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Rostere

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Everything posted by Rostere

  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.
  14. It's funny that some conspiracy theorists actually believe that Hillary has died, when figuratively her campaign is so close to parading a corpse around. Trump has "it" just like Bernie had (remember the Bernie tattoos?) - people chide Hillary for choosing fundraising over rallies, but it might be that it's a conscious choice because she is unable to energize enough people to justify large rallies. Anyways, I'm sure they'll find her phylactery any day now, and then the election will be over faster than Bill Clinton can say "Necropotence".
  15. He also had his "enemies lists" and a reputation for being verbally abusive of family and staff. Of course low character and high character can certainly co-exist. No one is so bad they don't have some redeeming qualities or so good they have no flaws. Still, I'd take a person which is verbally abusive over one who is corrupt and won't resign any day.
  16. Worst thing is, I might even go like that to a party in a few weeks from now...
  17. Well, at least on this forum there seems to be nobody who believes that the Turkish offense took place for any other purpose than to keep YPG from cutting off ISIS supply lines.
  18. A list of which countries have already bribed Clinton: So... How do you think Ukrainian interests are looking to cash in on their donations?
  19. Wrong. With two liberal parties, three conservative parties, and voters equally split ideologically the liberal parties would both get 25% while the conservative parties would get 16,6%, which would result in two liberal parties in the run-off, just like I said. You did finish primary school, right? With one run-off election, you would in theory get 3 parties, since if we start out with the current two-party system, you could always safely vote for what at the time looks like the third most popular party without wasting your vote and letting the other side win. Most places with run-off presidential elections I can think of have proportional representation in their parliaments, so that leads to more people initially competing and thus more seemingly viable alternatives (for good or bad, since with only one run-off some are bound to waste their vote). I think to achieve 4-5 parties you will at the very least need MMP or something similar.
  20. Okay. So according to you, what I'm talking about are not facts. On the other hand, your totally non-confused factual tales of Dalmatians south of Croatia who "pretty much dislike the Croat, if not hate", the Bosnian state which never existed (even though the Kingdom of Bosnia briefly conquered Serbia in medieval times), your rhetorical (I hope) inquiries about when exactly any Serbs have tried to kill Bosnian Muslims and so on are totally knowledgeable facts and statements laid forth by a 100% non-confused individual. Got it. I'm not saying every fact I present is absolute and not open to debate or interpretation. But maybe you should stop blurting out very dubious "facts" out your ass yourself before you accuse me of doing so. I might be guilty of throwing too much ridicule on throwaway statements you make with little relevance to the core matter at hand just for the lulz, but otherwise nothing of what you write. It's very bad debating style to just say "Strawman!!!!" without pointing to any examples, much less giving a reason for why the given examples are strawmen arguments. I'm not saying I don't have patience with you, but other people reading your posts might think you are an idiot trying to substitute real arguments with name-calling and ****-flinging if you do this. Sadly, "strawman" has become the go-to word for Internet idiots when they don't understand an argument, just like "plot hole" is the go-to phrase of idiot movie reviewers who don't understand movies (you can probably Google "plot hole solaris" or "plot hole stalker" to see what I mean). Me choosing to split my reply into multiple quotes is just a matter of convenience, otherwise it would be unclear which statements I am replying to. I often get irritated at people writing blobs of text with no clear points of reference to the post they are replying to. Deal with it.
