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Thread: The American Politics thread

  1. #17911
    International Coach straw man's Avatar
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    One of the few shining lights of Fox according to that Laura Ingraham twitter feed Niall posted

    TMacDaddy‏ @PhilsEaglesND 4h4 hours ago
    Replying to @IngrahamAngle @KatTimpf
    Fox News just turned into CNN
    nancy murphy‏ @nnnanceee 4h4 hours ago
    it's like watching a slow train wreck. everyday it becomes a bit more like msnbc. Tucker saves it so far.
    Betty Susan Brazier‏ @BrazierSusan 3h3 hours ago
    Sean Hannity & Jesse Waters , along with Tucker Carlson !
    Like the Leaning Tower -leaning left except for the above ! Turned the channel!

  2. #17912
    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Firstly and absolutely foremost the actions at Charlottesville were utterly reprehensible. This wasn't an accidental death in a melee between loons on both sides, the other side was protesting peacefully from what I saw. The pos who drove the car is scum who deserves the full force of the law thrown at him. I think Trumps response started off really weak and while he later gave the response he should have led with, it's far little far too late. He's been pathetic, but it gels with how absolutely clueless the guy is as a politician. I find it easy to fit everything Trump does into a stupidity (rather than evil) framework. I agree that got dangerously close to an armed insurrection and I don't know what can ultimately be done about that.

    My main thing (I can't speak for Ikki) is that I see all sorts of qualifiers when the shoe is on the other foot too. The riots at Berkeley became all about how awful Milo was, not about the fact that a group of violent thugs were terrorising people who came to see a man speak. The inauguration violence was characterised as "protesting" instead of the riot it actually was. The Scalise shooting provoked commentary on gun control. Yes you can get agreement from individuals that the violence was poor when you really drill down, but by and large people agree with the motivations of these thugs to the point they'll make the exact same kinds of excuses. Right wing violence is (rightly) condemned and when it's not done strongly enough we (again rightfully) get on the back of the president about it. Platitudes get rolled out about left wing violence, but it gets this subtle glorification because there's agreement with the underlying motivations. I won't say it makes it more dangerous (we thoroughly explored that road yesterday) but I think it can't be denied that it's a different kind of danger.

    I hate even making a post like this considering what's happened, but I really feel the need to point out that while both sides have problems condemning these kinds of acts, the phenomenon is equally, if not more, prevalent on the left.
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  3. #17913
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    From what I understood, the police did do a pretty poor job of doing what you always have to do when there are two sets of protestors in the same area with wildly opposing views: keeping them separated. They say it's because of a lack of manpower because they couldn't hope to control the equivalent of an army battalion, but scuffles are a pretty inevitable result of that, regardless of which side started what.

    Driving a car into a crowd, though, is an obvious act of terrorism. And it really is horrendous how Trump keeps equivocating every time something like this happens; at a bare minimum, he has some influence over these whackjobs (unlike the rest of mainstream politics) and seeming to waffle and leave his statements open to interpretation and "oh well he had to say that, he doesn't mean it" just makes something like this happening again more likely.

    EDIT: Also, someone did try to blow up a government building with a 1000-pound bomb the other day, so the "both sides" stuff is wearing pretty thin when one side are unpleasant poseurs and thugs (and have no connection to the broader anti-Trump movement) and the other side is increasingly resembling a nascent low-level terrorist insurgency.
    Last edited by Spark; 15-08-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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  4. #17914
    International Coach straw man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    I hate even making a post like this considering what's happened, but I really feel the need to point out that while both sides have problems condemning these kinds of acts, the phenomenon is equally, if not more, prevalent on the left.
    Strongly disagree with the above.

    Trump Asks, ‘What About the Alt-Left?’ Here’s an Answer
    Comparing Antifa to Mr. Fields’s act is like “comparing a propeller plane to a C-130 transport,” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

    “Using the fact that some counterprotesters were, in fact, violent, creates a structural and moral false equivalency that is seriously undermining the legitimacy of this president,” Professor Levin said.

    Antifa and black block — the far left of today — engaging in street brawls and property damage, while reprehensible, is “not domestic terrorism,” said J. J. MacNab, a fellow in the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Similar episodes of extreme violence certainly exist on the left: the recent congressional baseball shooting in Virginia, or the bombing of the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters.

    But overall, far-right extremist plots have been far more deadly than far-left plots (and Islamist plots eclipsed both) in the past 25 years, according to a breakdown of two terrorism databases by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.

    White nationalists; militia movements; anti-Muslim attackers; I.R.S. building and abortion clinic bombers; and other right-wing groups were responsible for 12 times as many fatalities and 36 times as many injuries as communists; socialists; animal rights and environmental activists; anti-white- and Black Lives Matter-inspired attackers; and other left-wing groups.
    Last edited by straw man; 15-08-2017 at 10:51 PM.


  5. #17915
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    From what I understood, the police did do a pretty poor job of doing what you always have to do when there are two sets of protestors in the same area with wildly opposing views: keeping them separated. They say it's because of a lack of manpower because they couldn't hope to control the equivalent of an army battalion, but scuffles are a pretty inevitable result of that, regardless of which side started what.

    Driving a car into a crowd, though, is an obvious act of terrorism. And it really is horrendous how Trump keeps equivocating every time something like this happens; at a bare minimum, he has some influence over these whackjobs (unlike the rest of mainstream politics) and seeming to waffle and leave his statements open to interpretation and "oh well he had to say that, he doesn't mean it" just makes something like this happening again more likely.

    EDIT: Also, someone did try to blow up a government building with a 1000-pound bomb the other day, so the "both sides" stuff is wearing pretty thin when one side are unpleasant poseurs and thugs (and have no connection to the broader anti-Trump movement) and the other side is increasingly resembling a nascent low-level terrorist insurgency.
    If you hear what the Police Chief had to say, the NAZIs had a permit to use the park from 12-5pm. The police had set up measures to keep both groups separate, but the NAZIs turned up at 10-10:30, and started using the entrance designated for the ANTIFA groups, which directly antagonised them. The riot was broken up by Police, at which point the NAZIs dispersed into the town, which meant Police were stretched even further to respond to isolated incidents. They had told the NAZIs which entrance to use and not to turn up until their allocated time, but they deliberately didn't, and so the whole thing was a crapshoot from there.
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  6. #17916
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    It's almost as if it's a time-old tactic of far-right paramilitaries to incite street fights in the hope that they'll get political advantage for it.

    Anyway...

    In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On
    BY ALAN ZIMMERMAN , 8/14/2017
    PRINTEMAILSHARE 5118 8
    Paper stick figures holding hands around a lit candle
    At Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA, we are deeply grateful for the support and prayers of the broader Reform Jewish community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Heather Heyer and the two Virginia State Police officers, H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, who lost their lives on Saturday, and with the many people injured in the attack who are still recovering.

    The loss of life far outweighs any fear or concern felt by me or the Jewish community during the past several weeks as we braced for this Nazi rally – but the effects of both will each linger.

    On Saturday morning, I stood outside our synagogue with the armed security guard we hired after the police department refused to provide us with an officer during morning services. (Even the police department’s limited promise of an observer near our building was not kept — and note, we did not ask for protection of our property, only our people as they worshipped).

    Forty congregants were inside. Here’s what I witnessed during that time.

    For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don’t know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I’m paranoid. I don’t know.

    Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building, shouting, “There's the synagogue!” followed by chants of “Seig Heil” and other anti-Semitic language. Some carried flags with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

    A guy in a white polo shirt walked by the synagogue a few times, arousing suspicion. Was he casing the building, or trying to build up courage to commit a crime? We didn’t know. Later, I noticed that the man accused in the automobile terror attack wore the same polo shirt as the man who kept walking by our synagogue; apparently it’s the uniform of a white supremacist group. Even now, that gives me a chill.

