okay so obviously neji is Strong and like a really good fighter and whatever but i’m here to offer you: neji cannot take a hit (naruto literally punches him like once and he can’t move) and cannot punch to save his life (his fighting style is very slap based). if he were ever to be in a normie fight where he couldn’t use gentle fist he would lose in 0.1 seconds
1. Is this a person who always puts you down? A friend is someone who accepts you as you are – and allows you to be different, and to think for yourself, and to make your own decisions – without an explanation. However, if a person is demeaning or always puts you down, criticises your opinions, or the way you dress or look, then that’s someone to avoid as they’re a toxic friend.
2. Do they gossip about you? A friend is someone you can totally trust. You can share your deepest secrets, and say what’s on your mind – and they won’t tell a person or betray your trust. However, if you always have to watch what you say around a friend as they’re likely to gossip or let something slip then it’s likely that this person is a toxic friend.
3. Do they constantly mock and make fun of you? A bit of gentle ribbing shows affection between friends. But if they’re always making fun of you, or highlighting your faults, or attacking you in public, then they’re not a genuine friend.
4. How do you feel after being with your friend? Think about your answers to the following:
- Do you feel defensive when you spend time with them?
- Do you feel hurt or upset after spending time with them?
- Do you feel as if you always have to justify yourself instead of being “natural” around your friend?
- Do you enjoy their company or do you feel ambivalent?
- Do they undermine your confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you feel attacked and used after spending time with them?
- Does the friendship feel unbalanced and require a lot of work?
- Is it more a competition than a genuine friendship?
Note: If you recognize the signs of a toxic friend, then it’s time to move on and find a different friend. Being with this individual will wreak your happiness.
Can we take a second to appreciate how Nicole stands up for herself when Gooverly does something she’s not comfortable with like she doesn’t let her girlfriend walk all over her just because she loves her.
Black dragon that is obsessed with death and destruction, quick to anger. Active mostly at night, has poison breath and usually lives in swamp areas. Has slimy scales and appears skeletal and corpse like. A sign of death and appears when a sick person is about to pass.
Pale yellow dragon. Herbivore, but will not hesitate to kill an evil human. They are the primary protector of women and children. Can be the size of a Golden Retriever, are useful in the household and are peaceful. Breathes a universal medicine that smells like lemons and loves people and shiny objects.
Green forest dragon. Highly intelligent dragon, can communicate with humans. Similar to the snake in Garden of Eden, it is cunning and malevolent. Breathes chlorine gas and has horns atop his head to be able to disguise themselves.
Silver dragon. The most sensitive dragon and the savior of the wounded, homeless, and helpless. They have mercury blood and breath, making it poisonous to inhale and touch, but their scales are often used in healing creams that they create.
Holographic dragon that is blinding to the eye, this is their primary defensive trait. They spend lots of time luxuriating on their own and live with a few others of their kind. Known for attacking other dragons and has arsenic laced breath.
White snow dragon. Intelligent but hermit dragon, very afraid of human. Has frostbite breath. Blends in with snow and preys on larger mammals and lone humans. Dislikes include sunlight. Their scales are water repellant.
Bronze dragons. Obsessed with humans and their culture. Lives close to the ocean and has extremely hot, lava like breath. Known for killing tyrants and criminals, similar to the Blue Dragon. Has a human-like sense of good and evil.
Purple exotic dragon. First bred in Asia, these dragons are the most mysterious. Scales regularly shed and are used in making perfumes and sex oils. Breathes a sedative gas to knock out people, then torture and eat them. They are beautiful, but if you see them, you will be dead very soon.
Gold dragons. Lives in villages and is a defender of the common good. Has been known to eat criminals or bad town leaders. Sometimes leaves villages to go on quests to help others. Has catfish whiskers and each of their scales is worth millions of dollars. Breathes blue fire.
Red dragon that guards jewelry, gold, and other precious gems. Carnivorous and has a forked, long tongue like a snake. Found by volcanoes and medieval castles. Villages sacrifice young virgins to them. Breathes fire. Can be ridden into battle by someone worthy.
Blue desert dragon. Tends to attack humans that are greedy, vain, or have committed a heinous crime. Causes sandstorms by flapping their enormous wings. Breathes fire and dust particles. Although it lives in the desert, it spends its time admiring its reflection at an oasis.
Water, shapeshifting dragon. Can be as long as 100 meters, or as small as a nurse shark as needed. Spends lots of time lurking on the ocean floor and admiring the way the water catches the sunlight. Breathes boiling water and scales are freezing to the touch. Peaceful, eats mostly krill. Responsible for the foam that is often found on shorelines.
