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Everything posted by Fez

  1. Just cracked 850 hours on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Except for maybe WoW back in the day I don't think I've played a game nearly as much as this. I just love the character build variety so much. Also I figured out some of the main reward loops of Destiny 2 so I've been playing that some too. And with The Last Spell out of early access I've been making my way through that. It's a turn-based tactics/tower defense rogue-like with some kickass background music.
  2. John Edwards career was dead long before he was indicted. So that's a strawman. And Cohen shouldn't have gone to prison for it either, that basically was weaponization of the justice system by Trump. I think you're extremely wrong about Mueller. I think Republicans rallying around him due to it was the only thing keeping him afloat when he was losing support over the ACA repeal fiasco. And I think this will help in in the Republican primary now. And if Trump's the nominee, sure I think he's weaker than most other Republicans, but any nominee has a shot. Also, I am entirely onboard with prosecuting fascists for being fascists. It's weird, hard-to-explain campaign violations that I'm less interested in.
  3. I'm all for Trump getting charged for all the crimes he's committed. But I feel like this is pretty weak sauce and hope that the Georgia and potentially federal indictments come soon. This is pretty much the exact thing John Edwards was charged with, and he was found not guilty on one count and had a hung jury on the other charges (and the case wasn't re-tried). If Trump is found not guilty of something that'll have enormous blowback I fear.
  4. Barely politics related, but I found this fascinating. I guess the connection is, "hey, with sufficient funding it looks like the IRS really is able to do its job again" https://www.numlock.com/p/numlock-news-march-28-2023-crocs
  5. I never thought anyone left in the Likud parliamentary party would ever stand up to Bibi. But it seems like enough of the local power blocks of the party did turn on the judicial "reform" bill that some of them felt they had to. His coalition is only a 4 seat margin. I don't think he has the votes now to pass the bill. And I don't think the far right pulls out of the coalition if the bill fails. They've never had power before and now they control a bunch of important ministries, which they risk losing if there's a snap election. However, I think Bibi wants the bill passed to protect himself, so he'll keep pushing all on his own. Guess we'll see if there's enough sustained anger to keep the pressure up or if they manage to quietly pass the bill in the summer.
  6. Western estimates from pre-invasion of how much ammo is needed for a modern war seem like they were dramatically off. I saw an article the other day that Pentagon analysts now estimate that in an all-out non-nuclear war with China the US would run out of precision missiles in a week. The US needs to dramatically up is ammo production overall, not just for Ukraine. But it seems like there's multiple problems, both on the funding side (too much Defense spending earmarked for pet projects) and capacity side (not enough munitions factories any more). I'd be surprised if either issue is solved this year.
  7. I kinda got the urge to play Destiny 2, which I haven't touched since 2018, and holy hell was I immediately completely lost. I debated making a new character rather than going back to my old one, but I'm not sure that would help much either. At least maybe it would remind me what's going on narratively, I think? Although I did have a few neat cosmetics on the old one. Anyone have any advice for getting back into the game?
  8. Housing starts grew by 13.8% in February. Maybe it's a one-month fluke, but it's not what I'd expected to see if interest rates were closing off demand or if a recession was imminent.
  9. My thinking is that longterm, yes, an enormous mess/collapse is coming, barring some massive systematic changes (ha!). But that particular piper isn't coming calling for another 15-20 years. I think the problems SVB faced were relatively isolated, and it was only due to the likelihood of mass irrational panic (which becomes very rational if enough other people are doing it) that there was a chance of a major bank run-related crisis this week. I also think that recession fears are overblown. Certain industry sectors are faring poorly, mostly ones that were reliant on low interest rates. But most metrics are showing a relatively healthy economy, albeit one struggling with inflationary pressures. There is a wildcard of what happens if the US breaches the debt ceiling. But, barring that, I'm not too concerned about where things are a year from now. Feel free to gloat come December if I'm wrong.
  10. I'm perfectly content to say JLC's Oscar is a make up win for "A Fish Called Wanda" (and, really, "Freaky Friday") and call it a day. But I'm more interested in recognizing careers than individual performances anyway. I think its just too hard to accurately make comparisons across something as subjective as specific roles.
  11. Everyone ready for this Sunday? At least we'll be getting to the better time again. There's another effort in Congress this year to make DST permanent, but there doesn't seem to be as much optimism as last year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2023/03/09/daylight-saving-time-bill/
  12. ... No. My hypothesis is that events can move very quickly and without warning. And often times you don't know who the first mover will be until they act; because if they are known, the dictator almost certainly will remove them long before they can act. Your assumption that Putin is untouchable is as wrong as your assumptions about the 2020 election were.
  13. Well, it's not VtM:B2. But I'm certainly intrigued by Harebrained's latest: Wish there was more gameplay than just the bit at the end. But I do like the setting and the genre a whole lot.
  14. Literally every single person in the Kremlin besides the admin staff. It's easy for Putin to kill a general, or a high level FSB officer, or anyone else. Because individually they are weak, no question. But collectively they are the apparatuses of the state itself, and they can easily remove Putin if there's a sea-change in circumstances. Dictators fall extremely easily if they lose that general support. There's nothing that makes Putin special compared to any of the rest.
  15. There's also been a couple long-time dictators removed from power recently too. Robert Mugabe was removed via coup in Zimbabwe in 2017 when his inner circle and the military got tired of him. And Omar al-Bashir was removed via coup in Sudan in 2019 when the military turned on him due to the economic crisis there. Mugabe had been in power for about 40 years and al-Bashir had been for 20 years. Both seemed untouchable until they weren't. No leader rules entirely alone, not even the Kims in North Korea. There are always elites that, while easily dominated individually, have the power if they unite.
  16. Hmm. I'm very interested in hearing whatever Harebrained is working on. And in fact, I wonder if they're actually the developer that has VtM:B2? Paradox has never said which developer was working on it after the game got pulled from the original devs.
  17. Decided to finally do some PC upgrades; went from a 1070TI to a 4070TI. Though I don't really have any games to test it out right now, the games I've been playing recently are all indie. But it was good to future proof for some of the games coming later this year.
  18. I believe the distinction is that it's not your money. Anyone can invest their own money in anything, including a green energy ETF or whatever. But traditional retirement funds are what you invest in if you what you care about is maximizing your investment. And for a long time the managers of such funds were required to maximize returns to their best ability; a rules which was originally in place to prevent managers from basically just directing funds to things they had their own stake in. Now the Feds have passed a rule saying fund managers can also consider ESG factors when investing peoples' funds, and Republicans are big mad. Personally, I still think its bullshit. If someone doesn't want their money going into ESG investing they could always find a fund that explicitly promises not to do it. That's what the free market is all about after all. But it isn't quite as cut-and-dry as blocking people from spending their own money how they want; Republicans want to block how fund managers are using other people's money.
  19. Fun looking horror comedy. Although another movie, a la 'Edge of Tomorrow' and 'Live. Die. Repeat', where the tagline looks better than the title.
  20. WaPo has some additional details, though doesn't list the primary sources. But does give more context as to why the Energy Department was doing it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/02/27/little-known-scientific-team-behind-new-assessment-covid-19-origins/
  21. DOE runs one of the US' national lab systems. And those labs aren't just energy related: https://www.energy.gov/national-laboratories I assume they were asked to look into this because of their presumed experience with lab safety protools.
  22. I'll admit I don't know your posting history, so perhaps it was an unfair comment towards you. However, if you scan the likes of Twitter, you'll see that in 2020 there were an awful lot of blue check marked scientists who were immediately dismissing the lab leak as a racist conspiracy theory. Which led to media orgs doing the same and actions like Facebook outright banning discussion of it. I'll freely admit that some of the people pushing the lab theory in 2020 did have racist intentions, especially the ones claiming it was intentional rather than an accident. But that doesn't mean the underlying idea was racist. And, with federal agencies now being decidedly mixed on the issue, I think it has to be accepted as a plausible alternate theory; rather than dismissed as the province of cranks.
  23. I really disliked FO4 myself, so I don't remember. I agree that it can get old fast if the '50s aesthetic is too prominent. Which is one of the reasons I thought New Vegas was the best of the 3D Fallout games. Sure the strip was all-in on it, but the NCR and Caesar's Legion were completely different vibes. I really appreciated the effort to show what a post-post-apocalyptic society going through a full rebuild might look like; as opposed to everyone just living in '50s rubble the way FO3 and FO4 are.
  24. I didn't say it was a lab leak, I'm saying it's plausible it was a lab leak. Which you, and plenty of other people, seem to be in denial about because so much energy was invested in 2020 in saying that the idea was racist.
  25. Nah. I'm thinking the lab leak theory is perfectly plausible at this point and some people just don't want to admit it because it was generally crazy Republicans who were the first to talk about it.
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