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The All Things Political Thread (The World and US Reunited)


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13 minutes ago, Gorth said:

separatists and religious terror groups blooming in the Caucasus

There's still a lot of unanswered questions regarding that one, though. Especially concerning the apartment block bombings (cf. Litvinenko) that sparked the 2nd Chechen War, which in turn enabled Putin's success in his bid for the presidency.

And even the most cursory reading of Soviet history should make anyone shudder at the suggestion of Russia "taking inspiration from the USSR".

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Meh, Litvinenko did a pretty good job of destroying his own credibility since according to him everything was a Putin run false flag- 2005 London bombings, Beslan, Moscow Theatre Siege etc- and Putin was literally a pedophile vampire. He was also 100% employed by arch oligarch and Putin arch enemy Boris Berezovsky, while simultaneously running the anti corruption unit of the FSB; a position which was consistently used to bolster his credibility in western press. You don't tend to get much about those aspects in the typical hagiographies though.

The evidence that the apartment bombings were false flags is- at best- equivocal since they rely on chained contingencies like the bombs both being rdx and the only source of that being the FSB (which is completely untrue), and they really weren't needed as justification anyway since Chechens had been invading Dagestan and Ingushetia for months prior. At worst it's the anti Putin equivalent of 'Bush did 9/11'.

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One of the longest running "presidents/prime ministers" in Europe Milo Djukanovic (of Montenegro) is getting the curtains closed on him. His political party lost the elections last year and the second largest city in Montenegro, Niksic, just had an election which his party also lost. Slowly he is losing his footing, but I guess it remains to be seen if by the next presidential election the Serbian parties can get behind a single candidate. If it happens I wonder how far the changes would go, I think it likely they would denounce Kosovo, but I wonder if they would leave NATO.

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19 hours ago, Gorth said:

They didn't "annex if from Russia after the Cold War" as much as they put down lines on a map after the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union (roughly following the dotted lines on a map of the spheres of the Soviet bureaucracies, i.e. what in the Soviet Union was administered by Kiev). The West being their typical self wholeheartedly supported those territorial claims, recognizing what had been administrative lines made for management convenience as new national borders, regardless of history and ethnic composition of the people in those areas. Which is why Ukraine ended up with large Russian populations in Donetsk and Crimea. They never wanted to be part of this new country that laid claim to their land, but it was supported by the west for geopolitical reasons (i.e. what is bad for Russia is good for us).

Post Soviet Ukraine is sort of a mixed bag of revolutions (most famous being the Orange Revolution of 2004). Things took a down turn when https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych was ousted in a violent uprising in 2014 (voted in as President in what international observers called free and fair elections in 2010), which directly lead to the Russian decision to "Return Crimea to where it belongs"

 

19 hours ago, Gorth said:

They didn't "annex if from Russia after the Cold War" as much as they put down lines on a map after the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union (roughly following the dotted lines on a map of the spheres of the Soviet bureaucracies, i.e. what in the Soviet Union was administered by Kiev). The West being their typical self wholeheartedly supported those territorial claims, recognizing what had been administrative lines made for management convenience as new national borders, regardless of history and ethnic composition of the people in those areas. Which is why Ukraine ended up with large Russian populations in Donetsk and Crimea. They never wanted to be part of this new country that laid claim to their land, but it was supported by the west for geopolitical reasons (i.e. what is bad for Russia is good for us).

Post Soviet Ukraine is sort of a mixed bag of revolutions (most famous being the Orange Revolution of 2004). Things took a down turn when https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych was ousted in a violent uprising in 2014 (voted in as President in what international observers called free and fair elections in 2010), which directly lead to the Russian decision to "Return Crimea to where it belongs"

Okay like I said I would  I did some research to understand the historical context of who owns Crimea, I did this because you said " I dont care about Democracy " and you used an example of  my critical view of Russia's  unlawful annexing of Crimea as an example of not caring about what the actual citizens of Crimea want 

Your comments about me " not caring about Democracy " did something rare when it comes to negative views people have of me, it made me feel guilty because I respect you so when someone who I like has a negative view of me it does cause me to pause and reflect on what they saying about my perceived views....irrespective if its true or not. Anyway so I wanted to understand this Crimea issue based on the historical facts 

Their some different opinions on " who Crimea belongs to " but basically Zora is right in the point that Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, the quote below summarizes this and I have included the link below

 "Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine The Great in 1783 and remained part of Russia until 1954, when it was transferred to Ukraine under the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev " 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18287223

Another interesting link around the valid reasons for USA and EU sanctions

https://www.thebalance.com/ukraine-crisis-summary-and-explanation-3970462

But in closing, the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine is internationally binding and legal. This was not done by the West, so we can argue that decision but internationally I dont see how you can say " Crimea belongs to Russia " since it was transferred

As I mentioned in another post it is not just about  what the people in a region want around sovereignty, Scotland and Catalonia are examples of people wanting independence but you need to work with the controlling government to achieve true independence and global recognition 

That is not what Russia did with the illegal annexing of Crimea so I not convinced that legally Crimea belongs to Russia because of what Khrushchev did

 

 

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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1 hour ago, BruceVC said:

That is not what Russia did with the illegal annexing of Crimea so I not convinced that legally Crimea belongs to Russia because of what Khrushchev did

Khrushchevs actions (which I'm sure he wouldn't have done if he had known the internal administrative lines would become national borders some day) were undone by an equally valid and legit referendum before the Soviet Union fell apart https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Crimean_sovereignty_referendum

 

But as Zor said, nobody cared about the referendum and Ukraine sent tens of thousands of troops to suppress Crimea and make sure the independence was ignored by everybody except the Crimeans and Russia, ignoring the legally valid status of 'ASSR'. I.e. Autonomous Republic, no longer part of Ukraine and they were free to chose their own allegiances the same as Urkaine, Belarus and other autonomous republics. But, as said, the west is blind when its convenient and Ukraine was recognized as a sovereign country and Crimea wasn't, allowing it to be effectively annexed by Ukraine. As said, it was never part of the county Ukraine in the past or present, except for a the post Soviet years where it was occupied by Ukrainian troops.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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17 minutes ago, Gorth said:

Khrushchevs actions (which I'm sure he wouldn't have done if he had known the internal administrative lines would become national borders some day) were undone by an equally valid and legit referendum before the Soviet Union fell apart https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Crimean_sovereignty_referendum

 

But as Zor said, nobody cared about the referendum and Ukraine sent tens of thousands of troops to suppress Crimea and make sure the independence was ignored by everybody except the Crimeans and Russia, ignoring the legally valid status of 'ASSR'. I.e. Autonomous Republic, no longer part of Ukraine and they were free to chose their own allegiances the same as Urkaine, Belarus and other autonomous republics. But, as said, the west is blind when its convenient and Ukraine was recognized as a sovereign country and Crimea wasn't, allowing it to be effectively annexed by Ukraine. As said, it was never part of the county Ukraine in the past or present, except for a the post Soviet years where it was occupied by Ukrainian troops.

Okay I am going to research this referendum and how legitimate it was and get back to you because this seems to be your primary reason for believing that Russia had a right to annex Crimea illegally

Is that a fair assessment of your point ?

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Okay I am going to research this referendum and how legitimate it was and get back to you because this seems to be your primary reason for believing that Russia had a right to annex Crimea illegally

Is that a fair assessment of your point ?

 

You seem to love the word 'illegally'. You want to get technical about it, the Ukrainian invasion of a neighbour was illegal as was the illegal occupation of Crimea.

Lets be real. Besides Ukraine having no legal claims on Crimea, legality isn't worth ****, especially when it comes to international relations and it's made up on the fly by whoever finds a convenient use for it. It's nothing more than a propaganda tool. Like the old "Casus Belli" that European monarchs were so find of trying to create whenever they wanted to wage war for the the purpose of making a landgrab. Constantly repeating a phrase doesn't make it true, it just becomes tiresome, especially when most people know it's a meaningless thing. This isn't a Trump campaign meeting.

In the real world, you have realpolitik instead. It's what have been practiced millennia and most country leaders knows it. Russia is no more likely to hand over part of its population to a hostile country than the US is handing over California to Mexico (unless you ask die hard Republicans who would say good riddance to the damn liberals). I know Ukraine (and most western countries) tries the 'legal' shtick when it comes to propaganda, but in the end, that is all it is.

The Crimeans voted to sever ties with Ukraine before the break up of the Soviet Union and the illegitimate occupation only happened for two reasons, the west backed what was nothing more than an opportunistic land grab and two, Russia was mess at the time with Red Army units marching on the Kremlin, tanks laying siege to the parliament and the only leader they had was a drunkard named Yeltzin (who was more concerned about the vodka supply than foreign politics). If Ukraine had tried to same thing now (even without Crimea being annexed by Russia but being independent), you bet they wouldn't have dared?

As said, the west doesn't care about the Crimeans, only about the realpolitik aspects of it. Democracy and legitimacy be damned.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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16 hours ago, 213374U said:

And even the most cursory reading of Soviet history should make anyone shudder at the suggestion of Russia "taking inspiration from the USSR".

Not Russians! xD

They would have to learn from their mistakes though, remove the bad elements and replace them with better elements.

With the proper leadership I'm sure they could achieve decent things.

But history has also proven that it's far easier to catch up to the modern world than to overtake it.  Stalin's 5 year plans proved an astonishing success at making U.S.S.R. a potent force but not going anywhere near replacing the U.S. in success and technological innovation.

Also a lot of their technology and designs were looted from a defeated Nazi Germany, but that also goes with Western powers as well.  Nazi's had some phat loot!

"America would be unrecognizable if it had ordered the separation of corporation and state like it orders separation of church and state."

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57 minutes ago, Gorth said:

You seem to love the word 'illegally'. You want to get technical about it, the Ukrainian invasion of a neighbour was illegal as was the illegal occupation of Crimea.

Lets be real. Besides Ukraine having no legal claims on Crimea, legality isn't worth ****, especially when it comes to international relations and it's made up on the fly by whoever finds a convenient use for it. It's nothing more than a propaganda tool. Like the old "Casus Belli" that European monarchs were so find of trying to create whenever they wanted to wage war for the the purpose of making a landgrab. Constantly repeating a phrase doesn't make it true, it just becomes tiresome, especially when most people know it's a meaningless thing. This isn't a Trump campaign meeting.

In the real world, you have realpolitik instead. It's what have been practiced millennia and most country leaders knows it. Russia is no more likely to hand over part of its population to a hostile country than the US is handing over California to Mexico (unless you ask die hard Republicans who would say good riddance to the damn liberals). I know Ukraine (and most western countries) tries the 'legal' shtick when it comes to propaganda, but in the end, that is all it is.

The Crimeans voted to sever ties with Ukraine before the break up of the Soviet Union and the illegitimate occupation only happened for two reasons, the west backed what was nothing more than an opportunistic land grab and two, Russia was mess at the time with Red Army units marching on the Kremlin, tanks laying siege to the parliament and the only leader they had was a drunkard named Yeltzin (who was more concerned about the vodka supply than foreign politics). If Ukraine had tried to same thing now (even without Crimea being annexed by Russia but being independent), you bet they wouldn't have dared?

As said, the west doesn't care about the Crimeans, only about the realpolitik aspects of it. Democracy and legitimacy be damned.

Lets stay on point and focus on the actual debate

This particular discussion is not about  your view on the relevancy of  global legal precedents and decisions , the reality of realpolitik or does the West care about the Crimean people 

This is about who does Crimea belong to based on historical decisions and outcomes and was the annexation of Crimea legal or illegal. And yes it does matter because its the basis for most of  the Western sanctions that Russia is desperate to end. Its also important to me personally as I consider what Putin did as illegal and unacceptable so I support the sanctions. If the annexation of Crimea by Russia was lawful I would be opposed to sanctions and I would change my opinion like in any debate 

So lets try not to look at this in a personal and emotional way as this may cloud our views. So I will frame 2 simple questions that I would like you to directly respond to so I understand your view 

  • Do you agree Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine in  1954 
  • Despite that and the legal precedent of what that meant their was the Crimean referendum based on the link below that yourself and Zora believe means that in fact Crimea should have been allowed to join Russia legally but its based on this referendum and its outcome 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Crimean_sovereignty_referendum

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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23 minutes ago, BruceVC said:
  • Do you agree Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine in  1954 
  • Despite that and the legal precedent of what that meant their was the Crimean referendum based on the link below that yourself and Zora believe means that in fact Crimea should have been allowed to join Russia legally but its based on this referendum and its outcome 

He did transfer it to a different administrative body, yes. He didn't transfer it to "Ukraine" (as in the nation state), but to the Ukrainian SSR

And Yes to the second one. They could have chosen to join Ukraine too (but a referendum with 94% of the population in favour of saying good riddance to all things Ukrainian, fat chance of happening) or stay independent like the other autonomous areas.

 

Although this is a bit like debating things in isolation/out of context 🤔

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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13 minutes ago, Gorth said:

He did transfer it to a different administrative body, yes. He didn't transfer it to "Ukraine" (as in the nation state), but to the Ukrainian SSR

And Yes to the second one. They could have chosen to join Ukraine too (but a referendum with 94% of the population in favour of saying good riddance to all things Ukrainian, fat chance of happening) or stay independent like the other autonomous areas.

