Freehold DM wrote:
He mentioned three cases, all related in some way to the 'press freedom' theme (AP, WL, Paypal4). Where is the "conspiracy"?
Orfamay Quest wrote:
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.
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?
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.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
These are great news. The unwholesome persecution of political activists has been pretty ruthless. Good that once in a while something like this happens.
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?
Yeah, it is confirmed. LazarX has no idea what Signature Strikes are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You, and those who try to give those hurt medical aid, or go to your funeral. There is that as well.
Scott Betts wrote:
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".
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.
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?
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? ;)
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.
Are you privy to the secret criteria for the signature strikes? Because no one knows, since, you know, they are secret. These are based on "patterns of suspicious behaviour". If you don't think this is hazy, well there's nothing I can say to convince you. You might be mistaking the signature strikes for those strikes against people which the government at least knows the name.
Yeah, but (hopefully) you don't have the power to act on it and you don't use public money to conduct the assassinations while at the same time refusing to give any concrete explanation of how the names are put into it.
Let us talk about "signature strikes", then. How about, "you fit some hazy profile, though we have no idea who you're" strikes?
And indefinite detention? Without review?
Edited for tone :p
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Yeah, that story is great. Your parents are awesome. And yes, the number of fans has grown.
Right. But he did sign into law the NDAA (of which section 1021 isnt an appropriation, so doesnt expire after 2 years) which expands the indefinite detention provision to include not just Al-quaida, but "associated forces". Further, it includes not just people who belong to these groups, (whether directly or not) but anyone who "substantively supports" them. Now here's the rub: tell me who is included in those terms. If I invite Anwar al-Alaki over for dinner, does that qualify me? If so, order up some fresh, no-trial, no-lawyer detention for ol' Dubya.
Recently a group of journalists and activists asked for an injuction of this section, since they felt that it was having a chilling effect on their work. The justice presiding it asked for the government to explain whether the provision could be applied to any of the people involved in the suit and it responded it could not "confirm or deny". It could not explain what it means to "offer support for associated forces" for its meaning was secret. The justice decided for the injunction. The government fought back and won.
Note, this is that part of the NDAA that Obama faked concern and was "sorry" that it ended up included in the NDAA. And he fought tooth and nail to keep it there.
No he is not, I agree. What we do know is that Obama is normalizing persecution of critics of its government, a culture of secrecy which is unprecedent, and the secret interpretation of laws. That will be his legacy.
Though Romney's positions might be worse than Obama's I doubt his ability to implement them in quite the efficient way Obama has done it. Bush was only able to start this process because of the tragedy of 9/11, which weakened the opposition to his policies. Romney does not have nearly the same political leverage. The problem is Obama does not need one. There is no opposition to his policies in this regard. In fact republicans cannot even find differences in ideology to explore in this election. So, he basically can do whatever he wants, even if he wants a little less than Romney.
The thing is, the world doesn't end in the next four years. A republican will eventually come back to power, will have all those practices normalized by Obama and all this power nicely put into place by him at his disposal. And he might, if he so desires, make life a living hell for all those he despises. In other words, all the accomplishments attained by the gay movement can only endure in a society respectful of its civil liberties. This tradeoff is a false one.
Maybe the reason for this is that Democrat politicians are slow to learn. Note that Obama was elected by saying he would act precisely on these things. He did not go center-right to win the election. He said stuff people wanted to hear, then acted as a center-right politician (at least in regards to the issues we are discussing).
If democrats are consistently beaten due to a larger support to third parties, and when they act the opposite of their campaign promises, they might end up noticing that these are important issues. If Obama ended up taking a hit because he basically went against a considerable part of his original platform, it could show the party that they should take better care next time. Maybe they need to lose more than once or twice to learn, who knows?
Of course this leaves you in a tough spot because you have to live at least four years under the heel of Romney, the plutocrat. Well, there's one bright side to this: democrats are usually more effective in opposing this stuff than Republicans. The thing is, there is no way you can prevent a Republican president from taking charge ever again, so you might as well try to solve your civil liberties issues before it becomes impossible to.
Most of Obama's actions are not new. What has no precedent, in most cases, is how much he was allowed to expand and entrench these policies.
The abuse of drones, which we were previously discussing, is just an example of that. As I pointed out a number of times now:
- the scale of persecution of vulnerable critics of his policies by means of the espionage act and by exploiting border control have no precedents;
- the general indefinite detention provisions he included in the NDAA, and fought to keep even after Judge Forrester issued an injunction against them has no precedents;
these are on Obama.
But isn't it true of all forums about politics?
The center is so skewed towards the right in the US that you might say that. Obama sounds like a right wing for me and people abroad, I'd dare say.
Hi Alzrius, welcome to the discussion! The New American Foundation reports differ greatly from those of other sources, like, for example. those from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, although most see a drop in casualties. A more recent investigation, conducted by The Stanford University and the NYU puts this data in scrutiny, and concludes that it is unreliable and is partly based on the government criteria for counting "militants".
As the US government has consistently undercounted casualties in its other war efforts, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is actually expected.
I'm suggesting that they just don't care, that the flimsiest evidence can be a reason for a strike. I'm saying that I believe that the mentality of "it is cheap, so, just to be sure..." is dominating the decisions here. The number of AQ heads severed is, apparently, big, but the number of strikes has increased instead of decreasing. Why?
I'd say leave the place, bear the brunt for a while, defend the homeland without looking like a scary warmonger in the process. No one is going to go after the US just because. It might take sometime, but it probably would be for the best.
But the fact is we don't know that, because there is no access to any information concerning the strikes. It is all deemed secret due to "security reasons".
Just an example, one of the few bits of information that the government has revealed concerning the strikes has to do with how they count civilian losses. It is like this: if you're male and young and you're in a "strike zone", you're a militant. I'm not making this up. It was the explanation offered by the government in a NYT article. Since this is not a "conventional war", the attacks are made when the president declares that someone is a militant, an accusation against which there is no defense, no review and no oversight.
I agree that using drones is expedient and cheap, if killing is your objective. Real war is much worse than a few drone strikes, that's for sure, but there's a thing: entering a real war carries huge political and economical costs with it, in such a way that they can sometimes be avoided because of it. The practically of drones creates an incentive for its banalization. Their use in civilians is just the first manifestation of it.
Concerning the second reason you get irritated, I have to say that irritates me as well. It sounds like an american life is worth more than another. But I get why people use it. It's because people expect that their country has an extra care with their own citizens, and that it will take every care not to bring an end to one of its citizens without great restrain and accountability.
As for the civilian and military process. The confusion is here because the US chose to redefine what it means by war. So, of course these confusions will arise. The problem is the civilians in a country which is not at war with another country have an expectation that they'll not be bombed to death for no reason. The US unilaterally decides who is engaged in this "war" and kills them.
For instance, imagine that China decided that there is a "dangerous terrorist" in a city in the US. Let us pretend China has declared "War on Terror", this nonsensical thing, but let us pretend, nonetheless. Do you think the US would be A-OK if China decided to blow-up some dude in the streets with a drone, killing people around (collateral damage)? Would the US congratulate China on its successful "War on Terror" and its "casualty minimization"? In other words, would the US accept the argument that this is not a declaration of war on them but on "terror"? The reason this works for the US is because the militay might of the US is overpowering, not because it is right.
As for surveillance in the US, the illegal wiretapping which started with Bush has been expanded and protected under Obama. The infiltration of OWS and Muslim communities in NY is shameful. Whistleblowers are persecuted for exposing incompetence and illegal acts. And nothing concerning this stuff is a topic on the election raceas apparently it is all bipartisan consensus now. It's really sad.
A recent report I had already posted before has presented data strongly suggesting that the drones are severely crippling any support for the US in regions where they occur, and are actually helping in AQ recruiting efforts.
The drone strikes are not being used to take out specific people. They have been called by the government "signature strikes" and they are directed towards targets which "fit a pattern consistent with a militant", whatever that means. Someone who is in a death list does not know and cannot present evidence of his innocence. The US has also been known to use the "double tap" procedure, where a second strike is made when people come to help those who were hurt or killed. Oh, and attacking funerals of targets as well. Put yourself in the position of the guys living in this place. Obama is like Zeus to them, who can rain death on them from the skies and there is nothing they can do about it. Do you guys really think this is going to help, in any way, improving security in the US?
Nope this citizen did not, as far as we know it. No one in the government has made the affirmation, nor offered any proof that he "took arms against the US". In fact, there have been some statements from the WH implying that the boy was not the intended target. Your government is killing people in your name and you are ASSUMING they are up to know good. I say you assume this because you cannot possibly know, since the criteria for entering the kill list is secret. Hell, the interpretation of the law used to justify the killings is being kept secret. Just look up for the WH spokesman squirming when Jake Tapper questioned him aout this.
Hmmm...no, Abdulrahman was not doing anything of the sort. No one has provided any information regarding his involvement in anything near this. You must be confusing him with his father. He was just a 16 year boy killed with death-by-flying-killer-robot as far as anyone knows.