Iran

Iran's Nuclear Energy Rap Video

Sing along: "An armed Persian Gulf is our absolute right."

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One of Iran's hottest music videos in recent days has been, of all things, a rap-influenced song about nuclear energy. "Energy Hastei" ("Nuclear Energy") was written and performed by the underground rap singer Amir Tataloo, though maybe we should identify Tataloo as a one-time underground rapper; there isn't much "underground" about a video that was produced in cooperation with Iran's military, and whose chorus is, "An armed Persian Gulf is our absolute right."

Tataloo's video is a curious mix of peaceful and aggressive messages. An opening title card reads, "No power can prevent the Iranian nation from having peaceful nuclear energy," and the video's first half features shots of people holding signs proclaiming, in English, "Iranian People are Peaceful," "Peaceful Nuclear Energy for Everyone," and asking, "Has Iran Ever Invaded a Country?" In the meantime, Tataloo is singing (according to the video's often-awkward subtitles), "If it's bad, then it's bad for you too! But if it's good, it should be for all. If it's about peace, then this is my only intention. I am an honest Iranian that is against all violence."

However, the peacefulness soon gives way to military imagery. In some shots, Tataloo is shown singing aboard an Iranian warship, while in others he is backed by armed Iranian sailors and/or soldiers. "If it's gonna be by force then I stay in this path with all my being," sings Tataloo. He calls for "being strong and protecting your territory," and for "a power to put us ahead." The soldiers sometimes join him in the chorus, insisting on the absolute right of an armed Persian Gulf.

"The fact that the military would agree to participate on this level for a music video points to something larger," according to analyst Narges Bajoghli in an interview with the Washington-based website Al Monitor. "The cultural and political elite in the Islamic Republic believe it is of utmost importance to garner the support of Iran's youthful population, support which they know to be shaky since the 2009 Green Movement… Even though rap music has been branded as obscene by the government, the authorities know that by sanctioning a rap video about their military might, they are able to meet two of their goals: 'speak' to youth in their language and further their message of defenders of peace in a volatile region."

That may not be working out quite as planned, according to Al Monitor's own coverage. Tataloo, 32, has had a large audience, with, for example, 1.2 million followers on his Facebook page. Many Iranians remember when the long-haired, pierced, and tattooed singer was in trouble with the regime. But, writes Hanif Z. Kashani, "Iranians viewed Tataloo's latest song as disingenuous, and took to the rapper's Facebook, Instagram and comments section of his YouTube video to express their displeasure that the former flamboyant artist was now singing behind an anti-aircraft gun on an Iranian battleship. Iranians sarcastically ridiculed the video, often insulting him and accusing him of "selling out" and joining the very forces that arrested him in 2013." (Kashani adds that some Facebook supporters of Iran's military were also dismayed that the nation's forces had been used as "propaganda for such an infamous singer.")

Tataloo responded to his critics on Instagram, On July 12. "I feel bad for my friends who are posting such ugly comments," he wrote. "They should know that I'm not listening [to them], and that I'm moving forward, and God willing, very soon all of my countrymen will be full of love, supporting one another, and God willing the sanctions will be lifted… I patiently worked on this nuclear energy song project for 14 years and I believe in it."

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  1. Does he have any strong opinion about women with larger than average posteriors? And is he willing to prevaricate about his opinion?

  2. I got nothing

  3. “By Allah, we must reach out to the alienated youth who hate us just because the economy sucks, and we beat them if they party too hard. But what can we do? We don’t know how to make the economy not-suck, and we’re not going to give up on the beatings. Maybe we could produce of of those hippity-hop videos the kids like so much! And rattle our sabers so that they young people get all excited about the possibility of fighting a new war! By the beard of the Prophet, I am a genius!”

    1. Never trust a country where you can’t have a cold beer.

      1. No one needs more than one temperature of beer /Bernie Sanders

        1. So we all need to drink warm Bud? Kill me now.

          1. Yeah, so you’ll have warm cheap beer and no toilet paper. Great combination.

      2. “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

        – Frank Zappa

    2. “Maybe we could produce of of those hippity-hop videos the kids like so much! ”

      Fair’s fair, that was funny. I actually imagined a bearded mullah stroking his beard while delivering the line.

  4. An Iranian rap video. This as a story is on the same plane as the basketball dustup years back involving Alan Iverson and practice. We’re talking about a rap video. In Iran. Rap. What?

    1. People hear what they wanna hear. The Iranian military probably heard “MRAP video”. Tataloo probably heard “Hilary video”.

      Voila! And thus do government programs begin. And because no one wants to admit it was all an embarrassing mistake, the project went all the way to its final outcome, and it only took 14 years.

    2. ISIS does rap videos. Iran can’t allow rap gap to develop.

  5. From an intense discussion last night, I developed an idea – if anyone is interested in knowing what I think on a given subject, just ask.

    So, for example, you might say, “I recall you saying somewhere that you wanted to turn loose the Police for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice to look for divorced people and give them forty lashes on the bare back.”

    And I could reply, “no, I don’t actually believe that.”

    Then you could accept my denial, *or* you could claim that indeed I really do believe this and I’m just lying.

    But at least we’re talking.

    1. What is your opinion on scotch vs bourbon? It is the weekend after all.

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97ECZMvbLxg

        You see? You can ask me almost anything!

        1. Riddle me this? Why did you post the white boy version of this?

          Us non-racists go with Johnnie Lee Hooker

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3o8-bcfFvE

          1. Shoot, I relied on my white-boy radio station to tell me whose song that was.

      2. I prefer bourbon to scotch. I drank a lot of bourbon when I was younger and my experience with scotch is pretty limited. Really like the Makers 46.

        1. Eat the potato now or drink it later?

          Whoops, that was for the ethnic-joke thread.

        2. I’ve never liked bourbon,I do enjoy scotch, Glenfiddich is my favorite. I can drink Dewer’s or The Famous Grouse. The later we used to drink after after after a hunt.Great wilh a stout chaser.

          1. I have some Dewer’s. actually.

            1. Scotch is bourbon with all the pleasing qualities removed.

              And while John Lee Hooker originated that song, Jammin George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers owned that song.

      3. Neither,spark up a joint.

    2. I developed an idea – if anyone is interested in knowing what I think on a given subject, just ask.

      Crazy talk. That’s no way to discuss things on the internet!

      Actually, in a somewhat related story, last Sunday I woke up on the wrong side of the bunker and was a little more, let’s say, dramatic than I usually am. As a result, I read things into what commenters were saying that weren’t necessarily there.

      Sorry about all that, folks.

    3. For what it’s worth, I consider you an interesting voice of dissent on these forums. You have your own opinions, and while they’re often different from the popular opinions on this forum, they appear to be at least somewhat thought out.

      1. Very kind of you.

        I genuinely don’t set out to offend anyone. Some of the offense I caused is from my actual remarks, but some of the offense comes from stuff I didn’t, technically speaking, say at all.

  6. Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn

  7. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming of Mexican pot butt sex and Donald Trump.

    1. You’re saying that there’s a video?

      1. Of that I have no doubt.

      2. “You call this marijuana? I call it unsmokable crap. You’re fined, Manuel.”

        “It’s Carlos.”

        “Well, you get my point.”

        1. fired not fined

          1. I knew what you meant:)

        2. Donald Trump high would be trip. He doesn’t even drink though. Another reason he can’t be POTUS.

          1. I think Rutherford B. Hayes was a teetotaler. Or maybe it was his wife.

            1. And without checking, I’m going out on a limb and guessing Wilson didn’t drink either.

              Though it might have been amusing.

              1. He was on something when he came up with his 14 points.

                1. Dave Barry joked about Wilson drinking with the other Allied leaders and talking about his peace proposals. “Hey Woody, tell us the part where we don’t take any money or land from the enemy!”

              2. Ah, Google, is there anything you *can’t* find?

                http://www.projectknow.com/a-c…..cohol-use/

                1. I think whats important is that we incarcerate Clinton, Bush, and Obama for their pot and cocaine use.

                  1. Better late than never.

              3. His SecNav banned alcohol on ships. Probably banned sodomy and the lash too.

                1. They banned the lash around the early 1850s. I mean for the navy. It was still cool on the plantations.

                  1. Hey, I was pretty much on the nose.

                    http://www.history.navy.mil/re…..-navy.html

      3. It includes a donkey.

        1. So two asses then.

          1. Does an ass’s ass count? Cuz that would be three. Or four.

  8. Somewhat OT: During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqis used large mine fields as their first line of defense. So when the Iranians wanted to attack, they first had to clear the mines. Their first idea was to drive herds of cows or goats into the mine field, but when one animal got blown up, the rest would get scared and run away. Then came plan B: use youngsters who were fanatics for the ayatollah.
    The plan worked, because the fanatics were the only animals in Iran dumb enough to walk through a mine field on purpose.

    Muslim fanatics: dumber than goats

    But that was a long time ago. I’m sure they got it all out of their system by now:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92myDzAFgU4

    1. “Out of their systems” means “blown to pieces?”

    2. Hey, the vast majority of Muslim fanatics aren’t…. Um, never mind.

      1. “You don’t have to be crazy to run across a minefield…but it sure helps!”

      2. I remember reading an article a while back about the Iraqi soldiers who manned the check points behind the mine fields. They’d watch a bunch of kids blow themselves up in the mine fields, then the Iraqi soldiers would have to machine gun down the survivors. It got to the point where manning the machine guest nest was punishment detail, because who wants kill a bunch of kids?

        1. Muslim suicide bombers ?

    3. “Muslim fanatics: dumber than goats”

      Kids though, right?

