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Topics - mittfh

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The Debate Room / Donald
« on: November 11, 2016, 02:21:36 pm »
(Warning: multi paragraph rambling ahead - probably not NPOV, but definitely not of the "He's the devil incarnate" ilk)

So, Donald has won the US election - and as is often the case with democracy, the gains (in terms of Electors) are disproportionate to the popular vote (not helped by the "Winner Take All" approach of 48 States - according to Wiki, something not originally intended to be the case [back in the 1770s, US political parties hadn't yet emerged], but appeared within 30 years of the Declaration).

It's rather telling that out of the entire electorate, nearly half abstained while there was a 0.1% difference in the number of those voting for him and Hillary - which suggests that a substantial proportion of the population had no faith in either candidate to improve their lives. Added onto which, while the electoral system is heavily stacked against minority parties, over the past few elections they've manade to grow from about 1% of the popular vote to around 2.5%. Of course, even if they did manage to escalate to 10-20% of the vote, as President and Congress are elected separately, there's less chance of a minor party becoming "Kingmaker" and agreeing to vote for a particular Presidential candidate on the understanding they get some of their ideas listened to / policies adopted in Congress.

It's not difficult to see why many were enthused about Donald: he's a popular TV personality who creates the illusion of being a successful self-made businessman (note: illusion), while he wasn't reliant on the Financial Services Industry to fund his campaign, isn't a seasoned politician, and doesn't have much of a filter between his brain and mouth. He authoritatively announces what sound like simple solutions to complex problems, so based on their perception of him through the filter of the media (especially his TV show), think he's trustworthy and is capable of doing what he says. He's not selling policy, he's selling a dream, a vision - apparently of a rose-tinted view of a few decades ago when the US still had a significant manufacturing industry, women generally stayed at home, there were clear divisions between the roles of men and women in society, there was no awareness of LGBTQI (many would probably mistakenly think LGBTQI didn't exist back then) and church was the centre of the community.

Of course, behind the rhetoric and bizzare policy announcements (e.g. The Wall, the ever-evolving approach to immigration restrictions, incarcerating Hillary without due process) seems to lie a fairly mainstream set of domestic policies: increase military spending, reduce social / welfare spending, repeal the PPACA (and produce an alternative some day never), reduce taxes (particularly on the wealthier portions of society), and allow organisations to discriminate against / refuse to serve any demographic their owner's preferred faith doesn't like (probably as long as the faith in question is some variety of conservative Christianity).

He often strikes me as a Theory X manager - he apparently believes he's smarter and knows more than the rest of the population / workforce, so is uniquely qualified to lead them. Conversely, he doesn't seem to cope very well when he doesn't get his own way, and finds diplomacy and tact hard (although not impossible, given his victory speech which was a complete contrast to pretty much everything he'd been quoted on during his campaign).

While he's suggested some very controversial policies during his campaign, even though he's got a completely Republican Senate and has an opportunity to put a conservative appointment in the Supreme Court (with the possibility of several more over the coming years), hopefully not every Republican politician will feel the need to turn the clock back on social progress, while his immigration and trade policies are likely to face fierce opposition - the US likely buys far too much from China to consider imposing punitive import duties if they don't buy lots of US-made goods and services in return.

In all likelihood, he'll neither be quite the disaster some were predicting, nor anywhere near the beacon of hope and light others were predicting. What will happen in the next few years is anyone's guess, especially as the West's economic recovery is still very fragile and Brexit could have economic consequences across Europe that could potentially ripple further.

Hall of Games / Boardo!
« on: June 12, 2015, 03:03:18 pm »
Based on a round from the BBC Radio 4 panel game "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue", let's see how this plays out in a forum...

Imagine the ultimate board game, which combines elements of every single board game in existence (and in several cases, tropes from quiz shows). The basic idea of Boardo! is to play this (fictitious) game - maintaining a veneer that it's a real game, but in reality making it up as you go along (e.g. move 13 spaces [nobody said anything about using multiple die, or even using die from tabletop RPGs], fall down a snake, find a Trivial Pursuit question and ask to go 50:50). As we're doing a forum variant, we'll call it "Ad-hoc Boardo!", whereby players can drop in and drop out as the game progresses, or even venture into adjacent rooms playing even more incomprehensible games (e.g. Mornington Crescent, which to the uninitated can sound like shouting out London Underground stations at random - but in reality there's an encylopedic-sized book of rules [<--blatant lies]).

So to start, I'll pick up two die and throw an 11 (phew! Avoided the penalty for double sixes!)...
Oh well, at least that square's empty...

Flipside Discussion / Chapter 42: Discussion
« on: September 30, 2014, 11:57:26 pm »
( Looks around, sees no-one's created the Chapter 42 thread, decides to be a devil and create it himself :D )

As I thought, we're back to Bern and Polly in custody in the Colosseum at Marvallo...

...and Berns got a visitor, fresh from her own ordeal in Lehm's Dark Cell...

This is going to be an interesting reunion :)

Hall of Games / The Alphabet Game
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:14:49 pm »
Something a little different to previous games here, but something that's worked well on a few other fora I've participated in.

The concept's simple enough: work our way through the alphabet, naming characters / places / weapons / concepts etc. within the Flipside Universe. I'll kick off with A, the next poster finds something starting with B, the following poster C etc. If we manage to get to Z, we'll wrap around - at which point, if I remember, I'll put a summary of the answers to date at the bottom of this post so we don't repeat ourselves.

Obviously, some letters will be harder than others, so if a reasonable period of time (about a day?) transpires without anyone posting the next letter and you can't think of a word starting with it, you can cheat - either by using a word where it's the second letter (e.g. eXperiment) or skipping it.

So to get you started:

A is for Ashley (Former Assassin, Rogue Warrior according to her Bio page. Book 0 character?)

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