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Free Minds & Free Markets

The Hidden Mind

A best-selling Chinese science fiction series on how to survive aliens and authoritarians comes to America.

Tor & Forge BooksTor & Forge BooksThe Three-Body trilogy—a wild science fiction saga that attempts to tell the complete story of humanity's future, from its first encounter with intelligent alien life to its near-extinction to its eventual transcendence beyond this dimension—is a global literary sensation. The series sold 500,000 copies in China and won its author, Cixin Liu, a handful of Galaxy Awards before crossing over into the American market a decade later.

The opening book of the series, The Three-Body Problem, became the first translated novel to win a Hugo Award, given at WorldCon each year and considered science fiction's greatest honor. Accepting the award on the author's behalf in 2015, translator Ken Liu (no relation) noted the historical nature of the event and the appropriateness of the forum. "It's WorldCon," he said. "And this is the award for world science fiction."

Cixin Liu deserves more than this belated nod. Border-crossing books are invigorating speculative fiction—and bringing with them the realization that American parochialism has unduly constrained our vision of the future and of the capabilities of the human mind.

Though almost incomprehensibly massive in scope, Cixin Liu's sprawling series starts small, on Earth, in his own country's recent history. The Three-Body Problem begins during the Cultural Revolution, and it depicts a family shattered as the country erupts in violent chaos. The family patriarch, Ye Zhetai, is an astrophysicist who is forced into a "struggle session"—a form of mental and physical humiliation in which politically disfavored individuals were required to publicly confess to crimes that in many cases they did not commit.

Liu describes how so-called "reactionary academics" responded under pressure. "Those who survived that initial period gradually became numb as the ruthless struggle sessions continued. The protective mental shell helped them avoid total breakdown." And he describes those who were broken by the process. "The constant, unceasing struggle sessions injected vivid political images into their consciousness like mercury, until their minds, erected upon knowledge and rationality, collapsed under the assault. They began to really believe that they were guilty, to see how they had harmed the great cause of the revolution."

In this case, Ye Zhetai is forced to deny fundamental scientific facts about the nature of physical reality; when he fails, the mob kills him. It's a chilling depiction of the way that authoritarian regimes seek to control the lives of their subjects by controlling truth itself—as well as a dramatic reminder that the individual mind, and its connection to objective reality, is the last redoubt in the face of violent coercion.

It is difficult to imagine these passages being written by a Western author. Cixin Liu, who until recently worked full time as a software engineer at a power station in the city of Shanxi, based these sequences on his own experiences as a child of scientists during the Cultural Revolution, when many works of art and literature, especially those from the West, were banned as the product of ideological enemies. But that didn't stop Cixin Liu from reading some of them anyway after finding a cache of American and British science fiction novels hidden away in his own home. His fiction is very much a product of both his own culture and the ideas embedded in Western science fiction.

Golden-age science fiction has left its imprint all over Cixin Liu's work. The series explicitly references Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, and he has said that "everything that I write is a clumsy imitation of Arthur C. Clarke."

American readers—for whom the series has been rebranded as the Remembrance of Earth's Past saga—will certainly recognize many of the tropes and technologies in his novels, which rely on devices such as cryogenic freezing, cloning, and the physical and temporal challenges of traveling through space at relativistic speeds. At heart, the trilogy is an expansive riff on the first-contact scenario, a human-alien culture clash along the lines of Clarke's Childhood's End.

Yet there is something distinct and different about Cixin Liu's fiction, a sense of unfamiliarity and of, well, foreignness, and not only in the Chinese history he draws upon.

Some of the effect stems from the way that so many passages seem to work at the level of metaphor. The title of the first book is drawn from the name of an online virtual reality game that several of the novel's characters play. The game entrances players with simple puzzles that turn out to be messages from an alien race, the Trisolarans, whose planet is wracked by the chaotic and unstable surface interactions of a three-star system. These illustrative puzzle passages, which draw deeply from both physics and computer science, read more like proverbs or fables than contemporary English-language science fiction.

Western sci-fi, like most modern Western fiction, tends to prioritize depicting an individual's interior experience. Cixin Liu, in contrast, works at a distance from his characters and their thoughts. Even the most emotional passages can seem to possess a coldness of affect, a lack of intimacy, that reads as flatness—but more often comes across as a kind of polite deference.

It's a fitting stylistic approach given the revelation, midway through the series, that the Trisolarans have turned the entire planet into an inescapable surveillance state, using advanced technology that allows them to monitor all of human communication, from books to speech to news programming to encrypted computer drives. One almost gets the impression that Cixin Liu does not want to invade the minds of his characters out of respect for their personal privacy.

In place of individual interiority, Cixin Liu often delves into group psychology. His stories expend considerable effort considering the character and thinking of the community, the nation, the human species as a whole. In particular, he is interested in the tendency toward political and factional conflict, as rival powers vie for resources and control.

The first book dwells on questions of how humans would react to the discovery of powerful and hostile alien life. It posits that some would aid the invaders, but that inevitably this group would be split into warring groups too. The second book, The Dark Forest, tracks global efforts to unify around a plan to stop the invaders, as the United Nations attempts to consolidate control over resources domestic and foreign, and more powerful nations squabble with smaller countries. The final installment, Death's End, revolves in part around a secret plan to spy on the aliens that appears to break down after a combination of bureaucratic and scientific snafus. There is also an effort to develop a system that effectively stops the invading aliens, but only, it turns out, by consolidating authority over human decision making in a single, potentially erratic individual.

Cixin Liu is particularly alive to the politics of panic, to how governments can both stoke and reflect people's paranoia. In Death's End, he writes about the fear that overtakes humanity after learning that the universe is a "dark forest" in which intelligent species hunt each other while seeking to keep their own existence secret. "During the first few days," he writes, "even mobile phone use was forbidden, and antennas around the world were forcibly shut down. Such a move, which would once have caused riots in the streets, was widely supported by the populace." It's security theater, but for alien invasions rather than terror.

Even the fear of factionalism is consistently portrayed as a form of trouble: The second and third books both deal with Escapism, the desire not to defend the Earth but to leave it permanently, and the way that Escapism becomes viewed as traitorous and unacceptable. One way to understand the Three-Body trilogy is as an extended meditation on the human will to survive—as well as on its capacity for self-defeat.

Throughout the series, Cixin Liu demonstrates a keen sense of the difficulties of international cooperation and bureaucratic competition, which are closely related. Nations and organizations tasked with stopping the alien invaders are often as focused on maintaining or increasing their own power as on preserving the species; bureaucracies pursue critical missions not to succeed but to gain political prestige. Alliances are always temporary and self-interested, and countervailing forces of varying strength are always working, in secret and in public, to advance their own agendas. Distrust between rival groups is constant. Even the eventual detente between humans and the Trisolarans is based on the threat of mutually assured destruction from a common enemy.

Photo Credit: Tor & Forge Books

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  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Cixin Liu deserves more than this belated nod. Border-crossing books are invigorating speculative fiction—and bringing with them the realization that American parochialism has unduly constrained our vision of the future and of the capabilities of the human mind.

    *scratches head*

    Maybe I just shifted in from an alternate timeline, but in my home dimension, authors like S. P. Somtow (the pen name of Thai author and composer Somtow Sucharitkul) have been published in, and well received, in the American sci-fi/fantasy/horror market since the 1970s. While I welcome the recent interest in Chinese genre-fiction authors, and would be thrilled to see well-translated printings of Louis Cha's wuxia cross the Pacific, let's not pretend that this is some unprecedented globalization of Sci-Fi.

  • Adans smith||

    While I agree with your post,I am disappointed with the lack of hot Asian babes .

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Adans smith||

    Yes,you live up to your name sir.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Here you go.

    She is half Thai. She dispatched PVZ last night with ease.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Would

    get knocked the fuck out.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I usually have to pay extra for that

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • AlmightyJB||

    The"hot" was superfluous.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    It doesn't count for Suderman unless it is an export crossing a communist border.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Further evidence of the weakness of Suderman's claims is that if we broaden our view from his very narrow lens of novels, we've had an entire generation of Americans exposed to East Asian views of the future, such as this one from 1988.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Let us not forget TOBOR the 8th Man nor Speed Racer. Then again, see the rule about borders above.

    Keep in mind, this would be a completely different article if the exact same work came from Taiwan.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I suspect that it would have been a completely different article if, say, Sullum wrote it, whom I suspect is 1000x more well-read in the genre that Suderman.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The important thing here is that everybody gets to play.

  • Agammamon||

    Let's not forget anime tiddies.

    Or 'Fist of the North Star'.

    Ghost in the Shell

    On and on and on.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And as butchered as it was when it first came over here, this 1984 classic.

  • EDG reppin LBC||

    Butchered yes. But still amazing.

  • John Titor||

    To be fair there's at least the argument that anime is far more heavily influenced by Western genre concepts and 'American parochialism' than the Chicomm media. It's almost become a weird case of inbreeding with some works. Ghost in the Shell is heavily influenced by Neuromancer, Blade Runner, the cyberpunk genre as a whole; some Western nerds see the first movie and decide to make something called The Matrix; Ghost in the Shell reboots itself and takes influence from the Matrix.

  • John Titor||

    That's not to say Suderman's right, it's just for the sake of argument.

  • Agammamon||

    That actually makes Suderman wrong - there's has been TONS of cross-pollination between cultures within multiple genres. Neuromancer leads to GiTS leads to the Matrix - whose major signature style is almost wholly ripped from Chinese martial arts movies.

    American survival FPS gameplay fused with an awesome mixture of Soviet Post-Apocalyptic fiction gives us S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro.

    There's probably less mixture between US and *:Latin-American* fiction than there is between US and Asian.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There's probably less mixture between US and *:Latin-American* fiction than there is between US and Asian.


    "Magic realism is fantasy written by people who speak Spanish"

    --Gene Wolfe

  • MarkLastname||

    I'm not sure I'd call Gabriel Garcia Marques a fantasy writer.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    +1 Book of the New Sun

    Highly underread series, IMO.

    While we're on the subject, Latin America's dominant literary forms aren't particularly sci-fi oriented. Plenty of Latin American slice-of-life and the like (magic realism, say no more) has been quite influential in the US; likewise the US bildungsroman novels have been somewhat influential on Latin American genre works.

  • Agammamon||

    That actually makes Suderman wrong - there's has been TONS of cross-pollination between cultures within multiple genres. Neuromancer leads to GiTS leads to the Matrix - whose major signature style is almost wholly ripped from Chinese martial arts movies.

    American survival FPS gameplay fused with an awesome mixture of Soviet Post-Apocalyptic fiction gives us S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro.

    There's probably less mixture between US and *:Latin-American* fiction than there is between US and Asian.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You are absolutely correct, John Titor. However, in my opinion (and this is going outside of scifi), the best anime made is Hikaru No Go, and you would be hard pressed to accuse that series of being Western-influenced.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's true. However, Cixin Liu et al. arose as authors in post-Cultural Revolution 90s, where Japan Cool and the Korean Wave hit first. As popular as anime may be in the West, it is even more popular in modern-day China. Likewise, the cultural substratum of the Sinosphere has been continually present in J/K popculture (e.g., Dragon Ball Z [Goku is Japanese for Sun Wukong], Warriors Orochi [basically the Chinese characters of Romance of the 3 Kingdoms fight the Japanese sengoku period heroes], etc.)

    I mean I get it. If I were Liu, I'd want my agents to play me up as the "exotic" new author that people should be interested in. However, that's sizzle, not steak.

  • John Titor||

    If I were Liu, I'd want my agents to play me up as the "exotic" new author that people should be interested in.

    "From the Far Reaches of the Orient, where men of the West dare not tread, comes a story told in the court of the Qing Emperor himself. Come, dear reader, and see the inner machinations of the unscrupulous Chinaman's mind."

    Said would have a field day.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Has there ever been such a craven and venal charlatan as Edward Said?

  • John Titor||

    Natwarlal?

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    Anita Sarkeesian. *spit*

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Ghost in the Shell reboots itself is rebooted by heinous racists who cast a white woman in the role of Motoko Kusanagi.

    See, when Hollywood headlines a pricey actor to lead a little-known work, it's good marketing sense. It sells more seats than the source material alone would. But when they get a major star to act in a role perhaps better suited to an "ethnic" actor, but who has loads more audience cred than any ethnic actor on the market, it's nothing more than unadulterated hatred of minorities.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Goddamn sneaky Jap tags ruining my formatting.

  • John Titor||

    I was actually referring to Standalone Complex, where they suddenly have a trenchcoat fetish and use a lot of similar imagery to The Matrix, but the new movie is just the cycle repeating itself over again. Take Japanese anime concept, westernize it, throw in big Hollywood name to get people in seats, hope it's successful so they can franchise it to death.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    I liked SAC a whole lot, although it has the X-Files MotW problem with the inevitable peppering of really bad episodes between the plot ones. But the interdepartmental intrigue of the first series was strong.

    Any white kid wearing a black trenchcoat is either weeaboo or about to shoot up the joint, and it's hard to say which is worse.

  • Agammamon||

    What's stupid about the GiTS thing is Kusanigi has a completely artificial body. The basic appearance of that body was chosen because it wouldn't stand out in a very multi-ethnic future Japan and has no relationship *at all* with what Kusanagi looked like before her cyberization.

    Seriously, the body is modular and replaceable - she could look like a 6ft 4 black dude if she wanted to.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Good point. But if I'm watching any cyberpunk film with a black lead character it had better be a Snowcrash adaptation.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That film was a masterp0iece.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    That is a weak claim, HM. There is probably a reason no one has heard of this Somtow dude. I don't recall anyone nominating him for a Hugo. Though I should not talk shit, since I have not read this works. Have you? Which of his books would you recommend?

    The Three Body Problem won Hugo Best Novel in 2015, and rightly so. The whole series is excellent (though the third book goes a little too far) and explores new ideas and offers fresh perspectives on scifi themes. More importantly, it actually has good characterization, which is a rarity in the field of scifi. I am pretty well read in scifi and the Three Body Problem is the first East Asian scifi work that is readily accessible to the masses.

