2016 US Election


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Liberty's Edge

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Sorry, one more:

CBDunkerson wrote:

This criticism has a huge dose of historical revisionism and letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I remember selling socialist papers with articles against all that shiznit, so I'm afraid the argument of "historical revisionism" doesn't hold much water with me.

Not my fault the rest of you took two decades to catch up.

I see... so instead of 'Don't ask / Don't tell' you were in favor of jailing soldiers for the 'crime' of homosexuality?


No, I was in favor of full democratic rights for homosexuals in all spheres of public life.

But, srly, gotta go!

Liberty's Edge

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
No, I was in favor of full democratic rights for homosexuals in all spheres of public life.

Funny, I don't remember the Republicans having put that forward as an option.

'Don't ask / Don't tell' allowed gays to serve (quietly) in the military... disproving all of the calamitous outcomes of such which had been claimed by opponents. That led directly to the full lifting of restrictions on gay military service.

DOBA was passed with veto proof majorities, but still allowed individual states to recognize same sex marriages. Some states then did so and the spread of such marriages disproved all of the calamitous outcomes of such which had been claimed by opponents. That led directly to the change in national attitudes on same sex marriage and SCOTUS declaring the federal ban on such unconstitutional.

Yes, it would have been better if we had gone directly to the non-bigoted policies... but the simple fact is that there was no way to make that happen at the time. Pretending otherwise / blaming Clinton for not achieving the impossible IS historical revisionism. In both cases he achieved 'the good' by sacrificing a 'perfect' which was impossible at the time... but which has now been achieved as a direct result of the incremental progress he initiated.


DADT led to a higher rate of gay servicepeople being discharged than previously.

DOMA passed with veto-proof majorities, huh? Oh, well, then I guess, Bill had to sign off it. I mean, he couldn't have vetoed it, and then tried to go for a pocket veto, or just, you know, let it pass over his veto?

Also, I found this tidbit on wikipedia:

"James Hormel, who was appointed by Clinton as the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, described the reaction from the gay community to Clinton signing DOMA as shock and anger.[31] On Hormel's account, Clinton had been the first President to advocate gay rights, push for AIDS funding, support gay and lesbian civil rights legislation, and appoint open LGBT people to his Administration. Thus his signing of DOMA was viewed by much of the community as a great betrayal."

Maybe your circle of friends impacted by the bill was a little narrow?

But, I have to ask, why did you switch over to gay issues? I was talking about the crime and welfare reform bills. Please demonstrate my "historical revisionism" there.

I'll be back in, roughly, ten hours after the Black Lives Matter NH meeting tonight. I also have to go back through the last bunch of pages and see if I missed anything.

Liberty's Edge

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
But, I have to ask, why did you switch over to gay issues?

You were refuting thejeff's point about various minorities supporting Clinton by implying that kind of thinking leads to negative legislation against those groups. The progress on LGBT issues, which would not have happened without the Democrats, is the clearest counter to your claim... though not the only one.

Quote:
I was talking about the crime and welfare reform bills. Please demonstrate my "historical revisionism" there.

More than two-thirds of the congressional black caucus voted FOR Clinton's crime bill. It was also supported by many african american mayors and other leaders. Ergo, suggesting that this was some form of betrayal by the Democrats is, again, historical revisionism.

Crime in urban areas was a major concern in the mid 90s and the african american community was bearing the brunt of it. There can be no question that it also helped lead to a massive reduction in violent crime and a more stable society where we are now able to start confronting the problems of racial bias in policing which existed long before Bill Clinton came along. The Republicans wanted even more draconian provisions while the Democrats originally included money for community outreach and improvement. Again, there was a clear difference between the parties and you are blaming the Democrats for failing to achieve an impossible state of perfection.


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Are we still making The Simpsons references? 'Cause... (warning: 30 MB gif)


CBDunkerson wrote:


More than two-thirds of the congressional black caucus voted FOR Clinton's crime bill. It was also supported by many african american mayors and other leaders. Ergo, suggesting that this was some form of betrayal by the Democrats is, again, historical revisionism.

