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Comment: Re: Transparency (Score 1) 87

Tea Party is a minority among right-wingers, but it's also the one that is most strongly pro-gun, and also the one that's most consistently emphasizing the "right to armed uprising". Mainstream Republicans are rather averse to such rhetoric (the politicians are another matter when they're pandering to electorate - they know that being seen as "pro-gun" will win them some fringe votes, but won't spook the mainstream enough to cost them more, especially when the other option is a Democrat).

Comment: Re:we doing it all wrong... (Score 1) 85

with a place like saudi arabia and all the bloody religious fanatic countries the ONLY thing we should export are BOOKS...books and fucking books again. And THEN after everyone damn reads them all and LEARN

What makes you think that Saudi Arabia would permit the kinds of books from which people might learn such things?

Remember how it went? "If these books contradict the Holy Qu'ran, then they are blasphemy - burn them. If these books are in agreement with the Holy Qu'ran, then they are superfluous - burn them."

Comment: Re:Heck, we probably already fund them (Score 1) 85

Yes. Thing is, if Israel really wanted to maximize Palestinian civilian casualties, they'd turn Gaza into rubble literally overnight, with casualties in hundreds of thousands. They certainly have the means - it being packed as dense as that, a few fuel-air bombs would cause immense casualties, without a single shot being fired in response.

Ironically, the fact that Palestinian casualties haven't even reached a thousand yet (and this includes the combatants) is ipso facto evidence that Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians as a matter of policy (though it doesn't mean that individual soldiers don't fire at civilians, by mistake or otherwise).

Comment: Re: Transparency (Score 1) 87

I'm not right wing, but I have to call you out on that. Most extreme right-wingers that I know - the kind that likes to talk about right to keep and bear arms as "means to fight back against a tyrannical government" - are actually pretty skeptical of PATRIOT Act, NSA surveillance, and all that stuff. Notice how a lot of recent attacks on the NSA came from Tea Party.

Comment: Re:you mean you HEAR fireworks (Score 1) 379

The reason why Hamas rockets "didn't hit a single person" is because of a combination of interceptor systems, early launch detection, and well-developed civil defense in Israel. If rockets were fired in the same manner at Gaza, given the population density there, almost every single one would have found a target. Yet that would be exactly a tit-for-tat response.

You seem to be arguing that if a guy attacks me with a knife on the street, I can't use any force to defend myself until he actually manages to land a stab on me. If that's your notion of "proportional response", it's bullshit.

Comment: Re:you mean you HEAR fireworks (Score 1) 379

Sounds more like willful obtuseness. If the poor bastards in Gaza can afford some gunpowder and tubes, methinks one of the world's top five military powers could manage it.

Er... are you implying that what Israel should do is fire its own Qassam-style rockets back at Gaza, using the same targeting principle (i.e. aim where the concentration of people is highest)?

Comment: Re:you mean you HEAR fireworks (Score 1) 379

Disproportionate response is a war crime.

The problem with this is that no-one seems to be able to coherently explain what a proportional response should look like. Every time I ask people, they immediately go into rant mode about "Israeli fascist" and "they've had that coming" etc. But no-one is willing to actually lay out the proper response to the rockets step-by-step.

No guidance systems.

They're still aimed, it's just that the target area is very wide. But in most cases, those target areas are city centers.

So maximized they hadn't killed a single person in almost three years. Try again.

Not for the lack of trying. It's one of the reasons why I consider Hamas leadership basically insane - it's clear that what they're doing is just plainly not working, and is only making things worse for them, but they're doing it anyway.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 610

That is not fully true. At least in East Germany you owned things. You could own a car and the furniture in your house.

Soviet doctrine (and the broader Marxist doctrine) distinguishes between "personal property" and "private property". Things like furniture or car would be considered personal property, and hence okay. Land, means of (large-scale) production like workshops and factories etc, would be considered private property if owned, and that was banned. Houses and other things that straddled the line could be treated differently depending on the country and the era.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 610

Russia was truly communist for a few years after the Russian revolution, until the Bolsheviks took over and turned everything on its head and forever corrupted the word "communism".

After the first revolution in February, 1917 (the one that saw the tsar abdicate), Russia became a capitalist republic. That lasted for 8 months.

After the second revolution in October, 1917, the power was in the hands of the soviets (councils) of workers and peasants, most of which were under Bolshevik control already.

In 1918, the power was very briefly (and largely nominally) exercised by the Constituent Assembly. It lasted for 13 hours before the Bolsheviks dissolved it.

By the end of 1918, Bolsheviks have purged the only remaining minority party that shared the power with them in the soviets, the left esers.

So, where do the "few years after the Russian revolution" come from?

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 610

If Communism never actually existed, then what the heck was the deal with USSR, China, E. Germany, Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, et al.

They didn't call themselves communist. They had communist parties, which were ostensibly dedicated to the goal of achieving communism - eventually, sometime in the future.

As Soviet joke went, a party lecturer holding a class on dialectic materialism in a remote village said to the audience: "Cheer up, comrades! Communism is on the horizon!"

One of the peasants in the audience raises his hand and asks a question, "Comrade, what is a horizon?"

The lecturer answered, "A horizon is an imaginary line where the sky and the earth seems to meet, which always remains the same distance from us as we walk towards it."

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 610

While some countries liked to CALL THEMSELVES communist, they were not.

None of those countries actually called themselves "communist", they were all "socialist". Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for example. Communism, just as you say, was a label for a hypothetical future society that was just around the corner, kinda like fusion.

The one place where you'd see actual communist countries mentioned was in Soviet sci-fi. E.g. in Strugatsky brothers' Noon Universe, its early stages see an economic and scientific competition before the remainder of the Western world, headed by the USA, and the USCR - Union of Soviet Communist Republics - a result of the merger of all socialist states, with USSR and China as two cores, once communism was achieved in them.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 610

Yup. The supreme irony is that capitalism did create the conditions for its own demise, as Marx predicted. Where he was wrong is the conditions themselves - he thought that communism would come first, and post-scarcity would only become feasible later. Turned out it's the other way around. Wait and see.

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