User talk:TheTimesAreAChanging

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The Sega Article[edit]

Before you revert the edits on the Sega Article, present me good arguments why the article was good the way it was before. You still haven't responded to my points responding to your concerns. Talk:Sega#Proposed mass deletion

Talkback[edit]

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Hello, TheTimesAreAChanging. You have new messages at Talk:Khmer_Rouge#Revert.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Random note[edit]

Hi, TTAAC. Crossing paths with you in recent discussions, after not seeing you for quite a while, reminded me that long ago I wanted to drop a note here regarding something I noticed in your contributions. So better late than never; the note from me to you would have read something like: "If I find out that you worked for Insomniac Games, and have a license plate on your car that reads 'GO SONIC', I'm going to completely "lose my shit" and demand that you call me immediately." If such a message is nonsensical to you, and it likely is (but I just can't shake this nagging notion), please disregard it. Best, Xenophrenic (talk)

Executions in post-war Vietnam[edit]

Since the source on the Vietnam War page debunking claims made by Jackson and Desbarets does not suggest that few executions took place, are there are any reliable sources that do make an attempt to estimate the total death toll from executions? Stumink (talk) 22:40, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

There were countless Western reporters in Vietnam when Saigon fell, and many were expecting a massacre. However, what those journalists witnessed—and reported back home—was nothing of the sort. Far from settling scores in a fit of vengeful rage, the North Vietnamese troops were extremely well-disciplined and on their absolute best behavior: There was nothing even remotely comparable to the Viet Cong's conduct at Hue. Rightly or wrongly, those initial media reports have heavily influenced all subsequent discussion regarding the question of post-war reprisals in Vietnam.
In reality, it is perhaps unsurprising that Hanoi did not consider the prospect of a spectacular bloodletting in full view of the international media to be advantageous at that time. (In addition, the mechanisms that might lead a Marxist-Leninist regime to pursue a program of political purge hardly require hate-crazed, undisciplined soldiers.) Nevertheless, it is a fact that allegations of a post-war "bloodbath" in Vietnam are almost impossible to find in the scholarly literature, with the exception of fringe sources like Rummel. That there was no "bloodbath"—although many Vietnamese were detained in reeducation camps or died trying to flee the country—is simply the standard account. Even The Black Book of Communism makes this point (before briefly questioning whether things might have been different if the Tet Offensive had brought about the collapse of South Vietnam in 1968).
The Desbarats-Jackson study was consciously intended to rebut this standard narrative; unfortunately, the authors botched the job. Desbarats and Jackson seem to be under the impression that their method of extrapolation is "extremely conservative," not least of all because their study excluded all cases of execution except those that the interviewees personally witnessed. However, there is no way to escape the limitations of the underlying data: Seriously, just ask any statistician about a duplication rate of 34%! Even more dubious is Desbarats's near-doubling of this estimate to 100,000 in The Vietnam Debate—based solely on an alleged admission by a top Vietnamese official that "two and a half million, rather than one million, people went through reeducation." (Here Desbarats simply conflates the concentration camps with other, far milder forms of "reeducation.") While both Desbarats and Jackson have done serious work elsewhere, their contributions to this topic are more of a cautionary tale.
In sum, there is precious little evidence to support claims of a post-war "bloodbath" in Vietnam, those claims that have been made are not widely accepted, and it would violate WP:DUE to suggest otherwise. There is some corroborating evidence of a post-war purge—for example, Le Thi Anh's April 1977 National Review article "The New Vietnam," which says that "30,000 South Vietnamese had been systematically killed using a list of CIA informants left behind by the US embassy"—but a definitive answer might well require the opening of the Vietnamese archives.
