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  • TR:"Is it worth joining?" "Depends.  do you want to be befriended, pan-handled, insulted by diminutive lawyers, adopted as a surrogate parent, hit upon by latino fascists, blown into the water faster than the wind, embraced by christian refugees, rejected by lesbian separatists, recruited by messianic zionists, and killed in cold blood by the first person who befriended you?  then yes ..."

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Messages - vivisectus

1
You seem to perceive a rather difficult case as a much simpler narrative. You seem to have turned a difficult medical/ethical/legal decision into a much more basic story: one where deluded technocrats are infringing on the freedoms of people whose homespun wisdom should prevail.

And just look at the rules you propose:

1: Parents should always be allowed to make all medical decision for their children
2: Courts can only intervene when parents are intentionally doing harm.

Examples in which these rules would allow deadly harm have already been pointed out to you.

Nevertheless, you seem to persist. Apparently you continue to prefer the simpler version, even though it is obviously inadequate.

In a similar way you still prefer your simpler description of this whole case, even though a lot of facts which are available to you do not fit that description. You even seem to arbitrarily reject some of them (people are probably lying about the extent of the brain-damage) in order to preserve this simple narrative.

Why do you think this is?
2
Parents should get to decide about medical care for their children.

Not courts.  Or doctors.

Period.

End of story.

That is because you are a simpleton who only likes the simplest of stories.

But consider:

- Every child of a Jehovas witness who needs a transfusion should not get one and die.
- Those idiots who tried to cure a severe pneumonia with vegetable smoothies should have been allowed to let their kid die. Or did the poor kid actually die? I forget.
- Those parents who were giving their kid bleech enemas to treat autism, causing extreme pain and distress, were fine
- Every case of munchausen-by-proxy, ever, should not be stopped.

We could go on. But I suppose that if child-brides don't bother you, this won't either.

Quote
Orwell, here we come.

That still doesn't mean what you think it means.
3
I love the knee-jerk response without actually looking into any of the facts.

The poor child suffered from an unknown disease. Treatment failed, and the level of brain damage Alfie suffered was extensive... so extensive that any meaningful recovery was considered impossible by the hospital that treated him.

His parents wanted to try a treatment in Italy at this point. However, the Hospital objected: for starters, even if the disease was halted, he was already past the point of meaningful recovery in their opinion. They had pretty solid reasons to say that: apparently several major brain structures were completely non-functional.

Secondly the treatment would not deal with the disease. It would merely allow them to keep him alive for longer.

The poor parents did not believe what the doctors were telling them regarding his neurological state. They believed their son looked at them and was asking for help. They believed that he reacted to them. Considering the amount of damage he sustained, this is beyond improbable. It is far, far more likely the poor desperate parents were simply projecting. Any parent would.

Every single specialist the parents appealed to, hoping beyond hope that one of them would come to a different conclusion, agreed that Alfie was completely incapable of response. Stimuli merely set off seizures in his ravaged brain.

Alfie had a lot of those. They would happen spontaneously, and he went through a series of them while they were doing an assessment on him to see how the conditions of travel would affect him.

External stimuli set them off, the hospital staff concluded. He would be suffering them more or less continuously while travelling. So they decided they would not release him for travel. I believe that it was at this stage the courts became involved.

It is a really sad case, and a very difficult one. On the one side the health-care professionals had a very strong case: the amount of neurological damage was so great that there was no possibility of Alfie ever regaining consciousness. Travel would mean a lot of seizures, and even if by some miracle the progression of the disease would stop, there was no hope if him ever not being in a vegetative state.

Personally, I would have concluded that while it was a great nonsense to subject the poor kid to treatment which would include surgery, I doubt that there was enough left of Alfie to register any of it anyway, so they might as well have allowed it. Maybe it would have made the parents feel ever so slightly better, given them a better sense of closure. Any little bit of solace for two people in such awful circumstances should be allowed.

But since the possibility of suffering could not be ruled out, and there was no reasonable hope of achieving anything for Alfie by running that risk, I do understand why the courts ruled the way they did, and why the Hospital involved the court.

Of course right-wing simpletonians such as yourself are happy to denounce the court's ruling as Draconian (Calling it Orwellian is stupid: it does not simply mean dystopian) because it provides a welcome break from telling each other how all of Birmingham is a mooslim no-go zone for the police, fuming about Hillaries emails, and worrying about Obama-care death panels.

But when you actually take the time to look at what happened and read the judgement, then you will see that both the Hospital and the Courts really tried to handle every aspect of this case with the greatest care and sensitivity. They really did their best, and tried to give as much leeway to the parents as they possibly could.
4
Hahaha I did that exact same thing

And then I was all "So there is a club doe people who feel the world somehow owes them a person to have sex with?"

I mean what kind of a weird garbled bullshit is that?
5
I totally sympathize with your point of view, and I really do agree he seems a lot nicer than some popes.

But what kind of bugged me is that attitudes of the religious organisation of which he is the head had kind of upset the poor kid in the first place. He was 6, and he was afraid his dad was in hell.

I am of an age now where I get to see about as many funerals as I see weddings in what is still a pretty Catholic country, and I cannot tell you how often I have had to listen to wizened nasty little gnomes warning grieving relatives that they better stick with the church if they want to see them again. During a goddamn funeral mass. There seems to be a machine in this country somewhere that turns out angry hobbits dressed in vestments. There are loads of nice ones too, mind. But good lord it feels like you meet that particular type a lot if you live in a catholic country.

I would have whole-heartedly applauded his performance here of he hadn't included the rider about baptizing his children. Even with it, it is so much nicer than it used to be. I appreciate the way he is even letting nice atheists into heaven these days. The CC is slowly, SLOOOOOWLY starting to shed some of their awful baggage.

But he did include it. And those priests at those funerals I sit through do say those petty, nasty, smallminded things. It doesn't bother me much personally, but it does bother people I know and care about. And I live in a country where the CC is pretty much unavoidable: almost no non-catholic schools, so my agnostic daughter goes to a Catholic one. Funerals happen in churches. Weddings do. Young kids do confirmation and so on. Etc etc etc.

I think the CC could be so much nicer. I think it would be so much better for them: both priests and believers could be so much happier if they could just focus on the joys of faith rather than on areas that clearly conflict with the modern ethos as most people, in this country at least, see it.

I am not so much cynical as I am frustrated, I think. That should absolutely not blind me to what is good and nice and so on, I totally agree with you there. But on the other hand, it is not like THAT much is being asked of these guys either. No-one is asking them to stop believing in God, or to believe that God wants them to live a certain way. It would just be nice if they could stop being jerks in the name of their religion to other people. And sometimes it feels a little bit like they get a round of applause whenever they almost completely fail to be a jerk to other people.
Ireland?

Yup :)
6
Politics and Current Events / Re: Removing Assad
"Zero cost to the American taxpayer"

Why am I doubtful?
Spoils of war. Sounds like he's not talking Geneva convention.

Get big businesses to sponsor the war, and then sell footage of battles and the more interesting sort of war-crimes as pay-per-view TV?
7
I totally sympathize with your point of view, and I really do agree he seems a lot nicer than some popes.

But what kind of bugged me is that attitudes of the religious organisation of which he is the head had kind of upset the poor kid in the first place. He was 6, and he was afraid his dad was in hell.

I am of an age now where I get to see about as many funerals as I see weddings in what is still a pretty Catholic country, and I cannot tell you how often I have had to listen to wizened nasty little gnomes warning grieving relatives that they better stick with the church if they want to see them again. During a goddamn funeral mass. There seems to be a machine in this country somewhere that turns out angry hobbits dressed in vestments. There are loads of nice ones too, mind. But good lord it feels like you meet that particular type a lot if you live in a catholic country.

I would have whole-heartedly applauded his performance here of he hadn't included the rider about baptizing his children. Even with it, it is so much nicer than it used to be. I appreciate the way he is even letting nice atheists into heaven these days. The CC is slowly, SLOOOOOWLY starting to shed some of their awful baggage.

But he did include it. And those priests at those funerals I sit through do say those petty, nasty, smallminded things. It doesn't bother me much personally, but it does bother people I know and care about. And I live in a country where the CC is pretty much unavoidable: almost no non-catholic schools, so my agnostic daughter goes to a Catholic one. Funerals happen in churches. Weddings do. Young kids do confirmation and so on. Etc etc etc.

I think the CC could be so much nicer. I think it would be so much better for them: both priests and believers could be so much happier if they could just focus on the joys of faith rather than on areas that clearly conflict with the modern ethos as most people, in this country at least, see it.

I am not so much cynical as I am frustrated, I think. That should absolutely not blind me to what is good and nice and so on, I totally agree with you there. But on the other hand, it is not like THAT much is being asked of these guys either. No-one is asking them to stop believing in God, or to believe that God wants them to live a certain way. It would just be nice if they could stop being jerks in the name of their religion to other people. And sometimes it feels a little bit like they get a round of applause whenever they almost completely fail to be a jerk to other people.
8
You are welcome. Any other heart-warming moments you want me to drizzle grey disapproval over while I am here?
9
Ah, but you forget: We have scientifically proven that goats do not run away when you keep them in a robo-pen, even if you leave the door open. In the same way we have scientifically proven that straw floors pose no fire-hazard. So there is no reason at all to consider the impact of feral goats on the rainforest of Guyana.
10
True: I do not actually disagree with the OP title. He seems nicer than other popes.
11
Politics and Current Events / Re: taxageddon is GO
Who knew that rich people invest their money where it makes more money, which may not be in the domestic economy? Never mind - lets just keep trickling down. It is bound to work one of these times.
12
Nice of him to reassure the kid that it is just the other goods dad's who didn't baptize their children who are in hell.
13
The same Xi that threw Trump a parade and then sent him home with some fast-tracked copyrights for his daughters company and an armful of deals and orders that had already been promised?

