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161  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Chick-fi-a Today on: August 02, 2012, 03:28:44 PM
This controversey is not about the stupid, bigoted things Dan Cathy said. It's about the fact that Chick-fil-A sponsors anti-gay hate groups. And it's not just about marriage. Chick-fil-A's sponsored hate groups lobby on these issues:

1) To prevent the passage of laws that would make it illegal to discriminate in terms of employment based on sexual orientation;

2) To prevent the passage of laws that would make it illegal for rental properties to discriminate based on sexual orientation;

3) To pass laws outlawing the creation of Gay Straight Student Alliances at high schools and public universities;

4) To prevent the passage of any law or resolution opposed to Uganda's "Kill the Gays" legislation;

5) To pass laws outlawing adoption or foster parentings by LGBT Americans;

6) To pass laws that give automatic preference in child custody cases to the straight parent in divorces where one parent is gay;

7) and, yes, to prevent any legal recognition or protection of gay couples, including rights to hospital visitation, joint child custody, communal property inheritance and so on.

That's what this is about. That's what the people rallying to eat chicken sandwiches are "standing up" for. Yet I suppose for calling Chick-fil-A out for giving money to FOTF, AFA, NOM and other hateful groups that support parts of the above, I'm a "hatemonger."
162  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Healthcare verdict on: June 29, 2012, 01:27:21 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on June 28, 2012, 09:58:19 PM

I agree that the ACA is not the best approach, but single payer was not going to fly. The insurance industry is just too strong, and now that they're enshrined in law single payer is effectively dead.

The new law allows states to implement their own alternative systems, provided they cover at least as many people as the ACA does. Vermont's single payer system starts up on January 1, 2014. If Vermont is successful in bringing down costs at a rate other states can't imagine, look for other progressive states to start looking at a similar transition soon thereafter.
163  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama uses speech to Latino group to pander for votes, says FAIR on: June 22, 2012, 11:54:21 PM
Current law gives the President a great deal of latitude regarding enforcement priorities, strategies and procedures. Obama's departmental order doesn't change the legal status of the young people it addresses. A future president could reverse this situation with the stroke of a pen and reinstitute enforcement against these individuals. A permanent solution requires Congressional action.

This is similar to the "Presidential order" proposed solution to Don't Ask Don't Tell, when it looked like Congress wasn't going to pass a repeal. Under that scenario, the President would have been ordering military authorities to prioritize *all* other military laws and regulations over DADT in terms of enforcement, to the effect of rendering DADT toothless. However, a future Republican President could have rescinded this order and undone the entire arrangement. A permanent solution required Congressional action, which finally took place before the pro-DADT Republicans took control of the House in 2011.
164  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple WWDC 2012 on: June 12, 2012, 12:35:08 AM
The new MacBook Pro looks awesome. I don't like 15" laptops, but that one is pretty killer. The 13" MacBook Air is also a solid update, and it just saved me $1,499! Mostly because I'm waiting for a model at that price point with a 512GB SSD.

So onward 2011 MacBook Pro! You live to compute another year!
165  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Romney Mocks Obama For Wanting More Firemen, Policemen and Teachers on: June 10, 2012, 08:47:31 AM
Right, because if there's one thing that would hurt America, it's more teachers to make our kids smarter, or more police officers and firemen to make our cities safer.
166  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Risk of non-citizen voters at center of election year struggle on: June 02, 2012, 05:29:24 PM
Democrats are *not* trying to allow non-citizens to vote. The Republicans are trying to block actual citizens who are more likely to vote Democratic from voting by setting up "proof of citizenship" standards that millions of Americans can't meet -- particularly poor Americans, old Americans, women and college students.

Non-citizens shouldn't vote. Of course not. But it is *more* important that no actual citizen be denied his or her RIGHT to vote.

There has never been any proof provided of widespread incidents of non-citizens casting ballots. The potential danger there is *not* worth denying so much as one actual American citizen their vote.
167  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Recall election ordered for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on: June 01, 2012, 09:43:54 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on May 31, 2012, 01:07:29 PM

"Poll of 600 likely voters"

That's a very good sample size, meaning the poll likely has a great deal of statistical legitimacy. How many people would you expect to be surveyed in a poll like this?
168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Ender's Game on: May 18, 2012, 12:40:16 AM
I love the book. But I hate Orson Scott Card. I want to see the movie, but I don't want to give him any money. Argh... I suppose I'll wait for Netflix.
169  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman on: April 02, 2012, 08:02:49 AM

Quote from: ATB on April 02, 2012, 12:26:16 AM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 01, 2012, 03:52:45 AM

Regardless, the "stand your ground" laws should be repealed.

Anti gun rhetoric.  There's nothing wrong with the law.  The problem in this case is sloppy police work.

I'm not anti-gun, I'm anti-vigilantism. When faced with a potential violent situation, people should flee. If fleeing is not an option, only then should they use force to protect themselves. Vigilantism is destabilizing and dangerous for everyone involved. A very possible scenario:

Person A attacks Person B who, instead of fleeing as they would have previously been required to do, they decide to "stand their ground." While Persons A and B are struggling, a report of a violent attack comes into the cops, who as they arrive see Person B brandishing a weapon against Person A. The cops shoot and kill Person B, which is proper procedure in this instance. Chaos ensues.
170  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman on: April 01, 2012, 03:52:45 AM

Quote from: ATB on March 31, 2012, 10:59:13 PM

Would this be a story if Trayvon was white?

I don't think that George Zimmerman would have been concerned about Martin walking down the block on his way back from the store had Martin been white. So, no.

Regardless, the "stand your ground" laws should be repealed.
171  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Christie: 'I'll Be Much More Ready' To Run For President In 2016 on: March 31, 2012, 02:16:23 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on March 30, 2012, 07:56:36 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on March 30, 2012, 12:42:52 AM

The Republicans will likely win the Presidency in 2016.

Why do you think so?

There is a natural tendency for the nation to switch parties when the presidency is open. Since World War II there has been an almost unbroken chain of two terms for one party followed by two terms for the other. It takes a once in a lifetime political figure to upset this rhythm. I don't see one on the Democratic side coming up in 2016. I could be wrong. Hillary Clinton could potentially prove me wrong. But as of now, I expect Obama to be re-elected in 2012 and a Republican to win in 2016.
172  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama demands Congress end oil, gas subsidies on: March 30, 2012, 12:45:53 AM
The requirement that anything of substance have the support of 60 Senators in order to pass the Senate is an unprecedented assault on the democratic nature of our government and, in my opinion, the key underlying cause of most of our current public dissatisfaction with the political system.
173  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Christie: 'I'll Be Much More Ready' To Run For President In 2016 on: March 30, 2012, 12:42:52 AM
He'd be a credible nominee, though I'd never vote for him.

The Republicans will likely win the Presidency in 2016. It's important that credible candidates like Christie run, as opposed to the gang of lunatics and soulless automatons presently trying to get the GOP nod.
174  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman on: March 29, 2012, 07:44:38 PM
My assumptions are based on the audio that's been released, such as the 911 call, and Trayvon's girlfriend's

1) Trayvon had a legitimate reason and every right to be there. That is unquestionably true.

2) Trayvon had gone to the store and bought Skittles and an iced tea, and was walking home.

3) Zimmerman was following Trayvon despite being told not to do so.

4) Zimmerman weighs about 100 pounds more than Trayvon did.


Regardless, I hope this tragedy can at least lead to the end of those insane "stand your ground" laws.
175  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman on: March 29, 2012, 06:14:03 PM
Martin was doing nothing wrong -- he was walking to his dad's girlfriend's house after buying a snack at a nearby store. Then this shady looking guy who weighs almost 100lbs more than Travyon starts plainly stalking him through the neighborhood. How could he possibly be to blame for the result of a situation he didn't start?

In fact, wouldn't Florida's stand-your-ground law give Travyon legal permission to do whatever he felt he needed to do to protect himself when a strange man starts following him in at threatening way?
176  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is Santorum's Run Finished? on: March 05, 2012, 07:42:17 AM
Yes. Romney's lead will grow to around 200 delegates on Tuesday. Effectively unassailable.
177  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [Democracy] Why don't you just vote and count? For presidents that is on: January 11, 2012, 12:15:00 AM

Quote from: raydude on January 10, 2012, 01:45:29 PM

Continuing this analogy, imagine the EU had an electoral college system for electing the President of the European Council, whereby each country had a certain number of votes. And because of that any prospective candidates had to actually campaign in small countries like Denmark, and pay attention to the problems of those small countries, as well as campaign in the bigger more populated countries like England and Germany.

While the Senate, which is the true cancer in American democracy, is certainly structured in a way that provides smaller states outsized influence, the Electoral College doesn't actually help smaller states, as a group, receive more attention in a presidential election. Because most small states tend to be politically monotonous, you'll rarely if ever see a Presidential candidate spending much time in most of them: Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska or Hawaii.

