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Messages - honk

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1
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: Today at 04:37:04 PM »
The result? Trump actually ended up winning and the DNC screeched about "Russian interference" for the past four years. Ironically, it was the Democrats that had enormous trouble accepting their loss (and still do).

The investigation into Russian interference began before the election and was dutifully continued and even expanded under Trump's administration, with all three branches of government firmly under Republican control. It had nothing to do with Democrats or the DNC beyond them being vocally supportive of such an investigation, and has already proved its merit through the large number of indictments it racked up. I agree with you that there's no real danger of Trump clinging to power if he loses. His term of office expires on January 20th, and his approval or cooperation is not a required part of the transfer of power. But it's ridiculous to characterize the Russian investigation as some sort of Democrat-spawned spiteful refusal to accept loss.

2
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Joe Biden is winning by a landslide
« on: September 24, 2020, 05:38:56 PM »
My father didn't threaten another nation and try to blackmail them in order to get me a job in a chocolate factory.

Also, you are looking for your next President. Why the hell aren't you concerned with principles?

For a Trump fan to complain about principles is laughable. Trump is easily the most unscrupulous, unprincipled, and shameless president we've had since at least Andrew Jackson. He's cheated on his wives numerous times, bragged about supposedly stealing other men's girlfriends, has a long history of making lewd, demeaning, and racist remarks, regularly stiffed local contractors for the money he owed them, and bankrupted his businesses so that he could personally profit at the expense of everyone else multiple times. He pointedly refused to divest himself from his businesses so that he could continue making money off of them at taxpayer expense, and has also refused to release his tax returns so that we could see how much money he's making and from whom it's coming.

There's no doubt that Hunter Biden is an unqualified fuckwit who was hired for his name. But there's no evidence that Joe Biden encouraged or asked for his hiring, and to tie it into America's demands that Viktor Shokin be fired doesn't make any sense. The concern with Shokin was that he was stonewalling or dragging out his investigations into corruption, including the one into Burisma. If Biden was trying to protect his son, and by extension Burisma, then why would he be demanding the removal of someone who had also protected Burisma? The narrative falls apart. Shokin only started claiming that he actually totally was investigating Burisma and that's why Biden wanted him out in 2019, when he recognized that he had an ally in the Trump administration. He's obviously lying, and I'd feel comfortable making that assessment even if we didn't have plenty of documentary evidence and witness testimony (which we do) making it clear that, no, he wasn't investigating Burisma vigilantly. In any case, this is all concerning activities that took place from 2010-2012. Hunter didn't join Burisma until 2014, so he couldn't possibly have been implicated in anything Shokin was or wasn't investigating.

3
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 24, 2020, 12:08:27 AM »
@honk Threatening to try to try to impeach the president for putting forth a SC nominee is idiotic. POTUS isn’t doing anything illegal, he is absolutely within his rights. More broadly, if you can’t see that your political process is absolutely toxic to the core, I don’t know what to tell you. The amount of strife present in American political discourse just isn’t present in other Western democracies. Brinkmanship is par for the course and you guys need to heal this divide. Calling for civil war, or doing “whatever it takes” to score points back at the GOP isn’t going to do that. As shitty as the Republicans are right now, and as much as a Biden administration is almost certainly going to be an improvement (maybe they will pay attention to the environment), the lack of consensus will continue to spiral your country downwards.

I'm not disagreeing with your general assessment of the dysfunction of American politics, only your blame of both sides. I don't think this is a both-sides issue, and mischaracterizing the problem makes it harder to properly address it. The Democrats aren't perfect, but they make an effort of maintaining a semblance of ethical behavior and responsibility that goes far beyond the Republicans' relentless grasping at partisan gain at any price. Democrats aren't the ones weaponizing key functions of Congress as tools to bolster the administrations they favor and sabotage the ones they don't; Republicans are. Democrats aren't the ones aggressively courting and pandering to deranged conspiracy theorists and unsavory fringe figures who rightly should have no major presence in national politics, Republicans are. Democrats aren't the ones refusing the hold their members accountable in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct and other ethical breaches; Republicans are. Democrats aren't the one launching numerous frivolous congressional investigations on thin grounds to sabotage opposing politicians and presidential candidates; Republicans are. Democrats aren't the ones staffing their administrations with unqualified yes-men and hyperpartisan ideologues; Republicans are. And most importantly of all, Democrats aren't the ones who have united in near-unanimity behind the man in the Oval Office that any objective outside observer would quickly recognize as a malicious bully and an incompetent blowhard; Republicans are. Sometimes the enlightened centrist position isn't the correct one. Sometimes one side is just wrong and the other is right, or at least far "more right" than the other one.

a decision Democrats made in 2013 to cheat the nomination process ends up costing them two supreme court positions and quite likely it's going to cost them three...It's almost like there was a good reason why court appointments weren't simple majority in the first place.

