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Wertbag last won the day on January 15

Wertbag had the most liked content!

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About Wertbag

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  • Birthday 02/21/1977

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    Auckland, NZ
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    MMA, gaming
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    Married father of 2 from New Zealand

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. What freedom is unlimited? I can't think of anything that society doesn't limit in some way... Movement? if they grant you a license or passport, if they grant a Visa, if they allow you to cross borders, if they don't deem the area private property. Speech? As long as its not inciting violence, perjury, conspiracy, defamation or censored. Age restrictions, criminal history restrictions, gender restrictions... freedom is not a yes/no question but a matter of degrees on the scale. From the definition I'm not sure I see a clear difference between liberty and freedom.
  2. Anecdotal on this count, but I've heard of politicians running on platforms of harsher penalties, 3 strike rules, and "cleaning up the streets". If there are people financially benefiting from a politician gaining power, then there is a direct influence on elections. This can lead to lobbying, advertising/campaigning, financial support and selecting to vote based on what makes you more money. People aren't necessarily looking at harsher penalties as useful tools to reduce crime, but as a way to line their own pocket. Its not what is best for society but what is best for my bank account. Hell, get corporations out of politics altogether. Give each candidate the same reasonable budget (I think they said both Trump and Hillary were in the $800 million range) and don't allow outside donations at all. No gun lobby, no tabaco lobby, no church lobby, no billionaires influencing one way or the other. Each person has exactly $100m and a therefore even playing field. You could even work a system where the person running for president is actually the best person for the job and not a choice between two disliked individuals. Imagine a real choice? Voting for multiple parties where everything doesn't have to be black and white. Currently in NZ we have 14 registered political parties and another dozen unregistered. America is very much Dem vs Rep, but it turns out there are many other positions that can be held, you simply don't have the option to choose them.
  3. There's an interwoven web, in that poor people commit more crime, more black people are poor, armed police confrontations occur with whoever commits crimes, therefore the poor are more often in life and death situations, more often in court and more often in jail. In turn the non-poor are fearful of the poor as they are more likely to commit crimes against them. So you have white people shying away, taxi drivers not wanting to take risks and business owners giving extra scrutiny to poor people who enter their property. The blm crowd will say such actions are racist, yet the actions are not taken due to skin colour but due to fear. The same shop owners will be suspicious of any white hobo who enters, as the chance of crime is high. That fear is what drives a lot of police brutality and shootings. Think of the police officer who has been assaulted repeatedly, abused and threatened by everyone he meets, seen his colleagues killed in the line of duty and just really wants to get home to his family at the end of the day. This has nothing to do with skin colour, as black and Latino cops have apparently shot more people than white, but can you imagine the fear of going to work not knowing if you will survive the day? In those situations people don't take chances and will sometimes shoot first. You end up with a cycle of people hating cops for their actions, which makes the armed police more nervous and fearful, which leads to more mistakes, which leads to more hate. Only blaming the cops doesn't resolve the issue. The link in all of this is poverty, and that is where change can occur to break these cycles. Massive funding towards helping communities improve their quality of life. Trade schools, paid travel to education, benefits to those in need, medical expenses covered, mental health services, give people hope that what they are doing is going to improve their lives and they will be motivated to invest the time. Look at Americas strange admin bloated health service, with 40 million people having little to no health insurance. Americas justice system built on public defenders who are over worked and under paid to the point justice cannot be done as intended. Americas for profit prisons who are incentivised to jail more and more people. Then once released they face laws stopping them from gaining legal employment. Plenty of things that can be worked on to improve the lives of the impoverished regardless of skin colour.
  4. One interesting side note is how you determine what is alive? Viruses are the famous example of this, in that they have genetic material, can evolve and can reproduce, however they don't have cells and can't reproduce without hijacking a cell. Most experts seem to say that they are not alive, but it really depends on how you define that. If it is purely reproduction, then an animal like a mule, which is always sterile, doesn't count. So if step one of abiogenesis is the creation of a self replicating RNA, then that may not even be life at that stage. Add more chemistry until it gains a more solid form and at some point it makes the jump to life, but when exactly? A cell wall? Energy absorption? The ability to move? When exactly does chemistry change to biology? Usually the reason people struggle with abiogenesis is simply incredulity. They don't have a solid reason to disagree with it, just that it sounds impossible. The problem of "I can't imagine it, therefore it can't be true", which is a lack of imagination rather than a lack of evidence. Especially when the timelines are in the hundreds of millions or even billions of years. We just can't comprehend such huge numbers. The whole of human history is a few hundred thousand years, which is hardly a blip on the timescale of the planet.
  5. I think my favourite end of the world was Y2K, now that was an end of the world to be proud of.... At least that one had fireworks.
  6. http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/opinion-time-to-dismantle-our-rotting-house/ar-BB152JbI?ocid=ientp I've seen many articles about racism, raised by the protests in the US, but this was the first one that I'd found aimed at NZ and claiming our whole system is a "white supremacist system of capitalism". The first thing that annoys me is the effort put in to poison the well in advance of any conversation about the issues raised. The line "strong opposition from New Zealanders (politicians and community members alike) who subscribe to and benefit from the white supremacist structures of police and prisons." So already if you wish to voice an opposing view to the writers then he has already put you into the box of white supremacist. It doesn't matter what your view is, who you support or what changes you wish to make, you are labelled a white supremacist by virtue of existing within a society in which capitalism exists. Even the term "white supremacist" is a loaded phrase, bringing images of skin head neo-nazis and KKK lynchings. This does not lead to a well reasoned discussion and improvements, but instantly divides the readers by their skin colour. The same kinds of numbers are quoted as seen in American articles "66 percent of those shot by police in the last 10 years were either Māori or Pacific, and 51 percent of the prison population are Māori and 12 percent are of Pacific descent." Which attempts to say the system is racist, while ignoring the glaring question of why are there higher rates of offending within those communities? This blame shifting to say its an issue with the government, with police or with the justice system, fails to accept any responsibility. As we've seen in America, race is often not the issue at hand. Black people will happily loot black businesses, kill black policemen and more black on black murders occur than anything the police do. Yet we aren't talking about that massive problem, but instead looking at it all as though racism is the sole cause. "From 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by other African Americans". The big issue seems to be poverty regardless of skin colour, as poor white people are also a high offence demographic. People who have an income, financial security, entertainment and a life style that they wish to protect, are less likely to take risks that could lose that for them. More black people in poverty equals more black crime equals more blacks in police confrontations and ending up in prison. How do you tackle poverty? That's a massive problem that can't be addressed in any quick and easy way, but to my mind that is where the focus should be. This articles two suggestions on how to fix the problems? Abolish the police and abolish prisons. Both ridiculous ideas that I'm amazed anyone would suggest. I can absolutely see reforms to how police operate, to how courts operate, to how prisons are run, in order to make those things have fair and better outcomes for all, but to abolish them? There needs to be a punishment and there needs to be enforcement, otherwise its anarchy. Maybe just abolish the low security prisons? Maybe rename the police to the "happy friendly sparkle marshalls", but at the end of the day you still want trained people willing to risk their lives to make society safe from those people who don't care about others life and property. "A new prison is estimated to cost $1.5 billion. If we spent that money on health or education, what outcome would we get?" - You'd get violent criminals continuing to do whatever they want, gangs selling drugs, thieves making a quick buck and the world keeps spinning. How many sick people are the ones out committing crimes? "The problem is the entire structure, which has a deep and pervasive culture of white supremacy and toxic masculinity", the writing is just dripping with SJW terms and accusations. "The rotting house must be dismantled, and a new system needs to be built" - Or you can appreciate you live in NZ, one of the most prosperous, safe and supportive countries around. Free education, free health care, free state housing, many government benefit schemes, low unemployment, low crime, great health results... You can be taught to look at any country as a bad place to live, but if you take a step back and look from a global perspective you will see we have it pretty awesome here. Anyone can succeed if they apply themselves, and I think that articles like this will struggle to find mainstream acceptance due to the uphill battle against prosperity, positivity and hope.
  7. I would disagree that the protests caused the charges, the investigation was underway regardless. The video footage was absolutely incriminating evidence and accelerated the charges as they wouldn't have to rely on witness testimony, on distant blurry security camera footage or other hard to confirm evidence. Would they have been convicted without the video? Hard to know, but most likely yes. From the witness reports there were at least a dozen people in attendance, if so there was a ton of first hand witness reports that should have had the same final result but obviously taking a lot longer to get there. Absolutely, especially in the US where you have private/for profit prisons, that is just bizarre, and you have the highest incarceration level in the world (2 million people in prison is a crazy number to imagine). They say the people who can't afford a lawyer will have one appointed, then give those lawyers a case load so large that they cannot invest the time to adequately defend their client. Funding would help immensely. Some people take the idea too far, with requests for abolishing the police or the prisons, as though they provide zero use. When you dig you usually find they do still want a police force but they'd do little more than rename it. I was just reading an article that said in Norway they had a reoffending rate of 20% compared to 76% in the US. They have more focus on rehabilitation, life and job skills and mental health support. Again funding would help, but really a better focus on helping people improve, not just release them with no hope.
  8. I don't think anyone is saying murder is okay, the argument seems to be whether the issue is racism (would an overly aggressive cop have killed the criminal regardless of his skin colour? Did he do his actions because of racism or because of being a violent a-hole?) and whether it is epidemic (sure the media highlight the worse cases, but from the close to 2 million people working in law enforcement in the US how many are actually using racial violence?). The very fact the officer is facing murder charges clearly shows this is not condoned. It has been condemned by everyone, from every law enforcement agency to Trump, to the international community. I do agree that some of the black activists are too quick to jump to racism as the reason for events. If a black man with a knife charges a cop and gets shot, it is due to the knife not his skin colour. I think the gap that we have is any answers as to how to fix it. Lots of people are saying things are bad, but I'm not hearing people saying what the answer is. Gangs, drugs, poverty, anti-education mentality, a culture of glorifying thug life/violence/aggression, no counter narrative to "everyone is out to get you", expensive healthcare/insurance etc and fear. Maybe the issues are too wide ranging?
  9. So you have protestors saying "murder is bad" which everyone already agrees with. You have rioters burning stuff and being evil for the fun of it. You have looters who don't care about any of that and just want to get wealthy. You have hardline conservatives saying they should be shooting looters and itching to start killing. You have BLM people claiming everything is racist. You have governors who can't decide what to do about any of it. You have Trump threatening everyone. Then of course everyone looks to the celebrities for the answers...
  10. Worldwide we've been hearing about how bad the covid outbreak has been in America, with over 100k dying from it so far and of course the worldwide economic disaster to go with it. Now on top of all that we have these outbreaks of rioting, looting and violence. Curfews across America, 4000 arrested, cars and even churches fire bombed. Here in NZ we had a peaceful protest, which was quickly condemned for breaking lock down rules. Nothing similar to the scenes from downtown LA. Anybody effected personally? Everyone safe?
  11. So it's not a spiritual realm but a physical one? Does that mean we still need to eat, sleep and we can be injured? Can I punch someone in heaven? So many confusing ideas...
  12. Which came first the heaven or the god? I hadn't thought about heaven being eternal, I think it was creationists who said God is the only eternal thing, but maybe they mean heaven is an aspect of God and not a separate realm? Gets hard to put all the mixed up ideas in order. I always thought spirits couldn't feel pain which makes hell pointless from step one.
  13. Yeah, we agree. The term feminist is vague, anything from equality to female domination. There is no one writing female doctrine that all must follow.
  14. Good for you, props for the hard work to get yourself safe. Sadly your skill set is rare, both in males and females. When it comes to untrained vs untrained then males will have physical advantages in most cases. Women like Jennifer Jones are amazingly skilled but also the tiny minority of the worlds population. When we are talking about the average person Ms Jones would not come into the discussion, she's an extreme example.
  15. You've been hit by a lot of "average" men to know how hard that is? If you've suffered abuse in the past I'm sorry to hear that, no one should have to go through that but unfortunately many women will. When people talk about the average man having superior strength it is in comparison to the average woman. You may say the average man doesn't hit very hard, but the average woman will hit even less so. In general, physically men have more muscle, broader frames, and more aggression. Every Olympic record attests to this. This has allowed men to physically dominate through the ages, however now that our society has moved to higher value in intellectual pursuits, such muscular strength is no longer the deciding factor in gaining wealth and power.
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