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Everything posted by TRVMP

  1. I wasn't there so I didn't hear it, but I'd be very surprised if they had these patrons pegged as all individual people. I assume, instead, that they're wanting corporate patrons, who'll get something resembling a top-tier membership, with the exposure to match. I think this would be an eminently sensible approach, and would have the side benefit of getting a larger array of local companies (and their associated personages) involved, with a view to greater cooperation and sponsorship.
  2. Not going to get into the full details here, but I tried the email route when the scheme launched and it was an absolute ballache that I eventually gave up on. When they come back with a solution that doesn't require 20 emails each way I'll sign on, until then I won't. It won't be hugely to their detriment if they don't bother - I imagine that the number of people like me (willing to sign on but not willing to go through the email rigmarole in the absence of a UK bank account) is comfortably under five in the entire world - but that's the situation.
  3. I got a speeding ticket once in 2006 but I'd just like to say how much I respect Lewis Hamilton for his work in the community.
  4. Depending on the success of the scheme - and I admit that is a huge dependency - maybe buying the stadium outright could be a longer-term project for MCT. Hard to see what GC would get out of it if they're only getting a peppercorn rent. Presumably they'd want fair market value for it otherwise but it's not like we'd be competing with anyone else for it.
  5. I wouldn't get too hung up on the patron thing. We've needed to diversify our sponsorship for decades now. Yes, it's better than it used to be, but there's a long way to go.
  6. If and when they start supporting non-UK bank accounts, I'll be joining. I'm not opening a UK bank account for this.
  7. Maybe this still has to be figured out but what happens in the case of capital improvements? Like, purely hypothetically, how would a full rebuild of the WDE be handled, as opposed to just maintaining the relevant safety standards?
  8. That's fair enough and it makes sense when phrased that way. As long as it's a watertight agreement then the ground ownership issue doesn't strike me as hugely dangerous. The only danger would be that if MCT ever had to sell, for whatever reason, the tie between Greenock Morton Football Club Ltd and Cappielow is thus totally severed.
  9. Exciting times. But what is a 'nominal fee' for rent? How long is it binding for - by what mechanism can the rental arrangements be changed? Not trying to shoot this down by any means, and I'm sure that MCT (of which I am not a member) have given this all consideration, but I am curious.
  10. I don't disagree, but he's not doing it to produce medical solutions. He's doing it to wind people up. Case in point: after Reince Preibus left government, a bunch of newspapers breathlessly reported that Trump was fascinated with... badgers. (Preibus spent most of his upbringing and career in Wisconsin - the badger state.) He would periodically ask Preibus some badger trivia, and during meetings would say things like, "how do badgers work, exactly?" Following the literally/seriously rubric, Trump was either interested in how badgers worked, exactly... or he was interested in fucking with Preibus and prompting a leak to the newspapers. You can guess which of these was the case. But that doesn't really matter in the time of COVID. It comes across as crass and flippant to most people (I admit freely that I'm not exactly a regular observer), so I don't disagree and I've said already that this is going to cost him badly in the polls, especially with old people. But then again, I'm even more unimpressed by the response of people like Gavin Newsom, who despite his classic good looks can't help but come across as a frowny-faced scold, and worst of all an ineffective one. For all of his messaging and bullet points and supposed reliance on the experts, the fact of the matter is that California is seeing spikes that would be front-page news if they were happening in red states. The problem overall is that nobody - Trump, Newsom, Johnson, whoever - can state the obvious: minus herd immunity, we're not going to cut cases without either a vaccine or a total lockdown. So either we brace ourselves for a body count or we continue this current charade of everyone pretending to be guided by experts and everyone trying to out-message everyone else.
  11. If you want to be 100% literal, then be 100% literal, but that involves reading everything he says and parsing it word-by-word, which isn't what anyone is doing (because they know it would be pointless, because nobody speaks literally all of the time.) They do it to get 105-IQ people upset, which, to be fair, works most of the time.
  12. The media coverage of hydrochloroquine was driven almost uniformly by three things: 1) Orange Man Bad 2) The inability of know-nothing, callow youths on trust funds who increasingly (wo)man the "science" desks in the media to not "Ackshully," in response to everything 3) The reliance of legacy media on pharmaceutical advertising. So I'm leaving that completely to one side and focusing on what passed for the official response. I'm not going to relitigate the entire thing - I've done it elsewhere and it's all so tiresome - but the FDA's emergency authorization was expired last week, after which the Michigan study dropped, showing what the French study showed in the first place - certain low-risk patients presenting early with symptoms respond very, very well to chloro. But because Orange Man Bad we have to rely on failed publications like the "Lancet", which are absolutely rife with irreproducible studies. This is aside from the fact that nobody in the first place wanted these drugs administered in a cavalier way, and that the much-touted Gilead solution (see point 3) is itself - much like chloro - pretty useless for saving lives but pretty great at shortening recovery time. But because Gilead is expensive and pays for advertising, we don't talk about its drawbacks. (Incidentally, the US has massive stockpiles of Remdesivir. Nobody else does. India will soon, China soon after that. Don't know what Europe will end up doing.) Let's put that aside for just a minute: Regarding "injecting disinfectant into the body" and the fact that he can't possibly come back from that (and that the walls are closing in for approximately the billionth time) - in 2016 the journalist Salina Zito made one of the most incisive comments about Donald Trump, and of course she was completely ignored because it was spot on. She said, Donald Trump's supporters take him seriously but not literally. Donald Trump's enemies take him literally but not seriously. With that in mind, I'll ask you to do three things: 1) Reflect on why you have in your head the two words "game changer" 2) Look up where those two words came from and see if you can divine some context around them 3) Ask yourself if you might have missed something in both cases.
  13. Missed this: the answer is an unqualified Yes. Trump is slipping hugely with elderly voters (who vote in large numbers, and are disproportionately white and hence disproportionately Republican) and it's in large part due to Covid. Once again he's been his own worst enemy with some parts of his messaging but in general it's important to remember a few key points: 1) His early attempts to shut down travel were bitterly, bitterly opposed. 2) His hydrochloroquine comments have ultimately been proven correct, despite pro-Gilead reportage to the contrary 3) Huge parts of the US response are decided at the municipal, county, and state level, long before they become federal issues. This is very different to the constituent countries of the UK, and to many other centralized countries. Put it this way - I check what the Dallas County judge has to say before I look at what the President has to say. None of this is to exculpate him for his failings, but it's beside the point anyway because perception is reality and the perception among olds is that he's fucked it badly.
  14. This isn't nonsense - minus a vaccine, it's the only way we're getting out of our houses. The idea behind restrictions of movement and commerce was to slow the spread and prevent the overloading of the health system. There are three options for "beating" COVID-19: 1) A literal, absolute, 24/7, no-contact lockdown, for a period of several weeks, with ruthless enforcement and forced isolation for both those who breach the other and those who enforce isolation against those who breach the order (this isn't happening). 2) A vaccine. 3) Managed herd immunity. These are literally the only three options. There isn't a fourth. And 3 might not even be that effective, depending on antibody effectiveness. But there's no other way out of this. Again, this seems to have been forgotten by the people who were actually saying it, but the purpose of the lockdowns we've had was not to eradicate the Wu flu, but to slow its spread and flatten the curve, allowing hospitals to remain within capacity and to allow the healthcare infrastructure (drugs, vents etc.) to be amassed. That certain metro areas are now seeing antibody prevalence of around 10% is both encouraging and discouraging in equal measure, but the fact remains that unless we keep bumping that number upwards, we're relying on either options 1 or 2 to handle this pandemic.
  15. The WHO has completely and utterly failed in virtually every aspect of its COVID-19 response. I can forgive uncertainty in the fog of war against an illness that is still not completely understood - I cannot forgive its feckless disregard for reality in the early days of the disease's public reporting in China. As an organization, like so many others, it is beholden to the CCP to a disgusting degree, and as such is not fit for purpose. The US has not been a tenth as strong in its response to this failed organization as it should have been - as is often the case, Trump will talk a good game but ultimately sign the check anyway - but that we're now starting to imagine a world after the WHO is an unalloyed net good for global health. The US within its own hemisphere is pretty cooperative and I think our relationship with Mexico is exemplary. I couldn't give the slightest fuck what the WHO thinks of the matter because it's proven to be run by duplicitous CCP lackeys.
  16. I'm familiar with these arguments because I used to make a variant of this one myself, with the emphasis on the knowledge economy (what you'd probably call job and wealth creation initiatives.) I'm now firmly on the other side of the fence, and I'll try to articulate that: 1) Yes, they're boring and repetitive. So is a lot of knowledge work. So is nappy-changing. These are still things worth doing. And also, if they're boring and repetitive for a guy in Langbank, they're boring and repetitive for a guy in Lahore. This doesn't seem to be a sound argument for not having jobs in Langbank. 2) Increased costs are not an unqualified evil. We could reduce costs on all kinds of goods tomorrow if, for example, the EU repealed anti-dumping legislation, but anti-dumping legislation is a net good because it protects competition and keeps supply chains pure of short-term manipulation. Decreased costs can couple with unneeded extra consumption, meaning more pollution. (We will one day look back on the amount of plastic garbage sent to the West by China and wonder why we gave up half the planet in the name of trinkets that break after three uses.) I would far rather we still made televisions in the US than make more televisions in China of inferior quality with increased shipping (meaning fuel consumption), for example. 3) Similarly, air and river pollution is an inevitable by-product of production. If the Clyde is clean, it means the Chi is not; and as the West is the only industrialized part of the world to give the slightest damn about environmental protection, having our countries do it is ultimately a net win (as long as we insist on consumption in the first place.) 4) There is no one-to-one relationship between the implementation of tariffs and net employment. There is, however, a clear and obvious relationship between labor arbitrage and net employment. To wit, when Ross Perot talked about the 'giant sucking sound' of jobs leaving the United States if NAFTA was adopted, he was exactly correct: the US manufacturing industry almost en masse fled to Mexico on the day of, meaning endless maquiladoras across the border and the decimation of entire segments of the US economy. This raised GDP but has eminently and completely failed to replace the specific losses to the specific sectors and the specific communities in which they operate. My main argument is that if we're going to consume manufactured goods anyway, it's better to be in the manufacturing tent pissing out.
  17. I have a Joma kit that's around 15 years old now and it's still in great condition despite weekly wear.
  18. It's genuinely a shame to see how social media affects some people. He's getting these wee dopamine hits from watching the like and retweet numbers go up, and that's leading to him contriving endless new ways to chase virtual ambulances.
  19. Lots of good questions and comments that I am not dodging - rather I try to spend Sundays mostly offline. I'll answer the questions addressed to me on Monday.
  20. 1) Hate would maybe not apply there, but listening to his family is perhaps the biggest single factor in his downfall. The only one who understands the zeitgeist and the electorate is Eric, and Eric hasn't the charisma nor shtick of his dad (which he'd acknowledge.) The rest range from dead weight to actively damaging. 2) Anyone who quails at the idea of nationalism - and I was such a person until roughly 2012 - is obviously going to disapprove of Trump, and they'll hit the usual beats in doing so. It's not just that he's insular, it's that insularity is regressive - backward! - and only Progress is good. I know this is a good-faith argument - I used to make it myself - but the raw fact of the matter is that American intervention overseas has with *very* few exception been an utter disaster both at home and overseas. Every military intervention since Korea has been in its own way an horrific failure. Spreading democracy as a universal value has failed. Opening markets in order to liberalize politics as well as economics has not only failed but failed doubly, as China's ascendency proves. (Only Nixon could have gone to Beijing - perhaps he should have stayed there. Lord knows enough Republicans will have second homes there soon enough.) I alluded to it earlier in the thread but Trump's foreign policy depends on engagement at thr nation-state level, and here in the Western hemisphere he's been a remarkable success. Cooperation between the US and Mexico is greater now than at any time I've studied it (roughly 2003 onwards.) Mexico is also governed by a populist outsider - but this time a leftist one. Or let me ask this more simply - you think we'd be better off if the US was *more* involved in global affairs?
  21. 1) I'd give him a B minus. If you don't live here and follow this it can be hard to truly appreciate it but everyone is against him, including around 80% of his own party. What has been accomplished despite the fact he has virtually no allies (other than voters, who don't matter) is pretty incredible. However, a litany of unforced errors, of complacency, and - this is absolutely above all and by far the biggest failing of his presidency - staffing his administration almost entirely with people who hate him and then wondering why they're undermining him has meant many opportunities missed. I am still 100% behind Trump if for no other reason than you can't spare a fighter, but one wonders what he could have achieved had he actually cared about detail-oriented recruitment. If Hillary's hubris was underestimating the electorate, Trump's hubris was overestimating his own power once in office and just expecting everyone to fall into line. It was the height of naviete from a guy who seemed to have everything figured out in the campaign and if he loses in November (as I expect he will) this will be the reason why: squandering political capital on tax cuts instead of infrastructure and jobs, focusing on "police reform" (which is a complete sop at the federal level) when even polling Democrats are crying out for law and order, and endlessly crowing about a stock market which might as well be on the moon for all it counts to 60% of American adults (including a good percentage of his white base.) Hubris. 2) It's hard to answer this question for "America" because there isn't really an "America" anymore and arguably hasn't been for decades. It's also hard to answer because you need to have something to compare it to. I am obviously biased but if I compare this timeline to a hypothetical Hillary timeline, we have at least avoided a ground war in Syria, we have restored some manufacturing capacity, we have worked very well with the AMLO administration to stop the horrific meat grinder of Central American migration across lawless Mexico, and a restoration of some measure of sovereignty and accountability to what was fast devolving into a borderless anarcho-capitalism. But living where I do and having the friends I have, I also know that there are people who are genuinely terrified of every day under this administration. I think this is almost entirely because they've been gaslit by the media and by social media, and not because of any rational calculation of fear. I don't think it's going to fully shake out for a while but I think the mental and in some cases physical toll of this administration on (it has to be said) mostly female internet addicts will be measurable in life years. Many such cases! I'd also say that from 2016 to mid-2019 he did a pretty excellent job of maintaining frame and setting the terms of debate, even amidst a fraudulent attempt at a soft coup that we've collectively just decided to pretend never happened, which doubtless contributed to the anxiety I reference above, but also returned American discourse away from the banal, end-of-history photo op neoliberalism of that cipheric fraud Obama and back towards concrete matters, but that's been completely derailed since COVID and Floyd, and until today (which might be a turning point - I doubt it but it might) he had completely lost the bully pulpit and the ability to steer national conversation, and steering it away from Obamaism is a net good.
  22. Me qua me? Not really, in an "I'm alright Jack" kind of way. The one thing I will say is that it worries me significantly less than the ongoing San Francisco-ing of US cities, which is I think the worst thing possible for "normal" people in this country (that is, people who are employed by other people, who have families, who value free expression, who like being able to go outside without significant danger to self or property, etc.) Most of all, I feel sad. The decay of elite America - the main cities, the main institutions of learning, of journalism, of science - has been apace for the best part of 20 years now, and we're really, really starting to feel it in our day-to-day lives in a way that we didn't before. It was preventable - easy to say in hindsight, but it was. I don't think it had to come to where we are now in the coastal metropolises, and in large part it's the utter abdication of our elite classes and the feckless delusion of Republicans in particular that has led us here. The only way for an individual or a family to live safely and sanely in such a reality is to tune out national politics as much as possible, which (don't laugh!) I do a pretty fine job of, and focusing and living locally has the side benefit of building trust and understanding among neighbors, so that's how I choose to live for the most part. The problem is, you can only do that so long before the culture war finds you. In Dallas, even in the hyper-liberal part of Dallas where I live, this is easy. But it's not easy in Seattle and in San Francisco, and my fear is that this is coming for all of our cities, and then the reaction is coming, and the reaction is not going to be pretty.
  23. I'm glad you recognize the part in bold: perception is reality. This is why a not-inconsiderable number of Europeans are eminently familiar with the Westboro Baptists - not because it's powerful, not because it's meaningful, but because there have been as many documentaries on it as there are members of the church. Meanwhile I guarantee you that less than 1% of the people who are aware of this group and its activities could identify 5 out of the top 10 Christian sects in the US, and I imagine that fewer than one in five could name 3 out of the top 5. This is relevant because you're seeing a same thing with maskgate. Like most other news stories in the US, maskgate is an aesthetic and ideological battle, largely waged by media scolds roaming the countryside looking for survivors to shoot. It's harder to find such people than you'd think, hence you largely end up with kooky groups like the coalition of bar owners in SoCal who have declared mandated mask usage an illegitimate use of law, or the QAnon types in the article you linked to above. These people exist. They exist in numbers probably far larger than in European countries. But any kind of organized protest against mask-wearing is vanishingly insignificant. That it's considered international news, much less news beyond the city in which it took place, says far more about aethetics and ideology than it does about objective reality. The fact of the matter is that in Austin mask usage is near-enough universal, and the object of news stories like these is to shoot survivors rather than to highlight a problem. For what it's worth, Texas, the response of which to COVID has been fairly inconsistent, went full-on mask mandate last night (we all got an emergency text message telling us so), but in reality the population of Texas has been largely masked for weeks, because these things were first decided at the municipality and county level. So Dallas County, where I and around 9% of my fellow Texans live, have been doing this for ages. Harris County, where 15% of Texans live, has been on-and-off with masks for several weeks. Travis County, where Austin is and around 5% of the population, is pretty draconian about it. Suburban counties less so, and rural counties less so still - but rural Texas is sparsely populated and much more outdoors than urban and suburban Texas. Anyway, I do expect to see significant pushback on mask usage outside because (and I'll say it a third time) much of the response of pretty much anyone in the US in a position of power has been aesthetic and ideological, hence the incredible sight of seeing beaches closed in Southern California for the 4th of July, despite there hardly being a safer place in the world than a windswept, sunkissed outdoor environment. Between this, the suspension of distancing orders for protests, and the fact that you can walk across a county line and find a different set of laws, people are just going to gravitate towards their own camp. So to answer your question briefly - yes, this is polarized because everything is polarized, at least among the minority of the US population that takes an interest in politics. "They" will have their health experts, "we" will have ours, and never the twain shall meet. Also, if you think what you've seen from the Republicans is "far right", I hate to break it to you but we're not even a quarter of the way to far right yet in this country. For what it's worth, I think Trump is on course to lose in November (this could change, but if the election were held tomorrow, it'd be a wipeout) in a blue wave election, which will at least have the bonus of taking many Republican incumbents out with him. Any kind of right-wing movement in the US can only coalesce as a response to this defeat, and when it comes it will make Bolsonaro look like Angela Merkel. (Edit: And to be clear, this isn't what I want to happen, but it's what I think will happen.)
  24. Yes. It's an electoral irrelevance at the national level, but culturally it's very powerful in many urban areas, such as the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. The unique factor (and depending on your perspective, either its greatest success or its greatest failing) is how neatly it intersects with corporate and local government power. Prime example: when anarchists in Seattle proclaimed an 'autonomous zone' near downtown, they did so with the explicit blessing of the city's mayor, and the tacit blessing of Amazon, who are the power behind the throne in many coastal cities. Soixante-huitards cracked their first stauners since the Y2K bug. The few remaining onlookers from the old, union-power American center-left, meanwhile, were wholly unimpressed - presciently, as it turned out. I have all kinds of theories about why this grotesque and deadly spectacle was allowed to play out as it did, is but the most obvious ones are: 1) the power brokers see which way the wind is blowing, and want to be eaten last, 2) they actually believe the Maoist horseshit that is increasingly prevalent in the universities, and 3) most importantly, if you have a Baby's First Revolution, brought to you by Pfizer and the Washington Post, this proto-Cultural Revolution will stay anchored in the culture wars without ever reaching that pesky redistribution phase. To be clear, the vast majority of Americans can avoid this simply by avoiding urban areas. If you don't live in Oakland or Minneapolis or Madison you'll be pretty well insulated. But the number of urban areas trending this way is only going up, not down.
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