Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 28, 2015, 09:52:12 am
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 368
1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Coalition forces target Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on: October 28, 2015, 03:37:17 pm
The adverb in the thread title appears increasingly difficult to defend.

Quote from: The Associated Press
The Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, The Associated Press has learned.


A day before an American AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital, a senior officer in the Green Beret unit wrote in a report that U.S. forces had discussed the hospital with the country director of the medical charity group, presumably in Kabul, according to two people who have seen the document.


Separately, in the days before the attack, "an official in Washington" asked Doctors without Borders "whether our hospital had a large group of Taliban fighters in it," spokesman Tim Shenk said in an email. "We replied that this was not the case. We also stated that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures."

Taken together, the revelations add to the growing possibility that U.S. forces destroyed what they knew was a functioning hospital, which would be a violation of the international rules of war. The Pentagon has said Americans would never have intentionally fired on a medical facility, and it's unclear why the Green Beret unit requested the strike — and how such an attack was approved by the chain of command — on coordinates widely known to have included a hospital.

Even if the U.S. believed the Taliban were operating from the hospital, the presence of wounded patients inside would have made an air attack on it problematic under standard American rules of engagement and the international law of war.


2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coalition forces accidentally hit Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on: October 18, 2015, 02:48:31 pm
I have a very, very hard time believing this is really an accident.

Quote from: NBC
NBC News has learned that the crew in the gunship that carried out a strike against a hospital in Afghanistan questioned whether it was legal.


Quote from: NBC
A vehicle containing U.S. personnel "destroyed potential evidence" on Thursday by forcing its way onto the ruined site of a hospital bombed by American forces in Afghanistan, the charity said.


Quote from: The Guardian
Doctors Without Borders airstrike: US alters story for fourth time in four days


3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 21: Benin on: October 16, 2015, 01:10:58 am
I had meant to post this, but now I feel like I can't say anything without sounding superfluous. I guess I'll just add that it's depressing that was 32 years (or so) until an African leader actually lost re-election. Or, more accurately, let themselves lose. The list of such leaders, off the top of my head, remains pitifully short-- there's Kerekou, Abdou Diouf and then (again!) Abdoulaye Wade in Senegal, Hastings Banda in Malawi, Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, Moncef Marzouki in Tunisia, and--in  where you'd least expect it-- Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria. I think that's just about it. Just them.

There's also, from recent years, Joyce Banda in Malawi and Rupiah Banda in Zambia.
4  General Politics / Economics / Re: Adopting the US Dollar on: October 12, 2015, 02:19:47 am
What all countries have just decided to take up the USD as their currency? I know Zimbabwe has after experiencing hyper inflation. Theoretically, couldn't Greece just leave the Eurozone and take up the USD? Or are they too large of an economy to pull that off?

Quote from: Wikipedia
Countries using the US dollar exclusively
British Virgin Islands
Caribbean Netherlands (from 1 January 2011)
East Timor (uses its own coins)
Ecuador (uses its own coins in addition to U.S. coins; Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its legal tender in 2000.)
El Salvador
Marshall Islands
Federated States of Micronesia (Micronesia used the US dollar since 1944)[35]
Palau (Palau adopted the US dollar since 1944)
Panama (uses its own coins in addition to U.S. coins. This country has adopted the US dollar as legal tender since 1904.)
Turks and Caicos Islands

Countries using the US dollar alongside other currencies
Barbados (Barbadian dollar pegged at 2:1 but USD is accepted)
Belize (Belizean Dollar pegged at 2:1 but USD is accepted)
Bermuda (Bermudian dollar pegged at 1:1 but USD is accepted)
Cambodia (uses the Cambodian riel for many official transactions but most businesses deal exclusively in dollars for all but the cheapest items. Change is often given in a combination of US dollars and Cambodian riel. ATMs yield US dollars rather than Cambodian riel.)
Costa Rica
Haiti (uses the U.S dollar alongside its domestic currency, the gourde)
Lebanon (along with the Lebanese pound)
Liberia (was fully dollarized until 1982, when the National Bank of Liberia began issuing five dollar coins; US dollar still in common usage alongside the Liberian dollar)
North Korea (along with the Chinese yuan, euro, and North Korean won)
Somalia (along with the Somali shilling)


Below is a map on currency substitution and pegging.
Light green shaded territories peg to the dollar.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Let's Play 'Guess the Country from their exports' on: October 07, 2015, 11:47:46 pm
Observer beat me to it.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Let's Play 'Guess the Country from their exports' on: October 05, 2015, 07:33:24 am
It's clearly one of the least developed economies in the world - essentially no diversification; and the primary export is an unprocessed raw material.

