Godless

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Everything posted by Godless

  1. Godless

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    If that's true, then every school in the country has broken the law.
  2. Godless

    CDC - "Racism is a serious public health threat"

    We're on the tail end of the deadliest global pandemic of our lifetime, in which a COMMUNICABLE DISEASE disproportionately affected black communities and other racial minorities. Is that not relevant to the CDC's mission? How about the fact that there was documented inequity in the initial distribution of the COVID vaccine? Addressing the systemic problems at the root of this inequity is a public health issue. Sure, it stretches far beyond the CDC's area of expertise. But if we can reduce racist practices in other areas of the healthcare system, then we'll be better prepared to give ALL Americans the care they deserve if another pandemic rears its head in the future.
  3. Godless

    CDC - "Racism is a serious public health threat"

    It's easy to mock what you don't understand. Have you bothered to investigate the reasons why people of color have more health problems than their white counterparts? Or why there's a deep-rooted distrust of the healthcare system among the black community? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/racism-in-healthcare#pain-treatment
  4. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    Note: I tried my best to make this is apolitical as possible out of respect for current site rules. I ask that respondents please do the same to the best of their ability. I've been sitting on this for a couple of weeks. I had initially typed it up as a response in a recent thread started by @Traveler, but the thread was locked before I could send it. I'll start by sharing Traveler's post for context. I'm putting it in bold because apparently I don't know how to format a quote from a different thread without ruining the format of the entire post. "I have retired - but one thing I have learned by my many years of work (in the field of automation) is that when things go wrong in a complex system - the only way to "fix" it and make things get running again requires very accurate and complete, to the most minute detail, understanding of what, where, when and how things went wrong. There are problems gathering data especially when the cause is ambiguous. It is not uncommon to think that the problem has been discovered when in reality one has only discovered a symptom and not a cause. There is also a unintentional effort to shift blame. A simple way of putting this shift of blame problem is software types thinking the root of the problem is hardware and the hardware types thinking the root of the problem is software. Then there is the matter of process. I was working with a Japanese robot when a storm caused a power outage and an uncontrolled shut down of everything in the plant. The Japanese robot was intergraded into some very complex processes that completely lost is brains in the shutdown which took days to get back on line. But the Japanese would not accept any responsibility for their robot's failure to come back on line - they kept saying we should not allow a uncontrolled shutdown. They simply could not understand any recovery processes outside of a controlled shutdown - which BTW took up to a few hours to complete. It is surprising that very few people understand cascading problems from the seemingly simple to catastrophic failure. There is a motion picture titled "Passengers" that high lights such a problem. Fixing anything but the root cause will not avoid catastrophic failure. " @Traveler suggests that the trials facing our country today are symptoms of a bigger problem, though he stops short of offering insight into what the bigger problem might be that has seemingly kept the United States from truly being united in the entirety of its 245 years of existence. That's not a knock on Traveler. I'd argue that most Americans, regardless of political affiliation, would struggle to put their finger on it. I have a theory. Most of you aren't going to like it. I can already see eyes rolling on the other end of the internet. I'm not optimistic that I will reach anyone or change any minds, but I'd love for you to hear me out. There is one stain that, no matter how hard we have tried, we have never been able to fully wash clean from our nation's fabric: racism. Racism runs deep in our nation's history, heritage, and institutions. Even after slavery was abolished, racism was still a very strong American tradition for much of the 20th Century, as evidenced by Jim Crow laws, redlining in the post-WWII suburbs, and the resulting redistribution of public funds to favor the predominantly white suburbs. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most momentous piece of legislation towards racial equality since the 15th Amendment was ratified. We've made a lot of progress since then, but there are a lot of wounds that are still fresh. There are generations of black people living today that were affected by legalized racism and segregation in the last century. There are generations of white people living today who actively promoted said racism. Some of the despicable people in the photo below may still be alive today. Some of them likely had children born into hateful families. One can only hope that their offspring were able to live better lives than their parents, and maybe some of them did. The black lady in the photo is Anne Moody. She passed away five years ago. Joan Trumpauer is the white woman sitting next to Moody. She was very active in the civil rights protests and is still alive today. The white man next to him, John Salter, passed away two years ago. We recently saw the Confederate Flag proudly displayed inside our nation's Capitol. The symbolism of that flag has been the subject of debate for decades, even on this forum. I have no interest in reviving those debates, but I'm hoping to offer some factual context into its use. Let's start with the fact that the rectangular Stars and Bars banner that we commonly associate as the Confederate Flag was never actually used during the Civil War. This link provides some useful insight into the history of the Confederate flag during the war. And while the author seems to sympathize heavily with the modern flag being used as a regional/cultural identifier, he acknowledges that it was ultimately hijacked by the Dixiecrats and the KKK in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. It became a symbol of segregation and a reminder of what the Civil War was fought over. It's quite likely that Anne Moody and activists like her endured a great deal of emotional abuse and trauma at the hands of people wielding that flag. Black people were lynched by people wielding that flag. That it continues to enjoy widespread