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Author Topic: Some serious thoughts about the USA's future.
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2006 09:40      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/01/AR2006040100004.html

The author of this article is a traditional conservative who once worked as a political strategy advisor in the Nixon administration.

He describes the oil-security/financial debt/fundamentalist religion coalition that is running the USA right now.

He describes how it came about, the problems it is creating and some very serious consequences that will occur as a result.

Me, Sherman & Mr. Peabody are setting the Way-Back machine to America in the late 1920s -- and we're optimists. He also draws parallels to the fall of Roman, Spanish, British and Dutch Republican empires.

As the great pilosopher Fred Sanford once prophisized, "I'm coming Elizabeth. This is the big one!"

Posted for the economics and political geeks.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2006 14:59      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Colonel Panic________________________Much of what you and the article auther I agree with, and I often wonder what the hell were we doing in French Indo-China.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2006 22:23      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
{before ASMuncher wades in}


Mo: French Indo-China was a proxy war, you're old enough to know that.

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

Regarding CPs excellent article:

You should be scared shitless if God is running your country, just look how she has fucked up the rest of the world.

quote:
Over a quarter-century of Bush presidencies and vice presidencies, the Republican Party has slowly become the vehicle of all three interests -- a fusion of petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex.
....and while the US is 'putting out fires' in the middle east China is filling up a big ol' can o' whoop-ass.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 02, 2006 22:43      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I find it absolutely hysterical--and downright sad--that any political party can be labeled "Christian." Neither party appears to be Christlike in their policies or behaviors. [Frown]

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 00:40      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I agreed with the predominating Republican argument at the time that "secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the depth and importance of religion in the United States, had given conservatives a powerful and legitimate electoral opportunity.
I can agree with that, in some ways. Some on the left have been unnecessarily hostile towards religion in general and Christianity in particular, pushing people to the political right who might have otherwise been more moderate (kind of a "circle the wagons" mentality).

quote:
Besides providing critical support for invading Iraq -- widely anathematized by preachers as a second Babylon -- the Republican coalition has also seeded half a dozen controversies in the realm of science.
This particular line seems like a bit of a stretch. I hear religious opinions from all over the spectrum, and I haven't heard of Iraq being compared to Babylon before. The concept of Babylon in end-times prophecies generally reference it as a place of moral decadence, so why would they connect it to Iraq, even if that's the original location?

I do have to wonder what exactly a "chief political and voting-patterns analyst" does, since that seems to be Kevin Phillips' primary credential. I tried Googling it and found nothing except when it references him.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 04:08      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
[QUOTE]
I do have to wonder what exactly a "chief political and voting-patterns analyst" does, since that seems to be Kevin Phillips' primary credential. I tried Googling it and found nothing except when it references him.

Making up fake credentials is fun. i.e. "managing general partner of the Rangers", "partner in Arbusto Energy, Spectrum 7, and "political director for an Alabama senate campaign".

These are real positions used by people to pad thier resumes.

Ok, ya'll get one guess.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 09:25      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
I find it absolutely hysterical--and downright sad--that any political party can be labeled "Christian." Neither party appears to be Christlike in their policies or behaviors. [Frown]

Did you miss the part where Bush said that he invaded Iraq because 'God told him to'.

I didn't know God had shares in Haliburton....

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 10:13      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oddly enough, I, too, have misgivings about the future of the U.S., and, indeed, of all Western civilization...but for somewhat different reasons.

I refer you to Francis W. Porretto, who points out that our society, based on Christian ethical principles as modified by Enlightenment thinking, is under assault from those who don't believe in these principles--just as we seem to be abandoning these selfsame principles. He gives numerous examples, which I will not attempt to reproduce here.

(Please note: when I say "Christian," I am not referring to the religious aspects. There are fundamental principles involved here such as freedom of thought and expression, private property and free enterprise, individual responsibility, charity given of one's own free will towards the less fortunate, the importance of truth and the sanctity of one's own sworn word, and the willingness to fight for what you know is right. All of these are based on Christian ethical principles, and their extension by Enlightenment thinkers. And all of these are being undermined...even by some who call themselves "Christians," and some who, like the author of Colonel Panic's linked article, decry "religious influence" in government. Neither side can escape being tarred with this brush.)

If this keeps up, will there be anything left of our societies? Or will we wind up with this epitaph:

"Here lie the bare bones of the United States of America, conceived in freedom, died in bondage, 1776-20X6. Death came mercifully, at one swift stroke, during senility. Rest In Peace!"

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 10:20      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:

(Please note: when I say "Christian," I am not referring to the religious aspects. There are fundamental principles involved here such as freedom of thought and expression, private property and free enterprise, individual responsibility, charity given of one's own free will towards the less fortunate, the importance of truth and the sanctity of one's own sworn word, and the willingness to fight for what you know is right. All of these are based on Christian ethical principles, and their extension by Enlightenment thinkers.

I'd suggest the opposite: Christianity was based on those principles. Not the other way around.

And I'd suggest using another word for it, 'christianity' carries a stigma that makes many people cringe when used to label what otherwise should just be called, 'proper behaviour'.

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 13:54      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[shake head] I guess Colonel Panic and Cap'n Vic want me to post......
quote:
Kevin Phillips is the author of "American Theocracy: The Perils and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century" (Viking).
Why isn't the book titled: "American Theocracy: Becoming Like Iran and the Taliban"? (Just curious. I guess Islamic theocracies are good.)
quote:
We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before ...
< CHOP >
Note: The rest is so delusional that I won't repeat it.

Does the Pope know he lost "the job" to "W"? "Big Oil" is a "true Believer" (as evidenced by political representation)? Boy, it looks like the Civil War among "Christians" is going to start yesterday over "who speaks for the Almighty" (and millions, maybe billions, of Americans will die before I can finish my post).
quote:
The White House is courting end-times theologians and electorates for whom the Holy Lands are a battleground of Christian destiny.
#include sarcasm.h
Ooooo, Armageddon. It would be terrible if the US developed a "super-incineration-weapon" ... also called a "Bomb of Atoms." A bomb that could destroy cities the size of Hiroshima or Nagasaki in a flash. If America had one such "super-bomb," surely the world would end in seconds. Luckily the US only has tanks, men with rifles, and a few airplanes.
quote:
His family, over multiple generations, has been linked to a politics that conjoined finance, national security and oil.
#include sarcasm.h
A-HA!!! Nothing proves the existence of a Theocracy like "big oil" and "the rich getting richer!" My dictionary must be broke, because it only mentions rulership by religious authorities. My newspaper is broke too, because they keep saying "President" Bush instead of "Pope" Bush.

(Kevin P. is either illiterate or deliberately spreading "disinformation.")
quote:
It cherishes sport-utility vehicles and easy carbon dioxide emissions policy, and applauds preemptive U.S. airstrikes on uncooperative, terrorist-coddling Persian Gulf countries fortuitously blessed with huge reserves of oil.
There are plenty of people that know the Bible better than I do. However, where is the verse that says "Blessed are the Drillers of Oil..."? For someone preaching the horrors of Christianity, K.P. doesn't quote Jesus or his disciples very much.
quote:
Many millions believe that the Armageddon described in the Bible is coming soon. Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence.
#include sarcasm.h
All Right!!! This is Perfect Proof that the US is at war because Jesus made us do it!

In other words: If an Atheist group had tried to destroy Israel in 1947 (and failed), then switched to hijacking aircraft, then used suicide bombs to kill innocent people in public places, then used suicide bombs against US embassies, then declared that all "devout Atheists" should kill all Americans wherever possible, then attempted to destroy the World Trade Center (but failed in 1993), then killed 3000 people in coordinated attacks on American soil, -- (in such a case) America would have done nothing more about half a century of attacks except maybe file a lawsuit and say "GOSH DARN IT!"

For those who are unaware of history, German and Japanese attacks against the US (WWII) resulted in lots of dead Germans and Japanese by American military force.

#include sarcasm.h
... and then poor Saddam Hussein, sunshine and roses flow from his *ss every day, but Jesus hates him! It's so unfair!!!

