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2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Perhaps @sarakingdomknows, she seems to be quite well versed in all things vegetable. 

 

No clue, but what I have learned is that when something is prefaced by a nationality, it has far more to do with historical patterns of migration, stereotype, and colonialism than any factual accuracy. So I suspect all it means is "legume descended from one we got from early white people, who probably worked for the Dutch East India company". And probably, in fact, actually a snow pea/mange tout, if you're a white person with no history of dealing with the Dutch East India company.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I also finished reading "Making Money" and it was great. It definitely deserves another read through at some point.

 

It is indeed an excellent one. Just the right mix of serious and ludicrous.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

For now I have moved on and am reading "Wyrd Sisters", which is also great. Pratchett seems just right for my mood these days.

 

Pratchett is fantastic for interesting times.

 

I like Wyrd Sisters quite a bit, but I'm even more fond of its sequel, Witches Abroad. (That and the third witches book, Lords and Ladies, have the character who is the basis of my February challenge.)

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On 1/31/2020 at 3:59 PM, WhiteGhost said:

Ok,  but just this once? 😛

The laugh reaction was @this of course. Well maybe also the silly people betting 1600 for 5 masks instead of McGyvering something... on day 6 when you have no masks you might need every yen/dollar/euro for medication :x

 

3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

The old curse "may you live in interesting times" seems a little too on the nose right now...

Yessss... I wish you many many boring years after this is over! 

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21 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Also, based on big data analytics from credit cards and travel operators, they estimate about 10 million people left Beijing for the holidays but so far only 2 million have returned. Apparently there is a huge wave looming and I fear what will come in its wake. 

If they all quarantine themselves properly through the appropriate time period, hopefully not too terrible?

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22 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I know them as mange tout. But they’re peas.

 

Somehow the latter disturbs me much more...

I like mange tout, sounds fancy af

 

Yeah me too.   The worst part is, we all know exactly how they know, and accept that as normal. 

 

22 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

TFW 1984 wasn't dystopian enough

giphy.gif

If you want to know what is really scary, the biggest difference between the Chinese system and the US system is that the Chinese are upfront about it... 

 

20 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

No clue, but what I have learned is that when something is prefaced by a nationality, it has far more to do with historical patterns of migration, stereotype, and colonialism than any factual accuracy. So I suspect all it means is "legume descended from one we got from early white people, who probably worked for the Dutch East India company". And probably, in fact, actually a snow pea/mange tout, if you're a white person with no history of dealing with the Dutch East India company.

Wait, are you suggesting French fries are not from France? Or that Creme Brulee is not even from Creme? 

 

 

20 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

I like Wyrd Sisters quite a bit, but I'm even more fond of its sequel, Witches Abroad. (That and the third witches book, Lords and Ladies, have the character who is the basis of my February challenge.)

Withces Abroad was one the first one you recommended after Guards! Guards! so it was probably the second or third book in the series that I read. Lords and Ladies is going to have to get in the queue

 

20 hours ago, Rookie said:

Wow. That's quite the "adventure" you took. In these sorts of scenarios I think it's way better to be safe than sorry. So paranoia definitely justified

I am certainly feeling that way

 

19 hours ago, analoggirl said:

The laugh reaction was @this of course. Well maybe also the silly people betting 1600 for 5 masks instead of McGyvering something... on day 6 when you have no masks you might need every yen/dollar/euro for medication :x

 

Yessss... I wish you many many boring years after this is over! 

I think even McGyver would be hard pressed to jury-rig an N95 standard mask, but if anyone could, he'd be the one

 

1 hour ago, sylph said:

If they all quarantine themselves properly through the appropriate time period, hopefully not too terrible?

Assuming everyone properly quarantined themselves before getting on the planes with all the other people who properly quarantined themselves, the problem would not be too terrible, in theory. Unfortunately, the evidence is strongly against this occuring, which is kind of how we got in this predicament in the first place. 

 

What day is today? Thursday?  I don't even know anymore

 

Not much happened today. However, we did get a little bit of excitement when an ambulance drove into the complex and stopped at the building next to us. Apparently it was only indirectly related to the corona virus, though. According to the managment office, an old couple had been holed up in their apartment and were too afraid to run out for supplies. It seems they were rationing their water and the husband got severely dehydrated. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

I think even McGyver would be hard pressed to jury-rig an N95 standard mask, but if anyone could, he'd be the one

 

You really only need N95s for Tuberculosis or certain environmental hazards. Standard surgical masks should be fine for most viruses. With masks, what matters is not how virulent the pathogen is, but how small. N95s are used for TB because the bacilli that cause the disease are so tiny. Viruses are small, yes, but they spread through droplets, and the standard surgical masks block those drops. Of course, I don't know what the deal is with the new coronavirus in terms of how easily it spreads. Now, in the event I'm totally wrong, I'm asking @annyshay to correct me, as I learned all the above from standing around during clinical rounds in the ICU, and not from actually earning a degree or anything.

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59 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

You really only need N95s for Tuberculosis or certain environmental hazards. Standard surgical masks should be fine for most viruses. With masks, what matters is not how virulent the pathogen is, but how small. N95s are used for TB because the bacilli that cause the disease are so tiny. Viruses are small, yes, but they spread through droplets, and the standard surgical masks block those drops. Of course, I don't know what the deal is with the new coronavirus in terms of how easily it spreads. Now, in the event I'm totally wrong, I'm asking @annyshay to correct me, as I learned all the above from standing around during clinical rounds in the ICU, and not from actually earning a degree or anything.

Yes hello. I'm your infectious disease consultant. Surgical masks are in fact sufficient for most respiratory viruses because they do spread by droplets. N95s are important for bacteria and viruses that aerosolize because they hang in the air further and longer - TB, chickenpox, measles are a few of the offenders. I don't know that we know about the new coronavirus yet, so we start with N95s out of caution, and then back off over time once we have sufficient data. Hope this helps!

 

Most important thing is still... WASH YOUR HANDS!

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17 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I think even McGyver would be hard pressed to jury-rig an N95 standard mask, but if anyone could, he'd be the one

 

Yeah, I KNEW I sounded silly as I was typing it.  It's only because I'm cheap and 1600 of almost any currency sounds crazy to me haha. And indeed, the first man I thought could get me out of my cheap dilemma was McGyver!

 

Maybe I'm thinking about it wrong, and it's like... "If I just manage 1 more day, I'll find another 5 masks and I'll just continue until the problem is done or my money is gone and then it doesn't matter anymore anyway." 

 

Or as the pop song I cannot remember the title of goes: "whoever said money does not solve your problems, must not have had enough money to solve 'em" 

 

17 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

If you want to know what is really scary, the biggest difference between the Chinese system and the US system is that the Chinese are upfront about it... 

 

Lately I've been visiting Reddit - never really got into it - and every so often I come across a variants of democracy & capitalism VS variants of totalitarian systems & socialism :D 

It's kind of entertaining, until it's not and I X out of there. Usually it's time better spent doing things that I have a say in :)

 

 

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20 hours ago, annyshay said:

Yes hello. I'm your infectious disease consultant. Surgical masks are in fact sufficient for most respiratory viruses because they do spread by droplets. N95s are important for bacteria and viruses that aerosolize because they hang in the air further and longer - TB, chickenpox, measles are a few of the offenders. I don't know that we know about the new coronavirus yet, so we start with N95s out of caution, and then back off over time once we have sufficient data. Hope this helps!

 

Most important thing is still... WASH YOUR HANDS!

 

Yeah, this.

 

If it's helpful, the CDC is saying that masks aren't really all that useful at all, except to keep you from accidentally touching your face around your nose and mouth - but touching your face around your eyes is an issue, and totally unprotected. The main issue is people not washing their hands and then touching their faces.

 

I suspect the run on masks is partly cultural, as much as medical. It seems more useful for the people who have the virus to wear masks, rather than the people who don't. They stop the export of virus droplets much better than the import of them.

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23 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Of course not, it’s from Brûlée. Duh.

Huh, I'm going to have to visit this Brûlée sometime. I bet they make fantastic desserts

 

23 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

You really only need N95s for Tuberculosis or certain environmental hazards. Standard surgical masks should be fine for most viruses. With masks, what matters is not how virulent the pathogen is, but how small. N95s are used for TB because the bacilli that cause the disease are so tiny. Viruses are small, yes, but they spread through droplets, and the standard surgical masks block those drops. Of course, I don't know what the deal is with the new coronavirus in terms of how easily it spreads. Now, in the event I'm totally wrong, I'm asking @annyshay to correct me, as I learned all the above from standing around during clinical rounds in the ICU, and not from actually earning a degree or anything.

