The Darker Side of the News

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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Soupspoon
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:49 am UTC

Lost your reputation? Dropped from your prestigious industry memberships? Had your current series cancelled?

Now you're being wholesale replaced within a completed work due to being one of the very personifications of Dark News!

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sardia
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:08 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no ... st-threat/
experts warn that North Korea’s biological weapons could wreak as much havoc as its nuclear bombs — and are already fully developed and ready to deploy.1 President Trump is in the midst of a multi-country tour of Asia, with the North Korean nuclear program atop the agenda. But analysts say he would do well to make sure Pyongyang’s biological and chemical weapons are addressed as well.

Tldr since Kim's buddy in Syria has proven that you can get away with repeated chemical attacks so long as you have a friendly patron, the biggest threat isnt nukes, but biological or chemical weapons.
We always talk about how North Korea wouldn't nuke others for fear of retaliation. But that wouldn't apply for biological or chemical attacks. Kim could and has used chemical weapons before, and could devastate cities by sending out thousands of special agents to disperse chemicals or biological weapons.
It's just as deadly but with none of the repercussions.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:43 pm UTC

Kim's biggest threat has always been [i]poverty[/i], not weaponry. For all the Koreas bluster about reunification, few SK politicians [i]actually[/i] want NK to, tomorrow, surrender and agree to reunify. Because that would mean 25m barely fed and poorly educated people flood over the border and wreak all sorts of havoc in SK. This of course presents a bizarre scenario, where even if NK wants to improve its standard of living, it can't without basically getting invaded.

Which reminds me of New York slums for some reason

[spoiler]The slums by all rights should have been torn down, but who is going to pay to tear it down or renovate, the city? Not to mention what you do with the tenants.
But even if you found the slumlord who actually cared, maybe one died and the daughter wasn't as vile as the parent, what could be done? Being beyond awful was the only thing preventing the city from seizing the property, and if you put any money into the slum then it'd be just good enough for the city to seize.[/spoiler]

Ok damn phone won't let me spoiler.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:06 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Kim's biggest threat has always been poverty, not weaponry. For all the Koreas bluster about reunification, few SK politicians actually want NK to, tomorrow, surrender and agree to reunify. Because that would mean 25m barely fed and poorly educated people flood over the border and wreak all sorts of havoc in SK.

It would be bad, but there is a precedent of sorts: East Germany had 16m people when it joined West Germany (64m) with the sudden fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Yes, the ratio is admittedly worse in the Koreas (25m in North Korea vs 50m in South Korea), and North Korea is far poorer and less educated than East Germany was, but there are economic upsides to a sudden influx of labour, as there was in Germany. Korea could become an Asian manufacturing powerhouse once again.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:28 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Tldr since Kim's buddy in Syria has proven that you can get away with repeated chemical attacks so long as you have a friendly patron, the biggest threat isnt nukes, but biological or chemical weapons.
We always talk about how North Korea wouldn't nuke others for fear of retaliation. But that wouldn't apply for biological or chemical attacks. Kim could and has used chemical weapons before, and could devastate cities by sending out thousands of special agents to disperse chemicals or biological weapons.
It's just as deadly but with none of the repercussions.


Any large scale attack by NK at any SK or Japanese city is going to be responded to in pretty much the same way, regardless of whether it's a nuke, biological weapon or even just conventional shelling. If they start killing a lot of people the retaliation is going to be swift and severe, regardless of the method of killing.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

While oppressed, the East Germans were 1) incredibly well educated and fully aware of the outside world despite the media control 2) quite aware they were under foreign occupation by Russia. North Korea is much more disconnected from the outside, and actually is loved by a large portion of society. It's not just a matter of scale. Sure, East and West Germany are the closest example we have, but the situations do have massive differences.

