I am nothing without my morning coffee.

Co-Moderator for the @Neoliberal@kbin.social magazine on kbin.social
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Joined 11 months ago
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Cake day: August 14th, 2023

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  • I think this episode was the first time I really felt (some) sympathy for Otto Hightower.

    I was cracking up during the scene he confronted Aegon and Ser Criston Cole about hanging the rat catchers and sending Erryk to kill Arryk. I thought Rhys Ifans did a convincing job in that scene; watching Otto realize that (1) not only was he surrounded by idiots, but (2) there was no fucking way he could control the idiots was quite satisfying.

    Also, Ser Criston Cole just becomes a bigger piece of shit every episode. The audacity he had of trying to blame Erryk for Jaehaerys’ death when he was the one fucking the queen instead of doing him job.

    Overall, a really good episode.




  • Lol my comment actually is “off the dome.”

    I took the deep dive into this question after Trump won in 2016; like many, I was absolutely floored that he won. My comment is an accumulation of information I found since then.

    I feel the conservative news media was ultimately the biggest factor (of many factors) that led US conservatives and the United States into its current situation; as journalists, they failed to present the unbiased truth and knowingly distorted it. By constantly confirming their viewers’ priors, they basically constructed a different reality for them.


  • This is really long and for that I apologize. I think it really goes back to the whole of United States history. I’m going to focus mostly on news media and major political periods, starting with Nixon and the 1970s. Some stuff I am going to have to only mention in passing because it would require its own essay lol. I’ll try to keep it general.

    The TLDR is the radicalization was slow and occurred over decades. They’ve been lied to and misled by their preferred news organizations for years at this point. They do not realize they have been radicalized. It all goes back to their media and the republican establishment trying to control the narrative.

    The long story? I’ve heard it started with Nixon’s impeachment, and I think I agree. Republicans realized they needed news organizations to be in their camp to prevent something like Watergate from happening again. So, the genesis of right-wing news organizations really lies in the 1970s.

    Then, you have Reagan’s decisive victory in 1980 and (especially) 1984. I am not a big fan of Reagan, but his charisma significantly grew the republican base. Personally, I think many of the problems with today’s government and economy have their origins in his presidency, but his popularity at the time is not deniable; he won 49 of 50 states in 1984 which is unthinkable today. As untrustworthy as the Reagan Administration was, he had the trust of most Americans.

    Following that, you have the rise of republican Newt Gingrich in the 1990s during Bill Clinton’s presidency. As Speaker of the House, Gingrich made it republican policy to not compromise with democrats. To this day, that is still republican policy towards democrats.

    So, even prior to the 2000 election, the foundation for partisanship was laid. Compromise had become a dirty word. But the critical moment was, in my opinion, Bush vs Gore, where the Supreme Court basically handed Bush Jr. the Presidency despite problems with the vote in Florida. Not coincidentally, that is also the year the democrats became “blue” and the republicans became “red”; prior to that election, they would swap back and forth each election cycle.

    The 2000 election cycle ended in a way that was extremely divisive, and people ended up watching the news that most closely matched their point of view. From here, I would argue, is really the point in time where the news organizations started to seriously diverge from each other.

    It started subtly. Fox News, for example, initially just had a slight conservative bent, so conservative’s preferred to watch it. Also, being cable television it (and I should also say that the majority of modern news media sadly follows this rule as well) was dependent on ad revenue and therefore had an incentive to increase viewership and engagement. This, combined with the fact that the republican establishment wanted to control the narrative, pushed Fox News (and others) in an even more conservative direction; with each passing election cycle, they presented the news ever more partisanly. Like an anglerfish’s lure, they pulled their audience with them.

    The partisanship became even worse after Obama was elected in 2008. While many conservatives did not care Obama was a black man, many did and became determined to unseat him. It is difficult for me to say exactly how much a role Obama’s race played in the rise of the Tea Party, but it was definitely a factor. Their influence over the republican party began to grow and was immediately felt in the 2010 midterms. That being said, I argue that Mitt Romney getting the republican nomination in 2012 was the republican establishment suppressing the Tea Party’s influence in favor of a more polished, mellowed-down candidate that they felt was actually electable.

    But as history would prove, that did not work out for them. Personally, I doubt any candidate the republicans fielded could have defeated Obama (who quite frankly was a superstar candidate).

    I think it was after 2012 when many republicans and conservatives began to lose faith in the sort of “compassionate conservativism” that Bush or Romney promoted. Even by then, “Reagan conservatism” was becoming a distant memory and many young conservatives were not alive to see his presidency. An ideological power vacuum had opened up, and ultimately would be filled by Trump.

    But back to conservative news media. This narrative would not be complete if I did not address media figures such as Glenn Beck. While there were others like him, he is the one that sticks out. It’s difficult to articulate the damage Glenn Beck has done. To my knowledge, he was the first, mainstream talk show host to actually give a platform to the alt-right, and many conspiracy theories he started are still a problem today. He took conservative’s distrust of government, validated it, and presented distortions to make them think the democrats were secretly communists that were hellbent on bringing about the downfall of the United States.

    His show is the perfect example for a mainstream, Fox News talk show host that also basically taught people how to justify their own conspiracy theories. He pretty much walked everyone through his “thought process” on every show. He also did it in a way that radicalized people who originally were just disgruntled with, or distrusting of, government. I remember one time he even went so far as to have a purported “insider” come on the show as a black silhouette with a fake deep voice to “confirm” everything Beck was saying about Obama and the “Liberal Agenda.” How people fell for that is beyond me, but they did. Eventually, he got so out of control Fox News fired him. But the damage was done.

    So, with Romney’s failure in 2012, the “moderate” republican establishment was rudderless and the rise of Tea Party continued. They basically became even more mainstream. Meanwhile, as Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnel continued and perfected Gingrich’s “obstruct and do not compromise,” and Fox News was a decidedly conservative platform. The stage was set for Donald Trump.

    As far as republicans go, Trump is pretty much the opposite of Romney. Romney is polite, polished and presentable, whereas Trump is vulgar and derisive. Many conservatives had become convinced they must “save America from the socialists” and Trump was their strongman. It also did not help that the conservative media machine spent decades trashing Hillary Clinton, who was the democratic nominee. Conservative’s had their hated enemy, and their unlikely strongman hero.

    The worst part of this narrative? Trump actually won. The mean, vulgar, derisive candidate won, and proved to many conservatives that his way was the only way they could win. Trump had beaten the republican establishment into submission and emboldened all the worst parts of America. Trump validated all their conspiracy theories and won. Their radicalization was complete.

    Of course, there is a lot I am leaving out of this narrative such as the obvious racist and fascist undercurrents that have existed in the republican party ever since Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” For more context, the democrats more-or-less ejected the racist “Dixiecrats” (southern white racist democrats) from the party with President Lindon B Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act. Nixon made it his mission to pick them up (and he did, turning the US southern states into republican strongholds). It also leaves out the sexist undertones that come with conservative traditionalism. There is also an entire religious component and the economic decline of rural America. Each of these would require its own essay lol.

    But basically, the radicalization was slow and occurred over decades and now we are seeing the result.






  • Considering how big a piece of shit Henry Kissinger was…

    This should be interesting.

    Edit: In case anyone is having trouble with the website on mobile (I was) I pasted the article content below:

    In response to a lawsuit by Rolling Stone and National Security Counselors, the Department of Justice has turned over two tranches of FBI documents related to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

    Rolling Stone’s Freedom of Information Act request, filed hours after the announcement of his death in November 2023, seeks expedited processing of FBI files related to the former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President Nixon. Kissinger is widely considered to be a war criminal for his role in the bombing of Cambodia, a coup in Chile, and massacres in East Timor and Bangladesh, and his legacy remains controversial among historians despite his bipartisan embrace by Washington, D.C. power players over the last half century.

    While a historic figure in American foreign policy, Kissinger had an impact on American diplomacy right up until his death. After his death in late 2023, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken lauded the former Nixon advisor and revealed that he had sought Kissinger’s counsel ”as recently as about a month ago.”

