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Old 2012-02-05, 16:10   Link #19461
monsta666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konart View Post
I find it utterly stupid. -_-
Democracies certainly have their shortcomings but without it you maybe forcing people to accept practices and ideologies they do not wish to follow. That will cause social friction particularly if those policies fail. This brings on another issue, if you don't have a democracy then it is less likely you will have accountability. If a politician fails in a democracy he loses his power but in other regimes that is less likely to happen. This can lead to long-term instabilities as the person or body in power no longer has the legitimacy to govern the land. This means any social or political reform can only happen through revolution which is inherently a chaotic process.

Democracy is not perfect and perhaps compromises can be made by having a republic. People have certain fundamental rights that cannot be altered or violated by the state but above these basic rights the state can change what it wishes. In addition citizens may need to perform certain responsibilities before gaining their full rights or full citizenship.

This other alternative could be achieved if people needed to demonstrate a certain level of intelligence and awareness/responsibility to be given the right to vote. This balance of rights/responsibilities did indeed happen in some ancient societies but then these processes are still open to corruption/abuse and certain disadvantaged people could lose out in such a social arrangement through no fault of their own. I suppose if it was embodied as a basic right that people will have access to education and the only obligation of the citizen was to pass some exam to allow them the right the vote it could work... But I guess this is another topic for discussion.
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Old 2012-02-06, 01:49   Link #19462
Tom Bombadil
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I find this article a very interesting read, which is an interview of Lee Kuan Yew (the former Prime minister of Singapore) by Spiegel, most of the interview centered on his opinion of China. It can't be called news since it is an interview done in 2005. But many points are quite relevant, and it is interesting to see how the politics have evolved and what predictions turned out to be on the mark and what not so.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...369128,00.html

Some quotations:


Quote:
SPIEGEL: When you look to Western Europe, do you see a possible collapse of the society because of the overwhelming forces of globalization?

Mr. Lee: No. I see ten bitter years. In the end, the workers, whether they like it or not, will realize, that the cosy European world which they created after the war has come to an end.
On the modernization of Chinese military:
Quote:
SPIEGEL: How do you explain that China is spending billions on military modernisation right now?

Mr. Lee: Their modernisation is just a drop in the ocean. Their objective is to raise the level of damage they can deliver to the Americans if they intervene in Taiwan. Their objective is not to defeat the Americans, which they cannot do. They know they will be defeated. They want to weaken the American resolve to intervene. That is their objective, but they do not want to attack Taiwan.
This has not gone very well for the Chinese.
Quote:
SPIEGEL: But the Americans are trying to encircle China. They have won new bases in Central Asia.

Mr. Lee: The Chinese are very conscious of being encircled by allies of America. But they are very good in countering those moves. South Korea today has the largest number of foreign students in China. They see their future in China. So, the only country that's openly on America's side is Japan. All the others are either neutral or friendly to China.
On Singapore style democracy:

Quote:
SPIEGEL: During your career, you have kept your distance from Western style democracy. Are you still convinced that an authoritarian system is the future for Asia?

Mr. Lee: Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people's position. In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I'd run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that...
The article talks much more than what is quoted here. I recommend it to any one who is interested in East Asian politics.
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Old 2012-02-06, 03:05   Link #19463
ganbaru
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Analysis: India's military build up may be too little too late?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8120LH20120203
Quote:
India's 1.3 million-strong armed forces, hobbled by outdated equipment and slow decision-making, are undergoing an overhaul as defence priorities shift to China from traditional rival Pakistan.
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Old 2012-02-06, 05:00   Link #19464
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It's ironic that outsiders would quote Mr Lee Kuan Yew here, of all places. I am of the feeling that the typical AnimeSuki member would not find his brand of politics very much to his or her tastes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
I find this article a very interesting read, which is an interview of Lee Kuan Yew (the former Prime minister of Singapore) by Spiegel, most of the interview centered on his opinion of China. It can't be called news since it is an interview done in 2005. But many points are quite relevant, and it is interesting to see how the politics have evolved and what predictions turned out to be on the mark and what not so.
As you say, there's nothing "new" in what he said in the interview. Mr Lee has always excelled at giving cogent "big picture" analyses. Some, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad, would say that he's a man whose ambitions were too big for just Singapore. Dr Mahathir may not be far wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
On Singapore style democracy:
Quote:
Mr. Lee: Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people's position. In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I'd run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that...
In response to the above, many Singaporeans, including myself, would say that Mr Lee is a man of his times. If you're interested in his hard-nosed assessment of race and religion and their impact on politics, I'd recommend his recent book, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.

It's not that Mr Lee is wrong. Rather, it's more that circumstances have changed. The fault lines still exist, but I would argue that his stubborn insistence on seeing things along those lines is part of the reason we are still struggling with these issues to this very day. There was a time when, in hindsight, it probably was expedient to do away with certain civil freedoms for the sake of harmonious relations (and hence a stable environment for economic growth). But that time is past.

It's telling that the late Dr Toh Chin Chye, one of the founders of the People's Action Party to which Mr Lee belongs, once said as long ago in the mid 80s that there is less press freedom in Singapore at the time than before independence. Even then, there were already people, party elders no less, who felt a need to liberalise. More so today.
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Old 2012-02-06, 05:19   Link #19465
warita
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I must say I never understood the need of humanity to form fractions, groups, communities, etc that will be in conflict with each other.

It leaves me with the feeling that people need to have a conflict with somebody in order to be happy and when there is none, they create one.

I mean, why it is difficult for people in a multiculti country to get along? Why cant you let the neighbours speak the language they want and pray to the god they want? Why does it always end with one side yelling: "look what they are doing", "we need to pass a law to prevent that" and similar? Seriously people, dont you have other things to worry about such as earning a good living, raising your kids properly and minding your own business?

Seeesh.....
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Old 2012-02-06, 05:36   Link #19466
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Fact is acting like combative dicks got us to the top of the food chain. Unfortunately now that there are no more sabretooth tigers, mammoths and Neanderthals to exterminate we're pretty much left with each other to be dicks at. Kinda self destructive survival of the fittest.
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Old 2012-02-06, 06:07   Link #19467
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It's ironic that outsiders would quote Mr Lee Kuan Yew here, of all places. I am of the feeling that the typical AnimeSuki member would not find his brand of politics very much to his or her tastes.
You underestimate foreigners - the group of idiots who think that Singapore is a satellite state of China or a sub-state of an Islamic Caliphate consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines is only a minority of the world population.

Quote:
As you say, there's nothing "new" in what he said in the interview. Mr Lee has always excelled at giving cogent "big picture" analyses. Some, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad, would say that he's a man whose ambitions were too big for just Singapore. Dr Mahathir may not be far wrong.
I am just glad we have this guy. A few politicians would be as stubbornly idealistic to cast Twilight Spark all over the place and still think of his people's future at the same time.

Quote:
In response to the above, many Singaporeans, including myself, would say that Mr Lee is a man of his times. If you're interested in his hard-nosed assessment of race and religion and their impact on politics, I'd recommend his recent book, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.

It's not that Mr Lee is wrong. Rather, it's more that circumstances have changed. The fault lines still exist, but I would argue that his stubborn insistence on seeing things along those lines is part of the reason we are still struggling with these issues to this very day. There was a time when, in hindsight, it probably was expedient to do away with certain civil freedoms for the sake of harmonious relations (and hence a stable environment for economic growth). But that time is past.

It's telling that the late Dr Toh Chin Chye, one of the founders of the People's Action Party to which Mr Lee belongs, once said as long ago in the mid 80s that there is less press freedom in Singapore at the time than before independence. Even then, there were already people, party elders no less, who felt a need to liberalise. More so today.
I couldn't agree more. In the 1980s the world became increasingly polarised with a number of faction shifts between Communism and Democracy (Vietnam opening up, Fall of the Berlin Wall, etc). In this time, it is easy for people to be misled by all the political chaos; fringe groups and anarachists may take opportunity of the doubt within the populance to seize power for their own gains.

The real problem with the "liberalisation" of the media is that Singapore is way too small to have a "media industry", much less a need for garbage like ACTA, COICA, or any other jurisdiction putting forward "IP". Also in the field of "soft products", a couple of my friends/merchants who deal in import-export of technologies have stated that hiring workers to build a "corporation" is incredibly stupid business sense due to our landmass and populance - the only corporation is the republic itself.

That is the most serious problem of our country IMO. All the kids out there are looking to be hirelings rather than self-employment or entrepreneurship, and the government isn't exactly helping by discouraging radical ideas in the field of R&D and business* despite having a generally good legal system to protect patent technology. Shanghai is way ahead of us in digital technology development despite being part of the "backward China" (or some people like to put it), but why are we lagging behind despite modernising faster in the 1970s and 1980s?

And the local politics drove the last nail in the coffin. In the previous election, I don't see any outstanding candidates at all who put forward their visions and Singapore's place in the world (I would rather it be the Solar System) in this century (other than a satellite state of China), but rather kept re-iterating on the often-ignored social problems, or mudsling each other.

I don't have much confidence in this country. Unfortunately the moon isn't colonised yet.

* - Don't talk to me about Spring Singapore. It is underfunded and staffed by mostly overly-conservative optimists. Pardon the oxymoron.
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Old 2012-02-06, 08:45   Link #19468
Tom Bombadil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
As you say, there's nothing "new" in what he said in the interview. Mr Lee has always excelled at giving cogent "big picture" analyses. Some, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad, would say that he's a man whose ambitions were too big for just Singapore. Dr Mahathir may not be far wrong.
I don't get it. Do you mean it is not surprising that he give good insights? Or do you mean what he said is common knowledge? Personally, I don't believe the latter is true. I don't know anybody talking about 10 bitter years for European workers before the financial crisis. For all those country-bashing that come out of nowhere in this thread, I'd say the article will be new to them.

Quote:
In response to the above, many Singaporeans, including myself, would say that Mr Lee is a man of his times. If you're interested in his hard-nosed assessment of race and religion and their impact on politics, I'd recommend his recent book, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.

It's not that Mr Lee is wrong. Rather, it's more that circumstances have changed. The fault lines still exist, but I would argue that his stubborn insistence on seeing things along those lines is part of the reason we are still struggling with these issues to this very day. There was a time when, in hindsight, it probably was expedient to do away with certain civil freedoms for the sake of harmonious relations (and hence a stable environment for economic growth). But that time is past.

It's telling that the late Dr Toh Chin Chye, one of the founders of the People's Action Party to which Mr Lee belongs, once said as long ago in the mid 80s that there is less press freedom in Singapore at the time than before independence. Even then, there were already people, party elders no less, who felt a need to liberalise. More so today.
I guess it is universal that people believe that there nation is ruled by old people who is lagging behind the time. Yes, you are quite right in your assessment. As the saying goes, absolute power brings absolute corruption. An authoritarian system inevitably degenerates over time (the cycles of Chinese dynasties, lol), and democracy is a better way for long term prosperity.
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Old 2012-02-06, 09:04   Link #19469
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
The real problem with the "liberalisation" of the media is that Singapore is way too small to have a "media industry", much less a need for garbage like ACTA, COICA, or any other jurisdiction putting forward "IP". Also in the field of "soft products", a couple of my friends/merchants who deal in import-export of technologies have stated that hiring workers to build a "corporation" is incredibly stupid business sense due to our landmass and populance - the only corporation is the republic itself.
I don't know, look at Hong Kong.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are similiar in size, but Hong kong has managed to have a very succesful film industry, while Singapore...

However, the HK film industry is historically weak right now, and I'd say the PRC will probably tighten it's grip on the industry, perhaps snuffing it out.

This creates a very good opportunity for a country like Singapore, to become the new media hub of South East Asia.

Furthermore, Singapore can probably draw on talent from all over South East Asia (just as it already draws unskilled workers), while Hong Kong is more restricted.

Malaysia and Indonesia are not places where you can expect to be free of government interference over what you make, Singapore can capitalise on that fact to draw all the Malaysian and Indonesian talent to their shores. And if the PRC does clamp down on the HK media, they could probably draw some of HK's industry as well.
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Old 2012-02-06, 09:16   Link #19470
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
I must say I never understood the need of humanity to form fractions, groups, communities, etc that will be in conflict with each other.
I am not familiar with your environment, but it's easy to "understand". People are naturally drawn to others who look like them, talk like them and share similar customs and beliefs. It's part of what defines our individual identities, the way we relate to a larger community we call our own.

And the delineation of such identities from those of other communities stem in part from our innate need to emphasise our "individuality". You see this on a micro scale every day here in AnimeSuki, as fans defend their favourite genres from detractors. Extrapolate the cases to a macro scale, and you will easily see how we got to where we are today.

Ideally, such discussion should not be personal. But when is it ever not, especially when what defines you is at stake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
I mean, why it is difficult for people in a multiculti country to get along? Why cant you let the neighbours speak the language they want and pray to the god they want?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Fact is acting like combative dicks got us to the top of the food chain.
Between idealism and pragmatism, I will always favour what works. Cynicism is a result of placing too much emphasis on ideals that can't fully work in practice. And politics... is the art of the possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
I don't get it. Do you mean it is not surprising that he give good insights? Or do you mean what he said is common knowledge?
What I mean is that Mr Lee frequently gives the qualification that he is no expert on matters in countries other than Singapore (and, perhaps, Malaysia). In that respect, yes, whatever "insight" he gives is, in fact, common knowledge. The crucial difference, however, lies in his ability to synthesise such knowledge into a coherent worldview. Mr Lee is completely exceptional in this regard. He is doubly blessed with superb eloquence. A self-described political "street fighter", his verbal sparring almost always hits where it hurts. He never hesitates to call a spade a spade, and has got into trouble more than once because of his straight talk.

Contrast this with the two-faced nature of politicians all over the world, and it becomes easy to see why so many foreigners admire the freshness of his honesty. (Local opponents, past and present, are more likely rue his words...)
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Old 2012-02-06, 09:28   Link #19471
warita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Between idealism and pragmatism, I will always favour what works. Cynicism is a result of placing too much emphasis on ideals that can't fully work in practice. And politics... is the art of the possible.
Personally, I am a pragmatic person myself, even though my previous post might have looked otherwise. However, I believe that idealism is a what makes a civilised society civilised. Our moral believes are based on what we think is right and wrong, wouldnt you agree?
Thats why saying that idealistic ideas have little to do with reality is not quite correct in my opinion.

And no, I dont understand conflicts as you described them. So you said that people have their identity, religion and culture.... sure. They want to protect it.... I still see no problem. But why on earth do they push their ideas on others, who have a different belief? Now this is where I stop understanding.

Is it really so difficult to say: ok, this is what I believe in. And thats what my neighbour believes in. I will respect that and let him live his life as freely as I live my own.

So maybe my country of origin isnt so multicultural as Malaysia or Singapour...... yet sadly the fact that people seem to desire to have a conflict makes sure there are conflicts, albeit maybe not as strongly profiled and destabilising like in other parts of the world.
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Old 2012-02-06, 09:37   Link #19472
DonQuigleone
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If your idealistic, you will probably achieve nothing, but the people will follow you, and you will be powerful, even though you will probably ultimately fail.

If you are pragmatic, your methods will achieve success, but the people will be apathetic towards you, or even hate you, so you will not be powerful, as you will not have the mandate of the people. Again, you will ultimately fail.

Which is why the clear solution is to appear idealistic, but behave pragmatically. But then people call you two faced.


Here you can see the politicians dilemma.
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Old 2012-02-06, 10:27   Link #19473
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I don't know, look at Hong Kong.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are similiar in size, but Hong kong has managed to have a very succesful film industry, while Singapore...

However, the HK film industry is historically weak right now, and I'd say the PRC will probably tighten it's grip on the industry, perhaps snuffing it out.

This creates a very good opportunity for a country like Singapore, to become the new media hub of South East Asia.
Hong Kong is a pretty interesting place on the world map; not only is it a port city, it also is a buffer zone between SEA and China. Secondly, there are NOT an independent nation, they have always been guarded by someone else.

Therefore they can focus on industry. Singapore's problem is twofold; communists + Malay supremacists as the homeland threats + America and Russia are vying for control in this Chinese majority land while maintaining their growth towards the future.

It is both an economic and geographical problem since we are so tasty as a port city. And to compound problems, pirates and smugglers enjoy using Singapore as a gateway between Malaysia/Thailand and Indonesia/Philippines. Bootleg liquor is a small issue, but the real problems are refugees from Vietnam who end up being sold as sex slaves, and when those perverts aren't satisfied with Vietnamese girls they took Thai and Malay ones. And arms smuggling too, mostly dated Enfields, BARs, Arisaka, T-100 and Sten guns.

And the new government took a really huge gamble in inviting the Israelis to train us; had the Malaysians known, they would have invaded us and barred us from eating pork. Then China would fund Vietnam and send agents to rally the the Chinese populance in the SEA region, pissing off Australia and the 7th Fleet.

Quote:
Furthermore, Singapore can probably draw on talent from all over South East Asia (just as it already draws unskilled workers), while Hong Kong is more restricted.

