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File: 1649076726910.png (480.08 KB, 1024x576, 16:9, s4_e20__snake_oil_by_esuka….png) ImgOps Google

Suppose for a moment you're unemployed or you're searching for a job.
Suppose you're called with a so called lucrative job offer, but it's to help run a shady business.

* Calling people to sign up for a scam
* run code for malicious programs / designing phishing pages
* design algorhythms for bitcoin mining operations or malware to turn other systems into mining servers
* building up hype on social media for shady businesses

If they promise you good deals, would you consider going for it?
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oh I have a good one for you. selling drugs.


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Probably. I dunno. Depends on the level of desperation, likely.

I mean, if the country I'm living in has a "you either work or you starve, get no health coverage, or become homeless" but also doesn't provide an easy means to have an ethical and sufficient job, then I dunno.

Ethics fall to the wayside during desperation.


I'm unlikely to do anything regardless of money that goes against my personal code.
Though there's plenty of stuff I suppose that might be outside the 'norm' of ethical conduct. Hard to say.


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Do you follow news about mass murder events in the U.S.? Or do you feel like this isn't worth it because there's not particularly that much that an average person can do, and being too focused on the negative hurts? Or maybe you've mixed opinions?

The recent situation out of the city of Sacramento in California appears to be particularly horrific because the murderers escaped the scene, being still at large: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/04/1090752765/manhunt-for-multiple-shooters-in-sacramento-still-underway

In practical terms, what really can be done to make these tragic events less frequent or not even likely to happen at all? Perhaps nothing seriously can be done? Maybe?
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I haven't done much research, but on the surface this doesn't seem to fit what I would consider a mass murder.  Technically it is since multiple people died, but the modern connotation suggests something different, like the lone gunman whose primary goal is a high kill count.  This seems to have more in common with a nightclub fight that ends in someone pulling a gun than it does a mass murder.  The people who were killed seem to be bystanders rather than targets.

I don't see why this even made it past the local news.


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Another line of thinking would be that crime's sole agent is the criminal.  So by deduction the only thing that can be done to reduce mass shootings is that you choose to abstain.


My own thought is that Americans are simply more violent and hateful in general compared to citizens of other first world nations, hence why everything from child molestation to mass shooter incidents to anti-Semitic hate crimes and the like is far common here than elsewhere, and thus no clear-cut answer exists on the matter.

In the long run, America needs to become a fundamentally nicer country with a fundamentally nicer people such that we have both less criminals and less crime.

In terms of gun control, I personally feel like strict measures need to be enforced in order to keep those with criminal records from obtaining firearms, but that's rather a can of worms, unfortunately, since so many stolen weapons as well as straw purchased weapons are floating around in the U.S. black market. Hard thing to fight in terms of law enforcement. Alas.

Would new laws solve the problem? We already have laws against stealing by itself, but the theft of firearms happens constantly. And then said guns get used for more bad things. Unsure exactly what to think.


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It's Sam Walton's 104th birthday today. You perhaps have heard of the tycoon's family in the news, with him being the mover and shaker behind making the WalMart Corporation what it is today. He lived from March 29, 1918 to April 5, 1992, a notable event in his life including in 1998 being placed in the magazine 'Time' inside its list of the "100 most influential people of the 20th Century." WalMart remains in 2022 one of the world's most influential businesses although it's been dogged with various controversies that endure.

What do you think about the relative success of a select few billionaires in the U.S. compared to the general wellbeing of the regular populace? Do you feel like modern oligarchs generally deserve what they've gotten due to forward thinking? Do you think that, in contrast, the U.S. has a system with too much crony capitalism? What ideal reforms, if any, would you enact in terms of wealth inequality? Or are concerns overblown?
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Granted, while it happens everywhere, it tends to be worse in America. America elected Donald Trump President, after all, and actively allowed Trump to enrich himself and his family personally at the direct expense of both business rivals and the average taxpayer. Other democracies have tended to not be so incredibly corrupt and immoral. Alas.

Hopefully, future laws can prevent future Trump style fleecing.


>Other democracies have tended to not be so incredibly corrupt and immoral
We are placed in the top 15% in this index [https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2021].  Somewhat, though, this depends on your definition of democracy.  Nearly every country today makes a claim to being democratic.  But I'm guessing you're comparing America to the 27 nations judged superior.  Denmark, France, Germany, etc.

>it tends to be worse in America
I suppose I should ask, what do those nations have that America lacks that allows America to be more 'business friendly,' or that made Trump attractive?