I did not know that, but it matches with what the doctors are saying here

 

22 hours ago, annyshay said:

Yes hello. I'm your infectious disease consultant. Surgical masks are in fact sufficient for most respiratory viruses because they do spread by droplets. N95s are important for bacteria and viruses that aerosolize because they hang in the air further and longer - TB, chickenpox, measles are a few of the offenders. I don't know that we know about the new coronavirus yet, so we start with N95s out of caution, and then back off over time once we have sufficient data. Hope this helps!

 

Most important thing is still... WASH YOUR HANDS!

Thanks, very good to get that confirmation. 

 

I have been washing my hands recently more than I ever have in my life :)

 

6 hours ago, analoggirl said:

whoever said money does not solve your problems, must not have had enough money to solve 'em

there is a very common saying in China that goes "problems which can be solved with money aren't really problems"

 

6 hours ago, analoggirl said:

Lately I've been visiting Reddit - never really got into it - and every so often I come across a variants of democracy & capitalism VS variants of totalitarian systems & socialism :D 

It's kind of entertaining, until it's not and I X out of there. Usually it's time better spent doing things that I have a say in :)

I have very strong opinions about this topic, they tend to run very centric so they don't make for very interesting discussion. There was quite an interesting discussion that went on in @Kishi's BL about this a while ago that you may have missed out on.   It seems to me that one of the big differences between democracy and authoritarianism is that democracies sacrifice efficiency for morality whereas authoritarians sacrifice morality for efficiency

 

1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Yeah, this.

 

If it's helpful, the CDC is saying that masks aren't really all that useful at all, except to keep you from accidentally touching your face around your nose and mouth - but touching your face around your eyes is an issue, and totally unprotected. The main issue is people not washing their hands and then touching their faces.

 

I suspect the run on masks is partly cultural, as much as medical. It seems more useful for the people who have the virus to wear masks, rather than the people who don't. They stop the export of virus droplets much better than the import of them.

I have not seen anything from the US CDC (nor have I looked) but that is in very different from what the Chinese CDC is saying. Perhaps the difference lies in the understanding of the term "useful" here

 

Friday

 

Much of the same today. No exercise and no drawing, but plenty of snacking and gaming. Oh, one new thing is that we have started binge watching viral epidemic movies. Last night was Outbreak and today Contagion. 

 

In the news, lying about having been in contact with high risk individuals is now a criminal offense. There is a guy in the city here who met with his relatives from Wuhan over the holidays but lied about it when he went through quarantine and ended up infecting loads of people. He is currently in the hospital but if he gets out he is going directly to jail. 

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2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

It seems to me that one of the big differences between democracy and authoritarianism is that democracies sacrifice efficiency for morality whereas authoritarians sacrifice morality for efficiency

I kinda like this.

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Oh, one new thing is that we have started binge watching viral epidemic movies. Last night was Outbreak and today Contagion. 

😂

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

In the news, lying about having been in contact with high risk individuals is now a criminal offense. There is a guy in the city here who met with his relatives from Wuhan over the holidays but lied about it when he went through quarantine and ended up infecting loads of people. He is currently in the hospital but if he gets out he is going directly to jail. 

Craziness.

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have very strong opinions about this topic, they tend to run very centric so they don't make for very interesting discussion. There was quite an interesting discussion that went on in @Kishi's BL about this a while ago that you may have missed out on.

 

I thought it was a very interesting discussion in part because you were a part of it. :) You living so close to something that is ostensibly an offshoot of my views on things - and being able to highlight the gaps and keep me from being too idealistic about it - was hugely important in keeping me humble and also the kind of person that people want to talk to.

 

3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

It seems to me that one of the big differences between democracy and authoritarianism is that democracies sacrifice efficiency for morality whereas authoritarians sacrifice morality for efficiency

 

I think that's a good take, FWIW. I'd probably nitpick a bit and say that democracies don't guarantee moral decisions and authoritarians aren't necessarily amoral, but broadly speaking this tracks with observation. I'd also point out that genuine democracy is incredibly rare; at least here in the US it seems that we're more concerned with the spectacle of democracy than the substance of it.

 

On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 10:09 AM, WhiteGhost said:

If you want to know what is really scary, the biggest difference between the Chinese system and the US system is that the Chinese are upfront about it... 

 

You think so? I think I'd find that kind of honesty refreshing as opposed to the situation we have back here. But then, maybe this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side.

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8 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I'd also point out that genuine democracy is incredibly rare; at least here in the US it seems that we're more concerned with the spectacle of democracy than the substance of it.

I don't think there even is such a thing. But even by our standards of democracy, the US is doing pretty poorly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index.

