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  2. SeanF

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    Capitalism is preferable to socialism, but there's no reason why one can't adopt elements of both. Most rich world governments do so.
  3. Ser Scot A Ellison

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    Is Marxist style socialism the only alternative to aggressive corporate captialism? Or are there other socialist/capitalist hybrid alternatives?
  4. Lady Winter Rose

    What % of YA authors are actually big ol’ a**holes?

    should be clearer:
  5. Paxter

    Cricket 38: Ashes Openers Crash and Burns

    It’s bit of a shame that we are now more than halfway through the test summer and haven’t had anything close to a memorable match.
  6. Raja

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    I know things are grim atm, but this made me laugh.
  7. Astromech

    Fourth Quarter 2019 Reading

    Reid Mitenbuler's Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey. Interesting and revealing look at bourbon's history. Mitenbuler cuts through the invented history to reveal the true history.
  8. Today
  9. Maltaran

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    I believe it was so that the newly elected members could travel to London over the weekend for Parliament to start on Monday
  10. Seeking clarification: is it clear now that Judd was innocent (apart from being weird enough to keep his family “heirloom”?) Seems like his death was caused by Angela in a weird time-bending error.
  11. Corvo the Crow

    Wow, I never noticed that. Vol. 18

    the idea of a wildling varys is funny. Perhaps he is tormund’s brother and the story of half his member gone is in truth his brother losing his one.
  12. Jeor

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    As I understand it, UK elections are traditionally on Thursdays. Not sure of the reasoning.
  13. A True Kaniggit

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    Is that why this election was on a Thursday instead of the weekend? In the U.S., elections are held on Tuesdays, which always hurts the poor who have to choose between voting and working. Is this also an issue in the U.K.?
  14. ljkeane

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    I don’t know the background but ‘East Turkistan’ sounds like a bit of a loaded term so I’m not entirely surprised Arsenal wouldn’t come out and unreservedly back Ozil. Still, their statement is a particularly mealy mouthed refusal to make any sort of comment on what is clearly a terrible situation.
  15. Jeor

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    It's always been moving that way ever since the House of Lords has been (correctly, in my view) marginalised. With the Lords neutralised as a check on power that leaves the UK as essentially as a single-chamber parliament, so when one party achieves a large majority that's basically it. As I understand it (I may be wrong, not being a student of UK history) the Lords was generally a conservative chamber anyway by dint of its membership bias. The alternative is the US or French system where the head of government doesn't control the parliament/congress. But those have their own faults too; they're not particularly productive or agile forms of government, and everyone's obsessed with pinning the blame on the other side (which happens everywhere, but I think is probably more pronounced in those systems). In a situation like this latest UK election, the only real power the opposition has is in shaping public opinion. It's a soft and hard-to-exercise power, especially in this day and age where truthful information is overridden by spin and outright lies, but Johnson and the Tories may still be susceptible to public opinion and having to campaign on their record and popularity. Granted it's not a lot to work with, but it's something.
  16. mormont

    UK Politics: Who Pays the Andyman?

    Until the Fixed Term Parliament Act, a vote of no confidence was, like much of the rest of the UK constitution, simply a convention with no legal standing. Since Johnson has pledged to repeal the FTPA, unless he replaces it with something that makes such votes binding (unlikley), presumably they go back to being merely a convention. This is the thing you need to understand about UK constitutional arrangements. The last few years have been an anomaly. Parliament holding the government to account is rare in this country. The way it normally works is that the leader of the largest party - rarely, if ever, a party that commands the support of even half the electorate - has essentially complete and untrammelled power over the executive and legislature. The Prime Minister appoints the government, controls a majority in the House of Commons, can make appointments to the House of Lords, and exercises most of the powers of a head of state, notionally on behalf of the Queen but in practice in their own right. The only restraint is that they must hold an election at some point within five years of the last one - but they get to pick the date, and will of course invariably use that power to their advantage. The courts can sometimes intervene to stop the government behaving unlawfully - but Johnson wants to curtail those powers, which are pretty limited to start with. It's described as an 'elective dictatorship' and that's essentially what it is, when the PM has a large majority: so long as they maintain party discipline, they have five years of complete control. And Johnson's manifesto pledges to take even more power to the executive and remove what little restraint exists.
  17. polishgenius

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    Sure but that's a whole other argument.
  18. James Steller

    Why isn’t House Hightower more important?

