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Vaarsuvius

Thiago Cardozo's page

Goblin Squad Member. 382 posts (384 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Dear Costumer Service Staff,

I'd like to cancel my Adventure Path Subscription, please.

Thanks!


Dear folks at Paizo,

I'd like to cancel my Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder Campaign Setting subscriptions. For some reason my emails to costumer.service are not reaching you.

Thanks!


The government's calculated response of attacking Snowden and defending its spying program is, of course, predictable. But it is interesting to watch these guys jumping through hoops trying to make yellow look blue, while being systematically caught red-handed.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
One thing I find amusing regarding the Snowden leaks is how some people say that "He broke the LAW" but forget that Clapper was caught lying to Congress.

No, what I find ironic is that the argument is really

"He broke the law thats against the first ammendment by telling you we were breaking the law against the fourth so that makes him the bad guy"

Yeah, that too. The complete lack of making any sense appears to be a theme in the attempted defenses of the program/criticisms of Snowden.


One thing I find amusing regarding the Snowden leaks is how some people say that "He broke the LAW" but forget that Clapper was caught lying to Congress.


I know this is completely off-topic, but I will be coming to Gen Con this year with a few friends. Is anyone here on the politroll forums planning to attend?


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Thank you for the Paizo.com exclusive, Comrade Cardozo.

No sweat, Tovarisch!


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Well, I guess Brazil has been blowing up while I've been wasting my time reading about the Bechdel Test.

Comrade Cardozo, I would love to hear if you've got anything to say.

Oh yes, here in Brazil thing are getting messy, though I think it is going to be a bit calmer next week. I'm going to write a lot here, might bore some people to death, here.

What happened basically is this:

Bus services in Brazil function by means of city government concessions: the service is privately run through a concession charter, which establishes, among other things, that the government can determine the maximum value for the fare. Recently the government lowered the taxes on bus companies, while at the same time increasing the maximum allowed fare, based on financial documents provided by the bus companies. The thing is, the bus companies exert strong influence over city politicians and they fiddle with numbers in order to offer an excuse for price hikes. For example, most of the bus companies here do not own buses or garages and have no demonstrable maintenance cost, basically because their partners open other fake companies which actually own buses and garages for them to "rent" at near zero cost. The combination of tax reduction and fare increase made a number of people decide to go to the streets to demand a return to the previous price and to pressure towards an investigation of the terms of the contract between the companies and the city governments. These protests were met with extreme violence from the police and our media corps lied about it. However, images from the protests captured by the protesters showed many instances of grievous police abuse. This, I guess, sparked a revolt, and now we have lots of people going to the streets to show that, yes we can protest and demand things and the government is not going to push us around. The protests managed to lower the fares, it is worth noting.

So, basically, this has become a protest against "business as usual" with people coming from very disparate places, demanding different things. It is a very important thing, since brazilians have been notably absent from the political sphere except by voting, which is part of the reason for some of the main problems in our country. And the police has continued attacking full force, as expected.

There is one thing though that started to worry some people: the protests are not demanding anything specific anymore and only generic "down with corrupt politicians". The media has suddenly turned 180 degrees and is pointing the merits of the protests, where before they called people "vandals" and ridiculed the protesters. And now they are trying to tell people why they are "actually protesting" and against whom they are protesting (e.g. the president and her political party)! There is a message being spread, where people from political parties are not welcome to the protests. The problem is, these things are resembling very much the climate before our US backed military coup in 1964. Though no one believes this could happen today in Brazil, there was a fear of a political coup coming from the opposition, using the protesters message as a justification, just as was done with Lugo in Paraguay. This fear has gone down, I guess, because things are looking calmer, and people are discussing things and starting to get more clear on "what's the actual message".

So, you see, the situation is a tad complicated. =/


Bitter Thorn wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:

DoJ incompetence in Rosen case

Typical and predictable.

Thanks TC.

np! =)


Freehold DM wrote:
Bitter Thorn wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:

DoJ incompetence in Rosen case

Typical and predictable.

