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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 29, 2014, 10:25:39 am

That's a pretty poor article.

Statement 1: Ok, everyone knows they do things like blockade Gaza, give them electricity, etc. That isn't the same as occupation though which is the point.

Statement 2: Under his definition everyone wants a ceasefire. Saying Hamas wants a ceasefire if their conditions are met is an empty statement.

Statement 3: He does not mention a single fact about Israel deliberately targeting civilians.

That's honestly as far as I got before I gave up on it.

Note, I'm not saying some of this aren't legitimate debate points to bring up. But it's not "using facts to debunk myths". I hate it when people abuse that kind of terminology to express mere viewpoints.
2  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: Clash of Kings, an ASOIAF Game (Gameplay - 300 AL (1) - A Time for Wolves) on: July 29, 2014, 08:23:45 am
In solidarity with the sacrifices made by the North in keeping the Realm safe from the evils beyond the Wall the Vale is proud to stand with its Northern allies in shouldering the payment to the King in the Wall in exchange for peace in the Realm.

Furthermore, with the Iron Throne lacking a legitimate heir it is high time to declare the independence of the Vale. Lord Robert is no more, all hail King Robert of the Vale!

As an independent kingdom we recognize with respect and friendship the independence of the Kingdoms in the North and South alike.
3  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Poll: Capitalism dying? on: July 28, 2014, 03:46:38 am
I note that 'WorkingClassBro' is repeating one of Marx's more hilariously wrong predictions.

Capitalism is more a slur than a well-defined economic term

It's useful as an economic-term-in-historical-perspective because it isn't as though there's another word lying around to be used, and as new jargon is invariably terrible.

I like market economy, that's a term which I understand the definition of. Whenever people talk about capitalism they're usually being very political and very emotional and I'm not sure EXACTLY what it means. It seems to often be something like "United Fruits shooting union members in Latin America"
4  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Poll: Communist China? on: July 28, 2014, 03:02:28 am
They still shoot dissidents, so at least they got some Communism left in them!
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 27, 2014, 08:02:09 pm
No one has ever questioned the results of Turkish elections. Even the opposition doesn't claim elections are rigged.

Well, that is obviously untrue - I just did. If you want someone who isn't me you can read this: http://erikmeyersson.com/2014/04/01/is-something-rotten-in-ankaras-mayoral-election-a-very-preliminary-statistical-analysis/
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Stella Artois on: July 27, 2014, 07:55:49 pm
Gully is correct, btw.
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Stella Artois on: July 27, 2014, 07:52:19 pm
Americans think it's a fancy beer? lol
8  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Poll: Capitalism dying? on: July 27, 2014, 12:49:15 am
Capitalism is more a slur than a well-defined economic term, but going on what I suspect this question is about the reasonable answer is no (ignoring also the silly aspect of "sooner or later" - sooner or later the Earth will probably merge into the Sun but I don't think that's what he means)
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 27, 2014, 12:24:25 am
So where does this "Israel is the only democracy in the region" line come from?  I keep hearing it.  Did Lebanon cease to exist at some point or something?

Lebanon is arguably a democracy for the last few years, but during the time that line became common knowledge they weren't. The same goes for other examples mentioned in this thread. (and Turkey...eh, did people follow their last election? I have a friend who was a poll worker there and I know a guy who did some analysis on it. I really don't buy that they are Tongue)
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 24, 2014, 09:15:36 am
I've seen several people on the internet claim it was a hoax, but nothing about it in real media. What's the source for this claim? It seems like something that would be hard to fool the French government into thinking if it weren't true.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Mosul's Christian community extinguished after 1,600 years, thanks to ISIS on: July 23, 2014, 01:49:28 am
Obviously an Islamist takeover could never have happened without American intervention...
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 23, 2014, 01:38:42 am
The former director of the American Jewish Congress has offered his take in Politico, though I doubt Ray Goldfield, dead0man and others will like what he has to say.

Surely he is one of those "self-hating Jews".

Plenty of Jews are of course critical of Israel and its policies and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it'd be expected in a democratic country like Israel that a fair share of the population would be critical of the government.
13  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this quote on: July 22, 2014, 04:46:44 pm
I dunno, the assumption that the Palestinians would attempt to 'start a genocide' were the roles reversed in the region seems a tad racist, given you know, no support for that proposition in real life and given your distaste for those that have the guts to fight for the land they're being pushed off of.


Um, have you read the Hamas charter, seen opinion polls of Palestinian opinion or listened to what high level Arab politicians across the Middle East say about Israel and Jews? I have no doubt that if the Palestinian side was in control the Jews would be wiped out rather quickly.

I'd also note that a one-state solution is kind of undermined by the fact that that is what we started out with and what led to the current situation. Tongue
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oklahoma's domino has fallen on: July 22, 2014, 09:29:34 am
Also, as you know I'm not usually prone to "checkmate, lieberals"-type statements, but what about that whole "being tolerant of different lifestyles and not being too quick to judge them" thing? This seems particularly relevant considering what this thread is originally about.

