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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What's the meaning of life? on: September 01, 2015, 12:23:07 pm

I see what you did there......the rest, not so much.

I was about to post 42, as in Don't Panic, then I saw his post.  Better because he actually mapped it.


2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: I worry that we may be ed no matter what happens in 2016 on: September 01, 2015, 08:00:05 am
SCALIA SCOTUS.

haha.  That sounds like an internal organ, or maybe taxonomical nomenclature for an amphibian that is rarely seen in real life, but features in a documentary on PBS.

We observe that the S. scotus mounts the much larger female only after her red coloring appears, and only for a few brief seconds each year.
3  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Freedom versus Liberty on: August 31, 2015, 03:24:01 pm
I regard them as exact synonyms.  As you point out, one has a saxon etymology, and the other is norman.  There are many examples of this in the English language, owing to the battle of Hastings.

Obviously some attempts have been made to distinguish between liberty and freedom, but I don't really think that these have caught on in the general press.

(See, for example:

Pitkin, H., 1988, ‘Are Freedom and Liberty Twins?’, Political Theory, 16: 523–52.

Williams, B., 2001, ‘From Freedom to Liberty: The Construction of a Political Value’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 30: 3–26.

and others.)
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: I worry that we may be ed no matter what happens in 2016 on: August 31, 2015, 02:51:35 pm
Beet, is that you?

hahaha.  Great minds think alike! 

I was just thinking of posting something like that, but you beet me to it. 
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the Beer thread on: August 31, 2015, 02:45:21 pm
yeah, I've had Pacifico.  Not bad.  It tastes sort of like Sol, inoffensive ice cold, but progressively worse as it gets warmer.

Actually, my favorite Mexican ~5% lager has for a long time been Bohemia. 
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: the Beer thread on: August 31, 2015, 01:56:18 pm
I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer dos equis.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: O'Malley (and Bernie) accuse the DNC of rigging the debate process on: August 30, 2015, 09:34:34 am
I'm an independent voter, and I voted for Obama in 2012, but Hillary is a nauseating candidate.


I'm unaffiliated as well, and I voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.  I sometimes change my registration to either Republican or Democrat for primary voting, then change it back to unaffiliated afterward.  (PA has closed primaries, also a three-week advance deadline.)  I'm thinking I may vote in either the Dem or GOP primary, but I haven't decided yet. 

I agree with you about Clinton.  I also don't care for Trump.  I really hope we don't end up with Trump vs. Clinton for a general election choice.  I've voted for other party candidates before both for president and governor, but it's much more satisfying to vote for either a D or R because that's where the power lies, so I really hope one of those two parties gets its head out of its ass before the convention.  If it starts to look like my vote could make a difference for either party, then I'll change to that party three weeks before the PA primary and vote in that party's primary.  Sanders doesn't really give me a raging hard-on, but I think he has better judgment than Clinton, and seems more trustworthy.  The GOP seems like the more interesting game this time in the sense that I have a hard time believing a majority of Republicans nominate Trump, but the others seem very weak at this point.
 

8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: O'Malley (and Bernie) accuse the DNC of rigging the debate process on: August 30, 2015, 07:47:29 am
It's definitely rigged, especially the DNC with their superdelegates, but the GOP primary process is rigged as well.  Of course that worked against Clinton in 2008, when she received 22% at the convention, compared to Obama's 73%, despite a rather closer Democrat primary popular vote.  This time the rigging will work in her favor.

As for the debate schedule, if I were in charge I'd schedule them early and often.  The suggestion that the DNC chair favors Clinton's nomination and is doing what she can to ensure that outcome doesn't strike me as particularly incredible. 

9  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should it be legal for race to be a criteria in sperm donor request? on: August 28, 2015, 08:13:04 pm
Wildlife halved in the last 40 years

while I agree with the spirit of your post, and in fact with all the other things you said, I have to call bullshit on that specific phrase.  You got a peer-reviewed study backing that up? 
10  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Can one be an atheist and believe in an afterlife? on: August 28, 2015, 06:37:16 pm
Can one be an atheist and believe in an afterlife?

Of course.  In fact, many do.  Moreover, as I understand it, mono- and polytheists didn't invent the concept of the hereafter.  Atheists did.  Though there's some argument on that point.  Many claim that the concept was invented by polytheists, but all we really have to go on is crude paintings on rocks and caves, so it's far from certain.