    BTW, my favorite of the series was the second book: Dark Forest.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That is a weak claim, HM. There is probably a reason no one has heard of this Somtow dude.

    *blinks*

    Umm...Mallworld is considered a classic of of the 2nd wave of "soft" sci-fi, at least in the crowds I run in. And Vampire Junction is a key work in the splatterpunk sub-genre. I would recommend both, as well as his Civil War alt-history series, of which the name escapes me, but like Guns of the South but with misanthrope shock troops instead of machine guns as the MacGuffin.

    I don't recall anyone nominating him for a Hugo


    He has won or been nominated for dozens of major awards including the Bram Stoker Award, the John W. Campbell Award, the Hugo Award, and the World Fantasy Award.
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Three Body Problem won Hugo Best Novel in 2015, and rightly so.


    I'm not taking anything away from either Liu. But the "groundbreaking, first, yadda yadda" is well overplayed in this case. To be honest, I'm really surprised that you've never heard of Somtow. He is not obscure at all; however, as he his fingers in many pies: sci-fi, high and low fantasy, horror (which is really his wheelhouse), as well as his opera composer and conductor carreer, if you only read sci-fi, you might have breezed past him. Which is still odd as his 4-part space opera, the Chronicles of the High Inquest series was only published 3 years ago.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *lycanthrope

  • robc||

    I liked misanthrope better.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Their shock troops are real dicks."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ha! I didn't even know he did some novelizations of "V" under his real name!

    The Hugo and Joe Campbell nominations and awards are under his real name as well.

  • Swiss Servator||

    So....retraction, CMW?

  • ||

    "...American parochialism has unduly constrained our vision of the future..."

    That's what happens when you have no hope.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    You take that back, mister. The country voted for hope and change eight years ago and that was exactly what we got.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I saw a few seconds of a Michelle Obama interview yesterday where she said that now we know what not having hope feels like.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Guess I should have scrolled down:)

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Damn term limits. They get in the way of perpetual leadership from the right Top Men.

  • Agammamon||

    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

  • Libertarian||

    Regarding the "no hope" interview of Michelle Obama by Oprah: is this sniping unprecedented? I'm no historian, but I think it's been a very long time since a President, let alone a First Lady, was spoke as tackily as this.

  • Libertarian||

    * delete "was"

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Atlas isn't going to shrug. He's going to shimmy a little bit and some of the most obnoxious people are going to fall from prominence for a while, but the Earth is going to stay right where it is. That won't stop some of said obnoxious people from going chicken-little.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They did the same thing with Jr. and they'll do the same thing to the next person with an R next to their name running for president.

  • ||

    "I think it's been a very long time since a President, let alone a First Lady, was spoke as tackily as this."

    2008 was the first time she was proud of her country. Now she has no hope...no hope of continuing to jet off to Paris with 100 of her best friends on the taxpayer's 10 million bucks that is. Fuck her.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, fuck the Wookiee.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    We're going to be paying for security for their vacations as long as they live, as well as those of their kids.

  • kbolino||

    We're going to be paying for security for their vacations as long as they live, as well as those of their kids.

    Damn. There was going to be a 10-year limit on SS details after Presidents left office, but why am I not surprised that they changed the law before it actually went into effect?

    The Republicans of the 1990s were serious about controlling costs. The Republicans of the 2000s and 2010s? Not so much.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    President Piondexter has acted like a petulant school boy since he arrived in office. The SNL phone dropping sketch is one of the latest examples.

  • Jerryskids||

    In this case, Ye Zhetai is forced to deny fundamental scientific facts about the nature of physical reality; when he fails, the mob kills him. It's a chilling depiction of the way that authoritarian regimes seek to control the lives of their subjects by controlling truth itself—as well as a dramatic reminder that the individual mind, and its connection to objective reality, is the last redoubt in the face of violent coercion.

    It is difficult to imagine these passages being written by a Western author.

    There's an obscure Western writer named George Orwell who once wrote a little book called 1984 that addressed this issue, IIRC. Maybe you can google it.

  • ||

    Forget it Jerryskids, it's Sudermantown.

  • Jerryskids||

    IIRC, the protagonist of the book is forced to say that Caitlyn Jenner is a beautiful woman, despite the fact that Caitlyn is a man. By the end of the book, however, he comes to accept that Caitlyn is in fact a beautiful woman because words can mean whatever you choose to make them mean and the "reality" of biology is merely a social construct.

  • ||

    "It is difficult to imagine these passages being written by a Western author."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjKQQpPVifY

    I don't know where Suderman went to school but he should definitely demand his money back.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not to mention how many of the recent bonanza of dystopian books and movies contain similar themes. You would almost have to live in a cave to think that was totally original.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Libertarian||

    Here I am, a libertarian, and yet I carry the shame that my list of favorite authors includes Orwell and John Steinbeck.

  • John Titor||

    Give him credit, Orwell was a hell of a lot more realistic about his socialism than most. He was an advocate for gun rights because "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." He criticized the hell out of his fellow socialists for bending over backwards to praise Stalin.

  • Gadfly||

    On top of that, even if he had wanted the reader to sympathize with Big Brother in 1984 and Napoleon in Animal Farm, those books are good enough on their own that there would be no shame in liking Orwell as an author.

  • ||

    I enjoyed Grapes of Wrath.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Born in British India and being British is just like being born in New Jersey and being American.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    C'mon, Orwell wasn't that bad!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Switch New Jersey for Oregon?

  • ||

    Those are Californians who moved to Oregon.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Suderman does not count how-to guides as sci-fi.

  • John Titor||

    +1 THERE...ARE...FOUR....LIGHTS.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    My second most favorite TNG episode.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    After the Robin Hood one?

  • Hail Rataxes||

    the individual mind, and its connection to objective reality

    I LOLed

  • SRVolunteer||

    There's an obscure Western writer named George Orwell who once wrote a little book called 1984 that addressed this issue, IIRC. Maybe you can google it.

    Came here to make sure this sentiment got expressed.

    Sheesh...

  • Hank Phillips||

    So Oceania has always been at war with Enjoyable Drugs. Satellite temperature measurements since the Y2k election show exactly the same horizontal temperature graph as the thermometer data tampered with by Ecological National Socialism? National Socialism is Capitalism! Life begins at erection!
    I strain to believe all of these things before breakfast!

  • Lurk Diggler||

    Stupid Americans don't read books in languages they don't understand.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yet, we read the documents required for filing our taxes every year.

  • Tyler.C||

    Ha! Except for the 47%!

  • But Enough About Me||

    . . . we read the documents required for filing our taxes every year.

    PHFFFTT!!!

    Speak for yourself. I just let the software figure it out.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The first people into space will be wealthy tourists.

    The second batch will be prisoners.

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it's cold as Hell. You'd need some kind of religious conviction to make you want to go there and stay.

    So, ultimately, space will be colonized and dominated by Mormons.

    Yes, Mormons.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGJSSTrQvNY

    I'd have favored Muslims except facing Mecca five times a day would be really complicated in space.

    Get far enough away, and Mecca becomes a point in the sky, but on the trip from here to the nearest star system, what are they gonna do? How many Muslims are going to volunteer to sleep through the call to prayer five times a day, every day, for however many light-years?

    Libertarians won't go because we're too pragmatic. I know we have a reputation as being idealistic, but that's mostly because the people who criticize us don't understand us. They think endless spending, bottomless debt, and central planning are pragmatic. Denouncing those things isn't idealistic. Denouncing those things because of their real impacts in the real world is real pragmatism.

  • Libertarian||

    "The second batch will be prisoners."

    So Mars is the new Australia?

  • Zero Sum Game||

    'Straya days. Git outta me planet.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    It's better, because not everything on the surface is venomous.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    ...or Georgia, take your pick.

  • robc||

    The Gripping Hand covered the Mecca thing. Just point towards Earth.

  • ||

    "The 2nd batch will be prisoners"

    New Australia? Or Total Recall?

  • Zero Sum Game||

    OT: Here's a book about children killed by guns. It's totally not a polemic. Oh, and by the way, Trump is the devil and will shove guns into the hands of the unwilling and trigger their Manchurian Candidate impulse to kill with it. If only we'd have had that other one, the one who said she'd abuse the power of executive orders and take guns from people after promising to uphold the Constitution. Yeah, that one.

    I propose another title for the book:

    Child Murder: Let no Tragedy go to Waste.

  • Tyler.C||

    You don't get it those kids were cut down before their prime! To give them a chance at changing the world we must use their deaths for political reasons.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Maybe not the most direct, but what really is?

  • Adans smith||

    OT, I'm making stir fried vegetables with oyster sauce over rice for lunch. Watch some football and drink some porter.

  • ||

    Did you know that one can buy vegetarian oyster sauce? And it's actually pretty damn good.

    I'm setting in with migas for the game today (Ravens-Eagles).

  • GILMORE™||

    "one can"

    but why would one?

  • Libertarian||

    But even people who say that they won't eat anything with a face can eat oysters with a clear conscience, right?

    Can vegans drink beer? I'm thinking of all the yeast that die in its production.

  • AlmightyJB||

    What a way to go though.

  • Mr. Paulbotto||

    I'm guessing by the triple parentheses that Renegade's objectiom to oysters has more to do with them being a sea critter that lacks fins and scales moreso than them being members of kingdom Animalia...

  • GILMORE™||

    oh, right.

    honestly, i don't know which i think is sillier = objection to consumption of animals because of some contrived moral argument... or "because 2000yr old book says sky-daddy says so"

    I get the pork thing. A pig is a filthy animal.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    You're a filthy animal.

  • GILMORE™||

    Personality goes a long way.

  • Ted S.||

    Aren't a lot of the wacky-to-us religious things regarding food basically practices that would have been more hygienic or safer back then?

  • GILMORE™||

    There have been some interesting attempts as "historiography" of religion (which makes sevo start screaming "NO PROOF!!!") which argue that many aspects of biblical law were simply 'literary codification' of traditional practices built up from many years of cultural experimentation

    e.g. some sandal-wearing dipshits ate some bad shrimp, and so now "God Says" keep your mitts out of shallow water and things that look like bugs.

    there's some evidence for that. but its not terribly consistent. There are plenty of other similar prohibitions which have no underlying 'rational explanation'.

    Cultural anthropologists who compare lots of different religious codes around the world note that often "rules" are there simply for the sake of having rules. You can't rule people unless you have the power to tell them what "not to do". So its generally good to have a few 'proscribed' taboos near at hand to ensure you can tell the Obedient from the Intransigent.

    Other rules are just convenient. Its not hard to ban people from doing what they already don't do.

    This looks interesting = "Food Taboos = origins and purposes"

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Yes. Trichinosis and red tide, among other things.

  • GILMORE™||

    Yeah, and you can get salmonella from undercooking your chicken, but apparently Jehova decided that one was common sense and not because Satan cursed the bird.

  • C. Anacreon||

    I'm not sure why, but I always think of "trichinosis" as "tricky noses".

  • Holger da Dane||

    SWISS!!

  • BakedPenguin||

    I get the pork thing. A pig is a filthy animal.

    True, but - bacon.

  • ||

    I could literally drink a gallon of bacon grease.

  • Ted S.||

    I want to see that on Youtube.

  • GILMORE™||

    Bacon is proof that God is sometimes wrong.

  • ||

    "...vegetarian oyster sauce? And it's actually pretty damn good."

    No.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Cheddar cheese wrapped with dried seaweed tastes almost like an oyster.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I wash I had that lunch

  • ||

    the complete story of humanity's future, from its first encounter with intelligent alien life to its near-extinction to its eventual transcendence beyond this dimension.

    I think Arthur C. Clarke might have covered this ground pretty comprehensively back in the '60s. May I invoke the stereotype of the Chinese pirating Western innovation?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Clarke is not the type of foreigner who counts in the Suderman quota scheme.

  • John Titor||

    Homosexuality doesn't fit into his quota scheme?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Pretty sure he is up to his butt with those already.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yet, " from its first encounter with intelligent alien life to its near-extinction to its eventual transcendence beyond this dimension." sounds remarkably like Sun Wukong's arc in Journey to the West

    Heroes and a 1,000 faces, or something like that.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    +1 Joseph Campbell

  • ant1sthenes||

    It sorta sounds like the Bible.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Not only are you free to go, a lot of people here wish you had already.

  • Ted S.||

    Feel free to leave and never come back.

  • GILMORE™||

    American parochialism has unduly constrained our vision of the future and of the capabilities of the human mind.

    WHERE MAH SCIENCISH-FICATED LITERTURES GAWN

  • AlmightyJB||

    "American parochialism"

    Is he talking about liberal arts degree programs?

  • GILMORE™||

    Western sci-fi, like most modern Western fiction, tends to prioritize depicting an individual's interior experience

    we're self-obsessed, and so fail when it comes to sweeping narratives about collective social transformation.

  • Holger da Dane||

    So people from individualist-minded societies prefer stories from an individual point of view, rather than a collectivist one? Shocker..

  • Bra Ket||

    I think he's talking about the limited range of literature covered in catholic secondary schools.

  • GILMORE™||

    More like =

    Our sci-fi is constrained by hollywood narrative archetypes. what's the point of investigating the boundaries of the known universe if the only point in the end is "Getting the girl"? (*see: "Interstellar")

  • GILMORE™||

    sorry, 'archetypes' really should be 'cliches'

  • GILMORE™||

    Speaking of Chinese stealing our sciences...

    China said it would return a seized US naval drone. Trump told them to 'keep it.' - Washington Post

    I totally believe that's exactly the way shit went down, because the Washington Post are professional journalists who report the news accurately and without bias or desire to flog some superimposed narrative

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    To be fair, if it were not for the WaPo we would not have the hard evidence of an unprecedented election hack.

  • GILMORE™||

    the hard evidence

    ""Anonymous person says, 'CIA Thinks'...but we can't tell you why"

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Yes, the hard evidence of innuendo.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    These euphemisms.

  • Sevo||

    "Jerry Brown fears for Earth's future under Trump. By Matier & Ross. ... "And maybe we just had a heart attack.". San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross ..."
    Paywalled http://www.sfchronicle.com/bay.....ate-result
    "...Brown also shared with us his equally downbeat side - predicting and eventual doomsday scenario
    [...]
    "life as we know it will end either from a climate, nuclear or financial meltdown - and they're all tied together"

    Leaving out the meeting between Hitler and Nixon in Uruguay in 1955...
    He's not known as moonbeam for nothing!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Speaking of nuclear meltdown, wife and I watched Olympus has Fallen yesterday. Not bad, had a Die Hard (best Christmas movie) feel to it. That whole Cerberus thing was pretty stupid though.

  • PapayaSF||

    Financial is most likely, and Brown and company continue to push towards it....

  • ||

    Some fuckin' Brit doesnt like American guns? Sounds like typical anti-second amendment drivel to me. Fuck off limey.

    Recent conversation with an elderly relative:

    Me - "You are voting Hillary? Are you nuts? She swore to make me a felon with a stroke of her pen. Me, a guy who has absolutely no record whatsoever, she is going to turn me into a felon because I own guns."

    Them - "I just don't believe that"

    Me - "So you just pick and choose which ones of her words you do believe? Some are true and some aren't?"

    Them - *Brain freeze for 30 seconds* "Herpity Derpity Derp Blurp"

    Me - "Hell no, I am not giving you a ride to vote"

    They are still not speaking to me.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    ""The constant, unceasing struggle sessions injected vivid political images into their consciousness like mercury, until their minds, erected upon knowledge and rationality, collapsed under the assault. They began to really believe that they were guilty, to see how they had harmed the great cause of the revolution."

    Yup, sounds like the PC discourse techniques that SJW's employ.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Someone needs to report for sensitivity training.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nice. ABC is at Retard Five about teh Roosky Hackjob.

    Paranoid hysteria. It's what's for breakfast.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Russophobia is racism. They're racists.

  • Libertarian||

    Well, in all fairness, Russians are the original Caucasians.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    You appear to be the first to get the underlying joke (or nobody else thought it was worth bringing it up) that I've been dancing around for a week.

    Clever girl. ;)

  • John Titor||

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Not any more incorrect than calling black Amercians "African Americans."

    Our species very likely originated in Africa. Every single American is, therefore, African American. It is only a matter of degree of how far back you acknowledge your ancestors.

    Anyone can play identity politics. It has never been about being correct.

  • John Titor||

    I thought you guys mostly gave up on the African Americans thing? American media seems to roll with black now, and the rather stupid attempts at 'African Canadians' never caught on up here.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Identity politics is a game whereby anyone who wins necessarily means everyone (including themselves) loses. It's not just a zero sum game. It's a negative sum game.

  • Holger da Dane||

    the rather stupid attempts at 'African Canadians' never caught on up here.

    Lucky you. "Afro-Dane" was a thing for a while.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    I thought the out of Africa theory was a fad that passed?

  • Zero Sum Game||

    I tend to side with Richard Dawkins, but maybe that's just a bias I hold because he's so extremely well-spoken and his books paint such compelling pictures.

  • pan fried wylie||

    The out of Africa situation wasn't as much of an event. It's not that homo sapiens evolved one day and then spread humanity across the globe. The pre-human primates evolved there, and once we got to neanderthals, those guys had spread pretty far already and even re-migrated back into Africa prior to the evolution of sapiens. Pretty likely that new species then mixed with the neanderthals prior to out-competing them, so our modern races resulted from those multiple distributed/isolated interminglings as sapiens spread into the occupied territories.

    /armchair-anthopologist-off

  • ant1sthenes||

    I... thought the joke was that, if Mexican was a race (making Trump a racist), so is Russian...

    Well, I guess it works on multiple levels.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The little buggers still think they have a shot at overturning the vote tomorrow. It will all calm down for a bit in a few days.

  • ||

    They are still saying that it isnt fair that people found out the truth about Hillary? This is the kind of idiocy that lost them the election. I hope the morons keep banging that drum.

  • american socialist||

    If you like your Apollo space program, thank socialism.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Yep, the expansionistic impulse experienced by literally all life on Earth was only made possible by socialism.

    Today's episode of AmSoc brought to you by the letter 'r', for 'retard.'

  • John Titor||

    "If you like your Apollo space program, thank Nazi war criminal rocket engineers."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    At least he's honest in identifying as a national socialist.

    It's not unexpected he'd show up to troll an article on Asian science-ficition.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *fiction

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Some Socialists are not as equal as others.

  • John Titor||

  • Sevo||

    If you like millions starved to death and millions others murdered, thank socialism.

  • pan fried wylie||

    all I could think of was the McDonald's sign replacing "served" with "starved".

  • gaoxiaen||

    If you like the comparatively low number of Americans killed in WWII Europe, thank Stalin.

  • Swiss Servator||

    For carving up the nations of Eastern Europe with the Nazis?

  • Bra Ket||

    I agree actually. The space program was an imitation of the Soviet centrally-planned space program in order to compete with them. An example of becoming your enemy.

    What I like better than the space program, however, is the progress that free people in a free market might have achieved with all the resources that were instead sucked up by a giant expensive govt program and redirected in about the most inefficient manner possible. Unfortunately it was never allowed to happen and the worst part is simple-minded people think they get to compare govt mandated "progress" to a complete lack of progress because they are incapable of understanding the idea of a hidden cost.

  • Agammamon||

    american socialist|12.18.16 @ 11:12AM|#

    If you like your Apollo space program, thank socialism.

    We're *libertarians* dude. Do you know what that means?

    But yes, thank socialism for blowing billions of dollars taken at gunpoint on a project of national aggrandizement that produce not a single thing of worth.

    Not

    One.

    . . . .

    OK, there was Tang.

    Oh, and thank socialism in the US and Europe for spending the 80's and most of the 90's cockblocking private space exploration.

    NASA was bullshit, NASA is bullshit.

    The examples you've been putting out are not bolstering your case that socialism has anything to offer over the free market.

  • kbolino||

    If you like your Apollo space program, thank National Socialism.

    Literally. As in, the ex-Nazis like Werner von Braun that made it happen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Donna Brazile: "We shouold learn from this."

    Why do I take that to mean, "We need to conceal our skullduggery better."?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Woolsey just said, "The 'intelligence community' works for the President, the President doesn't work for them."

    Huh. How confusing.

  • John Titor||

    The Emperor requires a network of spies in his court to find the traitors after all.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Who does the president work for then?

  • Agammamon||

    Does Finnish sci-fi not count? Hannu Ranjiemi. Carel Kaprek? Haruki Marikami?

    Or is there something special about *Chinese* sci-fi?

  • Agammamon||

    It is difficult to imagine these passages being written by a Western author.

    Uhm, you mean like, say, Orwell? Who lived through that shit in Spain.

    Or how about "World War Z"?

    Its not like 'struggle sessions' are unknown in the West - hell, we still have them *here in the US* among the more devoted Progressive or Communist sympathizers.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Also, required college coursework.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    The cultural Morlocks will be taking us into their safe spaces for some struggle sessions soon enough.

    They're already going after the children who don't cooperate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think they more resemble the effete and fragile Eloi.

  • John Titor||

    John Wright has a series of long, boring rants where he argues that Morlock is more appropriate than Eloi. I'm pretty sure that's what ZSG's referencing.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    As much as I'd like to take credit for being more well-read and worldly than I actually am, compulsive honesty prohibits it. Maybe those articles wouldn't be boring to me.

    I did once write a paper for a college English course where I argued that the Pied Piper of Hamlin could be seen as heroic. A town contracted someone for his services and instead of rewarding him for a job well done, they refused to pay him and told him to leave. It was never implied that the children he took off with were harmed in any way. Perhaps he led them to a place where people honor their obligations and that they'd have a better life than in a town full of ingrates.

    I didn't outright mention that my paper was a critique of socialism. My professor was your typical proggie, so I doubt she understood what I had done because if she had my grade likely would not have been an A. :P

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    This might be a good sample

    A Morlock is someone who surrenders his reason to postmodern nihilism, or racism, or tribalism, or some other form of Antichrist. A Morlock is someone who feeds on helpless human flesh, metaphorically speaking.

    Many a man has objected that the Morlocks described in H.G. Wells THE TIME MACHINE are productive, since they maintain machinery and herd Eloi as livestock, hence must be skilled both in mechanics and ranching; whereas the social justice warrior, the Leftist, the Marxist, and the various dull-eyed and ferocious snarling losers peopling our modern social arena have no such skills and virtues as it would take to fit a pipe or butcher game.

    Such an objection, while not ill-meant, overlooks the point of the metaphor. Morlocks eat people. They live by destroying the lives of others. The Morlocks of which I speak do indeed herd people. They do this by means of virtue signalling, peer pressure, social controls, shaming. They do indeed work tirelessly at the maintenance of their mechanisms. These mechanisms are entirely mental and social, or, to be precise, spiritual.


    I stand by my "poor man's Gene Wolfe" statement (which, to be fair, is not a small thing).

  • John Titor||

    I tend to like a lot of Wright's blog posts (his reviews, of course, always being the best), but his social justice posts tend to be really dull, and slightly hyperbolic, in the "I just huffed a ton of blessed incense and ate the paint off the walls of a cathedral" sense. And it mostly just has to do with the subject matter being so profoundly boring. I get that he's associated with Sad Puppies, but the back-and-forth of the 'social justice question' tends to go nowhere. The entire conversation is just boring, and it sucks that we have to constantly deal with it.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Um, they're mostly sheep, not herders, enforcing herd conformity. It's not a predator behavior. Trolls seem more like the people he is describing.

  • PapayaSF||

    Ha!

  • GILMORE™||

    Perhaps he led them to a place where people honor their obligations....

    Arabian rape-dungeons

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Maybe you know this already and that's why you referred to it, but Hamlin was a real place and there is some evidence that something may have happened to their children. I read a compelling article that suggested that the children may have left voluntarily on the Children's Crusade. That would not have ended well for them.

  • GILMORE™||

    Hamlin is mad real, yo.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Heh, Hamelin. I wonder why my browser's dictionary has the misspelling but not the correct one. Red squiggles, you have misled me!

  • Ted S.||

    "Hameln" is the correct spelling. :-)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, special in the fact that there is some good shit coming out of there that deserves quality translation.

  • Agammamon||

    Undoubtedly - but the same can be said for numerous other authors.

    The nice thing is, as the world gets richer not only will there be more authors in whatever language, it will be easier to get their work translated.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Only ChiCom sci-fi is special.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    From a real heroic mulatto: Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and the Modern Whistle-Blower

    But Snowden did not study under a Nobel Prize winner, or give career advice to the likes of Henry Kissinger. He was a community-college dropout, a member of the murky hacking counterculture. He enlisted in the Army Reserves, and washed out after twenty weeks. He worked at the C.I.A. for a few years and left under a cloud. He learned about the innermost secrets of American intelligence-gathering and policy not because he was personally involved with that intelligence-gathering or policymaking but because he was a technician who helped service the computer systems that managed these things. The élites, Snowden once said, "know everything about us and we know nothing about them—because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class." Had Snowden been a whistle-blower in 1967, at the launch of the Pentagon Papers, he would have blown the whistle on Daniel Ellsberg. The whistle-blower as insider has become the whistle-blower as outsider. That is a curious fact, and, as we come to terms with the consequences of Snowden's actions, it may be an underappreciated one.
  • Crusty Juggler||

    Leaks are also a form of governmental "self-binding," Pozen argues. The executive branch, he says, has a persistent problem in the American democratic system. It needs to justify to the public the extraordinary power it wields. One of the ways it does this is to allow periodic disclosures that let the voters and the Congress see behind the curtain, reassuring them that most of the troubling things the executive branch engages in will eventually come to light. The White House allows leaks—even if those leaks hamper and embarrass it in the short run—because they help it maintain its power in the long run. The public needs regular and convincing reassurance that the strong President will be caught before he becomes a bad President. "A mechanism that never made the President look bad would quickly lose its capacity to signal credibility; the whole point is that the power-enhancing second- and third-order effects of these arrangements ultimately come to swamp the power-reducing first-order effects," Pozen writes. "No pain, no gain."
  • Crusty Juggler||

    So why didn't Snowden release just the FISC order? Because he's not fundamentally a leaker. He's a hacker. Leakers are concerned with Bellman's operating instructions and Pozen's mixed-strategy equilibrium, because they are interested in using and exploiting secrecy: they believe that secrecy, by its preservation and strategic violation, serves an essential purpose. The hacker, on the other hand, is a skeptic of secrecy. The anthropologist Gabriella Coleman has described hacking as the "aesthetic disposition" of craftiness and guile. "When lecturing to my class one security researcher described the mentality: 'You have to, like, have an innate understanding that [a security measure is] arbitrary, it's an arbitrary mechanism that does something that's unnatural and therefore can be circumvented in all likelihood,' " she writes.
  • Crusty Juggler||

    Ellsberg says to Snowden, "You've seen 'Dr. Strangelove'?" The leaker tries, as best he can, to find common cultural ground with the hacker.

    Snowden: "No."

    Cusack: "Oh my God!"

    Snowden: "Before my time, man." ♦

    OMG hang him!

  • GILMORE™||

    shorter =

    "You're not allowed to criticize us baby boomers; we're NOT HYPOCRITES!! NOT!!!"

    "....Why?..... well.... it requires some extended digression, you see..... uh, lets'.... problematize the context here and, uh, run some extended analogy about how... er, like, you only went to community college... which...No, that isn't *really* just some pathetic appeal to elitist authority at all... because, uh..... do you even 'old movie' bro? ugh, see what i mean? you don't even get my fancy references to the Third Man or Conrad's Secret Agent. Also = *strategic* violation! which isnt just begging the question of who gets to decide what's "strategic" or not. Obviously, its more strategic when a republican is in office...."

