Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

We can’t solve racism. There is no solution for racism. We can’t remove cultural bias. Classism, ageism, sexism… all of these things are with us because they are fundamental to human cognition. We make generalizations so that we can get on with the business of living. If it’s a snake, I presume it’s dangerous. When I encounter someone new, I evaluate my opinion of them based on the context that we met and their appearance, (and later, if we talk, based on how that conversation goes). We compare that input to our most similar experiences… so if a person grew up in a culturally rich Black neighborhood and encounters a Black person on the street, their preconception about that stranger will be much different than a White suburbanite that only has crime dramas to refer to as it relates to Black people.

Let’s say that White suburbanite sits on a committee to evaluate PTA candidates. Do you think these two people will each assess a Black PTA candidate fairly? Maybe, and maybe not. These biases are employed countless times daily for all kinds of reasons… nearly all of them trivial.

When the White kid steals a candy bar and gets away with it because the store clerk is too busy watching the Black kid at the magazine section, it sets into place an imbalance. The White kid is provided more opportunities to fix his or her mistakes… is basically provided more latitude while they figure out how to be capable adults… while Black kids are often treated with an expectation that they come from the ‘hood and therefore are more barbaric and have a Black way of talking and couldn’t possibly be interested in Heidegger’s views on Aesthics and Beauty.

Racism results.

What, in the above scenarios, can you really “fix?” You can’t really stop people from being racist or having racial bias. As people we tend to enjoy the company of people similar to us… people that share our world-views, our cultural norms, and our economic status. So when opportunities arise, those opportunities are first presented to the people most like those that produced the opportunity… fortune favors its own.

Awarding scholarships based on the distance traveled is a good method, I think. A White suburbanite that was provided all kinds of scholastic support from her one-working-parent family, private school, after-school programs (instead of working), healthy regular meals, summer camps, and all of the cosmetic accoutrement needed to ensure she wouldn’t be ostracized in school will understandably be MORE LIKELY to be qualified for grad school than a Black girl that had none of those things yet nonetheless finds herself in a position to apply for the same school.

Awarding the position to the White girl acknowledges that she has more support mechanisms to ensure her success. Awarding the position to the Black girl acknowledges that she had to travel further to get to the same place. What is the greater achievement? And given these two individuals, who would you rather be stuck on a desert island with?

I wish I had the time to be more directly responsive to the ideas above. There’s some good ones there. Unfortunately I gotta jam out to some antique fair thing that a friend of mine is all excited about (and I have the wagon).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

Okay, you don’t like affirmative action because it victimizes White people.

Sure, it sucks when ANYONE is granted favoritism based on characteristics that should be irrelevant to the decision.

Today we DO have favoritism influencing decisions based on characteristics that should be irrelevant. They are well documented and we (hopefully) don’t need to go into the myriad ways that racism and sexism are manifested in American society. It is so pervasive that many (and maybe most) White people are oblivious to it; it is normal.

When a quantity of factors benefit one people based on an arbitrary characteristic, and that arbitrary characteristics then becomes a cultural reference point for those that don’t exemplify that characteristic, we have a situation that favors one kind of person in systemic ways throughout the individual’s life.

Affirmative action is a tool for addressing this larger systemic imbalance, and it has been working to equalize minorities and women in the workplace… along with other policies and cultural factors… but it’s far from being obsolete and unneeded.

The solution would be giving everyone equal opportunities early on…

Well, sure… but how do you “give” someone opportunity? Is it yours to give? I fully and enthusiastically agree that education is the single most-important area for producing real sustainable change in matters of peace, cultural well-being, and racial equity, (and so on). So, then what? Throw money at it? Change policy? (What policy?)

I agree that race should not be a factor in determining a candidate’s non-racial credentials… and White people should not have been given hundreds of years of socio-economic advantage… but that’s the issue we’re in and it’s fucked up.

Elevating some simplistic notion that we can simply remove all consideration of race and be, as a people, “color blind” is effectively the same thing as doing nothing. Being “color blind” endorses the status quo and excuses systemic racism behind a thin veneer of meaningless platitude. By saying, “I’m color-blind and don’t see race,” one is effectively saying, “I don’t recognize the unique challenges that Black people face in American society.”

EDIT: Thank you for the correction on my analogy. I realize now, with your explanation, that it was a bad example.

Regarding your objections:

1 You are suggesting that preference is given to black people so as to address the fact that black people occupy less job positions- but this fact is a result of preconceived notions and discrimination, which means that you are not addressing the cause but simply making the situation look nicer, kind of like putting a band-aid over a festering wound without properly cleaning it.

If that band-aid can pay for a mortgage and get that Black family into a better school district, I’m cool with that.