If Saddam had been a Buddhist, it probably would not bother the US that he: openly funded terrorism, killed 300,000 Iraqis, bribed UN officials, corrupted UN member nations, used black markets to sell billions of dollars of oil (in violation of UN economic sanctions), "(Iraq) was indeed a threat as two regional wars, 14 U.N. resolutions and the final report of the Iraq Survey Group show," or that his sons raped and tortured 12-year-old girls for fun. (IMNSHO: "Hanging's too good for him! Burning's too good for him! He should be torn into little-bitsy pieces and buried alive!" -- "Heavy Metal", movie.)

#warning: sarcasm ahead#
In retrospect, the violent US response to Japanese bombs on Pearl Harbor was very intolerant and culturally insensitive. After all, this was only one bombing. It's not like they had been using bombs against American interests dozens of times over four or five years. In fact, the Japanese people hardly cared about Americans; it's not like you would see them in the streets chanting "Death to the American Satan." Honestly, the whole Pearl Harbor thing was the result of a handful of "bad" Japanese. Members of the Japanese army were completely innocent and should never have been targeted. If an "enlightened, liberal government" was running the US in 1941, this is how the December 8th conversation should have gone:
quote:
US: "Hi, this is the United States. Uh, we were wondering if you had lost some bombs.
Japan: "No. Why do you ask?"
US: "One of our harbors got blown up, and it looked like your planes were in the area."
Japan: "Hmmm. We were going to clear a desert island named Waka-Waka for new apartment buildings yesterday. Did you get license plate numbers?"
US: "No. There were a lot of planes, and they sank some of our ships."
Japan: "Oh my, I bet Admiral Sake was holding the map upside down, and accidentally damaged your property. We are so very, very sorry."
US: "It's ok. We shouldn't have left those ships in the middle of the water anyway."
Japan: "Thank you. By the way, we're going to be defending ourselves from the Chinese attacks that happened a few hundred years ago, so don't trust them if they complain about being butchered."

If you think that the US is excessively harsh with Muslims, maybe you'd prefer the coddling the Japanese received: "When you drop bombs in a US city, expect to lose two of your cities."

Over 50 years of Islamic extremist activities that have been carried out around the world, affecting international organizations, promoting hate, and leaving thousands dead and maimed. Why would anyone assume that US military action is being taken "only" for the sake of religion?

Theocracy / Christian Law

Why didn't K.P. explain why living under "Christian Law" is so bad? Oddly enough, the law of most "Christian" nations is formed by lawyers, which is kind of ironic since lawyers are the filthy, scum-sucking, soulless spawn of hell. [Roll Eyes]

Second, K.P. hasn't mentioned that Sharia (Islamic) Law is the source of "some friction" with Western cultures. Less than a month ago:
quote:
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for a Muslim man who converted to Christianity. Rahman has said that he converted to Christianity when he was working for an aid agency in Pakistan 16 years ago. "The order of God is execution for this person and no one can change it. This person has denied God and the Koran and he should be punished in a way that will stop other Muslims from converting," said Sayed Saber, a 32-year-old in Kabul. "The prophet Muhammad said that anyone who rejects Islam for another religion should be executed," said Mr. Mawlavezada, the judge.
Death penalty for not praying to the "right" god? I admit I don't know "Christian Law," other than hearing about the "10 Commandments" which apparently don't include the punishment associated with each violation. By contrast, millions of Muslims "know" that the punishment for apostasy is Death. (Thanks Taliban. Thanks Iran. [shake head] )

Spoiler/Summary of K.P. writings: The only bad Theocracy is Christian Theocracy, the only bad government (other than Christian Theocracy) is American government, and the best US policy is to save money by letting foreign "religious" groups attack the US continuously until they're tired of attacking. [shake head]

#warning: reverse psychology ahead
I hate to see people parroting the inane agenda of others, so I will "throw you a bone" so "you" can appear to have more sense. Say something like this:
quote:
Bush and Republicans are politicians. If they support big oil and the rich, their support for any religion is just a trick. They're only using religious groups to get votes, and in the end, the religious groups will always remain pawns beneath big corporations and the rich. Once religious groups have little to offer, they'll be gone and forgotten (politically speaking).


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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 14:19      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
I'd suggest the opposite: Christianity was based on those principles. Not the other way around.

It's probably a little of both. The Golden Rule, for instance, which formulates the basis of the principles of freedom of thought and expression, was articulated in a slightly different form by Confucius, I believe. But they were all codified as principles of the Christian ethos, which formed the underpinnings of European society at the time of the Enlightenment, which was when all these principles got really hashed out.
quote:
And I'd suggest using another word for it, 'christianity' carries a stigma that makes many people cringe when used to label what otherwise should just be called, 'proper behaviour'.
Why is this? It's all just history, when you come down to it. You don't have to be religious to appreciate the example set by Jesus Christ. (Heck, even the Muslims supposedly venerate Jesus, called "Isa" in Arabic; he gets no fewer than nineteen mentions in the Qu'ran.) What exactly are people afraid of?

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 15:24      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFA is Fing nuts. A lot of statements, but no substance, evidence. To the articles author: "You are the weakest link, goodbye."

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 15:27      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
quote:
And I'd suggest using another word for it, 'christianity' carries a stigma that makes many people cringe when used to label what otherwise should just be called, 'proper behaviour'.
Why is this? It's all just history, when you come down to it. You don't have to be religious to appreciate the example set by Jesus Christ. (Heck, even the Muslims supposedly venerate Jesus, called "Isa" in Arabic; he gets no fewer than nineteen mentions in the Qu'ran.) What exactly are people afraid of?
Unfortunately, the word "Christian" has come to carry a lot of baggage along with it. Some of it I believe to be based in real issues, and some fallacious.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 17:26      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Erbo I may not have faith, but I take religion seriously, and have a real respect for those that do believe, and was educated for 10 years in Christian schools where I attended chapel services at least once a day. I probably know the Bible better than most and have given a fair amount of thought to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

I do not recognise the principles you cite, as being those that underpin Christianity, though they clearly underly your political faith. As I recall Jesus said that two commandments underpin the Christian faith, to love God above all things, and your neighbour (even an Islamic neighbour in Iraq perhaps?) as yourself. The only direct reference to politics and society that he made was the ambiguous "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's", from which I'd suggest that any political movement's claim to a religious basis is false.

Sxepto the Democrats have never been antagonistic to Christianity, Carter for instance was the first self professed born again Christian president. They have not however persued the religious vote, and do believe in the separation of church and state, a view that from my previous statement you will understand that I support.

What worries me about the hold the religious fundamentalists have, is the way that the fundamentalist mindset has taken over the current administration and its supporters whether they are Christian or not, so that they have no regard for the views of anyone that does not share their political faith. Previous radical politicians such as Reagan or Thatcher had their run ins with the academic establishment, but this administration takes it to a new level involving itself in twisting science and black propaganda. A symptom of this are the arguments on this forum about how much the terrorists represent the real nature of Islam, where even an intelligent and otherwise reasonable person like Rhonnie prefers to believe the religious zealots and right wing hate sites rather than those involved in the respectable and serious academic study of comparative religion, because I suppose as academic liberals you can't trust anything they say about anything. A quick trawl through other political movements that had an equal scorn for learning, and universities puts you in some rather unpleasant company. Very depressing. As some 19th century soldier remarked, "A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools."

I do not however see the situation quite so bleakly as the writer. Because the US is so big, so wealthy, and isolated by two oceans, you are an inward looking people, and because of this, prone to collective panic attacks like this one. I think you will eventually calm down just as you did from the MacCarthy scare.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 19:52      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A symptom of this are the arguments on this forum about how much the terrorists represent the real nature of Islam, where even an intelligent and otherwise reasonable person like Rhonnie prefers to believe the religious zealots and right wing hate sites rather than those involved in the respectable and serious academic study of comparative religion, because I suppose as academic liberals you can't trust anything they say about anything.

Hmmm... what right wing hate sites would those be? On a daily basis I visit GC, FiddleForum, gmail, and Yahoo! On Mondays and Thursdays I read Boundless, but those articles usually have to do with relationships and everyday life moreso than politics; "love thy neighbor as thyself" definitely permeates all the articles there. I occasionally visit Xanga, but considering most of my friends are wives and mothers, the religious zealots haven't succeeded in securing my attention.

