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Irontruth's page

4,603 posts (4,605 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Magician - An RPG that teaches you Korean.

It's an RPG designed specifically around the goal of teaching you a language, while still being an actual RPG. It uses a magic system built off language, which is a pretty common theme in fantasy literature. You build spells by speaking phrases/sentences. Mind you, my knowledge of this game is purely second-hand, so I don't know specifics, but I figure it's probably right up your alley.


Caineach wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
thejeff wrote:
You're right that the best answer is to separate health care from employment entirely, but you do that by turning to government, putting everyone into one big insurance pool and financing the thing with taxes, not premiums. Because that works.
Worked wonders for the VA, hasn't it?
The VA has better quality of care on average for lower costs than the general population. It falls behind on experimental and cutting edge treatments that are more expensive, but handily beats traditional hospitals elsewhere, even with the existing scandals. There is a reason every veteran I know goes to VA hospitals even if they have top tier insurance through current jobs.

Yeah, I really like the VA. It sucks going there, because it means something is wrong, but overall my experiences there have all been good.

It wasn't always this good though. Prior to the first Gulf War, the VA was really bad. They had high mortality rates from surgery, patients were lost, bad record keeping, etc. We actually have a very strong track record of mistreating the veterans of every war. Currently, they're getting some of the best attention this country has ever given.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fergurg wrote:
thejeff wrote:
You're right that the best answer is to separate health care from employment entirely, but you do that by turning to government, putting everyone into one big insurance pool and financing the thing with taxes, not premiums. Because that works.
Worked wonders for the VA, hasn't it?

I'm very happy with the care I get from the VA.

Statistically, the VA is actually a pretty good system. There are some glaring holes and problems, but even the most recent scandal would be completely negated by universal care.

The VA has higher marks on customer satisfaction. From 1996 to 2006, VA costs per patient remained steady, while private hospital costs increased 40%. During that time the VA's number of patients doubled, while they reduced staff by 10,000.

The VA system is actually incentivized to prevent illness, instead of just treating it. The VA has it's budget. Instead of charging patients who get sick, they just get a budget. It's in a hospital's interests to use preventative measures to keep patients healthy, reducing the number of illnesses they contract.


Death and the Civil War

I recommend the documentary in general, it's quite interesting. It lays out the ground work for the development of the paternal state. The government wasn't responsible for everything, but it had a paternal responsibility to care for those who sacrificed for it. These seems obvious from our modern sensibility, but at the time this was a radical change. Veterans of the Revolution weren't cared for at all. Veterans of the War of 1812, the various wars with Mexico and out west were barely given anything after coming home. Dead soldiers were never sent home, they were either left to rot or buried at the battlefield.

With the Civil War that all changed. People campaigned for greater support for soldiers and their families, this was due to the massive scale of death involved. Previous conflicts had plenty of dead, but nothing even approaching the scale or severity of the Civil War. People couldn't wrap their minds around what was happening, the deaths were so far away, people couldn't believe that their loved ones were dead.

Eventually the government took responsibility for the dead. They located and transported remains, paid death benefits and essentially took on a role within families. Death is a very intimate affair and now the government was expected to take part in it for the soldiers that had died for it.


Quark Blast wrote:


To your 1st point - Yes, but the American Civil War ended and the system worked to patch things up rather nicely. Granted it took another 100 years to iron out the wrinkles but all that was done using the system.

It's amusing that you place the blame at ~1965 and completely fail to realize that it's 1865 is when the problem you're talking about started. The Civil War is the creation of the nanny state in which the former structure of the social contract is broken and the one which you complain about is begun.

Then of course, you're also ignoring the period where most of these reforms that actually contributed to your Uncle's paid vacation, 1900-1920. Again, well before your estimation of 1960's as the problem. The first two decades of the 20th century is when the government started to come in and mandate how companies treated workers. It was this attitude that made unemployment and similar programs possible during the depression era and later.

The problems you are attributing to this go back much deeper and further than your current explanation.

There's another phenomenon in historical analysis you're falling victim to, but I don't want to mention it for fear of clouding the issue. Cause it would.


Maybe you wouldn't have to shoot it if you didn't have a fear of the dark...

I have constant fear that something's always near
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone's always there


I had Rogue's Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Beer a few months back. I thought it was awful. It had this bitter, chemical taste, like bad liquid smoke.


Andrew R wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Even if the cards cannot buy them they should be using the money they have to pay bills not wallow in some of the most expensive vices.

Exactly how do you plan on enforcing this? How do you keep people who get assistance from using any other money they have to buy alchohol or cigarettes? Shall we stamp a big red "W" on their foreheads? Set up a database that every store has access to that determines who is allowed to buy what and then require identification and tracking of every purchase?

Do you have any idea how expensive that would be? Compared to the money "wasted" currently?

And especially in the case of cigarettes, given how addictive they are, will just push smokers into a black market anyway.

And seriously, tobacco and booze aren't anywhere near the most expensive vices. That's why they're poor people vices.

Do not give them a card like they get now. attach it to their ID and simply check ID for all purchases, many stores do already to avoid sales to minors.

Not expensive? 3 packs a day (many smokers do that and more) buys my car every year.

So, your solution to this is increasing government oversight and control of people's lives? You are advocating that the government should have the authority to tell people what they can and cannot buy with their own money.

That sounds like communism.

I am advocating telling anyone that wants to enter into an agreement with the gov what they can do. Just as soldiers have to give up certain things so should those that want money for nothing

You call taxes theft, but you want complete government control over the household budget for people receiving aid.

How are taxes theft, but the government taking complete control over your finances NOT theft?


Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Even if the cards cannot buy them they should be using the money they have to pay bills not wallow in some of the most expensive vices.

Exactly how do you plan on enforcing this? How do you keep people who get assistance from using any other money they have to buy alchohol or cigarettes? Shall we stamp a big red "W" on their foreheads? Set up a database that every store has access to that determines who is allowed to buy what and then require identification and tracking of every purchase?

Do you have any idea how expensive that would be? Compared to the money "wasted" currently?

And especially in the case of cigarettes, given how addictive they are, will just push smokers into a black market anyway.

And seriously, tobacco and booze aren't anywhere near the most expensive vices. That's why they're poor people vices.

Do not give them a card like they get now. attach it to their ID and simply check ID for all purchases, many stores do already to avoid sales to minors.

Not expensive? 3 packs a day (many smokers do that and more) buys my car every year.

So, your solution to this is increasing government oversight and control of people's lives? You are advocating that the government should have the authority to tell people what they can and cannot buy with their own money.

That sounds like communism.


Monsanto doesn't own the farms. That would be expensive, subject them to liability, and create lots of side issues for them. Instead, they push government regulation that allows them to own the seeds the develop and put in place contracts that keep the farmers in debt to them so that they perpetually own the output of those farms.

Why buy the cow when you can charge it for producing milk?


In no particular order

Human Wizard
Human Fighter/Wizard
Human Cleric
Halfling Bard
Elf Wizard
Minotaur Cleric
Minotaur Kingsguard (homebrew class for that setting)
Dwarf Druid
Dwarf Fighter
Tengu Monk (Sensei archetype)
Minotaur Paladin
Succubus Fighter
Half-Orc Ranger
Halfing Bard (completely different from the other Halfling Bard)
Dwarf Barbarian (Inventor of the Dwarven Door Game)
Human Paladin (died while playing the Dwarven Door Game)
Human Sorcerer
Human Cleric/Rogue
Human Oracle

There are certain trends. I like lawful styled characters, it gives me a set of guiding principles within the context of the game world to inform the character. Otherwise I like to change up what I'm doing. If I was a martial, I tend to go caster next and vice versa. I like things that pack a punch in combat, I don't necessarily optimize heavily, but I know the combo's that work and use them. Or I go high utility, with abilities that make my allies better (we have a large group, so the indirect damage output of a mass buff spell is pretty big).

I sometimes like to try to find a trend within my characters and then purposely pick something opposed to that trend.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dogfort Communications Officer wrote:
Why can we never get salami propaganda. So much better than bologna.

I prefer bacon propaganda, because it's all true.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Andrew R.'s concern for the poor is palpatine... I mean palpable.


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pres man wrote:
I don't quite get the Viagra and birth control connection. One is trying to help your system function, the other is trying to circumvent your system functioning. Viagra is more akin to infertility treatment than birth control.

It's been talked about already.

Hormonal birth control (including one objected to by Hobby Lobby) is a valid treatment option for medical conditions that women suffer from. These conditions cause serious pain, blood loss, infertility and cancer.

There are multiple conditions, several of which have been named in this thread. You can find them with extremely simple google searches as well.

Seriously, this stuff isn't that hard to find.


1. At home, you can reference the PFSRD on your computer.

2. At the table, if the player references an ability you don't remember, ask them to show it to you.

Seems pretty simple to me.


Snorter wrote:
That's why I consider 1E and 2E to be the same game, because virtually all the printed changes matched houserules the player base had already been using for years, so it was more a case of the parent company finally catching up with the end users.

They are the same game. They're just different editions. 3.0 is still the same game. It really isn't that hard to convert stuff from OD&D to 3.0. It's more work than from OD&D -> AD&D, but it's still very possible and if you've practiced it, pretty fast.

I've run Against the Hill Giants for players in Pathfinder doing the conversion purely in my head (without opening the PF Bestiary).

The changes were incremental, but it still stands, if you compare the AD&D PHB and AD&D 2E PHB, there are a lot of differences. I'm sure some groups had both books open on the table, but they weren't used interchangeably. If you were playing a Bard, you didn't just grab one of the two randomly.

None of this is a "you're doing it wrong" statement. They were different editions. They were PUBLISHED as different editions. It doesn't matter if we as observers from 20+ years later can point and see the similarities, they were still different editions.


Voadam wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


1E had "To-Hit Tables", 2E had THAC0 (yes, THAC0 is not as old as you think it is).

1e had THACO in many modules and I believe in the DMG under the big table of monster stat listings, though I'd have to check that.

See for yourself. Go here and click on the full preview. You will see THACO in the game terms on page 2 of this 1985 AD&D module.

Sorry I wasn't clear.

Late publications of 1E had references to the term, but it wasn't a core concept until 2E. In addition for 1E, THAC0 was generally a monster concept, devised as a shortcut for the DM so they could use monster stat blocks more easily without having to reference the DMG every time. From the little I've seen it cropped up more often (and earlier) in UK versions of publications, as early as 1983.

There are also differences between 1E and 2E THAC0. THAC0 in 2E form first appeared in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, a 1E book, but fairly late in the time frame of 1E (1986, with AD&D 2E being published in 1989).

I think that's part of the issue for why 1E and 2E feel very close together as well. 1E changed a lot over time, there were small changes pretty much every year, either from Dragon or a hardcover book (which often were finalized versions of Dragon articles). 2E was partly a collection of those gradual changes, formalizing their relationships in the primary books of the game.


Andrew R wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

The only thing they didn't want to cover was "morning-after pills", "week-after pills", and 2 forms of IUDs that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to a uterus lining. Their basic stance is that they will cover you to not get pregnant but once you fertilize an egg, you pay for it yourself.

People want to vilify them and say that it opens the door for companies to opt out of coverage and all that crap....who is forcing people to work for these companies? An employee has a choice. You take the options that a company offers you when you work for them or you find a company that has a better offer. If you don't like the benefits and pay that a company provides then don't work for them. It really is that simple. Some companies will certainly take advantage and strip down their benefits for a quick profit but in the long-term when the employee pool is getting less-experienced, less desirable employees and the company starts taking a hit, then they will either realize that they need to offer better benefits or they will fall to other companies that do.
Hobby Lobby has a very nice benefits package for it's employees.

Sure, employees could look for work else where. By that same logic, I can just point out that Hobby Lobby's owners aren't required to employ workers. If they find the concept of NOT imposing their religious beliefs on others to be too onerous, they can just choose not to run their business.

If Hobby Lobby doesn't like the rules the rest of us have made, they can just close up shop and find another way to make a living.

That's the EXACT same logic as saying that employees can just go elsewhere for employment. Since it cuts both way, it's a moot point and doesn't actually help your argument.

And that is the self-entitled, self-important attitude which is why we have this issue going on currently. A company can
...

You're saying that a person's health care and what it does or doesn't cover has no impact on their life?

People make real financial decisions based on what their insurance covers. These decisions impact their lives, either seeking out treatment or putting it off.

You still didn't address the issue though. Why is Hobby Lobby different from Target? Why does Hobby Lobby get to ignore the law because of their religion?


There are big differences between 1E and 2E. They were fairly compatible, but there were major differences, enough that they were called different editions.

Time has softened those distinct edges in our minds, both by it's mere passage and with the release of newer editions that depart further from both.

A bard in 1E and 2E are quite different animals. Psionics are completely different. 1E had "To-Hit Tables", 2E had THAC0 (yes, THAC0 is not as old as you think it is). The Cleric/Druid spell list was completely redone.

Conversion between 1E and 2E is very easily the simplest though, that I would agree. Easy enough you can just do it on the fly with most monsters without thinking that much really.


Andrew R wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

The only thing they didn't want to cover was "morning-after pills", "week-after pills", and 2 forms of IUDs that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to a uterus lining. Their basic stance is that they will cover you to not get pregnant but once you fertilize an egg, you pay for it yourself.

People want to vilify them and say that it opens the door for companies to opt out of coverage and all that crap....who is forcing people to work for these companies? An employee has a choice. You take the options that a company offers you when you work for them or you find a company that has a better offer. If you don't like the benefits and pay that a company provides then don't work for them. It really is that simple. Some companies will certainly take advantage and strip down their benefits for a quick profit but in the long-term when the employee pool is getting less-experienced, less desirable employees and the company starts taking a hit, then they will either realize that they need to offer better benefits or they will fall to other companies that do.
Hobby Lobby has a very nice benefits package for it's employees.

Sure, employees could look for work else where. By that same logic, I can just point out that Hobby Lobby's owners aren't required to employ workers. If they find the concept of NOT imposing their religious beliefs on others to be too onerous, they can just choose not to run their business.

If Hobby Lobby doesn't like the rules the rest of us have made, they can just close up shop and find another way to make a living.

That's the EXACT same logic as saying that employees can just go elsewhere for employment. Since it cuts both way, it's a moot point and doesn't actually help your argument.

And that is the self-entitled, self-important attitude which is why we have this issue going on currently. A company can operate under any reasoning that they want. Sure there are
...

You aren't actually addressing the issue.

Why does an employer get to use their religion to exempt them from the law when dealing with employees? Why is the employer's religious beliefs more important than the employees?


#19 is a poorly written question, technically every answer is correct. It exceptionally vague AND includes the word "may".


Fake Healer wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

The only thing they didn't want to cover was "morning-after pills", "week-after pills", and 2 forms of IUDs that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to a uterus lining. Their basic stance is that they will cover you to not get pregnant but once you fertilize an egg, you pay for it yourself.

People want to vilify them and say that it opens the door for companies to opt out of coverage and all that crap....who is forcing people to work for these companies? An employee has a choice. You take the options that a company offers you when you work for them or you find a company that has a better offer. If you don't like the benefits and pay that a company provides then don't work for them. It really is that simple. Some companies will certainly take advantage and strip down their benefits for a quick profit but in the long-term when the employee pool is getting less-experienced, less desirable employees and the company starts taking a hit, then they will either realize that they need to offer better benefits or they will fall to other companies that do.
Hobby Lobby has a very nice benefits package for it's employees.

Sure, employees could look for work else where. By that same logic, I can just point out that Hobby Lobby's owners aren't required to employ workers. If they find the concept of NOT imposing their religious beliefs on others to be too onerous, they can just choose not to run their business.

If Hobby Lobby doesn't like the rules the rest of us have made, they can just close up shop and find another way to make a living.

That's the EXACT same logic as saying that employees can just go elsewhere for employment. Since it cuts both way, it's a moot point and doesn't actually help your argument.

And that is the self-entitled, self-important attitude which is why we have this issue going on currently. A company can operate under any reasoning that they want. Sure there are guidelines laid down by the government (which apparently it...

Yes, it's the self-entitled attitude of Hobby Lobby that they can treat their employees differently based on RELIGIOUS ideas. If they don't like respecting the religion of their employees, they can do something else.

No one is forcing Hobby Lobby to exist as a company. No one is forcing them to employ people. These are choices that Hobby Lobby is making. Why should the rules be different for Hobby Lobby, based purely on their religion?

If my religion says I can employ 8 y/o's to do manual labor, does that mean I'm exempt from child labor laws? The children (and their parents) get to choose whether or not they come and work at my business. It's an infringement on my religious freedom to say I can't employ small children.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Fake Healer wrote:

The only thing they didn't want to cover was "morning-after pills", "week-after pills", and 2 forms of IUDs that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to a uterus lining. Their basic stance is that they will cover you to not get pregnant but once you fertilize an egg, you pay for it yourself.

People want to vilify them and say that it opens the door for companies to opt out of coverage and all that crap....who is forcing people to work for these companies? An employee has a choice. You take the options that a company offers you when you work for them or you find a company that has a better offer. If you don't like the benefits and pay that a company provides then don't work for them. It really is that simple. Some companies will certainly take advantage and strip down their benefits for a quick profit but in the long-term when the employee pool is getting less-experienced, less desirable employees and the company starts taking a hit, then they will either realize that they need to offer better benefits or they will fall to other companies that do.
Hobby Lobby has a very nice benefits package for it's employees.

Sure, employees could look for work else where. By that same logic, I can just point out that Hobby Lobby's owners aren't required to employ workers. If they find the concept of NOT imposing their religious beliefs on others to be too onerous, they can just choose not to run their business.

If Hobby Lobby doesn't like the rules the rest of us have made, they can just close up shop and find another way to make a living.

That's the EXACT same logic as saying that employees can just go elsewhere for employment. Since it cuts both way, it's a moot point and doesn't actually help your argument.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
KahnyaGnorc wrote:

Here is my opinion:

-You don't have a right for other people to pay for your stuff.

(Also, Hobby Lobby covers most contraceptives, it is only a subset of those, like the morning after pill, that they objected to covering)

Here's my question though...

Is an employer allowed to impose their religious beliefs on employees?

This isn't a blow for "religious freedom", it's just a declaration that people who have more power and money get to impose their religious beliefs on others. That actually sounds like the opposite of religious freedom to me.

I get the point about not wanting to pay for something because it violates your beliefs. At the same time though, I don't think religious beliefs are a valid reason to impose that restriction on someone else who might not share them.

As for not having the right for other people to pay for your stuff, these are employees. They are providing labor to the employer and in return receiving remuneration, one aspect of which is health care. Hobby Lobby wasn't being forced to pay this to random people on the street, these were employees.


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John Kretzer wrote:

Okay....I am going express my thoughts on this. I don't necessarily agree with this ruling but problems from it probably would be fixed by a free market...but I am kinda against the whole mandatory coverage of contraceptives because unless I am very much wrong here nobody needs sex to stay alive or even to remain healthy. And if they don't want to have children, sex for them is a recreational activity. Which I have no problems with...but should you not assume responsibility even on a financial level for you activities? To me it is kinda like saying the government should subsidize my Pazio subscription bill every month.

Now before the whole storm of I am just a privileged sexist pigs start cropping up I am not that strongly attached to idea above it is just how my thought on the subject. I am open to a discussion on it as I realize I might not be seeing the whole picture here. Who knows it might even change my thoughts on this subject.

Endometriosis is one condition for which one various forms of birth control is an effective treatment option.

It's a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus spreads and grows in areas outside of the uterus. It still does it's normal cycle, growing and causing bleeding, but since it's not in the correct place it has no where to go and can't be expelled from the body. This can lead to cancer, cysts and infertility.

Birth control that works through hormones regulate and control the hormones that cause this tissue to grow, thus reducing pain, cramps and other more severe complications.

There are other conditions as well, for which birth control is an effective treatment.


meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


So far, your stance is eerily similar to a Creationist...

*sigh*

You only think that because you've decided you know what I'm arguing, and won't let my actual words dissuade you.

I give up. You're hopeless.

Feel free to clarify your point. Prove that their math is wrong. Prove that it doesn't apply to effects that have been measured in the real world.

Prove you're not the creationist in this argument.

You realize that you are arguing against a point he hasn't been making, right?

Yes and no. If you go back a little ways you'll see me trying to get at the heart of his point and even agreeing with some of it. I'll put it in it's own paragraph:

I agree, they could have used clearer language and explained it better.

These are guys who are familiar with analytic number theory and they're trying to explain very advanced concepts. In their attempt to explain it in layman's terms, it's confusing and possibly misleading.

I agree with all of that. I've even said, if he wants to end his complaints with the video at that point, I completely and wholeheartedly agree with him. Seriously. 100% agreement. If that's all he's concerned with, that's the end of the discussion.

But he's gone beyond that point multiple times. He has tried to claim multiple times that math is faulty and wrong.

no. I haven't. I've gone out of my way to say that I'm not smart enough to debate the validity of the math, only that what they showed was misleading and I feel intentionally so. Repeatedly. You won't listen.

Have you showed evidence of their intent?

I've agreed with you multiple times that their explanation wasn't necessarily the clearest for the uninitiated. But you maintain this disdain for it and their attempt to try and show it to you. You've used very strong language in your descriptions of their explanation and how it's chicanery and trickery.

Yes, they made an attention grabbing title. Because well, they want people to watch the video. They didn't make it for themselves to watch, or for grad students to watch. It's for people who don't study these things. They're translating a very complex and difficult problem into simple terms, so yes, something gets lost in the translation.

But you don't stop there. You go on and claim that it's a fraud. You've said so multiple times. I can link them... again. Heck, you've even said it a couple more times since the last time I linked it.

I've even tried to help explain how the function is useful and valid. You don't seem interested though. You just keep going on and on how they are trying to mislead you. You are focused on YOUR problem with the video and not what they're actually trying to show you.