  21. Yes, I mean to compare all movements who acted and intended to remove/kill people of different ethnicities. What do you mean? Lots of people have been put on trial. Hitler only killed so few because he didn't win the war. This is what would have happened if he had won instead of Stalin. Seriously, read about it. The effects would be worse by far than anything Stalin tried. All of them are villains in my mind, but Hitler is the worst. I'm not trying to, and I don't want to defend Israel. If you have read what I write on this forum you know that I am very sceptical towards Israel, and especially the American policy towards Israel. But that does not mean that I sympathize with all Palestinians. Hamas is Israel's ace in the sleeve. As long as a potentially genocidal movement is one of the most popular among (non-Israeli) Palestinians, a sensible peace deal can't be made. If a Nelson Mandela or Gandhi-type movement gained traction, Israel's apartheid system would fall apart like a house of cards in a hurricane. Sadly, all Israeli leaders who are not idiots realize this, which is why we get the current situation. Irrelevant. This also means that you concede that every concession forced upon Serbia in losing wars was justified. What is morally right does not change with who wins which wars. You haven't been paying attention, or you haven't understood anything of what I've written. There are two ways to decide the borders of nations. One, you look at the ethnicity of the inhabitants. Two, you look at the historical borders. Looking at the ethnicity of the inhabitants is your argument for letting Republika Srpska split from Bosnia and join Serbia. By the same argument, Serbia has no right to rule the parts of northern Vojvodina where Hungarians live, nor Kosovo where Albanians live. Looking at historical borders, we could possibly try to argue against splitting Kosovo from Serbia, and definitely against splitting Vojvodina, but that also means we can't divide Bosnia. And since a majority of people in Bosnia do not want to be a part of Serbia, Bosnia stays out of Serbia. You are trying to use one of these principles to add more territory to your "Greater Serbia" and the other to prevent other people from using the same argument as you remove territory from Serbia. This makes you either a hypocrite, or even an idiot, or possibly even both. I didn't say it was on the "same scale" (whatever that means), and that is not relevant to my argument. I'm saying that their ideologies were virtually the same. The Ustase managed to kill more people, but that is just a historical coincidence. If the Nazis had supported the Chetniks to the same extent they supported the Ustase and vice versa, the Chetniks would have killed more. It's sad that you don't realize that murdering 8000 civilians and dumping them in mass graves is an immoral and despicable act. The Ustase, who thought that they were defending themselves against Serbian territorial encroachment, also did not realize that killing thousands of civilians was immoral. I'm sure they also had their "reasons", real and imagined, just like you, and the Nazis, and everyone else who coincidentally thinks that this kind of behaviour is OK only if their guys are the ones doing it. Think about it, can you give any other examples of justified mass murder of civilians, or is it just when Serbian Good Guys do it that it happens to be justified? You might begin to ask yourself if you are a hypocrite. Besides, Srebnica is just a single example. Serbian military, police and paramilitary units were responsible for every kind of war crime you can imagine. From packing civilians - men, women and children - into buses and blowing them up with bazookas, to throwing people off bridges and cliffs and shooting at them like clay pidgeons, to systematic rape. It's sad that you have to coyly ask me here on this forum "When did the Serbs try to kill Muslims?" as if you didn't know this already. Didn't you learn this in school? You clearly learned about the Ustase, and about crimes against Serbs during the 1990s, so why not about crimes perpetrated by Serbs? Of course they had superior allies. But so did Serbia in WW1. Who "won" by the virtue of being on the same side as Russia, France, UK and the US. Are Serbia going to give Vojvodina back to Hungary because it also was won in an unfair fight? No, I don't think so. It's not about who wins what in a fight. Don't be a hypocrite, judge everyone by the same standards. If might makes right, do you agree that Austria-Hungary had been justified to annex Serbia if no other countries had gotten involved? Or do you think the Ottoman conquest of Serbia was morally right? Just because you win a war does not mean you are morally entitled to anything. Yes, the reason you fell apart is because of people like you who think that everything your side ever does is totally justified, while the other side is utterly evil. All the West needed to do was to make sure that a Serbian (in this case) nationalist got to lead multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, and then watch from afar, laugh and crack open the champagne as Yugoslavia (a country with no insignificant clout on the international scene) crumbled into tiny warring irrelevant mini-states. To me it is absurd, repugnant and incomprehensible that you think the murder of 8000 human beings (taking only into account one single massacre) could be justified. Equally absurd it is to you that people who idolize the Ustase think the murder of 400000 (or something similar) could be justified. Do you think Croats were born evil? The sad fact is that if you would have been born a Croat in Croatia, you would probably have been a lot more sympathetic to the Ustase yourself. That is because Croats are probably brainwashed by their school, media and so on with various denials and justifications to their crimes, just like you think the mass murder of 8000 was justified or at worst a necessary evil, nevermind the other war crimes you probably did not get told about in school. Of course the crimes of the Ustase are worse, but the tendencies are the exact same. And this nationalism can be extremely easily exploited, as we have seen. And the most sad and tragic thing is that people like you don't even realize what has happened afterwards. Yes, I 100% think Texas should be able to vote to secede if they wanted to. And I'm sure that there are more people on this forum who agree with me. BTW: "Might is right" = "Ustase were right to kill 400000 Serbs because they had the might to do so" = Sarex fails at thinking. That's funny, anecdotally I know people originally from the Dalmatian coast and they do not regard themselves as "Dalmatians". By the way, Dalmatia contains 20-25% of the Croatian population. I find it absurd that 20-25% "dislike the Croat, if not hate" and yet there are no Dalmatian regionalist parties in the Croat parliament. Hell, there are even Istrian and Slavonic parties, but no Dalmatian ones. This claim of yours is looking more and more like you are being confused again. Are you sure you are referring to a current movement and not a historical one?
  22. Both were trying to ethnically cleanse their way to "Greater Serbia"/"Greater Croatia". Tomato, meet potato. Would be great if correct I guess, I was only basing what I wrote on what I've heard from various Balkan expatriates I know IRL. No, you are not a hypocrite for judging the Ustase. You are a hypocrite for not judging the Serbian nationalist militias with ideology similar to the Ustase. I'm not defending people who celebrate them. I'm accusing people who seem very aware of the faults of the Ustase ideology, but are unable to see the errors of the same ideology when its proponents are of a different ethnicity. Okay. So you mean to judge people purely by their crimes, how many they killed, and not by their motives or their relative means. So, that means you also must agree that Stalin and Mao were worse than Hitler. The Israelis are clearly worse, even several orders of magnitude worse than the Palestinians, by this measure. I could go on - by subscribing to this incredibly simplified and naive worldview, where you do not take intent and ideology into account, you are limiting yourself to the point of making yourself blind. The answer to your first question is obvious. Vojvodina was very ethnically mixed, and at the time, Serbs were a minority. Vojvodina would never have become a part of Serbia if not for the fact that Austria-Hungary was on the losing side in the war. Similarly, Kosovo contains - and at the previous turn of the century contained - a majority of Albanians. If people would have decided to give areas to the people who live there, Kosovo would have become independent from Serbia or been given to Albania. According to the Yugoslavian census, Bosniaks, or Yugoslavian Muslims, were the third largest group of people in Yugoslavia. Who were these people who answered that they were Muslims or Bosniaks when the census was made? Come on, you are extremely ignorant of the crimes committed in the region by others than the Ustase. The Serbian Chetniks went after the Muslims first during WW2, and then later the army of the Bosnian Serbs, the JNA plus various militia groups did so in the 1990s. Get up to date with the list here. That list obviously does not include every killing of a civilian, but it provides enough examples. This is stupid. Winning a war does not entitle you to ethnically cleanse the opposition from your lands. Basically, you are saying that Croatia was in the right in the 1990s, because they clearly held their own in that conflict and so could remove Serbs from their lands. Yes, but if they are so similar, why don't they vote to join Serbia? Clearly, if your thesis is correct, all you would have to do is wait for the eventual reunion. I don't think you are making that more likely by accusing all Croatians of being Ustase sympathizers and talking about waiting for the next war, all you are doing is perpetuating the conflict. British English and American English are also virtually identical as languages. But that doesn't mean it gives one people any claim to the lands of the other. Right? It's silly to engage in that type of chauvinism. If they feel they are Croatians, they are Croatians. Okay. So not "south of Croatia" but "the South of Croatia". In the present. Let us re-examine your claims - it's not very hard, since a lot of maps have been made detailing what groups of people live where. Circa 1998. Circa 2000. Circa 2008. Circa 2010. Nope. No significant numbers of non-Croatians anywhere on any part of the coast of Croatia. Looks like you are talking out of your ass again. You are probably referring to the areas in south and central Croatia which had significant Serbian populations before the war. Sarex gets found out on being confused about factual matters - accuses other person of reading at Wikipedia (shock!!!).
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