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Comment: what we now know (Score 1) 529

by Ottawakismet (#48220449) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament
It is clear that the Rideau Centre shooting never happened... also there was only one shooter, not two. But the RCMP kept the city on lockdown for a day, a school system kept in shelter-in-place, and everyone told to keep indoors, away from windows. It was a lot of excessive panic, and the RCMP failed to recognize the number of shooters. The PM was quiet all day, then gave a speech in the evening with a red/white tie, in front of two flags. The very next day the gov't tried to introduce new security legislation. Total waste of money, and clearly hosing down the security services with money for 6 years has not made them any more competent. It isn't a case of terrorism or Islamic radicalism - this guy was not part of the "Muslim Community". It seems clear he was schizophrenic and unconnected to anybody.Why are we considering a response at all? There are shootings everyday. Its terrible a soldier was shot, but wives, children and innocent men get murdered every day. This is hardly a serious event, even in Canadian history. Canada lost more to terrorism at the Air India incident and at 9/11. I don't know if Canadians will swallow the need for greater powers for the RCMP, who are totally incompetent.

Comment: Re:A matter of priorities (Score 1) 280

Absolutely. It is not realistic to expect that fusion is going to magically be a simple cheap fusion source. Its more complex to control then fission, and we could not efficiently exploit all the heat that would be released. We already waste most of the heat produced in nuclear (or fossil fuel) thermal plants, so fusion would produce a lot more wasted heat then fission. I've always been perplexed by people who have thought fusion is so fantastic - we already have a super energy dense fuel that we can safely exploit - nuclear fission. Fusion seem more dangerous, hard to control and not necessarily that much better.

Comment: Re:The quotes were awesome (Score 1) 89

by Ottawakismet (#46816401) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
I really wanted to like Gal Civ 2, but it was lacking in fun factor and soul. The combat was terrible, the economy boring. On paper it looked like a great game, but was unfortunately, a nearly unplayable failure. Endless Space is way better. Alpha Centauri had maybe the best quotes of any Civ (or any game ever)

Comment: Re:Alpha Centauri 2 (Score 1) 89

by Ottawakismet (#46816369) Attached to: <em>Civilization: Beyond Earth</em> Announced
Alpha Centauri gave you a number of ways to win, non-militarily, and there was quite a lot to do without focusing on the military. If you played the Peacekeeper faction, and / or built the wonder to double your votes, and colonized the seas like a madman you could win diplomatically. I'd say a minority of my games were won militarily. Economically the least often, because you had to wait forever to win with money. All multiplayer games are always won only militarily. Humans won't give you the time to win any other way. I played Call to Power, and it was interesting, and a good game, but I would still put Civilization IV, Alpha Centauri and Master of Orion II ahead of it.

Comment: Re:Mick up is kinda like (Score 1) 298

by Ottawakismet (#46585447) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
Iran actually spends less on their military (as a share of GDP) then their neighbours (and obviously) more than the USA, They never start wars. They had indigenous democracy not imposed on them by anyone (until the CIA overthrew the democratic government and put in a monarchy) Iran has been invaded by the USSR, Britain, and most recently Iraq. They may make a lot of noise about Israel, but its just posturing. Iran has never participated in any wars with Israel. When Iran wants to hurt another country, they support their dissidents with money and weapons, they have not gone to war. They support Hezbollah, Assad, and Iraqi Shiites, (and other Shiites) but they are remarkable peaceful in a dangerous neighbourhood. Their nuclear enrichment program was very suspect, but its likely to go the way of Taiwans, Swedens, Argentina's or Iraq's, not: Pakistan or DPRK

Comment: Re:Allow Russians to vote with their feet (Score 1) 878

on the wikipedia page on the Crimean referendum, there is a pile of pro-Russian voices who are whitewashing the whole affair, claiming the monitors were valid though they were totally biased. Material I put up about the sketchy background of the monitors got repeatedly taken down. Some are Communist Party members, or Russian advocates. It seems clear that Moscow allowed in only a group of voices who would certify their sham referendum. The page does not say how the OSCE monitors were shot at by Pro-Russian militias, and tries to say the whole referendum was super legitimate.

Comment: Re:Allow Russians to vote with their feet (Score 1) 878

Yes, and the lesson of the Anschluss was that it emboldened Hitler to pursue the Sudetenland. Putin may take the lesson that he has a free hand to deal with the 'near abroad', the former Soviet Republics, at least the non NATO-members. The message was less focused on the West, and more at Astana, Tashkent, Tblisi, Bishkek etc... It is Moldova who is most immediately threatened, as Transdinistria wants a Crimea-style referendum to join Russia. They like Crimea already have Russian troops there since Soviet times, that the Russians have never quite gotten around to withdrawing. (never withdraw from territory if you don't have to was Stalin's thinking)

Comment: Re:Allow Russians to vote with their feet (Score 1) 878

Many countries are hunting for that money. Canada is trying to seize yanukoych's assets. It may end up like Gaddafi's assets in Canada and South Africa, returned to the Libyan government. A few solid assets for the Ukrainian government would have a bolstering effect, of propping up Kyev's current finances., something they could either liquidate or borrow against.

Comment: Re:Don't laugh - worry (Score 1) 298

by Ottawakismet (#46558281) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
No, training is a very likely activity. I dont know what you mean by surprising a carrier, that doesn't seem to make sense. How exactly do you think a carrier prevents anything from getting close to it? They don't have force fields. A whack of missiles are essentially impossible to prevent from reaching a large target. It makes total sense that they would practice tactics to attack a carrier. Its an effective tactic to practice attacks on mockups before they could imagine they might be able to do it at all effectively. the US, Japan, other countries do these kind of exercises, and sometimes actually sink ships in wargames.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir