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Gabe

Samnell's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 3,317 posts (3,357 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 5 aliases.


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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
While I was growing up I was amazed that the country that had this as their defining statement ever had slavery. But it is unreasonable to expect perfection. It is simply our job as a society to move toward perfection. Even though we never expect to be perfect, the struggle toward it makes us better and better, and that is enough.
It was somewhat contentious, even in it's time but because of the problems of passing the Declaration of Independence which basically required not just a majority but a unilateral commitment from each of the colonial states. It was a statement of war against the King and the southern states wouldn't sign without the express promise of slavery not being outlawed. Much of the northern and midatlantic had already abolished slavery, though many slaves still existed in the north by good old boys looking the other way. One of the few constitutional clauses that couldn't be ammended was the requirement that no laws hindering slavery would be passed federally until sometime in the early 1800's.

Minor historical derail:
In 1776, all thirteen colonies had slavery and none had abolished it. Pennsylvania was the first state to abolish, in 1780. Massachusetts slavery was invalidated by a court decision in 1783.

The institution never quite caught on so well in New England as it did in the South, for the obvious reason that the South had the prime tobacco land. Outside the southern colonies, slavery also did pretty well in New York and New Jersey. New Jersey still had 16 slaves on the books due to its very gradual emancipation law in 1860. They didn't even pass that law until 1804.

Those laws left lots of slaves in place, to serve a term before freedom and liable to be sold off into a jurisdiction with more slavery-friendly laws before their freedom dates came. Between legal cutoff dates and mandatory service to a certain age, most states outside New England still had residual and superannuated slaves up until the 1840s when separate legislation freed the lot.


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Time to bleed one more goat!

But I'm out of goats?! Nooooooooooo!!eleven


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*looks at list*
*scrolls a bit*

My item!

*hugs a goblin*


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Do you often pose like that, Sam?

[Crosses fingers]

I don't normally wear that much clothing when I pose.

Rothfuss and I are of similar girth (and also given name, as it happens). His hair is a little bit lighter, quite a bit curlier, and more resident on the head. Given what is on display, I suspect that the hair he has on his head is simply distributed in other locations on me. Perhaps if he can be induced to shave, it will transpire that we share a single supply of hair and mine would redistribute.

But black boxer-briefs? No. Ok, maybe in spandex but that's a for special occasions kind of thing and I drape my glorious corpulence over things far too often to call it special.

*kissyface*


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I think I would have respected the last episode more if it ended with 20 minutes of every named character still living putting a gun in his or her mouth and pulling the trigger. That would have been a fitting, even kind of beautiful, end to the series. It certainly would have been more honest than the version we got, where everyone went off camping.

But I do have a soft spot for Adama & Roslin's final bit.


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Travis Walton "UFO Guy" wrote:
What color was the helicopter? You need to know the color of the helicopter.

For reference:

Unmarked black helicopters: World Government. Best stay inside.
Blue: Sheriff's Secret Police. They'll keep a good eye on your kids, and hardly ever take one.
Complex murals depicting diving birds of prey: We don't know, but a few months back they took all the children. Then gave them back, much better behaved than before. So probably ok.
Yellow helicopters: You're screwed. Believe in a smiling God.


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Usagi Yojimbo wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

So...

Healthcare.gov is complex software. Check.
Complicated software has vulnerabilities. Check.
Therefore Healtcare.gov likely has some vulnerabilities. Check.
Ergo, the ACA is bad. Wait...what?

Actually, I think the logic continues from '...has some vulnerabilities' (sure, as you say)

to: therefore, people will die, because Obama

And then pick back up with 'Ergo, the ACA is bad'

If you can't follow that, you must be willfully blind!

You guys, Barack Obama was just here. He grabbed me by the neck and lifted me out of my chair and slammed me down on my bed. I tried to explain that, while I'm sure he's an accomplished lover, he is not my type.

Obama would hear none of it. He pressed his fingers together, like he was going to make a karate chop, and then just slammed them into my abdomen, fingertips first. Before I could even process what happened, Obama pulled out, my appendix in hand. I'll never forget what he said next, hand dripping with my blood as he stood over me:

"North Korea hacked healthcare.gov and gave you appendicitis. Put a band-aid on that, drink some Robitussin, and take two aspirin. You'll be fine. And get a haircut, hippie."

Then Obama threw the bloody appendix in my face and climbed out my window into a flying bidet that, as I understand it, became Air Force One as soon as he mounted the thing and blasted off. I got up to get the band-aid and realized that he took my Lego C-3PO on the way out.

Gotta call dick move on the 3PO, Obama.


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I know I'm coming to this late, but wouldn't arachnocapitalism be a system where the rich systematically feed the poor to hordes of ravenous spiders for their personal entertainment?

I can't see any rightist going for that. They'd be too jealous of the spiders.


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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The library system has finally proffered up Who Wrote the Bible?, which will be the last (for now) in the series of Comrade Samnell recommendations.
This Who Wrote the Bible? shiznit is as good as all the reviewers say it is. It's a bit older than The Bible Unearthed and accepts that whole "David-ruled-a-united-kingdom-that-split-in-two" agitprop, but it gets way more into other things like D&Desque internecine church politics with the Aaronids and the Shilonites squabbling over high places and statues. Way cool.

Circa 2002, I was talking to a Jehovah's Witness about how the different accounts of the plague in Kings and Chronicles tell a really interesting story about the evolving theology of the day. As I get about these things, I was quite excited. I mean, it's HISTORY!

He took extreme offense at the idea of theological diversity in his holy book and so spent half the time griping at me and the other half just staring blankly. I'm reasonably sure that his brain inserted Chronicles' additions into the Kings version and just ignored the rest. Bummer.


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thejeff wrote:

Not to mention that a flat 20% rate (or even the 15%) would be a huge tax cut for the majority of the rich. Even those relying mostly on capital gains would at worst break even.

And a massive tax increase on the poorest. The ones already working full time and relying on food stamps.

Is that really what we want?

Past experience with flat tax fans has suggested to me that this is their preferred outcome.


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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Here is what I found.

Edit: A little more info.

I think I have moved to hyper perplexed... Why do you keep doing this to yourselves?

When you design a system of government to be broken, break it, and then hope politics doesn't happen so no one notices how thoroughly broken it is this can only be expected.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
The guy that "jumped out a window" had the back of his skull bashed in before the fall.

By CIA standards, that's practically consensual.


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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

To revisit this:

Samnell wrote:
Wes, have you listened to Welcome to Night Vale?

Yes and it's AMAZING!

I am gradually catching up while infecting the rest of the office.

If you're not listening to this, you are missing out on something you would very much enjoy.

Why do you think you don't deserve to enjoy things?

I look forward to the influx of beautiful hair, dog parks, and vague, yet menacing government agencies into future Pathfinder products. :)


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:

I support a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. I used to be much more permissive on it, but repeated interactions with gun owners and advocates, online and in person, have given me more than sufficient reason to dismiss their good judgment.

:(

When you hear from enough people who expect to use their personal arsenals to overthrow the government, you eventually realize that they're living in a fantasy world, are dangerously paranoid, or both. I take them at their word: they really believe this stuff.

Ok, keep on believing it. But people who really do believe this stuff clearly aren't in possession of the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit.

Full disclosure: I, obviously, don't think my hypothetical gun would or should be used to overthrow the government or that I have any realistic hope of doing so. Any such attempt would just be an especially reckless attempt at suicide by cop, at best. But even with that said, I don't think that I possess the kind of judgment I'd want to see in anybody with a firearms permit. I'm not sure any human being has it. Thus I don't own a gun, even though I live in a fairly gun-heavy area and have, if not in the recent past, been a victim of violence.

Of course the whole pacifism thing is an obstacle too, but I don't think pacifism is required to know the limits of human judgment.


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I support a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. I used to be much more permissive on it, but repeated interactions with gun owners and advocates, online and in person, have given me more than sufficient reason to dismiss their good judgment.

But if we must preserve the evil of private firearm ownership, then I consider this a worryingly permissive system:

:

1) Anybody seeking to possess a functional firearm, or one that could easily be made functional, must not just complete a safety course but also a rigorous mental health examination. Anything less than perfection on either and you can't get a gun. Ever. The state picks the shrinks and is free to set as ludicrously exacting standards for the safety course and mental health exam as it likes. Failure of either results in a lifetime ban on possession and ownership.

2) A thorough background check must be completed and any past infractions, criminal or civil, result in rejection of the application and a lifetime ban on possession and ownership. If you can't drive the speed limit, why should we trust you with a machine designed only to kill?

3) The permit would have to be consented to by all local, state, and national law enforcement authorities. This consent may be revoked at any time for any reason.

4) The applicant would have to demonstrate a bona fide need for the specific firearm sought. If self-defense is claimed, the applicant must first demonstrate a present, credible threat to his or her life which cannot be remedied by ordinary police protection. If the permit is sought for hunting, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she cannot afford meat from the grocery store. Recreational shooting and collecting are expressly not sufficient cause.

5) No permits will be issued for handguns or other easily concealed weapons, or weapons that can fire more than once without being manually reloaded, whatsoever.

6) All permits are subject to regular renewal at least once a year which works the same as applying for the permit originally did.

7) If a permit renewal is denied or revoked, any and all associated firearms and ammunition must be surrendered immediately.

8) In the event of any criminal or civil charges against the holder, the permit is automatically revoked. If you are tried and acquitted, you can reapply afterwards.

9) Firearms and ammunition may only be purchased from state-operated dealers and may not be resold. A dealer may not be located in any jurisdiction which elects to forbid it and firearms may not be transported across jurisdiction lines by private individuals.

10) Every discharge of a firearm must be reported to at least the standard currently required of police officers who discharge their weapons.

11) State officials issued a firearm in the course of their duties must surrender it immediately on the conclusion of those duties. Police must turn them in at the end of their shift, for example.

12) No firearms may be permitted in public places, permit or otherwise, or at any gathering of more than five people except at the state dealerships and, if all the jurisdictions concerned choose to permit such a thing, state-operated shooting ranges.

13) By accepting a permit, one accepts the maximum possible penalty and liability for any crime or infraction involving the firearm covered in the permit for as long as the firearm is possessed. (So if you shoot someone with it, it's always premeditated murder and you're going away for the maximum sentence, etc.) If the firearm is stolen, it must be reported immediately and a substantial (say not less than a hundred thousand dollars) fine paid. If someone stole your gun, you obviously did not have it safely and securely stored. Thus a stolen firearm would result in an immediate lifetime revocation of all firearms permits and the consequent surrender of all firearms.

14) All firearm permits are for one and only one firearm. Under no circumstances may multiple permits be issued to the same person or to multiple people living in the same household.

15) All firearm permits and their holders must be registered in a national database. A searchable index of this database must be kept available to the public on the internet at all times.

16) No firearm permit may be issued to any person living within one mile of any school, playground, or other place where minors regularly congregate.

17) By accepting the firearm permit, one also consents to regular inspections of one's firearm storage and safety to ensure that one is being a responsible gun owner. Some of these inspections will come on a regular schedule and others as surprises. They can take place at any time of the day or night.

I'd gladly hear if there are any loopholes I left open so I can close them.


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Fergurg wrote:
Set wrote:

'Morally acceptable,' in the context of this thread, is going to be what Erastil or Sarenrae or Zon-Kuthon or Gozreh or Calistria thinks of a given relationship. They are the arbiters of morality, for Golarion, and their opinions may well vary *extremely,* making it kind of a wash, since you can probably find a faith, or a culture, that embraces or rejects *any* given person's nature.

Zon-Kuthon as an arbiter of morality? I'm scared! Hold me (but in a nonsexual way)!

Of course he is. Don't you think his followers look to him for moral guidance? I'm playing a cleric of his right now that surely does. The Midnight Lord is the god of love and beauty to him and he, as a sacred duty and act of great compassion, wants to share that love and beauty with the world. Together he and those who he helps make a joyous noise unto the heavens. Through the act they are exalted and approach the divine in holy ecstasy.

I have a lot of fun with the fact that, since this is fantasy, his conceptions of love and beauty can be taken as humorous. But then I make sure to subvert that too because ultimately, he is a very bad, very disturbing person who has an E in his alignment.

It's a given that a person who worships a god takes moral cues from that deity and that deity's teachings. That's part of how religion works. Not all of them will cover the same issues as morally meaningful. Not all who do see the same issues as morally meaningful will agree on how they are or what one ought to do when presented with them.

Just like they do on Earth.


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thejeff wrote:

Except that it would have needed to come through Harry's eyes, since the whole thing was Harry POV.

So, not only would she have needed an excuse for Harry to know about it, but she'd also have to include a tract about what the Wizarding world thought about homosexuality.

It's not quite as simple as it seems.

Now I'm going to spend at least half an hour thinking up hilarious ways for Harry to walk in on Dumbledore and a boyfriend I'm tentatively casting as Ian McKellen. Or maybe he uses a pensieve loaded with Dumbledore's memories and gets a really hot time from back in the day.


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If magic actually worked, by which I mean it had real and predictable effects, it would simply be another form of technology and we would understand it via science just like we do heat or magnetism. There is no choice to make.


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Let's assume, just to be maximally charitable, that Assad did the chemical weapons strike.

Any attempt to punish Assad for using chemical weapons will involve killing large numbers of civilians, something he wouldn't mind at all. That's how cruise missiles, drone strikes, and honestly military intervention in general work. (We'll kill some low-ranking military people too, I suppose. They at least signed on for the in harm's way business.) So we propose to punish a guy for murdering a bunch of his people by murdering a bunch more of his people. On the theory that, maybe, even if it does not deter him it will deter others from using chemical weapons if they know that the US and UK will totally have their backs and help them with the killing by other means.

There are, of course, far less destructive means to accomplish that goal unless the assembling of large piles of corpses is an indispensable part of the plan. We could, for example, have a precision-target strike to kidnap Assad and haul his ass to the Hague. That would, I know, be hard. But isn't minimizing the number of innocent people we kill worth a little difficulty? A CIA agent with a garrote, if our bloodlust really has to be sated, works just as well. Either one of those would actually serve as a potential deterrent, as they would make it clear to the actual policymakers that their personal safety is at stake if they go chemical.

I don't support either of these options, but they are both much less murderous in design and probably in execution and the killing involved in both would be targeted at actual belligerents rather than poor bastards with the wrong street address.

Or we could do something really crazy and try to do the best we can with a very bad situation. Given the practical constraints and the profound limitations of military solutions, nations of good conscience should do all they can to facilitate the evacuation of Syria and the resettling of its refugees in some safe, decent place where they can, with the help of their new hosts, rebuild their lives. We couldn't save everyone, I know. Not everyone would have the means to leave or be in a place where they were able. Not everyone would want to leave. But for those who just want a stable, decent, freer society we have plenty of wealthy nations that should be happy to help them out and go on crowing about how virtuous they are for doing it.

It wouldn't be cheap and there would be difficulties in implementation, but I bet the long term cost would be a lot less than the blood and treasure of a war.

This will not happen.


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Scott Betts wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Gosh. That is even worse!

If you are a freelancer, you will write according to our politics.

That is positively monstrous. Thanks for the clarification Jessica Price. You are cool.

Freelancers literally are working for Paizo. Why would it be "monstrous" to enforce that they follow Paizo's guidelines?

Don't be ridiculous.

That ship has sailed. The opportunity has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the choir invisible. It is an ex-possibility.


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I think it was really cool to make Kyra the gay iconic and I'll tell you why: By making the cleric the gay iconic, Paizo sent the message that not only was being gay not a huge issue in Golarion, you could be gay and have the ass-kicking goddess that put Rovagug in his box when the rest of the gods were all crapping their pants smile on you.

Which, actually, is a pro-religious message too. You can be on the side of the angels and love who you love, no problem.

But the objection here, like the objection to Irabeth in WotR, is just that: Non-heterosexuals, like non-whites or non-cis-males, are supposed to understand that they simply don't have the potential that other people do. We can't be that good. We need to know our place.

I mean, look at the list of objections:
Irabeth is a paladin. Apparently neither half-orcs nor lesbians are fit to be paladins.

There are good reasons for orders of knighthood to reject half-orc applicants, which are totally not racist even though the only objection is that she's a half-orc.

A half-orc had a loving family, because apparently they must all be the fruit of rape.

Irabeth is politically successful. That's no job for women or half-orcs, let alone gays.

Furthermore, Irabeth is actually a good, reasonable person. Like a paladin. No half-orc, woman, or gay person could ever be any of those. It's just outrageous!

But most outrageously, Irabeth dared love her gal and make sacrifices for that love, like she actually experienced love like a normal person. How dare she? How dare Paizo?! Obviously she's just the authors' crappy wish-fulfillment character.

Sure, there's a big difference between this and locking up all the LGBT people. I don't think that people expressing these objections would ever stop at just locking us up. Clearly it's not our freedom that offends them, but rather our existence.


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I'll admit it: I think I'm the good guy.

I think I'm the good guy because the other guys are the people who find my very existence profoundly offensive and want never to be reminded of it, as if I were rape or genocide personified. But they only want that because they have, in my country, lost the ability to end it at will. They have, more recently, lost the ability to imprison me for it or fine me for it. They have still not quite lost the ability to fire me for it.

They are aggrieved that I exist, but if I must exist then I must exist in the maximum possible state of misery and deprivation. I must exist in hiding, or else. If they can't have that, I must exist only to sit in the bathtub and apply the razor blade. There, I'm sure, I would find charity. I could slash however I liked, the fast way or the way that takes a long time. Either one is cool by them.

They can go right on thinking they're the good guys. They always have. They can go right on telling themselves that since they haven't personally beaten anyone to death that what they do in the ballot box, on message boards, and elsewhere has nothing to do with all of that and they are not at all of the same party. They have nothing personally against us, but they don't want is dirtying up their RPG products with our presence or dirtying up their marriages by sharing the word or dirtying up their swimming pools or teaching their children or breathing their air.

They can tell their own fables. We don't have to pretend to believe them.


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Mikaze wrote:


I don't even know the specifics of what some people are complaining about because I want to play the AP involved, but apparently the gist of it is that there are LGBT people being portrayed as people in WotR.

I will not say more out of respect for your spoiler sensitivity, but yes there are. Yes, it's done well.

And yes, the people that can't handle that can all go to hell. :)


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It's probably worth noting that with one exception, all the major hobbit characters we see are among the shire's wealthy elite. Of course they have full larders. They can afford to pay whatever they need to for whatever they want, essentially in perpetuity. Completely aside Bilbo's share of the dragon horde, they surely had ample rents to supplement their family fortunes and secure for themselves a lifestyle much like that of, say, the British aristocracy.

We don't see the Shire farmers on the razor's edge of starvation, one famine away from deciding if their children are family or food, because such people simply don't matter to people of Frodo's class unless they're pet servants like Sam. Otherwise, they're just furniture. Maybe in bad years Frodo would toss a few scraps their way, but entirely to assuage his own conscience rather than strictly for their benefit. He's a big man, after all.

Which isn't far off from how the wealthy often view the less fortunate in any era.


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I read a really neat chapter on the Dred Scott decision in William W. Freehling's The Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant 1854-1860 last night. It turns out the most radical and grotesque Supreme Court decision it has yet been possible to make came from committed moderates.

Which, oddly enough, did not surprise me. But I knew very little about these judges in advance so Freehling taught me a fair bit in the course of proving them moderate, Unionist sorts. Only one went South, and he did so very late in the game and found his hometown disowned him. The slaveholders in the majority had freed their slaves, many of them long ago. Taney still kept in touch with his; he thought freedom suited them very nicely.

They figured they would save the Union by settling all questions pertaining to slavery, forever. But they were ultimately Southern slaveholders in mentality, except for a couple from the border North, and saw the solution much the same way that most men of their class and background did: disunion only threatened because abolitionists insisted on provoking slaveholders into extremism. The solution, then, was to require complete capitulation. Only then would the South, on its own and in no great rush but maybe some day, move toward abolition.

That worked out really well, naturally.


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Glad I shared Night Vale then. :)

Tinkergoth wrote:


I'm also working on a Welcome to Night Vale game to run with the Fate Core system now that my copy of that arrived.

I discovered it with a friend. We both thought it would make a great setting for a game.


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bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Along with a hefty dose of "the market would have made it all right anyway", despite decades of the market not doing so.

Q: How many Chicago School economists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None. If the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.

How many Austrian School economists does it take to change a lightbulb?

They reject the principle that changing light bulbs can be studied empirically. They will, however, tell a story requiring exactly as many as you need, as long as that number isn't as many as you actually need because then it would be all empirical, if you give them a dictator that promises to gun down union leaders and democratically-elected politicians.


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skyshark wrote:
OMG, let's boycott all religions that oppose homosexuality!

*looks up*

What? Did someone invoke me? I'll have you know I was just cackling with glee at how I live in the future over my first successful wireless printing (two pages of the Congressional Globe for the 33rd Congress containing the full text of Appeal of the Independent Democrats in Congress to the People of the United States for the blog) and doing a little dance brought on by equal parts delight, seizure, and full bladder but if you insist...

That sounds like an excellent idea; glad someone suggested it! I worry that the practicalities might make it difficult for the boycott to succeed, what with how religions don't even pay taxes, but it's worth a shot.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Also, fun fact: did you know that Pinkerton got his start as Lincoln's bodyguard? I assume it was before the establishment of the Secret Service.

Pinkerton established his first agency out of Chicago in 1849 and the famous one in 1850. He was involved in Union intelligence operations for while, where his men were sometimes more trouble than they were worth. The techniques that work really well for spying on private individuals and working small-scale security don't necessarily translate to military intelligence.

More reliable Civil War intelligence tended to come from the cavalry, who did it for a living, and locals who lived near the fighting and would slip out at night or at some convenient moment to visit the opposing army a few miles down the road. I recall one woman in Virginia who did quite a bit of work smuggling documents under her dress.

So far as his politics go, with the notable exception of the Irish quite a lot of European immigrants had pretty solid anti-slavery credentials. They came to America despite slavery and to some degree saw themselves as part of the 19th Century American Dream: go west and settle a small farm on land we stole from the Indians or, at the very least, use the spots they opened up in the cities as stepladders to success when the native-borns went west.

This is relevant to recent reading, so forgive me in the certain event that I digress. :)

Barely relevant history stuff:
One of the big things the South howled about was how Lincoln recruited armies of "foreign mercenaries" to come in and impose upon them. They were Hessians all over again! That plenty of Southern politicians had plenty to do with European radicals before the war, they could forget on tactical grounds. One of the reasons they got so obsessed with new land for slavery was less the practical reason, though they did eat up land at a prodigious rate, as that they expected territories not reserved to them to flood with immigrants who would keep slavery forever out and then spill over into adjacent, lightly enslaved states until they hit the kind of tipping point that places like Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey did around the turn of the 19th century and vote in some kind of gradual emancipation. I read one today specifically fretting over Britons and Germans flooding into Nebraska.

That would mean owners selling slaves further south in advance of freedom dates, crashing slave prices. Big planters had far more cash tied up in slaves than land and as a single asset, the nation's four million slaves were worth more than all its farms, manufacturing, railroads, and non-human livestock put together. The only thing that could beat it was all the land in America put together. Many of them were in hock up to the gills from a combination of mismanagement and typical farmer debt problems (Boom times, buy more land on credit. Bad harvest? Find out you don't own that land anymore...and some other stuff you used to own.) so a price crash could be brutal. Plus they thought that they could barely hold on in the black belts as it was. Throw in a few more hundred thousand black people and they feared a race war they would surely lose.

Except, you know, that it was always someone else that needed to forgo that extra slave or two and if the price got too high (it did) and stayed there (it was looking that way) then the poor Southern dirt farmers might realize they were not, in fact, temporarily embarrassed millionaires and start acting accordingly. Lots of dangerous tradeoffs playing that game, even before you factored in the chance that someone would go and shoot you dead (often a political rival, the number of major figures as late as the 1850s who engaged in duelling...) or tar and feather you. In the right community, you might get off easy if you had a bunch of third degree burns. Some places would as soon lynch a white abolitionist as whip a disobedient slave.

The Irish, just a little unfairly, get a bit of a bad rap on this from the Draft Riots. Well yeah, there is that but immigrants in the big cities all had similar economic worries about the arrival of black people to compete with. The Irish just happened to be in the most prosouthern city north of Maryland. The Republicans did a lot to alienate them on the grounds of Catholicism, so they were natural Democrats on top of that. (Lots of anti-Catholic bigotry running along with the temperance movement that was pretty deep in with the GOP way back.) And they lived in the town full of bankers that held huge piles of Southern debt which had slaves as collateral and large interests in the ships that carried Southern cotton to Europe. Rich folk don't riot; they have people for that. Probably any big immigrant group in NYC at the time would have done similar. The Irish just happened to be the guys on scene.

There was probably a little bit of carryover from the Mexican War too. Americans were eager to recruit newly arrived Irishmen into the army to go steal Mexico since, well, who cared if they died by the thousands? When their military service did not make them suddenly equals, at least a few have to have wised up and realized they were just the cannon fodder of the moment. Then here comes this new war with no obvious upshot for them and a new band of recruiters.

Which is not to say that the 19th century Irish were not horrific, disgusting racists. But that hardly made anybody stand out of the crowd. David Wilmot spent a few years as the South's Great Satan, all the while saying the kinds of things about black people that you expect from Calhoun.

...granted with Calhoun the best way to manage expectations is to assume the worst you can think of and then try to imagine some sort of lovecraftian alien geometries of evil on top of it, or as close as you can get without gibbering and crapping yourself, but you get the idea.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Wow, I'm surprised Scalia didn't have a rage-fueled heart attack writing his dissent.

I'm pretty sure if anyone ever cracked open Scalia's ribcage, bats would fly out. Dude's probably got a magical picture in his attic that keeps getting younger and nicer too.


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Apostle of Gygax wrote:
There is a new report in the journal "Intelligence" that proposes that people have grown dumber since the Victorian age. They came to this conclusion by studying the time that it takes to react to stimuli, rather than by looking at IQ tests which has been the standard measure until this study. Thoughts?

What does reaction speed have to do with intelligence?


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Limeylongears wrote:
Forgot to mention that I bought Testament on the recommendation of yourself and Cde. Samnell - good stuff, worth $2 of anybody's money, and now I want a Quedeshot.

Sacred prostitutes are on the list of things I want to parade past my sandbox players at some point. Alas, I sent them off into the wilds and so they ran into a lesbian couple that run an inn instead.

Maybe some kind of druidic fertility rite instead, complete with phallic and yonic fetishes everyone's fiddling with while a woman and a man participate in some kind of pain-sharing magic on the altar, screaming and howling and offering their holy agony and blood to renew the land.

...why did I think of that after I set the game in spring? Dammit. Perfect chance to use the old "you hear horrible screams in the woods" hook.


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The 8th Dwarf wrote:


Maybe its because I have gay friends and family, maybe its because I live in Sydney and maybe its because of my upbringing, but gay people have always been part of my life so for me gay people arent unusual, or rare and the only difference is the gender of the people that they prefer to be intimate with.

If you keep letting them know we're just ordinary, boring people with ordinary, boring lives, I'll never get enough donations through my front companies to build that big lavender mountain with a giant reservoir tip on it, let alone enough to install the world's largest fountain in that reservoir tip to create brief, artificial rainfalls over the god-fearing neighborhoods downwind.


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I would like to summarize every non-ironic complaint about political correctness ever written:

*deep breath*

*lengthy stream of slurs directed at various races, religions, sexualities, and genders* never used to complain. Back then they knew their place. Those were the days.

Now *same lengthy stream* act like they're as good as the rest of us. What are we, a bunch of *same lengthy stream*?


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thejeff wrote:
Samnell wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Come on, Samnell, there really is no need for that kind of attitude.
I quite agree, but I think I mean it in the opposite direction. It's probably encouraging Azaleas.
I'd give him a lot more leeway, if this was the first time he'd claimed some kind of secret information that he couldn't substantiate or even name the source of.

Yeah, I recall the other thread too. I ought to have mentioned it for context.


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Azaelas Fayth wrote:

I am an American. My native languages are English and Gaeiac. I know of this nation because I have dealt with people from there. And you have to realize those microstates aren't just there do to Tax Dodges and crap like that. Heck, a LOT of microstates have been around longer than America has been a country. (~200 Years).

Remember what they say about Assuming.

You know of the nation so well that you can't name it. This is why we consider your anatomy chiefly of interest to scatologists. I'm sorry, but assuming you were not a native English speaker was an act of charity on my part. I shan't make that mistake again.

I would say you are talking about Transnistria but for the fact that it resembles barely any of your historical description. Hitler did not opt not to invade it. It was not neutral in WWII; it was part of Hitler's ally Romania. Hitler did not avoid invading it because its might scared him off. It was not neutral in the Cold War; it was part of the USSR. It did have a war with a former Soviet republic, but that war went on for considerably more than twelve days and resulted in hundreds dead.

Furthermore, Moldova was not trying to annex Transnistria. It already owned the land. Rather it was trying to suppress a separatist movement. Likewise Transnistria is more than fractionally larger than Vatican City, clocking in at more than four thousand square kilometers to the Vatican's 0.44.

I'll give it to you, Transnistria fits all your description if we ignore almost all of them and the chief substantive parts of the rest. Also up is down, black is white, and short is long by the same standards.

At the very least, you are exceptionally misinformed. Your bizarre refusal to name the nation suggests that you know as much and are hoping not to be sniffed out.


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
I also heard that Comrade Meatrace goes and visits Citizen Aretas every other week.

Now that takes me back...

*applies power drill to eye socket*

Not anymore. All better!


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Kajehase wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
New York was once called New Amsterdam.
And the York part is after the Duke of York, who would later become King James II of England, until he was deposed in The Glorious Revolution for being Catholic and having a son.

There was some reasonable and genuine fear (and a lot of plain hysteria) that James II, who was already pretty autocratic, would give way to a son that was both autocratic and inclined to resume persecution of England's Protestants.

Who had, of course, dutifully persecuted England's Catholics. Who had, of course, dutifully persecuted England's Protestants. Who would continue to persecute England's Catholics, if with somewhat less vigor, for a good century and change more.

Also James II was the son of Charles II and grandson of Charles I, the dude that got shortened by a head. He was also James VII (of Scotland) and James II again (of Ireland). These were all separate nations until 1707, when England and Scotland merged into the Kingdom of Great Britain. Ireland remained separate from then until 1800. Prior to the Acts of Union, all three had their own more or less independent governments that just happened to be headed by the same monarch, like one person DMing for three different groups running three different campaigns.


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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Pope Formosus was put to trial after dead in 897 AD. His corpse had to attend the ceremony.

When Charles II came back to be king of England, Scotland, and Ireland he had a bit of a grudge against the men who deposed, tried, and then beheaded his father. So he insisted that the ringleaders, some of whom had died in the interim, face punishment. Three were dug up, hung for a day, and then beheaded. The heads went on spikes for public edification.

Cromwell's head was still up there fifteen years later, at which point a storm blew it down and it passed into private hands.


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Hitdice wrote:

Search me DM; it's almost as everyone responding to the discussion of the article with, "But I'm white and male, and my life sucks!" are embodying the exact bias that the interview talks about.

I'm enjoying the conversation, but in a lot of ways it's the Kotaku male privilege thread all over again.

I really think it's always the same conversation. We could swap the adjectives and with very few changes (chiefly correlated with someone ending up on the wrong side of the prevailing social dynamic) and play it out exactly the same way with the same participants.

I humbly suggest this be called Samnell's Grand Unified Theory of Social Justice Conversations.


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Like everyone else in the world that isn't a millionaire, my long series of bad choices began with picking the wrong parents. That one alone virtually ensures you will never become a millionaire, or for that matter even seriously upgrade from the class into which you were born. I compounded that error by being born in one of the most income immobile, stratified societies in the developed world in a period when such inequalities and lack of mobility were on the upswing, and then, not quite satisfied yet, I further chose to be born in a mostly-empty hinterland of said nation thereby depriving me of the numerous advantages I could have accrued from simply being born in an upscale school district or somewhere with access to several very good universities.

Some, trying to duck their personal responsibility for their lot in lives, will say that all of that stuff is luck or not really choices. But we know differently. That's just a story losers tell to console themselves. The truth is that if we really deserved it, we would have picked the correct parents to start with. Entirely our fault for not reading the pamphlets thoroughly.


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GeraintElberion wrote:
Samnell wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Lloyd Jackson wrote:

But... wenches!

The nunnery is Shakespearean-era slang for the whorehouse.

It's difficult to write a cogent sentence of modern English without using at least two pieces of Elizabethan sexual slang. Much Ado About Nothing can be read as "Much Ado About Penises."

Any time he talks about wit you get a double entendre too. Same meaning as nothing. Which, yes, means Rowling made a sex joke when she wrote the motto: Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.

Not quite right.

Nothing/Noting is slang for vagina.

It makes more sense in a way, denoting a cavity...

Although, we're getting a bit off topic here, probably just making something out of nothing!

** spoiler omitted **

I misremembered. Thank you for setting me straight. So to speak. I confess I am no connoisseur of the subject under consideration.

*rimshot*


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see wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
And I suppose the obvious answer: that there's a contradiction arising from the authorship of multiple, imperfect humans, somehow gets tossed out as an explanation?
Well, of course. Once you start throwing out scripture, where do you stop? You might conclude there's no God at all, just stories written by humans. Whereas if you keep the contradictions, you can solace yourself by pointing to Plato's parable of the shadows on the wall of the cave.

Various authorities have pretty much said that outright in the past. Back at Vatican 2, they convened a panel of experts who recommended by a healthy majority that the Catholic Church adopt a more permissive attitude toward contraception. (It's easy to forget, but back in the Sixties being bent out of shape about and adamantly opposed to contraception and abortion was almost exclusively a Catholic thing.) The hierarchy doubtless performed an anointing with the bowels upon the report on the explicit grounds that accepting it would entail the church being wrong about something and thus injurious to its authority.

Which probably says everything that needs to be said about the hierarchy.


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James Sutter wrote:
Ninja'd by Jacobs.

Oh man. Now I have this image of him dressed up in ninja jammies and stealthily slipping into houses at night to leave pamphlets on diversity and inclusion behind.

I think it's the most surreal thing I've thought of since Eat Your Own Clone Day.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
In case any one cares, I'm still offended about the depiction of goblins as smelly, unpleasant and militantly illiterate.

I promise no one thinks that you, personally, are illiterate. :)


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Hm. Haven't been here in a while.

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


-King Juan Carlos I of Spain is the current claimant of the absent Byzantine Throne (even though there is no throne at present, should the Empire be restituted, he would theoretically have first dibs).

Not just that. Juan Carlos is also technically king of, excluding places in the bounds of modern Spain:

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Hungary, Sardinia, Corsica, the Algarves, Gibraltar, the East and West Indies, the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea.

He's also maybe Archduke of Austria, depending on how one reads the proclamation the last guy to sit the Habsburgs' thrones issued. Associated directly with that are various titles pertaining to historical French, German, Belgian, and Dutch titles. Pretty good for a Capetian. And yes, Victoria is one of his ancestors. He doesn't use all those titles officially, but reserves the right to them under current Spanish law.

Which would give him one really, really busy pile of heraldry. His current arms are fairly modest, considering those of certain ancestors. Confession: I've played enough Europa Universalis to recognize like three-quarters of that Christmas tree on sight. And because I'm gay. They teach us these things in Gay School. Even the one that looks like a lady part.

Also, even more fabulous.


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The Shining Fool wrote:
I didn't know they still had those.

The internet thinks so. The internet would never lie to us. The internet is our friend.


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DM Wellard wrote:

W8ith the announcement today that Pope Benedict is to retire from the Papacy at the end of this month the prospect of the next Pope being the last rears its ugly head.

As this Pope was 'Glory of the Olive' according to the Prophecies of St Malachy then the next is going to be 'Petrus Romanus and oversee the destruction of Rome and the Dissolution of the Catholic Church.

Just thought I'd mention it.

I knew I should have helped Carmen Sandiego steal the Vatican when I was there in '98.

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