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  • posted a message on libertarianism.
    This comes down, like I said, to how we define personal freedom. If it's defined as "no one who works for the government can tell me what to do" I agree with you that taxes limit that definition of personal freedom. I said as much. I'm not sure this is precisely the definition you're using, but it's the one I commonly run across with libertarians (albeit more glibly stated).

    However, I think it's too limited a definition to be useful because it ignores what those tax dollars are being spent on. In short, it ignores the consequence of those taxes. This is like saying, "surgery means you're being cut so it's a net negative in personal health, but sometimes is necessary for other reasons". However, the surgery itself is supposed to cause a much larger gain in personal health than the cut cost you. It's misleading to say that taxes are a reduction in personal freedom without looking at what opportunities the tax expenditures protect or create.

    Things look different if we define personal freedom closer to a core dictionary definition; the power to act, speak and think as one wants. It's very easy to come up with scenarios in which taxes create government programs that expand and defend those options overall. Government programs can protect people from private citizens and businesses that would stifle their pursuit of happiness far more than a tax does.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on libertarianism.
    Because raising your taxes reduces your freedom to decide how to spend your money, and providing you with state-run services reduces your freedom to shop around for the service you want. Social democracy sure as hell isn't fascism, but it's still unquestionably a relative reduction in personal freedom.


    Gotta disagree there in at least some contexts. A lot of vital services wouldn't exist, or wouldn't be available to many people, if taxes weren't a thing. It's pretty easy to come up with scenarios in which a certain tax for a certain goal increases most peoples' ability to live life how they choose.

    To get around this, you have to do what a lot of libertarians do: narrow the definition of freedom until it means "no one who works for an official government organization can tell me what to do". In that definition, absolutely taxes limit personal freedom. So does a law banning murder, or a building code that reduces the chance of the building collapsing and killing everyone during an earthquake. When these issues are pointed out, libertarians tend to start brainstorming ways that groups of citizens could come together in order to economically punish dangerous businesses or imprison/execute murderers. Of course we'd need to ensure it's fair through some sort of clear process and codified rules, because otherwise no one would know if what they're doing is going to get them killed... And we'll need to figure out how to agree on which of these things will become 'laws'... But it's totally not a government. Wink
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    Quote from Mockingbird »
    I'll put Vermin Supreme on the debate stage* if he promotes environmentalism because nobody's burying the lead with those other topics.


    Making an non-serious, ignorant incompetent the voice of an issue usually doesn't do a good job to communicate how serious the issue is.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    I couldn't get past her answer to the first question. Just massively dishonest.

    Question Was: "What did John Oliver get wrong about your plan to cancel student debt."

    Context: John Oliver took her argument to cancel student debt through quantitative easing, and pointed out that the president has no power to do it and that she doesn't seem to even know what it is. She just keeps calling it a "magic trick". It's not. It's introduction of new money into the money supply by the central bank. Basically you say, "Hey, we can't pay for this. Let's print more money!" Obviously this has HUGE repercussions on the economy, as any econ 101 student can tell you with regard to inflation. There are gigantic historical parallels. He was right to call it as absurd as Trump's plan to stop illegal immigration by building a giant wall. It's the same kind of child logic. How do we stop people coming into our country? Build a big wall! Like really big! How do we pay for something? Print more money! Like a trillion more money!

    Stein's answer:
    1) We bailed out the banks, let's bail out the students! (Irrelevant response to his criticism)
    2) Quantitative easing is "controversial" but it works. It's a magic trick (Don't need to explain why this is a non-response and ignorant/duplicitous).
    3) There's lots of other ways to pay for it! Maybe we just don't make a bunch more nuclear weapons (irrelevant to her ignorance on quantitative easing which she's pushed hugely).
    4) It's not fair. John Olvier never makes fun of Clinton (yes he does, he makes fun of her a lot more than he does Stein. Also irrelevant to his criticism).

    This is absurd. It was just the FIRST question.

    EDIT - The very next question was a follow-up asking for details on Stein's plan and her response: "Details aren't important, what's important is that we want to do it."

    *facepalm* Hello Mrs. Trump.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    Quote from warghoul »
    Quote from Stairc »
    Such as?


    Hillary is a war monger. Consolidated media. How wall street controls a lot of the political process. Trump is more trust worthy then hillary. Just a few off the top of my head. Not a fan of any of the people running but I do know hillary is the worst.


    These are just baseless statements. Stein doesn't even understand her own policy proposals, she has no idea what the significance of any of Clinton's geopolitical positions are. When she gives specifics, she always embarasses herself. That's why she normally doesn't. She can't even see Russia from her house. The democrats have also embraced campaign finance reform as their major party platform and pledged to make it happen as their top legislative priority. Do you know the best way to sabotage that? Not supporting them. Prove that it's smarter to stick with the corporations, because they always deliver the money.

    I'd like to rip into the Trump-Clinton comparison more directly, but this is a thread about Stein. It's not about comparing the merits of one of the moste qualified candidates ever with a mad clown with no experience who can't go a week in a campaign without sticking his foot in his mouth becoming a country's chief diplomat and military commander.

    Stein has built her career off of getting attention with hopeless causes. She's not a serious candidate, she just tries to position herself as the saintly alternative "they" only oppose because "they" are scared of just how wonderful she is. In reality, she doesn't have any idea what she's talking about and has no appreciable political experience. She likely never will.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    Such as?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    John Oliver wasn't gentle on Stein. He hammered Stein and said she seemed to have no idea what she was talking about in her policies or how government works. He compared her core platform directly to Donald Trump's much-loathed wall. He also put her next to 9/11 truthers and anti-vaxxers. I highly doubt he left out my point because of a progressive bias.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    Honestly I thought Oliver was too gentle on Stein. The emphasis on the album was fake-outrage, and took up a lot of time that could have been spent making it clear that she has barely more experience than Donald Trump and considerably fewer credentials than Sarah Palin.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Why do bookstores and libraries put the Bible in the nonfiction section?
    Fiction doesn't mean "Wrong" in this context. Should scientific works that have since been disproven be moved to the fiction section? Browsing through the Dresden Files, do you expect to find an old textbook with an outdated quantum theory?

    The bible isn't intended as fiction, whether it's correct or not.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Gary Johnson
    A milestone that produces significant extra funding is significant in terms of being difficult to achieve and an essential preequisite for success. It's not significant in terms of changing his chances here.

    It's like saying getting into the Olympics is a significant milestone for a country. This is true, but it doesn't make it feasible that you're going to win a gold medal. It just means that you have to get in before you can even compete.

    Johnson has faced almost no scrutiny because the media doesn't take him seriously. He gets almost no attention or airtime. Despite that, he's already got multiple gaffes on record. This implies that if he actually got the attention he wants, we'd see a lot more of these "Aleppo moments".

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    I can't believe that I only just found out Jill Stein's sole governmental experience is as a member of the Lexington Town Meeting. She won her seat with about 500 votes, which was 1/5th of all votes cast in that entire election.

    When Sarah Palin has a better resume'... That's astonishing to me. Naturally this is still more experience than Trump, but I doubt many people are waffling between Trump and Stein.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein
    Stein can barely get on the ballot. That's not easy, but it's a lot easier than sweeping reform. She's also under no scrutiny, while literally every stutter of Clinton's is blasted across the media as evidence she's dying. She also knows she can promise whatever she wants, because she'll never have to live up to it.

    Stein's not a great or effective candidate. She just has nothing to lose.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Triple Threat - Where Anything is Possible [Tournament Available]
    Triple Threat Tournament
    Submit Your Decks by Friday 7pm CEST (PM me). We run them for you against all other decks and report the results. You don't have to show up.

    Format Rules
    1) Your deck must have exactly 60 cards in it.
    2) Pick 3 cards. Your deck can contain only those cards and basic lands. The 4 card limit does not apply.
    3) Your deck cannot be capable of winning before each player has taken 1 full turn against an opponent that has a deck full of 60 grizzly bears.
    4) All Wishes are banned.

    Tournament Rules:
    1) All decks are played against all other decks. They are ranked according to their overall win record.
    2) Decks will be played going first and second against each opponent. If your deck wins one of the two games, the decks will be rematched until one deck wins both games or until 20 total games are played. If 20 games are played this way (10 chances to win 2 games in a row), the match is considered a draw.


    This is what I call a "deckbuilder's format". Winners are basically deterministic based on deckbuilding choices, so you get the fun of deckbuilding and outhinking the expected meta in pure form, and can see how your deck does without having to dedicate time from your schedule to participate in the tournament.

    Why the grizzly bear test? Because otherwise some decks would kill themselves to force you to 'win' and break this rule. If we had no rule like this, the format would end up being way too much about 7x Chancellor of the Dross and similar turn 0 kills.
    Posted in: Homebrew and Variant Formats
  • posted a message on Wizards finally has a way to implement Tribal as a standalone card type!
    Abso-freakin-lutely. It's the way things should have been done from the beginning. There should be cards that reduce the cost of your "fire spells" and Goblin War Strike should be a a goblin card. It would open up a lot of richly thematic design space, with low comprehension complexity as well. When mining for design space, that's striking gold.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Can black do this?
    Color pie exists for two reasons: Flavor and Balance.

    Flavor wise, this is fine. Flavor is rarely a problem with the right implementation, but you generally don't want the gameplay to go against black's nature. This fits black's sadistic and ambitious 'cheating' philosophy in feel. Seems fine.

    Balance wise, giving black this tool doesn't remove any of their weaknesses or give them anything meaningfully new.

    The ability is acceptable in black. Black can do it. Now WOTC might feel it's better if these kind of combat manipulations stay in other colors to give them their unique flavor of 'removal' but black can do it. Colors can do a lot of things that set designers still chose not to make cards for. But that's up to the set designer/developer.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
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