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Bort

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Comments
Weekly Wipe - Season 3, Episode 3
02/16/15, 06:45

Not enough Cunk for my tastes.

I can't stand Zeb but I think that's kind of the point.
Pass the Light - trailer
02/16/15, 05:55

We'd need two complementary scenes: one where he's condemning a heterosexual coupling because the guy is just using her for sex, and the extended gay sex scene with a Mentos-grade thumbs-up because the two of them genuinely love each other.
Pass the Light - trailer
02/16/15, 05:52

"I'm glad more christians are disagreeing with the hateful deity described in their bible. I'm not sure how they can reconcile that though."

It's kind of the other way around. The hatred is there first; after that comes finding the Bible verses to back it up. More often than not it's necessary to go to the Old Testament to find the appropriate verses; folks who focused on the Jesusy parts of the Bible would find vastly less justification to be assholes.

Especially in the US, the fundamentalist tradition got tied to this "selective literalism" process as a way to justify slavery -- ancient Jews practiced slavery, New Testament Jews recognized it as the law under Rome, but any actual comprehension of Christ's teachings about love and compassion would immediately rule out slavery as a Christian practice. So it became necessary to come up with a more convoluted, ridiculous way to read the Bible, and ultimately subvert the good that it was intended to do. (And yes, I say that without a doubt it was intended to do good, especially the New Testament. People who say that Christianity was created to oppress people forget the environment it sprung up under -- Rome at the peak of its power. Christianity was subversive, not supportive, of Roman principles.)

In the OT, picking up sticks on the Sabbath is to be punished by death, and by the way the Sabbath is actually Saturday. The "King of the Hill" people really missed an opportunity for Arlen's Biblical literalists to go after Hank Hill for doing weekend yardwork; I really wanted to see a scene of Hank screaming and then trying to outrun a torch-wielding mob on his riding mower. (All torches were lit on Friday, again in compliance with the OT.)
That Mitchell and Webb Sound - Season 4
02/15/15, 21:09

I was sold on this by 6:01 and the patrolman reprimand.
Theme Song to 'Probe'
02/15/15, 16:05

Too many cooks!
Theme Song to 'Probe'
02/15/15, 16:05

Dominic Frontiere was paid by the note.
There Was A Little Trouble Down At The Yard Sale
02/15/15, 13:20

This is what Alan Moore sees when he watches the "Watchmen" movie.
A Twitch streamer almost loses eye to cat
02/14/15, 14:46

Just a reminder, open enrollment ends Sunday.
Adult Swim's Fishcenter Live
02/13/15, 21:53

I guess I like how there's apparently controversy over Sir Squirt, there are actual running scores on the coin game, and so on. Apparently there is an entire community of people south of Chicago (and perhaps worldwide) who are emotionally invested in this.
Adult Swim's Fishcenter Live
02/13/15, 21:11

That strange area where it's not funny exactly, but you feel like you've just stumbled onto a new fetish community.
Joe Biden Gives A Shout Out
02/12/15, 23:42

No, thanks to Joe Biden's efforts, we probably will -- often -- and it will no longer be magical.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 19:48

"But why not? You just made a very impassioned plea for the moral necessity of war."

I made it in response to somebody who objects to dozens dying a year at US hands but not to the alternative of hundreds or thousands dying a year at terrorist / militia hands. If civilian casualties are your one and only measure, then drone baby drone.

But things are more complicated than that; there are issues of sovereignty, long-term consequences, limits of power, etc that factor into the calculation of what (if anything) to do in each individual circumstance. So no, I don't buy into the notion that the same solution should be applied everywhere just to stay consistent.

I can give you some general principles that I think we should try to honor, which can easily come into conflict: preserving life rather than taking it; international sovereignty; the rule of law; our own security; not overcommitting ourselves; international reputation; recognizing that not everywhere in the world is southern Illinois and we can't expect everyone to think like we do. Easy solutions, though? I don't have them.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 13:09

EH: the old "if you support a thing somewhere then you are obligated to support it everywhere" argument. I don't buy that argument; there are usually a slate of pros and cons to involvement on whatever level, and each situation needs to be evaluated individually. For example, I think drone strikes at al Qaeda training facilities in Iraq would have been helpful as we were winding down our involvement there, but they would also have compromised the objective of winding down, and we had to decide to walk away at some point. No perfect solutions to any of this, unfortunately.

(Speaking of air strikes in Iraq, I just remembered that Bush had opportunities to take out al-Zarqawi with missiles in early 2003, at his camp in the Iraqi hinterlands. Bush opted not to because he felt it would hurt the case for invasion, and when Bush critics found out about this, they went apeshit. Ah, memories.)