  • Austrian Anarchy||

  • GILMORE™||

    Had Snowden been a whistle-blower in 1967, at the launch of the Pentagon Papers, he would have blown the whistle on Daniel Ellsberg. The whistle-blower as insider has become the whistle-blower as outsider. That is a curious fact

    Fact?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Yes. In the current definition WaPo and NYT use.

    Not that long ago, it was more the domain of The New Republic and The Nation.

  • GILMORE™||

  • Cdr Lytton||

    The Red Queen's hotline?

  • Cloudbuster||

    t is difficult to imagine these passages being written by a Western author.

    Meh. I can fully imagine these passages being written by George Orwell or Aldous Huxley.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    You are competing with a unfair imagination advantage. America obviously needs an imagination redistribution program.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    Sigh, try again:

    Or Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hillary Clinton apparently has been making the rounds of donor groups, beating her little tin drum about how the election was stolen from her by an array of culprits. You don't suppose that has to do with a desperate need to avoid telling them what, specifically, she spent their money on, do you?

  • ||

    I wonder how many are going to want their money back? It would be interesting to see who they all are.

    Here is an interesting take on how we should be more like china...or not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9eXi3RL8q4

  • mtrueman||

    "You don't suppose that has to do with a desperate need to avoid telling them what, specifically, she spent their money on, do you?"

    She will be berating the cheap bastards for not giving her enough.

  • ||

    If she had only had more money to insult the electorate with she would have won by damn !

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    What makes for some good Sunday reading? Canada's Beloved State Broadcaster opining about MUH ROADDDDDZZZZZ!

    What's with the road toll love-in?

    There is no doubt Canadians are going to pay more for infrastructure over the next decade, but tolls are the wrong way to do it.

    Why are tolls the wrong way? Is UNFAAAAIR, everyone pays the same! MAKE RICH PAY!

  • John Titor||

    I would vote for Canadian Trump if he promised to completely defund the CBC.

  • ||

    I hate toll roads.

    The tolls never go away despite pre construction promises and they keep going up.

    Some places in Houston you have to pay $1.25 for about a mile before you hit another both.

    The powers that be are trying to gain approval for the first one here and I keep warning the long term locals to the pitfalls.

    Toll roads are not a good example of free markets. They require special permission from, and collusion with, government officials.

    Competition is impossible. No one is going to be able/allowed to build a competing road alongside an existing toll road.

  • kbolino||

    I think there's an important distinction between a privately owned toll road and a government-owned toll road. We have virtually none of the former in the U.S. any more. All of the toll roads I know of and/or have been on were the latter. In every case except one*, the tolls have paid for construction and maintenance costs several times over.

    * = The exception being a recently built (less than 10 years ago) toll road that a) had exorbitant construction costs, b) hasn't lived up to the predicted usage, and c) isn't a bridge or tunnel and only offers some alleviation from the congestion on the many alternate routes.

  • ||

    "Chinese Science Fiction Takes on Aliens and Authoritarians: New at Reason"

    Is this author still a free man? I mean, has anyone seen him lately? People in China who take on authoritarians in print, tend to disappear.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    People who say "a big evil alien culture is secretly invading Chinese culture, spying on Chinese citizens, and destroying it from within", however, tend to thrive. Where "big evil alien culture" refers to... the West.

  • ||

    The leftists on WaPo are having a major catastrophic pants shitting today. They really believe that the electors are going to anoint Hillary queen for life. And failing that, then Paul Ryan is going to lead an impeachment against Trump and then Pence, and anoint Hillary queen for life. This whole Republic thing for them is just too much to understand.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    "Republicans are evil, racist, vile, disgusting, horrible fascists. Of course they'll put us in power after they won a crushing victory."

    I mean, there's Stupid Party and then there's this...

  • C. Anacreon||

    "But Hillary won the popular vote! What's your problem? Don't you understand that the voters on the coasts should determine who is President, not the hicks from flyover country!"

    This is essentially what the serious comments from Democrats are in the WaPo comments today. Why did I even look?

    I fortunately haven't had a discussion with anyone about the popular vs electoral, but as a Californian I've been waiting -- though perhaps it's best to keep my mouth shut, in CA telling people you're anything but a Dem can cause serious social repercussions.

    What I would say:

    "So the states with the most people should essentially be in charge of the entire country. Should we get rid of the Senate while we're at it? I'm sure you don't think it's fair that both North Dakota and California have the same representation in the Senate. Oh, you didn't know that?"

    and/or:

    "So the entire country should have a voice over individual states. Perhaps there should be a national vote on whether marijuana should be legal, or gay marriage should be legal, rather than California being able to make that law on its own. What? But I thought you said that we should just do things by national vote? Really? Let me tell you about Federalism."

  • ||

    They don't seem to be able to comprehend what doing away with the electoral college would mean, essentially letting CA decide every presidential election and disenfranchising the rest of the country. They don't see any consequences to doing that. Nuff said.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    They do - being in power forever. No downside!

  • ||

    What's really telling about them is that they actually WANT Trump to do the worst sort of things just so they can get back into power. It's all they care about. I mean, I watched Obama for 8 years, just hoping that he'd do something decent, like close Gitmo, get us out of the middle east, deschedule cannabis, something, anything. He did none of those things, but I still didn't want him to do more harmful things. These morons actually want Trump to do terrible stuff just so they maybe get back into power in 4 years. And they don't care if it's rounding up Mexicans and putting them in camps or if it's WW3.

  • kbolino||

    doing away with the electoral college would mean, essentially letting CA decide every presidential election and disenfranchising the rest of the country

    That is what they think will happen, but using the national popular vote instead of the electoral college will probably make the election outcomes more competitive* because it means that people who currently feel disenfranchised in solid red/blue states now have a reason to vote again. Sure, major metropolitan areas will still carry the lion's share of the vote; but at the same time, the suburbs and rural areas in large states will have more say than they do now.

    * = More competitive does not mean more representative

  • ant1sthenes||

    After what happened in Detroit, I'm pretty sure the only effect of switching to a popular vote will be to cause red staters to completely lose faith in presidential election results and give serious thought to seceding or seizing power by force.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I blame partisanship.

    But Lynch acknowledged the perception created by the private summit was a problem. Republicans frequently brought up the meeting and President-elect Donald Trump made it a staple of his stump speech as the November presidential election approached.

    "I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him because it did give people concern," Lynch said. "And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure people understand the Department of Justice works in a way that's independent and looks at everybody equally. And when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that's a problem. It's a problem for me. It was painful for me."

    "It's not like it was a smoke-filled room,for crying out loud. You're not even allowed to,smoke on an airplane."

  • GILMORE™||

    the private summit


    '
    Summit?

    They really do love to aggrandize the petty.

  • GILMORE™||

    "I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him because it did give people concern," Lynch said. "And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure people understand the Department of Justice works in a way that's independent and looks at everybody equally. And when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that's a problem. It's a problem for me. It was painful for me."

    This shit right here? Is pure Obama.

    If he introduced anything to the political lexicon, its this rhetorical dodge by which your own "mistakes" because externalized and turned into SOMETHING YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT EVEN MORE THAN OTHERS.

    It turns 'concern over the possible impact of one's errors' into a virtue. Never mind that this shit never occurred to you when you were *DOING* those fucking things. No, afterwards you are "pained" that it might have had any adverse impressions on anyone. And dammit, you're going to get to the bottom of this and make sure that stuff never happens again!

    its judo. It takes an accusation of misconduct, and coverts that energy into "concern that misconduct creates negative perceptions". The real problem is *the perceptions*... we can't let people think those things? we need to work harder.

  • R C Dean||

    For the AG to have a private meeting with the target of multiple criminal investigationsisn.t bad optics, it fuck in unethical. She should lose her license for that.

  • Ted S.||

    That's a good joke, RC Dean.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Bill Clinton wasn't the target of any criminal investigations.

  • ||

    Yes he is part of the Clinton Family Slush Fund investigation.

  • Ted S.||

    They've memory-holed the phrase "appearance of impropriety".

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Oh no, they brought it back out within the past few weeks.

  • GILMORE™||

    Speaking of furriner's & their Sci-Fi....

    im not really a sci-fi reader. But i did rip through 3 quick books from this russian dude Victor Pelevin a few years ago. Was very impressed. One book of short stories (Hermit & Six Fingers) and 2 novels. *(Blue Lantern/Life of Insects).

    he reminded me of Bulgakov (*master&margarita; is my fave book) at the time - basically, sophisticated but with deep sense of humor and pleasure in the absurd. (*the wiki entry there suggests he's also a fan) Worth checking out.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    How interesting can a book be that just says "Ching chang chong ding dong?

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    I prefer the movie adaptation.

  • GILMORE™||

    I shouldn't have laughed, but i did.

  • ||

    I laughed. You know, because nothing is more funny than libertarians faux racism. Unless it has to do with orphans and mines.

  • Steve G||

    Indeed. In a sane world this is how we would deal with it. Unfortunately we're in a world where people don't realize Newton's 3rd law doesn't just apply to physics.

  • ||

    Really serious progs have no sense of humor. I remember years ago, making some sarcastic remark about Obama to one of them. At first he started into a knowing grin like I had just made some inside joke that he was privy too. Then the grin slowly faded into a sort of quizzical look, which in turn faded into a sort of frown and 'what the fuck' look, like someone who sees something that totally that is beyond their comprehension and not to be trusted. He just stood there looking at me, totally silent, trying to figure out what I had just said and what it implied. I mean no one could possibly be making parody of the one true savior. This person, in his insulated echo chamber had never had another human being make a condescending remark about Obama in his presence. He sort of avoided me after that, which didn't upset me too much.

  • ||

    Stop it, underestimating the Chinese like that. I'm sure it also says 'wong fing duck dong wing wong'!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    In a "Tesla owners are self-centered jerks" piece, we find this-

    "What economics has missed is that adding an incentive – a fine or a bonus – may be subtracting something else, the individual's sense of responsibility, or obligation, or intrinsic pleasure," Samuel Bowles, a behavioral economist at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, wrote in an essay published last summer in partnership with The Christian Science Monitor.

    Dr. Bowles, author of "The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens," argues that imposing a fine can cause individuals to view themselves strictly as consumers in contexts where they might otherwise see themselves primarily as social and moral beings.

  • Ted S.||

    To be fair, Tesla owners are self-centered jerks.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Certain cues can switch moral behaviour on or off," Bowles told The Toronto Star in 2008. "Charging for things often switches off moral behaviour."

    Researchers demonstrated this phenomenon with an experiment at daycare centers in Israel, introducing a fee for parents who picked up their children late. Centers that imposed the fine saw an immediate rise in tardiness that leveled out to about double the level of tardiness they had seen before imposing the fine, as John List and Uri Gneezy wrote for the Freakonomics blog. Centers that continued not to charge a late-fee, meanwhile, saw no change in tardiness.

    "Something funny happens when you move from zero fine to a small fine," Dr. Gneezy explained to the Star. "Suddenly, we can decide if the price is low enough to come late."

    Alternatively, we could view this as a perfectly sensible attempt to capture the value of an additional level (apparently in demand) of service. Morality and guilt are unnecessary to the discussion.

    "Oh, you have an additional, a la carte babysitting service? Fine. I could use that, now and then."

  • Chip Your Pets||

    If Juice were willing to part with that much money for convenience, imagine how much more normal people would.

  • pan fried wylie||

    They're late picking up the kid because they're at work, earning more in that time than the additional cost. duh. do you even (((math))), broh?

  • DenverJ||

    (((juice)))

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Charging for things often switches off moral behaviour."

    If I *pay* to eat dinner you have cooked and served, I'm not stealing it. The depth and breadth of the insight here is truly awe inspiring.

  • DenverJ||

    Meh, i get the point, and kind of see how it may make sense: if i leave my kid for no extra money, i feel guilty because imposing inconvenience on the staff. If i pay a fine, then they are being compensated, and i no longer feel guilty: I'm paying for it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Anti-freedom movie is a dog

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....yone-else/

  • ||

    Look, you bitter clinger! Everyone would have watched that film and it would have been an award winner, but Putin hacked our box offices! The NRA is a Putin puppet!

  • DenverJ||

    I thought you were leaving

  • ||

    'Worst movie opening of all time..."

    I hope they flushed millions with that.

    2016 is like christmas all year.

  • Ted S.||

    $13M according to the article.

  • JWatts||

    "$13M according to the article."

    Did that amount include the massive amount spend on advertising? They ran a lot of expensive TV ads for this movie.

  • ||

    Gotta admit that even though I didn't vote for any of the presidential candidates this year, Brexit + the wicked witch is dead, is about as close to a libertarian moment that I've seen. Not that our side is winning, but the left are losing badly. Seriously, there's hope that we can work with Republicans on some issues, but as libertarians, the left are our mortal enemies. Not sure how anyone could see it differently.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I consider progs the polar opposites of libertarians.

  • ||

    ^this^

  • ||

    I think that sums it up nicely Hyperion.

  • ||

    It did worse on the opening weekend than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, and Gigli.

    FWIW, Shaun the Sheep Movie was quite good.

  • Ted S.||

    So the rumors that Shaun likes to fuck sheep are true?

  • commodious buggres alle||

    "Good lord, man, aren't you supposed to be shearing that sheep?"

    "Oi, feck off! I ain't sharing her with anyone!"

  • GILMORE™||

    Gigli was an underrated masterpiece

  • Ted S.||

    Can't be any more irritating than Gigi.

    (Maurice Chevalier's rendition of "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" is really creepy.)

  • ||

    "It was a more innocent time" is the way I've heard it excused.

  • Ted S.||

  • AlmightyJB||

    I must get my good looks from my Irish side, hard too believe they could be from my British genes

  • Ted S.||

    You have good looks?

    Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!111!!!

  • ||

    All libertarians are some version or other of Rand Paul or Thomas Massie. Either curly haired racist white guy or nerdy racist white guy. It's the only two options.

  • Ted S.||

    HM is obviously a White Hispanic.

  • ||

    Obviously.

  • Charles Easterly||

    For anyone interested, I saw that Princess Mononoke is coming to the big screen next month.

  • ||

    Why does she have blood all over her face? Did she just devour a wild beast raw? I'm starting to like her already.

  • thrakkorzog||

    Been a while since i've seen it, but I'm pretty sure got the blood on her face cleaning a bullet wound out of that bigass wolf behind her.

  • GILMORE™||

    That's the one *without* any tentacle rape, right?

  • Ted S.||

    I'm waiting for Princess Binoke, the one who goes both ways.

  • __Warren__||

    Princess Panoke goes every way!

  • ||

    Shreeky is freaking out, again. It needs attention, awww!

    If I were a billionaire, I would pay Trump one billion dollars if during his inauguration, he rides out on horseback alongside Putin, both shirtless. Fuck, I would give 2 billion!

  • Libertarian||

    Careful there, big fella. This is 2016, and that scenario is not as inconceivable as it once was.

  • Ted S.||

    By the time Hyperion is worth USD 2bn, USD 2bn will be worth about $20 in 2016 dollars.

  • ||

    Maybe. Ok, I'll give him $20 to do it right now.

  • Contrarian P||

    He seems to be morphing into White Indian. Multiple posts saying the same pointless shit, over and over and over.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Don't say that name, you summon the Spirit of WI back from the Realm of 'tarded Dead!

  • Charles Easterly||

    I remember that commentator quite well, yet I cannot recall when last I saw her or him post anything.

    2014?

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Been longer than that. It stopped about the same time as we got registration, which was in...I want to say 2010 or 2011.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I would pay Trump one billion dollars if during his inauguration, he rides out on horseback alongside Putin, both shirtless.

    The William Henry Harrison gambit, eh?

  • ||

    I believe it is your side dear deluded one, who is moping around acting like someone pissed in their cornflakes.

    That is of course when not screaming that their loss is anyone's fault but their own.

    The Russians are coming ! The Russians are coming !

  • C. Anacreon||

    "Everyone to get from street!"

  • ||

    My friend lives in DC and he was telling us all how his Leftist friends are all freaking about about the electoral count tomorrow.

    This election was shit but the silver lining to all of this is watching the Left have meltdown and dooming themselves to electoral defeats for next election cycle or two.

  • ||

    My friend lives in DC and he was telling us all how his Leftist friends are all freaking about about the electoral count tomorrow.

    This election was shit but the silver lining to all of this is watching the Left have meltdown and dooming themselves to electoral defeats for next election cycle or two.

  • ||

    You should console him. Tell him to stop freaking out and face reality. Donald Trump is going to be president, period, for better or worse.

  • ||

    "and face reality."

    Did you skip the part where he said his friend is a leftist ?

  • DenverJ||

    Maybe the left will see the danger of an out of control federal government and an overpowered presidency?

  • Derpetologist||

  • Libertarian||

    Apparently, spending is stimulating only if the government does it. If private entities have more money to spend, they dig holes and bury it in the ground. From Krugman's blog post http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ earlier this afternoon:

    "It's now generally accepted that Trumpism will finally involve the kind of fiscal stimulus progressive economists have been pleading for ever since the financial crisis. After all, Republicans are deeply worried about budget deficits when a Democrat is in the White House, but suddenly become fiscal doves when in control. And there really is no question that the deficit will go up.

    But will this actually amount to fiscal stimulus? Right now it looks as if Republicans are going to ram through their whole agenda, including an end to Obamacare, privatizing Medicare and block-granting Medicaid, sharp cuts to food stamps, and so on. These are spending cuts, which will reduce the disposable income of lower- and middle-class Americans even as tax cuts raise the income of the wealthy. Given the sharp distributional changes, looking just at the budget deficit may be a poor guide to the macroeconomic impact."

  • juris imprudent||

    Shorter version: it's different when we do it.

  • DenverJ||

    Why the fuck are you still reading anything that idiot writes?

  • Quincy.||

    The Swiss Deaf Association announced its "Sign of the Year". Guess what it is.

  • Ted S.||

    Middle finger?

  • Quincy.||

    Close!

  • Libertarian||

    Missed it by a hair.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Donald Trump has beaten off stiff

  • Swiss Servator||

    *narrows gaze*

  • GILMORE™||

    (stands next to him and makes pinching motion around eyes)

  • Playa Manhattan.||

  • Ted S.||

    Drug warriors shouldn't be prescribed painkillers. Let the shitheels suffer.

  • ||

    Yes, him and nine tenths of the US Congress need to take an aspirin, suffer, and die.

  • Libertarian||

    He's an admitted drug abuser!!!! I patiently await his self-imposed execution.

  • Derpetologist||

    Saw Rogue One on Friday. It was pretty good, easily the best of the Star Wars movie outside of the original trilogy and the funniest.The new robot character had all the best lines.

    The was a moment of unintentional comedy when the Death Star engineers are assembled, all five of them, and there are old white guys. I guess there's still that force field ceiling to shatter.

    The movie had a pretty good explanation for the fatal flaw in the first Death Star too.

  • Derpetologist||

    that is, they are all old white guys

  • commodious buggres alle||

    they are all old white guys

    Sure, feminists want more women on the job, but when it comes to workplace fatalities there's not quite the same alacrity.

  • John Titor||

  • commodious buggres alle||

    You know who else was averse to killing civilians working for the enemy...

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Sure as Hell wasn't B. Hussein Obama.

  • Charles Easterly||

    I hoped you had provided a link to that clip, Mister Titor, and you did not disappoint.

  • GILMORE™||

    Everything built by old white guys must be destroyed?

  • C. Anacreon||

    It's funny, we saw the movie yesterday too, and that scene stood out in my mind as well. I guess seeing all those old white men as the scientists seemed strange in a movie that tried so ridiculously hard to be multicultural.

    The team of good guys was essentially one white woman, two Hispanics, two Asians, and a gay robot.

  • DenverJ||

    How is it strange? Old white men are the bad guys.

  • pan fried wylie||

    strange? why would the multicultural heroes be at odds with a multicultural group of villains? they'd just sort out their differences and have a party, because enlightenment, duh. how you pack the theaters with that?

  • pan fried wylie||

    dammit, refresh

  • ||

    I am boycotting that movie.

  • Derpetologist||

    *they're all old white guys, that is

  • John Titor||

    Alan Tudyk tends to be good in anything he's in, he seems like one of those actors who is just happy to be there. I might go see it but my Force Awakens experience keeps killing my interest.

  • Rothbard'sbitch||

    I hate the force awakens.

    This movie however is awesome! Its not only a great star wars film its a great film period. Hurry up and see it before someone spoils the ending. I haven't been so shocked at a Star Wars ending sinceI I first saw the Empire Strikes Back.
    It starts off a little slow in the beginning but by the end you will be on the edge of your seat.
    The feminist SJW is not really apparent. The female character is not a Mary Sue she and the other members of the group all kick ass about equally. It also really captures the horrors of war in a way star wars has not been quite able to do.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Hurry up and see it before someone spoils the ending.

    Sarcasm? Wasn't it spoiled 38 years ago?

  • Swiss Servator||

    It also really captures the horrors of war

    Pass. Had enough of that in reality, don't need it shoved in my face in a sci-fi flick.

  • كبير الهراء, Jr.||

  • __Warren__||

    Due to a miscommunication with my wife I ended up sitting through the indy trans flick Rouge Juan. There was a lot of action involving rebellion and exhaust ports, but not of the entertaining sort.

  • Derpetologist||

    It doesn't have a typical happy ending either, so that was refreshing.

  • GILMORE™||

    It doesn't have a typical happy ending

    The girl gets the boy.... (to do what she says)?

  • GILMORE™||

    ....which is "to blow up the patriarchy"

  • Derpetologist||

    More like a Hamlet ending or a Seven Samurai ending.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Overall, I too was impressed, Professor D.

    Although it seems that you and I have differing views with regards to the scale/level of woe, we seem to be aligned with how refreshing the doses of "reality" were in the movie.

  • Swiss Servator||

    American parochialism has unduly constrained our vision of the future and of the capabilities of the human mind.

    Sigh.

  • Derpetologist||

    Hmm, let's see: electronics, automobiles, aviation, nuclear energy, man on the moon...

    Yep, clearly the results of a nation with an unduly constrained vision of the future.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    But how many transgender queer disable women of color do we have serving in the Senate or appearing on prime-time television? That is the real marker of a forward-looking society.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    Dammit, people, stop nitpicking or we get Sunday Dalmia again! Suderman half-assing an article is a vast improvement.

  • DenverJ||

    Americans did not invent the automobile, and they no longer build the best ones.

  • JWatts||

    American's created the mass market automobile for the middle class.

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    Can't you be less parochial and say "le sigh"?

  • Quincy.||

    Curiosity Rover rolls up to newly formed Mars crater, tweets "Nice try, N00b."

  • Rational Exuberance||

    It sounds to me that, rather than SciFi story, Liu's trilogy is more of a parable of how China sees itself invaded by the West.

    In any case, there are plenty of western SciFi stories without much inner life or inner dialog, and most writers find that really hard to pull off successfully. It's not something that makes me want to go out and read Liu.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.

  • Derpetologist||

    Patient Diagnosed as "Islamophobic" on CBS's "Pure Genius"

    Why would this "Islamophobe" not want a kidney from a Muslim donor? Because he is a "racist," you see, and CBS is trying to teach its unsuspecting "Pure Genius" audience, who tuned in to be entertained, not hectored with political messages, that the only reason why anyone is suspicious of Islam or Muslims is because they don't like "brown people."

    But Islamophobia *is* the real problem! Pay no attention to the jihad behind the curtain!

    Suicide bomber kills more than 50 in Yemen, ISIS claims responsibility

  • __Warren__||

    That guy was just creating a supply of kidneys!

  • John Titor||

    They're a little dirty, but you just got to brush 'em off and it'll be fine.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    How many of those victims were donors?

  • __Warren__||

    And M*A*S*H did the "racist not wanting something from an untermensch" storyline back in the '70s.

  • ant1sthenes||

    And it doesn't really make sense when the hate isn't based on a genetic grouping. It would be like a storyline about a Democrat refusing to take a kidney from a Trump supporter.

  • ||

    If you cant find any actual deplorable, irredeemables just make a movie about them?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    More like a Hamlet ending

    "It's a slaughterhouse."?

  • Derpetologist||

    Two-star Army general demoted after affair, 'swinger' lifestyle revealed

    Take notice cops. This is how you maintain public respect for your profession.

  • Ted S.||

    What's wrong with being a swinger?

  • Derpetologist||

    Adultery is a Romper Room no-no in the military.

  • Swiss Servator||

    UCMJ sez.....BZZZT!

  • Swiss Servator||

    UCMJ sez.....BZZZT!

  • Swiss Servator||

    As do the squirrelz.

  • Agammamon||

    The demotion will cost him more than $40,000 in annual retirement pay, based on pay scales for a lieutenant colonel and a two-star general with 30 years in the Army.

    *sigh*

    High-Three, what is it and how does it work?

  • Jerryskids||

  • Charles Easterly||

    Jerryskids,

    Thank you for that link.

  • __Warren__||

    Coughing it up in the redzone really puts the brakes on.

  • ||

    Russian Scum!

    LOL! Ok, I hate typing such juvenile phrases and causing Virginia Postrel to look down on the commentariat with even more holy righteousness, but fuck... what the fuck? The left have truly lost their minds! I'm ROFLMAO!

    Hey, Olbermann, are you ok, bro? LOLOLOLOL!

  • commodious buggres alle||

    If he keeps it up we can start playing "Olbermann or Jones?"

  • Derpetologist||

    In what alcoholics call a "moment of clarity", Alternet touches on this with a decent cartoon:
    http://www.alternet.org/comics.....ssia-panic

  • butt-head||

    Mocking one angle of leftist paranoia while parroting and presuming all the others.

    *eyeroll*

  • ||

    I cant fully express just how much I am enjoying their meltdown.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    You sure he wasn't saying "Russians' cum"

  • __Warren__||

    What's Lou Reed's opinion of Dennis Green getting the Cleveland Browns head coach job?

  • Swiss Servator||

    He is who we thought he was?

  • Jerryskids||

    How come the PA guy at the Falcons game isn't cuing up the National Anthem every time Kaepernick leads the 49'er offense out onto the field?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    That would be Teh Awesomest.

  • Swiss Servator||

    *standing ovation*

  • westernsloper||

    Best suggestion ever.

  • __Warren__||

    The Assassin's Creed movie looks like shit.

  • ||

    One of the best things I've ever seen from a game, cinematic wise, is the intro to TW2. That is epic.

    In case you have not seen it, here it is:

    Witcher 2 video intro

    I own and have played all 3 games, not a big fan, but that shit right here is cinematic gold.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    I'm really trying to enjoy TW3. It's making me question whether I was ever a serious gamer or only ever a filthy casual.

  • Agammamon||

    Simple enough to find out - PC or filthy potato-scratcher?

  • commodious buggres alle||

    PC, rather high end, but not feeling it lately.

  • ||

    TW3 is the longest movie I ever played. The 2 hours of actual gameplay between the 70 hours of cut scenes was nice though.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Didn't they try this with Prince of Persia? And didn't it bomb?

    I'm really coming to appreciate the genius of Uwe Boll. His films are unapologetic schlock and the better for it. No pretentions, just terrible, watchable shit.

  • Agammamon||

    Of course it does - its a movie based on a videogame property. The only good one ever was 'Streetfighter' and only because of Raul Julia (and splits).

  • ||

  • ||

    The first time I heard someone describe leftism as a mental illness I thought that was a bit over the top. I don't think that anymore.

  • ||

    Same here.

  • Charles Easterly||

    I am not favorably impressed with either person, Rufus.

    Regardless, it seems to me that you've provided a serviceable link to a rather good example of two individuals engaging in an inferior impersonal dyadic.

