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Old September 1st, 2011, 03:47 AM   #451 (permalink)
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Ok, prepare for a laugh

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Old September 1st, 2011, 04:11 PM   #452 (permalink)
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The girl was beat to death because the parents were psychos and possibly racists, the case has nothing to do with religion.
Bullshit. Religion is at the very core of their psychotism, the root cause of why this tragedy happened.

Moreover, now that you mentioned racism (which doesn't necessarily play a part in the above case), it needs to be said that religion is also one of the main causes of modern-day racism. The more religious a society is, the more racist it also tends to be. The exceptions are rare.

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Old September 2nd, 2011, 07:03 PM   #453 (permalink)
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Bullshit. Religion is at the very core of their psychotism, the root cause of why this tragedy happened.

Moreover, now that you mentioned racism (which doesn't necessarily play a part in the above case), it needs to be said that religion is also one of the main causes of modern-day racism. The more religious a society is, the more racist it also tends to be. The exceptions are rare.

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I'm an atheist and I don't like any religion (maybe unitarians and anabaptists? Some sufi sects?). But what you're stating there is a false correlation based on a kernel of truth. Religion, culture and politics are closely linked. The more secular a society, the less religion factors into politics. But how that affects culture and politics is much, much more complicated. Removing religion from the equation does not eliminate racism (re: China, the Soviet Union and the entire socialist revolutionary developing world in the last 60 years, which almost to the last country favored ethnic majorities by letting them monopolize power and wealth). Not that this is not standard in the West. I'm just saying, it's business as usual everywhere.

To not digress into a long rant, it's the link between religion, culture and politics that produces xenophobia. Not religion arbitrarily on its own. Religion is so closely linked to culture, and always to some degree politics, that you can't look at doctrine on its own and say LOOK THERE'S VIOLENCE ADVOCATED SOMEWHERE IN THEIR DOCTRINE. All major religions of the world advocate violence somewhere in their religious text (Buddhism, which you think might be the exception, has produced monks that firebomb military convoys in some countries in Southeast Asia). So you'd learn more looking at how religion factors into cultural practices and politics. Religion can also serve a break on violence towards others, especially when people of different ethnic groups share the same religions (the examples of this kind of thing is too countless to number, but think Russians thinking themselves as big brothers of Serbians, even though this is selectively applied by both sides).
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Some people have two assholes istead of ears. Let´s hope they are gay so they can do something uselful with them instead of judging music
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #454 (permalink)
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Naglfar: Sorry for not replying earlier. For what it's worth, I agree that the relationship between racism(/abuse/violence) and religion is complicated and I admit there's more to it than what I perhaps alluded above.

Yet I stand by my claim that religion is a major cause of modern racism. Using communist states as a counter-example does not work, for communism was very much a religion in the Soviet Union and Mao-era China (albeit not quite so in modern China) - they had holy books, inerrant leaders to worship and teachings that had to be followed no matter how poorly they clashed with reality. Brainwashing, abuse and unquestionable authority - the three cornerstones of a succesful organized religion - were at the very heart of 20th Century communism.

To further prove my point, there are still today people (I happen to know at least two personally) who honestly believe communism was the best political/social system ever and the Soviet Union was the most peace-loving state in the history of mankind. They used to make pilgrimages to Lenin's mausoleum. Seriously - the brainwashing these people have been through in their youth is no different from those who still believe Harold Camping is correct and the end of the world is coming any minute now.

Anyways, back to the child-abuse topic, I just spotted this (hope the link works):

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/2...og%3A+AC360%29

There's also this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15288865

In the latter there's a table that shows the huge difference in the amount of abuse deaths per 100 000 children in four states: New Hampshire (0.35), Oregon (1.49), New York (2.46) and Texas (4.05). Just out of curiosity, I googled a bit about how religious these states are in comparison to each other. I can't say I was surprised to find out that when listed by church-attendance, these same four states line-up in exactly the same order from lowest to highest. Moreover, New Hampshire is perhaps the least religious state in the US, while Texas is among the most religious.

Thus, at least in the US it seems, the more religious the state, the more children are abused to death every year.

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Old November 13th, 2011, 02:02 AM   #455 (permalink)
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So Berlusconi left, for the entirely wrong reasons. I, in some ways, consider myself German, and it really pisses the hell out of me how things are being managed in the EU. Perrusconi didn't leave because of the sex scandals, but because of Merkel and friends. Really, really pissed off about this; especially because all the politicians are being replaced by bankers or economists (see Greece and now Italy). It's really convenient for Deutschland and France; now they just need to kick out Zapatero and Coelho and all will be fine with the Euro again. Jeez this is depressing.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #456 (permalink)
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Well I saw an interesting article in a newspaper today. Said some guy was "perfect to be the new EU president because he had been head advisor (or something) for Goldman Sachs." How the FUCK should someone like that ever become president of anything? Over my dead body.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #457 (permalink)
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Well I saw an interesting article in a newspaper today. Said some guy was "perfect to be the new EU president because he had been head advisor (or something) for Goldman Sachs." How the FUCK should someone like that ever become president of anything? Over my dead body.
I don't want you to die Maxim, there's a good chance this'll happen.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #458 (permalink)
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I don't want you to die Maxim, there's a good chance this'll happen.
True, that's why Obama is powerless against greedy bankers. Most of the important people in his government are former bankers.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #459 (permalink)
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Just watch 'Inside Job', it explains everything hahaha.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #460 (permalink)
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Just watch 'Inside Job', it explains everything hahaha.
Yes! I've recently seen that, very good!
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Old November 18th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #461 (permalink)
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True, that's why Obama is powerless against greedy bankers. Most of the important people in his government are former bankers.
That's not true. The reason Obama can't reign in banks is because of the way the Legislative and Judiciary work in the United States.

To summarize without getting into detail, Democrats and Republicans have been gerrymandering (re: redistricting) congressional districts for the last few decades. The purpose of this is to create squiggly, weird-looking districts that concentrate voters by demographic, and thus, ideological leaning. As a result, less than 25% of congressional elections are competitive.

That's right. More than 75% of congressmen / congresswomen have "safe" seats (the exception is Iowa, where state laws don't allow redistricting, essentially). Congressmen / congresswomen are essentially not held accountable via elections. So how do you influence them? Lobbyists.

The judiciary is involved in this process by virtue of the Supreme Court having a conservative majority. As a result, they did away with campaign laws that limited the amount of money corporations could donate to political candidates on the grounds that, as Mitt Romney put it, corporations are people.

So whether it's via lobbyists or super political action committees (legalized bribery and unlimited campaign contributions), banks, people with money and special interest groups in general have an influence in American politics they really haven't had since the roaring 20s or even the late 19th century.

It's sometimes hard for people to appreciate just how much the American political system has depreciated in the last 20, 30 years. Tales of American decline have ignored how powerful the American economy remains and how incredibly competitive the country is from a technology / educational standpoint. The problem Americans have had is with the fundamentals of their political system, which has bled into their economy. People here think freedom means no taxes, and that society that is governed by corporations and wealthy people is inherently fairer than that by elected officials.

Truth be told, who can blame them, now that most elections are not competitive. But it's led to gigantic government deficits, arbitrary cuts in spending on important social programs (many incorrectly labeled " entitlement" programs, like unemployment and social security), underfunding of education in general.

Let me put it this way, using California as an example. That state spends more money on prisons than it does on education. Let that sink into your head for a second. Can you imagine a more wasteful and damaging situation from the perspective of money and human capital? The reason something like that has to do with sentencing laws (again, a political issue) and money (the prison industrial complex). In the US you have the problem that ideas that have no basis in reality (reducing taxation stimulates growth thus increases revenues) reinforce problems on the ground (the deficit grows while funds for education and social programs dries up to maintain the military industrial complex).

Simply put, the President of the United States is not a messiah that can undo this situation. The people who worked at the highest echelons of banking and finance who are now part of his administration are not egging him on to continue these imbalances, with some exceptions. If he had his way he would probably drop a New Deal-scale stimulus on the American economy. But you have to understand how dysfunctional the country has become at a political level. Until Americans stop accepting the Republican Party as a reasonable alternative to the Democratic Party (a party that's now a refugee camp for most of the American political spectrum), I don't think there's going to be big changes. They're so used to the system being a tug of war between the two parties, it hasn't really been evident to people how ideologically concentrated, and how unrepresentative of average Americans, the Republican Party has become. It's essentially been hijacked by a right-wing fascist movement, wearing badly made Revolutionary era hats instead of swastikas.

Oh well.
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Originally Posted by Gurgelguff
Some people have two assholes istead of ears. Let´s hope they are gay so they can do something uselful with them instead of judging music

Last edited by Naglfar : November 22nd, 2011 at 07:52 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 02:55 PM   #462 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Naglfar View Post
To summarize without getting into detail, Democrats and Republicans have been gerrymandering (re: redistricting) congressional districts for the last few decades. The purpose of this is to create squiggly, weird-looking districts that concentrate voters by demographic, and thus, ideological leaning. As a result, less than 25% of congressional elections are competitive.

That's right. More than 75% of congressmen / congresswomen have "safe" seats (the exception is Iowa, where state laws don't allow redistricting, essentially). Congressmen / congresswomen are essentially not held accountable via elections.
Very interesting and informative post, but do you have a source for that or some material to do reading up on? I knew about redistricting but I didnt know it had reached this scale.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 11:59 PM   #463 (permalink)
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http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/ref...ricting&st=cse

I'm not finding the specific article where it demonstrated the estimated number of "safe" seats in 2012, but the New York Times' coverage on the issue of redistricting / gerrymandering of Congressional seats is very extensive (which is why I'm failing to find that article at the moment). You can start here, and then work your way through the stories cited. Many of them sometimes include links to reports by Congress itself on how redistricting has made Congressional elections less competitive.

I encourage you to poke around. There's actually a lot of political science / government literature on redistricting. It's become very controversial here and a staple of the political process. In some ways elections are fought even before they start, and not just in the sense of campaigns beginning earlier than ever.
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Originally Posted by Gurgelguff
Some people have two assholes istead of ears. Let´s hope they are gay so they can do something uselful with them instead of judging music
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Old January 18th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #464 (permalink)
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English language version of #Wikipedia begins 24 hour protest
against proposed #US anti-piracy legislation #SOPA http://bbc.in/A0ccXR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikiped...ive/Learn_more
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #465 (permalink)
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I thought this was a really good piece.

'In Britain, Assange's trial by media has been a campaign of character assassination, often cowardly and inhuman, reeking of jealousy of the courageous outsider, while books of perfidious hearsay have been published, movie deals struck and media careers launched or resuscitated on the assumption that he is too poor to sue. In Sweden this trial by media has become, according to one observer there, "a full-on mobbing campaign with the victim denied a voice". For more than 18 months, the salacious Expressen, Sweden's equivalent of the Sun, has been fed the ingredients of a smear by Stockholm police'.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ange-wikileaks
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