In clear contrast to the A-10, the F-35 is an ill-starred undertaking that would have been on the front pages as often as other botched federal projects, from the Obamacare rollout to the FEMA response after Hurricane Katrina, if, like those others, it either seemed to affect a broad class of people or could easily be shown on TV—or if so many politicians didn’t have a stake in protecting it. One measure of the gap in coverage: Total taxpayer losses in the failed Solyndra solar-energy program might come, at their most dire estimate, to some $800 million. Total cost overruns, losses through fraud, and other damage to the taxpayer from the F-35 project are perhaps 100 times that great, yet the “Solyndra scandal” is known to probably 100 times as many people as the travails of the F-35. Here’s another yardstick: the all-in costs of this airplane are now estimated to be as much as $1.5 trillion, or a low-end estimate of the entire Iraq War.
The condensed version of this plane’s tragedy is that a project meant to correct some of the Pentagon’s deepest problems in designing and paying for weapons has in fact worsened and come to exemplify them. An aircraft that was intended to be inexpensive, adaptable, and reliable has become the most expensive in history, and among the hardest to keep out of the shop. The federal official who made the project a symbol of a new, transparent, rigorously data-dependent approach to awarding contracts ended up serving time in federal prison for corruption involving projects with Boeing. (Boeing’s chief financial officer also did time in prison.) For the record, the Pentagon and the lead contractors stoutly defend the plane and say that its teething problems will be over soon—and that anyway, it is the plane of the future, and the A-10 is an aging relic of the past. (We have posted reports here on the A-10, pro and con, so you can see whether you are convinced.)
In theory, the F-35 would show common purpose among the military services, since the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps would all get their own custom-tailored versions of the plane. In fact, a plane designed to do many contradictory things—to be strong enough to survive Navy aircraft-carrier landings, yet light and maneuverable enough to excel as an Air Force dogfighter, and meanwhile able to take off and land straight up and down, like a helicopter, to reach marines in tight combat circumstances—has unsurprisingly done none of them as well as promised. In theory, the F-35 was meant to knit U.S. allies together, since other countries would buy it as their mainstay airplane and in turn would get part of the contracting business. In fact, the delays, cost overruns, and mechanical problems of the airplane have made it a contentious political issue in customer countries from Canada and Holland to Italy and Australia.
The country where the airplane has least been a public issue is the United States. In their 2012 debates, Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama for supporting “green energy” projects, including Solyndra. Neither man mentioned the F-35, and I am still looking for evidence that President Obama has talked about it in any of his speeches. In other countries, the F-35 can be cast as another annoying American intrusion. Here, it is protected by supplier contracts that have been spread as broadly as possible.
“Political engineering,” a term popularized by a young Pentagon analyst named Chuck Spinney in the 1970s, is pork-barrel politics on the grandest scale. Cost overruns sound bad if someone else is getting the extra money. They can be good if they are creating business for your company or jobs in your congressional district. Political engineering is the art of spreading a military project to as many congressional districts as possible, and thus maximizing the number of members of Congress who feel that if they cut off funding, they’d be hurting themselves.
A $10 million parts contract in one congressional district builds one representative’s support. Two $5 million contracts in two districts are twice as good, and better all around would be three contracts at $3 million apiece. Every participant in the military-contracting process understands this logic: the prime contractors who parcel out supply deals around the country, the military’s procurement officers who divide work among contractors, the politicians who vote up or down on the results. In the late 1980s, a coalition of so-called cheap hawks in Congress tried to cut funding for the B-2 bomber. They got nowhere after it became clear that work for the project was being carried out in 46 states and no fewer than 383 congressional districts (of 435 total). The difference between then and now is that in 1989, Northrop, the main contractor for the plane, had to release previously classified data to demonstrate how broadly the dollars were being spread.
Whatever its technical challenges, the F-35 is a triumph of political engineering, and on a global scale. For a piquant illustration of the difference that political engineering can make, consider the case of Bernie Sanders—former Socialist mayor of Burlington, current Independent senator from Vermont, possible candidate from the left in the next presidential race. In principle, he thinks the F-35 is a bad choice. After one of the planes caught fire last summer on a runway in Florida, Sanders told a reporter that the program had been “incredibly wasteful.” Yet Sanders, with the rest of Vermont’s mainly left-leaning political establishment, has fought hard to get an F-35 unit assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard in Burlington, and to dissuade neighborhood groups there who think the planes will be too noisy and dangerous. “For better or worse, [the F-35] is the plane of record right now,” Sanders told a local reporter after the runway fire last year, “and it is not gonna be discarded. That’s the reality.” It’s going to be somewhere, so why not here? As Vermont goes, so goes the nation.
… You still don’t understand. You don’t understand there’s a difference between military spending and defense spending. Just because you spend a billion dollars on an embassy in Baghdad bigger than the Vatican, you consider that defense spending, I consider that waste!
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about the Trump-Republican Tax Plan
Have you noticed that there’s no Trump tax plan and no Republican tax plan? All they’ve come up with so far is a bunch of platitudes about how nice it would be to cut taxes, simplify the tax code, and spur economic growth.