2 This solution only helps on the level of job employment and doesn’t address various inequalities black people face before employment.

There are other programs and policies for addressing systemic racism (among other things) in other areas. Affirmative action is not THE solution; it’s a tool for addressing part of a much larger problem. Sometimes you treat the symptoms and the cause goes away, (e.g., “broken window theory”)… and often the cause of the disease doesn’t kill the patient but rather the symptom.

3 It is unfair towards white people (I consider it relevant because there are solutions which are more fair and because ignoring this point seems hypocritical and vengeful).

The system is currently unfair in FAVOR of White people. How in the world can we ever find a solution if the people that the current system favors deny any solution that doesn’t continue to favor them? At some point White people will need to be comfortable relinquishing some privilege, and that’s really all there is to it. I’m cool with that. Are you?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

I think your rebuttal is sound and well-reasoned, but it fails to recognize at least one fundamental principle.

I’m saying it’s wrong for any attempt to slow progression be it racial or others.

Maintaining a white male oligarchy has been crippling progress for a long, long time. We’ve suppressed the contributions of millions of people in America based on qualities of race, class, gender, and religion for hundreds of years. Think of all that we’ve lost… of all of the individuals that would have contributed to our understanding of medicine, of conflict and suffering, of sustainability, of economics… based on reasons of white male privilege.

The unfathomable “wrong” is already being committed. If you want to talk about stifling progress, let’s at least recognize the historical context.

I am inclined to challenge the notion that white people are now being penalized for the wrongs of yesterday.

If my father steals a car and gives it to me, is it right for the victim to seek restitution from me? Do they forego a claim to their property (or their rights and opportunities) because I am not directly responsible for the condition they find themselves in, even though I am the beneficiary of the inequity?

The last of my response directly to your post is rooted in this comment:

Real acceptance has to happen by people showing they have as much worth as anyone else by proving they can overcome the same obstacles.

Clearly, the average white man does not actually need to overcome the same scale of obstacles as the average black woman. I hope that’s a safe statement to make.

Affirmative action isn’t meant to create more people that assimilate into the dominant White society—a condition that Asians are sometimes used as an example of—but rather to create a society that provides its citizens with more equal opportunity. These conceits are different. The idea that Affirmative Action is meant to encourage minorities to be more competitive in White society is fundamentally flawed. Rather, Affirmative Action is meant to embrace minorities in the space that is currently dominated by White men.

The fundamental question to ask is: Has Affirmative Action increased Black employment and/or had an impact on discrimination in the workplace? Right?

The question of whether it’s fair to White men is irrelevant, or at least uninteresting.

So… let’s look for evidence of that.

(clickety click)

I found a paper in Harvard’s library that shows that during the period of Affirmative Action’s heyday, Black male employment rose by a factor of nearly 2% and employment for Black females rose by just over 2%. (This study factors for workforce populations, job growth, control groups, and so on. You can read the whole nerdy thing here.)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?


I think your hurdle-race analogy is broken.

First, a race is a competition; equal opportunity is not a competition.

Let’s use a more realistic example. My uncle runs a store and he needs someone to work there. He’s considering hiring me — I’m his nephew — but he’s also considering hiring my friend. My friend and I have the same amount of experience. My uncle naturally hires me based on a privilege that I did not earn. My friend will have to look for work elsewhere.

Seems reasonable, right?

Now let’s say this practice is expanded… so that companies will prefer to hire people of their own race, or from their own religions, or their own geographies, or their own socio-economic classes. That’s what we have now, and what we’ve had for decades (perhaps even centuries).

So when you say something like…

And there is a difference between allowing people equal access to things, and crippling someone’s else room for advancement in the world.

…it fails to recognize that the white male oligarchy has been crippling others’ opportunities for advancement for centuries. THAT’S the problem that affirmative action is seeking to redress. Your objection to Affirmative Action suggests that it’s okay for society to affect a cultural bias that favors white men but it’s wrong when social policy seeks to balance it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

That’s fine. But don’t call that equality.

(Did someone call it “equality?”)

I don’t call purple “blue plus red.” It doesn’t matter what word you use; the principle behind it is the important thing. Affirmative action is about providing more equalized access to opportunity between those that enjoy societal benefits (that they didn’t earn) to those that suffer societal obstacles (that they don’t deserve).

Using a disadvantage as a “crutch” is a pretty ridiculous idea. You know what a crutch is, right? It’s a tool to help a person with some kind of disadvantage the means to move about like a person without that disadvantage. So, when you say “crutch” I take it to mean that you believe that a person that receives some kind of assistance will become dependent upon that service or tool and, as a result, will feel no motivation to learn to walk without it.

Wouldn’t that be true of, say, Pell Grants? Why should we offer financial assistance to students? It would be better to have them work for their own school costs because it makes them better suited for the workforce after graduation.

How about welfare? Or public housing? Or WIC? Or Medicaid? Or food stamps?

All of these social programs (by your implication, if I’m reading it correctly) basically foster a sense of laziness and entitlement among their recipients. Is that more or less what you’re saying?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

My rebuttal is essentially that if a person meets the minimum requirements for the job (and that excess qualifications are not factored), then the job should go towards the person that can use it to leverage the greater good, individually and socially.
Why are you making the assumption that because he’s not as privileged he can use the position to leverage the greater good? Assuming we’re equal in all respects, including objective qualifications, why should he get the position by default?

I didn’t make any assumption. I was outlining a scenario that illustrates the long-term purpose of affirmative action.

The value of admitting the black lesbian into grad school will present a greater long term impact on achieving racial or gender-based equality in the work place (and, as a result, life opportunity). That’s why those policies were developed in the 1960s.

The purpose is to ensure that minorities of race, gender, or national origin are given the same workplace opportunities as white males. The goal is to equalize that privilege.

The “greater good” that I’m referring to means that the black lesbian will get into grad school and demonstrate leadership and inspiration to other people from her community by serving as a positive role-model, or maybe she’ll start a family in this new socio-economic paradigm. People of privilege, i.e., white males, don’t lack those role models and are culturally immersed in images and attitudes that expect them to excel and, as a result, present more opportunities for them.

Therefore, admitting the black lesbian into grad school over the white male, (presuming they both meet the minimum requirements), will produce a wider and deeper benefit to her than it will him… and produce a wider and deeper benefit to society at large.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is treating everyone equally actually right?

That is an interesting stance, MagicEggplant.

“Do I have a privileged background? Absolutely. But I shouldn’t be punished for it.”

I’d first challenge your definition of “punishment.” It presumes that you are entitled the job because the job uses a set of criteria based solely on your ability to perform that job’s duties. If you are denied that entitlement because of an additional factor that makes you less-qualified for the POSITION (not the job’s tasks… but the position), then it may be that your definition of punishment is a bit self-centered.

In other words, in the process of evaluating candidates there will be some factors that favor you and some that don’t. If you consider each factor that doesn’t favor you as “punishment,” then it is the very voice of privilege and entitlement… and that could be some of the source of your frustration.

I’d challenge your implied position that affirmative action takes a lesser priority than job performance. While this may be true for some jobs, it may not be true for some jobs.

In other words, affirmative action may be more meaningful in the societal sense than the “punishment” you received by not enjoying your privilege… a social expectation of you, based on your race and gender perhaps, that expects achievement. You have a social support that she lacks, and that is a greater social problem than your individual problem of not getting into your graduate program.

I’d challenge the idea that because you may be MORE qualified than the minority candidate, the minority candidate may not be qualified for the job. My rebuttal is essentially that if a person meets the minimum requirements for the job (and that excess qualifications are not factored), then the job should go towards the person that can use it to leverage the greater good, individually and socially.

In other words, the black lesbian from Wyoming may have a more difficult time finding a spot in a graduate program than you because she lacks the privileged background that you have. The fact that she meets the requirements of the graduate program are all that’s relevant; beyond that the considerations favor the candidate that brings the greatest degree of benefit.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

It’s going to become more and more of a problem as time goes on, Implosion. Shutting down borders doesn’t really stop people. It delays them and makes smuggling more dangerous and expensive. Walls and other fences are more symbolic than practical, long-term deterrents.


Again, the lines between ‘refugee’ and ‘economic migrant’ are pretty damn blurry to non-existent in this case.

For some it’s going to be blurry, and for some it’s not. A lot of people are claiming to be Syrian because the country of your origin largely determines whether you’re categorized as an asylum-seeker or an economic refugee. The two are handled separately, and the types of countries that you can be “legally” sent to are different. (I’m not entirely sure but I think that there are generally higher quotas for asylum-seekers than the unemployed.)

As you might imagine, the people that are most bummed about Syrian posers are Syrians.

I recognize the practical distinctions and there’s some value in understanding who is who. It wouldn’t make sense to send the guy that is looking for work so he can feed his family back home (wherever that may be) to a refugee camp that has little potential for employment. His family will continue to starve while he sits and waits. Not a solution. In this case it may be better to transport him back, though that doesn’t necessarily improve his family’s chances of survival.

