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Comment Re:China bans news portals from original reporting (Score 1) 58

Yep - if they see the harbour going up in flames? That didn't happen (yet) so no reporting.
Demonstration outside your office? Better not discuss it - it's officially not happening.
Corrupt officials? Don't exist. Only when Beijing wants to set some examples, and you damn well better not report on Xi Yin Ping's family or you suffer the consequences.
Poison in the water? Beijing reports it's very good to drink, better not do original research and actually drink it. Although you can drink it, you can't report the results.

So basically we're partying like it's 1989: you're stuck with reports on Xi Yin Ping's visit to Zambia, the local weather (24/7 sunny, blue sky - and don't you dare complain about smog), and party meetings. Which is the standard fare on the official channels nobody bothers to watch. I predict even more business for VPN providers.

Comment Re:Environmental impacts? (Score 1) 321

(Anyone else WTFing over this weird "EM radiation" phobia that the unusually-stupid sub-faction of the fearmongers made up? It's often interesting, the kinds of hobgoblins that people-who-want-to-panic invent, but this one is downright weird. Why did they think it would take off? And then how is it that they were they right that it would take off?!? Why are so many people, who you'd think are only slightly stupid, adopting this religion? What's the appeal?)

It is the opening salvo of the Vampire Wars. When they have convinced everyone that EM radiation is harmful and we should all live undergound and never be exposed to the sun again, they will come out in the open and rule us. Hah! We're on to your nefarious plan, vampires! And I will keep a UV-light handy at all times!

Comment Re:tired of being second (Score 1) 160

I didn't know ian. obviously you didn't either.

but for FUCK'S SAKE, dude, what would you do if you were beaten by the cops. TWICE.

you miss his point entirely. sucks to be your ignorant ass.

very sorry for ian. I can only imagine the horror he felt when all he believed came crashing down.

I've known long since that the police are not my friend, and I have been beaten up (once) by them. As an activist, it's part of the way things work and part of the things you want to change. But yeah, I've you've always been taught that the police are your friends and suddenly the gloves come off, it's a shock.

Normally, people re-evaluate their position, think things through and start looking for explanations. They may radicalize and turn to people like Marx and Lenin who long ago explained why the police work the way they do, like Malcolm X. Or they may consider them "bad apples" and try to follow the judicial process, realizing slowly that that won't work, and then build a movement for change, like Martin Luther King. Or they may retreat into alternative policies and withdraw from society. Or they may shrug, say "yeah, life sucks sometimes" and go on with it - like most people.

And then we have people, who appear to have lived a very sheltered life, that get so pissed off that someone dared to touch *them* (the rulers of the universe) that they suicide just to make a point. Well, point taken, but a) some of us were already aware of the fact that police violence is not limited to criminals and b) in todays news it's not going to make a lasting impression, given the fact someone just upped the ante by shooting more than 10 police officers. That's a suicide too, but with a bigger frontpage.

Comment Re:tired of being second (Score 1) 160

I looked at the twitter stream. Maybe one single tweet that could be considered racist if you really worked at it, and didn't take it for an epithet used by someone about to commit suicide who may not have had them all together at the time. A lot of his older tweets seem those of someone who cared for the world, was engaged, didn't like racist policies, retweeted tweets about police violence and condemned it, etc.

Your -1 is well-deserved.

Comment Re:And she gets away with it... (Score 1) 1010

Not true. Let's get the ball rolling for Gary Johnson. Any issues that you might have can be overlooked when you consider that he is not Hillary or Trump.

By that reasoning you could vote in Ctulhu and it would be an improvement. I think I'd rather have Trump. At least he's human.

Hey, that could be a cool presidential poster: "Vote for X - at least (s)he's human!"

Comment Re:Power Self-Justifies (Score 1) 96

The social media in China are full of pump-and-dump scams, scaremongering, way overblown claims, false accusations and paranoid trips into the realm of fantasy (last week I read through an article that was removed from github of all places, about how Xi Jinping had an illegitimate brother that he later had killed). And it creates a vicious feedback cycle when newspapers copy the rumours from the social media pages as news, which then gets recycled with more fanciful additions as "published in the newspapers".

