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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: February 19, 2024, 06:02:38 PM »
As I pointed out a couple of years ago, the Corn Pop story has been corroborated. Intuitively you feel that it isn't true, but the evidence shows that it actually is. Not a great start if that's Exhibit A of Biden's supposed mental incompetence.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: February 17, 2024, 01:29:08 AM »
Well, you said it made sense for Biden not to drop out. It doesn't.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: February 16, 2024, 04:47:08 PM »
Sitting presidents generally aren't primaried at all, to say nothing of the unique degree of loyalty and devotion that Trump's fans show him, so it makes no sense to compare this to other primaries to begin with. Obviously this is a unique situation. Your other point seems to more concerned with some imaginary game of saving face rather than winning the election. Refusing to address an obvious weakness simply because your opponent has already identified that weakness and you don't want to admit that they were right is insanity.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: February 13, 2024, 11:15:03 PM »
Oh my God, Dave, just let it go. These tête-à-têtes with him never go anywhere.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: February 12, 2024, 05:27:17 AM »
Oh no, they publicly displayed the DNC's very weird emails where you learned that the DNC was corrupt! Good thing you made sure to just get mad at Russia about it instead of trying to fix any corruption.

That's completely irrelevant and you know it. Putin did not target the DNC and release their emails out of a sense of altruism or opposition to corruption. He did it to pursue his own political agenda, one that happens to be deeply hostile to America and its interests. That's election interference. The fact that you personally don't care about it and don't think it should be a crime (something that you have in common with Trump) doesn't change the fact that it is a crime and it is something that this nation takes very seriously.

The bummer is that Biden doesn't have immunity to send Seal Team Six to assassinate traitorous insurrectionist who collaborate with enemies to subvert our democracy.

The cool part is that Trump's idiotic argument got shot down and he only has a couple of weeks to find a lawyer and mount an appeal to the supreme court.

The final form of the propaganda lemming: I should be able to KILL politicians I don't personally like!

Very sane and normal, lmao.

He's obviously making a reductio ad absurdum argument about Trump's claim that the president should have full and total immunity for anything they do while in office. If you want to laugh at anyone, laugh at Trump, because it's his argument. Not that Trump seriously expects this argument to prevail in court, of course. It's clearly just a delay tactic for him, and so far it seems to be working quite well. All he has to do is hold out until he's reelected, and then he can make the federal charges go away and safely ignore the state charges.

I'm starting to like Nikki Haley.
Apparently Trump made a jab about how her husband isn't with her on the camapign trail.  To which she replies:

“Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief.”

I'd love to see those two on a debate stage.  She'd eat him alive.

Also, Trump's research team needs to step up their game cause they should have told him before he said it (if that was possible).

I'm sure Trump knew perfectly well where Michael was. He's just playing to his base, who love it when Trump goes low. They love it when he's cruel, when he's petty, when he's selfish, when he's racist, when he's misogynistic, and when he attacks people who are far more principled than him. And while you might say that you like Haley now, it's only a matter of time before she, like all the other Republicans who once criticized or opposed Trump, pledges fealty to him, kisses his ring, and does everything in her power to defend Trump, shield him from accountability, and enact his garbage policies. And Trump will reward her for this the same way he rewards all his allies - by publicly stabbing her in the back and using her as a scapegoat the moment he thinks it'll be to his advantage to do so.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: February 07, 2024, 08:13:04 PM »
Of course America has sent tons of aid to Ukraine overall, but the point is that in recent months, the GOP have suddenly become opposed to sending Ukraine further aid. It's not a coincidence that this radical shift in opinion is occurring as Trump is once more capturing the hearts and minds of Republican voters. The GOP are abandoning Ukraine so they can appeal to Trump, and Trump's opposition to sending Ukraine aid is, as his political opinions usually are, an entirely personal whim on his part rather than an informed decision. Putin flatters Trump and caters to his fragile ego, and so Trump decides that therefore America mustn't do anything against Putin's interests, and the GOP promptly follows suit.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: February 05, 2024, 03:36:26 AM »
Rebel Moon (Zack Snyder, 2023)

