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About McClendon

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    My hackers use teseum.
  • Birthday 01/27/1982


  • Location Florida

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  1. Comrade General Secretary?
  2. If you're familiar with and a fan of the Legends story of the Battle of Toprawa. . . well. Suffice to say you won't walk away disappointed. Sad, perhaps, but happy still.
  3. Because some people don't like going "out" to do stuff. It's the same reason why there are plenty of people today who would rather play video games for hours on end than go out and explore this wide, beautiful world we live in. Not everyone is mentally built or equipped to be an explorer. Some folk would grow roots if they could.
  4. Ah, the post-scarcity commentary has arrived. That is one of the things that I despise the most about Trek, because the entire setting hinges on humanity being able to create and manipulate matter in any way we desire at the push of a button. It's a fantasy, and it creates ridiculous arguments like the two elucidated by @shivermoon42 above. Because regardless of which way we lean on the political scale, history shows us that people who don't have to work for their survival simply won't work. It's not a universal truth, of course -- some people will always aspire to better themselves in some way -- but this example is why socialist welfare systems kill national economies. There's no economy in the Federation of course, but the result of post-scarcity being a population who do what inspires them is the fanciful dream that Roddenberry has sold you.
  5. The Federation is a Communist state. Ergo, I must protest on principle. As for the dystopian cyperpunk alternative, I'm actually oddly okay with that. Either I'll end up wealthy beyond my wildest dreams or I become the SINless cyberzombie shadowrunner I've always wanted to be.
  6. Except that those types of people don't often consider the wider implications. Ian Malcolm's line from Jurassic Park always come to mind in conversations like these: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could they didn't stop to think if they should." I went to an engineering school, I know a lot of really book-smart people who now or will soon be working at places like NASA or the Jet Propulsion Lab. They really do get caught up in how to make something work without pondering what, exactly, is it that they are trying to create or how it could be used or abused in the future.
  7. My father is a big fan of WC Fields. He has a couple of tee shirts with quotes on them; the first that springs to mind is "A man who likes whiskey and hates children can't be all that bad."
  8. On that last point, I'd like to point out that humans are not apex predators in the same vein as great cats, for example. Humanity's hunting ability isn't build around being the fastest or the strongest hunter, it's about our endurance. Humans are what are classified as "pursuit predators." Other animals could outrun us, but only for short sprints. We never let up, always staying one step behind them. When the prey has collapsed from exhaustion, there we were, close on the heels with a weapon at the ready to put the poor animal out of its misery. A second point to make about our endurance is our pain tolerance and the capacity for the human body to heal itself. Consider horses; if one breaks its leg, it usually goes into shock and dies a painful death soon thereafter (which is why such animals are normally put down, as that is considered the more humane thing to do). The human body however can heal from similar wounds in a matter of weeks with in some cases little to no loss of functionality even without the aid of modern medicine. A big part of this is our pain tolerance. Rabbits as another example shut down almost completely when they are in pain; they don't move much and stop eating and drinking, essentially signing their own death warrants. We don't have that instinct. We fight against pain, we struggle against it thanks to rational emotions (like anger, fear, hope, or determination) that come with sentience.
  9. A wild @PsychoticStorm appears! It uses threat of thread-lock. It is pretty effective. No, but seriously, I thought you as I was typing one of my replies last night; I thought to myself, "he hasn't ducked back into the thread yet. Maybe. . . maybe we're being well behaved enough he hasn't felt the need to intervene. Yeah, that's it!"
  10. How am I throwing dung? No, seriously, I'm curious how you interpreted my comment as an attack. Here, I'll even lay out the course of events: Locksmith said: I responded with: At no point did I call anyone a name or toss around insults. Locksmith derided something Loricus said, so I used sarcasm to defend Loricus. Kanluwen came in and -- quoting me while quite conveniently not quoting Locksmith's post that set this whole chain off -- and used me as an example of everything wrong with the election cycle (and by extension, the political system we live in). I then counter Kanluwen's baseless commentary with a simple, if colorful, analogy of the extreme-left's tactics of attacking their opponent even after they'd won the damn battle (embodied in this case by Loricus, who had already admitted that his post was in the wrong). At no point did fling dung or call anyone a hurtful name or insult their parentage or fall back on tribalism (which is another ridiculous comment since Loricus admitted to being a Republican who voted Trump and I admitted to being a Libertarian who voted for Johnson, ie we're not in the same "tribe"). If I wanted to attack you, Kittens -- and to clear, I don't, because it wouldn't accomplish anything -- I would be using much harsher language and would be tossing around actual insults instead of relying on sarcasm and analogies. Edit: Damn quote system is broken.
  11. So, my reasons -- stated now multiple times -- for standing in opposition to accepting mass Muslim refugees from an active warzone are once again: 1. Intimate knowledge of the modus operandi of transnational terrorist groups gained from personal, professional experience in the intelligence community, and 2. A personal belief, founded on historical precedent, that people should fight for their homes. Which is these reasons is "trash" or "crap?" The part where my job was learning about the people trying to kill me for the better part of a decade? Or the part that has the weight of history on my side? Well yeah, they're already inside the borders. You don't have much choice. I'm talking about all the rest of them trying to get into the USA, and the Obama Administration's stance that we should just be accepting them with open arms. It's the difference between, say, wearing a respirator mask to avoid getting sick and taking antibiotics because you've already developed symptoms. Except I didn't start it. I was defending Loricus from a sneering, holier-than-thou attack by Locksmith. Go back a page and check, then reply with your apology. I'll wait.
  12. I appreciate the attaboy, but my point is this: Muslim terrorism in the 21st Century is transnational. Groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, that operate along only national or regional lines, are no longer the cause de jour among extremists. Al Qaeda wildly altered that dynamic and since AQ has been mostly dismantled, ISIS has been picking up the slack. They export terrorism from the lands they control and recruit people in countries they consider their ideological enemies. For someone with my professional background -- and as I stated in a previous post -- that is one of the reasons why the refugee crisis and the West's reaction of "We must help them all, no questions asked!" is so terrifying. We're literally handling people like Abu Bakr al Baghdadi the tools they need to kill us.
  13. No. I deployed thrice, roughly 2005, 2008, and 2010. During those periods, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) was still the political wing of Al Qaedi in Iraq (AQIZ), and thus any actual fighters were technically Al Qaeda, not ISI. Ergo, this was before the ISI added Syria to their list of places they should fuck up. AQIZ had a bad habit of recruiting non-Iraqis to their cause, mostly because the early insurgency (2003-04) was formed by disaffected Iraqi Army personnel. Once AQIZ came to the fore and started co-opting the various ex-Army insurgent groups, actual support for the cause started to dwindle. The Iraqis wanted to fight the Americans, but AQIZ under Zarqawi wanted to start a civil war between the three distinct groups of Iraqis (Sunni Kurds, Sunni Arabs, and Shia Arabs), so the Iraqis abandoned the cause. Facing a personnel shortage, Zarqawi started importing militants from other Muslim countries (important point of order here: Zarqawi himself was actually Jordanian, not Iraqi). As a result, we'd find insurgent cell headquarters and caches of munitions and documents stuffed with great intelligence on the assholes shooting at us. . . like the passports they used to enter the country (or used to pass through intervening countries, as the case may be). Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen were the big three nations that AQIZ cells in our area recruited from.