RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?

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[edit] Crimean Tatars

Since the Foreign Policy link is paywalled I will explain how the Russians are subjugating the Tatars. Firstly, the Russians and Tatars haven't had good relations since Stalin ethnically cleansed them in Crimea and filled the peninsula with Russians who weren't to keen on the Tatars return. Secondly, the Putin's government has promised the Tatars that their language will be one of the three official languages of Crimea (the other two being Ukrainian and Russian), but they have reduced hours of Crimean Tatar instruction in schools, refused to give channels like ATR[wp], which speak Crimean Tatar, broadcasting licenses, and they have regularly raided Tatar households and religious institutions in search of ‘extremist’ material. Thirdly, Crimean Tatars have been subjected to politically motivated court trials and the Russians have threatened to ban the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People[wp] as a "extremist group" for helping the Ukrainian government cut off electricity, water, and food to Crimea; an example of the politically motivated attacks on the Tatars is that the Mejlis leader, Mustafa Dzhemilev[wp] who spent 15 years in a Soviet prison for advocating for his peoples return to their homeland, has been banned from entering the peninsula. Fourthly, the Russians have arbitrarily arrested 8 Tatar and non-Tatar protesters and have held them indefinitely. Lastly, the Russian authorities have made no attempt to investigate hate crimes and kidnappings committed against the Tatars.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:35, 17 March 2016 (UTC) 01:35, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Interesting. I think the Russian government likely views the Crimean Tatars as suspicious, as they are likely to be targeted by NATO/EU/USA to be spies and rebels. The Russian government would like to ensure a basically ethnically homogenous Crimea, and honestly, who can blame them? Look at Chechnya and Dagestan. Look at the conflicts there, all due to ethnic and religious differences. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:46, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Easy I can blame them. Due process of the law is everything to a free and open soceity.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:07, 17 March 2016 (UTC) 03:07, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Switzerland isn't ethnically homogeneous and last time I checked, they were doing fine... Pizzameister (talk) 19:15, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Well there is quite a lot of xenophobia there, but I tend to see that in all of Europe these days.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:26, 17 March 2016 (UTC) 19:26, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
The idea that ethnic homogeneity breeds peace whereas diversity breeds violence is preposterous. Pizzameister (talk) 19:38, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Switzerland is... a weird case study. I certainly wouldn't use it to prove anything regarding the integrity of nation-states. Swiss federalism is very unique and worked because of its relative seclusion and centrality in Europe. It has been advocated for in Somalia; which is already split into several federal states; but Somaliland, Puntland, Somalia actual, and al-Shabaab have not gotten along well: there has been conflict between all of them. I don't disagree with due process at all, and any denial of rights is wrong. I'm also not saying ethnic homogeneity tends to breed peace; I'm simply pointing out that a vast majority of non-USA-instigated conflict over the past centuries were due to ethnic differences in states. Take WWI, where the Serbs were angry at not having all of their people in one state. WWII: we have the Germans wanting the Sudetenland and other Germanic areas. Yugoslavia was a war entirely the result of ethnic tensions inside of an otherwise well-functioning state. Ethnic differences have led to conflict in Iraq (Sunni/Shia/Kurd), Syria (Alawite/Sunni/Kurd), Turkey (Turk/Kurd), Caucasus (Chechens, Azeris, Georgians, Armenians). When a huge portion of modern conflicts are the direct result of tensions between ethnic groups who don't want to live under the same government, it would be preposterous not to seek solutions based on ethnic redistribution and apportionment.
Since we're talking about Ukraine, let me propose my solution: simple linguistic and ethnic partition. Here is what Ukraine looks like now de jure. Here is its ethnic breakdown. Here is what I think it ought to look like. Russia gets the ethnic Russian areas in the east as well as Crimea and a good many ports, while Ukraine retains most ethnic Ukrainian areas as well as its sea access. This would pacify Russia's quest for border security as well as Ukraine's desire for territorial integrity and defense. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:40, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Somalia is inhabited by just about 100% ethnic Somalis. It has ethnic divisions the same way there are divisions between North Dakotans and South Dakotans. The same can be said about Rwanda (read about the history of the very terms Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, it's very very enlightening). Ethnic homogeneity is neither desirable nor a good predictor for political success of nation states or any type of state. Pizzameister (talk) 02:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
You're wrong on Somalia. The term 'Somali' as a utopian label that ignores the uglier reality on the ground: that country is divided into many ethnic groups who don't like each other, the main reason the country hasn't unified since decolonization. Don't believe me? Here's a map of ethnic groups in Somalia and a map of Somali factions in 1992. Note the division between ethnicities. Even a modern map reveals that al-Shabaab's main haven after years of war is a clan minority area. Your final opinion just isn't borne out by the facts you presented. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 18:44, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
You seem intent on arguing that ethnic groups are unable to live together and therefore they need to have their own homogeneous state. Now I can agree with you that many of the countries in Africa and the Middle East have been artificially created with ethnic history ignored, but to advocate tearing them apart along ethnic boundaries would be disastrous. These ethnic groups will either live on resource rich land or they won't and this will cause their governments to be prone to war in order to steal or protect these resources; they will proceed to enforce their homogeneity through discrimination and ethnic cleansing. To me, the solution is to try federalization since this gives these ethnic groups autonomy over their piece of land within a country. Russia, for example, is the largest federalized nation in the world and they have avoided collapse from ethnic conflict for its entire existence.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:35, 18 March 2016 (UTC) 19:35, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
and a liberal amount of bombing and mass deportations AMassiveGay (talk) 20:44, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
I never said it solves all ethnic conflicts, but Stalin's attempt to make Russia homogeneous led to vastly more death. The same can be said of Germany's, Japan's, or China's attempt to make a homogeneous state.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:53, 18 March 2016 (UTC) 20:53, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
There are clans in Somalia, sure. But they are not the same as ethnic differences in other African countries. You see, even in the US, you can divide up "white" into several sub-ethnicities, but almost everybody does not care about any except Latino/non-Latino within the "white" population. More than 90% of Somalis speak the same language and belong to the same (sub-)branch of Islam. If language and religion define ethnic identity, how do you argue that Somalia is anything but ethnically homogeneous? Yes clan and family matter in Somali society (If you meet a Somali the first question often is who the father grandfather and so forth as to ascertain to which clan they belong). And yes, Siad Barre intentionally fanned clan violence, but you cannot, I repeat cannot explain the violence in Somalia by ethnicity. Even neighboring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia (incidentally containing Somali minorities) have mostly managed to avoid open ethnic strive or when it happened kept it within reasonable bounds (a bit of post election violence here and there, no biggie). There are countless examples of "rainbow nations" living long and prosper lives in peace and there are countless examples of homogeneous nations going down in brutal violence (less than 1% of El Salvador is indigenous and there are no notable recent immigrant groups, yet they had one of the most brutal civil wars in Latin America). Even genocides can happen in ethnically homogeneous countries. Look no further than Rwanda. Saying "tribalism" is one of the problems "in Africa" is both incredibly stupid (the very term "tribalism" shows a lot of ignorance) and just plain wrong in way more cases than not. Pizzameister (talk) 05:50, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Or the Cambodian genocide?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 17:40, 19 March 2016 (UTC) 17:40, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Pizzameister, I think you misunderstand my position on a key point. I wasn't directly stating that ethnic homogeneity breeds peace. I simply said that a lot of times, in fact an uncomfortable amount of times, ethnic/class/whatever divisions between peoples are a major source of intrastate conflict. I've already provided examples. I believe that group/clan homogeneity is desirable in a certain number of select cases where the warring parties in question have amply demonstrated that they are unable to live together in peace. This is the case in Somalia, as well as many other nations outside of the West. Taking ethnicity and group identity into account is a vital component finding solutions to intrastate conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. I disagree with your point "Ethnic homogeneity is neither desirable nor a good predictor for political success of nation states or any type of state". Modern Europe exists as a direct result of hundreds of years of nationalistic struggle and rebordering until the parties involved were generally satisfied with the end result. Today's European ethnic borders are almost all drawn on ethno-linguistic lines, with the exceptions of Spain and Switzerland. Ethnic homogeneity, and the struggle for it, is why the West's borders are where they are today. This is after many centuries of war. Africa has only been introduced to the concept of the nation-state relatively recently, and due to the stupid European colonialists, borders were drawn in all the wrong places, resulting in ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, DRC, and Mali. Take Mali as just another example. The border was drawn the was it was solely for France's administrative convenience. Just recently, the Tuaregs and lighter-skinned people wanted to separate from the black Malians in the south. They launched a (for the time being) successful military campaign and liberated all of their claimed territory. Why should not the ethnically different areas be allowed to separate? The problem with your view of statehood is that it essentially ignores people's will and is instead based on some other factor(s) that you have not yet specified. I think that's a big problem. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:22, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
Europe is definetly not drawn on ethno-linguistic lines. The Scots, Welsh, Cornish, and even the English can tell you that in the UK; Breton, Occitan, Germans in France can tell you the same; the Frisians, Sorbs, Bavarians, and Danes will also disagree with you in Germany; the Nordic countries also have Finns and Danes in Sweden, Swedes in Finland, and the Faroese, citizens in Bornholm, and Yupik in Greenland in Denmark who all want to leave; every ethnic group in Spain and the post-Yugoslav republics will scream out you on the mere suggestion. Hell, the European Free Alliance[wp] was created for this very reason.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:03, 20 March 2016 (UTC) 03:03, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
The Scots and Welsh both have separate states with a reasonable degree of autonomy within Britain. The Germans in France is an interesting story that I don't have time for but suffice it to say they view themselves as 'French'. Look, we can quibble about minor facts all day, but that doesn't destroy the meat of my argument. I would assume by your lack of disagreement that you don't find much to disagree with in my main point. Is this the case? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 23:46, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree that colonialism created instability among these artificially created nation states. I disagree that homogeneous nation states as an end goal were federalism can be attained, but that doesn't always work.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:55, 20 March 2016 (UTC) 23:55, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
Every nation state is an artificial creation. Well into the second half of the 20th century (with some individuals[wp] until today) there was resentment regarding the post war borders of Europe and the expulsions that went with them. There about five dozen ethnic groups that form more or less coherent minorities within or across states in Europe and by far not all of them have anything even approaching their own state. And the pre-colonial empires in Africa (which by the way were often the suppliers of slaves to the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and later British French and Americans) were not drawn along ethnic lines either. Yes the whole Muslim vs. Christian thing has recently exploded in West Africa (Mali being just one example, Nigeria is another one). But exactly what would be changed if those countries were split and spliced? Probably North Nigeria would start an invasion of South Nigeria to get the oil fields and a major port. In Sudan partition did exactly zilch to solve the problems there. And it may just have entrenched the problems even more. And what about South Africa? Do you advocate for every ethnic group (the country has 11 official languages) to get its own state? What about the white South Africans? What about the big "melting pot" cities? Divisions along ethnic lines are a symptom of crisis, not the reason for it. When Yugoslavia was prosperous under Tito nobody gave a fuck about Orthodox Serbs or Catholic Croats or Muslims. Once shit hit the fan everybody was at each other's throat. The same can be said of Germany. Bavaria went to war against Northern Germany in 1866. By 1871 they were one state. Pizzameister (talk) 15:46, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
a one size fits all approach here is nonsense. There are so many reasons why some states work with a multitude of ethnicity and why some fall apart. Yugoslavia is not germany is not india is not rwanda is not the US is not the UK. Different pressures, different conditions on their founding, different traditions and histories. You can only look at each individually you cannot say 'this works here so it will work there' if conditions are vastly different. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:01, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Well of course you have to look at ethnic history, but federalization works. Secession is always contentiousness and needs serious justification; new ethnic tension can rise at any moment for any reason. Btw when I say "artificial" I mean they were drawn by outsiders w/o examining ethnic history and not created through war and diplomacy. The best example is the partition of India were Jammu/Kashmir is locked in a border dispute, Pakistan has 4 main ethnic groups dominated by the Pashtun with the Balochi wanting to secede, and a log list of ethnic groups wanted to secede in India.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC) 01:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Hey Pizzameister. This is a rough idea of what I want Africa to look like. Not all of the borders have been finished, as it's an ongoing project. I've given the north Nigerian Muslims their own state, as well as some land from Niger that is ethnically theirs. Key non-Arab areas in Darfur have been ceded to Chad, alleviating ethnic tensions there, while Arab portions of South Sudan have been ceded to North and non-Arab areas in the North given to the South. Somaliland gets independence, and Somalia proper gets ethnic Somali land in Ethiopia and Kenya, alleviating religious tensions in those countries as well as strengthening Somalia's economy through more land and resources. The Central African Republic gets a complete makeover, losing Muslims areas in the north and gaining ethnically similar portions of the Congo. Minor ethnic adjustments have also been made in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Mali. The Tuaregs have their own state, economically bolstered by export wealth from 2 uranium mines at Arlit and Akouta. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 00:21, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
I see your division of nigeria at the stroke of pen sets the scene for an all new biafran war, and doubtless dozens of others. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:04, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
So the Sahrawis and Igbos just fuck off and Puntland gives up part of its territory?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC) 01:17, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
The Sahrawis are gonna be adminstered by Morocco for now. Most of them already are. I may change that though. Puntland gives up part of its territory to whom? Somalia, who it is already part of? It will maintain federal states like it has now. Puntland is far less independent than Somaliland, and culturally it was never separate, unlike Somaliland.
I'm just loving this criticism of the Nigerian split. It's split now! Look at Boko Haram at its height! The north hates the south, and they are culturally separate. Why would there be another major war? There is already massive suffering for the north. Partition would at least allow the 2 sides to live apart. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:12, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Also, 'doubtless dozens' of wars? Really? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:13, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Puntland and Somaliland have had a land dispute for some time now. Even though the north and south hate each other partition wouldn't guarantee that they don't go to war again.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 02:50, 22 March 2016 (UTC) 02:50, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
the biafran conflict was sparked by the oils rich parts of nigeria attempting to break away. These are mostly in the south. Splitting the country with your, i dunno, 'neo imperialist paternalism'?, with those oil fields in the south, is the north going to accept that? Is any state going to accept their land split because some outsider has reduced all problems to one of ethnicity? Is any ethinic group going the loss of land and resources to another ethnic grouping if you can indeed reduce it so much? As for boko haram, they are a terrorist group in the same vein as isis. I dont see them letting up if they given their own land. None of the issues these countries faced can be fixed so easily. It so much more complex. Real life is not a game of civilization. It is all moot though as we are not likey to be able test your mapAMassiveGay (talk) 11:40, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

There was another country where the North hated the South and they went to a brutal civil war over it, the ramifications of which are still visible to this day... I forgot which it was, but facial hair played a huge role in the civil war... Every singly national border is a product of chance and artificial at least to a degree. This becomes especially painfully obvious when cities are divided, as is the case in Cyprus to this very day. If there is one "organic unit" in human civilization, it is cities. And even they are sometimes divided by international borders. Yes, the borders of most African countries are severely fucked up. But do you really think some bloke at their fifty dollar laptop is going to come up with a better map of Africa? The only people who have any right to draw new national borders are the people who have to live with them. In the grand scheme of things it matters little to me or you (assuming you don't reside in Africa) where the border between Namibia and Somalia runs (see what I did there?), but to the people living there, it does a great deal. Also in your map it is sometimes hard to understand which country is supposed to be which. And do you really think Gambia is a particularly useful country to have left after a great makeover? I know an attempt at uniting Senegal and Gambia already failed historically, but you seem to have little regard for the history of Africa in the last 50 or so years... Pizzameister (talk) 17:38, 23 March 2016 (UTC).

  1. Your point about the Civil War, I don't see how it is a point. I'm quite glad the north won, and I think the country is better off for having the war than not having it. A rare opinion, I know. But it's a score that had to be settled, and if there was no war, the social effects would have just continued to brew and fester under the surface, screwing up the country even more.
  2. Yes, cities are divided. Nicosia, Jerusalem, and now Aleppo. There's a reason for this. Almost always there are 2 groups that fervently hate each other and are incapable of peaceful coexistence. In the case of Jerusalem, the city would be better off divided (in the context of an independent Palestine).
  3. This is not a laptop, and it cost well over $2,000 when factoring in all parts. I actually gave great consideration to the border placement based on ethnicity and religion, unlike the European colonialists at the Berlin Conference. My plan, on my #50 laptop, would actually be better for Africa than what the Europeans drew.
  4. "The only people who have any right to draw new national borders are the people who have to live with them." I disagree. History has shown exactly the opposite, with people of totally unrelated ethnicity and origin dictating borders by force. Most people participating in your hypothetical conference would be various African subnationalists that would lobby only for their own land, resulting in no one agreeing with each other's borders. Outside mediation and choosing would actually be the better outcome, seeing as the continent is doing a rather bad job of it right now when left to their own devices.
  5. "And do you really think Gambia is a particularly useful country to have left after a great makeover?" Yes. Gambia (the government) doesn't like Senegal. In fact, both peoples were uninterested in a union that was actually foisted on it by Europe. In a perfect world, we would all love each other and there would be no war, but that's not going to happen. Instead, borders must be drawn realizing the political will of all the societies. Austria doesn't want to be part of Germany. Transnistrians aren't fans of Romanians. Gambians just don't like Senegalese.
  6. "you seem to have little regard for the history of Africa in the last 50 or so years..." Well compared to the Middle East, yes. That's why I've focused on the Middle East mostly. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:03, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Africa is not a jigsaw puzzle. your fantasy africa does not address issues of poor governance and corruption which plagues africa, it takes no account of distribution of resources, it takes no account of the myriad of differing issues and crisis on the ground and takes absolutely no regard for the hopes and wishes of peoples of africa, all in favour for an incredibly simplistic reduction of everything down to ethnicity and religion. As pizzameiter says, whom i am loathe to agree with, it is for africa to decide how africa manages itself. The fact thät powerful outside onterests have imposed borders and governments onto to many african countries is not a justification to do so now. The many problems that äfrica fæces are a direct result of outside interests, be they slavery, colonialism, imperialism. The answer is not more of this. Pretty much all the conflicts in the world today are the result of outside interests interferring in affairs of others. Since the wave of african states gaining independence post ww2, few, if any have been left to manage their affairs. Cold war politics has seen us fuel wars, topple governments, and prop up corrupt dictators. There is no one on that continent who won't chafe under more intrusion into their live and affairs. As modern states these countries are new, only 60 -70 years old. They will never grow if we do not let them. They will make mistäkes. We in the west in most cases have had 100s of year to get to where we are, often at the expense of afica, and we still havent got any kind of utopia. All we can do in the west is allow them to learn from them. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:12, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
The only thing I regret about the US Civil War is that the South was allowed to again subjugate African Americans. It should have been crushed and the plantations broken up and given to Freedmen. And while I do think non-interventionism can be a good principle, it would be naive to think that all problems of Africa are the result of outside intervention. Just like Europe managed to tear itself to shreds twice within thirty years without any outside help, Africans have had a knack of making the lives of other Africans miserable without much outside interference. In fact, Somalia only got worse once the world turned its back. Rwanda could have done with some interventionism in 1994 (arguably France intervened on the side of the genocidal maniacs, not the side of the victims). Yes the principle of inviolable borders is one of many things that hamper Africa, the other thing is that too many people think of Africa as poor war torn and desperate, when it also has prosperity peace and progress in many places. Africa needs one thing above all others and with the current narrative it won't get it: Investors. And your proposal for a "scramble for Africa redrawn" conference is probably the same well intentioned harm that gave us missionaries and colonialism. All borders are artificial. I recently had a look at the Guatemala-Mexico border. Please don't tell me you think it is a "natural" border. Sometimes this hurts, sometimes this helps. But you cannot go around dictating borders because the Africans "Don't know what's good for them"... Pizzameister (talk) 21:26, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
Well that is definitely not the only thing I regret about the American Civil War, but that is unrelated. I think we need to realize that we can't have all the answers in front of us so we shouldn't be so impassioned about our stances on other's affairs. I think the AU has done a great job turning Africa around though I wish there would have been harsher punishment on Sudan and Burundi to name some recent examples; the AU has helped ethnic minorities gain self determination with the SADR being the only example where the international community hasn't followed the AU's example and recognized said country.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:05, 26 March 2016 (UTC) 00:05, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

What else do you regret about the Civil War? Braking the planter aristocracy and ending slavery was the whole point of the war, and 600 000 dead would have been a low price if it had been successful... Pizzameister (talk) 12:50, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Well besides all the death I wish Lincoln wouldn't have suspended habeas corpus, close down newspapers, or arrested people over politics. Mainly, though I regret the death toll though the war was inevitable; even the founders knew that when they allowed slavery to persist.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 13:33, 29 March 2016 (UTC) 13:33, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Quite frankly 600 000 dead is a small price to pay. And I doubt there could have been any outcome with a much lower outcome. The war had to last a certain time for the North to realize it was about slavery and the South had to be defeated decisively. Lincoln's death could have been a good thing overall had his Veep been literally anybody else. Lincoln was a superb wartime leader (despite his flaws which you mentioned) but what we can glean about his Reconstruction plans, he would have been far too lenient. Had the Radical Republicans gotten in immediately after the war ended, they might have pushed through an ambitious program of planter expropriation and giving the freedmen reparations for slavery. The Civil War was fought for the right reasons and if anything too late, but its aftermath was seriously mishandled because too many Northerners valued compromise with traitors higher than civil rights for all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin. I am opposed to the death penalty on principle, but it would have done more good than harm had more traitors and more proponents and culprits of lynching been hanged in that era... Pizzameister (talk) 17:48, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
'a small price to pay'? Especially when its other folk paying it. It was a fucking catastrophe regardless of the outcome or the 'rightness' of the conflict AMassiveGay (talk) 18:07, 30 March 2016 (UTC)
Some wars are inevitable at some point. The Second World War became inevitable the moment Germany turned fascist. The American Civil War was also inevitable. I don't know when it became inevitable, but by 1860 every act that would have prevented the war from happening then and there would have only made it much much worse. And yes, 600 000 dead are a comparatively small price to pay for an inevitable war to end the continued rape and murder and abuse of human dignity systematically perpetrated against millions of Americans. Slavery killed more people than the Civil War. And its main outcome - the end of slavery - should have come about much much earlier. You tell me how it could have been done without war. Had the North not done the right thing, sooner or later there would have been a slave rebellion. The South would not have given up its hold over the slaves voluntarily. And a slave rebellion on a large scale - regardless of its outcome - would have been an absolute blood bath. The slaves needed freeing and the planter aristocracy needed crushing. Unfortunately the North was too weak or to indecisive to do both with the full necessary force... Pizzameister (talk) 17:44, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
doesnt mean you can right of the deaths of hundreds of people in such a cavalier fashion as 'a small price to pay'. It being unavoidable does not lessen the tragedy. Neither does the fact that slavery was just as awful. It is not a numbers game AMassiveGay (talk) 21:50, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I call 600 000 dead a small price to pay if the alternative would have been millions of dead people. Just like I would call an alternative World War II that only kills a million or two people better than what actually happened in our real world. Yes, every death is a tragedy, but those who died in the American Civil War died for a much, much worthier cause (or in the case of the CSA fighting against said worthy cause) than those that died in the Taiping Rebellion (which by the way killed a lot more people) Pizzameister (talk) 23:11, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
I find it odd that you seem to believe their deaths were noble instead of being the some kind of collective punishment for the Founder's tolerance for slavery. Remember there were slave revolts in the North and racism has been prevalent throughout the North since the founding of this country. I find it impossible to say that the South was not fighting for its own moral cause since the North was essentially threatening their way of life; this has always been the rallying cry of rebellion that the Southern nationalists have unified under.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:00, 1 April 2016 (UTC) 00:00, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
You don't have to like racists in the North (in fact, Frederick Douglass made a point of stating most abolitionists were racist) to agree they eveentually fought on the right side (mostly, anyway). Just like you don't have to like Stalin to acknowledge that the USSR was on the right side in World War II (if only after having been dragged there kicking and screaming). And I am sorry, a way of life that is based on the murder, rape, forced labor and numerous other horrendous crimes against a huge subset of the population deserves to be crushed. And please don't tell me the average grunt in the CSA army fought for slavery. Most of them fought "because the Northerners are here". One of the good aspects of the Civil War outside of the abolition of slavery is that it made the federal government an efficient force for the first time. Unfortunately most of the 19th century Presidents proceeded to squander those gains. Imagine what would have happened, had the court been packed by anti-slavery pro-civil-rights pro-union federal government activists in the 1870s... Pizzameister (talk) 12:40, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't saying that the culture of the South was right, but that they had justification to fight back. The North also thought in the same way the South did on various issues, but I will avoid judging them at this time. I also didn't say that the Rebel soldier fought for the institution of slavery, but had fought for southern culture which was based on said institution. I wish SCOTUS wouldn't have ruled against the civil right's cases, but they did because the Us (and most of the West) has always hesistated on ensuring positive rights. I also find it hard to justify Stalin's involvement against the Nazis as justifiable since he would later annex Eastern Europe and had already committed various genocides, ethnic cleansings, and democides; he agreed to be an ally to Nazi Germany and would have assisted them had Hitler not invaded.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 18:28, 1 April 2016 (UTC) 18:28, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Rational Wiki Google Play App?

I might be better able to make a Rational Wiki Mobile app.

What features should such an App have? — Unsigned, by: Lord Garland / talk / contribs

If you had infinite time, the same as the Wikipedia one (though viewing, enhanced editing, and saving favorite pages would be great). HairyFelineTuber Moderator (talk/stalk) 17:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

That doesn't sound like something that would require infinite time. Lord Garland (talk) 17:48, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

This app can at least view Rationalwiki articles.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 20:07, 2 April 2016 (UTC) 20:07, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

I think a RationalWiki app would be a great idea. I do know some android app development, but making this would take years, since I don't have the time or energy. An easier project would be making a mobile website a la wikipedia, the current site is readable on phones but the UI is hard to use. --TeslaK20 (talk) 00:02, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

The Android version of the Wikipedia app is open source. As RW also uses MediaWiki it should be theoretically possible to change all links which direct to WP's database to the ones of RW. Then the only thing which would have to be done is re-skinning it. NameThatNobodyTakes () 05:14, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Refugee Crisis news item

Is it weird that I actually agree with some of those? I agree with Belgium requiring some form of "Belgian Values" pledge of some form; none of this "intolerance of intolerance is itself intolerance" claptrap. CorruptUser (talk) 00:10, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

That's pretty mild, esp. if at least the refugees get to stay. TBH, the way the EU is trying to handle the crisis makes some sense. Even if some refugees are deported, it may make it possible for the remainder to get decent care and NOT lead to a right-wing populist backlash that might even destroy the EU. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ Moderator (talk/stalk) 00:53, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not a matter if there is the rightwing backlash, but if there are legitimate gripes that lead to that backlash. The fact that white people move in (Syrians are white) isn't a reason to hate Syrians, but if they aren't getting jobs and they are harassing women and homosexuals, yeah there's definitely a problem. Even if it is hilarious if the right-wing finally starts pretending to like gay people. CorruptUser (talk) 01:55, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Well the pledge is somewhat neutral depending on what they are giving up (though they should just put them through mandatory civic classes), but the mass deportations are illegal; I wish the US would just start taking these people of Europe's hands since many of them are a result of our foreign policy and we still haven't taken in Iraqis and Afghans who worked with us during our invasions.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 02:04, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 02:04, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I think there is clearly an issue when it comes to conflicting cultures, though these conflicts have been going on for a while, long before Syria. Really I think we'd be doing them a favor in keeping them out of the US right now, one little thing pops off here and it'll get ugly with refugees, unfortunately. It would be best if countries with Muslim-majority populations (besides the bordering countries already overburdened) helped out more, rather than expecting them to integrate and mesh into Europe, which is, let's be real here, pretty much the polar opposite of the countries they came from. Hentropy (talk) 03:15, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Sure that may be best, but, ironically, the country with the most refugees in the world was Syria before the war. I know that things have been violent in the US and may get worse for some, but letting them all suffer there is wrong.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:25, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 03:25, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Quite sure those refugees in Syria prior to the war were only refugees because Syria wouldn't let them settle down even after being there for 6 decades (and thus nearly all born in Syria), and killing tens of thousands of them whenever they complained. It's not like they didn't have room, given that Syria had ethnically cleansed itself of a group or two in that time.... StickySock (talk) 03:57, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I am absolutely not saying they were treated well I am just pointing out the irony and the lack of any other country in the region being concerned about refugees. I also doubt the Gulf states wouldn't exploit any and all refugees they would take in especially since they may push for democratic reforms.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:11, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 04:11, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

I think Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman should take in refugees according to GDP and population. Saudi Arabia has so much oil wealth. They are the countries that actually fanned the flames of the Syrian war by financing Al-Qaeda and allied Islamist groups. They should pay the price for their actions, not just other countries. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 05:23, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't agree with the above OP . If you are restricting people's freedom of movement and right to immigrate on the basis of their political views, then that goes against any notion of freedom of speech and thus is fundamentally anti-liberal, regardless if their views are intolerant. It is thoughtcrime to punish people and restrict their human rights because they don't agree with you on political topics. It wouldn't be helpful to legitimize notions which collectively demonize refugees as more susceptible to violence. Some might argue Germany as a an example, but the crimes refugees commit has not caused the national crime rate to increase despite the influx according to statistics and most crimes are for petty theft rather than sexual assault (source: http://www.dw.com/en/report-refugees-have-not-increased-crime-rate-in-germany/a-18848890). Legitimization of such notions give credence to groups like PEGIDA and xenophobes who think any foreigner coming through the border will rape someone or destroy someone's culture. Fact of matter is, the majority of immigrants are well-integrated, as seen in the UK, with some Muslims feeling they belong to Britain moreso than the national population (source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/jul/03/muslims-integrated-britain). This link may also help with regard to the topic of integration: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4481625/Norris_MuslimIntegration.pdf?sequence=1 You may have some that hold extremely right-wing views, but there's freedom of speech that has to be taken into account and can't be used selectively towards one group but not others. ChrisAmiss (talk) 07:30, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I would also argue that antagonizing or alienating them through any facet (where it promotes stereotypes of Muslims for instance in media, commits state-wide discrimination as for example in France where many Muslims hold low-paying jobs, etc) is more likely to exacerbate the issue instead of improving it, making them feel isolated within their communities. ChrisAmiss (talk) 07:36, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
The issue of integration is somewhat secondary, not to mention that Muslims are under enormous pressure to show patriotism lest they look like extremists. Speaking as someone from the US, a casual racist may express displeasure at a gas station being owned by an Indian. Their biggest fear of Indians stems from them doing well economically. Whereas most people's biggest fear of Muslims have to do with the possibility of them blowing something up in their neighborhood, a fear which gets exponentially larger as more attacks happen. Integration and how "British" or "American" or "Belgian" a Muslim might consider themselves does not comfort the others who live in those countries, who see average Muslims as sympathizing with the views of extremists, even if they're not extremists themselves. This fear is compounded every time a Muslim organization issues a boilerplate press release after a terrorist attack that goes something like "We condemn terrorism, but (foreign policy) and (mistreatment of Muslims)." So long as average, integrated Muslims look, act, and hold largely the same core belief set as terrorists, they will be associated with them. Yes, it's bigoted and they don't hold others to the same standards, but after taking in a million Muslims into Europe, most people are not going to buy the argument that they're being treated horribly or that we haven't tried being nice to them. Hentropy (talk) 08:00, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
But what constitutes a core belief? Criticism of foreign policy is not necessarily the same as hating everything associated with the West. There are sections of Muslims in the ME who dislike US foreign politics and may even have unfavorable views of Americans, but appreciate some components the West brings like technology. And whether fair or not, there are more politicians nowadays who endorse overtly racist policies targeting Muslims compared to before, such as putting police in Muslim neighborhoods, racially profiling Muslims in general, calling for deportation of such groups with dog-whistle language, etc that are not similarly applied to other religious/ethnic groups (with exception for Roma who in general are a punching bag especially in Europe). Hence why you see concerns. ChrisAmiss (talk) 08:08, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Sorry Chris, but every country has the right to deny entry to people that will harm said country, and it's not "un-liberal" to do so. If the refugees will make life worse for the locals, no matter how much it improves life for the refugees, tough fucking shit they don't get to enter. We want the poor huddled masses yearning to breath free, but you can keep the people who burnt your country to the ground. CorruptUser (talk) 13:24, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
No they don't. If you begin to label certain foreign nationals as "harmful" w/o due process then you have already given rights to some and taken them away from others. That is illiberal.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 17:07, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 17:07, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Oh I agree there should be due process, just that part of the process should be some sort of oath or civil rights training. That's why I was agreeing with the Belgium thing in the OP.
Hey, everyone has to watch those stupid employee training videos about how you aren't supposed to molest your coworkers regardless of their own past history. Same thing. CorruptUser (talk) 18:12, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
And I agree with mandatory civic classes so immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees know their rights and know what they ought not to do in the new country they reside in. My point on due process is that you can't label someone harmful before they have w/o due process, i.e. no fly lists. Now you shouldn't force someone to assimilate into the native culture so Belgium's pledge seems somewhat problematic.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 18:32, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 18:32, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
No, you shouldn't force people to assimilate; free speech and free religion and all that. But there are limits of course; sorry, but I'm intolerant of intolerance, and I don't see it as hypocrisy. I call it "reciprocal tolerance". CorruptUser (talk) 19:23, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, and felons should be jailed and then deported. My family did after all managed to live in this country without doing anything worse than parking violations, accidental fare-dodging and forgetting to return library books in time.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 19:30, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 19:30, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Ah, yes the good ol' deporting unwanted refugees. Surely nothing wrong with'at, ay? (talk) 18:15, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Isn't it funny how the main beneficiaries of the holocaust are those demographics that are most likely to deny it? CorruptUser (talk) 19:24, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't remember the name of the documentary that I watched, but they interviewed a German citizen who basically said getting rid of his Jewish neighbors was great since he now owned more property than ever.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:31, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 19:31, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] The Yiddish Policemen's Union solution to the refugee crisis

In the course of human history, refugee crisis have often been solved by a ruler taking a swath of land where nobody lived (and few people wanted to live) and giving the refugees the right to settle there in addition to some privileges. Couldn't this be done again with the current refugee crisis? There are a lot of places where population density has gone down in recent decades (I think there is this one city in the US which has been cut in half since the 1950s) and there are still places where people could live which are mostly empty. When it was done in older times, it was a win-win for both sides. Why not try it again? Pizzameister (talk) 14:19, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

The answer is no, it couldn't be done in a decent workable way thst makes people happy. In fact, it's a little silly given the current circumstances. This type of solution would work a lot better 200 years ago, when the human population was 1/7th of what it is today. Your solution would essentially entail drawing a line on the map (say, designate Wyoming), taking several million Syrians and Iraqis and putting them there, and giving them basic money and infrastructure, etc. This is a shitty idea. For one, they would be surrounded by people of a foreign ethnicity, religion, and language to them. Never a good recipe when it comes to peace and country success (see Israel, South Africa). Secondly, they would need massive foreign financial support, on the order of $100 billion, to build viable cities capable of housing refugees in conditions equivalent to your average American or Western European town. Israel made it because of bottomless support from the US, along with boundless idealism and a sense of "oneness" of being Jewish. Those conditions are very hard to replicate, and the end result would still be massive conflict and death due to the people already living there being kinda pissed their land was taken away. In short, not a good solution. We should look towards solving the war in the Levant, then resettling those that want to go back. Assimilate those that want to stay in the West. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 17:19, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Idk how refugees would be surrounded by the native population in Wyoming, a state with a lower population than D.C., or any of the mountain states. There is also plenty of space in the Midwest and along the coast. You bring up all the violence, but the Koreans and Vietnamese were resettled in California and Puerto Ricans have lived in NYC for a long time. The Hmong and Cambodians were put in cities like Detriot so there is really nothing unusual about this idea. I know that they may end up in urban ghettos and that there will most likely be an increase in hate crimes, but this is a better alternative than overcrowded refugee camps that have dwindling resources filled with children who can't get an education.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 17:58, 3 April 2016 (UTC) 17:58, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Possibly relevant link. (talk) 18:54, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Plus in historical cases (including the Vietnamese boat people) the refugee population tended to vastly benefit the host nations within a short period of time. Austria for instance did a stupid when they expulsed Protestants from the Salzburg area. The rulers who took them in said pretty thanks and built a proto-industry on their... industriousness. Same thing happened with the French Huguenots or the Sephardi Jews. Sure, you might have to give them some "setting up money" (ignoring for a second that many refugees are not entirely destitute - that's the whole point of the business model of those who smuggle people), but you will more likely than not get it back several fold. And as a matter of fact marginal settlements have been given up at an alarming rate in the last two hundred years. Yes, population overall has grown, but this has mostly happened by people moving to cities and some rural areas are actually less populated than they ever were. And in some places entire cities which are still inhabitable have lost a lot of inhabitants. Some ghost towns of course happened mostly due to a resource running out or some kind of natural or man-made disaster. Isn't there this one city in China which was built for about ten times the amount of people that eventually came? Pizzameister (talk) 19:41, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
a small population is not the same as no population. They would be overwhelmed by such a large influx and it wouldnt end nice. It didnt do jordan any favours. Its not going to happen. To my mind the only way to manage it is for some kind of central processing, via the un or more likely the eu to disperse them amongst countries able to cope. Sadly, thats not likely to happen to happen any time soon. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Is there anything wrong with bringing back foreign legions?CorruptUser (talk) 23:49, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
Not really, the French still do that.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 00:02, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 00:02, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Though their recruiting methods have gotten a bit more scrupulous... They used to take basically everybody willing to fight and die for France (the point about the foreign legion is that it's an easier sell if non-Frenchmen died). Nowadays they test a bit and ask a bit more questions... But the idea (military service at the end of which you get citizenship) actually dates to the Roman Empire's Legions. However, I don't think this would be the best solution in this case. As I said, there are vast swaths if land that have less people in them than fifty years ago. And historically what political leaders did in those cases was offer all kinds of privileges for people to settle there. Just read up on the history of Mennonites for one interesting example, that makes people in quaint clothing pop up in the unlikeliest of places. Pizzameister (talk) 00:30, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

(Response to Owlman) What would the Utahns, Coloradans, Idahoans, and Wyomingites have to say about it? There are millions of them.

OK guys, so here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna take millions of Arab Muslims and put them in this state, give them money, and hope everything works out for the better.

No! That's crazy! There's a massive cultural difference that can only be resolved by assimilation. Taking them and putting them in a pen won't do anything useful. You need to incorporate them into your society as seamlessly as possible. Furthermore, why don't we actually solve the crisis that started this whole mess in the first place!? Let's back the Kurds and the governments of these countries, and seek lasting power-sharing political solutions, while continuing the airwar against ISIS. Who's with me? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 04:21, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Which countries? Because Syria is a proxy war between the Saudis and the Iranians, which the US backing the Saudis and Russia the Iranians, and Turkey fighting the Kurds, etc. If your plan is the same as mine, which is "arm the Kurds to the teeth", well, you should be ready to stomach the results.
The optimist and the pessimist agree that this is the best possible world... CorruptUser (talk) 04:45, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
We have been bombing ISIS and the Air Force has recently said we are running out of bombs; when policy makers say that their strategy is only bombing then they have no idea how to actually solve the problem but need to look like they do w/o bringing home dead bodies. Just ask those involved with the Vietnam War or read the Pentagon Papers. Furthermore, the Kurds haven't been getting along with the Turkmen, Assyrians, or Arabs and groups like the PKK are simply nationalists; the Kurds (specifically the YPG) aren't our mercenaries so stop treating them that way because minority groups will see them as any invading army. Lastly, the Iraqi "central" government is Shia led and has failed to intergrate the Sunnis while the Kurds have stopped participating outside of their terroritory so the isn't much to support.
On relocating refugees; since we aren't taking away any property so why would Americans care outside of being generally xenophobic. I don't see how giving refugees private property and monetary assistance is putting them in a pen and forcing them to assimilate will cause greater problems.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:50, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 04:50, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] War! What is it good for?

Disagree. Airstrikes have worked in halting and defeating ISIS. They've lost huge amounts of land. I think the Kurds have been getting along with the Turkmen, Assyrians, and Arabs just fine. There are entire Arab companies of SDF (YPG), and thousands of Arabs, Turkmen, and Assyrians serve and fight alongside their Kurdish comrades every day in Syria and Iraq. Claiming there's widespread ethnic tension within the SDF military is a misrepresentation. I'm not saying SDF should be our bitches (mercenaries as you put it), but that doesn't mean they don't deserve out support. They are the most egalitarian native force in the Middle East, period.

You made a point about Kurds in Iraq not advancing beyond their borders. They're actually doing that because the USA and Baghdad are telling them to hold back. Baghdad doesn't want areas around Mosul, Tel Afar, Sinjar, and Hawija to be Kurdish again. The US wanted to kill lots of ISIS in Sinjar town for examples so the offensive was intentionally delayed for a year, even though it could have easily been carried out. Don't blame the Kurds for that.

With regards to the Iraqi and Syrian Shia governments, I simply don't care. The Iraqi government should control all contiguous Arab areas in that space. Once ISIS is defeated, the local Sunnis can bargain for a federal solution, or perhaps independence under a moderate government. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 05:09, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Just because ISIS is losing territory doesn't mean our airstrikes are doing it or that the violence ends when their state collapses. The Sunnis will not join with the Shia governments because they were attacked by them during the Arab spring. Also, the majority of the local Arabs, Turkmen, and Assyrians don't trust the Kurds because there has been ethnic cleansing and infighting between these groups. Even after all the violence ends these ethnic groups will be scarred for generations just like those in Yugoslavia; you can never really trust your neighbor after they tried to cleanse you.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:18, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 05:18, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

They're losing territory directly due to strikes. The strikes mostly happen on front line areas, and those that don't still wear down command structure things like that. Also, ethnic cleansing is happening BY ARABS against Kurds! They slaughtered thousands of Yezidis at Sinjar! YPG never did anything of the sort. There was never and is not a policy of permanent displacement of killing of Arabs and non-Kurds. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 05:28, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Yes, they are. Even if this claim was false the Kurdish militias fighting Turkmen, Arab, and Assyrian militias have been widespread; just look at Aleppo. Also, you don't need to make it a policy of your to ethnically cleanse to actually have sections of your group ethnically cleanse. The Iraqis lost Ramadi even though we were bombing ISIS's "front lines" and, again, we are running out of bombs while ISIS gains 1,000 volunteers a month so we lose this war of attrition.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:35, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 05:35, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Ramadi was the last gasp of an ISIS desperate to maintain its image of victory and expansion. Guess what, they lost the city later, and are currently being pushed back in Anbar more than they've been since the air campaign started. Also, "running out of bombs" only ever really applies when new bombs aren't being made. The US has the industrial capacity to produce hundreds of bombs per day. That's more than enough for our current needs. Were not gonna run out. Military command would not let that happen. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 05:42, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Yeah and y'know that Ramadi is basically a ghost town now, right? So is Homs. So how many more bombs do we need before this is over? When does the War on Terror end? When does the Middle East stabilise? How many more people are we going to kill? How many people are going to starve? How many children will go without education? How many more cities do we need to destroy?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:48, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 05:48, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Raqqa and Mosul could be retaken without the cities being destroyed, but the US would rather take lesser casualties if it means winning the battle quickly. Smaller towns like Hīt, Menbij, and Tel Afar should go fairly quickly without too much damage. Repairs can also be made. Just look at Baghdad and Beirut. These cities were racked by years of war, and they're doing just fine now.

Regardless of what the United States chooses to do at this point, one thing is certain: hundreds of thousands more will suffer and die before this is over. The US can't stop that, Russia can't stop that, nobody's gonna stop that. Civilians are going to die whether the US bombs maniac terrorists or not. The choice becomes rather clear: should we bomb maniac terrorists if it means the end result will be a more secular and moderate state of affairs? I vote yes.

With regards to the Amnesty Report, there are plenty of online sources debunking it. Even if all of the contents of this hit piece were true, that doesn't make it useful. ISIS has intentionally slaughtered thousands of people solely because they're Kurds. How many Arab civilians has YPG killed in non-combat situations? I'd be shocked if God told me the number was greater than 100. You cannot and mustn't ignore the fact that there is a massive qualitative and quantitative difference between forcing someone from their home, and lining kids up against a trench and shooting them. To say "oh, God, Kurds, war crimes! They've done war crimes!" is an insult to the very concept of a war crime. An ISIS member would laugh at the Amnesty Report: "Forced displacement? Ha! I've killed 15 Yezidis men and raped a woman today!" Hopefully you get my point, cuz I'm not really getting your overarching one.

And let me be perfectly honest with you. If you give me a hypothetical choice where 5,000 Arab villagers die but ISIS is destroyed and replaced with a more moderate group. I'll press the button. OK maybe I think about it and have moral qualms about it. But I'd still press the button. If there is less suffering and death, that's what must be done. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 05:58, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

And Beirut wasn't bombed by another country. War will not fix this problem and the War on Terror, let alone ISIS, will not end when the caliphate falls. Idc who is "worse" because these people will not forget who tried to kill them. Secularism will not be achieved by "defeating" ISIS and the MIC will only surge in our budget. War is a crime and the US doesn't care how this war ends or who climbs out of the rubble. Also, a war crime is a war crime no matter who commits it or how many they commit; I can condemn the Axis's war crimes and the Allies's war crimes and still support the defeat of the Nazis.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 06:11, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 06:11, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Beirut wasn't bombed? What's this? Although I was originally referring to the civil war of the 80s, the 2006 war also applies as an example. The southern suburbs were rebuilt: you can quite easily go there now and see them. My point was war can solve some problems. It solved the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 03:09, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

So, uh... What is the Western world supposed to do when ISIS commits several attacks specifically engineered to target civilians, claiming hundreds of lives ? A peaceful solution is not possible, just like a peaceful solution against the Nazis wasn't possible: every single member of ISIS forfeited their lives the instant one of them opened fire on people just here to enjoy some music on a November night, to say nothing of the laundry list of crimes they're commiting every day. There is no perfect solution, and the destruction of ISIS won't turn the Middle East into a secular paradise: but this is not the goal, and it might be the first step towards a healthier situation... At the very least, it might make this region of the world a little less of a hellhole.
War is only a crime when you attack first, and when you intentionally target civilians.
But well, I'm not surprised that a Berniebot is taking an extremist and stupidly uncompromising position on this kind of matter. NewFrenchHotness (talk) 02:51, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
@Pb I said Beirut wasn't bombed by another country not that it wasn't bombed at all. WWII didn't solve Nazi imperialism it just gave it to the Soviets and the Americans. The colonies in Asia and Africa were crackdown even more with the growth of the MIC and the Cold War caused massive growths for the imperialists. I will say that your insistence to claim that the Kurds are better because they are more "secular, democratic, and egalitarian" is the same reasoning Churchill gave for founding Israel which you seem to believe was a mistake (unless I have misread your position).
@NFH War is always a crime unjustifiable even if it is inevitable. How can you justify always depriving the poor resources; destroying infrastructure that people labored over; ordering the poor to kill one another; crushing foreign cultures; tolerating 'any war crimes; hurting economic development by destroying resources; denying civil rights and civil liberties to prevent dissent; dehumanizing other human beings; or giving the state the ability to murder? The Western world isn't going to prevent retaliation by bombing cities in the Middle East. War doesn't stop terrorism; it exacerbates it. Indonesia didn't need a war to beat its terrorist groups; the UK didn't need a war to defeat the IRA; Spain didn't need a war to beat the ETA. Do you ever wonder why ISIS doesn't bomb Ireland or any of the Latin American countries who are just as free and full of infidels? Those countries aren't bombing them or supporting their dictators so most of their fighters don't care about their existence even if they want a global caliphate. Lastly, I dislike Bernie's foreign policy since he will most likely keep using drone strikes, rely on human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia, and has praised the King of Jordan (which if you haven't heard means it ain't a democracy). So yeah I must be a loony "Berniebot" unable to think for myself.
Now the West can still support the Kurds and countries that have countries like Tunisia and Jordan that have allowed more democratic reforms while still encouraging more democratic reforms, but war won't save us. Even if a Muslim coalition expels ISIS the "war" will go on. The West is going to have to learn that it isn't the world's police.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:47, 5 April 2016 (UTC) 03:47, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

With regards to Israel, you are correct. I don't think Israel should've ever been created. Even in 1947. There were very few Jews living in Palestine, even in 1947. Today, I think the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be under Palestinian control, and without any kind of blockade whatsoever.

I'm different from Churchill because Churchill was wrong and I am right. The Jews were by definition not secular: they are a religious group. They certainly aren't democratic: the Torah and the Zionists made no pretention that they would respect the will of the people (especially borne out by all of Israel's foreign behavior. The Jews weren't egalitarian either: they thought their race was inherently better than everyone else. The Jews weren't secular, democratic, or egalitarian. The Kurds, on the other hand, are all 3 of those things. They're secular because they don't have an established religion and don't discriminate based on it. They're democratic because they respect the will of the people and minorities living in their territory. They're egalitarian because they haven't done mass killings of other ethnicities, and most Kurdish political parties hold egalitarianism as a core tenet of their philosophy. Today's Kurdish political entities are morally light years ahead of the Jewish state, and they deserve our support, whereas Israel doesn't. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:34, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

You're full of shit. The Jews didn't see themselves as a race, most of the Zionists before the establishment of the state of Israel and much afterwards were secular Social Democrats and the Jews don't see themselves as a purely religious group, either. Israel is a democracy, whether you deny it or not and in Israel minorities have more rights than in more or less any other Middle Eastern country. And the funny things is that the Kurds are rather chummy with Israel.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 21:54, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 21:54, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Kurds haven't done mass killings? Tell that to my friend's Armenian great-grandma who lost members of her family to Kurdish tribesmen. CorruptUser (talk) 22:31, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Well you make the Kurds sound almost mystical, but I never said we shouldn't support the Kurds. I don't think you realise how scarred the Assyrians are that the Iraqi Kurds will evict from their lands which is why they have fought them. Also, the PKK has been kidnapping kids for the war effort so they already aren't supporters of children's rights, but I digress.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:51, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 22:51, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Israel is a complicated case. Within its borders, it is a democracy (though I would enter the caveat of how Palestinian Bedouins are treated in the Negev desert), but outside of it, it operates a discriminatory system between Jewish settlers and Palestinians. I'd liken their treatment to Iran's treatment of the Bahai faith. And Zionism to some extent did use race as a factor in their desire for a Jewish state, more specifically the tenet of blood and soil nationalism as historian Anita Shapira attests to. Ben Gurion used racist language to describe the Palestinians by saying they didn't have an Einstein and that they were dealing with a "collective murderer". And yeah the Kurds human rights record is very flawed, but relative to other actors, you could argue it doesn't equate (I take this position with regard to Palestinians vis a vis Israel's occupation and system of discrimination in the WB/siege of Gaza) and that it's a false equivalency. Though I'd be weary of not drifting into the not as bad as fallacy. ChrisAmiss (talk) 23:07, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
What "racist language" did Ben Gurion exactly use (smells of this widespread misuse of the word "racism" just like "fascism" since Goeorge Orwell's days) and this claim of Israel doing what Iran did to the Bahai is totally insane[wp] (btw, the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahai faith moved to Israel).--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 23:20, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 23:20, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I find it weird that I agree with Chris on most things. CorruptUser (talk) 23:09, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to Owlman's position that war cannot entirely solve the issue of ISIS. While I think war is necessary in preventing a genocide as ISIS has done to Christians, that's as far as my support for war goes. You can bomb them as much as you like, but jihadists will seize on that for propaganda purposes and use it as an excuse to justify nondiscriminate attacks against the West as what they consider to be an act of "retaliation". I believe more education and less discrimination is the solution towards diluting ISIS' support, preventing people from becoming ideologically isolated and feeling alienated. It's as much an ideological battle as it is a combat one. ChrisAmiss (talk) 23:13, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I have always found it to be impossible for me to justify war even in the case of "humanitarian intervention". These interventions have all too often become quagmires and these interventions solidify the ethnic divide; post-Yugoslavia is a great example of this since you can see all of the breakaway states and communities drawn on ethnic lines. It has always angered me how often WWII has been scapegoated as the "never again" situation because the West could've saved many people from genocide, but chose not to. They also allowed ethnic cleansing of Germans from various countries after the war and many POWs died from poor conditions in the Allies's camps. There were also many war criminals who were allowed to escape through various operations and the Allies didn't try their own war criminals; everyone always seems to forget that we gave the Soviets Eastern Europe which suffered for decades.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:29, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 23:29, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
"Meanwhile, [a return of Palestinian refugees] is out of the question until we sit together beside a [peace conference] table . . . and they will respect us to the degree that we respect them and I doubt whether they deserve respect as we do. Because, nevertheless, we did not flee en mass, [And] so far no Arab Einstein has risen and [they] have not created what we have built in this country and [they] have not fought as we are fighting . . . we are dealing here with a collective murderer." - Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49, p. 331. Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=uM_kFX6edX8C&pg=PA338&lpg=PA338&dq=ben+gurion+arab+einstein+collective+murderer&source=bl&ots=6N_s9jUlTv&sig=3P8zulfqbct7t7P4q-1ws5nMvYc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZitm-mvvLAhXFuBoKHTD-CCAQ6AEINzAE#v=onepage&q=ben%20gurion%20arab%20einstein%20collective%20murderer&f=false. ChrisAmiss (talk) 23:53, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Oh, just a note, the location of the Bahai World Centre is done more for historical reasons (banishments and imprisonments, Bahai Foudner's exile to the Ottoman Empire/Acre) than for affinity to Israel. ChrisAmiss (talk) 00:18, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
So in other words, cause they're persecuted in Iran and in Israel not.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 00:47, 7 April 2016 (UTC) 00:47, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Except for the stuff like that bombing in Pakistan over Easter that killed 75 Christians and injured 300 more. Western policy is the excuse for and not the cause of terrorism. The real cause has always been the same as any other cult; isolation, depression, a mismatch between what you have and what you think you deserve.
That last one was one of the things I gleaned from my conversations with that Al Qaeda recruiter a decade back. It's a huge sense of entitlement that's in part ingrained in most religions, including Islam. There's this notion that worshiping Allah in a specific way is correct because Allah rewards and punishes, and sinners will get nothing. So that fact that the religious Islamic countries tend to be hellholes while the irreverent European infidels seem to be doing okay should be proof that they are wrong, no? No, out came the doublethink and special pleading. The Islamic countries were worshiping Allah the wrong way (both Iran and SA). Well, the Christian ones were also worshiping the wrong way, so why were they wealthier, why has Allah rewarded them at all? The apparent message this world gives us seems to be "the less you worship God, the better you'll be, so worship is a sin". No no, the Islamic world is a mess not because of the people or the culture or the religion, but because of foreigners (sound familiar?). So you have these people who refuse to admit that there's any problems internal to the local cultures, and believe that Islam should be in control of the world (from other conversations), but Islam's not in control because non-believers have usurped Islam's place even though Allah said he'd reward devout Muslims. The west is just a convenient scapegoat. CorruptUser (talk) 23:35, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
You're pretty on-point on some matters, but way off on some others. "The real cause has always been the same as any other cult; isolation, depression, a mismatch between what you have and what you think you deserve." This is essentially true, but it can be said of any revolutionary movement. Just add together frustrations (due to perceived injustices/violations of perceived rights—note that the latter is functionally indistinguishable from "what you think you deserve") and the inability to address those frustrations in the dominant politico-societal system and what you get are a bunch of individuals that reject the dominant society and the social mores that go with it. What happens next with these people depends on what groups/organizations are out there offering them a way of converting their mental anguish into 'positive' action. Now for frustrated Muslims, there'll be one type of organization that'll be advertising itself with a flashing neon sign (or find itself inadvertently advertised on Western news media—there really is no such thing as negative publicity, just ask Trump) and an intricate mix of slogans addressing various sorts of frustrations, religious as well as non-religious ones.
Now, does the West have a notable causal role in all this? Heh, you'd be surprised. For one, it has plenty of frustrations to offer, even to its non-Muslim population. But much worse than that, it's also played an active role in empowering extremist factions. From the crusades, to the Colonial Era chicanery, to the World Wars, the various wars against colonial independence, the Cold War and recently the Iraq War, the West has built itself a reputation of imperialism, opportunism and hypocrisy, in the process even managing to blemish such uplifting concepts as "freedom", "democracy" and "education" for generations of non-Westerners. As if that's not enough, it's also funded extremists directly (e.g. the Afghan mujahideen in the Cold War), supported states that fund terrorists (e.g. Saudi Arabia), has repeatedly eliminated non/less-extreme alternatives by deposing socialist and regular democratic governments in favour of puppet dictators (Iran anyone? And look how that worked out...) and recently decided to create a DRC-style mass conflict across the Middle East by completely replacing governments by new ineffective/unstable counter-parts and handing out weapons to everyone when the shit starts hitting the fan. Oh boy. (talk) 03:56, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Baldur's Gamergate

So there's a new expansion out for Baldur's Gate that bridges it with its sequel, written by a totally new crew, Beamdog. Differences include a personality revamp for one character, a more diverse companion cast, and a transgender cleric NPC, Mizhena, that is completely optional to meet and doesn't play a significant part in the story but happens to be drawing a lot of attention lately. Now, I don't really agree with the direction the writing has taken (and it does feel a bit poorly done), but it is what it is, and hey, poor writing in one aspect of a franchise hasn't stopped me from enjoying the franchise as a whole (There is no live-action movie in Ba Sing Se). I do think Mizhena feels shoehorned given the lore of the world that kind of makes gender dysphoria pretty quickly not an issue (the writer did even say that she doesn't care how "fake" they sound), but eh, and it's one NPC out of many, and you have to pry a bit to get at that line of dialogue. I think the bigger issue is the concerning number of bugs that plague the game, including the completely broken multiplayer, making it not so fun -- not surprising given this is Beamdog's first game they've developed themselves. (Personally, I think I'll be sticking with Pillars of Eternity)

Unfortunately, we can't talk about this, because gamers, particularly some of a certain bent, are currently flipping their collective shits about "DEM SOCJUSWARS".

Ugh. Do we have a term for a situation where discussing legitimate criticisms of something has been rendered incredibly difficult due to a larger series of politically-charged or *-phobic attacks from a particularly dogmatic group of people? The "Sarkeesian Effect" has already been taken. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 16:17, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Meh, it's always weird when fans think they have and inherent right to dictate to an IP's creator what is right and wrong with that IP. The only rights the fan has to an IP is their right to patronize, or not. If they don't like the direction the game has taken, and solely base their purchasing decisions based on how closely the IP aligns with their personal ideologies (rather than stuff like quality and fun), they shouldn't buy it. But they don't get to dictate a games content before it's even released. Petey Plane (talk) 17:18, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
There was a recent piece on AV Club about how TV companies don't understand modern fan engagement[1]. It seems to be a wider problem that you can't be creative or innovative purely by giving people what they want. Or producers can't be friends with customers. Even if the vocal moaning fans are always a tiny fraction of the audience. I'm just annoyed that my legitimate reasons for not doing/watching/playing things are hidden by louder campaigns by bigger assholes. Such that I think the anti-SJW Star Wars boycott was invented by Disney so nobody could legitimately not watch it. Annquin (talk) 17:32, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it's about "dictating creative decisions", I don't think criticizing stories from a place of love is a bad thing, just as Sarkeesian is not demanding anything be changed in 20 year old games simply because she criticizes them. There is an issue when it comes to criticizing stuff like this, it's true. There is a tendency for people to say any story with a non-offensively portrayed transgender character in it is progressive and therefore good, criticizing it only means you dislike transgender inclusion in games. I am fully in support of trans rights, but I don't think the best way to achieve it is by shoehorning badly written transgender characters in settings where they don't fit. I perfectly support the creator's rights to do as they please- I don't know how these conversations keep getting pushed to authoritarian censorship and force despite no one suggesting it. Dogpiling on people who point this out only pushes them toward the people who use "SJW" as punctuation to everything. Kind of like dogpiling on people who didn't care about Quinn or feminism but didn't appreciate the "Gamers Are Dead" thing only drove more people to that side. Hentropy (talk) 04:42, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd care more if I could ever be assed to get through Baldur's Gate 1 Enhanced Edition. I mean, I loved BGII and ToB nearly 2 decades ago, but the game really shows its age. CorruptUser (talk) 05:08, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Where was that "good post" icon thing again? Because everything Hentropy just said. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 15:31, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

@Noir: Poisoning the well, pretty much. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø Moderator (talk/stalk) 15:50, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Well the devs have apologized for the "ethics" joke and have admitted that the trans character could've been written better; they appear to by the expansion the though.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:10, 8 April 2016 (UTC) 04:10, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam "Stopped Clock"

I don't really see how this is a "stopped clock" moment or even a good thing. A batty group fighting another batty group that hates them is hardly a new phenomenon, and is completely consistent with their ideology. It's like saying al-Quaeda is a "stopped clock" because they don't like ISIS. Had the NoI or NBP defended Jews or white people, that would be a "stopped clock", a normally terrible person or organization doing something good for good reasons. Hentropy (talk) 05:38, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Yeah I didn't realize that they themselves were the ones being protested so I screwed up. Idk if I will change the description though.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:00, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 16:00, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] DEA and Marijuana

I changed the DEA marijuana statement. The article doesn't say that they're rescheduling it, but rather that they're deciding whether or not it should be rescheduled. AyzmoCheers 18:55, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Subtle. I would feel that some possible results of such a discussion could be considered a rescheduling though, right? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:11, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd say it's reason to be a little optimistic, they don't talk about rescheduling every year. Considering it is also an election year, it could certainly be heading that direction. Still, no decision has been actually made yet and it is best to reflect that. Hentropy (talk) 19:14, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I admit it originally sounded more optimistic than the DEA just consideting whether they would reschedule Mary Jane, but the DEA has always been very conservative on drugs. Besides, not only is this an election year, but this news comes out after the D.C. smoke-out.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 19:22, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 19:22, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's likely they will after 4 states legalized it and they took a huge beating during hearings about the schedule 1 status (when meth is a schedule 2). Either way the meeting is a big step in that direction since they refused to do so earlier. Plus they scheduled it to keep people safe where alcohol/tobacco kills tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands worldwide, every year makes their arguments kind of delusional. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:28, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Can we dare to be optimistic? Is that the first stop towards the end of the War on Drugs?--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 19:45, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 19:45, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's good to hope. The problem is the financial interest in keeping it going. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:59, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
The prison-industrial complex?--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 20:08, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 20:08, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Not alone. There are financial incentives to keep people revolving through a private prison systems (including probation services) that focus more on making profit than rehabilitating people, mandatory minimums that push the bounds of logic, and disgusting practices like civil forfeiture. Including the suppliers of equipment and people that are employed by these services. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:58, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
I think of all these things as part of the prison-industrial complex, too.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 21:55, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 21:55, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
The PIC is a factor, but I would say Big Pharma and Big Alcohol who have the most interest in stopping it. While weed does put a lot of people in jail, the number is dwindling and even after legalization, (black) people will continue to be thrown in prison for other drugs and dealing in the stuff that's not illegal yet. Weirdly enough it's monied interests pushing the weed issue now. It's one of the reasons it's snowballing so much, when investors and other assorted rich people wanted to get in on the weed boom, they started playing the game. So for once those wily venture capitalists and investors are actually helping to unscrew people. Hentropy (talk) 22:34, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
True, opiod sales do see a decrease with pot as an alternative pain reliever that eat into pharma profit. Which is a financial incentive to stop competition. I think it's another reason for legalization after the recent massive increase in heroin addiction (now fentanyl is growing that is more lethal) from over the prescribing of oxy.
While people will still go to jail, drugs are the largest portion of people in jail and pot is the majority share there. If we could cut out ~30% (ballpark honestly from prison stats) plus subsequent disenfranchisement that could cause recidivism and poverty in one stroke on a product that seems statistically safer from current research than two of the top selling vices...it seems like a big step in the right direction. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:01, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

If I were president, I would have the DEA take marijuana off the Schedule. Bam. Done. Such a huge move, it would force many states to rethink their marijuana prohibitions and change them. You'd see California, Nevada, and New England state legalize them, and the other states would follow suit in the coming decade. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:00, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

That'd be fucking awesome.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 21:55, 6 April 2016 (UTC) 21:55, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
IIRC, both Trump and Bernie are in favor of (atleast) decriminalizing cannabis. It's waaay overdue to end the bullshit war on drugs, one reason in the litter being that it hasn't worked. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:54, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Citation Needed. It worked for alcohol, which is way easier to obtain and way more addictive than cannabis. Cannabis enthusiasts propagate this myth that prohibition failed, even though for the most part prohibition was a success; annual consumption of alcohol went from 2.6 gallons to 1.2 gallons, and once prohibition ended it only rose to 2 gallons by the 50's (though the 70's saw a spike).
Criminalization of cannabis isn't working the way we want it to, it may be costing us more than the benefits, but don't say it isn't working at all. CorruptUser (talk) 00:57, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
@Guy who didn't sign his post: "It worked for alcohol"...? With one cherrypicked study to boot, by one guy who also writes on the temperance movement. I'm trying to see things from your point of view here, but I just can't seem to fit my head that far up my ass. Now, I'm not going to include that as a part of my argument. I'm just correctly concluding that you're a Poe. For shame. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:02, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
@CorruptUser: I don't know if I misread you here, but... what I was saying is that the war on drugs is not working at all. With bold font. I'm not saying that decriminalization is a better position than legalization (because I don't think it is), but just so we're clear - the war on drugs has been a huge failure per every relevant definition. While the goals are noble, the means (i.e, the actual war on drugs) has been an indefensible atrocity in every way. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:02, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Same guy. And while prohibition wasn't worth the cost, but it did not fail to do what it intended to do, which was reduce consumption of alcohol. I showed you one study on the nih website, here is another, oh and here is Wikipedia on it, so go ahead and show me a study that shows an increase in alcohol consumption during prohibition. CorruptUser (talk) 01:33, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
My issue is the unavoidable black market that the prohibition of drugs causes since they are inelastic products. Legalizing just marijuana won't end the cartels so we have to go farther.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:36, 7 April 2016 (UTC) 01:36, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Ouch! You should've let me think that wasn't you, buddy! Would've saved you some face. I did sass a little extra because I was certain it was a BoN. Not that a tone argument is relevant, but... Just saying. I normally give and take a few blows before reaching the literal "are-you-fucking-dense"-inquiries. My apologies. Anyhow, in regards to what you're saying; there's multiple problems with your reasoning here. Multiple, glaring problems. In fact, I barely know where to begin to point out the truly obvious flaws in your specific reasoning here surrounding alcohol, in the US, in the 1920's and early 30's - in contrast to the modern day, internet-era, globalized poly-substance drug war. And it's 3:35AM where I live, so I'm going to call it for tonight. But rest assured you're in way over your head on this one, buddy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:42, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes and no. Marijuana is the gateway drug for dealers; people begin by selling weed to their friends, learn the business skills, make contacts with the right (wrong?) suppliers, and break into the harder drugs. Remove the illegal weed market, you remove a large chunk of the drug dealers to begin with. CorruptUser (talk) 01:39, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
The whole point of legalization is the removal of the illegal weed market, for precisely these reasons, and others (e.g., the fact that legalization is the only way to remove the illegal weed market that actually works). Hello? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:43, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Wait are we even having the same conversation here? You are trying to say that marijuana criminalization is a complete failure. I disagree, in that it's probably a "success" in that it lowers the consumption rate. I linked to several studies and WP showing that consumption really did decrease during prohibition, implying something similar for marijuana (and likely hookers and blow). You responded by calling me an idiot. Is this correct? As for the "whole point", no, removing the black market for weed is not the whole point. There's also tax revenue and quality control, to say nothing of minimizing the contact cannabis users have with people dealing harder drugs. I don't disagree with legalization of marijuana, I just take issue with people who think that legalization won't increase the use of the drug. CorruptUser (talk) 01:46, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Legalize it, regulate it, tax it. That'll kill the black market and the problems a black market generates. It'll also help getting all these non-violent offenders out of prison whose only "crime" was smoking a blunt.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 02:04, 7 April 2016 (UTC) 02:04, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm actually more worried about a friend of a friend who was in the car and not smoking anything, but was still prosecuted as an accessory because his friends were smoking. Now that is fucked up. Prison-industrial complex indeed. CorruptUser (talk) 02:06, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay, that is completely screwed up beyond belief. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:36, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

In response to CorruptUser: if the goal is to reduce consumption, then sure it may work. Why was reducing consumption large numbers of people supported? Consumption caused deaths and ruined lives (or so they said). However, I would contend that more people have died and suffered as a result of the drug war than if cannabis were legal anyway. This is why legalization is preferable to me and the majority of Americans.