I've paid attention. Really, I have.

I agree, they could have used better language in the video.


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thejeff wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
For all that, before the 20th century, the government didn't take of these people, charities did, mostly religious ones. What ever happened to that?

Most of the charity organizations in the United States are religious. They're also the ones doing most of the work in handling out food, helping people find jobs, running homeless shelters, etc.

Unfortunately, Thejeff is right; their efforts are not working. Nor did they ever work. That's part of why the poverty problem is growing so massively. It's also a pretty heavy contributing factor to a good portion of the U.S.'s domestic terrorism problem.

They may be doing most of the work handing out food and running shelters and the like, but they're not supplying the bulk of the aid. That's the various "welfare" government programs that keep people from needing the food pantries and shelters in the first place.

More largely, as I've said before in this thread: Charity, whether public or private, can't fix the problem of poverty. All it can do is help out the poor, which is definitely worthwhile. Poverty is far more structural than helping the poor can address.
The problem, especially in the wake of the Great Recession, is the lack of jobs.

Saw another way to think about how the aid doesn't address the problem: it doesn't change the opportunities to pull oneself out of poverty.

Section 8 and SNAP are great for making a poor families budget stretch further, but it doesn't inherently create opportunities for them to get better jobs or be entrepreneurs.

Focusing more on free education and infrastructure (like better broadband access) would probably go a long ways toward providing better opportunities.

Equality is also good for growth. It means that the economy has the highest number of talented and motivated workers as possible. Everyone gets a chance. The problem is that an efficient economy tends to produce inequality, which then erodes that efficiency. A tax system that pushes us towards equality ensures that the highest number of workers are available, while a market system that rewards success encourages growth.

It's getting that balance, which we've pretty obviously failed the past couple decades. Areas of the country are falling into nearly third world status. If it wasn't for the wealth created from previous decades, they'd have almost nothing at all.


Andrew R wrote:
I so wish we could give you a state, say california, to turn into your socialist utopia. You can tax at 90% and claim all you want for the state. You can give as much as you want to anyone, without raiding the rest of the nation you are on your own. So you can just see how well your dreams work in reality. I can promise you anyone that wants to work and earn and have things would leave and the economy would be ussr in no time but hey you get your utopia. meanwhile free men that think we have the right to keep what we earn and do not like being used by leeches can go on in peace.

This is how I know you don't understand anything I say. You aren't debating me, you're debating some ghost in your mind that you think sounds like me.

How do I know? Because I don't want a "socialist utopia".

Your concern for the common is showing again.


MagusJanus wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I think the current system is a result of compromises made to ensure that people "qualify" for aid. In our efforts to eradicate fraud and abuse, we've made the requirements stricter and tougher. People who are on the edge of qualifying end up having to lower themselves to meet the standard. People can't raise themselves up, because if they do they get into that zone where they're still poor, but no longer qualify for programs and their quality of life goes down.

That was one of the points about the article with just giving cash to homeless people.

1) It's cheaper. The cash is less money that you'd spend on aid programs per person.

2) The individual is able to address their direct needs. While those needs are similar between many people, the exact nature of those needs will differ.

The article isn't scientific, as has been addressed, but that isn't the value of it. Rather getting us to rethink how we give aid and distribute it.

A couple people have disagreed with this method though, saying we need strict requirements and controls on what people can do with the aid given. Which brings us right back to the compromises that have increased the culture of dependency.

Because the entire point of those strict requirements and controls is controlling those people. Isn't that exactly what a culture of dependency is? Making them jump through hoops to prove they're worthy of help? Making them beg for aid?

It is. I pointed that out a few pages ago and the discussion didn't go anywhere.

Pretty much, that's the entire problem with the current system; it is not about helping people. That's why it is the U.S. is throwing the equivalent of entire GDPs at the problem and not making one single bit of difference. The U.S. spending on aid in this area exceeds that of the total economy of entire nations; there is no excuse for the problem not getting better and for the fact it keeps

...

More than just the system though. The fear of failure is pretty strong in American culture. Being allowed to fail is incongruent with the ideal of rugged individualism, even though logically it should be inherent to it. You see it all the time in sports analysis too, athletes can't be "great" unless they win.

The other aspect is power. If I have money and I just give it to you without restrictions, I'm not using the power that it gives me. If I give it to you but say you can only use it for certain things, I maintain my power. I don't necessarily think this is done maliciously to poor people, but people are loathe to give up power when they have it. Why just give poor people money, when you can make them jump through hoops to get it? In addition, because of our culture of rugged individualism, if they're poor they must have failed, therefore those who have money know more and should make the decisions for the poor people.

I think we're pretty close overall on this though, you and I.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

From the new D&D basic pdf.

Quote:

Sex

You can play a male or female character without gaining
any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how
your character does or does not conform to the broader
culture's expectations of sex, gender, and sexual
behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the
traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could
be a reason for your character to leave that society and
come to the surface.

You don't need to be confined to binary notions of
sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often
seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example,
and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon's
image. You could also play a female character who
presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a
female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being
mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character's sexual
orientation is for you to decide.


Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


So far, your stance is eerily similar to a Creationist...

*sigh*

You only think that because you've decided you know what I'm arguing, and won't let my actual words dissuade you.

I give up. You're hopeless.

Feel free to clarify your point. Prove that their math is wrong. Prove that it doesn't apply to effects that have been measured in the real world.

Prove you're not the creationist in this argument.

You realize that you are arguing against a point he hasn't been making, right?

