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The Old Hack

Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

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16 minutes ago, mlooney said:

All 4 of the military chief's of staff came as close as they could to violating Article 88 of the UCMJ with actually doing so.

I respect them for that.

I just hope to all things Lawful Good that no one every shows Sirrah  Article 88.  Things could get ugly if they do.

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7 minutes ago, mlooney said:

I just hope to all things Lawful Good that no one every shows Sirrah  Article 88.  Things could get ugly if they do.

Would he understand it?

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26 minutes ago, mlooney said:

I just hope to all things Lawful Good that no one every shows Sirrah  Article 88.  Things could get ugly if they do.

 

19 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Would he understand it?

It's pretty straight forward, I suspect he might after a couple of readings.

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22 hours ago, mlooney said:

Just a note for those people that don't pay attention to the 3rd-page international news. India and China had a border "incident" Tuesday. Both of these countries have nukes and the fought a brief war in 1962 over this area.

This, believe it or not, bother me a little more than most of the stuff on the 1st two pages of news today.

Just skimming the article I'm am completely willing to believe that the Chinese instigated this altercation.

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Trump put a nearly 220% tariff on Bombardier planes bought by Delta Airlines after Boeing complained that Canada unfairly subsidizes the company.

https://twitter.com/i/moments/912931827391791104

Canada and the US has had trade issues for decades with the US putting tariffs on softwood exports for the same reason that it's unfairly subsidized, but this is ridiculous.

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Today's NP eased a lot of concern I had about Monday's NP.    I suppose Ashley needed a setting of some kind for her transformation story.

It's a "little bit is OK, a lot is bad" sort of thing combined with the natural "if I ran the zoo" opinions we all have (we all have them, right?)  Each time politics are injected into an apolitical comic, the bar for doing it again is lowered.  The creator has to know where to draw the line.  Not all do.

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35 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Today's NP eased a lot of concern I had about Monday's NP.    I suppose Ashley needed a setting of some kind for her transformation story.

It's a "little bit is OK, a lot is bad" sort of thing combined with the natural "if I ran the zoo" opinions we all have (we all have them, right?)  Each time politics are injected into an apolitical comic, the bar for doing it again is lowered.  The creator has to know where to draw the line.  Not all do.

The thing is though, Dan did warn us on Monday to wait till Wednesday to find out where he was going with it, people still immediately thought he was making a political statement when he wasn't. He was creating a backdrop for a character who was creating an exaggerated political situation for the purpose of a fantasy fiction. And to top it off, the joke was made that Ashley would be the one that would be getting comments about it being a political statement. Is there really a political statement being made here?

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6 minutes ago, Scotty said:

The thing is though, Dan did warn us on Monday to wait till Wednesday to find out where he was going with it, people still immediately thought he was making a political statement when he wasn't. He was creating a backdrop for a character who was creating an exaggerated political situation for the purpose of a fantasy fiction. And to top it off, the joke was made that Ashley would be the one that would be getting comments about it being a political statement. Is there really a political statement being made here?

Yes there is and Ashley is making it.  Did these old white men in Ashley's story need to be plotting to do something politically undesirable?  No they did not.  It was all set-dressing for the transformation story, which in turn was just there to show us things about Ashley and transformations that Pandora told us about. 

Politics wasn't the point to any of it so why have it there at all?

Dan reduced the impact greatly by making it a story written by Ashley and did it very well. 

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After a bit of time to think about it, here's the rub: 

If you stop and think about it, having your body and mind changed against your will is downright horrifying.

Ashley uses the old white men's political viewpoints to establish that they are unsympathetic and therefore OK to transform without guilt for our amusement.

That also mirrors back on the political viewpoint, saying it is bad because unsympathetic old white men believe it.

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2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

After a bit of time to think about it, here's the rub: 

If you stop and think about it, having your body and mind changed against your will is downright horrifying.

Ashley uses the old white men's political viewpoints to establish that they are unsympathetic and therefore OK to transform without guilt for our amusement.

That also mirrors back on the political viewpoint, saying it is bad because unsympathetic old white men believe it.

While that is a valid statement, I think what makes this different, is the fact that Ashley would never actually do something like that, but at the same time she would be expressing a desire that certain people in power could see how laws they they make affect others. I sure Ashley isn't the only one that does so and the fantasy likely varies from laws affecting equal rights, to health care, to....well....it can only get darker, right?

