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Mentat

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Everything posted by Mentat

  1. Out of interest, how do you consider the UK economy fundamentally broken (in ways that other similar capitalist democracies aren't)?
  2. Was the Eye even Sauron's symbol before he was disembodied as a result of the destruction of Numenor?
  3. Even if one accepts, for the sake of argument, that a fetus is a live human being deserving of legal protection, the argument hardly ends there. Over a million human lives would be saved every year if we outlawed private vehicles (this is only in accidents, which kill mainly pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, I'm not counting the pollution which they cause and loss of life from that). Should we? Cars might be convenient to many, but surely they're not worth a million human lives a year? Note I'm not including trucks, ambulances or even buses, simply privately owned automobiles. If the right of a human being to live is the highest and most sacred (or important), right, then how can we condone the existence of cars? Surely the rights to own stuff we want or to get to places faster or even to commute in order to keep a job must cede before the right to live of a million people a year. Outlawing abortion, not only creates a physically dangerous and economically ruinous environment for women via illegal abortions and mafias without being a very effective means of curtailing abortions themselves (much like the prohibition re alcohol), it also makes it impossible to live in a world where women and men can be equals in freedom and dignity. Think what you want of fetal life, it's worth the sacrifice.
  4. A Legal Eagle fan? If a task is asinine I will explain to my boss why I think it is a waste of time. If he disagrees, I will respect the fact that he is the boss, and it's his call to make. Obviously, asinine though they may be, none of these tasks involve hurting other people.
  5. What rule would that be? Not international humanitarian law, for sure. As I said, it would be explicitly against the Geneva Convention. If by environment you mean a historical setting like the War of the Roses, a fantasy setting like The War of the Ring or a back alley knife fight then, sure, whatever, but as I understood it, the OP was mostly referring to the war in Ukraine.
  6. I don't think this would make a difference. The principle of ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law excuses not) would apply.
  7. Yes, but this would be a different defense. The soldier would have to argue not that he executed the prisoner because his commanding officer told him so (though they might have), but that he did so because he believed the prisoner had been legally condemned to death by a court martial. His defense would succeed based on how reasonable said belief was. The fact that the soldier had been lied to (or misinformed) by his commanding officer is definitely something his lawyer would bring up.
  8. Executing prisoners (whether they're partisans, spies or POWs) is a violation of the Geneva Convention unless said execution results from a sentence issued by a court offering the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality. A soldier should know this, and thus doing so should be considered a war crime, regardless of if they were given an order.
  9. Sympathy is subjective and up to the individual. Legally, following orders one knew or should have known to be unlawful would likely not be an adequate defense, though coercion or duress might be. One would have to establish that not following said orders would result in immediate serious bodily injury or death (or a reasonable fear of such) and that there was no reasonable way to avoid following the orders or alternative course of action available. The problem, really, is who are you ultimately accountable to. A soldier in a victorious army is likely accountable to his commanding officer, while a general might be accountable to a president or head of state. Likely they will do well if they followed orders, and not so well if they didn't. A captured soldier, or a general or head of state of a defeated nation, might be accountable to the enemy, on the other hand, in which case they'd better lawyer up and/or start polishing their story (which hopefully includes a suitable scapegoat). Vae Victis is as true now as it ever was.
  10. Since I don't think Ukraine is likely to be able to host Eurovision next year, I definitely think the UK should get dibs as the runner-up.
  11. Thank you! You have quite the stunner yourself! I love DJ's blue-grey coat. It's hard to know exactly where Mina came from before I adopted her. She appeared one day in the inner courtyard of the building where I used to live. I initially thought she belonged to the neighbour who lived on the ground floor, but I got quite upset one day when it was raining and cold and I saw her sleeping outside, taking refuge under a balcony. The second time it happened I hollered one of the neighbours and asked them about the cat. The story they gave me was that the previous tenant of the ground floor flat owned three cats and had left with two but abandoned the third. I got in touch with a rescue shelter and with the real estate agents who were renting the flat (who assured me that there was no cat left behind and that it must have gotten in somehow). They also refused to let me in to the flat to get her, because they said the flat had already been rented to a lady living in Barcelona (who hadn't been able to move there yet because of the pandemic). Eventually a cousin of the current absentee tenant who lived near by was found, and they let me and a lady called Nuria from the local cat shelter into the building. She used a cat trap with some food and I spied from my balcony and told her when the cat was in the bag. The cat was taken to the shelter, where she was neutered and checked for diseases, and then I adopted her and took her home. She was initially very shy, but we gave her a room to herself which I would only enter to feed her and that helped. She would also hide a lot (and as I'm sure you can attest cats are extremely adept at hiding and will fit into places where it didn't seem physically possible for them to squeeze into), but eventually she got used to me. I still remember the first night she left her room and walked around my bed while I pretended to be asleep! She does seem to have had human contact at some point in her life, she definitely wasn't feral. Her first vet was great. A large no-nonsense woman with a lot of experience who just handled Mina like she was a baby. She looked and prodded where she wanted and even put Mina belly up and got no protest! The new vet I don't like as much. She's young and relatively inexperienced, and it shows.
