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Thread: POTF 30 - Nominations

  1. #1
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default POTF 30 - Nominations

    POTF is about recognising the very best posts, the best arguments and discourse in the D&D, and appropriately rewarding it.

    You shall progressively earn these medals once you achieve enough wins, but first you must be nominated in threads such as this one. And it works like this.

    Post of the Fortnight - Rules
    -Each user can nominate up to 2 posts per round, and the only valid form of nomination is by quoting with a link as shown below the chosen post in the PotF thread designated for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Looking forward to getting this kicked off for real!
    -Each 15 days there will be a new Nomination thread put up, and all the posts written during this period are considered eligible, if properly nominated. Exception are posts who are somewhat breaking the ToS; upon being acted by Moderation, they are always considered uneligible.

    - Remember: It is possible to nominate up to 2 posts each round of the competition; it is also possible to change a nomination anytime before the actual round of nominations ends.

    - There will be two competitions held every month, with a period for nominations followed by a period of voting. The submitted posts can be discussed in a dedicated space.

    - Only posts that have not participated in a previous poll and that have been published in the current period of given time in any section of the D&D area may be nominated.

    - The authors of the nominated post will be informed so they can withdraw the candidacy if that is their wish.

    - The maximum number of participating posts in the final vote will be ten. If more than ten nominations are submitted, seconded nominations will take priority. After seconded nominations are considered, earliest nominations will take priority. If the number of posts submitted to the contest is less than ten, the organizing committee may nominate posts if it considers it appropriate.

    -The members of the committee will never nominate a post belonging to one of them, but the rest of the users can nominate their posts (organizers posts), and vice versa.

    -In the event of a tie, both posts will be awarded and both posters will receive rep and 1 competition point.

    - Public or private messages asking for a vote for a candidate post are forbidden. Violators (and their posts) may not participate in the running contest.

    - People are expected to consider the quality and structure of the post itself, more than the content of the same. While it's certainly impossible to completely split the two aspects when making our own opinion on a post, it remains intended, as also explained in the Competition Commentary Thread, that commenting and discussing on the content rather than on the form/structure of the post is considered off-topic for the purpose of this competition. You are free to nominate and vote for whatever reason you want, but what happens in public has to strictly follow up with the competition rules.

    A nominated post should:

    1. Be focused and relevant to the topic(s) being discussed.
    2. Demonstrate a well-developed, insightful and nuanced understanding of the topic(s) it is discussing.
    3. Be logically coherent, well organized and communicate its points effectively.
    4. Support its contentions with verifiable evidence, either in the form of links or references.
    5. Not be deliberately vexatious to other users.

    Good luck everyone!

  2. #2
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: POTF 30 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by caratacus View Post
    Those demanding respect shouldn't begin by burning down buildings, looting stores and attacking police and fire crews. They aren't angry victimised citizens, they are bums, period. It would certainly be a reason for revoking any tax payers payments made to those caught acting in this way.

    The way that a suspected criminal like Floyd was treated was disgusting, whether or not his death was directly due to asphyxiation by force. But systematic theft and destruction of both private and public property should not be tolerated because of political sensitivities, and those doing so punished severely. But given American prison system is already full and failing, a custodial sentence alone, is neither a deterrence nor a way of reform.

    There is a large underclass in American society that will always be divided from the rest, the largest, but not exclusively being African Americans. Without significant intervention and social reform by government, this situation will only continue. This isn't just about police brutality, as the recent events demonstrate, its a social and cultural problem that runs right through American society.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  3. #3
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion

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    Default Re: POTF 30 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    I was hoping our friends in the US would get through the lockdown without rioting and I am really sad to see this happening. We've had it easy and I wanted that for the rest of the world as well.

    At least there's some move to charge the officer/s seriously. Thats a step forward from the 1990's at least when the Rodney King beating incident had an air of inevitability about the officers' acquittal, and the (probable) payback acquittal of OJ Simpson.

    To be fair the racist shoe fits the boot of state in aspects of the case and IIRC the stats back that up with black people over-represented as offenders and among groups more likely to offend (less education, more poverty etc) but also have a greater likelyhood to be arrested and prosecuted for the same acts as others.

    If thats true anyone encouraging brigandage as a political act amounts to a traitor or an enemy agent. Trump was right to encourage governors to dominate the looters at least, thats got to be stopped dead.

    Any agitators in play have a large body of disgruntled citizens they can incite, and I suspect the majority of looters are self-motivated. They are poor usually black people left behind by capitalism and the liberal republic. That's a massive race problem.

    On top of that you've had the state/s shutting down the economy for the current plague, and its obviously borne fruit of civil unrest.

    On reflection maybe this was certain to happen: if it wasn't yet another cop executing a black guy on the street it'd be the ATF or FBI attacking a religious minority, there are plenty of people with sincerely held grievances against the US system as applied to them and many groups have been asked to sacrifice even more.

    ..and politicians. I mean they hijacked 9/11 all the way to Baghdad. Kennedy lied his way from a fake missile gap into Vietnam by way of Cuba and nearly kicked off WWII between starlets. This isn't anything new.

    There's been clarity from the dead guy's family about peaceful protest. As reported in my country there are heaps of talking heads bemoaning the looting and some making small acts of reparation. The political response from the top down has been nuanced too, with Trump and the rest acknowledging the legitimate grievances and castigating the wrongdoing as well. I think there is some attempt on the part of the leaders in the community to talk the talk at least.

    Well that's politicians for you. It is a real blight and I'm very proud the way my country has put aside some bad blood (there was a deal of corruption in the recent national elections) to work together "for the duration".

    The US system is pretty robust (I mean we have to stick together, our country isn't big enough or tough enough to give ourselves uppercuts for fun), and can withstand some selfishness from citizens and leaders, so some (too many) indulge themselves.

    However its a bad time with the economy in a shambles and a very real health threat. First step is to smash the looting, then take an honest look at race.
    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    In the main Mudpit coronavirus thread, I started a conversation about the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, beginning with
    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    this post. The scientific aspects are complex, as is the circumstantial evidence, therefore I figured it needed a proper thread with a proper OP that can easily be referenced without having to wade though an 87 page thread. Looking into the issue further, I came across this recently published article: The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin. One of authors has a PhD in Virology and the other has a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics and the article is well-referenced. They're writing about a lot of the same issue I have been, and have also brought up some that I was unaware of. For that reason, I'll be using titles and excerpts from their article to lay out the facts.

    Historical lab releases

    In the past, there have been several cases in which pathogens have escaped from labs, including several cases in China, at least one is responsible for a global pandemic. The reason you probably don't already know about this, is because people whose entire careers are based around working with dangerous pathogens in labs, don't really want the general public worrying about dangerous pathogens escaping from labs.

    I note here that it was Fauci who lifted the funding moratorium. Maybe it's already obvious based on context, but if you're wondering, PPPs means potential pandemic pathogens.

    The COVID-19 Wuhan lab escape thesis

    Scientific assessments of the lab escape theory

    You're all aware of the criticism, I contrast that against the fact that there seems to be little criticism of the animal intermediary hypothesis, for which there is zero evidence.

    Most of the harshest naysayers have obvious conflicts of interest that go beyond the usual, see this article on Edward Holmes for example.

    Was Sars-CoV-2 created in a lab?

    Some additional expert opinions already posted in the other thread:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Passaging, GOF research, and lab escapes

    GOF is gain of function research (explained in the quote). Terminology varies, passaging can also be considered a subset of GOF.

    SARS-CoV-2 looks like a recombinant virus that has been passaged. The trouble is there is no way to prove it was done in a lab just looking at the RNA. However, I find this a more parsimonious explanation than the far-fetched natural explanations for how this could have happened which involve species that would never meet in the wild trading viruses, being infected by two at the same time, and then travelling vast distances from their natural habitat in order to infect people coincidentally next the only lab in the world that contains those viruses' closest relatives. The wet market hypothesis was an attempt to account for these absurdities, but that's not actually where the earliest cases were from.

    Was the WIV doing experiments that might release PPPs?

    The short answer is yes, rather a lot really.

    The safety record of the WIV

    The short answer again, not very good.

    The leading hypothesis is a lab outbreak

    This also addresses why you've been hearing something different in the media, a major conflict of interest for the media's star expert witness.

    I wrote about the same issue in the other thread:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    There is a conflict of interest here. Experts on gain of function research are inevitably involved in gain of function research, therefore if the public becomes aware that such research may have inadvertently led to a global pandemic, these experts' careers are in jeopardy.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Another example, here is a Vox article entitled "Why these scientists still doubt the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab". The expert witness being interviewed is "Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a disease ecologist who has studied emerging infectious diseases with colleagues in China". The following is from a transcript of an email written by the National Institutes of Health to Daszak:

    Daszak was involved in gain of function research in collaboration with WIV. The Vox article goes on:

    Except speeding up evolution is exactly what gain of function researchers are doing, so that argument doesn't really make any sense. Edward Holmes was also one of the coauthors of the correspondence I addressed in my last post. You can read about his research in this article about how China’s People’s Liberation Army have been kindly providing him data.

