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Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 1) 291

by mar.kolya (#46652159) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Well, defending from 'invasion' is not exactly expression of political opinion.

I'm fairly sure that if "well armed and ruthlessness" US (or Russian, for that matter) soldiers put their foot on, say, Iran soil there will be armed response, no matter how fertile.

I do not have many friends in Crimea, but as far as I can hear this is hardly viewed as a forceful annexation by majority of citizens there. So yes, polls may be biased, but not that biased. And yes, people may be afraid to defend themselves - but this goes to a certain point. And this point clearly have not been reached. So far majority of people living there is not against joining Russia.

OTOH I'm very curious were 'ruthlessness' of Russian army is coming from? I didn't quite follow US propaganda, so must have missed something...

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 1) 291

by mar.kolya (#46648237) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

2) I already went over this in my previous post: Two wrongs does not make a right. Okay, so you believe that the US steamrolled Iraq. Fine. That means that the US should allow Russia to steamroll Ukraine to "even the score"? Bullshit. In that case, there is no country in the world that is free from guilt. Literally every country in the world has at one point colonized another, attacked another unprovoked, massacred certain ethnic groups, etc. You could then go back to to the invasion of Iraq and say that it is hypocritical for Russia to criticize the US because of what the Russians did in the Chechen War.

Well, Chechen is a Russian territory, so again, non of US business. And yes, the whole topic started because Russians didn't stop working with NASA when US committed stuff in Iraq.

I'm saying that before US (or EU) have the moral right to criticize Russia for its actions they should show how they have changed to prevent actions they've themselves made in the past. Otherwise it's like thieve criticizing other thieve: yes, stealing is wrong, but is a thieve the right person to tell anybody that?

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 2) 291

by mar.kolya (#46646269) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

This is false. The reason there's no US troops in Iraq today is that the democratically elected Iraqi government wouldn't agree to a status of forces agreement with us. Status of forces agreements are pretty standard, the US has agreements with every country that we have troops in, especially our allies like Germany and Japan. The Iraqi government decided they didn't want to agree to a SOFA, so we left. If the Iraqi government were our puppets, we would have pressured them into agreeing to the SOFA.

Sounds naive. US left Iraq because no powerful US corporation was interested enough in staying. Probably because there is not much to gain there anymore. Or because Iraq government is controlled well enough without military presence. The goal is not a military presence, the goal is to get rich. Military is just a tool.

That's different. bin Laden was hiding out in Afghanistan and launched terrorist attacks against the United States. The Taliban was supporting him, both before and after the 9/11 attacks. If you go around committing acts of war, you can expect a military response.

In other views the reason to invade Afghanistan was Afghanistan Oil Pipeline (
OTOH, can fact that country doesn't extradite a criminal be a reason for invasion? What's next: invading Ecuador for Assange and Russia for Snowden?

Actually, the United States was in Vietnam at the request of the South Vietnamese government, who wanted our help repelling the North Vietnamese army, who had invaded South Vietnam in violation of a UN order. So yes, the US was asked to intervene in Vietnam.

Democratically elected president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych use asked Russia to use force in Ukraine (not in exact this words, but fairly close), after he had to flee Ukraine. People of Crimea have had a referendum and by vast majority decided to join Russian Federation. The whole 'annex' thing happened without shots and with much celebration in Crimea. So yes, Russia was very much asked to come to Crimea.

US (and EU), on the other hand, openly supports and funds people who using force overthrown democratically elected government in Ukraine - and those people have never been elected. Clear invasion in Ukraine's internal business. Just like Iraq - we will tell you whom you can democratically choose from.

I'm not defending Putin's actions. I'm just saying that US is as bad and is leading by example. And overall it's not that people are bad, it's the structure of life, law of the nature.

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 1) 291

by mar.kolya (#46644729) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

90+% and the fact that Crimeans are not fighting suggests that that is quite unanimous. And people in Iraq were fighting with US, weren't they?

And since when unambitious vote of DELEGATES is equal to unanimous opinion of people in those states?

My main point is that those sanctions are just hypocrisy. "Yes, we've done that. But you are not allowed to!" type of stance.

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 1) 291

by mar.kolya (#46643707) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

And couple of more things about Crimea that everybody seem to be conveniently forgetting.

Russia didn't just 'annexed' it. There was a referendum and citizens of Crimea voted to join Russia. There may be different points of view on legitimacy of that vote - my same applies on elections help in Iraq while under US invasion.

And secondly - I do not really see Crimeans fighting against Russian invasion. No attacks on Russian solders, no IEDs on the roads. At least not yet. But still - compare that to Iraq. How many civilians were lost in Iraq war? How many US soldiers?

Russian approach seems more humane, I'd say :).

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 5, Insightful) 291

by mar.kolya (#46643541) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Well. I hardly can imagine free elections with a gun pointed to ones head (figuratively speaking). Not to mention that US propaganda machine was running at full steam there. There is no way those elections were not influenced by US. They very much were. So US got what US wanted (oil, I presume) and left, fair enough.

