RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive92

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Name That Tune[edit]

Anyone know the name of that classical piece people use when they want things to look fancy?--Thanatos (talk) 02:07, 8 February 2011 (UTC) PC still not fixed

The first allegro of Vivaldi's "Spring" comes to mind. - π 02:08, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart. Scarlet A.pngbomination 02:14, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm with stupid ^ on that one. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually fancy or upper-class twit fancy? If it's the latter, it's usually Boccherini's Minuet. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:16, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Satie is used a lot, especially the start of the 1st Gymnopedie.[1] Doctor Dark (talk) 02:21, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The end of Gotterdammerung. Up To Eleven. Blue (is useful) 02:21, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Just kidding. In all seriousness, you can't go wrong with Vivaldi for the "fancy" feel. Handel works well if you want to put people to sleep while you're at it. Blue (is useful) 02:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
If it's just one cello, it'll be the Prelude to the G Major Suite by J.S. Bach. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:28, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it's this? 03:01, 8 February 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
Ah, John Cage. It takes a true virtuoso to play that piece. Blue (is useful) 03:30, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Wrong, it takes 112 virtuosi! All those rests make me sleepy... ħumanUser talk:Human 06:54, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Minuet was what I was thinking of. Just never knew which piece that was.--Thanatos (talk) 03:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Gratuitous humor section[edit]

In an orchestra that I was in, we tried to play The Messiah, but we just couldn't get a handel on it. Blue (is useful) 02:30, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I went Chopin, but didn't know what to get because I forgot my mu Liszt. GUFFAW!! Scarlet A.pngbomination 02:35, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Step one: Cut a hole in the oven.
  • Step two: Put your Beeth in the oven.
  • Step three: Have her open the oven.

I don't think you can get a joke any more forced than that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:40, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I'll be Bach Тиранесreconstruct lumber, bust Xbox 360? 02:42, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it. P-Foster (talk) 03:28, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Can I borrow a tenor from someone? Ace McAwesome 03:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
No. I'm sure you have some bass purpose in mind. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:48, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

My pièce de résistance...
Julius Caesar thought Brutus should practice on the piano, so he told him, "Etude, Brute." Blue (is useful) 03:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Sorry Blue, I tuned out there for a second. Ace McAwesome 03:46, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
That was good, but I think I can trumpet. Blue (is useful) 04:02, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
A friend of mine lost a leg in an accident, and ever since he's become a real classical music fan, hoping to make allegro. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 04:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Dubussy stopping here. Alain (talk) 04:39, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I borrowed some money from my friend Jan, but when it came time to pay him back I had no cash, so I had to give Janáček. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 04:41, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh please, Replicant, I'm trying to Ravel this thread up... Alain (talk) 04:44, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
It was the bottom of the Ninth, the score was tied, and the basses were loaded... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:54, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Alain, I imagine it'll be over in a minuet. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 05:04, 8 February 2011 (UTC) Can't believe nobody had done that one
Wotsa fermata you? Let the fat lady finish singing! Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 05:09, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
It really flute by fast. Hornestly, this is a minor thread, bassoon it'll be fin-ished. Blue (pester) 05:15, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Hey... one word to da capo, and it's gonna be deja vu all over again, capisce? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 05:23, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I always practice safe sax. Blue (is useful) 05:28, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
That's about enough lip from you, sweetheart. You know there's a baby sleeping upstairs? Here, let me hum a few bars, and you can fake it... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 05:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
But officer, it is only a small canon! Тиранесexemplify cow, discalceate escape pod? 12:54, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm often to kitchen for some cello.
Violins solve nothing.
Viola! Тиранесfumble queer, duel microwave? 12:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I get your joke but it does annoy me the way many people actually think viola! is the correct spelling of the French exclamation. Stupid internet.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:08, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
For the love of all harmony, don't get me started with the viola jokes. Violists are teh blondes of the orchestra. Why, I twisted one of their pegs once, and she got all mad at me because I wouldn't tell her which one. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:48, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
For the record, I was a viola player! Ah those were they days. The uptight first violins, the motley seconds, the mentally unstable thirds, the two violas, the slutty cellos, and the drug addict bassist. The memories... Тиранесsteal anvil, cuddle neurotoxin? 13:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Stringing this along a little further, my favorite axe to tuck under my jaw is a 16 1/2" bratsche, what the rubes might call a viola. I prefer to think of cellists as "gregarious." They don't need to prove anything, just gotta scratch away at that fine thing between their legs. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:20, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I was referring to the fact that our principal cellist slept with the entire percussion section in the band, and the assistant all the male violins, but there you go. Тиранесenvision mammary gland, model adjective? 14:22, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Attaboy! Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:26, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
...Which reminds me of my favorite soprano joke:
  • What's the difference between a Corvette and a soprano?
  • Not every man has ridden a Corvette. Junggai (talk) 14:35, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
"Nice trill". ".. came into a bar. Sorry, we don't serves minors ... the B flat and F sharp came back in and had an open fifth between them" ħumanUser talk:Human 06:59, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
How many sopranos does it take to change a lightbulb? 1 to change the lightbulb and 5 more to say "isn't that a little high for you, dear?" Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:51, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Not sure[edit]

I'm not sure exactly what this is, but one thing it is is one of the bestest pages on the interwebternet. DogP (talk) 22:19, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Why did that make me think of Ed Poor? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:29, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Is that the set of the next David Lynch film? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I think I found the perfect response -The OMG Cat. DogP (talk) 00:31, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm on DeviantART, there's nothing that could freak me ou....OH MY GOD!!!!! Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:50, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Meh. Seen worse.Тиранесablate beach ball, liberate bathtub? 12:59, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Wut? --Meh. (talk) 20:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Scientology v FBI[edit]

The FBI Is Investigating Scientology for Human Trafficking, and has been for a year. Not before time. 20:24, 8 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

The recent New Yorker article on them was very interesting.--ADtalkModerator 04:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
AD, that article was fascinating and horrifying. I can honestly say that I am much more repulsed by Scientology than I was 45 minutes ago. Tetronian you're clueless 21:46, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Don't know if it's true or not, but there's a comment in that first article by an ex-scientologist who, while protesting outside one of their buildings, had a 15 year old girl sidled up to him and the boss whispered to him "Is that what you want, that can be arranged, is that what it will take (for me to go away)". Sick. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Alarming corporate tax cuts[edit]

It's been grossly under-reported, but David Cameron's government is planning a few tweaks to corporate tax law which will cut UK-based banks & corporations a massive tax break. Essentially they'll be exempted from paying any tax on revenue raised overseas, regardless of how little the money was taxed in the 'source' country, & this would include monies laundered through a tax haven. While these corporations won't pay tax for overseas revenue, they'll still be able to claim their overseas expenses back against the tax they pay in the UK. & (Unsurprisingly) these reforms are being wafted in under the advice & guidance of committees composed almost entirely of executives from major banks & corporations.

For full details see George Monbiot's Guardian blog, which is pretty much the only coverage as yet, though I'm hoping that the papers (& the public) will pick up on the story properly since these reforms could put a hugely disproportionate tax burden on those not wealthy & unscrupulous enough to play the system. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:59, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Similar things happening on this side. The newly-elected Republican governor of our state is making big cuts to education while pushing for lower corporate tax rates. When my students complain about tuition going up so much next year I don't hesitate to tell them bluntly that their tuition is increasing to pay for corporate tax cuts. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:09, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Was so livid when I read that blog, I hate him. DalekEXTERMINATE 21:11, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Wait, corporations pay taxes in the UK? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

This story is being buried while the spotlight is on Project Merlin & the bank levy (the government acting tough on banks while actually pandering to them). Fortunately there are protests planned. I saw these guys demoing in Nottingham a week or two back. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:41, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I need a change[edit]

I've been at my job going on 11 years now, working in the laboratory of a scrap metal recycling facility (read: a junkyard). Things are really getting to me lately (the co-workers and the pay particularly), and I am just about ready to get the hell out of there. I am thinking of returning to school to pursue some kind of degree in the medical field. Qualifiers: I have a BS in chemistry, minor in biology, and needles make me squeamish. Further, I am not looking to go full doctorate. Any good suggestions for something I am geared toward? Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 22:04, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm biased, but Pharmacology is awesome! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:27, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
You have a bullshit in chemistry? --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 23:37, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Getting into economy or law could be refreshing. -- (talk) 00:22, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Pharmacology sounds like my cup of tea, I shall have to research it some. Economy or law is definitely not for me, and the way I have wasted my degree, I would consider it a Bullshit in Chemistry. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 03:30, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
There's definitely money to be made in drugs. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
The problem is getting a good job out of it in the end. Just doing a BSc in Pharmacology isn't good enough. You'd have to be willing to do at least a research masters afterwards to get a decent job in a pharmaceutical company. But I still maintain that it's a really interesting field of study. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:49, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
You should study mad science. Practice saying things like, "those fools at the university said it couldn't be done, but I've done it! I've done it! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" MDB (talk) 12:58, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Many, many...many people have found pharmacology to be an awesome field of research. And they never even studied the shit.--Brendiggg (talk) 15:19, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Pharmacology is so interesting that I made it through the sixties without finding any useful recreational drugs, but still enjoyed it. Let me ask this: where are you located? Certainly in the US, one of the promising areas is outcomes and efficacy research. With the new healthcare funding, medical informatics in general, and perhaps ambulatory and home chemical monitoring. I can't speak as well to the UK, but they also seem to be doing a lot in efficacy. I suspect you might be grossed out by emergency and trauma medicine, but there have been huge recent developments as a result of the CRASH II multicenter study -- a relatively simple and cheap chemical can cut mortality by 15%. Weapons of mass destruction detection and consequence management, sadly, is another growth area. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:05, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I am in the US (Pittsburgh to be closer) and it appears that the University of Pittsburgh has a decent pharmacology school. I feel like my biggest problem is attempting to work and study at the same time, but I plan to look in to coursework and scheduling over the weekend. There are other fields I have looked at (radiology, or any sort of medical lab work) as well, and I am not trying to make a snap decision as to which path I shall take, but I really have to get out of the situation I am in. There are 2 employees in the lab here, so the only path to advancement is for my supervisor to retire. He is early 50's, so I've a decade and a half to wait. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 19:52, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
We got to play around with morphine and cocaine in the labs as well :) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:03, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Valentines for Maths addicts[edit]

Graph it, or cheat by looking here.

00:28, 9 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Indeed it does. :D Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:48, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
That's pretty cool. Am I sad for thinking that? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:50, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
When one desires a certain shape, how does one go about creating the equation for it? Is it trial and error, computer programs, or is there a methodical way? (talk) 12:47, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Person A spends a lifetime at a university and uploads anything pretty he sees onto the faculty's servers. Person B invents search engines. Person C employs google to upload the pretty images to an actually popular site. -- (talk) 12:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Warning: Math geekery follows: I'm speculating here, but my guess is that the graph was created using polar coordinates and then converted to the more commonly used Cartesian system.
To summarize the difference, if I gave you directions using a Cartesian style, I'd say "go 1 mile north, then 1 mile east". If I used a polar style, I'd say "go about 1.4 miles northeast".
I've never seen one that looks like quite that, but graphs using polar coordinates can produce some rather pretty spirally and curvy designs. MDB (talk) 15:33, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I think it's entirely Cartesian as what it does it fairly straightforward, just just have to remember that there are two roots to each square number and see how it works from there. It doesn't look like a particularly polar thing - although the program that I used to check it out does do polar co-ords, you get some really sweet patterns by using sin waves to create circular harmonics, I geeked out and tried making some atomic orbitals with it. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:41, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Math pedantry, but third roots (and all odd roots) have a single value. Even roots have two values. ThunderkatzHo! 23:31, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Ooops. I'm going to pretend I didn't drop the ball on that one. Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:57, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
If you use cartesian coordinates instead of polar, what colour is the bear? Totnesmartin (talk) 16:09, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Everyone attack the non-math nerd. Тиранесshove peach, assassinate plague? 16:10, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, there is an article about it, but it's a stub and doesn't say anything about colour. Someone should fix it. --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 19:04, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
In the interest of politically correct equal representation, there needs to be a word or two about valentines for meths drinkers. Math nerds have it easy by comparison. I will say nothing about cardioids, no, not a word. Furthermore, heart-shaped cupcakes are clean out of the realm of discussion. So say we all. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:47, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Those cupcakes are awesome. Тиранесcondense goat-botherer, bomb book? 23:39, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
The Poo-Flinging Monkey Cake (from the same blog) is way better. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:53, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Something completely different[edit]