You know that the 2013 Democrats only used the nuclear option to require just 51 votes for Cabinet secretary and federal judge nominees? It was in 2017 that the nuclear option was used, by Republicans, to only require 51 votes for SC nominees. You can call it "extending" what the Democrats had done if you like, but using the nuclear option is using the nuclear option. They still had to vote to change the rules. It's not like it was only half a nuclear option and therefore only required half the effort or anything. It was a full-blown use of the nuclear option, and they could easily have done it even without the 2013 rule change. And it's no use saying that they wouldn't have thought of it without the Democrats doing it first, because the article I linked shows that Republicans had the idea back in 2003. But again, this is all of limited relevance, given that the current controversy is not focused on the number of votes needed. Obviously, there are countless things that had to happen first before this situation could happen, but that doesn't mean that they are "responsible" for what eventually happened in a direct, proximate sense.

Quote
Every hole the Republicans put in our political process will be used to the Democrats advantage and every hole the Democrats put in our political process will be used to the Republicans advantage. I think the key lesson that Congress needs to learn is to stop putting holes in our political process.

If that's your position, then why are you defending what the Republicans are doing? We're not simply witnessing the after-effects of a process already in motion or anything. Republicans are right now consciously choosing to hypocritically disregard a principle they demanded Democrats abide by for their own short-term partisan gain, with no better justification than the fact that they have the power to do it. That is itself introducing further dysfunction into the system, putting another hole in the political process that the Democrats will exploit and use against the Republicans as soon as the opportunity arises. You shouldn't be supporting it.

4
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 21, 2020, 03:33:37 AM »
Quote
That has nothing to do with it. I'm not criticizing Republicans for putting people on the SC with only 51 votes instead of 60. I'm criticizing them for refusing to let Democratic nominees get a vote close to a year before an election supposedly because we shouldn't dare nominate people during an election year, only to eagerly nominate people themselves when their party is in power a few short weeks before the election. And yes, I think it is pretty clear that Democrats are making a concerted effort to take the high road over the past several years, in contrast to Republicans who are embracing their IRL villainy more and more. Democrats wouldn't stand behind people like Roy Moore or Duncan Hunter, they wouldn't give racist trolls like Stephen Miller or Steve Bannon important jobs in the White House, and for their part, it's very hard to imagine Republicans insisting that Al Franken or Katie Hill resign. I guess that kind of behavior comes with the territory when your main job is playing yes-man to a corrupt, sleazy huckster who has no interest in policy or governing and only cares about his wealth, power, and public image.

"It's okay when our party does questionable things, but when the Republicans also do questionable things, that isn't okay." Fantastic work, keep it up.

"Molesting children is okay and should be legalized." Wow, what a take, Rushy! See, I can do it too. I'm not going to waste my time with you if you're just going to pull bullshit takes out of your ass and pretend that has anything to do with what I said.

Similarly, Schumer and Pelosi’s saber rattling is a divisive response to a divisive choice and anyone who welcomes civil war is a fucking tool box. People on the right want to blame the left for the current state of affairs and vice versa. Both can make valid points, but probably the biggest issue in US politics is that consensus building has been completely thrown by the wayside throughout government. How can you have a successful pluralistic society that is unable to reach a consensus? I don’t think you can and until that changes, every government that is elected is going to be a clown fiesta.

No, don't both-sides this. Don't make unnecessary concessions or act as if this is everyone's fault. Schumer and Pelosi aren't "saber rattling," they're rightly calling bullshit on the Republicans' bullshit. That's a good thing, not something to be condemned in the same breath as what the Republicans are doing. And you don't need to waste your time condemning the random nobody who mentioned civil war in the image Rushy posted. Even if she really was calling for an actual civil war (it's pretty obvious that she was being hyperbolic, but even so), pointing to her existence is not evidence of the wrongdoing or moral culpability of Democrats or liberals and something that needs to be promptly addressed. There are crazy or extreme people of all political stripes, and spending time picking on them in a political discussion as if they're representative of anyone who actually matters is pointless.

5
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Terrible Political Memes
« on: September 21, 2020, 03:06:39 AM »
Saddam, don't hotlink from Twitter - the image won't show up to anyone that doesn't already have it cached in their browser. Reupload it somewhere before linking.

Shut the fuck up, boomer.


6
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Terrible Political Memes
« on: September 20, 2020, 05:32:49 PM »

7
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 20, 2020, 12:19:58 AM »
Hah, remember that time Democrats changed the vote threshold for nominations just so they could ram their candidate through without a large majority of votes. Democrats quite literally did this to themselves

That has nothing to do with it. I'm not criticizing Republicans for putting people on the SC with only 51 votes instead of 60. I'm criticizing them for refusing to let Democratic nominees get a vote close to a year before an election supposedly because we shouldn't dare nominate people during an election year, only to eagerly nominate people themselves when their party is in power a few short weeks before the election. And yes, I think it is pretty clear that Democrats are making a concerted effort to take the high road over the past several years, in contrast to Republicans who are embracing their IRL villainy more and more. Democrats wouldn't stand behind people like Roy Moore or Duncan Hunter, they wouldn't give racist trolls like Stephen Miller or Steve Bannon important jobs in the White House, and for their part, it's very hard to imagine Republicans insisting that Al Franken or Katie Hill resign. I guess that kind of behavior comes with the territory when your main job is playing yes-man to a corrupt, sleazy huckster who has no interest in policy or governing and only cares about his wealth, power, and public image.

8
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 19, 2020, 09:40:16 PM »
Members of Congress have long worked together on fulfilling key functions of the government, even when it's not in their party's best interests. It's the United States Senate, after all, not the Republicans Only Senate. Discarding these customs in favor of purely partisan might-makes-right governance leads us to some very unpleasant hypothetical scenarios. For example, why stop at not allowing the president of an opposing party to make a SC nomination during an election year? And why stop at SC nominations? Suppose that Trump wins reelection, but Democrats take the Senate. Would you be okay with the Senate then saying that they will refuse to hear or vote on any nominations that Trump makes? No SC justices if any vacancies appear, no new judges, no new Cabinet members, nothing. Or when the time for passing a new budget comes, Congress refusing to pass a new budget until Trump and Pence resign? They have the power to do either of those things. Nobody's going to stop them.

Republicans won't be in power forever, and Democrats won't cling to their principles for much longer if Republicans continue to play dirty. It's in the interests of both parties, as well as all of us regular people, that they abide by some general rules and customs that establish a certain level of consistency in governance. Setting the welfare of the nation aside to focus on kicking the shit out of the losing political side - and then switching positions every two or four years to do it all over again - is no way to run a country.

9
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 19, 2020, 08:44:44 PM »
If Democrats could have nominated and passed a judge in 2016, they would have done so. If Democrats could nominate and pass a judge right now, they would be doing so. A Republican Senate supports Republicans. Everyone please proceed to act shocked and gasp loudly.

Republicans blocked Obama from making a nomination in an election year on the grounds that it was wrong to nominate a new justice shortly before an election. The exact same Republicans are now supporting Trump making a nomination in an election year with significantly less time before an election on the grounds of "because we can." That is bullshit, and you know it. If you're okay with the side you support pulling a move like this, I'm probably not going to be able to change your mind, but don't pretend that this isn't sleazy as hell or that Democrats shouldn't be angry at such blatant hypocrisy.

10
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 19, 2020, 01:39:53 PM »
It's not even something that they're embarrassed by or ashamed of. They're delighted at the thought of doing something they stopped Democrats from doing. "Triggering the libs" has become a priority for Republicans lately.

11
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 16, 2020, 12:41:21 AM »
https://thedonald.win/p/HEud914I/not-a-political-sign-in-sight-an/c/

You barely even changed the wording. Were any of your shitty memes original, or were they all stolen from Trump bootlickers?

12
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 11, 2020, 02:09:56 AM »
Hundreds of public figures get Nobel Peace Prize nominations every year. Any university professor or politician serving at a national level can make a nomination. There are no requirements for who can or can't be nominated; there is no "official" selection process in which some nominees are accepted and some aren't. All it takes is precisely one university professor or national-level politician that's willing to make the nomination. It's not at all extraordinary that the President of the United States, the most famous, powerful, and influential person in the world, has met this very low bar. I can't prove this, because the Nobel Committee doesn't release lists of all nominees, but I have no doubt that every president since the formation of the Nobel Prize has received at least one nomination. The president is simply too big to be ignored.

I understand why an egotistical idiot like Trump is celebrating this news as if he's already won or achieved...well, anything, and also why his staff are all presumably too afraid to try and set him straight and inevitably suffer his wrath for not telling him what he wants to hear. But for those of us living in the real world, this means nothing. Can't wait to see the angry tweetstorm from Trump when he doesn't win it, though.

13
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 10, 2020, 01:48:57 AM »
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/09/trump-vigor/615973/

An interesting article that mirrors my thoughts on the hypocrisy of Trump fans blasting Biden for supposedly being senile and incoherent.

