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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 13, 2010, 03:17:15 PM
Original iphone (2g) won't be upgradeable at all:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20002318-37.html?tag=newsEditorsPicksArea.0

That does raise the question of whether apps will start getting forked for various levels of the platform.  To this point, everyone was capable of running the newest version of the OS.
2  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 12, 2010, 06:53:54 PM

Quote from: gellar on April 12, 2010, 06:42:42 PM

Pretty much. Even the current OS has 95% of the multi tasking I actually need. If the new OS let's me hold open the Rooms IRC client connection that's pretty much the only use case I want that is not covered today.

From the perspective of an IRC app, the new "multitasking-capable" OS is no different than the current iteration of the platform.
3  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 12, 2010, 06:04:25 PM
It's still fake multitasking.  They're offering up 7 APIs for specific purposes:

1.   Background audio
2.   VoIP
3.   Background location
4.   Push notifications
5.   Local notifications
6.   Task completion
7.   Fast app switching

That's it.  "Task completion" is for operations that need to finish as the app quits (e.g. uploading something to Facebook).
4  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 12, 2010, 03:47:35 AM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 12, 2010, 02:08:30 AM

Nope, according to me relying on what read on the internet and an edited video is dumb. 

Oh, I see, it's just "what [I've] read on the internet," huh?

Here's the official documents from the Army's investigation:  http://www2.centcom.mil/sites/foia/rr/CENTCOM%20Regulation%20CCR%2025210/Forms/AllItems.aspx?RootFolder=%2fsites%2ffoia%2frr%2fCENTCOM%20Regulation%20CCR%2025210%2fDeath%20of%20Reuters%20Journalists&FolderCTID=&View={41BA1AAF-785A-481A-A630-12470AFCD6FD}

Of special interest is the Air Cavalry investigation pdf, which, when contrasted with the unedited 38 minute video available from wikileaks, is clear bullshit and CYA.

Now, the rules they should've been operating under:

Here's the ROE from March 2007:  http://file.wikileaks.org/file/rules_of_engagement_match_2007.pdf
Here's the ROE from August 2007:  http://file.wikileaks.org/file/rules_of_engagement.pdf
Here's the ROE flowchart from 2007:  http://file.wikileaks.org/file/rules_of_engagement_flowchart_2007.pdf
Here's the ROE reference card:  http://file.wikileaks.org/file/rules_of_engagement_appendix1.pdf

Just read the first page of the reference card and try to tell me that the guys on the ground, either before they're first attacked, or when the van arrives, were "exhibiting hostile intent" towards coalition forces, and that the chopper used "graduated measures of force."  Then we get to "Do not target or strike anyone who has surrendered or is out of combat due to sickness or wounds."

That's how I formed my opinion; what're your resources?

Unfortunately, the slaughter of Iraqi civilians is totally commonplace, and yes, it's an inevitable consequence of war.  That's why we should be addressing it to minimize it, rather than pretending it doesn't happen.  What're the odds that the kids of these dead Iraqis are going to grow up hating America?  I'd say roughly 100%.
5  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for recommendations for Westerns to watch, spaghetti or otherwise on: April 12, 2010, 12:22:49 AM
FWIW, there's two versions of 3:10 to Yuma - both based on the same Elmore Leonard story, but made 50 years apart.  I haven't seen the 1957 version, but the recent one was a pleasant enough diversion.
6  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 11, 2010, 10:47:02 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 11, 2010, 10:33:07 PM

Fireball before you leap into this Brendan you should read the thread.  He has been able to deduce EVERYTHING about situation from just that one video.  He knows all the context, he knows what was happening a couple blocks away.

Nah, I've just read all the documentation; no need for deduction.
7  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 11, 2010, 07:21:44 PM
Uh, two of the men had AKs - which was both legal for residents of Baghdad and de facto required in order to protect themselves from actual bad guys.  Yet again, permission to kill was requested and given before anything resembling an RPG was visible.  There was no evidence, at all, of hostile intent when they radio back.

The soldiers violated the ROE, killed the civilians and journalists, killed another civilian and badly wounded his two children, and the investigators covered it up by declaring it justified, and then suppressed the tape from FOIA requests.

Why all the apologia for indefensible behavior?  I wish that more people were concerned with seeing the laws of war enforced.  This kind of behavior continues to destroy our reputation across the region, and our inadequate and self-justifying response to it cheapens our principles.

I suggest you go look at the photos of those kids before you handwave about "the enemy."

"Well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."
8  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 11, 2010, 06:59:03 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 11, 2010, 05:39:15 PM

From what I know of the incident, these soldiers had every reason to believe that they were in imminent danger being in that vicinity. These kids are trained to identify specific actions as threats, and the potential that the people shot down had an RPG creates a scenario where deadly force is acceptable.

Again - the murdered journalists didn't have an RPG, and the chopper gunner was given permission to kill them before the "mistaken RPG" moment with the cameraman's telephoto lens visible from behind the wall.

Also again - the rules of engagement proscribe the behaviors of our troops in combat.  As the 38 minute video clearly demonstrates, they did not act in accordance with the ROE, either with the original killings, or the subsequent ones where they gunned down the tutor who was trying to help the wounded Reuters employee.
9  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Internet stops working but open connections still ok?? on: April 10, 2010, 03:50:59 PM
What's in the internet options "lan settings" dialog?

In IE, Tools->Internet Options -> Lan settings
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is this a facebook scam? on: April 10, 2010, 02:53:00 PM
It's a scam.
11  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for recommendations for Westerns to watch, spaghetti or otherwise on: April 09, 2010, 09:26:48 PM
I would think that the most apropos western, given the premise of the game (the transition from the wild west to being overtaken by the industrial revolution), is The Wild Bunch.

At the very least, you'd learn that Ernest Borgnine looked old his entire life.
12  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 09, 2010, 09:16:57 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 06, 2010, 11:40:52 PM

There is no way they could know that was a camera peeking around that corner at one point and not an RPG.  Can you look at that video and say for certain that the guys in the road were unarmed?

Re-reading this, I wanted to add something here - they're given permission to kill before the photographer kneels down by the corner with his camera.  At the time at which they ask for - and receive - the go ahead, no weapons have actually been seen.

Glenn Greenwald did an interview today with a soldier who was in that company at the time of the incident, where he makes it clear that this was not an unusual occurrence.
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 09, 2010, 08:24:33 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 09, 2010, 08:21:58 PM

Quote from: Brendan on April 09, 2010, 08:20:14 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on April 09, 2010, 08:18:21 PM

I'm always surprised at the hate for ATT. In northeastern Ohio ATT's service is rock solid.  I can count the number of dropped calls I've experienced in over a year with the IPhone on 1 hand.

You'd have to be seriously polydactyl for that to be true here in the DC area.

DC?!  I thought you lived in the 206?

Unfortunately, I'm bicoastal while my wife works on her PhD. Moving back fulltime to the 206 in June though, where I can look forward to 8% better iPhone reception!
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 09, 2010, 08:20:14 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on April 09, 2010, 08:18:21 PM

I'm always surprised at the hate for ATT. In northeastern Ohio ATT's service is rock solid.  I can count the number of dropped calls I've experienced in over a year with the IPhone on 1 hand.

You'd have to be seriously polydactyl for that to be true here in the DC area.
15  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 09, 2010, 08:07:02 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 09, 2010, 08:04:14 PM

After reading that piece and then the very insightful and reasoned comments below it I will just paste one of the the responses rather than try to rewrite it or claim the level of insight this guys has

The law professor who wrote the entry responded to the guy you're quoting:

Quote
“Unlawful” refers to a killing that is neither justified nor excused, so the analysis is exactly the same. The torture analogy actually supports my argument, because the definition of torture in 18 USC 2340(1) specifically provides that “pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions” cannot qualify. If “lawful sanctions” meant nothing more than the government approved the pain or suffering, the statute would be a nullity — especially as torture must be committed under “color of law,” i.e., with the complicity of the government.

As for your speculation about Special Forces, he's in Yemen, not Afghanistan or Iraq.  Yemen is not a battlefield.

Are you only concerned with the legal axes?  Or do you want to offer your perspective on morality and efficacy as well?
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 09, 2010, 07:37:55 PM
Well done getting your tax return finished a week early, Rick.   icon_wink
17  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 09, 2010, 03:26:47 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 08, 2010, 03:22:31 PM

You have no faith in the executive or intelligence organizations and I have no faith in the 101% solution just as I put no faith in the 1% doctrine.  You are right we will not come to agreement.  But assuming you know what I believe by extrapolating your black and white views onto me based on what I have written which has been anything but black and white is amusing

Oh and you do realize that in the USC you quote there is a little word MAY that you chose not to bold preceding what you did bold

There are three axes on which we can discuss the proposed pre-emptive murder of al-Awlaki:  morality, legality, and efficacy.  I don't care about efficacy when discussing issues like this, because one can make the (clearly immoral and clearly illegal) case that the most "effective" of way of stopping terrorism that originates from the middle east would be to kill the entire populace, a la Hiroshima.  The challenge is finding the most effective tactic that fits within the bounds of what's moral and what's legal.

A CIA operative killing al-Awlaki in Yemen would be murder, legally speaking, which is as it should be.  It is not sufficient to say that he says terrible things about the country, or that he incites people to attack us.  We have codified a document, the constitution, that mandates that we extend due process to people accused of crimes.  If you argue that a CIA assassin is a lawful combatant, then it is permissible, by the laws of war, for them to attack those people within the United States.

Similarly, assassinating al-Awlaki would be clearly immoral.  He is not an active combatant, he denies the charges against him, and he deserves a fair trial.

I grant that I'm an absolutist about a few things - notably civil rights.  I am not willing to throw away the ideals espoused in the constitution and the bill of rights, which is why I probably seem strident about these particular issues.
18  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 08, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 08, 2010, 07:07:40 PM

Win Mobile 7 won't support multitasking, either -- its model is akin to iPhone OS 3's.

Uh, no.  It has the same save/resume functionality that Apple's proposing, but not the support for playing audio or running VOIP (yet).  Having now read more about the iPhone's 'multitasking", it's a misnomer; it's certainly not multitasking in the generally acknowledged computer science sense of the word.
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: April 08, 2010, 06:08:43 PM

Quote from: kathode on April 08, 2010, 06:05:27 PM

 Windows Mobile 7 does indeed look nice but it can't beat the equity I've built up in the App Store.

Reported.


My 3G won't support "multitasking", so it's irrelevant for me, I guess.  Not that the chats I was reading made it look like true multi-tasking, but more like a "save and return to your saved state."  For those who watched live, was there any mention of apps actually running in the background - i.e. can I play Pandora while doing something else?
20  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 08, 2010, 01:44:14 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 08, 2010, 01:22:10 PM


From the article:

"To the extent
that an executive order relies upon statutory authority, Congress may also legislate to modify
or repeal it. In issuing E.O. 12333, President Reagan relied upon the authority vested in him
“by the Constitution and statutes of the United States of America, including the National
Security Act of 1947, as amended, and as President of the United States of America, in order
to provide for the effective conduct of United States intelligence activities and the protection
of constitutional rights.” While there is no express parallel to E.O. 12333's assassination ban
in federal statutes, there is a provision in 18 U.S.C. § 1116 which provides criminal penalties
for murder, manslaughter, or attempted murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official
guests, or internationally protected persons.14 This section applies to murder, manslaughter,
or attempted murder or manslaughter committed within the United States. In addition, the
U.S. may exercise jurisdiction over such acts committed against internationally protected
persons outside the United States if “(1) the victim is a representative, officer, employee, or
agent of the United States, (2) an offender is a national of the United States, or (3) an
offender is afterwards found in the United States.""



Quote
Quote
You can't undo being dead
This is just as true of people killed in a terrorist attack.

So the assassination of a someone merely accused of being a terrorist is justified because you're afraid?

Quote
We are not talking about someone living in Chicago going to his kids school play here as a suspect.

Funny, as we could be talking about someone living in Chicago.  Jose Padilla was tried and convicted in federal courts, after being shamefully held without charges for 3 years.  Like this guy in Yemen, he's also an American citizen.

Quote
Yes, the person writing the article brought up Noriega.  My purpose with the article was to show it is not as black and white as you purported.  You bring Noriega back up as an example I suppose to show what we should do to go get any suspected terrorist even though Noriega was a head of state which is and was specifically prohibited from assassination.

See above quote from your pdf.

Clearly we're not going to come to an agreement here.  You are content to trust that the federal government will only kill American citizens who deserve killing.  I am not.  That's the central point that we're not going to resolve, and I recognize that a large number of Americans share your viewpoint these days.  Just don't expect me to believe that that position is in any sense moral or constitutional.
21  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Another Attempt to Blow Up A US Jet Mid Air on: April 08, 2010, 12:20:15 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on April 08, 2010, 12:08:50 PM

Anyway, he had to know better.  He should be expelled.


You'd think - evidently he made some snarky comment about trying to light his shoe on fire, which sadly will be quashed because of diplomatic immunity.
22  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 08, 2010, 11:56:32 AM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 08, 2010, 05:07:59 AM

Did you read the whole article or just pick out a snippet that supported your thoughts? 

Your article says that "targeted killings" and assassinations are legally equivalent.  It also says that they're illegal - but that they might be legal if there exists a secret executive order counter-manding them.  That's pretty much it.  I have no idea whether or not the latter is true (obviously), but it certainly shouldn't be.

Quote
How do you propose to bring this man to trial?  If we have a Predator lined up to take out Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders is it your position that we shouldn't because we somehow need to apprehend him?

"It depends." What's the confidence level about the target?  Are they actually operating on the battlefield (rather than the "global battlefield in the global war on terror.")  Do we have troops that could apprehend them?  etc etc etc.

Quote
Holy shit you are going to invoke Noriega?  We did an armed incursion into a sovereign country to grab him....is this what you suggest in this situation?  Also, the Executive order specifically calls out heads of state, the joker in question is no head of state.

It was your article that made the Noriega comparison.  We already have troops in Yemen working with the Yemeni army trying to capture Al Qaeda members, as one of the other articles linked attests to.  And EO 12333 reads: 

"2.11 Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.

2.12 Indirect Participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.:

The phrase "head of state" doesn't appear anywhere.

Quote
I am glad this is so simple for you, so black and white.  You don't see a shade of gray anywhere apparently.  I worked in counter-terrorism for a couple of years I can only share that all there is is gray almost all the time.  The article I linked to is nothing but gray areas.  Going back to the incident that started this thread, ROE, though they seem black and white, in the confusion and chaos of battle and the need for split second decisions  rarely are black and white in execution.

I really am sort of amused that you have used authoritarian and trust you government to describe me since I am anything but.  I don't naturally trust authority without verification.  But I ceased thinking anything was black and white long ago.

I think if you examine what we've both said, you'll find that you're actually the one with the black & white mindset here - you trust that the government assassination teams will only kill bad guys despite all evidence to the contrary (or perhaps you're just willing to live with some arbitrary number of dead innocents).  I'm the one suggesting that the reason the constitution establishes the aforementioned protections is because we need to investigate and give people the right to challenge the charges against them.  You can't undo being dead.
23  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Another Attempt to Blow Up A US Jet Mid Air on: April 08, 2010, 04:07:50 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 08, 2010, 04:01:19 AM

Quote from: Brendan on April 08, 2010, 03:40:10 AM

What a bullshit title to this thread.  I'm going to just go ahead and guess that the "I was smoking in the lavatory" excuse is a little more likely than "I was trying to light my shoe."

SL's thread title was pretty much exactly what the NBC headline said in his link before they changed it. 

If that's the case, then I apologize to SL.  The current title is simply "Passenger subdued aboard United jet."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/07/air-marshals-reportedly-stop-attempted-shoe-bomb-attack/ has the latest:

"A source confirmed to Fox News that the suspect is Mohammed Al-Madadi, a diplomat in the Qatar embassy in Washington.

No explosives were found on Al-Madadi and officials do not believe he was trying to harm anyone, according to senior law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity."
24  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 08, 2010, 03:54:20 AM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 08, 2010, 12:52:30 AM

Who is it that decided there isn't enough information to make that determination?  I must have missed that.  If it is you then it is an opinion not a fact.

Assassinations and "targeted killings" are the same thing, which is bourne out in your linked article.  That same article also reads:  "Perry contends that whenever someone sets out to kill a particular identified individual, whether a high government official or an obscure terrorist--in contrast to a nameless foe on the battlefield--the act could credibly be termed an 'assassination.'"

Quote
I have been against many/most of the extra-legal and unconstitutional actions taken since 9/11 but what you assume is true or right is just not going to be effective as policy if you truly want to stop terrorist attacks.  I honestly do not know how you can read what this guy has been up to and consider him anything other than an enemy combatant.  Does he really need to actually be responsible for killing people before you be okay with taking him out?  Where he is and the company he is in make arrest unlikely.  if he is in the company of al-qaeda he is on a battlefield, not a traditional battlefield but a battlefield nonetheless.

Look, what you're implicitly saying is "I am willing to adopt an authoritarian mentality and trust our government to always make the right decision about their secret killing program, because it sounds like too much work to do things the way the constitution provides."  There are almost literally innumerable examples of our government killing innocent people, even via the death penalty when they do go to trial.  Your article points out that we brought Noriega to justice without sending someone in to murder him.  Why is the standard different now?

In the simplest case, the constitution guarantees everyone a right to a trial.  Similarly, the constitution guarantees everyone the right of habeas corpus.  It's not even clear that the shit this idiot is accused of would earn him the death penalty if he were tried in the United States.  So yeah, it strikes me as a pretty dangerous and immoral precedent to sign off on this latter day Escuadrón de la Muerte, as I'm not ready to throw out those principles.  We should be making the hard decision to do the right thing, rather than sink to the level of Pinochet or the Khmer Rouge.

Let's leave it to Tom:

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." - Jefferson to Paine
25  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Another Attempt to Blow Up A US Jet Mid Air on: April 08, 2010, 03:40:10 AM
What a bullshit title to this thread.  I'm going to just go ahead and guess that the "I was smoking in the lavatory" excuse is a little more likely than "I was trying to light my shoe."
26  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 10:55:27 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 07, 2010, 06:40:24 PM

As for this other guy there is so much direct action on his part that would mark him as an enemy combatant that putting him on a dead or alive list seems appropriate.....this is not a guy living a normal day to day life where they could just go arrest him.

The whole point is that not only isn't there enough direct action to mark him as an enemy combatant, it's that it's illegal to have him on a "dead or alive" list.  American citizens can't just be assassinated.  In fact, foreign citizens can't just be assassinated.  This isn't Israel.
27  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: What should CPU usage be at in Win 7? on: April 07, 2010, 08:36:14 PM

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on April 07, 2010, 08:00:23 PM

PS: This may seem kinda plebian to you, but be sure you leave the windows install disk in the drive, until you're completely finished installing. The first time I pushed win7 oem onto my machine, I pulled the disk after the first reboot, thinking I was done with it... and indeed, it never asked for the disk afterwards. But I had weird problems, like stuff was missing from the drive, or incompletely installed, or something. Reinstalling, and leaving the disk in the drive until I was at desktop and ready for updates, solved the issue. (whatever it was)

That's not how setup works these days - on the disc is a giant install.wim (windows image) file in which all of the OS binaries are compressed.  Setup unpacks the entire wim to disc.  It doesn't go back to get anything.
28  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 06:19:02 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 07, 2010, 06:06:53 PM

If there is information linking him to plotting actions against the US and the Yemenis can't find him what is your solution?  Cross our fingers?  Ask him pretty please to come out of hiding and get arrested?

Irrelevant if you care about functioning within the rights granted us by the constitution, and the legal protections afforded to American citizens.

What makes you confident that he's actually done enough to merit being murdered?  Does it concern you, even a little, that you're endorsing the idea that being suspected of being a terrorist is good enough cause to kill you, rather than requiring the government actually prove you're a terrorist?  His American family denies the charge of terrorism, which is why we have trials - to reconcile these competing narratives.

We have an absolutely abysmal record of identifying people accurately.  Why would we double-down on a system that puts many more innocent people at risk?  We can't even get the military checkpoints right

Quote
In a stark assessment of shootings of locals by US troops at checkpoints in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in little-noticed comments last month that during his time as commander there, "We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force."
29  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 05:36:50 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 07, 2010, 05:00:19 PM

This man seems made for the "enemy combatant" label and as such is a combatant first, citizen second.  Using your logic any American who takes sides with the Taliban and is out on a battlefield shouldn't be killed but should be arrested.

Jesus Christ.  Enemy combatant has a specific meaning - we're not talking about a guy who's on a battlefield, directing people to kill us, or carrying a rifle with the intent of shooting Americans.

We're talking about a guy who's an asshole, a gadfly, and a pain in our ass, but that doesn't mean you can just sent an assassin to kill him in his home, or at a restaurant, or at his kid's school play.  We have due process codified in the constitution!  Not to mention the first amendment to the constitution, otherwise known as the portion that says he's got a right to continue being an asshole.

I suppose if you think that we're going to "get it right" 100% of the time, you might be comfortable with letting "bad" Americans be murdered in their sleep.  I, however, have less confidence in our ability to target the right people without, y'know, charges.  And the contesting of those charges.
30  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 04:24:57 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on April 07, 2010, 03:56:08 PM

Brendan, you state that "I'm arguing that the United States' moral standing has eroded because our government, in bipartisan fashion, refuses to investigate our actions thoroughly, and has yet to prosecute anyone for any of the human rights violations we've committed."  I'm arguing that nothing has eroded because your premise is faulty. America of 2010 is the America of 1776. Throughout history all wars have been won on the backs of atrocities. It may be unpleasant, and I wish it was untrue, but it will never change. Several thousand years of human history show that.

I'm not attempting to claim that we had an unbroken string of ethical successes from our founding until today; there are many additional stains from our history that get whitewashed in high school American History classes (School of the Americas, Bay of Pigs, Iran Contra, Trail of Tears, etc, etc, etc, et-fucking-c.).  And, as you might imagine, I agree with your assertion that atrocities are inevitable in warfare (which is, of course, why we should avoid prosecuting wars.) 

It is, however, a deeper rot, when the country that upheld international law at Nuremberg now chooses to engage, both tacitly and actively, in torture and the assassination of American citizens.  We came back after the internment camps to acknowledge our collective guilt and pay reparations.  Do you see that happening 50 years from now for the behaviors of our current regimes?  I don't.  This particular incident can't even bump Tiger Woods to the second story on the nightly news.
31  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 01:17:11 PM
Just to further demonstrate how perverse we've become, the CIA intends to assassinate an American citizen.  Clearly he's a reprehensible human being, but that doesn't mean we can opt out of those inconvenient trials.  Well done, "liberal" Obama administration.
32  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 12:59:44 PM

Quote from: Teggy on April 06, 2010, 09:24:49 PM

Quote from: Brendan on April 06, 2010, 09:22:53 PM

As for your question about "why would you drive children into that situation," I don't think you can stand in judgment of that tutor unless you've tried to live in an active combat zone.

It's also hard to tell exactly where the helicopter is. As I mentioned before you never see any of the the guys on the ground look up. They may have been shooting from a very far distance away and the guys in the van may have though whatever was there was long gone.

So, watching the video again, you can tell the distance from the camera readout - ~670 meters from the target.  That's half a mile.
33  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 07, 2010, 12:24:47 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on April 07, 2010, 05:40:16 AM

I'll stop there even though that true list is in the hundreds. And I won't even bother listing the American schools, corporations, and universities involved in these efforts. You are too busy passing sweeping generalizations on a gaming forum about the fall of the republic into a moral death spiral, while others are taking more proactive measures which seem to disagree with your conclusions.

I have no idea why any of this is meant to be relevant - obviously, I'm not arguing that all American citizens are incapable of acting ethically.  I'm arguing that the United States' moral standing has eroded because our government, in bipartisan fashion, refuses to investigate our actions thoroughly, and has yet to prosecute anyone for any of the human rights violations we've committed (save Lynndie England, I guess).

I don't know how you can even argue the contrary position when more than 50% of Americans think torture against "terrorism suspects" can be justified.  My Lai was a shameful stain on our honor during Vietnam, but once it was exposed by Sy Hersh, at least we acknowledged that we committed something akin to war crimes.

Compare that to this case.  After you watch the video, can you claim, as our military did:

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[The men] "were endangering the stability of Iraq, and they had positive identification that they had weapons and were using them against Coalition and Iraqi security forces,"

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"No innocent civilians were killed on our part deliberately. We took great pains to prevent that. I know that two children were hurt, and we did everything we could to help them. I don't know how the children were hurt."


In fact, these incidents are happening quite commonly. Special Forces, in February, killed a police chief, prosecutor, and three women (two of whom were pregnant), lied about it, and attempted to cover it up until it was investigated by the media.

So yeah, what's the nuance I'm not getting - that we have some charities rebuilding homes in Haiti, and that absolves us of the responsibility to behave ethically in a war we started, and in which we've killed tens of thousands?
34  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 06, 2010, 11:55:00 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 06, 2010, 11:40:52 PM

If you think the situation in that zone is irrelevant then there is really nothing to discuss.

The whole point of having Rules of Engagement is to constrain our military to prevent them from wholesale slaughter, regardless of the situation elsewhere.  You can read the actual ROE from that time period.

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 This was a nasty area where they had to make decisions in a hurry or risk seeing American soldiers ambushed.  How you feel competent to judge this just watching that clip is beyond me.

Did you watch it muted?
35  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 06, 2010, 09:59:52 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 06, 2010, 09:53:38 PM

Brendan you have no idea what happened 5 minutes before this happened or the day before.

That's irrelevant - we invaded Iraq, and our forces are obligated to act under the law of war.  The men depicted on the video never, at any point, made any hostile or threatening gestures towards the Apache (or any ground forces).  Neither did anyone in the van that pulled up to tend to the wounded Reuters stringer.

If we can't require our troops to behave in a moral fashion (inasmuch as that's possible when prosecuting an elective war in a country that never attacked us, never had the capability of attacking us, and posed no threat to any of our allies), then they shouldn't be out there.

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How can write this
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"I don't think you can stand in judgment of that tutor unless you've tried to live in an active combat zone"
and then not apply the same thinking to the Apache personnel?

I was making a reference to your earlier statement - I think it's pretty strange to say that the Apache gunner's behavior doesn't deserve any skepticism when he's the one circling the van driver's neighborhood looking for someone to kill, not the other way around.  Honestly, if we weren't privvy to the audio, I might be inclined to say "Well, maybe he just really thought there were weapons," but the elisions (and misstatements) when talking to the commander looking for the right to shoot demonstrate his true intent.  Just killing some guys.
36  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 06, 2010, 09:26:59 PM
True - that's made especially clear by the time it takes for the rounds to hit their targets.  Multiple seconds after they fire.

Beyond all the other sincere emotional reactions I have to this video, it makes me feel pretty shitty about playing MW2.
37  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 06, 2010, 09:22:53 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on April 06, 2010, 06:45:34 PM

From what I have been able to research about this incident it seems it is tragic but not criminal.  There is more to the story than the video.

There were ground troops being engaged just a couple blocks away.  So this was not them engaging a group of random Iraqis but looked a lot like the beginnings of ambush situations they had all seen before.  Reuters had not informed the military their people were in the area.

There is much more.

You can take the comment about hoping the guy picks up a weapon so you can shoot him as evil OR you can be amazed that the soldier obeys the ROE and doesn't shoot him unless he picks up a weapon.

I think a case can be made about the children that would be:  why would you drive children into that situation?. 

War just flat out sucks but I don't think any of us can stand in judgment of the kinds of things they said on the video unless we have been in combat.

Actually, they still violated the ROE - they're supposed to use the "minimum force" necessary if enemies display "hostile intent."  Clearly that didn't occur at any point in the video.

Additionally, anyone who's downed because of wounds or has surrendered isn't a valid target.

As for your question about "why would you drive children into that situation," I don't think you can stand in judgment of that tutor unless you've tried to live in an active combat zone.
38  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: April 06, 2010, 03:18:27 PM
Netflix streaming is also coming to the iphone/ipod touch.

Any of you see the thing overheat outdoors?  I guess the increased surface area over the iphone would help to cause that.  My iphone spends a lot of time sitting on cafe tables and has yet to display any ill effects, but then again, I spend most of my time in relatively sunless places.   icon_biggrin
39  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Tragedy or travesty? (shooting in Iraq) on: April 06, 2010, 02:38:17 PM
It's horrifying, and senseless.  The desensitization to violence that soldiers undergo through training and in-theater action inevitably creates these sort of incidents.

In Dispatches, Michael Herr's book about his experiences in Vietnam (which was used as the basis for Full Metal Jacket), he asks a helicopter door gunner how he can shoot women and children.  The guy's answer:  "Easy - you just don't lead them as much."  The gunner in this video was just itching to kill more people - begging for it.  And, of course, the military commanders defended this incident as within the rules of engagement.

Yet another tragedy demonstrating how completely we've abdicated our role as a moral nation.
40  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car accidents blow. on: April 04, 2010, 10:46:26 PM
I feel like once your tires blow, you probably shouldn't "make it home" because that'd damage your wheels, right?  Seems like calling AAA for a tow would be a way to minimize repair costs to just the tires.

Unless she's running run flat tires.
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