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August 31, 2014, 03:20:51 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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76  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Simple Truths Silver Mine on: August 25, 2014, 04:21:43 am
Americans should be banned on commenting on the politics of other countries until they've past a test.
77  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is this post racially insensitive? on: August 25, 2014, 04:11:18 am
It most definitely is, yes - though I'm sure Scott didn't intend it to be.
78  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 05:28:07 pm
Black people and white people are different culturally.

This is a silly generalisation. Black people and white people are not homogenous groups; I know you know there may be white people who are "culturally" closer to blacks than other whites and vice versa.

Yeah, obviously I agree that Scott's words were silly and full of pretty awful implications, these kind of generalizations are VERY problematic themselves. Generally one should avoid sentences like "[insert racial group] are X".
79  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 03:58:49 pm
The whole idea of moving away to live in a dorm for college seems to be largely an American phenomenon, yes (Canada too?).

How else would you do it, unless you happen to live near a decent school that suits you?

You generally buy an apartment in the city where the university is located. Or you accept to have a 1-hour commute time, as I did. Wink

That's what I had assumed. But, Christ, an hour? I thought didn't tolerate that nonsense over there.

I had a pretty hard time getting used to it, but I eventually did. Over a week, this actually adds up to about 8-10 more hours lost, which is a lot considering that the typical academic class-time is of about 20 hours. On the other hands, having parents around saves me countless more hours (think cooking, etc.). Wink
80  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 03:18:25 pm
The whole idea of moving away to live in a dorm for college seems to be largely an American phenomenon, yes (Canada too?).

How else would you do it, unless you happen to live near a decent school that suits you?

You generally buy an apartment in the city where the university is located. Or you accept to have a 1-hour commute time, as I did. Wink
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 02:53:06 pm
You go to Sciences Po?! I did not know that!

Really? I think I mentioned it quite a few times throughout the past few years.
82  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 02:32:04 pm
Just throwing this out there, but I'd never be able to have a roommate. Even if he was a decent guy and not one of the 100 kinds of assholes that you find in college, I probably wouldn't be able to cohabit with a complete stranger in such a small space. I really need my privacy.

Aren't you still in college?  Do they let you opt out of having a roommate or something?

Like most French universities, Sciences Po doesn't have dorms. I still live in my parent's house. And in SF, I expressly asked for a single room and got it.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 24, 2014, 02:10:26 pm
Just throwing this out there, but I'd never be able to have a roommate. Even if he was a decent guy and not one of the 100 kinds of assholes that you find in college, I probably wouldn't be able to cohabit with a complete stranger in such a small space. I really need my privacy.
84  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: August 24, 2014, 01:04:24 pm
Are people still following this? Just checking. Wink
Yes! Great work! Smiley

Of coursse we are.

Yes we're eagerly awaiting North Texas! Cheesy

Great to know! Smiley Sorry about the insecurity. Tongue

BTW, I've decided to rename North Texas Jefferson (as there was an actual attempt to create such a State from western TX) instead, as North Texas was pretty lame. The update on it is coming soon! Smiley
85  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (4) - A Dream of Spring) on: August 24, 2014, 11:27:29 am
Also,

Lord Galbert Glover is hereby appointed to represent the North in the High Council of the Commonwealth. He shall assume his duties as soon as the Commonwealth's governing devices begin operating.
86  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: "Death to the Jews"... on: August 24, 2014, 11:13:00 am
The idiots who think there is no racism in France are the same idiots who claim there is no racism in the US (that is, most of them are either racists themselves or people who play on racism for political gain).
87  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (4) - A Dream of Spring) on: August 24, 2014, 10:45:02 am
So I guess I have earned my little victory speech / badass boast. Wink

"Northmen! Through two long years, we have suffered the hardships of war, cold and misery. When we rose up to avenge my father, to proclaim our sovereignty to the Continent, southerners laughed at us. They who knew nothing but the luxuries of summer, they ridiculed our memories of the Long Night. They who spent their days devising elaborate conspiracies against each other, they despised us for our honesty and our love of justice. But today, they laugh no more. Today, every single person in Westeros knows the price to be paid for insulting the North. As winter was about to start we all left our homes for the battlefield. We had little money, little training, and mediocre weapons, but we derived our strength from our courage and the assurance that our struggle was a rightful one. Facing shrewd, treacherous enemies, we proudly harbored our honesty as a banner. May our triumph prove for the generations to come that those who fight with honor for a just cause can, and will, prevail over the ruthless forces of greed. The North now stands tall, as a free and independent kingdom, and shall cooperate with the other realms of Westeros to preserve peace and ensure domestic tranquility under Lord Daemon's guidance. We look forward to partaking in this never-ending task, as respected equals. And although my family and I will always mourn the loss of the great Eddard Stark, we Northmen now can be sure that he did not die in vain."
88  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - September 14, 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: August 24, 2014, 05:25:45 am
We're kind of far from Denmark. For better and worse, I guess.

