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  • posted a message on Vein Drinker
    Quote from peteroupc »
    For Vein Drinker's activated ability, first Vein Drinker deals damage, then the target creature, rather than both dealing damage simultaneously, because there are two action verbs (here, both "deals") in two different places. Whether or not the word "then" appears in the ability is irrelevant here. In general, each instance of an action verb indicates a separate, sequential action (compare Vein Drinker with Char; under C.R. 608.2c, you "apply the rules of English to the text" of a spell when following its instructions; see also this thread).


    Thank you. I see the difference between something like Vein Drinker and Char, as you pointed out. But how would Vein Drinker differ from something like, say, Faithless Looting?

    Draw two cards, then discard two cards.


    It seems like both "draw" and "discard" are action verbs, but the card for some reason includes 'then.' Is it a style situation where including the 'then' is just simpler than saying "Draw 2 cards. Discard 2 cards."?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Vein Drinker
    Vein Drinker

    So, I learned today that when Vein Drinker activates its ability, it deals damage to the targeted creature first. The thing that's driving me crazy is that every time I read the text, I can't figure out how I'm supposed to reach that conclusion. I keep expecting see the word 'then' to start off the 2nd sentence but it's not there.

    So the question is why is a 'then' not required here to indicate that Vein Drinker deals it damage first?

    Also, from a rules perspective, what, if anything, would be different if there *was* a 'then' to lead off the 2nd sentence?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Question about the MTG bundle packs
    I just got an Amonkhet bundle pack. I think this is the new term for the old fat packs? Anyway, it comes with this short box inside it with a planeswalker symbol on the top. I believe that the box was empty. Might be a stupid question but what does anyone use this type of box for? It's not the size of the regular full-art box where you might put decks in it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Debate Forum alums: Where do you debate?
    Quote from Highroller »
    A thought I had: would anyone be up for forming a clan with debate alums and then continuing discussion within the clan thread?


    That's a good thought. I suppose it would be within the rules?
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Debate Forum alums: Where do you debate?
    WELP, bummer about debate closing. I've been terrible at actually contributing to the forum for awhile now anyway. I've been working on a computer ~6 hours per day so I just don't find the energy for it.... maybe my fingers are just tired of typing. I know there were a few posts that I've been meaning to reply to for weeks now and I just can't convince myself to do so. It would've (would still) be cool to engage with some of you in a more verbal format because my voice never seems to tire.

    To actually answer your question, though... nowhere for now. This was nearly the perfect place for discussion back in the day because there was such a diverse but almost universally restrained range of views. The closest thing I can remember to that was the forum for Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcast, but I'm not sure if they still have a forum there. Have you found anything yet?
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on US Missile Strike on Syria
    Quote from Kahedron »
    Quote from Ljoss »
    Quote from Ljoss »
    He can't do that legally. I mean, I appreciate all the reasonable critiques of his decisions but he can't actually do that. He was stretching the limits just by doing what he did here.
    ...no, he wasn't. This was the "minimum use of force" approach. I'd bet dollars to donuts his advisors gave him a menu of options that got way more explosive.


    I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean. He's POTUS, not King. He can't just order a complete bombardment of the state of Syria on a whim. Not to mention that the Russians are there as well.

    Well acutally it looks like he can. He just has to tell congress why he did it within 48 hours and pull the troops out after 60 days if Congress doesn't grant an extension.


    Quoting wiki here just for ease:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution


    The War Powers Resolution (also known as the War Powers Resolution of 1973 or the War Powers Act) (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548)[1] is a federal law intended to check the president's power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of the U.S. Congress. The Resolution was adopted in the form of a United States Congress joint resolution. It provides that the U.S. President can send U.S. Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, "statutory authorization," or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

    The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a Congressional authorization for use of military force (AUMF) or a declaration of war by the United States. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto.


    I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that he certainly doesn't have the power you're suggesting that he does here. There's been no attack on the United States and no word from congress. That explains why we're already seeing some questions about the legality even of this minimal action that he did take (refer to my previous citation).

    The issue of authority aside, just as a matter of prudence, it seems like a pretty awful idea to start a war with the vassal of a major world power (who even has forces present within the borders of said vassal) without both international and congressional support, neither of which he has. We don't see any other state in the world (even in Europe) trying to do this, either. Hilariously, with this singular action, he's done more against Assad than anyone else has.



    Quote from Ljoss »

    It's a brave move for a few reasons.

    1) Questionable legality and opposition by a few lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

    2) Opens him up to criticism for flip-flopping on Syria.

    3) Opposition by anti-war elements on both sides of the aisle - even fervent supporters that are sympathetic to Russia.


    Ljoss we aren't attacking him for carrying out the attack. We are attacking him because the method he choose is absolutely pointless and does nothing to help anyone. All this is, is a very very expensive Wag the dog. He has done the bare minimum neccessary to get some hopefully positive headlines in an attempt distract people from all the things that are going wrong at home with his domestic plans.


    He's kinda getting hit from almost every angle here. You have the anti-war left now claiming him to be a warmonger - or like you said, the whole wag the dog deal. You've got the legal issues with congress. You've got this backlash from the right that either believes that Assad didn't use chemical weapons and this is all some big conspiracy or that, even if Assad is using chemical weapons, the fact remains that he's fighting ISIS and so let's just look the other way. I think this might have helped him with some nations (the U.K., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia have expressed support) and maybe certain elements of the media but let's not kid ourselves, this doesn't please a large portion of his base and it doesn't please much of the left, either.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Missile Strike on Syria
    Quote from Ljoss »
    He can't do that legally. I mean, I appreciate all the reasonable critiques of his decisions but he can't actually do that. He was stretching the limits just by doing what he did here.
    ...no, he wasn't. This was the "minimum use of force" approach. I'd bet dollars to donuts his advisors gave him a menu of options that got way more explosive.


    I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean. He's POTUS, not King. He can't just order a complete bombardment of the state of Syria on a whim. Not to mention that the Russians are there as well.


    Quote from Ljoss »
    In any event, is there anyone (other than Syrian rebels) that actually wants to see that happen right now?
    Hillary Rodham Clinton.


    If Hillary Clinton believes POTUS has the authority to launch a massive campaign against another state on his/her own say so then 1) #wrong and 2) I guess that's another reason to be glad she isn't POTUS. I don't believe that she thinks that, though.


    Quote from Ljoss »
    The question, it seems to me, is not whether to do this or whether do something more impactful. It's whether to do this or do something less impactful. He chose the most impactful action in front of him and it's one that puts him at a significant political risk because it's only borderline legal to begin with.
    This is almost exactly the reverse of the truth. He chose the action that had the smallest actual impact on the ground while still generating the headline "TRUMP ORDERS MISSILE STRIKE IN SYRIA" and thus appearing tough to please his base. And yes, this is an area the president should be tough. Obama should have given this order years ago. I'm cautiously optimistic that it happened. But calling it a political risk? Not even close.


    It's a brave move for a few reasons.

    1) Questionable legality and opposition by a few lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

    2) Opens him up to criticism for flip-flopping on Syria.

    3) Opposition by anti-war elements on both sides of the aisle - even fervent supporters that are sympathetic to Russia.


    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Missile Strike on Syria
    Quote from Kahedron »
    Quote from Ljoss »
    One very simple question tonight: if Trump is a Russian puppet, why is he actively interfering in Russian operations in Syria?

    Matter of fact, forget about the puppet claim. Let's say that he simply feels indebted to Putin, which is a much more conservative and charitable reading of the mainstream media coverage. How does this behavior fit in with that?


    It appears that he was nice enough to let them know that the missiles were comming. Presumably to avoid an international incident.


    Which I suppose is something he might do to lessen the blown with the Russians but it's also the sensible thing to do and they're still going to be angry, anyway.