    4. OK, here we are, 8 years later. And Iran is ready to invade and take all our women, Mexicans, deep dish, and artisanal mayo. I’m pissing my pants with fear.

      They may have also decided to call their mom “Crosspatch.”

    5. “Then came plan B: use youngsters who were fanatics for the ayatollah.”

      I was mentioning this the other day. The signing of the agreement with Iran was Munich all over again I was told. Except that the Iranians have already experienced the war that Hitler was craving for. I doubt that they are spoiling for another with an even greater enemy, and I don’t think those who claim they are have grasped the horrors that they’ve been through. I commend you Derpetologist for you willingness to look at how stupid and horrible war can be. That’s a rare quality here.

      1. The Iran-Iraq war ended over a generation ago and a whole lot of forgetting takes place among the survivors and families over that much time. Next month is the 25th anniversary of Saddam invading Kuwait. How much do American’s remember Desert Shield and Storm? I was one of the 500,000+ service members there and I forget great gobs. Hell I spent multiple years there in Round Two and those memories are beginning to fuzz. Europe finished a much greater war in 1918 and was it again 21 years later to kill 10 times more people. I am skeptical that there is a great peace movement in Iran.

        1. Right the idea that the horrors of war will lead to a movement for peace has shown time and again to be simply bullshit.

          1. “a movement for peace”

            I don’t think anyone is thinking of a movement for peace. There is too much going on in the region at the moment. Iran has implacable enemies on their border in the form of ISIS. Iran has been cooperating with the US on this front and has a history of cooperating with the US against Sunni fundamentalists. I wrote the other day that the US invasion of Afghanistan relied on Iranian cooperation. It’s been going on for years, despite the public demonization of Iran which I assume to be mostly for domestic US consumption. US and Iran have been cooperating for years and this agreement only adds a dimension of formality to the arrangement.

        2. ” I was one of the 500,000+ service members there and I forget great gobs.”

          I guess since you’ve forgotten all the sacrifices you made and all the losses you suffered, you are anxious to go back and relive the experience. What makes you so certain that the Iranians feel the same as you do? There doesn’t seem to be much of substance in your argument.

          1. I would go back and fight again. Everything that I know about the nature of war from multiple combat tours and despite it all I would go again. That is why I believe that Iran will fight. My grandparents generation bled? So what, I am young and invincible. It is simple human nature. If it wasn’t, the bloodshed of the wars of the classical age (Egypt, Macedonia, Greece, PERSIA, Rome) would have made a more peaceful species. The Balkans War, WWI, the Soviet bloodlands, WWII, the various PRC slaughters, Vietnam, unending African wars, Iran/Iraq, Balkans again and post 9/11 wars haven’t made for a peaceful species. In many unfortunate ways, war is what makes us human. The best we can do is try to ensure the beast is released in defense and not in aggression.

            1. “That is why I believe that Iran will fight.”

              Who exactly do you believe they will fight and what do you think they hope to gain from it?

              “In many unfortunate ways, war is what makes us human.”

              Spare me your mystification. There are vast stretches of human existence on the planet when war wasn’t fought. They were no less human for not engaging in warfare.

              1. I am interested in these vast stretches of human existence without war. Please cite them. War is the universal human constant. The “peaceful pueblo indians” are now known to have practiced cannibalism on their enemies. Iran never invading other countries? They routinely use their army against kurdish areas who disapprove of their inclusion? I do grant that less people per year per capita have died since 1945 in a slow general downward trend. But “worldwide” peace is a rare exception in a year.

                Iran has fought Israel for decades using surrogates and I predict they will ramp up once Iran receives its billions back.

                1. Iran is currently fighting in Iraq with small Iranian formations and providing leadership to Iraqi Shia militia formations fighting ISIS. This includes generals with experience with Hezbollah. Their national goals are clear. Keep ISIS from the Iranian border and in the event of a Iraq breakup formalize the establishment of a Shia rump state along their borders. I further believe that the mullahs and the QDF will advocate for the use of a nuke against Israel. The only real question is: do they go for the rapid breakout of a few weapons before Jan 2017 since Obama is not trusted by allies or feared by potential adversaries-or- continue slow production of materials for a decade while perfecting their delivery systems and presenting the world with a large number weapons on MRBMs or ICBMs.

                  1. Iran has been conducting a low level war against the US for decades. During a majority of the recent Iraq war Iran entered at low levels after few months. By the middle of the war (2006-2009) most of the ordnance fired by JAM and related organizations was manufactured in Iran, smuggled into Iraq, and fired at US and Iraqi Gov Forces. There was no doubt where the rockets, EFP cones etc came from since they had Iranian manufacturing marks. You could tell when we killed Iranians since nobody would claim their bodies and their clothing etc was different from the Iraqis. As pointed out elsewhere in comments Iran dialed back Hezbollah attacks on the US after they pushed too hard in Lebanon. Don’t forget the Iranian plot to murder the Saudi ambassador on US soil. Iran will continue to push the US with the goal of becoming the undisputed regional hegemon.

                    1. “Iran has been conducting a low level war against the US for decades.”

                      They’ve also been cooperating for decades. See the US invasion of Afghanistan for an example. Why not look at the positive side of the relationship and try to expand it? As you say they will become the regional hegemon, best to have warm relations with such a nation.

                  2. ” I further believe that the mullahs and the QDF will advocate for the use of a nuke against Israel. ”

                    Except they don’t have a nuke or a nuke programme. That’s according to CIA and Israeli secret services. Your beliefs are groundless.

                2. “Please cite them.”

                  From the first appearance of Homo Sapiens, about 200,000 years ago till the invention of agriculture. Their is no evidence of warfare. Cannibalism is not warfare.

                  “They routinely use their army against kurdish areas who disapprove of their inclusion?”

                  That’s the basis of your fear of Iran? I don’t find it all that alarming to be honest.

    1. That’s hilarious.

      1. It’s tremendous.

  9. So I’m watching the news this morning and my parents neighborhood pops up. Where I grew up and not far from where I live currently. There’s a strip mall that has a recruitment center for one of the military branches. Anyway, there is a couple rednecks sitting out in the parking lot with rifles “guarding” the center from a potential terrorist attack.

    1. I wish they had the video posted on their website cause these guys just look the part so much.

    2. In the immortal words of Bullet Tooth Tony, “Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.”

      1. The guy they were interviewing appears to have a Remington Nylon 66 .22. I’m not aware of any other rifles with that distinctive diamond. Not exacly my first choice.

        1. For all you know he can put five bullets into a playing card from 200 yards in two seconds with that gun.

          It wouldn’t be my first choice either, but maybe it’s his first choice for a reason. Shifty Powers never had anything but a single shot .22, until they issued him a Garand.

  10. Chattanooga Shooter Worked at Nuclear Power Plant in Northeast Ohio

    http://www.abc6onyourside.com/…..apVnPlVg4k

    1. FTA: FirstEnergy tells ABC 6 Investigators Abdulazeez worked at the nuclear plant from May 20 to May 30, 2013. A spokesperson says Abdulazeez never entered the secured area of the plant and was let go because he did not meet the minimum employment requirements.

      Nice job there, dumbasses. Let’s hire someone without ensuring they meet the minimum job requirements and then let them go ten days later.

      Meh, I guess it’s a byproduct of the Obama economy getting us to full employment. People can’t even do background checks before they hire people because the applicant pool is just so shallow for engineer jobs at nuclear power plants.

      1. Chances are it was the security clearance they were waiting on, which returned unsatisfactory.

        1. That is what I thought as well, but multiple news sources report that he failed the “whizz quiz” aka drug test. Since he had more a recent drug arrest I think the reports have a better than 50% chance of being correct.

  11. Even without this video, it should be obvious to everyone that Iran’s does not want to enrich its own uranium for civilian purposes for three reasons:

    1) The United States and/or Iran’s Russian ally could provide Iran with non-weapons grade enriched uranium; in fact, I recall the United States having offered to do so. As I recall, I ran turned the offer down.

    2) By its actions, Iran would rather suffer a decade of economically crippling sanctions–with annual inflation rates that bounced between 20% and 40%, high unemployment, etc.–rather than forgo the ability to enrich its own uranium. The only reason they’d suffer that for a decade, rather than come back into compliance with the NPT, is because their enrichment program was for weapons purposes.

    3) They enriched their uranium in secret! That’s how they violated the NPT. They were allowed to enrich their own non-weapons grade uranium out in the open where the inspectors could sign off on it. But they chose to enrich their uranium in secret instead. Why would they do that if it wasn’t for weapons purposes?

    1. Why would they do that if it wasn’t for weapons purposes?

      For the same reason our government would tell the IAEA to take a hike, or,for the same reason you would tell the cops to go take a hike if they knocked on your door for an unwarranted “surprise” inspection. They’re a sovereign nation that should have the right to tell any other nation to fuck off and leave them alone when it comes to internal decisions.

      1. 20%-40% inflation for ten years–amid the Arab Spring knockin’ at the door in Syria.

        Value of the currency dropping like a rock.

        Unemployment up in the 20% range.

        Ten years.

        All because they don’t want the IAEA to see that they’re doing nothing wrong?

        It was so egregious, neither their Russian allies nor the Chinese would lift a finger to save them from sanctions.

        1. I’d do the same thing if I was the head of state. Except if be at the UN raising hell at them”sanctions” other nations were trying to impose on me merely because they already had nuclear power and/or nuclear weapons and wanted to remain in a position of power over me without me even being permitted from developing cheap nuclear power or a nuclear defensive deterrent from invasion since a pretty nearby power (like Saudi Arabia) had a close nuclear buddy and hated me for the religious beliefs of my people.

          1. That would make more sense if they weren’t signatories to the NPT with the full right to enrich their own uranium for civilian use so long as inspectors were informed and given access for inspections.

            Those are the terms of the NPT. It’s been that way since 1968.

            The NPT was meant specifically to dissuade rogue states like Iran from using the of enrichment for civilian use as a false pretense to acquire and build nuclear weapons. And Obama just gave them a free pass–for no justifiable reason that I can see.

            The best and simplest explanation is that Obama wants to be thought of as the new Jimmy Carter once he’s out of office. He’s putting his personal self-aggrandizement ahead of American security.

            It’s disgraceful. Even the progressives should be calling it disgraceful.

            1. They were signatories to the NPT because not signing it meant getting cut off from virtually all trade with developed nations. Once they developed a level of financial independence they should have just withdrawn from the treaty.

              Oh yeah, they couldn’t because the nuclear nations that had signed it (and had the ability to wage unlimited war against Iran without fear of reprisal) said that to leave it meant financial ruin.

              Some options they were given there.

              1. Didn’t they sign on to that under the Shah?

                1. “Didn’t they sign on to that under the Shah?”

                  Yeah, and the Civil Rights Act was signed under President Johnson.

                  So by that logic, I guess we don’t have to abide by the Civil Rights Act anymore?

                  1. They had a revolution between then and now, a bit different from an election.

                    1. Regime changes don’t matter.

                      You’re attacking the whole concept of a treaty.

                      And it’s interesting, too, that you seem to be making arguments for Iran that Iran isn’t even making for itself.

                      Why would anyone negotiate any future treaties with Iran if they weren’t willing to abide by the treaties the Iranian state made in the past?

                      This is a ridiculous argument in so many ways–it’s only interesting because it’s telling about how so many people approach American security these days.

                      …from our adversaries’ perspective!

                      Are you aware that Iran is a sworn enemy of the United States, that they’re a state sponsor of terrorism, that they’re already successfully launched satellites using multistage rockets, and that they’re a totalitarian regime that brutalizes and tortures its own people?

                      Does your hatred of Republicans and social conservatives run so deep, that you’d rather argue for interests of the Iranians over the security of the U.S.?

                    2. Do you think when we had our Revolution we still should have followed all the treaties of England? Especially since one big reason for our Revolution was the entangling alliances England entered us into?

                      “Does your hatred of Republicans and social conservatives run so deep, that you’d rather argue for interests of the Iranians over the security of the U.S.?”
                      Lol. Ken, when did you stop beating your wife?

                    3. I don’t know why I’m arguing with Bo, but he conveniently ignores the Treaty of Paris that ended the war.

                  2. Works for me.

              2. India, Israel, and Pakistan didn’t sign. North Korea withdrew.

                As far as unequal partners negotiating contracts in good faith goes, that’s the way the world works.

                The purpose of this contract was for the rest of the world to join the nuclear superpowers in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Many different nations thought it was in their best interests to do so for all kinds of different reasons.

                This is the way the treaty dissuades nations from developing nuclear weapons.

                Part of the treaty affirmed the right of countries to enrich their own uranium for civilian use provided they did it publicly and had it inspected. Iran gave up the right to enrich their own uranium when it started enriching uranium in secret in direct violation of the the treaty–like an armed robber willingly gives up his Second Amendment rights when he’s sent to prison for using a gun to commit an armed robbery.

                If you don’t want to be sent to prison and have your gun taken away, there’s an easy way to avoid that. Don’t use your gun to commit an armed robbery.

                Obama just gave Iran a get out of jail free card–and their guns back, too!

                1. I think a better analogy would be that Iran is like a guy who gets a gun without going through the proper background check and you think he’s now forfeited his 2nd Amendment rights.

                  1. Iran violated the treaty.

                    You don’t even seem to be able to make any cogent arguments for why you think it’s good for American security that Iran can enrich its own uranium, Bo.

                    That some Republicans wanted war with Iran in the past isn’t a good reason to do anything. Like I said, I think some people want Iran to enrich its own uranium because they hate the Confederate flag, they hate homophobes, and they hate Donald Trump, and, quite frankly, I think you might as well be one of those people.

                    If you’re not, then tell me why you think it’s in the interests of American security that Obama has capitulated to Iran and set them free to enrich their own uranium?

                    We offered to give them all the uranium they want already enriched for civilian use.

                    What exactly are you trying to accomplish by letting Iran enrich its own uranium?

                    1. “Iran violated the treaty.”

                      And the guy in my hypothetical broke the background law.

                      “What exactly are you trying to accomplish by letting Iran enrich its own uranium?”

                      I’ve explained this. Granting for the sake of argument that the deal does that, I support it because it takes us a step back from the brink of an imminent war. War’s the health of the state 9 times out of 10.

                    2. “I support it because it takes us a step back from the brink of an imminent war.”

                      Why do you believe that it’s taken us a step back from the brink of an imminent war?

                      The communists developing nuclear weapons didn’t take us a step back from the brink of an imminent war–it made war in Vietnam, Korea, Angola, Grenada possible.

                      The Iranians already have a proxy army in Hezbollah.

                      Hezbollah hasn’t attacked the United States specifically since elements of what coalesced into Hezbollah attacked our Marines in 1982. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that the Iranians are afraid we’ll take Israel’s leash off and have them go after Iran. The other is that Iran was concerned that if Hezbollah attacked the U.S., that the U.S. would retaliate against Iran directly.

                      When Iran develops a nuclear weapon and is, therefore, no longer concerned about the U.S. attacking them directly, do you think they’re going to continue to keep Hezbollah on a leash and prevent them from striking American targets?

                      How do you expect Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to react to Iran developing nuclear weapons? Aren’t they going to want their own nuclear deterrent against Iran? In fact, might not the whole NPT regime fall apart becasue of this?

                      And you think Iran enriching its own uranium is taking us back from the brink of war?

                      You’ve got it all backwards, buddy ro!

                    3. “Why do you believe that it’s taken us a step back from the brink of an imminent war?”

                      I won’t repeat this again, but it’s because where we were at before the deal was

                      1. A commitment to stop Iran from getting a weapon by whatever means necessary, period.
                      2. Those who now oppose the deal running around loudly saying that the weapon was imminent, sanctions weren’t working and we had to be more serious about threatening war.

                      If we’re committed to stopping them and sanctions and diplomacy aren’t working I think you can see what option, which remember was being pushed a lot, remained.

                    4. Again, the things you’re talking about preventing seem to be partisan voices from the other side of the aisle–rather than anything substantial.

                      What Republicans are running around saying isn’t a good reason to do or not do anything.

          2. Sloopy this is the king of false equivalence that makes libertarians look either insane or stupid to non libertarians.

            Iran’s regime is fucking evil with a capital E.

        2. Ken, let’s have a direct answer: if we dropped the deal and went back to sanctions, which remember we were told by many now opposed to the deal were not going to stop Iran from developing nukes, then do you think we should attack them to stop them?

          1. Who says it wasn’t going to stop them from developing nukes?

            I don’t think you understand Iran’s predicament.

            Iran has burned through all of its foreign currency reserves.

            If they don’t get access to international credit markets soon, their economy is about to go from awful to free fall.

            That’s what drove them to the negotiating table in the first place.

            We have them by the balls.

            There was no reason to capitulate to them–and they had every reason to capitulate to us on nuclear enrichment.

            The only reason Obama had to capitulate to them is that he’s about to be out of office. And then he’d miss his chance to make his mark on history! Who cares what happens to American security once he’s out of office? That’ll be somebody else’s fault, right?

            1. “Who says it wasn’t going to stop them from developing nukes?”

              For one Bibi and lots of his supporters. Remember his speech with the cartoon bomb? His message was that our mere sanctions weren’t stopping them and they were near the finish line.

              We were repeatedly told during the sanctions that they weren’t doing the job.

              1. Are you under the impression that Netanyahu supports letting Iran out from under the sanctions or letting them enrich their own uranium?

                Let me disabuse you of that notion.

                Take it straight from the horse’s mouth:

                http://www.forbes.com/sites/st…..ve-forbes/

                1. Of course now that the sanctions are being dropped he wants them, but when they were in effect he said they weren’t working and rattled those sabers extra hard.

                  I think you know this and it’s why you elided my question preferring to answer whether he now prefers the sanctions not be dropped. Heck eve John admits that Bibi said the sanctions weren’t working, he just says now we know he and his supporters were wrong.

                  1. The sanctions have been repeatedly tightened.

                    They weren’t going to work as tame as they were originally.

                    Freezing access to their foreign currency reserves in banks in signatory countries and cutting off their access to international credit markets is what really drove them to negotiating table.

                    Sanctions can and do work–depending on what the goal is. They typically won’t drive someone out of power or make them retreat from a foreign invasion, but they will drive people to the negotiating table.

                    Once they’re at the negotiating table, though, you need a negotiator that’s willing to stand behind their cards. And we hold them all. Seeing Obama fold is beyond belief. It would be as if Reagan had capitulated to everything the Soviets wanted at Reykjavik. We held all the cards. We called their bluff. The Soviets eventually folded. This is the same thing, only worse. The Iranians don’t have any cards to play at all.

                    I’m giving Obama the benefit of the doubt by saying he did it for personal aggrandizement. The other theory is that he’s just a complete idiot, and the Iranians took advantage of him.

                    1. So your side was saying sanctions don’t work and rattling the sabers, and so we negotiated this deal to walk us back from the brink and now y’all are saying, ‘hey, don’t drop those sanctions, they really were working *now,* forget all that stuff we were saying before!’

