# RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive102

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## (Probably) last Space Shuttle flight

STS-134, liftoff at 15:47 EDT, Friday, 29 April. NASA TV will cover it live, as usual (online stream here). And yes, it may be the last Shuttle flight, though NASA have said that STS-135 will fly, too. I wonder where they will get funding for that one...--ZooGuard (talk) 20:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

NASA have basically said they'll fly STS-135 regardless of the funding situation. It's on the manifest as the launch-on-need rescue mission for 134 so it's not that far fetched. Besides, it has to be Atlantis that makes the last flight, it just has to be. I will be watching it land and toasting. ADK...I'll sanctify your flan! 22:18, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought STS-135 was doing something at the ISS, which has guaranteed funding.. However it is this shuttle's last flight, and the last space walk from a shuttle. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 22:26, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
It's going up on time by the looks of it. They're filling the tanks now. I am well excited, actually. ADK...I'll bescumber your railing! 12:46, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Got to love the video accompanying this article. One of the greatest and most powerful machines we've ever built against one of the greatest and most powerful backdrops the Earth can create. ADK...I'll negate your poodle! 12:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I always preferred the Saturn V to the Shuttle. After all, the SV went to the moon, with people on board, umpteen times. All the Shuttle does is ferry crap into low Earth orbit. ħuman 05:05, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Nice quote from Steve Novella on SGU: "Having a kick-ass space program is part of the American national identity." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:52, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
From here on out, if Americans want to reach outer space, they'll have to hitch a ride with the Chinese. --Gulik (talk) 01:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Or pay the French or the Russians--the latter being more capitalistic about it.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 00:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## Articles as PDFs

Because I've been meaning to do this for a while and because it was brought up a while ago, here's a draft version combining homeopathy, water memory and evidence for homeopathy into one document: Media:Homeopathy.pdf ADK...I'll confuddle your padlock! 16:59, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Brilliant, and I have some ideas for what we can do with this! Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:31, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Wow, nice! When it first loaded there were some weird fugly caps, but they went away when I scrolled down and up. Masterful indeed! When does the RW magazine come out? ħuman 04:21, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, sometime between now and the TV channel starting, I assume. ADK...I'll taste your kumquat! 12:11, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Likely after recordings of all gold and silver articles. ТyTalk. 11:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Just checked this. It's very good. Great work.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:42, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikimedia has stuff to generate PDF article collections (extensions, etc). How well does any of it work off WMF? - David Gerard (talk) 12:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I haven't used it, but I'll look it up. I was looking at stuff that apparently converts between media wiki markup and Word, via XML, but I'm sure it didn't do what I wanted last time I used it. ADK...I'll zap your domino!
Well, I haven't heard of WP's book idea (although I did hear of the version 1.0 CD, which I assume is basically the same thing) but why not? It's a bit of effort to covert and arrange articles, but that's nothing compared to actually writing them - of which the lion's share has already been done by users over the last few years - and when we're finished it's piss-simple to self-publish on Lulu or somewhere similar. In fact, I'd be very up for writing a book with RW as the basis. ADK...I'll execrate your high-powered laser rifle! 07:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It looks cool and I can see that it could be done - but to what final end? I mean when the book or pamphlet has been produced to whom would it be distributed? How? I'm not against the idea by any means, I'm just not sure where it is meant to go.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:36, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
For the sake of it? It's expanding the horizons a little. The Wiki is hardly a final end in itself. But if anyone can think of a better point than "because we can/could" I'd be open to that objective. ADK...I'll obliterate your attorney! 09:57, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

## I hadn't wanted to get political...

.... about the death of bin Laden, really, but this is too good to pass up. MDB (talk) 11:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I laughed. - π 11:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually it is kind of disturbing if you think about the fact that he gave the order to kill bin Laden and then went off to the White House correspondents dinner the next night and just stood their making jokes about Trump. - π 11:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Just thought I'd go ahead and fix this image for everybody. ADK...I'll golf your Hyundai! 11:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
LOL. That is exactly what I was imagining in my head when I heard abt. it this morning. - TheEgyptian.
Is it possible that the operation was postponed for after the royal wedding? PR and news saturation might have been considerable factors.--Brendiggg (talk) 12:03, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
So Bin Laden is finally dead. It's amazing what the Americans can do when the Playstation network is down. PsyGremlinПоговорите! 12:07, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I hate myself for laughing at that. MDB (talk) 12:18, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I laughed this morning when the local talk radio host was worried, in complete seriousness, about how retaliatory strikes will be aimed at Baton Rouge. ТyTalk. 13:23, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm sure Baton Rouge is as likely a target as any other typical American city, but really, New York and Washington have a lot more to worry about. MDB (talk) 14:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
We seem to have avoided any HCM here in NY. Some people set off fireworks last night and now the MTA has its shock troops in the bigger subway stations, bit that's it so far. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Holy mackeral, something did happen here [1]. Not exactly violent though. ТyTalk. 13:48, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

This is how they found him. - π 14:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

No streetview, though. Awww. ADK...I'll suffocate your reindeer! 17:57, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
why does Pakistan look so much like Arizona?---brxbrx 08:02, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
srsly. look [2]---brxbrx 08:25, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Because Arizona is a dystopian hellscape? Occasionaluse (talk) 14:10, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Arizona is in Detroit!?!? Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 02:18, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Obligatory KFM [3] ТyTalk. 02:20, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

### Celebrations, etc.

When my university heard the news (sometime in the evening, local time) the result was what can only be described as an enormous riot (video at bottom). (I hadn't gotten the news yet and was actually asleep at the time, so I was somewhat puzzled by the chants of "USA...USA...USA..." coming from outside.) I talked to a bunch of random people today, and the mood is patriotic and positive in a "fuck yeah, we killed him!" sort of way. Personally, I find this kind of behavior disgusting. It's the exact same kind of fighting spirit people get when there's a football game - everyone gets drunk and rowdy and hates on the other team. It's like no one really cares about the global importance of terrorism or the fact that American soldiers are dying every day, they just get carried away with rooting for their team against the opposition. Or am I just being a snob? Tetronian you're clueless 18:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think you'll find much disagreement that it's distasteful, tactless and idiot to be "celebrating" in that sort of way. ADK...I'll explode your lobster! 22:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Terrorists, your game is through, 'cuz now you have to answer to AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:59, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
@ADK: Sadly, it depends who you ask. At breakfast, I asked a bunch of people (who I hadn't met beforehand), "Is it really good to celebrate someone's death like this?" The first three answers were "Yes," "Yes," and "You bet your sweet ass it is." Granted, these were college students who were probably at the riot the night before, but still. Tetronian you're clueless 23:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I mean among people who sit and think, rather than the sort who try to get beer pong into the Olympics. ADK...I'll mature your rabbi! 23:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I can relate my reaction to this whole mess in musical terms. I do not hold the fine theological virtues of caritas and forgiveness in unquestionable exaltation, so when the proverbial world stopped turning, I did not "turn off that violent home movie" in favor of "I Love Lucy reruns;" I kept the television tuned to the image of the smoldering towers and jumped for the phonograph to play this little ditty. When the news of Osama's death came, this tune started running through my head, my reservations about the manner of the death notwithstanding.
...everyone gets drunk and rowdy and hates on the other team... Ironically, in this war, we have seen people getting carried away and hating on their own team. ListenerXTalkerX 05:11, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Kidding aside, the celebrations sicken me. I know people who worked at the WTC, and fortunately, they all got out alive. However, not everyone they knew did. Quite a few of my teachers and classmates (I was in high school at the time) spent weeks doing the funeral rounds and were out of school. I could see the dual smoking columns from my house for a week and I saw the wreckage close up. I imagine this is something like what it feels like after a victims' family sees the murderer executed. The senseless violence and killing will continue. Fuck, it's moments like these that make think humans are a disgraceful lot. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it would appear that morals these days are a real mess; people who cheer their country's victory are all nausea-inducing moral wretches, and only the most choice and noble specimens can live up to the exalted vocation of palling about with people who are working for its destruction. ListenerXTalkerX 07:00, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I think it's pretty cool that we put a bullet in his head. Really not sure what all the butthurt is about. Can anyone make a logical argument out of it? Or is it all emotion? Occasionaluse (talk) 14:13, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
It's difficult to strip emotion out of it (well, neuroscience might argue it's impossible) as you have to talk about the morality of killing someone. It also depends on how it happened, whether they backed him into a corner and executed him or whether he died in a straight fight. Given that taking these people alive is far better on all counts, and that Bon Laden and co are often shown brandishing enough AKs to make Bloods and Crips envious, I think it's likely to be the latter. ADK...I'll zap your lowbrow! 15:07, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, your given is not a given, or the US government would have at least tried to take him alive (which they had no intention to do). That or they lack your wisdom, and that's kind of the point, that all the "rational" people here draw conclusions so irrationally. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:18, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
This has very little to do with rationality or emotion, IMHO. What I was whining about is the fact that the people I live with seem to process this event no differently than winning a football game. I'm not saying we shouldn't be celebrating, I was just complaining about the mob mentality of it all. Tetronian you're clueless 19:21, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I suppose I can appreciate the distinction. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:23, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

## Fucking AV... again

Okay, so AV is becoming an obsessive compulsive thing for me. Now the Royal Wedding and telling people who want to shoot the Queen to get some perspective is done with, I can go back to it. Someone at The Economist hasn't done much research. What they're referring to isn't FPTP-Plus, but AV+ as highlighted by the Electoral Reform Society. This is an untried and untested system. Yeah, AV isn't perfect and if you speak to any of the AV campaigners they'd probably say "yeah, we'd prefer a PR system" but guess-the-fuck-what, that's not on offer. None of this is on offer. The Tory component of the coalition has fucked us over by giving us the choice between the shit system and the "miserable compromise". Still, what message does a NO vote send? It's certainly not "we'd actually like STV, please". It's a risk: if we vote Yes, we may exhaust appetite for reform, but if we vote No, we risk killing off any and all reform for a generation. We know the talking points by the No2AV campaign are bullshit PRATTs so this is the only thing worth talking about; do we risk the possible downsides? We can do it prisoners dilemma style:

 Eventual outcome Result Reform stifled Reform ignited Yes to AV We're stuck with AV forever We progress to AV+/STV/PR No to AV We're stuck with FPTP forever We progress to AV/AV+/STV/PR

Do we really want to risk getting stuck with the current system? ADK...I'll untie your chessboard! 11:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

As an Australian, and we've had AV for aeons... its pretty lame. But I think it might do more good in Britain than here, since the British party system is much more complicated than ours. And we don't really have any equivalent to the Scottish/Welsh nationalist thing, or the whole (Northern)Irish situation, which spices up British political life. My hope is that AV makes the Tories weaker in the long run, and anything that makes the Tories weaker is a good thing. (Anything that makes the Australian Liberals weaker is good, but AV hasn't achieved anything like that.) --(((Zack Martin))) 11:57, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see it as making the Tories weaker as giving voters the power to vote for the smaller parties that they believe in. A place where the Lib Dems get 23% of the popular vote but 8.7% of the seats, and are punished under the system and lose a seat despite one of the proportionally largest swings of approval ever, is just wrong. AV might be cosmetic, it might be a compromise, but it's a step. It's undoubtedly an improvement. This is why the current trend of "no to AV because it's not good enough" misses the point. ADK...I'll ruffle your neverland! 12:17, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe this video summarises the choices quite nicely, with added lolcats. Bondurant (talk) 12:25, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
You can model this as a game, but prisoner's dilemma doesn't work here - you've got only one player, plus the assumption that the reform stifled/ignited outcomes are at least in part contingent on the yes/no result. You need a decision tree with the AV referendum as its first node, then going on to two variants of a further reform process, like this:
What matters here is the assumption that node 2a has a lower probability associated with its "Yes" path than node 2b. It would be possible to calculate how large this probability gap would have to be in order for a "No" at N1 to be a rational choice for PR advocates, but that would require quantifying the utilities asscoiated with each outcome as well. Instead, you can establish a preference ordering over the outcomes - for PR fans, this would be PR>AV>FPTP. 2a has the overall better outcomes associated with it, so unless it can be convincingly demonstrated that 2b has indeed a higher "yes" probability in the second turn, it's rational to vote yes in the first. It's a risk-minimizing strategy that gives you a better worst case result. Röstigraben (talk) 12:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Most of the Lib Dems I know have considered voting "No" in the referendum for one reason or another - usually because of the "It's not STV" thing. I'm not a member any more but I've thought about it myself too. Over a lengthy drink with a chum from my old activist days, we came to the conclusion that anybody who understands the systems well enough to consider that argument will end up voting "Yes" on the grounds that it's better than nothing. Now we may be wrong, but I really believe that a lot of people who are considering a No vote on those grounds will bite their tongues on Thursday and end up going Yes.
Another point is that the opinion polls are looking really, really bad at the moment. There have been enough polls showing leads of ~20% for the No camp that it's pretty much confirmed. The thing is, though, that it might not matter. Remember that council elections only get ~35% turnouts, and this isn't even a council election day in most of England. I don't expect to see turnout much above 1/3, but I think a lot of it will be from Yes voters. It's much easier to turn out to vote for a change instead of the status quo. I have a bad feeling that this may not be enough to turn it around, though, and that we're still heading for the continuation of FPTP. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 14:25, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Sunday Times had a poll yesterday saying that the polls are tightening (18% down to 10% difference) as the Labour people start to realise that they hate Flameron more than they hate Clegg. As for me - I'm voting yes. Darkmind1970 (talk) 16:28, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
That's what I meant, it's just that I nicked the table formatting. The Prisoners Dilemma may well be usually phrased as a Game Theory experiment with two players but it can also apply as one player game with the second "player" being an event with an associated probability or unknown probability, rather than a player making a decision. Then we're just stuck picking "yes" or "no" Pascal's Wager style based on those outcomes. This is what I was implying by citing it, didn't really have time to work on a better diagram. ADK...I'll fumble your Toyota! 17:26, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Thing is, can we predict those node 2 probabilities? But for it to be more likely that you'll get further reform from node 2b, you'd have to assume that telling the government "I don't want electoral reform" will be read as "Actually, I do want electoral reform", which is silly, and that "I want AV" will be interpreted as "I only want AV and nothing else", which is presumptuous. So long as there are people passionate about reform, it won't go away, but considering those most passionate about it are in the party currently being severely punished by the current system, a No vote isn't quite the right message. ADK...I'll complement your cellulite! 17:42, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
We can't, and even if we could, it wouldn't matter unless we could also compare the utilities of the outcomes with a precision to match. The first and obvious effect of voting "No" is to make preservation of the status quo more likely, so those who'd like to abolish FPTP, yet think that this is a good strategy would have to demonstrate that this also raises the probabilty of further reform enough to offset the short-term cost of locking the current system in place. Under uncertainty such as this, I'd say it's rational to aim for the best worst-case-scenario and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good (or at least less bad). Politicians will always seek to put a spin on election results, and its much easier to convince people that a "No" should be taken at face value rather than as "This doesn't go far enough". During the US health care debate, right-wing pundits would also cite the numbers of those opposed to the Democrats' proposal, without pointing out that some of them were opposing it from the left, and defenders of the status quo could easily employ the same tactic on electoral reform. Röstigraben (talk) 18:14, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
In which case it only rests on the PR>AV>FPTP assumption. Which is one held by most, although not all reformists. ADK...I'll construct your turkey sandwich! 19:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I support the alternative-vote, but not proportional representation, because it gives too much validation to small crank-parties (look at the BNP; thus far shut out of the FPTP national parliament but elected to the PR European one), and also because I think a region is best represented by one of its own people; a provision written into the U.S. Constitution as a specific repudiation of British practice at the time. The alternative-vote, on the other hand, removes some of the motivation for negative campaigning.
"Reformers" do have a nasty habit of devouring their own causes from the inside out by actively working against measures that are of insufficient purity for their palate. Case in point: if the Reds (well-known for bawling "capitalist lap-dog" whenever somebody upset the fantasy of a nice tidy systemic transformation by flouting the party line to get things done) had been the only people fighting for labor-rights, we would probably still have 12-hour workdays. ListenerXTalkerX 03:43, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
PR isn't so bad at eliminating small parties (if their supporters are highly concentrated geographically, the entry threshold is actually much lower under FPTP), it depends on the specific rules and whether or not you want to keep the party system down to a small number. The system that's used in Germany and New Zealand hasn't led to an atomized party system, Germany actually had only three to four functional parties for most of its post-war history. It also allows for local representation, as half of the seats are awarded in winner-take-all contests, yet is very proportional because these seats are later subtracted from each party's list share. Röstigraben (talk) 07:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that PR gives fringe parties like the BNP too much voice, they give them the proportional voice - that's the point. Whether we like it or not we have to accept that a single BNP voice should carry as equally as a single Labour voice. Otherwise we may as well go the whole-hog and just ban these parties. That said, it's not a bad idea as I've always seen the party system and the collectivism associated with it as the biggest problem in politics, albeit one that wouldn't be easy to shift. It's why could could get an extremely sensible and fairly liberal Tory candidate but a batshit crazy Labour one and the local left would still vote Labour because that's their Party. I don't really want to comment on the AV+ or FPTP+ systems that try to balance representation out afterwards because I really haven't looked them up - they're not on the ballot in the referendum so are pretty irrelevant right now. ADK...I'll shave your ripple! 12:25, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Addendum: full PR might destroy local representation, but I have to wonder if in the modern day that's entirely needed. Originally it was because towns and cities would group together, elect their representative and march them off for government. Genuinely, they were there to represent and act on behalf of the people. Now we can move from one end of the country to the other with minimal fuss. We can communicate in a way that makes distance irrelevant. With the internet we find online communities that represent and discuss our views far better than we could with a diverse local population. It's certainly a valid objection to PR, but it's a debate worth having in the future about whether it's important enough to overrule the democratic advantages of PR. ADK...I'll golf your option! 12:30, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
<anecdotal> I have never heard anyone say the main reason for their choice of candidate was the candidate's local policy rather than their party's policy. </anecdotal> so I would doubt there being any serious change if we switched to PR. Given the lack of influence an MP has in the govenance of their constituancy (due to councils etc.) their main role in this regard is to lobby for their region, which produces little noticeable effect. NDSP 21:07, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Precisely, and given the personality cult of most UK elections where people seem to think they're voting for the party leaders, which is why people wanted an election because Gordon Brown was merely "appointed", despite the fact people had voted Labour and they still had a term to serve. But there is something to be said for the whole "write to your MP" thing that would be difficult to replicate without local representation. ADK...I'll construct your noun! 06:57, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

### Checking level of understanding

Can I just check, since it hasn't been mentioned, that everyone understands it's not actually possible to create a system that does what we want? The problem is that mathematically the desirable properties of an election are inconsistent. For example, we intuitively feel that adding a handful of minority candidates with no hope of government (e.g. that party who wanted to bounce up and down on a trampoline until world peace was achieved, I believe they were "Yogic fliers") shouldn't make any difference to the outcome, and we also expect that if candidate A would beat every other candidate in a straight face off, candidate A should win not candidate B. But those two desires are mutually incompatible.

We also must keep sight of the fact that enemies of democracy (and thus of the bloodless transitions it makes possible) get a benefit from the system being complicated and thus through no fault of anyone's less transparent. FPTP is so transparent that virtually all voters understand it, and that makes it enormously harder to persuade them that they should start an uprising rather than just voting. Even AV is more complicated (although not by much unless you want to explain the options for voting tactically).

In my opinion Arrow's discovery (which is now over 60 years old) should have resulted in redirecting all effort to educating/ informing the electorate and not bothering to try to fix something that we've satisfied ourselves can't be fixed. A wise people can elect a good government using FPTP, fools wouldn't manage it under any system. So we need more wise people, who by happy coincidence are also excellent for many other purposes besides voting in elections. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 10:42, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I read that edition of New Scientist too. ADK...I'll throw your Audi! 12:17, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, haven't read New Scientist since I had a cheap subscription in school, almost twenty years ago. So that reference went right over my head. Did they literally just offer the same opinion as me, but in an editorial or something? 82.69.171.94 (talk) 14:32, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
ADK's got bats in her bloomers, don't mind her. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The mathematics was in an Ian Stewart editorial recently. It's not possible to satisfy all criteria for "fairness" with voting. Although you can come remarkably close in a random ballot, no one is mad enough to try it. ADK...I'll widen your pumpkin! 14:53, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

### Doges of Venice

Though if anyone is under the impression that AV is complicated, they should try to get their heads around this bad boy of an electoral system ADK...I'll revolt your padlock! 16:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

You realize that my combination of sadomasochism and OCD means I am going to read this and write you up a report. ТyTalk. 16:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
In a nutshell: it is the US system electoral college system, multiplied by 7, with more stupidity thrown in, and the voting restricted to a select group of people over 30. ТyTalk. 01:34, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## Election Day

At least here in Canada it is. Couple of things are going to be interesting here, first and foremost is whether there will be a repudiation of the Conservatives and their increasingly US-style tactics. But also to watch for is whether youth turn out in significant numbers, and what will happen with the left-leaning NDP and whether their popularity gains in Quebec and elsewhere will change the face of the party. Whatever the results, there's going to be a lot of changes. --Kels (talk) 15:56, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Fun times. I high youth turnout inevitably causes butthurt for the right-wing parties so yes, looks like it could be an interesting one. ADK...I'll enumerate your bomb! 17:50, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Apparently students at various universities have been organizing vote mobs, and this charming little event has pissed off a lot of students, which is always a powerful motivator. If it actually happens, it'll completely make a mockery of the polls. --Kels (talk) 18:07, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh it will cause massive butthurt, just like it did here, cf. College kids are just too libtarded to vote. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
So long as there is a demographic not voting their way, they'll always want to exclude them. ADK...I'll masturbate your tuxedo! 19:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Apparently there have been co-ordinated vote suppression activities going on, with robo-calls across the country directing people to the wrong places for voting. The smart money says the sources are in the US, probably folks with Republican ties. --Kels (talk) 23:04, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
A lot of the funny business going on lately really reeks of ALEC, but it's hard to tell what exactly is going on because the asshats can hide behind bogus think tanks and "research institutes" with no transparency while spamming others with FOIA requests a la Bill Cronon. Such is dumb-ocracy, eh? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:11, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Remember the time they put fliers out saying that if you want to vote Democrat you voted one day and Republican the next day? Yeah, this is the sort of thing you'll expect if Canada is following the US into hyper-partisan politics. ADK...I'll soak your catamite! 23:38, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't that one of Rove's strategies for Florida in 2000? There's a strong chance I could be misremembering that, but I thought it was one of the ideas that got him lauded from strategists. άλφαTalk 16:45, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
conservatives win, sorry Canada.---brxbrx 17:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I remember it from 2008, but knowing Rove's magnificent bastardry, I wouldn't be surprised if it cropped up in 2000 too. ADK...I'll revolve your league! 06:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The New Democratic Party did better than they ever have in history, and for the first time, Canada's Green's won their first seat.(Canada Votes 2011: NDP Leader Jack Layton speaks Part 1/2 - May 2nd 2011 and Canada Votes 2011: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May Speaks on Getting a Seat - May 2nd 2011). CP hasn't editted their article on the New Democratic Party in over a year.;-)Civic Cat (talk) 22:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

## Miracles For Sale

Just finally got around to watching this. Got to admire Derren Brown's balls for this one. Especially at the end when Pastor James Collins basically tells them all it's a scam and not to give their money away to healers, the other healer on stage had a face worse than Donald Trump getting roasted by Seth Meyers. ADK...I'll sell your road! 23:57, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Links? References?  Lily Inspirate me. 06:47, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
http://skepchick.org/2011/04/derren-brown-miracles-for-sale/ (full video there)--ZooGuard (talk) 06:57, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
That was pretty disappointing. It seems like they really didn't commit to the act very much, nor put any real force in to pushing home the message to the audience that what they saw was fraudulent. In the end it seems like they spent so much energy pussyfooting around the subject of religion that the message got lost in the blather. It sounded more like he was trying to say other healers were bogus, but he was totally on the level. Plus we got to see so little of the action, I wonder if the whole event bombed entirely. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:57, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
It was by no means perfect. If they'd gone through the PR company and picked a guy based on his loose morals rather than performance ability I'm sure it would have been bigger. But I'm sure the entire point was to get a message across without being a complete asshat. It would have been far too easy to do a few magic tricks on stage and then say "TADA! Fool'd ya!!". People don't react well to having their beliefs attacked, or being told that they're dupes, idiots or retards. It's not only a bit of a dick-ish thing to do, but it's also not effective. If he'd done a show and then stood and said "actually, I'm not a real healer, this is bull" the reaction would have been angry, one that just cemented in their mind that it was James Collins and Derren Brown that were the evil ones, and not the faith healers who scam people for money. It's not so much "pussy-footing" around religion as saying that religion is beside the point, people are being scammed out of money and the end speech saying to not give all your money away to unscrupulous faith healers was the aim. ADK...I'll calcify your fat! 16:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
It would have been a lot better if Derren had thought of doing it himself back when no-one in the US knew who he was. He would have been able to put on the best faith healing show on the planet and then got the message across. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:44, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, he did something like that before, under a pseudonym - [4]. Problem is, it only works once...--ZooGuard (talk) 10:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I remember that. I just wish he'd done more with the faith healing part in that show to avoid having to deal with the irritating cry-baby he chose to be his faith healer in this show. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:55, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, he's been doing the debunking stuff for a while, it's quite impressive that he can still go around the US as unknown as he is. But as they pointed out, if they put his name into Google after the police demanded their passport details, it'd be over. And I don't think it's fair to call him a cry-baby, you're looking at a 70 minute documentary made out of 6 months of work. What are they going to show, the drama and tension and the "fuck you" or the "yes Derren, you make a good point, let's do that"? It's still Channel 4, after all. But even if Derren was to do it himself, he's being training for years to do hypnotism and stage illusions, training a Joe Nobody to do it in less than 6 months makes a different point to him doing it. I suppose more of the faith healing in Messiah could have been good, but if he was going to do that he may as well have gone all the way and made some serious cash out of it for a couple of years before coming clean. ADK...I'll discombobulate your mouse! 15:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

## random word chooser

I went to my user page to make a change, and what do I see? The random adjective template that I embedded in my bio gave me "I'm a pimpalicious student." ... Maybe because I'm giddy that my semester exams are done and I'm going on vacation, or maybe I'm just tired, but I attracted the looks of pretty much the entire commons by spitting my drink all over my screen. It's not really even that funny... so long story short, many thanks to whoever added that one to the list. Made my day. άλφαTalk 21:08, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

*huff* Now you make me feel even more downtrodden. I've still gone end semester ones coming up in a few weeks.... and my mind feels like a big empty hole where a shed-load of a grammar, vocabulary and some idea of what the f*ck a participle does in Mid. Egyptian. Next few weeks are going to be very very humiliating, I think :-/
Maybe I'll enroll at clown college instead.... Still, glad you are through it already - enjoy the long lazy does of a summer, but spare a thought for those of us still beavering away :) -- 22:11, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

## fuel for the fire

Bin laden's code name was Geronimo [5]. Geronimo was named by Obama as one of his idols (can't find sauce for that, though). Actually, my memory is pretty hazy. It could have been Sitting Bull he said was one of his heroes. I'll post this anyways, for kicks---brxbrx 02:29, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Ketchup?  Lily Inspirate me. 07:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
is that a Prairie Home Companion reference, or am I just thick?---brxbrx 08:15, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I was just being a bit sourcy.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:02, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I literally can't facepalm any harder than I'm doing right now. X Stickman (talk) 17:23, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I call dibs on any of the fluids that come out of your sweet sweet skull. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I seem to recall that it was in fact Sitting Bull who was one of the president's heroes. So this post of mine is really fairly inane.---brxbrx 17:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The more insane the better as fuel. --Opcn (talk) 02:18, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
inane. no "s"---brxbrx 03:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Can't it be both? in(s)ane. In fairness, if your initial premise had been correct, I'd argue it's both. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 13:09, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The moral of the story here kids: Internet slang is not universal between sites. ТyTalk. 11:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## Sign

I just had to take the new puppy to the vets to get his second vax, and I drove past quite possibly the funniest sign I've ever seen. It was outside a clinic (although I can't remember the exact amount they had raised):

 “”Norfolk Epilepsy Appeal£2,000 raised so farWe're really moving now

Am I a bad person for laughing at that? I did try to take a picture but I was too far away for it to be made out. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't get it---brxbrx 14:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
WP:Epilepsy now do you get it? Funny in a black comedy sense. ТyTalk. 14:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I know what epilepsy is, but why is the sign funny? ---brxbrx 14:41, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
seriously?---brxbrx 14:50, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Puppy? Epilepsy? Think about the epileptic dogs! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:52, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
@Brxbrx: Uncontrollable convulsion is a symptom of epilepsy. Convulsion = movement. ONE / TALK 08:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you One, I allready felt dumb for not getting that. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:58, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## Pibot

Sorry to post again so soon, but is Pibot not working or is my code wrong? I put this code on my talk page and it doesn't seem to archive anything...

{{Template:Talkpage/Pibot |search = yes |counter = 1 |minthreadsleft = 1 |algo = old(7d |archive = User talk:Alpha/Archive%(counter)d }}

Sorry, I can't get the formatting to actually preserve the newlines. The idea is clear, though, right? Too tired for this right now apparently. άλφαTalk 21:16, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

You have no threads older than seven days to archive. It won't archive the head section and it needs a minimum of two threads to archive by default. It is also run only once a day, so don't expect immediate results. - π 23:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Mmmk. Thanks for letting me know! άλφαTalk 08:18, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## Is there something wrong with me?

