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March 03, 2015, 07:43:10 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: March 01, 2015, 06:28:49 am
The Glorious Cause by Middlekauf
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Will Hillary Become 'Mommy President' to Millennials? on: March 01, 2015, 06:27:23 am
This is what some millenials most fear... her former positions on issues like video games and pot are going to feed some of the worst nightmares of the castrating mommy/nurse ratchet authority figure. I think she's too old for that though.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: In general (not just dating), do nice guys finish last? on: March 01, 2015, 06:15:12 am
All this means is that if you're a meek, humble guy uninteresting enough such that the best adjective that describes you is "nice", then success is less likely to come to you in this society. I say this as someone who gets called a nice guy. We need to get over ourselves. Whether you're a guy or not, being "nice" has disadvantages as well as advantages.

Edit: And the opposite/alternative to 'nice guy' is not a 'jerk'. It's literally anything other than 'nice'.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Iggy Azalea on: March 01, 2015, 05:45:26 am
I have many thoughts about Iggy Azalea and cultural appropriation, here are some of them:

Iggy Azalea is terrible. Her rapping is derivative, the beats she uses are derivative etc. She's popular because of her image rather than her music. There's no shortage of female rappers in hip-hop. There's a shortage of marketable female rappers in hip-hop. It's not a coincidence that there are very few black female rappers in the mainstream. It's a reflection of racism and sexism.

Yes, the award for top female rap artist apparently hasn't even been given out since 2004.

The fact this thread was focused on cultural appropriation is embarrassing.

Not really, given that this is one of the most common charges about Iggy, it would be surprising if it didn't come up. You clearly have a lot of thoughts about it, as do many others on the forum.

Cultural appropriation is problematic when an advantaged class takes the raw cultural materials of an oppressed class and markets these materials in a slightly different package in order to profit. I think it's a problem when labels hire attractive/capable performers, hire writers/producers to create a musical aesthetic that is highly plagiarized and profits off the aesthetic.

Sure, but no one approves of plagiarism in any form. Adding the dimension of culture to it changes the dynamics and sometimes makes it worse, but sometimes makes plagiarism almost impossible, as well. If you're trying to plagiarize an entire culture using elements already widely known to be associated with that culture, then it's also impossible to hide what you're doing.

There is no immediate solution to the problematic aspects of cultural appropriation because this feature of cultural production is inherent to the racialist economic structure of American society. My only prescription is that white artists should be humble and give credit to those that influenced them. This isn't a difficult task and it's not too much to ask. I don't like Macklemore's music but I give him credit for recognizing that his success stands on the shoulders of the Black community. I disdain Iggy Azalea because she hasn't done this. Instead, she's denigrated the historic origins of hip-hop by insulting key figures like Q-Tip, she's implicitly asserted that society is "post-racial" and she's implicitly asserted that hip-hop has nothing to do with race. Even if this stance is to be expected, it's still deserves condemnation.  Iggy Azalea has no authority to make claims about hip-hop but she's done it anyway.

I sort of agree with you, but then I don't think Iggy's disavowals are really that threatening because hip-hop is obviously associated with black culture and regardless of what she says the association is firmly entrenched to the extent that it would take decades to change- and even then, it's origins by American blacks are too well known ever to be swept away. And the stuff that Iggy does is obviously hip hop and so it's obviously standing on the shoulders of the Black community- I mean, T.I. seems to be the one who gave her her break, so she literally might not have her career without him. Whether she or Macklemore specifically say this or not is much, much less important, IMO, than their actual art.

All in all, this isn't very important. Nevertheless, it saddens me. After all, Iggy Azalea is the only white rapper millions of people will ever hear about, with the obvious exclusion of Eminem and Macklemore. There are many good white rappers who make innovative music that are overlooked and they'll be instantly labeled as "less authentic" or "cultural appropriators" because of Iggy Azalea.

I agree with this.

As for Simfan's comment, I don't it should really be dismissed with a "that's obvious." Such a basic statement as "how cultures form" is the subject of entire academic disciplines... but more to the point here, the implications of his statement are complex and have implications for power, andI've never seen any social justice person who complains about cultural appropriation really grapple with that side of the equation, besides simply saying stuff like, "I never said white people can't do X Y Z".
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: February 27, 2015, 11:40:47 pm
I stopped watching this show because of how they're making such an evil couple into the protagonists...
So I suspect Breaking Bad is unwatchable too.

Yeah, it was pretty disgusting.

Edit: To be clear, I've only seen the first 2 episodes of Breaking Bad, and I stopped watching it not cause he's bad, but because the guy I was watching it with stopped coming over to my house. Normally I don't watch tv shows. House of Cards was an exception due to its political themes. So for all I know, Breakng Bad develops into a great show.

I've enjoyed movies like Scarface and Godfather, so I definitely think it's not impossible to have good story lines with an evil antihero, but for many reasons that's not the case for House of Cards. Perhaps because it hits too close to home? The 'opponents' are not some gangsters/goons from another world but archetypes of very familiar kinds of people. A friend of mine I know is a former alcoholic and I know he identified with that character. Who knows? For whatever reason the Underwoods became unlikeable enough to ruin the show as a whole.

Of course, the preference for fantasy narratives to have good/sympathetic characters and happy endings is quite normal and common, which is why no one should be surprised at my point of view. I'm merely expressing a variation of the most common one.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: February 27, 2015, 05:50:06 pm
They actually put up someone against Frank that the audience would actually want to win. Thank God.

I wanted them all to win. Even the alcoholic from Pennsylvania in season 1!
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What % of white women will Hillary get? on: February 27, 2015, 09:41:31 am
Why speculate? We have cross tabs. As of today...

Not to point out the obvious, but because the cross tabs are as of today, and the election is as of over 20 months from now.

Sure, but if you want to predict something in the future, starting with where it is today is better than starting from nothing. After all, most people are unconsciously starting with the results of past elections, which are even further from the election and feature different candidates to boot.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What color is this dress? on: February 26, 2015, 11:58:30 pm
White and gold.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What % of white women will Hillary get? on: February 26, 2015, 11:52:23 pm
Why speculate? We have cross tabs. As of today, Hillary is at 49% of all women vs. Walker, vs. 48% among men. And she's at 41% among whites, no better than Obama. Of course, those numbers would be higher if undecideds were either pushed or excluded, but so far there's no evidence that white women will vote for Hillary just because she's a white woman. Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin would probably agree.

On the other hand, she's at 70% (!) among 18-29 year olds.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: February 26, 2015, 11:31:53 pm
I stopped watching this show because of how they're making such an evil couple into the protagonists...

Are you serious?

Why wouldn't I be?
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: February 26, 2015, 11:23:57 pm
They never said whether he got his jobs bill passed.

I stopped watching this show because of how they're making such an evil couple into the protagonists...
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: MO-GOV: Schweich dead from gunshot wound on: February 26, 2015, 11:18:47 pm
RIP. Sounds like this primary was really nasty.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Battle of the Moderators Round 2: The Mods Strike Back on: February 26, 2015, 11:06:32 pm
Lol. I deserve my 2.1%. I may be the most curmudgeonly guy on here, and that's saying something.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republicans to cede on Net Neutrality on: February 26, 2015, 06:55:33 pm
Another reminder that elections matter.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: CA-Sen: California Quake on: February 26, 2015, 06:53:33 pm

Hasn't she always been a lone wolf in the California Dem party? I doubt she'd get any support.

She won't.

Well, her sister would support her, at least. Smiley
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Workers get the shaft in Wisconsin on: February 26, 2015, 06:04:07 pm
This has been an interesting discussion but it's time to say you don't know what you're talking about, and my clumsy attempts to lead you in the right direction aren't being met by very much success... it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure out where I was going with my questions, if you do a little reading... But that's all for now.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Workers get the shaft in Wisconsin on: February 26, 2015, 05:52:53 pm
They see it as an easier alternative but it still is a middleman

Why do they see it as an easier alternative?

Utilizing fair arguments and business acumen.

Why do you need a union to do that? I can think of fair arguments and develop business acumen myself.

On this we agree but some might say the govt should do more to regulate or enforce how the private sector manages hires, specifically in regard to skill, race, experience, etc.

What does collective bargaining have to do with my race? I don't care about the race of my coworkers. I can collectively bargain together equally with blacks, whites, or hispanics.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Workers get the shaft in Wisconsin on: February 26, 2015, 05:25:15 pm
Kickstarter should not be illegal - you are using something as an example that has little relevance but adds to my point. If one wants to donate, why not donate directly and bypass middlemen that take part of your money? Would it not be better to donate 100% of the funds to the charity as opposed to say 80 or 90% minus overhead?

