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Fergie's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 2,444 posts (2,472 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


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thejeff wrote:
It's not entirely clear how much to the left Obama was or even pretended to be.

He sure talked a big game when it came to NAFTA.

What kind of major renegotiation has he accomplished in the eight or nine years since he made those statements?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caineach wrote:
I'm sorry, but the entire left wing is currently based on the idea that there is currently multiple massive problems. You are literally quoting the corporate right and attributing it to the left.

Please check out my post above the one you responded to. My point was that the Democratic Party, and organizations like MSNBC and NPR, may be Leftists on some issues (usually social) but when it comes to issues of economy and trade, they are textbook Neoliberial.

Obama and the Clinton's economic policy is basically Reaganomics:
"Neoliberalism gained prominence in the United States in 1981 with policies put into place by the Reagan Administration which included tax cuts, increased defense spending, financial deregulation and trade deficit expansion. ...

During the 1990s, the Clinton Administration also embraced neoliberalism by supporting the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, continuing the deregulation of the financial sector through passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act, and implementing cuts to the welfare state through passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act."

Also this, because - centaurs!:
"Several scholars have linked the rise of neoliberalism to unprecedented levels of mass incarceration of the poor in the United States. Sociologist Loïc Wacquant argues that neoliberal policy for dealing with social instability among economically marginalized populations following the implementation of other neoliberal policies which have allowed for the retrenchment of the social welfare state and the rise of punitive workfare, increased gentrification of urban areas, privatization of public functions, the shrinking of collective protections for the working class via economic deregulation, and the rise of underpaid, precarious wage labor is the criminalization of poverty and mass incarceration. By contrast, it is extremely lenient in dealing with those in the upper echelons of society, in particular when it comes to economic crimes of the privileged classes and corporations such as fraud, embezzlement, insider trading, credit and insurance fraud, money laundering, and violation of commerce and labor codes. According to Wacquant, neoliberalism doesn't shrink government but instead sets up a centaur state, with little governmental oversight for those at the top and strict control of those at the bottom.

ALL HAIL THE CENTAUR STATE!


BigNorseWolf wrote:

We've spent millenia bulding up people (especially men's) self worth around how much they make, either moneywise or as some kind of contest. part of that has been celebrating people who do well monetarily (the rich and famous), athletes, or who get a lot done (Paul bunyan).

It is rough, as a man, hearing that you're useless, we have no use for you, go home. ...more

I agree 100%, but I don't think this is a male specific issue. Do women enjoy, "the very crushing reality that society doesn't give a rat's ass about a useless male female and will let you die in the gutter."? Of course not! Women and minorities have been getting more crap then white men since forever, but no one enjoys poverty, neglect, unemployment, etc. These are not gender, race, orientation, etc. issues, these are basic issues of humanity.

Likewise, the solutions, and candidates that might solve these problems are not just things that would appeal to just one gender, one race, one faith, etc.

"Do you know what it's like falling in the mud and getting kicked, in the head? With an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does, that never happens." Rex Kramer, Airplane.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
That they don't feel macho is why they would fall for a republican solution, not necessarily why there's a problem.

But when you have the neolibs saying that there is no problem, someone acknowledging the problem is at least past the denial phase.

I would use the analogy of a boat. Let's imagine most citizens are together on a boat that has been neglected and leaking for decades now. On one side of this neglected vessel you have the opulent new HMS Neo Liberal (Democratic Party, NPR, MSNBC, Wall Street) and on the other side you have the also opulent, now orange-colored, HMS Neo Conservative (Republican Party, NewsCorp, Wall Street). [EDIT: Trump is an odd captain for this ship, as his campaign rhetoric is often against Neo ideals. I suspect that if the money behind him is Neo, he will push those ideas.] The NeoLibs are basically saying that things are improving (just look at those Wall Street numbers!), and if we just keep things going like they have been, and were in the 90's, everything is going to be great, unlike the last time we did that stuff and it screwed things up badly (1994 crime bill, welfare reform, economic and foreign policy).

When the water is rising, and people are hurting, they don't want to hear that there is no problem, and they don't want more of what failed in the past. In that situation, someone coming along and saying, 'we have a problem! We need to drill, baby drill, some holes in the hull to let this water out!' is at least relatable. (Even if b+~@~%~ crazy). Someone coming along and saying, 'look at those red-necks, they are just upset because of the perception that they are up to their necks in water, makes them feel like they are not living up to masculine ideals'. Well, that isn't just painfully out of touch, it is also insulting enough to drive people to the other side.


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Spastic Puma wrote:

I think Michael Kimmel's Angry White Men sums up Trump's voter base pretty well:

"But first we have to understand that anger, get inside it. For one thing, it’s an anger that knows no class nor originates in a specific class. Whether we’re talking about the white working class—shorn of union protection, stripped of manufacturing jobs that once provided a modicum of dignity with a paycheck, not to mention the hale-and-hearty camaraderie of the shop floor, they’ve watched as “their” jobs disappeared with the closing of the factory gates. Or the lower middle class, that wide swath of small farmers, independent shopkeepers, independent craft workers—plumbers, electricians, contractors—and small businessmen whose livelihoods have been steadily eroded, as the farm crisis of the 1990s consolidated independent farmers into wage workers for agribusiness, as Walmart put local grocery and other retail stores out of business. Even upper-middle-class men, even those with jobs and pensions and health plans, feel ripped off—by affirmative action programs, immigration, welfare, taxation, and the general sense that they’re being had.

