If this article weren’t written in America for Americans, it would equally condemn Male Genital Mutilation, aka circumcision. There are no real benefits to the risks in our hygienic modern environment, and the primary idea was the same as with cutting off the clit: to limit a man’s pleasure because prehistoric goatherders thought it was sinful and were told a man in the sky would get mad if they didn’t cut off part of their dicks. It amazes and revulses me how many Americans can condemn FGM because it seems backwards and barbaric to them, while supporting male circumcision simply because their culture has made them used to it.
I haven’t been to Europe where they condemn circumcision, but I already have a much wider understanding from internationalism than Americans of how biases can make people believe stupid shit. Christians only defend circumcision because they feel required to: they are afraid to condemn practices they believe were revealed and ordered by their sky god, and they are equally afraid to call that God primitive and barbaric in case that God exists and would send them to hell for arguing with them. Fear is what drives people to religion, not actual love, propaganda to the contrary aside.
I happen to have a book on a study that easily refutes the false notion that private schools are on average better than public schools from K-12, which has been pushed at the expense of facts. Facts show an equivalent or better k-12 education is to be had at public schools, but vested interests are slow to acknowledge them-Christians, fiscal conservativrs, libertarians, and elitists mainly oppose changing their views or funding public schools that are actually more efficient at teaching for less money.
I heard some propaganda about that ice rink you mentioned which you thought Trump fixed for charity, and this seems to be the real story that sets the record straight. It was for publicity because he had no name at the time, plus he was paid to do, it and wanted to build a restaurant next to the rink but was denied. He hasn’t done anything related to philanthropy since then–not that I know of anyway, and I tried multiple times to find something before he got elected.
Seriously, Trump’s fans are desperate to hold up their champion because if they lose faith in their him, they will have no hope. After all, their political philosophy is broken and they have no one else to turn to. I certainly don’t consider this to be a great charitable thing worth trumpeting about.
The US owned this property but gave it up because they didn’t want to pay taxes. Trump bought it for 8 million by threatening to build an ugly property on the beach in front of it that would block the view, and has made millions off of it, and he turned it into a nouveau riche private club that requires a 200,000 USD admission fee, and 14 K annually. People who join are rejects to the older private clubs of the area that reject blacks and Jews, and he profits from the egotistical kind of porky.
He will have met Xi and has met the Japanese PM here. He didn’t disclose who he meets there and who influences him until forced by a new act of congress to release his club list and logs of who meets him on his property. Even the Republican insiders in his party didn’t trust him and want to know who the fuck he is meeting.
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A corporate-theocratic alliance is set to expand in America as Trump has appointed to his cabinet regulators who are antagonistic to the departments they run, to sabotage them and capture them for private interests, if they aren’t outright dismantled once the gears ground to a halt from sheer incompetence and there is an excuse to gut them further. Devos does not even believe in evolution, and will effectively dumb down education at public schools while elevating funding to charter schools. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/trump-education-secretary-betsy-devos-a-win-for-the-christian-right-w470605
Other examples of planned sabotage that I can remember:
Appointing Rick Perry who wanted to dismantle the dept. of energy, a name he forgot, but which he now runs.
Appointing the corporate billionaire who founded the World Wide Wrestling Foundation to manage the small business administration, rather than someone with a background and interest in advocating for small businesses.
Appointing the attorney who advised Alibaba during their IPO to manage the SEC. (Alibaba relocated to the US for an IPO because Hong Kong actually has more stringent restrictions on preferred stock, to prevent investors from buying stock that in effect doesn’t give you voting rights, thereby allowing an incompetent CEO with a minority of shares to stay in charge even if over fifty percent of the company want to kick him out.) I’ve suspected Alibaba ever since the IPO and now the SEC is investigating their accounting practices.
I expected deliberate conflicts of interest like this, and it appears that my studies within private industry (which encouraged keeping up with business and political corruption in the news) gave me insights to make better predictions than the average voter. The questions that should have dominated the election were hardly whispered – what is Trump’s background, experience, motives, and management style, and how sound are his policies? But the election instead hinged on the theme of fear on both sides, because most people still vote on emotion, rather than mainly discussing the best policies for the economy. All of the philosophy blogs I frequent have lamented the massive failure of critical thinking in the last election cycle.
Trump tells Putin Obama did a terrible nuclear deal that wasn’t in America’s best interests. Putin asks if he wants to extend the deal. Trump pauses the conversation to ask his aides what the deal he was lambasting is even talking about.
So in ten years the conservatives have moved from denying climate change to denying most of it is caused by human activity, retrenching their position to where they’ll be safer.
Scott Adams is one of the “deniers.*” (You might remember Scott as the famous artist of the “Dilbert” comic who turned into a Trump fan.) He acts like he is sharing his neutral observations, while he tilts everything against his target. Recently he criticized “Bill Nye: the Science Guy,” just like the Fox News program he linked to.
It’s acutely painful to watch this decline in clear thinking, because I have read a couple of good books by Scott Adams from when he wasn’t a wingnut, and I don’t know what happened to him. He’s getting old though, and may have developed brain cancer. Either his brain has fried, or (as a result of his hand injury that has made it harder to draw,) he plans to switch to blogging about politics to the Trump zealots on his new social media platforms for an eventual monetary return. If you want clear proof that his remaining core fanbase don’t understand how to do accurate research (they’re simply hopeless idiots and probably the lazy kind), just read the comments.
Then fairly read his article, and watch the video of Bill Nye annihilating the Fox News anchorman, and think about how for every single allegation Scott Adams he falls flat. Bill Nye was put in an inferior position on a talk show, with a guy who tries to steer the conversation, force him to answer scripted trick questions in a short time slot, without giving Bill Nye to develop his arguments or present his side.
Nevertheless, Scott Adams says Bill Nye developed cognitive dissonance when his position failed him, and refused to answer a precise question because he didn’t know — which according to Scott shows that Bill Nye is just another believer “on faith.” (Scott Adams you’ve said you’re an atheist, so you should have awareness from having encountered this fallacy before. Theists and reality deniers love to say “You can’t know *anything* for sure, and anything less than 100% confidence leaves room for me. Therefore even if though am not an expert in what you are talking about, you should take my position seriously as though my position has an equal chance of being true.”
It is shows Scott Adams hasn’t thought it through when he expects Bill Nye to answer the trick question with a precise answer, (and treats any abscence of an answer as proof that Bill Nye is wrong.) Had he took the bait and answered, Bill Nye’s credibility would still have been attacked even if he had pulled a number out of thin air and said 70% or 90%, rather than what he said — “If you want a number, global warming is 100% accelerated by human activity.” The precise number is a technicality when Bill Nye is plainly arguing that most of the warming is caused by humans, and that he believes the rate is hazardous.
This is confirmed when the host keeps interrupting him before he can make any good points. Of course I don’t think Bill Nye is a good debater, and he isn’t good at quick one line retorts, but he is a good presenter or lecturer.
When you look past his clumsy retorts and look at the content of his arguments when he has time to do them, he always makes better points than the less developed minds he’s pitted against who make unscientific arguments like,
>”If global warming is caused by CO2,
>and CO2 causes global warming
>and if there were volcanos on the moon,
then why is the moon cold?”
It’s superb irony how Scott Adams calls Bill Nye deluded. (Of course Scott Adams is really rich but he is still an opportunist who usually ends every post with shilling one ofhis products. Which makes one wonder if he tries to create controversial posts to shill for his company, but is a shady technique he seems to have learned from reading Donald Trump.)
Tl;dr: Bill Nye is great, Scott Adams is an idiot, and my farts prove Global Warming is caused by humans.
*”Climate Change deniers” don’t like the word anymore because it is too objective about their relationship to the position. They instead prefer to be called “Climate Change Skeptics” even though skepticism does not mean denying overwhelming sound evidence, and as “unskeptics,” or “pseudo-skeptics” they diminish the gravity of the word. Conservatives have done a good job at moving the word choice since we can’t even “Global Warming” anymore without them cherry picking exceptions (usually of freak weather like tornados or cold spells which we wouldn’t have if not for the messed up weather we cause,) so we now have to say “Climate Change” to prevent those objections, which sounds really ambiguous. It makes it sound like scientists aren’t sure about Climate Change, like it could even be getting colder, and in effect it is a minor victory by technicality for the less educated side–the more obstinate side. I won’t pretend to be neutral about the question of global warming on my blog when they’re clearly wrong, and scientists rightfully want the public to recognize it to be a closed question we’ve debated and solved, so that we can “get the move on” to our other problems.
Granting that all men are entitled to their opinions, doesn’t mean that men are entitled to their own set of facts. The climate change crowd are the skeptics, they are the scientists.
The conservative estimates scientists publish erring on the safe side to avoid being wrong are alarming enough, but what is more alarming is the succeses of the propaganda campaign by anti-intellectual forces in America, and of the fossil fuel companies–who as the richest companies on Earth have reason and money to finance disinformation experts as easily as they hire lawyers. Oddly, the other side refuses to believe that paid liars could exist, or somehow believe the green companies are hiring more paid liars even though those companies are not nearly as prevalent, profitable, or unconcerned about “the tragedy of the commons.”
It’s worth noting other countries the left and right wings are different. For instance, a liberal in a socialist country would favor privatization, whereas here they would favor more government. A liberal is techincally just someone who favors changes, and a conservative someone who wants to keep the status quo. I wish we had more political parties to choose from than 2.