Am I the only who thinks JimJast should be stopped from spouting his ludicrous crap (oh sorry it's not crap, Carl Sagan said so on TV once) all over the place? 86.157.97.15 (talk) 09:33, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Nope. -- Nx / talk 09:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Especially since after I called him on Sagan, he said something to the effect of "Sagan is dead, why should I care" and is using Feymen out of context. Also, he seems to think I work for the Templeton foundation, which is silly. ТyTalk. 11:58, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
yeah, that "sagan is dead, why should i care" thing puzzled me, since he's always on about the equally-dead Einstein. 86.157.97.15 (talk) 12:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Refute him or ignore him, but don't censor him. If he's edit warring or something, that's different, but I'm not aware that that's the case. If the problem is that you aspies can't stop talking to him, it's your problem, not his. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:24, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
As I said in another thread somewhere, I don't know gravitational physics well enough to argue it, but his "critical mind" stuff is a cranky misrepresentation of actual psychological research. He also seems to think a number of us are bankrolled by the Templeton Foundation, which is odd considering they promote the reconciliation of religion and science, and definitely Help, help! I'm bein' repressed! territory. I'm fine as long as he sticks to his gravitational playpen in essay space. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:48, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

## What am I doing wrong?/Is this "normal"?

I am currently listening to a Stephen King book. I use itunes to transfer from CD's to the ipod. The CD's import to itunes swimmingly until double digit tracks whereupon the thing seizes up and the last four tracks take upwards of three hours EACH to complete. Please list suggestions or ignore as ye will. Feel free to flame itunes as the suckiest piece of crap ever devised. Thank you. C®ackeЯ

I hope they never, ever, ever make itunes for linux. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:01, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Using iTunes. ;) Seriously, though, have you tried playing the last four tracks on the iPod? It sounds like you might have some bad sectors on your iPod's hard drive. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:03, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
(e/c)iTunes sucketh mightily, 'tis true. I had similar transfer problems with USB devices, though, using different software. I eventually came to the conclusion that the computer was filling a transfer buffer really quickly then having to wait and push the remaining data at normal speed. If you try to transfer two books, one straight after the other, does the second one start slow or fast? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 16:04, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Try it again, touch your DVD-drive after it and when you scream "ouch" because it's so hot you know that it's your drive for not cooling down enough, so that the speed is pulled down by the system. If it's not that just use a different ripper. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 16:07, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Just use a free ripper like this one. Rip the tracks to a folder somewhere you'll remember, then add the folder to iTunes. You can then drag it to your iPod. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:15, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Trying this one. Thank you, all, for your input/comments. 18:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
Update: I'm beginning to think there is something worng with my dvd drive as the freebee program slows at about the same place on different disks. The computer is ancient (circa 2005) and running oozing XP. Still, itunes never did let me join tracks...I tried another computer and it seemed to werk better. (My itunes is 10.2.2.14 the better computer running 10.2.2.12 C®ackeЯ

## Film snobs needed

I live for black comedy and I need one to watch, so time to use RW for recommendation fishing! I feel like I'm actually starting to run out of good movies in this genre. Here's some of my favorites:

• Coen Bros.
• Woody Allen
• Michel Gondry/Charlie Kaufman
• Mike Leigh (esp. Naked)
• David Lynch
• Todd Solondz
• Pegg/Frost
• Wes Anderson
• In Bruges
• Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
• Thank You For Smoking
• Dr. Strangelove
• Harold and Maude
• After Hours (Scorcese)
• Secretary
• Mary & Max

(BTW, don't bother recommending Withnail and I or Greenberg, those made me want to chew my face off.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:51, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I think Lord of War fits the category nicely. ONE / TALK 09:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
wp:David Fincher is a good thriller/dark humour director. He did Se7en, Fight Club and Panic Room. SJ Debaser 09:09, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I love Fincher, but his works are hardly comedy. Icewedge (talk) 09:40, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Death to Smoochie---brxbrx 09:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Depends on your definition of 'black comedy' I guess - Glengarry Glen Ross ? Worm(t | c) 11:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Brazil - trust me on this, De Niro as a renegade plumber is fantastic and the ending is just perfect. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:05, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The Trouble with Harry a comedy by Alfred Hitchcock. ТyTalk. 12:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Brazil is a must. Fargo (most Coen Bros in fact), Clockwork Orange, Weekend at Bernie's (if only for the waterskiing), How to get ahead in advertising. --PsyGremlinParlez! 12:39, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Being John Malkovich is funny, very dark, and brain-meltingly weird (especially what I'll only call "the scene in the cafe" to avoid spoiling it.) MDB (talk) 12:43, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
BTW, there's a... well, not really a sequel, more of a follow-up to Being John Malkovich called Adaptation (it's about the scriptwriter of BJM and his efforts to adapt a book into a screenplay). I watched after seeing a lot of "if you liked Being John Malkovich you'll like Adaptation" comments. Well, I didn't like it. Actually, that's too harsh -- it wasn't a bad movie, I just thought it was no where near as good as BJM. However, a lot of people love both movies. MDB (talk) 12:57, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I enjoyed Adaptation, but I could barely tell you what it was about today, and I enjoyed BJM much more. Oh, and I just recently watch Ahhh! Zombies! (Wasting Away) on Netflix. I'd highly recommend it, per these criteria. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 13:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, is Secretary a Black comedy? I mean, yes the theme isn't ponies and rainbows but it's fundamentally a romantic comedy, right? The guy gets the girl. If you liked Secretary you might enjoy "Three Colours: White", but again that's not really a Black comedy by most people's judgement (it has been said that it's an anti-comedy, not sure I agree with that either). 82.69.171.94 (talk) 13:16, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Have you seen Mr. Nice?' ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 13:26, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
BJM is awesome, but Adaptation was fucking awful. Does Napoleon Dynamite count? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Add to the "already seen" list: Brazil, Glengarry Glenn Ross (Coffee's for closers!), everything Fincher, Death to Smoochy, BJM and Adaptation, Clockwork Orange. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:58, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Eraserhead? Doctor Dark (talk) 18:37, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Divorce, Italian Style is a nice one, even though a) it's a bit old, and b) it's in Italian and a genre that isn't explored too much anymore. It's certainly a comedy, and given the subject material (I can't divorce my wife, so I'll make everyone think she's having an affair so I can murder her, etc.) it's fairly dark; it's also a lovely commentary on that time period in Italian social history. Maybe not what you're looking for, but I just saw it and absolutely loved it. άλφαTalk 20:54, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Death at a Funeral (British version), Shallow Grave and Buffalo Soldiers spring to mind. --Horace (talk) 02:08, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
ooh, forgot Shallow Grave. If you feel like going a bit cultural - Time of the Gypsies and Black Cat, White Cat. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 09:42, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Withnail and I?88.104.153.209 (talk) 13:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I am very glad to see Mary & Max on there, I can't say enough good stuff about that film. If you can handle a bit of magic realism, you might try \$9.99. It's an odd little film, based on a collection of short stories, and some of it would probably be black enough to appeal to you. Due to circumstances, I ended up seeing it three times within a week. --Kels (talk) 15:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the recs. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Heathers and S.F.W. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 09:09, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Does Grosse Point Blank count? I've only seen the end of it, but the shoot-off at the end was class. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:03, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

## Help with a paper

Hi. I'm looking for an "academic" source for a paper I'm writing about there not being enough evidence to conclude that a god exists. By academic I mean some sort of essay or literary criticism written by an expert on the matter. Thanks in advance to anyone who helps. «-Bfa-» 16:44, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

You want a paper to cite saying that there's not enough evidence that God exists? I imagine you'd find equal numbers of ones saying God does and doesn't exist, which is a problem. Then there's how to define an "expert". Dawkins' The God Delusion deals with the prospect of evidence quite thoroughly, but people class him as a "non expert" in theology. I think you might as well go unicorn hunting to be blunt. ADK...I'll pasteurize your vortex! 16:56, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Often the best way to approach problems like these is to re-frame them in your own way rather than using the previously established framework for talking about them. If you can, ignore all of the arguments for and against God's existence that you already know, and try to attack the question of God's existence as if you've never seen it before. Then you'll know what kind of evidence you need, and it probably won't be the kind that the traditional framework expects. I know that's very vague advice, but if I explained what I think you should do that would defeat the purpose. What I'm trying to get at is, don't address the arguments on their own terms, think about the problem in a new way and then figure out what's important. In the process, you'll shed the useless and distracting arguments that most people bring up and be able to see what evidence it would really take. Hope that helps, Tetronian you're clueless 20:48, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd say what sort of citation you want depends on what sort of paper you're trying to write and what you want to citation to demonstrate. If you're writing a paper along the lines of "I'm an atheist, and this why it's still possible for me to have morals", you probably want to frame it as "even from an atheistic perspective, it's still possible to have meaningful ethical views", rather than as "it is a point of fact that God does not exist [cite], but morality still does and here's why". It would be silly to write something like "Since there is no God [Russell, 1927], ...". Presumably the main thrust of your paper isn't the non-existence of God (or you'd be making those arguments yourself), so just acknowledge that this is a widely-held view and frame your argument with this as an assumption. What exactly do you want to establish with this cite? Just that there exist authors who find the arguments for theism unconvincing (for that's what a citation will really show, not that atheism is "accurate and correct", so to speak)? Such a thing wouldn't be hard to come by, but it's not really controversial either. --MarkGall (talk) 21:10, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you need to define "expert" a bit more. Most people who would be considered "experts in the field" would presumably be theologians who probably won't have what you are looking for. If you want an atheist philosopher I'd look for something by A C Grayling.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd look into general philosophy of logic/logicians regarding negative proof. All the problems with religion start from the kind of thought that thinks "it hasn't been disproven" is in equal standing with "it's been proven". Which is as huge logical fallacy as big as claiming that 0.5 (a possibility) = 1 (certainty). Sen (talk) 11:05, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Whereas a number of atheists jump from "it hasn't been proven" to "it's been disproven;" if not in theory then in practice. ListenerXTalkerX 05:19, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Anyone here ever been to or from Nebraska? There's nothing here. Nothing. Nada. I'm looking all around me, and there's nothing but flat land as far as the eye can see. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 17:26, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Try the trip in July, at least there will be corn then. 18:38, 5 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
How come you're in Nebraska?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:50, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like Wolverhampton ;)-- 00:03, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa. They are all boring. Z-Rex (talk) 17:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I just left Omaha, goonie! I go to Creighton. δij${\displaystyle ^{i.broke.it.}}$ 21:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

## British Election and Referendum

It's probably not worth starting a whole extra room for live-blogging this because we won't get any council results until the middle of the night and referendum results until Friday night, but I thought I'd start a topic for any comments people may have...

I went to vote at about 10:30 and had a little chat with the staff at the polling station. I was voter #77 our of about 1,500 - so around 22 voters per hour. Things will almost certainly pick up later, but it might be an indication of very low turnout in London where there are no other elections. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 17:47, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I voted for AV. This decision was based on the front page of today's Daily Mail, which advises it's readers to vote no against it, prompting me to do the exact opposite and what I have no doubt about in my mind is the right decision. SJ Debaser 17:50, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)I didn't vote, because I was at the faculty from 9 to 4 and when I got back I was exhausted and couldn't be arsed to move. I would have voted no if I did vote, though. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 17:52, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Polls don't close til 10. Go and vote. Now. SJ Debaser 17:53, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
"The Daily Mail is wrong." Do tell. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
It's promoted falsehoods in the past (everything can give you cancer), goes in for sensationalist headlines (pretty much any given front page), and has printed plain nasty articles (such as the Stephen Gateley thing last year) while simultaneously claiming the moral high ground and wondering why everyone in the country can't be white, middle class and English. The views of many of their columnists and editors are too right-wing for my liking and I believe it's papers like this which print such vociferous anti-immigration, pro-nationalist, pro-traditionalist propaganda which are responsible for causing a populist casual racism founded in ignorance which I'm seeing more and more of in Britain today. There's no "wrong" or "right" in politics, but whatever it is the Daily Mail is, it's what I'm not. SJ Debaser 18:19, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Heh, forgot my sarcasm tags. Most of my familiarity with the Fail comes from their promotion of climate denialism, so I assumed its political leanings were toward the wingnut side of things. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:31, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Voted. Can we get an awesome forum going like last time? Please oh please? Cat Panic (talk) 19:13, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

No exit polls or anything yet.
This site has an interesting, if pointless, count of the number of tweets for the Yes and No campaigns, and has Yes getting 75%+. If only. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:11, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
The online presence, made of mostly young and intelligent people, is very pro-AV. The population at large is likely to be scared by the Mail and so is anti-AV. Let's face it, it's lost. And I'm fucking pissed off. The No campaign have lied and misrepresented AV throughout the entire campaign. You know what, if I was to say David Cameron raped and murdered a girl in 1990, I'd be brought to account for lying, why are these arseholes not prosecuted in the same way? Sour grapes? Maybe. But ultimately the No campaign has LIED. That is all that matters. Something that would have been good for this country has been defeated because of LIES and MISINFORMATION. Yeah, I'm pissed and pissed off. ADK...I'll admonish your leaking roof! 23:33, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Yup. For me, losing the vote isn't the worst part. If there had been an honest vote about the proposed new voting method, and the No campaign had been able to convince a plurality of people to their side, then fair enough. But they haven't done that. Blunkett, Cameron, Reid and other lying liars have lied their lying way to a lying victory. Baroness Warsi has managed to place herself at #1 in my personal list of politicians who are a disgrace to the system, which when you consider that assholes such as Straw and Redwood were vying for that spot beforehand is quite some result.
It won't be the 20% figure that opinion polls have been suggesting, but I'd be very, very surprised if the gap was less than 10%. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:12, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Uh, welcome to politics? In my country, Obamacare (much less a public option or single-payer) IS GUMMINT TAKEOVER SOSHULIZMZ!!11!!/The Road to Serfdom. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:17, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

### Open letter to Nick Clegg

Dear Nick Clegg,

I would just like you to know that you are the biggest failure in UK political history. I had high hopes for you before the 2010 election, and voted Lib Dem even though under First Past the Post, such a vote is wasted in my constituency. I wanted to at least help in the case that a party that gets over 20% of the vote should get a similar representation in parliament, and not the 10% of seats that the Lib Dems actually get.

You had the chance to get that; Labour were offering a referendum on AV+ in coalition talks. You could have changed British politics forever with that, and yet you chose to stick it to Gordon Brown and go with David Cameron and a vote on AV. Like an idiot, you thought you could trust a "No" campaign to play fair, and you didn't forsee that by forcing through higher tuition fees on students early in parliament, the Tories would cast you as the villain, thereby losing your core support and any chance of winning the referendum.

Ironically, even though AV+ is a step further than AV, many people I have spoken to would have supported a "Yes" vote on a proportional voting system, but couldn't see the point in voting for AV. Thanks to you, we will never get that chance as we will be stuck with a system that works fine for the two-party political system that you will have also achieved, come 2015.

Fuck you very much, Nick Clegg.