Thanks TC.

the comments below the article point out an interesting hole in the story. A link to a better article might be warrented.

What hole? Are referring to the comment about "no evidence about Rosen being involved in a bombing"?

If it is, this is exactly the point of the article. In order to seal the warrant someone copy/pasted some excuse about bombings which have absolutely no relation to the actual case! And the judges go with it. In other words, it appears that the government might be sealing warrants in reflex, as opposed to actual need AND is doing it in this clumsy fashion because mostly no one gets to look at it anyway.


Here we have some random democrats opposing surveillance...

Al Gore tells it like it is
Joe Biden making sense...in 2006


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Thank you, Comrade Cardozo. I just wikipedia'd all of them, which is a little boring, I admit.

Thanks for the links, Comrade Anklebiter! I confess I did this in the middle of the night and, though the thought crossed my mind, I did not have the patience to add them. :)


Freehold DM wrote:
there was already a hunt going on for perceived leakers when Obama first took office. One man's leaker is anothers whistleblower, I find the distinction interesting basee on the political view of the person in officr as well as the person telling the story.

This two-party system really screws things up for you guys. You can't criticize a Democrat(Republican) in office without hearing about the misgivings of a previous Republican(Democrat). The thing is, the previous president has no power now. You cannot demand from Bush now that he stops doing this stuff. You can only demand it from Obama.

Besides, Obama himself claimed, as a point of pride, that he used the Espionage Act more than all other presidents combined! Is this really something to be proud of?

As for the whistleblower/leak thing. SOME* Obama supporters are content to consider them leakers because Obama is persecuting them. Put some moustache-twirling Republican in his place and you'd see the outrage.

Read about Thomas Drake and what happened to him. His prosecution has been absolutely bipartisan.

*I'm emphasizing the word "some" because I'm not making generalizations about all or even most of his supporters, mind you. =)


Another interesting case is the persecution of Laura Poitras, the filmmaker. She has been stopped in airports more than a dozen times and asked about her political views by DHS people, the sources for her documentaries. Freedom!


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Comrade Cardozo, you are remarkably well-informed on "our" affairs and I have a task for you if you dare accept:

You often have interesting articles I haven't seen. Get all of the persecuted whistleblowers under Obama on this thread, then, if you have time, maybe all the ones under Bush, too.

Pretty please?

I like foreign affairs a lot and I was scared ****less of 1984. It made a lasting impression on me and my views. What can I say?

From the top of my head:

Bush:

Jesselyn Radack
William Binney

Obama:

Thomas Drake (House first raided under Bush, prosecuted under Obama)
Bradley Manning
Jeffrey Stirling
John Kiriakou
Stephen Jin-Woo Kim

There's certainly more (at least one more under Bush and one more under Obama). When I have the time I'll look for it.

One interesting link comes straight from Obama's page. A statement where the Administration gloats over its prosecutions of whistleblowers. This was made in response to criticisms from Republicans that Obama was "soft" on whistleblowers. Yeah, right.


Freehold DM wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
This guy says he's done nothing wrong, but yet he ran. IMO: Innocent men don't run.

Morality and legality aren't always the same thing.

agreed. I personally think he should have gone about this very, very differently.

How?

If he'd stayed in country, he'd be in jail and incommunicado right now.
If he'd gone through channels instead of to the media, we'd have heard nothing of it.
Hong Kong might not have been the best choice, but that's for practical reasons as much as anything.
unfortunately, he broke the law to do what he did, so he probably would have gone to jail. but I doubt the super secret black bag over your head brigade would have shown up if he had both complained through channels and gone to the media. He also really shouldn't have gone to Hong Kong as a first stop-extradition or no, it makes it look like he had secrets to sell to the highest bidder. I also would have noted that a lot of the things being complained about have been legal for years and phrased my complaints differently. I don't think he's a super spy or hero or traitor like I said before, but I'm starting to think he may not be a very rational planner.

You should probably read about Thomas Drake. He did exactly that, the "proper channels" thing. His life was ruined.


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DoJ incompetence in Rosen case


Freehold DM wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
]I'm wrong because you couldn't find something?...Interesting...

Concerning Abdulrahman, you are 100% wrong because no evidence has been made public and he certainly never declared himself as a member of AQ publicly. Actually, no government person claimed he was a terrorist. Apparently, he was just a 16-year old boy who was unlucky to be the son of a person of interest. That's what I said above.

As for Kahn, i cannot say you're wrong, only that I found no evidence. Do you have any?

More internet searches:

According to ABC News as of the day they killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the gov't never presented any evidence against him.

I have no idea who this Empty Wheel blogger is, but:

Government Finally Releases Narrative of Anwar al-Awlaki’s Role in UndieBombing Plot

which isn't quite the same as evidence

Why Has the Government Story about Who Ordered the UndieBomber to Attack the US Changed?

and, jumping a year

They Knew the Evidence against Anwar al-Awlaki Was Weak When They Killed Him

none of this is making him sound innocent, however.

I'm not talking about Anwar, I'm talking about his 16 year son, who was murdered by a remote-control robot in another strike.


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An interesting bit of history, which becomes much more revealing given the last news, is the misleading answer Obama gave to Jon Stewart last year concerning wiretapping and surveillance:

" STEWART: I think people have been surprised to see the strength of the Bush era warrantless wiretapping laws and those types of things not also be lessened—That the structures he put in place that people might have thought were government overreach and maybe they had a mind you would tone down, you haven’t.

OBAMA: The truth is we have modified them and built a legal structure and safeguards in place that weren’t there before on a whole range issues.
"

Yeah, you have "modified" them alright. One can only imagine what safeguards are those that allow such sweeping collection of data.


These civil liberties guys are a really paranoid bunch

BTW, Welcome to Oceania, Airstrip 1! \o/


Freehold DM wrote:
]I'm wrong because you couldn't find something?...Interesting...

Concerning Abdulrahman, you are 100% wrong because no evidence has been made public and he certainly never declared himself as a member of AQ publicly. Actually, no government person claimed he was a terrorist. Apparently, he was just a 16-year old boy who was unlucky to be the son of a person of interest. That's what I said above.

As for Kahn, i cannot say you're wrong, only that I found no evidence. Do you have any?


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meatrace wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:


Whether it is a scandal or not is irrelevant. It is wrong and should stop.
Perhaps you didn't notice the thread title.

Zing! Busted =-O


bugleyman wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Report: NSA collecting phone records of Verizon customers
Are you suggesting that is repugnant (which it is), or that it is a scandal (which it isn't -- or at least it wasn't for all the years Bush did it).

Whether it is a scandal or not is irrelevant. It is wrong and should stop.


Freehold DM wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

First article I get when I google search "signature strikes."

First two paragraphs:

---

Toward the end of a May 27 article in The Times about President Obama’s speech in which, among other things, he mentioned setting new standards for ordering drone strikes against non-Americans, there was this rather disturbing paragraph:

“Even as he set new standards, a debate broke out about what they actually meant and what would actually change. For now, officials said, ‘signature strikes’ targeting groups of unidentified armed men presumed to be extremists will continue in the Pakistani tribal areas.”

---

Emphasis added.

I can't claim to read every article that's ever been printed, but I'm pretty sure that the government has never presented any evidence against Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. According to Paul Craig Roberts (maverick ex-Reagan Treasury Undersecretary or something), Glenn Greenwald (expatriate columnist for the Manchester Guardian), and Jeremy Scahill (writes for The Nation, I think), the government has never presented any evidence against Anwar al-Awlaki, claiming, IIRC, that national security would fall apart if due process in the al-Awlaki case were followed. (Slight exaggeration on my part, IIRC, but not by much.) Jeremy Scahill further goes on to claim that Samir Khan was tried by some kind of grand jury in the States and that the charges were dismissed.