What unites all these groups is not just the fact that they are men. What unites them is their belief in a certain ideal of masculinity. It is not just their livelihoods that are threatened, but their sense of themselves as men. Faludi observed in Stiffed that American men have lost “a useful role in public life, a way of earning a decent and reliable living, appreciation in the home, respectful treatment in the culture.”3 They’re feeling emasculated—humiliated. The promise of economic freedom, of boundless opportunity, of unlimited upward mobility, was what they believed was the terra firma of American masculinity, the ground on which American men have stood for generations. Today, it feels like a carpet being snatched from under their feet." (Kimmel, 2013)

I think this article sums up some very interesting ideas about how Left/Right clash with our current Democrat/Republican system and media. On the one hand, the article clearly identifies a serious erosion of things that supported the middleclass, and a shift of wealth to consolidated and corporate powers. It identifies the pattern that the lower and middle class have been used to fuel huge gains among the wealthy, while not getting ahead or even falling behind. Basically it identifies the class struggle that many Leftist ideas are formed around.

But then it veers of into Democratic Party and Neoliberial territory. Workers didn't lose their jobs when the factory moved overseas, they lost "their" jobs (the implication being that they were never entitled to jobs in the first place). It also shifts the reason all these things are bad from actual reality, to perception and feelings. The problem is not that people are working two crap jobs and struggling to even pay rent, it is they don't feel macho. In other words, these are just problems of poor perception among the unwashed masses, not real issues. I have heard this idea from many on the Democratic side, such as Obama saying that the problem with police and minorities is one of perception.

The Corporate Left's failure to identify, and more importantly, address these issues are holding back the actual Left from making real improvements, and also a large reason so many voters are driven away. An almost identical problem exists on the Right with the Corporate Right and NeoCons. For years, our system (media and politics) has been ignoring actual political ideology and improvements for the citizens in favor of economic politics that overwhelmingly favor a handful of the wealthiest interests. People see this and understand it more then the elite give them credit for.

Trumpism, is a predictable reaction to the failure of those-in-power to acknowledge and address some real serious problems. It isn't just a few poor powerless people failing to "perceive" things adequately.


thejeff wrote:
Fergie wrote:

Not worth bringing the conversation back to this, but I wrote it, and forgot to hit post, so here it is:

Perhaps I am being misinformed, I'll be the first to admit that I have trouble understanding tax form stuff. I also don't know much about The Daily Kos, but was under the impression that it was generally pro-democrat. As for The Federalist, or The Hedge, I know very little about them. I know the NY Post is often B%#~!&$#, so I didn't link that. I will attempt to find better sources in the future.

The Kos is indeed quite pro-democrat, but that particular diary was from April, in the middle of the primary wars. From a fervent Bernie supporter.

Beyond that, it's interesting that running a charity is seen as disqualifying, while running a business, particularly a big business with international deals and connections is seen as a plus.

Depends on where the money comes from and where it goes...

Also, I hope you are not implying that Clinton does not also have ties to several businesses...

EDIT: Interesting about the Daily Kos. I guess I'm surprised they had stuff that was so in-fighty on there, but I should know better then to be surprised by anything this election.


Not worth bringing the conversation back to this, but I wrote it, and forgot to hit post, so here it is:

Clinton Foundation Correction:
Scott Betts wrote:

Again, you are being manipulated, and are contributing to a culture of disinformation.

Please stop. You know better.

Perhaps I am being misinformed, I'll be the first to admit that I have trouble understanding tax form stuff. I also don't know much about The Daily Kos, but was under the impression that it was generally pro-democrat. As for The Federalist, or The Hedge, I know very little about them. I know the NY Post is often B@#*&!@@, so I didn't link that. I will attempt to find better sources in the future.

I thought there was more to the Bill Allison, Sunlight Foundation stuff, but I'm unable to find anything of substance - perhaps it's BS.
The "other expenses" quote, I did not check, and indeed that sounds like BS to me. I apologize for posting something like that. I skimmed the IRS documents, but they are well over 50 pages each, and my eyes glazed over after awhile. I fully concede that one could get the wrong impression from the 15% number, as it implies that it is the only thing they do, rather then the actual money they give.

But I did crack open one of the links to a 2012 IRS form - and compared the total revenue $54 million (line 12) with "Salaries, other compensation, employee benefits", $18 million (line 15). It seems like roughly 4 million of the salaries is for management, general and fundraising expenses, not program expenses.
Note: It looks like they have 275 staff, who would make avg $50,000 each (14 mil/275), about 10 people making over 100K, as well as 400 volunteers.) According to one of Scott's links, "A lot of what the foundation does is have its employees help facilitate partnerships."

The travel numbers I checked for 2012, were 4.5 million (Page 10 line 17), with about 3.2 million being for program expenses, the rest being for management, general and fundraising expenses.

I would also point out that over a million dollars of program expenses went to "advertising and promotion".

So it looks like salaries and travel for 2012 were roughly 40% of total revenue, but much of it was in the program expenses column. I'm highly skeptical of the 88% of their income helping people, statistic but then "facilitating partnerships" is open to interpretation. I did not find anything on the tax return that proves the slushfund assertion, so I will gladly concede that was not supported. I might have my issues with Hillary, but I give her enough credit to not submit tax returns that show wrongdoing.

Honestly, all of this is missing the real point. Even if the Foundation is 100% honest and perfect, it is still a promotional tool for the Clinton brand, the same way the Ronald McDonald Foundation is a promotional tool for the McDonald's brand. A brand is really what a national politician is. People who donate large amounts of money are benefiting the Clinton's brand and their political aspirations - there is no disputing that. Just like donors to the Clinton's political funds, they often get facetime with the Clinton's and the obvious influence that comes when you do things that benefit a candidate.

There is a reason foreign entities are unable to donate to political funds, and there is a reason that judges recluse themselves when making decisions that could have even the appearance of impartiality. There is a reason Clinton singed an ethics agreement between the Foundation and the Obama administration, which she did not even prpperly comply with. There is a reason the Clinton foundation will no longer be accepting donations from corporations or foreign interests. These changes should have been made years ago, BEFORE the Clinton's benefited from millions and millions of special interest dollars. Now the Clinton's are saying thanks for all the benefits, we'll remember who put us here, but we're going clean. Too little, too late.

Quick note: I don't think the Clinton Foundation is the worst form of fundraising, actually I think it is among the least offensive models. If candidates were rewarded for raising money for good causes, the way Lance Armstrong used doping to raise money for Livestrong, it is better then the current SuperPAC dark money mess. Unfortunately, the Clinton's are doing all that crap as well, so the Clinton Foundation is just the cherry on the influence peddling sundae.


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Krensky wrote:

Also, it's not like Bill and Hillary are taking money out of the Foundation.

...

The Daily Kos“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout. …

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid. …"

More here:Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.”


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thejeff wrote:

I am somewhat curious as to how those changes in arms deals compare to changes for countries that didn't donate to the foundation. ...

"The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period."-IBTimes.com

Rednal wrote:
That, and is there any specific proof linking approval of the deals to the donations? Quite a lot of groups have donated to the Clinton Foundation, and I sincerely doubt that approving any deals was something to be done solely at Clinton's discretion.

" Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release."-IBTimes.com

I'm sure Boeing donated the money because they are kind-hearted people legal entity, that cares more about charitable giving then making profits. Even though their corporate charter demands maximizing profits for shareholders, I'm sure it's really about the love. Sarcasm aside, I don't think there is going to be a "smoking gun" email because there doesn't need to be. Corporations (and everyone really) knows that if you give big money to politicians they do you favors (and come to your third wedding). Boeing knew what they would be getting when they gave the money, and Clinton knew what they expected when she took it.


Rednal wrote:
Well, members of Congress are basically telemarketers anyway, so I'm not surprised that who can give them money is a pretty important factor in their thinking...

Article: ... It was attended by members of Congress, major donors and lobbyists, including this man who was not too happy to see our camera crew.

[Man: Ass ****]...
Wait, you can't say hole, (or hats?) on CBS but you can say ass? I don't understand censorship at all!


bugleyman wrote:
This just in: Clinton spends too much time with donors, not enough time with voters. This from the same right-wing that gave us Citizens United. ...

I don't think the amount of time spent is really the issue. Almost all politicians who receive large amounts of money from special interests (lobbyists or wealthy individuals), then turn around and reward those special interests. That money --> influence relationship is the problem.

This isn't really a Left/Right issue, or a Democrat/Republican issue. ACLU supports the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, while John McCain is against it. It is an integrity issue. Almost no major politicians are willing to forgo the dirty money, or even alter the system so that dirty money gives less of an advantage. They have more faith in the ads they can buy, then the voters they are trying to influence - perhaps with good reason, perhaps not.

Given the track records of the major parties, and looking at who is paying money to current candidates, I don't see any of this changing anytime soon. Politicians don't bite the hand that feeds them. Perhaps in a decade or so, but the current group of hogs are all too happy gorging themselves at the dirty money trough, and enough voters are willing to keep them there rather then risk a different hog taking their place.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Keep in mind that there is a vested interest in putting as much negative spin on this as possible. It might not be enough to save Trump's chances come Election Day, but it could do major damage to down-ticket Democrats.

I have no doubt that RNC types are bending over backwards to make a big deal about nothing, but the NYTimes.com has "New Clinton Emails Raise Shadow Over Her Campaign - The F.B.I. disclosed that it had collected nearly 15,000 new emails in its investigation of Hillary Clinton." It could very well be clickbait, or just bad reporting, but I don't see a paper like the NY Times having a vested interest in smearing Clinton or any other establishment democrat.

I don't think it matters.

Again, I don't think there is really anything that could come out that would affect anything. People have know for over a year that Hillary Clinton Oversaw US Arms Deals to Clinton Foundation Donors
Many of whom were serial human rights violators.

Nothing illegal, but it seems that should be the sort of thing that is frowned upon in government. I personally feel that if you are a politician who accepts large amounts of cash, you should be ineligible for a position to give favors to those who paid you a lot of money. Obviously, many people disagree with this idea. What I perceive as bribery is shrewd business dealings to others.


Caineach wrote:
Actually, this may be my big problem with the article. It implies that these are new, undisclosed emails by Clinton that were hidden, when in reality these were not new. They are emails that the Justice Department obtained through their investigation that they cleared her in, but that she no longer had, and therefore previous freedom of information requests to the state department couldn't grant. The headline is a big part of why the article comes across as misleading.

"Washington (CNN)A federal judge set a preliminary schedule Monday for the release of nearly 15,000 documents between Hillary Clinton and top aides when she was the secretary of state.

The State Department was directed to assess 14,900 documents it received from the FBI as part of the investigation into Clinton's use of her private email server while she was secretary of state, determine a plan to release the documents and report back to the court September 23. "
I may well be wrong, (and dear god help me, I'm reading cnn) but it sure sounds like these are new emails that have not been gone over by anyone. EDIT: This headline also seems to indicate that these are new emails.

"Clinton’s lawyers also may have deleted some of the emails as “personal,” Comey said, noting their review relied on header information and search terms, not a line-by-line reading as the FBI conducted." -WP article. Given that Clinton's lawyers seemed to be the ones doing the filtering, I don't trust their idea of what should be given over for investigation and what should not.

I don't really think there is anything in Clinton's emails that would affect her supporters one way or the other. Maybe something that could get people to vote against her, but her supporters seem willing to overlook anything, because she is not Trump.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Satan can't threaten to take my house; I have a well-defined payment schedule and as long as I make the payments, I'm legally untouchable. Satan can't even threaten to cut off my credit, because I have the house.

[sarcasm]Yes, if there is one thing you can count on about Satan, or Jamie Diamond, or whoever, it is that they obey the law! And I'm sure that if there is a conflict, your lawyers should be an equal match, because everyone knows justice is blind. [/sarcasm] Oh wait, your contract doesn't involve binding arbitration does it?

In almost every form of lending, the lender benefits whether you make the payments, or not. They keep the interest, fees, etc. if you make the payments, and they keep the payments, interest, fees, AND collateral (probably what you are making payments of) if you don't make payments.

Berinor wrote:
To quote the age-old wisdom (that I suspect OQ considered but omitted for brevity): if you owe the bank $1000, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $1 million, that's the bank's problem.

The bailout of 2008 would indicate that it is the tax payers problem, not the bank (the owners of which probably have some offshore tax shelters anyway).


thejeff wrote:
Not just of the elites. They've conned a huge chunk of the populace into agreeing with them - though as you suggest far less when you describe policies rather than name ideologies.

That is exactly it. People love the label of "Free Market" but I have yet to meet someone who thinks that government should allow poisoned milk to be sold, or their neighbors to starve in the street. People don't want market booms followed by collapses every decades, or .01% controlling most of the wealth, or an almost insurmountable class structure. All of the features that are inherent to capitalism, are unwanted by basically every person I have ever met, yet they are among the most celebrated terms in our language.

vvv Krensky vvv - Yeah, I have met a few, especially when it comes down to letting bad things befall minority groups. I have found that if you personalize it for them ("your neighbors", "your family") that it is only the rarest and truly scariest who still say F-em! These people generally don't really believe in government anyway.


bugleyman wrote:
... I don't *like* that we have a two party system, but that doesn't make it any less a fact.

I'm too lazy to create a Tyler Durden Alias, but I just have to bring up the quote: "And how's that working out for you?"

Do you like your choice of candidates for president?

Do you think the US government does a good job of dealing with foreign and domestic issues?

Do you think the government is getting better or worse?

After 4 or 8 years of more-of-the-same, are your choices going to improve, or get worse? How much longer before the system fails? (If you consider the current situation success)

The usual answers point to the need for serious changes. BOTH candidates want to bring the country backward, or essentially maintain the status quo. Anyone who tells me I have to vote for one or the other, is essentially saying that maybe if we try the same thing yet again, we will get different results, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


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Irontruth wrote:


I've become a capitalist over the past 15 years, it's a system that works really well for large portions of the economy. I think a fair and appropriately regulated economy is better than trying to determine every aspect from on high...

What you describe is the very definition of Democratic Socialism. Essentially, Capitalism, tempered by government to not be as harsh on the citizens.

Considering that about 95% of people I've talked to share a similar economic ideology, I'm always amazed at how b@+$+*+ crazy American politics and media are. Free market capitalism (and libertarianism) are bizarre fantasies that only exists on the furthest fringes, yet it is somehow a holy grail of many elites.

As Yakov Smirnoff once said, "What a country!"


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Well, I'm off on a bike trip from Omaha to Galesburg, IL, with RAGBRAI in the middle. Wish me luck!
Don't get arrested, and if you do, get it on film.

I'll see everyone in a fortnight.
Fergie


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I really liked Chris Cristie's witch trial for Hillary. There is just something about a large mob of lunatics chanting "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!" that makes me feel good about democracy.


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thejeff wrote:
I'll quote Jeb Bush again back in the aftermath of 2104: A Republican candidate would need to "lose the primary to win the general".

