Politics Thread


#1422

Trump would sell his own mother if it helped his bottom line. This doesn’t surprise me at all.


#1423

I’m just glad that Trump no longer has a lock on the entirety of the legislative branch. The House under Democratic control is going to give him no end of well-deserved headaches while performing its constitutionally mandated responsibility to serve as a check on his power.

Anyone catch Chief Justice Roberts’ criticism of Trump’s belittling of the federal judge who had ruled against Trump’s attempt to deny asylum hearings as an “Obama Judge”?


#1424

Well he still has until January, so…


#1425

Pessimist! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#1426

#1427

They edited the genomes of IVF embryos via CRISPR and gave them HIV resistance by disabling the gene for the CCR5 receptors HIV hijacks to gain entry into white blood cells. Then they implanted the modified embryos.

It’s a violation of the current ethical standard to implant such a modified embryo because of the resulting permanent and irreversible alteration to the genome of a living human being, and it will no doubt have repercussions for the researchers involved in the study unless the Chinese government decides to shield them.


#1428

from my point of view, it seems the scientist had good intentions but they went about it the wrong way by going rouge and doing it in this unethical way


#1429

Yup, there are both safety concerns and moral quandaries that need to be addressed before the technology is applied to the permanent genetic alteration of future human beings, including their descendents. I think Dr. He would have received more sympathy in his jumping of the gun had he fixed a genetic disease that’s a death sentence to children, such as Tay-Sachs where you’re forced to watch your originally normal-appearing child slowly die in front of you over the course of 5-10 years, instead of simply providing HIV resistance to an uninfected embryo. People fear that unscrupulous labs will start pumping out designer babies for the rich if there are no controls, with “HIV resistance” as one of the potential checkboxes on the baby order sheet along with other alterations, both trivial (eg. hair color) and significant (eg. IQ).


#1430

Which is exactly what will happen, the logical outpouring of late stage capitalism that will see the few elevated into real-life supermen, perhaps even superhero’s in the far future and the rest of us returned to toiling in slavery. :unamused:
Or perhaps Trek’s Eugenics Wars made manifest five or so decades after their projection.


#1431

“I made these statements to be consistent with Individual-1’s political messaging and to be loyal to Individual-1,” Cohen said in court.

Michael Cohen in court today, sounding like a Choice Of Game where there is something messed up with the string variable.


#1432

@idonotlikeusernames - I was wondering your take on this:

here is the story I found: News Article About Dutch Law Decision


#1433

Oh, I’d love to be 10 years younger on my passport (as soon as I can afford decent hairline restoration that is).

That case raises a variety of interesting questions, both legal and political though.

To start with the legal:

From the article:
“But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”

I think I discussed it before with @P_Tigras in one of the older threads discussing gay marriage, but moreso then in America due to centuries of influence from (nominally) Christian political parties a lot of records and tax code stuff are far too entangled with things like marriage. Now, I agree with the big Tiger that it is ultimately best to get the government out of the marriage business entirely but that is going to take a lot of legal reforms, again much more so than in the US of A and it is not something that a single court verdict can suddenly decide for us.

Then there is the second legal point the court mentioned, some ages have legal significance, such as determining whether you are eligible to retire or have to attend school. Now, again, most of this could theoretically be solved by something like basic income, that would make in particular “retirement” as we currently know it obsolete. And while I am a very big proponent of basic income, implementing it is highly likely to require some very tough legislative battles that cannot be circumvented with one verdict by a lower court at that.

I do think the court dismissed the age discrimination arguments a bit too quickly as age discrimination is both very real and becoming an increasing problem where being old(er) is becoming less and less desirable. Again, I think things like basic income would help here too, if only by defusing the divisive right wing arguments that the older and younger generations are somehow stealing each other’s wealth when the current increasingly unequal distribution of wealth is more of a problem with the vagaries of globalism then it is about a generation gap.

What I do hope is that just like in the 1990’s cases such like this lead to a broader dialogue in society, not just about who we are right now or where we’ve been in the past, but where we want to go in the future, as a society. As we have not had that sort of societal discussion since we passed gay marriage and euthanasia back in 2002.

