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Irontruth's page

4,642 posts (4,644 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Edit: I'm done with this thread.

I feel like I'm the only who actually tries to look at more than one side of this conflict. I understand there are other people trying to look bigger parts of this, but you guys don't TALK like you are. It makes me really frustrated.

I have to sound like a zionist, because people only seem to want to heap blame on Israel, but I'm far from it and heavily disagree with the very concept.

I'm really, really opposed to the atrocities committed by Israel, but that's all you guys want to talk about. As if nothing else is going wrong over there.


Krensky wrote:

Sorry. I don't see how accepting Israel being a theocracy and apartheid state and giving up rights and claims against the government that drove them from their homes and cramed them into ghettos and claimed everything of value in both Israel and the West Bank is reasonable.

Perhaps it's a new definition I'm unfamiliar with.

Because you're connecting dots that aren't connected.

The insistence on a Jewish state is one of protection, because in every other country in the Middle-East, Jews have been stripped of their property, deported or murdered, to the point that essentially there are no Jews living in any country in the region except Israel.

Israel took Jewish refugees from every country in the region.

Why not have all those countries take a proportionate number of Palestinian refugees?

And before you jump on me for supporting this (cause I don't really), this is just pointing out what the stumbling block to negotiation is. Israel FEELS like it is constantly under siege, even if it necessarily isn't any more. The only way to get them to lower their guard is to make the region more tolerant and less militant against them.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

I read a piece written by a Danish member of parliament today, which in some ways sums up the situation for the Palestinians.

I've quickly translated it for everyone to read:

Quote:

"It's all the fault of Hamas!" That's something you hear often in these days. Hamas is a terrorist organization - and there's some truth to that. "As long as Hamas rules in Gaza there will be no peaceful solution. The Palestinians must elect moderate leaders - not until then can they live in peace."

Just a hop on over to the West Bank where Fatah - the more moderate Palestinians, rule.

What has Israel done to demonstrate to the Palestinians that moderate leaders make all the difference?

Here 2.7 million Palestinians live clumped together in an area the size of Funen (Danish island). You see, it also needs to house the 500,000 Israeli settlers - and, of course, safety zones, walls and such lovely things. Over the last 20 years more than 15,000 Palestinian homes have been removed to make room for more than 50,000 new Israeli homes. UN reports that boys aged 12-14 are being detained/incarcerated. Israeli military has a massive presence and a frightening wall more than 400 km long cuts through the area. It separates Palestinian villages, cuts people off from their farm land and forces people to subject themselves to military examination and even life threatening delays at check points. In the Danish debate it's not unheard of to describe the situation in the West Bank as apartheid-like conditions.

That politician's statement contains an error which is pretty big. There are no Israeli settlements in Gaza. None. When Israel unilaterally decided to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, they forcefully removed all Jewish settlers.

Even at the height of Jewish settlement in the strip, there were fewer than 7000 Jews living in Gaza, not 500,000.

There certainly are still lots of settlers in the West Bank.

No error. He's describing the West Bank, not Gaza. He's...

Ah, I got confused then... cause he starts off talking about Gaza and Hamas, then talks about the West Bank to make a point about Hamas in Gaza... I get it... I think.


GentleGiant wrote:

I read a piece written by a Danish member of parliament today, which in some ways sums up the situation for the Palestinians.

I've quickly translated it for everyone to read:

Quote:

"It's all the fault of Hamas!" That's something you hear often in these days. Hamas is a terrorist organization - and there's some truth to that. "As long as Hamas rules in Gaza there will be no peaceful solution. The Palestinians must elect moderate leaders - not until then can they live in peace."

I deeply wish for a peaceful solution, so let's dwell for a moment by the results the Palestinians will accomplish by electing more moderate leaders. We don't have to move far away. Just a hop on over to the West Bank where Fatah - the more moderate Palestinians, rule.

What has Israel done to demonstrate to the Palestinians that moderate leaders make all the difference?

Here 2.7 million Palestinians live clumped together in an area the size of Funen (Danish island). You see, it also needs to house the 500,000 Israeli settlers - and, of course, safety zones, walls and such lovely things. Over the last 20 years more than 15,000 Palestinian homes have been removed to make room for more than 50,000 new Israeli homes. UN reports that boys aged 12-14 are being detained/incarcerated. Israeli military has a massive presence and a frightening wall more than 400 km long cuts through the area. It separates Palestinian villages, cuts people off from their farm land and forces people to subject themselves to military examination and even life threatening delays at check points. In the Danish debate it's not unheard of to describe the situation in the West Bank as apartheid-like conditions.

My question is then: Is this the Promised Land that Israel seeks to entice the Palestinians with, if only they turn their backs on Hamas and become more moderate?

I can certainly understand if Palestinians have a hard time seeing life in the West Bank as a promising future. Roughly put the choice stands between war in Gaza and

...

That politician's statement contains an error which is pretty big. There are no Israeli settlements in Gaza. None. When Israel unilaterally decided to withdraw from Gaza in 2005, they forcefully removed all Jewish settlers.

