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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: GOP are petulant crybabies
« on: April 08, 2022, 10:40:01 PM »
You flatter me, but my views unfortunately seem to have no bearing on how the Democrats run themselves or their approach to future elections. I question how much they could even be considered "my side" at this point. They're preferable to Republicans, but at a certain point their favored brand of quiet don't-rock-the-boat centrism becomes indistinguishable from conservatism. junker tried to warn me.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: GOP are petulant crybabies
« on: April 08, 2022, 09:07:57 PM »
The outcome does remain the same, yes. Republicans will fight dirty and act in bad faith regardless of what Democrats do or don't do, and the sooner Democrats realize that, the better off they'll be. The same thing applies to the media and their desperate efforts to both-sides what's going on. I'm not happy about the state of politics in this country, but it's the reality.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: GOP are petulant crybabies
« on: April 08, 2022, 08:07:59 PM »
Democrats should expand the court to punish Republicans for their sleazy partisanship over Barrett, just saying.
Yes, that would go about as well as the last time they successfully compromised SCOTUS. It would be fun to watch, if nothing else!

Okay, so presumably you're referring to the thing about the nuclear option that was discussed in the Trump thread after Ginsburg died. First, Democrats did not use the nuclear option to remove the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees, Republicans did. Democrats had previously used the nuclear option to remove the 60-vote requirement for confirming Cabinet posts and federal judges. But to put it as simply as possible, that doesn't matter. Democrats removing the 60-vote requirement for confirming Cabinet posts was in no way a requirement or a necessary first step for removing the 60-vote requirement for SC justices. As the article I linked discusses, Republicans were ready to use the nuclear option over the SC back in the Bush years, long before the Democrats ever did anything comparable, and it's ludicrous to think that they, having grown far more determined and unscrupulous in recent years, would have hesitated to be the first to use the nuclear option nowadays. And more importantly, nobody was criticizing Barrett's nomination for not requiring 60 votes to be confirmed. They were criticizing it for being shoved through in the last few weeks of a Republican presidency when Republicans had just a few years previously refused to allow a Democratic president to nominate someone in the last several months of their presidency. This only happened a couple of years ago, and it's easy to check what people were actually saying. This tit-for-tat, Democrats-should-blame-themselves narrative simply is not an accurate reflection of what really happened.

Biden specifying it must be a black woman means her other qualities are merely coincidence.

What a strange thing to say. That doesn't logically follow at all.

As Saddam explained earlier, the court isn't one of merit, so I suppose her qualifications shouldn't matter to anyone anyway.

I said it's not purely based on merit, which is absolutely true. If ideology and youth can and should be taken into account, then why not race and gender?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: GOP are petulant crybabies
« on: April 08, 2022, 05:30:08 PM »
If a person campaigns on nominating only a white man to the Supreme Court, would you have a problem with that?

Yes, because promising to exclude minority groups is very different to promising to include minority groups. Majority groups and minority groups are not equivalent, and substituting one in place of the other just isn't an effective comparison.

Well, there isn't a limit to how many justices SCOTUS has...

Democrats should expand the court to punish Republicans for their sleazy partisanship over Barrett, just saying.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: GOP are petulant crybabies
« on: April 08, 2022, 03:47:27 AM »
The Supreme Court is not and has never been a purely merit-based court comprised of the nine best-qualified jurists in the country. Choosing its members has always been a political process that by design has to meet with the approval of the Senate, and there are a number of factors beyond their experience and skill as a judge that are always taken into consideration. For example, there's ideology. Are conservatives wrong to always appoint conservative justices, or liberals wrong to always appoint liberal justices? There's also age, which is a particularly interesting one, because while there's no inherent conflict between searching for a qualified candidate and searching for one who happens to be of a certain race or gender, searching for an especially young candidate does have a tendency to rule out well-qualified ones. That's arguably what happened with Amy Coney Barrett; the Federalist Society (I won't bother pretending Trump had any input on the selection process outside of his final approval) almost certainly chose her mainly because they wanted someone young who could stay on the court for decades, which naturally led to the criticism that she wasn't qualified or experienced enough. Is deliberately choosing a black, female, and well-qualified candidate really so much worse than deliberately choosing a young, not-so-well-qualified candidate?

