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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: New Opinion of Previous Poster's Signature Thread on: January 10, 2014, 06:02:03 am
Remarkably stable - we can always rely on this one.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: GOOD POST GALLERY LEADERBOARD (FINAL SCORE) on: January 10, 2014, 05:55:16 am
Someone asked for a Simple Truths tally:

Placed in order:

Twenty-One: Lief

Twenty: Opebo


While it would have been gratifying (particularly in context) to win this one as well as the Good Post Gallery, I couldn't have been beaten by a more respected colleague.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: January 10, 2014, 04:25:13 am
It really is shocking the desperate lengths that the majority of the moderation team has gone to justify their treatment of opebo - when it is plainly obvious (as obvious as it was that BradyNH was a rightwing sock) that this is done out of personal vendetta and not through any attempt to enforce the ToS.
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Good Post Gallery II on: January 10, 2014, 04:24:34 am
if Opebo was a new member, he'd be banned in 2 seconds.

I'm not singling you out (because I've seen this stated many, many times by members and moderators alike), but this is patently untrue and it's time to put it to rest.

For starters, a new poster would never be subject to such "investigations" as to his or her activities on other parts of the internet unless that person was blatantly trolling in a fashion much more overt than what we're discussing here. Someone new who is simply a hack or relatively innocuous troll would never have one or more people spending hours of their time looking through years-old posts on other forums. Has anyone around here felt compelled to spend that much time creepily learning about a new poster? I hope not, because that'd make them weirdos.

Second, the subtle yet questionable content that has appeared in opebo's signature from time to time almost certainly would not result in an instant ban for a new poster. I suspect one or more moderators would contact the new poster and request that they change it. Depending upon that person's posting habits, it is even possible that this could occur multiple times in different jurisdictions, meaning that Ernest might catch a violation in said poster's signature while moderating his board one day and Inks might have the same thing happen on his board a month later. Unless someone's posting hardcore stuff in there, I'd surmise that pretty much any poster with "sig issues" would have underwent the same series of interventions (sans the many man-hours of work dedicated to crafting a customized PM).

I also can't think of any non-sock troll (which is the only tangible item concerning forum etiquette of which you can accuse him in the present) in recent history that was ever banned within any short period of time after joining. Hell, barfbag was around for five months, racked up 5,000 posts and received multiple rounds of PM therapy to attempt to correct his ways! In fact, all of the banned non-sock trolls that I recall over the years were fairly established or longstanding members of the forum at the time it occurred.

The only thing that would be handled in two seconds in regards to a new poster is the deletion of any sort of overtly inappropriate and personal content posted to this forum from somewhere else as a way to incite ban fever.

tl;dr - new troll posters who aren't socks don't have intense amounts of creeping focused upon them, don't get banned instantly for artful trolling and would probably slide by easily with a couple of modest sig violations

5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Dave Leip? on: January 10, 2014, 04:22:58 am
This is the best showing I recall for Leip, maybe it's because he actually showed up for a few minutes.

Well... I voted FF because I'm still here.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: PPP: Christie undamaged in NC, does even better in NH than before on: January 10, 2014, 04:03:36 am
It does make sense that these rurals wouldn't care what he did to some nasty New Jerseyites.  (nasty as in from their point of view, not mine)
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which Kind of Life Would You Prefer? on: January 10, 2014, 03:59:57 am
...things far more important than the self?

I must confess I cannot conceive of anything more important than myself, Nathan.

And it is precisely in holding that view that you ensure that almost anybody else on the planet is more important and deserving of respect and concern than you are, opebo.

My friends can't have coffee with 'everybody else on the planet', Nathan.  But I do get your point, and understand this mode of thinking.  I just find it a bit fantastical.  Somewhere in between our two extremes is no doubt the 'happy life'. Cheesy
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 10, 2014, 03:56:13 am
And would Reds have military assets to keep waging a Civil War against an Army controlled by yellows? Thaksin was a policeman and must have a support between low-ranked people in Army. Thailand's border countries are Myanmar, Cambodja, Laos and Thailand? How would them act in Civil War? Crown Prince is known for Thaksin's links and he's very controversial. King Rama could be fearing to take a position as Royal Family can end being deposed in a Nepal way.

The Reds at this moment do not appear to have the type of backing or wherewithall to engage in a 'real' civil war, but these things take time to develop.  The only country which would back them would be Cambodia, which of course would be either a small factor or a major factor depending on China (would China wish to use its Cambodia proxy-power, or just leave the situation alone).