 

In other ....news...:

It must be nice when you have other people to drive you places so you don't know what it's like to own and operate a vehicle....

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...so are we clear why Monday's and today's NP did indeed make a political statement?  Yes?  No?

have I properly framed why I think this is a problem?

...because you're wading out into a whole new topic and I'd like to give the first one its walking papers.

41 minutes ago, Scotty said:

While that is a valid statement, I think what makes this different, is the fact that Ashley would never actually do something like that, but at the same time she would be expressing a desire that certain people in power could see how laws they they make affect others. I sure Ashley isn't the only one that does so and the fantasy likely varies from laws affecting equal rights, to health care, to....well....it can only get darker, right?

 

In other ....news...:

It must be nice when you have other people to drive you places so you don't know what it's like to own and operate a vehicle....

The sentiments Ashley expressed aren't exactly groundbreaking in originality.  "let's turn you guys in women.  You'd feel the same way as us." is well-trod ground.  Ashley is creative in what she does with it but not the theme itself.

I'm not sure how having ones own driver connects to "truck control".  I get that you are attempting to express a negativity, either Trump as rich and out of touch or as a hypocrite (or both), but I'm not getting the actual meaning to it.

We can perhaps substitute House Minority Leader Nancy Peleosi.  She is very much in the gun-control camp, yet has no problem employing armed security.  She allows herself to be defended with guns even as she seeks to limit or remove that right for the common people of the US.  If she could not have armed security and had to rely on herself for defense, would she be as anti-gun?

(we would have to somehow force her to be subject to her own legislation.  Congrespeople often except themselves from annoying or inconvenient laws)

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1 hour ago, Vorlonagent said:

...so are we clear why Monday's and today's NP did indeed make a political statement?  Yes?  No?

have I properly framed why I think this is a problem?

...because you're wading out into a whole new topic and I'd like to give the first one its walking papers.

Ashley's fantasy can be taken as a political statement made by Ashley, but I don't believe that it was ever Dan's intention to make it an actual political statement. The fact that he allows his characters to have certain political views in the world they live in, does not have to reflect on actual politics in the world we live in.

Maybe Dan's walking a very thin line in this case, but I think if he wanted to make an actual statement, he'd take a more serious approach like having characters discuss the issue, rather than having someone write up a fantasy where the issue is swept under the rug by way of magic.

 

1 hour ago, Vorlonagent said:

The sentiments Ashley expressed aren't exactly groundbreaking in originality.  "let's turn you guys in women.  You'd feel the same way as us." is well-trod ground.  Ashley is creative in what she does with it but not the theme itself.

I'm not sure how having ones own driver connects to "truck control".  I get that you are attempting to express a negativity, either Trump as rich and out of touch or as a hypocrite (or both), but I'm not getting the actual meaning to it.

We can perhaps substitute House Minority Leader Nancy Peleosi.  She is very much in the gun-control camp, yet has no problem employing armed security.  She allows herself to be defended with guns even as she seeks to limit or remove that right for the common people of the US.  If she could not have armed security and had to rely on herself for defense, would she be as anti-gun?

(we could have to somehow force her to be subject to her own legislation.  Congrespeople often except themselves from annoying or inconvenient laws)

I guess I should have been more clear that the tweet I linked was suppose to be separate from the previous discussion, not an extension of it. I guess it didn't help what with the way I ended the previous paragraph, I saw the tweet just before I saw your response and I wanted to respond back to you as well as comment on the tweet, sorry.

I was mainly ridiculing the fact that she(Kennedy) brought up the idea of "truck control" as it seemed apparent that she didn't consider the fact that vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, and training/testing exists which is what people want with gun control.

What bugs me is that the constitution was supposed to have been put in place to ensure that US citizens had the freedom to live without fear of oppression and that they all had the chance to be successful, and yet I can't shake the feeling that people have ignored parts of it in favour of abusing other parts and I firmly believe that the freedom of speech (as in not enough people heed #1357) and second amendment have been getting abused quite a bit lately. And it really bugs me when I hear people talking about their gun collections like it was some sort of e-peen contest, seriously, back when I played EVE online regularly, there was a corp I was with who's forums had a thread dedicated to members posting pictures of themselves sitting in a room surrounded by guns and ammunition boxes with the sentiment that there was no such thing as overkill.

