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About Wethers

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  • Birthday 08/28/1970

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    San Francisco, CA, USA

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  1. Wethers

    US Politics: A Mickey Mouse Operation

    I'm sure many have seen this video, but it summarizes the above point fairly well: Also this which goes before it:
  2. Wethers

    u.s. politics: sundowning on the american empire

    Sure, but current reality is that targeted voter suppression is essentially a given if Republicans (maybe even Democrats, don't know) win full control of the state. So it's not really a step, just nature taking its course, or am I overstating things? And due to the 100% politicization of the SCOTUS nomination process, it is essentially also automatic that if a party controls the Senate they will block any nomination they don't want, and if they also have the Presidency, they will ram through politically favorable nominations to SCOTUS. So saying Gerrymandering is 3 steps from gaining SCOTUS seats is (to make an extreme analogy) sort of like saying no it wasn't the extra dry brush and twigs I threw on the small fire in the forest that caused the giant forest fire. It was the person that caused the initial spark or dropped something that was lit. Then later, it was the fact that the dry grass was adjacent to dry trees and acres of dry brush which caused the fire to spread. And much of that only happened due to warmer climates and death of trees due to attack from a larger insect population thriving in warmer temperatures. My adding kindling was just one among many steps. Gerrymandering is the adding of kindling in this (admittedly tortured) analogy. Sure it is just one step, but it is a significant contributor to the overall end result.
  3. Wethers

    u.s. politics: sundowning on the american empire

    I'm not sure I understand. If a party gains full control of state legislature (and other offices), could they not use that for targeted voter suppression? Part of accomplishing this is winning the state legislature (via gerrymandering). Wouldn't voter suppression then affect Senate and Presidential elections? If you reduce the ability for those who would vote for the opposing party to vote it has an effect on the state-wide totals... Close polling stations and so on. Makes it easier for one party to win the Senate seat and the electoral votes for the state. So gerrymandering to help gain full control of the state enables techniques (like voter suppression) to influence Senate and Presidential elections by suppressing turnout by opposing voters in subsequent elections.
  4. Wethers

    u.s. politics: sundowning on the american empire

    What do you mean? Gerrymandering doesn’t impact US Senate elections and impacts only two states out of 50 in Presidential Elections. I am definitely not Bonnot. But might there be a way for gerrymandering to indirectly affect things it does not directly affect, especially if you have a swing state that can go either way for state-wide votes? In swing states, might gerrymandering make it easier for a party (usually Republicans) to get full control of the state legislature that they might not otherwise have had, which, if combined with a governor or other state-wide executives of the same party, allow accelerated targeted voter suppression measures in that state which otherwise would not have happened? This targeted voter suppression would then affect subsequent Senate and Presidential elections, which would in turn affect the SCOTUS. (Edited to add: and also cement the state-wide control by the gerrymandering party so that voter suppression and other such measures become effectively permanent). Certainly not my area of expertise so someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  5. Not that it will matter, but kind of funny on Fox and North Korea: Juxtaposition of Fox's coverage on talking with North Korea over the years CNN and MSNBC are news networks with a bias towards Dems. By contrast, Fox isn't a news network with a bias towards Republicans. They truly are a GOTV operation for the Republican Party. They will make sure Trump (probably legitimately) wins in 2020.
  6. That scenario you laid out is one that I've thought about as well - repeat of 2016 except Dems win Pennsylvania and Michigan, but can't flip Wisconsin or Florida or any others - so Trump wins 270-268. It's what makes me think, sadly, that Trump has a great chance of getting re-elected even without shenanigans. Dems really have to win Pennsylvania, Michigan AND Wisconsin. Aside: what if your scenario unfolds, but Dems also pick up the lone elector in NE-2 (or the one they lost in Maine)? 269-269 Of course, besides PA, WI, MI, Dems should compete hard in other close blue (MN, NV, NH) and close red (FL, AZ, NC, IA) states. Really they should compete in all 50 states, especially because the race is not just for President. But frankly if Texas goes blue in 2020 (extremely unlikely), then it won't matter for the Presidential race - the Dem candidate will already have won it based on other states. Basically, the chances of Texas being the "tipping point" state (shout out to thread title) in the 2020 Presidential election are vanishingly small. PA, MI and WI are probably the tipping point states, with an outside chance of the other close states I outlined being the tipping point. Obviously Florida swinging blue would be huge, but it probably won't happen without some of the other close states also going blue and making it moot. The key significance of Texas getting bluer would be the possibility of Dems eventually picking up more house seats and maybe (probably not in 2020) even a Senate seat someday. Maybe state legislature gains too. Still, I'll believe it when I see it.
  7. Wethers

    Happy Metric Day!

    Thanks - and thanks for not pasting a lmgtfy.com link. I should have looked it up myself.
  8. Wethers

    Happy Metric Day!

