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Author Topic: In your honest opinion, who do you think has the best chance of becoming POTUS?  (Read 27168 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Saw some cuts from the debate this morn ing, and kind of surprised at how Hillary was clearly (and casually) implying that Saddam had been very close to getting his own nukes prior to the 2003 Iraq war. I thought that one had quietly been buried several years ago after all the angry and exasperated discussion, though it's still a useful story for some people of course.

When was this? I don't recall that during the debate and I can't find it in the transcript. She's talking about Iran's nuclear program, not Iraq's.

Online TheGlyphstone

Yeah, I don't think Iraq was ever mentioned outside the bit at the end where Holt called Trump on his revisionism about support for the war there.

Offline CuriousEyes

Saw some cuts from the debate this morn ing, and kind of surprised at how Hillary was clearly (and casually) implying that Saddam had been very close to getting his own nukes prior to the 2003 Iraq war. I thought that one had quietly been buried several years ago after all the angry and exasperated discussion, though it's still a useful story for some people of course.

It did look like both candidates were trying to avoid appearing too shrill, too unhinged. Trump was clearly trying not to seem nonchalant or bullying, while still appearing focussed - he didn't quite make it, I think.

I tuned out for a few minutes there, but I believe she was talking about Iran and her role as Secretary of State in pushing sanctions, not Iraq.

Edit: I mean, what those guys said.

Offline Missy


Offline CuriousEyes


Offline HannibalBarca

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Trump is bound to reveal more and more of his revolting personality and history as time goes by, under the magnifying glass of the media, regardless of how fogged that glass has been.  What I rue are the numbers of people who wholeheartedly support him.  They will be with us long after Trump is gone.  While humanity, where it has had the opportunity, has moved forward in acting more humanely, with time and effort, these Trump supporters, like all people of their ilk around the world, are remnants of the ignorant and hateful, fearmongering and violent.  Education alone will cure them, or their descendants; education by book knowledge, and education by experience through empathy and exposure to different ideas.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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I'm not so convinced.  (BTW, before I go on, that D&D thing was good.  I'm gonna share it with my table tomorrow.)

I'm not convinced that education of the academic variety is the sort that will solve the problem - the latter, your 'experience through empathy and exposure to different ideas' has more elements of the measures needed to save the West, but we're increasingly seeing in those countries advocates for those ideas met with hostility rather than acceptance.

A commentary on Socrates, and a similar one with Confucius, said that academic education cannot make vicious students virtuous or stupid students wise.  Virtue and being a good person is not taught in the classroom, it must be learned through exposure to good social and cultural values.

I recently interviewed for a job working for an electroplating company running tests on their electroplating baths to make sure the precise chemical mixes needed for the process are constant.  I was told that 'your scientific background is not important, not the priority (though it is a plus in my favor), we can teach the chemistry, we want someone with other qualities' and then proceeded to list what they wanted out of the person to be hired.  None of those qualities had anything to do with my educational background.

Is the lack of book learning a problem?  Yes, absolutely.  If we want our students to be competitive with people from Europe and Asia, where education is treated much more seriously (especially in the latter region), then we need well-educated students.  But that won't be what helps us, and besides, the dumbness of the American population today is the result of...depending on your wager, anywhere between 30-50 years of politics in education - by that, I mean, the people in charge of governance realizing that it's a hell of a lot easier to convince dumb people to vote for you than it is to convince smart people.

A recent video done by Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk (who is rapidly becoming my personal spokesman) analyzed a poll done by Johns Hopkins re: the attitudes of governance figures towards the common American - these were done of officials unelected to their positions, and what the poll revealed that these people think the public are a bunch of idiots.  Not a big shocker to me, government has been going increasingly authoritarian for around the last half-century.

To return to the point, though, Hannibal.  You are correct in what we need is empathy for others, and to expose our populace to a wide range of ideas.  The problem is that the place where that usually is supposed to take place - college - is increasingly restricting what ideas can and cannot be expressed.  Hate speech codes.  Safe spaces.  Trigger warnings.  Nearly anything that promotes this BS idea of 'students shouldn't have to listen to any idea they don't want to hear or offends/disturbs them' impedes this highly necessary thing.

There's a scene in the film Amazing Grace (about William Wilberforce and the end of the slave trade in England), wherein Wilberforce takes a party of persons right by a slave ship.  It reeks.  There's blood everywhere.  This being 1800s England, various pieces of white cloth are whipped out in short order and used to cover noses as guards against the stench.  More importantly, the whole party is in a boat, so unless they want to jump off and swim to the dock, they aren't going anywhere. Wilberforce delivers a speech condemning the slave trade right there, parked next to the slave ship.  It clearly disturbs the boat's passengers, but you get the sense that the experience sticks with them after they leave.

On today's college campus?  That would never happen.  Because while diversity is frequently touted as one of America's strengths - and it can be - we're too worried about the wrong kinds of diversity.  To elaborate.

Someone I listen to breaks down 'diversity' and classifies them into one of three categories: Physical diversity (this can be stuff like race, body status, etc); Cultural diversity (diversity of cultural values and norms); and Intellectual diveristy (diversity of ideas and expressions of thought).  According to him, the lattermost - intellectual diversity - is the keystone, the most important of the three.

His main criticism of the educational system - especially in the last few years - is that they're too focused on things like diversity of race, or sexuality, or self-image.  Which are all well and fine, but if colleges surrender their imperative to intellectual diversity - to education and exposure - then they are basically the country clubs of the new era.

Offline LostInTheMist

Just gonna drop this off...

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/07/politics/donald-trump-women-vulgar/index.html

This is, I hope, the thing that finally breaks the media bias shield around him and awakens those who are only supporting him because they feel like they have to to what this—I hesitate to use the word—person is.

He's said plenty of things that, were this ANY OTHER CANDIDATE would disqualify him from the presidency, but this may finally be too much.

I've never supported Donald Trump, and I have always thought he was a rather vile human being.... It's going to be interesting to see the broad-spectrum, long-term reaction to this. There are already some Republicans calling for him to "step aside" and let Mike Pence run for President.... Of course, that's not legal, and of course Donald Trump isn't going to do it.

Still, I have seen so many things he's said, or recorded saying as being "the last straw", and they've turned out not to be. While I think this, as much as any other ought to be it for him, to end his already struggling candidacy, I don't know that it will.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Reiji, perhaps I should have put those two forms of education in each others' places.  I find that people can be good through empathy alone, without the need for book education.  Having both, in my opinion, is preferable, but if someone is to have only one, being empathic is an absolute necessity in order to be a decent human being.  I was raised by parents with empathy, but there is always more to learn on one's own.  I was educated about Hitler's horrors early on, having two grandfathers who served in World War 2, but visiting the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles opened an entirely new level of understanding to my experience.

Trump is a great example (moreso than Romney before him) of a person lacking empathy for the plight of most people in this country because of the privilege he was born with.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Reiji, perhaps I should have put those two forms of education in each others' places.  I find that people can be good through empathy alone, without the need for book education.  Having both, in my opinion, is preferable, but if someone is to have only one, being empathic is an absolute necessity in order to be a decent human being.  I was raised by parents with empathy, but there is always more to learn on one's own.  I was educated about Hitler's horrors early on, having two grandfathers who served in World War 2, but visiting the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles opened an entirely new level of understanding to my experience.

Agreed.  Both of my grandfathers served in the war, too - one in the Merchant Marine and another in the Army - and they built their lives on nothing more than a high-school level of education.  What I've heard from all sides this election is this: the system is broken, we need to fix the system.  My position on that is this.  Fix the people.  Then if there's anything left, fix the system.  I would rather live in a land where we teach people not to steal from one generation to the next, that theft is wrong, than live in a society where there are ten thousand laws forbidding theft.  Have good people and a good society will follow.

(Also, I thought the Holocaust Museum was at the Smithsonian?  Is it a mobile exhibit now?)

That said.  Knowledge is still power.  It's why I take out a book - nonfiction - every few weeks from my local library.  (I'm in the middle of James McDonough's William Tecumseh Sherman, a biography.)  The more we know and understand, the more rightly we can make decisions.  Doing research, citing sources, things like this are what academic education is good for.  Amongst others.

Trump is a great example (moreso than Romney before him) of a person lacking empathy for the plight of most people in this country because of the privilege he was born with.

That, I find, is the case for all the elites of this country - Trump is simply the go-to example because he cannot be ignored; he makes statements that seem almost calculated to draw the greatest amount of ire and outage.