Zack Snyder's latest auteur piece begins with this fantastic image, and I immediately knew that I was in for a treat:

Rebel Moon, or to give it its full title, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is a fascinatingly bad movie. From a screenwriting perspective, it does everything wrong. Every line of dialogue is weird, stilted, and inhuman. Every line of exposition is clumsy and ham-fisted. Every character is a stock archetype. Every plot event is a cliché. Every individual scene appears to essentially be a pastiche or a blatant rip-off of a scene from another, better movie - and to be clear, being derivative isn't inherently a bad thing. Star Wars, Snyder's biggest influence for this movie, is famously derivative. But if you're going to take it to such an extreme that you're putting a scene from another movie into your movie, then there should be a good reason why you need that scene in your movie. The scene should contribute meaningfully to making your movie better in a way that wouldn't have been possible if you hadn't used that scene. Snyder's thought process, however, seems to have begun and ended with, "Hey, this was a cool scene; it'll be a cool scene in my movie too," and that's just not good enough. It makes the movie look less like a cohesive whole and more like a patchwork quilt of lifted scenes.

It isn't just the screenplay at fault here, though. The movie is shockingly ugly for a director whose movies you could always count on to at least look good. Snyder did the cinematography for this film himself, and the result is that while his visual style is still present, what used to look provocative and stylish now just looks ugly and out of focus. Another one of Snyder's strengths that ends up diminished in this movie is the action, mainly because of Snyder's constant use of slow motion. I don't know why Snyder keeps using slow motion more and more in his movies. In his earlier movies, he understood that it could be used effectively to emphasize impacts or other key moments. Nowadays, he just seems to think that the more slow motion he adds to any given scene, the better the scene is. As a result, virtually every action scene in this movie is mostly in slow motion. Someone falling is in slow motion. Someone firing a gun is in slow motion. Someone running is in slow motion. It's surprisingly difficult to mentally keep track of how an action scene is playing out when everything is slowed down, and more importantly, if everything is emphasized, then nothing is really emphasized. That seems like a really basic concept of directing to me.

Another baffling decision for this movie is how Snyder handles the flashback scenes. The main character, Kora, has a dark and troubled past as a soldier in this setting's brutal Warhammer 40K-style military regime (they even call it the "Imperium"), and a couple of lengthy flashbacks show what her life was like back then. All well and good - but then for some reason the movie apparently forgets that it's already showing us what's happening and Kora just starts talking over the flashbacks and explaining her life story to the audience in the most dull, undisguised exposition imaginable. Again, we are already seeing these flashbacks, we are already being shown the relevant information, and then Snyder just goes, nah, we can't trust the audience to make sense of what they're seeing, better add some commentary to spell it all out for them. This is such bad, bad filmmaking. You don't do that! You don't sit the viewer down and fucking talk at them for minutes on end for no better reason than to deliver some exposition, and especially not when you don't even need to because you already have a scene that's showing the viewer the relevant information anyway! This is very obvious, very basic storytelling. Show, don't tell. It's so elementary that it's a cliché. How does Snyder not know this?

The basic plot structure of the movie feels like a video game, and that's not a compliment. The heroes travel throughout the universe looking for people to join their rebellion against the Imperium. Every person they meet has their own unique little scene, either an action scene where they show off what they can do or a dramatic scene where they reveal more about themselves, before they join forces with the heroes and then more or less fade from the movie altogether, only emerging for the occasional group shot or odd line of dialogue. I'm reminded of nothing so much as playing a party-based RPG and only seeing the characters that you don't put in your party in between missions. A relatively minor change would have made the setup much, much better - just have the heroes ask each character they recruit to meet up with them on the planet they were protecting at a certain time, they go their separate ways, and then the conclusion where the characters arrive at the planet would also be a reunion, ending the movie and setting the stage for the next part of the duology on a much stronger, more dramatic note. It would still be a bad movie, of course, because of all the other shit in it, but we'd at least be spared the awkwardness of the new recruits tagging along after the heroes with nothing to do.

