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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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What is going on?

The Bar
(talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

  1. Is everyone on RationalWiki an atheist? (20:34, 16 Apr 2014)
  2. Help needed with defenses of Biblical Genocide (09:02, 12 Apr 2014)
  3. Overpopulation (23:00, 11 Apr 2014)
  4. Eckhart Tolle article? (19:39, 5 Apr 2014)
  5. Taxing addictions (04:05, 5 Apr 2014)
  6. International Society for Krishna Consciousness - page suggestions (from an ex-HK) (01:35, 5 Apr 2014)
To do list


[edit] Kent Hovind Sues Us (sticky)

For those who have not seen yet File:Hovind Complaint RationalWiki.pdf. Tmtoulouse (talk) 14:32, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

I suppose it was a matter of time until somebody did. So what do the lawyers think of all these goings on? --Kels (talk) 14:40, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Blocked. Can you upload it to the wiki itself? Might be good to include in the Kent Hovind article. Zero (talk) 14:49, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
By my reading the court could barely stop themselves from collapsing in hysterical laughter - or have I got it wrong. IANAL. Placeholder (talk) 14:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I can't comment on the merits of a pending Lawsuit, but I can say that regardless of how frivolous (or not) a lawsuit might be, we still have to defend it and that takes resources! Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:00, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Does RW have a legal defence fund? Bismarck (talk) 15:04, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
It consists of Trent blackmailing Nutty Roux a la Dorian Gray. He then proceeds to show up in the courtroom drunk and without any trousers, and quoting random Latin phrases and ListenerX's less coherent anti-Reds ramblings (the RWF meetings are a weird place). After that, he spouts the Chewbacca defense and slaps the plaintiff with a fish before flying off in his YEC butthurt-powered jetpack.--Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 17:14, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Pardon me. I do not put forth anti-communist ramblings in Foundation meetings. My ramblings there are mostly to advance the entirely ludicrous proposition that the Foundation's meeting minutes, having been approved for publication, should be published. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:26, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

However I do want to emphasize this is a great opportunity to make the article the best we can, as it is likely to get press. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:02, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

I'd suggest sending it to media outlets already (Phil Plait, NCSE etc.) The suit features a copypasta of the current text regardless.
With Barbra Streisand's blessing, of course. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Legally, it's a joke. It falls at the first hurdle, that being Section 230. The Wikimedia Foundation has helpfully won this precise fight using Sec 230 to get a complaint thrown out in summary judgement. Mr Hovind (or, to use his proper academic title, Mr Hovind) could subpoena the RWF for the IPs of anyone who's edited the article ... if we still have them in the logs. Then sue and lose against them personally.

I did the grunt work and the first usage of the word "fraud" was by an IP [1] is an "Easynet" IP. Good luck with "discovery", Kent. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:43, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

This could cause us fuss and annoyance, and cost a small amount of money. The most painful bit will be that the trustees now have to actually think seriously about legal threats and how to deal with them. Which is inherently annoying.

It's our/their only job. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:43, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

I fully expect that the skepticsphere will come here in great numbers to look, and may even shower our legal fund with sharpened pennies. So the greatest threat is well-wishers knocking the bloody server over again.Just wait till PZ gets wind of this. Tralalala ... - David Gerard (talk) 16:01, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

So this is the real deal? As opposed to all previous threats consisting of posts to talk pages going "I'm going to sue!!!111!!!!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:04, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I tweeted PZ about it about an hour ago, we'll see if anything comes of that. --Kels (talk) 16:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
YOU BASTARD AAAAAAAAAA - David Gerard (talk) 16:37, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Kent Hovind is like the gift that keeps on giving to sceptics. If he didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:18, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
A wise fictional character once said you can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies. In this case rationalwiki has managed to seriously piss off one of the most intellectually and morally bankrupt yet influential demagogues in creationist history into launching arguably the biggest attack he is capable of (given his imprisoned condition) against the site. Personally I think all those who have contributed to the article and associated pages should be feeling rather proud of their work right about now. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 16:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I was seriously troubled John doe Author would have to pay a fine here, or maybe I should call him by his real name: Dr. John doe Author. Bismarck (talk) 16:35, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Don't lawyers get disbarred for taking up baseless cases like this? --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 16:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Considering each claim about Hovind on the page seems to be backed up by reputable (if not straight from Hovind's mouth) sources, coupled with the aforementioned wiki case and accusations of Libel needing some genuine evidence of malicious and intentional lying in print alone (with cases regarding the internet being so much more difficult to peruse), and finally keeping in mind Hovind's habit of issuing baseless lawsuits in the past....yeah this does seem to be a textbook vindictive lawsuit aimed to scare legally un-savvy people into compliance. Considering Hovind's oft stated contempt for basic freedoms and democracy its not surprising to see him acting like a wannabe authoritarian even in prison. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 16:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Schlafly's still at it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 17:01, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
You can sue people while you're in prison!? Huh. TIL. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 17:14, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Why wouldn't you? A prisoner still has most of their legal rights, including property, assets, intellectual property, & the right to legally defend any of these. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:05, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
It is easy to show that John Doe never edited Mr. Hovind's article. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:16, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
He's filing it all by himself, pro se - David Gerard (talk) 17:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Could "Berlin Federal Prison Camp" be the greatest return address ever given on a complaint for libel? Hilarity. -- Codeine (talk) 17:31, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Why does he focus on February 8, 2014? That was a pretty mundane edit. Is it because it happened to have been made by an editor with what appears to be a real name? TeenageWasteland (talk) 17:32, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Is David Gerard even his real name!? --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 17:38, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Not every reader checks or understands the page history, but the bottom of the page always says "This page was last modified on [date, time]". The 8th Feb revision was the last edit before a BoN blanked some large sections on 19th Feb, the same date as Hovind's letter of complaint. The page this BoN viewed (before editing) would have said "last modified on 8 February 2014" so he or she may have assumed this was the date of posting. Presumably the BoN was - if not Hovind himself - somebody connected with him who either brought this article to his attention or vice-versa. ωεαşεζόίďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:38, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
That IP resolves to a dynamic address allocated to a CenturyLink subscriber, an American ISP. I suspect that was one of Ken's friends acting on his behalf -- I'm going to laugh extremely hard if Ken tries to use the BoN's wiping as "proof" that RW tried to burn the evidence...before receiving notice of the suit. Of course, it could just be garden-variety wandalism that's of little significance and cleaned up with undo/rollback. Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 20:01, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
You've got Demyer on the brain. His name is Kent Hovind. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum disease Moderator 07:39, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know why I kept missing seeing that t. I think it's because I recognize him by "Hovind" and try not to think too hard about the other details lest the stupid be infectious. On that note, Kendoll suing us would just be depressing to watch. Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 21:16, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Can we get him to pay our legals fees, should we win? Because that. would. be. awesome.--"Shut up, Brx." 17:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
In theory, almost certainly - this suit is as frivolous as a frivolous thing. In practice, the IRS is first in the queue for any money he has - David Gerard (talk) 19:33, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Obviously he isn't trusted with a printer: he has to write his legal work on a type-writer.... --larron (talk) 17:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Welp, here comes the flood! --Kels (talk) 18:40, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

I love it. The RationalWiki School of Internet Lawyering and Stuff. You guys are great. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:20, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

And you are? Just mocking and adding nothing. You might want to stay out of this. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I've been on the sharp end of enough Intarweb legal threats that I have unfortunately gained a practical understanding of this stuff ... tell you what, escaping unscathed from legal threats from Scientology means NOTHING LESSER CAN FAZE ME (which is why I use my real name everywhere) - David Gerard (talk) 21:25, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

I love the smell of SLAPP suits in the morning. It smells like, Victory. --Revolverman (talk) 21:36, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Tell me, Revolverman. How much does it cost to pay a lawyer in another state to litigate even a frivolous case through summary judgment? Is that victory? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:48, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes, it doesn't cost anything...if you raise the Popehat signal. Seriously, it's his raison d'etre. --Castaigne (talk) 14:40, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Is it a tinfoil Popehat? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:29, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Hovind is basically judgement-proof at present; filing pro-se gibberish costs him nothing and passes the time. It is possible he will have money in the future (e.g. from fans), but right now he just isn't effectively sanctionable. Unless we have to properly lawyer up, in which case we could properly propose he be ruled a vexatious litigant. But don't expect that to come easy - David Gerard (talk) 22:14, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I made an edit that I think makes sense, in terms of summary judgement. [2] Common language versus legal terms and all. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Presumably there's a good likelihood we'll be awarded costs if it is basically the case that this gets thrown out in summary judgement? I don't really know how the US court system handles such things. Other than losing for whatever reason, is there any case where we'll actually end up out of pocket here? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:31, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
And who would pay the costs? Hovind? He's essentially broke, as I understand it. The state? Not likely. So, even if we win, the costs might remain, or so I gather. Octo8 (talk) 22:38, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Can we troll Andy Schalfy to take the case? This thing will get only more hilarious and, with Andy as Hovind's lawyer, we'll be guaranteed to win. --Night Jaguar (talk) 22:52, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
As unlikely as this is to happen....I reaaaaaaalllly hope this somehow happens. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 23:32, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Federal judges in at least some districts, and especially the ones where Federal penitentiaries are found, often examine prisoner lawsuits for facial merit, especially since they're very often accompanied by motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Wait to see if a summons actually issues. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:44, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Kent Hovind sues Rationalwiki. James Randi's forum has noticed this. Proxima Centauri (talk) 08:54, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Something or other is going on with Hovind and PZ Myers now, see Kent Hovind challenges me. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:47, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] On the merits of Hovind's claims (sticky)

It is worth drawing attention to this post about the liens:

(3) Hovind's complaint is that the RationalWiki article writes that he filed fraudulent liens to keep the govt from seizing his property; he disputes both that the liens were fraudulent and that he filed them.

The second of those claims is actually so stupid that it's funny. Hovind claims that he couldn't have filed them, since he was in jail when they were filed. He apparently forgot about this letter to the case agent, enclosing copies of the liens he signed. Which liens actually state that "Kent E. Hovind asks that this Memorandum of Lis Pendens be recorded as a lien", and were sent to the County Clerk of Escambia County, FL.
As to the first claim: Hovind notes that the District Court didn't find the liens "fraudulent". It is true that the opinion didn't use that word. Instead, the Court wrote that "Without question, [Hovind's] lis pendens were wrongfully filed" because the properties had already been forfeited and therefore no longer belonged to Hovind. The Court notes that Hovind's actions may well constitute a contempt, and invites the govt to file a proper order to show cause - which it has since done. But no, the Court did not use the word "fraudulent".
What a maroon.

— Unsigned, by: Ghnn / talk / contribs 2014-03-03T01:43:24‎

Regarding "tax fraud," that is the term used by the Pensacola News Journal and even the WorldNetDaily:

Jury deliberations took about three hours. A federal jury has convicted Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, of tax fraud.

A Florida evangelist who founded a creationist theme park but was accused of tax fraud because he called his employees missionaries and paid them in cash has been convicted on those counts.

There are many more sources that use the phrase besides rationalwiki. Ghnn (talk) 15:19, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

That is gold. Perhaps we should cite those uses in the article - David Gerard (talk) 16:42, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Added along with the US Tax Court ruling about Jo Hovind's appeal: "The record overwhelmingly establishes that she acted with fraudulent intent". Ghnn (talk) 18:29, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely add those cites! And the quotes! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:17, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] And from Hovind's cellmate

File:Matthews Libel Suit.pdf - this one filed in Virginia - David Gerard (talk) 00:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Can we get some big city pro boner lawyers like at the ACLU or NCSE or FFRF or something to fight this for us? Might get better press that way. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
You will be pleased to know your esteemed Board of Trustees is looking into that and alerting useful people to the serious possibility (seeing as dealing with this sorta shit is what the BoT is actually for). The present situation is that there's yet to be an attempt at service, let alone successful service.
The immediate threat model is that Hovind or Otis achieve successful service, and then we have to move quickly, because even ludicrously bogus suits like these would need to actually be dealt with in such a case (and that's the surprise Hovind was trying to spring on us before a helpful RW fan got wind of his suit and alerted us).
The longer-term threat model is that some day we're going to get legal threats from people who aren't hilariously incompetent, so it's a really good idea to get ourselves sorted out now. (Again, BoT's actual job.)
Personally I predict that if we get successful service and need serious help, the skepticsphere will rally to help us. But we do need to plan ahead for this, so we are - David Gerard (talk) 09:56, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
In that respect, the BoT can't quality control the entire wiki. All we need to do is be willing to respond to criticism. In many cases the wiki has responded to that well - e.g., dynamiclear, though that also rested on them not being douchebags who jumped straight to suing. But there have been cases of someone dropping a drive-by article and the subject of the article picking it up and complaining about it faster than regular editors could (suspicious, yes). In that latter case, the BoT can't really just vet every article at the beginning. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:24, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Which is precisely why Section 230 - David Gerard (talk) 12:45, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Popehat helped PZ Myers. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:32, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Another defendant?