Yes and no. If you go back a little ways you'll see me trying to get at the heart of his point and even agreeing with some of it. I'll put it in it's own paragraph:

I agree, they could have used clearer language and explained it better.

These are guys who are familiar with analytic number theory and they're trying to explain very advanced concepts. In their attempt to explain it in layman's terms, it's confusing and possibly misleading.

I agree with all of that. I've even said, if he wants to end his complaints with the video at that point, I completely and wholeheartedly agree with him. Seriously. 100% agreement. If that's all he's concerned with, that's the end of the discussion.

But he's gone beyond that point multiple times. He has tried to claim multiple times that math is faulty and wrong.


MagusJanus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I think the current system is a result of compromises made to ensure that people "qualify" for aid. In our efforts to eradicate fraud and abuse, we've made the requirements stricter and tougher. People who are on the edge of qualifying end up having to lower themselves to meet the standard. People can't raise themselves up, because if they do they get into that zone where they're still poor, but no longer qualify for programs and their quality of life goes down.

That was one of the points about the article with just giving cash to homeless people.

1) It's cheaper. The cash is less money that you'd spend on aid programs per person.

2) The individual is able to address their direct needs. While those needs are similar between many people, the exact nature of those needs will differ.

The article isn't scientific, as has been addressed, but that isn't the value of it. Rather getting us to rethink how we give aid and distribute it.

A couple people have disagreed with this method though, saying we need strict requirements and controls on what people can do with the aid given. Which brings us right back to the compromises that have increased the culture of dependency.

Because the entire point of those strict requirements and controls is controlling those people. Isn't that exactly what a culture of dependency is? Making them jump through hoops to prove they're worthy of help? Making them beg for aid?

It is. I pointed that out a few pages ago and the discussion didn't go anywhere.

Pretty much, that's the entire problem with the current system; it is not about helping people. That's why it is the U.S. is throwing the equivalent of entire GDPs at the problem and not making one single bit of difference. The U.S. spending on aid in this area exceeds that of the total economy of entire nations; there is no excuse for the problem not getting better and for the fact it keeps getting worse.

I disagree. I think people want to help, but it's just done ineffectually.

We also have a culture that abhors failure. If you're in charge of a program, it's not in your interests to report that it failed. Even though that would be useful information and help better inform future attempts to solve the issue. Reporting that you failed is how you get fired.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Frank Sinatra

I'm going to a LARP set in 1950 tonight. Picking up a bottle of Jack to help also.


I think the current system is a result of compromises made to ensure that people "qualify" for aid. In our efforts to eradicate fraud and abuse, we've made the requirements stricter and tougher. People who are on the edge of qualifying end up having to lower themselves to meet the standard. People can't raise themselves up, because if they do they get into that zone where they're still poor, but no longer qualify for programs and their quality of life goes down.

That was one of the points about the article with just giving cash to homeless people.

1) It's cheaper. The cash is less money that you'd spend on aid programs per person.

2) The individual is able to address their direct needs. While those needs are similar between many people, the exact nature of those needs will differ.

The article isn't scientific, as has been addressed, but that isn't the value of it. Rather getting us to rethink how we give aid and distribute it.

A couple people have disagreed with this method though, saying we need strict requirements and controls on what people can do with the aid given. Which brings us right back to the compromises that have increased the culture of dependency.


meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


So far, your stance is eerily similar to a Creationist...

*sigh*

You only think that because you've decided you know what I'm arguing, and won't let my actual words dissuade you.

I give up. You're hopeless.

Feel free to clarify your point. Prove that their math is wrong. Prove that it doesn't apply to effects that have been measured in the real world.

Prove you're not the creationist in this argument.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

Sunday Songs of Praise!

Blind Willie Johnson--Dark Was the Night

Grooveshark only give you three of the tracks, but you'll probably get the idea.

A bit from The West Wing.


Government shouldn't be telling us how to live our lives... unless your poor, then you're too stupid to make your own decisions.


Andrew R wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
And i do not say to get rid of it entirely, i just want to take the fun out of it so it is not abused so much. My current idea is to NOT give them a card, tie it to state ID and only that person may use it. Mark the card "not eligible to purchase alcohol, lotto or tobacco" as they have no business buying those while taking from others. Only allow the card to buy actual food not redbull. Make them all take a class about shopping smart and cooking. DO NOT give them more if they continue to have kids they do not need insensitive to keep making the problem worse. Revoke it for criminal actions, if they don't care about their kids enough to leave the meth alone goe the kids to someone that gives a damn

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Eligible Food Items
Quote:

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco

So, are you going to fess up to the fact that you have this stubborn idea of what it means to be on welfare which has no correlation to reality?
Here in MI they can get cash off the card and buy all of that at whim

Could you cite a source?

Cause the website from the state of Michigan disagrees with you.

Quote:

What should I know about my Food Assistance and/or Cash Account?

Food Assistance Account
It does not cost you to use the Michigan Bridge Card for Food Assistance transactions.

You do not get cash back when you use it.

That's from another site. I'm sure there are places that circumvent the law, but it's not legal.


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Vod Canockers wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Indeed. So long as people stay out of poverty, it doesn't matter much how much someone else makes. The fact of the matter is, no matter how you look at it, if you were to take the money from the ten thousand richest and distribute them evenly, most people wouldn't even notice. It's just a way for socialists to play on people's envy.

That's just not true. You're still underestimating how extreme the divide is.

I haven't seen numbers for the top 10,000 specifically, but in the US, the top 0.01% hold about 10% of the country's wealth. Which is more than the bottom 2/3 of the population. They'd notice.