Who doesn’t support these nice goals?
The reason there’s no tax plan is congressional Republicans are hopelessly divided on it.
Right-wing Republicans (the “Freedom Caucus” along with what’s left of the Tea Party) are most interested in reducing the size of the government and shrinking the federal deficit and debt.
Corporate and Wall Street Republicans – along with Donald Trump – are most interested in cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy. They have the backing the GOP’s big business donors who stand to make a bundle off tax cuts.
Here’s the problem. You can’t have a giant tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, and at the same time shrink the federal deficit and debt – unless you make gigantic cuts in government spending on things the American public wants and needs.
According to the Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation, Trump’s proposed corporate tax cuts alone would reduce federal revenue by $2 trillion over 10 years.
Cuts of this size inevitably have to come out of the federal government’s three biggest expenditures, together accounting for over two-thirds of total government spending – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and defense.
Even if you eliminated everything in the rest of the federal budget – from education to meals on wheels – you’re not going to get nearly enough to pay for the giant tax cuts Trump and his corporate and Wall Street Republicans are talking about.
But they wouldn’t dare shave a hair off Social Security. Americans who have paid into it for their lifetimes expect that it’s going to be there when they retire. Social Security is already facing some financial strains, and no politician with half a brain is going to slash it.
Medicare is almost as popular. Recall the Republican signs at Obamacare rallies that read “Don’t Take Away My Medicare.”
As to Medicaid, well, if Republicans learned one thing from the buzz saw they ran into over the Affordable Care Act it’s that they better not mess with Medicaid because a huge percentage of America’s elderly depends on it.
Which leaves defense spending. But wait. Donald Trump is on record as pledging to expand defense spending by 10 percent – $48 billion.
Then there’s the cleanup from Hurricane Harvey, estimated to be at least $150 billion. And more cleanup from Hurricane Irma, or any other of the hurricanes being dredged up by hotter oceans. There’s also Trump’s “wall” – which the Department of Homeland Security estimates will cost about $22 billion.
Oh, and don’t forget infrastructure spending. It’s just about the only major spending bill that could be passed bipartisan majorities in both houses. And given the state of the nation’s highways, byways, public transit, water treatment facilities, and sewers, it’s desperately needed. Trump’s budget allocates $200 billion of public money to this.
These numbers put corporate and Trump Republicans into a bind.
The only way out of it is to pretend that big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy will grow the economy so fast that they’ll pay for themselves, and the benefits will trickle down to everyone else.
But if you believe this I have several past Republican budgets to sell you, extending all the way back to Ronald Reagan’s magic asterisks.
Trickle-down economics is one of the few economic theories to have been tested in real life, and guess what? It failed miserably. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both cut taxes on the top and they ended up with huge budget deficits.
Corporate Republicans are claiming that taxes are way too high, nonetheless. Trump says we’re “the highest taxed nation in the world.”
Rubbish. The most meaningful measure is taxes paid as a percentage of GDP. On this score, we’re hardly overtaxed. The United States has the 4th lowest taxes of any major economy. (Only South Korea, Chile, and Mexico ranking lower.)
The wealthiest 1 percent in the U.S. pay the lowest taxes as a percent of their income and total wealth of the top 1 percent in any major country – and far lower than they paid in the U.S. during the first three decades after World War II.
Corporate Republicans also argue in favor of an “amnesty” for global corporations that have been sheltering their profits abroad – allowing them to pay an even lower rate on repatriated earnings than they’re contemplating on domestic earnings.They say this will bring in big bucks that will be put to work for the economy.
That’s rubbish too. We tried a tax amnesty back in 2004 and corporations used the extra cash to pay their shareholders more dividends and buy back shares of stock to pump up share prices. They clearly didn’t use the money to invest in more productive capacity, research and development, or jobs.
Let me be clear: There is absolutely no reason to lower corporate taxes. After taking corporate deductions and tax credits, the typical U.S. corporation today pays an effective tax rate of 27.9 percent. That’s only a tad higher than the average of 27.7 percent among advanced nations.
Plus, with corporate profits at all-time highs, corporations are already flush with cash.
There is also no reason to lower taxes on the wealthy, who are wealthier than they’ve ever been in history. They don’t need the incentive of additional wealth in order to work harder or innovate better.
Once again, Trump and the Republicans are coming up with solutions to problems that don’t exist, while ignoring big problems that need to be faced.
The only way to build good jobs and better wages in America is to invest in the American workforce – in education, job training, and the infrastructure that links Americans together. History has repeatedly shown that these public investments improve the productivity of Americans.
Corporate and Trump Republicans get it totally wrong.
So do the Freedom Caucus deficit scolds, who refuse to see that investing in the future productivity of Americans is entirely different than spending on today’s needs.
