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Welcome to /townhall/! This is an anonymous-only board for debates, dialectics, and discussions of a serious nature.

As the topics discussed on this board may deal with sensitive or controversial subject matter, we expect a higher standard of conduct than elsewhere on the site, and will enforce the board's rules with a greater degree of strictness. Inability or unwillingness to follow the rules will result in a /townhall/-only ban.


1) All posts in a given thread must contribute constructively to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing. Off-topic, contentless, inflammatory, or hostile posts will be deleted and result in a ban.

1a) Derails that occur as a natural result of discussion progressing from the original subject will generally not be interfered with; however, if these hinder discussion of the original topic, making a new thread is preferred.

1b) Part of contributing constructively is understanding and addressing the reasoning behind an opposing view. While this can be a tedious task and will generally not be officially enforced, please make an effort to at the very least avoid "talking past" someone when presented with a counterargument. Simply doubling down on your initial point does not advance a discussion.

1c) Be as willing to "lose" as you are to "win", and above all else, be willing to learn and understand. You will not get the most out of this board if your only goal is to persuade, and you will not even be effective at that unless you understand what you are arguing against.

2) Ad hominems and other uncivil behavior will not be tolerated. You may have a significant personal stake in some subjects discussed here, and it is normal to be frustrated when someone cannot relate; however, lashing out is not an effective way to engender sympathy for your position, and will not advance the conversation in a constructive way. Even if you find someone's argument morally abhorrent, there are constructive ways to express this.

2a) Attempting to deliberately provoke an uncivil reaction is prohibited, even if it is done within the letter of the law.

2b) Snark and other forms of mockery are strongly discouraged and may result in warnings or bans.

2c) "Strawmanning" an "opponent" deliberately will be regarded as uncivil conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. This will not apply to genuine misunderstandings.

3) While we do not claim to be arbiters of absolute moral or empirical truth and aim to moderate this board in a fair and even-handed, politically agnostic manner, the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward, including attempts to "hint" or dogwhistle:

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 No.1866[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

I want to make a couple threads discussing immigrants an/or immigration soon, and I noticed that Last Week Tonight recently did a segment on the topic of legal immigration on their show. I'd like to share it so we can all be on the same page about this topic.

I'd prefer it if you watched the entire video, but in short summary, the segment discusses the difficulties and roadblocks people face when trying to legally immigrate to the United States. It's not a completely comprehensive detailing of those issues, but it does give one a basic overview of the difficulties faced by someone trying to become a legal immigrant. The segment also calls out the hypocrisy of the current presidential administration and its talk about supporting legal immigration while simultaneously taking steps to reduce it as much as possible.

For those of you who watched the video, I have a few questions. What do you think of our current immigration system? Were you aware of the issues and difficulties covered in this video? How do you think the legal immigration process could be improved?
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>That presumes that secured boarders don't do anything to the problem.

Yes, that is my presumption.

>How about a wall and a security force to ensure nobody crosses outside the standard processing areas?  Seems like that'd help quite a bit.

It might, but it's still not really related to the idea of "open borders".  It's admittedly not a great name for things, but it doesn't literally mean that we have nothing at the border, it just means that there's relatively free movement.  We could theoretically still have a well patrolled wall for funelling people towards checkpoints where they can receive a cursory examination to make sure they aren't transporting anything questionable.  The important difference is that "questionable" doesn't just mean "foreign".

I'm still not entirely sold on the idea that any significant crime comes over the border that needs an expensive wall and long-term maintenance and manpower to stop, but my primary argument isn't about the wall, it's about whether people can cross the border.

>There's loads of potential employees willing to work for absolute pennies. Especially since you've said they aren't eligible for welfare. At least the standard American workers don't tend to work for less than what they could get on welfare.

It's a problem to examine, but it doesn't seem unsolveable.  Something like opening our borders is a pretty big undertaking that's absolutely going to have problems.  But we're just two people having a conversation on a message board and I don't think either of us have any qualifications or experience for hammering out all the details.  Are worker's rights a problem?  Yes, historically and also in the present going into the future, there are issues to tackle regarding worker safety and fair pay.  Are those problems solveable?  I think yes, even with an influx of immigrants, and while you might disagree I don't think either of us have anything to present to persuade the other.

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>Yes, that is my presumption.
Okay. I'd disagree. I have no reason to assume secured boarders wouldn't help. That seems rather silly to me.

>It might, but it's still not really related to the idea of "open borders".  It's admittedly not a great name for things, but it doesn't literally mean that we have nothing at the border, it just means that there's relatively free movement.
That's fair. It would rather change the trafficking angle, in any case. I think it'd be worth the price. Especially if we can get the military to do it.

>I think yes, even with an influx of immigrants, and while you might disagree I don't think either of us have anything to present to persuade the other.
Well, to be quite honest with you, given this paragraph, I feel like I've made quite a bit of progress. It's gone to a recognized problem, after all.
It's certainly more than I usually expect with these things.

>Okay, yes, but what humans are being traded, what is the impact of allowing people to legally cross the border in regards to human trafficking?  
Smuggled in humans.
I was talking about secure boarders, not restricted-to-legal-entryway immigration so the later half is rather irrelevant.

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>I'm not sure what this means. You'd need to clarify that bit.

So what I'm trying to say is that it seems like you're worried about every single immigrant that comes over needing a job.  And what I'm saying is that if a man, his wife, and his three kids come over, then maybe only the man needs a job at all.  The wife and kids don't need employment.

>Should we cause suffering to the lowest class in our nation, the people least able to afford it, because the upper classes are unhappy with their taxes and lessened profit margins?

That's a pretty fair argument.  Rich taxpayers are the ones having to pay for it right now, and for the most part they're also the only ones benefitting from all the underpaid labor.  In some sense it hardly looks like there's a problem at all, but I'm still not sure all the numbers line up on these.

>Because we have to solve it eventually, potentially hundreds of years later, we should start the suffering pain of dealing with that problem now?

I don't place it at hundreds of years later.  I place it at decades later.  Possibly one decade later.  It's fast approaching and we'll be feeling the repercussions and we need to start enacting solutions now.

If you think it's hundreds of year later rather than roughly 2030 then that does lead to a different viewpoint, yes.

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Do do special things to hide from hackers, data-gathering corporations, and perhaps cyber-enabled states?  Or are these things just an acceptable background -- part of living in the modern world, and not worth spending extra time on?
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The idea did cross my mind.  Guess I'm to remain as serious as possible on this side of ponyville.  Well, if you suspect colorful ponies are a comforting front for an organization of cyber criminals, scrutinizing posts and traffic for vulnerabilities, or even if the ostensible owners are honest, a competent foe has crept through a back door, you should either not reveal weaknesses or lie, waiting behind your actually secure digital fortress for the baddies to approach on the front you've reported weakness, at least proving to yourself that you really can't trust anypony.


I see.  Being without money is a robust strategy to avoid theft.  Well, theft of money, anyway.

For those who don't know, such as me a few minutes ago:  Brave is a browsers that blocks ads and trackers.

"Pages load instantly. I can't really benchmark page loads since they happen faster than I can start/stop the stopwatch"

I host some websites.  While I don't use ads, I can see the motivation, so I'm OK with ads, but only to a point.  Some sites are so full of them they will basically freeze up my browser, plus as ads load, page content shifts around which make reading difficult.

OK, that's good.

uBlock -- looks interesting.
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It does a little more than that as I understand it. Also has a function for script blocking built in. Pretty nice, all in all.
I figure with it and Duck Duck Go I'll keep out most the stuff. Especially since I don't even use facebook, at all, anyway.
It is slightly bothersome now and again, since you have to manually allow some things. But, I figure it's worth it.

As it is, I've yet to get any viruses from your usual weblinks any more. Seems like it's pretty much completely solved that, so as long as I don't download an actual file I'm good.

At this point, all I really have left is the tracking IP type stuffs.
Eventually I'll get myself a VPN, just to be completely safe. Especially since your providers apparently save a lot of that data. But for now, I don't really care. I don't think it'll matter too much if Mediacom figures out I surf e621.


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So here's a question to pose to Townhall. You find yourself suddenly in charge of a nation, and it is your duty to implement a government. The only requirement is that your people will probably murder you if you do not at least maintain the illusion of democracy. Do you implement true universal suffrage, one person one vote on every matter? Enlightened despotism where real power lies with the head of state for the good of the people? A simple autocratic dictatorship?

Let's hear some ideas. As I said, it must be some form of democracy in at least name. No kingdoms, empires, or other blatant autocracy without pretense.
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As long as it aligns with the culture and expectations. Otherwise I feel like meritocratic voter pools are particularly prone to external toying with.