Crime in urban areas was a major concern in the mid 90s and the african american community was bearing the brunt of it. There can be no question that it also helped lead to a massive reduction in violent crime and a more stable society where we are now able to start confronting the problems of racial bias in policing which existed long before Bill Clinton came along. The Republicans wanted even more draconian provisions while the Democrats originally included money for community outreach and improvement. Again, there was a clear difference between the parties and you are blaming the Democrats for failing to achieve an impossible state of perfection.

There certainly are question about what led to the "massive reduction in violent crime and more stable society". It's not at all clear that the increase in policing and imprisonment of minorities improved things.

It's quite possible that the law was supported by black leaders and passed without racist intent, but didn't work out the way they wanted it to. Leading to racist effects and being later supported with more racist intent.

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:
There certainly are question about what led to the "massive reduction in violent crime and more stable society". It's not at all clear that the increase in policing and imprisonment of minorities improved things.

There were many factors which contributed to the reduction in crime, but I don't see any plausible way to argue that Clinton's crime bill was NOT one of those factors.

Quote:
It's quite possible that the law was supported by black leaders and passed without racist intent, but didn't work out the way they wanted it to. Leading to racist effects and being later supported with more racist intent.

Exactly. Anklebiter's implication was that minorities supporting Democrats just resulted in the Democrats stabbing them in the back. That isn't what happened. Rather, a crime law broadly supported by minority communities at the time had a mix of both positive and negative results.


Regarding the massive reduction in violent crime in the 90s, it's the holy grail of every shoddy policymaker around to take credit for it. Whether you can see a plausible way to argue that Clinton's crime bill was not one of those factors or not, fact remains that it is so far unknown. You certainly have no evidence to support it if you claim it was.


Sissyl wrote:
Regarding the massive reduction in violent crime in the 90s, it's the holy grail of every shoddy policymaker around to take credit for it. Whether you can see a plausible way to argue that Clinton's crime bill was not one of those factors or not, fact remains that it is so far unknown. You certainly have no evidence to support it if you claim it was.

Sure you do. You have the statements by the people supporting the bill at the time, along with their statements of what will happen if the bill passes. Did their predictions come true? Then that's evidence supporting the theory they proposed at the time. That's, you know, basic scientific method -- you have a hypothesis, you propose a test of the hypothesis, and if the test turns out as you expect, you (and everyone else) reads that result as evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

Now, you're going to point out that there are a lot of other hypotheses that could be made in retrospect to explain the results, and there are even other hypotheses that might have been made at the time. Sure. Science is never absolute,.... but it's a damn fine way of getting an understanding of the world that works well enough for practical purposes.

You really seem to have an odd view of how reality works. Absolute proof is generally reserved for mathematics and theology, but not for any other field, and you seem to be positively worshiping at the altar of the Fallacist's fallacy. For example, you wrote earlier about the bandwagon fallacy as though that's not how you operate your life. (Do you know where the capital of South Africa is? How? Have you been there? Even if you've been there, have you actually seen Parliament meeting there, or did you just take someone's word that the building is where Parliament meets?)

What should be uncontroversial -- although I admit I only know this through media reports and I've never spoken personally to the principals (and even if I had, they might have lied to me, so I'd still not be sure) -- is that the bill in question was passed by a fairly large majority in Congress, including the representatives of the communities most strongly affected, precisely because it was supposed to reduce violent crime. So even if one had one's doubts about the ultimate wisdom of the bill, it was probably going to end up being passed because people, the legislature and the public alike, wanted it to be passed. And there's nothing to suggest that it didn't fulfill its intended purpose.

Based on what you knew then, what would you have done differently? And evenbased on what you know now, are you absolutely certain that the results would have been better? If not, you're hardly in a position to second guess them.

And if you are "absolutely certain,"... well, then you're absurdly overconfident to the point of foolishness.

Scarab Sages

Freakonomics makes the case that, as well as violent crime being nowhere near as big a problem as was being made out, the major factor in the decline of violent crime was Roe vs Wade.

And they even had an almost perfect control study, in the form of the former Soviet state of Romania, where not only had the ability to emigrate been removed, abortion criminalised, but pregnancy had been made compulsory.
The country was a powderkeg, that blew up in the leader's face.


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Snorter wrote:

Freakonomics makes the case that, as well as violent crime being nowhere near as big a problem as was being made out, the major factor in the decline of violent crime was Roe vs Wade.

And they even had an almost perfect control study, in the form of the former Soviet state of Romania, where not only had the ability to emigrate been removed, abortion criminalised, but pregnancy had been made compulsory.
The country was a powderkeg, that blew up in the leader's face.

The drop in lead levels from switching to unleaded gas has been considered a big factor. There's also been some serious criticism of the abortion theory. att

Reliably attributing anything as complex as criminal trends to any single factor is not easy. There's too much going on and you can't actually rerun experiments.


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thejeff wrote:


Reliably attributing anything as complex as criminal trends to any single factor is not easy. There's too much going on and you can't actually rerun experiments.

and this is why you wind up shaking a rattle and spinning around in a circle three times to appease the spirits...


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Calling politics and sociology science is certainly not obvious. And Orfamay: The bandwagon fallacy only means that lots of people thinking something doesn't make it true. There are other perfectly sound reasons to believe in the capital of South Africa. Assuming idiot levels of solipsism om my part doesn't do your argument any favours. Try again.


Sissyl wrote:
And Orfamay: The bandwagon fallacy only means that lots of people thinking something doesn't make it true.

Right. And the fallacist's fallacy means that lots of people thinking something isn't irrelevant to the question of whether it's true, because "lots of people" are generally right A LOT more often than they are wrong.

Quote:
There are other perfectly sound reasons to believe in the capital of South Africa.

No, actually, there aren't. Any reason you have to believe in the capital of South Africa is almost certainly a fallacy of some sort.

Quote:
Assuming idiot levels of solipsism om my part doesn't do your argument any favours.

Fortunately, it's not an assumption, but an inference based on evidence. Like most inferences, it could be wrong.... but not based on anything you've written.

If you think you have a "sound" reason for believing in the capital of South Africa, feel free to present it. I'm confident it will at some point hinge on either the bandwagon fallacy or the argument from authority fallacy.


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This is starting to read like a game of Xanatos Speed Chess between two huge politics nerds.

"Aha! You've fallen for my fallacy: Appeal to Authority! I have won!"

"You idiot. You poor, poor fool. I predicted that you would attempt to appeal to the Appeal to Authority fallacy, and in so doing, you've fallen for my fallacy: Fallacist's Fallacy! Before you even began to play, I had already triumphed!"

"Oh, but I knew you would appeal to the Fallacist's Fallacy, you doomed pawn, and in appealing to it, you have only fallen for another one of my fallacies I left lying in wait just in case: The Bandwagon Fallacy! Check and mate, my friend."

"You think the Bandwagon Fallacy was a trap for me? Check underneath it, 'friend'."

"!!!"

"That's right. I, of course, predicted that you would deploy the Bandwagon Fallacy, and so prepared a Strawman Fallacy just for you to inadvertently trigger. You have lost this game."

"...heh heh heh..."

"What's so funny?!"

"...You think the Bandwagon Fallacy was my last resort? I, of course, knew that you planned to install a Strawman Fallacy underneath the Bandwagon Fallacy, being a coward who employs coward's tricks, and so I replaced that Strawman Fallacy in advance with one of my own. You have already forgotten the Appeal to Authority, which, you'll recall...."

I forget where I was going with this, but I'm pretty sure the endpoint was me calling you guys nerds.


Sissyl wrote:
The bandwagon fallacy only means that lots of people thinking something doesn't make it true. There are other perfectly sound reasons to believe in the capital of South Africa. Assuming idiot levels of solipsism om my part doesn't do your argument any favours. Try again.

I really don't think you can throw a criticism like the bandwagon fallacy at accusations of racism. The question of whether one is racist is fundamentally a social one. Responding with, "The fact that most people call his behavior racist doesn't make it so!" makes about as much sense as saying, "The fact that most people call his appearance unattractive doesn't make it so!" When it comes to fundamentally social questions, the consensus of the population is actually one of the few ways you can credibly claim to know the answer. The fact that the people behind that consensus also happen to be the ones who are in a position to understand the breadth and impact of racism is just icing on the cake.

If your behavior is frequently and consistently seen as racist by a sufficiently wide range of independent groups of people, your behavior is almost certainly racist.


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It's a good thing drunk people are bad at remembering fallacies, or nobody would be able to convince them to call a taxi.


Scott Betts wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
The bandwagon fallacy only means that lots of people thinking something doesn't make it true. There are other perfectly sound reasons to believe in the capital of South Africa. Assuming idiot levels of solipsism om my part doesn't do your argument any favours. Try again.

I really don't think you can throw a criticism like the bandwagon fallacy at accusations of racism. The question of whether one is racist is fundamentally a social one. Responding with, "The fact that most people call his behavior racist doesn't make it so!" makes about as much sense as saying, "The fact that most people call his appearance unattractive doesn't make it so!" When it comes to fundamentally social questions, the consensus of the population is actually one of the few ways you can credibly claim to know the answer. The fact that the people behind that consensus also happen to be the ones who are in a position to understand the breadth and impact of racism is just icing on the cake.

If your behavior is frequently and consistently seen as racist by a sufficiently wide range of independent groups of people, your behavior is almost certainly racist.

Though flipping it around, if all the white people think you're not racist and all the black people think you are, I'm going with the black people, even though that's a much smaller number.

*Obviously this is a hypothetical. "All" never happens and if it did, I'd have to side with the whites, being part of that "all" myself.

As for South Africa, it's an even trickier question than one might think. I've been to one of the city where the South African Parliament meets, though I didn't actually observe the government functioning, but there is no formal capital as such. The Parliament sits in Capetown, the executive is in Pretoria. The Supreme Court and Constitutional Court meet in other cities.
Or so they say. I'm reasonably certain South Africa exists or at least did decades ago, but anything beyond that I'm pretty much accepting because people have told me so. :)


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Dammit. You got me, Orfamay. Public views are what spell out the undeniable truth. Now I just have to adapt to speaking "Börk börk börk houdy doudy meatballs", to the fact that the capital of Sweden just became Toblerone, to defending myself against the polar bears on our streets, and so on. It's gonna be tough, but hey, there are enough Americans out there who actually think these things about Sweden that the paltry ten million Swedes really can't compete.

Oh well.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I forget where I was going with this, but I'm pretty sure the endpoint was me calling you guys nerds.

That's because fallacy chasing itself is an exercise in futility. Outside of a logic class, no one actually cares about fallacies, because they don't matter.

What matters in the real world is evidence and plausibility.

As Terry Pratchett so memorably put it in Going Postal, "[T]he man climbing out of your window in a stripy jumper, a mask and a great hurry might merely be lost on the way to a fancy-dress party, and the man in the wig and robes at the focus of the courtroom might only be a transvestite who wandered in out of the rain. Snap judgements can be so unfair."

He's right, of course. Just because someone is sitting at the front of a British courtroom in a wig and robes doesn't actually prove that the person is a judge. It's fallacious to believe that. But, in the practical sense, it's foolish to believe otherwise and liable to get you in a lot of trouble.


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Scott Betts wrote:
If your behavior is frequently and consistently seen as racist by a sufficiently wide range of independent groups of people, your behavior is almost certainly racist.

No, that is demonstrably false.

Look, Trump is racist. NO ONE IS DISPUTING THAT. But he isn't racist because of what people think about him. He is racist because of his deeds, beliefs, and statements.
The amount of people saying something, has NOTHING to do with how accurate it is.
I really don't see why anyone feels the need to argue against a statement like that.


Fergie wrote:
Look, Trump is racist. NO ONE IS DISPUTING THAT. But he isn't racist because

Okay, so again I say, are we just arguing for the sake of arguing? There is no premise to defend. We're just nitpicking over rationale, which is completely unrelated to politics. Take it to another thread. You guys aren't arguing about the election, you're arguing about how to argue.

And you and Sissyl are acting kind of high-and-mighty about it now, but you've been just as eager to take part in this argument as they have. In fact, the whole argument started because Fergie wanted to critique Scott's rationale, didn't it? So maybe you all need to just drop it.


