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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do intelligent people worry more? on: April 20, 2015, 07:54:05 pm
Do intelligent people worry more?

"Do intelligent people worry more (than aphids)?"    probably

"Do intelligent people worry more (than Jacobins marched toward their executioners once the Terror went full circle)?"  probably not.

One thing is sure:  Intelligent people don't end such a question with an adverb which is not followed by a conjuction linked to the comparative.  You might consider spending some time hanging out with "intelligent people" so that you can learn how to frame a poll question.
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Oklahoma City bombing: 20 years later on: April 20, 2015, 07:34:17 pm
Today, April 19, marks the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  As you might expect there was a great ceremony in Oklahoma City this morning with President Bill Clinton in attendance as well as Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and the current FBI director.  I know this nation has never forgotten the events of that day and holds the utmost respect for the citizens of Oklahoma City for showing this nation what it truly means to live by the "Oklahoma Standard".  I also know that this nation has a fondness for the City of Oklahoma City because of how we all came together on that fateful day.  We may joke on this forum that Oklahoma City is full of nobodies, but I know for a fact that the majority of the United States does not think negative about Oklahoma City.  They realize how much and how fast we've grown because of our heart and our standard.  Everybody with half a brain realizes that we are so much more than an old, dusty cow town stuck in the 1930's.  Oklahoma City will never go away.  We are some of the strongest group of people you will ever find.

Time flies.  20 years!  I was so focused on the 126th birthday of our favorite Austrian that I'd forgotten to remember Alfred P. Murrah, but now that you mention it, I remember it well.  Jane Trotter was a colleague from OKC.  She was really, really butch.  Anyway, I can remember half that building standing, wall torn off, rebar sticking out, fibers of paper fluttering in the breeze, Tim McVeigh's serious, angular mug telecast across a shocked nation. 

Well, I'll raise a glass to it, and as it happens I have a glass nearby.  Cheers my oakie friend.  Here's to the spirit of the Okalahoman!
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where Do You Rank on the Male Social Hierarchy? on: April 20, 2015, 07:13:07 pm
other:  romulan

4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Can't you touch type? on: April 18, 2015, 04:10:53 pm
computer programming makes you a pretty darn good touch typer. 

I experienced quite the opposite effect.  I was a relatively good typist, having taken typing for a year in the tenth grade, but in grad school when I started writing lots of computer programs, either to control instrumentation or to analyze data, I found myself looking more at the keyboard and using non-standard fingering techniques. 

I voted for the first option, and I reckon myself a decent typist.  I'm not sure how many words I can type.  I do know I don't do it correctly on tablets and other touch screens.
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Can't you touch type? on: April 17, 2015, 12:40:00 pm
Can't you touch type?

You can't touch type.

6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2015 At-large Senate Election on: April 17, 2015, 11:03:38 am
1. Polnut
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of this 200 pound turban on: April 16, 2015, 02:26:04 pm
très chic.  Also, is that a bamboo waterbong on the front of his tricked-out motorcycle?
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: If you could visit two Southeast Asian countries, which two would you choose? on: April 15, 2015, 08:11:13 pm

Never been to either, but Thailand and East Timor based on what I know.

9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of 'The Opposite of What America Does' on: April 15, 2015, 07:56:45 pm
I voted for the first option, but I've already brought this up many times--albeit metaphorically, as is my custom--and Torie has brought it up as well.  We both decided that it is an entrenched part of the forum's culture by now.  I think you should let this go and focus on more important things.  Also, such meta discussions confuse most posters so you should not expect many intelligent responses.  The options also cause confusion, since an Indian or Chinese or Arabic person might logically interpret the ordinal responses in a fashion quite contradictory, although logical in their socialization, to Westerners, so that you won't be able to make much use of the polling data. 
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the Treaty of Versailles? on: April 15, 2015, 07:31:00 pm
Fun fact: ...  very clever scam.

It is fun.  I read about that years ago, but I never really thought of it as a scam.  Maybe that's because here in the US we don't call that sort of thing a "scam."  We call it a "waiver."  Then again, it is fairly common for policy committees to recommend policies even with everyone in committee knowing that people will regularly be asking for a "waiver" in order to circumvent the policy.  The idea is to appease policymakers, who must be elected by the great unwashed masses, while simultaneously trying to maintain a logical operating position.  Do Germans also regularly operate like that?  I always thought they were given more to marrying spirit and letter in law.  Well, anyway, this is only a scam if you want to call it that.  Schacht's idea was neither unethical nor unworkable.  Since scam means to cheat or swindle by fraud, and since everyone who actually had money on the line knew of the details of the business arrangement, I don't really think this qualifies as a scam in the true sense.  

11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the US have entered WW2 Earlier? on: April 14, 2015, 08:25:16 pm
Yes(IO).  There is evidence that Roosevelt was aware of the atrocities from the second Sino-Japanese war as early as January 3, 1938.  We had many non-interventionists at the time, and likely I'd have been among them, given my own sensibilities, so I don't fault the government, but I think that in the grand scheme of things US intervention early in China would have prevented very much geopolitical grief that still haunts us today.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the Treaty of Versailles? on: April 14, 2015, 08:09:16 pm
Gets a far worse rap than deserved, actually.

Possibly, but having the Big Four treat the Japanese who attended like they were less than human had a lasting effect.  Five allied nations sent delegates, but only the Big Four were recognized.  Pearl Harbor may still have been a target because we had business interests in raped Nanjing, but treating the Japs like subhumans cannot possibly have been justified.  And we don't even get into the humiliation of the German people by the British and French, because I'm sure anyone over the age of six understands that this set the stage for the NSDAP and its (highly successful) program of job growth and remilitarization and increased nationalism which led to an even bigger war.

FWIW, I voted Horrible Treaty, and I think that the US congress is just as much to blame for its long-term effects as the other various parliaments involved, but then I'm old enough to remember the Cold War--the inevitable indirect geopolitical result of the treaty of Versailles--as an everyday reality. 
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee on verge of banning phones, cameras at polling places on: April 14, 2015, 11:26:59 am


23% arousal.  (negligible)

14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee on verge of banning phones, cameras at polling places on: April 14, 2015, 06:52:00 am
And ballot selfies are endangering secrecy of votes and enable voter intimidation.

selfies of all stripes endanger civilization as we know it.  They are the 21st-century equivalent of sitting naked on a photocopier and leaving photocopies of your hairy ass and sack as a prank in the office mailboxes of your colleagues.  That's okay once in a blue moon, so to speak, but with mobile phones the attention whore mentality become ubiquitous, so that children today don't know good manners.

Actually, civilization as we knew it ended already on December 21, 2012.  The Maya accurately predicted that.  What they didn't prepare us for was what form the new civilization would take.  Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, instantly messaging your ballot suffrage, along with your latest bowel movement, to friends--strangers apparently don't exist anymore--is not the hallmark of an inferior civilization.  Just one that takes some getting used to.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Tennessee on verge of banning phones, cameras at polling places on: April 13, 2015, 07:28:19 pm
Tennessee on verge of banning phones, cameras at polling places


Ban that shit while driving a car, too.

Jeesus H. Christ, it's like this generation was born with a fucking iPhone in its hands.  Normally, I'm not a fan of government intervention in anything, but get over yourselves.  Sometimes it's okay just to do something without making sure five hundred thousand of your closest friends know about it immediately.

16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: If Obama Could Be Any Kinda Muslim... on: April 10, 2015, 08:20:00 pm
And the Inca was glorified for this.

Well of course they were!

Anyway, I'm quite familiar with the "microclimates."  I've hiked the Inca Trail, 45 km from Sacsayhuaman to Machu Picchu.  Four days of elevation changes from 200 m above mean sea level to 4500 m.  Dress in layers.  Get ready to eat sh**t.  Fish heads, chicha, or whatever you can scrounge up along the way.  70-pound Jansport backpack with tent and sleeping bag and lots of cocaine (which rather helps with the hike.)  I've also spent several weeks in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador visiting the local museums and, although I'm no expert on pre-columbian American history, I have read Hiram Bingham and some more modern texts on the subject.  I reckon myself fairly well versed on the Inca legal system.  Adultery?  execution.  Insubordination?  execution.  And the preferred method was rather interesting too.  

Still, I hardly think it reminiscent of the North Koreans.  Maybe just because I'm fairly ignorant of Korea and its recent history.  Outside of the terms I've learned from my son's Tae Kwon Do class--from that I can count from one to ten and say several phrases, but otherwise--I know no Korean.  Nevertheless, I can read.  The Koreans are insular and paranoid.  They are not imperialist expansionist, like the Inca, and they are not very good at socialism, like the Inca.  They only have two things in common:  collectivism and the rule of a despotic leader.  But you could probably say that about a whole bunch of societies.

And what does any of this have to do with Obama and Islam?  
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: If Obama Could Be Any Kinda Muslim... on: April 09, 2015, 07:25:40 pm
Interesting comments, all. 

I've always thought of the Tihuantinsuyu as the perfect example of an imperialist socialist society.  Maybe the only example.  North Korea is not truly socialist and hardly imperialist.  Also, the Inca was really good at moving grain from regions of plenty to drought- and famine-affected areas.  Even without the wheel and without horses!  North Koreans can barely move a pencil across a piece of paper.  Sure, they're both collectivist societies, but I think that's where the similarity ends.

The Aztecs, or the Triple Alliance, were sort of like the US Congress.  They are Ted Kennedy and Ted Cruz all rolled into one.  They were good at turning other folks against each other and exploiting natural divisions.  Fearmongers of the first class, cultivating natural bigotries and paranoia in a rather successful effort to secure their own hegemony.

I certainly fell for Obama's rap once as well.  I totally bought into the "change the tone in Washington" gimmick.  Post-partisan, post-identity America.  I voted for him enthusiastically in 2008.  You can bet I didn't vote for him in 2012.  I don't know whether he'll fade away, and I don't really care.  He's not quite as offensive as some of his predecessors, to be sure, but President Obama and Candidate Obama are Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.  I don't think Obama is a terrible, horrible individual, but I do think he is like all politicians and I'm a little ashamed to have fallen for his outside-the-system, or better-than-the-system, schtick he was pushing in the summer of '08.

18  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: If a Minor Outlying Island were to become populated... on: April 08, 2015, 08:21:55 pm
Ah, okay.  But the sensitivities have changed in the past century, haven't they?  I wonder if such distinctions would pass political muster nowadays if brought to trial.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: anne hathaway on: April 08, 2015, 06:39:43 pm
You need to find a girlfriend, Lief.  This is the sort of thing I'd expect from Red, but not from you.

Anyway, yeah, she's tubesock-worthy.  No doubt about it.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where do you place on the Atlas Forum Political Matrix Test? on: April 08, 2015, 06:29:33 pm
Just a bit right of center on the left/right parameter and way down on the anarchy/authority parameter.  Basically, I'm Gandhi.
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: If Obama Could Be Any Kinda Muslim... on: April 08, 2015, 06:09:47 pm

Druze?!  I always thought of Druze as a separate religion from Islam.

To the original question, I'd say he's the sort that is comfortable cutting off the hands of thieves in public, or veiling women from head to toe, but in private bashes all religion and everything it stands for.
22  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: If a Minor Outlying Island were to become populated... on: April 07, 2015, 07:34:55 pm
Both Incorporation and Organization require an Act of Congress to happen.  Minor Outlying Island is merely a statistical classification that the executive branch could change whenever it wished, and probably would if any of those islands became inhabited.  Incidentally, an Unorganized need not be unorganized. An Organized territory is one which has its organization come from an Organic Act passed by Congress.  American Samoa has chosen to not be Organized because it prefers the flexibility of having its local government not be defined by an Act of Congress.  Incorporation only means that the territory is such that the Constitution automatically applies.  Until the Insular Cases after the Spanish-American War where we gained colonies instead of territory, the distinction was unheard of, and arguably it should never have been heard.

Fascinating.  I am constantly amazed by your encyclopedic knowledge of minutiae.  Seriously.

I have one question, though.  Why do you suggest that the cases should not have been heard?

23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: what if full huose still on tv today? on: April 05, 2015, 06:16:35 pm

24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What are your plans for Easter? on: April 05, 2015, 11:42:11 am
We boiled, and then colored in pastel shades, eight eggs.  We then put all our eggs in one basket.  I'm waiting for the boy to put some stickers on them.  They will become our mid-afternoon snack.  We decided to forego the shrink-wrap deco in favor of the old-fashioned vinegar-and-caustic pastel pills.  The shrink-wrap ones make the egg so damned hard to open after they've been envaginated by the plastic.

Earlier today my son put little treats like Starbursts, bite-size Twizzlers, and such--Halloween leftovers--in each of about 15 bisectable, snap-together plastic eggs, also pastel-colored.  I wanted to hide them for him, but he says he's too old--or too cool, whatever--to hunt for eggs now so he insisted on hiding them himself.  I'm expected to find them.  I'm waiting for him to finish his babyback pork rib lunch and then I'll go out with my basket and hunt for plastic eggs while he mocks me for being so slow.  I wanted a high-fat, high-protein cholesterol-free lunch so I made myself a mixture of avocado, jalapeno, tomato, manioc, and a squirt of lemon juice and scarfed that down quickly with corn chips so I'm just waiting for him to finish his high-cholesterol diet.  

After the egg hunt, I think we'll take a long bicycle ride.  The club is closed today so there will be no swimming or weightlifting.  That's okay because today it's 60ish and sunny.  (Finally.)  At some point my wife will bake a big ham we bought yesterday.  I have a Chilean pinot noir in the basement that will compliment the ham nicely.  There will also be rice, I'm sure, and some sort of exotic green vegetables with the ever-present hint of garlic, green onion, and soy sauce.  

I did learn about boiled eggs and rabbits.  My son asked me how those things became associated with Easter.  I speculated, and as it turned out I got the egg bit right but I was way off concerning the rabbit.  A cursory Google search yielded the following information:  during the middle ages many European bishops forbade the consumption of eggs during lent so eggs were boiled in order to preserve them.  They were often painted for decoration.  Some families took to hiding them in strange places in order to stave off temptation.  On Resurrection Sunday, at the conclusion of the Lenten season, the plentiful eggs were sought out by eager children and consumed with abandon.  (All that I had basically guessed.)  The rabbit, on the other hand, has a more mysterious history, and one which pre-dates Christianization of the Germanic lands.  Some sources say that the rabbit was associated with judgment, others say that it was associated with spring and Jesus.  I think the most credible of them say that the rabbit was already associated with fertility and with the pre-Christian Germanic sex goddess Eostra.  Because rabbits are so prolific this time of year they became a symbol of Eostra's blessings.  Her festival was conviently just about the same time as the Pascal, so the two feasts sort of got mixed together when that area was Christianized.  The rabbit motif was imported into Pennsylvania from Germany in the very early 1700s, to this very neighborhood, in fact, where the egg-laying Hare myth had already been fairly well worked out.

25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you have a caffeine dependence? on: April 02, 2015, 08:03:53 pm

I've had a 500-mL can of that in the fridge for a little over a year.  I'm a little afraid to try it, so it just sits there, mocking me.  Maybe one day I'll open it. 

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