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September 22, 2014, 03:17:43 pm
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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Sawx for Governor - Our Northeast on: Today at 02:22:23 pm
Bicameralism is nice in theory, but the main proponents of the idea and the apparent design of the scheme make me extremely leery, to say the least. The most similar example that comes to mind is reforming the admissions system to selective New York City public schools to include more than a test- it's a good idea in the abstract, but the motivations of the people pushing for it cause one to resist the change.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Ending Financial Havens for Islamic State (Debating) on: Today at 01:02:39 pm
We looked in horror as ISIS smashed shrines and razed mosques and churches. As we did when Ansar Dine burnt ancient mosques and libraries in Timbuktu. And as we did when the Taliban dynamited the Bhuddas of Bamiyan.

Where do you think they got this from? Saudi Arabia has been destroying sacred Islamic sites since the 18th century. They razed the tomb of the mother and father of the Prophet Mohammed. The Grand Mufti of the country has even proposed destroying the tomb of the Prophet himself.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Ending Financial Havens for Islamic State (Debating) on: Today at 12:57:42 pm
Can I ask how we can stop the flow of monies being raised in "allied" nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

And more broadly, the support given by those nations- by which I mean their governments- and also that of Turkey (which is not entirely established) to Islamist groups in the Middle East? What, if anything can be done about that?

I will say the largest driver of this "Islamist terror" we have seen in recently has been the flow of oil monies, ever since the 1970s, towards supporting the spread of radical Wahabi/Salafi Islam across the world. It is estimated that the Saudi Arabian government alone has spent $100 billion in spreading this intolerant ideology throughout the world. It is frightening how closely, and how often, one can trace this "Islamist terror" back to the support given to Salafi movements back to the Gulf and those two countries in particular.

If we want there to be peace and democracy in the Middle East , we will have to accept that many people sincerely desire some form of political Islam. But there is no inherent reason that must entail intolerance and radicalism rather than an Islamic Democracy, as we in the west have had our Christian Democracy.

We can stop the spread of this radicalism, because it is our "allies" in the Gulf who have been spreading it. And if we are to take more drastic action, we are becoming less and less dependent on Gulf oil by the day. And those nations- by which I mean Russia and China- who we typically find frustrating our efforts in the realm of foreign policy have experienced the effects of this Salafi radicalism first hand and would almost certainly support stopping it.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Tunisian parliamentary (10/26) and presidential (11/23) elections, 2014 on: Today at 11:05:27 am
The incumbent, Mohammed Marzouki, is running for a full term, which he declared two days ago after dithering, and his main challenger appears to be Ben Ali's foreign minister, Kamel Morjane.

Marzouki has just spoken here, and he said that "the old system is coming back" and have taken advantage of the same sort of democracy they suppressed. He is a member of a secularist party but seems to be close to the "moderate Islamist" Ennadha Party, which does not have a candidate.

Will Tunisia remain the sole exception to the general failure of the Arab Spring to deliver democracy to the countries it's swept through?

Will this election pit Islamists vs. "feloul" as it seems to have been elsewhere?
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Senator Cranberry - Election Campaign on: Today at 10:28:28 am
The People's Senator for The People's Region! Glorious, keep up the fascinating work representing us in Nyman. There is no one more qualified to stand with The People then you have been.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How does your gender compare with your parents? on: Today at 08:47:46 am
Mom: not a teakettle
Dad: not a teakettle
Me: not a teakettle
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: PA: The Second amendment act. on: Today at 12:26:23 am
So we should we consider this as a law instrad?
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's Seat: Matt from VT for Northeast Senator on: Today at 12:22:35 am
Endorsed, obviously.
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Varavour, Governor of The People's Region of the Pacific on: Today at 12:16:50 am

I am overcome by emotion on this great day. The People are now made whole. I have tears in my eyes. I would give a great speech, but words fail me. Truly this land shall know peace and prosperity now that there is unity and The People's Party is here. It is really here.

Let us sweep away the cobwebs at the top, and the cobwebs in our midst, the cobwebs here in our region slowing the wheels of progress and pave the way for The People. I look at myself, our Senator, our Justice... all amongst The People. What glory! What joy! Let us spread the glorious message to the one last place it has not reached, and let us finally move ahead into the new age of plenty and progress! Now is no longer the time for nudging and goading, but for a clean sweep! The People, united, will never be defeated, and most of all, not in The People's Region of the Pacific!
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Fmr. President Duke (I'm coming home) on: September 21, 2014, 11:48:44 pm
Now begins the eternal reign of The People.
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Woman, mattress, rape, performance art on: September 21, 2014, 11:36:04 pm
It's now the cover story for New York magazine. Apparently our President said something about it. As did Hillary Clinton:

12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Fascism and Communism are the same! on: September 21, 2014, 08:48:43 pm
The wheelbarrow of progress is slow?!
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The People's Seat: Matt from VT for Northeast Senator on: September 21, 2014, 08:38:08 pm
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Forty years. on: September 21, 2014, 08:35:14 pm
Ah, forgot about this old gem:

15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Forty years. on: September 21, 2014, 08:15:00 pm
Well I'm sure many of the rebel fighters started out with ideological goals, but, you know, as they say, power corrupts.

