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] Spiders on drugs

Been around for a very long time. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I was sad we never saw the crack spider's bitch. --Revolverman (talk) 20:44, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
What about cats on drugs? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:55, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Ben Stein Sexting Scandal

Actually, there was one thing to ease someone into it, but I never put it in Clogs because I was unsure of when the darn thing was published. He wrote in the American Spectator about his tendency to talk to attractive women and get their contact information when he's away lecturing, with one wanting him to help her become a rich, successful writer. Heck, there's even this text from her to him after she broke up with her boyfriend who got her pregnant. “I know, but I’ll just be a single mom. Will you help me out?”User:PsychoGecko 19:09, 23 July 2014

The best thing about this is to imagine the texts being read aloud in the Ben Stein voice. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 19:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Halbig v. Burwell Rulings

So I'm sure most of you know (or at the very least should know if you follow America politics) about the two different rulings which ere divided along partisan lines in the US Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit and the US Court of Appeals for the fourth circuit. The partisan nature of this divide is obvious and only an idiot would deny that, the attempt to deprive millions of Americans of affordable healthcare because of what basically amounts to a typo is to be quite honest, disgusting. However I would like to know from any legal experts out there what exactly this ruling would do to the Afordable Care Act. This beltway conservative professor from George Mason University, Ilya Somin (his other work seems to suggest that he has a libertarian bent but seems to be more in line with Chicago school economics than Austrian school economics which means that he at least is not completely crazy) wrote in the Washington Post that this ruling if it were to stand would have little affect on the law as he argues that it would leave the law intact and give states the choice to set up an exchange [1]. I'm not interested in political rhetoric (hell I believed and still believed in a "public option" health care reform) I just want to whether or not this guy's arguments are BS or not. In any case please feel free to share your thoughts on how ridiculous (the "framers" of this bill were fairly clear about what they wanted it to accomplish) this ruling is as a whole. Alsto003 (talk) 16:55, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that 36 states still haven't set up an exchange — the law is designed to provide "backup" coverage if legislatures (GOP-dominated, and you can't deny that) indefinitely choose not to. Hell, even the conservative dissent in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius admitted to it. The challenge's survival literally rests on five members of the SCOTUS having to reverse their own positions 2+ years after the fact, which (even after some of the more dumbfounding rulings the Roberts court has made) seems too crazy to stomach. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Out of control sex geckos in space

I plead da fif. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5EofwRzit0 User:PsychoGecko 10:49, 25 July 2014

[edit] Orban

Jesus, this guy is terrifying. He makes you feel like the stormtroopers are coming to kick in your door if you even lay down on the job. Also, those comments are comedy gold.--Madman (talk) 00:16, 29 July 2014 (UTC)The Madman

[edit] Sorry, Mother Jones

People whose murder convictions get thrown out by the judicial system because of flawed police investigations are not guilty of murder. End of story. They didn't "get away with murder" because they took executive positions in a despised organization of political enemies. They are in no different position from anyone else's whose unjust or dubious conviction was overturned by the judicial system. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 19:24, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Whatever he did, that was one of the most fucked up interrogations I've ever read ""You damned Polack, you step one foot out of that door and I'll kill you," Dowlut said the cop growled as he patted his gun.". What kinda of psychotic bullshit is that? --Revolverman (talk) 19:37, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
There is, of course, a difference between "not guilty" and "innocent." Thanos6 (talk) 20:57, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
if we going with the whole 'innocent until proven guilty' idea, then no, there is no difference between 'not guilty' and 'innocent' AMassiveGay (talk) 21:12, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes there is. "Not guilty" means "it wasn't proven you did it, whether you did it or not." It's a verdict in the American system. "Innocent" means "you didn't do it at all." Not a verdict in the American system. I've long thought we've needed a "not proven" verdict. Thanos6 (talk) 21:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It's one of those cases where they got the right guy, but because they went all Jack Bauer to do it, the person got away. Because the guy showing the police where he hid the murder weapon was fruit of a poisoned investigation, they couldn't use it in a court of law, so they didn't retry him. But don't pretend he didn't do it just because the cops were incompetent in their investigation - User:PsychoGecko 00:01, 30 July 2014
I'm split on this. One hand, last thing we need is a killer walking on a techicality, however the police's behavior is beyond representable, and it appears all the evidence came from this, lets not mince words, torture session. I guess letting him walk is the only proper thing. --Revolverman (talk) 00:26, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course. There's no justification for the police acting like that, so it's good that the system corrected itself to throw out the evidence. I'd rather society let the occasional guilty man go free than convict the occasional innocent one. After all, the justice system's supposed to be about justice. Still means this guy got away with murder. --User:PsychoGecko 1:59, 30 July 2014
Given the treatment he was given, I'm not sure I'd place a great deal of stock in his confession. Many people have in fact been manipulated into confessing to crimes they did not commit. I do tend to think that given those transcripts, the legal system came to a reasonable conclusion here. He did time in prison for a murder he may not have committed; the courts cut him loose because he got an unfair trial, and fifty years have passed. I'm just uneasy with the idea of dragging all of this out fifty years later; it just seems morally disturbing to me, a low blow, unfair even to an executive in the hated NRA. I'm counting it as more evidence that political zeal numbs the conscience in certain ways. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:36, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
You're forgetting the part where he led the cops to where the murder weapon was hidden, which happened to be a gun he owned, which he happened to have said he threw into a river but was found buried in a graveyard. --User:PsychoGecko 5:38, 30 July 2014

[edit] I have a degree in physics

Albeit from 30 years ago but I'm not sure that I entirely understand this discovery. I think I need to read a bit more but it does look quite fun. Oldusgitus (talk) 19:57, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

A good chunk of my research was done in the realm of weak measurement, and some weird stuff can result from it. While neutron interferometry was the realm of some of the other postdocs in my research group (and not so much mine), I'll have to ask them what they think about this new development. - Grant (talk) 20:28, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Get them to put it in relatively simple terms for those of us who only have a first degree in physics and not a post grad one (see what I did there btw). Oldusgitus (talk) 20:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Heh, indeed. I'm going to go re-read some of the weak measurement papers I have lying around somewhere in the hopes of being able to parse this new paper. I feel like that's unlikely, since despite my foray into weak measurement I still don't understand it at all. Ah well. - Grant (talk) 20:35, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
It's worth noting that (especially in particle physics, but elsewhere too) the state of the models and knowledge that gets taught at university for physics students gets outdated very rapidly (graduate half a decade apart and don't keep up with current discovery and you already won't completely agree on what the material is). So if you had a degree from 30 years ago... well... that may be a factor. Nullahnung (talk) 21:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Yay and nay. Quantum physics was actually around when I did my degree and we did study it. I also worked for a short while on one of the experiments at DESY. Without question the fields have moved on but I have kept a watching eye on things and am generally knowledgeable in a non-specific sense on the topic. Oldusgitus (talk) 08:26, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, you would probably be surprised. An understanding of physics generally requires learning older out-dated models first, and generally expands from there. By the end of my undergraduate career, the vast majority of my physics knowledge was dated to the early 1900s, with the exception of some tidbits from condensed matter and particle physics. The thing is that the basic theories underlying many of these fields have been around for some time, and it's been mostly details or supporting evidence that has changed. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but for most physics graduates I've spoken to (and I'm in this group as well), undergraduate physics tends to be a shotgun blast of very general material that is basically always outdated. I didn't get into developments that could be considered modern until I started into graduate school, where the subject of one's research is substantially more narrow. The majority of my knowledge about quantum mechanics that's newer than the 1940s came from graduate school. - Grant (talk) 21:25, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Hobby Lobby firing pregnant woman

To whoever posted this, THANK YOU!! Wahahaha! Sophophobe (talk) 17:07, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

[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)

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