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Comment: Re:I can't ever work for IBM again .. (Score 1) 203

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that those terms won't be enforceable in what they call "right to work" states in the USA. In those states I know of businesses that try to enforce restrictions like that, but the only reason they work is because the employees don't know their legal rights, not because the restrictions are actually legal in those states.

Comment: Re:The UN (Score 5, Informative) 282

by quantaman (#47505649) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

20 rockets were found in a UN owned school in the Gaza strip. The UN is caliming they were not using the building and did not know the rockets were in the building. What happened to the rockets once the UN discovered they were hiding munitions for Hamas in a school? The UN did the only responsible thing possible and handed those rockets over to Hamas.

Interesting, lets read the link then:

So where did the rockets go? Well, according to Israel, they went right back to Hamas. As an official told The Times of Israel:

The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel.”

Ok, that sounds damning, but lets read till the end for the buried lede:

On Monday afternoon, Chris Gunness, the spokesman for U.N.R.W.A., denied that the rockets went back to Hamas.

UNRWA did not give the rockets to Hamas. The rockets were taken away by bomb disposal experts that were answerable to the newly formed government of national consensus, which Hamas has left."

So the rockets went to people most likely hostile to Hamas. Now maybe the UN could have done better disposing of the bombs themselves, but a UN bomb disposal mission in Gaza sounds like something that could also go really wrong. Remember the role of the UN isn't to fight for Israel, in that case they're just trying to provide humanitarian aid.

Comment: Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (Score 1) 655

by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (#47502211) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Russia or the separatists in Eastern Ukraine might have done this -- although no-one is sure what they would stand to gain from it. Ukraine's own military might have done it (they've done it before and denied it vehemently until it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt).

Nobody seriously thinks that Russia did this, per se. Do many of us think that they armed separatists who did it? Yes. Really, you're going to play the "But what would they have to gain?" card? It's not about gain, it's about incompetence. It's generally thought that the separatists thought it was a Ukrainian military plane. As far the old "Ukraine has done it before" charge goes, I talked about this one last week, you are referring to the Siberian Airlines flight 1812 shootdown of Oct. 2001, no doubt. Well, at first Ukraine sort of admitted it, sort of denied it. There's still talk in some circles that President Kuchma, a buddy of sorts of Putin, agreed to take the heat on this one in exchange for some sort of future favor, although I have no idea what he got out of it. Ukraine played up their hillbilly role by basically saying "We think a reflection off the water caused this terrible accident. We so stupid! Not know what we do! Duh!" Well, it's certainly possible that their military did it, but I can't rule out that they just took the blame to save Putin's face. I've been to Ukraine and in those days, there was a lot of scraping and bowing in the direction of Mother Russia so I certainly think it's possible that Ukraine just claimed to do it to make Russia look good.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 655

by quantaman (#47498353) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

One biased side is fighting edits from an even more biased side.

The first casualty of war is the truth. In this case both sides are trying to pummel truth's dead body into a hamburger.

There's not some mythic unattainable "truth" surrounded by complete lies.

Every statement is a mixture of truth and lies, the goal of decent people it to not only call out the lies in every statement, but to still recognize that an imperfect statement can still contain a great deal of truth.

Right now Russia is telling egregious lies. The proper action isn't to stand back and act like it's fine because everybody lies, it's to drag them out and discredit them so that they have a reason to start telling the truth.

And when someone else lies you should drag them out and discredit them, but to brush off misdeeds as something that's normal is how Russia became the joke it is today.

Comment: Re:Propaganda (Score 1) 655

by quantaman (#47498251) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

a strategy of kremlin propagandists.
distribute lies about events ("oh, ukrainians shot down mh 17 ! they even shot down their own planes a few days before that. we claimed credit for that just for fun !"), then go "ooooh, but you know, i don't trust either side, they all are lying"

so far russia has been caught lying many times. all evidence points at russian special forces (and regular army, too) being responsible both for invasion in eastern ukraine, and for downing mh17 specifically.