The Prince is a total wild card (literally a bit mad, they say), but the Network supposedly wants to replace him with the daughter, who is well liked.  The real question as you point out is what do police and red-sympathizing low ranking enlisted men in the army do - I predict not much.  The police are famously corrupt here, and they generally do nothing - no work, and certainly no acts which risk their hides.  As for the 'watermelons' (green on the outside, red on the inside) in the army, I'm very sure they've been isolated in unit away from anything important (for example they say when an Isaan boy goes to the army he is sent to Pattani to get blown up by the Muslims, when a Nakhon Sri Thammarat boy joins the army, he's given special training and sent to Bangkok to be ready for the next coup d'etat).

The Man himself will always remain publicly neutral but don't kid yourself, this IS him and every (successful) coup is him.

I'm off to Thailand in 3 days should be fun to see how Bangkok is while I'm there. Hopefully no sh**t goes down at the airport.

Also if Yellows do come to power, the Reds will just do what they did in 2010 again.

You're exactly right that this is a cycle - a sort of theater that has been going on for decades really.  Btw, have fun in Thailand Wink

Some addenda before I head to the bus:

First one claim:
Then the opposite immediately follows:
However on the bright side no panic from Bangkokians:
Only from certain foreigners:

9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which Kind of Life Would You Prefer? on: January 10, 2014, 03:44:49 am
...things far more important than the self?

I must confess I cannot conceive of anything more important than myself, Nathan.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Boardwalk Empire concluding after upcoming 5th season on: January 10, 2014, 03:43:32 am
It's for the best. This season wasn't too bad but it's mainly been sleep-walking since the end of Season 2 (for understandable reasons).

The reason they've gone astray is the stupid simpleminded 'gangster' fascination.  Sticking closer to the real life story of Johnson would have been a better show.  The idea that the man's power rested primarily on pistol packing goons was demeaning.  The really fascinating story was that a non-gangster old-time political boss (and not even one of a large city) was able to have an enormous influence over gangsters.

To end the story now is ridiculous - where are they, about 1926?  It wasn't till 1929 till the real Knucky convened the famous 'Atlantic City Conference' of all the gangsters in the country, to discuss the future... and it wasn't till like 1934 that he got his (mild) comeuppance of a few years in jail.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: A Federalist Agenda for an Atlasian Nation on: January 09, 2014, 07:26:51 pm
Reaganfan do you support any change in the Court or do you support the status quo of the Court?
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Post something you admire about the previous poster on: January 09, 2014, 07:04:26 pm
His pseudonym: General Mung Beans is one of my favorite names on the forum.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 06:04:32 pm
So can opebo and from someone who's knowledgeable (and supportive of) about the other side tell me what the Reds and the Yellows respectively support? What's their power bases, and what do they want? As far as I know, one side is the party of a populist billionaire and his family, and is supported by one part of the country, and the other side wants to temporarily dissolve the Parliament or something (correct me if I'm wrong), and have a temporary junta-type government? Why does each side hate each other, and why does one want to dissolve the Parliament?

Yes, sure.  I've posted extensively on this if you want to search, but basically Thaksin is a very corrupt billionaire who has managed to gain the fervent support of a grass-roots populist or people power movement both by programs for the poor which have made him loved, and outright vote-buying.  This side is supported by the Northeast (Isaan) and the North (around Chiang Mai). they also have the support of the nouveau riche and some say possibly of China (certainly of Cambodia, which is a Chinese client).

The other side is the old ancien régime - 'network monarchy' - its so out of place in the twenty first century I love it to distraction. Basically the royals, the Army, the aristocrats and the old money, and the middle class, and also importantly, the South and much of the Central Thai heartland (including the Eastern Seaboard).  So its a regional as well as a class conflict. I'll go find my map..

My map's a little bit generous to team monarchy as I think since they do have the army, they're kind of ahead in the game...

And here's a generic map of the regions to give you some idea:

Bangkok, the South and the Eastern seaboard are all amazingly developed, Isaan and  the North much less so.

Somehow I missed this:

Why does each side hate each other, and why does one want to dissolve the Parliament?

They want to dissolve government because they say it is corrupt, invalid, and controlled by proxy by the Prime Minister's exiled brother. This was all triggered off by her (very feeble) attempt to pass an amnesty bill to allow him to come back.  The yellow side hates him, as he took away their power, and to be fair really ran roughshod over the country, so they'll do anything to keep him out.  They won't accept the elections called by Yingluck (Taksin's sister the PM) because they say they'll be corrupt and they don't believe in democracy anyway, they believe in a 'Thai way' which is non-Western.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 05:54:28 pm
I'm going to try to be fair and give both sides of the story here, though you all know where my sympathies lie.  Interesting moves on the part of the Red side (the PDRC is the yellow):


Students creating a candlelight vigil peace sign, and making placards.  Interestingly these students do look poor, there are also loads of very active middle class students on the yellow side - and I believe those are the main ones accused of violence on that side (that said, they've mostly just gotten themselves killed, not killed anyone).

