Godless

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Everything posted by Godless

  1. It sounds like Abbott has already decreased inspections in exchange for a commitment to increased border security from Mexican officials. So hopefully this situation blows over and turns out to be nothing. In theory, sure, these inspections should be quick. And it's possible that they are. But how many inspectors were made available for these secondary inspections? If it's less than the number of customs inspectors at the border, than the process will take considerably longer. And based on the fact that every local news outlet was reporting delays of several hours, I'd say that these new checkpoints were probably severely undermanned. I also seriously doubt that the Republican Ag Commissioner would have put himself in the crosshairs over a trivial supply concern. We'll see what ultimately happens to shelf stock and prices. Whether due to an understanding with Mexico or political pressure, it seems like Abbott may have changed course quickly enough to avoid a disaster. However, it's worth considering that one of our biggest imports from Mexico is produce. It doesn't take much of a delay to spoil millions of dollars worth of product. Again, we should know more in the coming weeks if/how Abbott's stunt will affect food markets.
  2. A lot of them think Trump let himself be defeated by "the swamp", but they still admire what he stood for in the beginning and they want to finish what he started, with or without him.
  3. It's bigger than Trump at this point. A lot of those AF types turned on Trump after he failed to follow through on stopping Biden's presidency on/after 1/6, or at the very least dish out some pardons to rioters. He lost a lot more followers last year when he touted the vaccine. The movement is moving forward without him, and I don't even think he realizes it. I'm just not convinced of that. There's a rift, sure. But the leftist wing of the party knows that it can't survive politically without the rest of the party. They're actively trying to remake/reform the Democratic party to reflect modern issues and circumstances. America First is more likely to stab the GOP in the back than work to reform it. They'll divide conservatives and then cry fraud when they keep losing elections.
  4. I can't promise that I can satisfactorily answer your questions, but I'll try my best. I certainly won't deny that these problems exist. Politics has always been toxic, and it seems like it's gotten exponentially more so in recent years, with absolutely despicable behavior occuring on both sides. With rent specifically, the problem goes much deeper than that. Government isn't the problem there, but it could be the solution. But it would require an act of actual socialism to solve, so it'll probably never happen. Something similar to what happened in Berlin last year (which, it's worth noting, is likely to fail because it was a toothless referendum) but more actionable. I've been watching this very closely. Before the 2016 election, I predicted that a Trump victory would ultimately destroy the GOP. Six years later, I still stand by it. The "America First" wing of the Republican Party is relatively small, but very influential. They have (at least) four members in the US House of Representatives, and several others in state legislatures. And they hate the Republican old guard a lot more than the left hates their Dem counterparts. I truly believe that there's a real chance that the far right will ultimately split from the GOP and form their own party. I don't see that happening on the left. Hispanic people on the left have always hated that, which is why I never used it. I feel like I've been seeing it less frequently as (bipartisan) Hispanic voices have gotten louder in their opposition to it.
  5. This seems relevant to the topic of inflation. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/04/12/sid-miller-greg-abbott-border-inspections/?utm_source=articleshare&utm_medium=social
  6. The real truth right now is that there isn't a viable third option. Biden's approval ratings among Democrats is absolutely abysal right now, and it's because the old guard Dem establishment is horrifically out of touch with today's liberal voters. This guy put it perfectly: I vote 100% Democrat in every election, but I do not consider myself a Democrat. I vote for them with the expectation that they won't screw things up too much worse than they already are, which is an expectation that Republicans have never been able to satisfy. It's a weak expectation, literally the bare minimum, and the fact that Democrats seem happy with it is the only thing keeping them from dominating every election cycle.
  7. I see your point, but it's not unheard of for people to cast controversial votes on principle knowing both that they'll take heat for it and that their vote ultimately won't matter (see Romney's impeachment vote). Knowing what we know now, had Justice Thomas voted in line with the rest, it would have been seen as a betrayal of his wife. And given Mrs. Thomas' apparent complicated relationship with rationality, she probably would have felt the same way. This tells me that there's a higher-than-zero chance that one of our Supreme Court justices is being influenced by a Qanon-parroting conservative extremist.
  8. Speaking of the Supreme Court.... https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/24/wife-of-supreme-court-justice-thomas-texted-trump-chief-about-overturning-2020-election-report.html As I understand it (and I could be wrong), these messages are part of the records that were requested by the 1/6 commission and that Trump attempted to block. The matter reached the Supreme Court and they ruled 8-1 to uphold the decision of the lower courts to allow the records to be turned over. The only dissenting justice was... wait for it.... Clarence Thomas.