Ah but I forget - Trumpians don't remember much. Except that Hillary had bad emails, hmmmkay?
14
It will sure be easier to satisfy your messiah-complex among the Wai-wai, far from anyone with any sort of formal education around to point out what a dunning-kruger poster child you are. Plus, you get to marry a 14 year old. Woohoo!
15
Politics and Current Events / Re: taxageddon is GO
Don't forget the trade spat with the biggest buyer US debt. It isn't really in their interest to mess with the value of it as they own a bucketload, but that could change.
16
Neo-nazi adherents certainly do not believe in the notion that all US citizens should have the same basic civil rights. They are fully behind the idea that you can withhold these rights from people because of ideological distinctions. Historically they have always approved of harsh authoritarian actions by the police as well.

So I don't see what they have to complain about, really.
17
So in Davetopia, who would have produced, distributed, and prescribed the antibiotics you needed for a simple infected spider bite? Will the nurse make their own out of moldy bread and spider-webs?
18
Nonono you gais. It is is not a trade war, because deficits. And those deficits were caused by idiots. So now there is nothing to lose but negative trade, man! And if you lose a negative that is a positive. That is just maths.
19
Politics and Current Events / Re: Austin bombings
Quote
How is indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets literally not fucking terrorism?

It could still be terrorism. I mean the guy could have looked at some Antifa websites at one stage or something.
20
Quote from: Dave
sucks at science frequently by not reading carefully, misconstruing authors, bad logic, failure to grasp details, desire for peer acclaim over hard cold truth

There are not enough ironicats in this world.
21
"in depth knowledge in a field"

Why do you think "a degree" is the only path to this?

I do not. Your desperate and continually frustrated need to be seen as some sort of authority makes you project that feeling. And what makes it so funny is that you really do not seem to have any idea how obvious it is when you do that and how often you do it.
22
It was a joke for Entropy because I obviously know he's male and I obviously know he didn't claim to be famous.

But it was also a poke at our society which I think does sometimes promote members of protected groups based more on group membership than on merit.

fuck you
You disagree? You don't think it happens?



And it is indeed very funny, Dave. Watching you display your envy of anyone with a degree without the slightest bit of self-awareness has amused me for ages now. It is like a running gag in all your threads. It is especially good when you display it right in front of people who, unlike you, have actually taken the time to gain in-depth knowledge in a field.
23
I do not think that Dave will ever be able to accept an idea that implies that all of life is an open-ended process. A static ideal state of nature is central to his thinking.

As for trying to make him see sense about this, look at it this way. The idea that a late neolithic / early bronze-age pastoralist built a boat and put one male and one female of every species of animal on it a few thousand years ago and repopulated the planet this way seems perfectly credible to him based on the say-so of a religious text and no other evidence.

If the standard of evidence required to believe what he wants is THAT low, then all the careful explaining in the world is going to be pointless. Whenever he doesn't like the way science is pointing, he can just apply that incredibly low standard to whatever straw he wants to grasp at.
24
It's not that hard to understand. If copying fidelity is too high, the population will be too rigid and unable to adapt, and in changing environments, will likely go extinct.

But if copying fidelity is too low, the population will not be able to keep hold of any advantages it does gain, and in a competitive but static environment, will likely go extinct (depending both on costs for error-correction and the size of the gains).

That matches what Pingu said.
Anyway, either one is complete and utter horseshit because copying errors are not needed for diversity.

I wonder if it has crossed your mind that with this response, you openly admit that you consider things true or not true based on whether they are required for a design you have already decided exists.
25
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
Looks like Pandora's box is now well and truly open were tariffs are concerned. I am super curious to see what the results are going to be.

For instance, will Europe respond in kind and target US imports? It seems tempting for them to do so. It could be an antidote to the current view of Europe as a ponderous, indecisive megalith of an organization that does not look after the interests of regional economies, and take the wind out of the sails of some of the Euro-skeptic forces. And now that the genie is out of the bottle, the view may be that since international trade is going to be disrupted anyway, they might as well grab what they can to make sure a healthy share of the pain ends up being felt in the US. Then again, the EU is not exactly known for being able to react quickly and robustly.

It seems to be that the plan is to slap on tariffs, and then sit back and wait for various countries and the EU to come scrambling for exceptions, using the tariffs as a way to force them to make more NATO payments or offer other concessions, and as a way to squeeze concessions out of Canada and Mexico in the NAFTA agreement. But I don't think Europe can afford to allow Trump to turn NATO into a protection racket or concede too much to the US. It would provide the anti-European forces in the various parliaments with way too much ammunition, I expect. Canada and Mexico have already stated they will not let it influence NAFTA decisions, but then again, it will simply have changed the cost-benefit situation there.

And what about China? They have another way to strike back, apart from tariff warfare. They hold a lot of US debt and have been their biggest creditors. If they heavily cut back on how much they lend to the US, they could potentially drive up the cost of financing the US deficit - a deficit that the recent tax-cuts have put a lot more pressure on. If a trade-war brings enough uncertainty and pain the the US economy, swallowing up any growth that a tax cut can create, while at the same time driving up the cost of credit, we could see a massive gap appear on the US government balance sheet.

Of course this is just me shaking my magic 8 ball trying to figure out what would happen. Interesting times ahead in any case, it seems.