Apparently they're engaging in something of an online propaganda war.. They've also been posting encouragement or exhortations to the Bangkok police to act vigorously against the PDRC Shutdown Bangkok on Monday, but though the police are more red than the military, few expect them to stand up to anything (they're rumored to be red-leaning merely because they got more bribes and corruption money under that gov't).
15  General Politics / Economics / Re: US trade deficit drops to 34.3 Billion in Nov on: January 09, 2014, 03:55:21 pm
Free trade, baby. 

Yes, precisely:  the US got much, much poorer because of 'free' trade, and thus, in its new poverty: voila! competitive.

The 'bright' side of 30 years of plummeting living standards.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Papua New Guinea's speaker destroys 'pagan' carvings. on: January 09, 2014, 03:53:32 pm
I would be outraged too -even if you aren't a pagan, these are still part of your cultural heritage. 

Then I approve of this action strongly.

(Hyperbole. Actually no. But seriously, "cultural heritage" is turning into something I'm growing disgusted by.)

Instead of looking at this sort of thing that-a-way, look at it from the nostalgia/decline aspect:  Isn't any old building, Faberge egg, or shrunken head worth more than a Modern Man?
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 02:15:15 pm
This sounds bad.

Or good depending on your point of view I suppose, depending on which side you support.  Though it is possible I could be killed in the crossfire (I suppose that one depends on your point of view as well Wink ).

18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 11:27:20 am
Good lord. My Yellow colleagues are just encouraging me to 'come home, dear', but my few really activist Red colleagues are calling me asking me to go to the Embassy tomorrow and try to talk to our few contacts there.  (which is silly because 1.  they're in the cultural division or whatever, 2. they probably wouldn't talk to me in person without an appointment - I'd just be talking to PAs or secretaries, and 3. even if they would talk to me, they wouldn't tell me anything.)

These colleagues just got the idea I had some special connection because before the Lumpini clearance of '10 I happened to be talking with some blabbermouth security guy from the embassy and he told me the days to avoid the area (guess he was just showing off), and it turned out he did specify the correct days.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Shia LaBeouf on: January 09, 2014, 11:08:03 am
Why would he be notably horrible?
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Living Poor and Uninsured in a Red State on: January 09, 2014, 11:05:21 am
Nobody is both so poor and so lacking in social connections that they can't manage a brief trip from Texas to NM.

You're quite wrong there, lots of people can't afford a meal or shelter much less a trip from state to state.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 11:00:04 am
Just got the latest rumor from my supposedly 'in the know' political scientist colleagues - people are saying there will be a coup in the next three days.  They're all urging me to come back immediately.

I'm going to the bus station tomorrow to try to go back home.  Wonder what I'll find.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Coup and/or Civil War believed to be imminent. on: January 09, 2014, 07:22:22 am
The 'shutdown Bangkok' event planned by the Yellow side is scheduled to begin on Monday the 13th, and I have to pass through Bangkok in the next few days..  wish me luck.

Things are coming to a head here.  The election court just handed down a decision against the Red government which might bar top members of the current gov't from taking office even if the election is allowed to take place on Feb 2, and Prayuth (the head of the army), is rattling his sabre:



Bangkok is suddenly full of soldiers again - saw quite a few myself on the streets two days ago, along with sort of mysterious 'special' police..

Lots of my Thai friends - even middle of the road Red-leaners - are beginning to express admiration for Prayuth as a kind of 'strong silent man' or 'man of duty' who will offer a way out of the 'un-Thai' conflict.

23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Does anyone play Civilization 5? on: January 09, 2014, 06:49:54 am
I'm on holiday at the beach, and I find myself thinking often of heading back home to play Civilisation 5! Sad eh?
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Living Poor and Uninsured in a Red State on: January 09, 2014, 06:48:45 am
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein once said that American-style capitalism is excellent at producing wealth and poor at distributing it.

Actually the reason capitalism appears to be 'excellent at producing wealth' is that it is consuming people.  Its net result is in reality not positive or productive at all.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Janet Yellen on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:56 am
Banker = HP

That's the only realistic answer. 
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