    Unrelated: What, do you think, are the odds that Agile Cyborg will visit the H&R site tonight?

  • ||

    Tucker could have handled it better probably. But it was less about him and more about Eichenwald who, I think, was worse.

    Odds on AC showing up are as high as Cheech and Chong.

  • Charles Easterly||

    I enjoyed the manner in which your stated the odds.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What about Last and First Men?

  • Derpetologist||

    Or The Time Machine.
    Or Brave New World.
    Or The Shape of Things to Come.
    Or Star Trek.
    Or The Jetsons.

    The list is very long.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No doubt, but the first sentence sounds like him.

  • Derpetologist||

    No raises for Huffpo writers this year:
    http://heatst.com/politics/huf.....ion-raise/

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Whitey be keeping us down.

    Now we hear again the cry that the neglected white working class is the future of American progressive politics. The tragedy is that much of the professed concern about the white working class is a cover for the interests of white elites who evoke working-class solidarity to combat racial, sexual and gender progress.

    Identity has always been at the heart of American culture. We must confront a truth that we have assiduously avoided: The most protected, cherished and nurtured identity of all has been white identity. After all, the needs of the black and brown working classes, which are not exclusively urban, are, again, even in progressive quarters, all but forgotten.

    Mr. Trump, and to a degree, the liberals and progressives who advocate a vision of America that spurns identity politics, make one thing clear: The real unifying force in American political life is whiteness, no matter its party, gender, region or, at times, even its class.

    By all means, continue to tell the people of this country how evil they are. Tell them their nation, which became wealthy and powerful over the course of centuries via a political and economic system which has served its people well, and that system, must be torn down and replaced with a fractious, balkanized rabble. Shout your zero-sum religion from the rooftops.

  • __Warren__||

    It's like they're slaves to this white system.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Maybe, just maybe, viewing everything through the prism of identity essentialism is the problem. Bear with me, maybe identity politics is a misleading model for interpreting the complexities of human societies. I know this is radical, but try to think it through. Maybe racial politics is just a stupid construct.

  • butt-head||

    The tragedy is that much of the professed concern about the white working class is a cover for the interests of white elites who evoke working-class solidarity to combat racial, sexual and gender progress.

    Translation: blah blah blah blah blah.

    Tragic, like Sophocles.

  • GILMORE™||

    The real unifying force in American political life is whiteness

    Why, one only has to look at the readership of the NYT

  • Derpetologist||

    Canada Says Only 28 Americans Have Applied for Trump-Related Refugee Status

    Even more shocking is that none of them are celebrities.

  • ||

    Even more shocking is that Canada won't take any of them, and even if they did, they would pussy out.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Dude. They owe us for Justin Bieber, Alex Trebek, and Michael J Fox.

  • __Warren__||

    Suck it, Trebek!

  • John Titor||

    We paid you back with a thousand times over. We keep sending our hot actresses south as an apology, but nooooo, you'll always whine about Bieber.

  • ||

    McInnes said there's some hot sassy broads in Montreal. I haven't been yet to prove that theory, so I'm holding off on an opinion. Anyway, I already have one sassy broad at home, that's enough.

  • John Titor||

    French Canadian girls are indeed heavy on the sass, and you will never win an argument (like with most women). I had an alarm clock thrown at my head a couple years ago, and that wasn't the worst fight we had.

  • ||

    Montreal women are fricken hot.

    Trust me.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Dang it.

    Beat me by one minute.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Rufus,

    I certainly hope that other individuals understand that you and I did not intend to disparage other women, who might or might not have been born or raised in Montreal.

  • ||

    I'm sure people don't take it that way.

  • C. Anacreon||

    I was in Montreal one summer when the jazz festival was going on. It was hot and sticky and in the 90s Fahrenheit.

    The French Canadian gals wore the slinkiest, skimpiest outfits possible. It was an incredible feast for the eyes.

    I'm assuming they're bundled up for too much of the year, but I am with Rufus on this, when you can see them they're fricken hot.

  • ||

    It's not just the French-Canadian girls; all of Montreal's women for some reason are.

    It's a feast on the eyes for sure.

  • ||

    Yeh, they keep harping on our bad stuff but neglect to consider the awesome people we send down.

    I'M NEXT.

  • ||

    What's the problem with Marty McFly?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    If you aren't fleeing an unjust war, or fleeing actual threat of death, Canada is likely to decline your request. If you're not applying as a refugee, the Canadian legal immigration process can take about a decade to navigate.

    Fucking racist xenophobes.

  • ||

    Mexico also built a wall on their southern border to keep out those nasty Guatemalans. Have you ever been to Mexico and witnessed how racist people there are? What about Korea? Americans really are not racist at all if you want to compare us with other cultures. Just shut the fuck up already, leftists, until you get an edumencation.

  • ||

    That is exactly right. America is the most tolerant nation on earth with regards to race. The naked racism in the rest of the world would make old timey southerners blush.

  • Steve G||

    *snort* talk to a white person who grew up in Hawaii sometime...

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    You rang, Steve?

  • Charles Easterly||

    That is exactly right. America is the most tolerant nation on earth with regards to race.

    Prove this claim for me (and anyone else who is interested) Suthenboy.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    Well we've got a significant minority class that commits the vast majority of violent crimes for thier population size, many against the racial majority and yet the country still votes to help them out with affirmative action. Quite a few societies have moved to genocide for less.

  • Ted S.||

    Either they'll have to admit our being in Syria is ummoral, or they'll have to stop accepting refugees.

  • John Titor||

    Several, including Cranston, Schumer and Dunham, have now said that they were "merely joking" - to the great disappointment of millions of Americans.

    And to the great relief of millions of Canadians. Well, ok, we'll take Cranston, at least he's talented enough to make his politics tolerable.

  • ||

    He's all yours buddy. Or we could trade. He moves up there, you move here. Come to Louisiana and I will make you a pot of gumbo and we can shoot some skeet.

  • ||

    I'm making gumbo tomorrow, here in the people's republic of Murland. Gumbo knows no borders.

  • ||

    Recipe?

  • ||

    Mine's pretty simple. I typically use about a half pound of chicken and same of shrimp. About 24 oz of tomato liquified in blender. One half large white onion, 2 medium/large jalapenos (more as needed), lots of, say 2 TBS of garlic, a large red bell pepper, 1/8 cup olive oil, one quarter cup rice, one tablespoon salt. 16/24 oz of cut okra.

    It if doesn't clear up your sinuses, add more spice.

  • ||

    Can you give me yours? Thanks!

  • ||

    When you add in the tomato you aren't doing gumbo anymore, you are doing sauce picante. If you want to add an interesting flavor you can cook the tomato down into a paste and let it brown a little until it is milk chocolate colored but you have to do it separate and stir constantly. You can cheat by starting with tomato paste and just brown that. Be careful and don't burn it.

  • ||

    This gumbo recipe is the equivalent of chili with beans. No offense, what you cooked probably tasted good and that is what counts, but it's not gumbo.

    Gumbo recipe must start with a nod to the rue. No tomatoes ever.

    File' or okra ?

  • ||

    No, it's nothing at all like chili. I make chili also. I put beans and ground beef and cumin in chili. None of that goes into gumbo, and the flavor isn't even related at all.

  • ||

    1/4 white flour and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil on medium high heat stir constantly until you have a nice chocolaty brown roux.

    chop one medium onion, one medium bell pepper and 4 or 5 stalks of celery. Cook in the roux until onions are clear.

    Add 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and two to three pounds of hot cajun sausage (cut into 1/4 inch slices)

    Add chicken stock to cover the meats. Add a little parsley, sage, and thyme. Add one capful of zataran's liquid crab boil seasoning.

    Boil for one hour. Serve over rice (one cup rice, two cups chicken stock, one tablespoon butter, one tablespoon sweet basil)

    Simple and yummy on a cold day.

  • John Titor||

    My only experience with Louisiana is True Detective, which leads me to believe the entire state is swampland and oil refineries filled with methhead cousinfuckers who worship Lovecraftian Elder Gods. I'll pack my bags.

  • ||

    Just thank you for McIness and our many beloved Canadian commenters here. And please, no more Beibers and especially not Zoolander.

  • Suell||

    Let's go Raiders! They need this win today. Great TD to end that half.

  • ||

    Wow, that KC game was horrible. Not sure who was at fault, Carr or the receivers.

  • Suell||

    Both. He wasn't looking great but there were some dropped passes that should've been caught. The spidercam didn't help either. ;)

  • ||

    "But the 18 celebrities who threatened to move to Canada appear to have stayed put, even under the threat of a Trump Administration. Bryan Cranston, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Barbara Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Raven-Symone, Neve Campbell and Chloe Sevigny all seem to still call America home.

    Several, including Cranston, Schumer and Dunham, have now said they were "merely joking"—to the great disappointment of millions of Americans."

    I love the last line.

    Cranston says he was just joking? Bullshit, he was lying. That's a different thing altogether.

  • Quincy.||

    Cranston wasn't going to move unless Aaron Paul agreed to tag along.

  • commodious buggres alle||

    Maybe the rest of them are headed to Mexico. Ever thought of that, smart guy?

  • Quincy.||

    It would be like the second season of East Bound & Down. Mouthy hasbeens supporting themselves by their cock-fighting winnings. Picture Lena Dunham with cornrows, and blood everywhere.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I said I was GOING to Canada and I am. With my fishing tackle. Back in a couple of weeks.

  • Agammamon||

    I'm not surprised - even to get away from Trump, who wants to emigrate to a country that *starts* at the -25F-in-winter line?

  • Jerry on the sea||

  • Ted S.||

    Survived by her ninth husband, to whom she'd been married longer than the first eight combined.

  • butt-head||

    The 12 Husbands of Zsa Zsa

    Sing it, everyone!

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    She spent some time in the jail in the next town over.

    I won't say the name of the town, because everyone is going to start rapping about leaving their wallets there.

  • Ted S.||

    Beverly Hills? At least, that's what Wikipedia says.

  • Charles Easterly||

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Yes.

  • GILMORE™||

    Ali had the fruit punch

  • PapayaSF||

    RIP Zsa Zsa. Her last years were very hard.

  • straffinrun||

  • Derpetologist||

    The Onion had a similar one a while back.

    Recently, I was with the Wapemba tribe in Zanzibar, and I heard their chieftain recite the mythology of creation that these people had known for thousands of years. And I was struck by its similarities to other creation myths, including the Judeo-Christian model. Then I thought to myself, so what the fuck am I doing here in Zanzibar? Why did I slog all the way to Africa to hear a story that I could have heard at the Baptist church two blocks from my house? You get what I'm saying? If all people are the same on the inside, why did I spend a year learning Swahili when I could just talk to the girl at the Tast-E-Freez? It's all the same shit, folks. Save your plane fare.
  • GILMORE™||

    the stark understanding hit him whilst he was sat round a drum circle at an organic chickpea farm in New Zealand's northern island.

    this is the sort of thing the onion doesn't do anymore

  • Ted S.||

    He should have gone to a garbanzo farm instead.

  • ||

    Let's play who said:

    "We have to know that a large percentage of small businesses are actually just ways for wealthier Canadians to save on their taxes and we want to reward the people who are actually creating jobs."

    Hint: He's Canadian and he's a feminist. And makes me very thirsty.

  • straffinrun||

    Alexander the grate?

  • John Titor||

  • ||

    He's lucky grandpa was a good businessman, eh?

  • John Titor||

    To be fair I'm sure he does what actors tend to do, let the little people work their accounting magic while he wraps himself in false piety.

  • ||

    When someone starts an argument with 'We have to know', 'It's a given that', 'We can agree that', or some other premise that they want to slip by me I just ignore anything else they have to say.

  • Rhywun||

    'Let me be clear...'

  • Ted S.||

    PM Zoolander?

  • GILMORE™||

    "We have to know that a large percentage of small businesses are actually just ways for wealthier Canadians to save on their taxes and we want to reward the people who are actually creating jobs."

    That makes no fucking sense. Even if your business has 1 employee (you) - you've created a job = your own. AND you create demand for all sorts of business services. Small businesses outsource lots of roles and that itself creates it own sub-industry (*lots of small business-people are my clients - and many of them in turn are each other's clients)

    it seems what he's saying is that he wants to incentivize new businesses, but fuck over the ones already in operation. which also makes no sense (the ones in operation are the *good* business-ideas. most startups, by contrast, fail)

  • ||

    Gilmore,

    It's Trudeautown

    It's not supposed to make sense. It's supposed to sound sensible.

    Big difference.

  • Ted S.||

    As if it's a bad thing for people to want to keep their money.

  • Derpetologist||

    Hard to go wrong with a band named GLORYHAMMER:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTW30Q4B3Go

  • GILMORE™||

    Christian Thrashmetal? I don't have the patience to find out.

    I really can't tell sincere metal bands from the parody ones. The parody ones have gotten really good.

  • Derpetologist||

    The lead singer is from Alestorm, a Euro pirate metal band.

  • GILMORE™||

    So parody then.

  • The Hyperbole||

    Not funny enough to be parody and too lame to be serious, just bad.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Is that what you use to make glory holes?

  • Sevo||

    "I'm a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump."
    [...]
    "I had been opening mail at my desk that afternoon in August 2010 when a dusting of white powder fell from the folds of a letter. I dropped the letter, held my breath and slipped out the door as swiftly as I could, shutting it behind me. First I went to the bathroom to scrub my hands. Then I called the police."
    http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/.....804229.php

    More propaganda from Michael Mann.

  • Libertarian||

    He totally forgot that mail order from Adam and Eve.

  • ||

    The guy is a serial liar.

  • John Titor||

    This should be very easy to confirm if true. If he called the police and there's actually white powder in a letter, there's obviously a police report. So media, get to it and do your job.

  • Sevo||

    Regardless, it was 6 years ago; why isn't he blaming Obo instead of whining about the guy who's gonna chop his gravy train?

