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2761  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: An ethical man for president on: November 03, 2008, 04:29:18 PM
In general -- leaving these two individuals out of it -- I would prefer a pragmatist to an idealist.

In the context of this election, I think Obama is much more pragmatic than the image that he successful projects. And McCain lost my support when he chose Palin, thereby embracing a form of idealism that is completely opposite my own.
2762  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: November 03, 2008, 04:23:11 PM
The abortion debate is effectively over as a national political issue anyway. The Bush presidency was the anti-abortion side's high water mark, and they failed to overturn Roe v Wade or even weaken it substantially. Even if McCain pulls a hat trick tomorrow, there is very little chance now that abortion rights will be rescinded, since he does not represent the moralistic wing of the Rep Party. (Only the nightmare Palin scenario would revive abortion as a political issue). The moralizers are likely to be further marginalized as the Rep Party reforms itself during Obama's administration, since their support is what cost McCain the moderates and therefore the presidency. If the Rep Party is to resurge in 2012, it will need to do so primarily as the party of fiscal restraint, with a secondary emphasis on militarism.

It would be more productive for everybody if both sides were to cooperate on finding ways to reduce the abortion rate. 
2763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tuesday, Nov 4th: You vote, my son has brain surgery [long] on: November 02, 2008, 09:22:17 PM
I wish you the best, even though I'm disappointed that I can't vote on it.
2764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Life on show you may not be watching on: November 02, 2008, 02:44:34 PM

Quote from: Canuck on November 02, 2008, 01:54:50 PM

eRR.. How does Mars come into the picture?

The show's theme song is Bowie's Life on Mars. The show's theme is alienation.

Unlike most new tv shows, this one drew me in right from the first episode. It probably helps that 1973, the year I turned 16, was a high point in my life, and I love the music from those days -- they get the setting exactly right. After seeing just three episodes I feel completely immersed in the characters and storyline. And, I should mention, I don't ordinarily like cop shows. The sf mystery aspect and the 1973 setting are what draw me in.
2765  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it just because I live in a 'battleground state' or...? on: November 01, 2008, 12:13:39 AM

Quote from: Gratch on October 31, 2008, 07:38:57 PM

I suppose that's the one advantage to living in the reddest state in the Union.  Haven't received a single robo-call or mailing, and the TV advertising has been extremely minimal.

Same thing here in the bluest state. You'd barely know there was an election going on if it weren't for the worshipful local media. We get a little bit of splash damage from the contested state next door.
2766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel on: October 31, 2008, 11:07:25 PM
Some months ago I read that NYC was in the midst of a bedbug plague. A few days after my wife came back from a weekend trip to NYC, I developed a generalized itching. No lotions could relieve it. Dousing myself in rubbing alcohol did not help, nor did bathing in Epsom salts. I laundered the bedclothes and soaked the mattress in pesticides, all the while certain that my (unaffected) wife was a dirty, filthy, plague carrier. Nothing helped. The itching went on day after day and night after night, as if tiny invisible insects were swarming all over me. Finally I broke down and saw my doctor about it.

It's a histamine reaction. Nobody knows what causes those -- a low-grade infection or chronic allergy, maybe, or just old age -- but they're pretty common. I control it now with antihistamines. Someday it might go away as mysteriously as it came.

No bedbugs, though.
2767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I Like Mustard! on: October 29, 2008, 03:24:57 AM
Yellow mustard, brown mustard, horseradish mustard, grey poupon, that expensive stuff with the little round's all good. I often use mustard instead of ketchup on french fries. I don't understand why mustard is an uncommon restaurant condiment. It belongs on every table.
2768  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So... other candidates besides McCain and Obama? on: October 27, 2008, 02:22:33 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 27, 2008, 12:17:52 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on October 27, 2008, 07:35:10 AM

Well, Ralph Nader is running again as an indepdent. (

Bob Barr caught my attention, running as a libertarian. (

I've always voted republican in the past but Bush completely destroyed the party, IMO. I can't believe I voted for him in 2000. (Voted Nader in 2004)

If it were any other democrat running against McCain, I'd vote Nader again. But because how close this election is going to be, I'm going to have to vote for Obama because we can't have another 4 years of this BS Bush got us into. And despite what the mainstream media wants to lead you to believe about Obama being in the lead, I can almost guarentee you McCain is going to take the election.
I'd only vote for Obama if you live in a swing state or red state. Otherwise, you may as well vote for a third party so somebody can get some public funding next election.

