Recent posts by woodythedon on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Amanda Knox farce

I suspect her because she lived in the apartment with Kircher and changed her story numerous times when she was proven to be lying. DNA may prove that Guede was involved. But it doesn’t imply Knox’s complete innocence either. I don’t think Knox necessarily did the deed, but I think she was an accessory.

The fact that Guede was supposed to have broken in is ludicrous given how high the smashed window was. And since Knox lived in the same apartment as Kircher and has no alibi for the time of the murder it doesn’t take a genius to work out who let him in.

An old Gestapo interrogation technique was simply to get suspects to go over their story over and over again. The assumption being that if you’re lying you will eventually fuck up your retelling and if you’re telling the truth this won’t be a problem. Knox had loads of opportunities to tell her story to the police and she changed her story loads of times when she was found out to be lying to the investigators. If she is innocent why would she lie? I accept that under stress someone could very feasibly let some small detail slip their mind. But there’s a difference between that and being caught lying and changing your story accordingly.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Amanda Knox farce

Kircher was found dead after being stabbed and sexually abused in the apartment they shared together and the autopsy showed she was attacked by more than one person. The guy they nailed for the crime was accused of breaking into the house. However, the smashed window was 12 feet off the ground making it clear it was a case of misdirection by Knox. Knox claimed during a police interview she had been at a blokes all night however she in actual fact left his place at 9pm and didn’t return til 1am. Knox made several statements and even implicated herself as an accomplice to the murder before withdrawing her statement. Although the conduct of the Italian police was a bit iffy, it’s Italy not Guantanamo. They didn’t force her to say any of it. Her version of events completely lacks credibility and if it weren’t for US diplomatic pressure and dodgy Italian policework she’d already be in the nick.

And if the US blocks her extradition given how hard they’ve been trying to nab Assange and Snowden it would be taking the piss.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Amanda Knox farce

Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

Maybe you should post a link or give some kind of detail about who this woman is and why we would care.

You’re not obliged to care. And if you don’t know what this is about I’m curious as to why you feel the need to state your disinterest.

Guede was found guilty probably rightly, but the idea Knox had no knowledge of what was going on is ridiulous. It’s only cos she’s a fit American white girl that the media got all hyped and the US used its muscle to step in. Granted the Italian police bungled the investigation, but even so it’s pretty clear she was in some way involved. It’s mightily hypocritical if the US doesn’t allow her to be extradited given that they ruthlessley try to do so when the shoe’s on the other foot.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Amanda Knox farce

She’s deffo guilty by the looks of it. It’s a bit of a joke that the Italians ceded to US pressure in the first place and let her off the hook. How she couldn’t be guilty when the victim was found sexually abused and stabbed multiple times in her apartment without her knowledge is quite beyond me.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 21 trillion dollar black hole

Mostly, tax avoidance is just stretching the rules a bit to suit your own circumstances. You need to be careful about this, because sometimes those rules are there for good reasons.

I am all in favour of a taxation system which rewards hard work. But it does seem like those at the top manipulate loopholes to great advantage, while those at the bottom have no option but to pay their full rate of tax. If there is any way to legislate away some of those loopholes or simply enforce the existing laws more effectively, it should definitely be done.

Any kind of global treaty would have to include every country without exception, and I can’t really see that happening.

Neither can I, but in a globalised economic system I can’t see how national governments alone can tackle the issue for the reasons I mentioned before.

If it wasn’t for the dire state of the eurozone I think the European Union is well placed to make the first strides in this area. It’s the only supranational body with the political and economic clout to actually change anything, and although I’m sceptical as to whether a good solution to this problem could be reached quickly, or even at all from a European level, it is at least possible for concerted action to take place. After all, many of the world’s richest individuals and companies reside in the European Union, and if we set a sensible example, I would imagine national governments from elsewhere would take note.

Telling people how they can and cannot spend their own money would be even worse. I’m sure the Americans would see that as being unconstitutional, and that’s a barrier you can’t get past. So I’m still none the wiser.

