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Afghanistan drone strike: Relative of victims speaks to BBC - BBC News

Oof that ain't good, one American bomb kills 10 members of one family, including 6 children, and that's just one case that's been reported!  No doubt they'd just claim it was an accident, as per U.S. Air Force custom ;)

(Pretty rare for the BBC to report such things!  See my post earlier about the U.K. being seriously distraught at the U.S. over Afghanistan, I wasn't kidding.)

South Korean democracy slowly eroding away - Asia Times

South Korea is often portrayed as this poster child of WONDERFUL democracy and freedoom inadvertently sticking it to those godawful dreadful North Koreans (BTW I will be the first to admit that the DPRK leaves something to be desired xD) but like everything, the reality is more nuanced than what you hear.  Looks like South Koreans are getting fed up with right wing crap circulating in their media and taking the proper steps.   Fine by me.

@BruceVC I understand, your brain is locked on Zone A sentiments, you like West and think its ideals are worth fighting for and maintaining.  I also like Western values but I like the East more and just think Western civilization needs a serious overhaul and vision on how to proceed forward, because imperialism sure as Hell ain't working.

Too early to gauge with certainty about Afghanistan's future but yes prior algorithms don't look favorable but I have to remain hopeful that things will work out for the better and that Zone B will be far more successful than Zone A in dealing with a group like the Taliban.  The word 'Crisis' in China can be translated as "Something bad, but also with opportunity", I think that's where I'm coming from there. ;)

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“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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Would have thought they were using the kinetic Hellfires.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I've seen people say that they used a Ginsu, and therefore any civilian deaths had to be from secondary explosions and not the 'fault' of the US. I tend to doubt that though since they said they were after multiple suicide bombers which you'd usually use an explosive payload on.

Even if it were the fault of the US technically there would likely have been more deaths if the suicide bombers had been allowed to deliver their bombs, and it's hard to see how they could have avoided any civilian casualties in a city such as Kabul. So long as the intelligence was good and they were suicide bombers it would be a 'genuine' example of collateral damage and minimising harm.

7 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

The only way to PROVE it came from the Wuhan lab (or any other)  would be for the Chinese government to give access to its classified work product so existing strains of the virus can be compared to experimental versions that may or may not have been in that lab. Don’t hold your breath on that.  If a conclusive link were to be established that would open up the Chinese government to quite a bit of litigation in many countries around the world. The Chinese government owns many assets in many countries around the world that would all be in jeopardy.

That would prove it came from the lab, if it did, but the reverse is pretty much impossible to prove because anyone who wanted to believe otherwise would simply decide that the Chinese hadn't released everything or had released falsified information. It doesn't even matter if they find an intermediate host as they did with the civet for SARS1, all that will mean is that the Chinese must have known about that instead, and got the virus from that source and not bats. So even if it didn't leak there's no reason for them to release information when whatever they release will be used to 'prove' they actually did leak it.

8 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

The article is from the SKY UK and not the SKY down under, so not sure if this is a RMs media outlet 😉

However, the 'medium confidence' is giving ground for more speculations, and since we know China will never now allow a proper investigation, it will keep spinning various narratives, from using covid for political gains, to Fauci being the satan who engineered it together with Chinese to harm true americans... 

SKY UK is most definitely Rupert Murdoch, he owns a shed load of British media (including the Times and The Sun, plus SKY). The only Sky that isn't Murdoch is the one here in NZ, which he sold his share in about 20 years ago.

Medium Confidence is an intelligence/ analytical term that doesn't really mean the same thing as it means to the lay person. That's why I mentioned the 'intelligence' about the $600 million dollar ventilation system and the sick workers. Technically, such information gives medium confidence, so long as you believe those reports are credible*. Of course, making a 1000 fold cost overestimate is not in itself the height of credibility, and it's hardly impossible let alone unlikely that people would get flu at the tail end of winter wherever they worked; but if you believe that is credible evidence despite that then you can assign it medium confidence. 7/8 groups didn't think it was credible, but one did.

OTOH, until a zoonotic link is found anything leading to that conclusion has to be Low Confidence, because it's fundamentally incomplete information- there is no direct zoonotic link as there is for SARS1 (civet) and MERS (camel) and there being a coronavirus crossover event roughly once per year for the past 20 years is not in and of itself evidence that it happened a 21st time in the case of SARS2.

*There's tons of examples of bad Confidence assignations in Intelligence- one prime example would be the mobile BW labs that Iraq supposedly had before Gulf War II. Completely fabricated and they didn't exist in reality, and all the actual intelligence resolved to a single source in Curveball, which should automatically have dropped the Confidence shown.

Edited by Zoraptor
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3 hours ago, BruceVC said:

 No one can change the historical reality of the tribal nature of the country and how that impacts transformation to improve peoples lives .....

You're wrong. China has a proven track record of dealing with people who were "tribal" in nature. Nothing like concentration camps and ethnic genocide to fix such small problems, all to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of China...

China hasn't been communist for the last 20+ years. The rhetoric has for the last couple of decades been identical to the authoritarian European regimes in the interwar period (1919-1939). I.e. Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany and Franco's Spain. Xi is doing the very Chinese thing, stealing whatever idea isn't bolted to the floor and most of what he does is ripping off rhetoric spouted in the past in the West, just... being made in China at a questionable manufacturing quality.

In short, it's the poster child of a nationalist, totalitarian state where individuals are to be sacrificed for the benefit of your (un-elected) leaders.

Chinese "Housing projects" for ethnic minorities and tribal people:

US 'deeply disturbed' by reports of systematic rape in China's Xinjiang  camps | Xinjiang | The Guardian

China hails Xinjiang jobs success as criticism mounts | The Japan Times

 

Chinese democracy in action. As you can see, it's much better than its western counterparts in supporting the Chinese people's freedoms:

Hong Kong crackdown exposes the dangers of Beijing's bullying diplomacy -  Reaction

 

Beijing's Crackdown Runs Into Hong Kong's Rule of Law – The Diplomat

 

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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6 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

@Gromnir

So much text, so little substance... 

Wonder where I mentioned anything different than that this piece indicated 'lab leak' being possible source of epidemic and pointed to one of reports setting it with 'moderate confidence', which is a large contrast to what was being ciruclated around this topic a year or so. 

 

again, not one report. one intelligence element which contributed to the report reached a conclusion differing from every other contributor to the report. a single intelligence element reached a conclusion, with moderate confidence, that the most likely explanation for initial human exposure were lab escape. such an opinion were clear a minority opinion. being a minority opinion don't make the minority wrong, but you keep skipping over that rather important detail, much as you purposeful chose not to mention the consensus regarding the rejection o' lab creation. so again, is most assuredly not the case that the report established with moderate confidence that lab release were most likely. 

report is not a huge leap from what were being circulated last year. you were misreading articles last year and you are doing same today. 

HA!  Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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For the sake of referring to the primary source, and since the declassified summary of the US Intelligence investigation into the origins of covid-19/ SARS-CoV-2 is pretty short:

Quote

Key Takeaways
The IC assesses that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, probably emerged and
infected humans through an initial small-scale exposure that occurred no later than November
2019 with the first known cluster of COVID-19 cases arising in Wuhan, China in December
2019. In addition, the IC was able to reach broad agreement on several other key issues. We
judge the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. Most agencies also assess with low
confidence that SARS-CoV-2 probably was not genetically engineered; however, two agencies
believe there was not sufficient evidence to make an assessment either way. Finally, the IC
assesses China’s officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of
COVID-19 emerged.


After examining all available intelligence reporting and other information, though, the IC
remains divided on the most likely origin of COVID-19. All agencies assess that two hypotheses
are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.

Four IC elements and the National Intelligence Council assess with low confidence
that the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection was most likely caused by natural exposure to
an animal infected with it or a close progenitor virusa virus that probably would be
more than 99 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2. These analysts give weight to China’s
officials’ lack of foreknowledge, the numerous vectors for natural exposure, and other
factors.

One IC element assesses with moderate confidence that the first human infection with
SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably
involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of
Virology. These analysts give weight to the inherently risky nature of work on
coronaviruses.

Analysts at three IC elements remain unable to coalesce around either explanation
without additional information, with some analysts favoring natural origin, others a
laboratory origin, and some seeing the hypotheses as equally likely.

Variations in analytic views largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh
intelligence reporting and scientific publications, and intelligence and scientific gaps.


The IC judges they will be unable to provide a more definitive explanation for the origin of
COVID-19 unless new information allows them to determine the specific pathway for initial
natural contact with an animal or to determine that a laboratory in Wuhan was handling SARS-
CoV-2 or a close progenitor virus before COVID-19 emerged.


The ICand the global scientific communitylacks clinical samples or a complete
understanding of epidemiological data from the earliest COVID-19 cases. If we
obtain information on the earliest cases that identified a location of interest or
occupational exposure, it may alter our evaluation of hypotheses.


China’s cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins
of COVID-19. Beijing, however, continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing
information and blame other countries, including the United States. These actions reflect, in
part, China’s government’s own uncertainty about where an investigation could lead as well as
its frustration the international community is using the issue to exert political pressure on China

Actually short enough that it barely requires a tldr ("we don't really know much, it's not a bioweapon though).

(weirdly hard to find a direct link to the report summary, despite it being fairly important. I had to go through Science, none of the mainstream media seemed to want to link to it)

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5 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

Suppose for a moment that all the conspiracy theorist are right. 

don't. what sort o' insanity has you or anybody else trying to disprove a conspiracy theory? prove aliens weren't behind the assassination o' jfk. go ahead, we dare you.

8 hours ago, Gromnir said:

again, the intelligence community were having a high degree o' confidence on at least one point: the virus was not created in a lab. consensus conclusion.

 is the one point o' the report which had consensus and confidence. meanwhile, gd is embracing conspiracy theory logic to breathe life into an otherwise unsupportable position.

don't be like @Darkpriest. disprove the conspiracy theory should not be a thing you even consider as relevant. if covid-19 were indeed lab created in any meaningful sense, it would be a legit concern, but the reputable science doesn't support such a conclusion and it ain't just a we can't prove it was lab created with absolute certainty kinda conclusion. 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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11 hours ago, ComradeYellow said:

 

South Korea is often portrayed as this poster child of WONDERFUL democracy and freedoom inadvertently sticking it to those godawful dreadful North Koreans (BTW I will be the first to admit that the DPRK leaves something to be desired xD) but like everything, the reality is more nuanced than what you hear.  Looks like South Koreans are getting fed up with right wing crap circulating in their media and taking the proper steps.   Fine by me.

@BruceVC I understand, your brain is locked on Zone A sentiments, you like West and think its ideals are worth fighting for and maintaining.  I also like Western values but I like the East more and just think Western civilization needs a serious overhaul and vision on how to proceed forward, because imperialism sure as Hell ain't working.

Too early to gauge with certainty about Afghanistan's future but yes prior algorithms don't look favorable but I have to remain hopeful that things will work out for the better and that Zone B will be far more successful than Zone A in dealing with a group like the Taliban.  The word 'Crisis' in China can be translated as "Something bad, but also with opportunity", I think that's where I'm coming from there. ;)

You not wrong in the sense that I do absolutely believe that all countries in the world can become places where the positive foundations of constitutional democracies  are recognised and practiced and people are happy and the country is prosperous. So I try not to frame this view as it being about " the West " because its  not just Western countries that follow these systems of governance and also in RL discussions in SA people misunderstand and misuse that term which  is really an arcane product of the Cold War because if you look at this list of 20 happiest countries you will see many non-Western countries so the idea of why Democracies work is not my opinion but the reality of the world and happiness levels

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2021/03/19/the-20-happiest-countries-in-the-world-in-2021/?sh=6551d6d370a0

And then of course the free market principles that our economies run on also work as it evident in economic data

So I would argue I believe in systems of government where people are happy and have quality of life. What would be your concerns with most Western governments and how would eastern countries change this reality. And I am not suggesting their are no reasons but I am honestly unsure of one reason I can think of that is convincing?

 

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Although for the disturbing aspect of things at the moment...

Glenn Beck is funding private planes into Afghanistan for rescue flights.  Not Zuckerberg, not Bezos, not Musk.. but conspiracy theorist, right-wing, fox associated Glenn Beck.

Although sure, the focus of the Nazarene Fund he's has his listeners donate to is focused on rescue of Christians rather than refugees in general.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1432241425740009477

Gee what a shocker, U.S. sailors c**king to the Japanese and waiving anime girls around, to a ship sporting the flag of fascist Imperial Japan.

What's next, U.S. troops stationed in Germany waving swastikas at Germans in full Waffen S.S. regalia?

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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23 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1432241425740009477

Gee what a shocker, U.S. sailors c**king to the Japanese and waiving anime girls around, to a ship sporting the flag of fascist Imperial Japan.

Isn't the other ship the JS Makami, the Maritime Japanese Self-Defense Forces ship?  Which would make the flag the Maritime Self-Defense Force flag (with an offset sun, not sun in the center like the Imperial Rising sun flag).  They're also flying the US courtesy flag, implying they're in US waters.  Since Japan is currently a US ally...what am I missing?

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https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2021/08/inside-final-hours-kabul-airport/184975/

Most interesting thing was that the 82nd Airborne uses IRC.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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5 hours ago, Raithe said:

Well....

69968787_10218398407847187_9203330929177

Is there any other kind of politician? People don’t seek political office to solve problems. They do it to continue in political office. It’s a high paying gig with nice perks and low expectations. All you really have to do to be successful at it is be the least repulsive candidate on the ballot for that day. So you hype up minor accomplishments that change nothing and convince everybody, often with the help of complicit media, that everything that’s wrong in their lives as someone else fault. Guys like Yang and Bernie Sanders try to convince everyone they are different. They are not. Bernie Sanders once said that “it is immoral for anyone to be a millionaire“. He is a millionaire. 
 

The only person who will ever solve a problem of yours is you.

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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44 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Is there any other kind of politician?

If you're open to the discussion, I would ask you to just read the first chapter of The War on Normal People. If you decide to keep going, great. If not, that's fine too.

Or...

https://samharris.org/podcasts/130-universal-basic-income/

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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2 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Hell, we have two of them on a board of ~25 regulars. :lol:

What about Yangs policy plans do you take issue with?

Probably more than two. You have to figure most of those 25 are home owners, dual income families with pensions, retirement assets, etc. take you for example. You might not see it in your checking account but I bet if you added up all of your family assets that you have some control over you’re a lot closer to seven figures than you think.

but anyway back to the topic I wasn’t actually calling out Yang for any specific policy idea he has. I was more addressing why he wants to be president. Or mayor of New York. Or whatever political office he decides to pursue next. Why did Donald Jay want to be president? He didn’t have any particular ideas of what to do with the office. It was purely self gratification. One could be forgiven for thinking Bernie Sanders is an ideologue and exception to the rule. But he is also everything he says we should hate.

these guys are just playing an angle to get elected. Or reach higher office. The ultimate end is not to do anything in particular. It’s simple self gratification. I know that’s what’s driving guys like Donald Trump.

I know Gromnir he’s rolling his eyes right now thinking “here he goes again“. The thing is it’s hard not to say “they’re all the same“ when in large part they actually are.

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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2 hours ago, Achilles said:

If you're open to the discussion, I would ask you to just read the first chapter of The War on Normal People. If you decide to keep going, great. If not, that's fine too.

Or...

https://samharris.org/podcasts/130-universal-basic-income/

When it comes to universal basic income we are going to have to get there. As problematic as it is. In the post industrial world we are going to reach a level of technology and automation where there will literally be more people than there are paying jobs for them to do. Personally I think the only way it could possibly be successful is if it is the entirety of one’s income rather than a supplement of it. For example if we were to give everyone across-the-board $1000 a month are the cost of rent in large cities will increase by $1000 a month so fast it will make your head spin. Prices of things which are normally restrained by the mechanics of market would almost immediately go nuts trying to deprive everyone of that thousand dollars for no more goods or services than they were already getting.

but we have to get there at some point. I don’t know how it will work and I don’t see any way around it. I haven’t looked that book up yet but I definitely will do that. I am a voracious reader.

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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14 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

these guys are just playing an angle to get elected. Or reach higher office. The ultimate end is not to do anything in particular. It’s simple self gratification.

I'm assuming this doesn't apply to libertarian party candidates?

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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15 minutes ago, Achilles said:

I'm assuming this doesn't apply to libertarian party candidates?

Oh it definitely does. There are a lot of “true believers“ in the LP. But when you see the ones running for national office like the president for example a great many of them like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld,  Michael Badnarik ran in the LP in a quest for political relevance rather that actually winning office. In Barr and Badnaricks case there is no doubt tho motivation was self gratification. Weld wanted name recognition for future campaigns.
 

you do tend to get more true believers in the green and libertarian movements because anybody committed to winning is not going to pick those. Running for office under the LP banner is a quixotic endeavor to say the least. Nevertheless they’re going to get my vote. Not because I believe in them. I don’t. Not because I believe in the libertarian party. I don’t. Not really. Just because all the other alternatives are less appealing 

edit: I think Jo Jorgensen might be an exception. I don’t think her motive was any type of self gratification. She had reached the pinnacle of her profession and had been a “old hand“ in the party for decades. They had to run someone and she was there.

Edited by Guard Dog

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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8 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Oh it definitely does. There are a lot of “true believers“ in the LP. But when you see the ones running for national office like the president for example a great many of them like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld,  Michael Badnarik ran in the LP in a quest for political relevance rather that actually winning office. In Barr and Badnaricks case there is no doubt tho motivation was self gratification. Weld wanted name recognition for future campaigns.
 

you do tend to get more true believers in the green and libertarian movements because anybody committed to winning is not going to pick those. Running for office under the LP banner is a quixotic endeavor to say the least. Nevertheless they’re going to get my vote. Not because I believe in them. I don’t. Not because I believe in the libertarian party. I don’t. Not really. Just because all the other alternatives are more repugnant.

edit: I think Jo Jorgensen might be an exception. I don’t think her motive was any type of self gratification. She had reached the pinnacle of her profession and had been a “old hand“ in the party for decades. They had to run someone and she was there.

GD dont feel bad about being a Libertarian because its not so much about them finding a winning candidate but rather the right candidate at the right time. I remember  Gary Johnson and he seemed okay but didn't inspire confidence and  if someone is going to change to vote Libertarian then the candidate must represent the value system and come across as sincere ....and of course believable 

But I am not sure if Libertarian's expect a presidential candidate to continue to support the ideology , surly you must have candidates that people must vote for if they believe in Libertarian values, other US friends of mine who are also Libertarian dont seem to concerned about this?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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