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October 01, 2014, 01:19:53 pm
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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: what should be the burden of proof for campus justice system sexual assaults? on: Today at 12:04:27 pm
If the potential rapist is tried in a real court and found guilty, kick him out.  If me or someone I loved got raped and the only people punishing the bastard was the school I'm going to be super pissed.

But would you rather the school punish him or her, or the perpetrator not receive any punishment at all? What if it was the difference between the victim dropping out of school /transferring or not?
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: FCC considering banning Redskins name on: Today at 12:51:49 am
The Redskins should definitely change their name, but I've never heard of the FCC doing anything this drastic before. Probably not a good precedent to be setting, from a liberal standpoint. Wouldn't there be First Amendment issues at work?
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Oxford School of Absurdity, Ignorance, and Bad Posts IV on: September 30, 2014, 10:05:09 pm
I can't believe that having to hear a girl actually say "yes" is such a burden.

Well according to this law, saying "no" is a huge burden. Both parties need to make themselves clear.


If a girl agrees to go on a date with you and agrees to go back to your place after that date, that would seem to be fairly clear implied consent to most people. If that's not the case, the girl needs to give a clear "no" to cancel out the mixed messages.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: First US Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas on: September 30, 2014, 04:35:24 pm
Wait, somebody else cares about ebola? Tongue
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: China General Discussion on: September 30, 2014, 03:33:32 pm
Jiang Zemin has made an appearance seated next to Xi Jinping at a concert. It is extremely rare for him to come out. He is supposed to be retired since 2004, but he still clearly not. Sitting to the other side of him was Zhang Dejiang, head of the National People's Congress with jurisdiction over the Hong Kong issue. Other members of the hardline Jiang faction were around, including Li Peng (who declared martial law as Premier in 1989) and Zeng Qinghong, a close Jiang ally and Politburo Standing Committee member during the Hu administration. Who was absent? Hu Jintao himself, as well as Wen Jiabao, plus reformist-leaning former Premier Zhu Rongji.

Meanwhile, the People's Daily published an opinion piece stating that, "In today's China, engaging in an election system of one-man-one-vote is bound to quickly lead to turmoil, unrest and even a situation of civil war." Which normally would not be much, except its author is the head of the Internal Affairs committee of the NPC, Li Shenming. And who is this Li Shenming? He 2011 he argued "for the continued relevance of the 'Stalinist model,' and sa[id] that the critical reason for the collapse of both the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet Union was not the failure of Marxism or socialism, but the betrayal of these values and systems by Khrushchev and Gorbachev."
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: September 30, 2014, 03:11:53 pm
There is some chatter that the current suspected ebola case in Dallas County may be more than what you usually get with this story. Supposedly the CDC is sending teams, and that's unusual.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Protests in Hong Kong on: September 28, 2014, 09:38:39 pm
No problem... most see the universal suffrage language as pretty useless with pre-selected pro-Beijing candidates anyway. With the current plan so unpopular in Hong Kong I wouldn't be surprised if it's not accepted.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Grade Eric Holder's tenure as AG on: September 28, 2014, 09:23:34 pm
B. Pretty much what Lief said, but could have been tougher on financial institutions.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Protests in Hong Kong on: September 28, 2014, 09:22:30 pm
Have they backed off on universal suffrage for Chief Executive in 2017? I don't see it anywhere.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: China General Discussion on: September 28, 2014, 08:52:55 pm
Normally, I don't credit the Epoch Times with much of anything (as I don't take Falun Gong very seriously), however this article seems to be somewhat interesting. The last bit about China's foreign policy seems like wishful thinking, however there is more danger to this Hong Kong situation than is just in Hong Kong.

The students protesters in Hong Kong are right to protest, as it is good to show that Hong Kongers do care about more than just economics. However, it is important that they do not back the CPC into a corner, and perhaps be aware of the larger issues at stake. I am not sure if Zhang Dejiang (No. 3 in the Standing Committee of the Politburo) is really looking for another 1989; I am not sure he needs it. The incident that comes to mind is actually 1986. At that time, Fang Lizhi returned from the U.S. intoxicated with Western values and started touring universities opening his big mouth. Student protests put Hu Yaobang into a corner, and that is how Li Peng's ascent to the top happened to start with. There are certainly people (most likely Jiang faction) who would benefit if enough trouble got stirred up in Hong Kong that it caused the anti-corruption drive to grind to a halt.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: September 28, 2014, 03:57:30 pm
CDC is using a factor of ~2.5 to account for underreported cases, and this is how they reach 1.4 million. I am only looking at confirmed, probable and suspected cases. Their 550k remains a worst case scenario and CDC director Tom Friedan has said he does not think it will come about. Let's hope.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: September 27, 2014, 01:35:36 pm
My estimate from Sept. 4, when as of Aug. 30 there had been 3,700 cases, would be about 7,400 cases by Sept. 24. As of Sept. 23, there are 6,554/6,574 cases. That puts me over by about 700-800. Accordingly, I am revising my projections. Per my calculations, the doubling time has increased from 24 to 27 days.
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Worst County in the Country? Explain why? on: September 27, 2014, 01:53:19 am
Probably Santa Clara County, CA. The land of the techno yuppie.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Chelsea Clinton Preggers! on: September 27, 2014, 12:17:23 am
I love that name!

Me too!
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Korea Thread on: September 26, 2014, 04:34:27 pm
It may have been a botched assassination attempt.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who should be the next Attorney General? on: September 25, 2014, 06:12:18 pm
My vote would be for Kamala Harris.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who should be the next Attorney General? on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:27 pm
No matter who the pick is, it better be done quickly.  If the pubs take over, Jesus himself couldn't get confirmed.

Jesus would be one hell of an AG though, wouldn't he?  Isn't intercession his main schtick?

And the whole omniscience thing has to be a serious advantage in this regard.

He would just keep filing charges against himself over and over again.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AG Eric Holder to Step Down on: September 25, 2014, 01:59:29 pm
He was good on some issues, not so good on others. But I'm surprised he's stepping down as I'd thought the consensus was that he wanted to stay on till the end.
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Did the Chinese military just go rogue? on: September 24, 2014, 07:21:16 pm
New reports suggest a fascistic nutbag general is about to be promoted in China:

"President Xi Jinping will promote two People's Liberation Army generals closely associated with him in a move to deepen the anti-corruption drive and speed up reform in the world's largest fighting force.

The generals have yet to be named, but sources said Liu Yuan, the political commissar of the PLA general logistics department, and Zhang Youxia, head of the general armaments department, both stood a good chance. At least one of them will be named vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, which exercises command and control of the PLA, at a key Communist Party meeting next month, various sources said."
"Liu is a top candidate because he is at the heart of the anti-corruption drive in the military. (Translation: He has been getting rid of his political opponents in the military, with the backing party leadership)


What can be wrong with promoting an anti-corruption crusader like Liu Yuan? The general, unfortunately, is well known for his disturbing opinions. He publicly called the US a “whore” a decade ago, he was openly sympathetic to Osama bin Laden, and he famously declared that “man cannot survive without killing.” “Military culture is the oldest and most important wisdom of humanity,” he wrote in a preface (pdf) to Changing Our View of Culture and History, a collection of leftist essays published at the end of 2010. “Without war, where would grand unity come from?  Without force, how could fusion of the nation, the race, the culture, the south and the north be achieved?”

It’s one thing for Liu to advocate aggression to advance a racial and nationalistic ideology, yet it’s another for him to urge others to revolt, to be openly insubordinate. “Actually, the party has been repeatedly betrayed by general secretaries, both in and outside the country, recently and in the past,” he wrote in the preface. And make no mistake about what he meant, because the outspoken general has also talked about starting the Communist Party all over again. It is a small step from his words to the military believing it has the obligation to defend China by pushing aside civilians and running the country outright.

20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: September 23, 2014, 10:17:12 pm
Amazing ISIS documentary by VICE News:


With Western journalists being beheaded left and right, these guys walked straight into Raqqa and got a tour from the Islamic State itself.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Emma Watson-speech about women's rights in front of UN on: September 23, 2014, 01:31:07 pm
Celebrities can reach people who politicians cannot. Most young people today, cannot identify with a politician, a technocrat, or a university professor. They are more likely to identify with "that Harry Potter girl", hence her message reaches a different audience than it would otherwise. From a strictly utilitarian standpoint, this is the reason.

In any case, wonderful speech. Huzzah for Emma Watson.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Did the Chinese military just go rogue? on: September 23, 2014, 02:56:42 am
Prior to Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India last year, and again during Xi Jinping's visit to India, both of which whose goal was to improve Sino-Indian relations, PLA forces at the LOAC (Line of Actual Control) crossed into the Indian side of the border and created a military incident which overshadowed the visit. Specifically, during Xi's just concluded visit, he promised to invest $100 billion in India over the next 5 years (compared to about $400 million in the previous decade), including helping India with the technology to build high-speed rail, financing the purchase of European A320's, and setting up manufacturing facilities in Gujarat. It makes little sense that China would be offering all of this if it wanted to make an enemy out of India. Yet the PLA invasion of the Chumur region which happened at the same time as Xi's visit overshadowed it, resulting in the cancellation of the India-China media dialogue. It's hard to see how this can be anything other than an embarrassment to Xi.


New evidence supports the commonly held view that the Chinese military isn’t entirely in line with the party leadership. Recently, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the PLA headquarters in Beijing with PLA chiefs of staff present. Notably he delivered this speech following his return from his South Asia tour which featured a particularly interesting visit to India when PLA troops crossed intro India-administered Kashmir as Xi arrived in the country

Xi emphasized the need for a “smooth chain of command” and called on field commanders to “make sure all decisions from the central leadership are fully implemented.” In a particularly telling paraphrasal, Xinhua notes that Xi suggested that “Military commanders should have a better understanding of international and domestic security situations as well as the latest military development.” According to Xinhua, Fang Fenghui, chief of the PLA general staff, was in attendance, along with other senior Chinese military leaders. A statement following Xi’s speech noted that “All PLA forces should follow the instructions of President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and update their operations to meet new goals and missions set by the CMC.”


If this situation is true it is a highly perilous situation. After all it is still within living memory that rogue Japanese military personnel went against the wishes of the Tokyo civilian government to stage the Mukden incident, beginning Japan's decade-long aggression against its neighbors.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What is your reaction to some slamming the U.S. for Ebola help? on: September 23, 2014, 02:04:35 am
Should have been done a long time ago. This is going to be a clusterf__k, and I won't be surprised if U.S. troops start getting infected. There is no one in the world right now with experience dealing with this kind of virus on such a massive level. Not even the U.S. armed forces. Certainly not some grunt that signed up out of high school. Teach a man to shoot and kill-- okay, that's one thing. Teach the same man to handle a BSL-4 level agent, and the people skills required to navigate West African culture? That being said, it's better than just letting it go and go and go, potentially infecting millions of people. This thing could be Rwanda times a hundred.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: In Theory, Would a Peaceful Islamic Caliphate Have Merit? on: September 22, 2014, 09:13:16 pm
I've also come to accept that Western-style social liberal secularism is not the only legitimate path for people in the region to follow. When given the vote, at the very least, nominally Islamist parties such as AKP win (and this in a country considered more moderate than the Arab countries).

The AKP is not nominally "Islamist", but officially advocates for a "conservative democracy". The overzealous Turkish secularist institutions (the military and the constitutional court) banned previously the existing Islamist parties or ejected them from power, as it happened with Erbakan. Of course, the AKP is rooted in said parties and it could be defined as "moderate Islamist" or "Muslim-democrat" (something like a vague equivalent of the Christian Democracy), but Erdogan would reject such characterisations. Actually, Turkey and the AKP have had a singular evolution. Perhaps this article might help to understand it:


As for the first part of the paragraph, I tend to agree. I think we cannot expect that other countries are going to trace our model with carbon paper. Perhaps it'd be more realistic trying to export some basic concepts on democracy and human rights, in order that other countries will adapt them to their realities, cultural contexts, systems of beliefs, etcetera. In any case, such processes are slow and gradual, with ups and downs (see "Arab Spring").

Fascinating link, thanks.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How does your height compare with your parents? on: September 22, 2014, 04:14:43 pm
Me: 5'5"

Dad: 5'5"
Mom: 5'3"

[/Forum Tyrion]
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