I know this is a typo, but given the way the Bush dynasty has been going on for decades with little end in sight, I can't help imagining a dystopian future where the great great grandkids of various late 1990's politicians are still running for office.

curls into fetal position and hides under couch

HA! When I typed "define: " into google to figure out the first sentence of BNW's post, the auto-fill was HILARIOUS! Apparently, we aren't the only ones who noticed issues with Trumps speech.


Hmmmmmm.....

On broadcast TV tonight, the choices include:
The Passion of Ayn Rand
Braddock: Missing In Action III
The Republican National Convention

Please rank these from Most to Least Conservative. Thank you.

Note: The Ayn Rand movie is the edited for television version, not the X-rated directors cut.


Conservative Anklebiter wrote:
Sorry, I don't give handouts.

Checks Goblins alignment in the beastiary... Neutral Evil.

Hmmm, the "Sorry" part sounds more Lawful, but the rest makes sense.


From the Intercept

"Cleveland also paid $1.5 million to an insurance broker to secure a $10 million policy for liabilities relating to the convention. “Protest insurance” has become common for cities hosting political conventions and is intended to protect the city and its employees, including officers, against any claims and losses arising from its role as RNC host, including its “law enforcement, safety, and security services,” city officials wrote in a call for bids. But the implication of the insurance policy — that the city assumes it will be sued over its handling of protests — doesn’t sit well with civil rights advocates. “These policies go far beyond general slip and fall type coverage,” said Rosnick. “They also indemnify the city for lawsuits related to constitutional violations and other civil liberties concerns.”

Be careful out there everyone, when a city buys insurance against lawsuits, they plan on doing some serious rights violations!


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Fergie wrote:

WTF!

By an odd coincidence, I just realized that I will be in Cleveland during the RNC!
Um... good luck. ...more

Thanks CBDunkerson!

The post about be being there is more of a joke really. I'll be in Cleveland for a brief stopover during a train ride west. I probably won't see much more then the train station itself. I just think it is a very funny coincidence that I will be randomly in the same city as the RNC given my history with the event. I don't recall ever being in Cleveland, and the one time I am, the RNC is in town. Ugh.

EDIT:

Fergie wrote:
NenkotaMoon wrote:
Oh, it is one of those kind of threads.
One of those kind of threads? What is it?

The correct answer is:

"A series of written communication cascading from an initial posting, but that's not important right now."


NenkotaMoon wrote:
Oh, it is one of those kind of threads.

One of those kind of threads? What is it?


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WTF!
By an odd coincidence, I just realized that I will be in Cleveland during the RNC! Well, while I'm there, I might as well tear s*** up, and shut that convention down!

I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes!

Also, I'll NEVER get over Macho Grande!

EDIT: Wait, wait wait! I can carry a real AR-15, but not a toy gun, tennis balls, or canned goods? This country is f@@@ing INSANE!


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Conservative Anklebiter wrote:
Some of you haven't seen Maryland districts.

Marilyn Districts, the porn star? I think I saw her in a movie with Anne Arundel.


Anyone else watch Harmonquest?

I was a huge fan of Community, so I had high expectations. I can honestly say I was not disappointed. There was some really funny stuff in there, and it is always enjoyable to watch people with a good sense of humor play the game. I also thought it was cool that they used Pathfinder.

I like the sort of "drunk history" mix of in and out of character, and thought they did a great job of throwing in occasion versions of their real selves in the animated scenes.

I thought it seemed a little short at 23 minutes, but with the crazy format, I'm not sure I would want it to be much longer. I think it would be cool if they got a little more into some of the details of the characters, but I realize that is something that would make most non-gamers eyes glaze over. I think if they can tweak the format a little, this could draw a big audience.

I'm looking forward to the next episode.


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bugleyman wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Hillary (and Obama) talk a strong leftist game, but they play their hand for the interests of the rich.
You know what goes hand-in-hand with being 100% ideologically pure? Being 100% ineffective.

Oh please! No thinking person, anywhere, ever asked for ideologically purity. It is a preposterous strawman, that distracts from completely legit criticism. There is a world of difference between compromise, and throwing the majority of the population under the bus for the interests of the .01%. Hillary is one of the most pro-free trade/globalization, pro-Wall Street/Banks, politicians in modern times. She is also one of the most hawkish politicians in the mainstream.

NO ONE is asking for purity, we just want someone who didn't go to Trumps third wedding, because he gave her money, so she owed him.

bugleyman wrote:
What, if I may ask, would you do if you lived elsewhere?

I would vote for someone who represented my interests, not the .01%. I should point out that in many other democracies around the world, this would not be unreasonable, or even out of the mainstream.


Scott Betts wrote:

My boss and I were just lamenting this the other day (no, we don't work in politics, but we both have in the past). A lot of people look at the donations politicians receive and think, "Just look at all those favors they have to repay!" That's nonsense. No one in politics actually thinks that way. Is it possible that some corporations make smoke-filled backroom deals with some politicians, trading favors for PAC support? Yes, it is. But the vast majority of political donations take place simply because the people donating really want that person to become President (or a Senator, or a Representative, or whatever).

But what about those who contribute equally to both? Which seems to be almost all the top two dozen largest publicly traded corporations? How do you explain that?