Okay, so why does anyone donate to Kickstarter?

So this example of tantamount to the union one in that people should be allowed to work and do work without being taken for that extra percentage regardless of whether they are union or not. Additionally, collective bargaining, if done correctly and not via coercive tactics would still work and the action done would still be for the good.

How would one do collective bargaining without 'coercive tactics'?

As for the MS example, no they, and any company that values successful growth, should only employ on merit not if the employee can make enough friends to force his or her prospects. So in that example's regard, why should governments force the employment of promote said employment over someone that is more ably qualified and/or experienced? They should not.

Who said anything about governments enforcing or promoting anything? What Microsoft does should be up to Microsoft. They should be allowed to run their hiring policies how they want with regard to collective bargaining. That's my position.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Workers get the shaft in Wisconsin on: February 26, 2015, 05:07:50 pm
It's Right to Work laws that tie the hands of companies. They prohibit companies from entering into agreements they might otherwise enter into.

Unions have nothing to do with assemblies of speech. The purpose of a union is to equalize the bargaining power of employees with that of employers. You or I or anyone is free to, for example, apply for a job at Microsoft, but we would be one individual negotiating for his sole income against a multi-billion dollar corporation, a negotiating disadvantage. If all the employees of Microsoft could organize, just as Microsoft itself is organized, then it would be two equally balanced entities negotiating a single contract, rather than thousands of very unequal entities negotiating thousands of contracts. What "organization" means is a way to overcome the collective action problem. This is inseparable from enforcing that all employees must be members of the union. In other words, this is the whole point of the union.

If you want a Right to Work law, I want a Right to Donate law. The website Kickstarter is in gross violation of the Right to Donate. They allow people to set up projects that I can only donate to, if I pay Kickstarter a fee and so do all the other donors. I can only donate to these projects through Kickstarter - essentially by signing an enforced agreement with Kickstarter. That should be optional. We're just a group of people who want to peaceably assemble and give away money. Why can't we do that? Kickstarter should be illegal.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Workers get the shaft in Wisconsin on: February 26, 2015, 02:29:49 pm
It sounds like people are jealous that union workers make more and get plum benefits, but instead of that inspiring them to see the benefits of unionization for workers and imagine that they, too, might be able to get better working conditions, their answer is to tear down the union worker. Sad.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NC Senate considers bill for magistrates to opt-out of SSM marriages on: February 26, 2015, 12:13:23 am
Can straight people refuse to be married by magistrates who refuse to marry same sex couples?
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Why is Secretary of State such a political office? on: February 25, 2015, 08:30:18 pm
Because of the three branches of government, the responsibility for foreign affairs falls by far most heavily on the presidency. It is 1/2 of the job of the presidency, and arguably 1/2 of the job of government.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sorry, But Clinton’s Inevitability Is Not a Problem on: February 25, 2015, 08:11:31 pm
I think you're right IceSpear. Journalists are under a lot of pressure to keep their profession alive by getting as many "clicks" as possible... the best argument for a competitive primary on both sides of the aisle may be that it provides a sort of stimulus for those in the political writing field Tongue Or, they could make like Nate Silver and find something else to talk about at downtime.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sorry, But Clinton’s Inevitability Is Not a Problem on: February 25, 2015, 07:51:54 pm
Mister Mets does bring up a good point though. Competitive primaries can be damaging-- just look at Romney '12. His opponents made personal attacks on him that reinforced Democratic narratives. People in his campaign made gaffes - such as his advisor's "etch a sketch" remark. His party's money and energy was wasted in intercene warfare. He lost his moderate image after pandering to tea parties. And his campaign lost months of organizing time for the GE-- while the Obama campaign started building up its infrastructure in key states in summer 2011, Romney couldn't focus on it until nearly a year later. As a result, his ground game suffered. The GOP has certainly concluded that having a nominee sooner rather than later would be a good thing.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Ground Troops on: February 25, 2015, 05:21:23 pm
I would let a million Iraqi and Syrian women and children be raped, tortured and burned alive before I consented to a single drop of American blood being shed there.

Don't worry man, I'm an American and I would volunteer a drop of my blood in that case. :/
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