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LexusInfernus

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About LexusInfernus

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    Rural Architect

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  1. My Take on the Catalonia Crisis

    The solution to lacking investments is not independence. Even if you gain autonomy over where to spend funds, its far more probable that at point the Catalan government is simply to poor to put meaningful investments in areas that need it. Independence is extremely expensive and economically devastating for break away regions. Historical examples are everywhere if you would care to look. Sure, so you pass a law. You think those utility companies are going to provide their services for free? It costs money and that money needs to come from somewhere. And if the customer can't pay for it and the government doesn't allow the utilities to be shut off, the government will also be the one that can pick up the bill. Does the government have that money? When they also need to invest extra money in the long list of matters that also require investment, on top of all the other things a government has to pay for? And that in a situation where the local economy has crashed because you're not part of the EU anymore. Independence is not a panacea to every local problem you have. Its far more likely to make it more difficult to solve these issues. Right or wrong has little to do with it. The EU has no army nor is it likely to approve of member states invading another member state to interfere in a civil war. Businesses will simply move away. They are not permanently tied to Catalonia. Sure, it will be annoying and cost money, but moving is still much simpler and cheaper than staying and having to deal with the fact that they are no longer inside the internal market. And tourism will get hit if Barcelona is no longer part of the EU and even more so if the situation escalates to something of a violent conflict. In any case, less flights to Barcelona. Those businesses are far more likely to simply move to Spain. Sure, Spain gets hit, but Catalonia gets hit infinitely harder. And Spain has historically been against supporting break away regions and separatist movements. I find it highly unlikely that they will be fine with granting Catalonia access to the EU if it breaks away successfully. They are more likely to block every attempt to join on principle and out of spite. And the EU has so far made it pretty clear that they do not see a future for an independent Catalonia joining the EU as a member. So ignore all the signs of impending disaster at your own peril.
  2. My Take on the Catalonia Crisis

    'They' didn't block the referendum, a court did. Because the Spanish laws say you can't have a referendum about separatism. But sure, 'they' did what they did for their own political agendas and I criticize them for that. What they did was stupid, short sighted and weakens Spain as a whole. Governments aren't elected by a referendum and general elections aren't a yes or no question. On top of that, those governments are still part of coalitions meaning they aren't governing on their own. In either case, you do not proceed with such far reaching procedure as declaring yourself independent unless you have gotten an absolute majority of all the possible votes. 36 or 38%, its still a minority that voted for independence. Puigdemont knows did and he ignored it while simultaneously pretending that he got an overwhelming vote in favor of independence. He ignored more than 60% of his constituents and as a result shown he cares as little about democracy as he accesses Spain of doing. Thats happening everywhere in Europe under the guise of increasing public security. Spain isn't really unique in this, though its good that such laws get taken to the European Courts. A state build by corrupt politicians serving their own interests will inevitably turn out to be corrupt as well. Corruption breeds more corruption, independence does nothing to change that. Its only a chance for the corrupt to get an even bigger slice of the pie. And you think independence will magically make the trains run on time? Or prevent power companies from shutting down the heat on those who are late on their payments? Are Catalans really that naive? What do you think will happen if Catalonia presses on with this independence business against the wishes of Spain? Spain will have to escalate against Catalonia, the damage increases, a civil war erupts and the region gets devastated. Catalonia wins, but with most of its infrastructure damaged and most of its businesses moved out, its now a piss poor economically deprived region. It will take decades to rebuild. Or in a slightly more positive scenario, Spain is forced to accept Catalonia's independence but being angry over this block access to the EU and put import taxes on everything from Catalonia. Businesses still move away because they want access to the EU's internal market, leaving Catalonia still in poor shape. From being one of the richest areas in Spain, they go right to being poor. And when all the Catalans are poor because businesses have moved away, who will pay the utility bills? The government that is poor as well because no one can afford to pay taxes and everyone requires unemployment benefits? And will the trains run on time? I don't know, trains aren't run by the government and I think the average Catalan has bigger worries at that point. Catalonia is infinitely better off as part of Spain and pushing for more regional autonomy.
  3. Show us your rural scenes!

    I've been playing some SC4 again and I thought I'd share a pic with what I've been working on
  4. My Take on the Catalonia Crisis

    As I said, Spain has issues. But despite that, its still a functioning democracy based on the rule of law. Its not some third rate authoritarian autocracy, civil liberties are not at stake and its not slipping away into autocracy like Poland and Hungary are. Yes, there is corruption and yes that needs to be tackled. But Catalan independence is not a solution to that problem, despite of what some Catalan nationalists claim. It also means that Catalan nationalists cannot ignore the Spanish court when it says the referendum is illegal. Or well, they can pretend to ignore it, but no one else will accept that kind of logic. No it does not. It absolutely does not when that new country is being build by individuals who are as corrupt as their Spanish counterparts. Building a new country will only ensure that their corrupt interests will be safe guarded and ignored by the public who is to busy being fervently nationalistic. Nationalism like this tends to overrule logic and reason and shut down peoples ability to critically examine the situation in favor of blind patriotism. Let me be absolutely clear, Catalan independence will bring the average Catalan nothing but a fuzzy feeling for a few weeks. After that, they will find they are broke, bankrupt and poorer than they were before, while the same corrupt politicians are calling the shots and raking in the cash. They are selling you an air castle, a dream, an illusion and most of all, a lie. The average Catalan will not benefit from independence, the only ones benefiting will be the corrupt nationalist politicians. Again, look to former Yugoslavia to see what awaits Catalonia if it becomes independent. And the rest of Spain will suffer from it as well. Short term benefits against long term severe losses. Again, the current course will only weaken everyone involved. I'm sorry but your beliefs clash with reality. That referendum was a farce by every objectively measurable standard. It was declared illegal by an internationally recognized and accepted court and only a minority showed up to vote. And while that minority voted for independence, they only represent about 36% of the Catalan population. If they want to base their revolution on what 36% of the people want and say its the will of the people, they are lying through their teeth and mocking real democracy in the process. Also, I fully agree with @_Michael in the sense that I believe Catalonia deserves more autonomy. But thats different from independence and it needs to be gained through negotiations and political compromise with Spain. In that sense, I criticize the fact that Spain did not do more to give Catalonia the promised autonomy and let it get scrapped by a Spanish court.
  5. My Take on the Catalonia Crisis

    Really? One is a state that has slipped into a dictatorship and where lawlessness and corruption are the norm, the other is a wealthy region that basically is throwing a fit over having to pay for the poor people in other regions, and then organized an illegal referendum and made a mockery of democracy. Lets be clear here, comparing Venezuela and Catalonia is like comparing apples with cars, two completely different things. Spain has issues, no doubt. There is corruption, sure, and it still has issues from its past it needs to deal with. But its also a modern democracy, one where the rule of law is for the most part dominant. Catalans whining about the oppression from the Spanish national government is comparable to Americans whining about government tyranny because they can't buy a heavy machine gun without passing a background check. Eh no it won't. Even if they win independence in the end, they will end up with a region that is economically deprived. Because businesses surprisingly don't like to settle in an active warzone and when the war is over, infrastructure is too damaged to be interesting to invest in. Look at the Balkans if you want to see what a fight for independence does to your economy. Also, ask them how they feel about their independence and if it was worth all the suffering and poverty. Lets be real here. Catalonia's claims for independence are stupid nonsense. Aside from its illegality, that referendum was a farce, and any claims of legitimacy based on that referendum are an insult to democracy. To claim that the people have spoken in favor of independence when only 40% has voted is a disgusting joke. Spain is absolutely right to go after the idiots that organized it and try them for treason, they absolutely deserve it. As for the Catalan people, are they really so gullible to buy all this independence nonsense as being little more than a cynical distraction by local politicians to get the voters to ignore their corruption? Sure, the Spanish government has corruption issues, but the Catalan regional government isn't any better. And Rajoy, shame on him. Both for letting it get this far, for botching the whole referendum business and for his unwillingness to find a more acceptable middle ground. He should have never send the police to try and stop the referendum. That move should have cost him his job for incompetence. And then the handling of the aftermath, for shame. I suspect his handling of this whole situation has also been little more than a distraction from his failing policies in Spain and the corruption within his own party. This whole situation is sad because it would have been so easy to avoid and only weakens Spain and Catalonia as a whole. No one wins from this except a few individual politicians pursuing their individual agenda's. To bad that now that peoples passions are so riled up, the people who profit from this disaster won't get caught.
  6. World Affairs