  9. If you applied this reasoning consistently, you'd be a socialist. Does it bother you that companies like Shell and ExxonMobil are buying back stock at record rates while enjoying their highest profits in over a decade while gas prices hit recird highs? Does it bother you that companies like Wal Mart and Amazon have thousands of employees living on food stamps while they are raking in record profits? The past two years saw a tremendous upward shift in wealth as companies across several industries profited from a global pandemic while putting millions of Americans out of work. But pharmaceutical companies making money from the product that is helping to end that pandemic is where you're taking your stand? To be clear, I'm not a fan of big pharma either. But what you're describing is consistent with the workings of the capitalist system that people of conservative persuasion like to defend from the "evils" of "socialism'. 10% of the US population is over 30 million people, and getting non-vulnerable Americans vaccinated protects that 10% justvas much as vaccinating the 10%. Is the protection perfect? No. But it's better than no protection, and at this point we have statistics to prove that. I personally know several people who contracted COVID more than once. One lady, an extended relative of my wife, lost her fiance to it when they both got infected for a second time (neither of them were vaccinated). I don't doubt that natural antibodies help in reducing the effects of the disease, but the vaccine helps too. Again, it's not a perfect protection, but there's data to show that it's effective at keeping people out of the ICU.
  10. And to merge your two points, I don't know how many times I saw liberals try to play Dr. Phil with Trump when he was in office. It was dumb when they did it, and it's dumb when conservatives do it with Biden/Harris. Again, I'm not necessarily here to defend either of them, but unless you've personally evaluated them in a private medical setting, spare me your psychiatric "evaluations" and find something real to hit them with.
  11. Good to know that we have the personal psychiatrist of both President Biden and VP Harris in this forum. Very enlightening.
  12. I'm not here to defend Kamala, but in reference to the emphasized bit..... I mean..... surely you're joking, right? 🤨
  13. Yes. Now, to revisit the original topic of this thread more or less, imagine that people who think, act, and talk like that were filling the seats of state legislatures, governorships, and the US Congress. They may not represent a majority of their demographic, but the majority generally seems unbothered by their antics because it doesn't affect them directly. But they're saying and doing things from their positions of power that are harmful to people who don't share their worldview. Suddenly you have "far removed from the norm" folks writing state policy, maybe even national policy eventually. Again, it may not affect you directly because your beliefs align closely to theirs, even if you don't practice them the same way. But in this scenario, who do you think the nonbelievers are going to focus their attention on? And at what point does the "silent majority" become complicit in the actions of their more radical and vocal counterparts?
  14. Again, it's not us who set the standard. And frankly, it's not so much that I expect Christians to be better than me. It would be more accurate to say that I expect believers to live their gospel, which in a lot of ways is faith-neutral. As I said, I like a lot of Christ's biblical teachings. There's a lot of stuff in there that transcends dogma. Teachings like "Love thy neighbor", "judge not", and "help the poor" are universal and there are many non-believers who strive to live by those standards. When you're instructed to be a "beacon on a hill" (I think I got the term right), it can't hurt to have some awareness of how you're perceived by those you're trying to light the way for. Are you setting the right examples? Are there things about the way you interact with others that might pollute the way people perceive your church? Nobody's perfect. And no one's looking for perfection from believers. I just want to see people try their best to practice what they preach. They'll stumble sometimes, but everyone does. That doesn't matter. What matters is the earnest effort, and I feel like some Christians have willfully stopped trying to be the beacon. It just seems to me that nowadays there are a lot of Pharisees masquerading as Christians.
  15. You're asking the wrong question, and you're asking it of someone who was born and raised in your church and left for reasons that were more ideological than personal. Honestly, one of the most off-putting traits of Christians/LDS is the conversion mindset. Far too often, I've encountered people of faith whose interest in me is based entirely on their perceived ability to "save" me. They've gotten better, but for a long time I struggled with this within my own family as well. If you want to have a real bond with non-believers, the first step is to lose the proselytizing mindset. Let you faith speak for itself in how you treat others (and how you speak about others, per @Fether's earlier point). Showing that you're willing to live the loving gospel you preach will bring more people to your faith than proselytizing will. The important thing is to apply that love consistently, without regard to whether or not conversion is on the table. Unfortunately (for you, I honestly don't really care), the brash and brazen types that @prisonchaplain was talking about are the loudest and most visible examples of modern Christianity. I realize that they likely represent a minority of Christians, but they're doing irreparable harm to your faith. And again, as @Fether said, it's the flamboyant hypocrisy that's doing the most damage. A lot of us have no issue with the teachings of Christ. It's his fan club that we can't stand.
  16. This is my biggest beef with aggressive Christians. Like it or not, you put yourself on a moral pedestal. Don't get mad when the rest of us hold you to your own high standards. I'm not saying it's right when "my side" throws stones at yours, but the pious have a self-imposed imperative to be more loving, patient, and long-suffering. Personally, I think it's a very admirable standard, and I have an immense amount of respect for Christians who actually live by it, partly because (on the internet in particular) it seems like a lot of self-proclaimed Christians don't. I've long believed that many vocal far-right Christians act more like the Pharisees who persecuted Christ and demanded his crucifixion rather than the disciples who followed him. With today's political climate pushing more people into the fringes, this is seemingly becoming more true. People jump at any opportunity to score some cheap political points, without regard to who it may hurt. And yes, both sides are guilty of this. But again, one side uses divine teachings as a basis for their moral standing. They weaponize their faith and then wonder why hostility is growing against people of faith.
  17. There's actually a SCOTUS-level legal precedent for vaccine mandates. It's over 100 years old, so it can certainly be taken with a grain of salt, but it's worth noting that this vaccine discourse is far from new in the US. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/197/11/
  18. You know I have a very love-hate stance towards the Dems, but I don't necessarily view Sanders as a hypocrite. If his policies became reality, his taxes would go up along with the other elites. Same with Liz Warren (my 2020 pick to run against Trump). They seem to understand that the institutional advantages that they built their wealth on are inaccessible to most Americans, and are often detrimental to them. Does that mean I expect them to give up their fortunes and live like middle class Americans? No, and I don't expect that from Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk either. I just want them to have some self-awareness and recognize their ability to make positive change.
  19. It's also worth noting that a lot of Obama's spending went towards cleaning up the mess left from the 2008 recession. Banks and PE firms have been investing in property at astronomical rates. This is creating a scarcity of homes for potential homeowners and sending prices through the roof (which means higher rent when those banks/PE firms rent out their properties). https://fortune.com/2022/01/07/wall-street-kkr-blackstone-zillow-ibuying-house-flipping/ Berlin had a similar problem with their apartment market and their solution, decided by voters, was a mass government buyout of property from corporate landlords. I think that solution could be very viable for our real estate problem here in the US, though I can already hear the cries of "Socialism! Marxism!". Lately it seems like the Republican plan is to slash taxes while they're in power, then blame Dems for the resulting deficit and use it as an excuse to slash spending. Meanwhile, Dems try to pass spending plans to boost the economy, but can't get the votes to raise taxes to pay for it. Even when they focus their tax efforts on the ultra-rich, you have people like Manchin and Sinema saying "But wait, they're the only reason we have jobs!" As you said, pride and greed.
  20. I agree. Democrats have a unique talent for shooting themselves in the foot.
  21. Speaking of speculation, I made a prediction in this forum a little over 5 years ago. We've seen evidence in recent months to suggest that I may have been right. I think we'll get a much clearer picture this fall. https://thirdhour.org/forums/topic/60241-who-won-the-debate/?do=findComment&comment=886561
  22. "I'm sure the British will stop Britishing once they've established their claim on Sierra Leone". -some Nigerian dude 200 years ago
  23. You're comparing a preventative treatment to a curative one. And if it's true that vaccinated individuals are experiencing less severe COVID symptoms than unvaxxed, then it's unlikely that vaxxed COVID patients will receive hospital treatment to the extent that unvaxxed will. So I don't know how the comparison you're looking for is possible.
  24. This is likely true, especially with the new strain out. The vaccine had been effective at reducing severity of symptoms and keeping people out of the hospital (and the morgue), kind of like a flu shot. And despite a considerable number of breakthrough cases, the data shows that the vaccine is effective at preventing infection. The death rate claim is false. It's likely that the current death rate is low, but that wasn't always the case by any means. I couldn't find comparative data for hospitalizations, though it looks like current hospitalization numbers are low in Florida. Omicron appears to be hitting the northern states the hardest at the moment, which makes sense considering that NY was apparently ground zero for the Omicron spread in the US. Again, current numbers are low in Florida, but overall case numbers throughout the pandemic are high. And a higher population actually makes that statistic worse, considering that the states with the highest per capita case counts are generally the least populated. Florida is 17 on that list, higher than any of the other top 5 populous US states. And the tourism aspect just means that Florida is likely a catalyst for spread in other parts of the country. Omicron is new, so it's likely that we'll see shifts in geographical infection rates in the coming weeks, especially after the holidays. I'm hoping that the vaccine will mediate the severity in relation to previous spikes, but the data in northern states isn't promising. I'm not a doctor and I obviously don't know the details about your interactions with your family members, but based on the information you've provided, my guess is that it's unlikely that your test was a false positive. I'm not sure what your sister and BIL are basing their assumption on, but asymptomatic cases are far from unheard of.