use despite its shameful history is a testament to how deep our division is. Just about any black person you meet will tell you that, to them, it's a symbol of hate. Their ancestors were enslaved by the ancestors of those who say it's about "heritage, not hate". The Civil War's heritage IS hate. Slavery was an act of hate, and the South divided the country trying to defend it. There's no way around that. It's a historical fact. Whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, white supremacy has deep roots in our society. It can be found in the accounts of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, in which 36 black citizens were slaughtered and hundreds more injured by a white mob that had the blessing and support of local authorities. It can be found in the ashes of the black Philadelphia neighborhood that was BOMBED by police in 1985, killing 11 people, including children, and destroying over 60 homes. It can be found in the fact that no matter how black people choose to protest their lives being taken at the hands of police, they are met with violence, contempt, and hate. Martin Luther King, while it's true that he was a pacifist, said that "A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?". Peaceful protests turn violent for two reasons. 1) The protests are unheard and people keep dying. And 2) The violence is perpetuated by the police. Police started the violence in Selma during a peaceful march. They attacked protestors this past summer at some of the BLM protests (and yes, the protestors were responsible for more than their fair share of violence as well). The cycle of racially-charged violence will continue until the unheard are heard and meaningful reform takes place. So where do we start? How do we unify our country? The first step is to acknowledge the problem. Until more people acknowledge that white supremacy isn't just the fantasy of a fringe group of Nazi cosplayers but rather a deeply ingrained part of our national identity, there will be no unity. Until white people acknowledge their privilege and the ways that it is perpetuated by white supremacy at the expense of millions of their fellow Americans, there will be no unity. I know a lot of people bristle at the talk of white privilege, but you shouldn’t. If you’re white, then you’ve probably benefitted from it at some point in your life. I have no doubt that I have. That doesn’t make you a bad person, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s important to acknowledge it. That’s one of the main goals of Critical Race Theory, that thing that the National Review writer in @carlimac's post is so afraid of apparently. I won’t get too much into CRT because I’m pretty new to it myself and still have a lot of research to do on the topic. But it basically outlines the ways that our society is built to benefit white people, often at the expense of people of color. It puts emphasis on institutional racism, particularly in our law enforcement and justice systems. It also outlines steps to combat the racist structures that permeate our society. So yeah, I think it’s pretty important to get the ball rolling on that from a young age. Carlimac’s article seemed determined to label CRT as a “progressive agenda”, which in today’s vernacular is another way of calling it liberal propaganda or SJW nonsense. It’s frustrating to see terms like that attached to serious racial issues, and I don’t see our country being able to unite itself until those stigmas are breached. Racial equity is not a political issue. It isn’t partisan, or at least it shouldn’t be. It was encouraging to see Elder Oaks recently recognize the current state of race relations in this country, even going so far as to say the words “Black lives matter”. It was considerably less encouraging to see some of the reactions that his remarks generated among church members. Black lives DO matter, but our society doesn’t reflect that. Our law enforcement agencies and justice system don’t reflect that. When George Floyd died, it didn’t take long for people to bring up his criminal history and things he’d done in the past that had nothing to do with his death. That’s a common theme when black people are killed by police. White people tend to look for reasons not to care. “He was a criminal.” “He should have listened to the cop.” “He shouldn’t have ran.” It’s so easy for some white folks to justify a black death. To be clear, I’m not saying that anyone here has this type of victim-blaming mentality. But you don’t have to look very hard to see these patterns when people are reacting to a black death at the hands of a cop. I want to dive into white privilege a bit more before I wrap this up. Yes, it’s real. No, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. It’s an observation, not an accusation. The best way I can describe it is to liken it to a foot race in which one runner has a 30 second head start. The other runner, in addition to being 30 seconds behind, has weights tied to their ankles. After the first lap, a weight is removed (Emancipation), and the other one is removed after the second lap (CRA). Runner #2 is now unburdened, but still very much behind due to multiple disadvantages. Black America is Runner #2. They were enslaved, then treated like second-class citizens, denied opportunities to buy property and build equity, and to a large extent left to fend for themselves in underfunded inner city communities while public funds flowed freely into the suburbs. Things are getting better, but Runner #2 still has a lot of ground to make up. And unless Runner #1 recognizes his unfair advantages and works to level the playing field, that gap isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s important to not lose focus of how recent some of the critical events in our nation’s history are when it comes to race. The CRA was passed in my parents’ lifetime. The Philly bombing took place the year I was born. The year before that, MLK Day had been made a federal holiday. A Senator named Jesse Helms tried to stop it by filibustering with a bunch of slander about MLK being a Marxist/communist that was too outrageous to sway even the well-documented racist Strom Thurmund. Both Thurmund and Helms held their Senate seats until 2003. While we can hope that the openly racist players in our government are in our history rather than our present, that history is fairly recent. And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that using Marxism to discredit black activists seems to be a renewed tactic in modern times. I’ll leave you with one more MLK quote. This is my favorite quote from him and the only one that I feel comfortable sharing this time of year, because I was reflected in it for most of my life. I’m trying to grow past that, and I hope some of you will do the same. “I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
  5. Godless

    Stock Market Explodes Over Stock Surges

    I guess Prince John really needed that money after all. 🤭
  6. Godless

    Stock Market Explodes Over Stock Surges

    Pretty much. Wall Street's mad that a bunch of poors beat them at their own game. And while I don't think the support of what's happening is as partisan as you say, the schadenfreude is certainly a lot stronger on my side of the political aisle. Maybe. I think Wall Street will adapt quickly. RobinHood (the trading service of choice for the Redditors) has already shut down trade of certain stocks due to what they're calling "market volatility". The Reddit investors are MAD. I'm curious to see what transpires today, but I'm worried that some very inexperienced "investors" are going to find themselves in a financial hole.
  7. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    I'll admit that I could have framed my words differently/better. I believe that there is a great deal of objective truth in what I've presented, but I certainly welcome honest discussion and debate.
  8. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    Thank you, that makes sense. To be honest, I think a lot of leftists could easily get behind some of those ideas. The problem is that Trump's message was polluted with anti-immigration rhetoric that bordered closely to xenophobia. I think more than any other political figure in US history, Trump was defined by his rhetoric. Arguably, that's how he got support from white supremacist groups that have never made themselves more visible than they have been in the last 4 years. When that happens, it's prudent to ask yourself why.
  9. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    If you take so much issue with how I presented my statements that you can't be bothered to examine and debate the statements themselves, then I suppose you're right that there's no room for honest discussion.
  10. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    Fair enough. So what are MAGA's goals, in your own words? What do they mean when they say "Make America Great Again"? I have thoughts about that slogan, but I'll keep those to myself for now.
  11. Godless

