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2 hours ago, Iuz the Evil said:

You just have to buy all your social skills with "costs END" as part of the package...

 

2 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

 

With enough practice, you can buy off the penalty/limitation towards select groups.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, HERO gamers. If they had the time they'd stat out the apocalypse as it was happening. :lol:

 

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2 hours ago, massey said:

Personally I think this is a good time for the United States to re-evaluate our relationship with China.  Allegedly some of their officials made comments about "we might not be able to export antibiotics to other countries" in a very threatening kind of way.  It may be time to start moving a lot of manufacturing back home.

 

Be careful with how far we go down the "self-sufficiency" path.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Be careful with how far we go down the "self-sufficiency" path.

 

 

I don't think his point is well thought out.  Everything is localized somewhere.  It's not like we're talking about taking 5 factories that are spread out around the world and replacing them with one super-factory in Tennessee.  I'm talking about replacing factories on a one-for-one basis.  As it is, I can't think of a disaster scenario where only the United States is affected and the rest of the world is fine.  

 

Regardless, we have to look at China as a potential bad actor.  We've always known they're that way, with industrial espionage and a total lack of protection for IP (as well as human rights abuses, etc).  But that was balanced by the advantages that come with closer relations.  We were hoping that they would start instituting reforms and become more westernized.  I'm not sure that has happened.  It's probably time to reassess our policies.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Be careful with how far we go down the "self-sufficiency" path.

 

 

 

I must say...I don't appreciate the insinuation that people who want more localized manufacturing are parochial xenophobes. While it is possible some people (especially during recent times) have adopted this desire because someone more powerful with nationalist agendas manipulated them into buying the hog (for the powerful one's benefit, natch), I've been hearing this discussion for decades now and from people across the political spectrum. Also, his last comment about government reveals an attitude which is endemic to the United States of America; it is one very much born out of living here for an extended period of time while in possession of an at least halfway decent brain. Personally? I would kill (okay, not actually) for a government closer to what Canada has, or Denmark has, or Australia has, or...

 

V from V for Vendetta said "“People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

 

I prefer,

 

"The most pointed is V's belief: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." I am not sure V has it right; surely in the ideal state governments and their people should exist happily together. Fear in either direction must lead to violence." - Roger Ebert.

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8 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Don't wait too long if you can avoid it. Colonoscopies are unpleasant (especially the preparation process, which I will not go into here) but necessary once you reach a certain age.  It's about the only way to catch gthe signs of some really nasty stuff before it causes problems that can't be fixed. In my case, they found quite a few polyps -- and some polyps become cancer. Mine haven't, and were removed without incident during the procedure, but they did raise a bit of a red flag.

 

I was talking with a doctor who performs colonoscopies yesterday, in fact, and he is very reluctant to go back to work performing the procedures at present.

 

Well, yes, they're unpleasant--but, in my experience, not nearly as unpleasant as I was led to believe before my first one. Like many things, the unpleasantness grows with each retelling. I'm not looking forward to my next one, mind you, but it's just...unpleasant.

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5 minutes ago, sinanju said:

 

Well, yes, they're unpleasant--but, in my experience, not nearly as unpleasant as I was led to believe before my first one. Like many things, the unpleasantness grows with each retelling. I'm not looking forward to my next one, mind you, but it's just...unpleasant.

 

Even after all that...you still like tacos?

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5 minutes ago, sinanju said:

 

Well, yes, they're unpleasant--but, in my experience, not nearly as unpleasant as I was led to believe before my first one. Like many things, the unpleasantness grows with each retelling. I'm not looking forward to my next one, mind you, but it's just...unpleasant.


    Mine wasn’t as awful as I’d heard. The prep was unpleasant but I just stocked up on TP,  baby wipes, magazines and a Tom Clancy novel. Those things are the size of a brick.

    The procedure itself was like being at a college party.  Somebody I didn’t know gave me a pill to swallow. I felt sleepy and while I was out cold I was violated and filmed.

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5 hours ago, massey said:

 

I don't think his point is well thought out.  Everything is localized somewhere.  It's not like we're talking about taking 5 factories that are spread out around the world and replacing them with one super-factory in Tennessee.  I'm talking about replacing factories on a one-for-one basis.  As it is, I can't think of a disaster scenario where only the United States is affected and the rest of the world is fine.  

 

 

The next major disease outbreak hits the United States first. Lockdown hits food processing plants.

A hurricane severely damages the oil refining plants concentrated around the Gulf of Mexico.

The long-anticipated epic earthquake hits the west coast of the US, crippling its high-tech facilities.

Climate change leads to prolonged drought in America's agricultural heartland, bringing a return of the"'dust bowl" of the 1930s.

 

4 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

 

I must say...I don't appreciate the insinuation that people who want more localized manufacturing are parochial xenophobes. While it is possible some people (especially during recent times) have adopted this desire because someone more powerful with nationalist agendas manipulated them into buying the hog (for the powerful one's benefit, natch), I've been hearing this discussion for decades now and from people across the political spectrum. Also, his last comment about government reveals an attitude which is endemic to the United States of America; it is one very much born out of living here for an extended period of time while in possession of an at least halfway decent brain. Personally? I would kill (okay, not actually) for a government closer to what Canada has, or Denmark has, or Australia has, or...

 

 

This is why I cautioned against "too much self-sufficiency." If you go back over Beau's remarks, you may notice that he's advocating for additional localized manufacturing. Redundancy provides more security. What he's objecting to is the notion of "fortress America," sufficient in itself that it can ignore the rest of the world. And that is a sentiment I'm hearing bandied about more frequently and loudly south of the border. Even if America tried to concentrate on domestic manufacturing rather than buying goods from overseas, it still can't produce all the raw materials it needs to supply that industry, so imports will still be necessary.

 

As a Canadian, I appreciate the implied compliment re our governing system. But I assure you, we and the other countries you mention are far from exempt from short-sightedness, greed, elitism, corruption, deceit, and partisanship in government. I suppose we're more low-key and circumspect about it than in the United States.

 

I live in Southern Ontario, in which vast tracts of some of the most fertile farmland on the continent has been and continue to be sealed under concrete and asphalt. We'd be less dependent on food imports if more of that was being utilized for agriculture. But residential and manufacturing land development is more profitable.

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49 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

This is why I cautioned against "too much self-sufficiency." If you go back over Beau's remarks, you may notice that he's advocating for additional localized manufacturing. Redundancy provides more security. What he's objecting to is the notion of "fortress America," sufficient in itself that it can ignore the rest of the world. And that is a sentiment I'm hearing bandied about more frequently and loudly south of the border. Even if America tried to concentrate on domestic manufacturing rather than buying goods from overseas, it still can't produce all the raw materials it needs to supply that industry, so imports will still be necessary.

 

Pining for the days of the "walled town" but writ large is an exercise in futility. Anyone that genuinely thinks we're going to return to the thirteenth century is insane on a fundamental level. There's abundant knowledge of the (and I hate to use this term, but I will, for the sake of farcical demonstration) "outside world" for people to want to go there, to have others come from there (friendship and romance are powerful motivators) and to indulge in the luxuries - plus rely on the necessities - exported from foreign lands. I do understand that demagogues try to sell innocuous and even virtuous-sounding concepts such as "Increased self-reliance will make us stronger!" while packaging in unsavory policies, but we should be able to separate a policy of sound preparedness from a detrimental isolationist attitude that damages whatever it touches.

 

49 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

As a Canadian, I appreciate the implied compliment re our governing system. But I assure you, we and the other countries you mention are far from exempt from short-sightedness, greed, elitism, corruption, deceit, and partisanship in government. I suppose we're more low-key and circumspect about it than in the United States.

 

I live in Southern Ontario, in which vast tracts of some of the most fertile farmland on the continent has been and continue to be sealed under concrete and asphalt. We'd be less dependent on food imports if more of that was being utilized for agriculture. But residential and manufacturing land development is more profitable.

 

There is a tendency to glamorize what our neighbors have; I too have been guilty of looking on with starry eyes. Still, anyone that places community over greed and is mildly inquisitive will soon realize that we can learn a lot from other systems of government. Unfortunately, my nation's institutions of education don't place as much emphasis on civics as they should. Hence, "You're lucky to get these table scraps" is an unspoken sentiment far too many people have internalized and, like a domestic abuse victim, "It could be worse. Stop complaining." is what we have to sell ourselves just to get by without succumbing to a maddening neurosis.

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