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March 31, 2015, 01:09:16 pm
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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: What makes you Identify with the Party you do? on: Today at 04:37:37 am
The Republican Party as it is now and has been for a couple decades is completely and utterly insane. Like, every once in awhile I have to step back and remind myself how crazy it is that this is a party where Ben Carson can be a leading candidate in a primary. Where someone like Sarah Palin can get millions of votes for Vice President. Where thinking Moses is basically an honorary founding father is completely normal, believing we should allow guns in bars is sane public policy, and one of the party's most prominent Senators can waltz onto the Senate floor with a snowball as proof that global warming is a hoax.

I can't think of literally any issue in American politics right now where the Republicans offer a sane and reasonable alternative. Their positions on womens rights are terrible. On gay rights they're terrible. On police brutality, they're terrible. On healthcare, the environment, drugs, taxes, welfare, campaign finance, torture, trade, guns, wages, uniformly terrible, if not downright childish and occasionally evil. When it comes to foreign affairs they routinely expose themselves as cocksure incompetents who don't even maintain coherent positions, across the board. It also goes without saying that I grew up during the time of a President (Bush) that probably deserves some sort of medal for handling just about anything he ever tried tackling awfully. In fact, I may as well just repost an old quote of mine instead of retreading the same ground:

6. George W. Bush.
*Bush deserves the last spot on here for being the most directly damaging Presidents on this list, as well as having the unbelievable skill of being able to f**k up damn near everything he attempted or did.

9/11? He ignored all reports and threats of terrorism before it happened. Bin Laden? Couldn't get him. (Thanks Obama!) Tax cuts? Were so wasteful and unstimulative that he did them twice. Medicare Part D is one of the most incredible stories of legislative clusterf**kery that you could ever read, and was a total mess to boot. The PATRIOT Act. No Child Left Behind? Plenty, actually. Afghanistan? Mismanaged. Iraq? A lie from the very beginning. All told, his middle eastern excursions will cost us trillions of dollars that we could've used for anything else. His first veto? Killing a stem cell research bill.

Illegal wiretapping. Torture. Rendition. Sold his plan to privatize Social Security to the public so hilariously badly that it was abandoned within weeks. Completely lied about his promise to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. Riddled mining and oil drilling regulations with loopholes for his industry friends and raised a middle finger to every environmental cause he came across. Neutered FEMA due to a lack of any interest in qualified governing, and New Orleans paid the price. Wanted to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, for Christ's sake. Vetoed a children's health insurance program expansion bill that was fully paid for. Ruined America's image abroad and made us the laughing stock of the first world. This is just the stuff off the top of my head.

In addition to all of that, his term ended with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, the damage of which will be felt for generations. Everyone who acts like we can't treat Bush like a terrible President because he's too recent and we're biased? Screw you. George W. Bush is one of the worst Presidents in the history of the United States. End of story.


What makes all of that worse is that, in the ensuing years of such complete and utter demonstrable failure a party traditionally retreats into the minority for a few cycles, moderating and maturing, emerging as an alternative after the governing party grows stale and tired. The exact opposite happened here, for some bizarre reason. They've only become more bats**t.

Over the last year, for unrelated reasons, I've grown to despise hackish thinking in general. I don't like partisans. I generally think you should try to listen to everyone, regardless of who they are, regardless of background, regardless of other crazy s**t they've done, to try and come to a greater understanding. But there really is nothing, anything at all that I can think of, that is well-reasoned and has a basis in reality from the Republican Party that I can support. And this is so astonishing to me that every once in awhile I feel like I'm being too unfair, that there must be something that they have over the Democrats, or just have a decent idea about in general, because for that to not be the case in any way whatsoever is so logically unlikely. But they really are that incompetent, from top to bottom, at this point in time.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Interests other than politics on: Today at 12:56:55 am
In terms of regular hobbies that I have a great deal of interest in, not just something I do from time to time (like "reading," which, duh) I've had a big interest in video games since I was little. I hope I always do.
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Trevor Noah to host Daily Show on: March 30, 2015, 03:05:39 pm
This just strikes me as one of those "we have no idea who to give it to so we more or less chose someone at random" decisions.

Like Eraserhead I don't see the show lasting for very long after Stewart leaves.
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you consider yourself "tolerant"? on: March 30, 2015, 03:00:19 pm
I find myself in 100% agreement with King.

He's one of the best posters here, so this should be no surprise.
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Phone/tablet OS's on: March 28, 2015, 02:08:29 pm
I have Amazon's phone which is technically Android, though a proprietary version of it. I wasn't much of an OS nitpicker until I had a Windows phone and loathed it.
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Libel Laws on: March 28, 2015, 02:03:30 pm
British libel laws are trash, but that's mainly because they exist to serve the rich and lawyered. They don't for example, help innocent poor people being attacked by media empires and their hired goons; but they will help secretive organisations of quacks clamp down on dissent.

But is there really much of a way to make it work any differently, in practice? The rich and lawyered are likely to always exist, and always be able to take advantage of those laws more than the less privileged.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ithaca College SGA passes bill for online reporting of microaggressions on: March 27, 2015, 03:11:14 pm
I tend to agree with Shua that it's still a bit worrying. Beet and others can constantly say that people like this are a minority, but it doesn't mean much when in their spheres of influence they still truck along. If you sat most people down and asked them to speak seriously on s**t like this they would tell you it's over the line and likely to be fraught with needless complications but it's only going to actually stop when more people speak up about it.

A problem with these situations is that a lot of people on the Left turn a blind eye to overreach like this as being well-meaning and excuse them for still being on the "right side" even if what they're doing in the moment is dumb. There are a lot of social justice types who do or say fundamentally illiberal (or just plain stupid) things but are not criticized much for it from the Left because a lot of hacks are more interested in defending from mockery of right-wingers that any criticism at all suddenly becomes an attack.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do all musicians you listen to have the same political views as you? on: March 26, 2015, 01:06:44 pm
I don't require all of my entertainment line up to my political beliefs because I am not that insecure.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: opinion of cities: skylines on: March 26, 2015, 12:50:04 pm
It's great, though I personally find the base game a little too easy.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What Issues Is The Forum Most/Least Knowledgeable About? on: March 26, 2015, 12:47:06 pm
It's lucky that we have Marokai and Memphis and their extended travelling to the far corners of the globe to inform us about the real world out there.

I've never claimed to be an authority on much of anything. I'm just a guy with opinions I like to share with others like everyone else around here.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What ideological labels would you use to describe your politics? on: March 25, 2015, 08:35:08 pm
Anarchocommunist, environmentalist, feminist, LGBT

I'm really not comfortable with the idea of 'LGBT' being an ideological label.

I'm curious, why not?
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who do you consider to be 'characters' on here nowadays? on: March 25, 2015, 12:27:27 pm
Far too many, unfortunately.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What's the most SJW party in the world? on: March 24, 2015, 09:27:50 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Initiative_%28Sweden%29
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What Issues Is The Forum Most/Least Knowledgeable About? on: March 24, 2015, 08:30:54 pm
95% of all gender discussions on this forum are comprised of people who say horrendously insulting or ignorant things about women vs. people who just do drive by snarky dismissals toward all involved. I can't think of any topic this site is worse at discussing.

There are other topics tangentially related in the social issues realm (religion and race come to mind) that this site does a poor job fleshing out, but it's ultimately related to what Memphis referenced. This site is full of young bright people, many of whom are incredibly privileged and largely sheltered from how the rest of the world lives outside their suburb or school.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Madeleine & Anvi Gallery of Excellent Effortposts on: March 23, 2015, 04:58:54 pm
Will the latest incarnation of this gallery be another way for people to repost opinions they agree with without having to enter the discussion themselves, inevitably engulfing this thread in bickering that could've been had elsewhere?
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What ideological labels would you use to describe your politics? on: March 23, 2015, 04:28:26 pm
Social democrat, secularist, egalitarian.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: MW: March 2015 Elections (Althing/Archduke) on: March 22, 2015, 08:27:09 am
Archduke:
1. Snowguy
2. Tyrion

Most Serene Reps:
1. Fuzzybigfoot
2. Brewer
3. Rfayette
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of JerryArkansas on: March 21, 2015, 05:29:13 pm
I've always liked his earnestness. I can't really think of anything he's done to dislike him over.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama snuffs stoner dreams of legalization on: March 21, 2015, 02:41:24 pm
Obama's statements when it comes to marijuana are more childish than just outright believing it's horrifically damaging to society; at least the latter belief is more sincere. It's insulting to my intelligence because I know that he knows better than this.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 'Blurred Lines' plagiarized from Marvin Gaye song on: March 21, 2015, 02:32:43 pm
Isn't there literally a recent Maroon 5 song that includes the line "Hunt you down, eat you alive"?
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Le Pen Calls for Footballer Ibrahimovic to Leave France on: March 20, 2015, 02:56:32 pm
Reported for trolling.

Le Pen has been infracted 5 points.

Any chance you could dole out a fair bit more?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What are you listening to right now? II on: March 20, 2015, 02:45:38 pm
Yelle - Ba$$in
Yelle - Coca sans bulles
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of DeadFlagBlues on: March 20, 2015, 01:48:25 pm
I've always quite liked him.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What bothers you about your "side"? on: March 19, 2015, 03:24:47 pm
I guess what it all comes down to, for me, is that social liberalism was once an alternative that enabled people to pursue whatever types of consensual personal behavior they wanted, and thus was a movement that increased individual freedom and happiness. It was the antidote to Jerry Fallwell telling you that you were going to hell, to Nancy Reagan saying “just say no,” to your conservative parents telling you not to be gay, to Pat Robertson saying don’t have sex, to Tipper Gore telling you that you couldn’t listen to the music you like, to don’t have sex, don’t do drugs, don’t wear those clothes, don’t walk that way, don’t have fun, don’t be yourself. So of course that movement won. It was a positive, joyful, human, freeing alternative to an exhausted, ugly, narrow vision of how human beings should behave.

It seems to me now that the public face of social liberalism has ceased to seem positive, joyful, human, and freeing. I now mostly associate that public face with danger, with an endless list of things that you can’t do or say or think, and with the constant threat of being called an existentially bad person if you say the wrong thing, or if someone decides to misrepresent what you said as saying the wrong thing.

...

Suppose you’re a young college student inclined towards liberal or left-wing ideas. And suppose, like a lot of such college students, you enjoy Stephen Colbert and find him a political inspiration. Now imagine that, during the #CancelColbert fiasco, you defended Colbert on Twitter. If your defense was noticed by the people who police that forum, the consequences were likely to be brutal. People would not have said “here, let me talk you through this.” It wouldn’t have been a matter of friendly and inviting disagreement. Instead, as we all saw, it would have been immediate and unequivocal attack. That’s how the loudest voices on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook act. The culture is one of attack, rather than of education. And the claims, typically, are existential: not “this thing you said is problematic from the standpoint of race,” but rather “you’re a racist.” Not “I think there’s some gender issues going here that you should think about,” but “you’re a misogynist.” Always. I know that there are kinder voices out there in socially liberal circles on social media, but unfortunately, when these cyclical storms get going, those voices are constantly drowned out.

If you are a young person who is still malleable and subject to having your mind changed, and you decide to engage with socially liberal politics online, what are you going to learn immediately? Everything that you like is problematic. Every musician you like is misogynist. Every movie you like is secretly racist. Every cherished public figure has some deeply disqualifying characteristics.  All of your victories are the product of privilege. Everyone you know and love who does not yet speak with the specialized vocabulary of today’s social justice movement is a bad, bad person. That is no way to build a broader coalition, which we desperately need if we’re going to win.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Midwest Voting Booth: Reintroducing the Efficient Referenda Amendment on: March 19, 2015, 05:29:09 am
Aye
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