From a humanitarian standpoint I feel like the distinction isn’t that necessary. We know there are tons of wars going on in the Middle East, South Asia, and Northern Africa right now. We know that economic sanctions from the West are starving millions of people, (unemployment in Syria is at 57%), and that we cannot reasonably lift those sanctions while a dictator is in power, and a lot of this has to do with our often misplaced priorities on democracy and religious liberty. We can afford to wage war (cultural, military, covert, or economic) for decades — and we have — and we largely don’t even feel the burden on our everyday lives (aside from those families with soldiers). The whole of the burden is in those areas that are suffering — and if it’s economic or military doesn’t ultimately matter. The precept that economic migrants are less important because they’re simply looking for a better life while asylum seekers are more important because they’re looking for survival is shades of degrees, and there are no clean distinctions between the two. To absurdly illustrate this, compare a bully at school that claims he’s going to kill you on the playground (asylum seeker), to abject poverty where your family is literally starving and homeless (economic refugee). The two categories overlap in strange ways.

Even if (in spite of some very long odds) every last one of them is a "Doogie Howser’ with valuable training/skills, you still can’t get around the need for increasing your infrastructure…

This has been my basic beef with this conversation all along. Nobody really knows WHAT the impact is. So, to immediately assume that the impact is devastating is a presumption that principally serves to drum up fears and hysteria, and turns the public compassion away from the reality of the situation (people are literally dying out of desperation) to conjecture of self-protection (“we can’t afford to help”) without any real evidence of what the cost or impact is. (Yet, strangely, the hypothetical impact is often presented as “realism” while prioritizing humanitarian aid is characterized as “idealistic.”)

In the United States we have cap at 70,000 refugees a year with priority first for people that are getting their asses shot at, then special cases (political asylum, etc.), then family members. We’ve (US) agreed to take 10,000 Syrian refugees. That’s a laughable number… we have small sports stadiums that hold more than that. Any argument that we can comfortable accommodate parking, seating, and basic services for 20,000 Rolling Stones fans but we can’t accept more than 10,000 Syrian refugees starkly illustrates our domestic priorities.

The Doogie Howser concept is meant to relate the migration as a potential benefit to the host country. A lot of people aren’t going to be willing to provide help until they can see what’s in it for them. I think this is a sad aspect of what humans do when they become groups. Americans are fond of citing how much money the US donates to help the refugees but when you compare that number to what we pay to keep some irrelevant and utterly non-strategic military base on life-support in some remote part of the world — with no measurable impact to the daily American life — it really isn’t a sacrifice at all. We’ve spent $1,600,000,000 on the war on terror and have achieved not much more than inflaming the region… and what did we sacrifice as ordinary Americans? A cultural distrust for Muslims, among other things.

We can do more, and we can start by addressing unfair stereotypes and characterizations of immigrants and asylum-seekers as ungrateful opportunists. We can balance our “burdens” with “benefits.” We can identify ways that the EU treaties (particularly Lisbon, but others as well) strike an unfair challenge to poorer EU countries. We can frame the US’ complicity in the cause of this exodus and hold them (us) proportionately responsible. (I’d start by sending those fuckers Cheney and Rumsfeld to the Hague.) We can call out for increased acceptance quotas. Long-term, there’s WAY more than needs to be done… particularly in supporting measures that stabilize and free the economies in the Middle East (e.g., Iran Nuclear Deal).

On a side note: I’ve tried to reach out to Karma via PM to come to some understanding but he has me muted. (I’ve sincerely tried.)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe


Brussels produced NO agreement today, as expected.

At issue was what to do with the 160,000 immigrants that are—or due to be—spread across Europe. That’s what Europe has accepted to try to integrate. Where will they go? Hard to say. There are 28 countries… big and small… and there are lots of ways to determine where the immigrants could or should go.

• By Population
Distributing the immigrants proportional to the population sizes of the host countries would put an equal “social” weight on each country.

• By Wealth
Distributing the immigrants proportional to each member country’s wealth would distribute the economic load. “To each according to their ability to pay.”

• By Unemployment
Similar to wealth and economy. Countries with higher unemployment would have a smaller immigrant quota.

I think the EU is considering some mix of all three.

Germany’s move to close its borders with Austria really fucked the situation royally. Instead of “forcing” other countries to step up, the other countries also closed their borders, so now nobody’s going anywhere—there is no system for handling anyone—and people keep dying. Good one, Germany! Good one, Europe!

Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders are deeply concerned and claim that they’ve never seen a crisis of these proportions. This is good news in the effort to reframe this issue NOT as a burden on the host countries to do shit but as the human emergency that it is.

CELEBRATE! This is my 2,500th post! I did a quick tally: 2,238 of them were insults directed at Karma.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Rosa Parks: The Kim Davis of Black People??

I’d mentioned earlier that there could be some question about certificates issued by her deputy clerks (without her signature) may be legally dubious. Apparently I was wrong. The marriage certificates will be legal under state law and that’s the final verdict. If they are legal by Kentucky standards then it doesn’t mean shit if Kim Davis doesn’t put her pious autograph on it.

If God didn’t want gay people to get married, He wouldn’t have made them gay.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

But, Karma, all I’ve seen you do for the last five or six pages is constantly remind me how unrealistic my information is. I’ve been citing my sources, offering my opinions, and sharing predictions.

What “down-to-earth” ideas of yours are you referring to because I just can’t find them. (snip)

Seriously though, it looks like Britain (showing true leadership… ahem) will refuse to take on more refugees. I suspect they’ll cite the exceptions they installed in the Lisbon Treaty. I think it’s highly ironic that the treaty that essentially defines the “European Community” would have exceptions for Britain. Europe’s constitutional framework applies to all European nations… except Britain. Any agreement on refugee quotas will apply to all European nations… except Britain. Something something fish and chips… except Britain.

I believe that the wealthiest countries should accept a greater responsibility to help shoulder the refugee crisis. I also think that the nations that had the most to gain from instability in the Middle East should also be held responsible, and take responsibility, for the crisis… and act accordingly. The US and Britain have both shown the least interest in showing leadership.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Rosa Parks: The Kim Davis of Black People??

Or a Donald Trump.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

It looks like you’re pretty passionate about this issue, Karma.

I have specifically objected to the tone and evidence you’ve presented as being counter to a long-term solution to this crisis. In response you’ve shared video evidence of some weird right-wing anti-immigration rant. Perhaps this substantiates your version of the “truth” but not mine. I see the language that you and Vika using in this thread as being the same kind of vitriolic language that I see coming from right-wing, anti-immigration assholes.

It’s really simple!

I’ve never told a grown man to “grow a pair” before but I’m sorely tempted to now.

Contrary to your claim, we actually do know what percentage (more or less) are coming from where, and why. I (and others) have shared this a bunch over the previous pages of this lengthy post.

• The refugees are principally escaping political upheaval in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia.
• Europe poses the most enticing destination due to its wealth and stability, but also the most dangerous one.
• The EU response has been haphazard, inconsistent, and uneven.
• EU’s response has been a hypocritical mix of nationalistic xenophobia and humanitarian compassion.
• The USA’s interactions in Syria, Libya, and Iraq—among other places—have led to the displacement of millions, yet the US has shown zero leadership in “cleaning up its mess.” Russia has been no better.
• Nearly 60% of immigrants (in this crisis) are coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea… but mostly Syria.
• Aghans are fleeing the Taliban (12%)
• Eritreans are fleeing forced labor (12%)
• Security issues in Sudan (Darfur), Nigeria, and Somalia are also contributing to the mess.
• It is YET not well understood what the impact will be (if any) on particular quotas.
• The EU’s current immigration policy is super fucked up.
• Greece and Italy are shouldering most of the burden in the EU from Mediterranean routes; Hungary and Austria are struggling with overland routes.
• In 2015, so far, Greece has had 132,240 illegal crossings. Italy has had about 170,000. Italy saved 100,000 refugees from drowning but has replaced that program with a smaller border-control operation. This program no longer includes search-and-rescue.
• The Dublin Regulation is flatly ignored, or so it seems.
• Britain, Denmark, and Ireland should do their part to meet potential EU quotas (and revise the Lisbon Treaty)
• In Hungary it is NOW illegal to aid an illegal immigrant.
• The shift in thinking is now emerging that governments and their publics see immigration assistance as an encouragement to illegal behavior and serves as an incentive for people to leave their home countries.
(Source: Council on Foreign Relations)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

To summarize your evidence, since you didn’t…

Video one shows some people wrecking stuff. The video is not in English so it’s difficult to determine what it means or how widespread the incident is.

Video two is a news piece from last month about 1,500 immigrants trying to get through the Chunnel. It also talks about how immigrants are piling up at Calais, but that is old news. There’s an interview with a young man saying how he has no place to sleep and nothing to eat.

The third video is interesting and illustrates various smuggling techniques and ways that the border fence is compromised. Karma, I don’t know what you think I am ignoring about this video. You may be confused about my objections to how this diaspora is being characterized in the news and by people in this thread.

Video four I have STRONG objections to! I’m surprised you would post this. Frederika Morgarine is handling this just fine.

Dig this, if you want:

1. Persecution
This is often the first step in a person’s path to becoming a refugee. It might be war, political, religious, cultural, famine, or some other reason. Why someone may flee Bangladesh may be VERY DIFFERENT than the reason they flee Syria.

2. Camps
While refugee camps offer some degree of basic services, they are often dangerous, cramped, and have no real long-term opportunities. Even if we accept that camps are essential, the UN still needs over $8-billion to meet the need… and that’s a failure of the US and other Western countries. Also, camps do nothing for assimilation or integration where the refugees can provide a positive impact on the local economy.

3. Flight
In order to find a sustainable environment, millions of refugees leave (or never enter) the camps. Most EU countries, and the US, maintain immigration processes and quotas that are SPECIFICALLY tailored to discourage immigration. The “obvious” is that no country wants a bunch of poor people moving in, and that’s where some basic human compassion can be a deciding factor.

4. Compression
The refugees, facing hostile destination countries—both culturally and politically—begin stacking up in the least resistant neighbors. This encourages those liberal countries to adopt (by necessity) more restrictive immigration policies. (Germany just experienced this.)

The solution, as I expressed earlier, is better EU (and abroad) coordination regarding quotas, faster processes, and so on. (Scroll up if you are interested.)

Video five was about some immigrants that landed on a small Italian island.

Video six shows some people walking down a road.

This failure to stay on track is what is making you look much like a troll here.

I believe I have contributed a LOT of factual and editorial data to this topic. I’m not sure why you think I’m trolling. Maybe you’re seeing what you want to see.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe


1: It’s clear to me, they said “Security reasons” Why is this difficult for you to understand?

Because security can mean anything and is not a measure of anything specific. Security can mean economic security; “we are shutting our borders because we cannot afford it.” Security can mean protection for German citizens; “we are afraid that we may be letting in terrorists.” Security can mean protection to the refugees; “there is a lot of violence aimed at the refugees and we must protect them.” Security can mean peace-of-mind; "we’re tired of doing stuff.

Security is a vague word. What do YOU think it means, Farms?

2: Britain, Poland, and Slovakia are already overcrowded and have many natural born citizens that need help and they can’t help them. To introduce foreign migrants on short notice is madness. You need to take care of your own first.

Britain, Poland, and Slovakia are already overcrowded? By what measure? If you scroll back up I supplied information on population densities. Those are terms that I understand. If you have some new method of measuring how crowded a place is, I’d be interested to hear it.

At what point do you “take care of your own first” before helping people that are literally dying to get out of danger? Again, something a little more specific may be helpful.

Perhaps there’s renewed pressure on Turkey to establish safe zones around Gaziantep that the international community and the WEALTHIEST NATIONS on the planet can focus their humanitarian aid in.

The problem is that without peace in Syria and Iraq, ISIS will continue to displace millions of people. (Meanwhile, in the United States, Republicans continue to beat the drums of war.)

3: Claiming? Have you see the pictures? Of course it is “too disorderly”. Have you ever been in a mass of angry people like the migrant hordes? I have, and it is very scary.

I’ve been in the pit at a Sepultura show. Does that count?

War creates disorder. That’s what it does, and this is the effect. The “reality” of the situation (as Karma likes to put it) is that diaspora are chaotic and terrifying. People are scared. I like the term “migrant hordes” though… it makes it sound like some kind of blitzkrieg… savages swarming over the hills like insects.

4: The decision means Austria will close their borders as well.

Yes, this is a pity and an inevitable result of Germany’s decision. Austria is not claiming that they are closing their borders because they cannot facilitate the migrant’s progress but because the EU is so discombobulated that Austria is shutting down until they can get their shit together.

But the REAL issue is whether migrants get disseminated then in the Balkans, and if this effectively removes the impetus for the West to lend the kind of assistance that only the West can bring. The problem is that the Balkans are not categorized as safe countries and therefore inappropriate and against Geneva Conventions (or whatever… maybe someone can look this up) for the EU to enlist as sanctuary countries.

5: German conservatives are not anti-immigration, they are anti-illegal immigration and anti-“lets rush them in without checking who these migrant people are”

Yeah, I don’t know anyone that’s advocating letting anyone rush anywhere without checking who they are. The process for doing this, however, is really slow and that needs to be fixed.

All of the cheap shots you are taking at several members of the forum is shameful in my opinion. Why you have such anger towards karmakoolkid and vikatae is mysterious. In every single post you attack and antagonize them, even when they are respectful towards you. I honestly ask – why?

I’m sorry that you feel that way. I’m happy to challenge ideas and viewpoints that I don’t agree with. I kind of thought that was the point of these forums.

You, of course, are invited to “attack” my viewpoints if you like — and you did (which I appreciate) — and I have no animosity towards you or anyone else here. I don’t know how they feel about me, nor am I overly concerned about it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Rosa Parks: The Kim Davis of Black People??

It looks like Davis is back at work and will NOT be issuing marriage licenses to gay people though she will not directly prevent her deputy clerks to do so.

Later, they can argue that the licenses issued by her deputy clerks are illegal.

She states: “My conscience or my ability to serve the people that I love,” Davis continued, choking back tears. “Obey God or a directive that forces me to disobey God.”


