relationship between citizens and government is bi-lateral. And, it was determined by people long before you or I got here. No, the government does not need to get everyone’s express written consent at birth to be part of it. You are part of it whether you like it or not, and the government will ask you for your part, whether you like it or not. You have no more right to claim to be exempt from that obligation than the States do to secede from the union.
Specifically, the Constitution is what the polity of the US agreed to be governed by, and it reads among the enumerated powers for the Legislative Branch (Art. 1, Sec. 8):
“The Congress shall have power… to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”
You can certainly believe in a political philosophy that is against the Constitution, but don’t expect your views to be represented by a major party if you do. Our representatives each swear oaths to uphold the Constitution. Taking out the legislature’s power to provide for the general welfare would at least take an amendment, and I doubt there would be any political traction for it. To my knowledge, that’s not in the Libertarian party platform either. So, who knows what anyone means when they say paying for welfare is a restriction of liberty.
Aug 2, 2016Posted in: Multiplayer Commander DecklistsQuote from jenncertainty »Any suggestions on cuts? Because that's the thing, I see its utility, but I'm not convinced it's worth cutting something for it. Currently, it looks like I'll be cutting the Guildmage/Mindcrank combo, but those slots will be filled by Reanimate (which I still need to acquire) and Sword of War and Peace, which I'm still testing but feeling pretty good about.
Cuts… Well, it’s a little hit and miss with cuts in EDH, because lots of players include cards just because they want to play them, myself included. I usually recommend cutting cards with a low ceiling of performance, but these cards also tend to have a high floor of performance too – i.e. staple cards. Maybe take a look at the below to see what you think?
Sakashima the Impostor – I usually see her in decks like Grand Arbiter that really want to clone their general. I see the benefit to cloning Dralnu, but if that is the main goal is seems this is the most interchangeable card with Pemmin’s Aura. Obviously, Sakashima has a higher performance floor, but it’s the third activation and the shroud that it doesn’t offer. Also having Sakashima out copying Dralnu would tend to overload the land-based sacrifice outlets you have for those nightmare scenarios where there is a damage-based wipe.
Clever Impersonator – Another low ceiling, high floor, never bad kind of card that just doesn’t seem to fit, to me. If you play against some specific non-creature cards from opponents’ decks that you’d want to clone a lot, maybe, but otherwise what I’d expect to see in this deck for clone-type effects would be something like Body Double or Rite of Replication . Otherwise, Cackling Counterpart, Supplant Form, or Rescue from the Underworld are Instants, and they give you a way to get rid of Dralnu against Red spot removal (the Blue ones won’t work against damage-based wipes though).
Vedalken Orrery – I love the effect once in play, but the tempo loss of getting it out there leaves it stuck in my hand a lot of the time. Also, I’m not sure it’s not just worse than Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir or Leyline of Anticipation besides, since you’ve got no Artifact tutors here. Teferi would also be good if you ever wanted to run Mystical Teachings, since that’s a tutor for him.
Countersquall – I’ve never really liked the color restriction over Negate. And, I usually find it safe to go down to 7 counters in an EDH Control deck, depending on the draw power and other spot removal, which this deck has plenty of.
Forbidden Alchemy – I understand putting cards into the graveyard for reanimator, but this card is pretty low impact compared to other options. I’d either look to something like Attunement or Frantic Search or cut it.
Aug 1, 2016I understand why Libertarianism is compelling to true constitutional conservatives, particularly now that Trump has co-opted the Republican party. It is basically their economic philosophy of low government intervention (shared by the mainstream Republicans), only extended over social issues (which the R’s have given to the religious right) and foreign policy/immigration issues (which R’s have given over to White Nationalists). It is basically what the Republican party would be if it eliminated those other constituencies.Posted in: Debate
The thing is though, I find that lassiez-faire governing principle the most antiquated of all three (and that is saying something, xenophobic racism being what it is). At least religion and racism continued to hold a place in politics until the post war 20th century. It was at the late 19th century when it was directly disproved that billionaires would push working wages up if you just gave them more money, the mid to late 19th century when vaccinations, city sanitation and so on made organized medicine and health a government imperative, and the early 20th when an isolationist foreign policy showed itself to be dangerous.