    Honestly, I don’t see how Euron can win against the Hightowers and the Redwyne fleet. He sent all his best ships to the east to retrieve Daenerys. The Iron Fleet would also contain the best of the Ironborn’s warriors. What force could Euron possibly have which threatens either the might of House Hightower or the fleet of House Redwyne? It’s got to be some form of magic which has yet to be revealed.
  19. A True Kaniggit

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Those aren't pillows!

    Well I was going to watch the directors cut of Troy. But disc 1 isn’t in the dvd case, and I don’t have the patience to find it right now. So The Last Samurai it is.
  20. Toth

    Video Games: Gears of Borderlands

    Okay, interesting and a lot of thanks! Does the buggy come with weapons or do I have to outfit it similar to a ship? I already saw. Yesterday I finally managed to play a few hours. Half killed myself trying to find the "Home" key in the mining tutorial (it's not named like that on a German keyboard...). Also the fuel scooping proved to be a lot more annoying than I thought it would be as I was nearly cooking myself a few times. The worst part was when I was finished with fuel scooping and wanted to Superdrive to my target station, but my path was too close to the sun and I half plummeted into it with my temperature surging to 130° right away. Some of my internal systems were down to 45% HP when I limped back to safety. So far I'm feeling like a mailman, usually just transporting messages. I also did one cargo run at the very end, but had to make the trip twice because I didn't notice I could fit only 4 of the 6 crates into my Sidewinder. That's absolutely ridiculous... I must also say that the outfitting menu is clunky as hell. It took me 10 minutes to find the right slot with which to buy a fuel scoop. Is there not a menu where I can see an overview of everything the station could install in my ship? There probably is, but I'm too stupid to find it yet... I'm also thinking what to save for. Since I want to go for Mining as soon as possible, I did some googling and the Type-6 transporter seems to be the best choice for a beginner. Unfortunately it seems a bit tedious at the moment to get a million credits just from being a mailman and then another three million just to outfit it for the job. At the moment I only get 35k at most from one mission, though I gamed the system a bit by taking two missions to the same station at once if possible. Do the three main factions pay better?
  21. A Horse Named Stranger

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    If Özil only had the same strong opinion on the treatment of the Kurds by Turkey... is probably what a more cynical person would write at this point.
  22. Ygrain

    A list of historical parallels

    I don't think the Lannisters are going to be around long enough to establish such legends. But I wonder if GRRM had anything particular in mind, given that Richard had a long, stern face, estates in the north and an illegitimate son named John.
  23. polishgenius

    Football: Brendan has the last laugh

    Arsenal are sadly the next club to bottle it when it comes to China.
  24. nah

    The Mandalorian (Spoiler Thread)

    The Mudhorn had it coming.
  25. Jeor

    Cricket 38: Ashes Openers Crash and Burns

    Well, it looks like this match is well and truly gone. A shame that the NZ batting lineup hasn't lived up to the hype - a number of their batsmen have had pretty good years and should have scored more. Boult is no Shane Bond, but I think he would've bowled at least as well as Wagner did, which would have been an upgrade over Ferguson. I'm not giving up on this NZ side after two days. I reckon they're still a decent chance for a win in at least one of the remaining two Tests. The real issue with Australia at home is that their batsmen transform into monsters (Warner being the prime example). Australia has always had a pretty good bowling attack and the batting has been the weakness (e.g. the Ashes), so when home conditions allow you to cover that up then they suddenly become a very good side.
  26. It's been said that democracy substitutes for war, as it counts up how many people might fight on each side. The Velaryons knew they would lose, as they were supposedly outnumbered by more than twenty to one. I find the factor of Daemon much more plausible than Criston: we know Hightower had long opposed him, and this opposition had led to Rhaenyra being named heir over him in the first place. Alicent claimed to be afraid that she and her children would be killed with Rhaenyra on the throne, and Daemon made that much more likely. In contrast, we don't really get evidence that the Hightower's put much stock in Cole's opinions, as opposed to his arms. Aegon II is another story, as he chose Criston specifically over his grandfather. The way I would approach an historical saint would be to start with the existing sources and discard the really implausible claims like miracles. Similarly with the Trojan War, it seems like something of the sort happened even if it didn't involve deities. I agree that Mushroom's stories have a tendency to seem calculated for entertainment value/sensationalism, but at the same time much of what he said seems credible. In the case of Beesbury for instance, the agreement between Eustace and Mushroom that Cole killed him suggests that part is true, while the specific method of dagger vs defenestration sounds like Mushroom choosing to spice up a real event with something he thinks sounds more interesting. I say this even while agreeing with you that I think he sometimes took stories that had been passed around and then added his own spin. And in the case of Daemon's exile I think Mushroom just re-used an existing story to explain it. On a meta-textual level, Mushroom's stories are often there to make the reader laugh, but not always. His theory that Corlys was behind the fire at Harrenhall which killed the Strongs might seem salacious because it hinges on Laenor being cuckolded by Harwin, but Grand Maester Mellos' theory that it might have been King Viserys with the same motivation is no less sensational and isn't from someone we have reason to think of as a sensationalist. I think the various theories for that, not all of which even have attributions, are supposed to muddy the waters and not be like Yandel vs Barth where we should just assume one is right. I don't think we need an explanation: Viserys ordered that Harwin be sent away and Erryk replace him as Rhaenyra's sworn shield. Most of the kingsguard just continued where they were, with only Steffon Darklyn going from King's Landing to Dragonstone after Viserys' death. We don't get any special explanation for why Rickard Thorne and and Willis Fell didn't do likewise, so you can't simply assume based on your own introspection that any other kingsguard would have done the same. It seems like Rhaenyra being away from King's Landing resulted in people there being less supportive of her, so only one kingsguard and one council member turned out to be Blacks. It is evidence, even if you don't regard it as conclusive. In the absence of paternity tests, we aren't going to get that. However, in the very first book the fact that Cersei's three* children are all blondes rather than black-haired Baratheons is supposed to be what convinced Jon Arryn and Ned Stark that the a priori implausible theory that they were bastards born of incest was true. And then we as readers learn that's exactly what happened. Here we don't get an admission from Rhaenyra like we would from Cersei since it's a history rather than POV chapter, but we don't have the usual incest taboo and we do get repeatedly reminded that Laenor was not sexually interested in women. If Margery had given birth prior to marrying anyone other than Renly, and the child didn't look like him, then yeah I would say we're supposed to conclude it's not his. *The exact same number as the Strong/Velaryon brothers. He had a self-interested reason to argue for such rumors, but we also get from Mellos that Viserys himself seems to have believed the very rumors he was suppressing. Rhaenyra's children being bastards has nothing to do with the inheritance rights of Laena's daughters. Their place behind Vaemond would just be a result of male-preference primogeniture. George doesn't strictly adhere to real-world genetics, hence the super-dominance of Baratheon black hair, but blond hair is considered a recessive trait. We know Rhaenyra was blonde, so she was less likely to carry genes for darker hair. Silver hair is treated within the books as sort of like a more extreme version of blond hair associated with inbreeding, so we can consider Laenor to have recessive genes as well. The presence of brown hair and eyes suggests the intrusion of some dominant genes, with Harwin the most plausible candidate. What are the odds that ALL THREE children share those three traits of hair, eyes and nose of their grandmother rather than their mother or father? No, it doesn't. Mya Stone is known by Catelyn and Cersei to be Robert's bastard, but Mya herself doesn't know who her father is because Robert didn't officially recognize her like he did Edric. The history which mentions them cites Mushroom regarding who their mothers were, and unlike with Delena Florent they weren't noble women for whom recognition by their father would be expected. We don't get any more information about them, not even their names unlike Gaemon. His mother confessed that his father was a Lysene oarsman, and his life was spared he was only four and it was his mother who bore responsibility. I think Eustace was right about that, although that doesn't establish that he recognized any bastards either. His opposition to her taking the throne motivates him, and at the same time the awful reputations of Daemon and Rhaenyra resulted in opposition to them coming to power. No, it means that Rhaenyra's court on Dragonstone permitted the flagrant immorality of both spouses and that they would bring the same decadence to King's Landing. Why attribute their separation to the death of Joffrey? He had no connection to Rhaenyra other than through Laenor, and it's not like Qarl Correy or whoever the favorite that replaced him was couldn't be on Dragonstone with both of them. Patriarchy means fathers get to tell their sons what to do as well, these aren't modern western nuclear families. The king gets his way too, and Laenor didn't have any other arrangement blocking it. Stannis married Selyse because Robert told him to, and Brandon couldn't marry Barbrey after his father betrothed him to Catelyn. There hadn't been any precedent for Cole "worshipping" Rhaenyra, though as kingsguard and sworn shield he had long served her. And the supposed plan of them running off together isn't comparable to marrying Laenor, since the former would make an oathbreaker deserving of death (Lucamore was gelded and sent to the Wall, but he hadn't offended against the king so directly) along with sending them both to exile. Petyr Baelish may have been humiliated when he lost in a duel to Brandon and had his life spared because of Catelyn, but he still mistakenly thinks she preferred him to her fiance and only didn't go with him because her father ordered it. He brags about his conquests of both Tully sisters, and doesn't feel humiliated by their marriages. And Peter's someone that's merely minor nobility vs a daughter of a Great House rather than a steward's son forbidden from marrying anyone vs the King's eldest child and chosen heir. Bonifer Hasty may have been really unhappy that Rhaella had to marry Aerys, but there's no indication that he regarded it as a humiliation or that he lashed out at either of them. It's implied that his low-station made it generally understandable that he had no chance, and that's without a prior oath prohibiting marriage. Punishing Joffrey hurts Laenor, but I don't see how it has any effect on Rhaenyra or Harwin. That's what punishing Harwin does. What? Aemon the Dragonknight entered a tourney in disguise to spite Aegon IV rather than refusing to enter. The Blacks and Greens got their names from the tourney where Criston wore Rhaenyra's favor and defeated all comers, including Alicent's relatives. Now he fights with Alicent's favor and becomes her sworn shield, very publicly breaking from his former faction. Having one of her biggest supporters of old switch sides like that is a big blow to Rhaenyra/the Blacks and there's no way Alicent would pass up the opportunity to show off that she now had the greatest knight on her side. Someone could refuse to attend a wedding to show their distaste for the families involved or because they didn't regard it as legitimate, but Criston was joining the Greens and wouldn't boycott a wedding they weren't boycotting. Rhaenyra's marriage to Daemon would be another story, since it was done quickly and without Viserys' approval. She sent him as a hostage to the Yunkai, whereas Harwin spent more time with Rhaenyra than