    Its not a matter of survival, its a matter of how Americans look at each other. And more importantly, how they look at other points of view. Democracy can only work when all sides are willing to work together through compromise. But in todays politics, compromise is seen as weakness, as working with 'the enemy'. Its become all or nothing, either you get what you want or you burn the house to the ground. Its why people like Ted Cruz get all giddy and excited when they get the chance to shut the government down, because its a way of showing that they are absolutely not gonna compromise. This all or nothing approach is fed by an electorate that thinks in us vs them terms. Its liberals against conservatives, democrats against republicans. This makes compromise impossible because doing that is essentially betraying your own voter base, and if you are compromising, its all to easy for rivals to paint you as being weak and ready to give 'the other side' what they want. That costs politicians their job and since they all love their job, they are unwilling to appear 'weak'. So you get a dysfunctional political system where nothing gets done and everything that does get done gets reversed as soon as the other side gains the temporary advantage, this again feeds into the us vs them narrative in the electorate. And as the us vs them narrative gets stronger and more dominant each day, Americans will have trouble looking at their neighbors and seeing them as Americans first. Where it used to be that Democrats and Republicans could live next to each other and respect each others differences because in the end they are both American citizens, they will now start to see 'the other'. The enemy. The root cause of all thats bad in America. Democrats see a bunch of racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, science denying, bible thumping, ignorant, corporate stooge, poor hating rednecks when they look at Republicans. Republicans see a bunch of America hating, preachy, arrogant, godless, welfare dependent, immoral, tree hugging, weak, whiny professional victims when they look at Democrats. Both sides think of each other as a danger to the safety and prosperity of America. And because of that, its very plausible that if things don't get turned around, one side decides in the not so far away future that its best if they got rid of the other side. Or one side starts to think the other side is plotting against them and decide they have to act first. Conservatives have already alluded to 'second amendement remedies' and the NRA commercials aren't exactly subtle when it comes to who they see as the problem in the United States. And on left leaning sites and forums, you see more and more comments that show the users don't really see Democrats and Republicans as compatible with each other in the same nation. And with a president that actively stirs up racial resentment, that actively promotes the us vs them narrative, how long until comments turn into action? How long before the people now just talking about wanting to get rid of the other side actually pick up a gun or get into their car and put their threats into action? Don't forget, we already had a Dylan Roof and that fascist that plowed his car into a crowd of people. And on the other side we already saw a bunch of people attacking 'white people' because of racial resentment. These people did what they did exactly because they have so completely bought into the us vs them narrative that they decided the other side has to go. Sure, for now its lone acts of terrorism and hate crime. But they could just be the vanguard of what is to come. The US is slowly turning into a powder keg and if things don't change, that powder keg will be filled to the brim and then set alight.
  7. World Affairs