>what do those nations have that America lacks

That's a great question. It likely relates to lower social trust in the U.S. between strangers compared to other nations, which dovetails with our "culture of hatred" and "culture of violence" thereby general crimes (from carjacking to sexual assault to white collar cons and more) are more common here than other Western nations. Beyond just trust, the average person in the U.S. has less in common with a stranger and more reasons to fear a stranger in general, perhaps? I'm sure that a full analysis would be involve a full book's length in terms of intellectual study.


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An interesting news report from yesterday commented that state after state in the U.S. have tried specific health care efforts only for them to fail miserably in place after place: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/more-states-are-proposing-single-payer-health-care-why-arent-they-succeeding/

Broadly speaking, medicine is a mess in America given that different people are shuffled into highly different processes under the general system. Many individuals have privately purchased insurance plans. Many get private plans through their employer. Many are covered via Medicare, which is run such that the U.S. federal government functions as the insurer and sets policies. Still more options exist.

What are your thoughts in general? Specifically, are you surprised that health care reform keeps failing? Or no?
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>Just about everybody accepts
is an appeal to the majority, a logical fallacy (if we even accept it as true), and doesn't change the core concepts being discussed or their relationships in the real world.  Something doesn't become a "right" the moment 51% of people say it is, otherwise me and my buddies want our free Tesla roadsters, because 51% of us demand it.

>That's how human rights work. That's how it's worked for centuries. That's how it is."
You saying "that's just how it is bruh" doesn't make it so.  And you're conflating vastly different issues to make blanket statements don't help your case.  And here you make yet another logical fallacy, an appeal to (what is purportedly) tradition, even though it is just that - a claim.  Your arguments are built on sand here.

"Freedom of speech exists and is a right, therefore everything I claim is a right becomes an equally valid right for the same reasons."  No, that's not how it works.


I don't think Python even knows what a true "far right" argument would look like.  It might be something like "healthcare is a right for me and people who look like me, but not people who look like you."  Or if we're talking strictly economics, then "Healthcare is 100% for those who can pay for it."  (But let's be honest, this person thinks we're racists by default somehow so that rules out this version.)

My position on this issue is about as centrist as you can possibly be.  But by not drinking the Kool-Aid, instantly that makes one far right.


Pretty much. By 'far right' standards, I'm a communist for thinking state-provided heatlhcare is a good idea we can afford, that'll help significantly.
I don't think it's a 'right', sure, but that doesn't stop a whole lot of nice things.
But of course, they didn't even bother seeking that stance. Just figured on assuming it.


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What's your opinion when it comes to bondholders, customers, employees, managers, and stockholders pressuring major corporations to take political stances when it comes to specific legislation and other such acts?

Today, in particular, Disney employees across the U.S. are walking out to press the company's administration to take a tougher line on anti-LGBT discrimination being pushed by the government of Florida.

Context: https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/disney-employees-us-are-walking-today-rcna20893

What are your thoughts? Do you generally believe in a separation between commerce and politics? Or is such a thing no longer possible, or even desirable, in the current environment inside the U.S.?
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>But not in the sense of treating unfairly, which is how I was using the word.
Yes, that's right.
Thus my usage earlier, of saying "If you feel you're being exploited unfairly". I feel unfairly is something to add to exploitation, not something inherent.

>Ford had massive political sway due to the wealth of his company.
To an extent. But much of that wealth is tied to the company itself, and its shareholders, rather than Ford's pocket itself.

The bulk of lobbyists are financed not by individual pockets, but rather, large organizations. Especially in the case of business. Ford himself would have less resources than that.

> I only want to address that at some level there exists an inequality that people in positions of power, like Ford, would have a direct interest in upholding.
Understandable. Though I would make the case, wealth is less a determining factor as class and culture are.
Politicians, at least in the US, seem to be quite an insular group. More or less the only ones they seem to listen to are the media types, who're more in that metropolitan class than your average businessman. The connections are ones of education and lifestyle, rather than raw wealth.
I think this rather shows its form when you look at what politicians tend to focus on. At least when it comes to the public face of things.

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Corporations, as far as I'm concerned, do not have the right to political opinions, for one very good reason. People have the right to political opinions. If a person is made to express a political opinion they don't personally hold on behalf of a corporation that's telling them to do that or they're fired, then that's infringing on that employee's first amendment rights. I'd rather people keep their rights than to give the right to a political opinion to some evil, greedy, self-serving hydra of a corporation.