This guy (the photographer) is magic. He's got a terrific talent for candid photos. Just sharing. 15:03, 9 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Cool. There's a guy I know who's also pretty good with candid shots. His posed shots are mostly "meh" but just snapping away, particularly of bands as they're playing is just awesome. Undoubtedly the result of snapping a thousand shots for that one good one, but you still need a good instinct to even get that much. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:35, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Mmm... Meh. (talk) 19:01, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I took many similar shots when I used my old Olympus OM2, the secret is a fast, fixed focal-length, medium telephoto. This is where expensive kit makes a difference. Looking at the photographer's profile I notice that he uses a Canon 450D (which has an APS-C sensor so not quite full-format) and he lists a Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM amongst his lenses - which he describes as "awesome". In the UK that lens will set you back at least £650 (usually a lot more). An equivalent Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D would be close to £1000. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 11:42, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Fixed focal length usually pisses me off. Most of the picture is out of focus, you're an artist, we get it. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Then piss off, I thought you were LANCB.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:36, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not an artist, just a technician. Although some photography can be "art". Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 19:45, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Who was rapturing about Fallout: New Vegas a while back?[edit]

Since my laptop is essentially kaput, I ordered myself a shiny new one with all the bells and whistles. This means I could play fallout 3 clones in something other than low detail now. Did Fallout New Vegas actually end up being semi-decent, or am I just going to be disappointed again? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:36, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I liked it. You get to kill cowboys! And load your own ammo! And make your own food!Тиранесjerk vortex, google Subaru? 23:38, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I rather enjoy it as well. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 00:35, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I liked it, but it was a bit of a let-down. My first reaction is here, and although I've played it a lot more since, and it's grown on me quite a bit, I still prefer Fallout 3 - mainly for the feeling of immersion it gave you. I can't seem to care about the player character in NV, which doesn't help in an action/RPG game. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:46, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I found it a bit more faithful to the original Fallouts, more story/talking driven, less walking through sewers killing indistinguishable monsters. I can see what SR is saying, I think that is because the player character is a blank slate with no real history, again like the original Fallouts. He/she seems looks like they will be given more of a back story in upcoming add-ons. - π 10:52, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and even after the patches it still crashes far too often. Quick Save is your friend. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:55, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
And the load times are painfully slow and the world is annoyingly cut up into very small chunks meaning lots of loading, but I still played it for 8 hours at a stretch. - π 10:58, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Is ...[edit]

...this one of us? 17:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Looking at his profile - he's from North Carolina and is apparently a preacher and a teacher, he also describes himself as a theistic evolutionist. I doubt he's one of us, just an ordinary Christian, shocked at CP's low level of intelligence.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:00, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a guy I'd like to meet. MDB (talk) 18:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
BTW. this is probably a better link to his anti-CP writings.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:06, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Add to RW:bogroll, or whatever it is called? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:07, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Bryan Fishbait[edit]

I popped this into WIGOTalk:CP, but it also deserves a mention here. The bigot (dictionary definition of “bigot”: “A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.” “Bigot” is not name calling, it is truth-telling - if you read Fishbait's rantings, you'll get that joke) Bryan Fishbait published this on AFA two days ago. As for the cache link - even AFA managed to realise, after it got hammered into them by every conservative commentator out there, that Fishbait had crossed a line and burnt the posting.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


So, here we go. We're just waiting for Mubarak to appear on TV and then after that I think we'll see one kind of conclusion or another in Egypt. Here's crossing my fingers, hoping it works out well for the protesters.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:44, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

And he's *drum roll*: clinging on to power. Stupid, selfish, stupid, goat-buggering bastard. This could be bad.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, he's claiming to have amended the constitution, but how long will that last?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:55, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Can't believe he's telling a crowd of, what, hundreds of thousands of people, that he's not giving them what they want. I foresee a horrible riot. P-Foster (talk) 20:58, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I can't understand what they're chanting, but the crowd in Tahrir Square doesn't seem to be buying this.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:59, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
By the gestures, it looks like they're chanting for him to leave.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:00, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep, the crowd looks to be one step away from turning ugly. And having just seen the pan shot, that's a lot of people now looking for Mubarak's head.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Translation just in: The crowd is chanting 'Get out, get out.' --Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:06, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Apparently the crowd seems to be starting to march on the Presidential Palace.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
From The Granuiad:
There was little that was new in Mubarak's speech, and he granted some powers to Omar Suleiman, but little else and far less than many were expected. None of this meshes with the statements issued by the military leadership today: that hints at a palace civil war going on behind the scenes.

--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:20, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

And he's gone. Goodbye, So Long, Fuck Off!. Sounds like the army is kind of taking over.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:15, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Fuck me, you were quick. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 16:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Pure luck, nuked a coffee, sat down at the keyboard, dialled in 503 on the remote and the news popped up at that exact moment. Brilliant.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:58, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm watching the live footage of the celebrations from Egypt. Wow. That's really all I can think of. MDB (talk) 17:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
The BBC reported this morning that their Persian service was being jammed so that reports of what is happening in Egypt are being blocked. The ayatollahs & sheikhs must be really worried where this will end. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 17:21, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks like the military will probably become some kind of transitional gov't. Don't know how that will work out, but quite often not so well. On the US front, Tom Tomorrow predicts wingnuts heads asplode. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Votes for Prisoners[edit]

An issue currently causing a lot of trouble in the Parliament of the United Kingdom is whether prisoners should be a part of the franchise, allowing them to vote. The issue of prisoners' votes has been lost, to a degree, about what decisions should be made by Parliament, and when the European Court of Human Rights should be allowed to overrule them. A few anti-EU newspapers and members of Parliament have been shouting about 'Europe' and trying to link this to the EU, a separate body entirely, but I'd like to get some opinions about the original issue. Lets forget, for a moment, our opinions on supra-national bodies, parliamentary sovereignty and the like, and ask: Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

I'm honestly not sure, though would likely tend towards answering that they should be allowed to vote... but I'd like to see what you guys think a bit, and then I'll try to articulate how I feel too. DalekEXTERMINATE 02:32, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

As always, my standing to comment on the British situation is limited, but I have no particular objection to the policy of felons being barred from voting unless "restored to civil rights," and misdemeanor convicts still being allowed to vote (whether jailed or no). Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:38, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Yes, the right to vote is exactly that, a right and a human right. Once you start with the justification that you have the right to remove somebody else's rights, based solely on what you feel and not the facts (and I have yet to see anyone raise an objective fact about how letting prisoners have the vote can lead to problems), then where do you stop?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 02:41, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
This is how I feel, really. We're just clinging onto the status quo. I doubt as many would argue the reverse - that we should take the vote away from prisoners. All of the, "You broke the social contract, you lose rights." is nonsense too, people still have the right to life, to food, to suitable living, to dignity. Just because they lose their liberty, why should they neccicarily be disenfranchised too? You're right, too, that it's a slippery slope towards authoritarianism. A constitution saying that the franchise is universal to all those over 18 (or 16) would be far greater than a supreme Parliament that can disenfranchise anybody it pleases. DalekEXTERMINATE 02:45, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Here in the U.S., there is the problem that registered voters might be drummed up to serve on juries.
All of the, "You broke the social contract, you lose rights." is nonsense too... What do you call being clapped up in prison? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:48, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
What I mean is that it's just a defence of the status quo. I doubt many people would argue that the natural punishment for a crime is, "9 years in prison, and 9 years not being allowed to vote." But that's the status quo, and so people defend it this way. Just like what they'd say about a different ECHR ruling on prisoners. I think that "you break the social contract, you go to prison." is the truth of the matter, and the rest (voting, other rights) is up for debate. Nobody would claim that prisoners have lost all rights, and could be raped etc. DalekEXTERMINATE 02:51, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
"You broke the social contract, you lose rights." is nonsense too, people still have the right to life, to food, to suitable living, to dignity. There are certain rights that are stripped when the social contract is broken, and certain rights that are retained. That's just how the system works. Blue (is useful) 03:09, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Also, in the US, we have Richardson v. Ramirez. Vermont and Maine allow prisoners to vote, but in Virginia and Kentucky those convicted of a felony are disenfranchised for life. Blue (pester) 03:12, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I thought those states had systems in place now for restoring ex-felons to civil rights in an orderly manner. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:14, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Great issue, US-wise. Many states not only bar felons in jail from voting, but bar convicted felons for life. To me, the latter is insane and ugly and anti-democratic, and the former is just mean-spirited. By the way, the whole thing is racist politics. Since a hugely disproportionate number of young African-American males pass through the local "justice" system, they are then disproportionately deprived of the franchise to which some would say "all human adults are entitled to" - a say in their government. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Only two states still do that, as Blue noted, and they now have processes for restoring ex-felons to civil rights. Also, any felony disenfranchisements used as a smokescreen for racial disenfranchisements have been ruled unconstitutional. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
The prison population is so proportionally small that no politician is going to pander to them (and would get trashed in the press if they did) so I consider the prisoner vote to not be a threat - it doesn't bother me if they get it. Other prisoner rights matter more to me - for example, I'd rather a prisoner have the vote than, say, access to television (and I strongly suspect that prisoners would prefer any immediate comfort to having the vote). ONE / TALK 16:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
According to Tim Harford, voting is not a rational thing to do. (That's "rational" in economic speak not as we might understand it.) Except in the case of an extremely close ballot the influence of any one person is negligible, it's only with the laws of large numbers that something significant can happen. So the right of any one person to vote does not rate very highly on the scale of things, the right of a large percentage of the population to vote is another thing entirely. If I was a prisoner then I think that there are lots of other things that I'd be concerned about before the right to vote. After all I would have already lost my right to liberty and freedom of movement, so giving prisoners the vote is meh in my book. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 16:26, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Unless you want to do some table banging rhetoric about prisoners having "lost" all their civil rights when they broke the law, there isn't really a logical reason to bar them from voting. I'm sure the media would love to paint a picture of every prisoner being a brutal rapist or murderer in jail for life, but that's just not the case. The vast majority aren't in there anywhere near permanently and the difference between someone being allowed a vote and not being allowed it could boil down to dilly-dallying by the incumbent government about when to hold an election (as we had with Brown). So, how arbitrary do you want to make the distinction between a prisoner who is and who isn't allowed to vote? Scarlet A.pngbomination 16:48, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was thinking about this last night and came to a compromise: prisoners should be allowed the right to vote in an election for any body whose term extends beyond the prisoner's sentence. In other words, in a general election (which elects a parliament with a 5 year term), a prisoner would be allowed to vote if he or she has less than 5 years of sentence remaining. Now all the UK elections are fixed-term, this isn't a problem to implement. I don't think it's unreasonable to prevent prisoners voting. It's one of the most important rights we have, and taking it away with their rights to freedom of expression, association, movement etc doesn't seem unreasonable. What does seem unreasonable is being denied the vote because you happened to be in prison on election day because of a dispute over a parking ticket or something. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 17:25, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't sound any less arbitrary than blocking all prisoners from voting. Prisoners are often released on parole before the end of their sentence so timing whether a prisoner can vote based on their stint doesn't really work. A life sentence (at least in the UK) formally lasts for the rest of the convict's life, although they might be paroled after 15 or 20 years. If they can't vote while still under sentence, you'd be permanently disenfranchising lifers even though they might be back in the outside world for decades after their prison term.
Prisoners are still members of society; disallowing them from having a say in their government doesn't have a lot of merit. & It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the functions prison serves (rehabilitation, prevention of further crimes, deterrence, etc.)
@ One: I don't see what you're getting at here: "Other prisoner rights matter more to me - for example, I'd rather a prisoner have the vote than, say, access to television". Are you saying prisoners should vote but not get a TV? Why? Surely access to the media is pretty important for all voters? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:36, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
There are claimed to be a number of reasons for putting people in prison. These include deterrence, rehabilitation, public protection and simple punishment (there may be more - can't remember now).
You may agree or disagree with the logic behind these reasons and question their utility, but a case may at least be made.
But I am unable to understand the case for prisoners not voting. Is there some fear that they would band together to elect some corrupt politician? If so then I suppose the system works as there clearly are no corrupt politicians at the moment. Before responding users may wish to consider the possibility that irony or even sarcasm may have been used in the final sentence--BobSpring is sprung! 21:58, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Prisoners have almost all rights taken away from them, and I don't have a problem with the vote being one of them. But it is inherently unjust and in the worst interest of society to not allow people who have served their time--paid their debt to society, if you will--to not have the vote when they are back in society. Don't forget - there's lots of drugs felonies; they aren't all murderers and rapists. --Leotardo (talk) 22:11, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
There isn't really a "case" to understand. It's just a rhetoric thing, probably about being "tough" on crime. But, as one tweet I've seen today basically said "1) stop prisoners voting 2) make being poor a crime". If you want to strip voting rights from one particular group, what stops you shoving people into that group because you don't think they'll vote for you. Remember Ann Coulter saying the voting age should be raised to something silly like 30 because young people voted left-wing (with exception of the military because they vote Republican)? It's the same sort of thing. When you start restricting the vote for any reason, you are changing the game and skewing the result. If you're removing voting rights from prisoners, you may as well revoke it from women and people who don't own land. Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:47, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
A tangential difficulty might arise in the US. Because we have a fundamental right to own firearms as well as a fundamental right to vote, freeing existing restrictions on the latter, however well-intentioned, might have the effect of freeing restrictions on the former. That is, only if the Supreme Court were to overturn Richardson. Give Scalia and Thomas an excuse to expand gun rights, and they'll do it. Blue (pester) 00:51, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The two things aren't even comparable. Regardless of fundamental rights in the US Constitution, the reason prisoners aren't allowed access to guns because of the massive danger this would place them, and everyone working with them, in. That doesn't apply to voting. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:59, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying gun rights would be expanded to prisoners. As a matter of fact, I was basing my thoughts on something that wasn't actually true... let me just strike through them then... there. Blue (pester) 01:03, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, give prisoners the daily papers. They've got buttloads of free time, I'm sure they'd be just as informed, if not more, as most of our citizenry are anyway. It's not like candidates are going start running on "Free the prisoners!" platforms (well, ones that want to win anyway). I think the big problem many have with this idea is that (gasp!) poor black people will vote (see ACORN conspiracy theories). I'll change my mind on this when Maine and Vermont elect candidates to legalize murder. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:28, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that my compromise is arbitrary. It lets those who will be released into the system for which they voted to vote for it, while preventing those who will live entirely in prison for the duration of a government from affecting it. Prison is a punishment for those who have have harmed society to the extent that the only solution is to separate them from that society in order to prevent further harm. Letting them vote totally abrogates that idea. My suggestion would let those convicted of minor, typically non-violent, offenses have a vote, while preventing psychopaths and other long-term offenders from having an influence. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 01:54, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Elections are called when the incumbent government wants. Although there's a time limit, they could call one tomorrow if they wanted (or needed to). Similarly, it's not guaranteed that a parole will come at a specific time. You cannot, therefore, predict which prisoners will definitely be out within the current term of government. You're trying to make a binary distinction out of an issue that's far too spectral in nature to do that. Scarlet A.pngbomination 02:40, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Young America's Foundation[edit]

Are this mob [2] [3] worthy of note? I've not heard of them before but came across a link (that linked)n to them on one of the CP dumps regarding the identity of a CP contributor. 22:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

They're players, but not major. All the GOP youth organizations come in second to Young Republicans.--ADtalkModerator 03:06, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Too Much RW[edit]

When this story came up, with photo, in my RSS reader, my first thought was... well you'll see. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:48, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Nah. Human's got a much nicer bum. But yes, I lol'd. --Ψ GremlinHable! 10:57, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Snigger. Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:54, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Lol. Thanks. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 15:41, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Explaining the universe in one sentence[edit]

I wanna put together a Fun article on rationalist (in the archaic a priori sense) belief systems that attempt to explain the universe (or a significant portion of it) with a single axiom from which all knowledge can be derived. Off the top of my head, I can think of these:

  • Descartes: I think therefore I am.
  • The existence of god is necessary for the existence of logic/knowledge, therefore, god exists, therefore a whole bunch of other bullshit. (I know we have an article on this, but I forget what it's called. Help?)
  • Ayn Rand: A is A.
  • Praxeology: Individual humans act.

Add more! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:16, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Beer.

--Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 18:26, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

"Beer: Cause of and solution to all life's problems." I guess alcoholism counts. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
We do have Fun:You have two cows, which sorta does that. Tetronian you're clueless 20:16, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
True, but two cows is more about reducing a belief system to one sentence, rather than using one sentence to build an entire belief system. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:49, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Don't aid and abet Ayn Rand's attempt to bogart Aristotle's Law of Identity. Properly, her worldview can be summed up as "Gimme."--ADtalkModerator 00:41, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, I always found her tendency to ask her opponents "well, do you deny that A = A?" really obnoxious, as if she actually though that was what they disagreed with. Tetronian you're clueless 23:19, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I haven't read any Aristotle in a long time, but did he use A = A as the basis for his entire philosophy like Rand? Funny enough, the Austrian schoolers pulled the same bullshit -- "Do you deny that individual humans act?! If you try to refute it, you are acting. IT'S IRREFUTABLE!!11!!!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:54, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


Nuff said. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ I like illegal penguins 03:03, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

People who make ad hom attacks are... dammit! Scarlet A.pngbomination 01:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Red Sox suck. Blue (is useful) 01:50, 13 February 2011 (UTC)


Ha ha! Everywhere is ice! Even the soriositutes are wearing parkas! I love it when it freezes in Louisiana. -5C ftw. ТиранесAn complaining, yet masturbate lasagne? 16:13, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

What's a soriositute? MDB (talk) 16:47, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorority+prostitute+my inability to spell. ТиранесAn quivering, yet castigate Playstation? 16:52, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
You should see the sorostitutes up here in the colder climes during the winter. They've developed a style I like to call the "eskimo slut." They wear these furry big fucking parkas combined with barely ass-length, skintight mini-skirts, tights/leggings, and then uggs for the feet. Eskimo on top, slut on bottom. It's pretty funny looking. Found a pretty good approximation of what it looks like with this photo, just add in the tights. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:27, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I've seen that style of dress as well. It's pretty comical, in an odd sort way. Whatever works, I guess. Tetronian you're clueless 23:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Usually they just show up to morning classes in pajamas. But today, what Nebby said. Looks ridiculous. ТиранесAn fickle, yet abandon squid? 00:32, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I never understood the whole "go to class in pajamas/sweatpants" thing, especially when it's 2 fucking degrees Fahrenheit outside. Tetronian you're clueless 13:33, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Public notice[edit]

Do not leave underwear drawer open when dirty, wet, disgusting, feline, ginger abomination comes in looking for somewhere comfortable to sleep sexual excesses off. That is all. (no! there are no pictures!)

Speaking of sleeping things off, isn't Ace getting wed today (Sat)? 22:08, 11 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

I could have gone all day without reading that. ТиранесAn mundane, yet receive snorkel? 00:32, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Damn you, it was magical poetry. But then I realized she was talking about a cat. Still not bad and I will remember to keep my "underwear drawer" closed. Unicow (talk) 05:51, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
So Mrs. Slocombe has a pussy in in her knickers. What else is new? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Vaguely interesting, if true[edit]

This. Such a shame it's the Daily Heil, kinda have to take any story from them with a pinch of salt.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 01:39, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Hey, at least it's not another AGW denial article from Daily Fail. Lincoln did come up with a scheme to purchase slaves and then send them to Africa through a voluntary program (note the article makes it sound like he just wanted to "ship 'em back"). Here's an article on a similar book that came out about ten years ago. Supposedly, though, this is based on new documentation, but the book isn't out yet, so we'll have to wait to see how other historians react to it. Lincoln's primary goal, however, was to preserve the Union so I wouldn't be shocked if these claims were true, but I'll remain skeptical. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:13, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The book is on a decent university press, but it's probably too soon for any reviews to be in the journals. P-Foster (talk) 02:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
This was basically the idea behind the founding of Liberia, if I recall. Doctor Dark (talk) 05:21, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I think it is quite well established by now that Lincoln was not a racial-equality man; it was slavery he did not like. Sending the freedmen home fit very well with the whole "Let My People Go" refrain popular at that time. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:18, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

....Except that the ACS began sending people to Liberia in 1822, long before Lincoln. P-Foster (talk) 18:04, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


I was planning to go to Exeter on Saturday. Now I see there's going to be a "ban the burqua" demonstration thingy by the English Defence League.[4] What should I do? Stay away? Join the counter-demo? Or just take notes and photos for RW and possibly get beaten up for it? Totnesmartin (talk) 12:45, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

If you got hospitalized while waving a RW banner that could get you in the newspapers - and that could make us notable enough for a CP article. So I think you owe it to the site to go.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:55, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry my finger slipped. I meant to write "WP".--BobSpring is sprung! 13:38, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
you mean WP, not CP, I think. I hope. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:58, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
If we could get an article at CP about us then that would be a signal event. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 13:01, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
i'd possibly get an MPR link. "Give it up, liberals, burqas are on their way out of Exeter, Scotland!" Totnesmartin (talk) 13:03, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I'm with Bob on this. In fact, throw yourself in front of a police car, just to make sure. We'll dedicate the resulting WP page to you. --Ψ GremlinSermā! 13:06, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
We should have a never-ending competition for "Who can get RationalWiki the most publicity?", where anything goes and the standing champion is decided by a squabbling jury of unelected officials arguing over how to measure the efficacy of any given publicity effort. ONE / TALK 15:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
In that case we should ask the luminous one to be the chair.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:40, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Or it can be decided by a vote on RWW, after which only half the awards will be handed out, several weeks late. Totnesmartin (talk) 15:39, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
In all seriousness, yes, take photos and report for RW. Really. If I had the chance to cover something for the site, I would. Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:53, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
There was a similar EDL rally in Leeds last year, which I went to with the opposition rally (Unite Against Facism). By all means, go, but don't make the mistake that I made of assuming that the UAF people are all nice and lovely - there're plenty of them looking for a fight and carrying weapons, just like the EDL thugs. As soon as the UAF people got a bit rough, the police treated both sides equally, and I was stuck away from my friend, who'd ended up among the EDL people (by accident, of course), and we were held apart for about an hour. DalekEXTERMINATE 02:15, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
The latest news is that this protest will be swamped by a festival celebrating diversity. Should be safe after all. My RW martyrdom will have to come about by some other means. Totnesmartin (talk) 15:37, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
One of the people I went to secondary school/sixth form with (education from 11-18yrs for uninformed non-Limeys) is currently a high-ranking EDL youth member, along with a few other people I know. He actually never seemed like much of a dickhead and I always got on alright with him, as we ran in similar(ish) circles. I'm sure he'd appreciate me asking him several in-depth questions for a website with a staunch liberal, anti-fascist view. Fortunately none of my friends fell in with that bullshit, though I saw on Facebook the other day a guy I was friendly with "likes" the EDL page. SJ Debaser 17:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

It was all a damp squib in the end. Eight or fifteen EDLers (reports vary) gave up and went home early when faced with a few hundred opponents. I was at the shopping centre where it was all meant to have taken place and there was no sign that anything unusual had happened at all. Quite disappointing really. I got bored, went down to the canal and photographed a swan, if you want that instead of exciting, dramatic reportage. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

News from the front. Remember, you heard it here first!! Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Daniel will never get laid again.[edit]

While I truly feel horrible for the young woman in question. her friends, and her family, I gotta say, if some girl started foaming from her mouth and then died after I kissed her, I'd prolly join the priesthood. P-Foster (talk) 18:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know, could be a major draw. My kiss alone has been known to kill, just imagine how good I am in the sack. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:39, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm reminded of the story of a girl who died after kissing her bf - apparently she had a peanut allergy, and he'd (unknowingly) eaten a peanut butter sandwich beforehand. --Ψ GremlinTal! 08:16, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
How does one unknowingly eat a peanut butter sandwich? Was it a stealth sandwich? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:26, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The microwavable is probably trying to say that the boyfriend did not know about her allergy. ТиранесAn remarkable, yet ruminate wizard? 15:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm not a Birther but...[edit]

