RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?

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What is going on?

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[edit] Ukraine

With all sympathy for the Maidan Protesters, and all enmity towards Putin, I think that it is no cause for celebration if the newloy elected "Consensus" President pulls a Ghaddafi the very first day after the election by bombing his own country!

[edit] Teresa Forcades

Teresa Forcades is an anti-vaxxer, are you sure you want to promote her in a wiki like this? I don't really think we need more like her only because she leans a little more to the » that the tipical nun.

[edit] Regarding current happenings in Venezuela

I'm not really sure what's happening. The main sources of information *I've* come across for this have... let's say they've had issues... https://twitter.com/AmendozaPot/status/434328609096876032/photo/1/large or https://twitter.com/monterocnn/status/434495653209985024 . Pictures from CNN, ABC, and others have been reusing pictures from Egypt, Syria, and Singapore... I remember the times article as having had come under fire for doing the same, but I can't find much evidence or counter-evidence for the story. I'm not finding many places reporting regardless - googling and using duckduckgo to depth of five pages is mostly sending me to yahoo or to things that happened in the 80s. I originally found out about it via a post on imgur, which I took at face value, but came back to it later and noticed it had an iconic still from a video of people locked up in a stadium in Honduras singing Quilapayún's "El pueblo unido" to protest the dictator president our CIA installed... And then by the time I was going to go back to it the post was... removed...

I really don't want to go into conspiracy territory, I really don't want to have to apologize for Chavez's idiots. But I'm not able to find any information any which way regarding this, and it's bothering me. So what I'm asking for is - are there additional (true) sources we can back the incidents up with? Does anyone have more info on the picture misinformation (have more people been caught)? And if the latter wasn't your reason for downvoting the NYT, what was?

Apologies for lack of an account...

[edit] Ebola "Cure"

Experimental, nowhere near marketable treatment. Inject it as a desperate last ditch effort (literally the first of them was thought likely to die within hours) into two Americans who get better and you're "holding out on a cure". Inject it into two locals who promptly drop dead of Ebola anyway and you're "performing dangerous and unethical experiments on people too poor to say No". Right? Am I missing anything with this analysis?

And this is no high-tech miracle. It's a modern twist on a very simple idea. Take the juice of a survivor, filter out all the bits that will kill you, inject it and hope that whatever saved them also works on you. The manufacturers use mice rather than human survivors, and they've got 21st century biology to help them figure out what to filter out and what to leave in, but that's still all they're really doing which is why they weren't sure it would work.

By local standards Ebola, while horrific, is not the big picture disaster. For every Ebola victim getting TV coverage there are dozens, maybe hundreds of people dying from mundane, easily cured diseases in those countries because their health infrastructure is almost non-existent. Why don't people in that area get million dollar experimental drugs? How about we start by getting them all secure access to clean water. Tialaramex (talk) 18:39, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

You said it all. People often overlook how much damage things like Diarrhea are doing among the local populace that is lacking in sanitation and water supply. Probably a bigger problem than Ebola over there. Nullahnung (talk) 19:52, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Ebola post is horribly misinformed about how the treatment is produced,


The post above is horribly misinformed, calling the treatment a "serum". It is simply not so. yes, it came from a serum, but is produced by several steps of genetic engineering, gene swapping, masking the proteins as human, then inserting genes for the proteins into tobacco plants and having them produce it in useful quantities. It is not as simple as he claims, and he makes several mistakes. He keeps calling it a "serum" and even states "The serum treatment is potentially very dangerous because it can include who knows what from the other person’s blood." I cannot describe the level of stupidity in this statement about this treatment.

I could go on and on, but I will just leave this here so you can read about how the treatment is produced and understand why exactly it is still VERY experimental.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/08/bio-high-tech-treatment-for-ebola-may-have-saved-two-us-citizens/ — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

[edit] Prayer Discount

Are we sure this article is within this wiki's mission? (talk) 04:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, as it deals with discrimination against atheists and in favour of christians. (talk) 04:15, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
As an atheist, I'd do it. 15% off is not a bad deal. --Revolverman (talk) 04:17, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Do libations get free refills?--"Shut up, Brx." 04:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, good question! --Revolverman (talk) 04:37, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Also, mission isn't particularly important for the WIGOs--"Shut up, Brx." 04:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd pull out a 100% tip for any server who denies Jesus. Fair's fair, right? Ikanreed (talk) 16:29, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26225207/prayer-discount-ends There was no need to get upset about it and sue, was there? How is this infringing upon anybody's freedom to not be religious when the restaurant owner claims it to be non-religious? I suppose it's more about outside perception than what the practice is originally for, and the outside will perceive it as religious, but still. Nullahnung (talk) 16:38, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Of course there was no need to sue. It was relatively tame, but it also was almost certainly a violation of the civil rights act. Ikanreed (talk) 16:45, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Just curious, if the discount wasn't for prayer, but was for a customer being friendly and saying "Thank you for the meal!", would it still be a violation of the civil rights act? Because that would still "deny people who don't show emotion of the full and equal enjoyment". Because if not, then everything hinges on whether or not the practice can be labeled "religious". Nullahnung (talk) 16:57, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Thankfulness isn't one of the protected classes under the civil rights act, like religion is. I'm not advocating the lawsuit(or even saying it will win), just stating the law is there. Ikanreed (talk) 18:21, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry about my ambiguous wording. There isn't actually a lawsuit as far as I know. They just threatened to sue and the restaurant gave up on the practice to avoid it. Anyways, since you confirmed for me that the mentioned different case would be irrelevant I can confirm that everything does hinge on whether or not the practice really discriminates between religious and non-religious. Nullahnung (talk) 18:26, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] What is going on in What is going on in the World?

I'm really confused. I look at the list of articles today and there are about 5 new ones (which is a lot for one day). One of them already has 75 votes (the prayer discount article), and another that had overall ten votes in favor last time I checked now has 50 votes against it (the Ebola cure). Meanwhile there has been almost no activity in the blog or clog. Is it just a weird coincidence or did something happen? TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 21:42, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

A heavy news day, maybe? --Gulik (talk) 00:23, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
There were some trolls from this very conservative christian site who upvoted the prayer discount article as they think it is a good idea and downvoted the Ebola cure article because they oppose genetic engineering and such as "think you are better than god" or something. The website is the Christian LEGO Fans Wiki hosted on Wikia and usually shortened to CLFW. They have chat logs but they have not run the logging script in a while, so there is no copy of the discussion where they planned out this trolling. They appear to also frequently use another wiki hosted on Wikia called the LEGO Message Boards Wiki (LMBW). They share some of their chat moderators and administrators. LMBW is fairly active, but CLFW will appear inactive as they usually do not use the wiki, only the chat. They, however, will usually respond fairly quickly if you post on their talk page (message walls on wikia). You will need an account to use the chat though. (talk) 01:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
The ebola post was my doing, sorry. The original link that was posted was a partisan "blame obama for not working fast enough" "this simple cure should have been used sooner" type of post, it was horribly misinformative, misleading, and omitting facts to spew forth their own agenda, leaving out any mention of genetic engineering whatsoever, referring to it as a "serum", which it simply is not. Once people read the actual, factual, news about the ebola cure that I referenced the downvotes poured in for the original piece of shit article. It was no christian mob against genetic engineering, quite the opposite indeed. You can take a look at the piece I posted just above this one, I just registered though so it is signed by my IP and not my name, titled "Ebola post is horribly misinformed about how the treatment is produced,".NolanSyKinsley (talk) 08:27, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
The WIGOs are some of the most popular pages on the wiki anyway, but the high votes are still interesting. Anything to recruit readers! - David Gerard (talk) 10:04, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I just noticed something (not sure if it was apparent). The Ebola and Prayer articles weren't the only ones that were massively voted upon; if you look at the vote counts for the two above it ("Glimpse of hope" and "Timely technical difficulties", they both have over 80 voters on each. I've a feeling that this was part of it. Noir LeSable (talk) 18:03, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I am not so sure about the ebola post. When I wrote the article above, it actually had 25 points, and only 1 or 2 negative, within 15 minutes of my posting about it being misleading that had already been reduced to 10, and by the next morning was in the deep negatives. It was originally a rather liked article, untill exposed for it's partisan cherry picking misleading bullshit. NolanSyKinsley (talk) 00:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Fyi Tialaramex posted about it a bit before you, which is why we suddenly had two sections devoted to saying that WIGO entry was bullshit... and then I merged the two sections. Nullahnung (talk) 16:15, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Iraq Update 8/8/2014

Today President Obama announced that the USA will launch air strikes on the ISIL militants in Northern Iraq. Spokespeople for the Pentagon also declared that they would drop humanitarian aid on Mount Sinjar where anywhere between ten to forty thousand refugees are trapped without food or water. The campaign was announced following gains made by the ISIL in the Iraqi Kurdistan. My opinion: I am not a neocon, the Iraq war was a mistake just like dubya's presidency was a mistake. But I have no objections to these airstikes, the ISIL is eager to perpetrate genocide on religious minorities and force their medieval worldview on the general population of Iraq. The Kurds are the people in the Middle East we should be helping and that is what these airstrikes will accomplish. Summary: we broke Iraq and now we must either fix it or use the pieces to create three smaller Iraqs. But we cannot just sit on our ***** and watch as tens of thousands of people get slaughtered because the ISIL doesn't like them. I am certain that other people here have different opinions, feel free to share them. Alsto003 (talk) 16:04, 8 August 2014 (UTC) Alex

You wrote: "The Kurds are the people in the Middle East we should be helping". This sounds selective, like it were the *only* people that you think should be helped. Is that indeed your opinion? For what reason, then? I generally think that no unagressive group of people should be excluded from dedicated humanitarian help, and in this particular case, I will even appreciate (U.S./other) military help for the protection of every such group when they're endangered: Kurds just like any other.
However, I do think that a stable and strong (quasi-)state Kurdistan could have benefits even across ethnic lines: I.e., it might become a place of refuge or even for permanent stay (and that for non-Kurds, too); and Kurdish militia (Peshmerga) seem to have behaved very honorous whilst also being a strong force against IS and other lunatics, so that a strengthening via an own state could back their work as a sensible army in the region. Also, IMO, Kurds just deserve an own state.
Actually, until the recent IS outbreak started, Kurds were pretty successfull in creating a somewhat solid government in northern Syria. But since IS, this seems like water under the bridge. (I would give references, but the strong focus on IS now makes it impossible to research these older topics.)
Therefor, I would endorse military support for Kurds now and political support in the mid-term; and with the Peshmerga currently being the most notable resistance against IS, a focus of military support on the Kurds (over the other minorities in the conflict) seems to come somewehat natural. --Sophophobe (talk) 20:58, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I was not trying to be selective, rather it was more reflective of the fact that I tend to be of the opinion that partition is the best option for Iraq (and Syria, and including the Hatay province and Turkish and Iranian Kurdistan), that is not a popular opinion but I actually believe it would increase the region's stability or at the very least stop the never ending internal unrest in states in the Middle East. Alsto003 (talk) 02:11, 13 August 2014 (UTC) Alex

[edit] The "Raw Story" isn't; link the source

The "Raw Story" pretty much never is; it's a clickbait site, and almost everything on it is rewrites of someone else's story. I strongly suggest finding the original in the story and linking that - David Gerard (talk) 19:17, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] The beast within

The folkways of some parts of the USA with regard to alcoholic beverages are passing strange. I once went to a wedding reception where liquor was served. The drinkers all congregated at one end of the hall, and the non-drinkers at the other; there was some kind of line that was universally acknowledged and that no one crossed.

I used to chalk up the Southern Baptist prohibitions on drinking, gambling, and dancing as class based: those were the expensive amusements of the folks in the manor house, and the people in the cabins in the hills at least had the consolation of moral superiority. On the other hand, the belief that a single sip of beer sets you on the road to Hell does not encourage responsible moderation among the damned, either. So when these folks drink, they mean to get shitfaced; that's the point. And if this is the attitude your society teaches, there may be a measure of practical wisdom in advocating teetotalism. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 02:50, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Here we go again.

Oh dear Oldusgitus (talk) 14:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Omaha story

Ok so I'm opposed to what the police have done in Ferguson as much as anyone else but being upset with the cops for the shooting in Omaha is just knee jerkish. The police knew there was an armed robbery going on, the guy brought something that looked like a gun and fired it at the police and now people are surprised the idiot burglar was shot. Well duh that should be expected the cops only have seconds to react in their eyes. The worst part of the story is the sound technician getting killed but that's still the robbers fault more than anyones. I'm just worried rationalwiki may be attrating some of the more rabidly anti-cop parts of the internet on that one. ClothCoat (talk) 03:57, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

US cops are inadequately trained, they're blazing away like they think they're in the movies. That is the exact same problem as Ferguson, police whose department training budget allows for viewing two cop movies and a few minutes at the range blasting pieces of paper. That's going to mean a high body count. If the count was disproportionately white and rich, rather than black and poor there would be outrage.
If the goal was not to kill innocent civilians (I know, this is a radical thought for the US) you'd want to train armed cops at least as well as you train your best soldiers, because after all the armed soldiers by policy are in combat zones not in the midst of your civilian population. That training includes an improved philosophy of policing that aims to avoid unnecessary escalation. The US is terrible at this because escalation looks great on TV and feels like you're in a movie (unless you get shot). But escalation is very dangerous, it exposes the officers, any criminals and innocent bystanders to excess risk. Here it got two people unnecessarily killed. And that sort of thing is not very rare, it just got highlighted this time because of the current focus on policing and because the bystander was part of the industry. Tialaramex (talk) 08:57, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
In the UK the armed cops are generally regarded as the elite. IIRC they undergo regular training/refresher courses and they have to undertake mandatory skills tests on a regular basis to retain their certificate. I am not sure I can recall the last time a bystander was shot rather than them hitting the intended target, albeit the intended may have been inocent on occasion. But they rarely if ever hit someone other than the intended. Even in SA bystanders are rarely shot and ffs some of their cops shouldn't be allowed to walk and talk at the same time - hi Psy :-). Oldusgitus (talk) 15:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
So it would only cause outrage if rich white people were killed by the police by accident? You can't really get away with "nobody cares about innocent black people" when a huge string of protests, riots, and nationwide news coverage is currently happening over a black kid who was shot. I think lots of people do care when minorities are abused (at least when it is brought to their attention).TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 13:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
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