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Forum Activity by Esoteric Allusion

Esoteric AllusionTrump is holding a campaign rally in Phoenix next week. Even odds that he announces his pardon of Arpaio there to a cheering crowd.

He strongly signaled he was going to pardon Arpaio, but delayed actually announcing it. Because Trump's word is worthless garbage, he could still go back on that. Hard to know.

One of my nightmare scenarios that I think justifies removing Trump from office by any means necessary is if he starts signaling to followers to behave in egregiously lawless ways with the promise of aid and comfort from his office. A specific example would be implying he wants people in D.C. murdered with an offer of pardon if someone does it. It's Trump, so you can't 100% say he would never do that. That would be a breaking point if Congress refused to impeach and remove.

Pardoning Arpaio isn't as severe as that crisis scenario, but it's uncomfortably in that genre. Even forgetting the specifics of the awful things Arpaio did, the signaling that comes from pardoning him from contempt of the court system is troubling.
Aug 23, 2017 3:48 AM
Watching pundits praise the hell out of Trump for managing to read a speech written for him in defense of something dubious is always heartwarming.

They're absolutely incorrigible.
Aug 22, 2017 2:53 AM
I liked the Sansa/Arya intrigue this episode in isolation. You have to ignore what set it up, the inconsistent characterization, and probably what's coming, but on its own it is good.

I can imagine this being written where Arya gets the wrong idea on her way up to Winterfell and it working fine. Her somewhat unhinged persona in this episode seems on point.
Aug 21, 2017 1:41 PM
ZubenI once thought that if someone came forward and "did the right thing" regarding Trump, that it would be more harmful than good, and lend a lot of credence to his cause. I'm starting to think that he might be so singularly bad that doing this might have to be something someone eventually does. Everyone would denounce him/her, but that's part of the sacrifice that person would make on the behalf of humanity.

I still think that a major danger we need to be on the look out for is Trump being Sulla and a smarter Trump down the road exploiting the same phenomenon he did with more political efficiency. One of the things that could reduce the odds of that happening is if Trump and those he's allied with suffers a major political defeat. That can't happen if someone removes him from the system.

I know Bigwig likes to mock me for it, but I still occasionally pay attention to religious right media. They are whipped up into what seems like a civil-war like frenzy. There's a lot of barely coded talk about violence against liberals. I've never seen anything like it. And that's with total Republican control of the government. It's quite disturbing and under-covered. I'd like to think that if Trump were "taken out" Pence being a fundamentalist dream candidate would cool their tempers, but I'm not absolutely confident in that.
Aug 20, 2017 1:29 PM
Ivan the TerribleTrump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter seems confident Trump will resign and somehow try to spin it as a victory for him.

As much as the idea of President Pence horrifies me, I hope he's right. Can the world really take another 1,250 days of this shit?

He also predicted that if Donald Trump won the election, he would usher in a nuclear holocaust. Let's hope that not all his predictions are correct.
Aug 19, 2017 1:29 AM
Meow
?Esoteric AllusionThe pro-Trump rally and Juggalo march on D.C. happening in the same day a month from now offers the possibility of street violence between hardcore Trump supporters and Juggalos. If that goes down, that will be as surefire of a "this can't be real life" moment as we've had this year.

(The Juggalos are actually marching for a good cause and hopefully their protest is effective.)

This is going to break my brain.

There is a psychic who in 1997 predicted that 20 years hence there would be a major race riot where thousands of Juggalos clashed in Washington D.C. with fans of Donald Trump with the Juggalos being the forces of justice. The psychic was promptly institutionalized.
Aug 19, 2017 1:26 AM
Rooby Roo
Esoteric Allusion
(The Juggalos are actually marching for a good cause and hopefully their protest is effective.)

I'm curious as to what you mean by this. "Juggalos" are essentially Trump supporters by default.

Juggalos are categorized as a gang by the FBI. This has a series of negative consequences for them based simply on the fact that they are fans of a musical group. Something as simple as a hatchet-man tattoo can affect employment, schooling, and how they are treated by the criminal justice system. It's awful and they are marching on Washington to protest this.

Just because Juggalos draw heavily from poor white trash doesn't mean they are all Trump supporters. That's a poor inference.

This is a legitimate tinderbox, but you can see it so far ahead that presumably preventive measures are being taken.
Aug 18, 2017 4:06 AM
The pro-Trump rally and Juggalo march on D.C. happening in the same day a month from now offers the possibility of street violence between hardcore Trump supporters and Juggalos. If that goes down, that will be as surefire of a "this can't be real life" moment as we've had this year.

(The Juggalos are actually marching for a good cause and hopefully their protest is effective.)
Aug 18, 2017 3:01 AM
Heh. The Name of the Wind is in some ways like Garden State, mysterious manic pixie dream girl and all. I hadn't thought of that comparison before. I despise Garden State.

I get why Zuben would dislike him, though I'm more inclined to view Kingkiller as breezy fantasy fodder. I also think he's a competent writer who could write in the style of another fantasy series if called upon.

The sexism charge probably sticks. On the one hand, Kingkiller reads as male adolescent wish fulfillment, but it's written from the perspective of an unreliable narrator.
Aug 18, 2017 2:35 AM
MeowIndividual writers don't have a lot of control because the beginning and end are already determined for each episode by the producers and a committee of writers (which could include some awesome people). And we're at a point the whole story has to tie up. We're watching the weight of narrative take hold.

Yes, having a few blue chip fantasy authors who come in as ringers would have had to have happened a few years ago in the planning phase. I picked Patrick Rothfuss mostly because I wanted to parallel his Martin-like delays on a highly anticipated work, but I didn't expect Zuben to hate his guts.

