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Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posts posted by Ser Scot A Ellison

  1. 2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

    Interesting trivia: Picard marks the third time that Jean-Luc Picard is the first character to appear and speak in a Star Trek show. He previously did the same thing in both TNG and DS9 (albeit as Locutus in the latter).

    Because it makes things too easy ;) Star Trek has a horrible history of following up logically on its own inventions. Remember the Season 2 episode of TNG where they cured ageing through the transporter and then immediately forgot about it?

    Those are both described as freak events where by rights they should be dead, so would be too risky to use on civilians.

    What bothers me is that the “too dangerous” excuse flies out the window if the people it is “too risky” to save that way would end up dead.  In any event seeking logic and consistency from Trek technobabble is a hopeless endeavor.


  2. 13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

    That was only possible because there were five crewmembers in the transporter pattern buffer of an advanced scientific vessel. To hold a billion people in pattern buffers would be more logistically complex than actually just moving them through space normally.

    I don't know.  Scotty stored himself for 75 years.  Wasn't Riker's clone stored that way too?  Why not build lots and lots of "Pattern buffers" designed to hold people for longer periods of time instead of building lots and lots of ships?.  

  3. 2 hours ago, Werthead said:

    Not enough ships.

      Hide contents

    Galaxy-class starship can hold about 15,000 people if they absolutely packed out the corridors and filled every quarters and cargo bay. And even that would be just for a few days to a couple of weeks. You'd need 60,000 Galaxy-class starships to evacuate 900 million people from Romulus. The Federation didn't have that many (it had maybe two dozen, tops, and even less Sovereigns). So yes, they needed to build lots and lots of new ships and press in every ship the Federation and the Romulans had.




    They should have just beamed the Romulans off the planet and held them in "pattern buffers" until they got them to saftety like the people Barclay rescued in the TNG episode "The Realm of Fear":




  4. 15 minutes ago, Ormond said:

    OK, not that you were seriously asking, but as a name expert I can answer that. :)

    Teachout is a surname that seems to have originated in upstate New York. The 1800 United States census has 14 families (only the name of the head of the family is given in pre-1850 censuses) with the last name Teachout. All of them lived in Saratoga, Herkimer, or Washington counties in New York except for one in Franklin County, Vermont.  It is probably an Americanization of a Dutch surname, possibly Tietsort. 

    Though Zephyr may seem like just a modern "hippy" name, it's been used on rare occasions as a female given name in the USA since the early 19th century. There are six Zephyrs in the 1850 U.S. census, the earliest where all non-slave residents were listed by name. One of them was a seven year old girl living in Saratoga County, New York, so there's a geographical link between Zephyr and where the Teachouts were originally from. Though since Zephyr Teachout's middle name is Rain it does seem if she's an early example of parents choosing a "nature name." Her father is a professor of constitutional law and her mother became a state court judge in Vermont -- and her father was already a law professor when Zephyr was born -- so if they were "hippies" they were highly educated ones. 




    Ever hear of the fairly famous Judge “Learned Hand”.  I always felt like he was destined for the bench based upon his name.

  5. 7 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

    ... and now Scot is cussing online and practically saying that someone has a punchable face. Dear gods has the world changed in the past few worlds.

    He really does.  I’ve rarely seen anyone who looks quite as smarmy and self-satisfied as that man.  

  6. 2 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

    The identitarian left, heavily influenced by post modernism and critical theory, largely reject the Enlightenment and Marxism. They largely see facts as socially constructed for instance.

    Interesting.  In this epistemological construct, does truth exist or if it does exist, does it matter in their point of view?

  7. 5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

    You stated that you do not understand at a visceral level why some people find people like Marco and Trump appealing. This appears to be disingenuous or incredibly incurious, as the precise reason why people find Marco appealing is why many find religion appealing. 

    I am not saying you do or do not struggle with your faith. I am saying that it is weird that you do not understand a person who can be attracted to certainty, given that you almost certainly encounter these people on a regular basis if you are not one yourself. Hell, I suspect you understand it very well - because most people who are uncertain have the thought 'well, it'd be AWESOME to be certain about things like that other person and not worry about it any more'. 

    Please see my edit.  Knowing that people do something is not the same thing as understanding why people find doing something appealing.  Certainty is not why I believe.  It has never been.  

  8. 2 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

    I'll have to look into specifics. But in 1918 I'm not sure if anything was done. 1% died, didn't it?

    It was horrifying.  Read, The Great Influenza by John M. Barry.  In raw numbers it may have killed more people than any other disease in recorded history (percentages were lower but raw numbers were higher).

  9. 32 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

    I don't honestly know, but in general the idea that you have problems with someone professing pure clarity does not seem compatible with worshipping something that professes pure clarity. In any case, it seems like an odd thing to not understand - surely if you are religious and see a whole lot of people who are religious, being able to understand the call of people towards someone who says that they have a plan, that everything is set, and you only have to have faith seems a bit odd to me.