Australia just fired Tony Abbott! He was a bigoted, anti-immigration, climate-change-denying homophobe. He stopped welfare and child-care payments, shut down popular (and inexpensive) governmental programs… including funding for Australia’s top literary prize. Haha! What a putz.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Letting a serious task be ruled by the heart, with the head highly subjugated, can end up doing much, MUCH more harm than “intended” good. THAT is what is going to soon become the REALITY of this immigration situation.

Show me the impact. That’s all I’ve been asking for since the beginning. If it is so self-evident, just show me!

It’s the bigot’s responsibility to amplify the challenges of the problem; it’s the humanitarian’s responsibility to amplify the compassionate imperative. Combines, we express the will of the people.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / "Dear Fat People" - Nicole Arbour

The reason it took me so long to quit smoking cigarettes was because nobody told me it was dangerous.

Similarly, I never listen to people that talk about Jesus because I understand that you cannot be sent to hell until you are told what you need to do to get to heaven. I don’t know that yet, so I’ll be excused from Judgment Day. (Whew!)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

If only there weren’t so much sympathy and more rational-reality thinking involved.

Karma: What’s your point?

• It’s not clear yet why Germany has closed its borders. They have only cited “security reasons.”
• It may be a measure to compel greater support from member EU nations (especially Britain, Poland, and Slovakia) and the United States.
• They are claiming that the influx is too disorderly.
• There is no word (yet) on the impact of this decision in Austria.
• A portion of this decision is the result of growing pressure from German conservatives on an anti-immigration platform. (I think these are the people that Karma is representing in comments like the one above…who apparently learned what he needed to know about sympathy from the military.)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

There’s a lot of talk in this thread (and beyond) that depict the immigration crisis only in terms of how it impacts the host country. Discussions like that only serve to reinforce all of the reasons why we are unable to help at the expense of identifying and exploring positive interventions that could alleviate suffering and build support/awareness (or even just a vision) for a long-term solution.

Clearly, the best solution is to address the reasons why people feel compelled to emigrate in the first place. I believe that the most viable short-term solutions help move toward an outcome that removes the causes of the diaspora.

Depicting the immigrants as cockroaches, leeches, spongers, and powerless to resist the creature comforts that we (in the West) routinely enjoy only serves to create division and presents the situation in stark us-versus-them conflict. “They want what we have and are coming to steal it. We need to stop them .”

There’s little room for humanity in that kind of language.

Another complex distinction is the popular difference between economic refugees and asylum seekers. In the end this distinction is irrelevant. These are all people that are—like all of us—looking to improve their lives. We cannot begrudge them for these simple ambitions; it’s what all people want. In other words, is it a sin to want a better life? If so, we should consider ALL of the ways that those ambitions manifest.

Militarizing Europe’s borders and bickering over who will take how many is a diversion. It’s not helpful, and it reinforces the unfounded notion that these immigrants present more of a burden than they’re worth. This is a fundamentally destructive presumption, (as I’ve repeatedly claimed). When they are treated as a burden, it will continue to feed racism and hatred.

Positive leadership—like we see emerging in Germany—will accept a generous responsibility to afford the refugees with basic human rights and human dignities.

Interesting to note: 85% of refugees are currently in undeveloped countries. Only 15% have found themselves in Europe.

Key factors to consider:
• Quotas / Agreements not just among EU but beyond.
• Distribution of aid resources not just among EU but beyond.
• Immigration registration standards that can make international service delivery more efficient.
• Creation of safe immigration corridors so that health and other services can be focused where it’s needed most.
• Make consistent international standards for skilled / unskilled / economic / asylum standards.

Basically, Brussels needs to get its shit together… and so do the other economic powerhouses.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Something needs to be said about feminism/liberalism.

There’s a lot of pie there to cut up, BSG.

Feminism is, of course, social theory. We want to understand how sexual groups are identified and how they interact with other groups.
Feminism is a popular outlook with activist paths. We want young people to see ways that they can engage with larger societal issue.
Feminism is a revolution that challenges the power elite and seeks to re-engineer long-standing hierarchies.

These areas all overlap and get mixed up, and there are things in there posing as feminism that isn’t, and stuff that isn’t identified as feminism that could be considered eligible. Feminism is not an identifiable thing because it’s so much.

I like bell hooks (no relation to ee cummings) because she has produced a good introduction for people that are interested in feminist ideas… kind of like Howard Zinn for counter-cultural political views. That’s a REALLY important role and people need lots of access to engaging information that conflicts with the popular view. It’s how we produce critical thinkers.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

The numbers came from the fact there are four million Syrian refugees, and they’re all heading Westwards.

This does not align with my understanding. Do you have a source?

So it’s not unreasonable to assume that most of the Syrian refugees will end up here.

Actually, UK’s public assistance programs are worse than several other countries that the refugees may be passing through. What compels them to Britain?

There are 4.1-million Syrian refugees abroad. About half of them have gone to Turkey. About a quarter have gone to Lebanon. 600,000 have headed to Jordan.

A bunch have gone to Egypt and Iraq.

Granted, there are more refugees on the planet today than ever before in history. In total, there are over 50-million refugees… and most of them are fleeing violence and persecution.

The four main countries of origin:
• Afghanistan
• Syria
• Eritrea
• Iraq

The closest stable areas are all European countries, so that has become a natural draw. They are not seeking generous public assistance; they are seeking safety and stability.

The destabilizing factors in the Middle East is clearly the catalyst for this exodus, and so the only real long-term solution is to stabilize the region in whatever way is sustainable. (That’s why the Iran Nuclear Deal is so important, for example.)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Rosa Parks: The Kim Davis of Black People??

But she’s an elected official so it’s not quite as simple.

US Labor Laws stipulate that a person can be fired only for very specific reasons. You can’t actually “fire” (in the proper sense) Kim Davis because she was never “hired.” You basically have to de-elect her… and that requires action by the state legislature.

I know. It’s fucked up… but that’s the law.

I think there are probably some opportunities to temporarily remove her from office until the state legislature convenes in a few months… reasons of insanity, dereliction of duty, insubordination, whatever… but I don’t think any of these reasons are fundamentally going to get her to lose her job.

She WILL lose her job when her legislature gets home.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Rosa Parks: The Kim Davis of Black People??

Here are some possible outcomes.

Regarding Kim Davis, she returns to work on Monday. I’m sure there will be a gay couple happily waiting for her when she shows up.

• She can comply with the court order. No news, but also an embarrassment to Christian conservatives that have rallied behind her.
• She can disobey the court order a second time. This is likely what will happen. This creates new interesting outcomes…

• She goes back to jail.
• She is put on administrative leave by governmental order. (I don’t know what the legal boundaries are… but she cannot be consistently acting illegally AND serve a governmental office.)

She’s pretty much gonna get fired, but then they’ll launch a wrongful termination suit. She is basically a vigilante and will probably be arrested right away, even if it’s just house arrest… just to get her out of the job.

Nobody will be getting married until they figure it out.

Meanwhile, those that DO happen to get married by a deputy clerk may have their marriages legally challenged, and this can be a huge problem should one of the spouses die, require medical care, conduct joint financial matters, and so on.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Pages ago I specifically asked what kind of actual impact immigration was having in the UK. Neither Beauval nor Vika would specify, but Vika stated that the UK is being tasked with housing 4,000,000 immigrants:

Vika said Building enough new towns to handle four million people would absolutely demand a great deal of farming land. Or nature reservation land. Whichever way we go, it’s going to result in difficult choices. Don’t forget its not just houses, it’s all the jobs, schooling, emergency services, waste management and power systems that go with them.

Let’s put that into context. Los Angeles has 3,800,000 people in it. So we’re talking about a city potentially larger than Los Angeles. It seems reasonable to question these figures. She doesn’t cite the number so I look into it myself.

The Guardian claims that there have been 200,000 immigrants to arrive in the UK. That’s 5% of the number that Vika claimed. In fact, in 2014 only 25,000 sought asylum in the UK and 10,000 were admitted.

Let’s stick with 4,000,000 anyway, just for fun.

New York City has about 8,500,000 residents. It’s the United States’ largest city (population-wise). If you can put as many people per square mile as New York… which shouldn’t be hard because of the businesses and parks and so on probably wouldn’t be as pronounced… then how big would that be?

New York has 27,000 people per square mile. (By comparison, Manila has 111,000 people per square mile. Paris has 55,000 per square mile. London is a mere 5,300 per square mile… rather sparse by international standards.)

4,000,000 people would need 128 square miles (82,000 acres) if they were to live like New Yorkers. That’s about the size of the Henry W Coe State Park in California. (Google it if you’re curious.)

If the refugees were going to live like Parisians, they would require about 72 square miles (46,000 acres). That’s about the size of the Timucan Preserve in Florida.

If the refugees were going to live as densely as Manilans, they would need 36 square miles (23,000 acres). That’s slightly smaller than Disneyworld.

This is why the housing argument is a misdirection.

Fact is, most refugees aren’t heading to Europe. The benefits are NOT that great. The process ISN’T that supportive. And the people are NOT particularly welcoming.


Meh. I’m talking to a wall. I’m utterly wasting my time.

Look at countries like Lebanon if you want to see real refugee impact.