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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 27, 2016, 01:45:18 PM
I sort of feel like Assange kind of uses the individuals that blow whistle on his site, in a sense, too? Like again, his agenda's what matters, not their wellbeing.

It's definitely no coincidence he decided to leak all these emails right before the DNC. He didn't even bother to remove all the credit card/social security info from those emails before posting them. Sad thing is that this isn't even the dumbest thing he's done- I remember that time he took leaks from Chelsea Manning and decided to post all of it, including the names of Jews still living in Baghdad- I'm sure that turned out real well.

On that note, let's get Trump in here saying something dumb again, proclaiming Russia and China should totally find a way to undermine US national security.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!”
“No, it gives me no pause,” the celebrity businessman said. “If Russia or China or any of those country gets those emails, I’ve got to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”

I gotta hand it to him- every time I think Trump can't surprise me anymore he outdoes himself. I'm still not ruling out that this is one of the greatest pieces of performance art ever made.

He's made a handy list of do-not-dos for future Presidential candidates. So far we have:
1. Don't insult respected war heroes
2. Don't generalize entire large voting blocs as drug dealers and rapists
3. Don't incite and condone violence
4. Don't advocate for war crimes and torture
5. Don't re-tweet White Supremacists and Neo Nazis
6. Don't make campaign ads with anti-semitic imagery
7. Don't talk about how sexy your daughter is
8. Don't express admiration for tyrannical authoritarian leaders
9. Don't encourage rivals to undermine national security
17  Media / General Games / Re: Misc. Gaming News Topic on: July 26, 2016, 11:28:02 PM
My portable consoles get way more play, so this is good news for me.
18  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 26, 2016, 10:49:04 PM
I don't have much to add about the process other than that caucuses are like the dumbest thing ever seriously who came up with that shit

As for Snowden and Assange, ideologically I would say they're probably both solidly libertarians (Snowden even backed Ron Paul back in 2012 IIRC). Assange is a pretty big dickwad on a personal level though, whereas I'd say Snowden is at worst naive and idealistic.
19  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 26, 2016, 07:00:48 PM
Titan AE is worth seeing if you like animation for its own sake- if nothing else Don Bluth's movies are visually stunning.

But yeah, it's not that great story/character-wise.

EDIT: Just got back from Star Trek Beyond.

I heard a few people saying it was not as good as the first two- I thought it was way better than both of those! It had some really "Trek" moments for me, especially the first 20 minutes or so, despite still being mostly an action movie (not like Trek had any shortage of those anyway) and using "pissed off villain out for revenge" for like the 20th time. It also didn't beat you about the head with the references- I almost feel like Simon Pegg went through the trouble of watching all the Star Trek series (including the bad ones) before writing this script so he could make some relatively obscure references most audiences won't catch.

There's quite a few scenes in the movie that would sound really stupid if I just described them, yet they worked in the film. I thought that was pretty cool.
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 26, 2016, 06:25:09 PM
The "wikileaks was informed by Russia" thing really has no evidence backing it IIRC, mostly conjecture. It's no mystery that Assange hates Clinton though.

Anyway I get the whole pragmatism of voting for the lesser of two evils and all that, but let's not pretend that's not just a different brand of fearmongering (Though it's true that even if Trump sat back and did nothing, Pence is one of the most conservative candidates we've had in years). Let's not forget that the Libertarian Party is far more likely to drain away the Republican votes this year compared to the Green Party taking Democrat votes this year, because Johnson's much better at making a buzz on social media and the like (and in the rare case a Bernie voter is going to vote Libertarian instead it would tell you said person's probably totally clueless and can't be swayed by facts anyway).
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 26, 2016, 05:24:17 AM
IIRC Jill Stein is one of the few Green Party candidates that doesn't support homeopathy actually, since she's a Harvard Med graduate and all. She banned anti-vax spam off her Facebook page I think. She also pissed off parts of her lunatic voting base when she announced she's a vegan "except with fish and some dairy". She's also not totally anti-GMO (but for labeling them), which is pretty un-Green.

I'd say her biggest stump issue is switching to Green Energy nationwide (alongside phasing out nuclear power), which everyone some would argue is an idea stuck in la la land. I mean most of her platform is pretty much the Democrat platform turned up to 11. Except for repealing NAFTA I guess, that sounds like fun.

But yeah, this year it's not so much lots of people seem to want to float to third parties so much as a lot of people just don't like Clinton and Trump. The most fun you can get out of the Green and Libertarian Party is when you realize Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are some of the most "moderate" candidates they've ever produced. Just watch the Libertarian National Convention from this year if you want a good laugh- the people Johnson was debating against were total nutjobs.
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 25, 2016, 05:05:30 PM
Don't even need to look back that far. We had Nader. Or Perot if that's too small time for you.