Kind regards,

Bondurant (talk) 07:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Labour had no interest in doing a coalition deal and the numbers wouldn't have worked out anyway. And of course, all these conservative policies are Nick Clegg's fault. Yes, Nick Clegg orchestrated the No campaign himself. Yeah fucking right. Rewrite that for Cameron and we'll be talking actual sense. ADK...I'll watch your noun! 07:35, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll tell you why I blame Clegg. It's because for a political leader, he has practically no aptitude for politics. He signed a pledge against tuition fees, and somehow allowed himself to be manoeovered into a position where he had to vote to increase them instead of abstaining or voting against. As a result, he has become an lightening conductor for all the bad policies this government has brought in ever since. That's bad politics. It makes him look like he has no principles, and he alienated his core support at the same time. He was stupid to think it could go any other way. Politics is about perception as much as it is about policies. The main proponent of AV couldn't even campaign effectively for it thanks to his naivety. He is finished as a polititian, and his party will take 20 years to recover. Bondurant (talk) 07:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
What about the income tax threshold, or civil liberties, or the mere fact we got a referendum (ignoring perhaps the valid point that we should have expected the Tories to play dirty on that one)? The student fees are not the be-all and end-all of current government policies. Yes, he's a lightning rod and whipping boy, but that doesn't make it all his fault and we shouldn't endorse the view where one man gets blamed for something that he basically has little control over. Direct the hate towards the ones who are actually in control. Abandoning the Lib Dems now will effectively end the coalition and probably lead the Conservative party to an outright majority. The simple fact is that everything that is wrong can be traced back to the Conservatives and Cameron's policies; the dirty No2AV campaign, outrageous student fees, slashing welfare, insane service cuts, selling off the NHS and so on. Blaming Clegg for this is fucking idiotic as people seem to have conveniently forgotten that he is not the Prime Minister and the Liberal Democrats are not the controlling party. ADK...I'll cuddle your diamond! 08:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I think this is a problem in the UK that we don't understand coalition politics. We are too used to seeing the government as a monolithic party-centric entity and can't uncouple the junior partner's role and responsibilities from it. While Clegg might well have been naive (there's a shock) and the Tories will protect their own party's interests (there's another one), you're doing exactly what the Tories want by blaming Clegg for everything. I think Clegg's biggest mistake was becoming deputy PM rather than simply taking a few ministerial positions like they do in, say, Germany. I mean, you don't see the Greens being roasted over the coals every time the German government does something unpopular. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:43, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
The smaller coalition partner in Germany (which is the FDP, by the way, not the Greens) is currently not just getting roasted, but almost obliterated in just about every election. They've lost about 80% of the support which they got in the last election, which was an extraordinary result that could hardly have been repeated anyway, but still. They also hold the position of vice-chancellor, and their party leader up until now had managed to make himself the most disliked politician in the coutry until he was forced to abandon the post. This is not much different from Clegg's position, they've both become the main targets for dissatisfaction with the government in general. Röstigraben (talk) 09:18, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Apologies, I meant the previous alliances when the Greens were in power. Late 90s / early 00s? Ajkgordon (talk) 09:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Looking at it further to refresh my memory, they did take the V-C job in the first coalition, that went pear-shaped with the invasion of Afghanistan, and they didn't make the same mistake in the second coalition even with an increased number of seats. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Yep, 1998-2005. Good times. They managed to do quite well indeed, their support is even approaching the level of our two bigger parties now. Edit: but their (inofficial) party leader was vice chancellor in both coalitions (98-02 and 02-05), as is customary for the highest-ranking cabinet officer from the smaller party. He usually acts as foreign minister as well. Röstigraben (talk) 09:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, well I'm completely misremembering then! Ajkgordon (talk) 09:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Before John Prescott, there was no post in the UK called "Deputy Prime Minister" and even today, it is still a largely symbolic position. He's the guy that stands at PMQs when the Prime Minister is away, and in this parliament, he's the one that gets the kicking from the right wing press for all the policies that he's not to blame for. The two people who are traditionally seen as being the most influentual in the cabinet are the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary. Bondurant (talk) 09:58, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, that's not true: Willie Whitelaw was deputy PM under Thatcher for a start. I'll agree with the point about the most-influential cabinet members though, as long as you add Home Secretary too. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 10:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
It's mostly symbolic over here as well, basically the same things you pointed out. AFAIK, he is first in the line of succession should something happen to the chancellor, but only temporarily until parliament has elected a new chancellor, not like the US vice presidency. Röstigraben (talk) 10:12, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I stand corrected. I had a (false) recollection that under Blair, the post of Deputy Prime Minister was somehow formalised in a way that it wasn't before. The UK Deputy Prime Minister has no constitutional role or right of succession. Bondurant (talk) 10:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)I'm not blaming Clegg for all those bad policies, and can credit him with the good. Not only that, but the fact that the raving right of the Tory party has been nullified for now. I'm blaming him for allowing himself to be made to look like a hypocrite, losing his support base and running an utterly innefectual "Yes" to electoral reform campaign. We have lost our chance to get a fairer system and will not get the chance again for at least a generation. Bondurant (talk) 08:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with AJK - taking the deputy prime minister role was a mistake. He let his ego get the better of him and didn't forsee how the Tories would use him to deflect attention from their own policies. The right-wing supporting press are complicit in Clegg's assassination. As a junior member of a looser coalition, he woulnd't have had to tie his colours to the Tory mast the way he has done.
On my drive to work, there are about 6 billboards clustered together, and 4 of them are "No" campaign posters with Clegg's face all over them. It's his fault that he has allowed himself to become such a hate figure and the "No" campaign's most effective campaigner. Bondurant (talk) 08:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)I don't think the effect of the Yes campaign can be blamed on Clegg. The No campaign got a massive amount of funding, probably from Tory lords and were campaigning for the status-quo, which is easy. The Yes camp did have some failings, like leaving it up to the internet to coherently explain it and never going out on the attack over the outright lies and fabrications (hopefully Blunkett's admission that they pulled the £250 million figure out of their arse might keep the momentum up and sway support back towards reform and some of the Lib Dems make good on their promise to take legal action over the lying little shits) but I don't think you can possibly blame Clegg for that. He's DPM, not the press officer for the campaign. While he's the political figurehead for it, I'm sure he's had more important stuff to do over the last month. Though I do see Ajkgordon's point that he should have just taken a ministerial position to avoid the spotlight. I'm sure the thinking was that taking DPM was the right thing and would have increased his profile (and the UK is inexperienced with this sort of thing, it would have just seemed like the only sensible option at the time) but it's backfired by putting him on a pedestal to get flogged in public. Dumb in hindsight, yes, but it is still not the sensible position to attack Clegg and punish the Lib Dems over this as it's just going to increase support for the Tories that are the actual factual root of the problem. And with reform highly unlikely to pass, they'll remain that way and get stronger. ADK...I'll pander your elf! 09:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
The Lib Dems were on a hiding to nothing from the moment the polls closed at the last election. They had prayed for a hung parliament for many years but when it turned up it was poisoned chalice. Any deal with Labour the minor parties would have led to a chaotic mixture of small parties each demanding their personal pound of flesh, keeping Labour in wouldn't have been popular with the voters and the complex coalition wouldn't have survived the first crisis: a deal with the Tories - who were obviously on a path to cut services - would leave the Lib Dems looking stupid. They went for the second and that's what happened. --BobSpring is sprung! 10:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't forget there was a genuine and somewhat justified feeling of "Holy shit, this country is in serious trouble" and there was real pressure on the LibDems that Something Must Be Done. The only practical way of helping out was to go into a coalition with the Tories. They would have been rightly condemned if they refused or tried an unsustainable loose coalition with Labour. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

### Small rant and analogy

5 men go out to rob a bank. To make up the numbers they bring along a 6th guy, a spotty teenage brat that doesn't really do much. They tell him to stand outside while they do the robbing. With the bags of swag in their hands they climb into the getaway car, leaving the poor sap behind. The people know who the robbers are, but that would be too much effort to catch them, so they grab McSpottyson, beat him senseless, blame him exclusively for the bank robbery, charge him with planning, organising it and carrying it out and, satisfied they don't have to do any work to catch the other 5 even though they know who they are, throw him in jail charged with treason and murder. Of course, this man did nothing much, and in real life we wouldn't do this sort of shit because we assume we're nice and intelligent and fair.

So why are people insisting on blaming Nick Clegg for EVERYTHING EVER? It makes fuck all sense. The Lib Dems control less than 10% of parliamentary seats. Their manifesto pledges on civil liberties, voting reform and raising income tax thresholds were carried out. So why are economic problems and government spending cuts Nick Clegg's fault? Have people collectively forgotten that we have a fucking Tory government for fucks sake, lead by a man who I once saw described on this site as "more Thatcher than Thatcher". All these people abandoning the Lib Dems over the coalition is just going to strengthen the split-left that keeps the Tories in power without majority support. Lib-Lab wasn't going to happen because not only did the numbers not work out but Labour weren't interested. Lib-Con was how it had to be and we're better off because of it, having been buffered against some of the speed and scale of ideologically conservative policies by the Lib Dem influence. We shouldn't be abandoning these people, but actually strengthening them and supporting them so they can do more, not less. The knee-jerk stupidity of people fucking disgusts me. You'd almost think Cameron took on Clegg as a whipping boy intentionally... oh, that explains it. Here's to another decade of shit Tory rule! ADK...I'll swim your Volvo! 07:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Your analogy is shit. Clegg isn't some spotty brat along for the ride, he's the leader of the third biggest political party in the UK. Bondurant (talk) 07:53, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
And very much the JUNIOR member of a coalition. Direct the hate towards Cameron. ADK...I'll soak your glue! 08:24, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
And "third biggest" is about 8-9% of the government. Tory MPs outnumber them by almost 5 to 1. ADK...I'll mollify your harpsichord! 08:33, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Clegg's mistake was to be totally blind-sided by the Tories in the negotiations over the agenda of the coalition. After the first Scottish elections, the Lib Dems were ready for talks and were able to play hardball with Labour and get a lot of stuff. Arguably too much, in fact, because Labour won the next election and were able to govern on their own. The LDs weren't hurt by the coalition deal there, though. After the election last year, Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander et al were like rabbits caught in the headlights. Cameron came out almost immediately with a set of proposals and the LDs had nothing, so they were always a step behind in the negotiations. They didn't have to form a formal coalition if the Tories wouldn't budge on certain issues - they could have agreed to pass the Queen's Speech and then vote on the issues. They could even have threatened to vote against the speech, which would have triggered another election - and the Tories didn't want that. ADK is right that it's incorrect to blame Nick Clegg for the actions of the coalition, but it was his fault that the party went into it with its trousers around its ankles. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 09:03, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Joint Enterprise is the magic term. If you are involved in a crime, even at the planning stage, you are responsible for any foreseeable consequences of the crime that occur, jointly with the other participants. The "untouchable" shadowy figure you sometimes see in movies who plans armed robberies but doesn't participate, could be convicted not just of robbery, but also of murder if someone is shot and killed during the robbery even though killing them wasn't expressly the purpose of the robbery.

Nick Clegg must have known that the effect of the coalition would be to ensure that many Conservative policies went ahead and that Conservative philosophy would direct future policy decisions. He also must have known that his ability to influence the direction of policy after agreeing to the coalition would be very limited. So yes, he's jointly responsible for government policy. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 09:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

That is quite spectacularly missing the point. ADK...I'll suck your option! 13:43, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
How is it not entirely the Lib Dem's fault? They decided to get in to bed with a party who in almost every respect have the opposite opinions to them for no other reason than for power. They traded their every principle for this AV vote, in hopes they could get more power in future. Now they're reaping what they've sown. They aren't going to get AV, and everyone despises them for throwing everything they claim to believe in to the wind. They're getting precisely what they deserve in my opinion. If they have a shred of dignity left, they'll withdraw from the "coalition" immediately. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:47, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
--Scream!! (talk) 11:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
They're in bed with the Tories because that makes a majority government. Lab-Con was never going to happen ever and Lab-Lib didn't happen and wouldn't result in a majority government either. How else do you play that situation? ADK...I'll expunge your brickbat! 13:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
ADK is right - it was the only realistic option. As I said above, it might have been worth trying to leave the Tories as a minority government, but that could have backfired even more spectacularly. True, a second election would have screwed the Tories' line of "Vote Liberal, Get Labour", but on the other hand they'd have been open to "They got the result they wanted, but were more interested in playing politics". I still say the leadership really messed up with the coalition agreement though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 13:07, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I am always right. :P It would have been interesting to see them try to force a minority government but considering people don't like "weak" government it would have been seen as spoiling the game. And we'd have Tory policies going through opposed but undiluted, whereas the Lib Dems have enacted enough of their manifesto to cushion us just slightly against Cameron's insanely quick and harsh slashing. It'd be interesting to see the result following a second election after minority Tory rule, but I reckon the Lib Dems would have done more poorly. There would have been time for them to rally around the "Conservatives will save us" message. ADK...I'll abandon your catamite! 13:42, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

### Calm down, liberal scum

1) Both the Yes and No campaigns lied through their teeth. Let's not do an Andy and pretend that the True Way of AV is being Denied by the Treacherous Designs of Conservative Elites. 2) If AV is shot down, it's because it's a shit system that makes no sense. If you're going to give people five votes, simply assign each vote a value of 1-5 and the politician who's got the highest overall value wins. Don't arbitrarily let some people vote four times and others once. Under AV, a party that received 1% of first choice votes but 99% of second choice votes would be the first to die. That's neither right nor fair. 3) Turnout was low. It's not that people have been scared into voting against it, it's just that people don't give a shot about changing from one questionable system to another.EddyP Great King! Disaster! 11:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Oh good grief. You do not get four or five votes. You get one. And your example is contrived and ridiculous. I'll offer a ludicrous FPTP example where there are 49,999 candidates in a seat with an electorate of 50,000. Each candidate gets 1 vote except for one who gets 2, thereby being elected with 0.004% of the vote. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
EddyP, you rail against lying in the campaign and then, practically in the same breath, repeat the lie about some people getting 5 votes while others only get 1. Bondurant (talk) 12:04, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say people get five votes. I said they get to vote five times, under the system of 'bad luck, try again'. As opposed to the 20% of people who voted first choice for the party that came in second and don't get the opportunity to have another go. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 12:16, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
No, you said "If you're going to give people five votes..."
You don't get to vote five times - you get to vote once. Please don't spread Tory lies on this. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:18, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
That was a hypothetical ideal situation if you're going to let people vote for five candidates. RE AV I said "Don't arbitrarily let some people vote four times and others once". You're doing that annoying thing where you read too much into other people's comments again. My question is, why do some people's fourth preference get counted and other people don't have their second preference counted? If you're going to let people vote in order of preference, DONT eliminate candidates; just pile ALL second preference votes on, then ALL third preferences, until someone gets 50%. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 12:22, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Eddy, I'm reading the exact words you said and then reading you claim that you didn't say them. It's a total lie and you should be ashamed for spreading it. You have yet to point out any lie from the Yes campaign. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
"Dubious claims on both sides" from the BBC. FYI I didn't vote; I've only just read my polling card. And I'd appreciate it if you'd look at my other points rather than fixating on one sentence I'll admit could have been written better. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 12:48, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
"The Yes side tries to avoid such blatant falsehoods, but its supporters sometimes get carried away." - hardly supports your claim. I've responded to two of your three points. The point about low turnout is irrelevant - turnout has been generally declining for years but it's silly to claim this means that people are in general more happy with their government. The truth is that "Don't Know" voters have been scared off by the lies of the "No" camp during the campaign - the opinion poll trendline clearly shows DKs dropping and going almost entirely to the No side. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 12:54, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Here is a thorough list of the lies. You might want to note that with the Yes ones they're not lies in the same way as the No ones, but more slight exaggerations or badly worded truths. why do some people's fourth preference get counted and other people don't have their second preference counted? Because if your second pref isn't counted, that means your first pref is still in the round and you're voting for them. If those people had their second pref counted, they'd be voting twice. And as has been pointed out, AV doesn't allow you to vote twice. I don't know what is so hard to understand about this. ADK...I'll nuke your steak dinner! 13:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
SR, I'm still waiting on "If you're going to let people vote in order of preference, DONT eliminate candidates; just pile ALL second preference votes on, then ALL third preferences, until someone gets 50%." AK, my point when I say "why do some people's fourth preference get counted and other people don't have their second preference counted?" is hard to explain, and I've not done it very well. It's basically the fact that the order in which candidates are eliminated will affect the vote distribution and eventual winner; this is wrong, the winner should be based on pure and simple vote distribution. For instance, maybe the first candidate eliminated performed strongly in second-preference votes, but never got a chance to see them? Maybe if the second-placed candidate had been eliminated earlier, his voter's other preference votes would have been distributed and affected the outcome of the entire election, resulting in a different candidate. As I said to SR, if you're going to let people vote in order of preference, DONT eliminate candidates; just pile ALL second preference votes on, then ALL third preferences, until someone gets 50%. And SR, the no campaign gained momentum precisely because of that - it's a no campaign. The group campaigning for change, when the opportunity for change comes, is already at full speed. The opposition needs time to get up to speed. And your opinion of British voters varied wildly; you seem to think that they're politically savvy enough to know which candidates represent them to what degree - necesarry in an AV election - but innocent enough to be put off voting for AV because of what some bloke said on the telly. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:18, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realise you had asked about that... Well I don't know. I've never heard of that system before and I certainly haven't studied it, so I'm not going to comment on whether or not it's better. I know that AV isn't a perfect system, and indeed I know that there's no such thing. My personal preference is for STV, but there's absolutely no chance of seeing that during my lifetime.
As to the campaign, yes I believe people are savvy enough to understand their candidates, but I also believe that people don't expect to have bare-faced lies told to them about something like this. We all know that politicians exaggerate and evade, but to have the No campaign pluck figures out of the air as a "cost" for the new system was astonishing. Since most people will have no way of verifying the figure for themselves, it's bound to have an effect. The No campaign has been nothing but lies from start to finish, and it had its desired effect of scaring people into voting No. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 13:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
There is a system to take into account preferences but it's horrendously complicated maths, requires people to rank everyone (so there's no real "not this person" vote) or it does lead people to vote more than once. In short, it's shit and wouldn't alter AV-based results much anyway. The situations where order of eliminations matter apply in very, very specific circumstances and then to take tactical advantage of that you'd need to a) know the voting preferences of everyone and b) co-ordinate with you fellow voters to keep someone into the final round if you think their second prefs will lead to another victory. You're piling on more complications than are even necessary by trying to say people whos first preference win don't get a say with their second. ADK...I'll kill your lithium! 13:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
AK, I'm not talking about people taking advantage of the AV system of voting - simply it's weaknessesb that will be readily apparent, in that some voters get to see their second preferences taken into account and some don't, and in that some candidates don't even get the chance to receive second preference votes. "People whos first preference win don't get a say with their second" You misunderstand - I'm talking about people whose candidate comes second - what about their next preferences? What if each and every one of them would have preferred the Lib Dem candidate (who was eliminated in the previous round) over the eventual winning Labour candidate? EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:55, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Their second preferences don't count because their side was in the lead until the final round. I understand completely what you're trying to say but I don't think you quite get how completely irrelevant it is to AV being a non-ideal system. It's mathematically impossible to be 100% "fair". AV just lets people who would otherwise waste a vote on a third or fourth place candidate switch their vote in a knock-out round. There is no need to take into account second preferences of the voters who vote for the winner and runner up in the final round because their first preferences are still counted and their vote doesn't need to be transferred. There is nothing horrendously unfair about this because you seem to misunderstand the point of ranking candidates; it's not really "preference" but a short hand way of assessing how someone would vote over several knock-out rounds of voting. Therefore the second prefs of someone who votes for the winning party first are an irrelevance because, as the winner, they're not knocked out. ADK...I'll calcify your Conservative! 14:02, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
In real life a vote is not just a positive decision it is also a negative one. Under FPTP people do not always vote for the candidate they'd really like because they realise that their real choice probably doesn't stand a chance of winning in their constituency, so they align with another candidate who has a better chance in order to vote against the one who they definitely don't want to get elected. Let's imagine that instead of political clumpiness we had a truly homogeneous distribution of political opinion throughout the country, under that scenario the largest party would win every seat in FPTP. That is not representative and is not fair. What we actually have is clumpy homogeneity with Lib-Dems second-placed to the Tories throughout most of the shires and home-counties and being second-placed to Labour in the large cities and industrial north. The aim of a representative democracy is surely to be fairly representative of the electorate as a whole; under the FPTP system that is clearly not happening, as a party with 20%-30% of the vote consistently gets less than 10% of the seats. AV is not ideal but it is better than FPTP. Under the current system we have a Labour Party who have never won more than 50% of votes and therefore have every reason to stick to the FPTP system and a Tory Party who don't mind being occasionally kicked out of government as they know that they largely have the support of the affluent southern middle classes and will ultimately get back and then undo the most egregious of Labour policies. As for EddyP arguing that people's second place votes should be taken into account before others' third and fourth placed votes well that is more in line with STV which is what the Lib-Dems would have preferred the referendum to be about. ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 13:22, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, with the results coming in I've come to the conclusion that humans are far too fucking stupid to be allowed to use democracy to elect their leaders, or anything else for that matter. But my sour mood might be down to the fact that the Westminster arm of my party still won't leave the fucking coalition to save the Lib Dems. I initially thought that this coalition might be a good thing, but all it seems has happened is that Clegg and Co. have just bent over and grabbed their ankles and let the Tories do what they like. I think I'm with Simon Hughes. At a very minimum the Lib Dems should be a work to rule now, and frankly, it would be best if they left the coalition.-- Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:09, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

The only hope is that the economy is doing much, much better by the time of the next election. If not, and they're still in coalition, the Lib Dems face destruction. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 17:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Cynical, but I do agree with the stunted one. It'd be a risky move, but it would be pretty epic for Clegg to tell the coalition to stuff itself right this instant. But as an aside, as the No campaign have shown that you can lie, cheat and misrepresent, face no consequences for it and for it to actually work, did you know that David Cameron raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? ADK...I'll vitiate your amplifier! 17:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
@SR: On the bright side the implosion of the Lib Dems would leave us with just two main parties, so FPTP wouldn't be quite as ridiculous. Broccoli (talk) 17:31, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
You are, alas, correct. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 17:33, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
(Massive EC, you gits)Even if the economy is doing much better, I can't see the Lib Dems getting the credit for it. If the economy improves, and it is seen to be down to government policy, then it's going to be seen as Tory policies that have done it. So Tory voters will vote Tory, Labour supporters will vote Labour, floating voters will split towards the Tories, and the traditional Lib Dem vote will probably end up going to the Greens or Labour, simply because of the way that traditional Lib Dem voters feel betrayed over things like tuition fees, the continued use of ATOS to vet disability claims and the currently delayed health reforms. No, after the next election, no matter what the economy is doing, I can see the Liberal Democrats having to reform and start again like we did in the '80s. Bring back Kennedy!!!-- Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:35, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps if he doesn't grow some testicles and disown the coalition in the next month or two they'll need a new leader and radically reform in time for the next election, but for what it's worth, I still kinda like Clegg and don't really wish any malice towards him. It's quite a shitty position to be put into and since I can't imagine doing any better, I can't blame him personally for much. ADK...I'll bake your polyethylene! 17:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

## More OBL

Seems to me that Obama and his lads are not handling victory very well. On a lighter note there are some fantastic conspiracy theories.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

John Cole's take on this stupidity wins. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:04, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
They could be holding on to the photos intentionally in order to extent the political capital of this by releasing them later. They might even be trolling the conservatives for a birther-like conspiracy theory so that at some point they go "oh, you mean these photos? Here you go". Possibly during the 2012 election race and especially if the republican candidate makes this a core-ish issue of his campaign, Trump style. Sen (talk) 19:25, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
My favourite conspiracy one:
• The deaths of Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler were both announced on 1 May, suggesting they were sacrificed by the Illuminati to mark the secret order's second holiest holiday.
It's all so clear.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:28, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

(undent) Sorry if I don't snark enough, but there's no place for discussion at CZ. I think there are several variables here:

• The value of the pictures (and other data) to the American people and in, regrettably, American politics
• The impact of the information on A-Q members and sympathizers
• Interactions with the Arab Spring
• Interactions with the larger Muslim world.

Personally, I'd rather see a detailed autopsy and forensic reports than the head photographs. If I had the photographs, I'd do as I have done with several others from claimed atrocities: go over them in near-microscopic detail with pathologists, trauma surgeons, wound ballistics people, and any other relevant experts.

It is inconceivable to me to publish them without appropriate information on the preparation for burial and the burial.

On the other hand, all photos putting ObL with Elvis, or suggesting he hides in Donald Trump's hair, should be released at once. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there's not just what you would want seen done with the photographs. 9/11 produced enough disaster porn for the world to fap over. We don't really need people jacking it to his face too. ADK...I'll give your infinity! 07:08, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
How conservative of you. People have a right to their own sexuality/fantasies! Sen (talk) 14:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I ate Osama. He tasted bad. But seriously, this might be funnier than the 9/11 conspiracy theoriesZ-Rex (talk) 15:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Looks like the wingnut narrative is starting to take hold. I can't wait for the 2012 campaign: "The death of Osama: THE BIGGEST FAILURE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION!!!!1111!!!!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:55, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
More Obama fail! ZOMGZ, he removed the flag from Ground Zero (except when he didn't)!! Worst week for Obama ever! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:47, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

## Expand ze bookshelf!

Looking at the bookshelf, I think we could expand it a great deal and help make it a good repository for books considered "skeptical classics" in their fields, debunking woo within that field, while stuff like Randi, Shermer, etc. can go under "general skepticism." Thoughts, ideas, flames? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:23, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan Black Swan ADK...I'll speak your curry! 00:50, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Mega-overhaul of the bookshelf is complete. Add moar. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Fooled by Randomness is probably even better than Black Swan IMHO. ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 09:09, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Really? Have to get it.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:56, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
"Meme machine" by Susan Blackmore --PsyGremlinTal! 10:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Quantum psychology" by RA Wilson. --PsyGremlinTal! 10:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

## More Rapture.

I was driving around, saw this. Freaking hilarious. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 03:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

I've seen that too, but I don't remember if it was actually driving around or just on the internets. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:21, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Also happily coincides with the 4th anniversary of RW 2.0 according to Human's message. ADK...I'll disintegrate your electric toothbrush! 07:01, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Where was the photo taken? MDB (talk) 12:23, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess "near me" is insufficient? It's a bit outside Detroit. Madison Heights, about 5 miles north of Detroit. If you want to know exactly, it was about here. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 13:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I wonder what the Family Radio people will say on May 22. ListenerXTalkerX 19:43, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I think they will talk about it as little as possible. - Gameboy (talk) 02:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Nah, it will turn out the Rapture really will happen that day, but only some guy in Kansas is worthy of being raptured, and no one will notice his disappearance. But yeah, crazy-ass website getting posted here is one thing, driving past that billboard on my way to dinner was quite shocking. But it was nice to be able to explain to the others in the car WTF it meant, since I'd already read the site. Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 02:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
A lot of people believe that the Last Judgment has already happened, Revelation being an allegory for the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. ListenerXTalkerX 05:09, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

## Plugged In's insanity

OK, it is run by Focus on the Family, which explains a lot. The movie reviews are...meh, but stuff like The Family Room is just so batshit insane that you can't help but laugh. Well, ok, a lot less insane than CP but still... Quackpack11! | Talk! Scream! Share! 19:31, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

## Dana fails again

[6] Apparently there are no chemical differences between a blank CDR and one full of data. Whodathunkit? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:44, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Wow. That is Not Even Wrong. ADK...I'll toast your stapler! 13:47, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I presume he thought of it as one of those win-win questions, because we would either say "There is no difference" in which case he could point out the same for tap water vs homeopathy, and if we explained structural differences then he would have said "the same as homeopathic water". He obviously failed to spot how the analagy has fuck all to do with homeopathy. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:52, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, there are further tweets of "yes, structure is everything!!!111" going on. But one thing: we can detect the structural difference in a CD by, you know, playing it. We can't detect any "structural difference" in homeopathic solvents so by extension they do not exist. Someone condense that into 140 characters and hit him over the head please. ADK...I'll confuddle your dot! 13:55, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
But what's the chemical difference between tested and untested medicine? Nothing! Admit defeat and buy my expensive water. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 14:02, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
The question Dana Ullman can't answer: How does he win an argument when (D)Ullman's Law is in effect? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
There probably is a chemical difference. When you burn through the aluminium the localised heating probably has some impact on the nearby polymer molecules.Geni (talk) 17:56, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
In that sense it's still primarily a structural difference. And you couldn't encode information in that, really. ADK...I'll neuter your Honda! 00:24, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, that doesn't even really matter. I mean, you can see the data on the CD without even playing it. Look at a disc that's about half-full with data and you can see the division between the blank area and the part that was burned. Not that that matters either 'cause homeopathy is bunk. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:30, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, we can see meaningful structure on a CD, we can't see any meaningful structure in water. ADK...I'll loll your seaweed! 00:36, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Basically the problem with homeopathy isn't structure. It's "lack of existance" of said structure. Lots of things suffer from lack of existance. For example I once wanted to buy an island but my bank informed me that my account suffers from lack of existance of several millions in it and much as I tried to explain my point regarding the chemical differences between DVDs they weren't buying it. Sen (talk) 15:13, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
"Lots of things suffer from lack of existance." That's a particularly Rumsfeldian way of putting it. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

## WND poll

Breakdown of the results.

Do you believe U.S. Christians are being persecuted? Nothing that has not been noted before, but I do like that "No, U.S. Christians have no idea what real persecution is" got to 7 which isn't bad for a dissenting opinion on a WND poll. - π 01:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, one of the options "Yes, Christians are subjected to ridicule and stereotyping that would be condemned if applied to any other group" has some truth to it. I wouldn't really call it persecution, but it is interesting to note, about how there is such a fuss (including from non-Muslims) about people insulting Islam, yet far worse insults get applied to Christianity (e.g. Piss Christ) with barely a whimper. There is a definite double standard in Western societies, insulting Christianity is far more acceptable (socially, legally, etc.) than insulting Islam. --(((Zack Martin))) 01:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
You mean besides draw Muhammad day and those (actually pretty unfunny) cartoons that the Dutch paper ran? And before you say "yeah but there was such a big fuss about those", there was also a big fuss about Piss Christ at the time and recently a Christian mob destroyed an artwork they considered offensive. I would say Christianity is lampooned more in the Western world because it is more ingrained into our culture. If you want to make a social commentary Christian imagery has more impact as it is familiar than something alien to us such as Islam. - π 01:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
It's unfair to compare the two attitudes, though. No one respects islam more than christianity, they're just more scared of islam. Mock catholicism, and you get an amusing rant by Bill Donahue. Mock islam and you get crowds of people burning shit in the streets and calling for your death (and actually trying to do it too, none of that sissy internet death threat crap). X Stickman (talk) 01:55, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Unrelated note: That .gif is awesome. Z-Rex (talk) 02:00, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

It may only be less "acceptable" to criticize Islam in politically correct circles, otherwise, totally false. See, e.g., all our articles in the Islamaphobia category (esp. Park51 and Peter King's ongoing "Mooslims is terrists!!!" hearings). Also, that pie chart is Pac-Man. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:00, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC3X) I wouldn't say that people respect Islam more, in the West the opposite is defiantly true, my point it that because Christianity is so much part of our culture and Islam so foreign, no artist or satirist is going to make much of a point by using Islam, whilst Christianity on the other hand has meaning to us culturally and so makes its ridicule more meaningful. - π 02:02, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
First, that gif RULES, awesome! Second, Maratrean, shut the fuck up. Third, for the first time in my short life, Pi guy, someone has used the word "whilst" correctly. ħuman 03:14, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I didn't think this guy was a troll, but to stand there and say with a straight face that there wasn't a whimper at "Piss Christ", well, that crosses the line of credibility. --Kels (talk) 03:17, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

There are a number of people in Europe who have been arrested recently for insulting Islam. Have there been any such recent arrests for detractors of Christianity? ListenerXTalkerX 04:00, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
depends. in the UK, you have blasphemy laws. In France, you have hate speech laws. If you attract any sort of attention for such remarks, you may well run afoul of the law. It's a question of whether or not anybody wants to bother.---brxbrx 04:04, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I am aware of the blasphemy laws currently masquerading as hate-speech laws in the U.K., but are you aware of any recent cases in Europe where people were arrested for insulting Christianity? ListenerXTalkerX 04:08, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
well, I looked this up, actually the UK's blasphemy laws were abolished [7]. Otherwise there have been a few cases taken to court. Once, French Catholics got a billboard removed because it contained an offensive portrayal of Jesus. This was in 2005. Bottom line: this isn't 1st century Rome. Christians are not persecuted in the Western world. ---brxbrx 04:22, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I was talking about the new laws. Do you have a link for the billboard story?
Also, I assume that by "Western world" you mean it in the Cold War sense, i.e., the First World? ListenerXTalkerX 04:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
link. When I say "Western World," I mean Western Europe and the USA/Canada.---brxbrx 04:32, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
The above pie-chart with its original labels
It appears from that list of cases that France has a peculiarly sane high court. Were there any convictions for offenses against Christianity in the U.K. or Canada? I know that in Canada there was a Christian pastor convicted for writing a homophobic letter-to-the-editor, and I think one or two people wound up getting convicted for blasphemy hate speech over the Muhammad cartoons.
The perceived "persecution of Christians" does not seem quite so ridiculous when you observe its history; viz., the Reds, who were the boogey-men of right-wing politics for a number of years, did actually make large persecutions of Christians in Christian-majority countries, causing religion to be used as an anti-communist rallying point. Ironically, as communism became increasingly sidelined as a boogey-man, right-wingers were forced to replace actual concerns about religious persecution with a spin on an old Red saw, as illustrated at right. ListenerXTalkerX 05:03, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't find anything about people in Western countries being convicted over the Muhammad cartoons, do you have a source for that? WP has some info on an investigation against Jyllands-Posten that was conducted on the basis of an old anti-blasphemy law that went nowhere. I haven't heard about people getting arrested for "insulting Islam" in general either - if that happened, might it have been because they tried to instigate violence against Muslims rather than just voicing criticism of Islam? Röstigraben (talk) 06:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
There are some cases listed here that do not match that criterion. One Canadian cartoon case had not been dropped, the last I heard, but that was a while ago. ListenerXTalkerX 06:22, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
But neither the hoteliers nor the Quran-burners were actually convicted. It's of course bad enough that they had to deal with this nonsense at all, but it shows that it's simply impossible to enforce blasphemy laws in a free society. Röstigraben (talk) 06:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
The discussion is about people being arrested rather than being convicted. But the lack of convictions shows only that judges are more qualified than politicians to interpret laws; here in the U.S., we have a hearty judicial review tradition, in consequence of which "free speech" still means "free speech" here, rather than "free speech except as concerns the kind of speech free-speech laws were made to protect." ListenerXTalkerX 06:48, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

I honestly think there's more to ridicule about Christianity than Islam. All in all on the Christian nutty site we have people like CP sysops and WND, on the Muslim nutty site we have people waging war against all non-Muslims. Call me whatever you want but the one is funnier then the other. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 14:41, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

## Fuel Doctor

Improve your vehicles milage by 20% by reducing the electrical noise in your vehicles system through this device that plugs into your cars cigarette lighter. Approved by certified EPA test facility ! and a link for those who want to purchase HERE Hamster (talk) 05:06, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

I saw that this afternoon at an auto supply store. I thought I'd read about it in an article here... Quaruchessboard - You can't explain that! 06:14, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Easy skim test for everything in this category: Why wouldn't major car manufacturers include this technology and bump their fuel economy numbers? Every time you answer "I don't know" it means the technology doesn't work and you need investigate no further. Mostly these devices (like this one, which plugs into an irrelevant electrical system) literally don't do anything. A few of them actually do something, mostly they slightly reduce your efficiency by e.g. making hydrogen and then burning it. To workaround the problem of having a non-functional product, there are two major strategies. One: Lie. Simple, to the point. Very popular in the US market where consumer protection is weak. Two: Include instructions for efficient driving but phrase them as if they're necessary to make the product function. Voila - efficiency improves because the driver is driving better. A \$1 advice sheet would be just as effective, but it wouldn't be named "Platinum Fuel Doctor". 82.69.171.94 (talk) 08:22, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
One of the things that we do at RationalWiki when we find a woo product is to create an article about it and help the site grow. ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 08:25, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Automotive woo I believe. ħuman 02:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Also this site is probably a better place to start. ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 08:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Now this interesting. It's apparently a site called Fuel Doctor Scam but only contains positive reviews, something that makes me VERY suspicious. ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 08:41, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the "scam" thing is a recent SEO trick. They buy up websites that use the term "scam" prominently, so when people put "Woo Product X scam" into Google, they're directed to sites claiming to "expose the truth" but are actually filled with fake positive reviews and testimonials. ADK...I'll seize your entropy! 13:52, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
There are a lot of these scams, usually of the nature of "Put this shiny magnetic sticker over your gas tank/plug this useless gizmo into your cigarette lighter and save X MPG!" [8] Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait, why hasn't Ken got Andy to put up a Conservapediascam site? ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:30, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
They're not selling anything. The scam thing is really just a pre-emptive strike against consumer protection. If anyone can think of a decent title, it would be worth an article. ADK...I'll sink your hallway! 17:43, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't that just be considered domain squatting? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:49, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Domain squatting involves just taking a domain and putting up a generic page. The aim of cyber squatting is also to make money when people want to use those domains in the future. This is specific and targeted towards specific search terms and the sites are built specifically to appear somewhat genuine. Anyway, I have started an article, but it needs populated with examples. It is also worth considering the title, while it's currently short and alliterative, it's a liddle lame. ADK...I'll sell your octopus! 10:12, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Bogus namescam scam? ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 14:13, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The most thorough SEO pre-seeding I've seen is by eXfuze, who make one of the numerous useless health juices. They're an MLM (ie a pyramid scam but doing enough to avoid a slam dunk case for the prosecutor) and they work very hard to avoid negative material being available. If anyone finds a reasonable looking set of Google terms that find actual criticism of eXfuze I will be impressed. So far all I've found (with searches like "eXfuze scam" or "Seven Plus juice fraud") is material by eXfuze themselves, and material by second generation MLM scammers who want to sell you "secrets" of how to be successful in the scam. On the up side, now that we live in the Future™ all the compensation plan paperwork you need to see how the scam works is available as PDFs online. But now I've lurched waaay off topic. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 02:55, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

## Are we persecuting ListenerX enough?

There's less than two weeks to go until judgement day. I'd hate to go to hell thinking I'd failed in my duties here on earth. What can we do to further persecute him? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:46, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Point out that his hammer symbol looks like a space fighter. Z-Rex (talk) 15:51, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, I always thought "cock and balls" but meh. If people want to persecute others, they can do it on their own time. ADK...I'll pander your cowbell! 15:53, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
While persecuting LX is obviously a worthwhile goal, I'm not certain that it is sufficiently worthwhile to count come judgement day. Shouldn't we be drawing pictures of Jesus with a bomb in his turban so something?--BobSpring is sprung! 15:57, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Why waste oppression on LX when there are Jews about? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:02, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait a second, that's a hammer? That makes sense, given his religion and all, but I have spent literally years now thinking it was a bird. A crow or something. Even knowing it, I can't stop seeing a bird (much like how you can't avoid noticing the FedEx arrow after you learn about it).--talk
Funny, I thought it was a crow too until I went on the Asatru page. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:07, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Look at the picture's talk page. Z-Rex (talk) 16:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I thought it was the rebel alliance symbol from Star Wars. Isn't LX a Jedi? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe if you bend the bottom part back a bit, but not really. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually it does look a tad more hammer-like after the recent change.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:15, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
There, I made it much more hammer like. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:29, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
All that's left is to protect the page with the message "Can't touch this." (Sometimes I make even myself groan.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:32, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

As George Soros financed members of the Comintern, it should be our duty to ensure that LX receives as much harassment as possible for his audacity in fighting the International Communist World Revolution. All hail Lenin! 173.15.51.213 (talk) 16:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

lol, George Soros financed the governments he took down.---brxbrx 16:34, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of the Commie Jew - Best Daily Show ever. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, we all know Stalin was much better than Hitler. ADK...I'll cogitate your caterer! 17:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Suggest we mock everything in all of his essa— wait, they're already idiotic enough that they mock themselves. Cubic evil Hoover! 17:49, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

ListenerX needs to drop the whole Apollonian act, and embrace Dionysianism. --(((Zack Martin))) 22:00, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

There is the alternative of Transcendental Masturbation, where one does not actually manipulate one's genitalia, but repeats a mantra to it. Of course, why stop with simple Dionysianism, when one can have Jansenist Dioysianism? Coeducational radical Dianism? I do know a disabled Buddhist with "om ni padme hum" on the wheels of her chair. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
"Coeducational radical Dianism" sounds like it might be fun. Where do I join? --(((Zack Martin))) 22:23, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

ListenerXTalkerX 22:27, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

You love it really. ADK...I'll seize your Xbox 360! 09:45, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

## The rant that was in the wrong place

Testing

Moved from Conservapedia:What is going on at CP

sigh. You idiots, you fucking morons. bin Laden is a martyr now. That's a gloryfull death in Jihad. That won't stop them, it may even get worse. You don't kill Jihadists until you have too, you put 'em in high security prisons and saveguard them with special forces, so that they can't get out and nobody get's in. So the President of the United States of America has taken a big shit on the Declaration of Human Rights again - not that something like this would suprise me anymore, it has become a fucking Tuesday. And what does the leaders of the world too? Nuckle under, knee to the ground and shut up - or better, say how much it helps violating human rights to spread them. And what do we see in the USA? People openly celebrating on the streets that somebody was executed without a trial, without fellow men judging him, without evidence in front a jury, without a defense, without a conviction, without rules. It reminds me of the scenes of 9/11 when Palestines danced on the streets because Americans got killed, equally barbaric. Equally obscene. Shame on you. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 11:33, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm not entirely disagreeing with you here hateme. Although I do find it difficult to raise much in the way of moral outrage over the death of bin laden, I had friends on the tube trains in London although they all survived, but the overall point about the rule of law is not a bad one.
However none of that changes the fact that rob is a fuckwit to outdo even terry fuckwit from Viz. If rob had come here to argue about the international law aspects of this instead of trying to in some way twist and distort it to attack the black man I may have had some time for him. He didn't and I don't. Oldusgitus (talk) 12:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Bin Laden was not 'executed without a trial'; you think they wouldn't have preferred to take him alive? He fought back and the American forces fought back better. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:46, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
First, I disapprove of summary execution more than I disapprove of the US's refusal to participate in the ICC. We're completely unaccountable to the world and it's not serving our international good will very well. I don't think targeting a residence known to hold a high value individual and having to kill or be killed during the operation even compares to what some people here are calling conviction and execution. That said, just taking this situation in a vacuum and without passing moral judgment on it, I don't see why it's any different than anything else that a country does by fiat allegedly in its defense. We never bothered to seek international support for some of the military operations we conducted in Central America, yet I don't hear many complaints about School of the Americas graduate Manuel Noriega getting cockpunched by the US military. Or extradited to France (!) to be tried separately after he was convicted in the United States (!). On what basis would either nation purport to try the man other than fiat? Absent consent of concerned nations by treaty or otherwise, why is one nation entitled to do anything at all beyond its borders? We accept the right of a sovereign to conduct its affairs by fiat in so many areas, whether they be commerce, enforcing their own law against foreign strangers, or war. We start wars on our own and cobble together "coalitions" later, if ever. We run roughshod over rights of others we'd have to assiduously honor if we were good international citizens and cooperated by signing important international treaties. But notwithstanding our very real faults in those regards, why isn't fiat enough to justify attempting to capture a man who allegedly masterminded these atrocities? And why is it so horrible that in the course of the attempted capture he decided he's rather die than cooperate? Nutty Roux (talk) 15:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
This is where we mock Rob, for general outrage on this topic take it to RationalWiki:Saloon_bar#Booyah!!! - π 11:38, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
People just need to patch their bleeding hearts and get over it. Yes, taking him alive would have been far better for everyone and yes, the martyrdom thing could cause a problem, but that's not how it's ended up. I'm sure the actual men firing the actual bullets at the actual time gave it plenty of thought about the wider consequences of martyring a fanatic rather than concentrating on, you know, the usual firefight routine of "hey, better not get my ass shot". ADK...I'll edify your boozehound! 17:56, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, because you know all about what being in a firefight is about. We have both seen the same movies, perhaps, but still. ħuman 05:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I know enough to know that the thing running through your brain isn't "I wonder what the wider political ramifications of this will be". ADK...I'll delete your fluorescent light! 20:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I must say that I find it hard to get too upset about the death in a firefight of an acknowledged terrorist mastermind who was himself responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:02, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I know it happend, I'm not denying that in a long shot - but can I still criticize that it happend without - basically - getting "softie" thrown in my face? Btw, I also thought that killing Saddam Hussein or any of Nazi war crimers is wrong - but at least they got a trial. And there is a place for interantional crimes, it's the International Court of Justice - and if it is as you say and it was war, then Bin Laden targeted civilians, which is a war crime. If Bin Laden was killed in a normal firefight and not excecuted, my criticism is rendered mood anyway, because in this way killing hilm was self defense. But then again - are we really saying that Special Forces had to kill and old man and couldn't disarm him? And I believe that if bin Laden surrended and was still shot, the man who fired the the weapon and killed him should be put in military court.
I am hardly upset over te death of bin Laden but I'm upset about the method of his killing, because it shows that the people who thought they were so much better are just the same, only that they have a government on their side - and it's not like US didn't kill some civilians in the process of these last 9½ years (maybe even more then Al-Quaida) either. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 18:27, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
(Extra indents intentional)
[Off topic]Quoth UHM:"You idiots, you fucking morons." and "I know it happend, I'm not denying that in a long shot - but can I still criticize that it happend without - basically - getting "softie" thrown in my face? "
Whining about being called a "softie" is prima facia evidence of your softihood, especially after dishing it OUT so hard.
[On topic] OBL was a "bad man", he's now an ex-bad man. We all woulda liked if he had gave up but he didn't. He had eight years+ to come forward and demand his day in court (to clear his good name). He choose another option. That option led to his dying. 23:48, 2 May 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
Hehe, I never denied beeing a softie. And quite frankly I'm proud of having zero machismo. I just think it's a rather poor argument (ad hominem if all senses haven't leaved me yet). With "idiots" and "morons" I ment the prez and he people around him. I think I'm allowed to say that.
And if he chose that option with a weapon in his hands, the guys going in were defending themselves and that is completely ok. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 00:15, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Well none of us were there, and we can all imagine scenarios of BL surrendering, pretending to surrender, fighting on to ensure martyrdom or whatever, etc etc. And then we can make points based on what we speculate might have happened. Probably best to wait for a few more details before start court-martialing people though.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:40, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually another thought occurs to me. Suppose that, instead of sending in special forces, the US had carried out a missile strike on the basis that BL's security was too good and sending in special forces would put American lives at risk. The US has done this in the past. Would you still raise the same objection?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I would. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 19:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Then you have a few thousand incidents you need to attend to. Every bomb, every mine, every sniper shot. Hell, at the range of most modern rifles anyone not killed personally by bare-handed strangling should fall under your moral gaze. ADK...I'll lick your lasagna! 19:11, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
And all of Muamar Qadaffi's children killed in bombings of his personal residences over the last 15 years. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. How many of the last wars have officially declared?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
None since WW2, that I can recall. LOLLING at the idea of making war legal by "declaring" it... ħuman 05:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Not least I'm pretty sure the event that kicked this shit off didn't give those people a chance to surrender and be taken alive first. Now, I'm not normally one for arguing like that as it's rhetorical and silly, but the point is we do not live in an ideal world. Not every criminal who dies gets a trial first. Not every soldier wears a badge and a uniform. Not every victim gets the option to surrender. Harsh and cold, but that's the reality we live in. ADK...I'll forsake your glass orb! 19:27, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
TBH I don't see the problem with what the US has done here. They killed the world's most wanted man with no civilian casualties in a perfectly planned operation (excepting the woman who was used as a shield, but whether she's a civvie is up for argument). He fucked with the US - and the world - and got fucked back, albeit somewhat late. No man is above the law - but some men are outside it, and he was one of them. This is besides the fact that there was no alternative. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 19:36, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

### Edit button for the sole purpose of convenience

I guess I should explain this a bit further (because Armondikav doesn't seem to know the difference between firefight and normal crimes), but first here are some premises I think are a basic foundation:

1. A state should only operate within it's own laws or international law (Legalism). If somebody takes hostages and the surrounding forces can be sure that he would kill them if necessary, then - if the law says so - the use of such deadly force (in German we have a specific name for this: "Finaler Rettungsschuss", which could be translated as "final [life] saving shot") is legal (if morally ok is another question, but I think it is).
2. If a state officially subscribes to Legalism, but does something that goes against it's own or international law which it has subscribed to, it practically engages in hypocricy. And hypocricy has the inherent direction of a dictatorial state. If a state that builds itself upon a system of Legalism ("Rechtsstaat"), but ignores that as soon as soon as it's citizens demands otherwise, then it is even more dangerous. Because the freedom and rights of one human is sacrificed upon the lust of revenge of a mass (this borders on Rousseau's state of collectivism in which one can be "forced to be free" by being forced to live like all others). Why is this even more dangerous? Because, the popular demand doesn't work in a sole rational way: it is driven by a collective psychology, emotions and a culture behind (in this case the Christian "An eye for an eye" - which is simply revenge canonized).
3. Revenge should never be the basis of a system of law. We don't - or at least we shouldn't - seek revenge, but change - and if there is no way to make change in an individual, we should only sacrifice their rights and freedom to safeguard the greater society. In no case is capital punishment an option. Because capital punishment does not work and we have to keep making it impossible for a law breaker to break such law and there always is a way before killing somebody.
4. Everybody, no mater what his crimes, has deserved a fair trial before being punished for anything. This premise is so old in legal thinking - and has so often been proven to work better then others - that I don't know what to call somebody who doesn't subscribe to it - except maybe "barbaric".
5. A state can not be at war with a person, cooperation or organization. If you believe that Al Quaida legally declared war on the USA you can try to attack their land - OH WAIT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY! Also if you believe that a person can declare war on a state - at what point does that start? And also if such a state should protect it's citizens wouldn't it be enough to slap an American in America and you would be at war with the United States of America. Wouln't the planed attack on one of it's citizens (or taking his land) be a decleration of war against against all Americans? No it shouldn't be, there's a huge difference between state level and the level of the person. And bin Laden was not a state but a person, and as his action made him he was a mass murderer and as such he should be treated - but within the legal boundaries of law & order.
6. There is difference between somebody in a firefight or in a normal case. In a firefight the other side has to protect itself, so when somebody raises a weapon against a policeman, navy seal or any other person, and this person isn't making an arrest the person has a right to defend itself, and if in this process that person who has raised that weapon dies and there was no other option it is not only legal (self defence) but also moral to shoot. But as soon as any person no matter if soldier or civilian surrenders in this situation and wants to become either a POW or a normal prisoner (or arrested person), killing them is murder. The civilian is not above the law, neither is the policeman and absolutely not a soldier.
7. I won't deny that I'm a moral idealist, but I'm also a realist and know that mistakes happen. You say that reality isn't always ideal - I know that. But can't we try to make it more ideal? And isn't criticism a big part of that? Isn't that what science is about with it's discussions? You are also not a absolute realist. You might know ask why, it's because you have ideals, and think these should be followed (I'm off course assuming, you might also be a pragmatist or an opportunist). If you criticize having ideals and arguing with those against what you see as unnecessary criticism, isn't a realistic view then also an ideal?

I hope this step by step made it clear what I mean and were I come from with this stuff. There is a difference in what situation what action is taken. Simply saying he declared war on us and now we killed him, is not how our Western system works, and not what we should represent in this world. @EddyP: "No man is above the law - but some men are outside it" - nobody is outside the law, we can not have a negative meritocracy in which the essential right to life is taken away. I don't ever want my rights to be taken away for anything I did, do or will be doing, and I don't think you want that either. So we shouldn't take each others rigthts away, right? "[...] that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights[…]" I don't think that among these rights isn't a right that secures a person not to be punished without a trial and that a life may not be endagered until another one has to be saved. Bin Laden was just one man, no man has so much power that he can be put into prison and still be able to harm a superpower. His followers may have so much power. But that is the prize we pay for our system, that some lifes may be lost on the way of saving it from those who want to destroy it from the innermost of us and those from the outside. What is sacrificing an idea worth to preserve it? It wouldn't exist anymore. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 22:02, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

ħuman 05:34, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
A few points that don't exactly mirror yours, but address the most important issues:
1. German law does obviously not apply here, nor does American law. There is no part of international law that would present a clear, concrete framework for cases like this one either, and don't expect that to change anytime soon. The body that governs "classical" wars between states can't be used when dealing with al-Quaeda, because it presumes that civilians are noncombatants and makes exceptions only for officials with direct ties to or general authority over the military. Now, bin Laden and his al-Quaeda buddies obviously are not innocent bystanders, but rather very eager to fight, hence the often used description "unlawful combatant" to distinguish them from civilians in the sense of IL. Usually, you'd expect the country on which the terrorists operate to take care of them, as there's no international regime that would supersede national sovereignty. However, remember that bin Laden was living in Pakistan, a country whose military and intelligence agencies have well-documented ties to the same militants they're supposed to be pursuing. He was living in a compound right next to a military academy, with lots of officers as his neighbours. I don't know about you, but if I were a fugitive, I wouldn't try to hide next to the police headquarters - unless I knew that they were actually on my side. Under these circumstances, entrusting the capture of bin Laden to the Pakistanis would've been foolish.
2. If a government breaks its own domestic law, that is indeed case for worry, and the US as well as numerous other Western nations have sometimes crossed that border during this "war on terror". Such considerations are very important when dealing with topics like Gitmo or domestic wiretapping, but again not in this case. International law is, unfortunately, often very murky, and the fact that its subjects are at the same time supposed to act as enforcers doesn't make it easier. Human rights apply to bin Laden as well, but you'll need to realize that there is no such thing as a right to remain unscathed no matter what you do. Whenever you're dealing with maxims, try to imagine if they can indeed be consistently applied. Are we forced to go out of our way even in military confrontations in order to ensure that people trying to kill us are not harmed in return? How on earth would you begin to apply this to direct battle situations? Lastly, the reference to Rousseau doesn't make much sense here, and I think you're misreading that quote. Freedom according to Rousseau means living under laws that you had a say in establishing, obviously not some form of radical collectivism without individual rights.
3. We shouldn't act on revenge, but again, this was not an execution after a legal verdict, bin Laden was a casualty in a firefight. "There always is a way before killing someone" - I have to disagree, and this also contradicts what you said above regarding hostage situations.
4. We do not know whether or not bin Laden tried to surrender, you can't simply use that as an assumption. I obviously don't know either, but it sounds quite plausible to me that he indeed resisted capture: he was a fanatic who rejected a comfortable life in favor of fighting Soviets in the Afghan mountains, he repeatedly spoke of martyrdom and developed his own brand of Jihadism that rests on this concept, and he must've known that if the US captured him, he would be showcased and humiliated, only to be executed anyway, just like Saddam. He seems like exactly the kind of person who'd fight to his death when cornered. Röstigraben (talk) 06:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I absolutely know that German law does not apply here (when referencing it, I'm doing so because that's the law I know best and I think there are some good ideas in it). I'm far from a law major or being a lawyer (also as I see Andy, that doesn't secure to be good at it), but isn't there some rule that crimes are to be punished and "trial-ed" (is that a word?) where that crime happend? Of course that is rather unclear when something is financed. For such cases and cases of international terrorism there should be international laws (this sentence also goes out to Junggai). Let's be honest terrorism on an international scale is as much a crime against all humanity as genocide - and even more so because it effects all of humanity (or most of it anyway). I see no difference between a normal murderer and a terrorist, they do exactly the same thing: killing poeple. The motif is different, but if somebody kills for his own entertainment or because of the greed to live in a system he would gain more from doesn't make much of a difference. The reason why terrorism is such a problem is that terrorists deny the basic logic of our society which is: words are always the better solution - it is as in rather obscure way blackmail (do what we say or X will happen). Also the government attacked now has a clear cut image that is has enemies that sacrifice their own lifes for their goals, quite impressive probably.
I personally have not clue if Pakistan was "in on it" if they were there should be evidence, and if there is evidence the people responsible for cooperating on such a broad scale with terrotists should be brought to justice. That were my two cents on that topic.
As I have responded above to Cracker, if this was a friefight the fighting soldiers had a right to survive and therefor a right to kill bin Laden if he went the full length not to be captured - the rant above (the one at the top of this section) was written upon only partial information that American soldiers killed bin Laden in Pakistan - that and that Americans were partying on the streets was all the information I got. You are right it makes sense that OBL tried to fight to the last second - but it's hard to estimate the behaviour of any person in such a situation. Maybe he did surrender, maybe not - we would need evidence for either statement to declare it true, as long as that we can't do much more then argument in both situations and come to conclusions in both seperated cases.
"There always is a way before killing someone" - I maybe should have written it in there but I thought the context of my statement made it clear, this only applies in a normal state, not in a state of battle, which is a completely different picture. In non-battle situation only one person is the person that harm could befall. A murder for example can be battle between two individuals, in which one is murdered, if such a situation occures the attackee has a right to attack back as long as he tries to keep himself unharmed, the attacker on the other side does not have any right to harm another individual and as consequence of his attack he has to sacrifice his wealth. In a trial the question becomes if the attacker is actually the attacker and if so how he should be harmed so that he wont harm others again - again only one attacker because in this case the previous attacker becomes the attackee and the attacker is the rest of the society (or that represented by by the government). The trial-attack is legal and legitimate, the crime-attack is neither. In a battle situation, both parties are the attackees and the attacker - so both parties have a right to defend themselves - what makes me a pacifist is the thought that nobody ever has the right to be the attacker if there wasn't a crime before. I e.g. had a discussion with some people on RW about supporting the rebels against Gadafi - I also believe in supporting them because I believe that in this crime, which is somewhere between state and individual level, the government of Gadafi is the attacker, the rebels now turned the situation into a battle situation with the possible outcome of them winning the battle, and restoring a normality in which no attack is brought upon the whole of the people. If you haven't noticed it yet this is way more abstract then anybody ever intended it be around here, sorry for bringing it up this level but I thought before getting ridiculed I'd better give some background.
And now about Rouseau: I don't know if you did but I actually read "The Social Contract" (in German though, so some translations may be slightly off). I was quoting a part of it where Roussaeu describes the relationship between the general will and the individuals will - he states that a person is then free if he followes the general will, and as person does not want that he also at the same time wants it as part of the collective that forms the general will. And so it becomes that somebody can be forced to be free, because he is free if he follows the general will not his own (this point was supported a philosophy professor so I wouldn't cry out "wrong!" that fast). This paradox comes upon the fact that in Rouseau's state the governing and the governd are the same entitiy: "the poeple" - of course as this view was not shared by classic liberals it got lost in time, only to be seen by those who actually read the philosophers they quote (sorry that digg was needed). --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 20:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
@UHM: I totally sympathize with your taking a moral absolutist stance on this, but you're also a little sloppy in some of your analogies and characterizations of the opposing viewpoint:
1. While some people may be justifying Osama's killing with typical revenge-speak, that's not really the argument I see anyone here making. The heart of the matter is that a heinous act of terrorism is somewhere in the gray area between war and ordinary crime. You've stated an opposition to the execution of Nazi war criminals, but you probably realize your viewpoint is in the extreme minority. I have no quarrel with executing people responsible for obvious crimes against humanity on a grand scale, and most of the posters here defending OBL's killing seem to be invoking a similar logic, not simply that "the bastard deserved it because he killed a bunch of us."
2. You write "A state can not be at war with a person, cooperation or organization." This is technically and legalistically true, but Al Qaeda's attacks are not the same as some random person slapping another person in the street, not even reduced to basic moral principles. I think it's obvious that when an organization carries out a massacre against a country, then declares "we have attacked your country because of X, Y, and Z, and will continue to attack until you satisfy our demands," the distance between this and a declaration of war is only legalistic sophistry.
Terrorism is still a special legal problem, and I wish that 9/11 had actually inspired honest international debate about terrorist acts and how to define their relationship with war and thus with the other international standards regarding war crimes and treatment of war prisoners. Instead, Bush and Co. took advantage of the lack of such protocol to start two misguided wars and commit serious abuses of human rights. Had there actually been some protocol in place, such morally-dubious actions on the part of the US government, which continue to the present day, would be seen for the unnecessary wild-west conceptions of justice that they are, rather than as the necessary response to a "new kind of war," as many people still see them. I think your falling back on the legalistic definition of war is actually counter-productive to the search for how to properly handle the threat of terrorism in the modern age. Junggai (talk) 11:36, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think I did characterized the opposite viewpoint as I was argumenting in general abstracts more than an actual positions. If we go back to such premises the only way to argument is against the other persons view or against the consequences that come from it (trilemma) - while I have to confess the "barabaric" was of course an attack, but I bet in the case of "everybody has deserved a fair trial" I'm in the majority (good goat I fucking hope so…).
You've stated an opposition to the execution of Nazi war criminals, but you probably realize your viewpoint is in the extreme minority. - maybe, I don't know. The topic is rather taboo in Germany, but we don't have capital punishment. In the US I would of course be in the minority, but that is, looking at the political opinions of many Americans, more of compliment then a bad thing.
You write "A state can not be at war with a person, cooperation or organization." This is technically and legalistically true, but […] Again not talkin' facts here but political ideals. If a crime is considered an attack on somebodies well being without his or her consent, were is the difference between a slap and murder? It's ony the scale of it, and that is exactly my problem with that concept: Who exactly sets the scale? It's the government that attacks then, not a specific law, nor the attackee. That the "war on terrorism" is a new kind of "war" (while I think we shouldn't call it this in law; in sociology with a broader definition of war I don't see a problem) isn't exactly right. It's a highly asymmetric "war" (Vietnam was also one, the first years of Korea as a Japanese Colony there was an asymmetric in northern parts of Korea, "la Resistance" in WW2 France fought an asymmetric war against Germany and so on) on a global scale, and that scale is new. Before it was an issue of a single country, now it one of the world community and before this war is over we should set law how we will go abouth to punish those that attacked us - because simple killing a terrorist should not be an option, no matter if his name is Osama "fucking rich guy" bin Laden or Ahmet from New Jersey that built a bomb in his basement. If fully agree that Bush has managed the situation extremely badly, on the other hand I doubt if Bush had the brain power to get the importance of this (I as 13 year old at that time didn't either - but I was 13). I still think that the war in Afghanistan is and was not misguided, they wanted to defended a criminal, so yeah...
I don't know what you mean with counter-productive I have no problem with military trying to make the arrest, after all we're talking about war-trained criminals here. Terrorist always have reason, we should make that reason go away. When the Jihadists "declare war" on the US they didn't because "they hate[d] freedom", but because they felt that thee culture was going lost and be buried under a American globalized culural regime, they wanted independence from both communists and - well whatever that is in US. Those are highly understandable ideas and they come from the observation that Arabs and Muslims are not profiting from this westernization, and they didn't. They were exploited and used as chess figures, when they try to kill America as a nation they don't do that out some illogical hate against America, they try to defend there culture and their people. How to fight terrorism? Take that fear away, stop exploiting them as cheap work force and don't play chess with them as figures. This whole thing of terrorism is a blow back caused by American imperialism during the cold war, these ideas were born not in the 70's or 80's but in the 60's. What this generation of Americans is suffering from is not the hate of Arabs but the mistakes their parents made. Terrorism is not to be fought with gun fire and bombs alone but with an actual change in the politics of the United States. Every superpower in the history of this planet has a duty not to cause more harm than they can repair - up until now the US has miserably failed at this. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 21:35, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to say that there's not much in this wall of text that resembles a real argument, so I'm just going to pick up on something that particularly irked me:
Terrorist always have reason, we should make that reason go away. When the Jihadists "declare war" on the US they didn't because "they hate[d] freedom", but because they felt that thee culture was going lost and be buried under a American globalized culural regime, they wanted independence from both communists and - well whatever that is in US. Those are highly understandable ideas and they come from the observation that Arabs and Muslims are not profiting from this westernization, and they didn't. They were exploited and used as chess figures, when they try to kill America as a nation they don't do that out some illogical hate against America, they try to defend there culture and their people.
It's sad enough when Arab rulers succeed in spreading this kind of victimization myth among the ranks of their own people, but doubly so when Westerners fall for this bullshit hook, line and sinker. Who's really responsible for the state which most Arabs find themselves in? Is it the evil West, America in particular, with its "cultural regime" - whatever the hell that is? Or is it maybe that these people are being exploited by their own rulers, who are not interested in progress and just want to keep the system that guarantees their power in place? The local political and military elites who send soldiers to shoot their own people when they dare to direct their outrage at their own leaders for once? The priests who cling on to their own slice of power and tell them not to expect justice in this life, but set their hopes on paradise? Who tell them to kill themselves and take as many innocents with them as possible, all in the service of an insane medieval death cult? Is that the "culture" that they should be sad to see expire? Look at the vision of culture and society which those preachers and terrorists are actually promoting, and then ask yourself how that could square up with your notions of individual freedom and human rights. America is not responsible for all the evil in the world, and when it comes to the sorry state many people all over the world find themselves in, look no further than for those who profit the most from this situation. Seriously, don't try to explain the whole world in terms of some naive anti-Americanism - pay some attention to what's happening in the Middle East right now and ask yourself why these people are taking to the streets, deposing their rulers and strive for something like democracy, which is supposed to be culturally alien to them. Röstigraben (talk) 05:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
This is not directly against you, but everytime I see the term "wall of text" I actually read this in my head "Don't write so hard! I'm way to dumb to work through a big text! Think of the little undereducated men that don't want to educate themselves anymore, just write plain and simple so that I can understand it wrong!" - although I'm pretty sure that's not what people who use that term actually think when using it.
And now to the real argument: When I say A is true and the real world is "A and B are true" - was I wrong? No, I just didn't say that B was right too. Of course assuming that you either hold one side or the other proves to be probably in contemporary politics (and especially the heavily bipolorized American worldview and political views RW is mostly about), but that doesn't really justify building a big strawman - even if I through not mentioning something I maybe left a blueprint for it lying around.
Now about that blueprint': I'm saying that terrorists actually aren't crazy people but have probably at some point reasoned about it and say that I understand were they're are coming from - and that makes me support them? If so I'm a libertarian/communist/conservative/progressive/fascist/anarchist and a Hindu/Buddhist/Christian/Jew/Muslim/Scientologist with a slight tendency toward collectivism/indivudualism. I fear with that much labels I now have some personality splitting business to attend to…
What do I mean with "culural regime"? It's not invented by America - of course - and has been used by pretty much every superpower that ever existed: Americana (that's American culture) spread throughout the world by global American business spreading there own values and making money at the same time. How does that work? A new technology comes on the market and the Americans first develope ways how to use it, through this effectiveness American business is able to expand into other markets and cultures with this technology. The result is that many cultures throughout the world "suffer" from a lack of own produced material that can be from presence on the internet to a brand of soft-drinks - not only business get's globalized but also culture becomes globalized. And while there are many issues in which this doesn't work I question which is known better throughout the world: "Doctor Who" or "Star Wars"? With a high probability I'd guess Star Wars, which very much is the Americanized (evil fascists, a young idealist, roots found in the fascist mindset, a dark side coming, way too much religion and of course the main motto is "No taxation without represantation" "For the republic" or something like that) version of very old and lame European knight saga with a bit of SciFi mixed in (now don't get angry with me it's still a great saga) and overall the cultural value of a pulp fiction pumped up to eleven. Doctor Who on the other hand has many interesting moral problems, a complex mythology and quite crappy special effects. One reason why something like this occurs is that superpower industry has the dollar-power to push itself into other cultures, we are throughout history so used to this that we don't even see it. But now there's a difference in the great game of cultural reproduction: mass media. Through mass media American culture was able to spread quicker then any culutre before. And this is not a matter of Anti-Americanism, but a simple question of analyzing reality. This whole effect has a backfiring effect on the US all over the world, in that people there see their own culture drowning away under economic pressuare, making it even harder for many people to identify themselves in a culture. This and general poorness is what causes many Anti-American sentiments and eventually turned into Terrorism in the Middle East. It is nothing more than a backlash against these effects, and in the case of the Middle East people leaned back on what they thought was the most Arabic thing they had: Islam.
So how to fight it? The same way street gangs should be fought: work against it on two levels: the streets and back home. Street level is preventing those commited to the cause from harming others. Home-level is the solving of problems: poverty, self-consciousness, education, self-respect, freedom and in some cases a renaissance of thought commited to the same values as the we are but from within the own culture (because everything else will be seen as foreign). This way it should be possible to solve the problems - of course these solutions cost a fuckload of money and they don't secure us against idiots, who seem to exist in every culture.
You say that the main responsibility lies within these cultures and their governing regimes? I ask you can you find a single state on the world that wasn't backed by either the United States or the Soviet Union during the cold war or didn't lean to one or the other in alliance. You will find the same thing with China today. And as poorer those countries get as faster is their frequency of change in government and as more the backing of rebels or government from one side or the other was present. The Cold War is over now, lifes have been lost on the way - most of what we see now is backlash of this era, and maybe the ones not dead through sudden death have to pay the bill that cleans up the battlefield now.
I excuse myself for another "wall of text". --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 20:48, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I have zero problems with lengthy posts, and I appreciate the fact that a complex argument needs some space to be presented in full. What I can't stand are rambling, stream-of-consciousness style posts that lack not only conciseness, but more importantly coherence and structure. The above is just another example of this - I have to admit that some of it is simply lost on me, because it's just a rapid-fire succession of assertions, jumping from point to point without caring much about plausibility or coherence. I'll try to address what I could make out, because this is still an interesting topic, and one that deserves a serious discussion. So, I'll just start with what you wrote in your 4th paragraph:

Great now I have to be an asshole about it:

1. Advice from a philosophy student: If you don't understand a text the first time, read it again. It might just happen that you weren't able to catch everything in the first lap. If you take more than one lap, take another and another one - after three time it's either hard to understand or you're stupid.
2. Don't assume so much: Just read what the text says, don't fuck up your interpretation because you "absolutely know" that the other person has certain viewpoint. Well, I'll say it, I'm guilty of burning some strawmen to but that was burning man sized one.

Do I know non-western societies? Maybe, if you would have looked on my userpage you might have seen that I study (at a university) Korean and Korea - and on the side know a little Japanese, so do I? I'll just leave it up to you to decide that.
To end this post that I write upon wanting to bang my head against solid wood while reading your response, how about advice for the first thing to train such reading strategies? --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 23:15, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

You know, I was actually thinking about making a real reply to this, but then I thought: "What will I get from that? Another reply that dismisses a persons intelligence on the basis of how (s)he structures a post on RationalWiki?" No honestly, I believe we both have better things to do than this crap. And no matter who of us is right with their accusations of stupidity for the both of us would be a waste of time: If I'm too stupid too "make a coherent argument" that won't change in one day, then I'm just one idiot and that won't change, so I'm just wasting your time in which you could have accused somebody else on the internet of a bad writing style. If I'm right then I'm wasting my time by trying to explain something to somebody who either won't understand a language that is a bit harder to understand then your usual biology paper, makes false assumptions or simply doesn't want to understand what I'm saying - no matter what, I'm wasting my time. Btw, how about that new sig of mine? --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:10, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
And as I am completely dense and can't make a coherent argument I of course forgot to say: You can claim the win or not, I don't give a rat's ass about it. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

### Digression about the value of clear language

 “”And as poorer those countries get as faster is their frequency of change in government and as more the backing of rebels or government from one side or the other was present.
WTF is that supposed to mean? Jack Hughes (talk) 12:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
If it's sentences like this that confuse people, I'm suprised but I also understand what you mean. Should I use more proper nouns and less relative pronouns? (no seriously, honest question because I really want people to understand what the fuck I'm writing)
Ok let's explain that sentence: "And as poorer those countries get" - I'm trying to establish a scale of countries outside of the US and the USSR in order of their richness in an economic sense of the word. For example, countries like Sweden, Switzerland and Finland would be on the rich side of the scale while countries like Angola and the Kongo (the big one not the small one) would be on the poor side. Of course there were other factors during the Cold War: Colonianism just experienced it's last days, many "nations" tried to find their own identity, the experience of WW2 was fresh in many peoples minds, postmodernism just hit the intellectuals hard and so on. But as I agree with Marx so far that economy actually is one the main parts of politics (or how ever you wanna phrase that), as it is one of the driving forces behind human political goals. "as faster is their frequency of change in government" - basically sayin': "there were many unstable governments". I'm pretty sure everyone here knows what a frequency can be outside of radio technology, simply put it's the time between to similiar events. So when I'm talking about "frequency of change in government" I mean the average time between a change in government (style), therefor meaning communist or capitalist. I have to confess "faster" is bullshit, a number can not be fast or slow but only high or low - please cut me some slack for such crappy mistakes. "and as more the backing of rebels or government from one side or the other" I of course mean financial backing from either Moscow or Washington D.C. to fight their proxy wars and win another country for their cause. This worked out in some very unfunny ways, the US ended up backing some socialist regimes against capitalist regimes backed the the USSR - only goat knows how they justified that stuff. With "was present" I'm installing that it this was once upon a time, but not anymore (as in being present). So what did I want to say? Leaving out a few things I could also say "Involvement makes countries unstable".
Well, thinking about it, I might have gone a bit to far for RationalWiki to actually suppose that something which is written like this is to be analyzed and understood instead of ridiculed through laziness and a - in my mind - idiotic scientific standard of keeping sentences short and "precise" but using a fucking dictionary full of terminology. Sorry it was and is my bad. Next time I'll try to adjust better. TBH I'm far away from putting myself on a pedestal in most subjects - for example in pretty everything called science in the anglosphere I stink more then bad cheese. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 12:41, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
UHM, don't be a baby. I totally understand and empathize that you're not writing in your native language, but the fact is that each sentence in your long walls of text has an average of three serious grammar or syntax errors, and that makes it extremely difficult to catch what you mean. If I write something in German (as I often do professionally), I don't blame the native speakers if something I write is incomprehensible, I just try harder to make myself clear, and I sure as hell don't write complex prose without running it by a native-speaking colleague first; it's called respect for the people I'm trying to communicate with. I read the sentence that Jack Hughes quoted three times and still could not make out what it meant. This is not my fault for not "analyzing and understanding" your brilliant prose, it's yours for trying to write past your ability. Show some humility, dude. Junggai (talk) 14:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry for the grammar mistakes. I try to avoid them, but they keep happening. I have to say, most of these "walls of text" (I still hate that term) were written late at night - that might have played into it. So I'll just stop writing "past my ability" on RW. Also I don't see myself writing "brilliant prose". I just don't like it when people dismiss something because they don't like the style of it. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 14:38, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Grammar mistakes from a non-native speaker are really nothing to apologize about, and no reason not to get involved in debate. It is what it is. The reason I pointed it out was not to put you down, but to make you aware that your style of debating is often an unflattering combination of sounding like you know it all with some very opaque sentence structures. I think that's what puts some people off. Like I've said, I have worse issues writing in German (god-damned Nebensatz!), so I empathize, but if I may offer some advice, there's nothing demeaning about trying hard to make your prose clearer. No one's asking you to write third-grade level sentences, but good writing is not opaque, even though philosophers always write that way. Junggai (talk) 15:00, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If natives have to apologize for grammar mistakes, I think non-natives have to do the same thing - especially when they say they can speak fluently. Even if they're not sincere. I really don't want to sound like I know it all - but I guess (guess! not know, guess!) that is rooted in deeper psycholinguistical stuff. I'll try to emphasize that. "there's nothing demeaning about trying hard to make your prose clearer" - the thing is, writting clearly was never considered valueable in the educational system I'm in - not even in English. As I wrote above - which probably sounded slightly insulting -, the thought always was for everyone "if you don't undestand it the first time, it's probably written by somebody who could handle 10 "Nebensätze" ("subordinate clauses" in English if I'm not mistaken) in a normal sentence and that means he/she is/was a smart cookie!", so writting simple is pretty much the exact opposite of what I feel trained for. Also that "know it all" style is encouraged in school because respect is long deemed a big problem in Germany (I think we all know why) - although as more technical a subject got as more unapreciated was any sort of criticism (at least in my feeling). On a different note: Writting something in English that is complex sucks so hard - that language is so stiff and completely inflexible. I'll try to write more simple in the future. But I still think that some people around here shouldn't dismiss something as dense because they don't get it in the first read. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:38, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
We had a thread last week about postmodernists and their unwillingness to write comprehensibly, because if they actually did write exactly what they meant then it would be clear to everyone that they actually have nothing important or novel to say. You mentioned that you're studying philosophy, which totally explains a lot about your writing style. Philosophers are not known for their simple prose. But I would argue that even good philosophers know how to write a simple sentence when it suits them, and no good philosopher confuses fussiness of language with complexity of thought. Both of those qualities in writing can generate half-page sentences, but in only one of them is the half-page sentence necessary. The other is just bullshit.
Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of the half-page sentence or the five-page paragraph when it's necessary. But uninterrupted long sentences are usually the mark of an unclear brain. Even Kant is eminently readable (even for a foreigner) about 80% of the time. The other 20% is hard as hell, but worth the extra time because it's expressing something that couldn't be said simpler. Junggai (talk) 21:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
That's a lot of sentences to call somebody dense. --UHMrambling incoherently for 20+ years! 09:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

### Half time break for philosophers

Most entertaining, almost as much fun as this.Pippa (talk) 08:32, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

And that's why there are different professions... --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

### What did you expect Obama to do?

Btw, here's the Wikipedia article ("Death of Osama bin Laden conspiracy theories"). The way I see it Obama had 3 choices: (1) Do nothing and get attacked by the Republicans for doing nothing; (2) Get him alive. It probably would have been best, as he would be tried, likely found guilty, and perhaps spend the rest of his life in a Spandeau-like prison, or next to Charles Manson, where he'd grow old, mellow, and stupid. The problem here is that it's cost millions, last years, and there would be "why-care-about-his-rights-what-about-the-rights-of-the-3000-victims," and Obama has less than 20 months to win his 2nd term; (3) Kill him, and by doing so bypassing the whole trial and attendant political inconveniences, dump his body in the sea so it won't be fetishized, nor examined for execution-style shootings, and let the Islamic wackos and right-wing-conspiracy theorists yammer on as they do, while allowing himself the rare enjoyment of taking the piss out of Trump and others. That's what I wonder.Civic Cat (talk) 22:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Option (2), for the reason explained above. And if we go about how much a system of government costs, I'd bet autocratic rule could be cheaper. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 23:18, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
But if the trial cost, say, \$75 million, that would cost the average American 25¢ each--maybe more. Why, it might cost as much as 12-15 Tomohawk missiles.  ;-)  (Actually, in terms of goodwill--as well as making Islamacists look impotent and stupid--and an open trial might do this in the long run--\$75 million might be pretty cheap.)Civic Cat (talk) 00:04, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
At this time I'm not sure if you're trolling, kidding me or trying to make a point - but what the hell: Even if the US went bankrupt from it, a trial would have been the right way. --UHM"rambling incoherently" for 20+ years! 15:14, 5 May 2011 (UTC)