No it doesn't.

The evidence points to Russian special forces and regular army being responsible for the annexation of Crimea.

In the war in Eastern Ukraine the evidence points to Russian paramilitary organizations operating with the backing of the Russian government and some level of direction. But there's no evidence of actual Russian soldiers in East Ukraine. To be honest they'd be dumb to send any. There's more than enough Cossacks and Chechen militias they can direct over unofficially. No point in sending over official soldiers who could be killed, identified, and drag Putin into an actual war he doesn't want.

Putin still bears full culpability for every death that's occurred, but he's keeping official Russian soldiers out of it.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 655

by quantaman (#47498237) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Terrorists? I've seen them called both separatists and I think Militia. I haven't heard them called terrorists until now, and whilst I'm not fully educated on their movement, treatment of civilians in the area and other matters, I don't know if they should morally be classified as terrorists by the international community, that is unless they shot the airliner down on purpose or performed other heinous acts of terror.

Honestly I'm not entirely sure what to call them, but terrorists isn't it (though the Ukrainian government has called them that all along).

Generally I call them rebels or separatists, but that doesn't really apply. To be a rebel or a separatist it's implied that you're fighting your own government, but in this case many, if not most, are Russian citizens motivated by a combination of nationalism, adventurism, and wealth. Guerrillas maybe? What do you call a paramilitary organization that invades another country to try to steal some of its territory?

Comment: Re:Propaganda won't help this time (Score 1) 502

by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (#47481637) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet
I agree with your post in general, but I want to point out a couple of exceptions. In English you're supposed to say "Ukraine" and not "the Ukraine" since Ukraine is an independent country and not a part of the USSR. The only people who know the difference and insist on "the Ukraine" are Russian sympathizers, so you're actually picking a side you may not wish to pick by saying "the Ukraine". Rules for languages other than English may be different. Don't agree with me? Then go to a website for a Ukrainian embassy in an English speaking country and you will see that they only say Ukraine and not "the Ukraine". I've been to Ukraine. I know.

Right now there's no evidence that any US citizens were on the plane, so the US seems to have not lost anyone in the crash. As far as what the Netherlands will do, well, to me they are sort of the kings of wussies in Europe so while citizens are going to be upset, based on posts here I get the distinct impression that Dutch people or at least the ones on Slashdot always pick the wrong side in a dispute. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dutch in particular view Russia as the aggrieved party in their dispute with Ukraine and start to push for the explanation that Ukraine did it and won't admit it.

Comment: Re:Seems like old times (Score 4, Interesting) 750

And those even older may remember Korean Air Lines Flight 007 and Korean Air Lines Flight 902 (both shot down by the Soviet Union). It seems they have done it again.

There was also Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 in 2001. Rumors have existed in certain circles that incompetent Russian soldiers shot it down by accident and Ukrainian President Kuchma agreed for Ukraine to take the blame in exchange for some sort of favor from Putin. Ukraine officially denied responsibility but they did offer compensation to the victim's families which is the usual legal dodge of not officially admitting guilt in case you get sued. My money in this case today is that Russia shot the Malaysian Airlines plane down. I expect US aviation experts to come to that conclusion and for Russia to deny it and insist that it's all part of the standard "Blame Russia" theme the West is currently playing.

Comment: Re: The Heartland Institute (Score 1) 551

by quantaman (#47466635) Attached to: The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Every now and then I go down your "informed skeptic" rabbit holes to make sure I didn't miss anything in my personal conclusion that AGW is real and a problem, but every time the data YOU present always ends up refuting your point.

Don't worry, they all came away just as convinced and reassured as to the irrefutability of their conclusions.

