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Comment Re: Crackpipe insanity. (Score 1) 728

Also... what in the hell are you talking about re: Japan? There are two interpretations of what you just said, neither of which is sane:

1. You're implying we treated the Japanese better than we treated the Iraqis. That is just... trollish. No one could possibly be that ignorant.

2. You're implying we should have brutally crushed the Iraqis like we did with the Japanese. Can you possibly be that naive? That shit doesn't work in the age of CNN and cell phone cameras. The public won't stand for it. And the backfire from militant Muslims would be truly incredible.

Comment Austin is different (Score 4, Insightful) 464

eh, Austin isn't quite like the rest of Texas. I mean, it's consistently favored Democratic politicians, often by a 2:1 margin. Also has a decent music/art scene. And there's a nudist park on the edge of a lake, supposedly the only one in all of TX.

I'm not quite sure how it happened this way but, I think the soundest the theory is all of the smart/sane people in TX banded together in one city to make their last stand, Alamo-ish style.

Comment Re: Crackpipe insanity. (Score 2) 728

You didn't touch a nerve--nonsense on the internet is nothing new. A string of unique nonsenses at +5 on Slashdot touched a nerve.

You're lying, simply lying at this point. Or willfully ignorant. Cheney is an asshole and the conflicts of interest are worrisome, but no one in America is siphoning off 40% of the Iraqi economy.

Jihadis have had wives before and/or after leaving their old lives behind. ISIS has even managed to convince a few females to travel on their own to Iraq, just to become jihadi brides. Go watch the VICE videos (VICE is not known as having a conservative stance, btw.) See the proud jihadi dads watching their kids playing in the river.

Comment Crackpipe insanity. (Score 3, Insightful) 728

There isn't a single part of this post that isn't pure fantasy. I try not to complain about the mods too much but fuck me, +5 Insightful?

ISIS is just a bunch of men with no jobs, no wives, no future and no hope for a future.

Where do you get your news? ISIS's economy is a hell of a lot more robust and stable than many nations that have a seat at the UN. ISIS fighters and leaders routinely have wives. Many of the most high profile jihadis (including but not limited to ISIS) have had good career prospects and families or at least romantic interests, including the computer programmer "Jihadi "John" (whom we just killed yesterday) and the Ph. Ds and graduate students who flew into the WTC.

Go watch VICE's report on ISIS (one of the few organizations willing to send people to do some reporting on the ground.) Listen to the guy driving the car talk about how he's leaving his wife and children to go fight for ISIS because, bottom line, Allah means more to him.

the 1% war profiteering in the Middle East and stealing their oil.

The Iraq war was moronic. We gave a bunch of contracts to Haliburton and other American companies. And there were conflicts of interest there, yeah.

But we did not fucking steal anyone's oil. Stop making shit up. Iraq has been getting billions from it for quite a while now. That oil doesn't get shipped to American companies. It gets sold on the international market at regular market price.

We can't solve _anything_ until we start recognizing the real problem and start actually _rebuilding_ Iraq and Afghanistan.

How. Fucking HOW. It's hard enough to try to fathom what we could do to rebuild Iraq that we haven't already tried but... "rebuilding" Afghanistan is a contradiction in terms--there's nothing to rebuild. It's a shithole dominated by highly religious tent dwellers, petty warlords and Pakistani agents and slummers. It's been that way long before 2001.

If you're American though this probably means giving up your SUV.

Your post has now gone into stream-of-consciousness ranting. Yes, we need to achieve energy independence. That has fuck-all to do with rebuilding places that we've already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on trying to rebuild for over a decade.

I'm not trying to troll


Comment Re:At least can we call it "wrong" ? (Score 1) 965

That would be fine if everyone were viewing Muhammad as a historical figure, but they are not. ISIS has issued pamphlets re: the treatment of sex slaves and they explicitly mention nine years old as the minimum, based explicitly on Aisha. So, it appears nine year old sex slaves are being raped right now as a result of Muhammad's activities "in those days."

Comment what kind of horseshit is this? (Score 1, Troll) 965

How is pointing out that their motivations are primarily shaped by religious goals like implementation of the sharia and restoration of the caliphate indicative that the poster is a Fox News watcher who believes that all Muslims are evil? It is the goddamned truth. They have been telling us this repeatedly for decades now.

And blaming America and the West "first" IS a real thing--just see what the self-styled progressive left (recently nicknamed "regressive left") had to say after Charlie Hebdo. Already, I am seeing people blaming France for Syria (one of the gunmen in these attacks even shouted "This is for Syria!"), as if opposing the Iraq war and then not getting involved in clusterfucked Syrian civil war but offering to accept refugees anyway is an unforgivable sin. The West is blamed when it does intervene and blamed again when it does not intervene, and it is being blamed by both the jihadists and the Western progressive (I refuse to say "liberal") apologists for those jihadists.