 

Although this is a bit like debating things in isolation/out of context 🤔

Okay, thanks 

I will do some research and get back to you later. I do see your point and its relevant to the discussion because that 1991 referendum is important to our views on what Russia did and was it illegal or legal 

 

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I know, US elections 2020 are over, but I thought this little tidbit was interesting.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56423536

Tl;dr; according to US intelligence services, Russia interfered to support Trump, Iran interfered to support Biden and China thought both candidates were hopeless and it wasn't worth interfering 😂

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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25 minutes ago, Gorth said:

I know, US elections 2020 are over, but I thought this little tidbit was interesting.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56423536

Tl;dr; according to US intelligence services, Russia interfered to support Trump, Iran interfered to support Biden and China thought both candidates were hopeless and it wasn't worth interfering 😂

Well that's pretty much been 80+% of the attacks coming from the right wingnuts, so most likely Putin is merely amplifying the behavior. Thus far it hasn't done much to Biden's popularity, and I suspect many people just dismiss it as peevish partisanship.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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3 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

Even STEM careers are starting  to look less of a birght path in the high cost locations. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-opinion-optional-practical-training-problems-stem-graduates-deserve-better-jobs-opportunities/

 

One of the things that turns American students off to STEM is the earnings are not commensurate with the education requirements. It's better than some fields of study to be sure. Certainly better than liberal arts. But the demand for the skills are not everywhere. They tend to be focused in hub cities like Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco Bay area, Raleigh Durham and places like that. So many engineers, SW developers, etc concentrated in one area drives down the wages. Scarcity is what leads to high value. Another problem with the "pipeline" of foreign engineers is it dilutes the talent pool so there are more applicants than jobs. 

Plus the way they teach kids math  these days is really, REALLY convoluted. It's based on the associative rule and I get the idea is not to teach math but logical reasoning. But it takes a simple concept that we used to just memorize and makes it complicated. Sometimes I'm glad I never had kids. Imagine having to deprogram them every night from the nonsense they got in math class every day. 8 x 7 = 56. It just is. It's not a goddamned theorem that requires proving. Just memorize it. 

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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2 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

So when is Biden about to reinstate the wall building policies? 😂

What's happening at southern border, when even Biden has to say in an ABC pieve, "don't come"? 

I think he mentioned at some point he was in favor of a digital fence. For that to work though you'd need to hire more border guards to round up all the loose people. Must be a Democrat full employment act.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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12 hours ago, Gorth said:

I know, US elections 2020 are over, but I thought this little tidbit was interesting.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56423536

Tl;dr; according to US intelligence services, Russia interfered to support Trump, Iran interfered to support Biden and China thought both candidates were hopeless and it wasn't worth interfering 😂

They should both be disqualified. Where is Kanye West?

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34 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

They should both be disqualified. Where is Kanye West?

I think he's working on a follow up to Gold Digger

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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As speculated on in the previous thread Turkey is now moving to ban the Kurdish HDP party in the wake of their disastrously inept attempt to increase Erdogan's popularity and maybe as a secondary aim rescue some prisoners from the PKK.

Strange, 'real' Kurds are happy in Turkey and don't support the terroristler PKK because they have Kurdish language TV, according to Erdogan, yet the parties they vote for should also be banned for... supporting the PKK. Hmm.

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It sounds like the Democrats are pressuring Stephen Breyer to step down. They want to replace him with somebody younger and more radical while they still have full control over the government. Barack Obama himself tried to get Ruth Bader Ginsberg to do the exact same thing. That’s kind of a terrible thing to do. Both Breyer and Ginsberg are extremely intelligent and decent people. They shouldn’t be pressured to end their careers over political expediency. I don’t recall the Republicans doing that to Clarence Thomas. If they did I missed it.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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Thomas was probably just too young for them to consider doing that.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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12 minutes ago, Malcador said:

Thomas was probably just too young for them to consider doing that.

That’s true. He is only 72

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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2 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

It sounds like the Democrats are pressuring Stephen Breyer to step down. They want to replace him with somebody younger and more radical while they still have full control over the government. Barack Obama himself tried to get Ruth Bader Ginsberg to do the exact same thing. That’s kind of a terrible thing to do. Both Breyer and Ginsberg are extremely intelligent and decent people. They shouldn’t be pressured to end their careers over political expediency. I don’t recall the Republicans doing that to Clarence Thomas. If they did I missed it.

Didn't Trump do it to Kennedy? Democrats must know at this point that the Republicans will do literally anything they can to prevent them from appointing a Supreme Court justice, and it's not difficult to foresee a situation where the court becomes even more lopsided, so I'm not surprised they're trying to get on top of it.

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14 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

Didn't Trump do it to Kennedy? Democrats must know at this point that the Republicans will do literally anything they can to prevent them from appointing a Supreme Court justice, and it's not difficult to foresee a situation where the court becomes even more lopsided, so I'm not surprised they're trying to get on top of it.

Yeah, and we got the guy accused of raping a woman in college who loudly proclaimed his love for beer in his interview. I remember seeing that and thinking that even if you ignored the rape accusation(s?), no job I have worked would have hired me if I talked about my drinking habits like that.

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