In any case, the lines are kinda fuzzy.  Hindus are technically poly, but many of them shove it all up to Sree Rama as an ultimate deity, so they are rather mono, as polytheists go.  Similarly, Roman Catholics are technically mono, but have you ever witnessed Extreme Unction?  It's all like, "Saint Francis and Saint Benedict, pray for him.  Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, pray for him."  Even in a run-of-the-mill penance, one is expected to appeal to the Holy Mother.  And of course there's the Christ:  Three persons, one God, is the official line, but it's rather a subtle and tenuous claim on exact monotheism, at least compared the Muslim, Protestant, and Jewish varieties.  And of course, the Buddha never postulated the existence of any god or gods--and thus Buddhism is often classified as an a- rather than a poly- or monotheistic religion--yet most Buddhists have a thorough grounding in the school of re-incarnation.  Then again, many Buddhists, especially in the Far East, have a whole host of gods, starting, usually, with a city god or village god, so it's probably not actually good form to classify the group of religions known collectively as Buddhism as atheistic.  Given your username, which hints at that flavor of Buddhism that advocates direct enlightenment through meditation, I expect you probably should already know this.  

But you don't even have to look there to find atheistic versions of afterlives.  The Dao, as well as most strains of animism and ancestor worship, are all decidedly atheistic religions, yet all of them have a profound conception of the hereafter.  And there are plenty of regular, garden-variety, trailer-trash, white Americans, the kind who'd probably be Libertarian if they ever bothered to register to vote, who have absolutely no taste for organized religion, but who are quick to make mention of the ghosts that have invaded their homes, and quite certain of Mama's presence during their latest drunken encounter with the oiuja board.  

short attention span theater version:  I don't think you should conflate metaphysics with religion.  We can examine one independently of the other.  Moreover, even adherents of proper atheistic religions often have some ultimate reality involving life after carnal death.  I've also known of irreligious sorts of people who, from time to time, venture to dabble in questions of metaphysics, completely devoid of religious observation.  
11  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Spanish be an official language in the US? on: August 28, 2015, 06:30:18 pm
They're American. Doesn't matter whether they consider themselves a different nationality.

They're certainly US citizens and have US passports, with all the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining, but nationality is another matter.  In that regard, they are puertorriqueños.  Those I've met on my visits to Puerto Rico, and those I've met in my travels to other parts of Latin America, and those right here at home--Lancaster has a large population of puertorriqueños; about 28% claim puertorican ancestry--all consider their nationality to be Puerto Rican.

You have to be careful with the word nationality, especially in the Americas.  It has at least two proper dictionary definitions, and I suspect many more in the vernacular.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of This Phrase on: August 27, 2015, 09:24:11 pm
Waltermitty, I think, was the progenitor, and BRTD was the agent of propagation, but my memory is hazy.  It was based on one of his many, many misguided preconceptions.  In this case that everyone is either a freedom fighter or a horrible person.  Most folks are, in fact, neither, and a few are both.  I swam upstream for a while, raging against the false dichotomy, for quite some time about a decade ago.  Finally I caved like everyone else.  Now it's all FF or HP.  Why not?  We're not very good at geography or math, compared to Koreans for example, so why should we worry that even our political nerds should be any good at social psychology?  There are more important battles to be waged, after all. 

Just go with it.


13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best and worst places you've been to or lived in on: August 27, 2015, 08:37:47 pm
haha.  That's pretty bad.

Worst place I ever had was the first two months I lived in Boston when I lived with two old Italian women.  One was really old and crotchety, and the other, her mother, was even older, and I suspect--though I don't know for sure because she could speak no English--that she was even more crotchety.  They had a dog that pissed all over the floor in all rooms, and it stank to high heaven.  Nasty.  The landlady, Helen Frank from New Zealand, didn't have any manners either.  She'd bust in any time, day or night, even when I was masturbating, without so much as an apology, just to ask a question or to offer tomatoes or cucumbers from her garden.  God bless her, those fruits were just the thing in those days, when I was far between paychecks.  The whole building stank, and it was loud.  Sirens out on the street all night.  (It was near the Roxbury Crossing station on the Orange Line)  And every time I walked down the sidewalk this fat Hatian woman made me dance with her before I could pass.  Still, it was 225 per month, on the spot, no questions asked, and a roof over my head with running water while I looked for a better spot to hang my hat.

The best place, of course, was the very next place I lived, and where I lived for five years.  It was four miles north of downtown Boston, and probably not very posh, but the owner was easy-going, quick to respond to problems, and after that first hellhole any place seemed like paradise by comparison.  Also, the two women with whom I lived there were very clean, and paid their bills on time.  They had even been trained, I assume by previous boyfriends or male roomies, to leave the toilet lid up.  A rare enough quality in women, and having two such women flatmates at once is an exceedinly rare treat.  Also, at 300 per month with no increases for five years, the price was right.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ironic and unironic Trump supporters on: August 27, 2015, 08:21:10 pm
unironic ones, pretty bad (though not as bad as those who use the word unironic with a straight face.)

ironic ones, even worse.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mexico warns Texas not to refuse its immigrants' babies U.S. birth certificates on: August 27, 2015, 08:18:46 pm
If I were a government official I'd be embarrassed that a foreign government should need to remind us of our own laws and customs.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Simfan's socks on: August 24, 2015, 08:18:48 pm
I generally like Simfan's forum persona, and although I didn't know that he was ghostposting, I have to imagine that any alternative persona he might create has the potential to be interesting, so I voted FS.

