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Mentat

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  1. Out of interest, how do you consider the UK economy fundamentally broken (in ways that other similar capitalist democracies aren't)?
  2. Was the Eye even Sauron's symbol before he was disembodied as a result of the destruction of Numenor?
  3. Even if one accepts, for the sake of argument, that a fetus is a live human being deserving of legal protection, the argument hardly ends there. Over a million human lives would be saved every year if we outlawed private vehicles (this is only in accidents, which kill mainly pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, I'm not counting the pollution which they cause and loss of life from that). Should we? Cars might be convenient to many, but surely they're not worth a million human lives a year? Note I'm not including trucks, ambulances or even buses, simply privately owned automobiles. If the right of a human being to live is the highest and most sacred (or important), right, then how can we condone the existence of cars? Surely the rights to own stuff we want or to get to places faster or even to commute in order to keep a job must cede before the right to live of a million people a year. Outlawing abortion, not only creates a physically dangerous and economically ruinous environment for women via illegal abortions and mafias without being a very effective means of curtailing abortions themselves (much like the prohibition re alcohol), it also makes it impossible to live in a world where women and men can be equals in freedom and dignity. Think what you want of fetal life, it's worth the sacrifice.
  4. A Legal Eagle fan? If a task is asinine I will explain to my boss why I think it is a waste of time. If he disagrees, I will respect the fact that he is the boss, and it's his call to make. Obviously, asinine though they may be, none of these tasks involve hurting other people.
  5. What rule would that be? Not international humanitarian law, for sure. As I said, it would be explicitly against the Geneva Convention. If by environment you mean a historical setting like the War of the Roses, a fantasy setting like The War of the Ring or a back alley knife fight then, sure, whatever, but as I understood it, the OP was mostly referring to the war in Ukraine.
  6. I don't think this would make a difference. The principle of ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law excuses not) would apply.
  7. Yes, but this would be a different defense. The soldier would have to argue not that he executed the prisoner because his commanding officer told him so (though they might have), but that he did so because he believed the prisoner had been legally condemned to death by a court martial. His defense would succeed based on how reasonable said belief was. The fact that the soldier had been lied to (or misinformed) by his commanding officer is definitely something his lawyer would bring up.
  8. Executing prisoners (whether they're partisans, spies or POWs) is a violation of the Geneva Convention unless said execution results from a sentence issued by a court offering the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality. A soldier should know this, and thus doing so should be considered a war crime, regardless of if they were given an order.
  9. Sympathy is subjective and up to the individual. Legally, following orders one knew or should have known to be unlawful would likely not be an adequate defense, though coercion or duress might be. One would have to establish that not following said orders would result in immediate serious bodily injury or death (or a reasonable fear of such) and that there was no reasonable way to avoid following the orders or alternative course of action available. The problem, really, is who are you ultimately accountable to. A soldier in a victorious army is likely accountable to his commanding officer, while a general might be accountable to a president or head of state. Likely they will do well if they followed orders, and not so well if they didn't. A captured soldier, or a general or head of state of a defeated nation, might be accountable to the enemy, on the other hand, in which case they'd better lawyer up and/or start polishing their story (which hopefully includes a suitable scapegoat). Vae Victis is as true now as it ever was.
  10. Since I don't think Ukraine is likely to be able to host Eurovision next year, I definitely think the UK should get dibs as the runner-up.
  11. Thank you! You have quite the stunner yourself! I love DJ's blue-grey coat. It's hard to know exactly where Mina came from before I adopted her. She appeared one day in the inner courtyard of the building where I used to live. I initially thought she belonged to the neighbour who lived on the ground floor, but I got quite upset one day when it was raining and cold and I saw her sleeping outside, taking refuge under a balcony. The second time it happened I hollered one of the neighbours and asked them about the cat. The story they gave me was that the previous tenant of the ground floor flat owned three cats and had left with two but abandoned the third. I got in touch with a rescue shelter and with the real estate agents who were renting the flat (who assured me that there was no cat left behind and that it must have gotten in somehow). They also refused to let me in to the flat to get her, because they said the flat had already been rented to a lady living in Barcelona (who hadn't been able to move there yet because of the pandemic). Eventually a cousin of the current absentee tenant who lived near by was found, and they let me and a lady called Nuria from the local cat shelter into the building. She used a cat trap with some food and I spied from my balcony and told her when the cat was in the bag. The cat was taken to the shelter, where she was neutered and checked for diseases, and then I adopted her and took her home. She was initially very shy, but we gave her a room to herself which I would only enter to feed her and that helped. She would also hide a lot (and as I'm sure you can attest cats are extremely adept at hiding and will fit into places where it didn't seem physically possible for them to squeeze into), but eventually she got used to me. I still remember the first night she left her room and walked around my bed while I pretended to be asleep! She does seem to have had human contact at some point in her life, she definitely wasn't feral. Her first vet was great. A large no-nonsense woman with a lot of experience who just handled Mina like she was a baby. She looked and prodded where she wanted and even put Mina belly up and got no protest! The new vet I don't like as much. She's young and relatively inexperienced, and it shows.
  12. She is! She's a blue tortoiseshell, which is a slightly unusual coat color. I can't help feeling a bit bad about it (she looks really stunned and clumsy, and we were afraid she might fall from a table or her cat tree), but yeah, she needs to go to the vet. I think I can get her to be cooperative without drugs, but if I can't then she'll get a tranquilizer.
  13. Spain's selection was pretty controversial. We held an open song contest (Benidorm Fest) to pick our representative in Eurovision. The professional jury picked Chanel despite an overwhelming popular support for either Rigoberta Bandini's Ay Mama (a reivindicative feminist song about motherhood) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_WqBxwAbJY or Tanxugueiras' Terra (a folk song in Galician) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uGN9efcACw
  14. A small-ish update on my cat, Mina: Managed to locate her blood test results and get a copy of them with the help of the veterinarian who neutered her and a volunteer from the animal shelter, so she was reprieved from a second attempt to get a blood sample (very good news, as the first, failed, attempt had distressed her greatly). When we tried to get her into the cat transporter to visit the vet again in order to get her feline leukemia shot, she rebelled, becoming extremely frightened and resisting our every attempt. We turned up for the vet appointment anyway (sheepishly, without the cat), but the vet was understanding. She instructed us to leave the transporter out for a few days and urged us to feed the cat a tranquilizer pill (which I was loathe to do). We followed her instructions and the tranquilizer made Mina clumsy (as if drunk). We'd left the transporter in the corridor for a couple of days, and giving her an extra small helping of food that day and then putting some treats inside the transporter worked well. So she got her shot (she was very well behaved), but remained clumsy for a few hours and not quite herself for the next two days (just lying around lazily and not asking for a play, which is not at all like her), but then went back to normal. We need to get a further appointment for her 3-in-1 booster, as you have to wait at least two weeks after the feline leukemia shot. Since her last visit to the vet was not at all traumatic We'll try to do without the tranquilizer for the next appointment. Anyway, thank you for all the advice. Here's a picture of Mina lounging in the living room Mina pic
  15. Thank you for this. I spoke with my previous vet on the phone today. She said it's complicated, because this was prior to the adoption, so she would have been filed as "Rescue Cat number XX". I've messaged the cat shelter to see if they have a record of what date they took her to have the tests, as the vet said that might help her find the info. The vet said the only way a cat can get feline leukemia is from another cat, so if she doesn't have it already (in which case she shouldn't get a vaccine), I'm not sure it's truly necessary, as Mina never leaves my flat and has no contact with other cats.
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