I mean, I hope I'm wrong about this, and reunification could happen in our lifetimes with only minimal bloodshed. I've been wrong about many things before.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:00 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
sardia wrote:Tldr since Kim's buddy in Syria has proven that you can get away with repeated chemical attacks so long as you have a friendly patron, the biggest threat isnt nukes, but biological or chemical weapons.
We always talk about how North Korea wouldn't nuke others for fear of retaliation. But that wouldn't apply for biological or chemical attacks. Kim could and has used chemical weapons before, and could devastate cities by sending out thousands of special agents to disperse chemicals or biological weapons.
It's just as deadly but with none of the repercussions.


Any large scale attack by NK at any SK or Japanese city is going to be responded to in pretty much the same way, regardless of whether it's a nuke, biological weapon or even just conventional shelling. If they start killing a lot of people the retaliation is going to be swift and severe, regardless of the method of killing.

Ooh the retaliation in Syria was so swift and severe, Assad must be quaking in his blood soaked boots. And I must have missed the US starting a war with Russia over it's invasion of Ukraine...
This isn't Iraq or some unarmed country where the US can bomb as it pleases. They have artillery, real weapons and a great power backing them.
Life isn't as simple as the arm chair generals make it out to be. If you can cloud the blame just a little, then the international community fractures as a United front.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Raidri » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Chen wrote:
sardia wrote:Tldr since Kim's buddy in Syria has proven that you can get away with repeated chemical attacks so long as you have a friendly patron, the biggest threat isnt nukes, but biological or chemical weapons.
We always talk about how North Korea wouldn't nuke others for fear of retaliation. But that wouldn't apply for biological or chemical attacks. Kim could and has used chemical weapons before, and could devastate cities by sending out thousands of special agents to disperse chemicals or biological weapons.
It's just as deadly but with none of the repercussions.


Any large scale attack by NK at any SK or Japanese city is going to be responded to in pretty much the same way, regardless of whether it's a nuke, biological weapon or even just conventional shelling. If they start killing a lot of people the retaliation is going to be swift and severe, regardless of the method of killing.

Ooh the retaliation in Syria was so swift and severe, Assad must be quaking in his blood soaked boots. And I must have missed the US starting a war with Russia over it's invasion of Ukraine...
This isn't Iraq or some unarmed country where the US can bomb as it pleases. They have artillery, real weapons and a great power backing them.
Life isn't as simple as the arm chair generals make it out to be. If you can cloud the blame just a little, then the international community fractures as a United front.

The difference is in the target. NK attacking SK or Japan is completely different from someone attacking Syria or Ukraine. Nobody cares about Syria or Ukraine but where do we get our Smartphones and Playstations when something would happen to SK / Japan ... [/sarcasm (maybe)]

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:28 pm UTC

Raidri wrote:The difference is in the target. NK attacking SK or Japan is completely different from someone attacking Syria or Ukraine. Nobody cares about Syria or Ukraine but where do we get our Smartphones and Playstations when something would happen to SK / Japan ... [/sarcasm (maybe)]


Yeah pretty much this.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:02 pm UTC

... or a rather clever NorK manages to make the chemical attack in Tokyo look like the work of some weird cult or the chemical attack at the NFL championship look like the work of a lone white nutjob with deep-rooted mental issues or a radicalised fundamentalist whose behaviour is the responsibility of all Muslims everywhere, so the blame doesn't get anywhere near Dear Leader.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:41 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:... or a rather clever NorK manages to make the chemical attack in Tokyo look like the work of some weird cult or the chemical attack at the NFL championship look like the work of a lone white nutjob with deep-rooted mental issues or a radicalised fundamentalist whose behaviour is the responsibility of all Muslims everywhere, so the blame doesn't get anywhere near Dear Leader.


There's no real reason for them to do that though. The only reason for them to strike at anyone would be to use that to re-assert their power (or maintain face to the people and anyone who may work to depose them) and that requires they take credit for any attack.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Dauric » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:23 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Sableagle wrote:... or a rather clever NorK manages to make the chemical attack in Tokyo look like the work of some weird cult or the chemical attack at the NFL championship look like the work of a lone white nutjob with deep-rooted mental issues or a radicalised fundamentalist whose behaviour is the responsibility of all Muslims everywhere, so the blame doesn't get anywhere near Dear Leader.


There's no real reason for them to do that though. The only reason for them to strike at anyone would be to use that to re-assert their power (or maintain face to the people and anyone who may work to depose them) and that requires they take credit for any attack.


Alternately a 'plausible deniability' scenario, the attacker is obviously Korean, tracable to North Korea, but has documentation suggesting 'rogue' or 'lone wolf' status at the time of the attack. It's not a particularly smart move, but creating confusion and forcing time to investigate the incident could delay a response.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:47 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Sableagle wrote:... or a rather clever NorK manages to make the chemical attack in Tokyo look like the work of some weird cult or the chemical attack at the NFL championship look like the work of a lone white nutjob with deep-rooted mental issues or a radicalised fundamentalist whose behaviour is the responsibility of all Muslims everywhere, so the blame doesn't get anywhere near Dear Leader.


There's no real reason for them to do that though. The only reason for them to strike at anyone would be to use that to re-assert their power (or maintain face to the people and anyone who may work to depose them) and that requires they take credit for any attack.


If it results in the USA being tricked into invading a Middle East country with too few experienced peacekeepers, too few engineers, too few interpreters, too few guards and too little planning, spending $8.21*1011 and a few thousand soldiers' lives, running out of recruits and generally focusing everything thousands of miles away from NK over the next ten years or so, it may not directly empower NK but it creates a situation in which NK can get away with other things more easily.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:57 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Chen wrote:
Sableagle wrote:... or a rather clever NorK manages to make the chemical attack in Tokyo look like the work of some weird cult or the chemical attack at the NFL championship look like the work of a lone white nutjob with deep-rooted mental issues or a radicalised fundamentalist whose behaviour is the responsibility of all Muslims everywhere, so the blame doesn't get anywhere near Dear Leader.


There's no real reason for them to do that though. The only reason for them to strike at anyone would be to use that to re-assert their power (or maintain face to the people and anyone who may work to depose them) and that requires they take credit for any attack.


Alternately a 'plausible deniability' scenario, the attacker is obviously Korean, tracable to North Korea, but has documentation suggesting 'rogue' or 'lone wolf' status at the time of the attack. It's not a particularly smart move, but creating confusion and forcing time to investigate the incident could delay a response.


Given how tightly they control the comings and goings of their own people, it would be extremely difficult for North Korea to sell any sort of "lone wolf" story to anyone. Nobody would believe them.

So basically, in addition to whatever military response they faced from the US or Japan, they would suffer the added perception that either a) they lack the resolve to attack openly and aren't competent enough to attack from the shadows without getting caught, or b) there are elements in their society who are armed, motivated, and outside of their control. Neither is a perception that they would find tolerable.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:45 pm UTC

This is just so sad.

Iran-Iraq earthquake: death toll climbs to more than 400
Rescuers battle to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings after the 7.3 magnitude quake

The Guardian wrote:The hardest hit province was Kermanshah, where three days of mourning have been announced. More than 236 people died in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 10 miles from the Iraq border.

Farhad Tajari, the local MP, said 15 members of his family had been killed and that the town’s main hospital was severely damaged and struggling to treat hundreds of injured people.

“Sarpol-e Zahab has only one hospital, which was demolished in this incident. All patients and hospital staff have been buried beneath the rubble, so it cannot offer any service,” he told local media.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:13 pm UTC

oh,...Good Grief! ..That is dark.
Those people can't seem to catch a break.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:46 am UTC

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act ... ate-teens/
Learned something new today, Apparently cradle robbing is a thing that fundamentalist Christians in the South do.
“The South has a much longer history of allowing minors to marry, and obviously there’s some courtship or dating — whatever you want to call it — leading up to that.”

That courtship of underage girls is especially common in conservative religious communities.
“We should probably talk about how there is a segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage. 14 year old girls courting adult men isn’t entirely uncommon,”
That's messed up, and then he sexually assaulted another underaged teen. I think my favorite line is the "and he should have married her", which is something out of a 3rd world country.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:42 am UTC

Well, the easiest way to prevent pre-marital sex is to, umm, maritalize early.