To the earlier point of the goal being to reduce consumption: it may have worked with alcohol, but the idea it would work for cannabis is laughable. Cannabis prohibition has been a total failure. Cannabis use has gone up percentage-wise since the 60s. Heck, I know several people who have and use it, and that's without me even looking for it. I could get it as easily as whisky from a coworker. I can tell you from experience that the drug war is comically ineffective, so if I were you, I'd stop touting criminalization as being successful at reducing cannabis use in any way. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 03:23, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Question. What makes you think that reducing consumption is the actual goal of government drug policy? CorruptUser (talk) 04:46, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't. It was a tongue in cheek remark. The actual goals are a little different. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 15:57, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I keep reading that about 'the end of the war on drugs'. This is somewhat optimistic. Even if weed was made !egal today everywhere, it will be a long long time before the likes of smack and tina are legal anywhere. The war on drugs will continue unabated. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:39, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Not the end, but drug arrests account for nearly 50% of all incarcerations and pot is the majority of those. It feels like this is making the perfect the enemy of the good. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:01, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
There has been a push by those in the medical profession to legalize 'soft drugs' so this may cause a snowball effect; it amazes me that DMT is also schedule 1 while coke and meth are schedule 2. It ticks me off that scientist are strictly prohibited from testing certain drugs because they have "no medical application" even though that is the point of the research.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:05, 7 April 2016 (UTC) 16:05, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
That's not accurate. I believe you need DEA approval to do human studies on any scheduled drug. There have been studies done with numerous Schedule I drugs. Now, it is true that approval can be hard to get, and the paperwork is a pain in the ass, so there's a chilling effect, but it's not impossible. --Ymir (talk) 18:41, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
That's correct, but I think till very recently they declined almost all of the studies. I worked with a group of researchers in a recreationally legal state and even then only a few could do the studies on cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc...) after jumping through some ridiculous hoops. Before on what limited studies they could do they would ask people how much they would use and make estimates based on personal attestation. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:52, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the mexican cartels make almost no profit from weed. They use it for xomething, i forget what, but the money is made from meth, coke, and pills and such like. If so, legal weed in gringo land will do nothing to curb the violence south of the border. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:19, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

That hypothetical argument would make sense if the facts didn't directly contradict it. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 15:09, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
i think it might have been cracked where i read it, so you can probably discount it. I guess the cartels will just have to flood the market with cheaper meth to increase their customer base. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:43, 8 April 2016 (UTC)–

[edit] Please quit censoring titles of the OP just because you don't like it. It's intellectually dishonest

It's clear the link I posted is intended to question the constitutionality of an ordinance against political signage. Many may disagree or think it's a legitimate restriction of speech. So either down vote or comment but don't scrub out the entire mention of a constitutional question to the law just because Trump is involved, or if I assume good faith, because you support the law. I will note that if this would have happened in regards to Bernie Sanders, the same people thinking this is constitutional would be calling for criminal/employment discipline of the police officer. TooConservative (talk) 18:58, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

You are ignorant of the constitutional law it issue, and your description of the matter was inanely overwrought. First, this was not the State of New Jersey; it was a burrough ordinance. Second, "time, place and manner" restrictions are common-place and have long been upheld by the Supreme Court in free speech cases.---Mona- (talk) 02:16, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Also known as--JorisEnter (talk) 19:15, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
If you're going to reply, reply. Don't just link to some YouTube video. I can't open it right now. TooConservative (talk) 19:18, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
Hey, don't restrict the fun for the rest of us! I could open it and it was hilarious. Reference game on point, Joris. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:05, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

ACLU & NJSC have both previously rejected these kinds of local signage laws as unconstitutional. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:54, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I understand the intent of that ordinance, but it's out of line, deliberately targeting expressive activity based on its content. Trump, like it or not, is a Serious Presidential Candidate, and the US campaign season lasts a lot longer than 30 days. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 01:57, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Ethnic tensions flare between Dagestanis and Kalmyks after man urinates on Buddist statue

[2]. nobsDump Trump 01:24, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] History is clear?

Am I missing something, or is there no link in this WIGO? AcidTrial (talk) 15:57, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

There's no link. Commented out - Mona, you want to put a new entry up with the link in? - David Gerard (talk) 17:09, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

"History is clear" that juries at one time were allowed to nullify laws in certain, isolated court cases- not "overturn" them like the Supreme Court can. While a case could be made that they should be allowed to do it, advocating that juries try to do it now stinks of pseudolaw. Hentropy (talk) 23:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Not to mention Jury Nullification was traditionally how lynch mobs avoided the law. CorruptUser (talk) 05:23, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Well you need more than just a racist jury to avoid punishment for a hate crime, but a racist prosecutor can easily select a racist jury using peremptory selection. You can also sway a jury by using perjury, false witnesses, false evidence, and circumstantial evidence. I also wouldn't say jury nullification itself is pseudolaw, but relying on it as the only means of direct action in order to overturn laws is pseudolaw.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:32, 14 April 2016 (UTC) 05:32, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Seems like a lot of op-ed pieces are being posted in World instead of Blogs. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:40, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

No reason not to move them - David Gerard (talk) 22:11, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Phyllis Schlafly

Maybe this should be in WIGOCP:talk, but has Andy commented on his mom's problems for supporting Trump? --Gulik (talk) 17:42, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Pastafarians

Religion is a cult with an army and a fleet.--Kugelschreiber (talk) (mail) (block) 17:57, 14 April 2016 (UTC) 17:57, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Even though - or perhaps because - I'm a fan of Pastafarianism, I can see the court's point. Pastafarianism is as much a religion as Stephen's Colbert Report persona was a conservative. (talk) 08:02, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Also horsemeat

It's too early to think of something witty or snarky: the article is three years old. The horsemeat scandal was a thing but now it's not. So why post it now? London Grump (talk) 06:35, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

I didn't notice it was a outdated.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 07:34, 17 April 2016 (UTC) 07:34, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] The Artist Permanently Formerly Known as Prince

I originally thought that this shouldn't be considered news, but there were a couple of songs I enjoyed. Any word on what happened yet? jrussellwrites (talk) 19:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

It looks like an illness, he had to cancel some concerts over it so it probably wasn't sudden drug overdose or anything else unseemly. Prince certainly was a somewhat unique performer in the pop world and we'll probably not see the likes of him again. Hentropy (talk) 21:31, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
We were told last week he had the flu. That can be a fairly serious thing with multiple ways to go very wrong, very quickly. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 21:49, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah. That sucks. At least we don't have to worry about him coming back as a zombie like we had to worry with MJjrussellwrites (talk) 22:52, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Yiddish

That article about the Yiddish language is nonsense. Genetic research might be able to point out the origins of Yiddish speaking populations. But languages are not inherited directly. Yiddish is quite obviously a relexified version of a High German language. It is no more strongly divergent from Standard German in its grammar and phonology than other versions of colloquial German, and considerably closer to the literary standard than some. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 20:31, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

So what you're saying is that the article is dreck and the author is meshuga. I can't really claim to be an ethno-linguistic historian (although now I kinda want that job), but I think you're right, even if the people who came to speak Yiddish had the origins in questions, it doesn't mean the language itself has any true relation to those origins, and the analysis only provides scant evidence for Yiddish actually originating with the Iranian-Slavic merchants. Hentropy (talk) 21:52, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
That article seems suspiciously crankish and axe-grindy as well. All it links to was the abstract, and from that I couldn't tell if its dodgy claims and links to crank websites about the Khazars had any relation to the original paper. No one respected in linguistics calls Yiddish anything other than a Germanic language. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 22:10, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Drowning in Misinformation

Heads up, the story about the three black teens drowing while cops just stood by was a pile of misinformation that blew up in the midst of the whole police/race debate. The Sheriff's Office released a rescue attempt dashcam on their Facebook page. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 00:25, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Yeah I saw that. I usually check several sources but they were all reporting it the same way; I will remove it.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:27, 25 April 2016 (UTC) 00:27, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Alright I removed the original report and put the Rawstory link on on your post. I hope you don't mind.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC) 00:29, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Loo-dicrous Bathroom Ejection

I'm not posting this as a WIGO because there is not very much information on when/where this took place or other background information, but there is a video going around where a woman is being ejected from a women's restroom by officers who believe her to be a guy, with the implication that this has to do with the recent Transgender bathroom laws. Hoo boy. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 17:53, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Flash update: The video is from before the Trans* laws were a thing. Yay skepticism! ℕoir LeSable (talk) 17:58, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
(EC) Supposedly, she is lesbian who dresses boyishly.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 17:59, 27 April 2016 (UTC) 17:59, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeesh, how could someone look at her and think "yeah that's definitely a man!"? But for those thinking this is a purely American phenomenon, a similar thing happened in the UK with no bathroom bill. Hentropy (talk) 19:30, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain

About that Oklahoma decision: Ken White from Popehat has a write-up about it. TL;DR - It's a legal hitch having to do with sodomy laws that separates lower-body penetration from oral, and it's still considered sexual battery. Hope you don't mind if I put in the slight correction. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 16:05, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

No, I don't mind. I think they mention that in the story, though, but it is still an unreasonable decision in my opinion.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:18, 29 April 2016 (UTC) 16:18, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
It was an eminently reasonable decision when you remember the bedrock principle that any ambiguity in a criminal law breaks in the 'not guilty' direction. This principle is too important to yield to moral panic or 'believe the victim'. The accused simply didn't break the law he was on trial for breaking. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 01:21, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
But it seems like it would be reasonable to determine that what he did was "forcible sodomy".--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:49, 2 May 2016 (UTC) 01:49, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, that's part of the point. Criminal laws aren't interpreted "reasonably"; they're interpreted strictly in favor of innocence. The court found that what he did failed to fall within the letter of the law he was on trial for breaking; therefore he must walk. As the blog linked by Noir LeSable, there were other laws he could have been charged with breaking. He wasn't, and he's already been put on trial under the wrong statute, so he must win. Trying him again would be double jeopardy. All of these highly important principles of criminal law and procedure ought to take precedence over mere outrage. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:39, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I know, I know. I realize that it is the fault of the legislature and not the court but this guy won't ever be proven guilty because of a technicality. I know that no matter how much I dislike that he did have his day in court.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:04, 2 May 2016 (UTC) 04:04, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
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