If that timeline is any indication of practicality, there should be even more eyebrow-raising at the idea that government should leave these things up to private society as there have been at Trump’s suggestions to ban Mustlims, so on. It’s just an utterly disproven political idea.
So, at least the Republican policy as now constituted offers a contemporary position on social issues and foreign policy. Libertarianism is for 20 year old contrarians who really enjoyed their college course in 18th century economics.
I’ll also say that the idea isn’t very congruent with the idea of a democratic government that elicits the participation of its citizens. To have a government composed of representatives of the people, and then say that it doesn’t work, is saying that the people can’t or shouldn’t govern themselves to their own interests. If that’s so, then it seems like you’re really advocating for something like Monarchy, with an unaccountable, infallible ruler that has some sort of divine right as long as they don’t tax or jail his citizens. If you don’t like Democracy, that’s what you’d seem to be in support of. Some sort of rule similar to George III over the American Colonies, only without the taxation. Yeah, let me know how that works out.
Aug 1, 2016I'd mainly suggest considering it on top of the Elixir, not replacing it. You're right, the Haste, being able to play it when mana permits, and not losing it when Dralnu dies make it the best of the three for a non-Storm setup. But maybe a second slot for this effect would be worth it?Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Aug 1, 2016I love Dralnu. The risky feeling of playing him down against a Red opponent keeps things exciting.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I’m still not quite convinced it’s a good idea to cut Freed from the Real here. I would never go without Thousand-Year Elixir, but IMO it doesn’t seem like you can ever have enough of these effects that turn Dralnu into something like Yawgmoth’s Will. Especially with things like High Tide, Turnabout, Cabal Ritual and other mana-producing cards possible in these colors. One that I see rarely but that seems to me to be one of the better of the set – Pemmin’s Aura. On top of the untap, it provides some protection for Dralnu, particularly important now that Green has been getting stuff like Ulvenwald Tracker for a long time now.
IMO, a deck that cares about casting multiple spells per turn (esp. Storm) would want all of them it could get, and nearly every Dralnu deck would still probably want both Elixir and Pemmin’s Aura. Just too good, even if all you’ve got is the more traditional stuff like Rewind.
Aug 1, 2016Posted in: Multiplayer Commander DecklistsQuote from plushpenguin »Hard casting Emrakul has not nearly been as much of a problem as expected, at least so far. Well, as long as people are trying to deal with your stuff, which they should be doing or else Emmy is probably not playing out to be a major factor in your victory.
Sweet game, I'm totally jealous.
I keep waffling on things like Phyrexian Hydra and Malignus precisely for these high life total situations, but I suppose multiplying damage enough times is bound to get there eventually. I’m not that sold on the new Emmy either, but I really want it to be good. I just don’t run enough Instants or Artifacts, enchantments rarely die, and so I keep seeing 10 mana cast as best case (Land, Creature, Sorcery). I would gladly run it at 8-9 average cost.
Also, great that Blood Mist is doing well. I suspected that it would be nuts in this deck. It’s so much easier to cast than similar cards. I have also been toying with it in Aurelia, and have landed it once or twice. I haven’t played enough with it to be certain, but I can’t imagine not being sold on it in the end.
Jul 31, 2016I see him as a combination of three effects - drain, evasion, and fighting small opposing creatures. You overpay by a mile for each effect, but you do get all three on one card.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If you are only going for one, then run something like Hellrider, Ankle Shanker, or removal, depending on which it is that you want.
Jul 31, 2016That's quite a long time away for the first debate. I think both campaigns will see little to gain from holding any more than just one, so having the single one little more than a month before the election date seems like what we'll get. The Trump camp won't want their candidate making any more gaffes, and the Clinton camp won't want to needlessly absorb any of Trump's childish taunts.Posted in: Debate
Maybe the VP debate will be more issue related.