I presume sub-Saharan African - indeed, I presume the Sahara is a factor, there's no sign of any agricultural exports.

I'm not sufficiently aware of major sources of radioactive elements to go any further.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coalition forces accidentally hit Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on: October 05, 2015, 01:27:24 am
I have a very, very hard time believing this is really an accident.

Quote from: Christopher Stokes, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières
MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital – with more than 180 staff and patients inside – because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.

This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimise the attack as 'collateral damage'. There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds.

MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation.

Quote from: Médecins Sans Frontières
The bombing took place despite the fact that MSF had provided the GPS coordinates of the trauma hospital to Coalition and Afghan military and civilian officials as recently as Tuesday 29 September, to avoid that the hospital be hit. As is routine practice for MSF in conflict areas, MSF had communicated the exact location of the hospital to all parties to the conflict.


Quote from: Christopher Stokes, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières
Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the US airstrike on Saturday morning. The hospital was full of MSF staff, patients and their caretakers. It is 12 MSF staff members and ten patients, including three children, who were killed in the attack.

We reiterate that the main hospital building, where medical personnel were caring for patients, was repeatedly and very precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched. We condemn this attack, which constitutes a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.”

8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Could you support a military takeover of the US government? on: October 02, 2015, 06:11:15 am
Prompted by the below results from YouGov last month:

9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: September 16, 2015, 01:40:59 am
Could've been worse.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Day 7: Antarctica on: September 07, 2015, 03:17:16 am
Quote from: Wikipedia
The coast of Adélie Land was discovered in 1840 by the French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville (1790 – 1842) who named it after his wife, Adèle.[2] This is the basis of the French claim on this Antarctic land.

11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Memorial Good Post Gallery on: August 28, 2015, 03:40:51 am
Lately I have been thinking there is one thing that could hurt him and that is The Bible. After getting criticism for his performance at a values summit last month he has started touting how The Bible is his favorite book and how it is "The Best!"  It seems to me that he has opened himself to have a Sarah Palin with Katie Couric or Herman Cain "Libya Brain Freeze" type of moment with some informed journalist asking him some basic questions about Christianity/The Bible. Because I am fairly certain that he knows j--k sh-t about the Bible. If he completely embarrasses himself talking about God, how well will he do with the base of the GOP?

Hm...I take that as a challenge to write what I would say if I were Trump asked about the Bible.

"Take David. Total outsider, the kid wasn't part of the establishment, wasn't part of the court, he was a shepherd boy! Yet he could tell that things were going wrong in Israel. Losing wars, budget wasn't lining up, everything was just going to hell, and the people in the government didn't have a clue. King Saul...nice guy, right? Saul? Love him, but he was a loser. A total disaster. So David goes to the court and everyone loves the guy, he even negotiated the king's daughter as a bride...someone's clearly read The Art of the Deal, am I right? Israel's threatened by the Philistines, so David, totally naked, goes up to the biggest, toughest of the Philistines and knocks him dead. That's how you negotiate! Take the biggest, strongest enemy and destroy him publicly...who's going to screw you after that? There's a great statue of this...Michelangelo's David...you seen it? This guy's seen it. Powerful stuff...and David had nearly as luxurious hair as I do! I thought about buying that statue once, but I don't have the right building to stick it in yet. Maybe the White House, eh? So David becomes king. People love him, God loves him, Israel's enemies hate him. Did he have a soft spot for beautiful girls? Don't we all? So yes, story of David is really inspirational stuff."
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The CrabCake Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: August 27, 2015, 02:17:28 am
Wow, did Lincoln Chafee use some of his spending money to buy a few supporters?

I don't know, but apparently his campaign managed to scrape together enough money to fly him to Iowa to attend the fair in person:


I don't know how they managed that.  Will they be able to raise enough $ to pay for a return ticket, or will he have to hitchhike back to Rhode Island?

Maybe he can carpool with Webb and O'Malley.

They might stumble into a debate in the car that isn't authorized by the DNC.

13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: August 19, 2015, 01:02:04 am
Just to add to that, two other useful sources on this and other such matters are:
Adrian Kavanagh's blog
Jason Kelleher's Irish Political Maps blog
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What term to you prefer for Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands on: July 27, 2015, 06:54:58 am
The Irish government recommend Britain and Ireland.  

Does it?

Well, it is Wiki info, but their quotes seems legit. Do you disagree?

Regarding British Isles they got a 2005 statement from the Foreign Minister:

"The British Isles is not an officially recognised term in any legal or inter-governmental sense. It is without any official status. The Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, does not use this term. Our officials in the Embassy of Ireland, London, continue to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms as set out in the Constitution of Ireland and in legislation. These include the name of the State, the President, Taoiseach and others."

