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Old 11-20-2017, 06:51 AM   #251
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(I have to be more careful when I read this thread: my upstairs-neighbor's 2-year-old's bedroom is right above me, it's almost 1am & she's asleep ... I LOL'd pretty loudly at that.)
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:54 PM   #252
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I'm bored. Let's do another one of these aggregations.

World v USA - Paris edition
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So...Syria jumped onto the Paris agreement (a very soft agreement to cut CO2 emissions by 2020 to keep the projected "man made" temperature change to below a given change in temperature).

That, combined with smaller countries like Switzerland joining on, leaves the USA as the sole major nation planning to be out of the deal (as there is a 3 year gap after signing before legal withdrawal).

I mean, this includes virtually every nation in the world. I mean, look at this map. The only nations which aren't signed on are in grey, prior to USA withdrawal ( https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...eement.svg.png ).

And before you ask, it's a political issue. Here's a map of the states asking for withdrawal. Darker red represents two Senators requesting Trump to withdraw, the lighter red representing one Senator of two (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ignatories.svg ). The pattern of the states asking out is unmistakable. The map with States agreeing to participate in the agreement regardless is also unmistakable ( https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...e-alliance.svg ).

Backing out of the Paris agreement (again, a toothless agreement which had no way to force people to act), should it happen in 2020, is already seen as a fairly gutless move and adds to the isolation of the USA.

I mean this in a completely different way than the USA and UK did throughout the early 1900s. That was political isolation. The actions here are starting to translate to economic isolation. Companies don't want to deal with a single nation anymore but deal with large groups of them in free trade agreements.

Given the "extreme" models we've seen of that historically (China, Japan until the Box Revolution and Meiji Reformation)...it doesn't end well.


USA internally
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There is an announced plan to remove Net Neutrality in the USA.

Net Neutrality, if you're not aware (and can't see the video I've put below, is the circumstance that an internet provider cannot preferentially affect how you receive data. Whether it be this website or myanimelist, they can't decide "well, let's make it easier to go to MAL as oppose to luckystarshrine". This is very similar in concept to water or electricity: it doesn't matter what you use your electricity for...power companies can't tell you that they'll restrict your access if you use incandescent light bulbs, for sake of argument.

Things get concerning when it is suggested they can stagnate or even hinder access to things they may not like. Such as their business opponents. Going by the above example, the owner of MAL happens to operate a successful ISP. They can then start slowing access to L*SS down while keeping access to MAL the exact same...then ask for more for a "Net Neutral" package where they don't slow your download rates when accessing L*SS.

That's a bit of a blunt example, but I think you get the idea.



For comparison, Net Neutrality, last time it was check in Canada was upheld but allowed companies to artificially restrict all flow based on package (that is, they may lay in groundwork for a high speed internet, but can restrict to a slower speed unless a higher speed package was purchased). It couldn't change speed based on content.

---

The USA had two state elections (Governor) - New Jersey and Virginia. Given the overall unpopularity of Chris Christy (Republican), a Democrat sweep was expected and delivered.

The Virginia side is where things got interesting. The Democrats' Governor won against an opponent running on heavily Trump based points (keeping up statues of Civil War individuals, removal of "sanctuary" cities, and race baiting arguments against crimes). Many saw it as a referendum on how they felt about Trump and the answer seemed to be "...Yeah. We don't like the arguments" in Virginia.

Also defeated was the self proclaimed 'chief homophobe' of Virginia. He was defeated by his transgendered opponent.

--

The USA has just had a second court rebuke Trump's attempt on a transgender military ban.




USA externally (and that case of PLEASE STOP MAKING THE NEWS SO OFTEN USA kthxbai)
Spoiler: show
Trump recently wanted to lift a ban on elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe. Honestly, that's way too many conditionals in that sentence. The ban was introduced by Obama due to insufficient poaching protection and seemingly had no reason for reversal other than "I dislike Obama".

So people got mad a Trump for this. And he instantly flopped on the issue, putting it aside. I assume until he can figure out what the hell is going on.

---

Oh, and the USA is planning to designate North Korea a terrorist funding state. From what I can tell, this means little.



Australia
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Australia's general populace voted in favour of recognize same sex marriage (62% in favour). Legislation is currently before their Senate to approve it, but it appears that it's likely a done deal at this point.


Zimbabwe
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What a...fun week it's been for the nation. After what was a very blatant power grab by their leader, Robert Mugabe, by planning to pass power of the country to his wife, the military decided to revolt. Mugabe was put under house arrest.

