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Thread: POTF 38 - Nominations

  1. #1
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default POTF 38 - Nominations

    POTF is about recognising the very best posts, the best arguments and discourse in the D&D, and appropriately rewarding it.

    You shall progressively earn these medals once you achieve enough wins, but first you must be nominated in threads such as this one. And it works like this.

    Post of the Fortnight - Rules
    -Each user can nominate up to 2 posts per round, and the only valid form of nomination is by quoting with a link as shown below the chosen post in the PotF thread designated for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Looking forward to getting this kicked off for real!
    -Each 15 days there will be a new Nomination thread put up, and all the posts written during this period are considered eligible, if properly nominated. Exception are posts who are somewhat breaking the ToS; upon being acted by Moderation, they are always considered uneligible.

    - Remember: It is possible to nominate up to 2 posts each round of the competition; it is also possible to change a nomination anytime before the actual round of nominations ends.

    - There will be two competitions held every month, with a period for nominations followed by a period of voting. The submitted posts can be discussed in a dedicated space.

    - Only posts that have not participated in a previous poll and that have been published in the current period of given time in any section of the D&D area may be nominated.

    - The authors of the nominated post will be informed so they can withdraw the candidacy if that is their wish.

    - The maximum number of participating posts in the final vote will be ten. If more than ten nominations are submitted, seconded nominations will take priority. After seconded nominations are considered, earliest nominations will take priority. If the number of posts submitted to the contest is less than ten, the organizing committee may nominate posts if it considers it appropriate.

    -The members of the committee will never nominate a post belonging to one of them, but the rest of the users can nominate their posts (organizers posts), and vice versa.

    -In the event of a tie, both posts will be awarded and both posters will receive rep and 1 competition point.

    - Public or private messages asking for a vote for a candidate post are forbidden. Violators (and their posts) may not participate in the running contest.

    - People are expected to consider the quality and structure of the post itself, more than the content of the same. While it's certainly impossible to completely split the two aspects when making our own opinion on a post, it remains intended, as also explained in the Competition Commentary Thread, that commenting and discussing on the content rather than on the form/structure of the post is considered off-topic for the purpose of this competition. You are free to nominate and vote for whatever reason you want, but what happens in public has to strictly follow up with the competition rules.

    A nominated post should:

    1. Be focused and relevant to the topic(s) being discussed.
    2. Demonstrate a well-developed, insightful and nuanced understanding of the topic(s) it is discussing.
    3. Be logically coherent, well organized and communicate its points effectively.
    4. Support its contentions with verifiable evidence, either in the form of links or references.
    5. Not be deliberately vexatious to other users.

    Good luck everyone!

  2. #2
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cope View Post

    (1) Hitertho, I have cited three authors, Kagan, Bernstein and Sadao. All of them are scholars. All of them disagree with your views (despite your insinuation that no credible academic would do so). Kagan's extensive credentials are available on Yale's website, here.

    (2) I concede that I mistakenly characterized Kagan's article as peer-reviewed off-site; that mistake bears no relevance to the veracity of Kagain's analysis (which you have yet to challenge beyond gainsaying and appealing to his alleged partisanship). The reason I did not provide a link is because I had downloaded the article as a PDF.

    (3) All views on whether the use of atomic weaponry was appropriate, including Alperovitz's (whose views are challenged by modern revisionists), are inherently value judgements.

    (4) Secondary sources are predicated on, and include references to, primary material. That is evidenced by the sources I have presented here.

    On the basis that speculation and moral judgements cannot be disproven, Nimitz, Eisenhower and Leahy weren't "wrong". Notwithstanding, the following points need to be taken into consideration:

    (1) No one has speculated that Japan wouldn't have been defeated sans atomic weaponry. It has instead been argued that there is significant evidence indicating that use of the a-bomb shortened the war and overcame the need for the US to invade Japan.

    (2) It is is not surprising that conventional military leaders like Eisenhower, Leahy and Nimitz were deeply sceptical of the a-bomb, given the extent to which it revolutionized human conflict (and therefore challenged the military orthodoxy). Even so, and to the best of my knowledge, all three men were advocates of the bombing campaigns and constrictive blockades which, by your own admission, caused more civilian suffering than the atomic attacks.

    (3) The comments of these men do not indicate that Japan agreed to the Potsdam terms solely because of the Soviet intervention (which is your main thesis). Nor do they prove that alignment with orthodox position is anti-intellectual or ahistorical. They serve only to represent the view that the use of atomic weaponry was not necessary to end the war (a point which, as mentioned above, is largely undisputed).

    My interlocutor appeared to claim that the Imperial Rescript on Surrender specifically mentioned the Soviet entry into the war as the reason for the surrender. I posted the transcript of the speech to show that this was false.

    The reasons for the delay were as follows:

    (1) Leading gov't figures were not immediately sure, either of the extent of the damage or whether atomic weapons had actually been used (Togo confirmed that atomic weaponry had been used through American broadcasts on the 7th and called a meeting of senior cabinet minsters the same day).

    (2) The militarists, in typically defiant fashion, sought to minimize the impact of the bomb and obstructed the meeting of the Principals out of a zealous and delusional opposition to surrender (which they knew was the purpose of summoning the council).

    Notwithstanding, even if the leadership did not meet until the 9th, the decision to convene the Supreme Council came on the 8th, a day before the Soviet declaration of war. This disproves the theory that the Principals were unmoved by the bombings and only hurriedly met after the Russian intervention.

    Spoiler for Source

    Gaimusho (Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) ed. Sh?sen Shiroku (The Historical Records of the End of the War), annotations by Jun Etc?), volume 4, pp. 57-60

    No one has argued that the damage caused by the atomic bombings was more extensive than the entirety of the conventional allied bombing campaign. The obvious distinction between atomic weaponry and conventional weaponry (which the Japanese leadership recognized) was the magnitude of the destruction which the former could cause in a single strike. It rendered the hold-out strategy insisted upon by the military obsolete, and, as the sources show, clearly influenced the emperor in his decision to break the deadlock between the factions.

    Setting that aside, the point you make here is self-contradictory: on the one hand you want us to believe that the atomic bombings were so uniquely evil in their destructivity that they violated a criminal threshold; on the other you try to pass them off as being routine, as being so indistinct in their effect from conventional carpet bombing that the Japanese leadership was neither shocked nor moved by them.

  3. #3
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by pacifism View Post
    As far as I can tell, no, but it's not not white genocide either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    So, you are kinda proving me correct. Had the Cesar not start and Octavian not finish the job, that leisure class would have caused the eventual demise of the Republic. Instead Octavian prevented decline and ensured centuries of Pax Romana.
    However, nature took her course and due to centuries of prosperity permanent leisure class established itself again - that time it gestated and was also empowered by oikophobic Christianity that became spiritual poison of Roman people in 300s AD. Julian could have been another Ceasar, but unfortunately his early death prevented another miracle
    Take it easy, Edward Gibbon. Most historians don't ascribe Christianity as the primary cause for the fall of the Western Roman Empire anymore.

    So this supposed cycle of the collapse of white Western civilizations due to self-hatred happened to Rome, except when it didn't happen to the Republic, but that actually still proves it right because it would've happened if it didn't not happen? Huh? It seems like your theory just simply can't be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    You were the one who said "its okay to be white" is bad because "racists" use it. If that's the logic, then you should make same conclusion in regards to BLM, but instead you go on a rationalization diatribe. Again, this hypocrisy is a perfect example of oikophobic sentiment.
    Well, shoot, that phrase made it to the Anti-Defamation League’s database of hate symbols for a reason, so racists probably do use it. Is it too much for you to admit that you didn’t know that? The fact that they can trick non-racists to also use it and muddy the waters of who believes what doesn’t really change that it’s also a code phrase used by racists. White nationalists use dog whistles like it all the time in order to find each other and sound less extreme normal people.

    I don’t see how Black Lives Matter fits into this. I’m aware of some of the excesses of people involved, but the idea that activists for reducing poverty or violence against blacks in the U.S. is functionally equivalent to white supremacists is just absurd. For one thing, American blacks are more vulnerable as a group than whites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    One brand of extremism is treated with derision and condemnation; the other with increasingly mandatory ritual praise and celebration on penalty of political, social and economic repercussions. It doesn’t matter that immigration doesn’t correlate with local crime rates in the US, or that empirical analysis doesn’t indicate conclusive evidence of racial differences in fatal police shootings in the US when controlling for contextual factors (1 2 3). Political power is seldom predicated on factual consistency. There will always be those sympathizers on either end of the spectrum who shrug and say “well I don’t agree with that movement/ideology but society left these people with no other choice” as though reciting a profession of faith.

    As it relates to allusions to civilizational decline, the problems caused by these racial divisions tearing at the fabric of society are self evident. However, that doesn’t mean the political and corporate interests riding on the exploitation of these divisions seem to mind the medium to long term costs. Even in the immediate sense, the most expensive riots in US insurance history don’t appear to have fazed the political or corporate establishment in the slightest. The ability of “western civilization” to weather the elements of rot underlying the storm really comes down to whether or not it can survive the shameless rent-seeking corruption and apathy of its various leaders and those they enable for an indefinite period of time in the midst of numerous external threats. It’s not like the phenomenon is unique to the US. We’re seeing the same in Europe with regard to Islamic extremism and nativism. I wouldn’t call it oikophobia or weave it into some theory of history, but it’s obviously not a positive development, and it’s not going to “go away” until and unless those in power stop perpetuating it for political and monetary gain.
    Okay, but white liberal paternalist racism is a lot less harmful than white supremacist racism is. The latter is rooted in targeted hatred of blacks in a way that the former simply isn’t, and that makes the claim that both forms are equally bad a much harder pill to swallow. It also makes it kind of easy to question the sincerity of anti-racist people who talk on and on about how widespread and bad the first one is and never really say anything about the second kind on their own initiative.

    What I think is interesting is that your second and third source say that minorities are more likely to be on the receiving end of non-lethal force and that minorities are disproportionately killed by police, (1 and 2), respectively. Your first and third sources even seem to be at odds: the first one accounts all disparity in police shootings to crime and there is no real disproportion, while the third one says that minorities are disproportionately killed by black and white officers equally. Just reading the abstracts of those papers alone show it’s not nearly as clear-cut “there is no real racism here” as you make it seem. In fact, there has been concerns about the white supremacist presence in local law enforcement for some years now, something that is just intolerable to me.

    Even if the number of racial supremacists working in police departments is low enough that it is not a concern for some people, it still means that we might need to shift where one finds racial bias in police forces. If only a few officers are quite racist, could it be that many more officers are a little racist? Sen. Tim Scott has famously talked about being pulled over seven times in a single year, and I think that profiling and escalation are the real marks of police misconduct nowadays. Black men are perceived as being more threatening, so they are pulled over more often (during daytime) and searched more even if many police departments have had a hard time finding any contraband (1, 2, 3). People who taste the police use of force are disproportionately black, there is a significant racial disparity in misdemeanor arrests or marijuana drug charges and receive longer sentences for similar drug law violations.

    This is not an exhaustive explanation, but put together, racial disparities in law enforcement do not even need to be caused white supremacists if widespread tendencies of profiling and escalation alone do the trick.

    And by the way, it is the insurance costs of riots in this past year have been higher than average. But put it in perspective. The amount of damage over the course of weeks all across America is about as much as a large wildfire, and much less than a hurricane. The last riot of a similar insurance loss was L.A. in 1992, where much of it was localized, targeting small businesses, and arguably much more damaging than this year’s. Wildfires and hurricanes are at more damaging and a lot more regular than these riots, but they don’t appear to have fazed the political or corporate establishment very much either. There are even political fiascos surrounding those events too, but we’re hardly being unraveled by them, now are we?

  4. #4
    Flinn's Avatar The power of the Dark Side is unlimited! (cash)
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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Morticia Iunia Bruti View Post
    'An Archaeological Emergency': Artifacts Are Emerging From Melting Alpine Glaciers

    The group climbed the steep mountainside, clambering across an Alpine glacier, before finding what they were seeking: A crystal vein filled with the precious rocks needed to sculpt their tools.

