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#53379 - 09/09/04 09:42 PM Re: Just because I'm a pacifist
les9596 Offline

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 38
Loc: The beautiful Puget Sound WA U...
In reply to:

Russia is not entirely innocent.

Neither are you. Neither am I. I do not want Americans to do to Russia now what the rest of the world did to the U.S. after 9/11. "Well, yes, it was bad, but the U.S. is not entirely innocent either. So we will sit in judgement of the two, and weigh their relative guilt, and proportion our blame accordingly."

Morally, there is only a difference of degree between the guy who steals my lawnmower and the guy who rapes my child. But if I can't see a threshold difference, an actionable difference, between the two in my real life, evolution will tend to select against me and my family.

Russians have done much wrong. But they are not tribal barbarian death cultists, riding out of the dark ages to blow up the whole world on their way to glory. I'd say there's a threshold difference between the two, just as there is a threshold difference between us and them. If we collectively are unable to see that difference, and act upon it, evolution will tend to select against us collectively.
Larry 5.1 M22/VP100/QS8/PB1-ISD

#53380 - 09/09/04 10:33 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
bridgman Offline

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5590
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>So, bridgman, who are you rooting for in the Iraq conflict? The guys who are just "defending their country from an occupying force" or the guys who are attempting to help the Iraqi people establish a representative gov't in Iraq?

I'm rooting for the US/Britons (and the handful of Canadians ) all the way. I was just trying to make it clear that there are at least two different kinds of "resistance" at play in Iraq, and that nobody should even be TRYING to hang a "freedom fighter" placard on the groups who are kidnapping and killing aid workers. They are animals, not "guys defending their country from an occupying force", and deserve to be hunted down and eradicated. They will NOT get better when the conflict ends, they will still be bullies and murderers.

There ARE a lot of pissed off Iraqis right now who fervently believe things were better for them before the war -- typically the middle classes who would be buying Axioms right now if the power wasn't off again and their place of work wasn't a smoking hole in the ground. These are the guys who will go back to work and become solid citizens once things settle down.

I just don't like seeing the likes of the group which bombed and shot a school full of children being treated with the same moral ambiguity as a group of pissed off Iraqis who felt they were better off before the war and are protesting & throwing stones at the US troops.

The first group needs to be hunted down and wiped out without mercy. The second group should be given a bit of consideration.

We're all reading too much into this thread. I shouldn't have piped in on politics when I was dog-tired. I was just replying to someone's comment that maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the REAL terrorists because they might have had a legitimate grip -- trying to say that "if you have a legitimate gripe and you're taking potshots at the troops I can sympathize although we're probably going to have to return fire and kill you -- but once you start killing innocents there is no return and no mercy, you get hunted down and wiped out".

Anyways, I'm even more tired tonight. Don't think this is helping.

#53381 - 09/09/04 10:36 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
BigWill Offline

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
les9596, I really liked what you had to say.

pmbuko, I'm not sure what your point was. I earlier voiced my irrelevant opinion that gov't should stop issuing marriage licenses altogether. That marriage seemed like a religous institution and should therefore be left to churches. The gov't should issue civil union permits (or whatever) to provide couples legal status and afford equal rights to all.
I'm not anti-gay. I just wanted to point out that if you attribute sexual behavior to your genetic makeup, then there is no point in condemning, or trying to rehabilitate, sexual deviants such as pedophiles, rapists, and the like. Further, if you attribute sexual behavior to genetic makeup, then what behaviors are NOT determined by your DNA? Criminal behavior? Cooperative behavior? Terrorist-type behavior?

I was not actually disagreeing with spiff, just playing devil's advocate. I was actually hoping to start a discussion centered on the notion that behavior does often stem from genetic causes (instinctive behavior), and that differences (including behavioral differences) exist between human races beyond the color of the skin. Further, that cultural differences are not only the product of disparate histories, but the product of variances in the genetic make-up of the population. We recognize such differences in different breeds of other species, but not in our own.

Back to the terrorists. Here's what some Arab leaders said recently (they don't all buy into the conspiracy theories that 2x6 showed us earlier):

***"What is the guilt of those children? Why should they be responsible for your conflict with the government?" Grand Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, Egypt's highest-ranking imam, railed during Friday prayers in the Egyptian town of Benha. "You are taking Islam as a cover and it is a deceptive cover; those who carry out the kidnappings are criminals, not Muslims."

Sheik Tantawi's refrain was a familiar one among Muslims who have felt unfairly tarred by the growing number of highly publicised bloodbaths perpetrated by fellow believers.

But on Saturday some prominent Arabs had a more sobering interpretation: corrupt, repressed Arab and Islamic societies have turned into breeding grounds for terrorism. It is a judgement rarely voiced in heavily censored Arab rhetoric.

"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims," wrote Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of the Al-Arabiya TV channel.

In a blunt column in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, he listed attacks carried out by Muslims in Iraq, Russia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. "Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," he wrote. "The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us."***

#53382 - 09/10/04 09:05 AM Re: Shooting children in the back?
ringmir Offline

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
On the marriage licenses thing...I completely 100% agree. The government has no place issuing "marriage" licenses at all. Let every union be a "civil union" in the eyes of the Gov, and afford the same social privledges under a civil union to the two people involved regardless of race, gender, etc. Then if they want to be married in the eyes of thier respective religious power(s) so be it. That's a seperate issue.

Oh and while they're at it, get the words "under god" out of the pledge. That's a big crock of $hit. I always used to get in trouble for saying "AMEN" loudly after the pledge when they made us recite it... I have no problem pledging allegiance to the flag and thus to this country. I do have a problem claiming that this is "one nation under god." It isn't.
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

#53383 - 09/10/04 01:49 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The main reason references to God should be stricken from all things government-related is that they were added so recently. "Under God" was added to the pledge in 1954. "In God We Trust" was placed on currency in 1955. In 1956, "In God We Trust" replaced E Pluribus Unum as the national motto. And ALL of it was done in an effort to "fluff ourselves up" and differentiate us from those heathen atheist commies in Russia.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#53384 - 09/10/04 01:56 PM National Guard Memos
Riffman Offline

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 242
If I can inject another issue here, what does everyone think of the memos? Will it affect Bush adversely?

Also, I have seen some talk and mention of polls here. My opinion is that polls are only valid when looking at the parsed data for specific, battleground states given our electoral college method of electing presidents.

#53385 - 09/10/04 02:00 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
2x6spds Online   content

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2820
Loc: CA, USA
Yes, PMB, you are absolutely correct ... but why stop with offensive references on our currency, and the off key proclamations of school children ... I wait with anticipation your important work, for example, your expected efforts to remove offending references to the Eternal One from the Declaration of Independence ...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

#53386 - 09/10/04 02:06 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
"Creator" is much more ambiguous and open to interpretation. It is much more culturally and spiritually neutral, so I've got no problem with it.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#53387 - 09/10/04 02:08 PM Re: National Guard Memos
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Are you talking about the memo I'm including below? If so, I'm not sure its authenticity has been verified. Come to think of it, it sounds extrememly contrived and fake.


From: W.R.

I'll bet you never thought you'd hear this from me, but G.W. Bush has got to be defeated in November.

Yes, I know, I'm a diehard conservative and was part of the majority that greased his way into the White House. But we had no idea the damage this guy and his friends would do in just four years, and how far they are willing to go in amassing total power and control into their hands.

Most pertinent to us on the court is what he has done to the judiciary. In effect, he has told us we're irrelevant. Whenever he wants something badly enough, he bends the Constitution, ignores the Separation-of-Powers established so brilliantly by the Founding Fathers, and simply finds a way for the President to do whatever he and his friends decide they want to do. (For example, GOP extremists in the House have introduced bills that would set the precedent of totally abolishing judicial review.)

Take the torture scandal, which is connected to the post-9/11 Patriot Act. Bush and Ashcroft had lawyers at the White House, Justice and Pentagon draft memoranda that, they claimed, permitted the President to do anything whatsoever under his role as commander-in-chief during wartime. Since Bush has declared that we are in a state of war and that he's a "war president," it then follows that whatever action the President takes, under this claim of acting as "commander-in-chief" in "wartime," must be permitted to stand as legal orders of the Executive.

Under this claim, the President can authorize "harsh interrogation methods" -- a euphemism for torture -- and the "disappearing" of various citizens and foreigners into secret jails, out of the reach of juridical oversight. Bush officials, apparently adopting these legal strategems as policy, have done both, and they really thought they would get away with it.

They are sorely mistaken. I and most of my colleagues on the bench do not appreciate it when the concept of judicial review, first established two hundred years ago with John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison, is dismissed by the Executive Branch as an outdated constitutional frill. Terrorism or no terrorism, this is still a society where no man, not even the President, is above the law -- not even if he wraps his grab for power in the name of "anti-terrorism."

We tried to get the message to him recently in the Hamdi and Guantanamo cases, where we said, in no uncertain terms, that while the President assumes, and should have, wide latitude during wartime, this special consideration was not a blanket right to unfettered behavior. Justice O'Connor wrote that the court has ''made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." And Justice Scalia wrote: "The very core of our liberty has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the executive."

In short, we sent Bush a very strong message. Which he and his advisers seemed to agree to, only to try to go around the import of the Court's rulings, by testing the limits of what they could get away with -- the way they're delaying our orders on the Guantanamo detainees, for example, and the way military tribunals are organized that makes them little more than show trials.


Richard Nixon tried to hide his crimes by claiming that any action taken by a President cannot, by the very fact that he is Chief Executive, be illegal -- but he learned quickly enough, when the Court rejected this extreme claim, that the Executive and Legislative Branches are always and forever subject to the Constitution, as interpreted by the Judicial Branch.

Now we learn that Bush's White House lawyers are asserting even more outrageous claims to power. Even though the Constitution grants the States power in determining and running their own election rules -- well, OK, we violated our own principles, but without setting precedent, in Bush v. Gore -- the Bush Administration claims that is has the power to cancel or postpone a general election (presumably when it appears it would lose) in the face of perceived "terrorist" threats. And, worse still, that it could partially cancel or postpone an election in certain states (presumably in states it would have lost) and be declared the winner based on a partial vote (presumably from states it would have won).

There is no way we could, or would, let that happen. If Bush and his cronies persist in creating a constitutional crisis, they will get one -- and not one they will find agreeable. Even the military may refuse to follow Bush's dictatorial orders.

In short, I'm writing this memo and circulating it (on a CONFIDENTIAL basis) to you and other key Republican business and governmental leaders because it's plain now, as it wasn't in 2000, that Bush and his crowd are inimicable to our best financial and political interests -- and the interest of the American people in general -- and must be stopped here and now before they can do even more damage.

This crew appears to be so power-hungry, and so incompetent in carrying out their radical programs, that only disaster will result if they gain a second term. If you agree with my prognosis, I urge you to move quickly to do whatever you can, and use whatever influence and funds you must, to ensure that Bush goes down to defeat on November 2.


Kerry ordinarily would not be our choice, but, if elected, he will be pretty much a toothless tiger, struggling so hard to undo the worst damage done by his predecessor, that he'll have little time or energy to devote to liberal mischief.

In the four years of a Kerry administration, we can regather our forces and select someone less obvious and more competent to run against him in 2008, re-asserting true conservative dominance in the years to come.

But unless we get rid of this crass, arrogant, reckless Bush crowd -- by a landslide defeat, so as to obviate any late "surprises" Karl Rove may have up his sleeve -- we, and the country, are in for a hellacious administration run amok with its ruthless power. Please let me know your thoughts, by courier delivery only. Thank you.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#53388 - 09/10/04 02:30 PM Re: Shooting children in the back?
ringmir Offline

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
The reference to "their Creator" in the declaration is an example of extremely well chosen wording. A creator can be someone's parental unit, it can be a god, or a pantheon of gods. "In God we Trust" is an example of extremely poorly chosen wording. If I tell you "I swear to God, I will do it." you would be a fool to believe me, because I don't believe in God. I don't trust in God to help me, I don't think God has any bearing at all on how my life progresses, or where I end up after it. I don't believe in the Christian God, or any other godlike figure(s). I am also not alone in this country in my belief, and it is ignorant of those in this country who do believe to make an officially endorsed statement that this country "trusts" or operates "under" *ANY* god, let alone the one specific capital-G God. Even if one firmly believes that I am a sinner for my lack of faith, and that I will go to hell for it, one should still be able to recognize that in this country I have the right to believe what I choose when it comes to religion, and the government should not take a position.

Would you be opposed to our currency saying "In Allah we Trust"? What about "In Vishnu we Trust" or "In Ra we Trust"? It just sounds ridiculous to even suggest such a thing. The more reasonable "In Science we Trust" is still pretty ridiculous. Now if the currency said "In Equality we Trust" I would be fine with that. Heck maybe even "In Righteousness we Trust."

Now then finally, "E pluribus unum" is another example of an outstanding choice of wording. That is what our country's sole motto should be. Consequently, I think it was kept as a motto and "In God we Trust" was added as an *additional* motto.
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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