Something similar applies with the VP, which is nowadays more of a symbolic position than anything else (nobody thinks it's very likely that the president will die or resign, after all), and is typically chosen to appeal to voters as providing something that the presidential candidate lacks. Of course Harris being a woman and a person of color was key to her being picked as Biden's VP. I don't think that's inherently worse than, say, Mike Pence being picked as Trump's VP to cater to the religious right, who might otherwise have been scared off by Trump's sleaziness and long history of womanizing. Republicans and their identity politics, am I right?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 06, 2022, 04:16:47 AM »

Showing me even more evidence of the media weakly capitulating to bad-faith right-wing complaints about their supposed liberal bias in a futile attempt to stop the criticism is hardly going to change my position. If you want me to go into specifics, though, then I'll be clear - none of this supposed vindication means that the media were wrong to treat this story as cautiously as they did. Known liars presented very sketchy sources who told an implausible story to a newspaper of dubious reliability - and all these people refused to share any of the evidence with any media outlets that they didn't feel were conservative enough. The media were not wrong to not blindly parrot the NYP's story; yes, even if it turns out that the story was largely true. You can't just boil it down to "The story was true; therefore repeating it was good and not repeating it was bad." That's simply not how it works, and Trump's team and the NYP have nobody to blame but themselves for their suspicious story being received with suspicion.

Also, the NYP's attempt to conflate this specific story with general news of Hunter being a failson who trades on his father's name, as indicated by "Where once The New York Post stood alone in reporting the skeezy details of the many millions the first son gained by selling his family name overseas," is absurd. Most people could intuit that Hunter was a loser who used his last name to get high-paying jobs back when Trump first tried to smear Biden as corrupt over the whole Burisma thing, long before the laptop or the investigation into his taxes became a story. There's a world of difference between Hunter being a self-serving failson and Hunter and his father being partners in an international corruption scheme, and it's perfectly reasonable to accept the former while questioning the latter.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: LGBT School Teachers
« on: April 05, 2022, 03:04:25 PM »
Being gay is sexual. Being straight is...not sexual.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 05, 2022, 02:35:42 AM »
The article Tom linked is an excellent example of the mainstream media weakly capitulating to unreasonable demands and claims from conservatives in a desperate attempt to convince them that they're not unfairly biased in favor of liberals. It'll never work. No matter how far to the right the media lurches, conservatives will never stop insisting that the media is unfairly biased in favor of liberals, because they're not saying that because it's what they actually believe - they're saying it because it's an excellent tactic to continually push the media further and further to the right, as well as a way to spread doubt in their followers' minds whenever the media report on news they don't like. Why would they ever abandon a winning strategy like that? The media are basically trying to referee a soccer game in which one side has given up trying to kick the ball and instead just picked it up and started running away with it. They simply can't accept that one side is now operating entirely in bad faith and should therefore be treated as such.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: LGBT School Teachers
« on: April 04, 2022, 03:14:42 AM »
It's interesting how that second article mentions a hard divorce as an example of something that's too personal to share - not just a divorce, but a hard divorce. Does that mean that teachers can mention that they're divorced? It must, right? Otherwise, the article would have just used divorce as an example, not specifically a hard divorce. So if divorce can be shared, then logically marital status in general can be shared, as it would be pretty silly for one type of marital status to be appropriate but not others. And if marital status can be shared, doesn't that mean that the gender of the spouse will logically be shared? Technically, I guess the article could be recommending that teachers refer to their spouses in entirely gender-neutral terms. But I really, really doubt it. It seems far more likely to me that the article is really just talking about LGBT people when it recommends not sharing their sexual orientation, which plays into the double standard that's at the heart of this subject: the idea that being straight is nice, normal, and uncontroversial, while being gay or trans is inherently sexual, inherently outré, and inherently inappropriate for children.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 03, 2022, 10:02:34 PM »
The WSJ's opinion piece (link is to another website to avoid their paywall) is not a sincere plea made in good faith by an objective observer; it's a sarcastic piece of vitriol from a notoriously right-wing editorial board. The author is dramatically exaggerating the incoherence of the cited snippets from Biden's statements. It's clear what he's saying in both instances, and to interpret them as Biden possibly threatening to use chemical weapons is just willful stupidity.

The same thing applies to the Jill Biden comment that started this whole dumb discussion. Obviously Biden was referring to himself being the VP, not his wife. It was a minor, easy mistake to make that in no way obscured the meaning of what he was saying. All conservatives are doing by playing dumb in response to every verbal stumble from Biden is making themselves look dumb.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 02, 2022, 11:16:22 PM »
Who cares? Criticize something that actually matters.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: LGBT School Teachers
« on: April 02, 2022, 06:35:37 PM »
And yet teachers talk about being married or having kids with zero hesitation all over the country. That is not something that these laws have been designed to address or will address.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: LGBT School Teachers
« on: April 01, 2022, 03:09:21 PM »
My teachers talked about their marriages and families all the time too. For some mysterious reason, the people up in arms about children supposedly being taught about sexualities never have a problem with conventional, heteronormative relationships being discussed or being present in the books the kids read. It's only when it comes to the existence of LGBT people that suddenly everything becomes perversely sexual and inappropriate for children.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: March 31, 2022, 04:27:58 AM »
I doubt if Trump really believes that Putin actually has secret evidence of the Bidens' corruption. He knows that Putin is capable of intervening on his behalf in the upcoming elections regardless of whether or not his rivals are guilty of anything, and that's what he's really asking for.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: March 27, 2022, 01:03:10 PM »
But what do you think, though? This is a very important subject.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: March 27, 2022, 04:13:19 AM »

I can see why they cut this. It doesn't really add anything new to the story, and including this scene would arguably have overshadowed everything else in the film in the minds of many fans. Aside from that, eh...I don't think I really like this Joker. Maybe it's just me, but I almost think that Keoghan is trying to imitate Heath Ledger's Joker, at least in part. The voice sounds awfully similar, and he smacks his lips like Ledger's Joker did too. I don't think there was a mandate from the studio to have him try to recreate Ledger's performance or anything, but much like the general emphasis on grittiness and realism in the overall film, it feels - not necessarily is, but feels - like a very conservative, corporate-minded attempt at overcorrecting from the missteps of the early DCEU movies to be more like the Nolan ones. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but the problem with the early DCEU movies wasn't that directors like Snyder and Ayer chose to embrace the fantasy/sci-fi elements of the DC universe instead of keeping everything gritty and realistic, and the problem with Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker wasn't that Ayer and Leto chose to interpret the character differently to how Nolan and Ledger did. As much as I liked The Batman, I'm worried that this new series has locked itself into a path of very well-worn and inherently very limited territory.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: When it Pays to be a Democrat
« on: March 26, 2022, 04:40:12 AM »
The NYT made a passing reference to files recovered from Hunter's laptop in a story about the investigation into him. Right-wing media and politicians are interpreting this as broad vindication for the entirety of the very sketchy story with very sketchy sourcing pushed by known liars back in 2020. The subject of whether or not the relevant laptop was really Hunter's was one of many valid questions the story raised, and confirmation of the fact now is far from a told-you-so moment.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: March 24, 2022, 10:18:29 PM »
the fanboys are triggered

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: March 24, 2022, 04:50:13 AM »
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Jon Watts, 2021)

spoiler worming

For better or worse, this final film in the spoderman trilogy continues the trend of simply celebrating other movies rather than actually being about its main character. This time around, rather than just reveling in its MCU setting (although it does do plenty of that), the emphasis is on nostalgia for previous spoderman movies. I won't claim to be immune to this kind of nostalgia. I had some feels when I saw Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, and Willem Dafoe appear on screen. Even with the writing and effects being absolute dogshit, seeing these great actors bring these beloved characters back to life again brought a little of the magic of those first two fantastic spoderman movies back, even if just for a short while. I have a hard time imagining that the Garfield movies mean as much to anyone as the Raimi movies do to those of us who grew up with them, but regardless, I hope the fans of those films were happy with what they got from them in this movie too.

Nostalgia aside, however, this is not a good movie. I would go so far as to say that it's an incompetent one, in much the same way that the Star Wars prequels are. Almost every shot is bland or ugly. The numerous green screens for even mundane settings are obvious and distracting. The "comedy" is pure cringe. I winced painfully at the awful, awful "Scooby-Doo this shit" line. What grown adult actually wrote that down and thought it was a good idea? The story itself is poorly structured - things just happen because the movie needs them to. Villains show up and start action scenes because the movie needs them to, Doctor Strange shows up and starts expositing because the movie needs him to, etc. And the general quality of the special effects is horrendous, especially for the MCU. These are the worst effects I've seen in a capeshit movie since the theatrical cut of Justice League. I know that they shot this during the height of the pandemic, but I'm not going to cut the movie any slack for that. It was their decision to keep making movies. If that means they put out sub-par ones, then that's on them.

Imagine having access to one of the top three most popular capeshitters in the world, a character far more iconic and famous than any of the others you have access to, a character with enough source material to make a dozen movies from, and all you can think to do with him is make him a mascot for the rest of your franchise.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: March 18, 2022, 10:50:43 PM »
A more positive spin on the concept is simply that it's people supporting laws, policies, or agendas that they feel benefit or protect those of the group or class of people which they identify with or belong to. Politicians of both parties have for decades made explicit calls for the support of members of various groups or classes, insisting that their election will be the best outcome for people of that group or class in particular. It's hardly a phenomenon unique to Democrats.

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