Recent posts by JohnnyBeGood on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Japan forgets it's history. Chooses war.

Originally posted by Athrul:

The only reason that have clauses like this in their constitution is that they have been written under the pressure of the Allies.

The same thing here in Germany. The armed forces are not allowed to act inside the country. We had a major flooding a few years ago and soldiers stationed near those regions could have helped rescue and protection efforts. But they couldn’t.

No. Here in Germany the Bundeswehr (the name of German armed forces) can and do regularly help with catastrophes, such as those you are describing. Article 35 of the German Constitution regulates the use of the Bundeswehr in cases of Floods and other greater catastrophes. What they can´t do is armed Operations (though there are tightly regulated exemptions even for that).
And these Regulations don´t come from WWII but have a longer history, from the learning phases of democracy in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Where military coups and the use of the military against political opposition was common.
A look around the Globe even now shows the wisdom of this. In many Countries where this safe guard is not in place you will find Military Dictatorships, Governments that can only act with the permission of the Military and Governments using the Military as tools of Oppression.

Now with the Regards to the Topic:

Originally posted by FarmstandBananan:

Japan recently chose to “reinterpret” Article 9 of its pacifist post-World War II Constitution.

That section reads, in part, “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”

Now, the Japanese military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, or SDF, will be allowed to provide limited defense for its allies in conflicts abroad. The forces have traditionally been restricted to humanitarian roles.

Japan did not actually have world domination aspirations. Even if they had won WWII together with the other Axis Powers most of the World would still have been free of their direct control. Their goals were more realistic than that. The goal was to establish imperialistic dominance over an Area which was rich in resources in order to exploit the resources of the countries/colonies so gained control over.
It was Business as usual. Not really the reason why Germany/Japan and others should be considered the Evil Powers of WWII. Otherwise many other Nations that used the common practice of military force to establish such imperialistic dominance would have to be denounced too (Including for Example the USA, Great Britain, France and Russia).
It was how the Axis Powers treated Prisoners of War, Civilians of Countries they conquered/controlled and even their own People which marked them as Evil.
So much for history class.
Now on to the question: Is the decision good or bad? Fact is Japan is hardly going to such military force outside of a coalition. So the effects will be limited.
It will give Japan the ability to trade send troops in case of military coalition operations, instead of the logistical on monetary support it does now, as well as give them a greater importance in such coalitions. Since the coalitions generally value troops more than money and logistical support.
What will Japan lose? Not much. Japan failed to capitalise on its pacifistic capital to a much greater extent than Germany. German Negotiators can be found as mediators in almost all greater conflicts. Japan failed to establish such a role. So no loss there. As said it is involved in military coalition operations anyway. So again no loss.
Only negative results I can see, is that they will be more in the awareness of Terrorist should they take part in military operations with troops.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/why-germany-just-closed-its-borders-to-refugees/ar-AAeg7jN?li=AA54ur

I knew Germany’s generosity wouldn’t last forever….

The boarders are not closed they are being controlled. Big differnce in that the refugees that get to the boarder are still taken in and not turned away, though they are registered and put into the refugee system instead of being unregisterd illegals. The human traficers on the other hand are jailed.

The measure is short term and based on political Policy both within Germany and the EU. Not aimed against the Refugees as such. Though our Rightwing conservatives try to give it that spin while claiming they are not. It would be quite a funny dance if it were not so pathetic.

The Measure is aimed at three things:
1. Putting presure on eastern European states with rightwing leadership to agree to distribute refugees within the EU acording to fixed quotas.
2. Register the incoming Refugees instead of having them inter as illegals.
3. Catch and disuade human traficers some of which have been resbonsible for horrible deaths of refugees and earning great summes at the expense of the refugees.
4. To disuade Refugees in the camps surrounding Syria to set out twoards Germany. After the humanitarian Aid response. Lots of false Information was realesed by various intrested Parties, aimed at getting Refugees into chosing to go to Germany.

Originally posted by FarmstandBananan:
Step up to the plate. Germany did, and now they realize they have made a huge mistake – as possibly dozens of ISIS and Al Qaeda sleeper cell terrorists snuck in posing as migrants and are just waiting to strike at the right time.

Unlikely. First idiotic symphatists of the ISIS tend to travel from here twoards Syria not the other way around. Those that come back are gernerally those that found out the hard way that life in Germany with all its hedonistic vices was a bit nicer than being part of a Militia in a war torn country.
For the Al Qaeda and ISIS there are better and safer ways of getting their terrorists into Germany, if they really wanted to.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / "Dear Fat People" - Nicole Arbour

Originally posted by Thatsomegoodname:

Also the mentality that they should be taken care of (whether by government or family or otherwise), regardless of the fact that their health problem is a direct consequence of their actions, is appalling to me. How can you expect to do whatever the fuck you want, have no self control or desire to become healthier in general for years then expect those who have actually taken care of themselves to pay for your medical bills?

This is very real sentiment as a former roommate of mine who was obese shared with me: “Government should take care of all sick people no matter what”.

No they really shouldn’t.

“Does this mean that you are going to just let fat people die?”

To put it bluntly, yea. It’s called facing the consequences of your actions. I realize the value of life and whatever but if YOU should realize the value of YOUR life and make better decisions. I don’t get up at 5 in the morning everyday to run and then go to work just so I can pay for some obese person’s medical bills. Same goes for smokers, alcoholics, drug users, etc.

But it does not just stop there does it? If you get any condiontion because of your life sytle, be that cartilage build up through jogging or burn out because you overwork yourself; then thats your issue.

Hell it actually boils down to: its your fault because you got out of bed or it is still your fault because you did not get out of your bed.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:

YYour link does not actually back up your claims. What it points to is the UK might (too much uncertainties to be sure) need to import more food than it does now, which is no surprise. Since as a first world country this is the common modus operandi. It is impossible to achieve such a high standard of living with just self sufficiency.