Comment: Re:Congratulations? (Score 1) 588

by quantaman (#47464073) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

That strikes me as disrespectful

That's what we do with other people's mythology to fit in into stories, especially if there's nobody left that sees it as anything other than distant mythology. Take a look at some things that Japanese anime do with Christian motifs for another example (eg. Hellsing, Evangelion, A Certain Magical Index, Chrono Crusade). To push stories along they do things to Christian ideas that could be seen as disrepectful if it wasn't clear that those worlds have some large differences with ours.

If I were Christian I don't think I'd care about anyone's portrayal because Christianity is so strong that people would know my beliefs regardless. But if I felt Norse mythology was a part of my heritage I'd be pretty concerned about what Marvel did because that would be the major exposure a lot of people got to my heritage.

Comment: Re:Oblig Penny-Arcade - Black Heimdall (Score 1) 588

by quantaman (#47463093) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

We already did this... Even a racist clock is right twice a day

In Marvel Lore, anyone who is worthy may wield the hammer and gain the power of thor... this has included

A horsefaced dude (beta ray bill who now wields a dupe of the hammer, sorta)

A frog named Throg

it has also been wielded by Storm (who is a woman) and Captain America.

This is a non-story, and not the first time a woman has wielded Mjolnir.

I think black Thor is tacky, objecting has nothing to do with being racist but the fact they're screwing with other people's mythology. Now if they made Spiderman a gay black man? Or Professor X a female? Now those are changes I could endorse and the resulting changes would make the character's fundamental characteristics more compelling.

As for this case I'd say Marvel is the one being misogynist. The basic implication of this stunt is that the only way they can see to make a flagship female character is by taking a male flagship character and turning them female.

A woman shouldn't have to piggyback on a man to gain fame.

Comment: Re:Congratulations? (Score 1) 588

by quantaman (#47463033) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

They also made Thor come from space, speak English, made Asgard not an afterlife, and changed all sorts of other details.

What makes this change particularly galling to you?

The previous changes were necessary to integrate Thor into the Marvel universe.

This change unnecessarily alters a core characteristic of who Thor is.

It would be the same thing if they turned Thor into a telepath or a pacifist, if you're going to change a core characteristic of Thor then don't call it Thor. Or if you do do it then you should have a proper motive such as an artistic twist as opposed to pandering.

And why is it Norse Mythology they're screwing with anyways? It's one thing to base a character off of a Norse god, but screwing with that bit of heritage for blatant pandering? That strikes me as disrespectful.

If Marvel really wanted to be bold and challenge readers they should have made a female Professor X. A woman in a position of intellectual authority? Now that's a change I could respect.

Comment: Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 5, Informative) 205

While the linked to article, a US TV station news site, does call it a "draft notice", I suppose I should explain to the non-US people here that this is not technically correct. There has been no draft in the US since the end of the Vietnam War. For roughly 40 years now, the US has had an all volunteer army. What Selective Service is required to do is to contact US citizen males on their 18th birthday and advise them that for the next 10 years they need to let Selective Service know their new address every time they move because in theory, in a national emergency Congress could pass a law reinstating the military draft and Selective Service is required to maintain accurate records of those who might theoretically be subject to such a draft. Whether such a draft would ever be done again is a great question, given how Congress currently seems incapable of passing anything non-controversial, let alone something as controversial as reinstating the draft. A crackpot Congressman or two has tried to get the draft reinstated and it's never had enough support to even get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. Whatever this is, technically speaking it's not a "draft notice".

Not to digress, but for those who don't know, the draft was very controversial during the Vietnam War, with the rich and powerful were able to get their sons exceptions to the draft or get them plum assignments in the National Guard that wouldn't require them to actually go to Vietnam. Listen to Credence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son", which was written about the practice. There was so much animosity about the unfairness of the draft and the compulsion to fight in a war that nobody but a small number of politicians seemed to want that the US switched to a voluntary system, but one of the deals cut to move to this system was that Selective Service had to know where to get young men should the draft ever get reinstated. And yes, female US citizens are not subject to this at all.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."