Laenor did up until Viserys sent him back to Harrenhall with Erryk as his replacement. And since you mentioned refusing to attend a wedding, that's what Daario did when he was unhappy that Daenerys married Hizdahr. He wasn't disgusted with Daenerys being willing to have sex with him prior to marrying another man. So I don't know why you tried to use Criston's attendance as evidence that he was jealous rather than disgusted. Similarly, Rhaenys refusing to attend Viserys' wedding to Alicent was because her daughter was spurned rather than due to disgust. The three "Velaryon" boys are all evidence, particularly when combined with Laenor's absence and preferences, and per Mellos that evidence was credible event to Viserys. If she takes that same guy who deflowered her prior to her wedding, gives him her favor, makes him her sworn shield, and then has him present at the birth of all of her children, I'd say that's mighty suggestive. He visited infrequently, and the Westerosi aren't really up to the task of scientifically proving paternity. Viserys Plumm was suposedly conceived after Ossifer was dead, but it just resulted in jokes rather than Viserys actually being considered a bastard rather than a Plumm. She "switched to Daemon" after Cole had publicly switched sides and both Harwin and Laenor had died. And I don't see why it's so implausible that she would fall into the arms of a comparable knight after her favorite rejected her, particularly if being deflowered prior to her wedding was one of her motivations. Why did he feel "slighted"? He didn't come onto Daeron II and then get rejected, and it wasn't Daeron but Aegon IV that arranged for Daemon's marriage to Rohanne of Tyrosh, which itself produced so many children prior to the rebellion I'm skeptical of claims he was unsatisfied with it. Furthermore, Aegon IV made very clear his preference for Daemon over Daeron, so Daemon is arguably closer to Rhaenyra than Criston here. Really, Fireball and Bittersteel are closer to being the analogues to Criston and the other Green leaders. But Aegon DID want a war with Dorne, which he attempted multiple times! The problem is that trying to disinherit Daeron in favor of a bastard would have probably produced a civil war with Daeron's supporters. There's exactly as much evidence for one as the other. Aemond was also sent on a dragon to arrange a marriage alliance with the Baratheons. It would have been nice for the Greens to have arranged that earlier, but when Viserys died both sides had to scramble. And Lucerys still wound up at the same place with Aemond to attempt an alliance despite the delay. Families try to build alliances even during normal times, but during war everything is sped up and becomes more urgent. If Stannis had informed Eddard and Robert about Cersei's kids being bastards, he would have been the new heir. And even after all those months Stannis didn't have much in the way of bannermen, even compared to his younger brother. He did have many ships, but I think Rhaenyra also had a naval advantage. Stowing away on Dragonstone away from the center of power is not an especially good way of winning the throne, but it is a similarity between Stannis and Rhaenyra. They're both not very good at politics, but out of opposite personality flaws. They had already lost by twenty to one during the Great Council of 101. He lost the power that he had, so I take that as evidence that he went beyond the limits of what he could achieve. I don't know what you expected him to do that he didn't do while Viserys was alive. And if Robert made Tommen the Lord of Storm's End or Prince of Dragonstone I would say Robert's brother similarly went beyond the limits of his power. The realm had just fought a giant civil war over succession, setting the precedent that eldest through the male line inherits! Trying to remove a king they'd already crowned in an attempt to achieve peace would be insane. I think the Green faction was fairly solidified in King's Landing, and exceptions like Beesbury could be dealt with individually. Although they might not have expected Cole to do so via immediate death. They might not have even thought of themselves as a cabal: they were mostly surrounded by their own supporters and expected people around them to support Aegon over Rhaenyra by default. Although I suppose social media didn't exist yet to produce echo-chambers of misleading popularity I'm confused: are you saying Ormund wasn't the nephew of Otto? It's written that we don't know why they switched sides. We know that Daemon had suggested giving the Baratheon and Lannister seats to them but was turned down, and that after the betrayal Ulf wanted Highgarden instead of Bitterbridge while Hugh wanted the Iron Throne. If anyone did approach them, it doesn't seem like they were acting on the authority of anyone who could actually grant them anything or that any promises were so vague as to be unsettled. That is what Mushroom claims about Daemon and Qarl Correy. Rhaenyra also betrayed her dragonseed allies, and while that wasn't pre-planned, I think the betrayal of the Betrayers was the result of their behavior after the Betrayal rather than something planned beforehand like Correy. A council giving victory to Rhaenyra could actually solidify rather than weaken her position. The preceding council establishing a preference for a male-line heir had bolstered the Greens, and this would be the realm as a whole explicitly repudiating that. Perhaps, but the possibility of them separating and then later uniting through marriage still sounds better than what actually happened in which they continued to kill each other. Vaemond was killed for claiming Rhaenyra's children were bastards just as Alicent had, Otto was executed when King's Landing fell, and Alicent's grandson was sadistically murdered in front of his mother and younger brother by one of Daemon's agents. There's also the story that Alicent was spared because Mysaria decided on a crueller punishment. Furthermore, Alicent can't inherit the throne, so her life doesn't pose the threat to bastard inheritance that her children do. If the Lannisters had been able to offer credible peace deals to their opponents rather than fighting a civil war, it would be a different story. Joffrey is to blame for part of that. And you're right that Stannis likely wouldn't have accepted, though the irony is that he would have seen his decision as grounded in the idea that traitors like Rhaenyra need to die rather than be tolerated on the throne. Cersei and Joffrey might agree with that approach, but Tywin and Tyrion would tell you otherwise. It just indicates that you fear what others have to say. Robin Hanson isn't talking about the exact same thing, but he explains some of the logic here. People weren't convinced that Rhaenyra's kids were legitimate and should inherit the throne, but instead that people who said otherwise would be killed if they didn't seize power first. The inheritance of the Eyrie actually is determined by blood. Westeros is not the early Roman empire trying to avoid the appearance of kings with inherited thrones via adopted successors. Jon Arryn refused to hand over his foster children to be killed, which is an analogy that could have some application to Cersei's incestuous bastards rather than Rhaenyra's more usual ones which would have been permitted to live. No, Cersei's children are bastards even though they were officially born in "wedlock". As for her legitimizing them: If they had been first acknowledged as bastards and legitimized by Viserys, then they could have come somehwere in line for an inheritance, but Aegon II would come before them for the Iron Throne. Having claims on both sides helped boost their legitimacy, and ultimately Aegon III inherited through his father. Robert never did that, yet his kids were challenged anyway. And the result was civil war. Stannis' belief about Cersei's children is correct. Cersei really is a traitor and two King's Hands died as a result. Robert stopped thinking of Stannis as his heir once Joffrey was born, and while he disliked Joffrey he didn't actually seem to like Stannis much or want him in charge of anything but the navy. That's all irrelevant. Joffrey can't inherit because he's a bastard, unless Stannis decided to legitimize him. Even after legitimation, the ordering would still be Stannis before Renly before Edric before Mya if she counts at all, unless Robert additionally disinherited the people he'd previously granted Dragonstone and Storm's End. Legitimizing Aegon IV's bastards didn't automatically put them ahead of Daeron either. Mushroom was indeed far away and defenestration seems unlikely, but Eustace was in the Red Keep on hand to crown Aegon II and is more likely to have known something about what happened with Beesbury. I would say "might" would be putting it VERY lightly. His account stands out as being unlike the others and painting himself in that different light, and we already know he prioritized self-preservation over honesty. Larys Strong was executed for poisoning Aegon II while Orwyle was held culpable for assisting while claiming to have no knowledge of what the poison would be used for. He's not being blamed for the death of Beesbury, instead his claim that dissent resulted in imprisonment rather than death is a cover story to make his own survival compatible with his claim that he dissented alongside Beesbury.
  27. polishgenius

    What % of YA authors are actually big ol’ a**holes?

    What the fuck are you talking about? Did you actually read the topic? Like, at all? You've come in swaggering and waving your dick about over how superior you are to the rest of the board here but your responses make no sense at all. Who the fuck was justifying the pile-on?
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