Mugabe was a revolutionary who brought Zimbabwe out of British rule. He mostly became ruler for life with increasingly anti-democratic means. In many ways, for those of you from the USA, imagine if Washington decided to keep running as President instead of his self-imposed 2 term limit. And if he was horrible at running the USA (Zimbabwe has had to remove their own currency multiple times due to hyperinflation and has an unemployment rate of 80%).

He was brought by the military to resign once on television (to which he refused to do anything but speak about revolting). The party moved to impeach him and he subsequently resigned.

(As an aside, while the Zimbabwe government does technically limit Presidents to 2 terms of 5 years apiece, this was only added in 2013 and exempts anybody who was serving in politics previously)

The Vice President of Zimbabwe is taking over (likely). But that likely just means dictator out, new dictator in.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:52 AM   #253
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Ok kirant. Heres my opinion. Total internet anarchy. If you let this happen, the hackers are going to strike 10 times harder. When the government tookdown megaupload, I knew people who funded hacking sites on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, and I believe it is. you cannot blame a marketplace on that behalf. its like saying that someone was killed in texas, so lets shutdown texas cause its a cesspool. you cannot blame land because a crime commited there. if this crap continues however you will have a monopoly. currently you are allowed to have your own address if you pay for it, like owning land. restricting access to content via speed and the like is akin to disrupting interstate commerce which is illegal in america. i see it as similar.

net freedom, global anarchy, free states, global marketplace. capitalism - the best compromise for human behavior, people will always be stupid so account for it.

I got one for ya Kirant. A woman flipped off trump's limo and got fired, go.
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Old 11-26-2017, 10:25 PM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
If you let this happen, the hackers are going to strike 10 times harder.
While I agree that a united internet is a very angry beast indeed, a united internet is also very short lived. And that should worry anybody who's in favour of net neutrality (myself included).

You can tell the online community is already bored of it. I've stated before that a prolonged protest is much more effective than a short one and there are many signs of people just kind of...moving on with their lives.

If only people cared as much about this as they seemed to about Battlefront II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
I got one for ya Kirant. A woman flipped off trump's limo and got fired, go.
Sure. If her company feels she isn't able to effectively represent the company after such a move, that's their call. It sounds like the company has a social media policy so they used it. I've said it before and I'll say it again: freedom of action/speech doesn't mean you're free from the consequences of your action/speech.

It's a fairly typical story: people get punished for taking actions that they're restricted of in their contract. It was her call to flip off the limo, it was her call to alert her company when the story became popular, it was their call to enforce their contract. The only special part is that the limo happened to have the current President of the USA inside it.

If any part of that is incorrect, the courts can decide. But it sounds like everybody agrees to the sequence of events.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:24 AM   #255
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From McSweeney's:

HI, ITíS US, ALL THE FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRLS IN AMERICA, by Jessica M. Goldstein

"A PSA to all grown men on the face of the Earth: We do not want to have sex with you."

Unfortunately, I doubt this @$$hole will listen:
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The GOP's new logo:
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:24 AM   #256
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KC that is over the line, even for you. Are you implying that its republicans that are pedos? Liberals don't do that?

Just for that...rant time!

So a guy broke into a mosque, left a piece of bacon, smashed some windows. The guy got FIFTEEN years in prison and 15 years probation. Tell me this ISN'T a showy display to make this dude a poster child. If he killed someone and claimed temporary insanity, barked about 9/11 etc i bet he'd get 15 years. This for property damage is excessive. They call it a "hate crime"

South Park said it best when they said "all crimes are hate crimes." The guy may be a terrible person, full of hate, but this is an excessive punishment. fifteen years in prison over property damage, how bout a month of having muslims as his boss while he works off cleaning and paying for repairs, it'd save everyone money and MIGHT get him to tone down his anger. the prison sentence is gonna make him worse. Aaaand go.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:31 PM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
KC that is over the line, even for you. Are you implying that its republicans that are pedos? Liberals don't do that?
The implication appears to be that the Republicans shield them when they're accused. With increasing support for Moore in Alabama, the Republicans seem to be abandoning their claims that they'll send him to ethics investigation and are increasingly backing him. All this while more and more evidence mounts against Moore (with many cases of highly corroborated allegations being made (30+ individuals corroborating the same account accurately) and many cases of Moore being proven to have lied about no knowing the accused).

Basically, after Trump threw his unconditional support behind Moore, Republicans followed suit. Regardless if whether you believe the allegations are right or wrong, they are backing him at this point.

By contrast, Democrat Senator Al Franken was accused of arguably less (sketchy allegations of groping and sexual harassment against adult women) and has taken the step claim moral high ground over party and will resign his seat. If all politicians followed his play, then Trump would resign after a crazy number of allegations made against him.

