This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).
As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.
These are mostly chronologically ordered, but I have in some cases tried to cluster comments by topic so if there is something you are looking for (or trying to avoid), this might be helpful.
Quality Contributions in the Main Motte
- "That was the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, and that should mean a lot, because I have read many books, papers, articles, comics, and pamphlets - and some of them were ridiculous on purpose."
- "...there is one area that always rubs me the wrong way. It is smart people who don't know dumb people talking about intelligence."
- "Every few hours, when I get tired of sneaking a cheeky vape in the millions of bathrooms and liminal stairwells that litter my hospital, I'll head over to the back of the building, in a secluded, roped off area that's the de-facto smoker's haunt of the place."
- "The femcel narrator's view of herself as the putative underdog ('She wears short-skirts I wear T Shirts, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers') is the kind of self-view every American takes of themselves."
- "Nobody is offering me free benzos to keep me from going too far in defense of my own property."
- "Show up and take the bitch's gun away. Then I might be in a frame of mind for free heroin."
Contributions for the week of August 28, 2023
- "This is an easy case, and if we can't even refrain from thumbing the scale when our ideological enemies are so easily defeated by pointing to the truth, we have no chance on anything remotely hard."
Contributions for the week of September 4, 2023
- "The Washington Post complains that 'Southwest had a constitutional right to issue a memo expressing its disagreement with the jury verdict'."
- "Yeah, it's clear that the thumb has been on the scale to benefit the producers of fake meat-like products."
- "It's either staggering incompetence or a scapegoat for the loss, but at least in PA, The Republican party were all for mail in voting... until they weren't."
All Moderators Are Bastards
- "Sometimes you do see cops acting more aggressive and antagonistic than the situation calls for, when it's clear they are out of patience, but only rarely have I seen cops really behaving like "bastards" or taking down someone who didn't need to be taken down or using unnecessary force."
The Aliens Have Landed Gentry
- "Iomedae sounds like an idiot on the subject of immigration, because she's very clearly being an author-mouthpiece."
- "Hawaii (1966) is about a Christian missionary founding the first church on Maui in 1820, and it is an antique in so many ways."
- "To the surprise of no one, sanctuary cities don't actually want hundreds of thousands of poor foreigners wandering about in their backyards."
- "I was on one of these busses that was filled with migrants sometime around the beginning of the year."
Contributions for the week of September 11, 2023
- "The pro vax redditor repeated the simple talking points drilled into his or her head during an emotional time and identified Novak as a villain."
- "I sometimes wonder if 'sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic' is an even more effective description of human psychology than it was intended to be."
- "We are bound by the laws of physics, but we don't actually know what all the laws of physics are yet."
- "If the 'philsopher-kings' existed and were actually competent I believe they would just exactly recreate money and artificial scarcity."
Will the Real America Please Stand Up?
- "Americans believe they are free and equal, but free men will not be equal, and equal men are not free."
- "My generation grew up with healthy diversity and colorblindness on TV, and then we threw it away to punish our ancestors."
Contributions for the week of September 18, 2023
- "Our sex culture needs a deeper culture change in order to work for most people again, but we have to find a way to fix this! Our whole future is riding on it."
- "On American Graffiti, Street Rod Shows, the Meaning of Teenage Rebellion, and Watching a Subculture Choose Death Over Diversity"
- "There is this meme/observation - in the 60s the car manuals included how to adjust the valves, Today the warning is to not drink from the washing fluid."
The Best Offence is a Good Defense
Who's Cheating Whom?
- "The thing is, I straight-up don't think Progressives generally care about fidelity in marriage, in any way I recognize as 'caring about marriage'."
- "Maybe, they think, you can keep the positive commitment of marriage, without the stifling confines of sexual exclusivity."
Contributions for the week of September 25, 2023
- "I started reading and thinking about Theodore Kaczynski's Industrial Society And It's Future around the time that he died and everyone was talking about it."
- "It's fun to imagine those staffers, and the circumstances that lead the Liberal Party and Parliament to have nobody in the entire chain equipped to realize that 'fought against the Russians in WWII' needs a second look. What an unbelievable unforced error."
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In this episode, an authoritarian and some anarchist(s) have an unhinged conversation about policing.
