Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

CraigB

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Always great when a study confirms your suspicions.
 

Tram13

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I didn't know where to put this, so I'm making my first post in the Political Discussion subforum. Apparently, the founder and the CEO of Petrolicious, Afshin Behnia, called the BLM movement 'domestic terrorism' in one of his recent Facebook posts.

Petrolicious Founder Appears To Say Some Dumb Racist Shit Online So Now You Can Stop Pretending To Like Their Videos

I’m sure nearly all of our readers are at least a little bit familiar with Petrolicious, the car-porn site known for making lovely videos of interesting old cars, and maybe also known for making a bit too-precious videos about rich guys and the cars they bought to seem more interesting. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but it’s hard to feel too bad after seeing the sort of racist, tone-deaf crap Petrolicious founder and CEO Afshin Behnia seems to have been posting online.

Behnia’s Instagram feed has been inundated with very non-automotive-related comments after Behnia posted the following (now deleted) posts to his Facebook account:

So, in one of these posts, Behnia appears to call the Black Lives Matter movement “Domestic terrorism,” which is, I’m going to say, absurd, and then another where he asks “Do unborn black lives matter?” a loaded statement designed to do little more than to enrage and conflate complicated issues.

Of course, it’s a free country, and Behnia absolutely has the right to express any opinions he chooses, just as we have a right to find those opinions remarkably shitty and respond accordingly.

We’ve been alerted to these posts by a photographer who has worked with Behnia, and who will be giving Jalopnik a more detailed and nuanced take on what’s going on soon.

Aside from the obvious racism that’s motivating these posts, one has to wonder about why the hell Behnia would post this sort of thing, even from a coldly pragmatic perspective? I mean, read the room, dude. Did he think that posts like these wouldn’t be noticed, or that, somehow, they wouldn’t matter?

This stuff does matter, especially at this particular moment in history.

We reached out to Afshin via social media and email and Petrolicious via email, and will update if we get a comment back.

In the meantime, the pressure of the outcry to his posts must have had an effect, since Behnia did post a response of sorts on his Instagram story:

I’m not really sure the issues with his posts were that they were “poorly worded”; rather, I think they were worded just fine, if the goal of those words was to suggest that, for example, he thinks BLM is a “domestic terrorism.”

He’s clearly backpedaling a lot here, and it appears trying to suggest that he believes the overall movement has merit, but he takes issue with the “senseless violence led by the actions of a few within their ranks,” which does lead one to wonder how come he made no mention of the senseless violence within the ranks of the police at the protests, too.

I can think of some theories why that may be.
After he was called out for posting racist and insensitive stuff on Facebook, he started blocking people on Instagram, and eventually, turning of comments on his latest Instagram post. He later posted an 'apology' that didn't seem to do much in his Instagram stories, and Instagram stories of Petrolicious.

I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong subforum/section. If I am, feel free to move it somewhere else.
 

gaasc

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I will not comment on the situation itself. But that title...oof.

Thank you Jalopnik, I would've never figured out what to do if you didn't tell me to. I also didn't know that I was pretending to like petrolicious.

I swear to you Gawker Media should've just stayed buried.
 

Tram13

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Well, I found like three sources while googling about the situation, and Jalopnik was the only site I've heard of before.
 

GRtak

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https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/politics/faithless-electors-supreme-court/index.html

Supreme Court says states can punish Electoral College voters


(CNN)The Supreme Court said Monday that states can punish members of the Electoral College who break a pledge to vote for a state's popular vote winner in presidential elections.
The case comes as the election season is heating up, putting the Electoral College once again front and center in an increasingly polarized and volatile political atmosphere.
In 2016, 10 of the 538 presidential electors went rogue, attempting to vote for someone other than their pledged candidate. In all, 32 states and the District of Columbia have laws that are meant to discourage faithless electors. But until 2016, no state had ever actually punished or removed an elector because of his or her vote.
The vote count was 9-0.


"Today, we consider whether a State may also penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State's popular vote. We hold that a State may do so," Justice Elena Kagan wrote.
"The Constitution's text and the Nation's history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector's pledge to support his party's nominee -- and the state voters' choice -- for President," she added.
The ruling was "not surprising," said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
"Given the potential implications of a holding that electors could vote for anyone they chose, it's not surprising that the justices held that states can prevent them from doing so," Vladeck said.
"The only surprise is the unanimous vote in cases at least some expected to divide the Court," Vladeck added. "Here, at least, concern over the consequences of a contrary ruling appears to have united the Justices."
more at the link.


At least in the states that have these rules, the Electors have to follow the will of the people.
 

Blind_Io

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The problem is the winner-take-all system. My state is heavily Republican, my vote is meaningless since all my state electoral votes go to whomever the GOP decides to run. We need to do away with the electoral system entirely and allow every voter to cast a ballot directly for the candidate of their choice.
 

GRtak

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Or make it proportional. It is about the only way to make anyone that wants a change in the system to be just happy enough to accept it as a compromise.
 

NecroJoe

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And this is why we need to see who got these loans.

I feel like I'm missing a piece of a puzzle. If the government offered up money so that my company, non-profit, etc could afford to not lay anyone off, then why not go for it, unless you think you'd come out the other end in even more debt because you do think you'd be laying people off once the loan ran out? The only ones that DO upset me are the companies that are so large that they don't quality for small-business loans like the PPP was meant to be. Progress Michigan has 2-10 employees. Sounds like they'd qualify.
 

gaasc

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Monetization and clout is the missing bit, in this case.

Even if you have a large company. the government is still offering you a 1% loan. I would only be annoyed if the companies did not pay it.
 

GRtak

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I feel like I'm missing a piece of a puzzle. If the government offered up money so that my company, non-profit, etc could afford to not lay anyone off, then why not go for it, unless you think you'd come out the other end in even more debt because you do think you'd be laying people off once the loan ran out? The only ones that DO upset me are the companies that are so large that they don't quality for small-business loans like the PPP was meant to be. Progress Michigan has 2-10 employees. Sounds like they'd qualify.

I don't think any political advocacy group should get money like this. This was meant to keep small businesses going until we came out of a lock down.

There are also several larger businesses that also got money and promptly returned it when they were outed. This is one of those programs that should be transparent, but the Trump Administration has chosen to keep it is foggy as they could for as long as they can.
 

DanRoM

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This week it's been 25 years since the massacre of Srebenica. And befitting to the state of the world as a whole, the perpetrators' side still largely refuses to acknowledge what was going on.

Genocide denial gains ground 25 years after Srebrenica massacre

Even as remains continue to be identified, denialism is moving from far-right fringe into mainstream

.....
Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ins-ground-25-years-after-srebrenica-massacre

It's important that we don't let those things slide.

And I'm really sad at seeing Bosnia. It's a poor country anyway, but the complicated post-war politics really prevent it from developing. With tensions about the war being held high by just plainly denying the crimes that have taken place, this is unlikely to change for the better.
 
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