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Everything posted by Ironhold

  1. Actually going up? Are you sure about that? I'm seeing red flags all across the horizon, and only *some* are being waved by college-age radicals. Japan's birth rate is so far below the replacement rate that the nation is literally in danger of being depopulated if they can't turn things around, and it's already destroying their economy. Many other First World nations are suffering from a critically low birth rate, and it's beginning to effect their economies as well. Meanwhile, a number of nations all over the world decided to take their nuclear reactors off-line before actually *ensuring* that they had alternative means of power generation in place, so they've just crippled large sectors of their economies. Canada is coming apart from the inside because Trudeau is showing how totalitarian he is and the populace is turning against him. Et cetra. We're in for some pretty bad times unless people start getting back to basics and comprehending how the world works.
  2. Two words: Economic warfare. Just take a look at what's going on with Russia and Ukraine. These two countries by themselves account for well over half the global wheat harvest, while Russia's Gazprom is the number 1 oil and natural gas supplier for much of Eastern and Central Europe. By invading Ukraine, Russia is starving the world out because Ukrainian wheat can't get through and no "respectable" nation wants to buy Russian wheat. Russia is also threatening to leave several European nations literally out in the cold this winter by cutting off their supply of oil and natural gas if they don't let him do as he pleases. So even though Putin is only rolling tanks into one country, he's cowed dozens of others just by the prospect of making it hard, if not impossible, for them to live. McDonald's hopping a plane out of Russia looks pretty weak by comparison to what might well be one of the Four Horsemen getting ready to go.
  3. According to the powers-that-be, a frail, mentally confused old man won the election over a loud, unpredictable, and business-savvy person who most other nations didn't want to risk messing with. Russia and China thought twice before trying anything because they didn't know how Trump would react. They don't have that same concerns with Biden.
  4. Really, the entire round of Obama-era "reforms" was a giant mess. Among other things, schools were made to implement these new programs without any guidance or resources for how to teach children that the newer foods were better for them, so the schools were left on their own. Not only that, many of the healthier options were also more expensive, and so a lot of schools were left with tight budgets. For example, suppose it's an extra $0.25 / each for a whole wheat bread roll compared to a standard bread roll. If a school expects to serve 2000 students for lunch (yes, my high school was that overcrowded), then that's an extra $500 just for that lunch that has to be budgeted for. Wealthier school districts can just soak it up, but not poorer districts.
  5. Basically, the entire chain of everything from the decision to make the raid to the actual conduct of the raid itself needs to be investigated by neutral third parties in order to determine if it was legal and done properly. The longer it takes for this to happen, the more time conspiracy theories have to circulate and the more potential they have to cause unrest.
  6. Schools began offering lunches (and in many jurisdictions, breakfast) as a way to deal with malnutrition and poverty. Study after study showed that children who went hungry not only suffered physically but had trouble keeping up academically. Many school districts now offer meals for free (it's generally a nominal fee per meal unless a family is receiving state or federal financial assistance, in which case the government entity in question pays for it), with a few even *mandating* that children have to eat the school's lunches as a societal equalizer. This is why Michelle Obama's school lunch "reforms" were so disastrous, as the nutritional guidelines failed to account for the fact that student athletes and students on financial assistance *need* extra calories and nutrients in their meals, and so there were plenty of reports in various newspapers concerning kids either passing out from hunger or having to eat cheap snacks to compensate.
  7. Basically, we can discuss matters so long as things don't get heated and we generally keep the conversation within the overall posting and content guidelines. For example, you can talk about a politician getting caught on film doing something illegal but likely not go into specifics about what those illegal things were.
  8. The issue is that your average school district is so under-funded (or suffers from such disproportionate allocation of funding) that they can't provide a basic level of school supplies for everyone, or if they do attempt to provide these supplies it's the cheapest brands they can get their hands on. Thus it's on the parents, and by extension various charities as necessary, to pick up the slack. That being said, when I was in 5th and 6th grade, the school I went to would put together a limited number of pre-assembled supply kids (binder, paper, folders, pencils, et cetra) and sell them to parents for $30 a kit.
  9. Nutshell: Joseph received revelation that over the centuries a number of theological truths and principles had been lost from the manuscripts that comprised what we today know as the Bible. The JST was him attempting a spiritually-based re-translation whose goal was to seek out these lost truths and re-insert them. However, he was murdered before he completed it, which is a big part of why we put the JST in footnotes and a special section at the end instead of incorporating it all into the text.
  10. Nutshell: In 1858 a corrupt federal judge was run out of Utah on a rail. In response, he told President Buchanan that Utah was in rebellion. For reasons that have never been explained, Buchanan took the report at face value and ordered 1,000 soldiers to Utah. As he didn't send notice of intent, word was brought back by mail riders, and this caused a panic. A wagon train from Missouri was trapped in Iron County because of poor planning on their part, such that they were out of supplies. With a possible war on, no one wanted to sell them anything. That they were from Missouri, land of the Extermination Order, an official state-sanctioned pogrom against the church, didn't help matters any. Several people down in Iron County still remembered the anti-Mormon massacre at Haun's Mill all too well, and when the members of the wagon train started talking smack in an effort to intimidate the locals into just giving them supplies the local militia decided to wax them all and blame the local Native Americans. Brigham Young was so busy trying to tend to the overall effort of keeping the peace that he didn't investigate personally, assuming his order that the church was to leave the wagon train alone would do the job. He knew several top officials in Iron County, so initially took their word as to what happened. The commander of the army was so incompetent that he was quickly herded into a corner and a third party was able to conduct an official investigation, but by then it was already too late.
  11. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
  12. Remember, though, that Milo was the one who broke the infamous "gamejournalpros" mailing list, where writers at several video game websites & publications had a mailing list going which they used to unethically coordinate coverage of various events so as to establish and enforce a party line. In the wake of his breaking this, someone purportedly mailed him an unmarked syringe filled with liquid. The mailing list was determined to have been very much real, and played a big part in retroactively justifying the Gamergate movement's demands for investigations into the behavior of various entertainment writers (et al).
  13. Think for a moment. You read what... two paragraphs of my post? The thesis was at the very end of it with the conclusion. I say this because "reading the first two paragraphs and just moving on" is how a lot of misinformation keeps getting circulated: people just skim what's put in front of them rather than attempting to study it out for themselves. That's a big part of how conspiracy theories continue to circulate. Not only that, you can have situations where a person's sense of reality does in fact become impaired in some fashion. They might not be able to tell truth from fiction anymore, or have the cognitive ability to question if something they're being told is real.
  14. I was a *massive* political firebrand in the mid 1990s through to the late 2000s. I've since found myself involved with more than a few consumer revolts and other such movements. Believe me when I say that there is *so much* going on in the world which is just *that* astounding and confounding that it can potentially make a person question the very nature of the world we live in. For example, what would you do if I told you that during the 2004 elections the brand of ketchup a person bought was taken as an indicator of one's political views? That's right. John Kerry's wife was a widow, her previous husband having been a member of the Heinz family, the same family known for producing condiments. During the latter part of the 2004 elections, she allegedly declared that if her husband didn't win the election then she would personally ensure that America's supply of ketchup was cut off. Even if we assume she did indeed make such a foolish statement, she had no power to actually make it happen and Heinz likely wouldn't have complied anyway because of how disastrous it would be financially for them to do so. Despite this, Dubya's supporters boycotted Heinz-brand condiments in retaliation, and several opportunists successfully launched "boutique" brands of ketchup with various political themes and product names. So yeah... in 2004, the brand of ketchup a person bought was indeed often used as an indicator of a person's political views. Now imagine someone like Alex Jones who deals with this kind of insanity 24/7/365 because it's his stock in trade. Shocking & controversial news. Purported information leaks about various government and political entities. Conspiracy theories of a wide variety. Some are true. Some aren't. But most, if not all, are incredible in nature. Past a certain point, one has to wonder if the constant exposure did indeed cause truth and fiction to start blurring for him.
  15. To put it simply, there's reason to believe that China *greatly* under-reported the number of people who died due to the you-know-what, and that as a result China has under-reported the economic consequences of what has taken place. In addition, I'm seeing reports coming in that many of the consumer goods available in China are vastly inferior to comparable foreign products, and that as a result they often wear out faster and so require more money being spent sooner to replace them. For example, many Chinese-made automobiles lack the sort of protective coatings that foreign-produced automobiles have, and so it's alarmingly common for even major components to suffer from rust problems within only five years of purchase. China is also getting ever stricter when it comes to censorship, to the point now that they are reportedly developing artificial intelligence programs to try and detect when a person is *thinking* about certain things that might be illegal. China is also under pressure from an increasing number of foreign companies and organizations over their human rights record, with Hollywood in particular slowly coming to realize that "making movies aimed at the Chinese upper and middle classes" is no longer a sure bet for financial success and could even do more harm than good if controversies arise. It is entirely possible that China's economy is being artificially propped up by foreign manufacturing and investment. If enough pulls out, China's economy could be in trouble.