File:Hovind v RationalWiki Case 3.14-cv-00094-RV-CJK Document 4i.pdf - we only have the response to that as yet, but apparently he tried adding another defendant and the court told him to go away and write it in something other than crayon. (Dig the signature - even the judge couldn't be bothered.) - David Gerard (talk) 18:32, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

The document is not double-spaced as required by N.D. Fla.Loc.R. 5.1(B)(3). = Inmate, go back to your typewriter Alain (talk) 19:17, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Mr. Hovind was in the focus of our interest in March 2014...

Pages at RW in Mar 2014
Edits per page at RationalWiki in March 2014:
  • only non-anonymous edits are taken into account
  • slices indicate edits by top 10 editors for each page, shaded area the edits of all others

--larron (talk) 20:30, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

By "our", I guess you mean the three single-purpose accounts that are responsible for most of the last 400 edits to that page? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:56, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Plot twist: Hopper89 is bizarro DeMyer. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 00:50, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Why are there two circles for Hovind? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:45, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
One represents the article, the other its talk page (see legend). --larron (talk) 07:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] more paperwork

Mr Hovind notices the RWF is now the RMF, and asks to add RMF as a defendant: File:Hovind adds defendant in RW libel suit.pdf - David Gerard (talk) 09:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network attacks the concept of rape culture!

Have the mighty fallen? Is this a necessary tactic to shift the blame to individuals? You decide! --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 01:01, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's old news.[3] But it's pretty messed up. Do they think every rapist is Ted Bundy?--"Shut up, Brx." 01:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how this adavances their goals here. It reminds me of the "normalization of deviance" of the Shuttle disasters, the Stanford prison experiment or (closer to home) how Norway is preventing sexual assault in the military - identifying a systemic problem with the institution does not downplay the crime of one individual, especially if it's facilitating even more incidents. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:28, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
There's a logic I can see here, sort of. Preface: I have no doubt that Western culture is a rape culture and that this is one of the most important social issues of our time. That said, looking at the comparison with the Norwegian military, say, the Norwegian army is a limited system and as such easier to shape with rules, education, policing and justice. "Western culture" is a giant, diffuse thing than looks different on the Upper West Side of Manhattan than it does in 8 Mile than it does in Compton than it does on the Downtown East Side in Vancouver than it does in Madison, Wisconsin. It looks different in frathouses, in the boardroom, in the townie bar and at the comics/cosplay convention. In many ways, it is everything that is wrong with society. And if you try to focus on everything, you risk focusing on nothing. If your organization's goal is to do the most it can to lessen the occurrence of rape in as short a time as possible, interrogating every lingerie-clad model on every billboard, every "bitch" and "ho" dropped in a hip-hop song, every wet-t-shirt contest at spring break, every attempt to get a girl to play beer-pong at Kappa House to loosen her up, and every gyration of Miley Cyrus's left butt-cheek means that you're in for the long haul, and it will be a while before you see much fruit. Changing the immediate focus to the immediate problem -- that man and what he wants to do to that woman -- may be a more viable strategy. TeenageWasteland (talk) 01:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I am simply unconvinced that contemporary Western or American culture approves of or condones rape. Is there a state where it's legal or something? I think it's more like everything else that has to do with human sexuality; it's complicated. Some of the stuff that's condemned as "rape culture" is stuff I'd prefer to keep, like the presumption of innocence; our current article condemns the collection of evidence needed for credible prosecutions as somehow dehumanizing the victim. The serious sexual abuse coverups all have to do with community institutions with active, publicly accepted fandoms, like religions and sports teams. That isn't "rape culture", it's divided loyalties and simple human weakness. As always, I'd rather understand than judge. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:12, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Globally, there are still plenty of states where it's legal. And even in the western world ending that was a rather recent development. Of course, that's probably not what you had in mind when you thought of "rape"... which is exactly the issue. Society condemns "rape", but it has a very narrow definition of what "counts" as rape in this sense. Basically, it's all stranger danger rape, even though most rape cases happen between people who know each other. I mean, that's the image we all have in our mind when we hear "rape", right? A stranger violently attacking a woman. Sure, if that happens to a woman with no prior history of above-average sexual activity, partying or anything like that, then society, both public opinion and the law, will condemn it. For anything else, society has a tendency to make up excuses for the perpetrators, or to outright blame the victim.... she got drunk, she passed out, she wore revealing clothing... etc etc etc. Octo8 (talk) 04:53, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Quite simply, I think that a person accused of a serious felony has a right to present whatever defenses he or she has, convincing or not, lawful or not, and politically correct or not, and let a jury decide. If that's all the accused has, so it goes; everybody in that position still has a right to be heard. This, quite simply, is more important to me than any of the concerns addressed by the idea of 'rape culture'. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 05:10, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the accused, though. When that one CNN reporter showed more sympathy with the Steubenville rapists at the court sentence than with the victim, do you think that had been set in motion by the accused? Of course not! It's about how society reacts to and treats rape.Octo8 (talk) 05:28, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I am simply unconvinced that contemporary Western or American culture approves of or condones rape. - this isn't the definition of rape culture as used by the people who use coined and utilised the term. I would suggest reading Octo8's comments, and when you don't get it, read them again. Specifically the part that reads: "...society has a tendency to make up excuses for the perpetrators, or to outright blame the victim.... she got drunk, she passed out, she wore revealing clothing... etc etc etc." This is what we're talking about, this is what people are against. It has nothing to do with accused rapists not having the ability to defend themselves in court. They do, and they often win on a balance of evidence because it's a crime for which evidence is very difficult to obtain (and even more difficult to obtain while retaining any respect or dignity for the victim). Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:18, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Of course I'm going to do whatever I can to encourage people to look sympathetically on people accused of crimes. And I can see absolutely no good coming from any public campaign that seeks to broaden the definition of rape, lead people to interpret acts as rape that they would not have considered rape before, or encourage more accusations and prosecutions to be brought. Let's not do Satanic ritual abuse again, OK? - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:15, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
That's really got nothing to do with it. We aren't trying to say "everyone ever accused of rape doesn't deserve a trial/sympathy/whatever". We're just saying that we should stop immediately assuming the victim is a "lying slut", and stop saying that she brought it on herself. I hope that clarifies it somewhat for you. MESSIAH OF DOOM And the rain will kill us all Dolan.png 21:49, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Could or should rape be classified in terms of severity or premeditation, like murder is in some legal systems? Might it be right to differentiate between the cold-blooded predatory rape and the drunken-heat-of-the-moment-carried-away rape, similar to 1st and 2nd degree murder? A thousand apologies if this has already been discussed here. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:41, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. On one hand, it might make certain forms of rape seem "okay", or not "troo rape"- but on the other hand, it, in my mind, it sorta feels like a good idea. I don't know, somebody's gonna come and rip me to shreds for my ignorance in a sec, but that's just my uneducated opinion. MESSIAH OF DOOM And the rain will kill us all Dolan.png 21:49, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. We do the same for murder and nobody ever say that third-degree murder is "less murder" than first-degree. Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 02:58, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Now all we need is a politician willing to step forward with a bill that says that some varieties of rape should be punished less harshly. Then they need to persuade their legislature to vote for the bill, and get the Governor to sign it. I can totally see that happening. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 05:45, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I personally think that it should honestly depend on the amount of psychological and physical damage caused, if there was somehow an objective way to measure that. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Honestly, the skeptic in me finds the concept of rape culture relatively undemonstrated from a scientific perspective. It honestly feels like an awfully poor supported concept to be used to so vigorously attack people who have done no one any harm. The sense of self-justification rapists have is the only component of the theory(that I know of) with any real sociological backing. Ikanreed (talk) 15:37, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
reletively undemonstrated - try this meta analysis. Placeholder (talk) 15:54, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Then you haven't been paying attention. Whenever an accusation of rape comes up, the victim is automatically assumed to be a liar and a slut. Any consensual encounters she's previously had are held against her. Rape jokes are common, and vehemently defended. Pickup artists, men's rights activists, and fraternities insist that "she wants it," and that no doesn't really mean no. Women with any public presence, particularly if they speak out on women's issues, are assailed with rape threats. On both sides of the political spectrum, you have people defending rape (Whoopi Goldberg: "It wasn't rape rape"; Republicans: "legitimate rape"). High profile figures, with large followings, are defending rape. When an investigation into an alleged rape is made, the victim is asked if she had been drinking, or flirting, or wearing revealing clothes. Often they have to pay for their own rape kits, and even then countless used rape kits are laying around, with no investigation pending.
The predominant advice to prevent rape? Women shouldn't go out at night alone. They shouldn't wear revealing clothes. They should drink alcohol. As though it's their fault they're victims.
Rape culture is quite real, and as a skeptic you ought to know better. As skeptics we need to counter claims that it isn't. It is a moral imperative.--"Shut up, Brx." 15:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
At the same time though we risk turning sensible advice into defending rape. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:16, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, and to me, that just doesn't demonstrate the concept at all. Sexists are more likely to be rapists or accepting of rape? How does that lead to the common conclusion that jokes about rape perpetuate that situation. It makes a strong case that sexism should be attacked more strongly as a motivator of crime. I mean, I consider myself a strong feminist, but I tend to be very wary of arbitrary things being thrown into the basket of being problematic. I don't know if I can articulate my position well, but I guess I'm seeking clarification on how the problem isn't cultural conservatism, and instead the focus comes on humor(frequently). Ikanreed (talk) 16:27, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that making jokes about it isn't ok, but going out at night alone in certain areas without any form of defensive weapon is quite dangerous. My advice would be to carry at least pepper spray, mkay?--Madman (talk) 00:27, 5 April 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Jesus Harold Christ. We don't blame murder victims for getting murdered, you know.Dowdicus (talk) 19:16, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Blaming murder victims for their murders doesn't make any sense, just like blaming rape victims for the rape doesn't make any sense. It doesn't matter what kind of provocation was involved, they were not the perpetrators. Nullahnung (talk) 19:48, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Quite right. But we shouldn't confuse safety advice with blame. There's a difference. Ajkgordon (talk) 20:13, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. "Stay out of bad neighborhoods" is not blame, it's advice. Seriously, what the fuck are you doing at MurderAssaultCarjackpolis at 02:00 am? --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 19:31, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
some of us have to live there AMassiveGay (talk) 20:04, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I think to some extent this advice (at least in its conventional form), while sound, is often used in a manner that isn't appropriate. Suggesting an individual avoid a dangerous area or neighbourhood is fine. Suggesting that only women avoid a dangerous neighbourhood because men are big and tough carries a bit of latent sexism there. It's always sound to take steps to ensure your safety when travelling alone, especially at night. It's important to note, however, that this advice applies universally. - Grant (talk) 20:05, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately criminals are also sexist. They are much more likely to assault two women than two men, which is why having a man accompanying some women at night is deemed prudent. Nullahnung (talk) 20:17, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
To some extent, sure, though I imagine it comes down to numbers and comparative weaponry (e.g. if the criminals have knives) more than anything else. I imagine a mugger (or group of muggers) would be looking for an easy mark, regardless of gender. - Grant (talk) 20:36, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. (Though I can hardly imagine what sort of woman would not be considered an easy mark by the common criminal... maybe a woman clearly displaying a gun, like a policewoman) Nullahnung (talk) 20:45, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, I don't see many men who wouldn't be considered an easy mark either. A mugger with a knife is a pretty big problem for anyone who doesn't have some serious self-defence training. - Grant (talk) 20:54, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Would you like to provide an example of self-defence training that renders muggers with a knife an easy problem? I haven't seen and would like to see a self-defence system that makes it easy for an unarmed man to deal with a mugger armed with a knife assuming the mugger knows how to use the knife. Forces (talk) 21:10, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't necessarily say the person was unarmed, and I didn't say that it would be an easy problem for someone with self-defence training. Easier? Sure. I'll also point out that some pepper sprays have a fairly long spray range and can cause a world of hurt for a potential attacker, assuming one knows how to use it properly. - Grant (talk) 21:26, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
(Police/military typically undergo fairly effective self-defence training I understand. But that aside:) Gain some muscle mass in the gym. Muggers with knives are less likely to attack you, the more you gain (unless it's someone with murderous intent, then good luck). Or gain some friends, the more friends coming with you, the less likely you'll be attacked (even if they're all wimpy-looking). Prevention of an encounter happening at all, through qualitative or quantitative appearance, is the best self-defence. Nullahnung (talk) 21:29, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
"some of us have to live there" Damn, my still lingering classism is leaking. My bad. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 16:56, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Truther Toys

