The Darker Side of the News

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

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CorruptUser
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:05 pm UTC

So... Putin is saying that all the criminals are in the Russian military?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:48 am UTC

I think that's the biggest red herring I've ever seen. Hard to be sure though, with it being buried under such a massive stonewall.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby pkcommando » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:53 am UTC

But are all members of the Russian military criminals?
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:16 pm UTC

[troll]Of course they are. They're Russian.[/troll]

In Soviet Russia, crime commit you.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby orthogon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:09 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:[troll]Of course they are. They're Russian.[/troll]

In Soviet Russia, crime commit you.

:D
In Putin's Russia, middle excludes you.
In Putin's Russia, consequent affirms you.

(Putinesque ad hominem is similar to the conventional fallacy: you still attack the person rather than the argument. But you do it with Novichok.)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:37 pm UTC

Thief breaks into store, steals wigs made for children with cancer.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:45 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Skripal poisoning: Putin says suspects 'civilians, not criminals'

One internet to the first person who can tell me what logical fallacy is being committed here.
Going by the qouted text within the article, Putin made two separate statements (my paraphrasing): "The accused are civilians" and "The accused are not criminals"; the article author just mashed them together to make a headline.

Even if Putin actually said it himself verbatim in English, there's too much vagueness of language going on to call a formal fallacy. Putin may have had a mental trichotomy of 1) civilians that don't murder (not criminals) 2) civilians that do murder (criminals) 3) Agents of the Russian government (non-civilians, approved killing is not a crime).
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby orthogon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:53 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:3) Agents of the Russian government (non-civilians, approved killing is not a crime).

That's an interesting question in its own right. Whilst it may not be a crime under Russian law, the Wiltshire Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police would probably take a different view. So, too, might the International Criminal Court.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:12 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:... the International Criminal Court.
We all know that's only for *other* people, though.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:12 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Whilst it may not be a crime under Russian law, the Wiltshire Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police would probably take a different view. So, too, might the International Criminal Court.
Other parties might regard the killing as a crime, but that still leaves the question of if the executors are criminals or just the instigators. (I could buy a "just following orders" defense for killing the father, as he was a traitor convicted with due process and a credible security risk).

But even if you do consider the assassins criminals, a crime where a sovereign state is a party has huge differences from every other crime, and as such merits linguistic distinction.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Weeks » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:14 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Thief breaks into store, steals wigs made for children with cancer.
That seems tailor made to make people angrily click on it, so I'm glad the huffington post reported on it for us.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:52 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Thief breaks into store, steals wigs made for children with cancer.

The dark humour part of me wants to point out the following snippet is an understatement…
Police say they are looking for a man with long curly black hair, (…)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:12 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:
The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, apologised on Wednesday for causing “concern and anxiety” by hosting a 2010 event at which another speaker was reported by a newspaper to have compared Israeli policy to Nazi policies.

The Times newspaper reported that Corbyn hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day meeting at which a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, Hajo Meyer, who died in 2014, repeatedly made comparisons between Israeli policy and Nazism. Before his death, Meyer criticised Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

Reuters has not been able to verify what was said at the event. The Times carried a photograph of Corbyn at the event with Meyer, and his office did not dispute his involvement.


May vows to defend Jews and Israel, in dig at Corbyn

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged on Monday to protect British Jewish identity and Israel’s right to defend itself, in an attack on opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to his Labour Party conference next weekend.

“If we are to stand up for the values that we share - then one of the things we need to do is give young Jewish people the confidence to be proud of their identity – as British, Jewish and Zionist too,” May said.

“There is no contradiction between these identities - and we must never let anyone try to suggest that there should be.”
Well, whatever it was about Israeli policies you didn't like, you can count on the British government to support it in order to score points against Corbyn.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:17 am UTC

Russian military surveillance plane, carrying 15 people shot down in Syria: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45556290

Briefly (as far as I can make out):
1. Israel told Syria/Russia it was going to strike a target in Syria
2. One minute later, Four Israeli F-16s launched the strike, firing missiles
3. Syrian air defences responded, firing missiles at the Israeli aircraft and/or missiles
4. The Russian craft was in the path of the Syrian missiles, and was shot down somehow

Russia blames Israeli entirely, saying they used the aircraft as cover for their attack, stopping just short of accusing them of deliberately causing the aircraft to be shot down. The BBC defence correspondent in the article casts doubt on this, pointing out the radar profile of the Russian craft was radically different to the F-16s. I'm not entirely sure how these air defence systems work, I initially assumed the missiles automatically locked onto any flying target in the direction they're fired, but this suggests the air defence operators manually select targets from the radar system, meaning it was a mistake caused by the Syrians (admittedly in a situation caused by the Israelis).