I’m not sure what you mean here. I wouldn’t suggest anything that extreme since the problem is tax, not what people are spending their money on. The taxing of the super rich is obviously going to be much more of a political hot potato in America, but I think the time will come very soon when the tax burden on the middle and lower classes there will simply be too great, and they will need and demand change. But again, they will just find ways of avoiding it, and we’re back to square one…

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Survival of the Fastest

With the Olympics coming up in my home town this week, coverage on it has been dominating the tele and radio waves. Michael Johnson’s documentary made was a refreshing break from the usual reports of how badly we are going to cock up this global event for everyone.

It attempts to establish the impact of the trans Atlantic slave trade on the current crop of Olympic level athletes.

The argument is made that the slave trade was in effect a crude eugenics programme. It has a few steps. First that the ones who were chosen were chosen because they were strong and able bodied. Secondly, the ones who survived the trans atlantic voyage were the toughest. Thirdly, the slave owners themselves would breed slaves like thorough bred horses to try and produce bigger and stronger slave children.

Johnson points out that in the sprinting events especially, not only are the atheletes almost all black, but also that they have slave ancestry. He reaches this conclusion because Jamaica and America’s black athletes are the most successful, and that the vast majority of black people from those countries hail from slaves.

I ask therefore whether you agree with Michael Johnson’s assertion or not? Do you think one of the legacies of the slave trade is the creation of elite athletes today?

This eugenics business is a sensitive topic, and I don’t want anyone to go down the road of implying the insulting notion that black people are stronger but less intelligent as many have throughout history. I just want you to disuss sporting performance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9379780/Michael-Johnson-Survival-of-the-Fastest-C4-review.html

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / 21 trillion dollar black hole

The problem I think is that none of the countries which are actually desirable for the super rich to live in have particularly tough laws. In the BBC article it mentions that the UK government, along wiht the US and Germany are doing a lot to tackle the problem. I can’t speak for the US or Germany, but in the UK tax avoidance is entirely legal. I’d say start there. That would at least force corporations which operate in the UK to pay the amount of tax they should.

But the problem with this is akin to the global banking system. No one country wants to be the first to enact harsh measures on the banks or super rich for fear of losing their competetive edge over other countries. What’s needed is concerted action. Some sort of international treaty, which outlaws capital outflow from one country to the other. The difficulty then of course is enforcing it. I never thought I’d say I wanted Gordon Brown back into a prominent position of power, but I recall this is what he stated as one of his aims when he was up for the job of head of the IMF. He probably wouldn’t have managed it, but at least he could have made people start thinking abut global solutions rather than national ones.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Deadliest fighting force.

In terms of special forces training round the world, I’m sure they’re all as rigorous and brutal as one another give or take. But experience counts, and over the years the SAS have fought in many different conflicts and environments against different enemies (WW2, IRA, anti terror ops against Iranians, Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Iraq/Afghanistan etc etc). That and the fact that Captain Price is a badman.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Queen turns her back on queens

Gay rights is not a humanitarian issue, it’s a political issue, and the Queen has to steer clear of expressing any opinion, just as she has never given us her opinion on the Iraq war of the Eurozone crisis.

I understand this point but I think it is very arguable that the right to marry who you want is a human right and not a political issue. After all rights for women to vote and indeed most men before that used to be a political issue and now these have come to be considered human rights. Thus, I’ll ask the question again in slightly different way with an analogy. Should the Queen be sensitive to these issues and respond to them? To use the analogy, if there was a monarch in the US who had the same relationship with the state as ours in Great Britain and she was alive in the segregation era, would this monarch have had a responsibility to speak out against black discrimination which was at the time a political issue?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Queen turns her back on queens

You reading the Grauniad? I hope it was a copy you found on a train and not one that you bought. Nice to see you back BTW.

Haha. Well, living in Holland, the Guardian and the Telegraph are the only two broadsheets that I know of which are free online. Would prefer the Times if I was honest (a reprehensible thing for a student to say I know). I also have to admit that I’m really missing the Evening Standard, despite its relatively poor quality. Guess it’s a london fing innit.

