View Full Version : WAR -- good gawd, y'all -- what is it GOOD for?

11-13-2002, 10:07 AM
http://www.ccmep.org/us_bombing_watch.html (www.ccmep.org/us_bombing_watch.html)
We\'ve BEEN bombing the b\'jesus out of these people. What\'s up with we\'re \"gonna\" have a war? We\'ve been at war for awhile already.

http://www.canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_nov10.html (www.canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_nov10.html)
According to this, the reason we\'ve decided to go to war on Iraq is so we can get over there and get everybody all worked up and then move on Iran.

I know, oil. ... Can\'t we produce enough of our own oil? Do we really not have enough? or is it on government protected lands so there\'s no access to it.
Wouldn\'t we be better off making more nuclear power plants and leaving the middle east the hell alone? What is the compulsion to be over there blowing stuff up? I don\'t see Republicans being voted out of office, so it looks like US population wants this. I\'m bug-eyed incredulous.

Somebody give me a clue...
Commentary? Venting?

It took many of us here in the DC metro area 2 hours to get to work -- the bridges were closed because of a bomb threat to the Department of Agriculture -- it looks like there will be no end to it ...

Note: Debates (or arguments) are part of talking politics. Reader beware. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-13-2002, 01:55 PM
Somebody once said that any war of aggression is no more than armed robbery, writ large. Attacking Iraq based on the information I have seen is a war of aggression. If our government has more than the scanty facts released to date to support their retoric, they should release it so we can judge for ourselves whether to support an attack. If our government has so much evidence to support their position that they are willing to take thousands of lives, why are they having so much trouble convincing other world leaders of their position?

For now, based on the information available, this impending war is unsupportable! Let\'s focus on the unemployed and the hungry in this country.

11-13-2002, 02:04 PM
I think the danger of Iraq is a real threat to the rest of the world. But just one of many. The availability of oil and more important the dangerous weapons Saddam has are not only an issue for the USA, but also for the rest of the (western) world.

To be honest, I\'d rather see the USA step in issues in the rest of the world than isolating it self. The new UN-resolution makes the potential attack on Iraq legitimate I would think.
That means I am pro war, unless most of my fellow Europeans.

11-13-2002, 02:29 PM
Certainly, Iraq is a danger to the rest of the world. So is Pakistan and China and India and Korea, to name a few. They have weapons of mass destruction as well. That\'s not the point.

First, what right does any country or group of countries have to determine who has what weapon and who should not be allowed to have them? IMHO all weapons of mass destruction should be banned but that is not likely to happen.

Second, who are we to determine what type of government another country can have and who it\'s leaders should be? Aren\'t we saying that everybody has the right to choose, so long as they do it our way?

Third, what does oil have to do with it? Are you saying that we can go over there and take the oil because we need it more? Well, gee, China needs our grain. Can they come take it, starting a war and killing thousands of innocent victims in the process? No matter how you say it, that\'s armed robbery!

I am not saying that we should not go to war, nor am I advocating isolationism. I am saying that we need more, better information in which to make an informed decision. I supported Bush in the last election. But now, he is acting like a rabid dog and I do not support him based on the information I have.


11-13-2002, 02:39 PM
\"Third, what does oil have to do with it? Are you saying that we can go over there and take the oil because we need it more?\"

What I meant was Iraq threatening other countries in the Middle-East. Iraq has the potential to threat Saudi-Arabia.

\"They have weapons of mass destruction as well. That\'s not the point.\"

Actually what President Bush is talking about all the time is the dangers of the weapons of mass destruction. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif Now probably that is not the real problem, but what about Iraq helping terrorists, selling them biological weapons?

\"he is acting like a rabid dog\"

Well, he has an UN-resolution now. Legally it is still not enough to attack Iraq, but at least there is some sort of consense around the world.

\"Second, who are we to determine what type of government another country can have and who it\'s leaders should be? Aren\'t we saying that everybody has the right to choose, so long as they do it our way?\"

It is really not about whether Iraq has a democratic government or not.

11-13-2002, 02:40 PM
http://www.rense.com (\"http://www.rense.com\")
http://www.propagandamatrix.com (\"http://www.propagandamatrix.com\")

The truth is out there. Our government just doesn\'t want us to know it. eg: Bush family and Bin Laden family have been partners for 30 yrs. (this is a fact) Bush family has seats on the board of Carlisle Corp. (3rd largest defense contractor) as well as on a large oil company in Texas (this is where the partnership with the Bin Laden family is)
Why is Sadam so dangerous? We still have no solid evidence that he actually possesses WOMD, even if he does, he doesn\'t have missiles that can deliver them to the US border.
Why are we focusing on Sadam anyways? I thought we were after Osama Bin-Laden. Today\'s news on CNN says he\'s still alive - shouldn\'t we finish one \"project\" before starting another?
PS - we\'ve been bombing Iraq since 1991 - \"defending the no-fly zone\" by taking out radar, and anti-aircaft facilities.

11-13-2002, 02:56 PM
because sadam is a megolomanic mass murding fck head. He has already invaded another country (kuwait), and if he has weapons of mass destruction then i think he should removed from power. I mean the last time the US just minded its own business someone almost conquered the world. Hittler. He came a lot closer to it than most people think. IMO if he hadn\'t devoted resourses to trying to kill all the jewish people of europe and if russia had not been so relentless in pushing the attack then the world would be very different today.

And when did we stop looking for bin laden? he is just a wiley mutha. I would put all my money in the world on sadam having a helping hand with 9/11. Think about it. They both hate the US (well the entire judo-christian world). They have a common goal and that has a tendcy to unite people. Most of the middle east hates western civilaztion -- hell even kuwait (and we saved them from sadam) has problems with us. That is one fcked up parted of the world. I feel sorry for the innocent people who suffer because some relgious and poltical fanactics have to stir up gigantic sh_t storms.

IMO Bush\'s daddy should have killed the a-hole 10 years ago.

11-13-2002, 02:58 PM
Y\'know ... it hits me close to home because I come from a family of military and we\'re extremely patriotic -- but it\'s been bullshit after bullshit my entire life -- Kennedy shot, Watergate, now this rabid dog ... I wish I could have some faith but I don\'t see any reason to have any faith at all. Is ANYTHING said about this war not a lie? Worse, I\'m ashamed of the US\'s conduct. I\'ve never felt like I had to hang my head as an American before in my life.
Somebody tell me I\'m wrong...

11-13-2002, 03:11 PM
FTR - I don\'t disagree with any of your points. Saddam is definately a total sh*thead who should be drawn and quartered. Personally I think that it\'s the fanatics that are to blame. I can\'t blame some Iraqi woman living in a clay hut who\'s only goal in life is to raise her children, and see them succeed. It\'s not her fault that she\'s ruled by a psychotic dictator...
There are a lot of countries with WOMD but we aren\'t bombing N. Korea, China, India, Pakistan, France, or any of the other nuclear capable countries. We funded the Al-Quaeda when they were defending Afghanistan from the Russians. Our last payment was in the neighborhood of $130 million in August of 2001... Middle eastern peoples and muslims do not hate the western world. Many of them aspire to live here (USA, UK, Canada, Etc..) It is the crazy fanatics with violent intentions in their souls that create this havoc. This is not limited to any one racial/religious group (there are plenty of christian, jewish, and other orthodox clans that use violence to push their ideas across)
The only way to true world peace is through understanding and acceptance of other people\'s ideas and beliefs. Unfortunately war pays a better dividend to the stockholders.

11-13-2002, 04:01 PM
Saddam is NOT stupid nor is he crazy.

He is ambitious and he is ruthless. His ambition is to unite the Arab world under his control, much as his childhood hero Nasser intended to do. That was also the prime idea behind the Baarth party, of which he was an early member. After reading a history of Iraq (\"The Reckoning\") he deserves full credit for governing a very unruly and barely civilized assemblage of vastly different ethnic groups with long histories of hate and conflict.

Our stated goal of regime change is one that I advocated before the Gulf War - I was disappointed when it didn\'t happen. However, we could live with the man in power if he was sufficiently de-fanged and brought to heel. He still has that option but it will disappear quickly.

I would like to point out that Iraq was well along on a nuclear weapons program at the close of the Gulf War. It\'s been 4 years since the last on-site inspections. The original Manhattan project where the US took a very shakey discovery from the lab and turned it into an effective weapon of war along with the necessary infrastructure took only 4 years. That\'s was 60 years ago - today, it\'s much easier. There is no reason why Iraq can not have nuclear weapons TODAY.

Note that a nuclear weapon can be delivered just about anywhere these days - on foot. Iraq\'s weapons will be bigger for technical reasons but he need not have long range missiles to threaten the US or Europe.

Europe\'s resistance to Bush\'s initiatives are puzzling given what I see as their deeper self-interest. It looks to me like they are either burying their heads in the sand or they think that rising American hegemony is a bigger threat. The trends in Europe makes it look like their democracies are slipping away under the EU bureaucracy anyway. Personally, I support Bush\'s position toward Europe and the UN, \"Lead, follow, or get out of the way!\"

The big problem with an Iraq invasion will be ruling the place once Saddam is out. I certainly expect a solid political plan from the Administration BEFORE we go in although I understand why they would have to keep that secret. It will be difficult and I expect semi-partitioning into semi-automonous states. We will be controlling the Iraqi oil production which will lessen the power of the House of Saud. Pickup this month\'s Atlantic Monthly for a good overview of the issues.

It won\'t be pretty. But like Condolezza Rice said, \"We can\'t let the next smoking gun be a mushroom cloud.\"

11-13-2002, 04:34 PM
Well, FTR, don’t forget that you asked. Otherwise I’d keep all this to myself.

This “war” is positively horrible. The people of Iraq still haven’t recovered from the last turkey shoot. Because our government has been at the forefront in imposing a crippling sanctions regime.

Two UN supervisors of the Food for Oil program have resigned in protest over the brutality of these sanctions. A former US Attorney general has petitioned for an international tribunal to try the Bush I regime for war crimes. (For details see Ramsey Clark’s “The Fire Next Time”.

It’s really no wonder that Bush II can’t find international support for this act of naked agression and I firmly believe that history will judge us the same way we judge those Germans that remained silent during Hitler’s reign of terror.

Some facts that barely require any research.

Saddam’s worst crimes were committed while he was still our ally.
Saddam’s military position is far weaker today than it was before the Gulf War, and it was no problem decimating his forces.
The September 24, 2002 dossier issued by the British government (on which the October 4, 2002 report by the CIA was based) has been proven false by Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. He visited two of the sites that were reportedly rebuilt and found that they were still destroyed. British reporters visiting other sites on the dossier found nothing suspicious (Guardian, 9/25/2).

I don\'t know why the Bush administration is going through with this madness. Maybe it\'s the oil. Maybe it\'s to get Republicans elected. Maybe it\'s to detract from the failures of the so called War on Terrorism. (Bin Laden is wherabouts unknown, Mullah Omar escaped Kabul on a bicycle, Americans are at greater risk than ever, the Saudis that financed the attack are still sitting pretty, everybody hates us for picking on the most defensless Muslim country in the world and our economy is going down the tubes.)

Enough for now. I’m getting a sick headache.

11-13-2002, 05:50 PM
Ok, long as it\'s not just me. I look at the situation and think I must be losing my mind, this just can\'t be true.I just really needed a reality check.I don\'t know what to do except continue to vote Democrat, which doesn\'t seem to be helping anything...I heard some quip from a comedian about bombing Afghanistan - that the whole country was nothing but rocks anyway, why bomb it? To make more rocks so the people have something to throw at each other...and I\'m thinking, it\'s true! They have NOTHING and we\'re bombing the hell out of their nothing. Jesus wept, how can we do this to people? It\'s not that I don\'t understand the necessity for war. But I can\'t figure out what the hell this is really all about.Saddam\'s a bastard and all but ... there\'s bubonic plague in NY. How\'d it get there? Can\'t get to my job because of bomb threats in the morning in DC. This guy doesn\'t seem like the type to shove against the wall and make threats to. He doesn\'t much care what he does -- not that we do, either, apparently. Whitehall, don\'t lose patience with my naivete, if it strikes you as such --why would it be a bad idea for the arab nations to unite under one leadership and have weapons of mass destruction. The rest of us are similarly placed. They maybe just want what Europe and the US has. Why should they not have it? Do you really think they\'d nuke us? And then what? Say they did, or they planned to. Nuke the US and then do what?

11-13-2002, 07:50 PM
sadam strikes me as the kind of manic that would bomb the world if he could not rule it himself -- that is why he should not be in power. Other countries hae WOMD but how many of them have the history that sadam has? how many how them have as poor of relations with us as iraq? It is not the fact that they have WOMD but the fact that they are probably crazy enough to use them. Also I believe that the majority of the arab countries are taking apart in this \"jihad\" (maybe not the politcal leaders but maybe leaders of other sorts -- perhaps relgious). How many of the hijackers were saudi? What is border patrol like on the pakistian and afgan border? it doesn\'t not even exist. hell there is more security on the US and canadian border for god\'s sake. And they should be glad that western countries by so much oil from them. What else do they have that could be a major export? They live in a desert and it is pretty fcked up. I believe that the people of the arab nations should have what people in the western world have. A chance to better their lives and the lives of their families. A chance to believe in what they want to believe. This will never happen as long as these poltical and relgious fanatics run those countries. That is why they (referning to the leaders most of the arab countries and other prominet people -- sadam, arafat, bin laden) constantly fight with Israel. That is why they are trying to drag the rest of the world into their fight. Their fcking \"jihad\". They need it. They need it to remain in power and continue to live like kings while the people live like [censored]. But the people are too busy fighting their \"jihad\" so they never realize that the reason they don\'t have sh_t is because they are being opressed, not by israel, not by the US or western civilation, but by money/power hungry relgious fanatics and mongers trying to control the oil. And if the US can step in and set some things striaght and stop this BS, and give the people of these countries a better life, then so be it.

11-13-2002, 08:06 PM
I did immigration law one summer as a paralegal before I got into IP law -- this sweatshop firm hoaxed me with a halfway decent starting salary but the promise of a whopping incredible increase at the end of the summer if I did well. Dollar signs in my eyes, I cranked it up to rock and roll and slammed on it all day long, put in a good 60 hour week the entire summer, making every minute count. When the summer was over, they laid me off. HA! Joke\'s on me. Now I get my money up front. But the entire caseload was Saudi doctors on H1B visas, double filed -- we\'d file the temporary work visa and along with it, the long term permanent resident visa, so by the time the temporary one ran out, the green card would be coming. We filed via Federal Express with formal requests to expedite. I helped bring in several hundred Saudi\'s that summer. I\'m wondering now what else was on their agenda. The whole time, I\'m thinking to myself, why would a wealthy Saudi want to go practice general medicine in, e.g., Bumf*ck Alabama? Some of the clients were very pushy, they\'d call me up every other day to ask me how it was going, had I heard, etc. It kept feeling \"off\" to me -- they were well-spoken, beautiful, perfect English ... desperate to get to some way out of the way hospital in the sticks. ...Where does Saddam think he\'s gonna live if he nukes the world? I don\'t see what anybody has to gain by using nuclear weapons. It\'s not like you could contain the contamination. If it\'s just a matter of taking Saddam out ... wouldn\'t it be more efficient to pay an assasin?I don\'t buy and never did the whole Bin Laden thing. Right. He\'s supposedly sitting around in Afghanistan somewhere, picking lint out of his navel, and we can\'t find him, nobody knows where he is. Something tells me he got the hell outta Dodge, wouldn\'t you? Afghanistan\'s the last place I\'d look for him. Why would he be there? I swear the whole deal stinks. It smells to me like what happened is he\'s a decoy -- a figure made up for us to focus our outrage on -- and I would not be surprised, talk about ruthless -- if 9/11 was a set up on our own government\'s part to give us an immediate reason to go to war. I don\'t believe in Osama Bin Laden. We never wanted to find him. He was an instrument we used to rile people.

11-13-2002, 08:51 PM
Amen FTR - I\'m glad to see that some of the American public is not entirely blind. There is definately something amiss in our government, what it is I don\'t know. I\'m not a conspiracy nut by any measure, but I can smell a rat...and this whole 9/11 war on terrorism (an endless war) plus the induction of the \"Patriot Act\" (look into it - it\'s some scary ass sh*t) just makes me doubt the leaders of our so called democratic republic.

11-14-2002, 08:31 AM
I\'m getting a real kick out of the recent audio broadcast by \"bin Laden\" threatening to harm more of our allies. That is a completely stupid thing to do politically - it will help to solidify the coalition against him and strenghten the US\'s hand. Just as the explosion in Bali activated the Australian government due to the deaths of so many young Australians

The alternative explaination is that the tape was CIA political disinformation. It really played into the hands of the US government and the world is looking to the US government to determine it\'s authenticity. Frankly, I\'m so proud of our spooks!

As to the uniting of the Arab world, it is their decision as to \"if\" but we\'ll have an interest in \"how.\" The Arab body politic is hardly ready for civil society let alone representative democracy. The world would love broad political evolution there from it\'s relative primitive state today. Saddam would use the sword and would create another \"Evil Empire.\" We just finished a 50 year Cold War against one such tyranny at tremendous cost to American society - invest the cost of one fallout shelter in 1952 at $10,000 and 6% and today it would be worth over a million $.

As to immigration, this has been one of the greatest sell-outs of Americans\' paternity ever. My US citizenship is one of the greatest assets I have - my ancestors fought in the wars from the Revolution on, worked hard to saved and built this country. Yet special interests and politicians have approved massive waves of cheap labor to cut wages and salaries and to crowd our cities. Lot\'s of very good people - to individuals I bear no grudge and count many as friends and neighbors and try to help them feel at home. Yet, one poorly educated American I met put it well, \"America is a great place - so long as you\'re not an American.\" By that she meant the our poor and lower orders have paid the largest costs of imiigration.

11-14-2002, 08:41 AM
The INS is a JOKE. When I was first learning to fill the forms out, I\'d ask a lot of questions -- I remember the attorney losing her temper with me and saying \"Write \'MAN IN THE MOON\' in that blank! Can\'t you see, it doesn\'t MATTER?\" Oh. Ok, man in the moon, your world, I just live in it ... the volume the INS is processing is so extremely high there\'s no way, it\'s not physically, humanly possible, to do a good job. If the blanks are all filled in and nothing is glaringly wrong, they take your money and process the paperwork, no questions asked.

It\'s not just the lower end jobs -- there are huge numbers of immigrants in medicine and scientific research as well.

11-14-2002, 12:48 PM
I would not consider the INS a joke because I find nothing funny about it. It is more like bull sh_t. How the fck did all those hijackers get into this country anyway? How does a guy say to someone that \"I want to learn how to fly commerical jets, but I am not interested in learning how to land them??\" without raising some supsicions. The government is such a complex buracercy it makes me sick to my stomach. But there is one group of policticans that has caught my attention. The Green party. I was listening to ralph nader speak on CSPAN a couple months ago and he makes so much sense. The one thing I like best is that the Green party does not accept money from big business/special interests. They collect dues from the members of the party per year (I think the min. is like $50 a year). I like that because since they are gettin money from me and not special interest groups then they are looking out for me and not special interest groups. Would have nipped that Enron thing in the bud, huh? Don\'t get me started on the rest of our government or I might vomit. I love what america stands for (offically stands for -- you know the consitution) but I HATE what it has become. Funny when I look at the constution then I look at the present state of our gonernment I don\'t see the same thing. It needs to be fixed.

11-14-2002, 04:52 PM

I agree with you about our government. It is not a government for the people by the people. It is a ruling elite catering to big business in order to line their own pockets at our expense. However, Ralph Nader is not the answer. A portion of the bureaucracy is due to Nader\'s trying to protect us from ourselves. He also helps to perpetuate the ruling class, he\'s been a part of it all of his political career.

We need people in charge that are not part of the political scene. Look at the libertarian party. They have a lot of good ideas about having the average working person serving a term then getting out.

You\'ll hear the argument that inexperienced people will not know how to work within the system and it is true. That\'s the whole point! Take apart the empires and run this country with the good of the people in mind. They may screw it up but could they really do much worse the the clowns running this country today? At least it would more closely resemble what the writers of the constitution wrote about.

11-14-2002, 05:10 PM
Belgareth, funny you should write that. I\'ve been looking at the Libertarian party as well.

The problem I have is this, and maybe you can help: if you vote for the Libertarian party, it is said that is a vote that is thrown away. Because they surely won\'t win. So ... you could have chosen the lesser of two evils between Republicans and Democrats, and perhaps whichever party most dislike between those two wins -- then your conscience is stung because you cast a vote for a sure loser which could have gone toward the lesser of the two evils.

On the other hand, if you don\'t vote for a minority party, how will they ever gain enough numbers to succeed?

I can\'t not vote, after all the women who suffered to give me the right. But sometimes the choices are difficult to say the least.

11-14-2002, 05:21 PM
well all I know of ralph nader is what I saw on TV -- I would look more closely into the green party before ever consider joining it. To tell you the truth I know very little of politics, because what I do know comlpetly and utterly disgusts me. One thing that burns we to no end is the LACK of choices when election time comes. You basically have 2 choices -- I know there are other parties but they get so few votes... -- and neither in my opinion is much of choice (because IMO there isn\'t much difference). Bill Maher put it best \"The only difference between republicans and democrats is that democrats are bought by a slightly less scary group of special interests\". It sickens me to no end some of the things that our government supports. One reason I didn\'t vote in the last election (I almost voted for Gore but didn\'t -- some people are gonna hate me for this I live in broward county -- and remember broward and dade counties were the spots in florida that fcked up the election) was when he said in one of the debates \"....I have not spent the last several years of my life in pursit of personal wealth\". WTF?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?! Because you have been busy banging the people of this country out it you DI_K!!!!! and i hated the fact that he kept talking out of turn.....

tell me more about this libertian party.....

11-14-2002, 05:45 PM
...--why would it be a bad idea for the arab nations to unite under one leadership and have weapons of mass destruction....

Because they\'re a Bunch of Fuckin Nuts!...That\'s why.

11-14-2002, 06:02 PM
Any country that is not stable both politically and in it\'s people isn\'t a great candidate for looking after a nuke.
But I personally am not scared of nukes, but chem stuff scares the crap outta me.

I don\'t agree with all Arabs being a bunch of nuts, what I do think though is that most religious fanatics (Muslim, catholic etc... take a look at Ireland for another example) are nuts. And sometimes you can lump extreme capitalism in there too. ie, people killing another for $50 etc.. It\'s people who accept only their own beliefs and none other and need to snuff out anyone else to see it through that are the real goons. (reference to Hitler and other nutbars here...)


11-14-2002, 10:12 PM
Hey Red, or anyone else. Why, after we defeated Iraq the 1st time, did we not take their oil? Another liberal strawman. BTW, we are at war! We were ruthlessly attacked. Remember?

11-15-2002, 01:03 AM
The war with Iraq is just outrageous:

If Iraq posed a serious threat to the US befor 9/11, why wasn\'t it talked about? Why weren\'t we going to war with Iraq when they kicked out the inspectors in \'98? Why didn\'t we go to war with them when they \"gassed their own people\" in the 1980\'s (as so famously quoted by the Bush crowd)? Ha, we were their allies when Saddam gassed his own people! It\'s such a double standard, it\'s a joke. When it serves our interests (i.e. when you want to deflect criticism of the faltering economy, when you want to keep your sky high approval ratings), you create another enemy.

Al Qaeda remains the real enemy here. Where is proof of an Al Qaeda Saddam link? Have they exchanged weapons in the past?