If all you want is a nominally respectable source to justify the inclusion of contentious material, then The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia fits the bill precisely—recent, top-quality publisher, not tainted by association with Desbarats and Jackson. Yet its estimates still seem exceptionally high, and it is not clear what they are based on; we should be wary of perpetuating citogenesis.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 02:46, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Well I would definitely support some mention of allegations of excecutions from respectable sources mentioned above even if reports of excecutions are hardly confirmed. I hardly think it would a problem to mention the high estimates as long as the sources are not described as a confirmed fact. Stumink (talk) 14:45, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I am watching this page due to a previous exchange. I am categorically against putting The next frontier—with its off-the-cuff hysteria about 2 million jailed dissidents and 100-250K killed in 18(!) months—in the article. This a clear violation of WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE: by flashing these ridiculous numbers we are handing the microphone to a view that is beyond fringe, beyond even Desbarats and far beyond the Black Book of Communism. And fringe claims do not become OK simply because they are prefaced with "according to", because serious claims are often prefaced in exactly the same way and the reader won't know the difference. Nor do fringe sources become notable and valuable because they are the only ones that give "the number": that's actually precisely why they are fringe. Furthermore, and even more importantly, this is a case of WP:EXCEPTIONAL: exceptional claims require exceptional sources. One does not simply declare that some government has slaughtered 100-250K in one year. This would put post-war Vietnam in league with Joseph Stalin (1937-38) and Suharto (1965-66), two colossal purges that have been covered in literally thousands of excellent sources. This is a level of scholarship that allows—in fact requires—us to discuss numbers. For Vietnam we have one source that's been debunked and a non-Vietnam-specialist source which contains an essentially baseless bloodbath allegation. That's two worthless sources plus some minor echoes in Rummel and Vietnamese exile literature. You'd think a purge of this magnitude would be mentioned in virtually every serious book, but it's not—although its absence often is. Are all Vietnam specialists idiots? At least Desbarats did a whole research project on the topic; Frontiers just throws the allegation out there without even a smattering of research. So unlike Desbarats, Frontiers is not even wrong.
When we look for numerical estimates about some event or phenomenon, we want numbers that have been properly researched and vetted. At the very least, we want an honest educated guess. We don't need stuff along the lines of: "did you know that crocodiles have killed 2 million people in the 20th century"? "Estimates" like that are worse, much worse than no numbers at all, and can completely destroy an article. I've seen it happen.Guccisamsclub (talk) 21:45, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree completely with Gucci's comment above, and could not have put it better.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 23:26, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
@Stumink:, @Guccisamsclubs:, @Smallchief:: In the interest of considering all of the evidence against my position, the recent dispute at Fall of Saigon has caused me to reexamine communist defector Nguyen Cong Hoan's 1977 Congressional testimony. Hoan says: "Although no bloodbath has taken place in Saigon or the major cities of the South [emphasis added] as it had been widely feared, based on the Tet 1968 experience in Hue, in the provinces where there are no observers eliminations and killings have occurred on a widespread scale and under many forms, some so subtle that no outside observer can possibly detect. For instance, in a typical province which I know well since it is my own, Phu Yen, directly after the communist takeover around 500 people were killed en masse in a forested area of Hoa Quang village, Tuy Hoa district, Phu Yen province, around 15 kilometers west of Tuy Hoa town. The victims of this mass execution were Dai Viet party members, police, intelligence, and Phoenix officers, people with an anti-communist record, and hoi chanhs. Some 200 other people have been eliminated in the days that followed and in the last two years. ... Now my province has a population of 300,000 and over 6,000 people are in jail. Therefore it is easy to project and see that the total numbers of political prisoners in South Vietnam must come to no less than 200,000 at the minimum." Consider the implications: If 700 individuals were executed in Hoan's province of 300,000—and this can be projected for the entire South Vietnamese population of roughly 30 million—then it begins to seem possible that the communists could have executed as many as 70,000 opponents from 1975-1977. However, this claim should be taken with caution, because there is simply no way to know whether or not what Tuy Hoa experienced was normal or exceptional, and Hoan's account is not given much credence in the secondary literature. In addition, there are other factors to consider. For example, over 10 million South Vietnamese fled to the major cities during the war (making South Vietnam among the most urbanized nations in the region): Where those city-dwellers all immune from retribution? Even so, Hoan is a far better source than Desbarats, suggesting that this debate cannot be definitively resolved—although we do have an obligation to report the consensus view, which is that no major bloodbath is known to have occurred.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 01:00, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I should also add that Hoan himself does not give any figure for the total number of executions (as that would be silly; he wouldn't know). Gucci's earlier objection, that Human Events may have misattributed its estimate of 50,000-100,000 to Hoan, appears vindicated. Finally, Hoan is obviously working off the assumption of a lower South Vietnamese population than I am.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 01:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I see no problem in mentioning this in the form of "mass executions have been reported {footnote with source and numbers}". As Times has pointed out any linear extrapolation from this is extremely problematic, even if we accept Hoan's testimony as 100% true (and it's not clear that we should). While I personally have absolutely no problem with mentioning this, WP:PRIMARY is something to consider. Guccisamsclubs (talk) 01:28, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
He might also be working with an entirely different ratio. I find it hard to believe that Hoan has no idea about the population of South Vietnam—and if he does not, so much worse for his credibility. If we apply the ration suggested by his prison estimate (bear in mind that prison =/= labor camp), the total number of executions will be around 23,000. Guccisamsclubs (talk) 01:42, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Hoan is using "prison" to refer to the re-education camps; his remarks on the "prison" population are in a section titled "the Reeducation and Labor Reform Program of the Vietnamese Communists," and in preceding paragraphs he details the seven camps in his province, containing approximately 6,000 "prisoners." That said, you make a good point about the ratio, further underscoring the questionable nature of the figures for executions and camp inmates attributed to Hoan by Human Events and Stephen J. Morris. Therefore, if Hoan is to be cited at all, his own testimony should be used rather than the wildly inaccurate paraphrases by fringe Right-wingers with an ax with grind. (In light of this sort of sloppiness, one is tempted to wonder if the Orange County Register derived its estimate of 165,000 camp deaths by combining the 65,000 executions alleged by the discredited Desbarats-Jackson study with Desbarats's revised estimate of 100,000 executions. While it's hard to believe the Orange County Register could be that careless, more reputable scholars commit errors like that all the time—see, for example, Elizabeth Becker's double-counting of already inaccurate statistics in After the War was Over: "Officially half a million Cambodians died on the Lon Nol side of the war; another 600,000 were said to have died in Khmer Rouge zones.")TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 03:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
re becker: that's pretty horrible—I can sort of see now why you dislike her work so much Guccisamsclubs (talk) 12:38, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
The plot thickens. The Northwest Asian Weekly claimed on July 5, 1996 that "150,000-175,000 camp prisoners (are) unaccounted for." Maybe the Orange County Register chose 165,000 because it lies somewhere within that range. Of course, it would be rather surprising if only half of the prisoners survived.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 13:40, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
This goes against my better judgement (wasting time of uncitable sources 99% certain to be utter crap), but curiosity dictates we submit this to the ref desk. Many libraries carry back issues of this obscure paper. This might out be on a limb, but to me it kinda looks like Desbarat's 100K + Encarta's 50-75K (dead at sea). But, it may be citogenesis going from Asia Weekly to Encarta. Indeed none of these alleged deaths have ever "been accounted" for. But more worthwhile, imo, would be tracking down Chanda's 1976 column in FEER, where he claims an allegedly official 200,000 figure, contradicting the sources cited in Ginetta.Guccisamsclubs (talk) 14:30, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Re: Richard Nixon[edit]