Yes, the Eritrean separatist movement was moribund by late 1973. This was primarily because of the conflict between the (primarily Muslim/lowland/Arab-oriented) ELF and the (primarily Christian/highland) EPLF, which had sapped the two movements of manpower, money, and strength generally. The EPLF was largely composed at that time of political figures who had wound up marginalised one way or another, one might call them "victims of discrimination" while another might call them "sore losers". ELF's objectives are self-evident, although they did have support from highland Tigres (not Tigrayans or "Tegaru"- the native exonym-, they are different) and did not have support from the Afars, as the Sultan was a staunch vassal of Haile Selassie (You can read more about him on Wikipedia, and I can vouch for the quality of the article as I wrote it).

Also this shooting war between the two factions did not do much to increase their appeal amongst the local people. Eritrea, contrary to what the EPLF might say, the Haile Selassie years were ones where the province generally had a robust economy, which was often subjected to attacks by the separatists. Had Haile Selassie not been overthrown the movement would have almost certainly have died out, following the successful imposition of martial law in 1970 that knocked the wind out of the movements reduced them to the state of infighting I mentioned before.

But the Derg and its military cadres very swiftly decided to crack down hard, on Eritrea in particular, and killed a popular Eritrean general who had been the nominal leader of the junta. The brutality of the new regime inflamed the local population, which swelled the ranks of the EPLF, allowing it to assume supremacy over the ELF and gain strength. The problem of the perception of Eritrean oppression under Ethiopian rule is that it was not a uniquely Eritrean phenomenon under the Derg, and under Haile Selassie it didn't actually exist (or at least nowhere near the degree it is presented as, and again, not a unique phenomenon).

There are some interesting, if rather complex articles reappraising Eritrea under Haile Selassie:




One hopes more Eritreans take a critical look at the historical narrative they've been fed and come to the fairly... unspoken conclusion the above pieces come to. If what I mean is not apparent, look at my signature. Tongue

Also reading these pieces one wonders how on earth the idea of Haile Selassie as some reactionary absolute monarch opposed to change is still held by people. I mean, God, just pick up a book, any book, that deals with him in the 20s, or the 30s, or the 40s, or the 50s... and so forth. But the 20s are remarkable for his power struggles with real reactionaries (Zauditu et al), and the 40s-50s remarkable for the immense efforts made to establish institutions of all sorts.

Had Haile Selassie truly been an absolute monarch who didn't have to seriously contend with the aristocracy (who were the real reactionaries) or provincial revolts and such, there'd have never been a revolution. Or at least no grounds for one (the big thing being land reform- which would have been done). Several land reform bills were floored in Parliament... which were voted down. Perhaps he was too deferential to Parliament, in 1972 or so there was a such a bill proposed when Parliament was not in session... it was expected he would decree it into law (and thus challenge Parliament to defy him), but he instead deferred to them, and they voted down the bill. Indeed, on one occasion Parliament vetoed an approval of an Italian loan to build the Koka Dam, on the grounds they had not yet returned the Axum Stela, and he had go to them and pretty much tell them "don't be stupid" and approve the loan... which they then did.

One might question if Haile Selassie was too cautious and overestimated the power of the aristocracy to resist him in his later years, but their power isn't really ever taken into account by people, and you must remember he cut his teeth clashing with those in the aristocracy who opposed any kind of modernisation. There was one book I once read that criticised him for encouraging people to wear shoes.

(note on phrases:

Ghedli = EPLF/PDFJ (the political party EPLF became)

Jebha = ELF

Kebessa = Highlanders )
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you understand dialectical materialism? on: September 21, 2014, 07:30:19 pm
Also, I don't know why dialectical materialism is now a thing.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Do you understand dialectical materialism? on: September 21, 2014, 07:29:18 pm
I know it's a Marxist thing, but that is the complete and utter limit of my knowledge. I'd speculate something about man being driven solely by material goals, but then you have "dialectical" thrown in.
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Cris Survey - October Pacific Senate Election Poll on: September 21, 2014, 07:21:27 pm
I would find it fairly difficult absolutely impossible to vote against a Senator as capable as The Cranberry.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you think the above poster even understands dialectical materialism? on: September 21, 2014, 07:19:22 pm

This guy does not. Not in the least.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you think the above poster even understands dialectical materialism? on: September 21, 2014, 07:17:58 pm
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Capital Freedom Act (Debating) on: September 21, 2014, 04:04:36 pm
doesn't need fixed

Yes, what is this? I see JCL do it often. Why?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Scottish independence/opebo's banning correlation on: September 21, 2014, 04:00:33 pm
There seems to be absolutely no correlation here.

Oh btw, no/yes(ish).

Weren't you the leading voice for the ban?

I'm not entirely sure why he was, banned, still. I feel like it was a particular incident with a signature picture that got Dave worried about family friendliness,  or was just a death of a thousand cuts, a few of which might have been rather atrocious pedophilia apologist  comments made off the forum? I mean it toed the line between a ban for being a bad poster and for being a bad person.

No (obviously)/Yes (I suppose)
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Jennifer Lawrence and many other celebrities... on: September 21, 2014, 03:17:57 pm
Ugh, horrible. Vulgar thing to do but terrible for them, the perps should be subjected to rigorous imprisonment. Feel badly for all except Kim, considering this sort of thing is why she is famous in the first place. Society has been made to pay the consequences for that, I think.

These sort of pics are bad but doing this is many many times worse. Disgusting.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mikheil Saakashvili is living the Brooklyn dream on: September 21, 2014, 02:02:17 pm
Georgia would be much better off if it were called Kartvelia.

Also he was drinking from a coconut at the food fair! I did that too. Also, Saakashvili has gotten fat.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of TNF on: September 21, 2014, 01:52:11 pm
He'd have me guillotined, but then again I'd probably have him "disappeared".

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