Jul 29, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from Kahedron »
I always find this tactic of "This wasn't the only person who did this and you didn't specifically call any of them out, thus you don't care about the issue" to be extremely dishonest. My default assumption for human beings is that if one person did something bad, then obviously whomever I'm talking to would condemn someone else who did the exact same thing. I don't assume that because they didn't list a detailed roster of every person who's ever committed that act, that it's some kind of political attack rather than an issue of principle.
But it is incredibly suspicious when a single person is suddenly picked out of the crowd and blamed publically for those actions when others who have either done the same actions or worse are getting off scott free.
It seems that most Secretaries of state since the internet really have had issues using private email servers yet it only became an issue when it happened to Hillary and teh republicans decided to use it as a tactic to attack her.
Likewise American Embassies have been attacked a lot over the years but until Benghazi there wasn't any drive to impeach or arrest any of her predecessors. Yet it seems Trump and his supporters want to make an example of her. Largely I suspect in a vain attempt to hide that they have very few positive things that they can talk about with any concrete detail.
If any of those former secretaries of state were running for President (or any office, really), the opposing side would probably have used the issue against them also. Likewise with the attacks on the embassies. Benghazi seems to be particularly badly handled to me, but it's probably the case that anything similar would have been used against any former secretary of state that chose to run for higher office. But, I can't remember any other than Clinton who has.
Jul 29, 2016Posted in: Debate
But Hillary claimed they were not government related and were personal emails on her own private, non-government server. So how would that be rooting against US security interests? Unless you agree she was indeed conducting government matters in those deleted emails, and they weren't personal after all. In which case, why did she lie, and why did she delete them before the FBI investigation?
If they were personal emails that were deleted all along, as Hillary claimed, why would Trump's statement about Russia discovering them matter, or be considered treason?
It is always hilarious how far people will bend over backwards to defend Trump. This is yet another example of Trump being seriously irresponsible with his words and the republicans refuse to see anything wrong with it. and in some cases praise him for his recklessness.
Nobody's accusing him of treason, or he would probably be under investigation for it. Thing is, nobody knows what was in those e-mails, or whether Russia has them. But saying anything like "I hope Russia hacked those e-mails" is rooting against US security interests, and disrespects international law.
The US Security interest would be, at the least, having secure servers. It's against the law to hack someone's e-mail, even if it is personal, and even if it's only password protected.
There may be a US interest in protecting classified material, but we don't know whether there was any classified material in the e-mails. Clinton's position is that there wasn't. The opposing position is that there must have been, based on the circumstance of the Clinton camp having deleted them. Trump doesn’t know either way, because he doesn’t have the e-mails.
But basically, just saying “Russia, please hack such and such American Citizen’s e-mail” in itself is rooting against US security interests. You are talking about a foreign state committing an act of cyber espionage against the US, and saying that you hope they do it. It’s just an extremely poor sense of perspective for someone claiming to have US interests at heart, and very disrespectful of the gravity of laws prohibiting cyber crimes.
Jul 29, 2016Posted in: Debate
If they were personal emails that were deleted all along, as Hillary claimed, why would Trump's statement about Russia discovering them matter, or be considered treason?
It is always hilarious how far people will bend over backwards to defend Trump. This is yet another example of Trump being seriously irresponsible with his words and the republicans refuse to see anything wrong with it. and in some cases praise him for his recklessness.
Nobody's accusing him of treason, or he would probably be under investigation for it. Thing is, nobody knows what was in those e-mails, or whether Russia has them. But saying anything like "I hope Russia hacked those e-mails" is rooting against US security interests, and disrespects international law.
Jul 29, 2016Posted in: DebateQuote from Kahedron »
4. I consider Benghazi a war crime.
So again why aren't you demanding that George P. Shultz, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are all arrested and charged with war crimes. Again is it because you don't acutally give a damn about the law and just are desperately grasping as straws to make Hillary look bad?
For the record Clinton has only had 1 Embassy attacked under her watch, all the people I listed above had multiple Embassies attacked during there period of office so why no clamour for them to be arrested and charged?
Because this is a thread about the 2016 presidential election?
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