    If Trump somehow manages to pass all the legislation he wants, he will no doubt hurt his voter base. And then he will deflect all blame onto the Democrats while also stirring up more racial resentment. Because thats how Republicans have done it for decades and thats how Republicans have gotten away with screwing over their own voter base for decades. There is no hope to be had there. Besides, with no viable Democratic alternative, its much more likely that voters simply replace Republicans with even more extreme Republicans. Yes, and normally it gets taken into account that a democracy elects someone who is not ideal to the position of ultimate leadership of a country. But electing someone who is so unhinged, who is so utterly unqualified on every conceivable level and that despite the fact that this was obvious to almost everyone outside the United States, points to a systemic problem within the United States. A normal, functional democracy does not allow this to happen, there would be to many institutional checks and balances that would make it impossible for someone like Trump to get elected. Yet it did happen and that means that not just the current administration is unreliable, ALL future administrations have become inherently unreliable. The assumption that American democracy will produce a reasonable president has been proven incorrect. And because of that, we can no longer make safe deals with the United States. From now on, each administration will first have to prove that they are not unreliable idiots before we make a deal with them and we will now always have to keep in mind that whatever deal we make, it could be swept off the table as soon as the next president takes over. The US government is from this point forward an unreliable and uncertain long term investment. The fact that New York and California are now both actively looking to make international deals on their own and pursue their own national and international policy is writing on the wall. If the US federal government doesn't get its act together soon, the US will have a hard time keeping the union together.
  8. World Affairs

    Actually no. Trump has made the world less safe. Because Trump is constantly demonstrating that he is not someone you can make a deal with and trust him to uphold his end of said deal. Iran made a deal, Iran is complying to the terms of the deal, yet under Trump, the US is ready to drop the deal. The world made a deal about climate change, the world is trying to uphold its end of the deal. Yet Trump thinks the deal is dumb and does away with it. The US is no longer the trustworthy businesspartner it once was. You can't make a deal with them anymore. Because Trump and the Republicans in general have demonstrated that they have no qualms with dishonoring every deal or law their predecessor has made. Trump has started a trend where each new president will spend the first few months of their term in office to demolish whatever the previous guy made. Including international deals and treaties. On top of all that, the US itself is no longer safe or stable. Trump has given voice to people who should have remained without a voice. In doing so, he is further polarizing the country. The more the US becomes a state of opposites, the more dysfunctional their governance becomes which feeds into the polarization of society. At some point, Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Progressives will no longer be able to live together in the same nation. Then its only a matter of time before one side decides that having the other side around becomes unacceptable and that they need to be purged. A second Civil War is becoming a more likely scenario each day with Trump in office. The possibility of the US falling apart into several smaller states is also a more realistic scenario.
  9. Industries of Titan

    That looks really cool! I've put it on my wishlist on Steam
  10. President Donald Trump and his Administration

    Yes, its probably possible that every statue ever made offends at least one person. But just because you get offended over something doesn't mean you got a cause. Not all criticisms over statues are equal simply because they are criticisms. Some types of criticism carry more weight and have a much better and stronger cause than others. And people going after statues that revise history, downplay the fact a war was fought over slavery and praise the side that was pro slavery and explicitly racist? Yeah, hard to find a stronger cause. So, do not equate a person disliking the Statue of Liberty because they hate freedom with someone hating a revisionist statue of General Lee. Those are two completely different leagues.
  11. President Donald Trump and his Administration

    As a rule, I do not support violence against people I disagree with, but that has its limits. Groups that advocate violence against other people that disagree with their views for example. And make no mistake, the radical right advocates exactly that. They are on par with groups like ISIS in terms of their lack of morality. If they believed they could get away with it, they too would be gruesomely murdering their enemies and post sickening videos of it on the internet. So yeah, I do not particularly care if nazis at a protest get beaten up. The legally arranged protest was declared illegal after the first night so if anything the police should have been tear gassing them and shooting them with rubber bullets. And for once the police showed restraint. If this had been a BLM protest, they would have forcibly dispersed the protest. But perhaps that is because BLM protesters are generally unarmed so its safe to shoot them with rubber bullets. These nazis were openly waving their guns around, so perhaps the police was afraid that if they intervened with force, those idiots would lose their cool and started gunning down police officers. That would be a first, the police being afraid for their lives and not using that excuse to gun people down. White supremacy belongs in the gutter, so throwing it there is just natural. The allies used brute force to bring the fascist beast down in the Second World War. Does that mean that the allies were just as bad as the Nazis they fought? Currently the coalition is using brute force to destroy ISIS. Does that mean that the people who shoot ISIS soldiers are just as bad as the ISIS soldiers? Of course not, that is completely removing every bit of context from the conflict. The allies occupy the moral high ground even when they firebombed Dresden and Tokyo. Why? Because they were fighting people that started the war, that devised genocide on an industrial scale, that ran horrible experiments on living human beings and that propagated an ideology that excused, justified or even praised the atrocities they committed. If people think that the Nazis are Allies were equally morally bankrupt then I question their understanding of morality. And while certainly some of the factions fighting against ISIS are morally just as bankrupt as ISIS, its not because they are killing ISIS soldiers. And the Western members of the Coalition against ISIS do occupy the moral high ground. Why? Because again, they are fighting people that started a war, gleefully and sadistically murder innocent people for the most trivial reasons, revel in their barbarity by posting their snuff porn all over the internet, run a highly organised sex slave ring, destroy the regions history and hold hundreds of thousands of innocent people hostage. America has to sink extremely low before they are morally on par with ISIS. Motive and context matters when examining morality. It is simply not enough to do a superficial comparison of methods when examining the morality of two fighting parties. I always found that form of pacifism, where non violence is turned into a point of misplaced pride to be morally bankrupt. These pacifists are fine with millions of people getting butchered by people who do not give a damn about morality, just so they don't have to get their hands dirty. Their pride is more important to them than the lives of other people. Obviously its better to try and resolve a conflict peacefully. But for those who value peace, its also an undeniably reality that the choice for war is not one they can make. There are those who don't care enough for peace or who don't mind war as a way to get what they want. These people decide whether there will be peace or not, so as the saying goes, if you want peace, prepare for war. Well, the fact that this hypothetical church doesn't organize events or protests that promote their homophobic bigotry makes all the difference. You'll note that Nazis are free to hold their little gatherings on private property as well and that generally no counter protesters show up to disturb those. And if antifas show up to raid a nazis private property I wouldn't support them on that, just like I wouldn't support protesters to raid the homophobic church. And if they do organize a non violent protest, well a non violent counter protest would be the best counter to that. But should they threaten or begin a fight with the counter protesters, well the counter protesters can and should fight back. I agree, I find the American liberal focus on the idea that everyone who voted Trump is a racist a dumb oversimplification, and it makes me worry that the democrats and American liberals in general will learn nothing from their defeat. I think its a symptom of the ever increasing divide between left and right and the have's and have not's in America. It represents an inability and unwillingness to listen and empathize to the other side and to reach a compromise. Instead each side just creates their own narrative that sits comfortable with them, and less and less people are willing to look at the other side as 'also Americans'. If this trend continues and each side dehumanizes the other side more and more, another civil war will be inevitable and America will break apart. Alright, little thought experiment. Say that this protest wasn't organized by Nazis and White Supremacists, but by Jihadists. Imagine if there was this group of guys with long beards, and dresses, some of them heavily armed, waving the ISIS flag, protesting against the US's fight against ISIS and arguing that infidels should be killed or forcibly converted. Would anyone argue that Jihadists should be allowed to organize a protest like that? And then one of them got in a car and plowed into a group of counter protesters, you think the police wouldn't have arrested everyone at the protest, shot everyone who resisted and have them all tried for 'terrorist activities'? And who would blame them, that would be common sense. But no, these guys are white people so they get treated with gloves on even if they are from the white peoples equivalency of ISIS. No, I don't think it would end racism or stop these hate groups. But they would be on the margins of society and completely powerless. That is sufficient. How hard is it for the president of the United States to condemn Nazis and White Supremacists? Well, pretty hard apparantly because Trump couldn't do it. It took him days and only then he basically placed equal blame on counter protesters. Obviously Trump can't openly endorse Nazis and White Supremacist, but what he did is about as close you can get as a politician. And the Nazis certainly got the message, accepting that Trump just basically endorsed what they just did.
  12. President Donald Trump and his Administration

    You assume that both sides are equal, that there is some level of parity between them. They are not. There is no parity. One side is hateful scum, the other side is anti hateful scum. One side advocates, supports, promotes and justifies violence against people because they aren't white, the other side is against the group that advocates, supports, promotes and justifies violence against people because they aren't white. If the nation is a human body, then White Supremacists and nazis are a deadly virus and everyone who counter protests them the White blood cells and anti-bodies that protect the body from harm. There is no equivalency between the two. And what part of this protest gave you the idea that it was illegal to be a racist in the US? The part where the police lined up against the heavily armed neo nazis and absolutely butchered them because they posed a clear threat to the public safety of everyone? Or how about the part where they promptly shot every nazi beating up a black guy with poles in a parking lot? Oh right...they only do that when the protesters are black and unarmed. Sorry, but every moment that protest went on without the police wiping the floor with them just proved how much it is still legal to be a disgusting racist in America. It's not, but nazis are about the closest thing to an exception to that rule. Mostly because they themselves are vocal advocates of suspending that rule. Where were they? Never heard of the birther movement spearheaded by the current president? Or Fox News? And those were just the mainstream racists. No one is telling these White Supremacists its against the law to believe what they believe. Because there are no laws that say such a thing. And you seem to be confusing freedom of speech with freedom from criticism. Freedom of speech simply means the government can't tell you what to say and what not to say. It means that if Nazis hold a protest, the police can't just gun down everyone at that protest because they are nazis. It means the government can't use violence against you because you proclaim to believe certain things. However, freedom of speech does not mean that other people can't vehemently disagree with what you are saying. In fact, freedom of speech means that those people have as much right to tell these Nazis to sod off as those Nazis have to hold their little gatherings. And there are a lot of people in America who believe Nazis are utterly disgusting racists and who wish to make it absolutely clear to everybody that they do not support the views that these White Supremacists hold. That is Free Speech too.
  13. World Affairs

    The theory is not actually mutually exclusive to the practice. Punching above your weight in this context just means punching above your weight in military terms. In case of a hot war, using nuclear weapons at your disposal allows you to inflict much more damage and casualties on your victim. The fact that its a suicidal move is irrelevant, you still would have done more damage to your enemy than you would have if you didn't have nukes. As for the practice, sorry but there is no evidence to support that claim. Only a handful of countries have nukes. The United States, Russia, China, France, the UK, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Of those countries, I would only classify Pakistan and North Korea as 'small' in terms of power and relative military capabilities. So far neither have had an open conflict that was the result of their nuclear ambitions and whatever hostilities they engaged in where there long before they ever got their hands on a nuke. So far, no nation with nuclear weapons has been defeated in open conflict, if North Korea falls it will be a historical first. Hell, even the amount of open conflicts involving nuclear powers are pretty minimal. Only the US and Russia have really gotten into open conflicts with other nations, all of which did not have nuclear weapons, and all of those conflicts were relatively low intensity conflicts. And while there have been more nations who tried to develop a nuclear weapon themselves, all of them have stopped after being persuaded by either peaceful talks or economic sanctions. Not war. As for North Korea being no threat, meh. Rationally they shouldn't be because self preservation demands deescalation. But this isn't a rational world and nuclear weapons are a huge risk due to their destructive power. So don't be to quick to dismiss this as a non threat. Furthermore, Kim constantly needs to one up himself to get the world to pay attention to him. He walks a very thin tightrope and it is not inconceivable that one day he misses a step....
  14. Simtropolis 9.0 Site Upgrade

    Just wanted to say I like the new look! Very stylish
  15. Money and Circuses

    Or watch womens soccer. None of them trip over their feet only so they can demand a penalty. Hell, during the match between Belgium and the Netherlands two ladies bumped heads, and instead of wussing out they just got some bandages and played on like pro's. Though the absolutely insane amounts of money that switch hands in these transfers does beg the question to what degree society should pay up for the costs of it. Who exactly is paying for a new stadium? And who pays for all the police that are present to secure these matches? Are it the clubs or the government and by extension, the tax payer.
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