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Old 2009-11-28, 11:35   Link #4761
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupimviet View Post
Add in the fact that many people own multiple guns, and the percentage of gun owners to the total population in Switzerland might not be all that high.
That's the same in the US though. I don't have the actual statistics, but I seriously seriously doubt 90% of the population owns a gun.

Anyway, I do understand the argument for guns as personally defense. Personally I hate guns, though I have recently considered applying for a permit and getting one. It's not that uncommon to hear gunshots where I live. Sure it's mainly idiots shooting at cans in the desert, but it's still a bit unnerving...
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Old 2009-11-28, 12:07   Link #4762
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Well, last I knew of, about 3/4ths of all US firearms are in the hands of those who own four guns or more.

Shooting myself in the foot: success.
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Old 2009-11-28, 16:45   Link #4763
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PM discusses Futenma with Okinawa govenor

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The sources added that Hatoyama asked Nakaima about the situation in Okinawa Prefecture concerning the Futenma issue. Nakaima replied that after the change of administration, the expectations of people in Okinawa that the air station may be relocated outside the prefecture or overseas had grown greatly.

The governor then asked the prime minister to do more to ease the heavy burden Okinawa Prefecture shoulders as host of U.S. forces' facilities by removing the danger of the Futenma Air Station as early as possible.
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Old 2009-11-29, 08:30   Link #4764
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Scores of albinos in hiding after attacks

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Body parts of albinos are sought in some regions of Africa because they are believed to bring wealth and good luck. Attackers chop off limbs and pluck out organs to sell to dealers, who in turn sell them to witchdoctors.

Scores of albinos have fled to Tanzanian schools for the disabled or in emergency shelters set up by police in Burundi to avoid attacks, according to the report.

"Thousands more albinos across a huge swathe of countryside ... are unable to move freely to trade, study or cultivate fields for fear of albino hunters," the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.
That's just...wow.
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Old 2009-11-29, 12:34   Link #4765
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Today in Switzerland: Minaret ban approved by 57 per cent of voters.

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To the great surprise of pollsters and the regret of the government, the Swiss on Sunday said yes to a ban on the construction of minarets.
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Old 2009-11-29, 13:13   Link #4766
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
I think this is fair tbh. In more than just a few places around the middle east, it's absolutely forbidden to have churches and public practice of any religion apart from Islam is illegal. The fact that Switzerland is keeping the 4 minarets already there is something people should be thankful for and it is still possible to make new mosques. Just like in practically every other country in Europe, they're being quite generous in allowing them to practice publicly when they don't let us in their countries.
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Old 2009-11-29, 13:27   Link #4767
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News like this reaffirm my firm belief in representative democracy. So does half an hour reading through the comment sections of any major newspaper.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
I think this is fair tbh. In more than just a few places around the middle east, it's absolutely forbidden to have churches and public practice of any religion apart from Islam is illegal.
This is not about "more than just a few places around the middle east" that are dictatorships anyway but about people who live in a European democracy.
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Last edited by Slice of Life; 2009-11-29 at 14:10.
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Old 2009-11-29, 14:14   Link #4768
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
I think this is fair tbh. In more than just a few places around the middle east, it's absolutely forbidden to have churches and public practice of any religion apart from Islam is illegal. The fact that Switzerland is keeping the 4 minarets already there is something people should be thankful for and it is still possible to make new mosques. Just like in practically every other country in Europe, they're being quite generous in allowing them to practice publicly when they don't let us in their countries.
How exactly does a failure of some third world Islamic country to give it's people freedom of religion make it right for a first world nation to do the same? Not to mention that most third world Islamic countries still allow religious minorities to practice their faith openly, though sometimes with unofficial oppression by the majority. There might be ways to justify the ban, but saying "well they don't let 'us' practice our religion in their countries" is certainly not one of them. Though I can't really think of any that would either so yeah.
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Old 2009-11-29, 14:43   Link #4769
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Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
Not the result i expected , but in general about how Switzerland decides things, I would still defend how Switzerland does use the Referendums instead of enforcing things by force.