If you were going for a well regarded author who writes in Martin's fantasy subgenre, it would be somebody like Joe Abercrombie.
Aug 18, 2017 12:59 AM
ZubenWolfe writing Game of Thrones would be like Lynch directing an X-men movie though.

1) That sounds fun.
2) Lynch was set to direct Return of the Jedi. That is close to your analogy.
Aug 18, 2017 12:49 AM
538's approval poll tracker is just an aggregation of presidential job approval polls. The aggregation 538 relied on for the 2016 election had Clinton winning the popular vote by close to 4 points. She ended up winning by 2 points. This means the aggregation of polls collectively was off by 2 points in Trump's favor. In their predictions of who will win, they built in the possibility of polling error which was part of what was driving their uncertainty about the outcome.

If you want to translate this into aggregation of job approval polls, then just allow for a margin of error to move in one direction. If Trump's numbers are actually 4 points higher, does that appreciably change the story? I would suggest to you it doesn't.
Aug 18, 2017 12:46 AM
ZubenAlso, every headline I'm reading when I google Trump and polls or Trump and approval are saying that his polls are the lowest they have ever been.

His polls are about where they've been with a possible slight uptick recently.

He's insanely unpopular for the conditions he's presiding over. If the economy goes sour before an election, he'll be to the Republican party what Hoover was in 1932.

It's our decent economy that's really keeping him afloat in the upper 30's of approval.
Aug 17, 2017 9:15 PM
Paquito
Ivan the Terrible
ZubenAlso, every headline I'm reading when I google Trump and polls or Trump and approval are saying that his polls are the lowest they have ever been.

Just going by the fivethirtyeight.com graph, nothing more.

Holy crap, that 9/11 bounce Bush enjoyed.

It's not the size of the intial bounce, but the length of the tail that is impressive.
Aug 17, 2017 9:12 PM
Zuben
Esoteric AllusionThinking how this could be drastically improved with some rewrites, it's unfortunate that the show cannot bring into the fold few top notch fantasy writers to contribute a little writing and consulting work to tighten it up. They've got to have the resources to try and recruit at this point. Patrick Rothfuss is taking his sweet ass time with book 3 in the Kingkiller Chronicles, so he might have some time on his hands. Give him a giant bag of money to do a little script consultation.

Patrick Rothfuss is, without exaggeration, one of the worst writers I've ever read.

I'll put you down as a maybe.

We're both big fans of Gene Wolfe I think. I am, at least. He's an influence on Martin. I'd be Ok if they said fuck it and made the final 2 seasons a Gene Wolfe directed piece. He's implausibly alive.
Aug 17, 2017 7:54 PM
Trump is now advocating crimes against humanity via right wing chain email myths.

Perhaps it's an attempt at distraction, perhaps he's becoming even more unhinged due to all the criticism. I wouldn't be surprised if we find out two weeks from now that the Russia investigation tightened around him further this week.

On the other hand, his polling is holding steady and may have even gone up a small amount.
Aug 17, 2017 7:36 PM
I don't think Trump is an ideologically committed anything. I think he's always been racist, but it might be getting worse in recent years because of his aging and influences. Increased racism also can develop out of dementia-associated cognitive decline, and I don't think we should sleep on that also being a factor.

I read a paper a few years ago that predicted that as Baby Boomers age, you could expect a huge uptick in racism in that population because as people age they naturally become more insular and tribal and overt racism is a symptom of dementia and pre-dementia cognitive decline. I'm reminded of that now.
Aug 17, 2017 2:01 PM
TWTCommishThe more you look to the State to fix things, the more attention you need to pay to the State. People pay more attention to it now for the same reason kids always watch what their parents do.

I'm a libertarian. I don't look to the State to fix things beyond a realtively limited sense. When the State has power, you have to pay attention to how it is using it. To play with your analogy, if a belligerent drunk with a gun shows up at a party, people pay attention to him.
Aug 17, 2017 1:51 PM
I've always been a news-reader and a close follower of politics. I think my attention to day-to-day political news has picked up because there's just a high density of news happening relative to the recent past primarily because of how norm-destroying the Trump admin and allies are. Big deal things just keep happening. My posting concentration on that subject here seems high I think in part because the overall traffic of the board has slowed considerably and there's only a few conversational threads that I join.

Regarding whether things are moving faster than ever before, I think from the perspective of American history the period where electrical grids, the telephone, radio, and automobiles developed was a more drastic shift than now, but the internet age is the second most rapid transformative event. In our current rapid transformation, I think the collapse of the traditional news media has been deleterious in the short run and has some alarmingly dangerous effects. We are on the cusp of when virtual reality and AI is going to significantly alter society, and there's a good chance that will be even more significant of a rapid shift.

Instead of the rapidity of change being the issue with unease despite the world getting better on the whole, I think you have to look back on the set-backs in liberal democracy around the world since the mid-2000's. I think there was a naive feeling that once a Western style democracy sets in, a society doesn't go back. More recent developments are a reminder and a tutorial in how authoritarianism can topple democratic orders. The US is displaying some clear symptoms of how democracies fall into authoritarian rule, and it would only be natural to worry and pay more attention to this. If people collectively fail to do so, that will only grease the path of its fall.
Aug 17, 2017 1:49 PM
Thinking how this could be drastically improved with some rewrites, it's unfortunate that the show cannot bring into the fold few top notch fantasy writers to contribute a little writing and consulting work to tighten it up. They've got to have the resources to try and recruit at this point. Patrick Rothfuss is taking his sweet ass time with book 3 in the Kingkiller Chronicles, so he might have some time on his hands. Give him a giant bag of money to do a little script consultation.
Aug 17, 2017 4:46 AM