So, in summary, the one positive thing that could result from cases such as this, about age discrimination to start with, but also more generally about where we want to go as a society.
I commend mr. Ratelband for his audacity in starting this case, but from a legal point of view it was always baseless on its legal merits and this was always more of a case for the court of public opinion than the actual courts, who ruled almost exactly as both predicted and expected. Again, I would have liked to have seen them go a bit deeper into the age discrimination aspects, but that is all.


#1434

The thing that bothered me about his position is:

Gender is not being “changed” just “corrected” … conflating gender issues with name changes and other record keeping issues is a dangerous road which leads to the “lifestyle” argument that many that are against LBGT rights use to argue rights should not be extended.


#1435

To an extent this is certainly true, but we should not always let slippery slope elements deter us. As I’ve just argued a while ago in the freedom of speech thread I’m more of a proponent of the American model of free speech then the version poffered by our timorous souls in the political and legal community who’d eternally prefer to enforce a negative peace with a conservative bias then to allow free speech to potentially upset delicate balances, for good but certainly also for ill. Still in principle I agree with @Havenstone that the answer to bad speech should not be less speech but more speech.
But perhaps the added “lifestyle” discrimination angle is more of a concern in the US then it is here, as I didn’t see much of that kind of backlash, apart from the usual suspects who hate gay people anyway. At least not in response to the current verdict.


#1436

I once knew a woman who became increasingly despondent as she aged until she committed suicide. She utterly and passionately hated her “old” body and refused to conform to behavioral expectations for older folk as she aged. As a result, I’d hesitate to say that age dysphoria doesn’t exist.


#1437

My inkling is that age disphoria would be caused due to mental health issues though. Lots of people hate getting old, but it’s another matter entirely to, say have the mind of a child or something. I say this to as I suffer from age disphoria…kinda. I suffer from detachment and it feels like I’ve had multiple personalities, not at the same time bu-…anyway don’t want to ramble, so hopefully you get what I mean xd. I don’t have ahuge knowledge in this area, never been a science person. But I understand from what I’ve read that on the other hand trans people have biological differences, such as there brains being different from cis peoples, being more similar to their gender identity rather than sex, then there’s hormone imbalances etc.

But anyhoo I don’t think the guy should’ve been given the time of day. He’s a troll and I’m not sure about a full on bigot, but certainly not a pleasant person. Trans people exist, and that shouldn’t be up for debate. I do believe however what this fact means, it’s implications etc should be up for debate and at the same time more should be done to educate. I recently filled out the GRA survey in the UK for example, and there was a lot of sections I had to leave blank as I genuinely didn’t know. For example it asked about none binary people in sport. And yeah I might be trans, but I haven’t got a clue, especially as I’ve briefly read about some none binary people doing some things to transition but some not?


#1438

Please correct me if I’m mistaken, and it’s not my intent to delegitimize anyone, but your words appear to be implying that mental health issues aren’t also biological or due to “brains being different”. I just wanted to point out that brain scans of several well known mental health issues from schizophrenia to depression show marked brain differences as well, both biochemically and in terms of regional activity, and are often connected to genes that create a predisposition to if not an absolute certainty of acquiring that particular mental health issue.


#1439

…I did not know that, I got an E in my psychology A level, and a B in GCSE science xd. So thanks for that insight :slight_smile: . Umm I don’t know then xd, maybe someone who is more sciencey or something does?


#1440

Well, apparently the new spanish far-right party Vox just made a couple seats in the Andaluzian regional election. While most of the chairs will go to the PSOE and PP, that’s certainly strange. I’ve always imagined that countries like Spain and Portugal never had robust far-right movements of their own due to the longevity Franco’s or Salazar’s regimes.

@poison_mara, if I can ask: what’s your take on this?


#1441

You’re very welcome. I’m not a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist, but one of my degrees is in biochemistry and I’m well versed in molecular genetics.