Even at the height of Jewish settlement in the strip, there were fewer than 7000 Jews living in Gaza, not 500,000.

There certainly are still lots of settlers in the West Bank.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Well.

As I've repeated multiple times throughout this thread, I'm no expert, but after listening to Rabbi Siegman, I think I am more pro-Hamas than ever.

From the Hamas charter:

Quote:
“The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:


And now, for your delectation: radical feminists vs. trans activists.

Transcending the Norms of Gender: The Left Hand of Darkness by JULIAN VIGO

I was a little disappointed this didn't have a reference to Ursula K. Le Guin's book of the same name. Which I enjoyed when I read it... probably 20 years ago.


thejeff wrote:
]It's hard evidence of rocket fire, of course. It's not hard evidence that they're shooting from schools, hospitals or other protected areas. Which is what is disputed.

Video of rocket fire from the Abu Nur school.


Again, pointing out that Hamas endangers their own civilians is NOT to place the blame on Hamas for their deaths. Israel is to blame for the bullets it fires, the missiles it launches, etc.

Rather, it is to show that Hamas has a stake in continued fighting instead of being an agent of peace.

Israel needs just enough civilian deaths to hold up to their people and say "This could be your son or daughter, will you vote for us to do what is necessary?"

Neither side is looking for peace. They both want victory over the other, to drive them into the sea as it were.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Hmm, well, I'm nowhere near looking through all of the links yet, so it is quite possible that I am falling victim to Islamist propaganda, but I'll link them anyway:

Five Misconceptions About the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Hessam Akhlaghpour

In particular, I was interested in the assertions in Point 4:

Misconception 4. Hamas uses human shields.

** spoiler omitted **...

The Palestinian Interior Minister disagrees.

Last week, a vacant UN school was found to be storing rockets. It was directly in between two other schools that were being used as shelters for 3000 civilians.

Putting civilians in danger is a matter of inevitability though, whether Hamas puts rockets near them or not... because there's no where else to put them. So then it comes down to the simple fact that the very act of resistance means that civilians are endangered.

Just curious, does your worker's revolution have a plan for abolishing religion in the region?


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

What do you have that indicates the Egyptian military is distancing itself from Israel?

I cursorily google and get, from three days ago, Saudi, Egypt and Israel work together in Gaza attack.

I note that Middle East Monitor is a pro-Palestinian publication, and web surf over to DEBKAfile, which isn't, and, through the paywall I can see the beginning of an article which starts:

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was wavering Sunday, July 27, between sticking with his understanding with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to crush Hamas, at the cost of a deep rift with Washington, or going along with Kerry, at the cost of Israel's security against dangerous terrorists."

Egyptian military targeting Hamas.

Israel building deals to sell natural gas to Egypt and Turkey.

Since civil war in Syria, European trade for Jordan now goes through Israel.

The Syrian civil war has been a drain on Hamas, both politically and financiall. For one, in 2012 they started backing the fundamentalist rebels. This put them at odds with Iran, a major political backer and funder, because Iran still supports the regime in Syria. Hamas headquarters used to be located in Damascus, but had to relocate to Qatar. They've since worked at rebuilding their relationship with Iran though.

Capitalist toady article on Egypt-Hamas relations.

Hmm. Well, a quick skim doesn't indicate any distancing between Egypt and Israel. Perhaps I'm...

Sorry, I completely misread your post.

No, so far the relationship doesn't appear to be breaking down between Israel and Egypt. The lack of partnership between Hamas and Egypt is pretty evident though. Dead civilians will eventually take their toll in the Egyptian news cycle if the military is seen as supporting Israel though.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Note "complaints about civilian deaths" by CNN as if both sides were equally killing civilians. This is the "anti isreali" american media.

BBC Gaza death toll over 1,000 - Israeli toll up to 42

The palastinians have killed TWO civilians in this flare up.

Look at that bomb crater that used to be a house and tell me with a strait face they're trying to minimize casualties.

I think this describes Hamas' attitude towards the civilians they "govern".

Israel is still responsible for the deaths of those civilians, but Hamas plays a role and it isn't the one of savior.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

What do you have that indicates the Egyptian military is distancing itself from Israel?

I cursorily google and get, from three days ago, Saudi, Egypt and Israel work together in Gaza attack.

I note that Middle East Monitor is a pro-Palestinian publication, and web surf over to DEBKAfile, which isn't, and, through the paywall I can see the beginning of an article which starts:

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was wavering Sunday, July 27, between sticking with his understanding with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to crush Hamas, at the cost of a deep rift with Washington, or going along with Kerry, at the cost of Israel's security against dangerous terrorists."

Egyptian military targeting Hamas.

Israel building deals to sell natural gas to Egypt and Turkey.

Since civil war in Syria, European trade for Jordan now goes through Israel.

The Syrian civil war has been a drain on Hamas, both politically and financiall. For one, in 2012 they started backing the fundamentalist rebels. This put them at odds with Iran, a major political backer and funder, because Iran still supports the regime in Syria. Hamas headquarters used to be located in Damascus, but had to relocate to Qatar. They've since worked at rebuilding their relationship with Iran though.

Capitalist toady article on Egypt-Hamas relations.


Pan wrote:
Hey Garret what was that card game you ran at FFG a few months ago?

Hanabi


Something else that's interesting is the division between the Egyptian military government and Hamas. The Egyptian military sees Hamas as allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group they don't particularly like, and has been very cooperative with Israel lately.

With the recent dead children in Gaza though, the Egyptian military has started to try and distance itself from Israel due to public opinion hating Israel more than the Muslim Brotherhood. This has pushed Hamas back into being stronger player in Middle-East politics.

Intermittent violence serves the political agenda of both sides. As long as that's true, enduring peace isn't an option.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Close.

1) The violence is being committed whether hamas exists or not

2) Any plan which starts with "Violence will not happen" is an impossibility.

Except no one expects your version of 2 to happen. The Israeli's aren't stupid, they know violence is a possibility. What they want is mechanisms to stop it and find those committing it.

Hamas doesn't do anything to stop rocket attacks. They hand out order forms for more rockets.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Hamas can stop digging the tunnels. They cannot stop the tunnels from being dug. That is an enormous difference you're not getting, and it applies no matter what you want to fill the blanks in with.

Hammas can stop firing rockets. They cannot stop the rockets from being fired.

If Hamas stopped digging the tunnels someone else would dig the tunnels: they're not just terror tunnels, they're multi use. They smuggle everything from weapons to x boxes, medicine and caviar.

If Hamas as an organization died tomorrow, someone else would set up shop , put up a sign that says "under new management" and then it would continue unabated. You cannot treat "the palastinians" as a single entity. What central control over the area that exists is loose to non existant. Your expectation and experience that a government has effective control over its territory and people does not apply here.

Quote:
All of these things are extremely possible and would take away many of Israel's concerns about safety and security.

It would not. Israel is more than a little twitchy when it comes to security and will remain so for the foreseeable future: certainly longer than than anyone can keep the entirety of the Palestinian population away from a shovel.

Your point in this post is that...

1) Violence is being committed, whether Hamas exists or not
2) Therefore, Hamas cannot be held responsible for the violence it commits

That sum it up?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Stop fighting back. Disarm. Stop protesting, even nonviolently.

The palastinian government cannot take any of these actions.

Fighting is being done by individuals. They have very little central control over them.

If israels blocade isn't keeping weapons out, the palastinians can't either.

The Palestinian government can't stop the protests. They don't have enough police, the police can't mobilize from one area to another, and they don't have the jails to hold them all.

and then, as you point out, their lives will STILL suck, and they'd still have to wait for israel to act. Even granting the palastinians the ability to do all this (which they don't have) you STILL need to wait for Israel to do something to stop the oppression.

Yes it can. Hamas can stop digging tunnels. They can stop smuggling weapons into their territory. They can stop paying out money to the families of suicide bombers.

Yes, other extremists could continue fighting against the wishes of people like Hamas. But Hamas could cooperate with law enforcement in finding and bringing those people to legitimate justice. Stop offering safe haven.

All of these things are extremely possible and would take away many of Israel's concerns about safety and security.

You, Bob and I are at a bar. Bob and I start a fight against you, but you manage to beat us both up. Later, Bob and I keep picking fights with you, so you don't trust us.

I have three options to get you to stop kicking my ass:
1) Work with Bob and try to win this time
2) Stop participating at all
3) Actively join against Bob.

Now, if Bob's my friend, maybe I really don't want to do 3. But to switch from 1 to 2 would at least go a long way to fixing things between you and me.


I'm not sure how to communicate this... because I've been seriously trying....

I do not approve of most of Israel's actions. I think they've done horrible things, many of which probably amount to war crimes.

What puzzles me though, is how you guys talk as if Israel is the only side doing anything wrong. They aren't. Other sides are actively engaged in perpetuating this conflict also.


Putting the blame on Israel and saying that they have to solve the problem isn't going to solve the problem.

Some info on the Jewish exodus from Arab/Muslim countries.

Please make the case of why it is in Israel's interest to cede majority control of their country to the same people who have kicked them out of dozens of other countries. Using the last 70 years of history, make a case for how they will be treated fairly and humanely, instead of how they've been killed and stripped of their property in every other country in the region.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
At the same time, the 1967 borders create massive security problems for Israel. Large sections of the country are within 10 miles of the border (target-able by rockets}

By that logic the Palestinians need enough land to put most of palastine out of range of Israels helicopters, because they need security from the attacks.

Thats the problem with your arguments: they cut equally both ways but you only want to aim them in one direction.

That's actually the crux of my argument, all this stuff cuts both ways... hence: no peace.

The Arab neighbors are just as responsible as Israel for cutting off the Palestinian populations from the outside world. Jordan could reinstate passports. Egypt could open borders and allow trade. Syria... well, they have their own problems at the moment.

Then of course you have the treatment of Jewish populations across the Arab world. In 1948 there were approximately 880,000 Jews living in Middle-Eastern/North African countries (excluding Israel). Now it's estimated to be less than 9,000. While some have been killed, many immigrated to Israel.

