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Messages - GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Everything Else / Re: Pointless Armor: Now Available In Dude.
« on: September 24, 2010, 09:58:21 PM »
If you look carefully, you can see the armor protecting him from an obviously crippling lack of shame.

Everything Else / Re: TWG on Skype
« on: May 24, 2010, 12:18:47 AM »

Rants and Stuff / Re: General Religious discussion
« on: April 13, 2009, 08:35:09 PM »
There is a specific religious movement referred to as Gnosticism which is an esoteric branching of Christianity and biblical books which were lost from the New Testament.  The word "gnosis" refers to hidden knowledge and is rooted in words like "agnostic" or "diagnose", but when you use the word "Gnosticism," especially when using it capitalized, you are (whether you know it or not) referring to a specific religious practice.  Look up the word "Gnosticism" or "Gnostic" at Merriam-Webster ( or if you don't believe me.


When you say you want to be Gnostic, you should not capitalize it.  In not capitalizing it, you are inferring that you have the desire to learn hidden and esoteric knowledge but not that you want to become part of the specific movement of Gnosticism, which has seen somewhat of a resurgence amongst secret societies and esoteric religious traditions since its rediscovery.  Generally, gnostic (little g) is used to describe trends in religion which are based around mysticism, such as alchemy, astrology, secret messiahs, etc. or magic which is handed down from teacher to disciple.  You know, things which share qualities with Gnosticism (big G) but don't specifically follow the course of the religion itself.

But, yeah, curio-gnostic was fine (I read it as a play on words of agnostic--not taking a stance, but curious);  I was actually meaning to comment on Renoard's statement, which I believe was referring to Gnosticism in the correct sense of the word, which you obviously were not referencing.

Rants and Stuff / Re: General Religious discussion
« on: April 13, 2009, 08:03:56 PM »
For the record, Renoard, I don't think anybody actually mentioned Gnosticism, as in the Nag Hammadi library and its books, or gnostic religion (sometimes referred to as "gnosticism")--esoteric religious practices--or stereotypical Gnosticism, the dualistic, misinterpreted "new" Gnosticism of the 20th Century as old and lost bible books were put together.  The term "curio-gnostic" was a play on "agnostic," completely different from what is actually called g(G)nosticism.

And, besides, I don't think that Gnosticism is inherently a dead end.  A lot of people find Gnosticism and decide the teachings of those books really hold a lot of truth in their eyes or that the Nag Hammadi library is a good compliment to those books which were not destroyed by the orthodox rulers of Christianity, who took what served their purposes and destroyed or removed what didn't.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: April 09, 2009, 07:14:41 PM »
As for the prison issue, I would encourage you to read up on the modern incarceration system.  There are benefits which exist that did not exist in previous times, but you need to keep in mind the idea behind incarceration shouldn't be vengeance or removal, it should be rehabilitation.  If it was vengeance or removal, we may as well take punishment in physical means and save these people time out of their lives or remove all criminals from our society permanently.  The needs of the many are aided in reducing inmates return to crime, which has been proven time and time again to be done the best through "progressive" (I dislike using the word in this way...) prison systems.  Studies and real-world statistics also show rehabilitative programs are good tools for actual rehabilitation.

A single college study doesn't prove anything, and I'm not writing a thesis here (there are plenty out there)--I just thought it was an amusing addition to my statement which is an aid in demonstrating my stance.  Also keep in mind that the incarceration system is different for white-collar criminals who can affect dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of people than it is for blue-collar criminals who often endanger nobody or a single person.  I'm not encouraging their crime, or saying they were right to act in whatever way they did.  I would just like to see a little more equality and a little more emphasis on an affective system rather than a system which "gives just desserts."  I don't think that punishment should be the goal when dealing with anybody (from children to criminals), I feel that punishment should be the means to the end of prevention.  Punishment for the sake of punishment doesn't help anybody but the emotionally vengeful, and in reality it doesn't help them in any way but to make them feel a little better temporarily.

Yeah, a multi-party system is barely a step up.  But it is a step in the right direction and while all systems have their downfalls, at least a multi-party system allows more choices in the representation before general stagnation.  It's better than having a bi-party system which every year becomes closer and closer to a monoparty system.

