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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3219 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
14. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 17, 2016, 22:48 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Dec 17, 2016, 21:53:
nin wrote on Dec 17, 2016, 14:34:
Rogue One was really good!

You also liked TFA so you'll forgive me if I wait for word from one of the TFA naysayers.

I quite enjoyed TFA but thought Rogue One was kind of mediocre. It's entertaining, particularly in its second half, but the characters are completely flat, and the plotting and pacing of the first hour is an utter mess. It's still worth a watch, and the grittier tone makes for an interesting take on Star Wars, but this is a movie that could have been much, much better than it was.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
7. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 17, 2016, 15:48 Scottish Martial Arts
64 degrees and sunny here in LA. I might need to put on a sweatshirt when I go out later.

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News Comments > Into the Black
2. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 16, 2016, 18:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Well despite the strafing, the Brits got nearly their entire expeditionary force and a portion of the French 1st Army out of there, principally because every seaworthy boat in the UK showed up to get them ("England's fathers sailing out to rescue England's sons."), not to mention the feats of the RAF's Fighter Command. If you were to pick a single most dramatic and heroic moment in the history of WWII, you would be hard pressed to pick something better than Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo. After all, had the Brits failed in the evacuation from Dunkirk, it's very likely they, like the French, would have been forced to surrender in short order.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 20:14 Scottish Martial Arts
jdreyer wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 20:00:
Question: Without looking it up, which movie beat Saving Private Ryan to win the best movie Oscar that year? Having trouble? Just goes to show that the academy is not skilled at picking the greatest movie from the bunch. People still watch and refer to SPR. It's shown on TV many times a year, often unedited. It graces every top 10 war movies list. Watching it is used as punishment for people who vandalize national monuments.

That other movie? Largely forgotten.

Pretty sure it was Shakespeare in Love, although that might be 1997. Between the two, I prefer Saving Private Ryan obviously, but I would also argue that Saving Private Ryan was massively overrated. Even within the category of "war movies released in 1998", The Thin Red Line was a much thematically richer, better made film. Saving Private Ryan is on best war movie lists primarily because of the first 25 minutes; the rest of the film is very good, but as far as truly great war movies go, it's definitely not Paths of Glory. In my opinion, of course.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2016, 20:20.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
19. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 19:04 Scottish Martial Arts
NewMaxx wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 18:27:
If you're willing to consider a conspiracy of that magnitude to get Trump elected then I fail to see how you can ignore Hillary's security mis-steps, Pizzagate, or any other "ridiculous" theory.

There's a distinction between "a conspiracy of that magnitude to get Trump elected" and a foreign intelligence operation in the midst of an election. To be clear, I do not think Trump's election was illegitimate. He was elected because just enough people in just enough states voted for him, not because of an Illuminati Grand Conspiracy. However, Trump being legitimately elected does not preclude a foreign intelligence operation to disrupt the election.

Likewise, there is a distinction between the fantastical on the one hand, and a probable assessment inferred from known facts on the other. The former is contradictory, the latter is fallible but reasonable: the conclusion could be wrong, but there is good reason to think it isn't. Pizzagate supposes a child sex ring operated out of the basement of a building which has no basement. In contrast, the reports of Russian intelligence operations to penetrate the DNC and RNC depend upon a chain of evidence, some of which is publicly known and some of which isn't, analyzed by intelligence professionals. It is entirely possible that the CIA and FBI are wrong in their assessment, and likewise it is entirely possible the factual claims made in the previously mentioned NYT article are incorrect. However, if we suppose that the CIA/FBI/etc. are basically competent, and if we suppose that the who/what/where/when factual claims presented in the NYT reporting is basically correct, then we are left with a reasonable argument that the Russians are very likely responsible for the hacking of the DNC and RNC.

It is entirely fair to reject an inference with a probability of 0; it is absurd to reject an inference solely because its probability is less than 1.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2016, 19:12.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
23. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 18:14 Scottish Martial Arts
Rigs wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 17:40:
Anyway, you guys know every movie doesn't have to be Oscar-worthy 'Saving Private Ryan' life-changing shit, right?

No, but there's a difference between a popcorn flick with a soul and a popcorn flick that is soulless. The Force Awakens was certainly the former, Rogue One may be the latter if many of the reviews are to be believed.

And I'm pretty sure Saving Private Ryan only won Oscars for sound and special effects. edit: Looks like it got Director and Cinematography too.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
16. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 18:06 Scottish Martial Arts
Squirmer wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 17:35:
"Act of war"? Put away the nukes. The US government has spied on everyone, it has intervened in so many other countries' elections, it has militarily intervened in so many countries and caused the deaths of countless people. But we're supposed to be outraged by one Russian hack of a political party that had no provable impact?

This is all just distraction stoked by a febrile media and a political party that can't accept it lost. And what's more it's dangerous distraction.

Fair enough on US spying. However, to your second point, while an impact probably cannot be proved, it can certainly be reasonably inferred. Likewise, this is not a distraction and it's not a matter of refusing to accept a loss. Trump is our President for the next 4 years, barring impeachment. He won narrowly, but he won. The question is: what kind of President is he going to be? Is he going to be a President who rejects intelligence out of hand that doesn't flatter his ego? Is he going to be a President who isn't transparent about his financial/business interests and how they entangle with potentially hostile foreign powers? Is his Republican Congressional majority potentially blackmail-able by Russian intelligence (the CIA and FBI maintain that the RNC was penetrated by Russian intelligence too: what kompromat, if any, were they able to glean from those hacks?) Hopefully there's nothing to these concerns, but we won't know unless the Russian intrusions are thoroughly investigated. Perhaps you're satisfied with Trump dismissing this all out of hand, but his business record suggests that those who place their trust in him, and don't insist on up-front accountability, ultimately end up regretting it.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
15. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 16:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Which reviews are you guys referring to? From fandom or something? The general impression from the professional critics, e.g. A.O. Scott, etc., is that this is a serviceable piece of entertainment, but lacks any particular reason to recommend it as a film or even to exist aside from printing money for Disney and maintaining popular culture mindshare until Episode 8. The plotting is reportedly contrived, the characters thin, the performances remarkably weak given the otherwise superb cast members, and the pacing is off until the final act.

edit: To be clear, some critics genuinely seem to have enjoyed it, but most seem pretty lukewarm. Some of the reviews which rottentomatoes is scoring as positive, for example, give a much more mixed impression once you actually read the review.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2016, 16:19.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 16:07 Scottish Martial Arts
I used to hang out on a forum that had a pretty sizeable Russian population, and it was fascinating watching a subset of that population go all in on Putinism over time. Some of the Russian posters maintained a healthy skepticism of their government, were horrified at the assassination of journalists, saw their government's interventions in the "near abroad" as an attempt to distract from economic stagnation and oligarchic cronyism, etc., but others swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. As Timmeh, and others like him, show, that process seems to be happening much faster with the American right-wing and Trumpism. I'd argue with him, but what would be the point? In his world, there are no verifiable facts, reasonable inference is impossible, anything reported in the media is de facto false, and all information is suspect except for the party line of the glorious leader. Why discuss the specific malware that was used in penetrating the DNC and how it was also used in Ukraine and against NATO (gee which foreign actor has this constellation of interests?), or that the hours of illicit network activity overlap exactly with working hours in the Moscow timezone, or that the supposed Romanian leaker Guccifer 2.0 appears to have used an online translator to conduct conversations with the press in "Romanian", or that the phishing link pointed to a server which is known to be used to Russian advanced persistent threats, etc? All of that was reported in the "media" so therefore it cannot have any basis in reality, and therefore the truth of Trump saying it wasn't the Russians is self-evident.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
6. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 12:14 Scottish Martial Arts
First trailer for Nolan's Dunkirk looks pretty phenomenal:  
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 12:10 Scottish Martial Arts
Pigeon wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 11:53:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Dec 14, 2016, 11:28:
I read it and it lines up with what I have suspected all along that we, the US, is on the losing side of the "cyberwar".

Our politicians are too clueless to understand the breadth of the problem, and too willing to use the results for political leverage. Honestly they didn't even need the details, just putting forth a vague implication that wrong doing had occurred based on out of context statements. What was actually the worst thing in those emails? Probably Donna Brazile leaking a debate question to Hillary's aide and that was the least focused on aspect.

Again, I'd highly recommend reading the NYT story:

The thing that was concerning to me was less the nothingburger email drama -- which as you point out was embarrassing for democrats but hardly criminal -- than the leaking of the DNCs campaign strategy, budgets, personnel assignments, etc. all of which were out their on the internet for the Trump campaign to pick through even if it didn't consume the headlines like John Podesta's email. That's the sort of thing that the Watergate burglars were after and which ended the Nixon presidency. I'm doubtful the Trump campaign was directly coordinating with Russian intelligence, but the fact is they directly benefited from Russian intelligence operations and that the Russians acted as their Gordon Liddy et al.

