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Thor: Ragnarok - Yondu ‘Deleted Scene’

John Oliver - Parkland School Shooting

SDGundamX says...


Heh, I'm just getting old is all. I am rooting for them, and good on them for turning the tables and shaming the adults. When I joined the Sift many years ago I would've absolutely have been optimistic about their chances of effecting change. But in the past decade, I have learned from first-hand experience how the world works, and seen too much happen in the world to give them more than a snowball's chance in hell.

I mean, shame only works on people that feel shame and the United States government has proven time and again in the past decade that it, like the current President, is absolutely shameless. The only way to make politicians understand is to actually threaten their re-election, but with lobbyist money skewing politics how do individual voters even do that? I just don't see enough of a grassroots campaign forming that actually gives the NRA and gun industry a run for their money.

Of course, I would be more than happy to be proven wrong. I didn't think I'd see the day gay marriage was legalized in the U.S. either and figured it wouldn't happen until I was a senior citizen if at all. Hopefully my pessimism is just grumpy old man talk.

Changing shifts at a French lighthouse in the Iroise Sea

John Oliver - Parkland School Shooting

SDGundamX says...


One big problem is that different states are passing different laws. Connecticut, after Sandy Hook, made it illegal to sell guns or ammo clips that can accept more than 10 rounds and required owners of guns that were semi-automatic and could fire more than 10 rounds to register them. Additionally you need a permit to purchase a gun and background checks are required for all private sales.

Contrast that with other states like Missouri where literally anyone who is not a felon can buy a gun, doesn't have to register it, and doesn't even need a background check if the sale is private.

Legislation on gun control needs to be centralized. Until the federal government establishes uniform laws about licensing and registering firearms, which should include mandatory background checks, training classes, and a federal database that tracks all guns sold in the U.S., it's just going to be too easy to head to a state that has lax gun laws and stock up on all the firepower you need to carry out whatever heinous crime a person has in mind.

And I'm thoroughly pessimistic about it ever happening. The NRA and gun "enthusiasts" as well as the gun manufacturing industry are just too strong as a lobbying group. These kids are absolutely doing the right thing by protesting and they'll get their time in the spotlight, but eventually that spotlight will shift to something else and it will be business as usual in D.C. with politicians taking political donations from the NRA to fund their never-ending re-election campaigns.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Full Trailer

Who wants to watch Tom Cruise's ankle shatter in slow-mo?

SDGundamX says...

Tom Cruise may be crazy, but damn is he a hard working actor. I don't think anybody can question his commitment to his projects. Everybody who works with him says he's like a machine when he's on the job, just solely focused on getting the shot and making the movie as entertaining as possible.

Stuff like this any other actor would get a stunt double to do, but he's said repeatedly that he always wants to do the stunts himself if possible because he feels the audience can tell when the doubles take over. And the stuntmen totally respect him because at this point in his career he's as good at it as any veteran stuntman.

I wonder though if Tom Cruise movies have higher insurance costs because he insists on doing his own stunts.

Tom Cruise and His Broken Ankle on The Graham Norton Show

Vox: The new US tax law, explained with cereal

SDGundamX says...

A Mitt Romney fan, eh? You should probably read this article, which absolutely guts the myth that only half of income earners pay taxes.

As far as the top 1% paying 40% of the taxes, I agree that is atrocious--they are supposed to be paying almost ALL of it! See, when the income tax was introduced with the 16th Amendment, it was primarily meant to be a tax on the rich. The federal tax rate for middle-class people was meant to be around 1-2% whereas the tax rate on the rich was around 7%. You can see the original 1913 tax form here.

Of course, since literally the income tax's inception, the federal government has continuously been shafting the middle classes while reducing the tax burden of the wealthy. It's about as American as apple pie by this point!

The big problem is that the government relies more and more on income tax to fund federal projects. Take a look at the graph in the article I linked to at the start of this comment and note how corporate taxes keep going down while income and payroll taxes keep going up.

It doesn't help at all that most of America's biggest businesses have offshore tax havens where they can avoid paying taxes (think Ireland for Apple, Inc., though that hasn't worked out so well for them thanks to the EU being less corporate cock-sucking than the U.S. government).

So, to solve America's tax deficit problem, the solution is pretty clear--tax rich people more (as was intended), tax corporations more and cut off their tax havens, and maybe give a tax break to the people who actually need and deserve it--the middle and lower classes.

But of course all of that sounds suspiciously like socialism, which as we all know is the devil incarnate and about as un-American as naming your kid Stalin.

drradon said:

This, like so many of these tax discussions, happily ignores the fact that those top 1% of income earners pay 40% of ALL taxes... (and more than the combined tax revenues of the bottom 90% of income earners). The reality is that nearly 50% of all income earners pay NO taxes - this really isn't a good social policy - where nearly half the potential voting public have no vested interest in how government money is being spent

George Carlin on why the reason education sucks.

SDGundamX says...

George Carlin did this bit in 2005! That's 12 years ago, and look where we are today!

I mean, you look today at American government, about what's going on with the FCC and the recent tax bill, and you see just how average Americans are getting shafted openly by corporations. At least they had the decency to do it behind closed doors before. Now people like Ajit Pai just give the American public a big middle finger and smile for the cameras while they're doing it.

This bit basically predicted the election of Donald Trump with that whole section on how idiots keep electing rich people who don't care about them.

Meanwhile, you have people like Sean Spicer unironically saying that Oprah Winfrey shouldn't run for president because she has no political experience.

We are truly down the rabbit hole here and I'm not sure we're ever getting out again.

Bad driver gets 'accidentally' PIT-ed

SDGundamX says...

Yeah, in Japan both people would have been at fault. They're really strict about that stuff. Even if you have the right of way, if an accident could have been avoided just by you being a more cautious driver, you'll wind up getting ticketed too.

Happened to my boss a month ago--he got hit at a light while making a turn during a green turn arrow (driver coming from opposite direction gunned it on the yellow but didn't beat the red). The police ruled that even though my boss had the right of way, a cautious driver should anticipate people trying to beat the light and check to make sure traffic coming from the opposite direction is fully stopped before initiating a turn, so both parties were at fault (though not equally of course).

Basically as a driver in Japan you are supposed to assume that everyone around you is an unsafe driver and take any necessary precautions to avoid accidents. The only time you'll 100% not be at fault for an accident is if you're rear-ended while fully stopped or if the car experiences a catastrophic mechanical failure (i.e. blowing a tire on the freeway causing you to temporarily lose control of the vehicle).

LiquidDrift said:

Still, continuing to pass when he put his signal on wasn't the best move.

Senator Ernie Chambers The "N" Word at Omaha Public Schools

SDGundamX says...

I think his point is that it should be black people deciding how and when the word is used, if at all, and your and my feelings on the matter (as people who haven't had to live every day of their lives with racial oppression) shouldn't really matter much.

I agree with him. Let black people decide themselves whether to let the word die or to reinvent it. Who knows, maybe someday we'll get to a point were the pain of racial oppression recedes so far that everyone will be able to use the word as a term of endearment for their friends.

But we certainly are no where near that point yet.

newtboy said:

I just believe it works best to exemplify the behavior you want from others, to lead by example rather than reaction, and treat others as you would have them treat you, not as they have treated you.

EDIT: I also think there's a huge difference between 'you shouldn't use that word, ever.' and 'you cannot use that word, ever, or I'll violently attack you.' I agree, white people shouldn't use that word or any derivation of it, and should expect blowback if they do, but if we want to live in a post racial society where people aren't discriminated against based on race, that means no one should use it.

Crazy Nut Shot

SDGundamX says...

Goddamn, my nuts retracted just from the sound that kick made.

Had a friend in high school who skateboarded and messed up a rail slide. Landed square on the rail on his nuts and blew out one of his testicles. Before the doctors removed it, it had swollen to the size of a grapefruit. I imagine the guy here probably sustained a similar injury and had to have at least one testicle removed.

Good news is you can still have kids with only one testicle--my friend has two daughters. But damn, if that isn't one of the most painful things to experience I don't know what is.

John Oliver - Equifax

Senator Ernie Chambers The "N" Word at Omaha Public Schools

SDGundamX says...

In all seriousness though, here's my thoughts on the matter: I believe the n-word is used by most black people ironically. It's an attempt to reclaim power over the word that was used for so long--including today--to oppress them.

The thing is, there is precedent for this ironic use. Many in the gay community use the word "bitch" in an affection and jesting way to other members, but it takes on a completely different tone when a heterosexual person--even one who has a large circle of gay friends--tries to use it in a similar manner towards a gay person.

The thing is that this kind of ironic language usage is self-deprecating. As a member of the black or gay community, you're using a derogatory term that could just as easily be applied to you by somebody else.

Self-deprecating humor of this kind doesn't work so well when you're not a member of the group. It just comes across as punching down, especially in the case of privileged group members like middle-class white kids who will likely never know what it is like to be an "other" in their country of citizenship no matter how much they may sympathize (although as "minority" groups continue to eclipse the Caucasian population maybe within my lifetime they might actually start to experience it).

I mean, how hard is it for non-black people to not call someone an n-word? Very few black people are okay with it. The whiny " b-b-but they use the word all the time" excuse just reeks of entitlement to me.

But what do I know. I'm just some dumb white kid living in a foreign country where I can be pulled over by cops because I look different from the rest of the population and jailed for not immediately providing ID (unlike Japanese people who are legally not required to carry ID at all).

Senator Ernie Chambers The "N" Word at Omaha Public Schools

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