Most of the states lavished with attention because of the Electoral College are actually mid-sized states that, for demographic reasons, tend to be politically diverse. These states have larger cities, but not ones so dominant that they completely dominate the state's politics, and ethnic diversity, both of which are generally lacking from smaller states. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado and Arizona are hardly small states, but they are the states that, because of the winner-take-all of the Electoral votes from those states, have for years been the most important prizes in a Presidential election. They are joined by smaller states Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire as "swing states."

Right now, unless you live in one of those states, you won't really matter in November.
178  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: National Popular Vote: Good or Bad Idea? on: January 11, 2012, 12:04:21 AM

Quote from: Calavera on January 10, 2012, 02:14:10 PM

Agreed with regards to financing and mobilization, if you'd quote the rest of that paragraph. slywink More importantly, though, everything has to start small. If third-parties gain traction locally where it is much easier to help with fundraising, it will help them nationally where it is much more difficult. The underlying party infrastructure takes time to build to a national level. Though, this advocates something that is a long term fix, which Americans don't seem to like.  Tongue

That still wouldn't work, in my opinion. People trying to build third parties in the United States are wasting their time, and would be better served trying to get all of the people who feel a certain way about their issue to move into one of the two major parties or the other, where they could actually have internal influence. The only "third party" to ever make anything of itself in America is the Republicans, and that's only because they killed and replaced the previous second party, the Whigs.

Quote
IRV (or more descriptive 'Ranked Voting') is still used in some municipalities. The history seems to be that it's used in an election or two, then quickly repealed by the voters. I don't think adding more candidates to the ballot that have to be ranked would help, though it could eliminate the primary process. It's certainly going to require more effort on the part of the voters.

It's harder on the voters, and more confusing. Voters don't like it. Which is a shame, because if properly implemented, it is a much better and less expensive system. Alas.

Quote
Plus, they would have to remove the 'Vote all Democrat' and 'Vote all Republican' buttons from the voting machines, no more one-click voting for you.

Personally, I've never voted the straight party option. I understand why some people do -- in Texas, our ballots were often 30 or 40 races long.
179  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: National Popular Vote: Good or Bad Idea? on: January 10, 2012, 05:16:55 AM

Quote from: Calavera on January 09, 2012, 01:50:51 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on January 09, 2012, 05:12:42 AM

Quote from: Calavera on January 08, 2012, 08:58:01 PM

This is something more intrinsic with how our country views the world than anything else. Americans as a whole tend to see things as strongly good and evil as opposed to shades of grey. Our elections tend to reflect this about us (two opponents: one good, one bad). Third parties have never really gotten much, if any, traction even on a local level which are direct elections.

That's mostly because American elections are first-past-the-post elections. That sort of voting system creates immense pressure to compress political options down to two, and dramatically increases the difficulty of a third party gaining traction. American jurisdictions that have experimented with instant runoff voting or proportional voting have seen a broader set of interest groups emerge (sometimes not parties, as these are often non-partisan races).

Most of the school boards and city council positions run this way. They have a candidate pool of around 6-8 and the top 2-3 regardless of party are elected. You can select a number of candidates equal to the number of positions open and the top vote winners are elected. Third-parties are still relatively rare and it still boils down to "Republicans" and "Democrats" with each party placing several people on the ballot.

That's because those races are small and not of the stature that could sustain the development of a third party. When everything above something as low level as a school board is Republican or Democrat, then you're rarely going to see anyone run who's not associated with the Republicans or the Democrats, because they're the only parties that have anything to offer candidates in terms of voter and volunteer mobilization, to say nothing about fundraising.

Also, a "vote for 3" system isn't Instant Runoff Voting.
180  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Perry: "I would send troops back into Iraq" on: January 09, 2012, 05:13:26 AM
All the Republicans are vowing to cut taxes for millionaires again. They think that's an essential step to "balance the budget."  Roll Eyes
181  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: National Popular Vote: Good or Bad Idea? on: January 09, 2012, 05:12:42 AM

Quote from: Calavera on January 08, 2012, 08:58:01 PM

This is something more intrinsic with how our country views the world than anything else. Americans as a whole tend to see things as strongly good and evil as opposed to shades of grey. Our elections tend to reflect this about us (two opponents: one good, one bad). Third parties have never really gotten much, if any, traction even on a local level which are direct elections.

That's mostly because American elections are first-past-the-post elections. That sort of voting system creates immense pressure to compress political options down to two, and dramatically increases the difficulty of a third party gaining traction. American jurisdictions that have experimented with instant runoff voting or proportional voting have seen a broader set of interest groups emerge (sometimes not parties, as these are often non-partisan races).
182  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: National Popular Vote: Good or Bad Idea? on: January 09, 2012, 05:10:47 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on January 08, 2012, 07:02:49 PM

Quote from: Doopri on January 08, 2012, 05:20:43 PM

if more states proportionally distributed their EC votes it could help with this too

Agreed: Ending winner-take-all elections would achieve the same goal -- putting all 50 states into play and eliminating the focus on a dozen battleground states -- without requiring a highly unlikely Constitutional amendment to abolish the EC...if that didn't happen after the Bush-Gore debacle, it's sure not going to happen now. From the linked article:

Quote
There are alternatives to winner-take-all that do not involve abandoning the positive aspects of the Electoral College. All states could adopt the system that now exists in Maine and Nebraska, where all but two electors are chosen by congressional district, and the other two go to the statewide winner. Or states might explore what was recently proposed in Colorado -- that electors be allocated in proportion to each candidate's share of the popular vote above a certain threshold. Either would provide a reason for both parties to compete in most states because there would be electors to win. Either would likely produce an electoral vote count closer to the popular vote. And unlike direct elections, either would provide an incentive for grass-roots activity, coalition building and enhanced citizen participation.

Now, it was my understanding that the NPV movement binds the states to apportion their electoral votes proportionate to the popular vote if enough states sign on (which MA has done). I had further understood that the proportion is to be determined by each state's vote totals (since the EC is not being bypassed), but this blogger says it's the national vote total that determines the split. I'll agree that's a bad idea.

Actually, the National Popular Vote Compact requires the signatory states to give *all* their Electoral College votes to whomever wins the national popular vote. The Compact becomes active when enough states have signed on to secure 270+ Electoral Votes as participants in the compact, thus ensuring that whomever wins the popular vote would be guaranteed an Electoral College victory.
183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Batman 3, aka Dark Knight Rising on: December 22, 2011, 02:53:16 PM
A lot of people reduce Bane down to being just a bunch of muscles (like in Batman & Robin), but in fact his other defining characteristics were incredibly high intelligence and strong tactical abilities. He didn't just beat the crap out of Batman, he wore him down slowly over time, and struck only when the moment was right. Clearly, The Dark Knight Rises is emphasizing Bane's intellectual prowess, since they can't have the mountain of muscles as part of this take on Batman. I think he looks great.

Though, like others have said, I'm disappointed that we'll not see a Nolan-verse version of the Riddler. I also think the Penguin, as a dapper criminal mastermind, would have been interesting to see in this style of Batman film.
184  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Newt: ‘Are Judges Above The Rest Of The Constitution?’ on: December 22, 2011, 04:02:19 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 19, 2011, 04:57:16 PM

Quote from: hepcat on December 19, 2011, 03:36:17 PM

Do the republicans have any candidates that aren't raving loons?


Yes: Jon Huntsman strikes me as a sober, intelligent, credible candidate with years of valuable experience to back him up.  I may not agree with many of his ideas, but at least there's a rational thought process behind them.

Agreed. Jon Huntsman is a very serious and intelligent person. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong on most of the issues of the day. But a qualified candidate who is demonstrably sane and rational.
185  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] The Muppets on: December 05, 2011, 04:38:55 AM
Loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved it.
186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harrisburg, PA on: November 24, 2011, 05:43:43 AM
Thanks for the info! I'm not really big on small towns, but the job would be one that'd be hard to turn down.

Apparently I'm on the short list, so here's hoping.  smile
187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Harrisburg, PA on: November 20, 2011, 11:06:29 PM
Anyone live in Harrisburg?

I might be moving there for a year or so, and am looking for advice on good neighborhoods (preferably near the Capitol). I'd really like to rent a house so that my dog can have a yard.
188  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Target Employees Protesting Thanksgiving Hours on: November 15, 2011, 08:40:39 PM
Dramatically increasing the intrusion of work hours into the Thanksgiving holiday is a dick move, and these retail stores deserve to be called out on it. These workers understood that being in retail meant working on holidays, but the hours required this year are unreasonable. That doesn't make them whiners. One is not a "whiner" if they don't just silently accept every punishment their employer dishes out.

Stores should be closed on Thanksgiving. I do not participate in the jack assery of Black Friday, and have contempt for those who do.
189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: AP Just reported Steve Jobs passed on: November 01, 2011, 05:06:40 PM
Captain on the bridge!

Bridge on the captain!
190  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ron Paul on homosexuals in the military on: October 28, 2011, 04:59:28 PM

Quote from: Scraper on October 27, 2011, 06:56:19 PM

Don't let Fireball see those quotes. I'm sure he'll still find some way to hate on Ron Paul's stance on that issue.

His comment on gay marriage is stupid, but is position on DADT is admirable. There's more than enough that's detestable about Ron Paul, no need to create new things out of whole cloth.
191  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: If you had to choose one of the republicans, whom would it be? on: October 26, 2011, 01:09:08 PM
Obviously, there will be Republican presidents in the future, no matter how much I might wish there wouldn't be. All I ask is that the GOP nominate someone who has a respect for science, who isn't associated with the Tea Party crazies, and isn't part of the religious right.

Of the current candidates, John Huntsman is the only one who clearly fits that bill. As much as I disagree with him on most issues, I respect him, and am not frightened that he would lead the country off the rails by putting party ideology ahead of the common good.
192  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Perry Jumps On the Flat Tax Bandwagon on: October 26, 2011, 12:57:21 PM
I find it interesting that he'd allow the current tax code to continue. While most flat-tax proposals are both disastrous in terms of revenue generated *and* crippling to middle and lower income folks, this would allow smart middle and lower income folks to skip the flat tax and pay using the current rates, while allowing the wealthy to dramatically lower their rate by paying the flat tax. So this proposal is more disastrous in terms of revenue than the regular flat tax proposals, but not necessarily economically crippling to middle and lower income folks, just more inconvenient for them than for the rich.
193  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Gaddafi is dead/captured on: October 23, 2011, 04:22:09 PM
1. I would have liked to have seen a trial, but I in no way am sad to see Gaddafi dead.

2. How is this thread not named "Gaddafi won't run in 2012"?
194  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The iPhone 4S Thread on: October 18, 2011, 02:26:13 PM
I really like Newsstand. I have a digital subscription to the New York Times, and on my iPad the Wired and Project apps are already Newsstand-aware. As soon as the Economist hooks into Newsstand, I'll buy a digital subscription to that, too.
195  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The iPhone 4S Thread on: October 17, 2011, 05:04:08 AM
Since I have a crazy-expensive plan, I come due for a new phone like every 9 months. Gazelle is offering me $180 for my iPhone 4. It is so hard not to jump to the 4S right now....
196  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: AP Just reported Steve Jobs passed on: October 06, 2011, 06:31:36 PM

Quote from: hepcat on October 06, 2011, 06:25:11 PM

Quote from: th'FOOL on October 06, 2011, 06:22:45 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 06, 2011, 06:21:08 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on October 06, 2011, 05:51:43 PM

Spoiler for Hiden:


Yeah, I knew the 4s was a flop and leave it to Jobs to make an extremist reaction.

My first reaction was "Damn why wasn't it George Lucas?". My second thought was "Good Riddance. Maybe apple will stop hating us now." One can only hope.

4S a flop? All because it didn't have a new form factor and was called '5'? good lord...

and "good riddance?" fucking hell, man.

I honestly wasn't aware that ibdoomed was 8.   icon_confused

I now feel that I know everything about him that I will ever need to.
197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: AP Just reported Steve Jobs passed on: October 06, 2011, 02:07:04 PM
So, Steve will be back in three days, right?
198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Nook question on: October 06, 2011, 05:14:48 AM
It's not really the touch controls that I care about, it's the very old, lower-quality e-ink screen. I don't like the way that text looks on the original Nook. The Nook Touch has an e-ink Pearl screen, the same panel as in the Kindle 3 and the new Kindles. That's a much, much better screen.

I'll check out the refurbs, though. That's a great idea!
199  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: AP Just reported Steve Jobs passed on: October 06, 2011, 02:20:19 AM
My computer is a Mac, and has been for ten years. My phone is an iPhone. I use an iPad every day, and watch most programming over my Apple TV. I can't imagine a world where Steve Jobs didn't exist.
200  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Nook question on: October 05, 2011, 03:13:24 PM
Alas, the original Nook is not interesting to me. The Simple Touch is the only product in the line that is something I would want. smile
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