    If I posited my faith providing pure clarity you might have a point.  If anything my faith prompts more questions than answers, at least for me.  You have a very skewed idea of what it means to be "religious".  Are some folks certain to the point of irritability, sure.  Do I run into co-religionists who are irritatingly certain about their beliefs and how it directs their lives, sure.  But I meet just as many believers struggling with self doubt and conflicting points of faith as I do with overly certain believers.  

    Back in the day I believe a border proposed a two axis grid of theism/atheism.  Agnostic theists (who believe God exists but don't claim certainty) and gnostic theists (who claim God exists and claim to be certain about that).  Agnostic atheists (who don't believe God exists but don't claim certainty) and gnostic atheists (who claim God does not exist and do claim to be certain about that).  I'm an Agnostic Theist on that grid.  

    To circle back to your point, I understand that people like that kind of certainty and gravitate towards it.  I do not personally understand why people find such certainty appealing.  But that's me. 

  10. 9 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

    Surprised no one has mentioned that new virus that appeared in China. The Chinese government seems on top of limiting its impact, locking down the originating area.

    Makes me wonder what would happen if a novel virus developed in a U.S. city.

    The Chinese response of curtailing travel/public services/entertainment will undoubtedly save lives. Would such a thing be allowed in the U.S.?


    How did the US deal with the 1918 Flu Pandemic?  We kept shipping troops to the trenches of WWI spreading the disease to Europe.

  11. 2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

    That’s one of the must see things on my list when I go to Europe. I’ve got $5,000 set aside to hopefully spend two months there in the summer of 2021 (theoretically a gift to myself for going back to grad school or law school in the fall of 2021).  

    Currently looking into how I could maybe teach there too.

    You should both read the Book Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert MacFarlane.  It has a long chapter discussing the author's exploration of the Paris Catacombs.

  12. 1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

    Two of the past four presidents have been impeached, and partisanship is only getting worse.  I fully expect that we'll see another impeachment or two in my lifetime.  IMO the only reason that Obama wasn't impeached* was because Republicans felt that impeaching Clinton hurt them electorally so they wouldn't entertain it.  If they thought it was merely neutral, let alone a political winner, then they would have gone for it. 

    * Interesting thought exercise, what would they have impeached Obama for?  Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Saluting with a coffee cup in your hand?  My money would be on executive overreach for the DREAM act.

    Oh, I’ve seen crazy people claiming they can retroactive impeach Obama and make as though he had never been in office.

  13. 59 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

    I was reading today that some significant percentage of voters (didn't specify left or right) felt that if you know you can't get the votes to impeach, then why do it at all? I find this incredibly frustrating as these are likely the same people that believe in swift "justice" for people of color and the poor.

    To me, this just emphasizes how cultural hegemony has been such an effective tool of the elite. 


    I think there is a point here.  Is the repeated unsuccessful use of impeachment damaging to the process?  Or is the repeated symbolic use of impeachment where you know it will not succeed important unto itself.  

    If Presidents were frequently impeached and never removed from office it would certainly turn impeachment into an empty threat.  There have been three impeachments in US history, so far, none of them have been successful.  Therefore, as it stands, impeachment is still a big deal in its own right even if it isn't successful in removing a President from office.  That President will always have an asterix by their name.  

    If we suddenly see impeachment as a purely political tool and it is normal for a House of Representatives controlled by a party different from the President to impeach.  

  14. 39 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

    Biggest takeaway, for me  assuming the author's model of conservative/liberal is correct, with liberals being less committed to their positions, or more likely to abandon them when stressed/distracted, is that the best way to avoid these conservative outcomes is mandatory voting.  As in if we had mandatory voting (cough cough @Ser Scot A Ellison), we'd be able to create a much more 'liberal' world.

    Unless mandatory vote is paired with a none of the above option with teeth it is simply requiring the populus to endorse the candidates pre-selected for them without an ability to reject that slate and require a new slate be presented to them.

    I say that as someone who volunteers as a poll manager.  Voting is important enough that it be presented in such a way that people who vote have genuine choice.  Not a requirement to pick the least bad option or face legal/criminal sanction.

  15. 15 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

    I’d be very surprised if Scot doesn’t see himself as having moved to the left by standing still.

    Eh?  I like to think of myself as a liberal in the classical sense of the term.  With a pragmatic sense of realism.  That’s a long way from my formerly libertarian ideals.  In my view today pure libertarianism is as unrealistically utopian an ideal as pure Marxist socialism.

  16. 4 minutes ago, Fez said:

    Lot of EP credits don't mean anything in practical terms. It might just been something the studio had to throw-in to the deal to get the rights to make the movie.

    Stephen King has an EP credit on almost every TV adaptation of his works (on movies he usually takes a writing credit instead); it doesn't mean he has anything to do with all those projects.

    I really hope you are right.  However the creation of “Dune: Sisterhood” presumable based on the excremental work of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert set in Frank Herbert’s creation suggests they might have more pull than they should have.

  17. 4 hours ago, Maithanet said:

    So?  While you may find Trump unappealing for being a narcissistic jerk, there are obviously a lot of people who love his shtick.  Portraying Marco as similarly narcissistic isn't a flaw, it felt like a very realistic character choice. 

    You are missing my point.  I understand that people don't necessarily agree with my POV. 

    I'll be honest I don't understand, on a visceral level, why people find folks like Trump and Marco appealing.  People so absolutely convinced of the correctness of all their actions generally give me the hebby jeebies.  

  18. 3 hours ago, Maithanet said:

    ??  It seems like a lot of charismatic, cult-of-personality types are narcissists.  Look no further than one in the Oval Office.  And Marco was capable of enunciating the grievances, fears and desires of the ordinary belters in his public comments, which is all you need to do. 

    I've known about Trump since the 80's when he started showing up on TV.  I've never liked him and I've always found his brash and rude style off putting.  

  19. 15 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

    My read of the witness/document situation: Mitch has promised an up-or-down-vote to Collins and Romney to get them to toe the line on the Senate resolution but there is no indication that the moderates actually have the fourth vote beyond Murkowski. Lamar Alexander is often mentioned as the fourth vote but I have not seen any primary evidence (i.e. statements or quotes or tv interviews) from him to this effect.  So I think the most likely outcome is that any subsequent attempt to call witnesses will fail with three Republican defections. Collins gets to say she voted for witnesses when she runs for re-election in Maine and she's hoping that people will care more about her positions on healthcare and the thin veneer of bipartisanship she presents.  

    But maybe I am wrong.  It's encouraging that Portman was reportedly amongst the "15" (!) Republican senators encouraging McConnell to extend the hearing time to 3 days.  And the requirement for depositions prior to testimony is an indication that Mitch is not confident he has the votes (or is planning fallback positions). There have also been public reports that the WH is preparing for Plan B in case Bolton comes to testify. 

    So in the event the Senate actually issues subpoenas here's how I think it will play out: I think the prospect of subpoenas to WH, State, OMB, DOD is remote.  Documents may be more important than witnesses but production will also cause delay, and the WH will assert executive privilege in blanket fashion to avoid producing anything. 

    On witnesses, the most important is Mulvaney because he executed Trump's hold on the aid and knows his real reason.  But Mulvaney will likely defy a direct subpoena from the Senate.  So too will Blair and Duffey. 

    The only witness who has publicly stated he will testify in the Senate is Bolton.  If the Senate subpoenas Bolton it will be first for a deposition (as required under the Senate resolution) and will face the assertions of executive privilege by the WH's lawyers. 

    The Democrats will likely make a motion to authorize the CJ to rule on specific assertions of privilege during the deposition (which will effectively be a closed session of the Senate).  These will include any direct conversations with the President, natch. 

    If that motion fails, the WH will go to Court to seek an injunction against Bolton's testimony.  While the courts will likely reject such a request for an injunction, the effect of the delay will prevent Bolton's testimony). 

    Best case scenario: Bolton testifies and has something explosive to share, the CJ rejects claims of executive privilege, and the federal courts don't interfere. 

    In my opinion, if Executive Privilege applies in cases of impeachment and trial for removal from office impeachment is an empty threat.  The Congress will be prevented from actually investigating actions of the Executive by claims of Executive Privilege if it applies in this context.  That means it is next to impossible to remove a President from office.  That cannot be the intended result of the inclusion of the possibility of a President being removed from office.  

    Honestly, we are damaged by the fact that it has never happened since the Constitution was ratified.  It creates the impression that it is never supposed to happen.  

    [An aside]

    Something occurred to me back in November.  As the Constitution was originally enacted the Vice-President was supposed to be the person with the second highest vote total in the Electoral College.  That was changed after the tumultuous election of 1800 by the 12th amendment ratified in 1804 which allowed a separate election for the Vice-Presidency. 

    Before that change we had a built in "Shadow Government" in a manner similar to the Parliamentary systems of Europe where the opposition party was ready to jump into the Executive's role.  Could impeachment have been intended to operate like a vote of No Confidence with a replacement government ready to step into place?  Given the original structure it seems likely to me.  The concretion of formalized broad umbrella political parties rather than the varying "interest groups" anticipated by the Federalist Papers seems to have rapidly undone the possibility of that sort of a structure.   People vote based upon party membership rather than based upon individual assessment of the allegations against the current executive.  

    Just a thought.

  20. 3 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

    For a politician, her political instincts suck.

    Anyway, how about that impeachment trial, eh? So far it seems like no breaking from the party line, although Collins is doing her usual thing.

    All we can hope for is that there will be a big enough revelation from the impeachment trial that Republican Senators (who aren’t entirely in bed will Trump) will have a large enough presence to bring the final vote to 2/3s.

    Any word on whether the Senate will allow witnesses to be called?  That would make a difference in my mind, hearing from direct witnesses so Republicans can’t scream “hearsay” about the information presented.