...I can't see anything wrong with this. Is there an argument against? --Leotardo (talk) 03:28, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Apart from the fact it should be unnecessary. It's also just the last ditch attempt for birthers to keep their idea floating. Having been trashed on the factual front, they're stuck trying to play a "well, we should make it so it's never an issue again!" - except it never was an issue, it was just them being silly little tits, jealous that a Black Man was President. Scarlet A.pngbomination 03:38, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I understand that, but I still don't think that's an argument against. We are talking the most powerful position in the world. What is the harm in ensuring that a person meets the requirements like any other job? --Leotardo (talk) 04:10, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a yank, but to me it seems like the best way to ensure this never happens again is to amend the constitution such that it no longer requires a president to be a natural born citizen. That might have made some sense back in the day when a good percentage of the country had sympathies for their recently departed colonial overlords, but these days what exactly is the objection to a naturalised citizen being elected head of state? Ditto with the age restrictions. Isn't it the electorates job to determine who exactly is and is not fit to be president? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
It's just a giant coincidence that 1) this "just happens" to be an issue what there's a black guy in the White House and that 2) a lot of the people behind these initiatives are birthers. Fucking nobody cared that McCain wasn't even fucking born in the USA, while they were all bust piling--and aqre still piling--on the candidate who was. This is hateful, racist bullshit at its best, and to hear "I'm not a Birther but" makes me feel the same way that I do when somebody starts a conversation with "now, don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are black. BUT...." P-Foster (talk) 04:41, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
That's because you're silly. --Leotardo (talk) 05:00, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I would agree that there is nothing wrong with it considered by itself, but that it is unnecessary and in context is just birther grandstanding. As for McCain, his U.S. citizenship is in accordance with the jus sanguinis part of the law. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:47, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I have to take that back, however, with regard to the Arizona proposal, which is imposing requirements above and beyond those specified in the Constitution. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:55, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Where's the birth certificate Chester Charles George Barry Lowell Roger John Barack??
This is the birfer's "teach the controversy/flaws in evilution" moment.Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:52, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Not one reasonable argument against. Unreasonable people suggesting it? Sure. I have no doubt about Obama's citizenship and qualification for office, but a rational argument against this is not "the people who want it suck and a black man is President." Really? This is the best a rational site can do? --Leotardo (talk) 05:00, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
As I said, the Arizona proposal is going above and beyond constitutional requirements by requiring a candidate not to hold dual citizenship. That is not just an extra layer of enforcement for the Constitution. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but only Arizona's goes so far. There are 11 other states proposing bills. --Leotardo (talk) 05:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
There is also the argument that the measure would create more red tape for very little benefit. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:09, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
EC--Kind of like what LX beat me to, here's your rational argument. Much like the case of the state laws banning Sharia, wasting limited public time and money to legislate solutions to a completely non-existent problem is fucking stupid, and so is supporting it. P-Foster (talk) 05:11, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Furnishing a birth certificate creates more red tape? Come on - that's weak. P-Foster, some people find making "productive, non-parody, non-vandalism edits" to a homophobic, sexist, ignorant birther website itself is "fucking stupid" so spare me your Tourette's and race-baiting and actually make a reasonable argument or STFU with the nonsense. --Leotardo (talk) 05:16, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

That's a pretty lame fucking comparison, and I would have thought you were smart enough to draw a difference between what one guy does on a Saturday night while living in his parents' basement and matters of public policy and constitutional law. Think of how much effort--on the part of lawyers and politician, who don't work cheap--that goes into creating, studying, drafting, passing, monitoring, enforcing, and dealing with the inevitable court challenges that are involved in any important piece of legislation. No comparison whatsoever. P-Foster (talk)

No, your bullshit edits to Conservapedia relate to your race-baiting me and telling me I'm "fucking stupid" for simply raising this question. I see little difference in making "productive edits" to CP as I do to Metapedia. I wasn't comparing your moronic waste of time helping them at CP because you can't figure out a better way to spend your time to Obama's run for the Presidency. I would have thought you were smart enough to figure out the analogy. --Leotardo (talk) 05:26, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to this oddly hostile demand for counter-arguments, I suddenly support these bills. Also the one where Mexican-looking people have to carry citizenship records. Better safe than sorry, after all. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 06:05, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I guess that if that's what the population of the US wants then why not? On the other hand why is it necessary for a citizen to be "natural born"? Does the same requirement apply to other political officials in the US?--BobSpring is sprung! 07:19, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not making the case either way for whether we should require presidents to be natural born. That said, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the Constitution already makes it illegal for a foreign born citizen to hold the office of president. And as I posted above, a presidential candidate's political opponents will dig up any dirt possible, including the candidate's place of birth, to try to discredit him going all the way back to Chester A. Arthur. So we have a law and watchdog institutions preventing a furriner from becoming president. The comparison to the Sharia law stupidity is exactly apropos. It's already illegal according to the supreme law of the land. This is nothing more than a birfer publicity stunt. Maybe next they'll propose a law making murder illegal too? I'm not holding my breath on that one. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:37, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Handy edit button 1[edit]

I see the problem with this legislation arriving when a state refuses a candidate to run because they decided they don't meet their requirement. Lets look at the passage:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

I have highlighted the parts that I think will cause trouble. The first is what is a natural born citizen? Some people think Obama isn't one because his father was not American. Also what does been fourteen Years a resident within the United States mean? Are they cumulative years or consecutive? Do they have to be immediately before he is on the ballot? Imagine if a future US exile returns to run for president after a popular uprising, can he run? I see the situation arising where 11 states, have 11 different definitions of eligability. - π 08:20, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm no lawyer but surely that comma between "or a citizen of the United States" and "at the time of the adoption of this Constitution" opens the eligibility up to a degree of interpretation. What they may have meant is that someone who was "a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution" would be eligible even if they had not been born there. I know that in the UK commas can be a legal minefield and that much legalese is written to avoid the use of commas. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:48, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually the comma before the or bothers me. I read it as "No person except a natural born citizen at the time of the adoption of this Constitution" with the additional clause "or a citizen of the United States". - π 10:57, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
You're right. I realised immediately after I had posted that the first comma also stuck out like a sore thumb but couldn't be bothered to expound further (as I'm supposed to be painting the kitchen). One could even interpret it as that "nobody born after the Constitution was adopted" could be eligible for President. It is incredibly poorly-phrased as a legal document. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 12:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The final part is bad too it says that you cannot be eligible for the job if you meet these two conditions:
  • Not 35 years old
  • Lived in the US for for 14 years.
Pretty obviously they mean "NOT lived in the US for for 14 years" and you could argue that the "not" is implicit. But that's not what it says. --BobSpring is sprung! 12:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, this is the big problem with law. Have you ever tried to make your own tabletop RPG? You think, "oh, it can't be too hard, just a couple of rules and some common sense and it'll work". No, it's not that easy. You have to think of every situation and codify it. That's why RPGs have rule books and source books a mile thick. Law is pretty much the same, except a hundred times more complex and has serious ramifications for an entire country, not just whether your level 4 mage can equip a bazooka or not. And with these eligibility guidelines, and a lot of right-wing laws being proposed in the US now, they have the exact same problem. They think they can just say something that sounds like legalese and it'll be fine, but what they're doing is just adding more ambiguity to shout and complain about next time. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:12, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank goodness Armondikov chimed in. For a moment I was afraid this subthread would consist of an Australian and two Brits debating the US Constitution. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
That's an amazing analogy, I'm going to hang on to that one. Tetronian you're clueless 13:36, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
OK. But isn't the fact that the whole thing is incomprehensible important? --BobSpring is sprung! 14:00, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Handy edit button 2[edit]

It's just an attempt to save face and make it appear that they've actually achieved something. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:26, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The initial question wasn't meant to be hostile, but it received hostile responses, which begot hostile responses. When the birth certificate issue first came up years ago it surprised me: I never thought about it, but I guess I always assume that someone, somewhere--maybe the political party, maybe the Supreme Court upon swearing in--was presented with something that verified eligibility. It was surprising that's not the case. When I think about arguments against these bills, I can't come up with a decent one. Any argument against would also be an argument against people like me or you having to show proof we are legally eligible to work in a country. In the U.S., that's two forms of identification, one a Social Security card. There is no valid legal challenge to these bills: the requirements are already Constitutional; the ability to show you meet the requirements exists; so now a state says they want to see the proof. Do I think this should be the issue it is? No. But I don't get to decide what are the national issues. I also think you shouldn't have to be natural born, but that's an argument that will never win. --Leotardo (talk) 13:57, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
It's ridiculous that these states want to see a piece of paper to let somebody run. Of course if there are requirements for presidency they should be checked, but not at the state level. The next step is to argue when the piece of paper the state receives can be considered valid. Their legislation will break if the long form is ever abandoned. -- (talk) 14:19, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Qualifying to get on the ballot in all 50 states has always been a state issue, not federal. This was the issue with Ross Perot and Ralph Nader (in recent memory), so the states are justified. We all know that production of Obama's birf certificate will never appease the Birthers, but anti-Birthers like me and the entire government of Hawaii are sick of the argument when the the ability to end it is too damn simple. --Leotardo (talk) 15:30, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
That's one way to look at it. Another is that if you appease idiots and troublemakers it only encourages them to go further. An interesting conundrum. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:17, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there can be a strong and rational argument against such bills. Such bills make the assumption that all 50 states are excellent at keeping records. Should a good candidate who has lost his birth certificate, who could gain the huge level of support to be elected president, be ineligible? Indeed, even if he has his birth certificate, but the state cannot confirm it, should a state be able to pass a bill which would take away his ability to stand? Even if it only applies to a tiny fraction of the population, it is an important point. If, tragically, Wisconsin, were blown off the face of the earth, and many important records were lost, would all surviving citizens be ineligible to stand for President because Arizona can't get a look at the 'proof' of eligibility? That'd be wrong. I HATE to make a, "what the founders were thinking" argument, but seriously... do we think they put in requirements for the office of President, but forgot to come up with any way of checking that? No. In a time when record keeping was probably far less perfect and centralised, they were likely aware that strict procedures for checking eligibility would leave eligible candidates, in fact, incapable of standing for President. On top of this (and this may seem like an argument for amending the constitution, rather than the point in case), we must consider that gaining the tens of millions of votes required to become President, in an age when the media scrutinises every candidate thoroughly, should be enough to be elected to the office. I'd even argue that THIS is the proper procedure for checking eligibility. DalekEXTERMINATE 22:49, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
That's the best argument so far. I don't know how persuasive I find it, though. For me the principle at stake here is, "Requirements for X are irrelevant if there is no need to verify that Y meets requirements for X." I think the best argument that requirements for X were met in Obama's case because he produced the Certification of Live Birth and politicians of both parties who ran the Hawaii government, amongst other evidence, verified the Certification. All that said, I find it disappointing that more than one person in this thread thought I was arguing Birtherism--a belief that Obama is not an American eligible for President--when I was really trying to sort out rational arguments about these bills, since I have often been enlightened by arguments on here I had not thought about. --Leotardo (talk) 23:04, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
It's difficult to know how important or relevant the argument is, while it's still academic. But I'd argue that if a popular white man, Republican or Democrat, wanted to stand to be President in 10 years time, had lived his whole life in the USA and was obviously born in the States, but his birth certificate was destroyed in a fire and the state had kept shitty records and could confirm nothing... then the entire base of his party would be outraged at the idea that their candidate couldn't get on the ballot. Or indeed, if a state revealed that its birth records were completely missing for a four year period, then we'd also see the issue coming up. DalekEXTERMINATE 23:33, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Although, it would be delicious to see a white, all American Republican unable to get onto the ballot in Arizona under then-current regulations! DalekEXTERMINATE 23:39, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
It would also be delicious if another state, to counteract these measures, stopped issuing birth certificates and only Certifications of Live Birth or something similar. --Leotardo (talk) 00:34, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

There are some problems with specific measures, if not with the overall idea. For example, Arizona's measure requires an "original long form birth certificate". This is a pretty unreasonable demand, since it specifies a certain variety of birth certificate. There are "14,000 different versions of birth certificates" (http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-99-00570.pdf) and they're of varying types and availability. Secondly there are some problems with declarations against dual citizenship, such as in Nebraska and other states. This is an additional requirement added onto what is Constitutionally required, which doesn't seem exactly right to me. Individual states probably shouldn't be deciding additional requirements to run for the President of the Union. And their phrasing seems off, too, in the worst case (again Arizona) demanding "has not held dual or multiple citizenship". Considering how this would actually invalidate the current President (who had dual citizenship as a child: first American and British, then American and Kenyan) as well as any candidate born abroad in a jus soli country (i.e. all of Latin America among other countries). That's pretty absurd. All in all, there's nothing wrong with the idea of it. Preventing the confusion and the entire "birther" idiocy is a good idea. It's just that some of the laws are poorly-written, assert additional extraconstitutional requirements to be President, and of course that their motivation is often a complicated conservative xenophobic/racist backlash.--ADtalkModerator 10:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Am I the only person who has ever thought of this?[edit]

Surely not, but... doesn't the Senate have to certify the Presidential election results? (I seem to remember a small effort to get them to refuse to certify the 2000 election...) Presuming they do, then Obama has been certified as being eligible to be President, because the Senate certified his election. The only possible argument against that would be they weren't aware of the issue, but that fails, because the issue was raised during the primaries by Hillary Clinton supporters (in fact, the Honolulu newspaper birth announcement was found by one of them, who took it as solid evidence he was born in the States, and gave up the issue.) MDB (talk) 19:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Atlas Shrugged: The Movie.[edit]