    You will see the same handful of of expert witnesses in every article supposedly debunking the "conspiracy theory", but you can see in the article I posted that expert witnesses with nothing to lose are remarkably more open minded, some are suspicious, and for good reason.
    And Fauci's conflict of interest as well:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Fauci has reasons to downplay the likelihood of this possibility. The lab in Wuhan was involved in
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    gain of function research on bat coronaviruses. That is they were deliberately manipulating bat coronavirues in order to make them more transmissible, for the purpose of predicting what might occur naturally in order to prepare for it. This is controversial because of the potential of actually causing a pandemic if the pathogen accidentally gets out.

    This is from an article Fauci wrote on the topic in 2012:

    Nevertheless, the organization Fauci heads happened to fund this project which just so happened to involve gain of function research on bat coronaviruses in collaboration with a certain Chinese lab in Wuhan.
    To be clear, I'm open to natural origin explanations as well. I just haven't seen any particularly plausible hypothesis that fits with all the circumstantial evidence. Certainly there is no clear evidence of natural origin. You see, that runs both ways, once you realize just how plausible lab origin is.
    Last edited by Aexodus; June 07, 2020 at 12:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    The trick is to never be honest. That's what this social phenomenon is engineering: publicly conform, or else.

  4. #4
    Flinn's Avatar Addio, Maestro!
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    Default Re: POTF 30 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Not sure about the value of Holland's Dominion book, but the cited examples are very unfortunate. Polygamy was not at all widespread in the Antiquity and, in the rare cases it was reported, it was limited to the ruling dynasties (not the Roman ones, though). It was a purely political measure, adopted by monarchs, whose throne relied on foreign alliances and the approval of the local aristocracy, so moral views about marriage, women and sex were largely irrelevant. The argument about infanticide is even more bogus, while the reference to Sparta is rather absurd, since that practice had already stopped being enforced (if it ever was, at least on a widespread scale) for several centuries. Fun fact: Sparta's most celebrated king, Agesilaus II, was lame from birth, but fortunately for Xenophon, nobody thought of disposing of the royal baby. Indirect infanticide was and still is, despite our impeccable Christian principles, the result of poverty and inability to feed our offspring in a satisfying manner. Polybius, in fact, quite a few decades before Joseph was conceived, presents the abandonment of newborns, in a very critical manner, as the tragic consequence of the impoverishment of mainland Greece.

    The final paragraph about charity is also very misleading, as the author analyses the ''pagan'' and ''Christian'' motivation, based on double standards. On the one hand, he claims that pagans contributed to the society for selfish reasons, a very reasonable hypothesis, not however explicitly mentioned by the epigraphical testimony, and on the other hand, he takes the ''official'' interpretation as a Gospel. The irony is that the inscriptions confirm (based on a careful study of onomastics) that wealthy Christians copied the behaviour of their pagan colleagues, although, in the end, the rise of Christianity coincides with a decline of public infrastructure, because the urban elites were more reluctant to spend their money for the public good (to clarify, I doubt that the two trends are related to each other).

    Don't get me wrong, I also dislike the way some hard-line atheists condemn Christianity as the root of all evils, but the aforementioned revisionism commits the same sin, only with paganism as its victim. Tom Holland would have probably been less disgusted at the cruelty of the ancients, if he recognized dramatic hyperbole and the fact that these egregious affairs are mentioned, precisely because the goal of the author is to derogate someone (usually, filthy barbarians), whom he views as the complete opposite to his personal values. Generally speaking, the notion that Stoicism, Christianity or Aristotelian philosophy are the most determining factor of human behaviour is rather naive. It's always interesting to read how the Three Holy Hierarchs are desperately trying to convince their otherwise very pious flock not to visit the bloody amphitheaters, but to no avail. Gladiators eventually lost the war, but due to causes irrelevant to Christian bishops, who after all didn't greatly appreciate their successors, miming and Chariot racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Cool video.
    He grossly overestimates the importance of religion in modern conflicts, as he fails to recognize that religious principles are usually used as convenient pretexts, in order to solidify the public approval of your otherwise controversial overseas endeavours. Bush Jr. may have boasted about his direct contact with the Almighty, but I doubt he invaded Iraq, because he tried to imitate the Crusades.
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  5. #5
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: POTF 30 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cope View Post
    Trump is popular with a small minority of Americans (15-20%) precisely because he is not a Washington insider, dynastic candidate and/or career politician. That congressional Republicans jumped on his electoral bandwagon when it suited them* is evidence only that they see the presidency as a means to an end. The unprecedented attacks against his administration from the press, academia, the intelligence community, the civil service, the Democratic Party and sour GOP grandees should make it clear that Trump is a threat to, not an agent of, the liberal/neocon consensus that has existed since the end of the Cold War.