Yesterday, while waiting for the bus, an old lady approached me, pointed into the sky and asked me if I had ever seen clouds like this before. I didn't answer straight away, since I was trying to remember what that particular cloud formation was called; I did in fact look up different cloud patterns in some book some years back. But while my brain was blowing away cobwebs, trying to access long forgotten information, the woman blurted out at me: "Of course not; these are artificial clouds!" As the look on my face turned into bumfuzzlement and before I was able to counter with a "I think not...", she gave my a hurried rundown of the inner workings of weather manipulation. Apparently the government owns radiation ray guns, which they use to shoot radio waves into the clouds, which bounce back onto aluminium foil hidden away in hay bales, allowing "them" to control the weather. After I listened carefully, I tried to question her explanation, but she quickly grew vexed and angrily countered, that "we" were too complacent, failing to notice what was happening around "us". Fortunately my bus arrived just then...

Anyway, while I was researching this particular conspiracy theory --which turns out to be a mere Chemtrails variant-- I stumbled across an image series called "Truther Toys": Children's toys based on conspiracy theories. I found these very, very funny and took them for brilliant satire. Which, as it turns out, may not actually be the case; although that only adds to the humour. Long story made short, look at these and laugh: http://www.denbeauvais.com/truthertoys.html

The "Fema-Price Mandatory Evaluation Terminator" is my favourite: http://www.denbeauvais.com/TrutherToys/Toys/Eugenics_IQ_Evaluator_Guillotine.jpg

Bismarck (talk) 09:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm sad there isn't a Denver Airport set, though I was happy to see the Guidestones. Just for the fact these idiots think these evil masterminds will publicly announce their plans like that, but NOT send out the Monsanto powered Biomechs to force all the patriots into FEMA Camps. --Revolverman (talk) 10:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
What in the actual fuck is this shit? MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM A sea on earth is a sea of tears Dolan.png 13:17, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
The Denver Airport set would be a hell of a toy, given that DIA is the largest airport in the United States by size (54 square miles). --Seth Peck (talk) 16:04, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure most people would just see "giant swastika" at the DIA toy. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 18:37, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Dr Auschwitz Trooth-Brush - Eugenic Fluoride Pump o__O --MtDPert yet flexible 19:50, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

People really do make conspiracy theories about silly little contrails from jets!? You know, if that lady tried talking to me about it, I'd just raise an eyebrow and stare at her; later, I'd laugh about it. Poor old woman. People think darndest things sometimes. As for those toys, I... I can't decide which one is my favorite, although that Barbara one made me smirk, especially with that New World Order billshot and all. (talk) 20:02, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Loved the link. Some of the weirdest shit I have ever seen "almost" well presented. Makes me need a bagel. Cinnamon reason with cream sheep and marmalade. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:02, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Hilarious! It can't be real though, its just too good to be true. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 10:20, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Enter the artist's name into your search engine of choice. From the looks of it he's definitely drunk the Kool-Aid. Bismarck (talk) 13:38, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
The Dr. Auschwitz one should have been an EZ Bake oven. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 13:45, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Achtung! We must issue a Final Solution!...
...to complicated, no-good ovens! --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 19:34, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Breatharian Barbie

This might be the creepiest thing I've seen in quite a while. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:23, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

I'd say something sympathetic, but that would take too long, so I'm just gonna say the immediately obvious- that is kind of fucking terrifying. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Weird attention whore Dolan.png 08:32, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Wanna be more creeped out? Watch the Vice documentary on her. --NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 09:20, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Fuck you Nebuchadnezzar, I wanted to sleep tonight! --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 19:47, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
OMF'inG--Barryjon (talk) 17:46, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] CIA/Dubya torture

No more ignoring the past: If this report can spook one of the staunchest supporters of PATRIOT/NSA surveillance, what will be the implications? Osaka Sun (talk) 17:19, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

It will be ignored and the torture proponents will continue to hurl PRATTs in classic big lie fashion. Compro01 (talk) 18:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Not to spoil the party, but torture and warrantless surveillance are two separate issues. Don't get me wrong, both ills fall into the same broad category, and opposition to both tends to come from the same place (civil liberties advocacy), but opposition to one does not necessarily imply mandatory opposition to the other. My point is that it's entirely possible for one to oppose torture while not believing PRISM has any problems, so bringing up torture in a debate over NSA reform is essentially committing a non sequitur and is not likely to be effective. The One They Call Mars (talk) 19:07, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Fucking CIA man.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 19:11, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
" torture and warrantless surveillance are two separate issues." Or they are each manifestations of the actual problem, the entrenching of a greater amount of un-checked power in the executive branch. TeenageWasteland (talk) 22:21, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
If we want a specific example, take me. I find torture abhorrent, I think it would be unethical to use it even in hypothetical "ticking time bomb" situations and that attempts to conceal torture underscore the fact that the torturers knew this was unethical. I believe that the decades (centuries?) of US Presidents who have tacitly permitted torture will eventually be seen in the same light as "great men" who kept slaves.
But I don't have any problem with the general programme of PRISM. They're spooks, the entire purpose of this part of the NSA is to spy on everybody. The pretence that in the 21st century these spies would restrict themselves to only spying on "bad people" (which for a lot of Americans seems to mean "brown people" or at least "non-Americans") relies on choosing not to have any concept how their job is done, and how we detect who the bad people even are. Some countries tried in previous centuries to just not have any spooks. I would commend this, it seems a sound policy decision. But it's also profoundly dangerous, your "allies" will of course have spooks still anyway. In all the cases I am aware of the policy was eventually reversed. It is a unilateral disarmament, so I cannot imagine the US choosing this route. If you're going have spooks (and the US has done for a very long time indeed) then it's futile to pretend they're prohibited from sneaking into the supreme court chief justice's house and going through his porn stash. Because doing that sort of thing is exactly what spooks are for.
Often comparisons to East Germany (or to Poland, say) are brought up here. The important difference, the vital thing you must watch for if (I think inevitably) you will have spooks, is not that they don't spy on your own citizens, or on rich white folks, or whatever nonsense, but that they are not given any powers of enforcement, whether direct or tacit. Secret police terrorised countries not by knowing who was sleeping with who, but by what they were able to do with that knowledge. So long as the worst thing the NSA can do to you is tell a White House committee meeting that you're a bad guy, the US is not slipping into the East German terror.
And so we circle back to torture. In practice if the NSA tells the White House you're a bad guy one of the things that might, in the exceptional cases, happen is that you'll be transported by the CIA to a distant country and tortured to death. That is something worth fighting. Tialaramex (talk) 10:25, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
seems like government spying on you and coming round to rip out your finger nails are kind of linked. I am personally a tad depressed about how few people seem to care about being spied on AMassiveGay (talk) 22:17, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
You (addressing Americans) are specifically paying for an entire government agency to spy on people. The existence of this agency was "secret" only in the rather asinine sense that sometimes government officials would refuse to talk about it, so, the way mistresses are secret, or Christmas presents, not the way that Ultra or Manhattan were secret (where few people knew about them and great effort was expended to keep it that way). If you do not want an agency to spy on people, and thus on you, then you should definitely cease paying for this agency. But if you want government to spy on other people but not on you (or equivalently not on people like you) that's crazy, and any rational government was right to disregard this demand. If you believe that any agency which spies on people will lead to someone's fingernails being ripped out, then you should try to impress this viewpoint on others and get the existing agencies dismantled. I'm not sold personally and think we should focus on the actual fingernail ripping, and the covering up of aforesaid. I note in passing that spies are one of the best ways you can find out whether anybody is doing this, because obviously they won't be doing it in broad daylight in Central Park. Tialaramex (talk) 09:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Double post (but I don't care). Is Conservapedia permanently down?

ConservapediaEditor (talk) 23:45, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Not for me, it isn't. Alec Sanderson (talk) 23:48, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
For future reference, this site can be used to check such things. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 03:44, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
You're better off not being able to read it -let them cower under their security blanket. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 13:35, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Environmentalism and video gaming

New Civilization title bases its plot on "The Great Mistake", seemingly inferring in its trailer that climate change destabilizes the global order and forces humanity to colonize space. Considering that it could be the most hyped game to tackle it head-on, it'll be interesting to watch the knee-jerk reactions once everything is revealed. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:19, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Or they could say it's a "what if" scenario that could make a good basis for a video game. You can enjoy a game about an alien invasion without having to actually believe in aliens. SophieWilderModerator 09:26, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
True, but that explanation isn't likely to cut much ice with those nutters who insist that climate change is a hoax. Spud (talk) 09:59, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
It's a toy, not a science lecture. SophieWilderModerator 10:11, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, there are some marked differences between toys and video games, even in the case of Civilization. For one, video games pose challenges to overcome and most of them have failure states, though a lot of them tend to just let the player play around, learn and explore like they would with a toy. Another difference is that increasingly video games carry messages or interpretations of cultural or other phenomena, while with toys that is limited.
It's a fuzzy boundary, but one that has been emerging. Nullahnung (talk) 11:03, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
If you play with it and it doesn't produce anything useful, it's a toy. SophieWilderModerator 11:50, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
That's another topic, but it doesn't seem like you're interested in discussion, so nevermind. Nullahnung (talk) 12:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

So it has a post-apocalyptic setting. This is hardly anything new. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The connection to environmentalism seems very loose, if it exists at all. The devs are saying the player can fill in the gaps themselves on what happened in the apocalypse using their imagination, though internally they've written out what events took place. [4] Nullahnung (talk) 13:16, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
This reminds me of a minor discussion I had of whether Deus Ex: Human Revolution promoted conspiracy theories. Some people just take this stuff way too seriously. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 14:39, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
That's the point I'm trying to make. There are a lot of...religious video gamers out there that don't want any of their hobby horses criticized in any context. "OMG we destroyed the planet? So CLICHE and OVERBLOWN. Worst thing ever!!!" Osaka Sun (talk) 17:56, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I would say it's derived from a fear of change, coupled with a generous dose of negativity and a respectable serving of non-self-awareness.
Seriously, the gaming community is pretty fucking vile. The Steam forums are nice, though. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 01:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
That shitty Left Behind game where they had the fucking gall to censor one of the best known-works of art, The Creation of Adam, comes to mind. As well as that Bibleman game.--Madman (talk) 18:42, 13 April 2014 (UTC)--Madman (talk) 18:42, 13 April 2014 (UTC)The Madman
You guys are not making any sense to me :/ . How is complaining about the plot of a video game being cliched (which is unavoidable, really, when is a plot not cliched to some degree?) the same as not wanting to have any hobby horses (whatever that refers to) criticized? And what does any of this have to do with censoring a piece of art in Left Behind? Oh well. Nullahnung (talk) 21:58, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The game is basically Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri 2, which featured the same scenario. It's even made by the same studio (2K is publishing this one, though, and EA likely still owns the rights to the Alpha Centauri name). Alpha Centauri touched upon the themes of environmentalism, jingoism, control of democracy by corporations, and even religion. Nobody batted an eyelash. Yes, a few people will probably throw a fit, but that's true of everything, especially in the age of the internet. Bioshock Infinite was far more hyped and recognizable in the mainstream, but even The Blaze didn't find any reason to get up and arms about that. I don't see any Noah-esque uproar on the horizon over this one either. --OverworldTheme (talk) 22:23, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