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Sissyl wrote:
Fergie, some people will argue anything merely for the sake of arguing. They are usually called, and seen as, trolls, by a crushing majority of people.

icwutudidtherebutustillshouldntdoit


Fergie wrote:


The amount of people saying something, has NOTHING to do with how accurate it is.

Which is why eyewitnesses are not allowed in court, because the fact that a person says something on the stand has nothing to do with how accurate it is.... oh, wait...


First hit on google for "eyewitnesses unreliable".

You're welcome.


Sissyl wrote:

First hit on google for "eyewitnesses unreliable".

You're welcome.

We know.

Do you think trials should rely strictly on physical evidence and allow no testimony whatsoever?


Maybe not testimony from eyewitnesses, at least. Those involved in the crime, definitely. Otherwise, sexual assault charges would become even harder to press.


I am not saying eyewitnesses are always useless. I am saying that literally the first hit on google is an article from Scientific American that lays out the problems with using them - which should probably be interpreted as "we know they are unreliable but we have nothing else to go on".

Also, let me too quote Pratchett: "Where there's smoke, there's a smoke-making machine." Pratchett is a VERY quotable author, isn't he?


Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems.

Not to derail the "Trump isn't racist because eyewitnesses are unreliable" discussion...


Neat. =)


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I would be happy to drop it KC, good point.

I would like to clear one thing up however. The other day, this exchange occurred:

Knight who says Meh wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
If you think the reaction to "deplorables" was bad, just imagine what it would have been like if right-wingers had looked "deplorable" up in a dictionary!
I think it is that kind of "people who don't share my political ideology are stupid!" statements that turn people from supporting a position to voting against people who insulted them.
The "deplorables" quote was in reference to racists, misogynists, and bigots; not "people who don't share my political ideology."

This post received several 'likes', however I feel my part in it has been misunderstood, although I could be wrong.

My statement to Scott was due top his insulting "right wingers", NOT "racists, misogynists, and bigots'. Anyone is free to insult racists, misogynists, and bigots all they want, although the policy of these boards is to flag it and move on. Blatantly insulting the 33-50% of people who might be on the right in the political spectrum is not OK in my opinion, and is not what good political discussions or inclusive communities are made of.

Perhaps I am wrong, and people on the right are truly not welcome here, but I would like to think we can include people, even if we don't all agree on politics.

With that said, I will happily drop the truth/multitudes stuff.


Me too.

The Exchange

Let's vote for the next leader names and types in the Inner Sea or Somewhere Else like in Midgard. People will never agree in this election nor will they in years to come. At least in the game, no one gets upset lol


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We will build a wall against the shoanti! And make them pay for it! Make Korvosa great again!


Knight who says Meh wrote:
Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems.

Good to see some scrutiny actually happening on the Trump Foundation.


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I think even fiscal and foreign right-wing ideology is intrinsically bound with a certain sort of prejudice, honestly, though a lot of it can be a product of ignorance. People who talk about "welfare queens", who talk about the "self-regulating free market", who insist that states' rights are the way to go, that the secret to world peace is bombing all the people who give us trouble and all their friends just to be safe—it all leads to inequality, and stems from a prejudiced mindset.

"We should let the market regulate itself." Doesn't work out great for poor people, minorities who nobody will hire, women who get paid less, and people with illnesses. Leads to coal miners dying by the hundreds, women being forced to remain dependent on men for economic reasons, and black people being kept in slums because a) they aren't able to make money, and b) nobody will sell them homes.

"Health care is a privilege, not a right." Leads to people dying because they have less money. That's class warfare.

"States' rights should be respected." When taken too far, has historically led to legalized racial discrimination, unchecked police brutality (whoops, that's not historical), and slavery.

"Reaganomics." Wow, the autocorrect actually recognizes that's a word. But it doesn't recognize "autocorrect". Heh.

"Free trade should continue unregulated." American slavery is still legal, folks—we just practice it outside the border now. Don't forget that.


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Let me rephrase then: The discussion about whether the fact that people believe something to be true serves as a valuable predictive heuristic for that thing being true, when certain conditions about the observers are met, should probably be dropped.

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