    Wokeness in schools

    I agree. And @Anddenex is right, several of the outlets close to the top/center are more slanted than the chart would suggest. I find that the best use of the chart isn't for identifying reliable news sources as much as the unquestionably agenda-driven ones. CNN definitely skews left, but not nearly as much as Jacobin and Occupy Democrats. Same for the right. The New York Post doesn't skew nearly as far as Nation Review and Breitbart. In today's media landscape, it's best to always cross-check stories, and it doesn't hurt to see what sources outside your ideological bubble are saying. That's why, whenever possible, I like to use right-of-center sources that are able to report a story objectively, especially if they're corroborating left-of-center outlets. If multiple sources towards to top-center of the chart are saying the same thing, then it's probably pretty reliable.
  12. Godless

    Were we ever united?

    I agree. I've seen people on FB scoffing at calls for unity from our elected officials because in their minds, unity = homogenized values and ideology. I don't think that has to be the case. I think it's perfectly reasonable to think that you can have people from different backgrounds with different ideologies working towards a common goal. I think there are a lot of great people on "your side" who do a great job of taking this to heart. I also think there are people on "my side" who have a great deal of room for improvement in this area. I think the biggest obstacle we face right now is an increased presence of fringe/radical elements in the current political landscape. The last year has been ugly, and I think there's some healing that needs to happen before we can talk about unity. When it comes to racial/ethnic diversity, it's hard to think of many downsides to increased diversity. Obviously, diversity itself can't be the only goal, merits have to be considered. I remember last year when the Washington Football Team hired Jason Wright as the first black team president in NFL history, there was instantly a lot of talk of "affirmative blacktion" and other disgusting preconceptions about the hire. To be clear, the hire was overwhelmingly celebrated not just because of Wright's skin color, but also his credentials. That didn't stop some people from hyper-focusing on the former. I loved Wright's response to the critics. The goal of BLM is to elevate black lives to the point that we can truthfully proclaim that all lives matter. In order to do that, we need to confront some harsh truths about our current reality. Our differences are brought to light so we can recognize and overcome them. From the start, MAGA was infiltrated by known white supremacists. I'm not saying that all or even a majority of MAGAs are racists, but the fact that it's evidently a very appealing movement to racists should send up some red flags. I'm of the opinion that there are many MAGA followers who aren't openly or even consciously racist, but who are very comfortable in the bubble of privilege that centuries of white supremacy has built for them and feel threatened by the thought of losing that bubble, though those feelings may be subconscious. That's a very common mental fallacy among white people. It's a difficult one to break, and I'll admit that I still struggle with it sometimes. While I won't deny that CRT is sometimes weaponized to the point of shaming and attacking, I think it's also true that people sometimes find malice where none is intended. As I said, the mere mention of white privilege often puts white people in a defensive mentality because it can be a very difficult and uncomfortable topic for us to discuss openly. People who are in a defensive mindset tend to easily feel attacked.
  13. Godless