  12. She is! She's a blue tortoiseshell, which is a slightly unusual coat color. I can't help feeling a bit bad about it (she looks really stunned and clumsy, and we were afraid she might fall from a table or her cat tree), but yeah, she needs to go to the vet. I think I can get her to be cooperative without drugs, but if I can't then she'll get a tranquilizer.
  13. Spain's selection was pretty controversial. We held an open song contest (Benidorm Fest) to pick our representative in Eurovision. The professional jury picked Chanel despite an overwhelming popular support for either Rigoberta Bandini's Ay Mama (a reivindicative feminist song about motherhood) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_WqBxwAbJY or Tanxugueiras' Terra (a folk song in Galician) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uGN9efcACw
  14. A small-ish update on my cat, Mina: Managed to locate her blood test results and get a copy of them with the help of the veterinarian who neutered her and a volunteer from the animal shelter, so she was reprieved from a second attempt to get a blood sample (very good news, as the first, failed, attempt had distressed her greatly). When we tried to get her into the cat transporter to visit the vet again in order to get her feline leukemia shot, she rebelled, becoming extremely frightened and resisting our every attempt. We turned up for the vet appointment anyway (sheepishly, without the cat), but the vet was understanding. She instructed us to leave the transporter out for a few days and urged us to feed the cat a tranquilizer pill (which I was loathe to do). We followed her instructions and the tranquilizer made Mina clumsy (as if drunk). We'd left the transporter in the corridor for a couple of days, and giving her an extra small helping of food that day and then putting some treats inside the transporter worked well. So she got her shot (she was very well behaved), but remained clumsy for a few hours and not quite herself for the next two days (just lying around lazily and not asking for a play, which is not at all like her), but then went back to normal. We need to get a further appointment for her 3-in-1 booster, as you have to wait at least two weeks after the feline leukemia shot. Since her last visit to the vet was not at all traumatic We'll try to do without the tranquilizer for the next appointment. Anyway, thank you for all the advice. Here's a picture of Mina lounging in the living room Mina pic
  15. Thank you for this. I spoke with my previous vet on the phone today. She said it's complicated, because this was prior to the adoption, so she would have been filed as "Rescue Cat number XX". I've messaged the cat shelter to see if they have a record of what date they took her to have the tests, as the vet said that might help her find the info. The vet said the only way a cat can get feline leukemia is from another cat, so if she doesn't have it already (in which case she shouldn't get a vaccine), I'm not sure it's truly necessary, as Mina never leaves my flat and has no contact with other cats.
  16. So, I took my cat Mina to the vet yesterday. She was behaving like an absolute star. Went into the carrier with no issue, allowed the vet to look into her mouth and ears and auscultate her heart and lungs, even let her put a swab up her butt to do a feces test. At one point, though, the vet asked me if she had gotten a leukemia shot, because it wasn't showing in the health card that my previous vet (I moved to a different city about a year ago) had given me. So I said I didn't know. She told me she would recommend one, but she needed to know the cat didn't have leukemia. Now, she had a blood test when she was sterilized and I think she was fine for leukemia, but the vet said she needed some actual proof. She offered to test Mina's blood herself. I agreed. Mina was behaving very well, but the vet failed to find a vein on her paw twice, and the second time really hurt Mina (the needle drew blood, but not enough to take a sample). Mina went understandably berserk, and refused to cooperate any more. The vet said I should take her in another day when she was more calm, and gave me a tranquilizer pill (Gabapentin 100mg) to give to her 3 hours prior. So, I want to try and get in touch with the other vet and have her send me the results of the previous test. If for some reason this wasn't possible, I'm loathe to put Mina through the same ordeal a second time. I would be okay with just giving her a booster for the shots she already has. I'm also not keen on giving her a tranquilizer. She's a lovely and well-behaved cat, and was behaving beautifully until she was actually hurt. Am I being silly and should I just follow the vet's instructions or are my concerns warranted? For context, Mina is a house cat and never leaves my flat (except to go to the vet).
  17. Easily? We can mock and ridicule people who object to certain things. We can harass them or demand they face professional consequences for their objections. We can threaten them or act violently towards them. We can control public discourse so that objecting to something is seen under a poor light, and supporting it favourably. We can consider it in poor taste or unpolite, creepy or disgusting to object to certain things. Ultimately, we can prohibit or censor certain objections (some of this might not withstand a legal challenge in certain parts of the world, but that's another story). Of course, it depends on who this 'we' is how much said opposition to this objection will be felt (me and my buddy, a major media outlet, an authoritarian state?), but any person will find that publicly espousing unpopular opinions (or objections), has consequences, and might think twice about doing so.