I don't consider tax-deductible donations a donation, I consider it a trade.  From the viewpoint of the giver, often tax-deductible donations are getting rid of something unwanted (like a broken vehicle or old belongings) for as-good-as-cash credit.  I'm not saying that they aren't doing something beneficial and that their contributions aren't important--I would rather see non tax deductible statistics, however, for a comparison like this.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: April 06, 2009, 09:04:18 PM »
I think we do agree on many issues from an opposite angle.  I would entirely agree with you that this government has issues with the lifetime elect, especially considering to be elected you practically have to be upper class.  I, however, have a problem with the structure of the government and I believe it needs to be reworked.  I think a lot of the problems you see issues with are caused by greater factors than "liberal" against "conservative," and I think that statistics such as crime rate are so multidimensional that you can't, or can very rarely, pin their swaying one way or another on a single factor, such as gun control.  You will also note that loosening gun control laws in a lot of ways can help reduce crime, but there are other ways to reduce crime as well.  I fall somewhere in the middle on this issue, as I believe people should be allowed to own guns, but I have issue with concealed weapons (the carrying of concealed weapons may reduce crime, but at the risk of vigilantism, collateral damage, and a potential increase in spur-of-the-moment murder or assault).  I also don't see the point in a person owning an RPG or anti-aircraft rifle, as this is not needed for recreation or for self protection, and if they are part of a collection ammunition does not need to be owned. 

Canada does pretty well and they have only a handful of guns privately owned in their nation compared to the US.  The has a much higher homicide rate and still has 50% of Canada's violent crime rate when ONLY considering aggravated assault, while Canada considers all categories of assault violent crimes.  Also, I don't know how recently you're talking about Florida, but according to the Miami Herald Florida murder rate has been constantly driving up for years.

Also, the issue of gun-control having an impact on crime is weighted, as if you take away gun control laws, these are laws no longer being broken.  It's just like if we legalized marijuana, crime rate would plummet (though to a much less extreme).  It is interesting to consider the fact that BOTH controlling guns and loosening gun control have had similar effects in different times in different cultures given different circumstances.

This is all besides the point, however, because a much larger factor in our crime rates is our justice system.  One of our largest growing industries are for-profit penitentiaries, and our method of punishment for crime is designed with, quite literally, to have one of the highest possible return to crime rates (in fact, as part of an experiment, students at some midwestern university were asked to design a prison system which had the highest possible return rate; nearly every design mimicked to startling degree our own system).  If you want to reduce crime, the first step is destroying laws which are outdated, unreasonable, unfounded, or ineffective to prevent needless entry into the justice system (gun laws, illegalization of recreational drugs, etc. would be considered here) .  The second step is rehabilitation rather than removal to prevent a life in crime after conviction.  The third step is providing social institutions which are intended reduce poverty and pain, which will reduce gang and organized crime activity as well as "required" criminal activity in which the criminal feels trapped into the crime by necessity (whether or not this is true is irrelevant, if the individual feels it is true he or she will act as though it is true).

Most of the problems you are talking about, as far as the government is concerned, come from a bi-party polarization of votes (I will only vote Democrat or Republican).  I do find it somewhat ironic that you complain about these problems while whole handedly attacking Democrats without a negative word for Republicans.  This type of mentality, this alienation of one side over the other, is what causes a lifetime elect in "blue states" and "red states".  If we had a poly-partied system or if our individuals were less inclined to vote only for one of our two parties (which is more or less impossible given the laws of polarization, especially in a mass and political situation) these would not be problems.

We agree that empires collapse from a sense of entitlement.  This could be from forgetting what makes them great (and this is probably a factor).  It is just as likely that a nation could gain a sense of entitlement from overemphasizing what has made them great in the past, providing a dwelling on glory days instead of an eye for the future. When things in the world change is when empires lose their dominance.  I cannot think of a situation in which the world has stayed more or less stable but an empire began to collapse because it was changing too much.  Besides, isn't the glory of human societies that we have the ability to recognize past patterns, think about future trends and use this information to run the great experiment to adapt and change over time as we see success or failure?  Japan managed to have a comeback hundreds of years after it closed its doors, but this grasping at the past was the cause of a loss of power for a long time.

I feel like you keep trying to curb this issue to become a Republican vs Democrat argument, which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.  To your mind, I'm a liberal (and in many senses, I am a very large liberal).  But in some ways I am conservative and I do not consider myself a Democrat, nor do I have any sense of loyalty to this party (which I see in many ways as a large failure, especially congressionally).  Never should a conversation like this become one party against the other, but it should be about ideas which are untied to party lines so that each person, according to his or her own perspective can use his or her own ideas to add to the greater picture.  The shades of gray are important.