It backs up the claim that the amount of farmland we have is not sufficient, with a contiinually growing population according to legal immigration projects, which fits my point just fine.

Where does it do that? Just because you are importing food does not mean that your amount of farmland is insufficient.

Additionally the amount of land nessary for housing refugees would hardly make a dent in those figures.

Building enough new towns to handle four million people would absolutely demand a great deal of farming land. Or nature reservation land. Whichever way we go, it’s going to result in difficult choices. Don’t forget its not just houses, it’s all the jobs, schooling, emergency services, waste management and power systems that go with them.

4 Million people should equal somewhere between 4.000 ha and 40.000 ha. Deppending on size of Floor space per person, amount of floor space per amount of ground space, and the amount surrounding infrastructure needed.
Hardly a dent in the millions you have or might be missing.

But that time can be covered through imports and immigrant workers (lol I like the irony of the last bit).

Legal immigration, yes. However, as most of us have been trying to explain to Pete for page after page after page, there is a differenvce between qualified legal immigrants who have the skills the country needs, and great masses of illegal immigrants with unknown skillsets, who may or may not be able to build to code.

What do you mean by illegal? Just those with no right to claim asylum/refuge at all or does this include those that should have technically claimed it in the countries they entered the EU in.
Either way i would like to point out that with how costly, hard and life threatening it is to get in the EU (and even more so to get into the UK) the people that do make it tend to be very economically valuable.

Positive. We have to do this carefully. Making the camps so high in living standasrds as they are far above the living standards the average existing resident of the country can expect, will I firmly believe, have a severe negative impact on their desire to leave said camps. If every need is met, every want is satisfied, and they live in relative luxury whilst in processing, they will not wish to leave it for a lower quality of life outside of it.

I think you would be suprised how many would be willing to trade the passive luxirous life for an active sellf determined one.

But thats beside the case i was making.

You hardly need to be careful about making the camps to comfortable unless your making an active effort on all fronts to make the camps much better than life outside it. Otherwise your not going to get anywhere near that level.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by vikaTae:

the problem the UK has Johnny, is we need all the farmland we can get. It’s running low. to the point where we’re in danger of not having enough farmland to feed everyone.

So, building houses on farmland is really not a great idea, as that’ll just exacerbate the problem.

YYour link does not actually back up your claims. What it points to is the UK might (too much uncertainties to be sure) need to import more food than it does now, which is no surprise. Since as a first world country this is the common modus operandi. It is impossible to achieve such a high standard of living with just self sufficiency.
Additionally the amount of land nessary for housing refugees would hardly make a dent in those figures.

As for building on old industrial land, yes that is doable, but we’re fighting the EU there. We need the EU to drop the restrictions on housing people on heavilly contaminated/toxic land before we can move ahead with building homes on brown land.

Since we are in the EU the rules schould not be worse than here. Either your Industries realy fucked up your land or replacing the top soil should be suffcient in most cases to allow tightly regulated building.

Whatever we decide to do, the building material shortage isn’t going away, and the demand for more homes only makes it more likely we’ll simply run out of materials to build them with.

I can´t open your link (since it demands registration), but I am quite certain that the lack they are describing is a logistical one. General building materials are not rare earths only found in small amounts. Yep, just checked elsewhere:
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/27/uk-housebuilding-fall-down-lack-bricks-bricklayers-fmb
The problem is that during the recession you mothballed building material factories and lost skilled works because of layoffs. Getting back into gear is going to take some time. But that time can be covered through imports and immigrant workers (lol I like the irony of the last bit).

The second one is hardly going to be an issue unless living in the refugee camps was more comfortable than living in general soceity and that you actually let them stay there without urgeing them to leave.

That’s what Pete was proposing yes. Make them as comfortable as possible. Give them every luxury we can to bring their standard of living right up. Alegedly, they’ll still be eager to leave the camps – the higher standard of living won’t affect their decisions.

You sure? I admit that I have been skimming much of the thread that was not directly related to me. So I might have missed that. But it still seems to me that Pete wrote what you are referring to after the Post of Beauval(to which I was replying).
It seemed to me as if Beauval was writing as if the two options: lower enough to get accusations of human right abuses and so high that immigrants don´t want to leave the camps are right there next to each other. Though reading it again that might just have been a misunderstanding on my part.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by beauval:


Now they just might be a possible and affordable option as accommodation, but in Britain at least it still leaves us with the problem of where to put them. Almost every square centimetre of land is already taken or allocated. Even issuing compulsory purchase orders on land that building companies are sitting on would be an interminable process while they brought their big gun lawyers in to argue every point.

While I don´t have experience in how it is in Britain. I find it hard to believe that its that much different than other Places. In the Places i do know there is generally enough space that can be reallocated towards Housing and would be if not for building regulations, communal planning and zoning. There should be many Farmers that would love to sell their Farmland for the prices they can get for development ready Land.

Originally posted by beauval:

If we made camps too uncomfortable, i.e. tents, we could be open to accusations of human rights abuses, and that’s a can of worms in itself. If we went the other way, then some refugees would be content to stay there forever and live on handouts. Neither of the above is a desirable outcome.

The second one is hardly going to be an issue unless living in the refugee camps was more comfortable than living in general soceity and that you actually let them stay there without urgeing them to leave.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by karmakoolkid:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:

Bad idea. Refugee camps especially inside the country have a negative effect on the abiility of the immigrants to integrate. These camps genarlly force the refugees to nothng worth while, which seriously erodes the will, skills and ability of the immigrants to work and integrate themselves into soceity. Most of the Money spent on such camps could beter be invested into infrastructur(and the jobs that these investments create) to speed up the process of integration.