It also used transhumanism for a few victory conditions/endings, and took place on a planet in which the Gaia hypothesis was verifiably true. The faction that in the real world would be disregarded as the New Age quacks they are the most sensible ones in the game. Point is, it's a work of fiction meant to be fun and explore at shallow depth a few topics that don't crop up much in video games. --CoyoteSans (talk) 04:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
If anything, SMAC showed me that global warming was pretty much a guarantee, since nobody would want to scale down their production, especially when the other players continued to pollute. In single player, the only viable solution was to build lots of forests. Bismarck (talk) 09:29, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Civ 2 showed that global warming is an inevitable thing. Enjoy your entire map turning into swamps around 2020 or so.--Mikal | lakiM 14:20, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually in Civ2 you could control pollution rather easily, unless of course everyone started using nuclear missiles. Bismarck (talk) 17:04, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Loomio

Hola, RWians. I'm well antiquated with the creators of this nifty tool. They are looking for crowd-funding. Please throw it a couple bucks, or don't. Acei9 06:54, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Hang on- is that just for climate thingy, or for any kinda problem in general? It's kinda confusing. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Weird attention whore Dolan.png 13:17, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Loomio sounds like a rapper name from the 90's. --Kels (talk) 14:45, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Or a quirky indie game. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 01:33, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That's a strange use of the word "antiquated". But it's Ace, so... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Personally, hearing Ace talk embiggens my wordbankly skills. --Raysenn Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 03:30, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe he meant "acquainted". Frederick♠♣♥♦ 06:47, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Ed Brayton is asking for money to help fight a lawsuit.

Ed Brayton says a white supremacist is suing him and he needs donations to cover his legal costs, see Please Help Me Fight a Lawsuit. PZ Myers supports Brayton, see Not another lawsuit! Does Ed qualify for legal aid? We should know more when he's had time to consult a lawyer, either paying himself or through legal aid. I personally am not going to urge other people to contribute without knowing much more. Does anyone here know anything? Does anyone have email contacts who can find out more? Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:51, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Even an obviously losing and frivolous bullshit suit from a lunatic can take a few thousand dollars to get rid of. And even pro bono legal work costs money. Even if he gets a judgement for attorney fees, the question is then whether the legal attacker actually has any money. Ed's call for help strikes me as not disproportionate - David Gerard (talk) 11:00, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Also it's scary, when you're up against someone who files frivolous bullshit you should be able to get away with turning up pro se, saying "This is total bullshit" and letting the court clean up the mess. But there's always the nagging doubt that you could be the one to get unlucky and some judge says "This suit claiming your purchase of a can of Coca-Cola constitutes a tortious interference in plaintiff's balloon inflation company seems sound to me, and since you used the word suspenders in court you're sanctioned under obscure rule XIV 44.2d and you owe the plaintiff $50M and a golden goose" - and then you'd feel really stupid for not hiring an actual lawyer. So, because you're scared you will hire a lawyer. And you still have to pay the lawyer even when the judge literally laughs out loud at the bogus lawsuit, in fact even if the lawsuit goes away without getting as far as a judge at all.
This sort of fear (on a smaller scale) is why I hired a conveyancer to buy my new home. I'm pretty sure I understand the relevant rules and procedures better than she does. Pretty sure. But what if I'm wrong? And she has insurance, if she screws up it's very likely the insurer just writes me a cheque for a few thousand to make the problem go away. If I screw up on my own, maybe I lose the place I'm trying to buy and all the money. Tialaramex (talk) 10:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
It's bizarre, isn't it... yet that's the way it has to work, otherwise you'd end up with non-frivolous cases being dismissed easily which would restrict peoples' access to the legal system. Still, you can put some reasonable barriers in place. The Hovind vs RW one stumbled a bit when it transpired Hovind and co. couldn't read the instructions and didn't bother formatting their claim correctly. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 10:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
In principle, this works well, provided access to such services is affordable and easily accessible. A little while back, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada released a very interesting white paper on the issues with Canada's justice system. One such issue was the lack of accessibility, both in terms of wealth and complexity. It's probably not a great thing when defending your rights under the law often isn't worth the trouble. - Grant (talk) 12:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Hovind has years in which to get his suit written correctly. He's in no hurry. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:15, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Deja vu all over again

So, it seems someone left suspicious bags unattended at the Boston Marathon finish line, causing authorities to go apeshit (as they have a right to do in this situation). I'm not following the events too closely, but I'd wager heavily that it's just some dipshit trying to cause a stir with some harmless bags. The question is, assuming they figure out who did it, what sort of charges will he/should he face? Is leaving an unattended bag going to be a felony? If this guy is looking at a serious charge, is anyone who walks away from their backpack for a few minutes potentially staring down a prison sentence? DickTurpis (talk) 02:12, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

That's a good question. Surely there is some sort of "threatening behavior" statute, and fucking around like that should fall under it. Why would anyone walk away from their backpack? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Simply forgetting is the obvious answer. I'm sure that's not the case here, but there are times when I've inadvertently left a bag somewhere, and I'd hate to be charged as a terrorist for having done so. I'll watch this situation and see what happens, but there is a chance for a pretty bad precedent to be set. DickTurpis (talk) 03:18, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
The dude was apparently going around wearing veils and shouting while leaving the bags behind. Seems to be an obvious troll. The ACLU still in me wants to say it's all "symbolic speech", but I don't see a court buying that easily. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Didn't they destroy any evidence they might have against him?--"Shut up, Brx." 02:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I suspect they have the whole thing on video. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:44, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but how do they know he left a bomb if they destroyed his backpack?--"Shut up, Brx." 04:29, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I suspect that they'll take the debris to the Batcave or some similarly equipped facility where they'll figure out whether there was anything in the explosion they didn't add themselves. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:59, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
they have been blowing up unattended packages for years on this side of the pond. AMassiveGay (talk) 09:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Going on fifty years at least. We didn't think of memes back then, hell, we hardly had urban legends, but tales abounded, of frilly undies fluttering in the air over the UXB/EOD site after the "make it safe" charge was touched off. (talk) 11:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Can't find another source for this:
'Stephen Fry : "(from the Independent) An army bomb unit was called to investigate a suspicious looking package outside the territorial army unit in Bristol. They blew up, with a controlled explosion, the package, only to discover that it was a parcel of leaflets explaining how to deal with suspicious packages!"'
Scream!! (talk) 12:01, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Don't they, like, check them first? Or are they just like "there's no time, quick, blow the shit out of it"? MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Weird attention whore Dolan.png 12:16, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
"Checking them" would involve exposing personnel to danger. There are such things as "anti-tampering measures", i.e. shit blowing up if someone tries to "check" it. There's also the possibility of a timer activating just as the "checker" approaches, or an observer operating a remote detonator.--ZooGuard (talk) 13:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Weird attention whore Dolan.png 23:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Here's a little discussion seed for y'all...

In light of the little debacle in Nevada involving militia, I've been fantasizing about how I would handle the situation, and expanded into this scenario: Through a series of skillful political machinations, your are now Dictator for Life of the United States. The military is unswervingly and eternally loyal to you, and Congress rubberstamps all your acts before standing for a rousing rendition of the national anthem. Same thing goes with SCOTUS. What policies will you enact/actions will you take, and why? What do you hope to see for America by the end of your regime? Captain Wolff (talk) 15:26, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I would make beer gardens mandatory for each community, although attendance would not be compulsory. And since this is a fantasy, everyone would be super friendly and get along. Leuders (talk) 15:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Single-payer healthcare, confiscatory inheritance tax on any inheritance over $5mm, Massive increase in the gas tax. Hipocrite 15:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Abolish all excise taxes on items for human consumption. Kneecap copyrights and patents. Ban on interstate banks. Legalize psychoactive drugs generally, and widely expand the range of over the counter drugs available. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 15:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
While I know where you are coming from, as a writer and inventor I object to your kneecapping my rights to my contributions to humanity. That said, I hate the "Disney Laws". ħumanUser talk:Human 03:20, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Say "April Fools!" and restore democracy. Osaka Sun (talk) 16:03, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Voter ID restrictions reduced to a an absolute minimum (something like a sworn affirmation or perhaps a single piece of mail); campaign donation limits of $50/year/candidate, and only from individual human beings; radical reduction in defence spending including a reduction of the nuclear arsenal by 95% with a promise to negotiate full disarmament with other nuclear powers; abolition of all right-to-work laws; constitutional amendment banning gender-based pay discrimination; full marriage rights for all consenting adults regardless of gender or number of people entering into the marriage; repeal of all drug laws/creation of an infrastructure for the regulated sale of recreational drugs/full amnesty for any person incarcerated for non-violent drug-related offenses; wages for adults working as stay-at-home parents/eldercare providers/guaranteed annual income; abolition of the death penalty and solitary confinement. TeenageWasteland (talk) 16:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I will answer your questions in order. 1. I would return the so called "United States" to the proper legal control of the United Kingdom. This ending an insurgency which has been allowed to prosper for far too long. 2. I would do this because it would be the right and moral course of action. 3. I would expect the US to prosper under UK governorship and eventually learn the benefits of parliamentary democracy and a monarchy.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:16, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
All money will be funneled into NASA because 1) space exploration 2) spaceships are cool, and 2 all focus given to science. we will be poor, but we will be advanced. --Mikal | lakiM 16:25, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I dunno Bob, us Canadians probably wouldn't appreciate you stealing our schtick. --Kels (talk) 16:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
But the questioner did not offer me the opportunity of obtaining Canada's 'shtick". (Whatever it or they might be)--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:15, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Just don't mess with our hockey schtick and we're good. --Kels (talk) 19:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Also -- renegotiate all land claims/settlements/treaties with First Nations peoples and implement reparations for slavery in the form of cash grants and community-chosen funding for relevant education/health/jobs training programmes. TeenageWasteland (talk) 16:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Abolish NSA. Hell, abolish the entire intelligence community, maybe except some rumps. Drastically reduce the military, too. As in, only a fragment of the current size. In return, establish true UHC, and expand money spent on education and social help. Oh, and some for the infrastructure, too. But not NASA. Looking to space is a waste. Also, establish a true progressive tax system. Oh, and establish some limitations on any (future :p ) executive. And some actually effective oversight for what the executive does. With public results, at best. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Octo8 (talk) 19:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Fulfill the secret duty of all leaders of The United States. Becoming a patriotic-themed powered armored superhero.--Madman (talk) 20:50, 16 April 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Space is a waste? LOL! Ajkgordon (talk) 22:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Who needs satellites? All they do is beep and waste taxpayer money! Frederick♠♣♥♦ 07:01, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, satellites have a use of course. They're economically usable. But expeditions to the Moon or Mars, or the ISS? Eh. I don't see any great use there. Octo8 (talk) 07:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Humans explore. It's what we do. It's how we find out new things. We won't know how useful they are (economically, artistically, medically, scientifically, culturally, socially, etc) if we don't find them. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:28, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, being that I live in Australia, I'd do a few things. Serious stuff first! Firstly, I'd get rid of Australia's "stop the boats" thing, because it's a disgusting violation of human rights. Then, I'd let let the gays get married- do I need to explain why? After that, I'd make prostitution legal, because why the fuck not? Once that was done, I'd make everything (food, water, university, housing) free, and stop the usage of money (except for usage in foreign affairs, imports, et cetera) in a sort of pseudo-communism, because I suck at money, and can't be bothered to actually economy. I'd make sure that everybody had some form of for job for them to do, whether it was cleaning, or hardcore science shit. I'd make it so we only had a very small military force, which would only get involved in the most serious of conflicts. Oh, and I'd have a huge-arse science programme, in which I'd encourage research for EVERYTHING, from space, to microtechnonanonuclearsuperalienbotthingies, to cancer, to renewable power. In other words, I'd essentially create a peaceful egalitarian utopia that would prolly never work IRL. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Weird attention whore Dolan.png 08:00, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

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