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Rostere last won the day on February 13 2015

Rostere had the most liked content!

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About Rostere

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    Illuminatus of the Obsidian Order

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  1. My GF is writing her master's thesis at Stanford, so she's moved out to Palo Alto. It's crazy the amount of free time you get when someone you share all your life with goes abroad. In other words, I've spent a lot of time cleaning out my apartment, doing the type of stuff that I typically just postpone indefinitely. Maybe I'll go visit her if I'm not too busy with work myself.
  2. I once ate a pizza with banana, pineapple, curry and cashew nuts on it.
  3. You can't just "leave mid-level government intact". "Removing Assad" does not mean that the US just presses a button, Assad is teleported away, and then the US gets to choose the next leader. Removing Assad would require a bloody, protracted conflict and a confrontation with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. By the time you are done, there won't be anything intact. Nevermind the fact that the US would also need to turn on terrorists Assad is currently fighting and defeat them as well, so the US would need to commit ground troops themselves for this idiocy. Even if you could somehow snipe Assad, we've seen what happens in that situation in Libya. Remember what Obama said was his greatest mistake in office? Khadaffi was removed from Libya and elections were held, after which the country quickly broke down into civil war with Khadaffi 2.0 versus islamic fundamentalists, with western powers leaning towards Khadaffi 2.0. Same in Egypt - dictatorship was turned into democracy only for the US to support another military coup when the islamists won the election.
  4. I can't do anything other than gape at the stupidity of people who believe that "doing it right this time" with the same old regime change recipe is even a remote possibility. Have you been in a coma these last 20 years? Libya had a great standard of living and was one of the most secular Muslim countries. Supposedly, this is where a removal of an authoritarian leader would work, if anywhere. But this did not happen nearly fast and painlessly enough (like in Tunisia), and we got civil war. In civil wars, the most extreme and militant factions are always the ones who will come out on top. Unsurprisingly, Libya is now divided between islamic fundamentalists and the forces of Field Marshal Haftar, who in his disposition to inflict vigilante justice against islamists is looking increasingly like a new Gadaffi. The US solution to Libya if they keep bombing the SAA is essentially handing over Western Syria to al-Nusra which are just as bad as ISIS, which will result in genocide of Christians and Alawites and the war spreading into Lebanon. The Kurds in Eastern Syria are cool at the moment, but if they start to forcibly remove Sunni Arabs and Christians from their areas to declare their own state the US will have another FUBAR situation on their hands, a civil war inside a civil war. Basically, to institute democracy the US would be forced to bomb every single warring faction to corral them into their respective areas, and occupy everything on top of that while eliminating extremists, which would require immense amounts of resources, hundreds of thousands of committed troops, and hundreds of thousands in additional civilian casualties (and that's not mentioning resistance from Russia, Iran, China and North Korea). Really, the best feasible solution is to ensure Assad wins in the West without inflicting atrocities on the Sunnis, and ensure the SDF wins in the East, while avoiding Kurd vs. Sunni Arab vs. Christian free-for-all when the greater threat of ISIS disappears. Then hopefully, the winning parties can commence negotiations about a UN-monitored federal solution including regional self-governance. Worst-case we will get East Syria and West Syria, which is not that bad compared to status quo.
  5. Yeah, just like US intelligence wasn't fooled that Osama bin Laden lived in a Bond villain-esque cave complex in the Tora Bora mountains. Just like US intelligence wasn't fooled Iraq had a WMD program. Do you remember anyone being held accountable for these lies? The US has a long-standing tradition of fabricating "intelligence" on every important occasion of note. The longer this goes on with nobody being punished, the worse it will get. FFS, the standard "evidence" is currently held to is literally "videos by al-Qaida supporters", which is currently accepted without even the slightest hint of critical thinking! What the **** has the world come to? Anyways, what the "US intelligence" knows or not knows is the wrong question, because it doesn't matter if you're not the president. What we are interested in is what the government is trying to hype up. Then they will lie as much as they can, regardless what the intelligence says. They will not try to be impartial. And to their aid they will use the most banal devices, which insults the cognitive ability of even the most casual observer. Really? What do two pictures taken by al-Qaida's propaganda department have to do in a reasoned and impartial UN debate? Or might this be a dumb PR device? Is there anyone in the entire world who does not immediately associate this with Colin Powell, who has become the very embodiment of the political lie? It is clear that what is happening in the above picture has nothing to do with investigating an alleged crime, and everything to do with selling a narrative to the public.
