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Topics - Cain

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1
Note: since my laptop is slowly, but surely, dying, it is not having a good time recording gameplay.  When I do end up getting a new computer, if I get the one I want (I'm waiting a month to see if there will be any sales offers, due to students returning to University), I might start doing it again, as it will be significantly more capable. 

In the meantime, I'll be using this journal both to entertain, and to aid myself in roleplaying my character in Skyrim: Requiem, now I have a mostly stable load order which is not overburdening my increasingly incapable computer.  Requiem is intended to be a roleplaying overhaul, but since roleplaying in vanilla Skyrim is completely worthless and unrewarding, I tended to end up powergaming, which is not ideal.



2
New open bar thread.

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Aneristic Illusions / Boris Johnson
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:46:22 pm »
Calling it now.  Boris has announced a return to Parliament this week.  Cameron's embattered, will take Boris to offset bad press with regards to Warsi and the Lib Dems re: Gaza.

Should the Tories get back in, Boris will end up with a suitable cabinet seat.  I'm thinking former Mayor of London has a nice Home Office ring to it.  But, should Cameron falter, and the knives come out, the Tory backbenchers will install Boris without hesitation.  And this will happen, eventually.  Maybe if Cameron loses the election.

But Boris has been planning this for forever.  He's got the public support, and the backbencher support.  Everyone thinks he's a clown, and he is a clown, but one with very sound political judgement.  He will be PM, one day.

4
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Oh LOL
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:00:59 am »
4chan has gone to war with Tumblr.

Tumblr has tried to respond...with hilarious consequences.

Shots fired.  4chan spams feminist tags to celebrate independence day.



The counter-offensive begins.  Tumblr petitions Whitehouse.org to shut down 4chan, currently at 1,450

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There's a faction inside the 4chan community that is in favour of pornography (child, gore, non consensual), abuse, bullying, and other crimes against human and animal rights. If there are not enough reasons to put these people in jail, at least we could prevent them from spreading hate and cyber-bullying. I say that site should be shut down.

The counter-counter offensive.  4chan petitions the White House as well.

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The people of tumblr should be labelled as mentally handicapped landwhales.

To protect the children of the internet. To learn more on protecting children visit 4chan.org

Currently at 9000 signatures.

5
Well, this is unusually candid.  Not to mention stupid as fuck.

Backgrounder: Sikorski is the Polish Foreign Minister, known for being rabidly pro-American in a kind of "Central European Neocon" kinda way.  He's married to the noted conservative commentator and dingbat Anne Applebaum.  He's a noted proponent of NATO and his name has been mentioned as a potential future Secretary-General.

So this conversation is really quite striking.

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Sikorski: You know that the Polish-American alliance is worth nothing. It is therefore harmful, because it gives Poland a false sense of security.

Rostowski: Why?

Sikorski: Complete bullshit. We will get into conflicts with the Germans, with Russia, and we will think that everything is great because we have given the Americans a blowjob. Losers, complete losers.

Quote
According to the transcript, Sikorski described Warsaw's attitude towards the United States using the Polish word "murzynskosc."

That derives from the word "murzyn," which denotes a dark-skinned person and someone who does the work for somebody else, according to the PWN Polish language dictionary.

6
Principia Discussion / Fnording political debates
« on: June 07, 2014, 03:34:45 pm »
Fnord:

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Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream Of A Silicon Reich
strange and ultimately doomed stunt flamboyant act of corporate kiss-assery latest political fashion California Confederacy total corporate despotism potent bitter Steve Jobs Ayn Rand Ray Kurzweil prominent divisive fixture hard-right seditionist aggressively dogmatic blogger reverent following in certain tech circles prolific incomprehensible vanguard youngish white males embittered by “political correctness” Blade Runner, but without all those Asian people cluttering up the streets like to see themselves as the heroes of another sci-fi movie “redpilled” The Matrix “genius” a troll who belches from the depths of an Internet rabbit hole frustrated poet cranky letters to alternative weekly newspapers preoccupations with domineering strongmen angry pseudonym J.R.R. Tolkien George Lucas typical keyboard kook archaic, grandiose snippets cherry-picked from obscure old lack of higher ed creds overconfident autodidact’s imitation fascist teenage Dungeon Master most toxic arguments snugly wrapped in purple prose and coded language oppressive nexus teeth-gnashing white supremacists who haunt the web “men’s rights” advocates nuts disillusioned typical smarmy, meandering

Confused?

This may explain:

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Last week, some Internet magazine published the latest attempt at the genre of Did You Know Neoreaction Exists You Should Be Outraged. A couple of reactionaries wrote the usual boring “actually, nothing you said was true, why would you say false things?” responses. Nydwracu, a frequent commenter on this blog, did something I thought was much more interesting. He wrote a post called Fnords where he removed all of the filler words and transitions between ideas and thin veneer of argument until he stripped the essay down to the bare essentials.

Which is probably the single best conceptual deployment of fnords I've actually seen.

(I realise Junkenstein made reference to this elsewhere.  However, I felt putting it in its own thread and this forum would get it more attention)

7
Aneristic Illusions / UK's first secret trial gets underway
« on: June 05, 2014, 07:49:23 am »
It's bad enough we're flushing 800 years of legal tradition - which has survived the Spanish Habsburgs, the Valois, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler and Stalin - away because OMG TEH TERRERISM.

But no, we had to go one step further.  Had it not been for an extraordinary effort by the press, even reporting on this trial would've been considered a breach of "national security" - the reason given for the secret trial in the first place.

All we know is that two male defendants, AB and CD, are on trial for terrorism offences, and these offences relate to national security.  I have no doubt whatever they are charged with and the particulars of the offences is of great importance - why else go to such extraordinary effort?  But the groupthink of the intelligence services and political class is disturbing, and prone to error.  And even if it were, closed court sessions are not unheard of in the UK.

I would really like to know what is going on.

8
So.

After probably a month of not uploading videos to Youtube and getting desperately behind on my playthroughs, I finally submitted and went to my local nerd store* and talked to the nerdling-in-chief about my problems.

While a laptop upgrade is out of the question, for laptop design reasons, they are, however, selling their in-store computers which they use for their "LAN parties" and "48 hour Battlefield 4 marathon sessions" at a suitable discount price.  Top-end market graphics card included.

Obviously, this doesn't solve my internet issue, and will require some setting up and getting used to (not least re-downloading all my games from Steam and Origin).  However, it should be able to run any currently released game at 60 FPS on high graphics settings, and will probably turn things like Dragon Age: Origins and Skyrim into virtual works of art.

So, some good news, at last.


*it really is a nerd store.  Combined computer gaming and tabletop RPG and tabletop gaming needs, all under one roof.  They have a homebrew Warhammer/Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting, for Christ's sake.  Also, neckbeards everywhere.

9
To stop us from spagging up the Open Bar or each other's inboxes.

So, I've successfully experimented with WTF - Random Encounter Zones.  Very successfully, actually.  I haven't met anything insanely overpowered yet, but...well, yeah I suppose I have, actually.  At the end of Bleak Falls Barrow there was a draugr scourge who could and did one-shot my character with melee and shouts.  That was a bit rough on a level 8 Imperial nightblade.  Since then, I've been taking on enemies about 10 levels above my own on a fairly frequent basis, culminating in an epic battle with a Draugr Scourge Lord at level 13 in Shroud Hearth Burrow.  All on Master difficulty I should add...it might've been a bit less rough on something lower, but expert is for scrubs.

Yes, so that definitely works, as do the improved Shouts.

10
It's just like the Arab Spring, only for the bit where Obama's not a dictator and none of this is new.

11
Aneristic Illusions / The Rule of Law - Florida edition
« on: May 09, 2014, 11:59:37 am »
Just another day in America's Banana Republic:

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On December 10, more than two dozen police officers from across Miami Dade County converged on a blue Volvo that had crashed in the backyard of a townhouse on 65th Street just off 27th Avenue.

As the car was wedged helplessly between a light pole and a tree, nearly a minute passed before officers opened up – firing approximately 50 bullets at the car and the two unarmed men inside the vehicle.

The two men inside the car survived that initial volley of gunfire, according to witnesses, who said they could see the men moving inside the Volvo. Everything went quiet for nearly two minutes before the officers opened up a second time – unleashing an unrelenting torrent of bullets that lasted almost 25 seconds. By the time it was over, the two men inside the car were dead.

CBS4 News has learned a total of 23 officers fired a total of at least 377 rounds.

Bullets were sprayed everywhere. They hit the Volvo, other cars in the lot, fence posts and neighboring businesses. They blasted holes in a townhouse where a 12-year-old dove to the ground for cover and a four month old slept in his crib.

“It was like the Wild Wild West, man, crazy,” said Anthony Vandiver, who barely made it through the back door of his home before the gunfire erupted. “Shooting just wild; shooting all over the place. Bullets could have come through the window. Anything could have happened man. They weren’t thinking, they weren’t thinking at all.”

Earlier that night, the driver of the Volvo, Adrian Montesano, robbed a Walgreens at gunpoint, and then later shot Miami Dade Police Officer Saul Rodriguez in a nearby trailer park.

Montesano escaped in the officer’s patrol car eventually dumping it at his grandmother’s house in Hialeah – before fleeing in her blue Volvo
By 5 am every cop in South Florida was looking for that blue Volvo – intent on catching the man who had shot one of their own.

But what police didn’t realize before they started shooting at the Volvo is there was a second man in the car – Corsini Valdes – who had committed no crime.

And in fact, as CBS4 News was the first to report, both men inside the Volvo were unarmed at the time police caught up with them. All of the gunfire came from police.

Montesano and Valdes were killed by the dozens of rounds that tore through their bodies.

But Montesano and Valdes weren’t the only ones struck – two Miami Dade police officers were hit as well – caught in the crossfire. One officer was shot in the arm and the second was hit in the arm and grazed in the head. If the bullet had struck just a half an inch to the side the officer would have been killed.

The sound of the gunfire was deafening – literally deafening. Two Miami police officers sustained ruptured ear drums from the cacophony of shots.

I don't often credit major American media outlets, but CBS did good here.

12
Aneristic Illusions / Boko Haram - a wider context
« on: May 09, 2014, 11:31:44 am »
Here'a a collection of posts and information I put up on Facebook, in a more reader friendly format.

So, has anyone got more info on Boko Haram's financial backers? I heard a VERY interesting rumour concerning Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, the former President of Mauritania and current resident (military instructor, in fact) of soft-power and Islamist arming enthusiast, Qatar.

Interesting not least because Taya was considered a stalwart American ally (as is Qatar) and Boko Haram have allegedly forged links with AQIM - a group which probably at least partially infiltrated and run by Algerian military intelligence to bilk counter-terrorism funds from the US.

And in commenting on this article:

Adamawa as a territory does historically extend into Cameroon and Chad, with modern Nigeria being a colonial construct (much to the chagrin of Nigerian nationalists). And of course, Nigeria has an infamously corrupt and wealthy political elite (I taught more than a few of their children), which provides even more reasons for armed rebellion.

However, President Goodluck has been pretty against using military solutions to deal with Boko Haram, which is probably just as well given the state and discipline of the Nigerian military. So I think even if we give Nyako the benefit of the doubt for his thesis, then we shouldn't be looking at the federal government...or at least the parts of it Goodluck controls.

============

So, what does it all mean?  Who knows, really.  I mean, it's just speculation at this point, I've seen nothing which points at hard evidence.

That said...

The alliance between AQIM and Boko Haram is potentially disturbing.  As I'm sure we all recall, AQIM joined with the Tuareg rebels in pillaging their way across Mali before international forces, led by the French military, coordinated a counter-attack.  AQIM allegedly also got support from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in addition to their links to Algerian military intelligence.  Whether that relationship extended to US intelligence is...a question no-one has any clear answers on.

But consider.  Qatar.  Saudi Arabia.  Algeria.  An oil-rich Nigeria.  An Islamist inspired rebellion in a region where one would expect a more...ethnic uprising to occur.  The kidnappers of the girls also wore military uniforms, that much is certainly uncontested, only whether they were terrorists posing as military personnel or actually military.  A President reluctant to use military power (and rightly so, given the ill-discipline of the Nigerian military - they'd probably be at greater risk of rape in military custody), having his hand forced by an international crisis. 

And there is the issue of slavery.  Although I mocked Nick Cohen, and rightly so, for his terrible article on this topic, he may have had a kernel of a point when it came to the distinction between kidnapping and slavery.

Slavery is a widespread practice in....Mauritania.  It's also the basis of the political economy of the Tuareg regions of Africa.

All I'm saying is that there is a ugly picture emerging here.

Edit: And it is worth noting that Boko Haram was not considered a designated terrorist group by the US government until very recently.  Could be mere oversight.  Could be.  But it also means materially supporting Boko Haram would not have been a crime under US law.

13
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / HE IS RISEN!
« on: April 21, 2014, 06:53:41 am »
Cthulhu, I mean



Blatant "Nessie" disinfo ahead, but we all know the real deal.

14
Hey guys, guess what?

Al Sharpton was an FBI informant

Looks like Sharpton is trying to alter the record of what he actually did and paint himself in a more flattering light, which may explain why this story has come out yet again.  "Al Sharpton battles the mob" is far nicer than "Al Sharpton got caught laundering coke money, flipped for the FBI and snitched on Muhammed Ali, among others.

15
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-26882630

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Experts are trying to establish why a large expanse of foam has appeared on the River Clyde in Glasgow.  The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it had received a number of calls.

No wonder they called in experts.  Not only soap, but a "large expanse" of it.  The mind truly boggles.

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