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Ben Uticone
It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

Ben's posts

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Acknowledgment to +Furr Bear for bringing this one to my attention.

There's a method to the madness of hate talk radio. It's difficult to inspire genuine die-hard loyalty to a political party. And to get people to turn out to the polls in droves usually takes an ultra-charismatic leader like JFK or an urgent national crisis like the Great Depression or Vietnam War, either of which tend to be a once-a-generation sort of thing.

But if you go at it from the opposite direction, you don't need to make the voters like you. If you reduce politics to primitive tribalism and convince people that the "other" is so bad that the good of the country demands that they be utterly destroyed they'll head to the polls just to vote against the other side, regardless of whether they particularly like their own party.

And of course, in our poorly designed, winner-take-all two party system that's a viable, and in fact highly effective strategy. I see the horrifying genius of it every time I read virtually anything on right wing social media. The hatred of liberals and democrats that drips from every word, the delusional ideas about liberal Americans' desire for the destruction of America and all it stands for, the contempt in which they hold all who do not share their views is exaggerated beyond all rational proportion. Far less often, but still too often, I see it on the left as well.

That's why the Republican party, long bereft of ideas and utterly unable to lead in any meaningful way continues to enjoy electoral success. They are terrible at governing but they are masterful at inciting hatred toward their opposition.

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Of all of the members of the von Clownstick administration it's hard to think of one more vile than this racist, draconian piece of shit. Jeff Sessions is a dangerous old coot who can't tell the difference between justice and oppression, and men like him have no business near the levers of power in a civilized, enlightened society.

No one can tell me that at the heart of the fight over illegal immigration there isn't a festering well of racism. No, it isn't just about enforcing the law.

In this country there are two very important principles that are expressed in the way our laws are written and enforced. The first is the principle of proportionality. We don't send people to prison for twenty years for speeding. We don't execute a guy for stealing a candy bar. The punishment should fit the crime.

The second principle is timeliness. We have statutes of limitations in this country to ensure a fair trial so that evidence, whether physical or from memory as with eyewitness testimony, hasn't had a chance to deteriorate over long time spans. It's also a form of mercy which, despite what some fanatics might say, is an indispensable part of justice, whereby a person who committed a crime long ago but has lived lawfully ever since need not have their life destroyed over a past indiscretion. There are exceptions of course, but only for the most heinous of crimes such as murder or in some states sex crimes against minors.

There is such human ugliness on display in this debate. To hear my fellow Americans seriously argue that a man who illegally entered this country twenty years ago, started his own business here, paid taxes all that time, married and had children and never committed any other crime should be deported is simply incomprehensible to me. To hear someone seriously argue that that single crime merits breaking up his family and his community, destroying his business, and exiling him from his home where he has lived lawfully and contributed dutifully for twenty years cannot be accounted for, in any other way that I can see, than base, unenlightened racism.

I cannot believe that deportation is an appropriately severe punishment for illegally crossing the border in all cases, regardless of the circumstances, and I will not believe that such a violation is morally on par with murder and child rape, justifying prosecution of these crimes years, even decades later. To argue that breaking the law in that way merits such a punishment is to advocate for enforcing the letter of the law in a way that completely flies in the face of its spirit.


Spoiler alert: You die at the end.

I cheer for the fall of Obamacare and the rise of whatever giveaway to the rich the GOP will create to replace it. I welcome all the suffering and dying that will come of it. If this is what it takes to open the eyes of millions of willfully ignorant Fox News watching shit-kickers then so be it.

This Week In Gaming: No electricity involved edition

This weekend was Arcon 16 and I had an amazing time. Good time with friends is always fun and the gaming was great. Here are some of the highlights.

DC Deck Building - One of my favorite card games of all time and easily the one I've spent the most time and money on. I played at least four games of it and on the final one I won a $10 Amazon gift card. Nice.

Biblios - Easy, quick and fun. It's a good game to have with you at events like this because if you find yourself with a spare 30 minutes waiting for friends to finish up their own game and can find someone else to join you it's a great way to kill that time.

Dead of Winter - Co-op zombie survival game. I enjoyed my first play-through. I'd like a chance to play some more of this one some time. With a better working knowledge of the game and a variety of scenarios to play out I bet this one has some staying power.

Mysterium - A really unique co-operative mystery solving game, like Clue but with psychics. The system by which you gain your clues is really subjective and vague, but intentionally so, given that you're psychics receiving ethereal visions rather than a detective searching for actual clues. The game had some interesting mechanics.

Dresden Files - Of everything I played this one was the least fun, though still certainly fun. I think that my lack of familiarity with the source material detracted from my enjoyment. My grasp of the game mechanics as well as the world in which the game took place was only ever loose at best.

Secret Hitler - The absolute highlight of the weekend. Holy shit this game is fun, especially with a large group. The strategy of the game is incredibly subtle and complex, but not from the rules of the game. The game mechanic is remarkably simple, but the social interactions; deflecting suspicion, trying to influence other players, sussing out who presents the real threat, is intense and just so much damned fun. Gold star!

This Week In Gaming

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Beaten. Great game. It won a spot on my favorites list and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel, which I believe comes out soon.

Hatred - Beaten. Meh. OK shooter. Kind of like a skinny kid who dresses up in ill fitting punk garb to try to look tough but you know he'd fold at the first punch. This game was all style and little substance.

Styx: Master of Shadows - I've only dipped my toe into this one but I like it so far. I enjoy a good stealth crawler and if the sense of humor holds up I'll enjoy this one.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Only done the first section so far. It would be cliche to call it a God of War clone but there's really no other comparison. I just hope it turns out to be a good God of War clone.

Far Cry 3 - Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity? Brilliant open world shooter with RPG elements. Love. This. Game. Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Given that it's been assigned a release date only about a month away and given how much I enjoyed the first game and given that it's garnering great reviews already and given that the final price point has been set $10 higher than its current price I've violated my usual rule and purchased Endless Space 2 while it's still in early access. We'll see... 

People around the world wonder how it could be that the president of the United States is Donald Trump who raped and killed a girl in 1990. They ask, "Why would the American people elect Donald Trump, who raped and killed a girl in 1990?"

Well, first of all, it's not true. It's not true that


So if you have any proof that Donald Trump raped and killed a girl in 1990 stop gossiping and go right to the police with it.

Family. Chicken. Bourbon. Texas. :)
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