17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Crossdressing on: August 24, 2015, 08:07:10 pm

to assume that all men who crossdress are doing it for sexual or perverted reasons is kind of insensitive

haha.  I sort of figured that out by trial and error.  I went to a party about 25 years ago at a friend's house--she always threw great parties--and I got there sort of early.  A few of us early-arriving nerds were standing around in her kitchen talking and drinking and sampling hors d'oeuvres when in walks the most striking, statuesque woman I'd ever seen.  Broad shoulders, strong hands, a confident but majestically feminine swagger, and such beautiful lips and eyelashes.  I had to know this woman, so I walked over and introduced myself to her, extending my hand and giving her my name.  She gripped it and said, in a low-pitched James Earl Jones sort of voice, "Hello, I'm Ronald Ashmore, but you can call me Ron.  How do you do?"  I was taken entirely aback.  "You're a man!" I exclaimed, and after a few seconds we both started laughing.  Later I met Ron's girlfriend.  She was hot too.  Looked a bit like Young Raven, but more grown-up and in real life.  

Ron turned out to be a really nice guy, and in no way comes off as perverted or one who can't hold down a job or a relationship.  We stayed in touch for several years.  His girlfriend moved on and married a Jamaican guy, and it was rumored that Ron's penchant for showing up at parties dressed as a woman really was just too much for her, but I don't hold it against either of them, and although I know he's a man, and he's straight and I'm straight, I have to say that Ron was one of the finest women I have ever known.  He was definitely into women.  I've stayed over more than once, too stupored to drive or even walk home, kept awake with him in the next room causing some bimbo to wail and moan (and, from time to time, vice-versa).  I'm just glad that his natural speaking voice gave him away very quickly the first time we met, before I did or said anything I'd really regret.

18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you prefer to work non-normal hours? on: August 24, 2015, 06:30:00 pm
okay, but I make it 42 hours per week.  Are you on a salary, independent of the number of hours you work?  If so, then you might try harder to make your own schedule.  If not, then you might try harder to make sure that they pay you time and a half for the extra hours.

No, I get paid hourly. And yes if I ever work overtime, I do get paid time and a half.

I should point out my job also pays a shift differential for working late and weekends, so even if a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday schedule was available, I would get paid less for it.

That all seems reasonable, and since you don't mind the the weird hours (or the extra pay), then your current schedule works well for you. 

Like muon, I've been known to work on projects in the middle of the night, and on weekends, but It'd be a little disingenuous to say that I'm on 24/7.  I really don't like taking homework home, and neither does my wife, who has a similar job description as mine at another institution about an hour away, so we agree to try to be a family on evenings and weekends and leave the work at work.
19  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should the U.S. topple foreign leaders? on: August 23, 2015, 07:53:16 pm
Generally no.  Not Saddam, for example, or Hitler, or Pol Pot, or Ho Chi Minh, but when we have popular support from the locals and a directive for safety, I think it's legit.  Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have committed funds to arrest or execute Joseph Kony, and I think that's probably a legitimate expenditure of US tax dollars. 
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you prefer to work non-normal hours? on: August 23, 2015, 07:40:27 pm
okay, but I make it 42 hours per week.  Are you on a salary, independent of the number of hours you work?  If so, then you might try harder to make your own schedule.  If not, then you might try harder to make sure that they pay you time and a half for the extra hours.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Women in the military: yes or no? on: August 23, 2015, 07:04:34 pm
yes.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should states be allowed to leave the USA? on: August 23, 2015, 07:02:46 pm
no.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of this song on: August 23, 2015, 06:55:52 pm
gripping.  Bass-driven.  I couldn't quite understand all the gwar-style lyrics, but I got enough of them to appreciate the message.  Needs a slightly more creative (or talented) lead guitar, and the front man needs to work on his rap.  It does seem to lack denouement, and the chord progression is too pedantic and way too redundant, but the bridge saves it.  I'll go with FF, because I kinda like it, but with some reservations.


24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Obama, Fukui or Romney, West Virginia on: August 23, 2015, 06:48:53 pm
Tough call.  They both seem like festive little towns, but in the end I went with Romney.  Obama seems like more going on, but I don't speak Japanese, and that's pretty much a deal breaker for me.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: In general, which are better places to live? on: August 23, 2015, 06:42:34 pm
Romney country, for sure.  I've lived in both, and not to be classist or racist or ageist, but generally speaking 80% Obama means "lock the doors, now!"
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