And as far as I'm concerned, that privilege and distance from the common man can be inherited, acquired, or come by through many means.  It's like a virus - it doesn't matter to me how you got it, what matters is that you do.  I think a lot of our Congress has it, and I'm willing to bet that not all of them were born into lives like Trump's.

Online Oniya

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(Also, I thought the Holocaust Museum was at the Smithsonian?  Is it a mobile exhibit now?)

There are multiple Holocaust Museums in the US, located in 24 states plus the one in the District of Columbia.  LA actually has four:  The Simon Weisenthal Museum, the Museum of Tolerance, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (at USC) and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. 

Offline HannibalBarca

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I've been to the first two, Oniya, but the first I visited was the Museum of Tolerance, somewhere I wish every inhabitant of Los Angeles could witness.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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I see.  Well, at least we're keeping Eisenhower's command WRT it alive.

If you can ever make it out that way, I highly suggest stopping in at the one on the Washington Mall.  It's definitely one of the smaller buildings, but you can easily spend a few hours in there as my father and I discovered one afternoon.  Good interactives, too.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Hearing Trump making those comments on audio, with his actual voice as the medium, makes it that much more damaging to his campaign than if it were just reported in grey print by someone saying: I heard him saying so-and-so several years ago. Not just because it strips away the option of denying these comments. We've all heard his voice on tv, hearing this stuff spoken by the guy makes it more personal and striking, and more sticky.

It's like the impact of Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman", repeated endlessly on tv after it turned out that indeed he had. But for Trump there's much less time to repair things, if this breaks big (which I hope it does!).

Offline CuriousEyes

It's an interesting line to walk - I don't know that the RNC actually has the authority to force Trump off the ticket, but you must imagine some part of them wants to.

At this point pulling him and putting Pence in the main slot might actually help the top of the ticket. He's a better debater and if he was suddenly the candidate he seems willing to flatly disavow and ignore everything Trump has said.

Even if the worry is forcefully ousting Trump (he won't quit willingly) shatters the top of ticket support it probably helps down ballot races where his words are getting hung around every R candidate's neck. If the RNC believes they basically have to punt on the Oval Office to try to shore up all other power, it makes sense.


Edit: So its also slightly to the DNC to thread the needle - rile up justified anger, but don't completely force their hands.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 05:50:58 AM by CuriousEyes »

Offline Anteros



To return to the point, though, Hannibal.  You are correct in what we need is empathy for others, and to expose our populace to a wide range of ideas.  The problem is that the place where that usually is supposed to take place - college - is increasingly restricting what ideas can and cannot be expressed.  Hate speech codes.  Safe spaces.  Trigger warnings.  Nearly anything that promotes this BS idea of 'students shouldn't have to listen to any idea they don't want to hear or offends/disturbs them' impedes this highly necessary thing.

There's a scene in the film Amazing Grace (about William Wilberforce and the end of the slave trade in England), wherein Wilberforce takes a party of persons right by a slave ship.  It reeks.  There's blood everywhere.  This being 1800s England, various pieces of white cloth are whipped out in short order and used to cover noses as guards against the stench.  More importantly, the whole party is in a boat, so unless they want to jump off and swim to the dock, they aren't going anywhere. Wilberforce delivers a speech condemning the slave trade right there, parked next to the slave ship.  It clearly disturbs the boat's passengers, but you get the sense that the experience sticks with them after they leave.

On today's college campus?  That would never happen.  Because while diversity is frequently touted as one of America's strengths - and it can be - we're too worried about the wrong kinds of diversity.  To elaborate.

Someone I listen to breaks down 'diversity' and classifies them into one of three categories: Physical diversity (this can be stuff like race, body status, etc); Cultural diversity (diversity of cultural values and norms); and Intellectual diveristy (diversity of ideas and expressions of thought).  According to him, the lattermost - intellectual diversity - is the keystone, the most important of the three.

His main criticism of the educational system - especially in the last few years - is that they're too focused on things like diversity of race, or sexuality, or self-image.  Which are all well and fine, but if colleges surrender their imperative to intellectual diversity - to education and exposure - then they are basically the country clubs of the new era.