For what it’s worth my original comment on celibacy (which seems to have grown arms and legs since I last checked in) was a rebuttal of the argument (in case it arose from our latest troll) that celibacy should be the route taken by people with non-heterosexual sexualities. Arrangements like that are not psychologically healthy, laced as they often are, with religious connotation and expectation. Personal celibacy is one thing; people drift in and out of periods of sexual activity all the time, but celibacy because ‘it’s what god wants me to do because I am not a married heterosexual’ is another.

I wasn't criticizing you - actually, your post  was excellent and I entirely agree with it. King is the only one who's being a bigoted asshole about this whole thing. I actually fully agree that being in a relationship is, for most people (me included) far preferable to celibacy. That doesn't meant I have to be a dick toward those who feel happier as celibates.

I think I'm clarifying what Afleitch is saying rather than adding to it, but there is a world of difference between a form of forced celibacy coming from religion not allowing your natural desires to be fulfilled and choosing celibacy. I will freely admit that I don't "get" celibacy but it is certainly no stranger to me than a host of other freaky sexual practices. Tongue
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA 2014 World Cup - Official Discussion Thread on: July 21, 2014, 07:37:31 pm


It seems to me that UEFA's number of places is about right (but in the binary, more likely slightly under-, rather than over-represented).


Actually I would agree with this.

I just don't see how UEFA should have 17 places when quite a few of its sides did rather badly. In both 2010 and 2014 only 6/13 have qualified from the group stages and has included some awful rubbish at the same level: Russia, Slovenia, France... Of course, this isn't to say there isn't rubbish from the other confeds.

I still think you're missing my point. Mexico was awful in this qualifier but they still qualified, narrowly getting the play-off spot and winning a play-off against New Zealand. A team of Mexico's calibre performing as poorly as they did this qualifier would have missed it had they been in UEFA. I also feel like you ignored the other points I raised. Tongue

Ah but under your proposal Mexico wouldn't have qualified either. CONCACAF top three was Costa Rica, USA and Honduras.

I don't know what other points I missed. I disagree that the confederations should be made equally difficult to qualify out of because we have no good way of measuring that except at the world cup itself.

Yeah, that's my point? I'm proposing to change the system because in the status quo I don't think it's fair that Mexico could qualify this time (for example). I think that if the CONCACAF group was 3 spots it would be more fair.

I am using the cup itself as my metric. I'm just not putting as much weight on the last to world cups as you are. The way the world cup is organized, imo, facilitates using it as a metric.

What I felt you ignored was the comparison between say Mexico and Japan versus England and  Portugal. Is it really fair that the best teams in Asia and North America are guaranteed spots when only the top 3 teams in Europe (roughly speaking) are?
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Tina Fey vs Amy Poehler on: July 21, 2014, 07:29:32 pm
I take it, since they are women, we aren't rating them in their professional capacity? Tongue

Poehler wins either way imo.

I'm not familiar with Fey, to be honest. I like Poehler's work though.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Tina Fey vs Amy Poehler on: July 21, 2014, 01:57:38 pm
I take it, since they are women, we aren't rating them in their professional capacity? Tongue
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA 2014 World Cup - Official Discussion Thread on: July 21, 2014, 01:56:55 pm
Holland missed the 2002 world cup, while making the semi of the euros in 2000 and 2004. The reason of course being that competition for spots is so stiff in Europe. I doubt Holland could ever miss qualifying if they played in any other confederation (save maybe CONMEBOL).

Holland missed that world cup because they were awful (and Louis 'genius' Van Gaal was coach then). I remember that because I remember Ireland easily beating them.

I mean on paper perhaps they were better but on paper France should easily have topped their 2002 group with Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark. Instead they got 1 point and 0 goals. (and people complained before the tournament 'Holland should be here instead of Senegal'... there's no way of knowing how these teams comparing without them, you know, playing against each other).

I still think you're missing my point. Mexico was awful in this qualifier but they still qualified, narrowly getting the play-off spot and winning a play-off against New Zealand. A team of Mexico's calibre performing as poorly as they did this qualifier would have missed it had they been in UEFA. I also feel like you ignored the other points I raised. Tongue

I agree that CONMEBOL is maybe more deserving of extra representation, but I still think it's safe to say that UEFA is underrepresented.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ray Goldfield on: July 21, 2014, 01:09:17 pm
People like him are the reason antisemitism still exists.

No.

Yeah, no. Drop the victim-blaming.

You think he's the victim? Lol.

No, I think blaming those who face bigotry for the bigotry is nasty. It's a classic aspect of antisemitism so I would watch it if I were you.

Kind of hard to be antisemitic when I'm Jewish myself. And he doesn't face any bigotry.

No, it is not at all hard to be antisemitic and Jewish at the same time. And anyway I can't know who you are so it's a lame argument to use on the internet. Secondly, for precisely the same reasons you have no idea what bigotry he does or does not face.

Antonio made the point pretty concisely.

Hmm, actually I'd say it's quite hard, if not impossible to be Jewish and a genuine anti semite. Unless you have adopted the view that any criticism of Israel or their supporters is antisemitic.

Also, I don't think you realize just how easy it is to be Jewish in this country.

You need to read up more. Why don't you start at Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hating_Jew

I don't think you realize how insanely privileged it is to assume that everyone else encounters the same issues as you do. It's possible that this poster does not suffer a bit due to his Jewishness. But it's also possible that he does. It's possible that he suffers not from things he experiences directly but through what happens to his family or friends. But it really isn't up to you to decide for him on the basis that you claim to be Jewish.

Typical. Because I call out my own people on their hypocrisy and overuse of the victim card, I must be a "self-hater". Give me a break.

You having reading comprehension issues? You weren't accused of being a "self-hater". The point is simply that you shouldn't universally judge others based on your own experiences.

I clearly was accused of being a self hater. I have also had my background brought into question all because I made a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment about someone who fits many modern Jewish stereotypes.

Huh. You're not being accused of that. I'm just refuting your proposition that it is impossible to voice anti-semitic opinions while being Jewish.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ray Goldfield on: July 21, 2014, 09:38:20 am
People like him are the reason antisemitism still exists.

No.

Yeah, no. Drop the victim-blaming.

You think he's the victim? Lol.

No, I think blaming those who face bigotry for the bigotry is nasty. It's a classic aspect of antisemitism so I would watch it if I were you.

Kind of hard to be antisemitic when I'm Jewish myself. And he doesn't face any bigotry.

No, it is not at all hard to be antisemitic and Jewish at the same time. And anyway I can't know who you are so it's a lame argument to use on the internet. Secondly, for precisely the same reasons you have no idea what bigotry he does or does not face.

Antonio made the point pretty concisely.

Hmm, actually I'd say it's quite hard, if not impossible to be Jewish and a genuine anti semite. Unless you have adopted the view that any criticism of Israel or their supporters is antisemitic.

Also, I don't think you realize just how easy it is to be Jewish in this country.

You need to read up more. Why don't you start at Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hating_Jew

I don't think you realize how insanely privileged it is to assume that everyone else encounters the same issues as you do. It's possible that this poster does not suffer a bit due to his Jewishness. But it's also possible that he does. It's possible that he suffers not from things he experiences directly but through what happens to his family or friends. But it really isn't up to you to decide for him on the basis that you claim to be Jewish.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Douthat: Stopping Campus Rape on: July 21, 2014, 08:50:37 am
Oh, Atlas.

Just pointing out that a sexually liberal environment really doesn't have to be an issue. In fact, I suspect rape happens more in sexually repressed environments for a variety of reasons. Just look at India, a country where it's illegal to kiss in public.

And all this nonsense about curfews or single-sex dorms...say what? THere is none of that here. The idea that if you allow men to hang around women rape is inevitable is precisely part of the rape culture that needs to be tackled.

22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ray Goldfield on: July 21, 2014, 08:42:48 am
People like him are the reason antisemitism still exists.

No.

Yeah, no. Drop the victim-blaming.

You think he's the victim? Lol.

No, I think blaming those who face bigotry for the bigotry is nasty. It's a classic aspect of antisemitism so I would watch it if I were you.

Kind of hard to be antisemitic when I'm Jewish myself. And he doesn't face any bigotry.

No, it is not at all hard to be antisemitic and Jewish at the same time. And anyway I can't know who you are so it's a lame argument to use on the internet. Secondly, for precisely the same reasons you have no idea what bigotry he does or does not face.

Antonio made the point pretty concisely.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever been to a KZ (concentration camp) ? on: July 21, 2014, 08:41:23 am
I visited Sachsenhausen when in 9th grade. Pretty chilling and then it isn't even a death camp. I have never been to Poland but once I do I think I would like to go to a camp. It seems like a part of history one ought to see.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ray Goldfield on: July 21, 2014, 08:23:16 am
People like him are the reason antisemitism still exists.

No.

Yeah, no. Drop the victim-blaming.

You think he's the victim? Lol.

No, I think blaming those who face bigotry for the bigotry is nasty. It's a classic aspect of antisemitism so I would watch it if I were you.
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA 2014 World Cup - Official Discussion Thread on: July 21, 2014, 08:21:54 am
Holland missed the 2002 world cup, while making the semi of the euros in 2000 and 2004. The reason of course being that competition for spots is so stiff in Europe. I doubt Holland could ever miss qualifying if they played in any other confederation (save maybe CONMEBOL).
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