North Korea has nukes, they have missles, they have a dictator in charge. Yet we aren\'t going to war with them. Why can we deal with that wacky regime peacefully when we threaten war every day with Iraq? The evidence presented so far to justify this \"war\" is thinner than Calista Flockhart after 90 hunger strike.

11-15-2002, 01:04 AM
90 day hunger strike, lol.

11-15-2002, 06:02 AM

Mine is what I consider a moral position that I try (With only limited success) to apply to my life on a daily basis. You have one vote as do I. The same with everybody else. What would happen if people got off their butts, studied the issues then voted their concience?

Far too many people simply vote a straight party ticket or the lessor of evils because they believe their choice cannot win. My vote would indeed be thrown away if I voted for the lessor of evils. By voting for the candidate I believe is the best choice, I am sending the message that I do not want the obvious choice, I want change. (I do not vote party lines, don\'t get me started on the fallacy of party politics). Maybe the people will one day learn that they do have the power to change things. Perhaps the politicians will see that change is coming and join the band wagon.

If you want things to stay as they are or to continue to decline, go ahead and throw your vote away by voting for the one you think is most likely to win. But remember that an avalance often starts with one tiny snow ball. By voting my concience, I at least can look in the mirror on November 6th and believe I did what was right.

Here\'s a thought for you: Look up the period of unrest prior to the French Revolution and the socio/political conditions related to oppression of the majority and compare it to the trends we see today. Then ask yourself why our government lies to us so much and tries so hard to take guns out of the hands of the people. Careful analysis might frighten you.


11-15-2002, 06:07 AM

One last thought on your question. When you go to a store to purchase an expensive item. If they do not have exactly what you wanted, but give you a choice between two other similar but inferior products for the same price, do you buy there or go elswhere to find what you really wanted?

Isn\'t our government, in a sense, another product you are buying?


11-15-2002, 02:44 PM
that is exactly my beef with the current state of our government, THERE IS NO OTHER STORE TO GO TO. I know there are other parties but who votes for them? And would somebody tell me about this libertiain party, it souds interesting. or provide me with a link. thanks.

11-15-2002, 02:49 PM
Belgareth, \'tis a point to ponder.

11-15-2002, 05:42 PM
How\'s it going Bob? I totally agree with you. Why go after Iraq just because they supposedly have WMDs. So does China and other countries you have mentioned. I\'m a Texas Guardsman and not in a hurry to visit the desert just cause our Commander in Chief wants more oil or wants to finish up daddy\'s job. If Iraq was so big of an issue they should\'ve settled it the Gulf War.

11-15-2002, 05:46 PM
If you did have to go, which I pray not, would you feel that you were serving your country or would you feel taken advantage of?

Either way, thank you for your work.

11-15-2002, 05:59 PM
I\'m gonna go with the latter part. Nice to finally meet you FTR.

11-16-2002, 07:53 AM

It\'s irrelevent who votes for them! Each of us should concern ourselves with learning the issues and the candidates then voting for what we believe is right. Mindlessly voting for any person or party is a cop-out. Unless you make the effort to make a difference in what you do and how you do things, you have no cause for complaint. Instead of being part of the solution, you are helping to perpetuate the problem. That is exactly what the major parties want you to do. Why do you think there is no real content to their platforms? It\'s all hyperbole and personal attacks. They are playing on emotional responses because thinking people are much harder to manipulate.

The system needs change but it cannot be changed overnight or by wishful thinking. It takes action on the part of every concerned individual. And it will take time but it\'s a worthy goal.

Ok, I\'ll get off my soapbox now. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif I\'ve been involved for a long time and the apathy I see in the general public is frustrating. Even the tiny percentage that votes these days does not bother to learn what they are voting on for the most part. I guess we get what we deserve.


11-16-2002, 09:10 AM
Hi, Xaviel, nice meeting you, too!Belgareth, it\'s not so easy to figure out what\'s the best course of action to take for best citizenship. It\'s very hard to tell who\'s who and what\'s what -- to those of us who are not so sophisticated in these matters, it\'s hard to see what\'s propaganda and what isn\'t. And what makes it worse is that people don\'t talk so much anymore because it\'s not PC to talk politics. So it leaves the naive but well-intentioned person wandering in the dark. I\'m twice Druid\'s age and still don\'t know for sure that I\'ve done the right thing once my vote is cast. I\'m left with \"at least I voted,\" which is cold comfort sometimes.

11-16-2002, 10:06 AM
Well, when you voted did you understand who the candidates were and what they stood for? If they are an incumbant I always check their past voting record, it\'s available on the web and most politicians have a web site with that info. Do they vote for the things you believe in? Vote against the things you oppose? Did they keep promises made in the last election? If no, what was their excuse and do you believe it?

Do you believe in professional politicians? Or do you believe it\'s better to have inexperienced people who are better in touch with the daily grind running the country.

I rarely listen to campaign speeches. Instead, I read their position papers and write or call their campaign headquarters for more information. I absorb better by reading than by listening. If I get concrete answers, I am much more likely to trust them. When I get wishy washy crap or platitudes or they talk in circles, I generally scratch them off my list.

On the various issues, did you read them over? They are all available to you on the web and at any library. You\'re lucky, I loved wandering the libraries in DC the times I\'ve been there.

The information is easily available to everybody. A quick search on the web will provide tons of information about any issue. It does take a little more work to glean the facts but I feel so much better when I understand what I am really voting for. Every special interest group presents their own slant, ignore them! Instead, read the voter information packets you recieve in the mail.

When all else fails, you can try this: Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper. On one side, list the positive aspects of a candidate or issue. On the other list the negatives. Assign point values based on your opinion of their importance then tally the points. It helps a lot to clarify how you really feel about things. And lastly, go with your gut feelings. I may not understand intuitive thinking, but it is right most of the time.

Does that help? It does take time but it is so important to our futures.


11-16-2002, 10:38 AM
Thanks, that actually helps quite a bit. On a theoretical level, it would seem that inexperienced people would be better because they don\'t have the \"taint\" of the machine. If you live inside the beltway, though, you quickly realize that everything here is hierarchical -- and sometimes figuring out the hierarchy is not as easy as looking at an organizational chart. Folks here take their power very seriously. Offend the wrong person and you\'re dead in the water. No one will throw you a line out because they won\'t side with failure. So I don\'t know how an inexperienced person would ever get anything done at all. You have to know how to work the system.So, Belgareth --just for purposes of discussion--in this last election, for example. If all the people who had voted for an alternative party had voted Democrat, and that would have made the difference and elected Al Gore, do you think we\'d be worried about war today?

11-16-2002, 11:16 AM
Gee let us see. Under Clinton- Gore. Haiti,Somalia,Yugoslavia and others. Of course the liberals never bitched too loud because it was their boy. I shudder to think what things would be like if Al Gore was President, during 9-11.

11-16-2002, 11:18 AM
How do you think it would have been different?

11-16-2002, 11:19 AM
That\'s quite an assumption, FTR! My bet is that the election would have been just as close.

During the election, I was hosting an exchange student from Belgrade. For her American government class, her and I watched a couple of debates. Now, remember that she is a complete neophyte to American politics but very perceptive. After the first debate , she looked over at me and said \"I don\'t like that Gore guy. He\'s arrogant, mean and vicious!\" It drew a good laugh.

Personally, I think things would be worse. Keep in mind that most major events take years to come to fruition in the real world. The economy began it\'s collapse under Clinton. The intelligence failures were under his regime. Who was it that initiated bombing Yugoslavia? Gore is to Clinton as baby Bush is to Daddy.

Do you remember when Carter (Democrat) was president and 50 American citizens were held hostage? And when Reagan (Republican) was elected, they promptly decided to give them back? Why do you think that happened?

I do not specifically support either major party but the Democrats frighten me worse than the Republicans. Action is always better than inaction. The action in itself may be inappropriate, but it is better than waiting for the other side to walk all over you.


11-16-2002, 11:32 AM
Belgareth, I almost totally agree with you. You state it much better than I am capable. I happen to believe that if 9-11 happened under Gore,he would probably have continued to appease the terrorists,much as Clinton did, when we were constantly getting attacked around the world by them.

11-16-2002, 11:42 AM
ALMOST? What do you mean almost? Kidding!

You are probably right. While I know it\'s unrealistic, sometimes I wish we could do like China did and close our borders for a few years to get our act together. Then we could rejoin the rest of the world. There is no real reason for us to believe we have to lead everybody else all the time. It\'s our national ego and it hurts us more often than helps.

11-16-2002, 11:46 AM
This is SO not my area that please be assured, if I ask a question, I\'m not baiting you or asserting a position by implication. I really don\'t know, I\'m truly ignorant. I\'m not assuming anything would have been better under Gore. Just wanted to know, if you think it would have been worse, tell me why so I can learn something. Belgareth - you raise another good issue and I do agree with you that it would be nice if we could stop and get our act together for awhile. Another component of the decision re who to vote for is domestic vs foreign affairs. It would seem that the Democrats are generally more concerned with domestic affairs than Republicans.

11-16-2002, 11:48 AM
Qoutes from Belgareth:

\"I am not saying that we should not go to war, nor am I advocating isolationism.\"

\"I wish we could do like China did and close our borders for a few years to get our act together\"

???? /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-16-2002, 12:02 PM
Didn\'t think you were. However, I do love a good debate and try to stay current with politics. My involvement goes clear back to the Vietnam era.

Gore would have continued to run the economy into the ground. The democrats have never figured out that when the government takes money out of the economy, it drags the economy down. There is less money available for investment into research, manufacturing etc. That means fewer jobs. With fewer jobs, there is a reduced need for new products and services. The economy is a huge, slow moving feedback loop. Every action taken by government, private industry or individuals has an impact on the economy.

As far as the war goes, Gore might have reacted one of two ways; either he would have gone ballistic and started bombing everybody in sight or he would have apologized for getting those big ugly buildings in the way of those jets. Neither response would have been appropriate. At least Bush took time to calm down and think it through.

If you watched the presidential debates, you saw how petty and childishly he behaved. Is that what we want in a president?

11-16-2002, 12:03 PM
Quoting a little out of context, aren\'t we?

11-16-2002, 12:05 PM
Yes, but ... begging your pardon, Bush embarasses me to tears. Can\'t string a sentence together, talks like an idiot. Not that Gore\'s delivery is anything to brag about, and his shifting image makes me uncomfortable ...

11-16-2002, 12:10 PM
I know, and it\'s puzzling. They are both pretty bright people with excellent educations.

11-16-2002, 01:31 PM
A good example of appeasement that the Democrats seem to always advocate is the deal that former president Carter struck up with North Korea during the Clinton administration, where they promised to stop their nuclear development. \"We have to play nice with these thugs so they will like us!\" Now, hey, guess what...we find out that they lied!

That\'s all we can ever expect from Saddam Hussein as well, a bunch of lies while he continues to plot ways to hurt and destroy us. And, he\'s continued to thumb his nose at us for 5 years after kicking out the inspectors. Notice, only when Bush threatened military action against Saddam did he actually get religion and decide to allow the inspectors back in. That\'s because he believed that Bush would really do something, but he apparently was just thumbing his nose at Clinton the last several years of his administration.

Sometimes you just have to asses who you\'re dealing with, and determine the best course of action. I believe, as do the majority of Americans, that Saddam is going to become an even greater threat if he isn\'t stopped now.

If we did nothing now, and in 3 or 4 years Saddam develops a nuclear device and then slips it to some terrorists who then proceed to use it somewhere to kill tens of thousands of people, all these people today who are critical of Bush\'s tough stance would be the first ones to criticize him for letting it happen...\"What an idiot....that stupid Bush knew that Saddam Hussein was dangerous and he didn\'t do anything about it. Now look, thousands of people are dead because of him...\" etc. etc.

Bush may not be articulate, but is that any more embarrassing than a president who can\'t open his mouth without saying something that\'s a lie, or a president who takes credit for creating the internet?

Bush\'s stance on the war may not be popular with everybody, but that\'s what leadership is all about. I think Gore would have been like Clinton...looking at the polls to decide what would gain him the most political capital.

11-16-2002, 01:45 PM
Yeah...what Upsidedown said /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif and BTW, I am a registered Democrat.

11-16-2002, 02:43 PM
hey I like clinton /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif Weed smoking fornacator, I know lots guys like that /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif. Seriously few years ago the econmy was fcking great under clinton. And I don\'t blame bush, or any one person for the present state of the econmy (and I grad from college in less than a month) The econmy is not sole responsibilty of one person. And for all those people out their who think democrats know nothing of econmics well all I got to say is FDR. And everyone who thinks that since other countries besides IRAQ have weapons mass destructiona and therefore we should not single out IRAQ for a good-ole american a$$ whoopin, ask yourself this question. Are our relations with those countries as with IRAQ\'s???? (or the rest of middle east). I personally think that if Sadam is removed from power then the rest of the world (including IRAQ) would be a lot more safe.

11-16-2002, 03:33 PM
If Gore had been president, he would have bombed the hell out of somebody. Probably Afghanistan, but not necessarily. US foreign policy is tied into these kinds of over-the-top, strong-arm tactics irregardless of who’s president.

I don’t believe we would have the Patriot Act, detainees in Guantanamo, or other violations of the constitution. There is even the remote possibility that the NSA and INS would have been held accountable for their catastrophic failure.

In other words. He would have still fallen for the terrorist provocation. Scapegoating and symbolic gestures would have still taken precedence over real security issues. But it’s doubtful that our political freedoms would have suffered.

A more uncertain track of speculation is, would 9/11 have even happened under Gore? Judging from some reports, the Bush team knew some sort of hijacking attempt was going to take place. What would a Gore administration have done with this information?

11-16-2002, 04:57 PM
Robert Fisk is a real investigative journalist with many years experience in the Middle East. He takes great risks to uncover the truth. (He was severely beaten by Afghani refugees while covering the US invasion.) He’s one of the few Westerners to interview Bin Laden and the following article is damn scary.

http://www.counterpunch.org/fisk1115.html (\"http://www.counterpunch.org/fisk1115.html\")

11-16-2002, 05:15 PM
A.K.A., what does Bin Laden want from us? Anything? Or just to hurt us back? Am I completely off base to think we cry too much about one attack here when we\'ve left Afghanistan in complete ruins, and that we should have anticipated for a long time now that someone in the Middle East would get up and say, \"That\'s it! We\'re comin\' to getcha.\"

11-16-2002, 05:30 PM
I don’t know and don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to speculate.

His stated objectives (Meant to apeal to the Arab conscience, and to be taken with a grain of salt) are: US out of Saudi Arabia, an end to Iraqi sanctions and a Palestinian homeland.

Noam Chomsky, an MIT professor who IS extremely knowledgeable about Middle Eastern affairs, is convinced that Bin Laden wants to rule Saudi Arabia and sees the US as the major obstacle in his path. All his pro-Muslim rhetoric and inflammatory propaganda is geared towards getting the US military out of the region so that his holy warriors can crush the Saudi Royal family.

11-16-2002, 05:40 PM
PS. I don’t think we cry too much. The attacks were horrific and whatever our government has done to Muslims is no excuse for all the innocents that suffered. Imagine the terror of being in a plane that’s flying into a building, the terror of being trapped in that building, jumping out of windows to escape the inferno...

We don’t cry enough. We insist on macho posturing and pseudo-patriotic flag waving that is totally inappropriate under the circumstances.

11-16-2002, 05:46 PM
Oh, I do imagine. I don\'t think I could take the grief if it had been a loved one of mine on a cell phone minutes before dying, knowing death was coming. It was horrible beyond belief. But we\'ve done as bad or worse to them, haven\'t we? Killed as many innocents, caused as many children to starve or be killed?

I hate the \"pseudo-patriotic flag waving\" too and my gut feeling is that it is inappropriate. Why is it inappropriate? I haven\'t been able to articulate that to myself, I just feel it and don\'t know why.

11-16-2002, 05:54 PM
well I will speculate. He is a sociopath bent on ruling something(a piece of that desert called the Middle East). But too rule something he needs too make some people love him(or at least join his cause). So he creates his \"jihad\" (twisting Islam around and using it to say that this is holy -- and I think commiting something like this in the name of any GOD is a one way ticket to HELL) with western soceity as the enemy and since the US is kinda the empotie of western society(and because we will stand against him trying to conquer something) we are his main targets. He also uses the turmoil in israel too his advantage (further consolding his hate of the US because we are allys of Israel\'s) and also probably has sadam on his side -- because he hates us too.

Then again this is just my opinion, I could be wrong...(but if I was a betting man I would put the farm on it)

11-16-2002, 06:14 PM
I think, as a nation, we have been anticipating something in the order of 9/11. Compare the news footage with images from action blockbusters prior to 9/11.

Frankly, I’ve been anticipating worse. This is the era of germ warfare, depleted uranium, and genetic manipulation. 9/11 was a spectacle. An advertisement for wanna be terrorists. A provocation for the ruling class.
Imagine people dropping dead and nobody knows how or why.

Deep in our psyche we all know that what goes around comes around. I pay taxes, but I’ve never killed anybody. I’m assuming you haven’t either.

In psychoanalysis the function of dreams is to guard sleep against wakefulness. That’s what’s inappropriate about flag waving.

Sorry for the sketchy reply, but I’ve got to run. Maybe I can post a clearer response tomorrow.

11-16-2002, 06:33 PM
A.K.A., you\'re good. Always leave \'em wanting more. Your sentence about the flag waving is very intriguing and I\'d love to hear you elaborate.

I only knew Chomsky from his transformational generative grammar which I studied as part of linguistics courses in school. I know he\'s a brilliant man but not much else. I bought a little booklet he wrote on 9/11 but it was stolen off my desk at work and I haven\'t replaced it.

It could be that themes of retribution are in our collective psyche and therefore came out in action blockbusters; it could also be that the studios were manipulated to prime us. I believe there are powerful links between media and government. Do you think this could be another piece of the truth?

11-16-2002, 07:21 PM
Bloom\'s 1995 book, The Lucifer Principle has a lot of interesting history on Muhammad, who was himself no man of peace, to say the least.

One of the first things he did after gaining influence was to assasinate his opponents, and order an entire town of 900 Jewish men killed, and their wives/children taken into slavery. That was not all.


Though anyone who thinks this history did not inform and color the Muslim religion per se is nuts, I\'m not picking on Muslims. I\'m a recovering Catholic myself. One of the best things all humans can do right now is to look at every scrap of their own religious histories with a critical, objective eye. Blind dogma is literally killing us.

What the heck is it supposed to mean to say the Bible is the \"Word of God?\" It was written and rewritten by countless, imperfect men, all of whom had their own agendas and cultural knowledge base particular to specific times, places and battles in our brutal history as humans. God is painted as nasty, vengeful, bigoted, aggessive, insecure, intolerant of superficialities, and power-addicted, just like the people who would have had the authority over additions and subtractions to those Holy Texts. I dare somebody to read Leviticus! Raping, pillaging and plundering are all condoned -- all in the name of God! Then read Numbers. There\'s some real pretty stuff in there, too.

Regarding Christianity, there were originally at least 40 Gospels in the early Church, which was composed of various sects; each of which had different approaches to spiritual life, and somewhat different accounts of the words of the Nazarean.

There were brutal political struggles, and soon a few sects joined forces and gained power. Shortly thereafter, all but the four Canonical Gospels were virtually destroyed or hidden. Those four, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were then rewritten and polished into the grand works of literary style they now are. About sixteen or so of the remaining Gospels remain, but most of these are only very partially intact, with the exception of the Thomas Gospel. Virtually all of the scholars agree Thomas is authentic, came from the Gnostic sects, and may have been written earlier than MML&J.

Were we to base Christianinty on the Thomas Gospel, and its emphasis on the Divinity within each of us, we would have to discard much of Christian theology.

No Dogma is sacred.

11-16-2002, 07:36 PM
Blind dogma\'s definitely a bad thing. You mention books of the old testament. My understanding of what Jesus was about was putting and end to that kind of stuff you read in Leviticus and Numbers. The old testament is included in the bible more to show what Jesus was up against, I believe, than to hold old testament standards up as models. Jesus was their antithesis, which was why he was crucified, if my understanding is correct. The establishment wanted rid of him because he would have made them superfluous, offering, as he did, a direct pipeline to God through himself and promising that in this way, the believer would receive the truth.Anyway. Yeah, blind dogma\'s killing us. At the same time, people appear to need their religion. And the folks, Christian or otherwise, who think their idea of god is the only true idea of god, or their sacred text is the only truly sacred text, I\'m not sure will improve upon reflection. They\'ve been educated to have blinders on. And that they\'ll lose their souls if they stray from \"the word of god.\" It\'s a powerful inducement to stay within a community of like-minded people and not examine other ways of believing, including atheism. When you actually read the new testament and focus on the supposed words of Jesus, you see how perverted the ideas we\'re left of his have become by the churches over the years. Look at his advice to the apostles in Acts - that if they came to a city that wouldn\'t receive them and didn\'t want to hear their message, to shake the dust from that city from their shoes and move on -- go somewhere where people want to hear, are receptive. How did we get from that to the inquisition?? Believe in the Catholic church or we\'ll torture you until you do. The only hope I see for blind dogma is to promote literacy and lack of censorship. Many of the people in the muslim world are undereducated and if they can read, have nothing available to read but what their government or religious leaders want them to have. The Lucifer Principle is recommended reading. /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

11-16-2002, 08:39 PM
Well I hope people can change. I do know I did.

The thing Jesus said the most of anything he said is not to judge! Second, third and fourth places probably went to issues about hypocrisy, changing one\'s way of living, and loving. He also said God judges no one, but that only people put judgement on themselves and others! (This is stated most clearly in Thomas).

What heresy!! Who dares attempt to escape the judgement of God??! Although there are exceptions, Christianity as practiced by Christians today is virtually all about judgement -- what we\'ll face at judgement day, how God will judge our sins, how we\'re going to hell, how we\'re inherently evil, how we need to take a stand against evil, and how world leaders X, Y and Z are evil, how there are good people and bad people, how we need to learn the difference between plain ol\' right and plain ol\' wrong, how behaviors Q through Z are plain ol\' wrong.

It\'s all Bullshit, and it is emotional abuse to teach children this stuff. How can anyone who believes any of these things grow up with any self esteem? For we know, at least unconsciously, that we\'re all chock full of both pretty and butt-ugly stuff! (The butt-ugly stuff smells the best, though.)

Moreover, self-esteem is self love, and if you can\'t love yourself, you can\'t really love any one. (the book One Way Relationships thoroughly addresses this). If Jesus was about love, then the vast majority of Christians are died in the wool anti-Christs!

Incidentally, Jesus never once preached specifically against any kind of sexual behavior.

But I don\'t mean to change the topic. Back to killing those \"Damned Camel Jockeys\"! /ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif

11-16-2002, 08:48 PM
Jesus preached a lot of stuff that humans can\'t live up to, much as they would like to. His not preaching against any form of sexual behavior is part of his heritage as a Jew -- Hebrews says \"the marriage bed is undefiled,\" meaning whatever two married adults do is ok, and Jesus as a Jew continued in that tradition. But you can extrapolate some of his ideas about right and wrong, for example, his not wanting the woman caught in adultery to be stoned -- he didn\'t want her punished by stoning and he preached at the people who had stones in their hands (the famous \"he who is without sin cast the first stone\" passage), but he did tell her to \"go and sin no more.\" So it\'s not that her sexual behavior was ok. He definitely wanted her to quit that. It was that he didn\'t feel she should be stoned for it. He went on to say that even thinking about adultery was adultery. If you\'ve done it in your heart, it\'s the same thing as having done it in the flesh. So on that basis, no one had the right to cast the first stone; that made them all equally guilty. Personally I think he was just being chivalrous. He knew for fact every last person had had a sexual thought or two, and putting it to them that way made them have to put their stones down. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif He preached pretty heavy in the sermon on the mount (very beautiful passages if for nothing but their value as literature), answering a question about divorce, basically said there isn\'t any - you\'re married. For any reason other than adultery of either party, you\'re stuck with it. You can divorce and marry someone else, but that marriage is not a true marriage. So I think it\'s true to say that Jesus had some pretty clear ideas about right and wrong as applies to sexual relations. Whether anyone wants to follow them or not is their own business in my book. The only hope I have is that they would try not to gratify their own needs at the expense of someone else\'s well being. It\'s emotional abuse to teach children blind dogma, but on the other hand, one could say that it\'s also emotional abuse to give them no moral compass whatsoever. Children crave and need structure. Do you think it could be true that at least a background in some kind of religion is useful as a pace to start, with the idea that as their reading and knowledge increases as they mature, their ideas might change, and that\'s ok, too. I\'ve often thought that comparative religion courses would be good for children. One week read the Vedas, one week read the Koran, one week read the bible, for example. Do you think that might be a good idea? DrSmellThis, where does Jesus say God judges no one? If you have the site handy, may I have it so I can read it. I don\'t remember ever reading that before.Regarding judging - In Matthew Chapter 7, Jesus does say \"judge not, that ye not be judged\" and goes on about how easy it is to see the speck in your brother\'s eye (i.e., someone else\'s imperfections) while you don\'t even realize you\'ve got a 2x4 (loose translation /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif ) in your own eye-- in other words, try not be sure you\'re not blinded by your own prejudices while trying to correct another\'s - he does not say don\'t make a judgement, nor does he say not to try to correct something you feel is wrong - because if you read to the end of that sermon that begins withs with \"Judge not that ye not be judged,\" you see that he winds it up with \"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother\'s eye.\" Rid yourself of your own prejudices before you try to correct someone else, I believe is the message. Not that you should not try to correct what you believe is wrong -- which action involves making a judgement. He meant, I believe, don\'t condemn.Read Matthew chapter 23 and tell me if Jesus is not judging. He hated the scribes and Pharisees with a purple passion and went on a rant the whole chapter against them. Another beautiful example of parallel construction, the multiple \"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!\" ... in verse 15, he says to them, \"you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.\" ... child of hell? a little judgmental, y\'think? There were definitely some people Jesus had no use for and he said so, and called down bad things to happen to them, even. Did you read this thread before you wrote the thing about \"killing camel jockeys\"? I am surprised you wrote that. I don\'t see it here, or that attitude.

11-16-2002, 09:42 PM
I like the Hebrews quote.

I wholeheartedly agree children need structure and a moral compass. It is abuse to deny them this.

I have lots of disagreement with \"Christians\" about what a moral compass is. I have written a manuscript on ethics that I hope to publish. I think stories of peoples\' lives are the most effective teaching method overall, because it gives kids a holistic context they can digest on many levels; rather than sets of abstract, black & white pronouncements. The guy from Nazareth used stories, too, but had specific reasons for using parables to encapsulate multiple layers of meaning for different ears over time. I also believe in elimenating punishment, in favor of consequences. These approaches ideally remove the whole good/bad dimension, while preserving the morality and structure.

Regarding religion, there\'s nothing wrong with exposing kids to one or more religions. Usually it\'s helpful. But parents have to be very careful, as there is lots of psychologically destructive stuff out there. I like the idea of holding, as the first priority, staying true to, and building on spontaneous expressions of a child\'s natural spirituality (Check out the \"What is love?\" thread for examples!!); being careful to NEVER invalidate anything \"organic\" (visions, etc.). My first stance is always \"What is this child teaching ME right now about spirit?\" Then we can just give it back and add wisdom.

Jesus said we\'re very capable of not judging, that we are in fact capable of things much greater than he. Why give up and say we can\'t do it? We can enjoy growth our whole lives.

He said nothing about \"clear right and wrong\" in the Sermon on the Mount. We put that \"black and white\" meaning onto it, because we are all programmed to judge: me, you; everybody. I do remember there is lots of legitimate debate about what the \"what God has joined...\" stuff means. It would be good to go back to the passage in its different versions. (I still need to unpack my bible from my last move, or else I\'d open it.) I know what you said is indeed the conventional Christian viewpoint of marriage. You do seem also to know well that we cannot be sure how accurate any specific passage is.

11-16-2002, 09:47 PM
FTR -- Grab the Thomas Gospel for the passage. It\'s fairly short, as it is ONLY the words of Jesus, with no narrative. Fast, enjoyable, interesting reading. All my books are still in boxes, or I\'d help more. /ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif

I can\'t address all that now, but in a word -- Jesus absolutely said DON\'T judge! I take him further to mean there, \"for in doing so you must of necessity simultaneously judge yourself\". Then you can love no one, as I said above.

He had a temper that was passionate and physical. He was not perfect in that sense, and never claimed to be, as physical humans are not perfect in their physical expression. Matter is flawed. Spirit is more what we mean as perfect.

He never wished bad things on people, but emphasized the things people bring on themselves.

Hell\'s children: This refers to the hell the children lived trying to extract themselves from the hypocrisy they were indoctrinated into. Think of the therapy bills! /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif

11-16-2002, 09:59 PM
Sorry, I don\'t know what the Thomas Gospel is.

When you unpack your books, check out the sermon on the mount. I had forgotten some of it too, and had to go back and read it again after a friend kept saying he said those things about divorce. I couldn\'t believe it until I read it again.

I know more than I could ever write here about scripture from many cultures. It\'s been part of my reading all my life. I see value and beauty in most spiritual writing, whether wiccan or christian or what have you - personally, I don\'t discriminate, I\'ll read anybody\'s ideas about nonmaterial things in the hope of finding something that speaks to me.

I think as much as a person is able, the important thing is to use your mind. Read and evaluate. Make judgments! (I\'m pulling your chain, doc.) Decide what\'s worthwhile to you and what you disagree with. But above all, read and think. Feed and exercise your mind.

11-16-2002, 10:05 PM
I like that kind of judgement, which is just discernment. Different concept.

If you are into spiritual texts, I\'d be shocked if you wouldn\'t want to check out the Thomas Gospel. It\'s absolutely authentic, found in a desert cave in the 50\'s, and most probably written originally by Thomas of \"doubting Thomas\" fame. I found it intensely exciting, but I too have a passion for learning.

Surely you know the camel thing was irony.

11-16-2002, 10:12 PM
Yes, good, that\'s what I meant.

I will check it out. I love \"Doubting Thomas.\"

I didn\'t know. I\'m glad I asked; I missed it.

11-16-2002, 10:24 PM
I just saw your edits.

You and I will never agree on the \"judging\" issue, even if Jesus is on your side. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif I also have issues about the promotion of self-love. Shame and guilt are useful emotions, and appropriate sometimes -- and believe it or not, I\'m my own harshest critic. You and I could debate for hours on these topics and probably never convince one another.

It\'s interesting to hear your ideas, though, and I\'m so glad you wrote.

11-16-2002, 10:45 PM
Grab the book by the monk John Traub, \"Who Told You You Were Naked?\" Great discussion of Shame. For a Jewish viewpoint, \"How Good do we Have to Be?\", by Rabbi Harold Kushner.

Shame = always harmful = I am bad. Therefore useless to try to change. Self-judgement. Guilt = depends on situation = I made mistake, need to change something.

Just \'cause some lame new agers abuse the self love concept, don\'t mean it bad. Fer cryin out loud, it is central to Jesus\' message.

From a psychological point of view, love of others is impossible without love of self. (It\'s a matter of degree.)

What does it accomplish to yell \"I\'ll never change!\" to ourselves? I give you more credit than that.

11-16-2002, 10:46 PM
Finally found the passage in Matthew. The Pharisees were messing with him and trying to trip him up, and they asked him a tricky question, what do you think about divorce for any reason (\"Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?\") and he said if you\'re married, you\'re married (\"...a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.\") so the Pharisees came back with, then \"Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?\" (Then how come Moses said divorce was all right? Yeah! Answer that if you can!) and he basically says, well, that\'s because Moses was wrong. (I\'d love to have heard the Pharisees gasp. It\'s this kind of talk that got him crucified.) \"I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.\" This is Matthew chapter 19, verses 3-9. He was pretty clear about sexual behaviors, I think.P.S. Please don\'t anybody think that because I can find Scripture quick and quote it, I\'m a bible thumper or I believe everything I\'ve typed out. I can quote a lot of stuff. This is just for purposes of clearing up a matter of fact about what Jesus did or didn\'t say. Whether I believe it all or not is another issue. I believe in a whole lot of stuff that\'s not biblical in the slightest. (if anyone cares)

11-16-2002, 11:11 PM
Doc, it\'s not at all that I think I\'m incapable or that I refuse changes. I do appreciate that you\'re offering me something you have found useful. It\'s a kind gesture. It\'s that I reserve the right to change those things about me that *I* feel are in need of change. You and I disagree about some fundamental issues and I bet both of us could quote scholars and wise men, as I said, late into the night and well into the next day, for that matter - for weeks and years - and still never agree. I believe in absolute values, for example. I do think there is such a thing as right and wrong. My ideas are somewhat unconventional along those lines, but I have them and I hold to them. I think shame is a useful emotion, despite the fact it means that I\'m bad. Sometimes I AM bad and sometimes I don\'t love myself even a little bit, nor should I. At those points I have still been able to love other people. But it\'s all mine to deal with, because it\'s my conscience at stake. If there is a god, I\'m the one who has to account for what I\'ve done, and only me. So these are matters I don\'t acceed to anyone else\'s authority. I know you would like for me to change in certain ways, but until I feel it myself or see the need, I have to be who I am according to my own standards, which are different from yours. But again, I do appreciate that you want to give me something. It\'s very kind. P.S. If you\'ve never read any astrology, you might find it interesting. It is classic Virgo behavior to show love by wanting the other person to improve, to be better. Virgo and Sagittarius (that would be me, Sag) are square to one another - the aspect of the highest stress, the greatest possible differences. To press one\'s ideas on a Sag is to meet with increasing resistance -- we just dig our heels in deeper and deeper -- if we stick around to listen at all -- typical Sag behavior is to get up and walk out. Virgo and Sagittarius are The Odd Couple, Felix and Oscar, respectively. They\'ve just got to love one another despite their differences, because they\'ll never be alike. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif Write me off as invincibly ignorant on the judging thing; we\'ll get along better. Affectionately, FTR

11-16-2002, 11:58 PM
Thanks. That is clearer than I remembered it too. It says what it says. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif I shall revise my thinking somewhat. I do want to clear up my own confusion on this passage and its history. I personally do feel intuitively that we keep a tie and reponsibility to people, at least on a spiritual level. I\'m no fan of divorce, per se, which is why I\'m staying single till the cows come home...Ooops, that didn\'t sound right.

Part of it was talking about a definition of \"adultery\", which was \"Moses\' and the Pharisees concept\", not Jesus\'. Fornication in fact makes a marriage committment take on quite a different meaning, at least. He is perhaps calling a spade a spade.

The whole ethic about abandoning one\'s family, such as Jesus being rude to Mary after a long absence, has a political history to it. Jesus family members, and relations to them have been controversial subjects. Church officials may have made Mary to be a virgin, for example. Other Gospels disagree.

This passage is of course controversial. Another issue, for example, is what the Pharisees meant by \"lawful.\" It is still required by law in at least parts of Pakistan to execute a raped woman for unlawful fornication unless the rapist and three others say she was raped. Adultery was a crime there too, punishable by very bad things. Profound poverty was often the least. The kinds of things they put wives into the street to beg, starve and get stoned for were pretty ridiculous. What a powder keg! I\'d want marriage to have a strict meaning too. Why would Jesus even comment on that one? In that context the fornication exception scares me! Then it\'s OK for her to be stoned! /ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif

I am just speculating about this part, but \"man putting asunder\" a marriage may even have referred in part to man made laws declaring a marriage void despite the couple\'s wishes.

At the very least, there is a political history and context to this passage. Regarding our present situation, what of physical abuse? Child abuse? Certain things I cannot accept in literal form on first glance, I have to admit, as I trust my own spiritual information more than an account which is but one representation of Jesus\' words.

11-17-2002, 12:07 AM
OK. May your chosen beliefs always serve you well.

11-17-2002, 12:09 AM
Actually, if you do, you\'re doing exactly what Jesus said he wanted you to do. Christianity in its pure form is essentially mystical. The promise is that if you accept Christ as your savior and are baptized, you will receive the holy ghost, which will then inform your decisions. At which point you don\'t need \"the law\" anymore. Scripture is a point of reference, a guide for the believer, not a law to be adhered to on pain of death. You don\'t need another human, a priest or a pope or a rabbi or anybody. You carry god inside you, which will tell you when you\'re right or wrong, because the holy ghost quickens your conscience. Your understanding of scripture will improve and deepen as you listen to the holy ghost in yourself. And it doesn\'t matter what you do, if you make mistakes, as long as your heart is pure and you\'ve honestly done what you thought was the right thing to do according to your wisdom at the time. Romans is a hard book to understand, but that\'s essentially the message there. You don\'t live or die by what you do after you\'re baptized, because you\'re not judged by your works anymore. After all, you\'re only human. /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif He says the only sin after baptism is to sin against the holy ghost, which essentially means to go against your conscience.The whole deal about being able to be in direct contact with god is the reason Jesus was crucified. Before that, the only people who were said to have direct contact with Judeo-Christian god were Jews. If you weren\'t Jewish, you couldn\'t know god. Jesus opened the whole thing up to everybody and said you don\'t need race or churches. Through me, you can know god. See how that puts the churches out of business? They strung him up real quick and hid and confused as much as they could everything he wrote. The only thing is, he was definite about it being only through him.Which leaves the rest of the populace to ... burn in hell? Wander in limbo? I don\'t know.Again - I\'m reporting what\'s written, not necessarily what I personally believe.If you want sites, I\'ll look them up for you, give me a day or two.

11-17-2002, 12:11 AM
>>What a powder keg! I\'d want marriage to have a strict meaning too. Why would Jesus even comment on that one? In that context the fornication exception scares me! Then it\'s OK for her to be stoned!<<

What are you saying here? Jesus doesn\'t say anything about stoning here in Matthew. Is that what you\'re thinking with your comments here?

In the sermon on the mount, the adultery/fornication exception is saying that this is the only thing that breaks the marrige bond, and allows for remarriage by the innocent party without it being an adulterous situation. That\'s the thought in this passage.

11-17-2002, 12:23 AM
No. You\'re right. In that account Jesus said nothing about stoning. I\'m talking about using the historical context to help us interpret what he said (or might have said) more accurately and meaningfully. I\'m no Bible scholar, but that\'s what they do. I agree that the isolated and literal meaning of the words in the passage is exactly as you say.

The Pharisees, being ruthless politicians as well as clerics, surely had the political, legal and social implications in mind when they asked Jesus those types of things. And Jesus would have been no idiot, so he surely was well aware of their intentions at such times.

11-17-2002, 12:36 AM
I\'m sure he knew the consequences. The consequences didn\'t faze him. He was out to get the truth across and die for it if he had to. I\'m sure he knew very well the Pharisees listened and recorded every single word he said. He didn\'t mince a single word when talking against them, either, and, at least in Matthew, they were standing right there. Woe to them. They\'re all full of crap, bunch of hypocrites. Blind fools, he said. He railed on them unmercifully to their faces.

11-17-2002, 01:03 AM
Anyone have ideas about who the best candidates are for the next presidential election? Do you think Bush will win?

11-17-2002, 03:18 AM
Well, 2 things could happen. Either Bush/Cheney or Bush/Guiliani will win a landslide victory picking up Senate and House seats in the process or some weenie democrat appeaser who couldn\'t fight his way out of a paper bag ie; Gore, Liberman, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt etal will win by a superslim margin (2000 all over again). If the latter comes to pass. You\'d better be practicing your Yoga so you can stick your head between your legs and Kiss your Ass GOODBYE!!!

11-17-2002, 09:13 AM
Way to early to tell. Much can happen in two years. Maybe the Anti-Christ will be center stage by then.

11-17-2002, 09:39 AM
Hopefully we\'ll make it another 2 years. At the rate we\'re going we (Human beings) may have destroyed the better part of our civilizations. With luck things will calm down instead of escalate. Aparently Al-Quaida has renewed threats of terrorism against the <west> although, since we are being held captive in a state of fear by our own government (what\'s the color of the day? red, orange, or yellow?) it\'s hard to tell what is real and what is propaganda...

11-17-2002, 09:55 AM
<<<<<<<<FTR wrote: Anyone have ideas about who the best candidates are for the next presidential election? Do you think Bush will win >>>>>>>>>

We need a General in there, someone like Colin Powell who understands the real nature of war, not all these \"chickenhawks\" who are so ready to spill the blood of others. I have a brother in the armed services who has been notified that he is on standby to go to the Middle East so this is something I\'m following very keenly and frankly I see this whole issue as a complete charade. I can understand the war on terrorism vis-a-vis destroying Al Qaeda, but this thing with Iraq is the biggest farce I\'ve seen in a long time. As for whether Dubya will win, sure he will - the Democrats are not exactly the most popular folk in town today as evidenced by the results of the recent mid-term elections, but then that\'s to be expected as lately it seems the Dems are simply the slightly left-wing of the Republican Party.

11-17-2002, 10:03 AM
Funny how it changes your perspective when it\'s not \"troops\" who are being deployed, it\'s your brother. I know what you mean.

11-17-2002, 10:16 AM
I nominate Michael Moore for president (writer/director or “Roger and Me”, “The Big One” and “Bowling for Columbine”). He’s got enough crazy bravado to run for the post, a good handle on the American mindset for winning votes, lots of political insight for making the right choices, and a good sense of humor so that the job doesn’t get to his head.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court will appoint Bush for a second term.

Just kidding. (I hope.)

With regards to when is it appropriate to wave the flag...
I’ve never been a boy scout, but I believe the Army Code states that it is to be flown at daytime, taken down at night and burnt when the colors fade.

On the night of 9/11 I went to my neighborhood bar to drink all the images out of my head. It was jam packed! So I shared a table with a tele-psychic, a graphic design student from NYC and a gay Starbucks manager that we soon learned was of Syrian descent.

The tele-psychic was tripping out over some e-mails she received about how Nostradamus had predicted this as the first sign of the end of the world. The graphic design student was tripping out because his mother worked near the twin towers (and, off course, nobody could get any calls through). The Starbucks manager was off on some rant about how he served in the Army and how he loved this country and it was so beautiful when the US congress broke into song. I was going paranoid over what if Bush imposes martial law because my passport had recently expired and my new one still hadn’t arrived and what if the INS digs back and finds out about the time I organized a speaking tour for member of the African National Congress.

At first we were all feeling for the design student, but the more he drank the more belligerent he got. And soon it was “I don’t care who did it, or why. I just want to kill some [censored] towel heads.”
That’s when the (equally drunk) gay guy came out of the closet and said, “You want to kill a [censored] towel-head? I’m a [censored] towel-head.”
The student disagreed, “You’re not a [censored] towel-head. You’re a [censored] gung-ho American jarhead [censored].”
“I AM a towel-head.” the gay guy said. And then he ran to the bar, snatched a bar towel and wrapped it around his head.
The student broke into hysterical laughter. “You ARE a [censored] towel-head.”
The tele-psychic started to cry. “It’s true. It’s true. It’s just like Nostradamus predicted.”

I won’t mention the obnoxious rants I went into, but it was a very dramatic situation. Yet it turned out pretty well. The design student decided to buy the Starbucks manager a drink (instead of killing him). I figured out that the American public was too unruly to be governed by a police state. The tele-psychic figured out that Nostradamus didn’t know everything. The gay guy didn’t feel so threatened. We all learned a lot about each other, and there was some sort of bonding.

For about a week after the attack I had all sorts of deep discussions with friends, family, coworkers and complete strangers. People were more open to my Left wing critiques and I was more sensitive to patriotic fervor.
“New York Times” subscriptions went up and so did english translations of the Koran.
Americans wanted to unite, understand, get a grip on what was happening...

Then along came all these patriotic celebrations, Bush was morphed from “president select”/village idiot to Commander in Chief, he encouraged us to get on with our work/travel as usual, and news commentators had the difficult task of explaining how giving up some of our rights would be necessary to save our democracy.

The flag became a symbol of national unity and people embraced it because when a foreign power attacks our territory we really do need to unite. The problem is, real national unification requires a process similar to the bar scene. We need to spew our ideological garbage at each other and go through a sort of catharsis before we can gain sensitivity to what our common bond is.
It’s an ugly, messy, often unpleasant, potentially violent process. But it’s been long overdue.
Reaching for the flag ( a SYMBOL of unity) when we should be bracing ourselves for the real work of building national unity is like when you’ve been up half the night, the alarm goes off, and — instead of waking up — you dream about going to work.

PS Don’t worry about replacing that Chomsky book. You can find the same articles, and much more, at the following site:

http://www.zmag.org/terroralpha.htm (\"http://www.zmag.org/terroralpha.htm\")

11-17-2002, 10:23 AM
A great story with a great point. Thanks for the link, too.

11-18-2002, 06:32 AM
It\'s amazing how any religous writiing can be mis-construed to mean \"Kill somebody who is different from us\" No religion in the world is free from that. The two easiest to pick at are the Catholics and the Muslims but should not be singled out, it\'s fanatics that abuse the religous teachings for their own purposes.

I think we are all missing an important point here. Ben Laden, Saddam Hussien, George Bush etc. are not the people, they are the leaders. My problem is that these so-called leaders are not representative of the people they are leading. How many of you could coldly go out there and kill another average citizen from another country? How many of you are willing to step into the line of fire to do so? The vast majority in any country simply want to be left alone to live in peace. It takes anger, rage to get us to go to war. Our leaders generate rage with propoganda. We are being manipulated into allowing them to send children out to kill other children!

DrSmellThis, Isn\'t it correct that the desire to rise to that level of government requires a certain degree of megalomania? And, isn\'t megalomania a personality disorder? Are we allowing a bunch of mentally ill people to kill innocent men, women and children?

Do you really believe that the average muslim wants to kill or be killed? It\'s instinct to flee from danger, yet the leaders of these countries convince us to attack each other. Why do we continue to allow that?

Yes, Saddam Hussien and Ben Laden must be stopped from killing innocent people. After we tromp on them with our over-whelming force, do you believe we will not see a repeat with another leader arousing the masses? The cycle will repeat itself, it always has. What is the answer? I don\'t know. I do not believe that an all out war is the solution.


11-18-2002, 10:17 AM
Hey, Dr. Smell, I read the Thomas gospels and did some reading about them as well. I wonder if you\'d comment on the information in this link.

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/gthomas.html (\"http://www.christian-thinktank.com/gthomas.html\")

Had you read the Bible as it presently exists before reading the Thomas Gospels? just curious

11-18-2002, 05:39 PM
Two, one two three four
Ev\'rybody\'s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

11-18-2002, 05:43 PM
Everybody\'s talking about ministers
Sinisters, banisters, canisters
Roger Bannisters, bishops, bishops
Bishop Auckland, rabbis, Popeyes, bye-byes
Max Bygraves and everybody else

All we are saying
Is give peace a chance
All we are saying
Is give peace a chance

11-18-2002, 05:44 PM
I hear ya, John.

11-18-2002, 07:58 PM
I’ve always had a problem with authority.

As far as Bush goes... I say impeach the bastard. But here’s the rub. He doesn’t seem like such a bad guy at all. Ever seen the photo ops with school kids? He looks likes he’s really enjoying himself. Then check him out when he’s meeting someone like Sharon. Stilted, uncomfortable, probably wishes he was somewhere else.

What’s more his life doesn’t seem consistent with his policies. Environmentalists hate him, and rightly so: dissed the Kyoto Protocols, arsenic in the water, drilling in Alaska... But his Texas home is the model of conservation and efficiency. He even has a filtration system for recycling water.
And how do his authoritarian polices (Patriot Act, secret military tribunals, detaining people that haven’t been accused of anything...) square with the way he seems to let his daughters run wild?

Anybody notice how he exercised his authority before 9/11? Golf games, extended holidays, fishing trips ... Hardly megalomaniacal. If anything he was the world’s first slacker president.
Then the situation demanded a “strong leader” and he was shuffled onto the stage.

I’ve read that Bin Laden was a shy kid. His father is an ambitious businessman (won some of the sweetest building contracts in the world) but Osama just wanted to study the Koran. He didn’t chose to go to Afghanistan and become a leader of the Mujahadin. A relative recruited him to win favor with the royal family.
They say his turning point was when a Soviet shell landed at his feet and failed to explode. He took it as a sign that Allah had a higher purpose for him.

Also take a look at how easily heroes can turn into villains. Timothy McVeigh was decorated for valor in Desert Storm. Mullah Omar gained national fame when he single-handedly rescued a young girl from a gang of sex slavers. Stalin kept the underground printing presses running while Lenin and Trotsky were safely composing propaganda in Switzerland.

Conversely. Ghandi started out as a rambunctious kid. (He even ate meat.) As a young man he had primarily materialistic aspirations. One of his sons claimed he was an insufferable father. But he got caught up in a movement that was bigger than him and had to go through some deep reflection.
His famous strategy of Passive Non-Cooperation came out of trying to figure out how a poor people can expel a military superpower from their shores.

Lenin went through a similar intellectual struggle. Except he phrased it as, “Don’t take up arms until you’re in a position to win.” His brother had already been executed for terrorism against the czarist regime. Lenin figured out that setting off bombs against an authoritarian state would only make it more authoritarian. Better to struggle for ideological victory.

The Bolshevik seizure of power was about as peaceful as a revolution can get. But the consolidation of authority got horribly bloody. (Which makes me wonder what would have happened if Ghandi had lived to be leader of India — with all its class conflicts, religious and ethnic rivalries.)

No real point to this post. Just some vague, unformulated questions about the nature of political power and the characterization of evil.

11-19-2002, 12:20 AM
I\'m not qualified to comment on it, as I\'m not a Bible scholar. I\'m not saying I disagree, but for sure I\'d never trust the objectivity of something with an obvious Christian agenda like that without an independent investigation into the more academic, scientific literature. Much in Thomas contradicts mainstream Christianity as practiced today, so one should fully expect them to argue as they did.

I read the entire Bible for the first time in college.

11-19-2002, 06:34 AM
I believe that most thinking people do have a problem with authority. They may bury it but when you scratch the surface, it\'s there.

As for Bush, impeach him for what? I fully supported his position on the Kyoto Protocols, they were a joke and I am ambivilant about arctic drilling. The environmental lobby lost credibility with me a long time ago and anything they say I question. The Patriot act scares me, the rest is simply bringing to the forefront things our governement has been doing for years. I do not approve but blaming Bush for them is unfair. Let\'s give it some time and see how things shake out. The American society has always swung radically back and forth on every issue. Each of us should make their feelings known to their elected representative as often as possible. It really does help.

For the rest, you make a good point. We all change based on life experiences. As a teenager and young adult, I was a pot smoking ultra liberal. Today, I\'m a conservative businessman who is often accussed of giving away the store on a point of priniple. We change as we grow. Us older people have just had more opportunity for experiences.

I run my family differently than I run my business. Different environment requires different solutions.

11-19-2002, 04:19 PM
...Yes, Saddam Hussien and Ben Laden must be stopped from killing innocent people. After we tromp on them with our over-whelming force, do you believe we will not see a repeat with another leader arousing the masses? The cycle will repeat itself, it always has. What is the answer? I don\'t know. I do not believe that an all out war is the solution.

I can think of one way.

11-19-2002, 04:24 PM
...As far as Bush goes... I say impeach the bastard...

For what exactly?

11-19-2002, 04:38 PM
We don\'t have to attack North Korea. They\'re going to starve themselves to death. But then I\'m sure some leftist will say it\'s Americas fault. Just like everything else is.

If Bush really wanted his buddies to have the Iraqui oil, they would\'ve taken it in \'91.

Kyoto is a joke.

Why does the president of the Sierra Club have 2 Chevy Suburbans? Because they\'re hippocrits. (sp).

The reason we are not at war with India and Pakistan is because they are our allies. For the time being anyway.

Communism in China is on it\'s way out. It\'s just gonna take a little more time.

However, The US guarantees the security of Taiwan. If the Chi-Comms decide to invade. We will have to fight them. Either that or become a paper tiger.

Thank you for your indulgence.

11-19-2002, 07:24 PM
Why impeach Bush?

Because we can.

Technically, he wasn’t even elected. (The Supreme Court doesn’t have authority to stop a vote count much less pick the winner.) But if we assume he is the President, he still doesn’t have the authority to appoint secret military courts against civilians or enemy combatants. And even if we assume he didn’t profit from Enron he doesn’t have the authority to block disclosure of financial records pertaining to that case.

But mostly to serve as a warning to other megalomaniacs that think they are above the constitution, international law, or public accountability.

The Kyoto protocols are a joke in that they barely make a dent in the reduction of carbon emissions. The problem of man-made greenhouse gases is very serious. The US has 4% of the population and is already responsible for 36% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Bush wants to burn even more fossil fuels when the rest of the world is saying slow down.

Communism in China? Now THAT’S a joke. China is the world’s sweatshop. It’s the most ruthless form of capitalism around. Workers have no rights and the environment is being trashed at unprecedented rates. It’s rapidly becoming the center of international manufacture. How can that be called communism?

11-20-2002, 06:52 AM
<The Kyoto protocols are a joke in that they barely make a dent in the reduction of carbon emissions. The problem of man-made greenhouse gases is very serious. The US has <4% of the population and is already responsible for 36% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Bush wants to burn even more fossil fuels when the rest of the world is saying slow down.>

In the Smithsonian Museum, on Capitol Mall in Washington DC the National Acadamy of Science has dedicated about 5,000 square feet to a display outlining the aurguments regarding the so-called greanhouse gasses and global warming. I recomend anybody who can go view it. At the end of the display is a plaque that summarizes the display. The last paragraph states that while there is much evidence both to support and to disprove the theories, there is not yet proof either way.

Why do we allow environmentalists, governments and the media to railroad us into one expensive farse after the other? I don\'t want to listen to panic mongering, I want to hear real scientific argument from people who do not have a vested interest in proving these theories, one way or the other.

11-20-2002, 09:02 AM
I\'ve looked pretty deeply into the science of greenhouse gases and their effects on climate. Don\'t call it \"global warming\" since it could go either way - or both ways. \"Global climate change\" is more accurate.

That said, here in the San Francisco Bay Area we\'re predicted to set record high temperatures today.

As a nuclear engineer and builder of nuclear power plants, one would think I have a vested interest in pushing global climate change - OK, I do. A massive building program to replace coal plants with nuclear power plants would most definitely benefit me financially. However, the Kyoto Treaty explicitly prohibits taking credit for using nuclear power in lieu of fossil fuels. In the UK, nuclear pays a carbon tax just like coal. Still, I can truthfully claim that my environmental concerns preceded and guided my career choice.

The best science summary is the last UN report - http://www.ipcc.ch/ (\"http://www.ipcc.ch/\")

Let\'s lay out what we can all agree on:

1) Burning fossil fuels release carbon dioxide

2) Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps infrared radiation resulting in warmer temperatures

3) Atmospheric CO2 levels have significantly increased (`50%) since the start of the Industrial Revolution circa 1800

No one will debate these points - they are well-proven.

The scientific disagreements are basically:

1) At what levels will man-released greenhouse gases affect climate

2) Has climated really changed over the last 200 years?

3) If so, was man the cause?

The problems for global governance are:

1) Should we trust the predictions from an uncertain science?

2) Do we act now?

3) How do we share the burdens necessary for everyone\'s benefit.

My personal opinion is the UN report makes a strong case for:

1) We have a high confidence (but not certainty) that global temperatures have been rising - especially over the last 50 years.

2) Fossil fuel burning is the main cause of increased greenhouse gases - natural or man-made

3) Man-caused greenhouse gases are driving the increased temperatures we think we are seeing

4) The extra greenhouse gases we are releasing are geologically large in rate and degree compared to natural changes (volcanos, etc.)

5) We\'re screwed.

Frankly, we\'ve messed our nest and now the birds are coming home to roost, to mix metaphors. The pulse of extra CO2 is now so large that we\'ve probably already started the avalanche of climate unstablities. If we went on a crash course of building nukes, reforestation, conservation, etc, with the population momentum the planet now has, we\'ll still be unable to avoid a man-caused upset in climate.

That rapid change in climate we are almost certain to be seeing will cause human populations to stop growing and to shrink, whether warming or Ice Age. The reason is that we are vitally dependent on natural ecosystems for life support. Those ecosystems are not to change as rapidly as the climate can change, hence their productivity will collapse. How long will it take for a Florida-style mangrove swamp to move to Maine? Geologically, Ice Ages seem to start within a few decades - a climate flip-flop.

My personal failure scenario is my great-grand children coming up to me as an old man and asking \"How come you didn\'t build more nuclear power plants while you had the chance?\"

Bottom Line - it doesn\'t matter what you or I think.

11-21-2002, 07:42 AM
<That said, here in the San Francisco Bay Area we\'re predicted to set record high temperatures today.>

Down here in Texas we had an unusually cool summer, temps only crested the century mark once or twice. One of the coolest on record.

We are in complete agreement about the need to use nuclear power to the greatest extent possible and reduce fossil fuel consumption to zero. I don\'t see either happening and unfortunately agree with your statement about being screwed.

You\'re right, global climate change. You probably know researchers better than me although I grew up around UCLRL/Berkely researchers. You probably know how pigheaded they can get when somebody disputes their pet theory. You are probably more aware than me of how often scientific studies reflect the bias of the researcher, as well.

Over the years, I have become more cynical about it and always look for the money behind the research before forming an opinion. Most of the studies tied to the UN report were formulated with a particular goal as reflected in their funding and choice of researcher. Many of the government stands were the result of political pressure. Therefore, the conclusions are still open to debate.

Some points to bring up:
The studies done in Norway showing substantial increases in growth rates of major trees as a (assumed) result of increased CO2. They hypothesized a curve where increased plant growth could have a direct effect on the rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

The reforestation result in many major countries including the US where we are putting more trees in than cutting down by a large ratio.

The still unproven theory that global climate changes are a reflection of solar fluctuation and almost completely out of our control.

The cyclic temperature data from the past several million years that indicates we are indeed headed for another ice age, irrespective of what we do.

The increased thickness of some of the areas of antarctic ice that has been a good predicter of overall Earth surface temperatures.

The theory that increased water in the atmosphere will result in greater cloud cover and UV reflection reducing heat gain.

I got a kick out of the study on AP yesterday. The\'ve found that one of the major sources of ozone in areas surrounding the Ozarks (and Houston, as well) is the oak trees!

The UN needs to look at control of all pollutants on a global level and restrict all countries output rather than exempting some of the worst offenders.

Bottom line, it probably doesn\'t matter much what you or I think. I honestly do not know the answer or even what to believe but am very concerned about the degree of misinformation out there that is driving decisions that will affect my children.

11-21-2002, 09:56 AM
If you really dig into the UN report, it mentions solar fluctuations. Over the last two hundred years, the solar output has been trending DOWN, against observed warming trends. In other words, if solar isolation had been constant or rising, temperatures would have gone up MORE.

Also, for some years now, the terrestrial biosphere has been a carbon sink - it\'s been sucking up carbon dioxide. However, this is likely to turn around over the next century. There is some carbon dioxide fertilization effect for plants being observed but it is minor.

The UN report seems well cited and the guys with the UN money did little direct research - mostly it was literature surveys. They are a big, diverse group too. I\'d be more skeptical of people funded by the oil or coal industry, personally. The UN report also goes to great lengths to give probabilities and error bands for their estimates.

A critical point about any climate research is that it is formally chaotic, like shorter term weather. A formally chaotic system is almost by definition, unpredictable. I like to see industrial greenhouse gas releases as a forcing function acting to disturb a natural chaotic system already and always in transition. Maybe like a spinning top, we\'re giving it a strong flick; whether the gyroscope will wobble and stay upright, or gyrate and flop over is not really knowable. What we do know is that that \"flick\" we apply will have an effect.

The report\'s best contribution is in giving us a scale to rate the greenhouse \"flick\" against \"natural\" ones. The bad news is that it\'s pretty big and that perturbations are likely to follow. We\'re probably already seeing the first of those perturbations that will continue for centuries.

11-21-2002, 10:10 AM
I\'m not faulting the UN group, they did good with what they had. However, the reports they cited were from diverse groups with their own agendas in many instances. That leaves them open to doubt. I wouldn\'t trust the oil industry either. Like you, I find the nuclear researchers to be some of the most honest and straight up but even they have their biases, as we all do.

Sorry, I missed the part about solar fluctuations when I looked over the material. Did they discuss the thermal latency of the Earth and how long it would take to lose the energy gained in the last upsurge? This is a pretty massive ball we live on and re-radiation of energy would be a significant factor.

The report from Norway (I\'ll have to find it again) sited enough increased CO2 uptake that when extrapolated globally should make some difference. This is pretty far outside my area but the report seemed pretty well researched.

11-21-2002, 10:41 AM
The deep oceans have tremendous thermal inertia so they buffer any solar swings - to some degree. There is a long lag time since turnover to and from the deep oceans takes centuries.

Antartica\'s ice sheet is predicted to thicken due to increased snowfall. The recent observation that temps there are falling can be accounted for by increased global circulation. At the South Pole, air sinks down from the stratosphere. The more global circulation, the more cold air sinks at the poles and the more it rises in the tropics.

Lab tests show CO2 fertilization is common but it varies from species to species.

One little insight was that global warming will mostly manifest itself in higher low temperatures rather than higher highs. That makes sense since the globe losses energy to the night sky. If the atmosphere traps more heat and lowers that loss rate, then temperatures at dawn will not be as low.

Another interesting point is that the Earth is a net energy producer. For every 100 units of solar energy falling on the earth, it radiates out 104 units. That extra 4% is from the decay of uranium and thorium inside the earth. That\'s what causes earthquakes, volcanoes and shifting plates. The Earth is just made of a supernova ashes.

11-21-2002, 11:18 AM
So, in summary we have lot\'s of ideas, theories and opinions but little in the way of concrete knowledge. That\'s been my whole point right along. It\'s indisputable that we should be crapping in our nest, but the long term results are still indeterminate.

11-21-2002, 11:58 AM
What we want to be able to do is predict the future. Mankind has prospered from exploiting what advantage we have over lesser species in this ability to predict. It\'s my favorite definition of \"intelligence.\"

We also have to realize that we can\'t experiment - we get only one chance and there are no alternative histories, only alternative futures.

So we DO have lot\'s of knowledge, just little certainty but more questions.

Some of the smart guys are saying. \"Forget about preventing global climate change! Focus on how to best adapt!\" They are right in that the \"die is cast\" and that there is very little we can do now, short of completely foregoing fossil fuels. The UN report makes that clear - the system dynamics and time constants of climate are such that a forcing function more than adequate to disturb our weather patterns has been unleashed.

For the US, \"adapting\" should start with strict and reduced immigration. A stable population is the prime prerequiste - a rising population just makes everything worst both in emissions and protection. Call that \"life boat politics\" if you will but with rising ocean water levels, that tag takes on a new meaning.

11-21-2002, 12:22 PM
Ok, we have plenty of kowledge but we do not know what the climate is really going to do. That was what I was saying.

For the rest, yes, this is our life boat and we are in agreement about what should be done to keep it from being swamped.

11-21-2002, 12:48 PM
I just read that here in Germany, in 2045 HALF of the population will be 65 years or older. (Currently it is between 25 and 30%) Other western countries (like the USA) will have the same problems, only less severe.

I just don\'t see how we are going to have enough people who can work without extra immigration. The problem of the population growing old will be way more acute than the problems caused by global warming IMHO.

11-21-2002, 01:19 PM
Germany and California have very different problems! One solution to aging population will be later retirement. I don\'t expect to retire at 65! We have been aging more gracefully and with more vigor for decades. Combined with our early and generous retirement policies, old folks have had it too good.

Maybe immigration into Germany is a good thing - I will certainly expect to Germans to make that decision for themselves.

Here in California, we have a booming population of poor people next door - Mexico. We can\'t serve as their population safety valve. Already, we\'ve tapped out all our fresh water supplies and the cities are clogged and bursting with immigrants. They want us to adopt \"Smart Growth\" which means giving up our cars and our single family detached homes with gardens and all move into apartment blocks and take light rail and buses. Sorry, that\'s not my idea of the good life. (We could do without our SUVs!)

As to global climate change, I don\'t hear the Gruns coming out in favor of more nuclear!

11-21-2002, 01:21 PM
Just don\'t cremate them, it will contribute to the problem!

Seriously, I don\'t see a direct solution. Whitehall is right about immigration. If asked to choose between the two I would deal with the aging population rather than allowing further immigration. Automation and mechanization can help tremendously with caring for older people. And, as cold as it sounds, that is a self curing problem, given time. The older generation is large but it does not span that many years. Immigration will cause ever increasing population problems. I don\'t want my grandchildren to be forced into cannabilism or starvation by our decisions today.

11-21-2002, 01:31 PM
if stupid people would stop breeding needlessly it would help tremendously. IMHO too many babies being made just because they can. Shouldn\'t it be a beautiful thing for a loving husband and wife to bring a new life into this world? Instead of jo-bob and mary-lou doin\' it in the back of a chevette and, oops now we have another mouth to feed. I know I\'m making judgements, but I\'m in NC and I see some people \'round these parts who should NOT be making babies.

11-21-2002, 02:25 PM
I\'m with that. Serious birth control. By law if it had to be, like in China.

11-21-2002, 02:26 PM
While I would support it, I\'ll believe it when it happens.

11-21-2002, 02:33 PM
It never will, but I can dream, can\'t I? /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
Y\'know, the Statue of Liberty\'s cool and all, but why did it have to be \"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, your wretched refuse.\" Why couldn\'t it have said give me your affluent, your upwardly mobile?

11-21-2002, 02:35 PM
Like Australia? They\'ve got the right idea about imigration. And to think, they started out as a bunch of exiled convicts. It\'s a wonderful place and I hope to visit there again.

11-21-2002, 02:41 PM
Population WILL be controlled, but it is doubtful that it will be by conscious, rational human act.

No, nature\'s way is through the \"Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse\" - Famine, War, Pestulance, and Death.

(Geez, I sure must sound gloomy! Just that Capricornian seriousness talking. In the mean time - eat, drink and make Mary)

11-21-2002, 02:44 PM
And mother nature is a bitch

11-21-2002, 03:31 PM
with fangs.

Who\'s Mary?

11-21-2002, 05:22 PM
I love australia as well - I think they have the right idea about immigration and population control. Of course the country will kill you if you\'re too dumb to survive. The crocs in Darwin eat an average of 15 people a year. Mostly drunken a-holes that are standing on a pier/beach pissing into the water. Now there\'s nature doing its job!

11-22-2002, 02:08 AM
\"Of course the country will kill you if you\'re too dumb to survive. The crocs in Darwin eat an average of 15 people a year. Mostly drunken a-holes that are standing on a pier/beach pissing into the water. Now there\'s nature doing its job! \"

a nice example of darwinism ... /ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif LOL

11-22-2002, 05:49 AM
There\'s a story from this summer about a tourist who got mauled by a grizzly bear in one of the national parks. Brilliant lady was feeding it beef jerky BY HAND so her hubby could get pictures of the cute wild life.

This is a 1600 pound wild animal and a major carnivore, morons!

Same summer, a kid got attacked by another bear because he was chasing her cub with a camera. Do they never learn?

11-22-2002, 06:55 AM
I visited a big hole in the ground a while back. Grand Canyon Natl. Park. Some of the signs seemed really stupid: Don\'t climb over the railing. Do not stand on railing. Do not climb on cliffs. Etc etc... but aparently people still fall to their death every year. Honestly how dumb can you be? This thing with bears, and other animals is stupid, however I\'m sure the bear didn\'t have a sign around his neck saying \"don\'t feed me beef jerky\" of course even if it did the woman probably would have fed it a turkey sandwich instead.

11-22-2002, 07:43 AM
In California, between Bakersfield and Mojave, there is the Kern canyon. The river that runs through the canyon is deadly! About every 1/4 mile is a big sign telling you how many people have drowned in previous years due to the undertow. And every year, they have to go back and change the number on the sign because multiple people didn\'t believe it.

11-22-2002, 11:12 AM
\"In nature there is but one capitol crime--Stupidity. Sentence is carried out immediately and without mercy\"
--Lazarus Long--

11-22-2002, 12:00 PM
I read a pretty harsh comment here about stupid people making babies. Although I\'m with that, I don\'t think I have the right to say who\'s stupid and who isn\'t.

To make things a little bit more harsh: We should actually be happy (in one and only one way though) that there are things like cancer, AIDS, and starvation. At least that\'ll keep our world from being flooded by people for at least a longer while.

11-22-2002, 12:06 PM
When I say stupid people what I mean is some of the folks I\'ve come across who are messed up (drugs, booze, etc...) and can hardly take care of themselves. Then without thinking they create a new life - to me that is a stupid person. Maybe sometimes it\'s a smart person making a stupid mistake, but my observations tell me otherwise. (in general, imho)

11-22-2002, 12:09 PM
Alright, those stupid people shouldn\'t reproduce at all. I agree with that.

11-22-2002, 12:55 PM
In \"nature\" as the world has experienced it prior to the Industrial Revolution, the stupid and the weak were effectively weeded out. It was much harder to raise a child to maturity and to have grandchildren. That helped keep the human population is rough balance. The number of humans was growing but at a very slow rate and well below the carrying capacity in most places.

For about the last 200 years, we\'ve been able to overcome our \"natural\" conditions and have upset the balances so that human population has zoomed. Now, even really poor, stupid and/or foolish people can have a flock of kids and see just about all them grow to reproduce themselves.

Now the \"smart people\" response is to have fewer kids but to invest more in each one. That\'s what most of the people in the rich parts of the world are doing. In the poorer parts of the world, the old strategy of having as many kids as you can is still being followed. At some point, the two strategies will come into conflict as the latter strategy leads to overpopulation. The \"life boat\" will have only a few seats and too many people climbing on will swamp the boat for everyone.

11-22-2002, 01:34 PM
I can understand having a large family if you live in a rural area and need a large family to be self supporting. (think farming family, etc...) but Whitehall you\'re right. Too many people in the life-boat swamps it for everyone.