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General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by nweber on Today at 04:38:11 AM »
I'm coming to the conclusion that China is a bigger threat to the USA

I realise the US is a country that's been crapping its pants for close to twenty years because less than 0.1% of the murders there were committed by Muslims, but it's going to be a long long time before China poses anything like the threat to the US that the US currently poses to China.

How exactly is China a threat to the US?

by contrast the Chinese are ruthless, pragmatic and, above all, patient

Yes, the Americans only have the first one of those.

Of course, on top of that, the USA is facing an increasing threat from a Russia

Again, I recognise the extreme paranoia that exists in the US, but what is the threat from Russia?  Russia isn't even much of a threat to the rest of Europe, a region which has several times its population and about ten times its economy, and which could easily defend itself against any potential threat from Russia, if they didn't prefer to freeload off the Americans.

whose leader looks to be out for revenge for defeat in the Cold War

They tried an American puppet for a while, it didn't work very well.

I've just been watching parts of an Australian ABC report about Russian meddling in the USA

It would be interesting to see whether they have a report on US meddling in Russia, which kept Boris Yeltsin in power.  A few decades earlier, the US helped bring a puppet to power in Iran; that one bit them in the arses badly twenty six years later.  The lesson appears not to have been learned.

These days, however, I see that Sima Nan is now a loyal advocate for the Chinese government and noisy critic of everything Western or Liberal or American (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sima_Nan). I have to say it's a strange feeling to dislike a fellow atheist skeptic because he in turn dislikes the intellectual tradition which gave birth to Western liberalism and skepticism.

You probably won't like me very much either then.  I'm not an advocate for the Chinese government, and I'm not even Chinese, but there's no way I'm going to be an advocate for the American government.  The gravest threat to the US is the American people, who are militantly rejecting the western liberal tradition referenced above.  If the US becomes some ultra-****y authoritarian hellhole, my money is on it having nothing to do with Russia or China, except for their use as scapegoats.
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Guy does like to do that, like how he surprised them, even after 'consultation' with his 'Generals and military experts' with his  trans military ban announced in that most Trumpian of ways: Twitter.
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General Discussion / Re: Kids say the darnedest things...
« Last post by Peter B on June 23, 2018, 09:41:29 PM »
Discussing meteorology around the dinner table...

5YOD: What's a hurricane?

10YOS: It's similar to a tornado, but very different.

(Full points for conciseness, given his otherwise lengthy, rambling answers, but still...)
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General Discussion / Re: Kids say the darnedest things...
« Last post by Peter B on June 23, 2018, 09:37:58 PM »
A real Awwwwww moment, I have a static caravan by the coast my Grandchildren were there along with my wife's cousins little boy (Kayden aged 5). We were taking the children to the club house and they had all got showered and dressed. Summer, (my 5 year old Granddaughter) came out of her bedroom and Kayden said, "Why Summer, you look absolutely fantastic in that outfit!"
To which Summer replied, "Why, thank you Kayden, that's very nice of you to say!"

DO kids grow up too quickly these days?  :) :)

Maybe, but sounding grown up like this charms the socks off other adults. And remember, our grandparents were probably expected to speak to each other like that...

8YOS's girlfriend in his class has the same name as 5YOD, which occasionally leads to confusion over which girl he's talking about. Last Friday was the Year 2 Zoo, in which each child chose an animal, made a model of it, drew a picture of it, and wrote a few lines about it. These were placed around the classrooms while parents and other students came to visit. Each child stood by their exhibit to talk about their animal and answer questions.

8YOS explained at dinner time how 5YOD had hung around him most of the time she'd been visiting the "Zoo", but 10YOS was unsure whether his brother was talking about their little sister or his girlfriend.

8YOS: Oh, I was talking about 5YOD. It wouldn't have been appropriate for <girlfriend> to hang around with me.

(He meant, after all, that she had her own exhibit to present. But the way he said it sounded slightly moralising.)
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General Discussion / Re: Kids say the darnedest things...
« Last post by gillianren on June 23, 2018, 08:56:04 PM »
"Please can I have five more cookies of ten deliciousness?"
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General Discussion / Re: Kids say the darnedest things...
« Last post by Bryanpoprobson on June 23, 2018, 07:41:33 PM »
A real Awwwwww moment, I have a static caravan by the coast my Grandchildren were there along with my wife's cousins little boy (Kayden aged 5). We were taking the children to the club house and they had all got showered and dressed. Summer, (my 5 year old Granddaughter) came out of her bedroom and Kayden said, "Why Summer, you look absolutely fantastic in that outfit!"
To which Summer replied, "Why, thank you Kayden, that's very nice of you to say!"

