Right, and that's precisely why I never used words like absolute and instead used words like majority.
No, the elections were deemed to be free and fair (well actually there was a bit of interference, but it was by the Israelis to try and cut the Hamas vote), which was actually quite a headache for the west at the time because whilst the US et. al. were crying for democracy it led to a result that they just did not want.
As for the result, try reading my post again you seem to have completely glossed over the point I made. You cannot simply take the popular vote and spread it evenly between the West Bank and Gaza. Whilst the overall vote may well have been 44% in favour of Hamas, that doesn't equate to 44% in the West Bank, and 44% in Gaza - that's a gross statistical misunderstanding. Given roughly equal population numbers (they're not too dissimilar) between Gaza and the West Bank you can have a result whereby the overall popular vote is 44% whilst 88% of Gazans support Hamas and 0% of Palestinians in the West Bank. Hopefully this example clears up your inability to understand why that overall figure gives a misleading layout of support for Hamas in Gaza.
Gaza is the Hamas heartland and there's where the majority of their support comes from. This is precisely why Hamas was able to swiftly kick (or kill) Fatah and it's supporters out of Gaza in 2007.
Hamas took over Gaza so rapidly in 2007 precisely because it enjoys massive popular support there and because it gained a massive democratic mandate there (and overall).
So you believe that 3 MPs out of hundreds is "riddled"? I guess you and I have a very different view on what riddled means - to me riddled means enough to actually matter, but in reality to you it seems that a completely negligible irrelevant few is enough to mean "riddled". Meanwhilst, all the hundreds of non-far right MPs have apparently been missed by you.
As an aside, you realise that there are far more actual far right ministers in Russia than that yes?
It's also somewhat amusing that you cite a party being banned under Yanukovych as evidence of it being evil. By your logic Kim Jong Un must run the healthiest country on Earth because he's banned all other parties, which must obviously have been because they were evil.
"People who are under occupation, subject to the whims of a foreign country are supposed to roll over and play dead..."
So your solution is that the Israelis roll over and succumb to Hamas rocket fire and tunnel attacks instead?
"...and cannot, in any way shape or form, defend themselves or retaliate against their oppressors."
So you're an eye for an eye type of guy then? You think it's best to make the whole world blind?
Honestly, if you think the solution to violence is more violence whilst missing the irony of the fact that that viewpoint means that you in fact agree with what the Israelis are doing (because they also believe in an eye for an eye like you do) then there's probably no hope for you. The only hypocrisy is that in your view it's okay for Hamas to retaliate to violence, but it's not okay for Jews to retaliate with violence. I say Jews, not Israelis intentionally, because like most anti-semites you've turned this from a discussion about Israelis, to a discussion about Jews. The fact that you decided to make this about Jews, rather than Israelis speaks volumes about your ignorance.
Let me give you a hint on that - even a non-negligible number of non-Jewish Israelis (including Christians, Muslims, and Atheists) support the current Israeli government's actions because they're also fed up of having Hamas rockets fired at them. Not all Israelis are Jews.
That's not true in practice, their authority seems definitely national, possibly even global in practice.
They've been engaged in raids well outside of the City of London including in my jurisdiction up here in Yorkshire. In fact, I took advantage of the fact we now have police crime commissioners to ask why my local tax payment via council tax to the police was being used to fund the interests of the City of London when the whole point of having police crime commissioners was to give local residents more of a say. I asked that if police forces now all have nationwide jurisdiction and that there's no localism at all on that front if they wouldn't mind returning the favour by sending our police down to the City of London to arrest some corrupt bankers and executives.
Of course, I never heard back.
Yeah and they've been guilty of plundering billions, websites like Barclays, CitiBank, HSBC and so on.
"So what do you think should Palestine's response to the constant checkpoints, blockading of their ports, airport and border crossings, as well as the occupation and continued confiscation of their land by Israel should be? "
Whatever it should be, launching rocket strikes on civilian population centres is most definitely not it.
Yes the way Israel treats Gaza is wholly unacceptable, but Gazans should take a leaf from the book of those in the West Bank and focus on peaceful resistance. That gives them the moral high ground.
It's worth bearing in mind that part the reason Gaza is so heavily blockaded right now is because Hamas was also attacking Egyptian soldiers in support of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood's violent resistance to it's overthrow forcing Egypt to shut Gaza's southern borders. If Gazans were simply sticking to peaceful protest then whatever the Israel do to blockade them the Egyptians would be letting food and supplies in right now. There are two borders in and out of Gaza and Gazans have successfully pissed off those controlling both of them with violence.
Gazans have made enemies with both their neighbours with persistent violent action and that's led to their isolation. Their isolation has become their excuse to start being even more violent which has now led to destruction of their infrastructure and widespread suffering.
For all the wrongs of the Israeli and Egyptian regimes it should be blindingly obvious to Gazans by now that the response to oppression by their enemies most definitely isn't aggression if they actually want to improve their lives.
The only reason Israel can get away with attacking Gaza in the first place is because there's substantial military infrastructure to attack. If Gazans disarmed then Israel would have absolutely no grounds to strike it - just like Israel does not strike Palestinians in the West Bank precisely because Palestinians there have learnt that non-violent opposition is a far better starting point for improving your situation.
The whole reason Hamas runs Gaza is because Palestinians elected them, and subsequent infighting resulted in the largely Hamas loyal Gazans ousting Fatah and pushing them to the West Bank, or just outright killing them.
So it's a bit of a cop out to pretend that civilians in Gaza can't be blamed for Hamas - they can, they voted for them, and they supported the ousting of the far more moderate and reasonable Fatah, those who supported Fatah were killed or fled to the West Bank.
So Palestinians in Gaza share an awful lot of the blame for Hamas is actions - they actively create and support the environment in which Hamas can do what it keeps doing.
Which isn't to say I support Israel either, their provocations such as arbitrary raids and continued provocative settlement building and land seizure in the West Bank where Palestinians are more moderate and are behaving is just asking to cause trouble too, but let's not pretend that Gazans are largely innocent, sorry to Godwin the argument, but they're ultimately no more innocent than the Germans in the 30s who voted for and support the National Socialists. If you vote for extremists you have to take responsibility for and accept the repercussions of doing so.
"There is also consent by action. The casino does A/B testing by offering some a $40 steak dinner plus $40 in chips while it offers others $80 in chips. You clicked on the advertisement/offer, or you opened the envelope that arrived in your postal mail, etc."
Well I think this is the difference, when you sign up to OKCupid you're signing up to a service that's explicitly designed to optimise your chance of meeting someone, so almost by definition you're going to expect them to play around with your profile, their matching algorithm and so forth to optimise that goal.
I'm pretty sure however that no one signing up to Facebook did so with the belief that Facebook would try and play with their emotions to make them unhappy.
Which is exactly my point - consider how bad other parts of Russia are if that's the sort of issues they faced in the wealthier parts with billions of investment behind them too.
It highlights how bad things are in Russia behind the facade of St. Petersburg and Red Square in Moscow.
"Russians don't care as much as we do. They separate private and business life a lot more strongly, from what I gather. Of course there's a lot of propaganda involved as well."
Are you actually serious? The country which suffers corruption to the extent that many people's entire private lives are destroyed to remove competitors due to police corruption separates private and business life more strongly? In Russia people literally get jailed, sometimes even killed in custody because a business competitor paid the police to make sure that happens.
Just yesterday the Hague ruled against Russia to the tune of $50bn because Putin and his cronies did exactly this to Khodorkovsky with no regard to the shareholders that invested honestly ending up also as victims of their personal vendetta:
"By what objective measures is fascism in Ukraine lower than in most countries across the globe?"
The one I already mentioned, support amongst the electorate for fascism. It's lower than in the UK, France, and likely many other European nations. In the UK support at the European elections for fascist parties (UKIP, BNP, England First, English Democrats and all the others) was riding at around or even slightly above 30%. In France the National Front, a far-right party got 25%.
Even if you believe this is just because people were rebelling in the European elections, or would be swayed by low turnout, you still don't get a vote as low as 2% for these parties in national elections. Only 2% support at a national election for a fascist candidate is incredibly low.
Elections are an expression of the thoughts of the people, and it doesn't really get much more objective than that.
I agree Nokia has always had great hardware but they're getting rid of the people behind that which is kind of my point - they don't seem to be keeping anything of any actual value, so they might as well have spent the money bribing Samsung or whoever to make them a premium phone instead.
For what it's worth I was always a fan of Nokia, I had an N95 and couldn't understand the fuss about the first gen iPhone because it couldn't even do a 10th of the userful things my Nokia phone could (like GPS, installable apps, custom ringtones). Coincidentally, I just cleared out the last few bits and pieces of mine that have been lingering in my parents attic since I moved out about a decade ago this weekend and found my pristine condition Nokia 6310. I intend to dig out an old charger and see if it still works some time this week
I actually still like Nokia hardware now - I think it looks more interesting and fills better form factors still than the competition, I just don't like the software and haven't for a long time. The problem is as I say, Microsoft doesn't seem to be keeping the people behind it in company (the engineering team that is being unwound in Finland) and the net result will be a Microsoft owned Nokia that has neither worthwhile software, nor worthwhile hardware, nor any patents in the smartphone market that anyone gives a shit about.
Whilst on this subject, it's probably also worth also noting that this is why the Winter Olympics were held in Sochi - a primarily summer beach destination.
Because just about everywhere else in Russia where you would normally hold winter Olympics is an utter shit hole compared to the primary holiday destination of Russia's oligarchs.
It's telling that in a country as large and as full of cold places as Russia that the only city they could find that was even remotely acceptable for the world to see was Sochi.
How does blowing billions on a company you're just going to dismantle do that other than by killing off competition? Wouldn't it have been better to spend billions simply subsidising Windows Phones to make them ridiculously cheap for the power you get relative to Android/iOS to actually get some market penetration that's worthwhile?