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Comment Re:I wouldn't trust non-professional reviewers (Score 1) 248

For specialized products that require some expertise to be appreciated that could be true (ex high end cameras, guns etc), but for most everyday objects (books, music) anyone can have a valid and often very insightful opinion. Personally for exotic stuff I look up reviews on specialized forums (ex for PC stuff I go to newegg reviews rather then Amazon). Aggregate reviews on those "professional" forums will be an excellent barometer. On a side note regular people often notice small sometimes obvious things that "professionals" overlook and comment on them.

Comment Re:If Afghanistan hadn't been so neglected... (Score 1) 707

Not true. For example Germans built loads of bridges in Afghanistan before war world 2 and considering that Europe had way bigger problems 20th century (two world wars, cold war etc), it's unfair to blame Europe for Afghanistan's woes.
People of Afghanistan never wanted western help and resisted any contact with western cultures.
Afghanistan is just a collection of warring tribes with different goals and no national identity. The state is doomed to failure.
Those who want help, need to help themselves first.

Comment Re:great (Score 1) 51

Admittedly I have no experience with city contracts and living in a different country I don't know much about american government's procurement process but it seems to me that all their deals will be put under a microscope from now on. I wouldn't be surprised if they lost their government contracts anyway, regardless of the fine. Fact that an actual huge multinational corporation has actually been found guilty is what gives me hope.

Comment Re:I have problems with this (Score 1) 1319

Believe it or not some people are not afraid of death (not me per say being an atheist), but I've met old people while working in an retirement home that simply died happy with a smile on their faces. Being unafraid of death does not mean someone is looking for it. A truly religious person ( ex my brother) believes that we were given a gift of life for a reason and we should not waste it. It really is hard to fully understand that sort of argument, but I admit I kind of respect it and maybe even envy it a little. I've noticed that that kind of faith gives a tremendous amount of internal strength.

Comment Re:Read a comment by a US naval commander (Score 2) 1319

For the record I'm a Polish-Canadian atheist.
this was a series of rather shallow arguments:
1. "Muslims never winning a war unless fighting against each other" .. from the top of my head : history of Ottoman empire, fall of Constantinople, crusades etc etc..
2. Accepting God's will does not imply any sort of fatalist passive attitude in Islam or Christianity. Jihad in itself means striving to better oneself and our surroundings ie "God helps those who help themselves" attitude. You have a similar concept in Christianity, and in most major religions.
3. Islam never having a renascence: It had one when Europe was in the middle of dark ages. Medicine, Science, philosophy flourished.. just google "Islamic golden age" . Wikipedia has a good article on that. Which goes to show that Islam and science are not mutually exclusive.
4. As to Islam not moving on. I don't know how to respond to that .. what does "move on" even mean? Islam is made up of dozens internal branches that move in different directions progress at different speeds; some are more orthodox then others .. just like Christanity really. Similarly any moderate Christian is as hard to define as a moderate muslim. It all depends on your point of view.
5. You imply that all technology has western civilization as it source (Bit with the Turks and their cellphones). I won't even bother commenting on that.
6. Culture clashes are also the source of some of our greatest achievements and discoveries. If the Arabs didn't invade Europe we'd still be using Roman numerals. If the Romans didn't invade half the world, we wouldn't have the legal system we have now. If Cortes didn't invade Aztecs .. etc etc..
Personally I do not believe in higher power but have enough respect and insight to actually appreciate religion's contributions to science, philosophy and art. In an age when our moral development lags far behind technological one we could learn a lot from major religions even if we do not believe in God. There are many reasons to criticize religions for but if if you do at least do a bit of research beforehand. Otherwise you make us atheists look like unreasonable, uneducated zealots.

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Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side. - Han Solo