There is *also* news that is picked up about corruption, or other abuses, that would otherwise have never shown. Since it's no problem *under this law* when newspapers investigate the story and publish based on that, this law doesn't really hurt that. There are loads of other laws already in place to do just that :)

Comment Re:Here's a novel idea (Score 5, Interesting) 278

To discuss "The Palestinians" in the context of the ancient history is rather farfetched - under the Ottoman empire it is difficult to say whether the Palestinians identified themselves as Palestinians . Going into detail on your examples, Safed 1517 seems to be a case of anti-semitism during wartime, in the case of 1660 Tiberias/Safed it was the Druze who attacked, for reasons not immediately apparent. In modern times, Druze do not identify as Palestinians. Hebron 1834... was a case of a day of rape and pillage by an army after a 5 months siege, in which there were a grand total of 12 casualties. Calling that a massacre seems more a propaganda piece than a massacre. especially as the Arab population suffered over 500 casualties during that same day. But they don't really count in your examples, do they?

The 1929 riots are more interesting. To quote wikipedia: "The Shaw Commission found that the fundamental cause of the violence "without which in our opinion disturbances either would not occurred or would not have been little more than a local riot, is the Arab feeling of animosity and hostility towards the Jews consequent upon the disappointment of their political and national aspirations and fear for their economic future."[ It also attributed the cause as being Arab fears of Jewish immigrants "not only as a menace to their livelihood but as a possible overlord of the future."

With the benefit of hindsight we might say they had a point.

When Israel entirely withdrew from all Gaza settlements in 2005, they were immediately met with an increase of violence, not less.

Is that so strange? It is quite obvious to all involved why Israel withdrew: it would make it possible to stall peace negotiations for much longer, it would bottle the Palestines up in West Gaza, a much smaller area than the original plans show, and holding the settlements was politically impossible if Israel wanted to keep up relations with the rest of the world. This was realized by the Palestines as well.

So is there *any* reason to believe the Palestinians -- the same people who overwhelmingly support the government that holds this kind of shit [] at their schools -- would stop attacking civilians if the settlements are disbanded?

There are loads of reasons to think that the attacks will *never* stop until the settlements are disbanded, for several reasons.
1) the settlers are responsible for a lot of violence themselves. They are a huge part of the problem as they depend economically on the conflict. They do not want peace and do everything possible to stir up trouble. Shutting down the settlements would be a very small first step in normalizing the situation.
2) the settlements use up a lot of water which is scarce in the area. They are connected by roads that the rest of the inhabitants are barred from even crossing, and occupy strategic areas with fertile lands.
3) It is a visible reminder of the fact the population is controlled by outside soldiers.
Removing the settlements won't stop the attacks on civilians (although it will stop attacks on settlements), but it is at least a start towards a solution.

As for Hamas, yeah, they're wankers. It's not as if Israeli politicians are immune to the hatred though: rabbi Dov Lior ( is at least as big a wanker as any member of Hamas.

Comment Re:The real truth is probably worse than we think. (Score 3, Insightful) 153

The common thread for all these phone home vulnerabilities are all going to servers in China.

Nothing really happens there without the government's knowledge, and probable support.

There is a nice Chinese saying (Tian gao, Huangdi yuan) that basically says "Heaven is high and the emperor is far away". It's still very much in vogue. It means most Chinese know that as long as they don't draw attention, they can do a lot of things you might get arrested for - but won't. Demonstrating on Tianmen square is a good way to get that attention, but just being one of a gazillion small electric shops isn't.

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Comment Re:Please protect us from ourselves, Big Brother! (Score 1) 73

Gambling is not a basic part of the game, it's done entirely through third-party websites.

Gambling is a basic part of the game: you need to buy keys and they open a box with random contents. If I open a box with a Dragon Lore AWP skin, I may be able to sell it on the community market for $800 dollar, which after paying a commission to Valve is deposited straight in my Steam account by Valve, which I can then turn into $800 dollars in my paypal account by visiting a site they support. It's gambling for real money and they know they're dealing with kids doing the gambling.

And if your kid is buying CS:GO skins then you're part of the same group of parents that complain when their children spend $1000 on farmville; it's your own fault for giving them credit card info.

I don't complain about this happening without my knowledge: he is free to buy skins out of his own pocket money - I deposit his pocket money in his steam account (within reason) and he had to save for months to save up this much. I'd much prefer him to find out how worthless pixels are now, rather than when he is 30. I don't start a lawsuit and I haven't even complained about the gambling to Valve because my kid doesn't do it. It's not *my* problem. But if we can agree that marketing a game to kids and then including paid gambling in it *could* be an issue somewhere, then yes, Valve has that issue.

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