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athinaios

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athinaios last won the day on July 16

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  1. There's an industry whose professionals seem to be wearing skinny jeans as a statement.
  2. Allegedly spoken by Einstein who added, "and I'm not sure about the former (the universe)"
  3. So, once upon a time, and for 99% of the humanity's experience, there were many diseases that would maim and kill, from little children to grown adults. Those natural afflictions were equal-opportunity enemies of health. Rich & powerful people would have their children die too. FD Roosevelt got polio in his 30s and was an invalid for the rest of his life. Then we were given a choice by modern medicine: vaccines. What we found out is that vaccines, and modern medicine, have vastly improved human health, longevity, and happiness. Life span alone (on the average) doubled within 100 years. On the other hand, you can choose conspiracy theories, misinformation, and wilful ignorance..... which is pretty much how most people lived their lives for ever. But, they took risks, and sometimes were rewarded for taking a chance. Or, when they figured out that every action, every tool, every food, etc, had some risk but they weighed that against benefit. Today, we still take calculated risks, but some of us don't understand ..statistics. Like the chance of dying in an automobile crash is much higher than getting the COVID19 vaccine, while the effects of the virus are much more likely to be harmful. Yet.... By the way, even though it's effective, I think it's disgusting that we have to bribe people into doing the right thing for themselves and for the community.
  4. Let's be careful of what you morally authorize (or don't care enough to lose sleep over it). Is this how we should conduct politics? Through physical violence and even murder? And, if so, what kind of law would you pass? And, and, what kind of society would this entail? Outside politics, we have the notion of vigilantism. Advanced societies don't allow revenge killings, and I think with very good reason. It may be fun in the movies to get some satisfaction by seeing bad guys getting "bumped" (I enjoyed the Sopranos, for example), but I wouldn't like to see this happening in real life as a way for solving injustice.
  5. Well, there is an existential issue for both political parties: the new Voting Rights Act. The Republicans' officially signed off as the anti-democracy party by passing or will be passing state laws throughout the country to implement Jim Crow-era voting restrictions. If they succeed, the Dems will be out of power in many states and very probably Congress and the White House. Biden has realized that the filibuster has to go if he and his party will have a chance to compete in much of the country. So the Voting Rights Act has to pass by Congress.
  6. I don't know a lot about this... I know the 25th is celebrated as the ... «Στις 25 Μαρτίου του 1821 ο Παλαιών Πατρών Γερμανός σήκωσε το λάβαρο της Επανάστασης στο Μοναστήρι της Αγίας Λαύρας» Except none of that is true, and its falsehood has nothing to do with the change of calendar.... The Church has managed to promote the myths* that most modern Greeks believe as history today. Well, it wasn't only the Church but some propagandist-"historians" and of course the Greek state responsible for those myths. * myths like the Κρυφο Σχολειο, that the church was in favor of the revolution, that Souliotes (Arvanites) were Greeks, that the Greeks fought like lions against the Turks--which they did--though most of their fighting was against other Greeks.... a fight that continued well after the European poweres dealt a decisive blow to the Ottomans at Navarino and into the decades that followed the establishment of the modern Greek state. King Otto, by the way, was the result of this in-fighting. Something like the soccer referees today for the Greek soccer games that are imported from Europe because the natives are incapable or conducting their own affairs.... hmmmm
  7. The Republicans and indeed McConnell have no interest in helping Biden in any way, even if the Republican base is for a given policy. The vast majority of Americans wanted the COVID relief package including taxpayer financial aid, and the majority of Republican voters agreed. Not a single R in Congress voted for it, though several went back to their states to claim credit for the same bill. At any rate, Biden needs to act, which means that executive orders isn't the way to do it--EOs are within existing law. So, new laws must be passed by Congress, and the problem is the filibuster in the Senate. Either it has to be reformed--make it for 41 Senator to bock a bill, not how it is now that 1 blocks it and 60 are needed to overcome the filibuster. Or, scrap it altogether. It is essential for Biden and the Dems to pass laws and they have very little time to do it, IF they have a chance to retain their majority in Congress after the 2022 midterm elections. Usually the party in power loses seats, and the Dems have thin majority in the House and 50-50 split in the Senate. I say screw McConnell's tear jerkers about traditions and norms. He's a big hypocrite. But, Biden seems to have learned from Obama's mistakes trying to pursue bipartisanship, AND, I think, the times have changed. Most Dems believe compromise and delays will get them defeats as it happened under Obama and in 2016.
  8. I think... 1. Brexit may prove that the UK is a political union of the past; it's breakup is necessary now. Free Scotland, and not only. 2. the monarchy is an anachronism, taxpayer-funded spectacle that should not have survived into the 21st c.
  9. In an advanced, constitutional democracy, as Max Weber put it, the monopoly of legitimate violence should be given only to the state. Otherwise, there's no law and order when private groups or individuals act as judge/jury and implementer of violence. I think it's good that we don't publicly lynch people, even if they're guilty of a crime. I'm surprised that Hitler didn't come up... Usually he does in heated debates. So, would you kill Hitler when he was writing Mein Kampf in 1925? That's on the ..assumption he was an evil person in 1925 (without the knowledge you have today about him). But then you should also kill Koufodinas when he was first speaking about an armed struggle. Needless to say, you should have killed Marx too. Trump for sure. And, everyone you thought as representing any country or government you don't agree with. Personally, I don't feel comfortable when a terrorist group, like 17 November, operates no matter what their methods are. Furthermore, there was no justification, in my mind, that killing, even if carefully targeted person, is an acceptable struggle in a generally peaceful, constitutional democracy. Even if a system is not perfect, you can't use murder as an instrument of politics. I also believe that if you employ a tactic, or a certain morality, you give permission to others to do the same. If you steal from me, then you accept that stealing is OK, and that others can do it to you. In this sense Koufodinas is mocking the system then by making demands. I'm not saying that we should act like him, but I don't think he has mistreated so badly by the state. He is not like any political prisoner. He's not incarcerated because of his politics--let's get this straight. He's imprisoned because he has murdered 11 people and terrorized the public.
  10. Sorry to change the subject from the snowy Athens to something unpleasant.. I've been reading about Koufodinas, one of the masterminds and top murderer (OK, now you see where I'm coming from) of 17 November, a terrorist organization. He's on a hunger strike asking for a transfer to a different holding facility. There's lots of controversy and views about this and how the state should respond. The previous government had allowed him to leave the prison for limited time on several occasions. What do you think about this? For some background info: The bloody path of 17 November
  11. I suppose these things open to allow someone to get out at some point, right?
  12. A very small man, exhibiting the worst traits of indecency, incompetence, and pettiness. What a national nightmare which unfortunately is not over with his demise, because of the countless people, many in leadership positions, that enabled him still remain. But, he'll be remembered as possibly the worst president, in an ugly period of our history, a wannabe dictator, and an insurrectionist.
  13. what's the trend? In the US, it's bad, though in last 2 weeks the cases/deaths are going down.... Still, 25+ million infected and 420,000 dead. To those who still think it's a hoax: Yeah, you're so smart! You figured it out that the gov is paying actors to fill hospitals to capacity, and record fake deaths. Maybe evolution is a made-up theory too, because... how is it so many stupid people have survived? right? NYT data
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