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    • UN says Afghan hospital bombing may be war crime (Last post by Avalonslight)
    • One article I read suggested that the location in question was being used by the Taliban as a sort of staging ground / home base / etc for the region, with it being Afghani officials being the ones to say that. [ source ] So let's say that the airstrikes were based on that information. It wouldn't be the first time the Taliban has used an otherwise normally "don't strike" building as a base of operations. They've used mosques and other religious buildings, schools, hospitals, etc in the past. They'll very likely use such "no strike list" buildings in the future. What I want to know is if this is a war crime, then why isn't someone investigating the Russian military for their sudden escalation and airstrikes against Syrian land targets? Is it because they're reportedly just against terrorist training camps? Because if that's the case, then people should be aware that there are just as many civilian and non-combatant individuals in those locations as there were in that Afghani hospital, in the form of hostages, sex slaves, women, children, infants, and the elderly.... What if ISIS were using a hospital as a base, and then Russia conducted an airstrike against that hospital? Would there be the same outrage? Collateral damage, which is the term you're looking for here, happens in every conflict. Innocents are killed; buildings are struck that shouldn't have been struck. And it sucks! The problem is, whatever justification the US military used to decide that an airstrike was the best way to deal with the reported threat, will very likely remain classified past any investigation the Pentagon or UN or NATO or whatever organization you want to name happens to conduct. What information did US officials use? Afghani intelligence? Our own boots on the ground? Local reports? Satellite imagery? What if the information regarding the Taliban being there was wrong? What if it was right? When does the military have the obligation to stand back and allow known militant groups to use what is supposed to a safe haven as a base of operations for spreading their terror and discord? When should they step in? How should they step in? Should they have sent a special forces team in instead of dropping a bomb? Should they have tried to draw these supposed militants out onto the streets? Or should they have ignored it and just let things go as they were supposedly going? When do you decide the pros outweigh the cons? Because quite frankly, I'm not certain anyone is ever going to be able to fully, ethically/morally decide "yes it's ok to strike this location" or "no it's not ok to strike this location", in any form... be it on the ground or from the air. Because there's always going to be some kind of civilian casualty... And to clarify, I am neither condoning nor condemning the actions that were taken... Because honestly, I don't have the intel to understand the reasoning behind it. I'm just presenting a bare basic example of the many levels of consideration that had to be made in order for a strike to even be ordered in the first place.
    • On War & Religion (Last post by Alethea Thompson)
    • Quote: Seeing how Abrahamic deities in particular also can't handle iron chariots, success is not necessarily an indicator of faithfulness, nor does this have anything to do with the question I posed. I am pointing out the double standard in seeing everything largely harmless to humankind at large or personal as indubitably religious when claimed to be, but anything just as much claimed to be part of the same religion that we happen personally to find disagreeable as necessarily a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the same religion. So if your text tells you to give thanks for the harvest, and you do just that, that is accurately following it, but if it tells you to rob the neighbor infidel village for their harvest this year, and you do just that, suddenly that is a complete misunderstanding? Oh, and what, by the way, if you succeeded, rather than lost? Are you saying that God was on the colonists' side when they successfully slaughtered the natives of America or Australia? Certainly, by your standard, since the latter lost, God must not have been in support of their cause... Maybe God was first on Napoleon's side, when he conquered Germany and Italy, but after he had beseiged Moscow God changed his mind and supported the victorious Alexander instead? I take it the citizenry of Hiroshima or Nagasaki didn't have a God-approved cause either, did they? Make no mistake, a majority of people throughout recorded history, warriors and leaders, civilians and slaves, were genuine believers in one form of religious nonsense or another. That may not have been their motivation all of the time or even most of the time, but if you are saying that defeat is a sign of a lack of divine support, you must make some ugly admissions about the unfortunate... But it has everything to do with what you're asking- because of the thought process religious people have. Now that said, although I am Christian, I do believe that God does not get involved in all of the affairs of people. Those that are unfortunate are not unfortunate due to God bringing it upon them. God does not always meddle in the affairs of others. But if you are doing something on behalf of a God(dess), because He/She has told you to do so- then it will be sanctioned by them. I don't believe the story of Job either. He had a lot of bad luck, whoever tells the story is trying to make it look like God sanctioned the bad luck. If Job is a real person in history, I don't believe that God had anything to do with his string of bad luck. If it is a myth told by a storyteller to try and make people feel better about what happens to them- it's clever. But still just a myth about how your faith can keep you alive in God's eyes. So what do I think of those that got a bad card in life? I think that God has nothing to do with their situation. God didn't put them there, cause and effect of choices (not necessarily the individual on the street's choice, but the choices of everyone around them is to be included in understanding their situations). We are given free will, if you think that God has something to do with everything, you eliminate free will. The key here isn't JUST success. The point is where is God in it? Either He is in it, or he's not. If you are doing things in His name, and you're not winning- then He doesn't have your back. If you are winning, he MIGHT have your back, or you might just be that good. It also does not mean that God has anything to do with the people that are overpowering you. He has simply decided to leave it to our own devices, and whoever is the victor is the victor. So you see, I don't believe that America has God's backing either in this. I think He left it to the superior force to win out (survival of the fittest).
    • Well done, feminism. Now men are afraid to help wo... (Last post by steamboat28)
    • Quote: What a cop-out! "I couldn't be bothered do any real work towards understanding this so here's a half-assed dictionary definition." I'm not telling you have to get a degree in Women's Studies, but you are certainly capable of more than this and to pretend that your weak attempt to bat down what I'm saying is on par is ridiculous * Words. Mean. Things. Definitions and facts are not, as some tumblr-users would like you to believe, white cishet forms of oppression against underpriviledged minorities. * Books about feminism by feminists are inherently biased in favor of feminism. Books about feminism by anti-feminists are inherently biased against feminism. Neutral authors are the best to read on this topic if you want an unbiased opinion.
    • Guns in America (Last post by OB1Shinobi)
    • Quote: One of the problems with keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is the ever-expanding definition of what constitutes mental illness these days. With no real understandable underlying mechanism for what constitutes the basis of a label of "mental illness", it is far to easy to slowly pathologize political viewpoints, and therefore brand those who do not agree with some aspect of the system as mentally ill. Often mental illnesses are created from whole cloth from normal human behaviors and emotions. this is very good point and one i want to highlight before continuing into the next part of my post its actually pretty normal to have "mental illness" of some kind or another - for many reasons the term is so broad that it is inappropriate to say "people with mental illnesses should/should not....." whatever that being said, i did a google for "list of mass shootings" and heres some stuff that came up: and now i am going through the lists and paring the names of the shooters with the words "mental illness" or "mental health" in another google search and here are the results Seung-Hui Cho "sent to the [mental] facility on a temporary detention order" Chris Harper Mercer "had long struggled with mental illness" George Hennard "had a history of mental instability" James Huberty "commented to his wife, Etna, that he suspected he may have a mental problem." Jaylen Fryberg no history of mental illness Patrick Henry Sherrill "had worried he had inherited "serious mental problems" but saying he didn't need a "shrink" rebuffed a pastor's suggestion he seek psychiatric counseling" Eric Harris "Harris was not merely a troubled kid, the psychiatrists say, he was a psychopath." PSYCHIATRISTS - not newscasters; mental health professionals who understand the term and use it correctly Dylan Klebold "A key aspect of Klebold's mental illness was severe depression and suicidal thoughts" same article as above Nidal Malik Hasan implications of a dysfunctional personality but nothing solid enough to post which indicated previous mental illness Elliot O. Rodger "For as long as anyone close to them can remember, the parents had faced concerns about the boy’s mental health" Ivan Lopez "was being treated for depression and anxiety" Aaron Alexis "Said he was hearing voices, he was detached from reality at certain points. He had sought treatment a number of times at a number of places" John Zawahri "was hospitalized for treatment after allegedly talking about harming someone" Adam Lanza "mother was preparing to commit him to a psychiatric facility" James Holmes "The psychiatrist who treated James Holmes before he attacked a Colorado movie theater - he was having homicidal thoughts as often as three or four times a day" Jiverly A. Wong "an introvert who was secretive in the extreme, keeping his love of guns and target shooting — and even his marriage — hidden from his family" and "sent a two-page delusional rant to a Syracuse television station saying the police were spying on him, sneaking into his home and trying to get into car accidents with him. he felt low and small,” said the sister" Radcliffe F. Haughton no documented mental illness that i found - he was reported to be angry and violent and his wife was very afraid of him Andrew Engeldinger "had shown signs of mental illness for years." Wade Michael Page "could not fit in. A girlfriend reportedly cheated on him with a band member, resulting in the band dismembering about a year ago. In early June 2012, a girlfriend reportedly broke up with him and he moved out of his residence with her. A friend described him as emotionally upset and hurt. He was fired from multiple jobs (e.g., truck driver, parts coordinator) over the years, once because he did not want to take direction from a female co-worker. He lost his house in February 2012 when the bank seized it after a foreclosure. " Scott Dekraai "had bipolar disorder, a history of violence, wouldn't stay on treatment" ----- there ar eplenty more if anyone else wants to pick this up - not every person who goes on a shooting rampage has a clearly established history of mentall illness and among those who do there are plenty of differences but there are a lot of recurring themes the risk is that if you say "people with mental illness do this" then you basically put a ton of people into a category they do not belong in - i myself can be said to have "a history of mental illness" but im not going on any shooting rampages, and this is true for the vast majority of people who count as "having a history of mental illness" attempting to say "theres no connection between mental illness and violence" is absurd: yes there is an obvious connection a huge percentage of the most violent people in society have demonstrable mental illness issues but this is not to say that "people diagnosed with mental illnesses are dangerous" - it is to say that "people who are clearly dangerous often are or should be diagnosed as having some kind of mental illness"
    • The Imperishable Gem (Last post by Competent)
    • "After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one." - Cato The Elder
    • The nature of entertainment media (Last post by Star Forge)
    • Quote: Quote: I used to be a metalhead. I still listen to a lot of metal, I just don't identify with the subculture. I was really into black metal, but I got tired of it after I became a Christian, because I didn't feel like listening to a genre that is at least 75% dedicated to bashing Christianity. I don't like the metal culture, either. It advocates a self-destructive lifestyle. I know what you mean, part of my problem was that I wanted to belong to a community, I like a lot of metal, and so tried to fit into the subculture, as it's supposedly the place for the misfits. But while I love some metal, the culture is simply not who I am. This is one reason I puled away from the music for a while: I had completely oversaturated myself to the point of spiritual exhaustion. I do like me some indie pop and folk music, yknow? Quote: As for the video games: I don't mean to be pushy or preachy, but I have nothing good to say about them. I decided at the beginning of my adult life to live without video games, TV, and films, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. My advice to you would be to throw out all your games, but I can understand if you see that as unreasonable. To tell the truth, in the past I have done exactly that, thrown out all my games. Unfortunately with nothing to fall back on it left a vacuum in my life and never lasted for long. I don't see anything inherently wrong with the medium, or film for that matter; just as with music, one needs to simply be selective. I like films and games that show me life from a perspective I might not ordinarily have, to help me gain a better insight of universal truths. Believe it or not, there are more games out there with deep philosophical, emotional, and moral themes than you might imagine. ;) Philo Farnsworth, the dude who invented TV, always thought that his invention was at best useless and at worst harmful. When he saw the moon landing, he was relieved, as he felt that his invention was validated, and had been used as a force for good, at least in that one instance. That being said, there is one singular game that I have concluded is video gaming's "moon landing." Otherwise, I have a uniformly negative view on gaming (though I despise film the most). I won't name it publicly here. I am writing a longass treatise on the game currently. It is a project I have been planning for since 2009. I may or may not make it available here once it is done.
    • Digital Temple (Last post by Whyte Horse)
    • Quote: Thanks for the support, Whyte Horse! One thing I forgot to mention is that the game does support voice-over chat. You just need a mic. Ok, it took me a few days but I got it downloaded. Now we'll see if it works under wine ;)
    • Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem fo... (Last post by Cyan Sarden)
    • Quote: Quote: By the time kids enter school, 50% of them have already seen speech therapists, psychologists and councillors....If any of the kids are unruly or don't meet the standards, the army of therapists, psychologists and councillors is once more mobilized. Is this really a thing? I go into schools for 2-3 months a year and I've never seen evidence of this.. but then I'm not in the US.. perhaps it's different. Unfortunately, it is here in Switzerland - if a kid shows any kind of 'abnormal' behavior, the first stop is usually the school psychologist, who decides on further action. A very good article, unfortunately only in German. It's actually even worse than I wrote above: statistically, 57% of all 3rd graders here have been 'treated' by specialists (speech therapists, psychologists, kinesiologists, you name it).
    • Thomas Jefferson, Jedi? (Last post by Br. John)
    • Quote: Poking fun at Old Guard Jedi? ;) :P B) I'd say some of the one's you call Old Guard Jedi would do well to consider it - as would we.
    • Weight Check-In Thread (Last post by flowerfie)
    • Just want to quickly correct my last post, was supposed to say 21st September 2015 not 29th! Whoops! Anyway, latest update and hit another 10lb milestone. Starting Weight: 210lb (19th August 2015) Today's Weight: 190lb (3rd October 2015) Goal Weight: 135lb
    • Senior Knights (Last post by Br. John)
    • As far as I know: The library is accessible to any registered user (Guest). There are forums not visible to search engines and anyone not logged in. There are forums only accessible to Apprentices. There are forums only accessible to Knights. There are forums only accessible to Clergy. There is a special forum for moderators and admins. There is a forum for The Council only visible to it and Sys Admins. Just as no two Knights have received the same training there is no set plan for Senior Knight. There is no secret plan or materials for becoming a Senior Knight. As I said earlier, it's time The Council and The College of Knights take up this issue to update and clarify it. The proposed plan should be published for public comment before becoming policy.
    • Workout Check-In Thread (Last post by JLSpinner)
    • Cable flies 10x100 5x140 3x160 3x200 Inclined cable press 5x200 4x200 3x200 Cable lateral raises 10 second reps 10x14 7x14 6x14 Weighted dips 7x20 7x20 7x20 HIIT 40 yard sprint 60 yard fastwalk 5 sets

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