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  • posted a message on South Carolina Officer is Charged With Black Man's Murder
    Quote from Jay13x »

    The issue in ferguson was a complete and utter lack of transparency, coupled with a town with systemic abuses of the poor population.

    Especially poor people of color, but I imagine not limited just to the poor or just people of color. Also it wasn't just systematic abuse by police authorities but also the prosecutors office looking the other way from this behavior and even actively covering it up.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Reuters Article: Off Duty African American New York City Police Officers Feel Threatened By On Duty White New York Police

    Reuters interviewed 25 African American male officers on the NYPD, 15 of whom are retired and 10 of whom are still serving. All but one said that, when off duty and out of uniform, they had been victims of racial profiling, which refers to using race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime.

    The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

    Even worse, almost universally, when these officers made formal complaints about the incidents to their superiors, they were either dismissed without investigation or the officers were actually retaliated againt for bringing up the incidents.

    The black officers interviewed said they had been racially profiled by white officers exclusively, and about one third said they made some form of complaint to a supervisor.

    All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.

    I know there bad police officers as well as good ones and even more mind boggling to some there are also mediocre police officers, so this report doesn't totally surprise me, but I was curious what everyones thoughts were on the article.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on South Carolina Officer is Charged With Black Man's Murder
    Quote from Kapak44 »
    I can already hear a flurry of new riots/protests from the Ferguson crowd.

    Also from the original posts article

    Police reports say that officers performed CPR and delivered first aid to Mr. Scott. The video shows that for several minutes after the shooting, Mr. Scott remained face down with his hands cuffed behind his back. A second officer arrives, puts on blue medical gloves and attends to Mr. Scott, but is not shown performing CPR. As sirens wail in the background, a third officer later arrives, apparently with a medical kit, but is also not seen performing CPR.

    Your post confuses me. First are protests in response to an injustice a bad thing? Three officers apparently signed off on a report that said CPR was performed when it clearly was not. Best case scenario the two later arriving officers just took Officer Slager's word that he had performed CPR and signed off on it. Second like imabusinessman said in this clear cut case of police brutality the murder charges against Slager are exactly what the so called "Ferguson crowd" would want, so why would they protest/riot?
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on The Mono-White Primer
    I would be interested in seeing this mono white primer as well as I've personally been having trouble building a competitive mono white deck.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Non Latin Unicode characters are temporarily not allowed. error mesage
    "Non Latin Unicode characters are temporarily not allowed." is the error message I'm getting, but I don't think the post I'm editing has any of these. It's the first post of this thread that I'm trying to edit


    Post Fixed.
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Kamahl, Pit Fighter Where Does He Belong?
    So my foil Odyssey Kamahl, Pit Fighter just came in today, and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I've had a few different ideas so far, one is to build Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest and run ways to untap guys and lots of little cantrips to hopefully one day go turbo with Kamahl and Jeskai Ascendancy and Gratuitous Violence, or maybe go red green and run the cards that make guys untap every turn? It's definitely too fresh not to not play. Thoughts?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Greater Good falling out of favor?
    Greater Good is insanely powerful, I have lost countless games to this card, it makes creature removal insane card disadvantage, it turns every fatty into a fat draw spell, but only when you need it, it totally enables graveyard shenanigans and as an enchantment it's incredibly difficult for 3 of the 5 colors to get rid of.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Terrible Cards That You Still Really Want To Play...But Are Terrible
    Quote from HydraTMD »
    Deep Spawn for me. A 6/6 trampler who helps fill your graveyard and has an (albeit not so good) self-defense mechanism? And a giant lobster?! Too bad he costs 8...

    I've used deep spawn in multiple reanimator edh decks and it was awesome, partly for the lolz and partly because it's actually half decent in reanimator. The best part is when people read it for the first time and they look at you like "why are you playing this terrible card?" and then you pretend it's totally busted for a couple seconds, then fess up that you're playing it because it's just hilarious and then go on to try to convince them that "really, it's pretty solid in reanimator".
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Terrible Cards That You Still Really Want To Play...But Are Terrible
    So there are a great number of cards that I know are terrible, but somehow still keep making it into the first cut of my EDH decks. There are way too many of these cards to list all here, but I'm going to start off with the most gratuitous ones.

    Call of the Wild

    Even in a deck that is fully 50% creatures, this cards will only hit every other card, meaning on average each creature you hit will cost you 8 mana, the only way this card could possibly be playable is in conjunction with something like Mana Severance or Trench Gorger or top of deck free peek cards like Sphinx of Jwar Isle, but alas, even then it's still probably not worth it.

    [Mist Dragon]

    6 Mana for a 4/4, with a 5 mana phase out ability, in my mind I'm going to be tron-ing it up with Equipment and +1/+1 counters dodging Wrath of God, Earthquake after Hurricane after Mutilate like champ and triggering my Ojutai's and Silumgar's. All even remember to give it flying every upkeep to dodge my red opponents possible kicked Molten Disaster, and after it delivers the death blow to him, he will show me his hand, MOLTEN DISASTER and will say, if only you had forgotten to give it flying once on my upkeep, I could have dealt with the cosmic force that is MIST DRAGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!11

    And truly the list could go on and on, I love terrible cards, and nothing is better when a new card is printed that makes old cards that were terrible actually good. So what terrible cards do you guys love?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What are Islam's intended and actual effects on global culture?
    Quote from Arcesious »
    I've for some time had a vague understanding of the reasons behind this currently polarizing matter of Islamic extremism that has, as far as I can tell, exploded in my lifetime.

    You really should do a web search for an "Introduction to Islam" article by a reputable institution with referenced sources. Read a couple of these. Just asking random people on the internet "What is Islam" is basically asking "what is you opinion of Islam?" which is a fine question to ask, but I assume that's not the question you want answered.

    Quote from bakgat »
    I think that the main problem is that if you where to kill in the name of Christ / Krishna / Buddha you would have real writings to support the idea that you are going against the teachings of religion. With Islam that certainly is not the case. They are commanded to use the sword and have used the sword to conquer many places.

    Also they hold none of the rights and privileges that us westerners hold sacred. They have no problem imposing there religious tyranny on others,.

    Firstly you are making enormous generalizations about the worlds 1 Billion Muslims. Every year thousands of Muslims are jailed and subject to torture in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Syria because they advocated democracy and human rights in these places. Also there are in fact majority Muslim countries that are very liberal and tolerant, Albania, Kosovo and Tunisia are notable examples. The Arab Spring uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East is a massive human rights and Democracy movement.

    On the subject of the Koran and the Bible, there are certain parallels between the two. They both have many verses advocating peace and love, and they both have many verses that say "And your enemies will bow before you, of their own will or by your sword". Here are a few from the Bible.

    Numbers 31:1-18
    Here Moses orders the slaughter of all male Midianite children and all women that are not virgins captured after the Midianites are defeated in battle, the women that are virgins are then given by Moses to be the "wives" of his soldiers.

    1 Samuel 15:3
    "3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

    The Israelites are commanded by god to commit genocide on the Amelekites.

    Deuteronomy 22:13-21
    If a woman is found not to be a virgin she is to be stoned to death in front of her fathers front door by the men of the village.

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    Disobedient sons who are still disobedient even after punishment are to be brought to trial and if convicted, presumably of being disobedient, they are to be stoned to death.

    Ephesians 6:5
    tells slaves to serve their masters as they would serve christ.

    Also while I believe you have a distorted view of Islam, nothing you have said so far indicates that this is because of the "race" of the Muslims across the world, I mean to say I don't think you are a racist and I think the accusation is flat out rediculous considering you didn't even mention race or biology until you were accused of being racist.

    Quote from Gabriel Chase »
    Like all other philosophies, religions and ideologies, ‘Islam’ teaches a variety of things. It’s the disconnect between theory and practice that causes problems, with every side considering themselves ‘right’. Thankfully, the majority of those who live in the Western world tend to incorporate more tolerant ideas (though not enough). However, those who preach a more violent version tend to have Islamic legal history on their side.

    As I said and illustrated above, Islam is incredibly similar to Christianity in that both of these religions have holy books that have conflicting messages that sometimes advocate peace and love, and sometimes advocates vicious slaughter. They also both have a long history of their adherents committing terrible atrocities in the names of these religions and sanctioned by the religious leadership. Notable examples include the medieval crusades, the initial expansion of the first Islamic state, and European colonialism across Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australisia and the Pacific. The Pope divided the world into Spanish and Portuguese spheres of influence, and the expansion of the Russian and British Empires was not just racially motivated, but religiously motivated as well.

    Bakgat: "It is not the minority. There is almost no Islamic nation that is completely religiously free,. Even in the 'liberal' arabic nations like the UAE you still cannot share you faith openly with muslims. For God's sake in Saudi Arabia you will receive the death penalty for the mere owning of a bible,. If that is not religious tyrrany then I really have no hope of understanding what the word means."

    What proof do you have that the majority of Muslims wish to live in Islamic states without human rights and democracy?

    Your second point about the UAE, very few people consider the UAE a liberal Muslim country, it is almost always referred to as a "relatively moderate" Muslim majority country.

    Also while freedom of religion is essentially non-existant in Saudi Arabia, I did some websearching and I couldn't find any reports by a news organisation that owning or smuggling in a bible to Saudi Arabia was grounds for the death penalty. I did find a number of Christian blogs repeating the claim "a recently passed law in Saudi Arabia makes it a capital offense to smuggle bibles into the country" but if there really was a law like this passed recently, there would have been an announcement by Saudi authorities and commentary by international news organizations on this event.

    "If that is not religious tyrrany then I really have no hope of understanding what the word means"

    Current Saudi religious policies are tyrannical, there is no disagreement there.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Gulag EDH(An Extended EDH Banlist + A Couple New Rules)
    Banlist update.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on Is it in poor form to scoop to a turn three Sheoldred?
    Quote from Burntgerbil »

    If you present a deck to be cut and they tap it and say "It's good" - and that's the nature of your whole playgroup, then that invites fishy behavior.

    There are alot of other ways to cheat than stacking your deck, and in a multiplayer format where routinely the groups attention will be not be on you, it's pretty easy to slip a card into your hand while no one is looking, with out ever getting near your deck. It's best just to just play with players you trust, or if you suspect someone is cheating confront them and try to figure out why a game of casual magic matters so much to them. I only cut someones deck when a spell like Chaos Warp is played and that's just because it's fun to build a little tension before the reveal.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Gulag EDH(An Extended EDH Banlist + A Couple New Rules)
    After review, I don't think that Gulag EDH is for me, but that's neither here nor there.

    On a more constructive note: If Contamination, Blood Moon, and Back to Basics are banned then why aren't Infernal Darkness, Naked Singularity, Reality Twist, and Ritual of Subdual also banned? Similar for Vandalblast and Calming Verse; Constant Mists and Dawnstrider/Sunstone.

    This is where Stalin and I disagree, I say the gulag isn't for everyone ;). So, two of the unwritten rules that will pretty soon be mentioned in a "Gulag Philosophy" section is that locking people out of the game by one means or another is highly "discouraged" the second rules is that if a new cards comes out that is extremeley similar to something already on the banlist or an old card is rediscovered that is very similar to something on the banlist, these cards are, again, officially highly "discouraged", so the lock out cards that you mentioned that aren't on the ban list are implicitly "banned" because it's pretty obvious that they don't do anything except lock people out of a game. Blood Moon and Back to Basics could arguably be considered "greed punishment", but my group has played with these cards and after testing we feel that the times that the two cards have just knocked player(s) out of the game on resolution outweigh the times that they act as legitimate non-basic hate. This decision was made democratically with near unanimity. Contamination was just the most visible iteration of the "all your mana is the wrong color" effect, and we wanted one version on the list. As for calming verse vs vandal blast, I feel artifacts are much more relevant, as they are the backbone to nearly all non-green ramp strategies, and as such vandal blast is sort of akin to one sided mass land destruction. And as far as constant mists vs sunstone and dawnstrider, mists is very dificult to deal with because outside black hand destruction or blue countermagic, they are very few ways of dealing with a buy back spell, whereas the stone and the strider are both permanents, which are orders of magnitudes more easily dealt with than a buyback instant spell.

    Quote from Force of Ill »

    The list made it even more swingy. As some of the answers to "swingy" cards are on your actual ban list.

    So yes, in my opinion, dead eye navigator is easily dealt with.

    I've played with the ban list in mind. And it just turned ugly for a bit.
    It was a slugfest in which ramp/control was the most viable. And overextending was no problem, cause half of the solutions is on your list..
    Especially with regards to balanced land-selections this was somewhat horrible as Blood Moon is so much more than a tool of punishment as it turned out.

    We are currently happy with the level of swinginess in our games, banning of a handful of answers has not unleashed a furious wave of anticlimactic bs ending on our games. How easily a card is dealt with isn't the only criteria under which it may be banned, another is how it affects the game if it's not immediately dealt with with an explicit destroy or counterspell, can the card be beaten indirectly? What is the rhythm of the game like if this card sits on the table for a few turn cycles? Does the game start to revolve around control of that one card? On this basis DEN has been banned. For our position on bloodmoon, see my response to Hunding a little further up this post.

    Quote from Crysknife »
    It depends on the group - i straddle two.

    One is made of game devs, and they all pack high powered decks and cards. Its sort of assumed that diplomacy provides the checks needed. It helps that they tend to enjoy ridiculous plays and game states for their own sake, while some will also build really creative theme decks.

    In the other group, mostly old college friends, there's players less invested in Magic. There, some cards will elicit groans when played by the "good" players. In that group, I tend to lean more toward the french banlist, and the players wi larger collections tend to self-censor a little bit more.

    To each group/player their own, The Gulag has been good to me and my group, but we are vividly aware many people would have very little fun playing with us under these rules and we don't hold that against those people. And on that note good day comrades!
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on Gulag EDH(An Extended EDH Banlist + A Couple New Rules)

    I changed the tile of the thread like you suggested, that was a good call. Just curious does your group share your feelings about those same cards or are you sort of the odd man out?
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on Question For Those That Pray: What Do You Pray For?

    As far as people going through the mental exercise of wishing good for their enemies I agree, I think that is a good thing too whether or not God exists or not. I also agree that it is a good thing for people to understand that their are things outside of their control, God or no God.

    "I think your post expresses a really simplistic view of prayer. Basically a grown-up version of sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what you want for Christmas. I can see why you'd imagine it like that if it wasn't something you ever gave a lot of thought to."

    I think you need to reread my post, I explicitly said I don't believe many people treat it as a cosmic wishlist. But then you go on to say that some people probably do.

    "The Bible doesn't contain many passages telling people not to ask for things, so there's no reason you wouldn't want to pray for a good parking space, and I think some people do. "

    This is the kind of prayer that I think is genuinely not a good thing, it keeps people thinking about their little whims and desires, and not thinking about the larger world around them. The epitome of this mindset is when a sports team prays to god to let them win the game they are about to play. I find it hard to believe that if there is a God, that he would listen to some kids praying to him to let them beat the kids in the next neighborhood over but he wouldn't listen to the prayers of oppressed starving North Koreans. Also, is it not contradictory that a person would pray for something material, then pray for peace about the way things will end up? like "please god, may I get a nice Christmas bonus this year, or atleast not feel bad about not getting a decent bonus this year" That sounds like a pretty ridiculous prayer to me.


    "Once you acknowledge that you are a being of emotion and not one driven by pure unfeeling logic, once you acknowledge that other people are driven by such emotions as well, then the purpose and utility of religion and its elements, including prayer, begin to make sense."

    I already acknowledge that as a human I have an emotional side as well as a logical side as do other people, and in fact I believe that logic and emotion complement each other, not that they are at "war" with each other. And it's through both logic and emotion that I have formed the opinion that if there is a God, praying to him would be silly, seeing as he already would know my deepest hopes and desires regarding myself and my fellow man, so what would I need to restate them to him periodically for?
    Posted in: Religion
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