Not that I'd advocate actually doing so. There's still time for gentler measures to work.

Worldwide the billionaires have a total of $6.4 trillion, that is less than $1000 per person worldwide. That total is a bit over 1/3 of the current US debt.

If we take all 12 million High Net Worth people, they have $46.2 trillion which is less than $7000 per person. So yeah, the poor in the US would "notice," but it's not going to change their lives.

In parts of Africa owning a bicycle is a big deal. Many farmers don't own one. That means they have to walk to their fields/flocks. They can only bring to market as much as they can carry and they have to walk there. They have to walk to get the water they need for the day. Everywhere and anywhere, they walk. It eats up hours of productivity.

They save up for months or even years to buy a bicycle and when they do buy one, it improves their lives immensely. Now they have more time to work. They have time to take classes on how to read and write. They no longer rely on the labor of the children and can send them to school.

Please explain how a family which has difficulty affording a $50 bicycle isn't going to have their lives dramatically changed by $1000, let alone $7000.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
BNW: How much would you be willing to pay in taxes, in percent of your income, assuming you do not get any more of it back through handouts than you do today, as an absolute top limit for your generosity? At what point would you say that enough is enough?
But that is the game, most that play his lines pay little to nothing, they want others to pay. Often for themselves

Taxes aren't theft. Stop implying that they are. They're an agreed upon mechanism for which we pay for the things that have been agreed upon.

You're free to opt out of society at any time in several different ways, but if you want to stay here and participate, taxes are one of the rules.

You really can't opt out of society: there's no where else left to go. I think that puts a large responsibility on government to use the funds it takes responsibly.

I'm totally willing to have a conversation about whether or not government is using the funds responsibly. I think that's a great conversation to have and indeed a necessary and constant topic of debate.

Calling taxes theft does not contribute to that conversation though.


Andrew R wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
BNW: How much would you be willing to pay in taxes, in percent of your income, assuming you do not get any more of it back through handouts than you do today, as an absolute top limit for your generosity? At what point would you say that enough is enough?
But that is the game, most that play his lines pay little to nothing, they want others to pay. Often for themselves

Taxes aren't theft. Stop implying that they are. They're an agreed upon mechanism for which we pay for the things that have been agreed upon.

You're free to opt out of society at any time in several different ways, but if you want to stay here and participate, taxes are one of the rules.


Andrew R wrote:
So the answer as always is take from others. I support programs, especially non-profit ones, to help people help themselves. To expect others to pay forever is wrong.

In the 60's and into the 70's, hunger was an issue in this country. It got so bad that people demanded action from politicians. The government went to work and nearly eradicated chronic hunger from this country. In the 80's, those programs were reduced or eliminated, shifting reliance to the "thousand points of light" of private charities. It didn't take long until they were overwhelmed and unable to meet demand. Every economic downturn and the problem only gets worse.

Right now, you are opposed to the the only thing that has ever worked.
Right now, you are advocating something that has proven to not work.

It's as simple as that. You are voicing your support for something that has failed. It has failed, it is failing, and by all predictions, will continue to fail.

Your solution for the sinking boat is to drill more holes in the hull, hoping the water will drain out.


I serve food/wash dishes at a neighborhood soup kitchen. Mind you, if I didn't have a small disability check from the VA, I'd probably be on the other side of the counter.


I would treat it like any other hobby your kid participates in. Be aware of what's going on, know his friends, etc. Participating is of course a great way to better understand it.

Another resource is to see if there are any local public groups that play games. There are a lot of game stores that host Pathfinder Society games, which are organized and structured. Sometimes stores run demonstrations of games too, to help teach them to new people. They can also make game recommendations.

Little Wizards is a game meant for kids ages 6-10. I've heard a lot of goods things about it. If you're not familiar with roleplaying, starting with something simpler that also includes advice on how to teach your kid could be useful.


MagusJanus wrote:

He barely even touches on the problems aid networks cause in Africa. I've had people from Kenya outright tell me Africa would be in better shape if people stopped trying to help it.

I also remember a lot of the tales about how welfare was early on. About how even having a simple phone, a requirement to get a job, could get a needy family kicked out of the program. It does not strike me as odd that there are people who have been on welfare for generations now; it strikes me odd that people have such of a hard time understanding why. And the thing is, I don't believe the situation has actually changed; just the methods of enforcing it.

Have you gotten out and investigated the quality of food in your local food pantries? In the organizations that are actually giving it out? I have. What I found is there is no lack of fruit and vegetables going to the poor. But the quality of it? Let's just say I understand why there's a weight issue and why so many poor end up with highly-processed foods loaded with salt and sugar now. For them, it's the healthier choice of their options.

And that's a major part of the problem: Aid groups are not just being used for actual aid; they're also being used as way to throw away garbage and claim it as a tax write-off. After all, beggars can't be choosers...

I just really have to point out, that everything you just wrote is in agreement with my point. You're not actually disagreeing with me right now. If you think you are disagreeing with me, you haven't understood my point.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
thejeff wrote:


As for assigning case workers, it's not quite the same, but
Quote:
Another Ugandan program awarded $150 to 1,800 poor women in the North of the country. Here, too, incomes went up significantly. The women who were supported by an aid worker were slightly better off, but later calculations proved that the program would have been even more effective had the aid workers’ salary simply been divided among the women as well.
You might just do better without them.

I do think that when dealing with homelessness in an area, you're dealing with the worst off possible in an area. The women in Uganda, while massively poor in the grand scheme of things, were probably average for their area.

A homeless person in NYC on the other hand has tried to live their life and failed for some reason. That isn't an indictment on them, the reason might not be their fault, but for the long term unhoused, something is holding them back.

