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31  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.
32  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)?
33  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)
34  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.
35  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.
36  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.

37  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
38  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.
39  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 09:02:56 PM
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Earth, Erdogan continues his purge of thousands of military personnel, government officials and academics who all totally deserved it because they were probably in on that laughably ineffective coup.

So much for Turkey leading the charge for moderate Muslim countries, I guess.
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 08:56:59 AM
Sorry Dincrest, I'm too entertained to be concerned about the US politics becoming a clown car. Trump entered the convention to Queen and got a bunch of third-list actors to attend, what's not to like? And do you actually think Bill Clinton can outdo Melania Trump's reference to rickrolls?

41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 05:39:46 AM
Ah, yes. Steve King. I best remember him as the guy who looked really fucking pissed off when Stephen Colbert went to Congress in 2010.

One would probably be correct in asserting that starting around The Enlightenment, most innovations have come from the Western World. I'd probably also admit a great deal (most) of our modern comforts came from those same innovations.

Of course, that's not what he said- he said it as if to mean something was specially imbued in Whites themselves that they were able to reach said innovations first (then used said innovations to deprive other countries of wealth and resources, the effects of which can still be felt today). Not going to stop White Nationalists from using their mental gymnastics to deflect criticism though.
42  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pokemon Sun & Moon (11/18/2016) on: July 18, 2016, 06:51:58 AM
Lots of people are calling it a bear since it has "guma" in the name (and the general appearance). The kuma character is applied to bears, pandas, and raccoons but usually it's just translated as bear.
43  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 17, 2016, 12:50:53 PM
To me, the original Ghostbusters had a lot of dry and sarcastic humor in it, along with funny characters who didn't feel too cartoonish. The new Ghostbusters had trailers that gave me the impression that it was full of toilet humor and really exaggerated characters. Clips like this also give me the impression that they don't know how to let a bad joke go (I remember when Meet the Spartans referenced internet memes too- I don't think that's a good example to be following though).

I get humor is subjective though, and I'll probably give it a watch once it's on DVD or whatever- I did the same with other movies I felt had terrible trailers (like Batman v Superman). Admittedly I'm probably too picky with my comedies. The only ones I can remember liking in the past decade off the top of my head are Tropic Thunder, Get Smart, and just about everything coming from Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg.
44  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: July 17, 2016, 01:15:07 AM
Like with so many other movies, I wasn't the least bit interested in Ghostbusters because the trailers made it look terrible. Word-of-mouth also tells me that it's full of lowest common denominator queefing jokes and the like- I'm not discounting the possibility it might just be angry people spreading lies, but the trailers tell me that wouldn't be surprising. It would mean whoever made the movie not only never watched the original Ghostbusters, but just isn't funny in general.


As for whether or not the hatred is justified- I'm sure there are some opportunistic MRA shitheads or whatever amplifying the anger, but you need to remember Sony basically sat around twiddling their thumbs waiting for Harold Ramis to die, then more or less blackmailed Bill Murray into being in the movie, then put in zero effort into understanding what worked about the original movie before pushing out a halfassed cashgrab. It's everything people hate about nostalgic remakes and Ghostbusters fans have had their chain yanked around a lot for decades waiting for a third movie.

And for the record, I didn't watch the original Ghostbusters until I was like, 19, so I don't have a ton of nostalgia for it or anything.
45  Media / General Games / Re: Pokemon Go on: July 14, 2016, 10:51:20 PM
Since I'm currently living in Asia, it makes me sad I'm not getting in on the second coming of Pokemania. At least, not for a while. Who knows how long it'll take Niantic to sort out their server problems.
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