User information for SMA

Real Name
SMA
Nickname
Scottish Martial Arts
Email
Concealed by request
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June 16, 2002
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3416 (Veteran)
User ID
13410
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3416 Comments. 171 pages. Viewing page 1.
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25.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 14, 2020, 19:13
25.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 14, 2020, 19:13
Nov 14, 2020, 19:13
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 14, 2020, 17:17:
Haha. They really are not quite as bad as their reputation. Certainly not gourmet dinners, but if you are hungry and they are all that's available, they are just fine.

Agreed. Some MREs are much better than others; compared to what you can make at home or eat at a restaurant, they obviously don't measure up; but when you're in the field, any hint of civilization is a godsend, and an MRE, especially one warmed in the included instant heat pouch, is very much that.
5.
 
Re: PC Halo 4 Next Week
Nov 9, 2020, 20:31
5.
Re: PC Halo 4 Next Week Nov 9, 2020, 20:31
Nov 9, 2020, 20:31
 
It will never cease to amaze me that so many grown-ass men on this forum will continue to derive so much of their self-worth from the fact that they played PC games to the exclusion of console games two decades ago.
14.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 7, 2020, 14:01
14.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2020, 14:01
Nov 7, 2020, 14:01
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Nov 7, 2020, 13:59:

So he will be in power till January?

Yes, although I anticipate that later this month he'll jet off to Mar a Lago and rage tweet the rest of his term while offloading his duties to Pence.
13.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 7, 2020, 14:00
13.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2020, 14:00
Nov 7, 2020, 14:00
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Nov 7, 2020, 13:48:
Also nothing is actually officially confirmed yet...

No, but for all intents and purposes, it's over. Like any other election, it will be 2 or 3 weeks before states finalize and certify their results, which in turn confirms their slate of Electors. The Electoral College will meet in early December, and once they've voted the result will be official. For now, there's nothing in the returns to suggest that the end result will be overturned; at best, it's mathematically possible (but not at all plausible) that Trump way over performs in the remaining votes in Arizona and Georgia and flips them back into his column, but that won't change the outcome. The Trump campaigns scattershot legal strategy is hampered by the fact that they haven't been able to substantiate their allegations with evidence, and unless they do, their current 0-9 loss streak in election related suits will only be extended. In any event, the lawsuits have no realistic shot of overturning the result and aren't really intended to; they're a PR effort to cultivate a "Lost Cause" narrative among hardcore Trump supporters and to assuage Trump's wounded ego. Over the coming weeks, as those lawsuits fail, reality will settle in for Trump and the system will move on, regardless of whether he ever concedes or not (which he won't).

5.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 7, 2020, 13:24
5.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2020, 13:24
Nov 7, 2020, 13:24
 
@Mr Bone

You said repeatedly that you couldn't wait to see me after the election. I'm feeling great: how are you doing?
8.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 6, 2020, 14:16
8.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2020, 14:16
Nov 6, 2020, 14:16
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Nov 6, 2020, 11:59:
What the fuck is going on with this count?

The pandemic led to massively increased utilization of absentee voting, which some states -- that ended up being important to the outcome of the race as a whole -- were unable to handle well, either through administrative incompetence (Nevada, which has had numerous slow counts before) or deliberate partisan sabotage (Pennsylvania and its GOP held state legislature). Elections in the US are decentralized and are the responsibility of the states in which they occur, which leads to a patchwork quilt of laws and agencies, of differing degrees of competence.

Florida famously melted down in 2000, but since then they have worked hard to change their laws and policies -- including updating them for the reality of the pandemic this year -- to ensure that elections run smoothly; hence, the quick decision there. In contrast, Pennsylvania's election laws require that no absentee ballots be counted until polls close on election day, even if the ballots were received weeks beforehand. Since absentee ballots are more labor intensive to process than in-person ballots, Pennsylvania's laws essentially ensured that we'd be waiting days post election for a result. The (Democratic) Governor of PA essentially begged the legislature to pass a bill allowing processing of early arriving absentee ballots as they arrive, but the (Republican-led) Legislature refused. Why did they refuse? Because they knew absentee ballots would skew heavily Democratic after a year of Trump telling Republicans that absentee ballots are corrupt and a tool of fraud. Delaying the count of those Democratic-skewed ballots would give Trump an early lead in the state, and if the eventual outcome was close or ambiguous, it would only be known after several days in which Trump appeared to lead the count. This in turn would give Trump rhetorical ammunition to contest the outcome if necessary, which is exactly what appears to be happening. Fortunately, there's not really any legal basis for Trump to contest the outcome -- you don't get to avoid playing the 4th quarter just because you were ahead in the 3rd -- and we will probably get a call for PA for Biden, and the race as a whole, at some point today, or this weekend at the latest.
97.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 5, 2020, 17:27
97.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 5, 2020, 17:27
Nov 5, 2020, 17:27
 
theglaze wrote on Nov 5, 2020, 17:05:
The caveat with this experiment is that "recipients were identified as not having significant substance abuse or mental health issues." Suggesting that those who are homeless to economic reasons can pull themselves out with a little help.