I don't dispute that the use of the term 'British Isles' is loaded and not favoured for use in Ireland, either officially, or in general.

However, nothing in the wiki page, nor in that quote, gives an indication to me that the Government of Ireland recommend the use of the term 'Britain and Ireland' as their preferred alternative to the term 'British Isles', as you assert in the OP.

15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What term to you prefer for Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands on: July 27, 2015, 01:49:22 am
The Irish government recommend Britain and Ireland. 

Does it?
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Irish general election on: July 23, 2015, 01:38:53 am
To give some context for the thread - below are the most recent polls (with links to the full released results) and the results of the 2011 General for comparison.

2011   28 June  28 June  18 July
Fine Gael36282924
Fianna Fáil17202318
Sinn Féin10182117
People Before Profit1NI1NI

NI Not specifically included in poll results
* Broken down as 23 for Independents, 1 for Other
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 22, 2015, 01:20:42 am
The Privy Council is the official channel used by the PM when briefing opposition politicians on national security matters; Harriet Harman was informed about some IS stuff the other day through it.

Yes - but such briefings are at the PM's discretion.
Membership of the Privy Council doesn't appear entitle one to any particularly sensitive information as of right.

At any rate, is there any reason to believe Mr Corbyn is incapable of, or unlikely to, respect the confidentiality of sensitive information?
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 21, 2015, 03:14:44 pm
(Does Angus Robertson have PC status?)

Not yet. But I'd expect it sooner or later.
Presumably if Nigel Dodds was entitled to it in 2010, Robertson meets the requisite standard.

Problem with Corbyn is that he's never held a front bench post, Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet. Thrusting him to the top job like that will be problematic. Also, considering his viewpoints, if I was in David Cameron's shoes, I'd be rather concerned about giving him the Privy Councillor status that comes with the title of Leader of the Opposition i.e. access to some pretty secret information.

Is there really? I doubt it.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 19, 2015, 06:45:45 am
I don't even think many of the (southern) Irish support a United Ireland any more; more trouble than it's worth for them.

It's not polled often, but there is some data.

On support within the republic for a united Ireland:

DatePollFor   Against
2012MRBI/Irish Times648
2010RedC/Sunday Times5722
2006    RedC/Sunday Business Post   8010

20  General Politics / Economics / Re: Greece to Leave the Euro Zone on: June 29, 2015, 06:45:31 am
Why does leaving the Eurozone have any connection with Greece in the EU? There are plenty of other EU nations not on the Euro.

Because, if I understand things correctly, the only legal mechanism for a Eurozone member to leave the Eurozone is to leave the EU altogether.


See here: Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU some reflections, Phoebus Athanassiou, ECB Legal Working Paper Series, No 10 / December 2009
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Updated list of who is in and out of first GOP debate (FOX Aug. 6) on: June 26, 2015, 03:18:17 am
The average is live phone polls only. No PPP or YouGov or other IVR and Internet polls.

What level of certainty do we have that “major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques” (the relevant criterion, as I understand it, for poll inclusion) means that non-live phone calls will definitively be excluded?
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Maps. All the maps. on: June 25, 2015, 07:18:26 am
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Denmark Parliamentary Election - June 18, 2015 on: June 24, 2015, 02:34:24 am
What EU referendum?

I presume this is in reference to:

Quote from: Reuters
A right-wing eurosceptic party that was one of the biggest winners in Denmark's parliamentary election stood by demands including a referendum on European Union membership as its price for joining any center-right coalition.


DF has four policy initiatives which Espersen said were a "red line" for the party.

DF has said it wants to hold a referendum on EU membership, although only if Britain does the same after renegotiating its relationship with the European Union. DF wants reform of the EU but does not seek to leave the bloc.

Danes ride euroskeptic wave as kingmaker party sticks to referendum line, Reuters, 19 June 2015
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who Do You Match on iSideWith? on: June 13, 2015, 01:15:18 pm
81% Bernie Sanders
65% Hillary Clinton
56% Rand Paul
53% Jeb Bush
24% Ben Carson
24% Chris Christie
23% Marco Rubio
20% Scott Walker
18% Mike Huckabee
16% Rick Santorum
12% Ted Cruz
  7% Carly Fiorina
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 09, 2015, 01:44:54 am
Maybe this will be the start of French style "overseas constituencies".

Gibraltar is far too small to be a constituency, no?

Na h-Eileanan an Iar had a population of 27,684 at the 2011 census.

Gibraltar's population was estimated at 29,752 in 2011.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 368

Login with username, password and session length


Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines