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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 23,407 posts (24,328 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Trekkie90909 wrote:
I suppose one could use guy/gal to avoid diminutives.

IME, "gal" isn't taken any better.

It's one of the problems - most of the casual/slang terms for women are tainted by decades of sexism in a way that parallel terms for men aren't.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
knightnday wrote:
A good example? I've had a number of Europeans use the term Yank or Yankee to describe Americans. I can tell you from vast experience that Americans from the South consider that an insult, one that can provoke a rather loud response.

Wow. That's another thing these forums have taught me.

I recently learnt that 'Gypsy' was derogatory, although I maintain it isn't in Australia. Similarly 'Yank' is synonymous with American here - I'd say it's almost the affectionate term. I could easily have made that slip!

E.B. White wrote:

To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.

To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

It's an insult in the South, though not as deadly a one as it used to be - damnyankee was pretty much one word.

In New England it's more specifically the descendants of the original English settlers - old stock families. Thus the pie thing - apparently old tradition.


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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Rednal wrote:
On the bright side, I think Clinton's been studying up on the likely issues so she can correct him herself... but I really do hope she's able to spend most of her time highlighting actual policy positions.
Every moment she uses to fact-check Trump is a moment she loses to sell her policies and vision, a moment to convince undecideds that she can be trusted... which is likely part of Trump's campaign's plan. >:(

I suspect casually dismissive is the best tone - the equivalent of "there you go again". And then move on to sell her policy.


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William Hunsley wrote:
Spazmodeus wrote:
William Hunsley wrote:


However I wonder how are people able to use the green font for their dice rolls?

It's automatic....the forum parser does it for you when you enter a dice roll....see the 'How to format you Text "Show"' spoiler at the bottom of the page for other options.

I think I'll submit a Bard....

Let me try...

1d10

Edit: Still doesn't seem to work for me.

Like this:

<dice>1d10</dice>

Except with square brackets "[" instead of angle ones "<"
1d10 ⇒ 5


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Rednal wrote:
On the bright side, I think Clinton's been studying up on the likely issues so she can correct him herself... but I really do hope she's able to spend most of her time highlighting actual policy positions.

Clinton knows the issues. I hope she's been spending her prep time practicing against his style.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Crisischild wrote:
These laws exist for a reason.

Yes. To protect the government from financial liability.

Quote:
All she had to do was tell them how to contact her parents and they probably would have let her on her way.

She is not legally required to identify herself... or her parents.

Quote:
They can't leave an injured minor alone in the middle of the road just because said minor doesn't like the police.
Not only CAN they... in a free society they are required to do so. The police cannot detain a person for their own financial convenience. Thus, I expect, if that law ever came to trial it would be tossed out as a clear violation of civil rights.

Except it's not "for their own financial convenience". It's "for the health and safety of a minor". Because kids don't have the same rights as adults. She might legally be able to not identify herself or her parents, but that leaves them with taking her to the hospital to be checked out.

I can guarantee the law doesn't say "so we won't get sued".


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Er, people calling you a jerk isn't infringing on your freedom of speech. It's them exerting theirs.

Yeah but people telling me that I'm not allowed to say something because they would feel offended by it most certainly is. And that's what I'm talking about here, because that's exactly how I've seen the offense card being played. You put an argument at the table, the person you try to communicate with don't know how to counter your point but also doesn't want you to be right and suddenly it's about they feel offended by something you probably didn't even say.

Happens all the time. I've been probably even guilty myself of this particular "crime".

You're certainly "allowed" to say stuff you know will offend people. Are you "allowed" to say it without being called a jerk? Probably not. But that's not censorship. That's you not enjoying being called a jerk. It's you being offended by a perception of you other people form based on your attitudes.

Instead of leaning on specious platitudes, could you cite a specific example?

To some extent this is what I meant a long time back about "weaponizing offence". Someone makes an argument and someone else spits back "I'm offended by that" and expects to win the argument by making the first one shut up. That's the "politically correct" that people on the right keep bongoing about.

What I've seen more of lately though is the pre-emptive strike against that. The "I won't be able to talk about this without being shut down by someone taking offence" line. The "It's just my opinion" line. The "shutting down dissenting thought" line.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Then why arrest her?

Because she resisted.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


Erasure is another matter, of course. Acting like all Americans are the "annoying white tourist", for instance, neglects the fact that the majority of Americans are people of color.

Not yet, I think. Give it a few more years.


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Obviously, not wanting to be searched by police is suspicious and justifies a search.


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Aranna wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Aranna wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm also amused that Aranna's two solutions here are "boost pay" and "bust unions". Those don't usually go together.
I stand behind pay boosts... better people try to get into the better jobs. But if eliminating the unions won't fix hiring and firing than you need a solution that works. Perhaps firing the entire police force (by shutting it down) then restarting a new one with new management who care about the people they are hiring and are willing to pay more for the best people.
How the hell would you even begin to do that? Do we shut down the police departments for a couple of years for the transition? Rebuild everything from scratch, starting with new trainers and management who aren't part of the current force (or they'll just propagate old ways) and who thus have no idea what they're doing?
Shutting down a police unit is easy (it already happens and it is a simple budget change). Restarting one a bit harder, but there ARE communities who ARE starting police units and they seem to get the job done fine. Just make sure some of the people restarting a new unit are the same community leaders pushing for better police they can make sure the new managers aren't as bad as the old ones.

Oh. A department. That makes more sense. I thought you were talking a more widespread approach.

Of course, just getting the right management in, along with the right political support, gets you about 95% of the way there anyway.

If local governments want to do this they can. If they don't, they don't have to. Barring very egregious cases, where the Justice Department can win a Civil Rights lawsuit against the department, outside forces can't shut the police department down and restart it.

Most of the communities where these abuses are worst are majority-minority communities within a large municipality. The larger community may not like the big headline stories about police murder, but they're still often more on the police side. They need the police to keep the thugs in the bad part of town under control. And often, with forfeiture and the abusive fines from minor charges, the cops may bring in a good chunk of the budget.

As I keep saying, the problem here isn't a technical one. It's a lack of political will. Too many people want "tough on crime" and that translates all too easily into police harassment of minorities.


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Aranna wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Why can't people accept firing the bad cops?
Because they go one town over and get the same job, same pay, same benefits, and get to be the same bad cop. I wish I had a gig that sweet.
As for the cop finding a new job easily. That is because there aren't enough officers in some communities to fill all positions so they take anyone with a pulse. This is exactly the sort of problem that is fixed by higher pay. If you create competition for the jobs then the departments can pass over the guys who has already been fired and hire a better guy who is willing to serve the public trust.

Or it's because cops take care of cops and they look out for the guy that got unfairly fired because pepper spraying some stupid kid who deserved it kicked up a public fuss.


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Aranna wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm also amused that Aranna's two solutions here are "boost pay" and "bust unions". Those don't usually go together.
I stand behind pay boosts... better people try to get into the better jobs. But if eliminating the unions won't fix hiring and firing than you need a solution that works. Perhaps firing the entire police force (by shutting it down) then restarting a new one with new management who care about the people they are hiring and are willing to pay more for the best people.

How the hell would you even begin to do that? Do we shut down the police departments for a couple of years for the transition? Rebuild everything from scratch, starting with new trainers and management who aren't part of the current force (or they'll just propagate old ways) and who thus have no idea what they're doing?


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NobodysHome wrote:
EDIT: Seeing the union stuff above, I'll point out that my megacorporation is non-union, at-will-employment (whatever it's called where they don't need a reason to fire you), but STILL has termination issues. So laying the impossibility of firing people squarely on unions is unfair. Look to the lawyers...

Forget the lawyers. Look to the management. Look to the corporate culture.

Is there even any evidence that police departments are trying to get rid of these bad cops, but are prevented by union rules or fear of law suits? Like Freehold said, when they do get fired, they just get hired by another department. That's not "We can't fire the bad ones." That's "We don't want to and only do it when forced by public pressure."


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I'm also amused that Aranna's two solutions here are "boost pay" and "bust unions". Those don't usually go together.


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Hitdice wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Pan wrote:
The thin blue line keeps cops in uniform for better or worse. Nobody circles the wagons like police unions.
Then you have your hiring / firing solution right here. Eliminate the police unions. Simple.
That sounds like my magic wand solution of requiring every single uniformed officer to wear a body camera with the department providing 100% transparency of the footage. Simple to describe in a single sentence, and impossibly complex to institute in practice.