I am not making this up. Trailer here. P-Foster (talk) 03:34, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Related, tangentially. Blue (is useful) 03:46, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
It's just a Berkeleyan being a Berkeleyan. Move along, nothing to see. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I think there was a reason that Rand, while she was alive, insisted upon having final script approval. I think they will also find that the likes of Gary Cooper are no longer alive to save this film by sheer talent. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Is it too soon to say "Direct to DVD?" Also, notice that it says "Part I" when the final mention of the title rolls by. P-Foster (talk) 04:50, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that book is altogether too long and complicated to put into one movie. The original plan was for a miniseries. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:56, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't this in the ZB? TerryH knew about it and wanted CP to capitalise on the movie release with their soopah-doopah articles.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:41, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks like it's going to be a trilogy, as per the Hollywood trend in recent decades. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:50, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

An Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy? Head for the hills! oh, wait... erm... Totnesmartin (talk) 12:31, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

That looks hella boring, actually. Nice eye candy. But fundamentally boring. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:05, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The infamous speech-when people run out of the theatre due to boredom. ТиранесAn pugnacious, yet mollify pen? 13:06, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Rand timed the Galt Speech at three hours and Francisco d'Anconia's speech on "money is the root of all good" at fifteen minutes. Vast overestimates, of course, but they are still longer than Howard Roark's speech to the court at the end of The Fountainhead, which I believe is still a cinematic record for the longest speech in a film. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
$10 that they are going to completely gloss over the "religion is also a collectivist structure, against reason and man's mind, bend on self deprecation, misery and sadistic enjoyment in controlling other people's lives" aspect of objectivism and the book. Sen (talk) 15:18, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The whole thing looks like something the Asylum(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Asylum) would put together.Ryantherebel (talk) 16:24, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Most of Rand's examples of religionists were also the sort Hollywood loves to hate, so that should not be a problem. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I hope to never experience an Asylum production again... Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:02, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I actually really like the set design and the locations in that trailer. If you wrote a book as ineptly visual as Atlas Shrugged, you couldn't hope for a better-looking adaptation than that. Also, I just learned more about the plot that I did in about three months of reading the damn book. Goddamn it, Ayn. Mei III (talk) 23:51, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Needs more Art Deco skyscrapers and square jaws. I always had a 1950's gotham city like setting in mind. Sen (talk) 00:48, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Ace who tied the knot (not in a kinky way... well, maybe) over the weekend. So, now that RW's sexiest stud is out of circulation, does that improve my chances any? --Ψ GremlinZungumza! 09:13, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Only if you get off the internet, everyone knows there are no girls here. - π 10:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Where is Ace taking his honeymoon?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:31, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I believe Thailand. Or Cambodia. Somewhere around those parts. At the moment, however, I assume he's in some New Zealand honeymoon suite, nursing a hangover. @π - ah yes, I kinda proved that fact right, didn't I? --Ψ GremlinSnakk! 11:49, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep, we thought we had on once but it was just you tucking it. - π 11:54, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Poor Norseman is still in shock. I blame the bad lighting. --Ψ GremlinSpeak! 12:19, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Why thanks Psy, that's very kind of you. Nope, wasn't too hungover the next day. Even managed some beach cricket. Ace McAwesome 06:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


Greetings rationalists. Would anyone object if I started a project here? The project would create 'mirror articles' for some of the wackier stuff in Wikipedia. For example, Binary Economics, which is a complete disaster on Wikipedia, being owned by someone called Rodney Shakespeare (see the talk page for entertainment). The mirror article would explain what 'Binary economics is supposed to be, explain why it is wacky with reference to orthodox economic theory, and a bit about the article history on Wikipedia. The purpose would be to have somewhere that people could refer to for an objective view of the subject.

For those who don't know me, I was booted off Wikipedia years ago for an argument about another wacky subject 'Neurolinguistic programming' - an administrator got the better of me. I cleaned up the main article but there are dozens left, e.g. NLP Modeling, Submodalities etc.

My specialism is medieval philosophy and science. I am interested in this period in the history and am interested in pseudoscience then and now. I am a member of the Association for Sceptical Enquiry in the U.K. I have a blog which covers philosophy, logic and pseudoscience (see e.g. my comments about General Semantics). I also have a website which is devoted to the history of logic, mostly 13th century logic. See e.g.. my translation of part of Ockham's commentary on the Perihermenias. Best, Peter Damian (talk) 17:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Oh well I see you already have an article on NLP. I'm sure there is plenty more. Peter Damian (talk) 17:53, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Keeping in mind the RW mission the thing is to ensure the subjects themselves are inherently nuts, and it's not just the people writing about them. I don't think anyone is much going to care that an individual wikipedian is a lunatic, I'm sure lots of them are, but lunatic economic theories are fair game. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:18, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
If the article is in keeping with the mission and point of view, go for it. With 'wacky' theories, it a hell of a lot easier to write her, because you can explain why something is stupid, why the people behind it are crazed loons, rather than where Wikipedia fail: trying to seem balanced, and ending up with a wordy article which explains nothing. We don't really do people's own projects, mind, and people would be welcome to fiddle with your articles... but you can always do an article in your userspace and move it. DalekEXTERMINATE 18:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the mission and as this includes how the subject is handled in the media presumably Wikipedia would count as well. Yes, of course the subject itself has to be inherently nuts. I have a page on MyWikiBiz with a whole list of articles, I quite like the one on levitation, which deals with the whole thing as real, except for the obligatory "is generally considered by scientists" bit.
I looked at NLP. It is written in a humorous tone - e.g. "And perhaps picking up chicks too. ". Is that a required style? I'm not sure I can do humour. Is there the risk of not being taken seriously? Peter Damian (talk) 19:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Seriousness and solemnity are two different things. One may be serious without being solemn about it. With collaborative wiki editing, other editors sometimes fill in bits (such as adding snark, if needed) that were skimped in the earlier go-rounds. That's meant to be a comment, not really an answer... you will find your own answers in the response you get from whichever elements of the mob choose to drop in.
While canvassing (on- or off-wiki) is frowned upon at Wikipedia, I think there may be room in the mission for pointing and laughing at Wikipedia articles in the grip of nut jobs or morons. I see it as a useful way to aggregate the attention of rational eyes there. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Hi Peter. As others have said - if it fits in with out mission objectives then that's good and any articles would be very welcome. The fact the WP may have a bad article on the subject is, frankly, irrelevant. You point out that WP is part of the media and that's true - but the media element also associated with the mission statements. So mentioning that WP may have swallowed some pseudoscience is fine, but it shouldn't be the main thrust of the article.
Obviously, and I'm sure that this goes without saying, any article you create will not belong to you but will be re-edited and chopped about by the community anyway.
Our guide for newcomers explains a lot of this as does this one. Hope you decide to stay and contribute. :-)--BobSpring is sprung! 21:12, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with that sort of thing. It's what we do, isn't it? Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:34, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


Interesting article about whether small pox should finally be eradicated, once and for all. My instinctive reaction is to say 'No' , solely from a practical point of view. You never know when having the smallpox virus around might be useful, even outside of germ-warfare. Hell, it would be just like humanity to wipe out smallpox only to discover 100 years later that its essential for one project or another.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:01, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

The virus has been sequenced, so, in principle, it could be re-created. There is concern, of course, that some of the Soviet specimens might have been diverted and remain a biological warfare threat. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 00:07, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
That makes it even more likely the labs will keep it. Fewer people exposed to it will result in it being more damaging to human systems if it is released, and people have horrible memories about disease so vaccination programs will have problems continuing after a long time of it being "eradicated". Some idiots around here have started campaigning that Polio and Measles are "gone", and they weren't that bad anyways. My wife had the terrible task of helping declare brain death in an un-vaccinated toddler after a case of measles encephalitis. ~ Subsound ~ 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

'It is said' that the main danger with smallpox is not 'nutters with a sealed testtube' but 'sealed coffins' (of sufferers) which crack and spread the disease. (I don't know how likely this scenario is). (talk) 19:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Doctor's Data vs Stephen Barrett[edit]

Anyone know what's going on in the above case[5]? Seems to have gone quiet so I assumed DDI dropped their case but I can't find any up to date links. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:09, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Come to think of it, I haven't seen the Quackwatch newsletter for a good few weeks now. He usually updates the progress in that. Scarlet A.pngbomination 17:56, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Gotta get this off my chest[edit]

Just an hour or so ago, one of my neighbors rang my doorbell. A shivering, babbling, shoeless septuagenarian who told me a wild story about four men and one woman who broke into her apartment last night, disassembled the toilet so that she couldn't use it, wrapped each piece of bread in plastic so that she couldn't eat, and occupied her bed all night so that she couldn't sleep. All of course before trying to burn down the place, which forced her to break the window. When I asked if she had any family, she said the names of two local celebrities (totally unrelated to one another in reality of course), though she couldn't remember anyone's phone numbers. I did what any good neighbor would do: gave her a cup of tea and some socks, called the police, and made sure she got professional help.

The police later told me that all of the things she said about her apartment are true, it's an absolute hellhole. No sign of the five intruders though. I think that it was the best thing to call the authorities. Someone sick like that needs professional help, not just to be written off as a lunatic. But it still feels heavy, having myself made the call which will likely get another person institutionalized. Junggai (talk) 10:49, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Life is strange. You did the right thing. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree, you did good. I've had a grandparent go down the dementia road, and as uncomfortable as it may be for us, it's often terrifying for them, as you witnessed. --Ψ Gremlin話しなさい 11:01, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the perspective. I hadn't thought about dementia, though that's surely possible. My first impression was schizophrenia. In any case, what was clear was that she totally believed the story she was telling, which was the saddest part. I shudder to think what kind of mental state someone has to be in to do those things to their own surroundings. The bread thing totally freaks me out. Junggai (talk) 11:24, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
You definitely did the right thing. The woman is in dire need of help, by the sounds of it it would only have been a while until she did something fatal. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 12:00, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Where is Ace taking his honeymoon?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:31, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Wrong thread much? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:38, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe the five intruders were his bachelor party. --Kels (talk) 16:21, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
No need to feel heavy about it. Somebody turns up at your door missing an arm because he chainsawed it off in his back garden, you call the emergency services, 'cause that person needs help. Somebody turns up at your door non compos mentis then you call the emergency services for exactly the same reason.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:12, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
When it's time to get taken care of properly, then it's time. No need to feel heavy, indeed. One of the things that led to my dad's residence in a memory-loss unit was the time he knocked on a stranger's door in his pajamas at three in the morning, a mile away from his own house in a small midwest US town. When the responders figured out where to return him, they suggested that my mom have a keyed dead-bolt installed on the front door. There was no way she was going to rig her own house so she needed to find a key to let herself out, so he went onto an appropriate waiting list. She visited him daily for the rest of his life. It was wrenching to watch, especially since he did not recognize his own deficit. He would say things that translated to "How come I have to stay here? These other guys are all out of it." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
You did good. The very hadest part of dealing with dementia (if thats what it is) is trying to understand the thinking behind any odd behavior. My Dad is 82 and suffers memory problems but doesnt recognise he also has impulse control issues. He forgets where places are that he has been to every week for 15 years and believes a place 10 miles away is just up the road. He has had to give up driving, luckily he accepts that he cant drive. The worrying part is when he leaves the stove on but moves the coffee pot to a different burner or cant remember which cipboard the cips are in. A friend with early onset dementia did put every slice of bread into a plastic ziploc bag to keep fresh, but them forgot how to open the bag, he wound up on different days crying when the bag would not rip and cutting them open with a big knife. He was sadly committed when he attacked his wife and daughter because he thought they were intruders. Sometimes a short stay for counselling and a drug change can get them to a stage they can live on their own, and in some places you can get a visiting nurse to check on them. Hamster (talk) 18:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ouch. Hard, indeed. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:21, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
You did completely the right thing. My Mum passed away after two years of dementia which destroyed her very being. Dementia is certainly what your neighbour was suffering from, and as someone mentioned above, she must have been terrified. She'll be much happier now, and needs whatever controlled environment she's been moved to. We took counselling on dementia when it happened to my Mum, and one of the interesting things was that TV is absolutely the wrong thing to plonk dementia sufferers in front of - they simply can't understand the edits, and don't know why everything keeps changing all the time. It's a sad, lonely, miserable illness, and very scary to be inside. DogP (talk) 00:46, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My parents are both getting up in years (Dad is eighty, Mom is seventy-four.) One thing I've been very glad to see is that, despite both being retired, they're staying both physically and mentally active, on the philosophy of "if you don't use it, you'll lose it." (In part because they don't want to end up like my maternal grandmother, who, after her husband passed away, spent a decade or so doing little more than waiting on her own death.) Dad still works part time (sales for a rope company and ticket collecting at University of Tennessee events), both do volunteer work, both read a lot, both walk and take water aerobics, Mom does sudoku and various types of sewing, including learning quilting. Dad is in amazing health for a man his age, and Mom is doing quite well, too. The only sign I've seen of slipping mental faculties is Mom has the tendency to tell me the same thing repeatedly. MDB (talk) 13:35, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Why do good?[edit]

I don't know whether debate pages are supposed to be linked from another page or not, and I'm not sure whether this is the place to link them from, but never mind: Debate:Why do good? Thomas Larsen (talk) 03:10, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, here's what I got

"The Obama administration and the illuminati won't tell you about their real agenda, which is to change U.S. currency by putting Al Gore, Michael Moore, and Keith Olbermann on $1, $5 and $14 bills. Add up those numbers and what do you get? 20, which is the same day of the month Hitler was born." Strangly enough, this sounds like something he would say.Ryantherebel (talk) 16:19, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Screen capture program?[edit]

Apologies if this isn't the right place to ask the question, but if I place capture tags on my user page, sub page, etc, will the screen capture program capture them properly? αTalk 12:56, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

If you use the <capture> tag on a page that CaptureBot isn't watching, a messages saying "Capturebot2 is not monitoring this page. If you use the capture tag, you must also add the link to User:Capturebot2/sandbox." appears alongside it in the tag box at the bottom of the edit page. If that's the case, you need to go here and enter the link, with capture tags, and the bot will do its thing. --Ψ GremlinПоговорите! 13:25, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

It's finally here![edit]

The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory Generator. Tears not included. --Ψ GremlinTal! 13:03, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

"Pot-smoking PETA worshippers are attempting to stifle all dissent so that they can require every man, woman, and child to gay-marry a same-sex partner, specially chosen by a government matrimony panel." Lol. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ <insert witty comment here> 17:58, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Glenn Beck Stole Christmas[edit]

Not surprised. I wonder how his followers will deny this revelation. The only thing they can say is that Beck did not sell that many tickets, which would look bad on Beck's part. Dunno how people can follow him if this kinda thing shows up. Should we put this in his article?--Thanatos (talk) 17:52, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

That's pretty grim. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:22, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


6 shootings(2 fatal) last weekend in the city I live in. Plus 2 people shot at. [6] I really need to hurry up and get my degree before it gets worse. ТyTalk. 19:40, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Pussy. We digest stats like that with our morning breakfast. Every day. Actually, on a related note, it's funny how you become desensitised to certain stats. Like our road deaths. Over Christmas alone we had something like 800 dead and there were 10 killed in an accident this afternoon. In many countries, that would be headline news, and calls for the transport minster's head, but here, it's ho hum and carry on. Probably won't even make the evening news. --Ψ GremlinSnakk! 19:48, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
TIA, Psy. TIA. Ace McAwesome 20:01, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I like to think about all the terrible things less deadly than driving that people make huge deals about. Like terrorism, gun control or drunk driving. Just imagine if we required roll cages, racing helmets and 5 point restraints. Think of all the lives that would be saved. Why don't people lobby for shit like that? Because no one really cares about life, just fear. That's why you should make others' driving experience a little more terrifying. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:56, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
687 dead in BR last year from traffic, the lowest in years. The state troopers have started a "scare 'em straight" campaign on seat belts, but thanks to our "good ole boy" network, large amounts of people get away with not using seat belts. Here people won't lobby for safety cause it is "big gummint". "Where does it sat in the Constitution that the goverment can tell you to wear seat belts?" etc.ТyTalk. 19:59, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
The automobile has a societal cost, but it is one we have decided is worth it. But imagine if I went before the American people in 1900 or so, and said "I have a great invention -- it will allow the average citizen to go from coast to coast in less than a week. It will be completely under the operator's control. It's price will be such that anyone with a decent job can own one. Operating it is simple. The downside is that within a century, thirty thousand people a year may die as a result of this device. Further, some of them will die as a result of other people's negligent operation of my invention, not due to any fault of their own." Do you think my invention would have caught on? MDB (talk) 20:12, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
BTW, the above is not intended as an argument against the automobile. It's just a thought experiment. MDB (talk) 20:12, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes. By using may and "fault of others" 1900s era Americans may have thought you were being overly cautious.ТyTalk. 20:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Interesting take on it. For what it's worth, my question comes from an "ethical question of the day" calendar a friend of mine had a few years ago. She'd e-mail us the daily question, and we'd discuss it. She was a little annoyed that several of us read that question in particular and said, "uuummm.... that's the automobile." MDB (talk) 20:17, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
That sounds fun. ТyTalk. 20:19, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Similar question but in the present. If motorcycles hadn't been invented yet. New invention, a bicycle with a 180bhp engine it it that can clock 200mph. No airbags, ABS, or safety cell. You'd be locked up! Ajkgordon (talk) 22:15, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I just like breaking those stats out when people start panicking about terrorism. "Oh, you're willing to jump through that many hoops to save a few thousand people a year?...what If I told you you could save the lives of 10 times that many people! What would you be willing to do?" Apparently not wear a helmet/harness. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:32, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Microsoft are geniuses[edit]

I've been using Windows 7 for about half an hour now, and I already despise it with every fibre of my being. It took Mac OS X almost a full hour to achieve that sort of enmity. They must work really hard at making this shit suck. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry. That feeling will go over time as the numbness sets in. If it's any help: stuff I've found helps to get Windows 7 working.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:16, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
You really need to disable data execution protection? Granted I haven't installed much stuff yet, but that sounds like a really bad idea. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:20, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
No, you don't have to, but say goodbye to macrovision & installshield installation packages. They just won't install the programs without DEP blocking them. Judging by the cursing on the intertubes about DEP, I'm guessing it blocks a lot of other stuff as well.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:23, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Heh. My take on this is probably that anything where the installer executes code from data pages is probably software I don't want installed on my laptop. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:26, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that's true. My problem with DEP mostly stems from installing old stuff, with installer packages designed for '95 and '98, although the Macrovision and Installshield packages do turn up in a surprising number of XP stuff.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:30, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Gah. This makes me cry. From a cold boot before you even start a single application, the OS alone uses 1GB of RAM. 1 GIGA-FUCKING-BYTE! I've spent my entire career writing apps that look pretty and still weigh in at comfortably under 1MB of heap space used, and not much more in code size including all the shared bits. I can't even understand how a glorified task switcher could possibly manage to use a whole gigabyte. It seems like it ought to be impossible. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:43, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I know, it's amazing. I also hear people also buy laptops with up to TWO or even FOUR gigabytes of RAM standard. It's practically sinful. And it'll blow your mind when you find out how big hard drives are, and that people sometimes expect to find a use for all that space. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Operating systems do quite a bit behind the scenes that end users or even power users never know about, that's pretty much what bloats it up. But it's considerably lighter than Vista, and isn't as tedious. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I like Windows 7. Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Oooh, wouldn't go that far. I'd say I can tolerate Windows 7, but they better give me back my toobars before I even think about thinking about liking it. Oh, and clean up the random blue screen of death's I get every so often.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:38, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I like Windows 7. But then again, I had Vista before it and we all know that 7 was designed just so that Vista-users had at least one option other than downgrading to XP. Vulpius (talk) 19:40, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
XP was bearable in look like windows 2000 mode. Everything they've done since seems to have made it worse and worse, and they still didn't fix my gripes like associated IP settings with the adaptor not the connection, such that changing (non-dhcp) wifi connections is a pain. I think I might try turning aero off to see if that makes it a little more bearable. All the stupid transitions stuff just gets on my tits. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:46, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
One thing I'll give to W7 over XP is that under W7 I can run my screen resolution at 1680*1050 and have readable default font, but under XP 1440*900 was the best I could manage before the font became too small to read.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:51, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
My bit of faint praise for 7 is that they seem to have done away with balloon tips as a notification mechanism (or at least I haven't had any yet.) It took me forever to find the power toy to turn that crap off on XP. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, all MS OS after 2000 suck. ТyAn morbid, yet reconstruct furry bit? 21:10, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Truth be told, you would hear no complaint from me if we all went back to command-line interfaces. MS-DOS was not so bad, and can serve as a first-order moron filter. The only place I need a mouse is for graphics applications such as the gimp. I use lilypond for musical score engraving, and that compiles text to postscript. I invoke it from a linux console window, the old-fashioned way with typed command lines, pulled in from history with an up-arrow when I feel lazy. You kids and your pointing and clicking and clicking and pointing, get off my lawn. If FSM had meant us to use graphick interphaces, e wunnuve given us keyboard shortcuts, woody? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:09, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm suddenly reminded of this forum thread about how awesome Windows 95 was. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:59, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I really like Win7, although usually I make them look like this, aka no transparencies, no animations (but Aero still on), window border padding to 0 and grey which the Aero gradients makes it look metallic. In the current computer I write from, (a single core Athlon with 1Gb or memory) the system seems to be using just 600Mb of memory so clearly there is some dynamic memory management thingy going on. Similarly, I have found windows 7 to be (or to perceive them as such) faster on a netbook than Ubuntu netbook edition (!?). Sen (talk) 23:43, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I used to use Arch Linux and quite liked it... but then I got lazy with having to write scripts for so much that I moved back to Ubuntu and now happily dual boot Windows 7/Ubuntu. At work a few years ago we found a relatively old laptop using Windows 95, and I remember using having a great laugh at it booting in less than 10 seconds on 64 meg of ram. Maybe a dual boot arch/windows 95 is really what you're after? αTalk 12:39, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I much prefer 7 to Vista, but I'm still pissed off that they got rid of in place upgrades in both. Probably the most useful feature in XP. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:57, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
7 is undoubtedly better than Vista. I was thinking of throwing away my desktop but loading 7 and putting more memory in turned it into a new machine.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
warning DO NOT ATTEMPT TO "UPGRADE" XP TO 7. If you do be sure to have each and every one of your old drivers handy since 7 will wipe them out to death. (By upgrade I mean BOTH the Upgrade and a full Windows7 (Stand-alone) versions. It can be done. But tis'n't worth it. C®ackeЯ


Are there any actual RW editors on the RW IRC thingy? I just joined it for the first time, and not only is it incredibly inactive, but I don't recognize any names. Blue (pester) 21:24, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

We have an IRC? Maybe this will clear up the block log a bit. ТyAn losing, yet cure cob? 22:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Noone home. ТyAn uptight, yet disintegrate bank heist? 22:59, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Hello. I am C®ackeЯ, I created the RW chan some time ago. Talking ON the chan is rare, yes, (maybe even frowned upon), but it's there. IRC is so 1990's that I didn't think anybody new used it anymore. (I own the channel and haven't been there for months, So Adny is usually the guy to talk to, to get @. since I already "signed this post above I'll just throw in the timestamp here. 15:21, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
People don't use IRC? Ubuntu devs, ED, Debian, etc. all still use it. It is alive and well. ТyTalk. 15:24, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
When I stopped going there there were no longer any RW editors left. A few cool people were still using it, for some odd reason (Adny and a lesbian couple come to mind). But that was probably two years ago now. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Which goes to show just how out of touch Ubuntu and Debian developers are. If open source was truly about openness, they would use a wiki, where everything is easily available and on the record. Instead, they'd rather use IRC and mailing lists, which are about as useful for important work (e.g. developing major software projects) as a passing notes around in class. Once again, thank you, Linux devs, for maintaining an an increasingly irrelevant mindset. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Ubuntu does use a wiki, as does GNOME. ТyTalk. 18:21, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Point taken; I was wrong. Open mouth, insert foot. You're technically right. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
But only technically: "it exists" does not equal "it is used by developers for talking to each other." In fact, the wiki is explicitly for developer documentation. Meetings, discussions, and the all-important decisions regarding the development of Ubuntu itself, are clearly still made on mailing lists and IRC. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I believe Fedora actually uses a wiki as well, they way Ubuntu should use it, though they also rely on IRC and mailing lists. Hey, one of my classes requires us to program in Vi, on a CLI SUSE server via Putti. And we have lectures on "cutting edge" solaris.ТyTalk. 20:26, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
RA, you're talking bollocks. Mailing lists are a pretty good way of getting people coordinated when a team of people are working on a collaborative project but don't meet very often. You can't very well say they're not being "open", since anyone can subscribe and/or read the archives online. Generally open source projects will use a wiki for their documentation and a set of mailing lists for coordinating development. Mailing lists tend to be much better for focused discussion of features, since everyone with an interest gets the messages delivered to them and they don't have to go hunting for it. None of the information on the list is any more "secret" than information in the bug tracker or version control, it's just developer focused and not of interest to end users. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

DNS question[edit]

Quick question for the techies: A customer is complaining that accessing our site is slow. It seems fine for everyone else. They looked into it and said that the problem is because our site address (secure.company.com) is a CNAME with a TTL of 20 which points to the default record (companyname.com) which is an A record and has a TTL of 43200, and this is causing it to timeout. Sounds like bollocks to me, but I was wondering if anyone could shed some light? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