  18. I also play Hades. I'm currently on my 50th run or so, and still stuck on what I presume is the final boss. There's loads of options I haven't unlocked, though, so I guess there's more to the game once you beat him. I play on my PS4 and also think the game is punishing on fingers and wrists. I can play a couple of runs before they start to hurt and force me to put the game down. Minor complaints aside, I do think it's a great game. Well worth the price.
  19. There was a piece on Zemmour a couple of days ago on Spanish State Radio. You would have expected them to measure their words when speaking about a foreign presidential candidate, but they definitely made him sound like a "immigrants are destroying French culture" deplorable. For what it's worth, their money was on Macron.
  20. I have a question for the resident cat experts. My cat (Mina) and my cleaning lady (María José), don't get along. Mina is normally wary of strangers, but gets used to them after a time. I've had strangers come to feed her when I'm away and she's been tolerant of them. She hates María José, though. She growls and hisses at her and makes a big nuisance of herself. María José is quite apprehensive of cats, and when Mina gets really aggressive she's afraid she'll attack her (she wouldn't, but I'm sympathetic) and doesn't want to be near her. Today Mina took advantage of that and kept María José away from the bedroom, which meant she couldn't go in there to clean. On the rare occasions when I've been at home when María José came around to clean Mina behaves better, and I have tried to show her that María José is a friend, but I'm mostly at work when she's around. María José has tried acting friendly or bribing Mina with treats, but thus far to no avail. I could lock Mina in a room before going off to work, but I know she'd strongly resent that. Can someone suggest a course of action that will keep all parties involved happy?
  21. Is this actually supported by research? I'm no doctor, but I would have thought healthier people who eat good food would have a stronger immune system than people who live in unsanitary conditions and eat unhealthy diets, and not the other way around. Some fairly simple ways of cooking food (like boiling), should also be pretty good at making most food edible.
  22. I saw it yesterday at the theatre. I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, what is shot is shot very beautifully. The acting and dialogue are good. You get a real feel for both Caladan and Arrakis.
  23. I played WoW from just before Burning Crusade until the very end of Pandaria. I started off with a Warrior toon, soon ditched him for a Warlock because Warriors sucked at solo adventuring (back then) and eventually ditched the Warlock for a Death Knight when Wrath of the Lich King came out. The Death Knight (a female forsaken called Invernalia, which is Spanish for Winterfell), became my main (and only, as I never kept up with more than one toon). I sunk a lot of hours into the game (there was a way of seeing how many, but I think I'd rather not know...). I was in a Guild and we raided 5 days a week from 22:00 to 00:30. We were not very successful, but we were serious, and one was expected to show up for the raid with full stacks of consumables and having read/watched the guide to the bosses. Eventually I simply decided it was taking up too much of my time and depriving me of sleep I needed if I was to get up early to go to work the next day (I also didn't really like the direction the plot was taking, with all the Horde leaders breaking bad and having to be taken down). I told my guild I was giving up raiding, but I'd still be around to help with dungeons and stuff, but for some reason, I just never logged back in to the game after that last raiding night. It was a clean break. I don't know what you mainly got from the game, but tabletop RPGs like D&D and rogue-like computer games definitely scratch that itch for me and aren't so much of a time sink.
  24. I'm not sure I agree. Hero and Villain (to me) represent roles within a narrative as much as (or, actually, more than) moral qualities. Whether Jaime is redeemable through his later heroics or the attempted murder of an innocent child damns him forever, is secondary to the role he's playing within a specific narrative arc (when he jumps into the bear pit to save Brienne, we'd normally root for him, rather than wish him dead). The fact that two people with different moral compasses may disagree about what is morally reprehensible doesn't really matter either. It just means the same character might appear to be a hero or a villain at the same time to different people (as I'm sure is the case with Napoleon and Churchill). Obviously, when a book is as complex as ASOIAF or if we're speaking of real people and the effect of all the deeds they ever did on their life and legacy, it becomes much harder to speak of heroes and villains, but that's because we have so many criss-crossing narratives.
  25. I think that, other than the moral character of the protagonist (which is obviously important), it's interesting to observe if their arc (that which they set out to do which drives the plot or narrative) is that of a villain or a hero. A protagonist on a quest to save the world from a Dark Lord is very clearly playing the role of a hero in the narrative, regardless of how poor their moral character may be. Protagonists who are villains should ideally be attempting to do something villainous (murder Charles de Gaulle, become a successful mobster/drug kingpin, rob a casino, usurp a throne, avoid lawful retribution) as well as being of poor moral character. Protagonists who are villains (as well as actual villains) may still be portrayed sympathetically (noble thieves, assassins who only take contracts on 'bad people', drug kingpins attempting to do right by their families, abused psychopaths). Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels are a great example of a villain protagonist, as well as books I very much enjoyed and I recommend to the OP.
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