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Patticus

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Everything posted by Patticus

  1. There is no structural mechanism in place to prevent a complicit President, DoJ and Senate from seizing power. Now we find ourselves in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic, because Kushner saw what it was doing to blue states and enjoyed the death toll so much he refused to roll out a national testing program (a crime against humanity if ever there was one). A situation where mail-in voting will be a necessity. And they are openly destroying the only service people are going to be relying on to vote. The is the electoral theft they "warned" us about (read: projected, as usual). They are this close to their end goal. If they achieve it, armed insurrection will be the only way to undo it. There won't be another free election without it. "U.S. Postal Service chief warns of 'dire' finances, adopts manager hiring freeze" - The USPS is not a for-profit business, and was never meant to be. Nevertheless, it is one of the few federal agencies that has managed to turn a profit in the past. - Thanks to the Republican Party during George W. Bush's second term, the USPS is the only federal agency that has to pay pensions 70 years out. Were it not for this intentional act of sabotage, which allows the conservative media to attack it for being unprofitable, the agency would turn a profit tomorrow, and every day thereafter. Republicans typically view profitable things as needing to be privatized, so they can get involved and suck up the profits themselves. They are sabotaging the USPS to drive public opinion against the agency, allowing them to privatize it without much complaint, which will have drastic impacts on minorities, rural communities, etc, but right now the primary goal is voter suppression and electoral fraud on a scale hitherto undreamt.
  2. Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I know I'm late to the party, but I started playing a couple of months ago, and I've logged what must be around or near 275hrs in the game. While it suffers from a few flaws, like Bethesda-esque copy-paste character faces, a limited voice cast, a steep combat learning curve, and some minor lighting quibbles, it is without a doubt the best historically-based videogame made to date. The game world looks and feels more believably real than any other I've played, with wonderful attention to detail throughout. Walking to Sasau, taking a stroll up to Ledechko, etc, are just beautifully peaceful experiences. While the game world is admittedly not a 1:1 representation of this part of the Sasau valley (e.g. Sasau is one additional river bend further to the northwest with Samopesh to its east, etc.), it is nevertheless still pretty much all there, the geography is more or less the same, and in general everything looks much the same today as it did in 1403 - though 600 years has passed, so you have to give it slack for that. The combat is frustratingly tricky to get the hang of at the beginning of the game, but when you learn how it works, get into a few fights, it actually becomes quite satisfying. But unlike in many open world games, when mastering combat and acquiring the best gear makes you an unstoppable juggernaut living God, in KCD, you are always vulnerable. Go into combat unprepared, or get embroiled in an ambush, even by a group of peasant brigands, and you'll come to grief quickly. This game does not suffer a cocky player. The quest lines are multitudinous and very satisfyingly varied; I've never felt that the side quests were getting repetitive, which is a common complaint of other historical game series'. Indeed, I've been very pleasantly surprised by how many wildly different things I've gotten up to in this game to date. The characters are surprisingly well written and acted, and the stories are well told throughout. I've become emotionally invested in stories and characters to a degree that I just haven't for most other games. Visually, the game is a treat, and the audio is just lovely. The dice minigame, sadly the only real minigame present, is great after you learn how it works (and get a few lucky dice), though I do wish the NPC players had a few more specialized dice of their own, to make things more interesting. The alchemy system is great fun, and makes crafting potions an absolute treat, and the game's map is gorgeous in ways I never anticipated it would be. It's a wonderful, engrossing game, and I hope that it gets a next gen VR remake as well as a sequel, honestly.
  3. Unmarked rental vehicles containing armed government employees with no identifying marks (believed to be from the CPB and other agencies, acting under the direction of Homeland Security) are pulling citizens off the street in Portland, for the high crime of criticizing the government, and are taking them to undisclosed locations. https://abovethelaw.com/2020/07/sorry-to-interrupt-your-friday-but-homeland-security-is-disappearing-american-citizens-off-the-street/ I would expect to see these tactics rolled out over many other cities experiencing unrest over the coming weeks. Portland is Trump testing the waters for the insane, tyrannical overreach the GOP has been harping on about Obama being guilty of. Turns out, yet again, that that was more projection. What's that about false cries of boogeymen?