In a phone call on Tuesday, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman the blame "fully rests with Israel", adding that Russia "reserves the right to take further steps in response".

So, the fallout from this will be interesting.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:49 am UTC

In a typical AA system, the stationary radar 'paints' a strong dorected beam on the target, and the missiles fly towards the reflection of that beam. I am not sure on the details, but I think it's possible that a large aircraft flies in the beam and a missile will follow to the stronger relfection.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:26 pm UTC

How wide is the beam? What are the odds the Russian craft merely happened to be in the way, and the Israelis were just negligent? Or would it even be fair to call them negligent, when the Syrians were the ones who launched the missiles?

The Syrian and Russian side were definitely negligent between them - either the operators shouldn't have fired in the direction of a Russian craft they knew was there, or they hadn't been properly informed it was there.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:54 pm UTC

The sky is pretty big, and aircrafts are all moving pretty fast. It's unlikely it just happened to be in the way of the beam for long enough to guide the missile to it, more likely it just happened to get between the AA missile and the F-16, and far more likely to have been targeted by the AA crew.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:55 pm UTC

About a degree wide

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:02 pm UTC

Well, it's not like Russia can blame Syria; they invested too much and are too close to achieving their goal of a naval mega-base there to back down now. Nor will they blame themselves, even though they likely supplied the tech at the AA station in the first place.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:32 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:In a typical AA system, the stationary radar 'paints' a strong dorected beam on the target, and the missiles fly towards the reflection of that beam. I am not sure on the details, but I think it's possible that a large aircraft flies in the beam and a missile will follow to the stronger relfection.


There ought to be basic speed/heading sanity checking as well, yes? Probably IFF as well? I mean, an accident is still possible, but it ought to require more things going wrong than merely being in the same general segment of sky.

Likewise, an incidental collision by a missile targetting a more distant target is pretty unlikely due to it being a big sky, and anyways, not being at proper standoff range for detonation, but just accidentally colliding, ought to greatly reduce the chances of a kill.

Most reasonable explanation is that the Russian bird was targeted by the AA crew, either intentionally or accidentally. Definitely don't see how the Israelis are responsible unless there's further significant details to be released.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:27 pm UTC

There are multiple systems. Some have a radar truck and a launcher truck at separate sites, the radar finding and "painting" the targets and the missiles heading for the reflected signal. Some separate the detection and designation radars. Some put everything on a single vehicle. Some put the radar on the missile, so the (or a) truck can fidn and designate a target then the missile can take over tracking and keep hunting while the truck switches off and gets the heck out of there. Some missiles use IR to track the aircraft as they get closer. In response, aircraft carry flares to decoy away heat-seekers and chaff to clutter up radar. Some missiles can actually tell the difference between the "blob of heat" of a flare and the "ring of fire" of a jet exhaust, so aircraft use annular flares that are designed to look more like jet exhausts.
It doesn't have to be a guided rocket. Imagine removing some of a Merkava's / Abrams' / Challenger's / Leopard's armour to make it faster (and cheaper and more fuel-efficient) and putting an A-10's main rotary cannon on it, with radar and a computer doing the aiming for you. Look at the touch-screen, poke the target you want it to hit, press the button and let it do its job. Scary enough.
Aircraft have some more responses available. For a start, they tend to know about it when you shine a light at them (and for decades now, they also know what kind of light it is). Aside from flares, chaff and manoeuvring, they get ALARMs: Advanced Long-range Anti-Radar Missile. You fire it when the radar lights you up, or even when you know you're approaching the place where you're going to get lit up by radar, and it watches for radar signals and homes in on them. If the radar truck switches off and drives away, the missile goes up to high altitude and deploys a parachute so it can hang around, waiting for the truck to switch its radar back on, then releases the parachute and fires itself at the new location. If the truck never lights up again, the missile fires itself at the last known location.
You can reduce your visibility to the aircraft and increase your options for deployment position by using a "beam rider" MANPAD, a rocket that's launched from the shoulder like a bazooka round then steers itself into the middle of the radar grid projected from the launcher. As the beam only has to be bright enough for the missile to detect it, rather than bright enough for the missile to detect its reflection off an angled, dull, grey surface miles away, it's less obvious to on-board sensors. The missile then uses very low-intensity radar or IR to check for proximity and when it hits or gets within a metre of something it goes boom. All the shooter has to do is keep the aircraft centred in his sights and wait.
IFF exists, and it works, but it can be spoofed or jammed. If the Israeli aircraft jammed the Syrian radars and IFF system to make themselves harder to track and make the Syrian air defence units hesitate, someone may have said: "Fuck it. That's a target. Shoot it!"
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:03 pm UTC

I'd classify "we're jammed, so we're going to shoot at any aircraft we can detect without bothering with deconfliction" as an obvious mistake on the part of the Syrians.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:02 pm UTC

But Putin blame Syria mean Glorious Leader Putin back wrong dog, and Putin never back wrong dog. Putin always back best dog, Putin dog is glorious dog, glorious like Putin. All dog like Putin.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yablo » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:02 pm UTC

China’s dictatorship will introduce personal scorecards where citizens will be monitored 24/7 and ranked on behavior.
Under the social credit scheme, points are lost and gained based on readings from a sophisticated network of 200 million surveillance cameras — a figure set to triple in 18 months.
...
The data is combined with information collected from individuals’ government records — including medical and educational — along with their financial and internet browsing histories. Overall scores can go up and down in “real time” dependant on the person’s behaviour but they can also be affected by people they associate with.

Jaywalking, buying an extra 6-pack of Tsingtao, playing video games too often, and having a friend who talks smack about the government when he's had a few too many can get you banned from flying, having a social media account, or holding a government job.

Be a model citizen and love the Communist party, and you don't have to pay a deposit when you rent a hotel room, and you may even get to board your plane ahead of anyone traveling with small children.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Grop » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:20 pm UTC

I think we knew that a few months ago. Alas this seems very real. And I can see more conventional democracies doing the same, because who cares about people who buy too much beer or play video games?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ijuin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:00 am UTC

Like all repressive systems, it’s only going to work if it allows the elite extra wiggle room—after all, we can’t have a high ranked politician being punished for drinking a bit too much, can we?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:53 am UTC

There's no way this doesn't end in a suicide epidemic.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:29 am UTC

Committed suicide: -15 points.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:17 pm UTC

Associated with someone who committed suicide -5 points.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yablo » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:29 pm UTC

To anyone currently living in China or planning to move there, posting in this thread will now cost you 10 points. Good luck with the damage deposit on your new place.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:29 am UTC

Update to the Monsanto lawsuit:

We beat Monsanto!!!!

Dear Avaazers,

Our hearing just ended, and the judge absolutely DESTROYED Monsanto's subpoena on Avaaz!!!!

He said the subpoena would have a “tremendous chilling effect”, saying "no member would want to have their privacy and their activity known" and actually gave Monsanto a lecture on democracy and free speech!!

Even worse, lawyers told us that courts in New York tend to AUTOMATICALLY GRANT requests like this! Because usually, more info means more justice.

But then our community got involved. Over 200,000 of us donated, and we hired the best lawyer in the business -- Andrew Celli, who has taken on cases like this before and won. He and his team worked with the Avaaz team to write a ridiculously great takedown of the Monsanto subpoena. It's long and legalistic, but if you speak that language, it's a thing of beauty -- you can read it here.

Monsanto flew in a top lawyer, a man who's defended everything from asbestos to lead and arsenic. But between our briefs, and the powerful oral arguments, the judge was convinced, and took the incredibly RARE step of throwing out the ENTIRE subpoena!!! Normally they just narrow the scope of the subpoena to something more reasonable, but the judge couldn't find anything reasonable in Monsanto's claims about Avaaz!


https://avaazimages.avaaz.org/Avaaz%20F ... nsanto.pdf is the petition to throw out the subpoena.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:31 am UTC

I think I'm the only one I know that almost automatically defaults to Monsanto's side of the argument because I've seen too much bullshit out of the mouths of the anti-Monsanto side.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:06 am UTC

I wasn't right impressed by the study they cited and didn't support theit petition to ban the only herbicide we could use against {squick warning} this invasive mumble-feather which will otherwise be free to cause {TRIGGERY squick warning} this kind of damage that comes back every time the affected area is exposed to sunlight for the next "up to fifteen" years. Even if it is carcinogenic by ingestion, who the heck eats hemlock and then worried about getting cancer from it? Banning guns in the UK in September 1940 wouldn't have had my support either.

When Monsanto say "Give us all your documentation about everything ever, including everyone's email addresses, home addresses, telephone numbers, credit card information and private correspondence and tell us how you run all your campaigns," though, Monsanto can fuck right off.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:36 am UTC

I'm partially biased because I despise the organic food movement and everything it stands for.

Were you aware that non-Americans/Europeans generally do NOT have a history of raw vegetables such as fresh salads? Turns out that when your crops are fertilized with cow poop, anything that grows on or in the ground MUST be cooked thoroughly. In the West, we began to use synthetic fertilizers thanks to Bosch-Haber, so we began to become accustomed to raw vegetables. The organic movement prefers to use the poop, which is probably better for the environment than tossing it in the river, but means that 1) organic food has shadow land use; there's a cap to how much land can be used for organic farming before they run out of cow shit, and 2) the food should NOT be eaten raw. The infamous 2011 e coli outbreak which sickened 4000 people and caused 50+ deaths was from an organic farm, but you'd never know that from the media. Why? Well, because giant megacorps are making megabucks off of organic food...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Coyne » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:53 am UTC

That is, to put it mildly, b*******. I grew up on salads grown in a cow manure fertilized garden. When you plow the cow manure into the soil before planting, what's grown on it (lettuce) or in it (carrots) is no more hazardous than anything else growing on/in dirt. Just has to be washed, like anything else growing on dirt.

Of course, that doesn't exactly hold when you have a lagoon full of liquefied pig manure, and you spray it on the growing plant leaves just before harvesting it, still wet. Like was done in that lettuce debacle a few years back.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:57 am UTC

I grew up in a town with a few Boat People from 'Nam (along with an extremely wide variety of other refugees... it was weird, looking back on it), and they said their families all found it weird how Americans ate raw vegetables so frequently. Same with some people from China I talked to. Not sure about India, could probably ask, but the Indian cuisine I've seen has always been cooked thoroughly.

Maybe it's the hotter climate and food rotting faster?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:23 am UTC

I mean, I have bones to pick with blindly ideological organic freaks myself. (And don't get me started on the "alternative medicine" crowd...!) But that doesn't make Monsanto not a Captain Planet-level '80s cartoon parody of an evil megacorporation.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 am UTC

Except most of the complaints are utter bullshit. Starting with Percy Schmeiser, who lost the case against him because he intentionally sprayed his supposedly infected against his will crops with glyphosate, proving that he had intentionally planted the resistant crops. Next on the list is the whole suing farmers preemptively thing, for which they got sued for but the court case was thrown out because it turned out there was actually no evidence of this ever occurring. Then there's the whole terminator gene thing, which was never put into actual commercial use even though it would've solved the only real complaint of GM crops by preventing them from crossbreeding.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:22 am UTC

Ted Cruz tweets a video of O'Rourke saying that unarmed black men getting murdered in their own homes by cops is bad.
https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/1043278255740973058

O'Rourke's words:
How can it be, in this day and age, in this very year, in this community, that a young man, African American, in his own apartment is shot and killed by a police officer? And when we all want justice and the facts and the information to make an informed decision, what is released to the public? That he had a small amount of marijuana in his kitchen. How can that be just in this country? How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed black men in the United States of America at the hands of white police officers? That is not justice. That is not us. That can and must change. Are you with me on this?


Cruz's response:
In Beto O'Rourke's own words #TXSenateDebate


Initially hilarious until you start trying to understand why Cruz thought posting this video would be a vote winner. Was it that O'Rourke was daring to defend a person of colour who had a small amount of drugs found in their house? Or that he didn't immediately take the officer's side despite the facts? Or is it just that someone talking about racial injustice is obviously going to annoy racists, and that's who Cruz is explicitly trying to appeal to?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:45 am UTC

Im not even sure what to think of that. Even if you were courting racists this is possibly one of the worst examples to use. And which of these racists was he actually afraid of losing if he didnt do something about it. Seems like a crazy unforced error.


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