TTL stands for Time To Live, and most browsers time out after a certain length of time. Most web sites use three hours or 10800. ТyTalk. 15:05, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I thought the DNS server was the one concerned with TTL? I.e. every time you click a webpage your computer first checks it's own cache, then asks your DNS server. If your DNS server checked the nameserver less than the TTL seconds ago then it sends the cached response back. If it's greater than the TTL then the record is removed from the cache so it checks the nameserver again? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:08, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
It is also used by IP packets. They are probably just shouting technobabble at you. I'm not a web developer, so my knowledge is rudimentary. And DNS usually are 24 hour TTLs, much longer than either of yours. ТyTalk. 15:10, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Ours are low in case we need to quickly switch to a backup server. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:18, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest the user does a PING to your servers IP address. The results of that will give you an idea of a network issue and you can then use TRACERT to try to catch the slow segment. Time to live is part of the TCP/IP protocol and is generally set to keep stuff alive while not waiting forever for a response. I have only seen it set to a couple minutes at most. Hamster (talk) 18:43, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm reasonably sure that's a complete load of cobblers. The CNAME record isn't propagated to either clients or downstream caches. What happens is that a client issues a request for the A record for secure.company.com. If the downstream cache the they ask doesn't know, it (eventually) gets passed all the way up to the authoritative nameserver for company.com, which then checks for entries for secure.company.com. On finding the CNAME record, it restarts the check looking for records for company.com and returns that A record as if it was a direct A record for secure.company.com. CNAME is essentially a convenience thing that means you don't have to go round altering many A records if you renumber your servers. Clients and downstream caches see only the A record, and will cache it for, in this case, 43200 seconds. The best thing to do is tell them to go get wireshark and send you a packet capture of one of the "slow" transactions so you can really see what's going on. If they know how to use dig to find CNAME records, this shouldn't be too hard for them. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:39, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Do CNAMEs even have a TTL? I thought they just forwarded directly onto the A record at the top of the chain? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, they do have a TTL since it's possible to send a DNS request specifically asking for a CNAME record, in which case the server will obediently serve you the entry. It's not something that happens very much though, unless a user is actively exploring your dns. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm curious - he seems to be the front-runner for the GOP at the moment and he's also a Mormon. However, given how the US was barely ready for a Catholic Pres and certainly not ready for a black Pres, just what are the chances realistically that the US will go for having some weird cultist as Pres? I can't wait to hear him tell a bunch of fundies, "Oh yes, and God lives on a planet..." --Ψ GremlinSprich! 14:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Because the Mormons are so good at that squeaky clean image, own the BSA, and most people think the only difference with mainline Christianity is polygynous and no hot beverages. And the missionary thing. ТyTalk. 14:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I refuse to vote for him, and not just because he's a republican. I would vote for a good republican candidate, I just don't see that happening. It may be wrong to judge someone based on their religion, but Mormon's freak me out. Also, his claim to fame is his dad was governor of my state. He thought he had my state wrapped up last election because of that fact. He was wrong. Quaruspork - You can't explain that! 14:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The difference between Romney's Mormonism and JFK's Catholicism is that in the Sixties, Catholicism was still seen as something "they" practiced, someone not quite American. You had heavily Catholic parts of the country, but there were also areas where Catholics were very uncommon. Mormons, by contrast, are pretty everywhere. Most adults probably know a few Mormons, and I think a lot of them would share my experience -- you may not share their religious beliefs, but you've found that they're often very nice, decent people. Even if you don't share their beliefs, you're quite happy having them as neighbors or co-workers, though you might tell them "no, I'm not interested in going to church with you" (and you might tell the missionaries "unless one of you is going to get all Latter Days with me.) MDB (talk) 16:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Glenn Beck is a Mormon so even the wingnuts seem to have cooled off on the Mormon thing. What's really going to kill Romney is his status as a country club Republican and "RomneyCare." I don't see him even winning the primary. Palin, Huckabee, et al haven't gone into campaign mode yet because they need to stay on Fox as long as possible. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:36, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm curious how many Beck-heads realize he's a Mormon. MDB (talk) 16:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think his Mormonism will be much of an issue, but I don't consider him the frontrunner either. He's trying to be a generic, unobjectionable candidate, embracing the core Republican planks without going overboard and alienating anyone. But this also means that he doesn't have a natural constituency among base voters, and his past record makes him come off as insincere whenever he tries to woo them by posing as a right-winger. The establishment may back him because he seems like a solid choice for the general election, but I doubt whether that's enough to carry him through the primaries, especially after what happened last year. And his status as the perceived front-runner might invite more ideological candidates to define themselves by attacking him, allowing more low-profile moderates like Daniels or Huntsman to escape the same charges and lay a claim to the rational Republican vote. In the end, he seems like a candidate who looks good on paper, but could easily find himself completely deserted after one or two initial setbacks. Röstigraben (talk) 17:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
A lot of what Rostigraben said about Romney could have applied to McCain, too. I've heard it said that the Republicans have a general tendency to nominate whoever's "turn" it is, and that often means "the guy who came in second in the primaries last time". By that standard, either Huckabee or Romney will win. Of course, that ignores the fact the Republican party is very ideologically polarized right now, and will probably skew to the right in the primaries. MDB (talk) 17:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The one key difference is that McCain at least tried to stay true to his legacy, while Romney tried to act as a died-in-the-wool social conservative and was justifiedly accused of inconsistency. It's the flip-flopping and vagueness that'll prevent him from getting taken serious by any group, while McCain had the national security hawks and moderates to back him due to his record. I still remember that debate about Guantanamo when McCain made his case for his stand against torture, which wasn't a popular position within his party, but one that was consistent with his principles. Then it was Romney's turn, he tried to win the audience over bytaking a faux far-right position and calling for an expansion of Guantanamo, which was met with incredulity even from this audience. Röstigraben (talk) 18:09, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The only really interesting question is whether the nominee is going to be another bland business-as-usual Republican from the Romney, Huckabee and the numerously co-opted Ron Paul stable who'll endorse another four years of lowering taxes on rich people and gutting any regulations that get in the way of them making more money, or whether it'll be one of the new school of Palin/Bachmann-ite crazies who at least talk a good game about wanting to grab axes and chop huge great holes in ship of state's hull (but promise faithfully that all the holes will be above the waterline. Honest.)
If it's the former, who cares what the suit's name tag says? They're all the same guy. If it's the latter, well, it'll be both terrifying and at the same time incredibly entertaining to watch. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I will say that, while I could never vote for Huckabee (at least not against anyone the Dems are likely to run in the next few electoral cycles), he does have one thing that sets him apart from much of the rest of the Christian right, in a good way, for me: he actually takes Jesus' commandments about caring for the poor seriously. I seem to remember he spent a good deal of political capital in Arkansas trying to reform a hideously regressive tax code. If more of the Christian right was like him, I'd still disagree with them on a lot of things, but I'd at least be willing to say they're actually trying to put their faith in action politically rather than just being used by the Republican party.

I also admire anyone who's managed to lose a helluva lot of weight and keep it off, but that's my personal bias (and certainly not a reason I'd vote for him.) MDB (talk) 19:50, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Yet another Lib Dem scandal?[edit]

"Twitter's abuzz" with talk about a scandal involving a senior Lib Dem MP, with Andrew Neil saying it'll be the weekend when it breaks. Could be this business about Michael Moore which has been developing - apparently the Scotland Secretary missed a crucial vote, his office claimed he was on important business in Scotland, but it was shown that he was in London. Because the office had lied been incorrect, Labour put in a Freedom of Information Request which was rejected under the rarely used exemption that it may be negative to somebody's mental health or physical wellbeing, and that just happened this week. Any thoughts? DalekEXTERMINATE 18:40, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Mmmm, not hearing any buzz at the mo. I would have thought that if it breaks, it would more likely be tomorrow night, but I'll keep my ears open.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

For all the single geeks this Valentine's Day[edit]

(The title aside, nerdy guys need love, too, TYVM.) MDB (talk) 11:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Mrs Psy-to-be was all coy this morning, until she realised I'd genuinely forgotten it was St V's day. Needless to say, I had to make my own breakfast in a somewhat frigid atmosphere. Dinner reservations have since been made, however, so hopefully I won't be on the couch tonight. --Ψ GremlinTal! 12:21, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
4 years(almost 5 in a week) since I last went on a date. And my mother keeps trying to hook me up with fundamentalists. ТиранесAn lazy, yet untie pencil? 12:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
This is the first Valentine's Day since 2000 that I've been single. (Well, we had only been dating a couple of months in 2000, so we weren't really a couple yet then.)
On a somewhat related note, my parents celebrate forty five years of not killing each othermarriage this Thursday. MDB (talk) 12:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Mrs. K. suggested that after all these years we didn't need to waste money on expensively retailed pieces of card or rip-off meals and will be dining chez nous with a bottle of Freixenet after redecorating the kitchen for her. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 12:54, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The wife and I decided a while ago that going out for a meal on valentine's day is a crap idea after we had two consecutive valentine's day meals where we were crammed into a restaurant like sardines with other couples and fed school dinner quality mass produced food. both times were at excellent restaurants who had thrown their cooking skills out of the window to make as much cash as possible. Since then I've always cooked a nice meal at home, usually involving lobster in some fashion (like lobster thermidor (yuk), grilled lobster with finnes herbes, and lobster & salmon ravioli) but this year we're not even bothering with that. I think we're probably going to end up having fish fingers, chips & beans for some reason (some gourmet shit right there!). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:38, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
How about Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce served in a provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam? MDB (talk) 14:53, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm in! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:54, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll have the lot! All mixed up in a bucket. Real first name and last initial (talk) 13:21, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, with the eggs on top. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:07, 17 February 2011 (UTC)


For the past two hours, I've had "all I want from you is a sonic screw <ba-da-dum-ba-da-dum-bum-dum> driver" running around my head! MDB (talk) 13:58, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

What Party does the Punisher Support?[edit]