  • John Titor||

    Meh, I don't expect consistency from the hysterics of the post-election deranged, but as Suthenboy has stated, he's a serial liar, so anything he says should be confirmed before taken seriously.

  • Ted S.||

    They need to keep people in fear of Trump.

  • straffinrun||

    Alternative headline: Alleged Deaththreats Don't Result in Actual Deaths Says Report.

  • __Warren__||

    That Raiders' player needs to be sat down and have explained the proper thing to do when intercepting the ball in that situation.

    Firstly it was fourth down so don't catch the ball at all, just knock it down. You will likely have a better spot.

    Secondly, the Chargers could not stop the clock enough times so the offense just needs to kneel and game over that leads to the last point:

    If you do catch it: just kneel on the fucking thing! Don't try a return you dipshit. The more you are trying to run it back the greater the chance of a fumble and if they get the ball back it resets the down count. and gives them four more plays at least to beat you.

  • Ted S.||

    If you do catch it: just kneel on the fucking thing!

    Didn't work for the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship Game. :mad:

  • Sevo||

    Fake news, AP version:
    "Donald Trump is lashing out on Twitter in advance of the Electoral College vote. The president-elect says: "If my many supporters acted and threatened people like those who lost the election are doing, they would be scorned & called terrible names!"
    Note that is "LASHING OUT!", not commenting, and what he's saying is 100% true.

    "In fact, Trump and his supporters have threatened people before. He frequently whipped up audiences at his huge rallies by railing against reporters, immigrants, Muslims and his critics. He repeatedly threatened news outlets with lawsuits. And he and his supporters have bombarded his critics on Twitter."
    Yep, "threatened them" by bombarding them on Twitter.
    Where's Tony to tell us how the media was in Trump's pocket?
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol.....804856.php

  • straffinrun||

    20 Twitter lashings for petty offenses. Welcome to Shariah law Trump style.

  • ||

    "wobudong Rank 5354
    Poor baby he is being told that no one wants him except his Putin puppets and the 12 people who support him.
    He will have a stroke before Jan 20....listen inbreds just realize that all decent people, all Dems and Repubs see him as what he is... It's a very long list...He is gone by summer as a traitor and a terrorist"

    See, here's the thing. The Russian thing is a lie built on a faulty premise; just like climate change. But by the time it's proven to be a lie it's too late. People have already accepted it and has settled in their minds. It's over.

    It's a neat little tactic the left (I'm guessing it's more them) has mastered.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Do the media think that people who aren't already inured to the taste of their load are swallowing their conflation of threats of enforcing/changing the law, or lawsuits, with threats of violence?

  • ||

    Thank God the USA has Native American spirit guide Elizabeth Warren to fight - Fight, FIGHT, FIGHT! - for your rights!

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the.....erest.html

    THANKS, GOD!

  • Sevo||

    "it's still a notable sign of life emitted by a party that, at least in my account, has been slow and subdued in its organized reaction to Trump's violation of long-held democratic norms."

    I assume he means Trump hasn't yet sold political access for bribes?

  • ||

    The. Guy. Isn't. Even. In. Office. Yet!

    Yet, they know everything he has done in the past, is doing in the present and will do in the future!

    That's some knack and talent they've got there.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I think it means that he won without stuffing ballots.

  • __Warren__||

    Squawk! Trump bad! Squawk!

  • The Fusionist||

  • __Warren__||

    Regardless of what my hypothetical circumstances might be I cannot imagine them improving by adding cops to the mix.

  • ||

    Things heard at the presents presentation ball:

    'HEY! THAT'S MY CAN OPENER!'

    'Are you re-gifting?'

    'I thought you said this was illegal the first time you stole it from me.'

    'Is this entrapment?"

  • The Fusionist||

    Technically, "reverse civil forfeiture" was simply a joke on my part.

  • ||

    Entrapment it is.

  • The Fusionist||

    "Call me crazy, but I did not ever think that I would have to convince my 4-year-old — who still carries her baby blanket around with her daily — that Santa is real."

  • The Fusionist||

    "Someone hasn't been a good boy this year! Police dressed as Father Christmas raid Peruvian drug cartel and seize cocaine

    "The police raid was carried out in the Peruvian capital of Lima by officers

    "One officer dressed as Santa produces a sledgehammer from his sack

    "He uses it to smash down the door as his colleagues grab guns from the bag

    "Four men arrested in the operation and more than 4,500 cocaine wraps seized"

  • ||

    When I was in Bolivia the biggest drug lab in the country was discovered...on the top floor of the police headquarters in La Paz. The cops set it up and ran it using confiscated equipment and supplies.

  • ||

    The Gov.com just caught 26.5 tons last week some where on the southern East Coast.

  • The Fusionist||

    Black Pete Racist? Dutch Christmas Tradition Of 'Zwarte Piet' In Blackface Continues To Stir Controversy

    "This year, the controversy even spread to Canada. The Dutch Delicious bakery in Edmonton had featured a representation of Black Pete every year for a decade to celebrate Sinterklaas, but last week it issued an apology [etc]...The bakery has said that in the future it will instead feature Chimney Piet, a character with soot streaks on his face, without the curly hair and red lips.

    "The same accommodation has been put forward by Amsterdam's Sinterklaas Party for the first time this year....

    "Weighing in on the matter last year, the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations was in no doubt about the correct course of action for the Dutch government. Recommending that the character at least be altered, a report wrote that in its current guise Black Pete is "injurious to the dignity and self-esteem of children and adults of African descent."

    ""The Committee recommends that the State party actively promote the elimination of those features of the character of Black Pete which reflect negative stereotypes and are experienced by many people of African descent as a vestige of slavery," read the report."

    (contains autoplay video)

  • ||

    What the hell are they talking about? Why is portraying a black person bad? Their features are different than mine, why is that bad? What is insulting about blackness? Isnt it racist to say that portraying someone as black is an insult? Are we supposed to pretend that black people are not black because being black is bad? What the hell?

    The lack of self awareness is stunning.

  • The Fusionist||

    I don't know if Hollywood still does this, but it used to be that their black supporting characters were stern authority figures who tried to keep the white protagonists on the straight and narrow, kind of like Black Pete.

  • ||

    I haven't heard about black pete since I was a kid so I don't really remember much about him. I do remember he was a good guy so beyond his being black I don't see what their complaint it unless they see being black as inherently bad.

  • butt-head||

    Tomorrow is going to be fun.

  • ||

    I am going to stand in the yard, smoke cigarettes and try to hear the wailing and crying from afar. It is going to be epic.

  • butt-head||

    Yet another day of Dem wailing and psychosis—this one all but certain, in contrast to the first? Boy, it is the season!

    Enjoy your Manitobas :)

  • The Fusionist||

    Take that, you straw-man constitutional originalists who live in my head!

    "...to the originalist, the "faithless elector" is simply performing his or her constitutional duty by exercising independent judgment and discretion in deciding for whom to vote."

    No, to the originalist, the faithless elector is casting a legally valid vote, but may or may not be doing the right thing.

    (And you might want to look into the history of the 12th Amendment, which adapted the elector system to the needs of the party system).

  • ||

    They lost. Now they are trying to usurp power. If they could take power at the point of a rifle they would not hesitate to do so. I have no doubt that Hillary's promise to decimate second amendment rights was aimed at doing just that.

  • Derpetologist||

    Tis the season

    The pagan writer Celsus, a well-known critic of Christianity, wrote that Jesus' biological father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. He wasn't alone in his opinion; writing in the Talmud, rabbinic authors describe Jesus as "Yeshu ben Pantera"—meaning Jesus son of Panther, which was a relatively common name for Roman soldiers.

    I think we can all agree that Pantera is a more metal name than Joseph.

    I bet Pantera promised Mary as much gold as she could eat and then the next it was VOOM! Like a rat from an aqueduct.

  • Derpetologist||

  • ||

    Don't read this comment Eddie....shield your eyes.

    A character from the bible who is likely a mythical combination of several people, a person for whom there is exactly zero evidence beyond hearsay that he ever existed, these people claim to know who his real father was?

    Sounds legit.

  • Derpetologist||

    The central claim of Christianity is that a man rose from the dead. If resurrection is extremely rare but possible, you'd expect there to be at least a few credible cases of it given all the deaths there have been.

    But if the only stories of resurrection are from thousands of years ago, it's hard to believe.

  • ||

    You are trying to apply logic to supernatural beliefs. The very nature of the supernatural is that logic doesnt apply.

  • Sevo||

    "You are trying to apply logic..."

    Damn it; slow those fingers down!

  • The Fusionist||

    Someone is making supernatural claims.

    Since we know that supernatural claims are illogical, we know *a priori* that there's no logic behind them.

    QED

  • Sevo||

    I could see the claim that, given it was a miracle, it did happen only once. And that might well apply to the loaves and fishes and so forth.
    Problem is, as SB mentions, there is not one shed of evidence for any of those claims whatsoever. In fact, as Erhman points out, none of those reports were written within 100 years of the claimed events.
    If you choose to believe, do so, and admit you do so on faith. Don't bother trying to support that faith with anything other than faith.

  • ||

    "...none of those reports were written within 100 years of the claimed events."

    I started to include that in my comment but I am unfamiliar with (((other writings on the subject))) and thought there may well be earlier accounts of Jesus than those in the Christian bible.

  • Sevo||

    Really suggest "Lost Christianities", Ehreman.
    I mis-posted: " Most of the books of the New Testament were written in the first century of the common era, from the earliest letters of Paul, written about 50CE..." (pg 230)

    Pretty dry reading and you'll learn far more about the sects that didn't make the cut than you ever wanted to know; the supposed Jesus was just one of the claimants.
    Anyhow, the New Testament was assembled by vote (and power plays) from competing scriptures in Bone', ~393CE.
    Evidence was never a consideration; like politics, it was decided on who brought the votes (bleevers) and the consequent contributions.

  • Sevo||

    Oops: Ehrman.

  • The Fusionist||

    Right, Ehrman doesn't support the notion that all the accounts were written after 100 years.

  • The Fusionist||

    Incidentally, sevo, which works of Christian apologetic have you read and found unconvincing?

  • Sevo||

    "Incidentally, sevo, which works of Christian apologetic have you read and found unconvincing?

    OK, SB, here's the reason I do not accept eddie as anything other than a lying piece of shit.
    Look at that supposed question; what do you make of that?
    Stuff it up your ass, eddie. That sort of crap is not worth a response.

  • The Fusionist||

    That's almost as good as an answer - apparently you haven't troubled yourself to understand the position you argue against.

  • Sevo||

    The Fusionist|12.18.16 @ 11:08PM|#
    "that's almost as good as an answer - apparently you haven't troubled yourself to understand the position you argue against."

    Yes, slimebag, that's exactly the dishonest response I'd expect out of an ignorant bleever:
    "Haven't you looked all over to find reasons to be as stupid as I am????
    Well, in that case, you must be a poopy head!!!!"

    If you think you've got something worth reading, lets see it. Other than that, asshole. stuff it up your ass.

  • The Fusionist||

    I beg your pardon, I see you are already on top of all the arguments which could possibly be made against your position, and have examined them rigorously and found them wanting.

    Well, I guess it's time for me to turn the other cheek.

  • Sevo||

    Correct; they were written 50 years after the supposed event; they are not evidence.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Actually, Christianity claims lots of people rose from the dead. Lazarus, Jesus, and lots of other randoms later on.

  • The Fusionist||

    Many people whose historicity we accept have far sketchier historical support.

    Pagan Roman authorities were reporting people going to their deaths rather than deny Jesus, even some of the historical-critical types argue that the synoptic Gospels are based on earlier written sources, the Gospels are closer to the original events than, say Plutarch, etc.

  • ||

    Yes, and I regard them with equal skepticism.

    I am not interested in trying to talk you out of your beliefs Eddie. You are a good guy and your religion is part of that. We don't disagree on all that much, just the supernatural and one other thing: you think your religion makes you a moral person. I think it is the other way about.

  • The Fusionist||

    No, God is the source of morality, but there are people who are moral without recognizing that God is behind it. And I myself am not as moral as I ought.

    Let me simply leave this here, a list of the *anti*-Christian works I've read, works which make the case against Christianity

    Why I am Not a Christian, by Bertrand Russell
    The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
    God is not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
    Breaking the Spell, by Daniel Dennett
    The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine

    I was happy to see the case against Christianity as presented logically by these great thinkers. I wasn't persuaded.

    I understand your experience doesn't involve apologetic works, but in general I'd like to ask some of the folks at H&R - which works of Christian apologetic have you read, and been unpersuaded by?

  • The Fusionist||

    not as moral as I ought *to be.*

  • The Fusionist||

    (my list is just what I could think of from the past several years, not exclusive)

  • Sevo||

    "No, God is the source of morality,"

    That is a statement missing evidence of the subject and evidence of the claim.
    Suffice to say, it's bullshit.

  • The Fusionist||

    "That is a statement missing evidence of the subject and evidence of the claim.
    Suffice to say, it's bullshit."

    Believe it or not I wasn't trying to convince you, but to show that i did not hold certain views which Suthenboy imputed to me.

    Not the same thing.

  • Sevo||

    "Believe it or not I wasn't trying to convince you, but to show that i did not hold certain views which Suthenboy imputed to me."

    I don't give a shit, eddie; bullshit is bullshit, regardless of who you're trying to bullshit.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    If you accept morality is real then it's basis can only be metaphysical. Saying one think is morally better than another is a statement about what should be, which isn't possible from describing how things are.

  • ||

    Mere Christianity and a couple of others. I found them unconvincing on a fundamental level.

    Faith is the central tenant of religion for a reason.

  • ||

    None of us are as moral as we ought to be. The onus is on us to strive for that. No one is going to help you, it has to come from inside yourself.

  • ||

    Here is a fun one.

    An atheist and a devout religious guy are driving down the street. A woman flags them down and asks if they think the house across the street is on fire. They see smoke and call the fire department. Before the fire brigade arriver the woman notices that there is someone in the house, probably trapped. At this point there is a lot of smoke and heat.

    Which man is more likely to go in the house to get someone out; the atheist? the devout believer?

  • The Fusionist||

    You said the religious guy was "devout" but failed to say how devout an atheist the atheist was, so I can't answer. They might have the same odds of going into the house.

  • ||

    Well the atheist was me. I am a pretty solid atheist. I have no belief whatsoever in the supernatural, in spirits or life after death etc. To me what we have now is all there is.

  • The Fusionist||

    Excellent, you got people out of a burning house, that is good to know about you.

  • ||

    To make a long story short the religious guy had a bit of a crisis. He could not force himself to go in the house even though he knew he should have. He simply couldn't do it. He could not understand why I did especially since I am atheist. He agonized over that for as long as I knew him and tormented me endlessly about it.

    I finally gave him this explanation which I don't think helped him much; What is my life worth to me? I think about my family, my life, what I mean to so many people. What's that worth to me? To them?

    Then I thought what will my life be worth to me if I just stand here with my thumb up my ass and let that kid burn up.

    No contest.

  • The Fusionist||

    I don't know your friend, but I hope he worked on the "devout" part - as anyone should do after a crisis of that nature, anyway, good on you for saving the kid, I bet it was appreciated :)

  • The Fusionist||

    (I was taking "devout" to mean words and actions, which is why I don't think I could be described as devout)

  • ||

    We were out o fthe house before police or fire showed up. I handed the kid off to the neighbor who was acquainted with the family and then my co-worker and I got the fuck out of there. I was afraid of being arrested. I think going in a burning house here is illegal, plus I kicked in the door letting in air and accelerating the fire.

    Aside from the kid, my co-worker, and the neighbor lady I don't think anyone knows what happened.

    I don't need accolades. Let me put it this way; I sleep just fine at night. My devout co-worker, not so much for that poor guy.

  • Derpetologist||

    As for SB's story good for him. I've heard believers talk about the joys of heaven, but very few of them seem to be in a hurry to get there.

    When I was in Tanzania, a Norwegian lady came to visit an orphanage her church group was supporting. I came to the same orphanage once a week to teach English and to maintain a website for the place.

    Anyway, the Norwegian lady decided to go for a walk in the village. She got attacked by a bandit who roughed her up and stole her purse. The villagers caught the thief, beat the hell out of him, and were getting ready to pour gas on him and burn him up, which is the custom in that part of the world.

    The orphanage director and I heard about the incident and came running. We knew that if we didn't calm the crowd and call the police, the crowd would kill the thief. We calmed the crowd long enough for the police to come and take the thief. The orphanage director is a devout Christian. I'm not.

    Fun fact, Tanzania is one of the few places where criminals run *to* the police to avoid being killed by angry mobs.

  • ||

    Haiti is one of those places too. They typically use machetes there, not gasoline. You don't even have to be a thief. Cause an auto crash and if anyone is killed someone in the crowd that gathers will behead the person at fault.

  • ||

    "I've heard believers talk about the joys of heaven, but very few of them seem to be in a hurry to get there."

    I have to be fair to the guy. His mind was telling him to go but his body simply wouldn't cooperate. He was obviously struggling to go in but looked like he was chained to the ground. He wanted to do it and he tried but he just couldn't. It was a strange thing to see. He never would make eye contact with me after that. I guess thats what you call cowardice but when you are looking real death in the face it is difficult to condemn someone for that. Anyone who has ever been in a firefight has probably seen this kind of behavior as well.

  • Derpetologist||

    I've read a few books from Lee Strobel and CS Lewis, and I read Russell and Paine too. Lewis had some interesting arguments regarding morality, but it wasn't enough.

    Morality *is* a useful fiction- just like money, units of measure, and language. For any moral question, the best I can do is appeal to consensus and occasionally consistency.

    I'll post the Lewis video in a bit.

  • Derpetologist||

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmHXYhpEDfM

    This is it I think. There was the example of how a spy is despised even by the side he helps- which doesn't make sense if all people care about is cost-benefit analysis.

  • Derpetologist||

    This one is has the part about the spy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqsAzlFS91A

  • Sevo||

    "Morality *is* a useful fiction- just like money, units of measure, and language. For any moral question, the best I can do is appeal to consensus and occasionally consistency."

    Not sure how you see those as "fictions"; they all exist by general agreement of the only beings who can do so. By that measure, "steel" is a fiction.
    Morality is conduct which has benefited survival and as such it has evolved along with biological evolution.
    Various religions have coopted a current morality; some haven't changed (cloven-hooved meat, shell fish) adding to the claims of the prophet(s), others have (money-changing), adding to the adaptation to changing culture.
    BTW, I don't mind bleevers coopting the solstice celebrations one bit. I'm generous this time of year, and if they want to claim a birthday coincides with the solstice, it's fine by me.

  • Derpetologist||

    "Not sure how you see those as "fictions"; they all exist by general agreement of the only beings who can do so. By that measure, "steel" is a fiction."

    What I mean is, there is no reason to say that English is the One True Language when it is possible to communicate just as well in another, and ditto for different measurement systems and currencies.

    As you say, those things all based on general agreement, whereas things like germs and the earth going around the sun were true even when people didn't generally acknowledge that.

  • The Fusionist||

    I've noticed some people (like some of y'all above) who are what we may call "reverse hypocrites."

    They can display exemplary conduct, but their philosophical ideas don't always come up to that standard of conduct.

    You can run to rescue a guy about to be lynched, but when it comes to explaining why this is wrong, you talk about custom and consistency (though in Derpy's narrative it seems lynching, not lifesaving, was part of the local custom).

    You know what's right and are brave enough to do it, but as far as articulating why what you do is right, your arguments don't seem that compelling, or they may even lead in the end to the opposite of what you know is right.

    I certainly prefer that sort of reverse hypocrisy to the standard kind of hypocrisy - people (like myself too often) preaching up morality but not actually being a moral person.

    Now, if you take an entire society, and teach them that morality doesn't have an external source...don't make me quote George Washington's farewell address again.

  • Derpetologist||

    Whenever I try to justify or condemn an action, I always come back to appealing to the Golden Rule, which means I am appealing to consensus...at least the consensus of people I agree with.

    I can't prove murder is wrong the same way I can prove 2 + 2 = 4.

    The non-religious view can be a depressing one. There is no one in control, this life is all you get, some evil people escape punishment, etc.

    We're here for a while; we muddle by as best we can. Some times really cool stuff happens.

  • Sevo||

    Derpetologist|12.18.16 @ 11:52PM|#
    "Whenever I try to justify or condemn an action, I always come back to appealing to the Golden Rule, which means I am appealing to consensus...at least the consensus of people I agree with.
    "I can't prove murder is wrong the same way I can prove 2 + 2 = 4."

    You can logically extrapolate from evolution that murder is wrong; the alternative would mean current civilization would not exist.
    This is not a spiritual issue; this is a matter of successful cultures, much as market forces are.

  • Sevo||

    I've noticed ignoramuses like you have all sorts of lies, misdirections, hypotheticals and other logical horseshit which never quite gets around to dealing with the fact that you have no evidence for your bleefs.
    Fuck off, eddie; I think you've proven to eve those who tolerate you that you are incapable of honest engagement.
    You're a pathetic relic from the time of stupidity.

  • The Fusionist||

    I would have thought that "honest engagement" includes having some knowledge of the position you're arguing against.

    As I said, I've read Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins, Russell and Paine with great interest, invisible orbiting teacups and all.

    Did you know that there are Christian writers who are as learned as Hitchens, et. al., and sometimes even more coherent?

    But I suppose you're convinced, as a matter of faith, that you are right, and thus you know that any contrary viewpoints were planted by the tempter to mislead you.

  • Sevo||

    The Fusionist|12.19.16 @ 12:06AM|#
    "I would have thought that "honest engagement" includes having some knowledge of the position you're arguing against."

    I'm assuming this is aimed at me.
    Yes, you piece of shit, I've been bombarded with the crap you offer for 70 years. Make an honest argument or stuff it up your ass.

  • ||

    You didn't find my argument compelling?

  • The Fusionist||

    I found your discussion quite enlightening on many levels; I appreciate it.

    If I don't reply to every point it's because I'm talking to three people at once, and maybe I missed something.

  • Sevo||

    Above, eddie asked me if I had looked at claims supporting his fantasies, never bothering to offer a one which would support them. I replied that the request was equal to eddie's consistent dishonesty, and got this:

    The Fusionist|12.18.16 @ 11:55PM|#
    "I beg your pardon, I see you are already on top of all the arguments which could possibly be made against your position, and have examined them rigorously and found them wanting.
    Well, I guess it's time for me to turn the other cheek."

    Notice there is yet to be one suggestion of a source which supports his idiocy, and yet, he's 'turning the other cheek' in victimhood.
    Fuck you eddie with that fantasitic cross up your ass.

  • ||

    That was directed at Eddie.

    This argument: "What is my life worth to me? I think about my family, my life, what I mean to so many people. What's that worth to me? To them?

    Then I thought what will my life be worth to me if I just stand here with my thumb up my ass and let that kid burn up."

    How can any argument be more compelling than that? If I am presented with an opportunity to take someone else's money with absolute zero chance of being caught the devil is going to egg me on with "Go on, no one will know" and I will reply "Bullshit. I will know."

  • The Fusionist||

    It is a compelling argument.

  • The Fusionist||

    I should say a powerful one.

  • Derpetologist||

    I think it was Plato who told a story about a magic ring that made the wearer invisible (if this sounds familiar, guess where Tolkien got the idea). Anyway, Plato said that even a very moral person might fall to temptation to use the ring to steal or whatever. The only thing that would stop them would be their own sense of honor they get from doing the right thing.

    And as we see in SB's story, he did what he did because the thought of not doing it would be too much for him to bear.

    So it would be great if everyone had an internal sense of honor just as strong and perhaps even a system for promoting this sense would be good.

    If you want to argue that religion can have useful consequences, I agree. However, being useful and being true are not the same thing. It can useful to think of atoms as little balls and molecular bonds as sticks, but that's not what's really going on.

  • ||

    "If you want to argue that religion can have useful consequences, I agree. However, being useful and being true are not the same thing. It can useful to think of atoms as little balls and molecular bonds as sticks, but that's not what's really going on."

    This is why I hang around here. Nail heads and hammer faces often meet.

    Jebus, I am drunk as hell.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    That's not morality. If I say not killing or stealing is some useful evolutionary instinct I have merely described how things are. That's even a bit doubtful looking at history, but let's assume it's true. Buy you've assigned it the same weight as blue eyes or being left handed. Hell you might as well say it's equivalent to an aversion to homosexuality. If most people believe it, and it's an evolutionary description than homosexuality gets escalated to morally wrong? Of course not, no more than any other evolutionary trait describes what people should do.

  • Sevo||

    Lurk Diggler|12.19.16 @ 12:14AM|#
    "If I say not killing or stealing is some useful evolutionary instinct I have merely described how things are."

    Yeah, that's pretty much what's called "observation".

  • GILMORE™||

    BOOOOOOOORRRRRRIINNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG

  • Sevo||

    GILMORE™|12.19.16 @ 12:23AM|#
    "BOOOOOOOORRRRRRIINNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG"

    Got some fashion tips?

  • GILMORE™||

    fashion tips?

    cover yourself in burlap and carry a sign saying, "GOD IS DEAD". Its hot.

  • Sevo||

    To sum up:
    1) eddie is honest in his posts when he links something which isn't a lie.
    2) eddie is never honest when supporting his antediluvian fantasies.
    3) I really despise dishonest commenters, eddie.

  • The Fusionist||

    As I suspected, to Sevo I represent a bunch of people he's dealt with over 70 years. Representing these people is a heavy responsibility and I'm not sure I can do justice to them.

  • Derpetologist||

    In many places, rice and beans is a standard dish, because it's a very cheap way to get a complete protein. I think it works the same way with morality. Different societies converge on similar beliefs because they work.

    Gold is a near universal symbol of value because it has all the qualities for money: it is scarce, durable, divisible, portable, and recognizable.

    Things like loyalty, honesty, generosity, bravery, strength, intelligence- these are universal values because they improve any society which values them.

  • Sevo||

    Derpetologist|12.19.16 @ 12:26AM|#
    "Things like loyalty, honesty, generosity, bravery, strength, intelligence- these are universal values because they improve any society which values them."

    Yes, and I think it was Sowell who pointed out that cultures compete as do any things of value.
    Those are the virtues which make certain cultures ascendant anywhere and they are totally independent of any sky daddy.

  • ||

    ^Bingo.

  • ||

    The Bingo was to you Sevo.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    As much gold as she could eat, or a bag of dimes?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Son of Pantera, huh? Well could be worse. Could have been son of Snarf.

  • Sevo||

    Being a front-runner, if the 9ers are not entertaining to watch, I don't. They are notably NOT entertaining this year and if you watch football at all, it's obvious that the team is in disarray from ownership to janitorial staff. I'm not going out on much of a limb to predict they're not gonna stage a miraculous recovery any time soon.
    So how bad can they get? Here's one of the comments on the article:

    "Half way to the NFL record of 26 consecutive losses held by the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs. Way to go Jed!"

    Well, the boy-wonder owner has a ways to go, but now I have something to cheer for!

  • esteve7||

    I've been a 49er fan my whole life but this year has been the worst I can ever remember. Unlike most the other fanbase though, I'm not calling for Chip's head, since he can only work with the team he was given. Tell me what coach would do more than 3-13 with this roster, besides the one ownership chased to Michigan.

    Never been to a 49er game at Levi, only a Cal game, and I don't really ever care to.

  • totc||

    Mr. Suderman should post a correction. He states that the Hugo is science fiction's greatest honor. It was or used to be science fiction's greatest honor. Now it is a circular masturbatory celebration, that should you not subscribe to the -ism of the moment, singing it's hosannas, you will be labeled some flavor of an -ist.

  • ||

    Fine. Sigh. *I'll* be #600.

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