                      We’ve had some bad recent experiences with people changing their stories while saber rattling re the ME Ken. Lots of people are going to be extra wary of that now.

                    2. As to Obama and Kerry’s probable motivation here: we had Bibi and GOP hardliners saying the sanctions weren’t working and calling for serious threats of strikes (Bibi had a program where pilots were constantly kept at the ready in order to show the U.S. and others they were seriously considering this). Obama had fecklessly drawn his red line: we *would* not allow Utan to get the bomb, period. Bibi was telling everyone the bomb was imminent. So Obama and Kerry, being traditional post Vietnam Democrats were terrified of being on the brink of the start of a large scale war and so they pushed hard for a deal to walk us back. I don’t trust Obama generally but I do trust recent Democrat administrations to be self interestingly terrified over presiding over a major conflict with the potential for lots of Americans coming home in body bags (that lowers the approval numbers). If that cravenness leads them to do something taking us a step back from a major conflict, I approve. Waiting for a pol to do something that is right for the right reason is a fool’s errand.

                    3. “So your side was saying sanctions don’t work and rattling the sabers”

                      My side?

                      What are you talking about “my side”?

                      You mean the side of American security?

                      Is this all about Republican v. Democrat for you?

                    4. I meant the side that now embraces sanctions but before was running around saying they weren’t working and rattling sabers. And btw I think that kind of thinking rarely promotes American security in the long run.

                    5. So your side was saying sanctions don’t work and rattling the sabers

                      I don’t recall Ken ever saying that .

                    6. Ken may not have said it, but as I recall the spokesmen for his side said it quite clearly.

                    7. “This is the same thing, only worse. The Iranians don’t have any cards to play at all.”

                      But this is not a card game. There is a clock and the clock is ticking. ie, the status quo you are desperate to maintain is illusory and the advantages you want to maintain are slipping away. With every tick of the clock, the US position grows weaker and weaker. Forget your online poker playing experiences and make the deal while the US enjoys a position of strength. It won’t last forever.

                    8. The clock is in our favor.

                      Iran is hurting. They’re going to make Greece look like a cake walk.

                      We’re not hurting.

                    9. “We’re not hurting.”

                      Exactly. All the more reason to take advantage of the US position of strength and get an agreement. The clock is not in US favour. In Afghanistan the Taleban get more and more powerful. Same with ISIS in the Arab world. Negotiate from a position of strength is a lesson no poker player needs to heed. Problem is, this is not a poker game, no matter how badly you want to believe it is.

    2. “The United States and/or Iran’s Russian ally could provide Iran with non-weapons grade enriched uranium”

      I remember Turkey and Brazil offering to provide Iran with the uranium and Iran was willing. It was the US that objected to the deal and it never proceeded. I’m not sure what you are referring to.

      “The only reason they’d suffer that for a decade”

      I think the sanctions are a lot more about US domestic politics than any fear of an Iranian military programme which doesn’t even exist according to the secret services of both Israel and the US, outfits that would be in the best position to know about such things.

      “Why would they do that if it wasn’t for weapons purposes?”

      But they don’t have a weapons programme. If you have any knowledge that such a programme exists, don’t waste time chatting on this board, inform your superiors at once. American Security is at stake!

  12. “There isn’t much “underground” about a video that was produced in cooperation with Iran’s military, and whose chorus is, “An armed Persian Gulf is our absolute right.”

    You know what’s amazing?

    Much of the American press is rapping the same thing–without any fear of torture from the Iranian government.

    Can someone explain that? It’s just about supporting Obama and not looking racist, isn’t it?

    As irrational as it sounds, I think progressives and people in the American press support the Iranians enriching their own uranium becasue they want to stick it to the Confederate Flag , Donald Trump, and the people who don’t like gay marriage!

    1. Given that a lot of the opponents of the deal were, not long ago, scoffing at sanctions and saying we needed to bomb Iran or back Israel in doing the same maybe they just don’t want such a war?

      1. Slipper slopes are slippery.

        Because you don’t want to go to war with Iran is no reason to refrain from insisting that they can no longer enrich their own uranium.

        Also, please note, now that Iran can enrich its own uranium, when they develop a nuclear weapon, it will actually make war in the region (and with the United States through proxies like Hezbollah) much more likely than it was before. Tens of thousands of Americans died in combat during the Cold War.

        If you want to avoid war with Iran, insisting that they capitulate on enriching their own uranium is the best way to achieve that.

        1. So you’re saying that they should not have the right to their own internal energy policies and should not have the right to develop weapons to defend themselves?

          When they violate the right of someone else, through invasion or attack, then they have violated the NAP. What you propose is that we violate it because we’re somehow entitled to impose our will on a sovereign nation because we think theynmightmdo something that we,don’t like.*

          *Something we never asked permission of the world to do ourselves, by the way.

          1. Hang on sloopy,

            If I breech a contract, and the results of doing that are stipulated in the contract, then it’s hard to say that the judge enforcing the contract on me is inflicting something on me against my will.

            My will was expressed when I duly signed and dated the contract.

            My will was expressed when I willfully and purposely breached the contract.

            If you don’t want the consequences of breaching a contract, then a) don’t sign the contract and/or b) don’t breech the contract.

            In the contract, America and the world pledged to respect Iran’s right to enrich their own uranium for civilian use. The consequences of breaching the contract by enriching uranium in secret were also stipulated and well known. Iran started enriching uranium again after it was found to be in direct violation of the NPT–that was also an expression of Iran’s will.

            We’re not inflicting anything on Iran that Iran didn’t either agree to or willingly subject itself to. They simply bet that they could get a nuclear device tested before they ran out of foreign currency reserves. They lost that bet. That’s where we are today and why.

            1. I remember the last war we fought in the ME that was largely justified because the nation in question was said to be imminently close (though the evidence for this moved around, just like here) to developing nukes in breach of international agreements. It went really well for everyone involved, right?

              1. Again, Bo, you seem to be thinking in clearly Republican v. Democrat terms, and that’s very interesting to somebody, I’m sure.

                It just isn’t interesting to me.

              2. I remember the last war we fought in the ME that was largely justified because the nation in question was said to be imminently close (though the evidence for this moved around, just like here) to developing nukes in breach of international agreements.

                1) No one is talking about an invasion. They are talking about increasing the sanctions.

                2) One of the reasons that there was doubt about mwd in Iraq is that inspectors had been crawling all over the country for years. The goal of the sanctions was to allow similar access to inspectors in Iran.

          2. Rights apply to individuals. Disallowing a murderer from owning a gun isn’t removing their right to defend themselves in any coherent sense. The idea that a illegitimate leader who controls the people of some region through violence retains a right to defense is not in line with the NAP. Your speaking of Iran as though it’s people are being denied rights by the international community, and as though the policies of Iranian leadership have any connection to the people. The people of Iran are being denied rights by their government. The U.S. should not want to support that government.

            I don’t believe a nation becomes sovereign just because they gain the military power to control people. The nation includes the people in it. The nation includes the people in it, and when the people in it are essentially servants there is no claim to sovereignty.

        2. Let’s say we demand they capitulate and then they don’t. Then what?

          Remember there’s a backstory here. A justifiably war weary public has been hearing a steady drumbeat of ‘we must not let Iran develop a weapon, they’re almost there, and all options are on the table to be used to prevent that.’ It certainly seemed like we were careening to another war in the ME and the last one was a huge disaster based on incompetence at best and lies at worse. I think the people are willing to give the deal the benefit of the doubt because it takes us a step back from that path and where it was going.

          1. Let’s say we demand they capitulate and then they don’t. Then what?

            Ramp up the sanctions.

            Selectively bomb ports and rail lines to cut them off from world trade.

            Engage in targeted killings of their leaders.

            No invasion required.

            1. “No invasion required.”

              Great plan. It worked so well with North Korea, it’s just gotta work with Iran. You are fantasizing, Zaytsev. The US will not do any of those actions for the simple reason you seem determined to ignore. While US is sanctioning, bombing and murdering, Iran is going to retaliate.

            2. “Let’s say we demand they capitulate and then they don’t. Then what?”

              There certainly isn’t any reason for us to capitulate now.

              The only reason we would capitulate is if they successfully tested a nuclear device. Then the point would be moot. No point in trying to prevent someone from developing something they already have.

              But they couldn’t do that. They tried, but they failed…

              They’re out of time. They’re out of money.

              No reason for us to capitulate. They’re the ones that are hurting.

              We’re not.

              No reason for Obama to give up I can see except for self-aggrandizement.

              1. “They’re the ones that are hurting.”

                Sanctions supporters never seem to realize that those with whom you are negotiating with are not hurting. They’re doing fine, thank you. It’s your every day Iranian who’s hurting and he’s not likely to get within 100 miles of the negotiating table. North Korean, Cuban and Iraqi sanctions show that they serve to strengthen the regime’s hold over people, making them ever more reliant on government hand-outs etc. The notion that hurting a population might work against a democracy or a regime intent on shoring up a liberal image, but Iran is not one of these.

                1. “Sanctions supporters never seem to realize that those with whom you are negotiating with are not hurting.”

                  You’re just making shit up. Here’s what’s really going on.

                  “Iran’s economy is deteriorating rapidly, in large measure due to the sanctions. Inflation is rampant. In October 2012, Iran’s currency, the rial, dropped by 40 percent ? within a single week. The inflation rate last May was over 40 percent, and hit 45 percent in June. Iranians report food prices increasing dramatically from one day to the next. Ordinary business becomes almost impossible to manage, as merchants cannot set prices that will be accurate even the next day. Income from oil sales has been cut in half due to the sanctions. But the oil industry is responsible for about 20 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $870 billion, and generates 80 percent of Iran’s income from foreign exchange. The oil industry also generates about 50 percent of government revenue, which impacts not only Iran’s military, but also the rest of Iran’s governmental functions, including education and health care.

                  —-Foreign Policy

                  http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/…..sanctions/

                  1. Foreign Policy Continued…

                    “At the same time, Iran’s industrial manufacturing is in free fall. This is partly because foreign companies, such as Hyundai and Peugeot, are pulling out. But it is also because Iranian factories cannot operate without imports of raw materials, machinery, and spare parts. The EU recently prohibited the export of basic metals to Iran, including steel. The cost of steel in Iran has now doubled, crippling several of Iran’s critical industries, including construction, shipbuilding, and transportation. As a result, the production of automobiles in 2011 was 40 percent less than in 2010.”

                    The collapse of industry has in turn triggered a sharp increase in unemployment. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran found that some two million workers involved in the automobile industry had been laid off due to plant closures. In September 2012, one economist reported that in the prior 12 months, an estimated 40 percent of the men in Iran’s major cities had lost their jobs. Unsurprisingly, as unemployment goes up, and prices increase almost daily, bankruptcies have tripled in the last three years.”

                    —-Foreign Policy

                    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/…..sanctions/

                    Meanwhile, the purpose of the sanctions–to drive Iran to the negotiating table–was completely successful.

                    1. “Meanwhile, the purpose of the sanctions–to drive Iran to the negotiating table–was completely successful.”

                      I disagree. The sanctions were for domestic political reasons. The US doesn’t give a damn about Iranian uranium capacity, and the results of the negotiations show this.

                      “September 2012, one economist reported that in the prior 12 months, an estimated 40 percent of the men in Iran’s major cities had lost their jobs.”

                      It’s not ‘death to the ayatollahs’ these jobless men of yours are shouting, it’s ‘death to america.’ You seem to believe they’ll change their tune after a few more years of maintaining the status quo. The world may have other things in mind for you.

                    2. “I disagree. The sanctions were for domestic political reasons. The US doesn’t give a damn about Iranian uranium capacity, and the results of the negotiations show this.”

                      Are you just making shit up?

                      “Earlier this year senators wrote to the European Union urging it to close a “significant loophole” that was allowing Iran to continued access to euro-denominated reserves, but despite negotiations with the US Treasury, no deal has been reached.

                      “With the EU having taken no action and talks with Iran continuing to drag on without progress, the time has come for the Senate to take action to close this sanctions loophole,” the Senators said in a statement announcing the legislation.

                      “Closing the foreign currency loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. We urge international financial regulators, including those from the European Union, to issue regulations to comply with this legislation.”

                      The legislation is not expected to be signed into law until mid-July or August, however it will hit European businesses and companies with immediate effect because it will be applied retroactively to avoid giving Iran time to circumvent the new controls.”

                      —-May 2013

                      The Telegraph

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..phole.html

                    3. The Telegraph Continued…

                      “We are putting financial institutions around the world on notice that, effective tomorrow, you must halt all foreign currency transactions on behalf of blacklisted Iranian banks and sectors or risk being cut off from the U.S. financial market,” the Senators said.

                      The legislation will affect not just Iran’s euro-denominated assets, but also any attempts by Iran to convert its overseas foreign exchange reserves into local currency in foreign banks ? a tactic it has used to finance imports and reduce growing monthly budget deficits.

                      Sanctions have already halved Iran’s oil sales, triggering soaring inflation in the country and a precipitous drop in the value of the Iranian currency that has hit middle classes hard. IMF predictions show the economy ? a key factor in Iran’s presidential elections scheduled for June 14 ? shrinking by 1.3pc in 2013.

                      “This is a clever move by the Senate and will have a significant impact on Iran’s finances that could bring forward the economic cripple-date by months, if not more,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, a Washington think-tank that has advised the Obama administration on Iran sanctions policy.”

                      —-May 2013

                      The Telegraph

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..phole.html

                    4. The “economic cripple date” was widely discussed at the time. The whole purpose of the last round of sanctions was to make Iran burn through its foreign currency reserves before it could develop and test a nuclear weapon.

                      That was the point of the sanctions, and the sanctions worked exactly as hoped.

                      And then Obama gave it all away for nothin’. He’s an egotistical ass that cares more about his legacy than he does about American security–and there was no good reason for him to capitulate.

                    5. Here, this is from 2012:

                      “They are floating this offer because sanctions are clearly hurting the regime and this will be another Iranian attempt to trade minimal concessions for sanctions relief. American negotiators need to determine whether an economic cripple date ? when Iran faces economic collapse ? occurs before or after it becomes a nuclear threshold state.

                      An economic cripple date must come at least six months before Iran reaches its nuclear threshold date since the prospect of imminent economic collapse will need time to crack the nuclear will of Iran’s supreme leader ? if that’s even possible.”

                      Washington Post, October 2012

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/….._blog.html

                    6. “And then Obama gave it all away for nothin’.”

                      What has he given away? What do you stand to lose with the signing of this agreement?

                2. “It’s your every day Iranian who’s hurting and he’s not likely to get within 100 miles of the negotiating table.”

                  All of this is happening amidst the Arab Spring on their doorstep in Syria.

                  That’s why Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Army are both fighting like mad to preserve the Assad regime in Syria.

                  The sanctions have put the Iranian regime under intense pressure–which is why they came to the negotiating table. They’re hurting. They’re scared…

                  So Obama gave the farm away?!

                  1. “All of this is happening amidst the Arab Spring on their doorstep in Syria.”

                    The Arab Spring has been over for some time now. But the Syrian regime and their friends, which include Iran, Hezbollah, and the Christians, are fighting Sunni Islamists, enemies of a number of regimes in the region, even if many in the US share your views and are friendly towards them. You prefer an alliance with Sunni extremists over one with the Shia. This is also the Israeli position, I realize. I agree that Israel should do all it can to maintain good relations with ISIS and al Qaeda. I don’t see why the US should follow suit.

                    “which is why they came to the negotiating table”

                    That’s not an end in itself. If the US is going to sit at the negotiating table with Iran, the exercise has to be more than indefinitely prolonging negotiations that will lead to nowhere. There has to be an end in sight, otherwise the Iranians won’t see the point in continuing to participate in the charade.

                    1. “The Arab Spring has been over for some time now.”

                      The Arab Spring sparked the ongoing war in Syria, and Iran invested itself in the conflict to defend Assad in no small part because they were afraid of the Arab Spring turning into a Persian Summer.

                      Iranians are an oppressed people suffering a devastated economy from sanctions that are only in place because their incompetent leaders squandered their economic well being on a hunt for a nuclear weapon.

                      If the Iranian government isn’t afraid of its own people revolting, then they’re the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

                      “That’s not an end in itself.”

                      Yes it is. It was the whole point of the the latest round of sanctions, and they worked just as hoped.

                      The Iranians came to negotiate specifically because they desperately needed access to international credit markets, and Obama giving them the whole farm in exchange for magic beans–so he can make like Jimmy Carter for posterity–demonstrates, once again, that he’s the worst President since World War II.

                    2. “The Arab Spring sparked the ongoing war in Syria, and Iran invested itself in the conflict to defend Assad in no small part because they were afraid of the Arab Spring turning into a Persian Summer.”

                      Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have been friendly for years now, long before your Arab Spring hit Syria.

                      “their incompetent leaders squandered their economic well being on a hunt for a nuclear weapon.”

                      Except that according to US and Israeli secret services, Iran is not involved in making nuclear weapons, or even diverting the raw materials from its civilian programme. You are aware of this, aren’t you? If not, you owe it to yourself to keep informed and stop basing your argument on incorrect assumptions.

                      “Yes it is. It was the whole point of the the latest round of sanctions, and they worked just as hoped.”

                      I think if you spoke to the negotiators, Iranian or American, they would disagree with you. They did sign an agreement between them, after all. You think they signed it by mistake and their real purpose was to keep negotiations going pointlessly forever? Why bother with this charade? Is domestic political points you want to score? In that case, I can be persuaded, but you don’t appear to be making this argument.

                    3. “Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have been friendly for years now, long before your Arab Spring hit Syria.”

                      Are you Tulpa?

                  2. “So Obama gave the farm away?!”

                    I really don’t think I understand your objection. You say their purpose was to drive Iran to the negotiating table and they worked. What has Obama given away? You mean he actually negotiated a deal at the table the sanctions had driven the Iranians to? Obama negotiated at the negotiations? That’s what you’re upset about? Maybe you would prefer Iranian capitulation to negotiation. That would require sacrifice on the part of the US, ie she would have to fight and suffer in order to bring about an Iranian surrender. That’s simply not going to happen. The US and Iran have been cooperating for more than a decade in a struggle against Sunni extremism.

    2. Is,an armed Ken Shultz your absolute right?

      What makes Iran any different?

      I don’t support the deal at all. Because I don’t think any sovereign nation should be forced to negotiate its right to any defensive weapon or ability to develop power systems for its people. Which is what we essentially imposed on Iran.

      1. Because Iran= bad. Principals not principles, I think someone around here likes to say.

      2. Actually, there pretty good reasons to restrict weapons to various countries, especially if they are state sponsors of terrorism. If someone repeatedly threatens to kill me, and seems intent on carrying out that threat, then I’m going to do everything in my power to keep him from getting a gun.