On the matter, I believe mentality will change with time and that a time will come when a new referendum will allow it again. A change in mentality that happens little by little with time could imo give a better result than a brutal change.

Last edited by Narona; 2009-11-29 at 14:59.
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Old 2009-11-29, 15:01   Link #4770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
How exactly does a failure of some third world Islamic country to give it's people freedom of religion make it right for a first world nation to do the same? Not to mention that most third world Islamic countries still allow religious minorities to practice their faith openly, though sometimes with unofficial oppression by the majority. There might be ways to justify the ban, but saying "well they don't let 'us' practice our religion in their countries" is certainly not one of them. Though I can't really think of any that would either so yeah.
You're making it look like all countries in the middle east are third world. That's not entirely true. Would you consider the UAE a third world country when it's normal for people to be earning three times as much money as anyone in the middle-class in other developped countries? Egypt and Saudi Arabia can't really be considered third world either when they're some of the leading oil providers around the world. I'm sure you've heard of OPEC, and SA just happens to be top of the list there.

Also note that I said some, not all. I'm not making a general statement that public practice is prohibited in the middle east. I know very well that countries like Egypt and Lebanon allow public practice of christianity. The fact still remains that public practice isn't allowed in SA and other countries when muslims are free to do as they like virtually everywhere in the world. Besides, what does being a third world country have anything to do with making religious practice public for foreigners in the first place? You can argue that they are dictatorships, but it's wrong to associate dictatorship with lack of freedom and fear mongering, especially when democracy doesn't really bring all the freedom it preaches and democratic media is specialized in the fear aspect.

Last edited by Tsuyoshi; 2009-11-29 at 15:21.
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Old 2009-11-29, 15:25   Link #4771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
You're making it look like all countries in the middle east are third world. That's not entirely true. Would you consider the UAE a third world country when it's normal for people to be earning three times as much money as anyone in the middle-class in other developped countries? Egypt and Saudi Arabia can't really be considered third world either when they're some of the leading oil providers around the world. I'm sure you've heard of OPEC, and SA just happens to be top of the list there.

Also note that I said some, not all. I'm not making a general statement that public practice is prohibited in the middle east. I know very well that countries like Egypt and Lebanon allow public practice of christianity. The fact still remains that public practice isn't allowed in SA and other countries when muslims are free to do as they like virtually everywhere in the world. Besides, what does being a third world country have anything to do with making religious practice public for foreigners in the first place? You can argue that they are dictatorships, but it's wrong to associate dictatorship with lack of freedom and fear mongering, especially when democracy doesn't really bring all the freedom it preaches and democratic media is specialized in the fear aspect.
Yeah, that's great. It still doesn't address my point that just because country X restricts religious freedoms it makes it ok for country Y to do the same just to a lesser extent.
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Old 2009-11-29, 15:30   Link #4772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Yeah, that's great. It still doesn't address my point that just because country X restricts religious freedoms it makes it ok for country Y to do the same just to a lesser extent.
It's pretty simple. I don't see how muslims in other countries expect us to be so appeasing toward their religious culture when they aren't. We already give them so much liberty to do as they wish, the choice to practice freely outside their own country, but they don't give that same freedom to us. I see that as inconsiderate.
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Old 2009-11-29, 15:35   Link #4773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
You're making it look like all countries in the middle east are third world. That's not entirely true. Would you consider the UAE a third world country when it's normal for people to be earning three times as much money as anyone in the middle-class in other developped countries? Egypt and Saudi Arabia can't really be considered third world either when they're some of the leading oil providers around the world. I'm sure you've heard of OPEC, and SA just happens to be top of the list there.

Also note that I said some, not all. I'm not making a general statement that public practice is prohibited in the middle east. I know very well that countries like Egypt and Lebanon allow public practice of christianity. The fact still remains that public practice isn't allowed in SA and other countries when muslims are free to do as they like virtually everywhere in the world. Besides, what does being a third world country have anything to do with making religious practice public for foreigners in the first place? You can argue that they are dictatorships, but it's wrong to associate dictatorship with lack of freedom, especially when democracy doesn't really bring all the freedom it preaches.
You seem to be diverting the argument away from the point that you were responding to by attacking comments about third world and non-third world countries in the Middle East. So put that aside for a second. The point is even if freedom of religion is restricted to varying degrees in some countries, whether they be third world or first, that is absolutely not a reason why religious freedom should be restricted elsewhere. How does the denial of a freedom in one place make it acceptable or right to do it elsewhere?

It's also somewhat irrelevant to this argument, but as far as it being "wrong" to associate dictatorships with lack of freedom, that's simply a ridiculous statement. A modern dictatorship is characterized by autocratic rule that is unrestricted by laws or constitutions. It is defined by the leader's ability to do anything without worrying about things such as individual freedoms, and unquestioning despite flaws that may exist in democracy is certainly a form of government that is less desirable. There's a quote by Winston Churchill that is appropriate. "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoko Takeo View Post
It's pretty simple. I don't see how muslims in other countries expect us to be so appeasing toward their religious culture when they aren't. We already give them so much liberty to do as they wish, the choice to practice freely outside their own country, but they don't give that same freedom to us. I see that as inconsiderate.
It's not about how people in other countries expect freedom while denying you freedom. In this specific case, it's about Muslims in Switzerland expecting freedom of religion for Muslims as it is given to other religions in that country.
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Old 2009-11-29, 15:38   Link #4774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Yeah, that's great. It still doesn't address my point that just because country X restricts religious freedoms it makes it ok for country Y to do the same just to a lesser extent.
Well, switzerland is a place in the middle of europe where all people have a say in almost everything that is important. That is also the reason why they are not in the european union. Its their own people's choice. In switzerland you do not just have to convince the educated political elite, you also need to convince joe six pack (who is in the majority - like every other country on this planet).
Logical or ethical reasoning loses against simple polemics very easily when you just have to convince the majority of joe six packs.
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Old 2009-11-29, 17:01   Link #4775
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For some perspective on the subject and a good summary of how things went to this:

Women lead Swiss in vote to ban minarets

Quote:
A “stop the minarets” campaign has provoked ferment in the land of Heidi, where women are more likely than men to vote for the ban after warnings from prominent feminists that Islam threatens their rights.
Quote:
Socialist politicians have been furious to see icons of the left joining what is regarded as an anti-immigrant campaign by the populist Swiss People’s party, the biggest group in parliament.
Quote:
...

Encouraged by this, Muslim communities all over the country began applying for permits to put up their own minarets, regardless of the fact that noise regulations prevent the towers from fulfilling their traditional function of calling the faithful to prayer.

People began to worry about minarets dominating the Swiss skyline.

“They felt threatened,” said Patrick Freudiger, a Conservative MP who likes to remember a comment by Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, who once described minarets as the “bayonets” of the Muslim faith. “Minarets are symbolic of a quest for political and religious power,” Freudiger said.

A similar battle has been raging in Germany over plans to build one of Europe’s biggest mosques in the shadow of Cologne cathedral. The Danes are also locked in debate over plans for two grand mosques in Copenhagen.

In an initiative that would please Switzerland’s antiminaret campaigners, an Italian town seized the headlines last week by putting up signs banning women from wearing the burqa in public.
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Old 2009-11-29, 17:47   Link #4776
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Ex-diplomat to testify on secret Japan-U.S. pact on Okinawa reversion

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The documents in question include one that is supposed to indicate that Japan secretly shouldered $4 million in costs on behalf of the United States to restore farmland plots in Okinawa on land used by the U.S. military.
Support rate for Hatoyama Cabinet up slightly at 63.7%: Kyodo poll

Quote:
The disapproval rating for Hatoyama's Cabinet went up 2.2 points to 25.1 percent. The support rate rose 1.6 points to 45.0 percent for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and declined 4.9 points to 16.2 percent for the Liberal Democratic Party, which was toppled from power in an Aug. 30 general election.
Quote:
But Hatoyama has revisited the issue with a plan to move it out of the prefecture or the country -- an idea that got support from 32.8 percent of survey respondents.
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Old 2009-11-29, 18:39   Link #4777
monir
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Four Police Officers Killed in Ambush

Anyone here is from the Seattle, Washington region who can shed some light on why there is a sudden hatred to such extreme for the Law Enforcement agency in Seattle. This would be the second such incident where uniformed police officers on duty are killed in Seattle in less than 2 months. In the first incident, a training officer was shot to death who was inside his scout car with a rookie officer. They were parked after conducting a traffic stop and he was giving the rookie pointers to what she could have done better. That's when a car pulls up and starts firing.

The audacity of the act that transpired today just gets to me. I've got say that I'm angry.
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Old 2009-11-29, 18:54   Link #4778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monir View Post
Four Police Officers Killed in Ambush

Anyone here is from the Seattle, Washington region who can shed some light on why there is a sudden hatred to such extreme for the Law Enforcement agency in Seattle. This would be the second such incident where uniformed police officers on duty are killed in Seattle in less than 2 months. In the first incident, a training officer was shot to death who was inside his scout car with a rookie officer. They were parked after conducting a traffic stop and he was giving the rookie pointers to what she could have done better. That's when a car pulls up and starts firing.

The audacity of the act that transpired today just gets to me. I've got say that I'm angry.
I think if you do an analysis of events across the US... you're seeing more sudden violent acts not just against police. Fray society enough... but everyone under enough stress .... and the edges start cracking. Often this may appear to be "unrelated" to the general state of things.

Police, as a symbol of "the establishment" or "the Man", may be getting extra suffrage about it. In other countries, they usually put the "fat cats" up against the wall and shoot them... morbidly, I dont think the citizenry is that bright here.
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Old 2009-11-29, 19:55   Link #4779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I think if you do an analysis of events across the US... you're seeing more sudden violent acts not just against police. Fray society enough... but everyone under enough stress .... and the edges start cracking. Often this may appear to be "unrelated" to the general state of things.

Police, as a symbol of "the establishment" or "the Man", may be getting extra suffrage about it. In other countries, they usually put the "fat cats" up against the wall and shoot them... morbidly, I dont think the citizenry is that bright here.
I know I wouldn't mind too terribly if the Law Enforcement agencies in that area do just that, shoot first, and sort out later. This was an incredibly outrageous act and a very stupid one at that which begs the question, why? I see what you are saying Vexx, but this act itself, no matter how it is broken down doesn't seem so random. Is it a follow up on some event, i.e. retaliation, statement, etc.? The shooter had all the intention of carrying this out and he knew exactly what he was doing. No one else in that coffee house other than those officers were hurt. He also brought the right sort of weapon considering all four had their bullet proof vest on and had to be a decent shot to get all four officers. The other thing is that more than likely this gunmen knew where to go get his target and did his homework to carry it out in such manner.

As of today a lot of eyes will be in that area with tension at its max. The Law Enforcement agencies in that area will be making a lot of adjustment in the upcoming days in regards to their policies and restraints they are required to observe. To put it mildly, the citizenry in the area better be prepared to see a lot of inconvenience in the upcoming days.

Here is a PDF file on the Crime Stat from Seattle PD webpage.
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Old 2009-11-29, 20:08   Link #4780
Vexx
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This particular incident *may* be organized crime or gang related.... gangs tend to view the police as "just a bigger gang" it seems to me. It may have even been these particular officers for some reason.

I'm not jaded... this does seem like the opening to some hyperbolic crime movie than a real event.
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