I feel that maybe you may have a different definition of what are safe places and trigger warnings.
As I know those things, they're not made to avoid ideas people don't like, but to avoid inflicting trauma or get a reprieve from a hostile social environment. Those things protect people from abuse, wether past or present.
Warning someone that you're going to talk about violence, might help them not to be thrown back to the time they were themselves subjected to it and allowing student facing regular harassment to have a place where they don't have to face the people who mistreat them may be lifesaving.
Abuse does not enrich minds, and not wanting to be subjected to it isn't a sign of close-mindedness.

Offline gaggedLouise

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It's an interesting line to walk - I don't know that the RNC actually has the authority to force Trump off the ticket, but you must imagine some part of them wants to.

At this point pulling him and putting Pence in the main slot might actually help the top of the ticket. He's a better debater and if he was suddenly the candidate he seems willing to flatly disavow and ignore everything Trump has said.

Even if the worry is forcefully ousting Trump (he won't quit willingly) shatters the top of ticket support it probably helps down ballot races where his words are getting hung around every R candidate's neck. If the RNC believes they basically have to punt on the Oval Office to try to shore up all other power, it makes sense.


Edit: So its also slightly to the DNC to thread the needle - rile up justified anger, but don't completely force their hands.

But the wider public, the electorate actually know very little about Pence, about his own political positions and his strengths and weknesses.  About what kind of a president he would make.The same with Kaine. The VP debate (from what I hear) was 90% about those two defending the policies and personalities of their main candidates - so putting Pence in the main slot would mean tossing up a name that almost no one has a clear idea about.

But yeah, you can tell that many top Republicans (not least in Congress) must be very uneasy about Trump by now.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 06:12:19 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline CuriousEyes

I think it ultimately will come down to if they believe the Trump ticket is cooked, and then if they believe he's dragging down-ballot races. If they see Trump as doomed regardless, I could see them just throwing the hail Mary on Pence. Who would probably get a good share of votes by virtue of being not-HRC, although so would a brown paper bag.

Although I did see a WaPo article suggesting we are probably past the point of no return for Trump to be the name on the ballots, so it may be a moot point.


Offline zaius

Trump didn't really apologize for his comments or behavior. He was only apologizing because he got caught. Watch his apology video. It looked like he had a gun to his head and was reading cue cards off screen. If he was truly sorry, he wouldn't have waited until midnight for this "apology". He would have had a press conference as soon as he could to denounce his behavior and offer a sincere apology. He didn't do that.

The sad thing is that I have already seen Trump supporters stand by him after his latest batch of offensive and misogynist comments. It is clear that they sympathize with The Donald for being the "victim of yet another leftist conspiracy" and for "saying something that most men already say". Those are actual words I've seen them use. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that most men don't go around bragging about sexual assault.

It's obvious to me that his supporters don't care that he is a misogynistic troll and no matter what he says or does, they will go out of their way to make it seem like Trump is the victim here. There is nothing that Trump can say or do that will phase his core supporters.

The real question is how badly this will hurt him with the moderate swing voters, especially with women and suburban families. He has a proven pattern of misogyny and a clear lack of respect for women and women's rights.

If this were any other candidate his political career would be finished long ago. Trump's political career should have been over the moment he made his offensive comments about Mexicans, but he has an uncanny ability to survive scandal after scandal and that is deeply worrying.

At least some high profile Republicans are now withdrawing their support from him. I don't blame them.

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I feel that maybe you may have a different definition of what are safe places and trigger warnings.
As I know those things, they're not made to avoid ideas people don't like, but to avoid inflicting trauma or get a reprieve from a hostile social environment. Those things protect people from abuse, wether past or present.
Warning someone that you're going to talk about violence, might help them not to be thrown back to the time they were themselves subjected to it and allowing student facing regular harassment to have a place where they don't have to face the people who mistreat them may be lifesaving.
Abuse does not enrich minds, and not wanting to be subjected to it isn't a sign of close-mindedness.

As an example of an appropriate use of 'trigger warnings':  Imagine a Vietnam veteran is taking a film studies class.  At a certain point in the semester, the instructor plans to show scenes from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, a movie that includes the firebombing of Dresden in WWII.  Putting a 'trigger warning' on that date would allow the veteran to decide to skip that particular class (with a note to the instructor explaining why) and avoid having flashbacks to napalm bombings.  Similarly, a victim of sexual assault would probably appreciate a 'trigger warning' on a showing of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, due to the explicit rape scene.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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When I was at university, I got to know the university's Student Affairs staff really well.  Now, at this particular university, Student Affairs handled a lot of things, and one of them was students with disabilities.  As I learned from getting to know the staff, the university's start-of-semester procedures for informing professors about the disabilities of a particular student went like this. 

The Student Affairs office would prepare a handful of letters detailing the student's name, the class they would be taking, as well as what sorts of accommodations they would receive for their disability.  The student - and only the student, you had to show your ID - would come to the office and pick up the letters, and deliver them to the professor by the end of the first week of classes.  The professor would then sit down with the student, if necessary, and discuss how their accommodations would play out in the course to come.

For example, if the student required extra time on a test (a fairly common one, I learned), the student and professor would schedule a time for the student to take the test with the extended timeframe.

In short, my ideal solution would place responsibility on the student to make aware others of their particulars, not on the professor to find them out.  Oniya's suggestions are good ones, but I would probably add to that that notes of viewings of films like Slaughterhouse 5 (is this a film?  I know it's a book) and Clockwork Orange should be listed somewhere on the syllabus, which is given out at the opening of the class.

And I want to stress this, too - Oniya mentioned that the veteran can decide to skip that class.  If there is an appropriate way to handle trigger warnings, that's it - inform the populace and let them decide if they want to show up.  What would not be appropriate would be boycotting the class or forcing the professor to change their curriculum because of their choice of films.

To sum up: you have a right not to listen.  But you don't have the right to tell me what I can and can't say.  And I'm seeing more and more from the SJWs on the left the latter than the former.

Offline Anteros


To sum up: you have a right not to listen.  But you don't have the right to tell me what I can and can't say.  And I'm seeing more and more from the SJWs on the left the latter than the former.

That's exactly what trigger warnings are about, though. They warn people that what follows may be triggering. It's in no way about forbiding people to broach certain subjects or restricting their speech. It's basic consideration and empathy toward other people's mental health, not censorship.
On the other hand I guess you could argue that forbidding hate speech is a form of censorship, but given that it's about stopping abuse, I have no problem with that. Words can hurt or even kill, and people need to remember that.

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In short, my ideal solution would place responsibility on the student to make aware others of their particulars, not on the professor to find them out.  Oniya's suggestions are good ones, but I would probably add to that that notes of viewings of films like Slaughterhouse 5 (is this a film?  I know it's a book) and Clockwork Orange should be listed somewhere on the syllabus, which is given out at the opening of the class.

And I want to stress this, too - Oniya mentioned that the veteran can decide to skip that class.  If there is an appropriate way to handle trigger warnings, that's it - inform the populace and let them decide if they want to show up. 

It was a film as well as a movie - I made sure to check that for my own curiosity.  Although the same situation could be applied to a literature class with both works.  Yes, syllabi are given out at the beginning of class, but in my own academic experience, the specific pacing of each class may not match precisely from semester to semester.  Also, students tend to look at those one time and lose them fairly quickly.  (I have a high school student as well as my own experience to draw from here.)  Therefore, the particular class in which the firebombing or the rape scene is covered may be variable.  As a result, the professor should have the forethought to announce 'Next class has a possible trigger warning for scenes of [topic].  Students may contact me for an excused absence.'

There is actually a distributed responsibility:  On the professor to identify a potential problem and to make the notification, based on how fast the material is being covered, and on the student(s) to contact the professor with some reason other than 'I dun wanna go' for not showing up.  (Because we all know that there are students like that.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Just slipping back to the topic of the Trump tape for a moment: was this snippet actually broadcast on the TV show in question a dozen years ago? Or is it some behind-the-scenes footage that wasn't used on the air but kept by the production company and now became rumoured to exist? It seems that several news sources became aware of the presence of the "stinker" and hunted it down in the last few days, Washington Post winning the publishing race by a reported margin of seven minutes (!) so I guess it had really been shown on tv back in 2005, or...?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 03:18:07 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline CuriousEyes

It was a bit of "hot mic" recording - Mic was running during some prep time for an Access Hollywood(?) segment, but what Trump said wasn't meant as part of the piece and was stashed away.

Apparently a producer randomly remembered the segment and they found the recordings after some digging. They were packaging it for an exclusive segment expose, but someone inside the network mu1st have leaked it to the Post, which published ahead of them.