Speaking solely for myself, having made the poor to affluent transition, largely by means of an unexpected inheritance, there are a whole lot of problems poor people face that can be fixed with money.
7.
 
Re: Into the Black
Nov 4, 2020, 07:04
7.
Re: Into the Black Nov 4, 2020, 07:04
Nov 4, 2020, 07:04
 
NKD wrote on Nov 4, 2020, 06:10:
My prediction seems to be playing out, so far. We've got Trump ahead in key states, and he has declared victory already and demanded that vote counting be halted. What remains to be seen: If the remaining votes end up pushing things to Biden's side, then he'll really throw a fit, it'll go to SCOTUS, and they'll hand him the election.

With regard to SCOTUS, a key difference between 2020 and 2000 is that in 2000, the Bush campaign successfully petitioned to stop a recount. In 2020, the Trump campaign will be petitioning to stop the count of legally cast ballots. That's a much heavier lift, and something that has been universally rejected, even by partisan conservative jurists, in pre election litigation this year.

The thing that kept me up last night and caused me to wake up early with a knot in my stomach and a pounding heartbeat is that now that the election is close enough for Trump to claim that it is being stolen from him, a substantial chunk of his followers will not accept results that go against him. Even if Biden wins -- which I do think is the likely outcome but only after a protracted ugly legal fight -- Biden will have a Tea Party 2.0 problem before he's even inaugurated, a problem which, thanks to QAnon and the like, will probably result in violence/domestic terror.

What a shit show.
2.
 
Re: Into the Black
Nov 3, 2020, 23:26
2.
Re: Into the Black Nov 3, 2020, 23:26
Nov 3, 2020, 23:26
 
Well, I was wrong about getting quick resolution tonight. The bright spot is that Biden is on track to win Arizona. That opens two strong pathways to 270+:

1) Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
2) Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nebraska-2, and Maine-2. (The latter two states award electors by winners of congressional district).

Unfortunately, the midwestern states are going to take several days, at least, to count ballots. Biden probably wins this once everything is counted, but the longer that count takes the more opportunities for lawsuits to stop vote counts/throw out ballots, more opportunities for violence between far right "militia" gangs and far left anarchists, and more opportunities for general ratfuckery/sowing of chaos by President Trump.

We're in for some turbulent and stressful, and potentially catastrophic, days ahead. In that sense, this election is turning out to be entirely in keeping with the rest of 2020.

edit: The NYT live forecast for Georgia is currently forecasting a narrow Biden win there on the basis of the huge number of uncounted urban and suburban ballots in and around Atlanta. If I had to bet, Georgia narrowly goes for Trump. But if it goes Biden, then Trump's path to reelection is closed and we don't have to wait on Pennsylvania for a decision.

This comment was edited on Nov 4, 2020, 00:34.
21.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 3, 2020, 07:49
21.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 3, 2020, 07:49
Nov 3, 2020, 07:49
 
Biden will very likely win, but a) it's less certain whether that victory will be decisively clear by the time we go to bed to tonight, and b) it is still conceivable, however improbable, that Trump pulls a second rabbit from his hat.

Hedging aside, I don't think we're in for a particularly late night: the sunbelt states will report results fast, Biden leads in all of them but Texas (where he's merely tied... IN TEXAS), and the loss of any one is basically fatal to Trump's path to 270. Put another way, the fact that the swing states are more favorable to Trump than the nation as a whole does not imply that Trump has a favorable electoral college map: in order to win, he has to sweep states where he is non-trivially behind. Even in a scenario where we have a polling error within two standard deviations, i.e. a "normal" polling error, and that error benefits Trump, he still loses in the upper midwest and most of the sunbelt merely shifts to toss ups, which again he must sweep to win. Of course, there is nothing magical about Trump which ensures that polling errors will always work to his benefit: if we have a 2012-style polling error that benefits Biden this will be a 1984-style blowout. In other words, Trump's only real hope to win the election legitimately is to hope for a polling error that benefits him that is larger than two standard deviations, something without recent historical precedent, and, assuming a normal distribution for error, has <5% chance of happening. Add in pandemic related uncertainty around turnout and voting methods and we get to the ~10% chance of Trump turning this around that 538 is projecting.