Also, I don't really care what Hillary, or most politicians have to say, because they have not proven themselves trustworthy. I care what they do when in MATTERS. Anyone can say nice things, or take a stand when it doesn't matter, but when it counts, what do they do? Hillary (and Obama) talk a strong leftist game, but they play their hand for the interests of the rich.

EDIT:

bugleyman wrote:

That's all well and good, but the it OVERWHELMINGLY likely that either she or Trump will be the next president. The practical reality is you can cast a potentially meaningful vote for the lesser of two evils, you can cast a meaningless protest vote, or you can abstain altogether.

The last two increase the chance that the greater of two evils wins.

As I have mentioned before, I live in New York, which is about as much of a democratic safe state as you can get. If NY is even close, the republican has won by a landslide. My vote for Hillary or Trump is absolutely meaningless. I don't think anyone who is aware of the electoral college could disagree. I could vote for a third party candidate, but that is problematic, as has been previously discussed.

EDIT2: Just want to say that while we disagree Scott, and others in this thread, I enjoy reading everyone's opinions, and find them very insightful and thought provoking.


thejeff wrote:


...
But that's not the general election electorate. Now we can look at general election polling and we can see the same kind of data that predicted (or at least hinted at) a Trump primary win clearly shows him well behind in general.

Depends where you look:

"The broad discontent is reflected in the head-to-head contest, which has Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton tied at 40 percent. Mr. Trump’s standing has held steady for weeks at around 40 percentage points, while Mrs. Clinton has polled in the mid-40s in most public surveys."
Poll Finds Voters in Both Parties Unhappy With Their Candidates


Scott Betts wrote:
Fergie wrote:
... Or I should say, I don't think Party Platforms are anything more then lies told to fool voters.

This is far too cynical.

Quote:
They paid her, and she works for them.
No, she doesn't. Certainly, money in politics is a problem, but it isn't the problem that you seem convinced it is.

Apologies Scott. I had attempted to address your points individually, but I just made a mess of the quotes. I used the two above quotes because I respect your opinion, but would like to clarify where my outlook differs on process, if not policy.

First, on cynicism:
adjective: cynical
1. believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

I don't think it is at all out of line to question those who are ceded power in a society. Democracy is not built on trust, but accountability. This is especially true when that power is mixed with money, particularly in a capitalist society. I also note that the mixing of wealth and politics has produced serious problems around the world for thousands of years, and I would say that modern times and our country are no exception. I would also say that I view lobbying as a form of bribery, that has become accepted the way the church once accepted money for "indulgences". Modern politicians often act as Professional "pardoners" who allow the extremely wealthy to get over on the rest of society.

To be more specific, I would cite Hillary's use of 9/11 to justify accepting large amounts of money from wealthy Wall Street donors. As a New Yorker, and more importantly a citizen, I found that VERY offensive. Furthermore, I found her tale of going to Wall Street, and "telling those guys to knock it off!" to be preposterous, and also an insult to the intelligence of those listening. I find her associations with the Council on Foreign Relations to be completely inappropriate, and horrible for the majority of the US and world as a whole.

I think she is absolutely wrong on trade and globalization, and has been for decades. I would point out her close ties to Wal-Mart, and the rise of Chinese imports/outsourcing of US jobs. The Clinton administration, the Obama administration and by her own statements her administration were all characterized by gains going to the wealthy, while the middle class lost jobs and saw wages stagnate. Is this an accident or a coincidence?

I think she is absolutely wrong on supporting dictators from the Middle East to South America. "Mubarak was a close personal friend". I also find her unconditional support of Israel unconscionable, and against international law.

I think her zeal for militarism is revolting. Her supporting the invasion of Iraq was a war crime, as was her pushing for the invasion of Libya. I think her ties to various military figures, such as Petraus, and his boyz James Steele, (Comeny?) and others (Kissinger the war criminal) to be huge red flags.

I think her support for the prison industrial complex is also a national tragedy. I think her record on minorities is despicable. When I was wrongly arrested along with 1,800 others, before the 2004 RNC in NYC, she did nothing as my Senator.

I respect her for her push for single payer healthcare in the 90's. On the other hand, the "Obamacare" that she more recently supported, is a clear favor to the large insurance and pharmaceutical companies who drafted it, (and who some in the obama administration now work for). We were promised a single payer option...

I could go on, but I think everyone gets the idea. Hillary does not share my values, nor do I consider her progressive, liberal, or even a leftist. There is no way I would EVER vote for her to "represent" me.


KingOfAnything wrote:

Sanders got a lot of what he wanted from the Democratic Platform. He's not so much a sellout as he is demonstrating how democracy is supposed to work - building a majority through reasoned compromise.

Sanders' alternative, the obstinate hold-out approach, would be much less effective at achieving his policy goals.

I would disagree with the value of the Democratic Platform. Or I should say, I don't think Party Platforms are anything more then lies told to fool voters. As far as influencing policy, all Bernie did was add voters to Hillary. She will say a bunch of stuff, but like every candidate in the last couple of decades, she is just going to serve the corporate interests. They paid her, and she works for them. Like Trump paid her,and she went to his third wedding. She isn't going to do a damn thing different once she gets into office, because she doesn't need to. She knows that people will vote for her, despite years of serving the .01%. In terms of policy, Sanders accomplished absolutely nothing.