Again, I'm willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and not assume he's been compromised by Russian intelligence, but he needs to put his pride aside and rather than try to deny something that diminishes his victory, instead commit his administration to an investigation of Russian intelligence operations during the election and to an appropriate response, whether it be further economic sanctions on Russia or retaliatory cyberwarfare. If Trump gives Putin a pass on cyberwar against the US, then that pretty much confirms he places his own ego ahead of the national security of the United States.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
5. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 14, 2016, 11:15 Scottish Martial Arts
None of you read the article that was cited in that claim did you? At least no one commented in the relevant thread last night:

Whether or not the Russian intrusion actually tipped the election, you cannot read the NYT's story from yesterday afternoon documenting the Russian attacks on our political organizations without coming to the conclusion that this was a plausibly deniable act of war.
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse
13. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 30, 2016, 11:02 Scottish Martial Arts
Timmeh wrote on Nov 30, 2016, 10:28:
Conservative Views are not stupid. Neo Liberal views on the other hand are bat shit insane.

You might want to Google Neoliberalism before going on a rant about it. Here's some help:

If you cannot correctly identify what things are even called, it's hard to take your appeals to "reading a lick of real history" seriously.

This comment was edited on Nov 30, 2016, 11:15.
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News Comments > Titanfall 2 Free Trial This Week
1. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 29, 2016, 21:34 Scottish Martial Arts
I picked this up on a whim the other day and have been very pleasantly surprised. If you ever wanted a sequel to Shogo, with some Portal and Call of Duty mixed in for good measure, then this is it.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
12. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 23, 2016, 15:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Dacote wrote on Nov 23, 2016, 15:02:
The hair-loss drug is why I'm bald.

Once I saw the WHO hand cleaning method I quit washing my hands.

The CDC does not go into enough detail.

A man entered a restaurant and sat at the only open table. As he sat down, he knocked the spoon off the table with his elbow. A nearby waiter reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a clean spoon, and set it on the table. The diner was impressed. "Do all the waiters here carry spoons in their pockets?"

The waiter replied, "Yes. Ever since an Efficiency Expert visited our restaurant... He determined that 17.8% of our diners knock the spoon off the table. By carrying clean spoons with us, we save trips to the kitchen."

The diner ate his meal. As he was paying the waiter, he commented, "Forgive the intrusion, but do you know that you have a string hanging from your fly?"

The waiter replied, "Yes, we all do. Seems that the same Efficiency Expert determined that we spend too much time washing our hands after using the men's room. So, the other end of that string is tied to my penis. When I need to go, I simply pull the string, do my thing, and then return to work. Having never touched myself, there really is no need to wash my hands. Saves a lot of time."

"Wait a minute," said the diner, "how do you get your penis back in your pants?"

"Well, I don't know about the other guys, but I use the spoon."

wtf am i reading
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
23. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 23, 2016, 15:14 Scottish Martial Arts
Muscular Beaver wrote on Nov 23, 2016, 12:48:
Sounds logical. Yet that doesnt mean they werent there before. They just werent as vocal, because of the cancer that is PC.
People need to grow a thicker hide again, that is obvious when you look at what they often call racism or hate crime.
If everyone is that touchy and it would go mainstream even more, we would go into a catastrophe with light speed. History has shown that more than enough times.

The thing about political correctness is that conservatives don't seem to realize that it runs both ways. Just as there are plenty of things which conservatives don't feel that they can say in polite company, there's a lot of stuff liberals and leftists don't feel that they can say either. But everyone agrees to tone it down and not be particularly hateful in their words so that society can somehow continue to shamble along without collapsing in on itself. If conservatives truly hate political correctness, then they don't get to be scandalized when a person of color says "fuck the police" because it's that same political correctness which causes minority communities with bad policing experiences to usually limit their criticism to polite terms. Similarly, if conservative Christians truly hate political correctness, then they, upon calling homosexuality barbaric, don't get to be scandalized when gay people call Christianity a barbaric religion. And so forth.

Contemporary campus politics does, in my opinion, take the idea of political correctness too far: instead of us all having a mutual obligation not to disrespect other groups, campus leftists would instead say that we have no obligation to even hear things we dislike. That's a mistake, but it's no worse a mistake than thinking political correctness is solely something enforced by the left on the right.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
85. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 22, 2016, 19:20 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm dubious that Sanders would have had much of a shot. You have to remember that he was a total unknown to anyone who didn't pay attention to the Democratic primary, which would constitute most of the country. That would have meant that the GOP and Trump would have able to define him and hit him hard for being a self-described socialist and for having been in Congress for ~25 years with nothing significant to show for it. For example: "He says he's an outsider, but this out of touch Vermont socialist has spent a third of his life in Congress with no major legislative accomplishments. Do you really trust a do-nothing hippie to shake up Washington?" For broad swaths of the country, hearing that someone is a "socialist" is like hearing they eat babies; Bernie would have been demonized to the same degree that Hillary was demonized. Maybe he would have pulled it off, but I have my doubts.  
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
7. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 22, 2016, 16:28 Scottish Martial Arts
Cutter wrote on Nov 22, 2016, 15:09:
jdreyer wrote on Nov 22, 2016, 13:21:
'Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.'

Or you could, you know, never start.

Or maybe not obsess on it, or just use an account with a fake name so employers can't spy on you, or work for someone who understands your private life is none of their fucking business to begin with because you're an employee and not property.

Your comment has literally nothing to do with the thrust of the article author's argument. He says absolutely nothing about spying employers; he says quite a bit about concentration being a valuable skill and resource, and that social media is designed to foster compulsive breaks in your concentration.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
69. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 22, 2016, 11:58 Scottish Martial Arts
Verno wrote on Nov 22, 2016, 10:59:
rethinking international economic policy approaches and moving away from elitism toward populism so that they can get back in power.

See, this is where a fantasy is being sold. US manufacturing output is at record levels, but changes in technology mean that we no longer need record levels of manufacturing workers. Likewise, the coal industry is being decimated simply because there are cheaper alternatives in larger supply. The notion that we're losing out to the Chinese is simply not true: low-skill American workers are instead losing out to advancing technology.

Any politician who appeals to nostalgia for the 1960s industrial economy is lying or is in denial. Going forward we need to be thinking about how to deal with the fact that our economy will continue to produce large quantities of wealth but will not produce large quantities of low-skill middle class jobs. Putting "America First" won't bring back the good jobs that technology has erased from existence, and the problem that the new right-wing Populism will face is that won't be able to deliver on its promises because in its simplistic appeals, it has misdiagnosed the cause of the problem. Aging low-skill blue-color workers really are in a shitty position, and frankly I don't know what the answer is for them, but I can say that trying to turn back the clock is doomed to fail. It's unfortunate, for them, that their new leader can only look backwards and doesn't have any answers for the future.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
63. Re: Morning Mobilization Nov 22, 2016, 10:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Verno wrote on Nov 22, 2016, 09:55:
People mocked Trump's reluctance about accepting the results of the election but now many of the same pundits are making noise about the "popular" vote. To me it doesn't matter, she still lost no matter what. Whether she won the popular the vote by 3 million or 100,000, she lost the election. Frankly I'm not sure I would be so quick to trumpet (no pun intended!) the popular vote results when you look at the sheer amount of media backing and money behind her, I would be embarrassed by her performance. Either way its water under the bridge, shes done and there's no going back so the hand wringing is kind of silly.

I don't think its in the Republicans favor to dismantle the EC when it just won them the election either. Refactoring voting districts on the other hand, I can see that happening.

Speaking only for myself, I don't bring up the popular vote to suggest that Clinton somehow still has a path to the White House. Instead, I bring it up to suggest that Trumpism has a very limited mandate, if any mandate at all. Most discussions of the popular vote I have read usually preface their remarks with something along the lines of "she lost fair and square, and will never become President, but...", so I suspect that few commentators are actually agitating for some sort of different election outcome.

Edit - A representative example of the sort commentary to which I'm referring:

More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump. More Americans voted for Democratic Senate candidates than for Republican Senate candidates. And while we donít have final numbers yet, it looks likely that more Americans will have voted for House Democrats than for House Republicans.

So why arenít Democrats acting like it? Why arenít they trying to force Republicans, the media, and the emergent Trump White House to act like it?

This is not an argument that the election was rigged, nor that Trumpís win is somehow illegitimate. The president is chosen by the Electoral College. The Senate is built to favor small states. Gerrymandering is legal. America does not decide national elections by simply tallying up votes.

But the will of the voters still matters, or at least it should...

Democrats have confused the reality of being out of power with the idea of being in the minority. This lets the Trump administration and the Republican Party confuse the reality of being in power with the idea of having a mandate for their agenda.
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