    That is what archaeologists have deduced after the discovery of traces of an ancient hunt for crystals by hunters and gatherers in the Mesolithic era, some 9,500 years ago.
    It is one of many valuable archaeological sites to emerge in recent decades from rapidly melting glacier ice, sparking a brand-new field of research: glacier archaeology.
    Amid surging temperatures, glaciologists predict that 95 percent of the some 4,000 glaciers dotted throughout the Alps could disappear by the end of this century.
    While archaeologists lament the devastating toll of climate change, many acknowledge it has created "an opportunity" to dramatically expand understanding of mountain life millennia ago.
    "We are making very fascinating finds that open up a window into a part of archaeology that we don't normally get," said Marcel Cornelissen, who headed an excavation trip last month to the remote crystal site near the Brunifirm glacier in the eastern Swiss canton of Uri, at an altitude of 2,800 metres (9,100 feet).

    'Truly exceptional'

    Up until the early 1990s, it was widely believed that people in prehistoric times steered clear of towering and intimidating mountains.
    But a number of startling finds have since emerged from melting ice indicating that mountain ranges like the Alps have been bustling with human activity for thousands of years.
    Early humans are now believed to have hiked up into the mountains to travel to nearby valleys, hunt or put animals out to pastures, and to search for raw materials.

    Christian auf der Maur, an archaeologist with Uri canton who participated in the crystal site expedition, said the find there was "truly exceptional."
    "We know now that people were hiking up to the mountains to up to 3,000 metres altitude, looking for crystals and other primary materials."

    The first major ancient Alpine find to emerge from the melting ice was the discovery in 1991 of "Oetzi," a 5,300-year-old warrior whose body had been preserved inside an Alpine glacier in the Italian Tyrol region.
    Theories that he may have been a rare example of a prehistoric human venturing into the Alps have been belied by findings since of numerous ancient traces of people crossing high altitude mountain passes.

    Rare organic materials

    The Schnidejoch pass, a lofty trail in the Bernese Alps 2,756 metres (9,000 feet) above sea level, has for instance been a boon to scientists since 2003, with the find of a birch bark quiver – a case for arrows – dating as far back as 3,000 BCE.
    Later, leather trousers and shoes, likely from the same ill-fated person, were also discovered, along with hundreds of other objects dating as far back as about 4,500 BCE.
    "It is exciting because we find stuff that we don't normally find in excavations," archaeologist Regula Gubler told AFP.

    She pointed to organic materials like leather, wood, birch bark, and textiles, which are usually lost to erosion but here have been preserved intact in the ice.
    Just last month, she led a team to excavate a fresh finding in Schnidejoch: a knotted string of bast – or plant – fibres believed to be over 6,000 years old.

    It resembles the fragile remains of a blackened bast-fibre, braided basket from the same period, brought back last year.
    While climate change has made possible such extraordinary finds, it is also a threat: if not found quickly, organic materials freed from the ice rapidly disintegrate and disappear.

    'Very short window'

    "It is a very short window in time. In 20 years, these finds will be gone and these ice patches will be gone," Gubler said. "It is a bit stressful."
    Cornelissen agreed, saying the understanding of glacier sites' archaeological potential had likely come "too late".
    "The retreat of the glaciers and melting of the ice fields has already progressed so far," he said. "I don't think we'll find another Oetzi."
    The problem is that archaeologists cannot hang out at each melting ice sheet waiting for treasure to emerge.
    Instead, they rely on hikers and others to alert them to finds.
    That can sometimes happen in a roundabout way.
    When two Italian hikers in 1999 stumbled across a wood carving on the Arolla glacier in southern Wallis canton, some 3,100 metres above sea level, they picked it up, polished it off, and hung it on their living room wall.

    It was only through a string of lucky circumstances that it 19 years later came to the attention of Pierre Yves Nicod, an archaeologist with the Wallis historical museum in Sion, where he was preparing an exhibition about glacier archaeology.

    He tracked down the 52-centimetre-long human-shaped statuette, with a flat, frowning face, and had it dated.
    It turned out to be over 2,000 years old – "a Celtic artefact from the Iron Age," Nicod told AFP, lifting up the statuette with gloved hands.

    Its function remains a mystery, he said.
    Another unknown, Nicod said, is "how many such objects have been picked up throughout the Alps in the past 30 years and are currently hanging on living room walls."
    "We need to urgently sensibilise populations likely to come across such artefacts."
    "It is an archaeological emergency."