    Wokeness in schools

    That was painful to read, mostly because it was difficult to separate the facts of the story from the partisan hyperbole. Then I looked at the top of the article and saw that it originally came from the National Review. Sources matter, and NR is in Breitbart territory in terms of bias and factual reliability. The left equivalents would be Jacobin (a very polarizing publication even among liberals) and Occupy Democrats. I won't pick the article apart here, but I have a post drafted (possibly the last substantial contribution I'll make here) that should outline my thoughts on the matter to some degree. For now, I'll just say that our public education system more often than not tends to reflect the values of those who are passionate about supporting it. In recent years (and probably longer than that) there has been a fairly clear partisan divide over support for public school systems vs home-schooling and private schools.
  14. Thank you, @estradling75 and @Fether for approaching this topic from a reasonable stance (though I'm not sure how we shifted gears to Central American refugees so abruptly 🤨). I agree 100% that this isn't a black-and-white issue, and I'm certainly not advocating for open borders. It's hard to approach the immigration issue from a national security standpoint while maintaining a compassionate mindset, but that's the fine line that we have seek out. Making cheap jokes about people fleeing their homes seems counterproductive to that. Unfortunately, I feel like attitudes like that have become too common in recent years. As for my tone earlier, I am deeply sorry. I saw the responses above mine while I was getting ready for work, and lacking time to type out a measured response, I chose snark over substance. That was ill-advised and inappropriate. I recall remarking in a different thread that the heated nature of some of the discussions in over the past several months could potentially sour your church's image to observers who may be wavering in their faith or new to it. While I stand by my belief that some here could benefit from some self-reflection about how their words reflect their faith, it's not my place as an outsider to kick the hornet's nest, and I regret my role in contributing to the toxicity that sometimes rears its head on this site. To say that the last year has done put a strain on my mental health would be a massive understatement. And while that absolutely does not excuse by behavior here, I think it makes a strong case for walking away. I've tried several times in recent months, but I keep finding myself coming back, and I keep regretting it.
  15. Have we looked into the reasons why Hondurans are fleeing their country? Or are we just mocking immigrants/refugees because that's what the American Jesus would do?
  16. Godless

    Censorship?

    Scratch Parler. It's still down, and I wouldn't trust its security if it comes back up. That place is a crime scene right now. Long story short, hackers were able to set themselves up as admins and archive everything before it went dark. Everyone's posts, even deleted ones, are now in the hands of hackers and the FBI. A lot of users got "verified", which means that they were granted full posting privileges in exchange for verifying that they were real people, not bots. The verification process required you to send a picture of your state ID (really, and LOTS of people did this). Those files are now in the hands of hackers and the FBI as well. It's likely that some of the first rioters to be ID'd, put on no-fly lists, and/or arrested were identified via these Parler archives. Again, that's the short version.
  17. Godless

    Censorship?

    Liberals Conservatives 🤝 Hating Facebook
  18. Godless

    Censorship?

    Also from the transcript: "And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country any more." Read the whole thing in the context of what happened. He spoke like a president who was absolutely convinced that he wasn't going anywhere, even as Biden's presidency was being confirmed on Capitol Hill. And Kathy Griffin's post absolutely should have been removed, FWIW.
  19. Godless

    Censorship?

    As I mentioned in a different thread, I imagine that liability and complicity concerns come into play at a certain point. If a well-respected (among unsavory crowds, anyway) lawyer suggests on Twitter that the Vice President of the United States should be arrested and executed, and then someone takes it upon himself to try to make that happen, what is Twitter's liability/complicity in that scenario? Serious question, because you're a lawyer and I'm not.
  20. Godless

    Censorship?

    GOP politicians had every opportunity to tone down their rhetoric after the Electoral College cast their votes and Trump lost nearly every court challenge. Perhaps I was being unnecessarily hyperbolic when I said that voter fraud claims were inciting violence, but it should surprise no one that Trump supporters took him seriously when he said "You'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength" immediately after telling them to march to the Capitol. Trump knows his base. He knows that they will literally go to war for him if he tells them to*. Knowing this, and then telling an angry crowd of supporters to march to the Capitol is dangerous. And yes, it would be equally dangerous if there was reason to believe that the claims were true. Claiming election fraud in and of itself is fine. But you have to recognize when the rhetoric, even if true, is becoming dangerous. Dems were convinced that there was foul play in the 2016 election. And while Trump himself was never directly implicated, investigations showed that our concerns were valid. We put up with Trump for 4 years anyway. *The Left knows this too, which is why we were horrified, but not the least bit surprised, by the way Trump supporters behaved on Wednesday. We knew that the type of people who would bring Confederate flags to "patriot" rallies and put Trump's name on the American flag weren't as loyal to the ideals of their country as they pretend to be. People were literally calling for Pence and Congressional leadership to be arrested, tried for treason, and face execution days before a mob broke into the House chamber with flex cuffs while a gallows was constructed outside. If Twitter wants to treat #StoptheSteal as a terrorist mantra after hundreds of rioters took it very literally, then that's their prerogative. And that's not even what's happening. As I mentioned earlier, rumors of conservatives' demise on social media have been greatly exaggerated. This was tweeted on Friday and hasn't been removed. There are countless tweets along these lines that have not been censored or removed. Twitter seems to be focusing their attention on bots and actual violent rhetoric.
  21. Godless

    Censorship?