Can be said that most of us agree that "corporate personhood" shouldn't exist?

A company shouldn't be legally considered the same as a private individual and thus be allowed to as a whole enforce certain speech, certain religious practices, and so on?


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U.S. troops are on high alert over the ongoing stand-off: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60118193

When I think about this, frankly, I wonder why exactly should Russia avoid rolling the tanks through Eastern Europe. Not just Ukraine. All over. Take over territories with puppet governments and exterminate all opposition.

What can the European militaries do? They're no match on the battlefield. Russia also controls Europe's energy resources to a significant extent. Their morale appears to be sky high as well.

What can the Americans do? The country is exhausted. Two decades of severe decline in both economic terms and foreign policy terms means that U.S. armed forces are an extremely weak shadow of themselves. Financially, the U.S. is also in a dicey situation, the treasury barely able to support domestic social programs let alone expansionary efforts abroad. The American people can't sacrifice any more, not that I can see, and won't support interventionism of any sort in the near future.

What are your thoughts?
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In retrospect, the assumption behind the original comment appears to be weirdly identical to that in the head of Putin. That the gamble would be worth it. Declaring war.

Events in the recent past have made it clear, yeah, that gamble really wasn't worth it.

I continue to be immensely surprised at the comparative weakness of the Russian forces, day by day.


People are already fearing that the use of chemical / biological weapons may follow soon and one might wonder if we're gonna see another nuke go off in our lifetime.

I seriously wonder what would happen if Russia says F#CK it and drops a nuke on Ukraine.                


Use of chemical and biological weapons has happened in world conflict since WWII, and the response has been minimal. There doesn't appear to be any particular logical reason to avoid using such weapons given the lack of punishment. I believe.

Nuclear weapons... though... there's a huge taboo for a reason... we'll see...


Should a large-scale European international security force exist, perhaps organized specifically under the European Union's administrative umbrella?


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What do you feel about the geo-political situation currently given that Donald Trump is no longer President, with Europe being mired in horrific war?

What do you think Trump would've done to both Americans and Europeans if he had remained in office, in terms of presiding over international conflict?

What do you make of Trump's recent comments about the chance of U.S. airpower directly bombing Russians, in particular?

Context: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/07/donald-trump-russia-ukraine-jets-chinese

Interestingly, a recent book by Trump former ally and former Attorney General Bill Barr says that Trump instructed his aides that he viewed a "good Tweet" as having "just the right amount of crazy" ( https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/mar/01/william-barr-memoir-donald-trump-tweets ). What do you think about that in terms of wartime? What Tweets would President Trump be putting out now, establishing international geo-political policy, were he still in office?
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On the other hand, we can say with absolute certainty, there are financial ties from Ukraine to Biden.


Then it has not provided sufficient motivation to stop the war.  Or special operation, as applicable.


Perhaps, but it has seemed to influence quite an extensive response, and a whole lot of support in both arms and material.


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I'm not deeply a sports fan, so correct me if wrong, but I gather viewing sports is most engaging when many outcomes are about equally probable.

I'm also not a doctor, but I'm vaguely aware exposure to testosterone during development enhances some kinds of sports performance, at least in a general sense.

I am also aware that many sports group by gender -- based on the need for the two genders to have different performance profiles.  Transgenderism (and perhaps some medical edge cases, or interventions) can violate this need.

Which will win -- the model of gender necessary for sports to be both sexist and competitive, or some new categorization system in sports?

I'm mostly posting this because I see people are angry on Facebook, but Facebook isn't really a place to discuss -- more just a place to express emotion.
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>untransitioned transgender people
What is this category of people, then?  Is it populated by any who wish to participate in sports?

>"whatever makes them happy."
I gather sports folks are unhappy.  Progressive politics has broken their activity, and I suppose they will need progressive folks to find a way to fix it.

You bring up several ideas.  I don't think you see God as an authority in this case, otherwise I could ask how God thinks sports should be done.


Sports participation has a whole lot of inequalities that I'm not sure we even bother acknowledging.  At some point we've acknowledged that all people are not created equal and separated men and women to make competition more fair.  Now that those lines are more blurred thanks to modern science and social progression we are worried that things will become unfair.

The truth is that was never sufficient for making compeition fair.  The vast physical differences between people are much more granular and individual than simply separating people by gender.  Some competitions go a bit further with it by separating people into weight classes, and I think that's a good step.  Could maybe break it up even more, depending on the sport.


>I gather sports folks are unhappy.  Progressive politics has broken their activity, and I suppose they will need progressive folks to find a way to fix it.