  6. "It's reported" = al-Nusra said. Even if it is true that a SU-22 was around at the time of the alleged attack, when would you allege that a CW attack has taken place if you was a terrorist wanting to bait USA into entering the conflict? Obviously at the time your enemy is attacking you. Al-Nusra territory is under constant aerial attack, so they would hardly have to wait. It doesn't need to be a "giant conspiracy". All you need is a few al-Nusra guys (who will have no trouble lying for their perverted cause), give a few of them white helmets, and then take a few pictures with dead people (there will be a lot of dead people around in a warzone anyway). If you are ambitious, you use actual gas. Then, all media outlets who are sympathetic to your cause (US intervention in Syria) will parrot your talking points endlessly. There's no need for them to know what is true and what is not, since they will regurgitate the propaganda which fits their agenda with zero reflection anyway.
  7. The conflict has been going on for more than half a decade. Assad has been going through some very dark moments, where his opponents were very powerful. He has through all of this had a huge CW stash, which he relinquished in 2014. Yet CW has never been used consistently and on an serious scale in this entire conflict (by any actor). There are only a few isolated incidents: list here. Remember in 2013 when the exact same actors predictably beat the drums of war based on very dodgy evidence? Why would Assad make this tiny CW attack now - attacking a sparsely populated suburb - when he has all but won? Literally the only thing which can turn this war around for al-Nusra is if they can lobby NATO countries into attacking Assad directly. Assad has nothing to gain but everything to lose by using CW. I can't believe people buy "evidence" presented by al-Nusra (who have previously smuggled CW components from Turkey - why, if not to use them?) completely without questioning it.
  8. The difference here is that Japan is a civilized country and not literally al-Qaeda. Presumably, if Japan is attacked, we will have better evidence than "witness statements" from frothing-at-the-mouth terrorists and their propaganda mouthpieces. This is looking increasingly like the usual worthless media bobbleheads are pushing for another Iraq War. The difference here is that the US will be entering a war where Iran and Russia already have significant forces, and where other actors like China, North Korea and Lebanese Christian and Shia militias can also be found. Also, showing pictures of dead children in the UN when talking about a conflict where 500000 people will soon have died. WTF? Showing pictures of individual victims at this point is just myopic demagoguery and completely and utterly dishonest. This was exactly what everyone who was against Hillary feared would happen if she was elected - it appears in the US it takes more than elections to change the actual politics of the country.
  9. Oh, come on. The half-Ogre quest is one of the best in the game. It really plays with your expectations and then with what the resolution to a "quest" can be.
  10. I don't think PoE writing (as in the composition of words in text segments, not the stories themselves) was that bad at all. The difference only becomes clear when you play Torment: TToN. That game definitely has better writing than PoE. It would be unfair to compare PoE with games like the old Torment, since the issue with rose-tinted glasses always exists. But PoE was definitely held back by having writers trying to punch above their weight, so to speak. Writing in PoE was still better than in just any computer game of course, but it wasn't as good as in some of the old legendary games. It's of course unreasonable to expect PoE would be the best in every aspect, but this shows that improvement is possible. Very interesting, but could become a rest spam abuse thing if you play as a water wizard who only ever fights in the rain, for example.
  11. It's not because it "checks the right boxes", it's because it is so fun. It is pure fun to just create different character builds (which can be very varied) and go around exploring the world. The balancing of Arcanum is like the opposite of most modern RPGs. Nowadays, you just grind and get items which incrementally give +1 to your whatever stat. Arcanum is wild and crazy in that you will always discover new wacky strategies. Some things are "easy mode", some things are more hard to find. It's great fun to replay the game and restrict yourself to specializing your character in different ways. On the other hand, if you are a min-maxing dork then Arcanum must truly suck. There is a huge number of NPCs, who differ from not having anything to say at all, to commenting on your every action. I love that always when you talk about how Arcanum is broken, people give completely different examples of what they believe is the one broken way to play the game. Hint: you should also increase difficulty if you think the game is easy overall. Also, the setting and how is realized is one of the best in any game I've played, ever. What do you mean? MCA started on his Arcanum playthrough, and it is the best "Let's Play"s ever, in fact I would dare say that it is one of the highest expressions of art ever. He's just taking a brief pause to strategize about fighting wolves, and reading the manual, which by the way is awesome. The manual of Arcanum is better than many games are on their own. You can skip playing the game if you are an irredeemable heretic but you should at least read the manual.
  12. Behead all those who insult Arcanum!
  13. In the end I managed to predict the winner of every state except New Hampshire. I could do this for a living. When does betting for the 2020 election and Democratic primaries start? I am looking forward to that news cycle already.
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