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Comment: Re: Hard to believe (Score 2) 804

It's like comparing Kraft Mac & Chesse to your own homemade. Sure, making your own is less expensive and has more options for upgrades (bacon)... but Kraft is much more convenient if you don't want to sweat the details, has a nice box & packaged look, and a taste you cannot fully replicate on your own.

Also, something that do-it-yourself PC builders always overlook is the warranty, phone support, documentation, etc. that comes with a manufactured product (like a Mac Pro).

Those kinds of things are not free, obviously, but are almost never taken into account.

Comment: Re:no you just have lots and lots of stabbings and (Score 1) 894

by Demolition (#45700773) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School
Maybe the GGP was referring to this news article which, coincidentally, was in my local newspaper, yesterday:
Leesburg Restaurant Gives Discount to Gun-Toting Customers

From the article:

"You're not going to hunt for your dinner," said Leesburg resident Anne Meyers. "So I don't know why you'd need a gun in a restaurant."

Lessburg Police Chief Joseph Price agrees, especially since Crosswhite's restaurant serves beer and wine .

"No, sir, I don't plan to go [to the restaurant]," he said, "and having carried a firearm for better part of my adult life, I clearly know alcohol and firearms do not mix."

Comment: Re: NOT posted as AC. (Score 2) 603

by Demolition (#45330981) Attached to: TSA Union Calls For Armed Guards At Every Checkpoint

Is that a new kind of shaver?

I think that he's referring to the Remington Model 7600 pump-action rifle. It was called the Model 760 until 1981.

This model is very popular because it can be stored in the relatively safe Condition 3 (hammer down, full magazine, empty chamber), yet brought to Condition 0 (ready to fire) with one pump.

On the other hand, I think that guards at the kind of checkpoint that the AFGE (the TSA employees' union) envisions would be using auto/semi-auto carbines or SMGs, instead of a rifle more suited to deer-hunting.

Comment: Re:should slashdot be asking if the U.S. should bo (Score 1) 659

by Demolition (#44803659) Attached to: Should the U.S. bomb Syria?

It's not about taking sides or figuring out who's right or wrong in the spat or what the outcome for me personally would be, and I'm sure as hell not a cop, but I just have to stop it. Even if it means violence.

The likely outcome is that you rush in to try to stop it and get a steak knife rammed into your guts for your trouble.

That's why the police always say that one should let the police handle matters like this.

Comment: Re:japan is a fascist nation that was spared (Score 1) 159

by Demolition (#44421259) Attached to: Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'

But anyways I don't think bringing up internment camps is a prudent thing to do in the greater context of things.

Why not? My intention was to show that wartime propaganda from both sides was used to justify various actions. I exemplified it with events that occurred in Japan and in North America. Also, I think it's safe to say that propaganda was even more important to the war efforts of certain European nations at that time.

Unfortunately, some people seem to be keying on the example used and ignoring the reason why I used the example in the first place.

The original topic was obscured, and it seems that we're now just trying to corner people in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma. Frankly, I don't know if the new topic is truly of overriding importance to the person concerned (for example, he had a relative who were prisoners of war in WW2 Japan, or had relatives in an occupied area), or if it's just a case of faux outrage.

Comment: Re:japan is a fascist nation that was spared (Score 1) 159

by Demolition (#44421145) Attached to: Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'
I should clarify...

I mentioned in an earlier post that Japanese citizens were under the sway of wartime propaganda. As I also mentioned, demonization of the enemy was de rigueur. Some of that had to do with the fear (instilled by the military) that white men were amoral savages, but also from the notion that almost all non-Japanese were sub-human. That probably explains the dehumanizing treatment inflicted on prisoners of war and on the citizens of nations that Imperial Japan invaded .

Assuming that I was a Japanese citizen around at that time, I would probably have agreed with that policy. Not doing so meant imprisonment and the infliction of that same dehumanizing treatment on one's own person. It would be nice to think that conscientious citizens would rise up and protest, but the truth is that the majority of people would be looking after their own hides. It's a cliche, but we are products of our times and surroundings.

Today, we look back and say that the treatment by the Japanese Army of prisoners of war and citizens of occupied areas was exceptionally brutal. Would I want to be treated in that fashion? No, obviously not. Would I prefer internment In Canada over imprisonment in a wartime Japanese POW camp? I truly do not know. After losing half of my existing family during and immediately after internment, it doesn't seem like either option was particularly savoury.

Comment: Re:japan is a fascist nation that was spared (Score 1) 159

by Demolition (#44408619) Attached to: Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'

Which would you rather be, a Japanese internee in the US/Canada, or a prisoner of the Japanese? They aren't even in the same league.

Not sure what this has to do with the original topic.

In a nutshell, we were discussing the use of propaganda to sway the outlook of a civilian population. AlphaWolf_HK's mention of civilian suicides during the Battle of Saipan and my mention of the internment of Japanese-Canadians and Japanese-Americans are examples of the effects of propaganda (in general, the demonization of the enemy).

But, if we're going to veer off onto the topic of the treatment of prisoners, then I guess we can can expand this to a discussion about Gitmo. Or maybe the treatment of dissidents in China or Myanmar. Seems like a completely different discussion, though.

Comment: Re:japan is a fascist nation that was spared (Score 1) 159

by Demolition (#44403779) Attached to: Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'
I never denied that Japan has an ugly past. I was merely stating that the numbers that you posted were questionable.

As for being disliked by other Asians, you forgot the Filipinos, Singaporeans, and to a lesser extent, Indonesians and Malaysians. I live in a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I have a Chinese neighbour on one side, a Korean neighbour on the other side, and a Filipino neighbour across the street. I also work with a guy who hails from Indonesia. They've all told me at one time or another that they were taught as children that Japan was " Teh Debil!1!!!11 ", mostly based on Japan's history. I find this somewhat amusing because my Chinese neighbour sounds like a mouthpiece for the Communist Party. In light of the brutality of China's current regime, any talk about Japan's past imperialistic exploits seems incredibly hypocritical.

Anyway, the wartime ugliness extended to this side of the water, as well. Perhaps you're aware of the internment of Japanese-Canadians and -Americans during WW2? More info:
Japanese-Canadian Internment
Japanese-American Internment

On a personal note, despite being Canadian citizens (all were born here), my family was stripped of their possessions, their rights, and their freedom, and loaded onto cattle cars and shipped by train to internment camps in the remote B.C. Interior. The men (including my 15-yr old Dad) were forced to go on to Ontario to work on a road gang. My grandfather suffered a broken back while working there and was permanently debilitated. Two of my aunts died of tuberculosis without medical intervention. Their last moments were spent in a tar-paper shack in a remote prison camp in the dead of winter. After the war, some of my relatives were forcibly repatriated to Japan. For most, this was their first time setting foot there.

So, you want to talk about a dark recent history? Does anyone really believe that only the Japanese demonized their "enemies"? Well, I have news for everyone; the propaganda machine was working overtime on this side of the Pacific, as well.

Hey, want more? My uncle died in the Fukushima quake in 2011. If we're still making recriminations, then I suggest one of these:
"This was payback for Pearl Harbor!" or "This was payback for Japan beating the U.S. in the Women's World Cup!"

I've personally heard both of those in the last couple of years. It's bad enough to read it on Twitter (and Slashdot), but to have someone say such things to my face was almost beyond belief. Well, I guess I should expect these kinds of things. People harbour all sorts of irrational hatreds. Maybe it's xenophobia, as you touched upon, or maybe it's jingoism.

p.s. AlphaWolf_HK, I'm wondering why you've expressed such interest about Japan's "dark history". I'm guessing that the "HK" in your username stands for Hong Kong? Are you still sore about Nanking? ;-)

Comment: Re:japan is a fascist nation that was spared (Score 1) 159

by Demolition (#44403203) Attached to: Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'

I mean shit, 5,000 civilians committed suicide upon report of US advancement of Saipan because they didn't want the shame of being captured.

I think you're confusing things here. It's estimated that 5,000 Japanese soldiers committed suicide. 2,000 committed suicide, outright. Another 3,000 did so by charging directly into the face of U.S. Army and Marine units, actually managing to overrun the frontmost U.S. units. This gained some time for their comrades to carry the counterattack forward, but we all know how that turned out; more than 24,000 of the 25,000-man garrison was wiped out.

As for the civilians, various reports say that 1000-3000 civilians committed suicide (e.g. Wikipedia says 1000, About.com says 3000, etc.). The majority committed suicide because they had been incessantly told by the military that white men were savages; the women, children, and elderly would be tortured, raped, and murdered without pity. Anybody who balked was either coerced to commit suicide or was shot by the (fleeing) soldiers.

Also, some civilians were forced to act as "bait" to lure unsuspecting U.S. soldiers into ambushes. In the end, a lot of civilians were killed ("accidentally on purpose" as mentioned in one document) because the U.S. soldiers couldn't be sure if they were being suckered. Oddly, I've heard that these deaths were also considered suicides.

Anyway, I guess the point is that the suicides (both military and civilian) show very clearly the power of Imperial Japan's military propaganda during WW2.


p.s. Before being accused of talking out of my ass, I just want to say that my heritage is Japanese. I have relatives there who witnessed things firsthand, including the A-bomb drops. Reports of the nature that I described above are commonplace.

Comment: Re:My first name... (Score 1) 213

by Demolition (#44311113) Attached to: If I search online for my full name...

I looked for that and got results for banana tart instead.

Yeah, when I searched for "banan" by itself, Google returned banana bread recipes and a list of people whose surname is Banan. Then, I searched for "banan united states" and got more banana bread recipes.

Finally, I searched for " "Banan" United States " (with quotes around Banan) and up popped Banan Tarr's Facebook page.

Banan, you may be the only person with the given name "Banan" in the entire U.S.! :-)

Correct! You win the internet ;)

Yay!

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