Now in Ukraine: there was an elected government that was overthrown by armed riots. ELECTED president fled to Russia and asked Putin for protection - this is his official position. And US comes in and helps those armed rioters who stared whole thing on the first place. Notice: those rioters were not elected. They are just convenient for US to mess with Russia.

Disclaimer: I'm Russian myself, although I currently live on North America.

But in my view Russian actions in Crimea are no better or worse then US actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or many other numerous places were US soldier had set his foot, many times uninvited. It's true that US didn't annex those territories - but that's just it didn't make much sense to officially annex them. Imagine 'state of Iraq' as a part of US - this just would not have worked. Mainly for cultural and language reasons. If people in Iraq spoke English Iraq would have been US state by now. And people in Crimea speak Russian and are actually ethnic Russians in their majority.

Note: I do not say that Putin is good. My point is that Putin is no more evil than any US president. And that's just how world works - larger countries control smaller countries, in one way or another. And nobody is free.

And all that hysteria how Putin is new Hitler is just good job in US propaganda. As well how 'Putin brings freedom to oppressed Crimeans' is a Russian propaganda.

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 4, Insightful) 291

by mar.kolya (#46642511) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Iraq is it's own sovereign country, we didn't keep even a runway or military base there, but left when the elected government of the country told us to leave.

This is very much a matter of opinion. US had left when people in Iraq had elected government US wanted. Does this make Iraq a sovereign country? I think not. Iraq is pretty much controlled by US. As well as all NATO countries, especially east European ones. BTW, did anybody invited US into Iraq? Afghanistan? Vietnam? So yeah, look at yourself first and mind your own business - and your business has nothing to do with east Europe. US has much more imperial ambitions than any other country.

Comment: Copyrightable color - this is insane (Score 1) 653

by mar.kolya (#46529273) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

IMHO this is insane. Copyrighting color, form or shape - this is totally insane. And this event and also Apple vs Samsung event shows it.

One should not be able to copyright form or color. One can already copyright name and logo - this is enough. If company wants people to recognize their products - the can put their name/logo in a prominent place and then sue everybody who puts same name/logo without licence. But saying that only them can make yellow multimeters and rectangular phones - this is simply insane.

Comment: Re:Drivers are responsible for accidents, not came (Score 1) 348

by mar.kolya (#45718685) Attached to: Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

I must say I do not associate myself with any political party and do not even live in US.

But anyway, since you mentioned DOT, I'd assume you are in US. And as a matter of fact there is a standard 'Yellow change intervals' in US: , chapter 9, section 9-04.5. It didn't take me too long to find that.

So, this effectively means that either US authorities on some levels were engaging in awfully dangerous and illegal activities by shortening yellow light time or that shortening is purely perceptual. I'm not sure which one it is :).

But RLCs have really nothing to do with any of this. If some authority can go against the law and make yellow light shorter than required - that is the problem unrelated to RLCs. It's like banning bullet proof vests after some policeman suffocates his wife in it.

RLCs act as a deterrent for some drivers to run red lights, and as such they can save lives, and so they should be used, not banned.

Comment: Re:Drivers are responsible for accidents, not came (Score 1) 348

by mar.kolya (#45717709) Attached to: Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

I'm not exactly sure the shortcomings of the law that you have described are actually shortcomings, for the following reasons:

1) Yes, van with older tires should keep larger distance - this is lawful and ethical thing to do. Just because it's a van, heavy vehicle , with, well, older tires. Thus it has longer stopping distance. The fact that drivers of such vehicles (or any vehicle for that matter) usually do not want to realise.

2) I'm not sure which country you live in, but I have a feeling that in any country getting insurance payments is hard enough that you would be willing to search for a buyer for your vehicle instead. And that's not to mention that you may be injured in such collision, more than you think, especially if you goal is to 'total' the vehicle. So, no person in their right mind would attempt this.

3) Probably most importantly. If you hit the brakes and someone hits you from behind - yes, they were following to closely. This is by the definition. And following to closely (and hitting someone as the result) is against the law. You might have done something ethically wrong by hitting the brakes for no reason and there is no law to punish you - that is true. But the other side did something ethically wrong and unlawful - and got punished. That is what law was intended to do.

    So I guess my point is that yes, law is not perfect. And yes, you can quickly change lanes and brake in front of somebody not giving them opportunity to get back far enough. But I would argue that current law is the best that we can get with currently deployed technology.

    Is better law possible? Probably, with onboard recorders, dash cameras and stuff, mandated by the law - better law would be possible. But I can only imagine the amount of whining about 'privacy' from people why think that are entitled to drive +20-30km/h over the speed limit.

    All in all - current law is probably the best possible in current situation. Which means that we, as a society should do our best to obey it. And not to blame the guy who was stopping for red light/squirrel/kitten or child on the road.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes