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Member since: Mon Feb 7, 2005, 03:14 AM
Number of posts: 109,287

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Is the GOP acting like authoritarians already and landing this covid 19

pandemic in such a way as it is sure to become endemic? No one elected them to decide how to handle a pandemic across the world. Bet they are using MBA software and modeling just how long to keep it going so Covid - 19 sticks around forever. Why else would they refuse masks for unvaccinated kids in Florida given Delta this week or refuse to make Covid - 19 positive people stay home in Alberta yesterday. There is no other reason to do what they keep doing which is to not fight this pandemic with everything 'you got'. We are all pollyannas to them. Remember that when you say "no! They wouldn't"

Is it just a coincidence, that as the age of data dawns, the Republicans

hit lift off on their negative take on science. It is almost like data, from science of subsidized daycare in Quebec more than paying for itself with improved outcomes and taxes collected a generation later to debunking trickle down economics and deficit scolds, is pulling the veil off of all the usual tricks and the GOP policies cannot survive in a world of data and democracy. Lo and behold, they have no policies that could be scored, only false narratives and attacks on science and scientists like the WHO and democracies like the USA.

Maybe nihilism is an evolutionary adaptation to kill off humans who have

strayed too far from human harmony. Unfortunately now it is not just a small isolated population of humans immediately affected by dying because of who they follow, but the whole country (world). Thanks GOP. Thanks authoritarians.

OPINION PAUL KRUGMAN Republicans Have Their Own Private Autocracy

Republicans Have Their Own Private Autocracy

By Paul Krugman, Opinion Columnist at the NYTimes

July 19, 2021



I’m a huge believer in the usefulness of social science, especially studies that use comparisons across time and space to shed light on our current situation. So when the political scientist Henry Farrell suggested that I look at his field’s literature on cults of personality, I followed his advice. He recommended one paper in particular, by the New Zealand-based researcher Xavier Márquez; I found it revelatory.

“The Mechanisms of Cult Production” compares the behavior of political elites across a wide range of dictatorial regimes, from Caligula’s Rome to the Kim family’s North Korea, and finds striking similarities. Despite vast differences in culture and material circumstances, elites in all such regimes engage in pretty much the same behavior, especially what the paper dubs “loyalty signaling” and “flattery inflation.”

Signaling is a concept originally drawn from economics; it says that people sometimes engage in costly, seemingly pointless behavior as a way to prove that they have attributes others value. For example, new hires at investment banks may work insanely long hours, not because the extra hours are actually productive, but to demonstrate their commitment to feeding the money machine.

In the context of dictatorial regimes, signaling typically involves making absurd claims on behalf of the Leader and his agenda, often including “nauseating displays of loyalty.” If the claims are obvious nonsense and destructive in their effects, if making those claims humiliates the person who makes them, these are features, not bugs. I mean, how does the Leader know if you’re truly loyal unless you’re willing to demonstrate your loyalty by inflicting harm both on others and on your own reputation?


Inflation? Not in Japan. And That Could Hold a Warning for the U.S.


Inflation? Not in Japan. And That Could Hold a Warning for the U.S.

If the United States’ bout of rising prices soon eases, its economy could fall back into the cycle of weak inflation that preceded the pandemic — a situation much like Japan’s.

By Ben Dooley at the NY Times

July 15, 2021



TOKYO — In the United States, everyone is talking about inflation. The country’s reopening from the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed pent-up demand for everything from raw materials like lumber to secondhand goods like used cars, pushing up prices at the fastest clip in over a decade.

Japan, however, is having the opposite problem. Consumers are paying less for many goods, from Uniqlo parkas to steaming-hot bowls of ramen. While in the United States average prices have jumped 5.4 percent in the past year, the Japanese economy has faced deflationary pressure, with prices dipping 0.1 percent in May from the previous year.