 

9 minutes ago, Kishi said:

You think so? I think I'd find that kind of honesty refreshing as opposed to the situation we have back here. But then, maybe this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side.

Apologies if I'm putting words in WG's mouth, but I think he means that it's scary that people in the US believe it's much better there than in China, when in fact it's just as bad. In the US people are simply turning a blind eye to the facts.

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8 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Craziness

Is it, though? I would imagine if the same situation was happening in the US that the person in question could also face jail time, especially if some dies because of his actions, being charged with a whole litany of offences including making false statements to federal investigators, gross negligence manslaughter, etc. 

 

6 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

I think that's a good take, FWIW. I'd probably nitpick a bit and say that democracies don't guarantee moral decisions and authoritarians aren't necessarily amoral, but broadly speaking this tracks with observation. I'd also point out that genuine democracy is incredibly rare; at least here in the US it seems that we're more concerned with the spectacle of democracy than the substance of it.

I would counter-nitpick and say that this was never intended to be an absolute blanket statement, merely an observation that when morality and efficiency come into direct conflict (and they don't always) the democraciea will tend to seek the more moral course of action whereas authoritarians will tend to more efficient courses of action. In either case, neither type of government would go more to the extreme in those actions than they have to. Democracies do not eschew efficiency not do authoritarians eschew morality. 

 

6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:
6 hours ago, Kishi said:

You think so? I think I'd find that kind of honesty refreshing as opposed to the situation we have back here. But then, maybe this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side.

Apologies if I'm putting words in WG's mouth, but I think he means that it's scary that people in the US believe it's much better there than in China, when in fact it's just as bad. In the US people are simply turning a blind eye to the facts.

Mad Hatter restated well my intended message, and although I can't say it is necessarily just as bad, is certainly similar. 

 

6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:
6 hours ago, Kishi said:

I'd also point out that genuine democracy is incredibly rare; at least here in the US it seems that we're more concerned with the spectacle of democracy than the substance of it.

I don't think there even is such a thing. But even by our standards of democracy, the US is doing pretty poorly 

I think it would also be fair to say that true authoritarian governments are also rare. Having lived here for so long and having had a unique window into the inner workings of the government I would suggest that the views of the government are far more fractured and divergent than than what appears on the surface. 

 

4 hours ago, sylph said:

Better than I expected, honestly.

It seems to me that this type of measurement, while informative, is somewhat biased and creates the impression that a governemt which is more democratic is prima facie "better" than one that is less democratic. This is a huge can of worms, though, and I am not even entirely sure about my own thoughts on the matter. 

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4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Is it, though? I would imagine if the same situation was happening in the US that the person in question could also face jail time, especially if some dies because of his actions, being charged with a whole litany of offences including making false statements to federal investigators, gross negligence manslaughter, etc. 

Honestly I first wrote it as a gut reaction to the whole situation. But I do think the jail thing is a bit crazy. People spread the flu killing tens of thousands of people every year, without being imprisoned. This virus might have a somewhat higher mortality rate, but we're not talking HIV which is a death sentence if left unmedicated. You could argue that we still don't know enough about the Corona virus, but then we're charging people without scientific grounds. Having said that, lying in quarantine is a dick move. But I'm surprised that there aren't already laws against that, it's not like this is the first epidemic...

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17 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Honestly I first wrote it as a gut reaction to the whole situation. But I do think the jail thing is a bit crazy. People spread the flu killing tens of thousands of people every year, without being imprisoned. This virus might have a somewhat higher mortality rate, but we're not talking HIV which is a death sentence if left unmedicated. You could argue that we still don't know enough about the Corona virus, but then we're charging people without scientific grounds. Having said that, lying in quarantine is a dick move. But I'm surprised that there aren't already laws against that, it's not like this is the first epidemic...

 

It's not illegal to not vaccinate your children against known risks, risking their lives and the lives of every infant and immune-compromised person around them. It's not illegal to go to Disneyland when you have the measles and cause an outbreak. (Not hypothetical.) No one is going to be jailed for lying about being in a geographic area that has the fancy flu, one that so far has a relatively low mortality rate. Frankly, it's very unlikely that anyone would be involuntarily quarantined in the first place for anything short of ebola, so it's not even likely to come up in the first place.

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3 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

It's not illegal to not vaccinate your children against known risks, risking their lives and the lives of every infant and immune-compromised person around them. No one is going to be jailed for lying about being in a geographic area that has the fancy flu, one that so far has a relatively low mortality rate

That too, hence my reaction.

 

3 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

Frankly, it's very unlikely that anyone would be involuntarily quarantined in the first place for anything short of ebola, so it's not even likely to come up in the first place.

Except that's what's happening in China right now...

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26 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Except that's what's happening in China right now...

 

Yeah, but we were talking about the possibility of it happening in the US. Not even going to come up. Even if it did, most likely you'd get a Stern Talking-To about lying to... I don't know, who manages quarantines here? I can't imagine it's anyone too serious, unless maybe FEMA gets involved. But I don't think they were the agency who handled the ebola quarantine of the exposed nurse a while back.

 

In China, well, police states gonna police state.

 

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17 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have very strong opinions about this topic, they tend to run very centric so they don't make for very interesting discussion. There was quite an interesting discussion that went on in @Kishi's BL about this a while ago that you may have missed out on.   It seems to me that one of the big differences between democracy and authoritarianism is that democracies sacrifice efficiency for morality whereas authoritarians sacrifice morality for efficiency

 

 

13 hours ago, Kishi said:

 

I thought it was a very interesting discussion in part because you were a part of it. :) You living so close to something that is ostensibly an offshoot of my views on things - and being able to highlight the gaps and keep me from being too idealistic about it - was hugely important in keeping me humble and also the kind of person that people want to talk to.

 

Did I miss a debate about socialism...?

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:
3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Honestly I first wrote it as a gut reaction to the whole situation. But I do think the jail thing is a bit crazy. People spread the flu killing tens of thousands of people every year, without being imprisoned. This virus might have a somewhat higher mortality rate, but we're not talking HIV which is a death sentence if left unmedicated. You could argue that we still don't know enough about the Corona virus, but then we're charging people without scientific grounds. Having said that, lying in quarantine is a dick move. But I'm surprised that there aren't already laws against that, it's not like this is the first epidemic...

 

It's not illegal to not vaccinate your children against known risks, risking their lives and the lives of every infant and immune-compromised person around them. It's not illegal to go to Disneyland when you have the measles and cause an outbreak. (Not hypothetical.) No one is going to be jailed for lying about being in a geographic area that has the fancy flu, one that so far has a relatively low mortality rate. Frankly, it's very unlikely that anyone would be involuntarily quarantined in the first place for anything short of ebola, so it's not even likely to come up in the first place.

So far the US has thankfully not been faced with an epidemic of these proportions, but if history is any indicator, there are plenty of precedents for involuntary detainments that would be unacceptable in normal times. 

 

2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

In China, well, police states gonna police state.

I think this is more evidence to support my earlier couplet about aurhoritarians leaning towards efficiency at the cost of morality

 

1 hour ago, deftona said:

 

 

Did I miss a debate about socialism...?

Yes, it was epic, with thousands falling on both sides. IIRC*, the capitalists prevailed by a slim margin. If you had been there, perhaps you could have turned the tide and saved the day for the socialists. We'll never know 😛

 

 * my recollection about it may not be 100% accurate

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4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

if history is any indicator, there are plenty of precedents for involuntary detainments that would be unacceptable in normal times. 

 

Only for minorities. The US is very clear on that precedent, too. ;)

 

I think the US has in fact had an epidemic on that order. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was massive, and had a death rate far higher than the coronavirus (so far; that, of course, may change). What the US didn't have was a population as large as China's, but it was an epicenter in that pandemic, and that flu infected a third of the world and killed, well, an unknown number of people, but definitely more than WWI and possibly more than WWI and WWII together. It's hard to overstate how massive it was. Cities in the US ran out of coffins. There definitely were quarantines in the US, but they were imposed at the city level, not the federal, and in most cities they only controlled curfews and closures for public gathering spots, not individual movement.

 

That's going to be part of the issue in the US; the separation of powers between federal, state, and local authorities makes it much less likely that quarantine will be handled by federal officials, and the US is generally less likely historically to impose quarantines today affect individual liberty. (Though this does not apply to anything handled by customs and immigration, clearly. A border quarantine to stop infection entering the country is both federal and guaranteed to involve a ton of incarceration. They clearly would go after people for lying to federal officials about their travel history in international airports, though I'm fairly sure they'd only actually apply it to foreign nationals, and mostly the brown ones. No white Swiss or British citizen is going to sit in customs detainment, let's be honest. And going by recent targeting of Iranian-Americans at customs and deportations of Hispanic US citizens, possibly it'd apply to brown citizens. It's not that the US isn't also a police state, it's just that only part of the population lives in it.)

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Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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