I'm just one goblin who follows the news. I don't claim to know everything. Can you find an article that lays out the government's case against either of the al-Awlakis?

iirc, they started that they were members of Al Qaida several years ago.

You are wrong, there is no record whatsoever of Abuldrahman claiming to be a member of AQ. I couldn't find any evidence for Kahn anywhere.


Scott Betts wrote:


Are you under the impression that the Transparency and Open Government directive you linked to promises us that leaks of information pertaining to sensitive matters of national security would not be prosecuted?

I genuinely want to know if you thought that would be the case. Nowhere in that link does the President promise anything of the sort, so if you got the impression that "open government" essentially meant, "We're just gonna declassify everything," I want to know where you got that impression from. Did you really think that's what this meant?

You know what I think? I think you don't care. I think you just picked a really lazy attack on the President's credibility because you can't find a better one. You thought to yourself, "Ooh, here's some ammo!" and went for it, even though you knew your criticism didn't have any basis in reality, because you don't give half a damn about the truth.

Are you under the impression that merely claiming that some information is sensitive in regards to national security is, in fact, evidence for the claim?

That's the thing with whistleblowing. If you have too stringent rules for preventing it, these rules can be used to go after people who say stuff you don't like by merely claiming national security has been endangered. See, for example, the persecution of Thomas Drake. Or, Daniel Ellsberg. Or Jocelyn Radack. Or William Binney.


Freehold DM wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
And the Paypal 14 case seems to be coming to a close...
...? What does this have to do with the topic? Put it in government folly.

The topic: AP press scandal -- one in a long line of sketchy Obama moves against whistleblowers and leaks, perhaps best exmplified by the persecution of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Wikileaks -- Paypal 14 on charges for doing internet-y stuff against Paypal in solidarity with Wikileaks.

I mean, jeez, it's not entirely off-topic. Did you know that that case was still in court? I didn't.

I think you got on the 4:15 to Conspiracy Land, but okay.

He mentioned three cases, all related in some way to the 'press freedom' theme (AP, WL, Paypal4). Where is the "conspiracy"?


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More on Obama persecution of journalists, now DOJ going after Fox News Washington correspondent


Orfamay Quest wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


V= pi r^2 H

100= pi* r^2* H

31.83=r^2 h

Excel values of H, get r, calculate surface areas, look at lowest surface area and i get

h=6mm
R= 2.3mm

I could add decimals in for more precision, but i'd imagine there's an upper limit

I don't know how to set the problem up in calculus. Its been a while.

Yeah, that's kind of what I mentioned above.

me wrote:


If [the waitress] I has algebra skills, she can figure out that she makes [formula] dollars and can even set this up as a cell calculation in a good spreadsheet, so she need only type the numbers in and see which one gives her the most money. She's solving as many problems but they're easier to solve if you have the skills and more amenable to computational support.

Basically, you're solving this problem over and over again, until you get an answer you like to a degree of precision you're happy with.

If you know calculus, you can solve the general form of the problem once and get an exact answer. (As Syssyl pointed out, the height is twice the radius.) This also helps if the company wants to make not only 100ml containers, but also 50ml, 200ml, and 500ml, because the same setup and formula generalizes.

It's also important to point out that small imprecisions can lead to large amounts of wasted material in large scale processes. And that this is one of the simplest problems calculus can help you with.


Freehold DM wrote:
I Kee hearing that with respect to math in general.

And yet, there are a number of people (who are not mathematicians or math teachers) who swear these topics are interesting and important.Usually, these people either managed to learn the topics by themselves or had the luck of having good teachers.

Being a good teacher is really hard, specially for such an abstract topic as mathematics. I think that better prepared teachers (with the correct career incentives) would be a huge step in the direction of changing this perception.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Man, that must have been a terrible Calculus class. It's starting to become clear to me that these views some people have on the subject is mostly due to awful Calculus teachers.

Two of them.

Can you give me a calculus I word problem?

Sure, from the top of my head:

A company is designing aluminum packages for one of its products. Each package should be able to contain 100mL of product and must have the shape of a cylinder. What should be the dimensions of the package in order to use the least amount possible of aluminum per unit?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


The main argument for calculus in general education is procedural thinking, i.e. how to figure out an effective step by step process for doing things

Its main argument bites because it does not in fact do this. It becomes a mindless exercise in translating one set of numbers by multiplying exponents by coefficients and dropping an exponent , or mindlessly plugging equations into that annoying to read f of the g of the f of the x and then trying to multiply them out without an error. There's no thinking going on there, its just a conscientiousness test.

Quote:
Calculus can provide that, and in most universities today so can statistics and in many cases a computer programming course. In some universities, even algebra will work. The important thing, though, is to demonstrate the ability to deal rationally and procedurally with hard data.

I have never seen data in a calculus class or a calculus textbook.

Man, that must have been a terrible Calculus class. It's starting to become clear to me that these views some people have on the subject are mostly due to awful Calculus teachers.


I could not, for the life of me, conduct my research without Calculus. As Kirth aptly pointed out, it is extremely useful in allowing one to predict the behavior of systems in regards to change. The impression most people get from it probably originates from the way it is taught.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Comrade Cardozo, if you're out there:

About a month late, but 2 of the 3 anarchists suffering from Living under Obama's Presidency have been released.

Free Maddy Pfeiffer!

These are great news. The unwholesome persecution of political activists has been pretty ruthless. Good that once in a while something like this happens.


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Veterans returning medals at NATO summit


Obama working towards a surveillance society


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Bradley Manning and the Ministry of Love.


Dear Costumer Service,

For some reason, I never received the books contained in the above order. It should contain the AP#62 and the Artifacts and Legends Pathfinder Campaign Setting Book. My AP#63 just arrived and I started to worry something might have gone wrong.

Is there anything that can be done to solve this?

Thanks!


TheWhiteknife wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Unless you've got actual evidence that Obama, or Bush for that matter is putting people on a kill list solely for the crime of making comedically idiotic internet posts, that's a strawman question not worthy of a serious response. As far as I know, Anklebiter has not been engaged in activities that would qualify listing him as an enemy combatant.

You miss the point entirely. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE NEEDED. A signature strike targets people who look like they might be up to no good. Its basically the same as the NYPDs stop and frisk, except instead of stopping and frisking, they bomb and then bomb some more when medics show up.

Allegedly, of course, since the whole thing is done in secret and doesnt officially exist.

Yeah, it is confirmed. LazarX has no idea what Signature Strikes are.


thejeff wrote:


It's not just that I don't think Obama will do it. It's that I don't really think the tools are being put in place the way some claim. Legally, military authority doesn't transfer over to civilian law that simply. And as far as PR goes, the use of...

Are you aware of the NDAA and the journalists suit against it? I'm not being confrontational here, I'm only asking if you read about it in some degree of detail? This has a bearing on this kind of stuff, though not any implication towards drone strikes, of course.

Also note that I point out stuff not only in the realm of legality but also on the realm of morality. Of course I'm risking a lot here in terms of argumentation, because you and I might not share the same values. But by what you have written so far, I'd guess many of these things worry you as well. The legality of them has nothing to do with that, in the end.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

First, since all of this is not being done under criminal law all of the constitutional objections about due process and similar things are really not relevant. They are being done as military operations. That may raise different constitutional questions, but not the ones usually brought up.

Second, I agree with you. I think the entire War on Terror was a bad approach from the start.
I really only get into these drone arguments when someone blurs the line into "ohmigod Obama's going to send drones to kill you!!!" rhetoric. Then I try to bring out the difference and wind up seeming like I'm defending the policy far more than I want to.

Concerning the constitution: I understand what you're saying. But the problem I have with this is you cannot call something which is not a war a war just to be exempt of the difficulties associated with legal issues. Imagine if the same logic is applied to the "War on Drugs".

Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't think Obama is going to do anything of the sort either. But don't you agree that by establishing secret criteria for strikes, using drones in domestic security, punishing people who try to keep the government's actions accountable, all the tools are being put into place for that? It doesn't matter that Obama is not going to do anything of the sort, personally. He's giving a big step in the direction of furnishing the tools for someone down the road doing just that. And it doesn't even need to get there. It is already pretty bad without the doomsday scenario.


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:


I do think the question becomes a little bit harder if he was not merely making posts advocating socialist revolution, but was claiming to be with a group that had actually sent people to start violent revolutions in the US and had started violent socialist revolutions elsewhere.

Gee, its almost like there should be some sort of public trial laid out, maybe even with actual evidence, before the execution is carried out to clear up any of those things that make the question harder, huh?

And now we're back to the can't get a hold of him problem.

Obviously the best solution is for the local authorities to arrest him, the US to present sufficient evidence for extradition and to try him in the US. I'm not disputing that. I don't think Obama would either, judging from his actions.

The hard question is what to do when that isn't possible. Your answer appears to be: Nothing.

The thing is, the constitution does not say it is valid unless it becomes difficult to follow it, in which case you ignore it. It is valid. That's the end of it. That works the same with morality. Moral codes are not about expedience.

Sometimes people act and think as if they were confronting the hordes of Baator, with enemies which attack them out of pure malice. One way to make life safer for americans in the long run is to stop playing bully. On the other hand, terrifying entire populations with flying killer robots appears to be the recipe for an eternal conflict with shadowy enemies.


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TheWhiteknife wrote:
LazarX wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
I have not seen anyone deny that the point of war is to kill people. Perhaps you think every other war was conducted in absolute secrecy? They werent. Now you can be killed for "supporting" an "associated group". What do those mean? If you are going to answer that question, let me pre-emptively call you a liar. Signature strikes are the worst of the bunch. You could* be killed simply for having weapons and/or traveling in a group because Al-quaida, the Taliban, and "associated groups" carry weapons and/or travel in groups. But the kicker is who WOULDNT carry weapons and/or travel in groups in areas where those groups are? You'd be crazy not to, or else those groups will attack you. But if you do, we will bomb you!

You don't judge modern conflicts in the measure of the old. There aren't any neat borders, and our enemies frequently take shelter amidst innocents. I will definitely prefer a selective strike over carpet bombing a town full of noncombatants to get at the people we need to get at.

The signature case of this whole thread is about the killing of a man who was an active traitor to this country, who was participating in activities dedicated to killing our soldiers and our civilians. What part of treason in a martial exercise do you not get in this case? The advocates of this shining example of innocent American citizenry have been raising up strawmen fears by trying to extend the application of this principle to a universal threat. It has not been a credible argument,nor even a rational one.

Do you know what a signature strike is?

Edit-as for the bit about Anwar al-Alaki, prove it. Our very own Comrade Anklebiter actively talks about killing US citizens via worker's revolutions. Should he be killed?

I'm starting to think that LazarX has no idea about what are signature strikes, since his mention of a specific named target directly contradicts the nature of signature strikes.


TheWhiteknife wrote:


I have not seen anyone deny that the point of war is to kill people. Perhaps you think every other war was conducted in absolute secrecy? They werent. Now you can be killed for "supporting" an "associated group". What do those mean? If you are going to answer that question, let me pre-emptively call you a liar. Signature strikes are the worst of the bunch. You could* be killed simply for having weapons and/or traveling in a group because Al-quaida, the Taliban, and "associated groups" carry weapons and/or travel in groups. But the kicker is who WOULDNT carry weapons and/or travel in groups in areas where those groups are? You'd be crazy not to, or else those groups will attack you. But if you do, we will bomb you!
* I think. I, like you, dont really know what the criteria is.

You, and those who try to give those hurt medical aid, or go to your funeral. There is that as well.


Scott Betts wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:

Your argument stands only if one of the candidates nudges things towards a positive end even if slightly, while the other doesn't. In the case where both lead to a net negative for society, with the difference being in the relative declivity of the fall, you are wrong, unless your final goal is just to slow the descent for as long as you can.