I've yet to see any evidence that regular people really have a problem with transgender individuals, other than a fringe of hardcore conservative traditionalists making things difficult.

I get the sense that almost everybody in the U.S. goes by "let people live their lives to do whatever the hell they want so long as nobody else gets hurt" and views nanny type personalities as annoying bullies.


I don't have any general direction for this thread, but I would like to discuss this and get everyone's thoughts and feelings on it.

Edit to Clarify: Please do watch the whole video before having a discussion in the thread, thank you.
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>Why is it necessary to watch the entirety in order to discuss a portion?

It's not necessary. However, as the creator of the thread, I clarified that I would like the participants to watch the whole video before discussing it's contents.

>I am not obligated to follow your instructions. That's never been a requirement for participation in any thread

Actually, you are. *I* created the thread, therefore I have some basic say over how I want my own thread to go. You are free to participate or not, and I am free to tell you to leave *MY* thread and tell you to go create your own tread if you don't like how I am choosing to handle my own thread.

I am also free to tell you to *leave* my thread, which I am doing now. Leave, my thread.


>It's not necessary.
Then I have no need to.

>Actually, you are. *I* created the thread, therefore I have some basic say over how I want my own thread to go.
Contrary to your presumption, creating a thread does not mean you get to rule over others, making unreasonable demands of them that you yourself admit are not necessary to discuss the thread's topic.

This has never been true for any thread. Let alone one on townhall.

>I am also free to tell you to *leave* my thread, which I am doing now. Leave, my thread.
You're "free" to, sure. You can make whatever unreasonable demands you please.
But nobody has any obligation to acquiesce to your demands.


I disagree.

I can't see any particular historical lesson in which refugees are perceived as being treated better if they're of particular backgrounds.

Ethnically white refugees from countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, and Poland had a terrible time after WWII, many of them suffering from extreme hunger and other issues such as persistent unemployment. This was especially bad for those of Jewish heritage. It took decades for Europe to really recover.

During the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, ethnically white refugees from Bosnian backgrounds, Serbian backgrounds, and such also did horribly. The international community didn't do a particularly good job in helping them. To say the least.

African refugees in a similar situation failed to get what they needed around the same time in terms of the Rwandan conflict. Same as with different catastrophes across the continent, really. In the 2000s and 2010s, mass exodus from Arabic speaking areas involved peoples of highly varied ethnicities and skin colors occurred. This triggered a political crisis such that different countries felt overwhelmed, the refugees suffering yet again in this circumstance.

If anything, I think that this is clear: refugees get treated awfully with extremely few exceptions, now in Eastern Europe being an exception so far due to the relatively small number of individuals moving about plus the extremely united diplomatic push that's anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine.

R.e. the video, I watched until the 10:30 mark and then had to stop due to a computer issue.


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In multiple states across the U.S., such as Texas, mask mandates are ending in location after location due to changing thought about the nature of the pandemic.

At least in Texas, reporting states that "the omicron surge is subsiding". "Hospitalizations are declining statewide after omicron drove them to near-record labels," it seems. Thus, mask policies have been altered all over.

Context: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/04/texas-schools-drop-mask-mandate/

The fundamental question of whether or not mask mandates for both children and adults were a good public choice is still debated. What do you think? Was it legally justified for state and local governments to force individuals to wear masks whether they wanted to or not? Was it practically a good idea? Should children have been subject to different rules in contrast to adults? What do you feel now that such policies are ending?

As an end-note, what do you personally do, in your own life... if you don't mind disclosing?
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Well that makes sense, I suppose.  I guess I'm just frustrated that I don't see more of this energy channeled into other topics.


I think you do, the trouble is there's rarely light shown on it.

Unfortunately we only really tend to hear about what the media tells us of.
I think the vehement portion of anti maskers, for instance, is not much greater than any other subject.  Anti mask more generally, and civilly, sure, but the "aggressive angry" response was, at least as I see it, rather limited.
In truth, I find this somewhat regrettable, rather than reassuring, but, it suffices to show what I'm getting at, at least.

The narrative makes up the numbers, more than the numbers themselves do.


The highly inconsistent and, really, haphazard commentary about masking from the U.S. federal government on down makes me rather uncertain and kind of skeptical about how well mass masking really changed things, myself. Common sense says that certain types of masks would help in some particular situations. Extremes such as forcing children to be masked even when separated from each other for hours on end... I'm not sure.