Trust me, it can be truly liberating to think independently.

Physician, heal thyself.

Comment Re:So you are accusing Jesus now? (Score 1) 965

Unfortunately, history is replete with moments where the sane have had to choose between the different flavors of douchebag. And the less-fucked up douchebags know this, and they tailor their speech accordingly.

After the Garland Texas shootings I remember saying to myself "Oh shit, the talking heads on Fox News are saying very agreeable liberally things. This is bad."

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 965

Oh it's a good thing this happened then because Europe was *completely ignoring the Syrian refugee crisis* up until this point, yes. It's not like they were in the process of accepting millions of applications for asylum or anything.

The irony/tragedy/whatever of all of this is it may well cement Le Pen's victory.

Comment Not terribly insightful (Score 2) 965

Actually cases of mass shootings in America are *routinely* prevented by legal gun owners, but these cases tend to go under-reported by the media. There was a shooting in a mall either immediately before or immediately after Sandy Hook, for example, that was very quickly arrested by some random guy with a Glock.

You're free to use this to argue that the problem of gun violence in America is thus even worse than we think, but it is simply a lie to imply that private citizens have done nothing to stop mass shootings. There is a good reason why the worst shootings almost always happen in places where it is illegal to carry a gun. Students with concealed carry licenses at Virginia Tech have spoken freely about how they had to no choice but to run because they had chosen to obey the law that day. Even the Fort Hood shootings were as bad as they were only because the soldiers were not allowed to carry firearms while off-duty in that part of the base.

Comment Also, part of Sweden are too cold (Score 2) 965

Don't forget about the refugees who staged a protest by refusing to leave their bus after the Swedish government (who has literally run out of all space after taking in a ridiculous number of refugees and is now temporarily housing people on the floors of random government buildings) tried to relocate them to a town that was too isolated and insufficiently warm during the winter:

Sorry for the horrible right wing propaganda source, but it's the best I could find.

Comment At least can we call it "wrong" ? (Score 4, Insightful) 965

Without necessarily disagreeing with anything in your post whatsoever, can we please get a little discrimination of ideas and of people? You blurred these lines, and they really need to be un-blurred.

A Muslim police officer was killed while responding to the Charlie Hebdo shootings and a second Muslim helped hide Jews when those same jihadis went on another rampage in the following days. It's important not to forget that. It's also important to not forget that Muhammad killed people right and left, only pausing now and then to rape a nine year old or talk about the importance of kissing a magic rock embedded in Borg cube.

It's an evil and stupid book. People who have completely disagreed with me have gone on to do wonderful things, build wonderful things, advance the cause of physical sciences and history tremendously, etc. etc. disclaimers etc.... can I stop now? Is it ok to simply criticize people and ideas from the seventh fucking century now?

Comment Liberals believe in freedom (Score 1) 965

It is perhaps distasteful to choose this time to be pedantic and even less tasteful to choose this moment to sling mug at fellow leftists but... people who choose to senselessly sacrifice freedom in the name of empathy with Muslims call themselves progressives. No true liberal (or Scotsman, for that matter) would do this.

And not every self-described progressive does this, obviously, but we do have a new term that has been recently been coined to describe them: "regressive left" or simply "the regressives."

Comment Re:False dichotomy of the guilty conscience (Score 1) 332

See my other post on this topic about Wikipedia's omissions. I have actually read pretty extensively on this point, although not recently. Even if everything I remember (about the multiple offers of surrender) is completely wrong, the undisputed fact remains Japan wanted to surrender, in some fashion, immediately following the first bomb.

Vaporizing 40,000+ civilians is not a morally acceptable way to pressure someone re: terms of surrender. If you believe that nuking a highly populated area three days later was the only choice we had... you are not thinking very hard.

Comment But the false dichotomy is still there (Score 4, Interesting) 332

I'm pretty skeptical of those numbers (I'm also skeptical that the Japanese disengagement happened as fast as you imply), but I'll concede all of that for the moment--this is still a false dichotomy. You're still begin from the conclusion "the second bombing was justified, because otherwise X" and working your way backwards. It's simply not intellectually honest.

Think about it for five seconds and see if you can come up with an alternative that doesn't vaporize 40,000 civilians. Here's one: let's say we drop the second bomb on top of Mount Fuji. Just to bluff and say "hey look, we've got so many of these damn things we can waste 'em, just to give you a show." I do believe that would have made our point pretty clear. Nuking another major civilian population 3 days later is simply not necessary by any stretch of the imagination, even if we concede all kinds of stuff up front.

(I hope I don't have to reiterate disclaimers into every post: yes, I understand it was a different time with different rules and a far different enemy than anything we've faced recently. The point isn't to beat ourselves up about it; the point is simply to have the moral and mental clarity to call a spade a spade.)

Leveraging always beats prototyping.