The ridiculous editorializing that Richard Nixon resigned to "almost certain impeachment and removal from office" is kept in? This is pure speculation, since he resigned and impeachment proceedings weren't commence or a trial. This is not encyclopediic language. You say there is a consensus, so it stays. I am well aware of the "consensus" among liberals who hate Richard Nixon and make him out to be the Anti-Christ, and the personfication and use every opportunity to belittle and denigrate him inluding this scurrilous speculation about his "almost certain impeachment and removal from office", which is just their venting their spleen. I thought Wikipedia was an encyclopedia, not a political soapbox, apparently I was wrong, this is a quasi-encylcopedia. The standards are maintained for the Leftist heroes such as Fidel Castro a Communist dictator referred to as a "leader" while dictators of the Right are honestly described as dictators. I am not suggesting that the Rightist dictators not be described as such, only that there not be double standards. RN's WP page is only one example of a widespread bias on Wikipedia. NapoleonX (talk) 20:37, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, Wikipedia has a pervasive Left-wing bias (most editors will say this is merely because "reality has a Left-wing bias"). However, because most of the media and nearly all of academia (i.e., our "reliable sources") share this Leftist bias there is nothing that can be done—except adding the occasional attributed counterpoint and ensuring that Wikipedia's line isn't even farther Left than that of the most-respected reliable sources (as it so often is).
Since you brought it up, please forgive the following digression: Most Wikipedia editors are, indeed, exactly the sort of "champions for human rights and social justice" you describe—the kind that reveal their true colors by refusing to describe Castro as a dictator (or, say, demanding that the Brexit referendum be repeated until the voters vote the right way). In fact, I'm the only Wikipedia editor I know of that openly condemns the madness and evil of the regressive far-Left, as it sanctimoniously lectures college students on the moral necessity for all white people to commit suicide and defends socialist dictators for allegedly "doing good things for their people" or "killing mostly former oppressors that deserved it." (All one has to do is imagine how the Left would respond if the shoe was on the other foot, and public intellectuals were allowed to defend Pinochet for actually doing good things for his people or mostly killing Marxist terrorists determined to transform Chile into a totalitarian terror outpost of the Soviet Union, to immediately see through the unspoken premises of Leftist propaganda, which is by no means particularly clever or subtle to anyone with half a brain.)
All that said, as is common for most major Wikipedia biographies, Richard M. Nixon largely takes an apolitical and even sympathetic view of its subject. That Nixon faced almost certain impeachment is not open to serious dispute. If we can agree that Barry Goldwater's conservative credentials are not in doubt, consider what he told Nixon the day before the resignation: "Goldwater told Nixon he had perhaps 16 to 18 Senate supporters left—too few to avoid ouster. Congressman Rhodes said House support was just as soft ... [Goldwater] himself would now vote for conviction."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 23:07, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for responding to my commentary. Thanks also for acknowledging the liberal bias on Wikipedia. I think we should strive to state facts, and call leaders dictators if they truly are, regardless of whether they are of the Right or the Left. I don't think either is preferable, they are equally evil tyrants. The only thing that differs is their level of evil, they are all illegitimate tyrants. Thanks also for showing I'm not alone as the only Conservative on Wikipedia. It sometimes seems like that. I feel a bit like Winston Smith in 1984 conversing with O'Brien, with O'Brien contending that reality is what the Party says it is. My point is not that only liberals thought it was "Almost certain impeachment" but rather it is speculation. It's fine for somebody to have speculation or an opinion of how something would have gone. But an encylopedia is not an editorial or Op-Ed piece. Its job is to report facts, and if they were to cite Barry Goldwater, quoted him as saying that he was sure Nixon would have been impeached if he hadn't resigned, that would fit in with what an encylopedia is supposed to be. But to state as a fact that Richard Nixon resigned "faced with almost certain impeachment" is not encylcopedic and contaminates the facts in WP. Yes I know there will always be bias, but I was trying to correct the stating as fact what was opinion or speculation. It's not because I'm a Republican that I do this, while I am a Conservative Republican. I pointed out a statement of opinion in Adolf Hitler's WP page and as you can imagine I have NO sympathy with that psychotic demon. I simply wanted "just the facts"as Joe Friday of Dragnet would say NapoleonX (talk) 01:05, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't think Nixon would have resigned if he thought he could have held on. Regardless, because Richard Nixon is a Featured Article—meaning it is considered among the best articles Wikipedia has produced—we would need a clear consensus on that article's talk page to modify or delete any long-standing material.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 23:44, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Dear TTAAC. I see you are playing your usual provocative games here, on your talk page; that is unacceptable. You say that "most of the media … share this Leftist bias". It is with nothing less than frighteningly extreme pleasure I present you with this. Please, enjoy. From your loving friend on the extreme, Chomsky-kissing Left, BowlAndSpoon (talk) 22:23, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
And for a radically different point of view, why not try some Unqualified Reservations?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 23:00, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

"pinko nutjobs"[edit]

TTAAC, you're well aware of WP:NPA, surely you know that edit summaries like this one, or the long rant you posted on that talk page, are not a good idea? Keep your comments to the content, for goodness sake. Vanamonde (talk) 05:35, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

"Safe spaces," huh? My penchant for polemics may not be wise and it may be a character flaw, but I didn't personally name any editor, and lecturing me probably isn't going to change my behavior.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 05:55, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
NPA is a policy, period. If you want to interpret that in terms of liberal notions of "safe spaces," go right ahead: but the policy remains in place, and odds are the next person to notice will haul you to the drama boards rather than leave a message here. Me, I just want you to stop, not interested so much in sanctioning you: but hey, it's your lookout, not mine. Vanamonde (talk) 06:02, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, golly, if you really think anything in that "long rant" is actionable, you should report me! After all, that's the right thing do. (Not that it will accomplish anything.)TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 06:09, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
May I? @Vanamonde93: Describing filthy liberals as "pinko nutjobs" is perfectly merited. If he was also speaking of out-and-out Leftists, then he has indeed erred most grievously, and I will take him to the relevant board myself.
In any event, here is some Phil Ochs, and I also really like this section by Frankie Boyle about those droopy liberal Remainers (Run the vote again! Have Parliament vote to ignore it!) who don't understand democracy:

Milexpert101 (talk) 19:15, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Remainers have spent so much time online calling people racist that Chinese primary school children are getting a raise for mining the lithium for their new batteries. Seriously, do you want the right to stop acting as if the Brexit vote was a mandate for racism? Stop telling them that it was a mandate for racism. A generation of liberals who voted for Blair and then Clegg are demonising the people who gut their salmon at 4am for not knowing that leave were lying to them. "We were changing the EU from within!" cry a group of people who stayed home watching Netflix while 21 Ukip members were voted in at the 2014 European elections. Meanwhile, Farage spent the referendum taking a group of undecideds and, with Nazi imagery and a pledge to let Syrians die, got their support. A trick he learned from Hillary Benn.

Everyone hates liberals. With <3. --BowlAndSpoon (talk) 19:14, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Austin, the Cold War is over!

- Basil Exposition, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Milexpert101 (talk) 19:11, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

There is no need for ad hominem attacks or political rants on Wikipedia. WTF is a "safe space" anyhow? Content and quality of sources is what matters here; the editors perceived political orientation has no relevance. I take it you were probably referring to me as a "Pinko Nutjob", which is presumptuous to say the least. I want objective content and information and have no political motives here. I WANT FACTS. If you have good solid sources on the extent of Cuban and Eastern Bloc Involvement with the Guatemalan guerrillas or any information on the guerrilla infrastructure it would be awesome if you could put it here or at least steer me in the right direction. I've been able to find allot on Israeli, Argentine and North American involvement but very little on the involvement of Eastern Bloc countries. Milexpert101 (talk) 19:11, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
@Milexpert101: What kind of liberal are you, if you don't know your safe spaces? Anyway, you lot are just so narrow-minded. Right-wingers, like TTAAC here, are immeasurably more interesting than filthy libbies like you and Vagabond.
My advice? Leave TTAAC alone, stop the lectures, and get a grip. I repeat: get a grip. Shame on you. #sickofit --BowlAndSpoon (talk) 19:53, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I apologize to everyone for the editor formerly known as Iloveandrea's bizarre sense of humor. To the author of the above comment: Can't we just agree to disagree, and leave each other's talk pages alone?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:01, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
@TheTimesAreAChanging: BowlandSpoon is a constructive editor with deep insights. I am appalled that you would try to deny him the right to use this page as positive space to express his feelings. Don't you think he should be able to do that without feeling marginalized. Milexpert101 (talk) 23:51, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
@TheTimesAreAChanging: Milexpert101 makes a valid point: my edits are constructive and betray intimidating erudition. I am likewise appalled, and suggest you let me continue to post here so that your right-wing mind may soften and morph into something more human. Until that process has taken place, consider this. --BowlAndSpoon (talk) 08:28, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

That's funny[edit]

I'm not going to put it back, but Daniel Pipes would be absolutely horrified by the suggestion that calling someone a pro-Israeli lobbyist is defamatory. Zerotalk 04:02, 11 September 2016 (UTC)


WP:AE[edit]

Your editing was brought up at WP:AE, here - [1], but the editor doing this didn't bother to notify you. Epson Salts (talk) 21:38, 24 September 2016 (UTC)