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John Cuthber

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Everything posted by John Cuthber

  1. "I realise this question "The Taliban protected and supported terrorists - directly the ones responsible for 9/11. That's material support. I have no issues with that. Why do you?" wasn't aimed at me but. can I just point out that the Taliban didn't do a very good job of protecting the terrorists who were directly responsible for 9/11. Every one of them died in a plane crash. Seriously, most of them were Saudis so blaming the Afghans is a bit dumb. Are you serious? You don't think it would be dumb to automatically blame the Saudis without investigation because the hijackers were of that nationality? And you're judging America about due process??? " Er, yes and no. I was joking about the idea that the Taliban had looked after the 9/11 bombers. That idea is still ironic. Just a thought that you don't seem to have noticed. Why do you think a bunch of Saudi blokes went to Afghanistan to get trained up as fighters for the cause? If I wanted to set up a terrorist training camp I might think about Afghanistan as a venue. The rule of law there is more than a little suspect. I reckon that, provided I had cash, I could persuade one of the local warlords to use some of there space. I certainly wouldn't want to do that in Saudia where a very repressive regime rules the place (that's not to say the Taliban are not repressive- just that they aren't as good at it. They have only been practicing since the Russians left. That Saudis have been at it for ages). OK that's some sort of explanation for the training camps in Afghanistan. Why are they full of Saudi people like the 9/11 bombers and OBL himself? Could it possibly be that Saudia isn't a very nice place? I gather it's just fine if, like Mr Bush, you are a rich oilman. They seem to have something in common with the Saudi royal family. Perhaps it's a shared sense of moral values when it comes to locking up troublemakers. Unfortunately, if you happen to disagree with the system. you are in trouble. Oh, BTW WRT this exchange; "The International Community is pretty unanimous in their opinion, America disagrees (And probably at least half of the US citizens agree with the International Community) but it's the rest of the world who isn't "rational"? It's the rest of the planet FCS that's "making idiotic comments" and needs to grow up? I don't care who you are, that's funny right there. Unless you are a lemming, there is no reason to believe that the majority is right about our system of justice, particularly if they do not show any evidence of understanding our system." Er, no. The idea of valuing the opinion of the majority is called democracy. Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like an answer to the 4 questions John B has put and also for any gainsayment of the 4 points he made about the practices and existence of Gitmo. For the record, I accept that you have made a reply to those 4 questions; it was this "This is the complex issue of our day. We have an ill defined enemy who does consider himself to be at war with the US and others. The President has determined that applying full civilian rights to such individuals will not be effective and I tend to agree. The US Supreme Court has weighed in and afforded the rights as evidenced by Hamden and I also tend to agree with that decision primarily because of your last three questions. This is not a typical war but I also tend to think it is more war than a criminal justice exericse." Unfortunately, it doesn't actually answer the questions- Would you like another go? Also it's not the complex issue of our day; it's a very old problem. Here in the UK we had to deal with the IRA whose position was not that different from Al Q or any other terrorist group. We tried internment (bloody fools that we were). It didn't work. It won't work any better now and the reasons are essentially the points JohnB made.
  2. I understand that racing greyhounds are trained to urinate in bowls so the urine can be tested for performance enhancing drugs. Perhaps training the dog would be easier than sorting out the chemistry. BTW, urea is a white crystaline odourless solid. The smell comes from products of bacterial degradation of urea and other things that are present.
  3. John Cuthber


    "There is only one identity in the universe. -I- what you are born with, an identity" If there's only one identity then it doesn't make sense to talk of "an identity" because it implies another identity. Also, I don't see how you can say there's only one identity; mine is different from my neighbour's.
  4. Five pages of thread and I still haven't seen a good argument against simply treating these people as suspected criminals. Finding out if there's real evidence, punishing the guilty and releasing the innocent. While the West keeps prisoners in this way it demeans us and lends support to the terrorists and those seking to recruit more young people to die for the cause. As John B says, everyone else tries terrorists as criminals; it seems to work. What's different about these people?
  5. Insane Alien, I have a photographic plate and some aluminium; would you like to swap it for a gamma camera? I can't seem to afford one.
  6. I think you might do better to avoid double posting and to start a new thread for a new topic. Since you are new, I'll answer anyway but please don't do it again. As it happens the first equation is ballanced. There might be lots of uses for that reaction. Heating copper in air leaves it covered with a layer of oxide. That layer can be removed by washing with dilute H2SO4 to give CuSO4 which dissolves. I'm not sure, but I think CuO might exist naturally as a copper ore. If it does then you might want to extract the ore with dilute acid to recover the copper for processing.