    And this is just a single attack against 1 airbase. It has done sod all to actively hinder anyones air operations in the area. IF he had been serious about doing something halfway useful he would have sent a single massive strike and completely obliterated Syria's airpower and air defenses.


    He can't do that legally. I mean, I appreciate all the reasonable critiques of his decisions but he can't actually do that. He was stretching the limits just by doing what he did here.

    In any event, is there anyone (other than Syrian rebels) that actually wants to see that happen right now?


    Instead we have had a half-hearted strike launched in response to an atrrocity that won't actually prevent Assad from doing the same thing in the future. This is after all not the first time Assad has used Chemcial weapons against his own people and unless the reprisals are instant and crippling it is not going to be the last. And unless we are incredibly careful it looks like we are going to get dragged into an escalating series of Tit for Tat attacks and retaliations that won't actually do anything useful to fix the situation.


    The question, it seems to me, is not whether to do this or whether do something more impactful. It's whether to do this or do something less impactful. He chose the most impactful action in front of him and it's one that puts him at a significant political risk because it's only borderline legal to begin with.

    I have to say that I'm impressed with this action. It showed conviction and decisiveness but it was nonetheless restrained and diplomatic. Not only did he warn the relevant parties in advance, he also apparently consulted with allies like the U.K., Australia and Israel (possibly others) before this happened. We probably would have expected that from Obama but as you know, the bar has been lowered.

    Quote from MinaHarcourt »

    The chemical attack was not one. There is plenty of proof of that online. Like one guy reporting on the attack a day early. Or the white helmets, funded by George Soros and allied to Al-something, employing the same actors again. Or the white helmets not wearing any protective clothing when sarin adheres to everything it touches and minute traces still kill.


    George Soros and the U.N. faked a chemical attack in Syria to start a war between Russia and the States?

    By the by, what is it with the Russians and escaping culpability for everything?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Missile Strike on Syria
    One very simple question tonight: if Trump is a Russian puppet, why is he actively interfering in Russian operations in Syria?

    Matter of fact, forget about the puppet claim. Let's say that he simply feels indebted to Putin, which is a much more conservative and charitable reading of the mainstream media coverage. How does this behavior fit in with that?

    Quote from buwalda98 »

    From my understanding, the base that was targeted was the base that launched the chemical attack. In addition, that same base does not have a ton of resources, such as planes or personnel. The base isnt a huge target by any means, it doesn't have any reason to be other than symbolic. It's in a farm region, and very little chance of Russians being in the premises. All these things considered, I believe the attack was mostly just a symbolic gesture, a sort of, "don't bomb your own people" kind of statement and a little slap on the wrist. I don't believe it will have a lasting impact, truthfully.


    Let's hope that's all that becomes of this. While I don't support it, if it gives Assad pause the next time he's considering using chemical weapons against civilians then that's a good end. It may be more of a symbolic measure, but it's a pretty stern symbol if that's all it is, and to me at least, it does signal that the diplomatic situation with Russia is still going to be a difficult one over the next four years.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Food Taboos
    Would you say that this is a more important question than it was in the past? My eyes get all askew as soon as I see a chart or graph, but my present understanding is that the world food supply has increased considerably as of late. This does seem to touch on two issues - one, how to supply the food and two, how to do it in a more sustainable way (I'm assuming that by sustainable we mean environmentally friendly?) It doesn't seem like the former is much of a problem at all.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on America, The Polarized Society
    I agree with Highroller's approach here that if you think someone/something is racist you should say so, and not necessarily worry about how that might make one feel. Unfortunately, though, I think this word - racist - is becoming increasingly less meaningful and, consequently, you should be ready to explain what you mean by that and why it's a problem. I also believe that Highroller has done a pretty good job of that in this thread.

    I wanted to explain what my issue is with this word right now by way of an example. Recently, there was an article about Yusra Khogali on Huffington Post. She is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto. She's said many things that are preposterous from a factual perspective (e.g. claiming that Justin Trudeau is a white supremacist, some pseudo-science about race and the sun) and also things that I contend are viciously racist (e.g. that white people are subhuman, talking about how hard it is for her not to kill white people, etc.). Now if you read that article and scroll down to the comment section you will find many people defending her comments or her position in this group and, to my knowledge, she hasn't resigned or been dismissed from it. So here you have people holding up the banner of anti-racism saying that these comments aren't racist and attacking the editor, calling him a racist for calling such comments out. So that highlights some of the strange ways in which this word is being employed lately. Meanwhile, I don't think you can find a more primo example of racism than the labeling of any group of people as subhuman because of their skin-color. And I believe I was in a conversation here not too long ago with someone claiming that no one is ever falsely accused of racism, which would mean that I have to accept that Justin Trudeau really is a white supremacist and that is just silly.

    Bottom line, call it like you see it (racism or anything else) and be willing to listen and respond.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Kahedron »
    Quote from Ljoss »
    Quote from Hackworth »
    Yo, are Trump's people ever gonna stop making ***** up or is this just a Republican thing now? [link]


    It'd be cool to see CNN report on the Russian-Korean war.


    Here you go.

    Specifically

    She also incorrectly said that Trump "is wrapping his arms around Putin, while Putin is continuing to advance into Korea" -- apparently meaning to reference the Crimea.



    Looks like CNN have covered it.


    LOL... they buried it under a call for impeachment, they didn't make it headline news. You don't see the pattern here? Where are all the lamestream media reports on David Duke endorsing Keith Ellison? Here, I found this lone article from the Washington Times. Oh, but Keith Ellison is no big deal, you think? Then why is Gary Johnson's Aleppo gaffe headline news? Because Gary Johnson is a major player? Don't be silly.


    Now you are here ther are a load of questions directed towards you. Answer them please.


    Yeah, I'm not producing a thorough bibliography filled with statements half of which I either didn't make or have been asked/answered over and over again. You want to ask me a single question, go ahead.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Hackworth »
    Yo, are Trump's people ever gonna stop making ***** up or is this just a Republican thing now? [link]


    It'd be cool to see CNN report on the Russian-Korean war.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from Jay13x »

    This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what a monopoly is and does. What's to stop the monopoly from dropping their prices low enough kill the competition, then raising them back up again. This is what happens in real life.


    What kind of products are we talking about? Any examples?

    Just for starters, it seems like you'd need a pretty narrow situation to get anywhere with this approach. You can't do it in a market where one product, while not being the same, could be considered a replacement for the other. E.g., wool for a different type of material. If there's no replacement product, but the product itself is not essential (or close to it) or, say, addictive... well, that's another gigantic problem for you.

    We do have at least one real-life example of someone destroying this idea. DuPont did a number of things to successfully fight this scheme. Slowing/shutting down production or diverting resources from it temporarily while letting the would-be monopolizers suffer major losses is a great idea and makes the other side look rather foolish. Also a fantastic idea to snatch up their inventory at below-market value and sit on it (hey, if they can take losses, maybe you can too - but your losses are only temporary, they're taking permanent ones) or dump it back into another market at normal market value (hey, why even bother taking losses, let them do it.)

    Of course, if all else fails, we have one terribly unfortunate option left: choose a leader from among us, take resources from everyone else, build an army and impose our will on the offenders.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on America, The Polarized Society
    Quote from Highroller »

    Polarization is not a problem when the other side is unambiguously wrong.


    Certainly not. But maybe we're defining the sides differently than you. I know that I am. E.g., I hope no one pours toxic waste in the river but that doesn't mean I have to support the E.L.F. (Or, similarly, a vote for Jill Stein doesn't justify E.L.F. behaviors.)

    It's why any sane person would look at the Civil War and say that, however horrific and unfortunate the war was, to have allowed slavery to continue in order to prevent the war would be a far worse circumstance.


    It wouldn't have prevented the war.
    Posted in: Debate
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