Calli, I'm very offended that you'd lump me in with the ignorant white trash in America. I have studied comparative religion; I have studied Islam and the Qu'ran; I have studied the Bible. You may not agree with the conclusions at which I have arrived, but those conclusions have not been reached casually.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 20:57      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Applause] Bravo, ASM, Bravo [Applause]

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2006 21:46      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ChildeRoland:
[Applause] Bravo, ASM, Bravo [Applause]

I'll second that. I think what irks people the most is that when people attack the administration, they assume they are attacking the religion it uses as a tool to accomplish its means- and, while this is often the case (the fact that most people here would be insulted by being called a 'fundamentalist christian' is evidence of this), I think people need to differentiate between an inept administration, and a violent religion.

The only problem I have with christian fundamentalism is what it does to science- so in a sense, i have a problem with most christian sects (and that includes my church, the Catholic one). I don't believe the religion itself is responsible for the war in Iraq; I think Islamophobia is the result of an 'us vs. them' mentality.

Iraq is an interesting problem. I really had a hard time figuring out my position on it for the longest time, but recently I talked to a woman who served in Iraq and just got back (she's my best friend's oldest sister). Her input was interesting-- she does believe that the war is helping, by distracting terrorist organizations in the Middle East (bring the fight to them, etc). However, she disagrees very strongly with the way the current administration is handling wartime policy, and any conversation with her will have you listening to Bush-rants until the topic changes.


Okay, the time change is fucking with my head. For some reason thinking about the difference between the religion and the administration has me thinking about metaclass hacking in python... I really need some sl33p.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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supergoo

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Icon 2 posted April 03, 2006 22:05      Profile for supergoo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am of the opinion that opinions are very difficult to change, especially late in life. I can guarantee each and every poster here that political converts will not be won over an internet message board.

This minor argument on a message board is a microcosm of a full-scale war. Arguments. Differences. Egos.

People will have differences of opinion. Is it really worth it to argue about them?

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Y los sueńos, sueńos son.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 00:01      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by supergoo:
I am of the opinion that opinions are very difficult to change, especially late in life. I can guarantee each and every poster here that political converts will not be won over an internet message board.

True dat, goo.....I just find it unfathomable that people allow their government to lead them down the garden path over and over again.

What was supposed to be a cake walk in Iraq has costs reaching close to $1 trillion, this says nothing of the costs on the ground to lost and broken lives (on all sides). If that isn't enough to turn your stomach Connie Rice is now poking Iran with a sharp stick and Bush again thumbs his nose at the UN....the same folks he lied to the world about WMD in Iraq. If the US can snuff a few thousand 'insurgents' in Iraqi how the fuck do the hope to out grapple a serious army with the capablity if going nuclear any day now?

The fight beyond Iran is even scarier , N Korea and China could quite possibly crush America even before their military resources were spread so thin.

And NWNF, please do get some sleep huh, your head ain't screwed on right? Don't you think your own tax dollars would be put to better use, oh, I don't know....building the levy(s) in NOLA, or fighting domestic crime, national health care, feeding the hungry. I think the people of Iraq have had enough help from your government.

Ya know what, I'm pretty sure if there was a God s/he wouldn't want us killing each other out of greed.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 00:06      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Goo, I'm not arguing in order to change anyone's opinion. I just like to argue. I don't generally like flame wars, but this kind of discussion is the sort of thing I like to get involved in.

quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Sxepto the Democrats have never been antagonistic to Christianity, Carter for instance was the first self professed born again Christian president. They have not however persued the religious vote, and do believe in the separation of church and state, a view that from my previous statement you will understand that I support.

I wasn't saying that Democrats in general have been hostile towards religion. Anti-Christian sentiments don't have to be found throughout the Left in order to produce a reaction. It's a Democrat, for example, who has repeatedly tried to push through a law preventing religious schools from asking that their teachers share the religious beliefs of the school.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

Posts: 1590 | From: Fresno, CA | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
SuperBlabberMouth!
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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 01:23      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
People will have differences of opinion. Is it really worth it to argue about them?
    Yes.   [Wink]
quote:
"to every action there exists an equal and opposite reaction." -- Newton
So when a "left" issue is expressed in extreme terms, issues from the "right" will also be expressed in extreme terms (and there will be "no" progress). Moderate opposition to others allows for common ground.
quote:
_____ believes _____
Quoting someone out of context will ruffle feathers, but to really infuriate someone just say the person believes some "radical lunacy" (with no legitimate "proof"). Moral: avoid telling people "you believe ____." By comparison, misquoting is rather civil.
quote:
... propaganda.... A symptom of this are the arguments on this forum about how much the terrorists represent the real nature of Islam.....
Anecdote: When US troops go overseas, they're briefed on "don't do ____ because it creates bad relations." "Censorship" may be "bad," but if "terrorist propaganda" (with quoted scripture) is silenced, Islamophobia will be far less troublesome. Moral: don't let your brother shoot you, your neighbor, and himself in the foot.

quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
Bush again thumbs his nose at the UN....

You mean the same UN that had to "retire" its Commission on Human Rights last month, after being discredited in recent years because it admitted countries with terrible human rights records such as Sudan, Libya, Zimbabwe and Cuba, while ignoring the horrors in Sudan and other tragedies?
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
I think the people of Iraq have had enough help from your government.

Since you're criticizing the US, why not explain how Saddam and al-Qaida made/make people's lives better.....

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 02:26      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
It's a Democrat, for example, who has repeatedly tried to push through a law preventing religious schools from asking that their teachers share the religious beliefs of the school.

Mrs Druid taught at a Catholic school in London, she's not christian at all, and her famly background is protestant. The school never even asked about her religious beliefs, although they did point out that she'd be required to attend a weekly mass, and lead daily prayers in class.

Personally, I don't have a problem with religious organisations only hiring members of their own faith, but I'm far from 'PC' on many such anti-discrimination issues.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 05:34      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hate when people allege that Bush lied to the UN. Do you have any evidence of that?

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Childe Roland

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 06:47      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ChildeRoland:
I hate when people allege that Bush lied to the UN. Do you have any evidence of that?

I agree and disagree with you. Bush said that thre were WMD's in Iraq. There were not. That is not lying. The fact is, he may have believed there were WMD's in Iraq. The problem is he didn't know whether there were WMD's in Iraq or not, and he made us believe he did know. <flamebait> Despite people telling him there weren't any </flamebait>

<fact> I say all this now, sitting here in my office, hating bush as a president, but at the time of invasion I agreed with Bush. Hindsight is 20/20. </fact>

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted April 04, 2006 09:59      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Erbo I may not have faith, but I take religion seriously, and have a real respect for those that do believe, and was educated for 10 years in Christian schools where I attended chapel services at least once a day. I probably know the Bible better than most and have given a fair amount of thought to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

I do not recognise the principles you cite, as being those that underpin Christianity, though they clearly underly your political faith. As I recall Jesus said that two commandments underpin the Christian faith, to love God above all things, and your neighbour (even an Islamic neighbour in Iraq perhaps?) as yourself. The only direct reference to politics and society that he made was the ambiguous "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's", from which I'd suggest that any political movement's claim to a religious basis is false.

That's not quite what I said. I said that the fundamental principles of Western civilization are ultimately rooted in Christian values, as modified by Enlightenment philosophy. For example, the principles of freedom of thought and expression are based on the Golden Rule, as well as on the idea that no man has a right to impose his conscience on another by force. Private property and free enterprise are grounded in the forbidding of theft, fraud, and covetousness expressed in the Ten Commandments. (At least one political philosopher has interpreted the Tenth Commandment, forbidding "coveting" other people's property, as, "In other words, go get one of your own.") And so on.

It was the Enlightenment philosophers that turned those principles, based on the Christian religion, into the fundamental underpinnings of a free society. Essentially, they "ported" those principles (to borrow a computing metaphor) and expanded upon them.

I might also point out that many of the least-free societies the Earth has ever known have been those not based on Christian/Enlightenment principles. The obvious examples today are Muslim countries under Shari'a law, but to that we can also add Nazi Germany (which sought to supplant Christianity with Nazi philosophy under a "Reich Church"), Communist countries (officially atheist), Imperial Japan (which, under State Shintoism, worshipped the Emperor as a god figure), and others.

But this discussion seems to have gone far afield of this particular subject...

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See more From The Erbo Files: www.erbosoft.com/blog/

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