Only two of the top ten while seven of the bottom ten ranked states in education voted red in the most recent election, according to this:
(list of which states are red and blue according to the wikipedia article on "Red states and Blue States")

Job growth largely has more to do with factors outside of democrat/republican bounds including rising industry, natural resources available, and the effects of economic downturn (for example, my state of Michigan is one of the worst states to be in because its industry has largely been left to car manufacturing, which was a decision of corporate interests rather than the government, which left these corporations to a large part unregulated.  Efforts have been made to invite other industries in, such as the film industry, via certain methods such as tax exemptions and specialized schooling programs, but the efforts were made to an extent too late to help the state now--the effects of this will only be seen in five or ten years, if at all).

If you can find me a reliable statistic for non tax-deductible charity donations by state made by individuals rather than institutions, I would be interested to see it.  I couldn't find one, though I briefly looked around.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: April 02, 2009, 06:16:32 PM »
The lack of ability to adapt is part of nearly every, if not every, societal collapse or loss of power in history.  A major example of this is the Japanese closed nation policy (which essentially eliminated Japan from the world stage for 200 years) which removed Japan from the world stage as a major power (a role it well could have played).  Inability to adapt to new problems causes a decline in power or collapse--social evolution holds true on the national scale.

My statement about Christians IS ludicrous, that's my point.  You make a similar claim against a group of people (currently a majority of Americans, keep in mind).  Those individuals are hypocritical.  The group "Democrats" or even "Democrats in political positions" is an overstatement of the depth of this hypocrisy. 

My point about morality was pertaining to corporations, and not the government itself.  Somebody made the statement that corporate chains are just home-grown businesses which have earned the right to be larger, which is simply not always the case.  As corporations grow bigger, they often cause direct and indirect damage to societies and individuals because of immorality in their actions.  As far as these other issues of morality, while I feel we can probably all agree that taking a child and working her for eighteen hours a day or taking a worker and breaking his knees behind the factory for attempting to unionize is immoral, clearly there are some differences in opinion on issues such as stem-cell research or abortion choice--my stance on those are to not pass laws about them one way or the other, which I think is a perfectly reasonable stance.  If we can't to a decent majority agree something is immoral, it seems right that it should not be specifically condoned or condemned by law.  They do this by going to other nations, and to compete with those other nations I do not believe we should lighten our watch on moral actions of businesses--child labor laws, minimum wages, working conditions, minimal product standards, work-time laws (which are hardly enforced) shouldn't be reduced to encourage business attraction.  If I was convinced lowering taxes within reason on certain aspects of corporate activity would dramatically raise the number of jobs in America, and thus raising general revenue and lower the one in seven unemployment rate, I would jump on that bandwagon.  I'm not convinced this is a plausible scenerio, but I'm not convinced otherwise.  I simply want to make sure corporations are treated in a way which maintains our moral standards, allows us to raise any standards which are currently at an unacceptable level, and not give corporations a tax-free ride while Americans make up that difference, unless the rate in jobs and average pay skyrockets to make the situation pull a net gain for the average American.

A lack of regulation allowed individuals to roam unchecked, generally through the actions of their corporations.  All I would like to see is checks and balances among our corporations who, like it or not, are a larger part of the government than we are (thanks to lobbying, marketing, their grasp on the economic factor, the economic concerns of all social policy and how it affects corporate economy, etc.).  They are also a larger part of the economy, which is supposed to be regulated, than the government itself as far as everyday activity is concerned.  Because of this, I feel that keeping tabs on them is a good thing.  I'm not talking about passing mountains of law, but having bodies in existence which could give warning when they are being run incompetently to everybody's loss is a good thing, I believe.  Keep in mind, businesses are NOT people, and although they are treated as such in law, I believe it is possible to have a governmental system which treats businesses and financial operations under reasonable watch and regulatory law without assuming we must take away individual liberties to do so.

Your very statement about politicians becoming royalty states that you are unhappy with the system itself.  In a system you can trust, this would not happen.  Such an ideal system is probably unobtainable, but if the complete failure of this system is all the way down to the local level, it sure sounds like a problem with government structure to me.  This means, if you feel so disgusted by the individuals who were elected and/or appointed, you should consider which aspects of the government allowed this to happen.  A two-party system and individuals voting along party lines without thought to issues would be on that list.  Then, instead of willing a regime change (removing a king and putting in a new Queen is still a monarchy, after all), you should probably consider supporting some sort of a system-wide alternative which you feel represents the spirit of democracy better.  Considering replacing all the people is just as unrealistic, if not more unrealistic, than thinking about a better system anyway.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: March 31, 2009, 07:06:14 AM »
To be fair, I never said that we would use the money that way, I said we could.  And I think there are a lot of programs like that which would be better than the way we spend money right now.