14
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Joe Biden is winning by a landslide
« on: September 10, 2020, 01:44:44 AM »
(dumb alt-right comic)

It's not a question of how much disavowing he does, or how many disavowals he makes. His initial response is what was criticized, and nothing he said after the fact changed what his initial response was.

15
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Joe Biden is winning by a landslide
« on: September 09, 2020, 02:11:44 PM »
https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/apr/26/context-trumps-very-fine-people-both-sides-remarks/

Trump didn't explicitly say, "Nazis are very fine people." Of course he didn't. But the Unite the Right rally was openly, explicitly racist. It may have been inspired initially by the removal of Confederate statues, but its participants wore their hatred on their sleeves, making that the overriding theme of the event, and one of them ended up murdering an innocent woman. This should have been an easy straightforward condemnation for Trump. One side spewed hatred; the other did not. One side murdered someone; the other did not. But he couldn't do it, not without weakly blaming "both sides" and pretendng the rally participants were anything more than hateful racists.

He waited 48 hours until he had the facts and then condemned the Neo-Nazis.

It didn't take 48 hours to figure out what had happened. He eventually condemned the Nazis only because he had been relentlessly blasted for not doing so immediately.

16
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Joe Biden is winning by a landslide
« on: September 09, 2020, 02:07:49 AM »
No, he says it lacks the dynamism and energy "of campaigns that you and I have covered in the past," not "of a presidential campaign." He's comparing it to other campaigns, not declaring it unworthy of even being considered a presidential campaign. What a stupid argument.

17
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 09, 2020, 01:56:43 AM »
It's not really racism so much as it is deliberate anti-progressivism for the benefit of his base. Trump almost certainly knows nothing about the training beyond what he's heard in the right-wing media that first reported on this, and I have no doubt that said reporting quote-mined and twisted the contents of the training to make it sound as awful as possible. It's an ugly gesture, but in the long run it won't mean much. This kind of training is more about protecting employers in case of a lawsuit than it is about actually educating employees. People who already agree with it don't need it, and the people who don't agree with it are just going to mock it.

Describe to me what the training contains.

I'm not claiming to know what this specific training contains. I'm just saying, based on common sense and my own experience, that I highly, highly doubt that it's the anti-American/anti-white propaganda Trump and his toadies are claiming it to be. It never is, really. Right-wingers always complain about sensitivity/diversity training, no matter how reasonable the content.

18
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 05, 2020, 05:27:33 PM »
It's not really racism so much as it is deliberate anti-progressivism for the benefit of his base. Trump almost certainly knows nothing about the training beyond what he's heard in the right-wing media that first reported on this, and I have no doubt that said reporting quote-mined and twisted the contents of the training to make it sound as awful as possible. It's an ugly gesture, but in the long run it won't mean much. This kind of training is more about protecting employers in case of a lawsuit than it is about actually educating employees. People who already agree with it don't need it, and the people who don't agree with it are just going to mock it.

19
Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 05, 2020, 12:27:33 AM »
Some preliminary thoughts on a couple of recent PC ports, neither of which I've beaten yet, and may not do so for some time:

Horizon Zero Dawn

I want to like this game a lot more than I do. It's undeniably beautiful, and I really like the premise of exploring the wilderness of a post-apocalyptic world. But what holds this game back is how painfully derivative everything feels. If there's a single original idea in the game mechanics, I must have missed it. It might not have been such a problem if there were a broad range of influences and a decent balance between them, but there aren't. It's mostly based on Far Cry. And because Far Cry shares so much DNA with some of Ubisoft's other popular series, particularly AssCreed, and has been pretty influential in its own right, it leaves the game feeling tired and worn-out. Almost everything I do in this game, I feel like I've already done to death. Climbing towers to unlock parts of the map, clearing out bandit camps which then become friendly settlements, using specific animal skins to upgrade your equipment pouches, skill trees where you can improve your stealth, combat, and resource-gathering, and even visually, the inventory/journal screens as well as the buying/selling screens look very similar to Far Cry. This is the first open-world game from dev Guerrilla Games, and I understand that making a whole new kind of game is a big challenge, but I would have thought that them being new to the genre might have led to some originality in their game design, a way for the new guys to make their own stamp on this crowded genre. To do what they've done - look to Ubisoft, the undisputed king of churning out competent but repetitive open-world games every year and say, "Let's do what they do almost exactly!" - is very disappointing.