More subjectively, Trump barely won in 2016: his margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania were less than 1 percentage point, and had they flipped, he would not have been President. It would not have taken much for him to lose in 2016, and in 2020 he faces very stiff headwinds, from the pandemic, to economic collapse, to his personal unpopularity (especially relative to Biden), to race relations, to very few undecided/third-party voters, etc. The fact is that he has alienated and enraged 55% of the country, and in a representative democracy, even one with an Electoral College, it's really hard to win elections when you have that many people committed to your defeat. Everyone still has such strong 2016 PTSD that we are placing too much weight on how 2020 could be like 2016 and not enough on how 2020 could be like literally every other modern presidential election.

Of course, 2016 PTSD has also left me losing sleep and bracing for the 1 in 10 outcome becoming reality. I just remind myself that lightning will have to strike twice in order for that to happen.
15.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 23:57
15.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 23:57
Nov 1, 2020, 23:57
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 1, 2020, 23:34:
BoP is right, DST was good for an agrarian based economy pre-industrialization but it means nothing now.

For clarity, DST was a 20th century invention that long postdated industrialization.
14.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 23:54
14.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 23:54
Nov 1, 2020, 23:54
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 1, 2020, 23:08:
Highly variable, and while we can't undo the evolution of the species overnight, it really is only a major issue for a minority of the population. I'm definitely with BoP on this (shocking, I know).

Idk man, I would compare that to arguing that it's unimportant to exercise because not everyone benefits from it equally and only a minority of the population would be unable to function without it. Sure, these things are highly variable and human beings are resilient, adaptable creatures that can handle privation well, particularly in the short term. But there are also a number of basic activities that our biology and evolutionary history have primed us to benefit from over the long term. You don't need to exercise, but you will probably be happier and more energetic if you do. You don't need to sleep 7 or 8 hours each night, but you'll benefit if you do. Same with socialization, sex, good nutrition, etc., to include being most active during daylight. If other needs are well cared for, being most active during daylight can probably be deemphasized without any real problem. But if you can be most active in daylight, your wellbeing will probably benefit.
12.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 23:27
12.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 23:27
Nov 1, 2020, 23:27
 
MxxCon wrote on Nov 1, 2020, 23:10:
I'd rather wake up when it's "dawn" rather than it be dark at 4:30pm!
I can take more advantage of the daylight when I have free time after work rather than hella early in the morning when I just wake up.

Congrats, you've just made the argument for Daylight Savings Time during the Summer. What about in Winter when the sun rises at 7:40AM Standard Time? Would you rather it rise at 8:40AM Daylight Time? It's not exactly hella early anymore.

And Swatch decimal time system actually sounds like an improvement over the base-60 Babylonian time system we've inherited. But if folks can't handle a twice a year time change, do we really expect them to handle a timezone-less decimal time?
9.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 22:57
9.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 22:57
Nov 1, 2020, 22:57
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Nov 1, 2020, 22:42:
There is no need to maximize daylight hours when at least 70% of us sit inside a box, inside a larger box, staring at a box in front of our face.

Dude, we're diurnal animals: restfulness, wakefulness, energy, creativity, productivity, and health and wellbeing in general are all aided by being most active during daylight and resting during night. Millions of years of evolution are not undone by the technological advances that allow many of us to work indoors and/or at night. Indeed, the division of the day into 24 hours is an entirely artificial and arbitrary human construct and the time change is just the modern method of keeping that artificial construct somewhat in sync with what our bodies naturally want to do, i.e. wake up with the sun. If a time change is upsetting, perhaps that's just an indication that ignoring the body's circadian rhythm will negatively impact one's emotional functioning.
5.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 20:30
5.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 20:30
Nov 1, 2020, 20:30
 
Idk, man, complaints about the time change seem to me to be really just complaints about winter in the northern hemisphere. The problem isn't the time change or lack there of; the problem is that there are only 9 hours of daylight on the winter solstice. Stay on daylight savings time year round and we have to wake up and go to work in the dark for most of the winter; just stay on standard year round and those long summer evenings get an hour shorter. Daylight savings is an imperfect system to synchronize the seasonally changing number of daylight hours with when humans are awake and going about their day. Abolish it if you want, but you're still stuck with a paltry 9 hours of daylight in December.

*hour figures are approximations for NYC; actual numbers vary for your latitude obviously.
39.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Nov 1, 2020, 11:56
39.
Re: Out of the Blue Nov 1, 2020, 11:56
Nov 1, 2020, 11:56
 
zcaa0g wrote on Nov 1, 2020, 11:15:
I have a compromised immune system due to a kidney transplant, but it's my responsibility to be responsible and keep safe, not anyone else's and especially not the government.

You're right: we all have a responsibility to do our part to not get sick and to contain the spread of the virus so that people like you won't die. But in order for that individual responsible action to be effective, a critical mass of people needs to be responsible. If 40% of the country irresponsibly decides that refusing to wear a mask shows their tribal loyalty, then it diminishes the effectiveness of the responsible action undertaken by the remaining 60%, making it more likely that your precautions will fail and you will sicken and die. Which is why it is the responsibility of our leaders to model and encourage responsible pandemic behavior, and to especially encourage such responsible behavior among their most zealous followers. Trump has literally done the exact opposite, increasing the likelihood that your personal responsible actions will not be enough to protect yourself. If you think you're in this fight alone, and what other people do doesn't matter, then you need to be prepared to die, alone.
37.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Oct 31, 2020, 08:15
37.
Re: Out of the Blue Oct 31, 2020, 08:15
Oct 31, 2020, 08:15
 
opie wrote on Oct 31, 2020, 00:51:
The democratic party has an internal reckoning coming. It will not be good.

What you've laid out are a handful of conservative media talking points that don't hold up to scrutiny. You know nothing about a man who was vice-president for 8 years, really? Like most conservative -- and conservative leaning independent -- thought, that doesn't pass the laugh test. Really though, you and I both know that this was a decision we both made long ago. In your case though, it does probably provide some psychological safety to rationalize being against early voting and projecting your fear of the most likely electoral outcome on the opposing side. When Texas and Georgia are now toss-ups, a party will face a reckoning, just probably not the Democrats.
29.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Oct 30, 2020, 23:02
29.
Re: Out of the Blue Oct 30, 2020, 23:02
Oct 30, 2020, 23:02
 
opie wrote on Oct 30, 2020, 22:37:
Cannot be an informed voter if you are missing some information.

If by this point you think there's insufficient information to make a decision, I'm not sure that waiting until November 3rd is going to help. Indeed, if you believe waiting until election day to vote will not negatively impact your ability to easily cast a ballot that will be counted, then I don't think you're only missing information about the candidates.
21.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Oct 30, 2020, 16:00
21.
Re: Out of the Blue Oct 30, 2020, 16:00
Oct 30, 2020, 16:00
 
PHJF wrote on Oct 30, 2020, 10:49:
My mail ballot was received and accepted by the board of elections on 10-17. The fact that anyone feels compelled to physically go to the polls during a global pandemic because of some ludicrous mistrust in the USPS is one of the surest signs of how low this country has fallen.

Different states have different laws about when absentee ballots can start being counted. Depending on your jurisdiction, an absentee ballot may not be counted until after election day, even if it was received weeks before hand. The GOP has already filed multiple lawsuits, with many more planned, to limit the post election day counting of absentee ballots; much of their electoral strategy this year depends on keeping election day margins close enough that absentee ballots will decide the contest and then getting those absentee ballots thrown out. If you want to be certain that your vote will count, you have to vote in person, even during a pandemic. That is indeed a sure sign of the depths to which this country has fallen.
19.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Oct 30, 2020, 15:24
19.
Re: Out of the Blue Oct 30, 2020, 15:24
Oct 30, 2020, 15:24
 
In NYC, I attempted to vote on the first day of early voting, but when I arrived about 15 minutes after polls opened, the line snaked around multiple blocks before folding back in on itself such that I literally could not find the end of the line. I went back later in the afternoon, but the line was long enough that I worried that I wouldn't get close enough to the front by the time polls closed (I found out later that as long as you're in line at the time polls close, you will be allowed to vote). I ended up returning the following morning, and despite arriving 30 minutes before polls opened, the line was already ~500 deep; I stuck it out though, and after roughly two hours I got through the line and voted. I live less than a block from my precinct, so I've had plenty of opportunity since to observe the line: there has never not been a line and at times it has extended around multiple blocks. This turnout is insane; I would not be surprised if my precinct ends up with 90%+ turnout.

Blue, perhaps things are different outside of the city, but I would not count on being able to time the polls such that you won't have to wait. Block out some time this weekend where you can wait as long as necessary, pack a lunch and a camping chair, and wait it out; election day will probably be even worse.
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