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Thread: Random News Article Discussion II

  1. #9261

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    You know as someone who declared the Bosnian genocide something no one cares about, I wouldn't really be turning the lens on me here as someone starting arguments for no reason.
    War on terrorism is a dumb concept if we're strictly looking at the title yeah. But it's sort of a meaningless lazy dismissal all it's own to take that and talk like there's no point to cracking down on ISIS or Al-Qaeda? Is that what you're suggesting? A more concrete understanding of what breeds terrorism is important and involves things beyond war. But the products of those things still need to be addressed.
    idk how you gathered that from my post is beyond me.

  2. #9262
    The Nice Guy Outerspec's Avatar
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    Well, I do agree withn the general sentiment you're making Earthquake that the media is fear mongering to a certain extent but then there's reality. Terrorism is a thing. It's global and there's no end in sight. People being afraid of terrorism is a legit fear and it's somewhat understandable people might be afraid to fly or travel to major cities because of it. Hell, people are afraid to fly under normal circumstances of just thinking about being 10,000 feet up in the air.
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  3. #9263

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    According to the Pentagon, US Special Forces killed Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, the Finance Minister for ISIS, yesterday; the original plan was to grab him but things went south.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/25/politi...ves/index.html
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  4. #9264

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    Can I ask what country?
    Oh its Malaysia. Though I won't deny that racism here gets quite bad at times and there are a number of idiots who support ISIS.

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  5. #9265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    ISIS was an Al-Qaeda affiliate like he sort of alluded to. It popped up in the Iraq war aftermath as "Al Qaeda in Iraq". They're the ones responsible for all those nasty videotaped beheadings you might rememeber if you were old enough. They got beat badly down during a US effort to get the support of local tribal leaders and it looked like they were done.
    The war in Syria was when they regrew into strength, and where it broke off on it's own from Al Qaeda to become the ISIS we know and love.

    An underlying thing visible here is that instability and loss of state control in this region is where these entities thrive and gestate. Al Qaeda had a comfortable hideout in the anarchic fundamentalist ruled Afghanistan. They have a continuing strong presence in Yemen.
    Then the first form of ISIS was born in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion.
    And the form we know now was born in the chaos of the Syrian civil war.

    Some they point at western lead regime change as a culprit. With the fall of Saddam and Gaddafi allowing chaos. There is maybe some truth to that.
    But then the chaos in Syria (worse than either of those) is the product of dictatorship and it's naturally unstable inflexibility.
    Yeah it's pretty interesting how many affiliates/pieces of Al-Qaeda broke off and are arguably overshadowing their former superiors. Like another extremist group Boko Harram, if I remember correctly (which I might not) was in the exact same boat ISIS and split off and are now raising a bunch of hell throughout Nigeria and other african countries. But it really boils down to IMO is usually taking advantage of civil war and political unrest and it's definitely more about power than actually religious beliefs. Like I honestly think they play with peoples head using extremest beliefs as a facade and basically are possibly trying to take control of various countries. And yeah, I unfortunately am old enough to remember those old televised beheadings sans Bush-era. Really tried to instill fear and send a message. But all in all, blowing up shit and acting a fool will just piss multiple countries and lead to a multi-nation assault (which is already happening to an extent) to eradicate them once and for all. I'm sad about all these bombings and attacks though, it really is over the top and needs to stop. Honestly I'm more worried about Iran and North Korea (or god forbid Russia) saying "screw it" and either selling warheads to these extremists or doing the job themselves. It's unlikely though.

  6. #9266
    UNTITLED xan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    Helluva way to interpret the Eucharist lol.
    Nah it points more towards the casteism part of it. In olden days, upper castes don't drink water from the same vessel as lower castes and the same goes for the food too. It has just converted into more of a religious angle

    Or syncretism happens. Including many of the traditions that exist in those religions as we know them. Syncretism is way more common than people seem to think, historically especially. We hear about it less because...
    1. It's not as "exciting" as conflict.
    2. Lots of modern adherents and historical adherents like to hush it up as it runs counter to extreme and fundamentalist views on religions.

    The idea that even in early modern Europe peasants practiced really really unorthodox rituals mixing old pagan traditions with Christianity is uncomfortable to lots of people lol
    That's true. In fact when I was a kid and attended a Catholic mass in a NJ church for the first time, I was surprised by the different formalities done which was way different back home. The tradition of "peace be with you" is done with a handshake in the US whereas a namashkar is done here. That's the classical traditional way of greeting someone popularly known outside of the country.

    Which is extra funny given how that therefore is obviously not native to Christianity given that's specific to India.
    Yup

    Another good example is vieling. Which has become an obsession in Islam that barely exists all that heavily in text.
    It's mostly semi-vague reference to modesty, which exist in the other Abrahamic texts too.
    But traditions of veiling in the middle east and surrounding areas existed earlier than Islam, even in Christian societies. And it wormed it's way into the collective understanding of those texts. But not all of those cultures, nor the same way. Because that too was effected by regional customs.
    For instance cultures that existed more on the land and less urban? Traditions of veiling were always super loose to sometimes non-existent. Like in mountain peoples like Kurds, or nomad peoples like Kazakhs. More restrictive veiling was an urban tradition usually, like in Central Asian oasis towns.
    Not an iron rule at all as some other mountain or nomad tribes were more restrictive.

    Hell I've heard it said one of the major sources of veiling tradition comes from the Greek Byzantines! The upper class women there covered up a lot, and generally even in subsequent Muslim societies for awhile it was really more a thing for upper class women. You can see how it being a symbol of glamor (oh the friggin' irony) lead to wider and wider adoption.
    Now that you had mentioned it, we do have a similar veiling process in churches down here too. It was quite frequent during a decade back or so and it has reduced recently (perhaps it isn't fashionable I suppose). People generally used to use their sarees if veils were not available to cover their heads inside the church. I hardly see them do it anymore especially the younger gen


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  7. #9267

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Syrian government forces have taken control of Palmyra from ISIS.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35906568
    Complicating things since 2009.

  8. #9268
    The Nice Guy Outerspec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Yeah ISIS, you're that bad where you can make Assad act the good guy.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Taliban just claimed responsibility for an attack in Pakistan that killed 65 today.

    http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-poli...44441287.html#
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  9. #9269

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Green-Hair View Post
    Yeah it's pretty interesting how many affiliates/pieces of Al-Qaeda broke off and are arguably overshadowing their former superiors.
    Careful though, most affiliates are not products of Al-Qaeda exactly. But separate groups that claimed allegiance because of some degree of respect and desire for an international framing of their causes. That's true of Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, original ISIS, and the Algerian group.
    I think the only notable distinct branch that has connections to the core is the Yemen one. Also the Al-Nusra front in Syria though they're heavily marginalized all things considered (ISIS stole their thunder real bad).
    Most of these groups I don't think ever much could really be considered actually "part" of Al Qaeda. It's like warlords in China who would still recognize the emperor as a symbol during chaotic times without actually being controlled by them kinda.
    But it really boils down to IMO is usually taking advantage of civil war and political unrest and it's definitely more about power than actually religious beliefs.