  16. If the West had intervened directly during the early part of the war - say, deploying commandos to destroy bridges and intelligence operatives to confuse Russian movements - then the war would have long since been over with. Russia has *always* had significant trouble with their logistics systems, as noted when that 40+ mile of Russian combat vehicles ground to a halt in-transit because they all ran out of fuel, and so anything to further disrupt their supply lines would have likely given Ukraine the permanent advantage in the conflict. But instead, everyone was too afraid of the war becoming a hot global conflict and so sat it out until it became obvious that matters would soon be a war of attrition. At this point, so long as Putin himself is in power, he'll keep going no matter how many Russian citizens die in the process. The economic sanctions? China and India have no qualms about buying all that Russian oil. As far as Biden himself goes, I've tried to explain repeatedly to people that right now a very large majority of folks are more concerned about economic issues (there are *plenty* of negative indicators still) than they are about abortion and gun control, and that Hispanic voters are rapidly growing frustrated with the Democrats as a party. Unless the economy enters what most people regard as "recovery" before the elections then the electorate can reasonably be expected to lash out at the Democrats since they're the party in power. We could easily see the GOP or a GOP / Independent coalition take control of Congress, and if they do "President Kamala Harris" is the only thing that would likely keep them from demanding a full evaluation of Biden's mental health given everything that's been going on. I've linked to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs before, but the gist of it is that the combination of rising cost-of-living (food, gas, et cetra), ongoing supply chain shortages, and continued upheaval as companies try to recruit workers and match hours, is such that a great many people are barely meeting their survival needs, and when people are suddenly thrust into a position where they're barely surviving, they tend to panic, lash out, and generally not be entirely rational. That's why the political party in power tends to be blindly blamed for recessions and depressions, and why folks don't always ask questions whenever anyone comes forth proclaiming a solution. So yeah, if we are still functionally in a recession come November, kiss Roe vs. Wade goodbye.
  17. The very first GPS systems available to the public were *deliberately* inaccurate at the order of several governments to prevent their being used by rogue military powers and other groups. From there, accuracy has ostensibly improved, but the truth is that your average GPS and mapping program is only as accurate as the maps it has access to. For example, at one point the Google Map for my home city had a number of key businesses marked in the wrong locations; it took a while for the map to be fixed to correct this. In contrast, the Mapquest app is using older maps of my area, and so while the business locations (et al) are generally correct there's a chance it may simply not recognize a given street or location if the development is new enough.
  18. As it is... On Monday I was helping my mom do errands, and as part of it we walked through the local H-E-B Plus grocery store here in town. They had a great many items on clearance, and as we were there in the afternoon most of them were gone. These included household staple goods, such as unpopular flavors of Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper. Fortunately, the clearance tags were still on the shelves, letting us know that the store was likely *deliberately* allowing its inventory of certain products to run out. Given the large number of metal container units out behind the store and a number of other factors, we suspect that the store is due for renovations, and that the powers-that-be have decided it's easier to clear things out than try to move it back and forth. I can only imagine, however, what people likely would have thought had they not seen these things, the panic it would have potentially caused. We have a Wal-Mart Supercenter that has a grocery side, and a few other stores in town also sell groceries. But H-E-B Plus is the main store, and so if they were running low on items it likely would have spooked much of the city.
  19. The simple truth of the matter is that more mainstream Democrats are calling out others within their own party. The insistence upon using -x as a suffix when speaking to Latino audiences is causing many individuals who identify as Latino to switch party affiliations because that suffice is nothing short of cultural imperialism. The whole "You can just buy an electric car!" is rapidly becoming "Let them eat cake!" as the Democrats in more rural areas realize that the people who are having the most trouble paying for gas are the ones least capable of buying an electric car. Open borders is being scapegoated as the cause of a whole host of social ills, including drug running and the 50+ people who died in that semi trailer. People who are struggling to make ends meet are being told that they *should* care more about abortion, because "food is temporary". (Yes, someone used those words with me.) Et cetra. The more mainstream, more moderate part of the party is seeing the writing on the wall: if the more activist, more socially isolated members of the party don't start listening to the general public then the party is doomed to irrelevance come election time.