    I agree. As I said, I would support any legal action that results from Twitter's inconsistent enforcement of their policies against harmful content.
  22. Godless

    Censorship?

    Calling the election illegitimate became a call for violence when hundreds of "protestors" stormed into our nation's capitol to stop the certification of said election. There were death threats made publicly towards Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi in the days leading up to and following the riot. Lin Wood, who was quickly condemned by GOP leaders after suggesting that Mike Pence would be arrested and face a firing squad if he didn't intervene on the 6th, posted this on Parler after the breach. Parler broke their non-censorship policy and removed it, but not before it was "echoed" (the Parler equivalent of retweeting) over 8000 times. Meanwhile, plenty of similar posts were left up because they came from less prominent accounts (and possibly bots, see below). This next bit may be wandering into conspiracy theory territory, just know that I'm trying not to jump to any definitive conclusions. These are just observations that I'm trying to substantiate. To the best of my knowledge, the only prominent conservative accounts to be removed from Twitter were those of Lin Wood, Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, Donald Trump, and Steve Bannon. Melania and the kids still have their accounts, as do far right voices like Guiliani, Hannity, Shapiro, Kirk, and Coulter (just to name a few that I've checked in on). A lot of the bigger conservative voices on Twitter have been using their (unrestricted) accounts to complain that they've lost hundreds (in some cases thousands) of followers. It's no secret that Twitter has a bot problem, automated accounts that are programmed to target certain hashtags and buzzwords and tweet inflammatory things on those subjects. Twitter will occasionally ID and purge accounts like this en masse. Sometimes they announce these purges before they happen, but not always. And it's worth noting that the bot accounts promote conservative ideas (and attack liberal ones) to a very disproportionate degree, and it's not even close. It's entirely possible that a small portion of the accounts purged last week belonged to actual humans that were talking a little bit too much like Lin Wood, but it's likely that a majority of the accounts that were purged were bots. The only "real" people I know of that got axed are the ones named above and a couple of parody accounts that probably got a little carried away in their online caricaturizing of the far right. Accounts like that tend to follow a lot of prominent conservative accounts. So in summary, these masses of followers that conservatives are complaining about losing are potentially made up of bots, people who were following them for parody material, and people who think that the only thing wrong with what happened Wednesday is that the attempt to subvert a Constitutional act of Congress was unsuccessful. Again, this is just speculation. I could be off base. If you know of any real people that have been purged from social media, I'd be very interested to hear about it.
  23. Godless

    Censorship?

    If you drive a car recklessly and dangerously, you lose your driving privileges.
  24. Godless

    Censorship?

    I've thought about this a great deal in recent months. Obviously, I'm not particularly invested in peoples' testimonies, but I'd hate to see someone's faith shaken by endless (and ugly) political squabbles. At a certain point, it paints a pretty nasty picture for those who might be investigating the church and stumble into the forums. So I absolutely support cracking down on that sort of thing, and I apologize for any contributions I may have made to the ugliness. FWIW, I would fully support such lawsuits, and I think a lot of others on "my side" would as well. We have a love-hate relationship with social media, and Facebook in particular.
  25. Godless

    Censorship?

    I'm old enough to remember communicating without social media, and I'm not particularly old. We've grown incredibly used to these services (some might say dependent), but I wouldn't call them essential. Did you just compare grocery stores, retailers that sell commodities that are essential for human survival, to internet platforms that didn't exist 20 years ago? Not only that, but you did it on a web-based site that isn't affiliated with any of the major media companies. Interesting. I agree that this is a new frontier from a legal standpoint, and it'll be interesting to see how things shake out.