    *The claim that Trump has the "unquestioning" support of congressional Republicans is a liberal myth. It is plainly disproved by their response to his Syria withdrawal which included voting for a bill to censure the president.
    I was talking about the Republican Party. In June 2020, Trump and his supporters are indisputably the Republican establishment, not underdog outsiders. In no sense does Jeb Bush have more influence over the party, or even over the country, than President Trump or Senate Majority Leader McConnell. We know most major party figures don't like Trump, but that doesn't make him an outsider. Stalin wasn't that well-liked either.

    Three years into his presidency and with his party firmly behind him and in control of the Senate and increasingly the judiciary, it's beyond silly to portray Trump as a helpless outsider. It's really just a way of shifting responsibility for his failings on to some kind of scapegoat (I see you helpfully provided a list of the usual suspects), which is ironic given that Trump's whole persona revolves around 'toughness' and endless 'winning'.

    Two quotes, a month apart, neatly capture the essence of Donald Trump's presidency:

    "No, I don't take responsibility at all." — March 13

    "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be. It's total." — April 13

    There is something quintessentially Trumpian about the claim of total authority and zero responsibility. He alone can save us, he insists, but don't blame him if he doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kritias View Post
    A few observations:

    1. About store lootings. Y'all seem to forget that this is happening amidst the coronavirus crisis, where 40+ million people have lost their jobs already. Now, I don't know how the system works in the US when you file for unemployment, but in the UK the process can get as long as six months for the first installment to be cleared. If similar, 40+ million people are staring at very grim survival prospects right about now. And then you see these people looting Target and other stores, carrying off what they can. And we have this knee-jerk reaction to it, so we don't think what it means. They didn't loot Target to get them some free AirPods, they looted Target in order to pawn it off and EAT. Don't forget that a good chunk of the population was already living paycheck to paycheck, not to mention those trapped in payday loan situations - and they just lost their lifeline. If anything, you should all be condemning the incompetence of the government for letting the economy fail so massively during a pandemic. Don't look at the symptom, look at the cause.

    2. I am bewildered by the protests and the riots, to be honest. One hundred thousand people have died already from the pandemic, in a country with such vast production capabilities and so advanced medicine that should have made corona-virus an entirely preventable situation for everybody but the most susceptible (pre-existing conditions etc). In fact, thousands die every year from preventable diseases and conditions easily treatable in most advanced countries. Hell, even bankrupt Greece, dealing with a refugee crisis on the side, managed to keep the toll to less than two hundred people. So, it's confusing to me that police brutality is where people decided to draw the line, instead - I don't know - where they are supposed to be left to die because they are poor and can't afford the basic right to life?! It's one of those oxymoron where you guys go, "It's okay to let me die, but DON'T TREAD ON ME." The only people protesting against the handling of the virus were, funnily, the AstroTurf(google it) movement of quarantine=communism lot.

    3. There seems to be confusion about what systemic racism is, and I think this term is tossed around very casually and to little effect. Systemic racism is the collection of beliefs, actions, and prejudices that disproportionately target minorities. When Amy Cooper threatened the man videotaping her to call the cops on him and lie that she was being 'assaulted by a black person', she knew exactly what Systemic Racism was and how to weaponize it. When Ahmed Arbery was gunned down, the perpetrators placed a call with the local PD to inform them that "a black man was running down the street". In their minds, running while black = criminal. The Mapping Police Violence site shows that in 2019 there were just 27 days the police didn't kill someone in the US. From those, about a quarter were black people, and another quarter were other minorities. By itself, this data says nothing - you could argue that black crime is the reason for these deaths. But the report continues. It's six times more likely to be shot while black in Oklahoma than in Georgia. In fact crime seems to have nothing to do with it. In Buffalo, NY with a population of 260K, 50% percentage of people of color and a violent crime rate of 12 to 1000, there were no police shootings. In Orlando, FL with a population of 260K, 42% percentage of people of color and a violent crime rate of 9 to 1000, 13 people were killed in three years (span of data in both cases, 2013-2016). That's Systemic Racism. So now you know.