Of course, it may not be clear that Obama fits in the second scenario. That is why we're discussing. Some of us feel that Obama does amount to a net loss for society, as does Romney. Of course, enshrining the two-party system once more does not help leaving this. If candidates start losing the run for 3rd parties repeatedly, they might learn that their platforms do not consist of temporary or non-important issues.
As I've explained, I do feel that Obama has moved us in a net positive direction - certainly from where we were four years ago - and will continue to do so in his second term. Furthermore, the argument still holds up even if both candidates are a net negative, as long as one of them is significantly less of a net negative than the other. Vote presently for the better of the two candidates, and, if you feel like both were terrible, fight for election reform in the intervening four years. That's the only way any change will happen, and it's one hell of an uphill fight.

I understand that you feel that in relation to Obama, Scott. What I'm trying to point out to you is that if, for some people, Obama is really terrible and represents only a slight difference from Romney in what matters to them, they might be willing to try what they can to get a long term gain. They might be willing, for instance, to accept a small increase of "worse" in the next years in order to try once again to educate the democratic party about what is important to them, while at the same time working for election reform (something which is also blocked by the core of the democratic party, by the way).

Of course you might vehemently disagree that Romney and Obama are so near one another, and we might be wrong, after all. That is why this discussion is important. But you have to understand that, for people who don't see the gains of re-electing Obama to be as great as they seem to you, voting third party is a legitimate choice. This means, the focus should be on convincing people Obama is not so bad as they think instead of trying to point out that "your strategy sucks".


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LazarX wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
meatrace wrote:
If no one knows, then you don't know. And if you don't know then asserting that you or I might be the target of such strikes is assinine.
There's no need to assert that. I need only to assert the immorality and indefensibility of establishing secret criteria for murdering people.
The point of war is that you kill people. Especially when those people are looking to kill you or your people. Perhaps you think that Al Qaeda or the Taliban deserve some sort of pass on their activities?

First of all this "War on Terror" stuff is absurd. You make war against nations and you prosecute individuals and gangs. But let's forget that for a while and go with the idea that you're at "war" against terror, same as "war" on drugs. I'll concede you even that, for the absurdity of these "signature strikes" does not depend on this discussion.

No, that is not what I think. What I think is that if your criteria for killing people is secret, you can kill whoever you like without need for consequences or review. At this point you basically have to blindly trust the guy who is wielding that power. And EVEN if you do, which I guess is a stupid stance to take, someone else will get that same power eventually. It's the secrecy and the falseness in play here. Have you actually seen how the WH is counting "militants" killed as in opposition to civilians? And you agree with that crap?

And what I don't want is that at some point in the future, other countries decide they can play the same game and start sending drones to kill "terrorists" in the middle of civilian populations.


Hitdice wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
meatrace wrote:

If it were indefensible you couldn't defend it.

To wit: perhaps explaining the reason, in itself, would constitute a breach of national security.
Or, perhaps, it would be embarrassing and paint the administration in a bad light. It might uncover war crimes. But we can't tell, since it is secret, right? ;)
It was never a secret on NPR; this is one of those questions where it sounds like I want you to embarrass yourself, but I'm really asking: On which network was that reported as a secret?

I know they reported the existence of the "signature strikes". But I was completely unaware that the criteria had been reported, since people trying to get information about them failed completely. Is this true?


meatrace wrote:

If it were indefensible you couldn't defend it.

To wit: perhaps explaining the reason, in itself, would constitute a breach of national security.

Or, perhaps, it would be embarrassing and paint the administration in a bad light. It might uncover war crimes. But we can't tell, since it is secret, right? ;)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
meatrace wrote:
If no one knows, then you don't know. And if you don't know then asserting that you or I might be the target of such strikes is assinine.

There's no need to assert that. I need only to assert the immorality and indefensibility of establishing secret criteria for murdering people.

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