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Old 2010-07-27, 12:25   Link #8401
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
Japan is going to become zombie fodder no matter what. No point in preparing =P
first the hell hole then the zombies.
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Old 2010-07-27, 19:44   Link #8402
LeoXiao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
How come it is "bad" for India to have English as a common language as long as everyone can speak it? It isn't like Mandarin as a common language is inherently better than English. My point is that it is necessary to have a national common language (whatever it is), but the local language/dialect should also be treated with respect.

Right now the only languages allowed to be taught in Chinese schools are Mandarin and English. The fact that people didn't object to it already shows how tolerant Chinese in general is.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't say the southern people should chase Mandarin out of their areas. I am sure that no one in the Guangzhou demonstration advocated that too. Given the CCP's push, it is safe to say that all participants in the demonstration should be very fluent in Mandarin. But accepting and appreciating cultural diversity can go a long way.

Frankly, major dialects with significant overseas presence, such as Cantonese and Shanghainess, have good odds in outliving silly government policies. The problem lies in the dialects of the ethnic minorities though. Once they are destroyed they are lost forever.
The Indians aren't British/descended from Great Britain; they were effectively forced to learn English. China has Mandarin as its language because it had a historically strong national identity in contrast to India, which only had a couple dynasties and no chance for the unification of tongues. English is IMO a language not properly suited to neither the Indian nor Chinese identities, so it's unfortunate that Indians have to learn English for their everyday use and it would suck if China had no standardized script and people in Guangdong had to use English to talk to those in Beijing.

Other than your view that English and Mandarin are the same with respect to the Chinese populace, I am in agreement with everything else you said. The forced integration polices in Tibet and Xinjiang are quite disturbing to say the least.
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Old 2010-07-27, 22:40   Link #8403
Doraneko
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Other than your view that English and Mandarin are the same with respect to the Chinese populace, I am in agreement with everything else you said. The forced integration polices in Tibet and Xinjiang are quite disturbing to say the least.
Sorry I have never said so . I just said the way both English and local dialects works harmoniously in India is probably a model that the PRC government should aspire to.

FYI, Mandarin is forced onto the Chinese population the same way English is forced onto the Indians: they are both policy-based results initiated by the authorities instead of a natural phenomenon. No, not everyone is a Han Chinese (Tibetans, Uruguayans, etc...) in China. And even for Han Chinese, in the South a majority of them has a mother-tongue different from Mandarin. It is self-illusionary to believe that there is a "Great China" where everyone have been speaking Mandarin for 5000 years.

From a linguistic point of view, Mandarin's history as "the official Chinese" is pretty short. Cantonese which was the official language in Sui Dynasty (and likely Tang Dynasty) was forced to take shelter in the South due to the invasion from the North during the era of Southern and Northern Dynasties. The Northern invaders (Mongolians, Turks, etc) found the Chinese language extremely difficult to pronounce, so they mixed their own stuff into the Nanjing and Beijing dialect, as well as simplifying the whole thing by cutting away stuff they didn't like, such as all the stopped syllables. The mixture was further simplified to make a "language for the bureaucrats" in Qing dynasty that even the Manchurian officials would be comfortable with. That is exactly why it is called the "Mandarin."

Japanese who came to China to learn their language in the Tang dynasty has preserved most of the stopped syllables in the Japanese language (kanji) in a simplified manner. Of course all of these syllables are kept intact in Cantonese, but none is present in Mandarin. This in itself proves Cantonese's history and traditional accpetability as a Chinese language.

Spoiler for Example:


Saying that Mandarin is a generic Chinese language showing the Chinese nationality, that is purely made by the Chinese and for the Chinese, is laughable at best. Some people even take the view that it is a language largely shaped by invaders and autocrats rather than the general populace. Anyway as of now it is simply an artificial "Common Language" (Putonghua) in PRC; nothing more, nothing less.

Still, never did I say Mandarin should be replaced by English, and never will I advocate such. It would simply be non-practical and a waste of resources. CCP had good success in educating the non-literate public from over 50 races to be at least able to communicate in a common language (whatever it is). This is already a great achievement in itself.

A recap on what I have said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
Don't get me wrong, I didn't say the southern people should chase Mandarin out of their areas. I am sure that no one in the Guangzhou demonstration advocated that too. Given the CCP's push, it is safe to say that all participants in the demonstration should be very fluent in Mandarin. But accepting and appreciating cultural diversity can go a long way.
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Last edited by Doraneko; 2010-07-27 at 23:45.
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Old 2010-07-27, 23:50   Link #8404
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
Cantonese which was the official language in Sui Dynasty (and likely Tang Dynasty) was forced to take shelter in the South due to the invasion from the North during the era of Southern and Northern Dynasties.
Do you have a source for that claim? It's something that I have long suspected, that the language spoken during the Tang dynasty was either Cantonese, or a dialect of Cantonese (yes, dialects of Cantonese do exist; the Dongguan variant is almost unintelligible to those familiar only with the Hong Kong variant, for example).

However, I've never been able to find any academic material to back the suspicion. The correlation of some Cantonese words with the equivalent words in Japanese seems compelling, but that's all it is: correlation, not confirmation.
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Old 2010-07-28, 01:26   Link #8405
Doraneko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Do you have a source for that claim? It's something that I have long suspected, that the language spoken during the Tang dynasty was either Cantonese, or a dialect of Cantonese (yes, dialects of Cantonese do exist; the Dongguan variant is almost unintelligible to those familiar only with the Hong Kong variant, for example).
There are academic sources for that, but I have no access to university databases right now so it may be difficult to locate the sources.

Anyway here is an excerpt from the book of Li Chen (陳澧), a well acclaimed linguistic expert in the 17th century (Qing Dynasty). The excerpt is in classical Chinese.

廣州音說 (An explanation on Cantonese pronunciation)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 陳澧 -《東塾集》卷一
廣州方音合於隋唐韻書切語,為他方所不及者,約有數端。

餘廣州人也,請略言之。

切語古法:上一字定清濁而不論四聲,下一字定四聲而不論清濁。若不能分上去入之清濁,則遇切語上一字上去入 聲者,不知其為清音為濁音矣。

如:東,德紅切,不知德字清音,必疑德紅切未善矣。魚,語居切,不知語字濁音,必疑語居切未善矣。自明以來 ,韻書多改古切語者,以此故也。

廣音四聲皆分清濁,故讀古書切語瞭然無疑也。餘考古韻書切語有年,而知廣州方音之善,故特舉而論之,非自私 其鄉也。他方之人,宦游廣州者甚多,能為廣州語者亦不少,試取古韻書切語核之,則知餘言之不謬也。朱子云: 「四方聲音多訛,卻是廣中人說得聲音尚好。」此論自朱子發之,又非餘今日之創論也。

至廣中人聲音之所以善者,蓋千餘年來,中原之人徙居廣中,今之廣音實隋唐時中原之音,故以隋唐韻書切語核之 而密合如此也。
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rough translation

The Cantonese pronunciations fits the "qieyu" pronunciation indicators in Sui Yun and Tang Yun (The official rime dictionaries from Sui and Tang Dynasty). In particular, there are a few areas that show the close proximity between the two when compared with other dialects.

As a Cantonese, I would like to explain this briefly.

According to the ancient "qieyu" pronunciation indication method, the first word of the two determines the phonetic voice (i.e. syllable onset and tone) and the second word determines the syllable rime. If one fails to distinguish the upper, lower tones and checked tones, they cannot tell the correct pronounciation.

(For convenience in understanding, kanji in the following follows the Cantonese romanization method.)

For example, the word Dung1 is indicated as "Dak1-Hung4." A failure in noting the tone of Dak1 (as 1) will lead to questions in regard to the correctness of this pronunciation indication...(More examples given.) This is the reason why from Ming Dynasty and onwards, the official rime dictionaries has deviated from its predecessors.

In Cantonese, no combination of syllable rime and phonetic voice is missed. Therefore when reading the ancient pronunciations, everything fits perfectly without question.

I have been conducting researches on ancient pronunciations in rime dictionaries for a long time. The reason why I put forward Cantonese here is not because of selfishness towards my home-town, but is because of my knowledge regarding the merits of Cantonese.

There are many people from other parts of China staying in Guangzhou for work. Among them many are fluent in Cantonese. They can try examining the ancient rime dictionaries and will certainly agree with me. Zhu Xi (in Ming Dynasty) has once said that, "There are many pronunciation errors in different dialects, but the Guangdong people have been pronouncing words pretty accurately." Basically Zhu started this theory (on Cantonese's proximity with ancient Chinese). It is by no means a brand new theory put forward by me.

As for why Cantonese-speakers can pronounce in such a correct manner, it is because for over one thousand years, people from Central China have been migrating to the Guangdong area. The current Cantonese dialect is effectively the dialect in Central China during Sui and Tang dynasty. Therefore, the Cantonese pronunciations are so close to those indicated in Sui Yun and Tang Yun upon examination.
Modern linguists also support Chen's view. Systematic examination of Sui Yun and Tang Yun shows that modern Cantonese retains most elements from the ancient pronunciations, when compared to the other six major Chinese dialects.

Other online sources on the issue:

移民不斷南下古粵語一體化有跡可尋
(The Assimilation of ancient Chinese into Cantonese can be traced to the migration towards the South)
周雲《文匯報》〈文匯首頁‧副刊‧百家廊〉2009年2月1日
http://www.cantoneseculture.com/page...90201_001.aspx

粵語形成於古廣信
(Cantonese is originated in Ancient Guangxin*) [*in Central China]
羅康寧《中國評論學術出版社》(網上開卷 ─— 粵語與珠江文化)2004年7月
http://www.cantoneseculture.com/page...mTo/index.aspx



Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The correlation of some Cantonese words with the equivalent words in Japanese seems compelling, but that's all it is: correlation, not confirmation.

The same applies to my claim on the preservation of Cantonese/Ancient Chinese stopped syllables (i.e. syllables with checked tones) in Japanese: again I cannot give you a reliable source at this point, but there are ample academic evidence supporting that. Anyway here is a quote from the Japanese wikipedia article on stopped syllables.

入声 (Checked tones)
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/入声
Quote:
Originally Posted by Japanese Wikipedia
日本語の漢字音における音読みでは、-i か-u の母音が挿入され、歴史的仮名遣で[フ・ク・ツ・チ・キ]で終わるものがほぼ入声であると考えてよい。
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rough translation
For the Onyomi pronunciations of kanji, characters with added vowels of "-i" and "-u" and end with historical kana orthography (fu, ku, tsu, chi, ki) are mostly considered as (relics of ) checked tones.
A google search found an article with a similar view. However the academic also pointed out that although the "fu, ku, tsu, chi, ki" suffixes can be traced back to the stopped syllables, not every single syllable is adopted in such a way. Part of them become sokuon (促音),

入声韻尾消失の過程
(The Process of Disappearance of Checked Tone Syllable Coda)

http://uwazura.up.seesaa.net/ando_ko...E4C6FEC0BC.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by 有坂秀世 - 昭和十一年四月(「音声学協会会報」第四十一号)
入声韻尾、フチツキクの明瞭の形で傳へられたてゐるものもあるが、中には促音になつてゐるものもあり、また 全く消失してゐる例も多い。
(略)
入声韻尾の微弱化の中で、或者は恐らく我が国で傳誦される間に起つたものであらう。
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rough translation
Although part of the checked tone syllable coda was adopted in a clear manner as "fu, chi, tsu, ki, ku," another part of them had become sokuon. There are also ample examples of complete disappearance of such (in certain kanji pronunciations)

(...)

It is possible that such kind of weakening of stopped syllable coda occured during the propagation (of kanji) in our country.

Further reading:
Entering tone in Sino-Xenic (Japanese)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checked_tone#Japanese
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Last edited by Doraneko; 2010-07-28 at 04:20. Reason: Polished the translations a bit. I am not a linguist btw so don't hold me responsible for TL errors... m(_ _)m
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Old 2010-07-28, 13:52   Link #8406
Roger Rambo
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Remember that recent tide of classified documents that wikileaks released awhile ago? Well apparently the names of hundreds of informants for the US in Afghanistan were revealed.

Quote:
One specific example cited by the paper is a report on an interview conducted by military officers of a potential Taliban defector. The militant is named, along with his father and the village in which they live.

"The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans," a senior official at the Afghan foreign ministry told The Times on condition of anonymity. "The U.S. is both morally and legally responsible for any harm that the leaks might cause to the individuals, particularly those who have been named. It will further limit the U.S./international access to the uncensored views of Afghans."

One former intelligence official told the paper that the Taliban could launch revenge attacks on "traitors" in the coming days.
Julian does understand that some of these people might be fucking murdered if their identities are out in the open?
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Old 2010-07-28, 14:34   Link #8407
Xion Valkyrie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Rambo View Post
Remember that recent tide of classified documents that wikileaks released awhile ago? Well apparently the names of hundreds of informants for the US in Afghanistan were revealed.



Julian does understand that some of these people might be fucking murdered if their identities are out in the open?
I'm hoping that it's an intentional leak and that the names are all of people that are actually in the Taliban who aren't actually informants, in order to throw the Taliban into disarray. One can only hope.
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Old 2010-07-28, 14:51   Link #8408
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if these guys don't get out fast, you going to starting hearing dead bodies turning up soon.
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Old 2010-07-28, 14:52   Link #8409
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
I'm hoping that it's an intentional leak and that the names are all of people that are actually in the Taliban who aren't actually informants, in order to throw the Taliban into disarray. One can only hope.
Probably a false hope, given the way wikileak ''released'' the document.
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Old 2010-07-28, 14:59   Link #8410
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
I'm hoping that it's an intentional leak and that the names are all of people that are actually in the Taliban who aren't actually informants, in order to throw the Taliban into disarray. One can only hope.
Hope that completely uninvolved people get murdered?
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Old 2010-07-28, 15:13   Link #8411
TinyRedLeaf
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Well, the freedom of expression does not come free — there is always a price to pay.

One can only hope that those who benefited from the leak can live with it.
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Old 2010-07-28, 16:30   Link #8412
bladeofdarkness
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who, exactly, "benefited" from the leak ?
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Old 2010-07-28, 17:05   Link #8413
Vexx
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My opinion at the moment (subject to change) is that someone wanted to recreate a worthy leak in history -- the Pentagon Papers, which basically showed how badly we were screwing up the Vietnam war and getting lots of people killed for someone's fun and profit.

You can already hear the floating administrative heads on both sides of the aisle babbling about how all that was "in the past" and "mistakes were made" and "we're doing better now". We'll see after everyone parses it out whether anything will actually happen if actual crimes are uncovered. The US seems to have become completely adept at not blaming anyone for anything.
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Old 2010-07-28, 17:22   Link #8414
Xion Valkyrie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Hope that completely uninvolved people get murdered?
I meant known Taliban members, but not real informers.
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Old 2010-07-28, 18:26   Link #8415
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
I meant known Taliban members, but not real informers.
Do you realize than those real informer are most likely to be linked to the Taliban ? And even if the leak designated false-informant-real-Taliban their family are likely to get trouble as well .

This time, those Wikileak guy just wanted to make a big coup, without thinking of the consequence or seriousness.
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Old 2010-07-28, 22:18   Link #8416
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
I'm hoping that it's an intentional leak and that the names are all of people that are actually in the Taliban who aren't actually informants, in order to throw the Taliban into disarray. One can only hope.
This entire leak, while not really releasing any shockingly new info, is shining a bad light on the whole US war effort. I can't see why the government would want to do this.

And the majority of the informants that are listed in the documents are most likely all pretty low level. I doubt the Taliban would be much thrown into confusion over this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Well, the freedom of expression does not come free — there is always a price to pay.

One can only hope that those who benefited from the leak can live with it.
If Julian Assange's stupidity gets any of those people killed, I certainly wouldn't be upset if he suffered an accident.

You certainly don't deserve the protection of Freedom of Speech when it gets people murdered.
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Old 2010-07-28, 22:23   Link #8417
Irenicus
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^I see wikileaks' action as not at all wise, to put it very mildly, but it is consistent with what they do. However your reaction is just a knee-jerk revenge thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
This time, those Wikileak guy just wanted to make a big coup, without thinking of the consequence or seriousness.
Or they are free speech extremists, who decide on principle never to censor even if it endangers lives.

Which, if true, is kind of admirable in a way.
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Old 2010-07-28, 23:12   Link #8418
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The case for US$320,000 kindergarten teachers
Quote:
Cambridge, Massachusetts (July 27, Tue): How much do your kindergarten teacher and classmates affect the rest of your life?

Economists have generally thought that the answer was not much. Great teachers and early childhood programmes can have a big short-term effect. But the impact tends to fade. By junior high and high school (for children aged between 11 and 18), children who had excellent early schooling do little better on tests than similar children who did not — which raises the demoralising question of how much of a difference schools and teachers can make.

There has always been one major caveat, however, to the research on the fade-out effect. It was based mainly on test scores, not on a broader set of measures, like a child's health or eventual earnings. As Mr Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist, says: "We don't really care about test scores. We care about adult outcomes."

Early this year, Mr Chetty and five other researchers set out to fill this void. They examined the life paths of almost 12,000 children who had been part of a well-known education experiment in Tennessee in the 1980s. The children are now about 30, well started on their adult lives.

Lasting legacy
The Tennessee experiment found that some teachers were able to help students learn vastly more than other teachers. And just as in other studies, the effect largely disappeared by junior high, based on test scores. Yet when Mr Chetty and his colleagues took another look at the students in adulthood, they discovered that the legacy of kindergarten had re-emerged.

Students who had learnt much more in kindergarten were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds. Students who learnt more were also less likely to become single parents. As adults, they were more likely to be saving for retirement. Perhaps most striking, they were earning more.

All else equal, they were making about an extra US$100 a year at age 27 for every percentile they had moved up the test-score distribution over the course of kindergarten. A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a five-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about US$1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average.

Over time, the effect seems to grow too.

The crucial problem the study had to solve, then, was the old causation-correlation problem. Are children who do well on kindergarten tests destined to do better in life, based on who they are? Or are their teacher and classmates changing them?

What the study showed
The Tennessee experiment, known as Project Star, offered a chance to answer these questions because it randomly assigned students to a kindergarten class. As a result, the classes had fairly similar socioeconomic mixes of students and could be expected to perform similarly on the tests given at the end of kindergarten.

Yet they didn't. Some classes did far better than others. The differences were too big to be explained by randomness.

Class size evidently played some role. Classes with 13 to 17 students did better than classes with 22 to 25. Peers also seem to matter. In classes with a somewhat higher average socioeconomic status, all the students tended to do a little better.

But neither of these factors came close to explaining the variation in class performance. So another cause seemed to be the explanation: Teachers. Some are highly effective. Some are not. And the differences can affect students for years to come.

Mr Chetty and his colleagues estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about US$320,000 a year. That's the present value of the additional money that a full class of students can expect to earn over their careers. This estimate doesn’t take into account social gains, like better health and less crime.

Obviously, great kindergarten teachers are not going to start making US$320,000 anytime soon. Still, school administrators can do more than they're doing. They can pay their best teachers more. Administrators can fire more of their worst teachers. Schools can also make sure standardised tests are measuring real student skills and teacher quality, as teachers’ unions have urged.

Given today's budget pressures, finding the money for any new programmes will be difficult. But that’s all the more reason to focus our scarce resources on investments whose benefits won't simply fade away.

NYT
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Old 2010-07-29, 00:39   Link #8419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
^I see wikileaks' action as not at all wise, to put it very mildly, but it is consistent with what they do. However your reaction is just a knee-jerk revenge thing.


Or they are free speech extremists, who decide on principle never to censor even if it endangers lives.

Which, if true, is kind of admirable in a way.
a extremists is a extremists, if wikileaks don't care enough to cross out names that can get real people murder because of their belief in free speech. Then they are no different form taliban or any nationalist who think a few people getting kill is a small price for national security.
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Old 2010-07-29, 08:08   Link #8420
Roger Rambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
However your reaction is just a knee-jerk revenge thing.
Cause it's not like their actions are going to hurt anyone important. Am I right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Or they are free speech extremists, who decide on principle never to censor even if it endangers lives.

Which, if true, is kind of admirable in a way.
How the fuck is getting some poor mother fuckers heads cut off fucking admirable?

Watch a video of somebody getting their head cut off and tell me how fucking admirable it is.
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