Then again, when has moral high ground won anybody anything in DC? I'd like to see some class being introduced to politics but you guys just never seen to have it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
So a guy broke into a mosque, left a piece of bacon, smashed some windows. The guy got FIFTEEN years in prison and 15 years probation. Tell me this ISN'T a showy display to make this dude a poster child. If he killed someone and claimed temporary insanity, barked about 9/11 etc i bet he'd get 15 years. This for property damage is excessive. They call it a "hate crime"
I think it has more to do this being a non-isolated incident for Michael Wolfe. This is not an isolated crime for him. Multiple accounts of burglary and grand theft, multiple DUIs, and has spend around 3 years in jail already. Obviously the level of punishment has not led him to rethink his opinion of the law so a more severe treatment is in order.

It's clear it was a hate crime (one committed out of hate against a group). He plead no contest to that. This was to avoid having been charged with a much more serious crime (entering with a dangerous weapon - a machete).

"Temporary insanity", if accepted as a defence, would have been classified as medical and would be assigned to treatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
how bout a month of having muslims as his boss while he works off cleaning and paying for repairs
I'd be fine with a "creative" punishment for this. Ohio judge Michael Cicconetti has some of the most interesting aspects to his sentences of first time offenders because of this. He gives the option of a traditional punishment (jail, fines) or offers something that may have the guilty re-think their mindset.

Sometimes he misses the mark (too light an alternative) but his heart is in the right place. Try to get someone charged for the first time to look at their life.

For example, he sentenced an individual who stole from The Salvation Army to spend time homeless. Another who skipped out on cab fare (30 mile trip) was offered the option to walk 30 miles in 48 hours as an alternative. And, my personal favourite, he asked a teenager who deflated school bus tires to throw a picnic for children (the children having lost the chance for an outing because the bus tires were deflated).

---

So I figure the first point here won't be relevant unless you're religious or a political junkie. But the second is pretty important IMO.

Jerusalem...I swear we should let nobody own it.
Spoiler: show
So, if you're not familiar with how Israel/Palestine works, both were given half of Jerusalem when the world had the idea of making two states out of it. The hope was that the two would play together nicely and share the city as the capital.

One is Jewish, the other is Muslim. It doesn't end well as both claim the city as theirs and theirs alone.

Since then, both sides have been guilty of trying to egg on the other side. Israel had tanks attacking them within hours of becoming a country, Israel has conducted multiple invasions on their neighbours, and multiple cases of "unknown" aggressor. For the past 10-20 years, Israel has been systematically trying to push Palestinians out of Palestinian land. Palestine has responded with rockets and attacks on civilians.

So naturally, it's a powder keg and no sane politician would step into it, right? Most have decided to stay out of the issue and use Tel Aviv as the diplomatic capital of Israel.

Well, ask Trump. In a move no country outside Israel approves of, he announced plans to move the embassy of the USA from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This basically flags that the USA believes Jerusalem belongs to Israel and Israel alone.

And when I mean no country, I mean none. Nobody has their embassy in Jerusalem. The response is just as unanimous against the USA.

(Incidentally, the video of him announcing this is kind of sad as you can tell his dentures fell out halfway through the speech and he spoke with a slur ('s' becoming 'sh'). At the end, he can't even pronounce "States" properly (going with 'Shtates'))

Now, this is more complex an issue that the above might sound. The USA Congress (in overwhelming majority for both components) voted to move. Each President, from Clinton to Bush to Obama, agreed to waive it and defer for 6 months. Trump is basically just not going to renew it.

Basically, they've managed to create an issue out of nothing.


More relevant stuff - Taxes...wait. Don't go to sleep. This affects you if you live the in USA!
Spoiler: show
This is more just a "catch up" on all the tax stuff for you guys in the USA.

So, the House in the USA approved a tax bill a few weeks ago. Last Friday, the Senate did the same while the story of Michael Flynn's guilty plea was making the news.

The Senate bill was a very transparent attempt to sneak the passing through while Flynn was the key story because:
- The bill was submitted for review to Senators only a few hours before voting. And was a few hundred pages long.
- Was unsearchable (media wouldn't be able to actually scan for certain terms)
- Was hand written in large segments (see this: https://i.imgur.com/3SKqkiU.jpg . This is what your Senators were voting on)
- The Congressional Budget Office, which typically is given time to review it beforehand, only managed to release their findings while they were debating.
- Hand written edits were being made to the document while they were debating it. Until 2 AM.

There's very good reason why the above was passed while eyes were off. Many of the moves are heavily unpopular and it's more of an omnibill than a budget:
- It touches on abortion (attempts to set implicit precedent for fetal personhood)
- Attempts to gut parts of the ACA
- Most personal tax cuts are expire after 5 years as to satisfy "debt hawks" in Senate.

The bill passed, but it's very clearly an absolute train wreck.
- For this to have passed with the 51 votes that it had, they needed to call it revenue neutral (don't ask. It's too long a story). The Congressional Budget Office estimates about 1.5 trillion debt gain. The defence for it is "well, we don't think so". Yeah. It's neutral the same way Trudeau is calling our budgets will be neutral: by assume stupid numbers for cash in. I should mention that, scaled to the USA, we'd be burning about 250 billion annually...or about twice as much as the CBO estimates this one bill will cause. So look forward to spilling red ink all over if this passes entirely.

- Most depressing of all, there are loopholes in the writing because of fact that the bill was being edited by hand during debate. 1 trillion of the lost revenue above comes from decreased corporate tax. However, poorly defined parts of the bill results in 300 billion of it not coming forward. So only 70% of the voted on tax cuts to companies will come out.
-- Keep in mind, this was only found AFTER it was voted on. Way to go.

Now, the current point is that the House and Senate have very different (link here: http://dailysignal.com/wp-content/up...omparison4.jpg ). The two need to come up with a mutually agreed upon bill and re-vote on it before it's sent to Trump to sign into law (which, if it occurs in 2018, will only start impacting your tax filing in 2019).

So, yeah. Stuff to think about. A bill passed while still in the middle of writing it seems to be fundamentally broken in parts. Go figure.



------


Edit - USA, please get you s*** in order. Your President making up facts with absolutely no regard to reality is just depressing. And now it's spreading over into conversations he's having with other politicians.

tl;dr version:

Quote:
Trump: You guys have a trade surplus
Trudeau: No. You have the trade surplus. Take a look.

Later...

Trump to audience: So I checked. We have a trade deficit with Canada.

US Trade Representative website: USA has a trade surplus (USA giving more services to Canada [25 billion], USA receiving more goods like lumber and oil [13 billion]).
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trump...-him-1.3714283
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:17 AM   #258
Thane of Cawdor
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I gotta rant or i'll snap.

More crap, Trump barks about more political news crap, he called a news guy dumb. And they call it bullying. Same old crap, blah blah I know. But they're grown men, holy crap, get over it.

I am sick of this sometimes. People saying like its the worst world we live in for kids now, are you kidding?

"in a world where kids are constantly bullied on social media.."

on social media?!?! Come ON!

I was bullied in REAL life. In school, by PEOPLE. We all had it tough, and guess what? you couldn't do anything about it.

This is stupid. Turn your phone off! Bullying, no! If you are too stupid to turn your phone off you deserve it, this is the INTERNET. I have learned myself, the hard way, the internet can piss you off, yeah it can. You all know my story here. But the fact that these kids think that facebook or twitter is the real world shows that we have a massive lack of budget for education in America, cause we're getting to a dangerous level of stupid. I would have LOVED, i repeat LOVED to have bullying when I was a kid to be over the internet. "Gee, I don't wanna put up with crap today, I'll leave my phone at home, woo hoo." On the internet you have "block" or simply don't logon to that website. When I had someone I had to face in school, there was no power button to turn off, no friend to help me get a new account, no ignore list. I had no choice. And for years that's all it was. If bullying only happens over the internet, then school bullying in my opinion has 'stopped' and we succeded. Now you just need to teach kids that phone have an off button and facebook can't physically punch you in the face. This may sound like a "when I was your age" rant, but its actually true. NOT being online is an option. It was MY fault for not clicking a popup for political news and then for reading it. I knew I could have been irritated when I didn't close that window but I did it anyway. So there ya have it, model proven.

Someone post that clip from Christmas Vacation. The one with Chevy Chase complaining about his boss, screaming, then asking for the Tylenol.

Whew. I feel better.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:12 PM   #259
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I swore I hit reply yesterday. Oh well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
More crap, Trump barks about more political news crap, he called a news guy dumb.
To be fair to the news guys too, this is Trump moving the goalposts on what he wants.

Long story short for anybody who's wondering what happened:
- Trump held a rally
- Person tweeted a picture of the rally with an incredibly small crowd.
- The photo was factchecked and noted as having been taken before the rally began
- Person takes down photo
- Trump demanded an apology
- Person apologizes
- Trump demands the guy be fired

Story should have ended before that last point given Trump got exactly what he asked for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
I was bullied in REAL life. In school, by PEOPLE. We all had it tough, and guess what? you couldn't do anything about it.
First, my sympathies. As someone who was also on the receiving end of bullying in real life as well, it's no fun by any definition.

---

All the talk about Roy Moore (embattled nominee for Senate. His past career as a judge saw him suspended twice for ethical violations. He has also multiple claims against him of sexual misconduct on underaged women as well as multiple claims of racism) is kind of moot at this point from a political standpoint. The Alabama special election for Senator took place and Democrat Doug Jones won the seat with a ~1.5% lead over Moore. The vote split was very obvious:
- Moore had a ~70% of the non-secondary educated white vote (only ~55% of the white vote with secondary education)
- Jones had 90+% of the African American vote. Jones also garnered a very strong backing in Alabama's cities, gaining 60-70% typically in each major city.

As some background, Alabama is one of the deepest Republican states around. They have voted Republican in the Presidential elections since 1976 (Jimmy Carter) and haven't had a Democrat Senator since 1996 or so. During the 2016 election, the States given lower chance to flip Democrat were Oklahoma, Wyoming, West Virginia, and North Dakota.

As of right now, Moore hasn't conceded the election yet. He appears to be hoping for an automatic recount (declared if the winner is less than 0.5% ahead of the next in line) or to call one himself.

The big difference between this and previous elections, there is a dramatic shift in the voting populace. Many standard Republican counties underperformed (suggesting voters who didn't like Moore just stayed home and didn't vote) while Democrat counties overperformed (suggesting a strong desire to get out and stop Moore).

Likely, nominating plywood to run would have gotten the Republicans a seat. But they opted to nominate Roy Moore and...well...things are a lot less fun for them in Senate. A loss of 2 Senators now alongside a united opposition will terminate any bill. The marginal voters are often McCain, Flake, and Murkowski. Before, they could afford to lose two and use Pence to break the tie. Now? They can only lose one and hope to pass.

Edit -

In many ways, consider this the inverse of Trump's election. He was a statistical polling error in polling away from winning in 2016 and, guess what, he won. This time, Jones came within a statistical polling error of winning his seat and he won. These are both situations people seemed to think were impossible but, if you understand stats, are more like rolling a 1 or 2 on a 6 sided die.

(Though, and this is the amazing part to me, the fact that Jones even stood that much of a chance us pretty indicting of the current feeling people had on Moore. Alabama is as strong a Republican fort as you can get)
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:34 AM   #260
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More political bias:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...ichs-desk.html

Those who favor abortion want to ban abortions...if you know the baby will be born with down syndrome. So let me summarize. Those who favor abortions typically are more liberal biased, typically have less money (they couldn't afford birth control) so in the rare instance that a doctor says "hey, this child will cost you millions in care" now says "this kid will cost you a fortune, im pulling the abortion option off the table, enjoy the expense."

There are those who favor abortions ONLY in cases for severe birth defects (so a kid will live in like pain its whole life), something horribly terminal, and for rape victims. But now it seems those who want that option can't. I'm like what?? Here's the quote:

"Doctors who violate the ban would lose their medical license and face a fourth-degree felony charge, including up to a $5,000 fine and 18 months in prison. Mothers would not be punished by the law."

MOTHERS wouldn't be punished....wow. So its not a crime?? but...

So you call a hit man to kill an ex-wife, hitman dies, and YOU not the hitman end up getting 20 years in jail. you didn't pull the trigger, but you made the call.

In this instance, the one pulling the trigger saying 'kill the baby' is not going to jail, the trigger-puller is. Shocking. So:
You tell someone to kill a man: jailtime for murder
you tell someone to kill your 3 month old fetus: no jailtime
you tell someone to kill your 3 month old fetus with a terminal disease: no jailtime (some may call it a mercy kill?)
you tell someone to kill your 3 month old with down syndrome: no jailtime, but doctor gets jailtime for murder

KC and kirant, I do want your viewpoints on this one, and not just cause I think this time you're probably gonna agree with me

P.S. If anyone on this forum wants to screw around and cannot afford contraceptives, I will pay for them out of my pocket

Also Kirant if I may correct on biasing - The Trump election polls as I saw, a very large number were taken from colleges and government buildings, these numbers are of course going to give a democratic bias (in america, as a whole any 'government employee' or student under a public school is classed liberally as it is a government expensive, ie paid for with tax dollars, and thus teachers and lots of govt. employees tend to vote liberal in that they, as a whole, favor a government with more government programs that thus pay their paycheck.) If you averaged out the polls, more were taken in liberal polling areas thus the reason polls showed hillary winning. There's also the adage that your old conservatives don't participate in polls. i know i for one dont participate in polls. thats me telling you who im going to vote for. the only vote that counts is the one i physically cast, and i coulda lied to a poll.
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