And I don't think that everyone who opposes drone strikes is a moral coward, but for the shit Hooker gives me, I'll call him one. It's possible to believe drones are a bad move, but if that's your stance, you're going to have to at least acknowledge the short-term (?) negative impact of letting al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, etc operate unopposed.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 07:16

SPK - here are interesting polling results from Pakistan:

https://www.uakron.edu/dotAsset/4823799c-34eb-4b4f-992e-ac4a2261e0c4

The results are surprising, because there are all kinds of dimensions to this that neither of us would have anticipated. I'll quote part of the Conclusions:

===

This study was an effort to understand the shape of attitudes in Pakistan toward American drone strikes in the FATA. We used a Pew Global Attitudes Project survey from 2010 that has one of the best battery of questions available on Pakistani attitudes toward drone strikes. The overview of the Pakistani attitudes toward drone strikes shows that more Pakistanis oppose drone strikes than approve of them by about 60-40%. Of particular concern is the number of innocents who are perceived to be killed in the strikes.

The next goal of this study was to explain the variation one sees in Pakistani public opinion toward the drone strikes. We sought to explain why some Pakistanis support the strikes, whereas others oppose them. We argued that the primary reason driving opposition to the drone strikes would be the narrative of radical Islam in Pakistan, that has argued that the US is at war with Islam and the drone strikes are part and parcel of the that war.

The results of the analysis bear out our argument. Pakistanis who view the United States as the enemy and think of themselves as religious fundamentalists are most likely to be opposed to the drone strikes. Those who support the drone strikes tend to be those who believe that the US favors Pakistan over India.

The attitudes that are formed about drone strikes also seem to be largely the product of information. The more educated and males, who in Pakistan tend to be more educated than women, are more in favor of drone strikes than those who are less educated and women. It is ossible that those who are more educated seek out more international news sources and avoid some of the more sensationalist Pakistan media information that tends to paint US drone strikes as part of a war being waged against Pakistan. The more educated may not necessarily agree with all of the American arguments about drone strikes, but they may have the view that the militants are a threat to Pakistan and drone strikes are one of the few things being done to counter them, for better or for worse.

===

So, complicated.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 07:10

"Hang on, I thought we were bombing these people for altruistic reasons, because statistically they'd be getting killed MORE often, if we weren't killing them in a humane and progressive fashion instead?"

No, I just opted to make the case solely on the basis of civilian casualties, without even factoring in US security interests. The government's motives may not be anywhere near pure, but if yours are, you'll be pleased to see a lot fewer civilians die this way.

By the wasy, "a lot fewer" is still far too many; I haven't lost sight of that. I just don't know any way to go about this that will result in fewer overall civilian deaths.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 05:38

I can't disagree with that. It so happens we have a common enemy; if that were not the case, we wouldn't be getting involved.
My father was martyred by a drone
02/11/15, 04:26

Will do, and I'll do it without even invoking US security.

As rough as drones are on civilians -- killing maybe 700 civilians in the entirety of the drone campaign in Pakistan (and those are Pakistan's numbers) -- the guys we're going after are much, much worse to the civilians. You've heard the story of this one dead teenager, but did you pay any attention at all to the December massacre where the Taliban killed 132 schoolkids (141 people total), just to send a message to the Pakistani government?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30491435

But that was two months ago, ancient history. How about a suicide bombing at a mosque less than two weeks ago that killed 55?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/world/asia/blast-kills-scores-at-mosque-in-southern-pakistan.html?_r=0

Here's the thing: Obama largely suspended the drone campaign in Pakistan this past year, and coincidentally enough, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the like have suddenly sprung to life, making life hell for the locals. And this is very likely a case of correlation meaning causation; consider this study:

http://www.ugr.es/~jjordan/AlQaedaDronesPakistan.pdf

Drone activity seems to be effective at keeping al Qaeda from organizing, from recruiting, from training, from supplying themselves. Drones WORK. They also make reprisals more difficult because the Taliban has no real way to shoot up an American high school.

Now let's contrast with a place like Iraq, where we haven't been using drones, and al Qaeda and related groups have been able to run roughshod over the country. Thousands of deaths a year, 7800 deaths in 2013 alone per the UN, in marketplace bombings and the like:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-25568687

And of course 2014 was even worse, with ISIS exploding onto the scene.

All in all, drones improve things for the locals overseas; I won't deny the blood on our hands, but at least we make an effort to keep them civilians of the crosshairs. The people we're going after, on the other hand, make a deliberate point of putting them in the crosshairs.

Which gets to YOUR morality, Hooker: if you actually gave a shit about the brown people over there, you might actually support drones. But I say the only thing that matters to you is being able to keep the blood off Western hands, and the nobodies over there can die for all you care. Well fuck you; that is craven amorality and you've got nothing to be proud of.
Dr Phil with no dialogue
02/10/15, 20:04

 
Polite dog is helpful to cat
02/10/15, 19:00

The dog may see the cat's beautiful face again. That is more than enough.
Hell Bent for Election
02/10/15, 18:59

So much of this holds word-for-word today. Look, if you don't like what the Republicans are doing, vote against them in the general election. And if you aren't thrilled with the Democrats, get active in the primary season to field candidates more to your liking.

Not a single day goes by where Republicans, fresh off their November wins, don't find some way to express their sheer contempt for the American people. It's like an Advent calendar, but instead of little pieces of chocolate it's hunks of ebola-infested shit. (Today's abomination? Gov Brownback of Kansas stripping the LGBT of anti-discrimination protections.)

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