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3176  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 05:34:00 pm
Please do not post that idiot's comics here. We're above that.

"That idiot?" I'm surprised you (people?) even know of him, he's hardly a "big" name. But you're quite wrong here, I've been following the comic for around a decade at this point I find him to be right on target with most things; not always, but most of the time. Then again, what you consider to be sensibility I imagine most others would call "utter madness", and vice versa.

I makes a pointed effort to avoid forming opinions on Israel-Palestine issues, if only because people get so emotionally invested in them to a level where I can't possibly keep up. Something like 30% of the population of my school, and 50% of the women's college across the street are Jews (and I'm not counting the Jewish college just north of here, either), and Palestine's been a cause celebre amongst the left since George Habash, and they are crawling all over this place, so they might as well be a lot of Palestinians here. And I have no desire to get into that mess. But I have a question or two, because I feel too ignorant at the moment.

1. It isn't entirely clear who started bombing whom. The Times makes it look like Israel started it as a response to the killing of the teenagers, when the BBC states flatly "Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets for the first time in 20 months" to which the Israelis responded with their campaign.

2. Israel is bombing Gaza as to cripple Hamas' ability to bomb them. But why is Hamas bombing Israel, anyway? What exactly is Hamas trying to hit? Or is Hamas really just firing randomly? Because they've apparently been hitting themselves a lot, so you would think they have a goal if they're going to mount such a costly campaign.

3. It is known/claimed that Hamas is storing its weapons in civilian areas and instructing people to disregard Israeli warnings that they are going to conduct strikes- apparently even the Israelis can even call people on their cell phones! You begin to get the idea Hamas doesn't really care that much about the lives of Gazans. Is this not true, then what is Israel trying to hit?

4. This is somewhat unrelated but I'll ask anyway- how does Israel justify building all these settlements in the West Bank? I understand why they would exist- there wasn't really any entity that could claim to be a sovereign Palestine until the Oslo Accords- but how can they still build new ones if they acknowledge that they areas they are being built in are Palestinian?

5. Israeli Arabs? How/why do they exist? How did they get citizenship in the first place as opposed to other Palestinians?
3177  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: You are all missing the point of "Ask" threads. on: July 16, 2014, 04:36:09 pm
The encounter between the ironic and the irony-free is a recurring Atlas train wreck.

Yes. See: Imagen if Atlas Forum Modarn In The Past

You see a lot of people don't "get" the humor they are supposed to be "getting" in those so they just assume it's about spelling incorrectly. They can be a bit impenetrable if they aren't absurdist enough, and I'm not sure I even see the appeal of the botched spelling. You have to admit the IRC gang's taste can be out of step with most other people sometimes (see: the hate for Doctor Who).
3178  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 04:26:00 pm
Why are we having a debate on this?

X Antonio V

We're not. Calm down.
3179  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should Private School (k-12) be Abolished in the United States? on: July 16, 2014, 04:24:43 pm
Yes, because then people will start to care about improving public schools instead of just yelling "VOUCHERS!" and running away from the problem.
As opposed to yelling "MOAR FUNDING" even though the quality of education has continually declined as the Federal government has poured more money into the system?

This is an important point.
3180  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Paul Krugman: "The Affordable Care Act is working" on: July 16, 2014, 04:23:14 pm
Gotta love the completely factless "rebuttals" by our resident idiots.

Healthcare insurance is virtually unchanged since ACA. Democrats chose to continue the failed status quo, with a few tweaks to make it less bitter.

Sharpest coverage increase ever = "virtually unchanged".

OK... Roll Eyes

It's clear he is speaking about the quality of healthcare. It's probably too soon for there to be much change, much less discernible change, so I think he's technically correct.
3181  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:18:08 pm
But only starship officers, am I correct? Wink

(I am going to assume that in Star Trek women can be called "Mister" and "Sir", or something like that.)
3182  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XV: Stuck Inside of Tulsa with the Oklahoma City Blues Again on: July 16, 2014, 04:15:11 pm
What are you talking about Duke?  Things are great so far.   I do have to cling to God no matter what.  I have nothing against this at all,  but in my class there are 9 blacks and 4 whites.  African Americans are quite prevalent in that part of Tulsa.  I don't mind it at all,  but it is an interesting fact in white Oklahoma.

Something, or more properly something else is wrong here. It's a strange juxtaposition, admittedly involving phrases he didn't come up with ("cling to God"), that, even if unintentional, is probably indicative of something unpleasant.

Yeah it's weird that he juxtaposes an infamous Obama phrase (reclaiming "clinging" as a positive description of his relationship with religion in the process? or maybe just using it ironically) with completely unrelated seemingly benign observations about the multitude of black folk at his work.

I mean, the mention of the race of his co-workers was a complete non-sequitur, and his breakdown of their demographic composition made it look even odder. (To be fair, had he said "there are are lot of black people at my job" or "most people at work are black", I imagine I would have looked at that even worse.) But the initial caveat of "I have nothing against this at all, but..." makes it seem that it the "clinging to God" thing was the proper response.

I mean, I don't know whether or not it would seem stranger if he had posted the black part on its own or posted what he did, but it was completely unprompted.
3183  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 04:00:52 pm
Are there female firefighters?  I never heard of such a thing.

But, I think the easiest default is to use things like firefighter or mail carrier, if there's a good non-gendered word.  If there's a good gendered word like sculptress, executrix or chairman that has a nice ring to it, go with that.  For the female chairman, I think we're just stuck with awkward, bad sounding words.  Chairlady, chairwoman, chair, chairperson, all sound terrible.  

But that doesn't really answer the question here-- is "chairman" gendered? If it isn't, then alternate gender-neutral or gender-specific terms become a matter of preference rather than necessity.

But I do agree that while it's entirely subjective, I'm not going to be raising hackles or asking questions about perfectly fine words like "firefighters" or "police officers". It's inelegant words like "alderperson" or "chairwoman" that make me wonder "are we supposed to be doing this?" in the first place.

To be fair the usage of certain gendered nouns is completely arbitrary. What logical reason is there for us to use words like stewardess, actress, or waitress but not doctress, professoress, or poetess, all of which are actual words? So we are trying to determine logic in an already illogical system. Already I wonder how linguists are able to stay sane.

As for the example of "congressman" (which seems pretty inelegant as-is), I suppose the distinction is made in terms of concurrent number. I mean, there would be only be the Chairman of X at a given time but there are hundreds of members of Congress at any given time. While it might be technically correct, if we are to consider "-man" gender-neutral (but always, also?), to refer to a mixed group of members of Congress of as "these fine Congressmen", it seems strange.

Of course, this could be avoided simply by calling them "Representatives", but it raises an interesting question. Is it appropriate, for example, to have a "Conference of Chairmen of Foreign Affairs Committees of Parliaments of the European Union". Or should it be a conference of Chairpeople, even if it is correct to call a woman "chairman".

Or can they only be firefighters or mailpersons?
Firefighters exist, and some of them are women.  Mailpersons do not exist.  The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has long preferred the usage of "letter carrier" over mailman or postman.  Some letter carriers are also women.

Well, I've never actually used or even heard the term "letter carrier" in daily speech, I've always referred to the person who brings the mail as a "mailman", this despite for several years, the person who did that was a woman- I, and everyone else in the family, referred to her as "the mailman". Now that I think of it, "letter carrier" is a rather unpleasant and and de-personalising term.
3184  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 02:51:41 pm
Women can be anything that they want to be.

The question is about linguistics, not gender roles, but I think this is still the right answer: Call any given woman in one of these types of positions what she'd prefer to be called, if she expresses a preference.

I mean if a woman calls herself a "poetess" then I suppose I would go along but I'm speaking in general terms. And we are trying to get to of the essence of the word- practice would follow convention, that is, a woman might elect to call herself a "chairperson" because she believe the word "chairman" to be gendered- but would that be correct?
3185  General Politics / Political Debate / Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 02:37:20 pm
Or can they only be firefighters or mailpersons?

More seriously, I'm asking about gender-neutral pronouns. I've always thought the idea of the suffix "-man" being considered gendered to be a bit of an imposition. I mean, "mankind" is very clearly in reference to all people, not just men. So I'm of the opinion that women can be chairmen. Because chairperson... well it's all a bit silly. Because, you know, some men are women.


Seriously, though, it almost seems a forced sexism. This is a good quote:

I’m going to be thinking about man, and his part in the world, fairly frequently in these pages, and I want to make it quite clear, right away, that I Madeleine, sex: f, wife and mother, am just as much MAN as is Hugh, sex: m, husband and father, and that I’m not about to abdicate my full share in mankind. One of the most pusillanimous things we of the female sex have done throughout the centuries is to have allowed the male sex to assume that mankind is masculine.

There's some good thoughts on this page as well.


I'm not a linguist, and this all seems very dangerous (as if it were a black hole), but I guess I have feelings on it. I suppose this is what happens when you find that the Wikipedia page for "Chairman of the Federal Reserve" has become the inelegant "Chair of the Federal Reserve".
3186  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: GM Political Independence Amendment on: July 16, 2014, 02:14:09 pm
So Art. VII, § 2, Cl. 6 would now read:

6. The President shall appoint choose a Game Moderator with the advice and consent of two-thirds of those members duly elected and sworn to the Senate and the advice thereof.
a. The Game Moderator is responsible for providing the Senate and Atlasia with the necessary information to conduct debate and create legislation. The GM, at his discretion, shall provide information on wars, natural disasters, foreign events, and basic economic information including unemployment and inflation.
b. The Game Moderator may at any time be dismissed by the President.
c. The Game Moderator may, in the case of gross mismanagement, negligence, or abuse of authority at any time be removed by the Senate by a two thirds vote, without presidential approval.

Some of it is pedantism- changing "appoint" to "choose" and removing the "at any time"- to reflect the independence of the post and the gravity of a removal. I'm not sure about the "Gross" part.
3187  General Politics / International General Discussion / The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 01:48:06 pm
I am making this thread for two reasons.

1) Dead0man is just running rampant over the other one.

2) Because this happens so often why bother making a new one every time? See below:

3188  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Xahar on: July 16, 2014, 01:33:52 pm
What is your opinion of modern democratic party and its future? Is there any candidate you'd find palatable for 2016?

sawx talks a lot about the Party of Macklemore, and I think that's a legitimate concern. To the extent that the party is willing to ignore actual social issues for cultural concerns, it is a problem and needs to be stopped. That said, Republicans won't be occupying the left any time soon, so the Democrats will have to remain the part of the left whether they want to or not.

This is actually an interesting point and I'm glad people are observing it. As for the Republicans, that might be true, but it doesn't mean they won't try.

Well I have a question, too- what was being on the football team like? I still can't wrap my head around that. Not in a bad way, no, but I just can't see it.
3189  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: You are all missing the point of "Ask" threads. on: July 16, 2014, 01:27:09 pm
There are already too many people trying to be funny with them, the people who are serious about them are merely piling on. For that reason, they'd best go on Individual Politics.
3190  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Ask Oakvale on: July 16, 2014, 01:23:14 pm

I think it'd probably be worse. Our best writers all wrote in English, despite what the gabbling gombeen mafia will insist, and our literary (and otherwise) impact on the rest of the world - and the impact of the rest of the world on our culture - would have been massively diminished without the English language. Just personally I think it's a disastrous language that should be taken off life support as soon as possible - the unbearable smug attitude of the gaelgoir stormtroopers who act as if they're somehow more Irish than those who don't speak their dead language doesn't exactly help my opinion of the 'movement'.

I wonder, what's it like having a national language but electing not to speak it? In the broader, societal sense, not just you. I imagine there aren't many countries in a similar situation- a non-dead ethnic language of the majority group. I imagine the Irish speakers must be sincerely confounded as to why everyone else isn't speaking it, and I can see how that would be annoying.
3191  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 01:19:52 pm
Well, now that you mention it, I think I now support banning TX Conservative Dem, but only because of the death threats.

Yes, terrible a poster he is notwithstanding, he hasn't done anything "else" ban-worthy. I think.
3192  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 37 Percent Of Mississippi GOPers Would Back Confederates In Civil War on: July 16, 2014, 01:14:55 pm

The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitors, up with the stars;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

EDIT: Also the video was apparently made by a "Henok Gugsa". Abeshas know what it's about. Smiley
3193  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 12:40:07 pm
But regardless, TXCD is hilarious. I will not sign.
Hell no. Why so people always want to ban the funniest posters?