Of course, the subtext of all the bluster about birth control and abortion is "well, if I create a society where it's impossible for girls to have boyfriends, they will be forced to marry older men such as myself".

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:32 am UTC

Posting in Darker because even though I'm no fan of Mugabe, a military coup is still some heavy shit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41992351

The military has taken control in Zimbabwe but said President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, was safe.

After seizing state TV, an army spokesman announced it was targeting people close to Mr Mugabe who had caused "social and economic suffering".

(...)

Other key points of the statement include:
- Citizens should remain calm and limit unnecessary movement
- The military assures the Zimbabwean judiciary that its independence is guaranteed
- Security services should "co-operate for the good of our country" and any provocation would "be met with an appropriate response"
- All leave for the defence forces is cancelled and personnel should return to barracks immediately

(...)

Alex Magaisa, former adviser to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, told the BBC: "They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned.

"But as far as authority is concerned it seems very clear that President Mugabe is now just a president in name and authority is now residing in the military."

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:39 pm UTC

It's heavy news, certainly, but my money is on this being an improvement for the average Zimbabwean.

...eventually.

Still sucks to live through a revolution/coup.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:34 pm UTC

If they were going to do it I wonder what the hell took them so long though. Mugabe has been in power for almost 40 years and it's not like his despotic insanity started yesterday...

Maybe he just stopped bribing the right people..?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:40 pm UTC

According to the article it seems one guy was supposed to be the heir to the presidency (because that's totally how presidencies work, they're not elected or anything), but then a schism in the party opened and Mugabe was going to hand power to his wife, Grace.

This appears to have more detailed info regarding what caused it although I've not read it yet: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41994183

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:15 pm UTC

That doesn't really change my assessment though: Why should the army care who succeeds Mugabe - unless there is a threat that person will stop bribing the right people?

Seems odd to me that Mugabe's wife would represent that kind of threat though - you'd think she would be in with all the same people he was?

Seems difficult to ascribe anything but self-serving motives to the army here, so I can't see this being a particularly hopeful development.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:24 pm UTC

Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:20 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/11/13/roy-moore-allegations-prompt-reflections-on-fundamentalist-culture-in-which-some-christian-men-date-teens/
“We should probably talk about how there is a segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage. 14 year old girls courting adult men isn’t entirely uncommon,”


Yeah, it might also be a good time to reflect on the whole "Defense of Marriage" movement, which is oh-so-quick to lavish Christian forgiveness on useful political figures who happen to be serial fornicators and adulterers--Trump, Gingrich, etc.--because these hypocrites promise to use laws, policies, and judicial appointments to shaft gays and trans people.

Yes, folks, that's "defending traditional marriage." It doesn't matter how many times you get divorced or caught with your pants down yourself, or how many pussies of married women you brag about having grabbed. So long as you are gung-ho about hassling gays and trans people, you are a "defender of traditional marriage."

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:39 pm UTC

Re:Mugabe

Upon reading a bit more in the news, well, my wary optimism has been replaced with cynicism. It is most likely not going to result in anything but a "meet the new boss" scenario, but with a bit of bloodshed and clashes between supporters and opponents as the fetid cherry on the turd sundae that is Zimbabwe.

Re:DOMA

Traditional marriage includes things like war rape and teenage brides and polygyny, the latter being the most deceptively insidious in that it feeds the other two.

But the most damning thing about traditional, Jewish marriages is that the marriage itself is not truly complete until consummation. That is, if Joseph and Mary were married, then by definition Mary was not a virgin. Go ahead and bring that point up to the DOMA nuts (domuts?).

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:08 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:.

Re:DOMA

Traditional marriage includes things like war rape and teenage brides and polygyny, the latter being the most deceptively insidious in that it feeds the other two.

