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  1. How could I forget! That debate was epic. It has to be one of the most complex, involved, informative topics ever posted in PRP. A couple of months ago I watched two documentaries related to the subject (Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle) which reminded me of that thread of ours. Funnily enough, watching those two movies was a major deja vu experience. I could swear that you and I debated at least half of the arguments in both of them. If you havn't seen them, they're worth the time (I think both are available on YouTube). I guess that means mainstream scientific knowledge is no less than three years behind you and I, two random then-high school students from opposite sides of the globe. Kind of scary, isn't it? Flattering, but scary. Man, I feel so old right now...
  2. You have no idea. I know nothing of UK employment leigslation, but it is most certainly better by default because the American equivalent is almost literally nonexistent (though it varies by state). Current US law features employment at will, meaning you can be fired at any time for virtually any reason without notice (summary dismissal) and have no legal recourse to sue your employer for false dismissal or payment in lieu of notice. Keep in mind, the higher the level of skill, experience and education a job requires, the less companies can do this kind of thing, but a case like this highlights the need for easily replaceable American workers to unionize so they have the power and means to negotiate contracts with more favourable term clauses or guarantees for termination compensation packages. At least until the laws change, that is.
  3. My last post was in January of 2005. How's that for a hiatus? I think the only ones who will remember me are Edric0 and maybe a handful of the EBFD old-balls. And perhaps my fellow countrymen (speaking of which, Mahdi has defected countries at the worst possible time: when his hometown Sens are poised to win the Stanley Cup)
  4. Why repeat if you've already made your point? So in other words, throughout most of Lenin's time in power the communists were only on the way to gaining absolute power and didn't actually have it yet. I see little difference. This is what I'm talking about...how could the "honest communists" you referred to be so idiotic as not to see this centralization of power to be an big fat totalitarian dictatorship waiting to happen? Oh, well in that case it must be ok then. Well how nice of them. Words without consequence is just hot air. That is like free speech without elections or worker dissent without unions. It is useless, and the freedom is in name only. So in other words, Lenin didn't have all the power, his Bolshevik buddies had some too (and of course none of the lot had any legitimate claim to leadership). Finally we're getting somewhere. Yay! You've got it. This fantastically shortsighted expectation is a textbook example of why Marx's model of a red revolution would simply never work. I shall elaborate. If you were to draw a picture of the proletariat Marx always spoke of, he would be a factory worker, or perhaps a farmer, struggling to make ends meet. He is not an educated fellow. Uneducated people are afraid of change. Uneducated people do not start revolutions (or they are just very bad at it). Marx should have learned this from the French Revolution. It was the bourgeoisie middle class, comparably well-off when contrasted with the plighted peasant, that was the the force behind the revolution. Who of the proletariat class would start this revolution then? Would it be the commoner, the worker, the farmer, or one of the few educated men that had the knowledge and skills to organize such a thing? Is it not conceivable that this group would be able to manipulate the uneducated majority? How does one vote if one cannot read? Even if they can vote, how do they know to vote well, and how do they know any better? How can people with no education effectively hold the leaders accountable? When the despotic inroads are organized by a group separated from that of the uneducated majority, is it not a natural prediction that what they gain by pillaging capitalists will be used to preserve their own power? Don't mock me. Of course I know that, I was merely pointing out that Marx advocated centralizing power in a STATE which is a contradiction to your notion that a marxist revolution is immune to corruption because corruption is such a natural extension of power. And yet, you are still arguing for it. Why?
  5. Interesting statement. According to this statement Lenin and co. were not communists, as he himself was in a position of absolute power for the better part of seven years.Anyway, Whether or not Marx coined the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" doesn't really make a difference but if you want to nit-pick, then my mistake. At any rate, he was an advocate of a coup d'
  6. Edric were you able to find any other (and by other I mean more reputable or just less cooky) sources for those stories?
  7. Indeed. :( Tsunamis are perhaps the most destructive force on the planet.
  8. It was quite clearly a brain fart. He's talking about terrorists when he said that and probably just meant to say brought down instead of shot down. A plane may have been flying alongside it but that is no surprise for this type of situation. There are recorded phone calls from passengers in which it is obvious that the passengers were going to attemt to re-take the plane and among them was a Judo champion and I think some collegiate wrestlers vs, what, three thug terrorists and the two pilot terrorists. I dont buy that the plane was shot down. If it had been, the hull would have been spread over a much greater distance in a very different fashion. From the way the plane hit the ground you can tell that it entered almost straight down and was intact when it hit because of the lack of debris anywhere else. The wreckage was subject to a phenomenon in which virtually the whole craft, wings and all, was compressed into a single hole scarcely bigger than the size of the body of the plane. I can't think of any way that could happen other than the pilot flying straight into the ground. Unless the engines were shot out or something and that caused the pilot to fly it into the ground, but I think if the military wanted to shoot it down they would have shot to kill and that means missle. There is absolutely no evidence to support a shoot-down so until I see otherwise it's just another silly conspiracy theory.
  9. Nothing went "wrong" in Animal Farm in the sense that there was no way it could go right. The inevitable was simply fulfilled. Marx himself stated that it would be necessary to establish a "dictatorship of the proletariat" to nationalize and redistribute wealth and that this dictatorship would fade itself out as it became needless. This is so laughably niave it's surprising that people actually believe it. The notion that a party with absolute power would voluntarily relinquish it is a joke. Calling it a "combination of unpredictable historical circumstances," when it is such a blatantly predictable occurance, makes my head spin. Communism (which is, IMO, an obsolete relic of the mid-nineteenth century that is incompatable with modern society) if ever achieved, must be done through democratic means. A forceful revolution in which a period of martial law is incorporated into the plan is a recipe for a totalitarian autocracy.
  10. It's called diplomatic immunity and it sucks. It exists to protect a nation's representatives from unreasonable foreign laws when they are compelled, by order, to work away from home. In some situations it's necessary to protect soldiers (eg if western soldiers were sent to Darfur as peacekeepers it would be outrageous to imprison female soldiers under Sharia law for showing face/ankle/whatever) however this situation is clearly not related to the marine's job so that immunity should not apply. But really the worst part of it all isn't the fact that immunity does apply but how much of a joke US court martials are.
  11. Bleh! And this is education? I can't think of a more pathetic piece of riff-raff to pass for good cinema. The only reason I can possibly conceive of for someone wanting to watch a movie like that is because they're too young or too proud to rent porn.
  12. I don't doubt that some are missed but media in Iraq fixated on finding as many sob stories as possible so it can't be that much. Those numbers may be a minima but I have seen little reason to believe the maxima is significantly more. At any rate its certainly more accurate than polling for a death count because those polled give second-hand information potentially from several different people. The only statistically sound way to poll for a death count would be to poll both the living and the dead which isn't impossible.EDIT - Oh, and as to your analogy; ordinary deaths are one thing, but violent civillian deaths are another. They tend not to go unnoticed.
  13. That link no longer works but as of today, more than a month after you posted that, www.iraqbodycount.com reports numbers ofMin: 14591 Max: 16771 which would certainly be more accurate than a poll. BTW Nema with these numbers the death rate is still about 3-4 times less than under Saddam.
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