In his article, Tatchell is trying to give the impression that the Queen has had 60 years of opportunity to speak out on behalf of gays, and that is simply a bare faced lie.

I would say this is probably the strongest counter argument to the article. Whether or not the Queen can speak out is a different question as to whether she would given past attitudes towards homosexuality. Or indeed whether she should to which the answer is probably no.

The example of the bombing aside, the only other issue I see is her lack of using the word gay in an official capacity. It’s knitpicking for some, but it does seem odd. What I’d like to know is how much influence she has over the Christmas speech. Of course she cannot simply avoid the topic because the government is pressing ahead with its plans. On the other hand I wonder if she has any negotiating power and requested that she didn’t have to talk about the gay community in explicit terms. My point being that if the speech isn’t her authorship why would the authors who represent the government be afraid to use the word gay? It is their own policy after all.

Ah, Peter Tatchell. If ever a man deserved a freshly-caught haddock across the face every morning, it’s you.

Haha, I clearly haven’t been reading newspapers for long enough to understand the disdain you two clearly hold for him. Do you just dislike his journalism or do you just think he’s a twat?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Queen turns her back on queens

First and foremost I sincerely apologise for the use of such a poor and unoriginal joke as the topic title, but I hope this gathers more users to the thread.

The issue at hand is whether the Queen of Great Britain has a responsibility to the gay community given the current political climate.

To give some context, a consultation process is taking place which aims to legalise same sex marriage. The bill is very likely to pass in parliament despite opposition from some sections of British society. This article I recently read raises some interesting points about the Queen’s response. Notably that she has always been vocal in support of measures targeting racial discrimination, but has been noticably muted when it comes to the gay community.

This isn’t a topic about the law, since the Queen isn’t obliged to say anything, merely read the Queen’s speech once a year outlining the government’s proposals (a speech written for her by the British Cabinet). Rather, do you think the Queen as head of state has a moral responsibility to do so.

Here’s the article I mentioned earlier, worth a read if you’re interested in this.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/01/queen-gay-community-homophobe

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / legalization of marijuana

The fundamental problem with this debate is that the people who hold the power to affect the law are exactly the kind of people who have never had any experience of using it. Some people like it, some people like it too much, and some people can’t handle it. But I’ve never heard off anyone who has actually used weed that the affects of the substance itself are so extreme they should be banned.

In any case, just look at Holland. I live there now and it is one of the most prosperous countries in the world with a relatively low crime rate. Shock horror society actually functions. People do get up and go to work every day without getting high all the time.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Eurozone "Crunch Time" Make Or Break.

It looks like the 17 Eurzone members have decided on a new treaty. Whether or not it will actually save the Euro is another matter. Frankly I’m relieved Cameron kept us out of it. We didn’t cause this mess so why on earth should we be expected to pay for it?

EDIT: Here are the details of the new treaty

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-16104089

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Swearing

It’s all about context. Being brought up in quite a rough part of London, I found the emphasis put on swearing was somewhat ridiculous. There were FAR bigger problems the teachers should have been dealing with than kids using foul language in each others company. I’m wondering if this is a particularly British thing, the remnants of Victorian/Edwardian etiquette or not.

That said, I don’t think it’s too much to ask people to not swear with strangers. You never know what other people think about swearing, so why not just play it safe?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The right to duel

If you have an issue with someone that’s so severe you want to have a chance to kill them over it, then they’ve probably done something severe enough to warrant a conviction in a court of law. Even in cases which could be arguably justified, the cost of enforcing that the duel is fair and that the duellists understand the risks would be way too costly to administer. Either way though, get over it. I know it’s cheesy but violence is rarely the solution to any problem.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Mass Legalization

Nope, cannabis would be an ideal substitute for morphine, if it was legal to prescribe. Just as effective, far fewer side effects.

Surely not though? In cases where the pain was so intense that morphine needed to be perscribed weed simply wouldn’t be strong enough? I’m no expert, but there’s a pretty massive difference between weed and what is effectively heroin lite.

I am just surprised, because obviously, as you say, morphine dosage has to be administered carefully, but surely when the pain is mild doctors don’t just resort to morphine in small doses. Aren’t there artificial painkillers and the like?

Not that I’m against the legalisation of weed or all drugs for that matter, but I just didn’t think this was an argument for it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Five most important military battles of all time

I’m not sure on any particular battle, but Cromwell winning the civil war in England was certainly the most important campaign outcome in post Medieval English history, since his rule gave us our first colonies, and sent us on the road to becoming a great colonial power that would have been unthinkable even 50 years previously.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Legalize LSD..?

Of course it should be legalised, or at least decriminalised. Anyone who has taken LSD will tell you how safe it is, or at least can be. The cases where people take too much than they can handle would probably be reduced under a semilegal/legal system, because I’m sure a government would feel obliged to provide better information about it. I live in Holland now, and in all the coffee shops, the staff are fairly well versed in the dangers of taking too much weed, are medically trained to deal with people whiting out and give out pamphlets on the dangers, that are actually quite interesting, and no way near as condescening and unrealistic as the drugs ed you get at school. I fail to see how a system like this with the safeguards in place would be worse than the current state of affairs. It’s better for the consumer, and supplier, and also for the government who save a ton of money, and could possibly make tons more taxing the stuff.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Something that you wish that didn't exist in America and why

It is. In england, gun laws are super strict. We have the 2nd amendment. Which is why in england they have riots. And here we have protests.

This whole sentence is astonishingly unintelligent. Even by a right wing Yank’s standards. It may actually surprise you to know that the riots were caused by an exchange of gunfire, ending in he death of a Tottenham based drug dealer. The rest of the rioting was just the pent up aggression of alienated hood rats and naked opportunism.

In light of your statement, I’ll jump on the bandwagon with ignorance. The amount of bullshit I hear from Americans like you on here touting ‘facts’ is insane.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Trafficking

In some systems, the slaves would have set hours, protection from abuse, and even a minimum wage.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that just a job then?

Depends on the feminist. I know plenty of hardliners who’d support legalized prostitution so long as the prostitutes held shared control of the brothel/district, or gained some measure of worker’s rights to protect themselves from corrupt pimps.

Yea, the feminists I’ve spoken to are Swedish. I think it’s in their culture to be really pro women’s rights and all, but really anti things like prostitution. It’s their puritan preachiness I think.

Reminds me of season 2 of The Wire, where Beadie says what the illegal prozzies need is a union.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Trafficking

Legalise it and a lot of that stops.

Hey, I agree with you there. I think it would solve a lot of problems. Nevertheless try explaining this to a hardline feminist and see what happens. Believe me I’ve tried many a time, and I’ve been called some pretty nasty names.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Human Trafficking

Ok, so lets discuss what can be done to stop human trafficking/slavery.

Legalising prostitution would go some way to lowering the amount of slaves, since so many of them are bought and sold into sex slavery. I saw a documentary about the sex slave trade in Britain, and it made it clear to me that the only way you can really stop sex trafficking is to legalise the sex trade and take the crime out of the equation.

However, I’m not sure exactly how big a proportion of slaves globally are sex slaves. Nevertheless it’s a start. As a side note, I do find it rather ironic that to stop the sex slave trade, you have to legalise prostitution. A moral quandrary for a feminist if ever there was one.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Fat Tax?

And where will this money come from to look after them? The taxpayer. Me for one.

I’m not talking about looking after them, I’m talking about taxing them if they don’t look after themselves properly. If you don’t eat shitty food there’s no need for this to cost you anything.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Fat Tax?

If there are people too stupid to look after themselves, that’s too bad. It is not up to me to look after them. Clean the gene pool.

I am not asking you to look after them. I am asking for ther government to force them to look after themselves through taxation. You need not be taxed if you aren’t eating unhealthy food. Look at it as government enforced personal responsibility if you wish.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Global Debt Crisis. Does anyone even remotely care?

Less regulation, say Hong Kong, results in a rising standard of living for for the masses.

Great Britain. Since the deregulation of the financial markets by Thatcher in the 1980s the gap between rich and poor has steadily risen.