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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: have you ever fallen for a scam? on: Today at 11:29:22 am
About 20 years ago I was driving around San Pedro Sula, Honduras and I gave this guy 20 dollars for a little bag of weed.  He had me take him way up in the hills to some village and said, "wait here..."  I waited for about three hours before deciding that I had donated 20 dollars to his discretionary fund.

I also accepted a coupon for a free dinner for two at that rotating restaurant in Niagara Falls in about 1989.  We went up there to eat and I found out I had to sit through a two-hour sales pitch first.  The dinner and the view were nice, but it really wasn't worth it.  Two hours of sales pitch is far worse than three hours in a hot car in the tropics.  I'll never accept a free dinner from a marketing firm again. 
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Top 25 animated shows on: Today at 09:24:10 am
Why anime in general is frowned upon makes no sense frankly. I mean, can you seriously say Cowboy Bebop is a horrible show no matter what side of the Pacific Ocean you live on?

I never cared for the "anime."  It took me years to figure out what that meant, by the way, as the word looks like a misspelling of a class of nitrogen-containing compounds.  About 15 years ago I finally figured out that "anime" was that Japanese-style drawing with big creepy eyes and rounded faces and little pointy noses.  Then it clicked.  Speed Racer was anime.  It was the only anime show that was on when I was little (very early 70s).  I remember that I never enjoyed that show, but my brother loved it and it came on between other shows that I liked, so I always caught snippets.  That monkey was far more scary than any of the monkeys on the Wizard of Oz.  The whole thing strikes me as very fascist.  (I had neither the words "fascist" nor "anime" in my vocabulary at the time, but I'm sure that it was how I felt.  Tense and a bit frightening.  Rigid.  Big, scary eyes.  Exceedingly large mouths--the head opens like a huge garbage can when they scream.  Unrealistic body movements.  And it's all so rigidly structured.  Even the surrealistic creatures have a certain pattern that is strictly followed by all the artists.)  I guess I can appreciate most other styles--the digitization style of The Critic, the sketchwork of the "Take on Me" video, stick figures, even Simpsonization--but anime is annoying. 

Ah, to each his own.  I never cared for Jackson Pollack's work either, although I understand that people pay millions of dollars for some of his paintings.  Nowadays, I've learned to stomach a little of the "anime" because many of my son's favorite cartoon movies are the Hayao Miyazaki movies.  They're actually pretty good stories, but the characters still look tense, rigid, stilted, and generally creepy to me.

3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Top 25 animated shows on: July 28, 2014, 08:36:59 pm
Ah, yes, Ren is there.

I agree with you totally regarding The Critic and Robot Chicken, but you should give Gravity Falls an open mind.  Sit with your fourth-grader sometime and watch it with an open mind, fourth-grader style.  It's actually not bad.

Bear in mind that cartoon fashions come and go.  There are mainstream cartoons now that are seem so bigoted and insensitive by current sensibilities that we have a hard time imagining that they were even allowed on screens back in the 30s and 40s, but if you watch them with an FDR-era open mind, they're pretty damned entertaining.  Of course, those stupid anti-Nazi Donald Duck patriotic pieces were stupid, even by the standards of their time, but at the time they probably seemed very nationalistic by their producers.

I think a better attempt would be to take on each as a genre.  The best patriotic cartoons, the best surrealist cartoons, the best teenage-children cartoons, the best pre-teen cartoons, the best cartoons of the pre-politically correct era, the best anti-communist cartoons, etc.

Also, Bob's Burgers is a good call.

4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Top 25 animated shows on: July 28, 2014, 08:22:00 pm
They're covering too many genres in on fell swoop.  It's like saying Bohemian Rhapsody is a better song than Spring from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."  Sealab was edgy in its time.  Archer is now.  Both are decent.  Avatar and Adventure Time are good, if you're nine.  KOTH and Futurama are good if you're thirty-nine.  Daria is worth mentioning, but what about the original suburban Dallas kids who gave rise to Daria's spinoff existence?  Also, it is artificially selective--where's Ren & Stimpy?  

(As an aside, I'm a little disappointed with your analysis of Rocky.  What about Fractured Fairy Tales?  Or Peabody and Sherman?  And who could forget Boris and Natasha?  That show was a bed of morality, sociology, and physics wrapped in wisdom and spiced with magic, wit, and humor.  It was a veritable chimichanga for the senses, but with entertainment as the main condiment instead of of pico de gallo.)

Anyway, it's a fun list, but it is neither complete nor systematic.

5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Fmr. Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) is now working to protect net neutrality on: July 17, 2014, 03:47:38 pm
Dick Armey (R-TX)
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 08:27:11 pm
The main question here is whether "man" can be a gender neutral term.