  20. If you'll recall, back when Obama was in office it was discovered that the government was spying on several people who worked for the Associated Press. It was one of *many* scandals during the Obama administration, scandals that a lot of his supporters still claim never somehow happened.
  21. When I was younger, I had frequent depressive periods as well as occasional manic periods. When I was a teenager, my parents and several other adults in my life made it clear that I wasn't measuring up. People wanted to know what was "wrong" with me that I wasn't as they always expected me to be, and I was told that I needed to "get over" myself. I was constantly compared to Eeyore and told I just needed to "smile" more. It wasn't until a few years ago that relatives on my dad's side of the family explained that autism spectrum disorders ran in the family, and that only came out after *all* of my nieces and nephews were found to have spectrum-related disorders. As of two weeks ago, I myself... have officially been diagnosed as having been on the spectrum this entire time. I'm so high-functioning that I don't have any of the stereotypical behaviors, which is why quirks like "I get tired after long periods of social interaction", "I sometimes get overwhelmed in high stress situations and need to back away before I lock up", and "I've learned through trial-and-error that this is the best way to do something" were mistaken as something else or otherwise dismissed by people around me. In other words, all of the issues I was going through were the result of my having been on the spectrum and having never been tested because my parents didn't know what to look for. If I had been tested, I likely would have been pinged early (I was already pretty weird by the time I started school, and the head trauma from various misadventures didn't help any) and so I could have gotten the training and instruction I needed when I was a child. This would have helped me during junior high and high school when a lot of things were going wrong all at once, and likely would have better informed my choices as a young adult. Without that vital piece of information about the family history, I could have easily been doped up on Ritalin or some sort of other drug meant to make me "normal" but which didn't actually get to the root of the matter. As it is, the fact that I never got the diagnosis at an early age and never got the intervention meant that I basically lived my own personal hell, and it negatively impacted the way my life has turned out. So yeah, family history, environmental factors, head trauma, and so on... all of these need to be looked at in regards to mental health treatment. Just giving people drugs isn't always going to do it, and could make things worse.
  22.'s_hierarchy_of_needs Abraham Maslow postulated that for the average human being, there's a general order of precedence when it comes to what a person seeks after, and that most people won't move to seeking anything higher until they've sought after the more basic. The most basic of these needs are what he calls the "survival" needs - oxygen, water, food, sleep, physical safety, shelter, a mate - and are so essential for living that the average person will drop everything if any of these are in danger of not being met. Right now, between inflation, the supply chain shortages, the spike in fuel prices, and a lot of other issues that are all fusing together into one giant mass, a large swath of the United States has been pushed back down to the "survival" needs level. People are struggling to find and keep jobs (there's a great mismatch between what the market needs and what many people are trained for / willing to do), and those who do have jobs are finding it harder to make ends meet even if the basic supplies they need are available. Much to the chagrin of various pundits and politicians, folks are indeed dropping everything to focus on their survival. "Why do you care so much about gas prices when abortion is in danger?!" many a pundit has shouted, inadvertently indicating that they have the means to where they're insulated from rising prices. "If you're that upset about gas prices, just buy an electric car!" several politicians have declared, not understanding that the person who is struggling to pay an extra $1.50 / gallon can't afford the $48K for a new vehicle or that public charging facilities are rare outside of select major cities. Whether the folks in office want to admit it or not, this November is largely going to be based on the question of "Am I, as a citizen, meeting my survival needs, and if not then who is responsible?". When that becomes the dominant question going into an election, the party in power has good odds of being unseated in the belief that they did nothing while the problem got worse.
  23. Sadly, a lot of people have the mindset of "It's legal as long as the warden doesn't catch us."
  24. The same people who talk about "Guns won't protect you from the army!" also tend to forget that there are other ways to fight battles. For example, the North Vietnamese were *infamous* for their ability to turn just about anything and everything into a booby trap. Soldiers were warned not to use the same route twice when taking patrols because the North Vietnamese would quickly learn the movement patterns and rig nasty surprises for everyone. Anyone who's actually studied military history to any degree would know that "Let's just turn the military on the people to enforce our will!" is not going to end well if the populace has the means and desire to resist, and that any politician or pundit who says otherwise does not deserve their position of prominence.
  25. I've had the misfortune of meeting quite a few self-described "progressive" individuals. That's *why* I'm saying what I'm saying. I say "self-described" as what these people envision as being societal progress is an extreme hedonism with no one to tell them what they can or can't do. Even many people who are traditionally politically progressive are frustrated with and in some instances disgusted by what these people are pushing for.