"To every complex problem, there is a simple, easy to understand, wrong, solution."

Again, we know how to fix this. There are cities and departments that have done the work and turned their forces around. It's not easy, but it's doable. Forget the armchair theorizing, look at the success stories and try to duplicate them.


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Aranna wrote:
Pan wrote:
The thin blue line keeps cops in uniform for better or worse. Nobody circles the wagons like police unions.
Then you have your hiring / firing solution right here. Eliminate the police unions. Simple.

Ahh, there's the conservative solution for you - kill the unions.

The unions certainly help, but I'm not convinced they're entirely a bad thing. Near as I can tell, they're not usually actually fighting management in most of these cases. The brass rallies round as well. Then the prosecutors join in by arranging not to indict those few cases that actually get that far. The thin blue line is actually pretty thick and goes well beyond the rank and file.


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"Even through the grime of ages, they could see that it was a glorious weapon, the hilt intricately set with jewels, the whole of it golden, large and heavy so that it would deal a mighty blow."
-- Nancy Springer, The Silver Sun

"If Cat was her intermediary, the information had to be good."
-- Robert N. Charrette, Shadowrun: Find Your Own Truth

Both proceeds of a used bookstore in the Charlotte, NC airport. I would have bought more, but my carry-on bags were stuffed as it was. :)


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Aranna wrote:
Why can't people accept firing the bad cops?

We're all for firing the bad cops. But it doesn't happen. Because, as you said earlier, it's a management problem. At all levels. The people making those decisions don't have the same definitions for "bad cop" that you or I might.


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Aranna wrote:
I don't think it takes a law suit to make them discipline the officer... and if it does then the problem is in management.

Well, there you go.


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It might be easier to get better cops and get rid of bad ones if you paid more, but that still has to be the focus. If you're not trying to build a more empathetic police force at the local level it's not going to happen even if you pay them more. This isn't a problem of isolated bad cops that the well-meaning departments just can't get rid of. The problems run much deeper than that.

Look at the abuses of civil forfeiture. Look at the stuff that came out about Ferguson - where a huge percentage of the black population had warrants out for minor offences and the judicial system was manipulated to fund itself out of poor people paying fines and late fees.

Or look at the departments with better use of force records. They didn't get there by paying their cops more but by changing things from the top. Changing policies. Walking beats. Different training. Building relationships rather than treating the community as an enemy to controlled.

It's not even that hard to do. We know what works. It's a matter of political will.

Paying more may be part of the solution, but it's a small part.


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To quote Carlin: "What kind of wine goes with Cap'n Crunch? Sometimes I just give up, smoke a bong full of Fruit Loops and go on back to bed."


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bugleyman wrote:


Sure. For starters:

Defense spending is ludicrously high. I'm not an isolationist, but we need to quit playing world cop. I'd cut this to 50% within ten years. The potential savings from defense contracts alone are astronomical.

Cut, cut, cut the amount we spend to imprison our own people. I'd release the vast majority of non-violent offenders, drug and otherwise. We'd need fewer prosecutors, prisons, prison guards, etc.

Social security should phase out if you have excessive income. Yup, I went there. They also need to raise the full retirement age to reflect longer lifespans.

Corporate welfare in the form of subsidies and tax loopholes needs to go.

Stop wasting money deporting people and militarizing our border. Let every healthy person of working age that wants to work her do so.

Socialized medicine. Wait, you say...that's spending. Only it really isn't by the time you take the profit out of healthcare (which is a morally repugnant idea, anyway).

Dramatically cut the salary and benefits of elected officials, especially Congress.

To be fair, I'd make other changes on the revenue side, and I'd actually spend *more* on some things (education), but those things are really beyond the scope of your question.

1) Agreed.

2) Absolutely agreed.
3) Social Security already drops with high income. The payout formula is based on your average income paid in, but it's a high percentage of the low income and a much smaller one at the top: You don't get twice the check if you earned $100K as you would if you earned $50K. With that and the cap, the amount we'd save by phasing it out isn't worth the risk.
They've already raised the full retirement age. People, especially working class people might be living longer, but they're having trouble working longer. A lot easier working to 70 if you've got a desk job than if you're doing manual labor - even skilled manual labor.
4) To some extent. Definitely needs to be watched carefully, but there's a role there for guiding industry - subsidies for emerging tech, for example. Green energy.
5) Mostly agreed, though I'm not sure I'd go quite that far - completely open borders?
6) Yes.
7) Again a trivial savings. Congresscritters are already mostly making far less than they could make in the private sector. Do you want to encourage the revolving door?

