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Thread: The American Politics thread

  1. #16426
    International Coach Bahnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indiaholic View Post
    Hmm still not convinced that Oliver's show is on top of mount stupid. Would be happy to change my opinion if you can give me a couple of examples from the non Trump episodes.
    One example that clearly jumps out to me was the segment he did on charter schools. I'm not a supporter of charter schools, but having worked in education policy I know that the approach that Oliver took (giving a couple of anecdotal examples of the worst performing schools, and literally hand-waving off the fact that some charter schools do very well) was horrendously misleading.

    It's not necessarily about him being wrong, so much as the approach he takes to these policy issues is highly biased, plays on the emotions of his audience and is heavily simplistic. That's fine to an extent - Oliver has always said publicly that he's doing political commentary and satire rather than actual research and analysis. However, I feel that his segments are often delivered in such a way so as to give the misleading impression that he's taking a measured and balanced approach (ironic given that Oliver's 99 climate scientists debate 1 climate change denier skit was one of the most elegant take-downs of false balance I've ever seen).
    Last edited by Bahnz; 30-04-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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  2. #16427
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Not the Onion:

    Breeder says United cremated giant bunny without her permission | New York Post

    The airline’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, tried to apologize after the rabbit’s death, but drew fire for likening the pet to misplaced bags.

    “We are deeply sorry for the loss of anything from your luggage to, of course, a loved pet,” Munoz said.
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  4. #16429
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    I wish we were allowed to vet through some of our dogshit lecturers hired solely for their research generating abilities that fuel the university's rankings


  5. #16430
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    How exactly do we know if there were 128 separate students etc who signed that letter if the signatories are anonymous?

    Also, the capitalisation of "White" and "Black" in that letter is extremely ****ing weird.
    Last edited by Spark; 01-05-2017 at 02:57 AM.

  6. #16431
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Can I unironically call that political correctness gone mad? Because that's absolutely and utterly insane.
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  7. #16432
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Can I unironically call that political correctness gone mad? Because that's absolutely and utterly insane.
    She got hired tbf, and again, the signatories are conveniently anonymous.

    It's an absolutely ridiculous threat, but it also looks completely hollow.

  8. #16433
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    She got hired tbf, and again, the signatories are conveniently anonymous.

    It's an absolutely ridiculous threat, but it also looks completely hollow.
    Yeah I get it's not the end of the world. You have to call out insane garbage like that though.
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  9. #16434
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Yeah I get it's not the end of the world. You have to call out insane garbage like that though.
    True, but if you made a habit of calling out dumb **** college students do, then you won't have much time to do much else. 'Twas ever thus.

    I mean I assume that everyone who's been enrolled in an Australian university any time in the semi-recent past has had run-ins with irritating Socialist Alternative guys gleefully plastering Trotskyist flyers all over campus.
    Last edited by Spark; 01-05-2017 at 03:07 AM.

  10. #16435
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    True, but if you made a habit of calling out dumb **** college students do, then you won't have much time to do much else. 'Twas ever thus.

    I mean I assume that everyone who's been enrolled in an Australian university any time in the semi-recent past has had run-ins with irritating Socialist Alternative guys gleefully plastering Trotskyist flyers all over campus.
    I mean the risk of a student group getting access to the kind of power those students want is a different scale than a few dopey posters and a newspaper no one reads, but you're right in that people that age are often not all that realistic.

    I don't like the idea of some university's caving in to idiots like this though. Some will, some won't and you end up with universities divided along ideological lines like everything else seems to be these days. Universities (and faculties) need ideological diversity more than anywhere else. A world where you have left and right leaning universities seems like a terrible thing for society.

    Or maybe it's just hastening the demise of an industry that's approaching it's use by date. We'll see.

  11. #16436
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    I tend to think this type of campus left will burn out. I might be wrong, it's more of a gut feeling than anything I can rationalise. Everything about it just screams 'this generation's embarrassing fad' to me.

    My experience is that academia is much, much, much less ideological than it looks to outsiders. It's hard for studies to get media exposure if they don't neatly confirm a particular political worldview, so unless you're reading the journals themselves, it looks like everything is political. I can't speak for the whole of academia obviously. Maybe it's an acute problem in specific fields.
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  12. #16437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    My experience is that academia is much, much, much less ideological than it looks to outsiders.
    T. Every student who didn't make the mistake of doing a BA

    Each to his/her own path, but I've found it to be just as ideological as I imagined, in varying ways but with some little common themes. Always some agenda being pushed.

  13. #16438
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    I mean in the sort of fields we're talking about a fairly strong ideological conviction is almost a necessity to do the work. You can't say anything interesting if you don't have an interesting worldview of your own.

    The concern is more than academics in certain fields all tend towards the same ideology, and I'm not really sure that's true.

  14. #16439
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    I did have a talk from a Canadian academic yesterday who somehow managed to squeeze in non-binary genders. I asked her what these non-binary genders were, since transgender people still identify as a binary gender, just the opposite one of their birth.

    She said "well we actually know that there are a whole range more genders than just male and female".

    Er, Ok, but it's one of those times that I think you actually need to come up with some evidence rather than just saying "we know".

    Her whole talk was rather political and I think this is part of the problem. If you're going to talk about something as fact it's really good to cite some proof.
    Last edited by hendrix; 01-05-2017 at 02:16 PM.
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  15. #16440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    That's what bothered me about the wall. There was way too much "OMG he's going to enforce our border laws!" and nowhere near enough "That's going to be ineffective, insanely expensive in the short and long term and you're off your tree if you think Mexico is actually going to pay it."
    This is even more true of the deportations of all illegal immigrants thing. The US has millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom would need to be forcefully deported. The costs, logistical issues, requirements in terms of law enforcement hours etc would be completely insane. Even deporting 1 million people by force would be completely unworkable. Remember the Elian Gonzalez thing? That was one six year old. It's an insane plan that could never have worked if you spent even a minute thinking about it. But people voted for the symbolic adherence to border policy enforcement, not because it would actually work, or change anything. They wanted the guy who said Mexico would build the wall, even if they knew on some level it wasn't going to happen.
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