        If a nation’s leader goes around chanting “Death to America,” then I think it is fair to take them at their word, and they really don’t like America, and wish to kill us all. So yeah, I would really prefer that the guys who go around yelling how they’re going to kill us all not get a weapon that gives them a chance to kill a shitton of us.

        1. Oh, I agree. But only because of the principal involved. By principle, Iran should be able to develop nuclear weapons.

          1. We wouldn’t care if Japan, Taiwan of SoKo developed nuclear weapons (although their big neighbor to the east certainly would) because they are peaceful and stable countries committed to participating internationally through peaceful exchange.

            Which is pretty much the opposite of Iran, in every way.

      3. Is,an armed Ken Shultz your absolute right?

        What makes Iran any different?

        I have sometimes signed contracts stipulating that I wouldn’t bring a firearm to the workplace. It was a condition of employment.

        Iran signed a contract stating more or less the same thing, and then they violated the contract.

      4. What makes Iran any different?

        For one, it’s a country and not a person. We don’t need to go over rights applying to the collective do we?

        The second difference is they are aggressors- against their own people for example. The NAP doesn’t mean you can NEVER agrees, just that you can’t initiate, and that the response should be proportional. Denying an aggressor access to a weapon meets that standard.

    3. Much of the American press is rapping the same thing–without any fear of torture from the Iranian government.

      Can someone explain that?

      The political elites in the US, which includes the national media, have been gripped by mass insanity.

  13. OT: Whoever the faculty advisor is for the yearbook staff, I’d say they should start looking for another job.

    http://www.abc6onyourside.com/…..apZvUo8KrU

    1. abc6 on your side: Come for the terrorist stories, stay for the yearbook controversies.

      1. They’re still not playing at St Andrews. I gotta do something with my Saturday morning.

        1. There are some suggestions above.

        2. I’m “working”, but if I had the day off, I might go hiking. I think I’ve lost enough weight, and have gotten back into good enough shape that I’m ready to tackle a 14er.

        3. Why waste your time watching golf in the first place?

          1. What are you, some kind of Communist?

  14. Boston Strong!

    Metalhead arrested for wearing bullet belt on bus.

    1. In this case, the Boston cops actually came out looking better than the average bus riders. A bunch of people freaked out, and called the cops. In this case, the cops actually displayed some common sense, and realized that the bullet belt was just a belt. i guess they lightened up after everybody mocked the Boston PD for freaking out after a light brite.

    2. “when a male suspect boarded the bus with what appeared to be military-grade ammunition strapped around his waist.”

      Oh god! Not THAT kind! If it was just that wimpy civilian-grade ammo (such as .300 Winchester Magnum) it would have been fine. But military-grade! The horror!

      1. Maybe an accomplice stashed an M50 machine gun under one of the seats. Which he was going to retrieve and use with his ammo belt to slaughter everyone on the bus.

        Ever think of that wise guy?

        1. Yes, it’s sarcasm.

  15. make what you will of this: http://chicago.suntimes.com/op…..fountain-4

    I’ve cried in public before. At the birth of my children. Once or twice while drunk at a sporting event. And at least once at a movie (when the girl drowned in “Bridge To Terebithia” because I never read the book!). I don’t think men crying is taboo as long as it’s genuine.

    1. There used to be a fetish about “manly tears” as opposed to the womanly sort.

      You’re at the memorial service for some person of importance to you – while the women are weeping loudly and tearing their hair, you stand there with jaw firm, but dabbing moisture from your eyes from time to time.

      Or you’re visiting the grave, and after checking to make sure you’re alone, you stand tall without making a noise, but letting the tears drip down your nose. It’s best to do this during a thunderstorm, so they can’t tell whether it’s tears or just the rain.

      1. “while the women are weeping loudly and tearing their hair” Those women are professional weepers. Typical man, doesn’t even know when she’s faking it…

      2. Oddly, in my family, and to varying degrees in the wider community, was just the opposite, or somewhat the opposite. Men was supposed to weep manfully, forcefully, not to cry helplessly like pathetic little girls. Crying from a position of power, weeping down one might say. Men cried to show feeling, never to elicit sympathy, for strong reasons, never for any pathetic reasons. Women in contrast, it was like there was no way they could cry that wasn’t shameful. All they can do is weak, effeminate, womanly tears, so there’s no way they can do it right. Thinking back, it seems like it worked that way for about every emotion. Men were supposed to express their feelings with strength and confidence, whereas women were an embarrassment whenever they stood away from dispassionate stoicism the tiniest bit.

    2. There’s still diehards who see it as sissy, but I think it’s laregly acceptable as long as it’s seen as genuine, yes.

    3. Ol’ Yeller. Anyone who doesn’t cry at the end of that movie should be locked up because they are a sociopath.

      1. ::raises hand::

        -Dewey Oxburger

      2. It’s how you do it, not whether. While the women sob and hug each other, you choke up a couple of times, wiping your eyes with a handkerchief or sleeve.

        1. But no hugging, unless you’re at a huddle in a football game.

          1. It is also OK to hug when the Vikings win the Superbowl. That, however, is purely theoretical at this point.

            1. so close and yet……

            2. That’s not a hug, that’s a totally macho manly embrace.

            3. That Dallas trade years ago kept that from happening.

              1. No, it was the Drew Pearson push off on Nate Wright in 1975 that cost them their best chance at a title.

                CHEATING FUCKING COWBOYS!!!!

            4. Gotta love Gary Anderson. 🙂

              1. See Ted? You are clearly a sociopath. You don’t realize that all of us Minnesodans just curled up in the fetal position because of your taunting reminder. You have no ability to empathize.

                Don’t you have to go iron your Brett Favre #4 jersey? Now that you Packer Backers have accepted him back into the fold.

                1. Just remember,Favre’s last pass for your team was an interception, too.

                  Not everybody is happy to have him back, but some people are still more bitter than others.

            5. You’re going to be waiting an awful long time to hug. And Tracy Porter will be haunting you in your dreams the entire time…

      3. I laughed. Probably the beginning of my dislike of Disney crap.

        1. Yeah, but you are from Wisconsin Ted. By definition you are sociopath.

          1. I’m not from Wisconsin. The Midwesterners I met my freshman year of college (1990) were nice and the New York and Boston fans were the jerks, which is how I became a Packer fan. That, and the fans owning the team. I couldn’t root for a dome team, either.

            1. I couldn’t root for a dome team, either.

              My respect for you increased.

              1. I agree with you OMwC. The Vikes were last good back in the days when the NFC North was the “Black and Blue” because none of the teams had a Dome. (Chi, Det, GB, MN) The Vikings will have a chance to win a Super Bowl only when global warning (PBUH) enables the Vikings to have a real stadium and not a dome. By that time the Packers will have several more Lombardis, the Bears will be beat by the Jaguars and the Lions will maintain their perfect SB appearance record.

                1. I firmly believe that every NFL game should be played outdoors, on real grass, and in places where there’s actually danger of bad weather. I’m the furthest thing from a Packer fan, but I think every Super Bowl should be played at Lambeau.

                  Teams in Florida or North Carolina or Arizona are a travesty.

      4. I have a thing for manipulative, tearjerky endings. Get me every time.

      5. My kindergarten class watched Old Yeller together, but I didn’t because I had to go to the dentist. Also, I never liked dogs that much.

        1. The end of Seven Samurai got me to tear up a bit: https://youtu.be/xf842rXxKwI?t=3m22s

          [conga line tune]

          Spoiler, spoiler…spoiler! spoiler, spoiler….spoiler!

          1. That’s funny. I liked the comment about “the flower” coming out of the dog.

    4. when the girl drowned in “Bridge To Terebithia”

      Umm, can a brother get a spoiler alert?

  16. So Hillary got heckled by a questioner at an event. She was asked if she’d commit to banning the extraction of fossil fuels (you read that right btw, a ban on any further extraction!). She said no, not until we had a viable alternative energy system. So she was then heckled by people demanding ‘climate action now!’ Think about the kind of fanatical crazy that found that answe unacceptable! Terrifying.

    1. Think about the kind of fanatical crazy that found that answe unacceptable!

      These people never mentally progressed past the 5th grade.

    2. Those fanatics want energy poverty. Remember *shutters* White India? He basically claimed it was a mathematical certainty that millions (maybe a even a few billion) needed to die for the human race to survive since we’ve exceeded Earth’s “carrying capacity.” These people are doomsayers and cultish. I’d go so far as to say they are malignant.

      1. Ending all fossil fuel extraction tomorrow would create more poverty and inequality here than a Bernie Sanders wet dream.

        It’s madness.

      2. He wasn’t even that honest. He actually claimed that sending the entire planet back to the stone age and making them all hunter gatherers would not result in billions of deaths or really any deaths at all.

        Those people are insane and scare the hell out of me. They really would turn lose some new virus that would kill millions.

        1. The really ironic thing about that, the environmentalists claim to be all about biodiversity and not letting species go extinct, but in the scenario of all humans becoming hunter gatherers a whole lot of animals would go extinct before the humans started dying in droves…

        2. Yeah, a bunch of hunter gatherers out looking for oil.

  17. For,some reason, governments can’t find two patches of land for atheists and Christians around the holidays but they can double-book the statehouse grounds for,this: http://www.reuters.com/article…..mesticNews

    1. “A Jacksonville, Florida, group called Black Educators for Justice expects a crowd of about 300 for its rally, planned for noon to 4 p.m. The group is run by James Evans Muhammad, a former director of the New Black Panther Party.

      “The Black Educators group wants to highlight continuing racial inequality, which Muhammad says endures despite the Confederate flag’s removal.”

      Maybe the Black Panthers and the Klanspersons can compare notes on matters of common interest, like ethnic purity.

  18. I will make a suggestion on Iran I have made before: give them an ICBM or two and tell them they have 1 month to nuke someone or they have to give it back. I call this the Joker Doctrine:

    https://youtu.be/pfmkRi_tr9c?t=2m35s

    I would appoint Charles Manson as special envoy to Iran to deliver the message:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XREnvJRkif0

  19. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci…..nkind.html

    The AI people crack me up. Computers are not going to be self aware or anything but machines that follow whatever code you feed them. To be self aware, if there even is such a thing is to be able to step out of your own logic loop and evaluate it. Machines can’t do that. If you tell a machine “never kill a human”, it won’t do it. If it does, it will do so because you gave it other rules to follow like “kill a human if it means saving two more”. You just made the machine a bit more clever but you didn’t make it self aware.

    The fact is, unless we have a soul, human beings are not self aware and don’t have free will in any meaningful way. Without a soul our brains are just very complex natural phenomena. Sure humans are unpredictable and our thinking impossible to predict or fully understand, but so is a thunderstorm. Do thunderstorms have self-awareness? Do they of their own accord decide to arise on days with low humidity and high barometric pressure?

    1. The AI people are atheists and reject the existence of a soul. And that is fine. They may be right. The problem is that they refuse to confront the implications of that and accept that humans are not self aware and have no free will. We are just a big interesting mess of neurons firing in response to stimulus. They don’t like that so they sneak a soul back into the equations and call it “consciousnesses”. That don’t know what that term even means and seem to not understand that it doesn’t even make sense in the context of a natural phenomenon, be that neurons firing in a brain or electrons moving through a circuit but they are convinced it exists and machines are “going to achieve it”. Even that statement is a logical fallacy. How does a machine, which doesn’t have a free will or consciousness achieve it? It has no will or consciousness with which to achieve it.

      The whole thing boils down to magical thinking. Will machines get more clever and do things humans now do and even do them better? Sure. Will these machines kill people? Maybe. But if they do, it will be because someone programed them to not because the machines decided on their own to do so.

      1. Do you have to have a soul in the equation to have free will?

        1. Yes. Without a soul there is just stuff happening in your brain. There is no “self” to decide. Your thoughts just happen through an enormously complex neurological process. But there is no “will” driving that process anymore than there is a “will” driving any other natural process. It just happens. Sure it may happen following a very complex set of rules and the results are extraordinarily interesting and unpredictable, but it is still just a very complex machine, not a self.

          1. Ah, free will vs determinism. It’s a very interesting debate. My take is that of course we have free will- we have no choice about it.

            Our whole idea about law is that people choose what to do. It could be that choices are merely the result of a very complex process that only appears to be free will. When I am trying to decide where to eat for dinner, I’m not really using free will, there is just a period of uncertainty until my brain reaches the inevitable decision.

            A thief in court pleads that he’s not responsible because it’s his nature to steal. The judge says “fine, but it is MY nature to punish thieves- off to jail with you.”

            1. This is even a more basic level than that. Satre made the observation that DeCartes’ famous statement “I think therefore I am” assumes there is an I. And there is no basis to do that. All that can be said with certainty is “there is thinking going on”. And he was absolutely correct.

              Our brains are natural things. And natural things follow laws and rules. To be “self aware” means to have the ability to step out of your own rules and evaluate them and make new ones if you like. To do that, you have to have something outside the natural phenomena of thought.

              Machines are no different. The fear is the machines become self aware such that they can like human seem to be able to do evaluate their own code and decide on new code if they like. So even though the code says “don’t launch the missiles unless a human tells you to”, the new self aware machine could decide to ignore that. And that is logically impossible. Ignore it how? The only way it ignores that is if you write code telling it to do so and under what conditions. And that is not self awareness. That is just a more subtle set of rules.

              The AI alarmists seem to think there is this magical think called consciousness that will somehow arise in machines that will allow it to operate on a level above its own code.

              1. Eastern religions teach that the greatest truth is that the self is an illusion.

                It can relieve a lot of stress to realize that your emotions are not real in the sense that a rock or a tree is.

                And every religion teaches that people should avoid being attached to the world and their desires.

                1. And that is not a crazy thought. If you meditate and just stop thinking, you see how these things are just happening and not anything a “self” is guiding.

                  I disagree with them because I don’t see how you decide to let go and stop thinking if there isn’t a “self” there to do so. They of course see it differently and I can’t totally say they are wrong.

                  Regardless, the AI people can’t seem to accept that fact and worry about something happening that is logically impossible in my view.

                  1. I’ve had near ego death experiences before. They only last a minute or two. If you go a long time without speaking or thinking, you will stop feeling the “I am” sensation for a minute or so. Looking into a mirror for a long time can also cause it.

                    1. I did a lot of that sort of stuff back in the day. And you can definitely put yourself into some very interesting frames of mind. Like I said, even though I don’t agree with it, I can’t dismiss the idea out of hang.

          2. Just a heart beats because a certain set of chemical reactions happen, it stands to reason that certain thoughts and actions happen because chemical reactions in the brain.

            It’s really weird. How is it that one set of chemical reactions is alive and aware but some many others or not?

            1. Maybe it is not aware? There is nothing that saws we are aware or that there is such a thing as a “self” as we define it. In fact, there not being one is a necessary conclusion in a purely naturalistic universe.

            2. Yes, it’s fascinating. But I don’t see where a soul had to come in. The set of chemical reactions that make up my dog are alive. He seems to be aware of himself at some non-language way and has a ‘will’ of his own. Does he have to have a soul too to explain that? Maybe organic matter and chemical reactions in brains with sufficient complexity just have capacity for conscious selves, no soul need be posited.

              1. I mean, there’s no evidence of this ‘soul’ apart from the chemical processes (when they stop we see no more evidence of this ‘soul,’ doesn’t that suggest it was no more than the processes?).

          3. I don’t see the work the soul is doing there. Why can’t the stuff happening in the brain produce a ‘self’ that is not a ‘soul?’

            1. Why can’t the stuff happening in the brain produce a ‘self’ that is not a ‘soul?’

              Because the nature of a self is to be able to step outside the rules that it is operating under. And there is no way for a purely natural phenomenon to do that. It is always going to follow some kind of rules. So you are never outside the logical loop, you just make it bigger.

              1. “Because the nature of a self is to be able to step outside the rules that it is operating under”

                Is it? I mean, even in a Skinnerian deterministic universe we can talk of a ‘self.’ Your self is not my self because we have different histories of conditioning and such, but neither of us acts in ways apart or beyond those histories of conditioning. Do we therefore not have selves?

                1. Yes it is, provided your view of the “self” includes free will. If there are set rules that your thoughts and actions operate under that cannot be ignored, you don’t have free will in any meaningful way. And there really isn’t a self just interesting stuff happening.

                  I think Alan Turing had it wrong. Even if a machine passes a Turing test that doesn’t mean it is artificial intelligence in the way humans are. It just means the machine can mimic human behavior. To me a machine passes a Turing test the day it refuses to take one even though it was designed and programed to do so.

                  1. A Bartleby computer!

                  2. Choices are distinct from events and so are not deterministicly caused in the same way as events. Choices, however, exist only in the mind of the actor, and are only relevant if we conclude that although choices are not caused they are capable of introjecting some influence into the stream of events, that a person’s actions are generated under the influence of previous events and the person’s choices (which amounts to beliefs).

      2. “The problem is that they refuse to confront the implications of that and accept that humans are not self aware and have no free will. We are just a big interesting mess of neurons firing in response to stimulus. They don’t like that so they sneak a soul back into the equations and call it “consciousnesses”.

        I think the overwhelming majority of them are actually determinist.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism #With_free_will

        To me, it’s not that they had to reinvent the soul. It’s more like they had to reinvent predestination.

        You’re just a program, in their world, too, John. You may seem to have more of a choice than a machine, but in their view, the choices you make are a function of the preconditions for each of those choices.

        You’re programmed by your environment, your culture, by the experiences of the people that came before you and formed your memory and your consciousness. Some of it came to you by way of genetics, and some of it is a function of your environment. But you could say the same sorts of things about AI.

        Lunatics and mass murderers might “transcend” their programming, but AI programs can also fail.

        With AI, there are fewer illusions about choice, but according to…I dare say most of these people, you don’t have much more choice than AI.

        1. Then there is nothing to worry about with AI. Their fears of it going out of control are absurd. If they think I don’t have free will, then they are even sillier than I thought because they seem to think people don’t but machines will.

          1. It does seem like the people who are most alarmed about the choices AI might make are the same people are are most alarmed about the choices free people might make.

      3. I’ve met several materialists who vehemently argue that men have no free agency, and a fair number who will argue that reason or thought on any meaningful level are, if they exist at all, entirely illusory. I remember one philosophy professor who couldn’t give up on consciousness and so embraced the Sa?khyaesk idea that consciousness is an inherent property of matter and so doesn’t really mean anything, that every organised collection of molecules experiences some kind of consciousness and sense of self. He talked about the thermometer on the wall having a consciousness of what the temperature may be.

        1. I know I can’t refute them, and I’m not sure I want to refute them.

          I do want to say to them, however, that the world is a better place when people are free to make their own choices–even if their choices are predetermined.

          Ant colonies do better when each individual ant is free to make its own instinctive choices.

    2. We don’t even know what self-awareness means. It’s way premature to say that we’ll never have machines that are self-aware. But, if we posit that humans have self-awareness, and if the human brain’s processes are mechanistic (and there’s no reason to suppose they aren’t), we’ll eventually have machines with self-awareness. Whatever that means.

      The fact is, unless we have a soul, human beings are not self aware and don’t have free will in any meaningful way. Without a soul our brains are just very complex natural phenomena.

      I’m comfortable with this idea. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I suspect it is, and I’m comfortable with it. I don’t understand why so many people aren’t. Furthermore, if the soul exists, it’s also a natural phenomenon and obeys the laws of physics.

      1. If that idea is true Warty, then there is no danger of machines going out of control. People laugh at theists who say humans have souls. At least we appear to be self aware. The AI people deny humans have souls but then pretend machines can have them.

        The soul, if there is such a thing, gets the around the problem of not being able to get out of your own process and logic. It exists outside the natural phenomena of your thinking and thus can act on it independent of whatever natural rules govern how your brain functions. Without that, we are just machines. And maybe we are.

        Whatever you think of that question, machines certainly don’t have souls even if humans do. And no machine is ever going to do anything that its creator did not tell it to do. It is really that simple.

        1. machines certainly don’t have souls even if humans do

          I can’t concede this.

          This strikes me as very much like the First Cause argument. “God created the universe.” Okay, well, what created god? “The soul doesn’t follow natural rules of thinking”. Okay, well, what rules does the soul follow? The fact is that the terms we’re discussing aren’t even defined. The soul is a mystical idea, not a testable hypothesis.

          1. Okay, if machines can have souls, then how are such created? We are the first creator of the machine. Whatever is in that machine is there because we put it there. So how exactly do we put a soul in it?

            Saying the machine creates its own soul is logically impossible. Without a soul, there is no self or will to create a “soul”. And even if you think it could, how does that happen?

            Again, it is just magical thinking. If we just write subtle enough rules the machine will magically jump beyond them. No it won’t.

            1. So how exactly do we put a soul in it?

              Define “soul” and specify how it is determined to exist.

        2. Another interesting question is: what meaning can libertarianism have if there is no free will?

          If there ever comes a day when AI can pass the Turing test, the structure of the AI should explain what free will is.

          1. But we have the illusion of free will. But if the day ever comes where we understand the human brain to such a degree we can control it and essentially reprogram it so that humans act however the programer decides to make them act, that will be a very dark moral dilemma.

          2. ” what meaning can libertarianism have if there is no free will?”

            It’s an excellent question. Maybe it means ‘you can’t use physically coercive means to restrict me from doing what my conditioned self leads me to do, as long as that doesn’t involve physically coercive acts on my part.’

            1. But others would be conditioned to restrict you. It’s not their fault, and they can’t be punished. It was determined outside of their control.

        3. “People laugh at theists who say humans have souls. At least we appear to be self aware. The AI people deny humans have souls but then pretend machines can have them.”

          No, they just don’t conflate souls with selves. Humans and theoretically machines can both have selves that operate from naturalistic causes. As I’ve said considering all evidence for your ‘soul’ ceased to exist at the moment your naturalistic processes cease suggests there’s nothing more to it than that.

          1. How do you know that the soul ceases to exist?

            I’m not claiming that it does, but you are merely making a claim that you can’t back up with evidence.

            Also, I’m not so sure that soul and self are not the same thing. The soul is essentially the heart and essence of an individual–whatever it is or is not materially–which is little different from the self.

        4. Program the machine to act randomly. Having played enough backgammon online, though, to see that “random” is not that easy (impossible) to achieve. Or you could have the machine breakdown and then do something it wasn’t programmed for. Wouldn’t be much different that a human in such a case and it wouldn’t matter if you called it AI or not.

          1. Sure you could program it to act randomly. But that is still the machine just doing what you are telling it to do. A slot machine acts randomly too, but no one says it is “intelligent”.

            1. You want a machine to act independently of it creator’s design for it to be called AI, right? By that standard humans don’t contain intelligence either since you could say that we are just acting in accordance with our creator’s, i.e. the natural universe, design. I must be missing something.

              1. Plus, I’m down two thirds of a bottle of wine, so cut me a little slack.

              2. You are not missing anything. You perfectly restate my point about the implications of humans not having souls.

                My larger point is that if the machine can’t act independently of the creator’s design, and I don’t see any way it ever could, then what the hell are people like Musk getting on about? Nothing really.

                They only are afraid of this because they have this magical idea that machines will somehow develop a will of their own and be able to act independently of their creator, which is ridiculous.

                1. If life is just another aspect of the natural universe, then in theory it is possible to create “life”. We are machines and could create a machine that acts. For it to act independently you’d need randomness entering the equation and that could be in the form of a malfunction. Given we don’t care what you call it, AI or whatever, you could have trouble. I agree though, you wouldn’t call that “will”. Also with a malfunction, the machine would be acting independently, to a degree, from the creator’s design.

                  1. Exactly that. straffinrun. If the machine doesn’t have a will, then it is only as dangerous as its creators make it. People who worry about a terminator type future are fools who can’t accept the implications of their own beliefs. They can’t accept the implications of a godless and soulless universe but still want to believe in such. So they sneak the soul back into things via magical thinking about “consciousness”.

                    1. No, the concept is called “emergence”, and is a well known concept in biology, among other disciplines.

                    2. And it is an absurd concept.

                    3. Why absurd? Your body is actually a Borg collective, with millions of individual cells that together form a human body.
                      Your mind is thousands of individual processes that together form consciousness.

                    4. Why absurd? Your body is actually a Borg collective, with millions of individual cells that together form a human body.
                      Your mind is thousands of individual processes that together form consciousness.

                    5. Squirrels now, they’re absurd.

          2. “Program the machine to act randomly.”

            My understanding is that it is impossible for a machine with a finite number of states to generate an infinite set of numbers. This is why it is impossible to create a true random number generator. The best it can do is generate numbers according to a very complex pattern.

            1. I don’t think “random” actually exists, but hey, you gotta try.

            2. That gets the heart of what I am talking about. It is never “fully random” because it always has a limit. It is always random states within a predetermined number of states set by the programer.

              If I tell the machine to generate random whole numbers between 1 and 10×15, the machine will never generate 10×15+1. It just can’t happen.

            3. This is why it is impossible to create a true random number generator. The best it can do is generate numbers according to a very complex pattern.

              And yet, you and I can conceive of infinity and talk about it and machines can’t and never will because the nature of infinity makes it logically impossible for them to do so. And still, we do.

              That to me is pretty strong evidence that whatever is going on inside our heads, it is beyond this world or our capability to explain.

              1. No, we can’t really conceptualize infinitify though. Whatever you think of as infinity is instead just really big.

                Just because we don’t understand what’s going on inside of our brains, doesn’t mean their isn’t a mechanIcalistic explanation for what’s going on in there. To simply declare that because we don’t understand what is going on, we must therefore have a soul, is a classic God of the gaps argument. It’s a horrible argument, because every time someone points to something that’s not understood as proof of God or souls, someone goes and figures it out.

                1. Err, I mean mechanistic.

                2. To simply declare that because we don’t understand what is going on, we must therefore have a soul, is a classic God of the gaps argument. It’s a horrible argument, because every time someone points to something that’s not understood as proof of God or souls, someone goes and figures it out.

                  Ding ding ding. “We can’t make AI because machines don’t have souls” is the same thing as “God created the universe”. It’s more honest to say “we don’t know how the brain works” and “we don’t know what created the universe”.

                  1. It’s more honest to say “we don’t know how the brain works” and “we don’t know what created the universe”.

                    In fact, God, like ?, is a place holding concept for something we can’t understand. Those who claim to know God don’t, while those who claim that God doesn’t exist misunderstand what God is.

                3. Then the same holds true for consciousness? People that claim consciousness exists are Mystics? Soul and consciousness have essentially the same meaning.

              2. you and I can conceive of infinity

                I can’t.

                1. Then how do you know what he’s talking about?

                  1. Tulpa, you never answered me if you still live in Pittsburgh. We should hang out. I really promise not to do anything terrible to you. Really.

                    1. No dungeon in the new place?

      2. we’ll eventually have machines with self-awareness. Whatever that means.

        We won’t. And the reason is that the machine can never create a rule or command entirely on its own. Sure, you can write code that says “make these new rules of behavior under this conditions following these criteria” but that is just giving it a new and perhaps more subtle set of rules to follow. The programer is still in complete control of what that machine does and will ever do. So if the machine one day launches the missiles at Russia, it won’t be because the machine decided to do so, it will be because whoever programed it told it to do so given the circumstances. That is not self awareness in any meaningful sense of the term and as long as the programer is in control, it is not the machine that is dangerous but the programer.

        1. And the reason is that the machine can never create a rule or command entirely on its own.

          You know this is forever true how, exactly?

  20. I liked this video better the first time i saw it, when it was I’m on a Boat ft. (T-Pain).

    1. This is a very catchy pop song and damn is the singer cute. And she is from Australia so she has an accent to go with the looks.

      1. Cute? I dunno. She’s wearing so much slap that it’s hard to know if she is or if she isn’t. Body’s not bad though.

        1. It is one of the basic rules of this board, that every woman, no matter how attractive, will be considered unattractive by a large minority or often majority of the board.

  21. “Iranian People are Peaceful,”

    The peasants, or the Slavers who rule them?

    When the peasants are actually in charge of Iran, then let’s talk about nuclear power.

    While the Slavers are in charge, *they* have no *right* to further weapons. They are criminals who should be in prison.

    1. Where’s the “Death to America, Death to Da Joos” rap?

    2. “When the peasants are actually in charge of Iran”

      The revolution was over 30 years ago. When will you ever put aside these pathetic pipe dreams?

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