    4. Police brutality is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to police misdemeanors. Unfortunately, the news don't pick up on the vast array of transgressions done by police because it's not "edgy" enough to keep you watching the news. The ProPublica published the "Walking while Black" which was televised, so go watch that. They give the example of Jacksonville where 55% of the walking tickets go to the 29% of the black population of the city. According to them, "Tickets for some of the less familiar statutes were issued even more disproportionately to blacks. Seventy-eight percent of all tickets written for “walking in the roadway where sidewalks are provided” were issued to blacks. As well, blacks accounted for 68 percent of all recipients of tickets issued for “failing to cross the road at a right angle or shortest route.” Seton Hall Law School Center for Policy & Research has found that in the majority-white municipality of Bloomfield, New Jersey, nearly 80 percent of traffic tickets are issued to African American and Latino drivers. These two cases are indicative of a permeating problem policing minorities in the US. So, either minorities in America do not know how to walk in a city and drive a car, or these situations show SYSTEMIC RACISM.

    5. I don't see any mention of what happened in Lafayette Square. Peaceful protesters assembled there were beaten by police before the curfew had started, because the president wanted... to walk across the street and hold a bible in front of St. John's church? So, in effect, police brutality was used for no better reason than Trump wanting to take photos in front of a building. It's a very disturbing silence, I think, considering what happened. So, instead of talking how long it takes for a person to suffocate, maybe you should focus on your rights infringed during the crisis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Why are the blacks mobilizing as a group? Why not have a more inclusive mass movement?
    They are making fun of you, but you have a point. Maybe instead of a more inclusive mass movement, you should have said "working class movement". In fact, even though being white while poor still provides you some slight advantage in the US, having no money basically renders you a second-class citizen. Yes, there's differences and stages within second class citizens, but their lot in life even for the best equipped of them isn't admirable. The coronavirus must have proved to everyone how the poor were simply left to their fate. I'll leave you with a meme to lighten the conversation:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  6. #6
    Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: POTF 30 - Nominations

    Hope this isn't too late?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. W. View Post
    As I alluded to in a previous post, this type of policing started with the MADD movement. Sure there have always been instances of bad police behavior, but the impetus for this type of aggressive policing was MADD. Up until that time the police were generally reluctant to arrest someone who wasn't causing any harm to anyone.

    In other words, in the old days the police would have just checked on Brooks to see if he was OK and then let him sleep it off as he was already doing. That makes sense and would be the sensible thing to do.

    However when cities, lawyers, and courts found out how much revenue could be generated by aggressively policing DWIs and DUIs the police were ordered to be aggressive about arrests. I remember reading complaints made by police that it would cause friction between the police and the public, most especially in the minority and lower income communities because they were the largest offenders.

    This was the original SJW cause and it started in the big cities and eventually made to all jurisdictions. When local governments found out they had a cash cow they were all in. There are the same people blaming the police who are obeying orders.

    This type of harassment by police can be found across all jurisdictions and there are literally countless instances of police stopping and arresting people who were not causing harm to anyone, such as this horrific incident where a man was puller over on a empty dirt road in the countryside while riding his mower:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pontifex Maximus View Post
    This whitewashing of the language is no doubt a black mark in this post-modernist society. I think the people at Microsoft have gone yellow-bellied. There's no need to get red in the face about a few terms that might be construed as racist by some bored people in the peanut gallery. The rule of thumb should be whether or not a statement is facially racist, not some sort of eenie meenie miney moe choice vector by which the liberals attempt to just control what is alright to say one day and not alright to say the next. We're being sold down the river by people who pretend to have good intentions. Who in the US is actually shouting "hip hip hooray" about racism? Such hooligans wouldn't be tolerated by polite society, no more than an eskimo would tolerate a Brazilian summer. Such offenders in some Canadian provinces are actually carted off in the paddy wagon for such uppity behavior. I've had my fill of such political correctness, I'm in a veritable food coma I'm so fed up with it. I have postprandial somnolence.

    When bored race baiters try to export their standards on regular people, it comes across as tone deaf and cringey. They're not engaging in an intellectual exercise, they're finding new ways to whine about something. When it's done for profit or virtue points, well, the mask slips.

    This desperate attempt to re-read some modicum of logic into a decision that was taken with no discernible amount of consideration other than choosing to view the world only through a racial lens is hilarious.
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