    When services ended, my heart broke as I advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.
    In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On | ReformJudaism.org

    Free speech!

  7. #17917
    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by straw man View Post
    That article is pretty misleading. The Oklahoma bombing accounts for 168 (74%) of deaths attributed to the right, while there were 19 deaths attributed to the left. That's still a sizeable difference (3x) but the figures are far more nuanced than "12 times as many". Notably, 15 of the 19 left related killings occurred since 2016 suggesting left wing violence is on a very sharp rise. I don't have time to drill into how the numbers would look if only the last 5 years were counted (a much more meaningful statistic imo) but I'd suggest you'd see the numbers looking far closer (and that's to say nothing of property damage).

    https://www.cato.org/blog/terrorism-...sville-anomaly

    It's easy to get into the weeds wrt which side is worse but I don't think it's that helpful when discussing whether violence should be strongly condemned by it's own side of the political fence.

  8. #17918
    International Coach straw man's Avatar
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    Yeah I should have cut that last part from the bit I quoted as the Oklahoma bombing is a fairly distant memory now. I was more interested in the opinions quoted from the people that study this, regarding the seriousness of different types of threats.

  9. #17919
    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    I don't think it makes sense to frame these people as right or left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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  10. #17920
    International Coach straw man's Avatar
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    Yes fair enough, it's only when something goes horribly wrong in a political party, as in the US Republicans, that the two become tied together.

  11. #17921
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by straw man View Post
    Yeah I should have cut that last part from the bit I quoted as the Oklahoma bombing is a fairly distant memory now. I was more interested in the opinions quoted from the people that study this, regarding the seriousness of different types of threats.
    I kind of agree with you, but at the same time, it's still kind of relevant given that someone tried to replicate it last weekend.

    I.e., http://www.soufangroup.com/tsg-intel...y-bombing-2-0/

    ===

    Also worth reading: http://www.theroot.com/interview-how...=1502737785317

    “At first it was peaceful protest,” Long said softly as he spoke. “Until someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.”

    Long said the only weapon he had was a can of spray paint that a white supremacist threw at him earlier, so he took a lighter to the spray paint and turned it into a flame thrower. And a photographer snapped the photo.
    Mind you, turning a spray can into a makeshift flamethrower straddles the line between extremely brave and an object lesson in stupid quite finely.
    Last edited by Spark; 16-08-2017 at 01:55 AM.
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  12. #17922
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    I don't think it makes sense to frame these people as right or left.
    100% I mean the idea of left right is ambiguous as it is....

    What I don`t get is why this is allowed? This is not a free speech, this is not a group of people voicing discontent at the government plan or the loss of jobs. This is vitriol demanding the 'removal' and condemning other groups of people based on religion, colour and creed, bordering on incitement. Are we then surprised that it turns violent? This is hate speech.
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  13. #17923
    U19 Vice-Captain Munificent_Fool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenZA View Post
    100% I mean the idea of left right is ambiguous as it is....

    What I don`t get is why this is allowed? This is not a free speech, this is not a group of people voicing discontent at the government plan or the loss of jobs. This is vitriol demanding the 'removal' and condemning other groups of people based on religion, colour and creed, bordering on incitement. Are we then surprised that it turns violent? This is hate speech.
    Hate speech is protected under the first amendment.

  14. #17924
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    The VICE News ep on Charlottesville is very much worth watching. On-the-ground reports etc:


  15. #17925
    International Coach StephenZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munificent_Fool View Post
    Hate speech is protected under the first amendment.
    No its not. Hate speech falls (loosely) under assault and intimidation laws. Just like you can`t stand in a pub, demeaning and shout at somebody just because you don`t like them, that would constituent a form of verbal abuse and assault.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.d1329f927205



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