Please expand on this.
What kind of time line are we talking about here?

It was about Implosion of Dooms idea specifically of using the refugee camps as a `Holding Tank´ to slow down the amount of immigration that hits the open society. This implies that the rate at which the Refugees trickle out will be lower than the number which enters, which means that as time passes the Refugee Camps as well as the waiting time becomes consecutively longer and longer.
I think that point was lost in the editing i did before Posting.

Are you saying there currently are enough lodging facilities and that they are integrated (basically physically close by) enough to sufficiently handle all of the necessary supervision of this integration?

Technically yes. If the answer is sufficient that we have more than the bare minimum (according to first world standards) . That it needs to be expanded quickly both in terms of quantity and quality is an old issue, which is currently being solved thanks to a shift in the conservative camp. Where the long-time stance of denial and passive resistance (defunding/underfunding of projects, intentionally slow Bureaucracy and etc.) is becoming a minority Position.

Surely, ya aren’t proposing just “turning loose” these thousands of ppl to fend for themselves … w/ only the occasional “checking in” to the govt. so that their “progress-0-integration” can be somewhat monitored?

No. Here in Germany there is quite an effective bureaucracy and support system in place already. The idea is to get the people on to the job market as fast as possible and in the cases where they lack the necessary skills for the 1st market, then include them in 2nd or 3rd market as quickly. The first market is the free unsubsidized Market, while the 2nd and 3rd are subsidized either aiming at preparing and urging people for/towards the 1st market or giving people who will never be fit for the 1st market a place.

I don’t think Pete EVER fully understood my concept of “half-way housing” camps that would be mostly similar to an in-the-field medical triage. As far as “security” goes (fences, armed guards, etc.) … well, that is what the triage is for: assessment of level of “care” to be given.

Certainly agree with the triage idea. Though I think I disagree upon the expected Assignments of necessary camp “care” that should be issued.
Though this is mostly due to the fact that the refugees we are receiving right now are already the upper cream. The lower cream (lack of money, education and strive) are the ones stuck back at the refugee camps in the Middle East.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by James146:

Does Germany take in a good amount of skilled immigrants to at least replace it for that low birthrate?

No. Birth rates are very low here right now. We would need about 1 Million immigrants a year to compensate. Has not been that much in the last decade, theis year with an expectd 800.000+ refugees we might get enough.

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Well obviously those with low education levels are going to fear immigration out of self interest, since most immigrants have very little education and will work cheaper than the natives, which demographic do you think is going to be hit the hardest economically, by a sudden flood of poorly educated immigrants into the country? Simply put, they’re worried that they can’t compete with that sort of change to the local job market, you know ’they took yer jobs!" and all that.

Actually your wrong about the low education level. Most immigrants actually have quite a decent level of education.

Working cheaper is certainly usually the case though and you will certainly see immigrants more readly taking jobs below their education level, since many immigrants are both tougher, less picky and more needy of work. A Sudden influx of immigrants will certianly be taxing on parts of the jobmarktet at least until the markt adjusts. But the infux does not just “take jobs” it also creates them, though this creation will be time delayed anf take a bit to catch up.

Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

At the very least, refugee camps both inside and outside the country could be used as a ‘holding tank’ to slow down the rate of immigration to reasonable levels by slowly allowing refugees to trickle out as they go through the whole citizenship process.

I suppose it would be like comparing beer kegs with a tap to using a fire hose to distribute beverages. You’ve still got the same amount of beverage either way, but the human mouth can only handle so much of it at once, which is why you’d never aim a fire hose of beer at people’s faces.

Bad idea. Refugee camps especially inside the country have a negative effect on the abiility of the immigrants to integrate. These camps genarlly force the refugees to nothng worth while, which seriously erodes the will, skills and ability of the immigrants to work and integrate themselves into soceity. Most of the Money spent on such camps could beter be invested into infrastructur(and the jobs that these investments create) to speed up the process of integration.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by petesahooligan:
Due to Germanys unique historical issues the conservatives who are against refugees have it much harder here to influence the public against refugees. They have to be very careful not seem to far Right so that they are not labeled as Nazis.

I hear this cited as an influential factor in German politics and social attitudes occasionally. I have friends in Berlin and Heidelberg that I visit now and then—and drink a ton of beer—and they claim that this isn’t a “popular” factor any more than slavery is a perpetual source of guilt in Americans’ discussions on racial matters.

Unless the guilt Americans have towards slavery has increased significantly since i lived in the USA, its not nearly on the same level. One very important difference being that our Dark history was beaten from the outside and not within. The German resistance against the Nazis and the Holocaust was far and few between. Not many native Germans can claim that their family had nothing to do with it.
Add in the active remembrance culture built around the issue and it becomes a Major effect on various public and political issues.
One of major reasons Germany has been very nice towards the USA regarding the issue of several very serious spying-scandals that against most any other country would dictate a serious backlash, is the historical debt/graitude Germany perceives it has towards the USA.

I’m inclined to generally dismiss “Third Reich Regret” (they can NOT SEE what they did wrong… get it?) as a significant factor in the German public’s will to offer asylum.

Its less a factor in the will and more a factor in why those against refugees have a much harder time.

Originally posted by beauval:

Hello Johnny, nice to see you back.

Regarding having to be careful about not being Nazis, how long are going to beat yourselves up over the sins of an earlier generation? It’s like us being expected to apologise for the empire every five minutes. There comes a time when you have to put the past to bed.

I used to think similar. But now i think even with the misuses of the historical Guilt/Gratitude in Issues where it is wrongly placed. The positive effects are well worth the trouble.

It gives us Germans quite a bit of humility without which we would most likely be the most intolerable arrogant “” on this Planet.
The change happened in part thanks to the World Cup 2008 and 2014 which showed us how we could combine a healthy package of historical humility with a healthy dose of patriotism. Now we are barely sufferable humbly arrogant “”.

Additionally it protects us from the quick and easy populism of the deranged Right.

Now, refugees. It’s a laudable thing to make a grand gesture and allow thousands in, but do you really have the housing to cope with that? Over here the social housing lists are overflowing, and allowing too many immigrants, however deserving, to jump the queue is bound to stir up resentment and be counter-productive.

Affordable housing is a serious issue here in Germany too and has been for more than a decade, but only in the major Cities and their immediate surrounding. Due to the heavy migration into the cities(ironic we have our own internal economic refugees, makes me wonder what face they would make if we started building fences and walls around the cities and only let true urban people and those with sufficient “qualification” in), there is actually quite a bit of empty housing available on the country side.
Most new refugees are only eligible for community housing limited to refugees until their Status has been determined. Here again there are many empty Buildings available. For example ex-military housing (it has not been long that we got rid of mandatory military service).
Housing the expected 800.000+ refugees this year won´t be that much of a challenge but if we don´t get into gear it is going to become one in the following years.
But we are slowly getting into to gear and it is more than likely that other disadvantaged People already living here are going to profit from the changes. For example the speedup of the bureaucratic planning process of new development lots, which will vitalise the housing industry.

I understand Pete’s point about an ageing demographic, we have a similar problem here. But any exercise in social engineering needs to be carried out in a controlled way or the negatives will start to outweigh the positives. Is the current political response to this crisis simply a knee jerk reaction to public opinion, or does Mutti have a long term plan on the table?

I don´t think “Mutti” ever has a plan besides wait and see where everyone else is going. But the way our Government functions that’s perfectly fine. There are enough plans already; it is not like we are new to the problem. The crisis now is more like a Kick in the Ass to get going and implement some of them (more thoroughly) than an Issue of not having a plan.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Migrants In Europe

Originally posted by beauval:

This video of Germans greeting Syrian refugees, I think, is a good example of how a kind heart sets a different stage for seeking solutions to the various technical challenges posed by diaspora.

I believe their attitudes are likely to change very quickly. The West Germans weren’t so keen on reunification with the East when they realised the sheer magnitude of the task they had set themselves.

On the countrary. The issue of migration and refugees has been a hot topic for years in Germany. The lines pro and contra basically drawn along the progressive and conservative party lines.

now even our very conservative leaning chancellor Angela Merkel has been forced to make a humanitarian move, organizing the transport of tens of thousands of unregistered refugees from Bulgiaria over Austria to Germany. Even though the generall position of the conservatives is that refugees that enter EU have to register and have their Status approved in the country they entered the EU in. A move that will make it ever harder to keep unregistered refugees from entering.

This move was forced upon her because Until a short while ago the plight of the Refugees was well knowen, but still at such a level that it could be ignored, because it could be seen as someone elses problem. Due the media focus the point was reached were it could not be ignored any longer. The Government had to act and it could not act like its mre conservative members would have liked.

Due to Germanys unique historical issues the conservatives who are against refugees have it much harder here to influence the public against refugees. They have to be very careful not seem to far Right so that they are not labeled as Nazis.
Additonally the media has been reporting for years on how afull refugees in entering courtieres like Greece, Itally and Spain were treated. Something which was used to fuel a sense of moral suppority towards those countries, while various European issues were negotiated.
Large parts of our conservatives got on this “high horse” and now that its (so to speak) galloping at full speed, there is no way to get off without falling really deep.

I can´t see public opinion here in Germany tipping back any time soon, without some major Distraction coming up. As it is now the Goverment is going to be weighed on how they handel the Issue.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Distribution of Wealth

Originally posted by petesahooligan:

@FlyingCat: This is irrelevant as the amount distributed to each person is in accordance to their needs. There is no incentive to elevate one’s needs when the resources grow proportionately.

My source, (Wikipedia for the win!), puts the global GDP around 90-trillion (US dollars). With 7-billion people, that puts about $13,000 toward each person annually. I’m not sure if that’s enough to live on EVERYWHERE but it’s more than enough to live on in many parts of the world.

1. Your constantly mixing up two things. Destirbuting based on needs and just geiving everyne an equal share. The outcome of both is totally different, because hte needs of people are naturally totally different.

2. Depending on how you define Need the living standards are going to be fastly diffrent. If you devine as neded to survive then the people will be living in shanties sharing small sleeping bunks in shifts, eating bowls of masched vegtables and nutrion supplients. No clothes unless the weather or working conditions make it nessary. Travel being mostly done by shared bicycles suplemented with various forms of public transports. Some form of Iphone as multimedia device and all the rest of the economy being centered around medical needs. Because in that regard needs of many people will be as they are limitless. With the current technology ressources can ot be distributed in a way to cover the needs of everyone when survival is included as need, because the medical conditions of many people are endless.

3. Trying to calculate how much everyone would have based on the evaluation of the given Assests of the World in Money is not a good idea to be polite. Because its useless. The Value of things in terms of Money is directly connected to their supply and demand. Demand is directly connected to the ability of People to pay for what they desire/need.
If the distribution of said Assests is changed it totally changes supply and demand. Meaning what can be bought with said Assests changes dramatically.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally posted by issendorf:

This is all you really need to know about the deal:

We will have anywhere, anytime inspections. – April, 2015

JK! We never wanted anywhere, anytime inspections. – July, 2015.

Just when you thought the Obama Administration couldn’t become any more inept, they just continue to be committed to proving you wrong.

Oh common. Thats some cheap shot. In both sources the Position of Ben Rodes is totally consitent with the other.

At best you could make a case for the Journalist/Editors of the first sources being sloppy about what they(not Rodes) claim anytime, anywhere access is going to be.