DO kids grow up too quickly these days?  :) :)
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General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by LunarOrbit on June 23, 2018, 02:05:07 PM »
I've said it before, Trump isn't the problem, he's a symptom of the problem.

I agree, and I think that cancer is spreading north.

Here in Ontario we just elected Doug Ford to be our next Premier (you might remember his late brother Rob, the former mayor of Toronto... think of Chris Farley with a Canadian accent). There are a lot of rumours surrounding Doug's past, like that he was a drug dealer back in the 1980s. He comes from a wealthy family and has publicly supported Donald Trump in the past. His diehard supporters ("Ford Nation") barely hide their racism. There is nothing at all likeable about him, but for some reason enough people voted for him. It's probably because he claimed to be fighting for "the little guy", despite the fact that he's going to cancel the planned minimum wage increase from the previous government. One of his few campaign promises was to bring back "$1 beer", and you just know that was enough to swing some votes his way.

He hasn't even been sworn in yet, but he has already promised to scrap a program that gives people a rebate when they make "green" home renovations and upgrades. He is going to also scrap the carbon cap & trade system. But hey... at least we'll have $1 dollar beer to drown our sorrows in while the environment turns to shit.  ::)

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If the Democrats fail to flip either the House or the Senate this fall (which is likely, because Democrats don't vote in the midterms), hang on to your socks.  We may be seeing reruns of 1968-level domestic violence. 

I think you'll see that happen even if the Democrats do win in November because Trump supporters aren't going to just sit back and do nothing if they move to impeach him, or block any of his policies
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General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by Peter B on June 23, 2018, 11:57:47 AM »
Heh, spare a thought for us in Australia...

I'm currently reading "Silent Invasion" by Clive Hamilton. It's about how China has been systematically infiltrating Australia's political and social structures for two decades, with the aim of splitting Australia from its American alliance (and who knows what else after that). In the meantime, the Australian government has been passing beefed up legislation relating to the espionage threat the Chinese pose, and splashing out some extra aid money among Pacific island nations in the hope of slowing the spread of Chinese influence in the region. *

And as I read the book, I'm coming to the conclusion that China is a bigger threat to the USA than the Soviet Union ever was: the Soviet era Russians were hamstrung by their ideology; by contrast the Chinese are ruthless, pragmatic and, above all, patient. David Wingrove's novels may turn out to be close to the mark.

Of course, on top of that, the USA is facing an increasing threat from a Russia whose leader looks to be out for revenge for defeat in the Cold War. I've just been watching parts of an Australian ABC report about Russian meddling in the USA: look for Trump/Russia at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/ and if you can't watch the videos for whatever reason, the web pages for each of the shows include transcripts.

Grim reading...

* Back in 2000 I attended an Australian Skeptics conference in Sydney, which doubled as an international Skeptics conference. One of the speakers (with an interpreter) was Chinese skeptic Sima Nan. He described his efforts in trying to stamp out superstitious beliefs in China and the dangers he'd faced from outraged charlatans and their hired thugs. He also spoke about the wacky beliefs of followers of Falun Gong (which at the time was gaining popularity in Australia), and the absurd claims of its leader, Li Hongzhi. After the talk I was able to get his autograph (which I still have somewhere among my Skeptics papers), for which I was able to thank him with about the only Chinese I know.

These days, however, I see that Sima Nan is now a loyal advocate for the Chinese government and noisy critic of everything Western or Liberal or American (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sima_Nan). I have to say it's a strange feeling to dislike a fellow atheist skeptic because he in turn dislikes the intellectual tradition which gave birth to Western liberalism and skepticism.
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The Reality of Apollo / Re: AS17-P-2333 duplicate negative scan
« Last post by apollo16uvc on June 23, 2018, 05:38:41 AM »

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General Discussion / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by molesworth on June 22, 2018, 07:39:13 PM »
Well, if any of you are thinking of moving to the UK, that may not be a great choice, as we're heading in pretty much the same direction (perhaps just not as rapidly).

In fact the rise of nationalism, attacks on immigration, and general dislike or distrust of anything "different" seems to be happening in just about every country at the moment.  I sometimes despair at humanity, having moved so far towards something approaching worldwide fairness, acceptance and inclusion, we're now turning back and throwing it all away  >:(
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