To some extent, the situation in Japan can be explained by its continued struggles with the coronavirus, which have kept shoppers at home. But deeper forces are also at play. Before the pandemic, prices outside the volatile energy and food sectors had barely budged for years, as Japan never came close to meeting its longtime goal of 2 percent inflation.


One popular explanation for the country’s trouble is that consumers’ expectations of low prices have become so entrenched that it’s basically impossible for companies to raise prices. Economists also point to weakening demand caused by Japan’s aging population, as well as globalization, with cheap, plentiful labor effectively keeping costs low for consumers in developed countries.


When Republicans whine about cancel culture we should ask them

how they feel about insurrection culture. Which is worse?

Ran into two ladies at the deli counter of the grocery store. They noticed

the clerk didn't remove their gloves after talking in the phone. When i thought back i agreed. Then she handled their sliced meat. They got her to change her gloves. They said they needed to be extra sure because they didn't want to get covid. They said they were not going to get vaccinated. I panicked and started saying because we were all the same size we were in a vulnerable category (obese). They said they were afraid of side effects. I said the chances of any side effect from a covid vaccine was less than getting covid and ending up in hospital. That my sister had side effects like sore joints but that was just her body getting into fighting form. That if you went to a cemetery and looked at the grave markers many would be children back before we had good vaccines in the 1950s. Few graves were children afterwards. They listened to me. I was quite upset as i told them Delta is way catchier. They said they would think about it. Thank you DU for arming me with persuasive arguments. I should have gotten their phone numbers so i could follow up or get some health authority to. Sending them vibes that they take proper care if themselves. I have not run into that much here in Ottawa. I hope they are okay.

GOP embracing the far right ends up baiting the center but especially the left. That is

likely why they do it. It is built in, continuous, baiting. Keeps us mad, upset, scared and maybe they hope exhausted? Then the GOP powers point to us and say to their base "antifa!!!" "Socialists!"

Far-Right Extremist Finds an Ally in an Arizona Congressman

Far-Right Extremist Finds an Ally in an Arizona Congressman

Representative Paul Gosar’s association with the white nationalist Nick Fuentes is the most vivid example of the Republican Party’s growing acceptance of extremism.


By Catie Edmondson

July 5, 2021


WASHINGTON — Nick Fuentes, the leader of a white nationalist group, was bemoaning the political persecution he said he was facing from the federal government when he paused during a recent livestream to praise one of his few defenders.

“There is some hope, maybe, for America First in Congress,” Mr. Fuentes said, referring to the name of his movement, a group that aims to preserve white, Christian identity and culture. “And that is thanks to — almost exclusively — to Representative Paul Gosar.”

Mr. Gosar, a five-term Republican and dentist from Prescott, Ariz., emerged this year as a vociferous backer of the “Stop the Steal” movement that falsely claimed that former President Donald J. Trump won the 2020 election and spearheaded the rally in Washington on Jan. 6 that led to the deadly Capitol riot.

But Mr. Gosar’s ties to racists like Mr. Fuentes and America First, as well as similar far-right fringe organizations and activists, have been less scrutinized. A review of public comments and social media posts suggests that in Mr. Gosar, they have found an ally and advocate in Congress.


Here is the next paragraph:

It is the propensity for narratives that makes people fall for a compelling narrative.


Bernstein’s book, a survey of financial and religious manias, is inspired by Charles Mackay’s 1841 work, “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.” Mackay saw crowd dynamics as central to phenomena as disparate as the South Sea Bubble, the Crusades, witch hunts, and alchemy. Bernstein uses the lessons of evolutionary psychology and neuroscience to elucidate some of Mackay’s observations, and argues that our propensity to go nuts en masse is determined in part by a hardwired weakness for stories. “Humans understand the world through narratives,” he writes. “However much we flatter ourselves about our individual rationality, a good story, no matter how analytically deficient, lingers in the mind, resonates emotionally, and persuades more than the most dispositive facts or data.”


That is why police use data like physical geography to tell who is doing the stalking. Data.
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