Malaysia and Indonesia are not places where you can expect to be free of government interference over what you make, Singapore can capitalise on that fact to draw all the Malaysian and Indonesian talent to their shores. And if the PRC does clamp down on the HK media, they could probably draw some of HK's industry as well.
You need to study the media industry from a localised point of view.

Before inviting foreign actors, we MUST first have a strong media base. And we must have an original idea. You know what kind of original film idea did Hong Kong create?

Kung Fu movies.

Beyond the lightsaber and route 66 K-mart boot kicks, they actually used historical characters and add salt and spice to it. And we have brilliant writers who wrote sensationals about heroism and chivalry - two traits which are lacking amongst the warmongering politicians around the world at the time. That is also the reason why

They became popular also due to real martial-arts fighting and choreography - something that lingers up till today. Although not as far fetched as the Nine Suns Skill or the No Shadow Kick.

What kind of genre has Singapore produced other than Kopi-O and such? Most of the stuff are just local culture and limited in market value - Malaysia did pretty with a few people like P. Ramlee, their stuff comes across but our stuff never goes up North.

I think the problem is that we are too conservative when it comes to media development, they are always afraid of offending someone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Between idealism and pragmatism, I will always favour what works. Cynicism is a result of placing too much emphasis on ideals that can't fully work in practice. And politics... is the art of the possible.
Without killing off or locking up people if possible. I believe you know how much it costs to run Whiteley Detention Centre - those Gurkhas aren't cheap; so are their Remington 870 shotguns and Glock 17 pistols.

Politics isn't the art of the possible btw, it is the art of making others work for your dreams - pretty close to creating a stock for ice on a localised stock exchange in Antartica, except that there are many other people trying to do the same thing with their own brand of ice. And there are ones who sell a different kind of ice (meth) for the sake of enriching themselves.

Quote:
Contrast this with the two-faced nature of politicians all over the world, and it becomes easy to see why so many foreigners admire the freshness of his honesty. (Local opponents, past and present, are more likely rue his words...)
Most politicians overseas don't like him for spoiling the market when people compare him to their politicians, while the local politicians aren't smart enough to outwit him.
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Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2012-02-06 at 10:41.
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Old 2012-02-06, 10:43   Link #19474
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Between idealism and pragmatism, I will always favour what works. Cynicism is a result of placing too much emphasis on ideals that can't fully work in practice. And politics... is the art of the possible.
Calling politics "the art of the possible" isn't wrong, and it sounds nice, too. I tend to go with Henry Adams' thoughts, though: that politics is the systemic organization of hatreds. That's definitely how it plays out in America, at least.
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Old 2012-02-06, 10:58   Link #19475
solomon
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Turkey needs Europe? Turkey's Minister weighs in...

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...292297478.html
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Old 2012-02-06, 12:49   Link #19476
AnimeFan188
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Norway mass killer demands medal at court hearing

"The right-wing extremist who has admitted killing 77 people in Norway's worst
peacetime massacre told a court Monday that he deserves a medal of honor for
the bloodshed and demanded to be set free."

See:

http://news.yahoo.com/norway-mass-ki...HRlc3QD;_ylv=3
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:22   Link #19477
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeFan188 View Post
"The right-wing extremist who has admitted killing 77 people in Norway's worst
peacetime massacre told a court Monday that he deserves a medal of honor for
the bloodshed and demanded to be set free."

See:

http://news.yahoo.com/norway-mass-ki...HRlc3QD;_ylv=3
Ah.. .another "patriot".... :P I guess he's aiming for Norway's "Timothy McNutjob" slot.
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:44   Link #19478
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Ah.. .another "patriot".... :P I guess he's aiming for Norway's "Timothy McNutjob" slot.
That is not all :

Quote:
Breivik faces terror charges that carry up to 21 years in prison, but if he's deemed to be gravely mentally ill he will be sent to psychiatric care.
Wait he kills 77 people and he gets 21 years in prison? The prosecution love the number 7 or what? Why doesn't he get a death sentence?
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:50   Link #19479
monsta666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Ah.. .another "patriot".... :P I guess he's aiming for Norway's "Timothy McNutjob" slot.
You know what they say: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel!"
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Old 2012-02-06, 13:52   Link #19480
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
That is not all :



Wait he kills 77 people and he gets 21 years in prison? The prosecution love the number 7 or what? Why doesn't he get a death sentence?
the Nordic countries don't have death penalty or life imprisonment. Twenty-one is the max under the law they can get him for.
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