I suppose we won't really know the full scientific picture of what happened during the pandemic for multiple years? Probably? I guess so.


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On February 19, 1942, a full eighty years to the day ago, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt decreed that all peoples of Japanese heritage on the west coast must report to interment camps. Formally issued as Executive Order 9066, the action has been studied for a long time. Today's anniversary, naturally, has brought up many reflections.

Twitter of Note:

> https://twitter.com/URDailyHistory/status/1494948870526095361

> https://twitter.com/ADL/status/1494764759782199299

> https://twitter.com/GeorgeTakei/status/1495073593838944264

The last link is particularly interesting given the personal narrative.

What do you think about the historical legacy of what happened? Are you concerned that such things could return at some point in the distant future in the U.S., perhaps? Or the near future, even? Alternatively, have lessons been learned from the past?
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What totalitarianism?
He didn't seem to do anything of the sort.

If anything the backlash seems to be a greater overstep against liberty.
Holding people without bail for petty crimes like trespassing is exceptionally severe.
Especially when it seems rather evident the event was known,  and rather than act on it, law enforcement stood aside,   If and still to this day insists that footage of the event must be restricted refusing numerous FOIA requests for the footage, and locking out trials from transparency,  even going as far as to put gag orders on people during them.


My impression was although Snowden's revelations were met with widespread pushback, given the processes of state data collection were secret, it would not be appropriate for American citizens to be aware of any effect of that push-back, and just as it was appropriate for state officials to have lied in the past to protect government data collection methods, potentially lying to the public would continue to be appropriate.


>the event
I don't follow the news a lot -- an event having to do with the lockdowns?

>establishing totalitarianism in the U.S.
Former President Mr. Trump did seem to prefer a more autocratic style where the head of state is less confined by law and tradition.  Totalitarianism is a profusion of state involvement in everyday life.  I suppose it's hard to guess how Trump would have continued toward totalitarianism, if that was a mission of his.


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So, out of curiosity, what's going on there?
Texas has taken a very conservative stance against abortions.
There's been that entire discussion in schools about racism and what is labled as "CRT".
Now there appears to be a wave of banning of a lot of classical literature from schools.
And then I go on reddit and there's news of book burnings happening.

Is this a new disturbing trend? or has this been going on for a long time already and it's now only catching the eye of the internet?
Do you think this is also going to move northwards?
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I've given no hatred at any point in this thread. I've not even expressed a personal belief on such matters, not that you'd care to even know.

All you can do is lie.


I'm kind of bored with you, to be honest, but if there's any more conservative bile that you want to let loose, please do go ahead.

Seeing you conservatives behaving as you do helps a lot in terms of my own sense of trying to be pro-equality and pro-tolerance: it's helpful to know what I'm against.


I've literally only said your unproven claims provided without evidence are untrue.
That's hardly "conservative bile".
Hell, it's outright apolitical.

Sorry that I have the audacity to detest liars who make up things about me




So you may have heard of this, but I still feel like it is important to share. The Lacey Act is being passed in another bill, and what it basically does is ban the import, export, or across state lines, of almost all exotic animals and pets. And what I mean by that, is ANY animals that is not a cat, dog, or livestock.

My opinions aside on how I feel about this, I think it's important that everyone know about this because it is a gross overuse of power and not backed by, seemingly, any common sense or science. Even if you don't care about pets in general, this will DEVASTATE many peoples livelihoods and even a lot of conservation efforts.

Please take the time to watch the videos and share them, or look into it on your own. Thank you.


I'm concerned about the government making animal rescue efforts more difficult.

Context: https://www.wbay.com/2022/02/13/new-congressional-bill-potentially-restricting-exotic-pet-rescue-options/


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A new poll found that 76% of Americans disapprove of Biden's plan to engage in racial discrimination in selecting a Supreme Court nominee.  What do you think Biden should do, and why?

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Racial discrimination is wrong, regardless of whether you consider it "positive" or not



The proclamation gets him voter points.  It's actually entirely possible he simply doesn't choose a black woman now that he's already elected, but at the time it increased his chances of being elected by some unknown number.


The best way to approach things would have been for the President to have said: "I'm going to take into account personal backgrounds in terms of individual ethical character and diverse life experiences in order to prevent the Supreme Court from being bogged down into groupthink and cognitive bias from arguments that're excessively beholden to tradition".

And then, after appointing somebody (perhaps, yes, an African-American woman), remarking: "Her character and experience will make her an invaluable asset to the Court."

At least, that's what I think.

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