From Mirriam-Webster:  a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo that is anatomically related to the great apes (family Pongidae) but is distinguished by greater development of the brain with resulting capacity for articulate speech and abstract reasoning, by marked erectness of body carriage with corresponding alteration of muscular balance and loss of prehensile powers of the foot, and by shortening of the arm with accompanying increase in thumb size and ability to place the thumb next to each of the fingers, that is usually considered to occur in a variable number of freely interbreeding races, and that is the sole living representative of the family Hominidae; broadly : any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae

Also, consider the etymology:  Old English man, mann "human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal," from Proto-Germanic *manwaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Swedish, Dutch, Old High German man, German Mann, Old Norse mađr, Danish mand, Gothic manna "man"), from PIE root *man- (1) "man" (cognates: Sanskrit manu "mankind")

Overall, it seems so.  Also, it seems that we've made one giant fucking leap in this thread. 

7  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 06:37:29 pm
relevant:  PBS Newshour anchor--notice how I said anchor?--Gwen Ifill just referred to Janet Yellen as "Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen..."

Are you chillin?  gellin?  Magellen?  Janet Yellen?

Yeah, it's yesterday's program.  I watch it on line at newshour.pbs.org whenever I can. 

Anyway, details at eleven.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask BRTD on: July 16, 2014, 06:23:44 pm
Why do you frequently change your displayname?
9  General Politics / Economics / Re: Federal Debt to Reach 106% of U.S. Economy in 2039, CBO Says on: July 16, 2014, 06:15:02 pm
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: JFK Jr died 15 years ago today. on: July 16, 2014, 06:06:48 pm

Likely those around him would have pushed him into the undesirable field of elected office, as George W. Bush's family did with him.  Then they would have leaned on him about what to support and what not to support.  He may have been expected to fill great shoes, and his personal and family life might have suffered as a result of his constant efforts to satisfy everyone and every time.  Ultimately he would have sold his soul to whatever gods or demons are in the marketplace buying souls at that time in exchange for political advantage.

As it is, he avoided all that.  Let him rest in peace, will you?
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Astrology fs or hs? on: July 16, 2014, 05:59:24 pm
At best, it is a means for organizing the information our subconscious has collected...

You're such a nerd.

Anyway, FS.
12  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:33:07 pm
I never took martial arts and I was never in the military, so I don't have a large view on this.  At my son's Tae Kwon Do class the master is called "Sir."  They're big on that.  Bowing, sirring, all that deferential Eastern stuff.  The master's minions (other black belts who assist him) are also called Sir, or, in the case of the one who is a female, Ma'am.  They're instructed to say "Yes, sir!" to the men and "Yes, maam!" to the women. 

When Neil Armstrong said "That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" I think it was okay for the women in the audience as well.  I shouldn't read too much into any of this.

A college freshman is still a college freshman, no matter whether it's a boy, a girl, a boy trapped in a girl's body, a girl trapped a boy's body, or Nathan. 

Don't get too hung up on this.  Also, don't say "chairpeople" because it'll just make you look stupid.
13  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:12:58 pm
But that doesn't really answer the question here-- is "chairman" gendered?

I've worked for female department chairs who are regularly called chairman.  No one seems to mind.  I've also heard the word "chair" used, as in "She's our department chair..."  I'm okay with you calling a firefighter a fireman or a letter carrier a mailman, no matter the gender, although the preferred terms are firefighter and letter carrier.  I don't think anyone would take you seriously if you said mailperson though, since it isn't a word.

I also am okay with saying "yes, sir" to female starship officers or calling female starship officers Mister, as in "Mister Uhura."  However, when applied to a Potato Head toy, I think Mister specifically refers to a male.  Thus the need for a Mrs. Potato Head toy.  Her exaggerated lips and large brown posterior are both sufficiently racist and sexist that people don't even have time to notice that she is called by the very patronizing and old-fashioned "Mrs."

14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 'if you have time to lean, you have time to clean...' on: July 16, 2014, 04:03:19 pm
No.  Haven't heard that one. 

I'm not much of a leaner, though.  I'm a sitter sometimes.  I guess you could say, "If you have time to sit, then you have time for more important shit" but I don't recall anyone ever saying that to me either. 
15  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 03:56:24 pm
Or can they only be firefighters or mailpersons?

Firefighters exist, and some of them are women.  Mailpersons do not exist.  The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has long preferred the usage of "letter carrier" over mailman or postman.  Some letter carriers are also women.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 37 Percent Of Mississippi GOPers Would Back Confederates In Civil War on: July 16, 2014, 03:52:31 pm
Of those polled, including Democrats and Republicans, 50 percent said they would support the United States while 29 percent said they would support the Confederate States of America.

Broken down by party affiliation, 82 percent of Democrats said they would support the United States while just 9 percent said they would support the Confederate States of America. Among Republicans, 37 percent said they would support the Confederate States of America while 41 percent said they would support the United States. Another 21 percent of Republicans said they weren't sure while 9 percent of Democrats said they weren't sure.

That's just bravado.  Mostly.  I suspect that serious support for a modern insurrection would depend upon the circumstances.  There are many things that the government does now that I find deplorable, but none of makes me want to take up arms against the government.  Things would have to be pretty severe in order for me to support a war against the United States.  What if a fascist regime took control of the three branches of government and our liberties, even basic ones like free expression and the right to peaceably assemble, were outlawed?  What if the government systematically targeted some ethnic groups, say Arab Muslims, and put them into re-education camps?  I don't think I'd support a rebellion based on regionalism alone, and clearly a majority of Mississippians don't either.  I think that is what the 37% of Mississippi voters in this poll are supporting.  That is more just obstinacy--call it Southern Pride if you want--than anything else.  
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of "GauchoGate" (= German footballers dissing the Argentinian losers) on: July 16, 2014, 12:28:48 pm
It's like my grandmother always used to say: "You can take the boy out of the nationalsocialisticgermanworker's party, but you can't take the nationalsocialisticgermanworker's party out of the boy."
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Scott on: July 16, 2014, 12:01:37 pm
Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Snowstalker on: July 16, 2014, 07:52:54 am
Are you still in horse-and-buggy country or have you moved away?

(We'll stay in MT for another year, then probably move to Chester County to be closer to my wife's workplace.)
20  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Private School (k-12) be Abolished in the United States? on: July 15, 2014, 08:13:07 pm
If any1 says yes, they are an idiot and a threat to education
Using the term "any1" in place of "anyone" doesn't help your case.

More importantly, nor does the use of the second-personal plural pronoun "they" with the antecedent of any1, *especially* with the emphasis on "1" (although that may have been intentional.)

Nevertheless, I say no.

21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of "Stolen Dance" on: July 15, 2014, 07:54:55 pm
I liked it.  I expected some headache sh**t like BRTD is always posting.  

It's pedestrian, but that only means it's easy to learn.  I actually dragged out one of my accoustic guitars and tried to reproduce it, with some success.  The syncopation is riveting, and keeps me a bit on edge.  I like the spanish undercurrent, and somewhat frustrated like the drag queens who hate their fathers in most of the Pedro Almodóvar movies.  The story is also poignant, like that episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation where Captain Picard meets his old flame who was once in the Mamas and the Papas.  (She aged very well, imho.)  There's also a bit of mystery, both in the lyric and the video.  Overall, it's probably worth a second listen.  Not just now though.

I went with the penultimate option.  If it makes my teeth whiter or helps me to maintain an erection or enters me in a chance to win an all expense-paid vacation for three to some tropical island, I'll change my vote to the option above it.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Quinnipiac University Poll: Obama worst president since WWII on: July 15, 2014, 07:17:33 pm
Jimmy Carter.

That's who I'd vote for in an open-ended poll question asking the worst president since 1945.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is your view on this immigration crisis on the border? on: July 14, 2014, 08:13:18 pm
We should take in the children, process them, feed them, and give them the care they deserve as humans. If they have relatives in the country, I'd support giving them limited amnesty from a humanitarian point of view. Those without relatives in the country should be deported in a timely manner.

That's pretty much my take on it as well.  Not an ideal solution, of course.  I'd also consider finding ways to make those relatives legit, when possible.  The only really weird cases are those who don't have people we can find here.  How do we deport them safely?  And into what life are we deporting them?  Do we have the means to import their parents? 

Ah, where's CARLHAYDEN when you need him?  Smiley

24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should homeschooling be legal? on: July 14, 2014, 06:57:13 pm

And blanket child abuse accusations. Lets not forget those, which always seem to get made on these threads.

Actually, of the four couples with whom I seriously discussed home schooling--I've met a few parents who chose this option, but only four were close enough for me to ask "why?"--one of them did point to the fact their boy was abused.  There were no blankets involved, but there were bruises, cuts, and blood.  They chose home schooling rather than subject their child to that sort of violence.  That was an exceptional case, mind you, the other three I talked all talked about the poor quality of the public schools.  Actually, this is not surprising.  Have you looked at the homeschooling materials at the public library?  And then compared it to the academic rigor at your local public school?

I'm not saying that I'd want to do it--it's a huge commitment, for starters, and there's a social conditioning aspect that you don't get if you don't have siblings--but I imagine that most of the anti-homeschooling rhetoric here is coming from people who not only don't have children and therefore haven't really thought much about this sort of thing, but who also (thankfully, for our species) have only a very small chance of procreation in the near future.  
25  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Mandatory vacation pay on: July 14, 2014, 12:11:22 pm

That's how I voted as well.

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