Stop. This is not "I don't like this poster". This is "making death threats to multiple people". If you think this is funny there is something wrong with you. (Besides the one about Gass, that made me chuckle) And he's black? For a black person (outside of a gang member I guess) and think of shooting positively is a sign of certain mental derangement.

x Simfan

BTW, we'd still have Clinton1996. He'd still be our only non-banned normal black poster. Because I'll admit I'm not your normal black person and this guy certainly isn't.

Oh, did you find his wife's FB profile pic as well?  I just did, so yeah, my mistake.

Ha. Also very funny.
3194  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Buddha on: July 16, 2014, 12:20:49 pm
Don't really know him, so FF I suppose.
3195  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Astrology fs or hs? on: July 16, 2014, 12:18:50 pm
3196  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: GM Political Independence Amendment on: July 16, 2014, 12:13:48 pm
I had a crazy idea a while ago that the GM should be chosen by the leaders of the 2-3 largest parties so as to guarantee that the game's power brokers would have a shared interest in shutting down any backlash against unpopular story lines.

Seeing 2-3 makes me wonder if the way to do this would be to require a supermajority for removal and confirmation. I would also prefer that the GM be appointed independent of presidential terms- much like the Federal Reserve Chairman the post takes after. Not sure if there should be a fixed term, though I'm disinclined.
3197  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation hearing: Simfan for Attorney General (Final Vote) on: July 16, 2014, 12:05:33 pm
Simfan would still be obliged to carry out certain legal duties as Attorney General even if he were to delegate most of the legal work to Deputy AG Snowstalker, but the fact that this position is at least nominally a legal one is not really what bothers me about what has happened here.

The issue is, of course, that no-one bothered letting me know that I actually was going to have to be renominated (although to your credit you did send me a PM about how you thought I would need to be) so I could keep an eye out for the thread or even just to tell me once the thread was started that people were asking questions (I recall Yankee doing this).

Obviously I'm not saying it's not my job to be on top of things but I was away for the weekend so I wasn't really on the forum all that much and I wasn't checking the Fantasy Government section for a thread I wasn't expecting to exist. Mea culpa, I suppose, but this could have avoided this had someone just kept me in the loop.
3198  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XV: Stuck Inside of Tulsa with the Oklahoma City Blues Again on: July 16, 2014, 11:55:51 am
I love how the blacks comment came out of nowhere. Brilliant by Bushie to inject some controversy in the Update for a few days. Now we are all left wondering if his problems with his job are due to him being a minority at his workplace.

Don't give him ideas. I prefer him thinking it's "all part of God's plan" as opposed to it being "the nig**r's fault" when he loses this job.
3199  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Panda Express on: July 16, 2014, 11:41:39 am
Please tell me somebody saved the image from this post, because the link has apparently died:

J.J., I wanted to congratulate you on your assignment "A Typical Day In My Life". I think you did a superb job with it. So good that I think I'll share it with everyone else.

^ With the image, this was in fact the greatest post in the history of the forum.

I'm assuming he has the original. But yeah that post is certainly a contender.

For anyone who missed it, it was a four panel comic made in paint, but not terribly done:

Panel 1: Anthropomorphic sun: Come outside JJ, it's a beautiful day!

Panel 2: JJ: No!

Panel 3: JJ slams the window shut as the Sun frowns disappointedly.

Panel 4: JJ is seen furiously typing at computer (hitting it with his stick arms), saying "Price of gold: 1834.37. I expect a correction. After the deluge" (punctuation original). There is a portrait of a cartoon chicken with the caption "Captain Kluck" on the wall.

JJ's response is part of the appeal, too: "On a day we have flooding."
3200  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XV: Stuck Inside of Tulsa with the Oklahoma City Blues Again on: July 16, 2014, 11:38:55 am
what if updaet on BET network?

You wouldn't know what was going on-- it'd just be women constantly shouting their outrage at the goings-on, meaning you would be unable to tell what was actually happening beyond the relative volume of the audience. If you've ever watches some of those shows I'm talking about you almost can actually do that.
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