This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Pat

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 151
1
Do you think they can just elect not to pay pensions to their workers?

Once you steal a presidential election, you can do anything.

Dems are magical now.

That means they have an asterisk next to their Hit Dice and are therefore worth more XP, right?  :)
Don't confuse them with the ones with an asterisk next to their names, that means they're immune to normal elections.

2
Might be hard to even prove trespass, since the police literally invited them in at a couple places.
Did they have the lawful authority to do so? I don't believe so.
Does it matter? I forget the name, but there's a legal concept where a company can be bound by the statements of someone who appears to speak for the company, even if they weren't delegated the authority. I wouldn't put it past the government to exempt themselves, but cops aren't just in apparent positions of authority, they're in actual positions of authority. Plus, on a common sense level, if the cops wave you in that's a strong presumption it's fine.

3
Might be hard to even prove trespass, since the police literally invited them in at a couple places.

4
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« on: January 23, 2021, 08:51:02 pm »
An opinion piece about finances from a respected financial source (Forbes), and I didn't cite any of the opinions in the article. I used it as a source for concrete numbers about the state's finances, all of which the article attributed and linked to the original studies, and which massively contradict your numbers. And your reply is just that the future is unknowable. There's room for divergence of opinions, but you're denying there should be an opinion on the topic.

Sorry. I did not mean to say that there shouldn't be an opinion on the topic, and I do take respected opinion pieces seriously.

From what I saw of the article, it didn't contradict my source - it just was using different definitions. My source was looking at general debt - but most of the article was looking at future obligations - like infrastructure maintenance costs. Yes, California has obligations to pay beyond borrowed money, but so do other states. In order to compare apples to apples, one would need to look at what the expected infrastructure and similar costs like pensions are for other states.
The article also looked at things like projected future infrastructure costs, but I didn't reference any of that. The part I cited was pure debt, i.e. existing commitments. Which worked out to $1.3 to $2.3 trillion, depending on the source, and that's far, far above the amount your source used. Vague and uncertain as it is (that's another problem), that's the real number.

That's because the government plays games with debt. Or be blunt, they lie. Because if a company promises to pay out $70 million dollars in pension funds, then they're required to put that on their balance sheet. This is a universal, basic accounting standard. But the government at various levels has exempted themselves from that requirement. Which doesn't erase the debt, so it means the official numbers are garbage.

At the federal level, look up the fiscal gap -- that includes all the promised future expenditures that have already been made for entitlements like social security and medicare. The already staggering official debt is a vast underestimate of the real federal debt, because it does not include those numbers. If you're interested, the GAO used to publish the real total, under an alternate scenario. But people started paying attention, so they just stopped publishing the numbers. But the last time it was published, the total was roughly an order of magnitude higher than the nominal debt.

California is playing the same games. Do you think they can just elect not to pay pensions to their workers? If you think that's nonsense, and you should, then you have ignore the official debt. It's simply not real.

5
Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: January 23, 2021, 03:14:25 pm »
Can't argue with that. Flash Gordon has problems with things like the acting of its lead, but the plot holds together fairly well. WW84's plot is as solid as a hairnet.

6
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:03:32 am »
Most recently, Pat linked to an opinion piece which showed a number of worrying stats on California - but it did not provide any comparison to the same from other states. For example, will California have problems with infrastructure in the future? Sure it will. The question is, relative to its size and economy, how *much* trouble will it have compared to other states? I don't know that.

My point is - when we say "the proof is in the pudding" - that implies looking at actual results, not an opinion piece on what the future might be.
An opinion piece about finances from a respected financial source (Forbes), and I didn't cite any of the opinions in the article. I used it as a source for concrete numbers about the state's finances, all of which the article attributed and linked to the original studies, and which massively contradict your numbers. And your reply is just that the future is unknowable. There's room for divergence of opinions, but you're denying there should be an opinion on the topic.


7
Apparently, you don't know the difference between a protest and a riot.
Peaceful protests involve chainsaws, Molotov's, and buildings burning down. Seditious riots involve people being invited in by police, and selfies.

8
No surprise that Pat is channeling so many right wing talking points.
It's full of nothing but lies! Time to enact the rawma protocols!

9
Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: January 23, 2021, 12:36:58 am »
Saw it.

It's the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. It's so absurd that almost nothing holds together, and the parts that do tend to be poorly explained. But the imagery is glorious. The cavalcade of 80s-isms, the spectacular shots, even many of the emotional moments are mesmerizing. But cheesy, too.

Towards the end, I started wondering. That could be the point. The homage to the image and style of Patty Jenkin's childhood could also extend to the film itself. Is the style and structure of WW84 a tribute to the gaudy, melodramatic, and incoherent B-movies of the decade, like Flash Gordon and Masters of the Universe?

Probably not. But in infinite worlds, there's at least one out there where it's deliberate.

10
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:44:07 pm »
Free Speech was for the protection of "unsafe" speech so people could say unpopular, untrue, or offensive speech without any actual repercussions.
Free Speech was never meant to shield people from repercussions of knowingly making untrue statements.
Nonsense, free speech never required a pass through the fact checkers.
Sure, you can say it, but you're not protected from repercussions for knowingly spreading lies.
Yes, you are. That's exactly how free speech works.
You're a fucking idiot. Go lie about being a lawyer/doctor and then charge someone for legal/medical advice and try and claim it was "free speech" to do so. There's also slander and libel for a reason, and free speech again doesn't hold up when you're knowingly spreading false information. What a dumb motherfucker you are.
You repeatedly made broad, absolute claims that free speech does not protect against lying. Those are false statements. Its whole point is to protect speech, including many lies. There are certainly exceptions, like slander and libel, crying fire in a movie theater, and so on[1]; but they're narrow, carefully circumscribed, and don't prove that lies are not protected. To support what you said, you need to prove that lying is never covered under free speech. Which you can't, because that's simply not true. For instance, look up the case of the guy who claimed he won the medal of honor, when he didn't. There was even an explicit law that made it illegal (the Stolen Valor Act), and they went after him in court. But he won, and that part of the law was overthrown, because the Supreme Court ruled that his right of freedom of speech, even when lying about something that huge majorities of people find incredibly distasteful, was protected.

tl;dr You're a fucking idiot.

[1] But not the part about being a doctor. If you want to go to a bar, and say you're a doctor to get someone to sleep with you? It's protected. The legal concept you're thinking of is practicing medicine without a license, which is prohibiting an act. It's not a form of speech. Or if it involves conning someone of their money, it's fraud. Which is another narrow exception.

11
There's been a purge of a number of Antifa groups from Twitter:
https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1352399672594345985
Does that mean the mostly peaceful and perfectly justified protests in Portland and Seattle during the inauguration have been upgraded to terrorist insurrections against sacred American institutions?

12
That being said, though, it amuses me how much 'unity' we're seeing even among Democrats. Rashida Tlaib is arguing against expanding police powers to target domestic terrorism (whether it's on principle or she's worried fellow Muslims will get swept up in the net is up to you).
Ilhan Omar also came out against it on Twitter, which surprised me.

13
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:39:28 pm »
Peaceful protest isn't an automatic win - but neither is violent revolution. Both have had some successes and a lot of failures.
On the other hand, mostly peaceful protests have a 100% success rate.

14
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: What's to be done about homelessness?
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:29:01 pm »
Yeah, the proof is in the pudding. When it really comes down to it, what matters to people's lives is proposed laws that haven't been passed.

Oh, wait. No, that's not the proof.

The proof is in actual results - in how people actually live. Things like GDP per capita, average lifespan, poverty rate, suicide rate, violent crime rate, and so forth. Yes, California has problems - but so do all the other states. When we compare *proven* results, California mostly does better than average. Regarding the statistics - if you have a comparison of unfunded liabilities by GDP per state, I'd love to see it. I didn't see a comparison of that in my search.
Except the discussion wasn't about California, overall. It was about California's government. You're trying to switch topics to defend something indefensible. It's like something telling you they're dying of cancer. And you saying no, that's silly. Because they can still run as fast as they ever did, and they make lots of money. And that's what important. That's the big picture. Not the cancer.

GDP per capita is important. Really important. Take all the other metrics and throw them away important. It serves as a reasonable proxy for the standard of living for each individual citizen, and also for power and influence as a whole -- that's why countries with small GDPs regularly beat countries with large GDPs, if they have higher per capita GDP.

(Parenthetical aside: One metric for measuring government power I've run across recently is to multiply GDP by GDP per capita -- in other words, China isn't as big a threat to the US as doomsayers claim, because while they're roughly at parity when it comes to overall GDP, China's wealth is spread across more people, so a higher proportion goes to basic subsistence and other forms of upkeep. They don't have anywhere near as much discretionary economic power to throw around.)

And California has a high overall GDP and an even higher GDP per capita. So yes, it does very well by that measure. But they're also doing poorly by other measures, like government management of the homeless, government interference in housing, government imposed taxes, and government debt. And some of those are creating long term problems, that will impact the future GDP per capita. A small percentage of the taxpayers in California pay a very high percentage of the taxes, and they're starting to flee. The wealth has also largely been produced by a few specific sectors, primarily technology. But Silicon Valley is losing its stranglehold as more companies and looking toward places like the Northeast and Texas, and the increasing focus on remote work means even the native companies may start to hollow out. The massive government debt is forcing the state to look to raise their already obscenely high taxes, and even tax people out of state, which will accelerate the flight. That lowers their GDP per capita, and will reduce their future tax base, compounding the problems with the debt.

The question isn't whether California is rich. It is. The question is whether they're sowing the seeds of their own destruction. The Magic 8 Ball says maybe.

15
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Re: These FIVE men control your freedom
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:01:43 pm »
I will note, though, that part of Parler's lawsuit is that AWS breached contract, giving them no time to rectify any situation. They're saying they should've had 30 days from notice of issue; Amazon is saying 'we can shut it down when we like'.

If Parler actually signed a contract giving AWS a blank check on shutting them down, then they're boned.
Contract law is fucked. Nobody "signs" anything with big companies anymore. You just click the box that you've read their terms of service. They can put anything they want in there, update it whenever, and clearly nobody really cares because TOS are never a factor in reviews. Almost nobody ever reads them, and even those who do generally don't know what it means anyway.

The only real exception is peer-to-peer business arrangements, where lawyers and execs hash out terms on roughly equal footing. But if you're a tiny company against a giant, or an end user against anyone, there's zero opportunity for negotiation.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 151