In my mind, the case-worker wouldn't be there to evaluate the person or some sort of gate-keeper. Rather an experienced person who knows where the resources are and can serve as a guide. The intensity of their involvement would be determined by the person being helped.

As I said, it's not quite the same case. You're still making the common sense assumption. It's what I would assume about the homeless as well.

What the article suggests is that may not be correct. It's worth looking into.

Watch that video. It'll give a better idea of what I'm describing.

The social worker's job would be to help connect the person to the things they need. You give the guy money, but if he needs drug rehab, he still needs to know where to go to get that. The social worker would be the hub to provide that information.

Finding and assisting people is still going to require infrastructure, there's no way to get around that. Even if you just leave bags of cash on the street marked "for homeless people", someone still needs to write that on the bags, put the money inside and drop them off.

One of the things to study and measure is when the drop-off happens. What if someone did the Uganda thing again, but reduced the aid workers by a factor of 10? or by 100? The women still get their money and if one of them has questions or other issues, there is still someone to handle that.


MagusJanus wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Selgard wrote:

Out of the dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of homeless they had access to they happened to stumble across the magic number 13 and select 13 people who money would be their panacea and solve their issues as well as be competent enough to manage their money in the long term.

They looked at the needs of the many and selected 13 who they thought would both find the money useful for their problems and be able to handle it and gave them money.

Otherwise, they hit the statistical jackpot in finding the perfect 13 folks for their perfect little article.

I'm not saying what they did is a bad thing- I am very glad those people were helped in a fashion that was actually helpful to them but to think the 13 perfect samples were actually any sort of random draw of the general homeless population is probably not an accurate assessment of what happened.

And you know this how? Have you seen their methodology? I haven't. Would you support a larger scale trial of the concept, just to be sure they didn't just hit the statistical jackpot.

As I've said several times, the fact they picked a heroin addict suggests they weren't screening too carefully, so maybe they just got real lucky in finding one who could kick the habit.

What do you think of the larger concept and the other examples they talk about, where just giving money without supervision worked better than more traditional welfare?

I personally suspect they approached it with the wrong school of thought. I've often wondered if welfare is actually intended to help people or if it is intended to trap them.

It's intended to help. The problem is that intention does not guarantee results.

I do agree that there are a lot of unintended consequences with welfare programs, or they don't actually solve the problem well. That said, even the social safety net of the USA with all of it's problems is better than no net at all. The % of seniors living in poverty today is much lower than 100 years ago. That doesn't mean Social Security doesn't need to be restructured or have problems fixed... just that it's better than nothing at all.

edit: Watch this video. He talks about the flaws in how governments and NGO's give aid to Africa and why they don't see positive results.


thejeff wrote:


As for assigning case workers, it's not quite the same, but
Quote:
Another Ugandan program awarded $150 to 1,800 poor women in the North of the country. Here, too, incomes went up significantly. The women who were supported by an aid worker were slightly better off, but later calculations proved that the program would have been even more effective had the aid workers’ salary simply been divided among the women as well.
You might just do better without them.

I do think that when dealing with homelessness in an area, you're dealing with the worst off possible in an area. The women in Uganda, while massively poor in the grand scheme of things, were probably average for their area.

A homeless person in NYC on the other hand has tried to live their life and failed for some reason. That isn't an indictment on them, the reason might not be their fault, but for the long term unhoused, something is holding them back.

In my mind, the case-worker wouldn't be there to evaluate the person or some sort of gate-keeper. Rather an experienced person who knows where the resources are and can serve as a guide. The intensity of their involvement would be determined by the person being helped.


Selgard wrote:

Out of the dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of homeless they had access to they happened to stumble across the magic number 13 and select 13 people who money would be their panacea and solve their issues as well as be competent enough to manage their money in the long term.

They looked at the needs of the many and selected 13 who they thought would both find the money useful for their problems and be able to handle it and gave them money.

Otherwise, they hit the statistical jackpot in finding the perfect 13 folks for their perfect little article.

I'm not saying what they did is a bad thing- I am very glad those people were helped in a fashion that was actually helpful to them but to think the 13 perfect samples were actually any sort of random draw of the general homeless population is probably not an accurate assessment of what happened.

-S

If you're replying to me, you aren't actually addressing anything I talked about.

You're focusing on the 13 people and the specific actions taken in helping them. While that is important and useful, you're ignoring how the APPROACH taken to arrive at that solution is different.

Don't focus on a specific solution. Focus on how solutions are found.


cnetarian wrote:
PsychoticWarrior wrote:
Sarcasmancer wrote:
Time's Memory wrote:
I did a poll a couple weeks ago -- no one in my group has ever read any Lovecraft. It might be hard to drum up enthusiasm for Cthulu.
CoC is better if the players don't know Lovecraft.
CoC is best when the players don't even know their playing in it.
Second, pick up a copy of BRP (or a d100 system which fits the background) and tell the players you are running a Fantasy Europe RQ or updated Top Secret game. Hmm, spy versus cultist - that could make an interesting campaign.

There's a game for that, Night's Black Agents (though there's definitely combat in that one). The players are all top-level spies (James Bond, Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer) who discover that their agency is secretly run by vampires, who have been operating a massive conspiracy for decades or even centuries. The game is customizable too, you can make the vampires different types of vampires, or even include multiple types.

It's done in the Gumshoe system, which is normally not a very combat focused game. Because you're super-spies, they added more combat elements, but it's still a system that has strengths in other areas (particularly investigation).

The game won 2 silver ENnies last year: Best game and best writing.

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