    I know this is trolling and not looking for a serious answer, but as an American, I'm curious: don't China and Russia use the metric system? They've walked on the moon too, I thought. Or was that before they switched to metric, at least officially?
  9. Wethers

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    Also wanted to belatedly say that the words from both Ardern and Waleed set exactly the right tone after this attack.
  10. Wethers

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    Canterbury Cavalry or Cavaliers? Chargers? Could keep most of the logo. At some point, why not get a new name? I mean almost no one would think a sports team named, say, the “Riyadh Jihadists” would be a good idea even though it flows off the tongue. Why is Canterbury Crusaders any different? (And yes having a NFL team called the Washington Redskins is not good - saying this as a huge American football fan).
  11. I had a different read on this particular issue. There's a reason Amos is seeking a fight with Bobbie and not the others in his tribe (outside his tribe, everyone is fair game). It's because he knows she's the one person in his tribe that he's pretty much guaranteed to lose to in a fight. He even says/thinks this outright. So he feels "safe" knowing that the only variable consequences are the extent of both of their injuries and whether or not Amos himself dies. That he's fine with those things just shows you how unhinged he is becoming with death approaching for Clarissa. But the one thing he knows he's not doing is killing Bobbie, so he feels safe trying. Because being his flavor of being sociopath (as he has always been) means that violence is the only way he knows to banish his demons. And sometimes he wrongly assumes that's how others work too - e.g. he asks Holden cheerfully but completely seriously if he needs a fistfight after Fred Johnson dies in Babylon's Ashes. But mostly he does it for himself. And he has always been that kind of sociopath. Just look at some of the psycho stuff he does in Nemesis Games on Earth, especially after the asteroid strikes, when he is also starting to come un-tethered from his ethical compass (for different reasons - not being near Holden and to a lesser extent Naomi). Hell, even in Babylon's Ashes, there is a moment when Amos is questioning Holden about Holden's having disarmed the torpedoes fired at the Pella that he (Amos) nearly decides to kill Holden. But in the end based on Holden's answer, Amos decides he's ok with it and does nothing - very parallel to his decision-making on Lydia's husband in Nemesis Games. The text is very understated (Amos just puts down his plate) and Holden as usual doesn't realize what's going on behind that amiable smile. Of course it's nowhere near ok that Amos is like that, but that's him. And by the end of Persepolis Rising Bobbie ends up realizing in a way that Holden never did that Amos' mental issues, while occasionally useful, will always be a threat to them all unless managed.
  12. On the final 2 episodes themselves, I really liked them. With Drummer being (mostly) an amalgam of book characters Michio Pa and Carlos "Bull" de Baca (though Ashford got some of Bull too in choosing to fire on the Roci outside the ring, and to spin up the drum), I actually was not sure what was going to happen with her. Cara Gee is too good not to use her/Drummer in Pa's role going forward, but I was wondering for a second if that was really the end for her there with the grenade and Diogo.
  13. Yes that's how it's explained in the books - the speed limit, whatever it is, is of course imposed by something we don't understand. "Inertial Damping Field" or something like that is how someone from the books describes it, but basically it's code for mysterious alien phenomenon. But the when observers test it in the book, they notice that it (the central alien station) only "grabs" the "outsides" of things, however it figures that out. And only things with mass, so not light/photons. So anyway everything inside ships is unaffected, other than slamming into things on a suddenly decelerated ship when it happens. Show-wise, the things inside the ship don't end up with the weird purple glow (not in the books) that pulls and holds them in place in a close circle around the ring (this is in the books). That's why Clarissa, Anna and (in the show) Naomi, despite having been in ships that were decelerated by the central station and got the purple halo, were themselves able to go where they wanted between ships in EVA suits afterwards. But when Holden, Bobbie and the other Marines are inside the station, they are on the "outside," as are the bullets from the MMC suit guns. These bullets exceed the earlier speed limit and get grabbed and pulled out of the station into the same close circle, but since they are inside the alien station itself, the AI on the station decides to take further defensive countermeasures - hence the thing that comes after the Marines. The grenade does NOT exceed the earlier speed limit, but its explosion teaches the AI on the station that things much slower than the earlier speed limit can cause damage. So the station applies progressive restraint and further reduces the speed limit suddenly to 100kph or whatever the grenade was moving at. But even at that lower speed limit, bullets inside the ships are not subject to any limit. This is a good question. In the books, Naomi's battle/evasion effort with Clarissa goes on a bit longer, and at one point, Clarissa moves over to the controls to try to overload the Roci's reactor. Naomi is able to knock her away and get to the controls to drop the reactor core if I remember right. Clarissa taunts her that she'll just activate and then overload the nuclear warhead on one of the Roci's missiles instead. But anyway, the result later is that the Roci's reactor is not an issue in the books I think. I guess in the show canon, Alex or Amos must have shut it down.
  14. That's right along the lines of what I was thinking! And this type attack seems to be accompanied by "the bullet" / "eye of an angry god" strange sphere of non-dark / non-light that appears on The Tempest in Persepolis Rising and that Elvi drags Miller through to kill all the proto-artifacts on Ilus in Cibola Burn. But in other situations, like when the ring gates are overloaded and eat ships, the "anti-ring-builders" seem to have a different kind of attack that is perfectly capable of killing humans too. The victims include a whole bunch of Inaros' ships in Babylon's Ashes and the battleship Barkeith that was part of Duarte's splinter faction and tries to pass through along with other ships in the epilogue to Nemesis Games. And we know those people don't just "go elsewhere," they die. Fom the point of view of Barkeith's captain, "Sauveterre did not notice his [own] death." Both types of attacks seem to cause humans to suddenly see the world around them as individual fundamental particles and waves with all the space between them, to various extents. This last effect seems most pronounced for those right at the point of attack, either going through the sphere like Elvi, or in an eaten ship like Sauveterre and Inaros. Drummer and the others in Sol system during the destruction of Pallas by The Tempest also seem to experience something like this - she notices the tea interacting with her mouth at a microscopic level - but not quite to the same extent. I'm not sure if this is because she is far away from The Tempest where the attack comes. Her chief science guy, Tur, seems to think that whatever effect it was happened everywhere at once, but it must fade away at some distance or those in other systems across the galaxy would have felt it too.