Whole communities have been destroyed through persecution and have been robbed of billions of dollars of property, in addition to killings. Israel has welcomed these refugees with open arms.

Conversely the Arab countries couldn't care less about the Palestinians, except to use them as a pawn to try and punish Israel. The neighboring countries could do massive amounts of good if they were willing provide aid and open their borders to the Palestinians.

Israel sucks and does mean things to Palestinians.
So does everyone else... including Palestinians (like using their people as human shields).


At the same time, the 1967 borders create massive security problems for Israel. Large sections of the country are within 10 miles of the border (target-able by rockets}. Lack of water security. Ceding their very legitimate claims to land.

There never has been a "Palestinian state". Prior to WW1, it was part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. From 1918 to 1948, it was controlled by the British. From 1918-1922, the size of the mandate was Israel+Jordan.

The "Palestinian state" existed in name only, when the surrounding Arab nations invaded Israel, took land (Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights) and declared it part of the All Palestinian government (all in 1948).

In 1967, Israel took back land that it had been given by the British in 1948 (but invaded the day after the British left, literally).

Jews took land from Arabs.
Arabs took land from Jews.

Everyone lives on stolen land. Everyone.

Now design a peace agreement that doesn't legitimize one sides stealing of land.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
That's cool that YOU consider it part of Israel. I must have missed the day they announced you to be the arbiter of these things.

More point and less sarcasm would be appreciated.

When you're criticizing someone's statement like you were you aren't the arbiter either. If you want to say they're factually wrong you're setting a pretty high bar that you haven't reached.

His implication is that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel. All adult citizens are allowed to vote in Israel.

No. His implication, as clearly understood by everyone except you is that Israel controls the lives of large population that are not citizens and do not vote.

Actually, you probably understood it to or you'd be attacking the "more than half the adult population" part as well as the "can't vote" part, since the Arab citizens of Israel are far less than half the population. His statement only makes sense if he's talking about the Palestinians, since that's the only way the population numbers are even close.

It's not the borders themselves, it's that any agreement based on borders from any one specific date will essentially formalize some form of violence against someone. There is no ideal period to reach back to and say "ah, that's when it was good, can we go back to that?" Which is what all drawings on maps are trying to do, except that every line is based on some form of violence against someone.

Peace will be forever out of reach until at least one side decides to give up using violence. But neither side will, because the other side won't.

Let's say you and I are in a fight. I hit you, and felt justified doing it. Now, you feel justified hitting me. I know you're going to do that, so I feel justified defending myself. You of course feel justified defending yourself.

It's a cycle that doesn't stop until one of us decides we don't want to hit the other person any more.

In the Middle-East, no one feels compelled to stop yet. Both sides DO have legitimate grievances and they're not going to stop unless those grievances are addressed. The problem is, the solutions for each side are mutually exclusive right now.

I disagree massively with how Israel handles this problem. The issue I have in this thread is people talk about Israel as if they don't have any legitimate grievances, which to me, demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Israel, Palestine, the UN, US government all disagree with you. No one who has ever sat down at a table to discuss this peace with those various powers has ever considered the occupied territories to be part of Israel.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
That's cool that YOU consider it part of Israel. I must have missed the day they announced you to be the arbiter of these things.

More point and less sarcasm would be appreciated.

When you're criticizing someone's statement like you were you aren't the arbiter either. If you want to say they're factually wrong you're setting a pretty high bar that you haven't reached.

His implication is that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel. All adult citizens are allowed to vote in Israel.

An accurate comparison would be African-Americans in the US. They're a similar sized minority and have about proportional representation in the federal government.

African-American 15% population and 8% representation
Arab-Israeli 20% population and 10% representation

I agree with you, Israel doesn't want to suddenly add 4 million population, particularly when most of it is Arab and will significantly disrupt the balance of power in their government. I'd imagine the number of countries that have undertaken such an action in all of human history could be counted on one hand. Unreasonable or not, it's not going to happen.

Residents of the West Bank used to have Jordan passports, but they were revoked in 1988. Why aren't you calling for Jordan to reinstate those and take back their citizens?


thejeff wrote:

Of course a large part of the reason the Palestinians can't provide for themselves is that the Israelis have taken much of the best land in the Occupied Territories, including the water. Since you accept that as part of the premise, it's obvious that Palestine can't sustain itself.

A Palestinian state with borders drawn by Israel is not part of a valid two-state solution. Which is why it's been rejected and shouldn't even be bothered with. A Palestinian state as originally conceived or even on the 67 lines is a valid state. But it's one Israel won't accept.

Just so we're aware, the pre-67 lines would assume that we legitimize the use of force by Arab military forces in 1948 that kicked Jewish families out of their homes in those areas.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Irontruth: its not factually incorrect, its a matter of differing opinion. Meatrace (and I) consider the palastinian territories to be part of israel. Israel controls the borders. Israel provides the funding for social services. Israel sets its foreign policy. Israel can override any decision it doesn't like through invasion. Israel builds and maintains roads in the area. Israel maintains checkpoints to keep palastinians off of some of those roads and out of the jewish control settlements. Israel decides how water is distributed. Israel provides passports (or rather doesn't) To say that this area is not Israel is sheer chicanery.

Israel is currently 75% Jewish with a population of 7,821,850, and about 25% arab.

5,966,388 jews
1,955,462 arab citizens.

~4,000,000 people live in the palastinian territories. 83% of the population is Palestinian Arab, 17% are Jewish.

3,320,000 arabs
680,000 jews

Total it up

6,646,388 jews

5,275,462 arabs.

The arab population is growing faster though. Its not quite meatspaces "half the population can't vote" but it IS a very large chunk of the population, enough to keep them out of real power. Israel needs to stop that from happening in order to maintain its Theocratic raison de etre

That's cool that YOU consider it part of Israel. I must have missed the day they announced you to be the arbiter of these things.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

The 2-State solution is ridiculous as well. It'd be a country that can't sustain itself as it can't provide food or water, because no way Israel gives up the water rights to the river Jordan.

Let's say it happens, it's a country that can't even provide itself a subsistence level of existence. It's utterly reliant on the neighboring economy of Israel, which would now be free to impose tariffs, taxes, levies, etc on workers coming from Palestine. Now it can profit off their labor, while denying the government of Palestine the economic flow it needs to sustain itself, crippling the government and ensuring it stays weak. But Israel will have divested itself of responsibility for maintaining it and all events inside will be at the feet of the Palestinian government.

A state of perpetual poverty that absolves Israel of responsibility. That is what the 2-state solution means. Giving all the absolute worst land to the Palestinian, while retaining control of Jerusalem and all the water they can get.

The 2-state solution is already here. Formalizing it isn't going to change anything.

So you're saying there is no solution. Because obviously a one-state solution won't be acceptable to Israel either as it would be a majority Arab state.

Or do you have a better idea?

No, I don't have a better idea. I don't think there is a good solution, nor will one be found in the next decade or two. Here are the two major hurdles IMO:

1) No one wants the Palestinians in their country
2) The Palestinians can't provide for themselves

That means they will live in a perpetual state of poverty. I don't think there's any disagreement that a society in a perpetual state of poverty is an inherently unstable one, which often results in an increase in violent crime.

In the case of the Palestinian territories, that "violent crime" manifests itself largely as attacks on Israel. It's unreasonable to expect a country to sit by and do nothing while being attacked.

Israel isn't incentivized to absorb the Palestinian population for a couple of reasons...

1) It would be a major burden on their government resources.
2) It would disrupt their structure of political power.

The first one could be mitigated by outside help, financial aid from the international community to help care for the Palestinians. The second problem is nearly intractable though. It's like saying the Black Panthers need to start admitting KKK members into their ranks. Neither side has any interesting in participating with the other.

Neither side gives a s+%& about the other side. When two people refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the other, peace is a long ways off.


Freehold DM wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

You objected to Meatrace who was objecting to Doug's Workshop.

The words "shining democracy" weren't in the latter's post; they were "only functional democracy in the region."

I was objecting to the implication that Arab's are disenfranchised in the state of Israel. Which is provably false.

Voter turnout has even increased over the past few years. Though it's still below it's all-time high of 75% in the late 90's.

I'm not claiming the Palestinians are even treated well. They aren't. But making implications of an apartheid system is demonstrably false. The people in the occupied territories aren't Israeli. They're supposed to be Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian. Except Jordan relinquished their claim to the land a few years back, effectively casting the West Bank to the wind.

Israel hasn't treated them well, but you don't need to imply things are worse than they are to prove that. Arabs are just as enfranchised as any other religious/ethnic group.

When Egypt took over the Gaza Strip, it didn't offer the residents citizenship.

Most people in the Golan Heights hold Syrian citizenship.

In 1988, Jordan stripped all residents of the West Bank of citizenship.

Everyone has done their best to screw the Palestinians.

The US has been occupying Puerto Rico for 116 years.

Yeah. But Puerto Ricans get to vote from Puerto Rico. Same with a lot of other American territories, if not all of them.

Yes, they do hold elections there. They don't vote for president, nor do they have a voting member of Congress.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

You objected to Meatrace who was objecting to Doug's Workshop.

The words "shining democracy" weren't in the latter's post; they were "only functional democracy in the region."

I was objecting to the implication that Arab's are disenfranchised in the state of Israel. Which is provably false.

Comrade Jeff's reference to a "shining democracy" was in reference to Citizen Workshop's "only functional, etc." Therefore there is no need to quote you referring to Israel as a "shining beacon of democracy."

I didn't even read the rest of your post because I am trying to help you understand the flow of the conversation so that you don't make ridiculous, self-indulgent scenes because you misunderstand what is being said, not because I am making any political point.

I was calling into question inaccurate statements from someone else. I don't care if someone else said something, that's not attributable to me. Just because I'm pointing out Meatrace's inaccuracy, does NOT mean I'm disagreeing with his overall sentiment, just that I find some of his "facts" to not actually be facts.


The 2-State solution is ridiculous as well. It'd be a country that can't sustain itself as it can't provide food or water, because no way Israel gives up the water rights to the river Jordan.

Let's say it happens, it's a country that can't even provide itself a subsistence level of existence. It's utterly reliant on the neighboring economy of Israel, which would now be free to impose tariffs, taxes, levies, etc on workers coming from Palestine. Now it can profit off their labor, while denying the government of Palestine the economic flow it needs to sustain itself, crippling the government and ensuring it stays weak. But Israel will have divested itself of responsibility for maintaining it and all events inside will be at the feet of the Palestinian government.

A state of perpetual poverty that absolves Israel of responsibility. That is what the 2-state solution means. Giving all the absolute worst land to the Palestinian, while retaining control of Jerusalem and all the water they can get.

The 2-state solution is already here. Formalizing it isn't going to change anything.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

You objected to Meatrace who was objecting to Doug's Workshop.

The words "shining democracy" weren't in the latter's post; they were "only functional democracy in the region."

I was objecting to the implication that Arab's are disenfranchised in the state of Israel. Which is provably false.

Voter turnout has even increased over the past few years. Though it's still below it's all-time high of 75% in the late 90's.

I'm not claiming the Palestinians are even treated well. They aren't. But making implications of an apartheid system is demonstrably false. The people in the occupied territories aren't Israeli. They're supposed to be Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian. Except Jordan relinquished their claim to the land a few years back, effectively casting the West Bank to the wind.

Israel hasn't treated them well, but you don't need to imply things are worse than they are to prove that. Arabs are just as enfranchised as any other religious/ethnic group.

When Egypt took over the Gaza Strip, it didn't offer the residents citizenship.

Most people in the Golan Heights hold Syrian citizenship.

In 1988, Jordan stripped all residents of the West Bank of citizenship.

Everyone has done their best to screw the Palestinians.

The US has been occupying Puerto Rico for 116 years.


thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Well, voting is a legal matter. If you aren't legally part of a country, why should you vote in it?

Large portions of Iraq were controlled by the United States, should we have let them join in our elections during that time?

The comment also implied that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel, which is a common misconception. Perpetuating falsehoods doesn't help anyone.

We didn't maintain that control for decades with no end in sight.

I'm not even saying they should be allowed to vote in Israeli elections. They shouldn't. They should have their own sovereign country and vote in it's elections.
The point is that pointing at a nation as a shining example of democracy when they have an entire subject population that doesn't count is hypocritical.

Feel free to quote where I claimed that Israel was a shining beacon of democracy.


Well, voting is a legal matter. If you aren't legally part of a country, why should you vote in it?

Large portions of Iraq were controlled by the United States, should we have let them join in our elections during that time?

The comment also implied that Arab's aren't allowed to vote in Israel, which is a common misconception. Perpetuating falsehoods doesn't help anyone.


Interesting fact, in 1967 Israel offered them citizenship.

In addition, the territories aren't recognized as part of Israel, by the people in them or the international community.

The point does stand, Arab citizens are allowed to vote and are even represented in the federal government.


meatrace wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

It would certainly deprive them of a weapon, because once the Palestinian issue is resolved, people might realize that the only liberally-minded nation in the region was Israel. Way easier to get the world distracted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than let the world focus on the moral, economic, educational, and cultural failings of the rest of the Middle East (quick: which nation in the region is rated highest by the Human Development Index? Here's a hint: it's the only functional democracy in the region).

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

I wouldn't exactly call a country where more than half the adult population isn't allowed to vote a "functional democracy".

If Jordan (or any other country) allowed refugees, Israel would simply use it as a pretense for invasion claiming that Country X is harboring Hamas terrorists. It has happened before.

Can you provide proof that Arab citizens aren't allowed to vote in Israel?


Jalen & Jacoby podcast. Not music, but I've found I really enjoy listening to Jalen Rose talk about basketball. David Jacoby does great as a common man journalist asking the insider interesting questions.


Hello, I'm Garret. Currently I game on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and every other Saturday, so my schedule is pretty full (though a lot of specific nights tend to fall through). Currently playing:

Lady Blackbird
Pathfinder homebrew (co-DM)
13th Age (via roll20)
Nights Black Agents
Pendragon (year 503 of The Great Campaign)
Monster of the Week
Plus a random assortment of one-shots in various systems, or boardgames instead of an rpg

I play lots of boardgames:

Hansa Teutanica
Imperial 2030
Tzolkien
Eclipse
Terra Mystica
...To name a few

I wouldn't be able to commit to a regular thing, but I'd be interested in either a meet and greet, boardgames, one shots or short series. I have an awesome rpg about killing gods that I love to run and evangelize about (plays perfect with 3-4 players and is contained within 4-5 hours).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Slaunyeh wrote:
ShinHakkaider wrote:

The New Ultimates

I will most definitely be supporting this book. As I've just dropped both Bendis X-titles and one of Hickman's Avengers books there's room on my pull list for this.

Heh. If it hadn't been for the thread/article title, I don't think I'd have noticed anything "wrong" about that lineup.