For better.

Don't worry Denmark was where Sweden is in the late 80ties and early 90ties, and what you see in Denmark today are the counterreaction to that. So Sweden can look forward toward 20-30 years of the Danish debate. It will be hilarious.

Indeed, rabid xenophobia is so hilarious... Roll Eyes
89  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: August 24, 2014, 05:23:10 am
Are people still following this? Just checking. Wink
90  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Previous Poster's Signature Thread on: August 24, 2014, 03:51:26 am
for god's sake please take it down
91  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which U.S. President do you most closely identify with? on: August 24, 2014, 03:41:05 am
Obama, obviously.
92  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Upworthy on: August 24, 2014, 03:32:34 am
Freedom site (abnormal).
93  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this cartoon on: August 24, 2014, 03:28:09 am
Excellent point. We let Assad slaughter the democratic opposition for years when we could have allowed them to prevail fairly easily against both Islamists and Assad. The West's cowardice had terrible consequences.
94  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is it a coincidence that pro-opebo people and the Update crowd largely overlap? on: August 23, 2014, 02:40:52 pm

The irony of someone like Mr. X calling anything "horrible" is rich.

rich from someone who supports sweatshops
95  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your relationship with your siblings like? on: August 23, 2014, 02:29:57 pm
I have a younger brother who's 19. We mostly get along well, though he has grown somewhat cold and distant over the last couple years (impossible to have serious discussions, sometimes hard to discuss at all). Anyway he's generally nice, cool, fairly smart (and works harder than I'll ever be able to), and he generally manages his life much better than I do. My parents say he looks up to me, but I see no reason why he should.
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is it a coincidence that pro-opebo people and the Update crowd largely overlap? on: August 23, 2014, 02:16:52 pm
(there's even a great meme on it)

I have to say, a few of these describe me perfectly. Tongue Not most of them fortunately (I almost never miss classes, I take courses moderately seriously, and I generally do my best in exams / term papers) but the whole procrastinating thing is spot on. Tongue
97  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is it a coincidence that pro-opebo people and the Update crowd largely overlap? on: August 23, 2014, 01:54:42 pm
Nope. Horrible groups tend to overlap.
98  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: August 23, 2014, 01:32:46 pm
Rio Grande

Aside from being the least populous (though the fastest growing since the 80s), this is probably the most interesting of the three States formed out of old Texas. It is probably the most diverse and complex, as it combines several disparate areas: the Hispanic-dominated lands along the river that gives its name to the State, but also the major cities of Austin and San Antonio and their metropolitan areas, and many suburban and rural counties around these cities and on the Gulf Coast. The importance of these (obviously conservative) areas should not be understated, as they make Rio Grande much less Democratic than one would assume. In fact, since 1996, the State has always been more Republican than the nation as a whole (at least in Presidential politics).

RG Presidential election results, 1960-2012:


Of course, even a quick look at this chart makes it clear that RG is consistently the most Democratic-leaning of the three States. In fact, only three Republicans carried it over the observed period, all of whom prevailed in the Electoral College (Nixon, Reagan twice, and W. Bush twice). In the 1960s, this lean was particularly evident: Kennedy trounced Nixon, LBJ won over two thirds of the vote, and even HHH managed to win an absolute majority (and Wallace's very low percentage makes it very clear that there's nothing Southern about this State). Carter still distanced Ford by a double-digit margin and performed somewhat decently against Reagan, but his former VP got more or less crushed by the latter in 1984. Rio Grande's last Democratic bravado was narrowly voting for Dukakis, certainly thanks to his running mate Lloyd Bentsen, a favorite son of the area. However, since the 1990s, the State has actually experienced a pronounced Republican trend. Clinton carried it both times, but his margins of victory were far from exceptional, and in the early 2000s Rio Grande backed Bush decisively. It is only under Obama that the trend has apparently begun reversing itself, but even today the State can best be characterized as a swing State.

In 2012, Obama beat Romney by 3.2 points in the State, slightly less than his 3.9 national margin of victory. The election map provides a pretty good illustration of the geographic contrast that structures Rio Grande's politics:



Unsurprisingly, Obama's narrow victory rests heavily on the Hispanic border counties, a growing and increasingly crucial constituency which now regularly gives more than 70% of its votes to the Democrats. However, despite appearances, this border region is too sparsely populated to alone sway the State's politics. Instead, the tip of the balance is generally provided by the urban areas of San Antonio and Austin. While RG isn't utterly dominated by a huge megalopolis like Texas and (spoiler alert!) Jefferson are, these two areas together nonetheless contain about 40% of the State's population. Massive Democratic trends in both these areas (especially Austin's) is what allowed Democrats to come back into the game in the Obama years. In 2000, Bush won 47% in Austin's Travis County (Nader took over 10% there, allowing Bush to prevail) and 52% in San Antonio's Bexar County. Twelve years later, Obama beat Romney 60-36 in the former and 51-47 in the latter. The two cities have clearly realigned themselves toward the Democrats, making up for the lost ground among white rural or suburban voters. Still, these trends have so far produced only narrow Democratic leads, which could easily be reversed in a more Republican-leaning environment (or in State-level politics, when turnout may be lower and Democratic candidates less appealing).

Capital: For once the most populous city, San Antonio, works perfectly, being located fairly close to the population center.

Governor: Lamar Smith isn't a perfect choice, but he's the most fitting pick I can think of. In a year like 2010, the GOP would only need to field a half-decent candidate to win. However, he's probably looking up to a tough challenge in 2014.

Senators: Julian Castro (class 1) and John Cornyn (class 3)

Representatives: Unsurprisingly for a State of such tradition, local Democratic strength in Rio Grande far surpasses their national results. In fact, extrapolating from Texas HoR districts, it appears that Democrats would hold something like a 2/3 majority in the RG State Legislature. With a Republican governor, this means a fair redistricting would be possible (though again, incumbent protection or other sorts of awful deals have an equal chance of happening). However, it's hard to see in which direction things would change. Under the current (presumably R-gerrymandered) map, Democrats hold 7 seats in a State that would have 11. One could again credit the strength of local Democrats, but in fact, Obama won 6 districts as well. Does that mean that Dems would hold even more seats under a fair map? Or did the TXGOP draw a dummymander? Only some toying with DRA could give us the answer (and it's up to you guys!). Still, I will conservatively settle for the status quo, namely a 7D-4R split.
99  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Star Trek on: August 23, 2014, 11:00:47 am
Antonio: Glad you found Next Gen! Haha, "Code of Honor" is objectively horrible, as is "Angel One." While Gene was noted for "progressivism," both of those are pretty regressive, I'd say, and just objectively atrocious social commentary. Unintentionally funny and amusing is the best that can be said about them. "Heart of Glory" was great, though.

I wouldn't call Angel One horrible, just depressingly half-assed. They got a good premise, had characters that could have made it convincing... and decided that instead of showing what the premise would result in, they decided to just waste minutes talking about stuff we barely or never actually experience onscreen. It's all one giant Informed Attribute-fest. To be honest, I think "sexy suit" idea is the only thing they got right - it looks ridiculous, but that was the point (just like, as any woman will tell you, the amount of fanservice in ads and popular culture looks utterly ridiculous). But even then, they wasted everything by having Riker be just totally fine with it (missing the whole point of depicting a matriarchy) and the president-leader-whatever be just so eager to see what a "strong man" looks like. It's not inherently bad, it's just one giant missed opportunity.

Code of Honor is obviously a disgrace, I actually had a hard time believing they were able to pull that off, even in the 1980s. I read that the guy who was responsible for it got fired soon after though, so I guess the staff got a clue.
100  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Star Trek on: August 23, 2014, 08:46:18 am
Wesley is sometimes naive though, for example in that episode about that virtual-reality game which Riker brings back from Risa and Wesley says: "Why would anyone take drugs ? I don't understand this."

It was even more forced in Season 1's Symbiosis, if you can recall the scene between Yar and Wesley. You have to keep in mind that that was at the height of the "Just Say No" era. (I'd say the message was apparent in The Naked Now as well.)

Honestly, I found the treatment of drug addiction in Symbiosis to be quite good compared to the "Just Say No" propaganda I've seen everywhere in 80s media. It's refreshing to at least see the issue explored under the light of economic interests and exploitation for once, rather than getting once again the usual petty-bourgeois moralistic tale based on idiotic notions of personal virtue. The plot could have been much improved of course, but it's definitely not your "Just Say No" episode. Obviously, The Naked Now was just worthless padding.


I'm glad you've started watching and enjoying the show. You don't have to worry about character development; that'll happen over time. Tasha Yar was written out of the show because the actress who player her (Denise Crosby) wanted to quit the show. Season 2 will have some considerable changes: Riker's appearance, Ten-Forward, and the introduction of Dr. Pulaski and Guinan (the latter played excellently by Whoopi Goldberg). Just wait until you get to Q Who.

I'm SO looking forward to all this! Cheesy From what you guys are saying about season 3 and on, it's really going to be a unique experience. Q Who is the episode that introduces the Borg right? If so, I really can't wait. I first discovered Star Trek with the First Contact movie (and I was a kid!), so let's just say I really love the Borg. I can't wait to see Picard struggling with them once again, before he became as cynical and desperate as we see him in First contact.

From what I read on TV Tropes, Crosby left because she thought her character didn't have much to do, which is a shame because the premise for it was fairly interesting.
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