Secondly, percentage of GDP is really pretty irrelevant when talking about the sheer amount we spend.  We simply don't need to spend the amount of our budget (if military is only that percent of our GDP, then imagine how little education is).

You act like the government was the institution which acted on morally and economically shaky grounds and that is why we are in an economic crisis.  It was individuals and companies acting irresponsibly, not the government, which has caused this issue.  Lack of oversight, not too much oversight or irresponsible government, was the cause.

You act like Democrats/Liberals are the only people circumnavigating taxes via scams.  It is a matter of wealth and morality, not a matter of political stance.  It is attacks against groups of people without cause like this, an "us against them" mindset, that causes mass atrocities, national splits, etc. in a historical context.  I would recommend you look at the individuals who are creating problems, rather than the groups they associate with.  For example, I could claim that in the US Christians are the biggest cause of tax problems, the economic downturn, big government, and poor education.  That statement would technically be correct.  But being a Christian isn't what is causing these people to perform their jobs so poorly, just like being a liberal isn't the cause or even a correlated matter when concerning less-than-legal tax fraud.

Military commerce is as stable as it is because we continue to pump money into it.  If we pumped that money into scientific and medical research, but only did so here in the US, that industry would become the equivalent.

We could and should put policies in place which would both encourage businesses to come here and encourage growing businesses (alternative energy, for example) with huge potential for economic power to grow.  We shouldn't do this with disregard to morality (labor laws), the future (short-sighted policies economic or ecological), or our budget.  Again, keep in mind businesses are the number one cause of the tax fraud your complaining about.

Businesses in themselves aren't to be avoided, but businesses which disregard morality or humanity in the creation of their products should--it isn't worth the trade off to have items cheaper.  Wal-Mart isn't just some home-grown company which remains morally sound as they expand.  Businesses are not people, even though we treat them like it in law.  There are plenty of businesses, from the local level to the global level, which are perfectly acceptable corporations, but there are those that aren't.

What I'm trying to say is that blaming a single group of people, or discounting a government's value so rashly is unreasonable.  If we truly have that little faith in a government, we should make it a priority to change the government to be more efficient and to reach a certain standard in every area.  Also, keep in mind, no empire has maintained forever, and no civilization can keep grasp forever.  If we continue to bullheadedly try to grab on to what made us great in the past, we will fall out of style like anything else does.  If we look to how other nations are doing better than us in certain aspects and find out why, we can learn from them and put into place policies which can help us stay greater, longer via mindful evolution.  If you think we are losing our greatness because of our willingness to do so, I don't think you understand the context of human history we are framed against.

Everything Else / Re: I seriously hate my major . . .
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:26:09 PM »
Linguistics is a great area to go into.  There's a decent demand for speech pathologists for special-needs persons, research, not to mention academic professionals.  My sister, who got her BA in Spanish with a cognate in English, is about to go to get an MA in linguistics.  It's not a huge "draw" major like English, Engineering, Psychology, etc.  It is far less useful if you're not willing to go to graduate school, though.

As far as choosing BYU, definitely don't choose a university because you happen to know a lot of people who went there, or because an author you like went there, or because it's one of the only major universities you've been exposed to.  Do some research--when you get there you're going to have to do plenty of it, anyway.

I know how you feel, I'm a psych major, but I constantly want to switch my major to music performance, theory, or composition, or film studies (which I practically have enough credits to get already--except foreign language).  But I'm already too deep in to warrant that, at this point I could get two degrees in the same amount of time, anyway.  I love psychology, but don't think I could get into or would want to go to grad school for it--and I'm only a semester away from my degree.  I am only twenty, though, so sometimes think about continuing for a while and getting a second BA before applying to grad school.  Money is an issue for me.  Just like your decision, it's something that needs to be weighed--there's no point in making a bunch of emotional decisions without a lot of data and then regretting it even more. 

You want to be a writer?  Get an English degree with a specialization in Creative Writing--it's not like having a degree in a field like that is what will get you published, so you can still take the classes and get the information while getting a more useful and generalized degree.  You love philosophy?  Get a Psych degree with a minor in philosophy, they go well together (I promise) and most school will allow you to use quite a number of philosophy credits towards a Psych degree.  You want to be involved in the performing arts?  Get a degree studying theater, film, or music in a non-performance aspect (sound, production, lighting, writing, composition...) and use credits in performance towards that degree, most Universities put classes like that under the same heading (Performance Theater and Theater Production both under THR, for example), so classes giving you the knowledge for that field can be used for a professional degree.  There are a lot more jobs doing behind the scenes work, and that way at least you have a backup plan that still involves what you love.  My understanding is that you are still young and early in your academic career--don't be afraid of changing your plan to something less certain but more livable.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: March 25, 2009, 05:01:44 AM »
The idea behind a democracy is that the government is us, darx.  I know we're a republic, but even so, we spout out these ideals to the world about a government of the people for the people, but then go about saying we don't trust it?  There's something inherently wrong with that.  Perhaps instead of spending so much time telling other nations what government system is the correct choice for them, we should spend a little time becoming happy with our choice.  If you can't trust a government which is supposed to represent you, that's not a system that needs to be spread.

I don't think our nuclear weapons program counts as "defense" at this point, or has for decades.  And I don't understand why you think we are "stuck with it" for a while still.  We have had more than enough nuclear weapons to act as a deterrent for decades.  If we take the same amount of money (it would take less) that we spend on nuclear upkeep and used it for some nuclear disarmament,  it would create American jobs where it destroys them, help our international standing, give us some power of negotiation in nuclear disarmament treaties, and encourage other nations to do the same.  In addition, it would make our national nuclear arsenal bleed less money from us in the future, which opens up some of the federal budget to create national improvement jobs not only providing a temporary relief to unemployment levels, but also creating national infrastructure--nice roads, buildings, parks, etc.--which help reduce crime, gang activity, and drug use if done correctly.  If you took half of the money used just on nuclear upkeep and applied it to in-nation jobs, you could create over 100,000 jobs at $20,000 a year--over the poverty level for a family of four with a single provider.  That's not including taking money from nuclear weapon research, construction and transportation.

While I agree that a sales tax could be a useful tool in cutting the deficit, it isn't really a quick fix.  To my understanding, a majority of less-than-legal tax scams are performed by large national and international corporations for whom sales tax is more or less irrelevant.  This means that working with a different type of taxation wont circumnavigate this tax problem.  For example, Wal-Mart skipped out on over $2.3 Billion in taxes in a single year (I believe it was 2006).  That's $2.3 Billion taxpayers must make up.  And lets be clear--republican or democrat is irrelevant to tax fraud.  And it's hard to enforce taxes on items bought overseas, which simply encourages those with enough money to buy elsewhere and transport in while forcing the poor to buy items with an even higher sales tax.

We spend 44.4% of our budget on the military.  If we really do protect 48% of the world (which we don't, we leave a large portion of the world to handle itself until it directly becomes an issue for our investments), perhaps we would spend more than 1.5% of our budget on diplomacy and needs abroad.  You complain about the IRS' cost to run?  Government Operations in their entirety only count for 6.9% of the budget--this includes paying every government position.  Hell, education--in an era when Americans are flabbergasted as to why they are ninth among industrialized nations in high school graduates--only warrants 2.2% of our budget.  We spend the same amount of money on the interest for our non-military debt than we do on all three of these aspects of our budget combined.

I got the figure from here:  It cites the figure from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.  Obviously not an unbiased source, but at least the figure is cited.  A comparable figure is found at, which states, "The USA is responsible for 45 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the UK, China, France, and Japan each with 4 to 5 per cent of the world share [in 2007]."  In a later section a chart shows that in 2008 the US was 48% of world military spending.

Role-Playing Games / Re: TWG Dueling League
« on: March 24, 2009, 10:51:12 PM »
I haven't seen much activity on this lately--maybe we should get a second moderator so it's not all on Jade's shoulders?  It doesn't look like the stats have been updated in a while, either...?

The use of tools is a complex form of thought made possible by the same part of brain (once again, the frontal lobe) that planning is.  Planning and complex rational thought are both created more or less the same way by this same area of the brain.  Also, I never said they were related, I said that complex plans which also involve the use of tools is very impressive.

A tool-free example of the cat planning test I mentioned would be if a cat climbs up into a tree or onto a roof.  The cat, when called down the opposite side of the tree (especially roofs) will be unable to recognize that it can more quickly get down the same way it got up and then, once down, walk around to the person calling it.  Instead it will continue to try to find a way to go directly from where it is to where you are until it gives in and begins to call for help.

I said animals have some ability for simple planning, but act nearly entirely out of instinct.  I didn't say they couldn't plan at all, just that the level of planning is rather basic and entirely unimpressive, especially compared to something like in the article.

Your dog has been conditioned to know you get upset when he pees in the house.  He is responding to a combination between his natural instinctual response to anger and his learned instincts.  He does this by peeing on your sofa, which was embedded in him through conditioning (he pees, you get upset, it embeds in him that this action will solicit this response).  He has the ability to do simple planning, but the example you gave is almost all a combination of natural and taught instinct.  I can make an dog run an obstacle course, do a series of tricks and then select a proper box out of a series of options entirely out of instinct.  This can be mistaken as planning, but is not.

And, for the record, people are hardly more amazing than that, and are relatively easy to predict using just a behavioral approach, especially en masse.  Granted, a pure behavioral approach is not the entire picture, there is a lot more at work (most approaches have valuable insight to certain areas of human behavior).  But it is a great way to predict how people will act, especially when combined with a genetic or evolutionary approach.  Animals are far less impressive than this.  When animals surprise us, it's nearly always because we had a misunderstanding of their base instinct or the balance of instincts at work, not because they're thinking or planning ahead.  They can, but most do so very rarely and cannot do so very far into the future.

Ummm.....why is this earthshattering news?

"Animals Plan" "Animals don't live in the moment, like we thought they did"

Anyone who has ever had a pet can attest to these kinds of things.

I thought the whole "Animals are dumb, soul-less creatures" idea was far behind us.

My HAMSTER planned in response to a future psycological stimuli. That stimuli was HUNGER. So the Hamster stored food.

I don't know why people are so surprised when animals do stuff.....

But yes, the Monky apocalyse, now that could be fun :D

Your hamster didn't plan anything.  Your hamster was responding to an instinct.  There is a HUGE difference.  If your hamster was planning, it would be looking toward the future and recognizing that it is fed by you on a regular basis (one hopes) and does not need to stockpile food.

Most mammals don't have the frontal lobe capacity (planning, some memory, a lot of functions we consider "human" or "intelligent") to do any real long term planning.  For example, if you take a cat (note, we consider cats to be very smart in general) and put it in a room with a hanging cat-treat which is out of reach and a box it is capable of moving, it will never, with the exception of a complete and blatant accident, think to move the box beneath the treat and use it to jump high enough to get said treat.  It's been tested a LOT, and was the basis for creating early artificial intelligence.  Monkeys can do this, and so can humans. 

Most mammals live with some ability to predict the very near future, but mostly just run out of instinct and behavioral conditioning.  The reason a dog seems like he's planning when he begs to go out before you go to work every day is because he's been conditioned to, not because he actually recognizes that if you leave and he hasn't gone out, he may urinate on the carpet.  However much we'd like to think they're that bright, they really aren't.  The ability to plan this intricately, especially this intricately and with the use of tools, is very rare in nature.  It's not something any reptile is capable of, and it's not something a grand majority of mammals can do.  The only non-primate animal I can think of which may be capable of something like this is the dolphin.

[edit: grammatical error and adding the following:]

Also, hunger is a physiological stimulus, not a psychological one.  I guess one could make a similar argument for emotion being a physiological stimulus as well, but there is far more psychological involvement in emotion than there is in hunger.

Everything Else / Re: Obama wants to halve budget deficit
« on: March 20, 2009, 04:31:30 PM »
While it's true that entitlement programs are a large part of our budget, they definitely aren't, as a whole, the most wasteful government spending programs around.  They do need to be checked and changed to make them more accessible to those who need and less accessible to those taking advantage, and less important programs need to be dropped entirely to make room for more important programs...

However, $35.1 Billion were spent in 1998 on nuclear weapons related programs.  I know that's kind of an old figure, but from what I understand it is not estimated to have gone down significantly and, in fact, may be going up.  That includes $4 Billion just on upkeep.  To give you an idea, we had  "5,914 strategic warheads, approximately 1,000 operational tactical weapons, and approximately 3,000 reserve strategic and tactical warheads" in July 2007--900% the rest of the nuclear weapons in the world, excluding Russia who is under the same restrictions and has a comparable arsenal.  That sounds like a lot of unnecessary spending to me.

In 2006, the US' military budget accounts for about 47% of world military spending.  At least twelve out of the top fifteen runner-ups are considered American allies.

Role-Playing Games / Re: TWG Dueling League
« on: March 01, 2009, 05:56:24 PM »
Duelist Name: Gorgon
Name: GorgontheWonderCow
AIM: RingTLemur
(email at [email protected])

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