Participants: Yassine, Kulak, & Hoffmeister25 [Note: the latter's voice has been modified to protect him from the progressive nanny state's enforcement agents.]
About the Daniel Penny Situation (Hoffmeister25)
Posse comitatus (Wikipedia)
The Iron Rule (Anarchonomicon)
Eleven Magic Words (Yassine Meskhout)
Blackstone's ratio (Wikipedia)
Halfway To Prison Abolition (Yassine Meskhout)
Defunding My Mistake (Yassine Meskhout)
Recorded 2023-09-16 | Uploaded 2023-09-25
Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.
The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:
Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.
Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.
Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.
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Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?
This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.
Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.
This is a weekly thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or IR history. I usually start off with coverage of some current events from a mix of countries I follow personally and countries I think the forum might be interested in. Feel free to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the Ukraine War, the Canada-India beef, or even just whatever you’re reading.
The Dominican Republic has closed its border with Haiti (tbh surprised this took so long) over the construction of a Haitian canal that:
Officials in the Dominican Republic say the project will divert water from the Massacre River, which runs in both countries, and violate the 1929 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Arbitration.
Presumably the spillover of lawlessness was also a concern.
The details of a Kenyan led multinational intervention force for Haiti are finally being hammered out. Kenya will pledge 1000 troops; America will pledge $100 million to the operation, and has also now signed a defense agreement with Kenya to help them combat the Jihadi group Al Shabaab. This has taken a remarkably long time (it still hasn’t been finally approved by the UN) given that President Moïse was assassinated two years ago and the country has been in semi-anarchy since. It is definitely less than ideal to use a country whose soldiers don’t speak French and is currently dealing with charges of police brutality in the ICC, but it’s something I guess.
Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt held the second round of talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which would double Ethiopia’s electricity generation but Sudan and Egypt are both worried would imperil their water supply. Unfortunately the talks seemingly brought the countries no closer to an agreement. According to Ethiopian President Abiy, the dam is now fully ready to be brought into operation - hopefully they work something out soon! There is supposed to be one more round of talks, which so far all the parties are still willing to attend.
Fighting seems to have flared up again in the Amhara region, where the ethnic militia Fano has been in rebellion over Abiy’s attempt to integrate it into the national armed forces.
Poland will be holding elections on the 15th, along with a general referendum on migration on the same day. Don’t know much about it and would be interested to hear from others:
While in 2019 PiS won 43.6% of the vote, the party is now several percentage points below that level of success at 38% as of 9 September, according to the latest POLITICO poll. Trailing behind Pis is Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition party - Koalicja Obywatelska - with 30% of the vote and the far-right Confederation Freedom and Independence - Konfederacja Wolsność i Niepodległość - with 11% of the vote. The current polls suggest that PiS, which has been ruling Poland since 2015, might look for a coalition partner to form the next government as it fails to reach an overall majority, though it’s still unclear where it will find one.
Azerbaijan has fully reasserted control over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia has warned against harming Armenians, but the 2000 Russian peacekeepers who were put in place to end the 2020 conflict do not seem to have the capacity or interest in helping them (The Azeri President Aliyev apologized to Putin for killing some of them and it’s apparently chill). This is likely the culmination of the past three years - Russia didn’t do much to help Armenia in the 2020 conflict either, and since then Armenia withdrew from CSTO and have sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Recently the Armenian President said publicly that they cannot rely on Russia to defend them anymore and had begun conducting joint military drills with the US.
Iran has warned against “border changes,” which is interesting. Iran doesn’t want to derail the overland routes they've invested in to be built across Armenia, and has also historically been a weapons supplier for the country (in part because Azerbaijan receives weapons from Israel). But they have something of a delicate game to play when challenging Azerbaijan, due to their own ~16% Azeri minority on the border. Previous President Rouhani made it a major initiative to improve relations with Iranian Azeris (some of whom are very integrated and others of whom occasionally protest) by allowing Azeri to be taught in schools, recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan territory, and staying out of the 2020 conflict. Still, however, Azerbaijan regularly accuses Iran of favoring Armenia and tensions have never really disappeared.
Meanwhile, a pretty big chunk of the population in Nagorno Karabakh seems to be reading the room and heading for Armenia now that the Lachlin corridor is open.