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  5. #5
    Cope's Avatar 777777777777777

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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    It’s certainly en vogue to draw rhetorical parallels to European Imperialism or to the Trump Administration, but there’s an explicitly communist regime whose ultra-nationalist, expansionist, murderous state-run corporatocracy is a more fitting model for comparison, both in terms of its totalitarian evil and its ascendant threat to the entire world.

    Spoiler for Totalitarian Control in Nazi Germany and Communist China

    Orwell's principal models were Nazi Germany and, more especially, the Soviet Union. The Newspeak of Nineteen Eighty-Four was his imaginative extension of the officially approved language of those societies (cf. Steinhoff 1976). But in the very year in which the novel was published, there came into existence a society in which the control of language was even more comprehensive - the People's Republic of China. There, more determined attempts were made to extend the use of politicized language into people's private lives, and to turn the whole population into 'thought police' who monitored words to detect 'incorrect' thought.1 These attempts reached their peak in the last ten years of Mao Zedong's rule, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. China was the laboratory in which Mao conducted easily the biggest experiment in linguistic engineering in world history, and perhaps the most rigorously controlled.2 It is an
    ideal case study for scholars who are interested in the practice of linguistic engineering, and who wish to examine its effects on people's beliefs and ways of thinking.

    In a loose sense, the term 'linguistic engineering' can be applied to any attempt to change language in order to affect attitudes and beliefs. In this sense, linguistic engineering probably exists in all societies. Its current manifestations in the English-speaking world include new coinages and new applications of old words, as well as attempts to eradicate usages which are believed to underpin 'offensive' attitudes. So governments gloss over and excuse the deaths of civilians in war by describing them as 'collateral damage'; black Americans draw attention to their heritage by insisting that they be called 'African Americans'; those who have disabilities raise their status by becoming people with 'different abilities'; homosexuals escape medical/psychiatric definition and celebrate their lifestyle by becoming 'gays'; prostitutes assert the legitimacy of their way of making money by referring to themselves as 'sex workers'; and feminists demand a whole battery of changes to 'man made language', including stopping the use of 'man' as a generiC term for human beings. In all these cases, linguistic innovation is intended to affect attitudes through what Deborah Cameron (1995) has called 'verbal hygiene'. In the case of disadvantaged minorities the goal is, more specifically, to introduce language which affords them respect, defined in their own terms, and to elevate their social status. As Dale Spender (1985, 6) says on their behalf, 'Investing the language with one's own different and positive meanings is a priority for all oppressed groups ... the language and its
    use has to be changed; there is no alternative if one seeks to throw off one's oppression.'

    This type of linguistic engineering is worth serious study, but it is less far-reaching than the linguistic engineering which is the subject of this thesis. Even the feminist attack on sexist language is modest in its scope and minor in its consequences compared with the changes made by Mao Zedong and the Communist Party in China. Linguistic engineering in non-totalitarian societies is not under the control of the state, and even when it has political backing people are free to criticise it and usually to ignore it. Linguistic change is effected almost entirely by persuasion and social pressure, not by coercion, and it is often accompanied by heated debate and the persistence of rival usages. Attempts to tamper with language often fail, as with the many reforms
    proposed by the General Semantics movement (e.g. Korzybski 1933, Chase 1943), and even when attempts succeed they are frequently not adopted universally.

    In China, by contrast, linguistic engineering was directed by Mao and the Communist Party, except during the early stages of the Cultural Revolution when Mao dispensed with the Party. The changes in the Chinese language were immense, people were compelled to adopt them in all public contexts, and there were increasingly strenuous attempts to politicize private life and enforce the use of politicized language there as well.

    In the early 1940s, a few years before Orwell began to write Nineteen Eighty-Four, Victor Klemperer, a romance language scholar and professor, wrote a diary about his experiences as a Jewish man living in Nazi, Germany. In his diary, titled I Will Bear Witness, he argues that in order to eradicate the Nazi power, “It isn't only Nazi actions that [have] to vanish, but also the Nazi cast of mind, the typical Nazi way of thinking, and its breeding ground: the language of Nazism.” According to Klemperer, language was the foundation for implementing large-scale Nazi conditioning techniques, and it was the hatchery for the Nazi ideologies that initiated the Holocaust. After years of seeing how the Nazis utilized propaganda and language, Klemperer began to see the types of rhetoric used to maintain power: “The basic principle of the whole language of the Third Reich became apparent to me: a bad conscience; its triad: defending oneself, praising oneself, accusing – never a moment of calm testimony” (“I Will Bear Witness”). The language of the Third Reich is accusatory, condescending, and above all else, self-promoting.