And yeah, it's amazing how polarized the US is at this point that someone like Donald Trump is being considered a serious candidate simply because he's a major nominee. I'm sure part of this is the post-convention bump, but even then.

We'll see what happens after the DNC.
23  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 25, 2016, 11:57:09 AM
Probably seeing it on the 30th myself. I'm not crazy about the Trek reboots (yeah I'm one of those Trekkies), but the fact that Simon Pegg is writing this one instead of the guys who wrote Transformers and Eagle Eye does pique my interest. That and it looks like they're using original aliens this time instead of recycling ideas from The Wrath of Khan for the fourth time or whatever.
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 24, 2016, 01:17:39 AM
As far as whether or not the TPP would erode safety/environmental standards, I think as far as the United States goes we'll be safe as long as we have a relatively sane President. After Obama rejected TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline, they are now seeking $15B+ via the ISDS introduced by NAFTA. If TransCanada wins this case, the cost would probably fall to the taxpayers. Protests did play a role in influencing the decision, I'd say- but this is over environmental concerns, and God knows how many cynical fuckwads gentlemen in the US think protecting the environment is not a worthy pursuit. Imagine the protests for something like food safety, where it could actually immediately affect number one.

Rather, I think it is the smaller and/or poorer countries that would be at the mercy of ISDS- when it comes to environmental protection though, just looking out for ourselves doesn't really work. Of course, since China isn't all that interested in joining the TPP (for the moment anyway), you can't really force these standards onto them, they're probably just hoping they'll adapt them over time (that plus actually respecting intellectual property for once) since the TPP will change all the smaller countries around them. Singapore, Japan and Vietnam are already on board, while South Korea, The Phillipines and Taiwan are all interested- if you're keeping score, that's three of the Asian Tigers (except for HK for obvious reasons) along with Japan.

To me this seems like yet another case of compromising principles for a better result. Quoth Obama in the video above- "We've gotta get out there and help to shape those rules so that they work for our workers and our businesses. Because if we don't, China will write the rules, and they may not have the same regard for the same values that we care about. Other countries will write the rules in ways that will disadvantage our workers and our businesses."

As for the odds of it passing Congress, I personally would rate it pretty high- beating up China probably has bipartisan support, and what has the last few decades been if not the government constantly doing things people don't like because it leads to something better (or so claimed, at least)?
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 23, 2016, 09:05:55 AM
There's the short factual version, here's my ranty editorial/conspiracy theory version you may feel free to skip (Except for you Dincrest, I'll feed your addiction).

Fighting the TPP is another one of the pieces of the anti-establishment rhetoric you've been seeing the past couple years. The TPP was discussed under massive secrecy as mentioned above. Even few members of Congress had copies, and most were only allowed to see it late into the negotiations in a soundproof room where they were not allowed to leave with any recording devices, including notes they took (not that it would help since nobody can sit down and read a trade agreement hundreds of pages long in a few hours or whatever and figure out what the hell all of it means, let alone analyze what effects it could have). They could not ask outside industry experts or lawyers to analyze the language, and they could not discuss it with the public.

The trade negotiators were assisted by a number of trade advisory committees. The talking point used by anti-establishment politicians like Sanders is that these committees are largely staffed by big corporate interests (85% is a figure Elizabeth Warren recently gave). On several of the committees there was a not a single person in the room representing workers or consumers. This is true, though it's worth noting these committees were formed in like, the 1970s, so claims that this is something happening only now is not true. "Getting money out of politics" is arguably a buzz term because at what point would you define as the government being suitably clean of corporate interests (you can talk about your distrust of big corporations but it makes no practical sense to negotiate trade agreements without at least some input from them)? Still, the figures Warren gave are troubling.

A concern about the TPP itself is that it will allow big corporations to forego using courts to challenge laws blocking them from certain practices, and instead use ISDS, where they will be faced with panels staffed by corporate lawyers. Under the threat of losing millions/billions of dollars from losing such a case, countries may simply change their regulations. See: Phillip-Morris suing countries for passing anti-smoking laws. This is connected to many of the concerned expressed about the TPP: Damage to protectionary laws for the environment and labor, copyright on this Internets, restricted possibility of public health care alongside even longer patents for drugs, etc.

"Establishment" Democrats like Obama and Clinton* claim that the TPP's importance comes in that it will allow the US to have greater power in setting the rules trade in the Asia-Pacific region and weaken/pressure China into liberalizing its economy. Similar views expressed at the recent North American Leaders Summit reflect this (it's also 75 minutes long so in the interest of laziness check 30:25-38:00 for some of Obama's stance). Obama more or less straight up admits it- this is about preempting other countries (by which he means China) being able to extend their influence economically and raising safety, environmental, and worker standards etc around the world. To be blunt, I think this is about maintaining the US's position as the world superpower.

*Clinton's recently also embraced the anti-TPP sentiment because it was one of Bernie's big talking points. I don't believe for one second Clinton actually means it though, she's the epitome of what an "establishment" candidate is. The fact that the Democratic Party refused to adapt rejection of the TPP into their platform should say something.

I think no matter how much people complain, the TPP will go through (unless Trump wins in which case the world gets to end flip a coin). The TPP will also make the current polarization even worse and people will probably get angrier (and stuff like this from Wikileaks probably doesn't help- to the surprise of nobody everyone SuperPACs were paying people to be anti-Sanders on the Internets).

Or you can tell me I'm retarded and go on with your day. (I bet I really annoyed Jawsh with some of the big corporate white knighting I just did)
26  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 21, 2016, 03:19:27 PM
Eh. I think that one picture where Trump made people swear to vote for him was way funnier.

I think the Godwin stuff tend to be cheapshots though-

-especially after Trump's been so generous with things to legitimately criticize him for.

Also was thinking of posting this in Random Pictures but it seems a lot more appropriate to post this here given the conversation.

Just amazing.
27  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 21, 2016, 01:29:26 PM
I really wonder how this story would've been reported had there not been a video of what happened.

Also I'm getting the impression Artimicia learns most of what s/he knows about politics via osmosis from casual conversation and occasionally hearing the news, the former will often be filled by loved ones who probably believe in at least one crazy "Dan Ankroyd's 9/11-repulsed aliens"-level thing and the latter is largely about catchy headlines.

...Of course I might say there's nothing wrong with that. One thing I've always thought about learning politics as a private citizen is that its a way for conceited people like me to think themselves clever even though odds are I'll never make a massive impact aside from my single vote which really amounts to nothing in the grand scheme. =P

BTW Dincrest I just read your edit from a few pages back about working democratic systems- I think if anyone around here not familiar with the Single Transferable Vote should maybe take a look. It's been adopted by a few places such as Australia and Scotland, and IMO is a much better system than the one we have right now since it actually cultivates minor parties. Getting something like this enacted in the US anytime soon is a pipe dream, though.
28  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 21, 2016, 01:06:00 PM
To tell you the truth, I didn't lose my virginity till I was in my 30s.  The culprit was a deadly cocktail of self-esteem issues, body-image issues, and things compounding on each other as age creeps up and you're all like, " Holy shit, I'm XX old and haven't YY yet."

I know this is a page late, but the post isn't even a week old so I'm declaring this response valid!

So this is definitely schadenfreude but reading your story makes me feel a bit better about my own lack of romance in my life. I'm currently 27 and I've never had a girlfriend. I had a terrible case of one-itis alongside a general rejection of society for a long time that only ended a few years ago- don't even know if I can say it's over because thoughts from that time still bother me every time I'm interacting with others. I also have no clue whatsoever when a girl is interested, sometimes I kinda sorta get the impression a girl might be interested in me but then I tell myself I might be overestimating my own attractiveness and there's that part of my brain wants to stubbornly wait for a girl to make it painfully obvious that she's really interested before I invest myself in something that can hurt me. I'm also told I can come off as an aloof asshole which might intimidate some people, so basically I've put myself in a catch-22 which I'm too stubborn to actually make any attempt to change.

Also hobbies are usually more interesting than people.

29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 20, 2016, 10:11:27 AM
save us Trudeau, you're our only hope

Frankly I don't think the Republican Party we see this year is that different from the one that has existed for decades now, or at the very least is the most logical conclusion of Nixon's idiotic strategy. Trump isn't any less absurd than Palin (actually I think Cruz would've been an even worse choice than Trump), the sexism on display isn't any less absurd than the Supreme Court ruling that dominoed into a bunch of Planned Parenthood centers being closed (alongside joyful terms like "forceful rape"), and Trump's Wall isn't wholly original either (It's Angry Man Steve King again so Bonus Score +5 to me for relevance thx), he just figured out how to meme-ify it.

It was a coup from like 1996.

well that was pretty much the last time they had one and it worked like 3 times before that, they probably figured if it aint broke don't fix it

sorry, had to
30  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pokemon Sun & Moon (11/18/2016) on: July 19, 2016, 09:09:53 PM
Official reveal for pinko bear as "Bewear" and some others. None of this batch jumps out at me, but I like 'em alright.

Also featured is apparently the ability for you to train your Pokemon's IVs now, so you don't have to play biking simulator until you hatch the perfect Pokemon like you did in the past, and being able to host competitions- sounds like we're obligated to have one of our own with that latter feature.
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