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Comment Re:Definitely deserved (Score 1) 88

The lyrics are slightly more than just the the Lord's Prayer translated: it significantly repeats some sections and alters the overall order quite a bit. Someone at Civfantaics put up a transcription with an OK translation, Baba Yetu
A native speaker later put up a a much better translation. of some of the sections.

That covers the song pretty well, so I won't re-tread that, but the the Swahili language Lord's Prayer I Googled didn't match up with the song, or the version in my bible, so here it is for anyone interested:

(Mathayo 6, 9-13):

Baba yetu uliye mbinguni:
Jina lako litukuzwe.
Ufalme wako ufike.
Utakalo lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.
Utupe leo chakula chetu tunachohitaji.
Utusamehe makosa zetu,
kama nasi tunavyowasamehe waliotukosea.
Usitutie katika majaribu,
lakini utuokoe na yule Mwovu.

[The optional doxology, which isn't in the text follows,]
Kwa kuwa ufalme ni wako, na nguvu, na utukufu, hata milele.

Comment Re:Sticks will still suck! (Score 1) 244

Sony has clung to the abysmal DualShock analog-stick layout* and the awful split d-pad for THREE console generations now, are you really surprised to see this?

*Yes, fanboys, the layout sucks. It is historical fact that Sony tacked the analog sticks on as an afterthought, placing them where they are only because there was no room anywhere else on the original "digital" controller. If that was actually a good location for controls, the digital buttons would have been there already.

Comment L/100km? (Score 1) 417

This may be my American sensibilities showing through, but what I want to know is why, for the love of god, the European standard for fuel economy is liters/100km? Why not km/liter, which is a much more convenient format for any sort of day-to-day use, and is in keeping with the standard format measurement of efficiency (Output/Input)?

What advantage does using L/100km convey? I am honestly interested

Comment Re:Non-human intelligences (Score 1) 785

By your standard, a person in a coma or an infant are not to be granted rights.

There are some well respected philosophers of ethics who argue for essentially that very viewpoint. Peter Singer is probably the most famous. Interestingly, Singer is also a big animal-rights proponent.

As disgusting as I find some of his views, I have to admit they are logically consistent within his (what I consider warped) ethical framework.

Comment Compensation (Score 1) 237

I didn't find anything with a few cursory Google searches, but I would honestly like to see a source for that. Who is getting compensation?

As far as I have heard, the US was paying for medical treatment for the children who were hurt, which is good, but that was the extent of it. I could see them getting additional, non-medical financial compensation. Beyond that, I would be very surprised.

Comment Re:How about, neither party is innocent (Score 1) 237

Thanks for the analogy, it is often far too hard to convince people that context is everything, and partial truths can be worse than outright lies.

Although a better comparison in this situation would be an undercover cop shot by the homeowner during a break-in by actual armed criminals.

Comment Re:Assange is not noble, nor are his actions (Score 1) 237

Was the US right to kill the Reuters journalists? You phrase it as if they were specifically targeted (not true) and were identifiable as journalists (also not true).

They broke the rules of their own profession and employer by willingly embedding themselves with a group of armed insurgents in a combat zone, without ID or notifying their superiors. It was a sad accident that two journalists got killed, but the military isn't to blame.

You may have forgotten that this was news BEFORE the video was leaked. There was an inquiry and a report. The facts were already known, leaking the video didn't add anything but graphic sensationalism and fuel for anti-American propaganda.

Had Assange just released the video as it was, I would have less of a problem with him. He is a bad man because he deliberately left out all that context while presenting the video in a highly sensationalist manner, manipulated to look like a cover-up of a civilian massacre. I'll ask you: How does twisting the truth make him a "good guy"?

Comment Assange is not noble, nor are his actions (Score 2, Interesting) 237

Every time I post on this, I get modded toll by somebody with an agenda, but I think it's important so I try again.

Assange is a narcissist. He isn't doing anything honorable by dumping all this classified stuff. Leaking information which reveals wrongdoing is noble, wholesale dumping of classified material is chaos. Some secrets are secret for good reasons. For example:

What good comes from leaking the cables of a diplomat clandestinely investigating human rights abuses? It simultaneously gave the oppressive regime a reason to be more oppressive and the names of people to go after, but Assange knows best - people have a right to know! See WikiLeaks just made the world more repressive

How about undermining a democratic reformer in Zimbabwe? Did that do any good? I have a good friend in Zimbabwe, he's in enough danger already just for supporting the MDC. Now a cleptocratic tyrant has the excuse he needs to hold on to power, prolonging the misery of an entire country, and my friend might end up in jail, or dead. But I suppose the death and deprivation of faceless Africans won't keep Julian up at night.

Oddly, one case where Mr. Assange saw fit to withhold information was the "Collateral Murder" video. Not because it could endanger somebody, but because it didn't fit with the narrative he constructed. Rather than objectively present the video with the relevant context, he purposefully left out any mention of the convoy that was approaching or the attacks that had recently occurred that same day, implying that the helicopter was just randomly firing at a group of people. He implies that the pilot's identification of weapons was incorrect, but fails to provide a copy or even a link to the report (which was released, though names are redacted), which details fun facts like the RPGs and AKs they found on and around the "civilians". He doesn't mention that the Reuters employees had not told anyone where they were going to be, and were not wearing ANY press identification. I could go on...

The point is that Assange has always had an agenda, and it certainly isn't exposing government wrongdoing, or even presenting the uncolored, unfiltered truth (if it doesn't suit him). I don't know why so many people here idolize him.

Comment Re:here's an idea (Score 1) 164

For some reason, I read your original post in the voice of "Debbie Downer" and I actually thought you were being pretty darn funny.

Then I read your response, and realized you are being serious.

...or ARE you?

Maybe your sense of humor is overly-strict. Maybe you're just having a bad day. Maybe you're the next Andy Kaufman, goofing us all with a lecture on what makes jokes funny. I'm too tired to figure it out, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Comment Re:here's an idea (Score 1) 164

Responding to jokes like Debbie Downer because you don't think they are funny does not add anything to the conversation. Responding, as you did, in perfect sincerity is worthy of a /. WHOOSH.

Defending your post with a checklist of what a joke requires to be funny just makes you look even MORE stiff and grumpy. If you don't like /. humor, set your preferences to down-rank +funny mods or just scroll down.

I'll give you the benefit of doubt though. We all have bad days. I've groaned at horrible jokes and typed out bitter responses only to be saved by the "cancel" button. I've also missed obvious jokes and written stuff so dumb I wish I could erase it. Preview and Cancel are my friends now.

Now, if you'd signed your original post
" - Debbie Downer"
THAT would have been funny!

Comment Re:Not this shit again, THE WERE ARMED. (Score 0) 469

Well it looks like somebody with an ax to grind and mod-points to burn went through and blanked-modded my posts Flamebait and Troll.

I had mod points when this thread started, but because I understand that Flamebait and Troll are not substitutes for "-1 I disagree", I participated in the discussion with an on-topic, rational presentation of facts, with citations.

People may still come to different conclusions, but nobody was able to refute any of my points. Modding me a troll is admitting that you lack an intellectually sound response. I hope meta-moderation bites those cowards in the ass.

Comment Re:That rule of engagement won't change. (Score 1) 469

Surrender is protected sure, but retreat and surrender are sort of mutually exclusive. You don't surrender by running away, you put up a "white flag" as it were.

I understand that this was not a regular military force in a conventional battle, but you completely dismiss the point I made about the vans. Vans just like that one were the popular mode of insurgent transportation, and while in an urban setting many vehicles would be innocently coming and going, civilian vehicles tend to drive away from combat, or at the very least not stop in the middle of it. Again, keep in mind that the Iraqis had been specifically and repeatedly warned NOT to take actions like this van driver did. I'll agree that it might have been too harsh a response, but it was completely reasonable to make the assumption this was not a civilian vehicle.

You're still looking at this decision with the after-knowledge that all the van driver was trying to do was help wounded people, which is a noble motivation, and that he had children with him, which made it a tragedy. That's not a fair way to judge the decision. Had this guy been another insurgent with no kids riding along, I doubt any of this would be an issue.

Also, the helicopter was not in any danger, it was acting to protect the convoy. I'm no tactical expert, but I'm pretty certain that when a convoy is in hostile territory, staying in place is a bad option. Especially if it had already come under attack earlier.

Comment Re:Not this shit again, THEY WERE ARMED. (Score 0) 469

You were sorta almost right this time:
Two of the soldiers on the ground have written an open apology. The sight of the children was obviously traumatizing to these two (as it would be to anyone), and the apology probably helped them deal with it, but this was an expression of condolence and regret over a tragic accident, not an admission that they "fucked up" the situation.

I am not aware of any apology to the Reuters employees' families. These were grown men who knowingly broke the rules of their own profession, and knowingly put themselves in harms way.

I have listened to the interview with one of the two soldiers who wrote the apology, Ethan McCord. He confirmed that the initial group were armed with AKs and RPGs, and had no problem with that attack. He seemed agonized over the van being shot at, but again, this is all in 20/20 hindsight. He admits that the Iraqis knew not to pick up wounded, but he was the one who pulled the injured children out of the van. Such a experience must scar the psyche, and a natural response in situations like these is to dwell on ways the event could have been prevented. He is second-guessing choices with the knowledge they lead to a bad outcome.


I've thoroughly dismantled the Wikileaks version of events, again, but I doubt it will be the last time. I'm calling it quits for tonight.

Comment Re:There it goes. (Score 1) 319

Also unpaid hospital bills don't get charged to taxpayers - it gets charged to the megacorp or HMO that owns the ER. So it's basically a burden on the rich, which is how it should be, rather than on the workers who are probably poor (else they'd have insurance).

This is a nice class-warfare dream, but in reality, unpaid ER bills either get passed on to EVERYONE's bill, rich and poor (this just bankrupts the uninsured poor even faster) and/or offset by cutbacks in the ER budget (which means longer wait time for everyone).

The catch 22 is that people don't pay the bill because it is too expensive, but if everyone paid the bills, the price would come down.

/Emergency Departments are tremendously expensive to operate, so I doubt they would ever be cheap, but the % of patients who pay nothing is high enough to have a significant effect.

Comment That rule of engagement won't change. (Score 1) 469

Taking combatants off the battlefield while not appropriately marked as a medical unit makes you a legitimate target under anyone's rules of combat. It always has, and always will. Medical units are given safe passage, retreating units are not.

This is the way things HAVE to be. Mucking around with these concepts is what made the rules of engagement in Afghanistan such a cockup: Enemy fires, drops his weapon, and is now an "illegal target" able to stand up and walk away unmolested.

In Iraq, insurgents were being ferried to and from fights in vans just like the one in the video. If one or more vans pull up behind an enemy position, do you stop and check to make sure each and every one loads/unloads non-civilians before firing, or do you make the relatively safe assumption that a vehicle driving into combat is filled or will be filled with combatants?

Again, keep in mind that the convoy was almost literally "around the corner" at this point.

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