    The language of the Third Reich mirrors how Newspeak functions in Nineteen Eighty-Four and furthers the parallels between Oceania and Nazi Germany. One example is of a semantic shift in the word “organisieren,” which was originally translated to mean organizing an event or to arrange something in a particular order. In A New German-English dictionary for General Use Containing an Exhaustive Vocabulary of the Colloquial and Literary English and German Languages, as Well as a Great Many Scientific, Technical and Commercial Terms and Phrases and Preceded by a Study of the German Pronunciation by F.C. Hebert and L. Hirsch, which was published in 1926, the word “organisieren” directly translates to the English word “organize” (517). However, roughly ten years later, Nazism really began to take form under the dictatorial power of Adolf Hitler, and the language of the Third Reich really began to materialize, and the word began to be used differently. According to Klemperer, the Nazi party altered the meaning of the word and spun it in a way that attached a bias to it. This is the opposite of what the Inner Party does with the B words, but it is just as effective as a rhetorical modification. However, it slowly discredited other synonyms which mirrors the abolishment of vocabulary words that occurred during the transition into Newspeak. “Organisieren” came to replace words meaning “to work”, “to carry out”, “to do”, or “to make”. In Robert Michael and Karin Doerr’s Nazi- Deutsch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich the definition of the word “organisieren” is “meaning to procure items that were only available through connections. In soldiers’ slang, to steal; in concentration camps, to find or trade for material to survive” (305). For the Nazi soldiers who were attempting to control and exterminate Jewish people, they used the word to mean larceny or theft; however, the Jews used it to mean the acquiring of a material in order for survival. This definition sets up a contrast between not only how the word was used by the aggressor and the oppressed, but it also shows how language connotation was used to twist the truth.

    The words were used by the Reich to develop a clear binary between Aryans and non-Aryans. A 1942 Race and Settlement head office pamphlet stated that the “hands, feet and a kind of brain, with eyes and mouth” are the only way that non-Aryans were biologically related to the master race, and that the Jews are nothing more than a creature that shares a similar face to the Aryans. The pamphlet continued to say, “For all that bear a human face are not equal,” which projects the subhuman treatment of Non-Aryans as justifiable on a completely biological level (Michael and Doerr 408). The language used in this pamphlet demonstrates how language is used in Nazi Germany to portray and promote a particular ideology: an ideology that feeds off of fear and instills hate within its constituents.

    Spoiler for Lebensraum in Nazi Germany and Communist China

    The theme of the Congress is: Remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

    Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission. The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. This original aspiration, this mission, is what inspires Chinese Communists to advance. In our Party, each and every one of us must always breathe the same breath as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them. The aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of our efforts. We must keep on striving with endless energy toward the great goal of national rejuvenation.

    The Chinese nation is a great nation; it has been through hardships and adversity but remains indomitable. The Chinese people are a great people; they are industrious and brave; and they never pause in the pursuit of progress. The Communist Party of China is a great party; it has the courage to fight and the mettle to win.

    The wheels of history roll on; the tides of the times are vast and mighty. History looks kindly on those with resolve, with drive and ambition, and with plenty of guts; it won't wait for the hesitant, the apathetic, or those shy of a challenge.

    All of us in the Party must work hard and live simply, guard against arrogance and impetuosity; and lose no time in progressing along the long march of the new era.
    We must conscientiously safeguard the solidarity and unity of the Party, maintain the Party's deep bond with the people, and strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and the great unity of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation at home and abroad. We must unite all the forces that can be united and work as one to progress toward the brilliant future of national rejuvenation.

    China has been pursuing expansionist designs for a long time now. Being a communist country, analysts believe expansionism is crucial to its ideology. To support their view, they cite the instance of the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) overwhelming all its neighbours into submission. Though China claims to have resolved its borders with all its neighbours except two, but in view of its expansionists tendencies, China has border disputes with all its neighbours, be those the land or marine jurisdictions.

    Interestingly, China uses ‘Salami-slice’ strategy to expand its boundaries. It is a divide and conquer process through threats and alliances to overcome opposition. The term ‘Salami-tactics’ was coined in the 1940s by the Stalinist Communist Mátyás Rákosi to explain how the Hungarian Communist Party rose to absolute political power. He claimed to have destroyed the non-Communist parties by ‘cutting them off like slices of salami’. The process eliminates political opposition ‘slice by slice’ until it realises, usually too late, there was nothing left to retrieve.

    China has finessed this deception to effective military use to expand its territories quietly. Continuously nibbling at neighbours’ land, at times even claiming an entire area on some dubious historicity, it successively builds up its military control over areas vital to its overall strategic designs. The annexation of Aksai Chin in the 1950s and repeated Chinese incursions into Indian territory are the executions of the same strategy.

    Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans -- as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.
    The Dalai Lama, an individual said to be an incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, had been both the political and spiritual leader of the country. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) was only 24 years old when this all came to an end in 1959. The Communist Chinese invasion in 1950 led to years of turmoil, that culminated in the complete overthrow of the Tibetan Government and the self-imposed exile of the Dalai Lama and 100,000 Tibetans in 1959.
    Since that time over a million Tibetans have been killed. With the Chinese policy of resettlement of Chinese to Tibet, Tibetans have become a minority in their own country. Chinese is the official language. Compared to pre-1959 levels, only 1/20 monks are still allowed to practice, under the government's watch. Up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed. Famines have appeared for the first time in recorded history, natural resources are devastated, and wildlife depleted to extinction. Tibetan culture comes close to being eradicated there.
    Peaceful demonstrations/protests/speech/writings by nuns, monks, and Tibetan laypeople have resulted in deaths and thousands of arrests. These political prisoners are tortured and held in sub-standard conditions, with little hope of justice. Unless we can all take part and recognize Tibet's loss as our own, the future looks grim.

    Lebensraum (German for "habitat" or literally "living space") served as a major motivation for Nazi Germany's territorial aggression. In his book, Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum (for a Grossdeutschland, "Greater Germany," or land and raw materials), and that it should be taken in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Russian, and other Slavic populations, whom they regarded as Untermenschen ("inferior peoples"), and to repopulate the land with reinrassig ("pure breed") Germanic peoples. The entire urban population was to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus to feed Germany and allowing their replacement by a German upper class.

    Spoiler for Socio-Ethnic Engineering in Nazi Germany and Communist China

    In 1949 the CCP took control over the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a region located in the Northwest, sharing a border with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. As a result, the population balance, which was once predominantly Muslim, shifted with the resettlement of Han Chinese making the Muslim populations the minority in the region.

    These actions, along with the restrictions on other religions and their adherents, for example, Tibetan Buddhists, House Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners are part and parcel of the CCP’s policy of sinicization, whereby the government interferes with religious and cultural activities so that traditions and doctrines conform to CCP objectives.155 A pivotal moment in the region occurred in 1996 when the CCP launched ‘strike hard’ campaigns to stop what they said were illegal religious activities.

    It is believed that there are ‘in the hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions’ of Uyghurs in prison. The overflow from these prisons has resulted in the transfer of Uyghurs throughout the PRC according to PRC police officers, speaking anonymously.16

    “The Tribunal’s members are certain - unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt - that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”

    In regard to the Uyghurs the Tribunal had evidence of medical testing on a scale that could allow them, amongst other uses, to become an ‘organ bank’. The world is already watching their interests and their geographical location – although very large - may render it possible to lend them support more easily than for the Falun Gong who are dispersed throughout the country.

    Governments and international bodies must do their duty not only in regard to the possible charge of Genocide but also in regard to Crimes against Humanity, which the Tribunal does not allow to be any less heinous. Assuming they do not do their duty, the usually powerless citizen is, in the internet age, more powerful than s/he may recognise. Criminality of this order may allow individuals from around the world to act jointly in pressurising governments so that those governments and other international bodies are unable not to act.

    FINAL SOLUTION (of the Jewish question ; Ger. "Endlö-sung der Judenfrage "), the Nazi plan for the extermination of the Jews. Rooted in 19th-century antisemitic discourse on the "Jewish question," "Final Solution" as a Nazi cover term denotes the last stage in the evolution of the Third Reich's anti-Jewish policies from persecution to physical annihilation on a European scale. Currently, Final Solution is used interchangeably with other, broader terms that refer to German extermination policies during World War ii (Holocaust, Shoah), as well as more specifically to describe German intent and the decision-making process leading up to the beginning of systematic mass murder.

    As for the moral equivalence between fascism and communism, I think this article provides a decent anecdotal synopsis:

  6. #6
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    Some serious Analysis of Election probabilities

    Elector (and winning) results based on 50000 simulations.
    I got the poll aggregates from 538 at 28th of October 2020. I made a number of "voter blocks" equal to 350 + electors x50. I.e. Pennsylvania (20 electors) has 1350 "voter blocks" while Alaska (3 electors) has 500 "voter blocks". I assigned to each "voter block" a chance to vote for Trump, Biden or independent based on the aggregate state polls of 538.
    I adjusted based on a few assumptions.

    Whomever wins the state, wins the electors. For Nebraska and Maine, each district gives one elector and the state winner gets the state's 2 electors.
    Then, I tallied the electors for each candidate. No state was won by independents. Sorry West, Sorry Libertarians, Sorry Greens. Better luck next time.

    1% "hidden" Trump vote (I.e. voters that said they will vote for Biden but will vote for Trump)
    slightly higher enthusiasm for Republicans and ability to "bring out" their voters. I.e. slightly more Republican leaning voters would actually vote than Democrat leaning ones.
    About 2% of the mailed votes will be considered invalid or arrive to late to count. Of these, 60% will be for Biden and 40% for Trump.
    The Republicans will not stop the counting of mailed votes, at least in states that matter.

    NOTE: I consider as a "tie" everything below 273 electors. I.e. if the "winner" ends up with 269-272 electors, it will be the rogue electors of the electoral college that will call the election.

    As you can see, in the 2020 USA elections there's a 13% chance that the rogue electors will be the ones deciding the election.

  7. #7
    Flinn's Avatar The power of the Dark Side is unlimited! (cash)
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    Default Re: POTF 38 - Nominations

    Quote Originally Posted by antaeus View Post
    We're getting a little too far into hypotheticals here so I'm going to wander all over the show...

    But the point of armour on the torso is to protect the most vital parts of the body. You're far more likely to survive a stab to the arm than you are to the kidney. Even in this period one could sometimes survive a severed arm, but not a disembowelment (now is a different story. Happened to my cousin, skateboard injury, loss of a couple of meters of intestine... nasty story for another day).

    There's a balance to be made - the weight of armour vs the requirement for movement vs the cost of production in both monetary and manpower terms vs tactical flexibility vs logistical requirements for maintenance and supply. We can't reveal all of these from individual finds. But if you're trying to give the broadest protection to the widest range of unit types via your production chain, rationalising the most important types of protection for a wide variety of situations is probably helpful. That might explain why torso protection is seen more often than arm, or leg. Because it was more universally applicable to more people in more situations.

    Then there's the fact that Roman soldiers, especially in the early and mid imperial period, were expected to march. A lot. It was not out of the question for the same unit to see combat in modern Spain and Egypt in the same year, travelling by foot half the way. Most medieval knights with their full body suits of armour might have travelled a few dozen or a hundred miles, in their entire lives, and then would have marched out of full armour and only trained in it. So from a purely practical perspective, weight would have been a real consideration, given that they were only expected to be in actual combat very very occasionally. Add to this the different climactic requirements of fighting in Anatolia vs Scotland and we might start to see why some additional protections might have been impractical in many situations - even if it offered better survivability.

    Re the shield: it is both defensive and offensive in it's use - meaning it moves and is vulnerable to being grabbed, pulled, tugged, shoved etc - and while this happens, a shield covers the majority of the arm holding it

    There are so many unknowables here. Armour was far from uniform in nature even within individual units. Some may have had extra elements that others did not. This piece may be representative or might be a fluke discovery of a rare kind.

    So plenty of questions and uncertainties. Great for archaeologist's ongoing job security.
    Under the patronage of Finlander, patron of Lugotorix & Lifthrasir & joerock22 & Socrates1984 & Kilo11 & Vladyvid & Dick Cheney & phazer & Jake Armitage & webba 84 of the Imperial House of Hader

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