    “Even after only two releases, we’re already learning new things about one of the most polarizing American public figures of the last hundred years, and that’s just from the archival records,” said Kel McClanahan, an attorney at National Security Counselors representing Rolling Stone. “This is a man who single-handedly shaped much of post-WWII US foreign policy and kept his fingers in every foreign relations pie up until his death, and we will keep pursuing the truth and our right to learn it as soon as possible, not when the FBI feels like telling us.”

    The Department of Justice has released two batches of documents thus far in response to Rolling Stone’s suit. The documents, which cover the background investigations into Kissinger throughout successive administrations, illustrate the extreme deference shown to the former Nixon foreign policy strategist, despite severe lapses in ethics and his role in the illegal wiretapping of an employee.

    In 1969, Kissinger instructed the FBI to wiretap one of his deputies on the National Security Council, Morton Halperin, without a court order based on the false belief that Halperin had leaked news of the Nixon administration’s bombing of Cambodia to the New York Times.

    Halperin learned of the wiretapping in 1973 as the Watergate investigations unraveled the Nixon presidency, and he filed a lawsuit against Kissinger.

    But the FBI appears to have paid little mind to the suit when reviewing the then-secretary of state’s security clearance that year. In files released by the Department of Justice, the FBI notes glowing reviews about Kissinger’s character and judgment from luminaries like Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Harvard foreign policy scholar Samuel P. Huntington. Tucked into a sole paragraph labeled “miscellaneous,” agents noted the existence of the suit and that it was “pending at the present time.”

    Kissinger received his clearance, which many successive administrations continued to grant him over decades. But a court found that the wiretapping of Halperin was illegal and a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. After a nearly 20 year long lawsuit, Kissinger and his former deputy settled the case in 1991 following an apology letter from the late strategist and diplomat.

    Reached by phone on Friday, Halperin was forgiving of his former boss.

    “He believed — and with reason — that this was something that had been done by every president in the postwar period and continuously by the FBI,” says Halperin. “The attorney general signed off on the wiretap, so I think he did not think that this was not legal.”

    “The apology letter, we actually worked on it together,” Halperin explains. “We reconciled for a while but he seemed more distant after that. I was always ready to reconcile and friends were constantly trying to get us together. It never really quite happened and I’m not sure whether he really didn’t want to reconcile or was just too busy and had other priorities.

    The files indicate that the FBI in particular could be sensitive on the subject of Kissinger’s security clearance. Cable traffic from the Bureau released in response to Rolling Stone’s lawsuit detailed a 1973 incident in which retired Marine Corps Col. Mitchell Paige, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Guadalcanal in World War II, said that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover “would never grant Henry A. Kissinger, now Secretary of State, a top secret clearance,” adding that “Hoover did not trust Dr. Kissinger and considered him to be a threat to the United States.”

    The incident took place in a private setting among individuals outside of government who weren’t privy to the director’s thoughts, much less Kissinger’s. But the files indicate that the Bureau was sensitive enough about criticism on the subject that the Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco field office planned to ask Paige to “cease making these statements” and inform him that the FBI does not “clear” anyone.

    Paige, the FBI later noted, had a history of intemperate remarks, including a 1961 ”statement that Earl Warren, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, should be hanged.” The Bureau drily noted that “He subsequently apologized for having made this statement.”



  • Lol no worries about the small novel.

    Personally, I have actually found my Sims 3 game to run better on my M2 Mac with Rosetta 2 than it does my custom-built Windows machine lol. I never tried it on Linux. A major part of the reason the Mac is probably because the Mac version is 64-bit whereas the PC version is stuck at 32-bit. (Also, I never, ever would have thought my Mac would outperform my Windows machine. I only started playing the Sims 3 on it by chance and I realized it was running a lot better lol.)

    It’s still not without its faults, though. The 64-bit version is littered with little glitches here and there. Isla Paradiso is extremely glitchy, so I don’t play it. And for some reason you can’t pick up bugs like you can in the 32 bit version (a work around is the vacuum thingy you can invent that vacuums up your surroundings lol.) I also avoid custom content that I think might destabilize the game as well.

    Regarding Paralives, I would also prefer it have a bit longer period between sequels. Even if they do renege on the free DLC, like you said $20 a year is a lot better than buying a whole new game every year for a life simulator. I would also prefer each sequal to actually expand upon the features of the former.

    Which brings me to why I so disike the Sims 4; the Sims 1 was the OG, Sims 2 brought us to a 3D world, and the Sims 3 brought us an open world. The Sims 4… did not expand upon anything. The big issue I have with the Sims 4 is that (1) feature-wise and gameplay-wise the game was definitely a step down from the Sims 3, (2) they broke the same expansion packs from previous generations into multiple packs but charged the same price, and (3) each new expansion pack added a new layer of glitches that made it almost unplayable. Just my opinion, but the Sims 4 just felt like a blatant cashgrab and I do not really see it as a upgrade to the Sims 3 at all lol.

    Anyways, I’m hoping that Paralives is a very successful game and provides enough competition to keep EA from making another Sims 4 lol.




  • Lol well to each their own! I like the art style because it doesn’t try to be realistic. For realistic a life simulator, I would probably just go fire up the Sims 3 (which, granted was horribly coded and runs terribly lol.) For Paralives, I think having a more cartoony art direction can allow the designers to be more expressive, create a unique feel for the game, and also make things easier for themselves going forward.

    I am also curious to know how the no paid DLC will work in the long term. If Paralives is successful and has free DLC, then I could see that really lighting a fire under EA’s ass. Like many simmers, I bought almost all of the DLC for the Sims 1, Sims 2, and Sims 3, just to have them release the Sims 4 and expect me to start all over again lol (and I didn’t this time.)

    But I could also see them funnelling all their efforts and improvements into Paralives 2.

    It remains to be seen - hopefully Paralives actually happens.


  • Just from looking at these dates and cross-referencing them with the day of the week and major holidays, it would seem the following is true:

    • Weekends (including Friday) are more popular.

    • People are superstitious and do not like the 13th of any month lol.

    • Mid August - August 18th in particular - looks to be the most popular, but so do other weekends in August. (Again, excluding the 13th lol.) Summer months in general are popular.

    • Some people really like getting married on Valentines Day, but not the rest of February or the cold months in general.

    • Very few couples want to get married on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. However, New Year’s Eve seems to be slightly above-average for December.

    Altogether, not too surprising, but interesting nonetheless.



  • It’s sad that we are losing a potential Sims competitor, but it sounds like they didn’t have a unified image of what they wanted to make. It also seemed a bit too ambitious, like they were trying to directly shatter the Sims monopoly all-at-once instead of gradually make inroads.

    It’s good that Paralives is still in development. Personally, I like the art style better and it’s just good to have a potential competitor. I also think their strategy might make them more viable as a smaller competitor.

    In the end though, life simulators can be a tough genre to break into; the player-base is generally more casual, but the game is actually needs to be pretty intricate be convincing.


  • I am so happy this is happening lol.

    As someone in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry, fuck Adobe. They’ve gobbled up all their competitors, jacked up their prices, and cornered businesses and consumers alike. You pretty much have no choice but to use them and they know it.

    Personally, I hope this leads to a larger anti-trust. Adobe breaking up would help designers everywhere.

    And while they’re at it, the US government should gun for Autodesk too; they’ve also flown under the radar for similar monopolistic, anticompetitive bullshit.

    Sorry, I am just very bitter towards those two companies lol.


  • I really thought that Blood & Cheese would be more gruesome and dramatic.

    Don’t get me wrong - the sound effects were hair raising - but on the whole I expected it to be much more emotional.

    I get they are trying to make Heleana a damn weirdo, and I get how one of the shows themes is that accounts of war can be colored by bias, unreliable narratives and exaggerations. But, I still expected her to be more emotional; she was forced to sacrifice her child and I thought she would have more of an internal struggle.

    One explanation I did read was that (earlier in the episode) she expressed to Aegon that she did not want Jaehaerys to be king. Specifically, Aegon said “he is to be king someday” to which Heleana responded said “well what if he doesn’t want to be king?”

    Maybe she saw giving up Jaehaery’s to Blood & Cheese was a way to set him free from the responsibility of being king?