Rodes claims in both sources that there will be direct anytime, anywhere access to the designated nuclear infrastructure. for other places outside of that infrastructure they can go to the IAEA to arrange access.

Fact is that one can be certain that a general anytime, anywhere access was never on the table. There are probably only a handfull historically very neutral Nations/Organisation in the World where any Country in there right mind would even think about giving them such rights before saying no. Such things tend to be misused both for spionage and simple bullying. The US track record like many other countries is not exactly clean in that regards and even if it was the chances of the Inspectors being used as Spies by other countries would be too high.

The deal they got is actually quite good in regards to Inspections, if the claims of Rode is true. Nuclear facilities needed for researching and producing Nuclear Weapons are generally not the Mobilie sort that can be covered up in a day or two.


Now to the topic more in general.

I think a thing thats over seen a lot is that a Iranian Nuclear Weapon is hardly a real threat. Fact is no Country has attacked with a Nuclear Weapon since WWII and that even though some seriously unscrupulus Goverments have had them in thier arsenal. Some who where in serious Military conflicts that they even lost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_with_nuclear_weapons

The lieklihood of the Iranians using the weapons if they had them is even closer to zero than other countries that can at least threaten MAD should a other Nuclear country try to take them in account for the use of such a weapon.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / American Conservatism versus the world.

Originally posted by Lozear_shelly3:

I have noticed that American Conservatism is a lot different from the world. They are usually a lot more stronger in argument, very polite and are more educated about history.

Many Americans want to have a free non socialist economy. The rest of the world wants different. They have conservative morals, but are not as strong as Americans.

My question is why, on both sides, this is so apparent?
Why are Americans so, sensitive about politics? And why doesn’t the rest of the world care as much or so little about the same issue?

I would say you don´t know much about the World. There are many more conservative People out there than the Americans. Quite frankly American conservatives look quite progressive compared to the majority of conservatives out there.

And the “more educated about history”. Finding a people less educated about history than the Americans in the first world is a challenge i think no one can accomplish. Most of the people in other first world countries know a decent amount of world history, a great helping focused on their own national history and a extra helping of American history(through film and media, besides whats learned in world history). The Americans generally lack this extra helping of history foreign nations and their own national history is quite a bit short compared to that of others.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Greek Elections Jan 2015

Originally posted by donseptico:

So, the results are in and it looks like Syriza (an anti-austerity, left wing party) have fallen just short of an outright majority.

Syriza is not actually anti-austerity. At least not in the sense of wanting a balanced budget. The idea how to get there is what differs. Fact is that while some of the austerity measures are showing some success some of the measures have done more harm than good. Much of the success we are now seeing is due to the Greece economy hitting rock bottom.
It shows that trying to fix the spending side without also fixing the income side can not lead to success when the Amount of Dept has reached a critical point. And that when fixing the spending side it should not be done blindly. Especially in a setting with such a corrupt political and bureaucratic system as exists in Greece.
Quite frankly many of the cuts in spending have gone hand in hand in equal cuts in income. Leading to the dept payments becoming an ever increasing Problem, because dept payments are taking up a ever increasing part of the Budget(because the Budget is getting smaller and smaller while the Dept is increasing).
The Greece have already cut spending everywhere they could(even places that where really stupid) and while they are close to or even have achieved a balanced budget when one ignores dept payments. There is no way for them to cut spending to a point where they can balance the budget and including dept payments in that budget. The only possible solution is increasing income or cutting debt.
Both are seen as possibilities by Syriza, but in both cases it takes Foreign Money. Either the Creditors have to say okay they will give up on some of the Dept(or freeze loan interest and dept payments) or Investors(new Creditors) need to be found willing to invest in future growth of Greece. I don´t see any willing Investors on the Horizon.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Originally posted by teh_hobo:

would you guys kindly get off your high horse.
Our enemy tortures as well.
Most of these men being tortured have killed a lot of people or have order the deaths of a lot of people.
They deserve what they get.

? As far as it seems, most if not almost all of the people tortured by the USA were/are suspects and not condemned criminals. Some of them were/are Innocent (mistaken identity) and many more were/are only indirectly involved (for example drivers/bodyguards).

Considering this and the US and especially the CIA´s not so clean history the “they deserve what they get” attitude rapidly falls back on the US.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:

Torture results in the tortured giving information that they think their captors want to have.

No as already pointed out by me and others, thats not how it works. The answers given by the tortured are those the tortured hopes will stop the torture. These do not have to be truthful, especially if a truthful answer is not the one a captive thinks will stop the torture.

What happens when you have an extremely mentally resilient person who contains information vital to saving lives of thousands of people? Should we just wait until feels like spilling the beans to the point where those thousands of people get killed because we didn’t have the information to stop it?

This vague example is brought out again and again but fails because it implies that the information is actually obtainable through torture. But as pointed out there are serious limitations to torture. As said the most important limitation is that the information needs to be verifiable quickly other wise the torture victim can just lie.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Originally posted by dias17se:

Torture has been proven effective since ancient times. If not why would it still be on practise ?

Because its emotionally satisfying for the Torturer. Looking at history we see Torture mostly used as punishment, revenge, coercion, re-education as well as being used for the pleasure of the torture or other audience.
On the other hand the Number of documented through torture successful interrogations is insignificant.

Originally posted by dias17se:

It still works, it´s a fact. You know something and i want it, i´m gonna torture you and threaten your family, you will spit it out, if it comes late or not depends on conditions such as time, place, agent. Even if i get late it will still be useful, so my point still stands, torture is effective.