There are definitely cuts in spending to be made and things we should spend more money on, but we should base those decisions on actual usefulness and priorities, not on an arbitrary decision to balance the budget.


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bugleyman wrote:
Inflation is a possible side effect of economic stimulation, but I don't believe we've been trying to cause inflation, per se.

The FED has an official inflation target of 2%.

Some inflation is good for the economy. Encourages investment rather than hoarding.


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bugleyman wrote:

What you're referring to is the end of US Dollars as the world's reserve currency (many observers tend to think that is a matter of when, rather than if -- but that's another thread).

In effect, it is in everyone's best interest to prop our currency up...but should it become too painful, make no mistake: They'll cut their losses. Our currency is not special, and we can absolutely devalue it if we're too lax with the money supply. I frankly don't understand what appears to be magical thinking to the contrary.

It's not magical thinking because it's not the argument you think we're making.

Yes, it's a matter of "when". US Dollars won't be the world's reserve currency forever, but why they'll be replaced is an open question. Whether it will have anything to do with US debt is unknown. Whether it will be in 10 years or 20 or 50 or 100 or more.

We don't think we're that special. We're not using magical thinking. We are not however willing to trade crushing our economy in both the short and long term to try to avoid this fate. Partly because crippling the economy through austerity is likely to bring it on faster.


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JonGarrett wrote:
Honestly, given the pure number of black people who've been in the media for being shot in questionable circumstances, it's not a huge surprise that a child, already upset from being involved in a car accident and likely in shock and pain, wasn't being cooperative.

Along similar lines - the Massachusetts High Court ruled a few days ago that black men might have good reason to fear contact with police and that running from them shouldn't be considered suspicious.


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I'm a great fan of Rumple Minze myself - though the best drunk of my life was on its cousin Goldschlager.

But both must be treated with some caution.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
bugleyman wrote:


Agree to disagree. "Print enough dollars to meet any demand" is exactly what causes hyper-inflation: More and more dollars chasing the same amount of goods.

Er, no. I agree that that can cause inflation, but you get hyper-inflation precisely because you can't print money fast enough to satisfy demand.

Specifically, if you owe US dollars, but are printing Ruritanian crowns, you need to print enough new crowns to cover your debt. But the act of printing new crowns lowers the value of the existing crowns (relative to the US dollar), which in turn means you need to print more crowns, and you get a vicious feedback cycle that essentially means the amount that you need to print goes up as fast or faster than you can print it.

If, however, you owe in Ruritanian crowns, you can always pay those off at the rate of one crown per crown. Even if the value of the crown decreases, that simply means that the people who have loaned you money take a loss.

So, again, the key is whether you can control the amount of the debt; and that's the difference between inflation and hyper-inflation.

Yes, the US might suffer inflation, but it can't suffer hyperinflation until and unless it owes substantial amounts of money in a currency other than dollars. As long as most of the major markets (especially oil) are denominated in dollars, and as long as US issues debt in dollars, that's not an issue. And for either of those to change would require some serious policy mistakes on the part of the US...

Well, theoretically, when we start just printing money to cover existing debt in dollars, countries could realize the trend of the dollar becoming worth less and demand payment for goods (oil) in some other currency - which we would then have to borrow in that currency or buy in larger and larger amounts of US currency.

I don't see it though. We've run higher debt to GDP ratios. We've seen much higher inflation (as in pretty much any - but we've actually seen high inflation). Neither caused any spectacular meltdown.

I worry far more about growing the economy and the trade balance than about debt & hyperinflation scenarios.


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bugleyman wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You fail macroeconomics forever. You don't run a nation's budget the way you do a households. Because the first is not simply a scaled up version of the latter.

So I keep hearing. But I never we should. And I actually got in A in Macro. :P

Here's the problem: If our debt-to-GDP becomes high enough that the world loses confidence in our ability to repay our debts, then we're stuck with a bunch of maturing bonds that we can only pay by taking our new debt a drastically inflated -- and ruinous -- rates. "Printing" money to address the problem merely speeds the cycle.

Yes, you're correct. IF that happens, it'll be bad.

The question is: Are we anywhere near that point? I see no evidence of it.

It's actually likely that a policy of balancing the budget would hurt the economy sufficiently that our debt to GDP ratio would actually grow - even if we stopped adding to debt. Which would be hard, since the falling economy would cut revenues, forcing further cuts, and so on into a downward spiral.
I believe our deficit, both as a ratio of GDP and even in real dollars, is less than it was a few years ago. That's what economic recovery does, sluggish though it might be.

If you really want to cut the deficit, forget cutting spending, deal with the trade deficit. Economy = public deficit + private deficit + trade. Kill the public deficit with a negative trade balance and the only way to keep the economy going is for private debt to grow.


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All I have to say is don't play the game where you drink every time there's a lie.
Unless you want to play against me and you'll take Trump. :)

And no drinking games with Rumple Minze. Ever.


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Of course, the same may apply to guns. Or nightsticks.

It's hard to say. Cops definitely use pepper spray and tasers to force compliance in cases where there's no need. On the other hand it's not so clear what they would do if they didn't have those tools. It's not like inappropriate use of force was unheard of before they had pepper spray. Or like more old fashioned methods of hurting people have gone away.

If I had to guess, they probably use a bit less old fashioned violence, replacing it with pepper spray or tasers, but also use those in some cases where they wouldn't have done anything before.

Is that better or worse? I dunno. It's still pretty crappy though.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Particularly as Trump is not going to cut our taxes, in all plausibility.

My "e" is broked, so I'm trying to minimize using it for now. Can you tell?

Not our taxes. Trump's very likely to try to cut his own taxes.


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bugleyman wrote:
The thing about this that most sticks in my craw is that the law-and-order, she-had-it-coming types are the very same people who scream about how everything the government does is tyranny. Can you say cognitive dissonance?

Nah, it's perfectly reasonable.

The good cops only do that stuff to urban thugs, not to real Americans like them.


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It's not going to be an easy debate. The moderators won't call out lies and Trump's a master Gish Galloper. That's not easy to counter in a forum like this. You can say he's lying, but there's no way to pull in actual evidence and he'll just say you're lying back or move on to the next lie. Then you spend all your time trying to debunk his lies and can't say anything yourself.

Her best approach, IMO, is to taunt him into losing control. Get him upset and flustered and saying even wilder things than normal. Shouldn't be too hard to do. His style is obvious and she's been working hard on prep.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I believe the door was still partly open. She was resisting by blocking the door with her feet, or at least the officers were repeatedly telling her to get her feet inside the car.

Then they sprayed her and got the door closed.

Watch closely.

1:38 the girl can be clearly seen moving both feet well inside the car
1:39 officer 1 says, "That's good" and officer 2 says, "There you go"
1:40 officer 1 closes the door
1:42 officer 2 pepper sprays her through the window

I don't think so. I hear the "there you go" and the door moves, but it's still open. Look at the angle with the car post. You can clearly see the door close all the way after she screams.

Obviously we can't see her feet, but I think she may have pulled back when he threatened her with it. You can see her turn and that's when they get the door part way closed, but she may have blocked it again.

Not that any of that justifies anything.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Everyone, get the fork off this thread.
I don't think it IS a fork. Not with Pence calling on people to stop making claims of institutional racism in policing. This is a campaign issue... with a clear difference between the candidates. Clinton is calling for more police accountability... Trump for higher police presence in minority areas, the return of stop and frisk, confiscation of licensed firearms, et cetera.

True and the general issue is on topic, but there's a thread for the specific details of this case.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Remember, guys, this is how they handle children. Think about how they handle grown people with mental illnesses, or disabled people. These folk do not have the simple training/human experience to know how to handle an uncooperative kid.

Right, they handle (black) (girl) children like that because they're pretty sure they're not actually a threat.

Grown people with mental illnesses or disabled people get shot.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
NenkotaMoon wrote:
She was resisting. They asked her nicely, she got hostile and attempted to leave the scene on bike.

Let's pretend that the police had viable grounds to detain her... they're going with the favorite catchall 'disorderly conduct'.

How exactly was she "resisting" after they had handcuffed her, forced her in to the police car, and closed the door? She was sitting there. Quietly. Alone. Doing nothing. The officer then pepper sprayed her through the gap at the top of the window.

That's assault. Plain and simple. The officer committed a crime.

I believe the door was still partly open. She was resisting by blocking the door with her feet, or at least the officers were repeatedly telling her to get her feet inside the car.

Then they sprayed her and got the door closed.


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NenkotaMoon wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
NenkotaMoon wrote:
Of course, of course, should have not brought my hopes up. You'd rather defend someone who'd say f#@$ you to the police and walk away when they are trying to question them.

Saying "f#@$ you" to the police is your absolute Constitutional right (First Amendment). Walking away from a cop is also your absolute right unless the cops have reasonable suspicion that you are involved in criminal activity.

Neither are grounds for police to assault you.

They didnt assault her at all. How about this, when a cop questions you next time, you tell him to f@#$ off and walk away.

Well, I'm not a hysterical 15 year old black girl, so the circumstances would be different.

If I pepper sprayed you, it would be assault. (or battery. or someother crime, depending on your state laws /pedant)
If the cops aren't justified, it's the same thing for them. I would not be justified if you were swearing at me. That doesn't do it for the cops either.

She was clearly not a threat to the cops, so that excuse it out. They do have the right to detain her, though I'm not particularly happy about that under the circumstances. She wasn't cooperating. So the question is do they have the right to use pepper spray to enforce compliance? Which is essentially the same question as "Do they have the right to inflict pain to ensure cooperation?"


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Edit: Moved reply to new thread.


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DrDeth wrote:

Yes, the shield bonus remains, since you still have to hit him where his shield aint.

You might as well say the Goblin should lose his armor bonus as there are places not covered by his armor and you'd hit there.

That's not really how shields work. They're an active defence. You block with them.

Still, it's an abstraction. At least goblins have a dex bonus, so there's some bonus to hit them when they're flatfooted. Many creatures are actually no easier to hit at all.


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Samnell wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Much like you couldn't really have an African-American analogue without the slave trade and slavery. You can have African analogues, certainly, like you could have Native American analogues of various kinds.

I looked at Sargava with an eye towards making it a more Haiti-like colonial/post-colonial nation and setting for an Age of Worms game, but I gave it up because Sargava's actually really close to being Ira Berlin's Atlantic Littoral: the Game. (To the point that I suspect someone at Paizo read Many Thousands Gone.) It didn't make sense to change that into a New World slave society.

And also I study American slavery so my rendition of a slave society is probably way too dark and real world uncomfortable to be much fun in a game. I try not to talk to a friend about it anymore because I was giving him nightmares.

Much like I'm not really interested in playing in a "realistic" medieval fantasy setting - with proper strict class and gender roles and all of that. Far too grim and nasty.

I'm much happier with something more like Golarion or many fantasy worlds. Not necessarily noble-bright, but just barely above slavery for most everybody.


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NenkotaMoon wrote:

Wow, never thought I'd thought we'd agree on something Bugley

She was resisting. They asked her nicely, she got hostile and attempted to leave the scene on bike.

She got sprayed when she was in the back seat of the car. She wasn't trying to leave.

She was not cooperating. She wasn't a threat. But hey, easier to just spray her and be done.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Oh, I forgot to address your census question directly. Since 2010, Maryland has had population growth that was about the same as the national average. If this persists, then Maryland will have the same number of Congressional districts and nothing much will happen. If Maryland should have a sudden growth spurt, one can expect that the new district(s) would be drawn to favor Democrats, since Maryland has a track record.

They can and likely will redraw districts even if there isn't enough population change to add or remove a district. In theory, this accommodates movement inside the state.

It can be used to gerrymander as well of course.


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Snowblind wrote:
thejeff wrote:

...

Though I don't think the FAQ touches on whether you know you've been hit with debuffs. I suppose it depends on the spell, but most seem like they'd be obvious.
...

The Saving throw rules strongly imply that you would only know you got hit by a spell if you passed the save or if it had an obvious effect.

Succeeding on a Saving Throw wrote:
A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.
If a GM wanted to be a real bastard then they could have an enchanter spam Still Silent Charm/Dominate spells on the party while under greater invisibility, and the party wouldn't have the slightest clue until it was too late, barring one of them passing a save (which isn't likely if this is a specialized enchanter we are talking about).

"Or if it had an obvious effect". Most debuffs would, I believe. There are certainly exceptions.

Charm and Dominate certainly work that way, but I don't really consider them debuffs.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Knight who says Meh wrote:
Your vote matters, it's just not the only vote that matters.

Nope. It does not.

If you understand how the electoral college works, and know that I live in the "safe state" of NY, you will see that my vote does NOT matter. It isn't even close to mattering. This is the case for the majority of the country. If you live in a safe state, YOUR VOTE DOES NOT MATTER.

We live in a country where the system elects the president, not the voters. There have been a handful of instances where they system elected a different candidate then the voters, such as in 2000.

NOTE: This is for the presidential election, not all voting in general. Gerrymandering of congressional districts is a problem, but not as absolute as the electoral college.

You're still confusing "mattering" with "winning."

I'm not sure what you mean?

The argument is that if you don't live in a swing state, you can safely vote third party or just not bother without changing the outcome. That's true whether it's a safe state for your preferred party or the other one.

If "winning" is completely irrelevant, than voting "matters" even if you vote for a third party or write in with no hope of winning.


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One specific to the debates wouldn't be a bad thing, especially if we tried to do it live, but opening it up now doesn't really do much.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fergie wrote:

If you understand how the electoral college works, and know that I live in the "safe state" of NY, you will see that my vote does NOT matter. It isn't even close to mattering. This is the case for the majority of the country. If you live in a safe state, YOUR VOTE DOES NOT MATTER.

We live in a country where the system elects the president, not the voters. There have been a handful of instances where they system elected a different candidate then the voters, such as in 2000.

NOTE: This is for the presidential election, not all voting in general. Gerrymandering of congressional districts is a problem, but not as absolute as the electoral college.

The Electoral College is not a matter of gerrymandering. The state boundaries were not manipulated for partisan advantage.* It's a matter of using states as districts at all.

* The exception being Maine and Nebraska who each split their Presidential electoral votes using congressional districts.

The officially nonpartisan Nebraska legislature considered moving to winner-take-all after Obama won the more urban 2nd district in '08, but ended up just gerrymandering the district to make it more difficult for Democrats to win.

Both of which are small enough and with few enough votes for it to not really matter. :)

Maine, interestingly has never actually split its electoral vote - both districts have gone the same way - the same as the state.


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GM Rednal wrote:

As a GM, I appreciate limits on casters running amok.

I would also like to remind players of the kinds of things GMs like me could do to you if enemy casters were allowed to hide stuff from you as effectively as some of you want to hide stuff from them. o wo Boy, wouldn't it SUCK to charge into a boss fight and get told that invisible casters had secretly stacked a ton of debuffs on you without you noticing?

You mean like the way most people used to play?

Though I don't think the FAQ touches on whether you know you've been hit with debuffs. I suppose it depends on the spell, but most seem like they'd be obvious.

Or were GMs really telling their players "There's someone you can't see casting a spell silently over on the other side of the room."


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
If you eliminate the electoral college, you'd make the problem even worse. PotUS/VPotUS candidates would only bother campaigning hard in the most populous states and ignore the rest, much more than they do now.

Depends on what you replaced it with. If the presidency were instead decided by total popular vote then 10 people in a tiny Alaskan village would be exactly as important as 10 people in NYC.

That said, the electoral college isn't going anywhere without a constitutional amendment... so not bloody likely.

A more plausible, though still unlikely, change would be to get more of the states to allocate their electoral college votes proportionally... instead of 'winner takes all' a state split 51% to 49% would wind up giving roughly half of its electoral college votes to each candidate.

That last alternative scares me - because there are efforts do so piecemeal. In the short run, any state that does so becomes nearly irrelevant. If any of the larger states did so, which they won't, their votes would be split 50/50 and the balance is done. If California did so, that would be around a 50 vote swing to the Republican in every cycle. If everyone did it or spit evenly between red and blue states, no big deal. If it happened in a partisan fashion, it would be bad.

And of course politicians know this, so the only way it gets implemented in a state is if Republicans take control of a blue state or vice versa. Which does happen.

More plausible and a better approach in my opinion is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Essentially states bypass the electoral college by changing their laws to award their states electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote - but only when enough other states have signed on to determine the election.
So far, enough states have signed on to represent 165 electoral votes. 105 are still needed.

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