Random Politics Thread

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Hent
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Hent » 2017-10-05, 9:31

Prowler wrote:How many more mass shootings need to happen for USA to look more into gun control?

Also 57 deaths and hundreds of injured people?! Those are numbers that rival big terrorist attacks.


The Republicans won't allow it. If you take away guns from the good people, all you have left are illegal weapon owners and the military, police etc.

Also you can't precede these shootings unless you want to strip the people of every bit of privacy they have left.

Shit happens, right?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-05, 15:25

Dr. House wrote:The Republicans won't allow it. If you take away guns from the good people, all you have left are illegal weapon owners and the military, police etc.

No one was ever talking about taking guns away, just not doling them out to anyone and everyone who wanted one.
Also you can't precede prevent these shootings unless you want to strip the people of every bit of privacy they have left.

I don't buy this idea that a basic personal background check before you're issued a gun is a serious invasion of privacy.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Hent » 2017-10-05, 16:02

vijayjohn wrote:
Dr. House wrote:The Republicans won't allow it. If you take away guns from the good people, all you have left are illegal weapon owners and the military, police etc.

No one was ever talking about taking guns away, just not doling them out to anyone and everyone who wanted one.
Also you can't precede prevent these shootings unless you want to strip the people of every bit of privacy they have left.

I don't buy this idea that a basic personal background check before you're issued a gun is a serious invasion of privacy.


Of course not. But mr. Paddock was your everyday normal guy who snapped at some moment in his life. You would need a mind reader to scan people at home to prevent such acts.
Have you seen Minority Report? Something of that sort.

I mean. Someone is going to work hard their whole life and accumulate anger while looking pretty normal. Buying guns for hunting and then one day...

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-05, 16:11

Oh come on, you know he wasn't using those guns for hunting. And you don't need a mind reader. All you need is some basic background checks. Take a look at his previous history of buying guns, for example. You don't need over 20 weapons for self-protection.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-05, 17:02

When law enforcement officials say an incident like the one in Las Vegas does not appear to be an act of terrorism, are we supposed to parse that as it not being an act of [politically or religiously motivated] terrorism? I find the language baffling.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-05, 17:22

Yasna wrote:When law enforcement officials say an incident like the one in Las Vegas does not appear to be an act of terrorism, are we supposed to parse that as it not being an act of [politically or religiously motivated] terrorism? I find the language baffling.

The archetypal terrorist to USAmericans is a man of Middle-Eastern origin who is motivated by Islamist ideology to murder innocents. The further you get from that archetype, the less likely many people are to call someone's actions "terrorism".

Mateen appears to have been as much of a "lone wolf" as Paddock. But he was non-white, of Central Asian (Afghani) origin, and nominally Muslim, putting him very close to the archetype. Another "lone wolf", Dylann Roof, subscribed to an extremist ideology, also targeted members of a recognisable minority group, and was able to articulate a comprehensible goal--"igniting a race war"--which does appear to be the minimum requirement many people have for using the label "terrorism".
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-05, 17:57

I mean... when you go around shooting hundreds of people and end up killing more than 50 of those 200-300 people you've shot, you're gonna cause panic. As if people aren't afraid enough of this kind of stuff happening at crowded areas like concerts already. This mass shooting is only adding more ashes to the fire.

Sounds like a way to spread terror to me.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-05, 18:02

"Panic" is not the same as "terror", though.

If you read through the definitions of terrorism used in US law, you'll see that most of them require that the violence be intended "to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" or at the very least be "politically motivated".

Nobody can figure out yet what this shooter's politics were, let alone his objective(s).
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-05, 18:05

How long have those definitions of "terrorism" been used in US law?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-05, 18:46

vijayjohn wrote:How long have those definitions of "terrorism" been used in US law?

It varies. The part I quoted at length, for instance, is from the Code of Federal Regulations and was adopted in 1969.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-05, 19:45

linguoboy wrote:"Panic" is not the same as "terror", though.

If you read through the definitions of terrorism used in US law, you'll see that most of them require that the violence be intended "to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" or at the very least be "politically motivated".

Nobody can figure out yet what this shooter's politics were, let alone his objective(s).

I see.

It's very very strange indeed. How can someone out o f the blue just decide to go on a mass shooting spree for no reason at all? Did he have severe mental issues and wasn't aware of what he was doing anymore or something?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-05, 20:01

Prowler wrote:It's very very strange indeed. How can someone out o f the blue just decide to go on a mass shooting spree for no reason at all? Did he have severe mental issues and wasn't aware of what he was doing anymore or something?

The degree of preparation involved leaves little doubt that he knew what he was doing. He wanted to inflict the maximum amount of casualties before committing suicide.

Why do it? It could be as simple as notoriety. That's why experts suggest denying mass shooters publicity. But (as this discussion demonstrates) nobody likes that advice.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-05, 20:33

linguoboy wrote:That's why experts suggest denying mass shooters publicity. But (as this discussion demonstrates) nobody likes that advice.

Idk, I think I'd be fine with it if we paid less attention to these things and that helped them stop.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-05, 21:16

The separatists wanted independence for Catalonia, but what have they actually gotten from their drive for independence? Temporarily loss of autonomy, hundreds of injuries, its companies are leaving, and no realistic path to independence in sight. Today's headlines from El País:

El principal banco de Cataluña se reúne mañana para trasladar su sede

España estudia aprobar un decreto que facilite la salida de empresas de Cataluña

El consejo del banco Sabadell aprueba el cambio de sede a Alicante

If you actually care about Catalonia, it's beyond me how you can continue to cheer on the separatists. And let's not forget that the majority in Catalonia didn't even support a vote for independence, so the majority of Catalans who wanted nothing to do with independence are suffering for the egoism of the separatists.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-05, 21:28

Yasna wrote:If you actually care about Catalonia, it's beyond me how you can continue to cheer on the separatists.

Because this is how independence movements often (if not typically) begin?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-06, 0:21

Yasna wrote:If you actually care about Catalonia, it's beyond me how you can continue to cheer on the separatists. And let's not forget that the majority in Catalonia didn't even support a vote for independence, so the majority of Catalans who wanted nothing to do with independence are suffering for the egoism of the separatists.

We don't know what a majority of Catalans support at this point because the Spanish government interfered with the polling.

I don't think anyone here is cheering. I'm not generally in favour of Catalan independence; at least in the short term, the economic impact will be negative on all involved. (Yes, including the Spanish. Why aren't you berating them for the choices they made which led to this situation?) It's just that I see how they arrived where they have and I'm broadly sympathetic.

They whole thing reminds me of nothing so much as a domestic tragedy. You have one party who's frustrated with their status in the household. They feel they're being taking advantage of and not listened to. The only way they can think of to make the others realise how serious the situation is for them is to threaten to leave. In response, the head of the household slaps them around a bit while the others eggs them on or do nothing.

The whole crisis has revealed a very ugly side of the Spanish state and the Spaniards more generally. If I were Catalan, I don't know if I'd want to stay tied to them either.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-06, 6:43

The separatists wanted independence for Catalonia, but what have they actually gotten from their drive for independence? Temporarily loss of autonomy, hundreds of injuries, its companies are leaving, and no realistic path to independence in sight. Today's headlines from El País:

That's sounds exactly like what Greek people have been hearing for years: "do not ask for new elections, elections are a disaster for the country".

Also, the loss of autonomy, the violence, the financial cost, and the lack of path forward are not a fact of nature. Someone brought them about (Spain) with things they did. Sorry for taking the analogy there, but since linguoboy brought it up, yeah, that kind of reasoning is like saying to a victim of domestic abuse "you shouldn't have reported your husband to the police, now he's only going to hit you harder and take away your stuff".

* * *

Yesterday I also read that the Catalan branch of PSOE got the court to stop a session of the Catalan Parliament to prevent the UDI. That party appears to be pro-federalism. If that's generally the way federalists in Spain go about things, I totally understand why many Catalans want full independence.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-06, 7:45

Yasna wrote:Temporarily loss of autonomy,


Estatut 2006, LOMCE, pobresa energètica, bullfighting. Why won't you address any of the attacks Catalan autonomy has been under from the Spanish media and "constitutional" court?

You know this conflict didn't start on Sunday, right?

And let's not forget that the majority in Catalonia didn't even support a vote for independence, so the majority of Catalans who wanted nothing to do with independence are suffering for the egoism of the separatists.


Where did you get this information from, the gods? The Economist?

md0 wrote:Yesterday I also read that the Catalan branch of PSOE got the court to stop a session of the Catalan Parliament to prevent the UDI. That party appears to be pro-federalism. If that's generally the way federalists in Spain go about things, I totally understand why many Catalans want full independence.


Yes, most people in Catalonia who were federalists before 2012 have since jumped ship, though I'd say the federalism of Catalunya Sí Que Es Pot (a party associated with Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, as well as with Podemos at state level; it's a coalition of the Catalan Greens + the local branch of Podemos + smaller centre-left parties) is more sincere than that of the PSC.

This sort of political use of the courts (that's been going on since at least 2006) is a huge part of the reason why the independence movement is so big and why it's laughable to hear that Spain is getting rid of Catalan autonomy just now apparently.

I used to think federalism was a much more sensible, realistic option than independence. Then I spent a couple of months reading what the Madrid press was saying about Catalonia (including https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvLPss6Kxss this odious "documentary"* produced by the public TeleMadrid) and I was sadly disabused of that notion.

*For those who don't know Spanish, all you need to know about this documentary is the moment 3:50-4:15:

En los comercios, en las señales, en los colegios, en las calles, en los organismos públicos, en los restaurantes, en los carteles de prohibido, en el transporte público, en los aparcamientos: todo en catalán. ¡Sólo en catalán! ¿Qué está sucediendo con el castellano en Cataluña? ¿Está quizá en peligro de extinción?

"In businesses, on public signage, in schools, on the streets, in public organisations, in restaurants, on signs that say "prohibited", in public transport, in parking spaces: all in Catalan. Only in Catalan! What is happening with Spanish in Catalonia? Is it perhaps in danger of extinction?"

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-07, 16:29

a poll showing views on 3 Oct police intervention

Teal: approves of police action in Cat
Pink: disapproves

Spain, Spain (excl. Cat), Cat only
Note that the second figure includes the Basque Country and the Balearics, likely to be more sympathetic to Catalonia.

This is a great day for Spanish federalism.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-07, 17:20

Saim wrote:Balearics, likely to be more sympathetic to Catalonia.

Are they really? I'm skeptical. IIRC, there are more recent immigrants there from Catalonia, but still, locals there seem to insist that mallorquí etc. are definitely NOT Catalan. I know a native speaker of mallorquí personally. The first thing I ever said to him directly was like three words in Catalan (that I'd learned from TY Catalan because I didn't know the difference), and he practically skewered me. I think I've seen clips of anti-Catalan protests there, too.


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