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Comment Re:Can only be played on Apple products (Score 2) 77

Everyone wants to own both the distribution channel and the content being sold over that channel. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu...

They all want their own programming so that going to a different store means losing access to content. If Apple's content does appear on Netflix, you can be sure of two things: (1) it'll be old episodes and (2) their programs will include melodramatic, never-ending story arcs.

Comment Re:War crimes or simply war. (Score 1) 97

We are taking the word of B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The New York Times, BBC, Washington Post, Haaretz, and the Goldstone Report, all of whom sent investigators to the scene to interview witnesses and examine the scene for physical evidence.

For example,

We're taking their word agains the word of the Israeli government, which hasn't responded to the charges except to say that Palestinians generically are lying.

The BBC said, "We have put the family's allegations to the Israelis. So far they have told us that they can not comment on specific cases."

Comment Vocational training for young kids is a waste. (Score 5, Insightful) 193

Who knows what jobs will be available in twenty years, between AI and offshoring? Coding doesn't look like a sure thing at all.

If you are going to focus on a skill, focus on ones that serve in that kind of future environment: being able to pick up on human context and nuance; to decode, no just the literal level of communication, but implicit levels of communication. Because even if AI and foreigners take our coding jobs, somebody is going to have to lay out specifications, and that take imagination and subtlety.

And you know what would be really, really good for developing those kinds of skills? Reading and discussing books.

Comment Re:War crimes or simply war. (Score 1) 97

The situation between Israel and Palestine is war, but how is anything a war crime?

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

[The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.]

Comment Re: Dozens! (Score 1) 97
Op-Ed Contributor
America's Failed Palestinian Policy
November 23, 2012

Israel's U.S.-supported policies send the message that the only time the Palestinians will make gains is through arms. The policies penalize peaceful efforts by Fatah, and reward violence by Hamas. Fatah, in 1991, recognized Israel's existence, renounced violence, and agreed to negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. Instead, Israel tripled the number of settlers and Fatah is no closer to a state. Hamas, in 2006, won the election, and refused to recognize Israel's existence or renouce violence. Having seen what happened to Fatah, Hamas refused, and was put under siege. Israeli settlers left Gaza, and Israel returned thousands of prisoners in return for an Israeli captive, which showed Hamas that they could acchieve results from violence. The latest cease-fire rewards Hamas for violence again, by getting Israel to ease collective punishment and extajudicial assassinations (which are against international law anyway). But Israel always ignores the underlying causes -- the denial of human rights and dignity.

Comment Re: Dozens! (Score 1) 97
The Hateful Likud Charter Calls for Destruction of Any Palestinian
Aug. 4, 2014
By Jonathan Weiler

Since virtually every comment on Hamas in American media includes the assertion that the group's Charter rejects Israel's right to exist, it's worth noting the following from the Likud Platform of 1999:

a. "The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel."

b. "Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem"

c. "The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river."

d. "The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

There have been some updates to the platform more recently, reflecting Israel's withdrawal of settlements from Gaza in 2005. But the Likud Party has *never* in its statements of principles, accepted a Palestinian State. Its electoral partner, Yisrael Beitenu, has likewise categorically rejected the possibility of an independent Palestinian State, insisting that the idea is nothing more than a ploy to facilitate the destruction of Israel.

The Hamas charter, of course, does more than just reject Israel as a sovereign political entity. It's a vile document that echoes some of the worst anti-Semitic tropes of the modern era. But on the central question of one side denying the other's legitimacy - it's hard to ignore the symmetry between Likud - the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - and Hamas.

Comment Re: Dozens! (Score 1) 97
Science 24 August 2007:
Vol. 317 no. 5841 pp. 1039-1040
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144241

Policy Forum
Sacred Barriers to Conflict Resolution
Scott Atran, Robert Axelrod, Richard Davis
Resolution of quarrels arising from conflicting sacred values, as in the Middle East, may require concessions that acknowledge the opposition's core concerns

We went to the Middle East in February 2007 to directly probe issues of material trade-offs and symbolic concessions with leaders of the major parties to the Israel-Palestine dispute. We asked 14 interviewees in Syria, Palestine, and Israel to verify statements for citation. No off-the-record statements contradicted these.

Responses were consistent with our previous findings (1), with one important difference. Previously, people with sacred values had responded "No" to the proposed trade-off; "No" accompanied by emotional outrage and increased support for violence to the trade-off coupled with a substantial and credible material incentive; and "Yes, perhaps" to trade-offs that also involve symbolic concessions (of no material benefit) from the other side. Leaders responded in the same way, except that the symbolic concession was not enough in itself, but only a necessary condition to opening serious negotiations involving material issues as well. For example, Musa Abu Marzouk (former chairman, and current deputy chairman, of Hamas) said "No" to a trade-off for peace without granting a right of return; a more emphatic "No, we do not sell ourselves for any amount," when given a trade-off with a substantial material incentive (credible offering of substantial U.S. aid for the rebuilding of Palestinian infrastructure); but "Yes, an apology is important, but only as a beginning. It's not enough, because our houses and land were taken away from us and something has to be done about that."

Similarly, Binyamin Netanyahu (former Israeli prime minister and current opposition leader in parliament) responded to our question, "Would you seriously consider accepting a two-state solution following the 1967 borders if all major Palestinian factions, including Hamas, were to recognize the right of the Jewish people to an independent state in the region?" with the answer: "Yes, but the Palestinians would have to show that they sincerely mean it, change their textbooks and anti-Semitic characterizations and then allow some border adjustments so that Ben Gurion [Airport] would be out of range of shoulder-fired missiles."
Who Wants to Be a Martyr?
By Scott Atran
May 5, 2003

One given in the war against terrorism seems to be that suicide attackers are evil, deluded or homicidal misfits who thrive in poverty, ignorance and anarchy.

(Actually they are well-adjusted, successful, and educated. Reviews the evidence based on interviews with terrorists.)

Comment Re: Dozens! (Score 1) 97
Who Started the Israel-Gaza Conflict?
By Robert Wright
Nov 16 2012,
A summary of events in the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, Nov 8 - Nov 15
By Emily Hauser
There's a constant back and forth, and on both sides, there's always something or someone to avenge.
According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of November 13, Palestinian militants had fired 797 rockets into Israel in the course of 2012 , and according to the Israeli human rights organization Btselem, between January 2009 (the conclusion of the last all-out Gaza war) and September of this year, 25 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, and 314 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, with six more being killed by Israeli civilians.
Wednesday November 14
Reports emerged that Israel has targeted Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas's military wing; Israel confirmed the assassination, citing his "decade-long terrorist activity," and said that killing was the part of an operation in which the military struck 20 different targets across Gaza. HaAretz [Note: Later reports indicate that Jabari was considering a permanent truce agreement at the time of his assassination]
Op-Ed Contributor
Israel's Shortsighted Assassination
Published: November 16, 2012
Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn't just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas's deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.
Gershon Baskin is a co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit.

Comment Re: Dozens! (Score 1) 97

That's a pretty one-sided version of events. Israel denies Gazans airspace, access to their coastline, and blocks imports. Palestinian children are stunted growth because the Israeli government blocked even pasta from coming in.

And yes, Palestinians elected Hamas because they wanted to throw out the existing corrupt party, and since Israelis elected a right winger who said he'd force concessions from Palestinians they voted the same right back.

That's correct. Israel is blockading Gaza. A blockade is an act of war, under international law. A country that is being attacked has a right to defend itself.

I would like both sides to strictly follow international law and abide by humanitarian principles and human rights, but neither side is doing that. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are correct to condemn Hamas for targeting civilians, but they are also correct to condemn Israel for doing the same thing.

The main difference between Hamas and Israel is that Israel kills civilians and says, "We killed them by accident." Hamas kills civilians and says, "We did it deliberately."

Based on many Amnesty International reports, I think the Israelis are lying.

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