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Author Topic: What's in the news?  (Read 175044 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2350 on: December 14, 2015, 06:00:40 PM »
So Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl does an online interview where he explained he saw himself as a Jason Bourne type asskicker.  He claims he left his base to "expose leadership failures" and then after he was wandering around a few hours, decided he should go spy on the terrorists too.

Yeah.  Sorry, no.  I'm not buying any of this nonsense.

So, did he wake up with amnesia while being cared for by some gorgeous French chick?

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2351 on: December 14, 2015, 06:09:03 PM »
Finally! Saudi Arabia is committing to creating and leading a league of Muslim states against (among other things) terrorism. A whopping thirty-four states are set to become founding members, including Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, Palestine (west bank) and many in northern and western Africa. Several more are supporting the idea, such as Indonesia. The aims of the organization will include to resist sin, aggressiveness and terrorism, and promote justice, piety, mercy and righteousness. Fighting terrorism is mentioned several times in a statement from the Saudi government quoted by their news bureau SPA,. and terrorism is called "a reprehensible crime". ISIS is not mentioned specifically, but it sounds fairly impossible to avoid as a main offender.

This is really encouraging, even if terrorism is a label some governments like to stamp on any armed resistance movement that they themselves do not like. And it's good to see the Saudis pledging to take a lead in promoting justice and some human improvement in the region.

(Cannot find any English-speaking news sources for this yet, I just saw it in a fresh article in an upmarket Stockholm daily, but they are linking to a short article at the al-Arabiya news/tv channel, which is here - perhaps Formless could translate some of it later?)

The only thing that worries me slightly is the use of words like "Resist Sin" and "Piety". It's possibly one of the best moves we've seen made ever since all of this got out of hand, but they also need to be careful they don't start fighting extremism with extremism. The fact that there are some religious motivations in there is just a little bit alarming.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2352 on: December 14, 2015, 06:34:47 PM »
The only thing that worries me slightly is the use of words like "Resist Sin" and "Piety". It's possibly one of the best moves we've seen made ever since all of this got out of hand, but they also need to be careful they don't start fighting extremism with extremism. The fact that there are some religious motivations in there is just a little bit alarming.


Agree, but I think "piety" and "resisting sin" is also their way of expressing a will to make some conditions more fair and to combat the kinds of crime that are destructive to any society - fraud, trafficking, embezzlement and so on. The Saudis would be couching some of this in religious language.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2353 on: December 15, 2015, 12:01:20 AM »
So... apparently Star Wars has racist themes according to Melissa Harris...This is why I am so synical about news channels and newscasters and all those self important idiots.


Offline Maiz

Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2354 on: December 15, 2015, 01:19:50 AM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
So... apparently Star Wars has racist themes according to Melissa Harris...This is why I am so synical about news channels and newscasters and all those self important idiots.



People have talked about racist themes in Star Wars for a while:
http://allday.com/post/1632-the-most-racist-characters-from-the-star-wars-universe/
http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/star-wars-and-racism-1977.php

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2355 on: December 15, 2015, 01:29:25 AM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

People have talked about racist themes in Star Wars for a while:
http://allday.com/post/1632-the-most-racist-characters-from-the-star-wars-universe/
http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/star-wars-and-racism-1977.php

To be fair jar jar is offensive to everyone...and must be burned.  ;D

The Tusken raiders I will admit have some similarities to middle eastern cultures. For the rest I blame Lucas :P

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2356 on: December 15, 2015, 03:26:45 AM »
To be fair jar jar is offensive to everyone...and must be burned.  ;D

The Tusken raiders I will admit have some similarities to middle eastern cultures. For the rest I blame Lucas :P

People look at the stars and "see" patterns like dippers, belts and whatnot. We look at pictures of Mars and see stones that strangely look like mice or look at the shadows in our bedrooms and see monsters. It's no wonder that people look at a decent movie like Star Wars and claim to see racism. Claiming that Star Wars was racist because there weren't enough black, Mexican, Malaysian or Scottish people in prominent roles is like a white person claiming that the Jackson Five was racist and offensive because there were no white people in it. 

Offline Kythia

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2357 on: December 15, 2015, 05:50:11 AM »
No it isn't for just oh so very many reasons. It's... It's just really really not. This isn't the thread for "why" but if you want to Pm or get a new thread I'll run you through the myriad of reasons.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2358 on: December 15, 2015, 06:52:03 AM »
No it isn't for just oh so very many reasons. It's... It's just really really not. This isn't the thread for "why" but if you want to Pm or get a new thread I'll run you through the myriad of reasons.

Just curious: are you saying Star Wars is *not* racist, and for lots of reasons, or that Taint is wrong to draw a facetious parallel with there being no whites in Jackson 5 (or, I'll add in, no black people in Ivanhoe)? Your wording was a bit...ambivalent, almost.  ;)

Offline Kythia

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2359 on: December 15, 2015, 08:00:06 AM »
I suppose it was, I meant the latter. Star wars may be racist, no idea, but the parallel was facetious.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2360 on: December 15, 2015, 08:03:39 AM »
Agree, but I think "piety" and "resisting sin" is also their way of expressing a will to make some conditions more fair and to combat the kinds of crime that are destructive to any society - fraud, trafficking, embezzlement and so on. The Saudis would be couching some of this in religious language.

Well, I'd hope you're right, but history tells me that on the other hand it might be a facade for them to justify striking down on terror-groups at first, but eventually being able to use false claims to attack oppositions and.. Well, anyone they dislike. There still, to this day, is no crystal clear, universally agreed-upon definition of terrorism and what makes a terror-group after all.

Leading up to the recent election in Denmark about whether to increase the influence of the EU here or not, the parties advocating an increase in EU involvement used scare-tactics. You could go so far as to say that they were using a form of subtle terrorism if you wanted.

If these countries want to finally take a strong anti-terror stance then I'm 100% in support of that, but I find myself unable to support it or agree with it as long as there is still some religious element involved. Unless it goes beyond that, there's every chance that they'll take the enemy's place rather than simply vanquish them.

- - - - -

As for the Star Wars thing: This happens with every major production, doesn't it? Lord of the Rings was racist, The Hobbit was racist, etc. Happens with videogames too, people arguing that everything is racist or sexist.

My stance on it has always been that we should focus on the real world. Eliminate racism and sexism out here and it'll eventually disappear in there as well. Fact of the matter is that you can argue both for and against any such claim using very rudimentary and short-sighted logic, so no one side can ever be right.

Sure, you can look at the Tusken and go: "That's a racist portrayal of Middle Eastern culture!" Except.. It's not. It's a perfectly fine portrayal of a fictitious culture on an alien planet. Perhaps some inspiration was drawn from the Middle East - They are living in a desert after all - but that still doesn't make it racist. Only if you choose to be offended on the Tusken's behalf.

I'm no big Star Wars fan, but "Controversies" like this pop up with every major release of anything and they (in my opinion) only serve to distract us from the real issues, and that's where the real problem lies. There's plenty of racism to go around - You don't need to look at big Hollywood productions for it.

- - - - -

In other news, by the by, has the whole "Drone Control"-topic been brought up here yet? The fact that the US seem way more keen to control the use of toy aircraft over, you know, lethal murder-machines? (Some call them "Guns")

Alright, I'll admit it: I regularly visit a shooting range for sport. I, however, live in a country where I have to be registered in order to own a gun, and said gun will have to be stored at said shooting range for two years, after which I will be required to invest in a government-approved gun cabinet for storage, and may be subject to random, unannounced inspections. I will also be required to hand over my weapon straight to the authorities if ever I suspend my membership at said shooting range and I'm not a licensed hunter. (Which I'm not, on moral grounds.)

I don't even own a gun, but I have had to register in order to borrow one at a shooting range. I have to make it known to the government here that sometimes I may come into contact with firearms, and that I am capable of handling one.

But.. You know, toy helicopters are scary too I guess.

How insane is that on a scale from 1-10? That the US government has the authority and power to control toys that may be used for something illegal or by creepy voyeurs, but not the power to control guns, a tool designed purely for killing?

I know it's an old and tired debate but.. It's just always shocking to me, living in one of the most peaceful (If not outright boring) countries on earth, where even a policeman can be prosecuted and jailed for drawing his gun without it being the absolutely last resort.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 08:41:14 AM by Nachtmahr »

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2361 on: December 15, 2015, 09:10:46 AM »
Again to be fair the Drone control has been because of how many times a drone has flown far too close to commercial airjets, pilots have been reporting more and more almost near air collisions with them. Also I think it comes from the new trend of drones being used to drop weapons and drugs inside of prison yards.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2362 on: December 15, 2015, 09:49:26 AM »
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/los-angeles-schools-are-closed-after-credible-terror-threat/ar-BBnAjyh?ocid=iehp

LA schools closed after terror threat.

Not much info about it yet but it was deemed credible enough to close about 1k schools.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2363 on: December 15, 2015, 10:19:01 AM »
Again to be fair the Drone control has been because of how many times a drone has flown far too close to commercial airjets, pilots have been reporting more and more almost near air collisions with them. Also I think it comes from the new trend of drones being used to drop weapons and drugs inside of prison yards.

Well, that may well be true, but what makes it so shocking to me is just that they'd be so quick to regulate the drones that may drop contraband inside of prison yards as you say, instead of regulating the guns that drop half of the inmates in there to begin with, you know? The skewed priorities are what really terrifies me.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:27:25 AM by Nachtmahr »

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2364 on: December 15, 2015, 10:31:33 AM »
Well, that may well be true, but what makes it so shocking to me is just that they'd be so quick to regulate the drones that may drop contraband inside of prison yards as you say, instead of regulating the guns that drop half of the inmates in there to begin with, you know? The skewered priorities are what really terrifies me.

Well, there's no big National Drone Association lobby working to advise against such regulation.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2365 on: December 15, 2015, 10:33:32 AM »
https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

Drug-related offenses make up 48.3% of the current federal prison population, compared to 'Weapons, Explosives, and Arson' which is collectively only 16.4%. Even if you decided, for the sake of argument, that second category was purely guns, that's still barely one-third as many inmates, so it is extremely disingenuous to be claiming that their priorities are skewed (and they are definitely not skewered, yay auto-correct). Seems like their priorities are spot-on if they are trying to cut down the drug intake into prison environments.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 10:35:22 AM by TheGlyphstone »

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2366 on: December 15, 2015, 11:07:17 AM »
https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

Drug-related offenses make up 48.3% of the current federal prison population, compared to 'Weapons, Explosives, and Arson' which is collectively only 16.4%. Even if you decided, for the sake of argument, that second category was purely guns, that's still barely one-third as many inmates, so it is extremely disingenuous to be claiming that their priorities are skewed (and they are definitely not skewered, yay auto-correct). Seems like their priorities are spot-on if they are trying to cut down the drug intake into prison environments.

I thought that the weapons being dropped in were shivs, knives, and such not actual guns.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2367 on: December 15, 2015, 11:08:14 AM »
I assume they are too. But even at the extreme end of counter-argument, the statistics were still arguing against the claim of guns putting 'half' of inmates in prison.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2368 on: December 15, 2015, 11:21:31 AM »
Alright, if you wish to take the word "Half" and run with it, and pretend that what I wrote was meant as a serious claim with any sort of statistical evidence backing it up then go ahead.

That was not my point though, so I see no reason why you'd be so quick to go on a defensive. My point was just that I disagree with it, and that I thing lax gun laws are one of the biggest issues in America right now.

I'd also be surprised if not quite a few of those drug-related charges did involve a weapon in some capacity.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:27:48 AM by Nachtmahr »

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2369 on: December 15, 2015, 11:30:09 AM »
You shouldn't make claims you can't back up, then - both the offhand 'half' statistic that you presented as fact, and the comment of 'skewed priorities', when the actual data...the facts, not your opinions, show that their priorities are spot-on. And whether a drug offense involved a weapon isn't actually relevant, since those statistics are for the crime of conviction, what actually got that inmate into prison. The weapon being relevant would put it into the Weapons category, as I mentioned.

As far as gun laws go, I actually agree with you to a degree. But I very much dislike argument-by-hyperbole/appeal to emotion, and I will call people out for faulty and poorly supported arguments regardless of which side of a debate they are on relative to myself.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2370 on: December 15, 2015, 11:49:53 AM »
You shouldn't make claims you can't back up, then - both the offhand 'half' statistic that you presented as fact, and the comment of 'skewed priorities', when the actual data...the facts, not your opinions, show that their priorities are spot-on. And whether a drug offense involved a weapon isn't actually relevant, since those statistics are for the crime of conviction, what actually got that inmate into prison. The weapon being relevant would put it into the Weapons category, as I mentioned.

As far as gun laws go, I actually agree with you to a degree. But I very much dislike argument-by-hyperbole/appeal to emotion, and I will call people out for faulty and poorly supported arguments regardless of which side of a debate they are on relative to myself.

Edit: Removed to not perpetuate the apparent hostility here. Suffice to say that I'm out.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:59:36 AM by Nachtmahr »

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2372 on: December 15, 2015, 12:37:49 PM »
The skewed priorities are what really terrifies me.

Well, it is a different set of folks doing the regulating. 

The FAA is setting up the drone regulations, and they can do this without having to involve Congress or State Legislatures.  To pass a law limiting access to guns, you'll probably need Congress or a State Legislature to draft the thing up and then the corresponding Executive to sign it.  Apples, oranges.

Besides, just because one can argue that guns should be regulated, that doesn't mean drones shouldn't.  Unregulated use of drone can--and have--caused legitimate problems such as impairing the ability of firefighting vehicles to access an area.  So I'd support reasonable regulations of those things.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2373 on: December 15, 2015, 01:01:14 PM »
You've gotta be kidding me.

I hope its just a messed up joke by some asshole somewhere, but better safe than sorry, especially considering the threat was against schools.

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Re: What's in the news?
« Reply #2374 on: December 15, 2015, 01:05:57 PM »
I hope its just a messed up joke by some asshole somewhere, but better safe than sorry, especially considering the threat was against schools.

I really hope so too. This has got to stop. I wish it would stop.