    It's a mix of things. The main passion that drives lots of them I don't think is power as much as a sort of religious nationalism. Thinking in a tribal sense that ironically doesn't have as much interest in religious philosophy or any of that. There's us and them. They're knocking on our doors with their corrupting outside influence! They're supporting that third invasive tribe in Israel! They're supporting these crooked secular dictators! etc. Religion exists as a banner here more than anything. A lazy factor that the conservatives in these places can use to explain resistance to changing times. Something like that always exists when social/political progress gets rocky. A conservative avatar.
    Christianity got used that way too (still does some places) when Europe was going through the rocky progress of the post-French Revolution whatnots. After Napoleon got taken out guess what the leading conservative monarchy countries called themselves when they organized an alliance to crush revolutionary activity?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Alliance
    You could easily lazily pervert Christianity to support monarchy and condemn republican ideals. And so they did.
    I'm sad about all these bombings and attacks though, it really is over the top and needs to stop. Honestly I'm more worried about Iran and North Korea (or god forbid Russia) saying "screw it" and either selling warheads to these extremists or doing the job themselves. It's unlikely though.
    North Korea maybe but uhhhhhhh....I'm gonna guess you know very little about Iran to say that lol.
    Iran is not...
    1. A crazy nutjob state like North Korea. They have actual stakes and participation in the international order. You should think of them more like Russia or China in terms of dictatorships.
    2. Sunni. Al Qaeda and almost all Islamic terrorist groups are Sunni. Iran is Shia. And if you hear about violent Shia groups you're mostly hearing about militia groups of one sort or another who have strictly local concerns and generally fight Sunnis (or Israel in the case of Hezbollah). Most Sunni Islamic terrorists consider Shias to be heretics, worth killing usually.

    So yeah ask yourself if you think Iran is going to give nukes (that it doesn't have btw) to people who hate and want to kill them. I think you'll find the answer simple!

  10. #9270
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    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    I was just reading about that suicide bombing :(
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  11. #9271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outerspec View Post
    Yeah ISIS, you're that bad where you can make Assad act the good guy.
    No good guys there. Hitler and Stalin changing hands of Warsaw. The exact people ending up dead in a ditch for being from the wrong group and not playing by the rules has only altered. And being as this was a Sunni majority area probably more will now that the government's back in charge.

  12. #9272
    The Nice Guy Outerspec's Avatar
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    That's why I said act, and I'm talking beyond just Assad claiming he's fighting rebels trying to throw the country in chaos, but the more effective, 'I'm also fighting the enemy the rest of the world is fighting.'

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissie View Post
    I was just reading about that suicide bombing :(
    Pakistan is really getting bit in the ass by the Taliban here. Ever since that school shooting in 2014 Pakistan has finally gotten really serious in driving them out and these cowardly attacks are partly in retaliation for Pakistan standing up to them.
    Everything's Eventual...


  13. #9273
    UNTITLED xan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outerspec View Post
    Pakistan is really getting bit in the ass by the Taliban here. Ever since that school shooting in 2014 Pakistan has finally gotten really serious in driving them out and these cowardly attacks are partly in retaliation for Pakistan standing up to them.
    The problem is that the Pakistan government can hardly keep the country under control. There are three factions which run their business in parallel in Pakistan - the government (eastern pak), taliban & co (western pak) and the ISI/military. The politics caused by these three end up affecting the civilians most of the times unfortunately.

    ISI serves as the mediator between the government and the Taliban. It has gone to a point where they really can't end up reigning either the Taliban or the gov't each having their own set of purposes. ISI needs the government to maintain the veil that they are indeed a solid democracy to prevent questions from outside. They also need the taliban to keep a check on Kashmir and their Western borders. The only two options they have is the gov't brutally clamping down on the terrorists, which is impossible without the ISI's intelligence or the second option where the military does yet another coup d'etat to re-establish their role in the center again.
    Last edited by xan; March 27th, 2016 at 07:59 PM.
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  14. #9274
    Pirate Huntin' Green-Hair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey King View Post
    North Korea maybe but uhhhhhhh....I'm gonna guess you know very little about Iran to say that lol.
    Iran is not...
    1. A crazy nutjob state like North Korea. They have actual stakes and participation in the international order. You should think of them more like Russia or China in terms of dictatorships.
    2. Sunni. Al Qaeda and almost all Islamic terrorist groups are Sunni. Iran is Shia. And if you hear about violent Shia groups you're mostly hearing about militia groups of one sort or another who have strictly local concerns and generally fight Sunnis (or Israel in the case of Hezbollah). Most Sunni Islamic terrorists consider Shias to be heretics, worth killing usually.

    So yeah ask yourself if you think Iran is going to give nukes (that it doesn't have btw) to people who hate and want to kill them. I think you'll find the answer simple![/COLOR]
    Shit, so your telling me North Korea is further along with nuclear warfare than Iran?! I mean I think you're probably right (I'm sure you've fact checked lol) but WTF? I was sure Iran had them or were getting close due to the US getting nervous and doing occasional sanctions. I mean if push came to shove couldn't they just buy some off Russia from their oil sales or something. If Iran isn't a threat why were we freaking out a few years back and maybe just a tad bit now?

    (Sorry if I'm off topic)

  15. #9275

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Green-Hair View Post
    Shit, so your telling me North Korea is further along with nuclear warfare than Iran?! I mean I think you're probably right (I'm sure you've fact checked lol) but WTF? I was sure Iran had them or were getting close due to the US getting nervous and doing occasional sanctions.
    Israel is the only Middle Eastern nation with nuclear weapons; Iran made it fairly far along into the process but never actually developed them. North Korea has not only developed them but successfully test detonated several nuclear devices. Though, if I recall correctly, the total yield for all of their test devices to date still wasn't as powerful as The Gadget from the Trinity test by itself.
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  16. #9276
    Pirate Huntin' Green-Hair's Avatar
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    Hmm, does this has something to do with the deal the US made with Iran somewhat recently, if I remember correctly telling them to put a lid on the nuclear experiments? I don't remember the details exactly but I do know that the US/Allies were eventually successful in getting in getting Iran to give it up to stop sanctions? My memory of this is a bit blurry though, I just can't believe Iran would be like "Screw it, lets just stop" because we told them to. But I digress.

    What does make me shit my pants is how far along North Korea has become. I was kind of being imaginative earlier, but these nuts might just be crazy enough to sell of some warheads to ISIS and the like possibly. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.


    Edit: Also forgot to mention these sick Easter attacks in Pakistan killing over 70. Occasionally Middle Eastern attacks get overlooked a bit over the European ones in the news but lives lost due to hate are lives lost. My prayer are with all these recent victims, what a week.
    Last edited by Green-Hair; March 28th, 2016 at 04:36 AM.

  17. #9277

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Green-Hair View Post
    Edit: Also forgot to mention these sick Easter attacks in Pakistan killing over 70. Occasionally Middle Eastern attacks get overlooked a bit over the European ones in the news but lives lost due to hate are lives lost. My prayer are with all these recent victims, what a week.
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  18. #9278

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthquake View Post
    do you live your life in constant fear of attack from terrorists?
    I'll have you know that being wary of New York is a grand old tradition.

  19. #9279

  20. #9280

    Default Re: Random News Article Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Green-Hair View Post
    Shit, so your telling me North Korea is further along with nuclear warfare than Iran?! I mean I think you're probably right (I'm sure you've fact checked lol) but WTF? I was sure Iran had them or were getting close due to the US getting nervous and doing occasional sanctions.
    Well uh... yeah, they have nukes (not necessarily well made ones). Iran doesn't.
    As a general rule people don't make or get nukes for the purposes of warfare. They make or get them to transform themselves into an instant untouchable nation.
    In North Korea's case they orchestrate their foreign policy on keeping everyone guessing and thinking they're dangerous, probably both for paranoid defensive purposes but also to squeeze aid out of the world. There's the distinct possibility at all times that you never really know if they're being strange, or playing up the strange.

    Iran well no one's really sure if they were actually pursuing a nuclear weapons program or not. It was highly suspected. Iran is also a country that feels boxed in and relatively friendless so I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to also get their hands on the "DO NOT TOUCH" bomb. The idea that Iran would nuke anyone (aside from the instance of being invaded) is absolutely ridiculous though. Pure scaremongering on the part of Republicans, largely based on the dumb practice of taking fiery flamboyant rhetoric speeches dead serious. Like we never learned anything from the Cold War or something. As someone with inlaws right nearby Israel, the idea of nukes being lobbed around is not on anyone's actual radar lol.

    Of course Iran getting nukes might nonetheless result in proliferation of nukes in the region, which would be very bad. Suddenly Turkey's making nukes, suddenly Saudi Arabia and Egypt are too. Oh boy. That isn't a problem not. Oh and if you're wondering Israel already has nukes, it's the most open secret in the world.

    I mean if push came to shove couldn't they just buy some off Russia from their oil sales or something.
    Russia isn't going to give nukes to anyone lol. No one wants to spread nukes around outside of a zone they have control over. Iran and Russia aren't exactly close friends, but even if they were I'd never think Russia would give nukes around.

    If Iran isn't a threat why were we freaking out a few years back and maybe just a tad bit now?
    Maybe they were trying to build a nuclear program, maybe not. It's not a great thing if they were, it's good to make them stop if that's what they were in fact up to. But no one but idiot politicians who should have known better (or did...) were talking about Iran just plain ol' glassing Israel. Iran and Israel don't even really have major interests that clash, hell most Arab countries don't. Saudi Arabia and Israel are basically great friends underneath the facade of hatred and condemnation for instance.
    Any Islamic and/or Arab country that wants to extend it's influence over the Middle East has to appeal to the most clear cause celebre in the region. The issue of the Palestinians. So Iran joins in on the dogpile on Israel even though they really don't share exact religion or ethnicity with the Palestinians. Or history. Or language. Or borders. They're both Muslim is about it lol.
    Likewise the leader of Israel uses Iran right back, to push his various agendas. They make a very fitting boogieman and have more or less served that persona up on a silver platter to Netanyahu.

    Iran is also a theocracy (that is still much more liberal than many of the countries in the area lol). So it easily got pushed into the "scary muslim" bin after 9-11.
    Also their previous president was a dumb stupid asshole who basically gave Iran the absolute worst international PR job a country has received in recent memory during his tenure. He was a sort of Iranian George Bush Trump. And the supreme leader of the country is not a good guy at all either, though he has hella more tact than that previous president.

    You'll hear some commonly mentioned stuff that really isn't true much at all:

    1. Iran exports terrorism!!!: Iran funds some regional militia groups that share their religion (Shia Islam), that are almost all of them basically religious nationalist movements rather than fundamentalists. They fight within or across the border from the countries they're native too. And Iran is funding them mostly to fuck with rivals in the region, which actually is way more Saudi Arabia than it is Israel. You know how I said Israel doesn't actually have much real beef with Iran? Well not so true of the Saudis and Iranians. Who stare across the Persian Gulf warily at eachother, and most of those militias I mentioned are competing against Saudi influence in their countries (especially Yemen). Is this good stuff they're doing? Mostly no, not at all in some cases considering they support the nasty genocidal government of Syria. But is it Al Qaeda/ISIS behavior? lol no.
    Really it's the same dirty shit we did in Latin America during the cold war. Giving money to armed groups and nasty dictators in our neighborhood that would advance our interests. Really none of what Iran is funding remotely has anything to do with the US harm wise.

    2. Iran is crazy conservative and Taliban/ISIS like!!!: hahahaha, no. And really it's quite funny too. Iran is a conservative religious theocracy. The top leader is a clerical figure by design, various religious positions are built into the structure of the government. And no they're not Islamic Jesuits. But no way are they comparable to the Talican or ISIS. Or even Saudi-Arabia. Or even basic social values in secular countries like Egypt. Iran is fundamentally more liberal a place, meaning even under a theocracy? The conservative religious culture is coming from a lower level of strict. Things were (naturally) worse when the theocracy was first in power, but things have liberalized steadily (with some setbacks, that previous president for instance) since. Definitely one of the better places to be female in the middle east I'd wager. And really I should emphasize that a lot of that liberalization has happened IN SPITE of the theocracy rather than because. You know all those stories during prohibition about how basically everyone and their mother secretly ignored the law? In all sorts of creative ways? Well yeah, it's a lot like that. Open secrets everywhere. I think though the best symbol of this tension of a crusty old theocracy laid atop a pretty modern and liberal population is symbolized by just looking up pictures of Iranian Women or Girls in google. Know first that by law women have to wear a hijab (headscarf), and the observe in the pictures how utterly half-assed most of the headscarf applications are.

    3. The Iranian Government is Crazy!!!: Really not at all. You'll find crazy quotes from the Supreme Leader, the previous president, and various other officials sure. But this is par for the course really. During the Cold War heated and clearly hyperbolic statements from the Communist leaders were the norm. Communism (fellow religion to Shia Islam) is a romantic and glorious promise and vision. It got couched in absurd hyperbole on the regular. A theocratic regime is going to act the same way. WE WILL BURY YOU etc. An actual look at the Iranian government and yes, it's a theocracy (though a sort of lax and cranky with arthritis one), also yes at the end of the day it's also an authoritarian state. But compared to places like China and Russia? It's actually a much fairer unfair system! And certainly one that features a load of democratic institutions...nestled unhappily at the bosom of the authoritarian ones. Point is though? Is that an awful lot of government process in Iran involves the same banal shit ours does. Boring committees, arguing congress people, that guy you gotta check with before you can do that other thing with the other guy. Mostly Iran's government is kinda plain even with it's bizarro system. There's a lot of checks and balances and red tape and crap. So yeah a lot better than Russia actually. Iran lacks strongman politics. And strongman politics are where cray cray usually enters the picture. Not to mention Iran is actually reasonably well run it would seem, in terms of basic maintenance and upkeep of the joint. Like they got a well educated population, a healthy birth rate, a pretty good development level that makes the place around a sort of Eastern Europe level of quality of life. It's not some collapsing hell heap like Burma or North Korea, which is another true symptom of a crazy regime. Crazy regimes don't mow the lawn y'know?

    Other things it would be good to know.

    Shia and Sunni are the main two branches of Islam. Think like...Catholic and Protestant in terms of relationships, tensions, differences. In terms of traditions and religious meaning Shia Islam is a lot more like Catholicism (and therefore Orthodox Christianity too). They love iconography, veneration of what are basically saints for all intents and purposes, keeping track of a ton of people aside from Jesus Mohammed, having a more complex tradition of religious hierarchy and so on. Lots of Sunni hated for Shias stem for damned similar complaints Protestants sometimes have of Catholic/Orthodox Christians. (stop "worshipping" Mary!!! iconographer!!!).

    Iran is Persia. The main ethnicity in Iran is as such Persian/Iranian. They're not Arab, it's not even a related language they speak (Persian is a distant relative of English actually). There are Arabs in Iran, but they're a minority along the Persian Gulf and lowlands near Iraq. Iran is also not low deserts. They have some desert, but mostly the country is high and rugged. It's a country of mountains and plateaus, with even some nice green space here and there.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Green-Hair View Post
    Edit: Also forgot to mention these sick Easter attacks in Pakistan killing over 70. Occasionally Middle Eastern attacks get overlooked a bit over the European ones in the news but lives lost due to hate are lives lost. My prayer are with all these recent victims, what a week.
    It's sort of arguable (well not imo), and quibbling on my part. But Pakistan really isn't in the Middle East. It's in the same region as India and those places. "South Asia".

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    I'll have you know that being wary of New York is a grand old tradition.
    Vintage 1970's .
    Seriously though, Manhattan is practically a grimy Disney park these days.
    do they fly Swedes in to JFK and immediatly shuttle them to the south bronx or what

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