I've said before that focusing on "plot holes" or general sort of "why did they do this/why did this happen" critiques is inherently very weak, very superficial film criticism, and its rise in popularity in recent years is genuinely one of the worst things that the rise of social media and the increasing prominence of fandom has done to film. I can't resist pointing out that there are plenty of bewildering examples of inexplicable plot events and character decisions in this movie that'll jump out at you even if you're not looking for them, but fair is fair - they're trivial nitpicks in comparison to the movie's fundamental, material problems, and so I won't dwell on them. The one nitpick I will focus on simply because of how incredibly distracting I found it is how obviously young this movie's Palpatine analogue is:

Zack, if you're going to insist on casting an actor in his thirties to play the adoptive father of a character played by Sofia Boutella (this actor is in fact a few years younger than Boutella), then you've got to do a better job with makeup. Giving this guy a silly fake beard with gray flecks in it just isn't convincing when we can clearly see his babyface underneath it. I know this is the nitpickiest of nitpicks, but it's so amateurish and distracting.

There are not one, but two scenes of sexual assault in this movie, and this is genuinely one element of the movie that I didn't enjoy even ironically. It really feels like Snyder is well behind the curve on this subject. In a time when high-profile films and TV shows are putting more and more effort into treating the subject of sexual assault more delicately and responsibly, such as by putting the emphasis on the victim rather than the hero who saves her or avoiding depicting it onscreen when possible, Snyder comes along like a bull in a china shop and whips out the old trope in exactly the same hacky, dated way that he always has, the same way that pop culture has largely moved past by now. I'm not going to preach or lecture to anyone, but a depiction of sexual assault in this day and age that's as nasty and prolonged as this one comes across as deeply insensitive, and I can't help suspecting that it was deliberately provocative on Snyder's part, as doubling down on controversial elements of his movies in an attempt to defiantly ram them into his critics' faces is something that he's done in the past on more than one occasion.

That last detail aside, I actually really enjoyed Rebel Moon. This might actually be Snyder's first so-bad-it's-good movie, at least for me, because he gets everything so perfectly wrong. Unlike in his previous movies, there are no good acting performances or striking action scenes to dilute the badness on display. It's just a pure, unfiltered disaster, and I was riveted from start to finish. I don't know if anyone here would really be interested in this movie based on what I've said - are Crudblud and Snupes still watching bad movies together? They might like it! - but for me, I honestly can't wait for the upcoming second part and extended version of this movie.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: February 03, 2024, 04:47:28 AM »
If you mean by "successfully manipulated" he avoided doing anything while Trump was president. Putin repeatedly said he didn't want to perform any major actions while Trump was president because he felt Trump "didn't understand the details of geopolitics". In other words, Putin watched Trump kill an Iranian general in response to a single American death and knew Trump would overreact to Ukraine. Putin waited until a weaker leader like Biden got into office, then invaded Ukraine, knowing Biden wouldn't do anything.


inb4 "Biden giving old outdated weapons to Ukraine is definitely doing something!" and "Putin planned the invasion while Trump was president!" even though the buildup didn't start until after Biden won.

It is beyond sophomoric to try and boil foreign policy down simply to whether or not one country went to war with another. Most countries are not currently at war. Most countries very seldom go to war. It's a very poor exclusive metric for studying foreign policy. Neither of us can know for sure what Putin's long-term plans are or how they've changed over the years, but for you to assume that Trump's multiple public instances of taking Putin's side over his own agencies and soaking up of Putin's flattery meant nothing to how either of them conducted their foreign policy and that it was only Trump's strength (lol) that kept Putin from invading Ukraine is far-fetched on the face of it, and sounds like speculation calculated to show Trump in the best possible light.

Yes, Trump said Putin was very, very smart. He also said Kim Jong was very, very smart. He also said Ted Cruz was very, very smart. Trump says it about literally everyone he wants something from.

He says it about literally everyone he gets something from. It's not a negotiating tactic on his part; it seems to be how he genuinely feels about anyone who butters him up or does him a favor, at least for a short length of time. And that's not a good sign for any leader, or any regular adult, for that matter. We do not want a president who's this susceptible to flattery. Who knows what Trump has told or given to Putin in their secret meetings that other people weren't allowed to attend, and who knows what he'll continue to tell or give him if he's reelected?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: February 02, 2024, 02:44:11 AM »

Winning bigly.

Trump is actually winning 1 - 0 on these sex lawsuits after all appeals are concluded. As I recall you guys spent years gloating over this person.

Now this is clever. You bring up Stormy Daniels in general terms, and then post a screenshot regarding her defamation lawsuit against Trump being dismissed. In this way, you're implying - not outright stating, but very heavily implying - that all the hubbub about Daniels can be chalked up to this one lawsuit which has been dismissed. It's extremely disingenuous on your part, but it is clever, so I'll admit I'm impressed. Anyway, in case anyone here needs a reminder, the big deal regarding Daniels isn't her defamation lawsuit, it's the illegal hush money payment to her that Trump is currently being prosecuted for, and that Michael Cohen has already gone to prison over. Trump probably won't be convicted of it, because politicians have a long history of successfully blaming crimes that benefited them and that they almost certainly ordered or at least were complicit in on their underlings. To be sure, Trump's story that Cohen apparently chose to spend $130,000 of his own money and break the law entirely for Trump's benefit, but Trump himself knew nothing of this, is laughably untrue, but the way trials work is that the prosecution do have to present the evidence that proves the defendant guilty and can't just say that the defendant is guilty because obviously the defendant is guilty, even if everyone knows that the defendant really is obviously guilty. That's how George W. Bush got away with blaming the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent on Scooter Libby, and how Chris Christie got away with blaming the deliberate blocking of a highway of a mayor who didn't endorse him in an election on two staffers who undoubtedly had no idea that their boss would throw them under the bus if and when their crime eventually came to light. Anyway, assuming that Trump will be acquitted, this prosecution will still be a nice permanent stain on his record. Anyone can file a lawsuit, but a full-blown criminal prosecution is the kind of thing that clings to you even long after the fact.

So, everything regarding the entire story of RUSSIA. RUSsia, russia, is equivalent to a blade of grass behind a pane of glass.
I dunno.
Trump really likes Putin.  And Putin loves Trump.

Let's be clear on this point, especially given Action80's response to this. There is no genuine friendship or camaraderie between Trump and Putin. Trump probably thinks there is, but to Putin, Trump is nothing more than a useful idiot, someone he can easily twist and manipulate into saying and doing what he wants through flattery and favors. He successfully manipulated Trump many times while he was in office, and if Trump is reelected, he'll undoubtedly do so again.

The Right didn't get Claudine Gay fired. The Right piled on because they assumed that she was a leftist. But it was really the Left that did her in. Bill Ackman mentioned from the MSNBC segment, for example, is a Democrat. She was too conservative for their liking and they didn't like her politics. This is the primary reason she was targeted.

Politico admits that it was the Left that did her in - - "The Right Is Dancing on Claudine Gay’s Grave. But It Was the Center-Left That Did Her In. -- Her fate was decided by folks on the center-left and the left. The only things conservatives had to do was fan the flames."

While the article does make a few good points about the underlying politics involved, the main argument is essentially a quibble based on the fact that it wasn't conservatives who directly fired or demanded the resignation of Gay. Of course only the leadership of Harvard could do that. The involvement from conservatives that people have been criticizing in this case is the manipulation - the fact that right-wing grifters like Rufo managed to trick the media into treating this like headline news for weeks, leading to Gay's eventual resignation. If the point the author was making is that grifters like Rufo only have whatever power the media or the other institutions they try to manipulate let them have, then fair enough, but framing it in this "gotcha" way is very disingenuous on their part.

Gay resigned because a dishonest grifter and right-wing political operative named Christopher Rufo openly manipulated the media and the political establishment into treating this case like it was a super big deal deserving of several weeks' worth of headline news. Rufo is the same grifter who spearheaded the recent right-wing hostile movements against "critical race theory" and trans rights. For all his dishonesty, he is open about his manipulative tactics and the fact that he doesn't care about educational standards, the safety of children, or, as in this case, plagiarism. Rufo targeted Rufo because he felt it would suit his Zionist, right-wing agenda to punish a university president he saw as not being harsh enough on pro-Palestinian protests, and also to send an anti-"DEI" message (that little buzzword suddenly being all the rage on the right is also Rufo's work) by ending the career of a black, female university president. You don't have to take my word for it. Take Rufo's. Here he is explaining to a media outlet that he's openly manipulating them for his own partisan ends:

Interestingly enough, Rufo deviates from his usual try-and-stop-me transparency by trying to downplay the role that Gay's race played in this story, apparently forgetting that in his answer to the preceding question, he had already admitted that this was all related to his primary objective to "eliminate the DEI bureaucracy." Because Gay is a black woman.

If you want to stick your fingers and pretend that this was all an organic concern that just happened to become nationally topical, then I'll give you a quick answer: Sure, she should resign. Plagiarism isn't tolerated from students, and a university president should be held to a far higher standard than any student is. But I'm not going to pretend that this was organic. To me, the fact that a cynical, dishonest political grifter continues to successfully manipulate the media (and by extension, all of us) into achieving his partisan goals is a far bigger and more worrying problem in this country than whether or not a university president is a plagiarist.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: January 01, 2024, 05:42:00 AM »
A small handful of hecklers met up with each other to scream at Biden once he stepped outside a building. Yes, this really tells us a lot about Biden and not about the dozen or so weirdos who went to all this time and effort to arrange a scene where they would get to yell abuse at Biden together for a few seconds on camera. I don't doubt the passion of Trump supporters. They passionately worship Trump and passionately hate anyone he tells them to hate with an ardor that goes well, well, well beyond anything you'd see from normal people. What they fundamentally don't seem to understand, though, is that their passion doesn't translate into extra numbers for them. No matter how earnestly, how fervently, how devotedly they adore Trump and despise his opponents, they still don't count as more than one person each with only one vote each - and only one voice each, in the case of this video.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: December 28, 2023, 05:02:50 AM »


Also, while I don't mean to pick on Snyder too much while he's not even directing capeshit movies, there was an interesting profile of him the other day in The Atlantic that I felt was worth sharing. It's a good read, but there are a couple of details here that I couldn't help raising an eyebrow at:

In fact, he’s one reason so many blockbusters look and sound the way they do: Snyder helped establish the template for comic-book movies as they evolved from summertime popcorn fare into ubiquitous year-round spectacles.

Uh, did he really? Snyder only directed one particularly successful blockbuster in the previous cinematic era, which was 300. That one movie is kind of a slim basis to be giving him this much credit.

“There’s no superhero science-fiction film coming out these days where I don’t see some influence of Zack,” Christopher Nolan, the Oppenheimer director who has worked with Snyder as a producer, told me. “When you watch a Zack Snyder film, you see and feel his love for the potential of cinema. The potential of it to be fantastical, to be heightened in its reality, but to move you and to excite you.”

Wait, what? What the actual fuck is he talking about? Every single capeshit movie nowadays is influenced by Snyder? I honestly can't think of even one capeshit movie that's been influenced by Snyder. I will say that there's no doubt that BvS was a huge negative influence on the genre in much the same way that Batman and Robin was all those years ago, but somehow I doubt that's what Nolan is referring to. I get that Nolan and Snyder are close friends and of course he's going to want to say something nice about his bro, but why would he say something so weirdly specific and so blatantly, obviously untrue?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 27, 2023, 06:29:22 AM »
"The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is denied." Seems obvious to me.

I don't know what it is that seems obvious to you, and I don't know what new information you emphasizing the words "before judgment" is supposed to give me.

If it wasn't a material fact, then the jackass top-notch federal prosecutor would not have treated it such. So, it must be material.

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the actual facts of the case in which Trump answers for the crimes that he has been charged with, not about a far-fetched claim of absolute immunity from prosecution as a general thing. There's a world of difference between Trump saying "I'm not guilty of these charges because what actually happened was..." and Trump saying "You don't have the right to prosecute me to begin with." The former is related to the facts of the case, and Trump is absolutely entitled to make any such argument in his own way and in his own time. The latter is not related to the facts of the case. It's just Trump saying that he's above the law, and it's obviously a delay tactic rather than a sincere argument.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 27, 2023, 04:36:49 AM »
Are you stating for the record the responsible persons found at all levels in the judicial halls of the US are incapable of preventing litigants from "gaming the legal system"?

Incapable, no, but certainly unwilling. Obviously, there's no way any of us can know for certain the SC's motivations for declining to rule on this issue, but I'd be willing to bet that they're simply trying to avoid being involved in the whole ordeal, or at least put off their eventual involvement for as long as they can. They've got Trump supporters on one side and Trump opponents on the other, and either of the two decisions they could potentially make will be enormously controversial and are guaranteed to make a lot of people very angry with them.

Last I checked, when you are charged, you are required to provide a plea and then the judgment comes down, not seeking any portion of a decision regarding material fact prior, such as what the jackass top-notch prosecutor was seeking when he tried to "game the legal system."

The question of whether or not the president is immune from prosecution for crimes committed while in office is not a "material fact" of the case; it's a pointless diversion and a waste of time. The answer is no. We already know that the answer is no. I'm not even asking if you agree with me on this, because I already know that you do. Virtually everyone in the world would agree that of course the president is not and should not be above the law. What Trump's trials are about - like what any trial is about - are the facts of the specific cases. What he's alleged to have done, what his side of the story is, and so on. Not some nonsense about "gee, maybe we just shouldn't be able to prosecute the president at all, that sounds like a good idea."

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 26, 2023, 04:23:46 PM »
No, Trump isn't responsible for this specific decision, but he is responsible for delaying his trial in the hopes of being elected president before he can be convicted, and part of that strategy is his claiming presidential immunity. Wrangling over this subject is not "the required steps" or "the required process" for prosecuting Trump. It's an absurd idea to begin with. Of course the president shouldn't be immune to prosecution for crimes committed while in office. This is only a legal question because Trump demanded that it be, and he only demanded that it be, again, to help him try to run out the clock. Deliberately gaming the legal system is not due process, and trying to avoid such a tactic is not circumventing due process.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 26, 2023, 02:39:17 PM »
You have a very broad definition of "due process" if you think it includes deliberately delaying a decision from the SC that it almost certainly will be making at some point anyway. Trump has the right to a fair trial. I don't think that he has the right to run the clock out by delaying every step of the legal process until he's once more elected president and beyond the prosecution's power. That's not justice.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 24, 2023, 04:55:03 AM »
Clearly, the only solution is for the Democrats to replace Biden on the ballot shortly before the election
with whom tho

Any Democratic politician with a decent record of their own, and yet isn't so high-profile that they've attracted relentless attacks from Republicans on the national level. Someone like, say, Andy Beshear, the surprisingly popular governor of Kentucky.

How can a supposed "delay, delay, delay strategy," exercised by Trump possibly = a shit-ass argument posed by a top-notch federal prosecutor by the name of Jack Smith? Are you now claiming that Jack Smith is one of the "deplorables"?

I simply can't parse this sentence. Could you please rephrase?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 20, 2023, 10:07:46 PM »
Clearly, the only solution is for the Democrats to replace Biden on the ballot shortly before the election and not allow Republicans to run a lengthy negative campaign against them.

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