I got a free copy of Kick-Ass when I got a new PSP (everything just seems to break at once, my PC is still in the shop) and I found the movie to be a guilty pleasure. Naturally, I went out and bought a the comic. While reading, I came across Big Daddies definition of a democrat. There is one thing I have noticed while reading western comics, violent vigilantes with questionable mental health are anti-liberal. We have the classic Walter Kovacs/Rorschach from Watchmen, Adrian Chase from his run as Vigilante (which ended with him committing suicide over what he had become in a very well-written issue) and now Big Daddy (at least in the comic). Anyone think this is a coincidence?--Thanatos (talk) 01:53, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Definitely not a coincidence - liberals generally don't support vigilantism, especially not the brutally violent type practiced by, say, Kovacs from Watchmen. Also, note that characters like this are mostly focused on punishing criminals rather than reforming them, which is generally a conservative position. Moral absolutism also seems to be a recurring thing with vigilante superheroes, and even if its atheistic moral absolutism (e.g. Kovacs), it's still more conservative than it is liberal. This obviously ties in with the desire to punish rather than rehabilitate criminals. Tetronian you're clueless 02:02, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I just went to CP and saw Spiderman and The Dark Knight on their greatest conservative movies page. Now, in Spiderman, the Web-head doesn't kill Norman Osborne, rather Norman accidentally kills himself. And in Dark Knight, Batman doesn't let the Joker fall to his death unlike their meeting in 1989. Needless to say, your above points are not really reflected over at CP. You think that Chase, Kovacs and Big Daddy may represent the real ideals/emotions of conservatives while they cheer on Jesus and Superman (possibly SuperJesus as well)? Chase representing inner angst conservatives may feel when confronted with the realities of their policies. Kovacs being childish notions on good and evil taken to extremes and held onto stubbornly as well as being the outsider criticizing the rest of the country. Big Daddy being the desire of forcing your beliefs and fantasies on the next generation.--Thanatos (talk) 03:41, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Those are all really good interpretations of those characters! I would say that they seem to be critiques or criticisms of the vigilante/conservative interpretation of justice. This might not be true with Spider-Man and Batman since the authors intended us to empathize with these characters, but the others ones you mentioned sound to me like they are being used to show how silly a simplistic (and perhaps conservative) definition of justice is. Tetronian you're clueless 05:03, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Batman was originally much more of a vigilante -- in early appearances, he carries a gun, and I think he even did kill some of the earliest criminals he fought.
For that matter, some early Superman stories had him as a bit of a leftist vigilante, going after corporate and political corruption.
The Punisher, now portrayed as a hero, was originally... well, not really a villain, but more of an antagonist. He was certainly not originally portrayed as a hero.
I seem to remember that Alan Moore has expressed surprise that people considered Rorschach an admirable character. Perhaps that's his British sensibilities not understanding American attitudes.
Now, you want to really start a debate... is Captain America a liberal or a conservative? (The answer is, "it depends on who's writing him.") And this is the original Cap, not the Ultimate Marvel version, who is so conservative as to border on reactionary. 18:11, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I am a liberal (or at least all conservatives and me call me so), and secretly I sometimes get allured by the idea of vigilantism, but overall it seems to be one of those things that sound good, but are terrible in practice. This because in comic books bad guys are all politically correct murderers, crazy sadists and family blackmailing corrupt drug dealing cops which we can all kinda agree that they deserve it, but stay away from finer and more complicated matters. (especially those that would require an positive evidence based, scientific investigation in order to attribute objective justice, often to multiple parties and/or those that would require an ethical analysis, including ultimate statements about how society ought to be)
Yet what happens in reality is that the big bad guys are exactly those you never hear anything happening to them, because they are too difficult a target, while on the other hand every single honor killing or gay bashing is in fact, and act of vigilantism. And conservative vigilantism at that since they are usually motivated by BS ideas like "honor" and "good of society" and all that. In other words, our vigilantes are pussies and they only seem to be going after the weak and innocent targets. And usually their ideas are so crap, they actually do so because they secretly are sadistic complex ridden parasites themselves rather than overly proactive empaths with a taste for justice.
Case in point. The My Lai massacre. You hear conservatives going on and on about how they would kill a terrorist in this and that way outraged by new of a woman stoning or something, you hear people hearing about they would kill a killer in such and such imaginative ways. And yet there you have it. Here you have guys which you know are serial killers, which you know their names, which they killed children in full awareness of doing so and much enjoying it doing so. Here you have guys who killed much more than the "Dr.Petit" case (why are 3 murders worthy of death penalty, and 500 aren't?), and they didn't even get a conviction! And the one (out of a platoon) guy who got convicted, just served 3.5 years on house arrest (this is less than the punishment given for hacking Palin's email) and now is free and still alive living his life in the US. Every single day, out of 300 Million Americans not one guy has the guts to go and kill a confirmed child killer(s).
Or take Ahmadinejad for example. Conservatives constantly have no problem describing all kinds of sadistic death wishes in their little forums and blogs and such. There are all this oh-so-funny-ha-ha "vote from the roofs" T-shirts and stickers. And here you had it, a guy, which pretty much everyone knows that he is funding bombing attacks in Iraq. A guy who is active part of oppressing 50% of the population in Iran (women), or alternatively, who supports a regime that acts like a serial killer against homosexuals. There he was, on a pondium, and not a single American had the guts to take a scoped rifle at him. Not even ex-Iraq veterans who (or their friends) might have been amputated or disfigured by bombs. No one.
On the other hand, you know which shootings by proud vigilantes come in mind when I think of such acts in the US? John Lennon and Kennedy. No comments there.
I have a personal theory then, that vigilantism doesn't work, because good people are generally not inclined to go out of their way in order to kill someone. Its just too much of an effort. Too many bad vibes and negative feelings. Hate leads to the dark side and all that.
I further believe that conservatives are pussies. They only act within an anonymous mob and never against authority. They have no problem saying "nuke them" but implying "errr, you know we... all together. America/The Country/Christians. When I am in the army and totally anonymous with orders by someone else, I will totally do it" or something, never themselves as a person.
The end result then, is that the only people who are neither pussies and have the willpower to go so out of their way in order to harm someone are so mentally unhinged, the chance of them being good guys is pretty much zero. Sen (talk) 19:23, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
That was beautiful. ТyTalk. 19:26, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
There would always be an extra motive of some kind. If you want to talk about mob-like justice, there are plenty of deserving targets but these are ignored. I'm not saying that people should assassinate dictators and leaders who are known to be more than a little 'iffy' as that sort of thing can cause more problems than it solves (power vacuums and such, and the general case of you just pissing people off). But you have to wonder why, amongst all the table banging rhetoric about bringing so-called evil to justice, some people are wandering around pretty free. I recall Bob Geldof (I think) talking about a gang in Africa who abducted children and did all sorts of sadistic stuff like forcing them to eat each other at gunpoint (I'll have to look it up again for the details) and at the end of the report he turned to the camera and literally said, referring to the gang's leader, "I don't see why a group, or a western government, can't put a team together and kill him". So why do we seem happy to tolerate I'm A Dinner Jacket and not Saddam Hussein, why do we let Mugabe get on with what he does best but not abortion providers? Scarlet A.pngbomination 09:19, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
This section just reminds me of a rant Reginald D Hunter had on HIGNFY about Batman: "Batman is a conservative's wet dream, fuck Batman". CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:49, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Why do we progressives have to have an idiot like Captain Planet?--Thanatos (talk) 03:19, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


I attended a debate today for one of my classes, and the subject of discussion was "Should Creationism be taught along with Evolution in public schools?" Frankly, it was not my debate to participate in, having already done another discussion. It was interesting to watch, neither of the two sides really made much of a point. On the pro-evolution side, we had the argument "evolution is science, creationism is not", without even explaining how we know evolution is science. The pro-creationism side argued that not teaching creationism would inhibit freedom of religion. Both sides presented painfully weak arguments, chased pointless red herrings, all the hallmarks of a debate. At the end, though, we students had a chance to make our input. I repeat to you what I said in the class.

"I say it is important that we teach controversies. I say that we teach alchemy right next to chemistry classrooms, astrology as well as astronomy, and magic as an alternative to physics. The important thing to understand is this: three of those beliefs are superstitions, long ago discarded as irrelevant and pointless, while the other three, along with evolution, are scientific. Creationism, quite frankly, belongs in the superstition category. We can know evolution happened through evidence, the cosmic microwave background pointing to a single instance, modern experiments replicating early earth and finding organic compounds, and a deep and rich fossil record, flushed with vestigial organs and changing and adapting life. We can teach science because we can learn from it, unlike creationism, which has a base on a 3,000 year old fantasy novel written by a bunch of superstitious bronze-age shepherds. Evolution is science, creationism is a myth, which is why evolution belongs in schools, and creationism belongs in mind cemeteries of wishful thinking. Ignorance deserves no right to deface a centre of learning."

Of course, there were titters through the crowd, the moderator expressed opposition to my statement being offensive, and the class went on. By good fortune, the bulk of the class was against teaching both in schools.

The next two debate came and went, one was about splitting students by academic success, the latter about I-don't-even-know. It was with this second debate that the class ended. As I was putting my jacket on, a student approached me and said "What you said was extremly offensive to me, all my friends in heaven, and my family" (you could tell he was pissed off more than hurt), to which I responded, "I am not sorry. You have a right to your beliefs, and they have a place for you to enjoy. Have a good day." This prompted a response of "You are an asshole. If we were not in school, I would punch you in the face." My earnest and simple response was this, "'Turn the other cheek.' Have a good day."

Yes, he did walk away without incident, and I am sitting writing this encounter. Javasca₧ no hell below him 17:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

*claps* Sen (talk) 18:06, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
What??? How dare you defend your opinion? How offensive! God needed defending and he must have inspired that student to threaten you with holy violence! Seriously though, well done.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:12, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
A good presentation and an admirable response, in my opinion. Kudos to you! αTalk 18:17, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Well done. Your reaction couldn't have been better. Tetronian you're clueless 19:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Good stuff. Religionists of all stripes need to learn that they don't have the right to not be offended. Yes, they have the right to believe in nonsense, but if they're then offended when said nonsense is called; that's their fault. And tough shit. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:04, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, you were totally a fucking asshole there. I mean, how dare you. Actually how very dare you! Scarlet A.pngbomination 22:31, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I never see why belief is such a contentious issue. People can believe whatever idiot thing they want IMHO, the world needs more burger flippers and cashiers to serve the smart people. ~ Subsound ~ 14:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Wow. You're much nicer than I. I'd have been all "Sorry, it's not my fault you're a moron" And I don't just say that because I'm anonymous, and online. I really am an asshole about such things in real life. I got threatened that he wanted to hit me too. I told him he should, we'll see how well that goes. So bravo keeping a level head. I do like your comment to the debate, though I'd have said something to the instructor, too. Again, I'm an asshole. Quaruspork - You can't explain that! 14:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I am baffled about how you can teach creationism. Once you've said "God did it" what else is there to say?  Lily Inspirate me. 10:52, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can make out, "teaching creationism" is just reading out AiG's list of arguments that creations shouldn't use. Oh, and comparing cells to watches. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Now if you want to shoot someone[edit]

South Dakota is making it legal to shoot abortion doctors. Via some guys blog. - π 22:01, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm speechless. I thought it was a Poe until I looked around elsewhere on the Internet and saw it there too. That is absolutely barbaric. Tetronian you're clueless 22:07, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yikes. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:11, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
"...or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child" Okay, yet more shitty wording from ape-shit reactionary laws. Now, no doubt they'll say this is about people attacking pregnant women (as in, violent assault) in a manner that could endanger an unborn baby. However, don't you also think that this could apply to the pregnant woman herself should she attempt to sign informed consent to a procedure, which would be the equivalent of hiring a hit-man. Scarlet A.pngbomination 22:20, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Well I guess I'm not going there. What happens in a miscarriage? Could the woman be able to be killed for taking the morning after pill? ТyTalk. 23:13, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
In case of miscarriage, you can plead justifiable deicide next time you crucify Jesus. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:57, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not kill?" --Ψ GremlinRunāt! 05:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If you read your Thomas Aquinas [7], you will find that "kill" means "kill someone who does not have it coming to him," such as "evil-doers and foes of the common good." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I love how conservatives/fundies are willing to do anything to make sure a foetus ends up being born, but then will do absolutely nothing after the fact to look after that child's welfare. Except build more prisons and fight for the death penalty. Their attitude is like 2 rednecks fishing, "Nah, he's too little, Bubba J. Throw 'im back an' we'll git 'im when he's big." --Ψ Gremlin話しなさい 07:34, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, obviously the State is the only body that is capable of looking after a child's welfare, the anti-abortion protesters who offer to do it being entirely incapable of doing so; also obviously, there is no distinction whatever between deliberately ending a fetus's existence and, e.g., failing to prevent a miscarriage. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:53, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If the state is going to mandate against abortions, it should be improving welfare for children and their parents. While I'm sure those with a libertarian bent would be more than happy from welfare to be private and have nothing to do with the state, they'd probably be also be very much behind the state not meddling to cause active harm or problems for people too. If they are going to, essentially, enforce childbirth regardless of cause (and that proposed "only the right sort of rape" clause is the sort of slippery-slope they need to be on to really get rid of all causes) they should provide the support and education so that abortion is avoided at the source (i.e., shagging), rather than just outright banned. Scarlet A.pngbomination 09:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The article touches on the various laws that conservatives have enacted to make it difficult for a woman to have an abortion, including making them wait 72 hours before they can see the doctor for the procedure. Is there any reason why they can't enact a law that makes them wait 9 months for it, thus effectively banning it altogether? What could stop them doing that? I'm not familiar with US law. ONE / TALK 13:07, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The Supreme Court will usually allow reasonable restrictions on what is otherwise a right. For instance, I have free speech, but I couldn't stand under my neighbor's bedroom window at 3:00 AM yelling at the top of my lungs. Now, you can debate whether a three day waiting period for an abortion is a reasonable restriction, but if there is right to an abortion, a nine month waiting period is certainly an unreasonable restriction. MDB (talk) 14:02, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
And many of the laws it mentions were struck down, including 72 hour waits in other states. But I think we should be able to murder anti-abortion people. It should fall under "temporary insanity" upon hearing their ridiculous claims. "Hey, did you know an abortion is one of the riskiest procedure you can get, and 1/4 of women die durring them?" *bang* (I have honestly been told the preceding statement before) Quaruspork - You can't explain that! 14:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
That could well be a completely factual statement. It is the riskiest procedure you can get, if we're talking about the risk to the fetus. And if we use a very liberal definition of "woman", then I would wager that at least 50% of women die during them.... ONE / TALK 15:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
But we both know that's not what was meant. And there was a full conversation around it, I assumed you'd be able to grasp that it wasn't a single statement yelled at me from a car window. Quaruspork - You can't explain that! 15:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm just being facetious. But now I'm laughing at the idea of a drive-by statistic. ONE / TALK 16:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I assumed you were. I like drive-by debates. And since I was going to post this, but didn't want to reply to myself, Pro-choice ad Quaruspork - You can't explain that! 16:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

What a bizarre story. Can a state pass such a law? Wouldn't it be unconstitutional or something?--BobSpring is sprung! 18:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Behold the joy of States' rights. ТyTalk. 15:05, 17 February 2011 (UTC)