But the most damning thing about traditional, Jewish marriages is that the marriage itself is not truly complete until consummation. That is, if Joseph and Mary were married, then by definition Mary was not a virgin. Go ahead and bring that point up to the DOMA nuts (domuts?).

ouch, Jesus slam for not being a virgin birth.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby SDK » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:22 pm UTC

Joseph and Mary weren't married yet though, right? They were engaged when Mary got pregnant (and therefore clearly was a virgin since only married people have sex).

Careful about throwing out "fake news" like that. You just about destroyed all of Christianity with one immaculate misconception.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:08 pm UTC

Holy ghost, Batman!

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:09 pm UTC

IIRC, Joseph and Mary were engaged but not yet married, but an angel convinced Joseph to marry her on the spot instead of calling off the wedding, and waited till after the birth to know his wife. According to Matthew 1:24/25 anyway.

But according to Deuteronomy 22:15, the wife's family gets the tokens of virginity (bloody sheets) from the wedding night, so, well. Yeah, it's one of those traditions that quietly disappeared, like swinging the chicken around your head, the prohibition on eating in public (not quite illegal, but does bar you from testifying in court), swearing while holding your fathers genitals, and so forth. Orthodox Judaism pretends it's the original form, but no, it isn't.

I go by the Shepherd Book view of religion though; it's not about resolving contradictions and fixing the bible, but how faith is supposed to fix you. So if it works and makes you a better person, go to it. Just, you know, keep it out of politics.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:15 am UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/de ... isconduct/
Al Franken, comedian senator, costs Democrats their chance at the moral high ground on sexual harassment. Democrats make it worse by punting instead of forcing him out now.
what might be politically expedient for Democrats isn’t necessarily expedient for Schumer — or for McConnell, or for the White House, all of whom may be acting out of a sense of institutional self-preservation. If there’s a precedent that sexual harassment is grounds for removal or resignation from office, then a lot of members of Congress — including some of Schumer’s colleagues and friends — could have to resign once more allegations come to light, as they almost certainly will. President Trump’s conduct could also come under renewed scrutiny, as could the conduct of former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. Politics is a male-dominated institution, and a conservative3 institution, and conservative, male-dominated institutions have pretty much no interest in flipping over the sexual harassment rock and seeing what comes crawling out from underneath it.

I know what the men are afraid of, that everyone is so dirty that half the government leaders would resign. I live in Illinois, so I'm going to call senator Durban out on this. I hope you guys call your senators too. These guys are the least accountable, and this might be the beginning of a badly need sexual assault purge.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:20 am UTC

And; We are going back to the days when the water was not fit to drink and the air was not fit to breath.
The days when the Rivers in the U.S.A. would catch on fire and could not be put out for Months! Great!

Two links about two-hundred thousand gallons of spilled Crude Oil.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/16/ke ... akota.html
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/us/keysto ... index.html

Jeeze... Crude Behavior and Crude Oil.
We are becoming a more Crude Nation.

That's Great...
Just Great.
(sarcasm)

To address the Al Franken thing...
...That idiot had no idea what he was doing was Wrong.
He was hamming it up for the camera.

The kiss? (Yuck.)
All he can do is apologize and swear that he knows better, now.
That he knows better and will Do better. When we know; We do.

The woman may have the willies every time she thinks of it.
Hopefully, her life will be happy and full of many better things to think about.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:07 am UTC

sardia wrote:I know what the men are afraid of, that everyone is so dirty that half the government leaders would resign. I live in Illinois, so I'm going to call senator Durban out on this. I hope you guys call your senators too. These guys are the least accountable, and this might be the beginning of a badly need sexual assault purge.


While we are at it, could we also boot Hillary/Bill for their use of convict slave labor while governor, or at least get them to openly condemn their past actions? I feel like that's an important thing too, if only because the prison-industrial complex got a bit out of hand, especially while Bill was President.

Or really, just a guarantee that Hillary won't run again.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:06 am UTC

I'm not sure Where th blame belongs.
I am sure Profit Prison are Bad!

That arrangement leads to many men being Abused.
I Hate the For Profit Prisons. That is Lady Justice's Job.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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