>choosing of executives from within the legislative body
Strictly at the highest level! I haven't decided what to do with city aldermen and the like. Judges are often in the most crucial positions and I'm a big fan of supremacy of the law so those need to be well insulated from political hobnobery. I'm still thinking on that one but would appreciate input. But for the strict code of laws lifting an existing code would probably be best. It doesn't really matter which one.

>local and relatively small elections
Ranked voting may be appropriate for the alderman. I worry a little about such systems because they can be pretty opaque for people looking from outside. Encouraging compromise too much is a hazard in and of itself. Passion is a key element in the system. It's certainly the fairest. Sometimes people need a mechanism to get things that they don't deserve to stay engaged.

Besides. I think the popular 1 and 2 makes the inevitable partisanship more interesting, considering that they're going into a pool of legislators rather than having actual power themselves.

A triumvirate offers a degree of flexibility that an individual would lack. When the institution itself comes under assault the three would unify, and would otherwise be disparate representing maligned interests. How much partisaning should be allowed at this level... I am unsure. It's ideal for disparate factions to have a vested interest but minimal influence, but that's a balancing act.

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>Otherwise I feel like meritocratic voter pools are particularly prone to external toying with.
This is true.

>Judges are often in the most crucial positions and I'm a big fan of supremacy of the law so those need to be well insulated from political hobnobery.
So would they be their own independent branch perhaps? Well, mostly independent. They wouldn't be the ones passing legislation after all.

>Ranked voting may be appropriate for the alderman. I worry a little about such systems because they can be pretty opaque for people looking from outside.
Maybe some leeway for the aldermen to be chosen with a system dependent on the community? Within reason of course.

>When the institution itself comes under assault the three would unify
Well, hopefully. Unfortunately such things are not guaranteed. Not the concurrent triumvirate, but I'd be worried about The Year of Julius and Caesar repeating itself because one or two of the triumvirate decide to invite outside attack on the third. If that sort of disunity could be at least culturally distasteful it could work. That would take a lot of entrenching.

>Unless the executive chose to own and rent all of the land.
I think that would be a bit too much!


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>I think that would be a bit too much!
And I think that this is my government?

An independent judiciary is crucial, yes. Perhaps combine it with the military arm.

Not too much leeway. We don't want local fiefs happening without consent.

Good. As long as constitutionally the triumvirate emerges as a triumvirate after the upheaval. A little instability is good for progress. We do want things getting done despite resistance if they have *that* kind of strength behind them.


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Hey, ponyville. This is your independently-sourced review of your current level of consciousness. Or in other words - I have independently measured how happy of a town you are. You know this is reliable because I have no affiliation or other ties with any official on this site or the other sites that appear in this review.

For more information on the rating system I'm using, see http://www.mapofspirituality.org/map-of-spirituality/

But basically, the bigger the number, the better. And on to the review:


I measured the level of consciousness of four well-known imageboards: ponyville/pony, ponychan/oat, 4chan/mlp, and 4chan/b.


I viewed each post as it appeared on the front page of each website and rated it according to the descriptions of each level of consciousness in http://www.mapofspirituality.org/map-of-spirituality/ and https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/04/levels-of-consciousness/, as well as my own understanding of the post and the person behind the post's intent, as well as the community's likely reaction (cultural considerations.)
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Logically speaking, emotions only help us because we're social animals. Empathy, anyway. I'm mostly talking out my ass but I do think that a lot of people are overly emotional about a great many subjects, and it does them more harm than good.


I'd agree with Koala. There's a point where you're repressing things, and then there's a point where you're failing to cope.



I agree. I think having a time and place for all your various emotions is the way to go, personally. Personally, i'm a fan of just feeling alone by yourself with various media that will fit the bill for that mood. Think the tub of ice cream sad movie cliche, but for more than just sadness.


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So the rainforest is on fire and it's all over social media.  It generally seems to be regarded as some kind of tragedy, but from what I've heard it was actually set alight on purpose in order to make room for agriculture.  Assuming that is true, is it a good idea to remove portions (or even all) of the rainforest in order to use the land for other purposes?
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Were these not the indigenous people of Brazil?  I'm unaware of the Brazillian population.


The fires are being started by outsiders and other usurpers who are trying to eliminate the indigenous population. It's something rather disturbingly close to ethnic cleansing. See: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/afraid-indigenous-guardians-brazil-amazon-190827235511318.html



No. Not at all. We need the oxygen, we need the removal of CO2. Plus the cattle are going to be C02 factories, so we're kindof fucking ourselves on both ends here.


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Just to float an idea, the greatest barriers I see to a positive future are:
1) Nuclear War
2) Regions of desperation and extermism
3) Wealth Inequality
4) Climate Change

Each would seem easiest to address with world government, or at least, each is hard if every nation puts their own local, short-term interests first.

My attitude toward state enforcement is complicated, and I don't think a world superstate would make it any simpler, but I just thought I'd ask your thoughts.  Would a world government be a good idea, do you think?
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What kind of government would be best for a hypothetical world government?


Something that strongly resembles a system of treaties between sovereign countries.


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I'm more of a Pan-American.

 No.1580[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Lets give two hypothetical scenarios:

Let's say, science discovers a way for two men to reproduce with each other. The result is always a  baby boy and the men born from this process are able to repeat it and reproduce with other men as well, when they reach sexual maturity.

Now let's also say that, through some mechanism, it was possible for a person to quickly rid the world of all human females, in such a way that no one would be able to stop the process once begun. All biological women would suddenly disappear from the Earth and cease to exist.

Would men alone create a better society than the current one? A "better" society in this context meaning a society with less crime, less violence and less inequality for it's members. And if so, would someone be morally right, or even morally obligated to commit this act?
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Sure, man. That's why I can literally cite the entire fucking conversation, where I repeatedly say over and over "There's a difference between doing something, and being born as something.".

This, this right here is why I say you're a dishonest guy. This is why I say you are here arguing in bad faith. This is why I say you're not interested in actual conversation, exploration, dialogue, or anything. You're just after trying to do whatever you can to claim you're right. That's all you've got. It's why you'll demand, repeatedly, over and over again, that others answer your inane, stupid, backwards questioning, while refusing to ever respond in kind to any questions asked of you.
This repeated refusal to ever actually engage with people, not just jam words in their mouth and dance around like you've somehow done something clever, all the while ignoring anything anyone actually raises up.

You want to act like it's somehow unjust, like I'm somehow treating you poorly, when you repeatedly pull shit like this. You say I've taken a "hostile attitude before we even begun", when you start off with this shit.

Going to be honest with you; I think this is why you never wanted to talk outside of Ponychan.
I think this is why, despite my constant offerings, especially during your little political ban, you always squirmed away from it. Because you'd not have any real way to accept such an offer, and yet still claim I'm the one who's supposedly holding things up. I'm somehow the one who's never let productive conversation happen.
It just wouldn't work out to answer someone's call for private dialogue where concerns of reputation and appearance no longer matter. After all, if you did that, you might actually have to start treating them like they're human.


No, the reason I don't want to talk to you outside of the site is because You've done nothing but show stubborn adherence to what you already believe and have never shown me any interested in listening to my side.  I think that you won't listen and it would be a waste of time.  

Not to mention, I think a lot of your views are abhorrent and I believe have genuine reasons to be afraid of you.



I think everyone is now well aware of how little you want to talk to each other, but in lieu of waiting even longer for you to act on it, I'm just going to give you each a short ban.  Walk away from this and stop derailing the thread.


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Can science decide questions of morals?

The current method of deciding moral questions seems to be might, accepting that people fight for what they believe, so might relates to how well moral ideas resonate.  The problem, if you value life and property, is incompatible moral ideas can resonate with different populations or individuals and the result can be unpleasant.  

Science has done a great job of confirming and rejecting models of physical systems based on objective tests, so is it possible to borrow any of these tools for questions closer to the heart?

(You might reject the use of the term science for that, so if you have a better word, that's fine.)
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Wouldn't matter.

Morals derived from an authority figure logically cannot be absolute, if that god could, hypothetically, change them on a whim.

And it would mean the morals are fundamentally arbitrary.


>solely from the whims of an authority figure
Authority figures seldom present themselves as operating on their whim.  A King is in communion with God.  Law enforcement in a democracy responds to the will of the people.  A republic enforces rights.  A dictator, probably, is leading a country through threat or trouble.

Yet each uses force, which implies people with authority and people without -- the subjects of that authorized force.

If you got rid of authorities, at least in the sense of someone authorized to use force against another, you'd have to get rid of the state.  Which is anarchy, where everyone is their own authority.  I'm told that kills people (in a bad way), though.  Humans can't be trusted to operate that much as individuals, they need authorities above them to maintain order.

Granted, I guess you're not telling me that.


I mean, i always saw morality as a fundamentally basic optimization problem: Maximize happiness. While certainly that doesn't look exactly the same for everyone, there's a lot of commonalities. Basic needs, fulfillment, following passions, that sort of thing. To me, a lot of that is just good social structures to take care of basic needs and keep society running, and everyone being strong-minded enough to be true enough to themselves to really discover their passions without just falling in line or caving to social whims, while still being considerate enough of the whole to not pursue passions that would be destructive to the whole. There's going to be a cornucopia of edge cases of course, but that's kindof how i see the equation, which seems to certainly be, at least to some extent, compatible with the scientific process.

Of course, at some point, this requires people to self-actualize. I think a lot of people end up in a sort of mental survival mode, even, perhaps especially, the very very wealthy, where they just exploit exploit, breed breed, as much as they can, like dumb wild beasts. They get so caught up in survival, or "the game" that they forget how to be happy or to cultivate their soul with passions/exploration/learning/improvement. They get so caught up surviving they forget why they survive. For the very poor, this is understandable, and i think it's better for everyone if we can use social safety-net systems to get them past that mindset and join society as productive, self-actualized members. For the ultra wealthy, well, i think if affluenza is going to be a legal defense, then it should be considered a mental disorder that needs treating, same as any other, perhaps treated more aggressively. I honestly believe it's probably at least, and probably much more, destructive than something like ADD or OCD. They cause far more problems for the people around them, they're like a plague, taking and taking and taking, consuming consuming consuming, without ever cultivating a human soul. We need to treat these people, they are honestly sick and a danger to society as they are. They'd be happier, and they wouldn't cause so much misery to those around them.  


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It is conceivable that, in the coming decades, automation of jobs increases unemployment to above 50%.  What should be done in such a situation?  Would some variation of Universal Basic Income (
) be enough?  Can people be happy even if they are essentially told by society that they are useless to the economy?  Is doing useful work important to a person's happiness?  Should small-scale farming and livestock raising be encouraged, so that people have work to do that directly benefits them?  (I guess this will require reversing the trend of urbanization, so that people have enough land.  Perhaps also increased population control.)
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Yea, as automation keeps rolling forward, we need to move equally towards socialism with it. An automated socialist state is a utopia, an automated capitalist state is hundreds of millions dying of hunger as oligarchy takes root. Let them eat cake and all that.

Assuming the former, i think it would be a great thing! People could pursue their passions! Even if you're "useless to the economy", you could literally pursue anything you wanted! Want to try painting? Landscaping? Medicine? Go for it! You could actually be whatever you wanted to be. It would be beautiful! More art would be made, there would be lots of tight-knit friendships over common passions! More people would be free to truly live life to the fullest!


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>I hear that floated around *a lot* and I'm still confounded as to why it continues. It inevitably goes into bizarre political directions without stopping for a second to consider the economics of the situation.
I don't think economics plays into it much.  It's simply about the trend of increasing AI, automation, and robotics.  If this trend continues, then many jobs will be done better by machine than by man, enough so that eventually a majority of the working-age population isn't desirable to be hired.


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Hopefully with the increased automation and demand for more specific jobs the population of the planet will decrease along with it. Say in 50 years robots are able to do most any blue collar job at a cheaper rate, the best idea would be for there to be population control to prevent people from suffering starvation/homelessness and other such examples of poverty from unemployment.

Or the ideal could be reached where we have some sort of Dyson sphere that collects unlimited energy and everyone on Earth gets a free ride. Population control would still be a good idea though.

 No.1404[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Lets give two hypothetical scenarios:

Let's say, science discovers a way for two women to reproduce with each other. The result is always a  baby girl and the women born from this process are able to repeat it and reproduce with other women as well, when they reach sexual maturity.

Now let's also say that, through some mechanism, it was possible for a person to quickly rid the world of all human males, in such a way that no one would be able to stop the process once begun. All biological men would suddenly disappear from the Earth and cease to exist.

Would women alone create a better society than the current one? A "better" society in this context meaning a society with less crime, less violence and less inequality for it's members. And if so, would someone be morally right, or even morally obligated to commit this act?
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Given what the op has said? if such a technology wherever to come about, yes, I would be worried that individuals who believe what I thought believes would literally tried to genocide me.

he is actively advocating for the genocide, and instead of saying that is not acceptable, you okay it, and refused to allow people to argue against it

I am sorry, Mooney, but this is disgusting behavior. Somebody with your level kindness would never ever stand by something like this. I don't know who understaffed convinced you that this is okay, but it plainly is not.

The history is irrelevant to the principal.
I do not get to say that because it hasn't been done before, it is okay to murder all men.
I sure as fuck do not get to Dodge augmentations made by others, simply because they cite examples that I would disagree with, in a cold and rational manner to explicitly demonstrate that what I am saying is wrong.

This is a horrible thing to argue Mooney.


>You're male, yes? Do you have ant conceivable reason to fear male genocide? Is there any historical precedent for that? i think, objectively, the two topics are wholly dissimilar.
Isn't that just a matter of practicality though?  What if it were possible to genocide the male gender, and more than just radical feminists on Tumblr were talking about it, and unironically?  As a matter of principle, the two situations seems pretty similar to me.


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Refuse to comply with what, exactly? Not being racist? That's all i'm asking. Debate the OP if you wish: the staff doesn't agree with your take that the OP advocates genocide, but we believe you have a right to argue that.

Don't advocate for Racialism - that's the warning we're giving the thread.

For everything else, calm down, for goodness sake. This kind of hellacious anger over is a little ridiculous.

...but the OP doesn't believe that. That much is stated in the hypothetical,.if you read between the lines.

Nobody reasonable believes that. You are spooking yourself over invisible monsters, and getting angrier and angrier... For what?

Look, just don't bring racism into this debate. That's the point of these mod posts.

...after multiple reports, we're locking this thread. Sorry to all the innocents involved.

 No.1072[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Is there any good argument for segregating bathrooms by sex (or even gender)? Are we not uncomfortable with the idea of being in a bathroom with the opposite sex only because that's how things have always been? I personally couldn't care less who is in my bathroom, as I see it all humans are there to do the same tasks and nothing more.
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>1. Women have periods, so their toilets have the potential to be more hazardous to the health.

Toilets also hold shit, which is just as, if not more, dangerous than blood. But even if that were a concern, you would have to have been doing something pretty fucking weird to that toilet to contract anything. Or have an open wound on the part of your but where you sit down, and if that's the case, wipe the seat off first.

I have never heard of a person getting sick from a toilet seat.

>Keeping Group A, which has more potential to make Group B unhealthy than Group B does to themselves, separate, is the logical thing to do.

Well actually it's not logical at all because you have a higher chance of getting sick from not washing your hands after touching a shopping cart. Should we seperate everyone in the store to their own unique bubbles as well?

>2. Keeping male/female energy separate is important for the perpetuation of the species and overall happiness. If everyone sacrificed their innate attractions for [the misguided application of] the ideal of equality, we would end up with a society that must repress their natural inclinations in the inherently private context of going about one's business in the bathroom.

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Animal Shithouse.


I think it would be more accurate to label toilets based on their facilities (i.e. cubicles, urinals, disability assistance, baby changing, squat toilets, etc)


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What is justice?

Plato wrote a book as an answer.  It's a bit nutty, though.  Maybe we have better answers now.
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>It is not always Fair.

It is always fair to the person seeking it.  That is why they are seeking it.  To them it is just.


I'd disagree. I think even they realize, in extreme cases, it's far from fair.
Killing someone's family because someone stole from you might fall under the umbrella of vengeance, bit I doubt the guy doing it thinks it's actually any kind of equal exchange.

But, if you want to make this case, fine. That's why I'm opposed to vigilantism.


>Seems you'd need some kind of general agreement on value, or at least an understanding of what each considers harm and help so you can respond in kind.  But yeah, I think that's a pretty basic ethic.

That would be the ideal role of the judicial system, judges and all that, to determine the standard as used by the system prior primarily, with reference to law put in practice by officials representing the populace.
Ideally, of course.
Doesn't always work out


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There is speculation that Jeffrey Epstein acquired his wealth via a blackmail scheme instead of as a legit hedge-fund manager.  New York Magazine reports ( http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/hedge-funders-have-some-thoughts-on-what-epstein-was-doing.html ):
"the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund."
The article points to https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1148303671857491968.html for details about how such a blackmail scheme may have worked.

Paul Krugman comments ( https://www.twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1160191016726609920 ):
>If we were living in a paranoid fantasy universe, I would be very suspicious about the Epstein suicide, even about whether it was really suicide. And you know what? The Epstein case itself shows that we *are* kind of living in a paranoid fantasy universe

What do you all think?  Was he just a sex offender, or also the mastermind of a blackmail operation?  Did some of his blackmail victims have a role in his hanging?
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I don't tend to keep up with this sort of thing. I just know it's pretty suspicious, and awfully convenient.
But, that's just more of the same. This stuff happens pretty often.


This is pretty fucking backwards. The three branches of government are majority conservative and Republican leaning. The only exception is that the Democrats have the House, which is kind of useless at the moment since the Senate kills everything they do. The conservative Republicans also have the fundamental U.S. power structure on their side from the military-industrial complex to the prison-industrial complex to the energy industry and so on.

What are the Clintons compared to this? Peanuts. Come on.


>Why do you think the leftist media has been on a constant smear campaign of Trump for years despite most claims being either disproven or downright fabricated?

Trump has done plenty of legitimately critisizable things. I'm not sure where you are getting that it is fabricated.

>Why do you think the FBI wasted so much manhour and spent so many millions trying to find proof of collusion on Trump

Because there was evidence towards collusion. There still is. Trump was not exonerated for that, despite what he constantly claims.

>Yet turn a blind eye to Democrats doing the same thing right now by campaigning in other countries and encouraging illegals to vote?

Do you have any evidence that this is true? Trying to improve relations with other countries isn't the same as colluding with a foreign power. Even if a Democrat went to another country and said "Vote for me!" to the people living there... that's not the same thing as collusion. And it's certainly not "collusion" or "encouraging 'illegals' to vote" for a Democrat to reach out to Latin-American communities. You're really going to need to back this claim up with some hard evidence.

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At the moment, seventeen states in the U.S. have laws that allow police officers to take somebody's weapon(s) away if a judge determines that said person poses a danger to himself/herself and/or others. California is one of them. Interestingly, though, few in law enforcement seem to even be aware of the law, let alone enforce it properly.

This is often floated as something that could get implemented in all fifty states in order to stop gun violence. Efforts would also have to be made to train individuals into understanding the law and enforcing it effectively. The idea has garnered some popular support.

Details at: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Friends-Teachers-Coworkers-Could-Soon-Have-Authority-to-Remove-Gun-Owners-Weapons-A-Look-at-Californias-Red-Flag-Law-529032441.html

Does this seem like it will be an adequate solution to fight against gun violence in the U.S.?

My personal $0.02 is that this makes sense in terms of reducing deaths overall. BUT it won't solve the mass shooting problem since almost all (I think) of those killers murder because they're extremists acting according to some ideology. They're "good guys with guns" until they start killing, lacking both records of crime and of mental illness. The only way to comprehensively get rid of that problem, likely, is to either ban all civilian held guns or else screen everybody who wants a gun in terms of politics/social views. Neither of those is probably going to ever happen.
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Personally, I'm in favor of things like tax breaks, benefit programs for new families, grants, that type of deal.
I think saying "if you're married and looking for a house, we'll give you a chunk towards the down payment" would go a long way to encouraging the stuff.


Going beyond tax breaks to an active pro-family economic policy with workplace childcare benefits, widespread well-funded preschools, and so on would probably make more of a difference, yes.

But then if you advocate such things, something like 1/2 of America is going to label you an evil communist/Marxist/socialist because how dare you hurt capitalism with your evil welfare programs. And big business is going to work hard to squash you like an insect because you're daring to take away even a penny of their profits. You're clearly evil if you suggest that there's more to life than making money, apparently.

It's a nice thought, but can it be done? In today's America?


Given the policies already put in place on various items, I think it's probably the easiest big needed fix out there, at the moment.
I'd not say it's easy, but, it's certainly more likely than a lot of things we desperately need fixed, ala copyright law, healthcare, drug reform, corporate monopolies, and so on.

The 'evil communist/marxist/whatever' label doesn't do much in my experience, any more, probably as a side effect of actual marxists cropping up, and the big business guys are easy to distract or appease. They're deal-makers, after all.
I'd bet it could be done. Like I said, not easily. But, I'm fairly confident it could be done. Maybe I'm an optimist, though

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