  7. Recently one of those so called enemy combatants was released without charge because there was no real evidence against him so I guess it's nice that nobody shot him; btw he was picked up on a business trip in Gambia so shooting him might have been a bit embarrassing. Nobody paraded the inmates of Guantanamo bay which is why none of us has any recollection of the kneeling prisoners in bright orange jump suits. I think the rest of the quote was something like this. Suddenly, things like the homeland security act come into force and are accepted by the public as a "wartime necessity" (IIRC income tax was one of those too). You milk it a little more by getting the West to show the pics of OBL making threatening remarks. you play clips of leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong." I didn't need to change much. It's not that I condone terrorism; I've been too close to being a victim to do that. It's just that I also don't condone governments telling lies to their people about Saddam's WMD being 40 minutes from launching an attack. I don't condone restricting the freedoms of ordinary citizens of the US or UK in the name of a fake "war" on terror. I'm not saying that Iran's government is more ethical than mine, yours or anyone else's. I don't see the point in ignoring the fact that the other guys have a point of view. They didn't get out of bed one day and start screaming "death to the West" because they are stupid. They do that because they see the West as an oppressor. OK, they have been galvanised into action by political leaders who are after power. Locking a few up without a trial didn't help the West there, but it's great propaganda for recruiting terrorists. Invading a country to get rid of a tyrant (who we put there in the first place) didn't help either. I can't help thinking it would have been better to get a broader international consensus there. As it stands it looks, at best, rather like trying to grab the oil; at worst it looks like cultural suppression. You can hardly blame their political leaders for doing something with rather strong parallels with the behaviour of Messrs Bush and Blair, like taking random individuals as prisoners in order to bolster local support. After all- it worked. I'm not trying to slam the West; just trying to see both sides. You might want to try that too.
  8. That's a very good question. I think the answer is that the ions in solution are hydrated and these hydrated ions are too big to go through the membrane pores.
  9. I realise this question "The taliban protected and supported terrorists - directly the ones responsible for 9/11. That's material support. I have no issues with that. Why do you?" wasn't aimed at me but. can I just point out that the Taliban didn't do a very good job of protecting the terrorists who were directly responsible for 9/11. Every one of them died in a plane crash. Seriously, most of them were Saudis so blaming the Afghans is a bit dumb. BTW, have you all forgotten about the other bloke who was recently freed- the one who also had no evidence against him and who was only freed as a result of the UK govt's pressure. Whatever Hicks did or didn't do seems to be a bit lost in the world of propaganda. What about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisher_Amin_Khalil_Al-Rawi#Release_negotiation released, eventually because there really wasn't a case against him?
  10. OK, I admit I know little about clay and nearly nothing about building. Also, I realise this may be a really dumb question but, is any clay a good thing to build houses on? It seems to me that , when it rains, it would go soggy.
  11. Er? "So why is it that a weak acid like HCLO4 can be made by its conjugate pairs H+ and CLO4- " ?? HClO4 is an exceptionally strong acid.
  12. Good luck getting any animal experiments past an ethics committee. Come to that, good luck getting hold of any radioisotopes. You don't need a gamma camera; autoradiography will work quite nicely.
  13. Betina I can agree with half of this "I don't see it that way. I see Iran as a bully and the UK caving in by apologizing for being in international waters under a U.N. mandate." There's no question they are being bullies but I don't think the UK has apologised at all for this (and, of course, nor should we). Wherever they ship was, Iraq lost any plausibility when it first complained about the Brits being in Iran's waters. The location they gave was in Iraq's territory; our presence there may be questionable but it's not Iran's business to try to do anything about it. Since the Iranian forces didn't seem to know where they were... BTW, does this "You capture some British soilders, regardless if they actually did anything wrong. PArade them around and present them as an enemy threat. Suddenly, Iranians don't feel as safe. Moderates are pushed towards supporting the radicals out of fear. You milk it a little more by getting the West to make threatening remarks... you play clips of Western leaders saying things out of context, and suddenly you have a whole lot more support. People tend to forget whether their enemy actually did anything wrong." remind anyone of gitmo?
  14. I am not, nor have I ever been, someone who knew that man.
  15. In my opinion it's 42 this week but it will be a bit bigger next week, shrinking slowly after Easter; fortunately my opinion doesn't count for much. 0* infinity =42 Multiply both sides by zero (an odd opperation for a mathematician, but sort of legitimate. Division by zero is forbidden, not multiplication) and get 0*0*infinity=0 0*0=0 so I can simplify the first term and get 0*infinity =0 (zero squared really is zero; this simplification is legitimate) OK, that's one of the values you accept so we agree. This is an amusing game but contributes little to mathematics so those in charge simply banned it. Division by zero (and the equivalent multiplication by infinity) are not defined.
  16. I wrote "There is, at least potentially, another way to avoid that theoretical city's destruction. Stop acting in such a way as to make it easy for terrorist organisations to recruit followers. For example, do not detain people indefinitely without trial apparently on the basis that they are Muslims." And got the reply that "This is putting the cart before the horse. I empathize with the sentiment, but a better example could have been selected. It also fails to acknowledge the point that people are responsible for their own behavior. But as I said, I empathize with the sentiment. We can do much better on this front, and it appears that we really have no choice but to do so, since we can't keep going on like this." I haven't seen the proof, but according to one of this morning's newspapers the British man released earlier because they noticed that there was no evidence against him (the official reason for his detention was "possession of a suspicious device"; it was a battery charger) doesn't give any hope that the American Government has learned a lot about building bridges. Sure he was released as an innocent man against whom no charges had formally been made, and only 4 years late. The authorities saw fit to lead him out of jail in handcuffs and a blindfold. That's how they think one should treat the innocent (by their own admission) residents of a friendly country. If that turns out to be true then it's shameful. I think it's indefensible, does anyone disagree?
  17. It's very very nearly true, at any one time I doubt there's more than a few atoms of radioactive nitrogen in me formed by cosmic ray interactions. Of course some theories say that protons decay given time so there are no stable isotopes. I could use the ratio of the 2 stable nitrogen isotopes to look for patterns related to food etc in the same way that it can be done with carbon 13/ carbon 12 signatures. Why would they need to be radioactive? In fact, I couldn't do it with the radioisotopes of nitrogen because they are absurdly rare. Anyway since they don't last long enough to be digested there wouldn't be any point trying. I think you need to check some references.
  18. "And therefore to maintain our integrity amoungst the international community we must complete our goals." What were these goals? IIRC the major "goal" was to ensure that Saddam (who is now dead) didn't use his weapons of mass destruction (which never existed). The longer we stay there the easier it is for the likes of Bin Laden to say "look they are our enemies- they invade the countries of our brother Moslems". Only a tiny minority of Moslems are out to destroy the West, but the longer we stay in Iraq (and Afghanistan) the more difficult we make it for the moderates and the easier we make it for the radicals. Many of those in the international community think that this "war on terror" is just stiring things up.
  19. Bettina, Given that the UK has at the disposal of its armed forces everything up to and including nclear weapons I don't see how the statement "Diplomacy has to be backed up with strength which unfortunately puts the UK in a non bargaining position." makes sense. If you mean that we are weak because we try diplomacy first then I for one am quite happy to be weak.
  20. Bascule, Why would it be insane to get a pint when you ordered one? We have been drinking pints here since before there was a US of A and it seems to have worked well enough. (As Klaynos pointed out it would be illegal not to, but that's not the point; whats wrong with a pint?)
  21. I didn't make that assumption. I was pointing out that Congress could declare war and clarify the matter. They have not. Presumably that's for a reason. Their reason may actually be valid. This might not really be a war. BTW, at camp Xray the American government doesn't seem to be struggling with the rules- it simply broke them. There is, at least potentially, another way to avoid that theoretical city's destruction. Stop acting in such a way as to make it easy for terrorist organisations to recruit followers. For example, do not detain people indefinitley without trial apparently on the basis that they are Moslems.
  22. Salicylic acid is also used for wart removal.
  23. I seem to recall an incident where a well organised military force tried to extract hostages from a situation. They knew where the hostages were, they had full plans of the building, they had plenty of time to plan their raid, they had vastly superior numbers and equipment, they had full access to the building and to the surrounding area. 129 of the hostages died in the Moscow theater seige. I think diplomacy has its place.
  24. The whole thread is redundant because these things (like earwax) are not waste products. BTW, I strongly suspect that much of the liver's waste is excreted through the lungs.
  25. "When was the last time a war was officially declared?" Probably WWII but it hardly matters. The US constitution gives Congress the authority to declare war and they have not done so.
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