The article doesn't seem to go into detail about who these people are (I admit, I skimmed a bit), but none of them seems to represent me (they all look so young!) And that's okay, I don't really need to feel represented to enjoy a good story.

Quote:
"When we deny women and girls representation, we put them in ever smaller boxes," she wrote. "And when we limit their potential, we limit the potential of our culture as a whole. When we limit the contributions of half our society, we cut our potential in two."

I... uh, okay, this is me talking from a "didn't really grow up with these comic books" perspective, but maybe that's giving comic books slightly more importance than they really deserve. It's just comic books. I'm pretty sure Marvel isn't the last line of defense against cultural decay, or something. :p

Would it be nice with a broader representation of women in comic books? Absolutely! Is it going to destroy our cultural basis that girls have to pick between She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and femThor? Probably not.

But I get that I'm a weirdo, so feel free to ignore!

Slight tangent: Also, that picture of Captain Marvel? *swoons*

I think it's less of an issue for older folk. Once you get past the age of 30 you're more likely to have a good concept of who you are and have better tools to do reexamination internally.

Children, teens, young adults, etc, are still exploring that territory. They're still building that self-image and searching for ways to explain their experiences and who and what they are. Because of that, they are much more likely to latch onto stories that include people who share some sort of similarity to them. Kids love shows with protagonists in their own age range. Add in gender, race, orientation, culture, etc... it becomes a way to explore their own story, not just the one presented.

They like stuff that doesn't relate to that as well, kids love good stories just like adults. Add in the above elements though and they become the stories that they carry with them through life.

A great example for me is Ender's Game. Often adults who read the book for the first time have some appreciation for the book, to varying degrees. They read the story and appreciate it (or not) on its merits. Give the book to a 6th grader though, and the potential for that story changes. Not all of them will love it, but for those that do, it becomes part of their life, it helps them make sense of who and what they are in some small way. They don't just read the book, they live it. This isn't an adulation of OSC's writing, but rather the subject matter and nature of the protagonist.

The diversification of protagonists is only partially for adults. It's much more important for drawing in younger readers and it can mean a lot. Validate them, tell their story and they'll be hooked for life.


Magician - An RPG that teaches you Korean.

It's an RPG designed specifically around the goal of teaching you a language, while still being an actual RPG. It uses a magic system built off language, which is a pretty common theme in fantasy literature. You build spells by speaking phrases/sentences. Mind you, my knowledge of this game is purely second-hand, so I don't know specifics, but I figure it's probably right up your alley.


Caineach wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
thejeff wrote:
You're right that the best answer is to separate health care from employment entirely, but you do that by turning to government, putting everyone into one big insurance pool and financing the thing with taxes, not premiums. Because that works.
Worked wonders for the VA, hasn't it?
The VA has better quality of care on average for lower costs than the general population. It falls behind on experimental and cutting edge treatments that are more expensive, but handily beats traditional hospitals elsewhere, even with the existing scandals. There is a reason every veteran I know goes to VA hospitals even if they have top tier insurance through current jobs.

Yeah, I really like the VA. It sucks going there, because it means something is wrong, but overall my experiences there have all been good.

It wasn't always this good though. Prior to the first Gulf War, the VA was really bad. They had high mortality rates from surgery, patients were lost, bad record keeping, etc. We actually have a very strong track record of mistreating the veterans of every war. Currently, they're getting some of the best attention this country has ever given.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fergurg wrote:
thejeff wrote:
You're right that the best answer is to separate health care from employment entirely, but you do that by turning to government, putting everyone into one big insurance pool and financing the thing with taxes, not premiums. Because that works.
Worked wonders for the VA, hasn't it?

I'm very happy with the care I get from the VA.

Statistically, the VA is actually a pretty good system. There are some glaring holes and problems, but even the most recent scandal would be completely negated by universal care.

The VA has higher marks on customer satisfaction. From 1996 to 2006, VA costs per patient remained steady, while private hospital costs increased 40%. During that time the VA's number of patients doubled, while they reduced staff by 10,000.

The VA system is actually incentivized to prevent illness, instead of just treating it. The VA has it's budget. Instead of charging patients who get sick, they just get a budget. It's in a hospital's interests to use preventative measures to keep patients healthy, reducing the number of illnesses they contract.


Death and the Civil War

I recommend the documentary in general, it's quite interesting. It lays out the ground work for the development of the paternal state. The government wasn't responsible for everything, but it had a paternal responsibility to care for those who sacrificed for it. These seems obvious from our modern sensibility, but at the time this was a radical change. Veterans of the Revolution weren't cared for at all. Veterans of the War of 1812, the various wars with Mexico and out west were barely given anything after coming home. Dead soldiers were never sent home, they were either left to rot or buried at the battlefield.

With the Civil War that all changed. People campaigned for greater support for soldiers and their families, this was due to the massive scale of death involved. Previous conflicts had plenty of dead, but nothing even approaching the scale or severity of the Civil War. People couldn't wrap their minds around what was happening, the deaths were so far away, people couldn't believe that their loved ones were dead.

