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Old 2012-04-07, 23:45   Link #20741
Ridwan
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: قلوب المؤمنين
Maybe an article or two about Mali has/ve been posted here, but let me present a few more, rather detailed ones. Hope none of them is a repost :

Quote:
Gaddafi's Posthumous Gift to Mali: The Tuareg Seize Timbuktu
By Julius Cavendish / Bamako Sunday, Apr. 01, 2012

To the din of heavy weaponry looted from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's arsenals, Tuareg rebels rode out of the desert to attack the ancient trading city of Timbuktu on Sunday morning, completing a blistering blitzkrieg that has seen them capture the three largest towns in northern Mali in three days. After laying waste to an abandoned military camp, the rebels entered Timbuktu around midday, snarling about in pickups, firing delightedly in the air and planting their black-and-white flag over the offices of the provincial governor, the mayor and the military commandant. They had, they pronounced, lifted Mali's "occupation" and would henceforth defend and secure Azawad — the name they gave Mali's northern desert — "for the happiness of its people." Within a period of 72 hours, they have seized control of an area the size of California and Texas combined.

Yet for all the clamor of battle, it was a quiet word that proved most effective as the Tuareg cut a deal to avoid bloodshed. Government troops garrisoned in Timbuktu may well have fled overnight, but a militia of ethnic Arabs loyal to the regime ensconced in the capital, Bamako, had remained on the ramparts. Fear and uncertainty wracked inhabitants, and many — "even young boys," according to resident Abu Bakri ag Moha — began arming themselves to battle the Tuareg early Sunday morning, bringing out old Kalashnikovs and bolt-action rifles. But "the deal is the rebels ... take Timbuktu and fly their flag for three days, then after they must leave, with the Arabs in control," one local explained by phone. Time will tell if that's the exact contract. But for now — Timbuktu has fallen.

The conquerors lost little time in pillaging banks, police stations and government offices, but for all that, "the population [doesn't] have any problems," another resident said. "The rebels haven't done anything to hurt them. They say, 'We're just here for something, and after we will go.'" What plight civilians face in the longer term is harder to say, with an estimated 200,000 displaced by the fighting so far. Oussman ag Isa, an inhabitant of Kidal, the northern administrative center that fell on March 30, said the town was almost deserted and that "people are very hungry, there's no food, nothing." The rebels, he added, were still in town.

In one of the more extensive eyewitness accounts of the desert blitzkrieg to emerge, Mahamed ag Hameleck, 24, a blacksmith from Gao, a garrison town that fell Saturday, tells TIME how he was sipping a thimble-size glass of tea in his uncle's camel-hide tent when gunfire erupted in the distance. After 45 minutes, pickups began to rumble around the Château neighborhood where the tent was pitched, and the rebels flooded in "crying 'Azawad! Azawad!' and shooting in the air. There [was] nobody in the street. Everybody ran away and closed shop," ag Hameleck says. "They broke the customs office and took everything inside." Residents were too terrified to venture out for food, and many went hungry as the shooting continued.

Around noon, ag Hameleck says, he elbowed his way onto the last charabanc south. "I can tell you there was not even luggage inside," he says, glancing down at the floor as he speaks. "Everybody took only what they could take in their hands ... Everyone pushed, everyone wanted to get in ... I was just lucky." As he arrived in Bamako, word reached him by phone that the rebels were distributing food, including U.S.-military-issued rations, looted from Gao's abandoned garrison.

The problem for ag Hameleck, as for all displaced Tuareg civilians, is the relatively pale color of his skin. With anger simmering in southern Mali at the military setbacks and the fallen soldiers, Tuareg civilians have become an obvious target. Ag Hameleck has already changed his traditional indigo turban and dazzling blue robes for jeans and a shirt and has been banned by the friends he's staying with from going out onto the street for fear of attack. He wants, he says, to move onto a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, where "you don't get into trouble for your tribe or the color of your skin."

Even as ag Hameleck spoke, the first prospect of a peace deal emerged, after Captain Amadou Sanogo, the leader of Mali's increasingly hapless junta, offered an olive branch to the rebels, saying: "We have inherited ... a desperate situation, we're trying to make the best of it. We've already dispatched emissaries on the ground to try to obtain a cease-fire." Later the same day, an envoy in Timbuktu told Agence France-Presse that he had made contact with a senior rebel commander, Mohamed Najim, who was ready to negotiate.

The fall of the northern cities has been an enormous setback for Bamako, where a cadre of junior soldiers seized power earlier this month in a largely bloodless coup. The putsch, sparked by discontent at the government's handling of the Tuareg insurgency, has backfired spectacularly as the northern rebels have exploited the political uncertainty in Bamako and the army's unclear chain of command to maximum effect. In another reversal, Sanogo sought to stave off crippling economic sanctions by regional powers allied with the displaced government by promising "to re-establish, from this day on, the constitution of the Republic of Mali ... as well as the institutions of the republic." How this is compatible with his apparent intent to oversee the country's transition back to democracy is unclear, but it's a welcome sign that the chaos that has engulfed Mali — political and martial — may now be headed toward some kind of resolution.
Quote:
AU, US reject Mali rebels' independence declaration

A Tuareg nomad stands near a 13th century mosque in Timbuktu in this March 19, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/Files

By Bate Felix

BAMAKO | Fri Apr 6, 2012 1:19pm EDT

(Reuters) - Mali's desert Tuaregs proclaimed independence for what they call the state of Azawad on Friday, a secession bid swiftly rejected by its African neighbors and foreign capitals from Paris to Washington.

The nomadic people has nurtured the dream of a Saharan homeland since Mali's independence in 1960 and has come closer than ever to attaining it by seizing key northern towns this week while the capital Bamako was distracted by a coup.

Neighbors fear the creation of a new state could encourage separatists elsewhere, while the presence within the rebellion of Islamists with ties to al Qaeda has sparked wider fears of the emergence of a new rogue state threatening global security.

"The Executive Committee of the MNLA calls on the entire international community to immediately recognize, in a spirit of justice and peace, the independent state of Azawad," Billal Ag Acherif, secretary-general of the Tuareg-led MNLA rebel group MNLA said on its www.mnlamov.net home page.

The statement listed decades of Tuareg grievances over their treatment by governments dominated by black southerners in the distant capital Bamako. It said the group recognized all borders with neighboring states and pledged to create a democratic state based on the principles of the United Nations charter.

It was datelined in the town of Gao, which along with the ancient trading post of Timbuktu and other northern towns fell to rebels in a matter of 72 hours this week as soldiers in Mali's army either defected to the rebellion or fled.

Reuters Television pictures from Gao taken hours before the overnight website declaration showed jubilant MNLA soldiers celebrating in the local governor's residence, decked with an MNLA flag and re-christened "The Palace of Azawad".

The territory claimed as Azawad roughly corresponds to the three northern regions of Mali which make up a zone larger than France. The term is thought to have linguistic links to the dried up Azawagh tributary of the giant Niger river which snakes through West Africa from Guinea to Nigeria.

The 54-state African Union rejected the independence call as "null and of no value whatsoever", urging the rest of the world to shun the secession bid. Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said his country could never accept a break-up of its neighbor.

The U.S. State Department rejected the MNLA independence call and ex-colonial power France said it was now up to Mali's neighbors to see whether talks were possible with the MNLA - a move that could target an autonomy deal short of independence.

"The demands of the northern Tuareg population are old and for too long had not received adequate and necessary responses," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said, while stressing that any deal should leave Mali's borders intact.

GAO A 'GHOST TOWN'

A Gao resident told Reuters the city had become a 'ghost town', patrolled by a few dozen Tuareg fighters in four-wheel-drive vehicles with machineguns. Most of the other Tuareg forces had withdrawn but it was not clear why.

Shops, banks and administrative buildings had all been smashed or burned since the weekend, said the resident, who did not want to be named for his own safety.

Many residents were fleeing in cars, buses and trailers for Niger, Burkina Faso or Bamako. "Half the population has left the town," the resident said. "Everything is smashed and burnt, it's dramatic ... If humanitarian organizations don't intervene in a week, it will be a catastrophe."

Initial reactions in Bamako were of dismay.

"This is really a bad joke," Toure Alassane, a 42-year-old native of Timbuktu said at a gathering of about 200 northerners protesting against the move in the capital.

"It will never work. You don't just declare independence when people don't have food to eat and nothing is functioning in the north," he said. Widespread food shortages caused by the failure of last year's rains have been aggravated by insecurity.

In the northern town of Kidal, one resident said control was not in the hands of the MNLA but of the Ansar Dine Islamist group which wants to impose sharia, Islamic law, across Mali.

"Nothing goes without their say," the resident said.

The advance capitalized on confusion in Bamako after a March 22 coup by mid-ranking officers whose main goal had been to beef up efforts to quash the rebellion.

In a sign of growing foreign concern, Britain said it was temporarily closing its embassy and pulling embassy staff out of the country, "given the unstable and unpredictable situation in Mali and the continuing lack of constitutional rule".

Mali's worried neighbors see handing power back to civilians as a precondition for moves to help stabilize the country and have imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo to step down.

On Thursday a team of mediators expressed hope Sanogo would soon announce steps that would allow them to drop the sanctions on Africa's third largest gold miner, which include the closure of borders and the suspension of its account at the regional central bank. There was no immediate response from the junta.

ECOWAS, the 15-state West African bloc, is preparing a force of up to 3,000 soldiers which could be deployed in Mali with the dual aim of securing a return to constitutional order and halting any further rebel advance.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet put the MNLA's fighting strength at a maximum 3,000, and that of Ansar Dine at about one tenth that number. He said France could provide an ECOWAS force with logistical help including transport.
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Quote:
I don't know if you all have been following the situation in Mali, but in brief the central government (in Bamako) has been fighting a losing battle against Tuareg separatists in the northern part of the country, and after a military coup brought an end to what was arguably West Africa's most promising democracy over precisely this issue, the separatists took the opportunity to seize the three largest cities in the northern half of Mali, including storied Timbuktu. Since Timbuktu, alone of all the cities that the Tuareg has seized, is mostly Arab, the scuttlebutt is that the Tuareg are going to declare victory and leave after three days, having looted the place. Intriguingly, both the coup and the separatist victory were accomplished through the influx of arms from post-Gaddafi Libya; I understand that Gaddafi himself was one of the separatists' biggest supporters.
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In the event of a Tuareg victory, what can we expect? Should they form a breakaway state would any of the major powers recognize it?
Quote:
I kind of doubt it. The problem is that all of Mali's immediate regional neighbors have much to fear from their own Berber separatists, and UN recognition for "Azawad" isn't going to matter much if the territory is completely isolated. Plus, what kind of economy could Azawad support?
Quote:
At least South Sudan has oil and friendly neighbors in the form of Ethiopia and the East African Community. Azawad has neither (the cynic in me suggests that the fact that South Sudan is a largely Christian region seceding from an Islamic Republic also contributed to its recognition, which is not something that the Tuaregs can claim either).
Quote:
Naturally, no report of revolutions in this part of the world can pass the media without an unsubstantiated rumor about the spread of Islamic fundamentalism:
Quote:
In the northern town of Kidal, one resident said control was not in the hands of the MNLA but of the Ansar Dine Islamist group which seeks to impose sharia law across Mali.

"Nothing goes without their say," the resident said.
Quote:
This is Islamic fundamentalism at work. The Tuareg could end up with the world's largest uranium mine, so we need to bomb the Sahara before they nuke us. Here's the proof that you can find in the article :
Quote:
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet put the MNLA's fighting strength at a maximum 3,000, and that of Ansar Dine at about one tenth that number. He said France could provide an ECOWAS force with logistical help including transport.
Quote:
The Tuareg are about as non-Islamic as you can get while still calling yourself Muslim.

This is not a non-event, since they are present in Algeria, Libya, and Niger, too. They're never going to get anywhere against Algeria or Libya, but they're the only people that live in about 90% of the area of Niger.

There's a part of me that would like to see a breakdown of the senseless colonial borders, but I'd rather see it in federation rather than atomization.
Quote:
Quote:
The problem is that all of Mali's immediate regional neighbors have much to fear from their own Berber separatists, and UN recognition for "Azawad" isn't going to matter much if the territory is completely isolated. Plus, what kind of economy could Azawad support?
If they take over the uranium mines in Aïr, whatever kind of economy they want. They have some really great salt, too. And camels. They're due for a comeback.
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Old 2012-04-08, 06:12   Link #20742
MrTerrorist
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Venezuela's Chavez returns to Cuba for more treatment

I wonder how serous is his cancer that it came back?
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Old 2012-04-08, 06:49   Link #20743
ganbaru
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Either it really serious or they found another one.

Edit:
U.S. Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/wo...with-iran.html
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Last edited by ganbaru; 2012-04-08 at 09:03.
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Old 2012-04-08, 13:06   Link #20744
SaintessHeart
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Judge tosses away Happy Meal lawsuit against McDonald's

Spoiler for Big:
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-04-08, 17:30   Link #20745
AnimeFan188
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US helps Pakistan search for 135 buried in snow

"The U.S. sent a team of experts Sunday to help Pakistan search for 135 people
buried a day earlier by a massive avalanche that engulfed a military complex in a
mountain battleground close to the Indian border.

At least 240 Pakistani troops and civilians worked at the site of the disaster at the
entrance to the Siachen Glacier with the aid of sniffer dogs and heavy machinery,
said the army. But they struggled to dig through some 25 meters (80 feet) of snow,
boulders and mud that slid down the mountain early Saturday morning."

See:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/5...-army.html.csp
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Old 2012-04-08, 17:34   Link #20746
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Thats a very nice diplomatic move by the US. Hopefully they recover as many survivors as possible and hopefully the Pakistani military will make a note of it.
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Old 2012-04-08, 18:59   Link #20747
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Thats a very nice diplomatic move by the US. Hopefully they recover as many survivors as possible and hopefully the Pakistani military will make a note of it.
I would say that is a good political manuvering by US, given that China is making attempts to switch over Pakistan to their side, and take control of the US military hardware and training that was lent to Pakistan.

The US have so much invested in there that it is difficult to just cut ties like that. Someone doing foreign affairs for the US is finally using their brain; as much as Pakistan is a money sink.
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Old 2012-04-08, 22:00   Link #20748
ganbaru
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Autopsy scheduled for painter Thomas Kinkade
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83801M20120409

Islamic finance pressured to join accounting mainstream
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8350EC20120406
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Old 2012-04-08, 22:21   Link #20749
Vexx
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Another primary reason for the uptick in oil prices -

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/...sts-4-a-gallon

Quote:
The reason is that OPEC countries produce almost nothing but oil. Their population is growing by leaps and bounds, and because Saudis pay no income tax, the House of Saud will need more and more money to keep its citizens happy, and avoid the fate of toppled leaders in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere.
Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Saudi King Abdullah almost doubled his Kingdom's budget, committing billions in subsidies, pensions and pay raises in an effort to keep his subjects from storming the palaces.
This expensive response effectively raised the price of oil needed for the Saudis to balance their budget from under $70 a barrel before 2011 to at least $110 a barrel by 2015.
Like it or not, the bill for keeping the Persian Gulf monarchies in power is now being footed by every American. Every time we fuel our car we send an extra 35 cents per gallon, or roughly $6 per fill up, to the Save the King Foundation. Since oil goes into everything we buy from food to plastics, this adds about $1,500 annually to the expenditures of the average American family.
Paradoxically, we are forced to fund social programs for other nations at the very same time we are engaged in a heated debate about cutting social services and entitlement programs at home. It is a sad state of affairs that in the 21st century the world's most strategic commodity is still being controlled by a cartel.
Cartels, by definition, exist to maximize the profits of their members. OPEC members, which last year raked in $1 trillion in oil revenues, are doing that masterfully.
No amount of U.S. drilling or efficiency measures will change that. The cartel's financial needs will drive it to respond to counter moves by its clients: When we drill more oil at home, OPEC can drill less to return to a tight supply-demand relationship. When we use less, OPEC can drill less.
To change this vexing dynamic, consumers must be able to substitute for petroleum by purchasing competing fuels, like alcohol fuels, biodiesel, natural gas or electricity, if they are less costly on a per mile basis. But as long as our vehicles are able to run on nothing but oil, keeping oil monarchs on their throne will remain our national side job.
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Old 2012-04-09, 00:35   Link #20750
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I love the comments on that post. NPR posts really bring out the crazies. Every time I read a comment on a news story and it contains the word "Zionist" I immediately assume the person posting is batshit insane.
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Old 2012-04-09, 01:30   Link #20751
Kokukirin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Another primary reason for the uptick in oil prices -

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/...sts-4-a-gallon
Well something doesn't add up in the quoted part. So it alleges that Saudi Arabia is manipulating oil price to meet its increasing expenses. And it can raise the price if it wishes because it is a big member in a cartel. Specifically...

The cartel's financial needs will drive it to respond to counter moves by its clients: When we drill more oil at home, OPEC can drill less to return to a tight supply-demand relationship. When we use less, OPEC can drill less.

But that logic is not supported by actual data. Saudi Arabia has been increasing its production rate since 2009. The latest data point in the graph is also the highest. In fact, the total crude oil production by OPEC members also steadily increased in the same time period.

I think it's pretty clear that the skyrocketing demand, the limited spare production capacity, and market speculation are mostly to blame. The evidence of Saudi Arabia raising oil price on purpose in that article is rather weak.
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Old 2012-04-09, 03:26   Link #20752
ganbaru
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Sony to axe 10,000 jobs in turnaround bid
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83803Y20120409
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Old 2012-04-09, 11:37   Link #20753
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Grand Jury Will Not Hear Trayvon Martin Case


http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/04/09...n-martin-case/

White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law


http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch...ent-health-law

For second time in three weeks, a CNN reporter says ‘n*gger’ on live TV [VIDEO]


http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/09/fo...live-tv-video/


A fog of drugs and war


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,1291311.story
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Old 2012-04-09, 12:41   Link #20754
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokukirin View Post
Well something doesn't add up in the quoted part. So it alleges that Saudi Arabia is manipulating oil price to meet its increasing expenses. And it can raise the price if it wishes because it is a big member in a cartel. Specifically...

The cartel's financial needs will drive it to respond to counter moves by its clients: When we drill more oil at home, OPEC can drill less to return to a tight supply-demand relationship. When we use less, OPEC can drill less.

But that logic is not supported by actual data. Saudi Arabia has been increasing its production rate since 2009. The latest data point in the graph is also the highest. In fact, the total crude oil production by OPEC members also steadily increased in the same time period.

I think it's pretty clear that the skyrocketing demand, the limited spare production capacity, and market speculation are mostly to blame. The evidence of Saudi Arabia raising oil price on purpose in that article is rather weak.
Agreed, I went and looked up the data as well after I posted.... now the *rate* of increase may have slowed but it doesn't necessarily follow that it was to fund the "bribes to the people" so to speak. The royals are definitely trying to bury dissent in money but I still think the vast majority of the increase oil users are seeing is purely due to unregulated speculation.


Quote:
For second time in three weeks, a CNN reporter says ‘n*gger’ on live TV [VIDEO]


http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/09/fo...live-tv-video/
Wow, that's an INCREDIBLY misleading headline title... but typical of the Daily Caller. The reporter was READING a comment from Facebook made by one of the shooters - it was not the reporter's slip up or pejorative at all. They apologized both before and after for the language they were quoting. The last thing we need is dilution/sterilization of just what these violent thugs are - and one of the things they are, are ugly-minded racists.

Last edited by Vexx; 2012-04-09 at 13:02.
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Old 2012-04-09, 12:52   Link #20755
Sugetsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
[B]
White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law


http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch...ent-health-law
[/url]
It is so sad to read the comments section of that article. It shows the stupidity of the American people.
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Old 2012-04-09, 13:21   Link #20756
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
It is so sad to read the comments section of that article. It shows the stupidity of the American people.
The other sites are just as bad. I will continue to maintain that adults are just children in bigger bodies.
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Old 2012-04-09, 13:26   Link #20757
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Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
It is so sad to read the comments section of that article. It shows the stupidity of the American people.
that is both the strength and weakness of democracy.

1 man = 1 vote
ignorant opinions are worth the the same as opinion backup by facts and statics.
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Old 2012-04-09, 13:40   Link #20758
Sugetsu
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You know that 12% of the country still thinks Obama is a Muslin... this issue alone is a worrying sign that the population of this country has a very serious problem when it comes to thinking critically. They are easily controlled by oversimplified talking points and catchy phrases.

Reading the comments section of that article is just truly depressing. It is like these people are begging to bend over and F**ked by corporations.
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Old 2012-04-09, 13:48   Link #20759
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Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
You know that 12% of the country still thinks Obama is a Muslin... this issue alone is a worrying sign that the population of this country has a very serious problem when it comes to thinking critically. They are easily controlled by oversimplified talking points and catchy phrases.

Reading the comments section of that article is just truly depressing. It is like these people are begging to bend over and F**ked by corporations.
that is democracy for you, people know what they don't want but not what they need.
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Old 2012-04-09, 14:26   Link #20760
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I wish I could magically transfer my partner's incurable, almost untreatable chronic neuropathic pain disorder to all of these people who think healthcare should only be for the rich. It'd be interesting to see how quickly they reverse their positions when they live in constant agony and the only relief is through expensive maintenance drugs they can't afford.
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