  4. Some police departments (and every police union) need to be straight up dissolved at this point, so irrevocably has the trust been broken, so deep and all-pervasive the corruption has become. Their abhorrent paramilitary culture of racist brotherhood superiority can't just be eliminated by firing the latest offenders to get media attention; root and branch change to recruitment, training, discipline, the existence of police unions, etc., are desperately needed. Police officers are supposed to be exemplars of the ideal citizen, to be held to high standards, akin to those which we should be holding our politicians. But on both counts, we have allowed cultures to develop within both their ranks, since their inceptions (listen to the Dollop podcast episodes on the L.A.P.D....), that all too often lead to their being the opposite of a reasonable expectation of even basic decency. Beyond sickening.
  5. Welcome to the Fascist States of America. Freedom to assemble? Gone. Freedom of the press? Gone. Freedom of speech? Gone.
  6. Child soldiers deployed by the Atlanta PD, to discredit any protesters who go near them, and justify their own violent attacks.
  7. It's not about opportunistic greed, it's a routinely downtrodden, oppressed, unheard community, that even now is being stripped of what political voice it has (see the last part of my prior post), reaching the point where violence and destruction - aimed at a society that has consistently betrayed them - are the only recourse. America could've listened when Kaepernick took a knee, or when Black Lives Matter marched, but it didn't. No, "tHoSe ArEn'T VaLiD FoRmS oF PrOtEsT," it cried, "sToP DiSrEsPeCtInG ThE FlAg aNd OuR VeTeRaNs," "sToP bLoCkInG ThE RoAd," "dOn'T PoLiTiCiZe ThIs sPoRt," "yOu'Re SuPpOsEd To bE A RoLe MoDeL," ad infinitum. A few weeks spent indoors and white people march with guns into state capitols, foaming at the mouth with rabid anger over the mild inconvenience of doing right by their fellow man during a public health crisis. The black community has endured centuries of continual oppression and injustice, violence and discrimination. It has met these with countless peaceful protests that went unheard, and were maligned - that didn't work. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy These protests, this violence, the looting and destruction, doesn't come from nowhere. In Minneapolis, as in Ferguson, it has deep roots, that we would do well to understand. Give this a listen. It's about Ferguson, but can probably be applied to every major city in the country: The L.A. riots in '92 didn't spring forth from nowhere. Philadelphia didn't bomb MOVE in 1985 out of the blue. The 1960s Miami police chief Trump quoted ("When the looting starts, the shooting starts.") wasn't an aberration. The NYPD doesn't have a rock bottom reputation for racism for nothing.
  8. Is it still third degree murder if the cop knew the victim?
  9. CNN's ground team in Minneapolis was arrested on live TV without explanation. If this isn't punished harshly, to make the police nationwide afraid to do anything like this again, I fear it won't be long before other police departments start doing the same (looking at you, NYPD & LAPD), and then we find journalists being disappeared. Trump's threatening to send in the military with the green light to open fire, after quoting a racist police chief who started a race riot in the 1960s (likely a Stephen Miller/Grima Wormtongue "suggestion"). There was some chatter yesterday that the South Carolinian's comments reflected an unstated concern about his party's electoral prospects. It's a fair point: if Graham assumed that Donald Trump was a shoo-in for a second term, and that Republicans will have no trouble maintaining their Senate majority, he may not be quite as eager to see current judges step aside to make room for far-right replacements. https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/lindsey-graham-abandons-pretense-independent-judiciary-n1217716 Remember all the harping from Republicans about Democrats appointing "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench"? Pure projection. If we don't end the GOP's reign in November we will lose all hope of making any meaningful societal progress this side of the 2070s. That is, unless there can be a mass impeachment or invalidation of Trump/McConnell judicial appointees - though the requirements to see that through are high indeed. We're already backsliding to before the 1960s on the civil rights front. Voting Biden is the only option. Meanwhile, Republican vote rigging:
  10. How exactly is McConnell's court packing "speculation boogeymen"? It's an active, ongoing effort to capture the judiciary for at least a generation, in part by pressuring previous Republican picks to retire so young replacements can fill their vacancies for decades, and it's being well documented in the press. WaPo: "One in four circuit court judges is a Trump (read: McConnell) appointee." Circuit Court judges are lifetime appointments, in case anybody didn't know. Economist: "Donald Trump (again, read: Mitch McConnell) is appointing judges at a blistering pace." Vanity Fair: "Mitch McConnell pressures judges to retire so Trump can appoint their replacements." New York Magazine: "Anti-Abortion Activist Is Trump’s Latest Unqualified Judicial Nominee" It is impossible to see the ongoing packing of the courts as anything other than a concerted partisan push by McConnell to move the Overton Window further and further to the right. This serves to entrench gains made in the accumulation and consolidation of wealth and power by the billionaire class over the last few years. It also serves to protect conservative wins (Citizen's United, etc.) from legal challenges, and reward their wealthy backers by finally making it possible for them to launch legal challenges to kill well established progressive legal precedents, like Roe v Wade (the power of which has already withered greatly on the vine lately), workers' rights, environmental protections, or, well, pretty much every progressive gain made since Theodore Roosevelt established the National Parks system, and set precedents of their own that will themselves need to be overturned before we can even begin to repair the damage done. The ultimate aim of all this is, to my mind, to provide legal cover for their pet project of "saving capitalism from democracy," and turning the US into a series of neo-feudal quasi-theocratic corporate fiefdoms ("wE'rE nOt a DeMoCrAcY, wE'rE a rEpUblIc" the apologists cry). But, I'm sure if they can't quite manage that, that they'll settle for dominating American so-called "justice" for the rest of our lives, continuing to stunt the country's societal development for many decades to come, as the world moves further and further ahead. And, by the by, if you have a choice between a fascist would-be tyrant, and a less shitty but still shitty alternative, and going-nowhere third parties or write-ins, the pro move is to vote for the less shitty alternative (thanks, Democratic primary voters, y'all really suck ass). It's cool to vomit all up your car afterwards, as long as you vote for the central opposition candidate to the fascist. If you don't, you're making a conscious choice to not oppose fascism - there is no integrity in that. Until a system of actually representative democracy can be established in the US, via ranked choice voting, ending the two party hegemonic control of the political system, ending the Electoral College, this is how it has to be. So let's prioritize maintaining our ability to do those things going forward by voting for Biden, or, if the virus takes him, whomever takes his place, because there's no guarantee we'll get another shot like this. I strongly expect Trump, his allies, and his followers, to soon adopt the language of new Hungarian dictator, Viktor Orban: Source.
  11. You can vote for Biden, and not much like it because he represents a last century status quo that lead to Trump's emergence. But the alternative is tacitly endorsing fascism and the end of democracy as we know it. That's the choice. This isn't like 2008 or even 2016. This is 1932. I don't understand anyone who would not vote Biden in these extreme and life-altering circumstances. He's not great, I wouldn't have let him run if I had any say, he's clearly mentally deteriorating, but dear lord why can't you understand the existential threat represented by the man whose party revealed the Constitution to be nothing more than toilet paper.
  12. The same Brett Kavanaugh, during whose hearings Lindsay Graham promised to conjure up false rape/sexual assault allegations against future Democratic nominees? The same Brett Kavanaugh who perjured himself on live TV? Maybe there were inconsistencies in the accusations leveled against BK, I don't know - but I do know that he's shady as hell and that the investigation was probably a sham. But looking at this case, if Reade was assaulted, she's not been doing her credibility any favours. Edit: Tara Reade says that you won't find the words "assault" or "harassment" in her 1993 complaint. https://www.businessinsider.com/tara-reade-says-her-complaint-didnt-mention-assault-or-harassment-2020-5 Meanwhile, all the way back in March... https://web.archive.org/web/20200331050720/https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/03/tara-reade-tells-her-story/ She's not making it easy for me to accept her version of events.
  13. The Reade story is strange, but it doesn't seem like she has done herself any favors over the last year or so. An ex-Federal Prosecutor broke down every inconsistency in her story (excerpts below): https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/29/joe-biden-sexual-assault-allegation-tara-reade-column/3046962001/ There's a lot more to it in the article. I think she's got a long uphill battle ahead if she wants to be taken seriously, considering the inconsistencies, contradictions from other people, lying about being fired, the missing formal complaint, the unverifiable Larry King call, her weird infatuation with Putin and Russia, etc. Biden has a long history of making some women feel uncomfortable, and perhaps he did engage in some inappropriate behaviour or even committed sexual assault (his handling of the Clarence Thomas SCOTUS nomination was breathtakingly horrendous, and may point to Biden exhibiting or identifying with behaviours similar to his), but her case is dicey at best from a prosecutorial standpoint.
  14. It's not a "lesser of two evils" decision in the traditional sense, where both candidates are bad people, but one is a bit worse than the other, but it's okay, because there's another round of elections in a few years' time. No, this time you're choosing what political system you want to define the coming century: Biden's not great by anyone's reckoning, but ultimately he stands for preserving the oligarchic democracy we have now. Trump, on the other hand, is a straight up fascist, and stands for destroying democracy to enrich himself and his donors, establishing America's first dictatorial dynasty, and ending the Republic. Meanwhile, his Quisling lackey, McConnell, is stacking the courts full of unqualified and brazenly partisan cronies; short of a solid year of near-continual impeachment hearings to remove them all (in the event the Democrats can win all 3 government branches and have the spines to do it), they will define America for generations to come, and make it all but impossible to pursue legal avenues to undo Trump's policies, remove him from office, or prosecute him or his family/friends. If Trump wins, it becomes much less likely that we will have another free election without foreign occupying forces present to guarantee it, because while this term established his power, the next will consolidate and entrench it. The third and fourth terms he "jokes" about? Not jokes. He idolizes dictators, and if we're not vigilant, we'll vote ourselves into one. Call me an alarmist if you want, but from everything I've seen, the basic founding principles of this country are at stake, and so this election demands everyone vote Biden. And I wouldn't vote for him under any other circumstances.
  15. I'm well aware, and Leia still doesn't sit quite right with me, but at the same time, this is technology with ample room to grow and improve, and these movies should by rights be periodically updated to reflect the improved visuals they should receive. The DerpFakes video proves you can get good results from a low budget.
  16. That was the studio's fault, maybe Kathleen Kennedy, for messing up the release date. It was a good movie, not amazing, but far from being in any way bad, and didn't deserve to bomb. I have hope that KK's successor (assuming she does lose her job) will look at Solo, Deep Fake Harrison Ford into it... ... re-release it in an off year, then bring us Solo 2 with Taika at the helm, followed by a Taika-lead Lando TV series starring Donald Glover.
  17. The sequel trilogy was a blind overreaction to the hate that the prequel movies received. But despite the issues the prequels had (wooden acting, poor dialogue, slight overemphasis on politics), the story they told was solid, coherent, and had heart, which are things TRoS lacks. TFA and TLJ work well together and are both fine Star Wars films, but the trilogy as a whole is a mess, because of the lack of a Marvel-/Lucas-style framework and guiding visionary. This feels like the result of the exclusion of Lucas, or someone who could represent his vision just as well, like Favreau, or Filoni. But the sequels are made and, beyond reinserting some cut dialogue scenes to slow up the pacing in places and restore Rose Tico's place, there's very little to be done now but grudgingly accept them. A new SW film is to be announced in 2020. Directors (and others) who should be considered for future films, I think, must include: Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Taika Waititi (for Solo 2 please), Jon Favreau, Rian Johnson, George Lucas, Ron Howard, and Tony Gilroy (who re-shot Rogue One). I'm open to others, of course, but these people should be considered at least. Taika, especially, as I think he'd rock a Solo sequel. But most important is setting up the framework for any new series of films, working out and agreeing on story arcs before production begins, allowing each director the room to do what they want without actively interfering with other directors' work, and generally ensuring that the films aren't overreactions to previous efforts, within or without the immediate series.
  18. In RotS, Yoda suggests that the much-vaunted prophecy (which is apparently revealed in the recently released prequel novel, Master & Apprentice) has been misread. It's now thought that he did bring balance to the Force - in the Mortis arc of TCW, which is referenced in his one TRoS line ("Bring balance, as I did."). He saved his son from the possession Palpatine threatened Rey with, some are now saying. That's why Vader met Luke's lightsaber with his own when Palpatine goaded him into attacking. He also bought time, I suppose. Time necessary for a new generation of Jedi to emerge. But when it did, Luke sensed Palpatine's influence over Ben, misreading it as the puppet Snoke (because nobody knew he hadn't been fully vanquished), reacted instinctively, and the New Jedi Order fell again. I don't think Palps was necessary. A far more interesting story would have seen the ascendant Kylo Ren enthroned and that conflict between him and Rey playing out on their own terms. But we got what we got, which ironically was one of the excuses Disney/Kathleen Kennedy gave for erasing the old EU, and it works in its own way.
  19. TLJ was an extremely well constructed film, with solidly written and realistic female characters, a story that challenged the characters and forced them to learn hard lessons, a beautiful rhyme of the TCW Mortis arc that expertly paved the way for the end of TRoS. It had several great messages (articulated succinctly by Yoda and Rose) and iconic sequences, and the best use of fan service in the new trilogy. It was both thoughtful and thought provoking, pacifistic to the end, and despite its pace being slower than TFA and TRoS, it was still highly watchable, with excellent cinematography and iconic scenes throughout. It also has the best lightsaber duel, involving no physical contact at all, establishing forever Luke's bonafides as a true Jedi Master. Rian Johnson deserves to be involved in the future of the franchise, alongside Favreau, Filoni, Chow and others. He is fantastic.
  20. Do, please, tell me what rating the films have. Because I saw the OT in the theater when I was 9 with zero issues. Being a kids movie series doesn't necessitate pink fluffiness everywhere with no death - dark themes, when explored appropriately and suited to the story being told, can absolutely enrich kids movies.
  21. If you've seen the opening crawl, a speech is referenced. The entire impetus of the film. It was only broadcast in Fortnite, as part of its TRoS celebration. A baffling and, frankly, nonsensical decision, that alienates everyone who isn't obsessed with that game. Whatever happened to YouTube? Or Battlefront 2? Or any other format? George Lucas is the original visionary. Dave Filoni is a large part of why Clone Wars, Rebels, Resistance and Mandalorian were so good. He's very likely second only to Lucas in his knowledge of the Star Wars universe, at least among those who are currently creating canon content for it, and his work is very highly regarded. Jon Favreau is also involved in The Mandalorian, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability as a result. Deborah Chow is heading up the new Obi-Wan Disney+ series, and she's directed two episodes of Mandalorian, alongside episodes of American Gods, The Man In The High Castle, and other shows. She also had a cameo in Mandalorian alongside Filoni as an X-Wing pilot. Everybody is concerned about George Lucas going it alone like he did with the prequels - but if he had a team of this caliber working with him on writing, direction, etc, moderating his excesses, then I don't see how it could fail. They've all got proven track records working together, they wouldn't all need to be involved all of the time, but they're the Dream Team as far as I'm concerned. It's Disney. It doesn't have "respect" for anything, it does whatever it can to further its market dominance and make money - hence the glut of live action remakes, many of them shoddy. This is what happens when toxic fans ruin things for the creator of the thing they claim to love, and lead him to selling up. Nobody will do it like they did, particularly if they decide to ignore most of their suggestions and ideas afterwards, as Abrams and Kennedy did. Thankfully, several elements of Lucas's original sequel trilogy did make it through to the new films, but in my view, not enough. Kennedy's getting the boot now, though, it seems. And FYI, the toxic "fans" are the ones who (loudly) feel the compulsion to make others not be able to enjoy watching (or making) the films, be they prequels or sequels. They're the ones who chased KMT off social media. They're the ones who ruin good things for others. Kids and adults enjoy the new Star Wars films, as I do. I was a kid when the prequels came out, and I both understood and enjoyed them too. I have very mixed emotions about what Disney, Abrams, Johnson and Kennedy have created, but I think you're mis-characterizing the new movies. Yes, even TRoS - it's a frenetic film,in desperate need of a Director's Cut with half an hour of additional content that slows up the pace a bit, and provides more depth to new characters and old, but it isn't to my mind what you describe. It was always a film series for children. All of the films were made with kids in mind first and foremost. That isn't to say that there aren't elements that people of all ages can enjoy, or that adults can appreciate more, but these were always kids movies, and it's important that we all remember that.
  22. Lucas had a story to tell, too, but he sold his company after making Star Wars stopped being fun. Perhaps, instead of being so relentlessly unforgiving and needlessly negative, so-called "fans" should have treated the prequels as the kids movies they so obviously were, and not some stain on the cultural fabric of America, or some assault on the original trilogy.
  23. Maybe you should watch it before you cast judgment. It's a divisive film, as just about every Star Wars film is. It needed another 10-30 minutes to set the pacing right, Fortnite should never have been gifted that opening line, Kelly Marie Tran was sidelined in an awful capitulation to the toxic "fans," the performances were on point for the most part, and new characters felt incredibly under-used given the caliber of the talent they got for them. It was an enjoyable ride, rhyming where it counted with prior films, but my feelings overall are mixed. I need time and repeat viewings. Abrams did about as well as he could, but this one (and let's face it, both previous ones) should've been given to George Lucas, Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, and Deborah Chow. I hold out hope that Lucas's Whills plot will be explored in a future Star Wars film series, and done justice to.
  24. The worst night in modern British political history, and the opener to what will likely be the darkest five years of our lives. Expect sharp increases in persecution of minorities, the LGBTQ etc communities, expect sharp rises in poverty and homelessness, among many other things. This election also marks a final end to Britain's role in combating the climate crisis, and the implementation of left-wing policies that might mitigate it, or its knock-on effects. If you can leave the country, I suggest you do so.
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