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17 hours ago, Scotty said:

Ashley's fantasy can be taken as a political statement made by Ashley, but I don't believe that it was ever Dan's intention to make it an actual political statement. The fact that he allows his characters to have certain political views in the world they live in, does not have to reflect on actual politics in the world we live in.

Maybe Dan's walking a very thin line in this case, but I think if he wanted to make an actual statement, he'd take a more serious approach like having characters discuss the issue, rather than having someone write up a fantasy where the issue is swept under the rug by way of magic.

Dan may not have intended to make a political statement but he did anyway.  In our activist-drenched, hyper-political 21st century world, touching on politics, however lightly or heavy-handed, is making a statement.  It is impossible to use partisan politics to define sympathatic and unsymathetic characters and then say "just kidding foks!"  Dan made a game try at it however.

17 hours ago, Scotty said:

I guess I should have been more clear that the tweet I linked was suppose to be separate from the previous discussion, not an extension of it. I guess it didn't help what with the way I ended the previous paragraph, I saw the tweet just before I saw your response and I wanted to respond back to you as well as comment on the tweet, sorry.

You made the topic change clear enough so points there.

17 hours ago, Scotty said:

I was mainly ridiculing the fact that she(Kennedy) brought up the idea of "truck control" as it seemed apparent that she didn't consider the fact that vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, and training/testing exists which is what people want with gun control.

I've heard this argument before.  There's a difference in extremity of response.  The response to the Las Vegas mass-shooting is "we have to ban guns!".  If someone uses a truck to plow through a crowd there are not calls for banning trucks.  Both items are regulated by government.  Rather heavily so.

Both guns and trucks are on the list of things a liberal activist would like to see eliminated from the US landscape and the weapon of choice has been government over-regulation as a way of strangling supply.  with trucks, it's ever-higher emissions and mileage requirements.  With guns it is a ever narrowing list of what qualities are deemed acceptable for sale.

17 hours ago, Scotty said:

What bugs me is that the constitution was supposed to have been put in place to ensure that US citizens had the freedom to live without fear of oppression and that they all had the chance to be successful, and yet I can't shake the feeling that people have ignored parts of it in favour of abusing other parts and I firmly believe that the freedom of speech (as in not enough people heed #1357) and second amendment have been getting abused quite a bit lately. And it really bugs me when I hear people talking about their gun collections like it was some sort of e-peen contest, seriously, back when I played EVE online regularly, there was a corp I was with who's forums had a thread dedicated to members posting pictures of themselves sitting in a room surrounded by guns and ammunition boxes with the sentiment that there was no such thing as overkill.

How is the 2nd Amendment being abused?  And by who?

I agree that that the First Amendment gets twisted a lot.  Some US NFL players refuse to stand for the national anthem as is traditional.  Constitutionally, they have the First Amendment right to do that.  But their activist supporters somehow forget that people who don't like seeing those sorts of antics have First Amendment rights too. And that includes the freedom to flame the football players for their actions.  The activists claim that the football player's First Amendment rights are somehow violated by the criticism and pushback against the players' actions.

We see it from both sides.  Conservatives did the exact same First Amendment whine when the Duck Dynasty guy caught hades after mouthing off about gays a few years back.  I eyerolled then too.

I fail to see the problem with the EVE Online gun and ammo posts.  Sounds like the guys were having fun...

As an aside, constitutionally speaking, the EVE forum mods did not have to allow those overkill posts.  Freedom of speech does not mean I have to give you a platform to speak.  the EVE forum mods could delete those posts and not violate the poster's First amendment rights (I am setting aside the very real possibility that the EVE forum servers are not located in the US and wouldn't be subject to the First Amendment).  The same thing lets The Old Hack write forum rules and risk no First Amendment legal challenge when he enforces them. 

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19 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

...because you're wading out into a whole new topic and I'd like to give the first one its walking papers.

Such things often happen on message boards.  Having multiple topics works out most of the time, survival of the most interesting and/or most insistent.

Quote

We can perhaps substitute House Minority Leader Nancy Peleosi.  She is very much in the gun-control camp, yet has no problem employing armed security.  She allows herself to be defended with guns even as she seeks to limit or remove that right for the common people of the US.  If she could not have armed security and had to rely on herself for defense, would she be as anti-gun?

Could we please avoid the extremist hyperbole?  There is a *lot* of ground in between "anyone can have any gun they want anywhere they want" and "no one can have any guns at all ever except the Government."  Straw Man arguments may be easy wins, but you're only fighting yourself.

How about addressing the option of requiring reasonable licensing and training, and putting tighter restrictions on automatic weapons than on legitimate hunting rifles?  How about making it at least as difficult to get a license to own a gun as it is to get a driver's license, or putting even half as many regulations on guns to make them safer as we have on cars?  Is operating a gun while intoxicated a crime?  How about giving one to an unlicensed, untrained minor?  If a gun is supposed to be for self-defense, wouldn't it make sense to give them, say, a grip that senses fingerprints, and only allows authorized users to fire it?  To put microprint serial numbers on bullets in such a way that the fragments can be identified when they are used in crimes, and their purchaser traced?

Are there no regulations of guns which you would approve of??

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58 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

As an aside, constitutionally speaking, the EVE forum mods did not have to allow those overkill posts.  Freedom of speech does not mean I have to give you a platform to speak.  the EVE forum mods could delete those posts and not violate the poster's First amendment rights (I am setting aside the very real possibility that the EVE forum servers are not located in the US and wouldn't be subject to the First Amendment).  The same thing lets The Old Hack write forum rules and risk no First Amendment legal challenge when he enforces them. 

The Moderator: As I understand it -- and please correct me if I am wrong -- the First Amendment applies principally to government interference with freedom of speech. Which means that if President Clark enacts a law in which it is illegal to criticise the government and sets a Night Watch to ensure that those who violate this law are dealt with, the law is unconstitutional. If I personally were to run amuck with my moderator power and make it a bannable offence to use the word 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', it would not be an interference with free speech because the forum is private and the ones in charge set the rules -- and just as importantly, anyone rebelling against this misuse of power would be free to just go to another public forum and continue to use the banned word there.

As an aside, I am somewhat distressed by the in my opinion too sharp division between liberal and conservative in issues such as gun control. I consider myself a liberal and I live in a country where guns are heavily controlled, but as far as I am concerned some gun control laws are badly thought out if not actively counterproductive. Some lawmakers do not distinguish between 'automatic' and 'semi-automatic' weapons, for example. Similarly, the current situation with the so-called 'silencers' (which do not exist, and never have existed outside of Hollywood or similar productions) is subject to much emotional overreaction considering the fact that actually 100% silencing a gun is simply not possible with today's technology. (And I have a great deal of doubt whether tomorrow's technology will solve the problem.) It would be much more accurate to describe such devices as sound mufflers given that they only reduce the noise produced and that the principal importance of them is to protect the hearing of the shooter.

But I seem to have gotten off on a side track. What I meant to emphasize is that there is a middle ground in many of the liberal/conservative conflicts which grows less and less populated as both extremes train their artillery on it and attempt to turn it into a no-man's land. Over the space of just a few months on Twitter I have been called names by both sides to the sum of attaining the state of being an anarchist commie Nazi liberal faggot neocon dickless pedophilic spastic child-murdering bullying God-hating fundie Christian Jew Muslim atheist. I may have forgotten a few but I think I got most of the important ones. It would be really nice if people here wouldn't automatically assume the worst of the opposition and just occasionally look for the rare bit of common ground we may have. *sigh*

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2 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Such things often happen on message boards.  Having multiple topics works out most of the time, survival of the most interesting and/or most insistent.

Could we please avoid the extremist hyperbole?  There is a *lot* of ground in between "anyone can have any gun they want anywhere they want" and "no one can have any guns at all ever except the Government."  Straw Man arguments may be easy wins, but you're only fighting yourself.

How about addressing the option of requiring reasonable licensing and training, and putting tighter restrictions on automatic weapons than on legitimate hunting rifles?  How about making it at least as difficult to get a license to own a gun as it is to get a driver's license, or putting even half as many regulations on guns to make them safer as we have on cars?  Is operating a gun while intoxicated a crime?  How about giving one to an unlicensed, untrained minor?  If a gun is supposed to be for self-defense, wouldn't it make sense to give them, say, a grip that senses fingerprints, and only allows authorized users to fire it?  To put microprint serial numbers on bullets in such a way that the fragments can be identified when they are used in crimes, and their purchaser traced?

Are there no regulations of guns which you would approve of??

You sure make a lot of assumptions.  Tell me something about you then.

Where does it end?  I'll support some or all of the above you mentioned.  I just want to know where it ends.  At what point do you believe would liberals in general cease supporting more gun restrictions?  At what point would you personally oppose further restrictions on gun ownership or gun availability?   Would you turn against your own side if it didn't want to stop where you drew the line?  Especially when it's so human and easy to just draw another line?

To the activist mentality there is no such thing as "enough".  There is victory and there is the next fight.  No half-measures, no compromise that is more than temporary.  There is only total victory.  I'm not being extreme if I believe the gun control activists will never quit until a total ban is in place.  And will never lose the support of the Democrat party as it is currently constituted.  The only defense is to adopt the same single-minded activist mentality.  To fight for every inch.  To allow the enemy, no victories no matter how slight, because they'll just use them to push for more.

That, in a nutshell is why such an abyss exists between Conservatives and Liberals.  It's activist mentality vs. activist mentality.  Sometimes it's conservatives doing the pushing.  Most of the time it isn't.

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3 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

That, in a nutshell is why such an abyss exists between Conservatives and Liberals.  It's activist mentality vs. activist mentality.  Sometimes it's conservatives doing the pushing.  Most of the time it isn't.

The Moderator: *throws himself into a trench to hide from the next incoming artillery barrage*

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41 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

You sure make a lot of assumptions. 

Not nearly as many as you do.

41 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Where does it end?  I'll support some or all of the above you mentioned.  I just want to know where it ends.  At what point do you believe would liberals in general cease supporting more gun restrictions?  At what point would you personally oppose further restrictions on gun ownership or gun availability?   Would you turn against your own side if it didn't want to stop where you drew the line?  Especially when it's so human and easy to just draw another line?

To the activist mentality there is no such thing as "enough".  There is victory and there is the next fight.  No half-measures, no compromise that is more than temporary.  There is only total victory.  I'm not being extreme if I believe the gun control activists will never quit until a total ban is in place.  And will never lose the support of the Democrat party as it is currently constituted.  The only defense is to adopt the same single-minded activist mentality.  To fight for every inch.  To allow the enemy, no victories no matter how slight, because they'll just use them to push for more.

That, in a nutshell is why such an abyss exists between Conservatives and Liberals.  It's activist mentality vs. activist mentality.  Sometimes it's conservatives doing the pushing.  Most of the time it isn't.

You are the one assuming that there is some vast liberal conspiracy that all think alike, all act alike, and all want the most extreme position you can imagine.  You are the one presenting the position that it is one side versus the other side and no middle ground can be sought or expected.

I, on the other hand, believe that there are a few extremists on either side, but most people are somewhere in the middle.  Exactly where in the middle varies among people just like so many other things vary among individuals.  It's probably like a bell curve, where the most people are, if you ask them the details of their positions, somewhere in the middle on most issues.  Some people are likely closer to the extreme on some issues and in the middle on others, or even at one extreme on one issue and at the other extreme on another.  Put all those individual views together and you get the bell shaped curve so common in statistics.

The official policy will tend to shift back and forth within that middle ground, but if it starts to get too extreme towards either side, then the number of people pushing against any further shift in that direction keeps increasing until things start moving back the other way.  There can be some change in where the middle ground is over time, and I think that most of the time, it tends to shift in good directions in the long term, such as slavery going from commonplace to more rare to banned, from being considered the way things should be to a necessary evil to something we could not tolerate any more.  Same thing with women going from chattle to able to divorce to able to be independent citizens with rights to eventual equality.  These days, while they haven't been eliminated, most people who think slavery and rape are okay don't dare say so openly on international TV, and there are active campaigns to try to eliminate them where they do still exist.

I don't pretend to know what the perfect solution to guns is.  I do know that most polls show that the vast majority of Americans don't want to take away all guns or let everyone have whatever gun they want whenever and wherever they want.  The majority of Americans want something in the middle.  For the right side to scream and tantrum that everyone on Teh Evul Left wants to take away every single gun forever, and that the only way to avoid that is to fight tooth and nail against any law that makes any attempt to put any restriction on guns, is ridiculous and completely out of touch with reality.

 

Now, I ask again, are you willing to discuss that vast middle ground, or are you going to continue to insist on only addressing the extremist viewpoints?

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51 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Now, I ask again, are you willing to discuss that vast middle ground, or are you going to continue to insist on only addressing the extremist viewpoints?

Sure.  But you have to talk to me not at me.  You have to understand my concerns not dismiss them.  I will give you the same courtesy.

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