No sane person would fail to make an investment that generated big returns because they didn’t to borrow money to pay for it. But that’s what the deficit scolds are arguing.
Instead of following either the corporate and Trump trickle-down tax cutters or the Freedom Caucus deficit scolds, we need to stop the madness on both Republican sides.
Say no to trickle-down tax cuts, and say no to mindless deficit reduction. Fight for public investments in our future.
Ted Bundy being escorted into police custody after being captured following an escape.
His most notorious escape came about as Bundy was acting as his own defense, and he would spend the majority of his jail time studying Law in the library for hours on end. Sure enough, he took the opportunity to plan an escape. As soon as he was left unsupervised, he jumped out of a second-story window and escaped, breaking his ankle in the process.
Prompt: SuperCat slightly future fic - Kara has seasoned as a reporter and her most recent promotion has her covering the White House beat (we'll assume Olivia won re-election & is serving a second term).
“…and finally, they invited Allison Janney to the Correspondents’ Dinner again, so some of the guys were wondering if they could get a snap of you two together. Meta, you know?”
God, Cat can’t stand this assistant. She’s at the mercy of the DNC for staffing her office, but given that she’s the first Press Secretary in the modern era to also serve as overall Director of Communications, her time is much too precious to waste on hiring and firing. There’s no Winslow or Kelly here to pick up the slack while she rotates assistants.
“Absolutely not. Not only can Janney drink me under a table, but she’s got about a foot on me. I don’t need that visual metaphor out in the world.”
“Of course, ma’am.” And the ma’am isn’t going anywhere, not when your new assistant is a friend of Lucy Lane’s, former JAG Corps. “Before your ten o’clock briefing, there’s just the list of the new credentials for you to familiarize yourself with.”
“Keira.” Okay, so that isn’t her name either. “I don’t need to know their names and their alma mater and which pinterest clipping they’re just super proud of. So long as they make it clear which outlet they’re from, and are willing to shun Breitbart with the rest of the room, it couldn’t possibly matter less who the new faces are.”
This time around I thought I would try something different for this class's encounter: a skill challenge. A skill challenge is a series of skill checks made by the PCs to complete a complex task introduced in D&D 4th edition. This one will run a tad differently than D&D 4e. The challenge progresses by players rolling initiative at the start of each new skill encounter and taking turns rolling one skill check of their choice. The team must succeed at a certain number of checks before moving on to the next encounter.
This still being a part of Monk Week (late as it may be), monks have an edge up on other players during this skill challenge when making some of the skill checks.
Skill Challenge: The Trials of the Masters (CR 4-7)
Setup: For whatever reason, the players need the help or trust of a group of insular monks of Zuoken that have perfected countless martial arts. The monks will only help the PCs if at least one of them can complete an obstacle course they use for training their initiates.
All players will attempt the course simultaneously, but only one of them needs to cross the finish line to succeed.
Unlike a regular skill challenge this one does not count your failures, but rather the elimination of players from the obstacle course. If all players are eliminated before the course is finished, the challenge ends in failure.
Each player can use a skill for each skill encounter only once to count as a success (unless otherwise noted). Further use of a skill already used in that encounter will not harm their progress, but will not count as a “success” towards the completion of the encounter. Note that multiple players can choose the same skill and each will count towards completing the encounter, but the same player cannot choose the same skill twice.
Players may use an unlisted skill as a success for an encounter if they can describe adequately how they do so. The DC for such a check is 14. Any other results of success or failure for an unlisted skill are up to the DM’s discretion.
Skill Encounter #1: Balance (6 successes required to pass)
It wasn’t the way Bellamy would have preferred to supplement his income, but hours at the library were tight that semester, and his part time landscaping gig had just ended. When he saw the flyer hanging in the dining hall, he knew he had to at least give it a shot.
“You want to do what?” Clarke asked incredulously when he told her his plan. They were sitting across from each other in their usual study room on the second floor of the library.
“Here, this will explain it,” Bellamy grabbed the crumpled flyer from his pocket and slid it across the study room table.
Paid Research Opportunity Romantic Couples Study You and your partner are eligible to participate if you:
Are in a committed, monogamous romantic relationship
Have been dating for at least six months
Are currently living together
Are both over the age of 18
Clarke glanced up at him, still wearing the same skeptical expression. “Only one of those things applies to you, Blake.”
“Yeah, I know…” Bellamy admitted, “But, I really need the money, so I figured I would just find someone to fake it with me.”
Clarke had just taken a sip of her coffee, which she promptly almost spit out. “You want someone to pretend to date you for a quick buck?”
“It’s not the worst idea,” he replied defensively. “Besides, it’s only a few hours over the course of a month, until the semester ends.”
Clarke carefully took another sip of her coffee. “Alright, but what kind of sucker wants to fake a relationship? That sounds like a lot of work with none of the benefits.”