Bullshit. Without a working Lie detector Torture is very limited on what information it can successfully extract. For obvious reasons current Lie detectors don´t work with torture.
One of the greatest limitations is that the information needs to be verifiable very quickly. If the tortured can tell lies to make the immediate torture stop why should it not? The motivation of the torture victim is to make the immediate torture stop and not prevent future torture.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Political Correctness as a Barrier to Communication

Originally posted by Pleasedonot5:

TL;DR Political correctness can be a barrier to communication, causing more bigotry to result, when actually the desired result was removing this bigotry…

What do you all think? Opinions? Where should we draw the line? How much caution is too much?

Formalities, decorum and etiquette in speech and communication are as ancient as language itself and even older than that. The Rules are various, complex and change depending on with whom, when, where and how your communicating and thats just the start of the list. There have also always been interests, politics and ethics/morals involved in a struggle over the control of these Rules and whilst the Rules can and are often a barrier to communication at the same time more often the opposite is true (because as complicated as the Rules are it makes many things simpler).

So whats there to say about political correctness? Well as said politics and interest have always been involved and if we look at all the other interests, politics and morals/ethics involved once or now. (Including for example the very political encouraged definition of political correctness your using) And if we were to compare them to what the OP said what political correct is, one might have to say as flawed as the implementation often is, its Goals are much better than most interests, politics and morals/ethics that are involved in the struggle over the control of the rules.

At the same time the Goal of preventing offense in communications is one of the hardest Goals to achieve, since as the shows a simple thoughtfulness can cause an offense and even established formalities, decorum and etiquette generally take years to master. Most of the implementations of non-offensive speech are far from established and quite often much more a recent (by-) product of modern social sciences.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why Do You Need Feminism?

Originally posted by Pawnzilla:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:

Lol, because what you call “natural gender tendencies” are not natural tendencies (at least not natural in the sense your using it here), they are cultural ones and they are based on cultural traditions that were and are heavily discriminatory between genders. A look at the history in which the traditions were created and how they have developed shows that they are were created in service of a patriarchal society.

The existence of gender roles in the past in no way debunks what I said.

Yes it does. Because those artificial gender roles are largely still in effect today. And these gender roles are not based on nature but instead on nurture.

The statistical differences in career choice and behavior between men and women is well established.

Statistically women will make different career choices than men of their own volition.

Yes, but own volition is not the issue here, the question is where they brought up by society in general and both media and parents specifically according to artificial role models?

You missed the point of my statement. The post you quoted was about the burden of proof, not computer programming. If you are going to make the claim for widespread discrimination in a job field then you need to prove the case. This is especially true if you’re advocating government intervention as a solution for the problem.

Yes and my point was about you choosing a shitty example to suit your needs. Instead of taking an example where there is a major push for such Legislation based on employment you choose one where the result of male dominance is in effect a result of early role model imprinting and not employer discrimination. I basically agree with the necessity of burden of proof but your looking for it in the wrong place.
In the places where I see Legislation over employment quotas either being but into place or being advocated the evidence is clear that its not the womens choices nor qualification nor pregnancies that are the issue, but in fact deep routed and ingrained biases that lead to lack of women.

I believe in equal opportunity and see government intervention as a violation of equal opportunity.


Thats bullshit. For that to be the case equal opportunity has to exist in the first place without government intervention. Enough high quality studies show thats not the case. Instead the Government Intervention is actually aimed at reducing the inequality in opportunity.

You seem to be confusing equal opportunity with equality.

No i am not. No where do i claim that women and men number of women should or would be equal every where if equal opportunity existed. I am saying that equal opportunity does not in fact exist in the first place without government intervention and on top of that the government intervention generally advocated actually increases equal opportunity (if only in one specific dimension).

Anybody with a rudamentary understanding of psychology, neurology, or simply common sense knows that statistically men and women make different choices and have different behaviors. Equal opportunity should lead to an inequality in the job market unless you believe that the only difference between men and women are their genitals. If you do believe that, then you are at odds with science.

Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of psychology and sociology should know that the differences we see in the job market is based much more on nurture than nature and that there are many

Not just sometimes, in the upper leadership of companies its most times. No other way to get the statistical difference even counting other factors as less women being interested/qualified in the job or having to spend time on pregnancy and children.

Since you dismissed my computer programmer example I’ll think I’ll point out that upper leadership positions are a terrible example. Unlike the general job market top leadership positions are almost never given to the most qualified applicant, male or female.

I dismissed the computer programmer example specifically because there is no push for Quotas on it, while for upper Management it is. And no, in the general job market positions are also almost never given to the most qualified applicant. Except for very specific jobs (like running 100 meters as fast as possible) qualification are generally either only a minimum bar or a final feather on the scale.

In a non-discriminatory workplace quotas by their very nature always result in the less qualified applicant finding a job because the only time they come into play is when the employer is forced to take a different applicant than they would have had they based their decision on the application itself.

Wrong. First see above about generally not the best qualified applicant getting the job. Second, it s wrong because of the existing bias in which females applications are discarded even when having evidently superior Qualifications. The quotas force many employers to take a better look at the female applications than they otherwise would. And as studies show many unconsciously biased employers will change their biases just with the gained experience of having had to look at female Applicants more closely. 3rd. Only a minority of employers hold out on doing so until they are forced to take a female no matter what (unless the Quotas are really ridiculous like 50/50 or so, which are generally self established Quotas of Political Organizations and NGO´s).

They increase equal opportunity since one of the factors (male/female discrimination) is diminished, as well as give one of the groups that is being traditionally discriminated against a foothold in the field. That means the tradition of hiring less-qualified males over better qualified females takes a serious hit, in a generation and part of the net-working its based on, will likely be so far reduced that the quotas become largely unnecessary.

I believe the opposite is true – quotas increase the number of less qualified applicants that get jobs and violate equal opportunity.

And some people believe in creationism. Your belief does not matter against the facts.

Leaving a gab of ~+5% on which both conservative and liberal economist can agree, is not accounting for nearly all of the -23% Obama cites. Mathematically its leaves 25% around of the -23%unaccounted for(Note that the 5% is + and the 23% is -). Even more considering that many of the factors accounted for are themselves based on discrimination just not by the boss but by society (see traditional gender roles above).

The statement labor market discrimination is unlikely to account for more than 5% but may not be present at all only implies 5% if you ignore the last part of the statement. The gap is reduced to 5% when adjusted for other factors. The article explains the remaining 5% with the following:

I warned you to not use the logic of the Article since the other factors your citing are already accounted for in the studies and publications the 5% is based on.

If corporations are willing to outsource labor to sweat shops in other countries to make an extra buck, then I would expect them to hire more women if women were really cheaper.

No, because the biases of the employer is that males are worth 5% more than females. Corporations are not willing to outsource to sweat shops in other countries just because they know the workers are cheaper but because they believe the sweat shops are more cost efficient. Its a reason why many industries don´t outsource their work, because cheaper wages don´t always mean better cost efficiency.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why Do You Need Feminism?

Originally posted by Pawnzilla:
Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

If discrimination is subconscious employers would be unaware. Yes, it’s an assumption but it beats any other theory.

Why does it beat any other theory? Going back to the computer programmer example, tell me why I should assume that widespread discrimination is the primary cause of male dominance in the field over natural gender tendencies to choose different professions?

Lol, because what you call “natural gender tendencies” are not natural tendencies (at least not natural in the sense your using it here), they are cultural ones and they are based on cultural traditions that were and are heavily discriminatory between genders. A look at the history in which the traditions were created and how they have developed shows that they are were created in service of a patriarchal society.

If somebody wanted to equalize men and women in the field of computer programming through legislation, then I would expect that they prove their case. The burden of proof would be on them. It should not just be assumed that male dominance in a field proves widespread discrimination in the field.

The field of computer programing itself is actually relatively less discriminatory than many other fields because its relatively new(having received less gender based traditions) and because most work can be done anonymously without even meeting in real life. Its the connections where it meets other fields that are generally more discriminatory.
As such using legislation on the field itself is rather senseless and would have to focus on other places like the diversification of role models(stereotypes) from the traditional ones to modern ones.

I believe in equal opportunity and see government intervention as a violation of equal opportunity.

Thats bullshit. For that to be the case equal opportunity has to exist in the first place without government intervention. Enough high quality studies show thats not the case. Instead the Government Intervention is actually aimed at reducing the inequality in opportunity.

It is true that some biased employers will pass over a more qualified women and hire a less qualified man – but the government response to this should not be to enact the same injustice in reverse.

Not just sometimes, in the upper leadership of companies its most times. No other way to get the statistical difference even counting other factors as less women being interested/qualified in the job or having to spend time on pregnancy and children.

Giving a competitive advantage to a woman simply because she is a woman can lead to a more qualified man missing out on the job.

Yes but statistically much more unlikely than a man taking the position of a more qualified women. With the even extreme quotas like 40% you generally have the top 40% females facing off with the bottom 40% males. (Note that these quotas generally aim for places where there are sufficient women applicants available)
Yes in some cases a company will have used up its male quota on other jobs and be forced to give the top female the job even though there is a better qualified male. But its actually quite common that not the best qualified person is chosen (as seen by the lack of females in top positions even in fields dominated by females and with more qualified females outnumbering the males, a great example is school management).

What do such government initiatives really accomplish?

They increase equal opportunity since one of the factors (male/female discrimination) is diminished, as well as give one of the groups that is being traditionally discriminated against a foothold in the field. That means the tradition of hiring less-qualified males over better qualified females takes a serious hit, in a generation and part of the net-working its based on, will likely be so far reduced that the quotas become largely unnecessary.

Who loses? The one that loses out is not the source of the problem – the discriminating boss – it is the lower level employee who got displaced despite being more qualified.

No generally the one that losses is the less qualified male that used to get chosen over a better qualified female. And the source of the problem is more society as a whole than a discriminating boss.

In a more comprehensive study that controlled for most of these relevant variables simultaneously—such as that from economists June and Dave O’Neill for the American Enterprise Institute in 2012—nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination. The O’Neills conclude that, “labor market discrimination is unlikely to account for more than 5% but may not be present at all.”

Leaving a gab of ~+5% on which both conservative and liberal economist can agree, is not accounting for nearly all of the -23% Obama cites. Mathematically its leaves 25% around of the -23%unaccounted for(Note that the 5% is + and the 23% is -). Even more considering that many of the factors accounted for are themselves based on discrimination just not by the boss but by society (see traditional gender roles above).

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2012-08-13/don-t-blame-discrimination-for-gender-wage-gap

As source for numbers, not for logic.

These gender-disparity claims are also economically illogical. If women were paid 77 cents on the dollar, a profit-oriented firm could dramatically cut labor costs by replacing male employees with females. Progressives assume that businesses nickel-and-dime suppliers, customers, consultants, anyone with whom they come into contact—yet ignore a great opportunity to reduce wages costs by 23%. They don’t ignore the opportunity because it doesn’t exist. Women are not in fact paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.

Wrong, your argument should apply to the 5% as well. But logic can not applied one-to-one to business. I have worked as a quality & control consultant and the great majority of companies have bad controlling. Relying more on intuition than hard facts to make a decision. They often think they are employing according to merit even though they are in fact doing the opposite. Based on intuition both male and female employers tend to over estimate a males qualifications and work results compared to a female (with most estimates being more based on the quality of relationships than actual work output).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Communism Vs. Capitalism

Originally posted by Beegum:
Well, when we’re talking about welfare states in the Scandanavian club, one of the immediate things we recognize is that they have been applauded in many cases for certain areas of economic freedom. Here, you suppose I have not done this comparison, and point out some successful welfare state, that, among other things, are not in denial about the damage the economic model of socialism does. In fact, you find countries that go about their work attempting to make up for the damage done by high tax rates and so forth, such that their tax rate is arguably not all that high. You further find that these states are fairly small and resistant to EU interventions. Because they are fairly small, resistant to EU interventions, and do what they can to achieve economic freedom despite their embrace of the welfare state model, it seems like propaganda to consider them ‘socialist’ in the same way most people in the US, certainly, would define it, and likewise in in other countries like France and Spain.

1. As Jantonaitis already pointed out your mistakenly identifying things wrongly like confusing economic freedom with capitalism. What i see is you generally and happily mixing up words how it suits you with out a care in the world about the real definition.

2. You claim that socialism only works on the small scale, when someone points out Scandinavian well-fare states. Ironical the largest member of the EU is Germany.

Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth-largest by purchasing power parity. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world’s third-largest exporter and third-largest importer of goods. It is a developed country with a very high standard of living, featuring comprehensive social security that includes the world’s oldest universal health care system.
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany

Germany is by the way more socialist than all the European states that you have so far pointed out as negative. For further information before you reply:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany#Economy

Originally posted by Beegum:
While we have seen some changes in democrats in the state recently, it’s clear that our progressive, liberals, democrats, have consistently wanted to use the biggest government in the world, essentially all the time to solve every problem. As I said, we’ve seen some change in this, at least in rhetoric in more conservative areas, we’ll see how it plays out. But, if you want to sell me on the worlds biggest government doing stuff, I’ll pass, I think most people in the developed world have decided that that isn’t working… even though it’s a typical socialist position, perhaps a definitive one that we’re supposed to ignore, often paying the price.

Sigh. Face-palm. Its quite clear your sprouting nonsense. While claims to small government being the way to go have become a mainstream rhetoric in American Conservative circles. Its about as true in action as former east Germany calling itself Democratic. Fact is everyone loves to use that hammer your talking about. Resistance only comes when the hammer is being held by the political opponent. As can be illustrated on every level of the government.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Communism Vs. Capitalism

Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

Why would you think anyone meant the literal landmass? Why would that distinction be needed? Also, that is clearly not what you meant. You went on to say that the only ‘great accomplishment’ the country [your words] made was in technological innovation. You can’t have it both ways.

I looked hard but could not find him saying that. I hope you don´t mean this:

Originally posted by Kasic:

The country isn’t responsible for any great accomplishments. There were technological innovations made here and that’s pretty much it. Our government is not unique anymore and it really only flourished in the first century after its founding because of the relatively limitless area to expand at the expense of the natives, lack of foreign powers and wars, and a resource rich land being tilled by slaves.

Because if you are, its certainly not Kasics fault your not understanding him.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / An interpretation of God

Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:
ts less a question of believing if such beings exist and more of an issue about them fitting the definition of god/god.

Which I have done, by giving you an overview of the definition I use, which too seems to have stood up to public examination.

??? The sentence you quoted is not a thing you can do, so i don´t understand your argument.

I gave you the definition of gods I was using. I actually gave you multiple definitions of valid gods. These definitions seem to have stood up to public examination. Giving a solid definition is very much a thing anyone can do.

Yes, but i was neither asking you to give your definition, nor claiming that you did not give your definition. On the contrary in a other bit I even acknowledged you giving your definition and wrote about how according to that definition i am a deist. Thats why i was a bit confused when you said “Which i have done”.

But looking back perhaps your where not trying to answer BGS actual question, but just use it as header for getting into a/the discussion.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / An interpretation of God

Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:

The Problem i was talking about was the definition. Going by the definition of Gods you presented many s self-defined atheists/agnostics would be theists/deists (myself included), while many self-defined theists/deists would be atheists/agnostics.

Is that really a problem? It’s all about settling on a definition of yourself you are happy with and can explain satisfactorily to yourself, being able to critically examine and still be comfortable with in the light of others’ input.

What you say is true. But what i was referring to was that different definitions are a Problem for the Discussion and less for a Person applying his own Definition to himself.

Its less a question of believing if such beings exist and more of an issue about them fitting the definition of god/god.

Which I have done, by giving you an overview of the definition I use, which too seems to have stood up to public examination.

??? The sentence you quoted is not a thing you can do, so i don´t understand your argument.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / An interpretation of God

Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:

I don´t think BSG was talking about your Type of Deism.

Well aware, and aware of the differences. However, it’s still deism because I believe in the existence of gods. I just don’t believe they particularly care (or even know) about our little planet, or even our solar system.

Atheism doesn’t suit me, because I cannot disbelieve gods exist whilst at the same time accept they’re real, and be trying to create them. Same problem with agnosticism. My actual codified belief is occultism, stripped to its core. But that says nothing one way or another about the existence of gods, just that there’s more to the universe than the bit we can detect, and is a way of seeking knowledge beyond the realm of science.

Whichever way I slice it, I come back to the acceptance that gods actually are a thing.


The Problem i was talking about was the definition. Going by the definition of Gods you presented many s self-defined atheists/agnostics would be theists/deists (myself included), while many self-defined theists/deists would be atheists/agnostics.

Its less a question of believing if such beings exist and more of an issue about them fitting the definition of god/god.

Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

Besides, how is atheism cowardly anyway?


note that I qualified it as agnostic atheism. I’m sure there are agnostics who generally don’t know, but the bulk i’ve encountered might as well be gnostics, except since that’s not a strictly rational stance any more than deism is, they cover their asses by adding the ‘agnostic’ prefix.

As Vika showed and Kasic put in, that might be less due to them covering their asses but more due to the fact that the definition God is not all that clear. As shown above depending on the definition for God the label for example agnostic/gnostic and atheist/deist/theist can switch even into the contrary.