I've voted for third parties and independents in every election since 1976. I generally default to the Libertarians, but Barr's anti-choice position closed that option off for me this time. After watching An Unreasonable Man recently, I toyed with casting my vote to Nader. (I recommend this movie, btw, as being both informative and entertaining). But Nader's time has passed, his politics don't really match mine, and he's not building a party. After rejecting these alternatives, I'll be joining in my state's Obama landslide. I've convinced myself that he is a transformative figure who's worthy of my symbolic vote.
2769  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama Ineligible to be President? on: October 27, 2008, 12:54:34 AM
Is the income tax illegal because Ohio wasn't a state when the 16th amendment was ratified?

Same thing. Except more fun to read.
2770  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ready? Go! Debate what Socialism really is. on: October 26, 2008, 06:08:27 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 25, 2008, 04:51:03 PM

There are aspects of the US that are socialist. For example, welfare, libraries, and Medicaid.

Add the minimum wage and assorted worker-protection laws that grew from the labor movement...and Social Security, of course. The US embraced socialism during the New Deal partially to deflect the inroads that communism was making in response to the Great Depression. Had FDR not "softened" capitalism, the US might very well have undergone its own communist revolution.
2771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Gone Baby Gone on: October 24, 2008, 05:41:37 PM
I enjoyed the movie until a series of absurd reveals led to an unbelievable ending. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it.
2772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me save my outside faucet from the cold on: October 20, 2008, 04:50:50 PM
Um...just leave it alone?

We've had the same spigot on the side of our house for 25 years without doing anything special to it. I've never heard of anyone trying to protect a faucet, unless maybe it's at the end of a long, exposed pipe.
2773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sell Me On Babylon 5 on: October 18, 2008, 08:53:02 PM
Every episode credits Harlan Ellison as "Creative Consultant". 'Nuff said.
2774  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: 3rd Debate - Obama in a romp, says CBS poll on: October 17, 2008, 05:55:29 PM
Joe has got much larger challenges than a small potential tax increase...which doesn't even exist if we're talking about $250k of corporate revenue, vs. his personal income. This whole Joe the Plumber thing is as silly as it sounds.
2775  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: 3rd Debate - Obama in a romp, says CBS poll on: October 17, 2008, 04:55:36 AM
Isn't Joe incorporated?  icon_confused
2776  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: 3rd Debate - Obama in a romp, says CBS poll on: October 17, 2008, 02:12:13 AM

Quote from: the Nightbreeze on October 17, 2008, 12:08:23 AM

If you are going to buy a plumbing business with $250K of revenues:

$250k of profits, right? The candidates have been sloppy about that. $250k of revenue is peanuts. My business needs to gross that much just to pay me a living wage, never mind any employees. I'd need to bring in something over $2 million to generate a $250k profit.
2777  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [Presidential Election] Undecided? on: October 16, 2008, 03:39:56 AM
Obama 76
Nader 75
McKinney 73
McCain 51
Barr 49

2778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help settle an argument (Americans only!) on: October 16, 2008, 03:28:30 AM
I have been besotted, into my cups, feeling a stiff breeze, three sheets to the wind, blasted, polluted, trashed, tanked, pickled, sloshed, snockered, inebriated, and just plain drunk. I don't think I've ever been "pissed." But I'm going to start now.
2779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The saddest music video you've ever seen? on: October 15, 2008, 09:00:33 PM
If you've lost your parents, this song will get to you.

Not a video, as such. "Wanting Memories" is a staple of a capella groups everywhere, so there are lots of (bad) versions out there.

Also on the theme of losing your's Lucinda Williams singing Lake Charles. IPress the big Play button in the upper right:

Again no video...sorry, but the YouTube clips are all terrible.
2780  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Hayden Panatierre endorses McCain on: October 15, 2008, 04:09:44 PM
Where's the video about the Hayden Planetarium, and who is that irritating little girl?
2781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: In need of a subplot. Suggestions wanted. on: October 15, 2008, 04:06:20 PM
You can't go wrong with spaceships. Or dinosaurs.
2782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sell Me On Babylon 5 on: October 14, 2008, 07:59:11 PM
Not much to add, except that the Bride of Ironrod and I have been watching the series for the past few months. We're 1/3 of the way into season 3 now and very glad that we persevered through the early episodes.
2783  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Morality vs. religiosity on: October 13, 2008, 09:08:35 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on October 13, 2008, 07:33:22 PM

Morality is more about the society in which you are raised. 

Exactly. Morality is designed to enhance the survival and prosperity of one's social group, and to define one's position within that group. It is a necessary consequence of being a social animal.

One's particular ethical code will depend upon what group defines it, since improving the lot of one's own group often comes at the expense of other groups. Your ethical relationship toward your fellow man will differ if it's defined by a small self-sufficient tribe or a vast interconnected empire because their survival needs are different.

Religion is primarily a mechanism for imposing the group's morality upon individuals.   
2784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Moral dilemma on: October 13, 2008, 09:01:19 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on October 13, 2008, 06:03:31 PM

I am vegan for my own reasons. I am not part of some vegan club. I happily eat honey. I know that soy is killing off the amazon quicker than any meat ever could. So, I CERTAINLY don't speak for "Vegans." I'm just somebody who calls himself one.

My issue with meat isn't so much about killing, just about having other people kill for you. I figure: if you don't have the stomach to do it yourself, why do you feel it's ok for somebody else to do it for you?

Oh, OK. It's like this: Life lives by consuming other living things. That's just how the world is set up. You can try to rationalize that away by eating only the lowest life forms, but you can't escape the basic concept -- one organism lives only if others die. Personally, I'm comfortable with being heir to 2 million years of omnivorous evolution. I have no problems with killing or eating meat. I appreciate that I don't have to do it myself; it's time-consuming and difficult. But I have enthusiastically killed, dressed, cooked, and eaten all manner of fish, fowl, and small mammals myself.

The leap from killing for food to killing vermin is easy to make.

I don't personally hunt or fish for pleasure anymore, or kill just for the pure joy of killing, because that is an atavistic indulgence in our overcrowded, mechanized world.
2785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Moral dilemma on: October 13, 2008, 05:42:10 PM

Quote from: kratz on October 13, 2008, 03:02:03 PM

Rats have thinner skin than dogs, Ironrod... and shooting dogs with BB guns... that's cruel.

My parents assigned me to watch over our dog when she was let out to do her business while she was in heat. I'd plink invading males from the kitchen window. It was pretty funny when the dogs would spin around looking for whatever had just stung them. They'd usually wise up and run away after being hit 2-3 times.

2786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Moral dilemma on: October 13, 2008, 02:26:15 PM
A BB isn't going to cut it. I used to shoot dogs with BBs to drive them out of our yard. BBs rarely even break the skin. You might get lucky and put one's eye out.

We used to use rats for target practice at our local landfill. I got pretty good with a long-barrel .22 target pistol.

Since Chicago will probably object to firing a weapon in your neighborhood, you might try a slingshot instead.
2787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Look what I bought. on: October 12, 2008, 01:52:09 AM
Very nice. I'm jealous.

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on October 11, 2008, 10:14:13 PM

Even if I didn't have a family, I don't know that I could ever muster the courage to ride a motorcycle.


 Roll Eyes Not everybody values quantity of life over quality.

(That said, I would never own one as long as I live within 100 miles of Boston. Drivers here are too aggressive, traffic is always too heavy, and the roads are too poorly designed and maintained. I would not enjoy riding a bike around here.)
2788  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Video on: October 10, 2008, 09:27:07 PM
Quote from: Sinclair Lewis
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross
2789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Hivemind] Looking for education on bourbon and whiskey... on: October 08, 2008, 08:22:29 PM
I've never had the luxury of comparing top-shelf whiskeys. Among the bottom-shelf varieties, I keep coming back to Jim Beam. I can't tell you why, I just enjoy the flavor -- maybe because it stands up to cigars well. Seagrams VO, Canadian Club, and other cheap blends are just too bland.

Whatever whiskey you decide upon, seltzer makes an excellent chaser. I can sip a shot of Beam for an hour if I'm using seltzer to slake my thirst.
2790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Accident - Do you get a police report? on: October 08, 2008, 05:47:50 PM

Quote from: DonD on October 08, 2008, 11:57:29 AM

(Lesson:  Always get a police report)

*(Unless you're really drunk).
2791  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So... what do you think about the stock market today? on: October 06, 2008, 11:35:54 PM

Quote from: Crux on October 06, 2008, 10:58:36 PM

The problem with the bailout was the delay. This whole mess has less to do with money than it has to do with confidence.

Today's news had the feel of a full-scale global panic. Made our $700B bailout seem like a finger in the dike. All we can do is hope that rationality returns before the downward spiral becomes a whirlpool.
2792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Gone. on: October 06, 2008, 11:29:17 PM
59 is so and death are just not fair. Sorry for your loss.
2793  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So... what do you think about the stock market today? on: October 06, 2008, 05:28:18 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on October 06, 2008, 02:48:17 PM

The bailout bill has completely ruined investors confidence in the market. Mine as well

I'm not an investor, but it's my understanding that today's bloodbath is a reaction to financial crises in Europe, where leaders are scrambling to put together their own version of a bailout.
2794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wherein I celebrate with brownies on: October 05, 2008, 04:23:27 AM
That's a greenie. I made greenies once. Waste of good pot.
2795  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: anyone watching the VP debate right now! on: October 03, 2008, 07:25:13 PM

Quote from: Brendan on October 03, 2008, 05:35:41 PM

So, stir-up-the-base fundraiser - and presumably she keeps her day job as AK gov?  Sure, that seems likely.  I don't think that means she'll see any national airtime though, as it's not sufficiently important to deserve coverage; those of us who don't attend $1,000-a-plate dinners probably won't hear about her unless she makes the news for Troopergate...

Yeah, that's what I have in mind, but she'll become nationally prominent every four years. Maybe she'll even evolve into a kingmaker. I would not rule out some cabinet post in a future Rep administration, either -- energy or interior, maybe. She is young.

Quote from: Jeff Jones on October 03, 2008, 06:59:15 PM

If her charm & charisma were of great value to the party, where are her interviews? Instead they've been hiding her.

She is no good off-script. But we saw last night that she's quite good at deflecting questions and getting back to her script. She is still new at this, but she's ambitious and clever. She will learn and improve.

Most important, she introduces a new model for conservative women -- feminism without liberalism. She represents a whole new path.
2796  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: anyone watching the VP debate right now! on: October 03, 2008, 05:31:31 PM

Quote from: Brendan on October 03, 2008, 03:31:14 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on October 03, 2008, 03:18:21 PM

She's on the national stage to stay.

I don't see it.  In what role?  Representative?  Senator?  Future Presidential candidate? 

Cheerleader. Srsly. Her charisma and popularity make her valuable to the Rep party, and they know it.
2797  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: anyone watching the VP debate right now! on: October 03, 2008, 03:18:21 PM

Quote from: papasmurff on October 03, 2008, 01:36:40 AM

yeah .....they are

we should take a poll.  Who has a worse accent?  Palin or Bush

She says "nukular". What is it with politicians who can't say "nuclear"? That dates back at least to Jimmy Carter, and he was a nukular engineer.

Apart from that, Palin did quite well. She came off as a perky, folksy, friendly, completely average god-and-country American mom. She can ignore questions with impunity because nobody wants to be mean to her. She has got really strong branding going for her. McCain's going to lose this election thanks to the economy, but Palin is not going to disappear quietly back to Alaska. She's on the national stage to stay.

Biden's grasp of the issues is obviously superior, but that's just boring.
2798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Galactic Civilizations II: v2.0 Preview on: October 02, 2008, 01:44:37 PM
I read somewhere that we will be able to block technology brokering (the tech "kiting" that makes each new technology spread rapidly to all of the AIs). That is one of two changes that I would really welcome. The other is a trading proposal feature (present in CIV) that lets you ask "What will you give me for this?" or "What do you want for that?" Getting to Yes in GalCiv2 is often a drawn-out, hit-or-miss process.
2799  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin opens mouth, useless comes out. on: October 02, 2008, 01:28:00 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on October 01, 2008, 06:51:09 PM

They apparently appreciate that she's real and that she had a "good moral religious base."  ... When I listed Palin's many shortcomings, they argued that her shortcomings only add to her appeal and make her more "real". 

As I have often said, Americans vote their hearts, not their heads. If Palin emerges from tonight's debate looking sympathetic, she wins. If Biden appears to be mean or smug, she wins. Experience and expertise are beside the point.

I'm not sure when Americans decided that we should be ruled by sympathetic, folksy, average millionaires than cold, elite, educated millionaires, but this is a lesson the Dems have still not learned.
2800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Budweiser American Ale - Actually good on: October 02, 2008, 01:24:17 AM
I'd like to try it someday and make up my own mind. If I get a chance to try one without paying for it, that is. Haven't had a Bud since I was 16, so I don't know what that aftertaste might be.

My packie is having a beer tasting on Nov 1 with seven tables and 50+ beers. Maybe that will be my chance, although it's very unlikely that A-B would be invited to join all the microbrewers.
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