What he DID accomplish was to make Socialism a possibility in the United States for the first time in half a century. Socialist is no longer a dirty word, and if younger voters are any indication, it has a possible future in politics. This is a MAJOR change, and not something even diehard socialists thought would be possible for years and years to come. Bernie did it in a few months. That is an amazing change, and one that both parties will be fighting against in the future.


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thejeff wrote:
I don't really see any signs of The People seeing the system is illegitimate,... more

I would turn it around and say, "I don't really see any signs of The People seeing the system as legitimate."

Based on approval ratings for the legislative branch that have been hovering in the 10-20% range for years now. And the two most hated candidates in history competing for president. I can't remember the last time I talked to someone about politics who didn't use words like "dysfunctional, broken, and corrupt." There might have been a time when people only felt that way about the opposition, but that is now how seemingly everyone feels about their own Party (if they still affiliate with one). I suspect both conventions are going to be s*%#shows, and those are supposed to be showcases by and for the party.

People love to write off non-voters as uncaring or uninformed, but increasingly people feel that they are being asked, or told to play a clearly rigged game. At this point it is basically like being asked to put your stamp of approval on a system that is actively working against your interests, and people are either not voting, or seeking candidates like Sanders and Trump who have little connection to the political parties.


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TOZ wrote:
The common wisdom around the barracks was "Don't vote, you'll get a boot in the ass either way. What size it is doesn't matter."

Shhh! Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense!

What is the deal with voting in the military? When you are stateside, do they provide you with a polling place if you are on-base? I recall something about overseas military ballots being counted after others, or potentially not counted unless the election is close? Is that just some weird Florida law from 2000 or am I totally mistaken?


Mandatory viewing:
George Carlin on Voting
R Rated content. Not safe for work if you work at the DNC/RNC. Strongman's Cautions are Parented

EDIT:

captain yesterday wrote:
For those that get posts eaten, I've found preview is more often than not the culprit. I recommend just hitting submit post, then edit as you need to. :-)

I type very slowly, so I'm usually good about hitting Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, (select All, Copy) before I hit post. This time, I used the search function of the browser while on the reply page. Of course when I hit the back button, my post was gone. This was 100% me, 0% messageboard.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The Thread title reminds me of this scene from John Carpenter's, They Live.
Actually, everything about current politics reminds me of They Live.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
Yeah, but Democratic primary voters like Clinton better than Sanders. Which is what matters.

I had something written about delegate count, and superdelegates being pledged from the start and Wasserman-schultz, and what a scam the system is, but it got eaten.

Shorter version is that the power to govern is supposedly derived from "the will of the people". The People, however, see that the system is illegitimate, and does not represent them. If those in power want to maintain the pretension of a democracy, rather then oligarchy backed by police/military force, they need to make some serious changes. Regardless of who wins, the next elections are going to make this one look normal and boring.

There is a revolution coming, and while I would love it to be a Socialist love fest, the Cliven Bundy types are out in front, and I think they have different plans...

EDIT: He may be America's Mussolini, but he is right about this:
"Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs."


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

[Begins even more controversial tangent]

What a bunch of crap; every one knows Sabbath sucked with Dio.

Yeah, but DIO rocked with Dio, and some of Ozzy's solo stuff was meh.

Bernie did what he had to do (and what he said he was going to do) in order to run as a Dem. The only surprise was that America likes an elderly Socialist with a fairly low charisma score better then Hillary.

I think people have finally figured out what a scam the two parties are, and are getting very angry at being talked down to and ridiculed when they don't vote for a candidate who is obviously going to throw them under the bus. The very wealthy and their corporate media are entirely complicit in this.

Trump, Sanders and to a large degree, Brexit are the people saying "F-U" to a system that has been screwing them for decades. Those in power can either make some major systemic changes, or they will lose their power in something much uglier then a wacky election.

Glenn Greenwald wrote an excellent article on the subject in The Intercept

Also, there are few things more meaningless then a "Party Platform". Follow the money, not the b&!*%*+!. (Although I did find it odd that the Hillary backers would not disavow the TTP...)


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Daw wrote:
Yes, the GM blew it, yes the OP manipulated the GMs ignorance, thus blew it, and yes, even without this ridiculous character OP brought in, this game was probably doomed. I couldn't come up with a better story to illustrate what not to do and why, it is almost a fable.

I don't think it is fair to say, "the OP manipulated the GMs ignorance". From my reading, they spent a couple of sessions together building characters, and discussed what was allowed and what was not. That seems to be the best possible way to approach starting a campaign together. Why that failed so spectacularly to avoid the train wreck that ensued is the big question...

I suspect:
A) The GM assumed that Paizo material was basically balanced, and free of broken options and combos.
B) That not all of these things would be occurring simultaneously.
C) That high level play was similar to low or mid level play.
D) That being a "Good GM" means being very permissive and generous, and not limiting players options.
E) That limits to spells like Planar Binding are the type of thing to handwave away.
F) That higher level challenges would somehow be immune or resistant to summons, spells, tactics, etc.
G) That things like a wizards low AC, or other "weaknesses" mattered.

None of these things are really true, and it is unfortunate that it had to come to a head like this. I think you are 100% right about this being the perfect fable of How a God Wizard Can Break a Game


Devilkiller wrote:
*Why bother to have pants in Pathfinder when there’s no magical item which goes in that slot and no penalty in the rules for failing to wear pants? Flaunting the fact you’re not wearing pants when you walk down the street or perhaps have an audience with the King could be amusing for some folks like, “Nobody can force me to conform to cultural norms!”

I blame "chain shirt" armor. I have literally seen two players totally new to the game decided that they would not wear pants after selecting this armor.

Just a random side thought. Look up Solars. CR 23, 20th level cleric caster, 2X treasure. That Solar was the most powerful thing at the table, and would have been the one calling the shots. Also, there is basically no amount of treasure in the world that would make a Solar join a party with anti-paladins and a undead making cleric.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

A Letter to the New York Post
The NY Post is just about the worst source of "news" imaginable. It is not to be taken seriously, or believed for a moment. Like most other parts of Murdoch's media empire, it makes people who believe it more ignorant and less informed then those who are not exposed to it.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Honestly, that character is the Pathfinder version of PunPun, and should never be brought into an actual game.

Wait wait wait.

You're suggesting that a Core Class, using standard options available to it in main line books, is somehow the PunPun [as in, an obscure monster trick available in an obscure book utilizing an npc race] of Pathfinder?

OK, I'll be the first to admit that it is a poor analogy. And you are totally right that while PunPun is some obscure rules twisting and jumping through bizarre hoops, most things mentioned were core. I was attempting to point out that what was being done was essentially stacking optimization to levels that passed from a powerful character, into theoretical optimization cheese levels.

For example, take the strongest class - Wizard, the strongest school specialization - conjuration, the strongest (debatable) tactic - adding minions/summoning, the strongest summon - solar. and then add in a few feats that juice it even more, and it is a fairly ridiculous string of choices for anything other then a "Break the game" contest. Adding clones, Leadership, and your planar allies summoned creatures, puts it into farcical territory. That is is almost all legal and core does not mean it isn't kind of ridiculous. It just shows that the game is easily broken.

But really the kicker, and this is where the GM just seems... delusional, is that YOU ALREADY HAVE SIX PLAYERS! Six characters are a handful! But then you have a cleric who is supposed to have a bunch of undead, a couple of players who have pet demons, Leadership, and you allow juiced up planar ally, and clones, and summoning, and a freaking construct and more? THIS IS CRAZY! You should not allow that at 8th level, much less 18th!

"One Pet Per Person, Parrots Preferred!" - Yellowbeard


3 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

When you know the rules and how to abuse the system much better than the GM and the other players, you have to rein yourself in. You can't rely on the GM to do it for you, because he doesn't understand the consequences of what you're asking him.

You did understand. You should have known where this was going.

I agree 100%, but I think in this case, there is a large amount of GM hubris to blame as well.

Starting 6 levels above where you have every played before?
Six characters? AND the GM wants a GMPC also!?
25pt buy with custom races?
I think at a certain point, the GM really needs to have some sense of what is going on, especially if players are bringing up balance issues and you keep going, "yeah, I got this". If you go over this stuff, ban blood money and added value from crafting (neither of which is that[ broken compared to other allowed options), but allow all this other stuff... It just shows a delusional faith in his GM skills, (or he is a GM GOD!)

I think dysartes essentially nailed it- this campaign is a car speeding towards a cliff. If you don't want to ride it into a fiery crash, get out now!


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OK, the entire idea of an 25pt buy 18th level mini campaign with custom this and that is a BAD IDEA from the start. The 3 "protest" anti-paladins are a HUGE red flag that people are not starting in good faith. Bringing a core monk or rogue would probably be more then this GM (and honestly most gm's) can handle.

I hate to tell you this but:
18th level wizard - cheese
conjuration school - cheese
leadership - cheese
intelligent item psychic cohort - cheese
create demiplane - cheese
clone - cheese
solar angel - cheese
Spell Perfection - cheese
greater planar binding - cheese
greater planar ally - cheese
There are probably some other things as well...

Yeah, your GM let you have all the tools to break his game, but it was your choice to actually break it... Honestly, that character is the Pathfinder version of PunPun, and should never be brought into an actual game.

I would recommend just skipping this campaign. If you really, really want to take part, make an actual "character" not just a collection of the most broken crap in the game.


Where does an impressionable young goblin go for insightful Conservative commentary these days? Seems most of what passes for "conservative" has gone from William F. Buckley, Jr. to Sarah Palin. Is real Conservative thought dead, or does it just smell funny?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You Must Learn!
"So Johann F. Blumenbach, a German
Came out of nowhere and started confirming
White supremacy and men of colors
Before this time, all men were brothers
It was Johann, who went on to say
There are five different colors in the world today
That's caucasian, malayan, and mongolian
American-Indian, and ethiopian"
- KRS1 Boogie Down Productions

Although based on the article Comrade Anklebiter posted, "...Blumenbach rejected racial hierarchy and emphasized the unity of mankind.”"


bugleyman wrote:
R.I.P. Fourth Amendment.

I think the 4th Amendment died with all the PATRIOT act type stuff after 9/11. This is just poking the bloated corpse with a stick.

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