Also, the melee combat outside of stealth is terrible. You're supposed to rely on your ranged weapons primarily, and treat melee combat as more of a last resort than anything else, but if the option is there, they ought to do it right. There's no lock-on option, and swinging your spear feels like random flailing. It looks bad on screen, and it feels bad to play. Oh, and when you're fighting human enemies up close, their blocking shields them from all angles, even though their blocking is literally just them sticking their weapon out in front of them. My jaw dropped the first time I saw my attack bounce harmlessly off an enemy's seemingly unprotected back simply because they were blocking in a completely different direction. Like, holy shit, even Bethesda games understand that a block only works if it's situated between the incoming attack and the defender! Speaking of Bethesda, this game also struggles with some very hokey dialogue and a relatively small cast of mediocre voice actors.
 
Death Stranding

There are some good things about this game. Navigating your way across a challenging terrain using the environment and your tools can be fun. I like the social elements too, like the way you can take advantage of the ladders, ropes, and other "paths" left behind by other players, and if they do so with yours, you get a nice little thrill when the game tells you that other people are using the paths you laid down and "liking" them. It goes hand in hand with the main theme of the story, connection and cooperation with others. As our heroes struggle to bring America together, players are also being brought together through shared pathfinding and the signs, warnings, and bonuses that can be thrown down for others. It's goofy and sentimental, but in these uncertain times, it's not a bad message to be taking away from a video game. And there's a great soundtrack of pleasant folk-rock tunes, which can be a nice distraction when you're on long treks.

It's just too bad that all that good stuff is buried under a barrage of irritating elements that mainly seem to have been added to the game for the hell of it. For example, there are all the meters and gauges you have to keep track of. There's a health meter, a stamina meter, a stress meter for the baby you carry around, a meter for the condition of your cargo, a meter for the condition of your cargo containers, a meter for your boot degradation, and an energy meter for your exoskeleton or vehicle if you're using one. You have to be mindful of the weight of the cargo you're carrying and how it's arranged on your body. You have to be mindful of the terrain you're walking on and how likely it is that you'll slip or stumble on it. The rain that ages everything can fall at any time and damage both your cargo and cargo containers. You can be attacked by enemies looking to steal your cargo and have to be ready to fight or flee. You can be attacked by mysterious ghost-like enemies that force you into survival-horror scenarios where you have to very slowly sneak past them while your baby warns you where the nearest enemy is. The game doesn't let up, in other words. It's at its strongest when you can just relax and enjoy your backpacking in peace, but it very seldom lets you do that.

What really kills me about the combat and stealth sections is that they'd be okay if the game treated them as their own separate things, and gave you missions that "specialized" in them, like having to sneak into a hostile area and retrieve some cargo. The game does occasionally give you missions like that, and they're not bad. The combat and stealth are pretty solid mechanically, and you have some very interesting weapons. But most of the time, you'll encounter enemies when you're in the middle of a long delivery, and they're just in the way. Whenever that happened to me, I just wasn't in the mood for a fight, and I certainly wasn't prepared for one either. I just wanted to get the delivery done. I think this is pretty normal. People generally like compartmentalization. It's fine to have peaceful hiking, stealth that can turn to action at any moment, and tense survival horror all in one game, but we don't want all three elements at the same time.

The story is ludicrous nonsense. Everything from the characters to the background lore is presented as vague and incomprehensible. The all-star cast do about as well in their roles as anyone could (with the exception of Troy Baker, who doesn't seem to be acting so much as he is doing a really hammy impression of John Travolta), but it's hard for me to see them as their characters rather than their actors. Why a French actress like Léa Seydoux was given distinctly American-sounding dialogue is beyond me, but it's pretty awkward whenever she stumbles over her lines. Also, the main character very seldom talks outside of cutscenes, which wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that NPCs are always seemingly trying to engage him in conversation. And they didn't need to be! Whenever you deliver a package to a settlement, the person in charge will appear to talk to you, and they always feel the need to have a one-sided conversation with you. They typically say something like, "Hi, Sam, nice to finally meet you. Did you have a good trip? And what did you bring us? Let me take a look at this. Wow, it's in great shape. Thanks for making this trip. By the way, what's your boss planning next? Okay, see you around." It's like they're drawing attention to how awkward the silence from the main character is. I get that they can't be paying someone like Norman Reedus to record a million lines of dialogue, but then they shouldn't be having NPCs trying to chat with him!

20
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Joe Biden is winning by a landslide
« on: September 01, 2020, 11:20:52 PM »
Without Googling, two very obvious examples of right-wing authoritarian regimes are Spain under Franco and Italy under Mussolini. And yes, the Nazis were also right-wing. The word "socialist" being in their full name did not make their actual policies and governance socialist. I don't know what all the talk about how bad Stalin was (he certainly was very bad) or how Germans are good while Nazis are bad has to do with it.

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