Eventually the government took responsibility for the dead. They located and transported remains, paid death benefits and essentially took on a role within families. Death is a very intimate affair and now the government was expected to take part in it for the soldiers that had died for it.


Quark Blast wrote:


To your 1st point - Yes, but the American Civil War ended and the system worked to patch things up rather nicely. Granted it took another 100 years to iron out the wrinkles but all that was done using the system.

It's amusing that you place the blame at ~1965 and completely fail to realize that it's 1865 is when the problem you're talking about started. The Civil War is the creation of the nanny state in which the former structure of the social contract is broken and the one which you complain about is begun.

Then of course, you're also ignoring the period where most of these reforms that actually contributed to your Uncle's paid vacation, 1900-1920. Again, well before your estimation of 1960's as the problem. The first two decades of the 20th century is when the government started to come in and mandate how companies treated workers. It was this attitude that made unemployment and similar programs possible during the depression era and later.

The problems you are attributing to this go back much deeper and further than your current explanation.

There's another phenomenon in historical analysis you're falling victim to, but I don't want to mention it for fear of clouding the issue. Cause it would.


Maybe you wouldn't have to shoot it if you didn't have a fear of the dark...

I have constant fear that something's always near
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone's always there


I had Rogue's Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Beer a few months back. I thought it was awful. It had this bitter, chemical taste, like bad liquid smoke.


Andrew R wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Even if the cards cannot buy them they should be using the money they have to pay bills not wallow in some of the most expensive vices.

Exactly how do you plan on enforcing this? How do you keep people who get assistance from using any other money they have to buy alchohol or cigarettes? Shall we stamp a big red "W" on their foreheads? Set up a database that every store has access to that determines who is allowed to buy what and then require identification and tracking of every purchase?

Do you have any idea how expensive that would be? Compared to the money "wasted" currently?

And especially in the case of cigarettes, given how addictive they are, will just push smokers into a black market anyway.

And seriously, tobacco and booze aren't anywhere near the most expensive vices. That's why they're poor people vices.

Do not give them a card like they get now. attach it to their ID and simply check ID for all purchases, many stores do already to avoid sales to minors.

Not expensive? 3 packs a day (many smokers do that and more) buys my car every year.

So, your solution to this is increasing government oversight and control of people's lives? You are advocating that the government should have the authority to tell people what they can and cannot buy with their own money.

That sounds like communism.

I am advocating telling anyone that wants to enter into an agreement with the gov what they can do. Just as soldiers have to give up certain things so should those that want money for nothing

You call taxes theft, but you want complete government control over the household budget for people receiving aid.

How are taxes theft, but the government taking complete control over your finances NOT theft?


Andrew R wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Even if the cards cannot buy them they should be using the money they have to pay bills not wallow in some of the most expensive vices.

Exactly how do you plan on enforcing this? How do you keep people who get assistance from using any other money they have to buy alchohol or cigarettes? Shall we stamp a big red "W" on their foreheads? Set up a database that every store has access to that determines who is allowed to buy what and then require identification and tracking of every purchase?

Do you have any idea how expensive that would be? Compared to the money "wasted" currently?

And especially in the case of cigarettes, given how addictive they are, will just push smokers into a black market anyway.

And seriously, tobacco and booze aren't anywhere near the most expensive vices. That's why they're poor people vices.

Do not give them a card like they get now. attach it to their ID and simply check ID for all purchases, many stores do already to avoid sales to minors.

Not expensive? 3 packs a day (many smokers do that and more) buys my car every year.

So, your solution to this is increasing government oversight and control of people's lives? You are advocating that the government should have the authority to tell people what they can and cannot buy with their own money.

That sounds like communism.


Monsanto doesn't own the farms. That would be expensive, subject them to liability, and create lots of side issues for them. Instead, they push government regulation that allows them to own the seeds the develop and put in place contracts that keep the farmers in debt to them so that they perpetually own the output of those farms.

Why buy the cow when you can charge it for producing milk?


In no particular order

Human Wizard
Human Fighter/Wizard
Human Cleric
Halfling Bard
Elf Wizard
Minotaur Cleric
Minotaur Kingsguard (homebrew class for that setting)
Dwarf Druid
Dwarf Fighter
Tengu Monk (Sensei archetype)
Minotaur Paladin
Succubus Fighter
Half-Orc Ranger
Halfing Bard (completely different from the other Halfling Bard)
Dwarf Barbarian (Inventor of the Dwarven Door Game)
Human Paladin (died while playing the Dwarven Door Game)
Human Sorcerer
Human Cleric/Rogue
Human Oracle

There are certain trends. I like lawful styled characters, it gives me a set of guiding principles within the context of the game world to inform the character. Otherwise I like to change up what I'm doing. If I was a martial, I tend to go caster next and vice versa. I like things that pack a punch in combat, I don't necessarily optimize heavily, but I know the combo's that work and use them. Or I go high utility, with abilities that make my allies better (we have a large group, so the indirect damage output of a mass buff spell is pretty big).

I sometimes like to try to find a trend within my characters and then purposely pick something opposed to that trend.

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