Some 28,000 people — about 23% of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh — have fled to Armenia since Azerbaijan’s swift military operation to reclaim the region after three decades of separatist rule. The mass exodus caused huge traffic jams. The 100-kilometer (60-mile) drive took as long as 20 hours.
Edit: Reports are saying it's up to almost 75% of the population that have now fled.
Speaking of breakaway republics and peacekeeping operations, a group of Serbians opened fire on Albanian policemen, who then returned the favor. The shootout left at least four dead and has further inflamed an increasingly tense situation:
Kurti accused the Serbian government on Sunday of logistically supporting “the terrorist, criminal, professional unit” that fired on Kosovo Police officers. Vucic denied the allegations, saying the gunmen were local Kosovo Serbs “who no longer want to withstand Kurti’s terror.”
President Vučić has demanded the UN deploy a peacekeeping force to take over the nation’s security. There is already a pretty large UN contingent in Kosovo, so I guess mainly he’s asking for a change in their scope of operations. The two countries are supposedly in the process of normalizing relations but it sure doesn’t look too likely at the moment.
Do you remember the coup in Bolivia? Long time socialist President Evo Morales was forced out of office after big protests against voting irregularities. A wacky lady named Jeanine Áñez took power in the wake and started promptly committing massacres. Áñez held off elections as long as possible until they ultimately resulted in Morales’ Movement for Socialism party re-winning the Presidency under his protege Luis Arce.
A lot of people at the time claimed it was a coup; further analysis of the voting records seems to indicate maybe they weren’t actually irregular, and there were suspicions that the west wasn’t wild about Bolivia closely guarding its nationalized lithium ion deposits - suspicions notable lithium-ion fan Elon Musk didn’t help by responding, for some reason, “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it!” Ironically, Acre has just announced that he will open up Bolivia for lithium extraction from foreign companies.
Either way, things may be coming full circle with Morales returning to the palace after all - he just announced that he will be running in the 2025 election. Acre hasn’t actually formally announced that he himself will be running again, but it’s unlikely that he’ll step aside just because Morales wants him to - the two have experienced a rift over the past few years, with Morales accusing Acre of hounding him with bonus corruption charges. Acre’s justice department will certainly be challenging Morales’ candidacy, but probably deservedly so - he’s already exceeded the constitutional limits on the number of terms you can serve.
And speaking of leaders exceeding term limits, Egypt has announced new elections this December. Current President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi will be running again following amending the constitution to abolish term limits and increase terms to six years up from four. He won his last two elections with nearly 100% of the vote and jailed the last guy who was a serious challenge to him, so most likely he will win this one as well and govern till at least 2030.
The economy overall has been trending downwards. To make up for a lack of financing Egypt has been trying to coax a deal out of the IMF, who wants them to devalue their currency. They’ve now devalued three times in the past year but really the IMF wants them to switch to a floating rate regime that would accurately reflect their currency’s value.
Adding to economic bad news, to many Egyptians’ surprise they have now become embroiled in America’s latest political scandal around Senator Robert Menendez taking Egyptian bribes. This has led to increasing calls to withhold more aid from Egypt, which couldn’t really come at a worse time.
Uganda has been resuming its own role of staying real active in its neighbors’ affairs. Recently they conducted a series of airstrikes against the Islamic State in the DRC (killing approximately “a lot” of fighters). This is part of a multiple decades old conflict - the Allied Democratic Forces is a 90s era Islamist rebel group from Uganda that was eventually driven out into North Kivu and has been attacking Uganda from a distance ever since, allegedly with the support of previous president Joseph Kabila. Recently the AFD joined the broader ISIS umbrella of jihadis and the DRC and Uganda agreed in 2021 to jointly crack down upon them. Since the conflict resumed Uganda has claimed to have killed over 600 jihadis already and has asserted the movement is on its last legs.
President Mosevini also recently offered to help mediate unification talks with Somalia and Somaliland; Somaliland promptly told them to kick rocks.
The vote to see whether conservative leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo could become Prime Minister was held Wednesday, and he failed to cross the threshold of 176 votes. This means socialist PM Pedro Sanchez most likely now gets his chance to form a government, but with the Catalan independence party making strict demands of amnesty Sanchez doesn’t honestly seem much closer to winning either. The most likely result right now seems like another election getting held.